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Fusion of Three Bowser Guides

Me14k

Smash Lord
Joined
Oct 18, 2006
Messages
1,090
Location
UIUC/Buffalo Grove
Originally done by: Uraj
Edits: Me14k


MAX%: The rough maximum damage the move can do before Stale Move Negation (SMN)
MIN%: The rough minimum damage the move can do after SMN has reached a peak (to be completed later)
KILL%: The average percentage the opponent needs to be at before getting hit by the move (without SMN) in order to be knocked past the Blast Zone. Anything higher than 200% will be marked as 200+, and any move with no kill potential will be marked N/A

The killing power of the attacks were all tested with Mario used for standard weight, from the center of Final Destination.

Jab

Bowser swipes with his left claw, then the right (if attack button is pressed consecutively)

MAX%: 5 per hit, max 2 consecutive hits
MIN%: --
KILL%: 200+ (2nd hit only)

One of Bowser's faster attacks. While it doesn't pack as much punch as most of his other moves, it has good range for its speed and the second hit gives Bowser a little breathing space should the enemy come a little too close. 5% per swipe is still fairly good, and early in a stock this attack will help build up damage so that Bowser's other attacks can finish the job.

Dash Attack

Bowser throws his body forward, head first

MAX%: 11
MIN%: 6
KILL%: 200+

Just don't use this attack. This attack asks to be punished. I can't think of any situation where dash attack is the best move to use.

Forward Strong attack/Ftilt

Bowser throws a punch with his right fist

MAX%: 11
MIN%: --
KILL%: ~165

A good tilt with low startup and respectable recovery rate. This move should be used copiously, as it allows Bowser to turn and attack at the same time should an enemy roll behind him. It deals decent damage and at higher percentages has a high likelihood of knocking the opponent off the stage, allowing Bowser to chase for the kill.

Crouching Strong attack/Dtilt

Bowser swipes at the opponent twice with his claws while lying on his belly

MAX%: 14
MIN%: --
KILL%: ~125

Slower on startup and recovery than his ftilt; however, Bowser's dtilt kills at least 30% earlier than the former. The fact that you'll more than likely use it less than his ftilt also means that it'll retain its killing power more easily, making it a good choice for a quicker kill move. While it doesn't boast the early killing power of Bowser's stronger attacks, it is a good alternative if the opponent has already taken substantial damage and you want a safer move to use.

Upwards Strong attack/Utilt

Bowser swipes a claw over his head

MAX%: 12
MIN%: --
KILL%: ~110

Generally in Smash Bros. Brawl, it is easier to kill off the top of a stage rather than the side: this becomes more apparent when looking at the killing power of Bowser's strong attacks. Utilt is the easiest to kill with, taking opponents on the ground out as early as 110%. The attack strikes quickly and has little recovery, and the hitbox for it is fairly large above Bowser's head. Larger opponents can be caught on the ground if directly in front of Bowser, but smaller opponents can be hit as well if behind Bowser due to the animation he goes through while using Utilt. This attack is particularly great to use on levels with low platforms such as Battlefield and Lylat Cruise.

Forward Smash/Fsmash

Bowser rears his head back and swings it into the opponent with concussive force

MAX%: 10 first hit, 23 2nd hit for max 33% (uncharged); 14 first hit, 32 2nd hit for max of 46% (fully charged)
MIN%: --
KILL%: ~85 (uncharged), ~40 (fully charged)

Bowser's infamous fsmash, possibly the most terrifying move to have flying at you if you're not prepared for it. This attack boasts the killing power you'd expect, but obviously is incredibly slow to start up and leaves him open for a good while should it miss or be blocked. It hits twice, but Bowser must be next to the opponent for the first, weaker part of the smash to connect.

It's a wild card attack that can give Bowser very early kills if the window opens for him to land it, but can also doom Bowser should he use it arbitrarily. As it is a risky move, the best time to attempt it is if an opponent makes an equally risky move and fails (i.e. Lucas or Ness attempt a PK Thunder Missile attack and fall short of hitting Bowser or are dodged).

Down Smash/Dsmash

Bowser twists his body, then retreats into his shell and spins wildly on the ground, sucking in opponents for several hits before shooting them out

MAX%: 7 hits for max 21% (uncharged); 7 hits for max 29% (fully charged)
MIN%: --
KILL%: ~100 (uncharged); ~65 (fully charged)

Bowser's dsmash comes out quickly but leaves him vulnerable should he miss. Still, this move will eat up people who like to rolldodge behind Bowser, and the move is useful as both a damage dealer at early percents and a kill move at higher percents; It's up to you to decide how you'd rather use it. It seems more effective in this game at sucking the opponent in and dealing damage than it did in Melee, on a sidenote. It's also obviously bigger thanks to Bowser's bulk.

Up Smash/Usmash

Bowser rears down and shoves his spiked shell into the air with a short hop

MAX%: 20% (uncharged); 28% (fully charged)
MIN%: --
KILL%: ~95 (uncharged); ~50 (fully charged)

Bowser's Usmash is a fairly reliable move to use as an anti-air counter, but earns its keep on levels with floating platforms such as Battlefield/Lylat Cruise, as Bowser crouches when charging the smash (thereby avoiding some attacks that can pass through platforms to hit him) and will shoot through the same platform to nail the target upon their landing.

The strongest point of the smash is the tip of Bowser's shell spike at the apex of his hop, which is where you want to try and land the hit as often as possible. Should the opponent be grounded, they can be hit by Bowser's landing animation for roughly 10% and a reasonable amount of knockback...of course, this isn't what you want to try and get from Usmash, but it's better than nothing should the opponent dodge the upswing and attempt a groundside counterattack.

Neutral Aerial/Nair

Bowser retreats to his shell and spins a few times, knocking away anyone nearby

MAX%: 13
MIN%: --
KILL%: ~175

Deals decent damage, but doesn't pack much of a killing punch. Most of the time, Bowser's Fair or Bair will give better results, but if the opponent is jumping around next to Bowser and you're unsure whether you can land one of the aforementioned, Nair is a reasonable choice to deal some damage and get them away from you.

