Falco Discussion Thread

MambaGreenFalco

Smash Apprentice
Joined
Oct 12, 2017
Messages
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I've been thinking of using the side platforms more against Sheik because I think it would force her to jump more in neutral (assume this position is in the context of BF). With this idea I'm trying to avoid playing into her powerful defensive mixups like take laser f tilt, shield nair oos, wd back f tilt etc. Approaching seems hard from the side plat, so I think that mixup would be necessary to do once in a while to force her to retreat to activate drop down laser from the plat and other passive optoins that take stage control. What aggressive options does Falco have from the side plat? I'm now starting to think the side plat should be primarily used defensively because of shield drop options and the ability to reposition to the top platform. Have you guys tried revolving your gameplan against sheik around the side plat? I think when I've tried it in game before the Sheik's tend to retreat under the other platform and just charge needles, which then forces me to drop down laser. Although I guess they're just giving you center stage. But of course they can just go to their own side platform and force you away because of the threat of drop down fair, although this can be beat with sh and fh bair so I guess in this path of decision making Falco comes out slightly better? What can Sheiks do to not have this line of play occur? It's probably not that bad for the Sheik anyway because they like to be on the side plat voluntarily.

I've found that I would often get frusturated against worse opponents if I would come out of an interaction safe but not with an opening or any kind of poke. This made it unenjoyable for me to play against players worse than me. To help remedy this I decided to change my definition of what a "victory" was in an interaction. Now I understand victory to mean "not getting hit" and "not losing stage control" on top of the obvious definitions such as getting a poke or a clean opening or pushing your opponent to the corner. I think this has helped me see defense as necessary and as a complement to offense. However, I am a little worried that my definition of what it means to "win" an interaction is too lenient and might lead to long term problems that I'm struggling to see now.
 

Dr Peepee

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To piggyback off of this, I've been told that I have been slow between and after my lasers. So I've added specifically practicing dashing forwards or backwards after a short hop laser to speed up and reduce the amount of time I'm standing there doing nothing after landing lag to my routine. Should I be working towards reacting/confirming my opponent's position as the laser comes out, or some other time? It seems like reacting after I land from a short hop laser results in being too slow on the uptake against more experienced opponents that I'm trying to reach right now.
You can react before/as the laser comes out, after it comes out, or as you dash. It should be a quick confirm, one that you'll want to practice a lot. Practice the basic movements, and practice responding to different possible actions out of them. 20XX can help with this a bit, but you'll also need to do it by yourself. Your reaction time will speed up, but initially just do simple reactions and don't overcomplicate things. So you can mix up laser(no confirm/little confirm) Nair with laser dash back(confirm) dash in Nair for example.

I've been thinking of using the side platforms more against Sheik because I think it would force her to jump more in neutral (assume this position is in the context of BF). With this idea I'm trying to avoid playing into her powerful defensive mixups like take laser f tilt, shield nair oos, wd back f tilt etc. Approaching seems hard from the side plat, so I think that mixup would be necessary to do once in a while to force her to retreat to activate drop down laser from the plat and other passive optoins that take stage control. What aggressive options does Falco have from the side plat? I'm now starting to think the side plat should be primarily used defensively because of shield drop options and the ability to reposition to the top platform. Have you guys tried revolving your gameplan against sheik around the side plat? I think when I've tried it in game before the Sheik's tend to retreat under the other platform and just charge needles, which then forces me to drop down laser. Although I guess they're just giving you center stage. But of course they can just go to their own side platform and force you away because of the threat of drop down fair, although this can be beat with sh and fh bair so I guess in this path of decision making Falco comes out slightly better? What can Sheiks do to not have this line of play occur? It's probably not that bad for the Sheik anyway because they like to be on the side plat voluntarily.

I've found that I would often get frusturated against worse opponents if I would come out of an interaction safe but not with an opening or any kind of poke. This made it unenjoyable for me to play against players worse than me. To help remedy this I decided to change my definition of what a "victory" was in an interaction. Now I understand victory to mean "not getting hit" and "not losing stage control" on top of the obvious definitions such as getting a poke or a clean opening or pushing your opponent to the corner. I think this has helped me see defense as necessary and as a complement to offense. However, I am a little worried that my definition of what it means to "win" an interaction is too lenient and might lead to long term problems that I'm struggling to see now.
You'd still be approaching into her there sometimes. Forcing her to jump does take away CC and take laser stuff and Ftilt, at least sometimes. She gets to Bair at you though, which is pretty good. If you did stay on the platform, you'd have to be ready to let her charge. You'd also likely have to be okay with letting the pace slow down a lot more, at least on stages like BF/DL/PS. You can SH at her, runoff/drop through laser or empty land into whatever, go to top platform on some levels, low laser on side platform to catch some jumps, SH(either to aerial or WL or laser but also to dodge certain spaced attacks), and of course wait.

You can win an interaction by degrees. Did you gain stage? That increases your chances of getting a hit, so it's a decent win. Did you get to reduce their shield? Not as good but could lead to a bigger hit too, so also good. Getting a stray hit? That adds damage, so it's good, but not worth it if it gives them center stage. The more you can add advantages together the better as well.

Dr Peepee Dr Peepee

When you say reverse laser do you mean the backflip short hop into turn around laser?

Why have you rarely used firestall in the past? Do you plan on changing that?
Turnaround laser yeah. I could mean you SH away and turnaround laser, so reverse laser just refers to turnaround which you can do out of backflip or SH any direction any speed, etc.

I think it's too easy to mess up and either outright not regrab the edge or be vulnerable so it doesn't seem worth it. I'll be revisiting it in the new optimized meta but I plan on looking at other options like WL onto the lip of the stage, other options like dash back out of edgedash, and DJ onto side platforms before taking up-B stall more seriously. I'm also curious if I can do Falco's haxdash since it is possible but idk if it's as difficult as up-B stall or not.
 
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Smog

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So I have a situation I can't seem to find an answer to. I know it probably wouldn't happen very much if I just mixed up my lasers better, so that is definitely one solution to it, but I want a way to get counter it and not just avoid it from happening I guess.

So I'll shorthop laser
Then marth reacts to the short hop and dashes forward to close some space, and then powershields, then grabs me out of the powershield with a running grab.
A better way to visualize it is just how m2k always powershields the first laser into grab on FD as soon as the match starts. However, he closes much more distance than what happens in my situation

So what is something I can throw in to keep him guessing if he is reacting to my shorthops?
Here is what I have thought of, but I am not entirely sure how safe each option is
Short hop wavedash back to just get away
Short hop wavedash forward into grab while they shield
Short hop into double jump behind

Does anyone have a mixup they throw in if this happens to them?
 

Dr Peepee

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If you shoot a low laser they have a much lower chance of powershielding. You can also just shoot a laser then jump over it at them or move away so they miss the punish. You can also not let the laser come out(shoot a blank). You can also reverse SH(backflip) and either Bair or turnaround laser out of it so he isn't sure what to punish. Those are some solutions.
 

Smog

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If you shoot a low laser they have a much lower chance of powershielding. You can also just shoot a laser then jump over it at them or move away so they miss the punish. You can also not let the laser come out(shoot a blank). You can also reverse SH(backflip) and either Bair or turnaround laser out of it so he isn't sure what to punish. Those are some solutions.
Oh, I didn't know that about lower lasers. Thanks!
 

Bones0

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I think conscious attention is kind of like internet bandwidth, there is only so much useful information throughput possible before you start missing stuff. I think actual internal vocalization during a match should be kept to a minimum, simply because it takes up to much of this limited resource. MU gameplans, punish trees, timing and tech mixup patterns, all need to be executed and internalized at a level below conscious thought.

One idea I've been toying with is how to use 'code words' in order to prime or reorient my play in the fewest words possible. One thing you hear a lot of is people referring to spacies as "side-b-ers" or "up-b-ers". Noticing that in match making that judgement of 'this guy is a side-b-er' is something that can drastically change how you edgegaurd, but you don't have to consciously think about how edge-gaurd a side-b-er. The execution, positioning and timings of how to enact this gameplan info should already be in your hands before you sit down. I think this is one of the most important ways to use vocalized conscious thought in a match, and I think you can actually develop MU gameplans around these principles.

I have one other comment on your post. You talk a lot about the why, how, and reason when looking at a micro situation and also mention positional reasoning a lot. Don't neglect the 'when' aspect of analysis in Melee. So much of this game is about pattern recognition and internalized rhythms. It's easy to lose track of that when watching VoDs in super slow mo or working out your punish game frame by frame. Thinking in terms of frequency, flow and feeling/hitting beats within the game can change what you look for in your opponent and how you think of your own game-plans.
This actually sounds really helpful, thank you. Being able to quickly categorize things for adaptation has been an issue for me in the past, and those quick labels/nicknames for certain behaviors sounds like a good way to stay out of analytical mode while still being able to change my options throughout the set. You're also spot on with my lack of attention to the 'when'/timing of things. I didn't realize until you brought it up, but I sort of just lump the entire match together and use averages to find out how often people use things, but I'm sure there's more instances where if I payed attention to when they're doing it within the stock/match itself that it'd be easier to anticipate or even bait out.

