1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Welcome to Smashboards, the world's largest Super Smash Brothers community! Over 225,000 Smash Bros. fans from around the world have come to discuss these great games in over 19 million posts!

    You are currently viewing our boards as a visitor. Click here to sign up right now and start on your path in the Smash community!

  3. Get the Smash Controller on sale this holiday for $26.99 on Amazon! Get the Smash GameCube Controller now!

  4. Use the Smashboards Store to get awesome Smash stuff and support the site, like a Nintendo Controller or the Wii U - Gamecube adaptor ! Check out the inventory in our store and support Smashboards with your purchase today!

Introduction to Mental Game

Discussion in 'Melee Discussion' started by Citizen Snips, Dec 1, 2011.

  1. Citizen Snips

    Citizen Snips
    Expand Collapse
    Smash Journeyman

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2010
    Messages:
    475
    Location:
    Yardley PA
    Hey guys. I only just started delving into the mental aspect of Melee (Maybe some time in late April 2011), and it was basically the most confusing thing I have ever attempted to do in a video game. Because there's so much to think about and to remember from match to match, to a player new to this method of thinking it can seem nearly impossible. I'm hoping to alleviate that problem for other players.

    I understand that there are guides out there to the mental game already out there (Wobbles' post really sticks out in my mind), but none that I have read really focus on the player who is absolutely new to this sort of thing. They speak from the view of a player who has a lot of experience in reading and understanding the subtle aspects of a match, and although these posters may try and tone it down, there is a lot lost in translation. I hope that, as a player who still has fresh in his mind what it feels like to start this endeavor I can put it in layman's terms and make the challenge of entering mental Melee a little easier.

    Since I'm currently winging this, I'm going to try and set up this post with a clear structure for any future updates should this thread take off.

    I will DEFINITELY need input and suggestions from mid- and higher-level players.

    Current Thread Completion Status: Like... 7 twelfths?

    INDEX:
    1: The Goal of This Post
    2: What is Mental Melee?
    3: Reading and Pattern Recognition
    4: Where Do I Start?
    5: List of Basic Patterns ***Not Complete***
    6: Other Aspects of Mental Game ***Not Complete***
    ----6a: Adapting
    ----6b: Baiting
    ----6c: Stage Control and Options
    ----6d: Pressure and How It Affects Your Opponent
    ----6d: Tournament Nerves
    ----6e: Maintaining a Good Attitude
    ----6f: Words of Encouragement

    DISCLAIMER: The views reflected in this thread are those of a low-mid-level Captain Falcon player. If he says something stupid, please tell him so that he can fix it before someone else notices. I am not claiming to be good at reading. Quite the contrary, actually. I'm hoping that, having broken through the confusion of entering mental game just recently, I can assist others in doing the same. Also, Falco's gay, camping should stay in Brawl, and shoutouts to that guy at ROM4 who legit combo'd me with triple PC-cancel bairs.

    1 - The Goal:
    The goal of this post is to give new players an introduction to the mental side of Melee. This includes an easy to understand description of what the mental game is comprised of, including reading, baiting, and tournament confidence (Hoping to get JesiahTEG to write this, cause he's hella good at that stuff), as well as a section on how to approach practicing mental game and a section on some basic patterns to look for when getting started.

    2 - What is Mental Melee?
    Mental Melee has some varying definitions, but at its core, it is as follows: The ability to understand how your opponent reacts to different situations, and also understanding how your opponent understands you, all while understanding how these situations influence the flow of the match.

    In layman's terms, this means that you must understand how your opponent reacts to what you do and apply this in a way that benefits you, but also realize that your opponent is trying to do the same thing.

    "But what does this have to do with learning how to do sweet combo things?", you ask.
    Understanding what Mental Melee is is the first step. It is vital that you remember that you can no longer accept simply throwing out moves and being happy when they land. This is where you really begin to develop as a player. It's your first true ceiling, and it shows that you've progressed technically to a point where you can begin to actually play the game. Yes, you read right. You haven't even been playing this game until now.

    ****ed up, I know. This whole game is one crazy mindwar, really. Believe me, I've been in the trenches. I've watched gods wage war on projectors and tiny screens as us peons stared in awe. The things I've seen would make a grown man cry.

    All jokes aside, though, I mean the italicized sentence in the lightest way possible. Competitive Melee isn't about being technical or flashy (Unless you're being recorded). It's about being smart. And being smart means knowing what you can do, what your opponent can do, and what your opponent WILL do.

    3 - Reading and Pattern Recognition:
    Some of the most obvious elements of mental game are reads. However, some types of reads are much more difficult, and I have yet to start working on them, so I'll leave it to better players to help me out.

    First things first, what is reading? Reading is that part of the mental game that makes you wonder how the hell any of this is possible. Reading is taking into account what your opponent does and adjusting to it so that you control the match. Reads can be extremely obvious, such as a Falco charging a forward smash as a player rolls right into it, but they can also be extremely subtle, such as reading a player's DI off of certain moves in certain situations. I'm still convinced that the top 10 players are actually robots who are able to recognize and store information that we mere mortals could not even fathom.

