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Video Analysis / Practical Examples


Smash Lord
Dec 1, 2008
San Diego, CA
Hi all,

So as I'm getting back into researching and analyzing my matches more and more, I figure I'll just re-purpose this thread to post all of my recent matches and my thoughts on them. Feel free to post your own thoughts and your own comments too.

August 2015?
vs IPK (Lucario): https://youtu.be/u_N1QCRVD_o?list=PL1jiLVSnaIHNweTUq8kLAIr5WoWpfqpqV

December 2015
vs Dadpool (Wario/Charizard): https://youtu.be/q5oJLKAYKr0?list=PL1jiLVSnaIHNx9pC9q1Vos98Kg__9VGE2
vs Fracture (Ike): https://youtu.be/52tzS8plXfk?list=PL1jiLVSnaIHNx9pC9q1Vos98Kg__9VGE2
vs IPK (Lucario/Fox): https://youtu.be/jKitNP1zHaE?list=PL1jiLVSnaIHNx9pC9q1Vos98Kg__9VGE2
vs Nashun (Mario): https://youtu.be/4-Hx3lO4yj0?list=PL1jiLVSnaIHNx9pC9q1Vos98Kg__9VGE2
vs IPK (Lucario): https://youtu.be/pYCXfrXZfug?list=PL1jiLVSnaIHNx9pC9q1Vos98Kg__9VGE2

Feel free to provide feedback if you catch anything.

Thank you for your time.
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Smash Lord
Dec 1, 2008
San Diego, CA
Oats vs IPK (Lucario, Fox) [PM in the PM, August, 2015]

In Neutral What Is Working?
- I didn't think about this before, but I actually don't remember or know how I'm getting or racking up damage in neutral. I will need to pay attention to this.
- I was limiting his access to the platform and not letting him capitalize off it. Whenever the platform was in play, I would simply move to another point of the map. I don't need to worry about it, and I don't think I'm afraid of Final Destination anymore either.
- 06:34 -> We are spacing each other out and he's able to hit me with a raw dash attack. He should not be able to do this as I should be able to react.
- 06:29 -> I notice his aerial approach and I drift back. I dodge the down air and I do notice that he lands behind me.
- 05:55.73 -> He was afraid of dash-attack. If you watch the whole match, you'll notice I never dash-attack below 50% (up to this point). I was playing on instinct at this point, and during the dash, I cancelled with a crouch to wait for a reaction or spot dodge, and when none came, I simply ran in and grabbed.

In Neutral What Is Not Working?
- I should not pre-emptive Nair in neutral. I believe I was doing this because I thought he would run into it, but Lucario never approaches senselessly so it's a wasted move.

Technical Flubs
- Tournament winners
- 07:16 Empty hop to nothing? I may need to consider alternatives for empty moves; each piece of movement needs purpose. This was a mistake.
- The full dash away was unnecessary at 7:17... this could have been remedied with a fox-trot, why did I dash away fully? Maybe not comfortable with the fox-trot timing?
- 05:03 The whole sequence on the ledge was horrible. I gave up the ledge multiple times. There are couple of things I can consider.
- I could have held onto the ledge and simply rolled towards center stage. I was under 100%
- I could have held on, waited until invincibility ended
- I could have wavelanded onto the stage. I was not skilled enough

On Lucario Down-B Approaches:
- The further away that Lucario commits to a down-b approach, the easier the attack is to avoid
- Our first goal is to punish all empty down-b approaches so that Lucario is conditioned to feel that only cancelled down-b approaches are effective
- Depending on the distance of Lucario's down-b, he will have optimal mix-ups
- Our second goal is keep Lucario at a specific distance until they reach a certain percentage (above 50%) so that their down-b approaches are not safe nor optimal

- Observe distances for down-b approach
- I have one screenshot of the distance
- I'll have two screenshots of the distance
- I think I do this as a reaction to his approach; revisit this moment... and observe the distances...

At 07:24.26, we can see that because IPK believed I would still be stunned from the combo, he could approach with down-b with up-tilt. This is a very common move to cancel the down-b into because it covers short-hops, dash approaches, and is very fast and can be cancelled into other attacks.

Because of his very commitment, I was ready though and able to react perfectly with a wave-dash back. In the future, I may just be able to dash or fox-trot backwards and then run back in to punish the attack.

