Falco Matchup Thread(updated with 2011 PP Fox stuff!)


Smash Rookie
Jan 6, 2010
Since PeePee and Mogwai can't coordinate AIM times, we've decided to make a shared account to get the matchups moving. This account will be used solely to update this thread with our thoughts on matchups!

Mogwai's stuff will be in this rockin' color!

Dr.PeePee's stuff will be in this rockin' color!

The Fox Matchup
The Matchup and History: Falco vs. Fox is a fairly even matchup. Back in the day, Falco was thought of as a Fox counter due to his ridiculous auto combos on fast fallers and laser control, but over the past couple years, the general opinion of the matchup has been swinging back towards Fox. As Foxes learned to consistently running powershield -> grab, Thunders Combo, and punish Falco's tech and off ledge options, Falco started looking more and more helpless to Fox's speed. There was even a period where tristate players were suggesting that Fox counters Falco due to JMan tearing through Falco after Falco and even taking a convincing set off of Mango's Falco at Mass Madness. Thankfully, the Falco metagame has learned to cope with this modern style of Fox vs. Falco, and by being mindful of laser placement and spacing approaches, Falco seems to have gotten the edge in this matchup again and it's showing in the results.
Bottom Line: Slight Advantage for Falco. The matchup is close to even, but even the best Fox vs. Falco players don't wanna see a good Falco these days.

The Neutral Position: This is easily the most difficult aspect of this matchup. Fox is quicker than or as quick as Falco in every single way. He runs much faster, wavedashes and wavelands much faster, gets off the ground from his jump faster, accelerates midair faster and has a significantly faster and longer dash dance. Most of their attacks have the same or exceptionally similar frame data. While Falco can still end up ahead in a neutral position by strategic use of crouch canceling and out-ranging Fox, the true saving grace for Falco is that he has a gun. By placing lasers well, you can keep Fox on the ground, which is very important because of his jump speed. Without lasers, Fox has free reign to get airborne first, which is hugely advantageous since Fox and Falco have identical aerial frame data and very similar hitboxes on aerials. So the idea here is to use your lasers to force Fox onto platforms or keep him on the ground long enough to get into the air first so that you can either score a first hit or a shield pressure opportunity. Just be sure that your laser placement and timing does not leave you open for running powershield -> grab/usmash as most good players nowadays are very very good at this. If the Fox has enough time to build up running speed towards you, you should fake the laser and just space a nair in his face, try to grab or close and get into a shine fight.

When Fox is above you on platforms, stay patient and try to get something out of your defensive options such as dash dancing, crouch canceling, shielding high followed by shine OoS, and challenging with utilt. Don't feel pressured to approach and for the love of god don't try to pop up high and laser him when he's getting close to you as lasers are very vulnerable. If you see a nice opening, feel free to harass with shffl uair or outright approach with shine -> platform waveland, but don't force it. Fox is usually trying to bait you onto the platform, so only take a swing at him when you're sure it's going to hit, otherwise, make him come to you.

Getting above Fox is great when he's in the air or his shield, but terrible when he's grounded. If you can bait a jump from Fox with a short hop, feel free to abuse SH -> DJ dair, but if he stays grounded and mobile, don't try to fight into his DD options with dair, as he is fast enough to nearly always avoid dair and punish super hard with usmash or grab.

If Fox is for some reason full hop nair shining, you just need to ground him with lasers. Don't bother contesting it, you can win or trade with fair/bair/usmash/utilt, but they're all difficult to space right and there's no need when you can just use your lasers to solve the problem and allow you to get airborne first. If he's overly ballsy with it and hits your shield, remind him why that's a terrible idea by shining OoS.


This matchup is always evolving. These characters are dynamic by nature since they're so popular and can use their great attack/pressure/keep away abilities in unique and powerful ways. I'll try to keep it simple since most people only stick to a few strategies on each end anyway lol.

Fox's Goal: Setting up situations where Falco gives up control and he gets hit, or exposing a hole in Falco's control game and hits him. The first way to play is generally defensive, and the second is generally offensive(though offense is somewhat difficult vs Falco). Knocking Falco down or grabbing him are the most ideal situations for Fox outside of having Falco offstage.

Falco's Goal: Limit Fox's movement with lasers/the threat of lasers and either punish on his awkwardness/disorientation in a situation Fox is placed into. Having Fox in shield or being directly under Fox as he is airborne from a jump are some of the best places to be against Fox as Falco.

Both: Kill the other off of one opening.

So, I think I'll talk about how to deal with everything Fox can do(especially in response to lasers). I'll see if I can keep this concise and effective.

What Fox can do vs lasers:

Platforms: If Fox is hardcore camping platforms, then a few good shots should get the game moving. The problem with shooting Fox while he's platform camping is Falco must jump to get these lasers out, and in that time Fox can get below Falco. Since Fox's Uptilt and Upair out range Falco's Dair(typically) when done correctly, this means that Falco does not get a free safety net when the situation gets reversed in this manner. Falco also loses control vs Fox when he is high up because his SHL is the main component of his limiting game. Therefore, it is usually better to hit Fox while Fox is already high in the air/on the platform directly, or when Fox returns to the ground.

But, most Foxes don't play THAT gay vs Falco lol. They just want you to come close so they can get back down. Watch for the way a Fox gets off a platform(SH Nair, fall through Bair, isai drop Bair, run off Bair, it will probably involve Bair guys btw). Laser, Nair, Bair, or uptilt accordingly. Keep in mind, trading your Uptilt with Fox's like Bair or whatever isn't usually a great one, so try to keep Fox from falling directly onto you. Keeping yourself moving and possibly attacking or counterattacking is a great way to stop this issue and you can reverse the pressure of being under Fox back onto him.

Top platform Fox usually needs to be shot at lol.


This can be done at several different times, including during your shield pressure, so you need to be prepared for it. WD OOS during your laser approach/scaring can cause your spacing to become screwed up. While you try to readjust, Fox can sneak underneath your advancing laser/aerial and upsmash or Nair. If he chooses he can simply watch and react to what you do as well. Retreating to a platform from a WD OOS isn't that uncommon either.

Thing is, there's only so much stage to retreat to(most Foxes won't WD towards you but if they do you could probably get an easy shine punish or something lol) and Foxes won't always retreat right away. You can kind of feel out when a Fox would retreat and chase with more lasers/dash into aerials accordingly. Either way, you gain stage control and some momentum. It's a big you gotta feel him out type of thing but you do benefit from it overall if you can work your stage control.

FH/DJ tricks:

Most commonly used on FD. This is super reading-intensive and you can either try to cover the landing lag on both jumps(attacking as they land with lasers/grabs/aerials/whatever) or attempt to intercept(with an aerial or uptilt/upsmash or CC) an aerial as you see it coming. If a spacie loses their double jump in this matchup, they should die, so keep that in mind as you watch Fox flip and twist around.


This doesn't really change for Fox more than other characters except Fox is pretty fast so this is hard to fully account for all of the time. If Fox is approaching and you expect a powershield, then you could shoot a blank then attack(like turnaround uptilt) or shoot a laser at a harder to PS height(really high or really low would work, mixups are obviously best) or just throw out something like a retreating Dair/Bair/Ftilt/whatever to force Fox to change plans. The goal of the PS'ing is to get you to quit shooting lasers, but Fox doesn't necessarily know when you'll stop shooting. The absence of your lasers is a great asset just like the laser itself is. Just because powershielding makes you change your game up doesn't mean it can't be conditioned against and make both of your lives(yours and opponent's) harder.

SDI'ing/taking lasers to stuff:

Nothing complicated or Fox-specific here. Fox can upsmash/shield/run/jump/WD from laser stun and he can do a lot out of each of those options as well. This is also pretty reading-intensive in that there isn't a surefire way to beat whatever Fox does, and SDI'ing a laser could very well throw off your spacing. Taking a moment to react to your opponent typically proves useful here though, at least initially to observe their instinctive reactions to your movements anyway.

Rushdown: Usually done when Fox is close anyway to beat out your lasers/keep you scared. Retreating moves work to give you breathing room, and RSHLs can provide that moment of observation you need to get out of a tight spot. Also rushdown can be countered with your own rushdown, which is always funny.

Pressuring Fox:

Fox gets shine OOS if you're on top of him and Upsmash OOS if you're trying to space him out while pressuring him, not to mention WD OOS if he wants to keep things safe. Factor in rolls and you have to play a very observant pressure game with Falco. There's no way to beat this situation other than by reading your opponent and having a healthy mixup of # reps of delayed aerial shines, immediate retreating aerials from shines, double shines, shine grabs, lasers, and waveshines. Double shine seems worth it in this matchup more than others simply because it's easier to get a followup off if you hit the second shine on Fox since he's not floaty.


When you send a Fox offstage, you usually want to throw lasers where he could jump/buffer a jump out and then react to when he does. If Fox starts to up-B, then take advantage of the free damage you can deal with lasers. Typically, you want to expect the forward B and then react to the up-B. Since up-B is slow to start, it makes reacting to it with lasers very easy.

I like to punish Fox's forward B with a runoff double jump Dair, but Bairs, uptilt to Bairs, Dsmashes, and Ftilts are all great ways of dealing with it(depending on Fox's height and percent, the correct move may be different for some situations, so be flexible).

If you laser Fox and he goes low, then you should either WD offstage to double jump Bair(if Fox is close enough and you will survive), or grab the edge. Grabbing the edge right before Fox up-Bs allows you to cover his options well. If he rides the edge of the stage you can drop down before he expects to tech and shine him. This pops him up so you can knock him off with a Bair/Dair again, or shine spikes him haha(get ***** Fox when this works btw). Also there is the obvious ledge hope Bair/Dair that are typically teched but are effective when the timing is mixed up.

If Fox goes out, then you may just have to roll up or Bair/Dair him. Pretty easy stuff there.

If you do choose to stay onstage, then you should try to Dair early and let the weaker part of the Dair hit Fox just as he reaches the edge. It screws with Fox's tech timing horribly. The only drawback is that Fox can tech onto the stage/live if you delay the Dair too long.

*2011 stuff: grabbing the edge and shining Fox is funny and can add another layer of depth to edgeguarding lower firefoxes.