I've been thinking of using the side platforms more against Sheik because I think it would force her to jump more in neutral (assume this position is in the context of BF). With this idea I'm trying to avoid playing into her powerful defensive mixups like take laser f tilt, shield nair oos, wd back f tilt etc. Approaching seems hard from the side plat, so I think that mixup would be necessary to do once in a while to force her to retreat to activate drop down laser from the plat and other passive optoins that take stage control. What aggressive options does Falco have from the side plat? I'm now starting to think the side plat should be primarily used defensively because of shield drop options and the ability to reposition to the top platform. Have you guys tried revolving your gameplan against sheik around the side plat? I think when I've tried it in game before the Sheik's tend to retreat under the other platform and just charge needles, which then forces me to drop down laser. Although I guess they're just giving you center stage. But of course they can just go to their own side platform and force you away because of the threat of drop down fair, although this can be beat with sh and fh bair so I guess in this path of decision making Falco comes out slightly better? What can Sheiks do to not have this line of play occur? It's probably not that bad for the Sheik anyway because they like to be on the side plat voluntarily.

I've found that I would often get frusturated against worse opponents if I would come out of an interaction safe but not with an opening or any kind of poke. This made it unenjoyable for me to play against players worse than me. To help remedy this I decided to change my definition of what a "victory" was in an interaction. Now I understand victory to mean "not getting hit" and "not losing stage control" on top of the obvious definitions such as getting a poke or a clean opening or pushing your opponent to the corner. I think this has helped me see defense as necessary and as a complement to offense. However, I am a little worried that my definition of what it means to "win" an interaction is too lenient and might lead to long term problems that I'm struggling to see now.
I don't really like the idea of being on a side plat vs. Sheik because it seems like she just has a bunch of safe spacing tools from below/to the side of you, and you don't have any way of really hitting her for whiffing. You brought up take laser ftilt, nair OoS, and WD back ftilt, and based on those examples of options, it sounds like you're just too eager to approach on the ground. If you had complained about take laser dash attack/boost grab it would have made a little more sense to use plats, but those options are all designed to beat approaching after lasers. If you laser again or stutter step into your approach with a quick DD, then Sheik either loses stage or gets punished directly for using those options.

If a Sheik is retreating under the opposite side plat when you get on the side plat then I guess feel free to do that, but I think most Sheiks will gladly hold center stage and pressure you since it's a generally bad position. She has to be aware of run off dair, but other than that you can only really attack by dropping down with a laser or circling around the top/other side plat to find a different angle that way. Falco has a serious lack of hitboxes to threaten center stage from a side plat, unlike Sheik/Marth/Falcon who all have longer ranged aerials and faster run speeds to get off the platform with. Sheik in particular has range on her fair and bair so she can threaten shield drop and run off options from side plats no matter which direction she is facing, and her shield buffs her shield drop threats even more.
 

MambaGreenFalco

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Oct 12, 2017
Messages
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This actually sounds really helpful, thank you. Being able to quickly categorize things for adaptation has been an issue for me in the past, and those quick labels/nicknames for certain behaviors sounds like a good way to stay out of analytical mode while still being able to change my options throughout the set. You're also spot on with my lack of attention to the 'when'/timing of things. I didn't realize until you brought it up, but I sort of just lump the entire match together and use averages to find out how often people use things, but I'm sure there's more instances where if I payed attention to when they're doing it within the stock/match itself that it'd be easier to anticipate or even bait out.


I don't really like the idea of being on a side plat vs. Sheik because it seems like she just has a bunch of safe spacing tools from below/to the side of you, and you don't have any way of really hitting her for whiffing. You brought up take laser ftilt, nair OoS, and WD back ftilt, and based on those examples of options, it sounds like you're just too eager to approach on the ground. If you had complained about take laser dash attack/boost grab it would have made a little more sense to use plats, but those options are all designed to beat approaching after lasers. If you laser again or stutter step into your approach with a quick DD, then Sheik either loses stage or gets punished directly for using those options.

If a Sheik is retreating under the opposite side plat when you get on the side plat then I guess feel free to do that, but I think most Sheiks will gladly hold center stage and pressure you since it's a generally bad position. She has to be aware of run off dair, but other than that you can only really attack by dropping down with a laser or circling around the top/other side plat to find a different angle that way. Falco has a serious lack of hitboxes to threaten center stage from a side plat, unlike Sheik/Marth/Falcon who all have longer ranged aerials and faster run speeds to get off the platform with. Sheik in particular has range on her fair and bair so she can threaten shield drop and run off options from side plats no matter which direction she is facing, and her shield buffs her shield drop threats even more.
You're totally right about me approaching Sheik too much. For some reason I'm too antsy to approach her especially. I think because It's the only way I've ever played against Sheik probably because I'm naturally slightly more aggressive than I should be and Sheik's are more hesitant to approach more than other character mains it seems. So I guess this platform game is the first thing I thought now that I'm looking for more passive options against sheik that don't lose stage control.

On a similar note I'm really uncomfortable using lasers against Sheik because it feels like your stage control gets punished more easily for using lasers against her more than other characters because of the combined threat of her dash attack/boost grab under the laser or fade forward sh aerial (among other options like wd forward oos or walk slightly forward crouch etc) but the threat of the first two I listed seem to do a great job of stopping my defense. An interesting solution I've found Santi do is he barely lasers at all and instead dd heavily flirting with the range of sheiks DA and at the same time threatening shffl to catch the Sheik jumping/throwing out a not-very-meaningful f tilt/wd back. I've tried this idea and it seems pretty effective (albeit with my much worse dash dancing - especially since I'm focusing on learning the basics of dd with just dash back and dash forward). So i think to summarize I'm not sure how to be passive/defensive against Sheik and force her to come in with lasers because I feel like I give up stage anyway with lasers and Sheiks are content to guard center stage instead of converting their stage control into an approach. So I guess the answer lies between dd so you can react to them trying to punish your laser and lasering so that they can't spam their defensive options and wait for you to approach. Although this applies to all matchups I'm just not sure how the specifics of that idea are executed against Sheik.

Also do you think overanalyzing in game is a problem more specfic to people like us on smashboards? Or does it occur more often as you get closer to the top level because everyone is analyzing.
 
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Bones0

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You're totally right about me approaching Sheik too much. For some reason I'm too antsy to approach her especially. I think because It's the only way I've ever played against Sheik probably because I'm naturally slightly more aggressive than I should be and Sheik's are more hesitant to approach more than other character mains it seems. So I guess this platform game is the first thing I thought now that I'm looking for more passive options against sheik that don't lose stage control.

On a similar note I'm really uncomfortable using lasers against Sheik because it feels like your stage control gets punished more easily for using lasers against her more than other characters because of the combined threat of her dash attack/boost grab under the laser or fade forward sh aerial (among other options like wd forward oos or walk slightly forward crouch etc) but the threat of the first two I listed seem to do a great job of stopping my defense. An interesting solution I've found Santi do is he barely lasers at all and instead dd heavily flirting with the range of sheiks DA and at the same time threatening shffl to catch the Sheik jumping/throwing out a not-very-meaningful f tilt/wd back. I've tried this idea and it seems pretty effective (albeit with my much worse dash dancing - especially since I'm focusing on learning the basics of dd with just dash back and dash forward). So i think to summarize I'm not sure how to be passive/defensive against Sheik and force her to come in with lasers because I feel like I give up stage anyway with lasers and Sheiks are content to guard center stage instead of converting their stage control into an approach. So I guess the answer lies between dd so you can react to them trying to punish your laser and lasering so that they can't spam their defensive options and wait for you to approach. Although this applies to all matchups I'm just not sure how the specifics of that idea are executed against Sheik.

Also do you think overanalyzing in game is a problem more specfic to people like us on smashboards? Or does it occur more often as you get closer to the top level because everyone is analyzing.
Ironically, I actually had similar thoughts concerning plats vs. Sheik a few pages back, but from what PP explained and what I saw through my own gameplay later on was that Sheik can get under you too easily because of her superior range and positioning. It will feel scary at first to hold your ground with lasers, but if you're shooting low consecutive lasers as fast as possible, Sheik cannot DA or grab you. All she can do is run up shield, which you can react to by the time you land from the second laser and dash away from to be even more safe (or you can grab/attack if the situation calls for it). If Sheik is hitting you in between lasers from ~1 Falco roll distance, then it's because you're not lasering properly. Use a 20xx savestate to have a CPU Falco to do 2 quick and low lasers, then play as Sheik and try to get through them. You'll realize very quickly you can't do much, and this should give you more confidence that your lasers are actually protecting you (assuming you practice doing the lasers properly ofc).