Again at 07:14, at a very similar distance, IPK attempts to approach with down-b. I am already in the process of wave-dashing back. The mistake I made here is I attempted to run forward and then I rolled back. I gave up an opportunity to punish his incredibly risk commitment. This is another opening. Recognize this approach.

At 06:50.93 he finally approached well. I made the mistake of not moving around and I gave Lucario the center stage. He rightfully read that I was going to toss needles or run forward, and he simply approached. I used all my needles, and the beautiful thing about all needles is that it will stop Lucario at the end of his invincibility. But I didn't shield or react after he used the down-tilt. It was good for him.

At 05:25.40 he approaches with the down-b at a closer distance. This means he has a bigger chance of hitting me, but he's still hitting at near maximum-length.
- I react early enough to get the shield from a wave-dash back, I was locked mid-dash.
- He approaches with down-tilt and cancels into up-smash which dodges my shield-grab
- The down-b was wasted because I escape

How Did I Stop His Recoveries? Where Did I Fail? What Could I Do To Cover More Options?
Study His Recoveries:
Previously near the beginning, if he wasn't going to get the ledge, he was going to land and cancel.
- I went straight for the ledge, at the moment he was going to do the up-B; if he had gone for the ledge, my invincibility would have saved me;
- I pre-emptively back-aired just in case he would have gone straight for the ledge. If I held though, I had a better opportunity
- I was under 100%. What if I stood up? What if I rolled? Was back-air the best at this point?
- Once he landed, I fast-fell and just went for the grab which covered shield and instant roll; correction, I shield-grabbed
- Remembr how earlier I said he always DIs behind me? I went for 50-50 and down-threw him, he is at 97% at sweet-spot height.
- Up-smash to 113% and death.
- If he is at perfect horizontal height with the ledge, he'll most likely go for it

What Are His Habits When Pressured?
- Observe that IPK likes to shield grab; when does he learn? It's been 3 already

How Does He React to Being Attacked?
- Another early (pre-50%) jab to dash-grab; this time IPK adapts and instead of running away, he opts for a down-tilt
- One potential solution here is to mix up what I do after a jab; if it's at a lower percent, I can dash back and then dash back in after his move
- Considering the last few stocks and how they went, you can now see that IPK is becoming more aggressive at 5:35, simply tossing out raw down-bs. Instead of standing on the ground, my biggest mistake was double jumping in center stage.

How Does He React to Throws?
- 05:50, Poorly
- 07:30, Successful
- 06:22, Successful
- 05:54, Successful
- 05:29, Successful
- 05:23, Successful

How Does He Punish?
- Observe his dash-attack timings
07:17.50 the way IPK aims to hit them on a punish is to do them at the earliest possible instance so that he can hit with the edge

Why Did He Lose Stocks?
07:00 Stock Lost
- Instead of throwing backwards, I threw down and he DI'd poorly, and I got the up-smash.
06:18 Stock Lost
- Drop-zone fair off predicted back-throw DI
05:40 Stock Lost

Why Did I Lose Stocks?
06:41 Stock Lost
- I landed on stage and he punished me very hard with one aura charge.
- Consider recovering better?
06:05 Stock lost.
- I was playing perfectly and what ****ed me up was going for the crouch-cancel.
- This is where I need to pay attention to percents and distance from the ledge.
- I was close to the ledge and he approached with Fair. I was at 49% - 59%. This was a very strong move and it ****ed up me horizontally more than I thought it would.
- This was also the late hit of the nair. It was not supposed to pick me up off the stage or even hit me that far. I would have been okay with survival DI instead of crouch-cancelling
04:46 Stock Lost
- Most Important Stock Lost
Last Stock Lost
- My first mistake at the end was allowing myself to be near the ledge with my invincibility down; I simply was shook up to apply proper pressure.
- And instead of DIing UP and AWAY, I was DIing DOWN and AWAY, and then I made the mistake of jumping too early into his UP-air and that was all she wrote

Why do I choose to be aggressive?
- I'm nervous and I feel like I'm mentally losing my lead

Why do I choose to be defensive?
- I'm a stock ahead and I choose to be defensive...
The beautiful thing about being a stock ahead, it closes the stalemate and it forces Lucario to approach in riskier ways

