Marth by Crater12

Version: 1.3 | Updated: 06/27/04 | Printable Version

 Crater12ís Marth Guide

1.   Version History
2.   Introduction [INT]
3.   Pros and Cons [PAC] 
4.   Miscellaneous techniques and info [MTI]
5.   Move list [ML]
   a. A moves [A]
   b. Smashes [S]
   c. Aerials [AR]
   d. B moves [B]
   e. Throws [T]
   f. Other [O]
6.   Stadium [STA]
   a. Home Run Contest [HRC]
   b. Break the Targets [BTT]
7.   Combos [COM]
8.   Situations [SIT]
9.   Stages [STA]
10. Tactics [TAC]
11. Marth: Tactics and Tricks [MTT]
12. Counter Characters [CC]
13. Credits and Disclaimer [CD]

To skip ahead to one of the above sections, simply press Ctrl + F then enter
in the abbreviation.

If you see any mistakes, or have any suggestions, either email me at or make a topic at the Gamefaqs message board on melee.
        Version history
version 1.0  finally got it up
version 1.1  added counter characters section
version 1.2  added a stage section, a tactics section, and a version history
section ^_^. Added info concerning blind spots on some attacks, and just some
random info. 
version 1.3 continued adding sections, more info added, Iím beginning to
actually tell you how to use the information Iíve laid out in front of you,
but to compensate I added more information.

        Introduction                                  [INT]
I chose Marth, simply because, he won the struggle of which character I was
going to learn how to use as my main, this was as I was first hearing about
tiers, which I sided with because the anti tierists were always torn apart
with the arguments of vets. Eventually I learned more about the characters
and now actually understand why the characters are where they are. My other
characters are Fox, ICs, and Mewtwo but I am far from mastering them, canít
even do the infinite consistently. But, on to Marthís strengths and weaknessí
in the Pros and Cons section.

        Pros and Cons                                 [PAC]           
Excellent range (not only this but a disjointed hit box, more on this later)
Great Priority
Good running speed
Fast attack speed, little overall lag
Good recovery
Good combo ability
Good throws

No projectile
Might be called cheap by scrubs
Experts sometimes have a grudge against him, similar to the Sheik grudge,
but to a lesser extent.
Has trouble KOing at higher percentages

        Miscellaneous techniques and info             [MTI]
Wavedash: done by jumping then immediately pressing down and right or down and
left and airdodging, if done correctly it should produce a sliding effect
which can be used to edge hog, or make portable smashes, can also be used in
combos to more efficiently string together attacks. You can tell you have done
a wavedash correctly when the character doesnít leave the ground, and can be
seen most prominently by Luigi.

Wiggling: When you are hit by a strong attack and sent in the air, you will
most likely be flailing around, and when landing you will either have to tech,
or perform a wake up attack. Wiggling stops all this, by rapidly and
repeatedly jamming left then right while still in the air you will return to
your regular aerial stance and not be caught off balance on landing.  

L cancel: by pressing the L or R button right before landing while the attack
or recovery animation is still going on you will L cancel the attack reducing
lag and allowing you get back into the fray, or make a quick retreat. Can also
be used to link attacks together that otherwise wouldnít be possible because
of lag.

Disjointed Hit box: Some charactersí attacks have disjointed hit boxes. For
priority to come into play, both characters must try and hit the other. A
normal hit box (like a punch or kick) counts as part of the character, so if
it collides with the leg/arm of another character priority will come into
effect when the opponent hits. The advantage to a disjointed hit box (like a
sword or hammer) is that it does not count as part of the character, so the
opponent will have to get pass the hit box before priority comes into play,
allowing the disjointed hit box to cancel out any attack that doesnít manage
to do so (unless of course the attack is a projectile, which also isnít part
of the character). One last advantage of the disjointed hit box, is that since
it doesnít count as part of the character, it can go through terrain your
character canít. A great example of this would be the small broken pillar/clod
of earth that divides hyrule temple, it just happens to be roughly the same
length as a tipped forward smash. That example will only work once, as it is
incredibly predictable, but there are other ways of abusing it.

Whiff: This is when you miss an attack altogether, embarrassing yourself and
giving your opponent a golden opportunity if the attack has lag. Sadly, Marth
will probably fall victim to this more than others, as one small
miscalculation and your tipper will turn into this.

Lag: term used to describe the wind down period after an attack, when you are
temporarily helpless and unable to perform an action.

Air grab: Press Z or R and A when in the air to catch or pick up items thrown
at you or items on platforms while in the air. 

Short hop/Baby jump: by tapping the x or y buttons or the control stick and
then releasing before the character is off the ground, you will perform a
short hop and only jump half the height you normally would. This technique is
useful for using air attacks on the ground and also for allowing you to use
more attacks by fast falling, l canceling and repeating.

Fox Trot: A technique where you repeatedly do the starting animation of a
dash, allowing certain characters (like Marth and Fox) to be able to move
faster than they normally would with it. When done Marth should make an almost
gliding motion across the ground with a short pause each time you repeat the
starting animation.

Dash Jump Cancel: If you jam up on the control stick right before you grab as
youíre dashing, the character will perform the standing grab animation. This
reduces lag and comes out faster than a regular dash grab, so there really
isnít any reason not to use it.

Crouch Cancel: hitting down right before or as youíre getting hit will make
you perform a Crouch Cancel. When you perform this technique, you wonít move
as much, will stay grounded (unless the move knocks you directly into the air
like an up tilt), and you wonít be stunned, allowing you to counter attack. At
higher percentages I believe your flight distance will be halved, but you will
travel at a horizontal angle, so use at your own risk then (If you use this at
high percentages the term becomes Crouch Surviving).

Tech: This refers to a recovery option that all characters have. To perform it
, simply hit L or R as you fall to the ground after an opponentís attack, and
you will quickly get off the ground or perform a roll and get back into
standing position. A similar thing you can do as well is hit L or R when
hitting a ceiling or wall and you will return to normal fighting stance
instead of bouncing off the wall.

Sweet spot: Term usually used to describe Marthís or Royís area on their sword
in which damage and knockback are higher. Other characters also have sweet
spots as well, for instance Marioís forward smash has a sweet spot.
Interesting combos can be made by using an attackís sweet spot to line up
anotherís nonsweet pot and vice versa.

Directional Influence (DI): Term for when you move the control stick in a
direction to get out of and attack or combo.

Dash Jump Canceled: When you use a grab while running you may notice a
different animation from your stranding grab, which also has slightly
different lag/start up. This running animation in truth is almost always
inferior to a regular standing grabís animation. Dash Jump Canceling is a way
to cut down on lag from a running grab by jamming up on the control pad, which
makes your character perform the normal, faster standing grab animation. It
can also be used to use a characterís up smash out of a run, which is
incredibly useful for some characters (such as fox).

Triangle Jumping: Another movement trick, this one is similar to wavedashing,
but the timing is different. This is only truly useful for a select few
characters, ones with a slow running speed and high traction (a slow jump
speed doesnít hurt.). In those situations triangle jumping is usually faster
than running, and should be used instead of it. It does have a use for other
characters, though it is limited, mainly for fake outs and mix ups.

        Move List                                     [ML]

Lag rating: (from best to worst)
Hardly any
A little
A bit
A lot
Huge enormous incredible lag 

        A moves                                       [A]

Neutral a: start up: hardly any, lag: a little, 
Sweet spot: 6 max, 3 min.
Nonsweet spot: 3 max, 2min. 
Not the most exciting attack, Marth swings the sword in front of him in an arc
from side to side, usually an opponent will have to DI to get out of this, but
even if you hit multiple times in wonít do much damage. A good way to rack up
combos in training mode with Marth is to make a bunny hood drop, grab it, and
then pin a heavy character against a wall with your flurry of slashes. If for
whatever reason (presumably a dare) you use this attack as an offensive move,
this move has a blind spot, much like the up tilt in that small or thin
crouching characters will not get hit if standing directly beside you.

