I have only been playing Melee for a year and I still have a LONG way to go. Here’s what I’m working on right now.
Hi guys, Ryan here from melee.co. This week I just want to talk about some of the things that I’m working on and how I approach practice and trying to improve. Not really to give you guys an idea of what to do because I really don’t know if I’m doing the right thing or not but just to talk about the way that I’m approaching things and what I’m trying to work on.
I guess how it works with me and how my smash games and stuff work out is that every single Tuesday we have made up a game shop here on the Gold Coast called The Good Games and so every week on Tuesday night I guess play smash with a bunch of different people. And so what I do and the approach that I have had over the last month or so is that I’ll go to this game on Tuesday and this will give me a reference point for where I’m up to and what I’m not.
So we will go and we will play. And we run or like I would run an informal bracket as well so we do a bracket or without any money. And so we will run that and then I will play that obviously and then at the end of the night what I tend to do before I go to sleep is I said, “Okay, what was I doing wrong? What was I getting punished for and what sort of things do I feel like I need to work on?”
Let me go through the notes from what I had from last Tuesday. It’s now Monday so I’ve got another event tomorrow night and we will also have some more notes there. But what I had to work on was firstly wave dashing and dash dancing. So let’s go into practice mode and I’ll talk about this a bit and how I feel about this.
Let’s go into training. We got Falco, that’s fine – and we go to battlefield. So what I have as an issue is my movement is peach. Peach is a pretty slow player and one of the things that I have a lot of problems with is that I’m so aggressive I often get punished or I’m playing against someone who’s so good I just don’t know how to move and I end up being a sitting duck. And so what I feel like I need to work on is my ability to dash dance better and my ability to wave dash.
Now I can wave dash in practice – it’s a bit harder here because I’m on the computer and the triggers don’t respond quite the same as they do on my CRT. Therefore, soon I’ll have my CRT and I’ll be filming on that when I’m playing these games. But what I’ll do to practice my wave dashing is, I’ll just go across the stage using one hand, I’ll go back using that same hand (you can see how bad this is going) and then I’ll go across using the other hand.
So I mainly use my left hand for the trigger but I’ve started trying to use my right hand, because of what I want to be able to do is to be able to wave dash out of shield and have more options and things like that. So if I can only wave dash with one hand and I mean shield – wave dashing out of shield can be quite difficult if you’re only using one trigger. So it is possible you can do it but it seems a lot harder to me. So that’s basically what I do to practice wave dashing is I’m going battlefield here.
I’ll go across with one hand, I’ll go back with that same hand (you can see I make lots of errors) and then I’ll do it with the other hand and basically I’ll do that for about 15 minutes. General I got 28 secs so it’s just set up for an eight minute match so I’ll do it for one match and then go back and do it for another match at full stats but it goes for eight minutes. So, that’s how I know I’ve done it for fifteen minutes is our timing. And then when it comes to dash dancing I’ll get on the platform and I’ll practice dash dancing.
What I used to do a lot is just really tiny dash dances like this which I feel like make me even more vulnerable than it was just staying still sometimes. And so what I’m trying to do is extend by dash dance and get more confident in my full range of dash dancing. So everything from the really small to the maximum dash dance that peach can do. So we can see that I missed a few of those and she runs out so I’m still trying to get used to the maximum range she can do. And I do find this useful, especially as low level players (singling out myself really) is that if I can dash dance then I can fight out some moves or force them to approach me, dash away and then co
me back in with something like a dash attack. And that’s only that I need to fix because I do spend dash attack too much. However, being able to dash dance and get out of the way when I need to or to come in and punish it with has been very important to me. And so that’s something I’ve been working on.
And something else I wanted to work on was [4:48 – inaudible]so if you don’t know, one of the things that is really cool about peach is if you start a move while you are in float. So if I’m floating and I start a move and then I hit the ground I’ve only got four frames of lag. However, if I do that same forward air and hit the ground you can see that there’s a lot more lag there.