    An important thing to note about reads is that they apply to you as well. You must recognize when the opponent has discovered a flaw in your playstyle and use this to your advantage, which will be discussed later (see Adapting and Baiting).

    Pattern recognition is a large element of reading that essentially describes how you read most situations. As a match progresses, patterns in each player's playstyle begin to emerge. At lower levels, these can be very obvious (e.g. He just sits there and forward smashes), while at higher levels they tend to be much less obvious (Your opponent comes in with a reckless nair when pressured by a dash dance on the right side of the stage).

    4 - Where Do I Begin?!
    This is the part that really throws off players who are just starting to apply mental game. It's such a daunting task with no clear-cut way to tell if you're progressing or not. Unlike tech skill, there's no way to say, "Yep, I've got this down now." That's what I'm here to help with.

    I came into this whole crazy mess blind. I finally felt consistent with my tech-skill and wanted to start reading like the pros. I quickly learned that I basically had no idea what to do, and I had a bunch of different people telling me to remember a bunch of different things. It was confusing, nothing made sense, and I couldn't seem to get anything I was trying to do right. I'm guessing this is a normal feeling. However, I later found out that many aspects of the mental game are easier than others, and it's better to start by just focusing on those. Hopefully, by giving you newer players an objective goal, you can focus your efforts right away instead of struggling to find something substantial to work on.

    Which mental aspect you should work on first will vary from character to character. You will need to figure out what you feel is most important for you to master first. In this post there will be a list of some basic patterns you can look for, and possibly a note about each one's difficulty or subtlety.

    As an example: In my case, as a Captain Falcon main, much of my game is oriented around grabbing. This meant that a lot of my reads were going to be ground techchases. Therefore, I decided to focus solely on reading a player's tech patterns Remember, this is not a quick process. You will need to play various players in a lot of matches to see real development, unless you've got some natural talent, in which case congratulations, you lucky *******.

    After you feel comfortable with the pattern you decided to work on, you can move on to others. The list that I will compile at the end of this thread may grow, but remember that it is in no way a comprehensive list of every player pattern to look for. I leave that part to you.

    5 - Basic Patterns to Look For

    A quick note before you start reading these: Something I've found to work very well is to develop an understanding of how most players will react to situations, and then adjust on a match-to-match basis. So if most players you've fought do x, expect x from your opponent until he does y, and then adjust however is necessary.

    IF THERE IS ONE THING YOU SHOULD TAKE AWAY FROM THIS IT IS THAT ALL OF THESE APPLY TO YOU AS WELL. YOU MUST WATCH YOUR OWN HABITS AND MAKE SURE YOU AREN'T BECOMING PREDICTABLE.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Double Jumps (Basic) - Being able to read when your opponent uses their double jump is very useful. It's also a fairly basic pattern, as there's only one trajectory a player can follow once they're in the air.

    Offstage, double jumping is used as a recovery tool. This means that you know there is a point after which they MUST double jump to get back, and you have a known path from their current position to that point (There are a few exceptions, but for the most part this holds true). That means that once you figure out where they're going to jump, you've got them.

    Double jumps are also a great indicator of when you can punish. Just like when they're recovering, when someone double jumps on-stage, the only way they're going to change their trajectory outside of a few special cases is to airdodge (Which is very risky) or to use their recovery onstage. Guess what that means? Less options for you to worry about! All you need to worry about now from the opponent is whether or not they'll throw out an aerial. I'll go over the specifics of this in the Baiting section, but your main goal to start off will just be to stay aware of when they use their double jump.

    Characters who may want to start with this: Any character, although I would recommend Falco, Pikachu, or Falcon, as they have faster jump speed and thus can catch up to their opponent's DJ much more easily.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Techrolls (Basic) - Reading techrolls (Which way your opponent techs in different situations) is a great starter tool, and is especially useful against fast fallers, as they tend to hit the ground fairly often after being hit. This is a good pattern to start off with because it limits the amount of options you need to consider: Roll right, roll left, tech in place, or miss the tech. What you should look for when focusing on techrolls is how your opponent techs based on what you hit him with and where he lands.

    Let's use Falco as an example. Say a Falco dairs someone near the ledge of Yoshi's. Most players will tech inward because nobody wants to be close to the edge in a Falco combo. The Falco, seeing this happen, will make a note of how the player reacted. He may decide to attempt to punish it the next time it happens, or he may wait for it to happen again to show a clear pattern. The decision is up to the player.

