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Optimizing Stage Selection

_Chrome

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I felt like there should be a thread discussing which stages are good and bad for Meta Knight, which stages should be chosen in different match-ups, and any other information regarding Meta Knight's interaction with the stage. How does Meta Knight use the stage to interact with the opponent? For example, do platforms aid Meta Knight's neutral? Does he prefer them for combos, and if so, what height and placement is optimal?
 
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MegaAmoonguss

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In general, big stages are good because you will be able to recover no matter how far out you're thrown, and you have a lot of room to dash dance and fake out the opponent. DL64 is probably the best example of this, and is almost always banned against me when I play MK.

I actually tend to really like small stages too sometimes though, mainly because I'm a really aggressive player, and if I see someone can't handle the pressure I put on, I'll just take them to a small stage and they can't win. Yoshi's Story used to be one of my favorite stages, but now it's not even legal in a lot of rulesets, including netplay rules... I won't strike to a small stage if I'm again a big hitter like Ganon or Roy though, unless I'm going for the big plays because you CAN outpressure Ganon a lot of the time on stages like Yoshi's Story. But just in general it's better not to die at 50% and just go to a medium stage.

I will strike to a small stage if I'm against someone like Kirby or Jigglypuff though just because they have the same advantages as MK does on big stages, but they're even more annoying about it, so it's better to abuse the fact that you have more raw power than them usually.

Platforms are typically pretty important for MK's play, because you can utilize them very well due to your many jumps and they provide an escape route. I remember a long time ago there was a thread about stages where people said that FD was MK's worst stage for this reason, but I actually disagree. If you're really good at tech chasing, you can destroy people on FD, and it's really big so it provides a lot of the same advantages that a stage like DL64 provides. You will not have as many options in your dash dance and fakeout game because of the lack of platforms, but if you can adapt I don't think it's really all that bad of a stage for MK.

Just my personal opinions, would love to hear other people on this topic!
 
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_Chrome

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I suppose MK's favoured stage is dependent on the MU. In the last month I've become really good at adaptation mid-game and tech-chasing as well, so I haven't found many stages that I've disliked in different MUs. There aren't many MUs that can't be ameliorated by stage striking in a best of 3. Against characters like Fox I don't like taking him to a stage larger than Smashville. Any thoughts on that MU?
 

MegaAmoonguss

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I suppose MK's favoured stage is dependent on the MU. In the last month I've become really good at adaptation mid-game and tech-chasing as well, so I haven't found many stages that I've disliked in different MUs. There aren't many MUs that can't be ameliorated by stage striking in a best of 3. Against characters like Fox I don't like taking him to a stage larger than Smashville. Any thoughts on that MU?
I don't like stages like Battlefield against Fox because he can use the platforms really well for up-air combos. I tend to just have a really hard time coming down on that stage. I agree with your dislike of bigger stages against Fox due to the fact that he's faster than you and will take better advantage of lots of space. I might take Fox to a small stage, but only if I see that he's not really hitting me with a lot of big hits that will KO me early.

If I'm striking for the first stage in a set, I'll usually just go with a safe pick like PS2 and see how the Fox plays. I might even go to Battlefield for the smaller stage, so that Fox can't make use of the running space that PS2 provides, but if I see that he's really good at keeping me up in the air then I'll just counterpick PS2 or Smashville and play safe looking for grabs.

It's pretty much a completely skill-based even matchup in my opinion, so it can be played a lot of different ways and overall depends on your play style and the opponent's strengths/weaknesses.
 

_Chrome

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I don't like stages like Battlefield against Fox because he can use the platforms really well for up-air combos. I tend to just have a really hard time coming down on that stage. I agree with your dislike of bigger stages against Fox due to the fact that he's faster than you and will take better advantage of lots of space. I might take Fox to a small stage, but only if I see that he's not really hitting me with a lot of big hits that will KO me early.

If I'm striking for the first stage in a set, I'll usually just go with a safe pick like PS2 and see how the Fox plays. I might even go to Battlefield for the smaller stage, so that Fox can't make use of the running space that PS2 provides, but if I see that he's really good at keeping me up in the air then I'll just counterpick PS2 or Smashville and play safe looking for grabs.

It's pretty much a completely skill-based even matchup in my opinion, so it can be played a lot of different ways and overall depends on your play style and the opponent's strengths/weaknesses.
I feel like GHZ is really good against Fox and Falco, as well as SV because I can set-ups edgeguards and tech chases easier on those smaller stages. I strongly feel that a tight platform set-up like on BF or WL, or large stages like FD and PS2 hurt the MU because I like keeping the opponent close enough that I can constantly apply pressure while having no platforms makes it so that I can catch them for tech chases and edgeguards easier. But then again, that's because I'm a grab heavy MK. What do you do in those MUs?
 