What Punishes Were Working? How Can I Make Them Better?
- At 06:22.93 (02:03) I back-throw him. He DI's it perfectly. He is off-stage and I drop-zone fair him. This percent is at 69%. If he would have DI'd it poorly, he would have been at 77%. What could I have done there? Fair him? Look at this percent again.
- At ... near the ledge, I back-throw him. He DI's perfectly again. He's more than conditioned. He still fears DIing perfectly.
- I do the correct thing and fully needle him; he's at 19%
- I flub by going for an f-tilt instead of more needles

What Punishes Were NOT Working? What Can I Do Differently?
- 06:30, I Nair his whiffed approach, and then I jab. Instead of going for the dash-grab, I shield instead, expecting a crouch-cancel down-tilt. He rolls back. I roll back. Back to neutral.
- 06:28, I down-smash him which simply pushes him away. What are the frames? Could I have done differently? Could I have up-smashed instead? Could that have popped him up?
- For comparison, down-smash only does 13% and barely moves him. Look at the frames...
- Down-smash also lasts forever
- At 06:11.43 I made the huge mistake of jumping in place and Fairing. This is the second time I've done this. And then I go into shield which is worse. If I land in this position I need to go for jab. Luckily, either a tech flub or he reads poorly, and he up-smashes the wrong way
- At 05:54.66, he DIs the throw perfectly. Again. But because it's on stage, and in the center of the stage, I can actually reaction tech-chase if he DIs away. I had the right read too, but I miss because I did not boost grab. ALWAYS BOOST GRAB.
- At 05:50 I down-throw instead of back-throw. He DIs poorly and I go for the forward-tilt, which pops him up above me and then I forward air.
- The best part about the down-throw at this range is that if he DI'd perfectly, would I have gotten the dropzone fair? Hmmm...
- At 61% near the edge of the stage, he doesn't travel very far at all; what could I do here to extend the combo? Was forward tilt even the right idea? Soft back-air to forward-air?
- Because of the trajectory of the forward air though, I knew I was going to catch him with the needles though and I think I had full needles...
- Technical flub after the down-tilt, Lucario's windbox got me. He was not going to get the sweet-spot at the height he did the Up-B at. Consider practicing down-tilt follow-ups?
- At 05:29, I get the back throw. He DIs it perfectly. He is at a low percent and he responds with an immediate jump and a fair. I trade with bair. I think what would help in this scenario is jumping to pretend to throw needles and then merely canceling them into back air.
- At 05:23.13 I get the back throw. He DIs it okay, but also very high. I actually confirm and am able to get the dash attack.
- In this scenario, I think I can actually get a re-grab with a boost grab, but dash-attack is okay.
- Actually, it's not, at ~30% it does not send Lucario far enough, and he's able to recover quick enough to Fair me. This is the first time in the entire match I dash-attack under 50% and I was punished for it.
- 05:53 This is an interesting exchange. I missed the grab and he still spot-dodges. I expect a retaliation (he never grabs) and I think I shield perfectly, but Lucario's down-tilt shield pokes. But because I'm at such a low percent, I can crouch-cancel the down-tilt into shield-grab. I should have simply crouch-cancelled into grab. And even then, instead of shielding, I should have jabbed. Very rarely will shield be the best answer in this scenario.
- At 05:00 I need quick, from the ledge punishes to hurt a character that's stalled there. I went for Fair but I was too high. Waveland would have been quicker

How Did I Adapt During the Set? What Was His Reaction to the Change?
- In the beginning of the match I recognize he attempts to up-b close to the stage. He overshoots the stage, and I know this and I attempt to make the call and Fair him. Because it's such difficult spacing, I get clipped by his attack and I fail.
- At 06:08, I recognize that he's up-b'ing too close to the ledge again and he will overshoot again because of Lucario's recovery. This time I run away instead of attempting to call the landing spot.
- I wave-dash twice, but in the future, I should simply fox-trot away.
- On landing I need to consider how I should punish Lucario.
- Write Down Jab Stuff Here
- At 05:57, I go for jab and then down-smash. No shield, no move back and no dash-in. So far, I've changed every single thing I've done after jab and never did the same thing twice. This is excellent. It keeps him guessing. He was hit because he went for a shield grab.
- Consider making an order of things I did and the order I did them in. What were answers he would have developed? How does it work? Maybe read up on rock paper scissor strategies?
- Earlier when he landed behind me, I down-smashed him.
- 05:45 I believe his response was to shield, so I simply turned around and grabbed.
- At 85% I pummeled for some percent, then down-threw, and then up-smashed at 95%. He ALWAYS DI's back. I got the up-smash.

