Project: Y.O.S.H.I. (Updated 11/06/2006) -- Reference Threads Added


Smash Chump
Nov 7, 2004
The Sunset Sudio
:yoshi: Project Y.O.S.H.I.

Created and Edited By: Yannick Darrell
Dedicated To: Every Yoshi Player Ever! <3
Last Updated: Monday, November 6th, 2006

Table of Contents:

· Foreword
· Videos
· Updates
· Credits

Part One
· Intro. to Smash
· Weight/Fallspeed
· Frame/Hitbox/Priority
· Directional Influence

Part Two
· Intro. to Yoshi
· Yoshi Weight/Fallspeed
· Strengths/Weaknesses
· Invulnerabilities
· Yoshi Moveset

Part Three
· Teching
· Angling/Spacing
· ____-canceling

Part Four
· Shielding
· Lightshielding
· Powershielding
· Rapid Powershielding
· Supershielding

Game Over
· References
· Final Thougths
· Contact Info.

:yoshi: :Preamble:

I. Foreword

Hello and thank you for reading up on Project Y.O.S.H.I.! This project is meant to take a deeper look at Super Smash Bros.: Melee, as well as Yoshi's character-specific mechanics. This is in no way a guide or character FAQ of any sort. Indeed, this is a supplement to Bringer of Death's How to Hatch a Healty Yoshi guide. Most of the information you'll need as a Yoshi player of any skill level can be found there. The prupose of this project is to go as deep as possible into the workings of SSB:M to find out what Yoshi is truly capable of.

This project contains tons of information. Some of it is old and some is brand-spanking new to those who aren't aware of it (obviously). What this guide will not contain is information covered thoroughly by Bringer's guide or any Advanced Techniques document. Since this is meant to discuss material not presented in the guide or other such material that is common community knowledge, any crossover material will only be covered briefly, as it is probably necessary to explain other techniques or phenomenae to be discussed later on.

This document is meant to enlighten players on any skill level. If something is not in here that you think should be, then please don't hesitate to submit something. That being said, while all the material presented here has been tried and tested, if you find any information that you believe to be false, please notify me immediately so it can come under review.

Before you continiue on to the project itself, I'd like to place a few personal thoughts here. First, I want to thank the Yoshi players for making our small, but dedicated, group a great place to post information and discuss with each other. It was a year and a few months ago when I first picked up Yoshi--the players on the Yoshi boards made me feel right at home. Whichever posts weren't informative were entertaining and it's always great to hear what people think about matchups, stages, and techniques. For those new Yoshi players, I want to say that it's definitely a long road ahead if you're looking to raise a prize fighter Yoshi. There is no doubt in my mind that Yoshi is tournament material, but he takes endless amounts of dedication and care. Many times, you'll just feel like you've probably wasted days, weeks, or even months pouring your energy into a character that you can't win with, but stick with it. Whether it's your first tournament win, your first win over a big player, or your first time placing in a tourney, that one moment will make everything feel worthwhile. That being said, hang in there. Some players have Yoshi as a secondary or have secondaries next to Yoshi. I am all Yoshi all the time--Yosh and I are in this for the long haul and he'd never look at me with those cute eyes again if I ever turned my back on him. Best wishes for your everyone's future endeavors and I hope this document provides you with helpful information.

II. Videos

The part about this project that I enjoy the most is the fact that it's been prepared alongside videos that serve to demonstrate or help you to visualize concepts introduced in the text. Please Note: The videos presented with this guide are abridged productions. They are only meant to illustrate ideas presented in the text. Please read the text to gather the information you need. My one fear is that people will want to watch the videos and not have anything to do with the text since this is rather long. I implore you, if you see an area of interest, please read through it instead of just looking at the video. It increases your awareness and explains concepts in as much detail as possible.

Now, the part about this project that I despise most is the fact that it's been prepared alongside videos. Well, not really, but encoding the videos and getting a quality good enough for high-end users and low enough in file size has held this project up for about a month. Because of this, I am releasing the text now and will update this section with videos as they are finished. If there is a video update, please check back here. Also, please note that certain concepts (DI, Supershielding, Powershielding, etc.) will get their own subsequent videos released to help further explain the material there.

· Part One (Google Video) (Download)

· Part Two (Google Video) (Download)

· Part Three

· Part Four

III. Updates

Update #3: The Game Over section has finally been added with a few reference threads. As I update the project and browse through the forums, more threads with relevant information will be added. I am currently witholding my Final Thoughts section for an update in the near future.

Update #2: Part Two uploaded to Google Video and available for download. Part One's download link has been fixed. Minor spelling errors have been corrected.

Update #1: Text fully released in initial form. Part One video uploaded to Google Video and available for download.

IV. Credits

This is the part where I give credit where it's due and special thanks to those who have helped me along the way.

Thanks to Mew2King for providing the community with his extensive frame and behavior lists. Many things would not be known were not for your initial plunge into the depths of this game.

Thanks to Doraki, Helios, and Omnigamer for providing very useful insight on Directional Influence and what makes it tick. Thanks to UmbreonMow for dishing it out in plain English.

Special thanks goes out to all the Yoshi players that inspired this document and helped provide for it. BETA, Bringer, D1, Gabe, Fumi, and VgtPrncfllSyns, among others, all either asked pressing questions or dished out some big-time information to help this project along. All the Yoshi players that gave me their support get my thanks as well. A very big thank you goes to straight to Bringer for composing his Yoshi guide, which I still refer back to up to this day.

My Smash inspritation: Mike G., UmbreonMow, and Kubuu. Mike is the man, Enough said. Well before I got into the scene, I saw videos of Captain Jack and said, "Wow, these guys are pretty good." I saw videos of Mike G. and said, "I want to play this game." He also lives in the heart of the place I call home, so good stuff there, too. Mow is a character. He never fails to cheer me up with his "advice" concerning this game and how he feels. He spares no emotions in his opinions and reminds me many times to build my confidence and strengthen my bond with Yosh. Kubuu is the best teacher I ever could have asked for in this game and he spared no effort to help me get to where I am today. He refused to sleep on me when I was less scrubby than I am now, taught me the ins and outs of the game, and still gives me the inner strength to press forward even when I've lost all confidence in myself and my character.

My Yoshi inspiration: Unrefined and Svampen. Every Yoshi player out there is one to note, but these two really made it happen for me. From my beginnings in the Yoshi boards, I'd heard legends of the infamous Unrefined and his allegedly "unrefined" Yoshi skills. He brings simple logic and ethic to the game that is rarely found these days. And then there's Svampen. Possibly the Yoshi I look up to the most simply because I find his playstyle to be brilliant and graceful. He also stole my Yoshi color, but it's okay. These two, among the other Yoshis out there, have my utmost respect as players and indirect contributors to this project.

:yoshi: :Part One:

I. Intro. to Smash

Super Smash Bros.: Melee and Super Smash Bros. (N64) are unique fighting games that revolve around characters with similar, yet astonishingly different moves; simple, yet very deep technical aspects; and an innovation and replay value that has yet to be seen in years.

The object of the game is to use your array of character-specific fighting techniques to knock your opponent(s) off of the stage upon which you are playing. While the N64 version was a more party-oriented all out brawl, the GCN title boasts a highly competitive community as well as being less attuned to immediate K.O.s and more attuned to strategy and survival techniques.

From here on in, this guide will assume that you understand the basics of Super Smash Bros.: Melee. If you come across any terms you do not understand, they can probably be found in the links provided at the end of this publication. Part One will cover the general, yet often unnoticed, aspects of the game that are not specific to Yoshi, but important to know nonetheless.

II. Weight/Fallspeed Discussion

One of the main aspects that makes Smash stand out from standard 2-D fighters is the fact that each character behaves differently when hit, tossed, or otherwise interacting with the world around it. The two main factors that define a character's behavior are their weight and fallspeed. Weight determines how heavy characters are and can affect things such as the speed at which they are thrown, how far they are knocked back horizontally, and how they interact with weight-related objects (scales or balances). Fallspeed determines how quickly characters fall when in the air and can affect things like how far they are knocked back vertically and the speed at which they can perform aerial attacks.

Note: A common misconception is that weight determines vertical knockback and that fallspeed is directly correlated with weight. This couldn't be further from the truth--some of the lightest characters in the game are also some of the game's fastest fallers (e.g., Fox and Falco, who are 4th and 6th lightest in the game, fall at an average of 2nd and 1st highest speeds in the game, respectively).

Knowing each character's general weight and fallspeeds is one of the first steps one can take to reaching a next level of understanding in this game. Everything from how to set up combos to proper K.O. moves can be, for the most part, decided on this basic information.

III. Frame/Hitbox/Priority Discussion

As you may know, fighting games use a tool called "hitboxes" to determine how fighters react when facing each other in combat. Priority is used to determine which attacks can either clank with, overtake, or be overtaken by other attacks. While this discussion delves into a very technical part of the game, proper knowledge of the topic is yet another key to becoming more aware of how you can play the game to suit you better. A good example of proper hitbox and priority knowledge is in Street Fighter II; pick Dhalsim against any decent Ryu and all of your long-range standard attacks will become naught before the proper timing and execution of a weak Shoryuken.

Since most of this information can be found in Mew2King's SSB:M Statistics List, I will only put here what I feel is essential for understanding the topic at hand--there is much more to this discussion, so feel free to review the statistics thread at your own leisure.

A. Frames

In Super Smash Bros.: Melee, each second is divided up into 60 frames. Therefore, simple math will dictate that one frame is 1/60th of a second. Attack speeds, lag, and other facets of character behavior are quantified in terms of frames. Knowledge of how quickly one can attack, defend, or counter is one of the best ways to mock up situations when developing your own playstyle and strategy. For instance, Fox's infamous waveshine technique is considered infallible (in proper execution under favorable conditions) simply because if the opponent falls to the first hit and Fox follows through with a tiny margin of error, then the opponent simply cannot defend him or herself. Fox's drill kick (down aerial) can be l-canceled into a shine (or reflector), and then jump-canceled into a wavedash and right back into another shine. If all of these hits connect properly and spacing is executed well, a reaction from the opponent is impossible simply due to the fact that each character can only respond in a certain amount of frames, but Fox's attacks and movement techniques are quicker than those response times. Knowledge here can be a deciding factor in battles of speed.

B. Hitboxes

Ah, hitboxes. The golden treasure of SSB:M. Hal Laboratories' shining jewel. Have you ever been the lucky victim of a reverse knee (Captain Falcon's forward aerial)? How about getting hit by an attack while recovering, even though you're under the stage or visibly out of your opponent's range? Welcome to the glorious world of hitboxes. Well, what are these magical implements of Smash justice? Hitboxes, as stated before, are the game's way of determining how fighters react to each others' moves. In SSB:M, all hitboxes are comprised of circles, varying in size, and can be generally categorized into three divisions: attacking hitboxes, vulnerability hitboxes, and invulnerability hitboxes. There are a few more types, but for the intents and purposes of this discussion, they will be ignored.

Attack hitboxes are used to determine how far an attack can actually reach (your eyes alone may deceive you in this game) and how your opponent will react when hit. An example of true reach with hitboxes can be almost any of Ganondorf's attacks. If you've ever wondered why his slap (jab), flip kick (up aerial) edgeguard, or piece punch (forward aerial) have hit you even when it looks as if they have not, the answer is, in fact, that the hitbox registration within the game had you spotted within the true range of these attacks.

