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Triforce of Wisdom: Mindgames, Applied ATs, and Strategies

Luis Alonso

Smash Journeyman
Jul 25, 2013
New York, NY
All the stages @WhiteCrow hates are all the stages I actually really like. Huh, people are so diverse.

I feel that the medium size of the stage means that simply having a Din's out will provide you an overwhelming edge in terms of Stage Control. Just having that little wisp out to disrupt your opponents can be very imposing, especially if your opponents don't know to deal with Din's.


Smash Ace
Dec 18, 2013
MDVAiridian City
Up-tilt goes through platfroms on Yoshi's Story, and WarioLand. It also just barely gets through Distant Planet. I don't know how many of the Delfino transforms it goes through. Haven't taken the time to test it.

I find that Zelda has generally good/bad stages, but it's very MU dependent. I like to take her Glass Cannon status and turn her into a Paper Mortar. Dies earlier, but also kills even earlier

Almost Always Good stages:
DS--better platform arrangements than DL, Blastzones are a bit more reasonable, so you can still get kill setups, but you still live for a long time. Not to mention Mario Sunshine HYPE!

These next 4 are usually bad against Ganon/Bowser/Swordies for obvious reasons, but otherwise favor her

Sometimes good stages:
PS2--against characters that can't kill you vertically or when you need space
SV--when you would like to kill vertically, or don't want platforms
FD--against spacies and Falcon, chaingrab/up-smash is bae, though I tend to like my platforms
DL--actually not a fan of this stage, because I have little exp here and I find that Zelda has trouble killing here
DP--uptilt goes through platforms, ceiling is on the higher side. I like the space, and low and close platforms help Din's do wurk. Larger stage means you do have an escape when you're overwhelmed. Just don't take Spacies (or other very fast characters) here

Sometimes Bad stages:
PS2--against anyone with a vertical kill move
BF--Not her absolute worst stage, but it doesn't benefit her all THAT much. In my experience, it tends to benefit others more than her. I like the stage...but I think that others like it better
Norfair--Low ceiling, platforms are usually too high to do much with Zelda's crap jump. Not the worst stage, but I only pick it to make my opponent uncomfortable

Always Bad stages:
Yoshi's Brawl--'nuf said


Smash Rookie
Jun 15, 2015
My go-to counter picks tend to be GHZ, DP or FD. I like the idea of FoD but definitely need more experience as I find more often than not my Din's get stuck on the platforms.

What stages would you guys recommend against Roy/Marth/Link/Tink? I have favoured DP or FD for them with 'some' success. It's definitely 80% a matchup thing but If I can swing the stage in my favour it's a start.

EDIT: Are the sides of Yoshi's brawl flat? On GHZ if I go diagonally up with farore's against the wall I can either get on stage or grab the edge depending on how low I am. On Yoshi's brawl I only move up a slight amount and SD.
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Smash Lord
Sep 30, 2014
Ok, stages. There are a lot of tournament viable stages and different matchups or playstyles play a big role. I'll try and give some preliminary thoughts on each.

Yoshis Story: Tiny stage, which is good for Zelda's early kills and lack of mobility but bad for her floatiness and zoning. Reaching up through the platforms is nice and Zelda's platform techchase is phenomenal. I'd say this is a great Zelda stage in ALL matchups (yes even Marth and Fox), but not if you like playing a defensive Zelda.

Warioland: Tiny stage, read Yoshis Story for elaboration. Due to the possibility of opponents landing on the top platforms I find she has trouble juggling (since the middle plats are directly underneath, making her vulnerable as she jumps up to meet the opponent). As such, I don't like this stage as much as YS but I think its still great for her. Again, great Zelda stage in all matchups, but not for defensive players.

Castle Siege: Tiny stage but decent blastzones. Would be good for her lack of mobility but the way the stage and platforms are laid out make pressure difficult to apply. I find reading opponents movements and limiting their options easier on YS and WL. Platforms are also too low to get any good techchases, opponents will be able to act before you've finished your first move lol. I don't think this is a good Zelda stage, but it is a bad stage for many other characters so still consider it. Don't ever play this stage vs Marth *shudders*

Metal Cavern: Similar to Castle Siege but with a different platform layout. I like this platform better as I find it easier to read where opponents are going with it (whether or not they are using it) since it covers center stage and is large. The high ground is a problem for Zelda on both stages since she has nothing that hits at an angle. Not particularly good for Zelda, but many other people hate it so consider it.

