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Falco Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'Falco' started by Dr Peepee, Nov 27, 2009.

  1. Dr Peepee

    Dr Peepee
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    FH is pretty useful, rolling is actually not too bad(doing one or the other out of shield is pretty good), going to a platform, staying center then picking a side as they come in so they get one shot at most to hit you....are some of my go-tos. I think they're pretty good.
     
    SandwichSundays and FE_Hector like this.
  2. roboticphish

    roboticphish
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    Hey PP. It was good to see you on Armada's stream last night, you're looking a lot healthier and it's great to see you're still positive about everything. Keep up the hard work, we're all here for you =)

    On a Falco-related note, there were a few things you were talking about last night that generated some questions from me. If you've got some time and are interested, I'd love to hear your take on them.

    1. You had mentioned specific, directed practice in the lab as part of your 'triangle of improvement' last night. I know you've previously talked about shadowboxing being a huge part of this, but from the few times I've tried it, I found the concept very difficult to wrap my mind around. How exactly are you supposed to structure lab practice to be ready to react to the opponent's choice of mixup with one of your own? In tournament, I frequently find myself in situations where I need to pull out a mixup I've never used before, and I find that's the biggest barrier to efficient lab practice as you've described it. The whole point of a mixup is that your opponent should be caught off guard by it; how can I thus practice preparing for these mixups when I don't know what the opponent will be going for?

    2. When I was getting started, one of the pieces of advice I was given was by Vist, who told me to always play friendlies the way I would play in tournament. That way, when I got to tournament, I would be less affected by nerves as I had practiced that situation in that way many times, as opposed to trying to change my approach to the game depending on the kind of match I was playing. Yet I saw both you and Armada advocate for the complete opposite last night, and you recommended using friendlies to practice specific things that you would then incorporate into your tournament playstyle. As an example, is this the kind of thing where I would communicate to my playing partner that I'd like to practice SDI against Samus' Up-B a hundred times in a row? Basically, lab practice with a thinking partner? Or is it more the case that I would go into a friendly specifically looking for situations where they are going to up-B, and looking to practice finding and reacting to those instead? Do you think one is more beneficial than the other? Also, do you have any tips from transitioning from this mindset into the 'put it all together' mindset required for tournaments?

    3. How does speed factor into Falco's ability and gameplan? I am thinking in particular of Westballz here; Vro and I were talking about him recently, and he mentioned that Westballz is one of the few opponents in the world that can just out-execute the person he's playing against. I know that it's not the end-all of Falco's gameplay, since Wes loses frequently to opponents that are thinking about the game on a more fundamental level than he is. But he also finds openings in top-level gameplay that would not be found without his speed. I guess the question is this: at what point does the difficulty of Westballz-esque tech skill become necessary to find openings against top players? Or conversely, when does it become a liability? What is the role of lightning speed and high APM in Falco's gameplan?

    4. Lastly, I have a question about dealing with consistency. Not of my own, but of my opponent's. I have, up until now, been a player who tries to adapt to the strategy my opponent is using, and I expect them to mix up that strategy when I demonstrate I can adapt to it (because this is what the top players I study do). So, let's say I push a Marth into the corner and I have picked up that he's going for a grab to get a gimp. So I'll read that with a SH waveland back to bait out the grab, then Fsmash to kill him. Great, I think. I've beaten that option, I killed him for it, and now I expect him to react in adaptation to the read kill I just got. So the next time I push him into the corner, I anticipate that he'll either try to jump out of shield or roll in to center stage. So my plan is to run up to him, shine his shield, and wavedash back to bait out those options (yes, I know that's a bad option, but I'm trying to prove a point with a hypothetical). But as I run up to him, he just grabs me. I completely discounted this as an option and got punished for it, because I guess I gave my opponent too much credit and anticipated he would adapt. This happens frequently to me across many characters. I'll nair a low-% peach and get cc dsmashed, but I wasn't expecting that to work because I had been dairing in the same situation previously. I'll try to shield a dair approach from fox after I get a huge combo off of a cc shine off his nair approach, only to get nair shined on my shield. Etc. I don't really understand how to know when the opponent has adapted and is about to try and mix things up, versus when they haven't adapted or are deliberately doing the whole "repeat the same option three times, he'll never see the third one coming" thing. Do you have any advice on how to deal with this issue? It's especially prevalent in tournament, when people play with nerves and get stuck in habits more frequently.

    Sorry to basically write you an essay, lol. But you are the authority on Falco, and it would be silly of me to not at least ask. Anything you can provide would be appreciated. Again, it was great to see you're still doing well. I hope to see you at an event soon!
     