Other options I find useful against Sheik in neutral are SH forward, drift back dair and simply zoning with bair/dair in place. These moves are harder for Sheik to whiff punish with a DD grab because she is probably respecting approaching aerials and will be too far away. The drift back dair is great for baiting these whiff punish attempts, and aerials in place/fading away discourage Sheik from approaching. If she feels like running up to you is risky because you've been spacing these aerials, that extra bit of respect gives you more opportunities to set up laser pressure. This seems to be similar to what you're describing Santi as doing. Always keep in mind that Sheik's DA and boost grab, while amazing moves, are ultimately limited by their range. Pretty much any attack you throw out will stuff them, which means you have plenty of tools to discourage their usage.

To clarify, while being defensive/passive is a good starting point in neutral, it's not the end all, be all strategy. I think a common trend for Falco, at least the way I play him, is that neutral game tends to have these 3 elements:
1. Defending against approaches from the opponent
2. Pushing the opponent back with the threat of an approach
3. Actually approaching and getting a hit

#2 may seem less useful than #1 or #3 because you don't actually get a hit, but the more you push the opponent back, the more they are limiting their options. The more you limit their options, the more likely they are to attack you to avoid being cornered, in which case #1 is appropriate. If they give up enough room to the point that they can't feasibly avoid and whiff punish an approach, then you can utilize #3. If you want a more in depth explanation of this idea of footsies, I highly recommend watching Juicebox's footsies guide for Street Fighter. SF4 is a very different game from Melee, but I have recommended this to a lot of people and I think the concepts still apply a lot to Melee. Don't get too caught up in the details or applying everything directly, but instead look at the different parallels between taking space and how that affects the opponent's options. A "poke" in SF may be walking up and doing a sweep while in Melee a SHFFLed aerial is the closest thing Falco has to a "poke", but they can still be used in a lot of the same ways.

 

Blackbird66

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Messages
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I'm sorry for asking such a vague question but what do you guys think of falco in doubles? I feel like he has all the tools to be amazing but I just don't see him a lot in teams, presumably because he has to play so different and dies so easy

For a little more direction, I'm mainly curious about teaming with captain falcon, puff, or sheik but general advice is much appreciated

Cheers
 

deponepvp

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Dr Peepee Dr Peepee

I'm sure you'd benefit from reading over my discussions with Yort that we've had the past many pages.

I break Melee down into primarily a few groups of fundamentals. Neutral(and its many subcomponents), punish(comboing, edgeguarding, juggling, etc), stage position, and so on. These outlines are good, but they can cause their own problems. Neutral and punish are very interrelated because you need to know how to win neutral such that you get a good punish or at least good positioning and not just land a hit for the sake of it. It is worth thinking about in this way so you can practice learning each individual area and how they relate, but the specifics are also very worth addressing, as you get big ideas that encompass many things that lead from many small ideas and much thought.
Thanks for you answer a while back. Been thinking about how you said you classify Melee into "groups of fundamentals". Every person I've met structures Melee differently and I would really appreciate it if you could go into detail about how exactly you classify each group and it's subcomponents.

ty <3
 
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Gibbs

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This actually sounds really helpful, thank you. Being able to quickly categorize things for adaptation has been an issue for me in the past, and those quick labels/nicknames for certain behaviors sounds like a good way to stay out of analytical mode while still being able to change my options throughout the set. You're also spot on with my lack of attention to the 'when'/timing of things. I didn't realize until you brought it up, but I sort of just lump the entire match together and use averages to find out how often people use things, but I'm sure there's more instances where if I payed attention to when they're doing it within the stock/match itself that it'd be easier to anticipate or even bait out.
So one thing that really helped me think about things this way is watching The Reads with Scar and Toph. While watching top players rag on silver foxes in lag sounds like just about the worst tape to study, the way the three person team coaches and points out habits from unknown players really shows how some of this code word stuff works in practice in real time. Usually it's just vocally calling out tech patterns, spacie recoveries, or shield grabbers-CC spammers, but mastering attention and adaptation to those habits alone is enough to get a lot of advantage.
 

Dr Peepee

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I'm sorry for asking such a vague question but what do you guys think of falco in doubles? I feel like he has all the tools to be amazing but I just don't see him a lot in teams, presumably because he has to play so different and dies so easy

For a little more direction, I'm mainly curious about teaming with captain falcon, puff, or sheik but general advice is much appreciated

Cheers
I like Falco as a point character in doubles. Controls well, combos well, grabs to set up stuff for his partner, and can sandwich super well with aerials or lasers. The reason I like him in front is he's slow so it's harder to get involved if something happens to his partner, and this also makes it easier to avoid lasering them. Of course I'm sure well-coordinated teams could avoid lasers with set plays more easily, but I've never seen this done. Puff being in the air and Falco controlling the ground help them stay closer and give more control though as an example for what you asked.

Dr Peepee Dr Peepee



Thanks for you answer a while back. Been thinking about how you said you classify Melee into "groups of fundamentals". Every person I've met structures Melee differently and I would really appreciate it if you could go into detail about how exactly you classify each group and it's subcomponents.

ty <3
Neutral has many sub components I don't fully know how to categorize. Part of this is about learning threatening range and in fighting, out fighting, and many things in between or different such as when a combo is dropped and you have frame advantage. Punish is easier to explain, as you have comboing, tech chasing, edgeguarding, mitigating all that stuff, etc.
 

MambaGreenFalco

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Messages
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Ironically, I actually had similar thoughts concerning plats vs. Sheik a few pages back, but from what PP explained and what I saw through my own gameplay later on was that Sheik can get under you too easily because of her superior range and positioning. It will feel scary at first to hold your ground with lasers, but if you're shooting low consecutive lasers as fast as possible, Sheik cannot DA or grab you. All she can do is run up shield, which you can react to by the time you land from the second laser and dash away from to be even more safe (or you can grab/attack if the situation calls for it). If Sheik is hitting you in between lasers from ~1 Falco roll distance, then it's because you're not lasering properly. Use a 20xx savestate to have a CPU Falco to do 2 quick and low lasers, then play as Sheik and try to get through them. You'll realize very quickly you can't do much, and this should give you more confidence that your lasers are actually protecting you (assuming you practice doing the lasers properly ofc).

Other options I find useful against Sheik in neutral are SH forward, drift back dair and simply zoning with bair/dair in place. These moves are harder for Sheik to whiff punish with a DD grab because she is probably respecting approaching aerials and will be too far away. The drift back dair is great for baiting these whiff punish attempts, and aerials in place/fading away discourage Sheik from approaching. If she feels like running up to you is risky because you've been spacing these aerials, that extra bit of respect gives you more opportunities to set up laser pressure. This seems to be similar to what you're describing Santi as doing. Always keep in mind that Sheik's DA and boost grab, while amazing moves, are ultimately limited by their range. Pretty much any attack you throw out will stuff them, which means you have plenty of tools to discourage their usage.

To clarify, while being defensive/passive is a good starting point in neutral, it's not the end all, be all strategy. I think a common trend for Falco, at least the way I play him, is that neutral game tends to have these 3 elements:
1. Defending against approaches from the opponent
2. Pushing the opponent back with the threat of an approach
3. Actually approaching and getting a hit

#2 may seem less useful than #1 or #3 because you don't actually get a hit, but the more you push the opponent back, the more they are limiting their options. The more you limit their options, the more likely they are to attack you to avoid being cornered, in which case #1 is appropriate. If they give up enough room to the point that they can't feasibly avoid and whiff punish an approach, then you can utilize #3. If you want a more in depth explanation of this idea of footsies, I highly recommend watching Juicebox's footsies guide for Street Fighter. SF4 is a very different game from Melee, but I have recommended this to a lot of people and I think the concepts still apply a lot to Melee. Don't get too caught up in the details or applying everything directly, but instead look at the different parallels between taking space and how that affects the opponent's options. A "poke" in SF may be walking up and doing a sweep while in Melee a SHFFLed aerial is the closest thing Falco has to a "poke", but they can still be used in a lot of the same ways.

Tried out doing that thing you suggested in 20xx, dealing with those lasers is a lot harder than I thought. SH over/dash/wd into f tilt all felt like solid options but f tilt only sends Falco into hitstun at 25% or higher iirc.

When you use SH forward, are you dashing and then jumping or not? I'm assuming you aren't. With Falco's pitiful aerial drift what does sh drift forwrad accomplish that SH in place doesn't? Do you ever use SH drift forward wd back? Like a triangle dash I think it's called (although I think triangle dashing is specifically used with a sh ff wl not just sh wl.