Note: Another common misconception is that Ganondorf's jab attack (neutral A on the ground) is actually a jab. While every character’s "jabs" are commonly called so, some are actually jabs. Others (like Yoshi's) are kicks or other moves. Ganondorf, thought to have a jab, actually has a slap. That also explains the black nail polish...

An example of how your opponent can react to hitboxes in different areas can be found in Young Link's sword plant (down aerial). When he strikes with most parts of his sword, the opponent will be sent skyward, as with Link's sword plant. However, should the opponent be struck with a certain part of the attack (the hilt of Young Link's sword or the side of his body), the unfortunate opponent will be sent in the very opposite direction in a coating of flames.

An important thing to be aware of is the fact that a character cannot be hit by the same hitbox more than once during the duration of an attack.

Vulnerability hitboxes are those that determine where your character can get hit during any action taken on the battlefield. Again, relying solely on your eyes can be detrimental here. Let's take a look at Donkey Kong. He's in good shape, yes? While DK is said to be chiseled and the very definition of manly fitness, he turns out to have somewhat of a beer belly if you consider his vulnerability hitboxes. Knowing where your character can and cannot be hit is quite important. Speaking of not getting hit...

Invulnerability hitboxes--these will quite literally save your life at times. Such hitboxes render certain parts of your character, or your character in its entirety, invulnerable to damage. Attacks attempting to damage your character that collide with these marvels of nature will not damage or stun your character. Fortunately, Yoshi has quite a few for his attacks, so we will be looking at them later.

Finally, the nature of hitboxes lies in the nature of their shape: the circle (well, they're spheres, but it's not that important). Most attacks in SSB:M are just meant for force--sending an opponent outward or away from you in some fashion. As such, many hitboxes are constructed with less attention to absolute detail, leaving them open to player manipulation. Since the game's hitboxes are circles, many times the force from a move is applied at any radial angle possible, namely the angle your character meets with the attacker's hitbox. This might not seem clear, so I'll try to clear it up. My favorite example of this is the reverse knee. We all recognize Captain Falcon's knee as both a dangerous weapon and a triumph in modern surgical science (I want lightning streaming out of my joints, too!), but it can oftentimes become even deadlier when reversed. How does one do this, you ask? Face the opposite direction? Oh, heavens, no. Just time for a little game manipulation (get used to this). One can, with experience, gauge the range of Captain Falcon's knee. All one has to do to "reverse" the knee (sending the opponent in the opposite direction intended with the initial design of the attack) is hit the opponent with the part of the hitbox closest to the inside of Falcon's legs, behind his knee. Such a motion will apply knockback at the angle at which the opponent and hitbox collide (an angle behind Captain Falcon's knee) and, therefore, send the opponent in the opposite direction--the direction behind Captain Falcon's knee. Of course, such exercises are often difficult or impractical to pull off in competitive play, but are possible and valuable nonetheless.

Note: You may have experienced hitting your opponent with an attack with them shrugging off the stun associated with the move and taking less damage than normal. This phenomenon, which has become quite normal recently, is known as "ghosting" or a "phantom hit." Such an event occurs when two hitboxes barely collide. A spark is shown to signal that a character was hit, but the victim shows no sign of stun and takes less damage. This can be very inconvenient, as you can imagine.

C. Priority

Priority is what determines if certain attacks overpower each other or come to a neutral standstill, or "clank." Along with such commonly gauged variables as range, power, and speed, priority is a well-known and regarded. Some characters have good power and speed, but are plagued with horrendous priority (Captain Falcon). Some have too much priority, speed, and power, but with drawbacks in defense (Samus and Peach). Priority is a marvelous aspect of the game because it is one of the few areas that are totally concrete. There are rules to priority and one attack will almost never (barring bad spacing or timing) outprioritize an attack one time, then behave differently then next. Knowing which attacks overcome other attacks is also fairly useful, as you can imagine. People, to this day, are still surprised when they learn that Peach's back aerial and Link's down aerial go straight through attacks that seem too large and powerful, like Samus' Charge Blast. Of course, people become even more upset that a single needle from Sheik can nullify the Charge Blast completely. The point? Nobody likes Samus. Now, for the rules...

1] All grab moves (regular grabs, Ganondorf's Dark Dive, Bowser's Koopa Klaw, etc.) have priority over every other move in the game. This basically means that if you can space and time your grab move correctly, you can grab a character out of almost (almost) any move. I say almost because some characters obviously have range issues with their grabs/attacks.

2] Grabs can outprioritize other grabs. In instances where grabs and attacks come down to the same frame, the game looks at the order of players. The player in, or closest to, the Player 1 slot has the advantage over the other(s). This advantage is very slight but very present, so keep this in mind.

3] Whenever two characters land on the ground (or walk into each other and stop), since no two characters can stay on the same spot of ground, the player in, or closest to, the Player 1 slot will move slightly to the left. Just handy to know.

4] Aerial attacks will never clash with each other. If both attacks have enough range, then both characters will hit each other in the air. Obviously, if one exceeds the other in terms of range or sheer power (considering vulnerability, too), then only one player will be hit and take damage.

5] On the ground, almost all attacks will clash with each other unless one attack is just far too powerful for the other to outdo. For instance, Mario and Ganondorf can trade jabs all day, but when Ganondorf throws out a forward smash, it will meet with Mario's jab, clank with it momentarily, and then continue on and hit Mario. Knowing relative power for ground moves can save your life in some cases.

6] While projectiles vary in degrees of priority, they can always be canceled out by other attacks. In short, there are three options you have when a projectile is approaching you (for our intents and purposes here): dodge it, shield it, or cancel it out. Mario tossing out a fireball? Just jab it. Got a more pressing projectile headed your way? You might want to tilt it or even smash it to overpower it. Aerial attacks with the appropriate strength can also cancel out projectiles. Very good to know.

7] Swords, bashing objects, and items that otherwise are not attached to your character's body are considered to have ultimate priority. "What about grabs?" you might ask. Well, I mean ultimate in the sense that one cannot grab a sword in this game. Detached hitboxes used for attacks add an incredible amount of range to normal blows; with proper spacing, one's vulnerability range (their body, for the most part) can be left unhindered behind the safety of the item or sword.

Before we leave this discussion, we'll talk about freeze frames briefly. Freeze frames occur when two attacks objects or attacks collide with each other momentarily. When a freeze frame occurs, only the two objects interacting with each other will freeze for a brief period of time. This phenomenon was greatly exaggerated in the N64 version of Smash, and slowed gameplay down considerably. For instance, let's say Link and Samus are duking it out. They both throw out jabs--both jabs are canceled out and both characters experience a freeze frame effect. Now, somewhere later on down the line, Samus tosses a Charge Beam at Link. Regardless of whether or not Link cancels out the Charge Beam or gets hit, (barring a total miss) Link will experience a freeze frame when he interacts with the Charge Beam. Samus will not simply because, while she fired the attack, she didn't interact in any way with the other character. That said, she can move during the short period that Link is frozen (assuming that the lag from her firing the shot has faded).

Now, let's say they're fighting on Princess Peach's Castle, where this effect can be heightened. Link is going for a down air attack, but Samus plans on shielding. Unfortunately for her, she stepped on a switch (one of the stage's gimmicks) right before she wanted to shield. The switches here yield extremely large freeze frames (even though they still last less than a second at maximum), so let's see what happens. Since Link is free to move while Samus is frozen (since he didn't interact with the switch), he has enough time to fall right on top of Samus before she can shield, even though she may be unfrozen by time Link reaches her. Finally, freeze frames may last longer depending on the strength of the attacks colliding. One might realize that being hit by a Bob-Omb, Marth's tipped forward smash, or Samus' full Charge Beam freezes the action for a few frames longer than regular attacks. While unorthodox, using freeze frames to add an extra dimension of lag to your opponent's attacks can be somewhat advantageous.

IV. Directional Influence

One of the best parts about Smash that distinguishes it from the rest of the fighting world is that characters do not suffer set knockback from moves. Well, that's only mostly true. A few moves in the game have a set knockback, but even they can be altered slightly. Because of the various angles and distances moves can send you, knowing how to alter the fashion in which your character is knocked back is essential to survival and combo breaking. Directional Influence (DI) is the process of slightly altering the nature in which you are knocked away from your attacker in order to survive longer (for K.O. moves) or break combos (for chaining moves). There are currently four types of DI: Regular DI, Smash DI, Automatic Smash DI, and Double-Stick DI. These all vary in their individual effectiveness, but are wholly indispensable as a group.

Note: Most of the information presented here that was not widely known comes from Doraki.

A. Regular DI

Regular DI is holding a direction to change your trajectory after you get hit by an attack. There is no great deal of precision here, but the longer you wait to input the DI, the less influence you'll have on your trajectory (read: after a certain time frame, regular DI no longer comes into account).

B. Smash DI

Smash DI uses the freeze frames of an attack to alter your initial trajectory and send-off point. While stuck and stunned in freeze frames, you can physically move your character around a bit by inputting a direction. What's even better is that you can do this on each frame of a freeze frame period (not possible at 60 fps of course), greatly altering your initial flight point and trajectory. In this way, the infamous "quarter-circle" DI can be obtained: if you are fast enough, you can input more than one direction during your freeze frames and yield a greatly altered trajectory. While this works great on moves with lots of freeze frames, it can also get you out of one-two combos that seem inescapable (the first hit of Fox's up-aerial can be Smash DI'd to the side in order to avoid the second kick--not guaranteed, but it gets you out more often than not).

C. Automatic Smash DI

Automatic Smash DI is dubbed automatic because there's no real effort for input here. Automatic Smash DI reads whatever direction was held on the control stick during the last freeze frame. Since it's much easier, it's also a bit less effective, but can combine with the other types of DI to create some killer trajectory alternations. You can use either the control or the C-Stick. Note that the C-Stick overrides the input of the control stick. If you have a direction input on both the control stick and the C-Stick, the ASDI will be read from the C-Stick.

D. What Does This Mean?

Well, all these different types of DI can combine to increase your longevity, free you from combos, and almost customize your trajectory. To provide a complete (and theoretical example): if you were to get hit by a fully charged Shield Breaker (Marth's neutral B), you could input one or two (maybe even three if you sweep the control stick swiftly enough) Smash DI directions, hold up and towards the stage on the control stick and hold straight towards the stage on the C-Stick. Since the C-Stick overrides the control stick for ASDI, that will go into effect, and finally the control stick directions being held should come into play for regular DI once that kicks in. DI is still somewhat of a murky area, so this information may be refuted in the near future, but for now, this is what has been tested and appears to be accurate.

:yoshi: :Part Two:

I. Intro. to Yoshi

Yoshi is one of the game's "other" characters. He's one of the characters that are defined as "quirky." Indeed, ask any player at any skill level and they'll tell you that simply picking up Yoshi and attempting to do well can be quite a challenge. One of the game's few balanced characters, Yoshi is denoted by his signature sounds, cute mug, and lack of third jump. While Yoshi can be devastating when used correctly, one should never overlook his inherent flaws. Yoshi's flaws are few, but the few that he has are utterly crippling to his gameplay if they are exploited. That being said, don't focus merely on Yoshi's strengths and ignore his setbacks, but don't think that you cannot win due to his setbacks, either. Strengthen the areas of the game you're good at and try your best to cement in the holes you have in your style and that Yoshi has in his character. This section is an attempt to educate players about Yoshi on a character-specific level without going into tactics and strategy.

