Comprehensive guide to Ridley's moves, their use and neutral game.

S-bow64

Smash Cadet
Joined
Jul 28, 2016
Messages
51
#1
Hi everyone, I decided to write somewhat of a guide of Ridley's strenght in this game. I've seen and heard some things about him and I don't think a lot of people truly understand the character yet, at least people who voice their concern about him. So I wanted to guide newcomers or anyone who want to learn or have a new insight of the character.

Firstly, most of you must be aware but Ridley possess on most of his moves (all of them outside of smashes, specials and jab/dash attack) a tipper that deal extra damage and knockback. For tail based moves (Nair/ Fair / F-tilt / D-tilt ) the tipper is obviously on the blade while on the wings ( U-tilt / Uair ) it's on the fangs on top of them and for his feets it's the lower part of the claws for his Bair and below his feets for Dair.
It's really important to keep in mind the range of your attacks to avoid getting punished and to land the maximum amount of damage. Sourspot can be handy though to keep combo going at mid to high % so it really depends.

I'll go into his moves now as well as their applications.


D-tilt : Is a combo starter and Poking tool, it has good range and is quick, you can always have a follow-up after this from low to mid %. At high % it gives you an advantageous state and give you the opportunity to pressure / frame trap / bait / end a stock.
It's a good poking tool, use it in the neutral a lot but be mindful of your positioning as well as your opponent's but it's a good option if you want to feel the water.
One of it's best application is the fact that you can (with good positioning) hit what would seem to be unpunishable recoveries like Ike's / Chrom's with no trade, giving you the opportunity to send them back offstage.

F-tilt : Poking and Punish tool as well as Edguarding tool, it has good range, is fast and has some oomph to it. Use it the same way you would use D-tilt if you want a fast "Get off me" option.
It's best application is edgeguarding, you can 2 frames recoveries with it (angled down) even if you fail don't be afraid to use it a second time in case your opponent try to do something right away (that is not an edge attack, you're gonna lose to that so be careful) or try to wait a little too long, especially at high % where invincibility is shorter.
The tipper kills quite fast so keep that option in mind at high %.

U-tilt : Combo extender and combo starter is also a kill move thank to tipper. Not too much to say, it's a good move you can extend from Nair with it at low % and give you the opportunity to land an aerial afterward, at later % it kills if you land the tipper which can be achieve from below a platform or even from someone in front of you (unless they are really short).
Do not use it exclusively to pressure someone on a platform though, if your opponent is smart he's going to punish you after the first one mainly because of the way the hitbox act and the fact that it is not that fast. So either Nair and move out of the way / Bair is good too or try an Up smash.


Nair : The move that everyone talks about, Combo extender and Edgeguarding tool a really good one it autocancel on SH and have a quick circling hitbox.
So I'm going to say it straight away, Stop abusing this move in the neutral, it's not a magic tool that's going to make wonder just because you can spam it, all that because of one reason, the hitbox move as you do it in a reverse clockwise motion. Which means before the move is over you are already exposing your hurtbox while your hitbox is on the other side. Chances are if your opponent attack you're not even gonna trade and just straight up lose, (especially true against sword characters).
You are playing a big character with a very big hurtbox, be mindfull of your movevent and don't over extend, thankfully Ridley is fast. Oh and this move is like a sex kick, the back hitbox does minimal damage, it's actually really good for gimp because of the angle it send your opponent.

Fair : Combo ender and Edgeguarding tool, not much to say you're gonna end your combo with it most of the time and gonna hit somebody offstage with it most of the time. It does well what it's supposed to do. It does not autocancel on SH, so no combo extention from it, ever. (the endlag is too noticeable) You can wall of pain from Nair with it, it demand timing, good execution and is quite % specific but far from impossible.

Bair : Keep away move and Kill move, not much to say either it's pretty self explanatory. Use it if you wan't some extra safe time when getting out of a sticky situation, don't poke with it though as it does not autocancel on SH, just like Fair, you're gonna feel the lag. It kill quite early, the earliest of all aerials and funny thing, you can wall of pain with it too at some obscure %.

