Maximizing PM3.6 Falco

Landitty

Smash Cadet
Joined
Jan 9, 2015
Messages
33
Location
Colorado
#1
Now that we are stuck with 3.6 Falco,
Lets discuss what we can work on to Maximize his usefullness rather than complain about his nerfs.
I am of the general opinion that it takes twice as much effort to get good results with Falco as it does with other PM centrelized characters like Pit, Snake, Rob etc. But that's just my opinion. Either way, I still want to play Falco. So what new ideas and techniques does Falco need to succeed in PM? How can we compensate for his nerfs and weaknesses and what new features can we exploit with him in Project M?
Also, let's talk zero to death setups on the rest of the cast. I'd like to see this character taking more tournaments, or at least have the potential too.
 
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Denjinpachi

Smash Journeyman
Joined
Aug 3, 2014
Messages
335
Location
Whirl Islands
#2
Just as a note, from personal experience with higher level norcal players I've noticed that they make use of DACUS with Falco. Granted it doesn't kill like Fox's U-Smash, but it offers a pretty good way to catch someone who is being juggled, and they DI in a way that lets them escape a combo, or if they are spamming bad aerials. Always good to keep people in the air imo. If not, I'd recommend more use of d-tilt. It in general keeps people with normal grab reaches at distance if you space it, and can help you bait a shield grab. Unfortunately, Falco overall may have to be maximized with more defensive plays that lead into punishes. His agro can really only be utilized at the players' discretion because it can be punished if done poorly. So, nows the time we have to figure out better ways to lead off into early kills.
 

Nohbl

Smash Journeyman
Joined
Jul 20, 2017
Messages
357
Location
Chicago, Illinois
#3
I have a lot of thoughts on this topic.

For one, you have to remember what each and every one of Falco's moves do. They are all good moves with the sole possible exception of fair, which is difficult to incorporate into one's game in a uniform and maximally efficient manner.

Down tilt has lots of vertical kill power. It can kill fox at high percents, and floaties at still lower percents. Down smash is a good punish on Fox and Wolf's up special moves when they fail to sweetspot the ledge when recovery from below or sometimes directly horizontally. Up smash can juggle semi-fastfallers and fast-fallers, hit through platforms as high as Pokemon Stadium 2's, and has a sourspot hit box that sends the opponent behind Falco. I could go on, but the point is that Falco has tremendous kill potential but his options are ignored and looked down upon because they aren't granted through free followups, so you see an overreliance on dair and bair and Reflector that detriments players who find themselves in situations where those ol' reliable moves fail to clean up stocks. The meta for Falco is never going to advance if players adopt the mentality that Falco has bad or unviable moves.

I think all Falco players should copycat GVS | Silver's movement. It is indisputably the best Falco movement we can see today, perhaps even that has ever been seen. My theory is that Falco is a balance between Wolf and Fox, a jack almost of both of their trades in neutral; trying to see how much you can play neutral like Fox and like Wolf would, with the dizzying movement and overwhelming laser pressure, will make Falco a much more impressive character in his own right.

Now this is pure speculation on my part that I'm trying to experiment with, but I think Phantasm has hidden potential. We already know how deadly it is against a flubbed edgeguard. But we also don't seem to take advantage of its ability to grab ledge when used on-stage, or further still, what it can do on-stage. Phantasm is basically a teleport with a little bit of end lag and a hitbox along its path. Unlike Fox's Illusion, you cannot really react to its startup, and getting hit by it puts the opponent in a worse position than Illusion would. You can mix up your dashdancing and laser pressure in neutral with a Phantasm when your opponent is off-guard. You can Phantasm when they are right by ledge to grab ledge and set yourself up for a punish from ledge. You can cover a good amount of distance in a short time using Phantasm. Like I said, this move is cool and just may be useful, but it's unproven and evidently thought to be an unviable or inefficient option.

Falco can be compared to Fox and Wolf. Unlike Fox, he can't upsmash out of nowhere and kill floaties easily, nor is his recovery as extensive. However, he has more kill options than Fox and his recovery is more dangerous to the opponent when an edgeguard is flubbed. Unlike Wolf, he cannot get a very long punish chain going that can always end in as powerful an option like Wolf Flash, but unlike Wolf, Falco doesn't need that long punish game in order to kill; his edgeguarding ability thanks to his fast lasers, feet down smash, and spiking, quick dair outclasses Wolf's in my opinion, but I've yet to see a player take full advantage of Falco's potential in this area.

And that's so far been the story of Falco—lots of untapped potential.
 
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