II. Yoshi Weight/Fallspeed

Yoshi is an extremely heavy character, as one might expect, though his weight is outclassed by a few that one might not anticipate being heavier than a dragon/dinosaur hybrid. In NTSC (the Americas and East Asia), Yoshi is the 5th heaviest character behind Ganondorf (4th place) and in front of Captain Falcon and Link (tie for 6th place). In PAL (Europe and Australia), Yoshi is the 3rd heaviest character (!!) behind Donkey Kong (2nd place) and in front of Samus (4th place). Yoshi's high weight means that he doesn't get knocked very far horizontally, which is great for your recovery, but it also means that he suffers from extreme "combo-itis," as I call it. He in an incredibly easy character to combo and, without proper DI, many times K.O. moves can be performed straight out of the combo to seal the deal on your defeat.

Yoshi's fallspeed is nothing too special. His regular freefall drop speed is average, right between Bowser and Ganondorf. His fastfalling speed is pretty fast, as he's 5th fastest in how much his falling speed increases when he fast falls. It is with this information that one can improves Yoshi's aerial game, making him quite floaty when necessary, or drop as fast as Link (which is pretty quick) when the need arises. Yoshi characteristically isn't too floaty, but he is susceptible to vertical K.O.s, so your primary aim might be to try to bait out a horizontal K.O. move and a chance to recover.

III. Strengths/Weaknesses

Yoshi's strengths are numerous, but their value lessens over time as your opponents read your playstyle. I can't mention it enough (even this is probably the first time it has been mentioned) that mixing up your style with Yoshi is essential to both taking extreme advantage of his strengths and patching up whatever holes you can. Yoshi's weaknesses are very few, but they are so detrimental to his gameplay that he is regarded as a bad character because of them. Just as a side note, Yoshi's double jump, weight, and fallspeed won't be introduced as either strengths or weaknesses since the argument for those can go either way.

A. Strengths

Yoshi is extremely quick. He has good foot speed, excellent horizontal aerial speed, and his wavedash only increases his ground speed and spacing. His attacks have relatively little start-up time and when you combine a rapid succession of quick attacks with his sometimes blinding ground speed, you can get have a little demon on your hands.

Yoshi is very powerful. Some of his attacks specialize in damage while others specialize in knockback, so knowing which ones to use and then link into others is critical for getting optimal knockouts. Other characters have to take care when fighting Yoshi simply because all of his attacks are powerful in some fashion (even his Egg Toss packs quite a punch damage-wise); Yoshi can be notorious for racking up damage very quickly without the opponent even realizing it.

Yoshi's body bends to his will. Well, not really, but during many of his attacks, Yoshi will twist, bend, and turn his body to accompany the motion of the attack. This is a strength because of the fact that Yoshi can actually use his attacks to dodge and then counter-attack with this feature. The most commonly accepted example of this is the pullback on Yoshi's forward smash. Since Yoshi's bends his head and neck to his side before the attack is released, one can dodge an incoming smash (Marth's forward smash, for example) and retaliate during the opponent's lag time. Another reason besides dodging is that these twists and bends also take Yoshi's hitboxes with them. My personal favorite example of such a maneuver is on Jigglypuff. She's missed a Rest attack and is now calmly asleep on the stage. She can recover horizontally from your forward and down smashes and you doubt a Hip Drop (Down+B) will K.O. her at whatever percentage she may be at. Your up smash is the perfect knockout weapon, but it only hits tall people and, even then, it works best when the opponent is above Yoshi, right? Well, that's only partially true. Since Yoshi's head is bent back behind him in the initial stages of the attack, all you have to do is turn your back to Jigglypuff, charge the up smash for as long as is necessary, then let loose. One of Yoshi's more useful advantages, I can assure you.

Yoshi has the most flexible projectile in the game. Period. At its roots, this attack can be aimed in virtually any direction and distance you please. While it takes a good deal of practice, like many of Yoshi's aspects, it soon becomes second nature and makes other projectiles seem inferior both in flexibility and damage. At more intermediate and advanced styles of play, eggs are great for set-ups, stopping approaches, positioning your opponent around the battlefield, and even for ledge games.

Yoshi has what I consider to be the best shield in the game. It lasts longer than any other character's shield (albeit 1 frame, but who's counting?), does not shrink like other shields, does not change size to reveal lightshielding, and when lightshielding Yoshi loses traction, which spaces himself from the opponent. I'll go into details more in the shield section, but I definitely hold his shield at an advantage.

B. Weaknesses

Yoshi is very easy to combo. Because of his size and other factors, some characters can't help but combo and chainthrow poor Yoshi. Especially since very few players are incorporating proper DI into their gameplay, comboing and just general linking of attacks on Yoshi is becoming easier and easier for more characters, so be sure to use all the techniques you can muster at your disposal to try to prevent this weakness form being exploited too much.

Yoshi has a very slow grab game. Yoshi's grabs are ridiculously slow. His grab game is weird, too. His running grab has less lag then his standing grab (which doesn't happen with other characters), but the running grab has to occur at a certain distance or the grab will simply go right through the opponent. One would think that his grab range with his tongue would at least be a benefit, but oh, goodness no...he's outclassed by several other characters' grab ranges including Marth and Roy, with Kirby and Sheik trailing just slightly behind Yoshi in range. Some players are of the disposition that Yoshi has a useless shieldgrab. As with many rumors about the game's less godly characters, this is false to an extent. While Yoshi's grabs are slow and very laggy, you just need to know when to employ them--especially his shieldgrab. However, the speeds of his grabs are just too low to ignore. The grabs are decent, but the lack of speed is just too much of a disadvantage.

Yoshi's attacks are very laggy. While I mentioned earlier that his attacks have little start-up time, the opposite is true for the end of his attacks--Yoshi's attacks often end with his body parts flailed out after the attack on the opponent, leaving him dangerously open to counterattacks and shieldgrabs. Taking as much advantage of Yoshi's low lag moves as you can is fairly important to fighting quicker or more cunning opponents.

Yoshi has a somewhat linear recovery. Probably the worst of Yoshi's disadvantages and the area where players will have to become the most creative, Yoshi's recovery can be fairly easily read if your opponent knows all of the options you have at your disposal. Don't fret, be calm, and be creative, but most importantly, don't chicken out. Yoshi takes enough courage to use as it is...if your opponent edgeguards you, then you've been edgeguarded. However, if you can take a risk and make it back to the stage, then that's just more time for you to whoop some booty while you're on flat ground, so give it all you've got and attempt every recovery as if it were your last.

IV. Invulnerabilities

There are many times in SSB:M when players can employ different means of rendering their characters invincible. Such invulnerabilities, originally intended to prevent offensive abuse by other players, can be manipulated to turn the tables on your opponent or grant you an extra bit of defense. This section will cover general ways in which invulnerability can be achieved. Once again, outside of specific examples, strategies for usage of these techniques will be covered in the final section of the publication.

Note: Generally, any time your character is flashing white, he or she is invulnerable. Be sure to find out what procedures and special moves they have that render them invincible and how long that state of invulnerability lasts.

A. Angel

Angel invulnerability, dubbed so from its corresponding bonus score name, is what a character experiences when they return to the playing field after being knocked out for a stock. They return on a pretty cool looking platform and are invulnerable for 4 seconds. Once the time limit has passed, or if the player moves, the character drops form the platform and has a remaining 2 seconds of invulnerability left before going back to normal. If you're under Angel, this is the time to go on the offensive, but be sure that you're not rushing into a trap set by your opponent to go into effect when Angel wears off.

Note: Please be aware that Zelda and Sheik players may try to use Angel invulnerability to switch back and forth between characters, especially if Sheik transformed back into Zelda in order to recover and somehow got K.O.'d as Zelda. When they attempt a transformation, the Angel invulnerability is immediately nullified, so take the opportunity to rush in a spank the living daylights out of them for not being smart enough to know when they're safe.

B. Throw

Throw invulnerability is dubbed so because at certain points during a throw (usually the very beginning or right before the thrower lets go of his or her opponent), the attacker is invulnerable. The throw can still be interrupted by other players or objects, but only at points when Throw invulnerability is not active. If a character with a projectile tosses a projectile with the intention of you grabbing them, then having their projectile rescue them, you can foil their plans by throwing the unlucky punk during your invulnerability frames in such a way that their projectile has no effect.

C. Roll

Roll invulnerability is a staple for Smash. When a character rolls, they are usually vulnerable for a few frames at the beginning and end of their respective rolls, but generally a large chunk of their roll renders them invulnerable (the purpose behind the action, after all). Yoshi's roll is considered to be one of the game's better rolls, not because of distance, but because of the misplaced vulnerability frames contained in his roll motion. Make use of this extensively, but don't let your opponent catch onto the aesthetics of your becomes very predictable otherwise.

D. Dodge

Dodging is a new and fun feature to the world of Smash that comes in two varieties: spot dodging and air dodging.

Spot dodging occurs on the ground and is incredibly useful. The character will dodge in place (appearing to step off to the side). Yoshi is grouped with several other characters as having the highest amount of invulnerability frames during his dodge, but be careful, as everyone's dodge leaves plenty of vulnerability coming out of the sidestep.

Air dodging the air. It's great for avoiding projectiles that one cannot catch or some edgeguarding moves. The downside is that once the air dodge is complete, your character is rendered in a state similar to that of completing his or her (Up+B)--they can't perform any actions other than grabbing the ledge. In exchange for the helplessness that this move invokes, the dodge of itself contains very few vulnerability frames and only really leaves a character vulnerable once the air dodge is completed.

Note: Yoshi can use his air dodge as some sort of gimped third jump to get back to the stage, but be careful when doing so. Not only is an air dodge predictable, but Yoshi isn't able to grab the ledge immediately after the dodge is complete. To aim for a ledge grab, most (if not all) of Yoshi's body should be above the level of the ledge. Many times, you can actually air dodge early and count on Yoshi's horizontal ledge grab range to save you instead of his pathetic vertical grab range, which is what stops him from grabbing the ledge even when he air dodges with just his hands above the level of the ledge.

E. Rising

Rising invulnerability comes in three forms: rising, rising attacks, or rising rolls. If your character is attacked and falls to the ground, he or she will bounce and after a short time, will be able to perform any of these three actions.

Rising simply involves pressing up once you have finished bouncing and renders invulnerability until just before your character can move.

Rising attacks are the ever-popular way to force an opponent off of you while you're on the ground. By pressing any attack button, your character will rise and attack in either direction (or both at the same time, depending on the character and attack). Invulnerability depletes sometime right after the first swing of the attack begins, so be careful. Rising attacks come in a few different variations. First, the speed of your attack varies if you are either below or above (or at) 100% damage. Next, the type of attack varies depending on if you are face up or face down. That being said, when performing a rising attack, it can be either of four different possibilities, neither of which you have control over, so knowing which attack will come out is beneficial.

Rising rolls are performed by inputting either side direction. The invulnerability here will last until just before your character is able to move. This particular type of roll is fairly slow, so be sure to use caution when employing this technique.

