Charizard Matchup Discussion - Fox

Leety

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#2
I've been working on Fox as a submain of mine so I might be able to help with this. I've also already stated my viewpoints on this matchup before but overtime my viewpoints did change a little so here's a bit of an update.

So the general idea of being a fox player is being able to do insane amounts of damage then condition the opponent to one of his kill moves.

That being said, what a Fox player needs to look out for is that his kill options except for U-air/B-air have quite a bit of end lag and easily punishable on block. He also needs to look out for placing too much damage on his opponent due to the rage mechanic and make sure to kill off opponents quickly. We also need to remember, Fox is a combo based character, not a juggle based character so Zard isn't a large target to keep in the air for this one like in some other MUs.

Because of this, I feel that Fox just naturally struggles with killing Zard. Just abuse that shield when you sense Fox fishing for a kill and punish him accordingly. If he grabs, don't concern yourself with it, none of his throws actually kill. But let's look at some more specifics.

There's instances where Fox might want to camp the opponent for extra damage. Zard has about the same ground movement speed as Fox, Fox only being slightly quicker making this strategy a little difficult. He also does not have the option to use Illusion Fox to move across the stage since Zard has Flamethrower to spot and deal with this.

His offstage doesn't really help him either, FT spots the Illusion fox recovering high and low. Fox is also quite gimpable by Zard when using Up-B to recover.

For the most part I feel that Zard looks pretty good in this MU, only suffering from the fact that Fox will stomp Zard within the neutral game. However, two of the scariest things that Fox can do to Zard lies within both U-air and B-air. These can finish off Zard rather easily and doesn't require much commitment. Fighting custom Fox is also a whole different story. Twisting fox provides Fox with another way to kill Zard in the air giving that 50-50 chance to net a stock when fox tosses Zard into the air. He can also replace the blaster to either of the customs with a pressuring tool which is a lot tougher to deal with. If that happens, don' t let Fox pick flat stages like Final Destination.

There's a lot more I feel and I could go on about the technicalities of Fox and what both Zard and Fox could do in certain situations but where I stand is just this. Zard kills early, Fox is light, Zard can take the damage and frustrate Fox into getting a kill and set him up to finish fox off instead.

I'm thinking about a 6-4, Zard is slightly advantaged to Fox but I would like to hear what others think
 
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Steeler

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#3
I don't think there is any way Zard has an advantage if, as you say, Fox stomps Zard in neutral. Zard can definitely kill Fox with anything, even jab, and Fox can definitely rack up the damage on Zard. The question is how well Fox can keep his own damage low by playing safe and continuing to win neutral. It is at best even, and probably a slight advantage for Fox.
 

Leety

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#4
I'd say it might be best for us and most productive to discuss what Zard can do within neutral since I feel that we will agree on something. When Zard can throw a snowball at Fox, Fox is going to have a tough time resetting the neutral back (not fully impossible, but will still struggle.) Fox falls like a rock when trying to land which Zard has great ground mobility and ways to keep Fox from safe landings. Fox also can sting like a bee while trying to gain the center stage back but unfortunately the bee can't take the fire when up against a flamethrower.

Something we should try to remember while discussing this, Fox having advantage over the neutral isn't particularly exclusive to Zard but most of the cast with a few exceptions. This is why Fox has such a good advantage over more projectile zone based characters because of how Fox not only has the obvious reflector but also the ability to get in on their face quickly. Zard however is a very mid-range pressure and defensive character.

So I say let's try to go over what our furry friend has, what he would have to commit to in order to get it, and what we as Charizard players can do to either challenge his moves, or punish them.
 

MintyBreeze

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#5
He has a very good jab that's able to knock us further back then we'd like, speed and a hurtbox smaller than ours, smash attacks with small starting lag to seal a stock even against Charizard, and a tool to rack up some extra damage just out of our range.
However, I don't think Fox really has a solid way to get in on Charizard, especially in the air with his falling speed and some of Charizard's best moves being anti-air. For us, this is great, since we're used to being juggled once we even leave the ground. Fox being limited to a ground approach is great for us, but I still wouldn't recommend using your aerials freely, as he could simply shield. If you get caught into a juggle, it's bad news bears for you... (N-Air is still a blessing, though.)

