Spacing aerials in neutral


Smash Rookie
Oct 5, 2017
Orlando, FL
Switch FC
SW 6975 0680 8011
In Melee, sh nairs are critical in neutral to space out your opponents and open to a lot of combos. This changed dramatically in 4 with uair being way more useful than nair and covering a huge range of options. But with Ultimate, I'm not really feeling either of these options. My nairs either come out way too soon or way too late (can't find that sweet spot) and uair doesn't really seem to cover nearly as much space as it did in 4.

What are people doing for neutral spacing this time around? I feel like I'm stuck mostly dashing around on the ground and trying to bait into a grab or dash attack of some kind, but I miss the threat of sh aerials mixed in, and it just doesn't feel nearly as effective this time around.


Smash Rookie
Aug 21, 2018
Eastern PA, United States
Thank you for putting into words, what I could not.

So I’ve begun to chew on this a bit and am honestly quite stumped. In my oppinnion, without the use of perfect pivots, Jab>grab, grab just bring weaker in general. I’ve found that back airs are the only decent option now as far as aerial spacing similar to Smash 4 - but keep In mind we’re playing a completely different game now. I’ve heard it said that being in the air is just a much more risky as far as position is concerned (referring to Gimr’s “Full Hop is the new Roll” video which I think is a bit far fetched but that’s for another time...) With aerials Being a weaker option (mainly for Cap) we’re pressed to evolve our thinking and thus our gameplay...

That being said...

One of my favorite changes coming from Smash 4 Cap to Smash Ultimate Cap is Down Air. I think with the new frame data changes this move will become a central part to captain falcons success. And in my oppinnion, Cap’snew D-air pays homage to Melee’s D-Air functionality.

In my applications, I’ve found that if you space D-air properly on shield (mainly hitting the back end of your opponents shield) you put them in a super uncomfortable position. However I still don’t think that d-air has become an approaching or spacing tool. So I’m still at a loss as you are... heh.

I think what I’m trying to say here, is that in Ultimate we’re going to have to figure out how to rely less heavily on spacing nails/u-airs. And focus more on (less emphasized) b-air spacing and heavier focus on tech chasing/d-air pressure and punishes. I also think that roll punishes and air dodge punishes are going to be a much more central focus for Cap’a success, especially considering how fast, safe, and rewarding the move is now.

I’ve found that d-air on shield can be very oppressive. When heavy pressure is forced onto shield, it forces evasive maneuvers - which if the situation is accounted for properly, can become a rewarding exchange.
Dec 5, 2018
Shanghai, China
I'll preface this by saying that I didn't play smash 4 Falcon at all really so I don't know tech and am coming at this with a fresh pair of eyes. So far I have had success with Falcon by being up in the face of my opponent with nair and uair. I've found a good timing for sh nair and used it to either keep people in shield (then try and apply pressure with dair like Shimmy said) and then try and read their roll or punish their release of shield with a dash attack/uair. I've had a lot of times where I don't get a great string of moves in a row but a nair will knock them up to a platform, uair catches them and either knocks in towards the stage and I try to read the roll for an fsmash or they go off stage and from there its where it gets really fun.

just some of my initial thoughts