Where Did I Lose Mentality? What Caused Me To Make Poor Decisions When I Was Making Good Ones Earlier?
- At 05:17 I dash attack AGAIN under 50%. This is a crime at this point. I'm nervous and losing my cool.
- I dash attacked at 51% and he barely moved. I may need to adjust my rule for a higher percent. Above 65% or 70%? He's ****ing me up because I'm dash-attacking a lot more.
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Smash Cadet
Jan 31, 2015
Austin, TX
Really like your commentary and videos. Haven't said it before, but I've watched almost every single video you've uploaded here! Keep up the good work :)

Quick question: How do you punish Lucario's that spam down-b approach (assuming no aura). Especially down -b -> crouch -> d-tilt? Can you just f-tilt to cover the approach option?

I don't really get that much Lucario practice :\


Smash Lord
Dec 1, 2008
San Diego, CA
Tarul Tarul You should have asked me in person man, we were at the same event, haha.

With regards to your question...

How do you punish Lucario's that spam down-b approach (assuming no aura)? Especially down-b -> crouch -> d-tilt? Can you just f-tilt to cover the approach option?
In order to combat Lucario down-b spam, you need to understand what the move can really do and what it can't.

Here is the basic down-b frame data:
  • Duration: 39
  • Intangibility: 13-24
  • IASA (Interruptible As Soon As): 30
  • Cancel Window: 13-24
Compare this to Lucario's roll frame data:
  • Duration: 27
  • Intangibility: 4-18
After comparing the two, you can see that Lucario's down-b, without the aura, is essentially a longer, fancier roll that IS NOT accessible from shield. It's purely offensive, and he is limiting himself to moving a set distance for 39 frames (or 30 if he interrupts the move at exactly frame 30).

So how do you combat a Lucario that spams this? By NOT putting yourself at a distance that maximizes the potential of his approach.

Check out this image:

Sheik is at the worst possible spot to combat a Lucario abusing down-b, because by the time Lucario reachs Sheik, he'll able to access his down-tilt / crouch cancel / whatever.

A better spot to stand at would be in the mid-to-close range if he DOES NOT HAVE AURA. You can jab him when he pops up in the beginning animation of the down-b. If you're particularly good at reading or reacting, I would suggest abusing down-smash if he DOES NOT HAVE AURA. Down-smash is great at racking up damage if they crouch cancel, and it's a sick, "get out of my face" move if you get the wrong read and he doesn't down-b.

If you are at the maximum down-b range, just run into him so you're behind him when he finishes the down-b. Remember, he's locked for 30 frames so you have a half-second to dash in there and position yourself appropriately and you won't be in down-tilt range (but you will be in range of other bull****, but that's when the game becomes fun and more of an exciting gamble).

THE WHOLE THING CHANGES WHEN HE HAS AURA. And that's why you'll notice in some of my matches against IPK I'm not doing when I'm advising because, well... he's IPK and he always has aura. I've written at length about how to combat Lucario at different stages and you can read about it here: http://smashboards.com/threads/sheik-match-up-strategy-thread-3-6.397256/page-3#post-19932708

ONE MORE THING. Never forward-tilt below 65%. I used to think that 50% was the magic percentage for handling a crouch-canceling Lucario, but players like IPK and Stauffy have conditioned me to play otherwise unless I get a lucky interrupt on one of their landings or in the middle of one of their moves. Just avoid any of the tilts unless they're above 65%.

If you want to watch heavy down-b spam used against me, and see how I poorly react, I suggest you watch the first couple seconds of match 5 of this set, when IPK is really feeling himself: https://youtu.be/pYCXfrXZfug?t=17m58s Sometimes it helps to see what other people are doing wrong and thinking of ways to solve the problem for them.

Hope this helps.
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Smash Cadet
Jan 31, 2015
Austin, TX
Tarul Tarul You should have asked me in person man, we were at the same event, haha.
I think you might have mixed me up with someone else! I'm from Austin, Texas lol. Or did you come to Forte 3?

Thanks for the advice! I've always struggled with the Lucario matchup because his attacks seem to out-prioritize Sheik and he can take quite a beating thanks to his weight.

I'll check out the sets that you've linked as well! :>
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