Forward Aerial/Fair

Bowser slashes out with his claw

MAX%: 12
MIN%: --
KILL%: ~150

Bowser's Fair was his best attack in Melee, and it comes as no surprise to many that it's still his best aerial attack. While it lacks the same killing punch it did in Melee, it's still just as fast to start up, and is possibly even faster for recovery. It doesn't kill very well from the center of a stage, but it's Bowser's best tool for killing people when chasing them off a stage. It will often be used frequently, so SMN will cause it to lose a good deal of its punch, but even then it's often enough to push the opponent past the Point of No Return. All in all a very good move.

Back Aerial/Bair

Bowser shoves his shell backward in an arc

MAX%: 15
MIN%: --
KILL%: ~140

Bowser's bair in Melee was useful as an edgeguard attack, but seems to have lost its spiking properties when properly sweetspotted. However, what it lost in properties it gained in sheer killing power and size thanks to Bowser's jumbo appearance. The lack of L-cancelling means this move isn't very safe to use as an air-to-ground attack, but when intercepting airborne opponents the sheer size and strength of this move gives it good value.

Up Aerial/Uair

Bowser swings his arm rapidly over his head, striking ferociously

MAX%: 17
MIN% --
KILL%: ~85 (in air, close to ground)

This move is, in essence, an aerial Bowser forward smash. This move is easily Bowser's strongest aerial, in terms of percentage and knockback. It comes out quicker than it did in Melee, though the range seems to be slightly lower. It has minimal recovery, though, considering the strength behind it. It's possible to kill people as early as 60% with this move if you catch them while they're a decent way into the air. However, it lacks almost any ability to hit a grounded opponent, save for perhaps the largest. Of course, it's not an attack you should be trying to land on a ground level foe anyways.

Down Aerial/Dair

Bowser flips upside down, retreats into his shell, and spins, grinding into the opponent with his spikes

MAX%: ~18-20
MIN%: --
KILL%: N/A

Probably the least useful of Bowser's moves. It can deal some decent damage, but it leaves him horribly exposed if it ends while he's on the ground: he has to first flip himself over before he regains control. Using it very sparingly can produce some results, but it's almost always better to use one of his other aerials. When he lands on the ground, it does create a small pushback that can help him recover before the opponent can counterattack, but this pushback can be blocked.

Grab Pummel

Bowser slams his head into the opponent

MAX%: 3
MIN%: --
KILL%: N/A

A basic grab pummel. Fairly slow, but worth using once or twice to get a little extra damage in before a throw. Nothing special here.

Forward throw

Bowser flings the opponent into the air with his head

MAX%: 10
MIN%: --
KILL%: 200+

Unfortunately, Bowser's throws are one of his assets from Melee that have actually lost killing power. While his forward throw wasn't the strongest of his throws in Melee, in Brawl it's even more lacking. However, should you grab the opponent while facing the edge of a stage this throw is usable, if only to get them off the stage and proceed to chase them for the kill.

Back throw

Bowser turns quickly and throws the opponent with both hands

MAX%: 10
MIN%: --
KILL%: 200+

Sadly, this is the most weakened of Bowser's throws in terms of killing power. While in Melee this was a fairly decent kill move for Bowser, it now only packs slightly more of a punch than his forward throw; That is to say, not much at all. Still, it's got the same uses as his forward throw: if you grab them with your back to the edge, a back throw can get them off the stage and into the air where Bowser can proceed to try and kill them.

Up throw

Bowser places the foe on his back, retreats into his shell, and spins around. The opponent is hit repeatedly by Bowser's spikes until finally thrown off on the last hit.

MAX%: 10
MIN%: --
KILL%: N/A

One of 2 of Bowser's throws that have no potential to kill whatsoever. This here is solely for damage, and to get the opponent into the air. If you grab a foe, aren't near an edge, and know they're bad at defending against Bowser whilst airborne, this is probably the best way to go. It doesn't combo into anything, but the chance to land Bowser's uair is certainly a tempting prospect...

Down throw

Bowser lays the foe on the floor, rears back, and belly flops directly on top of them

MAX%: 12
MIN%: --
KILL%: N/A

Another throw that can't kill no matter how high the opponent's percentage is. However, this throw deals 2% more damage than any of Bowser's other throws; What's more, the opponent only pops up a short distance in front of Bowser. This opens up the chance to attempt spacing a tilt or fair against them, or (the more bold approach) running in for an usmash. This throw is more often than not the better one to use on an opponent in the center of a stage, though if SMN is starting to weaken it up throw is a decent alternative.

B attack

Fire Breath-- Bowser breathes a constant stream of fire that dwindles over time

MAX%: N/A-- Damage Over Time effect
MIN%: N/A-- “ “ “ “
KILL%: N/A

This attack, while rarely useful in Melee, does have its place in Brawl. The most obvious new addition is the ability to angle the fire Bowser breathes up and down by using up and down on the control stick. This allows you to follow the opponent's DI and hence land more hits with the attack. The attack appears to come out and recover slightly quicker than its Melee counterpart, but it's still better advised to start the move while advancing from the air, in order to give the opponent less time to react. If used sparingly but wisely, this attack can easily tack on an extra 15-20% per use: enough to bring opponents within the killing range of Bowser's more concussive attacks.

It's also a fairly reliable edgeguarding weapon against people who like to recover low, and will eat through characters with tether recoveries.

Forward B attack

Flying Slam-- Bowser grabs the opponent, flips into the air, and lands on them with...well, a flying slam. Bowser can move left and right while in the air

MAX%: 18
MIN%: --
KILL%: ~150

The only drastically changed move in Bowser's arsenal from Melee (considering it's completely different from his old Side B, the Koopa Klaw), and arguably one of Bowser's best moves. This move is a grab-style attack, meaning that it will hit opponents who are shielding, and can be used in the air, meaning that Bowser essentially has an aerial grab (not unlike what the Koopa Klaw was in Melee). This attack is great to use on opponents who constantly shieldgrab aerial approaches.

The most notorious of uses for this move, however, is the dreaded “Bowsercide”. Since Bowser can control movement while in the air, if he grabs an opponent with this move he can, if he chooses, carry himself and his opponent off the edge of the stage and cause them both to lose a stock. If Bowser is a stock ahead, this can essentially ensure a victory for him if he uses it to take his foe's last stock; However, while it is assumed that the opponent would die first (being that they're under Bowser when he uses this), there are times when Bowser will use this technique when both he and his foe are at 1 stock, yet he will die at the same time and thus send the match into Sudden Death. It is not yet known what affects this outcome, but once it is discovered it will be promptly put here.

