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[MU] Ness


Smash Lord
Oct 16, 2013
Edison, New Jersey
I'm a Link main. I've been playing a lot of For Glory lately and I have a lot of trouble when fighting a good Ness. It's really hard to keep him off of me and if he gets me off the stage, he just Fairs me to death. I feel like Im doing something wrong, I just don't know what. Any tips on this matchup from a Link main's perspective?
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Shadow Link
Mar 29, 2007
ness shouldn't be able to approach you easily. Retreating pivot ftilt/fsmash, bombs, boomerang, nair and zair should keep him off of you. all of his approaches can be punished with OoS usmash/nair/up-b or grab. if you properly space your moves you should be fine.

you're being wrecked off stage because you're either not mixing up your recovery, or you're wasting your double jump too early. if you're launched high above the ledge, pull a bomb and throw a boomerang before you grab the ledge. if he doesnt get off stage early enough, the projectiles will protect you. If he does jump off stage, nair has more active frames than his aerials and should beat out his moves. if he keeps guessing you'll recover high, recover low, Link's recovery doesnt suck for once so it'll be easy to get back to the stage if you dont waste your double jump.

PK fire is still a good way to take away your stage control, but it has less utility in this game. grounded PK fire will collide with all of your projectiles and his aerial PK fire has more lag so he can't follow up on it. if you do get tagged by it you have to SDI out before he grabs or fairs you.

bair, fsmash, bthrow and nair are his better kill moves so watch out for those when you're high %s


Smash Apprentice
Jun 26, 2014
I have a lot of trouble in neutral cause I don't play as much as I used to so does anyone have any ideas how to not get rekt by pk spam? I really need this.


Smash Apprentice
Apr 19, 2015
Seattle, WA
Ness's aerials are very potent as well as his throws, d-throw is an early combo starter usually resulting in a string of fairs if you DI away from him or an uair if you DI above him, b-throw is arguably one of the best kill throws in the game as well, meaning you avoid getting grabbed at all costs.
Your air game isn't as good as Ness, however Link's ground game has an advantage over Ness due to his long disjointed sword.
>Jab to keep him from closing in for a grab (Jab1-2)
>U-tilt, pivot F-tilt, d-smash, Spin Attack (if you're feeling lucky) to catch his rolls
>U-tilt, U-Smash if you find him floating above you too often
If you find yourself caught in the air
>Pull out a bomb, although Ness can absorb it, he most likely won't attempt to do so thanks to PK Magnet's endlag if used in the air
>Throw out a zair if he's closing in on you horizontally and isn't in his fair range yet
>FF Nair or Fair which could trade with Ness's fair, you could possibly Dair (risky) as well due to the enlarged hitbox, which might out-prioritize Ness's uair and fair
Ness will also try to use PK Fire as a combo starter, but due to it's endlag and startup you could crouch block with the Hylian Shield and go in for a dashgrab or dash attack, considering Link can jump over the PK Fire bolt
You're projectiles on the ground also have more range than Ness's, so use them to space him out
>Arrows travel faster than his PK Thunder, and cannot be absorbed.
>Gale Boomerang travels further than his PK Fire and acts as a wall to cancel out his PK Thunder, cannot be absorbed either
>Bombs cancel out his PK Thunder entirely and if soft thrown or z-dropped, might be able to cancel PK Fire as well
>Always pull out a bomb, either you can use it as a deterrent or use it to bomb jump
>Boomerang can create a wall to prevent you from getting PK Thundered to death
If you manage to take away Ness's double jump, it's game, his PK Thunder recovery is pretty susceptible to being gimped
>Nair cancels out his PK Thunder
>Gale Guarding can half his recovery distance or completely cancel out the PK Thunder
>Dair can cancel out the PK Thunder, but trading with Ness during his launch is probably a terrible idea
Overall, as long as you can zone him out and not get grabbed or launched in the air, you should be fine.
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Smash Lord
Jul 2, 2013
Wyong, NSW, Australia
Switch FC
SW 0386 4264 7224
Ness' mobility isn't that good and he has problems with camping. He gets his damage from PKF and grabs. Link gets his from projectiles. So don't let him get in because that's how he starts getting damage on. You have to use bombs smartly. You can never just throw one at him when he's expecting you to throw it because it's free %. If he bats back anything just shield it. Zair is nice to use because it stops a lot of his stuff.

