Saturday 26 July 2014

Goals in SSBM -- An Intro to the Player vs Player Elements of the Game (pt. 2 of 2)

Part 1 can be found here.

Small article I wrote on a goal-oriented approach to decision-making in SSBM. This section deals with some of the benefits to goal-oriented play that weren't explicitly addressed in part 1 and also goes into a bit more detail when we observe the interactions that occur within a combat sequence. Part 2 of 2.

So to pick up where we left off with Frog last time, we watched a short clip of M2K vs Dr. PP from APEX 2013 where PP predominantly used Falco's laser, safe aerial approaches, empty jumps, and dash dance --> grab / laser to control & condition M2K's options near the edge until M2K eventually gave up on winning from that position and rolled for the middle, resulting in PP gaining a huge combo.

Once we'd discussed that clip sufficiently, I wanted to go over one more clip in order to complete the lesson on goals. This deals with some of the benefits of goal-oriented play that weren't addressed in the first half, and the match analysis focuses a bit more on minute combat interactions rather than playing against a base gameplan (i.e. how to play against Marth's grab as Falco). So there's a bit more of a focus on situational factors (percent, which way a character is facing, etc).

I only hope you find this as helpful as Frog did. Enjoy!!

---- Cue Conversation ----

i put on an old game of me vs keasta
where i just kind of aimlessly throw out moves
and thinking about it, i should get punished for stuff like that

TBH the issue isn't always you get "punished" for it in the traditional sense of the word
Rather, the greater risk is that you don't get the advantage you could have gotten by doing something that addressed your opponent

im definitely limiting myself if im spending time in lag

in times where im throwing out senseless aerials
i could be like
repositioning myself
or just straight up using the gun


not like a dmg punish but kind of punishing myself
by limiting what i can do
raaaa this game is so complicated

Not effectively using your opportunities so you lose potential advantage is a form of self-inflicted punishment, yes.
This is probably a big shift from how you're used to playing.

you could say that again xD

I warn you. Once you begin down this path there's no real turning back.

i HAVE to try, im not afraid of failing, just afraid that one day im gonna look back at this whole smash thing and say to myself, maybe i could taken it further

On the bright side, something nice I can say about this kind of play...
When I realized you *could* play this way...
Is that I realized this is definitely the funnest way to play SSBM. 
Well, at least for me it is haha.
This is one of the first big steps on your journey to being good at this game.
Welcome :)

haha thank you
tomorrow im going to try and find that spark you were talking about
i feel like i could REALLY use that right now. Also i gotta stop with all the caffeine
i feel like thats having a huge influance on how i play as well...
hopefully tomorrow when im totally sober ill be able to just sit down play and apply some of this
but yeah i should really get some sleep, got a long subway ride tomorrow morning  
see ya there?

One more small exercise
You mentioned Peach


Watch for about 16 seconds

So, Peach
We're gonna get into a bit more detail with her because Peach is a bit more complicated than Marth
And because it helps build the context of what's happening in the clip
To start, PP is at 102%
What do you think Peach's goals are right now
In terms of what attacks she wants to hit

grab forward throw is one

Armada would u-throw combo but that's just splitting hairs
Grab, yes
That's 1

nair bair or fair would do the trick, fair i think is the best at this point tho cause its so fast
i mean

You're smart
And as always...


We must factor in d-smash

So PP lands next to Armada
Armada and PP have their backs to each other
Look what Armada does
Oh, look, it’s that nair we figured he'd be fishing for

peepee holds this shield, in anticipation of the nair


in that situation, 10/10 times i would go for the backair
peepee has no fear

Because blocking there protects him from all of the scary Peach aerials and on occasion the d-smash Armada can do to kill him

He is over 100% near the edge as Falco
Armada is mercifully shielding with his back to him
So he doesn't have to worry about grab
Armada's choice to protect himself from PP immediately attacking him has eliminated grab
And the shield also reduces the likelihood of d-smash so
All that's left are aerials
PP's shield there effectively addresses all of Peach's options
Neat, huh?
And because Armada swings first, PP gets to lock him down with some lasers
Because floating above Falco's laser height is one of Peach's goals in the matchup for position

hes protected himself against all of peach's goals by being patient in shield, knowing armada is probably hungry

So he keeps Armada from being able to jump OOS into float by aiming the laser high to catch his jump OOS
And he gets a nair for his troubles


Armada then blocks so PP pokes his shield
And gets out of the way ASAP
In doing that motion he is covering his roll in

because of that other goal peach has
the grab

He's baiting for a grab
Covering a roll
And when Armada does neither, he jumps in with an aerial and lands behind Armada and blocks again
Armada bairs OOS into PP's shield

and after armada bairs his shield he punishes

Right. PP then acquires a free bair
PP then lasers Armada out of his high float to force him down
Fails to hit a dash dance grab on Armada's landing
Then blocks again
Armada swings with a SH back nair
PP punishes this with WD back > dash JC grab
It's insane how much mileage he gets out of that stock by simply knowing that Armada wants to put him away and playing to that

that grab puts peach in an awkward spot, pp missed those high lasers after tho

Falco vs Peach is a very interesting matchup because it's such a control-heavy game
Peach is resistant to a lot of Falco's naturally strong suppression tools
In that matchup you maintain advantage by playing around your opponent's goal in a situation
Peach's ability to nair to break certain combos gives her a way out of combos, yes
Her ability to float over lasers give her a way to work around his ground control
These little extra tools she has that she can actively go for
You have the opportunity to play against
And you will be rewarded for countering those successfully

so even tho i cant rack up a 200% combo
if i just start to look for these oppertunities
i can rack up my dmg elsewhere

You can just abuse her by controlling her combo break options

by just trying to understand what the peach's goals are
based on whats happened

It's a combination of what her best moves are in a situation
Which you'll know if you understand the matchup
Or at least know the basics of the matchup
It's also partially habits, which you've noted too
Because the pilot matters

Why isn't Armada going for dash attacks?

because it won't combo or kill?

You're learning :)
I think that is enough for tonight
When you're more comfortable with this stuff tell me
Then I'll give you the next lesson
Night Trevor


  1. Wow, this is unlocking a lot of gates in my mind, I'll keep this in mind for tomorrow.

  2. I'm a competitive Halo player, and I think analyzing on-the-fly your own goals vs your opponents goals is an amazing way to look at things. Can't wait to implement this!

  3. Hey dude, you should make videos.
    This is the kind of stuff people wants.

  4. Hey KK,

    Do you think that you could do this for more movement based characters like Fox, Marth, Falcon or Puff?

  5. Wow this post really helped people like me who always uses the same options and not taking into consideration the goals of our opponents. This really helps!

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