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Teching[edit]

The mastery of teching, also known as Z-recovering, is often what separates the master from the talented amateur. Essentially, this technique cuts out the recovery time necessary when your character hits the ground. After being knocked into the air (or out of it), your character flops to the ground, and you must get up. However, what teching does is allow you to remove all of that tedious recovery time and get right back up out of your fall instantaneously. To do this, just tap the Z button button at the exact moment that you hit the ground, and your character will immediately snap back to their feet, with a recovery time measured in milliseconds. And, as an added bonus, tapping Z button and Left control or Right control will cause your character to immediately roll in that direction upon landing. Adding this to the tactics mentioned above will make you very difficult to camp upon landing, and will also allow you to escape previously inevitable combos. Master this first, then move on.

Z-Canceling[edit]

Z-canceling is another technique that can immensely speed up your game. The easiest way to see this technique in action is with Link. Do his downward air attack, and at the precise moment that you land, tap Z button. He should stand right up, no shield flash or long cool-down time. This is applicable with all characters - on all aerial A button-attacks, tap Z button just before your character hits the ground. Unlike teching, you can't roll out of a Z-cancel, but this method of removing cool-down lag revitalizes attacks that are too slow without it, allowing for swift execution and recovery. This will feel rather awkward at first, but once you get used to it, you won’t be able to imagine playing without it. Z-Canceling has a 11 frame window, which means that you have to press R or Z within 11 frames before landing (not including input delay).

Shield Grabbing[edit]

Pressing the R button button has the same effect as simultaneously pressing the Z button and A button buttons. This fact leads to a very useful technique. While you have your shield up and your opponent is attacking at point-blank range, there is little you can do to escape. However, if you hit A button while holding Z button, your character will reach out and grab, dropping the shield just for the moment it takes to do so. If your character misses, the shield will pop back up. However, if you grab them, not only have you escaped but you have the opportunity to combo them in return. This is another balancing technique that can keep your opponent from getting up close to you and spamming attacks until your shield breaks. Be warned, though, that your shield drops while grabbing, so you can be hit by incoming attacks.

Dash Dancing[edit]

Warning
Dash dancing has been known to annoy lower skilled players and other people in friendly games, so make sure your opponents know your guidelines and whether or not you want to play with dash dancing.

Dashing back one step then forward one step to dodge an attack. To dash in the game, you just tap Left control or Right control and your character will start running. But before he runs, he dashes out a step with a trail of dust behind him. There is a distinct difference between this dash and a full run. Try this. Select Fox or Falcon on the Great Fox (they have the best dash-dances). Run in a direction so that your character's running animation is unchanged. Now, release Neutral control to stop running. Your character will slide to a stop, taking precious time to do so. Now, simply tap Left control or Right control to dash. You'll note that tapping and releasing creates a dash that stops as soon as it starts, giving you freedom to do anything at the end of it, like dashing back in the other direction. If you can master this, you can repeat it over and over, but doing so is only useful to confuse and/or annoy your opponent. What you want to do is wait for an attack, and as it comes out, you dash out of range of the attack, then dash back in with an attack of your own. You can do smashes out of the dash, if you release Neutral control and then smash, you will actually slide a small distance while smashing, giving you a bit more range.

Spiking[edit]

The object of the game is to send someone out of the KO walls surrounding the level. The most effective way to do this is to send your opponent below the level so that the game's gravity is working against them on recovery. This is called spiking, because of its similarity to spiking the ball in volleyball. It is a tactic used to kill your opponent at relatively low damage. Certain characters' moves have a downward component, or simply send the opponent straight down. These moves include:

  • Ness: Downward air attack
  • Samus: Downward air attack
  • Yoshi: Forward air attack
  • Kirby: Downward air attack (Up control+B button) (Final Cutter)
  • DK: Downward air attack, Forward air attack
  • Captain Falcon: Downward air attack
  • Mario: Down control+B button (very situational, see Mario section)

Other characters have spikes that are weaker, usually downward air attacks as well, but these listed above are the most powerful. If you have your opponent at about 50%-60% damage, get your opponent off of the edge and then use your spike to send them into oblivion. However, make sure you have enough jumps/recovery time to get back to the edge, or you will follow them down, which is simply unacceptable.

