Thursday, April 30, 2015

MangoPuff vs S2J Friendlies Analysis

MangoPuff vs S2J Friendlies Analysis
notation by youtube timemarker

Pokemon Stadium

12:17 shields obvious aerial, bair oos covers options
12:19 nair is weird, either really late reaction or to prevent a ff
12:20 nair is a bad/late whiff punish, as is the following fair
12:22 outruns the knee, positions outside of followthrough action for bair, tries to combo to nair, way too slow I think grab would have worked and been rewarding
aeirals so far have been pretty aimless.
12:24 sees S2J’s DD is fishing for punish so fades back and fairs the dash forward, converts to an upair on shield, then wd out and watch. I think the wd loses to stomp.
should CC grab the nair.
12:27 lol the walk
s2j reacts quickly enough to grab the bair startup, doesn’t extend the combo
12:29 FHs while ready to reactively fade back, gets a pound, s2j hits the tech
haha, that’s clearly something that mango drilled into brain muscle memory when he was like 16, look how automatic the jab is.
S2J with some obviously practiced combo of his own.
12:38 I am thinking about replacing that exact upair with a raw rest. I hate falling upair for this reason.
sucks being over falcon.
12:44 I think too low % to get techchase rest, instead upairs before the dj to upair (should have been upair rest)
cool nair on missed tech, could have been empty land jab?
12:48 that nair forces falcon to shield if he doesn’t immediately nair/uair (he ran first) or unless he can do pivot stuff. It’s now very pokable. Mango fades back to avoid potential stomp, sees it isn’t there, repeats, banks on no stomp and lands close but doesn’t double crossup as fully as intended so gets naired.
12:53 really freakin bad dj fair, should have gotten upaired
12:57 spaces outside of dj knee/upair, second bair covers fadeback upB
13:00 could have rested upB lag but chooses bair (for no respawn punish)
s2j amsah techs it though.
dumb upB from ledge, mango misses the shieldpoke bair
chooses to wait rather than upair the shield for no reason
13:04 empty sh to keep options, unsafe dj to press stage, nair to protect the fall, punishes bad spacing on punish attempt but with bad spacing on followthrough so gets comboed.
13:11 really good stuff from s2j, esp nair in place which leads to bair to stomp
13:20 bad fair, realizes and runs. Difficult spot because had he outrun it he’d be in a good place but because he couldn’t it was better to crouch on reaction to falcon’s jump.
messy play
13:28 bair turnaround shield covers every option. sickkkk.
13:32 this nair is good if you know they won’t upair but could definitely get you killed.
same double nair on shield as earlier. Essentially the same as next to ledge because tree cuts off one escape route so you only have to look for an aeiral/roll in one direction.
13:36 lol mango realizes too late that the jabs aren’t hitting him and gets hit with the 3rd.
13:41 positioning under the platform to whiff punish. Loses to 2015 shield drop upair. S2J sees this and is trying to whiff far enough away to punish a punish attempt.
13:43 yeah dropthrough upair, see?
13:54 the tree cuts off the space and mango has to shield. Aerial OoS is made safe when s2j accidentally crosses up.
more silliness.
14:05, upair then crouch then nair on confirmation of no action. Feet exposed but platform rising scares mango off.
14:08 FH bair uair would have had a big positional reward but banked on s2j not reacting to the fh like he did
ooh pivot genntleman who does that?
14:11 lol reactive puff techchase. Note the empty land.
14:12 moving to that spot ensured a bair on shield after falcon gets up.
Easy whiff punish after nair but mango chooses to show off and crossup uair. Actually it’s not a bad position. Can easily cover movement in either direction with the following nair, just messes up a little bit.
14:16 fair has greater range and covers escape options in case grab would have whiffed.
No reason to engage first afterward when falcon is cornered.
The FH nair looks so good when he’s cornered as long as you are able to fade out of falcon sh nair on reaction.
pretty easy followup.
they take a second presumably to drink lol
14:36 mango gets stuck having to shield but once again gets crossed up. I wonder if he’s doing that on purpose, ‘cause it’s a great spot. Could easily upsmash OoS if not rest depending on how close he is.
14:38 slightly too late on whiff punish grab… both of them.
14:46 lol dj nair is really funny and maybe good here ‘cause landing wouldn’t have led to anything, tries to crossup uptilt but s2j can pivot grab because of low % hitstun
14:50 restable jabs(?)
14:51 restable stomp
same upthrow upair as earlier, this time hits the second upair (because of no dj) and more. Could have bair to WoP the missed tech (no one was going to tech that).
14:58, crosses up with nair (good vs shield and dash dance, as seen). Second nair should have been a fair.
Doesn’t go far enough to use platform to stop the bair.
15:03 uses jumpsquat to avoid jab. Interesting.
Bad choice to nair though.
15:14 WD on reaction to empty land beats pretty much anything falcon could do.
15:21 Yeah it looks like mango is trying to run to the inside of where falcon can land once he jumps. Lets falcon cross himself up. Neat.
15:26 potential pound instead of ledgegrab? Actually it would be CC punished
15:27 lmao pc drop
15:29 choice to nair is weird. but it forces a shield. Eh, could have been CCed.
15:31 whiffs a grab and dashes away from easy crouch, maybe was anticipating something other than the obvious grab.
Same upthrow upair but either lower % so s2j gets out of hitstun and ffs. Maybe sh uair.
… DD pound, the most unsafe decision in the universe but it’s choke time.
The rest of this match is just slop.