Uair : Frame trap and Kill move, that right there is the move that force airdodges. I leave to you the pleasure to find what you can do from that but know that Uair autocancel from SH and have very little lag. The sweetspot kills quite early too, very nice move with some intangibility on the wings, use it to harass airborne opponent or people on top of platforms. Don't forget to FastFall !

Neutral B : The move !! The best tool Ridley has and every Ridley players should abuse this move in the neutral.
Plasma Breath is a great harassing tool, that you should use at every occasion when possible, there is not a single time in a fight when it is not good. Well there is, don't use it if your opponent is on your face, that's actually the only situation when it's unsafe. And that's the reason Ridley is fast and favor platforms to harass foes with Plasma balls.

Do not charge them all the way. You either throw one or charge just a few frames (the audio cue is when you actually hear the charge) to throw 2 or 3, that's the numbers where the charge time is almost non existant but still get the benefit of multiple projectiles. But remember, do not spam them and don't stay in one place. They exist so you can make your approaches safer, they are annoying and Ridley mobility make their utilisation threatening.

The basic idea is to get away quickly, reverse dash and jump while throwing them to keep your momentum, platforms are a good way to use them too but never stay in one place. The Plasma balls force your opponent to do something may it be shield / jump / approach / or get hit. Ridley is fast enough to get hold of these opportunity. Doing this give the illusion of giving away stage control when you are actually setting up to claim even more of it.
This is the move that's going to save your scaly hide when going against sword users and projectiles users.

Don't believe me ? Just try it then, practice it. This move is Ridley Best Move Hands Down.

And please, stop spamming this when opponents are offstage, you are just wasting his amazing edgeguading skills. You should use them but only to force low recoveries or if you know you can snipe. Don't just sit there and charge, that's... just a waste.

Side-B : Command grab, a good one. It's only purpose is to throw opponents offstage or kill them if they went too far offstage. Don't use it too much in the neutral, it's a Read based move and is best used to punish tech rolls or bad airdodges. It's not that slow but the visual cue is as big as the sun, you can actually easily react to it then you'll get punished because it got lag. I know it's fun to drag people on the ground but you'll want to cancel most of the time because of the jump Ridley does afterward, it brings you in a really good advantageous state and get to keep some of your momentum. You can either go for a Fastfall Fair or a Jumped Neutral B. You can't cancel it if you initiate the grab too close of an edge though, keep that in mind.

Up-B : My favorite move !! So I get people complained about it because it's not eight directionnal and the angles seemed questionnable. But it's a really good recovery and a great move in itself.

So you got four angles, you can only press Left / Right / Up / Down.
Backward make you go away and up / Forward make you go in the direction you face and down / Up make you go straight / Down make you go down diagonally the way you face. All directions make you snap the ledge (yes even down), be wary that back and forward can make you bump if you're not precise in your recovery, you can Fastfall after a bump to avoid getting punished or just go on the stage. That's dumb but oh well (you are actually on free fall after a bump, careful).

Up-B have wings intangibility, here in order from safest to least safe : Up -> Backward -> Forward -> Down.

Other than recovery, this move kills, all directions. Forward is great to punish tech rolls (you can actually go through some getup attacks, I know I did), Backward can punish airdodges, Up can punish those who don't respect your recovery and Down can spike from the stage (even from behind) without the fear of dying yourself. (Ridley grab the ledge at shoulder length and his legs are quite long, so you can do the math here). It's not that laggy either so don't be afraid to use it on stage if you think you got a read, the reward is great, just once again be aware of your surroundings and edges.

Down-B : 60%.

Not much to say, it's a read based move. Don't use it in the neutral unless you have the mind of a wizard and just make things works. It's application would be on the ledge getup but don't be predictable with it, do some dashes / jumps, hide your intentions. It's easily reversed so there's that.
You can if fast enough, in the right situation, in a godlike play, land it after a fully charged Plasma Breath. Just don't quote me on that though.

