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Zorcey

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Hmm...maybe you would benefit from writing your thoughts down? That way you don't have to remember everything and it won't loop. Might be easier to run some in 20XX so you can visually see it too.

Besides that, I focused on keeping it simple and not including every variable when I did visualization. I mainly used conditioning and percent and stage position as my primary variables and would just make some more or less prominent/part of the situation at all as I wanted to. If I got stuck I'd try to find the situation in a match and see what happened, or I'd just try to make it happen in friendlies so I could have a more concrete understanding. These days there are training partners that can run the situation with you too. Maybe some of this helps.

In a given situation, I say to myself what are the possible options, what are the common options, what do I think they will do. Then I see how I did, or in my head I run it multiple times and I also include times where I am wrong to help balance risk/reward in my head and explain to myself why I was wrong to think more about the situation. Is that useful?
Oh writing things down is how I normally work out situations, but I've always had an issue where I work this stuff out on paper, and then come back to it later and realize I forgot about it/forgot to apply it. That tendency is what I'm trying to root out by working on certain situations internally, but I'm not quite sure if it's really what I need or not. When you've worked out some situations and have a bunch of notes, do you just run them in friendlies/20XX a lot, or is there anything else you do to really get them in your head? I try to reduce them to a sentence or two after I'm done, but that's not always easy and I often fear losing the nuance many situations require.

But yeah, all this is useful. I think mostly I need to focus on simplifying my thinking, and maybe supplement the visualization with written notes to make the transition easier.

And aw, changing your avatar would have been more dramatic if you did it at the return LOL.
 
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Dr Peepee

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I try not to go into too many specifics since that gets into beating specific players a lot of the time. Instead, I'll look at specifics and then figure out how I want to structure my mixups in general, and how to switch coverage based on players or the meta etc. Maybe that's a useful end goal for you. It can be longer than a sentence or two but it's not terribly long and is pretty digestible, though I often find it best to apply it shortly afterward so it solidifies instead of just staying theory.

And don't worry, I have a more dramatic avatar/title change coming after the return ;)
 

AirFair

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The long dash was what made him jump and that was the Dtilt threat. The short dashes threaten approaching too with Dtilt/Fair but to a lesser extent. You can threaten from that shorter dash but it's less common.

The new search doesn't work anymore AND I LOST MY HEAD GUH

Edit: regrew my head
so would doing empty wds in be a better way to threaten wd dtilt? You've said before that faking a wd in would help mixing that up. I feel however that wd in, while quick, puts me in lag so I could get hit as I am coming forward. Also I don't really see many marths use wd forward by itself as part of conditioning the way long dashes are used, since the only thing you can quickly move out of wd with is another wd or jump. It's just that I don't want to be overdoing it with the shorter dashes, if I'm not going to act well out of them. When you say the short dashes threaten approaching, is it a run or wd dtilt that you threaten? and how does the increase in tempo from short dashes change that threat?
 

Kotastic

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Yeah, I think I understand your point with how you generally approach dash dancing, which is mixing up ever so slight with some of your movements to mask when to approach or not. However, I still kind of don't see how it would do well against a sheik just gradually taking space with fair without beating the landing with dtilt. Perhaps though, we're not thinking about the right position for dash dancing against sheik, as I'm thinking of DD right outside of DA range.
 

Dr Peepee

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so would doing empty wds in be a better way to threaten wd dtilt? You've said before that faking a wd in would help mixing that up. I feel however that wd in, while quick, puts me in lag so I could get hit as I am coming forward. Also I don't really see many marths use wd forward by itself as part of conditioning the way long dashes are used, since the only thing you can quickly move out of wd with is another wd or jump. It's just that I don't want to be overdoing it with the shorter dashes, if I'm not going to act well out of them. When you say the short dashes threaten approaching, is it a run or wd dtilt that you threaten? and how does the increase in tempo from short dashes change that threat?
WD in can be hit, so you can WD in from farther away to react easier, or only WD in when their punish is backing up to hit the Dtilt or punish your Dtilt lag specifically. Long dash in/running in is even easier for opponents to react to and safer to abuse on your end as well, so maybe you'd like trying to mess with that more.

Yeah, I think I understand your point with how you generally approach dash dancing, which is mixing up ever so slight with some of your movements to mask when to approach or not. However, I still kind of don't see how it would do well against a sheik just gradually taking space with fair without beating the landing with dtilt. Perhaps though, we're not thinking about the right position for dash dancing against sheik, as I'm thinking of DD right outside of DA range.
If Sheik jumps, you don't need to just DD in place anymore since Sheik has committed. You can switch to jumping forward to Fair her landing lag, or just WD down and Dtilt as she acts after landing or shields, etc. You could also encourage Sheik to jump by moving back or staying in a similar type of space then run in as you see her move in and jump to meet her in the air. There are ways to use the movement, but again I'm not saying it's required at all.
 

AirFair

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Yeah that makes sense to me lol, the whole question came from me trying to figure out the purpose of all of those short dashes vs peach, but maybe I could make that less excessive.
 

Kotastic

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I know you answered this kind of questions before, but SB search function doesnt really work so I'd like some reiteration of this scenario

So when fighitng a Sheik, I naturally stay at a range where Sheik would DA/BG and my dash back beats it. I played against this one Sheik player where he mixed up when he DA'd and FH needles, not fully charged. I found that when I tried reading when he would DA with dash back, his FH needle would beat my dash back, and I'm not sure what to do to skew the risk/reward in my favor. Perhaps I'm also not standing close in enough, as I think I could be more efficient with a full length of dash back.

Not sure how common of a problem this is, but I get wrecked by Sheik's double spotdodge and it's annoying and embarrassing. How could I not fall prey to that?

Also, I think I'm starting to get the hang of the Falco mu in which they're ambiguous whether or not they'll aerial in, which is the most apparent when they laser wait/dash dance. I found that if I fake go in after their dd/wait, they're far more likely to go in which I can beat with dash back. However, I'm still sort of uncertain at the precise dash length I need to go in before they're more likely to go in because there has been times I did try fake going in but they didn't bite. I'm inclined to try out WD in next time because I do jab a decent amount in the mu, but at the same time the WD lag might be enough for them to hit me anways for free.

Speaking of Falco, how can I beat him trying to approaching laser out of the corner when there's the possibility of yolo dair as well? Very clearly beats dash back and some variants of fair I think.

What can I best do against opponents that run up shield and immediately act out of it as an aggressive neutral tool? This makes it so grab is not possible. I found that fastfallers often like the aerial OoS often and do it first as security when they think I'll swing forward. Floaties tend to just kinda stay grounded but they can be varied too, in which I guess dtilt is the answer against them?

Regarding mentality stuff, a friend of mine has approached me various questions that I couldn't confidently answer. For context, he plays almost exclusively friendlies even in tournaments for several months because he hates tournament nerves and doesn't feel like it's worth it for him, but I managed to convince him to enter recently because it can help his self-development further. For me personally, I don't have much issues with performance anxiety because of my background of being a musician for several years, so I just got used to the feeling and always knew the queasyness just disappeared over time and experience. Obviously, everyone can't just do that. Many of my questions regarding mentality usually resorts to cognitive reframework in which I could confidently answer to him, but I'm not sure what's best for others regarding just physiological responses where he thinks nothing other than some vague solution I can think of. For his problem, he gets scared/anxious during tournament which results him doing bad Fox up-smashes and not thinking in matchups that he normally has a solid gameplan for. Additionally, he hates that feeling of being scared/anxious and doesn't really know the root reason why. He also has no real will to win and doesn't know how to cultivate it. Advice for him?
 
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Zorcey

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I notice when analyzing my play that in many situations my DD isn't "tight" enough. Like, I'm often a bit too far away from opponents to whiff punish/put the most pressure, and I either lose a lot of punish opportunities, or get hit when I try to whiff punish something outside my range. It'll help me play a ton of situations better, especially TR-based ones, so I want to work on it, but I'm not certain how I want to practice it. You're really, really good at keeping these "optimal distances," so maybe you have some recommendations? Movement's so nuanced I wonder if this isn't specific enough - if I should clarify further lmk, I'm just noticing it as an overall improvement I need to make, so I'm not sure if any examples I have are better than others.
 

