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A Small List of Tips for General Improvement

AC - January 15, 2018

I often get asked for tips on how to improve and while there's no one-size-fits-all answer, there are some things one can do that in general result in consistent improvement. For these examples I will be using Meta Knight, my secondary, since people are more familiarized with this character and the question that prompted this writing was from a Meta Knight main.

The list goes as follows:

1- Recognize how to counter the most common options before diving in to matchup specifics

In this game there are a lot of variables and very few constants and because of that it is very important to take advantage of characteristics that are universal to every character and player. Once you recognize these, make a list and learn the best option available to counter them and most importantly DO THIS EVERY TIME. An easy way to tell the difference between top players and high level players is that top level players will do the same thing every time (Credit to Blank for saying this). So here's a short list just to show an example of how I did it although it goes without saying that one can have a different method.(Note: dash attack, grab, and shuttle loop are all frame 7 or 8 moves). Percents also change slightly based on characters since some will still get laddered at 40+ %.

These are how a Meta Knight player should, in theory, punish spotdodges. Follow ups are matchup dependend so I won't include them

-Spotdodge(0-35%): Dash attack

-Spotdodge (35-85%):Grab

-Spotdodge (kill %): Shuttle Loop

Now for rolls, it works slightly different. If the opponent rolls back, it is only possible to punish if you either read it or dashed past in order to cover that option.

- Roll back (0-35%): Dash attack 

-Roll back (35-85%): Dash Grab

- Roll back (85-110%): Dash Grab in to buffered fthrow (comboes in to shuttle loop)

Roll back(110+): Dash shuttle loop

Now for when an opponent rolls behind you, it is worth mentioning that you can improve your reaction time to something by expecting it. However this makes gives you tunnel vistion and makes you react later to things you are not expecting. 

Roll behind(0-110%): Dair 

Roll behind (110+): Shuttle loop

These 2 options are the best in my opinion because both can be done out of shield which eliminates the 7 frame shield drop animation giving you at least 20 frames to react to it if you were shielding. It is also worth mentioning that one can roll away as well if one wasn't ready for it or not confident in one's own reaction times for that scenario.

I won't cover all of the universal options since it would take too long but with those examples it should be enough to show a pattern. Other universal options are dash grab, airdodge, ledge getup options (a whole other post could be made about ledge trapping), shield, aerials, short hopping (for some reason, people do this a lot in order to bait a dash attack). The whole point of this section is for one to realize that consistently choosing the best options should yield consistent results since they are the easiest to develop muscle memory to and they don't change between matchups.

2. Matchup specifics:

Learn what the opponent's best option's are and learn how to counter them with your own best options. It works very well to have it written down although most of the time it is very obvious. For example one can easily tell that mario/luigi are looking for a grab or that fox is looking for dash attack, grabs, and utilt. Most people will refer to this as "win conditions" and for some characters they are for the most part always the same and the only thing that changes is how they go around landing them. For other characters however it changes based on the matchup (rosa and sheik are good examples of this). I highly recommend dabuz's templates if you are looking to improve in this aspect of the game.

 

 

3. Learn not to force things always and manage scenarios using risk vs reward.

I noticed a significant improvement when my mindset changes from " I need to land a dash attack or dash grab" to " everything is fine as long as I don't get hit". Chances are that, if you're playing a competent oponent, they will be prepared to counter your best options. Needless to say it is also worth mentioning that one has to accept the fact that at one point you're going to get hit and that's perfectly fine. Some matchups (peach lol) should in theory be really easy but become hard if one tries to force things to happen. Because of this it is also necessary for one to recognize when it is fine to risk taking a hit. For example vs Luigi: If both are at 0%, losing an interaction and getting grabbed will result in taking about 40-60%, while winning an interaction will result in around dealing 30%. This is not worth it so one should avoid interactions and should either look for trading hits with dair or only bait and look for easy to punish openings. Pretty much anything that won't get you grabbed. A little bit later in to the game, if one is at around 60%, landing a dash attack on luigi's shield will result in getting upb'd and will result in a loss of a stock. This is why managing scenarios and taking in to account the risk vs the reward is so important. Sometimes things go the other way and you are the one shutting down options just by existing. For example vs marth, he can't afford to throw out fairs since a rising fair will get dash attacked on block. Furthermore a landing fair that whiffes means he dies. So for him it is not worth throwing out a fair and risk losing a stock while only looking to gain at most 12% if tippered.

There's other things one can do to improve but I suspect they depend a lot on how one learns so I won't go in to detail. These 3 things are the one's that have helped me the most so I figured I should write a little bit about them. I did it in a hurry so my writing is very,very,very untidy but the ideas should still stand. 

This blog post was written by a SSB World community member. Share your Smash 4 knowledge by creating your own blog post now.

Comments

Really helpful! Thanks :)
FRauDFiSH - January 15, 2018
Thank you, Falco main.
iDK - January 15, 2018
Glad I stumbled upon this! Lots of good general things to just keep in mind.
Bonk - January 23, 2018

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