Post 7.0 Zelda Strategies

Mayje

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Feb 10, 2019
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#1
Now that Zelda has gotten a few buffs. Has anything changed with the way you play her? I'm still a fairly new Zelda main so I'm learning all the little tricks, though I'm not particularly good with her. So now that our girl has gotten some changes made, what are your general strategies while playing Zelda?

Some points you might discuss being:

Offensive or Defensive play style?
Grounded or arial?
Moves to prioritize vs moves to avoid
Favorite combos
Bad habits you see Zelda players doing that they should work on fixing
Edge guarding techniques you use most often
Controller setup
Tips on how to pull through on bad match-ups
Any other hints, tips, tricks, or techniques you want to share
 

StoicPhantom

Smash Journeyman
Joined
Dec 11, 2018
Messages
408
#2
Offensive or Defensive play style?
I'd say a defensive style. I tend to wait and see what my opponent does or bait them into an option. I tend to only push when I think I got a read or when the opponent is in disadvantage.

Grounded or arial?
Grounded. It's kind of hard to play a very aerial based style with Zelda, given her small and relatively laggy aerials.

Moves to prioritize vs moves to avoid
It depends on the situation. The only move I personally feel is too lackluster, is Up-Smash, and it still has its uses. Up-Smash is pretty unsafe and it does relatively lackluster damage compared to any of her other kill moves, with no possibility of follow up. It will probably be decent on stages with a short ceiling, but I tend to find it underwhelming on places like Battlefield. I tend to use it when I need to catch low airdodges and not much else.

Up-Tilt for opponents approaching from the air, Nair for contesting neutral space. F-Tilt, Jab, and D-Tilt are good for close range on the ground. F-Tilt for slightly further away opponents. Jab and D-Tilt for when they are in your face. Phantom for long range and covering approaches from afar.

Those would probably be the ones to prioritize. The rest have their uses, but are going to need more setup or have special uses.

I personally like Up-Tilt strings, usually chaining into Up-air and Nair. Often can get 50% in one go. I also like Phantom into Up-air ledge traps too.

Bad habits you see Zelda players doing that they should work on fixing
Spamming Nayru's Love and Farore's Wind is the most obvious. Lots of online Zelda's have trigger happy Nayrus and while that works on most, players experienced with fighting Zelda, including Zelda mains such as myself, will be able to exploit that. These Zelda players need to learn how to navigate neutral and deal with approaching opponents properly or they will be doomed to be punished by patient players. They also seem to use Farore's Wind when they are having trouble getting a kill or to escape pressure. This may work once or twice, but an opponent is going to wise up and play cautious, and the Zelda player will be right back where they started and giving their opponent free openings.

Another one is playing a very aerial based Zelda and spamming Lighting Kicks everywhere. This may work alright online for the same reasons above, but LKs are too laggy for this to be a viable strategy on good opponents. Good opponents will either move back a bit and punish the endlag or shield and then punish.

A big one that all Zelda players were guilty of at one time and even high level Zelda players still do from time to time (myself included) is use dash attack to approach. Dash attack is laggy and is one of the moves your opponent is going to expect the most. It might seem like you are going to hit, but it usually is your opponent baiting one. Dash attack should be used more as a punish or comboed into or to intercept an opponent's approach. Use Phantom to cover your approach or be patient and move up cautiously, taking care not to commit to anything obvious or risky.

When you do win neutral, keep pushing forward into advantage. Don't win neutral and then fall back to charge Phantom, you're just giving up your hard won space.

Don't be tempted to run up and grab a shielding opponent. Zelda's too slow and her grab is too laggy. On an opponent camping in shield, charge Phantom to it's full extent and then move with it to shield pressure, taking care to watch any jumps out of shield the opponent may do. Alternatively, see if you can feint and bait your opponent out of shield. Grabs should be more about reading an opponent and punishing, not as offensive tactics.

Edge guarding techniques you use most often
Phantom and Din's Fire for opponents recovering high, Dair and Nayru for opponents recovering low. I tend to use Dair for recoveries without a hitbox and those with a hitbox that are linear and easy to hit, that I can at least trade with favorably. For every other low recovery, I tend to use Nayru. Nayru can be tricky to edgeguard with, but if done right, you can even edgeguard the likes of K. Rool.

Controller setup
Pro Controller. Right stick set to tilt, R set to jump, ZR and ZL set to grab, L set to shield. The rest are at their default, I think.