    Characters who may want to start with this - Fast characters excel at ground techchases, and there is a little more room for error with them than with slower characters. For this reason, I'd recommend Captain Falcon, Sheik, Falco, Fox, Marth, Roy, and Pikachu, although the more I play, the more it seems like this is one of the core patterns you should be looking for as any character.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Getting Off the Ledge (Basic) - Ledgegame is a great starting point for pattern recognition for multiple reasons. Like techrolls, there are only a few options that your opponent can choose from. Ledge getups are also largely mono-directional. They want to get back onto the stage, so you don't have to worry about which direction they're going to go to get there (HINT: It's always inward). So now you just need to deal with the options they do have.

    Let's look at their options: For most characters, there are 6 options (Most characters have something else that is specific to them, as well i.e. Falco's double laser off the ledge): Standard getup, getup attack, roll, ledgejump, quick double jump waveland, and quick double jump aerial. For the most part, you can react to these. However, always try and pay attention to how they get up based upon where you stand when edgeguarding them. If you stand really close to the ledge and shield, do they have a tendency to roll? How about if you run up to the ledge just as they grab it? Chances are they'll getup attack. Mess around with your opponent on the ledge in friendlies. Experiment with how they react in different situations. Once you recognize a pattern, all that's left is to punish it.

    Characters who may want to start with this - All of them. Ledgegame is really important.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Approaches (Moderate) - So far every pattern I have discussed has been useful when you are in an advantageous position. But what do you do when you're on the defensive? By reading the way someone approaches you, you can bait (discussed later) their approach and punish it accordingly. The main issue with this type of read is that it isn't as cut and dry as the basic ones. Since your opponent is approaching, they can choose how they approach, and they have huge freedoms in doing it. You'll need an understanding of how to bait to really apply this well.

    A good example is with Captain Falcon or Marth. Any matchup that involves two of either of these characters is a great example of how people read and punish approaches. If a Falcon throws out a nair with the goal of hitting the opponent with his toes, his opponent will dash just out of range, then dash back and grab him. The same goes for Marth when he uses any aerial.

    Characters who may want to start with this - Fast characters or characters with a good wavedash or dash dance that can get out of an approach quickly and then come in and punish. I recommend Captain Falcon, Pikachu, Marth, Fox, Luigi.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Shielding (Moderate) - Shielding is a core part of Melee. Without shields, this game would be stupid. They stop you from getting hit, which is pretty much the main goal in this game, followed closely by hitting the other person back.

    However, shields are not invincible. They degrade, they break, and most importantly, they don't stop grabs. By watching when your opponent shields, you can start doing such things as tomahawks, crossovers, and, if you're Marth, shield breaks (No Cash Special!).

    A good way to start this pattern is to take a mental note every time you land an aerial on shield. Remember where you were in relation the them and which aerial it was. If you begin to notice a pattern, that's great. Try and recreate the situation that you saw a pattern in, except this time, don't aerial their shield. Just fast fall down and grab them. Did you get it? If not, maybe you timed it incorrectly, or maybe their reaction was fast enough that it didn't work. If so, sweet deal. You just tomahawked, which makes you look like a ******.

    Obligatory Nando namedrop: The following link shows a combo by Nando on Slox in which he utilizes this pattern to psych out his opponent. Note that the second tomahawk was not necessary, but it made him look twice as ******.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=VjsVE8Xyd8k#t=108s

    Characters who may want to start with this - All characters can benefit greatly from this, but it's a little harder to pick up on than other patterns.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Shield Pressure (Moderate) - On the other end of the shield spectrum, it is important to note how your opponent attacks your shield. It is useful to understand how they favor pressuring you when you're stuck in this position as it can give you good information on how to escape and return to neutral or execute an out of shield punish. For example, I was recently talking with one of the better players in the region here. He was discussing a Fox player who had just beaten me barely and I was trying to figure out what I was doing wrong. My friend told me about what he used against the same guy and how he realized that this particular player never shine grabbed. As a result, there was no fear of staying in shield as long as needed because there was no threat of a grab. This is a really great one to keep in your back pocket for sure.

    Characters who may want to start with this - Falcon, Ganon, Yoshi, or anyone with bad out of shield options should really be focusing on when they're safe to stay in shield and when they will get shield grabbed.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Stage Movement (Advanced) - Alright, this is out of the kiddy stuff. Conceptually, this is pretty easy. All you have to do is see how your opponent moves and hit him when you see where he's gonna go. In practice? Reading your opponent's stage movement is hard. Really hard. As far as I know, it's M2K level stuff. There are so many different variables that go on during a match that I can't really give you much advice on this at the moment. Assistance or advice from a really high-level player would be appreciated.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    ***To be updated with more patterns later***

    6 - Other Aspects of Mental Melee

    I wouldn't worry about anything contained in this section until you feel comfortable with at least the first pattern you chose to focus on. Most of these subjects require knowledge of specific patterns and mindgames, so work on that first. Remember, the entire point of this guide is to cut down this huge subject into manageable chunks, so even though a whole new game has just been opened to you, I really recommend that you to focus on one part at a time.

    Remember that everything in this section that deals with controlling your opponents works just as well for them. You will need to be just as aware of how your opponent is controlling you as you are of how you can control your opponent.

