06/01/2012, 10:55 PM (This post was last modified: 06/03/2012 02:51 PM by Bamesy.)
Development Acceleration Threads
WARNING : Wall of text with very little to no TL;DR
I figured I’d take some time to do something for the forum community. I’m not sure how helpful it will be, but if even 1 person gets something out of these threads, I’m satisfied and it was worth it. If this helps a lot of people a bit, then that’s just extra awesomeness.
So if you think there’s anything I’ve missed that might help someone, or if there’s something I cover that isn’t needed, let me know. I simply want these threads to be the most helpful they can be.
Given my leet writing skills, my leet smash skills, and my leet coaching and teaching skills, I have an interesting set of successful credentials and unique insights. So I feel like it’s my duty to give something like this to the community.
Purpose and Intro
These threads are to provide a form of guide series aimed towards increasing the rate at both learning characters from the beginning and improving with them indefinitely.
There will be no charts regarding move collision effects or frame data in these threads. Nothing about character match-up comparisons or stage counter-picking lists. This isn’t for or from statistics or data in any way. Those concepts and details can be discussed and mentioned elsewhere on the character forums unless brought up in discussion here at some point, but won’t be in the opening post.
Both Melee direct crossed characters and from scratch PM characters will be presented the same way in their respected threads and discussed the same. Many players new to smash or coming from Brawl are not familiar with Melee characters and could use this as a means of catching up to what those characters are bringing to PM completely. Veteran Melee players can either use this as a touch up on their game or a refreshment of going over what they know and chance of relearning what they may have forgotten or not given enough attention to before.
The Melee characters will likely be in more depth, and will provide an example of the depth hoped for when the PM characters are completed. As well, there is something new that every character is getting from the PM general game itself, and the Melee game is ever-changing so there is always something new to learn for even advanced and knowledgeable players.
These threads are meant to cover everything that a player will either inevitably learn about the characters that will benefit from on their personal path to learning the characters their own way.
These threads are meant to go into specifics of application and understanding about everything each character can do, but on a universal level that will aid in simply pointing out ideas utilizing the tools a player will find in the character and smash learning process at all levels.
Almost all of what’s covered in a specific character thread applies in some way to all other characters, so all threads will be useful no matter what character you play or how you play them. I’m simply going to cover the central parts that have the greatest significance to the character that each thread is directed to. Reading all threads could be beneficial to all characters, but only the focal point will be covered in each.
There will be two main topics generally covered that should fulfill most of what this thread is for.
These cover everything from difficult but necessary muscle memory requirements to the diverse application of simpler and easier actions that are all very essential.
These cover all the things to watch for throughout the course of a match relating to your interactions with your opponents and how to manage yourself accordingly.
Faculty Development will be the core of this guide. To develop as a player with a character, you first must gain access to all the tools you’ll need to do so on a technical and mental level. Your ability to consciously and accurately perform the actions you intend to do is a branch of littered stepping stones along the path to becoming the best you can be with that character and in this game. There will always be room for these to grow, but these must come first at least to some extent before you can use your own creative uniqueness and inventive play to its fullest.
A lot of these will vary from player to player, based off preference, style, habit and the centre of commitment, though it is encouraged to both new and old players to continuously insure that they are natural options and as comfortable to perform when asked upon at any and all times.
For new players, it’s a basic outline or collection of options in directions they may want to take their game. Things they will find along the way.
For old players, it’s for further development or refreshment to either reinforce what is solid, or to bring something they’re missing, into their game.
Before the character specifics, here are a few quick pointers that can be looked back to at any time. For players finding a creative spark, inspiration, success or leaping ahead, and just as much for players getting stuck, bored, frustrated or having trouble improving. Hopefully these will provide help at most times.
1 To improve means to become different towards what is better. To become different means to change. Therefore, improving is only possible through changing. It’s an overlooked universal truth, in a way, and often avoided because changing implies the risk of becoming worse and can usually feel uncomfortable, at least at first. Though the idea is simple to get around that discomfort. In that if the change is making you worse off but you see the potential, stick with it, where if it’s not showing any signs of possibility, change it again, and if a change brings improvement, keep it.
There is no moment that passes in which you can’t get something from, no matter how great or minor. If you feel flustered in any way because you can’t find some way to improve at the time, or are moving slower than preferred, that idea and sense alone is what you’ve taken from the moment, and that counts for more than you may think. It may just have less immediate improvement compared to potential. Use your mind as a mirror, reject nothing, grasp at nothing, receive but do not keep.
2 Have fun. Do what you have fun doing, and make fun in doing whatever you’re doing. Fun isn’t an objective thing you can find and attain, it’s how you yourself are perceiving and enjoying whatever you’ve attained or are attaining. If you’re losing a lot of matches to players you don’t want to lose to, find enjoyment in searching for ways to beat them rather than focus on the stocks at the end of the matches themselves. If you have no players to play that give you a challenge and you want more, learn to teach them how to beat you with proper and pure intentions and that will help you more than anything else.