Dr Peepee

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I know you answered this kind of questions before, but SB search function doesnt really work so I'd like some reiteration of this scenario

So when fighitng a Sheik, I naturally stay at a range where Sheik would DA/BG and my dash back beats it. I played against this one Sheik player where he mixed up when he DA'd and FH needles, not fully charged. I found that when I tried reading when he would DA with dash back, his FH needle would beat my dash back, and I'm not sure what to do to skew the risk/reward in my favor. Perhaps I'm also not standing close in enough, as I think I could be more efficient with a full length of dash back.

Not sure how common of a problem this is, but I get wrecked by Sheik's double spotdodge and it's annoying and embarrassing. How could I not fall prey to that?

Also, I think I'm starting to get the hang of the Falco mu in which they're ambiguous whether or not they'll aerial in, which is the most apparent when they laser wait/dash dance. I found that if I fake go in after their dd/wait, they're far more likely to go in which I can beat with dash back. However, I'm still sort of uncertain at the precise dash length I need to go in before they're more likely to go in because there has been times I did try fake going in but they didn't bite. I'm inclined to try out WD in next time because I do jab a decent amount in the mu, but at the same time the WD lag might be enough for them to hit me anways for free.

Speaking of Falco, how can I beat him trying to approaching laser out of the corner when there's the possibility of yolo dair as well? Very clearly beats dash back and some variants of fair I think.

What can I best do against opponents that run up shield and immediately act out of it as an aggressive neutral tool? This makes it so grab is not possible. I found that fastfallers often like the aerial OoS often and do it first as security when they think I'll swing forward. Floaties tend to just kinda stay grounded but they can be varied too, in which I guess dtilt is the answer against them?

Regarding mentality stuff, a friend of mine has approached me various questions that I couldn't confidently answer. For context, he plays almost exclusively friendlies even in tournaments for several months because he hates tournament nerves and doesn't feel like it's worth it for him, but I managed to convince him to enter recently because it can help his self-development further. For me personally, I don't have much issues with performance anxiety because of my background of being a musician for several years, so I just got used to the feeling and always knew the queasyness just disappeared over time and experience. Obviously, everyone can't just do that. Many of my questions regarding mentality usually resorts to cognitive reframework in which I could confidently answer to him, but I'm not sure what's best for others regarding just physiological responses where he thinks nothing other than some vague solution I can think of. For his problem, he gets scared/anxious during tournament which results him doing bad Fox up-smashes and not thinking in matchups that he normally has a solid gameplan for. Additionally, he hates that feeling of being scared/anxious and doesn't really know the root reason why. He also has no real will to win and doesn't know how to cultivate it. Advice for him?
Friggin SB search

First of all, if he's just doing a needle or two out of FH he doesn't even get advantage right? That wouldn't be so bad then. You can always WD back to go even farther back, or you can choose to SH in place so you go over DA/BG but not so far back you get hit by FH. You can also pressure more so he can't get into position to do the mixup as much. I'm also wondering if he's reacting to you moving back and then FH'ing, in which case you may have time after dashing away to dash back in on reaction to him jumping. Might be worth testing.

Depends on how you enter the spotdodge scenario I find. If you discount the possibility of Sheik doing BG/DA out of a bad position/lag then you wait for Ftilt or spotdodge to time grabs and that can help a lot. Also setting up a wait/dash back timing that lets you confirm and then go in helps a lot. If you'd rather bypass that at least sometimes, you can SH and space around Ftilt or drift in past a possible Ftilt timing and Fair/Dair/whatever their spotdodge and mix in empty land grab for bigger reward when you want.

Getting close enough to keep Falco from lasering in place or to directly or nearly directly outrange him should usually encourage Falco's approach, barring some other factors.

If you can get on top of him then jab and Fair are obviously best. Retreating Fair from a bit farther away can still work or SH'ing back and then Fair if you react a bit late. If you're in a range/position where that just won't work, then yeah you might have to go for WD back or just running away retreating Bair to keep him cornered or push him offstage ideally. I'd play with that kind of stuff, and also do your best to worm your way into positions where you can totally outclass him.

I'm not sure how grab is totally not allowed in these cases. They have to run into shield, so if you run forward when they do and grab you'll beat them. It was scary to me when I started doing it to Mango but it's worth it to discourage that option. Dtilt and retreating Fair/SH'ing away for pressure and positioning as well as just backing up with WD/dash are your best bets for more safety and different coverage from there I'd say. I prefer Dtilt for floaties as you said.

These questions are often difficult already when I don't get to have a back and forth, but at least with you guys I know some of the patterns that come up over time. Still, I would guess for him it's about that result defining him. He's only thinking about losing and what others think most likely. Entering for the sake of it won't help these people until they reframe their tournament conception as one that allows them to achieve goals, and those goals, or really feelings, have to be stronger than the fear. Fear is there but it goes away if you want it bad enough. I would often tell myself how I did everything I could to prepare, so there was nothing to worry about. Other people focus on the great challenge of playing others and putting everything on the line. Later I re-learned this and also decided to think about wanting my opponent to play their best too so we could present better and better challenges to each other and see who really wanted it more and had done more work. This would also bring out our best play beyond what we could normally consider, which is the ultimate goal to me. Kind of rambling at this point

Visualizing winning(really engaging all senses) and what it means to him, or what the game and competing mean to him can help him build some will to win. It's a very personal project, and one he has to take seriously or no advice will help.

I notice when analyzing my play that in many situations my DD isn't "tight" enough. Like, I'm often a bit too far away from opponents to whiff punish/put the most pressure, and I either lose a lot of punish opportunities, or get hit when I try to whiff punish something outside my range. It'll help me play a ton of situations better, especially TR-based ones, so I want to work on it, but I'm not certain how I want to practice it. You're really, really good at keeping these "optimal distances," so maybe you have some recommendations? Movement's so nuanced I wonder if this isn't specific enough - if I should clarify further lmk, I'm just noticing it as an overall improvement I need to make, so I'm not sure if any examples I have are better than others.
Being farther away helps you punish when people come in, but what if they don't? You must vary your DD to include fighting closer when you discourage them from approaching, and to do this you have to recognize/somewhat guess when they don't want to come in. Try to simplify and try to DD a little closer or at ranges where you can punish the options you struggle with and I think you'll find solutions. It will lead to you getting hit by aggressive/yolo stuff more, but as you learn to beat that you can learn to have more control.
 

Zorcey

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Yeah, I’m already trying these closer spacings because I realize that with WD Dtilt and SH fadeback Fair I’m discouraging my opponents from approaching, but once they don’t want to come in anymore, I get a little lost. Marth feels very sluggish when approaching, because he can only come in with these lunging motions that are very punishable. So I try to pick my spots carefully, but I think I only end up going in after confirming they’ve done something I think I can punish, and when I stray closer to check for data get hit by a lot of yolo stuff like you’re saying. I feel very reactive, but want to be more proactive. So I really need to work on my aggressive play all-around so I can get bigger punishes/start encouraging more approaches, huh.

Going back to basics, what are Marth’s strong approaches? I can think of dash SH Rising Fair, WD Dtilt > play next situation, WD grab, and maybe dash SH fadeback AC Nair - are there more I’m not considering? What are all these approaches for? What common options do they all cover? What common options do they lose to, and how can the risks of using them be mitigated? ...Lol this is all half-rhetorical and just stuff I want to think about, I’m more wondering if I’m asking the right questions to get to the answer I’m looking for, I suppose.

Also, an additional question from where this line of thinking started: how do I approach versus a Fox who uses a lot of FH in their play? I can’t beat the option outright unless I commit super hard. It goes right over all my normal approaches, and when mixed with dash back, SH Drill, and RC Dtilt, to beat all the ways I try beat FH, I get very discouraged from going in, because the odds don’t feel in my favor. This is approaching from TR/sometimes slightly within, btw - how should I approach this situation?
 

