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Arek the Absolute

Super Smash Bros Brawl

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It really depends on the character for the shield camping. Trying to shield against G&W or Wolf is asking for a lot of trouble, with their multi hit, auto canceling, shield raping aerials.

I've found that it isn't too effective against people when I play. I used to shield camp a lot, but as my play style has developed, I've been forced to learn other ways at winning, because my opponents have gotten smarter and found ways to make shield camping disadvantageous. Characters like Wolf and G&W (or ANYONE with autocanceling aerials and some decent ground options) can make shield camping impossible for their opponent. Wolf and G&W can do this particularly well because of their good reach, good priority, multi hit, auto canceling aerial moves that lead into very safe shield pressure on the ground with 100% chance of shield poking.

Other characters don't have all the tools required to thwart shield camping as easily, but it is quite possible provided the players play smart (some characters might not have the ability to overcome it, period, and then you resort to other tactics to prevent them from shield camping).

The game pretty much boils down to 3 main elements that win you matches.

Spacing is one of the most important elements in this game, and whoever spaces better often wins when there is no innate advantage in the character matchup (some characters just do really well against others based on character and move properties).

Mind games are probably the second most important element in the competitive scene. If you can't space properly, it means you won't be able to use mind games very effectively. However, once you get a hang of spacing (not just your own character, but your opponent's as well), you can begin implementing mind games. Look at how your opponent plays and learn how they react to you doing specific things, then use that to your advantage and bait them into reacting when you haven't done anything. When opponents have around equal skill in spacing (and an even character matchup) it often boils down to whoever was able to read the other better.

The final element to competitive play comes down to stage control. This is one of the most important elements to winning because if you control the stage, you control your opponent. In a way, this is a highly specific form of mind game, as you limit your opponent's options. One of the many reasons why competitive people do not like FFAs (whether they know it or not) is because stage control cannot occur when it's so chaotic. The space a character occupies, he often controls, and the main objective of the game is to control your opponent's space and force him into situations that are unfavorable for him. Stage control doesn't necessarily mean controlling the entire stage, but it's forcing your opponent to reposition himself that is important. It's the easiest to do with projectiles, but characters without them often can, as well (it really depends, character matchups really can make this impossible).

Shield camping is only a tactic that allows characters to play defensively against opponents without projectiles. And it's sort of a form of stage control in those specific matchups, otherwise it's basically like shield grabbing in melee. People will adapt and find ways around it, I know I have and my friends have.

EDIT: To add onto the shield grabbing comparison. When the meta game was developing for Melee, shield grabbing was a very powerful tool. It was MUCH more effective than it was in SSB64, and I remember playing against many opponents that had never, ever seen the tactic before. Because of their inexperience, I would beat them without losing any stock, and rarely go above 100% damage out of 5 stock matches. Was shield grabbing unbeatable? No. Shield camping is essentially what shield grabbing was to Melee. It's just a tool in each characters' arsenal (just like shield grabbing, WDing, and LCing), some have more use for it than others, some might find it entirely useless.

The people I beat miserably because I was just shield grabbing them might've thought it was cheap, or unbeatable, or that it gave me an unfair advantage. The truth is that they couldn't open their eyes to look for a way around it. They were so convinced that how they were playing was "right" and that I had found some exploit in the game that was insurmountable. I told them how to overcome it, and they were able to avoid getting shield grabbed, but they never really opened their eyes to find creative ways to bait me into shield grabbing, so I would always beat them (about just as bad as before, sometimes they'd take a stock off of me). When you look at tournament matches, yes shield grabbing was used in Melee, a lot, but it was merely one of MANY tools that the skilled players used in order to win matches. Good players will use it, but it won't win the match for them in competitive games.

Shield camping will be no different as it is essentially the same, except you can perform most moves instead of just grab.

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I totally agree with Garde. But when I use the term "shield-camping", I don't mean staying in one place and waiting for your opponent to rush you. What I mean is the use of your shield to start attacks/combos. I played Cort on Friday, and he uses Snake (he went on to win a tournament the next day where he beat Mew2King in the finals). He does this thing where he just walks around, perfect shields every attack and then punishes you.

No, you can't stand still and expect to win. No, you can't shield all the time and expect to win. What I'm trying to say is that a perfectly placed shield is far better than a perfectly placed attack, due to the lack of shield-stun and the lack of l-canceling. If you check the results of that tournament, the top five finishers mained characters that either attack well out of their shields (Snake, DDD), rape shields (G&W, Metaknight) or camp extremely well (Falco, ROB). In any case, the game revolves around your shield: how well you can use it, or how well you can destroy it.