Well, what if he decides to not approach and laser us? This is where Flare Blitz can become useful. In it's start-up, it can be interrupted by projectiles like Link's arrows, Samus's missiles, ect. But since Fox's blaster doesn't have knockback, and has some fair cooldown time to it... Just remember that if you're not close enough, you're most likely going to lose a stock. In fact, just watch out for his Up-Smash in general. Like ours, it's one of his better killing moves, and comes out fairly quickly. Even if it fails, watch out for his attempts to cover it with more attacks.

So, Fox has speed. Thankfully, so does Charizard, just with the disadvantage of having a giant lizard sized hurtbox. Still, since we're both relatively limited to the ground, unlike some other match-ups, our range becomes more of an asset to us, especially with our grab. Since Fox will get knocked back by a lot of our attacks, it hurts his chances of trapping us in a combo. If we can gain control of the stage, his options become limited.

This is a match-up where two characters seem to cancel each other out. Charizard himself doesn't really have a solid way to approach, unless he inches forward in his shield, since Fox can catch him with an attack so quickly, but Charizard simply outranges Fox. Neither wants to get caught in the air, either. If one of them just thinks more than the other, I think they'll be the victor, because one slip up from either side could have them lose...

Here are some notes.
Notes:
- I wouldn't recommend challenging his Up-B with a D-Air if he's forced to recover that way. Charizard's moves are just too slow to challenge Fire Fox consistently, especially online, and you could get hit upward; Thus losing your control over the stage. Just wait for him to get back up with Flamethrower, and limit his options.

- If an attack of his fails, you shouldn't just try to punish it if you know you can't. His F-Tilt, U-Tilt, and U-Tilt seem like they're able to cover themselves very well if you shield them. Just try and shieldgrab them, since your grab has similar range.

- Don't just hover above him if you end up getting into the air, his U-Air isn't to be underestimated. Still, your N-Air outranges all of his aerials anyway. Just remember that he can fastfall to hit the ground before that matters.

- Fox is very light. Here are some results from the middle of FD:

• Rock Smash kills at 130%, with diagonal knockback. Could be earlier based on platforms.
• U-Throw, D-Smash and U-Tilt kill him at 120%. (If you happen to be going to a stage with platforms, remember that U-Tilt can go straight through them.)
If someone has knowledge of the match-up, they'll be smart enough to avoid your grabs. The above options could be alternatives to kill Fox, if you can land them. Mix-up your finishers.
• U-Smash kills at just a bit above 100%. I know for sure it kills at 110%. As always, be looking for opportunities to land this, as it saves you the hassle of racking up more damage.
• F-Smash kills at 80%. Usually too hard to land to be worth it, but if you know how far Fox Illusion goes, I think you could potentially time it to hit them.
• As a side note, F-Tilt, of all things, kills at 130% near the edge if you sweetspot it!

As for what Fox can do... If you don't abuse your shield button, and watch out for grabs when you do, you don't have a chance of winning. Getting caught into those strings could be devastating for Charizard. In summary, as our attacks do so much knockback and Charizard is a mid-range fighter in the first place, he should have the tools to fight Fox evenly without customs at least. I would say that it's a 50-50 match-up, depending on who can get the first strikes.

I feel like platforms would benefit Charizard more.
 
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Steeler

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#6
I think you will be punishing stuff with your jab more than with grab. It is very difficult to grab Fox's tilts when they are spaced well. However, Zard jab outranges all of these moves. On top of that, with over 100% rage, jab can kill Fox at around 130%. It's not a bad idea to cancel after jab 2 and go for something else (or even just reset to neutral) to keep your jab 3 fresh.

Anyway, this matchup really boils down to how well you can bait Fox into hitting your shield and punishing him for it. You should be using reverse Fly to punish dairs on the back of your shield, for example. Drop shield jab is fast and big enough to punish any shielded tilt. You can fsmash his dsmash/usmash on block (dsmash his fsmash unless you powershield).

Rock Hurl saves you from jab cancel follow ups by the way. Fly can work too but is a lot more risky.

Flamethrower his side b whenever he tries that.

Someone else mentioned this, don't try to dair spike his up b on certain stages. If they can up b from beneath a ledge lip, you won't really be able to do it because your airspeed + dair speed are ***. I recommend trying to bair or Flamethrower it.
 
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Leety

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#7
So last night I was trying out the Fox MU a bit more with my own Fox against some Zard mains on Smash boards and here's some things I've experienced from Fox's end

First off, I want to note a small issue with Dragon Rush. Not sure if this is a bug, but as of now, regular blaster cancels out DR in a very silly way. Don't question it, it's Smash. I would stick to Blitz if customs are on, mainly for the sake of having another kill option if the window of opportunity opens up

I found it very difficult to approach Zard with a Flamethrower up. My best option was to bait it out and wait for it to cool down, move a little closer, then invade the space instead. Grabbing was also just too risky until I fully invaded the space, or conditioned shielding options

When I was close, I found myself easily able to wreck up damage from appropriate approach mix ups and combo strings.

