Falco Fridays #5

9th October 2015

Welcome to the 5th installment of Falco Fridays! Last week we looked over a game between Westballz and The Moon and this week I wanted to look at some Falco/Sheik action. It’s a recent game taken from The Big House 5 and is between Westballz yet again, and Swedish Delight. Those that have seen this set will know that Swedish Delight performs very well in this set and so I wanted to look at how he was able to compete toe to toe with a player such as Westballz, and how we Falcos can use this to better our play and understanding of the matchup.

Westballz loses his first stock via some reckless recovery choices. Being off stage or on the ledge against a Sheik is always going to be a rough spot to be in, but there are things we can do to try and increase our chances of survival. Given Sheiks original position here Westballz could have firebird stalled once or twice, or tried an invincible ledge dash. If by stalling we can get the Sheik to move out of position a bit then that’s something we can use to recover.

No birds allowed
No birds allowed

Personally, I prefer the air
Personally, I prefer the air
 Sheik is pretty great at controlling spaces  above her. Her back-air hits surprisingly high, her forward-air can clip through lower platforms and even her neutral-air is sort of high. Fighting Sheik could be compared to playing against a Marth in that perhaps it’s wiser to be beneath them. After all, Sheik’s available hitboxes beneath her are quite poor, her down-air certainly doesn’t threaten us given our up-tilt and back-air. It’s the grounded Sheiks that are scary, the airborne ones… not so much.
The more I play, watch and write about Falco the more I appreciate simply spacing back-airs. With Sheik on the ledge we can short-hop just out of forward-air range and as soon as she shows her face quickly hit her with Falco’s swift metallic leg.

All I do is bair bair bair no matter what~
All I do is bair bair bair no matter what~

Don't go over there!
Don’t go over there!
 Westballz chooses to do a side-B here that costs him his final stock. Again, being between Sheik and the ledge is very dangerous. She has all the tools she needs to kill a Falco from here, if the player is good enough you will die pretty much every time. Whilst Westballz could have perhaps survived by mixing up his recoveries slightly differently, the biggest thing to take from this is to just avoid the situation entirely. We may not always be able to prevent it but we can choose not to go there by choice.
Here is a great example of it being safe to chase a Sheik in the air. Westballz lands a triple up-air one after another whilst the Sheik doesn’t really have answers for it. She could throw out a down-air but it’s slow and easy to react to, and her other aerials do nothing in this situation. Should Sheik have been at a slightly lower percentage, full-hop down-airs work fine and lead to some relatively simple tech chases.

Up, up and away
Up, up and away

The triple scoop
The triple scoop
 So Sheik’s tilts are pretty good, and with improper DI this Falco could be you. Forward-tilt can be a difficult one to handle but DruggedFox’s blog suggests that Falco can shield the tilt and then punish it with a wavedash shine. I’ve not had chance to attempt this myself but I look forward to seeing it being implemented in pro-level play. If the Sheik pressures your shield with jabs, just shield-grab!

And that’s the set, Swedish Delight upsets Westballz 2-1 with some impressive modern Sheik play. Swedish Delight played amazingly well in the neutral, spacing lots of forward-airs which hit more often than not and covering as many options as he could at all times. Westballz’ approaches were handled excellently, whilst his punishes were good he wasn’t given the chance to set them up too often. Westballz did get a few ins by slowing the game down ever so slightly and spacing back-airs wisely as well as some laser approaches. Swedish Delight seemed to be a constant threat during this set, always covering something and when in control really pushed his lead, often taking a stock from one victory in neutral.

  If you have any suggestions for next week’s game then do link me in the comment section below or on Twitter @Lexi2Pro. If you think I missed something interesting or want to call me out on something I’ve been wrong on, just get in touch!


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