    TheChocolateLava likes this.
  3. Dr Peepee

    Dr Peepee
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    Thank you very much! I'll get right into your questions.

    1. The way I teach shadowboxing when I work with people isn't through actually teaching shadowboxing. You don't start there imo. You start with the basics, like wavedash or SHL. You think about the purpose of each action as you do it and the effect it has on your opponent. Then you begin to combine these techniques, so in this case WD and SHL and now you have to consider how the combination works and also where this combination has holes. It is in these holes you find your own adaptations before you're forced to make them, and it also helps you begin to restrict your opponent's options so you can narrow down what to expect. This is not easy and there may be other ways, but this way has been the best for me and some I've worked with.

    2. Ah maybe I misspoke then. People need to have a play to win mindset they train in friendlies absolutely, most people do that. But the less discussed notion is playing to learn. Many people don't like this as much since you aren't getting to apply everything/win all the time but it is very important to do if you want to play to win. Playing to learn is about running drills like practicing SDI on Samus up-B or playing neutral only matches or just playing and experimenting with giving your opponent stimuli in neutral and seeing how they respond and just considering that instead of how to punish and all, then maybe you switch to tech chases or combos later. If you play to learn well it feeds that knowledge into playing to win and eventually you can even somewhat combine the two which is really fun. I think that way is best.

    3. This is a difficult question. Speed is useful to everyone to an extent because you need to be able to surprise your opponent and create openings. Some people also have a naturally higher pace than others, as Wes does, but that does not mean everyone needs to be fast like him to succeed. I would have the same opinion if he was the undisputed best Falco because he represents himself and those who have a higher tempo primarily. It's also important to note that Wes plays only to outspeed his opponent and I honestly don't think Falco as a character can really do that. His slower jumpsquat and slow run speed/smaller dash range really hurt his ability to threaten many ways at once. He can threaten a lot, but I've noticed it often takes some work to get in even with an opening for Falco. My solution is to gain partial advantage then get the full hit in the next, much easier neutral exchange. Wes' solution is to close the gap anyway and just try to overwhelm the opponent to avoid this ambiguity. I personally feel it's an incorrect way to solve the problem but he has some very good results so at least some of it must be right.

    4. This is a question I had myself sometimes until I started doing deeper analysis. What I discovered is that people say a situation and another are the same, but because of different intent/lack of practice people approach a similar situation slightly differently, thus giving a different visual/audio cue to the opponent and breaking some of the conditioning. In your own example with Marth you baited with a SH at first, but then expected him to feel the same way about running in, which is not a SH(I would also guess you move a little differently before Nair'ing vs Dair'ing Peach, but maybe not). Now it is true you can discourage moves overall in a type of situation, like cornered Marth. But there is another element at play here besides what I've already mentioned. That is non-adaptation. Some habits work often enough or the understanding isn't there so players keep doing the same things because of the reward/it's a habit. This happens even with top level players, though so to me it seems more of a human issue. Gaining information from threatening is important to determine when players have truly adapted vs when they seem to be stuck in their ways. For this reason and because of your own potential variance, practice of setups is vitally important so that your cues are consistent.

    Good questions! I hope this helps.
     
  4. `Rival

    `Rival
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    Hey @Dr Peepee, I have a lot of questions that kind of expand on this. Also I'm super willing to hear what everyone else has to say too.

    1. When fighting players who are very analytical/adaptive, they will probably know when you are trying to gather information from them, especially when you threaten them/do feints. Therefore during a match, they may mix up:

    1. Their options when faced with a specific scenario
    2. How often they engage a scenario
    3. How often they try to prevent it
    4. What they do to try to engage it or avoid it
    etc etc

    So in a situation like this, when it is hard to identify their intentions because they are mixing it up very well, would you opt to go for a read in this scenario to gamble for an advantage? Or would you not engage the scenario, try to shift their attention to something else (but potentially lose this opportunity, and possibly put yourself at a disadvantage), and then attempt to check this scenario again later when a lot of other things in the match could have affected them? Would you invest more time and effort into trying to find out their intentions even if they seem to have no true pattern?

    I hope these questions are clear enough for everyone here haha

    tl;dr would you play rock, paper, scissors if you had no idea of what option they favour? or would you try to make them focus on some other game and then try to come back to this same game of rock, paper, scissors later (where new situations may or may not have influenced their choice now)?

    I mean I have come up with my own answers to some of these questions, but it'd be super cool to hear what everyone else thinks.
     
    #23764 `Rival, Mar 17, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2017
  5. roboticphish

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    Thanks for getting back to me so quickly, I'm not sure people wholly appreciate how cool it is that you're sage-ing out all this information all the time.

