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Dr Peepee

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It seems he is preemptive in many situations, often choosing to swing at around the same time Fox must choose to do so. And mixing in waits sometimes helps ensure he doesn't just corner himself every time they could swing.
 

Zorcey

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I believe I’ve seen you recommend DI in against Falcon’s throws (I’m having trouble finding the post atm) - could you clarify why this works? In my own testing DI in lets Falcon get easier Uairs and at higher percent Knees, but DI down+away seems to escape Knees and only allow him one Uair anyway (though you end up further offstage at higher percents). This wasn’t great testing because it was only preset DI rather than against another human, so I must be missing something?


https://youtu.be/onoiye0VwLU?t=21 What do you think about the dash SideBs Moon used to do in this matchup? We’ve talked about this tool a little in the past, but Moon used it a lot more than any other Marth afaik, and it seems like he made it work well.
 

Dr Peepee

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What are common situations where "Fox must choose to do so"?

What do you mean by "waits"?
Usually situations in which he is close enough to choose, or is cornered or off balance/at frame disadvantage.

I believe I’ve seen you recommend DI in against Falcon’s throws (I’m having trouble finding the post atm) - could you clarify why this works? In my own testing DI in lets Falcon get easier Uairs and at higher percent Knees, but DI down+away seems to escape Knees and only allow him one Uair anyway (though you end up further offstage at higher percents). This wasn’t great testing because it was only preset DI rather than against another human, so I must be missing something?


https://youtu.be/onoiye0VwLU?t=21 What do you think about the dash SideBs Moon used to do in this matchup? We’ve talked about this tool a little in the past, but Moon used it a lot more than any other Marth afaik, and it seems like he made it work well.
Just do the Zain down and away then SDI Uair down and away. Higher percents this has its own issues.

Likely to trade with knee/stomp, knee especially. Falcon can SDI out and make it hard to get a punish as well.

It's probably okay sometimes if you're too slow to Fair or the Falcon isn't SDI'ing
 
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Zorcey

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Yeah, I decided to test it because I noticed Zain getting a lot of mileage out of down+away against Falcon at the last Summit. Do you mind discussing some of the issues with it at higher percents though, or is it too much to do justice with a post?
 

maclo4

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So i was watching you vs armada at apex 2015, and the first thing i noticed is how hard you go in on full hop reads. For example, you full hop fair preemptively in neutral and catch him full hopping. Do you think committing like this is a good way to deal with full hop or are there lower risk options that could do the same thing.

Recently in friendlies ive been focusing a lot on preemptive full hop call outs and so this was a question i already had in my mind and so I wanted to ask after watching your set.
 

Dr Peepee

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Ohhh that makes more sense. Yeah that's fairly risky but luckily on BF Fox is usually a bit farther away and the top platform is hard to punish. I don't think I'd normally recommend that strategy due to how bad being above Fox is.
 

Sacredtwin11

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After analyzing vods(usually around .75x or .5x speed), do you find it helpful to rewatch them in real-time just so you're used to the full speed visual cues?
 
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Sacredtwin11

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How do you like to handle the situation where someone is just sitting there crouching, daring you to touch them so they can cc grab/dash grab/dtilt(or something similar)? I struggle most with this against marth, but also falcons, sheiks, and to a lesser extent, foxes utilize this to get openings in situations where I might not always perfectly tip an aerial or dtilt. Vs marth, it feels like I can't approach him on the ground at all due to his in place dtilt beating any approaching ground options, while if I aerial, it feels like an easy fsmash/dash back whiff punish for him since jumping is rather slow. Against other chars, I feel their ground options aren't as threatening/long range, so I'm more willing to swing at them since I have a sword, or even grab them, but the ditto makes this really hard for me.
 

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If Marth dashes back or swings when you come in, then just fake coming in by dashing/running toward him then backing up. He will either swing or move back and then will not be crouching. If he stays crouching and waits, you can Dtilt him or sometimes get the aerial set up, and once in a while grab him. You could also walk up and Dtilt him I guess.
 

Zorcey

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I’m having trouble when my opponent is set up outside my own immediate TR (too close to comfortably WD Dtilt, but too far to aerial unless I drift in a lot). It feels that I’m very telegraphed when I try to swing from here, but feinting is also ineffective because I don’t have any space to play with/if they just attack I’ll get hit. I’ve had the most success when I just dash back from here, but that has its own issues.
I find that I’m struggling much more with this problem when it comes to lower mobility characters like Falco/Peach/low tiers who won’t just approach me from this space - especially when they can punish me for dashing back from it. Do you have any suggestions for how to approach this spacing?
 