MegaAmoonguss

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I feel like GHZ is really good against Fox and Falco, as well as SV because I can set-ups edgeguards and tech chases easier on those smaller stages. I strongly feel that a tight platform set-up like on BF or WL, or large stages like FD and PS2 hurt the MU because I like keeping the opponent close enough that I can constantly apply pressure while having no platforms makes it so that I can catch them for tech chases and edgeguards easier. But then again, that's because I'm a grab heavy MK. What do you do in those MUs?
Yeah, GHZ is pretty much my go-to small stage. FD in general isn't that good for MK in general, but PS2 isn't ever really bad in my opinion, because in the end you still have spaced out platforms to work with, which MK likes. You can still constantly apply pressure on PS2, it's just a little harder, but it's not that bad if you're careful and thoughtful about your actions. I absolutely despise Wario Land, I don't think it should ever really be considered for MK because he can't make use of the cramped and janky platforms. Does anyone know any mathups where it could be good in though? I'm interested to hear if other people think differently.
 

_Chrome

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Speaking of which, I think FoD is actually really good stage for MK... Any thoughts on that? Which characters would I do better against on that stage? When I need to keep the opponent close and set up for edge guards I think this stage is dang nice, especially since he lives long off the top due to the high ceiling.
 

Avro-Arrow

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Time for me to weigh in here as someone who plays against MK all the time. As Fox, who I've been picking up recently, BF is one hundred percent one of my go to stages. At first I thought it was just personal preference probably, I mean, I am a ZSS player, but I've found that although I can't really laser camp safely (just like on SV in this MU), I can abuse platforms to either escape pressure easily, or space bairs, or recover safely, or spam uairs, or camp him from below, or... Etc. the list goes on. Avoid BF at all costs IMO against Fox (or ZSS for that matter) unless of course you feel comfortable there (which should always trump MU theory) or feel like he's just good at laser camping and sucks otherwise...lol. Even then though there'd be better choices available almost certainly.

GHZ is one of MK's better stages IMO since he can choke you out pretty easily and it's hard to run away from him. I don't like FD against MK but maybe that's because ZSS sucks ass there and Sonic isn't too hot against MK anyways, and Sheik IMO likes platforms to at least have some options to out maneuver him.

Oh yeah, and MK is sick on FoD. Sweet gif BTW.
 

MegaAmoonguss

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Why is FoD so good specifically? I'm really bad on it in general, so I'm interested to hear what kind of characters and playstyles excel and how to abuse the stage.
 

Avro-Arrow

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It can be hard(er) to escape his uair juggles. Additionally, MK can cover the side platforms easily with bairs and more importantly, nairs. He also kills super early with nairs, bairs, and dsmashes (which can be set up easily with tech chases/ dtilts. I think his recovery is also aided by the platform layout too - tricky edge cancels and variable heights to shuttle loop to.

Also, upsmash goes through the platforms, and overall I feel like even when in FD mkde it still helps MK because it's so similar to GHZ, another good MK stage.
 

_Chrome

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Not to mention FoD's size and blast zones: you want to be able to have control over the pace of the game, and on a larger stage like PS2 it is way too free for Fox to control the game. FoD is small enough that it keeps Fox close enough that he constantly feels pressure. The blastzones also aid in killing Fox off the side and not getting killed off the top as easily from uair or usmash.

And yeah, the platforms are so good for edge cancelling.
 

_Chrome

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Double post, sorry: which stages should I use against Captain Falcon? I feel like smaller stages would work best since he'll want to take space away from us but we want to keep in close.
 

MegaAmoonguss

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Double post, sorry: which stages should I use against Captain Falcon? I feel like smaller stages would work best since he'll want to take space away from us but we want to keep in close.
Yeah, I tend to like small stages. In general, Falcon likes big stages because he's really fast so it gives him a lot of room to run, so it's just sort of the same situation as Fox. MK beats Falcon in the neutral, so bringing him to a small stage and not letting him escape is the best way to beat him imo.
 

_Chrome

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Man, I'm really just scared that I'll lose not because my opponent is better than me, but because I have bad luck against Falcon from the Melee days and I really don't want to be cheesed by knee. I'm really thinking a lot of nair; play stereotypical Meta Knight with dash dancing, dtilt and nair.
 

