Mario's ledge coverage theorizing


The Free-est
Nov 28, 2005
College Park, MD
This is a topic I've been obsessed about since Smash 4. Mario lacks kill confirms on stage, but is capable of forcing the opponent to ledge with FLUDD.

In Smash 4 though, he struggled to cover ledge jump with threat of death. Largely relying on bair (which covered little else and was very telegraphed) Leaving his coverage incomplete, and rather non-threatening compared to top tiers.

With the current changes to dash, I'm currently trying to apply a new theory, based around Fsmash.

Dash Down-Angle Fsmash covers 2-frame, rise, jump, standard, and hang. And it can be done out of dash, making positioning and timing far more feasible. (I also feel the hitbox lingers more, or maybe there's less invulnerability?)

*Note: In order to hit jump, rise, and probably 2-frame, you need to release fsmash preemptively. You cannot react.

Dash Shield covers standard, get-up attack, rising attacks, and even roll with certain positioning(Can usmash)

And of course, ledge trumping. (And while Super Trump Punch is still in, it both seems harder and perhaps slower? Seems like it requires a fastfall before snapping, which makes it take a few frames longer. For now, I'm just going to use cape trumping.)

In smash 4, dash shield on ledge, and trumping was a tried and true mainstay for Mario. Though it was ineffective against characters with good ledge jump options, cross-up specials, or certain rising options. (Samus Fair, Marthcina Fair/Shieldbreaker, etc)

The beauty of these three strategies is not only do they cover everything, but they do so from within the same movement pattern. Which prevents telegraphing what you're intending to cover.

Currently, this is all in the testing phase. Just gonna make my notes here in case anyone has any feedback or comments.

The biggest issue is honestly get-up attacks. Currently relying heavily on trumps, and I'm also not used to the new timing for them. I also worry Trump > Bair kills later than 4, due to the positioning. But I haven't tested that. Definitely doesn't kill as good as fsmash of course.

In my testing, while this can be effective, it is rather inconsistent. Perhaps a strategy to employ while behind.

Currently, I'm utilizing simply grounded fireballs. The range at which mario uses these lets him safely apply pressure to all ledge options..

You'll need to mix it up for standard get-up. Either wait, dash attack/running downsmash, grab, or sh uair (to catch jump and also spot dodge)

You can react to roll with dsmash/jab/grab unless you overcomitted to fireball. And while there's no guaranteed punish on ledge jump, FLUDD + SJP are great tools. FLUDD in particular helps force regrabs to punish.

In smash 4, I had some success using a similar flowchart. But the risk/reward just wasn't there. There was no running dsmash, so you could only dash attack. FLUDD also was weaker since they could just airdodge through it to the ledge. (Not to mention ledge jump airdodge)

Do be wary, better players may try to bait out your dash attack/dsmash while they hang on ledge. The aforementioned Fsmash might be a good tool here, due to the disjoint. Though just dashing > rolling back to bait is good too.

I'm also finding dsmash > full charged FLUDD to be pretty potent. It's guaranteed death vs a lot of the cast.

Grounded fireballs work okay, especially for forcing ledge jump from chars with poor recoveries. (Which then demands them to land into you or get FLUDDed offstage)
(SH fireballs are less consistent but more rewarding, confirming into dsmash/tilts, sometimes fsmash)

But vs characters with better options, I dunno. The reward feels really lacking, and I feel like you need to choose whether to edge or ledgeguard. Since mario has to face the ledge, he can't bair on reaction. FLUDD provides some semblance of coverage, as stated, unless they have a terribad recovery it doesn't help much.

Currently I'm trying to utilize the new directional airdodge for trumps. Mario can stay in optimal bairing range and positioning, while still retaining the ability to snap ledge. Maybe even timing with their recovery?

There are some issues here though:

1: If you don't trump immediately (or very soon) after they grab ledge, I don't we don't get a guaranteed bair. (Or I'm just not used to the new timing)
2: There is a range where mario can almost instant snap from on-stage, but it's rather precise and the cost of failure is steep. (Stock or just barely making it back, depending on your original timing)

Definitely seems best to just short hop and make your decision at the apex. The spacing and timing is much more lenient, and I believe you can also feint a trump and just go to the lip of the ledge. (Backthrow positioning) But it's also slower, and likely easier to react to. May only be applicable when timed with their snap, which isn't awful still.

I'm still having trouble getting it consistently in real matches, but the theory seems solid enough.

Edit: You can also do this after FH fireballs. The optimal spacing for hitting opponents on the ledge, too. Probably good when chasing an opponent already near the ledge and just trying to deter high recoveries.

Alright, I think we definitely got something with this directional airdodge option select.

With Mario's back to the ledge (rolled or otherwise) and during a full hop/double jump, he retains the option to airdodge either onto the ledge for a trump, OR directly down. To both feint a trump, and still cover standard/get-up attack with a grab (with our back to the ledge!)

You can also just not airdodge and retain decent positioning for covering ledge jump/standard/roll.

This is great vs recoveries with hitboxes since you can still time the airdodge, or just feint. However, this option requires a decent amount of set-up. Not too much, but enough that it isn't reliable until kill percents. (Which is all we were worried about anyway)

The old fireball spam is much more consistent at lower percent, and forcing low recoveries.

That said, this is still a theory, and I have NOT tested the airdodge trump vs offline players. It's entirely possible they can react, and it's also important to not go for this when they're already on the ledge. You need to be in position before they grab, there may be other positions to threaten a wavedash trump, but I don't know them yet.

New trick

Rising SH Bair > SJP snap

The new bair's momentum effectively places mario above the ledge when done from a rising short hop and the proper momentum. (It did not do this NEARLY as effectively in 4 since it didn't have the momentum burst)

I never noticed it because it's ONLY sh/dj rising bair. Any other bair has the same properties as smash 4 bair.

This lets you cover ledge jump, and then ledge hang. If they hang and they still have invincibility, you get a free bair. If they lost invincibility, then the hitbox true combos into bair. (Though sometimes you'll need to DJ, still registers as a true combo)

Okay, so far here are the new tools of note:

Dtilt > Bair (Not possible in smash 4, dtilt was glitched)
Cape > Dsmash/Usmash
FLUDD punishing retreating/non-committal/rising special ledge jumps
Waveland Trump (Probably more niche than i originally suspected)
Bair/Fair momentum boost from rising SH

I've tried covering ledge jump with bair, then falling with reverse cape if they still haven't taken an option. But the positioning and timing is strict. In theory it should work if you get those down, but it doesn't feel like it's intentional if so.

What does feel intentional, is grounded/sh fireballs to deter ledge jumps long enough for mario to get to the ledge.

Though I'm still working on a flowchart, and it also seems kinda strict. I dunno, Mario's feeling less and less equipped for this game. He has mediocre edgeguarding, and very iffy ledgeguarding. He got some new tools but they don't feel like enough at all, or at least aren't currently consistent enough.

Also, seems like if you hit someone offstage with fireball, they get notably less ledge invincibility. (Probably due to how the formula works, the sooner you grab ledge after any hit, the less invincibility you get)

This was in smash 4 too iirc, but it was less reliable to hit people with fireball.

But it isn't perfect, it's easy to take advantage of people who don't know about it with fsmash but in general they can just buffer get-up attack if they're aware. Which can be baited, but it-s a set-up based upon a set-up. Really annoying.

I think dash attack may be guaranteed tho?

Edit: It's not quite, at least not at feasible percents. Though it does seem to also cover jump.


The Free-est
Nov 28, 2005
College Park, MD
Posting nine times in a row is a rather extreme case of double posting. Use the edit button.
Another theory:

Rapid jump covers jump, standard, and certain rising options. (Some characters can't break through with an aerial AND get onstage)

However, if you were to try to bait with rapid jab > shield, then you can't react to roll, ledge jump, or hang very well. However, grounded moves can be canceled into jump 2 frames sooner than other grounded options. Therefore, Rapid Jab > SH Uair could have some application.

By canceling into the air in that timeframe, Mario covers ledge jump, while also avoiding ledge attack and maintaining the mobility to cover ledge roll.

Rising SH uair doesn't kill confirm super well, but landing uair does.

If they don't take an option at this point, he can fall with cape. (Though it doesn't hit or combo on every character) Or maybe just fast fall dtilt/dsmash is better? Hard to tell which is faster since you can use cape while aerial, but dtilt/dsmash are frame 6 vs Cape's frame 12(?)

This might at least have some application vs chars with poor recoveries, especially when FLUDD is fully charged.

More theories:

With the new mechanic which does not give a jump back when 2-framed, I think it might be worthwhile for mario to stay around dash attack range vs certain characters. Vs many characters, it's guaranteed death due to FLUDD. (Even when not fully charged)

This compliments the rapid jab based ledge coverage well due to the spacing, and the fact it's more favorable vs bad recoveries. (As well as trump range)

And though I'm currently unsure what recoveries are worth aiming for this on, it should be much more viable than in smash 4 for the following reasons:

1: Dash attack can hit EVERYONE on the ledge. It could not in smash 4.
2: Dash attack ALWAYS hits out. (Or at least almost always) In smash 4, it would often be a stage spike or sometimes even pop them onstage with a back hitbox. Very awkward and not reliable.
3: Recoveries are overall worse, thus much easier to get the timing down.

Honestly, this feels really solid vs the chars it works on. Even just jabbing a ledge jump sets up a great situation for us if FLUDD is fully charged.

I'm sure it can be optimized further, but this absolutely is working out for me.

Gonna work on dealing with god recoveries like ZSS, Bayo, and the Multijumpers. As the risk/rewarding just isn't there for this method. I do believe fireball's the tool to base things around here.

An important thing to note is these chars usually have poor grounded options. (Bayo, MK, and Jiggs have slow jabs. ZSS and Villabelle have slow grabs, etc)

So I think forcing them into grounded options is the choice.

It's also important to note that Villager, MK, Jiggs, Kirby, Dedede, and others can actually be hit by the fireball while holding ledge. So there may even be specific ledge coverage for them. Since it can actually force options out of them safely.

More notes and optimizations on rapid jab coverage:


Jabbing ledge jump is more rewarding than originally suspected. I'd say when optimized, it could be as good as a 1/3rd chance at a stock vs most average or worse recovery chars. It has extremely low knockback. Very easy to flowchart the possible outcomes vs many characters.

My working flow chart is:

-Predict high recovery: Simply Fair/Cape
-Predict Low Recovery: Either dropzone with the proper option, or just fireball in hopes of sniping jump. (Be sure to mix it up though)
-Unsure/Predict Delayed Recovery: Grab the ledge for invincibility. Being lower down with instant access to bair while still retaining the ability to punish a high recovery is very valuable.


Canceling Rapid Jab with SH Uair definitely seems like the ticket. The delay definitely means you CANNOT see the Standard happening and then react with SH uair. It absolutely has to be preemptive, which is fine. It still times out fine that way, and lets mario avoid aggressive options assuming he'd have kept rapid jabbing, ledge jump, and keeping pressure on roll.

However, I'm not sure what's best to land with after uair. Nair is a fatter, quicker hitbox. But dair seems to give more reward and has landing hitboxes to hit someone still holding ledge. It doesn't give any real reward besides them having less invincibility when they regrab, BUT it does prevent them from just having been able to wait you out and punish your endlag. (Maybe even sniping their dj if they took a rising option?)

Also, depending on when and how dair connects, you do get some option selects.

Sometimes it'll pop them in front of you for nothing(but a lot less invincibility on their next ledge grab), sometimes behind you for maybe a grab. But SOMETIMES it'll pop them up in front of/behind you for usmash/dsmash.

Now, it isn't a true combo. And they can jump to avoid dsmash. So I think Usmash is the safer option. (Especially since you can drift the dair to be behind their standard get-up, making failure not as scary)

However, until kill percent I think ultilt is actually better. Since the lower endlag lets you still cover airdodge into stage. (airdodge offstage seems punishable by fair)

Unfortunately, not guaranteed death. In fact, Marth, Doc, and probably others can possibly kill mario for trying it. But it's still pretty damn good.


At VERY high percent, it seems better to do SH Dair > Nair since they both just raw kill. Uair doesn't combo forever.

Here's a less consistent but very rewarding ledge set-up theory, mostly applicable to chars with bad ledge hangs who can be fair spiked while hanging. And probably only worthwhile in a large percent deficit.

FH Uair > Falling Fair

Both of these cover ledge jump, and fair covers hang, rising option, standard get-up (at different timings)

FH Uair kill combos consistently into dair/fair/sjp, Fair just spikes or also kill confirms (usually into dair)

I don't currently believe we have a kill confirm if they roll at this time. Maybe fast fall dtilt stuff?

Here's something funny: Smash stick is actually glitched, if you're not doing a rising down air, it ends to be registered as a fast fall. This actually helps I think? Because the closer mario is to the ground when intiating dair, the less endlag he has. This helps ensure we just get the landing hitbox asap which can set up for sourspot fair if it pops them in front, or backthrow if pops them in back.

At least, I really hope it helps. Cause I don't wanna switch back to tilt stick T_T Pivot usmash so easy now

Nahhh, I think we gotta use tilt stick. Ugh.

Uair > Dair works usually but Bair > Dair almost never does. And honestly it seems kinda necessary.

Bair covers ledge jump, then the dair covers hang, jump, standard, and rise. Can even just get bthrow on roll/standard if you miss the timing.

I also think the landing hitbox of dair can set up for fair. Just run off and do it. It might not work on everyone, but a lot of chars can't airdodge in that position. Others don't have fast enough moves to beat it, and it absolutely covers jump too.

A lot of the time it's only sourspot fair, but that's fine when so close to the side blastzone. (Especially if it gets jump)

At least Pivot usmash is easier without jump canceling :T

Edit: Landing Dair > Fair doesn't work on fast fallers. Prolly others. durnit

Hmmm, this is a very volatile theory currently cause I've only been able to test vs cpus and elite scrubs. BUT it does seem like Full Hop Caping ledge jump kill confirms KINDA.

If they buffer any action, even jump, it should let us punish with DJ dair(or fair). (Kills only marginally worse than bair, sometimes better)

Then, if we fail to hit their ledge jump, we can fall with another cape which covers hang, rise AND standard on the same timing.

You may ask 'why not bair?' But bair actually has a smaller hitbox, and the killing hitbox only has 2 frames. Not to mention it takes mario out of optimal positioning for another bair. The option select is just worse.

Let's also remember there are turnaround frames involved. This can slow bair down by at least 3 frames, giving it only 3 frames of advantage over cape. (And that's best case scenario)

In smash 4, this didn't work because cape positioned them differently, the buffering system worked differently, and of course caping standard/hang offered no reward.

It'd also make sense for this to be an intended coverage since cape kill confirms on EVERY OTHER ledge option.

Currently though, if this works out, it completes Mario's ledge coverage across the cast COMPLETELY.

1: Rapid jab > Uair/Nair vs the poor recovery chars he can't ledge cape.

2: Cape option select vs those he can.