Rock Smash was very scary. Where I could normally condition other characters in my combo strings, I found myself having to make constant decisions before I decide to commit myself to more attacks. Rock Smash might actually be one of Zard's best tools with the Fox MU.

I found U-air to be one of the best tools for dealing with Zard both for dealing damage and also finishing him off, it doesn't take much commitment and has pretty good knockback. B-air was also very good for similar reasons. Zard just didn't have much of an answer to them other then air dodge. It is kind of predictable though.

Recovery was a bit hard on my end. As mentioned before, Flamethrower is just too good for Fox, but not impossible if you can mix up your recovery. As said in another post, a dunk on Up-B isn't going to cause an easy gimp on better Fox Players who know how to appropriately mix up recovery. However, I did fight a very good Samus who could gimp my Fox before by challenging with a B-air on my Up-B. Ideally, with the 1.8 patch buffing Zard's B-air you could do the same for a wall spike (if you're feeling gutsy)


That's the general information I have right now. But I would have to explore this a bit more.
 

MintyBreeze

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#8
Now, someone in the social thread had the brilliant idea to try and Rock Smash Fox's recovery. If I remember right, this kills him around 130% from the middle of FD. Near the edge... If we can land it off, we have something to either A) kill him outright or B) force him to recover in a suboptimal way/pressure him to do so.

I doubt this would work with Fire Fox if they recover low, but against Fox Illusion, it could be amazing. e-e
 
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Swamp Sensei

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#9
Now, someone in the social thread had the brilliant idea to try and Rock Smash Fox's recovery. If I remember right, this kills him around 130% from the middle of FD. Near the edge... If we can land it off, we have something to either A) kill him outright or B) force him to recover in a suboptimal way/pressure him to do so.
I love this.
 

MintyBreeze

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#10
Okay, here's my attempt at a summary! It needs info on Fox's customs to be fully comprehensive, though.

"Who is This?
:4fox:
Fox has been in Smash ever since the beginning, and few people are complaining. He's quick-footed, both on the ground and with his moves - practically designed to string together for loads of damage, despite their low damage by themselves. While his attacks do have some need of range, they're quick enough to generally cover themselves; Fox players should be looking for good openings to use their character to his fullest by racking up damage with fast attacks (like jab) and combo moves, (up tilt) managing to work around the enemy's shield, and landing one of his powerful smash attacks.

As with any character, there are downsides to Fox, one of them being his air-to-ground approach; With only average airspeed, fast fall speed, and fairly short ranged aerials, while it isn't terrible, most of Fox's options here are predictable (such as D-Air and B-Air). Fox can also struggle at approaching more defensive characters who can outrange and sometimes outdamage him. Seeing as he's a lightweight character, this can become a problem when he's forced to approach. Lasers and the reflector can help mitigate this, but, again; They're punishable if used too often, like his aerials.

In general, Fox is a character who, while he can rushdown the enemy, benefits more from being able to pick apart holes in their defense and rack up percent with his blindingly fast attacks, including some deadly, but punishable if they miss, smash attacks. The character may be ridiculed for being easy to use by some, but against those who know his options, he's anything but.

How does he relate to Charizard?

The two are opposites. Charizard's gameplan is to keep the enemy at a mid-range, where his attacks can keep the opponent out and force them backwards off the stage, where he truly shines off-stage and on at edgeguarding situations. Fox, meanwhile, would rather be at least near the stage where he has more mobility to move around. His options on-stage to edgeguard are limited, and he doesn't benefit from it as much as Charizard. The goal in this match-up for Charizard should be to space Fox out, push him backwards, and finish off stocks with powerful attacks like Up-Smash or F-Air off-stage.

Approaching - Charizard, as mind-boggling as it is, is almost just as fast as Sheik in a full dash, with a quick dash skid to where he can stop and use most moves (like jab) very quickly for his size. Add this to our lizard friend's range, and lasers alone won't be enough to keep him out.
Jab is great for canceling most of Fox's attacks, including jab, as it has a longer range than most of Fox's and comes up faster at a close range.
Charizard can retaliate out of shield. Jab on shield is particularly unsafe for Fox. D-Tilt and F-Tilt can also serve their purposes like this, although a bit slower. Grabbing isn't recommended, as his tilts can cover themselves.