What you take from a match means more than what happens in the match itself. When the match is over, the match no longer matters, only the matches ahead. The matches ahead will only be affected by what the now non-existent match has left you with, here and now. It’s also often overlooked that teaching can be the best way to learn, so falling back on that is a good thing.
3 If you want to make something a part of your game, that means you have to actually take a part of your time, effort and attention and put it there. Just as you make this game a part of your life by taking time to do so. In terms of improving, much, if not all of what can be shared with you is something you would eventually learn on your own. All a teaching or helping hand is, is an opportunity for you to possibly skip the trial and error phase by learning what is shown. You are the one that learns, something cannot be taught to you and produce results.
Every win, loss, reading or conversation is an opportunity, much of it you may know, much of it you may not. This means it takes your own effort to practice on your own, as well as being open and asking questions if someone else may think or do something a certain way. A community that communicates will thrive, collectivity is necessary to improve both personally and as a group. Remember, everyone is in this together, but that takes participation with others as well as on your own time to bring yourself to where you want to be.
Credits and Contributions
None of the content in these threads can be credited to me directly. It’s all because of the players involved in the creation of Project M since its beginning, all of the players involved in the development of the play for each smash game, along with every players commitment and contributions to the community for the last decade and more, and the community as a whole. As well as any players that add to the discussion and content of these guides themselves.
If anyone has interest in other characters or can contribute towards the other threads, they’re linked here.
Please contribute everything you can, as I am by no means capable of innovating, remembering and wording everything possible that would fit in these guides. At least at an efficient rate anyway. Thanks.
Fist Batch includes these characters.
Falcon : Proves as a well known and very distinct character that almost directly transferred from Melee. Will provide a nice layout and template for the future potential guides of other characters.
Falcon : http://www.smashmods.com/forum/thread-4483.html
Wario : A character that lacks clarity of use but has enough distinct qualities to be easily discussed and explained in an understandable way. Should also be fun to layout in this format.
Wario : http://www.smashmods.com/forum/thread-4484.html
Mario : Similar to his Melee counterparts but with a nice mix of new and old traits that are fairly straight forward yet still flexible. Plenty to him and should be a good character to start with.
Mario : http://www.smashmods.com/forum/thread-4485.html
Wolf : Interesting character with unique new concepts along with still somewhat familiar aspects to the most commonly used Melee characters. Will have a lot of depth to decipher and discuss.
Wolf : http://www.smashmods.com/forum/thread-4486.html
Hope this helps someone, somewhere, sometime, somehow. Best to everyone.
Development Acceleration Thread : Wario
The majority of what I’ve noticed is the difference between playing with patience, and playing Wario. Patience is often attributed to characters that don’t have many ways to get at their opponent, or slow the pace of the game down and cover their own openings better than they counter their opponents attempts at those openings. With Wario, a unique set of mental perspectives take a great effect on his game that’s similar to patience, but not the same. It’s a batch of thought process and intuitive activity that only a few characters in Melee could even consider relying on. You’ll spend a lot of your time running and jumping around, not seemingly accomplishing much, not even for pressure or evasive purposes. This is the nature of Wario, and it’s not a bad thing, but it’s not a familiar game in a Melee environment. As for Wario as a character, he’s by no means a weak character, but is very difficult to play and will always be trailing in development because of the nature of the mental game required to be effective with him. If a certain side of his game is eventually perfected, he will be on par with all others, but it will be long and tough on the way.
Cake Layering Time
1/4 Technical Lingo
For those who have never seen or heard of hockey, there is a black round disk-like object that gets sent around an arena by a bunch of sticks. Play like Wario is stick handling one of these ‘Hockey Pucks’ and everything will work out.
This is the action of using your hockey stick to hit the puck side to side very softly to keep control of the puck in front of you while you’re in motion. It’s a similar concept to dash dancing, in that you’re moving around in front of your opponent but you still don’t want to really go anywhere or change positions dramatically. Dash dancing itself is a small part of this, but it’s essentially the backbone of concept. The goal being to keep your opponent acting a certain way because of your movements, but you’re not actually doing any dramatic actions to instigate this. With Wario, he’s a lot more agile and fast in the air, so he stick handles in the air instead.
When stick handling, you have a lot of control as to how fast you’re moving the puck and how far in either direction. Since you can move the stick to and away from the puck so efficiently, while the puck attempts to escape or hit you back, this is a great way for you to pull their attention in one direction and go another entirely.
With Wario, you can weave in and out of the opponents range comfortably and quickly if you stick handle fluently. The air is where you’ll end up spending a lot of your time, so you need to make sure you have a feel for his direction control and speed control like he’s the end of your own stick. While practising this, do it without aerials, with aerials, around platforms and actions at all different times and patterns during the handling. This is needed on all parts of the stages and from all angles around your opponent, as you need to be flexible and aware of all you can do when you’re moving this way.
