King of the Broken Shell: A Bowser- Guide
05/02/2012, 03:35 PM (This post was last modified: 05/11/2012 09:35 AM by The Cadet.)
Badass of the Badass Badass: A Badass- Guide.
Bowser in Brawl- is a tank. More to-the-point, he's a semi-traditional rushdown grappler character in the vein of Skullgirls Cerebella, Tatsunoko vs. Capcom Alex, and Marvel vs. Capcom 3 Haggar. He has great damage output, kills very early, and simply refuses to die. As a character, he is not just the heaviest in the game, but the heaviest in the game by a wide margin, dying usually a good 30% later than other heavies like Snake, DK, and King Dedede. Throw in an almost unreasonable amount of armored moves and a few great "get me out of trouble" options, and actually scoring a kill against Bowser becomes a daunting task. If you aren't living past 150, then you're doing something wrong.
On the flipside, however, bowser does have a few very notable weaknesses. His large frame and heavy weight are constant companions, making the clean hits the opponent can land very dangerous. He lacks a solid projectile, and can be somewhat slow, which makes getting in on characters who can zone him despite his armor (like Samus, Peach, and Zelda) a daunting task. His meteor cancel recovery is also beyond horrible. Bowser does have some matchups which are not just challenging, but barely winnable. His overall spread, however, is not that bad. I personally would consider Bowser to be top 5 in the game, if only due to his absolutely obscene risk-reward.
To sum up:
– Heaviest in the game by a wide margin
– Absolutely unreasonable damage output
– Great kill power and easy setups to kill moves
– Awesome "GTFO!" moves
– Will effortlessly blow up people who aren't quite sure how to deal with him and his Armor
– Can pivot grab out of shield
– Gets combo'd incredibly easily
– Terrible meteor cancel
– Zoned out by some chars
– Likely to get a few choice nerfs in upcoming versions
If anyone has anything useful to add to this guide, just post in this thread! I'll be glad to add to it!
Brawl- Bowser has some useful new tricks from vBrawl. I'm going to mention the most notable stuff here, and go more into detail later.
Brawl- bowser used to have a gimmick where he would shrug off literally any move that does less than 11 damage. This proved to be rather stupid. However, the new Bowser is still no slouch in the "I am going straight through that hitbox" department. The following moves have some sort of added armor:
–Dash Attack: Full Super Armor starting very early and ending at some point after the hitbox ends
–All Grabs: Invincibility from frame one until the grab comes out
–Fsmash: Full super armor on charge, Full super armor on release if fully charged until frame 30, 10% armor on unfully charged release until frame 30.
–FADC Forward: Intangible frame 1-18
–FADC Backward: Intangible frame 1-27
–Uair: 15% armor frame 1-20.
–Bair: Shell hurtbox completely invincible
–Dair: 10% armor from frame 14 until the move ends
–Firebreath: Super Armor from frame 5 to about frame 25
–Running Bear Grab: Full Super Armor until you stop using it
Getting in with Bowser
Bowser has some decent approaches. Nothing is particularly safe, but most approaches are exceedingly resilient and potent.
Under pressure with Bowser? Never fear – Bowser has some of the best anti-pressure and defense tools in the game!
Uair is a very meaty aerial with frame 1 heavy armor. It'll bust through almost any juggle this side of Ganondorf, and allows for absolutely no free frames in your opponent's combos.
Dair can be useful if the opponent is juggling you with baits, rather than flat-up comboing you. Again, the armor will bust through a lot of crap, and Bowser falls very fast.
UpB can serve as a cross between uair and dair, and due to the non-existent landing, you can usually get away with it.
Against pressure on the ground:
UpB is the undisputed best option here due to its mechanics if your opponent is pressuring your shield up close and personal – either your shield stays up, or upB will come out (hooray for frame 1 invinc!).
Crouch will beat a fairly decent number of moves on its own.
Running Bear Grab. This one is kinda iffy, but if nothing else works, sometimes you can just walk your way across the stage. However, if you aren't right near the ledge, your opponent is probably gonna grab you.
Dash attack, if you can get it to come out, will get you out of basically every situation. Super armor and huge movement? I'll take it.
Against ledge pressure:
Get up upB is a solid option, mainly because Bowser's ledgehop is so absurdly fast that many don't see it coming.
Get up attack under 100% is pretty decent. Don't get up attack over 100%, though – that move sucks.
Drop->jump fair->regrab has a generally solid hitbox. Don't do this against characters with spiking dtilts, though.
Drop->jump uair->land onstage can be a nasty mixup. Just be careful not to get spiked.
Against offstage pressure:
Do everything in your power to avoid being spiked and retain your second jump as long as possible. Bowser has a great meteor cancel window, but if you don't have a jump to burn, his upB will gain him literally no height. Also, his huge frame makes him hit the blastzones deceptively fast. Uair can be used to combat spikes if need be; upB does have great height.