We may want a third option vs characters fireball can hit on the ledge, since it covers more of their options and forces out worse ones, but Cape select DOES work vs them too.

Personally? Even if caping ledge jumps doesn't kill confirm that well, the ease and consistency it allows in punishing other options (especially hang!) makes it extremely appealing to me. Even if it misses ledge jump, it leaves mario in a GREAT position to still hit them due to the stall. Bair does not accomplish this at all. A lot of the time, he doesn't even need to jump.

It WORKS... But...

There's a few crucial notes to the cape option select:

1: It doesn't really cover roll

Due to how slow mario falls after caping, and the lack of range of cape disallowing mario to cover both hang AND roll. But it can cover standard and roll. (Popping both up for usmash)

But hang is honestly much more worthwhile to cover since it demands quicker decision-making on the part of the opponent, and honestly if they're buffering roll all the time, it's not that bad for us.

(I will say though, sometimes it's not feasible to get into position to cover hang. Takes a little extra time, and could be risky. So it's not a big deal if you don't make it, or even mess up your spacing since you just trade one coverage for another)

2: Certain options like cloud uair, corrin nair, etc. Vertical hitboxes which aren't notably hindered by cape disallow us from any follow-ups.

But, these options must've been buffered. They will not work on reaction, as after being caped they will be too far away. In fact, they can simply be fair spiked in their endlag if they try. Furthermore, if they buffer these options and mario DID NOT go up for cape, it's an easy bair.

Due to this and the aforementioned option, I think the optimal positioning to begin with this select is with mario facing away from the ledge, just in front of the ledge roll point.

Then simply option selecting what you want to cover more. Ledge roll and BUFFERED aggressive ledge jump options, or Ledge Hang and PASSIVE Ledge jump options.

3: It's really ****ing hard to gauge just how effective this is, since it's very difficult to option select on the fly like this online. And my offline pool is limited while I'm sick. I'll gather more data next time I'm available to go to Xanadu.

Also, slight optimization to Rapid Jab coverage: SH Nair is much better than SH uair, due to it's far more lingering properties, and putting them back offstage for the edgeguards chars you'd want to rapid jab. (Plus it can still set up for kills occasionally)

I originally thought uair because I wanted rapid jab for covering chars with good recoveries too, but those generally can be caped. Characters with bad recoveries (Inceneroar, Ganon, Bowser, Cloud, etc) generally cannot be caped on ledge though. (Chrom surprisingly can be caped though.)

Nair's bad vs good recovery chars cause it doesn't hit ledge, and they can respond with rising aggressive options safely.

Mario's startin to look pretty good!

Edit: Also with option select dair pretty much obsolete, we can go back to smash stick! It may still have some utility in very specific matchups and situations, buuuuuut I think overall the consistency of smash stick would add more to my game.
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Smash Master
Feb 19, 2015
Switch FC
Dude... an edit button exists. For the love of Smashboards, use it.


The Free-est
Nov 28, 2005
College Park, MD
Dude... an edit button exists. For the love of Smashboards, use it.
My posts are separated by topic and updates, and there are likely to be many many updates, enough to hit the character limit. And as you can see, almost every post has actually been edited already. But if it's an issue; I can oblige as best I can.

Back on topic, we have a bit of a setback. Doesn't seem like Cape > Usmash isn't true on characters with 2-frame airdodges. (Palu, Wii Fit, m2, etc)

Cape > Dsmash is luckily still true, but I will likely need a new coverage flowchart for them. Or at least some alterations. (Especially as these characters love to camp ledge)

Update Dec 18th:

Honestly I'm starting to think sh/fh dair might be better than bair/uair for covering ledge jump.

It does NOT set up for kills as well, but it does linger more, with a larger final hitbox, and still does force out jumps since you can chase with SJP for kills. There may even be baits and traps we can use with cape.

Dair just has much more freedom. The positioning demands less precision, and enables more reactive punishes of rolls and standard. Not to mention, it isn't locked to which way mario's facing at the time. Enabling him to shield > grab/dsmash certain aggressive landing options, fireball low recoveries, OR bair high passive options depending on the situation.

Yes, bair will just raw kill at higher percents. But the killing hitbox only lasts 2 frames. Dair has 6 frames, and much bigger hitbox at the end.

Another issue is grounded caping a ledge jump doesn't provide too much reward since it's lower, making dair less likely to kill. But you can still pressure/punish with rar bair i guess. Especially if they buffered an option.

I dunno, it is much more consistent. Might be the play until bair starts killing at least. Though there may also be flowcharts to kill off where SH dair sends them.

Edit: ACTUALLY it might set up for kills better if it gets a rising option due to no jump, meaning it's a 50/50 for death. Still not great vs ledge jump tho :T

===Frame 2 Airdodge Update===

Seems like I was wrong, it's still true on these characters. I was just wasn't in ideal position I guess.

===Exceptions to the current coverage flowchart===

It seems like there are actually characters who both cannot be hit by ledge cape, and also have good enough recoveries and rising options so jab/nair coverage isn't optimal either.

There seems to be a pattern of these characters being susceptible to being trumped due to no hitbox recoveries.

Palutena, Greninja, Sonic, and Captain Falcon* (Can be ledge caped, but no follow-ups.)

Due to this, we're taking an old tech from smash 4. The Super Trump Punch

Since we can safely sit on ledge WITHOUT being in shield (usually) this gives us the timing to properly threaten with ledge trump. The cool thing about trumping with mario is we can still pressure, even kill characters who buffered standard due to rising uair from ledge.

Simply positioning mario facing away from the ledge, right at the tip of it. (Roll if necessary, though a rar bair accomplishes a similar turnaround movement burst without telegraphing your intentions so clearly) The important thing is to NOT put your shield up needlessly, otherwise this will make the speed at which you execute a trump much slower.

From here, usmash covers ledge jump and certain rising options.
Shield covers standard, ledge attack, and other rising options
And of course, trump covers hang.

This is largely only applicable vs these characters due to the options available to them, and the fact we don't need to sit in shield for fear even though we're on the lip of the ledge. (Assuming they have no jump)

Due to the much faster response time demanded of them, options like usmash become applicable. Other characters could simply wait it out, or just hit mario on the lip to deny him an easy trump.

Super Trump Punch vs Regular Trumping also covers certain rising options. (Stage spikes or combos into bair)

Just remember, if you put up shield, then you lose the timing to beat buffered rising options with it.

All said though, I'm a little worried about punishing ledge roll. I think our best option is possibly just rolling back in ourselves before they do. You could dash, but I think certain rising options would hit us. Plus, this turns us around to FLUDD said rising options, ledge jumps, etc.

I also wonder if this Trumping based strategy is applicable and optimal vs other chars if we can deny them the ability to safely pressure the ledge. (Ex. If they DI fthrow out and went too far, or got FLUDDED or otherwised pressured too far)

Something to think about.

=====Update Dec 20th======

Okay, so I think I've finally found the most universal and reliable coverage chart.

It does change a little based on character, percent, and even stage, but it definitely has a nice combo of reliability and safety.

By approaching the ledge with FH/SH fireball, spaced so it BOUNCES off the lip (not hitting the ledge) you cut off the option for ledge jump and rising options in that timeframe. It doesn't net much reward, BUT it does combo into dtilt (if you buffered) Or makes them hang long enough for cape to get jump/standard/hang/rise.

SH > Dtilt seems to be the most universally reliable since everything is faster, hits lower, and isn't obfuscated by platforms. But FH Fireball > Cape also works.

Dtilt is also not guaranteed death vs characters with LOW Hangs(at least a third of the cast). I do believe it's a 50/50 for fair if they don't jump, or nair if they do. Certain upspecials may be quick enough to escape, though. But generally those can just be true combo baired/daired/uaired.

Fireball can also combo into dtilt if they jumped/standard early(seems like fireball beats getup attack a lot too!). So it's a pretty reliable frame trap, I'm honestly not sure if ledge cape is even that applicable anymore except vs chars who rise with projectiles like villager or rob.

It's also important to note the optimal grounded fireball positioning to catch 2 frame from within stage is also the optimal positioning to bounce on lip for both SH and FH fireball.

The only thing keeping me from applying this is my inability to SH fireball consistently x.x

I even have use shoulder jump, so I have no excuse. In neutral, FH fireball is always better so my muscle memory defaults to that I guess.

======Update dec 23=======

Might have something here.

Jab 1 > Dtilt/Dsmash seems fairly reliable IF they catch a ledge jump/rising option.

They can airdodge, but some characters die if they do. Many others become easy to edgeguard/2-frame with fsmash (since there is only one timing they can make it back)

Issues though:

Jab 1 > Dtilt doesn't seem to go into... Anything? It's the low tipper hitbox. It does hit more consistently than dsmash, but the only kill option off it is via nair at super high percent, or suicide SJP. (Mayyyybe uair > fair/dair at lower percents)

Jab 1 > Dsmash has a smaller, higher hitbox so it doesn't work as reliably. And considering rapid jabbing ledge jump is already inconsistent (half the time, maybe) and the positioning requirement is also stricter, harder to control out of dash, it might also be suboptimal. Definitely works sometimes, just not sure if it's worth going for.

Edit: A nice benefit though is that you condition yourself to let go of jab as soon as they take an option to better combo off jab 1, which leaves you better equipped to deal with failure.

Edit2: Actuallyyyyy, I wonder if just letting them regrab is the route to go. They get the lowest amount of invincibility possible, due to next to no air time, plus little damage taken. There's far more leeway on the spacing, timing, and options available to them. Plus in this environment where they have to buffer an option IMMEDIATELY, I think dsmash still covers everything but get-up attack.

The best thing about this option is you can freely cancel into shield early without worrying if you actually get the jab1 but then fail to get the follow-up cause you shielded.

Still needs testing, but I think an option select between Jab, shield, and dtilt may be a good route. Though it doesn't let us cover standard with threat of death super well. (maybe dtilt or roll bthrow?)
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The Free-est
Nov 28, 2005
College Park, MD
=========BIG UPDATE=============

Okay doke, I think I figured out at least our general coverage, perhaps even mario's intended ledge coverage as it feels pretty perfect.

So there are 2.5~ main different ledge coverage types:

1: Edgeguard enabled
Positioning: Right in front of standard get-up spawn

Unlike what I thought before, rapid jab is not the ideal coverage here. Simply nair is. Very similar angle, and usage vs these poorer recovery characters, but also more reliable. Due to the ability to drift and mix up the opponent.

The timing of this doesn't really allow us to usmash roll, but it does enable bair. Which can actually be better vs poor recovery chars, bouncing them to the other side of the ledge.

Essentially, you just nair around when they grab ledge and flowchart from there. Did they take an option? React to it. Punishes often won't be guaranteed, but there are palpable mixups you can make.

They didn't take an option? Try to predict their next option by threatening dtilt/dsmash/fsmash now that their invincibility has run out.

What really cinches nair vs rapid jab is a few things:

1: It catches early rolls
2: It has the ability to drift and mix up the opponent, drift in to roll, etc
3: Nair actually gets to it's coverage point quicker, able to be deeper into the stage and also comes out a bit sooner than a dash canceled jab. (3+3 nair vs 2+5 Jab)

Now, this coverage is hardly universal. While the actual nair may be worth getting on better recovery chars, the failure flowcharts are worse. It's a lot more potent to jab/grab little mac than jigglypuff, for example. Mario's on reaction ledge punishes are more suited to edgeguards and combos than kills.

Making this less appealing at low-mid percents vs better recovery chars, but still applicable.

And this positioning which places him closer to the lip lets him still pressure recoveries effectively, even threaten trump.

2: Non-committal option select
Positioning: Just outside get-up attack range, but also behind ledge spawn point.

This next one is a two parter. To properly explain it, I'll first ask you to forget about the opponent's ability to wait and hang on the ledge. Leaving only 5 options. All which MUST be taken immediately.

Ledge Roll
Standard Get-up
Get-up Attack
Ledge Jump
Ledge Drop + Option(Jump, Attack, special, etc)

All from the same initial positioning, Mario can cover each of these with a read.

Roll to ledge + Shield covers both Standard, and Get-up Attack
A simple usmash/turnaround grab covers ledge roll
And FLUDD covers ledge jump and rising options (puts them back offstage with no invincibility when they regrab. Not quite guaranteed death, but a universally dangerous situation)

This means in this hypothetical scenario where everyone buffers an option, Mario has a 1/3* chance at killing anyone who grabs the ledge above a certain percent.

So then, how do we pressure people into taking these options early?
Ledge trumping does force people to take options early, BUT the optimal positioning doesn't mesh with these.
Dash attack can be baited and punished by disjoints, projectiles, and even just get-up attack. Not to mention it doesn't kill. Running dtilt, dsmash, fsmash, and cape also have these issues. And while more rewarding, are also slower, more telegraphed, and forfeit stage positioning.

Fireball can actually hit some characters on the ledge from this positioning when full hopped. And while when they regrab, they will have less invincibility (due to the low damage of fireball and how quickly they can regrab ledge) it still doesn't really solve the issue of forcing them to take an option.

Fireball's definitely the answer though, but short hopped. NOT full hoped, so that it bounces off the lip. NOT hitting the opponent hanging on the ledge, but Locking the opponent out of ledge jump, and rising options for a very short time.

With the momentum of short hop, you can true combo into dtilt/dsmash if they still buffered ledge jump, standard, even get-up attack sometimes. You HAVE to buffer the dtilt/dsmash though. Which is fine, since it also covers hang on it's own. The fireball protecting mario from disjoints and other aggressive rising options. (Even clanks and slows down disjoints if your timing is off!)

Again, you'll need to read their option.
Shielding after fireball if you suspect a get-up attack, or roll. Dsmashing get-up attack, usmashing roll.
Rolling if you suspect standard
Or just straight fludding

Of course, the trap isn't perfect. But it definitely completes the coverage flowchart I think. And pressures the opponent into taking options quicker. It's hardly a 1/3, maybe more like a 1/5th at best, but it's safe. And I'm not forfeiting stage control by going for a trump, or hard read smash or roll to ledge when they just hang then ledge jump.

2.5: Non-committal Option Select: Reactive Variant

Pretty much the same basic idea as the previous trap, however this is meant for application at low percents. ESPECIALLY if you consider roll decay, you do NOT want to constantly be rolling to the ledge.

Plus at low percent, just dash grabbing/jabbing standard get-up can be very rewarding.
Similarly with just Uairing ledge jumps. Or FLUDDing on reaction of they do a very passive ledge jump/rising option.

Charging FLUDD and canceling into SH fireball is pretty much the starter for all of this. But you don't go for dtilt or predictive FLUDDs yet. Do dash attacks, uairs, and reactive FLUDDs instead. They're safer, less commitment, and actually provide more consistent reward at this lower percents. While of course jabbing/dash grabbing standard, and doing whatever you want to ledge roll.

Now, there may be some merit to reading ledge jumps with fully charged FLUDD around mid-high percent. Before dtilt > bair and backthrow kill yet, since fsmash is HELLA strong and a lot of players don't even know they won't have invincibility, but it's kinda hard to force a lot of characters to the ledge unless they're at higher percents.

