The Designated Hype Man!
- Jul 3, 2002
- Warner Robins, Georgia
Doctor Mario Matchup Guide – By Dogysamich
I. – Introduction
B!! Terms List
II. – Matchups
001!! – Fox
002!! - Marth
003!! - Sheik
004!! - Falco
005!! - Peach
006!! - Captain Falcon
007!! - Jigglypuff
008!! - Ice Climbers
009!! - Samus
010!! - Doctor Mario
011!! - Ganondorf
012!! - Luigi
013!! - Donkey Kong
014!! - Mario
015!! - Link
016!! - Pikachu
017!! - Young Link
018!! - Roy
019!! - Zelda
020!! - Game & Watch
021!! - Ness
022!! - Yoshi
023!! - Bowser
024!! - Mewtwo
025!! - Kirby
026!! - Pichu
III. Ender Stuff
Dogy1!! – Update Info
Dogy2!! – FAQ / Ask A Dogy
Dogy3!! – Future Guides?
Dogy4!! – Random Info of Randomness
I. – Introduction
A. The Intro
Aight. This is gunna be pretty frickin casual. I’m just pretty sick of people asking me the same question time and time again, and then people saying they’re going to post the info somewhere and it never being posted. It’s sad.
I’m not looking for some almighty Doc fame or anything; anybody who knows me knows that I could only care less. It’s just, people ask, I know, but people ask 20 times and it’s like *PUNCHES A HOLE IN THE WALL* STOP ASKING ME WHAT TO DO OMG. Or it’s like “Hey how do I deal with –insert super random character that you see once a year here- and I’m like “Hey, I clearly remember 4 specific occasions when I talked about this matchup, but who goes fishing for info on how to beat Y.Link”
This guide is by me and it’s a summation of my opinion of these specific matchups. This guide is not the “Holy Accepted Opinion” of the Doc community, so don’t hang this s*** over other people’s head. I’ll TRY to add a generic opinion, but all in all, this is me. So if you got a problem with it, don’t go lynch $mashmac, Cyphus, Bob Money, Captain Jack, or anybody of the likeliness.
This guide is also not a “how to play” doc guide. I’ll put some tricks and tips here and there, but the purpose of this isn’t specifically to teach you HOW to play doc. It’s just more of what strats work, what to look out for, yada yada. By that alone, this guide sounds like it’ll be kinda pointless and loose-form, but just go with me. It’ll work out.
My goal with this is that by the time you finish reading a matchup, you should have a fairly good idea of what’s going to happen, whether you’ve played the matchup 100 times or you don’t think you’ll EVER see the matchup
Some quick notes to know about this guide
A1. Terms List
First and foremost, this guide is going to be written assuming you know my theory of terminology. –Rough Insertion- Ya know what, screw it, I’ll explain some of my crazy jargon here, and if I miss something, hopefully it makes sense or I’ll add it later. YAH.
Dogy’s Matchups Chart: Are done working off of this concept – if you take character A (Doc) vs character B, equally skilled, and have them play 10 matches, character A (Doc) will win _ times, and character B will win _ times.
Dogy’s Matchup Ratio: Is based off of character advantages vs disadvantages. This will, at times, be different than my chart rating because it’s considering the characters actual pros and cons and how much they weight vs each other in the match, as opposed to just one playing another. (This one is more of theory fighter than the others)
The General Consensus: Is based off of the “Community” opinion of the matchup
Offense: One’s ability to start and maintain an advantage on a character. “Pressure”. This is accomplished by having frame advantage or holding a position in which the defender cannot respond to.
Defense: The ability to defend against another’s offensive efforts and pressure. This includes blocking (shielding), evasion (mobility), and zoning (spacing).
Gimmicks: Covers all sorts of shenanigans in and about the matchup. This will include stuff such as character properties you might not think about, somewhat outlandish setups, and just maybe some dumb facts you don’t know. *A gimmick is something that works under a special condition. I.e. Sheik’s recovery is a gimmick because you can punish it by grabbing the ledge.*
Mobility: A character’s “physical” ability to cover distance in a short amount of time. Example: Fox is very mobile on the ground, where as bowser is not.
Agility: A character’s ability to change direction of movement in a given area. Example: Captain Falcon is an extremely agile on the ground, while Jigglypuff is very agile in the air.
Capedashing: SH Cape -> Wavedash with Doc.
Respect: The concept that you have to know/accept that something CAN happen, and plan according to it. I.E., you have to respect the fact that Peach is going to CC d.smash if you keep jabbing at her.
Fear: Preparing for a situation to the point of going to the extreme to avoid it. I.E.: Most people fear Sheik’s f.air so they never jump.
Honest (honesty): The practice of doing (or lack of) a motion as to check to make sure the other people won’t fall for something “so simple.” I.E. A scrubby Fox player is going to d.throw -> u.smash all day to keep you HONEST about teching the d.throw.
001 Fox McCloud (a.k.a. Victory McWin)
Dogy’s Matchup Chart: 5-5 Even
Dogy’s Matchup Ratio: 48-52 Even (It’s bad to start with these “joke” numbers, but I’m actually pretty serious about this one)
The General Consensus: 45-55 Fox (40-60 on Fridays)
The $mashmac Formula for Work: Doc = (2Fox)W, where W is the amount of work you’ll have to put in.
The General Flow:
“You should be able to hold your own against a Fox player, but if you and the Fox player are at the same skill level, you're going to have twice as hard of a time trying to beat him.”!!!!11!ONEOMG! -$mashmac
Ah man. I love that quote. –laughs hysterically-
Doc/Fox. It’s not really as horrible as people make it out to be. Sure Fox has his n.air plane and FRC (shine), but so long as you know how to deal with said things, it’s not exactly horrible for Doc. It’s not like Fox outranges Doc, Doc actually outranges Fox (although with Fox’s ground speed and the small margin of reach, this doesn’t hold a great deal of weight in this matchup)
Everybody knows how dumb Doc’s edgeguard can be vs Fox (if Fox ejects, it becomes a 50+/50- guess, the +/- depending on how fast you can close distance before he blasts off), and experienced Fox players know how dumb easy it is to edgeguard Doc (Hint for Fox players, you can ledgeDROP a bair and still make it back), but along with recovery and more, Doc actually gets away from some Fox shenanigans.
1) Fox can’t kill Doc from a grab unless Doc lets it happen. Ever. Ok, I lied, but a lot of Fox players don’t know how to kill Doc from a grab, or won’t “run the risk”. The funny thing is that taking the no-kill option is still better for them in the grand scheme of things (imo).
2) Drill->Shine->Upsmash on Doc is work for Fox. A Serious 9-5, with some overtime.. I’ve been playing this game for like, years, and Chops is the first guy I remember being able to drill-shine-upsmash me consistently. Heck, I believed it couldn’t be done for a good long time, but lol. Victory McWin. XD The thing about Drill is you have ways to stop it (more than just shielding).
Anyway, more general stuff.
You can actually run your pill game if you want to, but you have to respect Fox’s speed. All that really means is that you have to either fade if you’re playing D, or start far the **** out if you’re trying to approach (or just close distance)
This match winds up being a style-vs-style kind of match. In the grand scheme of things it really should be a mesh, but melee (somehow) isn’t exactly to that point yet, so you still have Pill Happy Pat vs The Nairplane Pilot, or Mario-Doc vs Upsmash McOwn.
The last thing I’ll say before I break into some sections, and the most important thing to understand in this matchup, is that at all times you must respect what the Fox wants to do. The game is not fair. I’m not saying this trying to gripe about melee (although I actually am kinda griping), I’m being serious. One of Fox’s current meta-perks is that he can do pretty much whatever he wants and you have to RESPECT it. (Respect being the key word as opposed to allow. You don’t have to allow a **** thing to happen).
If he wants to run at you all day, you have to respect that and put up a good effort to stop it. If he wants to sit and play Halo for a while, you have to go through effort to respect it. He can pretty much do what he wants and you have to, to some degree, play his game. It sorta works to think of Fox as “the bully who gets his way”, per say.
In this match, you won’t be doing a lot of flat-out offense. That’s because you really CAN’T do too much vs Fox’s defense unless he lets you. His evasion is through the roof for various reasons, and although his blocking defense isn’t his greatest option, he does have good punishment from it (B.airs, OoS Upsmash, OoS Shine, etc etc. He’s got choices.) So with this being said, it’ll be hard to generate an offense against him.
More specifically, you won’t be throwing out a lot of offensive fairs unless you’re psychic or he’s physically incapable of pressing buttons. Most of your offense will actually wind up being “defense”, per say. You’ll be doing a lot of preventing Fox from doing stuff. Trying to stop him from jumping out, from wavedashing (or rolling) out, etc etc. So with that said, you really want to focus on attacking where you think he’s going to be as opposed to where he is. It sounds kinda common sense if you’ve been playing this game for a while, but the subtleties are where I’m reaching at for this.
To help with this, you want to try to work Fox into a position to where he doesn’t have as many options. More often than not, that’s considered a corner. You work him to the edge of the stage, back isn’t that great of an option for him anymore. So now you have to worry about him jumping around you or fighting back (both of which is no problem for McCliggins.)
Pills are a great tool for trying to accomplish this. Fox is going to move, it’s just in his nature. He doesn’t have a reason not to. You just have to look for/predict how he’s going to move and attack accordingly. Note that, against McWin, Fox running under FH and SH pills is a completely viable option. With that said, you have to give him a lot more room when you throw pills. It’s also a nice start for when you land a knockdown as well. B.air for a knockdown, and then do a turnaround pill as you land (or where ever, depending on where you are), cuts out some options as he techs up.
In general, if you can ever attack Fox from above, go for it. Although your d.air isn’t the greatest tool ever, his u.air and u.smash aren’t too great for defense. His u.tilt is ok, but he has to be facing away from you, in which case he’s more liable to b.air anyway. So if you can jump in on him, that’s great.
Note that you don’t even have to do an aerial when you jump in, you can literally just JUMP IN as to close distance on him. Be wary of shines and all other stuff at that point.
If you can ever get close enough to land jabs, you can work a mixup very well vs Fox. Again, understand that your range is actually LONGER than his. If you space your jabs, he can’t punish them directly. He can’t grab them, he can’t upsmash, and he’s got to actually stop what you’re doing.
With all that being said, you need to still understand that working an actual offense against Fox is pretty hard. He’s got too many resourceful tools to allow you to gain and maintain a worthwhile offense.
Think of him as a shoto, lol.
Chaingrabs? 0-Death. U.throws. D.throws. They all works. Deaths from grabs. It’s pretty kool.
This is where you’re going to have your work cut out for you. Fox has a pretty beastly arsenal of moves at his disposal. And this is where the majority of the match is going to take place, you defending against Fox.
First and foremost, you have to deal with his approach, which is more than likely going to be n.airs, d.airs (at close range), grabs, and fairly current to the game, the shine approach ( I **** you not).
Now, to combat the aerials, you want to have 2 goals going. To deal with the n.air, you want keep yourself in a position to where you can crouch. That means you want to basically avoid wavedashing as long as you’re in range of n.air. You REALLY don’t want to go in shield either, as you would then be allowing Fox to put pressure on your shield, but that’s not the bad thing. You want to be able to CC nair because you don’t want to get put on the n.air plane.
The next aerial you’ll have to deal with is his d.air. For him to realistically hit you with this, you have to be fairly close to him, so giving him a moving target will realistically solve this problem. But there’s no such thing as a fix-all against Fox (unless you’re like, Marth), so you have to be ready to actually deter him from d.airing as well. We’ll get to that later. As for the general stuff, you want to move and make it hard for him. If you put your shield up, trying to shieldgrab a d.air is completely viable option, although you always have to respect the shine afterwards. You can’t be predictable with your shieldgrabs, but understand that if he dairs and lands in front of you, he’s in range.
Note that with both of these, you can also play the levels game with Fox. If you think he’s going to sh, you fh d.air, if you think he’s going to sh, you throw out an early u.tilt (or f.tilt), or an upsmash. If you wanna be kinda gutsy with d.airs, you can opt to up+b to trade with it, “a la Fiction” (This is actually years old but hey, I’ll give him credit for bringing it up again). It is pretty imperative that you stop Fox from landing drills on you because he’s always got guaranteed stuff to do afterwards, whether it’s a kill or not.
Last but not least, you can always wavedash back against both of these moves. Not a bad tactic at all, but you can’t be predictable with it or else Fox will just jump deeper, and now you’re wavedashing. That’s kind of… a bad thing, especially considering you won’t be able to CC. You can avoid this by opting towards “I’m going to stay out of range of punish” when you wavedash as opposed to “I’m going to make sure I’m in range to punish every time.”
The next major approach you have to deal with is grab approaches. Against a good fox, this is hard to see due to Fox’s speed, which leads to his large grab RANGE (as opposed to marth who has a large grab reach, You’ll probably understand the difference between the two by the end of this, don’t worry.) But anyway, you pretty much just have to do the generic grab avoiders and just, don’t get grabbed. I’ll let you guys in on a secret that is not known at all yet, punish grabs with capes. It’s funny that I don’t have any vids of this yet but trust me, you’ll love the rewards for it. The tried and true stuff, such as retreating fairs, sh dairs and b.airs, etc etc, they all work too. DD n.air, all the usual tools, you just have to be ready for it. The turnaround for a Fox grab is pretty quick.
The last thing you have to worry about is the shine approach. You don’t want this to happen. Because this can lead to all sorts of immediate mixups. You have to stop this by throwing out tilts, smashes, jabs, JUST DO STUFF SO HE CANT RUN IN. Easier said than done, yes, but that’s what it takes to stop shine approaching. This is what’s hot in the current meta and it’s a beast to deal with if you come across somebody who can press buttons. If you think he’s going to run in and do this, you can do “stop run in” stuff. Again, remember he has short range (and shine has dumb short range), but he can fake the living s*** out of you if you over commit or you’re just, scared.
Ok, the next thing to deal with is fox pressure. Fox pressure is, without a better word to describe it, stupid. I mean, he has a 1 frame attack with low recover that he gains all sorts of perks and options from, not to mention he can just flat out attack from it (and continue pressure). Again, this goes back into the respect thing. You have to respect Fox’s ability to do just about whatever he d*** well pleases. With that being said, aside from a shine, the main pressure tool you have to look for is a jab. When you see either one of these, you have to take a stab in the dark as to what’s not going to get you wrecked. Literally. You can’t just roll every time, you’ll die. You can’t jump out every time, you’ll die. You can’t spotdodge every time, you’ll die. This becomes one aspect of mixup people don’t understand, mixing up your defense. You can look at this as one of 2 ways, making him guess what you’re going to do, trying to guess what he’s going to do and how to stop it. They’re both one in the same, but take the ideology and thought process however you want.
So with that, you realistically need o understand what ALL you can do vs mixup. Those things being; spotdodge, roll, jump, up+b (and up+b cancel), jump out aerial, wavedash, shield (or continuous shield), light shield, cc, upsmash, and probably a few more that I can’t think of atm cause I’m watching 2 setups of Modern Warfare 2. Knowing all that, you have to basically pick options that will get you away from Fox, or if you plan it right, will get you the advantage. Spotdodge gets you away from upsmashes and whatnot, allows you to get out of shield, rolling moves you and gets you out of shield as well, up+b can stop a oncoming d.air, jumping removes you from shine pressure (without rolling) etc etc. You just have to mix, match, come up with your own style, shake’n’bake whatever. This is more of a player-to-player kind of thing.
And with shine pressure, think of it as a mobile jab. But better than what hylian said about doc’s u.air years ago. Current meta now is spanimal shine->wavedash some direction -> shine -> wavedash back to spot one -> shine, etc etc. This is the kinda time where he’s looking for you to do something super dumb like roll. Don’t bite into this nonsense. It’s really a fast series of action – reaction. You can opt to wavedash or jump out and/or you can try to catch Fox with a grab or something, but just know that if you’re going to do something long and dumb, he’ll probably be right there with you.
Aight, so we’ve talked about what stuff fox is gunna to do get in, we’ve talked about basically what he’s going to do to keep pressure on you, there really isn’t too much to know about it beyond “It’s going to happen fast and it’s going to happen often.” The other stuff you have to worry about is the general, blatantly obvious stuff. Don’t run into backairs, be careful of him trying to snipe you with an u.air, yada yada.
Speaking of sniping with u.airs, lets talk about that real quick. When he gets a grab. Step one, DI somewhere. Left or right. Step 2, wait for the throw. It’s more than likely going to be up, down depending on location, etc etc, you got time, but be ready for it. If it’s up, be ready to jump. Once you hit like, 70% or so, you don’t have to jump immediately, but be ready to jump. Fox can’t ever get to you with an u.air unless you let him, but that doesn’t mean you want to jump every time. You jumping prematurely gives him the opportunity to juggle the mess out of you and just gimp you from the middle of the stage. He can land stuff like b.airs and nairs, but those aren’t as bad as u.airs.
One quick final note, lasers. Just because Fox is shooting lasers doesn’t mean you have to approach him. You just have to avoid them without putting yourself in a bad position. Jump over them, camp platforms, camp ledges, camp shield (as long as Fox is away), cape, there are plenty of options, but you just have to make sure you’re not putting yourself in a bad position trying to avoid them. Infact, your position is pretty much more important than you getting hit (because the damage really isn’t THAT much from them).
Edgeguarding Fox isn’t exactly hard, but you have to do some guesswork. He’s realistically got 2 options of recovery, firefox and illusion. The trick comes from the timing and ways he can mix and match his recovery . Kinda like picking your meal from a buffet line, he’s got a few tricks that compliment each other.
Stopping the illusion isn’t too much of a problem, but you just have to look for it. You also have to be ready for it. You can’t be taken by surprise. You gotta be ready to do run-off nair, a bair, cape, tilts (preferably forward, but up if you think they’re going above you). You just have to be ready. The longer the move startup you choose, the faster your reaction time has to be. That’s kind of obvious, but that means that if he’s going a illusion half way in his line, you pretty much have to cape WITH him to stop him with a cape, as opposed to just pressing a as he comes in to tilt him. Cape works well for stopping sweetspot illusions because you illusion is one of the few moves in the game that actually gets interrupted by cape, which will force them to recovery from below (which at that point HAS to be firefox). If you ever land a f.tilt against illusion, you normally can immediately throw a pill and stop the following up+b (or make them up+b from lower.). You can get like, 2 or 3 pills before they’re completely out of your pill range. A dumb dogy gimmick I like is if they want to illusion over your head, u.tilt. I’ve yet to find a person that doesn’t continue to DI in while they illusion, so you know exactly where they’re going. At around 80%-110% or so, u.tilt -> dunk. You don’t want to bank on this (infact, you’re better off doing a SH nair if they want to go high), but know that the option is there. If they want to SS, note that you can just take the **** ledge. This is an option that kinda gets forgotten about in the current meta, as opposed to trying to cape or tilt them or something (Hell, even I forget to just take the ledge if I suspect a sweetspot). It works.
