The 'Shroom:Issue LXXXVII/Brawl Tactics
What's up, Brawlers! By now I'm sure most of you have heard about all of the new additions to SSB4. I know I have, and let me tell you, I wasn't expecting Pacman to be on the roster!
I digress, however.
Before I begin this month's issue, I have an announcement to make. As you all know, my compatriot Timmy left the column last month, and I'll definitely miss working with him. After he left, I talked with my editor overlords of the 'Shroom, and we've decided that this is the last issue of Brawl Tactics that will be published in the 'Shroom. It's been such a pleasure writing for you all, but since the new games will be coming out soon, Brawl will cease to be the most relevant topic to discuss, and this column will as well. Don't worry, though, once the new games come out, we will open up a new column and have auditions for it. If you think you might like this position, give it a shot! I don't know if I'll be back anytime soon, since I don't have a WiiU yet, and I'm not planning on getting the 3DS version, so if this is my last section for a while, I wanted it to be someone very special.
Which brings me to the fighter we'll be taking a look at this month! For a twist, I have decided to re-cover the very first fighter I covered, my favorite Brawler, Meta Knight!
Meta Knight has been both praised and scorned in the Brawl community for his unique and sometimes unbalanced skillset. He's usually in a tier of his own when tiers are made for the game, and it's not hard to see why. For starters, he's incredibly fast. He's no Sonic or Captain Falcon, but when you combine his speed with his attacks, he's even more dangerous than the former, especially if you're just using a standard attack. All three of the fighters from the Kirby Series have auto-spam attacks that are incredibly fast and hard to get away from when you get caught in them, and Meta Knight is no slouch when it comes to this, either. He's probably the weakest of the trio from Dreamland, but with his speed, he'll make up the lack in power by dealing as much damage to you when he attacks you faster than you can dodge. Meta Knight fights like a hack-and-slash character- you need to get close to your opponent to do any damage to them, which can be both good and bad at times. Getting close will get you more opportunities to attack while also leaving you open for attacks.
For a character they developed to be so ungodly unbalanced, the developers had to give Meta Knight some big flaws to try and balance out the burliness. The most obvious one is his fall. After you use any special attack, Meta Knight will become unable to recover until you touch the ground. You can't jump, attack, or even move past trying to move him to the left or right in the air as he's falling. It's incredibly annoying when you're struggling on a stage with moving parts or if you're on a side- or top-scrolling stage when you have to stop and land, especially if you miss the stage completely and fall to a KO. I've seen it happen to even the strongest computer AI, and I've had it happen countless times to me while I'm playing. The less noticeable flaw is his weight. Meta Knight, like Kirby, is one of the lightest fighters in the game. Surprising, I know, given how big they are in this game. If you're not careful with your opponents, one or two really good hits will send you flying off the stage, to the point where it's pretty hard to recover and get back on your feet.
Onto the Special moves! Meta Knight's Standard Special is Mach Tornado. This super-fast move can be spammed two to three times, and it can move around the stage and up into the air. For best results with this move, use your standard A-attack to get your opponent close, then spam this move a couple times. The problem with Meta Knight's moves is that they aren't very strong, so you need to get a few combos going in order to deal some damage to your opponents.
Side-Special: Drill Rush! Meta Knight will drill to the side, dealing damage to anyone in the way. Like Mach Tornado, this attack can be steered around. Use this in a combo with Mach Tornado to keep dealing damage to your opponents when they get close. You can drive this attack into the ground or you can angle it up into the air. It's a pretty quick move, but make sure you've got a landing area in mind!
Up-Special! Shuttle Loop! Meta Knight's recovery move can be one of the trickiest ones to get right, honestly. The direction you're facing REALLY makes a difference here, because it could be the difference between grabbing that ledge or flying into the side of the stage for a KO. After you've pulled off the initial move, you can glide until you run out of steam if you need to buy yourself a little more time. Although this move is good for a recovery move, using it for an attack is even more fun. You can get a lot of launch power out of the beginning of the loop, actually, you'd be surprised how far you can send you opponent flying by using this move first. The only problem with this is that you lose time while you're pulling off the loop, time that your opponent can use to get away from you.
Meta Knight's Down-Special is Dimensional Cape. I'm going to be honest, I still don't have a lot of experience with this one yet. This move just makes me nervous to use. If you're daring with it, go right ahead. Me, I think I'll stick to running around and try to get more practice in on the side.
Final Smash time! Galaxia Darkness time! Like the rest of Meta Knight's moves, this one requires you to get close and personal before cutting your opponent to ribbons. But did you also know you can use this move backwards? If an opponent is standing right behind you, you can sometimes get them with the back of Meta Knight's cape as he swings it. Nice, huh? Like I've advised before, you need to have at least 40% damage on your opponent to get any real effect from the blow, I'd even say 60 or 70% for heavier foes. This smash will deal 40% on it's target, and 18% damage on all others fighting, including any teammates you might have on the field with you, in addition to a truckload of launch power that would put the Fireworks Cannon to shame. So do be careful out there!
That's it for me this time, Brawlers! It's been a pleasure writing for you, and I hope someday we'll meet again! For now, I'll go back to slamming computer opponents with Meta Knight and hoping that horrendous lag time doesn't ruin any more online battles!