Overall though, I'm finding this ledge coverage much less stressful and surprisingly rewarding. I'm honestly shocked how well it works sometimes. I'm always finding myself thinking 'oh wow they would've died if I did it this way' or just general sighs of relief about how much easier it is for me to kill now.

It's important to note:

This ledge trap worked to a degree in smash 4, however there's a reason it wasn't applied there:

1: People could airdodge through FLUDD, making it much harder to force many chars to ledge.
2: Dtilt was glitched, disabling Dtilt > Bair. As well as Dair not working without rage in smash 4, making Fireball > Dtilt just a combo tool at best in smash 4. Not really enabling kills consistently.
3: To cancel into fireball, you had to first shield, then carefully short hop and space a special. Not a very common ability even among top smashers.

It's why I also recommend a shoulder jump, OR the pro controller. (since you can just roll y/b)

=====Moving on======

With this figured out, I'm now looking into the situation enabled when you fireball someone offstage.

No doubt about it, Fireball is mario's safest, most reliable, and least committal option for hitting opponents recovering low. But, it offers very little reward. It doesn't REALLY combo into anything, except maybe suicide fairs.

What it DOES do though, is lower the opponents amount of ledge invincibility. It's not no invincibility, but it's low enough that OOS cape, and Dash Fsmash all hit them on reaction.

And as stated before, Mario's ledge coverage is pretty good if they take their options quickly.

I think just the regular ledge coverage, but adding in dash fsmash might be the ticket. In this stricter timing, it covers ledge jump, rise, and hang. If charged, it may cover get-up attack/standard, though I'm not sure how viable that is.

Dash dtilt could also work, but it actually comes out too fast. And fsmash has preferable hitbox/hurtbox positioning, enough to justify the slower startup.


Okay, so dtilt vs fsmash in the hyper low vulnerability scenario:

Dtilt has low enough endlag that you can still pressure effectively on failure. It still covers hang perfectly, but the range and size of the hitbox leaves it somewhat unreliable at covering jump and drop in this timing. Plus the reward isn't great at lower percent. Considering you're doing this instead of an edgeguard, I don't think dtilt is worth it.

I'd say it covers ledge jump maybe 1/3rd the time in this timing, while Fsmash is more like half. (At least when angled down in this hyper strict timing)

The disjoint and and hurtbox pullback helps it beat aggressive options far more effectively.

In fact, it even pulls mario out of get-up attack range vs some chars. So if you charge it, you can effectively cover both standard and get-up. Making it a 50/50 vs lower range get-up attacks.

Meaning this could be a legitimate option select! Though at the range to cover ledge hang, mario cannot usmash ledge roll on reaction.

Usmash does cover ledge jump and roll at this timing, buuuuut it's hardly as rewarding and also leaves him more open to punish on failure.

Furthermore, soft hit of nair, AND downthrow do the exact same damage as fireball. (6%) so they could also be used to set up this hyper low invincibility trap.

I honestly think there may be something here, and it'd be pretty big for mario considering he's very bad at dropzone edgeguards, lacking a proper fair or dair. He has to telegraph and commit a lot, so just focusing on ledge traps and pressuring with fireball could be a great, safe alternative. (And help force high recoveries which he IS good at covering)

Update: Honestly, I think fsmash is the option overall here. The range, power, and versatility just fit better in this scenario.

The timing to cover ledge hang literally covers 3 options. Jump, Hang, and Drop.
Though if your intent is to cover standard, it's a different timing. To the point you should just pick a different positioning altogether, out of get-up attack range with the fsmash pullback.

It only covers two options, but it kills super soon.

Then finally, there's roll. Honestly, just fsmashing into the stage might be worth it. While it only covers one option, the extra charge time still lets it kill across stage early. Plus, you're turned around to still punish on failure.

Still just a theory at this point, but the fireball ledge trap is meant to deal with opponents with more ledge invincibility at higher percent. But we need some optimization for when they don't have said invincibility to mix us up with.

=============Ledge Trap Update=================

Okay, so while testing out the low vulnerability scenario I discovered (or more like properly considered) that SH Fireballing Ledge jump ALSO true combos into fsmash.

And while Fsmash is 11 frames slower, it does have much more reward, a bigger hitbox, and actually connects with ledge jump much more reliably on it's own.

Furthermore, by pulling back juuuuust a bit, mario can cover standard/get-up. (Charging animation keeps mario out of get-up attack range)

It also seems like a preemptive low angle fsmash can actually hit ledge roll before it even reaches the roll point. But idk, you have to be far enough in that you can't hit ledge hang. (But it still catches jump/rise in this timing, so...???)

Still testing everything out, but IF it works out; This means the SH Fireball would be the go-to when they have lower percent, and higher invincibility. But just dash > fsmash would be the go-to in those lower invincibility scenarios where there's no need to mix them up.
Last edited:


The Free-est
Nov 28, 2005
College Park, MD
Kinda leaning back towards defaulting to the long-range fireball traps.

It's just more universally applicable, consistent, and while not IMMEDIATELY more rewarding, the fact it denies the opponent the ability to return to neutral without chains of risk, is pretty crazy.

But the real clincher is the fact it plays into the low-vulnerability traps. At the applicable range (Just past ledge roll spawn) Mario can 2-frame most characters with fireball. Obviously, this itself isn't very rewarding. But coupled with the ability to get them while recovering as well, the consistency is extremely reliable.

And I think I've figured out the flowchart best suited for covering the low vulnerability scenario. To the point it ALSO feels very intentionally designed.

From within the same initial movement, mario can cover EVERY option.

(Dash > Turnaround > X)

Dash > Turnaround is where it all begins.

Dash Turnaround > Fsmash gets more range since the turnaround carries dash momentum. (And honestly feels easier to do.)
This covers jump, hang, and rising options all with the same timing.

Then, at a different range, it covers Standard, Get-up Attack, and Rising options. By simply charging and waiting. (But does not cover hang and jump)

*It may actually be easier, and better to NOT turnaround if aiming to Fsmash standard/getup.

And while it may seem odd, Dash > Turnaround > Dsmash is better for covering roll/standard (and other rising options since it functions a lot like fsmash here)

You COULD just dash > dsmash, but there's a lot of benefits to turnaround:

1: Back hit of dsmash is MUCH safer on shield. (mistimed) Since it's stronger, and the finishing hit.
2: The front hit of dsmash is quicker, making it feasible to hit ledge roll in start-up. (you do not have the range to hit it at end)
3: The timing on the backhit of dsmash just seems to work out better. (It could also be a bigger hitbox, though I don't think it lingers more)

The issue is, front hit of dsmash doesn't kill that well. ESPECIALLY across stage. But it does at least cover it. And with the charge time allowed to it sometimes, it can kill at reasonable percents.

Dash > turnaround also goes well into bair, of course. Though SH bair doesn't kill until fairly late, it does cover more options. All the main ones actually. (Even roll, if you tried to bair a ledge jump, you can just uair a ledge roll. And landing uair kill confirms fairly consistently across a wide range of percents)

I'll have to gather more data on Anther's and preferably another tournament; But I honestly find this method WAY less stressful than my past methods. And I did at least get it to work vs players like Logic, and Remzi when I got to play them in tournament. (though it didn't let me beat Remzi :<, and vs Logic I had the pikmin extending my fsmash to obfuscate the data)

Just an update on philosophy rather than strategy:

Taller characters with better hangs (I.e can't be ledge caped) seem to be the optimal candidates for the long-range fireball camping.
Due to being taller/bigger, FLUDD connects much more consistently. Making it far easier to keep them in the corner.
Secondly, they're FAR worse in the corner due to the aforementioned height. Meaning SH uair covers more options. (Can bair if they roll, uair again if they keep shielding, empty land grab/dtilt, it's good stuff)

This simply isn't as worth it vs short characters, who are harder to fludd, HAVE to jump into SH uair, generally have better recoveries, and in general just have more options which makes it less reliable to pin them in the corner.

It definitely feels optimal vs tallies. Like, it pretty much forces them into terrible situations all around. But I think I'll need to devise a new flowchart for shorts. Considering they CAN be ledge caped, PLUS it more consistently covers their rising options due to their traditionally shorter range, I think there may be something there.

Currently, I'm trying to apply a similar theory to how Luigi covers ledge. Dair > Fair/Nair. Or In mario's case, Dair > Cape/Nair. While the reward/frame data isn't quite the same, Mario covers more options since Cape can hit ledge.

My main concern is ledge roll. I do NOT like having to bait it specifically, especially since usmash is so much weaker now. Leaving it a very appealing option until very high percent.

Edit: NOPE

back towards SH fireball trap. I don't even know anymore, everything I try just seems such high commitment and low reward/consistency.

Long range/ledge fireball definitely forces options out of the opponent, but only slightly. Even with the low vulnerability scenario (which isn't consistent vs many characters, especially if people are aware of it and elongate their snap) it isn't much of a deterrent. It's nice for forcing ledge campers onstage but mario just isn't fast enough to pressure the options they do take from that range. At least not until SUPER high percent with bair kills, but you're gonna stale it like crazy using it as your primary coverage too.

And short hop off suffers from fireball just being a ****ty ****ing projectile that tons of moves either straight beat, or hitbox contort around to disallow decent follow-ups. Not to mention the inconsistency of it actually covering ledge jump since it's a teeny tiny hitbox.

Okay, new approach. Based on sh nair + super trump punch.

When drifting off with SH nair, the soft hit can true combo into the hard hit (or bair if facing away)
Originally, I found this highly committal since it demanded mario be drifting offstage. However, with the new changes to how lips works in ultimate, this lets it flow beautifully into STP.

Normally, if you were to try to SH nair someone and they took no option, THEN tried to trump them, you'd have no guaranteed follow-up since you waited too long. However, with STP, it pops them up for true combos.

Now, you can delay the nair and it can cover standard at times too. But then it's more difficult to STP, and rising SH nair can catch early rolls sometimes too. (Plus I think the extra time can mess up our ability to still cover other options)

FURTHERMORE, going for STP rather than a regular trump is much more universally rewarding. Due to how it pops people up, it can actually kill as early as 60% with a uair > dair/sjp string.

Here is a list of interactions from STP vs every single character

Now, this seems fairly reliable. However, there's a few issues.

Soft Nair > Hard nair kills... Okay. Around 120%~ (No rage)

Soft Nair > Bair kills VERY well. As early as 80%!

However, there's a lot of issues with reverse nair.

-Nair has less frontal range from behind. Also seems more likely to hit them into the stage.
-The need to rar it makes it slower, and downright impossible oos. Hurting the initial option select a LOT.
-More difficult(if not impossible?) to get the hitbox on STP.

I should note, this trap was present in smash 4. However, stages had different lips which greatly effected what STP did, even battlefield did totally different things depending on left/right. Often allowing no follow-ups. Secondly, due to the slower launch speed, it was more feasible to DI the nair out and deny hard nair. And soft nair had more knockback, hard nair had less. Making this only work at very magical percents vs very specific characters.

I think this is a MUCH more consistent killing coverage than Fireballs > FLUDD.

So I'm thinking SH fireballs/FLUDD option select for low/mid percents where the Regrab > Fsmash set-up is far more rewarding, plus just intercepting people's returns with uair is also very rewarding. And these are also lower commitment, though it's also important to remember nair > nair IS death vs a lot of the poorer recoveries. So going for this sooner is probably fine too.

Ideally, I'm thinking the ideal starting point for applying this is facing the ledge, in shield, just far enough to the lip that oos fsmash would hit.

This lets you threaten hang with oos fsmash, react to roll with usmash, grab standard, cover jump with SH nair, and shield > usmash/dsmash rising options.

One issue though, is grabbing standard isn't really death. At least, not unless we find some dthrow/uthrow kill confirm. I guess at SUPER high percent, you can actually turn away and just try bairing everything/bthrowing roll?

You could also try oos dsmash. It's frame 10~ which hardly makes it guaranteed, buuut it does cover roll. And may be safe on shield at this spacing, depending on the character? (Spot dodge is an issue though)

Maybe preemptive dsmash charge too? But idk, still seems iffy due to the lack of lingering.

======Ledge Cape Applications=======

Kinda disappointed with this first part.

Since cape can't hit all characters on the ledge while grounded, I looked into flowcharts to get mario in position to cape people from behind. (FH fireball, SH dair, etc) While it TECHNICALLY works. You can simply hold down and still get follow-ups, but it seems like ONLY on characters you can already ledge cape. Others simply don't get pulled towards mario. You can get a nair stage spike, but it can be teched and doesn't even spike at a great angle. (Ganon can still recover)

Real shame, since it covers standard and jump too. Seems like mario just isn't supposed to ledge cape those characters.

Due to that, definitely seems like nair > stp is far more optimal there.

But, I also believe SH Dair/Bair > Cape could be a good option select vs the characters it CAN hit on the ledge. Taking advantage of Dair's lack of endlag lets us initiate cape while still airborne, giving it some precious extra frames. It actually comes out the same frame as just landing with dtilt. I believe since it avoids the 3 frame landing lag, plus getting 3 frames of startup in the air.

And Dair probably kill confirms just about as well as Nair, if not better vs a lot of the shorts you'd wanna do this too. To be honest, I'm finding even when Nair > Nair doesn't outright kill, MANY characters simply can't get back. (Especially when factoring pressure from fludd, fireballs, and other means)

SH Dair > SJP isn't true, but it's safeish over the lip. Plus you can bait airdodges for fair/dair.

Just make sure you don't drift too far to the lip to get them knocked inward.

At higher percent, I think Bair > Cape is probably more optimal.

========Jan 6: SH Dair > Cape Update========

I think I may have overvalued the ability to initiate cape before dair ends.

While it does have several active frames, they're so teeny tiny that they become telegraphed, not to mention they have poor priority, precise spacing, little reward, and big gaps in it's hitboxes.

I think uair/bair are better initiators. Uair for lower percent, bair when it starts killing. More range, reward, and better option selects.

Though I think Nair > STP might still be the better option, hard to say which method deals with rising options better. Will likely need a partner to test with me.

==========Jan 7: Long-range Fireball/SH Fireball Update=========

Sliding Ftilt adds a new tool to consider for both of these that I had not yet reviewed until I switched and got comfortable with tilt stick.

On reaction vs standard get-up, and hang, it threatens a more relevant hitbox than dash attack at this range. Getting a hitbox there much faster, with less commitment. (Though it doesn't cover spotdodge as well)

Secondly, the optimal range for hitting hanging opponents with grounded fireball, is also optimal range for the short hop fireball ledge trap.

That said, I think this trap is only really worth it against characters with better recoveries. Those that can risk trading with SH nair at the cost of their double jump. These characters also tend to be those we can downsmash, rather than needing fsmash. So FLUDD regrabs can be better punished on reaction.

Not to mention, simply taking fireballs hurts the Chus a lot more than someone like DK.

SH Fireball > Ftilt is more reliable, and safe than SH fireball > Dtilt/Dsmash, but of course less rewarding. Hard to gauge which balances out better currently, but ftilt is a good default.