15:59 definitely could have rested. (note: After upthrow he was at 21, at 22% upair would have triggered tumble, enabling techtrap rest with DI to platform, so after 1 aerial you need to grab, pummel, upthrow)
After dropping the combo just waits outside for a whiffed aerial, a little slow to react
16:02 easy reaction techchase, just empty land and jab
16:07 the “falcon is cornered” mango nair fadeback react again.
16:09 rolls because lightshield increased shieldstun, could have WDed unless he feared stomp
immediately assumes whiff punish spacing but again is too slow, messes up the low falling upair > crouch (is safe on shield for sure), I think missed l cancel
16:12 up DI on the dthrow, I don’t think this is actually good. Pretty sure down and away is best, but unsure, need to test.
whiff punishes missed upair with fair, doesn’t lead to anything
16:18 upsmash OoS ultra safe on crossup
16:23 reads the jump and sh dj bairs wtf why would s2j even want to do that 
16:26 waits outside of aerial range
16:29 was supposed to be reverse fair bair for style but accidentally hits him in
16:31 gets caught assuming s2j will sit in shield, eats a combo and a stupid trade
16:48 easy tomahawk grab and edgeguard
16:59 I don’t think his upair is safe on shield
17:03 realizes nair is unsafe and fades back, then fairs the attempted punish.
17:04 bad shield, crouch does the same thing and can’t be grabbed
17:19 late on the whiff punish so tries to grab shield but is sniffed out, fairs the punish attempt
17:21 moves out of the way of the nair OoS that s2j has done like the last 4 times he’s shielded, upair on sheild, bad idea to upsmash, just crouch.
17:23 yeah that’s why DI up is bad lol
a lot of awful DI
17:39 s2j sits in shield so free upair then retreat from the aerial to another upair, tries to space outside of following jump arc, then crosses up.
17:43 whiffed bair has landing lag but is spaced so s2j wants to punish but can’t grab so he’s gonna knee. If you know he wants to jump OoS free upair. If you’re wrong you upair his shield. win win win. Could have been a techtrap rest had he recognized the platform. Drops that and the easy WoP after.
17:49 s2j has had enough of being cornered and retreats high.
17:53 nair fallthrough bair is nifty
afterward mango just waits outside of his range for him to come back
17:56 missed whiff punish, shields to avoid probable aerial (s2j isn’t likely to hang around and get shieldpoked by uptilt) then WD out to avoid grab/gentleman
18:03 hangs back until s2j commits to a jump, doesn’t want to swing first
18:06 I think this nair is designed to beat a spotdodge
a lot of bad spacing on falcon’s respawn and he takes a lot of damage
18:32 spaced upair, grab, upthrow, too late upair
immediately spaces outside of falcon aerial range, catches falcon overcommitting
18:37 upair nair, obviously going to shield (need 74% for tumble), then uptilt to catch his feet. Badly spaced otherwise would have worked.
A little tempo battle follows
18:54 mango likes to roll after hard knee
18:57 surprised that didn’t shieldpoke. Might only work on his back leg.
19:00 look how strong hitting his shield once then running out is. Covers everything.
19:04 don’t know why he faired but s2j jumps into it
19:15 amazing spacing around the bair
upthrow upair, runs outside of the aerial, upair, runs outside of the aerial that doesn’t come so free bair upair, runs outside of the aerial, pound.
Checkmate bitch.