Edge-guarding[edit]

Note
All characters with a spike can use that as an edge-guard if their spike is executed directly onto the top of the edge itself just before the opponent grabs it.

Edge-guarding is a tactic which is used to keep your opponent off of the edge. If they can't return to the stage, they are destined to die, so you edge-guard them to make sure that they don't make it back. Though it is rather simple concept, the edge-guarding game can make or break a player at a competitive level, so it's something to learn well. Best edge-guarding moves for each character include (assume these are all done on the very edge and facing it, unless otherwise noted):

The downward tilts on the smashes are not always necessary, but increase the chance of a hit.

  • Mario/Luigi:
    1. Downward smash
    2. Downward-tilted forward smash
    3. Fireballs as they're coming back (careful not to interrupt their Up controlB button+ with them, though, as they will get another chance)
  • Fox:
    1. Downward smash
    2. Downward-tilted forward tilt
    3. Laser to mess up recovery
  • Captain Falcon:
  1. Downward-tilted forward smash
  • Pikachu:
    1. Forward smash (this hangs in the air for a while, and will hit them even below the edge, so start it a bit early rather than later)
    2. Lightning ball (will stun them for a moment coming back)
  • Donkey Kong:
    1. Downward tilt
    2. DK Punch (only second because it has to be charged)
  • Ness:
    1. Downward smash (don't forget that the yo-yo goes behind him first)
    2. Shorthop to PK fire (this may need to be followed up by a downward or forward smash)
  • Jigglypuff:
    1. Downward smash
    2. Downward tilted forward smash
  • Samus:
    1. Downward-tilted forward smash
    2. Charged shot (don't miss)
  • Kirby:
    1. Downward-tilted forward smash
    2. Downward tilt (this one is brutal)
    3. Downward smash
  • Yoshi:
    1. Downward-tilted forward smash
    2. Downward tilt
    3. Downward smash
    4. Eggs (don't forget, these have shrapnel)
  • Link:
    1. Forward smash (no need to tilt)
    2. Downward smash (try to connect with the very tip to send them horizontally)
    3. Boomerang and bomb (bounce them around out there)
    4. Upward tilt (face inward toward the center of the stage and be prepared to turn around and do a short hop forward aerial as the upward tilt will pop your opponents upward and into a helpless position)

Edge-hogging[edit]

This technique plays on the fact that only one character may be grabbing the edge at any given time. It involves nothing more then grabbing the edge just before your opponent tries to. The best way to do this is to shorthop backwards off of the edge and catch said edge. Just as your opponent is coming up to grab, tap Z button to roll back up onto the stage, denying your opponent the edge while using the invincibility of your roll to avoid damage from their recovery. Devious, eh? Only use this when you really want to win, because it has been known to tick people off in friendly games.

Changing direction[edit]

You can only grab edges when your character is facing that ledge. If you are facing away from the edge, it will be necessary to turn around mid-air in order to grab it. You can use Left control+B button with characters that have a ranged attack to turn left, and Right control+B button to turn right. This must be done before using Up control+B button. In some cases, this technique is irrelevant:

  • Pikachu, Fox, and Ness all have an Up control+B button that face them towards the direction they travel.
  • Peach's Castle does not have any edges that can be grabbed.

In any case, it is a quick way to turn around mid-air. Changing direction is also helpful if you want to use a backward air attack but are facing the enemy, or vice versa.

Juggling[edit]

The difference between this and comboing is blurred in the minds of some, nevertheless they are different actions. Juggling is the practice of using one move to bounce your opponent into the air or against a wall so that they cannot recover. This usually takes nothing more than basic timing, so the low-skill necessary component makes these juggles slightly cheap (although with higher damage on the opponent, they get harder to pull off), especially because players who juggle invariably repeat it over and over again. Juggles rarely kill, but they can get you up to some fantastic damage if done right. Some juggles are harder than others, and therefore are more acceptable, but if you must juggle in competitive play, do it and win instead of abstaining and losing.

