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    • vVv Bagzli

      We have moved to Discord   08/04/2016

      There has been a strong desire among the community to migrate to Discord for quite some time. As of today, our community will be using Discord and as a result, we will no longer be actively using our TeamSpeak Server.  The TeamSpeak server will temporarily stay active to help inform all of our move to Discord. Within the next couple of months, it will be shut down completely.  For a quick invite to our new Discord server, you can click here.  
      For a full detailed guide visit http://www.vVv-Gaming.com/Discord
    • vVv Bagzli

      Supersonic Series Season 4!   09/24/2016

      Supersonic Series Season 4 starts on Monday, October 10th, 2016   vVv Gaming is proud to present the return of the Supersonic Series!  Unique game nights each week will allow teams and individual Rocketeers to bring their A game and level up their gaming skills!  Whether the goal is to improve teamwork, find suitable opponents, or just acquire valuable feedback on how to improve one’s gameplay, these events will accomplish just that!   Quick Facts: Supersonic Draft is every Monday at 7:30 PM EST. Supersonic Showdown is every Thursday at 7:30 PM EST. Supersonic Showdown will be factored into the RLC Power Rankings! Supersonic Showdown will be streamed, Supersonic Draft will not (unless we find more casters - interested? click here) Supersonic Series Rules & Regulations can be found by clicking here. To register for the tournaments visit www.vvv-gaming.com/rocket-league/register on the day of the tournament If you are late to check-ins via our Discord Server, you will not get to play.  Don't be late. To stay up to date with Supersonic Series, follow us on Twitter @vVv_Gaming Scroll to the bottom of this post to learn more about becoming a vVv Gaming Community member or how you can join our staff Season 4 will last 8 Weeks, which will be followed by a Season Finale which will be the 9th Week of the Series Supersonic Draft Season Finale will feature top 24 players based on the Solo Leaderboard from Season 4 Supersonic Showdown Season Finale will feature top 8 teams based on the Team Leaderboard from Season 4   Supersonic Draft When: Mondays at 8PM EST (5PM PST)  Check-in starts at 7:30PM EST and close at 7:45PM EST
      Where: vVv Gaming Discord Server: http://www.vvv-gaming.com/discord/invite  (Discord Guide: http://www.vvv-gaming.com/discord/guide)
      Format: 3vs3 - Double Elimination Tournament. Best of three in the winner's bracket and best of one in the loser's bracket until the last two matches which return to best of three. Style: Captain's Draft - Captains are chosen at random (see Registration section for more details) and each captain picks their team-mates. Captains will take turns picking their teammates in a “snake-style” (A, B, C, C, B, A) draft until all teams have 3 players each. Participating with friends is encouraged, however, there is no guarantee that you will be on the same team. The captain’s name will be entered into the Challonge bracket and will be used to represent their team.  Voice channels will be created for each of the teams on our Discord server. Registration: Visit http://vvv-gaming.com/rocket-league/register on the day of the tournament to register.  While signing up you will be able to volunteer to be a captain.  If there are more volunteer captains than the total number of teams, the captains will be picked at random from the pool of volunteers.  If there are not enough volunteer captains, then the remaining number of captains needed will be chosen at random from the remainder of players.  


      Supersonic Showdown When: Thursdays at 8PM EST (5PM PST)  Check-in starts at 7:30PM EST and close at 7:45PM EST
      Where: vVv Gaming Discord Server: http://www.vvv-gaming.com/discord/invite  (Discord Guide: http://www.vvv-gaming.com/discord/guide)
      Format: 3vs3 - Double Elimination Tournament. Best of three in the winner's bracket and best of one in the loser's bracket until the last two matches which return to best of three. Teams are pre-made by the players. Style: Pre-made Teams Registration: Visit http://vvv-gaming.com/rocket-league/register on the day of the tournament to register.
       
      Participating as an individual: After filling out the signup form you will be in a free-agent pool. To ensure your participation in the event, you should be seeking out other free agents to form a team.  Another alternative is to seek a team that only has two players and join their team for the evening. If you do not have a team by the end of check-in period, you may not be able to participate.  If this is the case, contact an admin and seek help with finding a team, please only seek help after attempting to form a team on your own.
       