Bowser-Metaknight: approximately even to slight disadvantage. (50:50 - 40:60)
This matchup is a testament to just how crucial Bowser's weight class is. MK's options are so much better, Dsmash just wrecks bowser's shit, and the fact that Tornado cleanly beats Dair (I honestly have no idea why!) makes getting out of the air from above something of a chore. Additionally, although this should get patched out soon, Bowser's Discus Toss tech chase does not work the way it should against MK; he simply hits the ground and can tech immediately, instead of bouncing and then needing to tech. Shuttle Loop can kill Bowser ridiculously early, as can Glide Attack, due to its amazing angle. So... why is this matchup pretty even? Well, because MK has to land a bunch of hits, and Bowser has to land like three. MK will die to a wild Bair or Fthrow near the ledge under 70% almost all the time. MK's strings and followups are at least somewhat stuffed by Bowser's great defensive options.
Things to watch for:
– Random shuttle loops. If MK is comboing you above him and you are near the ledge, DI up. You absolutely have to be ready to DI shuttle loops, because the base knockback on that move means that Bowser can and will die about 70% earlier than he ought to.
– Tornado beats dair. Every time. Falling dair and associated mixups can still be useful, sure, but throwing out a wild Dair within reaction will get you wrecked.
– Do NOT try to DI dsmash down and tech. Every time you do this, the MK gets another free run-in Dsmash. DI up, then just try to land onstage somehow.
– If the MK whiffs an upB at you, you generally have some pretty potent punishes. Bair, if you are facing the right way, covers a lot of stuff, but the really important thing is that you avoid the glide attack follow-up, because that shit is deadly.
– Try to avoid blocking. MK's shit is really good on block. Instead, look into where your next armor fix is coming from, and try to block his shit that way.
– Feel free to follow MK offstage, just don't overextend yourself (think of what a smart marth player would do off the ledge against a recovering metaknight with his bair, and that should give you an idea). Your air movement is generally better than his, and both fair and bair can score some stupidly early kills offstage and are pretty shape. Just make sure that whatever you do, he doesn't end up between you and the stage horizontally or between you and the lip vertically, as that is gonna be a stock loss a lot of the time.
– If your opponent is overly aggressive (most Brawl- MKs are going to be used to playing VERY aggressively), start throwing out RBG at opportune moments. The idea is to make the MK second-guess themself, and nothing does that quite like dying at 70% because someone armored through your pokes.
Bowser-Samus: moderate to serious advantage (60:40-65:35)
Samus is so great in Brawl- primarily because her zoning game is so good. It's hard to get around the homing missiles, and if you try to reflect them, you'll generally eat a zair. Bowser doesn't have to deal with that shit at all. Dash attack tears straight through them, leaving her only option the Super Missiles (which clash with dash attack). That's not a position Samus wants to be in. Additionally, she also has no truly great options against approaches from above, because despite her amazing anti-air usmash, upB, and uair, Bowser's dair stuffs basically everything.
Things to watch for:
– If you aren't careless with her charge shot and avoid her (pathetic) smash range, you will not die until the range where Super Missiles start killing. That range is approximately 200%. She should start dying around 120%. That's disgusting.
– Don't get caught offstage. Ever. If you're in a fair string, finish it and then high-tail it back to the ledge, because spikes will fuck you up and missiles make landing a dair spike against an offstage bowser way too easy.
– Running Bear Grab loses to her standing, running, and pivot grab every time. Be really careful about it.
– If there isn't a super missile on the screen and you're not the entire length of the stage away, just dash in and do stuff (Dash attack is the most reliable option, but if you're feeling risky, you can mix it up). The running armor beats a lot of crap.
– Mix up your dair approaches carefully. Don't start the move unless you're already really close to the ground, because guessing wrong and eating spotdodge -> uair -> combo is just not fun.
Counterpicking with Bowser
Bowser is generally solid almost everywhere, and has several stages that are just amazingly good. Here are my feelings on his best counterpicking options, given the Brawl- stagelist.
General Go-To stages:
– 1337m is amazing for Bowser. The low ceiling means he'll be killing with dsmash and usmash incredibly early, and the lack of real hazards makes the stage awesome. Added bonus: score one grounded sideB or Running Bear Grab on the moving platforms, and your opponent just lost his stock.
– Rumble Falls+ has awesome blastzones for Bowser. Fthrow and Shell Crush will both kill ridiculously early, and Bair is just stupid. As an added bonus, recovering through the stage helps you avoid certain spikes.
–Yoshi's Island (Minus) avoids Bowser's #1 problem zone: spikes. It also provides a cave of life that Bowser doesn't care about (because he usually kills off the top), but which helps him considerably.
–Yoshi's Island (Brawl) is tiny and has that one low platform... Really nice for stage control.
–Dreamland 64 if your opponent has decent meteors and spikes.
–Jungle Japes if it's legal
...Bowser really doesn't have bad stages.
Coming soon: more matchups with boozer!
Thanks to Linkshot for helping me with the frame data.
05/06/2012, 06:36 PM
I don't know if this has been mentioned before, his Final Smash doesn't work the way it's described above. He DOES the first part, stunning the opponents in front of him & dealing heavy damage, however once the animation and camera movement is over you must be holding A to perform the RBG otherwise bowser just uses his normal Firebreath (B)
05/07/2012, 01:00 AM
BPC is working from the current development build of Bowser. No sense in him releasing a guide saying one thing when it will change shortly. Patch should be out by the end of the week.
05/07/2012, 02:11 PM
05/08/2012, 05:41 PM
Updated again. @Dr.: it's getting patche.
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