The issue with dtilt is, fireball pushes back. Often leading to tipper dtilt, which doesn't combo very well. So it might only be worth it to go for dsmash, unless it doesn't cover their hang. But there's also the commitment level to consider.

==========Bthrow Stuff========
Furthermore, due to the fact we're setting up for long-range fireball, which has a highish rate of success for connecting at least, I wonder if bthrow is often the better throw? On average, it does 3.6% more than Fthrow. The greater knockback helps ensure they still grab ledge, or get landing trapped with fireballs/fludd.

More damage means a lot more vs these characters, especially if you factor in fireball. And bthrow doesn't stale that hard (if you consider the extra percent compared to the other throws) Killing only 4.2% Later when staled per throw. (I.e, it's only really a .6% penalty. Less if you manage to get those fireballs and landing traps)

Just a slight possibly optimization vs the characters you'd long-range trap anyhow.

=============Jan7th Update: I think I'm close=================

Okay I think I've got it down.

Nair > STP vs poor recoveries (whom can die if they trade with nair while using a rising option.)

That's really the only way nair becomes worth it, because it loses/trades with a lot of moves. And on better recoveries/disjoints, the reliability/reward factor just isn't there.

Furthermore, Soft Nair > Hard nair isn't often true. It's fast enough to catch jumps, but not DI out + Disjoints. So again, more incentive to only use it worth poor recoveries. (especially since that terribly low angle is essentially death much sooner than it actually kills, too)

This positioning also flows well into edgeguarding them if needed.

And then Fireball/FLUDD Ledge Trapping everyone else.

The risk, reward, and reliability of this trap just gets better and better. Especially now that I properly considered Bthrow into the equation.

Bthrow > Fireball isn't true, but it demands either DI out, or Jump to avoid. (FLUDD covers both) And Bthrow seriously has tremendous positioning, damage, and consistent reward.

(With Pummels, Bthrow does the same damage as uthrow > uair. With fireball, it does even more!)

FLUDD just pushes so amazingly hard at higher percents, that it can essentially guarantee a regrab or otherwise risky positioning. I was just so focused on killing at 40-50% I forgot that it simply becomes more reliable at high percents. To the point it even works on reaction (to an extent, if they commit to jumping it you have to intercept)

Now, here are the options to take to kill every option:

Jump/rising: FLUDD preemptively. Again, it isn't perfect. But it's more reliable, consistent, and safe than most of our options.
Roll: Simply wait, downsmash/cape. This also lets you cover jump/rising on reaction (though with less reward)
Standard: SH fireball preemptively, prepare to dsmash/dtilt. You can also cancel FLUDD charge with roll preemptively for bair/usmash when those start killing. (I prefer bair since it covers delayed jump too)

*Dash dsmash can also cover standard and roll.

You may notice, there's no direct way to punish hang with death. And that's because it's just such a huge commitment trying, I don't think it's worth going far unless you need to make a comeback.

Even when these other methods fail, you still retain stage control and pressure. And if they hang, you at least get free damage with fireball. (maybe multiples depending on how quick they can snap) And can easily reset with FLUDD.

All that damage, combined with bthrow's can really add up quick. And with our uair fresh, it can kill people jumping in after a FLUDD (since it's stronger, they're higher, etc) Also better positioning for dair.

It's not flashy, but it's consistent. And I'm sure it can still be optimized further.

In fact, due to the damage output (and the fact it becomes less worth hitting with fireballs after a certain point) There's probably another, simpler trap.

Once Bthrow starts killing from the ledge roll point, I think bair is probably the main tool to utilize. Though short hop, full hop, delayed? Not currently sure.
I'm thinking mario positioned close enough to the lip that turnaround fsmash will connect, and possibly full hopping, but not bairing. Simply flow charting from that full hop. (Bair ledge jump on reaction, fast fall bair standard, grab ledge roll)

This is good positioning for bairing rising options too, but feels like it needs to be on reaction. And fsmash would be what you threaten to make them take their options in a timely manner. (But trump might work too?)

============January 9th Update===========

Starting not to like Nair > STP as a primary option compared to the fireball ledge trapping. It has more risk, and less consistent reward. (They either die/get put in a very bad spot, or regain stage control)

I honestly believe the fireball ledge trapping is now universal, reliable, and consistent. Though it does change, depending on percent.

Until the percent with bair starts killing by the ledge. (Jump, or standard) You want to mostly just deter ledge hang and keep them in the corner.

FLUDDing standard, and roll do give them invincibility back when they regrab, BUT it also at least sets them up for more fireball harassment. (Helping get them to said bair kill range)

FLUDDing jump of course, even on reaction, sets up potent trapping scenarios. Demanding the DI in for harder punishes, or get FLUDDed out for a regrab punish.

One important thing I've noted though, is that once players are aware of this trap, they mix up their landing/regrab very well. So definitely be prepared for just a dash attack. It consistently covers both an early landing, and a regrab. And often denies them their jump back (if it was a 2-frame) So it's still decent reward.

If they stay clear out of range for dash attack, that makes it more feasible to fsmash/dsmash/cape. (depending on the character)

Also, simply intercepting people with upairs is EXTREMELY potent at these lower percents. Making it yet more rewarding.

I've pretty mostly given up on SH fireball traps I think. They're still too committal for that low reliability. It really only has applications with dsmash, since you can also opt to simply charge it to still cover roll/standard. Dtilt's lack of versatility, coverage, and reward leaves it pretty unappealing now.

(And also, it true combos into dsmash if it hits people WHILE hanging, OR jumping. But only vs VERY high hang chars. Like mario himself. And this is the only way I think the reliability/risk/reward is there)
So, at these lower percents, you generally want to take one of three options: All from the starting position. (Just behind the ledge roll spawn, where grounded fireballs hit hanging opponents)

(NOTE: This coverage flowchart is for DAMAGE RACKING ONLY. And does not translate into stocks very well)

1: FLUDD Charge/Release: This lets you cover pretty much every non-hang option. Though only netting reward beyond positioning vs Ledge Jump/Rising options. (and maybe fireballs)

*Canceling into SH fireball > dtilt to cover standard/jump could also be considered, though I don't use it anymore. The risk/reward/reliability only becomes notable if you're behind, maybe. (If it works, you can get 30%+ or stock. But this method much more reliably gets 15-20%+ and stock sometimes too)

2: Wait/FLUDD: This is largely for standard, roll, and hang. Roll, you can punish on reaction. Standard, you mix up between dash attack, dash grab, and sh uair.

HOWEVER, if you grab, do backthrow. It does more damage, sets up better situations, and considering Dash Attack and Backthrow have the same angles, I suspect this is intended coverage.

*Do note, dash attack crosses up shield at this range. So it's fairly safe. Covers spotdodge.
*Default to fireball after dash attack/bthrow. If they consistently take options avoiding the fireballs, you can punish those.
*Uair covers jump, roll (with the lack of endlag you can just bair) and spot dodge a little too. Probably the preferred option vs tallies who it covers while grounded, too.

3: Fireball/Dash Attack

*Dash attack only vs characters hard to hit with fireballs on ledge. May need a new flowchart for them.

Of course, we still have to deter hanging. But be smart with it. Even though it'll connect with buffered rolls, it's often unsafe on hit.

Generally, you only want to ALWAYS throw one fireball to try 2-framing them with. Then, mixing up between the other options, or one more fireball. You should NEVER go for three fireballs unless one has already connected. As this opens you up for being punished by ledge roll. (Or even Flip Kick, bouncing fish, etc)


Now, these options CAN lead to stocks. Especially if they take options to avoid the fireballs. But the primary goal here is simply damaging them, and preparing them for our next trap... Which is... In the works?

I'm still working on the traps optimal for killing percent, but it's definitely going to require reads rather than reactions like these. Still, I think I'm close.

The main things to consider are:

Soft Nair > Hard Nair
Dash Attack > Fireball > Nair (Not true after dash attack, but a decent frame trap, makes going for dash attack at higher percents worth it. Though only with the strong hit)
Dash Charge Fsmash for standard/roll (The lower profile disallows ledge jump aerials to hit mario immediately, and charged, spaced dsmash is safe on shield. So low risk)

I also think I'll need two more flowcharts:

One for when there's little or ambiguous timing for positioning. (Like say, after simply FLUDDing someone from neutral)
And when there's ample time, like say to position mario facing away from ledge at a certain spot.

=========January 10th:=========

Backtacking to the 'low vulnerability' scenarios, I think the optimal death percent flowchart and the low vulnerability flowchart could actually have a lot of overlap.

The higher percent, the less vulnerability. So it becomes even more reliable when they've also been hit recently by a weak hit.

And they both involve mario dashing to the ledge from the optimal 2-framing position.

Now, Dash Instant Release Fsmash covers hang, jump okayish, and SOMEwhat covers rising. But not consistently. (Doesn't linger enough to account for them dropping, jumping, spacing, etc)

The risk/reward at higher percents just doesn't feel like it's there. If they take any option other than simply hang, you're likely to lose control.

Then, charging fsmash further into the stage to react to standard, get-up attack, and rising options could also work. But this extra charge leaves you more vulnerable to them reacting and rolling/jumping and punishing. (Though the strength of the punish can be mitigated by only charging for 1/3rd a second, the average reaction + response time)

There's also the issue of low commitment, high range rising options like Samus Zair, Villager Fair, Rob Gyro, etc. (Though dash cape covers the latter two, along with their hangs, unsure about Samus Zair tho)

It does, theoretically, cover everything though. The biggest concern is ledge roll when you go for fsmash. I'm worried this could lead to turnarounds. But then again, some characters would be scarier with that than others, so it could also be matchup specific.

Downsmash is definitely fairly low commitment, risking only taking damage from landing/rising aerials or get-up attacks mostly.

Now, some might argue 'just dash attack' and while it's less likely to get you killed, it's even less likely to net a kill. And on failure, it opens mario up for even harder ledge punishes since he's right on the lip after.

Theoretically though, it IS a 1/3 shot at killing. And at higher percents, you can just SH/FH Bair preemptively vs ledge jump, and still pressure standard. (Can even fade behind them with a falling bair to get behind them for a bthrow!)

I'm thinking Fsmash should be saved for comebacks, or taking advantage of an opponent who has shown they hug the ledge. Instead, generally only working downsmash into the damage racking frame-trap for kills.

And then bair at higher percents.

It's not SUPER reliable, but it does flow well into covering their other options. Especially at higher percents.

Not sure if I want FH Bair, SH Bair, or still try the SH Nair > STP trap.

SH bair has the momentum boost, but FH doesn't really need it since it's hitting higher and more inward stage. FH can also trade, or even lose to ledge jump aerials. (usually trade though, which is worth at this percent) BUT, it leaves mario safer from rising options they may have took at that time, or even just ledge attack. He's also not as close to the lip, giving up less stage control on failure.

SH bair can't lose to ledge jump rising aerials, but it does put Mario's hurtbox pretty far over the lip. And generally not good position to cover roll.

SH Nair > STP covers instant ledge jump, and continued hang. But obviously they can react to the nair and know STP is coming if we go for that every time, so we need to feint it somehow.

FH RAR Nair also has some applications. Since it kills earlier with bair, AND true combos far more reliably. But SH Rar nair can't STP afterwards reliably. So FH so you can go less far offstage seems optimal. I also worry about nairs priority, but being a lingering frame 3, I'd imagine they would have to buffer an option to beat it. (Can't just mash airdodge like smash 4)

So mixing up between the two nairs might be the ticket. One which punishes hanging, the other which still lets us pressure the other options they take. (can fall with cape/bair vs standard/roll)

But then, both option becomes telegraphed so a wary opponent can respond appropriately.

Now, we COULD still fludd ledge jump, but out of dash to properly feint our other out of dash options. But i dunno, while FLUDD is decent positioning vs ledge jump, AND does still essentially beat rising options it's kinda hard to kill a lot of characters. You essentially need to make one read, so you have the opportunity to make another read to get the kill. (Not including the initial read to get them on the ledge)

It's not bad, but I don't think it's our optimal ledge jump punish. (rising punish? possibly)

========Low Vulnerability/Fireball 2-frame trap Update========

May be something here?

Okay, so if you manage to 2-frame someone with long-range fireball, dash attack covers three options:

1: They immediately mashed upb, and overshot the ledge due to the timer disabling sweetspots.

2: They upb'd and snapped ledge SO quick that they have so little invincibility that dash attack's lingering frames will hit them, AND buffered ledge drops/jumps.

3: They delayed their upb, making it easier to 2-frame with dash attack. Thus likely setting up an edgeguard opportunity since they have no jump. (Ideal fludd angle)

(And FLUDD covers the third option of them recovering high. Though dash attack can cover this too?)

Not sure if it's worth going for on it's own, but it may be a mixup? Since they need to buffer roll/standard so soon, dash attack could should leave you able to punish or pressure these options well.

But, you could also just fsmash as I said before. It's less reliable, but more rewarding. And perhaps even less risky? Or maybe more like equally.

Not sure, but I do think it could be worth it vs crappy recoveries. Especially since it's more likely to hit them with ledge fireball to begin with. Not to mention, even if they have their jump, it's a decent enough scenario.

Death if you get their 2-frame, more edgeguarding opportunities on failure. Not bad.

Cape, and downsmash are also options vs characters they can hit on ledge. Downsmash covers roll additionally, but cape has less endlag and kills sooner. (or combos if it doesn't kill)

I'm still not crazy about dash attack in general due to the generally low reward vs hang, BUT it does have good reward for catching 2-frames.

====================Jan 11th Update: Optimal Ledge Jump Punishes at kill percent=============

Not really liking SH Nair > STP anymore. At least at kill percent vs most characters. It's still highly committal to just cover ledge jump/hang with threat of death. It seems to lose to a lot of rising options since you're generally getting the tiny, weak hitbox out in that area. (And rising options become more appealing to opponents at high percent since they have to take risks then)

And of course, at kill percent while it CAN hit roll/standard, it's not killing.

I think this option is better used at mid percent vs poor recovery characters. STP sets up for potent combos (it's essentially a platform conversion) and hard nair sets up for great edgeguards when it covers jump/roll. So it's more of a medium risk/medium reward type mixup here at least.

I'm definitely liking Dashing RAR FH Nair > Bair for ledge jump. Due to the high, it leaves mario in a safe position to avoid rising options, and often simply bair them right after. AND can bair get-up attack too.

Covered with downsmash for standard/roll, and shield for roll/rising options, it covers all the standard options within a certain timeframe.

Hang I think is just best deterred by fireball unless you NEED to the kill ASAP. In which case, dash fsmash/cape.

But by defaulting to fireball, you consistently, and safely rack their damage up to the point bair/bthrow kills reliably in the corner/neutral. And bair is an option you can use on reaction when they finally HAVE to make their return.

==========Dsmash vs Tether Update=========

Do NOT try dsmashing these. Especially those with kill throws like Tink.

