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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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] ====---------------------------===+++++===--------------------------==== Pros 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 Cons 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 Decent Large 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 right. ====---------------------------===+++++===--------------------------==== 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 slash. 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 this. 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 elseís. 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 contents. ====------------==++++==-------------==== 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. (Back) Beginner 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.) Easy (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.) Medium 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.) Advanced 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.) Intense (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] ====---------------------------===+++++===--------------------------==== ... Na-Na-Na-Na... ... Only works on floaty characters. Fthrow-fthrow-fthrow-fthrow...fsmash 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 Uthrow-uthrow-uthrow-uthrow...fsmash 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 you. 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 Fair-utilt-fair-fair-bair-ftilt/fsmash 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 Fair-utilt-utilt-utilt-nair-fsmash 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 Uair-nair-nair-fair-fair-fsmash 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 Uair-nair-nair-fair-fair-fair-dair 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 varies 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 arise. ====---------------------------===+++++===--------------------------==== Situations [SIT] ====---------------------------===+++++===--------------------------==== =-==--=--==-= Recovery =-==--=--==-= 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. =-==--=--==-= Offensive =-==--=--==-= 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 dancing. 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 =-==--=--==-= 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 anyone. 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 strategy. 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 everyone. 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 smash. 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 opportunity. 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. Sheik: 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 whole. Roy: 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. ====---------------------------===+++++===--------------------------==== Credits ====---------------------------===+++++===--------------------------==== Thanks to the angelfire sites with smash videos (AOBís and The Punch Crew) for a few combos and some random knowledge. (http://www.angelfire.com/alt/aob/) (http://www.angelfire.com/games5/ssbm/) Thanks to nismojoeís site for combos. (http://www.nismojoe.com/games/SSBM/videos/) 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.