This matchup would probably be a lot harder if Sheik's DA actually had a hitbox in front of her now that I think about it. Because her DA can't trade with sh dair I think and boost grab obviously can't either. Seems like Falco can just spam sh dair? Do you know how sh dair interacts with Sheik's sh bair/nair/fair?

On a similar note do you know how up tilt interacts with Sheik's sh fair? Is there a easy way to set that up?

The part I don't understand about your 3 general elements of Falco's neutral is how you connect #1 to #2. How can your opponent be afraid of you approaching if you haven't approached in the first place? I think Falco's in place lasers would fall directly between #1 and #2 if you've already established your defense but haven't shown your opponent that you're willing to approach. Would you agree/what do you think about that?

On the contrary to what you said, #2 actually seems like the most useful one because you gain advantage without actually *risking* anything. Putting that with an asterisk because again I'm not sure how to threaten an option without actually doing it in the first place. It would make sense that people are afraid of Falco's sh aerials because that's one of his basic/common/strong tools in neutral but against good players I think they would catch onto you not approaching.

Based on the video that you told me to watch and my understanding of what you told me, it seems like Falco's neutral should ideally play out more like

1. Defending aginst approaches from the opponent
2. Poking at the opponent to threaten an approach
3. Pushing the opponent back with the threat of an approach
4. Actually approaching and getting a hit

What are your thoughts?
 

Sir_Slice

Smash Cadet
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Messages
53
I've been having issues with snapback with reverse lasers. The other methods just seem harder to me (maybe because I haven't put in the work lol,) what do you guys think. The SH with the analog method?
 

Bones0

Smash Legend
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Jarrettsville, MD
Tried out doing that thing you suggested in 20xx, dealing with those lasers is a lot harder than I thought. SH over/dash/wd into f tilt all felt like solid options but f tilt only sends Falco into hitstun at 25% or higher iirc.

When you use SH forward, are you dashing and then jumping or not? I'm assuming you aren't. With Falco's pitiful aerial drift what does sh drift forwrad accomplish that SH in place doesn't? Do you ever use SH drift forward wd back? Like a triangle dash I think it's called (although I think triangle dashing is specifically used with a sh ff wl not just sh wl.

This matchup would probably be a lot harder if Sheik's DA actually had a hitbox in front of her now that I think about it. Because her DA can't trade with sh dair I think and boost grab obviously can't either. Seems like Falco can just spam sh dair? Do you know how sh dair interacts with Sheik's sh bair/nair/fair?

On a similar note do you know how up tilt interacts with Sheik's sh fair? Is there a easy way to set that up?

The part I don't understand about your 3 general elements of Falco's neutral is how you connect #1 to #2. How can your opponent be afraid of you approaching if you haven't approached in the first place? I think Falco's in place lasers would fall directly between #1 and #2 if you've already established your defense but haven't shown your opponent that you're willing to approach. Would you agree/what do you think about that?

On the contrary to what you said, #2 actually seems like the most useful one because you gain advantage without actually *risking* anything. Putting that with an asterisk because again I'm not sure how to threaten an option without actually doing it in the first place. It would make sense that people are afraid of Falco's sh aerials because that's one of his basic/common/strong tools in neutral but against good players I think they would catch onto you not approaching.

Based on the video that you told me to watch and my understanding of what you told me, it seems like Falco's neutral should ideally play out more like

1. Defending aginst approaches from the opponent
2. Poking at the opponent to threaten an approach
3. Pushing the opponent back with the threat of an approach
4. Actually approaching and getting a hit

What are your thoughts?
The options you listed only work if Sheik is pretty close, so pay attention to what range you were at when you successfully countered the lasers, and use that as a guideline for when you actually need to be prepared for Sheik to move towards you. That could mean approaching her yourself at the same time to stuff her, or it could mean moving away to dodge and whiff punish her attack. You can always retreat with a laser if you're unsure she will move forward, and all you give up is a bit of space with no risk whatsoever.

Whether you dash before SHing will depend on what space you are trying to attack. Falco's aerial drift is not that bad, he just falls fast and his short hop is pretty low. His drift is way better than Sheik's at least. You need to figure out why you are attacking, and then whether you should SH in place/drift forward/dash jump is much clearer.

Triangle jump is SH forward, airdodge back and down into the ground. I think it can have some uses and I've seen Santi use it, but I think wavelanding back tends to be better all around. You jump forward for longer, but if you FF into the WL, I'm pretty sure you just get out of the way faster and have less lag than with a triangle jump. Don't be afraid to experiment with it though. If there is an instance where you believe triangle jumping is superior to waveland back, try it.

You can't just spam dair (or anything) because timing is just as important as the hitbox your using. If you dair right when Sheik DA/boost grabs, you'll usually win the situation. If she waits for you to dair first, then she can easily whiff punish with DA/boost grab. The way SH dair interacts with other moves is heavily dependent on context. Options in Melee are too timing and spacing dependent to say X always beats Y. Dair can beat, trade, and lose to any of Sheik's aerials depending on the situation. Again, this is something you need to be experimenting with when you play and paying attention to when you watch videos. You'll learn way more about how dair interacts with her aerials by trying stuff out. If a Sheik is using AC fair, what happens if you try to dair it? Why is it working or failing?

I'm not sure what you mean by connected. All 3 elements are distinct aspects of neutral; there really isn't much overlap between them. They are only connected in the sense that you need all of them to have a stable neutral game. If you are only using elements #1 and #2, your opponent won't be afraid of you approaching. They will move forward to hit you for lasering in place repeatedly, or if you realize they are getting closer, they will let you give up space until you corner yourself. Lasering in place is amazing because it forces people to play this mixup, but if you never attack and the opponent calls your bluff, you can still be punished for it. I would say lasering is more of #2 than #1. You can occasionally defend against approaches with lasers, but it's more for stopping forward movement in general. Like you pointed out, Sheik can counter lasers in place if she's close enough, so once she's within range, you have to make the decision as to whether you will defend against her approaching. If you SH dair to beat her WD forward OoS after she shields a laser, you will either hit her if you were right, or if you were wrong she will be able to whiff punish your dair. Now you don't have to SH dair, you can simply retreat to outspace the WD forward ftilt, but Falco is slower than other top tiers and his lack of a fast DD grab means he can't whiff punish things like Sheik's ftilt on reaction.

The reason I don't agree with your edited list is that there's no distinction between a poke and an approach, and you also don't explain how a poke (like Falco ftilt I guess?) would threaten an approach. Maybe you are viewing Falco's lasers as a poke, but I think that may be you just being thrown off by FGC terminology. I tend to view approaches in Melee as pokes. There are times you can feint a poke/approach to bait a bad whiff punish (dash forward SH, drift back dair is a common one), but generally you can only threaten a poke/approach with your positioning. Trying to do an actual move to "poke" at an opponent is a commitment that can be whiff punished. Even extremely safe attacks like Marth's dtilt which are what Melee players generally use the term poke for can be whiff punished. So if you wanted to use the term poke for things like that I think that's fine, just understand there's no inherent difference between Marth trying to poke the opponent with a dtilt and Falco trying to approach with a SHFFL dair. They simply have different risk/reward ratios; Marth dtilt is low risk/low reward while Falco dair is high risk/high reward. Perhaps phrasing the 3 elements this way will help you see the relation to the video I linked a little better:

1. Defending against approaches from the opponent Retreat to whiff punish the opponent's poke/approach
2. Pushing the opponent back with the threat of an approach Threaten a poke/approach by moving into your opponent's space
3. Actually approaching and getting a hit Poke/approach the opponent


I've been having issues with snapback with reverse lasers. The other methods just seem harder to me (maybe because I haven't put in the work lol,) what do you guys think. The SH with the analog method?
I would definitely not recommend SHing with the analog stick. That wouldn't help with snapback anyway. Snapback is when you try to press left or right to change the direction of your laser, but because the control stick snaps back, you shoot in the direction you were originally facing. I think the only two options you really have are to get snapback capacitor that prevents the controller from registering the input, or to simply get a different controller that doesn't have snapback (most new controllers, especially Smash 4 generation ones, have snapback unfortunately).
 

MambaGreenFalco

Smash Apprentice
Joined
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Messages
76
The options you listed only work if Sheik is pretty close, so pay attention to what range you were at when you successfully countered the lasers, and use that as a guideline for when you actually need to be prepared for Sheik to move towards you. That could mean approaching her yourself at the same time to stuff her, or it could mean moving away to dodge and whiff punish her attack. You can always retreat with a laser if you're unsure she will move forward, and all you give up is a bit of space with no risk whatsoever.

Whether you dash before SHing will depend on what space you are trying to attack. Falco's aerial drift is not that bad, he just falls fast and his short hop is pretty low. His drift is way better than Sheik's at least. You need to figure out why you are attacking, and then whether you should SH in place/drift forward/dash jump is much clearer.

