How Do You Deal with Evasive Characters?

Uffe

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I'm really struggling to get in against other characters, especially characters with projectile. They're constantly running and jumping away. I can't just shield dash in and go for a grab when they're constantly shielding at a distance, either, because Ness' grab range has been Meleefied that it's practically useless. When I do catch my opponent, I can't follow up with much of anything because my opponent either gets away, somehow falls out of fair/uair, and retaliates, so I end up being punished for punishing in the first place. I'm struggling using this character and Elite Smash is showing it. I'll pass my brother's Samus GSP score, and then it'll revert back to being lower. Meanwhile, my brother, who uses Samus, doesn't have to worry about people running off because he's got projectile and zair. Projectile characters seem to have an easier time in this game as well, because I struggle against Link, Young Link, Toon Link, and basically any character with projectile that don't have to commit.
 

Thunderjay

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I also run into situations like this sometimes, as Ness isn't a particularly fast character. If I can't get grabs I just try to focus on his other moves. Spam aerials to keep hitboxes present in the air. Punish rolls with dash attack and Dsmash. Pressure with your projectiles. Reflecting or absorbing their projectiles often makes them approach as well.
 

EarthBoundEnigma

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If someone likes to run away, run away from them, too. Just work on finding an angle to make it not worth their effort.
 

Uffe

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I also run into situations like this sometimes, as Ness isn't a particularly fast character. If I can't get grabs I just try to focus on his other moves. Spam aerials to keep hitboxes present in the air. Punish rolls with dash attack and Dsmash. Pressure with your projectiles. Reflecting or absorbing their projectiles often makes them approach as well.
For the evasive people without projectiles, I spam PK Thunder and it works at times. I don't want to just throw out attacks, either, because then my opponent just waits for it and tries to punish me.

If someone likes to run away, run away from them, too. Just work on finding an angle to make it not worth their effort.
How do you run away from Link, Young Link, and Toon Link, though? They'll just spam their projectile and back up when I start moving in. Same issue with the Belmont Clan.
 

Omastar

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I suggest having a lot of patience and knowing which projectiles we can absorb with magnet. Staying mid range makes projectile users really nervous and they usually force an option that is unsafe or aren't spaced correctly and because our initial dash is better in this game we can close the distance. Staying in the air and throwing out a ton of disjoints is also one of Ness' best assets so try and do that. I also use pk fire upon them landing as its a great way to put a lot of pressure on and get them off the stage where we can harass them. Also if you feel like nothing is working, explore a secondary that can deal with projectiles well. A lot of high - top tier characters in this game that have the speed and or tools to give projectile users a hard time.
 

Uffe

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I suggest having a lot of patience and knowing which projectiles we can absorb with magnet. Staying mid range makes projectile users really nervous and they usually force an option that is unsafe or aren't spaced correctly and because our initial dash is better in this game we can close the distance. Staying in the air and throwing out a ton of disjoints is also one of Ness' best assets so try and do that. I also use pk fire upon them landing as its a great way to put a lot of pressure on and get them off the stage where we can harass them. Also if you feel like nothing is working, explore a secondary that can deal with projectiles well. A lot of high - top tier characters in this game that have the speed and or tools to give projectile users a hard time.
I don't think I can solo main Ness in this game because of the large roster. But staying mid-range does sound like a good idea. It's just the thing I've been noticing in Elite Smash is that when I play against people, they tend to just camp me, projectile or not. Then when I see my brother play, his opponents can't handle him. My brother uses Samus/Dark Samus. I'd really like to learn the match ups of other characters with Ness, but sadly, I may just have to use a different character for these projectile based characters.
 

EarthBoundEnigma

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How do you run away from Link, Young Link, and Toon Link, though? They'll just spam their projectile and back up when I start moving in. Same issue with the Belmont Clan.
The new ability to hold our smash attacks longer is a huge buff to our ability to time reflections easier. After a bit of practice, they literally can't hit you.
Harder on FD, but still doable.
These characters are average to above average in speed, but they aren't nearly as fast as Thunder. (PK Thunder)
If they run away to spam, jump very high and use PKT to chase them instead of coming close.
If you can get away with using the bat, use it. It is the most powerful reflector in all of Smash Bros Ultimate, doubling the damage on return.
Even if you whiff once in a while, you are doing back DOUBLE what they're doing. It isn't unusual to get 30% off a single reflection.

Your goal is spam superiority and to frustrate them into running in. If they are smart, they will mix up aggression and evasion based on their percentage lead.

