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Power of Flames (A Mario Fireball Guide)


Smash Journeyman
Apr 5, 2007
Camden, AR
Since this hasn't been discussed much besides the idea behind Mario and his fireballs I decided to go more in depth with these little balls of power and give Mario players a more detailed description behind them and ways to use them. So sit back, grab some coffee, and enjoy this read as I break down the fireballs and their uses. Also I will be updating this with videos and text as the meta develops, so you will always have something to learn.

  • Update 4/2/2016 - Updated Fireball Manuevers and B Turn around Fireball section

  • Update 5/7/2016 - Updated Gfy for Standard Fireballs
  • In depth portion of B Reverse Fireballs

Despite being nerfed over the patches and not being as effective, Fireballs are still an important roll in Mario's meta. Mario is not the fastest nor does he have the most range. He doesn't have the easiest conversions, nor does he have the best punish game. He is your all rounded fighter, and his fireballs are needed to push and pull every option you need at many given times. Now despite being a single ability, the fireballs have many different uses based on their trajectory and in many ways multiple abilities put into a single move. Seeing as fireballs are mainly used in neutral i'll break down the trajectory into four different types. Standard, Short Hop, Full Hop, Double Jump

Types of Fireballs:

Standard - Just like mario in the overall roster, this is your standard fireball. This fireball is what you use when you are standing on the ground and simply mashing B. These fireballs have the lowest bounce and are best used when your opponent themselves are trying to camp you out with projectiles (Ie Link using boomerang) or when you want a simple zoning tactic to try and force none projectile opponents out of center stage (a dash dancing Roy or Marth). These are the only fireballs that have two bounces.

Pros - This is the fasest spamming Fireball, giving you the fastest option to use on opponents within mid range. Being the lowest bouncing fireballs these fireballs can take out Snake's mines the easiest.

Cons - If used to much they become predictable making it the easiest way your opponent can approach if used carelessly. Also out of all the Fireballs this fireball is the easiest to punish via platforms

Short Hop - This is the Fireball used the most and will probably be used the most out of all the fireballs. It has a slightly higher bounce than standard fireballs so it can cover the entire roster's short hop. They go a little bit further than standard fireballs but cannot be spammed as fast. Since Mario is aerial during these fireballs his body can be shifted based on his aerial momentum, giving you better positioning during these fireballs. These Fireballs are best used when you want to get your opponent to use a full jump:

Pros - The most used of all fireballs, this has the best all round application of all fireballs in terms of spacing and approach. Depending on your aerial momentum you can retreat back to bait your opponent in coming at you, or follow up behind them with series of wave dashes to better position yourself for your next following attack. They are the best option to force your opponent into full jump and the most safe option of all fireballs when you are trying to figure out your opponent

Cons - Due to their nature of having so many applications they are often used the most careless and leave you at a slightly higher angle for your opponent to punish with tech reads and juggles. Also being slower than grounded fireballs and only having one bounce despite their low trajectory, once avoided or in most cases cancel'd out (Falcon's Nair, Marth's Fair, etc) they are the easiest for your opponent to follow up. These are also fair unsafe when your opponent is on a platform.

Full Hop - The best option for mid-range combat on slower opponents, these fireballs will leave your opponent guessing their next option on hit and block due to the range these can connect. These fireballs can also be wavelanded afterwards, giving you the option to approach or retreat after the initial use of them. They give a single V shape bounce and go slightly further than Short Hop Fireballs. These fireballs have two goals in mind, to hit your opponent and have them question their next action, and to keep your opponent grounded after the initial bounce:

Pros - Due to the single V shape and the minimal amount of frames after the fireball, these are 1 of the 2 fireballs that can lead to combos. They have a wide range of widening or closing the gap after the fireball with their momentum shifting while aerial, being able to add wave landing for retreating for approaching. They are also fairly save on opponents on platforms.

Cons - Due to the height of Mario during these fireballs, if whiffed these are pretty easy to punish. Also seeing as their bounce is a single V they are extremely easy to predict if spammed to offten as your opponent can get in and apply pressure after the bounce if spaced incorrectly. They are also harder to connect out of the
Standard and Short Hop Fireballs.