Kotastic

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Alright, thanks for the advice! As for my friend, I told him that he should probably message you on reddit (ppmd1 correct? Also feels out of place here when he's a Fox main) about mentality stuff so that at least you have a back and forth there.

I also have the SoCal Arcadian coming up for me very soon, so I'm training a lot in hopes to take it. Even if I don't win it, it's the growth process that truly counts in the end. Wish me (and quixotic) luck!!!
 

Dr Peepee

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Yeah, I’m already trying these closer spacings because I realize that with WD Dtilt and SH fadeback Fair I’m discouraging my opponents from approaching, but once they don’t want to come in anymore, I get a little lost. Marth feels very sluggish when approaching, because he can only come in with these lunging motions that are very punishable. So I try to pick my spots carefully, but I think I only end up going in after confirming they’ve done something I think I can punish, and when I stray closer to check for data get hit by a lot of yolo stuff like you’re saying. I feel very reactive, but want to be more proactive. So I really need to work on my aggressive play all-around so I can get bigger punishes/start encouraging more approaches, huh.

Going back to basics, what are Marth’s strong approaches? I can think of dash SH Rising Fair, WD Dtilt > play next situation, WD grab, and maybe dash SH fadeback AC Nair - are there more I’m not considering? What are all these approaches for? What common options do they all cover? What common options do they lose to, and how can the risks of using them be mitigated? ...Lol this is all half-rhetorical and just stuff I want to think about, I’m more wondering if I’m asking the right questions to get to the answer I’m looking for, I suppose.

Also, an additional question from where this line of thinking started: how do I approach versus a Fox who uses a lot of FH in their play? I can’t beat the option outright unless I commit super hard. It goes right over all my normal approaches, and when mixed with dash back, SH Drill, and RC Dtilt, to beat all the ways I try beat FH, I get very discouraged from going in, because the odds don’t feel in my favor. This is approaching from TR/sometimes slightly within, btw - how should I approach this situation?
Ah so you needed help with approaching then.

You don't always need to lunge. As an example, dash in Fair in place(mid or late) is fairly low commitment and helps you take stage, but it's not full offense unless you're starting closer to your opponent. Walk Dtilt is another lower commitment one. Drift in no FF late Fair is lower risk too but can still have its own problems. Rising Fair in place is more aggressive than retreating rising Fair, but still relatively safe if your opponent isn't perfectly expecting it, and either totally or mostly safe on shield when tippered(depending on matchup staling etc...vs Fox it's pretty great though for example). WD/RC Dtilt helps expand your dash range and also encourages them to run in early/jump/shield when you move in, which makes your non-committal stuff way stronger and can let you dash in more for free as well as mix with rising Fair better.

Let's keep in mind that Marth is NOT an aggressive character, he is a zoner. He can kind of get away with more aggression than say Sheik/Peach/Puff because of his great dash and Dtilt in many cases but he's not entirely cut out for it. So approaching is sometimes more about poking closer to them, if that helps.

How is the Fox using FH? In place you can SH drift in to Fair the landing or walk and Dtilt or grab it. If he DJs away you can sometimes react to FH/DJ aerial him. If he comes in then that's obviously different but I don't think that's what you meant, same with drifting away. You want to use option coverage/confirms to beat this FH. It'll be impossible to always beat outright but you have to learn how to manipulate it first and get the hang of your options. SH in place can cover most of what you're listing there, so drifting in afterward or changing your starting jumping position can help you a lot with threatening FH. If you have more specifics about the interplay of options Fox/Marth use it might be better to let you bring that up from here.

Alright, thanks for the advice! As for my friend, I told him that he should probably message you on reddit (ppmd1 correct? Also feels out of place here when he's a Fox main) about mentality stuff so that at least you have a back and forth there.

I also have the SoCal Arcadian coming up for me very soon, so I'm training a lot in hopes to take it. Even if I don't win it, it's the growth process that truly counts in the end. Wish me (and quixotic) luck!!!
I guess that didn't sort him out huh? Figured lol. Yeah that's my Reddit.

I've seen people discussing you in SoCal Melee FB group so I'm excited for you! Good luck to you both =)
 

Zorcey

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Well while I knew my DD being too “loose” was because I wasn’t confident in positions with close spacings, I didn’t initially realize that’s because I’m having trouble threatening/approaching safely.

Okay, there are some good choices here I’m not using enough - dash SH Fair in place and walk Dtilt in particular. Drift in no FF late Fair might also help with dash back, I think? Almost everyone uses that when I start discouraging approaches. I’m not capitalizing properly on my WD/RC Dtilts, so mentioning the effects they’re likely to have is very helpful. Once you start getting a good understanding of what your tools make opponents do in different situations, it’s sooo much fun. Tons of situations and possibilities though, so learning to keep track is a wip. (Also still working on fakes since I think Marth needs those to fully capitalize on his conditioning.)

Yeah, I’m definitely being careful to keep the kind of character Marth is in mind. But I figure once I’ve discouraged approaches, I need to capitalize on that by going on the aggressive by taking space/cornering, and approaching, right? It can be difficult to know when I’m trying to force something on Marth he may not be cut out for, but I figure getting hit a lot gives me an idea lol.

Generally Fox uses FH to escape when he confirms I’m moving in - especially when he has less space than I do. Often he goes to a side platform, or tries to escape over Marth’s head and mixes Bair/empty land. This particular situation is frustrating because I want to keep Fox in the corner, but he has good odds of slipping through my fingers atm. You’re right they’re not what I was asking about, but while on the subject I have no reason not to briefly ask about drift in/away:

If Fox uses dash FH drift in from TR, what do you think of dash/WD in > WD back Utilt/CC to beat it? I don’t think his landing can be punished without being really close (and he has a lot of time to pull back), so I try to hit him out of the air or play the next position. (I can’t always back enough to get the space for SH Fair, so I’ve been playing with alternatives.)

Another drift in situation is Fox dashing in on a side platform and mixing runoff aerials with using FH from the side platform to top platform, and mixing it up further with actually landing on top platform and falling through with an aerial. With this one I don’t have time to SH Rising Fair (covering runoff aerial) and do the DJ Uair (to cover top platform) before he falls through and Drills/Bairs. I guess I could stay on the ground, but then I feel like he gets away with so much in that case.

For drift away (when Fox uses it upon confirming I’m approaching) I have a habit of trying to follow the FH and bait out a DJ, but I’m not having much success with it, and I get hit with a reversal aerial fairly often. I feel like this could be because I’ve been experimenting with Fair and the angle’s not so good, but is this strategy fine with Uair instead? You mention this in your post, but you qualify with “sometimes,” so is there a variable I’m not accounting for? Is part of it my approaches could be too obvious/predictable?
 
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Dr Peepee

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Yeah, taking stage is often a good move once you've discouraged their approach. Specifics for how to set this up and how to more fully commit can vary by matchup and player.

If Fox is jumping over you as he confirms you move in, then you should be able to confirm him moving away, at least sometimes and set up for it. So for example you can run in and SH in place and then drift/DJ/attack as you would like to counter whatever he's doing. If he's coming directly back down, then you can mix in SH less and just get in close to Dtilt/grab his landing unless you'd prefer to Fair/Nair it. You can outrange Bair by Dtilt'ing but sometimes that isn't always possible, so you can SH drift in with Fair to go over it and attack, and while this will make you late vs empty land usually it still forces Fox to shield/dash back as you come in, which you can often counter with your own empty land and play this new advantage. If he goes to a platform, remember you can hit his landing lag so don't panic if he goes up too high since he has to come back down to land lol.

If Fox dash FHs at you then you can absolutely grab the landing and even more certainly Fair it even if he pulls back. WD in WD back can't always be relied on because he may pre-empt you and you'll be too slow then. Dashes can be fast enough but your options out of dash back are less good, so sometimes you may need dash in WD back or dash in SH back, or you just have to go under with dash in WD in and cross them up occasionally. At any rate, if you play around with various timings and the CC/Utilt you mentioned and other options you'll figure it out.