Shield Pressuring: Fox is a real pain in the *** to shield pressure, so if run into a fast Fox OoS, don't mess around with his shield unless you're confident in your shield pressure techniques. Fox's viable options OoS are:
1. usmash OoS (frame 8)
2. shine OoS (frame 4)
3. shield grab (frame 7)
4. nair OoS (frame 7)
5. spot dodge (frame 2)
6. roll (frame 4)
What this all boils down to is that when you are super close to him, you should double shine to protect against shine OoS while staying flexible against rolling and spot dodging. When you're slightly further away, you should shine grab to protect against usmash OoS and shield grabbing, but beware spot dodge -> grab from Fox as this is the counter to shine grabbing (spot dodge ends in 22 frames vs. your grab which ends in 30 frames, which gives him a 2 frame buffer to grab vs. you spot dodging). Spot dodge is weak vs. standard shine -> aerial pressure as both nair and dair last long enough that Fox cannot spot dodge the entire aerial, so if he's adapting to your shine grab, mix standard pillar back in at this spacing. At further spacing, fadeback nair is pretty much optimal to stay out of his grab/usmash range.

What I always see Mango do for shield pressure is super delayed Nair/Bair shines. If you get away with this, then just look for the roll after a few repetitions of aerial to shine. Don't be afraid of Fox in his shield but respect his options. Also, Foxes these days tend to be jumpy OOS, so if you laser in close you can sometimes get a Nair off on a Fox that wants to jump OOS and start a combo from there.

Comboing: Fox is Falco's #1 combo target in the game. If you have trouble comboing Fox with Falco, you likely need to just crank out some hours practicing linking waveshines -> aerials vs. a level 1 computer. Fox is a fast faller and cannot tech dair until ~50%, so when you land a low % shine, the bread and butter follow up of wave dash out of shine -> shffl dair -> shine, rinse, repeat until ~50% is not a bad option. On FD, you can actually just wave shine and follow up with shines if he keeps DIing away, which will let you push him closer to the edge without building % too quickly so that you still have guaranteed follow ups like dair and fsmash to set up a cheap edgeguard opportunity. On platform stages, react to no DI on low % shines with aerial shine -> platform wave land instead of letting him tech. This sets up nicely for utilt/usmash/fsmash or generic dair/shine follow ups depending on where he goes. You can also link shine -> nair -> fsmash/dsmash if you want to try to catch them off guard and put them off stage. Another common thing to do is follow up your last dair before <FILL IN % HERE> with utlit -> fsmash.

As Fox gets higher in %, try to link your shines into shine-> bair or shine-> platform waveland. Getting above him and dairing after ~50% doesn't accomplish much as tech chases options are basically limited to guessing 1 option and hoping for the best in these scenarios, but feel free to do so on platforms and near ledges as you can typically turn it into a 50/50 guess on fsmash or dair -> dair spike/fsmash. You can also start your dair very early and fast fall through him with the weak hitbox to setup a legit combo into dsmash or screw up his tech timing. Another common follow up I use is to double jump above a Fox in hitstun and fast fall a uair through him to pop him up and follow that up. utilt and usmash combo into each other and shffled aerials very well at these mid %s as well.

At death %s, keep it short and sweet, always look for dair -> dair spike and dair -> smash opportunities and link your shines into dair spikes, shine -> bairs, or just regular bairs to set up edgeguards.

Dair to Dsmash on the missed tech is super good at mid-high percents. Mogwai got a lot of the comboing stuff down haha.

Edgeguarding: I've found that lasers are hugely useful in edgeguarding Fox. When I get him off at low-mid %, my first instincts are to fast fall off stage into a DJ nair/dair or DJ double laser with a fast fall after the first laser to cover more options with lasers. DJ nairing catches most forward B attempts which forces his up B which allows you to take the edge and either ledgehop dair or ledgehop bair. DJ dairing is less likely to hit than the nair, but it does just kill them a lot of the time. The two lasers are particularly nice because they catch him if he tries to fake you out with an early and high up B, but you have to be ready to catch an instant forward B afterwards with dsmash or angled filt. If he doesn't instant forward B after the lasers, he is below stage and you respond by simply taking the ledge. When he is knocked further away, pester him with lasers to force his recovery low and then take the ledge and utilize ledgehop bair for the kill.

Getting Comboed and DIing: Fox vs. Falco comboing is pretty linear upwards juggling. In other words, he just tries to hit you up in the air and then while you're falling in hitstun, he wants to hit you back up there. Fox's standard starters are usmash and grab. He can also open things up with the Thunder's Combo (shine -> wavedash -> jab reset which leads into shffl uair usually, but can also lead into charged usmash or grab), but this can be foiled by smash DIing the jab upwards so that you get slightly airborne from the jab rather than being reset. On FD and in other situations when there is no platform above you, you can DI his uthrow up and shine/double jump before he can regrab in the low 30%s, but doing this allows him to just utilt -> regrab or usmash -> w/e. In these situations, just pick a direction and DI that way until the hurting stops unless they are mindlessly CGing you and you think you'll be able to get away with DI up -> shine. Try not to lose your jump while getting comboed, as Fox will see this and then just do something obnoxious like nair -> ftilt/dsmash to push you off stage. Also just in general watch out for shine/doubleshine combo finishers near the edge of the stage, as that **** will very frequently lead into an impossibly easy edgeguard (for instance, if JMan grabs you near the ledge DI into the stage for the love of god unless you really don't need or want that stock).

Near platforms, Fox's combo game turns into a guessing game, so just mix it up and make him work for it. When he uthrow/usmash/utilts you onto a platform, just try to be unpredictable with your tech choices. If you always tech, Fox can pretty much tech chase with grab on reaction. If you mix in no tech, you can keep him guessing and just try to react to what he does, but again, if you get predictable he'll just murder you with uair or dair reset for not teching.

Recovering: In short recovery situations I typically jump backwards to try to avoid Fox just dropping down and shining me or sitting on the edge and dsmash/low ftilting me. I'll then react to him doing an attack by forward Bing through him or I'll start an up B slightly above ledge level if he does nothing so that you can try to react and either sweet spot the ledge or go on stage depending on Fox's movement. If you do this jump backwards recovery, watch out for Fox doing this big stupid loopy jump thing with a nair or nothing and looking for a shine. When he does this, you need to forward B to the ledge ASAP. If you delay at all or go high and try to recover onto the stage, he just gets a shine autokill. Alternately, you can drop low and just try to double jump sweet spot, but this is susceptible to cheesy drop down shines and edgehog opportunities. In long recovery situations, you really just have to forward B if he tries to come out after you and up B to the ledge if he edgehogs you and you have an option to go on stage (most foxes pop up with a bair to cover you going on stage). These long recovery situations are fairly hopeless against a good edgeguarding Fox though so focus on not getting gimped.

FD: This is a controversial stage in the matchup. In my counterpicking guide, I marked this as my most popular ban vs. Fox, but I've been coming around on that opinion over the past few months. The downside is that Fox's combos on Falco are never guessing games on this stage, as their are no platforms to hinder his combo game. This means that Fox's punishes are more consistently brutal here than on other neutrals. And in the meantime, it's harder to extend your combos to death without platforms to link mid % shine -> platform wavelands -> moveset combos. Your combos are still really good though, so it's a minor hindrance. The plus side is that your laser control is much more convincing here. If you're having trouble keeping the Fox off of you in the neutral position, this stage is a great way to simplify that aspect of the matchup. I've begun taking Foxes with particularly sophisticated platform movement to this stage with good success, but if I'm not having trouble controlling the stage on a platform stage, I don't like giving Fox the benefit of guaranteed CG -> uair/utilt/usmash punishes.

*This stage seems better and better for fox the more I think about it. Fox gets more guaranteed damage from CGs than you do for a combo on average(much less margin to mess up as well for combos). Losing platforms kinda sucks for Fox, but he has enough ways to deal with lasers that make it okay for him. That said, punishment is bigger on both ends of the matchup here, and if you can get your laser control down well there would be a lot of momentum/combo-heavy matches played here. It's typically why players like Mango call this stage "random" in terms of who wins there. Punishments are just silly here and sometimes too simple. Go here if you have success getting the first hit more often than your opponent/cant handle the platform camping at all.

BF: Personally, I really like this stage in this matchup. It's not hugely imbalanced or anything, but the ledges limit Fox's options when you make him recover from below, which Falco is good at with lasers, and it makes getting those mid-high % kills much easier. Of course the same is true from the other side of the matchup, but I think Falco's ability to recover from below ledge height is much less relevant than Fox's in this matchup. It's not too cramped to get a decent bit of laser control in the neutral position, but is obviously more difficult than on a larger stage like FD/PS/DL. Platforms are at very nice height and spacing for shine comboing. All in all, a pretty good stage vs. Fox.

*I actually feel pretty good on BF vs Fox, but I'm not sure if I'd recommend it to everyone. I feel like I do well here because Fox can't really run away that much, and something about the platform heights are conducive to comboing. It's harder for Fox to recover as well with no wall to ride up and tech on the sides, and shine up-B kills are actually somewhat possible since the ceiling is kinda low. This can all backfire since the stage isn't too big and Fox can catch you, kill you off the top sooner, and egdeguard/combo you easier too(maybe?), so this could easily be a preference thing.

DL64: Assuming they don't ban it, this is my default pick vs. Fox players. The wide platforms are spaced nicely so that a Fox on the platform isn't necessarily that scary when you're on the ground. Their width makes his platform follow ups more difficult. The stage is huge and as such give you a lot to work with in terms of laser control. The ceiling is monstrously high, making Fox's kills off the top considerably more difficult. Definitely a good one vs. Fox.

*I hate this stage vs Fox now lol. He can run away soooooo much and it takes longer to kill him(especially with better SDI which increases the chance of escaping a combo either just by nature of SDI or with something like an edgecancel). However, if you're a big camper or need room to breathe vs a Fox that's always on top of you, then I'd suggest this stage for sure. Watch out for run off top/side platform bairs here especially.

FoD: This stage is pretty tricky in this matchup. I've found that the key is to stay low and stay away from predictable dair on platform -> fall through dair tricks unless the Fox is already in shield or cornered. Sometimes the low platforms let you ledge cancel out of a combo early, which is nice, but other times they put you into an impossible tech situation where you'll get usmashed regardless of what you do. The ledges aren't particularly good for you in the matchup as Fox has low recovery options along the wall, but in the same breath, you have techable walls all the way to the bottom of the stage in case you get shined into the wall. If you're smart about using lasers behind low platforms, you can also nicely control Fox's approach similar to how you can on FD with the added benefit of shutting down his SHFFL approaches, but besides that, it's a bit too small for nice laser control. As with in most matchups, this stage is potentially good, but also potentially pretty bad depending on how you choose to play it.

