Snake problems


Smash Journeyman
Dec 20, 2016
So, I've been playing smash for a while. I started back in 2015 with Smash for 3DS. Everything seemed OK in terms of matchups for a while, at least until Bayonetta came out. Still, at that time, I recognized that I wasn't very good at the game. I went to a tournament three times during the 3DS/Wii U span, and I went 0-2 each time. Once Ultimate came out, I was confident that I would be able to at least stay competitive in any matchup I came across. So I started going to locals again, and this time, I was able to at least go 2-2, maybe even 3-2 in bracket. As with most people, I shifted mains pretty frequently throughout the early phases of the game, going from Shiek, to Meta Knight, to Fox, and then finally settling on Palutena.
People accused me of tier-picking, but it was a character that I loved to practice and I felt satisfaction in improving with the character. I love the mixups out of down-throw, and successfully snagging RaR bair kills are always satisfying as heck.
However, there began an issue one day, when I ran across a random Snake in bracket. I figured I could make a couple good reads, edgeguard, and seal the first round away, easy-peasy. However, playing against Snake was one of the weirdest things I've ever done. He started out playing EXTREMELY campy. I thought to myself "Well, this shouldn't be an issue. I'll just dash attack or tomahawk grab or something and get in." I had to play extremely patiently opening up the game, but I eventually found an opening! Happy days! I decided to rush in and dash attack. It hit! I felt the satisfaction that I usually do when landing a successful hit. I was already planning to nair to apply pressure. However, I exploded. The rest of the match went similar to this. The reason why I picked Palu was because of a good recovery, a kill throw, and especially combo-ability. However, the comboing seemed to be shut down by seemingly random grenade explosions going off. Winning neutral felt like tying neutral 99% of the time. Winning neutral as a whole was difficult to begin with anyway, due to the grenades, C4, and even sometimes Nitika.
Time and time again I have been forced to deal with Snake after this. I kept struggling to overcome this matchup with Palutena. It almost felt like I had regressed to my 15-year old 3ds/WiiU days. It genuinely pisses me off whenever I feel that I'm not improving.
For this reason, I decided to take a different angle. If I couldn't out-neutral/combo Snake, I might as well try to out-zone him.
Long story short, my pocket Wolf and Richter I later developed proved to be useless against Snake. Out-zoning seemed difficult to be sure, but that wasn't the biggest problem. Though it was a significant factor, the biggest problem I experienced came from recovering. Wolf, and especially Richter have weak, exploitable recoveries, which made them even weaker than the Palu.
So, in summary, I feel that there are a lot of reasons for my struggle to beat this matchup, and I feel like I've run out of options. That's why I've decided to reach out on the web. Do you guys have any tips for avoiding/addressing/enabling:

Which character to pick, and how to counterpick as a whole
A way to consistently zone against Snake, or at least dealing with his current options
How to rushdown Snake, if possible
How to properly win neutral against Snake, with an overall win in terms of % exchange
How to juggle/edgeguard Snake, if possible
(A bit of context about this one, I find it very difficult to juggle, and thus, edgeguard Snake, due to the fact that he can recover high, then B-reverse, wavebounce, and momentum-shift his way to the ground safely.)
How to combo snake without interruption, if possible
(And this is just a personal one) How to keep myself from losing my cool when any of these problems occur.

Also, just saying, I don't need all of these problems fixed. In fact, just one will help me at least feel like I have a chance.

Keep in mind I have no problem with Snake mains, I just struggle with the matchup.

If you're able to help, or need stuff like footage to help with tips, please let me know.


Smash Ace
Jun 10, 2016
Be patient.
Remember that Palutena does have a reflector if you're getting zoned out too hard.
I would advise against running in until you're confident you've found a pattern. If the Snake is using the same move or moves repeatedly (which is common when camping), pay attention to the rhythm of when and where hitboxes are out. Once you're confident in the timing, that's when you go in. When you go in, the trample effect on back air and dash attack makes them probably your best approach options, although some other disjointed moves might be useful as well.
Not sure what to say about juggling and edgeguarding, but for comboing, keep in mind that Snake has a frame 1 option (grenade) so it's probably best to stick to true combos whenever possible.
As for the last one, like you said, that's just a personal problem you'll have to deal with. Be patient. Calm down. The last thing you want to do versus a Snake is play angry. Angry players tend to be more aggressive, and that's just what Snake wants. You'll run right into every trap. If you feel yourself getting angry, just take a deep breath and relax. If you can keep your cool, you will play the matchup much better.
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