______ _____ _______ ______ ______ ______ __ ___ ___ ____ ____ / __/ / / / _ \/ __/ _ \ / __/ |/ / _ | / __/ // / / _ )/ _ \/ __ \/ __/ _\ \/ /_/ / ___/ _// , _/ _\ \/ /|_/ / __ |_\ \/ _ / / _ / , _/ /_/ /\ \ /___/\____/_/ /___/_/|_| /___/_/ /_/_/ |_/___/_//_/ /____/_/|_|\____/___/ __ _________ ________ / |/ / __/ / / __/ __/ / /|_/ / _// /__/ _// _/ /_/ /_/___/____/___/___/ _____________________________________________________________________________ /_____________________________________________________________________________\ M A R T H C H A R A C T E R G U I D E --------------------------------------- FINAL Version Date: April 12th, 2006 By Ashwin Suresh (AKA Armads/Sealed Lance) Location: Australia E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org THE LATEST VERSION ALWAYS AVAILABLE AT GAMEFAQS _______________________________________________________________________________ \_____________________________________________________________________________/ +=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+ TABLE OF CONTENTS +=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+ * For easy access to certain sections, either copy and paste the section number and name or the [bracketed] keyword into your browser's Search function. I. Introduction.....................................................[INTRO] II. Overview.........................................................[OVRVW] III. Background.......................................................[BKGRD] IV. Standard Moves...................................................[MOVES] V. Strengths........................................................[STRGT] VI. Weaknesses.......................................................[WKNSS] VII. Techniques.......................................................[TECHS] VIII. General Metagame.................................................[MTAGM] IX. Competitive Battling.............................................[COMPS] X. Counter Strategies................................................[COUNT] XI. Glossary.........................................................[GLOSS] XII. Frequently Asked Questions.......................................[SOSME] XIII. Version History..................................................[HSTRY] XIV. Legal Disclaimers.................................................[LEGAL] XV. Contact Details...................................................[EMAIL] XVI. In Closing.......................................................[CLOSE] +=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+ I. INTRODUCTION = [INTRO] = +=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+ Where to begin... Marth is quite a character. I doubt many people going around could say that they knew who he was before SSBM and EVEN THEN, not many people actually know much about Marth. All they know is that he is a very dangerous character in SSBM, with amazing all-round abilities. But do YOU know that? Have you struggled to unlock the amazing abilities of Marth? This guide aims to show how to utilise Marth to his fullest potential. And I can tell you, a good player of Marth is devestating. Just look at the American champion, Ken; a living example. With that, I have nothing more to add except that you're *probably* going to learn something from this guide, unless you are a professional Marth player. * If you are having trouble understanding SSBM jargon, refer to the Glossary to learn the meanings of certain terms. +=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+ II. OVERVIEW = [OVRVW] = +=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+ First of all, let's take a look at Marth generally. He is categorised as a swordsman, naturally from his sword, the Falchion. He boasts being one of the fastest characters in the game and combined with his quick and powerful strikes he can deal with foes effortlessly. One of the main strengths of Marth is that he can hit fast, deal enough damage to send an opponent flying, control their movement and simply knock them off the edge and with the right technique can do this under almost any condition. His main strength lies on the ground, but any good player is required to be an 'acrobatic' in terms of his flight and strokes in order to take command of trying circumstances. He is typically a very offensive character, taking advantage of an enemies' momentary weakness and turning it into a fatal mistake. Marth's Falchion is a devestating weapon on many accounts: first, it has amazing knock-back when used correctly (in the sweet spot). Second, it has great control and versatility to perform a variety of combos. Thirdly, it has little lag time, which means Marth is almost always ready to inflict more hell on the foe after each successive blow. Finally, the Falchion has insane priority over other attacks and because it is a disjointed hitbox, Marth doesn't risk taking damage when he swings his blade. With terrific speed, Marth also specialises in mind games; especially with his Counter technique. However, it can be a little difficult to return from an enemy combo attack because his recovery isn't exceptional and neither are his defences or knock-back durability. So, all in all, Marth is suited to a person who likes to charge and crush an enemy with quick, powerful blows with little effort, amazing speed and phenomenal style and grace. He's the ultimate swordsman in SSBM and he sports elegant swordplay to back up his regal roots. In terms of competitive battling, Marth is a specialist at one-on-one combat. His Falchion is a long-ranged blade, but is only effective on the tip, which means Marth has little defences against multiple foes. Even with his speed, all his attacks are specialised to controlling the one enemy. Not many of his attacks are generalised (projectiles etc.). In other words, a Marth player must be aware of targetting a single enemy in multiple enemy combat. With that all in mind, that sums up Marth. If you are considering Marth, he's definitely worth a shot and if you like his initial skills, it is a great opportunity to become a reasonable player quickly. Marth is easy to use and reasonably user-friendly (he is much easier to use, than say - Fox). Roy IS easier to wield for a beginner, but as you peer deeper into their individual abilities, you will see Marth is the clear winner. +=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+ III. BACKGROUND = [BKGRD] = +=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+ Now THIS is where my guide can shine brightly, as I have a reasonably good knowledge of Fire Emblem as a whole. In case you were wondering (and you must be REALLY LOST not to know this), Marth is from the series known as Fire Emblem. The series is essentially a turn-based SRPG and each of the nine games in the series (currently) features the same genre and gameplay, but a different set of characters, plotline and setting. Marth featured in the original game of the series and returned for the third game of the series. Cameo appearances of Marth - -------------------------- Fire Emblem: The Dark Dragon & Sword of Light (NES 1990) Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem (SNES 1993) Super Smash Bros Melee (GCN 2001) At first glance, it seems like Marth is an old character, eh? His two series appearances are over a decade ago. Truth be told, I'm sure that Marth was picked as a SSBM character for the sole reason he was the hero of the original game. Roy is in a similar boat; at the stage SSBM was released, I believe he was introduced to SSBM to advertise his upcoming title for the GBA (which became known as the Sealed Sword, the sixth game in the series). Both Marth and Roy feature in two games in the series, but make no mistake: THEY ARE NOT RELATED IN ANY WAY apart from the same series. So who really is Marth? ----------------------- Occupation: Prince (Altea) Region: Altea, Akaneia (continent) Age: 16 - early 20s (uncertain) Distinct features: Blue hair, Falchion sword, cape The Dark Dragon & Sword of Light Plot - Garnef, the Devil King resurrects the Dark Dragon Medeus, allowing the evil Dolua empire to be brought to its former glory. Marth is forced to flee to the island kingdom of Talis until he is ambushed by the Garuda pirates. Under the instruction of his mentor Jeigan, and with the support of his army and Talis's army, Marth leads a campaign to restore peace to the troubled continent. Mystery of the Emblem Plot - Hardin, the new king and ally betrays Marth. Marth soon discovers that his efforts in the past were for nought: Medeus is still alive, as is Garnef. Marth campaigns to restore peace once and for all to Akaneia by defeating Medeus, Garnef and even his former friend, Hardin. +=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+ IV. STANDARD MOVES = [MOVES] = +=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+ Analysis of Marth's basic button attacks. A Button -------- The A button is a player's main attacking source; in combination with the Control Stick it proves deadly. GROUND ~~~~~~ Falchion Slash: A 3-6% dmg, minimal lag A simple swipe of the Falchion in an arc upwards. Due to the Falchion being a long sword, it allows Marth to accomplish many things: - Distract the foe - Parry projectiles - Parry attacks - Set up juggling combos - Set up the Swinging Swipes attack Return Swipe: A for Falchion Slash, then A immediately thereafter 3-6% dmg, minimal lag Marth swipes the Falchion in reverse fashion. This move is hardly ever performed unless you are setting up the Swinging Swipes attack. Swinging Swipes: Repetitively tap A Base dmg of Falchion Slash & Return Swipe + 2-3% per hit, significant lag Marth rapidly swings his blade in an arc over and over again in the same spot. An annoying attack designed to more or less distract the foe and piss them off :) This attack can pin foes, rack up significant amounts of damage and get them aggravated, therefore making them more likely to make mistakes. Quite useful, but when overused this move becomes predictable and can be