*This stage can either **** or **** you in this matchup. Combos here can be intense for you with the nice platform heights and the smaller size allowing them to end closer to the edge for explosive finishes(not to mention the smaller side blast zones make your life easier as well since you usually finish combos sideways and the large ceiling helps you survive since Fox likes to kill vertically). The lower platforms can screw with your lasers, so be very mindful of the stage before committing to any sort of movement. The good news is that if your lasers stop working well on this stage you get to end the lag on your aerials sooner. Dair to Dair on lower platforms is fun shield pressure/combo material and can be played around with a lot. Both you and Fox can reach through platfroms with your upsmashes and Dsmashes sure you have a thorough understanding of how all of your moves are affected by the stage before trying to play here.

YS: This stage is taking over as my default ban vs. Fox. He is a potential threat from any platform and there's no way to establish good laser control. On this stage, you just need to rely on your spacing to produce first hits and it's very tough when Fox has room to run around above you and get the jump on you. Couple that with stupid ledges that tilt downward and allow fox's stupid dsmash to hit stupid low and a stupid low ceiling, and you've got a bit of a nightmare for Falco. That being said, the platforms are pretty nice for comboing and the low ceiling can let you get some silly shine -> up B kills, so it's not all bad, but in the grand scheme of things, I'd much rather not have to play Fox on this stage... also it's stupid.

*Foxes really like this stage vs Falco. There's good reason for it obviously. Bair covers A LOT of the stage, and the small blastzones help Fox kill early like he enjoys. If you can keep yourself moving, this stage isn't too bad, but edgeguarding is pretty tough here for you more than Fox usually since fly guys and a big wall+randall make an already complicated procedure even more difficult. If it weren't for easy to finish combos/small blast zones helping you out as well I'd definitely say ban this stage vs Fox. As it is, it's probably not a good stage vs him, but it's doable.

PS: The Neutral transformation is pretty good for Falco. It's nice and flat and you can make it pretty difficult for Fox to make it to a relevant platform with your lasers due to how large the stage is and the fact that there's no top platform for Fox to use to move from one low platform to another. The ledges are also pretty lame like battlefield's which, as I said before, is better for Falco than Fox. The small blast zones also mean that Fox will just straight up die in some situations where he'd otherwise be able to recover. The two issues with this stage vs. Fox are the low ceiling and the transformations. While neither of these are really dealbreakers for Falco, they do make the stage worse than dreamland or battlefield for this matchup in my book. I think that the mountain and fire transformations are both beneficial to Fox, that the windmill is relatively even, and that the jungle is beneficial to Falco in the matchup (<3 the left side of the jungle transformation).

*Neutral part of this rapes. Not really big platforms to Fox to camp on, and small enough blast zones to keep your kills quick while you get a lot of room to control Fox horizontally but not so much vertically. It's a unique and effective layout if you can use it correctly imo. The transformations pretty much all suck for Falco though, especially that mountain one. This CP can vary in terms of success and may end up coming down to how patient you are or how well you can handle Fox having times where he can suddenly platform camp with a lot of stage control.

KJ64: I actually really like this stage vs. Fox. The platforms being so high makes them functionally pretty useless for Fox, as approaching from them is very predictable and punishable by reaction. What's left is an FD-like playing field that lets you shut Fox down quite a bit by using lasers. The rotating platforms in the middle give you a respite from Fox combos when he does manage to hit you and the ceiling is exceptionally high, making the usmash and uair kills **** near impossible. The ledges are beneficial to you in much the same way as BF and PS's are, but they are trickier, so make sure your Forward B shortening is on so that you can still make it to the ledge without crashing into the stage (since you can't). Also, always remember than shine stalling until the barrel comes is a viable option. All in all, it's a mildly tricky neutralish stage that you should keep in mind if you know how to play it.

*I need to play this stage vs Fox more, but from what I have played of it, it's pretty frustrating because Fox can just runaway and stuff lol.

Welp, that didn't change since the last time I wrote it lol. Falco can combo well here but Fox is great at moving here. Yup.

Brinstar: Is a pretty janky stage for both spacies. I don't really know how the matchup goes on it.

Rainbow Cruise: Rainbow cruise is generaly good for Falco, but against Fox, he has too much space to move around and you can't control him with lasers. I don't really get shook up if a Fox takes me here, but I would never dream of taking a Fox to rainbow cruise.

* I really don't like Cruise against Fox. Fox gimps mad hard and can move around so much better than Falco can. I probably don't know how to play the matchup though.

A year later: Fox definitely moves around and kills better here vs Falco lol. Ive never seen this matchup here but I can't imagine it being in Falco's favor AT ALL. It has to be at least slightly in Fox's favor here. Dude is too fast.

I couldn't tell you who wins this matchup. Still trying to decide. I still feel like Fox can run circles around Falco and beat him, but it seems somewhat easier to punish Foxs movement now. I feel inclined to say slight advantage Fox right now anyway.

From Dr Peepee's Advice thread (Falcon and Marth):

vs Falcon:


We'll do the easy part first. KJ64 is Falcon's big **** stage in this matchup, but DL works pretty well for him also. Yeah, Falco can combo better due to the height of the platforms on that stage, but you can already combo falcon to death/offstage anyway. Falcon survives well here due to a high ceiling and high platforms on both sides. Falco dies earlier because Falcon just has an easier time comboing here and Falco also has no easy way to sweetspot the edge(no side to ride up for firebird, and it's nearly impossible for side-B). DL lets Falcon run around on platforms and avoid lasers pretty well, and the stage is big enough to the point that Falcon's speed on those platforms actually allows him to surprise Falco because he has so much platform space to trip Falco up on.


You're probably going to want to take Falcon to FD. You can 0-death him here like it's nothing. If Falcon is more concerned about getting 0-deathed than dealing with the stage, then he'll get rid of FD. In this case, FoD is your best bet because you get platform combos galore and Falcon has a hard time moving around and getting his stuff started. There are times when FoD's platforms mess with your own laser game though, and the combination of that with the small size of the stage may leave you feeling a little cramped. This isn't a huge problem really because Falco has other answers to Falcon's approaches, so don't be afraid to start moving around without shooting and getting creative if you know your gun won't work.

Really though, it's up to the Falco. If you like to get in close on Falcon and outprioritize his aerials, then you'll want to take him to BF, FoD, or YS. If you like controlling Falcon's approaches and being safer in your own approach(preferred), then you'll want FD or PS. PS is a great CP because you have enough room to laser and control Falcon without giving him lots of outside space to recover. The transformations are a good aid to Falco's combos as well.

So I figured the first thing I should do when I start to talk about actually fighting Falcon is the importance of lasers and knowing when to approach. That gun rapes Falcon. I mean, it messes him up badly. Falcon loses his awesome dash dance game and has to move around and aerial based on the way you shoot. Falco's lasers, like any other projectile, are meant to control the way Falcon moves and it allows you to force him into an unfavorable position that you can take advantage of. For example, let's say I'm fighting against a Falcon on FD. Falcon has no platforms he can retreat to when I laser, so he has to be totally focused on what I'm doing. This knowledge allows me to shoot more freely to apply pressure. What can Falcon do on FD to avoid my lasers though? Turns out, he has a few ways of dealing with them, but they can be countered fairly easily.

1. Nair as you laser.

Probably the most prominent Falcon technique to dealing with lasers. Falco has some down time when he pulls out his gun and he's also vulnerable after he fires until he reaches the ground. Falcon's have a quick reaction time typically. Waiting until Falco SHs isn't hard to react to. All they have to do is SH Nair(no FF) and the Nair will reach Falco just after his laser comes out. A simple counter to this is to aim your lasers higher. Hitting Falcon right between the legs is funny anyway. CC'ing the Nair that is probably going past you to a punishment of your choice(JC grab, Utilt possibly, Dsmash) is another good option.
As this is the main time you have to worry about Nair, I might as well say you can also Utilt to beat Falcon's Nair. Bair also works, and sometimes you can even Nair through it(not totally reliable but it looks pretty cool).

2. Powershield

The main thing with Falcon's powershielding is, it's only a little bit of damage. Powershielding(now PS'ing) only deals Falco a little bit of damage(assuming you don't just shield the laser anyway....), and it sometimes makes Falcos feel like they need to approach. That's what Falcon wants. Don't rush in after Falcon does something correctly like that because then he'll feel more confident and be more likely to punish Falco. The best thing to do after Falcon PS's something is.....keep shooting.

3. Raptor boost under/through a laser.

Yeah, Falcon can do something weird with his side B that lets him go past lasers. It's dumb, but fairly easy to punish. Just look for the startup animation and see if you can shield+JC Dair or just Dair him. Nair is fine too if you just wanna hit him, but Dair leads to so much. You can even turnaround Uptilt to look mad cute if you're quick.

4. Platforms

Falcon is like a worse version of Fox on platforms. He can fall off of/through them with Bairs or knees, or he could jump out at you with knees or stomps. Laser him from across the stage to get him off of them to approach you on the ground, or work on Bairs/Uairs underneath the platform Falcon is on to harass him. Watch out for stomps through the platforms though.

Okay, so now you know to laser Falcon and (sort of) how to deal with his answers to them. I'll go into what you want to do when you finally approach now.

Falcon will probably be shielding when you get in close. His options are very limited here. He can retreating Nair OOS if he's facing forward, Bair OOS if he's facing away from you, roll under pressure, or stomp OOS if you're pressuring his shield. I like approaching a shielding Falcon with Nair because it will get to him before his Bair or Nair come out well, and it keeps him from jumping away(if you're quick enough).

Once you're on top of Falcon, you have him where you want him. Don't let him go. Staple aerial+shine shield pressure eats at Falcon's shield and forces him to roll typically. Watch for when Falcon rolls and learn to react or predict to it. If you do more than one waveshine on Falcon's shield he an grab you, but he can also stomp OOS. If that happens, you will take hard damage or lose a stock vs a high level Falcon. If you can get behind a Falcon and pressure him, you will always get a roll. Shiz has said this before and I have tested it and it's best to shield pressure from the rear if possible. I don't know how wise it is to always try to get behind Falcon, but if you do it some then you can expect a roll away and punish it hard. Mixing in laser+shine is **** for shield pressure too.

