Falco Fridays #4

2nd October 2015

Welcome to the fourth edition of Falco Fridays! Last week we looked at a game from Zhu and Baxon as they played for pride in an intense Falco ditto but this week we turn our gaze once more to Westballz. This week’s game comes from CEO 2015 and Westballz is against The Moon in a loser’s top 8 game, both players on the verge of being eliminated fom the tournament.

A big combo to start off the game but notice that Westballz gets all of this from a shield-drop. Marths are usually very comfortable beneath those lower platforms, free to up-tilt or up-air as they please but if we can shield-drop reliably we can strip this character strength from them and actually punish. Shield-dropping is something I intend to invest time into myself, Westballz moreso than other Falco players really showcases how powerful of a technique it can be.

Surprise shield-drop
Surprise shield-drop

Killing me softly~
Killing me softly~
 Soft back-airs make for an elegant down-air setup. From centre-stage Westballz gets this by reading The Moon’s roll and chasing him with Falco’s generous full-hop. Marth’s weight makes him a great target for this but if we’re savvy enough with our percentages then the whole cast can be victim to back-air into down-air.
Back-air into back-air is fine too. I love this against Marth because it’s easy to get, after the first back-air has landed the Marth has very poor aerial options, all of them leaving him feeling vulnerable. Falco’s jumps are high and swift which makes this extremely hard to react to. We can implement this into other matchups as well, Peach having similar struggles against it and versus heavier opponents the second back-air is often a read against their use of double-jump.

Do people still say 'sex-kick'?
Do people still say ‘sex-kick’?

"Just roll so I can kill you"
“Just roll so I can kill you”
 Everybody knows Yoshi’s is great for Marth but why do so many Falco’s like it too? Because as Marth gets his easy tippers on those lower platforms, we get easy strong back-airs and even up-tilts with good spacing. As soon as The Moon hit that platform he was as good as dead, it’s effortless for a Falco in this position to punish any of Marth’s options.
Lasers lasers lasers! Here The Moon is a stock down and seems pretty intent on staying near the ledge, and as one of the most easily gimped characters in the game we should immediately be suspicious. Westballz uses the length of Dreamland to harass The Moon with lasers in order to draw him out of his comfort zone and hopefully commit to an unsafe approach.

Pew pew pew!
Pew pew pew!

BombSoldier we salute you
BombSoldier we salute you
 Final Destination, another stage favourable to both Marth and Falco. Marth of course has his chaingrab and Falco gets these long, Bombsoldier-esque pillar combos as demonstrated by Westballz here. Lots of down-airs, lots of full-hops with no pesky platforms to disrupt anything. Racking up percent with some old-school strategies Westballz finishes it with something more modern, the Mango. A fade-away down-air on The Moon’s shield baits out the shield-grab leaving him vulnerable to being blasted in the face with a forward-smash.
Laser-resets are even more satisfying to land than jab-resets, the punishes you can get from either of them are so exciting. The Moon doesn’t tech here and he ends up paying for it, and look at his percentage: he’s at 99%! A jab reset from the rest of the cast wouldn’t have been viable but Falco’s lasers are delicate enough to wake Marth up slowly, just in time to be forward-smashed.

Wakey wakey
Wakey wakey

A 3-2 victory for our Falco playing Westballz this week, progressing forwards through CEO 2015’s loser bracket. I found the neutral game from both of these players to be mesmerizing, when Westballz had control he didn’t let go or give The Moon room to breathe and similarly when The Moon had control he really did have it. With two strong neutral games the result was all about who got the biggest punishes and quickest kills and there’s no shame in losing to Westballz on that front. The final score of 3-2 really reflects how both players performed during this set, at points The Moon looked stronger and at other points Westballz seemed more dominant. A close set and a fun one to watch!

 If you have any suggestions for next week’s game then do link me in the comment section below! You can also follow me on Twitter @Lexi2Pro

Frame-perfect handshake into hug
Frame-perfect handshake into hug

All donations go towards sending me to Smash tournaments!

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