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Marth, the Slippery Slidey Swordsman

Marth deserves another post about him. 

So Marth in Super Smash Bros. Melee is the character I main. It is true what they say: he’s easy to learn but very hard to master, and harder still to play against higher level opponents.

I have been playing as Marth, and exclusively Marth, for months now- most weeks I only spend an hour or two on the game so I haven’t seen as much progress with the Fire Emblem protagonist yet.  It’s mainly because his movement is very different than any other character and especially the roster of 12 characters from Smash Bros. 64 that I am most familiar with.

Marth has a very quick dash and running speed, giving him an edge in following opponents across the stage and the screen. However, if you want to turn around or change directions while running, you really can’t press the other way on the control stick because it takes Marth about a second or two to turn around and dash the other way. You have to crouch down to cancel your movement, then dash the opposite way. Alternatively you can wavedash out of running.

If you aren’t familiar with Marth’s movement, it’s going to be hard to outplay characters who are faster than you such as Fox, Shiek, or Captain Falcon. The way you get an edge on them is through your sword.

Marth can cover a lot of space with his sword swings. You can play defensively, forward smashing and batting away opponents who get too close to you. Or you can play offensively, by using the center of the blade to keep opponents close and rack up damage in combos. Most Marths prefer to play defensively but I like to pressure my opponents and invade their space aggressively, as long as they aren’t a defensive wall that will punish me if I make one wrong move.

However, Marth is very difficult to play adaptively. Because his moves are relatively slower than many other top-tier characters, it can be hard to predict movements and play off of reactions when your attacks will always come out after the opponent’s.

I’ll be watching for top Marth players at the upcoming PATS 4 Melee tournament at Texadelphia this weekend, and hopefully the knowledge I learn from them will translate well into the Smash Bros. print story I’ve been working on since the beginning of the school year.

Nicholas Randall
I play video games, go to concerts, ride my bike, and post what I think about it all on this blog.

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