      Participating as a team: After filling out the signup form above, your team is all set. All you need to do is show up in the discord server during the check-in time.  If you are seeking a third player for the evening, you can view the list of free agent players signed up at http://vvv-gaming.com/rocket-league/register and contact them to be part of your team for the evening. If you are unable to acquire a third team member on you own, then please show up on the Discord server at least 30 minutes prior to the event starting and seek help from a Supersonic Staff Member. Reminder:  Solo participants do not earn points towards the season finale tournament.  We strongly suggest putting a team together to sign up with!  Feel free to use our discord chat to find teammates.    Point System
      You will receive points for your participation in each tournament.  These points will determine the top 8 teams from Showdown  and the top 24 players from the Draft. The first tournament finale will be hosted for the top 24 players based on the individual scores from Supersonic Draft event.  The second tournament finale will be hosted for the top 8 teams based on points earned during Supersonic Showdown nights. Keep in mind that participating in Supersonic Showdown event will earn Team Points, participating alone earns you no points.
       
      Breakdown: 2 points for participating 2 points for every match won in the Winner's Bracket 1 point for every match won in the Loser's Bracket 2 additional points for placing 4th 4 additional points for placing 3rd 6 additional points for placing 2nd 10 additional points for placing 1st   Join vVv Gaming
      Become a Community Member If you are looking for an open and supportive community filled with e-sport fanatics that you can game and socialize with, then you should fill out an application and join vVv Gaming Community.  Being part of vVv Gaming Community is about being part of something more than yourself; It is about playing games with friends that are supportive and honest; It is about meeting up in person at LAN events; It is about making a difference in each other's lives and making a difference in e-sports. If this is the type of community you seek, then click here and fill out your application.   Become a Staff Member Working for an online gaming community has many rewards.  It is a good place to kick start your career in gaming, whether you are looking to become a business major or a community manager.  You will learn new things and acquire transferable skill sets that you can use to build your resume.  If you would like to get involved and help with running of Supersonic Series or other events, please visit our jobs page for more details: http://www.vvv-gaming.com/jobs   Supersonic Staff If you have a question, just reach out to one of our event administrators via Discord or private message via our forum. 
       
      Event Administrators:
      Mohulis, Bliss, Cherp
        For more information on vVv Gaming and to stay up to date with events that we host across various games, visit our website at http://vvv-gaming.com,  follow us on twitter @vVv_Gaming, join our Discord server at http://www.vvv-gaming.com/discord/invite or join our Rocket League Steam Group at http://steamcommunity.com/groups/vVvGamingRL   To join the discussion, click here!
    • vVv Bagzli

      Supersonic Series Stacks Up to Support the Troops   11/07/2016

      vVv Gaming Joins Forces With Stack-Up To Support The Troops     We believe that all gamers, regardless of skill, have a place in competitive gaming. We also believe that great things can come from competitive gaming and the communities that support it. As such, starting today, we are joining forces with Stack-Up in their missions and dedicating the Supersonic Series to the troops. Our goal is to help Stack-Up raise money to fund their missions. Each dollar that is donated goes directly to Stack-Up to support their cause. We invite you to join us in our mission by watching our stream, playing in our tournaments, and donating towards a greater cause: supporting the troops through gaming.  
      Stack-Up's Mission   "Founded in 2015, Stack-Up (TAX ID: 47-5424265) brings both veterans and civilian supporters together through a shared love of video gaming. With the motto: 'Veterans are our Mission. Gaming is our Passion', Stack-Up serves US, NATO and ANZAC veterans through three primary programs: The Stacks, Stack-Up Supply Crates, and Air Assaults." With one of their programs, Stack-Up assembles "Supply Crates" filled with video games and nerdy goodies which are sent out to veterans in combat zones, on humanitarian missions, in recovery hospitals, and sometimes even bases located stateside.  They strive to help improve experiences of service members while they are deployed; instead of focusing on how many days of deployment they have left, Stack-Up encourages them to be participating in video game activities with their battle buddies.  It isn't just about having fun either!  Scientific studies have shown that video gaming can help veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, stress, and even pain relief!  
      Donation Page

      You can watch vVv Gaming events live on our Twitch channel.

