What skills do I need to learn for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate?
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is a unique brand of the fighting game genre - in fact, it can practically be classified as it's own genre, as it's original inception on the Nintendo 64 title presented the typical fighting game mechanics in a way that was previously unseen. It implements platform play, a unique damage system, a sense of space and orientation not seen in typical 2D fighting games, and delivers a host of nuanced movement and attack mechanics through a wide variety of characters and move sets. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate may seem like a simple fighter at a glance, but the requirements to compete at a high level are considerable - there are many subtle mechanics that need to be executed with skill and intention.
Here are the important skills that need to be learned for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate:
Movement: Arguably the most important fundamental skill to learn in Smash is efficient, focused movement and orientation. The key to speedy, aggressive offense is minimizing your opponents opportunities to punish you and maximizing your own potential for follow-up attacks and mix-ups. Daily practicing of short-hops, fast falls, air drifts, backflips, dashes and foxtrots are essential. You'll need to understand how to pivot during dashes, and how to cancel those pivots with precise attacks. Finally, you'll need to understand how to incorporate your attacks with these movements - ex. performing consistent short-hop, fast fall neutral air attacks, or learning how cancel a dash pivot with a backwards tilt attack.
Teching: Understanding how and when to properly perform a 'tech' can mean the difference between losing or winning against opponent who is otherwise equally skilled - this is because how easily teching can be overlooked. Teching can be performed by pressing the shield button in specific moments, such as hitting the ground or being bounced against the wall. If done correctly, this will allow you to recover instantly - and in the case of being bounced against a wall, it can prevent you from being launched into a blast zone. An opponent will typically not expect you to tech and can create opportunities for immediate retaliation - especially in the case of performing a perfect shield, which is a form of teching performed by shielding at the exact moment an opponent's attack lands.
Edge Guarding: Edge guarding can be described as effectively keeping your opponent off the stage until they either fail to recover and fall into the bottom blast zone, or until they've been damaged enough to be launched into a horizontal blast zone. Your ability to edge guard will usually be defined by your character's move set, their recovery ability, and how accurately you can predict the opponents attempts to recover.
Roster: Smash Bros. Ultimate features perhaps the largest roster of characters seen in any fighting game to date. It is critical to understand every character's move set and capabilities, as the effectiveness of certain abilities and combos can be largely situational according to the character you're matched up against. You'll also need to understand your opponents recovery ability, which can influence many aspects of your strategy. Being familiar with your opponents most punishing attacks will help you understand how to counter their strategies, and knowing the exact health percentage that puts you in danger of being KO'd by the opponents character is important for survivability. Make sure you understand your favorite characters most of all, but also make time to learn every character's abilities so you can understand how to effectively counter them.
Mentorship from a skilled coach can help accelerate growth and capitalize overall playtime - a player who spends more time training will grow faster in less amount of time than a player who isn’t structured with his practice and simply pours hundreds of hours in online scrimmages. This is one of the reasons why Vanta emphasizes the importance of incorporating expert coaching into an esports program.
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