Forward tilt: start up: hardly any, lag: a little
Sweet spot: 13 max, 7 min
Nonsweet spot: 9 max, 4 min
Well balanced attack, Marth has a bit more range than the previous attack, and
covers a larger area with this slash as well, sends opponents at roughly a 25
degree angle upon connection, sweet spot increases how far the opponent is
sent and increases the angle a bit. The small amount of lag makes this move a
viable offensive option, though it is hard to follow up. 

Up tilt: start up: hardly any, lag: a little (could be considered more because
of the long attack duration)
Sweet spot: 12 max, 6 min
Nonsweetspot: 9 max, 4 min 
One of three of Marthís ground to air attacks (the others being the up smash
and the forward smash). This attack normally hits an opponent up and slightly
behind you, and the sweet spot merely increases its knockback. However, should
you hit with a certain part of the blade ( I think its in the first half of
the slash, not sure) it will make a different sound  (somewhat like when a
forward smash tipper hits) and the opponent will be send at an almost
horizontal angle, but with roughly the same amount of knockback. This is a
good move to use out of an up throw at lower percentages and can be used to
set up juggles and also can immediately follow any of Marthís air attacks. It
is also Marthís main star KO attack. One thing to watch out for is that this
move does have a blind spot, if a small character like kirby is standing
directly next to you the sword will harmlessly pass through them, the same
will happen if a thin character (like Zelda) is crouching next to you.

Down tilt: start up: hardly any, lag: a bit
Sweet spot: 10 max, 5 min 
Nonsweetspot: 9 max, 4 min
One of Marthís edge guarding options, this move has probably the lowest risk
while still being viable but, you wonít get a pay off as great as the other
two (forward smash and the spike). With repeated uses however, this can kill
off opponents trying to make their way back, and even if you do mess up, short
hopped aerials are still possible. As an offensive move, though it definitely
wonít be ranked the highest, occasionally it can be used for forward smash set
up, but not reliably. Its use isnít too much better for  crouch canceling as
the down smash can be used as an alternative to set up for better overall
combos, in fact the only real reason I would use this for crouch canceling is
because the down smash is easily punishable if you miss because of its lag.

Dash a:  start up: hardly any, lag: decent
Sweet spot:    12 max, 6 min
Nonsweetspot:  11 max, 5 min
Marthís dash attack can be a decent combo starter though with the lag your
opponent is in a nice position to counterattack if they shield or you miss.
Dash or wave dancing is a valid option to try and pull this attack off, but
donít overuse it as it becomes really predictable. I find tippers are more
difficult to pull off with this attack, as you speed up right before the slash
which can throw off your timing. If you manage to connect with the attackís
tip the opponent will be sent more or less up (Iíve seen opponents go straight
up and others went slightly behind me.) putting them in a perfect position for
juggling. If you do miscalculate and hit with the hilt they will be knocked in
front of you.

        Smashes                                      [S]

Up smash:  start up: a little, lag: a bit
Sweet spot: Charged: 24 max, 16 min. Uncharged: 18 max, 10 min
Nonsweetspot: Charged: 19 max, 6 min. Uncharged: 15 max, 4 min
My least used smash attack for Marth would definitely be the up smash.  While
the forward smash covers above you and in front of you, and the down smash
hits both sides, the up smash covers a short line, and a point if you want to
hit with the sweet spot, which is almost required to get decent knockback. It
can be used in combos, but chances are you would need to be an expert at
wavedashing or your opponent could just DI out of range and crush you with a
counterattack. When this move hits though it will leave a mark, 18 damage is
a nice amount to begin with, the knockback is good, better than the up tilt,
and it sends your opponent straight up, which opens up combo opportunities.
Also when aiming for the sweet spot, keep in mind that it isnít at the tip of
the blade, it is very slightly below it, also the sweet spot seems to be a bit
bigger than a normal smashís would. Should you use this as an anti air device,
I would highly recommend dash jump canceling it, otherwise it will be too easy
to DI away from.  If for some reason you want to hit an opponent in front of
you with this attack the option is available; it will do a small 8 damage and
send the opponent next to nowhere, so if youíre fighting a floaty character
you might be able to squeeze another attack in, fsmash tippers are easily done
through this, and it can be done effectively past the limit because of the set
knock back.

Down smash:  start up: hardly any, lag: decent (could be considered more
because of the long attack duration)
Sweet spot: Charged: 21 max, 12 min. Uncharged: 12 max, 9 min
Nonsweetspot: Charged: 15 max, 8 min. Uncharged: 11 max, 6 min
One of the more situational smashes, but at least it isnít as useless as the
up smash. Because of the large lag, you really have to hit with this move for
it to be a benefit. Crouch canceling is an option, as an opponent still
recovering wonít be able to dodge, and you can use mind games as well to pull
this off.  Once you do manage to hit with this move options begin to branch
out, a tipper will send the opponent straight up, allowing for combos or
juggles to be pulled off with relative ease. The closer you get to the hilt of
the sword, the more horizontal they will be sent flying.

Forward smash:  start up: a little (hardly any if C sticked), lag: decent 
Sweet spot: Charged: 27 max, 16 min. Uncharged: 20 max, 12 min
Nonsweetspot: Charged: 19 max, 11 min. Uncharged: 14 max, 8 min
If there were only one move I could memorize the sweet spot for it would be
this. This move can hit an opponent anywhere from a 60 degree angle to nearly
horizontal depending on which part of the slash you hit with, but in all cases
it will send the opponent an incredibly far distance .This is Marthís most
powerful smash, and can be abused so much that there is a term for people who
abuse it (C stick Marths). The forward smash is probably what you want to end
nearly all of your combos with, it makes a great edge guarder, can be used to
make people fear platforms, is a cruel crouch canceller if you line it up
correctly, is one of Marthís three anti air moves, and is Marthís most
powerful KO move. After you add in all those things, and consider its amazing
range, great priority, and its disjointed hitbox, this may very well be
Marthís best attack. Sadly it does have one major flaw, and that would be its
lag. If an opponent fakes you out or you miscalculate its range you will get a
beating from any player that is even somewhat good at this game, so donít
overuse it, or better yet, only use it in combos, wakeup, and edge guarding. 

        Aerials                                       [AR]

Neutral Air: start up: hardly any, lag: a little
Sweet spot: 14 max, 2 min.
Nonsweetspot: 14 max, 2 min. 
Note: Low min is because of only the first hit connecting otherwise it would
be 7
One of Marthís more interesting moves to say the least. This move has two
slashes, and with that come the standard advantages and disadvantages,
including long attack duration, and the nice chance of getting both hit in for
increased damage. The long attack duration can be taken advantage of by using
this attack as a retreating tactic to get you out of an otherwise messy
situation. The first hit does a measly 2-4 damage and hits them nowhere simply
setting up for the second hit. The second hit does the main damage and sends
the opponent flying, the direction of which is determined by the where the
opponent is in relation to Marthís head. Though it sounds weird, it could make
for some interesting set ups, like attacking the opponent and stunning them
with the first hit then passing them and hitting them with the second, sending
them behind you. Or maybe an opponent is behind and you jump backwards hitting
them with it to send them in front of you for some comboing. Another thing
that increases this moveís potential for set ups is the first hit, if you hit
with only it and l cancel, this move can lead into many ground options, not
the least of which being grabs.