So one of the things that I find frustrating with peach is I like to be an aggressive player and you know dash attack is the only thing that I feel like has good range at the moment which just means that I don’t know peach’s options well enough. But something that I do see a lot of people using is float cancel bears or bear walls they call them sometimes because you do it and fall down and it just covers like a wall.
So that’s something that I need to practice. I didn’t actually get around to practicing that this week but that’s something that I want to practice for spacing. Because I’m so aggressive I just always seem to be going forwards. You know it’s kind of intuitive to me to turn around and to basically poke my ass about the player. So that’s something that I need to get better at and that’s something I wrote in my notes. I also wrote down that I want to practice my invulnerable ledge options.
So something I’m not great at is edge guarding as well. And so, I can hug over the edge and do a bear; I can grab the edge or I can do a z-drop turnip, and then grab the edge which can be useful against some characters like moth or I can throw a turnip down. I’m okay at sniping people as well but I don’t have a lot of edge guide options.
So one of the things that apparently you can do is invulnerable ledge attack – so you grab the ledge and then if you drop off – (okay I’m jumping so I’d be dropping off) if you drop off, float, and then you can do like a back air or something like that if you still got your float in you. But you’ll see that by the time I actually get to back airing I’m not invulnerable any more.
So that’s something that I want to work on, just more invulnerable ledge options. But now that I’m thinking about it I probably need to work on more like being able to go off stage and bear and mixing things out. One thing I have been practicing that I see he might have done a lot is he’ll have the turnip and he will go off, he’ll jump, he will throw the turnip and then he’ll float right here to capture the side-b from I usually get fox.
And so that’s something that I need to do rather than just staying on the stage and letting them get away with the side-b. You throw the turnip because it might hit or it might just limit their options and you float here so you can cover them going back to the ledge. And so that’s something I have been practicing a little bit.
I have also been practicing these turnip throws. So you run, jump, throw the turnip and grab the edge. That’s something I couldn’t do before and so now I’ve been practicing doing that I feel a lot more confident doing that. So run, short hop, use the c-stick to throw the turnip back whereas previously I used to like run and not throwing the turnip down so I would still be facing the right way or like I could end up throwing the turnip in the wrong direction.
And so that’s something that I needed to practice to be able to grab the edge because otherwise he would turn around, I could have float, I could have dropped and I would just make that mistake so many times.
So there I guess my two options I’ve been practicing are throwing the turnip and then hovering to cover the side-b and also running, short hopping, throwing the turnip backwards to grab the ledge. And so that’s like really what I’ve been practicing this week.
I am also writing my notes that random float cancel fairs continually get punished. So what I’ll do in the games so peach has forward air which is a great move if you float cancel it, it can be positive on shield. And so I thought float cancel fair, that’s something I need to do to just pressure opponents and things like that. But what would happen is – let’s move Falco on to the ground. So if Falco is down there, I’d be like over here – I would do like a float cancel fair like here or something like that.
So I’m not really putting any pressure on and then Falco would run in and punish me. So I found out that that was happening a lot. I was doing a lot of float cancel fairs that were then getting punished by other players. So I just need to be a lot more careful on my spacing on those so that I don’t get punished on those.
I then did some details for peach tutors because I often find myself losing to the other peach players on the Gold Coast who are slightly better than me and so I just wrote in peach tutors, “I need to be more patient, stop being so aggressive. And I also need to throw lots of turnips. I therefore need to be grabbing and throwing turnips more to put the pressure on and don’t down tilt or down smash. Something that I’ll do a lot is down tilt because it’s quite a good move that could give you some follow-ups, especially against peach.
Sometimes you can get basically like a guaranteed follow-up, not against peach against sheet with down tilt. But I really like that move but you do that against peach and then she down smashes you and so it’s not really the best thing to do because you end up having 60% racked up against you. So that’s something that I need to stop doing. I need to stop down tilting or down smashing so much because I do get caught in a lot of washing machines.