Of course, the Bowsercide tactic isn't completely flawless even after ruling out the possibility of Sudden Death. The foe caught in the Flying Slam can also influence the flight path of Bowser's move while in the air; The character with more control over it is dependent on the percentages of each character (higher percentages will result in less control for either side). So, while this is a guide for Bowser, here's a tip for anyone fighting Bowser-- if you get caught in a Flying Slam, I suggest you press the opposite direction of the nearest edge if you fear being carried over.

Regardless of its suicidal properties, the Flying Slam on its own is also a formidable attack. It deals an impressive 18% when at full strength and has respectable killing power. If you land this attack and want to try and kill simply with the knockback it deals, a good strategy is to try and guide Bowser so that he lands on the highest possible platform in the level: this move kills off the top, so the closer you are to the top the better chance you have of killing earlier. However, considering how good the move is, you're likely to find its killing power diminished from SMN thanks to repeated use of this attack.

At lower percents, you can follow the opponent's DI and punish them for it. Examples of DI punishment after the slam could vary from another claw/fair(up/no/towardsDI) or you can follow up with fire breath(down DI)

Infinite Jump
This is a huge part of bowser's game. Simply jump->SideB and then jump when part of the claw's animation is happening and you are near the ground. This is fairly simple to do. This can be applied with a full jump fair, when the fair animation ends sideB and jump; gotta be fast and well timed to do this.

Down B attack

Bowser Bomb-- Bowser goes into a sitting position and falls rapidly, smashing through any opponents in his way. If he's on the ground when using this attack, he'll jump forward and up into the air first

MAX%: 24 (used on ground); 20 (used in air)
MIN%: --
KILL%: ~95 (if opponent is on ground and attack is used in the air); ~85 (if opponent is on ground and attack is used on ground)

Few changes have been made to this move from Melee. The biggest change would be the fact that the opponent will now be carried into the air and directly under Bowser if he starts the attack while grounded and isn't blocked or dodged. It boasts good killing power, but its use is mostly limited to when opponents attempt to jump after Bowser while he is above them. Bowser can power through projectiles like Pit's arrows and the Psychic Children's PK Thunders while using this, so if your foe is foolish enough to try these tactics while standing under Bowser, let it rip.

Up B attack

Whirling Fortress: Bowser tucks into his shell and spins at high speeds like a buzzsaw. If airborne, Bowser will lift slightly into the air while performing the move

MAX%: 2 hits for max 16 (on ground); 9 hits for max 31% (in air)
MIN%: --
KILL%: ~135

Whirling Fortress is the fastest attack Bowser can unleash, but the opponent must be next to Bowser for it to hit. Since it is usable from shield without having to drop the shield, it's a good way to either 1) punish people who approach Bowser from behind and hit his shield, or 2) attempt a kill on someone hitting his shield, regardless of direction they come from.

It's lost killing power since Melee (like most attacks have in comparison) but is still fast and potentially lethal, and can score multiple hits in the air to rack up the opponent's damage. Obviously, though, the most use you'll likely get from this move is as a recovery move to get Bowser back to the stage. It has more horizontal coverage than vertical, so try to use it while higher in the air to prevent falling short of the edge.

=THE OVERVIEW=

Bowser in Brawl is all about killing potential. With the more potent Stale Move Negation mechanic in place (that drastically drops both the percentage dealt and the killing power of moves that are used repeatedly in a row), characters will find themselves having a harder time killing with their best kill moves if they are used too often. Bowser, however, has found an easy way around this problem- over half his moves have killing potential.

While the killing %s listed for his moves above may sound high, remember that many characters are living to much higher percentages in Brawl. It's not too uncommon to see Bowser live well past 200% (though he is the heaviest character in the game of course), yet many of Bowser's attacks contain the ability to kill medium weight characters at percentages of 150% or lower...from the center of Final Destination. Obviously this means that if you hit an opponent close to the edge they can be killed at even lower percentages.

The fact that most of his moves can be considered kill moves means that he can freely use and overuse his best attacks to build percentage, then switch to a different attack to land the finishing blow. As far as building up damage goes, his best moves to get this done are often liberal use of jabs, ftilt, and fair. Combine these with grabs, pummels, and throws (since these have no decent killing potential anyways, piling damage on with them is the next best thing) and Bowser can land kills far earlier than most other characters.

Bowser is also more capable of holding his own when chasing opponents off the edge of the stage, thanks to the improved recoveries that all characters are enjoying. While running off the stage and using fair in Melee was a good but risky strategy for a Bowser player who wasn't used to it, Bowser can employ this and easily make it back with no worries while still sending the opponent past the Point of No Return.

Of course, the biggest change to Bowser's game is his new and (arguably) improved Forward B, the Flying Slam. If you can manage to get a stock ahead of your opponent, then you automatically place the threat of immediate Bowsercide over their head, causing the possibility for mistakes that will cost them dearly. While it may seem somewhat unfair to use Forward B liberally to suicide, it's not a difficult move for them to counter...hence, if you can land it and it benefits you, by all means, use it.

Of course, Bowser is by no means unbeatable. He's still the largest character in the game, and therefore the biggest target. He also lacks a real projectile, the closest thing him having being his Fire Breath, so any character with a halfway decent projectile can keep him at bay indefinitely. The only way to really counter this is to force yourself close enough to render their projectile pointless. Bowser has good range on many of his attacks; once you're in his sphere of influence, you can start fighting on his terms.

Another big problem Bowser has to overcome is characters with high priority attacks, more notably characters that possess disjointed hitboxes. The most notable foes with this advantage over him are Marth, Meta Knight, Olimar, etc. Characters that don't attack directly, but rather swing something that isn't part of their body can space themselves from Bowser and hit him while keeping themselves safe. In these cases, it's wiser to stick closer than usual and shield often. Grabs and throws are more useful here; They might not deal as much damage as quickly as Bowser's other moves can, but a landed grab is guaranteed damage, and if you can get the opponent off the edge Bowser gains a bit more leverage to work with.