Forward Air: start up: hardly any, lag: hardly any
Sweet spot: 13 max, 7 min.
Nonsweetspot: 10 max, 5 min.
Marthís main combo starter, and the main move used in combos, it is also one
of his main offensive moves. This move depends a lot on where you hit with it,
the sweet spot will send the opponent straight up, while a nonsweet spot will
send an opponent at a roughly 45 degree angle. If you hit with the sweet spot
it can lead to some juggling or another use against fast fallers. If you donít
hit with the sweet spot, you can set up for edge guarding, or follow it with a
spike. As an offensive move, its lack of lag and impressive range make it so
even if you donít land a successful hit, they wonít be able to shield grab, or
really do anything else, and with l canceling you can quickly roll or wavedash
back to a safe distance. If you do manage to land a hit, its properties as a
combo starter become apparent, allowing you to easily follow up with another
attack. Another thing that increases this moveís offensive ability is that two
of these can be used in one short hop, allowing you to use this more times
then regular short hop fast falled l canceled (otherwise known as shffling)
would allow. This is an important aspect of Marthís game, and is critical to
some more advanced combos.

Back Air: start up: hardly any, lag: a bit
Sweet spot:  13 max, 7 min.
Nonsweetspot:  9 max, 4 min.
Another interesting move, l canceling is a must in order to combo with it.
(Though you should l cancel all moves, this should take priority over others.)
Damage is pretty average for Marthís aerial moves, but what makes it
interesting is the degree to which you can decide where to send the opponent.
Depending on which part of the slash you hit with, the opponent will be hit
would be a few degrees later (the move is moving clockwise by the way.) What
this amounts to is that if you hit with the last or nearly last part of the
slash, the opponent can be sent above and in front of you which, yet again
opens up Marthís wide selection of combo possibilities. Also this, like the
fair can be followed by a spike, though the timing is a bit different.

Up air: start up: hardly any, lag: a little
Sweet spot:  13 max, 7 min.
Nonsweetspot:  9 max, 5 min.
Marthís main juggling move would be the up air. This move sends an opponent
straight up, setting up for; you guessed it, another up air! Damage is pretty
average, but it builds up quickly, especially with repeated use. Because of
its juggling nature, it will find its way into many of your impromptu combos.
Knock back, is okay, though It wonít KO anytime soon, and at higher percents
it knocks floaty characters too far away to use again, but that is a trait
within all of Marthís aerials, and should not stop you from using this move
often. The lack of knock back can be taken advantage of by using non tipper
hits to connect aerial attacks or chains into a ground move. There are however
two drawbacks to this move that make me hesitant to use it. The first would be
itís fake area of effect, while it shows a giant arc, a lot of this is just
for show, the sides of the arc will simply go through an opponent, if you
donít believe me, try using short hopped up airs on Zelda, the blade will go
straight through her head and shoulders. The second draw back is the amount of
in air (not on landing) lag, Marth will just wait around in the air, making it
hard to use repeated aerials without landing like the forward aerial.
Thankfully shffling can fix this problem, but it still exists and can cut down
on your options and amount of leeway (you canít try again if you miss) for
higher altitude juggles. 

Down Air: start up: hardly any, lag: decent 
Sweet spot:   13 max, 7 min.
Nonsweetspot:  10 max, 6 min.
Marthís treasured spike, the second best in the game, one of his main
finishers, and good damage this move is pretty close to perfection. L
canceling moves from an addition to a must when using this move as its lag is
far and away the most of his moves. Where this move sends an opponent depends
solely on where you hit. If you donít hit with the sweet spot, then the
opponent will be sent above you, which basically defeats the purpose of using
a spike, though you might be able to use it to set up for some combos. If you
do hit with the sweet spot they will be hit in the general direction of where
the blade was in comparison to Marth, so if they got hit by the part of the
slash that was to the right of Marth the opponent will be sent down and to the

        B moves                                       [B]

Neutral B: start up: a little, lag: a little
Fully charged 28 max, 15 min
No charge 7 max, 3 min
Well, considering its name is the shield breaker, you might be able to guess
what one of its uses is. Marthís B moves arenít all that good because of lag,
I donít find myself using this move that much, maybe occasionally in the air
for a bit of mobility but really there isnít that much else to it, except for
as an edge guarder when you donít want the forward smashís damage decreased.  

Forward B: start up: hardly any, lag: varies
4, 4, 8, 10 max,  2, 2, 5, 7 min 
The main time I use this move is for recovery by using only the first slash,
but using it multiple times. Each time you use it in the air it will give you
a small boost, but it does become ineffective if used more than 3 times. Be
careful not to continue pass the first move of the dance if youíre using it
for recovery, as you will stop gaining horizontal distance, and fall like a
rock to your doom. The same principle of recovery can be applied elsewhere,
using this move increases your air time and allows you to wait for your
opponent to come down. As an attacking move it is interesting but not really
practical. In it you can do up to 4 consecutive moves, each one more powerful
than the last eventually finishing in a relatively powerful and cool looking
attack. The problem is getting to the last move, because the dance tends to
push opponents out of the attack area, and just trying to hit with the last
attacks is extremely predictable. An interesting quirk is that you can change
the tempo on the dance, altering when Marth will perform the next move, which
with some experimentation could prove useful. Against some floaty characters,
the fist step of the forward b can be used as a combo starter.

Up B: start up: hardly any, lag: decent
Sweet spot: 13 max, 7 or 5 min
Nonsweetspot: 6 max, 3 min 
The ever exciting up B remains as Marthís main recovery move. As with nearly
all characters up Bs it can be used as a third jump, but there are some things
you should remember: The first is that while the up B gets impressive vertical
distance, it gets no practically no horizontal, so wait until youíre
practically beneath the edge before using it. It should be noted that you can
sacrifice a bit of vertical distance to get horizontal distance in this attack
by tilting the control stick in the direction you wish to go in the start up
frames of the attack. This effect is identical to Royís it is simply not as
pronounced. The second is that you should always time it so that you grab the
edge, it makes edge guarding harder for your opponent, and even if you do
touch ground, the lag on this move will get you killed. Lastly, while the up B
is a great recovery move, its use in actual combat is nonexistent. The range
is pitiful compared to Marthís other attacks, knock back isnít much even with
the sweet spot, and its ever abundant not allowed to l cancel lag will get you
killed. After a whim, I found a use for this move as a situational defense
tactic. Should you pass the line in over stepping your combos, you can use
this move (along with every other up b) directly out of your shield, which can
actually kill lighter foes at higher percentages (it kills most characters at
around 110 percent, tested on final destination).

MistyIRC said this about the up b: ďOne thing I learned from BlackLightning is
that Marth's Up+B makes a good edgeguard move on lipped stages, like
Battlefield. Face backwards, jump off the side, and hit the opponent with the
beginning of your Dolphin Slash. This move reacts like Luigi's Super Jump
Punch; the sweet spot is the beginning of the attack. What you're shooting for
is hitting the opponent under the lip of the stage while you recover with
Dolphin Slash.Ē

Down B: start up: hardly any (still there though), lag: a little (if you
connect) otherwise a lot
7 max, 4 min
Ah, the true counterattack. In this move Marth flashes and goes into a
fighting stance, and if he is hit during the flashing part he will take no
damage and perform a counter slash. First off, this move shouldnít be abused,
as itís easy to bait, (They donít even have to do anything!)  and one whiff
will give your opponent a free combo or charged smash. The second reason this
move shouldnít be abused is that the damage it does is pitiful, and it doesnít
have the KO potential of Royís. The final reason this move shouldnít be abused
is that it can be interrupted by multiple fast attacks (like neutral a combos
or rapid superscope shots) and throws go right through it. You can use this
move to let projectiles go past you, but usually you shouldnít allow yourself
to get slowed down that much, plus a lot of projectiles can be stopped with a

Note: All B moves can be used in the air; the Up B would be kind of useless if
it couldnít

        Throws                                        [T]

Forward throw
4 max, 2 min
One of Marthís chain throws would be the forward throw. This chain throw can
be done by using the throw, running up to the opponent, and grabbing them
again. This chain throw will not work on fast fallers, as they will land
before you can run up to them again. This throw can also be used as a setup
for various moves by letting your opponent land, and then attacking them as
they get up from a roll, tech or attack; the main attack for Marthís wake up
game would be the forward smash, as its lag cannot be punished effectively if
you miss because they are still recovering, and the forward smash retains its
amazing power.