    6a - Adapting
    Consider this: You've got your opponent. He techs your knee in place every time you do it. You've punished him for it, and it was great. You did a sweet Falcon Punch techchase and all the girls spectating totally thought you were hot. Time to do it again. Bam, there's the knee. You SHFFL a reverse Falcon Punch because you're being recorded. But wait? Why did he tech in? Why are you getting wrecked now? Why are all the girls making out with him instead of you? It's because your opponent adapted.

    Once you've figured out your opponents patterns, you need to start looking for him to adapt. Your opponent adapts when he realizes he's being punished for being predictable. Even the lowest level players will adapt, the difference being that low level players will take much longer, while upper level players can adapt extremely quickly. Let's take an example.

    Say I'm playing Fox, and I grabbed you. I dthrow you because I'm fancy and I like to live life on the edge. You tech in place as I dash dance and grab you again. Logically, you're going to be less inclined to tech in place if I dthrow you again. That's because you are adapting to a pattern that you've recognized. Congratulations! You've adapted! Adapting in itself is not hard. Once you see that you're getting punished, change what you do. Simple. The difficulty in this, then, is actually recognizing when you're getting punished. I'll admit, at lower levels there are few situations where you can apply this. Low-level players usually can't read patterns well, and therefore can't punish accordingly, meaning you can't adapt to said punishes. However, at high levels, a player's ability to read is amazing. They can recognize very subtle patterns and punish them well. This is why I don't advocate sandbagging. Even if I'm getting obliterated, I love watching a player that places in huge tournaments miss a techchase on me because I adapted to his punishes.

    One thing you need to watch yourself for when dealing with adaptation, whether it be adapting to being punished or punishing adaptations, is that you don't overthink it. I often find myself thinking, "Well, I punished x, so he adapted to y, but he knows I'd recognize that he adapted to y, so he'll go back to x, or maybe he'll try z. But what if he realizes that I realize he'd know that I'd recognize...".
    If you think like this, it's not a bad thing. It shows that you put thought into your game. However, you can't let it trip you up. If you catch yourself doing this, I would suggest only considering two things: Will he adapt again, or will he do what he did last time? Don't go any deeper than that. You're not reading this guide because you're a pro. You want to get the basics. You can worry about reading the other guy's mind when you're in Grand Finals at Apex 2015. For now, just focus on those things.

    6b - Baiting
    Alright this section is going to be tricky to explain, so bear with me. You must first understand that nothing in this game is truly "safe". Every move can be countered by something (Except some ledge stalls, but **** you if you time people out with that).

    So what happens when you notice your opponent reacting to something you do in a specific way? You already learned that you can punish patterns once you recognize them, but this time we're going to go a step beyond that. We're going to recreate the situation that provokes this response from your opponent.
    Toot toot, here comes to example train!

    Example: As you're playing a match as Fox, you notice your opponent loves to roll. From this, you start trying to figure out which way he rolls in certain situations. You finally get a good one: Whenever your opponent is near the ledge, he rolls in when you jump at him. So you play a little more and your opponent ends up at this ledge. This time, you jump at him, but instead of throwing out a nair, you fast fall an empty short hop and dash backwards as he rolls in, just like you expected. You upsmash him before his shield comes up and do Fox things out of it until he dies. Good job.

    Not much more can be said about baiting. It is, in essence, just another punish, with the distinction that you intentionally recreate a situation that you see a pattern occurring in. Below I'll post a few videos of instances where higher level players use baiting to punish their opponent's habits.

    Axe vs Armada - 2, Apex 2010
    At 3:36
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=X0RayA0uKt0#t=215s
    See how Axe jumps towards Armada as Armada is trying to get back on stage. Armada, expecting an aerial, airdodges, but Axe expects this and instead leaves himself open to double jump back and dair Armada for the KO. If you watch a little bit before this, you can see that Axe tries this another time, but Armada doesn't fall for it.

    A very important aspect of baiting is that it requires you to make a sacrifice. This sacrifice may be losing an advantageous position and returning to neutral, or it may be something more risky like opening yourself up to being hit if they don't do what you expect. Because of this, you cannot let your baits become obvious, or it will end up that your opponent will start to bait your baits.

    You've also got the infamous Double Agito Fakie
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=FUjfGv12WP8
    Just kidding, but it's a very clear example of one way of handling a shielding opponent (crossovers)

    6c - Stage Control
    Not to leave you hanging on this section (School and stuff comes first), I'll link Lucien's guide to spacing here. Amazingly good explanations. Pay attention to all of it, it's great advice:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RfBuAo_Bfvw

    6d - Pressure and How It Affects Your Opponent
    Please read the section on Stage Control before you read this, or at least have an understanding of stage control
    One common misconception I hear from new players is when they talk about pressure. I often hear about how they're working on their pressure when talking about shield pressure. The misconception here is that shield pressure is the only kind of pressure. In reality, pressure is more of an indicator of who is currently in control of the fight. And because of this, both players want to be the one in control, causing them to react when they're under pressure in an attempt to regain a neutral or advantageous position. It can be broken down into three different categories: Shield, combo, and positional.