The most important thing to remember is that Bowser is not only about power, but survivability. He packs the heaviest weight class in the game, and can survive attacks that would kill pretty much any other character. Learning what attacks send you which direction is important when fighting an opponent, so that you can DI properly and hence survive to the last possible iota of damage.

So, in all, when practicing Bowser it's a good idea to get used to all of his attacks and when to use them. The more attacks you know how to use successfully, the better you'll become at landing killing blows at earlier percentages. Bowser has the potential to become a frightening force when fought; you just have to know the right moves.
 

Me14k

Smash Lord
Joined
Oct 18, 2006
Messages
1,090
Location
UIUC/Buffalo Grove
Dynamism?'s RAWR_Bowser

From Dynamism?:

RAWR_Bowser

Trade transaction: Dynamism “RAWR” for COATIC “Boozer Cute”
RAWR>>>COATIC from Dynamism
Boozer Cute>>>Dynamism from CAOTIC
[‘transaction complete’]
...tiz mine now!

BOOZER CUUUUUTE

What is all this ****?
- Match up charts, attack descriptions, stage selection, advanced techniques, tricks with attacks...
It’s all somewhere around these boards and you can find them in the threads. The one thing that can’t really be applied to charts or statistics is the theory and application of all of these things together.

You can see it in videos and can learn your own tricks and baiting and punishing techniques on your own but all of these different styles have ups and downs. So, simply put, I’m going to layout the way I use the character as best I can.

In the process, I will try covering the things (strengths) that make the character work and the things (weaknesses) that the character needs to work around using the statistics for the character that are found in these other threads.

All of the statistics on what to do from a grab are important to know, but knowing how to land a grab is important too. This is where that part of the game will develop. How do you land a given attack on a given character and what attack is best to use in a given situation?

This isn’t the way someone should play the character and it isn’t the way the character is best played. This is just the way one player (me) uses the character and perhaps it’s good or bad. Improve this players ability to use the character until they use it to perfection and it may help you and others along the way. Videos will come from myself and others who have UNIQUE and/or EFFICIENT ways to play the character that should be taken into consideration.

Why is this **** here?
1. It might help some new players to understand the applications of the data on match ups and attacks that are posted through the charts and threads here.

2. If there is something you think can be added or improved on, point out what it is you like to do in a situation or what you’d do differently in a given situation to further improve this characters game.

3. I don’t main a character, I main Random competitively and this is the backbone of the character that I use when the time is called for me to use them. I NEED YOU TO GIVE ME THE DEPTH THAT I LACK ON PLAYING THIS CHARACTER A PERFECTLY AS POSSIBLE!

4. The ultimate peak of the characters potential, that’s what this is for.


Instructions:

If you have something interesting in your style of play or the way you approach using the character, sections throughout will outline the styles and how they work. Simply ask me why I do something or what I do when something else occurs that isn’t mentioned yet and I’ll elaborate or explain what I can OR explain what it is you do in a situation that you think is fitting and it will be added to the section.

How To Do Bowser, Dynie Style!

Playing The General Boozer Cute Game
Summary: SPEED!!!
- Bowser is not an overly slow character and I like to make him move as fast as I can.

He’s heavy and big but if he’s always moving, he becomes a flying offence. If Bowser can make the opponent cautious and play his game by moving around the stage at high speeds, they can’t play the game that they would want against Bowser as he becomes a high pressure character. He has fast attacks and lots of range. Including break away moves like his UpB that sets up and gets him out of trouble and approaching moves like his SideB which is safe because he can evade at the same time yet the approach can’t be shielded. Of course, everyone knows these things about Bowser and uses them in some way. They’re used often and mostly because of their speed.

My Safety Net UpB
When I’m is gonna get hit by an aerial and I can’t get out of the way or attack them first, UpB will always be a great option. It often trades hits with things like DK and Wolf B-air approaches if they don’t space perfectly and if Bowser is moving a lot and dashes into shield, they won’t be perfectly spaced. It also works very well on platforms. In many cases, shielding the attack is definitely the better choice because it’s safe and I can react accordingly out of shielding it, but often shielding wont give Bowser the highest advantage.

For example, if a Falco tries to D-air me and I’m on a platform, I’ll just UpB and it’ll win or trade hits and I can slide off to a safe place again. Or if he’s jumping from below to B-air me, same thing. When simply shielding these things, Falco will just fly by and be unpunished where UpB to trade with him would both set up and deal more damage. If everything misses altogether, you can still move to safety while using UpB.

Trading hits as Bowser is usually a good thing considering he hits harder and he’s heavier in almost all situations. This goes for everything from ftilting MK Nados to U-airing Yoshi’s slam. If I can’t shield or dodge it, I’ll just hit it back. Trading hits is a plus for Bowser and UpB will almost always trade when used as a safety net.

High Pressure Play
I like to stay right on top and in front of my opponent. Usually characters either like to stay away and look for that space to get inside Bowser to do the damage or stay away and camp or out range Bowser. When Bowser gets right up in their face, they can’t space that distance much at all. If the opponent somehow turns the momentum around for a moment, I UpB to safety, even hang on the ledge for a bit. Though if I’m fighting a lighter character and they can’t do anything devastating to me, I like to save my UpB because it can kill light characters early. So I do something else out or shield and react.

The more you move, the more you’ll control the pace and space of the match. Bowser is big and covers a lot of area with himself and his attacks so if he’s moving, the opponent has to move even more to keep their spacing and this usually means they wont have as many chances from spending so much of their movement and spacing on moving to safe spots.

Klaw Hopping & Movement Application
Using his Klaw Hop to approach is great but I like to simply KH near them, they can’t really get to me without being slammed and they can’t punish it. Just using empty KH’s around the stage is a useful spacing tool. This leaves Bowser moving quickly and leaves his options open. When they act on a KH, dodging their approach is easy since he’s moving. Landing into something like a grab or ftilt is a good way to punish their rush either out of an AD or after an aerial at the peak of the hop.

They want to get Bowser when he’s in the air but I like to KH and be ready for them to come to me. It’s as good as bait gets and it’s actually completely safe with everything from F-air to the last resort of an AD back down into UpB.