You can do SH and then Fair(so mid or late usually) if he comes down or DJ Uair or something if he goes high. You could also just stick to covering the ground more with looking for grab on the runoffs and then let him go high if he wants and then play from there. On BF/DL especially him coming from the top platform down takes a bit so it's still pretty reactable, and on BF he can't go through the side platforms and attack easily so you know about where he'll be all the time. On smaller levels it'll be harder for him to get better side and top platform due to sword.

I'm not sure I understand your last question. Sometimes if you confirm/start too far away you can't really challenge FH drift away at all. You need tippered Fair at low and mid percents, and often at low percents you need a certain timing such as low to the ground or just before peak of the jump Fair to catch their DJ or not, etc. Uair would only be better if you got directly under him, which can definitely be good but sometimes grab can be just as good if you can get directly under him and it makes it easier to punish his DJ away if you stayed grounded. I'd need more clarity on exactly what you're referencing here.
 

Aksorz1336

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Hey PP!

Whenever I get a grab on Fox/Falco/Sheik they like to DI my upthrow to the top platform and tech in place. I seem to have a real hard time dealing with this, as I usually drop my punishes here, or they feel really abysmal. What tends to happen is that they get their shield up before I can hit with anything. Even when I hit an upair or something, I just float around freely, dropping the punish. I feel like I wanna mixup sometimes and go up there and call out their shielding with a grab, but this seems to be too slow to even use as a read. As far as I can tell, even Marths much better than me seem to be pretty bad at the situation. How would you approach this?
 
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Zorcey

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Alright, so I've been playing with these options you suggested and they're very helpful, thanks. I realized though that part of my problem with challenging FH was playing too slowly - basically I felt like I couldn't catch Fox unless I let Self 2 take over, to look at it that way. (But because I trusted the information you had given me, I was okay with letting go to be able to execute them, something that wasn't happening earlier when I was trying to figure out ways to beat FH myself.) I realized further that taking my gameplay slowly was also part of my approaching problem, because I selected my options so tenaciously, which meant situations would pass me by before I could capitalize on them.

Yesterday I was experimenting with letting go in friendlies, and organizing my thoughts while on the respawn platform, and between games, and it felt really good. However, I'm not sure how okay this is, because being honest it comes from a negative place: I'd rather not lose friendlies/I don't want to feel slow/crappy while practicing, and that's why I've adopted this new approach. There's also me being uncertain that NOT focusing on the cognitive will result in me being less likely to think of new things while playing. I've asked stuff along these lines before, but I think I'm really getting close to the heart of it now, so I really want to ask for some advice to keep pushing through.
 

Dr Peepee

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Hm, well I should definitely start off by saying that it's really good you've already implemented the approach ideas well. It does show you're taking it seriously and it seems to have helped you bring your game together more and let go.

Not wanting to feel crappy during practice is fine to me. Having a higher standard is alright, though of course it's generally more exciting to frame it as wanting to build up speed and enjoy being quick. Obviously for the cognitive thing, you've probably already noticed that that isn't going to happen. If it is, then you simply switch to overthinking mode to learn more, or you just take more time/pauses during the match to remember things or you stop paying attention once you get hit and just try to remember what happened there. I'll be honest it does seem like you have a strong case of success/happiness anxiety where you seem to put up a lot of resistance when things start going better for you. I had this pretty bad too, and I had to start re-evaluating my standards to go beyond what I grew up thinking was acceptable(just doing well enough and having a decent life instead of striving to always push myself and get wherever that gets me...to increasing levels of success as it usually works out). Much much easier said than done as I had to encounter how my parents would talk to me and think and also I had to address my own fears about failing after putting everything on the line, but I did reason that it would be much easier to bounce back if I went hard all of the time on whatever I did, and I needed to trust myself to handle failure, especially since I saw how I already treated myself when I was holding myself back. As usual, the paradox was that giving myself permission to fail meant I was far less likely to do it. Maybe this can be useful to you.
 

Zorcey

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Taking more time to think/remember periodically is maybe how I would describe what I'm working with atm. Basically my approach is to let go while I'm playing, but take mental note of at least of one interesting/important thing each game and write it down after - when I'm done playing friendlies I sort out the notes and think the information over until next time. It seems along the lines of what you're suggesting here, but I'm not quite sure what definition of "overthinking" we're using here.

You're completely correct, I have a lot of anxiety in general, but "success anxiety" is definitely something that gets in my way as a competitor quite a bit. There are lot of manifestations of it that cause me to doubt myself/hold back when I can't do those things and still come out on top. I definitely relate to having some strong fear about failing when I'm putting myself entirely out there, and I've been trying to work on it with self-compassion and convincing myself I'm doing all I can to improve, but like you say it's so, so much easier said than done. The latter part of this (knowing I'm doing all I can) is particularly troublesome for me, because having never gotten good at a fighting game before, I'm constantly questioning how good what I do is, and trying to figure out how I can learn things more deeply and efficiently. The odd thing is that this is healthy in it keeps me hungry and staves off contentment, but unhealthy in that it keeps me from relaxing and trusting my training. It's not that I don't think I'm getting better, but, it can sometimes feel like it's never enough - and while that won't stop me, having this in the back of mind isn't conducive to getting over fear.
 

Dr Peepee

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I take notes primarily between stocks or games, so your approach is similar enough if you feel you're getting enough info that's useful for training and tournament. Overthinking is just switching to analysis mode and focusing on learning something instead of letting go and playing, and hopefully you can take your notes right as you're playing as a result.

You'll always be able to do better if you stay flexible and put the work in, but if you stop then you won't get any better. No one knows their limit. Doing all you can is about the process, not the end result. Goals still definitely matter, but they aren't in the conversation with this particular line of thinking. If you want to involve them though, I'd suggest using them to get you thinking of being excited to play instead of being anxious. Additionally, it's likely worth running these mental experiments on yourself where you begin challenging and replacing your anxious thoughts with healthier ones in situations such as when you're about to play in a high stakes situation or after you've lost...etc.

Still, as you noted, things are working pretty well right now. I do agree you should absolutely handle this, but I don't want you to feel pressured to do it. Keep exploring just like in Melee and I'm sure you will find an approach that works best for you. Some people do better working things out through professional massage and body work for example, while others through breathwork, and still others through psychological work. I'm just offering one way.
 

YNZ

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Hey PP!

Just a quick clarification question about the Marth v Falco MU!

A while ago I asked for help in the Marth Falco MU and using WD in + take laser jab was part of the advice you gave me!

I've been trying this out for a couple of weeks but I'm still just a little confused on how to use this tool.

Should I be WD OOS into a take laser jab (like shielding/PSing the first laser, wavedashing towards them and then jabbing?) or should I tanking an initial laser (no shield) and then WD -> take laser jab? (I think shielding a laser gives like 7 frames of hitstun while tanking a laser gives 12 but isn't being in shield considered a bad thing in this matchup for Marth?)

Also when playing 20xx bots and local falcos, I've started using Nair in place/shield stop nair (and some side Bs) to stop aggressive approaches/lasers and WD->take laser jab/ftilt to stop falcos from playing defensively (laser DD from further spacings, lasering and retreating, and laser in place). Its been working for me right now (probably because im not up against the most amazing players) but I was wondering what you thought of this strategy!

Thanks so much in advance! :D Wishing ya the best as always!
 
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Dr Peepee

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Sorry, I meant getting hit by the laser into jab. It only works when Falco is far enough away you can tipper jab his approach. However, like you mentioned you can actually WD jab/Ftilt against defensive Falcos and this can work well, along with reliable DAs or PS' of course.

Nair seems to be more common for Marths these days against Falco but I'm unsure of how to feel about it. I would keep on with it for now but be wary of ways this could fail so you can anticipate what to do if you run into counters later.
 

Zorcey

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What rules do you have for reads/reactions on juggles? The general situation I’m thinking of is when an opponent DJs out after being hit by Uair/Tipper Fair on top platform stages (not sure how much would change depending on if Marth is falling to the ground or a side platform after the hit): I figure they can DJ left, right, or straight up, but when do I read the jump direction/drift, and when do I try to react? I’ve noticed I generally try to react to it, but I’m not sure that’s always feasible, particularly versus FFers. My current hypothesis is read FFers and Puff (because of her five jumps/air speed), and react to other characters - what do you think of this? Would such a rule change on FD and PS? I find it much easier to react on those stages because they don’t really have anywhere to go.
 
