Falco Fridays #2

18th September 2015

Welcome to the second edition of Falco Fridays! Last week we looked at Westballz Vs. Hungrybox and I’d like to thank everyone who expressed interest in the Falco Fridays concept and to the people who reached out to me on Twitter and WordPress to comment on my writings and suggesting games for this week. Today is going to be PPMD Vs. Mango, two absolute titans of smash playing at SKTAR 3 in the winner’s finals.

I really like the way PPMD uses his grabs here. Whilst Falco has a relatively easy time getting grabs due to his lasers, his throws can sometimes be awkward to follow up on, upthrow often being the default option. Against spacies the backthrow can chaingrab but the opponent can DI downwards to escape this, but if we only do a single backthrow it’s very likely that we can regrab. Upon regrab PPMD chooses to downthrow and I wonder if it’s because he expect’s Mango to be DIing downwards to escape the expected chaingrab, instead getting shined. I commented last week on Westballz’ use of downthrow and how much I liked it to catch people off guard however Fuzzyness raised a good point that the NTSC downthrow behaves differently to PAL, the version that I play and so I’m going to need to experiment with it. Something I may toy with against spacies is backthrow upthrow, with the possibility of squeezing in a second backthrow against a player less respectable than Mango.

Fox the ragdoll
Fox the ragdoll

Stay down
Stay down
 The double lasers are great for edgeguarding and I’m a huge fan of them myself. They’re safe and they just cover a lot of options, if your opponent wants to jump they eat a laser, if they want to go for a fast side-B they eat a laser and if they want to drop below the stage and attempt to jump to the ledge we really don’t mind that either. For Falco it is so easy to edgeguard someone if they are recovering from below, we have down-air, downsmash and the forward-tilt twinkle toes so if we’re even vaguely near the ledge whilst they are recovering then we have an option.
How not to recover. Falco has a less than ideal recovery and Fox has a lot of edgeguarding options and so we have to be very careful and think a lot about how  we recover. Entering our up-B close to the stage like this is a huge no-no, our flames do not even have a hitbox unlike Fox’s and so this kill is completely free for Mango, a complete stock donation. A side-B onto the platform was an option, side-B to the ledge or even shortened side-B shenanigans would have been better. Mango may have been able to do something about all of these recoveries but it’s better than instantly dying.

Seeya!
Seeya!

Into the abyss with you
Into the abyss with you
 Backthrow down-air is so cheeky but I love it. The best part is that you’re completely free to attempt it and if it doesn’t hit then you’re still in a good position.
Upthrow Forward-smash, amazing. PPMD executes this whilst Fox is at around 30% and it all seems to line up perfectly if you have the reaction time to read the DI. There’s a chance Mango could have jumped out of this but it looks more than solid enough to attempt which I will be doing. It looks pretty slick too which is always a plus for a Falco main.

So cool
So cool

Some forward-air love
Some forward-air love
 So forward-air forward-smash is something a lot of Falcos have been using in recent years but when you’re carrying them to the edge of the stage, a brilliant but less obvious choice is the down-smash. The down-smash has good knockback but what’s really important is how awkward of a position it puts the Fox in, it sets up for an edgeguard that’s almost impossible to fail.

And so PPMD takes the set three games to one over Mango with some really crisp, well-practised methodical play. The last thing I want to touch on with PPMD is how he comes across as such a fast Falco and it’s because he is always on the move! He’s never not doing anything, and when there is nothing for him to do he is dash-dancing to stay unpredictable. This constant movement forces the opponent to keep thinking because with the dash-dance comes the possibility that he could dive in or he could throw a move out, not to mention that with Falco being such a momentum based character it’s nice to have your fingers constantly moving.

As always if you have any suggestions for next week’s Falco Fridays then post them below!

A winner is you!
A winner is you!

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