countered easily. It's a slow attack to start off, but if you know what you are doing it's rather entertaining. Upper Slash: Up (strong) + A 12% dmg, minimal lag Marth swings the Falchion across and up in an arc. Similar to the Falchion Slash, this attack can set up many situations as well as provide some defence against most attacks. Low Stab: Down (strong) + A 10% dmg, minimal lag This attack is very useful. Marth's stab is excellent for hitting enemies who seem to be shielding a lot because the stabs are extremely fast and accurate (not to mention aggressive). It provides Marth a good opportunity to also minimise damage and knock-back to him with crouch-cancelling. In other words, this attack is both offensive and defensive. The only issue is that it takes a slightly longer duration for Marth to go air-borne, which might slow him down. Another great use for the stab is to edge-guard against pesky foes who want to cling to those edges and aren't getting up unless you go up to them (and subsequently get hit). Sharp Edge: Forward (strong) + A 13% dmg, minimal lag Marth quickly swings his blade in a semicircle, swinging the Falchion to start and end parallel to the ground (horizontal to horizontal). It's reasonably fast and due to the properties of the Falchion, this attack is just as useful as the Falchion Slash or the Upper Slash. Leg Slash: A + Dash forward 12% dmg, significant lag An excellent attack - undisputedly. Marth, while running (and he CAN run quickly) hits the opponent with the Falchion forward. This is a perfect exhibition of Marth's speed; he can *easily* catch the opponent off-guard and start hitting them with any combo attack or juggle the opponent. This technique is great for setting up kills and is particularly effective at hitting slow enemies. If it misses however or is poorly executed, it gives the opponent a perfect opportunity to hit you from behind. Remember the old saying that 'fools rush blindly where angels care to tread'. If you happen to charge the foe and rush at them without thinking through your attack, you'll be done in. Winning Thrust: Up + A 8-10% (standard), 15-24% (tipper) dmg, significant lag This attack is a finisher. Marth simply stabs straight up in the air, skewering any enemy who happens to land on the point of the blade. The problem with this attack is that it can be easily predicted and it has plenty of recovery time (lag). If you *do* manage to catch an opponent off-guard who is in the air and falling, run under them and use this attack for exceptional knock-back and damage. It's one of those attacks that you will have to use sparingly. Whirlwind Slash: Down + A 16-21%, 11-15% dmg on return swing, significant lag Marth swings the blade in an arc from forward to behind him, all around him along the ground (think of a rope) and swings again on the return in momentum. This is one of Marth's only defensive attacks against multiple enemies. The Whirlwind Slash attacks both sides, which means this proves useful for foes that roll behind you and you aren't quite sure how to hit them. There is some recovery time, so enemies might pounce on the opportunity (such as a mistimed Whirlwind Slash) to hit you from above and send you flying. Dragon Slayer: Forward + A 14-19% (standard), 20-27% dmg (tipper), significant lag Marth's most powerful attack. He swings the blade in an arc in the same fashion as the Sharp Edge, but in a much wider, much stronger attack. The lag is also much more due to this fact, but the simple fact of the matter is that if Marth connects with this attack, it HURTS. Even a standard attack that is misplaced has good knockback and deals a significant amount of damage. And if a tipper connects, the opponent will be sent flying, and they will reel from the blow. This attack is perfect for many purposes, most notoriously known for edge-guarding. The Dragon Slayer should be used in moderation, because it is most useful when properly placed and timed. Most of the time, it is better juggling the opponent (or chain-throwing, whatever floats your boat) and finishing with a Dragon Slayer. AERIAL ~~~~~~ Aerial Swipe: Forward + A 13% dmg, minimal lag This is basically the equivalent of the Falchion Slash, but in the air. Marth brings his blade down and across in an arc. This is easily a definite key element of juggling, because along with Marth's other aerials can easily control the opponent by hitting him multiple times in the air. The aerial swipe is also a decent defensive attack that should be considered when Marth is evading projectiles (a key element of his strategy). Luna Slash: Up + A 13% dmg, minimal lag Another juggling attack, basically the aim of the game in the air (once Marth is in control) is to juggle the opponent and constantly hit them, guiding them in the direction of the edges. Marth basically swings his blade up quickly. This attack is also an easy canceller of more powerful attacks. Half Moon: Down + A 10% (standard), 13% (tipper) dmg, significant lag Another nice juggling attack, because it sends the opponent down to the floor. Its useful if you are looking to fend off an enemy who is approaching from below, but it also is devestating. Chain it with some other aerials to juggle the opponent; this attack is a great finisher. Why? Due to the fact that enemies can be spiked straight down. The Half Moon is prone to miss unless timed right, so beware, because a mistimed spike spells doom for Marth (he cannot recover well). Twin Slash: A 14% dmg, minimal lag This is a highly defensive aerial maneouver, but it also proves as another interesting attack Marth can use to juggle. This attack is basically an aerial version of the Whirlwind Slash, with the sword swung all the way around Marth essentially guarding him from blows to his sides. This attack is a useful for juggling as it moves enemies to the returning swing side in preparation to be edge-guarded or spiked (or juggled again). About Face Slash: A + Backwards 13% dmg, minimal lag Another defensive attack that *can* be used to juggle. Marth basically takes a swipe behind him, the position he takes looks a little unorthodox. It's useful if the enemy is somehow behind you (due to directional influence, or a mistimed attack). You're more likely to use this attack in desperation to fend off an enemy than to juggle. B Button -------- The B Button is a specialist attacking source; it should be used infrequently and only in special circumstances. These situations include parrying, recovery and *very occassionally* attacking. I'd say you'd be using your A Button 70% of the time and the B Button 30% of the time, roughly. Shield Breaker: Tap/hold B 7-28% dmg, significant-extreme lag Marth uses the same motion as the Dragon Slayer (the same arc motion) but the blade utilises magic to hit the foes. It creates more damage than a usual sword stroke, but is much more laggy. Only an IDIOT would not predict a player charging up the Shield Breaker, so forget about it; it's useless in a conventional situation. It's only *real* use is for edge-guarding, but even then it is very easy to spot and predict, thus a counter will almost always be waiting for a Marth using this attack. In addition, the recovery time is horrendous, so missing will mean a crap load of trouble for YOU. Dolphin Slash: Up + B 13% dmg, extreme lag Marth's recovery move AND STRICTLY RECOVERY! Marth basically swings his blade up in the air, generating some flight upwards (presumably from the wind). It has a *massive* recovery time, so it is absolutely crucial you DO NOT use this attack as... an attack. It is highly ineffective and will result in leaving Marth vulnerable for a few seconds (in mid air) so that he an get his ass handed to him. The only time you should contemplate this move is when you are well and truly off the edge, have used Marth's Dancing Blade to its fullest and are desperate. In other words, this is the attack that leaves Marth the most vulnerable of all (save for maybe a fully charged Shield Breaker) so beware of how you use it. That said, it *is* an absolute necessity that you understand how to use this move effectively. Counter: Down + B 7% dmg, significant lag Using this technique when an opponent is about to hit you, Marth immediately counterattacks with a swipe. It's the most defensive of Marth's attacks and is *very useful* when used correctly. This is one of the best attacks to play mind games of opponents. You can lure them into attacking and hit them right on their face with a counterattack. Counter throws the opponents off-guard and provides an opportunity to lash back at the opponent; effectively converting a defensive manoeuver into an offensive one. Counter's only weakness is that there is a big recovery time so if you overuse this move, opponents will prepare for it and in turn lure YOU into a Counter and use the opportunity to catch YOU off-guard. Counter also serves reasonably well when you are predicting recoveries as you edge-guard, but be warned; a failed Counter can lead to trouble. Last of all, Counter cannot counter everything, theoretically speaking. It is ineffective against any projectiles, so don't bother trying to use it. It also sucks against extremely fast attacks, such as Fox's Laser or his Illusion attack. Basically, Counters are designed for full-frontal attacks that you can readily parry to punish the enemy. Dancing Blade: Forward + B, then Forward/Up, then Forward/Up/Down, then Forward/Up/Down (combinations possible) 4% + 4% + 8% (forward)/5% (up)/10% (down) +11% (forward)/8% (up)/12% (down) dmg, varying lag (from minimal to significant) Basically, Marth swings his blade forward, forward or up, forward or up or down (which can spike) and then either forward, up or stab the opponent five consecutive times (for minimal damage) if you press down last. Basically, to execute this move and understand it properly you have to first hold B. When you press Forward, Marth starts up the Dancing Blade. What you need to do is to continue this by timing your tilting of the