Sometimes F-air on landing is a good option too. I don’t mind using his B-air upon landing either, the lag isn’t as bad as it’s made out to be and it’s well worth it if I think I have a chance when they’ve given me an opening. Only if it’s a clear shot though. If not, a Klaw is safe again. Klaw Hopping them is always the safest but when the chance comes, I B-air or F-air on landing or land and tilt or grab or dash in and out for re-spacing. Bowser is versatile and his options multiply on the constant move.

A little approach and evade trick that works often for me is a SH F-air and DIing backwards to land away from them. Following this with ftilt or doing what the moment calls for is great bait and safe approach all in one. It’s about as good a wall as he can make and is a very effective maneuver. For some reason, people still think a SH F-air is punishable on landing so use this spacing to set up and punish. DI away every time they shield or dodge.

Don’t forget to Short Hop Air Dodge and its many uses. I use it as a get away jump if things look bad. Get away jumps are always a last resort but others will find holes in Bowser’s attack either way, because he isn’t the fastest character after all. Getting away with an AD is the best choice when a hit trade or UpB won’t work or not worth it. SH ADs can also be used as a countering and baiting tool as he can move straight into anything upon landing and he’s safe while spacing through the air either behind the opponent or dodging an attack. A get away jump can simply be used to dodge a fsmash and land beside the opponent to grab.

Jab! When I’m dashing, KHing, anything, some good jabs thrown out whenever it looks like they’re trying to force an approach on me will make them either run into it or keep them away. When they’re close enough that they can probably hit Bowser before he can hit them, I jab and see what happens. When they’re at an ideal ftilt distance but I’m not sure if I have time to ftilt, I jab instead. It’s safe and even if it misses, they wont try to punish a jab, or they will and they’ll get an UpB to the face for it. I jab into a grounded DownB on occasion as it’ll probably hit only once but it’ll scare them away from trying to punish jabs for good.

I Klaw Hop and dash around, ftilting, jabbing, shielding, grabbing and F-airing in between movements to space myself. Any problems are evaded with UpB or SH ADs and I play in their face and move constantly. Insta-win!

Edge & Ledge Game Strategies:
I love his ledge game! It’s great. When in trouble, I go to the ledge and hang out. Dropping and using DJ UpB will give Bowser almost constant invincibility and DJ DownB will be similar. Both his jump straight from ledge and dropping to DJ on are by far his safest options when I know I’ll get punished from a regular attack from the edge of the stage.

The straight ledge jump is very fast and high. It’s safe and puts Bowser moving across the stage either on platforms to KH to the far side safely, an easy AD back to the center or attacking with a KH right above them. His drop and jump from the ledge is very quick too. A F-air up from the ledge or landing into a ftilt is very safe and effective to anyone trying to pressure him on the ledge. Even hopping up and fsmashing is quick. His ledge game is great, so once I’m back at the stage and grab the ledge, I consider myself recovered.

For edgeguarding, if the opponent is high and coming in, I spam B-air. I don’t go out too far, there is no reason to as B-air will probably kill them from the stage either way. If they’re coming in low, Firebreath. It probably wont kill them but the damage will be well worth it as any attack will send them back out there. I don’t go horizontally or down when edgeguarding off stage, just going out to edgeguard above the stage. When they can’t be B-aired, I use fire, then react accordingly staying on stage. If they grab the ledge, I step back and wait for them, then ftilt, fair, whatever. It’s safe and doesn’t get them anywhere without me making the mistake.

How I Win With Boozer:
I’m always moving if I’m not attacking with a jab, tilt, grab, smash or shielding. I don’t spot dodge much, if ever, and don’t roll stand still often. I keep my distance and jab or ftilt when in range both after and during the constant F-airs and SideBs thrown out at them. When they go into the air and leave an easy opening, I dash in to grab, usmash, dashattack, Klaw, F-air or shield and wait for them. If the opening works, I punish accordingly with anything from utilt to CGs. If the opening doesn’t work or looks like it won’t, I UpB immediately and get to safety.

Against most characters, there isn’t much Bowser can be punished for when he dashes in at the right moment through his hopping around and shields or attacks, so I take every chance and play cautiously. If I have even a moment of chance, even the slightest doubt that I might not be able to do anything to punish them after I’ve already moved in and there’s a chance I won’t be able to do anything from the position once they’re not punishable anymore, UpB is nearly unstoppable.

For the most part, the right spacing and the right moment to shield or attack upon approaching can lead to utilt, ftilt, grab, jab or fair and if those don’t get them, a Dsmash or Usmash instead of safe attacks probably will. The risk vs reward is good and it’s not very risky with proper shielding and UpB to back up the safe approach. I take my chances because of Bowser’s safety nets but don’t overdo it.

There are many characters that rely on spacing and walls, these are the characters that Bowser does well against. When he’s right up in Lucario’s face, Lucario doesn’t have much. When he’s right up in Donkey Kong’s face, DK doesn’t have much. Let these characters space their attacks to wall Bowser out and it’s tough but if Bowser is hopping around them, Link, ROB, Pit and the characters like them, he’s going to get openings and with good use of these openings, Bowser will get inside and crush them.

Characters like Wario and Toon Link can be played very similarly. If Bowser is in the air with them hopping around and attacking them up there with F-air, B-air, U-air and Klaw, they’ll have trouble spacing and with constant movement, their spacing will be way off. Bowser covers more area than Wario and is faster in the air than Toon Link. I use what they don’t have to mess with what they do have and try to change their game for the worse and make them play my game. I like to Full Jump Firebreath sometimes against them because it does a good trap on many aerial characters. They can’t get away in time without jumping, and they’ll jump right into it.

Some characters can camp pretty well with a good close up game too. Toon Link is like that but he’s also aerial and that’s where you can take him best. Samus can space well and almost camps with her long reaching moves but if Bowser can get inside and around her, her close up game wont be able to compete with his. She’ll naturally try and stay away but to get kills she needs to be close and if I get right in her face from the start, by the time she can get the kill, she’ll be ready for me to finish off too. And Bowser can finish her much easier than she can finish Bowser. I play high pressure and go all out on all of the above type of characters, it’s Bowser’s game.

