Killing without F-Smash?

Joined
Oct 28, 2015
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Vestavia Hills, Alabama
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TheFriendlyFire
#1
I've been playing Marth for a few months now, a couple netplay matches here and there but mostly just practicing techskill on bots. What I'd like to know is how to kill as Marth without tipper f-smash. I can land it about 60-70% of the time but I feel like I'm relying on it too much to take stocks. Is there something else I should be doing, and how can I practice it?
 

Kopaka

Smash Journeyman
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Aug 8, 2015
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#3
Ok, so you're essentially stunting your own growth as a player if you're getting away with landing F-Smashes as kills or even to just get them off stage/away from you at low-mid percent. It's a step in the right direction to start questioning how you can kill without the move though!

There is no simple way to answer how to take stocks against any character. Whenever you feel stumped in a situation where you think F-Smash will hit, or even know that it's going to hit, make a sincere effort to continue the stock without using the move.

There's tons and tons of scenarios where any other choice would have been better than F-Smash. I honestly believe that not F-Smashing is a huge boost to any Marth players improvement. If there's any "cheap" or "really simply written/said" way to start improving with the character I'd honestly say it's to forget F-Smash as a move until you start really understanding why and how your moves are connecting, how DI is really working, and THEN start using F-Smash because of that. There are tons of beginner Marths that could benefit from this. The quicker they learn this the better.

As extra writing/ranting...A really good point that I believe really really needs to be brought up more to beginner Marths that think F-Smash is good for some reason...I think someone had asked PPMD why he was F-Smashing against Leffen/Armada at Apex or something and he described it as because of the fact that he wasn't in a totally good headspace at the time or something like that. Which makes complete sense because basically all the times I've F-Smashed in sets was because I was frantic and panicky and wanted a simple dumbed-down way of getting my opponent away from me. It's a very "Oh no...im freaking out and I dont know what to do" move UNLESS you use it right.
 
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FE_Hector

Smash Lord
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May 26, 2015
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#4
I agree with Kopaka. Back when I mained Marth, I had a 2 or 3 week span where I completely avoided using fsmash at all whatsoever. It helps. I promise.
 

AirFair

Marth tho
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#6
Fsmash in neutral is basically ONLY ever used to call out people's movement, and it's such a huge commitment that you will more likely get punished for it than land it.

Fsmash is a good way to end combos offstage vs DI away, while if they DI in, you get stuff like Ken Combos, so when you combo, it's the part right as you are comboing them off the stage where you decide to continue or not. Either way you have them offstage but that's one thing to consider.

Fsmash is a good edeguarding tool vs Marth/Spacies/Falcon, but vs other characters you are going to have to kill them differently, without kill moves at all, just by edgeguarding alone.
 

Hipstarr

Smash Rookie
Joined
Jul 16, 2015
Messages
15
#7
It varies heavily on the character but I find that it's really easy to edgeguard Falco and C. Falcon. I usually just edgehog them, which is super easy against those characters. You'll definitely have to work on reading airdodges because they can often get back on stage with that if they know you are going to hog.

That's probably the easiest way to kill with edgeguarding but off-stage fairs can really mess players up as well.
 

Dr. Bread

Smash Apprentice
Joined
May 11, 2015
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#8
http://i.imgur.com/0h9FZ7U.png here's a quick chart of some of marth's moves, it displays knockback and knockback growth.
although some of these have high knockback, few are reliable or useful as kill options, however.

since marth's untippered f-smash has a terrible angle and knockback-growth, as well as being a risky move on the whole, its animation being 3/4's of a second with only 4 active frames, it is a surprisingly situational move.

try dancing blade(first hit only) into a tippered up-tilt at 130%+ versus peach, marth, and sheik. uptilt tippered will also kill on pretty much everyone but falcon on pokemon stadium at 140%+. you can also score kills or edgegaurd scenarios when you get the elbow hitboxes against bad DI (elbow hitboxes being the two innermost hitboxes), especially versus spacies, since it launches at a 45 degree angle, meanwhile they were expecting to be hit straight up or diagonally up.