Control Stick correctly, so the game cooperates and reads your actions. What I mean is that you need to regularly tilt the Control Stick at the right intervals, approximately a second gap in between each. As you perform the entire combo, remember that you can always cease it by missing the next step of the combo. Timing the Dancing Blade takes a while to master, but this attack is very useful in a variety of situations: - Disrupter. The Dancing Blade makes your movements a little more choppy and staccato-like, making Marth slightly more menacing and unpredictable. It's nice to use this when your opponent expects something extremely different. - Annoyer. The five consecutive stabs at the end means that the Dancing Blade is useful for pissing your opponent off. - Spiker. Marth can quite easily spike using the Dancing Blade; it's a little slow, though. - Recovery. The Dancing Blade, while on the edge can easily be executed and chained with the Dolphin Slash, which means this can give Marth that much needed horizontal recovery his Dolphin Slash fails to provide. Execute the right combo of slashing to recover. That's about all, the Dancing Blade is very useful, the only weakness is that it is somewhat slow and a *little* difficult to master. A bit more insight regarding Shield Breaker and the Dancing Blade, from Daniel Juenemann: "First, shield breaker is not as completely usless as you make it seem. While I agree in general that it's recovery or lag causes dragonslayer to be the prefered of the two, I notice that people get nervous when they're edge-guarding if you charge a shieldbreaker on the way down. Even if Marth misses the edge, he still can recover easily afterwards, regardless of having jumps or not, and should the shieldbreaker actually connect, the results (and stun) inflicted on the opponent can be devastating. Of course, this will only work as a last resort, because only an true fool would fall for this several times. I would think this to be most effective in a pinch against someone like an agressive fox or shiek, or some other kind of juggler, as an early start in the fall can build anticipation and nervousness in opponents." "In the same way, I have a friend that likes to use the dancing blade as an edge gaurding technique for the same reason that I can get away with the shield breaker as a recovery move- nerves. The opponent sees the dancing blade coming, and whether or not the combo continues to a point where the enemy gets hurt, someone new to this form of edge guarding is much more likely to make a mistake. An alternative if the timing gets messed up is to do the first couple of attacks and pull off a dragon slayer as the finisher." Control Stick -------------- This is used for movement. Up acts as jumping, down acts as crouching. This is also used in conjunction with the A and B Buttons for several attacks. L Button/ R Button ------------------- Shielding is the primary usage of this button. Shielding is very useful in multiple situations, primarily for not getting hit (although a better alternative will be explained a bit later) but also for defending against projectiles. In order to maximise shielding, master power shielding in order to get the best results (because power shielding doesn't weaken your shield and causes projectiles to get reflected at their owners). Shields become weaker as they are constantly used to defend against blows. They become smaller and eventually break, leaving the enemy with a chance to hit you as you are disorientated and cannot move for a few seconds. The shield can also be altered in a given direction by shield shifting, merely using your Control Stick to direct the shield where you are getting hit the most. Another interesting fact about shielding is that tapping L/R lightly results in a Light Shield, which lasts much longer than a normal shield, but is weaker and more useful for weaker blows (projectiles, especially). Rolling: Shield, then press Left/Right This is the more consistently used than the shield, because it gives a player the chance to move around the foe and hit him from behind, turning a defensive manoeuver into an offensive one. Marth has a longer period and distance of rolling, which means this is perfect as a defensive tactic, and due to Marth's range makes a good offensive tactic as well. Dodge-roll a lot to get the best results out of your SSBM fighting. Dodge: Shield, then press down Probably the most utlised defence by pro players. Marth basically dodges to the front/back, rendering him immune to all attacks for a split second. *Very* useful, owing to small lag time and easy to execute. Air Dodge: Shield in the air Your only shielding mechanism in the air, basically a replica of dodging on the ground. Marth dodges to the front/back, rendering him immune to all attacks for a while (longer in the air). Be careful of how you use this, because once you air dodge Marth can only thereafter perform a Dolphin Slash as a last resort recovery. Grab: Shield then A OR Z 4-5% dmg, minimal lag Marth has one of the best grabs in the game, owing to his amazing range, and surprising power. Grabs are also fast and reasonably easy to execute and they piss the opponent off. Grabs are used for a variety of reasons, whether it be defensively just to keep the enemy in check, an annoyer or even an aggressive attack (for Marth the most notorious use of the grab would be chain-throwing). After grabbing: - A to knee attack him (still holding opponent) 2-3% dmg, minimal lag Very useful and annoying attack where Marth repeatedly (and rather quickly) knees the opponent while he holds them again and again until they struggle out of your grip. - Emblem Toss, up to throw him up 4% dmg, minimal lag A key element of chain-throwing, Marth throws the opponent up. You have to be careful to know how to control the enemy, or they can quite easily counter your attack and hit you back. - Bounce, forward to throw the opponent down and forwards slightly 4% dmg, minimal lag Not very useful, as chain-throwing is the best use of Marth and his throws. - Slam, down to throw the opponent down and backwards slightly 5% dmg, minimal lag Again, not going to be used much. - Throw Away, backwards to throw the opponent backwards away 4% dmg, minimal lag Can be used in a chain-throw, if wavedashing is timed correctly. Grabbing items: (aerial) L/R + A OR Z, (ground) A This is used to pick up items that are flying towards you. It has its uses, but it won't happen a lot. If you aren't good at this, don't bother, because you will get hit if you aren't careful. X Button -------- Jumping. The X Button generates more control and is more effective for wavedashing and short jumping. C Stick ------- Not to be confused with the Control Stick, this is the yellow Stick (formerly recognised on the N64 as the C Buttons). This can be used to execute quick smash attacks. It can be more useful in certain situations. START ----- Pause the game. L + R + A + Z to exit the match (reset). Up D-Pad -------- You can taunt by pressing Up on the D-Pad. Marth speaks in Japanese (like Roy). You may ask, what is he saying: "Minna, miteite kure!" "Everyone, look at me!" Just for curiosity's sake, here are the translations of his other statements. "Boku wa makeru wake-ni wa ikanainda!" "There's no way I can lose." "Konkai wa boku no kachi da ne?" "Doesn't it seem I am the victor?" "Kyou mo ikinobiru koto ga dekita." "Today, I have survived." +=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+ V. STRENGTHS = [STRGT] = +=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+ Well, you now recognise Marth's attacks and have a general idea of what kind of character (and fighter) he is. So; the next step seems simple but really is not. We need to recognise all of Marth's strengths in comparison with every other character in the game so that we can utilise them to defeat enemies. * Disjointed hitbox: Let's start off simple. Marth uses a sword. It is not alive! Therefore, when he uses a sword against an opponent, he will not be hurt if the sword gets hit (not directly, anyway). This is the basis of the advantage of having a disjointed hitbox. Many enemies use active parts of their bodies to hit opponents, whether it be arms, legs or even tongues... The point is, that when they do that, they risk getting hit in return. Marth doesn't have this problem. * Priority: Priority is extremely important, because without it you'll find that every time you try to pull an attack, the opponent lashes out with one of their own and it gets through your attack, hitting you where it hurts. Marth's Falchion has one of the highest priorities in the game, so you're not going to have many problems hitting foes. * Melee Range: While possessing no projectiles (discussed later), Marth *does* have the distinct advantage of having a long sword. It means he can use it to quite easily clear his path of all foes without worrying that he will be hit (in melee range) before he gets a chance to strike. He has the second longest sword of the swordsmen, only Roy has a slightly longer reach. Another interesting note about his grabbing range is that he comes in fourth, behind all of the grapplers; Samus, Link and Young Link. * Versatility with the sword: Unlike say, Young Link or Link who focus on being versatile with projectiles and ending up balanced, Marth is solely focussed on his blade. All his attacks revolve around the Falchion in some way, whether it be offensive or defensive. Because of this versatility, Marth ends up being able to pull off a bigger variety of attacks and perform combos such as juggling. * Power: Marth doesn't seem like it, but his sword has more than enough power. More specifically, knock-back. When hit with the tip of the blade, opponents are sent flying due to blows being connected on the 'sweet spot'. In case you doubted Marth had it in him, he has the fourth most powerful horizontal smash attack, behind Bowser, Falcon and Game & Watch. He also has one of the most powerful horizontal throwing attacks