The Diddy match up is another one that can be difficult but it’s really very simple. I UpB a lot because he’ll be near me a lot, DownB kills cause he’ll always try to follow Bowser into the air after his typical dash attacks, and I KH around his bananas. Chances are he’ll spam peanuts to stop approaches and run away a lot to re-space banana approaches, so I just chase him, he can’t do much to Bowser anyway. When I get a banana and make him trip, they are punished hard. When he has no bananas, the best advice possible for Bowser would be, “get him!” and Diddy could easily lose a stock with too much pressure and no bananas against a big and fast character that hits hard.

The other type of characters that can cause trouble for Bowser have to be handled differently but are still very manageable. Characters, like Snake, want to have others hop around them. Though Snake doesn’t thrive off of that, it’s just something that others do to fight Snake when they don’t know how. Snake needs characters to stay away and then he goes in for the kill. There isn’t a lot of Bowser’s high pressure game that can be used as it becomes a patience and baiting game so Snake can’t go in to kill. Firebreath and Klaw can do a lot of damage to Snake, but Snake can do it right back.

Matches like this are difficult for Bowser but I won’t go to him because I don’t have to. He throws the grenades, I go closer, I shoot fire, he has to come closer. These matches are very doable, just not with the high pressure play that’s ideal for Bowser because it doesn’t really have an effect on the likes of Snake. I always move fast and constantly though, that’s important against all campers from Olimar to Falco, who also can be beat with high pressure play if they don’t stop you.

I usually look at my opponent for choosing a stage but I like Battlefield and Lylat for their small distances between platforms and Pictochat against bigger characters because of the high ceiling that lets me live forever but still stay easy to kill others off of.

That’s how I win with Bowser.
Bowser + Patience > Campers (I don’t rush at them, they want that and I don’t do it)
Bowser + High Pressure > Spacers + Speedsters + Aerialness (I take their game away with my own speed, aerial mobility and size)


How I Beat Bowser:
Bowser needs to move around, space well and approach to be effective. So the only things that could take that away from Bowser are either hopping around better than him or taking away his ability to hop around. It’s not campers that give Bowser trouble, as all of them have a way to be worked around and most of them don’t so much thrive off of high pressure opponents but can simply deal with it well.

The problem for Bowser really comes in those who are essentially the opposite of campers. Not so much high pressure characters without projectiles which means literally the opposite of camping, but those who actually thrive off of characters that hop around and play that way because they can do it better or take it away. Characters that either can’t approach but (1) want to be approached, (2) force approaches and counter the approaches or (3) have such a good pressure game that other pressure games fall just short.

I like to use Kirby or Ness to play against Bowser and it works pretty much every time. Kirby can’t approach, therefore, the opponent approaching is pretty much the sum of every match. Bowser doesn’t have to approach Kirby and probably shouldn’t but it’ll happen because Kirby actually wont since he can’t. He can out space Kirby with tilts and aerials so that’s not where the problem is.

Bowser has trouble killing Kirby. It’s a little weird but true. Bowser needs to take chances to get the kill on Kirby and because Kirby can’t approach and his close up game is so strong, every chance Bowser takes will either be successful or result in massive damaging combos early and fsmash or usmash kills later.

Kirby can finish Bowser earlier than most characters and rack up damage faster than almost any if Bowser tries to finish him too soon. Bowser needs to keep moving and spacing, forcing Kirby to avoid playing the ground game and risk coming into the air where Bowser can beat Kirby in almost every way. Spacing and aerial capitalization are Bowser’s tools in this match but it’s in Kirby’s control whether he falls for the bait or not. A Kirby that understands this will almost never take the bait. I don’t anymore and until the Bowser’s stop trying to force smashes and Boozer Bombs at me, the games will be combo filled in my favor. Grad releases have saved Bowser from complete loss here.

Ness has aerial abilities that beat Bowser’s, much like Bowser beats Kirby in the air. This forces Bowser to play the ground game and space again. It’s difficult to space Ness from the ground as his aerial game is so quick and strong but if Bowser forces his own air game in, he’ll get punished for it. Bowser has to keep moving, any pauses early will lead to major damage and Ness can gimp Bowser very well. I avoid PKT and PKF at all costs. If Ness goes into the air close to me, I go ahead and attack him but I don’t rush him in the air myself. I don’t stay still and don’t move too close in the air. When I’m Ness, I can stay moving with Bowser and always make Bowser move first and for the worst.

Other match ups that Bowser’s can struggle with are the high pressure characters that can out move Bowser but also finish him off early enough. Fox is simply too fast for Bowser to handle. Again, with spacing, Bowser can deal serious damage and get even early kills but Fox doesn’t have to get hit. Multiple hits on his D-air and F-air and lasting N-air with his aerial speed can really mess with Bowser’s approach and air game and his juggling with tilts and aerials can bring Bowser into dangerous places and percent really fast. Basically Bowser just has to run, but not too far or he’ll just get lasers to his big target.

He needs to stay back and SH F-airs and make sure he stays away when he can or he’ll get juggled by something or Usmashed. Fox’s pressure game beats Bowser’s because of the speed but that can be overcome if Bowser has the patience and keeps baiting him. A patient Fox player that knows how to be efficient with chances is a deadly one for Bowser but it’s still winnable with a patient and defensive Bowser.

Last but not least, Luigi is a good pick and Bowser has to play safe and space defensively to win. The best thing Bowser can do against Luigi is run and space which is easier to do against Luigi than it is Fox but Luigi can punish any mistake way more and combo better than Mario, who is also tough for Bowser. Run from Luigi and space feint attacks or it’ll be a quick match.

For stages to beat Bowser, I usually go Delfino Plaza. Who I pick depends on the player because it’s a good stage for both Kirby and Ness but it’s a bad stage for Bowser. Bowser has no use for the water, go through stage or short killzones and it works against him in these match ups. If I don’t counter pick a stage, Fox and Luigi are as good as Kirby and Ness too. Though I seem to have long matches when I’m Fox and Kirby against a Bowser because I don’t give Bowser any chances to get a good hit on me and the actual good Bowser’s wont try the big hits on me after they get punished for them a few times.

That’s how I beat Boozer.
Ness + Kirby > Bowser (I survive by staying grounded and make Kirby/let Ness go in the air, spacing is all Bowser has but I don’t force kills, I play safe and wait for their mistakes)







NOW

What can I do better? What am I doing right? What else can I do?