Dr Peepee

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This is the space vs Peach and low tiers you should not be in if possible. Either close range or far range work best vs them. But, if you do find yourself there, it helps to try and get to one of the others as soon as possible. Even so, you can wait in this space and be prepared for approaches many times, or you can move forward if they seem to be waiting and then move back and observe and use that information. Any approach from here should still be easily avoidable and pretty reactable, but you must be sure you acknowledge what that approach is and don't simply move back every time you see them come near you, because then yes it is a simple overshoot.
 

Orange5000

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Hi PP,

While my improvement at understanding melee itself has been going at a steady rate with diligent analysis and the occasional tournament, there's another part of the game that I've been having a hard time trying to grok, which I'll call the "performance" aspect — the part of the game consisting of your ability to sustain consistent reactions to whatever happens on-screen, fluidly hitting tech, and all while maintaining the focus and mental stamina needed in order to do all of this. In order to simplify the discussion, I'd like to say that with whatever strategy, toolkit, and knowledge of the game you are armed with, the matter of executing these things in-game is a separate problem. For now I'd just like to focus on the mental side of performing, rather than go into the interrelations between gameplan and gameplay (i.e. a more efficient gameplan can be easier to execute).

I've been playing a lot of Stepmania lately, which if you don't know is a rhythm game that's basically a DDR simulator played on your keyboard, where the goal of the game is to navigate a hellish landscape of arrows and reactively hit every one on time with the goal of achieving the highest score possible. While it's obviously a completely different game to melee, I think the removal of variables like strategy/knowledge and solely focusing on execution, mental focus/stamina, and reactivity can shine a light on the performance aspect of melee I mentioned earlier. I've found that I consistently perform at my highest by utilizing a mental trick where I don't focus on the arrows at all, instead, I kind of just "look at the screen" so to speak, or perhaps look at the background behind the arrows, or just at the combo counter. If you focus too much on the stream of arrows you can end up getting lost in them, and your eye can even start involuntarily tracking some of them which only results in seeing less of the total information on screen. As well, this game heavily scrutinizes your ability to focus clearly. Most of the time, random intrusive thoughts immediately result in dropping your combo, and to deal with this I've employed some meditative strategies, such as focusing on steady breathing.

In a melee practice session the other day, I particularly focused on employing the first strategy I mentioned, "just looking at the screen", instead of focusing on looking at my own character or my opponent. The best I can describe the sensation is that you have a "zoomed out" perspective of the match, and just like in Stepmania, it is by no means easy to sustain. I think this genuinely helped me perform as my reactions were consistently on point that session, and as a litmus test to speak to that claim, I had a remarkably higher success rate on shielding getup attack during RTC; but in general reacting moment-to-moment in neutral, not freaking out during rushdown, and not tilting all seemed vastly improved using this method of playing. Adaptations also seemed to come quicker.

What's interesting is this runs counter to the widespread advice in melee to not look at your own character at all and instead drill all your focus on your opponent's character. However, with what Stepmania showed me, you shouldn't be looking at either character lol.

Have you experimented with similar focusing strategies? How relevant does this mental strategy/trick apply to performing in melee (should it always be used)? Moreover, do you think one should adopt different mental states for performing versus practicing? How do you grapple with thinking clearly and also taking notes on the opponent/strategizing mid-match? Do you ever focus on your breathing mid-match when you're trying to perform in tourney? Or any other thoughts on this would be great as I think this is an extremely interesting topic that isn't really talked about nearly enough, and it's apparent that this performance aspect plays a major role in being a better melee player.
 
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Dr Peepee

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I don't think I have ever heard it successfully applied in Melee to just look at the screen, but it makes sense and I may have done it a few times. My challenge always was I felt I would miss details by doing this. I have found that my focus works best when between characters or on the opponent and haven't needed to switch that, and if my focus wasn't good there I would know it's a separate issue.

If it works, do it. I see no reason to discourage it, but perhaps it can be supplemented if you eventually find it costs you different information in exchange for more overall. I would generally recommend doing friendlies, especially those leading up to the tournament, like tournament. Sometimes you may be able to integrate different perspectives into your best one(the whole), but you'll find your own balance of experimentation vs preparation/refinement.