in the game. * Speed: Marth is startlingly fast. Combined with his offences, he becomes a deadly fighter. He happens to be the fifth fastest character in the game, behind Falcon, Fox, Sheik and Pikachu. Not only is he fast at dashing, but he also has a fast jump, grab and an extremely fast grab attack. Basically, what this sets up for Marth is that he is an expert at juggling, chain-throwing and basically any controlling combo that keeps the enemy off-guard. * Agility: Surprisingly, Marth has some defensive advantages as well. He has the fourth longest wavedash, behind Luigi, the Ice Climbers and Mewtwo. Interestingly enough, in terms of defence, Marth has the third longest additional time for dodging projectiles, tied with Roy behind Zelda and Peach. He also boasts the second longest distance in the game as an average, behind Mewtwo alone. But this is saying a lot; he ties with Roy with the longest individual roll in the game (backwards). +=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+ VI. WEAKNESSES = [WKNSS] = +=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+ Marth's very few weaknesses must also be recognised and a strategy developed to help counteract his weaknesses. * Lack of Projectiles: This is probably Marth's only glaring weakness. You have to admit - having no projectiles can be a big problem if you aren't careful. You risk facing enemies like Fox, Falco and Samus spamming Marth, essentially rendering his amazing melee skills useless. So - how can we overcome such a problem? Counter is not effective, because as the enemy spams projectiles, Marth cannot be distracted by merely a single projectile, rather he must confront all of them at once. It is a major power of the enemy if they can distract Marth with their projectiles (which is usually the number one reason for using them). However, look at the facts that Marth is fast, agile and powerful. Possibly the only way of countering Marth's disadvantage is to find a way of getting around the projectiles and hitting the foe. There are two ways of doing this: either by dodging, or by jumping and assaulting the opponent from the air. Aerial attacks are slightly dangerous, but it normally is worth evading projectiles in the air. Alternatively, due to Marth's long dodge roll, you can evade your way (literally) around any attacks that come your way. Either way, it is important to note that the enemy can force you into making a certain attack (if you keep using the same counter) and bait you into a mistake. Let's quickly analyse every single non-item projectile in the game: Sheik's needles - These are surprisingly strong when unleashed at full power (16% dmg) but are really a distraction for Sheik's main game: juggling. I'd probably recommend evading around these needles, instead of resorting to the air. Going aerial will give Sheik the advantage. Fox's Laser - The biggest, most annoying pain in the ass distraction I've ever encountered. Any Fox can camp and rack up an insane amount of damage due to no flinching and hit you hard. Basically, what you need to do is make sure that this doesn't happen! Charge Fox and he'll have to go on the defensive; stay in close range of him and the lasers' won't phase you. Be careful of Fox's using their Lasers to bait you into a false move. Peach's vegetables - You can catch them and return the favour of getting hit. Most Peaches won't be overusing this to attack you all that much. Falco's Laser - This is possibly more annoying than Fox's Laser, because of the flinch effect. You'll have to get in the air to counter his laser strikes and find a way of attacking from there. Falco can hit hard and reasonably quickly, so watch out. A good Falco might bait you with his Laser as well. Samus's Missiles - Another rather annoying projectile, because Samus can spam it to hell and back and it homes. Most Samus' use this as a distraction. Dodging is your best option, with aerial as a last resort. Samus's Charge Beam - This is easy to see, but when executed at the right time can cause a lot of trouble. This won't be used a lot, but when it is just take care, take to the air a lot. Dr. Mario/Mario/Luigi Pill/Fireball - More distractions, bluntly put. Once again, dodging is your best option but at close-range if you are STILL having trouble, take to the air. Ice Climbers' Ice Cube - This projectile by itself isn't too difficult to evade, go aerial. Link's/Young Link's Boomerang - Dodge it once and watch out for when it returns. This is one of Link's arsenal of distractions, so watch out. Link/Young Link's Arrows - Another potentially annoying projectile, your best bet is to actually shield when it approaches, and sometimes it will backfire. Otherwise, take to the air and jump towards Link. Link/Young Link's Bombs - Yet another distraction. It's a rather useful one, too. The bomb bypasses most defences and disorientates, giving Link the opportunity to hit the enemy hard. Frankly speaking, go aerial and dodge if you can. Otherwise, try to recover quickly. Pikachu/Pichu's Thundershock - More distractions. Pichu is just hopeless; Use standard measures against Pikachu. Zelda's spells - They have plenty of lag time, so merely evade and hit Zelda. Besides, most Zeldas will be playing as Sheik. Ness's PSI attacks - All of Ness's attacks have HUGE lag, dodge and hit Ness hard. Yoshi's egg - As Yoshi's egg is thrown upwards, it gives you a chance to hit Yoshi as he attacks, or just after he attacks. Make sure you're out of the way before it comes down. Mr. Game & Watch - His projectile is rather annoying at close-range, but it doesn't go far, so basically this really isn't a projectile... Mewtwo's psychic attacks - Mewtwo's projectiles are more distractions, but not many people will use Mewtwo at any rate. Aerial isn't a bad idea, because Mewtwo is a very big, easy to hit target. * Slow turning speed: Marth has the slowest turning speed in the game. So basically, you're in a bit of trouble if you miss an opponent charging, and may face problems when an enemy gets behind you. I recommend anticipating the enemy's movements and using the Whirlwhind Slash if and when needed. * Poor physics: Marth isn't the most tanky character in the game by a long shot. He has mediocre resistance to knock-back and he is the sixth fastest falling character. He is somewhat slow at stopping and has one of the slowest lag times after shielding. Basically, although he can be blindingly fast at times, his defences are not by any means exceptional. So he can be subject to some pain. What does this prove? Any Marth player must have an offensive, aggressive game through and through. Offence, offence, offence. Remember the saying... The strongest defence is a good offence. * Handy but relatively poor B attacks: Hate to admit it, but Marth isn't too focussed on B attacks. His main game is almost entirely based on wielding his sword using the A button to attack enemies. Basically, his B attacks are there as utility and are purely situational. It's not a big weakness, considering his A attacks are some of the strongest in the game. * Average in most random/miscellaneous areas: Although not entirely disadvantageous, Marth doesn't excel at many physics areas, especially random observations. Instances can include: - average fast-falling speed - average jump height, short jump height - average ledge-rolling distance - average horizontal ledge-rolling range - average ledge attack power - average falling distance - average horizontal aerial moving speed - average horizontal moving distance - average rapid attack speed (at least he CAN rapidly attack) - average taunt time - average grabbing power - average minimum height of ducking (basically target size) Most of the above are pretty random and can barely be noticed. But, at least he *is* average and not pathetically bad in any of the above. * Low traction: Well, accounting for his amazing speed, this isn't too surprising. He's a good wavedasher, but sometimes the traction is useful and some players may not be immediately used to his speed (even though it isn't as crazy as say - Falcon). +=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+ VII. TECHNIQUES = [TECHS] = +=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+ We're still far off from mastering Marth. All we know now is his attacks, a general idea of how to use them and his individual strengths and weaknesses, as well as his general background. But - we need to learn a few techniques to make good use of his attacks, only then we'll be close to mastering Marth. Tipping & The 'Sweet Spot' ------------------------- You may have heard of the terms the 'sweet spot', tipping, tippers and so on. But what is tipping? If you use Marth's blade, you will notice something. If you hit enemies on the tip of the blade, the enemies get thrown back more and take more damage. Coincidence? Not the case. This is the same with pretty much all of Marth's attacks. In essence, Marth is a much better fighter and much more deadly if a player makes full use of this tip of the blade phenomenon. The tip of the blade is known as the 'sweet spot'. Roy has a similar area on the middle of his blade, which means to a beginner Roy seems like the better fighter. Now, tipping isn't the easiest thing in the world to master. You sometimes may risk missing the foes and so on. The easiest and most lethal way to tip an enemy is during edge-guarding (I'll talk about that later). But, basically have the opponent trapped into doing a very predictable move and thusly, getting punished. Once you realise how much of an effect tipping has, you'll wonder how you ever survived without it. Using tipping, Marth can easily rack up 50% damage AND knock enemies off the edge, without having to resort to damage above 50% ever. Now *that* is what I call useful. Combined with Marth's amazing range and speed, he becomes a true force to be reckoned with. Directional Influence & Wiggling -------------------------------- You're probably asking; what the hell is directional