Fair will probably beat or trade with his. Don't challenge Uair or PKT. Just keep to the ground and don't get grabbed. On the ground, don't do anything unnecessary. In this matchup Ness kills with Uair, Bair, Bthrow and for later kills, Nair. Unless you screw up you shouldn't die until 100-110 at the least.

As for dealing with PKF, just avoid it entirely. FHPKF is pretty much a lagless landing so if you want to, punish ASAP. If you PS grounded PKF you can try to dash attack otherwise just throw a boomerang.

Sometimes you can get gimps off of PKT2. If you force him to start it, don't bother trying to Dair or Nair because it's not worth getting 25% and a stagespike for it. Stick to dropping bombs and boomerang. Also don't get gimped yourself. Nair and Fair are staple edgeguarding tools. Don't rely on airdodging PKT offstage because you're just going to get hit with it anyway. Take the hit and DI it to boost yourself.

How hard you can camp and how well you can avoid grabs will be a deciding factor in this MU.
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Smash Rookie
Apr 6, 2015
with the chars that grab a lot, I always wait for them when they want to run and grab and I put the grab first I get them almost everytime in a mid-range


Hardcore Gamer
Jun 11, 2014
Georgia, USA
One of my best friends and training partner mains Ness - I main Link. We've played this match-up hundreds and hundreds of times. My tip to beat him is to just avoid his traps and throw combos. Avoid the PK fire, fairs and his grab/throw. Keep him at distance with boomerang, arrows, bombs, etc. Try not to spam too many smash attacks because it opens Link up for punishment if he misses. Just like with any fight, watch the player's pattern with Ness as much as possible and try to get in damage when you can. Ness is very beatable with Link.


Smash Journeyman
Mar 19, 2006
Reviving this thread since after watching Catana Catana play S1-14's Ness, it seemed the fact that Ness can heal bombs so well can make the match harder than it seems otherwise. Is it just that you should just use bombs very sparingly or something?

@Izaw - You also have played against S1-14's Ness at Beast 6, so curious on what your thoughts are about the issue.


Smash Lord
Oct 16, 2013
Edison, New Jersey
This thread is so old lol, I stopped playing FG a long ass time ago haha. I'm sure there are a number of things to discuss about this MU though, so I agree with its revival. I don't necessarily have much to add here since I don't play a whole lot of good Ness mains (though perhaps in the near future). I just wish Smashboards wasn't so dead sometimes.


Smash Apprentice
Jun 28, 2015
Reviving this thread since after watching Catana Catana play S1-14's Ness, it seemed the fact that Ness can heal bombs so well can make the match harder than it seems otherwise. Is it just that you should just use bombs very sparingly or something?
I would say it's often the opposite. I have beaten iQHQ Ribs before (friendlies) because he got a little too happy about healing from bombs, and there are a lot of Ness's in my region (not big names, but who are probably top 30 in the region). If Ness decides to try to absorb your bomb but does not get hit by it, he will be stuck in pretty heavy lag. Then if you're able to bait your opponent into using that option, you can just bomb-slide upthrow in and punish hard. Perhaps one has to be a little more careful with soft-throwing bombs, as he can pick them up, and z-drop -> absorb them. Otherwise it's pretty much as said above, wall him out. Also I disagree with Dumbfire that you can't gimp ness once he has up-b'd. In my experience it is pretty easy to dair ness out of up b as long as you avoid the early invincibility frames.


Smash Journeyman
Nov 6, 2014
keep him out like you would do to any other char that has to approach, only different thing is now you have to deal with ness's downb mindgame but its risky for him so it shouldnt be too big of a deal. the amount of damage/stage control you can gain by still using bombs anyway outweighs him being able to heal once or twice, if at all. jab cancelling can work pretty well due to his slow double jump as long as you're out of range for his nair, dont make it a habit though. catch him with a nair/fair offstage if you can, otherwise throw a boomerang at either pkthunder 1 or 2 (2 if the range reduction will be enough for him to not be able to reach the ledge anymore), whichever is most reliable in the situation you're in. aerial pk fire can be dangerous due to ness's air mobility which can sneak around our projectiles pretty well and we have no good moves to safely cover that area, so do your best to avoid being in range of that as its devestating if it hits. at mid-range space with zair, ftilt, jab and arguably fair but dont do it unless you need to regain some stage control or unless you're sure it'll work out and get you some damage in or any other kind of advantage, otherwise reset back to neutral as much as you can and play the lame game.