Honestly not sure what to do. Maybe crouching preemptively, and downtilting? It still combos into bair to kill around the same percents as dsmash.

The crouching still lets us avoid a lot of aggressive jump/rising options. And we can still shield to cover get-up attack/aggressive rising option, MAYBE roll with oos usmash but sometimes the spacings don't line up.

The reason this works vs tethers is because generally, we need to be REALLY close to avoid tipper dtilt which doesn't combo. And vs most characters, that's shieldgrab range.

Still not 100% on it, but it should be serviceable for now.

=============Ledge Jump Kill Percent Coverage Update==============

Yea. FH RAR Nair > Bair just isn't working. Takes too long, is a high commitment, and if they don't jump, it leaves mario in a TERRIBLE position. (Where ledge roll, standard, AND rising options can punish him on reaction)

SH Nair > STP, while not a SUPER reliable kill confirm, is reliable coverage. Technically covering EVERY option(not directly get-up attack, but it lets you avoid the hit to punish), though at different times. The fact it covers roll on start-up helps prevent the opponent gaining too much advantage by rolling to avoid trump.

Can also help keep bair fresh to kill in neutral.

But at very high percent, I like just spamming bair. You can even drift back to cover roll usually. I'm thinking one should save this tactic for one it kills from the ledge roll point. (Since it also kills dash ins from standard, or aggressive rising option landings, etc)

=================Dash Attack Optimization===========

Still don't like dash attack, but I did discover a way to make it better.
Normally, when we dash attack someone and it either hits them on ledge, or their ledge jump, they get hit at a lower angle. So low, it's difficult for mario to get down there in time.

But due to the changes with bair, by pivot bairing preemptively, mario goes out VERY far VERY fast, already turned around. Letting him more effectively cover their options.

===================Jan 13th: Back to Fsmash?========

In my original opening post, I stated my ledge coverage would be fsmash based. Since then, I've deviated a lot. Into more consistent advantage generating traps. But now, I think I've found where to implement fsmash into my current flowchart.

So, currently we operate largely with mario spaced so grounded fireballs can 2-frame, and hit hanging opponents.

Then, FLUDDing for ledge jump, and simply corner pressuring standard get-up. Since it's the only option they can take.

However, at kill percent, these don't progress our win condition very well.

So, we need to implement an option select out of dash from this position.

Among those, is dash double pivot fsmash. Which, due to it's range, actually has comparable execution speed to dash attack, cape, and downsmash even. (though is a slightly bigger commitment)

I'm going to go over our out of dash option selects:

Double Pivot Fsmash: Covers hang very well, rising options well, ledge jump okay.
Double Pivot Charged Fsmash(spaced further in, not to hit ledge): Covers get-up attack very well, standard well, rising options okay, ledge jump somewhat. (when angled up)
Dsmash: Covers roll well, standard and rising options okay.
RAR SH Bair: Covers jump very well, rising well, standard and roll okay.
Pivot Upsmash: Covers jump very well, rising options okay(depends on character). Good on-failure positioning.
SH Nair > STP/Nair: Covers ledge jump and roll well, hang okay(telegraphed), rising okay (depends on character) Will need to mix up drift in and out to be less telegraphed.
Shield: Covers roll and get-up attack well, rising options okay, standard and jump somewhat

Some potential options:

SHFF Fair: Due to the range, momentum burst, and hurtbox contortion, it actually may have some application. When fast falled, it has comparable commitment to a yoshi fair. (and combos better)

However, unlike Yoshi Fair, it only covers ledge jump, and rising options. And generally, it only properly spikes said rising options. Vs jump, it spikes them onstage 9 times out of 10. (though it can lead to combos)

Could be something here vs rising options, or for lower percents before usmash becomes more viable.

================Range Optimization===============

Originally, I was drawn to the idea of covering hang with grounded fireballs. However, I'm finding this range to be... Suboptimal for covering ledge jump with FLUDD. Lower charges push worse from this range, and mario's in overall worse positioning to hit people before they use their DJ (at which point that have too many options to set stuff up reliably)

So, instead of aiming for 2-framing, simply aiming for offstage harassment by placing mario JUST in front of the ledge roll point, so that a FLUDD read doesn't spell death if they roll. For grounded fireballs to hit ALL opponents on the ledge, mario has to spaced further back. But at this range, FH fireballs can cover it if needed. (And may have true combos into nair/cape/fair)

SH Fireball traps work more consistently at this range, too. Though I'm still a bit iffy on what to do vs hanging opponents which dtilt doesn't confirm well on. Maybe just low-angle ftilt?

=================New new killing coverage=========

After some valuable human testing, I came to the conclusion that FLUDDing ledge jumps at very high kill percent, while beneficial, does not greatly progress our gamestate. We generally want to STOP as soon as backthrow would kill someone from the ledge roll point. There's simply little point in damage racking beyond that point.

At low percent it's GREAT since intercepting landings with uair leads to huge damage, even stocks at magic percents with platforms. And at high(but not very high percent) single FH Uair can lead to dair/fair/sjp for kills. But at ledge bthrow kill percents, it leads to nothing.

By charging FLUDD AWAY from the ledge, we can bair ledge jump/standard and bthrow roll.

Furthermore, using the momentum boost from bair, we can also STP. Effectively covering ALL options with threat of death.
I think Bair > STP is better than Nair > STP due to the better option select and feinting ability.

With fully charged FLUDD, options like trumping, rolling to ledge for bthrow, etc become a lot less risky since it helps guarantee stage control on failure.

I also like that Fully charge FLUDD can punish a very dedicated ledge double jump into the stage. You COULD use uncharged, but fully charged is faster, more reliable, and easy enough to charge at high percent.

FLUDD takes a very different role at these higher percents, but very valuable.

It also just has a good flowchart. Able to cancel into bair, which has it's own flowchart.

Now, you COULD go for it before bthrow kills and just when STP > Bair kills, but the issue with that is the initial positioning lends itself a lot to staling bair on ledge jumps/standards/rolls which. And bair stales FAST on shields. So while it can be an option, consistency-wise I think just working SH Fireball > Dsmash into your damage-racking gameplan is more optimal. Yes, Mario will be killing later generally, but it's not like he's non-threatening until then.

I'll have to work on both FLUDD, and SH Bair flowcharts. But the theory seems solid.

======Nah, back to FLUDD/Fireballs, even at very high percent=======

The coverage just... Isn't there. It's too hard to force options out of people in a timely enough manner for the 2-frames that backair kills with to cover efficiently.

Now, after CAREFULLY reviewing SH Fireball > Dsmash, Grounded Fireball's 2-framing range, and FH Fireball's range, I really think this is intended coverage.

While you CAN be initially far enough on the lip for SH Fireball > Dsmash to work, while still being able to usmash ledge roll, AND being in a better position to punish FLUDDed ledge jumps... It's not the ideal positioning, putting less lingering hitboxes in the standard get-up spot. Plus it opens us up more to getting crossed up by a ledge jump.

So again, JUST behind the ledge roll. However, at kill percent, I think FH fireballing ledge jump/hang is more optimal.

No, there's no real kill confirms off this. (Except nair at very high percent)

But at this positioning, it covers both Ledge jump, rising options, AND hang.

Vs a rising option that used a jump, it's actually pretty potent since FH fireball > Nair WOULD Kill most characters at that point. And even if you didn't have that positioning, with no jump it'd be easier to time the 2-frame with dash attack to get them offstage with no jump for a VERY reliable edgeguard. (Especially since you saved the FLUDD charge with fireball)

However, vs ledge jump and hang, all it does is reset the situation... But slightly better, with less invincibility the ability to be RIGHT on the lip by drifting after the FH fireball. Something 2-framing with grounded fireballs doesn't allow.

(You COULD try 2-framing with FH fireballs, but grounded fireballs deter high recoveries better. Someone could jump over the fireball and hit mario while in endlag. Pretty easily actually)

This of course is only workable at high percents since low-mid percent, they have more invincibility. (Plus just FLUDDing their jump and intercepting with uair/grabs/etc is much more rewarding)

Dtilt covers ledge jump, hang, and standard at this time. (Though is hard to kill confirm with vs tallies)
Fsmash covers jump/hang pretty well, especially since you often gotta wait with dtilt anyway.
Shield covers roll/get-up attack/rising options(and high recoveries)

I think this is the proper course for the future. Though I still need to optimize our low vulnerability punishes vs tallies. I'm really iffy on fsmash. I don't like the level of commitment.

It's also kind of annoying since a LOT of players don't know how little invincibility they have, but others do. Making me wanna fsmash a lot, then getting get-up attacked.

But idk, considering FH fireball covers hang, jump, AND rising options, I feel like we could get a lot of chances.

So it's almost like a 50/50.

If they get-up attack/standard and we did SH fireball, they die to dsmash.
Then, if they hang, jump, or rise and we did FH fireball, they get set-up for a new branch of kill options.
(And if they roll, we can punish on reaction with either SH/FH. Though often not with death, but generally enough to at least force them to the other ledge.)

There's also the fact FH fireball has it's own on-reaction punishes to standard/get-upattack/roll with falling cape. Though they don't feel reliable enough to try for on their own, they do work and are fairly safe. (Though vs roll, I think bair/grab will generally be better. Often cape's just a little too slow. The reason it's nice vs standard though is even if you're too late, it's safe on shield and punishes them for buffering rolls/jabs/etc)


Nah, FH fireball to cover jump/hang just isn't worth it. Even without knowing about the timer, people will mix up their regrabs to get their timers higher. Furthermore, the spacing lets a LOT of rising options beat out both fireball and hit mario. This is contrast to SH fireball, which is given more time to travel away from mario. Letting it far more effectively protect him.

I think I'm defaulting back to long-range fireball traps for low-mid percents. Not sure about high percent. Looking into bair mix-ups with the new momentum burst.

We might actually have to start trumping.

One thing I like about Bairing to get behind standard get-up vs rolling, is you can more reliably get into position where SH nair actually hits back for bair.

=================Dash Attack Centric Theory=============

Probably not much here, but this theory is based largely on the fact that Dash Attack > Fully Charged FLUDD consistently places opponents near the top corner blastzone. Where Uair/Dair/SJP all kill fairly reliable.

So, instead of using FLUDD to cover the ledge get-ups, it's simply used as a tool to make dash attack more potent. Combined with Fireball > Nair/Fair.

Dash covers jump/hang, and SOMETIMES rising options.
Dash Shield (To feint the dash attack) Covers get-up attack, roll, and rising options. (And still lets us pressure jump/standard)
*Dash off STP also covers hang and delayed rising options.

I'm pretty iffy on this, buuut it is the most consistent so far. At least at high percent.

At lower percents though, I'm liking just fsmash centric.

Update: Actually, I'm wondering if aiming to dash attack for the 2-frame is more optimal, then flowcharting from there.

Usmash covers ledge jump and roll from this position (and certain rising options)
Shield > usmash covers standard, get-up attack, and most rising options.
And STP covers hang, and delayed rising options.

Gonna have to see who is worth trying to 2-frame. Obviously, characters with hitboxes aren't worth attempting this on. But we can fsmash those, so there may be another flowchart from there.

==================Jan 22nd Update===============

Once again, we're back to long-range fireball coverage. However, we're no longer implementing FH fireballs to cover hang/jump. (except maybe as a rare mixup) And going back to cover hang with fireballs.

Dash attack is nice, and certainly generates reward in matchups where edgeguarding is feasible, but isn't widely applicable. Especially when the reward becomes less if they have their jump.

And FH fireball certainly covers FH/rising/hang, but the initial commitment, spacing, and timing to actually kill off it just don't line up to be very reliable.

After considering Mario's Boost grab, the range of double pivot fsmash, I think just going for grounded fireballs and going for an option select vs standard. On hit, on shield, it doesn't change.

At mid-high percent (before dsmash kills) this is more worth since Grab and Fsmash both yield great reward. You'll want to space the fsmash not to actually hit the character, but their potential movement option. (jumping/dashing in, jabbing or otherwise trying to stuff a grab)

Of course, at high percent when grab yields little reward, this is when you want to start implementing sh fireball, AND dash dsmash.

The potency of fludding ledge jump varies greatly character to character. Low air speed, floatiness, and character size make it more worth. Vs a lot of characters, it's neither feasible nor rewarding to FLUDD their ledge jumps on reaction.

Still not 100% sure on what to do. Possibly FH Fair, since if they're DIing/jumping in it's likely to connect, but it's still slow with low range... And doesn't actually kill confirm THAT well. It is nice when the sourspot catches their dj in though.

We could also dair at VERY high percent, but i'm not sure. Generally, you'd want to DJ for the extra height but the low priority leaves us prone to getting hit out of it, and with no DJ we're pretty free.

=====Jan 23rd Update: Seems like my original assumption was right====

While the long-range trap can certainly work on every character, it's effectiveness varies HEAVILY.

It's especially effective vs floaty characters since their longer air times let us both better FLUDD on reaction, but also after incorrectly guessing another option.

As well as characters with Low Airspeed, who get pushed harder by FLUDD due to the inability to generate much momentum to fight FLUDD with.

But fast fallers, high airspeed, characters with RELIABLE landing aerials like Link and Cloud Dair, or characters who can simply threaten/challenge a fireballing mario even while recovering (Yoshi, Duck Hunt, ZSS, etc) all make this trap less reliable, and rewarding.

It's still a good trap since it's almost ALWAYS applicable. Off stray hits, fludd charges from neutral, etc since the range is so forgiving.

But as a main option? Definitely not in all matchups. But vs say, Ness, Luigi, Dedede, etc. It has been VERY effective and reliable. Especially when you consider just FLUDDing their standard/roll can yield results via fireball 2-frames.

I also like it vs the superlight characters due to the reliable and safe damage it puts on.

I'll have to make a detailed list of characters to apply this on, as well as a new ledgeguarding flowchart for the other characters.

I suspect there to be a few more optimal ranges.

1: Mario positioned in front of the ledge roll point, so usmash will hit on reaction.
2: Mario positioned right in front of standard so he can grab standard/fsmash hang.
3: Mario positioned RIGHT on the lip so he can bthrow or trump.

I'll be looking into option selects and optimal applications next. But I think I've optimized the long-range trap as far as it'll go.

================New Mid-range Trap Theory==================

As previously stated, I've been looking into a flowchart with enables us to still pressure recoveries when it's feasible.

Often vs poorer recoveries, they recognize their weak ledge options and will fight to recover high. Forcing us to use our FLUDD charge to safely force a ledge grab. I'd rather accomplish that with positioning. Ideally a range where cancelling FLUDD with Fair would kill an opponent trying to recover high. (It can't do this from the long-range position)

This range is with mario facing the ledge, so he can usmash roll. And dsmash standard/roll.

Vs jump and rising options though, the issue is if you try to FLUDD these and guessed wrong while they rolled, you can be punished HARD. Death vs many many characters.

But, FLUDD is still our most reliable ledge jump/rising punish. So I'm thinking FH Down-angled FLUDD (similar to how lucarios cancel aura charge with FH aura sphere to get ledge jump)

The mobility lets us both drift behind ledge roll, or towards ledge jump to be in better position to punish said FLUDD'd opponent.

