my advice to getting good at smash is to play lots of matches against competent zeldas

all of my smash bros technique comes from being gay and studying chihayafuru

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@witchfynder_finder actually the secret is to lose fewer stocks than your opponent, girls is just a good technique for doing that

@jellyfish_link Ah, now I see what I have been doing wrong, I thought it was the other way around

@witchfynder_finder i jest but it's amazing the number of "elite smashers" who think the secret to smash lies in mastering technical combos and not simply not losing for longer than your opponent

@witchfynder_finder but i mean this is where we get into philosophical disagreements

there are four ways the score can change in a game of smash:

1. you best your opponent
2. your opponent bests you
3. you fuck up
4. your opponent fucks up

the mentality of “winning” generally implies a game of 1 vs. 2, you best your opponent more than your opponent bests you. but you can also play a game of 4 vs. 2, or 4 vs. 3, or 1 vs 3. the point is that it doesn't matter. the game does not care how stocks get taken, it only cares whether you lose fewer of them than your opponent. that's the secret.

@witchfynder_finder the reason why it is important to play against girls is because girls, especially like Samus and Zelda, play by game sense, which is something most smashers do not understand and hate going up against. if you can master game sense and get good at not losing stocks against those sorts of characters, you are putting yourself in a position of strength going up against whatever captain falcon who only knows how to combo and punish without any sense for the spirit of the game. just imo, i'm not a competitive smasher or anything, fuck those nerds

@jellyfish_link @witchfynder_finder is "game sense" approximately equivalent to "neutral"?

(also, that flowchart captain falcon probably doesn't have good footsies either. even if he's got advantage during neutral but hasn't hit you yet, you still should be able at least reset to neutral with some care, and Samus with a charge shot could probably skip straight to advantage out of there.)

@bb010g @witchfynder_finder no, game sense is being able to sense the game, i.e. anticipate the flow of battle and consistently “guess right”

@bb010g @witchfynder_finder it makes smashers mad to go up against someone with good game sense because they consider it “cheap” and “hax” to understand the game

@jellyfish_link @witchfynder_finder if i'm understanding you correctly, what you're describing could be broken down to a couple traditional fighter concepts? ( is a decent general FGC glossary.)

you're playing zoners. zoners want to control the pace. you're happy hanging out in neutral a lot, and poking to get your damage in and wait for good openings. an opponent playing rushdown gets more out of winning netural, but has worse netural tools. "scrubs" often quip as such.

@jellyfish_link @witchfynder_finder I also don't know a good term for this, but a player can know tech & have good execution, but have crappy neutral, footsies, knowledge of which combos to apply where, and just a generally poor mental game. you'll get fancy-looking scrubs who can waveshine all day but fall apart between combos. melee has a lot of players who hate jigglypuff because she just forces them to think differently.

@bb010g @witchfynder_finder look i don't wanna front like i know better than people who have been playing fighting games professionally for years BUT to me this is all missing the point because words don't win games either. it's like describing a painting by enumerating the individual brushstokes. like technicals are important but it is my opinion that Fighting Game Discourse misses something (several things) by focusing exclusively on them. what is the *philosophy* of a fighting strategy. what is it *saying*. from which school of thought did this descend. what emotions does it stir. like i guarantee you any traditional sports person, you go up to them and talk about their strategy and the plays they are making, and they will have answers to those questions. that's what i mean by sense and flow. it's not a matter of “you have X type of player so your strengths are Y and your opponent’s strengths are Z and here is how you press advantage / zone neutral / whatever”. you can't convey those things through a vocabulary list or an instruction manual, you can only get them through a supportive environment of playing lots of games.

short that, play competent players who choose bad fighters, because they’re probably onto something.

@jellyfish_link @witchfynder_finder fair. i'm also bad at talking about this. if you go back in the literature and read stuff like Playing To Win ( ), you'll find pretty good coverage. and i absolutely agree on this stuff only becoming useful with practice. (i took a pretty long break from platform fighters and am right now Bad at ultimate, when i at least used to be Mediocre.)

@jellyfish_link @witchfynder_finder however, I still think there's value in using the vocabulary i brought up; you can get your ass beat and not get much out of it. recommending a character is good, but your "game sense" is (intentionally?) really broad. a lot of ultimate's girls fit your description, but hints on where to focus are good while learning.

(platform) fighting game terminology *snip* 

@jellyfish_link @witchfynder_finder overly comprehensive example, but what you're talking about i think has approachable language. bits of coverage that can help solve disconnects between your intent and your payed matches.

you're laying back and looking to bait your opponent into overextending or flubbing, trying to not get hit. you'll have neutrals, and they'll probably last for a while. (cont.)

(platform) fighting game terminology *snip* 

@jellyfish_link @witchfynder_finder you're playing the person, learning what they want and how they tend, and they'll be doing that too. opportunity to introduce conditioning down the line. (how do others read you, and try to influence your decisions?) in neutrals you'll get a feel for stage control—think about where you can hang out, where your opponent ends up hanging out, and where they keep trying to go.

(platform) fighting game terminology *snip* 

@jellyfish_link @witchfynder_finder when you trade control over parts of the stage, how do both of you adjust? can that be exploited, to immediately press, set up for later, or use long-term? "momentum" is rather self-descriptive, but it's something you can watch for in any situation and try to learn to manipulate or more fully lean into.

@jellyfish_link @witchfynder_finder but all of that, as you said, is only useful in combination with playing a lot of games against players that preferably have good fundamentals.

tools to think about your (fighting game) thinking can be a great help when you're fighting worse players, though. (somewhat like putting yourself through drills, which is an old concept.)

@jellyfish_link @witchfynder_finder ah, okay. so, in traditional fighting game terminology, would that be "reads" or "yomi"?

@bb010g @witchfynder_finder strictly speaking probably, but i mean it not just in the sense of just reading your opponent but also reading the match itself. advantage/neutral/disadvantage is such kindergarten terminology when like, it's not just whether you “have advantage” but also HOW, what your options are within (dis)advantage, and again. advantage doesn't win games. what wins games is losing fewer stocks than your opponent. advantage is just one technique for achieving that.

@jellyfish_link @witchfynder_finder absolutely; there really are a bunch of different varieties from matchup to matchup

there's a beautiful diagram from Sethlon's old PM Roy guide kinda on this

@jellyfish_link @witchfynder_finder on this too, competitive Smash's timer decisions are cultural

Melee's & Ultimate's timers are both really long for winning by timeout (zoner character or not) compared to traditional fighting games

Stumblebee has a good video on the importance of timers in fighters (~11 minutes):

and Melee Stats recently put out a video on how Melee in particular *strongly* dislikes playing to time (~30 minutes):

@jellyfish_link @witchfynder_finder being happy keeping your stock lead with Zelda and just moving around means probably up to ~5 minutes of the other player waiting for the game to officially be over

(during which, they'll probably start to crack and you can straight up take a win, but games can run *long*)

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Elekk: Gameing and Other Delightful Pursuits

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