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Kotastic

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I decided that after the Arcadian, I would write an update regarding my general mentality as well as post-Arcadian thoughts. I did say awhile back that I would do an update on my mentality, so here it is: http://kodorinssbm.blogspot.com/2018/06/mentality-update-post-socal-arcadian.html

The Arcadian was truly an experience that I'll never forget. And with that experience, I have a lot of questions regarding dealing with new things that I don't feel like I appropriately responded to. I described it in my blog, so I'll paraphrase here.

I felt like the SoCal Arcadian was the first tournament where I actually legitimately cared about doing well. Like, really really cared about. Just about every other tournament I've entered, I came mostly to learn, have it being a measure of progress for me. Although I sort of cared about my results, I really didn't care that much. The Arcadian, it felt like a battleground to really prove myself with other people on the same boat as me. Prior to the event, I never actually felt so much pressure. I meditated a lot regarding the event and how I should think about it. I didn't know if it was necessarily healthy for me to think that I can win the Arcadian, or if I should come in looking to mostly as an avenue to grow and improve once again. My ultimate goal for Melee is to become the best in the world, because in order to do so I need a lot of growth which I find particularly satisfying in the long-term, so I was pretty conflicted with how my mentality should be. In the end, I went in with every intention of winning. Did I make the right decision thinking this way, and perhaps it gave me more pressure in the end? I say that because later...

The crowd was getting to me. Turns out, playing in front of your parents in a relatively low stakes orchestra performance doesn't even compare at all to the dozens of screaming and jeering directly behind your back. At least 5 times in succession, this happened and it was mentally draining me. How I would handle it was trying to ignore it because I felt like if I paid any attention to them, it would detract me from my gameplay. I don't actually know if that's actually possible considering the crowd, and they played a large factor of why I started panicking and choking. By the time I got to quixotic to make top 8, I legitimately felt like crying and my will to win was completely gone. I really couldn't handle the crowd anymore. Although I tried giving it my all vs. quixotic, I choked so much and things I was proficient at the matchup I didn't do at all. My edgeguards, corner game, and juggle game I was tunneling so much and panicked a lot with fsmash. Honestly, it was such a disgusting set from my end and I apologize that you had to witness that lol. But regardless, this sort of experience will come up again as I get better. I'm not exactly sure how I can go about this, but I'm considering channeling the crowd's energy as opposed to completely ignoring it, as again I don't think ignoring it is possible. It also might be fun channeling the energy, but I also feel like it would drain me faster. Thoughts?

Anyways, it really means a lot to me that you went out of your way to watch our streamed sets! I would like to hear general comments you have about me and quixotic. Despite the fact that I think I played terribly in all my streamed sets, I'd still like to hear your inputs.
 
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Dr Peepee

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What rules do you have for reads/reactions on juggles? The general situation I’m thinking of is when an opponent DJs out after being hit by Uair/Tipper Fair on top platform stages (not sure how much would change depending on if Marth is falling to the ground or a side platform after the hit): I figure they can DJ left, right, or straight up, but when do I read the jump direction/drift, and when do I try to react? I’ve noticed I generally try to react to it, but I’m not sure that’s always feasible, particularly versus FFers. My current hypothesis is read FFers and Puff (because of her five jumps/air speed), and react to other characters - what do you think of this? Would such a rule change on FD and PS? I find it much easier to react on those stages because they don’t really have anywhere to go.
This can depend a lot based on how you hit them, percent, and where they end up after being hit(as well as your own position). If you have a specific situation or some that would probably help. They can DJ but change their timing of their jump, fade at different times, FF at different times, attack or airdodge at different times. A lot of people currently like to DJ a little away from a platform then drift back to it at the last second and airdodge to it for example, so you'd want to be ready to cover that as you see the airdodge come out or pre-empt it if you want them to stay without a jump at a higher risk of them getting out.

In my opinion, you shouldn't need to read juggle options that often, but you should be setting yourself up for reactions and occasional reads pretty much every time. With Puff it can be a little different since she floats around more, but you should also be aware she's going to burn a couple jumps before acting pretty much every time so no need for any big reads every time there either.

It's hard to say too much more specifically without knowing where we want to go with this.


I decided that after the Arcadian, I would write an update regarding my general mentality as well as post-Arcadian thoughts. I did say awhile back that I would do an update on my mentality, so here it is: http://kodorinssbm.blogspot.com/2018/06/mentality-update-post-socal-arcadian.html

The Arcadian was truly an experience that I'll never forget. And with that experience, I have a lot of questions regarding dealing with new things that I don't feel like I appropriately responded to. I described it in my blog, so I'll paraphrase here.

I felt like the SoCal Arcadian was the first tournament where I actually legitimately cared about doing well. Like, really really cared about. Just about every other tournament I've entered, I came mostly to learn, have it being a measure of progress for me. Although I sort of cared about my results, I really didn't care that much. The Arcadian, it felt like a battleground to really prove myself with other people on the same boat as me. Prior to the event, I never actually felt so much pressure. I meditated a lot regarding the event and how I should think about it. I didn't know if it was necessarily healthy for me to think that I can win the Arcadian, or if I should come in looking to mostly as an avenue to grow and improve once again. My ultimate goal for Melee is to become the best in the world, because in order to do so I need a lot of growth which I find particularly satisfying in the long-term, so I was pretty conflicted with how my mentality should be. In the end, I went in with every intention of winning. Did I make the right decision thinking this way, and perhaps it gave me more pressure in the end? I say that because later...

The crowd was getting to me. Turns out, playing in front of your parents in a relatively low stakes orchestra performance doesn't even compare at all to the dozens of screaming and jeering directly behind your back. At least 5 times in succession, this happened and it was mentality draining me. How I would handle it was trying to ignore it because I felt like if I paid any attention to them, it would detract me from my gameplay. I don't actually know if that's actually possible considering the crowd, and they played a large factor of why I started panicking and choking. By the time I got to quixotic to make top 8, I legitimately felt like crying and my will to win was completely gone. I really couldn't handle the crowd anymore. Although I tried giving it my all vs. quixotic, I choked so much and things I was proficient at the matchup I didn't do at all. My edgeguards, corner game, and juggle game I was tunneling so much and panicked a lot with fsmash. Honestly, it was such a disgusting set from my end and I apologize that you had to witness that lol. But regardless, this sort of experience will come up again as I get better. I'm not exactly sure how I can go about this, but I'm considering channeling the crowd's energy as opposed to completely ignoring it, as again I don't think ignoring it is possible. It also might be fun channeling the energy, but I also feel like it would drain me faster. Thoughts?

Anyways, it really means a lot to me that you went out of your way to watch our streamed sets! I would like to hear general comments you have about me and quixotic. Despite the fact that I think I played terribly in all my streamed sets, I'd still like to hear your inputs.
Ah, so that explains it. I was wondering why you Fsmashed so much in particular since you didn't strike me as that kind of player at all. I assumed you were extremely nervous which also surprised me given our earlier discussions, but I see you had never experienced the crowd like this before. It's not very easy!

Wanting to win is not antagonistic to growth. Why you want to win, to be good, that's what matters. Growing is on the way to winning, after all. The journey is usually supposed to be enjoyed more than the destination though, so maybe that will help.

For the crowd, I'll present two ideas.

The first is that the crowd is just a nuisance and must be blocked out as most competitors understand. You should begin training with headphones and bringing them to every event so you can only hear what's necessary in the game. These people will just serve to distract you and pull you away from the flow state, the immersion necessary to bring your best out. Why let things outside the game dictate your performance?