Still iffy on this option though. This places FLUDD's spurts into different positions, pushing less hard (but also more downward)

Plus, having to cancel FLUDD charge into a Jumping FLUDD shot slows it down a LOT. I'd say roughly frame 30~, more if not fully charged.

Which is actually similar frame to just shield drop walk fsmash. (Though less commitment obviously)

It's frustrating since it doesn't quite guarantee death, but it may be the best we got.

As for standard/roll, shield drop dsmash is frame 16~

Just shield covers get-up attack/roll and aggressive rising options.

As for hang, as stated before: Shield drop walk fsmash can work, and it's slow(30 frames) but still manages to cover buffered standard/jump so it could still be a real option.

Shield drop dash attack is about 17-20 frames. Much less reactable, but also less reward at higher percents.

Dair also seems good at lower percent as an alternative to FLUDD for covering ledge jump/standard. While a regrab fsmash could happen, players aware of it will simply take options which avoid it. (like airdodge into stage) making it only consistent convert into a stock at higher percents.

Dair also is less commitment and can yield much more reward at lower percents.

I am a little concerned about it's priority vs disjointed rising options, though. Might require mixing up with fsmash to deter this effectively.

Overall though, mid-range seems like the next most complete coverage. Capable of still threatening recoveries, and covering all ledge options.

Short-range (fsmash ledge range) can't punish roll on reaction well, and point blank ledge bthrow range even worse. These seem only optimal if this is your immediate positioning during an edgeguard/stray hit, or after a failed ledge coverage from the other positions. (Dair or dash attack)

==============Short-range Theory (2-framing range)=================

Reviewed this a bit more after seeing Zenyou LIBERALLY apply this theory. To mixed results.

This is a range with enables us to 2-frame with more rewarding options like fsmash, dtilt, cape, and ftilt. And THEN going for ledge coverage.

This seems most rewarding vs characters whom we can dtilt > bair from the ledge, characters with poor ability to regrab ledge, characters with slower, telegraphed recoveries against whom it's easier to time our 2-frame punish vs, or those which lack notable disjoints to beat nair out while rising. As while nair doesn't have any direct confirms, it does create a palpable 2-framing situation in many matchups. And covers ledge options VERY well.

Obviously, vs Marth, Mario, Ryu, etc. Anyone who puts hitboxes out at this range, it isn't optimal. (Though fsmash is still an option, perhaps)

I'm thinking Dair vs characters we can't easily 2-frame, Nair vs those we can. Though juggling potential vs not is also an option.

Nair is MUCH More reliable at connecting due to it's more lingering properties and bigger consistent hitbox. But really fails to yield much of anything vs characters who can mix up their regrab timings, like Rob, Bayo, etc.

I also don't like going for Nair > Nair anymore. It's just too much commitment. Even with the trumping potential.

I'm also not crazy about this range vs very short characters(Chus, kirby, etc), since nair/dair don't hit their standards very well. Which sucks since dtilt confirms best on them.

As for the optimal 2-frame punish, it's difficult to determine.

Preemptively charged dsmash is the quickest option at 3 frames. But also seems like the least reliable, due to the high hitbox straight disallowing it from hitting MANY characters hanging on the ledge, only 2 frames of linger, as well as a very strict spacing overall make it likely only optimal when the opponent is in a position above the ledge, when they could directionally airdodge onstage or just fall to snap. (Not rising up)

Dtilt is the next quickest at frame 6. And it actually can hit EVERYONE on the ledge; But again, the strict spacing makes it less reliable. Especially if you consider that while tipper dtilt hits everyone on ledge, it also combos the worst. And at that point, you might as well just go for dash attack since it lingers more and sends them more offstage with likely no jump. (Also frame 6, though requires dash start-up)

Cape doesn't have the same spacing issue. If it hits, it kill confirms based on character, not spacing.

But, that's the thing. It doesn't hit every character on the ledge. It's also frame 12. The same frame as fsmash when preemptively charged.

As such, Fsmash seems like the best option so far. It's slowest, but also has the biggest, most rewarding hitbox. Killing as early as 60%. Not to mention, the hurtbox shifting lets it favorably trade with Ledge hitbox recoveries like Marth, Mario, etc.

The real issue is the endlag. It's not absurd, but it is enough that if you fail to 2-frame and overshoot your timing enough, you can be punished. Making it iffy transitioning into ledge trapping after. So would absolutely need to be saved for slower recoveries, like Ness, Bowser, Link, etc.

Trying to fsmash say, Palutena, Sonic, or Mario himself makes it very easy to overcharge.

As such, I think the two best 2-frame options are clearly Fsmash for slower recoveries, and dash attack for the quicker ones.

Though the issue with dash attack is it puts mario further on the ledge, where his only option for punishing hang after is via trumping (or maybe walk back fsmash)

There's also the prospect of FH fireball, since it goes so far down. Buuuut you gotta be going offstage to combo into anything off it, so I dunno. Plus platforms mess it up.

Due to the reliability of dash attack, and the new change that 2-framing doesn't give back jumps, I'm going to look into a flowchart assuming Mario went for the 2-frame with it, so he's RIGHT on the ledge already.

==============Point Blank Range================

I'm actually liking this more than I thought I would, at least vs certain characters.

Seems like I was on the right track earlier with dair > cape, but the initial positioning and flowchart was wrong.

Within a fairly large timeframe, mario covers every STANDARD option. While drifting inward with Dair, mario gets into position to react to roll while still covering standard/jump. After which, mario may react with cape to punish standard/roll/get-up attack. Though the timing is strict, generally I think grab/ftilt will be more reliable.

Mario also gets in position to cover hang with fsmash/cape (I prefer fsmash since it covers multiple options with death, but it can also be up to 9 frames slower)

The main issues are:

-Dair does not true combo into anything. Characters with good landing options who are difficult to juggle make reward off dair here less palpable, and worth going for.
-Dair also has very little priority, especially beneath it, making rising disjoints largely invalidate it. Even certain command grabs can beat it, making the option select between shield/dair just straight lose.
-The only way to punish hang from the initial positioning is shield drop trump. Which takes 15+ frames, making it pretty reactable, at least with DI. (Though i guess you could drop shield earlier if you know they can't put a hitbox out with their recovery?)

(Could also go for the landing dair hitbox by fast falling, which COULD be worth vs the easy 2-frame chars)

Now, nair has more priority, but has less range and takes longer to end. Which means you just can't react to standard/roll/jump/hang as well. You COULD try for the reverse nair > bair combo. But Just usmash would be better at that point, usually due to being more reliable and less commitment. (reverse nair usually hits inward from the lip)

Speaking of usmash, it somewhat reliably covers rising hurtbox options, as long as they're not beneath mario.

Characters I'd recommend this vs:

-Duck Hunt
-Fox? (Can't phase through shield anymore)

Characters I would NOT recommend vs:


I'll work on optimizing it further, if possible. But it overall seems like a very simple concept.

I like it vs Snake/Duck hunt to deny both high recoveries with bair, and their covering fire projectiles from getting onstage.

Vs Fox, it denies him from phasing into the stage. And while he does have decent landing options, he's a fast faller so has good follow-ups off Dair.
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Smash Rookie
Feb 14, 2015
Portland, Oregon
Thank you so much for writing all of this. Would you be able to possibly condense all of these options for ledge trapping/edguarding flowcharts into a easy to reference doc/spread sheet so that the community would be able to know their ledgetrapping/edgeguarding gameplan on a matchup basis? Thank you for your contributions towards Marios metagame! :D


The Free-est
Nov 28, 2005
College Park, MD
Thank you so much for writing all of this. Would you be able to possibly condense all of these options for ledge trapping/edguarding flowcharts into a easy to reference doc/spread sheet so that the community would be able to know their ledgetrapping/edgeguarding gameplan on a matchup basis? Thank you for your contributions towards Marios metagame! :D
Sorry. I've had one made, i just forgot to post here:

Though it's a little outdated. Not sure it's worth going for 2-frames, the positioning has been really hard to get/keep. And some chars have rising options which easily beat fireball (Not just clank) like Villager/Isa Fair, or ZSS Zair.
Feb 7, 2012
Queens, NY
I cannot believe this dude really just wrote a 10 page thesis on such a simple concept.

Read the opponent, use a move that catches 2-frames, if you fail practice your timing. Done.
Catching their get-up option is a complete guessing game and again, read the opponent and react accordingly. If you fail, better luck next time. Done.

Completely unnecessary and superfluous information in here it's insane. You have not gotten any better at the game from the time you spent which i presume are dozens of hours on this nonsense, and you could have used the time actually playing and getting a feel for how to ledgeguard. What a waste.


The Free-est
Nov 28, 2005
College Park, MD
I cannot believe this dude really just wrote a 10 page thesis on such a simple concept.

Read the opponent, use a move that catches 2-frames, if you fail practice your timing. Done.
Catching their get-up option is a complete guessing game and again, read the opponent and react accordingly. If you fail, better luck next time. Done.

Completely unnecessary and superfluous information in here it's insane. You have not gotten any better at the game from the time you spent which i presume are dozens of hours on this nonsense, and you could have used the time actually playing and getting a feel for how to ledgeguard. What a waste.
I play plenty. And you may be right, but i do enjoy labbing this and found some fun tricks :>


The Free-est
Nov 28, 2005
College Park, MD
Perhaps found the optimal coverage vs many chars.

I was on the right track before, but misunderstood the optimal percentages and positioning.

The big breakthrough was really analyzing Mario's options out of FLUDD charge. Specifically, waveland.

By wavelanding out of FLUDD towards the ledge, it has about 3~ more frames of lag than simply shield dropping. BUT it places us so optimally on the ledge, we can dtilt. It isn't unreactable, but it does demand an option really well. It catches ledge jump, drop, hang, and leaves mario in good enough position to punish standard/roll on reaction.

And shield covers standard, get-up attack, and even roll vs taller characters we can bair oos.

From the same position (around ledge roll point) canceling into FH fireball also lets us cover ledge jump, by comboing into Uair > Fair/Dair at lower percents. And we can also react to standard/get-up attack.

It isn't so reliable that it's worth it at lower, or higher percents, but it's so low committal and potentially high reward at those mid/high percents.

The main issue is sometimes Fireball > Uair won't combo. Either due to fall speed, timing, positioning, etc. But it either forces an INSTANT regrab, where they have very little invincibility. (To the point buffering dtilt will connect) Or they gotta recover straight up. Making for easy stage spike/2-frame attempts, depending on character.

Again, not perfect. And not really worth it at higher percents where you could just bair, but it seems HIGHLY optimal before them.

And then, at said higher percents; By charging FLUDD AWAY, to threaten ledge jumps/rising options with Bair, roll into ledge for standard/get-up, hold shield to grab roll, and again; Wavelanding to turnaround dtilt to threaten hang are way more optimal.

Now, before anyone says ANYTHING; I too was very hesitant to claim wavelanding as a viable option. But the frame data speaks for itself.

Shield Drop > Dash attack takes 20-24 frames to hit an opponent on the ledge. And doesn't kill confirm at all.

Waveland > Dtilt takes 20~ frames. And DOES kill confirm. Making it faster, more rewarding, and better positioning on failure. The only area dash attack beats it is in lingering, but at said higher percents, the time needed to get into position alleviates that.

And the great thing about charging FLUDD while facing away at these percents, is that the risk for rolling in to try grabbing standard is much lower. Since upon failure, you can use FLUDD to return to neutral.

Or you can just waveland into shield to bait rising attacks/standard/get-up attack and usmash them on reaction.

Here's a more complete write-up of the flowcharts depending on percent/character:

I'll continue working/updating here for the future. Right now, I'm focusing on the options upon failure.

Overall though, this feels... Perfect. Likely intentional for mario.


While labbing platform interactions of the FH Fireball coverage, I think I discovered a new stage-specific ledge coverage.

While most platforms don't mess fireballs up TOO Much, I think a ledge coverage based from the platform may be a superior alternative for those mid-high percents where uair > fair combos.

Essentially, a mario fireballing on a platform has a greater option select against an opponent trying to recover high. Better positioning for fsmash, nair, fair, sjp, etc.

And then, instead of FH fireball to cover ledge jump; We just instantly platform drop with uair when they grab ledge.

Platform drop uair > Dtilt covers immediate, and delayed ledge jump. Along with hang. In a very similar manner to FH Fireball > Uair.

Platform drop > fair can cover ledge jump, and hang in a similar manner with much more reward. The angle and timing just... Work better off a platform drop.

There also may be something to platform drop > dair. As if timed/positioned right, it can actually set up for fair as well. Not as a true combo, but would force an airdodge.

Dair also covers roll, frame trapping for usmash or grab/dash attack if they directional airdodge.

This definitely isn't superior to Reverse Charge FLUDD coverage at higher percents when bair kills by the ledge. But it is a good alternative to FLUDD > FH Fireball coverage on stages it's less consistent. (Kalos, Lylat, etc)

I'd say the main benefit is the superior denial of high recoveries due to the initial positioning. As it's almost exactly the same flowchart without platforms, just replacing fireball with instant falling uair. (Though might be optimal to wait at times? Falling uair can hit standard. Though I don't like the fact they can ledge jump aerial me)

May 5th Update:

This definitely is working super well, but another optimization is I think at those mid-percents; Instead of FLUDD > Waveland > Dtilt, I think Waveland > Fsmash is optimal.

This by NO means as guaranteed, but I tested the actual human reactability to the waveland.

Actually being slower overlaps better with the longer invincibility timer people have at these mid-percents. Often, I'd reactive waveland > dtilt and they'd still have invincibility. But generally, waveland > fsmash is slow enough to catch their early vulnerability frames. And big/disjointed enough to catch ledge jump/drop options with much larger reward than dtilt.

Dtilt doesn't even combo that well at these lower percents. It's honestly just not scary enough to force people to take quicker options.

And I checked, while they CAN react to the waveland; They still cannot ledge jump/drop on reaction without getting hit. And reactive standard does NOT let them simply whiff punish us raw. They have to at least guess our follow-up action. (Usually between jab/sh nair/shield/grab)

And roll is laggy enough for us to just mix up dash attack/grab at least.

Get-up attack is still an issue, plus we can't actually threaten standard/roll with the same level of danger as jump/hang/drop.

You could MAYBE space it so you can charge fsmash out of get-up attack range. But if they roll during your charge, you're getting punished, probably hard. So it's probably just better to hold shield to cover the grounded options.

Shield > Dtilting get-up attack by the ledge can still result in a stock at these lower percents since they're closer, and higher up.

It should be noted, FH fireball to cover ledge jump will still cover the hang/rising option of many characters. So this flowchart really only applies to characters/players who really like to hug the ledge.

Cape instead of fsmash be be a better option vs some characters who rise with projectiles. I think all who do can also be caped on the ledge.

May 6th: Positioning and mix-up optimization

Originally, I wanted Mario just out of get-up attack range. But this makes waveland > Dtilt a little slower, and less rewarding on hit.