Tips on how to pull through on bad match-ups
Patience and keeping calm. The worst thing you can do as Zelda, is to panic or get flustered. She falls apart harder than probably any other character when her player gets flustered. Keeping a good mental state is something you're going to be doing the entire time you main her, if you want to succeed with her. There is no MU that's unwinnable as Zelda. Even her worst are still winnable as long as you don't let their very flustering style fluster you.

Any other hints, tips, tricks, or techniques you want to share
Never give up. I mean that quite literally. Always make your opponent fight hard for every inch and don't let them get anything for free. If Zelda can take any stock in a few moves, then it doesn't matter how far behind you are. All it takes is a few big plays to turn even the worst case scenario into a clutch. The more you deny your opponent, the more frustrated they become.

Mind games are important for Zelda. The more frustrated your opponent gets, the more likely they are to become overaggressive and leave themselves open. If you can get your opponent fishing for kills or neutral wins, that opens up the opportunity to make big plays. Every person I've known, has gotten frustrated playing my Zelda. Even the few renowned players I've played, all got visibly frustrated, either in their play or on stream. I've come back from two stocks down plenty of times, by getting into my opponent's head and exploiting their frustration and fear.

Relish the fact that people hate playing against Zelda and do what you can to keep them off balance mentally as well as physically in the game. The more stupid kills you can get, the more likely you can start a feedback loop of frustration and anger that will get you more stupid kills. A calm and patient opponent, is a very difficult opponent.
 

Lacrimosa

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#3
Move wasn't changed but is there a sheet that lists all possible applications after a dTilt for her?
Seeing both Ven and Meru doing stuff with that move, so I'm wondering about it. For me, this move is pretty useless.
 

StoicPhantom

Smash Journeyman
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Dec 11, 2018
Messages
408
#4
Move wasn't changed but is there a sheet that lists all possible applications after a dTilt for her?
Seeing both Ven and Meru doing stuff with that move, so I'm wondering about it. For me, this move is pretty useless.
I think you got the wrong 7.0 topic, but not that I'm aware of.
 

BlackInk

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Jun 16, 2019
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#6
Relish the fact that people hate playing against Zelda and do what you can to keep them off balance mentally as well as physically in the game. The more stupid kills you can get, the more likely you can start a feedback loop of frustration and anger that will get you more stupid kills. A calm and patient opponent, is a very difficult opponent.
What if they are playing Byleth? They live for stupid kills.
 

Lacrimosa

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#7
What if they are playing Byleth? They live for stupid kills.
Are you trying to compare Zelda vs. Byleth?

Also, I would replace "kill" with "hits" in S StoicPhantom posts because stuff like phantom have a deceptively large and quick hitbox. You'll get eventually hit by hit...probably :p.
As for Byleth, I don't want to go to deep here but I've already said in the regular competitive topic that they are super slow both in the air and on the ground. Zelda at least has faster airspeed than Lucina (but less acceleration), so she's a bit more elusive.

I don't see Byleth's strengths in capitalizing on a stock lead or percentage lead. If Zelda has it, people need to figure out a way around Phantom, fTilt, upTilt and Nayru. That's quite a lot to swallow if you aren't a small character like Pikachu (who also has the best zone-breaking move imo). What does Byleth have? Zoning with fAir? Granted, he has lots of horizontal range but also some of the laggiest aerials and specials, sideB included.
A horrendous slow-charging projectile that loses outright to any reflector (Phantom wins against reflectors unless you read an early release which isn't that likely to happen) and quick aerial approaches because it has no vertical reach.

Anyway, Byleth's meta is still underdeveloped but for know I don't see why they should be more frustrating to fight against. Maybe something with their tilts? They aren't a zoner but more a mid-range fighter. But unlike most/all(?) swordies, their hitboxes don't cover a lot of space.

Short: Byleth isn't frustrating to fight, at least not now but maybe in the future. Every projectile-spamming character is much more rage-inducing (uff, YL)
 

BlackInk

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#8
Are you trying to compare Zelda vs. Byleth?

Also, I would replace "kill" with "hits" in S StoicPhantom posts because stuff like phantom have a deceptively large and quick hitbox. You'll get eventually hit by hit...probably :p.
As for Byleth, I don't want to go to deep here but I've already said in the regular competitive topic that they are super slow both in the air and on the ground. Zelda at least has faster airspeed than Lucina (but less acceleration), so she's a bit more elusive.