I generally do not take notes on the opponent mid match unless it's between stocks or I hit a floaty high up. You simply don't have time usually, unless you are extremely calm yet alert. I allow for my subconscious to do the work and then engage the conscious mind when it's time. I do not focus on my breathing at all except right before playing so it can calm me down. I likely have things I focus on in the game that help me focus, but those things of course would not be my breathing.

Performance does indeed play a major role in being a Melee player, and some people don't like this. They'd rather friendlies only count as they don't handle pressure well. I used to be sorely against this, but the discussion is more interesting on both sides than at first glance. Anyway, I like that your strategy seems to be very broad, kind of like a teams strategy people are forced to use. Perhaps you get bogged down in details too much and this helps to avoid that? That was my first thought.
 

Orange5000

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Yeah I'm still skeptical this method is a straight upgrade and am going to keep experimenting. By "integrating different perspectives into the best one (the whole)", are you referring to how you should be switching between different modes of thinking for different points in the game? Such an idea actually brings me back to something I once heard Captain Faceroll said about playing Fox, where the MU is particularly mentally taxing for him due to how frenetic the neutral is, but when he gets a knockdown he suddenly has to clear his mind for the RTC, and he especially mentioned this "switching" between mental modes was hard as the set goes on over time. I always figured you should try having a clear mind at all times when it comes to performing in tourney...

Yeah you're definitely right that I get bogged down on details, it might be a personal issue from watching/analyzing way more melee than I actually get to play, but I'm not sure. Perhaps by just "looking at the screen" I'm kind of cheating this issue by cutting down on details? Ideally I feel like you should see everything but still have clear mental focus (or is there an intrinsic trade-off between the two?). At the same time, I think other good players have tried stuff like this with success; I remember Ice stating one time in an interview how he tries to keep his eyes only half open when he plays lol.

How have you trained yourself to perceive as many details as possible without getting overwhelmed by them?
 

Dr Peepee

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What I meant by that is things like being calm and experimenting during friendlies, and also being deadly serious and trying hard for tourney and preparation for tourney, and other such things. But it overlaps some with what you said. You can have a clear mind at all times, but at some points it's easier than others.

I don't think you cheat the problem, but learn something new. It will have benefits and drawbacks, and you'll have to navigate those as you seek to gain more truth and balance your perspective.

I didn't explicitly try to train to see details, but I used to be so details focused I'd be tensed up and ultimately not adapt that well at top level. It was when I trusted my training and allowed myself to relax that I adapted faster and more effectively.
 

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Randomly thought of a fundamental concept i'm interested in knowing how you'd categorizing this. If this is too ambiguous, let me know.

Zoning is implied that I'm throwing hitboxes that the opponent has little to directly challenge the move itself.

Marth often establishes his zoning space with fairs/dtilt in place that the opponent has to respect in some way, especially if they see me standing still.

How would you describe WD dtilt? The WD itself takes time to use that the opponent can foresee. Do you consider WD dtilt establishing zoning space or moreso that I'm interacting an unreactable space?
 

Dr Peepee

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Zoning is like moving a wall around, but first the wall must be set up. WD Dtilt, if you do it pretty far away from your opponent(meaning it is outside of hitting them directly, or perhaps slightly farther), then you could argue it was a zoning play. But WD Dtilt with the intent to hit would be more of poke type of play. You could argue both are pokes and related to zoning perhaps, but it can be a bit finnicky to define.
 

Zorcey

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If Marth and his opponent were at TR on BF with an even amount of stage, but then he dashes in to close half that distance and WDs down, what are some common opponent responses that you would be looking for afterward?

In the same situation, what do you think Marth should be trying to accomplish after taking space > WD down?
 

Dr Peepee

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Depends on character, but one common thing to check is approach, or moving back, shield, FH.

He should be trying to observe, take space and put pressure on. Even if he gives it up he still gets data.
 

Zorcey

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Depends on character, but one common thing to check is approach, or moving back, shield, FH.
Hmm. Some of this sounds fairly specific, and while I've been training myself to take in specific information about how my opponent responds to certain situations/threats/etc., you said a few posts above that you generally don't take notes on an opponent mid-match, but rather rely on your subconscious to sort through such information. While there are times I've found my subconscious putting in that kind of work (which just feels like effortless processing rather than processing with effort), those are occasions in which I'm playing well above my average - in other words, they're pretty rare.