TEACH ME!
 

Admiral Pit

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A Magnificient Bowser guide it is! Still, its a shame that there aren't many Bowser players in the world, and I blame those popular characters especially Marth, Ike, and those 3 space animals.
 

Me14k

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A Magnificient Bowser guide it is! Still, its a shame that there aren't many Bowser players in the world, and I blame those popular characters especially Marth, Ike, and those 3 space animals.
I find the lack of popularity with bowser to only benefit those who play bowser. At a tournament scene people are going to be less familiar with how to play bowser.

I should have Vids up of my bowser in 2 weeks, I haven't seen any competitive bowser players yet...we really need to show that bowser is a legit character.
 

Psyke

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nice super long guide for bowser...He is in fact way better in brawl then he in in melee..
Over all I dont think hes THAT slow infact he becomes much faster if you do that infinite jump thing...(forgot what it was called)
 

Admiral Pit

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You do have a point. I recorded some of my Bowser vids (against lv 9s but dont blame me) on the smash bros game, (the replay thing). Unfortunately I cant transfer it to another wii without wifi. If i could do that, I'd give it to you, then you could probably post it up on Youtube as "Admiral Bowser's Bowser".
You'd see that I'm a good Bowser. I lack the knowledge of making videos as seen on Youtube, and i dont have an account for it, but something tells me i dont want 1.

Soon, Bowser will be reconized as a great character, and when Bowser players unite, this is goin to happen.
 

Me14k

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you can only call yourself good when you are beating serious players, don't waste your time playing cpus...go to a tourney and play real people.

Bowser as he was in melee requires all mindgames, you wont develop this by playing cpus.
 

Popertop

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Gimpy was my hero when I first saw the video of him destroying people.
It inspired me to pick up Boozer, and when I saw the changes made in Brawl for him, it got me even more excited. :D
 

eyestrain92

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Quite helpful. You have reminded me however that his power-houseness has been replaced by a bit tighter speed. Sad but rewarding all the same.
 

Zm4rf

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You forgot the dash attack.

btw, about the dash attack, when used on someone clinging to the edge, it sends them down and towards the platform. At least, that's what happened on that cpu, but there might have been interference.

It's an odd trajectory oO.
 

Me14k

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You forgot the dash attack.

btw, about the dash attack, when used on someone clinging to the edge, it sends them down and towards the platform. At least, that's what happened on that cpu, but there might have been interference.

It's an odd trajectory oO.
Thanks, Ill get to that as soon as I have some time. Overall I think the woop combo says it best for the dash attack ;-).

I never use the dash attack, way too much end lag and not enough combo/kill potential.

Your use to the dash attack seems entirely edge guarding, maybe a PoF would do better for you...
 

KevinM

TB12 TB12 TB12
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Hey my Bowser looks pretty, does that mean i'm good

Hey Me, if you don't mind i'll contribute to your guide, i wrote the one for melee and i'd be able to help with a lot of the match-ups and tactical aspects for brawl bowser.

I put way to much time into him <_<
 

Me14k

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Hey my Bowser looks pretty, does that mean i'm good

Hey Me, if you don't mind i'll contribute to your guide, i wrote the one for melee and i'd be able to help with a lot of the match-ups and tactical aspects for brawl bowser.

I put way to much time into him <_<
Just post matchups and ill edit the main post.

Kevin how do you go about your bowser? Fast with claw cancel spamming (me) or similar to melee's bowser?

btw...Bowser is **** sexy, not just pretty.
 

S_B

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I've always mained Bowser, and I'm glad that he has enough tricks up his sleeve this time around that he has more of a chance in the metagame.

I might also have something to add to this guide, but only after more experience in online play. As of now, I'm very likely dealing with people who have zero idea how to fight Bowser because so few people PLAY as Bowser. Thus, I can't honestly say that my current techniques are worthy of note because I've yet to see how most players attempt to counter them. There are still some techniques which I know work but others still need more testing.

Let me add two things which I know work (excluding the PoF, since I already mentioned in in another thread):

1. Shield fortressing as mandatiory: when you're on the ground, get in the habit of holding shield before you Up+B. Since you can shield fortress anyway, putting up a defense beforehand will stop any last second attacks which may otherwise stun you out of it.

2. Shield jumping for projectile spam: Pit, Falco and Wolf will irritate the hell out of you by running to the other end of the stage and spamming projectiles at you. The best way to counter this and avoid the stun involved is to hold shield and jump forward while continuing to hold shield. You can advance upon them this way while taking minimal damage and stun. When in range, PoF the spammer. Remember that Falco and Wolf take a second to put their gun away, which should allow you to catch them in a flame bath before they can get a reflector up to stop you.

I'll offer more when I've discovered strategies that work and have been tested multiple times.
 

KevinM

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Just post matchups and ill edit the main post.

Kevin how do you go about your bowser? Fast with claw cancel spamming (me) or similar to melee's bowser?

btw...Bowser is **** sexy, not just pretty.
I just watch what they're doing.. and beat them accordingly.. idk i don't have a set style, i just get the job done.
 

Me14k

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Overall a good guide; I'm surprised that nothing was said about the Infinite Jump Glitch though.
It is under the Side B section.

Since the Inf jump section is fairly small yet extremely important i Bolded, Italicized, and Underlined the section.

O.o have a good day.
 

NeoZ

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You mentioned a 2 hits on the fsmash, could you elaborate? As I don't remember it being a multi hitting attack.
 

Me14k

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You mentioned a 2 hits on the fsmash, could you elaborate? As I don't remember it being a multi hitting attack.
If you fsmash close to the other person it has two consecutive hits. You can't hit only with the weak hit (as far as i know).

Pretty much, a 'tipper'd' fsmash=less damage.

try it for yourself. I didn't realize this until i started looking, in detail, at bowser's moves.
 

NeoZ

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If you fsmash close to the other person it has two consecutive hits. You can't hit only with the weak hit (as far as i know).

Pretty much, a 'tipper'd' fsmash=less damage.

try it for yourself. I didn't realize this until i started looking, in detail, at bowser's moves.
Thanks, I didn't know that; and that extra 10%(it also means more knockback for the second hit) can really make the difference when you're going for the KO, but I can't really try it as I don't have a Wii.
 