Green Hill Zone: Small stage, small blastzones, but the proportions have the top blastzone further than normal. Good against any character you plan to juggle due to usually 0 platforms, bad against projectile users because there's nowhere to hide. The platform often saves people from juggles or gives others an extra recovery opportunity, but it isn't of much use to Zelda. Furthermore, you can't teleport off it since it moves and you can't drop down at any point but the apex or bottom due to how slow she falls (it falls or rises faster #icrievritim). The apex means she has to come down from super high and the bottom is where they are pressuring you already to not come down. Ugh. Good Zelda stage against about half the cast due to juggles and ease of killing, bad otherwise.

Fountain of Dreams: Pretty much the same exact size as GHZ. People think the top blastzone is much higher but the stage is actually centered high up in the blastzones. I think this stage is great for Zelda because the moving platforms give her great options through them, the stage is big enough to use Dins and teleport, and the stage is small enough to go ham with pressure. Great Zelda stage.

Battlefield: Slightly bigger than FoD but otherwise very similar. The blastzones are average. Due to the fact that the platforms don't move, the stage is slightly less open than FoD. Also you can't hit through the platforms as easily. I find it easy to read people on this stage due to how platforms interrupt movement (or enable it, which makes people ALWAYS use them for movement and still get read). Once again, platform techchases are a breeze here. I am always happy to go to this stage as long as I can't get super camped from the top platform (looking at you, Snake and Tink)

Smashville: Pretty much the exact same size as Battlefield, but with one moving platform instead of 3 static. I find it harder to read opponents when there are no stage features to base decisions off of, and nobody seems to care about the platform here. As with GHZ, the platform stops your juggles but doesn't let you techchase and gives opponents an extra recovery option that you usually don't use yourself. I think this stage is just ok for Zelda. Use it against characters you want to juggle, but that's about it. Not too bad though.

Yoshis Island: I think this stage is pretty bad for Zelda. The large, long platform lets enemies easily circumnavigate your Dins, the bumps make it difficult to teleport cancel, the ghosts give enemies recovery options but not you, the fly guys eat your Dins, and you can't teleport off the moving platform. Fortunately, everyone else is bad here too, so I don't bother banning it. I just think you should never pick it.

Lylat Cruise: Perfect for some matchups. The frequent low platforms make enemies readable and let you control a lot of space with Dins. Especially against projectile heavy characters, this is a great stage. It also helps that you should never get caught under the stage if you are good at recovering, since you can pick any combination of angle and timing that you want.

Skyworld: A very open and somewhat large stage, I think this is a very good stage for Zelda. Her platform techchases are amazing here, she can run and camp super easily, and opponents will get caught under the stage when she won't. Due to your ability to run and camp here, opponents will be forced to approach. Since there are no platforms on the main platform its easy to wall them out there, and since the main platform doesn't reach under the side platforms its easy to wall them out there. Large blastzones keep you alive, but opponents are easy to edgeguard. Just don't fall for them using a side platform, should be easy to cover both if you use Dins. Fantastic Zelda stage.

Pokemon Stadium 2: A very open and large stage but with close blastzones. This stage is terrible against anyone you want to juggle due to the locations of the platforms. The large stage means opponents will survive your attacks from center stage but the close blastzones mean you can't use your recovery. This stage is very good if an opponent has to approach you and isn't very quick about it, as you can use Dins and teleport to your heart's content. Not a fan of this stage, but it has its uses.

Distant Planet: PS2 but with leaves and bigger blastzones (I think?). The leaves help opponents recover and retreat from the middle platforms, while they just get in Zelda's way due to how the droop prevents her from dropping through them immediately. Slightly worse than PS2 for her, IMO.

Final Destination: Really big, really open. Great if you want to juggle someone full to death. Otherwise terrible for reading opponents or blocking off paths with Dins. The stage is also so big that it is difficult to pressure opponents. My least favorite stage by far, I'm glad people ban it against me.

Norfair: Final Destination but with a slightly smaller stage and platforms high enough to camp on and do nothing else. The platforms also move really slowly so its hard to tell if you can teleport down from them or not at any given moment. This would be my least favorite stage if it were as big as Final Destination, but at least the size is more to Zelda's liking.

Delfinos Secret: Final Destination but with interesting and usable platforms. Great if your opponent has to approach, and following opponents up into the air is great for juggles and early kills. Use the platforms to block off more space than usual with Dins. Other than that, just an ok Zelda stage.