The second way is thinking about what the crowd did to you, and why it worked. Why were you unable to focus on the game? Didn't it matter to you? To me, the crowd and other things people complain about often only matter or are intensified when I'm already mentally not ready going into the event. A truly immersed person does not mind the crowd because they're so focused, and likely also understands that the crowd is just doing what spectators do, making noise and supporting whoever they like. They don't mean harm, and even if they did that's something to understand and make peace with too. To beat the crowd, one must be so driven that even this fades into the background and the game is all they hear. This makes one adaptable at any time. It means they have good focus and their goals/drive is working for them, which was certainly the case for me playing at my best, especially when on the come up.

Regardless of whatever you choose or not, the first time on stage and on a bigger stream, caring about wins is often very hard and most people seem to choke there. I know I did when I first went on the EVO stage despite playing for a long time lol. Basically this is a good experience and now you can better prepare for next time since you have a mental model to practice with. Stoking that will to win may also be worth your while, but that's your own decision. Hopefully this helps =)
 

Socrates

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Speaking of Fsmash, have you got any tips for dealing with bad habits?

I fsmash a lot, I’m aware of this. I can keep it under control for a while, but i tend to start falling back on it when i get nervous/tired/frustrated. There are times where i can even feel the gut reaction to do it rising and I literally have to stop myself mentally and say “no, don’t do that” lol. This ends up breaking my flow and taking me out of the game. I’m trying to cut down on it without cutting it out completely as obviously it’s a good move but there’s a time and a place for it.
 
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Dr Peepee

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I think it helps to train yourself for times when you're nervous. If I didn't feel comfortable doing my normal gameplan, I'd fall back on one that gave more reads with higher reward. That doesn't mean Fsmashing a lot, but it does mean setting up more Fair zones and hitting people instead of trying to react to minute timings with grab for example. I came up with the idea of practicing a "B" game a while ago and I think the idea held up pretty well. I got $mike to try it at an event he was tired at once and he said it worked perfectly for him too. That reminds me, if you do grab you'd do things like read where they go and go for tippers more often or just aerial them for free damage and play a game from an advantaged position there.

But yeah, point is you need to think of what to do instead of your bad habit if you get pressured. Obviously, it's more important to me to overcome nerves/fatigue/frustration in the first place, and strengthen your overall gameplan to work even under less than ideal conditions, but this would be the next place to look having considered that.
 

Doof_

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Hey PPMD, I'm still going strong in my "**** Sheik" phase. I was wondering about a few scenarios in the Marth vs. Sheik MU.

1. My first question is how to deal with short/full hop needles in neutral? Also what is the difference between the two? This situation I find myself is I'll be moving in and out of sheik's DA and BG range to attempt to bait it out one of the options. Sometimes the Sheik will do aerial needles as I try to pressure their threat range and I'm never sure what the best option is to deal with it. Since it covers in front of her the seemingly only way to beat it with a fair is to hard read her jump (which doesn't interact well with any other option she might do). I've tried mixing up running underneath to get a grab punish or force a spotdodge, but I seemed to get faired more than I'd like when trying it. Though in your set vs M2K at MLG 2014 you got a grab off of run up shieldgrab against the needles. Is this a decent punish on calling them out? It seems risky to do, and you need to play at a specific spacing to set it up. My last option that I do most of the time is just dash back out of the situation and try to reset.
Also I wanted to ask what are the mixups in the situation where you do get hit by aerial needles? It seems like it's a mix of dashback, spotdodge/roll, and hold shield.

2. My second question involves CC (and ASDI down). I was wondering if there are certain common situation vs. Sheik that allow for you to look for and set up a CC punish. For example there could be a situation where without CC the situation would be good for Sheik. Or is this question answered through self review and learning every situation you can CC and then implementing it.
What are your thoughts on using CC as an option to bust through Sheik's defenses at low %? For example you could turn the needle/fair situation into a really good position with it.

3. My third question is going over the scenario of being dthrown faired by sheik at 60-80% and recovering with all of your options. What are the positions that Sheik could be in that would signal for you to attempt to recover high? Low? Or straight to ledge. Also when recovering low what are some no-no's that an inexperienced in the MU marth might do that would get them killed?

4. Do you know of any VODs of Marth vs. Sheik where the marth does simple, good things Vs. Sheik most of the time?
 

Dr Peepee

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1. Well, needles become much more of an issue if she has a charge of 3 or more. In SH Needle this is still true but less true, especially if she can get needles off closer to the ground. In FH needle this isn't really possible, so she's more likely to shoot earlier which means you can run under her more easily and punish, or just intercept her sooner if she does wait for some reason. At worst you move away and the situation resets. For SH needle, you can sometimes SH over the needles and attack her landing as well, but if you do back up as she needles then you can SH/WD/dash or run in as she lands to pressure the next situation. If you get Faired then you're probably committing to the punish too early. If she's successfully needling you're probably dashing without purpose too long and letting her charge and jump at you. So you'd probably benefit from moving your space a little more than just DD'ing around one focal point. You can dash/run in WD back more, WD down more to set your position, WD away more to move away if you're worried, SH in any of these directions to switch to zoning, and so on. For anything you feel I didn't cover, I'd need to see specific positions or hear specifics about how the needles are used. If you're really outside of TR you shouldn't have a problem moving away from needles most of the time for example. Oh and if you get hit by aerial needles yeah you don't have many options besides what you mentioned. I wouldn't spotdodge though.

2. If you're zoning this is where CC/ASDI down become especially useful. So if you land with Fair and hold down, you can either Dtilt or just crouch her tilt/DA and punish. You can also WD more often, which helps you hold down on its own, same with Dtilt. You can't really punish her Fair with holding down afaik, so that's why I wouldn't recommend overabusing it and trying to rush her down. You can test it if you want maybe I'm wrong.

3. You can go high if she goes straight to edge or is really close to it sometimes. You have to watch for some of her edgedrop Bairs so you have to flirt with that range, and also watch out for any needles from the stage...occasionally you can hit her there. When recovering low, don't always burn all of your options before recovering, and don't always sit right below the edge. If you change your position up some she can have a harder time knowing when to refresh. If she's doing the instant up-B snap then this doesn't matter though and you just have to go onstage and take it lol.

4. Moon vs Sheik back when Moon was doing well, or M2K vs Plup sometimes I guess.
 

Socrates

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So I’ve been noticing recently, when given an opportunity to punish (whiff, tech-chase, etc) it nearly always feels beneficial to wait for a reaction than to go for the immediate punish. I find that when I pressure them by simply waiting in a position where I COULD punish, they end up doing something out of fear that makes the punish more guaranteed such as rolling/shielding/spotdodging.

My question about this, is this sort of pressure always good? I used to always try and go for an immediate punish which would get me caught in things like spotdodge traps but now that I’ve been waiting, even for just a split second, it’s not only given me more time to consider options but also puts pressure on the opponent to act.

I’m wondering if this is something i can apply to higher level players or if it’s just working on low-mid levels.
 

Zorcey

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So the other night I managed to attend what was my first real Melee tournament - all prior experience I had up to then was friendlies, netplay, MMs, etc (I've always been self-conscious about this, but only recently have starting having opportunities). I still have very mixed feelings on the whole thing even after sleeping on it twice, and it's resulted in a lot of questions, some I've been able to answer and some I haven't. I guess I'll start by summarizing:

Objectively speaking, I did "well." I placed 2nd, taking down PR'd players in the area during my run. Subjectively speaking, I played absolutely HORRIBLE, was on autopilot for the entire event, miserable, and steeped in my own anxiety. Tournament lasted about 5 hours, and the only fun I had was entering Smash 4 Doubles with a casual friend of mine and going 0-2 lol, the rest of the time I was too anxious to even play friendlies - between my matches I literally just sat somewhere trying to calm down. By the time I made it to GFs, my mental energy was totally gone, and I went down further from autopilot to grab-spamming panic mode. I took a game, but I had absolutely no will to win.

I'm developing a better understanding of how hard it is to compete when you feel you're putting everything on the line. (I admittedly put a ton of pressure on myself to win because if I couldn't take something like this, how could I make it out of pools at Shine? I tried to alleviate this by telling myself it's okay to fail as long as I make the necessary changes after, but I just couldn't escape how crushing it would be to know I wasn't training hard enough, when I was honestly feeling hella burnt out but still pushing because I wanted it so bad.) At this point I can't imagine how it's possible to play at top level in front of tens of thousands, when I can't keep it together going up against regional threats and a crowd that's a handful of people.