      Please come to watch and show your support!
        Stack-Up Information Website
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Cheese (former vVv)

Genesis

This past weekend I headed out to California to attend Genesis, an international Smash tournament. Players traveled from all over the US, Canada, Japan, Europe, and even Australia to compete.

This was not a good tourney for me competitively, so I'm going to gloss over my actual matches.

Genesis, though, was about more than Smash. It was about having an amazing time with like minded individuals. Smashers rented out an entire hotel. Yes, every single room was occupied by Smashers. We partied, we hit the pool, we ate together, and most importantly, we bonded.

Let me just try and sum up my Genesis experience, and hopefully the amazing time I had can be conveyed.

I flew into SFO Thursday morning, and was picked up by a good friend of mine, falln. We'd never met in person before, but he drove miles out of his way and took me to the Smash hotel with him. That's the brotherhood that is Smash. We headed to In N Out, near the hotel, and while sitting there, Smashers continued to show up until the entire restaurant was almost entirely full of Smashers.

After eating, we headed to the hotel, where we met up with lots of other Smashers and got some solid practice in. We spent the rest of the day meeting lots of people and playing with people from all over the world. We headed to sleep relatively early and were excited for Singles Pools the next morning.

We showed up Friday morning at the venue, warmed up, and singles pools began. After a poor performance, I squeezed through to the second round of pools with a third seed. After some more friendlies, doubles pools began. Teaming with falln, we played very well, and took second seed to one of the top teams on the West Coast.

That wrapped up day 1 of Genesis. Some partying and practice later, it was bed time.

Waking up very early the next morning was rough from being up late, but a quick breakfast had me off to the venue by 8:45. When I arrived it was time for the second round of singles pools. I ended up getting fourth seed by just a one game difference. That knocked me out of the singles tourney, and i was disheartened.

Not long after the failure that was Singles, the venue closed for a bit for setup. Since there were hundreds of Smashers outside, a giant game of Sharks and Minnows broke out, with everyone playing. It was a great experience, both Brawl and Melee players coming together and just having fun.

The venue reopened after a while and crews began. Crews were a battle of the coasts, East v West. West Coast won Melee crews on the backs of their Ice Climbers players. Brawl crews came down to an incredibly close game between Atomsk and Gnes. Gnes edged out Atomsk by one stock, winning the crew battle for the West Coast.

Once again, it was back to the hotel for partying and practice. Exhausted from the day, it was another early night. Sunday morning brought doubles bracket first. Once again, I turned in a lackluster performance, and falln and I went 0-2.

Then the hype started: Singles bracket!

Falln v Rain was the first set for a Japanese player. Falln tried to keep up and made it a close set, but Rain's aggression proved too much to handle. Rain's MK is unbelievable to watch. It's aggressive and safe, which is in sharp contrast to the typical American playstyle which is far more defensive, and often relies on timing out opponents.

Rain's aggression continued to pay off as he 2-0'd mikeHAZE, one of the West Coast's best players and a "Meta Knight Slayer".

If you can't tell, I love Rain's playstyle!

Rain fell to Gnes and Krystedez, the latter likely because of his unfamiliarity with American stages and the Wario metagame.

Matches in Melee were extremely exciting. Armada v Hungrybox came to within just 1% of damage! Melee matches are always more exciting than Brawl when it devolves into timeouts. Mango v Taj was an absolute style fest, and Mango v Armada came to game 5 last hit and Armada barely edged him out. There was more hype in just those few matches than all the others through the weekend combined!

Genesis was about more than just competing. Watching great players compete is incredible. I loved every moment of being on the sidelines! Sometimes, not worrying about personal performance and just enjoying where you are and who you're with is the best thing you can do!

