Smash Bros Melee: Samus VS Sheik Matchup Guide ft HugS
Wed 12th Feb 2020 - 9:07pm
Samus has many matchups that feel like an uphill battle. Sheik is one of them. In a matchup that relies on winning the neutral over and over again, it can be a tough one to win. HugS gives his tips and tricks to help you defeat Sheik as Samus and secure those pools sets.
Samus needs to be aware of Sheik's threats in neutral. These threats include when she's at boost grab range, up close grab range, and at needle or forward air range. Being aware of Sheik's positioning is key. Sheik is great at capitalising from this range. Samus' neutral game revolves around avoiding this range and dealing chip damage against Sheik with tilts until you can land more significant damage with grabs. Alternatively, you can put enough damage on her until she's at a percent where your moves will start to combo or send her off-stage for an edgeguard. The win condition then rests on sending Sheik off-stage at later percents.
HugS says, "Neutral against Sheik involves avoiding pre-emptive attacks and repositioning regularly.and when she's just outside of that threat range so you can pressure her. You'll be aiming to stay out of these threatening positions while nickel-and-diming damage with tilts until you can land more significant damage with grabs, or until she's at a percentage where your hits start to combo or send her off-stage for an edgeguard."
Some of the common mistakes that Samus players make in the matchup is when they commit to laggier moves such as forward smash and down smash. Though great moves, Sheik's greatest advantage is the amount of damage she can get from a grab. Baiting Samus into a laggy smash attack is Sheik's easiest opening and she will take that opportunity to grab and devastate a Samus stock. Samus will struggle but using wavedash to stay out of the dangerous disadvantaged positions that Sheik can put you in
HugS says, "The most important thing I learned in the matchup is to be aware of my positioning."
Bread and butter combos aren't very common in this matchup for Samus, but Samus does need to know how to hit Sheik on every DI after down throw at different percents. As an example, DIs toward Samus should be punished with forward smash or neutral aerial. DIs away from Samus should be punished with walk-forward d-smash at low percents. At mid percents up to KO percents, Samus can opt for dash attacks and also forward tilts. Samus also has pop-ups that help her get aerials. Pop-ups using up-tilt or down-air can get Sheik in the air and these moves have a lot of hit stun which means Samus can hit with any aerial. Sadly, Samus doesn't have many combos on Sheik so chip damage though tilts, pop-ups, and hits following grabs. Hitting Sheik into higher percents to get her into edgeguard situation is Samus' strongest plan.
Avoiding Sheik's punish game is equally important. Sheik can do a lot more damage after winning the neutral. Grab combos can regularly net Sheik about 30 percent regardless of your DI, which means you want to focus most of your neutral on avoiding the grab. Knowing to avoid typical grab scenarios will help you in the matchup a ton.
HugS says, "Avoid situations where you're forced to engage without proper spacing, don't fall for obvious baits to hit her shield, and be aware of her boost grab range. Also, avoid shielding yourself if you have enough range to react to her approach. Sheik will pressure you into shielding to set up for a grab, so your focus should be in challenging or maneuvering around these pressuring attempts to avoid the grab."
Edgeguard and Recovery
When trying to rid Sheik of her stocks, you need to take ledge at very precise timings. Sheik will mix up her recovery by jumping, falling and up-Bing to ledge. If you time it properly, she'll be forced to use an alternative option to recover which is usually punishable. Her up-B move when she lands on the stage or a platform so Samus can take advantage of this.
HugS says, "Sheik players will also try to mix it up by attacking the ledge rather than trying to grab it, and in those situations mix up an attempt to grab ledge with an attack toward ledge. It always depends on the situation."
When recovering, Samus must watch out for Sheik's best edgeguarding tool, her needles! The best way to deal with them is to either burn a jump to recover high and above the needles, or to drop low enough to dodge their diagonal coverage, save your jump until you get past the angle of the needles, and recover vertically from immediately under the stage. Sometimes, Samus players will use bombs in the wrong place and get caught out by the needles. Don't use bombs to recover unless you can reliable remain above the needle trajectory, and if you can't, simply drop low while saving your jump to recover vertically.
HugS says, "If you get caught out of your bomb jump, you'll be forced to use your jump, and Sheik can snipe you out of it, forcing you to grapple, which can also be covered quite easily with needles."
Sheik absolutely has the advantage in this matchup, but it doesn't mean you should give up. Despite the matchup being heavily in Sheik's favour, with careful play and some careful vod analysis, it's never impossible to win these matchups.