    Shield Pressure: The most easily identified form of pressure. One of the most important things about this that needs to be understood is that shield pressure has one goal and one goal only: To get them out of shield.
    The only reason that shield is a disadvantageous position is that it cuts off the shielder's options. By pressuring an opponent's shield, you force them to make a split second choice (And may also cut off other options, or make certain options seem more favorable). A very important thing to not is that shield pressure does NOT require actually hitting someone's shield. Many characters have positions that allow them to apply pressure without actually doing or committing to anything.

    Using a previous example:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=FUjfGv12WP8
    Note how Peach doesn't leave shield as Marth crosses over it? That's because the Marth is applying pressure by faking an approach and making it harder to determine if a shieldgrab will work. He forces the Peach to make a decision quickly about how to get out of shield, which he then punishes. This is an example of combining shield and positional pressure, which I will discuss next.

    All of Mango's matches where he's playing on point have some instance of extremely tight shield pressure combined with beautiful reads. A fairly obvious example would be Mango vs. TheLake: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=A5MMQiRIGM0#t=97s
    Note how Mango knees the shield and then starts to gentleman, which is frame advantageous, but stops the gentleman and dairs backwards, catching the roll? Mango applied pressure, causing TheLake to react out of fear of getting grabbed, which Mango then punished (He also read the roll from a previous instance where a similar situation occurred. Synthesis of concepts! Wheeee!)

    Combo pressure: Combo pressure is a bit of a gray area. This is the pressure put upon your opponent to get out of a combo that you're executing. Where an understanding of this type of pressure really shines is when you've reached or are going to reach the end of your capabilities to continue the combo and you need a way of following it up. Many players go into panic mode when being combo'd. They'll start hardcore smash DI'ing to escape and don't consider the scenario that you do something unexpected. If you can recognize this fear, you can capitalize upon it to transition one combo into a completely new one.

    One of the most common implementations of this I use now that I've developed my mental game (It's been over 2 years since I started writing this) is a platform roll punish. Often times I'll uair combo someone across the stage to a point where they miss a tech on the outside of a side platform. At this point I feint to make it look as if I was going for another uair, understanding that the instant they see this they're going to want to roll inward and thus out of my attack. I then double jump back with them and plant a knee right in their stupid face (DISCLAIMER: I respect all of my opponents, but you gotta relish the positives sometimes). Often punishable decisions opponents will make under combo pressure will manifest in the form of techs or jumps. I'd recommend really trying to get a firm grasp on these two choices if you want to work on this and from there branch out.

    Positional Pressure: As was noted previously, you can pressure your opponent's shield without doing anything but standing there and looking menacing. This is not limited to only shields, however. Positional pressure is created when you cut off your opponent's options through your stage positioning. Remember that controlling the center of the stage means controlling the match. A fox in neutral position has an amazing advantage over almost every character. This is because fox's speed and quick jump allow him an amazing range of approach that he can cover. Being inside of that range is dangerous, and thus players do not want to be inside of it, forcing them to choose between losing the center of the stage to be safe or risking getting hit. This is the essence of positional pressure. Positional pressure is pressure that is created by forcing your opponent inside of your range of approach while staying outside of theirs.

    Now that you understand that, certain elements of stage control start to become more clear. The edge of the stage is bad. "Well duh," you say, "I'm not stupid. I know that." But have you thought about why the edge is so bad? I mean beyond the fact that if you fall off of it you die. Think about what was just discussed with regards to that zone of control. Imagine that you're sitting near the edge, and here comes Fox with his huge range of approach. Once his bubble hits the edge of the stage, you're cornered. You can no longer run away to get out of it, and now you have to get past him inside of his own bubble where he has the advantage.

    Positional pressure is evident in any match. It is always present, from the start of the match. Clear examples of it are hard to come by as it is often subtle, but watch any good fox and you can see how their opponent's behavior changes the instant they get inside of a certain range (UPDATE: This Mango pressure on the Armada's shield is a perfect example). You can actually notice it happening to yourself while you play. Any time you feel cornered or pressured to roll, you're probably feeling the effects of positional pressure. It's hard to master, but it is an extremely useful mental tool.

    6e - Defensive Mental Game
    Defense in this game is a magical thing. On one hand, it is vastly complex, involving seemingly endless adaptations, mixups, and corrections. On the other hand, it can be summed up in a single sentence:
    "Why did I get hit?"
    Asking yourself this question is by far, without question, the best thing you will ever do for yourself in this game. Whenever you get hit, there is a reason. This reason is often shrouded in the confusion that preceeds you getting hit, but it's out there, and it's up to you to find it. By asking yourself why your opponent was able to hit you, you will force your mind to analyze the scenario and will start to find that there are distinct reasons for you losing the neutral. Like all other things discussed in this post, this isn't easy at first. Ingrained habits die hard, so you need to do this at all times. Friendlies, tournament, money match, anything. Always be asking yourself what happened, why it happened, and how you can not only avoid it, but use it to turn the tables on your opponent the next time. Any good opponent will recognize a pattern, so if it takes you a little bit to figure out what that pattern is they'll still be looking for it the next time it comes up. This means that you can bait them with your adaptation, leading to a punish on your end.