Cheese (former vVv)

Hey vVv,

I figured I'd start a blog series about my tourney performances. I'll give a match-by-match breakdown of each set I play. This is mostly for my personal improvement, but if people like it, that's cool. I'll try to keep the "Smash Talk" to a minimum, but basic knowledge of the game will probably be needed to understand some of the concepts. I'll include videos when I can, unfortunately for MLG Dallas, there are none because of the stream/recording issues. Sorry about that.

Due to my seeding, I had a bye Round 1.

Round 2: vs Fogo (King Dedede)

I didn't know who Fogo was going into this, so I sort of assumed this would be an easy match for me. Bad idea. Turns out he's a formerly amazing player who hasn't been playing much. Usually players like this are unfamilar with the Ice Climbers matchup, because there's not a lot us running around. Once again, wrong-o! His King Dedede was really good! Game 1 starts on Smashville and almost immediately, Nana is gone and I'm confused as hell. Fogo takes out SoPo pretty easily, and I'm starting to get nervous. I respawn and get the grab, but drop it after some good damage. I manage to finish off the stock without getting to kill percent, so I feel better. Next stock, Fogo gets a good grab early and takes out Nana. Now I'm sweating. I remind myself I'm a smart player and don't need grabs to win, so I manage to play safe and poke at Fogo and get off his entire stock as SoPo. I put in a bit more damage after he respawns with a few up-airs, but get Chain Grabbed and lose my stock. Almost immediately after respawning, I get a grab, but drop it early. After a bit more poking at each other, I get another grab and finish off the game. He counterpicks me to Battlefield and I get a great start with a lot of pokes, but once again, he separates Nana, but this time, I manage to get a great save, and a grab, taking his stock. Some pokes later, and he's at high %, I get a grab, and take his stock. Fogo is not discouraged though! He makes an awesome comeback and takes off two stocks without losing one. Unfortunately for him, I do get a grab, play safe, and hobble off his last stock for the game and set.

Round 3: vs Zaxx (Pit)

I'd never heard of Zaxx before, so I had no idea what to expect going into this set, except that he played Pit. Game 1 was on Battlefield, and I got 3 quick and easy grabs on him, for a 3-stock. He seemed to not know how to handle the matchup. He counterpicked Rainbow Cruise, I switched to my pocket Meta Knight, and 2 stocked him, advancing to Day 2, still in winners.

Round 4: vs UTDZac (Mr. Game and Watch)

Now this was the match I'd been waiting for. UTDZac is arguably the best Game and Watch player (up there with Vinnie, from my region). I felt very confident going into this match as I have tons of experience against Game and Watch. My confidence was majorly boosted during game 1 (on Battlefield) when I got a nice early grab, and a lead. I played cautiously and poked him away using blizzard to space and uair to punish, and get a solid percent lead before dying to a smash. After I respawned I got an early grab and got some damage in, but dropped the finisher, allowing him to put decent percent on me before his stock was knocked off. I respawned, took a bit of damage from well-spaced bairs, and finished his stock with a grab. After he respawns, I trip into one of his smashes, which kills Nana, and lose SoPo shortly after. After I respawn, I get a quick grab, and take game 1. For game 2, he counterpicks Rainbow Cruise. I get an early grab, but drop it, and he gets off the first stock using the moving portion of the stage. I manage to take off his first stock while I'm still on my second, and survive to the boat, which is where the Ice Climbers do best on Rainbow. I put UTDZac in a bad position on the right side of the boat, he trips, and I capitalize with a charged smash, killing him at a very low percent, and I feel great! He respawns and quickly seperates Nana, and in my attempts to save her, I lose my stock. We're about even when the climb on Cruise comes, which is the worst part of the stage for the Ice Climbers. Despite my attempts, he manages to gimp Nana, and then put me in a bad position where I could not safely recover. He racks damage and takes off my stock, and thus the game, with little effort. I counterpick Smashville, and get off to a terrible start. I get an early grab, but drop it quickly, and take tons of damage from his pokes. I attempt a dash grab read, but Nana trips into his downsmash, killing her at low percent. He takes out SoPo quickly, as well. I respawn, poke, and make an up-smash read, evening the match. I get an early grab, but drop it, again. He takes advantage of this, and kills Nana quickly, and then Popo. I respawn, get a grab, and even up the match. He plays very safe and pokes me to a high percent. I finally get a grab when he was at very low percent, but I choke the transition to a chain grab, and he uses his downair to punish, killing nana, and then taking out SoPo. This was a very frustrating loss. I was headed to the Loser's Bracket.

