Kappy’s Paper Mario Challenge Running Tier List v7.0 (October 2019)

Since the end of December of 2017, I’ve been keeping tabs on the players who challenge run Paper Mario and Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door. I did this mainly because despite there not being an official list of the best players from the Glitz Pit Discord, there’s still discussion about it. Also, I like tier lists. LOL.

Let’s jump in!

  • + symbol means edge case for next tier up
  • This is my personal opinion; I repeat: this list is NOT objective.

GOD TIER

— The best of the best. The cream of the crop.
(sorted alphabetically)
COMBINED
  • Kappy
  • Koop

TTYD

None.

64
None.

ELITE TIER

— Players in this tier are highly proficient in their game of choice. These are some of the best.
(sorted alphabetically)
COMBINED
  • Fatguy703+ – Fatguy has almost completed his run of Master Quest. So far, he’s been doing well and has a few creative strategies. There’s not enough for me to put him in God Tier, but we’ll see how the rest of his run plays out.
  • GamerFourFun — Gamer has done a slew of things in Master Quest, a super-tough mod for Paper Mario 64. I was thinking of giving him a + because what he’s done is quite impressive, but I don’t think challenges completed in the mod are enough weight compared to vanilla challenges. He’s easily cemented his spot here with those completions, but the mods tailor a certain play style over others and are not always indicative of player skill over figuring out the designer’s intended puzzle. He also has a “battle first, strategize later” still, which just doesn’t cut it for even an edge-case for God tier in my eyes.

TTYD
  • Dyla — Dyla is back with a nice 10 HP Prologue Pit completion (without Super Jump) not too long ago moving him up to Elite. He’s now doing Impossible Mode and (I hope) more challenges after that. Now, he could very quickly fall back to Great+; we’ll see how he performs in the future.
  • Miccat87 — Miccat recently completed 10 HP Prologue Pit, which is awesome. Only a small portion has been uploaded, so I can’t hand him a definite + just yet, but I do think he could be another contender for God-level in TTYD. Time will tell.

64
None.

GREAT TIER

— Players in this tier are proficient in their game of choice. These are what I would consider to be a “general” challenge runner.
(sorted alphabetically)
COMBINED

None.

TTYD

None.

64
  • Auron Nomcario — Auron recently completed a 10 HP Mario Alone run, officially putting him back into being active for Paper Mario 64! I hope he plays a little more. I could see him going above Elite if he stays active.
  • Miccat87
  • TwoPieRadian — TwoPieRadian is back into challenge running! He recently completed a cool “crit” mod of 64 where enemies could randomly critical and deal more damage. Not enough to jump him anywhere, but I’m glad he’s back! Hopefully, we’ll see more of him.

GOOD TIER

— Players here have breached past what I would consider “casual” and are officially challenge runners (or have the skills to be one). Most new challenge runners will be put her since usually they’ve only completed one or two challenges or are in the process of completing their first one.
(sorted alphabetically)
COMBINED

None.

TTYD
  • Auron Nomcario+
  • DiamondCrafterA — DiamondCrafter is back to try and finish his Impossible Mode run! I think if he finishes it soon I can easily put a + next to his name.
  • Mr_Some1 — Mr_Some1 has come back into the realm of activity with a FP Only run. I hope that he finishes this and continues to do a couple more runs.
  • TwoPieRadian — Pie is also back with TTYD! He’s been doing BP Only right now, which is a pretty standard run for someone at this level. We’ll see how it goes from there.

64
  • Mailguy — Mailguy has come back to activity with a Hammerman run! We’ll see where he stands once the run is finished and if he decides to do more.

INACTIVE TIER

— Inactive Players. Players have their last tier listed for reference.
(sorted alphabetically)
  • A. A. Ran — Elite Tier (TTYD) | Good Tier+ (64)
  • amazydayzee — Elite Tier (TTYD)
  • avengah — Elite Tier (TTYD)
  • Blanket P.I. — Great Tier (COMBINED)
  • catbooger — Good Tier (TTYD)
  • Codebox — Great Tier (COMBINED)
  • DarkMario1000 — Great Tier+ (TTYD) | Elite Tier (64)
  • Dount Cooku — Good Tier (TTYD)
  • Feposo — Good Tier (TTYD)
  • Gibstack — Elite Tier (TTYD)
  • Gradis — Good Tier (TTYD)
  • Grassdigger — Great Tier+ (TTYD)
  • ilikepieinmouth — Elite Tier+ (TTYD)
  • Jayjar100 — Good Tier (TTYD)
  • JakeTheSnake — Good Tier (TTYD)
  • Jdaster64 — God Tier (COMBINED)
  • Jon — Great Tier (64)
  • Lolyuri — Good Tier (64)
  • Mathcat — Good Tier (TTYD)
  • Michael The Fox — Great Tier (TTYD)
  • MilesLuigi — Elite Tier (COMBINED)
  • MellowMathTeacher — Great Tier (COMBINED)
  • MorningStar — Great Tier+ (TTYD)
  • ngburns — Great Tier (TTYD)
  • Olmi — Elite Tier (COMBINED)
  • OmegaRaptor — Good Tier (TTYD)
  • Prentiscool — Good Tier (TTYD)
  • simodomino — Good Tier (COMBINED)
  • Skawo — Elite Tier (COMBINED)
  • Slime — Good Tier (TTYD)
  • Starlad — Good Tier (64)
  • StarmanOmega — Great Tier (TTYD)
  • stebbdogg — Great Tier (TTYD)
  • Stylish — Good Tier+ (TTYD)
  • Wayoshi — Elite Tier (TTYD) | Great Tier (64)
  • ThatOneSpyGuy — Elite Tier (TTYD)
  • Timmy — Great Tier (64)
  • TRex Quisite — Great Tier (COMBINED)
NOTABLE CHANGES & THOUGHTS
  • We’ve seen a slight surge in returning players, which is awesome 🙂 I hope this trend continues.
  • Paper Mario Master Quest dropped, which is an ultra-hard mod of Paper Mario 64 that is designed to challenge God/Elite Tier level players. Honestly, it’s difficult, but due to how most of it is designed, I will not be adding any new players who have completed this mod. If they’re good enough and want to be on this list, they can prove themselves through challenge runs in vanilla.