After you stop the illusion, or if they choose not to, you got the obvious up+b. You want to cape this if you can. Again, you have plenty of ways to deal with it, safer ways (such as b.airs and tilts), but if you want to get the end all, you want to cape this. Your goal is to get as close as possible before he goes off so that you’re covering more options (or realistically ALL) as he takes off.
A few gimmicks you have to look for when he up+bs; when he is in a position to go straight up, be prepared to edgehog him. If he’s not like, close to the stage, he has no option but to fall down onto the ledge. A lot of people (me included) like to try to hit him away again, when you could realistically just… take the **** ledge. So.. take the **** ledge. The second gimmick to look for is angling down at the ledge. This trips A LOT of people up. To stop this, you need to walk all the way to the ledge to do ANYTHING. And when I say all the way, I mean teather animation. If you want to do ANYTHING, you have to be that far to the ledge. The last thing you have to look for is him riding the wall up. If he’s looking to SS, you can grab the ledge, if he’s going to go over, you want to cape. Being able to predict this stuff solves all of this, but we’re not all psychic.
I know I’m not. lololol
I mean, I could go into a long winded explanation of how to recover, but all I really need to say is come up with a plan and pray. Fox can cover all of your options.
Know that you have a lil leeway vs shinespikes, especially low ones. A lot of people (for whatever reason) fear your up+b, so use that to your advantage and BE READY TO SNIPE SOMEBODY IF THEY LOOK LIKE IF THEY’RE GOING TO JUMP OFF AND DO SOMETHING.
With Fox, also know that he can do all sort of shine tricks and fake you out too. Like, jump out, shine to stop out of your range, jump, and land back on stage. The point of something like this would be to bait you into up+bing early. So understand, it happens.
If you have some distance away from you, feel free to cape/pill backwards so that you can b.air to defend yourself. It’s not the greatest thing ever, but it’s an option if Fox wants to try to n.airplane out there.
Pills? They’re ok-a-go-go, but understand that if Fox knows where you’re going to be behind the pill, he can n.airplane THROUGH the pill and hit you.
Fox doesn’t have too much to fear on your recovery. I mean, he can ledgeDROP a b.air and still make it back perfectly fine.
Fox’s shine is obviously his godsend. Like, you could argue it’s a few more moves in his moveset, but shine is the one that’s a real bane on everybody, because it’s a 1 frame attack. So, you have to be able to plan around it.
The place you’re most likely to see it is shortly after Fox comes in with an aerial. If he does everything right, you can’t shieldgrab him because he’s going to shine. So you have to respect that, wait for the shine, and try to punish afterwards. However, he could just skip the shine and go to something else, so sometimes you have to just bite the bullet and TRY to grab him. It’s not kool.
The next place you see that is any time you’d wind up next to him. Now, that’s a real BROAD statement, but think about it. Anytime you try to chase his tech, if you’re standing over his recovery from the ledge, if you try to dunk him, if you’re on his shield, he’s liable to shine from ALL of those places. Shine is like glitter, once you see it, you really can’t get rid of it. You always have to be willing to let up, let him do it, and punish it when you can.
Know that letting up doesn’t specifically mean stopping your attack. You can take shine out of the equation if you space yourself to where he can’t shine in those situations. It’s hard, but what that means is you have to leave out grabs on your ground approaches, and ONLY look to f.air on your aerial approaches (or make sure you clear him, which is HARD). McCliggins can see through this nonsense and just go where you’re going, so this isn’t a fix-all for shine.
However, your goal is to make him think twice about shining. You get him to think about it stop, then you get a lot more leeway in this matchup. Now he’s going to wind up moving more (which gives you more room), or he might start hanging out dumb bad stuff like misspaced tilts and whatnot.
You’ve gotta respect the shine at all times, but don’t fear it. You can adjust and make him afraid to use it.
-Fox’s Shine: Fox’s shine gives him the ability to turn around at any time. On the ground, in the air, wherever he wants to he has access to his backair (or he can turn around and grab ledges). You have to keep this in mind. Although you’re ok being in the air IN FRONT of fox, note that he can just shine and b.air.
-Shine->Grab: a.k.a. “The Shiz Wiz” a.k.a. “The Spanimal Grimy Trick.” At any time Fox shines to put pressure on you, if he thinks you’re going to stay in shield (or if you’re going to be slow out of shield), he can JC grab. Kind of common sense if you think about it, but the turnaround is so fast you flat out have to guess at it.
-Multishining: You can’t really beat it. Gotta move away from it.
-Shine -> Upsmash: Hilarious trick that like, nobody likes to do (cept alt275 XD). If Fox is holding his shine, he can just upsmash out of it.
-d.throw chaingrabbing: It works on Fox, and starts at 30%, but at that low, it winds up being “The Ganon Chaingrab”, in that you have to know what way they’re going to DI BEFORE you throw and you have to make the perfect grab to get them again. You can always opt to let them fall for a tech opportunity.
-u.smash chains: yeaaaaah man. You can do em. U.smash -> u.smash (or u.tilts), upsmash -> tech chasing. Yeah.
-Fox F.smash: Safe on block if spaced well. Infact, if you try to punish it, you’re liable to fall for F.smash -> F.smash (a.k.a. Chops Choo-Choo). Fox’s F.smash doubles as a mini dash (because it moves a decent distance). Just keep it in mind.
-SH Double Laser: Will never hit you as long as you’re standing. Don’t be scared by it. You can just cape/shield the lower laser and go about your business.
-High Percent Lasers: When you’re at high %, some Fox’s will still laser you, because it’s habit and the recipient’s habit is to not get shot by lasers. … Why? The laser’s not going to kill you, and it’s not going to put you in a bad position unless you let it. So with that being said, when you’re at the obvious death %s, don’t respect lasers anymore. Now that doesn’t mean you want to stand there and let Fox practice Training Day outtakes on you, but him taking on 3 damage when you’d die from an u.smash anyway is no reason for you to put your d*** shield up.
Dogy Tips vs Fox:
-Once you start getting into 80% or so (so depending on the stage you’re on), shield more and pay less respect to grabs. Think about it, Fox can’t kill you from a grab unless he makes a good read on a d.throw tech chase, but he’s going to kill you if you screw up the DI on an upsmash. Once you’re afraid of dying to upsmashes, you’re OK to give up grabs.
-D.throw –> D.smash is great at low percents to setup gimps.
Dogy’s Matchup Chart: 4-6
Dogy’s Matchup Ratio: 30-70 Marth
The General Consensus: 40-60 Marth
The General Flow:
Can you get in?
That is the main question of this matchup. Your whole goal is to get in on Marth, and when you do, that’s just half of the job. This is another one of those “unfair” situations. Normally with a setup like this, once you get in, you get to wail away on your opponent, but na, not with the blade. Getting in means you just have to deal with MORE of his stuff as you try to put in work on him.
Pills obviously don’t do too much but buy you time either way, so it’s not like YOU’RE going to win from long range. (although you need to try just to make sure your opponent isn’t retarded. If they’ll get beat by pills, then beat them with pills.) With that being said, once Marth gets in mid range, you need to either get in or get out.
DO NOT STAY MID RANGE WITH MARTH. (Mid range = tipper range). You realistically can’t accomplish ANYTHING there. All you have is f.tilts and capes, and although both will hit, Marth gains soooooooo much more from being here.
There’s never a time where Marth is in horrible danger against you. I mean, I guess when you grab him at dunk %, but that’s realistically it. You can combo marth, but they have to be air tight because he can do all sorts of things to stop your combo. On the other hand, if Marth gets you in the air, he can pretty much have a field day on you.
So you don’t want to stay mid range (which you have to get in), you don’t want to be above him, being close isn’t completely safe, and far is not supposed to accomplish anything. So all in all, you’ve got work to do.
Marth’s main goal, on the other hand, is to straight up keep you out. Ironically, most Marth’s (especially ones who don’t know the matchup at all) will do a lot of the work for you. It’s not that they’ll never approach, but they shouldn’t be looking to approach unless they’re making you go into shield or something like that.
This part is the real hard part of the match. You have to play some offense, straight up. But with the way Doc is and the way Marth is, Marth can shut down every offensive option you make free. It’s possible for him to stay safe the ENTIRE time.
IT’S POSSIBLE FOR HIM TO STAY SAFE THE ENTIRE TIME.
So with that being said, you have to have a no fear attitude about the matchup. This matchup is a risk-reward matchup. If you’re not willing to take ANY risks, the only way you’re going to get a reward is if the Marth screws up. In a normal match, that’s do-able, but Marth has to screw up BAD for you to get stuff.
That means you better be ready to run into some tilts, CC some aerials, and the likes.
First and foremost, you’re probably gunna be a good distance away from Marth, throwing some pills. See what he likes to do to get around pills, figure out what he likes to do with different stimulus. Does he jump when you run in behind it? Does he try some huge swing to get rid of pills? Is he dumb enough to actually sit there and block all of them? These are the kinds of things you want to look for. Understand that although Marth is fairly quick and has a good dash, he’s not going to disappear after a pill like other characters (Read: Fox) will. Marth is, more often than not, going to swing at/THROUGH your pills. He can do that with no fear. All you’re really doing at this point is checking to make sure his s*** “isn’t Pringles”.
Beyond that, the next wall you have to get through is mid-range. You basically have to play a 50/50 at this point, and that’s assuming Marth doesn’t run. You have to either jump or not jump. If you jump, you’re basically saying “Hey Marth, that’s a nice D.tilt, I’m coming over that.” If you don’t jump, you’re saying “Ok, that’s a nice n.air up there.” See the point? And realistically, you also have to look out for a f.air as well (which you’re more likely to see a f.air than n.air), but you get my drift in this. If Marth guesses right, he’s gunna knock you away (Unless he fair’d and you didn’t DI, then he gets follow up). You just have to take that risk.
*Random Dogy Theory note*This is a thing you can look at one of two ways. You can either look at this scenario as “I’m going to do this because I think you’re going to do that” or “I’m going to do this and you BETTER do that to stop it.” Both of them are realistically the exact same thing, but it’s just the thought process you have around it. It kinda touches into what kind of player you are overall (The first being more not aggressive minded while the second is) Both of them are attempting to accomplish the same goal. The only reason I mention this is because you will come to this junction every time, and you have to do SOMETHING.
Anyway, you could opt to stop at mid range and check what Marth likes to do. Or something might happen you get tripped up here. This obviously puts you at defense at this point unless he’s letting you get closer. Stay on the move vs Marth and, if you’re afraid of getting hit (which is a good fear to have), air on the side of being out of his range rather than in it.
The one big approach you should keep in mind during this match is your shield approach. So long as neither of you are near a ledge, Marth gains little-to-nothing from grabbing you unless you get tripped up in DI. All of Marth’s throws are affected by weight, and Doc is heavy enough to where you SHOULD have time to react to where he’s throwing you. (Not to mention, you also have the “logic factor” as well. If you’re near an edge, he’s probably throwing you over there). I’ll talk more about grabs in the defense section, note that your shield is a huge offensive tool in this matchup.
Run in to about midrange, shield, and then move from there. Jump out, wavedash out, MOVE THE F*** back, shake’n’bake. You’re not going to avoid this range if Marth understands the purpose of his character. I can’t stress how much you’re gunna have to *shades* deal with it.
If you’re not on top of him when he stops his zone, you still have for him to hang something out there. F.air -> u.tilt, N.air -> jabs, you’re STILL NOT IN. You’ve got to guess a few steps ahead to make it in there untouched. If you think he’s going to u.tilt, wait for it (If you’re on the ground, you can flat out duck it. U.tilt does NOT hit a crouching Doc if you do D.O.R. (Duck on Reaction))
And I have to note this because I make a bad habit out of this, Don’t think you’re coming in with a f.air. If you wanna come in with a f.air, you better make Marth do something. Better make him swing and miss, big swing at a pill, put his shield up, something. Marth stuffs Doc F.air Free. You’re gunna need n.airs, u.airs, and d.airs if you’re coming in the air. (Or just jumpins)
So, once you get in, you’re not homefree. You still have to do a lot of work. It’s like riding a bull, you have to do work and avoid getting bucked off. The thing is, since Marth not only functions well but better once you get in (he has access to grabs), you want to keep things short and sweet or else you’re asking to get interrupted. If you can get behind him (or turn him around with your cape), you’ll be in a much better position as he’ll only have 5 responses instead of like, his whole moveset. Regardless of where he is, he’s got a good response for you. If nothing else, he can side-b while adjusting his spacing.
Don’t get the thought that you’re going to beat Marth in a spacing war. If he wants to swing, you respect. Don’t like it? Play another character.
So after you see if he’s dumb, after you fight the 10 yard fight, and after you get in and maybe do something to get a reward, you have to MILK IT FOR ALL IT’S WORTH. You have to be air tight though. Anytime there’s a question if Marth can get out, he’s got options. F.airs, D.airs, loads more. I mean he can realistically kill you midair if you’re not airtight on your combos (Not with a d.air either XD).So you want to be extra careful when you combo Marth.
On the other side of this, if you know Marth loves to swing when you start combing him, you could try to bait him into more damage. You know he wants to come down with a fair? CC it and keep on going. Expecting a counter? Wait for it and f.smash. Marth can’t swing forever. You just always have to be ready for him to swing.
And him swinging is the bad part. As long as Marth is spacing well and swinging right, you aren’t punishing a d*** thing. You just have to accept that. Even if he does jack up spacing, if he knows HOW to do it, it’s bait (i.e. if you block a deep SHFFL fair, don’t always be in a hurry to shieldgrab, cause he could just move and wreck you for it.) You just want to try your best to stay away from places where he can swing at you.
First, zone Marth far range with pills. Note that his dash and run animation are low enough that he can run under pills. I didn’t say FH and I didn’t say SH, I straight up said pills. Yes, if you stand on the ground and throw a pill, Marth can straight up RUN under it. It’s not easy by any stretch, but it’s doable.
The real first, let’s talk about that midrange. Tipper range. Once you’re in his tipper range, if he’s using one of the only 3 moves he needs to beat you, you want to just get out of here. Trying to fight through is bad since you’re starting at a bad position. If and when you eject, you want to try to make it so that you don’t have to jump. I could say the obvious “you don’t want to be in the air because you’ll get f.smashed or f.aired”, but the real problem comes from if he puts you up in the air any way, you really can’t do anything until you get back to the ground. That’s not to say you NEVER want to try to jump back (and I stress jump back, because jumping in is usually asking for trouble), but don’t make jumping away from his pressure your default option.
The only exception to this is Dogy’s stupid Marth, which is a d.tilting machine.
Anyway, jokes aside, you want to look to punish something against Marth, which again, is hard to do. If he spaces well, you can’t punish anything. I just spent a paragraph saying that. So, what you wind up having to do is MAKE him space bad. Step up and step back when he’s not looking for it. You see him trying to space a fair at tipper range? Step up and block it (or CC it). You see him trying to size up a F.tilt? BACK THE F*** UP. You have to MAKE Marth mess up to get some rewards, but you also have to be ready if he’s ready for this.
In which case you have to be ready for him being ready for you being ready, which he can be ready for you being ready. And you have to be ready for him being ready for you being re~~~ YOU GET THE POINT. I told you this wasn’t going to be any kind of formal guide.
If you haven’t caught onto the idea, you’re pretty much going to be on the ground most of the time. You can’t really accomplish anything in the air, you can’t really zone him out once he gets midrange, and you can’t play a real spacing game with him to begin with, so you’re going to wind up r moving around a lot and/or staying in shield.
If you go the staying in shield route, you have to look for one thing, grabs. (Really, you also have to look for the Gate Breaker (Shield Breaker)) Grab beats shield, so you putting your shield up tells Marth to grab you. You actually gain A LOT by him trying to grab you. One plus is that Marth can’t kill you from a grab unless you let him (Hell, I want to say you actually have to HELP him with bad DI, don’t quote me), but he can’t kill you from a grab. He can put you in a bad position by tossing you up, but that’s not horribly bad because you can move around him and do all sorts of things to get back to the ground. The bigger benefit is that by trying to grab you, he gives up his reach advantage. Although Math’s grab is long, it’s not his longest attack (obviously, it’s not a sword), and it’s not longer than YOUR attacks. It’s just long in comparison to other grabs. So if he wants to grab, he’s got to give up the advantage of you being away from him. If you see a grab coming, you want to avoid it without going too far away. That means you don’t WANT to roll away from it or WD away from it (although sometimes it WILL happen).
The next thing that can happen in shield is you block something big, such as a f.tilt or f.smash. If you block a f.tilt, you can wavedash in and get a tilt or jab in return. You have to be quick to get out there though, as the turnaround is real short. If you block a f.smash, and it wasn’t tipped.. OOHHWWEE FIELD DAY. A blocked f.smash is a GUARENTEED d.smash, u.smash, f.air, or grab. Beyond that, you’re allowed to get as creative as you want to be and go to down on it (note that you don’t get a f.smash from this but you can get an u.air. Do the math)
When it’s all said and done, you’re probably not going to be perfect and you’re going to get hit. I mean, I wish I could get JV5s, but I’m happy with just winning. When you get hit, you’re obvious goal is to stop getting hit. That’s just logic. With marth, though, marth can rain down all sorts of shots as you try to get back in control.
When you get hit, your goal is to not be in the air in front of Marth. That’s his power zone. You obviously want to get away from him, but he can cover ground fairly quickly, so it’s not an easy job. With that being said, you have to be fairly tricky about how you get back to the ground. If you can just flat out DI away from him and be kool, do it, but sometimes you’ll have to bite the bullet and DI in and hope to throw him off. Constantly DIing out could result in him looking for WD F.smash, and if you’re still floating in the air, you’re everything short of screwed (you still have an airdodge).