Link:
Link is especially easy, since the jump PKT tactic forces them to engage. You can camp him out. His arrows take a long time to charge so he can't quickly hit at range. Solution? Get half a stage away and toss out aerial PK Thunders. His boomerang can't hit you, but if he manages to out-space you, PKT can be redirected to stop it.​
Yink:
Probably the best Link yet, a lot of things that worked well on Smash 4 Link will be harder due to his sheer speed and smaller size, but can still be done. In all Link matchups, spam PKT. It eats moves or hits, every time. He outruns you, but on battlefield he can't out-camp you.​
Tink:
The arrows go farther off less charge, so they actually become more of a threat at range, but they're slower and easier to reflect. His speed is high, so keep PKT between you and him so he can't approach. His boomerang is slow and easy to ignite with PK Fire, if ignited, bombs will not pass through, but will explode on contact with the pillar, giving you a rare chance to actually go for the obnoxious PK Fire to PK Thunder.​
Belmonts:
These are joke characters. The new Little Mac, but great at edgeguarding you with spam. Your bat works on the fire even after it has started burning, which can really be unexpected since there is little clue to let them know they don't own the fire anymore. The whip is extremely predictable and slow. Dash attack, downtilt, and projectiles are the only way in. They ALL have very predictable ranges and once you can mentally overlay the axe arc from them, you know their zone of control and play outside that. If you're inside the axe arc and above the cross path, you have to PK Fire or fair cross-up over their shield. Limited options. If you stay outside that, spam PK Thunder. They really can't outrun it. They have no answer to it. PK Thunder IS the neutral game versus the Belmonts. Dash attack is short and slow, but PK Fire is faster, and if you are out-spaced, nair out of shield. Downtilt goes farther and moves faster, but the windup before the leap gives you enough time to shield the attack and assess your options. KO with PK Thunder. It will get them in the air and you can finish them then.​

Remember, this is if they're playing the "Runaway and Spam" playstyle, and will NOT work if they're playing more aggressively.
The spammers are my favorite matchups, specifically because of how spacing and camping work. PK Thunder is the best move in the game, and its only weakness is your immobility while using it. If they're not running to you, they are going to have to run away from PK Thunder. It is a rare treat to get to spend an entire match PKT juggling. End your juggles with PKT2 for some highlight reel B-roll footage.
 

MG_3989

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Everything EarthBoundEnigma said is good. Just stay patient. Play around their projectiles and eat whatever you can. Throw out pk fires for spacing and just to remind them you have the option too. Once you’re out jumping and shielding their projectiles they’re gonna start to tilt and their zoning will fall apart and then you go full aggressive. Their game plan is all about making you lose your composure. Flip it on them
 
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Uffe

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I managed to defeat a Young Link earlier today. People still trying to be evasive, but I was able to do a lot better than I had anticipated. However, I came across a Zelda who two stocked me. They stayed another match, but I had to play extremely patient because this Zelda was hiding mainly behind her Phantom. Any tips on how to get around that thing? I won, but still, the match took a lot longer than I think it should have. Thanks for the advice everyone so far.
 

Specs64z

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Phantom, despite appearences, can actually be reflected, and Din’s fire can be absorbed. If you want to see Ness destroying Zelda in action, watch some of FOW’s matches with Ven.
 

Uffe

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Phantom, despite appearences, can actually be reflected, and Din’s fire can be absorbed. If you want to see Ness destroying Zelda in action, watch some of FOW’s matches with Ven.
I did reflect her Phantom, and it killed her. But then she decided to stay back and try to use Nayru's Love against her reflected Phantom. I did beat her, though.
 

MG_3989

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I managed to defeat a Young Link earlier today. People still trying to be evasive, but I was able to do a lot better than I had anticipated. However, I came across a Zelda who two stocked me. They stayed another match, but I had to play extremely patient because this Zelda was hiding mainly behind her Phantom. Any tips on how to get around that thing? I won, but still, the match took a lot longer than I think it should have. Thanks for the advice everyone so far.
I don’t find Young Link that difficult with Ness. Don’t get me wrong he’s really annoying and can rack up damage fast. They’re usually very predictable standing at one edge of the stage firing arrows and throwing boomerang and for some reason once you get in on Young Link players they don’t seem to have a game plan and they fall apart more than other projectile users (I’ve notice this from 100,000 GSP to 3 mil and up GSP as a trend, it doesn’t matter) which is weird because they have decent CQC options. I still hate fighting them though
 

EarthBoundEnigma

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I don’t find Young Link that difficult with Ness. Don’t get me wrong he’s really annoying and can rack up damage fast. They’re usually very predictable standing at one edge of the stage firing arrows and throwing boomerang and for some reason once you get in on Young Link players they don’t seem to have a game plan and they fall apart more than other projectile users (I’ve notice this from 100,000 GSP to 3 mil and up GSP as a trend, it doesn’t matter) which is weird because they have decent CQC options. I still hate fighting them though
The genuinely good Yinks will all make use of their very quick fastfall nair and very good spin-to-upair combo. Spam is only a means to close distance, for good Yink players.
 

Nubby

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Fight fire with fire, don't approach them. They're gonna have to do something besides playing like a little *****.
 
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