Triangle jump is SH forward, airdodge back and down into the ground. I think it can have some uses and I've seen Santi use it, but I think wavelanding back tends to be better all around. You jump forward for longer, but if you FF into the WL, I'm pretty sure you just get out of the way faster and have less lag than with a triangle jump. Don't be afraid to experiment with it though. If there is an instance where you believe triangle jumping is superior to waveland back, try it.

You can't just spam dair (or anything) because timing is just as important as the hitbox your using. If you dair right when Sheik DA/boost grabs, you'll usually win the situation. If she waits for you to dair first, then she can easily whiff punish with DA/boost grab. The way SH dair interacts with other moves is heavily dependent on context. Options in Melee are too timing and spacing dependent to say X always beats Y. Dair can beat, trade, and lose to any of Sheik's aerials depending on the situation. Again, this is something you need to be experimenting with when you play and paying attention to when you watch videos. You'll learn way more about how dair interacts with her aerials by trying stuff out. If a Sheik is using AC fair, what happens if you try to dair it? Why is it working or failing?

I'm not sure what you mean by connected. All 3 elements are distinct aspects of neutral; there really isn't much overlap between them. They are only connected in the sense that you need all of them to have a stable neutral game. If you are only using elements #1 and #2, your opponent won't be afraid of you approaching. They will move forward to hit you for lasering in place repeatedly, or if you realize they are getting closer, they will let you give up space until you corner yourself. Lasering in place is amazing because it forces people to play this mixup, but if you never attack and the opponent calls your bluff, you can still be punished for it. I would say lasering is more of #2 than #1. You can occasionally defend against approaches with lasers, but it's more for stopping forward movement in general. Like you pointed out, Sheik can counter lasers in place if she's close enough, so once she's within range, you have to make the decision as to whether you will defend against her approaching. If you SH dair to beat her WD forward OoS after she shields a laser, you will either hit her if you were right, or if you were wrong she will be able to whiff punish your dair. Now you don't have to SH dair, you can simply retreat to outspace the WD forward ftilt, but Falco is slower than other top tiers and his lack of a fast DD grab means he can't whiff punish things like Sheik's ftilt on reaction.

The reason I don't agree with your edited list is that there's no distinction between a poke and an approach, and you also don't explain how a poke (like Falco ftilt I guess?) would threaten an approach. Maybe you are viewing Falco's lasers as a poke, but I think that may be you just being thrown off by FGC terminology. I tend to view approaches in Melee as pokes. There are times you can feint a poke/approach to bait a bad whiff punish (dash forward SH, drift back dair is a common one), but generally you can only threaten a poke/approach with your positioning. Trying to do an actual move to "poke" at an opponent is a commitment that can be whiff punished. Even extremely safe attacks like Marth's dtilt which are what Melee players generally use the term poke for can be whiff punished. So if you wanted to use the term poke for things like that I think that's fine, just understand there's no inherent difference between Marth trying to poke the opponent with a dtilt and Falco trying to approach with a SHFFL dair. They simply have different risk/reward ratios; Marth dtilt is low risk/low reward while Falco dair is high risk/high reward. Perhaps phrasing the 3 elements this way will help you see the relation to the video I linked a little better:

1. Defending against approaches from the opponent Retreat to whiff punish the opponent's poke/approach
2. Pushing the opponent back with the threat of an approach Threaten a poke/approach by moving into your opponent's space
3. Actually approaching and getting a hit Poke/approach the opponent



I would definitely not recommend SHing with the analog stick. That wouldn't help with snapback anyway. Snapback is when you try to press left or right to change the direction of your laser, but because the control stick snaps back, you shoot in the direction you were originally facing. I think the only two options you really have are to get snapback capacitor that prevents the controller from registering the input, or to simply get a different controller that doesn't have snapback (most new controllers, especially Smash 4 generation ones, have snapback unfortunately).
Thank you for clarifying on all of that. The new way you phrased the rules makes a lot more sense to me now.

When I think of a poke I think of Marths d tilt exactly like you said. When I think of an approach I think of an overshoot fox d tilt or Marth dash attack. To me poke and approach represent the opposite ends of the offensive spectrum. I should clarify what I mean more I think I assume you guys know what I mean too often lol.

So in my mind, I was thinking that you would use a poke to see how the opponent would potentially react to a hard commit approach, and then use that information to successfully approach.

At what times do you like to approach sheik? Right now I strive to catch them jumping, approach when they have already sh, try to contest their landing, or generally try to get in when I can get the sheik to shield. How falco goes about setting up and accomplishing these is a whole other discussion but those are the times I find seem to work well in analysis and are quite practical in game. I’m also aware these are quite vague situations so if you can give me specifics of when you’re comfortable approaching then that would be awesome.

How do you analyze rhythm and timing? I’ve tried to visualize in certain interactions at different timings in analysis, but I feel like you can’t really truly feel the way an option will interact in a given situation unless you test it in friendlies or 20xx. I’ve been using 20xx for this but sometimes I feel like it doesn’t grasp the whole picture because you’re not using the option in the context of an actual game. Shadow boxing also seems strong but that won’t show you the micro interaction of two moves at different timings and spacings. I guess a combination of the two would work which I’ll try tomorrow when i analyze, but what are your thoughts and what do you do personally?

On a similar note what does your melee practice schedule look like? Right now im doing one hour of analysis a day, and then a half hour practice routine including lasers, dash, and wd. I practice ledgedash es throughout the day/when I feel like it too because I feel like that’s super important to always have sharp. I also will have long friendly sessions with my fox main friend but that’s all the practice I get against an actual opponent.
 

Yort

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Dr Peepee Dr Peepee

What's the purpose in doing a crossover nair vs a slight sh forward delayed nair on shield?
You can react before/as the laser comes out, after it comes out, or as you dash. It should be a quick confirm, one that you'll want to practice a lot. Practice the basic movements, and practice responding to different possible actions out of them. 20XX can help with this a bit, but you'll also need to do it by yourself. Your reaction time will speed up, but initially just do simple reactions and don't overcomplicate things. So you can mix up laser(no confirm/little confirm) Nair with laser dash back(confirm) dash in Nair for example.


You'd still be approaching into her there sometimes. Forcing her to jump does take away CC and take laser stuff and Ftilt, at least sometimes. She gets to Bair at you though, which is pretty good. If you did stay on the platform, you'd have to be ready to let her charge. You'd also likely have to be okay with letting the pace slow down a lot more, at least on stages like BF/DL/PS. You can SH at her, runoff/drop through laser or empty land into whatever, go to top platform on some levels, low laser on side platform to catch some jumps, SH(either to aerial or WL or laser but also to dodge certain spaced attacks), and of course wait.

You can win an interaction by degrees. Did you gain stage? That increases your chances of getting a hit, so it's a decent win. Did you get to reduce their shield? Not as good but could lead to a bigger hit too, so also good. Getting a stray hit? That adds damage, so it's good, but not worth it if it gives them center stage. The more you can add advantages together the better as well.



Turnaround laser yeah. I could mean you SH away and turnaround laser, so reverse laser just refers to turnaround which you can do out of backflip or SH any direction any speed, etc.

I think it's too easy to mess up and either outright not regrab the edge or be vulnerable so it doesn't seem worth it. I'll be revisiting it in the new optimized meta but I plan on looking at other options like WL onto the lip of the stage, other options like dash back out of edgedash, and DJ onto side platforms before taking up-B stall more seriously. I'm also curious if I can do Falco's haxdash since it is possible but idk if it's as difficult as up-B stall or not.
Is this part in the laser where you confirm their action the decision point?

should I be confirming both the position and the action they are in? IE how far they are from me and what they're doing (sh, dash back, fh, etc)

For example, if I confirm dash back during my approaching laser I then would inform my decision with the fact that they dash backed. If I see them dash back as I my approaching laser is coming out then I know that my shine after approaching laser will whiff because they will be out of range?

would play to learn while lasering and consciously thinking to yourself about what you're reacting to and what their position is and what you should respond with to help with this until it becomes more natural?

I definitely did kind of ignore the decision points when I put my set ups I worked on into practice. I thought through how I could react to various things but didn't know how to get good at actually reacting in game, and probably didn't slow down enough to practice it. The fact that there are so many different things to see and confirm out of the actions in my set ups means there is a very large amount of variation in each of the decision points that is honestly kind of scary.

If I do approaching laser and land really close to falcon, does crossover dair work best to pressure if he doesn't shield and be safe on shield?
What should I do instead if the crossover dair will corner me? Does something like slight sh delayed aerial work here to beat shield while also maybe pressuring other options like spotdodge?
 