Down throw
5 max, 2 min
This one may not be his best throw, but nevertheless has uses. This move sends
the opponent behind you, at an almost horizontal angle and happens to be
Marthís most damaging throw (By one point, yippee). Its uses are roughly the
same as the back throw, it can set up for Marthís spike if your back is to the
edge, or it can set up for a forward smash if you can anticipate which way
your opponent will roll. I suppose by a bit of a stretch you could attempt to
use a bair out of this to set up for Marthís edge guarding game, but that
would depend more on the character, as fast fallers wouldnít fall victim to

Back throw 
4 max, 2 min
This throw sends the opponent higher in the air than Marthís down throw or
forward throw, which gives them more time to potentially counterattack, but
also serves as a better set up, and it also has slightly more lag than those
two throws. It can still set up for a forward smash as the forward and down
throws can, as well as setting up for a spike when the down throw would send
the opponent to far out for you to recover from.

Up throw
4 max, 2 min
The other chain throw of Marthís this one only works on fast fallers. DI can
be a problem when chain throwing as the opponent may or may not end up behind
you, and you donít have the time for guesswork that other chain throws have
because you using it on a fast faller. On floatier characters it can be used
as a setup for up tilt, but there is a possibility that they can hit you
before you use it by using their sex kick. 

        Other Moves                                   [O]

Grab: start up: hardly any, (a little if not dash jump canceled) lag: a little
(a bit if not dash jump canceled.)
3 max, 1 min
The grab (and the actual knee attack) are both pretty simple, it is the
necessary step before being able to throw, and is pretty unique to the rest of
the attacks. For one thing, grabs go through shields, they cannot be stopped
by that, they also have the best priority in the game. Their downside is that
grabs have bad range, and the few that donít have bad to moderately bad range
have tremendous lag at the end. As far as the grab attack (in this case the
knee), it isnít particularly exciting, but free damage is always nice.
Opponents can escape the grab by rotating the control stick or rapidly
pressing buttons, so for repeated knees, do none for 0-25, 1 for 26-45, 2 for
46-59, 3 for 60-80, 4 for 81-100, and 5 or more for 100+. If youíre wondering
where I got the percentages, guess what, I pulled them from thin air, but
should you want slightly more accurate estimates, check Mew2Kingís incredible
guide concerning frames and other stuff.

Shield: Lag, as far as shields are, Marth is in the bottom half of the list,
though only by 1 frame (thanks to Mew2King for the info)
Damage NA
The shield itself isnít that special, as the name implies, you use it to block
attacks. As the name doesnít imply, it looks like a colored orb, and decreases
over time, not too mention the different types of shielding. 

Types of shields:
The most obvious type of shielding is the regular shield, simply done by
pressing down the L or R button fully at any particular time. This shield
blocks any attacks that connect with it except for grabs, which bypass all
shields, and is probably the most used shield.

The second type of shielding is the light shield, this is done by pressing L
or R only partially in, and the color is transparent as opposed to the solid
color of the regular shield. Advantages to this shield are that it covers more
area than a regular shield does, and doesnít decrease over time as quickly as
the regular shield does. The disadvantage to it is that when hit you will
slide a bit farther away then you would for a normal shield (harder to shield
grab), and each attack takes off a bigger fraction of the original shield.

The third and best type of shield is the power shield. This is done by
pressing L or R when an attack is actually inside of your regular shield, or
right when the attack is about to hit you. Instead of a mere sphere
surrounding the character, white rings will flash out. The advantages to this
shield are numerous, it doesnít take up any of your overall shield, there is
no shield stun (so you can react instantly after being attacked), and if you
power shield a projectile it will fly back at your opponent, damaging them if
they make contact. There is only one disadvantage to this shield, it is
incredibly hard to time, your reflexes must be incredible, or you must
anticipate the move to accurately power shield an attack, and even then it
still most likely wonít be consistent.

The shield grab: Shield grabbing is an essential intermediate to advanced
technique that happens to be a very safe way of counter attacking. It is done
simply by pressing A when your shield is up, usually right after an opponent
has attacked you. It is one of the easiest and most efficient ways to take
advantage of an opponentís lag after some attack, and the added bonus is that
Marthís shield grab has more range than most offensive moves, which makes
shield grabbing a lot more dangerous and efficient.

Out of a shield: Grabbing isnít the only thing you can do though, much more is
available to you. You can also cancel your shield with the up b, and Marth has
the advantage of being able to cancel it instantly, because of the small
amount of start up on it. The other, and less situational way to cancel a
shield is simply by jumping out of it. This is nice as it gives you a way to
hit opponents behind you and above you. The jump cancel can be extended
further to a wavedash, which then allows you to do any other move, so if you
can get good at these cancels, you potentially have the ability to counter
with any move of your arsenal, while maintaining defense until right before
your strike, not bad. 

Note: All damage calculations are not guaranteed to be correct, especially
for B moves because it is rather boring to do the same move 20 or so times,
so if you got something different, please tell me and Iíll fix it. 

        Stadium                                       [STA]
This Section is for all of you that want to get better in the Stadium modes,
HRC, and BtT. Since Iím horrible at both, I will instead show you someone

Note: As I said before, I donít know a thing about stadium, but unlike the
sections of HRC and BtT, I canít find anything on multi man melee, if you have
found something, refer to the contact information right below the table of

        Home Run Contest     [HRC]

The following strategies were written by SSkeeto, I donít take credit for any
of the following
~~ Bat Drop Down+A ~~
Stand right next to the Sandbag. Jump, at the peak of your jump, drop the bat. 
Wait a quarter-second and right before your toes touch the top of the Sandbag
to press down+A. The single jump combo does 29% damage max.

~~ Bat Drop Up+A ~~
Stand right next to the Sandbag. Jump, a half-second after the peak of your
jump, drop the bat, then immediately press up+A. The single jump combo will do 
27% max.

1. Jump to the right, aerial down+A(land on the Sandbag's left)
2. Face the Sandbag, 4 small jump up+As(hit the Sandbag on the way up)
3. Fully-charged B toward the left wall
4. Grab the bat, dash to the right, no-ping hit
Bull's-eye: 1300+ feet (400+ m.)

(Strategy created by nismojoe)
1. Grab the bat, dash toward the Sandbag
2. 1 single jump bat drop up+A with l-cancel
3. 1 single jump bat drop down+A with l-cancel
4. Repeat steps 2 & 3 twice
5. Forward+B
6. Tipper
Bull's-eye: 2000+ feet (600+ m.)

1. Grab the bat
2. Up+A(2 hits)
3. 5 single jump bat drop down+A combos with L-cancels and air catches
4. Tipper(154%)
Bull's-eye: 2250+ feet (680+ m.)

1. Grab the bat
2. Neutral+A (7%)
3. Two single jump bat drop up+As with air catches, fast falls, and L-cancels
4. Four single jump bat drop down+As with air catches and L-cancels
5. Grab the bat, tipper
Bull's-eye: 2600+ feet (800+ m.)

Hard <Vid>
(Strategy submitted by Thomeyis)
1. Grab bat, run to bag, double jump bat drop up+A
2. Another double jump bat drop up+A
3. Single jump bat drop down+A
4. Single jump bat drop neutral+A
5. Single jump bat drop down+A
6. Single jump bat drop neutral+A
7. Single jump bat drop down+A
8. Walk forward a bit, catch, tipper
Bull's-eye: 2800+ feet (860+ m.)