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I am quite aware that shield camping isn't just sitting in one spot shielding (just like shield grabbing, you use it the moment you have to otherwise opponents will get smart and react to your anticipated shielding). But I agree that the game is much more focused on defense than the previous two iterations. They made perfect shielding far easier, and the lack of LCing makes it very difficult for characters without auto canceling moves or quick/ranged attacks to beat shield campers.

What they did to perfect shielding has made sidestep dodging pretty useless, though. Especially now that perfect shields last against multi hit moves, there's pretty much no point to sidestep dodge...

I think there's more to the game than just how well people do from their shield or how well they can destroy it. When I play against people who destroy shields, I don't shield. I use spacing like crazy and some people have even said "Why do you play like such a bitch?" to me after matches where they could not get in on me. Shield camping is a valid tactic, but it has varying degrees of effectiveness spread across the entire cast. Against those that it is very effective, you'll see people trying extremely hard to get around it. Against those that it isn't effective, you won't see it as much.

Shielding is one big feature of the game, that cannot be ignored. It's always been an important part of the game, whether it's a good idea to shield or not. As the Smash series has progressed, shielding has gradually become more powerful, especially due to less shield stun and more options have become valid as the series has progressed.

In my humble opinion, I think it will find itself in the same position that shield grabbing found itself in Melee (important as a tool, but not what the game revolves around). The game is still quite young and we have yet to discover everything about the game's engine, or even all the little nuances for each character.

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What they did to perfect shielding has made sidestep dodging pretty useless, though. Especially now that perfect shields last against multi hit moves, there's pretty much no point to sidestep dodge...

Not sure if I agree with this. Usually I start off by shielding attacks, then quickly sidestep around them and get them from their back. Plus, sometimes they are expecting shielding, so dodging can be used to keep you unpredictable. Maybe I am just a noob...?

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Zombieforce, I just want to make sure you're using the right term. Sidestep dodges are where you step to the side (into the background or foreground) and do not move in terms of X or Y coordinates of the stages (which essentially are 2d planes for character movement). Rolls reposition your character to a new set of coordinates (based on terrain).

From your post, I am almost positive you're talking about rolling because you were talking about getting behind your opponent. Rolling is a very situational tactic and I find that the better I get at this game, the less I roll. Rolls often have less invulnerability than sidestep dodges and are much easier to punish. The are useful, but in very specific situations.

Ultimately, the only thing sidestep dodging is useful for is avoiding being grabbed, which perfect shielding cannot defend you from.

Sidesteps dodging (also known as Spot Dodging) have a certain number of frames of vulnerability at the beginning and end of the dodge (usually between 0-10 frames on each end, it's specific to each character). Perfect Shielding (formerly known as Power Shielding) is where you shield the moment an attack strikes you (it's similar to Just Defends or Parries from SNK, 3S, or CvS2). If done properly, there are around 2 frames of animation before you can react. Sidestep dodges are usually around 30 frames in total, and often have about 10-15 frames of animation left before you can act after they throw out moves. On top of that, Perfect Shields block multiple hits and cannot be broken or poked out of. Shielding is safer than dodging because invulnerability only lasts a certain amount of time and certain characters (like G&W) have moves with long durations that dodges do not work against (because the invul on the dodge is shorter than the active hitbox on the attack).

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Is it just me or are the Ice Climbers so much better? I can't say for certain why but I am digging them a whole lot more than I was in Melee.

What's better about them? They got their range and knockback nerfed, your side b isn't as viable as a save anymore, more things can go through a double ice barrier and their aerials seem to have less priority. They only noticeable improvement is the Belay/Nanapult.

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Sorry I had to drop like that, Slient Mike, but my son fell off the bed right in the middle of the match. Saved me the trouble of getting beat!

EDIT- Yeah, everyone makes such a big deal about their chaingrab infinites, but the ICs are MUCH worse than their Melee version.

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Yeah, everyone makes such a big deal about their chaingrab infinites, but the ICs are MUCH worse than their Melee version.

Well, yeah, when you play them like the melee Ice Climbers.

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srry for being a little offtopic, but does anyone have that picture of the two people playing brawl, with one guy making crazy calculations in his head with Marth and the other trying to spam falcon punch?

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