Last, not least, and kinda just thrown in here, if you ever wind up on a platform above Marth, MOVE THE F*** AWAY FROM THERE. It’s kind of logical, but I felt like I needed to say it. Jump UP and OFF the platform, don’t EVER try to come down through it, not even if he’s blocking (That’s a trap and a half)
Aight kool, you got marth off the stage, now what? Don’t sweat it, he’s not superman off the stage. That’s not to be confused with him having a bad recovery. Not only does he have a good recovery, he can protect himself WELL on recovery .(which imo is actually more important for people who don’t have perks on their recoveries like m2)
Marth’s 2 main tools for protecting himself are going to be f.airs and side-b’s, more specifically f.airs. If he thinks you’re going to come out there and hit him, he’s gunna f.air. He’s got more options, but it’s not broke, so he’s not going to fix it.
If he has to make a lengthy recovery, feel free to start out with pills. ESPECIALLY if he has to/you think he is going to come in low. Pills aren’t going to completely break his recovery, but worst case scenario you’re tacking on damage. DJ (full double jump, not iDJ) pills, jump OFF THE STAGE and pill, not in his face but out to put pills further out. You can put some pills out there for him to work around.
With that being said, you have 4 routes for going out and hitting him. You have to either trick him into swinging early (or NOT swinging) so you can hit him in the face, come from above with some $mashmac d.air shenanigans, or you have to try to get under him. Under him will sound scary for obvious reasons (although it’s actually NOT if you know what signs to look for, which is him already using his double jump), and above is on that $mac outside of the box logic, so go with the front, mostly. ^_^
At this point, you’re trying to time him doing a side-b so you can b.air him in the face. If he’s not willing (read: dumb enough) to bite, you can try to play quick draw with him and go b.air vs Marth f.air. The worst that happens in this scenario is he f.airs you back onto the stage and recovers. If you’re ok with that, feel free to try.
If that’s not your cup of tea, you can try to take the ledge. Do all sorts of fakes and try to get him and go low and sweetspot. Jump out, cape, jump back; jump out, pill, jump back; waveland off the stage into shenanigans, you just want to scare him into going low and sweetspotting. Get on the ledge in time though, if you’re late, he’s gunna SRK you just like you would him.
If he’s going to up+b on the stage, you have a few ways to mess with this as well. If you’re on the stage, you can cape if and only if he’s actually going to up+b past the ledge (which is why it’s in this section. XD). You can also CC d.smash, which is a little harder to do, but you can actually do a grimy trick by facing backwards and CCing (This gives the illusion that you’re looking to WD onto the ledge which you can sell EVEN MORE by wavedashing in place. Dogy’s dumb audio tricks version 2). If you’re on the ledge, you can ledgedrop a cape as he comes up. You can also do the “Death to Marth” lightshield edgehog. If you’re going to try this, make sure marth actually has to sweetspot as opposed to f.airing and moving you off the ledge (although you could let him f.air you on the ledge, and then ledgedrop a b.air USING BACK, NOT DOWN, DOWN WILL KILL YOU OH GOD)
BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY, IF HE’S GOING TO UP+B ON THE STAGE AND YOU’RE ON THE LEDGE, YOU CAN JUST LET HIM UP+B, HOP UP, AND KNOCK HIM OFF AGAIN. Marth’s up+b is punishable, and if he’s up+bin onto the stage, it’s not a success until he gets control again. A lot of people DON’T do this for whatever reason, but it’s so good. You can actually fish for some dumb gimmicks (such as the reverse. You’re on the left side of the stage? F.smash him towards the right. It makes no sense logically, but logic says you should be DIing so you don’t go off the left again. What happens when you catch somebody DIing like that? (Which is then HORRID DI?) Ridiculously good on small stages)
The one thing you have to watch for in all of this is marth’s double jump. If he still has his double jump, he’s liable to DJ d.air you if he calls you. THAT’S DEVASTATING. He’s also got other nonsense that works, but that’s more of a player-by-player basis instead of the norm.
When Marth gets you off the stage, it’s yet another situation where you have to pray. I really could sum up all of the recovery sections by saying “just practice all sorts of options, pick one, get on your knees, and pray to God your opponent does something stupid.”
Let me start with this and actually put some real meat in this section. If you float somewhere dumb, Marth can get to you. If you want to be in the same spot behind pills, he can ledgehop a b.air at you (Hell, he could just BAIR through it if he wants to), if you’re floating above the edge like a genius, he can d.tilt or F.SMASH! You can’t go above Marth, you’re Doc.
You also have to be mindful for d.air traps. If he throws you off the stage at a low %, DI AWAY so you don’t get tipped, and then don’t be so quick to up+b back. If you can catch him kool, but if he’s planning or waiting for it, he can either WD onto the ledge into a d.air (planning) or F.SMASH! (waiting). Or if you try to up+b past the ledge, he can just counter the **** up+b. (He can actually counter A LOT of stuff in your recovery)
OK! SO WITH ALL THAT ASIDE! I PRESENT TO YOU! DOGY’S TOP 7 “LOL MARTH WHY YOU GOTTA HATE” ANTI DOC EDGEGUARDS!
#7 – The FH Gate Breaker FROM DOWNTOWN! With a pill in his face!
#6 – Dropzone SHORYUKEN!
#5- The M2K Side-B-Palooza!
#4 – Momentum Boosted Counter vs Pill!
#3- The Countered Up+B Stage Spike!
#2 –The Darton Down-Air! (Ledgehop Side-B -> D.air. Shoutouts to Loud John)
#1 - The Mid-Air Side-B Suicide Spike of Justice
My point in this is that, well, Marth can LITERALLY have a field day on Doc’s recovery. You just have to pick a route, adjust accordingly, and prepare for the worst.
Getting into Marth!
It sucks. You have to do all sorts of things to get in on Marth. There are a few ways to go about it, but nothing is guaranteed. Here are some things to try out.
First and foremost, you can make him freeze up or jump if you throw ground pills at him. He can poke at them easy, and you can come in behind them with a n.air. However, the default answer for him is probably going to be to do an aerial. This is something to look for. If you see him going up, run in and just take the hit somehow. CC if possible, but if not, shield it.
Obviously, you can’t do this all the time or else he’s going to start doing retreating n.airs ALL the time, and you just get positioning. But, you can let him back up and start the process again (so long as you’re staying far enough to where he can’t do anything.) Catching him jumping also means you can dash attack in, although you have to slide pretty deep to get in.
Once you get him looking for pills, you can periodically just RUN in and defend. The key to know is that unless Marth is going to defend as you come in, you HAVE to defend. You don’t always have to pill, but you want him to think that’s the only time you’re looking to come in.
As you start knocking him around, then you have to just start messing with him. A lot of times when you try to jump in on a tech, they look to u.tilt. Don’t jump in. If you try to run in after an u.air juggle and you’re not going to make it in time, they’ll try to tilt or f.smash. Don’t run in. Now, if you’ve been keeping up with the guide, you should know that all of that IS punishable. That’s what I’m getting at. If you know it’s coming it’s punishable, but if you’re not there to begin with, you’re going to scare them into throwing it there’s a chance you won’t be there. When you get them to stop throwing the sword out (or just to hesitate), that’s when you get to take MORE. That’s when D.smash punishes on Marth F.smash turns into u.smash punish, that’s when tilt punishes on marth’s F.tilt turns into grab punishes, and that’s when you start being able to see d.tilts and jump them with a f.air.
If you can’t beat em, scare em. That way, you have a better hope at beatin’ em.
Gimmicks (And gimmicks to look for)
- Marth SH Side-B: Something that like, NO Marth does now, but it’s pretty possible. Ridiculously safe move out of shield and it allows him all sorts of options since he can wavedash, fair, double jump, or do other stuff afterwards. Infact, I imagine mentioning this will make just a little more widespread.
- Walking Marth: Note 1: Marth, at full speed, moves as fast as Doc running (No lie). Note 2: Marth walking at you is one of the worst things you (or just about ANY character) can let happen. When he’s walking, he’s got –easy- access to ANY move in his arsenal. The gimmick to this comes from his range. He’s got more leeway in when he has to attack (as opposed to you trying this, where you’d have to walk deep as hell to be able to do anything). The trick to avoiding this is to move back as you see him walking up. It sounds dumb easy reading it, but you’ll be surprised how often this happens.
-Marth Falling U.air: If for any reason you ever expect this, duck it. Marth has to be jacked up on you for it to hit, and if he tries to do Falling u.air -> u.tilt, you can just duck the u.tilt too.
-Marth’s Platform game: Don’t be on platforms vs Marth. That’s like telling you the sky is blue; if you didn’t already know that, you’ve got problems. With that being said, you have to watch for some STUPID gimmicks vs Marth if you wind up on a platform. The obvious is u.tilts and u.airs through the platform. But you have to watch for crazy stuff like falling-through-platform u.airs, delayed u.airs, side-b -> double jump shenanigans, side-b resets, and all sorts of stuff. Just, be ready and know that it’s not over till you’re back on the ground with him.
-Marth Reverse Up+b: When Marth Up+b’s, the initial tipper sweetspot is behind him. So basically, if he’s in shield and you’re behind you, he’s liable to up+b, and if you’re not ready you die. Just keep that in the back of your mind.
-Marth Corner Throw setup: Marth grabs you at low %, d.throws you to the edge (not off the stage, not to the ledge, just the “corner” of the stage. You realistically have to pick the lesser of 2 evils at this point. You’re either going to tech in place/tech away (if he spaced right, both of those will be the same) or you’re going to tech in (which is towards Marth). If you tech in place, you’re getting d.tilted off the stage. If you tech into Marth, he’s gunna grab you and do it again. That’s the generic scenario for this setup; Marth can take more options depending on how brave he is and how scared you are.
Dogy’s Matchup Chart: 4-6 Sheik
Dogy’s Matchup Ratio: 40-60 Sheik
The General Consensus: 30-70 Sheik (lolwut? Probably 20-80, 10-90, or impossible XD)
The General Flow
Don’t. Press. Buttons.
Like, not literally, but Sheik is THE character that will “**** the bad habits out of you”-Lambchops.
Sheik is another one of those different matchups, but what’s odd is that most people never realize it until it’s too late (Me included). Sheik is kind of like a hurricane in that she’s fast, painful, and you probably are going to have to move the f*** out of the way, but understand that you are not completely helpless in this matchup. This is just THE matchup where you’re forced to do the right stuff because pretty much everything a sheik player would NORMALLY think to do works. (Now, when I say that, I mean the obvious. If a sheik player wants to f.tilt, it’s something that could work. Same with the other tilts, a few smashes, any aerial, etc etc. But you run across a retard who wants to chain all day? Yeah sheik isn’t THAT dumb-easy)
Anyway, this matchup is pretty much going to be you on edge at all times. Although you get by a lot of Sheik’s nonsense as Doc, you always have to watch out for the default Sheik gimmicks that lead to big damage. IF YOU DON’T KNOW HOW TO, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, WORK ON BUFFER ROLLING AND BUFFER SPOTDODGING. If you can’t, you’re pretty much sunk unless you have some ridiculous ability to control sheik.
N.air and F.tilt. Unless you have a SPECIFIC goal that you’re aiming for, those are the only 2 things you even need to think about. Those are the 2 moves you have that, by default, are least likely to get you hit. Now more than ever.
You try to start any stupid s*** and sheik’s gunna abbreviate it real quick. So you have to have a purpose with what you do.
Starting with your long range, Pills aren’t completely out of the equation. They NEVER are out of the problem. The thing you have to understand is that if sheik throws 2 needles, she’s cutting through your pill (one) and the second one is coming for you. So that means you can’t get too predictable with where you’re going. You’re allow to throw as many pills as you want so long as you can maintain good spacing and not end up in needle lanes (or attack range if you are close to sheik). It really doesn’t matter what you get sheik to do in this as she’s a character who, if done right, can defend against all of your offensive options behind a pill. The thing you’re looking for is any kind of pattern. That, or the patterns you can guess at.
Beyond that, all you really have to do is avoid hanging too close to sheik in general. No matter what you’re starting, if you’re not careful about what you’re doing, sheik can turn it around with a random jab, tilt, or aerial. You don’t really want to lay on the offense unless you’ve managing to keep sheik in her shield. AND EVEN THEN SHE’S STILL GOT SOME GOOD STUFF GOING.
If you can get her to stand still long enough, you want to look for a grab. Grabs against sheik are great, seeing as you can chaingrab the mess out of her (or atleast take easy guaranteed damage). Understand that you have to run PRETTY DEEP on sheik to land a grab, and she can wavedash back -> jab to put stop you.
Inspite of what kinds of crazy ideas you may have, you’ve just got to be ready to put the brakes on and stop what you’re doing.
Defending against Sheik is crazy. Not so much because of how much pressure she can put on at much, but because of when and where she can do it. Something into jab, needles, b.airs, when I think about it, the ONLY two things you really don’t have to defend against at all are her side-b and her down-b. AND HONESTLY, SHEIK DOWN-B’ING ISN’T EXACTLY A BAD OPTION AGAINST DOC. XD
The first thing, and the most important thing you need to realize about defense vs sheik, is that you CANNOT rely on hanging out attacks. If you’re going to do that, they have to be well placed and have a good purpose. If you try to mindlessly WoP, Double u.air, D.air, any of that nonsense, Sheik’s slapping it. You throw a tilt in the wrong place, sheik’s gunna slap that too.
She’s kinda like melee’s Itouch. “You gunna do something stupid? We got a slap for that.”
Ok, with the “stupid” decisions out of the way, now you’ve got to straight up defend yourself. Anytime you’re on the ground, you have to be ready to avoid a grab. Roll, spotdodge, jump, whatever you’re going to do, you just don’t want to get grabbed. It’s not the end of the world if you do get grabbed (infact, you get off EASY compared to a lot of the cast), but you just don’t want it happening. Now, I say consider jumping, and you’re thinking “Wait, why would I jump? I’m just gunna get slapped.” That’s right you’re JUST gunna get slapped. You let her grab you, and she’s going to throw you (probably down), f.tilt you, and THEN slap you. So why go further into debt than you need to?
Jumping sets up the next thing you need to look for, you need to look for sheik hanging around YOUR area. Now, you have to look past the scary figure of disjointedness and understand that sheik isn’t invulnerable. You’re just looking for holes you’re not used to. One thing you HAVE to hone in on is Sheik’s jumping around your area. You could see all sorts of variants. FH Double slaps, SH slap, n.air, b.air(s), whatever. You’ve got to watch your spacing and be prepared to jump out and n.air/u.air to stop sheik from doing more bs than she’s really allowed to do.
The next place you have to really worry about is on the ground. Sheik on the ground…. Is Sheik; she’s a threat. You’ve got to be ready to contest tilts and jabs. In general, the ground is actually one of sheik’s weakest parts of her attack, because once she throws SOMETHING out here, it’s going to be the end of it and the start of something new. Your goal is to try to set yourself up to keep the new from happening. Force misspacing, punish tilts (and stupid smashes), or place yourself to deal with sheik’s next move. There’s no golden tip I can give you to make this magically work, you just have to be ready and willing to attack.
The one thing I CAN tell you is to keep in mind that you can CC. CCing vs sheik is good, so long as you can call or create bad spacing. Run in CC, Wavedash in CC (which is kinda hard), whatever it takes. At some point and time, you can CC everything sheik has except needles. So with that, if you can get in deep enough, you can actually punish something such as a f.air with your own d.smash. Again, it’s not easy, but it’s something to mix in. (For the record, you also can’t CC Sheik’s Down+B. Think about it)
All in all, defense is what’s going to win you games vs sheik. But it’s the one thing that’s hard to see against sheik. Everything gets mashed into one thin terroristic collaboration of hitboxes and nonsense.
Edgeguarding sheik. …-rolls eyes-.
Make her up+b. If you can do that, you’re pretty much done and you just have to not drop the ball. The first thing you have to understand is that you really can’t attack sheik off stage, … she’s got a slap for that. Like, if you want to get bold, you can try to go out there and n.air, and that MIGHT work (might literally meaning maybe. It is smash we’re talking about.) But like, if you want to go out there and b.air? Oooohhwwee good luck and god speed.
Now, when you get her to up+b, you’ve just got to stay kool and keep knocking her off the stage. Sheik’s up+b has horrible landing lag, and there’s like, NO way she’s going to do edge cancel tricks. So you just have to look for dumb gimmicks. Explosion attacks, which you beat by keeping your invincibility; up+b’ing straight up, which you hold the ledge for; or going on the stage, which you hop up and send her back off (you want to send her FAR so she has to do it again.) In terms of attack priority, you’re looking at f.smash > d.smash > b.air > b.throw - D.TILT (you’re welcome 18s) > f.throw, in response to how much time you have AND how far you’re looking to send them. If you’ve got the kill, you want to take your ledgehop f.air, dunk, or f.smash.
Beyond that, there’s really nothing to edgeguarding sheik beyond the norm. Watch for airdodges if she’s close, and if she gets the ledge, BACK THE F*** UP N****. If you don’t or cant, be ready for something of the ledge, it’s probably going to be a f.air, but you could catch something crazy like a d.air if they call a spotdodge.
I mean, it’s like, … oof.
Uuuuum. Needles are hilarious. Save your cape for crossing “the lines”. The lines being the horizontal straight off the stage (or platform), or THE HUGE FRICKING ANGLE KNOWN AS SHEIK’S JUMP HEIGHT. The first thing you have to do is just be ready to cross either one of these. If you think sheik’s gunna throw needles, have a pill ready and cape behind it (meaning you want to save your cape). This’ll kill all of the needles, while still keeping you on track. However, if you get caught by like, ONE needle, start thinkin bout your next stock or praying to whatever higher being you pray to.
Beyond that, you have to worry about getting into range of…… sheik. Do something stupid, she’s got a slap for that. And believe me, a sheik player has no problem hopping off stage and throwing aerials when they need to. It’s like, in their nature.
Like everybody else, you want to keep sheik off the ledge. If she gets the ledge, you pretty much can’t go low or you’re going to die. Like, Sheik COULD do the right thing, let you up+b on the stage, and then throw you off again (And when sheik throws you off, it’s with that low *** b.throw, so it’s still a GOOD option). But what’ll probably happen is she’ll just ledgedrop b.air you, whiiiiiiiiiiich is you dying. So, try not to let her get the ledge.
