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squatch's Melee Notes

Hi, welcome to my notes page. This is still under development as I'm still improving. So stick around for the ride if you'd like.

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Positive Thinking Before a Game

Before every game, remind yourself of these affirmations:

  • You can execute your combos
  • You can execute your gameplan
  • Remind yourself of your gameplan
  • Remind yourself of any adaptions from the games you've played so far
  • Remind yourself of any personal habits you need to be aware of
  • You will execute your combos
  • You will execute your gameplan

Then, go forth and play.

The Sheik Main's Headspace

You feast off of your opponent's frustrations. Their mistakes are your openings and what you are looking for. You must feel no mercy when chain-grabbing and repeatedly punishing your opponents options. Sheik will reward your patient and methodical play with consistent kill setups and edge guards.

You are also combo food. You are moderately light-weight, so you can die early. You are tall, so characters can hit you easier. Your drift is limited so you get juggled heavily. Your opponents can crouch cancel your moves very easily. These are facts of life you must accept and live with.

When approaching a set, think the following:

  • Limit my opponent from moving
  • Limit my opponent from gaining momentum
  • Punish my opponent's mistakes heavily and quickly
  • My patience is necessary to properly punish all of my opponent's mistakes

Gaining Information

Here are some questions to ask yourself while playing to gain information about your opponent:

  • Where does my opponent DI after down throw?
  • Where does my opponent tech after down throw?
  • How does my opponent DI my combo starters?
    • Ftilt
    • Dtilt
    • Dash attack
    • Down air
  • Does my opponent shine during my reaction tech chases?
  • What moves do my opponent approach with?
  • When does my opponent want to approach?
  • How does my opponent get off the ledge?
  • How does my opponent play at high percent vs low percent?
  • How does my opponent play when I am at high percent vs low percent?

Punish Game and Tech Chasing

Whenever you are punishing someone, do you realize your natural spacing and movement techniques? Innately, we build heuristics for how to combo and move to extend combos and convert dropped combos into edge guards or pressure situations. For Sheik, how to combo shouldn't be too difficult: she's uses her tilts and weak hit aerials to setup for strong fair, strong bair, strong uair, strong nair, tipper usmash, and dsmash. Her kill moves are well-defined and have weak hits and throws that combo into them. For example, dthrow combos into strong nair, strong fair, strong uair, and strong bair given certain percentages and DIs, in addition to most of these situations being 50/50 situations off of dthrow. Sheik has tools to finish combos by either taking the stock cleanly or using strong hits to setup edge guards and pressure situations.

There are two major ideas introduce previously: moving to extend combos and the concept of pressure situations. Moving to extend combos is using Sheik's insane platform movement, very quick and tiny initial dash, the fact that you move and attack with dash attack, and movement creativity to position yourself in the perfect spot to continue your punish and gain information about your opponnt's DI and tech habits. Punishing for punish sake is not nearly as important as the potential information gain during the punish. So it is imperative to try to learn during your punishes instead of just trying to punish.

TODO: write more about reacting as late as possible and making more informed decisions faster

TODO: keep developing Punish Game and Tech Chasing

Neutral and What To Do With It

When it comes to neutral, you must understand that there are some rules to play by. When it comes to space, many characters can take space with empty movement due to their quick nature. Fox, Falcon, Marth, and Sheik can use their initial dash sped to take space with low commitment. As Sheik, you can also use your very low commitment walk while holding ASDI down to ensure you are safe and actionable quickly.

This is not taking into account your opponent and their movement. You must use your movement to counteract your opponents. When your opponent tries to take space, you must determine (in a very quick, short time-frame) your countermeasure. If you make the approach to take space, you must have your defensive and offensive options quickly thought of and available. Over time, you will gain information on how your opponent wants to take space and attack. In additon to offensive options, you will need to gain information about your opponent's defensive options.

As Sheik, your attacks deal relatively low damage, so they can be crouch cancelled. After you break crouch cancel percent, you must be aware of (A)SDI and tech options. You can use your superior frame data to move around your opponent to keep your advantage.

There are times when you and your opponent will try to push the advantage. At this point in time, you enter what I called The Scramble. During The Scramble you must understand that you need to use your frame advantage and your movement to move from The Scramble to clear advantage or back to neutral. Letting yourself enter disadvantage via The Scramble is a surefire way to end up losing your stock. Direct counterplay may not always be available, so use your creativity and movement to work your way back to neutral if you feel attacked. Turtling is a strategy, but not always the best for Sheik.