Then you have your grabs. Laser to grab. Laser to JC grab from a farther distance. Shine JC grab is an awesome mixup. The way you do these is all up to you, but it's best to mix them up or you'll get aerial'd OOS for being predictable.
Off of grabs, you can't do much to Falcon. Uthrow puts Falcon in a bad position to get Bair'd/Nair'd, Fthrow sets up a guessing situation that tends to make Falcons roll(sometimes they sit in their shield and you can double Fthrow them though.....Chops does this stuff a lot). Bthrow works well on Falcon because if he DIs in you can get an Ftilt or jab off and continue pressuring Falcon. He could also DJ/land on a platform. In this case you already know how to fight him here, but you have the mental upper hand/momentum at this point so play around with your new openings when Falcon is under pressure on a platforn vs when he isn't.
Of course, the throw that puts Falcon offstage is preferable to the one that could lead to a combo on him.

A little bit on Uthrow: I don’t think you can directly follow up on Uthrow vs Falcon, but Falcon typically DJs(double jumps) away after an Uthrow, so you’re left with possibilities. Falco’s Bair outspaces Falcon’s knee and Nair from below, so if Falcon DIs behind Falco then that’s the best option. If Falcon DIs in front of you, then you should go for a Nair or FAIR(yes, Fair. It comes out quickly and hits heavies like Falcon several times for massive damage and stuff). Falcon’s stomp is easy to punish either in startup or cooldown, and even if you trade you can’t die from it, so it’s worth going for. This is a part of following up on Falcon I’ll come back to soon.

Alright, and now, the favorite part for you people with happy feet: COMBO’ING

Dair shine is your best way to combo. Seriously. At 0%, if you get a shine, you should Dair shine afterward. On FD, Dair shine until ~43-45% is good, and the shine that connects after that can lead into Nairs into Fsmash or a Dair spike( see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mj8ro3oLLtk starting around 1:03).
With platforms, I like to spike Falcon(anyone really) into them so I can get a tech chase going by the time I land there. Sometimes you can’t hit Falcon offstage so it’s necessary to do this so that you can build up damage/land a strong hit on Falcon. Depending on %/stage/where you are in your jump, you can follow up with an Fsmash no matter what your opponent does, which is typically the best unless they don’t tech, in which case a Dsmash is the most reliable and sometimes the best punishment. Dsmash sends characters low, which is good vs spacies/Falcon because they can’t recover. It forces Marth lower so he has less time to abuse his slow falling speed, etc. I’ll go over this part again if/when I talk about other characters.
Anyway, I’ll sometimes go for an uptilt since it comes out quickly and reaches across most of the platform, as well as leads to another strong hit(Fsmash/Bair depending on the opponent’s character).

Let’s say you’re below the platform when Falcon techs onto it. Stand directly under the center of it(if you get there quickly enough). If Falcon/anyone techs in place or rolls toward the edge facing the blast zones, then you can just FH Bair him. If he misses the tech you can punish him too, my bad. If he goes toward the middle of the stage then you can Nair him if you think it will send him offstage or try to DJ Dair him and punish based on DI if you react quickly enough. A shine WL onto the platform is also an acceptable option at lower percents. Be wary of shining an opponent who missed a tech though, because they sometimes get into that really floaty state where you can’t combo them. It’s all hit-or-miss there in my experience. There’s probably a certain timing for when to shine them but I couldn’t tell you what it is.

Oh, I almost forgot about recovery haha.

Falcon’s will jump offstage if they think you will jump backwards and phantasm so they try to knee you out of it. Delaying your jump/holding your shine(very good option) is crucial at these times. If you’re below the stage, then Falcon will probably uptilt you. Be sure to sweetspot/tech as necessary.
Getting back onto the stage from the edge isn’t any different vs Falcon than any other character. Do some edge regrabs, shorten some phantasms, throw in double lasers sparingly. Yeah.

Oh yeah, I wanted to talk about beating Falcon’s aerials. Let’s see….

Uair- You should just laser it from the ground. Hard to beat from the front or when you’re above it. Shielding is a good option here. If Falcon is getting close enough to upair on the ground a lot though then you need to use a few more of those infinite bullets. =p

Nair- Laser it, Uptilt it, CC it, Nair it(aggressively), Bair it, I think I’ve Upsmashed it before lol.

Knee- Laser it, Uptilt it, roll(I don’t like shielding knees because the shieldstun let’s Falcon pressure Falco really hard), Bair it, Nair works I think, Fair can work if you just NEED to get something out there to stop the knee but it’s kind of a bad option lol.

Stomp(this should only be a problem as Falcon falls)- Bait it with an empty SH and then DJ Bair/Nair. If Falcon catches onto this then start doing quick DJ Bairs(preferred btw)/Nairs to worry him again. He could even airdodge here so be sure to space your aerials well so you can pressure him as soon as you both land.

Bair- I don’t see this move used much…..If Falcon has his back to Falco he usually rolls. I guess laser it if you somehow see it coming or just shield it.

The Marth Matchup

The Matchup and History: When I started playing Melee, Marth was considered one of the worst matchups in the game for Falco. M2K was on a tear and was just making every Falco on the planet look absolutely helpless with the combination of his consistent use of powershield -> grab, brutal 0-death combos, and merciless edgeguarding. It took awhile for Falco players to catch up and figure out how to play against this faster and less forgiving style of Marth play, but there are a number of Falcos out there today who are capable of beating M2K at the matchup. While it's still a tough matchup due to the nature of Marth's punish game, I think Falco has a slight edge on Marth at the higher levels of play, though it's pretty hard to call with the lack of high level Marth players out there now.
Bottom Line: A difficult matchup to master because of Marth's punish game, but ultimately, Falco's considerable edge in the neutral position keeps the matchup very close to even. I'd even go so far as to say it's a tiny advantage for Falco, but this is an uncommon opinion of the matchup.

The Neutral Position: This is where you have to win the matchup as Falco. Marth has to wait for mistakes and then punish super hard, so the key to winning the matchup is to control the neutral position and not make any/many mistakes. Marth has a considerable range advantage on Falco due to his sword, but you can completely negate this advantage with lasers. Marth has a number of knee-jerk reactions to predictible laser approaches (shield the laser -> fair your approach and counter are the most popular), so it's key that you make your approach timings unpredictible. I like to approach with a couple SHLs and then switch to either stationary SHLs or empty movement when I would be able to approach with an aerial or approaching SHL. Marth's typically think that you'll just keep coming with approaching SHLs or an aerial, so by throwing his timing off, you can bait his response and either keep laser pressure on or punish harder if you call counter and don't shoot a laser into it. While Marth's attacks come out pretty quickly, most are fairly laggy, with only dtilt being a notable exception. This means that when you bait him into taking action, you have a comfy window to punish. In essense, that's what the neutral position is all about vs. Marth; bait attacks from him and then punish. It's imperative to keep laser pressure on so that Marth can't get comfortable with his movement, as his fast dash, long grab range, and brutal uthrow combos make running powershield -> grab incredible vs. Falco. If you keep him on lockdown and manage the spacing, you can shut that option down and all that's left are his laggy attacks and floaty short hops which you can bait and punish.

When Marth is floating around with empty short hops, don't approach him until he attacks, just keep shooting. If he gets impatient and starts floating your way either retreat with a SHL or dash past the tipper range and CC -> dtilt/shine when he fairs. CCing is pretty good vs. Marth when you get real up close and personal with him, but it's generally super ineffective vs. any tippered move of his.

Challenging Marth from above is a bad idea, but if you can bait utilts without using your double jump, you can quickly double jump out of utilt range and then punish the utilt's lag. This dynamic makes being on the top platform vs. marth a good idea because you can use drop through the platform -> double jump to bait utilts and then find an opening to punish. Just watch out for full hop uairs/fairs. Marth isn't particularly quick about moving vertically, but if you're not careful, he can catch you with one of those.

Being below Marth is awesome. His floatiness and super laggy dair effectively neuter him when he's directly above his enemy. If you force Marth onto a platform with lasers, get below him and he becomes incredibly limited. In that platform situation, I suggest just staying beneath his platform and trying to pester him with uairs until he tries to move to either the top platform or back down to the stage, at which point, you should try to stay on top of him with either shine -> waveland on the platform or lasers/nair if he comes back down to the stage. When he's generally above you (without a platform), bair pretty much beats everything of his. It's hitbox sneaks under fair and forward B, it outranges the low hitbox of bair, and it's easy to space to horizonally outrange his dair with how much faster you move upwards with your jump than he falls down. Essentially, when you get below Marth, it's pretty important to capitolize on how well your vertical movement and aerials match up with his.

Shield Pressuring: Marth's combination of bad OoS options and a small shield make pressuring his shield easy and highly profitable. The list of viable options OoS for Marth:
Up B (6 frames)
Grab (7 frames)
Fair (8 frames)
Roll (4 frames)
First thing you'll notice is that dodge isn't listed here and that's cause Marth's dodge sucks, so if he tries to use it to break out of shield pressure, chances are that you'll hit him even if you're just spamming tech skill and hoping for the best. While dair (10 frames) and bair (11 frames) are sorta options too, they're both really underwhelming vs. Falco's shield pressure game, so I've left them out too. Ok, so what this boils down to is that while Marth has other options, he's really going to just try to grab you or roll most of the time. Shield grabbing gets destroyed by shine grab and fadeaway nair after your shines, and, to a lesser extent, double shine mixups, but when timed properly, will catch you out of a standard pillar. Since Marth is so dangerous from a grab at low-mid %s, I make preventing getting shield grabbed the #1 priority when I'm at those %s. I find shine grab the most overall reliable tool against marth, as he can basically only roll away (if he buffers spot dodge between your shine and grab, you still come out with a frame advantage which you can exploit with either another grab or shine). Fadeaway nairs are also great since they can shield stab or at least get his shield lower for future shield stabs, but if he jumps forward out of his shield with a fair, he can tipper fair you in the nair lag. His up B OoS is risky, but when you hit his shield high with an aerial or misspace a shine (so that it misses his shield), he can reverse up B you for kills at high %s or just to get you off of him at low and mid %s. If he fails to sweet spot though, you can CC and punish it. Also, if he gets predictible with it (read: if you're playing G$'s marth and are at >90%), you can just l-cancel your aerial into shield and then punish after he up Bs your shield.