Beyond that, you just have to not do stupid stuff. Don’t go so close she actually lands a d.smash, don’t let the forkgirl edgeguard actually work (chain edgeguard), don’t get hit with double explosion. I mean, I tell you all this, but I know you’re Doc. You can’t really help it once you get out there. But, just try.
Actually, I take that back. You better not let the Forkgirl happen. If it comes to it, keep ****ing up+bing till you punch that sheik in the jaw if they try that. Look at em, and say “Worth it.”
Raiding Fort Sheik
Attacking sheik is f***ing scary. But unless you have the lead, you have to do it. And when you have to, Sheik doesn’t have to try hard to make it a living hell for you. Here’s some things to look for.
If she goes on a platform, this is obviously annoying to deal with. You’ve got to first get in without getting pinned up with needles. You can either cape the needles, dash under them, or n.air around them. The two things you DON’T want to do is get hit (duh ) or shield. You’re actually ok to take a hit or shield like, one or two needles, but you don’t want the full needle storm. That’s when trouble starts.
If you do get hit, expect sheik to come down with like, f.airs and n.airs and crap. If you get her to come down then you… sorta win? I mean, you got her down, but she came down on her terms and now you’ve got to avoid getting the crap beat out of you for knocking on her front door. –Bad End, start the adventure over.
Not getting hit is kool, but it’s not the end. She might come down anyway, but if you can actually drop down and CC something, then you might get to hit her. However, she might opt to keep jumping around on the platform, as it’s still safe. You DON’T want to jump up there with her. This is where you get to do more choose your own adventure.
You could either sit under the platform, time her as she lands, and make ONE poke at her with some aerial. The pros from that is that you’re less likely to get scooped up by a d.air or slapped away. The con is if she knows you’re going to sit there, she can go around and put a b.air on you, and THEN run. *shakes fist*
The other alternative is YOU CAN HOP ON THAT N.AIR AND KEEP POPPIN THROUGH LIKE A SHARK YAYHUZZ. Doing this keep sheik on her toes as she has to constantly keep jumping or else get hit by like, a half charged n.air (You can replace n.airs with the occasional u.air so that you don’t always poke THROUGH the platform). The con for this is that you’re poking through the platform; that’s asking sheik to hit you if she can time it.
There is a plan X, but it’s actually hard to setup. Plan X is getting on a platform ABOVE her and throwing pills at her. If you can get yourself into this situation, then it’s auto win for you, she’s got to start swinging at random pills or move the hell out the way. The ONLY thing that sucks about this is if you want to drone on with pills and she comes around and slaps you for it. That’s real easy to solve, you just fade back as she comes in. You STILL have to watch for her to come in and slap you though (it’s really a 2 action phrase on your part, but sheik sees it as “I’m off the platform -> I’m running under him -> I’m going to slap him).
Once you get her off the platform, you’ve got the schematics for what needs to happen. You just have to be ready for the quick turnarounds of her going on and off the platforms.
Gimmicks (And gimmicks to look for)
Sheik U.Tilt: If it finishes, it’s completely safe. Don’t try to punish it or you’ll get hit with something else.
Sheik Grab Nonsense: Sheik MAY have like, one regrab at low%, and that’s really ALL the BS she can possibly do. No chaingrabs, no guaranteed tech chases, nothing. If she gets a grab, she’s either going to get a tilt’n’slap, a straight slap, or some other aerial (i.e. u.air). Anything beyond that, and you’re LETTING it happen. Understand that the most common thing that you’ll “let happen” is an u.smash. I don’t be mad at you if you let that happen, as you should be respecting a f.air. But like, if you let some super dumb **** happen, that’s on you.
Dogy’s Matchup Chart: 5-5 Even
Dogy’s Matchup Ratio: 50-50 Even
The General Consensus: 40-60 Falco
The General Flow
That’s the BIGGEST scrub killer falco has. Can you handle his lasers? If you can’t, you better hope you’re playing one of those wack Falcos who forgot to pick up the extra clips.
This matchup is all about you either controlling or moving out of Falco’s lane. Unlike most characters, you can actually control a bit of area, as well as stop him from shooting from time to time, but it’s not simple.
Beyond that, you just have to be able to deal with spanimal pressure. Fend off some aerials, go toe-to-toe with some shines, the general stuff. Oh, and you gotta avoid getting the everlasting yayhuzz comboed out of you. It’s really not HORRID, you just need to look out for combo starters.
If you can get past all that, you’ve got hope. I won’t say you’re scot free because I mean, you’re fricking Doc. You’ve got stuff you can do and all, but most of your follow-ups involve putting falco in the one place he loves. Being above people ready to d.air them to mess with him (U C WUT I DID THAR?) It’s really not (horribly) lopsided in terms of what position you want to take. You just have to be able to create the space you need behind the lasers.
Ok, attacking Falco is pretty hard. It’s not hard to actually do the act of an attack, but it’s so hard to get into position because of the obvious lasers. So with that being said, don’t ever go into a situation with a set plan of “I’m going to attack” that could get changed real quick with one slight hesitation or misstep.
So the first area you probably will be able to attack from is from long range, with pills (duh). Now, understand that it’ll be **** near impossible to attack falco STRAIGHT from pills. That being because he can outjump you easy, and he can move and keep a stream of lasers going to prevent you from setting him up exactly like you want. However, you still want to try and pill him to in an attempt to either make him stop shooting lasers, or make him move around your pill.
Beyond that, you’re actually not going to be doing any specific mid or short range attacking. Falco is not a character to really stay set for any reason, and because of how he operates, you’ll REALLY be paying attention to high/low.
With that being said, if you want to approach from the air, you’re probably going to n.air. N.air is your safety net for not knowing wtf to do. The only other aerial you even want to consider a “naked” approach with is some variation of a u.air. Either one of those set you up for a pretty strong mixup op upon block, or they allow for some follow-ups on hit. Every other aerial you may use have to be used for specific purposes, normally for defense (b.air or d.air), or if you get some sort of a safe jump (f.airing a tech or f.airing any “forced’ landing).
Staying low is obvious going to require you to run deeper if you want offensive rewards, but Doc’s small size actually adds some benefits to trying this approach. First and foremost, understand that you can’t rule out dash attack at this point. It’s obviously not great to throw out ALL the time, but it does make Doc approach in a tech crouch, which is **** good for getting under falco’s lasers. Forces falco to shoot near perfectly SHFF Lasers, in which case when he’s trained to do so you can start SHing over those free. Other than dash attacks, you’re looking to make your way in, stay low, and just lay into him.
Defending against Falco is obviously THE thing that trips people up, as you will hear time and time again. If it’s not his lasers, it’s his borderline-abuseable aerisl that will just be the completely bane of your existence. But fear not! You actually can deal with Falco’s onslaught, you just need some heads up for what you’re looking for.
First and foremost, you have lasers. Now, there’s going to be a section later telling you what all you could do specific against lasers themselves. What you need to understand right now is that when Falco starts approaching with lasers, you need to control when he can come in (with Pills, usually FH to get over lasers), and then actually defend against his aerials.
Although falco is somewhat fast (he’s really not, just looks it behind the lasers and with the shine), you need to understand that he can’t cover horizontal very quickly. That means that if you keep a decent distance away from falco, he’s not going to magically warp over to you and start landing d.airs on your shield like a Fox would. So the first step to defending against Falco is to actually defend when you need to.
If you start throwing attacks too early, that’s when he comes in jumping behind you with d.airs and whatnot. So unless you’re trying to maintain space with aerials (n.air u.air and b.air, normally), you don’t want to go crazy throwing aerials all day.
Understand that, because you need to be ready for Falco to come in, you don’t always have to do an aerial when you jump. It’s perfectly acceptable to empty hop. Especially now, when misplacing a f.air will put you in shield as falco comes in. You want to avoid that as much as possible.
However, it can’t exactly be helped sometimes. Falco can come in on your shield. You want to reduce collateral damage and get out as safe as possible, maybe net some damage in the process. If falco hits your shield with an aerial, the ONE thing you can’t do is have a habit. Now, you never want to have a habit against ANYBODY (unless it’s a habit that involves you winning), but Falco is a character who can throw out a large number of attacks and cover options very rapidly. With that being said, you can’t always default to “oh, I’m gunna roll when he d.airs my shield” for the obvious he’s going to punish the roll, but you also can’t look for something such as “I’m going to u.smash OoS because he’s going to bait it.” –Looks at Shroomed. XD
You have things you can do, if he d.airs past you, you can wavedash OoS or jump away from him with a b.air, you can try to block him from coming in with n.airs u.air and d.airs, you COULD roll or spotdodge, you could just jump to avoid grabs or shines, you could stay in shield to avoid jump punishers, you could up+b to cut off further pressure, YOU HAVE OPTIONS. The thing is, you really CANNOT afford to have a habit in this situation.
Realistically, defending against Falco isn’t as bad as people make it out to be, it’s just scary because if you get hit with something major (read: a d.air or shine, normally), it leads to a good chunk of damage. It’s not that you CAN’T stop him from raining down you, you just have to be willing to try a variety of things that work rather than defaulting to a few “safe” options that really aren’t safe at all.
Watch for his up+b. If for whatever reason you call or force him to up+b, he should be dead. That’s just a golden rule to keep in mind about falco. Unlike fox, Falco’s up+b has no hitbox on startup, so IT’S PERFECTLY SAFE TO JUMP OUT THERE AND HIT HIM IF HE’S UP+BING.
Ok, so with that being said, when you get falco off the stage, you have to kinda go through “the flowchart” of stopping as spanimal recovery.
The first thing you have to look for a falco illusion on the stage, all stemming from Falco having a second jump. To stop this option, you want to try and jump before them (if you think they’re going to double jump), or fall into them if you think they’re going to fall. When you get to either place, you’re looking to n.air or b.air. If you’re on the stage, you’re looking to f.tilt (or n.air /b.air if they’re going over you.) If they’re trying to sweetspot, you could edgehog if you called it and have time, or you can try to f.tilt or cape. Cape works because it reaches below the stage and illusion is one of the moves you can actually knock somebody out of (read: cause hitstun with). More-often-than-not, if you catch him in an illusion he’s going to fall below the ledge, when you would jump out, hit him and be done.
If you block the options of the first wave and falco DOESN’T illusion into anything, you still have to look for him to illusion, if he’s still above the stage, or you want to be ready to jump out and stop and up+b. Just be ready to waveland off and do something if need be.
When you’re far away, he’s going to shoot lasers, when you get in close, he’s going to look to ledgehop something, trick you into coming onto the stage and b.airing you off, or edgehogging you.
Throw pills like you always do to try to move him where you want him, try to avoid an edgeguard if possible.
I don’t know why I have a specific section for every character. IT’S ALL THE SAME CONCEPT, REALLY.
First, go read Fox’s Shine-On Section (FOXS!!!), same rules apply to falco.
This, however, is about his lasers. Don’t be afraid of lasers. You, as Doc, have MANY more tools for dealing with lasers than most other characters. The thing you have to understand is, unlike “the current meta”, your strongest position to fight lasers tends to be on the ground. That’s not to say don’t ever jump over them, because you can jump over and f.air if Falco is stupid. However, you can do a lot to start and maintain control if you stay on the ground, caping, pilling, and sliding.
There’s nothing I can really say that will make dealing with lasers easier. I mean, I’ve read all sorts of laser guide, I’ve seen all sorts of strats from practically EVERY character, and I myself have (imo) an above average laser game with Falco (and ONLY laser game, cause I mean, I love projectiles and stupid gimmicks). I however, am not so hot at dealing with them.
The problem I run into is being too one track minded. It’s like “I don’t want to cape cause he’ll stop it.” Or “I’m going to jump when he comes in.” I’m not too great at literally mixing what I’m going to do.
I also suck at moving through platforms. That is one thing that I KNOW is great against Falco’s lasers.
I do, however, have a generic *** “flowchart” for lasers vs cape, and it always pans out the same. The end result is you ALWAYS have to respect lasers, Falco realistically NEVER has to respect your cape.
Goes like this. Falco starts filming Star Wars, you get mad so you start caping. If it’s a good Falco, he’s going to shoot LESS lasers, making them more sporadic and in harder-to-spots. He’s also going to set himself up to jump over your cape. A BAD falco is either going to continue shooting lasers like a retard or he’s going to stop all together. In the event you’ve landed a good Falco, now caping is a liability because he could either fake a laser or he could jump it and punish you. If it’s a bad Falco, He’s eventually going to start doing dumb **** like shining (which he’ll just waveshine out of), or he’s going to periodically start and stop shooting 5 million lasers.
In the end, you ALWAYS have to look for Falco shooting lasers, but he really doesn’t HAVE to look for you caping. It’s interesting.
There are plenty of ways to deal with laser though. You can.
1) Random take hits: If you do this, Falco realistically NEVER knows if it’s safe to go in unless he spaces correctly. There’s very little stun on a laser, so unless he’s jacked up in your face, you have enough time to jump and n.air upon taking the hit.
2) Shield: Kinda obvious, gotta jump out afterwards.
3) Jump around the lasers: You don’t specifically have to throw pills or aerials, but this keeps you from being locked in shield as he comes in.
4) Roll / Spotdodge: this isn’t really for the laser as it is for the approach that comes behind it. You gotta make sure that he’s actually GOING to approach behind it or else you’re getting punished.
5) Cape: You can’t really follow it up (even with Capedashing), but it allows you to throw one (or two) lasers back at him, and then move for a little bit afterwards. One kool thing to keep in mind is that you can reverse cape, so you can keep your b.air ready.
6) Pill: If he’s mid/long range, you can actually try paying little-to-no regard to lasers and throw pills. Sounds crazy but think about it, getting hit by a few lasers is like, 10 damage, getting hit by ONE pill is like 12.
7) Duck: Makes it to where he has to shoot close-to-perfect SHFF Lasers, and that opens up your ability to SH over them.
8) Dash attack: Lower than your crouch. Thing that sucks is that it’s not long range like Marth/Roys/Peach/Sheik. :/ It is low though, so that’s pretty kool.
There’s more, and you can always mix and match. That’s what you’re going for actually, the shake’n’bake. So they have no clue what you’re really TRYING to do. You just need to keep an eye out for all of your options and not just go with the easy mac shielding. That…. Is bad.
Gimmicks (And gimmicks to look for)
Falco’s Shine: Is like Fox’s in that he obviously can jump out of it and turn around. So basically, know that he can pretty much turn around and b.air at will. Some dumb gimmicks from shine you’ll have to look for are.
-Shine -> U.smash: Falco sits in shine, reflecting stuff. Seems harmless till you try to run in, and then he JC upsmashes. Hardly used (Only person I know of who uses it is Alternate275) but if you’re not looking for it, you could just run into an upsmash.
-Shine->Grab: Pressure tactic. If –spanimal- expects you to stay in shield after a shine, rather than moving away or wearing on your shield, they could just JC grab you. This means you have to be willing to roll away from or jump out from shines.
-Double Shine: Prevents you from trying to punish a shine.
Edgecancelled illusion: Usually used for fast movement across a stage, if you’re mindlessly standing under the edgecancel, it will lead to aerials in your face.
Dogy’s Matchup Chart: 5-5 Even
Dogy’s Matchup Ratio: 45-55 Peach
The General Consensus: 50-50 Even
The General Flow
*Quick note: FC = Float Cancelled*
Playing Peaches will be fairly annoying to you, not because they have any crazy advantage or anything, but it seems like they’re just in the way of everything you want to do. It’s weird, too, because it’s not like they can chase you down or anything, but they’re just always there, hovering over your every move (sometimes literally), just waiting for you to f*** up.
That’s pretty much how everything is going to go in a nutshell, Peach is just an animated wall. She’s, in large, fairly immobile and not agile at all, but you’ll be hard pressed to actually move AROUND her. All she really wants is to keep pushing till you’re off the stage, at which point you’re pretty much screwed.
You’re goal in this matchup is to basically be annoying as hell. Run and throw pills, n.air and d.air to disrupt her stuff, keep her in shield, just be a jerk. You can’t specifically BULLY her around, per say, because hanging around too long will result in you catching FC aerials, which is the LAST thing you want to deal with coming from Peach. You really just need to keep moving and make her do real work to hit you.
Peach has all sorts of problems hitting a moving target, so long as you’re not moving like a retard.
Continuing on with horrible Dogy puns, the best way to think of this matchup is a fly vs a flyswatter; the fly is obviously annoying all the way down to his presence in the room, and he’s fairly hard to hit with a flyswatter, but when he finally gets hit, it’s one of the most satisfying things in the world (for the flyswatter).
My point in all this is that one of the keys to your offense is to be very varied with your movement. It’s one thing that Peach is praying to whatever God she chooses that you’ll stay in one spot, she’d be perfectly content if you attacked her with simple movements. In short, you don’t want to be so hasty to go in at the first chance you get, especially if she’s swingin’ to keep you out.
It’s so easy to fall into a pattern and want to make the same approaches. The problem with doing this against Peach is that THAT’S ALL SHE’S REALLY GOT. She’s not going to chase you down (unless it’s XiF, I swear his Peach wears Nikes), but if you ever let her do so much as put an FC aerial on your shield, you’re goin through hell just to make it out.
So first and foremost, when you’re long range at pills, POUR ON THEM S***S! Again, Peach is fairly immobile and not agile, so throwing pills at her is going to do more than piss her off, it’s actually going to make her disrupt a lot of her game. Although Peach is capable of getting around pills, it’s hard for her to do it, maintain space, and be prepared to defend against your attacks LIKE SHE WANTS TO. Now that’s not to say that you throwing pills is going to make her helpless, that’s never the case with any character. However, Peach is one where you can place pills to make her use a weaker defense than she really wants to. She’s the kind of character you can shoot out of positioning if you so well please, so feel free to do it as you see fit.
When you close a little distance, you need to be ready for a lot of CCs. Peach is a character who’s real content with taking a hit just to CC downsmash you, or CC grab if she’s quick enough. You really don’t want to mess around with too much at mid range as your useful offensive tools (namely your f.tilt) requires you to be stationary. It’s ok if you know it’s going to go through, but if you’re looking to actually attack and not sure if it will hit, opt to keep moving rather than take a standing shot at her.
If you’re moving in from midrange, know that n.air and d.air are great. If you jump in with a d.air, that will stop A LOT of peach’s moves, all aerials included. You just have to make sure you actually HAVE the d.air going before you get there. N.air is good for its default air-to-air use, but you run the risk of trading or losing to range by throwing out. You don’t want either one of these to get blocked, so if you know a shield is coming, SHFFL a late u.air or n.air, try some tricky, or move out of the way.