Dr Peepee

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Crossovers can be earlier and also can hit jumps OOS or WDs back or rolls back. They can also be good to get behind a character with weak options behind them, as well as getting Falco out of the corner. Slight SH forward delayed Nair is when you have someone either waiting to act and this will hit them or you have conditioned them to shield and want to pressure. It's also easier to set up continued pressure/lasers here as well as preserve stage if you're the one controlling center.

I don't understand your first question so I'll just elaborate a little. A decision point is anywhere that allows you to confirm what they're doing. If you're in the middle of a laser you're less likely to confirm because it's more physically intensive to do with a small window afterward for certain things to take advantage of, but if you're in dash it can be easier to confirm since you aren't as committed to an action and should ideally have created a larger window(real or through training) to react in. But for a laser itself you could confirm during laser startup or as it comes out or just after it's shot, but you won't necessarily always have a decision point at each of these places. It can depend a lot on position and other factors such as training if there's really a point there or not. For something practical to take away, maybe you can try shooting and see how people act afterward, and determine if they reacted to anything or were going to commit anyway when they knew you'd laser and try to figure which is which.

Yes you want to confirm that.

Yes so you'd want to adjust and not shine and instead Ftilt or whatever. Laser startup is easily the place to get confirms since that's where the lag is on laser so you have more time to confirm there if someone moves.

Probably, though you may also want to practice lasering and acting to give yourself easier confirms after laser in isolation then apply in matches as well. Laser dash back helps give you easier confirms off of laser for example, and practicing laser dash back confirm Nair or whatever can be useful to go into in matches.

Yes it is infinite in a way, but don't worry. Most people have specific things they look for so you're looking for patterns right now and not for everything possible. It will also help to train yourself to set up confirms, so you won't be looking at every possible instance. You'll build complexity through practice and understanding.

I feel like you could get jabbed out of your jumpsquat or something if you can't walk shine him, so you may want to alternate between walk shine, crossup aerial maybe, backflip Bair, and JC grab. Crossup won't be too great if it corners you badly, but if it only does a little bit then it can still be worth getting behind Falcon since he has to move away pretty far to reset the situation usually. SH delayed Nair/Dair/laser can also be good if he's going to commit to shield and can also help you space around jab.
 

MambaGreenFalco

Smash Apprentice
Joined
Oct 12, 2017
Messages
76
Hey PP I've been practicing the dashes, wd, and laser everyday. My schedule is to do 3 minutes of dash back, dash forward, wd back, laser in place, slight dash back laser, slight fade forward laser, full dash back laser, and then full dash forward laser. 3 minutes of each of these adds up to 24 minutes, and then I finish by combining all of the elements and shadowboxing at different ranges combining wd, dash, and those lasers. How do you specificially practice these options?

When I practice these I first think of all of the observable and physical properties of the option, then I move on to how this option would affect the opponent and how I could adapt to that. For example with laser in place I think about these things normally; you have to jump up before you come down, the laser comes out as you come down from your sh, the laser comes out in front of you, the laser has more hitstun if you're further away from your opponent, the laser is powershieldable, laser has 12 frames of stun unstaled, laser moves horizontally, laser moves quickly, laser has infinite range, you can control the height of the laser. That's the basis of what I think about before I go into thinking about how my opponent would get around it. I think I've hit a wall with this exercise in the context of how opponents would react/ways they could get around laser because I haven't had access to a friendlies partner/tournament in about a week and a half. I normally think about super generalized paths of gameplay like; my opponent would want to approach me in the startup of my next laser because I am putting myself in lag before the laser, thus I should a) retreat and laser b) put out a hitbox in place/retreating c) approach before their hitbox comes out etc. The other main thing I think about is when they don't approach which means I can a) keep lasering b) move forward slightly with lasers c) not laser and instead wait to see for what they do defensively and then react accordingly etc. Again these situations stem from them approaching or not approaching but I'm not sure what questions to ask myself to get more nuance out of this exercise.

Not even sure if I'm practicing this right because the options I'm thinking of aren't laser in place itself, but they are in the context of laser in place. Should I even be thinking about specific answers? Or should I be thinking more in terms of concepts and broader answers. I remember before you told me to not think about specific situations (I gave you the example of using dash back to avoid marth's DA) and instead think about the properties of the option (dash back is relatively fast, you don't have a lot of lag in it, you can dash back, jump, or shield during it etc.

One thing I've noticed I've started to do more during that last 6 minutes of combining all of the options together is to shield stop and then turn around laser in place. For some reason this feels comfortable to do even though I haven't practiced it in any of the exercises I listed earlier. I've seen zhu, bones, and ginger do this but not you. Why don't you use this option as much? What do you think of it? Why have I started to do it even though I didn't deliberately practice it or consciously think about it when practicing lasers?

Should I add wd forward into the mix of options I practice? I haven't found any viability with it in friendlies even though I've considered it a lot in analysis because you're crouching while at the same time moving towards your opponent which seems super appealing to maybe alleviate Falco's slow speed but it never ends up being super applicable in practice.

What should I be thinking about while combining all of the options? Should I not be simply testing them and seeing how they feel and instead being deliberately connecting them like wd-laser or practice strings of dashes and lasers and then pause and think about what that achieves?

Please ask for clarification if you need it on any of my questions I often feel like I'm not always articulating exactly what I want which is super frustrating for me, anyway I can work on that? Or is my melee vocab and idea execution good?
 

Dr Peepee

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I believe you want to think more about what your options beat as well as what they lose to. That should help make your practice more interesting. I do agree though that focusing just on getting the motions right and seeing how it feels is probably still better to primarily focus on.

I don't like shield stop laser since I can usually control my momentum fine to laser where and when I want without it, so it just feels like wasting frames to me. It does add another visual cue which is kind of interesting I suppose. In your case, you may be finding the use of this tool to complement your training or cover a hole you haven't realized is there. It may also be good to continue the timing you're executing at, so maybe see if you still feel compelled to do it if you change speeds. As you practice and get deeper into tools, you'll likely have insights and feelings that you can't always explain but they're your subconscious figuring out things/bringing things out so go with them.

I like WD forward, but I wouldn't consider it a primary option to practice. You can do it if you want, it's really your choice.

Slowly combine. So only two things together at first, like dash laser or laser dash. The added complexity of two options is much more than just one plus one individual option. I think you should be mostly holding off on combining right now, but when you do it you want to think of how the tools feel and their effects on the opponent. What they cover and what they don't, where the holes are. It builds on your original knowledge of each tool, so knowing each tool first is important or you'll get ahead of yourself.

I thought you asked questions fine here. It's a very frustrating process but if you keep training and thinking you'll get closer to where you want to be.
 

Dr Peepee

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You worded it fine.

I used to do that a lot because it was safe from most punishes, sometimes I could hit people doing things like Sheik Nair OOS, and of course it'd give me easier confirms/better combos on floaties if I hit them. I wouldn't recommend it as a staple in any matchup though since opponents can roll or hold shield for free a lot then, among other simple counters.
 

MambaGreenFalco

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Oct 12, 2017
Messages
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I believe you want to think more about what your options beat as well as what they lose to. That should help make your practice more interesting. I do agree though that focusing just on getting the motions right and seeing how it feels is probably still better to primarily focus on.

I don't like shield stop laser since I can usually control my momentum fine to laser where and when I want without it, so it just feels like wasting frames to me. It does add another visual cue which is kind of interesting I suppose. In your case, you may be finding the use of this tool to complement your training or cover a hole you haven't realized is there. It may also be good to continue the timing you're executing at, so maybe see if you still feel compelled to do it if you change speeds. As you practice and get deeper into tools, you'll likely have insights and feelings that you can't always explain but they're your subconscious figuring out things/bringing things out so go with them.

I like WD forward, but I wouldn't consider it a primary option to practice. You can do it if you want, it's really your choice.

Slowly combine. So only two things together at first, like dash laser or laser dash. The added complexity of two options is much more than just one plus one individual option. I think you should be mostly holding off on combining right now, but when you do it you want to think of how the tools feel and their effects on the opponent. What they cover and what they don't, where the holes are. It builds on your original knowledge of each tool, so knowing each tool first is important or you'll get ahead of yourself.

I thought you asked questions fine here. It's a very frustrating process but if you keep training and thinking you'll get closer to where you want to be.
Since shielding before laser adds another visual cue does that make it worse because your opponent has another way of knowing when you’re going to laser? Or could you perhaps take advantage of that and bair oos or wd back or something.

For practicing all of these options, is the frequency at which you do them or how long you do them each time you practice more important. How long is the “digestion” period for these options after you practice them? Doing each of them 3 minutes a day once a day is short enough but frequent enough for them to feel fresh each day, but I’ve been thinking of extending my training period. How long/how much did you practice them when you were at the height of your training?
 

Dr Peepee

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Yeah it's what you make of the cue. If they begin to associate it with laser then you can just aerial them instead like you said.