    1. That still sounds very abstract and I'm not sure I follow. But let's use my example of a cornered Marth to see if I understand it better than I thought. So if I have a Marth in the corner and I am exactly at center stage, then I do an advancing low SH laser. This forces him into one of a few options. A) He shields, which then puts him into the subset of options he has out of shield. B) he jumps, probably to the side plat, then putting him into the subset of platform options he has. C) He tanks the hit and moves afterwards, or D) Counter. So by firing that SH laser, I force him into that set of options, from which he has a different subset he can choose from. Since I don't know which of the four options he's going to choose, then my shadowboxing looks like laser -> dash dance at the range where his A, C, and D options whiff (netting me a punish), and his B options are reactable and force him to deal with my bair wall. I then practice that spacing depending on whether Marth is right at the ledge, or slightly far enough away that he can dash/wd back. Does that sound right, or am I missing something? Also, do you have any videos of you demonstrating how you structure shadowboxing/what would it take to do a 20 minute skype session to learn how to structure it? (I know you're healing, don't be afraid to say that can't happen!)

    2. There was definitely a miscommunication then, but I'm sure it was more my failure to understand than it was yours to communicate. Luckily, my friendlies almost always look like that, I'm very experimental while still being cutthroat. I think I'm in good shape on this front :D

    3. Almost all of this makes sense, except for one thing. You mentioned that Wes plays to outspeed his opponents and that Falco's not really capable of doing this. Yet among comparably-skilled players, Wes excels versus the three fastest characters (Fox, Falco, Falcon), and struggles much more versus the slower ones (Marth, Sheik, Puff, Peach, and ICs). The latter 5 all have ways of poking holes in Falco's offense (and Wes' in particular), but the spacies in particular are even better at poking holes in Falco's offense and yet they're his strongest matchups. I suspect this is due to the strength of his punish game on the fast fallers, but I'm curious to hear your thoughts on this disparity.

    4. I think this might tie in with your answer to question 1 and also alludes to a larger issue I'm having. Namely, if I'm always going for mixups, then perhaps I'm struggling more with my inconsistency than my opponents' after all. I think having a safe and more methodical setup game will go a long way to reducing that variance in those situations. Figuring out how to structure shadowboxing will probably be a tremendous help in this regard.

    Anyway, thanks for your responses PP. You're the best!
     
  6. Yort

    Yort
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    Hey pp, i know there's an overload of questions right now but I feel like asking this; it's an easy one.

    Earlier in the thread you responded to a question about dd vs shiek being good either long range or close range, and to avoid dash dancing at a mid range generally. I was wondering if this applies to marth as well? Recently in my analysis I feel as though this has been true, either stick to dash dancing at a long range or up close, as risk of dash attack or grab etc is too high at a mid range, and if i'm at a mid range I should stick to trying for good lasers or transitioning into a better space.
     
  7. Dr Peepee

    Dr Peepee
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    Well first of all, I don't really recommend viewing decisions as all reads or all reactions. As you learn setups you begin to balance read to reaction ratios if that makes sense. Second, your post assumes that you cannot also influence the situation because your opponent can do so much, but remember the opponent is responding to you as well. You have an enormous influence over what they choose to do and while the opponent will have their own tendencies, you can figure them out quickly with enough understanding and practice. Remember that people aren't truly random and all have patterns, even the very best players. The goal becomes more about trying to diversify your patterns/make your patterns as detailed as possible so even if they're solved they can't be beaten, and about learning your opponent's patterns and exploiting them quickly.

    Now, people may try to avoid situations if they lose there once or twice and I don't want to discount things like this, but I'd just remind you of your ability to gather that information and play on that fear.

    1. If the Marth doesn't react to your startup quickly enough to Fsmash or dash attack in(depends on the stage whether those will reach) and doesn't try to powershield then yes those are more or less the options. What you are describing is shadowboxing vs someone in the corner and that is certainly a very valuable part of the game. It kind of works in the way you describe but you will notice I mentioned Marth responding to your startup, so the way you prepare the laser is important. Did you just laser in place before coming in? Did you dash back(does he think you will retreat) before lasering in? Decisions such as these affect how the opponent will respond and position before the laser comes out, giving you more information and reducing the chance of being caught offguard.

    I'd like to readdress your initial question quickly. You seem to kind of know this already based on your following comment but said plainly, you're right that the opponent will have to deal with you if you make good plays. Sometimes in your search for good plays you discover rules about the game. These rules will allow you to adapt in new situations because your rules should cover broad parts of the game instead of just the individual situations you studied. In this way you can adapt your existing setups to a new situation, or develop one that's a bit different on the spot if need be.

