Q&A Falco, King of the Birds: Game Play Discussion

ohmeohmy

Smash Rookie
Joined
Mar 7, 2016
Messages
4
Falco's plan in the neutral game is something that ive seen discussed time and time again here on the boards, and imo, is his biggest problem.
Now, im still learning how to play falco at a competitive level myself, but ill share what ive realized after playing with him. In most situations, the laser is practically unusable, it just has way too much endlag to legitimately zone or pressure at all. It can be used in niche situations, like to tack on extra damage after a combo where you r too far too follow with something else. Or to gimp characters with lackluster recoveries. As for the wait or approach question, it really depends on the situation, you have to gauge the risks and rewards of each. Trying to go in with falco can lead to some nice combos, but consider that he really has no safe approach option. You need to have the read on your opponent to land a grab, uptilt, etc. Same goes for waiting for falco, since he cant zone he lacks options to play defensively and threaten the opponents advances. If you r not clever enough with your movement it can lead to your opponent getting an easy read on you. However, that's not to say falco doesnt have decent options in neutral. Down tilt, for example, is a great combo starter and is relatively safe. His jab is pretty fast and is useful to confirm into either the full rapid jab combo at lower percents, or provide a mix up opportunity for a grab, smashes, or tilts at higher percents. Forward tilt is pretty good to stop foes attempting to run in against you (especially pivot forward tilt). Bairs are good to space out opponents, Nair and Fair can challenge aerials well. When you want go in on or have a read on the opponent, mixing up grab and dash attack are good attacks because they can start combos. The key is to use falcos ground movement, jumps, hops to threaten offensively and to be prepared to punish should the opponent over extend.
 
Last edited:

Ffamran

The Phantom Link
Moderator
Joined
Aug 25, 2014
Messages
14,072
Just a heads up: I merged your thread with the Q&A thread since your thread is a question that could just be answered there.
Hey guys I know Im not a falco main but I really love playig him and im not sure exactly how to play him
I know how to play him just not his neutral i should say, I am trying to laser alot in neutral but it seems that they are very laggy so im not sure if thats a great idea. I have also tried to space with bair and fair (mostly bair) but I get outspaced by disjoints like long swords: Marth, Lucina, Cloud ect
Also characters like pikachu and kirby that will just camp or crouch are very annoying because I can not really get in they're face
When I try to laser they just seem to roll and get a grab since the lasers are so laggy
Do i just wait or approach?
So, could you use Blaster in neutral? Yes. Should you? No. As you pointed out, it has very high recovery which is at 58 frames on the ground and 49 in the air.

I personally do not recommend using Fair to play neutral. While it does have a heavily disjointed landing hit, it's only active on frame 1 which is abusive, but also a clutch. Higher-level and savvy players will punish this, especially if you whiff and even if you pull back with it. Fair is more of an air-to-air move, an edgeguarding tool, and a follow-up than a neutral, jump-in aerial option. Bair can work due to its good auto-cancel window, but it's short-ranged as with all of Falco's aerial's and its strong, clean hit is only active on frames 4 and 5; at frame 6 to 11, it's going to be a weak, late hit. There's also the issue of Falco's low air speed. If you insist on using Falco's aerials for neutral, I suggest not using Fair and obviously, Dair, because of the high risk from their high landing lag and inability to auto-cancel from a hop, instead, use Nair which can't auto-cancel from a hop, but has a decent 15 frame landing and can frame-sync to shorten the landing lag; and Uair and Bair which both can auto-cancel from a hop and probably can work as cross-ups e.g. Uair is a frontflip, it hits back to front, so you could just hop over and try to hit them and instead of pivoting and hopping to try and hit your opponent with Bair, jump over them and then Bair.

For Falco's overall neutral, it's going to be more movement and ground-based. Here's a write-up from France's top Falco player, Anragon.