F. Tech

Ah, Tech invulnerability. This comes in many different flavors: floor teching, tech rolling, wall teching, wall jumping, and ceiling teching. Also known as where I reside as "death canceling," teching and its invulnerability is something that will save your live over and over again.

Floor teching is a safe fall procedure used mainly when falling toward the ground to prevent your character from bouncing, which leaves your character remarkable susceptible to follow-up attacks. From the time the character touches the ground to a few frames before they are allowed to move again, they are rendered invulnerable.

Tech rolling can occur as a part of floor teching. The character will roll either away from or toward the opponent and, like floor teching, be rendered invincible up until just before the character is able to move. Very useful, but painfully predictable.

Wall teching is a fantastic survival maneuver that prevents your character from bouncing off of walls, slashing vulnerability considerably. Performed similarly to the floor tech, but with a larger margin of error, wallteching renders very few invulnerability frames. For the split second that your character catches him or herself on the surface of whatever wall you're teching off of, your character is invulnerable--that's all. Wall jumping will yield a few more invulnerability frames.

Ceiling teching is the same as floor teching except for two differences: this can only be performed on a ceiling and one cannot tech roll out of this technique. Like wall teching also, one is only invincible for as long as they are in contact with the surface.

G. Ledge

Ledge invulnerability in a nice defensive feature that has been turning offensive with the relatively recent inclusion of advanced techniques. Ledge invulnerability, like teching, comes in different varieties: ledge grabbing, ledge rising, ledge attacking, ledge jumping, and ledge hopping.

When any character grabs a ledge, that character gains invulnerability for half a second exactly. This is useful for outsmarting impatient edgeguarders by baiting their attack, then rising from the ledge and countering in their lag. Keep in mind that grabbing any ledge results in an initial eight frames of lag, so trying to perform actions during that lag will not queue up and may result in an undesired action being taken. Be careful.

Note: Unfortunately for Yoshi, his dangerously cute nose is kinda big, and that makes it fairly easy for edgeguarding attacks that normally wouldn't hit to bounce poor Yoshi right off the ledge. Samus' Charge Beam usually sails right over everyone else's hands as they're clinging to the ledge, but Yoshi's nose kinda intercepts the whole thing since it pops over the ledge a little bit. Be careful.

Ledge rising, attacking, and jumping are all similar to tech invulnerability. For the simple rising action, you retain invincibility up until a short while before you're able to move again. For attacking and jumping, just before you perform the selected action, your invulnerability will expire. Also, just like Rising invulnerability, your action's speed will change drastically once it reaches the 100% damage threshold, so be sure to keep an eye out for how much damage you've taken.

Ledge hopping is a bit different. By taking advantage of ledge grab invulnerability, a player can let go of the ledge and jump back into the stage while still within the 30 frame (1/2 second) mark to retain invulnerability and go straight through attacks. Yoshi has some trouble doing this successfully since his double jump both takes a while to start up and, at its beginning, he doesn't rise very rapidly.

V. Yoshi's Moveset

Yoshi is quite the character with very distinct behaviors and a very unique moveset. Yoshi specializes in mid- to long-range combat and aerial combos. You'll see that many of his moves are used for putting distance between him and his enemies; indeed, many of his moves are legit combo starters that can lead to endless offensive opportunities for Yoshi, but be careful for quick close-combat fighters as very few of Yoshi's moves are swift and powerful enough to counter their fierce offensive barrages. Instead of copying Bringer's guide, though, what I will do is add supplementary commentary on the moves that I feel may need an extra note.

A. Ground:

Neutral A

Great standing neutral attacks. Two kicks, used mainly to stun. Excellent range both in front and behind, as this attack can sometimes hit enemies directly behind Yoshi. Great for stopping shieldgrabs and for stopping fast grabbers like Marth and Sheik. Can lead into tilts and downsmash fairly easily. Space out the timing of the second kick to throw off counterattacks or grabs.

Forward Tilt

Straight kick with angled variations and deceptively long range. Don't be fooled. This kick, like many of Yoshi's tilts, doesn't take as long to go into effect as it seems. Its data is similar to that of the neutral kick. This attack sports very vertical knockback, so you can K.O. floaty characters with this very quick move. You can also use it to set heavy and fast-falling characters up for combos. The angled versions can be used for edgeguarding certain characters (Captain Falcon, Kirby, etc.). Bringer suggests using this as a crouch cancel counterattack and he's right, but be careful that when you crouch cancel you're not pushed too far back when you use this attack; the angled versions have almost no horizontal range, so you could be left very wide open if you are pushed back too far and use this attack without thinking.

Up Tilt

A tail whip directed upwards. A tad laggy for my taste (many of Yoshi's moves are), but it has quicker start-up than it seems. Great combo move, but it also has a nice feature that's useful for Yoshi. This move is great for stopping mid- to low-priority aerial approaches (Captain Falcon, Donkey Kong, etc.). Yoshi crouches and sticks his tail up, so it can even be used to avoid and counterattack some oddly-shaped aerial approaches (Marth's neutral-air, Ganondorf's forward-air, etc.) even though the approaches used would normally outprioritize the up tilt. This move, I find, is best used straight out of a low- to mid-percentage forward tilt; the stun or ensuing minimal pop-up is great for comboing right into this move.

Down Tilt

A tail whip directed in front of Yoshi on the ground. Awesome move. Multiple uses. This move is quick enough to punish poorly-spaced aerials and predictable shieldgrabs. This move is great for extending ground-based combos and for creating tech chasing opportunities. This move shines its brightest when used to avoid (since Yoshi gets real low to the ground) and counterattack some high reaching grabs (Marth, Captain Falcon, etc.) and high reaching smashes (Ganondorf's down smash in particular). Best used for crouch cancel counterattacking and edgeguarding certain characters (Falco, Marth, Jigglypuff, etc.). This move can also be used to push crouch cancellers away from you (Roy, Samus, etc.) to prevent their counterattack from hitting you.

Forward Smash

Yoshi pulls his head and neck to this side and lets loose with a very powerful horizontal head butt. As Bringer has noted many times, Yoshi's forward smash is great when used to avoid and counterattack unwary opponents and works very well against a few people (Marth's forward smash, Sheik's forward-air, etc.). Also, this attacks has even more horizontal range than it lets on (since Yoshi's entire upper body stretches for this move) and couple that with the fact that his head (not his nose, mind you) is invincible during the attack and you've got tools for a great edgeguard (Fox, Samus, etc.) and it even counters rising ledge attacks when spaced properly. Very reliable K.O. move despite its tendency to not have a very downward-oriented trajectory.

Down Smash

A twice-hitting tail whip that is sent in both directions on the ground. Very quick, but only somewhat reliable as it leaves you too wide open if missed. If you can help it, only use this move as a combo finisher, edgeguarder, or K.O. attempt for fast fallers because of its relatively low trajectory. Both moves of this can hit if your opponent is close enough and has enough crouch canceling power. When edgeguarding, you can either use this move standard (facing the edge and your opponent) or get fancy and face the other way, smacking your foe with the secondary tail whip that travels behind Yoshi.

Up Smash

Yoshi pulls his head back and gets out a very nice upward-oriented head butt. Very cool K.O. move. Again, his head is invincible during this attack, so you can use the body twist and invincibility to evade and counterattack bad or slow aerial approaches. This move is very peculiar, though. It doesn't hit short folk unless they're behind Yoshi--the front-facing part of this smash only hits people at Yoshi's height or taller. Use this move very wisely against floaty characters (Peach, Jigglypuff, etc.) for easy and unpredictable K.O.s.

Dash Attack

Yoshi does an expected lunge forward with his head. Yoshi's head is invincible yet again, but not through the whole thing, just through the initial lunge, so be careful. This is great for beating out poorly spaced or low-priority aerials and even better for chaining into itself against heavy and fastfalling characters. Just be careful, as there are two extreme disadvantages to this move. First, it is prime shieldgrabbing material. I, personally, do not use this move unless my opponent is off the ground. Secondly, be careful near the edge. As Bringer notes (and he couldn't be more right), it is possible to lurch right off the edge of any stage with the momentum of this attack after it's done, so learn how to handle yourself around edges as it's very useful for edgeguarding bad recoveries with certain characters (Link, Samus, Ganondorf, etc.).

B. Air:

Neutral Aerial

Standard jump kick. Great damage, great knockback, great speed. This is a great move, except that the priority a bit lacking and that can be attributed to the rather unsatisfactory range. This move is a bit gimped; it actually has more range behind and under it than in front. The hitbox actually stops somewhere in the middle of Yoshi's boot, so don't count on range, but if you're ever in doubt and need speed coupled with power, you can count on this move. Reliable for combo breaking and K.O.s on characters of all types.

Forward Aerial

Yoshi's standard meteor smash here has a particularly long setup time, but has monstrous priority and power. Great for actual meteor smashing and popping opponents up (when grounded) for K.O.s on floaty characters and combo lead-ins for fastfalling characters. Beware, though, as this move is an easy way to get shieldgrabbed when used on the ground; when used aerially, you can expect a skilled opponent to meteor cancel this move (I've experienced Pikachu meteor cancel this move at 227%, leading me to believe that with proper timing, it's not that hard to cancel out of). If you can strike unexpectedly, though, then more power to you. As a last or unique resort against certain aerial moves (namely Sheik's forward air, as Bringer has noted and I've experienced), the pullback on this move can allow you to beat or tie other moves in the air that you would normally not be able to with other standard aerials. Keep this in mind when facing a strong aerial opponent. Please also note that this move hits all the way through from the very top of Yoshi's nose at the start of the attack all the way to when he's upside-down in the air. With this, you can travel over enemies' heads and hash them with the very last part of the move--this also prevents shieldgrabbing.

Back Aerial

Four consecutive (you guessed it) tail whips directed behind Yoshi. Pure awesome in tail whip form. Great at racking up damage on comboable characters (Link, Roy, etc.) and pushing back those darn crouch cancellers (Samus is who I had in mind here). This move works wonders against crouch cancellers as it either pushes them back or lifts them just a little bit off the ground, which is where I find Yoshi does best offensively. Just a great move all around, this move slices through projectiles and sloppy ground rushes.

Up Aerial

A swift and semi-powerful tail whip aimed upwards. This is Yoshi's most dependable and most flexible vertical KO move. Used to juggle characters of all types, this is especially useful for setting up floaty characters or for DJC combos on fastfallers or heavy characters. As Bringer states in his guide, getting the L-Canceling timing down for this move can be tough, but it's definitely worth it. The hitbox for this move extends farther both horizontally and vertically than it lets on, so you can use this move quite low to the ground and you don't necessarily have to be right under your opponent to use it, either, as it can hit on the sides with a little practice. This move is also a very good choice when rising from under the stage with your double jump, as it can travel above the edge of the stage with its tall hitbox and not break the upward momentum of your double jump if used late enough in the maneuver.

Down Aerial

Too good. Yoshi flutter kicks underneath him for a total of fourteen hits of dino doom. As Bringer accurately notes, NTSC players use this move mainly for the beastly damage (especially on tall characters), but it can also double as a barrage of consecutive meteor strikes that drag recovering opponents below the point of no return leaving Yoshi with his double jump to get back to the stage. Be careful when using this on land, though, as it has relatively low priority and can leave you open from the sides. Please note that opponents can also DI out of this move to either side (either when on ground or in air) so keep that in mind.