influence? It's simple really. It is how you control your movement in the air. For example, when you are thrown up, you tilt the Control Stick left/right to move in that direction to get the hell away from the opponent, right? Basically, that is D.I. So, use it! Most people unintentionally do so, just out of habit of moving, but this is a warning to those who don't use it; it is very useful. Slightly related to D.I. is escaping throws/eggs and other holds. How do you escape? Basically, tilt the Control Stick left and right very quickly to escape as fast as possible. You'll get out of the grip/hold and be ready to take revenge. Wiggling is very similar, only that you use the Control Stick in the air as you have been hit to recover quickly to a normal stance and be ready to attack the opponent as you reach the ground. Teching is another nice option to wiggling. Cancelling ---------- Ever wondered if there was a way to reduce the lag of attacks? Cancelling is the solution. It cuts down the recovery animation of certain attacks by using L/R to shield. The general term is normally called L Cancelling, but other variations are individual attack cancelling and aerial cancelling. Marth can use cancelling to speed up his attacks even moreso. Short Hopping ------------- One of the key elements to pick up a beginners' game to an experts. Short hopping is when you tap X (and I mean TAP not PRESS), the character uses a much smaller, quicker jump. This is *very* important for speeding up a player's game, because it allows the player to attack faster. You may hear of the term used as SHL, Short Hop Laser, used commonly by Fox and Falco. Fast Falling ------------ To speed up falls (and once again, increase speed of the game) use the Control Stick and tilt it down. Shffl ----- Basically, an extension of short hopping and fast falling and acts as an acronym of the following: Short Hopped Fast Falled L Cancelled The entire game of a player is essentially rapidly sped up through shffls (pronounced shuffle). Players can attack much more rapidly, without much lag using shuffling. Wavedashing ------------ Wavedashing is one of the most fundamental of techniques alongside shuffling used to speed up a player's game. To put it simply, it's merely a faster way of moving. Instead of the standard walk/dash, a wavedash is essentially a glide. It's a lot faster and a lot less laggy than other conventional methods. To wavedash, first master the shuffle. You would be in the habit by now of mastering Marth's short hop, fast fall AND cancelling. Now, you are in the habit of tilting the Control Stick down to shuffle after short hopping, right? This time, start tilting the Control Stick another 10 or 15 degrees across (either way) and short hop. Immediately after short hopping, tap R and you'll see your character start gliding in the direction of the Control Stick, with white smoke behind them. If you're having problems, shut your eyes, then tap the two buttons (X and R with the Control Stick) blind and you should get it after a while. First off, start mastering the wavedash with Luigi. Make sure that you don't hold R, just tap it, because otherwise you'll shield afterwards which is a problem. Why Luigi you ask? He has the longest wavedash and is relatively easy to master. Once done with him, start doing it with Marth - slightly more challenging. Eventually, keep tilting the Control Stick until it is *almost* horizontally inclined and keep wavedashing. That's basically how to do a wavedash, in a nutshell. But, you might be finding the buttons a bit awkward. You have to get over that initial feeling soon, because there are PLENTY of uses for wavedashing. Let's outline them, shall we: - High movement with high speed, meaning that the wavedash is the fastest way for many characters to move around - Highly effective for mind games, to deceive the opponent into a false move - Speeding up the game, speeding up attacks To test your wavedashing skills, complete the following tasks: - Wavedash back and forth without faltering - Dash, wavedash, dash alternately to train your hands - Attack, wavedash, attack, dash and mix and match to train your hands Dash dancing ------------ An interesting and useful mind games technique. Notice that when you run, you break into a dash that is different from walking. Now, during this initiation, there is a way of breaking up the animation sequence, essentially meaning that a character can stop their dash quickly and turn around. This is the concept of dash dancing; ram the Control Stick in one direction and immediately as you break into a run ram it the opposite direction (works only on ground). You'll notice that eventually your character will move back and forth really quickly on the spot, leaving behind their running animation without actually going anywhere. This is useful for luring foes into making false moves. Crouch cancelling & dash cancelling ----------------------------------- A special phenomenon called crouch cancelling occurs when you crouch. Any attacks that you are hit by when crouching won't send you flying, merely sliding you back. A useful defensive manouever. Factor in crouch cancel countering (using smash down) and this is a very interesting technique indeed. Marth's stab itself is very strong, useful for edge guarding and spiking, so the fact that it is also defensive is a big bonus. Dash cancelling is slightly different, but involves crouching. When dashing, you can immediately crouch to completely stop the dash. This is useful for being more unpredictable. Fox Trotting/ Dash Dashing -------------------------- This technique is a combination of dash dancing and dash cancelling. Using them together results in fox trotting, a type of movement that is faster than conventional movement (yet again). Teching ------- A fast method of recovery where as soon as you hit the ground from being thrown around, you hit L or R to immediately stand up instead of lying down and then getting up, leaving yourself vulnerable. Teching is easy to do and helps your game immensely. But, be warned, teching can be used against you. For example, in a chain throw situation, you can constantly get thrown around, you tech and you are actually helping the opponent getting yourself up as a sitting duck for the next attack. Use teching wisely and try to be unpredictable about how you use it. Jump Cancelling --------------- Another cancel technique that is useful! Basically, there are two meanings for the same term: - Jumping out of a dash, that makes the jump even faster. This is useful for many things, primarily to speed up your game and minimise lag. - Jumping out of a shield, so that Marth can immediately counter. Not all characters can do jump cancelling, so it is handy to note that Marth can. Edge Guarding ------------- The simple technique of guarding the edges of an arena after the enemy is knocked off, ensuring that their recoveries fail. Marth has an amazing edge guarding game, due to the range, speed and power of his attack. There are multiple ways to edge guard: - Dragon Slayer; this powerful attack will almost certainly spell doom for enemies, especially if hit with a tipper; but it is easy to counter - Shield Breaker; the less conventional method gives Marth a little more power (but not knockback) but can also be easily countered - Counter; hits enemies trying to recover to surprise them and disrupt them - Spikes, talked about later to pin enemies quickly That's about it, but those aren't always going to work. Enemies can be smart! Let's see how we can edge guard *even* when they are hanging on the edge and are smarter than normal. If they are merely hanging on the edge, use your stab (smash down) to hit them off. When they try to recover, keep thinking about stabbing and if in range, a Dragon Slayer will as good as end their life. Spikes are good as well, to get quick and efficient kills. If all else fails, do something unpredictable to disorientate the enemy and then go in for the kill. Edge hogging ------------ Basically, this is an easy enough move; hang on the ledge when enemies are recovering so that they cannot hang on the ledge. It works well, too. The only problem is if you edge hog too early on (before recovery) the enemy has time to hit you and maybe even hog you off, so watch out. Recovery -------- Marth has two main recovery techniques when he is off the edge: - Dolphin Slash - Dancing Blade The Dolphin Slash, as stated before is a desperation attack to be used last of all to get back on the ledge. If used incorrectly, its huge lag time will cost you dearly. The Dancing Blade provides nice horizontal recovery to chain with the Dolphin Slash, just make sure you use the upwards combo moves so that you don't accidentally use D.I. to fast fall. Another useful tip is to use Marth's standard aerial A strokes to give him some more flight and generate that horizontal distance he requires. Employ edge hopping to throw off enemies as you get on the edge. So that you are not vulnerable, keep jumping up and on the edge and it will also put you in a position to easily hit the enemy (and edge hog as necessary). Juggling -------- Juggling is not an entirely SSBM exclusive technique. As such, most people have a basic understanding of what it is. Basically, it is the technique of keeping an opponent air-borne and pretty much unable to attack back by a volley of ground and air strokes repetitively. Marth happens to be the best swordsman for juggling in the game and for good reason; he is a true blue specialist. Marth can juggle in multiple ways. Some of the common combos used include: - Chain throw, chain throw, chain throw... (*5+), Up air, Forward air, back air, neutral air... etc. etc. - Dash smash, up air, forward air, back air, neutral air etc. etc. Most of his combos are revolved around the above series of combos. Juggling isn't hard to master and is very useful for dominating the enemy, throwing them off the edge and killing them then and there very quickly. Chain throwing -------------- Chain