The 'Shroom:Issue LXXXVI/Brawl Tactics

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Brawl Tactics

by Timmy (talk)

Brawl Tactics

Hey Brawlers, what is up?! Timmy here... Writing his sixth and final article for Brawl Tactics.

Yes, unfortunately, this will be the last article I write for Brawl. I've been very busy with my life due to school, and I'm even going to be busy in the summer as well. Brawl is also reaching its end with the upcoming Smash 4 as well... But, it's definitely been a great pleasure writing for the 'Shroom and being able to express myself. Thank you guys so much for the support! Wouldn't have made it here without you guys!

For my final article, I will be doing it on a character once again... Back then, I covered a general topic, two stages, and now, a third character will be covered. Who's the lucky character? In honor of being revealed in the Smash 4 direct, one of my other mains, and my favorite Mario character ever since I was little, it's Yoshi; the adorable dino rolling into action!

Yoshi may seem odd to pick up at first. Many people easily disregard this dino for his "poor" recovery; which is completely wrong. His recovery is actually quite flexible... If you change your control settings (and not using the Wiimote alone) onto your name tag. Don't know what I'm talking about? Click here to see! He's a very versatile character; he can survive, rack up damage easily and go either in the air or the ground! Like I always say though, not every character is perfect. I'll go over his pros and cons, and bold his best pros and worst flaws.

Yoshi's Pros

  1. Racks up damage and combos very well
  2. Great range overall
  3. Has the largest double jump in the game, and it also has super armor (to an extent)
  4. Very versatile; can go in the air or ground
  5. Can shield pressure opponent with Eggs and Grabs
  6. Surprisingly heavy; doesn't die easily (just as heavy as Wario!)

Yoshi's Flaws

  1. Abnormal shield
  2. Can have trouble KOing
  3. Footstooling and some stage mechanics can ruin his recovery
  4. Egg Roll is a terrible move (leaves him helpless if used in mid-air too)
  5. Doesn't have a reliable way to get down if he's up high

Now, let's go into detail for his best pros and worst flaws.

Yoshi can rack up damage very easily on his opponent, despite Brawl's low hitstun. A combination of his Jabs, pivot grabs, Eggs, and aerials (that's not Down Air or Forward Air due to their lag) adds up quickly. To see how, check out this video (from 17:19 to 17:32). Of course, it also depends on how well the Yoshi player can predict the opponent. Try to come up with your own combos with him, and predict your opponent well! You'll see their damage increase in no time. He can even try to finish off his combo with a Forward Air in hopes of spiking his opponent to their doom, like here (at 28:20 to 28:26).

Both of Yoshi's ground games and aerial games are quite solid; on the ground, he's a fast runner, has a quick and annoying Jab combo (it's excellent for interrupting attacks!), and a great pivot grab to bypass shields and just annoy your opponent to rack up damage. In the air, he's also fast, has a Back Air that hits multiple times and sets up combos (that can continue in either the air, the ground or both), a very good Neutral Air that's also fast, and an Up Air that has great range and KOs.

He can adjust to either the air or the ground depending on the match-up, but it's very easy for him to mix it up and keep his opponents guessing!

He can also shutdown a defensive game quite easily and force you to approach by throwing Eggs across the stage (and in many areas too), and he can also go in with an Egg Lay or pivot grab to bypass your shield. While a simple 7% or 8% from a grab or egg may not seem like much, it accumulates a lot, and it gets his opponent quite frustrated easily!

Yoshi has pretty good range on all his attacks, except for Neutral Air, Up Tilt and Egg Roll. Be sure to use the first two moves wisely!

Fun fact, Yoshi's Egg Lay actually gains a boost in range when playing Subspace Emissary!

Yoshi has the biggest double jump, and a unique one too; it has super armor, to an extent. Super armor is taking damage, but not the knockback from a move. An example would be here (at 2:15). Note how he just Double Jumps through my PK Thunder, but doesn't flinch from it! He can also use it to try to escape some multihitting moves, like Ness' PK Fire or Forward Air. Doing a Double Jump and Neutral Air also helps him win those air battles, most of the time. Of course though, this super armor has its limit; if the hit is strong enough, it will be ignored and he'll take the normal knockback.

Oddly, Yoshi is also fairly heavy; he's just as heavy as Wario, so you'll see him living to high damages. However, this can also work against him; it also makes him easier to juggle. However, with his super armor on his double jump, this isn't a huge problem.

So, he has many great things going for him. But what holds him back? He has a few glaring flaws. The first one is his biggest weakness.

He has an abnormal shield; his egg shield is unique from the others, but in this case, unique is not good at all. He cannot jump out of shield, which is really lame; especially when Brawl is more defensive. Every other character can just shield a hit, then jump and counter with an aerial, or cancel it into an Up Smash or Up Special. Yoshi does not have that luxury. He also lags more when he puts down his shield, and his rolls are very slow as well. So what does this mean for him? He's quite vulnerable to shield pressure, as shown here (from 2:06 to 2:15). That doesn't mean you shouldn't shield with him, but being over defensive and relying on shielding isn't the best idea. The only good defensive option he has, is his sidestep. He's also not too great at approaching from the ground; Yoshi needs space to perform well. You can't play overly aggressive with him, nor can you play over defensive; you need a good balance between the two.