    6f - Words of Encouragement
    This stuff is hard. Remember that you're not alone when you get frustrated because you're not progressing as fast as you'd like. Everyone has been there, and lots of us are right there with you. But the lessons you learn from this game are worth it. That's because the beautiful thing about Melee's mental game is that when you get better at it, you're not just getting better at Melee. You're training your mind to think in a different way. You start to see nuances in every day life you didn't see before. I recently took up fencing, and I immediately excelled ahead of the rest of the class because I had a much better grasp of mental game than the other students. I was able to talk advanced fencing theory with my teacher, and I hadn't watched a single second of it in my entire life because it's exactly like Marth dittos.

    So whenever you get frustrated because this is really hard and you just can't seem to get it, remember that you're not just learning something new. You're literally reprogramming your brain to think in a more strategic and tactile way. And it is AWESOME.

    -Citizen Snips
     
    #1 Citizen Snips, Dec 1, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2015
  2. Palpi

    Palpi
    Expand Collapse
    Smash Hero

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2008
    Messages:
    5,714
    Location:
    Yardley, Pennsylvania
    Citizen snips, the 3rd best player on the east coast...so modest calling himself a low-mid level player.
     
  3. crush

    crush
    Expand Collapse
    Smash Master

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2011
    Messages:
    3,702
    Location:
    Fashion Sense Back Room
    exactly what i was thinking.

    this is one of the most informative melee discussion threads ive seen thanks citizen snips (the 3rd best player on the east coast)
     
  4. Citizen Snips

    Citizen Snips
    Expand Collapse
    Smash Journeyman

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2010
    Messages:
    475
    Location:
    Yardley PA
    Thanks Crush and Palpi, the fourth and fifth best players on the East Coast
     
  5. LittleBoyLarry

    LittleBoyLarry
    Expand Collapse
    Smash Journeyman

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2011
    Messages:
    324
    Location:
    here and there
    Citizen Snips for Pres. (on the east coast)
     
  6. crush

    crush
    Expand Collapse
    Smash Master

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2011
    Messages:
    3,702
    Location:
    Fashion Sense Back Room
    well he's the 3rd best player on the east coast, so he would be the vice vice president (on the east coast)

    also i dont count since live in europe, which is a west coast state
     
  7. Bl@ckChris

    Bl@ckChris
    Expand Collapse
    Smash Hero

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2009
    Messages:
    7,434
    Location:
    Greensboro, NC
    ganondorf.

    :ganondorf:
     
  8. KirbyKaze

    KirbyKaze
    Expand Collapse
    Smash Legend

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    Messages:
    17,678
    Location:
    Spiral Mountain
    Understanding how the opponent is feeling and how those funnel into their character's relevant options in the situational is really, really key to this sort of thing.

    A lot of DI manipulation I use is based on this sort of thing but that's another matter entirely. And I don't really feel like talking about it.
     
  9. Sinji

    Sinji
    Expand Collapse
    Smash Master

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2010
    Messages:
    3,370
    Location:
    Brooklyn New York
    3DS FC:
    0361-6602-9839
    NNID:
    Sinjis
    Gotta show ppl this.
     
  10. JPOBS

    JPOBS
    Expand Collapse
    Smash Hero

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2007
    Messages:
    5,824
    Location:
    Mos Eisley
    Who are the 1st and 2nd best players on the east coast?
     
  11. crush

    crush
    Expand Collapse
    Smash Master

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2011
    Messages:
    3,702
    Location:
    Fashion Sense Back Room
    1. jman
    2. moo2king
     
    GCS Gaming Customs likes this.
  12. Citizen Snips

    Citizen Snips
    Expand Collapse
    Smash Journeyman

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2010
    Messages:
    475
    Location:
    Yardley PA
    But, but...


    [​IMG]
     
  13. Thanos828

    Thanos828
    Expand Collapse
    Smash Journeyman

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2011
    Messages:
    290
    Location:
    Rochester NY
    Liking this thread and hoping to see its completion. I'd like to finally start Melee, lol.
     
  14. Citizen Snips

    Citizen Snips
    Expand Collapse
    Smash Journeyman

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2010
    Messages:
    475
    Location:
    Yardley PA
    Glad you like it! Working on more right now, stay tuned
     
  15. Citizen Snips

    Citizen Snips
    Expand Collapse
    Smash Journeyman

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2010
    Messages:
    475
    Location:
    Yardley PA
    **** you Smashboards, just deleted my entire section on adapting.