Double Jump - These fireballs have the highest bounce and go the furthest out of all fireballs. Anything past this level of height will yield the same results in bounce and angle (Double jumping off of a platform, falling high from aerial combos etc.) so double jumping will get you the maximum distance of your fireballs. The trajectory is a HUGE V shape. These fireballs are to be used sparingly and are not that practical as they require your double jump to use, a necessary tool needed for recovery and othe options outside of fireballs

Pros - These fireballs have the longest range of all fireballs and has the widest range of approach or retreat. They are also the easiest to waveland and attack out of
Full Hop and Double Jump . They are also the safest fireball to use on opponents on platforms

Cons - They are not that practical due to the use of your double jump, which leaves you the most vulnerable on whiff. Thesy give you the highest risk of being punished severally and possibly KO'd. They are High Risk, minimal reward.

Ok so now that the type of fireballs are mentions I will now talk about the types of maneuvers that can be done with Fireball

Fireball Manuevers:

Like all B specials in Project M, you can perform maneuvers with Fireballs (Thanks Hyperflame for the video!):

Standard Short Hop Full Hop Double Jump

B Turn Around - (Fireballs able to perform - Short Hop, Full Hop, Double Jump)
B Reverse - (Fireballs able to perform -
Standard, Short Hop, Full Hop, Double Jump)
B Wave bounce - (Fireballs able to perform -
Standard, Short Hop, Full Hop, Double Jump)

B Turn Around - The fireball you want to use to make a hasty retreat. Well, hasty for Mario anyways. This fireball gives you all the momentum you would have going one direction while shooting a fireball in the opposite direction. It shines the most in full dash one direction and performing the B turn around. You can get maximum velocity of mario's jump speed while dashing in Short Hop and Full Hop, giving you mid to long range space you need. If you are in full dash and performing a B Turn Around in Double Jump you actually use the initial velocity of the full dash jump, which makes using the B Turn Around on Double Jump ideal for retreating to a platform. Knowing the balance to perform this Fireball and standard Mario pressure from Mario's Tilts, Jabs, and aerials on block can tilt the battle any direction.

Pros - Being that Mario can crack under extreme pressure, this is an idea ability to create enough space for you to regain your composure and sort of reset the neutral. All forms of B turn around can create ideal gaps needed between you and your opponent when the pressure is getting thick. It is one of Mario's best options for escape only needing minimal distance to perform.

Cons - Seeing as most a huge amount of damage comes from Mario being in close quarters due to his minimal range this fireball can reduce options of otherwise landing extensive damage to try and reset a neutral. Being as close to the opponent is what Mario wants when they are on block, and this B Turn Around fireballs creates the opposite when you give them space.

B Reverse Fireballs have been a tool that Mario players have used since melee and seeing that Mario overall kit has been buffed since Melee in Project M, this maneuver has become a gift and a curse. Since fireballs cause more stun than their melee counter part, they give the opponent a little bit more pressure in trying to approach Mario. This is where the curse lies in with them as since they give the feeling of more pressure due to hit stun Mario wants to be closer to continue the pressure. There, however, is also where the gift lies within the B Reverse Fireball. Seeing as opponents want to approach Mario due to Fireballs stun and damage, the B Reverse Fireball can bait your opponent into an unsafe approach either high or low, depending on which fireball they are trying to read. This can lead to some devastating damage depending on your opponents action and how hard their attempted read may be. If unsure on which move to counter the unsafe read a safe uptilt can be used in the neutral on almost the whole cast. Seeing as UTilt is a launcher it can possible lead to devastating result.

More to come later and I will continue to update accordingly, Coming up next:

In depth on B Reverse Fireballs
In depth on wave bouncing fireballs
Fireballs off ledge
Fireball theory

Hope you guys enjoy what i've written so far. ^.^
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Smash Journeyman
Apr 9, 2014
Bossier City LA
I looked at that first clip thinking it was familiar for way too long lmao.

(That's from my stream. Took like half a minute to recognize it.)

Smart stuff as usual Shogi. Keep it up bro.
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