D-smash gets some honorable mentions because it actually comes out waaay faster than f-smash. its active by frame 5, and will likely connect twice as fast as f-smash(less reach but no less disjointed), and is even faster than d-tilt. its weaknesses being that the untippered dismash hits will almost never kill, its your laggiest move, the hitboxes only cover a small area, and its setups are extremely limited. you shouldn't pull this out more than once per game at most, but you can use it to kill floaties off of a tech(or missed tech, it comes out faster than grab, so go nuts) and maybe as a shield poke. a tipper dtilt pretty much hits the same place as tipper dsmash. not exactly a 'good idea' or anything, but dont forget it exists.

Up-special sweet-spotted and reverse sweet-spot can be combo'd into, performed off-stage, and comes out lightning fast, and is your fastest option out-of-shield(even faster than grab, done frame perfectly). i haven't fully incorporated this into my out-of-shield game because its booty anyway, but being able to punish out of shield with a kill at high% is a godsend for any developing marth. i highly recommend working this into your gameplay. will not kill until well over 100%, especially versus floaties.

some honorable mentions that probably wont kill people but have more kill potential than f-air:

  • n-air: on account of having a better angle and slightly more damage than f-air
  • tipper b-air: same reasons but also covers a huge area
  • f-tilt: everyone already said f-tilt but i'll say it again. tipper ftilt is good, its knockback is lower than other killmoves, but has a more lethal angle, and sweeps the area at marth's feet with its sweetspot, making it very likely to tipper at the ledge.
  • counter vs. falco: you can counter his firebird at the ledge and if he used his jump, grab the ledge and he's dead at most %. if he hasn't used his jump, he will need to be at least 50% for this to kill him, probably more like 70% but im estimating. i put this in because its easy, and because falco is the only character who could ever really die from this. i do not recommend using this unless its on reaction to his angle. this doesnt work against side-b unless its a particularly scrubby one, because the hitboxes on illusion travel in falco's wake, rather than ahead of him, thus it wont work unless his side-b ends right in front of your face.
this is way too long so tl;dr, dacning blade into utilt, up-b/reverse up-b sweetspot is sick out-of-shield or in the modified ken-combo, everything is better than f-air at killing.
 

Paper Tiger

Smash Rookie
Joined
Sep 17, 2015
Messages
9
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College Park, MD
#9
NO ONE HAS SAID DOWN AIR?

Yeah, on floaties if they DI incorrectly, you can fthrow dair. You can upthrow dair spacies with the back part of the hitbox, as it hits them outwards. You can dair a grounded opponent in the corner and then dair them again (the double dip).

https://gfycat.com/GrimOptimisticAmericanredsquirrel

Here's a simple DI trap with ftilt that kills/sets up a edgeguard, happens pretty frequently.

There are also ways to combo into up-b and shield breaker as well. If they DI down and away, shieldbreaker will hit and put them deep into the corner. You can combo up-b from upair and fair against a lot of characters. You can even upthrow up-b spacies as a DI trap.

I wouldn't advise trying to kill with upair unless you're on Yoshi's.
 

aqualad33

Smash Rookie
Joined
Dec 4, 2009
Messages
17
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Nor Cal
#11
This may be a play style thing. At least for me the most important tool for marth is edge guarding. Comboing into a tippers, dairs, reversed dolphin slashes are great and all, but edge guarding is the most reliable way for me to get a kill.

If your edge guarding is okay, but not great, then you rely pretty heavily on ken combo's and tipper set ups to get kills. On the other hand, if your edge guarding is excellent then dthrows, fthrows, dtilt, ftilts, midrange fairs, bairs all become kill set ups.

Remember that you don't have to get the edge guard in one hit. Often times just being able to reset the edge guarding scenario will either give them another opportunity to make an error, or rack up a lot of damage. Think of it like a combo, even if they don't die, you can make them eat 50-80% before they get back. Then they have to worry about all the moves mentioned above or if they get high enough, utilt and uair also kill.
 