When you arrive at the doors of fort peach, yooooou really don’t want to stay there too long. If you don’t have Peach scared, then you’re liable to catching all sorts of bad stuff. Although you’d think jabbing would be a fairly good idea (although it’s never great cause Doc’s jab isn’t great), Peach is again a character who really likes to CC. Up close, you’re asking for the obvious d.smash, so try not to jab unless you’re stopping a move or you know she’s trying to jump. All in all, you really don’t want to hang around too long, just try to land an attack or two, if you fail, get out.
As you’re putting pressure on Peach, you really want to keep an eye out for a roll. Peach has a lot of –mechanic- reasons to roll, her wavedash is fairly short, her roll is fairly quick, yada yada. So don’t be too surprised if you see Peach roll away from you. Don’t ever assume it’ll be the default answer, there’s only one character in the whole game that really relies on rolling, but just understand that Peach is a character who will roll a little more than average.
At all times, you are looking for ONE green light to run in. If you can ever call Peach pulling a turnip, you’re ok-a-go-go to run in and put pressure on her, especially if you can keep her on the ground. Although peach is the ONLY character who still has access to her aerials while holding a turnip (by way of FCing), she still CANT grab, and she CANT d.smash (along with all of her ground normals). So if you find a mindless Peach who periodically does unsafe pulls, RUSH THAT.
As for another special note, if peach is ever on a platform, go around her or wait for the d.smash. It’s coming, you just have to wait. If you’re playing one of the 5 peach players in the world who just refuse to d.smash on the platform, …. Your *** still better not jump cause they’ll do it too. WAIT FOR THAT D.SMASH OR GO AROUND HER.
All in all, you want to just keep moving. Keep your attacks coming from different angles, different timings, the whole 9 yards. You don’t really want to sit and try to wail on peach. The obvious answer is because you can’t, but if she knows you’re coming in she’s probably going to n.air or b.air and just put a stop to it. Constantly moving forces her to make a fairly good read to get you to stop (so long as you’re moving in the right places).
Defending against Peach is really a simple concept but a hard practice. Run away. You obviously don’t want to RELY on running away because you give up too much, but you want to move out of her range as much as possible. She’s Peach, she’s going to have a hard time chasing you down (I mean have you ever tried running in heels?) So, your default defense should involve movement. Wavedashing away, jump away, aerial away, etc etc. The more aways you to Peach, the harder it becomes for her to put a constant stream of pressure on you.
Obligatory CC statement here. Seriously though, people make it sound like you NEVER want to CC peach, which is a horrible horrible misconception. There is a lot of stuff that you can and NEED to CC vs peach (i.e. her jabs), but the one thing you have to avoid is being predictable with when you’ll CC. That’s when you get downsmashed, and that’s when you lose 50% to one move.
And, if you’re brave enough to stand toe-to-toe with her, it’s not exactly too hard for her to put pressure on you. The best thing she’s got is FC aerials, and they’re pretty frickin good. You realistically can’t punish ANYTHING that’s FC’d, so the best way to avoid it is to not let her put one on your shield. That meaaaaaaans you move. Obviously we’re not all perfect (unless our opponent is that bad), so the inevitable is going to happen. When it does, you’re playing rock, paper, scissors at that point. You want to move or else she’s going to do it again (jumping out with a n.air is a perfectly viable option), but you can’t do what she’s guessing at, and she can actually cover everything. You try to jump, she can jump and n.air, she can jab to keep you from wavedashing out, run after your rolls, etc etc. All of this can stem from ANY of her FC aerials, so don’t think you’re looking for a specific one.
With all the above said, know that she has a very strong jab mixup. I mean, I could spend some time talking about it, but the generic options are standard out of it (she can cover jumps, rolls, she gets spotdodge free, etc etc.) So again, you want to try to maintain some distance on defense so she can’t really lay into you.
The one thing you want to keep in your mind AT ALL TIMES VS PEACH is that spotdodging isn’t the best idea you can come up with. Peach d.smash beats spotdodge free. Now you still have to worry about grabs and other stuff, so it’s not like you can completely abandon spotdodges, but understand that Peach has a free punish anytime you want to hang one out, so don’t bank on it.
Turnip approaches. Peach’s best approach. There are a variety of ways you can deal with turnips. The obvious answer is to, duh, move. Understand that moving doesn’t always mean running away. If you’re standing far enough away when she throws it, you can simply jump over it, which keeps you from giving up ground. However, running away is also a viable option. Shielding and shield options (roll spotdodge blah blah) also work, not always the best options, especially if she’s APPROACHING behind the turnip, but they do work. The next thing you have is caping, and caping is great. There’s a catch though, you need to make sure Peach is actually BEHIND the turnip. It does you absolutely no good to cape a turnip if she jumps over (or drops under) the line she threw it from. So you have to check before you cape. (An alternate to this is cape dashing, that way you’re not standing still as you cape). You could also hit the turnip with something like a n.air or b.air, but that’s play-at-your-own-risk. The last thing you could do is catch it. Now, catching it has its own risk/reward. Obviously you risk getting hit, and if you catch it you get a turnip, but having a turnip in your hand isn’t good at all. That takes away a large majority of your moveset. So if you’re going to catch the turnip, try to make sure it’s fairly random so Peach can’t predict it coming.
Outside of those points, you really just have to watch for spacing and tricks. You always want to keep a little distance so Peach can’t put a crapton of pressure on you. If you want to stop her from coming in, D.air works great (although D.air is always great if you use it right, so I dunno why I’m giving it a special moment.)
Just, keep moving.
If you knock her too high, she gets back free, no questions asked. That is the one thing that really sucks about Peach. Putting in work and then ending with a f.air that doesn’t kill, so she just floats back and drops dead in the middle of the stage. It’s pretty horrible.
Stopping her from coming high sucks in general. You only have one thing that might work, but it’s the greatest edgeguard in the history of Doc. It’s. The. YODEL!!! (Tornado edgeguard). No, I’m not joking, it actually works if you can hit Peach with it. The two rules you need to know about yodel edgeguards are that you want to be up there before she crosses over, so that she runs INTO you (and you have time to drop out if you see her pullup and f.air), and you NEVER double jump (Unless you’re just that ******. In the event you get hit out of this, you don’t want to go flying off the other side of the stage and die because you double jumped and tornado’d.
Another, “stronger” option you have to stop her high recovery is an up+b. It won’t kill, and you don’t get to follow up on it, but your goal at this point is strictly tacking on damage. This is actually the HIGHEST edgeguard you have as you’re up+bing, so you might as well double jump if you need to.
Beyond that, you’re looking to take Peach out of her float. It’s not really hard, you just have to realize that as she’s falling, she can stop and float at anytime. You may have to catch her with some high b.airs, some reverse u.airs, whatever it takes to kill her float. It’s nothing out of the norm at this point.
When you kill it, though, you’ve got to stop her parasol. That by itself it tricky to stop. Peach gets to open and close it as she pleases, and if she gets past you, she’s going to close it to land in neutral. You want to make her go low enough to where she has to try to take the ledge, and then you can edgehog -> roll. It’s easier said than done, trust me. All in all, you want to try to stay below her and jump into her. If you’re above her, she can just drop and beat you to the ledge or ground. Either one is good for her.
In the event you catch her BELOW the stage and she has to up+b to the ledge, you actually get some grimy **** on her. If she’s floating in a position to where she won’t SS the ledge (or you’re sure she won’t quickly drop to it back up and cape her as she goes up. Caping peach as she goes up (before she gains control of her parasol) is one of the animations where getting caped causes hitstun. So yes, getting peach BELOW the stage on recovery is golden. Don’t take more risks than you need to.
Recovering against Peach actually isn’t as hopeless as you’d think it’d be. It still blows because you’re Doc, but you can actually contest A LOT of her stuff and make yourself a suitable challenge for her edgeguard.
First and foremost, turnips. Pills, capes, and catching. Done. She’s going to try to snipe you with one, so be ready. And don’t think she’ll just throw it out. She might jump off and throw it down. At that point, you’re going to cape or catch (or up+b if you’re close enough and can time it)
Next thing to look for is the default “im going to jump out there and hit you.” The worst position for you to be in is right in front of her, as the only way you can really defend yourself at this point is if you’re backwards so you can b.air. So you want to try to pill and position yourself so that she can’t time your recovery to this point. If she’s too early/goes too far, pass through her with a d.air (or drop down on her with a n.air if you’re high enough, or b.air her if she’s behind you for whatever reason.)
Alternatively, she could drop down to the bottom of your recovery and try to attack you from there. This is actually the best place for her to attack you (for her), so you want to try to avoid this at all possible. Again, you have to pill pill pill to keep her from getting where she wants. Even though she can cut through it, her n.airing a pill can give you the time you need to get around.
The last thing you have to worry about is coming up, which means dealing with d.smash (or d.tilt). Sweetspot, or be ready to tech. There’s actually a neat gimmick you can do if Peach’s positions herself to where her D.smash will send you back out. If you di down for the first hit (I KNOW SOUNDS DANGEROUS) the first hit and then press up for the second one, you’ll go out the opposite direction she wants you to. Not fool proof, not guaranteed, but it is an option if you’ve come to terms with the fact that you’re getting d.smashed.
In the end, recovering vs peach still sucks, but it’s not horrid. Infact, you can actually deal with it so long as you do the right things at the right time. You just have to be ready and keep her from where she wants to go.
Peach’s Turnips are her utility tool. She grows em for offense, grows em for defense, she uses them all. You gotta be ready to deal with turnips. And although it’s not hard, you need to know some things and some funny things that can happen.
First and foremost, you need to pay attention to what she pulls, but you’re not concerned unless she pulls two things.
Stitchface: Looks something like this ~XXX~ (I’ll try to fix that, but you get the idea)
Dot Eyes: Has 2 beady little eyes, looks like ( : like that guy right there.
If she DIDN’T pull either one of those, the only other thing you really care about is a bobomb.
Ok, so on average, she’s going to throw the turnip and come in behind it, duh. Regardless of WHERE she throws it from, she’s really going to approach two ways. She’s either going to float or she’s going to run. Now, she might change when she jumps to float (or if she floats the entire way), or she might drop down and run, but know that she’s doing either or. You gotta be ready to step up and go under the turnip, jump over it, or cape it if she’s coming behind it. The worst string of events is if she throws it, floats behinds it, and you shield. That’s you in a crapton of pressure. Avoid that one if you can.
On defense, you just have to literally not run into turnips. You can pretty much take them out by pilling, but sometimes you can’t wait for all that. So be ready to do the same thing, duck, jump, or cape. It’s just now, you have to be ready for how she stops you afterwards. Heck, she doesn’t even have to throw it, she can still do aerials.
Know that she CAN throw turnips out of shield. So just because she’s sitting there shielding pills doesn’t mean she can’t come straight out and throw it.
Now, if she DID pull one of those 3 listed above, that’s where some fear starts coming in. The funny thing is, because of your cape, she’s going to get AS scared, if not more than you. You can’t literally stand there and spam cape, although the window for her to slot in the projectile is small, she can just come hit you for it.
What you want to do is cape in situations where she’s normally been throwing the turnip. You want to appear psychic with your capes. If she normally pulls and throws instantly, cape when she pulls it. If she DDes around and usually throws straight out of the DD, periodically cape as she DDs. If she waits to hit your shield to throw, then don’t ever cape. You have to give off the illusion that you’re not scared, you’re prepared. In all actuality, you can be scared s***less. You just have to have a system.
If all things go as planned, you can do as much as make the Peach straight THROW THE ITEM AWAY. Now that’s some comical stuff.
Don’t bank on it, but I’ve seen and made it happen plenty of times. It happens.
Gimmicks (And gimmicks to look for)
Peach’s Float: If she’s ever floating, you can knock her out of float with cape.
Peach on Battlefield: Can’t parasol to the ledge. Melee is a dumb game like that. Random thing to keep in mind.
Peach Upsmash: Is invincible from the shoulder up. (I forget where the sweetspot is, I think it’s actually on her shoulder). If you run across a Peach who will upsmash, don’t telegraph high approaches and don’t try to come down onto the stage right on top of them. Peach upsmash will win every time, even on Sundays.
Toad: Has more range than anything you have. So if she wants to Toad a pill, be ready to block.
Peach parasol: Great Antiair. Can actually lead to setups if you fall down onto it.
Peach turnips: caping them adds more knockback to them (not sure on damage, too lazy to check atm).
006. Captain Falcon
Dogy’s Matchup Chart: 4-6 Capfal
Dogy’s Matchup Ratio: 40-60 Capfal (I still say this is my worst matchup. NOT DOC’S DAMMIT, MINE.)
The General Consensus: 45-55 CapFal
The General Flow
“Don’t get hit.”
That’s like, the only way you can stand a chance In this matchup, is you have to NOT GET HIT. It’s really not THAT bad, but everything Capfal can hit you with leads into stuff, that leads into stuff, that leads into stuff. And unlike most characters where he actually needs to knee them to kill them, he doesn’t even NEED to do that to you.
On your end, this matchup is going to feel somewhat like fighting a sheik, although it will LOOK completely different. What I mean by this is that this is yet another matchup where you don’t want to press a lot of buttons (read: Throw out a lot of attacks (for spacing)). Where sheik would just come straight through and demolish you for it, Capfal will go around you and hit you.
Really, the matchup isn’t that bad, you just have to be patient in how you go about dealing with Capfal. You can’t force anything on him because he can ALWAYS just run away, so you want to try to get him in a corner to limit how he can run away.
The two keys to this matchup are going to be your ability to DI to reduce (or stop) a combo video from happening, and your ability to force bad spacing. If you’re terrible at either one of them, this matchup is going to be long and painful short and crappy.
You’re not going to be doing a lot of this.
Straight up. Whenever you want to attack capfal, he can just move out of the way. Jump away, run away, whatever. So all of your offense is going to be fairly shortlived. His best defense is evasion. That doesn’t mean don’t try to attack him, you just need to understand that unless you catch him in a bad position, it’s not going to last long.
Now, there ARE bad positions for Capfal. Being by the edge is one of them, especially with his back to it. He doesn’t have a good backthrow, so you don’t have to fear a lot if you catch him in a corner. The second (and even better one) is catching him in shield. If you can get in his face while he’s shielding, there isn’t a whole lot he can do without you allowing it. He’s going to have to either jump out, roll out, try to force an aerial, or try some super gimmicky up+b.
Know that Capfal’s spotdodge is a little slower than average. For whatever reason, this makes a lot of Capfals spotdodge less than normal. They’ll still try rolls and jumping (and wavedashing when applicable), but they’re less likely to spotdodge you.
Again, all of your offensive spurts are going to be very short, for reasons that involve capfal moving. So say you want to throw some pills at him, you’re probably only going to throw one or two, more if he wants to just run away and stay in a corner (which won’t happen). You start throwing too many, and you’re asking him to either jump over them, run under them, or n.air through them. You can use this to your advantage and attack where he’s goin to come out, but you’re not going to be able to maintain this for too long unless you want to get tagged for it.
There really isn’t anything specific to say about attack ranges at this point. You really just have to be cautious and watch your spacing. Capfal is always going to give you a moving target, even if he stops for a second to give his finger a break. Although you can’t keep up with him in any department, you need to fake and dodge you way in so you don’t make the mistake of running into something like a n.air or side-b. He can throw out attacks to defend himself pretty well, so it’s not like you’re just going to chase him down at will.
As long as you’re staying on the offensive vs him, you want to stay close to him. The closer you stay, the further he has to move to get away from you. Although he can move TO get away from you even if you’re jacked up in his face, being close makes it harder for him to turn control around in his favor. If he’s at the end of your attack range and you try to, say, jump in and n.air him, he’s got plenty of room in his dash to move out and come back in with something like a d.air. However, if you’re jacked up on him and try the same thing, he’s got actually run a few steps (or FH BEFORE you get to him) if he wants a chance to retaliate against you.
The best place to be, if at all possible, is behind him. Yes his b.air kills, but it doesn’t come out instantly, so you can stuff it if you know it’s coming. Along with that, he’s obviously NOT going to grab you. So for him to stop you at this point, he’s got to do something crazy like d.air or move away. If you can sneak in a bs cape to turn him around, feel free. If you actually get him around, then you get a shot at something before he tries to get away.
The most important thing to remember about all this is to not get too set on attacking capfal. It doesn’t matter what’s happening, you shouldn’t be allowed to keep up an attack for long. Don’t lock into the tunnel vision.
Now, defense is where this match is going to be won.
You’ve got to practically lie, cheat, and steal everything capfal has going for him to beat his offense, but it’s completely do-able. He’s got nothing in his arsenal that you can’t stop. As long as his n.air is (and it’s dumb long), you can cut him off before he starts it, during it, or you can force bad spacing and shieldgrab it (doing something like a dash-in shield or ending up with a CC). You can keep him out of grab range with tilts, f.smash, b.air, etc etc. You can beat raptor boost with a variety of moves, or you can punish it with upsmash oos or a shield di’d grab.
He’s not impossible to stop, you just have to make a lot of rapid decisions.
Like I said in the intro, the one thing you need to keep in mind is that you don’t really want to throw out a lot of attacks. It’s not hard for capfal to move around, and you want to be ready for WHEN he attacks. If you’re too busy going crazy with double u.airs, he’ll have plenty of time to come in right behind you and attack, and you’ll have to give up throwing out an aerial or tilt and go with having to straight evade him. You don’t want to do that ALL the time, it’s only a matter of time before you screw up and get put on a highlight reel.
The biggest problem you’ll have in this matchup, aside from Capfal’s speed, is his n.air. It’s long, real long. If he spaces it correctly, it’s safe. You’ve got to keep him from doing that. There are a (in a nutshell) two ways you can go about doing this. You can either attack his n.air, which would mean you could cut through with your own n.air, stuff it with an u.air, up angled f.tilt, or u.tilt (if you’re in the middle of his arc), or jump over it with a d.air; or you could catch him in a spacing trap and punish, those being dash-in shield (Which would net you a shieldgrab at most, n.air at the least) or CC d.smash/grab. You’ve got to mix how you deal with his n.air. Although all of these work, the success depends on when and where he puts the n.air. If you only have one defense, he’ll simply put the n.air somewhere else.