UrajKingofDarkness

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Wow, I was barely able to find the part that gives me credit for originally writing this and posting it on All Is Brawl...

The thing I'm curious about is your addition of the "hugely important" infinite double jump. More importantly, you don't really explain what makes it hugely important. One reason I didn't include it was because as of now there doesn't seem to be much practical use for it- Bowser can only use his double jump again right before he hits the ground, so he can't use it to recover or anything. So far the only possible use of it I've been able to conceive was to more nimbly move up to higher platforms on levels like Battlefield, but even then that's only conjecture. I've yet to ever use it in a match for anything other than goofing around, so to label it as a huge part of his game is a bit misleading.

Other than that, perhaps if you'd put at the top of the page that this was originally posted on AllisBrawl.com by me, then follow it up by noting that you made some minor alterations, I'd greatly appreciate that. Keep up the good work.
 

Me14k

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Wow, I was barely able to find the part that gives me credit for originally writing this and posting it on All Is Brawl...

The thing I'm curious about is your addition of the "hugely important" infinite double jump. More importantly, you don't really explain what makes it hugely important. One reason I didn't include it was because as of now there doesn't seem to be much practical use for it- Bowser can only use his double jump again right before he hits the ground, so he can't use it to recover or anything. So far the only possible use of it I've been able to conceive was to more nimbly move up to higher platforms on levels like Battlefield, but even then that's only conjecture. I've yet to ever use it in a match for anything other than goofing around, so to label it as a huge part of his game is a bit misleading.

Other than that, perhaps if you'd put at the top of the page that this was originally posted on AllisBrawl.com by me, then follow it up by noting that you made some minor alterations, I'd greatly appreciate that. Keep up the good work.
You are 100% correct. Changes made, you have due credit.

About the inf jump...it is perfect for grabbing with the claw. And you can intertwine fair and eliminate all lag on the fair.

Obviously it sucks that you can't use this for recovery, Bowzer's horizontal recovery is pretty beast anyways.
 

KevinM

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Bowser was surpassed in cuteness for me in this game

Stupid DeDeDe

i still play bowser, but i can't say he's the cutest, and thats depressing
 

an1bal

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Me14k said:
here are times when Bowser will use this technique when both he and his foe are at 1 stock, yet he will die at the same time and thus send the match into Sudden Death. It is not yet known what affects this outcome, but once it is discovered it will be promptly put here.
Its a controller port issue. 1p > 2p > 3p> 4p . So Bowser mainers should jump pn the first port asap. Gayness too... this is truly bad game development/programming.

Overall an excellent guide. Ive just recently taken up bowser to counter my friend's Lucario and its doing a great job. Tourney potential? maybe .... but not likely against space furries and marth/mk types
 

FerretStyle

Smash Apprentice
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Sep 20, 2007
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83
Just want to say this.

Both the Fsmash and the DownB can hit only once. That is, you can hit with the first part of the attack and still miss the second if the target is too close to you. It's happened to me many times.
 

Stalfoe

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Not that important, but I'm pretty sure his UAir is either a bite or he whacks them with his head. I've paused and even slow-mo'd and I could never see anything connect with his claws, which would explain the short reach.
 

Me14k

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Not that important, but I'm pretty sure his UAir is either a bite or he whacks them with his head. I've paused and even slow-mo'd and I could never see anything connect with his claws, which would explain the short reach.
I actually think the range on the upair is awsome.

...Not to mention it is fast also.
 

Stalfoe

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Well that's all fine and dandy that you think the range is awesome, but it's comparatively short compared to Melee, where he actually used his arms and reached up instead of just poking his head out. Head=power, palm=reach sound good?
 

Me14k

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Well that's all fine and dandy that you think the range is awesome, but it's comparatively short compared to Melee, where he actually used his arms and reached up instead of just poking his head out. Head=power, palm=reach sound good?
I don't think anyone can say uair in melee was better than uair in brawl.
 

Stalfoe

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Yeap, I sure did. Comment was about Bowser not actually using his claws but his head. Not whether or not Melee's Uair is better than Brawl's.
 

T-BONE

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Mar 23, 2008
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6
Hey Uraj and Me14k, this is great for reference. Thanks for posting! I main bowser and am still a beginning level player, but am trying to learn all I can about playing him. I'd like to contribute a few things-- could you please add these to the guide?

About Bowser vs. Projectiles:

-Bowser's neutral air can reflect some projectiles. I haven't tested this extensively since I don't have a wii or the game but I know it reflects Pit's arrows.

-While on the ground the whirling fortress can be used in conjunction with walking/dashing forward as a technique to close ground on an opponent that is shooting projectiles at you. The whirling fortress can cancel out some projectiles, quickly resetting bowser to do something else if used on the ground. If you move forward in between canceling projectiles with the WF, you can decrease the distance between you and your opponent while remaining unharmed and saving your shield power. (once again, havent tested thoroughly but I've used it successfully against Pit shooting arrows at me)

About Bowser's Infin Jump:

The thing I'm curious about is your addition of the "hugely important" infinite double jump. More importantly, you don't really explain what makes it hugely important. One reason I didn't include it was because as of now there doesn't seem to be much practical use for it- Bowser can only use his double jump again right before he hits the ground, so he can't use it to recover or anything. So far the only possible use of it I've been able to conceive was to more nimbly move up to higher platforms on levels like Battlefield, but even then that's only conjecture. I've yet to ever use it in a match for anything other than goofing around, so to label it as a huge part of his game is a bit misleading.
Two uses I've found for the infin jump are making yourself less predictable when landing and dodging projectiles while closing in on your opponent. Sometimes your opponent will try to place themselves somewhat close but just out of your reach as you are landing on the stage from your second jump, so they can quickly smash you or rush in and attack. I found that when I used the infin jump instead of just landing my second jump, it left my opponent guessing when I would land and sometimes it would result in them whiffing an attack. So in that way it can keep you moving and mix up your play a little bit to make you less predictable. If you time the infin jump right to hop over projectiles, you can also use it to dodge projectiles while moving/getting closer to your opponent. played in a tournament recently that was held at an arcade in california and was able to use the infin jump practically during a few matches for those reasons.
 
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