I don't see Byleth's strengths in capitalizing on a stock lead or percentage lead. If Zelda has it, people need to figure out a way around Phantom, fTilt, upTilt and Nayru. That's quite a lot to swallow if you aren't a small character like Pikachu (who also has the best zone-breaking move imo). What does Byleth have? Zoning with fAir? Granted, he has lots of horizontal range but also some of the laggiest aerials and specials, sideB included.
A horrendous slow-charging projectile that loses outright to any reflector (Phantom wins against reflectors unless you read an early release which isn't that likely to happen) and quick aerial approaches because it has no vertical reach.

Anyway, Byleth's meta is still underdeveloped but for know I don't see why they should be more frustrating to fight against. Maybe something with their tilts? They aren't a zoner but more a mid-range fighter. But unlike most/all(?) swordies, their hitboxes don't cover a lot of space.

Short: Byleth isn't frustrating to fight, at least not now but maybe in the future. Every projectile-spamming character is much more rage-inducing (uff, YL)
You really don’t know... Let me say this, Byleth’s aerials are not laggy at all. Their combo game is stupid good. Their range beats Shulk and Ike (Both whom have laggier aerials). Their jumps are intentionally designed so they can cancel their aerials faster and edgegaurd like a beast. Their neutral-b is intentionally made to bait out reflectors, can take out a good chunk of shields in its normal state, and kill.
 

Lacrimosa

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#9
You really don’t know... Let me say this, Byleth’s aerials are not laggy at all. Their combo game is stupid good. Their range beats Shulk and Ike (Both whom have laggier aerials). Their jumps are intentionally designed so they can cancel their aerials faster and edgegaurd like a beast. Their neutral-b is intentionally made to bait out reflectors, can take out a good chunk of shields in its normal state, and kill.
That last point is something I don't buy at at all. How does this move bait out reflectors? Characters with a reflector don't pull the move out everytime Byleth cancels the move. The move also has start-up, so if she is about the go for an arrow you can react to it. This thing has 45 minimum start-up and yes, she can hold the blue version for some time but it's still reactable, especially when shot from a distance which will be almost always the case. Heck, Fox even gets some lasers out, Falco can probably hit her out of the move with his lasers and Zelda can set-up a nearly full phantom before this move can even fire.
Also what I mean with laggy is that this move has some start-up (12 to 13 respectively for fair/bAir) and a very long cooldown once the very precise hitbox is gone. I can move in during that time. That's nothing compared to Inkling who I can't approach as Zelda when she spams her bAir (Inkling has better mobility as well, so she can also space it better and retreat once she attacked). It's quite safe on shield but it's still not something that can spammed willy-nilly. So yeah, I may have underestimated that move but it's not something total crazy like Lucina's aerials.

Anyway, last post from me. This isn't the Byleth forum after all.
 
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Oz o:

Smash Apprentice
Joined
Aug 11, 2019
Messages
156
#11
The buff didn't really change the way she plays, it just made the strengths she's always had somewhat stronger. Uair always killed, Phantom slash always killed, and so did the stronger phases of Side B. Ftilt should kill around 20% earlier now, so that's the only real significant buff. They all add up, making somewhat of a difference.

Still, some people mention it as if she's suddenly supposed to be a lot better. They just make her more "consistent".

Move wasn't changed but is there a sheet that lists all possible applications after a dTilt for her?
Seeing both Ven and Meru doing stuff with that move, so I'm wondering about it. For me, this move is pretty useless.
It's basically narrowed down between Dtilt > Dash attack up until mid percents, and then Dtilt > Kick from around 40-70 (again, depending on weight and maybe DI). The move is far from useless, and it can confirm to an actual kill if you're fast enough. People just tend to neglect this move because they're too busy using specials.
 

Oz o:

Smash Apprentice
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Aug 11, 2019
Messages
156
#13
Nah, I'm just awful at using tilts in general.
I even rarely use her upTilt which is one of the better anti-airs in the game.
Well, you really should. With Ftilt's current buff, we have a surprisingly good hitbox that kills pretty damn well. Utilt goes without saying, there's no real excuse not to use it. It's arguably our best combo starter, and even leads to a Kick confirm sometimes (reverse Utilt > Kick at about 60). Dtilt is just an underutilized move by 90% of Zeldas, and I think the only ones that do are the better players.