When this becomes comfortable, watch your DI when stick handling. If you mess up, your puck will go flying off in possibly the worst direction, like to it’s own safety or into your face, and that’s just sadface.
Passing and Boards
When stick handling, you can do fancy things like dropping the puck back to your feet or bouncing it off the boards. This is like a trick of making it seem like you’ve lost it and there’s an opening to snatch your puck, but it’s just a trick and you keep going. Like a mouse trap. Eventually, and pretty quickly too, your opponent will likely catch on to this and it won’t be so much to trick them, but simply a tool you can use to keep going in positions where it’s a tight spot to have the puck lingering around on your stick anymore.
With Wario, the act of dropping the puck back to your feet is like ledge cancelling, and to a lesser extent, wavelanding off platforms to remain airborne. You don’t want your opponent to know when and where you’re landing if they’re within reach of you from below. Because of your great stick handling potential, you should be able to drop at the right time in your jump to cancel your aerials or yourself on the edge of platforms. This will take away any chance to catch you landing as you’ll get your jump back and can move a great distance to where you need to be. The alternative is simply landing near the edge of a platform so you can waveland off into your double jump or aerials again. If you can do this on command, it’s useful in many ways and looks good too, ooh food.
For sending your puck off the boards or to other players, or the stage in smash, there are several mobility options Wario has that need a thorough understanding and comfort to work fully.
The Butt Slam is like passing it off the boards to yourself. If you’re out of range of the opponent but you’re in the air, there is no sense in you using your air-time just to cover the distance needed to catch them even if they do something with lag at the end. You’re not excessively fast, but you are fast.
Better than limiting yourself by following them, land and follow with a jump from the ground so you’re options are open again. Approaching a target when you don’t have any room for stick handling, or lacking access to some of your tools to stick handle properly, isn’t ideal. This can get you in trouble, so just reset with all your tools and puck control.
You also don’t want to have to wait for yourself to fall all the way to the ground again just to reset yourself, as this will give away where you’re landing and might leave an opening. It’s easy to snatch Wario’s goodies if he’s too direct with what he’s doing. The best way to recover all of your options is to return to the ground. Like passing off the boards, you lose control of the puck but it’s coming right back to you too quick for opponents to act, you can do this effectively with your Butt Slam. It’s quick and recovers all your options again, it may even prove as a bait to opponents, but you recover so quickly that they’ll never snatch your goodies if you do it properly.
By doing it properly, that simply means not following your opponents before doing it. Instead, stall or draw away from them ever so slightly so you have enough room to do it safely. Even simply using your double jump away and slamming immediately. This will get you grounded safely when things don’t look favourable. As well, using a double jump right before won’t give them the idea that you’ll be resetting so quickly, and if they try to chase because they know you’re out of jumps, then run right towards a grounded Wario with all his options back.
Your opponent will be watchful of you if you’re high enough in the air that they can’t quickly hit you, but you’re near with your rear. They won’t allow you to Butt Slam them easily. If you’re higher than them and near, and you’ve either forced them close to the edge or have been pressuring them, that leaves them an opportunity to run underneath you to safety. Or roll if they’re silly, or SH aerial if they hate you, or whatever. All of these options can lead them below you.
Some indirect benefits of your resetting butt slamming will come into play here. For one, it’s possible that you might simply catch them travelling under you to escape. If you’re occasionally Butt Slamming to recover your options to avoid their punishes, they might even stay in the pressure and not try to escape under you since they’ll be afraid you’ll land on their head or their shield if they do.
If you’re high up, you have to come down eventually. This can leave you in trouble if you don’t land properly and they’re preparing to take advantage of that. If they do try to wait for it and punish it, usually you’ll have a chance to do it safely while they’re occupied. That’s if you want to be safe with it instead of use it as a pressure option. Pressure option doesn’t mean right on them, but that can often be preferred. Near them is good enough if they’re afraid and shielding or trying to use something to swat you away.
Using Butt Slam from very high to get yourself closer to the ground or ledges safely is a tools other floaty characters wish they had. Get used to the speed and distance it travels before you can move again, and try using it to get down fast and reset yourself. Resetting is good.
You need meals. No matter how much stick handling and passing and fancy stuff is in your pants, you need to get to your goal. Your goal is more than tea and crumpets that you’ll be getting from chipping away with your stick, you need meals. Like cake.
With Butt Slam, get very familiar with how far down your pants drop. You need to be comfortable with whatever happens when you sit on the opponent in any circumstance. When you sit on them, it needs to be natural for you to do exactly what you should do afterwards, whether it’s a combo, a killing blow, a chase or nothing at all. All %, distances travelled and other factors determine what happens when you land on someone. Be sure to be comfortable doing anything out of it, and be comfortable that you know all of your options out of it so you can perform the most effective one for the time.