    EDIT: Rage double post :(
     
  16. Acryte

    Acryte
    Expand Collapse
    Smash Ace

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2005
    Messages:
    925
    Sweet thread snips, this threads got mad potential. Will help lots of players I'm sure and lots of room for contribution from players.
     
  17. Citizen Snips

    Citizen Snips
    Expand Collapse
    Smash Journeyman

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2010
    Messages:
    475
    Location:
    Yardley PA
    Thanks! I don't post often, but I really felt like it was necessary to have one of these threads. Also, you bring up a point I'd like to mention.

    I totally need contributions from anyone. Don't be shy, I encourage you guys to give me advice or ideas for new sections.

    I wasn't kidding when I said I'm new to this stuff. I'm writing about the things I've learned in the past year and a half, but most of it was gathered in the past 6 months. I want this to be a guide for beginners, but I'd also love for it to become a comprehensive guide to mental game with a focus on beginning and improving.
     
  18. da K.I.D.

    da K.I.D.
    Expand Collapse
    Smash Hero

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2006
    Messages:
    19,657
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    Name a topic for me
     
  19. Citizen Snips

    Citizen Snips
    Expand Collapse
    Smash Journeyman

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2010
    Messages:
    475
    Location:
    Yardley PA
    A pattern to look for.
     
  20. Smokey Huntz

    Smokey Huntz
    Expand Collapse
    Smash Apprentice

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2010
    Messages:
    91
    Location:
    Bronx
    Playing Ganondorf this is all I got respect for putting it up
     
  21. da K.I.D.

    da K.I.D.
    Expand Collapse
    Smash Hero

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2006
    Messages:
    19,657
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    Stand still, dash dance at your opponent. Do something laggy. Do whatever it takes to force your opponent to attack you.

    When they do, note how they do so. Figure out what your opponent likes to do to hit you. When you understand what a person reverts to as a base form of agression, you can then counter that and most likely have a leg up on them because youll know how to counter and punish their most used move.

    Example

    I play Doc against foxs. I do this for two reasons. Most foxs like to shoot a few lasers and than approach with either a SH nair or a short hop dair with a shine coming after to make it safe.

    When I feel the need to be agressive, I can typically beat the foxs dair with my own and somehow chain that into a jab grab or something of the like.

    I actually take a large amount of care to learn the situations in which fox players like to SH nair approach. Once I learn this, I can react to SH nair and punish it before the shine comes out with WD back f smash, which kills at like 70.

    Thats one of the best ways to take advantage of the neutral situation. Learn what your opponents favorite or most used methods of attack are. If you preemptively defeat that and make the first successful blow in a game like melee, you then have the control of the pace of the match for a rather extended length of time, based on what echelon your combos and level of play are, of course.
     
  22. Thanos828

    Thanos828
    Expand Collapse
    Smash Journeyman

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2011
    Messages:
    290
    Location:
    Rochester NY
    When you are first learning how to read and the like, would a less offensive style of play be preferred so that you can pay attention mostly to the other person's reactions?
     
  23. da K.I.D.

    da K.I.D.
    Expand Collapse
    Smash Hero

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2006
    Messages:
    19,657
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    well, as ironically simple as it sounds. it doesnt matter. You basically just want to go as auto pilot as possible, it doesnt matter how you yourself play, as long as you play in a way that lets you focus as much on the other person as possible.

    When I go auto pilot with ganon, I just start fairing constantly. it works for everybody different ways.

    its fairly easy to assume tho, that if youre playing in a way that lets you focus on the other player, youre probably going to end up playing less active and aggressive and more slowly.
     
  24. Citizen Snips

    Citizen Snips
    Expand Collapse
    Smash Journeyman

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2010
    Messages:
    475
    Location:
    Yardley PA
    Just to clarify, I'm assuming by autopilot, Kid doesn't mean you should play mindlessly, but that you should not concern yourself with how you play, but how your opponent reacts, in which case, I would definitely agree to be a good starting method

    Oh, and Goggles, thanks. I'll start working on writing that one.
     
  25. darkoblivion12

    darkoblivion12
    Expand Collapse
    Smash Lord

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2009
    Messages:
    1,102
    Location:
    Buffalo
    One of the things I work on a lot is following movement, because if you follow how a player moves, chances are you can predict a landing and punish.

    example
    When a player is on a platform, they have 3 options to get to the ground: front, back, and drop.
    The most probable example is they jump/waveland at you (front). if they don't, they're probably going to drop through.
    if you see something done, learn how they leave platforms depending on your pressure.
    once they do this, punish as you see fit.
     
  26. Acryte

    Acryte
    Expand Collapse
    Smash Ace

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2005
    Messages:
    925
    rolling patterns and spotdodge patterns are big, but another huge thing is timing. Learning their timing patterns if they don't stagger them. this often happens when they try to keep attacking at certain or optimal speeds. When your intuition is able to pick up on exactly when they will attack you have a lot of options at your disposal (usually) depending on the spacing.