Dtilt is disjointed. It's one of the most disjointed moves in the game while being one of the fastest -- relatively speaking -- at frame 7 and having low recovery at 19 frames. The 12% sweet-spot is at the base of the tail -- pretty much on Falco's body -- the rest of the tail is an 11% sour-spot, and then you have a 9% disjoint pass his tail's tip that extends his range by about a third of what it seems like. To compare, Fox's Dtilt maximum range is more than Falco's without the disjoint, but with the disjoint, Falco's maximum range is more than Fox's. Its speed, low recovery, and range makes it a good, deceptive poke. The only problem is that as a sweep, it only covers the ground and multiple hitboxes makes it inconsistent. Also, game design-wise, the disjoint is unfair, but that's another story. If you need a different poke that can anti-air or hit mid, use Ftilt. Jab is fast, but it's one of the worst if not the worst frame 2 jab in the game. I say this because of how his rapid jab functions since it has the highest SDI multiplier at x1.2 -- second is Greninja's x1.1 -- while everyone has normal x1.0 SDI or low like Duck Hunt and Fox having x0.4 SDI; the second-lowest damage per hit at 0.4% -- lowest is Bayonetta's 0.3% --, and how it hits since Falco leans in and it has narrow coverage while most rapid jabs hit out and have wide coverage makes it easy to escape and punish -- characters like Jigglypuff, Luigi, and Ryu can mash fast, strong, and even invincible buttons to outright KO Falco. Connecting into a finisher that has relatively high recovery and low knockback doesn't help.
 
Last edited:

Ffamran

The Phantom Link
Moderator
Joined
Aug 25, 2014
Messages
14,072
May I ask who you guys think the best Falco main is? I don't even know a single Falco main...
I don't think there really is a definitive "best" Falco, however, some have said players like AC or Anragon if they're familiar with EU's scene. Most well-known would be Keitaro even though his rankings aren't as notable as AC or Anragon who have consistent and at times high placings at not just locals, but regionals.

This is a stickied list of competing Falco players: https://smashboards.com/threads/great-fox-hangar-ace-pilot-list.429118/. I haven't updated it in a while and trying to keep track of everything in general is difficult, but it should give you an idea of who's out there using Falco competitively.
 

Ralugi

Smash Apprentice
Joined
Mar 24, 2016
Messages
159
NNID
Uranium238
User was warned for this post; double post
Hey guys I know Im not a falco main but I really love playig him and im not sure exactly how to play him
I know how to play him just not his neutral i should say, I am trying to laser alot in neutral but it seems that they are very laggy so im not sure if thats a great idea. I have also tried to space with bair and fair (mostly bair) but I get outspaced by disjoints like long swords: Marth, Lucina, Cloud ect
Also characters like pikachu and kirby that will just camp or crouch are very annoying because I can not really get in they're face
When I try to laser they just seem to roll and get a grab since the lasers are so laggy
Do i just wait or approach?
This is where Falco gets hit hardest. His neutral isn’t very well defined, but from what we can gather, it's built extremely honest. You shouldn’t abuse any of your aerials, as they can and will be punished by competent players.
Practice foxtrots, extended dashdances, perfect pivoting, and any other movement option that you can use to fake your opponent out. Falco is built to bait people out, and change up playstyles very quickly.

Remember that Uair is powerful option if your opponent doesn’t see it coming, and it combos into itself at high percents, and can even lead into a kill.

Also, what is everyone's thoughts on Falco's reflector?

It comes out on frame 5, and has good range, while giving you the ability to reflect projectiles.
Though on the other hand, it has 54 frames of end lag, and can be punished heavily.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Krysco

The FERD Nerd
Premium
Joined
Feb 27, 2014
Messages
1,795
Location
Ontario, Canada
3DS FC
2122-7731-1180
NNID
Krysco
My apologies if this has already been asked before but there doesn't appear to be an FAQ on the first page. While messing around with Falco, I found that the tail end of the first hit of utilt has really weak set knockback. Was able to hit Limit Cloud with it over and over again without moving with a certain spacing and it didn't even cause him to leave the ground at 999%. Did further testing and found that the hit can jab lock, I'd imagine at any percent. Was wondering if this hitbox has been widely known about and if so, if it has any practical uses. Charizard has a similar type of hitbox on his usmash but the hit is so weak that landing it can get you hit with a KO Punch. Idk if Falco has it that bad since it is a tilt and not a smash attack but if it has any use, I'd imagine it'd be for jab locking. Something like uthrow -> footstool -> fast fall -> utilt jablock into whatever if such a thing were possible. The spacing for it without getting the second hit of utilt is really precise.
 