It may not happen often, so you need to know how to act when it does, and be able to do what you know you should do without any hesitation or second rate meals that turn out to be barely filling. This includes even off stage and on their shield. The potential meal is huge, but it won’t come often if the opponent knows you’re hungry for this, and they probably think Wario is always hungry.
Just like with your butt, you need to be able to use your face too. Wario has a lot of good upside-down-dribbling tools and if you have control over them, you can maximize your food per bite ratio. Be comfortable leading to this as many ways as you can, whether it’s Uair after Butt Slams or a Grab before the dribbles to set them up. If you’re not familiar with all of his teeth, practise until you are. In a match, Wario won’t get many chances to upside-down-dribble people as he lacks many ways to guarantee it, so be very comfortable with all the sweet-spots of things like his Uair, other aerials, Utilt, Dtilt, Jab and where his throws and Bite lead.
In hockey, cycling is the act of moving the puck in and out of the corners while trying to work your way to the front of the net or for a chance to shoot. For Wario, this is similar to the way you need to line up your finish. Or at least make it really scary for the opponent because if they mess up, then you can. Simple Ftilts at decent %, lingering between your stick handling can pay off plenty if they connect. You have things they need to watch for, but if you Dtilt too often, you’ll never catch them. Cycle around and pick them off with things when you haven’t tried it for a while, just to see what works.
With stick handling, you’re not going to score, but it will lead to upside-down-dribbling at some point. Upside-down-dribbling, also known as Juggling by some, can lead to things like edge-guards or good positions. Either way, over time the opponent will have damage done to them. Their shift will be over but they’ll be stuck on the ice, or they’ll have a lot of % and in a bad position. You can’t wall them out with a trap, or punish any slow thing they do, but you can cycle by using your speed and mobility to keep them in a corner. Their room in the corner will keep shrinking if you keep cycling well enough.
A part of the method of cycling that has much higher reward than stick handling, despite being less easy to handle your opponent with, is his ground game. Be comfortable with the range and power of his Side B and all of the options around it. Get a good feel for the timing of that and other tools when following any knock down or tumble you can put your opponent in. Wario has an odd tech chasing game in the way it has a lot of factors and he has a lot of tools but nothing is always the best option, so get used to all of his options when chasing, like simple SH Aerials mixed with SH Bites, or the obvious Side Bs.
Most importantly, find all of the tools that set up tech chases. Learn the timing and duration of all his lasting ground attacks, because they’ll all have a use in the cycle. Anything that knocks opponents down or sends them into tumble is of value, as that’s where you’ll get your most common decent sized meals. Everything from his Bite and throws, Utilt, Dash Attack, Dsmash and even the early and rare connecting Butt Slams can all knock opponents around early for techs. Wario can create all different kinds of tech timings and ranges, learn to use all of them.
This is all part of the cycling game. All of your mobility tools and attacks must feel comfortable meshed together in an infinitely pressuring and manoeuvring cycle. Never backing away for too long or getting too close for too long, always moving in and out of the threatening and safe distances completely keeping unpredictability. Be comfortable taking many small weaves and constantly changing what you’re doing within the cycle, even dramatically changing pace or going through bursts of repetition.
Wario can have trouble getting the kill if the opponent is stubborn, which is possible due to not having too many guaranteed set ups, let alone reliable ways of getting the things that set them up. It’s not a horrible thing to be dis-allowed fancy pants kills, but what Wario needs to do then is try cycling in different ways and see if something comes of it. So you need lots of cycling options at your knowledgeable disposal.
Nair OOS. You look like a hockey puck, amirite?
When edge-guarding, you have to keep the same pressuring cycle style to be fully effective. Nothing Wario has is a guaranteed goal, so you have to keep working for your food even when you’re shoving the puck in the blast zone.
Side B from the stage can cover a lot of options if timed well. It’s a good option to have if they have a lot of options from far away and you want to take some away. This will force them to act as you can go high or low with it. Be comfortable with the timings of his jump during it, the double jump after, and how much pressure you can put on afterwards while still making it back to the stage with either another Side B, Air Dodge or Up B. Make the edge grabbing sweet-spots of your Up B and Side B very natural to you too. You’ll need to return to the edge quickly and accurately if you go out far to edge-guard.
Your aerials cover any recoveries that don’t have many options when you go offstage, and your ground moves cover a lot from on the stage. With these alone, you can have very effective edge-guarding. It can be tough to cover all options, but your other tools will have to take care of them. Once their recovery linear enough, you can use your excellent stick handling skills on them even when there’s no floor beneath you or you’re on the edge. Your objective is to get them there with your cycling so you can play this fun game.
If their recovery is super linear and lacking options, and you’re uncertain if your stick handling offstage will be able to cover their few tools, you can even use things like Side B and Butt Slam to snipe them before you have to stick handle much. All your tools are situational when edge-guarding, including risky things that can kill you like Butt Slam, or let them get away like Side B, or take precision and get swatted away or avoided like stick handling. So get very familiar with all of your options so you don’t have to limit yourself to a few of these tools.