Note: A properly L-Canceled down-aerial can often lead into a down smash if you're dragging your opponent down from the air onto land.

C. Special Attacks:

Just as a personal note, please realize that every attack a character has is a special attack. Don't think of the B button as some sort of emergency button or a button that grants you moves you normally would not have otherwise. One of the best ways to mature your game is to use every move and technique at your disposal in a very natural fashion.

Neutral B

Yoshi's third grab. Use it sparingly, but do use it. Faster and with arguably more range and flexibility, this a great move to catch people (mainly shieldgrabbers or rushers) off-guard. Great for just a few points of damage and a quick breather. If your opponent isn't fast enough, feel free to attack him or her while they're in the egg, but be wary as skilled opponents can release themselves from the egg before it even starts to descend from the air. If you want to attack the egg, I'll suggest a forward tilt, forward smash, or back aerial. If your unlucky opponent can't free themselves quickly enough, then by all means, go for a down aerial. Beware: all characters have a few invincibility frames bestowed upon themselves after breaking out of the egg, so don't be too hasty in going on the offensive as soon as the egg breaks.

Forward B

Egg Roll. Meh. You can use this sometimes when recovering from up high and need desperately to fake out your edgeguarding opponent. Any other uses for this move can almost always be safely substituted for something quicker or more powerful. I don't suggest using this move offensively at all. Just as a note, though, Yoshi cannot break out of this move if going at full speed in one direction--it's easiest to get out while in the midst of changing directions.

Up B

Egg Toss. There isn't anything Bringer hasn't said about this move. It's just too good. What I believe is the most versatile projectile in the game, this move can set up for combos, push back for retreating, keep floaties at bay, interrupt some approaches, or generally annoy opponents. Very useful. Practice tossing it at different angles and distances until it becomes second nature; this move is great for your edgeguarding game.

Down B

The Hip Drop. Great for predictable dash attack countering and combo breaking in general. Again, Bringer has said most of what there is to say about this move. My own note, however, is that the stars are extremely helpful. As you may know, they're meant to protect Yoshi, not to add damage. However, these stars give a new meaning to the word "protect." They're extremely high in priority and very useful for a few situations. I've experienced stars stop Marth's forward smash cold in its tracks and it’s as if opponents almost never see them coming for some reason (they're probably focused on attacking you in your lag). Against opponents who have a tough time sweetspotting the ledge (Jigglypuff, Kirby, etc.), the hip drop can be shorthopped and used very close to the ground on the border of the stage to bring out the stars. One of the stars will pop out over the stage and interrupt any missed sweetspotting that occurs above the ledge. From there, you can attempt an edgeguard of your choosing (or as the situation dictates).

Note: Did you know? The hip drop was first employed in the Mario universe by Bowser in Super Mario Bros. 3, but was popularized by Yoshi in Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island. Now, almost everyone in the Mario cast has some move involving using their buttocks with some untold amount of force to either break, damage, or activate something.

D. Throws:

Mmm. Probably the weakest parts of Yoshi’s offensive game, his throws aren’t meant to K.O. and the ones he can use to combo (up and down) are extremely easy to DI out of. His forward and back throws can be used just to reposition your opponent--they also have an odd amount of stun and knockback on them. These throws are kind of awkward (I still haven't figured them out in their entirety, yet), but you can sometimes chain forward and back throws (you can use either in series or both alternating or in whichever pattern you like) on characters that aren't expecting it, but don't expect this to work more than twice at most. The up throw is an odd one, it is. You might want to use the up throw to proceed to combo floaty characters as it can lead into an egg, an up tilt, an up air, or up smash (damage depending, of course). The down throw is Yoshi's most comboable throw, but it just doesn't work on floaty characters, as it bounces them up far too high. The most you can get in is an egg or an up air to whatever you want from there. On fastfallers and middleweights, however, this throw is a gift straight from Heaven. Pick almost any move and you'll be able to combo into it against these characters. As Bringer says and as Fumi has shown in his videos, Pikachu is the easiest example of hitting a character with a forward air right out of this throw at almost any percentage, but watch out for good DI as this throw is the easiest to DI out of.


This is the end of parts one and two. Parts three and four, with reference threads are below. Thanks!


Smash Chump
Nov 7, 2004
The Sunset Sudio
:yoshi: Here follows parts three and four, along with reference threads and final thoughts. Enjoy!

:yoshi: :Part Three:

I. Teching

Ah, teching. This comes in many different flavors: floor teching, tech rolling, wall teching, wall jumping, and ceiling teching. Also known as where I reside as "death canceling," teching and its invulnerability are some things that will save your live over and over again.

First off, all teching types involve two things: use of the L, R, or Z buttons and a heightened sense of alertness. The buttons are what you will physically use to tech (referred to as tech buttons from now on) and the split-second reaction time is what you will use to mentally register that you can tech, need to tech, and tech successfully without getting chased. Inputting a direction is optional and can deliver varying benefits depending on the type of tech you perform.

A. Floor Tech

To floor tech, press any tech button just before you hit the floor. Be careful, as mashing tech buttons will not guarantee success; instead, you may guarantee failure should you mash. Just learn the timing. Floor teching is a safe fall procedure used mainly when falling toward the ground to prevent your character from bouncing, which leaves your character remarkably susceptible to follow-up attacks. When a character floor techs, they regain their composure, catch themselves on the ground, and stand up all in one quick motion. From the time the character touches the ground to a few frames before they are allowed to move again, they are rendered invulnerable.

B. Tech Rolls

Tech rolling can occur as a part of floor teching. At the start of the floor tech motion, specifying a direction will invoke a tech roll in the provided direction. The character will roll either away from or toward the opponent and, like floor teching, be rendered invincible up until just before the character is able to move. Very useful, but painfully predictable.

C. Wall Tech

To wall tech, press any tech button a short while before you hit any wall (the estimated timing is 20 frames before impact, so you have plenty of time). Wall teching is a fantastic survival maneuver that prevents your character from bouncing off of walls, slashing vulnerability considerably. Performed similarly to the floor tech, but with a larger margin of error, wall teching renders very few invulnerability frames. For the split second that your character catches him or herself on the surface of whatever wall you're teching off of, your character is invulnerable--that's all. This type of teching can also be used to preserve your character's survival by trying to tech off of surfaces while being sent flying by a K.O. move of some sort. Be careful, as opponents may launch you into a wall with the sole intention of predicting your tech.

Wall jumping can be performed in two ways: as part of a wall tech, or by characters with the innate ability to walljump. Wall jumping as part of wall teching can be initiated in a similar fashion to tech rolling. At the beginning of the wall tech motion, pressing up or any diagonal-up direction will allow your character to wall jump. Characters with the innate ability to wall jump (Young Link, Samus, Pichu, Mario, etc.) can wall jump at any time while facing any direction as long as they are close to a wall. To wall jump, simply hold the direction the wall is in, then input the opposite direction. Even though this renders a few more invulnerability frames, the only action your character will be able to perform immediately out of a wall jump is another jump or an air dodge; aerial attacks take a while to perform out of a wall jump.

Note: By implementing wall teching at the edge of a stage (even Battlefield, though it's considerably harder there), one can perform an edge tech. Edge teching is used to nullify edgeguarding attempts by trying to tech a little less than half a second before your character is hit. The success rate of this technique increases with precise use of Smash DI in the direction of the stage. One can even edge jump by wall jumping with this technique. Edge teching is very cool looking and is especially useful for Yoshi.

D. Ceiling Tech

To ceiling tech, press any tech button with the same timing as you would for a wall tech. Ceiling teching is the same as floor teching except for two differences: this can only be performed on a ceiling and one cannot tech roll out of this technique. Like wall teching also, one is only invincible for as long as they are in contact with the surface. If anything, this technique is useful on Termina: Great Bay. ^_^

II. Angling/Spacing

Angling and spacing are two very important parts of any character's game. While this section will be brief, it will cover the essentials to these topics.

A. Angling

Angling is an often overlooked part of the Smash Bros. engine. When it was first introduced back in the days of the Nintendo 64, people said, "Oh, that's cool." Then...everyone just kinda forgot about it. However, proper knowledge and usage of angling can save you headaches, stock, and maybe even a trip to the losers' bracket if you play your cards right.

Now, while the topic seems hyped up enough, only two attacks for any character can be angled: the forward tilt and the forward smash. Even still, some characters can't angle any of their attacks, but that's because their attack motions are either for too complex or undergo some sort of radial swoop, making angling unnecessary (Marth, Link, Sheik, etc.). Yoshi is fortunate in the sense that he can angle both his tilt and smash attacks--many times to great effect.

The forward tilt, Yoshi's front kick, is one of his offensive mainstays. When you can turn it into an edgeguarding tool or even an aerial counter, it gets even better. Angling the forward tilt down can be used for very effective edgeguarding on those who have trouble sweetspotting the ledge, but either can't (in the case of a good sweetspot) or shouldn't (in the case of outprioritization) be hit by the down tilt. By utilizing this move over the edge of the stage, Yoshi's foot gets maximum diagonal distance combined with the stunning power of his tilt and this can severely cripple anyone's recovery (Kirby, Ganondorf, etc.) that you would find this fit to use upon. A downward angle can also be used (sparingly, I suggest) right out of a crouch cancel. Be careful, though. As was mentioned earlier, if you slide too far and perform the tilt without thinking or noticing, you'll be out of range and out of luck.

An upward angle on the forward tilt is very, very situational. This is great for someone who's just about of range for pretty much any other close-quarters attack. This works great after you hit Sheik with a dash attack, for example. Remember that your forward tilt gets great range, but it has no vertical reach at all, so angle it if you want to increase your chances of hitting an airborne enemy.

The angling of Yoshi's forward smash, which happens more on accident with most players (along with other characters, too) than not, is even more situational, but just as helpful. For angling a smash downward, edgeguarding is okay, but it can even be used on land to some degree. Suppose someone goes to take a swing at Yoshi with a very laggy attack that leaves part of their body (an outstretched arm or leg) vulnerable for some time after the attack. If said body part is quite low to the ground and Yoshi's regular forward smash is too high off the ground to hit it (though this is somewhat unlikely), while you will suffer just a little bit of horizontal range, a downward angled attack will head straight for the ground and whatever unlucky limb is in the way.

As for the upward-angled smash, I use this many times on unwary Ganondorfs. Again, this is just situational, but I do use this extensively when I see the chance. Whenever a Ganondorf short hops a forward aerial at me, I play close attention to the spacing. If they've spaced it poorly, or if I have time to sneak into their range a little bit, I'll angle a forward smash up as they're descending. An up smash would take too long to intercept Ganondorf, Yoshi's up tilt is a little too weak to trade with the forward aerial, and since the range on Yoshi's neutral air isn't that spectacular (and I risk getting hit from above during such an attempt depending, again, on the spacing), I can attempt to shoot straight for Ganondorf's vulnerable chest and neck area as he's reaching back for his attack. Like I said, very situational.

Now, bear in mind that I'm not trying to give value to worthless attacks, nor am I trying to over hype what may just be little lifesavers. This is merely for educational purposes; anytime you're in a bind, you should be able to reach into your (spotted) bag of Yoshi tricks and find something to help you along. This information keeps you thinking, keeps you fresh, and keeps you unpredictable. Find out how these attacks and their variants can work for you in your own way.