Smash Journeyman
Aug 11, 2015
Patch 1.1.6
Options Out of Shield for Ness MU:

For data on shields I used this document by LordWilliam1234 and looked at the advantage drop and advantage out of shield (I called the disadvantage drop and disadvantage out of shield so I don’t have to deal with negative numbers). I tested every move on shield to test if they pushed Link away or how well they could space and then tested what options we had that could still reach.

Link’s OOS:
Jump cancelled Up-B- 8 frame start up

Jump cancelled U-Smash- 10 frame start up

Shield Grab- 10 frame start up (12 frame grab start up, 3 frame spot dodge start up for Ness, keep in mind that the tether will take longer to grab if the opponent is further away)

Jab- 14 frame start up (7 frame shield drop, 7 frame jab)

U-Tilt- 15 (7 frame shield drop, 8 frame start up)

D-Smash- 16 frame start up (7 frame shield drop, 9 frame start up)

D-Tilt- 18 frame start up (7 frame shield drop, 11 frame start up)

F-Tilt- 22 frame start up (7 frame shield drop, 15 frame start up) Can take a few frames longer as F-Tilt has hitboxes can hit later depending on when the Master Sword connects.

F-Smash- 22 frame start up (7 frame shield drop, 15 frame start up)

Dash Attack- 28 frame start up (7 frame shield drop, 1 frame to start dash, 20 frame start up) Can take a few frames longer as F-Tilt has hitboxes can hit later depending on when the Master Sword connects.

Bomb throw- 8 frame start up (7 frames start up, 1 frame before blast)

Note on bombs: Bombs will connect even if enemy is right in your face. They come out faster than grab, but while both are active (tether and bomb moving through the air) tether moves faster than a bomb.
Some abbreviations (because I don’t want to write them out all the time):

DD: Disadvantage drop- this means how many frames Link has to punish Ness after dropping shield first.

For example, Link has a jab with a 7 frame start up. If the DD of a move is 7 or more, Link can punish Ness with this move.

DO: Disadvantage out of shield- this means how many frames Link has to punish Ness using a direct OOS, like grab or jump cancelled moves.

For example, Up-B OOS has an 8 frame start-up, so if the DO is 8 or more, than Up-B OOS will punish.

I tested this in training mode 1/4 speed hold L, so these are frame perfect, keep that in mind when deciding what you want to use for your punish. I list all possible punishes considering good spacing and the fact that some moves push Link away, making some options that are fast enough not an option, I will point these out as they come.

If I state something as “perfect spacing” I mean Ness hitting the edge of shield, meaning he would have whiffed entirely if Link was not shielding.

"Good spacing" means Ness would barely hit Link if Link was not shielding.

"Bad spacing" means Ness and Link are very close together.

Next are Ness’s moves:
Jab (1): DD: 6, DO: 13
At perfect spacing Grab and Bomb will punish.
At good spacing Grab, Up B, and Bomb will punish
At bad spacing Grab, Up B, U-Smash and Bomb will punish

Jab (2): DD: 6, DO: 13
At perfect spacing Grab will punish.
At good spacing Grab, Up-B and Bomb will punish
At bad spacing Grab, Up-B, U-Smash and Bomb will punish

Jab (3): DD: 12 DO: 19
At perfect spacing Grab, Bomb, D-Tilt and D-Smash will punish.
At good spacing Grab, Bomb, Up-B, D-Tilt and D-Smash will punish
At bad spacing Grab, Bomb, Up-B, D-Tilt, U-Smash, U-Tilt and D-Smash will punish.
F-Tilt: DD: 13 DO: 20
At perfect spacing only Grab will punish.
At good spacing Grab and Bomb will punish.
At bad spacing Grab, Bomb, Jab, Up-B, U-Smash and U-Tilt will punish.
D-Tilt: DD: -1/0/-6/-5 DO: 6/7/1/2 (Close hit1/ far hit1/consecutive hits)
Nothing will punish.
U-Tilt: DD: 11/13 DO: 18/20 (strong hit/ weak hit)
At any spacing Grab, Bomb, U-Tilt, U-Smash, Up-B, D-Tilt, D-Smash, and Jab will punish.
Dash Attack: DD: 6 DO: 13
If Ness hits the edge of Link’s shield with the first hit of DA, he will end up in front of Link and Grab, Bomb, Up-B, and U-Smash will punish.