throwing is throwing a character over and over, but in such a way that they cannot escape the grip. Easy damage can accumulate very quickly via this method and Marth is an excellent thrower due to his range and horizontal power, as well as his juggling skills. Chain throwing can be done with Marth in the following ways: - Forward against other Marths - Up against fast fallers - Forward throw, forward throw/backward throw etc. Most of the time, wavedashing will be used to quickly intercept the enemy as they fall to the ground. Spikes ------ Spikes are basically smash attacks, usually directed downwards that send the opponents to death without giving them a chance to recover. Marth has two main spikes; - Smash down - Dancing Blade (down combo) His smash down is powerful, but lags a lot and this can prove dangerous if you miss your strike. The Dancing Blade is slower, but is useful for edge guarding. Countering ---------- Using Counter effectively is an interesting and annoying technique that makes Marth *very* unpredictable. Counter is reasonably easy to use; down B when the opponent is going to attack. But the question is; when *is* the opponent going to attack? Sometimes, it can be hard to tell, other times it is very easy to tell. Most of the time, creating a situation where the enemy becomes predictable is best. Some of these occasions include: - When they are edge guarding Marth - When you are edge guarding them - Standard juggling combos That's about it, really. Marth's Counter generally acts as a disruption attack, the enemy is temporarily thrown off balance while Marth escapes unharmed. Counter is very ineffective against projectiles and throws. It should only be used to confuse the opponent. If it is used mainstream, the enemy will predict it and be able to counter your Counter in their own way. +=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+ VIII. GENERAL METAGAME = [MTAGM] = +=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+ So, we are now aware of the various techniques and attacks important to Marth's game, as well as his individual properties for battle. Now, we need to find out what the general metagame of Marth is. Basically, this means his basic standard strategy, combos and easy ways to kill. Marth, as we already know is a one-on-one specialist. Most of his attacks are very controlling, and he himself is powerful and fast, which is a deadly combo. Combined with his juggling and chain throwing prowess, he is quite the fighter. Let's observe a couple of facts: Aim - Marth almost always will be aiming not to rack up a lot of damage, but to knock the enemy off the edge cleanly and easily. He can do this quite quickly, even 50% damage is more than enough. His tippers are devestating. Offence - Marth's main game involves shuffling smashes a lot, dashing around, and of course his standard arsenal; juggling, chain throwing and the wonder Dragon Slayer. Most of his attacks can be chained with little trouble at all, so make good use of that fact. Simple combos involving Marth's smashes, juggling and chain throwing include: * Chain throw, chain throw, chain throw... neutral air, forward air and so on. * Dash A, neutral air, forward air, backward air and so on. * Tipper, dash A, up air, forward air and so on. The list keeps going in random combos. Toss in the occasional random attack just to keep the opponent on their toes. Counters and Dancing Blade are both reasonably effective at this. Because of Marth's amazing speed, use mind games a lot to taunt the foe into a false move. The number one rule of competitive battling is that the psychological advantage is a major one. Dashdancing, wavedashing, dash counters, parries and so on are perfect ways of being unpredictable. Taunting is also an easy way to piss the opponent off, even though there is a lag period. Defence - We know Marth doesn't have exceptional recovery, but he can be very defensive in a few ways: * Turtle; ie. use grabs a lot and try to annoy the opponent that way * Use his speed to run away, lure the opponent and so on. Speed is a *very* powerful asset when used correctly * Standard edge manoeuvers, such as edge hopping, Dolphin Slash, Dancing Blade and so on Projectiles - A key element of Marth's game is eliminating his weakness to projectiles. There are three important ways to do this: * Go aerial; using Marth's aerial prowess, a player must be able to be very skilled at controlling the air, using flight, unpredictability and dodging to their advantage. Counters are a very viable option here. Jumping around a lot is never such a bad thing anyway. * Shield/dodge; Marth's above average duration for rolling and shielding, as well as his ability to jump shield means that he can quite easily trick the opponent by shielding, trying to bait them into a false move. * Run away; Marth is superior at melee combat. If you can't find a way around the projectiles, try to bait them to come closer to you and gain control of close combat instead. It's a worthy gambit. Parrying is also another interesting option available to Marth; use his sword to hit projectiles away and try to approach the enemy (although they may be baiting you this way). Parrying is quick, effective and easy to do. That's about it really. As said a million times before, Marth is very offensive, but can hold his own quite easily defensively as well. If you *are* playing a team battle, my suggestion is to target one character (as most people do anyway) and whack them to oblivion. Marth is exceptional at flat stages most of the time, because of his great ground combat. He's not bad at aerials, but he is better at groundwork. In a tourney, the chances are the arena is Final Destination, which is perfectly fine. If you have an arena with walls, use them to your advantage to pin enemies there and use the walls as a means of defence as well. Otherwise, Marth should be fine in pretty much any arena. +=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+ IX. COMPETITIVE BATTLING = [COMPS] = +=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+ This section was inspired by a comment that David Juenemann sent me. His exact words were: "If you do decide to update the faq, I know that anyone new to Marth would appreciate just a little more depth on how exactly to play with your friends' minds, as that took me the longest to figure out. Even a little section that states the obvious- to do exactly what the opponent doesn't expect exactly when he/she doesn't expect it; to make sure that you seem invulnerable on the ground, in the air, and to make recovery for the opponent seem impossible- would help a person new to the game tremendously." So, here we go again. This time, I'll go much deeper into explaining a field of play that most people assume you have, or assume that you acquire quickly, or even assume that is too obvious to bother explaining. Competitive battling is not something you learn overnight. It takes skill, dedication, and a LOT of patience; particularly if you are looking to enter competitions/tournaments and so forth. This section will address all you need to know on the subject, so you can go out to any tournament and feel right at home. 1) PRESSURE - Pressure is by far the biggest influence on a match. How nervous or relaxed you are can affect many things, especially in the context of a game where good hand-eye co-ordination skills are a must. Due to social pressure, general pressure and competitive pressure you are more prone to making mistakes. The best way to avoid this or get around it is to participate in many tournaments and SSBM meets to get used to the conditions. Don't worry about anyone ridiculing you and what-not, because that's all part of the game. Eventually, you will get over it and you might even wipe the big smiles on their smug faces. Oh, and the level of pressure faced gets WORSE as you get better - more expectation means that you are placing yourself under pressure. So don't worry about it too much; try to relax and have fun with what you do. 2) THE LAW OF RANDOMNESS - The most effective way of defeating opponents is to be as unpredictable as possible. Once an opponent's strategies are apparent, it isn't difficult to exploit their weaknesses and take control of the game. Use mind games to your advantage. Trick and frustrate the opponent so that they make foolish attempts to attack, and exploit their anger to your advantage. No, this isn't Star Wars. Anger and hate will NOT make you more focused; rather, you'll be more prone to do rash and idiotic attacks. 3) KEEPING YOUR COOL - Keeping calm and thinking straight is a key to SSBM. Once you've lost it, you've REALLY lost it. Don't crack - just give it some time and try to make the opponent do something stupid. If you're having a hard time, just remember that we're talking about a GAME here, and not real life. If you lose, it's not the end of the world. Winning is always something, but not worth getting sulky or unsportsmanlike about. It's a funny thing that if you take your games less seriously, you're more likely to be successful at it. Quite a conundrum, really... 