Ffamran

The Phantom Link
Moderator
Joined
Aug 25, 2014
Messages
14,072
My apologies if this has already been asked before but there doesn't appear to be an FAQ on the first page. While messing around with Falco, I found that the tail end of the first hit of utilt has really weak set knockback. Was able to hit Limit Cloud with it over and over again without moving with a certain spacing and it didn't even cause him to leave the ground at 999%. Did further testing and found that the hit can jab lock, I'd imagine at any percent. Was wondering if this hitbox has been widely known about and if so, if it has any practical uses. Charizard has a similar type of hitbox on his usmash but the hit is so weak that landing it can get you hit with a KO Punch. Idk if Falco has it that bad since it is a tilt and not a smash attack but if it has any use, I'd imagine it'd be for jab locking. Something like uthrow -> footstool -> fast fall -> utilt jablock into whatever if such a thing were possible. The spacing for it without getting the second hit of utilt is really precise.
Tail end? There's Furil's hitbox viewer stickied on the boards: https://smashboards.com/threads/falco-hitbox-visualization.439050/. Anyway, Falco's first hit of Utilt has set knockback (SKB) -- also called fixed knockback (FKB) and weighted knockback (WKB) -- regardless of hitbox, but there are differences in how much. At frame 5, there's a single, "unattached" -- it's set at bone 0 -- hitbox that has 100 SKB. At frame 6-9, it gets replaced by 3 hitboxes attached to Falco's right arm that goes from closest to furthest has 25, 20, and then 15 SKB. I'm guessing you're referring to the third hitbox with 15 SKB. Another thing to add is that this hitbox doesn't have a vertically up angle like the others; the 15 SKB hitbox has an angle of 270. Also, it does 3% instead of 4% like the other 2 hitboxes and the frame 5 hitbox.

A little outdated, but if you want to check Falco's raw data from I think patch 1.1.1: http://opensa.dantarion.com/s4/mastercore3/dump/160/falco. Utilt is listed under AttackHi3, so scroll down or use the search and click on that. Also a reminder that the numbers are in hexadecimal, so the value 64 would actually be 100 for example. Here's a converter if you need one: http://www.binaryhexconverter.com/hex-to-decimal-converter.

The only problem I see with locking with Utilt is that it doesn't have a lot of horizontal range like jab, Ftilt, or Blaster, and that it also hits very high compared to those 3, especially Ftilt which can be angled down. There's also the fact that the set knockback is low and the higher recovery since Utilt at 21 frames. If you were fully connecting it, Utilt is always positive on-hit like Dtilt, but if you were to hit only with the first hit, it's probably negative which for characters who have faster options Luigi or invincible options like Marth, might get Falco killed if you nick them with the first hit and the second hit doesn't connect. I've had and I'm going to assume others also had this problem when using Utilt and having it hit behind.

Can it work as an option to lock? Sure. Is it practical? I don't know.
 
Last edited:

Krysco

The FERD Nerd
Premium
Joined
Feb 27, 2014
Messages
1,795
Location
Ontario, Canada
3DS FC
2122-7731-1180
NNID
Krysco
Tail end? There's Furil's hitbox viewer stickied on the boards: https://smashboards.com/threads/falco-hitbox-visualization.439050/. Anyway, Falco's first hit of Utilt has set knockback (SKB) -- also called fixed knockback (FKB) and weighted knockback (WKB) -- regardless of hitbox, but there are differences in how much. At frame 5, there's a single, "unattached" -- it's set at bone 0 -- hitbox that has 100 SKB. At frame 6-9, it gets replaced by 3 hitboxes attached to Falco's right arm that goes from closest to furthest has 25, 20, and then 15 SKB. I'm guessing you're referring to the third hitbox with 15 SKB. Another thing to add is that this hitbox doesn't have a vertically up angle like the others; the 15 SKB hitbox has an angle of 270. Also, it does 3% instead of 4% like the other 2 hitboxes and the frame 5 hitbox.

A little outdated, but if you want to check Falco's raw data from I think patch 1.1.1: http://opensa.dantarion.com/s4/mastercore3/dump/160/falco. Utilt is listed under AttackHi3, so scroll down or use the search and click on that. Also a reminder that the numbers are in hexadecimal, so the value 64 would actually be 100 for example. Here's a converter if you need one: http://www.binaryhexconverter.com/hex-to-decimal-converter.