Dreamland: Triplat layout allows Zelda to get great platform techchases and ladder combos while also effectively blocking paths with Dins. Size of stage lets Zelda teleport and throw out Dins with ease. Size of blastzones means you should never die. You can't reach through the platforms but neither can anyone else, so w/e. Wonderful Zelda stage unless against someone who can camp the top platform hard (ugh Snake and Tink)

Bowser's Other Castle: Haven't had much experience on this stage. Blastzones and stage size smaller than Dreamland and middle platform lower. Otherwise pretty much the same as Dreamland.


Smash Cadet
Apr 25, 2015
For my opinion on stages. I'm using the paragon stage list since that's what my region has been using lately.

Green Hill Zone: GHZ has great boundaries for zelda. Higher ceiling and smaller blastzones. This makes it easier to live by DIing up and the stage is small so you can get kills earlier as well as edgeguard earlier. I always want to go here vs any character really. It might be because it's my comfort stage though. I think the benefit of GHZ are that it lets dins be more active since there is less space, lets you edgeguard earlier, and you don't need to deal with platforms as much to get in the way of your combos. This is personally one of my favorite stages as zelda. This is usually my go to starter or counterpick as well.

Smashville: This stage is usually neutral. Although I usually want to bring fastfallers either here or GHZ. The stage has only one moving platform and it doesn't get in your way too much. It helps opponents approaches become more linear and the boundaries are better than PS2. I usually consider this stage quite neutral in most situations. I rarely counterpick here and don't mind starting here. Also the moving platform is very helpful for your DI mixup throws since it moves you can trick their DI easier but at the same time it helps people recover all the time >_>.

Battlefield: I usually never want to start here. The platforms will disrupt your combos and you can't properly use the top platform all the time. Your dins actually does less work in terms of keeping out the opponent because they have more platforms to move around. If I play a person with better platform movement or just overall can run circles around zelda I would not pick this stage because the platforms benefit them more than they benefit you. This is actually one of my first bans when it comes to stages. Most other characters have platform movement than zelda so I don't consider this a decent stage.

PS2: If the ceiling wasn't low I would love this stage. The platforms aren't in your way that much as well as there is no top platform people can camp. Combos work out fine most of the time and lets you edgeguard fine as well. I don't mind this stage against most characters. Although I would ban this against characters that kill off the ceiling rather well.

Delfino's Secret: The platforms are rather weird and the stage is large. I personally don't like large stages because the opponent can live longer as well as dash dance camp you a lot more. The platforms are moving in a lot of patterns and I rarely use them to their fullest potential imo. Although there are times when they are just too high or diagonal so they become useless to zelda. Overall this stage is okay and I would only counterpick here if I want to live longer and play a longer waiting game.

Counter picks:
Dreamland: Big stages again are okay to me. The idea that my opponent has more room to camp me but I have slightly more survivability is the trade off. In stages like dreamland sometime you literally cannot force them too approach. I personally don't like this stage although I don't find myself not doing well here. Characters that do have weaker attacks to edgeguard like sheik and marth do have zelda working wonders but characters like fox and falcon are really debatable and how the opponent plays.

Warioland: I actually always ban this stage because of the blastzones and platform placement. I like a decent amount of survivability as well as a good amount of edgeguard/kill potential. The platforms get in the way of combos a lot so your LKs are going to be reads or spacing rather than from a combo which is a lot more work than having it in a combo. You can't telecancel on platforms as much because the stage is small so they can just hit you and you are sent flying making it more of a risk than reward. I usually always ban this stage unless it's against another floaty.

Fountain of Dreams: FoD is a wonderful stage. The platforms move up and down so they don't get in the way as much since they are rather low. Hiding under a platform and doing uptilt or upsmash does wonders against character falling down. You have to get used to placing dins though because the platforms can get in your way sometimes. The top platform isn't high to the point where people can camp you a lot with it either. The boundaries are like GHZ so they are helpful for you. I usually counterpick this stage against fastfallers or just other floaty characters. Disjointed characters are a pain here so FoD is not always good.

Final Destination: FD is a great stage but it's very polarized. You have amazing punishes and edgeguard but no where to escape to. Also your telecancels get way more predicatble. I view this as a double edged sword. I personally love this stage and think it's one of zelda's better stages. Only problem is that it's a bit too big to the point where the opponent can just dash dance camp you.
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