Quick mentions :
- Dash attack : it's quick, it kills, it's good.
- Jab : medium range, not bad, can choose between gentleman and multijab, that's a plus.
- Standing grab : it's crap, do dash grab or boosted dash grab / pivot grab is really good.
-F-throw / B-throw : to send people offstage, B-throw is his second most damaging throw behind Up-throw.
-D-throw / U-throw : Down is for combo, Up can too but only at low %. Both kills at 200% weee.


That's it, that was long, congrats if you decided to read all of that I'd appreciate that very much.
To conclure, Ridley is secretly an amazing character that's going to be really strong during this game life I feel.
I don't feel like he needs that much buffs (for now), his size is a big con but it has a secret perk.

He is so big, he can actually tech spikes done from ledge. I did it on battlefield, dreamland and in some other maps. Always happened to me during the last stock slow-mo.
So you really need to play footsies with Ridley and create your own opportunities while using his range the best way you can while avoiding over exposing yourself.

So use Plasma Breath !
 

JackyT

Smash Rookie
Joined
Dec 11, 2014
Messages
21
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jackyturbo
#2
I got a "Ridleyvelation" today, thanks for the useful post!

Btw what's a boosted dash grab?!
 

Sudz

Smash Journeyman
Joined
Aug 26, 2018
Messages
385
Location
Colorado
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#3
Thanks for the write up. I played some Ridley for the first time online today and was bopping people that I think were playing pretty well. I have issues with getting out of combos in the air, although Nair has been somewhat useful for that. Any other tips?
 

S-bow64

Smash Cadet
Joined
Jul 28, 2016
Messages
51
#4
Btw what's a boosted dash grab?!

It's a dash grab with increased range. You need to dash -> shield during the dash to initiate a roll and press A to grab right away. Can't do it during running stance, only dash.

It was a thing in the early days of smash 4, look it up it's useful.


Thanks for the write up. I played some Ridley for the first time online today and was bopping people that I think were playing pretty well. I have issues with getting out of combos in the air, although Nair has been somewhat useful for that. Any other tips?

Well heavies are gonna get comboed but some combos are not always true even if they seem like it so you might get away with an airdodge. Try going offstage toward the ledge but falling Nair or Fair is good too and try keeping Up-B in mind, there's some situation where it might help you going to safety.
It really depend of the situation and the opponent's character.
 

JommaBrown

Smash Rookie
Joined
Jun 20, 2018
Messages
9
#5
For the life of me I cannot use Up B downward without suiciding. You say he grabs the ledge at shoulder length. What exactly does that mean? When the ledge is level with his shoulders is what I assume it means, but he never grabs for me, whether I’m facing the ledge or not, have started the Up B way above the ledge or just above it. He just shoots straight past it into the blast zone.

Is there a trick to it? Or can you show video of it in use in case I’m just stupid lol
 

Swoops

Smash Lord
Joined
Apr 28, 2008
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SwoopsTii
#6
For the life of me I cannot use Up B downward without suiciding. You say he grabs the ledge at shoulder length. What exactly does that mean? When the ledge is level with his shoulders is what I assume it means, but he never grabs for me, whether I’m facing the ledge or not, have started the Up B way above the ledge or just above it. He just shoots straight past it into the blast zone.

Is there a trick to it? Or can you show video of it in use in case I’m just stupid lol
You have to hold down long enough for the Up B to register in the downwards direction, since the start up is so long, but as soon as you start flying you need to let go of down otherwise you won't auto snap the ledge. Holding down typically makes moves ignore ledge snap
 

S-bow64

Smash Cadet
Joined
Jul 28, 2016
Messages
51
#8
He's right, holding the stick down prevent you to snap the ledge so you need to release it when you start to descend.

It might be a little tricky because of the buffer hold system smash ultimate use but it's really not that demanding, you'll get used to it.
 

Ridley_Prime

Proteus Geoform
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AlphaWarDragon87
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#10
After just learning of it, would like to add/point out that down smash is a good punishing tool against the ledge getup attack/roll if timed right due to all the space it covers. Of course you have other options in the edgeguarding department anyway as already covered here, but still, that's another one.
 
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