You’re quick enough that you can be very lenient with what you chose to do, and change your mind part way so you can return to the stage and reset your options before they can change theirs. Use your mobility and flexibility to keep your options open, and be familiar with all your options while in this offstage cycling motion.
2/4 Mental Game
Slut Here, Slut There, Slut Everywhere
Take your clothes off and flaunt your stuff, show them what you got. You can tempt your opponents very safely because of your speed, durability, area coverage and options. Bait them hard and keep at it. With proper stick handling, you can be in and out smoothly and repeatedly without danger of them catching you with something. Too go too far in or too far out, you’re not excessively fast or ranged, but be in the area all the time.
This goes for both your air and ground game, in that many of Wario’s moves stay out of a good duration and have very little recovery time. His tilts and aerials all last to a decent extent and when used as reaches rather than full on approaches, he can limit an opponents mobility options for fear of running into something stiff.
Side note, sEXy Seismo is a great cycling tool in several situations and there are many ways of eliminating the chance on it. Example, if you’re chased into the air and land before the opponent but somewhat out of range of aerials, you can Dsmash as they’re landing from far away and set up a tech chase. Even pivot Dsmash if you want to make sure they can’t aerial you before using it. The chances of it landing and having them tech poorly are amplified, where the chance it’s punished is diminished. If you’re playing a good evasive game and they follow you up there, you’ve done your cycling job well and this is an example of how to change their over commitment into your own possible offensive opportunity in an odd Wario way.
Nothing Wario does is guaranteed. All of your approaches, evading and neutral manoeuvring are littered with holes and only cover certain holes. You want to control this chance game by utilizing and removing the Gimmicks. Which you’re also littered with.
An example that’s quite simple is the use of Side B. Keep note that Side B isn’t a very reliable thing to use often as a direct offense, but it can be very worth the reward if landed, so it’s worth doing, the tricky part is knowing when to do it. So an understanding of how to use it as an indirect offense and why it’s better suited this way is needed. This is part of the mental comfort game and your own guess work, just like much of Wario’s stuff works that way. Such as Butt Slams and Bites, the concept of utilizing things indirectly is much more fitting and reliable in its own sense.
Back On Topic
If you’ve established that you will be attempting to land Side Bs outside of tech chasing, then they’ll likely shield it when it’s coming, and mixing it with the fake version for a Grab becomes accessibly. If you’ve established that you’ll be using the Grab version at some point, then they might attempt jumping out of the way, in which case you can jump with it as well. This is a chance based game that you have control over in terms of when you want to play, how to play, and most importantly, when you don’t want to play.
To minimize the chance game, meaning the chance that you’ll do one thing and they’ll do the other, because there’s a chance that they can guess right and punish you for it, you need to know how to neutralize or even gain an advantage by removing or manipulating this chance. If you skip steps and go straight to jumping before you’re in contact with them, you’re taking away one of their options that they can’t actually respond and punish you for based on the initial chance. It’s not something you always want to do, but if they don’t want to play the initial chance game, they’ll likely take this chance as it’s secondary and have to play this chance game instead. Jumping will take away their jump option, but only if they react to both of the first chance options and overlook this one. Even if they don’t overlook it and consciously take this chance, it’s safer for you as their choice would only be able to punish the initial chance options without getting punished themselves, with exceptions.
Sounds complicated on paper, but it’s quite simple. You want to neutralize yourself without over committing or under committing to your offense. By attacking in a way that neutralizes you but still gives a chance that something will come of it offensively, such as using the jump during Side B to return yourself to the air where you’re mobile, or using Butt Slam to return yourself to the ground to reset your options, you’re controlling the chance game against you but have a chance of hitting them with it at the same time. If you commit to an approach that has a fairly equal chance of landing or not, then you’re giving control of the chance game to your opponent, and creating a collective opportunity to whether it will work or not. You don’t want to share control over chances.
You have control over when you approach or evade and how you approach or evade, so being able to control the likelihood of whether your approach or evade works means not sharing that control with the opponent because of any chance that comes with it.
The next step, is controlling how much of that control you’re sharing. You will always share some, as missed Butt Slams even at a distance, or Side Bs going above your opponent even out of reach, are all punishable somehow sometimes. Have control over how much you control you want to share. Find comfort in the differences in control you have. For everything between going directly at the opponent from across the screen, and weaving in mysterious ways around dangerous places. Don’t let your own offense become a shared opportunity with your opponent.
Side note, things not to do : Attack Directly
Even when dping a SH Aerial at full range... land with a Bite instead a lot of the time.
On that note, this is now important serious buisiness.
Possibly the most important Wario thing ever. For serious importance buisiness.