Flamethrower is a nice option to force Fox's ground approach to a halt, as it can disrupt his momentum. If you want to actually advance, though, grabbing Fox is the fastest way early on in Neutral; While D-Throw can rack up damage with F-Air, F-Throw or B-Throw can force Fox off-stage, where you can usually get a decent amount of damage in with Flamethrower. Jab also launches Fox into the air, where at low percents it can be followed up with F-Air, N-Air, even Rock Smash and U-Air if you space yourself correctly.

If you happen to be forced off-stage, look out for Fox's Up-Air/Up-Smash if you go above, or B-Air if you decide to go level with the stage/below. Both are powerful moves that can kill Charizard at very low percents, however, Flare Blitz and Fly having superarmor often deters this. (Dragon Rush will be canceled by lasers, but it shouldn't effect your recovery too horribly.) Perhaps Rock Smash can stop U-Air, but if you fail, that's a stock anyways. Charizard doesn't have many landing options anyways, so using your Side-B (sorry Blast Burn) in an attempt to cross the stage might be your best bet.

Tips - Don't think Fox can't kill you just as early as you can kill him, if you're not careful. While he racks up damage quite nicely, his finishers like Up-Smash, B-Air, U-Air, and the other two smashes, are very deadly for a lightweight/rushdown character. Respect all of them and don't think you won't get hit, just like he'll be respecting your attacks. Just like your own, though, they're very punishable.
If you notice you're at kill percents and they start to play a bit differently, use your shield. Either way, try to stay on the ground at high percents, unless you want to get Up-Aired. Don't risk smash attacks unless you know they'll connect; Like D-Smash to punish a roll, for example, could directly lead into Fox's U-Smash on you if it fails.

As Fox's Blaster has a tiny bit of endlag, it is potentially possible to tag him with Flare Blitz if he's just letting loose, or if you see him pulling out the Blaster, although a dash attack is safer and less punishable.

Don't try to hit his shield with most attacks, at close range he's usually at the point where you can't spotdodge on reaction. Similarly, grabbing him regularly (not out of shield) is fairly risky for Charizard, as he can't retreat back into the safety of his shield if he fails.

Stage Choices - Try picking Dream Land, if you have it. The high ceiling might hurt your chances of killing with Up-Smash, but it hurts his of killing with U-Air and his own Up-Smash! If you manage to Up-Throw Fox beneath a platform, it'll also kill earlier, not completely removing one of Charizard's kill moves.
Town and City, being larger and easier for Charizard to get space on, is also better than Battlefield. Any Omega Stage is likely bad, especially ones with walls that Fox can use to wall jump; Boosting his recovery.
A minor note worth mentioning is that in the Wii U version, stages with grass (like Mushroom Kingdom U, Yoshi's Island, ect.) cause your characters to slide less into their attacks. As one of Fox's really major kill options is U-Smash, which has less range than Charizard's U-Smash, this could be slightly helpful.

Customs -
Fireball Cannon likely just isn't worth it. Fire Fang is up to your personal preference, but Flamethrower does allow for edgeguarding. Fire Fang's explosion and fire itself may still have the potential to edgeguard, and allow an easy kill option on Fox.
Fly High and Rising Cyclone won't be necessary, as Fox won't be closing in on you off-stage anyways, and Rising Cyclone doesn't do enough damage to make it worthwhile, even against Fox (who likely won't follow you off-stage that far).
Sinking Skull could potentially be useful to punish Smash attacks and kill Fox very early, but has less utility than Rock Smash. Rock Hurl could potentially go through Fox's jab, but this is untested; As Fox is a combo based character, it could be surprisingly useful!
And, weirdly enough, Dragon Rush gets canceled out by Fox's lasers, significantly weakening it. I wouldn't recommend using it over Flare Blitz in this case.

Original Discussion: smashboards.com/threads/charizard-matchup-discussion-fox.408787/

(Current) Contributors: @ Leety Leety - @ Steeler Steeler - @ MintyBreeze MintyBreeze - @ Swamp Sensei Swamp Sensei

Match-up Ranking: 50-50"
 
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Swamp Sensei

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#11
So....

@Conviction

I know that we fought once way back when the 3DS first came out...

Any thoughts on those matches?




I personally think this matchup is more even than one might think.