(Strategy submitted by Thomeyis)
1. Grab bat, run to the bag, double jump bat drop up+A
2. Single jump bat drop down+A
3. Single jump bat drop neutral+A
4. Single jump bat drop down+A
5. 3 Single jump bat drop neutral+A
6. Single jump Bat drop down+A
7. Catch the bat, tipper
Bull's-eye: 3000+ feet (920+ m.)

Expert <NTSCR> <Vid>
(Strategy created by kero)
1. Grab the bat and dash to the bag, double jump and do a bat drop up+A. (29%)
2. Bat drop up+A
3. Bat drop neutral+A
2. Do the following BD's ~ down+A, neutral+A, down+A ~ all 
the neutral A BD's move the bag left while the down A BD's move the bag right.
3. Jump to grab the bag and move right gently to the bag, when you get over 
the bag, do a neutral A BD, moving the bag left. (177%)
4. Catch the bat and jump left over the bag, doing a bat drop down+A to move 
the bag right.
5. Walk right to the bat, pick it up, and swing for a tipper.
Bull's-eye: 3300+ feet (1000+ m.)

Expert <PALR> <This strategy can only be done in the PAL version>
(Strategy created by Sakura)
1. Grab the bat
2. 2 double jump bat drop up+As
3. 8 small jump bat drop down+As
4. Tipper
Bull's-eye:3950+ feet (1200+ m.)

Credit goes to SSkeeto

        Break the targets    [BTT]
Coming soon... (as soon as someone tells me about strats =)

        Combos                                       [COM]


Only works on floaty characters.
One of Marthís chain throws, you have to run forward and grab them again.
Hopefully, when you want to finish with a forward smash, they will forget to
tech, giving you a free one, otherwise your wavedashing skill will be tested. 

Only works on fast fallers
The other of Marthís chain throws, you might have to change direction because
of DI. When you feel like finishing, you might as well finish with a forward
smash; usually the opponent will be at the right percent for a tipper.

Low percentage or on fast fallers for mid-high percent
Fair-fair-fair-fair-fair-dair: does roughly 50 damage, taken from the Mike is
Good video, and an abbreviated version in the Ken vs. Isai2 match.
Pretty self explanatory combo, you use fairs to keep your opponent in the air
and to move them above the edge, then finish with a spike from dair. One thing
to keep in mind is that most, if not all of the fairs shouldnít be tippers.
For this combo to be successful, you will need to do 2 fairs in one short hop.

Low percentage against either
Utilt-utilt-utilt-utilt-ftilt: does again roughly 50 damage, taken from the
first Eddie vs. Eduardo match
Purely for damage racking, this combo wonít kill on its own. It can be done
against both fast fallers and floatier characters, but for fast fallers you
must hit with the tip, and for floatier characters you shouldnít hit with the
tip. Against floatier characters the damage will be reduced because of the
lack of tippers. The nice thing about this combo is that you can start it
regardless of where the opponent is in relation to you because of the utiltís
excellent coverage, though I wouldnít recommend trying to hit opponents behind

Low percentage against floaty, low to mid against fast fallers
Dasha-utilt-fsmash: does roughly 40 damage
A fairly easy combo to use, the real advantage to this combo is that it ends
with a forward smash. While percentages will probably be too low to outright
kill them (unless theyíre Roy or Falco) it can still set up for some early
edge guarding, which is never a bad thing. You need to try and hit with the
tip with each attack, but it is still possible if youíre a little off.

Low percent against floaty
Fair-fair-ftilt-fsmash: does roughly 50 percent
Another relatively easy to perform combo, this one again can be used to set up
for edge guarding. Where chance comes in is during the ftilt, you need to hit
with it so it will send the opponent slightly up, but barely anywhere
horizontally, so in other words pretty close to the hilt.

Mid percent against fast fallers
Uthrow-utilt-fair-fair-dasha-fair-fsmash: does over 60 damage
I performed this combo by accident, wanting to experiment with 2 fairs against
fast fallers, and see what I could follow up with. When the opponent went too
far for a forward smash, I in desperation charged after it, getting the rest
of the combo. DI plays a big part in this combo, if they DI away after the
second fair, you might need to wavedash into the dasha, and if they DI away
after the second fair, then you will again need to wavedash into the forward
smash. The up tilt can be hard to get, you need to send your opponent up and
slightly in front of you for the easiest time, and you canít hit with the tip
or they will be sent too high. You wonít really need to worry about a follow
up, as the opponent will most likely be dead after the forward smash.

Note: the following 2 combos were made in part from learning the fair to utilt
chain from Amorasakiís stupid combo vid.

Low to mid percent against floaty
One of the fair to utilt combos, this one moves the opponent around a bit more
than the next, and leaves room for variations if you feel like it. This combo
does roughly 50 damage, usually a bit more, but to be successful the second
and third fairs shouldnít be tippers. The finish could be expanded, maybe
following up with a dasha instead of ftilt, and proceeding to combo from there
, though it works fine as it is.

Low percent against floaty
Fairly easy combo to perform, placement is relatively important, though only
for the utilts, and even those donít have to be perfect. The utilts should not
be tippers, but everything else doesnít really matter, but you do need to
shffl the first fair. The impressive thing about this combo is its damage
doing around 75 percent and possibly a kill if edge guarding goes well
(though that is pretty much true with all combos).

The following combos were taken from nismojoeís Tetsuya_combos vid
(which is actually quite frightening).

Low percent against floaty
The vid says it all, 77 damage and a KO from 0 damage isnít a bad thing.
The two fairs need to be in one short hop, and the rest has to be shffled. 

Low percent against floaty
A variation on the above combo, it isnít as flashy, but it does roughly the
same damage, and ends in a spike. This combo offers a bit more spacing
friendly, as getting the spike is a bit easier than landing a tipper fsmash,
but both are still incredible.

Low percent against floaty
Nair-uthrow-(utilt-utilt-)uair-(uair-)(bair-) fair-(utilt-)uair-fsmash: damage
This would be a flexible combo. First off, all the attacks in the parentheses
are optional, it depends on whether or not you hit with tippers, or
the percentage of the opponent is a little low. First part is easy, first hit
cancels into a grab, up throw, then u-tilts depending on DI, followed by one
tipped u-air, or 2 non tipped ones. At this point the opponent should be a bit
less than one jump height away. B-air should hit relatively low, and the
following f-air should hit with practically the hilt, or theyíll be sent too
far. Non tipped (practically hilt again) uair to keep them in the air, long
enough for a fsmash to finish, which hopefully means death.

I apologize for the lack of original combos; it is a work in progress. And
will be updated frequently.   

Note: a lot of these combos are subject to DI, making them somewhat useless
they can still be pulled off through improvising, but you shouldnít rely too
much on any of these, and will probably should instead try to focus on the
moves more, so you can make situational combos on the spot should the need

        Situations                                    [SIT]

Getting back to the stage: Marthís recovery isnít the simplest, but it is far
from the hardest, his is nowhere near the difficulty of say, Marioís. In terms
of actually doing, slow down with DI, then begin using forward Bs, about one
every half second. By then you should be close to the edge of the stage,
directly below it. From there simply use the up B to sweet spot the edge. In
recovery you should save the second jump as some insurance against meteor
smashes, and only use it if you wonít make it back otherwise. The alternate
way of returning, is to aim for the edge horizontally, then use a quick fair
to safe guard your return.

When you grab the edge: Marth has a number of things he can do once he has
reached the relative safety of the edge, but only a few are effective. Before
I say anything about the various ways about getting back on the stage from the
pressing forward is only effective if no one is around you, guarding the edge,
otherwise you will get crushed. The second thing Iíll say is that you should
never press A to attack from the edge if you are over 100 percent, it will be
incredibly slow, easy to dodge, and you are defenseless at the end.