All this said, the event was educational, because I learned a lot about the "out-of-game" stuff I need to work on to be able to handle actual competition. I clearly need to increase the length and frequency of my meditations, working harder on thought substitution, to avoid mentality dips and strengthen my focus (I've already started on this, and I've noticed moving to thought substitution after some breath work feels good). I also need to develop a "Plan B" like you discussed above for when I'm not playing well - I think that's a really good idea, and encourages deeply working out situations in advance so you plan the mixups intelligently, even if you don't execute them that way lol. The anxiety itself is something that afflicts me in plenty of ways beyond just competition, and I'm trying to tackle it from multiple angles, but "solutions" are more wip there.

There's also out-of-game stuff I've been thinking about, but can't come up with satisfactory answers for myself. One is the mental energy thing, where I was losing steam rapidly the minute I got inside, much less started playing; there's a lot of factors in the rapid stamina loss such as anxiety, lack of experience, unhappiness, being around so many people I didn't know, worrying about performance, etc. I can fix some of these things to an extent I suppose, but not all of them, and I wonder if that's necessarily the way I should go about improving my mental energy to begin with. (I find my stamina to be kind of low even in daily Melee/music practice, where I can focus for maybe an hour before I start autopiloting and getting diminishing returns.) I know because of your health issues you lose mental energy rapidly for different reasons than listed, but I know at some point in your career you could relate to these if not now, so maybe you have advice? There's other stuff I can think of, like being uncertain of whether my weak will to win is linked to low mental energy or not but I already have so much here lol, so I'll hold off.

I guess a positive thing I can add at the end here is that I still feel my understanding of how to learn positions is good, since that kind of studying is what carried me through the event. It's definitely hard to learn all the good mixups when you don't have multiple practice partners for each matchup though, I have to think more creatively in my analyses/maybe try playing other characters more? (On that, sorry for not responding to you about the juggle mixups with more specifics. I'm going to, but need to find footage of what I have in mind tonight.)

thanks for reading this wall of text
 

Dr Peepee

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So I’ve been noticing recently, when given an opportunity to punish (whiff, tech-chase, etc) it nearly always feels beneficial to wait for a reaction than to go for the immediate punish. I find that when I pressure them by simply waiting in a position where I COULD punish, they end up doing something out of fear that makes the punish more guaranteed such as rolling/shielding/spotdodging.

My question about this, is this sort of pressure always good? I used to always try and go for an immediate punish which would get me caught in things like spotdodge traps but now that I’ve been waiting, even for just a split second, it’s not only given me more time to consider options but also puts pressure on the opponent to act.

I’m wondering if this is something i can apply to higher level players or if it’s just working on low-mid levels.
It's kind of difficult to say. I think slight waits are always incredible, but when exactly you start them, what other options you threaten, and what positions happen before the wait will all play a more complicated role over time. Suffice to say that what you're doing isn't wrong, but it's probably good to be able to take instantly created openings too, or eventually you'll run into people who don't give you two. Even if you can't go for it all of the time, it's worth practicing. I mean, slight waits in neutral are great too, and once you get better at them they're almost indistinguishable from regular speed plays, so it's something I recommend practicing that will give you immediate rewards too. Maybe it's just better to say you'll see it as things come along for you, but for now it's fine.

So the other night I managed to attend what was my first real Melee tournament - all prior experience I had up to then was friendlies, netplay, MMs, etc (I've always been self-conscious about this, but only recently have starting having opportunities). I still have very mixed feelings on the whole thing even after sleeping on it twice, and it's resulted in a lot of questions, some I've been able to answer and some I haven't. I guess I'll start by summarizing:

Objectively speaking, I did "well." I placed 2nd, taking down PR'd players in the area during my run. Subjectively speaking, I played absolutely HORRIBLE, was on autopilot for the entire event, miserable, and steeped in my own anxiety. Tournament lasted about 5 hours, and the only fun I had was entering Smash 4 Doubles with a casual friend of mine and going 0-2 lol, the rest of the time I was too anxious to even play friendlies - between my matches I literally just sat somewhere trying to calm down. By the time I made it to GFs, my mental energy was totally gone, and I went down further from autopilot to grab-spamming panic mode. I took a game, but I had absolutely no will to win.

I'm developing a better understanding of how hard it is to compete when you feel you're putting everything on the line. (I admittedly put a ton of pressure on myself to win because if I couldn't take something like this, how could I make it out of pools at Shine? I tried to alleviate this by telling myself it's okay to fail as long as I make the necessary changes after, but I just couldn't escape how crushing it would be to know I wasn't training hard enough, when I was honestly feeling hella burnt out but still pushing because I wanted it so bad.) At this point I can't imagine how it's possible to play at top level in front of tens of thousands, when I can't keep it together going up against regional threats and a crowd that's a handful of people.

All this said, the event was educational, because I learned a lot about the "out-of-game" stuff I need to work on to be able to handle actual competition. I clearly need to increase the length and frequency of my meditations, working harder on thought substitution, to avoid mentality dips and strengthen my focus (I've already started on this, and I've noticed moving to thought substitution after some breath work feels good). I also need to develop a "Plan B" like you discussed above for when I'm not playing well - I think that's a really good idea, and encourages deeply working out situations in advance so you plan the mixups intelligently, even if you don't execute them that way lol. The anxiety itself is something that afflicts me in plenty of ways beyond just competition, and I'm trying to tackle it from multiple angles, but "solutions" are more wip there.

There's also out-of-game stuff I've been thinking about, but can't come up with satisfactory answers for myself. One is the mental energy thing, where I was losing steam rapidly the minute I got inside, much less started playing; there's a lot of factors in the rapid stamina loss such as anxiety, lack of experience, unhappiness, being around so many people I didn't know, worrying about performance, etc. I can fix some of these things to an extent I suppose, but not all of them, and I wonder if that's necessarily the way I should go about improving my mental energy to begin with. (I find my stamina to be kind of low even in daily Melee/music practice, where I can focus for maybe an hour before I start autopiloting and getting diminishing returns.) I know because of your health issues you lose mental energy rapidly for different reasons than listed, but I know at some point in your career you could relate to these if not now, so maybe you have advice? There's other stuff I can think of, like being uncertain of whether my weak will to win is linked to low mental energy or not but I already have so much here lol, so I'll hold off.

I guess a positive thing I can add at the end here is that I still feel my understanding of how to learn positions is good, since that kind of studying is what carried me through the event. It's definitely hard to learn all the good mixups when you don't have multiple practice partners for each matchup though, I have to think more creatively in my analyses/maybe try playing other characters more? (On that, sorry for not responding to you about the juggle mixups with more specifics. I'm going to, but need to find footage of what I have in mind tonight.)

thanks for reading this wall of text
Well let's begin with what's good. Your training was absolutely effective despite how hard you wanted to sabotage it, so that's really good! I don't mean to be rude with the comment either, that is genuinely not easy to do. You must have been working hard.

One other good thing: you tried and had the experience. That's great. You now know exactly what you're up against, and the first time is usually the worst if you're really strict about tackling the mental challenge.

Tension is your problem. When tense, we burn energy extremely rapidly and anyone will get tired regardless of training. Your tension will make things super hard for you, especially if you're like that before showing up. This tension will come from anxiety, which looks like it comes from worries about how good you will do, if you're deserving of doing well, and fear of failure. So I'd like for you to really ask yourself: what if you fail? But not just fail, fail spectacularly. You do the worst moves possible, you play on stream and everyone thinks you're terrible, people laugh at you in the venue, you name it. Really feel it and experience it. Will you survive it? Of course. If you're being honest, you'll feel really badly about it for a week or two but then you'll largely reset to normal. That's just how we are about most things. I'd know, given my health concerns lol. But I want you to imagine that worst experience instead of running from it. Anxiety gets its power from avoidance and when you confront it head on it loses that. You cannot block a block. If you let the feeling come in and see that you'll be okay, then you can let go when you begin to experience it. Now that you have this anxiety-inducing experience, you'd want to experience it in your head as much as possible to make sure it does not affect you like this anymore, aka exposure therapy. Please consider this route, as it was enormously helpful for me.