space, bait, punish.

then 2 minutes of gloating

Questions for Puff Mains to Consider

Questions For Puff Mains to Consider:

The Donphan in the Room

An idol to depose: Hungrybox’s puff is not in direct opposition to Mango’s.
While this was effectively true in 2008 or so it’s a ridiculously erroneous comparison to make in 2015 for two reasons. First, Hungrybox’s jigglypuff is radically different. Second, Mango’s jigglypuff is no longer meaningfully relevant.
In 2008 Hbox’s puff relied heavily on you running into one of his many many many many backairs. While he still plays spammy to this day he does so in subtle, not explicit, ways and it’s not fair to consider his 2015 puff identifiable with his 2008 one. They’re different animals.
Mango’s puff retired more than 5 years ago. While it was arguably ahead of its time it was not 5 years ahead. The gameplay in his old sets is old, usually very old and not usually comparable with the current level of play. For this reason holding up an archaic MangoPuff to a contemporary Hungrybox puff is totally unproductive. It’s effectively a different game.

A Puff Problem

With the loss of Mango’s puff we find ourselves in the unfortunate position of having but one jigglypuff to look up to. Hungrybox is left far and away the most successful puff player. He is currently borderline the only relevant jigglypuff. Due to the absence of other high-level puff players he has a sort of monopoly on the puff meta. Consider too that Hungrybox does not contribute to jigglypuff verbally. Traditionally his advice is generalized and obvious (stuff like, “you should bair a lot. And then rest.” It’s been that way for years. The puff boards reek of it). This has contributed to a stagnation of thought and action in the vast majority of play in an already unpopular character. Any new puff stuff has to be either observed or developed independently. This is not exactly unusual for a top player. Mango rarely publicly talks about high level fox ideas/techniques. However, there are other high-level foxes that pick up and distribute his innovations. This is not true for puff. As far as I can tell, there is little to no meaningful jigglypuff discourse at all. I’ve heard more new jigglypuff ideas from PP in passing than from puff mains. I’ve invented/discovered more niche techniques in 3 months than I’ve seen from other puffs in an embarrassingly long time. That’s a sad state of affairs and one that I hope to see change, hence this blog.

Jigglypuffs and Existing Puffs

Lets define the root of the problem that I’ve been dancing around, the question of why Hungrybox has the only good puff in the world. What does Hungrybox have that other puff players don’t? In my opinion:

* Hungrybox has amazing focus. He’s able to make more clutch plays in high-stakes moments for this exact reason. He doesn’t get distracted. In any instance where it matters he sits down and does his best.

* Hungrybox has amazing spacing. It’s clear that this is the single most important attribute for a puff player to posses. He does.

* Hungrybox has years on years of high-level tournament experience. 

* Hungrybox’s punish game, while far from perfect and possibly largely internalized, is highly developed. He can and will kill you off of stray hits, so he can afford to fish for them. He only needs 4 good ones maximum.