First Loser's Bracket Match: Steeler (Pokemon Trainer, Wario)

I'd never heard of Steeler before, and when I heard he used Pokemon Trainer (a low tier character), I was ecstatic. I needed a mental break from the frustration of losing to UTDZac just minutes before. And then the match started. First game was on Battlefield. His squirtle took out my entire first stock without batting an eye. I was stunned. I managed to refocus, and get two grabs, the second of which ended in a kill. Then came Ivysaur. Ivysaur is generally regarded as a joke. This Ivysaur? Not so much. He very nearly manages to remove my whole stock. I eventually got two grabs (one of which I dropped), and get rid of his Ivysaur. His Charizard comes out, and despite the fact that the Ice Climbers usually take care of Charizard with no problem, he gets my stock off with an up-smash and a well-timed rock smash. Kudos to him. I respawn and quickly dispatch the Charizard, but now that scary Squirtle is back. I get a grab, but can't finish it. He kills nana, but not before I get him to high percent. I manage to knock him offstage, nearly gimping him with SoPo, but he barely recovers and makes it to the ledge. I nervously charge a smash at the edge, and he uses his getup attack, trading with my smash, and he dies. This game was heart-pounding. He counterpicks Brinstar, forcing me to use my pocket Meta Knight. He switches to Wario, and deals with my first stock easily. I manage to pull a slight lead back, but he up-airs me early and I die. With the stocks even at one a piece, I try to play very safe and deliberately, doing little bits of damage when I can. I get a bit aggressive as the game progresses, and end up using my tornado too low, and am unable to recover, ending the game. I counterpick Smashville, and get a VERY early grab on his squirtle, taking off his whole stock within the first 45 seconds of the match. His Ivysaur comes out, and manages to get me offstage long enough to get his Charizard out. He takes off my stock with Charizard. I respawn, and get a chain grab that ends in a spike at the edge, bringing his Squirtle in for his final stock. His squirtle nearly takes off my whole stock without being touched, but I powershield one of his forward airs, and chain grab him nearly to death. I drop the grab at high percent, but manage to finish him off without losing my stock. Steeler really impressed me.

Second Loser's Round Match: Larry/DEHF (Falco)

The Ice Climbers are one of Falco's two very bad matchups (the other being Pikachu). That said, Larry is one of the best players in the world. I was confident, but not cocky. The game starts on Smashville, and I manage to grab him twice early, but drop both. He does some fantastic spacing with his aerials, separates Nana, and kills her. I'm shocked. Larry makes short work of Popo. I respawn, and get a platform cancel grab to end his first stock. He respawns, get some laser and illusion damage in, but I get another grab! Of course, I drop it. And the next 4 or so. He takes my second stock off. I get another grab after respawning, drop that one too, and finally, after taking more damage, get his stock off. The final stock is a blur. I grabbed him several times, but couldn't finish any of them, and he wins. I counterpick him back to Smashville, determined not to choke like I had game 1. That didn't happen. I dropped so many grabs I almost lost count. I worked myself to an early lead, but it was all for naught when I choked on a two stock lead, dropping tons of grabs. He defeated me 2-0, and my tournament was over.

I placed 25th.

And that concludes my MLG Dallas tournament. The tournament itself, of course, goes on to be one of the best in Smash history, with amazing upsets, Sonics going insane and placing top 8, and all sorts of nutty happenings. It was an amazing experience, but I am disappointed with my placing beyond words. Dropped grabs killed me more than ever. I'll need to practice extensively to improve my consistency.

If you guys have any comments or suggestions about this or potentially future blogs, I'd love to hear them! If you need clarification on anything, let me know.