If Ness hits Link’s shield while inside it he will end up in front of Link but the last hitboxes will be behind Link, allowing Link to drop shield and punish with Grab, Bomb, Up-B, U-Smash, Jab, U-Tilt, and D-Smash to punish.

If Ness hits Link’s shield while standing right next to Link he will go through Link allowing Link to drop shield after the first hit, Turnaround Grab, Turnaround Bomb, Turnaround Jab, Turnaround D-Smash, Turnaround D-Tilt, Turnaround F-Tilt, Turnaround F-Smash, U-Smash, U-Tilt, Up-B will punish.
F-Smash: DD: 12/13/14 DO: 19/20/21 (strong/medium/weak)
At perfect or good spacing Link and Ness will slide so far from each other that nothing can punish.
At bad spacing Grab, Bomb, Jab, Up-B, D-Tilt, and D-Smash will punish.
D-Smash: DD: 17/4 DO: 24/11 (Hit1/Hit2)
Hit 1:
At perfect and good spacing Grab, Bomb, F-Smash, F-Tilt, Jab, D-Smash, and D-Tilt will punish (No need to walk up.
At bad spacing Grab, Bomb, F-Smash, F-Tilt, Jab, D-Smash, U-Tilt, U-Smash and D-Tilt will punish.

Hit 2:
At perfect spacing nothing will punish.
At bad spacing Grab, Bomb, Up-B, and U-Smash will punish.
Up-Smash: DD: 38/31 DO: 45/38 (Strong hit/ Weak hit) (Hit1/ Hit 2)
At any spacing anything can punish (at perfect spacing U-Tilt, U-Smash, and Up-B require Link to walk up, so no U-Smash or Up-B straight OOS). Dash Attack cannot punish as Ness is too short.

Note: Ness’ U-Smash hitbox is not continuous, once it connects Link can safely drop shield.
Aerials: This is tricky. Aerials will vary because of when they hit the shield (on top, the middle, etc.), sweetspot or sourspot, autocancelling, or if the opponent screws up or not. I will just place the DD and DO as well as landing lag and auto-cancels at the end of moves. (Note: If auto cancelled, Ness suffers only 4 frames of landing lag.)
Nair: DD: 3/5 DO: 10/12 (Early hit/ Late hit) Landing lag: 18 Auto-cancel: 1-4, 26>
U-Smash, Bomb, Grab, Up-B may punish.
Fair: DD:11/9 DO:18/16 (Mulihit /Final hit) Landing Lag: 20 Auto-cancel: 1-7, 33>
Grab, Bomb, Jab, U-Tilt, U-Smash, and Up-B may punish.
Bair: DD: 0/4 DO: 7/11 (Early hit/ Late hit) Landing lag: 17 Auto-cancel: 1-9, 25>
Nothing will punish early hit, Grab, Bomb, Up-B, and U-Smash may punish late hit.
Dair: DD: 13/14 DO: 20/21 Landing lag: 28 Auto-cancel: 1-19, 50>
Grab, Bomb, Jab, Up-B, U-Tilt and U-Smash may punish.
Upair: DD: -2 DO: 5 Landing Lag: 14 Auto-Cancel: 1-7, 27>
Nothing can punish.
PK Flash: DD: 2/-19 DO: 9/-12 (Uncharged/ full charge)
At bad spacing Up-B may punish.
PK Fire: DD: 21 DO: 28
Depending on range, anything can punish. This is only for if the bolt is shielded, if Link is hit and then shields the fire Ness can act before the fire ends. (Pictures to follow once I get my new TV.)
Psi Magnet does not affect shield. Has 13 frames of lag.
PK Thunder: DD: 29 DO: 36
Anything can punish depending on distance between Link and Ness. (Pictures to follow once I get my new TV.)
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Smash Apprentice
Jul 21, 2016
Over here, duh.
It was mentioned once in a long paragraph but I would like to reiterate that Gale Guarding is an amazing technique to practice if Ness is causing trouble for Link. He is quite possibly the easiest character to Gale Guard IMO (Lucas at least has a tether in Rope Snake) and when you get it down, you can kill him extremely early. Hylian Shield can be a good mix-up against PK Fire as well since it doesn't explode upon contact with HS, and since most Ness mains just immediately run in after using the move to grab, they can instead be eating a Down Tilt because you're in no danger at all. Again, just a mix-up though.
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