Click "Sleep" for a dark background.
Click "sleep" again if text isn't dark.



Brawl Playstyles & Skills pt.2

To understand playstyles better and to provide detailed examples I sought out players at various tournaments and recorded some friendly matches. I also created this Smash Brothers Questionair to get very specific feedback. The first example I want to post is between a player named Cha0tic and myself. It's a Pit ditto match. "The fight is on!"

So here's both of our data from the survey. 


  • Name: KirbyKid
  • Characters: Pit, Kirby, Sheik/Zelda, PT
  • Best Skill: Timing (spacing)
  • Most Wanted Skill: Adaptation (changing one's strategy)
  • The Skill You Press Over Opponents: Adaptation (changing one's strategy)
  • Most Prominent Playstyle: All the above styles
  • Name: Cha0tic
  • Characters: Pit
  • Best Skill: Reflex (quick response)
  • Most Wanted Skill: Adaptation (changing one's strategy)
  • The Skill You Press Over Opponents: Reflex (quick response) 
  • Most Prominent Playstyle: Defensive / Camping


Though I tried to win all of my matches, I was more concern with providing a variety of different challenges for my opponents to test their abilities. Still, just looking at the data we have a very interesting potential match up here. 


A Few Things To Keep In Mind Before Viewing

If Cha0tic assumes a Defensive playstyle, this will involve a lot of running away and shooting arrows. While this strategy works against most characters, the thing about a ditto/mirror match is that I'll have the same advantages. Furthermore, Pit has 2 reflectors to deal with projectiles.

After I'm within KO damage, Cha0tic will have to close in and mostly likely use a fsmash or a bair to kill. According to the questionair, we can expect that cha0tic will use these moves in a very fast pace, aggressive, reflexive approach. After all, the more moves he can overwhelm me with, the more he can take advantage of my trailing reactions. At least this is the general idea.

On my end of the fight, I tend to let my opponents set the tempo of battle. I have a very tight aggressive game that revolves around using weaker moves to maintain a very high degree of control. I use my knowledge of spacing to put myself in good positions to react with a counter attack. But most of all, I'll use a sense of timing to build my game around a solid counter defensive playstyle that will then adapt mid battle. Because adaptation is both of our most wanted skill, the victor will largely be decided primarily on our best skills (Timing vs Reflex). When those fail, whoever can adapt best will win. 

Let's watch. 

That was 2 really good matches between 2 good Pits. More importantly, I learned a lot of useful things about myself and about Pit. Though it's not evident in the video, when we played these matches it was very noisy and our TV wasn't turned up very loud. I learned that the majority of my timing and reflexive close quarters counter attacks revolve around sound. Specifically, when I hear the sound of a perfect shield I go into a certain protocol of moves. As you can see in the video, I get a lot of perfect shields off and do little to take advantage of them.

These matches and the Pit map helped me realize how good Pit's fair and forward roll can be. Furthermore, Cha0tic showed me that a mid range Pit that backs up and shoots arrows can be be trickier than a Pit who stands still and shoots arrows.

Like I said in pt.1 of this series, Pit does really well pressing his advantage when the opponent is above a platform. Final Destination is a very large platformless stage making it perfect for Cha0tic's defensive style. You can see how important a stage can be in enhancing your playstyles and skills. I've been known to pick and win on "crazy" levels in tournament matches not because I practiced on them. The way I figure, if both of us are out of our element, then the player who can adapt the best win. After all, adaptation is usually most player's weakest skill (the reason why is quite complicated and will be explained in another article).

And if you're thinking that I wasn't taking the matches seriously because I taunted in both, I assure you that taunting is one of my favorite advanced techniques. Other than a few specical cases, the only function taunting has in the middle of a fight is to make yourself vulnerable. However, when used out of range of the opponent's attacks or when the opponent is not very good at reading/adapting to your moves, taunting can be the perfect move to completely throw their mind for a loop. In a split second they might think "Why on EARTH is he/she doing THAT!" or "Is he/she taking this match seriously." And in that instant, their mind may lock up. Notice in the second match, I taunt and follow it up by running across the stage and getting a grab off.


A Proper Critique

A lot of people have strange ways of practicing or training for Brawl competition. Some request critique and advice by posted videos of their matches hoping that other players can point them in the right direction. To a large degree, I feel that any tips anyone can give given these limitations won't be significantly helpful in developing one's skills. Simplying posting "don't do this" or "do more of this" tends completely over looks some key factors; namely the player's skills and perferred playstyles. Why bother telling someone to incorporate a lot of complicated button maneuvers when they have very low dexterity? What good does it do to tell someone to camp when they hate camping?

Though Cha0tic didn't ask for my critique, I feel like I could give him some helpful feedback based on his questionair answers and our matches. I'm very grateful that he participated in this project. I just happened to bump into him at a recent tournament, and he just so happened to be a well known Pit player.

Coming up, new characters and more video examples. 

« Brawl Playstyles & Skills pt.3 | Main | Brawl Playstyles & Skills pt.1 »

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>