 One simple way to get back is to roll, you have decent invincibility frames,
and the distance you travel is sufficient to get you away from an edge guarder
. I would only use this if they were charging a smash or another technique
however, as you are weak towards the end. Attacking while under 100 can
accomplish the same end as rolling can, but adds a bit of damage, use one
depending on the proximity the opponent is to the edge, if theyíre close use
an attack, farther away roll behind them. The final, and in my opinion most
effective way to get back on the edge is jumping from it. However, there is a
special way to do this so you can attack as youíre coming over the edge. What
you do is press down then immediately jump and an attack, the effect is you
can slash directly in front of you as you get over the stage, and then can
instantly put up a shield for protection.

Closing In: There are two main methods of closing in, fox trotting and
wavedashing. Fox trotting is faster, but not quite as safe, as you must dash
cancel before shielding. Wavedashing is a bit slower, but a lot safer, as you
have all of your defensive options at your finger tips, waiting to be used.
When closing in, you donít actually want to come within attacking range, for
reasons explained in the next section. 

Attacking: So, while charging into the fray sword swinging is nice and all,
it isnít incredibly effective. In fact, if you do so, the opponent will most
likely shield, then either shield grab, or jump cancel it and use an aerial in
your lagginess. In an effort to avoid this fate, youíll probably want to fake
them out, and the two best instruments for doing this are wavedashing and dash

You can attack flexibly out of both with little hassle, and both can be cut
off in anticipation of a counterattack. Wave dancing is pretty simple,
wavedash in and out of range, and should your opponent take the bait, simply
wavedash out again, wait briefly for the attack to end if itís still going
(like a charging attack), then attack them when theyíre weak from lag. Dash
dancing works in a similar fashion, go slightly in each direction, then charge
, but pull back as the initial dash animation is ending. What will happen is
a fox trot effect, it will take no time to turn around so you can instantly go
out of range again. Your opponent will probably have counterattacked empty
air by now, so you might as well attack them while theyíre weak. I might as
well mention that if youíre constantly performing all these brilliant fake
outs that youíre opponent is expecting, the thing farthest from there mind
just might be a simple charge, so in the battle against predictability,
simplicity can be a valuable asset. (done with big words, I really need to
edit this guide.)

Even if they donít get caught messing up, you can still attack safely from a
shffl. A shffled fair has virtually no lag, and the opponentís shield stun
will give you enough time to either roll or wavedash out of harmís way. There
is one tactic where shffling cannot save you always, and that is crouch
canceling. Crouch canceling has no stun, the opponent can hit you as if you
never even touched them, and unless your shffling is perfect (you hit the
opponent AS youíre landing, and you donít miss the l cancel), you probably
will get hit. The only real thing saving Marth in this case is range. Marth as
we all know, has incredible range, and the opponentís CCed counter can easily
miss if you tipped them in the attack as they slide slightly when hit.


Defensive: Marthís defensive game is actually quite good, not surprisingly for
the same reasons his offense is good. Unfortunately, he probably wonít get to
make use of it as much as other characters for one simple reason: he doesnít
have a projectile. 

Getting your opponent to attack: Since he canít toss projectiles all day, and
wait for an opponent to launch an attack. Instead he can do only half of that,
the waiting. Thankfully, there are other ways to make an opponent go on the
offensive in a time or time stock match, winning. If your opponent doesnít
have a projectile, and youíre winning, they have to attack, otherwise you can
just stand there and, well, win. 

Alternate method: The other way to make an opponent attack and this works for
people who have slow, bad projectiles is basically the same tactic. Again,
when youíre winning hang around, and the opponent will start throwing
projectiles, you can cancel out a surprising amount of projectiles by one
simple neutral a swipe. Keep doing this, and your opponent will probably do
one of two things. The first thing, is that, motivated by impatience,
desperation, and hopefully a bit of frustration they will attack, if so
than read below. The second, is that they will move closer, trying to put
additional pressure on you, trying to force you into an attack, it will happen
gradually, and eventually they will come surprisingly close. Marth happens to
be a fast character, and that with his excellent range means that you can pull
off sudden attacks with relative ease. Hopefully they will be lolled into a
false sense of security by your prolonged stillness, which would be exactly
the time to attack.

When your opponent attacks: Just stand there. You can jump around if you want,
practice wavedashing, dash dancing, whatever, but it basically amounts to the
same thing, standing there. For the beauty of Marthís defensive game is its
simplicity, it follows one principle: If the opponent canít get near me, they
canít hit me. Marth has the overall best range of the game, and in defense you
exploit the hell out of it. Maximum damage is located at the highest range,
its just begging to be used to the fullest. So when an opponent comes charging
at you, swipe them away with an attack such as the forward smash. This is far
from perfect however, and against people with good air mobility like
Jigglypuff, they will most likely try to fake you out before striking, then
you should shield and then try to capitalize on their weakness. The other time
you should refrain from doing this is against people with comparative range,
like Ganondorf and Donkey Kong. Thankfully these opponents are slower
than you, so again simply shield and try and hit or grab them in their down
time. Obviously things arenít that simple, but in understanding the general
concept, you can develop these ideas to suit the situation.

        Stages                                        [STA]

Stage, unlike most fighting games is an important factor for which character
will win. Because I donít want to be repetitive, I will give rather brief
info, and generalize. The other part of this section is tactics that can be
used on any stage, but arenít particularly move specific.

The first thing to remember for stages is that Marth likes small stages.
Small stages accentuate Marthís range, as it becomes naturally harder to
avoid his sweeping strikes with less space to run around in. Another advantage
Marth has for small stages is his edge guarding game, as you will hit the
opponent off the stage more frequently. Try to use shorter combos, the main
purpose is getting the opponent off for an early kill, so grabs to spikes or
forward smashes should be more on your mind then some incredibly damaging
combo, itís safer and yields a better reward. 

Stages with platforms are also good for Marth, though not all platforms.
Particularly high platforms arenít nearly as useful as normal ones, as those
happen to be the perfect distance for a tipper forward smash. To align for a
tipper, try to make it so the enemy is slightly behind/in front of you, as it
wonít hit enemies directly above you. The psych out value alone will usually
keep most people from spending much time above and on the platforms, but up
throws and not tipped up tilts can put them there for you though as always 
try not to spam them. Platforms can also help with fair chains, giving you a
bit more leeway and allowing you carry them more vertically (in a 3 platform
stage like Battlefield you can use the platforms to carry your opponent up
stopping on the platforms as you go.) hard to describe, and possibly subject
to DI, I still think itís worth mentioning.

Moving stages are nice for Marth, but only on certain conditions. Stages that
move mainly horizontally arenít great, but vertically gives Marth an
interesting advantage. For vertical or partially vertical stages, Marthís
floatiness can keep him in the middle of a choke point, forcing your opponent
to try to break through him, and allowing Marth a pretty much free f/nair. The
only problem with this concerns fast opponents, they can slip in and out of
Marthís range pulling off individual hits which chip away at the percents.
Thankfully the only people Iíve seen who can do it effectively are Fox and
Captain Falcon.

For flat stages, combos are your friends. If your opponent has projectiles it
shouldnít be too much of a problem, fair or na can cancel out all except for
the lasers. Otherwise itís pretty straightforward, no obstacles to try and
exploit no real strategies, just, well, fight.

        Tactics                                       [TAC]
Note: Most of these tactics people already know, I just didnít want to exclude

Dash Dancing/Wave Dancing: Itís kind of the standard mind game. For this you
either wavedash or dash back and forth quickly, so your horizontal movement is
only slightly more than a characterís width (less if dash dancing). Itís
primary purpose is to bait you opponent into attacking, as you can dash
farther out (about fox trot length) and then do a small dash dance (one
repetition) to stop your approaching movement and then capitalize on your
opponentís reaction.