I would practice them depending on need. If I felt weaker at it I'd put in more time. I don't think I ever did any particular basic tech longer than 10 minutes at a time though. That type of thing could change at some point in the future, but my past training worked pretty well so it's probably a fine recommendation.
 

MambaGreenFalco

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Yeah it's what you make of the cue. If they begin to associate it with laser then you can just aerial them instead like you said.

I would practice them depending on need. If I felt weaker at it I'd put in more time. I don't think I ever did any particular basic tech longer than 10 minutes at a time though. That type of thing could change at some point in the future, but my past training worked pretty well so it's probably a fine recommendation.
I've never thought of options in terms of visual cues before. What other common situations/Falco options or mixups use visual cues that I can start to mess around with?

Is there ever a point in dashing back after you laser someone's shield at close range? Does this accomplish anything better than other options? I've been doing closer range laser into pivot bair/dash back bair which you've recommended to me in the past. I guess dash back would be used to bait out their oos option but it seems like you have to be at the perfect range to bait out the, let's say, Sheik nair oos to outspeed it and come back in for the punish. Now that I think about it, this seems like an option you would use to get info on how they react oos to a laser, but my instinct tells me there's a better way to accomplish that.

At the last tournament I went to I get absolutely demolished by a Marth named Pisces, you might have heard of him. One thing that he mixed up super well was his platform tech chase game. After getting up thrown on a platform, I would try to slide off, this worked for a bit until he started to waveland in place on the platform and tech chase with grab. Then when I started to catch onto that, I tried to probably full hop/attack out of my tech instead (not really sure what I did here cause it was so long ago). Then he adapted by doing waveland in and then shield drop up air to beat my attack. I guess that means we went full circle with the mixups but at the time I was playing a mixup game I had no idea I was playing. Was I trying the correct options against his mixups? Was it more a matter of mixing them up better? I was curious about this recently so I went into 20xx frame by frame and found that if Marth standing grabs one frame later than Falco inputs his FH, then Marth misses, but if Falco FH and Marth standing grabs on the same frame then Marth wins. I guess this means that Marth actually has to be a frame earlier than Falco's FH if he wants to grab the Falco while shielding.

How do you stage strike against Marth? I feel like neither character has a clear weakness/advantage that any of the stages skew in one characters favor (besides fd of course). To me it seems like it's more dependent on the playstyle. But against opponents you've never met I feel like there should be a stage or two to prioritize. Because of this reason though I also have a hard time cping against Marth besides DL. I tend to personally prefer the wider stages for lasers but at the same time that gives Marth more room to dash back. I think I also prefer bigger stages because Marth has an easier time keeping Falco in the corner than vice versa.

What do you do to slow the game down in Falco dittos? To me it seems like aggression is the way to go when playing them and as a result Falco dittos seem like a never ending cycle of aggression at my level. But sometimes I feel overwhelmed and I feel like I need to reset before I can start my offense again.
 

Dr Peepee

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So when you SH at an opponent it's a visual cue for an attack(given a close enough spacing anyway). So if you SH in DJ or WL down/back or whatever you can begin to play on them expecting a laser/aerial. You can think of visual cues as just confirming options, and those confirms take some delay. You can prey on this delay.

Dash back after lasering someone's shield is a mixup primarily on going in after laser. So if you don't go in too much after laser, then it's not as good. That said, it's still a fairly good option. Dash back helps position you to dodge grabs or OOS attacks and is also hard for them to react to, and it also can encourage them to act OOS if they're waiting for something, but this is around the time you'd be hitting them after moving back usually. You can also use it as you said to gain information and keep locking them down and there's nothing wrong with that either. To quickly clarify after re-reading, dash back dash in Nair is usually what I'm talking about here and not Bair. Bair is still fine though.

Kinda hard to fully know what to advise given I don't have much specific information about stage/percent/specific options chosen. Maybe you can buffer spotdodge both options, or buffer spotdodge then try to slide off (S)DI if he hits you with SD Uair?

I like taking Marth to DL as well. I usually have my second best bet as PS normally, especially since I like the transformations more than Marth will. I'd get rid of FD first obviously, even if I don't really mind it. I haven't decided on my next strike fully yet but it's between BF and YS to me. Might be a preference call, but I do think more Falcos should be wary of BF against Marth anyway since recovery there is pretty bad and platforms can break your combos more than his in my experience(subject to change with testing).

Getting on platforms, dash away shield(Bair OOS counters pretty much any approach and you can easily FH/WD away if you see a different one coming), FH in general is just great at slowing things down. I guess working on (Z)PS could also slow things down but it might be debatable it does as much as the other things I listed.
 

PAWN1

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Hey, after reading and studying some more I have some more questions for you.

What's the difference between a confirm and a decision point? Can you explain what those two mean (particularly in the context of choosing what to do after a laser)?

I notice that after a couple of dair->shine->WD's you tend to go for a nair to dair at where they'd land for tech in place after they DI the second shine away. Why do you prefer this punish over say a reverse AC bair -> up tilt like westballz does? Tech chasing has been pretty difficult for me to do if they tech roll in that situation.

How guaranteed is the pillar you do on Marth on FD (ex. you vs M2K at Zenith 2012: https://youtu.be/eoob08ssmvs?t=16m47s ) ? What can Marth do to make this harder to execute, and what can I do to in response? I've noticed that when Marth DI's the shine away it's easier to have him be in hitstun after I dair him until he reaches the ground. I also found that if Marth DI's the shine in then it makes it easier for him to jump out of the combo since I want to hit him with as late of a dair as possible so he doesn't aerial me on his way back to the ground after the dair. Should I just take advantage that he burned his jump and not try to dair earlier to prevent that?

I also notice you do laser -> tomahawk grab a good amount against Marths. I know that it's great against them in shield but what other times would you use it? Also, what options do you try to beat when you use laser -> f tilt?
 

Gibbs

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Confirm is fgc lingo adopted into smash, most frequently confirm is used specifically in the context of hit-confirm. Hit confirms are pressure or punish sequences that allow you enough time to "confirm" that the hit landed rather than was blocked so that you enter your combo flowchart as opposed to your blockstring/frametrap flowchart.

Smash has use for the specific use of hit confirm since combo and pressure situations aren't as discrete as traditional fighters.

From what I can tell decision point is much more general than confirm, and a definition wide enough to incorporate all of melees grey areas.

Other point, confirms are strictly reactionary and have discrete outcomes, decision points seem to be wider in that they can be neutral adaptations or choosing your next mixup.
 

Dr Peepee

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Hey, after reading and studying some more I have some more questions for you.

What's the difference between a confirm and a decision point? Can you explain what those two mean (particularly in the context of choosing what to do after a laser)?

I notice that after a couple of dair->shine->WD's you tend to go for a nair to dair at where they'd land for tech in place after they DI the second shine away. Why do you prefer this punish over say a reverse AC bair -> up tilt like westballz does? Tech chasing has been pretty difficult for me to do if they tech roll in that situation.

How guaranteed is the pillar you do on Marth on FD (ex. you vs M2K at Zenith 2012: https://youtu.be/eoob08ssmvs?t=16m47s ) ? What can Marth do to make this harder to execute, and what can I do to in response? I've noticed that when Marth DI's the shine away it's easier to have him be in hitstun after I dair him until he reaches the ground. I also found that if Marth DI's the shine in then it makes it easier for him to jump out of the combo since I want to hit him with as late of a dair as possible so he doesn't aerial me on his way back to the ground after the dair. Should I just take advantage that he burned his jump and not try to dair earlier to prevent that?

I also notice you do laser -> tomahawk grab a good amount against Marths. I know that it's great against them in shield but what other times would you use it? Also, what options do you try to beat when you use laser -> f tilt?
A decision point is a time where you make a choice. Ideally you use information about your opponent gained around here to make this decision, which is what a confirm would do. So if you laser then around the time it comes out is a decision point. If you see your opponent shield just as it hits them and you're close, then you can confirm they shielded and go into a grab or pressure.

I don't totally understand, but I don't like Westballz's Bair Utilt thing since you can just (S)DI the Bair like up and away and get out, and if you wait to see if they did that then your Utilt won't hit if they didn't since you have to do it right away. I like to Nair once they're out of regular pillar percent since that's likely to send them offstage for an edgeguard or it sets up an easier tech chase if they're by the edge since they can't tech roll away then. Dair would be used if I thought they would miss the tech or I'd rather tech chase them from that position instead for similar reasons. In general I think Falco should prioritize setting up corner/platform tech chases so he can cover everything or at least most everything.

Yeah you're on the right track with this combo stuff. Just Dair later and let him jump so you can take his jump, or just Nair/Bair him out of his jump to push him toward the edge so he now has no jump and you can Bair him off the stage to get an earlier kill or kill setup. SDI makes this more complicated, but the general rule can still apply. If Marth breaks out, let him DJ away and then Bair him for all you've got since he can't do much about it and it does great damage and sets you up well to hit him more and kill him.