Cheese (former vVv)

I'm going to be commentating on and sending some of my matches to the vVv youtube channel. I'll try to get at least one game from each tournament I attend (if I'm able to save replays!). I'm an Ice Climbers main, so a lot of the matches will obviously be my Climbers vs another character. However, if there's any specific matchup someone wants to see, I'll see what I can do for you. I appreciate comments, critiques, and the like. If you have any questions, please ask. I'd love to help you!

My first match is up. It's from KOTC, 7/17/10. Myself v Nairo, ICs v MetaKnight

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ezsot8VHQlI

Cheese (former vVv)

Well, since I'm a smash player, this blog will obviously be focused mostly on smash and fighting games, but I'm sure a lot of it will apply to other gaming genres, as well.

In any situation, in any game, one only has so many options. There is a limit on how many different inputs one can enter at any given time. Becoming aware of, and applying this can greatly improve one's gameplay. The amount of different inputs varies from game to game, but we'll focus on smash here. If both players are grounded at neutral position, each of them can do any of the following:

Jab

Forward Tilt

Down Tilt

Up Tilt

Forward Smash

Down Smash

Up Smash

Grab

Neutral Special

Over Special

Up Special

Down Special

Shield

Roll

Spot-dodge

Jump

Dash

Do Nothing

Gee, that seems like a ton of options! How could you possibly KNOW or CONTROL them all?

So you can get a visual representation of this as we go, I'll consider Marth's moveset at neutral position, and cross out options as we reduce them.

You can usually knock off about half of the options on the list from neutral immediately. But you must KNOW which options can be ignored. For most characters, doing most of those moves from neutral position is a terrible idea. No competent Marth will throw out a counter (down special) from neutral, and any good Falco main will save his Up Special for another time. These are just two examples, no need to get overly specific here! So you can get a visual representation of this as we go, I'll consider Marth's moveset at neutral position, and cross out options as we reduce them.

Jab

Forward Tilt

Down Tilt

Up Tilt

Forward Smash

Down Smash

Up Smash

Grab

Neutral Special

Over Special

Up Special

Down Special

Shield

Roll

Spot-dodge

Jump

Dash

Do Nothing

Some characters have blatantly BAD moves that should never be used (or only in VERY specific situations). Some examples of this are King Dedede's jab, Jigglypuff's Up Special, and Mario's Down Tilt. So, if you're playing against a character with a blatantly bad move, you can knock that off the list.

Jab

Forward Tilt

Down Tilt

Up Tilt

Forward Smash

Down Smash

Up Smash

Grab

Neutral Special

Over Special

Up Special

Down Special

Shield

Roll

Spot-dodge

Jump

Dash

Do Nothing

So, now that we KNOW some facts, we've cut some options off that list.

Next, we can use some advanced KNOWledge to remove some more options off that list! Does a character have a move that serves the same or similar purpose as another? Well, most likely, your opponent will use the better option! Is Marth going to jab me when he can jump -> Forward Air or Forward Tilt or Over Special me instead? Probably not.

Jab

Forward Tilt

Down Tilt

Up Tilt

Forward Smash

Down Smash

Up Smash

Grab

Neutral Special

Over Special

Up Special

Down Special

Shield

Roll

Spot-dodge

Jump

Dash

Do Nothing

Laggy moves are the next topic of discussion. You're not going to throw out a move with 20 frame of lag when your opponent is sitting right there ready to punish. So anything with huge lag is generally not going to be used out of neutral! Look at how much we KNOW now!

Jab

Forward Tilt

Down Tilt

Up Tilt

Forward Smash

Down Smash

Up Smash

Grab

Neutral Special

Over Special

Up Special

Down Special

Shield

Roll

Spot-dodge

Jump

Dash

Do Nothing

Evasive moves are GENERALLY a bad idea from neutral position. They have lag, and move you predictably (or give you lag in place, in the case of a spot-dodge), so generally no good player will use an evasive movement from complete neutral.