The Shapes of Things
What is This
These and many other examples are all underlined by the same concept. The idea is that, while in a match as Wario, using visual mental signatures to define where you want to be or don’t want to be can be of tremendous use. Mental signatures you create for yourself will give more flexibility and distinction to enable easier and more efficient use of your attention in the game.
This is simply a perspective or way of looking at something and it’s likely going to be very beneficial for learning Wario at a faster and more efficient rate for all levels of play. It can be done many ways for many different things, but it’s unusual and may have to be read twice if you’ve never heard of this before. It’s a technique used and taught to and by very highly developed players in various fields, from music to math to video games. You could almost call it a savants perspective. It’s something that I’ve personally used to help some of the worlds best Melee players reach new levels in their own game. So I’ll try explaining this concept in writing.
The idea behind this is very visual. Not necessarily better for visual learners, but it’s a visual exercise that takes time to develop and will build on intuitive play rather than theoretical or practical. The concept revolves around paying attention to and visualizing shapes, or colours, or motions, or anything distinct while playing.
One example is a bass player that has recently revolutionized the theoretical side of bass playing. It involves a certain pattern, or shape on the frets of a bass guitar that can be moved and manipulated in a clear, practical and comfortable way. It developed into this visual form as it’s flexible and changeable in every way, so any moment it can be altered and manipulated to be applicable to the moment without stringing multiples theories or rules together. Though it remains solid at its core and actually follows structured guidelines that help playing.
Another example is a person today that has recently been showing a very visual way of looking at numbers and equations. Using shapes and colours to distinguish between digits rather than the digits themselves, as there’s more flexibility and objectivity to give attention to in easing the memorization and application of the numbers themselves. From using square numbers as a base or simply applying other context to the numbers, like colours, to imply the information that comes with the digits significance.
Every moment within a match has hot spots and soft spots, dangerous places and safe places, areas you want to be in and areas you don’t. This is a general rule of thumb for every character all the time. An extreme is that some characters are very safe at a great distance, and want to be there for offensive purposes too, while many characters want to be up close for offense and need to get there from safe distances and vice versa. This is at a great generalization and basic level, but it applies in more detail and specifics when in a fast paced close weaving battle.
Every character has very clear places they don’t want the opponent to be and places they want the opponent to be. In Wario’s case, this is scattered and unorthodox.
The Not Shape Priority
What’s more important to Wario than being in the places you want to be, is not being in the places you don’t want to be. You want to be on the offense and put your opponent in danger, but if you’re being hit or in danger, you’re not doing that to them in those conditions. You don’t have the tools to be on the offense and exactly where you want to be all the time, so it’s not something that should be aiming for. Rather, it’s more effective to be in your opponents vicinity in a very neutral and changing way, but never where your opponent wants you. Manipulating yourself to be where your opponent doesn’t have access to tools that make it dangerous for you. This is where the application of all stick handling faculties come into play.
Create a mental visual shape around your opponent that you want to occupy when they’re standing still. Whether it’s the shape of a letter or number or weird object that doesn’t look like anything, make this bolded shape a certain colour, like blue, and call it the safe zone.
Then create a shape around them that you don’t want to occupy. Whether it’s because they can hit you before you can hit them in that area, or you have no good tools from there, or it’s risky in any other way. Make this bolded area red and call it the danger zone.
Then the match begins. As soon as your or your opponent moves, these zones are altered. If you went frame by frame, these coloured shapes would fold in and out of each other continuously. The ever-changing distinct locations you don’t want to be are naturally the places you want to avoid. The ever-changing distinct locations you want to be are naturally the places you want to get to.
If your opponent is moving fast, then there are certain distances that are safe and unsafe based on where the fast movement is directed. If the opponent is covering a lot of area with something, then there is a big area that’s unsafe and a big area that’s safe. These are the locations around the opponent you need to watch for.
This will naturally be very fast paced and difficult to keep up with if you take the effort to jump right into it. When looking at your opponent, visualize the amoeba around them that you’ve created in your mind. It will flash in size and shape constantly throughout a match with every move they do. The change of the amoeba has nothing to do with Wario, only your opponent. Your goal with Wario is to weave and cycle around the stretches and bubbles to get to the centre of it safely, where the opponent is positioned for puncture.
Let your visualization freak out if that’s what you’re feeling, the rate that things change can flash plenty while playing a fast paced game. Think about it as if it was something that was given to you. Imagine how beneficial it would be if there was a thing you programmed into the game that constantly pointed out where you want to and don’t want to be and how helpful it would be. This is what you want to attain in time at least to some degree. You have to program it in yourself though, rather than program it into the game.
When practising this, anything visual will work. Simple outlines or objects or phrases to shout are all functional, as long as you know clearly what these areas are and how you’ve labelled or outlined them. If you’re playing and one of these areas seems to not fit the way you’ve distinguished it because you got hit in a visually safe zone, change it in your mind to another visual zone next time it comes up and see how that works. This might not be something you can chart out for yourself in your thought process, you just intuitively force yourself to paint that area the proper way when it comes up again, and again, until you’ve got it as mental muscle memory.
