The 'Shroom:Issue LXXVI/Brawl Tactics
Hello Brawlers, welcome to Brawl Tactics. I'm Yoshi123, but you can call me Timmy if you'd like. FunkyK38 and I will alternate on Brawl Tactics bimonthly from now on. This is my first time writing up an article (which will be fairly long), so don't be too harsh, alright?
Now, I'm not going to cover any specific characters or stages in this, but I will cover a general topic in Brawl: getting a KO.
You know how sometimes you can struggle to get that KO on your opponent? Well, there are some factors in getting that KO. Here's a list of them:
- Opponent's damage
- Opponent's weight
- Stage position
- The power/knockback of your move
- Opponent's ability to momentum cancel
- Stale move negation
Let's go through all six of these one-by-one.
- Your opponent's damage is a simple factor. The higher their %, the farther they are launched. If you think one of your moves won't score a KO at their current %, more often than not, it won't kill. The solution is simple: rack up some more damage on them, and then try to go for the finishing blow.
- Your opponent's weight is another simple factor, and that varies from character to character. Let's say I tried using a Smash attack on Bowser and Jigglypuff at the same time at about 90%. Jigglypuff is far lighter, so she'll take more knockback and will most likely die, whereas Bowser is heavier so he won't get launched as far and has a higher chance of surviving. Against heavyweights, you need to rack up some more damage on them, then you can try to go for that kill!
- Stage position is important as well. It's easier to to get a KO on the side by launching opponents horizontally, rather than sending them flying across the stage from left to right, is it not? On some stages, it's easier to score a vertical KO if the stage's ceiling is low or you're close to the ceiling (such as Halberd or Battlefield's top platform), rather than launching them upwards from the bottom of Hyrule Temple.
- The power/knockback of your attack is a simple factor as well. Some moves are meant for other purposes (such as starting combos or catching dodgers), rather than killing. Some examples are Mario and Luigi's up-air, or Peach's down-air. They won't really kill unless your foe is at an extremely high %, so they're better suited for combos.
- Some attacks have sweet-spots, where the attack is stronger during a certain time or a certain position of an attack. Some examples are the tip of Marth's sword attacks (where the sweet-spot is), or hitting with the beginning of Luigi's neutral-air (the beginning of his air kick). Always watch where and when you're hitting with your attacks.
- The fifth factor (which is somewhat complex) is momentum canceling. When your opponent is launched, they can't directly decrease the knock back, but they can change the angle they are sent at, do their character's quickest aerial to regain control quickly, and fast-fall, allowing them to increase their endurance to survive. For example, in this video at about 12:53, note how I angle my character to be launched upwards, do my quickest aerial, double jump and fast-fall. That's how some people have the endurance to survive a long time.
- The final factor to this is stale move negation. The game keeps track of the last nine moves you hit with, and if any of them are repeated, the move's power decreases in BOTH damage output and knock back. So if you failed to KO with a specific move, you have to avoid hitting with it for another ten moves. However, you can intentionally stale weak moves, such as jabs, grabs/throws, projectiles, or whatever else. If you hit with a multiple hitting move with any part (such as Ness' PK Fire), the whole move stales and only counts once in the stale move chart. Moves with sweet-spots stale completely regardless of where or when you connect with it. Note that moves also stale if they hit other things, such as Smashville's balloon, King Dedede's minions, etc. So it's always best to keep your moves fresh, because you're not getting a KO if your moves are stale. If you're using a KO move for other purposes, make sure you have other moves to kill with.
- While this is not exactly a factor, don't be reckless for a kill. It makes it easy for your opponent to see what move you'll try to kill with, so they can dodge with ease and you will end up being even more frustrated trying to get a KO. Just wait at the right moment, then unleash your attack and get the kill!
Although this was rather long, I hope you Brawlers enjoyed reading this edition of Brawl Tactics with me, Timmy! I'll see you next time, and get those KOs for victory!
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