Comboing: Marth has medium fall speed and is fairly light. The most similar character in terms of being comboed is probably Y. Link, so chances are that if you don't have Marth experience, you probably don't quite know how to combo him. Low % shines should be followed up with strong dairs into another shine. Once I start getting into the mid 30s to 50s, I transition into double jumping above Marth with an early dair that I then fast fall through him to weak hit the dair. This knocks him down much more slowly than a strong dair, which doesn't give him a chance to tech before you are able to utilt or shine (utilt is preferable since it doesn't knock him as high at those %s, which will allow you to rinse and repeat). When doing these high weak hit dairs, they will usually auto-cancel, so try to get a feel for when the move auto-cancels so that you don't try to l-cancel and end up shielding when you're auto-canceling. I typically try to end my extended combos on Marth by shine -> bairing/just bairing him off stage, but if the positioning doesn't lend itself to knocking him off stage with bair, I suggest uairing (if he's too high to dair) or dairing him and trying to tech chase with a sffled dair -> which ever aerial makes sense. Because of Marth's weight and fall speed, you usually don't have to be terrifically fast to tech chase him after a high dair.

I actually end up using short hop auto-cancel bair -> utilt as a combo starter a lot vs. Marth. It spaces really well vs. a lot of situations and the weak hit of the bair combos into the utlit quite well at the low %s, and the utilt tends to be easy to follow up. I usually find myself using this when Marth is attacking me from a platform, but I use it vs. DDing sometimes too when I think they'll expect a laser from me playing defensively.

Platforms are beautiful for your combos, any shine -> waveland at the early -> mid %s leads to a lot of damage from the generic shine -> dair stuff I described above. They also make tech chasing even easier by not giving him a lot in the way of room to tech roll, which lets you tech chase with fsmash or dsmash (if you're too much of a ***** to fsmash :laugh:). If you've placed Marth near a top platform mid combo, full hop fair will actually usually connect 2-3 times and set up a dash -> JC usmash, and while that's cool and I've been trying to find a way to fit that into flashy combos, a full hop uair will usually prove more effective as it can setup a dair.

When I uthrow a Marth at low-mid, I usually try to shine him if I'm confident in my spacing, but otherwise I stay under him with uairs, as they typically try to forward B or fair, both of which will usually hit you out of trying to shine him with shakey timing. I think it was Ryan-K who told me that if they miss DI on the uthrow at 0, you can full hop fair for a 4-5 hit fair combo :laugh:, but I still haven't really tried this, as I just go for shine when they miss the DI, but I should check it out on FD, since with out platforms, a midair shine doesn't lead to much.

At higher %s, I find uthrow -> dair works way more than it should. You just sorta pick a direction and full hop fair that way and hope he doesn't DI the lasers the other direction, but as I said, this ends up working a lot more than it should, especially if you uthrow immediately after a shine-grab. Working from dairs at higher % is easy, as it usually leads to dair spike or a nair/bair to send them off stage, but always keep uairs in mind when you've knocked him high in the center of the stage, as you can frequently get kills off the top with uair faster than you can get kills off the side from the center with bair (especially since they typically DI up, expecting the bair).

Edgeguarding: Okay, so we'll start with the easy stuff... If you can ever get positioned under Marth while edge gaurding, exploit your bair for easy kills. As I described in my discussion of the neutral position, Marth's aerials match up poorly vs. your bair from below. Also watch for the Marth doing forward Bs high in the air. His forward B is way laggier than most people think at first, so most of the time a Marth does this high, you should be able to punish with a rising bair or dair.

When Marth players start to get good though, they learn to hold onto their forward B and not recover high vs. Falco. When you have hit Marth far enough away that his double jump will not sweetspot, I find lightshield edgeguarding to be highly effective. To perform the lightshield edgeguard, simply roll to the ledge with L or R and while you are in the middle of the roll, let go of L or R and start holding Z along with back to the ledge. Z is better than lightly holding L or R as you'll always have the minimal lightshield, which works perfectly with holding just straight back (no need to hold at any weird angles... straight back). Alrighty, so I'm gonna go through all of Marth's options after you lightshield:
1. Stay at stage height with recovery and instead of up Bing, airdodge onto stage/ledge.
2. After double jumping, before up Bing, fair or forward B you to put you on the ledge, then upB to ledge after you lose your invincibility frames
3. Up B to the stage
4. Up B to the ledge

1 and 2 effectively counter you doing nothing. When I anticipate either of these, I short hop out of my lightshield with a bair and then reset my lightshield positioning, as the bair typically forces them to do 3 or 4 on their next attempt. If I don't anticipate 1, I'll try to react with shine OoS. If I don't anticipate 2, I'll roll from the ledge and try to punish whatever Marth tries to do to get off of the ledge. 3 is my favorite, as Marth's up B has a load of lag which you can punish off the ledge. Most people are inclined to ledge hop in front of Marth and bair him back off the stage, and while there's nothing wrong with this, dairing instead of bairing is typically better. If Marth DIs in (most of the time), you just turn around and dair spike him:

At lower %s, he needs to DI away and at higher %s, he needs to not DI at all, both of which are counter intuitive to most Marth players. If you notice them catching on though, mix in bairing them, as bair will simply kill them if they're DIing incorrectly. Also get a feel for when your dtilt will kill Marth, as if you're under 100%, just getting up off the ledge and dtilting him is frequently the safest and most guaranteed kill. If you do nothing vs 4, you simply grab the ledge and Marth dies, so this doesn't come up often. I believe there is a perfect spacing where Marth gets the ledge before you by doing 4, but I haven't seen a Marth get away with that in a long time. Mostly you'll see Marth's trying to do 4 when you start bairing them out of 1 and 2, so I usually try not to use bair often, since there are profitible reactions to both 1 and 2, whereas SHing off with a bair only for Marth to go low and take the ledge puts you into an unfavorable position.

When Marth can make it back with just his double jump and he doesn't go high, I usually don't try to **** around and try to get a hit, as screwing up usually means losing momentum near the edge, which is really bad vs. Marth. If you can make it to the ledge quickly, fast falling off the ledge into DJ bair can be very effective, but this rarely comes up, so you're usually left with only unsafe bair/fsmash/ftilt/dsmash attempts from stage, which I've come to believe are almost always not worth the risk. Simply space yourself far enough from the ledge that he can't WD off the ledge -> grab you or fair you off the ledge and shoot lasers while waiting for him to make his move.

Getting Comboed and DIing: Marth vs. Falco combos tend to be low % chaingrabs into strings of aerials and utilts, ideally ending in fsmash or offstage dair (or reverse up B if the Marth is a baller). Marth combos are tricky to DI because there's actually a ton of varience in them, so I can only give you some conditional tips, and the rest comes from experience. When Marth grabs you at 0, DIing behind his uthrow escapes the chainthrow and DIing away -> buffer dodge escapes his fthrow chaingrab. Most Marths will fthrow at 0, so I usually try to react with DI away -> buffer dodge, but it's hard to react because that throw is so quick. If you notice him being lazy and uthrowing at 0, DI into him and then mix up the tech.

The old school Cactuar combo of fthrow -> uthrow -> dthrow -> tipper fsmash the missed tech still happens a lot and reminds us that you must always be ready to tech the quick mixups that Marth has, because good Marths are always trying to lull you into a missed tech for cheap tippers that lead to edgeguards.

Going to platforms out of the chaingrab is great when you can, but marths can mostly react to missed tech with utilt, so just try to mix up the direction you tech when doing this. On some platforms, you're just boned (*cough*Yoshi's Story*cough**cough*) cause he can cover all tech options with utilt on reaction, but you can CC utilt/uair -> tech in place at low%s, after which you should buffer a full jump out of there. We as Falco players usually try to get ballsy with dairs here, but I think buffered jump is actually much smarter as after the tech in place, Marth can usually get his utilt hitbox back out before you dair him.

DIing his aerials is not a science, as there's so much variation from tipper/non-tipper and what your DI allows him to follow up with. The only real piece of solid advice I can give you is that you must DI his tipper fair away when you're near the ledge, as DIing in lets him Ken Combo you. DIing in and up work more often vs. Marth than most characters to avoid getting death comboed, as his only aerial finishers both hit low (reverse up B and dair), but DIing in too much will let him get longer combos for more %. I typically recommend DIing away from everything, but as I said earlier, there's just too much varience in Marth combos, and if you just always DI away, you're bound to get bit by tipper fair -> fsmash at like 30 and just die cause you're DIing away at some point.

Recovering: I wrote a bit about exactly this in lesson 5, section 4, part 2 in my thread here:

In less specific gimping situations, the general rule of thumb is to recover high onto platforms when Marth takes the ledge and to be tricky about getting to the ledge when he stays on stage (sweetspot up B from above, shortened illusion, airdodge).

Alright, this is way more complicated than Falcon lol. I was going to not update this anymore until Mogwai and I did our collab, but school johns means this is taking a while and I don't want you guys waiting forever. So, I'm going to do some/all of what I know about this matchup to hold you over(and because you all reallllly wanted to see something on Marth haha).


This is sort of based on how you want to fight Marth. If you want to just shoot the living crap out of him because you hate him so much then you want to get rid of FoD, YS, and BF.
*I'll go about how you would want to narrow those down in a minute.
If you want to keep Marth close(to keep him from PS'ing so much, or you just wanna combo)/hate getting CG'd, then you'll definitely want to get rid of FD and DL, and you'll also want to nix PS.

I can't decide which is worse for every Falco between BF and YS. I like YS personally because I can recover sometimes and kill Marth fairly early, but it's worse because his sword takes up more of the stage on YS than BF. I feel like Falco is supposed to laser better on BF, but I always control with lasers much better on YS. This might be because the platforms in BF cover proportionally more area there than the YS one's do. Not sure.
Between the keeping Marth close stages, get rid of FD(I ban this every time because I just hate the CG so much). To me, it's not worth it to rack up damage with laser spam if you can't kill him faster(20% from lasers and a 50% combo) than he can kill you from one grab. Marth might ban FD because he hates laser spam a lot, and if that's the case then you could ban DL.

Here's my thought process when I do this: Is it M2K? If yes, FD is gone. If not, FD is still gone(screw CGs). Did they ban FD first? If yes, I ban BF because I feel like I can't control Marth well there(might just be a personal thing though). If we're striking, then I'll get also get of YS(if FD is banned by opponent) because I can't move well there. I don't care much after BF and FD though.


I personally recommend PS as a CP. You can play it campy or aggro and it tends to be successful here just because the stage is the right size. The transformations also help with combos. DL is good for lasering/breathing room, and FoD is good for close quarters/combos, but I don't like FoD just because the extremely low platforms keep me from lasering. If I get a hit I like that stage though haha. If any of this needs clarifying just let me know. Sometimes it's just preference-based so that's why I talked about two ways to do things(I know Zhu likes to be in close but I like to be farther away).