I wouldn't tomahawk much except against characters that just like holding shield, so Puff and Peach come to mind. Sort of Samus too but she does moves defensively a lot so it's not as good. Laser Ftilt beats pretty much anything immediate they will do out of laser(grab dash jump attack, if you're close to them anyway). If you walk slightly and do it then it's more likely to beat movement back if you're spaced a little when the laser hits.
 

MambaGreenFalco

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So when you SH at an opponent it's a visual cue for an attack(given a close enough spacing anyway). So if you SH in DJ or WL down/back or whatever you can begin to play on them expecting a laser/aerial. You can think of visual cues as just confirming options, and those confirms take some delay. You can prey on this delay.

Dash back after lasering someone's shield is a mixup primarily on going in after laser. So if you don't go in too much after laser, then it's not as good. That said, it's still a fairly good option. Dash back helps position you to dodge grabs or OOS attacks and is also hard for them to react to, and it also can encourage them to act OOS if they're waiting for something, but this is around the time you'd be hitting them after moving back usually. You can also use it as you said to gain information and keep locking them down and there's nothing wrong with that either. To quickly clarify after re-reading, dash back dash in Nair is usually what I'm talking about here and not Bair. Bair is still fine though.

Kinda hard to fully know what to advise given I don't have much specific information about stage/percent/specific options chosen. Maybe you can buffer spotdodge both options, or buffer spotdodge then try to slide off (S)DI if he hits you with SD Uair?

I like taking Marth to DL as well. I usually have my second best bet as PS normally, especially since I like the transformations more than Marth will. I'd get rid of FD first obviously, even if I don't really mind it. I haven't decided on my next strike fully yet but it's between BF and YS to me. Might be a preference call, but I do think more Falcos should be wary of BF against Marth anyway since recovery there is pretty bad and platforms can break your combos more than his in my experience(subject to change with testing).

Getting on platforms, dash away shield(Bair OOS counters pretty much any approach and you can easily FH/WD away if you see a different one coming), FH in general is just great at slowing things down. I guess working on (Z)PS could also slow things down but it might be debatable it does as much as the other things I listed.
How exactly do you take advantage of the delay? If I understand correctly it's the delay between the hit and the confirm? In my mind I was thinking you want to confirm asap after the hit/action. I feel like there's only so long you can stay close to your opponent while threatening your options without doing them. Do I need to be retreating after moving in/pressuing more? Or maybe there's ways to poke at them from close range? Like wd forward shine? Jab? Laser f tilt?

Basically when I was upthrown onto the platform, the Marth would use mixups of the sh late uair, waveland on plat grab, and waveland on plat shield drop up air. It's not any particular specific situation that I was wondering about, it's more the power of the mixups together that I was thinking about. These mixups feel super powerful and I was wondering if you've encountered them before/have some knowledge of where to start dealing with them. I think the moon has used this more than other marths before, if you want I can try to find an example.

I also chose PS as my second stage behind DL, but I've doubted this occasionally because I know Marth's have cped me to there as well. Why do you like FoD vs Marth as a starter stage? I've expressed my discomfort on that stage to you in the past, and the options you've given me have helped alleviate that, but it still seems like Marth has a easier time holding stage once he has it, and I find it difficult to slow the Marth down when I don't have as easy access to cross ups and lasers.

What do you think of empty hop in vs Marth? This idea came to me during analysis because Marth's are always trying to whiff punish something. Is there any advantage of empty hop in instead of approaching laser? I guess the visual/sound cue for the laser doesn't come out? Maybe it can be used against them trying to ps an approaching laser?
 

Dr Peepee

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I was talking about the opponent's delay. They see you jump, and that takes some time to confirm. In that time where they confirm and decide a choice, you do something they didn't expect as they decide. This is how you would stay ahead.

Okay so waveland on platform doesn't work at 0. You just have a really long time to jump or attack out for example. Uair also doesn't work as you can shield too early. For some percents on some stages, Uair can hit but waveland grab won't or not in a true punish way. This is why waveland grab vs falling Uair is good though since it preys on your responses to the waveland since you can technically act. So it'll be hard to easily explain without knowing the percent boundaries on various stages and the ways the options work together. That said, my solutions listed above should still be alright speaking generally. Slideoff when possible and otherwise buffer spotdodge while holding down could get you decent mileage. Beyond that, I haven't fully tested anything but I'm sure I will at some point.

I have considered a strategy where Falco camps out the neutral stage and fights the transformations to gain better advantage. You could always try that if you wanted. I'm not sure if I like FoD or not as it's not a consistent stage and can interrupt lasers, but if you can force Marth back at all then he's essentially cornered since he can't go up and he's no good on the edge. This will always be great for you. I also kinda like yolo Dair'ing out of bad positions more since lower side platforms can help you avoid being shield grabbed, and sometimes they can help you approach for the same reason which is pretty cool. Smaller stages make every input count more, so DD is much less effective and you can't give up stage so much. It works both ways so lasers can give you a quick advantage if you try to use them in this way I believe.

Yeah empty hop is okay and something I was just asked about earlier. It's good in that Marth's often aren't swinging on you when you come in and just shield, but if they ever did swing such as with take laser jab that I encourage Marths to sometimes do you'd be more likely in trouble. That said if you get in on shield with threats of laser/aerial then Marth could panic and try to grab as he confirms you did nothing and that's always great. Upside is it's a strange play and can make players panic since it's not normal and also opens up other options like drift back or DJ or waveland, but downside is it's obviously punishable and you don't stun shield on the way in so pressure can sometimes get more complicated.
 

Meck

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Hi PP
I was wondering if you could explain the purpose of this short hop double jump from the Falco?
From my understanding, it was to see what the Fox was going to do like hold shield, waveland onto the platform, dash back, maybe get the Fox to approach. If the Fox choose to approach then the Falco would hit him on the way down. The part that I am having the most trouble trying to understand is why this option was done. To just be more unpredictable? It looks more like wasted movement but my intuition is telling me otherwise. I think it looks like wasted movement is because there is about 1/4 chance it will get the desired result.

https://youtu.be/rsVEfEkJciA?t=2m13s
 

Dr Peepee

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This guy committed to the DJ kinda early since he should have been able to confirm the laser hit Fox and wouldn't have had to DJ. But I think he DJ'd early because many players he plays with would often FH Nair over SHL and this DJ would encourage and punish that. The way he drifted back didn't help either as he might have been able to hit or at least pressure the side platform waveland.

All of this said, the DJ isn't a bad play in general. It encourages Fox/anyone to come in and you get to play a mixup game on the way down. When do you FF? How do you drift? Will you land with laser, waveland, or nothing? This is why you see Westballz DJ a lot in neutral and it's why his wavelands in to shine after doing so still work a decent amount.
 

Smog

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How do you make the most out of friendlies for improvement? Say I have a training partner that wouldn't care talking about pausing and talking mid match about stuff too.
 

Dr Peepee

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Just play to learn then. Try to focus on an area of the game and just work on that, taking time without pausing whenever you want to think of what happened and what you should do differently. Recording the games can be pretty helpful here but isn't necessary. Some specific situations you can still try to recreate naturally too, which can be a good test in itself.
 

Bones0

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How do you make the most out of friendlies for improvement? Say I have a training partner that wouldn't care talking about pausing and talking mid match about stuff too.
Identify situations that actually cause you to lose, not just any random situation that you seem to lose. I actually adopted this principle after watching the Moneyball movie which (if you're not familiar with) is about a baseball team using their salary money as wisely as possible by determining which players and traits actually contribute to a win. So instead of a getting the #1 outfielder in the league for a high salary, you may realize that your money is better spent getting 2 above average players in more key positions.

In Melee, this concept is extremely powerful but it is character and matchup dependent. Neutral game is important, but I think in a lot of scenarios it's more important to have solid punishes and edgeguarding. I frequently win sets against people who are better at neutral than me, but they drop a few key punishes and edgeguards, and it costs them a ton. Analyzing neutral to win 60% of interactions instead of 50% is great, but if you drop an edgeguard that you could have labbed and practiced, that can be a 2-stock swing if they recover and kill you for it. If you're playing a floatier character like Puff that is harder to combo, focusing heavily on punish game is actually a bad approach to quick improvement. You will get more mileage out of learning neutral, specifically how to stay safe since if you watch any Falco vs. Puff set, it's easy to see that most Falcos lose because they get gimped or take unnecessary risks, not because their punishes were suboptimal.

Just be sure not to take this too extremely. You can't tunnel vision on the single most important thing, but I think you can try to analyze your gameplay within the scope of your current level. If your punish game vs. FFers actually does seem solid compared to other players around your level, then other areas might need some more work before you return to your punish game to push yourself to the next level.
 
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