    Another important pattern to be reading is picking up on their shielding habits. How comfortable they are in shield, how easily they are forced into shield (spacing), and what options they rely on to escape being pressured when in shield.
     
  27. Citizen Snips

    Citizen Snips
    Expand Collapse
    Smash Journeyman

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2010
    Messages:
    475
    Location:
    Yardley PA
    Alright guys, I'm hitting the sack. Probably won't be on too much tomorrow, but I'll try to get a bit of what was posted into the actual topic, and finish another section. I would love to get this pinned somehow if anyone thinks it's worth it. Threads that cover this topic never last long enough to be of any use to new players.
     
  28. ShroudedOne

    ShroudedOne
    Expand Collapse
    Smash Hero

    • Premium
    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2011
    Messages:
    5,492
    Wow. I didn't expect you to be the type for writing such a long, well-thought out post. Well, what can I expect from the third best player on the East Coast?

    I don't really have much to contribute, cause I usually internalize my ideas and am bad at writing them out, but everything you've said so far is pretty good. This has the potential to be a really helpful guide.

    I would add that adapting isn't just about changing what you do so that they stop punishing you. It's also about looking at, and reacting to, how they deal with your own pressure. So say if I FC nair someone's shield, and they love staying in shield to wait out the jab/dsmash, I can start grabbing more, to make their shield less safe. That's me adapting to one of their strategies. And if they start doing other things to avoid the grab (jump OoS, spotdodge, roll), I can then adapt to that as well. So it ties into what you said with reading.

    How did you even type all this out, anyways? You've always struck me as the type of person who intuitively knows, not necessarily someone who talks in depth about their ideas....like a Mango as opposed to a Peepee, if the comparison can be made.

    Anyways, good job, Citizen Snips. :)
     
  29. Bl@ckChris

    Bl@ckChris
    Expand Collapse
    Smash Hero

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2009
    Messages:
    7,434
    Location:
    Greensboro, NC
    i think he figured all of this out after getting read a few times by a slow *** ganon main

    /arrogance.

    i'm looking forward to keeping up with this thread, and seeing where it goes. lets play again at apex, snips.
     
  30. da K.I.D.

    da K.I.D.
    Expand Collapse
    Smash Hero

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2006
    Messages:
    19,657
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    Actually as the superior ganon main here, I've actually been the one to teach these kids (snips and shrouded) a lot of what they are experiencing with this game

    /creditstealer

    :phone:
     
  31. Bl@ckChris

    Bl@ckChris
    Expand Collapse
    Smash Hero

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2009
    Messages:
    7,434
    Location:
    Greensboro, NC
    superior? see you at apex.

    snips knows whats up.
     
  32. Citizen Snips

    Citizen Snips
    Expand Collapse
    Smash Journeyman

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2010
    Messages:
    475
    Location:
    Yardley PA
    I am referring Palpi to this post.
     
  33. Melomaniacal

    Melomaniacal
    Expand Collapse
    Smash Champion

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2007
    Messages:
    2,849
    Location:
    Tristate area
    I don't count any more? I thought what we had was special.

    **** you.
    Prick.
     
  34. Citizen Snips

    Citizen Snips
    Expand Collapse
    Smash Journeyman

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2010
    Messages:
    475
    Location:
    Yardley PA
    Oh, hi Dan. Hah... uhhh, what are you doing home so early?
     
  35. Melomaniacal

    Melomaniacal
    Expand Collapse
    Smash Champion

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2007
    Messages:
    2,849
    Location:
    Tristate area
    Go to hell.
    I quit.
     
  36. ThePrime

    ThePrime
    Expand Collapse
    Smash Lord

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2006
    Messages:
    1,280
    Location:
    Tuk House, WA
    Gonna be honest, i actually didnt read any of this but i approve of this thread
     
  37. da K.I.D.

    da K.I.D.
    Expand Collapse
    Smash Hero

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2006
    Messages:
    19,657
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    The conversation that has transpired since my last post is far more similar to what ive come to expect from CS than the monstrous first post.

    @ chris.
    Get @ me bro
     
  38. KirbyKaze

    KirbyKaze
    Expand Collapse
    Smash Legend

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    Messages:
    17,678
    Location:
    Spiral Mountain
    Basically the gist of it is to dash attack the opponent at about 38% in Fox dittos because M2K told me to do it.

    Now you too can use a high caliber mental game.
     
    Citizen Snips likes this.
  39. Thanos828

    Thanos828
    Expand Collapse
    Smash Journeyman

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2011
    Messages:
    290
    Location:
    Rochester NY
    At a frighteningly low price?
     
  40. GhllieShdeKnife

    GhllieShdeKnife
    Expand Collapse
    Smash Ace

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2010
    Messages:
    687
    Im level 45 in skyrim
    i understand the playing of that game
    good stuff
     

Share This Page

Users Viewing Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 0)

We know you don't like ads
Why not buy Premium?