DI Away from him unless it’s something that will kill you (a mid% knee or a high% u.air). Capfal doesn’t really combo as well as it seems, but you won’t be able to tell the difference if you’re constantly DIing for your dear life (read; “using survival di”). You’ve got to know when to DI to live and when to DI to not get hit again, or else you’ll keep getting hit till you die. I CANNOT stress that fact enough.
Outside of that, you have to just make constant decisions when you want to do stuff. Jumping gets you hit with u.airs, which begets more u.airs and n.airs. Shielding too much gets you grabbed, which just sucks. Rolling gets you hit with d.airs and raptor boosts. It’s just that everything leads to everything.
You have to pay attention to what causes attacks and where they go. If your capfal is DDing around unbelievably, is he trying to inch in so he can grab you, or is he waiting for you to fall asleep so he can jump in? Is he waiting for you to move near a platform so he can cut through your d an aerial or is he waiting for you to move out into the open so he can rain down darkness (U c wut I did thar?)
If you don’t pick up on your capfal’s options, everything he does will just seem completely random to you, and slot machines tend to be rigged. You’ve got to pay attention to how he fakes, what he fakes into, and what’s really real..
Edgeguarding capfal is pretty cut and dry. Unless he’s jacked up on the stage, he’s going to up+b, and you want to be ready to cape or edgehog it. If he’s going to land on the stage (far on the stage), cut him off and send him back out.
Capfal is a character that really CAN’T defense himself on recovery. Infact, unless he has a wall, he can’t do anything that doesn’t involve a huge risk. So you’ve got a lot of liberty to jump out and b.air him as you need to. And you will need to. If you’re afraid to jump out at him, you’re allowing him to do high up+bs, which gives him a chance to edgecancel into unpunishable recoveries.
That’s some gimmicky stuff, though. The main thing you’re looking for is forcing him to up+b. You want him away from the stage, enough said. When you get him to up+b, you want to play on the side of letting him go past you. I don’t mean you straight up want to LET HIM pass you, but you want to pay more attention to the ledge incase tries to double back for the ledge, which is one of his safe options. If you call him trying to pull something like this, cape it and be done. However, if he catches you slipping, don’t just freeze up. You still have tilts and aerials you can throw at him to knock him off, reset the process, and take some damage. Just whatever you do, do SOMETHING.
Yet another crappy character to recover against.
The reason why Capfal’s edgeguard is so good against Doc is because of how wide Capfal’s edgeguard range. When you add that to how linear Doc’s recovery is, you have a situation where if you’re any sort of far away from the stage, you’re pretty much dead.
I’m not going into great detail, I don’t need to.
The thing that sucks the most about Capfal’s edgeguard is that he doesn’t need to jump out and SS knee you to kill you. He can jump out and u.air or weak knee. If he catches you at the end of his jumparc, you can’t go around it seeing as that’ll throw you too far off course. If he wants to be completely safe, all he has to do is jump out there so you pull up. You’re not going to go through him, he’s just going to u.air.
You can try your best to block him with pills or turn around and b.air him as he comes out, but both of those can lose or trade to n.air. It’s not pretty.
Be ready to let go up jump (or up) to meteor recover.
Smoke and Mirrors
Like I said before, Capfal is a very mobile and agile character. You realistically CANNOT keep him contained, you just have to try and make good guesses. However, you can’t give him so much credit and think that you can’t, like, hit the guy.
Capfal has a bunch of smoke and mirrors.
The first thing to understand is that, in all of the movement he does, whether it’s flash or not, he ALWAYS has to come to you to hit you. He has no projectiles, and although he has some long ranged attacks, they’re not ridiculous. He ALWAYS has to come to you.
The second thing to understand is that what Capfal offense and defense are very deceptive. Not deceptive in the fact that you tricked into doing the wrong thing, but you get tricked by even identifying it. You might see him take a full dash in and take a full dash out and not think a thing of it. I mean, he can dash 1/4th of most stages. In all actuality, he just tried to bait you into swinging and you’re so unaware that you didn’t make any reaction to it. Failure to realize that he’s trying to bait you causes him to eventually start coming in instead of dancing around. On the other end of it, you might see him DDing around, and you know you really can’t hit him from where he is. So you move In some. Guess what he just defended himself by making himself (virtually) impossible to hit. He can’t get in and hit you, so he’s trying to get you to step in so he can safely take a shot at you. It’s the same as Fox blowing through clips trying to come in, the only difference is Capfal’s defense is to textbook and subtle you might not even catch onto it.
Every matchup involves you having to contend with your opponent’s offense and defense, and Capfal is no different. If you can’t figure out how to deal with somebody’s offense or get through somebody’s defense, then you’re done. The thing is that Capfal’s offense and defense revolves around movement. You have to pick on how he CAN move, he does move, and what he does with his movement.
Gimmicks (And gimmicks to look for)
Capfal Reverse up+b: A lot of people want to write this off as “a capfal (or ganon) mindgame” vs cape, when really it’s taking THE safe option. Cape reaches below the ledge farther than anything you have, so if you’re on the stage, you’re taking the best option. If you see this coming, you want to edgehog it. Even if they land on the stage (which they will, without an edge cancel) you can just jump up and hit them off again, so it’s no big deal.
Capfal D.throw -> Knee: Realistically doesn’t work on Doc, so long as you DI the throw out. At low -> mid percent, you can n.air/u.air/up+b/jump out of the way. At high %, you’ll DI out of the way. The only time this ever works is at high % (ok not high, starting at like 80 or so) if the throw would send you off the stage. Other than that it doesn’t work. (Dogy note: when you start getting into the higher %s, you probably want to close your eyes when he comes in. **** IS CLOSE).
Capfal moonwalk: Is actually pretty good and somewhat dangerous since he can approach with a b.air.
Dogy’s Matchup Chart: 55-45 Doc (Jiggs are better than Docs right now. That’s just how it is)
Dogy’s Matchup Ratio: 6-4 Doc
The General Consensus: Something horribly dumb in Jiggs favor because Mango (and Hbox lol) exist, INSPITE THAT BOTH OF THEM ACKNOWLEDGE THAT IT’S A HORRIBLE MATCHUP FOR JIGGS.
The General Flow
Bully this dumb b****.
Out of ALL of the characters in the game, Jiggs is one that, by default, you will have the most freedom to fight against. So long as you do it right. The default Jiggs strat is to air camp, or stay somewhere in the air, whether they’re throwing aerials or not. The thing is, your pills control her airspace. Jiggs is very AGILE in the air, but she’s NOT mobile. You can straight up outrun her at will. She’s also very slow at covering verticals, so if you can clear her, you can get out of corners free.
Your goal for this entire match is to control the center of the stage. You can’t gimp Jiggles, and you really don’t want to try to edgeguard her as you have way more to lose than to gain. So you want to stay posted in the middle of the stage scrapping with her. The main thing you’re going to be looking out for is the b.air, and it’s really not as bad as people make it out to be so long as you literally don’t run INTO it.
If you ever feel like you’re losing against Jiggs, just go run around for a while. Seriously. She can’t catch you, so you can run around until you can reset yourself as you see fit. Or if you want to try to take on some free damage, go throw pills to make her throw bad aerials.
This matchup, although not free, is in your favor. So long as you stick to a safe strat, Jiggs has to overcome a lot of bs just to have a shot at you. NOTHING she has works on you. SHE CANNOT LEDGESTALL YOU, and he only rest setups she has is sniping a double jump or calling a roll/tech. However, if she ever misses a rest (which will be often if they try their normal setups), you are one of the 3 characters who get a HEAVY punish, and you are THE MOST DAMAGING CHARACTER TO A JIGGS MISSED REST. (The other 2 heavy punish characters being Fox and Mario)
You only want to fight in the middle. Period. That is the ONE golden rule you need to know for this match. Pitch a tent in the middle of the stage. Life is hard for Jiggs if you do that. You can play keep-away if you want to and just run and throw pills, that works very well against jiggles too, but when you go to fight, you want to be in the middle.
If you’re running and throwing pills, keep your distance and chuck them ****s like Sagat chucks Tiger Shots. In spite of whatever people think of Jiggs, she’s not going to magically WARP over to you. If she wants to stay in the air and contest your pills, keep out and try to tag some damage on her. She dies at dumb low percents, so anything you get is to some degree devastating to her. You gotta watch her though, she’s gunna try to move in so she can land an aerial on you. You need to stay awake and keep out of her attack range as long as she’s staying in the air. If she does get in attack range, you need to stop (obviously) or BACK DA F*** UP *****! The one sign you’re looking for in this matchup is if Jiggs gives up and goes to the ground. This is when you want to try to come in. A Jiggs player with half a brain (or one who’s not overly aggressive, rather) is eventually going to do this, as it’s a safe option. You want to time your approach as she’s coming down, not let her hit the ground and then come in. If you’re too late, she’s just gunna jump again. But yeah, you want her on the ground.
If you can’t get her on the ground, you’re going to come in with like, your default moves. CRAPTON OF N.AIR. OH MAN CRAPTON OF N.AIR. Like, I’m going to go through the basics in the Doc matchup, but N.air vs Jiggs? That’s like a Italian sub on a Wednesday, it’s soooooo good. N.air beats a lot of Jiggles attacks, so if and when you go in, this is what you’re going with. Your other default option is to try to get ABOVE her and D.air. Works very well too, although you run into some super gimmicky risks if you try to follow up.
While you’re fighting Jiggs, you want to keep up with the players jump habits. Besides the obvious “Do they use empty jumps, what aerials do they use and when”, one key thing you want to watch vs Jiggs is how many jumps a player tends to use. You want to know this not-so-much to try to snipe her out of her 4th jump, but because you’ll have a better idea of when Jiggs is going down to the ground. If you call her going down, you can start closing distance and try to put her in shield upon landing.
Keep the bomber grounded. When she gets there, KEEP HER *** THERE. She’s not helpless in shield as she can come out with n.airs or u.smash OoS (or more if you’re sloppy), but you want to do your best to keep her from going anywhere. You really don’t have too much to fear from her in her face aside from “The Mango Surprise” (rest OoS), so put some pressure on her. Her grabs won’t do anything except push you away, and she never gets a guaranteed follow up. Take whatever damage you get on her; jabs, grabs, smashes, THE SUPER AWESOME D.TILT OF D.TILTINGNESS, whatever. Damage is fatal to jigs.
All in all, you just want to keep her in the middle and keep her on the ground. Like always, you don’t want to go crazy cause she’ll find ways to slip out, but Jiggles can’t use any of her character perks to really hinder your offense. She can’t duck anything of real merit (Going off of my Kirby chart, If Jiggles can duck anything, it’ll be a long ranged F.tilt (forward or up), an u.smash, or a spaced up angled f.smash.) so feel free don’t fear catching a duck-rest. She can’t throw a rapid number of attacks, so just dodge around till you get in and put work on her.
It’s another matchup where you want to default to moving.
Jiggs can’t really put a lot of pressure on you, so don’t feel as if you need to make some super read to stop pressure. You just have to understand the gimmick behind her pressure. That gimmick is spacing. She really can’t put up a long string of offense seeing as there are ridiculously huge gaping holes in everything besides late SHFFL aerials -> something. So that means you need to play RPS and reset control.
If you ever don’t know what to do, or don’t want to take a risk, move out and start running around till you get back to where you need to. Unless Jiggs is jacked up in your face, she won’t be able to stop you from wavedashing (or even rolling away from her), which gives you room to reset. If you can’t go back, don’t be so quick to go in, try to go around her or fight her off of you.
If Jiggs is trying to push into you with Wall of Pain (WoP), you want to stop that. Her goal is really to just push you to the ledge, and if you get hit, then it’s an added bonus. Her WoP is actually the identical to EVERY OTHER CHARACTER who can do FH double b.air (you included), Jiggs just works so well because she can weave back and forth so well (air agility), and because she can throw the high option multiple times. So, just like every other character, you’re looking to come over the low option or under the high. The thing to keep in mind is that Jiggs can turn around with a jump, so if she’s WoPing with F.airs, she can turn around and b.air whenever she wants. She can also come down with a n.air.
Jiggs’ n.air and f.air are very powerful pokes because she can tap the top of your shield and dip back at the last second, moving her out of punishment range and setting herself up to poke at your next move. You have to pay close attention to where she’s going to determine what’s going to happen next. Be ready to jump, be ready to NOT jump, and be ready to move away from her. It’s business as usual, but understand that unlike most n.airs, she can choose if she wants to space the attack or the landing.
One thing to keep in mind the entire match is that unless you’re near an edge you’re ok to give up a grab. Again, Jiggs has no guaranteed follow ups on you from a grab, so if you’re worried about getting hit, or don’t know if she’s going to try to catch you jumping out, just stay in shield and give up a grab. Her grab range is very short, so she has to land next to (or run very far) to even have a shot at it, and she gets a very minute reward as long as you’re in good positions.
IF YOU GET HIT, DI AWAY. Jiggs only has a few moves that kill, her aerials are NOT one of them. So DIing in on a b.air is asking to get hit with a second b.air, and that’s when the WoP really starts. To even give yourself a chance at recovery, you need to be willing to DI out and make her work for more damage or her edgeguard. Once you’re in the air next to her, you’re already at a big disadvantage, so don’t lock yourself up.
All in all, you’re going to be making one solid decision after another to keep away from Jiggs’ offense. Stay away from her whenever possible, but if she gets you into shield don’t panic. There’s not a lot she can really do when you’re there except wait for it (or try to pound it out if it’s too low). Keep yourself away from ledges and don’t get hit.
Edgeguarding Jiggs is pretty unique in that you really DON’T want to edgeguard her. You have too much to lose by going to edgeguard her especially considering you have to her hit a few times
You want to keep most of your edgeguarding on stage. Honestly, I’d go as far as to say just let her back on and rain pills at her. If you get her far from the stage, she’s actually going to be in a horrible position when she gets back. She’s going to either land on the stage, which is a chance for you to attack her if you choose, or she’s going to the ledge, which is horrible for her.
IF YOU EVER CATCH JIGGS GOING TO THE LEDGE FOR WHATEVER REASON, BACK THE F*** UP *****. Back up and start bouncing ground pills over the ledge (it’s like, 3 or 4 character lengths away, I need to turn the game on to see it). If you position yourself right, Jiggs will wind up going through a waterfall of pills just to make it back ONTO the stage, in which case she’ll still have to land ON the stage.
If you do want to jump out and hit her, be ready for pound. You can actually DI pound so that it keeps you in front of her, but you just have to be ready for it. It’ll trade and beat b.air, so you want to try to wait it out. Cape it if you can. You can also go around Jiggs and d.air/u.air her. Jumping out and n.airing isn’t a horrible idea either, but you need to stay away from pound.
Keep her from straight in front of you. That is your goal. Unlike most characters who get demolished by jiggs’s edgeguard, you can actually defend yourself fairly well so long as you keep her from in front of you.
If you got sent out by some b.airs, you’re probably screwed by default. You need to try to DI away from the first b.air so that she can follow up with a second one. You’re not going to die from a b.air, you’re going to die from an edgeguard. DI OUT! And then come back in.
As you’re coming in, you’re once again looking to keep Jiggles from being right in front of you. Pill to protect your space, but if she’s there, you gotta be ready to defend yourself.
You can pass through Jiggs with a d.air if she’s too early, and most Jiggs ARE going to be too early. They’re too used to helpless victims on recovery. So if nothing else, try to d.air through her if she makes it out to you. You’ve really got nothing to lose at this point, as you’re either going to hit her or she’s going to hit you. Another thing you can try is turning yourself around so you can b.air her. It works so long as Jiggs comes too far in, but it’s not the most reliable thing to do. If Jiggs does make it out there and she is square in front of you, your last ditch effort is caping. You have to time it and flip her around (as she’s not going to try to pass THROUGH you. If your Jiggs is doing this, you need to use n.airs/b.airs/d.airs.)
If Jiggs waits for you to come back to the stage, it’s business as usual for you. You wanna try to trick her off the ledge, which is really impossible, but that’s what you want. If you gotta land on the stage, you’re pretty screwed. If she actually waits for you on the ledge, try to shoot her off the ledge with some pills. If not just try your best to get into airdodge range.
Jiggs is another one of those edgeguards where you THINK it’s hopeless, but you actually have a lot more hope than you think. Don’t give up, just don’t do anything stupid.
A lot of people make jigglypuff out to be harder than it has to be. A lot of people like running into Jiggs strengths, whether it’s trying to constantly fight through WoPs or trying to force edgeguards that really don’t exist. You never HAVE to do that with Jiggs. You can do a lot of sitting around taking potshots. That’s how Jiggs loses.
First and foremost, you want to keep in the middle of the stage. You really have too much to lose and not a lot to gain if you try to engage Jiggs by the edges. You’re not going GIMP her unless you go above and beyond on the edgeguard, and she really just needs to jump out and hit you ONCE. So why play to her advantage?
So you’re probably thinking “OK Genius, so you expect me to just stay in the middle of the stage the entire time and have Jiggs not do anything about it.” No. That’d be a perfect world, and perfect worlds don’t exist. If you CAN do that, then you’ll realize why Jiggs absolutely hates fighting you, because you always have a safety net of forcing her to push you TO and PAST the ledge. But no, I don’t expect you to be able to hold the middle the entire time.
That’s when you have to know when to run and just take potshots at Jiggs. The thing you’re avoiding is trying to fight her straight up. That gives her a chance. You want to keep attacking her at angles she can’t handle (around her aerials, or pills to keep her throwing random aerials), and you want to keep moving until you can get BACK to the middle of the stage and get back to work. If you could take a “fight track” for the fight, it really should look like you leading Jiggs around the entire time, just taking shots every now and then.
She can’t really camp you. What’s she going to do, go to the ledge? Ok, go park yourself in the middle and throw pills. I’ve yet to find ANY Jiggs who can camp on the ledge perfectly for an extended period of time and not get hit by a single pill. It’s hard. She can’t back up or you just step up and throw pills in her way as she moves out. Now she risks getting gimped by pills (lol).
So where am I going with all this? Stop trying to stand toe-to-toe with Jiggs. You don’t have to. You can wait till you KNOW where she’s going with an aerial and take a shot at it, or you can wait till she wants to stop throwing **** and land. Until then, you keep moving around taking potshots at her. If you want to straight-up scrap with her, get yourself in the middle so she doesn’t get a free knock off the edge.