He also lacks reliable KO options; his only real KO move that's reliable is Up Air, which is pretty strong and has good range, but it tends to be susceptible to Stale Move Negation. Neutral Air is his next best option, but again, its power is often diminished due to Stale Move Negation and you need to hit with the beginning of the move (I personally prefer it for combo finishers). His other moves are either slow, predictable, situational, or just lacking that power needed to actually get a KO. His other KO moves are:

  • Forward Air (it's more used for spiking, but even the non-spike hitbox can KO)
  • Up Smash
  • Yoshi Bomb
  • Forward Smash
  • Dash Attack

Forward Air is fairly slow, and it's quite easy to see it coming. You also have to position it correctly to get it to spike. Down Air also works as a weak, multi-hitting spike, but again, it's very slow and predictable.

Up Smash and Forward Smash are simply not strong enough often times to get the KO. Don't bother with Down Smash; its nerf from Melee to Brawl made it more suited for racking up damage. Dash Attack can be used as a last resort option, and it'll obviously work better at the edge.
Yoshi Bomb is somewhat unreliable; you need to hit with it at the beginning of Yoshi's fall, like here (at 2:31). Make sure you don't hit with the wrong part of the move (mainly the stars that come after), otherwise the whole move stales. It's very powerful when landed correctly though!

It's not always easy getting the KO with Yoshi, but patience is required.

Egg Roll (his side special) is a really bad move, that should (almost) never be used. The range is bad, it's very predictable and it leaves him helpless if used in mid-air. It's not even rewarding when it hits either... You also have to be careful to not accidentally use it when you meant to throw his Eggs instead. If you're on the stage and you accidentally activate it, just roll to somewhere safe and exit. The reward is simply not worth the risks.

While I did say Yoshi's recovery is not bad, and actually flexible, you still need to be careful. First thing is you need to make sure your opponent is not above you, to the point where they can footstool off of Yoshi while in mid-air, like here (at 1:45). Secondly, you must also be careful to not hit the bottom of the stage upon double jumping and note the stage mechanics. Some things like Lylat Cruise's tilting, Frigate Orpheon's flipping (at 16:45), or just hitting the bottom of stages like on Final Destination or Pokemon Stadium. Be smart with his Double Jump and Eggs, and be careful to not misclick and do a Yoshi Bomb or Egg Roll by mistake!

Finally, Yoshi doesn't do too well if he's above his opponent; only his Down Air and Yoshi Bomb hit below him, but they're not the safest options; they're predictable, have bad landing lag and the range isn't the best. You could try airdodging past them, but the opponent might bait that airdodge on purpose and then hit you once you're vulnerable.

Now that we've gone into detail over his pros and cons, let's go into his best moves!

Jab: Comes out VERY fast, great to refresh your other moves that are weakened from Stale Move Negation, this is his panic button and it works very well for interrupting other moves and trying to cancel out someone's double jump.

Pivot Grab: This is essential for Yoshi. It's much better than his other 2 grabs (the standard and the dash grab) for being so quick and ranged. His throws aren't so good, but they're all for racking up damage!

Egg Lay: Another essential for Yoshi, it can be used just as well as his pivot grab... But this is a command grab, allowing you to bypass shields, even when Yoshi's in mid-air! The opponent then turns into an egg and is helpless for a bit, but they can get out quicker by mashing. :Note that when you hit the opponent as they're in the Egg, damage is reduced and they don't take knockback. So try to not hit them in the Egg with a KO move, as it will then get stale.

Neutral Air: There are so many good Neutral Airs... And Yoshi's is no exception. It comes out lightning fast, lasts long, cancels out some projectiles (such as Mario's Fireballs, Pikachu's Thunderjolts, etc.), great combo finisher and racks up the damage! If you're not using his Neutral Air, you're playing him wrong, haha.

Back Air: Yoshi's tail swipes four times, racking up damage and it's his bread and butter to start or continue combos. It's very good at keeping your opponent away, and like the Neutral Air, it cancels out some projectiles!

Up Air: A wonderful, quick KO move that has pretty good range. It KOs very well when used up high, at about 110% on a medium weight character like Ness, shown here (at 24:28). It KOs at about 130% on a character like Ness when you're at a fairly low altitude, shown here (at 17:29).

There are also some Double Jump tricks you can do with his Egg Lay and Neutral Air, as I demonstrate in this video!

As for his Final Smash, it's actually not bad! Although it's an inferior version of Sonic/Pikachu's Final Smash, it still gets the job done and will often net you a KO on a normal stage. He has freedom of movement with his wings and can shoot heavy-hitting fireballs. Sometimes, he'll even spew a whole flamethrower that hits multiple times! It's quite easy to use and control, and will get you a KO, if not, give a lot of damage. Be sure to know when it'll end though; you don't want to be way off-stage and not make it back once it's done!

Well, that's all from me, Brawlers! Hope you enjoyed it, and have fun with Yoshi, my favorite dino! Thanks for all the support you guys have given me; it was definitely a pleasure writing up these articles and sharing my love for Brawl!

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