Fox can combo Charizard to high heaven if he gets the chance. At the same time, killing is a problem for your average Fox. We can use that to get us lots of yummy rage. At the same time, for that occasional amazing Fox that can combo into a kill than well....

Try and wall him or go ham and try and get to him first. Fox is just the right weight and fall speed where he can fall victim to some nice strings.
 

RAzul

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#12
He has a very good jab that's able to knock us further back then we'd like, speed and a hurtbox smaller than ours, smash attacks with small starting lag to seal a stock even against Charizard, and a tool to rack up some extra damage just out of our range.
However, I don't think Fox really has a solid way to get in on Charizard, especially in the air with his falling speed and some of Charizard's best moves being anti-air. For us, this is great, since we're used to being juggled once we even leave the ground. Fox being limited to a ground approach is great for us, but I still wouldn't recommend using your aerials freely, as he could simply shield. If you get caught into a juggle, it's bad news bears for you... (N-Air is still a blessing, though.)

Well, what if he decides to not approach and laser us? This is where Flare Blitz can become useful. In it's start-up, it can be interrupted by projectiles like Link's arrows, Samus's missiles, ect. But since Fox's blaster doesn't have knockback, and has some fair cooldown time to it... Just remember that if you're not close enough, you're most likely going to lose a stock. In fact, just watch out for his Up-Smash in general. Like ours, it's one of his better killing moves, and comes out fairly quickly. Even if it fails, watch out for his attempts to cover it with more attacks.

So, Fox has speed. Thankfully, so does Charizard, just with the disadvantage of having a giant lizard sized hurtbox. Still, since we're both relatively limited to the ground, unlike some other match-ups, our range becomes more of an asset to us, especially with our grab. Since Fox will get knocked back by a lot of our attacks, it hurts his chances of trapping us in a combo. If we can gain control of the stage, his options become limited.

This is a match-up where two characters seem to cancel each other out. Charizard himself doesn't really have a solid way to approach, unless he inches forward in his shield, since Fox can catch him with an attack so quickly, but Charizard simply outranges Fox. Neither wants to get caught in the air, either. If one of them just thinks more than the other, I think they'll be the victor, because one slip up from either side could have them lose...

Here are some notes.
Notes:
- I wouldn't recommend challenging his Up-B with a D-Air if he's forced to recover that way. Charizard's moves are just too slow to challenge Fire Fox consistently, especially online, and you could get hit upward; Thus losing your control over the stage. Just wait for him to get back up with Flamethrower, and limit his options.

- If an attack of his fails, you shouldn't just try to punish it if you know you can't. His F-Tilt, U-Tilt, and U-Tilt seem like they're able to cover themselves very well if you shield them. Just try and shieldgrab them, since your grab has similar range.

- Don't just hover above him if you end up getting into the air, his U-Air isn't to be underestimated. Still, your N-Air outranges all of his aerials anyway. Just remember that he can fastfall to hit the ground before that matters.

- Fox is very light. Here are some results from the middle of FD:

• Rock Smash kills at 130%, with diagonal knockback. Could be earlier based on platforms.
• U-Throw, D-Smash and U-Tilt kill him at 120%. (If you happen to be going to a stage with platforms, remember that U-Tilt can go straight through them.)
If someone has knowledge of the match-up, they'll be smart enough to avoid your grabs. The above options could be alternatives to kill Fox, if you can land them. Mix-up your finishers.
• U-Smash kills at just a bit above 100%. I know for sure it kills at 110%. As always, be looking for opportunities to land this, as it saves you the hassle of racking up more damage.
• F-Smash kills at 80%. Usually too hard to land to be worth it, but if you know how far Fox Illusion goes, I think you could potentially time it to hit them.
• As a side note, F-Tilt, of all things, kills at 130% near the edge if you sweetspot it!

As for what Fox can do... If you don't abuse your shield button, and watch out for grabs when you do, you don't have a chance of winning. Getting caught into those strings could be devastating for Charizard. In summary, as our attacks do so much knockback and Charizard is a mid-range fighter in the first place, he should have the tools to fight Fox evenly without customs at least. I would say that it's a 50-50 match-up, depending on who can get the first strikes.

I feel like platforms would benefit Charizard more.
Thanks a ton for this. I really needed this. I main Villager and that MU is terrifyingly obnoxious. Fox rules the neutral but is my toy off stage if I can get him. With Zard as a pocket, I think I'll fair better with my weight and better kill options. I second GW and that's another stupid MU vs Fox so Zard may be my new go to for this MU.
 
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