Remember that they will always change and nothing is concrete. It will change moment to moment all match, and even the same situation arising many times in a single match might be different every time, or simply off your own intuitive idea that it might not be safe anymore, or for long, or wasn’t and you got lucky it hasn’t come up yet. Whatever is happening, let it change, but forcefully make it a profound part of the game with the clarity Wario on the screen himself has.
For Wario, if a large area is being covered by the opponent so you can’t get through, or a character leaves you an opening but is moving too fast, you may not be able to directly punish the soft areas. This is fine, as you shouldn’t expect to puncture every hole. Your priority is to not be punctured while trying to puncture them, but always stay ready so that you can puncture something at some point. Hopefully, with an understanding of your own visual maps, you’ll find patterns and systems behind your opponents amoeba movements, and be able to puncture those by getting where you need to be before the hole is even there.
Keep in mind, that it doesn’t necessarily need to be a visual thing to be effective. It can simply be a feel for it, and this is inevitably what will happen. If you fake the feel by giving it intentional things your senses can pick up, or pretend to pick up, then the intuitive side of your game will be heightened. Eventually, your feel for where your highlighted areas were will just be natural, and never need highlights again.
This is just a way of looking at a very general but diverse part of the game. This is the reason Wario is and will always be a difficult character to play fully effectively. It has nothing to do with technical development or combos or standard metagame stuff, but this insight in clarity alone is what his development game will be focussed around, unmeasurable and unexplainable.
Now that you have a quadruple layer cake (3/4 Wah?), it’s time to put a cherry on top.
That’s what this is all about. This is where Wario gets even more fancy. You need to not only be able to set this up in a variety of at least somewhat reliable ways, and not only know how hard it hits every character at every % at every degree of charge, and not only watch the clock for it, and not only have to edge-guard after if it doesn’t kill, but you actually have a reason to delay matches and need to make sure the clock is on before every match. Because we all know some players somewhere sometimes just don’t set the clock in stock matches for some reason. Fortunately, this isn’t Melee or Brawl and PM has it set automatically. Still, time is apparently not an illusion for Wario and unless you have a great feel for time or counting powers, you need that thing set for life as a Wario player.
A) Waft Constipation (Technically Shitty)
B) Waft Excretion (Brain Fart)
Get a feel for how hard Waft hits at various % on various characters with various charge times. Hit the opponents to different %, wait a different amount of time, and see what happens. A simple example would be waiting 60 seconds, then 75, then 90, then the full 2 minutes. At the end of each time, bring your opponent to 25%, then 50, then 75, then 100, and see what happens when you Waft them in these situations.
Once you have an idea of how hard it hits in all situations on a testable level, get a good idea of how to set up Waft at all % that you think will be necessary, based on what % you would want to use Waft on your opponents. Remember, your set ups for Waft might increase the damage themselves, so the set up can start earlier than the actual preferred Waft usage time if it damages enough leading up to Waft.
After you have a complete understanding and start to develop comfort on how you can get Waft to work properly, it’s beneficial to build up check-points for it. Whether it’s a certain amount of time or a certain % or both, you won’t be needing to pay close attention to Waft for the entire match. A lot of the time, this move will be nearly ineffective. This means you have to be aware of when it does come into effect, and how much effect it will have the moment it does come into effect, and how much effect it will have from then until the time you finally use it. Be confident with both the earliest time and the minimum damage that have to be met as to when you’ll bother considering using Waft.
When using Waft, take note of the time again and decide what the next trigger time will be when you consider Waft again. Whether it’s the idea of it being a minute from then, or less or more, or if it’s the idea of a certain digit that the time will reach. Whatever you use as a measurement to help you know when Waft is ready, lock it in so you’ll be ready when the time comes. Unless you just have amazing feel for time, in which case you must be an illusion and would probably be disqualified from tournaments if anyone found out.
It’s best to use you Waft rather than not use it at all. You don’t want to go into overtime, as this means time is passing, and you’re losing charge time because you’re already full. Overtime is not only when you’re fully charged, but when you’re charged to a point and the opponent is damage to a point where you Waft is overkill.
Ideally, you want to use the Waft at the perfect time and % to kill, no more and no less. However, this will rarely ever actually happen. For a Waft set up to lead perfectly in % into the perfectly charged Waft to get a flat out kill isn’t going to be common. The closer the better, whether you’ve dealt a little more damage than necessary or the Waft is a little more charged than necessary, but that’s to the one side of it. The side that lands you the guaranteed kill. This is not essential.
The other side is when you deal just under the required % or Waft is just under the required charge to get the direct kill. This is most likely the most common chance that will come up, and it’s best taken even when it doesn’t directly kill. For one, it comes earlier, and therefore the next charge will be ready sooner in the match. The idea that you want to use Waft more often makes using it earlier rather than later a favourable thing on its own.