MegaAmoonguss

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Man, I'm really just scared that I'll lose not because my opponent is better than me, but because I have bad luck against Falcon from the Melee days and I really don't want to be cheesed by knee. I'm really thinking a lot of nair; play stereotypical Meta Knight with dash dancing, dtilt and nair.
Honestly just keep moving and pressure a ton, but make sure it's safe pressure. If he's in his shield because he's scared of you, you win. Falcon CAN beat MK, but you have the tools to avoid everything he does as well as pressure him really well, so if you can get in his head and get him scared then you will almost never lose.
 

_Chrome

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Show no fear and give respect. The basis of the neutral game but especially important in this matchup to succeed. Thanks, Mega.
 

Avro-Arrow

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I mostly agree with you. I feel that if your execution is perfect, then there's no reason to not give respect (aka not commit) and just capitalize on your opponent's mistakes. But, I also feel a good way of striking fear into your opponent is to disrespect them, and call them out, and to be right. Because then they'll feel as though nothing they do is safe, and then they'll doubt themselves and execute incorrectly. It's like fighting against M2K now that I think about it. Mango would beat him by getting stupid stuff on him and showing him that he was on another level of mind games. When someone just owns you like that you have to deal with it; feed it into your fire and charge on harder than ever before. But for some people, that's too tall of an order, and you'll be able to net significant advantage off of it as a result. And that's why I feel disrespect is an important part of the neutral game.
 

MegaAmoonguss

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I do this a lot with Falco in Melee too. Especially against someone like Marth, where you can just zone him out with lasers and pressure him hard, I just laser a lot but always keep close. If my shield pressure game is on point, I've beaten people much better than me just by keeping them scared in shield and putting on dair and double shine pressure. You essentially do the same with MK, except when they get scared in shield, you punish whatever they do after instead of pressuring their shield directly. If you're dashing in and out of their range and nairing their shield then running away, they're going to be too scared to react in time to punish you, and instead usually end up doing something very punishable to a fast character like MK. That's basically just how I play on small stages. I actually used to counterpick Ganon to Yoshi's Story because I could outpressure most Ganons like this, but that usually isn't a very safe idea because Ganon will kill you in 3 hits lol
 

_Chrome

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Another reason why a stage like FoD is amazing for MK! I feel so confident against Falcon now. Honestly, it should be more free than fighting a falco that doesn't use lasers. :pp Also I think Yoshi's Story is really good for MK due to the small size and platform layout. Is it good against Fox though?
 

Taytertot

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what would MK's best recovery options be for the different recovery angles? it seems to me that mashing tornado gives MK the most vertical recovery but im unsure since MK can grab ledge incredible early after tornado's final hitbox. it also seems to me that sideB and downB can go the same distance horizontal though sideB is a bit faster and downB is harder to hit out of. upB might have the most horizontal recovery though tornado also gets a lot of horizontal distance. upB is probably safer though.

These are all guesses though so if im wrong please let me know because im still trying to optimize the different specials as recovery options.
 

_Chrome

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This isn't exactly the thread for recoveries, but I'd like to immediately point out that the Drill Rush (sideB) gives alot more horizontal distance than the Dimensional Cape (downB). Besides that, it depends on the distance and angle you have to recover from. I like using the Mach Tornado to recover and edge-cancelling it on a soft platform to get rid of the landing lag a lot of the time, as it can be useful recovering from anywhere.

For long distance recoveries, your best bet is to recover using the Shuttle Loop (upB) or Mach Tornado (B). Lawn Chair made a video about recovering a while back; you should check it out. For short recoveries, snapping to the ledge with downB can be tricky at first but practicing it certainly yields good results. Drill Rush is a great recovery tool in general, most notably for medium distance recoveries on to the stage or sweet-spotting the ledge. Drill Rush is very good getting back to stage after going deep on an edge-guard or combo off-stage.

Overall, I use Mach Tornado and Drill Rush most often to recover, as well as the Shuttle Loop when I'm far back or the reverse Shuttle Loop when I'm beneath the stage. You can't really go wrong with mashing the Mach Tornado often though, so it can be your main recovery option if you feel the need for one.
 

MegaAmoonguss

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^ what he said, also

Reverse up-b gives you MASSIVE vertical recovery, getting the max range out of it is probably the most important MK tech to have down in my opinion. I'm pretty sure you can recover on a lot of stages when the camera doesn't even see you because you're so low (PS2 comes to mind, someone can correct me if I'm wrong). I've had people pause the game and ask me what the hell just happened after sweet spotting a reverse up-b and making an impossible recovery lol

As for horizontal recovery, see _Chrome's post, that gets it down.