I know relying on my conscious mind slows me down, but I don't currently have the ability to switch to that kind of "advanced autopilot" on command yet, right now it's just something that "happens to me" sometimes. Would you say you've reached a point now where you can expect your subconscious to consistently handle collecting data on your opponents? If so, what does that progression look like? Because in my practice, I find it takes a little less mental energy to remember how the situation I'm studying played out, until it eventually doesn't feel like any at all. Through this I've been sort of able to circumvent the need for "playing good," but I wonder if that's how it's supposed to look with proper practice.
 

Dr Peepee

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You take notes on your opponent, just not during fighting. More like it's between stocks or matches.

The progression for me was tied into my psychological and physical well-being. As I learned more about the game, I was also finding mental blocks and exposing them, and realizing I needed good habits all around to reinforce the things I wanted to be there. This helped my Melee.

For Melee specifically, yes it is kind of like that. You get better and better at recognizing positions and options in them, how people are likely to respond, and also how people adapt and react within them. Retention goes up with remembering between stocks and matches, and can inform those quick moments and can sometimes create moments you could consciously react in moments where it was unconscious before.
 

AirFair

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what can marth do to deal with fox who, when coming off the top platform, mixes coming down vs jumping to the side platforms, and also mixes attacking from the side platform vs jumping up to the top platform? I feel like I should be discouraging him from moving between side/top platforms, but I risk myself getting attacked if I were to preemptively cover them.
 

Dr Peepee

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First of all, especially on BF/DL, you can't cover everything. So don't try. You can do things like SH in place under platform to Fair/Uair if they go over or if they go into you and then if they DJ it's fine. You can wait and let them DJ if they do that a lot then catch them and be out of range for runoff FF aerial and that can help, etc....the point is to not guess and not FH so you don't get into insane amounts of lag.
 

AirFair

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ok so if I see that they are not attacking when I threaten covering platform approaches, I can then try and catch them moving to another platform with like a dj uair (in the example that they go over me to the top platform)

I would think that being able to sh uair top platform on yoshis/fod makes covering this easier too.
 

Zorcey

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You take notes on your opponent, just not during fighting. More like it's between stocks or matches.

The progression for me was tied into my psychological and physical well-being. As I learned more about the game, I was also finding mental blocks and exposing them, and realizing I needed good habits all around to reinforce the things I wanted to be there. This helped my Melee.

For Melee specifically, yes it is kind of like that. You get better and better at recognizing positions and options in them, how people are likely to respond, and also how people adapt and react within them. Retention goes up with remembering between stocks and matches, and can inform those quick moments and can sometimes create moments you could consciously react in moments where it was unconscious before.
So would you recommend that, instead of trying to work consciously on retention during fighting, to just practice it between stocks and matches instead (and in those kinds of exceptional situations you described like knocking up a floaty or something)? It would make sense because it's directly translatable to tournament play, and if you think I could get just the same results as trying to do it at all times, then it would obviously be better. But I'm not sure if that's true.

Regarding mental blocks, do you think at this point you've overcome your major ones? If so, how long do you think it took you to come to terms? I know a healthy mind requires daily maintenance and you can't ever get lazy about it, but when this subject comes up it's encouraging to hear from someone like you whom I respect a lot for having gone through these stages of growth already.
 

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When Peach is recovering high offstage and coming down with fair, should i charge in with weak fair before her fair comes out, space a tipper fair, or just respect it and try to pivot grab or beat whatever she does next?

How should I recover vs fox if I still have my side-b/DJ and I'm below stage and I'm roughly around Fox is hogging ledge, drop shine range?
 
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Dr Peepee

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So would you recommend that, instead of trying to work consciously on retention during fighting, to just practice it between stocks and matches instead (and in those kinds of exceptional situations you described like knocking up a floaty or something)? It would make sense because it's directly translatable to tournament play, and if you think I could get just the same results as trying to do it at all times, then it would obviously be better. But I'm not sure if that's true.

Regarding mental blocks, do you think at this point you've overcome your major ones? If so, how long do you think it took you to come to terms? I know a healthy mind requires daily maintenance and you can't ever get lazy about it, but when this subject comes up it's encouraging to hear from someone like you whom I respect a lot for having gone through these stages of growth already.
I would recommend working on retention at those times yes.

I knew there was something I didn't know before Apex 2015, but wasn't sure what. I've at least identified a big part of it but have not overcome it yet. Many other things have been overcome. One could argue that absolute overcoming is impossible and the goal is to keep overcoming more and more. It may depend on one's path. Anyway, to do what I mentioned in the previous post, I began actively working and it took about 4 years, though that work wasn't always constant. Life happens.