Even I have to remind myself that Ftilt is really good, now. You never felt like you had a reason to use it, since it wasn't that much faster than FSmash.
 

stixie

Smash Cadet
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Nov 12, 2019
Messages
70
#14
I've been working big time on drag down nair combos. They're pretty crazy and can lead to dash attack, grab, fair, jab, even ftilt (? - I've heard this). My favorite so far is nair into jab and grab.

These obviously don't work on every character the same as some characters (like the swordies) have REALLY great anti-air moves but I've found jump into fast fall nair is highly effective at catching most opponents off guard. Try to cross them up with it too so you don't get grabbed if your attack is shielded.

After 7.0:

Din's Fire: CRAZY KILLS off stage holy cow!! Sweet spot Din's is really easy to connect now.

Grab -> Down Throw -> Up Air for EASY kills at around 80% on most weights. I get so many kills off of this it's ridiculous.

Ftilt is still laggy but WOW does this move kill!! I think I heard it's the strongest in the game now? It starts killing mid weights on the ledge at around 75%... and I mean DEAD... LIKE SUPER DEAD. WHY WAS THIS MOVE BUFFED SO HARD?????????????? I have no idea but I'll take it. Basically it's a grounded lightning kick.

Ok, so Phantom shield breaks ARE BACK!!!!!!!! Kick -> Phantom Hit -> Dsmash will instantly shield break... walk them over to the ledge and ftilt... dead.

Just some strats I've been playing with since 7.0.
 
Joined
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Messages
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#16
hey stixie stixie , remember when Dtilt sucked?! Me neither!!!!
LOL!!

The only reason I don't like it is because the range was nerfed into oblivion from smash4 and they had NO reason to do that. Zelda was literally the WORST character in 4 and then they HARD nerf one of her best moves. Makes zero sense to me.

Anywho, I use it when I can get away with it. Dtilt into kick has a very small window for the opponent to DI correctly... otherwise they eat massive damage. Doesn't really work at high percents though.

-------

On the Ftilt front though... I'd like to just remind everyone that this move DOES have a tipper that you need to hit if you want the massive damage and kill potential. It's pretty generous though. I usually pick Ftilt as my spacer (to stale) and FSmash as my kill option (IF I'm having a hard time grabbing them).

If you grab an opponent at around 85-100% it should be an instant stock.
 
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Oz o:

Smash Apprentice
Joined
Aug 11, 2019
Messages
156
#17
The only reason I don't like it is because the range was nerfed into oblivion from smash4 and they had NO reason to do that. Zelda was literally the WORST character in 4 and then they HARD nerf one of her best moves. Makes zero sense to me.
It does make zero sense. I didn't know the range itself got nerfed, other than the trajectory of the move.

On the Ftilt front though... I'd like to just remind everyone that this move DOES have a tipper that you need to hit if you want the massive damage and kill potential. It's pretty generous though. I usually pick Ftilt as my spacer (to stale) and FSmash as my kill option (IF I'm having a hard time grabbing them).

If you grab an opponent at around 85-100% it should be an instant stock.
yeh I always forget to use the move. Even pre-patch, it was never really bad, I just always have a bad habit of not using Ftilts. Having to let go of the dash stick to perform a tilt is kind of strange to me. It's also kind of weird to land. I don't really expect to just run up to someone and it hit them with it. It's likely most reliable when running away from someone and then angling it.

It's ridiculous how much stronger it got.
 
Joined
Nov 12, 2019
Messages
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#18
yeh I always forget to use the move. Even pre-patch, it was never really bad, I just always have a bad habit of not using Ftilts. Having to let go of the dash stick to perform a tilt is kind of strange to me. It's also kind of weird to land. I don't really expect to just run up to someone and it hit them with it. It's likely most reliable when running away from someone and then angling it.

It's ridiculous how much stronger it got.
From what I hear it's the strongest ftilt in the game now.

And on that note, Zelda should ALWAYS be played with c stick set to tilt and not smash. My ftilts are most always done with c stick.
 
Joined
Dec 11, 2018
Messages
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#19
F-Tilt can punish spaced aerials on Parry. I killed a Bayo trying to space Bair on shield as it puts her right in the sweetspot range. If Parry gives you +14 advantage, then you can punish pretty much any attack in the game, as long as the opponent is in range of F-Tilt.
 
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