B. Spacing

Now, spacing is something a little more universal. Spacing is the practice of attacking in such a way that you can maximize your character's attack range while minimizing your chance of being hit in your vulnerability. The most notable example of such a tactic in this game is Marth, by a long shot. But this isn't about Marth...this is about Yoshi.

Since Yoshi can get down n' dirty, but specializes in mid-range combat, you'll be counting on many of your finishing moves (for offense--scoring those K.O.s) and aerial moves (for defense--trading hits in the air or better) to get that extra bit of distance that some characters just don't have. Don't forget that Yoshi's body bends, twists, and stretches, so be sure to keep that in mind when attacking or countering. A few moves in particular you'll want to pay extra attention to the spacing for as follows: forward tilt, up tilt, forward smash, down smash, up smash, forward aerial, up aerial, and grabs.

Forward and up tilt are mainly great for their deceptive range, so examine them for yourself to see how best they fit into your playstyle.

Forward smash is a whole 'nother beast. Great for intercepting sloppy or slow aerials and even better against characters with slow, short, or predictable tech rolls (Jigglypuff, Kirby, Mario, etc.). Be sure to try out forward smash for that extra stretch you get for rare edgeguarding circumstances (Samus missing a sweetspot, Jigglypuff attempting to sweetspot, etc.) or other such opportunities.

Down smash get great range. Like...GREAT range. Just be sure not to overestimate how far this attack can reach; you’ll leave yourself open to counterattack. Great for edgeguarding and even against edgehopping, which I almost use it exclusively for.

Up smash should not be forgotten, either. Don't forget that Yoshi's upper body stretches and he leaves the ground for this attack for maximum height. Counter any predictable low altitude approaches (Captain Falcon when not perfectly short-hopped) or sloppy and low priority vertical attacks (Jigglypuff, Peach, etc.). Just like with the forward smash, don't forget about that invulnerability or the fact that it hits behind Yoshi first, so take advantage of those facts.

Forward aerial spacing is important, especially for your hardest matchups. As Bringer has brilliantly noted, if you see Sheik jumping in the air for her forward aerial, you can rise with her and, with the proper spacing, have your attacks tie and slam her to the ground even though you'll take a hit, too. Now, with good spacing and even better timing, you could even hit her out of it, which is nothing short of advantageous.

Up aerial is a great move and, again, Yoshi's body stretches for this (actually, he kind of compacts himself while his tail is does the stretching). You can beat many great vertical aerial moves with up-air, so experiment to get the stretching to its maximum distance. Keep in mind since Yoshi kind of curls up, you can use this move in a double jump to recover from under the ledge, have the move strike at maximum distance, and still have enough momentum from your jump to get you over the ledge while you're still smaller.

Spacing grabs is incredibly important because of how vulnerable grabs leave you. Yoshi's standing grab isn't that bad because it's fairly slow, but since Yoshi's dash grab is very fast, you have to be careful (due to the frame refresh rate and hitboxes...lots of technical mumbo jumbo) with thin (Link, Samus, etc.) and smaller (Kirby, Pichu, etc.) characters since Yoshi's dash grab may go right through them without proper spacing. One last thing to keep in mind is that Yoshi will only grab while his tongue is still moving forward. Much like Kirby's Final Cutter (Up+B), once it hits its maximum distance, the move stops taking offensive effect. As long as Yoshi's tongue is still moving forward, it will grab opponents. As soon as it stops moving, it doesn't grab anymore, which is why you may or may not have experienced attempting a grab, and having Yoshi's tongue land full on the opponent, but it stops without having him actually grab them.

III. ____-canceling

Well, Smash wouldn't be a fighting game without cancels. There are many interesting techniques you can use to cancel out attacks and cancel into attacks. The techniques covered here will be: L-canceling, jump-canceling, dash-canceling, shieldcanceling, pivots, and platform-canceling. Quite a list. Many of these are either already common knowledge or very easy to explain, though, so let's begin.

A. L-canceling

The staple technique of Smashers the world over. As you may or may not know, if a character performs an attack in the air and lands while the attack is still in effect, there will be some amount of lag (depending on the attack) that follows upon landing. What L-canceling does is reduce that lag in half, effectively speeding up your character. Simply pressing L or R (either lightly or fully pressed, as long as the press registers) just when your character touches land will speed up their lag animation. Characters you may want to use for initial testing are Bowser, Link, or Ganondorf, but Yoshi's aerials serve testing purposes just fine. Be careful with a few things. First, make sure that when you try to l-cancel an aerial that the attack is still in effect when you touch the ground. If it's not, then when you land and attempt to l-cancel, your character will put up their shield since the lag animation will not be present. Next, make sure that moves which tilt or turn your character (Yoshi's up aerial in particular) don't confuse you in regards to when to attempt the l-cancel. Don't always judge a landing by the character's feet. Just take a while to learn the timing and you'll be all set. Finally, if you strike with a relatively powerful move or if a move of any type hits a shield, expect those freeze frames discussed earlier to come into play. These frames will slightly throw off your timing for the cancel, so be sure to learn the timing for all the possibilities and expect each possibility every time you attempt a low aerial. Simply expecting to l-cancel without considering the freeze frames of colliding with the enemy's shield can leave you painfully vulnerable to our next sub-topic.

Note: L-Canceling is not a new tactic, as some players believe. Introduced officially by the Nintendo of America staff as an advanced technique for Super Smash Bros. 64, z-canceling did more than just cut lag in half; it up and got rid of all aerial attack lag, period!

B. Jump-canceling

As you may well know, every character has a point right before they jump where they prepare themselves for the aerial leap. These frames, used in the wavedashing tactic, can also be cancelled out of to lead into a grab or smash attack. Often used during dashes by running, then (for a jump-cancelled smash) smashing Up+A or (for a jump-cancelled grab) preparing a jump and then pressing any grab button or combination (Z, L+A, R+A), jump-canceling has become another way to make character strategies more potent. Jump-cancelled smashes allow you to up smash straight out of a run, which would normally be impossible otherwise. Jump-cancelled grabs allow you to perform a standing grab straight out of a run, which is extremely useful, even for Yoshi.

If you want to position yourself for an up smash under a falling opponent that isn't close to you, a jump cancelled smash attack may be the way to go. Similarly, if you see an opening on another character and want to grab (after a distant, but laggy attack, let's say), but fear that Yoshi's dash grab will space improperly, then go for the slower, but more sure jump-cancelled grab. You can also mindgame Yoshi's jump-cancelled grab in different ways, but that task shall be left to the reader.

C. Dash-canceling

Dash-canceling is a somewhat less useful technique for grabs, but more useful for smashes. Dash-canceling grabs utilizes the beginning animation of a dash attack to perform a slightly extended dash grab. By grabbing almost as soon as you attempt a dash attack, (depending on the character) you may hear the utterance made for their dash attack, but see a dash grab come out instead. This tactic is more useful for characters with extreme initial lunge on their dash attacks (Sheik, namely), as they'll use that lunge to extend the reach of their dash grab. To dash-cancel a smash, simply dash then slam down on the control stick and C-Stick a smash of your choice, though it is preferred to up smash by means of jump canceling. Dash-canceling smashes allows you to smash straight out of a dash just as jump-canceling allows you to up smash right out of a run with the exception that it has a bit of startup time since the crouching of your character is what stops the dash. This technique is great for following through on combos or for catching vulnerable (perhaps slightly airborne and stunned) enemies with a quick down smash or forward smash, even though with Yoshi, down smash is preferred because of its great speed and range combination.

D. Shield-canceling

Just as the previous two topics, shield-canceling comes in two varieties: smashes and grabs. However, shield-canceling is similar to jump-canceling in the fact that one will only be able to cancel with either an up smash or a standing grab. The reason for this is because shield-canceling uses the premise for jump-canceling as its base since every character (except Yoshi under specific circumstances) can jump out of shield.

Shieldgrabbing is a technique used to instantaneously drop a character's shield and perform a standing grab. The shield is kind of "cancelled" out of, which is why this technique is here. Shieldgrabbing aerial attacks or ground-based assaults during their lag is key for many characters' strategies but not so much for Yoshi, since his standing grab is so slow. However, there are plenty of opportunities to use shieldgrabbing for Yoshi that revolve around extremely laggy attacks (Sheik's dash attack, for example). Again, there are a couple things to beware of. First, watch out for l-cancelled aerials that already have low lag. If the move is quick enough and sped up even further by the l-cancel, the attacker may be able to get a jab or two in on you while you're attempting the shieldgrab. Be careful around Fox and Falco, too, as they can l-cancel into their shine attacks, which decimates shieldgrabs. Next, be aware that some attacks can (or can be made to) finish behind your character's shield (Fox's dash attack, for instance, or any aerial purposefully aimed to land behind your character). If you attempt a shieldgrab on such an attack, you will miss because the character will be behind your grab range. Finally, note that you do not have to wait until an aerial is finished or hits the ground to perform a shieldgrab. If the aerial has completed the attacking duration, but is still in animation, you can grab it without fear of getting hit. By that same token, don't shieldgrab long-lasting attacks too early, as you will still get hit and just make yourself vulnerable.

Now, Yoshi cannot ordinarily jump out of his shield, so he cannot up smash out of shield on a normal basis. However, this is possible (under limited circumstances) with Yoshi and is useful with many other characters, so this is for your general knowledge. Just as with jump-canceling, simply jump while shielding and perform an up smash while still grounded. Again, Yoshi cannot do this under normal circumstances, but the special requirements for this maneuver will be discussed in Part Four of this publication.

E. Pivoting

Pivots are very similar to dash-cancelled tactics with the exception that the extra startup time for dash-cancelled smashes isn't present here because it abuses a character's natural animations right out of the run to perform the action. To pivot, start up a dash. Now, at a certain point in every character's dash animation, both feet will be planted on the ground and one can, at that moment in time, stop the dash instantaneously, turn their character around, and perform any ground action in the opposite direction of the dash. The timing takes a while to find out, but this is best used with Yoshi's forward tilt and forward smash. To pivot, just dash, wait for the right moment, and then just perform the intended action, but input the opposite direction. Great for making up your own unique mind games. Have fun with that.

F. Platform-canceling

A very limited technique, but useful to know, platform canceling can be used to quickly catch an unwary opponent off guard. When a character performs an aerial attack either while rising through a platform, or while falling through one, with the right timing the aerial with be performed, but immediately touch the platform (with corresponding lag, so l-cancel as necessary). This can be performed with any aerial attack, but the ones really useful for Yoshi are his up-air, neutral-air, and hip drop (Down+B).

:yoshi: :Part Four:

I. Shielding

Shielding is one of the basics of Smash that, again, distinguishes it from other fighters. Instead of just guarding, each character puts up a shield, the size of which varies from character to character, can dynamically change the size and elasticity of the shield, becomes vulnerable in specific (and sometimes intended) places as the shield is up, and takes into account the literal meaning of a "guard break." Though shielding is a very basic concept, many players do not know how it works and how it can work to their advantage. The following part of Project Y.O.S.H.I. is dedicated to the shield and Yoshi's shield in particular.

Shielding is simple. To shield press L, R, or Z (hereafter referred to as "shield buttons") and your character will put up a protective bubble. When a shield is put up, the game puts up a circle of invulnerability (the same size of the shield) around the character and that circle's size refreshes as the shield whittles down. Any attacks that contact the circle (not necessarily the character) will do some shield stun, but no knockback or damage to the defending character. Be careful though, as you can be grabbed when shielding.