I lost energy in Melee for what I believe are two non-current reasons:

1. My physical conditioning(exercise/sleep mainly for me, but many people would put food here as well).

2. Anxiety/lack of love of what I was doing.

I think overcoming one helps drastically with the other, but taking out both should be a surefire shot to improve endurance in my experience, and it seems to be true when watching others as well. When I exercised, I always had a drastic focus/energy increase and felt fantastic so I could better handle the inevitable downs of playing and practicing. Sleep did similar things. Exercise sometimes takes longer to work for people as you have to build up endurance, but it pays dividends fairly quickly I believe. Mileage may vary depending on what you do and how much/long you do it for though. Anxiety leads to tension and basically a different form of respiration used by your cells which deplete your energy much faster than if you are healthfully alert, so this issue should absolutely not be undervalued. Alertness and excitement is welcome, but when you frame it as a problem it's much worse, to say it differently. I already addressed this above but I thought I'd add a little more context. Maybe this will be useful.
 

Kotastic

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So, I've been having some mentality shifts as I attended a tournament moreso to be more laid back due to lack of practice and studying for school finals. I saw it as an opportunity to see how I'm progressing in weaker matchups of mine and see how I can properly express myself in matchups I'm more comfortable in. As a result, I just let go. I didn't care about anything external to the game and focused what really mattered in game. And I got interesting results.

I had 0 tension and anxiety throughout the tournament. I'm normally someone who's...expressive in the moment towards things that are very important to me. As a result, sometimes it can be really draining if that's prolonged or I spam panicky options like when you saw me spam f-smash. I went in with the mindset that I didn't care about anything going in and out with the possibility of going secondaries. I ended going my main all the way through, accomplishing things with my mindset that I've been trying to achieve for awhile. I didn't go in with the will to win at all, nor did I meditate at all prior trying to calm myself. I did this before because I wanted to play in my peak performance possible. I needed this because I was always hard on myself, expecting a lot of myself, letting the external pressure getting to me, needed sharper focus on why I play the game. Instead, I just went in not really caring what happens, other than staying objective on what's happening in the game. I found that I was far more expressive in what I allowed myself to do instead of reserving myself due to fear. If I made a mistake or got outplayed, I knew why and adjusted accordingly. I clutched out games where I went for suicide edgeguards that I didn't let fear overtake me in. All my losses were attributed to bad decision makings rather than choking. At some point, there was a crowd that was cheering against me, and I remember not caring at all and just only focused what was happening in the match. Previously, the crowd would've gotten in my head and distract me what was happening in the match After my losses, I just immediately accepted for what it was, not thinking about my rank at all or what others thought of me even though I technically "underperformed." I knew exactly what to work on, and the end results perfectly fit what I'd like to see myself in Melee: To grow and overcome obstacles, and I was so immersed what was happening that I might've actually been playing my peak performance with what I know about the game currently.

It's something I would like to continue experimenting on more throughout the summer, but I'm uncertain if this could work in the long-term. Locals are significantly easier to just not "care" about, but something in the scale of like Evo...I think I'd probably care. Or perhaps I can cultivate this further if I train my mind for it. There are probably more drawbacks too with this mindset that will probably reveal itself sooner of later. Thoughts on my current exploration?
 
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Doof_

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So I talked to Druggedfox about the CC/ASDI down interaction with Sheik's fair vs Marth. He said if you are in range to grab you can true punish a L-cancel fair with grab and AC fair only gives Sheik the option to do a frame perfect spot dodge (non buffered) to avoid a frame perfect grab. So in other words, its a fairly reliable setup if you don't allow Sheik to space the fair out of Marth's grab range.

I was thinking of some scenarios to use this information and I came up with using it as an option select when punishing a jump. You set up a RC/WD dtilt to hit Sheik if they fade back on the fair, and if they fade forward or come straight down, you should be able to set up the CC grab.
Another possible situation would be when Sheik is doing a runoff fair on a side platform. Say you go to fair to catch her run off, but they use a timing mixup and wiff punish Marth's fair with their own fair, which you can CC grab if you have the spacing.
 

Dr Peepee

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So, I've been having some mentality shifts as I attended a tournament moreso to be more laid back due to lack of practice and studying for school finals. I saw it as an opportunity to see how I'm progressing in weaker matchups of mine and see how I can properly express myself in matchups I'm more comfortable in. As a result, I just let go. I didn't care about anything external to the game and focused what really mattered in game. And I got interesting results.

I had 0 tension and anxiety throughout the tournament. I'm normally someone who's...expressive in the moment towards things that are very important to me. As a result, sometimes it can be really draining if that's prolonged or I spam panicky options like when you saw me spam f-smash. I went in with the mindset that I didn't care about anything going in and out with the possibility of going secondaries. I ended going my main all the way through, accomplishing things with my mindset that I've been trying to achieve for awhile. I didn't go in with the will to win at all, nor did I meditate at all prior trying to calm myself. I did this before because I wanted to play in my peak performance possible. I needed this because I was always hard on myself, expecting a lot of myself, letting the external pressure getting to me, needed sharper focus on why I play the game. Instead, I just went in not really caring what happens, other than staying objective on what's happening in the game. I found that I was far more expressive in what I allowed myself to do instead of reserving myself due to fear. If I made a mistake or got outplayed, I knew why and adjusted accordingly. I clutched out games where I went for suicide edgeguards that I didn't let fear overtake me in. All my losses were attributed to bad decision makings rather than choking. At some point, there was a crowd that was cheering against me, and I remember not caring at all and just only focused what was happening in the match. Previously, the crowd would've gotten in my head and distract me what was happening in the match After my losses, I just immediately accepted for what it was, not thinking about my rank at all or what others thought of me even though I technically "underperformed." I knew exactly what to work on, and the end results perfectly fit what I'd like to see myself in Melee: To grow and overcome obstacles, and I was so immersed what was happening that I might've actually been playing my peak performance with what I know about the game currently.

It's something I would like to continue experimenting on more throughout the summer, but I'm uncertain if this could work in the long-term. Locals are significantly easier to just not "care" about, but something in the scale of like Evo...I think I'd probably care. Or perhaps I can cultivate this further if I train my mind for it. There are probably more drawbacks too with this mindset that will probably reveal itself sooner of later. Thoughts on my current exploration?
Mmm....

This reminds me of Wobbles. He had his Evo performance when he decided to finally stop caring and then he was never able to really do that again. It's also written in esoteric eastern texts that one should be indifferent to results so as not to get attached to them and thereby bring out true art. For sure, this is one way to go I imagine.

I am not so sure it's sustainable though. I haven't had time to experiment with it enough, but from watching and a bit of my own experience it does seem like goals and desire to do well/love of the game is a more reliable pull, even if it's also difficult to consistently pull off. It does feel more common at least. Also, I have to be concerned with you doing this just after a stressful experience. You "not caring" may be just as much about trying to stuff your feelings down as it is to let go and enjoy the game.

So I talked to Druggedfox about the CC/ASDI down interaction with Sheik's fair vs Marth. He said if you are in range to grab you can true punish a L-cancel fair with grab and AC fair only gives Sheik the option to do a frame perfect spot dodge (non buffered) to avoid a frame perfect grab. So in other words, its a fairly reliable setup if you don't allow Sheik to space the fair out of Marth's grab range.

I was thinking of some scenarios to use this information and I came up with using it as an option select when punishing a jump. You set up a RC/WD dtilt to hit Sheik if they fade back on the fair, and if they fade forward or come straight down, you should be able to set up the CC grab.
Another possible situation would be when Sheik is doing a runoff fair on a side platform. Say you go to fair to catch her run off, but they use a timing mixup and wiff punish Marth's fair with their own fair, which you can CC grab if you have the spacing.
Sounds neat, please let us know how your applications in matches go.
 
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