Alright, as before, I'm going to talk about the laser game vs Marth.
No matter how you approach this matchup, there is nothing smart/effective about rushing down Marth. You're going to have to fire that gun at least a few times before you wanna go in(initially anyway because you have to feel out his responses to your lasers....more on that later). You can use lasers to force Marth to approach(sometimes he won't) or put him into his shield(personally preferred). I'm going to discuss lasers as a means to put Marth into his shield, but before we can go into how to get in on Marth, we have to explore his counters to lasers(OOS or otherwise).


1. Dash Attack

Marths looooove to punish Falcos that laser too high with dash attack. If you're playing against a high-level/smart Marth, then you should aim your lasers low when you see them approach. This will keep him from hitting you and you can follow up your laser with whatever.
ALSO, if you retreating laser, then Marth might chase you with a dash attack. Recognize when he might do this and punish him by dashing/WD'ing away(he must immediately chase) and punishing him as necessary(Dsmash/Dair/Bair possibly/etc).

2. Counter

Marth can use this defensively and offensively, and that's what makes this move dangerous. He can dash into counter or counter standing still as you approaching laser. If he uses it aggressively, then mix in shielding in response to his approach or firing blanks(SHL but FF early so the bullet doesn't come out. This is extremely crucial here and I will mention it more throughout this thing). You can punish as necessary then. If he uses it defensively, then things are a little more tricky. You'll want to vary everything you can do with lasers(timing, height, WDs/DDs in between them) in order to throw Marth off. He might also counter your aerial approach so you may want to do empty SHs toward Marth to see if you can bait it. This move is gay. =p

3. Platforms

This sounds easy to combat because Marth is weak from below, but combining his speed with his range makes him hard to get under. I don't recommend challenging Marth on a platform unless you're directly under him. If you are, then you should observe his reactions. If he shields, then shine waveland onto the platform and harass him. If he likes to run off, then go for Bairs or Uairs to catch him. If he baits you with an empty SH and then Fairs when he think you will jump to challenge him then you need to Bair/shine(% dependent imo) him as he lands. The timing is tricky for that one so you may just want to see what he does after the Fair. Watch out because he could immediately fall through the platform with another Fair and screw you up since you'll be by the edge then. Shield or Bair/Utilt as necessary. Oh, and if you're not under him, then I advise that you laser him. He'll come down, but just make sure you're not on the platform when he is down because then you'll have a Marth below you which is never good. Approaching the platform cautiously is never a bad idea either.

Shielding-based options:

1. Powershield(PS)

Lol this stuff. Marth's are usually really good at it so you'll have to deal with it the higher you go. If Marth is being defensive with PS'ing then you'll want to vary all aspects of your lasers(timing, height, laser spacing, mixing in movement options in between them and how much of each you do, and whether you even fire a laser or not[blank]). This makes Marth focus more on PS'ing and less on Falco's actual approach, which is what you want.
If he uses PS'ing aggressively, then you'll want to retreating laser more as Marth approaches so that he can't capitalize on his PS. You could also empty SH and then grab/aerial Marth if you think he will try it. You could also take him head on with an aerial(Dair/Nair) as he approaches because he could be expecting a RSHL or a shield so it's good to surprise him sometimes.

2. Lightshielding(LS)

Not a very commonly used option, but one worth taking note of. If Marth LS's Falco's lasers then he will be pushed farther away than usual. This allows him to space himself farther away from the potential aerial approach and allows Marth more time to punish it. If he keeps LS'ing your aerial then shield pressure is very dangerous to attempt because he could grab Falco due to how far away he would slide. I find that just laser to grab works really well on Marth when he does this, but lasering him offstage(he's usually sort of close to the edge when he does this) gives good stage control.

3. Fair/WD/Up-B OOS

This option(OOS options **** so I'm gonna consolidate them) gives me the most trouble out of any other option. Fair'ing OOS is used when Falco approaches with a laser just out of Marth's grab range and tries to attack. Falco runs right into the wall and if it wasn't tippered then the situation is probably reset. WD/Up-B OOS are used more when Falco is applying aerial-shine shield pressure in between the shine and aerial. To counter Fair, you just have to be unpredictable in your approach. If Marth thinks you're going to grab, then Nair quickly. If he thinks you're going to laser in close then shoot the laser and spotdodge or just....shoot more lasers lol.
For WD OOS, you'll want to use more Nair in your shield pressure. This might allow you to catch him as he's retreating. You could also mix in laser-shine to see if you could catch him that way as well.
For Up-B OOS, you really just have to not stay on Marth's shield long or shine-JC grab him before he gets ready to Up-B. So, laser/aerial in for a couple hits then retreating Dair/Nair(if you bait a shield grab Fsmash that man-ho).

I'll do the rest of this guide later.

Okay, so now it's later lol. I did most of the hard part so I'll tidy up the rest of this ish.

I find that camping Marth doesn't do a whole lot in this matchup, but rushing him is also difficult to stay consistent with. I find aggressivness to be a little more effective on Marth since most of the ones I've played(that aren't M2K lol) can't handle the pressure very well, despite their strong defensive options. Regardless, I recommend calculated approaches that should vary on the aggro spectrum. That is to say that sometime you need to be pretty aggro and sometimes you need to laser him more to see what Marth likes to do. M2K liked to do lots of FHs and DJs when I lasered him, because he was abusing the fact that Falco cannot attack Marth as he falls backwards with a laser of Marth can Fair right after he's hit and can probably grab and do unmentionable things to Falco. There really isn't much to do about this except try to run in with a Nair/Fair(yes, Fair. it rapes lol) and get under/at Marth before he can get the Fair out because he'll be expecting a a laser.

When you get a grab on Marth at low percents, I always Uthrow(okay, I do that anyway) and follow it up with a Fair. Marths don't DI this well because they're expecting a Nair or something so you get lots of hits of it and if you land on a platform from this you can Utilt to more ****. It's pretty cool. At higher percents, just Nair/Bair Marth out of an Upthrow if you canbecause anything that puts him offstage is good. Also, if Marth is falling, abuse how bad he is from below and use empty SHs and other shenanigans to get Bairs off on Marth to again force him offstage.

When edgeguarding Marth, angled down Ftilt can **** his sweetspots or misspaced up-Bs. Dsmash or CC Dsmash can also hit his up-B sometimes. What I personally like to do is do a rising Dair from the ledge(especially when invincible) because Dair trades with up-B. This is about the only way you can gimp Marth, so you should abuse it if you can.

When Marth is doing Fair walls to keep you shut down in one small part of the edge, try to time lasers or Ftilts to get out. Sometimes Falco just has to wait for the approach and Dair/Nair(sometimes) OOS, which isn't so bad since Marth can't easily punish that with a grab.

Oh yeah, when you combo Marth, I like to stop shining after 35% or something and switch to Utilts because Marth flies too far away when you shine him. I also like to Dair to Dair combo Marth because his tech roll is kinda meh I think and sometimes he flies too far away even when you Utilt him. Besides, tech chase Fsmash or DSmash if he doesn't tech is too good.


Alright, so I decided to redo the Puff matchup since I learned a lot fighting Hungrybox at HERB 3. I’m gonna try a different style of writing for this one, so let me know if I am clear or not.

So I’m just going to break this down generally at first. I prefer to play with more stage control, but I think it is possible to aggro Puff like Shiz and Chops do. Since I’m terrible at aggression, I’m just going to talk about what I know, which is focusing on stage control and hitting Puff when she commits or when you think it’s safe to go in after spacing her out/watching her. I suppose it is fair to note that Shiz and Chops haven’t beaten Hbox in a while though.


So I wrote this whole thing and forgot to do stages. Ima get on that now.

Her ban-YS. I’d be surprised if Puff banned anything else, but it’s possible they could ban DL if you played campy enough there.

Your ban- Brinstar. You can camp the top platform pretty well on that stage(which is a good strategy vs puff since her upwards mobility is slow), but it doesn’t make up for the stage screwing up your l-cancels, getting you grab rested, and dealing with tough edges.

RC- I have no clue what to think of this. The ceiling is pretty low at times so you could get shine kills? Puff’s aerial movement is super **** here, but your vertical movement might even it out? I dunno.

KJ64- I don’t think I’d enjoy fighting Puff here. She would live a long time and it would be very campy. Falco could camp the higher platforms or just run away I guess. I do like the height of the rotating platforms and the stable ones for some Puff combos though, so it could be doable? Recovering here makes me maybe think it’s not worth it.

FoD- Probably a good Puff stage in this matchup. Not a lot of room to laser or control Puff, and there are no off the top kills. The platforms can help you with comboing though, but I don’t really think that’s worth it. The top platform being small makes “the jump into center stage to avoid pressure” option kinda weak as well.

FD- I actually never played Hbox here at HERB, but I’d say that Puff might have it. No top platform to retreat to, no platforms to camp on or under, and the blast zones aren’t really small. Uthrow combos(yeah she can tech chase off of those on this stage I believe) are really good here for Puff. Puff can’t retreat to a platform to avoid your lasers, so I guess that’s something.

DL- This stage is probably better the gayer you play it. Big top platform is easy to retreat to and camp on, and the large side platforms are very accommodating to camp under. Puff still lives forever, so you have to be pretty persistent(and probably go for Dair to Dair kills lol) in order to make this one work. Fortunately, you also have lots of room to get away from puff’s pressure, so go here if you’re feeling cramped in I guess.

BF- I actually grew to like this stage a lot vs Puff. You still have decent sized platforms for camping if need be, and combos here feel easier to pull off. The ceiling isn’t terribly high either, so kills off the top are certainly possible.

PS- Great counterpick against Puff. Big enough stage to shoot lasers/retreat as needed, but small enough blastzones to help finish stocks quickly. The transformations are typically helpful for combos as well(at least rock and grass are), and the higher parts of all transformations make off-the-top kills much more accessible, which is always a good thing. Only problem with the stage is there is no middle platform to retreat to, but that isn't entirely necessary to regain stage control anyway. You just have to maintain your composure and fight your way out more often when you don't have control sometimes.