You should probably see if there's a recovery thread in this subforum you can post this to that might make it better, if not, you can always make one! New content is always appreciated :)
 

_Chrome

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Jab resets with the first hit of fair are really dirty. I remember doing it to Avro's Sheik in bracket on DP out of uthrow on one of the wooden platforms. It was really hype. :p
 

Avro-Arrow

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o.O At least there's no Gify of that. BTW, that MU is so bad. Anywhere on the MK boards that's active where we can talk about this properly?
 

GuruKid

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That gif was mad cute.

Jab resets with the first hit of fair are really dirty. I remember doing it to Avro's Sheik in bracket on DP out of uthrow on one of the wooden platforms. It was really hype. :p
I actually never thought about using the first hit of fair as a jab reset option. Hmmm thanks, time to lab it up to see what's possible.

EDIT: On topic, MK is extremely versatile with stage selection. He doesn't have any poor stages, as his maneuverability is bumped when platforms are present, and on flatter stages he's a terror with juggle opportunities. I would just say use caution when going flat stages because while MK has an easier time with juggles there he himself is severe combo fodder without the help of platforms... so take that into consideration. I generally just base my stage strikes, bans and counterpicks purely on the MU at hand.
 
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_Chrome

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In my region the top players use characters such as Fox, Falco, Ganondorf, Falcon and ZSS. I think Yoshi's Story and neutral Bowser's Castle (when we gentleman there, lol. It should be legal) are really good choices for MK against those characters, with stages like FD being horrible for the MU, and SV and PS2 being pretty good as well along with FoD. Does anyone have any good stage selection tips for those characters? It would be very much appreciated. :)
 

Taytertot

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In my region the top players use characters such as Fox, Falco, Ganondorf, Falcon and ZSS. I think Yoshi's Story and neutral Bowser's Castle (when we gentleman there, lol. It should be legal) are really good choices for MK against those characters, with stages like FD being horrible for the MU, and SV and PS2 being pretty good as well along with FoD. Does anyone have any good stage selection tips for those characters? It would be very much appreciated. :)
well as i frequent ganon player id say you dont generally want to pick small stages vs ganon. ganon doesnt have the mobility to utilize large amounts of stage space and so it usually hinders his ability to cover all of your options in neutral if you take him to a big stage. small stages also accentuate ganon's kill power and since hes not that well known for gimping (though he does have some gimping tools) taking him to a big stage means MK will survive longer. MK doesnt suffer as much from kill potential on large stages in this MU because MK's gimp game is awesome against ganon.

those are my thoughts on stage selection vs ganon though i wouldnt say im anything close to a high level ganon player.

for falcon its kinda hard to say because falcon and MK can both use large stage space well and falcon already gets early kills so idk that youd want to take him to a super small stage either but i do know that MK's dthrow tech chases against falcon (who has a really bad tech roll) are going to be insane so FD could be a good pick if youre comfortable with doing the sheik-esque tech chase game on falcon. falcon should also almost always lose a stock when sent offstage vs MK since falcon is gimp fodder and MK has one of the better gimps among the cast though i dont know what stages would help accentuate that the most.
 
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sneakytako

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That gif was mad cute.



I actually never thought about using the first hit of fair as a jab reset option. Hmmm thanks, time to lab it up to see what's possible.

EDIT: On topic, MK is extremely versatile with stage selection. He doesn't have any poor stages, as his maneuverability is bumped when platforms are present, and on flatter stages he's a terror with juggle opportunities. I would just say use caution when going flat stages because while MK has an easier time with juggles there he himself is severe combo fodder without the help of platforms... so take that into consideration. I generally just base my stage strikes, bans and counterpicks purely on the MU at hand.
I feel like this is only half true.

On one hand MK is pretty good on most stages. On the other hand, I feel that other character can abuse their nonsense to a much higher degree on their own CPs.

For example, I would often choose to ban FoD against these groups.

Big heavies with big hitboxes: Charizard, Bowser, DK, and Zelda
Hard hitting CCers: Peach, Samus, Roy, Rob

I probably have more, but I'm tired and I don't want to think.
 