4) GO TO EXTREME MEASURES TO WIN - No, I don't mean go and cheat with an Action Replay device. What I mean is, use all that you have learnt. Any advanced techniques and strategies will give you the upper-hand on any opponent who isn't a seasoned pro. Edge-guarding is NOT cheap, it's part of the game. If an enemy is knocked off, you don't let them come back to safety. It's like real life - would you show mercy to an enemy who would only stab you in the back when they recovered? Hell no. +=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+ X. COUNTER STRATEGIES = [COUNT] = +=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+ Any particular enemy you have trouble taking on? This section can help with individual strategies directed to at least provide *a little* assistance. Sheik ----- Sheik's metagame is all about trying to control the opponent completely, through total dominance via juggling and other combos. Sheik is very tough because she will punish you for every false attack you do (even with minimal lag). Marth has no problem with projectiles, but he must find a way to take control of combat. After that, it's all a matter of timing, because Sheik isn't terribly good at recovery and her knock back resistance and overall defence is not exceptional. I recommend trying to use mind games to your advantage, but don't get carried away, because otherwise you will be down and out before you know it. Fox --- Fox is all speed. Speed to use mind games, bait you, shuffling smashes, SHL, and of course the infamous Shine. Like Sheik, he can easily spell doom for Marth before the player even realises it. But also like Sheik, Fox isn't excellent defensively. Sure, he has good recovery distance and speed, but if you can bypass his blows (which you should be able to) hit him hard and quickly juggle him. Once he is off, he is almost gone. Watch out for the Shine spiking attack as well. If his SHL spamming is pissing you off, take to the air, or even ignore it and simply charge him. Marth has the clear advantage of standard melee combat, Fox is spectacular due to his speed. Marth ----- You can handle yourself pretty well by now. Peach ----- Peach is a... Better not say it. She has amazing recovery and can juggle as well. Marth has the advantage of speed and pure power, however, Peach has a few tricks up her sleeve. The damn Toad is a *annoying* attack that can be effectively used to counter Marth (both characters can counter; yeesh). Peach will be trying to basically distract you with her funny vegetables and at the same time punish you with her juggling. She won't be easy to see off due to her gliding skills, I recommend spiking her just to be certain she won't pull off a miracle. Falco ----- Falco is quite different from Fox. He's slower and a much harder hitter. In other words, he's quite the match for Marth. His SHL will make you flinch, which makes it very difficult and annoying to find a way to hit Falco. It's Falco's perfect distraction and because of Falco's great powerful smashes, Marth will be perplexed. His spikes will hurt, but many of his attacks (B) have huge lag, so at that stage you can pummel Falco for all it is worth. Falco and Marth are *very* evenly matched due to their relatively equal power and juggling skills. Captain Falcon -------------- Falcon is going to use his blinding speed, combined with some good combos including juggling to hit you and send you flying. Marth cannot match his speed, but has the advantage of power. Use your tipper attacks to hit Falcon hard. Basically, if you want to try and trick Falcon, use mind games. Apart from that, just use standard strategy. Samus ----- Samus is fully loaded with projectiles. She can distract you quite easily and while you are thinking about one thing, dash attack you and do some crazy combos that way. Her long grappling hook can be a problem, but the lag is *very* useful, so try to bait her into using it and smash her as hard as you can. Marth has his standard advantage of melee combat, so try to make Samus come to you. Jigglypuff ---------- Rest - comboes - are - insanely - annoying. There's no denying that, Jigglypuff is going to be using them again and again. Annoying recovery as well, *but* there is one answer. Tippers are particularly deadly against the little pink puffball, so use them! Dr. Mario --------- What can be said? The pills are going to be a distraction and his cape will be an annoying unpredictable attack. Try to juggle him and knock him off before he tries to smash you. Dr. Mario isn't particularly fast and Marth has the advantage of priority and power, as well as range. Use them wisely. Ganondorf --------- Sheer.brute.power... Ganonodorf is very resistant to knock back attacks, so you're tippers aren't going to help you *as much*, even though they will help. Ganondorf is extremely slow and heavy, so your best bet is instead of trying to juggle him around too much, use tippers to keep him at bay. Most, if not all of your attacks are faster than Ganondorf, so just keep racking up the damage and knock him right off, before he can do the same to you. He has surprisingly good recovery (Dark Dive, recover, Dark Dive...) so make sure when he is off, he is well and truly off. Mario ----- Very similar to Dr. Mario, so use the same strategy. Mario is very balanced, but that is his weakness as well. Use your strengths quickly and effectively before Mario picks on your weaknesses. Ice Climbers ------------ The team attacks are a pain, but eliminate the subordinate first, so that the Ice Climber team becomes one, crappy Ice Climber that cannot really recover. Luigi ----- COMPLETELY different from Mario or Dr. Mario. Luigi is the master of wavedashing and his annoying 'fart' attack can cause a few headaches. Despite these two advantages, Luigi isn't too difficult; his horizontal Fireball means that he cannot effectively hit you in the air (you can always drop down, jump up and so on). Link ---- Just like Samus, filled with projectiles to confuse you. His strokes aren't half-bad either, some of them are quite devestating. His number one strength is his Spin Attack, because it has higher priority than just about every other attack you can throw at him. If he is spamming it (which IS possible), throw him off track with mind games. The projectiles he uses won't cause much of a problem; the boomerang is no trouble, while the arrows and bombs are annoying, but easy to avoid. If you think you are good enough, catch bombs (if they come your way) and hit Link with them. Otherwise, Link isn't that difficult. Roy --- Roy is in comparison to Marth, sometimes considered better than him for good reason. He has a longer reach than Marth and his attacks are more powerful. His Counter is significantly better due to the high damage and because his sweet spot is in the middle of the blade, he will be connecting better blows more often. He is much slower and heavier than Marth, so you can use that to your advantage. Try to disrupt Roy with a Counter and once you've started juggling him, it'll be over fast. The only problem is if Roy keeps you at bay, because his strokes are STRONG. Donkey Kong ----------- Donkey Kong is strong and can dish out a crap load of annoying damage. His only weakness is that he is slow and heavy and most of Marth's attacks have higher priority (if not equal), so basically keep him an arm's length away from you and tip him. His recovery has quite a nice horizontal distance, so try to spike him if you can. Pikachu ------- Pikachu is fast and can be a bother if you're not paying attention. His rapid attack is one of the fastest in the game and with the odd well-directed Thunder can post quite a threat. His attacks have lower priority (again) than Marth, so tip him to oblivion. Pikachu isn't too hard to toss around, although his recovery is very good. Zelda ----- Everyone will be using Sheik instead. If for some strange reason they are using Zelda (for jump or something), use the lag time in between spells to hit her. Zelda has good recovery, but that's about all (aside from some annoying attacks). Ness ---- Ness is annoying, but not much of a problem. The huge lag time in between attacks will give Marth a great chance to juggle him around, rack up some damage and tip him to death. Not much else to be said. Young Link ---------- Young Link is a crappier version of Link, because he is weaker and slightly faster. His Spin Attack acts as a pinning attack, which can be useful for quick spike kills (off walls and so on). Apart from that, he isn't going to be able to slap you hard, so just hit him where it hurts. If he tries his only *very* competent attacks; the stab up and down (ie. his spikes), just step aside and use the lag time to kill him. Yoshi ----- Yoshi has some interesting smash attacks that can be powerful. Use your standard strategy to tip and edge guard him off. None of his B attacks are all that good, his Swallow is a mere distraction, as is his Egg Roll. Priority gives Marth the distinct advantage. Kirby ----- Think Jigglypuff, without the Rest combo; instead, some random attacks that aren't too effective. Marth can EASILY pummel this little guy. Kirby has lost most of the glamour he had in the original game, with pretty crappy attacks, to say the least. His Swallow isn't bad, but he is overall pretty meh. Mr. Game & Watch ---------------- Mr. Game & Watch can be a nuisance, because he is very good at juggling. With all his random distractions, he can pose quite a threat, surprisingly. He also do a lot of damage with his bucket (that absorbs attacks). Not bad. But then, Marth holds insane advantages of priority, speed, power and range (aside from his BBQ?). Bowser ------ Bowser is tough in the right hands. He is quite simply a tank, but even moreso than Ganonodorf and Donkey Kong. He is heavy, big and slow. His claw attacks are repetitive and highly annoying and many of his smashes are *very* devestating, with easy KOs. What to do? Use mind games. Lure him into a false attack, because the lag usually means trouble for him. Bowser has pretty good recovery, considering his size. Tippers are his bane. Mewtwo ------ This guy is rare to see around, but he is interesting. He has amazing flight and recovery skills, but he is slow and heavy. Most of the time he'll be smashing, especially since he pins the opponent for some time with some blows. His throws are also *very* powerful, so watch out. Most of his B attacks are distractions, but even then some of them are quite the nuisance (Confusion, anyone?). Lucky Marth has his priority, range AND power to back him up. Not to mention, speed. Pichu ----- Shocking. Pichu, the character who damages himself. He is a lighter, slightly faster version of Pikachu, so he is screwed. Tippers will send him off the edge in no time (and I mean that). +=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+ XI. GLOSSARY = [GLOSS] = +=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+ Quick reference for a few SSBM jargon. Air Dodge: Shielding in the air by pressing L or R in the air Chain throwing: Repetitively using throws against an opponent without them being able to escape. Crouch cancelling: Crouching when getting hit to avoid being thrown by the knock back. Dash cancelling: Crouching during a run to stop running immediately. Dash dancing: Jamming the Control Stick left and right quickly to generate the starting animation of a dash, used to confuse enemies. Directional influence: Using the Control Stick to control your movement in the air, as you fall. Disjointed hitbox: Some characters use weapons that will not directly harm them as they hit an opponent (because they are not connected to their body), while others can only attack with their hitboxes (therefore, they are NOT disjointed). Edge guarding: Guarding the edge of an arena from an enemy recovery. Edge hogging: Holding onto the edge of an arena to prevent an enemy from holding on. This is because only one character can hold onto the edge at once. Edge hopping: Jumping while hanging on the edge of an arena over and over again, to prevent certain attacks. Falchion: Marth's sword Fast falling: Pressing down in the air to fall faster than normal. Fox trot: Using dash dancing and dash cancelling to generate a faster movement than normal. Juggling: Repetitively keeping an opponent air-borne to prevent recovery and rack up plenty of damage quickly. Jump cancelling: Jumping out of a dash, or jumping out of a shield L cancelling: Using L or R before hitting the ground to cut down lag time Lag: Recovery time, after attacks there is a time before character's are ready for the next attack. Light Shield: A slightly weaker but longer-lasting shield that is formed by tapping L or R. Power shielding: Shielding right before a blow hits you to reflect projectiles, and take no damage to your shield's durability. Priority: If two attacks clash, this determines which is more likely to hit anyway. Marth has great priority, as do most disjointed hitboxes. Shffl: Shuffling is using short hopping, fast falling and L cancelling to speed up your game. Shield shifting: Moving your shield around to concentrate your defence in one area. Short Hop Laser (SHL): Fox or Falco short hopping and pressing B as they fast fall in order to rapidly shoot. Sometimes, Fox can do a double short hop laster (DSHL). Short hopping: Lightly tapping the jump button (X) or tilting the Control Stick for a baby jump. Smash attack: Holding the A button instead of tapping it in a direction Spiking: An attack that sends an enemy downwards very quickly, giving little to no chance of recovery. Sweet Spot: The area of the blade that inflicts maximum damage. For Marth, it is the tip of the blade and for Roy it is the middle of the blade. Teching: By pressing L or R right before falling to the ground, a character can quickly recover without falling down and having to get up slowly as per usual. Tipper: Hitting with the tip of the blade, in Marth's case. Wavedashing: A faster than normal movement (gliding) that is done by short hopping, immediately pressing R and tilting the Control Stick in the direction of choice (left/right) *as long as it is not exactly 180 degrees*. See Techniques for more details (to learn how to wavedash). +=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+ XII. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS = [SOSME] = +=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+ Q] Is Marth a boy or a girl? A] Boy. Q] Then why does he have such a high voice? A] The Japanese are strange? I have no idea. Q] What are your thoughts on the tiers? A] I think they are about right, I mean there is no reason not to try to justify and rank the characters. But still, in some ways it deters some players from experimenting. Q] I don't understand... A] Check the glossary, otherwise try an appropriate section of the guide. Alternatively, ask on the SSBM GameFAQs boards. Q] I have a much better strategy for... A] You probably do. Send it in if you like, I'll give full credits. Q] Why bother with two other Marth guides floating around on GameFAQs? A] I like Marth. I like Fire Emblem. Besides, another opinion never hurt. Q] Can I post your guide here...? A] See Contact Details. Q] Your attack names are the same as careface's guide! A] Duh. Both are from Nintendo Power. Q] I still can't get the hang of... A] Practice! Practice! Practice! Practice makes perfect. Q] I am better than Ken. A] Sure you are... <_< Q] Roy is better than Marth. A] You're entitled to your own opinions, but I think that Marth is better. Roy has the advantages of being more powerful, having a more convenient sweet spot and having better range. Marth is faster, better at juggling and has more knock back potential. Q] Who are you to write a Marth guide? A] Uh... Nobody? I write guides for fun and Marth is an interesting character. Why not? Q] Who are Marth's counters? A] This isn't easy to answer. I would be leaning towards Sheik, Fox and Falco in particular. Yeah, it bites. All the other top tiered characters are Marth's counters. +=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+ XIII. VERSION HISTORY = [HSTRY] = +=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+ FINAL VERSION Date: 12/04/2006 I've decided I'm perfectly satisfied with this guide, so I'm not going to make changes to it anymore. Any questions are still welcome, but no more additions or corrections to this guide will be made. VERSION 1.1 Date: 01/04/2006 Updated one more time. It's funny that I always seem to update on days that are extraordinary. Maybe it suggests something about this guide...? Happy April Fools, too. Watch out for tricks... There are none in this guide. I just reformatted the entire thing, and added a new section with a few minor changes to the rest of the guide. Special thanks to David, for his helpful advice. VERSION 1.0 Date: 01/01/2006 Happy New Year! Anyway, this guide didn't take long to do. I won't update unless I get a significant amount of e-mails. +=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+ XIV. LEGAL DISCLAIMERS = [LEGAL] = +=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+ According to the Fair Use doctrine, this document can be used for commentary, criticism, reporting and educational purposes only. Profiting from this document is strictly considered illegal. This document cannot be reproduced except for personal or private use. It cannot be placed on any web site or other media publicly without advance written permission. Use of this guide on any web site or as part of a public display is strictly prohibited and a violation of copyright. This document is copyright © Armads/Sealed Lance (Ashwin Suresh) 2006. Any persons who disobey the above conditions shall face punishment to the full extent of the law. All trademarks and copyrights contained in this document are owned by their respective trademark and copyright holders. +=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+ XV. CONTACT DETAILS = [EMAIL] = +=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+ E-mail: email@example.com E-mail is the only medium I will communicate through. No IM programs either. If you decide to contact me, use clear, succint English so that I understand you and what you want. Any chain mails and other inappropriate e-mails such as spam, trolling and flaming will be dealt with harshly. I am generally a nice, reasonable person and I am not asking the impossible, so please bear with me. If you have any feedback at all such as commentary, or constructive criticism, don't hesitate to contact me immediately. Due to factors such as maintenance and convenience, I permit only a selected few sites to host my past, present and future guides. Please understand my situation and I sincerely apologise if you are disappointed for not being able to host my guides. The sites that have hosting rights are: GameFAQs & all affiliates...............................[www.gamefaqs.com] Neoseeker..............................................[www.neoseeker.com] Supercheats..........................................[www.supercheats.com] Under no circumstances can this guide or any of my other guides be hosted on sites other than above. Any such actions are considered breaches of copyright and shall result in action being taken against the group(s) involved. +=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+ VI. IN CLOSING = [CLOSE] = +=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+=-+ The most sincere thanks to CJayC and the GameFAQs team for their ongoing meticulous efforts at GameFAQs. HAL and Nintendo have done a fine job with SSBM, kudos to them. Thanks to the following sources of information: - careface's Marth guide, whom I used the Nintendo Power Official names. I am sure it won't be a problem, as Nintendo Power is an official source. - Compedium of SSBM Knowledge on GameFAQs by mastersword118, the #1 newbie FAQ on SSBM. I myself did not know many terms until that gem of a sticky topic (pinned topic, whatever). - Mew2King's Statistics Page http://members.aol.com/oovideogamegodoo/myhomepage/profile.html Random FAQing resources for other aspiring authors: http://www.rootsecure.net/?p=ascii_generator ASCII Art, anyone? shoecream - The ultimate FAQing resource page was designed by this guy. http://losmonos.netfirms.com/faqs/ Special thanks once again goes out to David Juenemann, who was the main motivation behind this update. He gave me tips for improving this guide. Thanks for the comments too, man! Finally, I'd like to thank my own friends (you know who you are) for forming the Smash meetings we had and personally handing my ass to me on a silver platter at the first meeting. I'll never forget that. Besides that, good luck on your own Marth exploits and remember to practice! ~ Sealed Lance/Armads *=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=* END OF DOCUMENT - Copyright, Ashwin Suresh 2006. All rights reserved.