Jab

Forward Tilt

Down Tilt

Up Tilt

Forward Smash

Down Smash

Up Smash

Grab

Neutral Special

Over Special

Up Special

Down Special

Shield

Roll

Spot-dodge

Jump

Dash

Do Nothing

We're already down to 10 options from 18! And this is just because we KNOW some basic information!

Now, some Smash specific information: Grabbing is a terrible idea at neutral position. Walk up grab, dash up grab, and standing pivot grab, while great mixups, are not (for most characters) a usual option. We won't eliminate grab just yet though, because grabs in Smash are very powerful. Dashing limits your options severely in Smash, creating another, much simpler, one of these scenarios. As such, I won't discuss dashing in-depth in this blog, maybe some other time. The more you KNOW! Jumping, too, obviously creates an entire (nearly equally complex) new scenario. I'll get to aerial options at some point, though maybe not in this blog.

Now, 10 options is obviously a tremendous amount (and this is just for ONE character from neutral grounded!). I'm a pretty good player, and I can't handle 10 options at once. Good thing we don't have to! For simplicity, we'll pretend we're in a Marth ditto on Final Destination, so the opponent's options are identical to yours, and the stage is perfectly flat. Remember, I'm generally using "the best option" for my examples, and in a game, using a worse option is a good idea sometimes, because it can confuse your opponent (this is referred to as a mixup, for those of you that don't have fighting game experience).

If our opponent walks up to us, and ftilts, you can easily shield or powershield on reaction, meaning you don't need to THINK he'll do it, if you see him do it, you can easily stop him. On powershield, you can hit with nearly any attack, and on regular shield, depending on ISSDI (don't worry about this for now!) and spacing, you can punish with different attacks, generally jump -> Forward Air, Over Special, or Down Tilt.

Jab

Forward Tilt

Down Tilt

Up Tilt

Forward Smash

Down Smash

Up Smash

Grab

Neutral Special

Over Special

Up Special

Down Special

Shield

Roll

Spot-dodge

Jump

Dash

Do Nothing

We still haven't done anything, and look how much smaller his list of options is now! Marth's Down Smash is generally used out of grab release on certain characters, or to punish a predicted roll. I have never, in all my Smash experience, seen a decent Marth walk up to anyone and Down Smash. The nature of the move has Marth swing in front of, and then behind him. As such, if the front swing whiffs, you can punish it heavily.

Jab

Forward Tilt

Down Tilt

Up Tilt

Forward Smash

Down Smash

Up Smash

Grab

Neutral Special

Over Special

Up Special

Down Special

Shield

Roll

Spot-dodge

Jump

Dash

Do Nothing

Marth's Up Tilt has a narrow hitbox is generally used to hit opponent's behind or above him. We're neither here, so let's get rid of that!

Jab

Forward Tilt

Down Tilt

Up Tilt

Forward Smash

Down Smash

Up Smash

Grab

Neutral Special

Over Special

Up Special

Down Special

Shield

Roll

Spot-dodge

Jump

Dash

Do Nothing

Marth's Neutral Special is used to assist in recovering, and if he predicts a shield that has any damage on it, Neutral Special with shatter the shield. However, it's laggy, and has a long, obvious startup. In most cases, nobody will throw this move out in neutral, unless trying to set up a special spacing situation or bait something. For the purposes of this blog, though, we'll ignore advanced uses of moves. So that's another move out!

Jab

Forward Tilt

Down Tilt

Up Tilt

Forward Smash

Down Smash

Up Smash

Grab

Neutral Special

Over Special

Up Special

Down Special

Shield

Roll

Spot-dodge

Jump

Dash

Do Nothing

We're already looking at only 7 options, and it's all because of what we KNOW. Doing nothing doesn't hurt us, and keeps the situation neutral, so we'll knock that out, because I'm trying to keep it simple.

Jab

Forward Tilt

Down Tilt

Up Tilt

Forward Smash

Down Smash

Up Smash

Grab

Neutral Special

Over Special

Up Special

Down Special

Shield

Roll

Spot-dodge

Jump

Dash

Do Nothing

So, we basically know our opponent will try to Down Tilt us, Grab us, Over Special us, hold his Shield, Jump, or Dash.