Gimmicks (And gimmicks to look for)
Jiggs rests: If you ever get hit by rest and you know you’re going to die, DI OUT so that you die from the side, that way you’re guaranteed to come in and punish it.
Jiggs MISSED rest: Oh you get to have a field day with this. First and foremost, CAPE. Caping a resting Jiggs doesn’t cause hitstun, so you get to rack up a ridiculous amount of damage with this. If you’re RIGHT ON TOP of Jiggs when she misses a rest, you’re allowed to take 6 capes before you need to do something else. 6 is really pushing it, so default to 5 (or 4 if you’re slow). From there, it’s your choice whether you want to f.smash, f.air, grab (to tack on a few more hits into a dunk) or do some tricky. Some tricky would include wavedash d.smash (wavedashing PAST her to mix DI), or jump in d.smash (mixed with f.air, to once again mix DI). Jiggs should be terrified of even thinking resting you because that’s a free stock if she misses.
Jiggs Sing ledgestall: Doesn’t work. You can SH cape it.
JIggs Late N.air -> rest: is the only rest setup that actually works, but you can stop it by DIing the n.air out. You just have to actually look for her to hit you with it instead of stopping short and doing something like f.smash (It’s kinda hard to see)
Jiggs Rollout recovery: Super gimmicky. If she’s trying to hit the ledge, you can cape it. If you’re at a low enough % and want to shut it out completely, just jump out and take the hit. You need to get far enough to where she can’t drift back in. If you’re a manly man, you’ll grab her (don’t try it).
Dogy Tips vs Jiggs:
-Stay in the middle. Period.
-Stay on top of Jiggs when on the offensive, she has to make dumb good reads to get a big reward.
-Count jumps. That gives you a timing for when to attack.
008. Ice Climbers
Dogy’s Matchup Chart: 60-40 Doc
Dogy’s Matchup Ratio: 6-4 Even
The General Consensus: 50-50 Even
The General Flow
Pills and F.air.
That’s going to be the majority of what you’re doing in this matchup. You actually get away from a lot of IC nonsense, but you still don’t want to play with …. Ice. You just don’t want to play into their grab game, doesn’t matter if (afaik) they have no CGs on you outside of the standards, why give them what they want when you can keep them clean of it all day.
So you want to stay away, stay on platforms, pill, etc etc. You really don’t want to be next them unless you’re drivin. Even without the grabs, they have a lot of things they can do to you. Jab mixups, (fairly) safe smashes, disjointed tilts, it’s a lot more of the hit-it-and-quit-it theory.
This matchup isn’t too bad, though. You have easy ways to separate the ICs, you can (somewhat) fight them in the air (which will lead to separation), and you can easily dispatch most of their useful desyncs and make them resort to trying to walk you down and force you off the stage.
It’s not that bad.
This part of the match is fairly simple. You either pill, or you f.air. Everything else better lead to you going away from them.
Anytime you’re away from them, you want to pill to disrupt pretty much anything they try. The good thing is pills will only hit one of them, so it stops desyncs, causes a desync, etc etc. By doing this, you’re going to keep your ICs from getting too comfy and starting up some super gimmicky stuff. You can come in behind the pills if you want, but be ready to pull up as, again, you’ll only hit one of them. The other one is going to be free to swing at you should you guess wrong vs their defense.
When you actually move in on this, you want to move all the way in. Don’t play around at midrange, you’re really just asking to get hit. You’re ok to throw a f.tilt from here every now and then, but don’t bank on it. Go all the way in.
If you can get them to put their shield up before you get there (which isn’t hard, they’ll be looking for a shieldgrab normally), you want to f.air. Doing anything else is going to get you grabbed as you have to hit two shields. You f.air their shield, it pushes they too far out to do anything except wavedash back in. Doesn’t matter what kinda shield they do.
In the event you land a grab on one of them (and the other is around), b.throw immediately. This way, you don’t give the second one enough time to hit you out of the throw (a problem that many characters have playing ics). Regardless of percent, you really have nothing to lose by b.throwing them and separating them, where as trying a d.throw is liable to get you f.smashed or grabbed.
Past that, you’re just looking to catch them in the air and whatnot. This aspect isn’t really anything new other than the fact that you always want to jump AROUND what they’re doing (i.e. don’t come straight up top if they’re going to u.air, straight In front of a b.air, etc). If you can ever land a d.air on them, try your best to follow popo’s (the lead’s) DI and taggin him afterwards instead of hitting whoever. It’s another desync point.
Don’t let them catch you in shield. That’s the one thing they’re looking for. Whether they know they can CG or not, IC players tend to look for grabs, so you need to be doing a good job of keeping them out.
First and foremost, if you really want to be on the defensive, stay on platforms. As long as you’re on the platform by yourself, they have to go through hell to get there, to get up, and then to grab you together. Your goal is to just keep them from grabbing you together. Worst case scenario, you can just jump away from them as they come up to you.
Now, if you’re not going to sit on platforms (or you’re manly and you’re on FD), you just have to keep some distance from them. It’s not exactly easy, but you’ve gotta keep them from slip-sliddin in at will. Ground pills and (spaced) f.tilts are too f***in good when it comes to this. ICs aren’t very mobile in the air, so as long as you control space in front of you, they’re going to do a lot of wavedashing into shield, which gives you time to setup and push them out again. Keep it up until you’re ready to pick them apart.
If they do get close, -rolls eyes- fffffffffffff. Jab mixups are so good because you gotta deal with like, 4 jabs. Jabs to grabs, jabs to tilts, d.smashes, retreating b.airs, yada yada. They can cover stuff pretty well and stay pretty **** safe. You DO NOT want to let them in.
When you have to move away from them (which you will have to and some point and time, melee goes on too long), think of jumping first. They really can’t do too much to a jumping target aside from tag on some damage and wait for them to come back down. If you’re above like, 90% or so, you don’t want to eat a b.air (or double b.air) cause that’s you off the stage, but you still want them to consider you jumping away from them.
Reaching at them is really a no-no, too. Like, if you’re trying to stop them from running in, you’re perfectly fine. You better make sure they’re not going to stop and f.smash, first. Not only does it beat your range free, but it’s pretty much safe (if there’s 2 of them). If they want to go down their tierlist, they can opt for f.tilt, d.tilt, b.air, or even jabs. You don’t want to hang anything out that you’ll regret in the future. It’s not the end of the world unless you’re off the stage, but don’t do what they look for.
If you can get them separated, you’ve pretty much got the edgeguard locked up. That’s your main goal when you’re edgeguarding them. If you can snipe them with a b.air, that’s pretty kool, but if you can catch them with a pill and desync them, that’s even better.
You have to knock ICs PRETTY **** LOW for them to be dead if they’re together. Up+b and Side-B are too good for recovery, although you can still hit them out of it. However, if you just separate em, none of that matters.
If they side+b onto the stage together, you need to either be right on top of them to punish it or you don’t punish it at all. They have a dumb low recovery together. However, if it’s a solo side-b, you can just hop up and toss them back off all day. It’s pretty free.
They really don’t have too many tricks in their recovery outside from the wide recovery range when they’re together. Just try to put some pills on them, b.air if you see a spot, and be ready to jump on top of them going back to the stage.
There really isn’t much to say about their recovery.
Their edgeguard on the other hand? Is pretty tricky. If you get off the stage, you’re theoretically ****ed, and it just depends on if the IC player actually knows HOW to do it
First and foremost, you’re going to be allowed to come a LONG way before you have to contend with anything. ICs edgeguard on stage, unless it’s a solo. Even if it is a solo, he’s probably stayin on stage cause their recovery isn’t good at all by themselves. That being said, you’re got a long way to go before you even SEE signs of a fight.
When you get in close, you’re going to make the same rough choice you always do. SS the ledge or land on stage. Shooting them off with pills really isn’t going to do anything seeing as… they’re two of them. You can do it to try it to keep them from the ledge, but you’re going to do either or. If you can catch them BOTH with an up+b, you’re in the clear. If not, you want that ledge.
Gimmicks (And gimmicks to look for)
Desyncs: ICs can desync off of a variety of things, the list includes (but is not limited to)
Without explaining HOW to desync, all you need to know, as Doc, is that when you see them do one of these, expect to see a change in their attack pattern afterwards. You might see ice block chasers, blizzard shields, factory smashes, etc etc. Just, be ready.
Double Shielding: Obviously attacking IC shields involves hitting 2 shields. Main thing you need to look for is the light-full shield (Nana Light shields, popo does an almost-full shield, as Nana can’t Analog adjust). Timing an L cancel offa this is crazy, but just know it’s a lot later than you think it is. YOU HAVE TO AVOID HITTING THIS HIGH, THOUGH, or else you run the risk of getting shieldgrabbed by default.
Dogy tips vs ICs.
-Watch for Desyncs. The main one to look for are blizzard shields. Ice Block Chaser is kinda blatant, just don’t get trapped in shield by it.
-If you ever choose to attack Nana, make sure popo isn’t stalking you for a trap. ICs players are known to do that. Nana isn’t always the best option.
Dogy’s Matchup Chart: 45-55 Samus
Dogy’s Matchup Ratio: 5-5 Even
The General Consensus: 50-50 Even
The General Flow
The longest yard.
Dear god, this matchup is so long, no matter HOW it’s played. I’ve played campy, runaway samuses, I’ve played super aggro samuses, it just doesn’t matter. Match takes forever. It’s actually not a boring matchup if you like chess, and that’s what the match WILL boil down to. Positioning, setups for a little damage, and solid edgeguarding (not from you, you’ll probably just be doing a crapton of killing).
Neither one of you will get any long string of hits; Samus can’t and she won’t let you. So the entire match is going to be a war of wits. You’ve got to contest with her CC game, her tilts, overall range, and beast recovery while she has to contest your pills, mobility, and ability to just flat out make her miss.
Bring a drink for this one, it’s gunna take a while.
The first thing you have to do is break Samus’s CC. IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT YOU BREAK HER CC DOWN SOME. To do this, you need pills and grabs. Loads of pills, loads of grabs. Those are the only times you can hit her in CC for a while w/o getting punished. Other than that, you have to catch her in the air or catch her trying to do something. Once you put some damage on her, you can start using other moves on the offensive. A lot of them are still going to get CCd, but your goal is to make it to where she can’t PUNISH you with a CC.
While you’re working on the CC, you’re going to be trying to pop shots here and there. Unless you catch her out of CC, you’re not getting s*** for it, so don’t get overexcited. You need to do a lot of quick hit’n’run tactics. Take your one u.air you got and move, tilt her out of range and get ready. There’s just no other way to go about it, it’s slow.
The things you ARE looking to attack, however, is anytime she hangs out a smash or anytime she jumps. If she throws out a smash, ANY smash, you can get some punishment for it. D.smash gets punished with a smash, F.smash gets jabbed or tilted, u.smash is take your pick as long as you didn’t get hit. If she jumps, you want to try to be UNDER her, seeing as it’s fairly hard for her to defend herself with her d.air. Be careful if there’s a notable distance between the two of you as you’re liable to run into a bomb on the way up. Attacking from behind her is acceptable, too, it’s just her b.air can send you pretty far out if you’re not ready for it.
Outside of these things, you’re actually going to be playing very patiently against samus. Do a lot of moving (out of her range) and try to frustrate her into doing something bad. It’s not easy to do seeing as any good samus player is used to having to wait 10 years for their one f.smash. Just make sure you’re not in a hurry or you’ll run into limbs and explosions.
This is a matchup where you can afford to be really aggressive with your shield. Shielding makes samus’s day horrid, as her grab is high risk-mediocre reward. As long as you have a healthy shield, feel free to run in and try to force her to make the first move. Understand that you have to change up where you stop, as you can’t make it straight in one go (unless she’s willing to let you slam into her face.)
Speaking of shields, don’t play around her’s too much. Like, it’s not a horrible thing to hit samus’s shield, but if you come in with something crazy (like a f.air, especially a high f.air), you’re asking her to up+b. It’ll happen. You can actually DI out of an up+b and punish it, but you don’t want to take any more damage than you really need to. If you can get in with something light and shield, you can also bait an up+b. Aside from up+b, and n.air, samus really doesn’t have anything from her shield unless you like smash it. Just tread lightly. Samus having a long roll and a teather grab give her plenty of reasons to hit the eject button if you want to play with her shield.
It really isn’t rocket science to attacking a samus, it’s just patience. Unless you’re playing a scrub, you literally CANNOT run over samus. It’s just impossible. So rather than trying to force something that can’t happen, you just need to slow down and take the openings you see. It’s not like she’s going to come in and wreck shop either.
In the long haul, every bit of damage counts, so you can’t let anything slide. You just need to stay calm and get samus off of you as soon as possible. She’s really not going to stay on you long anyway, but you have to show some movement or else she’s gunna try some nonsense and stay right on top of you.
First off, you’ve got projectiles. Now, inspite of how samus’s projectiles are, don’t expect to ONLY see them at long range. You have to be ready for some missile cancel gimmicks. Missiles, by themselves, aren’t really too big of a threat. Cape them, pill them, or heck, just jab them. They’re fairly low-tier on their own. Their strength comes from what happens BEHIND the missile. More often than not, you can’t just SHIELD a missile, or else you’ll get your shield pulled down by a grapple beam. You can’t always JUMP a missile, or else you’ll be jumping into a charge blast. There are plenty of ways samus can go about messing you up with a projectile. The thing you need to do is you can’t be have a pattern for how you handle it. You have to be willing to jump some missiles so you don’t get grabbed or a charge shot with it. You have to be willing to stay in shield so she doesn’t jump up and n.air you. You just have to mix and match.
Now, that’s mixups off of missiles. If samus is having a projectile war with you, that’s a completely different game. If she’s just posted up on the other side of the map throwing ****, you shoot back too. You’ll beat her in a projectile war because she has to constantly jump to missile cancel. You NEVER have to worry about being in the second lane of missiles, and your rate of fire + your cape will make samus move, even if she can consistently SHFF missile. In this, you need to be weary of where samus is going, if she’s trying to approach or run; and if she’s got a charge shot.
If she does have a charge shot, you just have to be ready to cape. As long as you’re looking for it, you can cape chargeshot on reaction. You might have to sit down and train yourself to look for the animation, but you have enough time to actually wait for it and cape it. Don’t freak out. The only time she gets guaranteed charges is when you tech. You’re ****ed at that point.
Moving past projectiles, you have to deal with a rain of tilts and smashes. Like I said in the offensive section, shielding is your friend. Unless you’re just LETTING some bs happen, Samus can’t really do a lot to beat your shield. She can poke and prod at it, hoping you’ll move somewhere stupid, but she’s not going to just GRAB you out of it unless you tape your r button down. That’s where the slow comes into all this. You really want DO want to stay in shield a lot.
If you can catch her throwing tilts, feel free to CC and try come in behind it, but understand that it probably won’t work due to her range. You could CC jabs, and pull something, but unless you’re jacked up on a tilt, you won’t get anything. Same thing for smashes.
Instead, you want to shield and WD in (or jump in). Like I said in the O section. You shield a smash, you get a smash. F. tilts get you jabs or tilts. Depending on spacing, you have to mix and match if you try to punish from a f.tilt, though, as it’s got a fairly good recovery. Don’t try to punish u.tilt or d.tilt. U.tilt is safe if it hits you, and d.tilt is safe (when spaced). If she didn’t space it, she’s got enough time to WD back and do it again if you try to WD in behind her.
Keep yourself on the ground. It seems so tempting to go in the air, especially when you can throw b.airs and d.airs all day, but you’ll lose a lot of times. Her u.air is pretty beast vs your d.air, and everything else you could try gets outranged by foot. Only go in the air when you have to, or if you know she’s not goin to throw something out.
Patience. I can’t say it enough. That’s what this matchup boils down to. You can’t FORCE anything on Samus. You just have to wait your turn to say your words and go about your business. It’s pretty long.
Edgeguarding samus is depressing. It’s like, You watch her do all sorts of slow, methodical, bomb jumps and whatnot, and you’re like “Man, my recovery takes 5 seconds and I still die.”
It’s more waiting until samus gets into range. When she gets into range, you can go out there and b.air here, or u.air, or n.air, or something. Just watch out for HER n.air, or u.air, or d.air, or something. She can defend herself from you pretty well.
If you can make it out there, you can try to go out and cape a bomb, to drop her recovery some. This is really only useful when she has no grapple beam, but it’s something different for her to look at, and might give you some random time to pull a b.air out. Don’t really bank on this.
If she ever goes below the stage, start raining pills on her. You can jump out and throw pills if she’s far out and below, but anytime she’s below, you’re looking to throw pills. You don’t really want to jump out there as she can just drop lower and do a rising grapple.
When she gets close, you’re looking for the grapple. It’s actually kinda hard to stop. Your goal is to hit her before she latches, and there are a few ways to go about it. Being on the ledge is your best bet, as you can use the invinc to go through the grapple and hit her (with a b.air or cape), or you could try to pill her. If you can’t do any of these, you want to be ON the ledge so she can’t grapple to the ledge. At this point, you’re trying to time her coming up and n.air her. If you’re feeling bold, you can just dropdown and n.air, but you’re not coming back.
If you get her grapple, the last thing you have to worry about is an up+b. Cape it. She’s probably going to make it back on stage, but if she does, it’s a free f.smash or f.air, so just cape it. If you are just 101% sure she’s going to go for the ledge, feel free to take that, but caping is so much safer at this point.
Another crappy recovery day. All she has to do is n.air.
She’s got all sorts of stuff that works, waveland b.airs, ledgedrop n.air, missiles, yada yada, or she could just n.air and you’re going to die. The thing that really blows about this is that you can’t come above her or else she’s going to u.air. So you straight up have to avoid her on recovery.
One thing you need to watch for are projectiles. You actually DON’T want to cape them on recovery as they’ll stall you enough to force you to take the ledge. Unless you’re samus is on another planet, she’s not going to get hit by a caped projectile at this point. She’s usually doing this just so you cape it, she takes the ledge, and you’re dead cause you’re doc. So, the only time you WANT to cape is if you see she’s lagging behind on the flowchart.
If you’ve actually made it close enough to up+b, watch out for an u.tilt. I mean, obligatory SS memo here, but know that it could happen.
It’s like, …. Stuff happens, throw pills to keep her from coming out or taking the ledge, up+b sometime and hope to catch her doing something dumb, the end.
Gimmicks (And gimmicks to look for)
Samus Dash Grab: Has 2 hitboxes, so you NEVER EVER want to spotdodge it. You can just make a rule of thumb and NEVER try to spotdodge a samus grab period and you’ll be ok.