The only problem I see with locking with Utilt is that it doesn't have a lot of horizontal range like jab, Ftilt, or Blaster, and that it also hits very high compared to those 3, especially Ftilt which can be angled down. There's also the fact that the set knockback is low and the higher recovery since Utilt at 21 frames. If you were fully connecting it, Utilt is always positive on-hit like Dtilt, but if you were to hit only with the first hit, it's probably negative which for characters who have faster options Luigi or invincible options like Marth, might get Falco killed if you nick them with the first hit and the second hit doesn't connect. I've had and I'm going to assume others also had this problem when using Utilt and having it hit behind.

Can it work as an option to lock? Sure. Is it practical? I don't know.
Yeah, that's the hit I was thinking of. I do recall it doing 3% constantly since training has no staling. I had my back towards Cloud and was able to do utilt with only the first hit connecting and due to the SKB, it theoretically would be a jablocking option at any percent so long as rage doesn't mess with it.

I'm not sure if all of the hitboxes on utilt 1 can jablock. From what I can see on Kuroganehammer, the f5 hitbox you mentioned seems to only be able to hit grounded opponents, probably meant to scoop them into the second hit. The 3 on his arm after that might all be able to lock but the second hit would end the lock unless perhaps doing a pp utilt could make you hit with the first part and whiff the second one. Was unaware that jab could jablock, knew down angled ftilt could though I'm not sure for how long and I knew blaster could too and it also has SKB but it takes forever to put away and if it locks from afar, Falco is usually too slow to follow up, plus it can often go over characters that are lying on the ground.
 

Ffamran

The Phantom Link
Moderator
Joined
Aug 25, 2014
Messages
14,072
Yeah, that's the hit I was thinking of. I do recall it doing 3% constantly since training has no staling. I had my back towards Cloud and was able to do utilt with only the first hit connecting and due to the SKB, it theoretically would be a jablocking option at any percent so long as rage doesn't mess with it.

I'm not sure if all of the hitboxes on utilt 1 can jablock. From what I can see on Kuroganehammer, the f5 hitbox you mentioned seems to only be able to hit grounded opponents, probably meant to scoop them into the second hit. The 3 on his arm after that might all be able to lock but the second hit would end the lock unless perhaps doing a pp utilt could make you hit with the first part and whiff the second one. Was unaware that jab could jablock, knew down angled ftilt could though I'm not sure for how long and I knew blaster could too and it also has SKB but it takes forever to put away and if it locks from afar, Falco is usually too slow to follow up, plus it can often go over characters that are lying on the ground.
I made a mistake; jab's angle being "high" wouldn't let it lock since it would lift people up. For a move to lock, it probably needs "low", "non-launching", or horizontal hit angle like the 361 degree hit angle on Falco's Ftilt and Blaster or the 270 hit angle like his Utilt's frame 6-9 third hitbox along with having low knockback whether it's set or not. Low damage is also a factor, but if there's high knockback then it's probably not going to work compared to a move with "high" damage and low knockback like Falco's Ftilt which does 9%, however, it only has 100 growth and no base or set knockback. Another example would be comparing Dr. Mario and Mario's jab 1; all of Doc's are "high", lift angles while Mario's has 2 hitboxes with 361 degree angles and 1 that lifts up.

Anyway, considering that on frame 5, there's only 1 hitbox, has a high 106 degree angle, and a SKB of 100, it will probably never lock. Hitboxes 0 and 1 for frames 6-9 also won't be able to lock because of the high hit angle of 100 degrees despite having low (set) knockback. Hitbox 2 is the only one that can lock because of its low angle, "non-launching" angle. That's my guess on this.

There is a thread on locks in the Smash Academy, the sub-forum of the competitive discussion: https://smashboards.com/threads/jab-locking-in-depth-research-and-discussion-updated-values.400425/. Falco's Utilt and among other stuff are listed there and I bet a better explanation would come from there.
 
Last edited:

Electrafying

Smash Rookie
Joined
Nov 14, 2017
Messages
4
Arwing as a Final Smash and he's perfect.

I wish he'd use two Blasters for his Special though. Firing them off alternately with each use, y'know.
I totally agree! It would give Falco and his blasters better capability of keeping away and can give some of the speed that Fox has, and at the same time, it’ll look PRETTY cool!
And the Arwing is an awesome idea too! If only...
 
Last edited:
Top