First of all, bump for great justice. Second of all, Magus' posts on pivoting combined.
Pivoting Basics/Empty Pivots
The very first thing you should learn when you attempt to master pivoting is the empty pivot
. That in itself is very very useful because it gives you all kinds of spacing option and basically leads right up to pivoting almost every other move. If you can do this, the majority of moves are going to be a breeze to pivot. In theory, the empty pivot is very easy to execute. You dash one way, then flick your Control Stick
in the opposite direction. The dash is simple (I hope). For the flick, make sure that you only move the control stick far enough for your character to turn around, and then release the stick. This part is easier if your Control Stick is still "tight" and moves back to the neutral position very quickly. So basically:
2. Flick (opposite direction) & release stick
Pivoting Different Moves
I like to put moves in three different categories for pivoting. The first group is moves that are easy to pivot.
For these you pretty much just do your standard empty pivot, and press the right button. Basically, this is jumps, grabs, jabs, and all smashes if you do them with the C-Stick. The second group is tilts
. These are hard to do because if you used the above method, you just let go of your Stick so it could return to the neutral position. If you're going to tilt, you now have to quickly grab the Control Stick again and move it in the direction you desire and press A. Most of the time, this is inconveniently slow. The workarounds will be discussed later.
The last group is B Moves, which, for reasons I am not aware of, cannot be pivoted using the "flick" method. This isn't much of a problem for forward or up B moves, as you can simply JC the up B and you can do forward B's at any time during the dash anyway.
[You can actually pivot all B moves except neutral B moves. I'm terribly sorry.] However, it does mean you cannot pivot
or neutral B moves. This might not be a problem for some, but I could envision plenty of potential for pivoted shieldbreakers, needles, shines and inhales that remains unrealized.
1. Easy moves
3. B Moves
First Group: The Easy Ones
This is really easy. Here's the deal: you pivot
. And then you press your button.
Pretty much as soon as you release the control stick. It's fast, it's easy, it's very effective. Pivot jabs are good for shield pressure. Pivot grabs are essential for Fastliketree grabs and other shenanigans. Pivoting jumps allows you to pivot shffl/fhffl aerials or even wavedashs, if you're good, although this is pretty hard. Pivoting smashes is obvious: you run away, then hit them hard, or smash out of your dash dance to suprise your opponent. Run forward, pivot back and smash in the direction you were running to do smashes out of your dash. Of course, then there's just the general applicability of spacing any of these moves more precisely using pivoting. The possibilites are pretty much endless.
1. "Empty" ( I mean, you're about to fill it) pivot
2. Press a button (Z, A, X/Y, L/R, C-Stick)
Second Group: Tilts
Tilts have a good deal more potential than the easier moves because they're normally faster, weaker versions of smashes, with good range and low lag. This makes them perfect spacing tools when combined with pivoting. HugS uses pivot ftilts to a good degree as far as I know. However, unless you want your pivoted tilts to be slow as hell (as outlined above), they're pretty **** hard to do. Magus has some nifty tricks on how to actually do this.
1. The first method is to simply not flick the stick. Instead, you slowly
move it across the center to the other side. There's several things you also need to be aware of. First of all, don't move it across all the way to the other side. Secondly, you no longer press A when the control stick is at the center. When the control stick is about at 3/4 of the way to the side
is when you should press A. You move the control stick to the other side, and when it's about at 3/4 you release it and press A at almost the same time
. You actually want to delay the A press a bit so it occurs after the control stick starts moving back to neutral. The timing can be very tricky, so be patient when practicing this. It's also kind of hard to explain; if you feel like you're getting nowhere, vary your timing a little. The problem may even lie with the controller itself.
2. Slowly move the control stick across to 3/4
3. Release then press A at (almost) the same time.
Also note that doing this will result in a forward tilt. To do a d/utilt, you have to pretty much just roll the control stick in that direction while doing the pivot. Be careful with utilts though, as moving the control stick too far will result in a jump. Magus really puts it better than I do, so just read his post.
Another way to pivot f-tilts is to move the analog a little slower than usual when you go to turn around and don't go all the way to the side, then press A when it's about 3/4 of the way to the side. You should also be sure to lighten the pressure you put on the stick right around then so it begins to move back right after reaching the 3/4 point. You actually press A right after it starts to move back since the threshold of stand/dash and tilt/smash are at the same spot. Basically you tilt just past the point that causes you to turn around then lay off it slightly to go back into tilt range immediately after which is when you press A.
I also came up with a way to pivot d-tilts very easily that lets me do them pretty consistently. Essentially it's similar to the above f-tilt method of not pressing all the way except right after passing the dash threshold you do a quarter circle downward while staying within tilt range so you get the d-tilt and not d-smash.
2. The other method is to flick the Control Stick for the first
dash, before you pivot. You let the Control Stick go to the neutral position and from there you the stick to the other side (opposite of the one you dashed to) and press A when you're most of the way there. If you do it right there is no way to f-smash, the only way you can mess up is to dash attack. This way, you only have to worry about the timing of A, at least once you have the speed at which you have to move the stick down. As far as I know, this method can also be manipulated for d/utilts by moving the control stick up/down while moving it forward for the pivot.
1. Flick a dash in a direction
2. Control Stick moves to neutral
3. Move at moderate speed in opposite direction
4. Press A when you're most of the way there
An easier and more reliable way I started doing non-delayed pivot f-tilts (without flick release pivoting and re-tilting which is slower) since that old post of mine is to fully release the analog from inputting the previous dash before doing the pivot, and then going and reversing the direction only after it's back to neutral.
Then you just press the other direction at a moderate speed and press A when the analog is roughly most of the way to the side. When you do it this way it's impossible to accidentally f-smash instead of f-tilt so long as there is a frame where the analog is between the neutral position and turning threshold, which is easy to do like this.
Even if the analog is fully to the side on the turning frame when you press A you still won't f-smash as long as there was that slight tilt frame before the turn. If you f-smash you moved it too quickly and went directly from neutral to the turn threshold in 1 frame. If you dash attack in the original direction you pressed A too soon, and if you dash attack in the other direction you pressed it too late.
When you do it like this you only need to worry about timing the A button correctly so that it is on the turning frame.
Third Group: B Moves
I already covered most of this in the "Pivoting different moves" section, so there isn't much to write here.
Basically, if you want to pivot neutral/ down B Moves, you have to do pivoting the DA Dash way, which is essentially timing the move on the exact frame that your character is standing from the dash. I can only do this with forward smashes and have failed with every other move. It's terribly hard, and in my opinion not worth the effort when you could be learning useful stuff.
You can also sometimes circumvent the problem of not being able to pivot n/
b moves by jumping first. Just realize that this gives you anywhere from 4-8 frames of extra startup time, as well as possibly leaving you open more. It's just a possibility.
Magus informed me that it is in fact possible to pivot down b moves. My fail. I am also wrong about pivoting using DA dashing. No matter how you pivot, you cannot pivot neutral b moves.
As for applicability, you'll have to find most of that out yourself. I covered some of it, but again, the possibilities are endless. Be creative!