The 'Shroom:Issue LXXVIII/Brawl Tactics
Hello Brawlers, welcome back to Brawl Tactics once again with me, Timmy! This is my second article, and I'm glad many of you enjoyed my first one! Expect this article (and many of my future articles) to be long as well!
Well, this time around, I'll be covering a specific character! So who's the lucky character? I'm covering the famous damsel in distress, Princess Peach! There's no time to get kidnapped during the Brawl, and this princess is more than capable of handling herself!
Peach is THE most unique character (to me anyways) in Brawl. Why, you may ask? The answer is her ability to float. This ability came from Super Mario Bros. 2, and it functions the same way in both games; Peach can extend her time in the air. This simple, yet amazing benefit is what makes Peach's playstyle so unique. Of course that's not to say she doesn't have flaws; just like every character in the game. First, let's see what her pros and her cons are. I will bold the best pros Peach has, and the worst flaws that she has.
Now, let's explain the bolded pros/cons in detail, and non-bolded ones as well, although the latter do not require as much explaining.
Peach's float is a godsend. It can make her difficult to hit, it greatly helps her aerial game, it definitely aids in recovering horizontally, but the BEST benefit has to be allowing her to essentially perform aerials on the ground. Float keeps her opponents guessing, and with her amazing aerials and great ground game, it's not surprising if she catches you off-guard. How do you do aerials on the ground? Well, it's simple! When you hit the jump button, press down on your control stick quickly. This allows her to choose what height she floats at, and doing so can help you move around with such precision. It also makes her unaffected by terrain, and as long as Peach is floating, she can do aerials with an item in her hand. This goes along well with doing aerials with a turnip in her hand, because she can play some serious mindgames with it. Her float lasts for about 3-4 seconds, and to regain it you have to land on the ground again, and letting go of the jump button or using a Special move will end the float early. To sum it up, Peach's ability to float is essential.
Peach is one of the few characters who can combo despite Brawl's very low hitstun, and the go-to move for comboing is Down Air. Since heavier characters take less knockback, they're much easier to combo. Down Air combos into MANY other moves, as shown here at about 0:53 (and there are many other examples shown in here as well), and she will get you to a high percent before you know it. That's not to say that Down Air is her only move to start combos with... Down Throw can lead into a Forward Tilt, which can then lead into an Up Tilt. Up Air can keep your opponents juggled at low percents, and Up Tilt is great for finishing combos.
A projectile is always good to have, but an item projectile you can throw an anytime is even better. Turnips may not seem so powerful, but as said earlier, when using them in conjunction with aerials while floating, it gives her an edge over the rest of the cast. She also has a very slim chance of pulling up either a deadly turnip (which does around 36%), a Bob-Omb (note that it cannot be caught by either Peach or her opponent once it's thrown, so beware), a Beam Sword to grant her awesome range, or even a Mr. Saturn to deplete a shield.
Peach's shield pressure game is awesome. Since Brawl is more defense oriented (thanks to low hitstun and low shield stun), normally you get punished by your opponent for attacking their shield. Well, when her attacks are placed correctly, it can be difficult to counter-act against Peach. Peach can break a shield easier than you think, as shown here from about 1:20 to 1:48.
Peach has more than enough distance covered horizontally with her float and Parasol. Peach Bomber and her second jump can help in recovery too, but the former has some lag, which isn't really the best option. However, take note that with her Parasol, she cannot grab the ledge facing backwards UNLESS it is closed.
Peach's range overall is pretty good, though her Frying Pan, Up Smash, grabs, Neutral Air and first hit of her Jab can come up short in range. Make sure you know what you're doing with these moves!
To sum up Peach's inability to kill, you MUST be PATIENT to score a KO with her. It's easy to say that her KO ability got nerfed pretty badly from Melee to Brawl.
Peach is not winning any awards in terms of speed or endurance either. Her speed is rather lacking, both in the air and the ground (not too bad compared to some others though), but she also falls slowly, which can make landing a difficult task sometimes. She's also one of the lightest characters in the game, so don't be surprised if you die with her at low percents. Being a tall target doesn't do her any favors either, and her crouch is nearly useless.
Her vertical recovery is not so great either; having the shortest double jump in the game doesn't help, and her Parasol doesn't reach too high (was buffed from Melee though). As said earlier, another unfortunate thing about her recovery is that the Parasol will not allow Peach to grab the ledge facing backwards UNLESS it is closed, so be wary.
Forward Tilt: Another great ground move, this move is a pretty fast one, and it's relatively powerful as well! It's good for combos at low percents, and is a decent killer. The sweetspot of this is the beginning of this move, not the delayed hit. Note that it sends your opponents upwards, so you may want to try this out for killing on a stage with a low ceiling, like on Halberd! Just beware of the ending lag.
Up Tilt: Peach's brand new Up Tilt, changed completely from Melee, is an awesome move! With her magic, Peach's hand produces a heart. While the knockback is rather awkward (as in, at low percents, it doesn't necessarily combo that well, and it kills relatively late), this is her anti-aerial move. It's fairly quick, and thanks to its awesome range, it is capable of countering EVERY Down Air in the game. This is her go to move if your opponent is above you, and a great way to finish a combo.
Neutral Air: Peach twirls her hands around, for such a long time. This move is PERFECT to catch someone who is sidestepping or rolling, and even when shielded, it eats away a good chunk of their shield. It's also an extremely quick move, and can save Peach from getting combo'd herself. Only downside is that the long lasting duration can leave you vulnerable if you miss, and the range isn't the greatest, but it's still an awesome move.
Forward Air: Peach's most reliable killing move. Don't let it get weakened from Stale Move Negation around KO percents. It's relatively slow, but it packs quite punch. Great at killing horizontally, and at low percents it's good if you need to keep your opponent away from you.
Back Air: This can be seen as a mix of Peach's Neutral Air and Forward Air; it lasts long, has the middling range between the 2 moves, it's relatively quick and it's fairly powerful!
Down Air: As said before, this move is INSANE for comboing. It's Peach's best move for racking up damage, and it leads into many other moves! Get creative and make your own combos with this move! It's relatively quick, and if your opponent is at an extremely high percent, the last hit can kill, but again, it's much better suited for combos.
Turnips: Obviously an item projectile is good, and your opponent will have the mentality to avoid getting hit by the turnip once they see it in your hands. You can either throw the turnip, or go in and float with an aerial. They're also great for interfering with recoveries; you can repeatedly throw turnips until they die. Don't forget about that slim chance of getting the deadly turnip or 1 of the 3 items mentioned earlier!
However, smart players stay airborne or on the ledge; they'll just take the damage and then heal off from the peaches once it's over. Even if they do fall asleep, Peach can't guarantee herself a KO unless she grabs a powerful item in the meantime, or they're in the position to get hit by a sweetspotted Up Smash on a platform above her, and note the Up Smash range only hits up to the height of the left and right platforms of Battlefield. She may as well just heal up in this case.