Weaving: I would consider this the true imitation wall of pain. Like the wall
of pain you weave in and out of range of attacks, hitting with the tip of a
characterís hit box. Effective at zoning, and safer then just charging into
the fray, as long as you donít overemphasize it, it can be a decent tactic
should you begin to go on an offensive. It is most effective for characters
with either decent range and/or good mobility, and Iíve seen Isaiís kirby do
it on occasion (mainly with fairs) which can actually add some weight to this

Overshooting: This is the exact opposite of weaving, but it accomplishes
roughly the same thing. Again the main use of this tactic would be to attack
in such a way as your opponent will have trouble counter attacking. The
difference is that instead of flowing back the way you came, you should pass
the opponent youíre attacking and wind up behind them. This is easiest to do
with faster characters like Captain Falcon and Fox, and is more effective with
two or multi hit moves as it provides more coverage, though it can be done by

Wave smash: A simple technique done by wavedashing in one direction and then
smashing. It can be used as either a counter, (by predicting your opponent
will take the bait and attack, then wavedashing backwards and smashing), or by
adding mobility and range to smash attacks by wavedashing forward into a

Turtling: More predominant in other fighters, turtling can still play an
important part in this game. Turtling is a defensive playing style that is
based around shielding, dodging, and grabbing. All you do is block/dodge an 
attack then grab and throw them. Things that help this strategy is a quick
dodge and a good grab range,  as well as a projectile to force an offensive
playing style on your opponentís part, but it still boils down to skill in 
the end. This and camping seem to go hand in hand as once camping becomes
ineffective due to close range turtling kicks in.

Camping: Ahh, this tactic comes standard for any game with a projectile, and
unlike most tactics, is actually very stage dependent. For those who didnít
know, camping is staying in one spot, usually on the edge of the stage or in a
hard to reach place or safe place, then attacking your opponent from afar with
projectiles. Marth has no projectile, so unless you play with items he wonít
be camping. The stage dependency part can be explained simply by the bigger
the stage, and the more obstacles dividing it the better it is for camping.
Fourside, Hyrule Temple, and Corneria are great stages for camping.

        Marth: Tactics and Tricks                     [MTT]

Slide input: This is somewhat character specific in effectiveness, but is
basically just an easier way to pull off multiple aerials (such as the double
fair), or a single aerial faster, (like spiking as youíre moving upwards).
What you do is simply slide your thumb from pressing the jump button to A,
without lifting it. The timing is precise, though the input may feel loose,
as if you do the command to slowly youíll get a full jump, and if you do it
too quickly you wonít leave the ground. The timing becomes awkward if your
character has a slow jump, so I tend to lean towards characters like Fox and
Samus when using this trick.

Rhythm: Marth has a defined rhythm that you feel in his attacks, especially
aerials over a period of time. It really isnít all that special, it basically
amounts to having 2 attacks in a short hop and 3 in a regular jump. Doesnít
seem like much does it, but in reality it is the core of Marthís game. Every
single decent Marth Iíve seen uses a variation of the rhythm, because it is
essential, the attack style, combos, and tactics are all derived from this
inherent rhythm in Marthís game. The real advantage one can attain, is by
manipulating it. There are numerous ways to manipulate Marthís rhythm, but
only two main ones.

The first main one is fast falling, fast falling doesnít really fit in
Marthís rhythm, but this proves as an advantage instead of a disadvantage.
Itís an advantage because it allows you to bypass Marthís set speed, by
allowing you to react faster than you normally would. The exception to this is
the double fair, or one fair and another aerial in a short hop. Fast falling
isnít necessary in this case as the finishing frames of the fair are
incredibly short, allowing you to attack faster than you would with normal
fast falling. 

The second way to manipulate the rhythm, is with the first swipe of the
forward B. It basically is the opposite of fast falling, it increases the
amount of time you spend in the air, allowing you to squeeze in another attack
you normally wouldnít have been able to have before landing. Fast falling is
more of a standard, you should be using it for most short hops and full jumps.
The forward B is an edge unique to Marth, and it really shines in high
altitudes. While most characters would have to fast fall from a mistiming and
miss an opportunity to attack, Marth can essentially wait in midair for the
opponent to fall back down to his level, and not need to pass up that

The edge: Marthís game revolves around the edge, not just tippers, but edge
guarding. Marth has an incredible edge guarding game, and is the easiest and
most efficient way to KO characters. Thankfully, Marthís edge guarding game is
simple, which means less descriptions for me and less bewildered looks for
you. Marth has roughly 4 edge guarding moves, the down tilt, the spike or
dair, the forward smash, and the neutral b or shield breaker. Down tilt is
probably the best all around, it is safe, and if you hit with the tip very
difficult, if not impossible to come back from, it also hits below the edge of
the stage. The spike is the one with the biggest risk, if you miss or donít
hit with the tip, the opponent will be fine and probably recover and edge
guard right back, but if it hits the opponentís gone, unless theyíre Jiggs.
Forward smash and the shield breaker are interchangeable, you hang around at
the edge, charge, and wait for them to get into range. Forward smash has more
range for this, but shield breaker is more lenient on the whole sweet spot
issue, risk is moderate because of lag.

A warning: There becomes a certain point in Marthís game where he can no
longer effectively combo into his main KO moves like the forward smash and up
tilt, and after this point it becomes markedly more difficult to KO opponents.
My suggestion for when you accidentally pass this point, either by overzealous
juggling or a missed tipper is to start using throws and nairs, and to a
lesser degree the f tilt more. Throws are nice in this situation because they
can either set up for Marthís edge guarding or a tipper forward smash if the
opponent misses a tech (or techs the wrong way and you adjust with
wavedashing). The nair doesnít have a true sweet spot, so at higher percents
it can usually set up for edge guarding. So try to keep this in mind as you
play, and youíll notice that you can KO at lower percents in general.

        Counter Characters                            [CC]

Note: First off, these arenít the traditional type of counter characters, as
none of these characters have a distinct advantage against Marth. (I canít
help the fact heís top tier =/.) Rather, these are the characters that Marth
doesnít have a distinct advantage over so it will be closer to an even match.
The other characters listed are Marthís supposed counter characters. Second, I
will be diving into theory concerning these characters, as I donít have
competition that effectively uses the techniques that make these characters
stand on roughly even ground with Marth. You have been warned.

The ranking project had some interesting things to say on this, and Marth
barely got off with an equal there, so in other words, this will probably be
Marthís toughest match up. From the get go, Marth is forced to go on the
offensive, otherwise Sheik will get the time to use the needles, which aside
from lasers are the only projectile Marth has significant trouble with. DI is
your friend in this match up, making Sheikís chain throws guessing games at
low percentages, and impossible after roughly 50 percent. 

Because of ftiltís range, DI again becomes especially useful. In the air Marth
has an advantage over Sheik, his superior range is harder to avoid, making it
more likely to land hits. For air verse ground, Marth is relatively safe as
long as you shffl your aerials and roll correctly, but a ground game should be
approached with caution as range is nearly equal, and mistakes can be easily
punished. Thankfully, Marthís shield provides enough coverage so that the 
dreaded dsmash can be fully shielded, and even taken advantage of, But this is
only with a nearly full shield, otherwise the dsmash will chip away at it and
end up hitting the feet. Also, should you get hit, crouch canceling is your
friend as dtilt to fsmash or dsmash to juggling are both very effective.
Marthís grabs are fairly effective at stopping aerial approaches due to their
incredible range, and because of Sheikís relatively low range in the air.

Marth can juggle Sheik relatively effectively due to her poor horizontal
distance and pathetic dair, while Marth doesnít suffer from those problems to
as much of an extent (itís still there though). Marthís prized edge guarding
game takes a hit in this match up due to the range of teleport being greater
than Marthís sword, so other tactics like edge hogging should be used to try
and compensate. Should Marth be knocked off, he will be in for some trouble.
Needles effectively cover the low route, and the slap (and dsmash to a lesser
extent) cover a more horizontal approach. I personally would try and get
through the slap, your fair has little lag and more range than it, though if
you are hit, youíre basically dead.