But while Hungrybox’s methodology has been demonstrated successful, we might also consider that it’s been demonstrated utterly unsuccessful for every single individual that’s tried to replicate it (success here being defined as sustainable top of the top level tournament performance). This could be because it is misunderstood, too few cases, or because it isn’t broadly applicable. In any case, imitating hungrybox does not appear to me to be a good way to become a high-level jigglypuff.

I think that a lot of people pick up on this intuitively and for that reason look to find another resource. Naturally, it usually ends up being MangoPuff. Unfortunately, I don’t think that imitating Mango’s puff is a viable strategy either. I know for a fact that it is misunderstood and as such is not broadly applicable for reasons beyond its being obsolete. As has already been stated, MangoPuff is no longer a wealth of useful material. Even in footage recorded since retiring the character, Mango’s puff offers next to nothing beyond “What does it look like when the best player in the world picks puff for a few matches?” He is a good player making temporary use of puff’s tools. He is not a puff main and he is not using or developing good puff strategies. I think that this is a valuable distinction to make and one that points toward the solution to the greater puff problem: adopting an attitude to pilfer rather than imitate. Take away from rather than move toward. Good artists steal.

Other material that puffs could be stealing from:
* S0ft has a lot of ideas but you have to ask him specific questions since he's a little less active now/playing sheik.
* I haven’t looked at Darc’s vids since starting this project but as I recall he has good platform tactics.
* I think that Tekk is suuuuuper interesting but it’s difficult to find much footage from him.
* Andale’s puff is a god with downB but good luck finding anything from him.
* There might be mystery good jigglypuffs that I’m just not aware of.

Future Puff

Personally I think that jigglypuff is an amazingly interesting and unique character in melee’s beautiful engine. The impulse to look to Mango’s puff betrays the inclination that puff could be played much more aggressively (read: actively, less passive decision making, not more stupid risks or attacks) than we are used to seeing. This is a small statement with big implications. I think that she deserves to be reinvented from the ground up to better suit herself and me (or any individual puff player). All of this is obviously easier said than done well.

While my theory is rudimentary, my intuition after initial thought and research points toward:

* Implementing claw grip. I started learning claw this week because I can’t excuse not having full control of my aerial drift any longer. The effect is immediate and dramatic, if at this moment uncomfortable.

* Developing clearly defined punish trees. 

* Expanding on the possibilities of rest including but not limited to more true combos, shielddrops, canceling hitstun via asdi etc, etc.

* Platform play, including but not limited to ledgecancel combos.

* In general much more specific information that encourages active play (i.e. "this is how to edgeguard this character in this situation every time" vs "space more bairs better lololol")

* As I understand puff, she can better support and reward a kind of thinking and playing that is closer to street fighter than the rest of melee in addition to traditional melee paradigms. That is, her insane horizontal mobility enables actual footsies rather than the watered down version that we’re used to as melee players. This includes being willing to take (smart) risks in neutral positions. Refer to

(please note that future puff is no more a foil to hbox’s puff than mango’s is. It’s just a different idea. Hbox is just another imperfect puff to learn from on the way there, a valuable resource)


Tuesday, April 28, 2015


Claw grip might be required for endgame-minded puff. I'll let you know in a couple weeks but it seems extremely promising. Makes some theory stuff not just practical but reliable.

Edit: Yeah, it's godlike.
Full control of mobility 100% of the time.
I have normal left hand
right hand index on Y, thumb on C stick, middle finger rests between Z and R. I raise my right thumb to press A or B. You could use Z for nair if you wanted.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Theory and concepts are useless to you without practice and proactive application.
These are meant to help you play the game, not the other way around.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Operant Conditioning

via Massive

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

bair to rest

* AC bair will true combo to rest if
a) you land in range (obv)
b) you land before they do (even if by a frame. You basically have to be actionable before they are and you will both enter normal landing lag (you by ACing and they by canceling hitstun with a land)

This works best at %s around 20 but is very DI dependent etc

* Because you can jump during bair's IASA frames, SH bair dj rest is theoretically possible. It looks really wonky, haven't experimented much yet.