Samus Air Grapples: usually come after bombs, to add another jump into something. Don’t be thrown off by “random air grapples”
Samus Extender: can be set up ANYTIME samus whiffs a grab (ground or air). It’s not exactly the most useful thing ever, but it’s not complete trash like people make it out to be. Know that if samus misses a grab (for WHATEVER reason), she could have an extender.
Samus U.Smash: Completely duckable if you’re on the ground.
Samus Chargeshot: She loses her charge if she gets hit out of her up+b. If you ever GET the chance to do this, do it.
Dogy’s Tips vs Samus
-Whoever smashes a shield first is going to be the one to get smashed. Don’t do it.
-If you don’t know what to do, back up and throw some pills or shield. Gives you some time to think until she wants to get greedy.
-Never under estimate her range, especially in the air. It might take her a while to get anywhere, but she doesn’t need to chase you down, just pin you down and throw limbs everywhere.
010. Doctor Mario
Dogy’s Matchup Chart: 7-3 Doc
Dogy’s Matchup Ratio: 50-50 Kobe Bryant
The General Consensus: Ask HMW and Shroomed, they’re the only people who play Doc dittos atm imo imho bbq 1914 ~~CROSS COUNTER~~
The General Flow
No gimmicks allowed.
Of all of the matchups in this ditto (mirror) matches in the entire game, Doc dittos are the LEAST gimmicky ones ever. It’s not like Falco dittos where the first shine wins, sheiks who chaingrab the dirt out of each, or pikas who run around tail spiking each other. No. A Doc ditto realistically winds up being you playing the other player. Doc is the kinda character who can actually function against himself. All of his setups and strats generally work against himself (as opposed to characters who don’t and therefore have goofy dittos).
There’s really not a lot to say about the matchup itself, it really just comes down to your playstyle vs theirs. I’m just going to take the time to talk about some general Do’s and Don’ts with the Good Doctor.
Eh, first, let’s talk about your aerial approaches. You really don’t want to approach in the air too much, seeing as the only option you have is n.air. (When I say approach, I mean the actual act of attacking your opponent. While the act of closing distance is still approaching, that’s generally NOT the norm for terms in this game). Anyway, n.air approaching is pretty much the only thing you want to use with aerial approaches. Any other aerial you use needs a specific reason. If you want to f.air somebody, you have to make sure they can’t swing back. So you’re looking for situations when they’ve just teched, any reason where they put their shield up (as they land), etc etc. If you try to f.air any other time, you’re going to get beat out by something, it’s too long of a windup. U.airs are good, but they’re shortrange and the hitbox is only a few frames, so you want to reserve this for attacking people in the air or when you KNOW you’re going to land on their shield (at the least). “Think of u.airs as a mobile jab” –Hylian. That’s really the truth behind it. D.air is more of a defensive move for controlling space, although you can use it to pass over people. You don’t really need to ever want to ATTACK somebody with it as you really just want to prevent somebody from coming to you. B.air? You don’t really attack with this, it’s a spacing tool. If you have good SHBAWD control, you can get some good stuff off of it, but again, b.air is all for protecting yourself.
On the ground, it’s all about getting in close. You can poke at people from midrange with f.tilt, but you’re not really going to be able to follow up unless you hit or they let you. You want to get in for some jab/grab pressure. The thing you need to understand about your jab is that it’s really a gimmick. Your string CAN be interrupted, so you have to keep that in mind. With that being said, you DO need to mixup jab and jab-jab for ANYTHING you do. D.smash is real good for keeping gaps closed, but understand that d.smashing shields is asking to get punished. F.smash is a great kill move, obviously, and is relatively safe on shield, you just need to find times to get it out. U.smash is good for combos, or killing if you can catch people in the air. It’s got a “double standard” where if you hit a grounded opponent, it gives them a meteored effect, where as hitting an opponent in the air gives you the full hit. It’s actually pretty good for killing, but again, you need to catch people in the air.
Grabs pretty much follow a rule of thumb that you d.throw everybody except for fox, falco, and capfal. You u.throw those 3. There are a few situations where it’s viable to throw “heavyweights” (bowser, dk, roy, link, ‘round that fall range), which is mid range and you want combos. If you’re not looking for setups, then throw people off the stage. Whenever you can, you want to look for b.throw setups, as your b.throw throws people out MUCH farther. It sucks that both of them send people high, but take what you can get. One setup you can look for is rather than b.throwing somebody off the stage, d/u.throw them and b.air them off. It’s not really easy to setup, but it will send people off at a lower angle.
You really don’t have a lot to follow up on with Doc, so don’t think you’re going wild with combos unless you come across the one guy who’s never seen D or I in the alphabet. The little bit you can do is chase people after u.airs, which generally leads to you having to make a good read afterwards, a followup from a d.air (which normally is an u.air, but you can do b.air or n.air also), landing a grounded u.smash at low-mid%, or an u.tilt that actually sends people up.
Catching people in a d.air in the air is good because you’re GUARNANTEED an u.air, n.air, or b.air afterwards. However, if you have a good read on their DI and reaction afterwards, you could take more from them. You have to pay attention, account for weight, etc etc. If it’s a fastfaller, they’re more likely to fall down into a grab or smash of some kind, floaty (floatier) characters tend to stay in the air so you could try to land and u.tilt or go for THE DOUBLE D.AIR! Get super gimmicky and try D.air -> D.air -> F.air. THE PHYSICAL CHALLENGE! (u c wut I did thar?).
U.tilts normally come from grabs, and are kinda weird to follow up on for people. Most people (myself included) tend to u.tilt people until you can’t anymore, and at that point, you really can’t combo them anymore. Sometimes it’s good to stop one short so you can jump up and try to u.air them.
Upsmashes almost always come from tech chases. The almost part is when you punish with it. You’ll be hard pressed to just run in and upsmash, although it is possible. When you hit one, you just have to relax, watch the DI, and get at it.
All in all, your combos really don’t look anywhere as “impressive” as other combos. It’s not a bunch of high impact moves, unless you’re landing u.air juggles. That’s what people think of. You actually can get a lot by catching people with d.airs and u.tilts.
The last thing offense tools you have from physically attacking and following up are your pills, which set you up for stuff. You have to learn how to space your pills, how to approach behind them, WHEN to approach behind them, etc etc. First thing to know, bounce mechanics. Pills will bounce back to the height you throw them at. So if you FH and throw a pill, it will bounce back to FH height. Throw one at SH and it goes back to SH, etc etc. This is useful for trying to keep people from jumping out as you get in, or making people jump when you get there. Now, when you come in behind the pill, you have to know what you’re opponent’s going to do. The safest way to check this is to run in and roll back. You can obviously disguise it by doing other things (such as moving up some and jumping, or WDing back), but you want to give your opponent the illusion that you’re actually GOING to come in so you can figure out what they’ll do as you come in. You don’t want to empty hop in if you never plan on jumping in, that may cause your opponent to give you a completely different reaction than if you’re running in. As for actually coming in, it’s just business as usual, the only difference is you put a pill in front of yourself for your opponent to deal with. It’s pretty hard to actually get in front of your pill (you have to double wavedash, and you’re just begging to get hit at that point.), so realize that all the pill is going to do is give you another “waypoint” in the fight. Instead of (I approach – You defend) it’s (I pill – You Jump : I approach – You double jump), or something to that effect.
Outside of attacks, you have to be one with your movement. Doc is a somewhat mobile but fairly agile character, when on the ground. In the air, he’s pretty vanilla. So with that being said, you want to keep yourself grounded so that you can work some movement tricks. Don’t go crazy on wavedashing while you’re in attack range, as you’re putting yourself in set animations. However, if you’re just trying to cover distance, or if you’re trying to bait something, feel free. Another thing to work on is movement through DDing. Although Doc doesn’t have a wide DD, it’s wide enough to where you can creep a pretty good distance with your DD. You have to have enough control to where you can move forwards and backwards while maintaining a DD.
In a nutshell, Doc has ways to set himself up, but he really gets nothing free. You have ways to get hits and get your grabs, but you have to put in some real thought. There’s nothing that you can really abuse, per say.
One note related to the Doc Ditto matchup, the ONE thing to look for is how the other Doc pills. A lot of Docs love to FH pill because you can waveland afterwards. If you see a lot of FH pills, keep yourself on the ground and be ready to run under and punish. Even if you can’t make it all the way in (,,!,, DJN ^_^ ) staying grounded and weaving in and out under the pills will force them to back up and give you room.
Defense with Doc is kinda frustrating, because you normally don’t get a lot unless your opponent screws up bad. Your greatest assets to your defense is your size + mobility, and your shield. You’re not really going to defend yourself with a lot of attacks, seeing as they normally get beat in range. You still have to try, and when you do, you want to throw mobility in with it (SHBAWDs, retreating f.airs, WD back tilts, etc etc), but understand that this isn’t your safest option.
Don’t let stuff go free, though. You have to be ready to jump out and u.air/n.air people as you see. You can’t have (for the sake of our spot in the guide) the evil Doc running around f.airing all day. He really CAN’T do that, all you need to do is N.air/U.air him and keep him in check. If he’s trying to come in from too far, retreating f.air or SHBAWD away from him. Don’t just sit there and don’t just attack in place. You’ve got a lot you can do while staying on the move.
On the ground, you have to be ready to tilt/cape people to keep them from running in. Tilting is kinda obvious to the eye, but the reason why you need to keep the cape in mind is if they try to grab. Caping a grab animation is one of the times that will cause a knockdown. You can also control a huge range on the ground if you keep some ground pills going.
Outside of that, you’re going to be doing a lot of shielding and CCing. You’ve got to have little to no fear to running up, doing either, and forcing bad spacing. You don’t have good range as Doc, so you think you get to slack on your shieldgame. Learn how and when to dash-in -> shield. Out of shield, you’re not looking at a whole lot for punishment. You’ve got grabs, upsmash, n.air, u.air, and up+b. Whatever you can slide in. Upsmash and grab are the best things you’ve got in terms of following up, but you just need to have a plan and take what you can get. Your CC game is ok, it involves a lot of dashing in, too. You don’t really get too much from it, normally a d.smash. You can try some other stuff like jabs, grabs, and tilts (D.TILT GIMMICK HERE), but you’ll probably be in a hurry to throw something out, so you’ll take your d.smash and go from there.
The last option you normally have is to just flat out make them miss. Whiff punishing. Well, whiff PUNISHING isn’t really one of Doc’s strong suits, but you can make them miss and take advantage of the fact that your opponent is closer to you. This requires you to stay outside of the range, faking in and out in an attempt to bait an attack. The one thing that’s hard to pick up on while using this is what you can actually move in on. With the way the game is, it’s possible for somebody to whiff something and throw something else before you can react to it. You have to learn what to look for and when you need to continue moving.
If you’re trying to keep people from passing all over you, you have to be willing to throw out some aerials and whatnot. Double aerials are great, but you just have to maintain your spacing so that you don’t get caught. Double b.airs, double u.airs, SHBA -> double jump B.air b.air (SHBADJBABA, haven’t used that acronym in ages), you’ve got all sorts of things to keep people from running all over you. Just learn when to stop or else you’ll get sniped out of the air.
At long range, you’ve got your pills. If you’re trying to stay away from people, your goal is to force your opponent to come in from a ****ty angle. If they’re slow in the air, throw a bunch of ground pills, vice versa if their ground game is horrid. If they’re good in either or, you just want to try to take on as much damage as you can and keep yourself out of a bad place. You CANNOT keep a character out with pills alone. It’s physically impossible, don’t try. However, you can make people come in on bad terms, send them out, and start again. That’s totally do-able.
At the end of the day, Doc’s defense exists. Stick to your plan, and try to stay on the move when it’s possible. There aren’t too many times you want to straight up defend with a shield or CC as opposed to working that into your pressure, so don’t try to hang around and let people come in on it. Move around with aerials and try to find a gap where you can take initiative from your opponent.
More doc specific notes.
In the event he d.smashes your shield, you WD -> D.smash him back. Anytime he tries to start ANY pressure, you can pretty much wavedash away from him and get out of it. If you think he’s going to follow you, SH b.air (or n.air).
DO NOT LET HIM COME IN WITH FREE F.AIRS. If he tries to come in with some incorrectly placed f.airs, you u.air/n.air/b.air and stop that ****.
Edgeguarding with Doc is actually fundamentally easy. You’re either going to b.air, cape, or grab the ledge. Anytime you want to b.air, you’re looking for a time when you can get TO your opponent and they won’t swing back. Sometimes this is jumping clean out and b.airing, sometimes this is wavedashing off the stage and b.airing, or shorthopping off. You just have to be familiar with the angles, timings, etc etc. Caping comes with knowing when a cape will give you a benefit. If somebody’s trying to fall to the ledge, it is actually very viable to cape them so they can’t grab the ledge. If for nothing else, you’ll atleast net about 12% from them in the process, so don’t forget about it. Grabbing the ledge obviously stops sweetspots or any ledge grabbing attempts, nothing to it. When you start combining the three, that’s when you start getting crazy results. Grab the ledge so they can’t take it, and then ledgedrop cape on the way up (or ledgehop cape if they’re going over). Ledgedrop b.airs to have invincible b.airs. Etc etc. With those 3 tools alone, you can do a lot of damage on the edge.
Outside of that, you’re looking for either obvious stuff to hit (i.e., they’re right in front of the ledge, you tilt or d.smash), or you’re looking for some fairly gimmicky stuff (d.airs, pills, u.airs, AND THE YODEL!!!) All of that stuff comes from knowing when and where to throw it out. You don’t want to try to yodel somebody (down+b) if they’re low, or if their character is real good at defending themselves, where as pills aren’t extremely useful after your opponent has double jumped (you want to snipe a double jump with a pill, but if you keep pilling, then you’re giving them something to up+b into). There are some exceptions to the rules, like always, but just know that you don’t really NEED the special stuff. They’re decorations for the room known as your ledge.
Doc matchup notes.
If you stuff that double jump, be ready to cape. That’s greedy but it works. Realistically, if put him in a position to where he has to up+b onto the stage, he’s dead and it’s your fault if you screw up at this point.
If he’s going to pill and come in behind them, n.air.
Your main goal in edgeguarding is to get him to pull up. Jump out there. You don’t have to chase him down, he’s doc. He knows good and **** well he’s either got to fight you or die. Wreck his day for coming in to fast, or just let him drop if he pulls up. There’s not too much he can really do. If he’s above the stage, WATCH FOR THE AIRDODGE. I’d almost go as far as to say wait for it, but some people straight up forget they can airdodge onto the stage.
And don’t be fooled by tornado. If he’s in range, jump out and hit him. If he’s doing it to move you from the ledge, you have enough time to move and then get back on the ledge. It’s really a parlor trick.
Like, everything is a gimmick at this point. Tornado does give a small bit of distance if you can PTP, but that’s all it really accomplishes. Pilling to protect positions is good, but most people can cut through your pills or hold their position. Defending yourself if viable, but your lack of range makes it to where it’s not fool-proof.
All in all, you just have to mix when and where you decide to go in. A lot of people try to credit doc for having a good recovery because “of the threat of his up+b”. And yes, while stages spikes are the greatest thing that can happen, you have to understand that it’s pretty crappy that you HAVE to up+b in the first place. If you land on the stage, you’re getting punished for it. Thank god when your punishment doesn’t involve you going back off the stage which it should.
When you’re coming back, sometimes you’ll have to do some waiting. Obviously because you don’t want to run into an edgeguard. But here’s why it blows, you’re letting opportunities pass as you wait. Sure you’re throwing pills and whatnot as you’re waiting, but all you’re really doing is shutting your options down to sweetspotting.
It’s really not a good list of options.
You’re never going to land on a platform unless you’re recovering from practically ON the stage, you’re not going to airdodge unless you’re right ON the stage, you’re going to do a lot of hoping and praying.
It’s not abysmally bad (that’s Roy’s job), but man, recovering is pretty depressing.
You know what goes here.
You want to pill on recovery to keep your opponent from jumping out, if at all possible. If you can’t stop him, then your next goal is to keep him from being right in front of you to b.air you. You maybe have to double jump and d.air through him to get around the edgeguard, but it’s either that or die at that point.
If you have to up+b, you’re screwed, and you know it. That’s like, the ONE constant in a Doc ditto. If you somehow get back past the cape, take a second to completely jank on your opponent and lower his morale some. You need all the help you can get on your recovery.
Gimmicks (And gimmicks to look for)
I mean, I guess I can throw a few dogy tricks in here for you.
Spin-Guarding: When you’re edgeguarding people, for whatever reason, you’ll get a different response depending on which way you’re facing. If your back is to the ledge, people tend to go around you as to not get baired, or they might come in faster to keep you from wavedashing on the ledge. If you’re facing the ledge, you might see people jumping up so they don’t get rained on by pills or waiting to not get caped (why I don’t know). The thing you need to realize is that a lot of people will give you different reactions. Sometimes these reactions aren’t what you want, especially if it involves jumping over you. So how do you make it to where your opponent has to guess what you’re going to set up? You spin. Just randomly walk back and forth. Easy idea, hilarious results. You’d be surprised how many people won’t jump you’re not standing there telegraphing a back air, or how many people will random airdodge as you turn around to face them. You just get all sorts of mixed results. You do have to stop when they come close and actually DO something.
Doc’s F.air: Understand that the best way to DI this and live is to NOT DI. Get the concept out of your head that you have to DI everything. That’s generally true, but that’s not law. Doc’s F.air sends you at about a 60 degree angle. DIing in sends you at like, 80 degrees, which is stupid if he’s trying to kill you off the top anyway. DIing out flatlines you, which is OK when you have an entire stage to spare (going across FD or something), but it’s stupid when you got caught in a corner. All in all, Doc’s f.air is super gimmicky when it comes to DI. I probably can’t make you believe me because you have the whole “DI everything” logic engrained in your head, but have fun flying off the top at dumb %s that you shouldn’t be dying at. ^_^
The MLG Combo: 0% F.air -> F.air -> F.air. Just some random idea I had in pools at MLG and it worked too **** good then. Still works today. No secrets about it, just chase lacks of DI.
The Kumite: a.k.a. the Kage-Kaze. B.air suicide edgeguard. Just know that you can do it as Doc to pretty much any character in the game. Great for securing a gimp.