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Marth Side-B Recovery Mechanics


Smash Ace
Jul 7, 2014
Atlanta, GA
Kadano wrote about this a few years ago, but it was before the advent of Magus's physics display. With this tool, we can better understand how Marth's side-b changes his air movement and how we can use it to recover better.

tl;dr: Timing side-b uses in the air is important to gain maximum horizontal recovery. Stagger them by 5 frames.

Using side-b in the air has the following effects on Marth:
1st use (with the psuedo-jump flag)
  • Replaces vertical velocity with +1
  • Slows horizontal velocity by 20%
  • Reduces gravity to .06
  • Reduces air friction to .0025 (50%), and continuously applies through side-b animation
Subsequent uses (without the psuedo-jump flag)
  • Replace vertical velocity with 0
  • Slows horizontal velocity by 20%
  • Reduces gravity to .06
  • Max fall speed reduced to -1.5
  • Reduces air friction to .0025 (50%), and continuously applies through side-b animation
With either use, air friction and gravity apply on the first frame of side-b. For example, on the first use, your initial vertical velocity is 0.94 instead of 1. I'm sure Marth's max fall speed on the first use is -1.5, but he never gains enough falling speed during that use for it to matter.

These properties continue through the second, green swipe of dancing blade. If Marth continues to the third, blue swipe, nearly all of his horizontal velocity is reduced to 0 instantly.

The first use is obviously helpful. The subsequent uses without the psuedo-jump flag are slightly more nuanced. Because of the horizontal speed reductions, it is not helpful to use side-b as fast as possible when recovering. If you do, your horizontal speed will quickly slow to zero and you'll fall to your death. By the end of the side-b animation, your horizontal speed slows to about 0.6475 (when used with max initial speed of 0.9). To recover best, it is necessary to gain more speed before more uses. If you let Marth fall for 5 more frames while holding forward, he'll return to max horizontal air speed, then more uses of side-b will be just as good as the last. It doesn't matter if the previous use of side-b had a psuedo-jump flag or not, stagger the uses by a few frames.

Lastly, the first use of side-b as a psuedo-jump gains Marth a small bit of height, 2.9mm. It's about the same distance as one ASDI input.
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