Some often-seen juggles include:

  • Ness: Repeated upward tilt and Spike Bounce. Spike bounce is a difficult maneuver in which you use your powerful downward air attack to alternately spike your opponent to the ground and bounce them back into the air. Gratuitous use of the double-jump cancel is necessary for proper execution.
  • Fox: Repeated upward air attack. This juggle is great on heavier characters, as they don't fly as far, allowing you to reach them with another attack before they can recover.
  • Falcon: Repeated upward air attack (see Fox's upward air juggle) and Spike Bounce. The spike bounce is much harder to do than with Ness, but it is possible, and can link into other attacks.
  • Pikachu: Repeated upward tilts.
  • Kirby: Repeated upward tilts.
  • Donkey Kong: DK grab repeat and repeated throws. When up against a wall, as on Hyrule or on Saffron, DK can grab an opponent, bounce them off of a wall with his throw, then grab them as they fly off of it - he can repeat this until the opponent clears the wall.
  • Link: Repeated upward tilts. You'll have to move slightly in your opponent's direction between upward tilts.
  • Alternate Link Juggle: Another great Link juggle is Slashing Uppercut (Up control+A button) to Whirling Blade Attack (Up control+B button). Just knock your opponent into the air using the Slashing Uppercut and then immediately follow it up with the Whirling Blade Attack. Your opponent will not only be dealt massive damage, but will most likely be blown off the edge of the level if their percentage is high enough.
  • Alternate Mario Juggle: Another Mario Juggle you can try is Mario's Upward Throw (Up control+R button) to launch the opponent into the air the hit him/her with the backflip kick (Up control+A button) to launch them into the air again. The opponent can only recover if you let them come back to the ground (DON'T let them come back to the ground).

Wall Traps[edit]

This technique consists of backing the opposing player up against a wall and then tapping A button repeatedly to keep them trapped and taking damage. The fire flower is also very powerful in this situation, because it has a similar effect and allows the user to do massive damage.

  • Kirby, Fox, Pikachu, Falcon, and Link all have flurry attacks, which lends them to being the strongest wall trapping characters.

Countering a wall trap is difficult, though not impossible. To escape when already caught in the trap, you have to use direction influence (holding Neutral control in a certain direction) to get out of it. The easiest way is through your opponent, though using directional influence upward will sometimes work as well.

Shield Break[edit]

If you hold your character's shield up for too long, it will break. When penalized, the shield will break and the player remaining stunned until "awakened" with an attack. If left alone, the stun will wear off in several seconds and the shield will return. Some notes on shield stunning:

  • Shields can be broken most easily with a Fan or with Jigglypuff's Rising Pound (Neutral B-attack). However, the shield can be reduced to nothing with enough time and enough hits by any character.
  • If Jigglypuff's shield is broken, it result in an automatic KO no matter what amount of damage it has taken. The only exception to this is if the stun occurs under a ceiling, in which case Jigglypuff will spin at the ceiling level for the duration of a normal stun and then fall back down to the ground.
  • On Sector Z, if a character's shield is destroyed at the right time, the character can teleport upward and land on a passing Arwing to be carried away for a KO. This takes more luck than actual skill.

Dropping Through[edit]

You'll notice that most platforms that are not the main stage are selectively non-existent (you can come up through the bottom of them and stand on them). Well, you probably know that by tapping Down control, you can drop through said platform and fall down to the level below. There are a few combat applications for this.

First of all, after the Up control+B button move of most characters (excluding Link and Kirby at the moment), there will be a time where your character cannot do anything but use directional influence with Neutral control. During this time, most characters can hold Down control to fall straight through a platform. Try it with Samus, for example. Go to Peach's Castle and do your Up control+B button move, and then hold Down control. You should fall right through the upper platform and onto the bottom. This is good if you miss your attack (like Luigi's Fire Punch, for example) and want to get to cover quickly so that you can regain control. Simply drop through a platform or two and land, then go attack your opponent again.

Secondly, dropping through provides an opportunity for a quick dodge and return of attack. For example, you're on Mushroom Kingdom, fighting Link. You're standing on the platform to the right of the tube on the left side of the screen. Link, from above, tries to do a downward air attack on you. What do you do? Well, I would wait until the last second, and then drop below the level (thus making his attack miss), then pop back up and attack while he's in his lag. Play with it, as it gives you another level of mindgames to play with your poor opponent.