Okay, that explains a lot. Marth is great at threatening Falco just by being near him. The most common predicament in the matchup when you're on the defensive is you are stuck in your shield. If you drop your shield for any reason, you are immediately at risk of a large number of Marth's moves. And of course, if you just ***** your shield you end up getting grabbed since Marths love to fiend on grabs.
It's first important to understand your limitations. Assuming Marth is between his tipper fair and tipper fsmash range (as he should be), none of your immediate OoS actions threaten him at all. So immediately we can forget about attacking/shining OoS, and Falco's side-B options have better range but are much too slow. WDing OoS can be situationally useful, but for the most part vs. Marth it just doesn't go far enough to get you out of his range. That leaves us with FHing OoS, rolling, and spot dodging. A lot of this part of the matchup is a simple game of chicken, so it is not at all an exact science. By that I mean it is a lot about bluffing and knowing whether they will break or not. If you just hold shield because you know they will cave to impatience and fsmash, then you've won the game of chicken. If he stands still and lets your shield shrink until you finally have to roll, then he has won. Sometimes what you do may not work in the traditional sense, but that doesn't mean it was necessarily the worst decision. A lot of this can be viewed from the perspective of minimizing losses once you've lost the spacing battle and have been forced to shield.
- Just calling an attack by shielding enables you to counterattack poorly spaced attacks, or at the very least escape from the relatively long cool down on Marth's moves
- It leaves you vulnerable to Marth simply running up quickly and grabbing you. Marth players tend to look for grabs at lower %s when they can combo out of it and attacks at higher %s to set up edge guards and force DI mixups (away vs. in on stuff like Ken combos).
- Do not needlessly commit to your prediction that they will attack. If they move or do something that changes how you think they will behave, be open to switching your strategy to one of the other options below.
- Utilize this more often when you're at kill %s where getting grabbed is less worse than getting hit by a rogue fsmash. DO NOT, however, fall into the habit of shielding based on fear. Try to maintain mental composure at all times, and shield with a purpose. Most people learn to instinctively shield when they are afraid, and this is a huge reason good players can run circles around people who just shield. Interestingly enough, even after being grabbed once, people tend to shield for the follow up. It's not uncommon to see M2K tossing spacies around helplessly because he knows when people are scared and how they will react. If you are at a high % and don't want to get hit, go ahead and shield, but be aware and conscious of their movement so you can react to grab attempts. You can't react to the grab itself, but seeing Marth dash when he's already within fair range is a clear indicator he isn't planning on attacking.
- Use it when you think they are looking to grab you.
- You are at risk of them fsmashing, so stick to using this at lower %s. At low %s, only a tipper is any real threat to setting up a decent edge guard, and at higher %s, you shouldn't be anticipating grabs as often because Marth's followups from grabs at high %s aren't very reliable.
- Be conscious of how close you are to platforms that you could potentially WL onto. Also keep in mind, however, that Marth isn't afraid of a Falco trapped on a platform, so only use the platform as a way to get out of a bad situation quickly. Don't try to WL onto a platform and then attack from the same position.
- Be ready to DI any attack Marth may throw out as your jump carries you up out of his range. If you're going to get hit by a tipper fsmash, you might as well DI it properly so you can potentially land on a side or even top platform when recovering. If you only take 15% from an attack and are able to regain position on the stage, then you fared quite well from such a bad situation.
- Spot dodging, particularly when combined with a shine right after, is one of those things that can be the bane of your existence or a god-send miracle that turns the tide in a matter of frames. You will primarily be using it to avoid grabs (and following the trend I explained above, at lower %s).
- Spot dodge shine is a great counter for grabs, but you have to actually use the spot dodge to... well... dodge. Similar to how people shield, a lot of people learn to spot dodge based on fear. Instead, watch the Marth's movement to figure out when they will approach. Obviously this isn't an exact science, but virtually every player has tells that let you know when they are going to commit to a grab.
- In particular, when a Marth is DDing, pay attention to the timing of their DD. It's human nature to keep a solid tempo, so the instant you see them alter their tempo even a little is a good time to guess they will grab.
- Once you've spot dodged, you have to immediately shift your brain over to damage control. Obviously if you successfully dodged a grab, you will almost always shine or utilt to begin your counter-attack. On occasions when you were wrong, you have to look at their position and determine how they will react. Most people don't see a spot dodge and then not try to punish it. Even if they weren't expecting it and know they won't be able to punish in time, people love to go for punishes anyway. As a result, you will often want to follow up flubbed spot dodges with another spot dodge or other get away options such as a roll. Mostly, I would just recommend trying to imagine the situation as largely unchanged. The spot dodge has provoked their senses so you can sort of assume they will do something besides wait for another reaction, but you should still be watching their movement and spacing to figure out what your best option is.
- Watch Mango use spot dodges. He's really good at pin pointing the exact timing of when his opponents will go for that grab.
- Ahhhh, rolls. So bad, and yet so good. A while back, I decided I wanted to completely eliminate rolling and spot dodging from my game. Strangely enough, I succeeded. Even with people attempting to bait rolls from me, I was largely preoccupied with all of my other options. Unfortunately, once people figure this out (and it doesn't seem to take too long because rolls are one of the few things people consciously bait and look for patterns for), you start getting destroyed. I steadily started adding rolls back into my game, and much like shielding and spot dodging I described above, I noticed how fear-based my rolling had been before I stopped using it. By completely eliminating all of my rolling, I made the few roll choices I did make very conscious. Instead of being like "Oh ****, this situation sucks, let me roll!" I would think to myself things like "Okay, I should roll behind him because he is airborne and spaced really far towards me."
- Anyway, Falco's roll is obviously quite good, but Marth being the grab fiend he is, loves to just bait and punish rolls and spot dodges for free grabs on reaction. One limitation Marth has is that if he jumps, he is largely committed to you not moving. If you try to roll when he jumps, the only way you'll get hit is if he times an attack during those first 4 frames before you gain invincibility. Assuming he doesn't hit that timing, he will struggle to land and keep the pressure on you.
- If Marth is staying grounded, you will largely want to rely on rolling away. Rolling towards him leaves you at a huge risk of being DD grabbed, and the spacing makes it really natural for the Marth to land it. Rolling away goes far and quick enough that Marth will only get it if he was really tight up on you or if he goes for a dash attack.
- Be ready to think after the roll. Even if you made a good choice to roll, Marth is fast enough and has good enough range that you won't be out of the woods yet. Focus on where he is and what he's doing as a reaction to your roll. Most of all, don't be one of those people that rolls into shield. If you rolled and they can't hit you, don't hold down L/R just because it feels natural. Having this self control opens you up to using things like turn around utilt to take out a pursuing player or RSHLing to create space and reset to neutral.
Hope that helps. I probably went a little overboard, but I can't help it when I'm talking about the Marth matchup. lol Too many details for every little scenario... ****ing Melee...
Don't read PP's posts. He is way too vague and types like some hipster fapping to his Mac ("...so that people can use this methodology if they want to solve other problems without having to ask me"). Sorry to burden you in your own thread, BRO. I don't think he's even good at this game. He just DD-laser camps until people run into his combos.