    As for structure, I think combining laser with another action(in either order) is an easy example of something to practice. Dash back to laser forward is something Mango and Westballz both make plenty of use of, so practicing that to understand why it's so good and to not drop frames is really important. Eventually you may be able to see how the opponent responds to your dash back before committing to the laser forward and this is when you will begin to see your influence at work. Truthfully I'm not sure how to suggest it to non top players if I'm being honest, since I only learned about shadowboxing after becoming one. I do think that starting out practicing setups is incorrect regardless of level though, and practicing the basics again to get a good feel for them and understand them better is an important first step that anyone can do. From there experimentation with combining actions can be pretty helpful and engaging if one is alright with putting in the legwork. Maybe that is a more useful way to put it.

    3. That's a fair concern. Falco isn't capable of overwhelming his opponents with speed at all times, but there are times when he can and also he's just faster than Peach/Puff for example so he can outspeed those characters(by a meaningful bit). I think the floatier characters can all slow Falco down more than Falcon/Falco can, and most Fox players don't or can't play protracted defense against Falco. Besides all of that, most of those other characters outrange Falco whereas Fox/Falco/Falcon do not, making it easier to beat out moves on the approach. I guess I should clarify that the top tiers are all better overall vs Falco most likely but playing slower defensive games is much more common by force of design for the characters Wes struggles against. His punish is somewhat a factor as well but he has said numerous times he doesn't even really like fighting Fox much so that would leave him good vs Falco and Falcon, one of which is a ditto and the other is a pretty bad matchup for Falcon.

    I wouldn't recommend closer DD and would recommend more mid DD against Marth unless you've put him in his shield. Him being able to jab makes closer range DD much less viable.
     
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  8. Bones0

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    @Dr Peepee

    Can you break down your analysis of spacie fights when one is on top plat? I have asked a few people about this recently, and from what I have gathered, this is my understanding so far:

    1. Run off FF aerials and Shai drop aerials are unreactable. Run off dair takes 11-17 frames; shai drop dair takes 15-18 (YS-BF top plat height).

    2. If Falco is properly feinting his drop down and coming down with lasers instead of aerials, Fox has to respect the space under top plat. Unless he calls out a drop down laser with a read (not only reading a laser instead of an aerial, but reading the timing and spacing), he cannot punish Falco. In practice, most Foxes seem to just accept this and DD under a side plat, waiting for Falco to do a bad aerial (which is extremely common lol).

    3. If Fox is properly feinting his drop down, Falco has to respect the space under top plat. But unlike Fox, however, Falco can call out drop downs with lasers so that he doesn't have to commit to a read (example). He still has to hide under side plats out of range of run off FF aerials, but lasering to cover this option seems to generally force Foxes to come down on the other side of the top plat and fight through the lasers on the ground.

    4. Fox can run or jump from the top plat onto the side plat to pressure Falco from above if he's just camping underneath with lasers. This seems moderately risky because Falco can jump shine him, but he can't hit it on reaction unless Fox jumps to the side plat as opposed to just running off. If Fox gets set up on the side plat, it's definitely bad because he cuts off Falco's vertical escape options as well as his horizontal ones (FH to top plat and run towards center stage), all while threatening to drop through aerial his current location at any point.

    5. With all of the above in mind, I'm wondering, am I/the community at large undervaluing the utility of going to top plat? It seems like it generally forces players to give up their stage control, and even if it doesn't lead to direct followups when you come down, you come down in center stage with them essentially in the corner. There are a few possible explanations as to why this is the case, such as: I'm idealizing Theory Bros. too hard and in practice players are able to make low risk, high reward reads on drop downs. OR It's too hard to get to the top plat in the first place when you don't have stage control, since both spacies are more than capable of reactively hitting players jumping to the top plat if they already underneath it.
     
  9. Dr Peepee

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    I think spacies on the top platform is awesome for them and woefully underused. They have options like what you describe and Fox also has dash SH through side platform with shine mixed with landing on the platform into option, etc. Super good. Falco can counter Fox's stuff a bit by waiting with Utilt primed under the side of the platform and sometimes moving back/in if Fox wants to drop through to space Bair instead of runoff. Fox doesn't have that luxury but can shark Uair really well and also dash away and then get pressure/a punish pretty easily. I don't know the frames for any of this but I do know the mixups going directly down and also using the side platform(wavelands off of it or lasers off of it or landing on it then SH'ing/falling through, etc) give the spacies so many options that it is worth exploring that dimension of control. I think this is only really useful for Falco against himself and Fox primarily, but given how dynamic/prevalent those matchups are it is definitely worth learning.
     
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