Like dogy said, you want to keep the middle of the stage to yourself. It’s pretty important to stay towards the middle because you can’t be knocked off and gimped then. Plus, you get to bait Puff much better then.
Puff can float away off of the stage trying to space you out, but even puff is scared of stage control, so be diligent. Bairs and lasers and even some uptilts are your choice spacing moves here(when puff is in the air). Unless Puff goes offstage and grabs the edge(which is still pretty good for you, but I’ll mention that later), then she’s going to have to land if she never approaches. Wait out her 5 jumps. In fact, start counting her jumps and see if there are any patterns(do 2 aerial fairs to a falling nair or something, as an example). Puff likes to do a rising Bair to spaced falling Bair, but what happens after that is crucial, and recognizing when you have a red or green light to avoid such bairs is one of the most important parts of the matchup, and it’s where puff’s main mixups come into play.

Let me back up and finish stage control before I go back to watching puff and all that more painful stuff. When you’re in control, you just don’t need to run over to puff and give her something to grab onto. You can pretty much watch puff and see what she does after that. If she’s shielding by the edge, I recommend going in there to get her(or at least space some stuff on her) because 1. Puff’s shield blows, 2. Puff is scared which is always good and 3. It’s harder to float out of the way and counter your approach if you’re sitting still with your shield up. At the moment, I don’t recommend any type of shield pressure like repetitive aerial-shine(puff has an upsmash OOS that seems quick and a shield grab that seems to get me even when I delay my aerials at times, but don’t be afraid to at least try to get something off), but puff still has her weaknesses in shield, so it’s important to remember that you have the upper hand when you approach.
**I just remembered a good tip my good buddy Arcnatural(shoutouts!) told me on aim one day. He said that the reason some people missed the DI when they tried to aerial-shine puff’s shield and got uthrow-rested was because they were hitting down to FF when they got grabbed. Arc suggested that you approach with an angle of 45 degrees on your control stick when you FF’d I believe so that you would also be DI’ing to the side if you got grabbed. ****

Oh, one more important thing about approaching a shielding Puff. GRABS….obviously. I really like lasers to grab on Puff, but puffs really like seeing their shield get hit by a laser to Fair/Bair OOS to dead Falco(that junk sucks). Now, I’m not saying a puff would try this every time on you when you approached(they ARE scared and sometimes can’t think quickly enough to do one of those moves), but it’s worth keeping in mind so you can mix in laser timings/DDs/WDs/etc to screw with puff’s head. Make them suffer when they hit the ground.
*Quick thing about making them suffer when they hit the ground….sometimes they can dash attack under your lasers after they land and hit you. It’s really weird and won’t be spammed, but it’s something to watch out for. I’d deal with that just by shooting lower lasers or maybe throwing the occasional spaced Dair in for effect. If you just shoot very low lasers vs grounded Puff in the first place, then you can avoid this though.

Finishing up on grabs, I really like to use upthrow. Low %s give me an upair. Mid percents give me a Dair, and higher percents give me a Dair/Nair. Puff likes to DI out after the throw to get away, so it makes things funny.
If Puff starts to DI the upthrow(which is hard to do since puff flies up so fast and is scared in shield), then Dthrow is probably your next best option. It’s kind of crazy though. If Puff techs, you get to abuse her terrible ground options, but she could also not tech and just fly up in your face. I find it hard to react to with all of the lasers and possible movements, but maybe I’ll mess with it more or something. It definitely has potential. I’d follow up a tech with an Fsmash/Dsmash/Dair and a missed tech with an Fsmash/Dtilt. I don’t know much about Fthrow/Bthrow, but anything that gives you stage control is good. Lower % Fthrow/Bthrow could give you a chance to FH/DJ aerial puff and maybe set something up on a platform stage, but I haven’t tested this yet.

FINALLY coming back to having stage control(lol), you still have aerial puff to deal with. Dealing with Puff when you have control is different for every Puff I’d imagine, but I’d say that they all will approach eventually, so I’ll work from there. Hbox liked to mix up doing just odd amounts of aerials completely out of range before either choosing to go above my head to get to the middle or come in with a Bair on me. Going above Falco’s head isn’t a big deal, you just have to remember that you can’t let Puff fall on you and try to get under her with a Bair/utilt before she goes too low(she’ll probably drop pretty quickly after getting over you since she will have used about 3 of her jumps at this point I’m guessing). You have a few ways to deal with Bair. You can try to move out of her range and punish her landing lag, or get under her before she moves down and gets the Bair out and hit her with a Bair or Nair or laser, or you could laser her just as she comes eye level with you(my favorite). The laser on Puff at eye level is super important because it disrupts Puff’s Bair wall timing. She thought she would whiff/hit a shield/get a hit, and instead she is turned around and falling stead of maybe jumping. It screws with their timing at first. After a bit, the Puff will start to Fair into you or away from you after the laser. If she Fairs into you, just turnaround utilt or follow up Nair(at lower percents, this Nair can land you an utilt or a Dair on Puff afterwards, which are very good). If she Fairs away, then you could try to hit her as she jumps back, but more than likely you’ll both whiff and it’s not worth risking your stage control. Just thought about it, and you might be able to upsmash either way, which would **** for a kill. Testing that later. OH, and jabs are great laser follow ups because they lead into Nairs or upsmashes(sometimes) as well. Jabs shouldn’t be spammed though, but if you feel like you can get the hit then go for it.

Now, when you’re on the bad end of stage control, life isn’t too fun. Puff gets lots of space to maneuver around you and bait any OOS options or any approaches you have, so you have to be patient. You just can’t wait too long or you’ll get shield stabbed/suddenly grabbed by a fake aerial(they float at you after they do a move and then don’t do another one so they land and grab). This is the main point where watching Bairs is crucial. When Puff does a rising Bair, she’s looking to get that second one out before you think about moving, so if you shield the first Bair, you have time to jump out. Full hops towards the center are very good, especially with a central platform to move to. You can really just laser Puff after the first aerial and mess with her Bairs, or just kind of react to what she does. Basically, she’s gonna try to poke you and force that roll or shield stab for the easy edgeguard. Just staying calm and trying to work your way back to the middle or lasering Puff is good. Don’t worry about getting back to the middle at the risk of becoming predictable though. You’re not necessarily gonna kill Puff a lot faster if you have center stage the whole time, and any hit is a good one, so if you can stay calm by the edge, you can mess with Puff pretty well because she wants the kill(although she’ll approach more if you hog center stage long enough). I don’t like Bair very much here, but I suppose that and Utilt are still usable, but they might be harder to use since you can’t bait puff as well.

Edgeguarding Puff….
It’s not the safest-sounding idea, but it should try to happen more. Puff has 5 dinky jumps, and she can only stick her feet out for a little bit at a time during her jump. Bair obviously rapes but it only stays out so long, and Fair will bring Puff down a little since it stays out a while(this is all assuming Puff uses these moves as she jumps). I’m not going to say I have a perfected method for this or anything, but I know that Puff isn’t very secure recovering and she needs to be exploited by the edge more. I feel like Dsmash, maybe Fsmash, Dtilt, Dair, Ftilt, and Bair are all pretty reliable at certain times at certain heights for keeping Puff from coming back to the edge. While Puff is floating back to the stage, Bair is mostly for when she’s higher, and everything else is for when she’s lower(btw you can laser Puff as she’s recovering too for free damage). Getting above Puff and Dair’ing her or walking/running up and hitting puff just as her lag ends but before she can grab the edge(or is right below it) with the other moves is how I would recommend punishing anything lower.

*note- try to adjust your spacing to Puff’s potential moves. Standing right by the edge will get you ***** if Puff is floating up right beside the edge(she’ll just jump away and space a bair or something), but standing too far away will make you whiff a move and possibly get you counterattacked by a Puff who just grabbed the edge. Try to be flexible, and learn your limits for every move.

Being egdeguarded…..

This sucks. I heard once or twice that you could shine out of death Bairs off the side, but that was for UUAA’s Fox, so I don’t know if Falco can do that or not. Anyway, DI’ing the first Bairs out is good so you hopefully can’t get hit by them all, but you may be too far off the stage then to recover anyway.

If you’re recovering with up-B, I recommend you try to go pretty low or pretty high(as far as where you start the move). Puff likes to go out and hit people about edge-height. Don’t be afraid to go at Puff either. She’s pretty slow so you could catch her off-guard.

When puff is on the edge you pretty much have an easier version of having total stage control. Work the Bairs/utilts/lasers to whatever and make Puff sad.

When you’re on the edge, you have to get creative. Throw in some different-height DJ/firebird regrabs. This means that you should jump high sometimes and low sometimes to regrab the edge so that you can stay tricky and get onstage after either of these jumps. Up-B is just for invincibility lol. I like to side B onto the stage a lot, but you can even jump backwards and up-B on because puff won’t know wtf is going on if that happens lol. I don’t recommend ledgehop double lasers ever because puff can just float over the second one and hit you out of your second jump. Not worth it. Yeah, just try to keep your options in mind and watch Puff’s movements. If she floats back a lot, then she’s looking or a side B. If she stays close, she’s looking for a standard getup or double lasers or she wants to catch you out of your invincibility and mess you up.

And finally, comboing!

I don’t have a lot to say about this because I’m not amazing at comboing. I’ll share what I do know, though.

Shines in combos are pretty bad after 35%, and maybe lower than that, just because Puff is sent too high. Utilts are conveniently good then, though. In my opinion, Dair to Dair to Dsmash or more Dairs is very good, because you get to abuse Puff’s terrible tech rolls and ground game(if you miss) as well as keep the combo going longer.
I actually approach Puff’s shield with Dairs a lot because, first of all, it likes to shield stab, but it also gives me some combos(especially since puff isn’t ready to DI).

And uh, that’s about it lol. Hope this helps!


While I may not have a ton of matchup experience vs Sheik, I thought I'd throw down what I do know so it can help those who need a good starting point.

This matchup is pretty awkward compared to most of Falco's matchups. It's probably because Sheik is somewhat poor at offense but can counter his lasers pretty well and most other characters can push hard after countering them, but I'm not sure. Anyway, the game seems to come down to which character can control the other better from a shorter range than Falco is comfortable doing it at(from anywhere). They both can punish each other very hard off of a hit and edgeguard the other well, so control in that small range and medium laser spacing games become match deciders.



You ban- Brinstar. Hard to shine up-B kill due to big ceilings, spaced platforms to camp diagonals on(Sheik's preferred method of camping vs Falco), lava to save from spikes, and lava rising to force Falco to approach Sheik's big moves, as well as no walls to ride or sweetspot recoveries on(outside of the low up-B but that's easy to see coming)? A very solid pick for Sheik. If you do wind up here vs her, you can still kind of retreat to the top platform if you need an out but it's somewhat unsafe since her FH aerials reach you relatively easily from anywhere on the stage. Your SH autocancel Bair cuts into the side platforms though, so that can work in your favor. Lava can also save you from dying to slaps or gimps but be sure to DI so that you don't fly right back into Sheik(hit the lava extra times until you can up-B with a few options at your disposal if needed).