Yoshi has quite a different shield, however. When he shields, he spends six frames tucking into his egg. During these six frames, he is invulnerable to all attacks and grabs. Once that period is over, it appears as if he's tucked neatly inside his egg. This is only the case visually, however. What happens behind the scenes is that Yoshi curls up during the six frames but, after that, he immediately resumes a standing position and a circle of invulnerability (referred to in the previous paragraph) roughly the size of his egg appears on top of his body in the same position as the egg (the sphere actually appears on frame 3 of the shielding animation). Even though he is in a standing position, the parts of his body outside the egg are invincible and invisible, so it seems as if he's actually inside the egg.

Now, normally players will have to worry about a few things. First, the size of the shield. Many characters' defensive games are not so fantastic due to small shields (Mr. Game & Watch, Pikachu, etc.) while other characters' shield sizes are quite big (Bowser, Sheik, etc.) and allow for lots of defensive action. The main reason that basic shield size is important is the fact that, as the shield shrinks when it absorbs hits, more parts of the shielding character are left vulnerable to attack. Next, the position of the shield. If you look closely, every character creates some sort of defensive stance with their arms while shielding. The shield originates at the point where the arms make the stance (usually the upper chest) and that means that as the shield shrinks, it reduces not to the center of a character's body, but to the point of the shield's origin. For taller characters (Samus, Captain Falcon, etc.), this means their legs are extremely vulnerable as their shield wears down while smaller characters have to worry more about their substantially larger heads. To deal with this, players can manipulate the position of the shield around their body to a small degree by gently tilting the control stick. Players also have to worry about shield stun. When an attack collides with a shield, there are two types of stun that come into play. The first type of stun is associated with the strength of the attack used against the shield. The stronger the attack, the more stun. The other type of stun is every shield's natural stun value applied every time the shield is hit; this is a constant value no matter what the strength of the attack used. These two types of stun combine to create the phenomenon referred to as shield stun. Finally, players have to worry about their shield breaking. When a shield can no longer absorb any damage, the shield breaks and the defending character flies into the air for a short time (during which they are invincible). When the character reaches the ground (Jigglypuff excluded), they will enter a state of dizziness during which they are open to whatever devices their opponent has ready for them.

With the exception of the last worry, Yoshi is free from the burden of most characters' shields. His shield does not change in size and he has no need to move it around. It covers his body and even lasts one frame longer than everyone else's shield. His shield also does not suffer attack stun when moves collide with it, meaning his shield stun is greatly reduced (almost nullified to the naked eye). In exchange, however, he cannot jump out of his shield. Now, this doesn't seem so bad unless you think about all the advanced techniques linked to jumping and jump-canceling. Couple this with a slow shield grab and you can see that Yoshi's defensive game isn't necessarily bad, but sort of...risky. However, to deal with his shortcomings, Yoshi has a few more advanced and sometimes difficult maneuvers he can use to relieve him of the stress of his defensive game.

Note: Every character, except Yoshi, can dodge or jump out of their shield-dropping animation. Yoshi can only dodge out of his.

II. Lightshielding

Lightshielding is a wonderful defensive mechanism; it stretches the shield to cover your character much better. To lightshield, press a shield button partially. The lighter the button is held, the lighter the shield. Z can be used to achieve a full lightshield. One advantage is obviously that your character is better defended by their shield. Another is that the defending character will slide a little bit when hit, preventing attackers from landing behind your shield. Of course, something so cool has to have its own disadvantages too. Since the shield is stretched thinner, attacks will deteriorate the shield much faster and induce slightly more shield stun. Also, you can be sure that if an opponent is lightshielding, they're intent on blocking something, so they're very open to grabs.

As expected, Yoshi's lightshield is slightly different than everyone else's. The first and probably most important thing is that his egg doesn't change tone or size to reveal the fact that he's lightshielding--combine this with the fact that you can change from a full shield to a light shield without dropping the shield makes for great defensive tactics. Yoshi also slides much more than everyone else when he lightshields. Many attacks, when lightshielded, will carry Yoshi out of the enemy's attack range...if not across the entire stage. Don't forget that Yoshi's shield stun is reduced, so you can drop the shield while sliding and reset yourself on the battlefield.

One final thing about lightshielding that's good to know (especially for Yoshi) is the fact that you can queue it up. What does this mean? Well, since Z brings up the full lightshield (the lightest shield possible), it's sometimes desirable to use the Z button. However, Z also issues the grab command. To get around having to grab in order to put up a full lightshield, you can perform any action (even landing from a jump) and hold Z during the lag for whatever action you performed. This will put the full lightshield in queue for your character, meaning it will occur at the soonest possible moment once the current action is finished. Very useful out of dodges, rolls, and aerials.

Note: Since Yoshi slides really well in his lightshield, make note of the fact that if you lightshield a projectile in the front of the shield, Yoshi will slide backwards as normal. However, if you lightshield as a projectile is behind you, the force from the projectile will boost your forward, making for interesting counterattack situations (perhaps), but is more for fun and showing off.

III. Powershielding

Powershielding is another fantastic addition to Melee. Powershielding comes in two flavors: melee powershielding and projectile powershielding. For both types, the shield button has to be pressed down fully for the powershield to occur. Both types of powershielding do no shield damage, which is something to make note of.

A. Melee Powershielding

A melee powershield is basically a parry. To melee powershield, press a shield button all the way down whenever an attack hitbox is anywhere within your shield during a specific time frame. Every character, save Yoshi, has four frames in which to powershield an attack--the first four frames of the shielding animation can powershield. Since the naked eye cannot see hitboxes, a reliable way to powershield is to slam down on a shield button on the frame before you're hit or just before you're hit.

When a melee powershield is achieved, a few things happen. The signals will be a white burst, a popping noise, and seeing the character's shield disappear, even though they are still in the defensive stance. The character will slide a bit when the powershield occurs, similar to a slight lightshield, but it still has the same stun as a hard shield. Now, you may ask what the point of powershielding melee attacks is. The point is that if you release your shield quickly enough during the powershield or shield stun phase of the process, you can cancel the shield-dropping animation with any ground-based A or B attack. In this sense, it's like a customizable Counter attack. Jabs, tilts, smashes, and any B attacks are fair game--you just have to press the direction and button at the same time if your choice of counterattack uses both a direction and button.

Now, as for the time window you have to drop your shield and cancel it, there are a few things to take into consideration. When you powershield, the appropriate freeze frames go into effect, and then shield stun sets in as the defending character slides back. From the powershield initiation up until the fourth frame of shield stun, you can release the shield button and reap the benefits of powershielding. Just be sure to wait for the shield-dropping animation to start before you attempt to attack--doing an attack too early will result in nothing happening.

That being said, you can powershield multiple hit attacks as long as the next hit of the attack meets you within the shield release time frame. Success increases as you powershield earlier in the attack; if you powershield the first hit of Fox's down-aerial, you are almost guaranteed to powershield every subsequent hit. Powershielding in the middle of the attack doesn't guarantee powershielding everything.

The above information applies to powershielding melee attacks in general. How does Yoshi go about powershielding attacks?

Well, as opposed to everyone else, Yoshi's powershield window is smaller. He has two frames to powershield as opposed to everyone else's four frames. That's not TOO bad, but what makes this much more difficult is that the powershield window is smack-dab in the middle of his shielding animation. The shielding animation is six frames long. Yoshi can only melee powershield on the third and fourth frames of the animation. Because his head is very much in the way during his shielding animation and can intercept attacks before they collide with his true shield (see the shielding section above)--that circle of invincibility--powershielding becomes much easier if done while facing backwards. An unfortunate difference is also that Yoshi cannot cancel his shield-dropping animation with any attacks. Do remember, though, that he can dodge out of his shield-dropping animation, so use that if the situation arises.

Note: Yoshi is infamous for randomly powershielding attacks while his shield is already fully up. This has been confirmed by several players and reconfirmed in several match videos, but the reasoning behind this has yet to be revealed.

B. Projectile Powershielding

A projectile powershield is basically a native reflector for every character. To projectile powershield, press a shield button all the way down whenever a projectile hitbox is anywhere within your shield at the instant the shield is put up. That means one frame. As stated earlier, the easiest way to powershield is to slam down on a shield button just before you're hit.

When a projectile powershield occurs, a few things happen. The signals will be seeing a white flash, hearing a “tink” noise, and not seeing the shield appear at all. There is no sliding, shield stun, or shield deterioration. Unlike melee powershielding, though, the only real thing you can do out of a projectile powershield is jump or dodge. Since the window for reaction begins immediately, you can jump, wavedash, or double-jump land out of a projectile powershield the first frame after the powershield is achieved, if you so desire.

Of course, Yoshi has to be different, even if just a little. Let's investigate.

Yoshi can do everything anybody else can do with a projectile powershield. The hardest part is achieving the powershield in the first place. Since his true shield appears over his body with very few gaps, powershielding a projectile when it's inside the shield can be quite trying. Powershielding while from the front can only really reflect low-traveling projectiles like ground-level missiles or lasers, Mario's fireballs, and Pikachu's Thunder Jolt. The latter two require you to powershield them as they bounce since that's the only time they'll be low enough to reflect. Now, Yoshi's success rate increases when he powershields from the back since more shield and less body are present behind him. A "sweetspot" (or almost guaranteed spot for powershielding) is right at the corner where the scales on his neck and the saddle form a right angle. Yoshi's powershield rate of success skyrockets, however when he crouches. Since the projectile and shield have to overlap on the first frame, if the projectile travels over Yoshi's body and he puts up his shield at that moment, he will have a much greater chance of reflecting the projectile. Crouching "sweetspots" include the area above his saddle and the point at the very top of his eyes.

As stated, Yoshi can jump out of projectile powershield just like everyone else, so please use that to your advantage whenever possible. Don't forget. The ability to jump is the ability to double jump, jump-cancel (smashes and grabs), and wavedash.

IV. Rapid Powershielding

Rapid powershielding is an ability that only Yoshi has. Along with his tendency to randomly powershield while his shield is fully up, rapid powershielding is not fully understood. Basically, Yoshi has the ability to powershield all hits of rapid attacks like punch combos (Kirby, Sheik, Captain Falcon, etc.) and drill kicks (Samus, Mario, Fox, etc.) with relative ease.

The question of why of why this happens isn't as easily answered as how this happens. Best performed out of a dash or dodge (or combination of both) and with a lightshield (possibly the biggest mystery of the whole thing), Yoshi can deflect rapid hits for as long as his shield holds up...another mystery in the process. This technique can use any degree of shielding, but will diminish your shield at the same rate it would diminish by just being held up. This definitely defies the suggestion analysts have made saying that melee powershields do no shield damage.

In the near future, when progress is made in this area, this section will be updated.

V. Supershielding

Here we go. This is possibly my most favorite shield technique next to projectile powershielding. Supershielding is a very cheesy name I came up with for a technique that most Yoshi players already know. If I were to describe it in a few words, I'd say this: combine the benefits of both melee and projectile powershielding and you'll get Yoshi's true powershield. I'll explain how it works and why it's so awesome.