I also need to RDI peach’s down throw. So peach down throws you can actually DI away from her. So if I’m facing this way and I down throw Falco, he can actually DI in that direction so he can only DI, I think it’s up or down or into me. And so what I would do is try and DI away because I want to get out of the situation it would just pop me up and I would get punished with a [10:53 illegible]. So I need to RDI into peach every time I get down throw.
I also need to use down throw more options. It’s not something that I do. I only use the up throw or do a forward smash. I mean a forward throw or a back throw. So rarely do I use the down throw option especially against peach. So that’s something that I need to do more often.
I need to be careful with my grab range – so let’s move Falco into the middle. What I would do is run out and then without a grab like that. So I would run out without a grab and so I was just missing so many grabs (look at that one) or I would be in shield and do a shield grab out of range.
So I just need to be really careful with my grab range because I miss a lot but then also when I’m attacking peach or any player basically I’m often in a grab range and so they are shield and I hit them and that would just grab me out of shield and I would get punished. So, I need to be careful with the grabs I’m throwing out as well as attacking people shield so I don’t get grabbed.
I also wrote down I need to punish rolls. So if other players are rolling I need to be able to punish that. I don’t know why I wrote that. I can’t remember the situation for that but apparently that’s what I need to do. So really this week I’ve been practicing movement mostly and then just I guess trying consciously thinking about those things for peach tutors and not doing those random float cancel fairs that are in the middle of nowhere that are getting punished.
So the approach that I take to practicing is basically I try and work on the thing that I am worst at so I’ll go ahead and I’ll play and I’ll then analysed what did I do wrong, what am I getting punished for, why am I losing, what is the biggest thing holding me back from winning and from being better. And so, I will look at that and I tend to work on the thing that I am worst at, at that point in time.
So right now I feel like I’m worst at my movement as I feel like I can’t move around the stage confidently. I can wave dash in practice but as soon as I am in tournament or as soon as I’m in friendlies then my wave dash goes out the window and I end just jumping or I’ll like go across the stage like this so basically I just lose my wave dash completely. And so I really feel like movement is the major area for me.
I’m not saying this is the right way to practice, but for me, trying to get better is I look at what am I doing the worst; what is the biggest thing that I’m having problems with that I’m getting punished for and then I try and work on that. And the goal is that you know I’m working on movement at the moment and then eventually movement won’t be the worst thing, it’ll be my float cancel fairs or it will be the fact that I am missing grabs, it will be my edge guarding is one of my worst things.
So maybe I’ll try work on my movement. I’ll then be like yeah I’m moving on the stage a lot. I am unpredictable and they’re not getting me because I can’t move.
Now, the biggest thing I’m just messing up is my edge guarding. So then I’ll focus on edge guarding and then once that gets better I might say the worst thing I’m doing is I’m getting a follow-up or something, I’m getting single hit so maybe I’m losing centre stage or something like that. And so basically I’ll work through my worst thing which at the moment is dash dancing and wave dashing or movement in general.
So I’ll work on that. And then as I improve then I choose something else to work on. So I’m always working on the thing that is worse for me and that’s the way that I am trying to get better. I’m not saying that’s the best way but I’m saying that’s the way that I’m trying to get better. So that’s kind of what I am working on at the moment.
I do now have some recording set up so I got an old laptop and I’ve set that up so I can record games. Tomorrow night when I go to Melee I’ll record some games, upload them to the internet and then sometime this week or maybe next week I’ll go through and analyse one of those games, see what I’m doing wrong, try and improve it and see if we can improve every single week.
That therefore gives you an idea of where I’m at. It gives you an idea of what I’m working on at the moment.
I hope that encourages you. I’m not saying that you should do this. I’m not saying I’m doing it right because I’m definitely probably making a lot of mistakes. When it comes to training I got so much to learn. Yeah, but that’s where I am at the moment. Hope this has been interesting to you guys. I’ll keep going and I’ll keep playing.
Until next time, keep smashing.