Her ban- Rainbow Cruise or FD. Most Sheiks hates FD because they can't retreat from lasers there and can't break combos as easily there. Sadly, you can also be comboed harder there as well. Laser hard(but intelligently, aka not spam in one place.....mix in movement or baits or walls like Bairs as needed) if you go to FD.

For RC, you want to abuse Dair/your vertical mobility/lasers whenever possible. Dairs are great above Sheik, but spiking her when there isn't much below to save her/no edges is better. Killing is much easier on areas like the carpet ride or the swinging platform for this reason. Dair combos are easier on the boat due to the varying heights of the actual bottom part and the middle platforms allow for easy tech chases(assuming they don't edge cancel or DI past the platform). Shine kills/shine up-B kills are pretty easy on the boat and on the part preceding the boat(with the doughnut blocks and the platforms). The reason it isn't soooo bad for Sheik here is her horizontal aerial mobility isn't bad and she can gain reasonable height with either jump, so attempting to outmaneuver her+her big moves(particularly Bair and Uair) can be quite difficult at times. Take Sheik here if you're comfortable running around a lot and can get the appropriate kills/early kills at the necessary points on the stage.


FoD- This is either the worst or next to worst neutral for Falco vs Sheik(YS being the other one in contention for that spot). Varying platform heights means that occasionally you can't laser well and have to try and stall until the platform changes or use the side platform to approach Sheik and take stage that way. Since the stage is so small, Sheik can control Falco really well with her big moves like Bair and Fair(especially when Falco is on a platform) and this obviously means lasering is less effective. High ceilings means that shine up-B kills will be few and far between(but still somewhat possible at some 90-100%+ because the top platform is kinda high I guess).

I'd strike this if I was worried about lasering safely or getting caught teching on the small platforms and then swatted offstage and dying.

YS- The other great Sheik stage vs Falco. Since the platforms extend so far into the stage, Sheik can camp on them and under them(and of course alternate between the two) quite well. Her aerials will also eat up any of the platforms too(FH Uair will cover a lot of the top platform so be wary of how long you sit there). Beware of needle from a jump onto a platform to/and runoff Fair.

Falco gets some nice uptilt and Bair reach into the side platforms from the ground though(best done when towards the middle of the stage when trying it because of the little slope at the end that could make you too low to hit with those moves). Great for shield stabbing, punishing lag, and edgeguarding if Sheik decides to go high onto the platform from the edge(unlikely but it could happen). He can also kill Sheik off the top quite well with shine up-B and the occasional shine to shine. The wall below is also great for helping Falco sweetspot and gives him something to tech if Sheik does a delayed Fair(or similar low-hitting move) to edgeguard.

Sheik tends to like this stage because Falco can't get far away from her reach either(she usually approaches from a SH). Falco would like it because he can kill reasonably early I suppose.

I'd strike this if I needed more breathing room against Sheik or wanted a stage where platforms didn't cover as much of the stage.

BF- Another stage that most Sheiks seem to like and one that offers slightly different themes than the last two do. While the platforms are smaller, they are also higher up. This means that Sheik gets new angles with her needles, but her aerials still seem to cover similarly large areas if Falco gets stuck there. The fact that the stage is small slows down Sheik's overall camp ability(though she can maneuver just fine because of the relation of each platform to the other and her waveland/needle cancel/aerial game) but offers her wonderful gimping opportunities. Gimps against spacies here are largely helped by the fact that they can get battlefielded for going straight into the edge with their up-B, but also because there isn't much of a wall to tech if they're getting hit out of their recoveries. This is a problem Sheik herself doesn't suffer from, which is good for her. The high top platform means she can die off the top with shine to up-B or a regular shine to upair/bair at higher percents, but kicking her off the small stage and continuing to do so works as well earlier in the match usually.

I think only Falco's Bair reaches through the side platforms here. Falco's FH is more than enough to reach the top platform to aid in combos and tech chases. I'd strike this if I needed more chances to recover or wanted Sheik to lay off the platforms.

KJ64- I'm not sure what to think about the matchup on this stage haha. Falco's recovery sucks here if he can't mix up recovering between the high and low platform(no wall so very hard to sweetspot side B and impossible to tech). Falco can combo pretty well though with such high platforms. His laser game gets kinda ***** by the middle section that dips down though(they can duck under lasers if needed). Approaching a side platform camping Sheik sounds difficult too since she can needle you or just outrange you. Shines and Bair spacing and vertical mobility would have to be abused. At least Falco wouldn't die to Uairs or Upsmash combos much because of the insanely high ceiling, but he can get slapped off pretty easily anyway so that may be a bigger saver for Sheik than Falco.

I'd only ban this if I wasn't sure what else to ban LOL. I don't think many Sheiks play here either, so it seems like a gray area on both sides.

DL- I'm actually iffy on this stage too. Falco is totally safe from being locked down by Sheik's moves by how large the stage is and the side platforms are, but Sheik seems to also be safe from Falco's approaches here too since the platforms are quite big and she can play around on them quite well(Amsah CP'd me here at Pound 5 looking to avoid me catching him offguard quickly I'd imagine). Falco's only SH move that cuts into side platforms is Uair, and that has to be spaced pretty well to connect. Still, it's not a bad stage. It's pretty good if you like planning things out more, since there's so much room to back off to.

I'd strike this if my opponent was very campy or I wanted to keep pressure on them.

PS- A very solid Falco stage vs Sheik. It can be awkwardly tough vs Sheik at neutral because of how easily she can punish you by putting you on a platform, but the great amount of space to laser combined with how little room sheik can get when she plays on platforms is really good for Falco. The transformations only help him too I'm pretty sure since they all raise up platforms for Falco to shine combo Sheik onto. This means that shine up-B can kill off of transformations easily(and shine to shine works off of the rock if you can find a way to pull that off). Sheik's tech chases could also get screwed up by a transforming level(Falco falls onto a rising platform and Sheik is forced to use a move that Falco could CC or DI and live).

Sheik may ban this instead of FD just because Falco can kill pretty well there and Sheik doesn't get any advantages at the same time like FD offers(both kill each other well).

At neutral, it's necessary to observe how Sheik is using platforms. If she's staying on them often, then you'll want to try and get under her so she can't run off and attack you or needle you. Beware though of fallthrough aerials from the platform(mainly fallthrough retreating Fair). Once under Sheik, she will have to try and space an aerial on you to avoid getting punished/hitting with the weak part(in the case of her Bair), so watch for how she runs. She usually runs off into the middle of the stage and Bairs(at least initially) so be ready to uptilt or dodge and punish/pressure her lag. You can also use uptilts and Bairs and/or Fairs/Uairs to harass/start a combo on her if she won't make a move(shine works too if you feel confident in your read).

If you don't want to go under her, then be ready to shoot. Side platform double lasers in any form are great, and if she starts spamming standing needle then just spam standing laser back and you'll win that exchange.

But let's talk about the fun stuff, when Sheik gets off of that platform and starts playing footsies with you(most of them do)......

How Sheik will commonly handle lasers:

-taking hits (and) retaliating
This commonly works in conjunction with Ftilt semi-spam when you start to get close because Ftilt doesn't have a ton of lag on it in the first place, and trading an Ftilt for a laser simultaneously or right after taking a hit is a super deal for Sheik. Removing that lag for herself by taking a laser means she can follow up on her Ftilt that much faster, and that means at least a Fair is hitting Falco soon after(dash attack could happen too or more Ftilts depending on % and DI and stage positioning/stage you're playing on....for example, at about 40% no DI on YS in the middle of the stage I'd say another Ftilt to Uair/Fair tech chase combo is coming).
Sheik could also just SDI away to space or shield from taking a laser, so trying to punish her with an attack every time you get a laser to connect may be what she is waiting on to punish. And you don't want to be stuck in front of a shielding Sheik in lag. Getting thrown on the ground hurts.

You can handle this by lasering just out of Ftilt range(remember Sheik can walk and do these) or lasering into that range very sparingly so Sheik won't think it's too great of an idea. If they get Ftilt happy, then put them in their place with a Dair punish on Ftilt's lag or grab them. You could also Fsmash bulldoze through the Ftilt if you call it, but the spacing can be tricky on that, and her Ftilt will come out faster than your Fsmash.

Beating SDI or shields from lasers means you'll have to overshoot/shoot more lasers/space something like your own Ftilt or grab more, respectively. SDI'ing away means Sheik is farther than you're used to punishing for lasering her, so you have to overextend to hit her or space bigger moves or shoot more to throw off her anti-laser game. If it's just shielding you have to contend with, then you should obviously grab(unless pressure into a hit or smash is something more lucrative at the time).

Sort of like taking a hit then reacting but Sheik just throws out a move when she sees a laser come out and her lag gets canceled and then she can beast you. I already gave the Ftilt example, but something tougher to handle would be Dsmash. Sheik drops low to the ground when she Dsmashes, and can kick Falco pretty hard, much harder than she is being lasered, if the trade happens(and Falco doesn't lose the exchange outright). Sheik's Dsmash isn't terribly laggy anyway, so it's entirely possible she could get a followup with or without the trade.

Trading is pretty much beaten out by seeing it coming and either baiting it or spacing around it. For this Dsmash example, Falco could SH in like he's approaching then DJ Dair punish once Sheik reactively Dsmashes. He could also laser just out of Dsmash range and then punish with any move laser links to(or grab).


Sheik can short hop over lasers, yeah. Combine that ability with Fair coming in low pretty quickly and powerfully(sets up easy edgeguards well)


Smash Gizmo
Sep 30, 2006
I want to expect better of you, but I know not to
I've tried that, but maybe I'm bad at it or something. It doesn't seem like it does me a lot of good when they finally get beside me spacing Bairs anyway.
well, the idea is that if/when they manage to get on the same plane as you, you jump above them (you move quicker vertically, so you should be able to control who's above who). Alternately, I suppose you could reset to neutral on stage level and then go back up when she comes back down. if she tries to approach with her decent, you should be able to outspace with utilt or bair.

I'll watch that faab thing after work

Dr Peepee

Building Drive....
Sep 29, 2007
Raleigh, North Carolina
I think I'll be checking out that Marth section from Mogwai a good bit. I'm sure he knows more about the matchup than I do.

I did the puff matchup btw. Hopefully it helps!