Yoshi: Yoshiís main advantage on Marth is its double jump cancel, and its
crouch cancel, both of which hamper Marthís offensive abilities. Add to that
a projectile, and Marth loses more of his zoning abilities, and some of his
control over the pace of the match.

 Unfortunately for Yoshi, its techniques arenít as incredible as they appear
at first glance. This is because the double jump cancel puts Yoshi in a
position where it will be able to trade blows effectively (because of the no
knock back properties of the double jump) the thing is the sex kick is only a
measly 1 percent higher damage than Marthís fair, and while Marth can easily
switch to nair to deal with damage deterioration, Yoshi canít due to the
starting lag of the spike. Furthermore, Yoshi needs to perform a jump/short
hop before going into the cancel, leading to predictability and the
possibility to be interrupted.

 On the ground, the trading blows aspect comes into play again, this time in
the form of crouch canceling, but Marth does more damage than Yoshi with
ftilt/fsmash verse the dtilt, and in most cases Yoshi wonít have enough range
to CC effectively anyway. Worse yet, if Yoshi is put on the defensive, he has
far less options than Marth does, with a crappy shield grab and no way to jump
out of the shield, not to mention a bad roll, and where Yoshi falls, Marth
exceeds, with an excellent shield grab, quick jump, and a nice roll. Edge
guarding and recovery again go to Marth, with more options than Yoshi on the

Uggghh. The battle of the clones is a somewhat controversial issue, but some
people believe that Roy has some type of advantage over Marth. This is
partially true, Royís dtilt sets up perfectly for his aerial combos (yes he 
has those), the Double Edge Dance is known to be particularly effective
against Marth, and he can use any of his aerials to set up for a smash at a
wide range of percents (depends on the aerial and smash though). 

First off would be the dreaded dtilt, it can be used by CCing and as a regular
attack and out of a wavedash, and whether or not itís a sweet spot doesnít
change the fact that it pops up Marth perfectly for comboing. However, most of
your attacks out range it, and an aerial approach doesnít give Roy the chance
to use it. So in other words, Roy canít use this attack too much as he limited
opportunities, and overusing it to land a hit will lead to predictability.
This isnít to say itís worthless, itís a great attack, but limitations are
there. The Double Edge Dance can land multiple hits on Marth, which can do a
lot of damage, but DI and teching can minimize it, and the fsmash outranges it
so there really isnít that much to worry about. 

The fact that aerials can lead into a smash is unfortunate for Marth, but it
isnít one sided, Marth can use aerials to lead into an fsmash as well,
particularly so on fast fallers like Roy (where as other characters might be
sent to far or be knocked too high). Trading blows isnít an option for Roy
because of his overall lower damage, his grabs canít quite compare with
Marthís though they are close and Marth retains a small edge when it comes to
edge guarding with his dtilt and spike. Wavedashing should be watched out for,
Royís is almost as good as Marthís and he can come out of it with an fsmash
with more leeway than Marth because of his bigger sweet spot.   

Falco: Itís all about the stage, Falco has his incredible SHL on larger flat
stages, but on stages with more varied terrain and platforms they become
noticeably less effective. Other than the lasers, there are a couple of other
things to watch out for. 

The first would be the shine, able to set up for juggling and cancelable into
a jump, it is quite fast and therefore can be unexpected, though DI can make
it harder for a Falco to follow up. The other thing the shine is capable of
doing is setting up for a spike, either as a KO at high percentages (which you
canít do much about) or be used in combos at lower percents, which can then
follow up with one of his tilts, again setting up for more spiking, or again
juggling. The best way to get around this would be being cautious for a shield
grab/dodge, as it can and will mainly be done directly after an aerial, 
catching anyone who put down there shield. Other than that, its range is
pretty bad, and Falco doesnít have the impressive movement of fox so as to use
it as a straight forward attack in the air if you keep your distance and hit
with the tip.

The other thing to be wary of would be your vertical fights, If Falco is above
you, the spike will be waiting, and if you are above Falco (ground to air)
then Falco gets an opportunity to use his up or down tilts/smashes which set
up for combos/edge guarding. This isnít to say attacking from above is
completely off, it can still be done, just remember that discretion is
advised. Also just as a general thing that you should remember is that as with
Yoshi, aim for the tip so you donít have to worry about a CCed dtilt, which is
probably Falcoís best tilt, and one of his main set ups.

Ganondorf: Ganondorf is a fierce fighter, and possessí advantages over Marth
unique to himself, though some are shared. This advantage would be that Ganon
can trade blows with Marth effectively, as his moves have roughly the same
range, but more damage and knock back than Marthís. Add to that his weight,
and Ganon will be more than happy to trade attacks with Marth. Other than
trading blows, both can combo each other pretty well, so there isnít a clear
cut advantage there, though I think Marth has a slight edge overall. 

Both Marth and Ganondorf donít have a projectile, so neither can force the
other into an offensive position via camping, so it can benefit you to
dash/wave dance just out of his range, waiting for a nice tipper before he
can react. As with all slow characters, Ganon cannot react to a situation as
easily as say, Fox or Sheik can, and you might as well capitalize on it with
Marthís speed. Both of the characters have good shield grabs with many options
out of it, Ganon has a few more options while Marth has a longer grab range.
Should Ganon be knocked off the edge, it is practically over, edge hogging,
and all of Marthís other options are particularly easy against Ganonís poor
recovery. Should you be knocked off the edge, Ganon has three edge guarding
options that will absolutely destroy you if you get hit, so pray for that
sweet spotted ledge, otherwise youíll be gone (by the way, the three options
are the spike, the uair, which is another spike, and the warlock kick, a spike
that hits below the stage), Ganondorf can recover from both with relative
ease, and using the warlock kick can hit you farther out than a usual spike
would, as he regains his second jump after using it. The only real way to get
around this is to use wisely timed forward Bs to throw off the timing for
either, and to come in low directly below the stage. And by low, I mean 2
character lengths +, the kick can hit under the lip of stages if he jumps off
backwards (facing the stage), as always it is mainly a fight against
predictability, meaning, if the opponent catches on to your recovery method,
youíre screwed, so again, variety never hurts.

Captain Falcon: Captain Falcon is annoying for two primary reasons, the first
being that because of his speed he can get inside Marthís range with more
ease than any other character in the game, and his surprising amount of
options once heís in or as heís coming in. The second reason is that he can
capitalize on a mistake that you make very efficiently. As to the first, you
will have to become good at dodging, CCing, and shield grabbing otherwise the
good captain will have no reason to stop his assault on you, and will
eventually land a hit, sooner than later if dash dancing is used. Properly
shffling your aerials (hitting as youíre landing so you can follow up or
retreat as soon as possible) will make a huge difference, minimizing his
shield grabbing attempts, which can easily lead to a pseudo chain throw or
worse, the dreaded knee. If you do manage to grab him, a number of options
become available, combos await with an up throw, and a tipper will await with
another throw. Speaking of tippers, fsmashes can be used with less caution, as
Captain Falcon can probably catch a mistake made with a safer move anyway.

        Disclaimer                                   [CD]

I do not own Marth, Super Smash Bros Melee, or any other Nintendo property, I
merely wanted to write something on one of my favorite SSBM characters.  If
you do want to copy this, I really donít care, just ask me if it's okay and
give me credit, I spent a good amount of time on it.


Thanks to the angelfire sites with smash videos (AOBís and The Punch Crew)
for a few combos and some random knowledge.

Thanks to nismojoeís site for combos. 

Thanks to HAL for making a great game.

SSBMRP for information on the counter characters

smashboards and gamefaqs

Thanks to MistyIRC and others for their input and suggestions.

To everyone who read this, I apologize for the long read; I just wanted to
cover everything.