I actually think staying just IN range, and shield drop > fsmash to cover both get-up attack, standard, and certain aggressive options could work at those mid-percents.

Furthermore, due to the sound cue it does actually seem like the waveland can be reacted to better than I originally thought. So I think delving into better mix-ups is worthwhile.

SH uair covers ledge jump after waveland very well, and contorts mario's hurtbox enough to avoid a lot of aggressive rising options, and get-up attack. Plus it has little enough lag he can punish roll/get-up/standard on reaction. The latter two actually result in stocks very well with falling uair.

Rising SH Uair like this doesn't actually convert into stocks usually, but dtilt does. And it covers both hang, and jump in the same timing. So it could be argued to be like a 50/50 if the opponent gave you the time. And excluding certain disjointed rising options to mess it up.

I also wonder if there are dash dance optimizations with fully charged FLUDD. Most notably by feinting dash dtilt/dash attack, and wavelanding back inward to punish roll/get-up attack/rising option. Or even a ledge jump since we're still facing them. Gonna be looking into that next.

May 7th: Mid-percent flowchart re-analysis

While wavelanding backwards definitely seems optimal due to the fact it lets us more quickly put up our shield while facing away (And gives more range on turnaround dtilt); I don't think it's actually optimal at the mid-percents with facing towards like I originally suspected.

It still WORKS, but I think mixing up from the shield drop of FLUDD is probably more optimal/easier.

So FLUDDing behind the ledge roll position, covering instant ledge jumps and delayed/hang with fireball.

Doing this in front just doesn't give fireball the best angle to hit most hanging opponents.

FH Fireball like this still covers instant standard/roll/get-up attack with falling uair/bair.

And this range is also more optimal for dash fsmash/uair if they start hanging.

Dash Fsmash Covers Ledge Jump/Hang/Drop with death.

While Dash Uair Covers Ledge Jump Immediately with just a combo set-up. But has low enough endlag you can punish reactive standard/attack and even some rising options with falling uair due to the first uair's hurtbox contortion. (Which is often death) Can also punish roll with bair, or even reverse uair of some taller characters.

Dash FLUDD may also be an option if it's fully charged. But otherwise, too slow and the lack of pushback leaves us open for punishes. FLUDD would punish the same options with better timing.

May 9th Update:

Yea, the FH fireball coverage just doesn't work well on some stages since it can't feasibly cover both jump, and hang, without getting stuck on the platform and disallowing a follow-up.

OR vs characters with high priority, low committal fair/nairs to stuff out both fireball and mario with out of ledge jump/drop. (Wolf, Wario, Link, etc)

It definitely seems good vs the big and slows since it's easy to uair their standard after too.

But vs others, ehh. I'm going to be looking into Parry stuff next. Mario has very reliable OOS options, but it isn't possible to punish a lot of aggressive rising options with death from regular shield. I suspect shield flicking at low-mid percent may be optimal vs some characters. Aiming to dsmash them before they land during the parry freeze. (Or fsmash/usmash at worst)

May 10th:

Barring Wario (Who I'm thinking might still be worth trying to FH fireball him due to the lack of range on fair still letting us uair usually) A lot of the chars with aerials to both beat fireball, and mario out of a ledge jump are fast fallers who might be better to punish just off reaction while facing away. (At least until kill percent)

Even just FH Uairing their ledge jump can kill confirm.

Especially if you consider the fact FLUDD is kinda trash vs fast fallers, since Mario can't often dash in time to catch their landing. Whereas vs others he can force a jump/landing trap more consistently.

So, probably better to just charge while facing away. I don't think you can optimize this much except maybe how to pressure standard get-up shield.

Edit: Actually tested vs wario, yea his Fair doesn't even consistently block the fireball on ledge drop, or jump. Plus it has so little range, I think the hitlag from hitting fireball actually makes it easier to uair after. So this is mostly an issue vs Wolf, Sheik, Chrom, Roy. (Link too, but you should be trying to dash attack/fludd him every time anyway)

May 13th:

Slight update to the platform edge/ledge trap.

I think it's largely optimal vs characters who can safely put out hitboxes/projectiles to try deterring ledge traps. WFT, ROB, Snake, etc. Since you can throw fireballs down at the 2-frame angle without being on the ground to risk a trade. If they want to hit you, they need to do it much higher up.

Also, while you can run-off fair somewhat effectively; If they're jumping up, it's definitely more efficient to just cape since it'd be just as good. But is MUCH lower commitment.

The biggest issue though is that besides ledge jump, you can't really get CRAZY hard punishes on their ledge returns. Nor can you challenge two-frames. But it is consistent advantage, and at higher percent you can just platform fall with bair. So I'd mostly suggest this vs chars who are hard to punish on the ledge to begin with. But it's definitely very nice vs chars you can't really edgeguard/2-frame to begin with.

I definitely wouldn't recommend this vs most characters unless the opponent just LOVES to recover high.

Uair/Bair/Fireball followup on shield at standard:

These three are Safe* on shield. Landing with them lets mario jab usually before people can grab. But my issue is, if they HOLD shield, they can get a grab right by the ledge. Or if they roll, and we're jabbing, we can be punished.

So I actually think SJP might be optimal. It's 1 frame slower, but intangible and goes right to the ledge after. It also seems to cover roll/jump oos fairly consistently due to the lower/inward hitbox.

Of course, I'm weary about oos options. Another Mario bro could easily usmash before we can grab ledge. And I believe Fox and just OOS dsmash in time. So probably character dependant. But most characters don't seem to punish it too well. Though it may be unfamiliarity.

Also, SOMETIMES if they try to grab SJP, it'll cancel only the first hit. Letting it true combo into bair by the ledge.

Furthermore, SH Fireball > SJP seems to be the ONLY consistent follow-up. You can dtilt and jab sometimes, but generally you're going for this at percents you want damage. So these can be good if you get their jump, but SJP might be more optimal.

It's also our quickest turnaround hitbox. So it might be optimal roll punish after sh fireball... But ehhh, could be risky? Also not even safe on hit onstage until kinda late percent.

But 13%~ and hella unstaling of our other moves isn't bad if it works. Also a nice option select since you'e SJPing either way.

Though ftilt is only 2 frames slower, and safe on shield. So idk. It'd come down to actually beating out a move. Might be optimal vs sheik since they like to ledge roll > ftilt and don't have strong punishes of freefall. But still, ehh.

=====Dash Attack-Based Coverage Update====

Once thing I'm noticing vs poor recovery characters, is that trying and failing my typical ledge traps often turns DISASTROUS.

DK and Luigi's crazy grab range and reward make it really hard to usmash/bair their standards. DK will just auto-kill us around 70%
Ness's dsmash punishes SJP on shield perfectly. (And also backthrow's a thing if we just jab)

So we definitely need to go for softer, more edge-guard oriented punishes. It also helps these characters are pretty susceptible to 2-frames with dash attack.

Dash Attack Covers instant jump, hang, and rising options. And maintains a good enough spacing to pressure standard. (Generally, dair/nair seem optimal to cover roll/spotdodge unless bthrow would straight kill)

Dash SH Uair/Bair covers ledge jump better (These characters usually have much worse ledge jump data, making bair much more reliable) And have low enough endlag to cover roll, pressure standard, and often deal with delayed rising options like Choke, DK Headbutt, etc with nair/sjp after.

And while 2-framing with Dash Attack is easiest and recommended as a start, I think after the first dash attack it's better to either edgeguard, or feint an edgeguard to either punish a high recovery, or more efficiently 2-frame a low one.

I definitely like the idea of jump dashing off, and wavedashing back onto stage. Since this both baits out options, and puts mario in a much better position to cover them. Putting him RIGHT in optimal spacing for fsmash/dtilt.

I don't think Dsmash is very good for 2-framing. Pre-charged, it IS our fasted option at frame 3. But the bigger hitbox of dtilt/fsmash give them the edge. Since they can 2-frame EVERYONE, and honestly Dtilt > Bair kills around the same percent as dsmash. Especially when these guys don't have their jumps.

So yea, vs these characters: Just Dash Attack, Dash Shield, and SH Uair (Usually following up with fair, or nair) is what I'm thinking.

Also vs falcon and ganon, instead of 2-framing, probably better to just purposely get grabbed. It's not feasible to 2-frame them, and we kill them at any percent with Tech > Fair.

May 15th:

Due to the initial positioning for the wavedash coverage, I think utilizing the once-dismissed Reverse Nair > Bair is likely optimal over bair for ledge jump.

Furthermore, I definitely think the old long-range trap is at least optimal at VERY low percents when just nothing combos anytway. But I'm still a little iffy as to what to do at mid-percents.

FH Fireball for ledge jump is still a little iffy vs many characters. Maybe nair again? Hard to say.

ALSO: It seems like vs fast fallers, Nair is much superior to Fireball to punish ledge jump.

Not only do fast fallers just... Fall too fast for uair to connect after fireball, but they also just... Don't get hit my fireball a lot of the time. I'm not even sure why, maybe their fall speed just makes them not stay in place?

BUT: Nair > Uair does work on them due to this fall speed. And uair of course combos into Fair. And follows a similar flowchart to fireball due to them having about the same endlag, letting us simply uair standard/bair roll.


Okay, optimized the wavedash coverage WAY more.

I was on the right track by using it to go from optimal high recovery deterrent positioning, to optimal ledge coverage positioning.

However, my timing was off. I shouldn't be using it as a direct punish. But rather purely positioning. Before, or around when they actually grab ledge. Not after.

All Mario's ledge pressure options are superior with his back RIGHT to the ledge at kill percent.

Where OOS Bair hits ledge jump starts, Reverse Nair properly true combos into Bair, OOS turnaround dtilt is not reactable, Can usmash standard, and shield + usmash aggressive rising options. (And most of these soft cover roll by using the slowness of roll to grab them and reset)

Ooo, I definitely feel so close to finally figuring this out. I just need to get some more offline practice.

May 18th:

Hit an awkward snag in very high percent coverage.

There seems to be only rather small window where Dtilt kill confirms on both an opponent hanging, and ledge jumping.

For general rule of thumb, it seems to be that if Dtilt > SH Bair on an opponent hanging is true, Dtilt > FH Bair on a ledge jump will be.

After this point, the only consistent coverage option to kill seems to be fsmash?

At these higher percents, the longer start-up isn't much of a problem since you can buffer it around when they grab ledge and it should connect if they just hang/jump/drop.

But it's still kind of risky if they standard.

Considering usmash, and bthrow are overkill at these percents; I think looking into less committal positioning/flowchart might be optimal. Probably bair-centric and more reactive, since both it, and bthrow would also kill roll-ins at this percent. And retaining dtilt as a rare mix-up.

===Dtilt Ledge Jump Update===

Ehh, actually still probably better to just dtilt. Fsmash does cover more options in a vaccuum, but the endlag is just a BIT too high. With dtilt, if they roll you can still at least pressure roll/standard, whereas with fsmash you just lose stage control, if not directly punished.

I think the optimal option is actually Fair. It's not true, but it can connect. Demanding an airdodge to avoid it, which can be followed and punished offstage with nair/fair or onstage with usmash/bthrow.

Fair actually hits a liiiittle higher than bair. Bair would require our DJ to even hit them, which screws up our ability to punish the airdodge a LOT.

And at percents too high for even fair to hit, uair will true combo kill.

Not ideal, but probably our best option after just reactive bair spam.

May 19th: FH Uair Vs Nair for ledge jump

Okay, I think I figured it out.

A few big issues with reverse nair:

1: It's a low priority hitbox, losing out to many buffered aerials
2: It's a very dedicated move at around 45 frames. An aerial smash attack in terms of lag. Making it pretty punishable if they take any other option.

I think just being reactive with FH Uair might be best. It still kill confirms off a short hop. Usmash is likely the better instant coverage.

Though FH Nair is possibly the superior option vs characters who have potent ledge jump options like Rosa Dair, or Pacman hydrant that you can't safely or consistently punish on reaction.

But yea, in general; I think just reactive uair is likely best. Since it lets us cover all regular options on reactive, and only need to make reads for the others.

It does not true kill confirm often, but is at least a 50/50. Which for a low committal option like this, seems fine.

It should also be noted, your BEST punish on roll reaction OOS is dtilt. Which also doesn't always kill confirm raw. But is good enough.

Hyper Close Range Update

While Shielding RIGHT on the ledge can work, at most percents opponents still have too much invincibility to mix us up with. And many characters can still mix us up hard about whether they'll let us punish a regrab. (Especially tethers)

I actually think this range is ONLY optimal when we know they have little invincibility. (either regrabbed super quick, or more feasibly, got hit by fireball)

It's simply the only way to consistently cover the multiple timings.

So we're back at farther ranges.

After some more testing, it is just NOT consistent to beat most rising ledge jump aerials with nair or FH fireball.

SH Fireball does beat them since it hits them sooner.

We can also do dtilt, but dsmash buffered covers standard/roll, and the fireball covers hang/drop so I think it'd be safe using dsmash.

Dsmash like this will also cross-up standard get-up, minimizing the punish.

At VERY high percents, charging while facing away is ideal since trading with bair is fine then.

Still some more optimizing to do.

But in general, our BEST Punishes to ledge jump/rising options is half-charge+ FLUDD point-plank. And SH Fireball (FH character specific)

FH Fireball, and SH Nair have great reward at mid percents which still leaves them pretty worth doing. But not super consistent.

May 21: Parry-Centric

Okay, so expanding on the hyper-close range theory:

I think vs many characters with multi-hit, movement, projectile, or command grab/shieldbreaker options from the ledge, it just isn't optimal. You really need to be facing the ledge so FLUDD can deter these options.

But I really like the inherent mix-up of Shield Flicking in an attempt to parry.

Since we can just turnaround dtilt if they hang. Or reshield to effectively cover pretty much ALL options but ledge jump OOS.

And for ledge jump, parrying/shield landing aerials(Depending on if we need to parry), or reacting with bair/uair also seems fair enough for how hard we cover the other options. Letting us largely ignore hang due to how little our shield depletes while flicking.

As for characters we can't do this vs; I dunno. I guess FLUDD & FH Fireballs, or Dash-Attack Centric can work.

Still gotta optimize.

May 23rd: We DID IT

I pretty much got EVERY percent, and character based ledge trapping figured out.

Wavedashing honestly seems 100% part of the optimal mix-ups, but definitely not something you want to do every time.

Here's the Doc:

I will eventually update with a sheet of which character demands each trap once I figure out the final ledge coverage: Anti-High Recovery/Platform Based

Characters like Rob, Wii Fit, Olimar, Pit, etc can both recover high, put out a LOT of pressure vs a mario trying to maintain optimal ledge trap positioning, and are not sufficiently pressured by FLUDD or FLUDD Cancels at all.

At least when there are platforms for them to mix up with, since Mario cannot pressure platforms well while grounded.

Being on a platform really helps avoid all this. Or at least mix them up. And grounded fireball goes at a great angle to 2-frame/harass low recoveries with.