Even 6 options is too many for my taste, and we know all we can about the neutral position. I guess we'll have to stop some of them. Time to CONTROL our opponent's options. Let's throw up our shield as our opponent's draws closer. We don't need to consider our opponent shielding as well, because that causes a reset to neutral, and leaves us right back where we were. One more option out. One special attribute Marth possesses is the ability to throw out an Up Special Out of Shield that is invulnerable. This means if our opponent touches our shield within range of the Up Special, they take damage. This means that doing anything laggy or without long range on our shield is a terrible idea. Good players know this, and will avoid it. So that means Over Special and imperfectly spaced Down Tilt (a perfectly spaced down tilt allows Marth to get his own shield up in time to avoid the Up Special Out of Shield). You'll have to take my word for the purposes of this blog, that dashing gives Marth no new option on your shield, and is useless in the context of this discussion.

Jab

Forward Tilt

Down Tilt

Up Tilt

Forward Smash

Down Smash

Up Smash

Grab

Neutral Special

Over Special

Up Special

Down Special

Shield

Roll

Spot-dodge

Jump

Dash

Do Nothing

3 Options, one of which must be done PERFECTLY? We can deal with that! Now instead of trying to guess between nearly 20 different option, we only need to guess if he'll try to grab, tilt (which we're ready to punish!), or jump! By studying your opponent and conditioning him (another blog topic, maybe) you can guess right well over 50% of the time, which means you win. If you are successful more than your opponent, it's inevitable that you get the win.

This was just a "basic" introduction to options. I hope it helps you with the concepts of how to be successful. Just always remember, just because it's not "smart" to use an option, it doesn't mean you shouldn't! This has actually already gone longer than I initially intended, but I want to give a real-life scenario where option knowledge and control directly won me a tournament set.

I'm an Ice Climbers player, which, for those who don't follow Smash, means if I land a grab, in most situations, I can take off an entire stock through usage of an infinite. I'm facing a Snake player (who is considered to have a slight advantage over the Ice Climbers because of his excellent range and zoning to keep the Ice Climbers out of grab range where they are weak, as well as explosives that can sometimes break up the infinite). It's game 3, the set count is 1-1, so this is the final game of the set. We've both ended up on our last stock. I'm at very high percent, and Snake is at approximately 40% (Snake can live as long as the mid-200s%). I get snake up in the air, so he has to land. I steal his second jump with a smart tilt, so he uses his Up Special to place himself high above the stage. If any of Snake's attacks hit me, I lose the set. As he falls to the ground, he can aerial me in any direction, and if it connects, I die. He also has the ability to reverse his momentum with an advanced technique. So if he's flying down and to the right, he can suddenly be flying down and to the left. Any of his other options are irrelevant. If I predict his landing spot, I can grab him, and end his stock. We're both high-level players, so we are both fully aware of the situation. I follow Snake into the air to try to bait him to do something silly, and he reverses, getting away from me. I run towards him, and he sees his chance to end the game with his fastest aerial. However, I knew this would happen, take two steps back, let him land, and grab the lag from the aerial, ending the stock, game, and set, with an infinite, despite being one hit from death. How could I have known THAT would be the moment he would attack? Well, I forced him to reverse with an aerial. This limited his options to reverse again, land in place, or throw an aerial. By running towards him, I covered the space through which he could reverse. This leaves only aerial and landing. He knew if he landed, I would likely grab him, because I have a reputation for punishing landings. This left a comparatively low-risk, high-reward (win the set) aerial. By stepping back, I won the game. He knew it as soon as he saw me step back, set his controller down, and let me finish my infinite. By knowing my opponent's options, and by controlling those that were reasonable, I was able to make the prediction I needed to. Had he done something off the wall, like allowing his Neutral Special to damage him and get him out of the situation, I have no doubt I would have lost. But creativity is often lost in the heat of the moment, I banked on this, and was rewarded.

I hope this blog, however convoluted it may have turned out, was helpful for those who wonder how games with so many options can be won.

If this turns out decently, I'll write some followups.