Aside from a few attacks Wario has, Waft at a mild charge is one of his most diverse hard hitting tools. Since Wario doesn’t have the tools to get many chances, using a situation as a chance to Waft is using the situation to get a chance to edge-guard. If it’s under charged or under damaged so the opponent isn’t killed, then it’s likely that it was early in their stock and not at stock finishing % yet. The early use of Waft simply to set up edge-guards at lower % is just as valuable as using it at mid % to kill. Since later in stocks, the longer the charge goes, and there will be fewer opportunities as the stock goes on to use it fully, and overtime becomes more possible.
Once Waft is ready and available, be prepared to use it as soon as seen fit. Don’t try to rack up damage with a couple combos you could have used Waft in and try to land Waft straight on afterwards. Use it as it is, when it’s ready to be used. The sooner you use it to simply set up edge-guards guaranteed out of combos into it, the more Wafts you’ll have a chance to use that match, and the less likely you are to go into overtime. It’s not something you’ll use often in a match, and it’s not something you can fully rely on to win matches. At the same time, it can easily provide a boost to extend a lead or give a chance to catch up in a match. Use it when you can, obviously no sooner, but importantly no later.
Any Waft set up that comes when the Waft is ready is something new to capitalize on. If you manage to get an edge-guard early in a stock and your Waft readies itself, use to edge-guard right then and there. If their damaged enough that you want to save it for the next stock, then you have to end this stock quickly, meaning you have to take the risks necessary to do that because you’ll increase your chances of going into overtime if you don’t succeed in this, here and now. This is the tricky part of the Waft, and you’ll probably have lots of brain farting along the way, but don’t hesitate with it and be very lenient with it. There’s not enough reason to be hasty and try and force it, but not enough reason to try saving it for that special moment. When it comes it comes, holding it in and forcing it out are only ideas looking for trouble.
Kind of TLDR/Recap
Make all of these things very comfortable to you so they’re natural options at all times.
It’s what’s required to play Wario at his fullest potential.
- Aerial control and DI
- Platform ledge cancelling and wavelanding
- Juggling and cycling to cover space
- Knowledge of how to set up tech chases
- Complete Waft understanding and monitoring
- Diversifying the use of tools
- Applying sustained but safe pressure with cycling
- Instigating the opponent to act
- Taking educated and established planned risks
- Avoiding danger zones and puncturing safe zones
- Visualizing the intuitive process to understand it
- Getting a feel for the pace of change and keeping up with it
- Bite people
- Ledge Cancelling Side B
- Yelling NYAH
Continuity Is The Secret Of Success
Hope you enjoy it. Thanks.
This is just the first batch, so it’s an experiment if anything. If there’s something that needs to be adjusted or changed, let me know. If the writing is too proper or sloppy, if it can be organized better or cleaned up a bit, whatever. It’s all for open discussion and change. I might have simply been to elaborate and should write less about it. Any feedback is appreciated, and please contribute to the thread if you can.
This is a type of thread that’s missing too often, and as far as I’m concerned it’s the only type that matters in the end. In a way, it’s where all discussions direct to but never make it here. So I’m doing this to hopefully help with a piece of general forums that’s missing. It’s kind of like a general discussion, but with a specific purpose and massive collection of all the things generally discussed crammed into one post, that’s about it.
If anyone wants to start writing something of their own for this series or just with this concept in mind, that would be great, but I could write all of it if needed. I type super fast. Yes, I’m want this for every character, as it has enough value to be worth it as far as I’m concerned.
I’ve tried to cover most of what I find important to a Falcon player, but there’s always more. Hopefully this Development Acceleration Thread for Falcon can help people with the character, and actually serve the purpose I’m intending for it.
06/03/2012, 12:14 AM
Good job dude. Always great to see detailed contributions like this!
12/03/2012, 04:00 AM
this doesn't have nearly enough views. always nice to see the lesser played characters get a spotlight.
12/03/2012, 04:22 PM
It's too messy for most to read casually though, which should really get more attention from these than anything, so I'll be adjusting it dramatically when 2.5 is out to make it easier.
Otherwise, good to know it's still getting use. Not so much for the fact that's it's a 'lesser played character' getting attention, as anything here could be used as concepts elsewhere, but that those who 'can' get use from this, 'will' use it. That's what counts.
Btw, the single best opening post on all of smash world forums has very few views, but it has secretly, both directly and indirectly, helped many of today's top level players. These DAT threads are based around it much, so I won't dig it up, but this type of 'topic' is something you can apply to all things, not just with the character it's about, and not just with smash.
Carry this with you, aware the whole time, and things will work out way better than you could fathom. Don't just take my word for it or something though, you can experience it yourself. Stay aware, moment to moment. Stuff is good.
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