When Peach is recovering high offstage and coming down with fair, should i charge in with weak fair before her fair comes out, space a tipper fair, or just respect it and try to pivot grab or beat whatever she does next?

How should I recover vs fox if I still have my side-b/DJ and I'm below stage and I'm roughly around Fox is hogging ledge, drop shine range?
If her Fair is early, you'll lose. Late or mid and you win by swinging.

Drifting around his shine range is good because if you can get him to let go and attempt shine you could either airdodge through or drift back and then take edge. Sometimes you can stall around there if the Fox just waits and hit them, or sdi upb flames to the stage.
 

Zorcey

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What measures do you usually take when you find you're not playing well? I've never really had a "plan B" and can get frustrated/give up when playing if I find myself dropping a lot of punishes that require tighter execution and/or my reactions are very slow. This has been of particular concern lately because of some health issues. Do you have any guidance on preparing for this sort of thing? How would you go about it?

Also through observing myself, I notice that when I'm playing bad/slow, dropping stuff or misinputs cause me to tense up significantly more than they would otherwise. This obviously induces a cycle of mistakes. What do you suggest doing with that tension in those moments, because I've found that it's difficult to release.
 

Dr Peepee

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I accept that I'm not playing well. If I believe I can change it, then I will do my best to center myself and change it with breathing and reminding myself of what I need to be doing in game. If I don't believe I can change it, and I want to win, then I make peace with where I am and think of what I need to do differently in game that will account for my current abilities. There is no point in resisting, and no point in forcing. As you have learned, it only creates tension and makes things worse. Accept it either way and solve it from there.
 

Zorcey

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When you Fthrow/Dthrow Puff close or closeish to the ledge and she DIs in, do you think it's ever worth it to Tipper Fsmash even though it won't kill, but will send her very far offstage? You're trading off what could be ~40% with other followups and a juggle situation for ~20% and an edgeguard situation, but I'm not sure edgeguarding Puff is consistent enough to warrant it. I'm not a good judge since I'm trying to learn some of it now, but you've mentioned many times you think Marths could vastly improve in this area, so I was wondering what you thought about it.

https://youtu.be/lORRA7Lvaqw?t=106 here Zain gets out of a Bair carry with SDI up+away. Do you think this is reliable DI in these situations?

What do you consider the role of Jab against Puff to be, when Marth should generally be pretty mobile in the matchup? When do you think it's best used?
 
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Dr Peepee

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Sometimes you can FH spike Puff there btw, which can be better than both. Sometimes if you think Puff will hold out you could kill on some levels. The thing is, taking the damage means she's high up and likely gets back down, but pushing her out burns more resources. Even better if she holds out even if she doesn't die. However, sometimes the extra damage if you don't feel confident in the edgeguard means you only need another grab to kill. Maybe you can keep swiping her even if she goes up because you're on a smaller level or FD where it's harder for her to get down.

Might depend on how many jumps she has and percent? But overall seems good in this situation at least.

Jab is okay vs Puff. It turns her around and protects your ground game a bit and forces her to swing early a little more instead of trying to hit dash back. Tippered, it can also push her up which can sometimes help with putting Fair pressure on.
 

AirFair

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been thinking about the puff mu lately, and I think I need some things clarified

do you think that using sh into mid/late fair from puff's sh bair range is a good thing to threaten in that position? I feel like it does a good job of discouraging drifts into me, which opens up my approaches, but I was wondering if just using dd is a better alternative, since puff can choose to force mixups after I land by getting close to me with wd/sh.

This same question can be extended to when puff gets onto side platforms, since I have found myself getting hit by pound at times for not spacing far away enough.

when getting out of close range against puff, and she drifts over me dashing away, is it plausible to punish her for this, or should I just be retreating with a fair instead?
https://youtu.be/vg0h00wHmEQ?t=81

could I have pivot grabbed puff for bairing here or did I have to go for dashgrab since she was falling with it?
https://youtu.be/vg0h00wHmEQ?t=84
 
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Zorcey

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What does Marth do that makes an opponent respect his defensive DD, and is it generally a good thing for him? (On one hand, Marth gets to decide when to move in and interact, but on the other, Marth is significantly better at counterattacking and zoning approaches than making them himself.)
 
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