FE_Hector

Smash Lord
Joined
May 26, 2015
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#12
This may be a play style thing. At least for me the most important tool for marth is edge guarding. Comboing into a tippers, dairs, reversed dolphin slashes are great and all, but edge guarding is the most reliable way for me to get a kill.

If your edge guarding is okay, but not great, then you rely pretty heavily on ken combo's and tipper set ups to get kills. On the other hand, if your edge guarding is excellent then dthrows, fthrows, dtilt, ftilts, midrange fairs, bairs all become kill set ups.

Remember that you don't have to get the edge guard in one hit. Often times just being able to reset the edge guarding scenario will either give them another opportunity to make an error, or rack up a lot of damage. Think of it like a combo, even if they don't die, you can make them eat 50-80% before they get back. Then they have to worry about all the moves mentioned above or if they get high enough, utilt and uair also kill.
Fsmash can be pretty good, but don't underestimate the power of a simple edgehog. Ledgehop uair can also get some stuff started.
 

Kopaka

Smash Journeyman
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Aug 8, 2015
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240
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#13
Ok, bumping a kind of old thread but for good reasons lol. I just want to say that if you really do make the effort to kill without F-Smash, all the kills you start getting become way way more satisfying! This idea can be applied to pretty much any aspect I think. I'm by no means an expert on Marth yet, but if you really work at this idea, ESPECIALLY in tournament (Which is WAAAYyyyyy more satisfying lol) I guarantee you'll be a lot more happy with your play. The satisfaction comes in your confidence I think. Because for me, it was basically I'd be stubborn/not confident to get kills without F-Smash and I thought all the baddy negative stuff like "im too dumb" etc. But NO, forget all of that! It's possible for everyone, and it's really eye opening.

EDIT: Even bonus extra credit points if you can go into your next tournament set and make your goal "I wont kill with F-Smash"/ "I wont use F-Smash in Neutral (more of a problem imo for lower level marths than killing with the move) instead of "my goal is to win"
 
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1000g2g3g4g800999

Smash Journeyman
Joined
Jul 21, 2012
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#14
Fsmash in neutral is basically ONLY ever used to call out people's movement
I wouldn't say that's entirely accurate. If Peach is floating low enough, or coming down with something from a float, fsmash can be reliable. Same thing vs anyone taking to the air, basically, as long as they're low enough. If they catch on that you're fsmashing because they're jumping, they might try to air dodge through it, but it would be much wiser on their part to just stop jumping so much.



As for KO moves, just following people you have in the air and waiting and uptilting is amazing (that is, if you can get them in the air). If they air dodge through to the ground somehow, the move has more active frames than a lot of Marth's other moves and covers the Royzone better than just about any of them, and it's not even particularly laggy. Tipper dsmash and ftilt are amazing and have setups off of throws, and basically most situations you could Ken combo (mostly ones that don't involve a falling dair), you could also dolphin slash instead of dair, and most of these situations are more survivable for you, and it has superior KO potential onstage. On DI in, backthrow bair works on a fair number of characters when bthrow fsmash won't reach.

To set up a KO, well, what will it take to hit your opponent? Just dash dancing can make them antsy, and pivot grab works wonders vs most approaches in the game. Continue neutral, space fairs, poke with dtilt. Try to catch the opponent off guard. On a missed tech, dolphin slash, or tipper whatever. Press them to the corners of the stage. If their shield is low, you can potentially poke their toes with a tipper dtilt or dsmash. If they hold down, a low uair shield stabs their head, and then they probably miss tech and are right in front of you on their back on the ground. Dash or wavedash forward to push advantage when they retreat, grab, dair, or really do whatever you want to a roll in.
 

FE_Hector

Smash Lord
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#15
I wouldn't say that's entirely accurate. If Peach is floating low enough, or coming down with something from a float, fsmash can be reliable. Same thing vs anyone taking to the air, basically, as long as they're low enough. If they catch on that you're fsmashing because they're jumping, they might try to air dodge through it, but it would be much wiser on their part to just stop jumping so much.
Ummmmmm this is still calling out movement, which is kind of what the person said fsmash was used for a lot of the time.
 
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