When Yoshi goes into his six-frame shielding animation, his body becomes invincible for those six frames. The type of invulnerability he experiences is the type that absorbs attacks (if he were to be hit, he'd experience some freeze frames, but not take any damage or move)...the other type of invincibility almost treats characters as if they were not there (attacks will go right through them with no pause at all). Since Yoshi experiences the former, he can absorb attacks with his shielding animation. If the attack is absorbed on the first two frames, anywhere Yoshi is hit will give you the desired effect. Now, for the other four frames, Yoshi will only absorb the attack if his upper body (chest, neck, and head area) is hit. Since frames three and four activate powershielding, Yoshi cannot absorb attacks with his true shield. Frames five and six also do not yield the proper effects if his true shield is hit.

Please be aware that this technique can only be achieved when the shield trigger is pulled fully; you cannot perform supershields with lightshield input.

Note: Supershielding only achieves the desired effect if Yoshi's upper body is hit. Don't forget that. His head is the easiest to collide with, making this technique fairly easy. The only signal that you've achieved a supershield is seeing the same tiny blue spark that you see with clanking attacks or with shield collisions appear before Yoshi's full shield is up.

If you let go of the shield button immediately, he will only enter full shielding for one frame and then enter his shield-dropping animation. In this time, your enemy will still probably be attacking or experiencing lag from his or her attack. You are now free to punish them in their lag. This works best against strong projectiles that you can't necessarily jab or powershield conveniently (Charge Beam especially), strong slow smashes (Marth, Link, Ganondorf, etc.), and strong slow specials (Spin Attack, Falcon Punch, etc.)--basically any attack that has a decent amount of lag. This works on projectiles, too, but does not reflect them. Instead, they are canceled out with relative ease. Actually, the freeze frames stronger projectiles induce will aid on recognizing the supershield effect quicker for the aspect you'll read about next.

Now, this is pretty useful but you may ask yourself: what's so super about this? Well, let's talk about that. First, there's something important to note. So I'll use these handy notes.

Note: You can only be hit by the same hitbox for an attack once for each time that attack is used. Multiple hitting attacks like drill kicks and punch combos use multiple (and different) hitboxes, so they produce multiple hits.

With that said, let's look at something. Many Yoshi players know that you can jump out of Yoshi's shielding animation at any time. Since Yoshi is so vulnerable during shielding and shield-dropping, I'm not surprised at this addition. Now, let's combine the supershield effect with the fact that we can jump out of the shielding animation. If you were to, say, see a Marth forward smash coming at you, you could try to block it. If you achieve a supershield in attempting to block this attack and realize it in time, you can jump out while Marth's sword is still swinging. Remember, you've already absorbed the hit, so the attack won't hurt you anymore. You can jump right through it if you want. Now we're getting to the super stuff!

Being able to jump means being able to do a lot of things. For one, you can double-jump land into any smash of your choice. Speaking of smashes, you can jump-cancel an upsmash which is great if you manage to supershield from behind or above (very difficult but worth the effort). You can obviously wavedash, too, which is one of the most beneficial aspects of this technique. As you can see, this combines the lack of shield deterioration of melee powershielding with the lack of shield stun and ability to jump of projectile powershielding. I'd say, if anything, that this is Yoshi's truest form of powershielding.

Now you've seen all these advantages to such a cool technique. What are the disadvantages? There have to be some, right? Well, there is only one. Since you can jump out of the shielding animation at any time and the whole time frame for this process is quite quick, it's very easy to jump out before you've absorbed the attack and get hit while meaning to supershield. The only real way to get around this is with enough practice to realize when you've successfully supershielded something. This seems like a very impractical technique to use, but hopefully you'll see, as time goes on that characters like Marth and Samus become very vulnerable when this technique is employed correctly. It takes a lot of time to learn and master, yes. However, I believe it's one of the best things Yoshi has going for him, so I try to do it as often as is practical.

:yoshi: :Game Over:

I. References

Here you will find threads from some part of SmashBoards that have some manner of detailed information on the topics presented in this project. Please browse through these if you have the chance and need further clarification on any of the topics discussed here.

· How to Hatch a Healthy Yoshi: A Yoshi Guide -- A topic by Bringer of Death. The one-stop shop for Yoshi information. Classic guide and a must-read.

· A Guide to DI, Smash DI, C-Stick DI, Teching, and Crouch Canceling -- A topic by Doraki. Covers the specifics of what the community publicly knows of DI to date. Very informative.

· Powershielding -- A topic by Uncle Meat. An opinionated look at powershielding. You may have to filter through some of the posts to get actual information.

· Japanese DI????!!!! -- A topic by D1. Covers the essentials of surviving high-damage attacks.

II. Final Thoughts

Coming soon...

III. Contact Info.

Feel free to PM me (Shiri) at any time if you have any questions or concerns regarding this project.


This is the end of the project. Thanks for reading!


Smash Chump
Nov 7, 2004
The Sunset Sudio
:yoshi: This is just a public reminder...

...if you're starving for information, Bringer's guide has what you need to know. What I'm working on can, at most, be considered a supplement.

But yeah, head for the stickied Yoshi topic of awesome if you want information.


Smash Journeyman
Feb 6, 2006
Findlay, OH
Shiri, great idea. Though as you said, what you are putting out is meant to be a supplement to Bringer's great guide, I think releasing video footage is a great way for people to see what the person is talking about. It's one thing to read about perfect wavedashing and triangle jumping and all the technical aspects of Yoshi, it's quite another to see what it LOOKS like. Since I main with Doc, I guess I have to use the Doc boards as an example. They released a video about a month ago which showed both with words and footage all of the Doctor Mario basic and advanced moves so the people learning to play with him could get an idea of what the stuff looked like so they could know if they were doing it right or not. It really helped me understand a lot of the more advanced tactics for Doc, so why not put out something similar with Yoshi? I'm sure a lot of people would appreciate it.


Smash Apprentice
Mar 30, 2006
San Diego, California
Sweet anthem, Shiri. I had always considered yoshi's eggs the most celebratory projectile (especially when spammed by a triple-yoshi team!!). I think it also would've been cool to use the Hendrix version of the song, too ^_^
Jul 10, 2005
lol, we've been wanting to do something similar to the yoshi's national anthem except using Samus with jingle bells. We have our song and everything; we just need to find some way to record and edit the video. We're going to have Samus in his morph ball form bomb jumping across the words, it'd be too good, lol. Hey Shiri, what movie editing software did you use for the national anthem?


Smash Chump
Nov 7, 2004
The Sunset Sudio
:yoshi: Windows Mov--er, I mean...Windows Mistake Maker.


Don't use that program.

Take a couple of weeks and learn something a little more useful.

WMM is only good for straight taking raw capture and editing the content...not for adding anything special. If simple simple stuff is all you need it for, you're in business.


Smash Chump
Nov 7, 2004
The Sunset Sudio
:yoshi: Updated with the project layout. Feedback encouraged. ^_^

P.S. - Yoshido, if you find something you think is cool or interesting, don't hestitate to send me something. It can be worthless or possibly the best thing ever; I'll try to put anything into this that will fit.

Within reason.

P.P.S. - Everyone else with the ability to capture themselves, please don't hesitate to send me anything. I'll be more than willing to accept it.


Smash Chump
Nov 7, 2004
The Sunset Sudio
:yoshi: Sir, let me repeat.

If you've got something (especially AR stuffs), please just send it my way. PM me for contact info.

I have nothing even CLOSE to an AR, so all of the discussion I have lined up so far is general AR knowledge already discovered and whatever I (or other players) have already aesthetically ascertained.

If you've got AR stuff to give me, then by all means...GIVE IT. o_o

Please. ^_^


Smash Apprentice
May 8, 2006
The epicenter (0,0,0)
Ok, I've never played with the TV tuner on my card, but I'll get back to you as soon as I borrow the AR.

(goes to read how to use TV tuner card...)

Edit: Unfortunately, it turns out my card's s-video input I thought was the tv tuner was an out port (generally, one that'd let me use my tv as a monitor). It does have a DVI-I, which is what I belive is the tv tuner; but I have no clue how to use it. I'll get back after some research.

Edit 2: I don't think I'll be able to get any video, as I have no clue how this works. I don't have a video camera either, so I'm stuck. However, I do have the ability to modify movies, so If I borrow the AR, I could fill in where the hitboxes are in general. (It wouldn't be precise, but it'd be better then nothing)

Edit 3: After looking on the box, it say's TV-out, and not TV tuner, my bad :( .


Smash Master
Feb 6, 2005
Twitter @xD1x
I really really think it would be beneficial to have a short clip of the hitboxes of ALL of Yoshi's moves...that would so pwn. Plus it would hold me over till Brawl came out ^_^.


Smash Chump
Nov 7, 2004
The Sunset Sudio
:yoshi: I dunno if I can get that AR'd up, but...

I was thinking of doing something like this in-game so people see how much range certain moves have.

Screw it. There's gonna be a tourney this weekend, so I'll just take my third place winnings from that and buy an AR. I've been hurting for one anyway.


Smash Master
Feb 6, 2005
Twitter @xD1x
D1 <3's Shiri

On another note: I remember someone tellin me w/ AR you COULD see the hitboxes of his moves I remember seein a random Japanese site (I wish I remembered the URL T___T) but they showed random clips of Smash and AR, and the things you could do. One cool clip showed the actual hitbox of Yoshi's fsmash. Yoshi looked like a Yellow dummy, and when he did the fsmash the red part showed where the fsmash hit. It was teh cool.
Sep 15, 2002
Perth, Western Australia
I got exams. I also got AR. After exams, you want AR footage of moves, I can work something out. What would be good though, is if we worked out how we would do it first. Like, do you want to compare moves to other character's hitboxes? It'd be pretty sick to superimpose something like Peach and Yoshi's f-airs on top of each other.

Oh, and to the poster just above me, my crewmates and I call Zelda's taunt as the 'Show the love' move. So, there's the love... in the same tier as Yoshi ^__^


Smash Chump
Nov 7, 2004
The Sunset Sudio
:yoshi: I don't think you know just how useful this is.

To be honest, I actually think certain moves were a bit more visible in the light background, so it's no problem at all. Thank you very much again.


Smash Master
Feb 6, 2005
Twitter @xD1x
VgtPrncfllSyns said:
Everything good in that? I don't know if I did any movements with the blue backround or the stary backround, but I hope that's not a huge problem.

*in heaviest asian accent he could conjure up*



Smash Cadet
Jun 10, 2006
for the Yoshi National Anthem, which vids did you use? I downloaded a lot of Yaya vids from DC++ and a lot of the clips for the Anthem seemed to be from them.


Smash Chump
Nov 7, 2004
The Sunset Sudio
:yoshi: Well...I don't wanna toot my own horn, but...

Yeah...those Yaya vids are mine... ¬_¬

P.S. - Nobody watch those; they're horrible. They just have footage of me getting owned. I don't even know how I managed to extract as many not-bad clips as I did for that little video.


Smash Chump
Nov 7, 2004
The Sunset Sudio
:yoshi: More updates for you guys.

Finished parts one and four a little while ago, so I'll take a break for a day and play around with Premiere some. Re-arranged the layout with a progress report. I'll be asking around to different people if they have something to input or can help me with anything in terms of Q & A. If you want anything in here, just PM me and I'll try to work it in. ^_^

Thanks a lot for the best wishes and I'll try to have this done soon.