_Chrome

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That is definitely something to be cautious of, sneakytako sneakytako . Samus and Roy happen to be difficult MUs for MK, ones where I would consider switching to one of my secondaries, Link. I find Roy to be his hardest MU in general, but come to think of it, I wouldn't mind going FoD against Samus since she can't missile cancel camp there, and in my experience in this MU on that stage it actually gets much easier that way. Roy on the other hand... I don't like dealing with him at all.

To me, fighting Zelda is all about having experience against her. I find choosing a medium-sized stage is better against her because smaller blastzones mean her kicks kill way faster and large stages mean she can camp easier. Against Peach, I'd choose a smaller stage. I'm comfortable with BF in a lot of MUs, and it happens to be the case against Peach as well.

Against DK and heavy hitters you can choose a small stage to kill faster and get in their face, but don't choose a big stage because they'll never freaking die and it's really annoying.

It's true that many characters (normally the ones that have polarizing stage choices, options, and matchups) benefit more from counterpicks, but MK happens to be really good on medium to smaller stages, like BF and GHZ. Honestly, find what works for you.
 

GuruKid

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I feel like this is only half true.

On one hand MK is pretty good on most stages. On the other hand, I feel that other character can abuse their nonsense to a much higher degree on their own CPs.

For example, I would often choose to ban FoD against these groups.

Big heavies with big hitboxes: Charizard, Bowser, DK, and Zelda
Hard hitting CCers: Peach, Samus, Roy, Rob

I probably have more, but I'm tired and I don't want to think.
Well yeah, this reasoning is why I stated that I generally base my strikes, bans and counterpicks almost purely on the MU and limiting my opponent's advantages. I would never allow a Bowser or Ganondorf opponent WarioWare or Yoshi's Story for example, since I know those character's strengths are insanely boosted on those stages and I'd be fairly comfortable fighting them on any other stage with MK.

Generally I'd recommend simply limiting the extremes and, like Chrome mentioned, picking what works for you or most comfortable with.

In my region the top players use characters such as Fox, Falco, Ganondorf, Falcon and ZSS. I think Yoshi's Story and neutral Bowser's Castle (when we gentleman there, lol. It should be legal) are really good choices for MK against those characters, with stages like FD being horrible for the MU, and SV and PS2 being pretty good as well along with FoD. Does anyone have any good stage selection tips for those characters? It would be very much appreciated. :)

Don't have too much experience against high-levels Falcons (sadly) or ZSS but I actually like FD vs spacies. MK can punish spacies just as hard as Fox/Falco can against him; "touch of death" can apply to these matchups with the juggles MK can accomplish, although right now I feel like no MK has yet optimized the best combos to consistently kill spacies off a juggle. At the same time you can get combo'd to death just as hard, but if you like taking big risks FD isn't a bad pick at all.
 
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_Chrome

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I suppose FD can be good against those characters, but I would like to call my main gameplan against spacies being a speedy, grab-oriented MK that sets up for quick gimp kills. For that reason, YS is pretty much my best stage (unless I have to fight something like Bowser or Ganon: in that case I might not choose that stage). I would think that DP (or PS2) would be a better stage against spacies for that reason since afaik it's smaller (?).
 

Avro-Arrow

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Against ZSS FD is the best counterpick you can make. I find not only that ZSS sucks there in general (no platforms to aid her mobility/give her air game some utility) since her ground game is poo, but that MK is alright there and it really polarizes the match up. I think he was flattering me by calling me a top player in our region (besides, right now he's more of a threat to win than I am... maybe) since I'm best with ZSS here, but maybe not. Ottawa (Narnia)'s not actually that amazing believe it or not.

Anyways, ZSS has to play really lame on FD. Blaster camping, whip, dsmash (since dtilt doesn't do much on MK in general if he's knowledgeable) and spaced bairs. Super lame. I only beat Chrome like this when he didn't expect me to play so lame, and it didn't work more than once. Lol.

I think FD'd be better as a CP against Falco than Fox since Fox can run away better, and having no platforms makes Falco even more vulnerable. Even just typing this line makes my initial idea seem misguided but I'm going to leave it here anyways. Lol.

And now I'm just rambling.

If ZSS leaves you FD, take her there.
 

GuruKid

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Yeah I honestly really really like the high-risk, high-reward attributes that come with playing on FD so I would probably try to CP that or the other flat-ish stages (Smashville, GHZ, etc) against matchups I'm unfamiliar against. Just my personal preference, really.

I'd probably never take a Fox to PS2. The low ceiling benefits Fox a lot more than it does MK, and against spacies you're gonna be relying on gimps/edgeguards most stocks, so you should minimize any kind of ceiling advantage against Fox.
 
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