Smash Bros. Ultimate: Controlling the Space with Projectiles ft. HugS
Sat 4th May 2019 - 1:25pm
Projectiles have been a tricky insert into a multitude of games to throw off your opponent's momentum, cause damage, and even use them as a combo starter, depending on which game you play. Street Fighter, the Smash Bros. Series, Guilty Gear, and Skullgirls (just to name a few) all use projectiles. They're a staple of fighting games and regardless of which you choose, you'll likely be dealing with a range of players; from spammers to calculated projectile users.
Hugo 'HugS' Gonzalez, who has played projectile-using characters in both Melee and Ultimate, gives his insight on how to deal with projectile users and how to act out in the safest possible way. Furthermore, HugS gives advice on where and when you can use your own projectiles to secure your win.
In both Melee and Ultimate, you play characters that use projectiles, meaning you’re familiar with how you use them in control the space and play the neutral safely. What are the greatest benefits to projectiles as a whole, in both Ultimate and Melee?
HugS: Projectiles are great because they allow for less risky zoning, either to protect your space by keeping your opponent out or by providing cover as you approach. It's also a great tool for edgeguarding by limiting recovery options, and a good tool for recovering yourself as you protect the area in front of you.
With Mii Gunner and Samus, when you shoot projectiles, what is your gain in doing so?
HugS: It's for all of the above. When you get your projectile out there, you have to react to the situation you created for yourself by shooting the projectile and react accordingly. If they're defending, you can move in. If they're trading with the projectile, you can time an attack. If they're dodging the projectile, you can cover their movement option.
In what situations would it be unsafe to shoot a projectile?
HugS: You want to be extremely aware of the startup and cooldown timings of your projectiles. If you start the projectile too late as your opponent is approaching, you can be punished for it. Likewise, you have to make sure your projectile's cooldown animation doesn't leave you vulnerable based on your opponent's options.
How do you deal with dittos or characters that also have projectiles? Does your gameplan change to suit the use of heavy projectile ‘spam’?
HugS: These types of matchups involve a focus on stage control with projectiles, and if you happen to lose that advantage, finding yourself defending against the projectiles rather than shooting them yourself, you have to find ways to reset the situation and place yourself in a position where the projectiles are no longer oppressive. Then, once you reset the situation, you can aim to establish projectile control before your opponent does.
What advice do you offer to players who have characters that use projectiles against characters without? What should they consider with their projectiles such as percents, effects, recovery animation, and so on and when are they best placed?
HugS: Be extremely aware of what moves these characters can use to beat out your projectiles, or what type of movement patterns they'll need to get around your barrage. Once you understand this, you can create a game plan to counter the way they deal with your projectiles.
What advice would you offer to players who have characters that use projectiles against characters WITH projectiles? What are the changes in gameplay?
HugS: Like any move, you have to understand the strengths and weaknesses of their projectiles. Often times your own projectiles can serve to interrupt their projectile usage, which allows you to approach more freely.
Different characters have different strengths. Some benefit more from their punish game, some benefit more from their movement, as sometimes their other aspects aren’t great. Which characters in Ultimate do you think rely on their projectile game and why?
HugS: The Belmonts and Mii Gunner rely on projectile based gameplay to either zone opponents out or to get inside. They lack a lot of strengths in the close-range game, so they're expected to utilize their projectiles to either keep people out or to apply enough pressure where they're opened up to other attacks.
With new characters being added in, it's important to really take the time to investigate each character and find out exactly what effects each of their projectiles have. Some seem strong but the recovery animation may take so long, it's an easy punish and it's worth looking into. With Olimar considered one of the best in the game right now, it's also worth checking out the top player matches and seeing how they deal with good projectiles like Olimar's Pikmin and when and where they're thrown. Look into how the opponent dodges them. Pacman projectiles also have special effects so look into each and make yourself aware of what these projectiles do, or you may be caught off guard in your pools matches. Good luck and have fun!