Platform Drop Bair also actually covers a LOT of space, and range. To the point that I think all, or at least MOST legal stages enable it.

Platform drop uair also kill confirms. Though the lack of range makes it less reliable.

And OOS Usmash actually connects better than you'd think it would vs aggressive high recoveries. Fsmash too, though kinda risky.

Furthermore, platform drop bair/uair once they grab ledge puts mario back in that optimal positioning, while covering ledge jump.

So in theory, it SHOULD just be an alternative to FLUDD/Bair to help force ledge grabs, while also keeping it feasible for Mario to get into optimal ledge trap positioning.

It's also pretty easy to threaten a trump from, though still not sure how optimal that is.

I don't think this coverage will confirm as well like this until very high percents when bair would kill raw, but it does seem to cover things better. Perhaps making up for the higher average death percent?

====Wavedash Back > Grounded Fireball?===

Not sure how optimal it is, but from the general position we apply the mid+ percent ledge traps, we can also wavedash back to be in optional position for the low% trap too. So grounded fireballs can hit 2-frames/ledge hang.

Not sure how or why we'd do this. It may just be an additional tool to get into that positioning, but there may be applications at higher percent. Maybe to just maintain stage control when forcing a ledge grab is iffy?

Grounded fireballs don't really generate stocks or percent well at all. But it MAY be worth doing vs poor recovery characters we just want to maintain stage control vs. Or those with very poor oos options, to more effectively trap them in the corner?

Some characters really do have the options and air speed to cross a mario charging FLUDD up. Like Greninja, Wolf, etc. And others are actually pretty susceptible to fireball 2-framing them. So it could be a good damage racker.

Probably not much here, but the fact we can easily swap between all three optimal positions with just a wavedash could mean something.

======Platform Based========

Okay, more closely analyzed Platform based.

I think i was too focused on 2-framing with fireball. FH Fireballing up to the platform for positioning is fine, but after that I think it's better to face away/shield to deter high recoveries with bair/usmash oos. And MAYBE fireballing if they went super deep. But in general, you want to be ready to trump.

Platform trumping lets us avoid a lot of hitboxy recoveries, and forcing options quicker.

Falling dair confirms into dsmash/dtilt on predicted ledge jumps. And also hits opponents still hanging.
Falling FLUDD lets us get be ready to FLUDD off rising options, or cancel into shield to usmash roll, or dtilt standard. (Dtilt is safe on shield at this range!)

At higher percents, just falling bair should work.

At mid-percents before dsmash would kill, falling uair can work too.

This only really seems to work on Battlefield, Lylat, and kinda Kalos? Also Castle Siege, and Yoshi's melee if they're legal.

Overall though, I'd say it's mostly just optimal since it deters high recoveries better, and because platforms mess with fireball coverage. Though it may be optimal in some matchups, and it's nice you can kinda force an opponent here since you can do it on three starters.

==========Phasing out mid-range flowchart==========

This range still kinda works, but I think long-range generates more consistent reward and still pressures the options about as well. Even utilizing wavedash feints better.

Wavedashing from Long-Range to Short-Range is still a bit faster and less reactable than rolling (due to the jump frames making it less obvious what you're doing until later)

My only issue is some characters are just capable of beating on Mario's shield and mixing up their ledge return with their rising options. Not really sufficiently pressured by Mario sitting in shield so close to the ledge.

One solution is shield flicking, which also helps us be more ambiguous with dtilt since they can react to the shield drop, but not the option after. Letting us effectively bait.

Just potentially two shield ups at most is optimal, imo. Since if they act after, you could've just dtilted after the first shield drop.

Some characters have multi-hit options from ledge, which makes Parrying less viable. Might need to just maintain long-range and force them back to neutral. These characters tend to do worse in the corner, so I think it's still serviceable.

=====June 2nd=======

Nah, Mid-range is still too potent a positioning for higher percents you want to kill. Definitely keep using it. Though I would say probably more optimal at higher percents instead of the mid-percents originally suspected.

Also, to punish ledge jump from long-range; I'm thinking dair is actually more optimal. You can use it sooner, and less close to the lip. FH Uair's positioning is a little more demanding, and overlaps best from mid-range mix-ups.

Of course, the reward is pretty mediocre. It doesn't really true combo into anything consistently, and only does like 7% with the strong hit, or 9% consistently since they rarely get in all the multi-hits, but vs poor recoveries I am getting a lot of people panic double jumping out, and then Dying because they're trying to drift to the ledge to regrab and get FLUDDed.

So, again; Great low-mid percent consistent. But not really something which works at higher percents.

And for standard/roll, I'm looking more deeply into SH Fireball > Shield > SJP/Usmash

SH Fireball from this range true combos into a LOT of stuff. Even fsmash, but fsmash must be buffered. And even the other less risky options require mario wait to see the opponents option. And without shield, we can't cover reactive get-up attacks, or aggressive rising options which beat out fireball (there's a LOT)

Shield > SJP still true combos off fireball. And does a meaty 18%~

Can also still usmash/bair oos for roll. And in this timing, the fireball covers ledge jumps to reset.

The only issue, is when they standard, fireball misses, what do we do? SJP can still hit, it's frame 3 and a FAT hitbox. But kinda risky if we're late and they shield. Optimal positioning to still cover roll also doesn't let us nair or grab. Taller characters we could maybe sh uair.

Could shield drop jab. But it's 10 frames slower. And doesn't true combo off fireball oos.

Idk though, SJP seems to get standard super well. Offline, at least. It's fast, a huge starting hitbox (much bigger than in smash 4) and we do have the ledge there to mitigate oos punishes a little bit.

=========Grounded optimizations: June 8th============

Yea, this DEFINITELY is optimal in a lot of matchups. Though once again, I'm finding sh fireball extremely lacking.

Like, yea. You can SH Fireball > Shield > SJP as a true combo, but so what? You actually give up stage control like this at lower percents, and it's just not worth doing at higher percent. Especially when you consider our best punish to roll in this situation is usmash, thus staling it. There's a very small window where it's worth it, and honestly I'd rather have just FH fireballed first.

SH Fireball > Dsmash is also a true combo, but like; Just dashing, and reverse charging usmash to cover standard actually kills sooner, and covers more options quicker, with less commitment.

So I was clearly just trying to be too fancy when good ol' usmash did the job just fine. Especially since you can just dtilt roll after due to it's low endlag.

So the main mix-ups from grounded fireball positioning are:

-FH Dair to get quick ledge jumps

-FLUDD to punish quick ledge jumps which also buffered aerials (likely trying to beat dair)

-Dash FH Fireball to punish hang/late jumps/rising options (or chars with poor options to deal with FH fireball out of ledge jump) And reacting to the other options they might take accordingly.

-Dash reverse charge usmash to cover standard, hurtboxy rising options, and soft cover roll.

-Dash Rar Bair to feint the usmash, while actually covering ledge jump, get-up attack, and soft covering roll/standard. (Landing uair kill confirms vs roll, bair can still hit standard)

*This isn't super reliable vs ledge jump still, but it covers the other options well enough.

And you do this until they're at the percent Tipper Dtilt > Dair kills / FH Bair kills ledge jumps. Then we do the reverse FLUDD charge/wavedash mix-up.

June 27th:

Well, the long-range trap works VERY well vs pretty much any character who lacks a hitbox at the top of their recovery to stuff fireball to prevent 2-frames. I also suspect there may be optimizations with nair instead of dair to cover ledge jump vs characters who you're better off hitting back offstage.

However, vs anyone else, I'm a little iffy.

One thing I think i need to start doing is just wavelanding on it's own. I always do it oos or out of fludd charge. But it's actually the quickest way to get into ideal positioning regardless.

Though I'm actually leaning back to rolling to the ledge, at least vs some characters who don't have crazy ledge options.

When at ledge, FH Uair true kill confirms on ledge jumps until percents FH Dair just raw kills itself. And has little enough endlag to nair > usmash roll. Bair standard. (Or nair > fair at magic percents)

It also works well when they try to use a rising aerial, and drift far enough inward that mario can't grab or usmash. Since we avoid it entirely, and then landing nair > usmash.

And of course, if they hang, we can just trump. Though only worth at higher percents, and still a little iffy.

I dunno tho, just holding shield at ledge for bthrow still feels a bit juvenile.

June 28th:

Yea, I'm starting to think wavelanding might've been me trying too hard after all. It may likely have it's place as a mix-up for long-range traps in those matchups, but I honestly am not struggling to trap those types much at all anymore.

The main issue is chars not sufficiently harassed by fireballs/fludd.

I also think the point-blank shielding at ledge is also probably not reliable enough positioning. Plus, going for trumps and losing stage control or missing their trump DI always just hurts.

A much more traditional approach of just holding shield around standard likely seems the best option.

FH Uair > Landing Nair covers a lot of options with threat of death at varying timings and reliability from the same-ish positioning you can shield drop dtilt to hit ledge.

Though I also like being able to just bair standard oos, and facing away uair doesn't connect/stuff options as well.

Gonna work on it.

June 29th:

Actually looking into cape coverage again.

It's really frustrating since it used to be SO much better when it popped up standard/roll/get-up attack, but I actually think it's a fair alternative to sh bair for catching ledge jumps at earlier percents.

The positioning just... Works. It keeps mario facing forward, and grounded unlike Bair. Letting him bair/usmash roll on reaction, and dtilt/jab/sjp standard on reaction.

Furthermore, it's a pseudo-disjoint, letting it actually beat AND punish buffered high priority aerials off ledge jump. Since it doesn't cancel their animation, and puts them RIGHT over the lip. Giving us much more reward for punishing their endlag. (Uair can kill confirm, bair can just kill, fair also works vs laggier options)

Just be sure to aim to cape ledge jumps. Do not try caping hang too, since it screws up the positioning.

My current flowchart is:

Stay around ledge roll point to FH fireballs down to the 2-frame point to cover 2-frames, and hang/jump.
FLUDD to cover INSTANT aggressive ledge jumps/rising options.

Dash cape to cover delayed/reactive aggressive ledge jumps.
Dash FH Dair to cover regular ledge jumps. (> Falling nair to cover get-up attack, roll, and rising options)
Dash Attack to cover hang/late jump

This seems optimal at lower percents we just want to do damage.

At higher percents, bair is strictly superior to cape. And dtilt to dash attack.

Still important to aim for 2-frame/fh fireball harassment to lower ledge invincibility and make the traps more consistent, though.

July 1st:

Actually, long-range still seems optimal at lower percents or vs dubious scenarios. Like jump mode shulk, or fully charged samus/wft.

It's just hard to maintain the full hop spacing consistently. But it's of course much more rewarding.

I also like dash attacking more at ledge since it sets up for said fh fireball well.

Also while you can't directly punish roll after missing with dash attack, b-reverse fh fireball is pretty good vs most characters that can't/won't just bair through both of you.

I also like caping a bit closer to the ledge now. Originally I wanted to be able to bair/usmash rolls oos, but i think just shield drop dash attack is more optimal. Being closer to the ledge lets us oos nair standard.

And mixing in dash shield as well.
Probably should mix in just waiting. I think MAYBE we can dash dsmash on reaction in time?

Cape isn't working QUITE as consistently as I'd like, but it does seem like our best, most consistent option to beat those aggressive ledge jumps while maintaining good positioning. Definitely generates good damage and stocks.

July 4th:

Hmm, grounded cape actually kinda sucks. A lot of rising ranged options just hit mario in the endlag. And also it doesn't really generate that much reward vs a lot of characters.

I think FH Cape works best, but only in specific MUs where they like to land with nairs/dairs and lack a good fast/disjointed fair to beat it. It's still a nice big hitbox, and the positioning lets us just nair/bair other options after. But it's just a niche option really.

Still unsure what to do.

July 5th:

Been studying Wizzy and Prodigy's ledge coverage. While they clearly struggle to cover the characters I find the long-range trap most optimal, it does seem like the dash trot / empty fh/sh / falling bair seems optimal vs a lot of characters.

Essentially, they like to fight at the range where sh nair hits standard, and dtilt hits ledge hang. And then dash away to cover roll/jump.

This isn't very optimal vs characters who can safely challenge mario's shield, but it is vs most it seems like.

Though I'd optimize further by keeping mario at fh fireball 2-framing positioning. And THEN dashing to/away said point.

Vs these less-than-stellar recoveries, it's also more feasible to get fireball snipes after the bair. Which is why i think maintaining safe 2-framing positioning is optimal.

I also think to cover hang at lower percents, dash away > b-reverse fireball is optimal. Can also confirm into stuff and adds complexity to the trap.

July 9th:

Yea, bair-centric does seem optimal vs a lot of average and below recoveries. However, I am revisiting face-away fludd charge.

Mixing up between jump cancel options, shield drop options, AND waveland options. Including shield drop > turnaround FLUDD.

Mixing up from FLUDD charge is definitely optimal imo. Since we can still jump cancel fireball to start an edgeguard. Or just keep charging for neutral, or to make a later edgeguard attempt more efficient.

Jump cancel fludd lets us cover immediate options.

Empty SH covers roll, get-up attack, and buffered aggressive ledge jump options directly. Letting us landing uair roll, and whiff punish with dj bair. It also maintains decent pressure vs standard, though usually just creates a blockchain.

For delayed options, we have shield drop.

Shield Drop > Turnaround FLUDD to cover rising options (And pressures jump)
Shield Drop > Dash Dtilt To Cover Hang
Shield Drop > Dash sh bair Bair to cover jump, roll, get-up attack, and again creating a block chain on standard.

All of these options are fast enough that the opponent does have to predict which option you'll take.

Waveland out of FLUDD is essentially an alternative to shield drop options. But I like it more against characters with really good and safe rising options. Or at percents usmash would kill, but bair would not.

Waveland > Shield Hold > Usmash covers standard, get-up attack, and many rising rising options, and lets us dtilt roll for a reset. (Or kill with dair/uair at higher percents)

Waveland > Dtilt/Sh Bair is the same general coverage of the dash variant.

Generally it comes down to disjoints/priority. Like, I'd be fine just dash bairing another mario. But vs Bayonetta, I'd rather wavedash into shield so i don't get stuffed by abk.
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The Free-est
Nov 28, 2005
College Park, MD
Alright, pretty much optimized all this. Moved on from a lot of the test stuff here. Like wavelanding, fireball confirms, etc. They can and do work, but largely as mix-ups as their coverage trees are limited. Or just against characters/players bad at the ledge to begin with.

It'll all be found, updated, and added here:

Some if it may seem obvious (trumps, usmash, bair) But some are clear optimized options like pivot usmash to catch ledge jump while feinting said ledge trump. Or SH Dair instead of nair/grab to punish standard since nair/grab do not cover roll/spotdodge.

Starting ranges are also important for rar bair to remain in a position you can still uair ledge roll after.

Only thing left is to maybe add some percent/character specific mix-ups (like when to fludd or dsmash) but this is definitely 95% universal. And of course specify which tactics work best vs which characters. Will probably make a chart soon.
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