And that’s it for this version of the tier list! I hope you all enjoyed reading my thoughts on this. If you’re interested in making it on this list, start challenge running (and if I missed you or you think someone else should be added, please let me know via Twitter or Discord DM so I can update this and future tier lists)! A great resource for challenge runners is the Glitz Pit, a Discord server dedicated to challenge running the Paper Mario series. You can also check out my Discord server.

Just Sayin’

September 2018
December 2018
March 2019
July 2019

Kappy’s Paper Mario Challenge Running Tier List v6.0 (July 2019)

Since the end of December of 2017, I’ve been keeping tabs on the players who challenge run Paper Mario and Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door. I did this mainly because despite there not being an official list of the best players from the Glitz Pit Discord, there’s still discussion about it. Also, I like tier lists. LOL. This should’ve come out in June, but I was quite busy that month so it was pushed back to July.

Let’s jump in!

  • + symbol means edge case for next tier up
  • This is my personal opinion; I repeat: this list is NOT objective.

GOD TIER

— The best of the best. The cream of the crop.
(sorted alphabetically)
COMBINED
TTYD
None.
64
None.

ELITE TIER

— Players in this tier are highly proficient in their game of choice. These are some of the best.
(sorted alphabetically)
COMBINED
  • Fatguy703+ — Listen here, all ye. Fatguy has beaten my nearly 2-year-long record of reset count in Impossible Mode. While his consistency when it comes to the Pit isn’t the best, it’s good, and his superguarding and strategy are great when he’s focused. He’s actually always been great despite all the memes and I think with this he is on the cusp of being a God. How he does in Master Quest, I think, will determine if his foot’s in the door or to the exit; I’ll be watching closely.
  • GamerFourFun
TTYD
  • Gibstack
  • ilikepieinmouth+ — While Pie is still undoubtedly the best superguarder, I just can’t keep him up as a God on superguarding alone. The superguard-heavy challenges he’s completed are nothing short of impressive, but I look for more than just superguarding in amazing players. He’ll likely stay here for eternity until I see more strategy that’s not about reducing superguards.
  • Miccat87
64
  • DarkMario1000

GREAT TIER

— Players in this tier are proficient in their game of choice. These are what I would consider to be a “general” challenge runner.
(sorted alphabetically)
COMBINED
None.
TTYD
  • DarkMario1000+ — DarkMario, at this point, is on the level of Elite+ when it comes to strategy. There’s really no way around it — the guy knows his stuff. Still, I’d like to see more footage. Seeing him do a run would really help cement him in Elite. As it stands, I just can’t bring myself to move him up without more concrete gameplay.
  • Gible_V — Coming back from inactivity, Gible has finally completed Impossible Mode. Along with the other Pit challenges she’s completed, I think she’s earned her spot here. We’ll see if she goes any further.
  • Grassdigger+ — Grassdigger’s in the same boat as DarkMario — his breakout performance during the puzzle challenges was quite impressive, despite him taking a small back seat later on. I think he might’ve won otherwise. If he ever decides to start posting more videos, I’m sure he’ll be Elite.
  • Kyle
  • MorningStar+ — Just saw this guy recently, and I like what I see. He recently finished Level Zero Double Damage (including a perfect Gloomtail fight!) and literally finished the Pit with no Strange Sack as I’m posting this to my blog. If he continues, he can only go up.
64
  • Jon
  • Miccat87

GOOD TIER

— Players here have breached past what I would consider “casual” and are officially challenge runners (or have the skills to be one). Most new challenge runners will be put her since usually they’ve only completed one or two challenges or are in the process of completing their first one.
(sorted alphabetically)
COMBINED
  • simodomino
TTYD
  • Auron Nomcario+ —  I’d say that Auron’s done enough with puzzles alone to earn him a +. Not enough to jump to Great tier, but he’s really close!
  • Slime
  • Stylish+
64
None.

INACTIVE TIER

— Inactive Players. Players have their last tier listed for reference.
(sorted alphabetically)
  • A. A. Ran — Elite Tier (TTYD) | Good Tier+ (64)
  • amazydayzee — Elite Tier (TTYD)
  • Auron Nomcario — Great Tier (64)
  • avengah — Elite Tier (TTYD)
  • Blanket P.I. — Great Tier (COMBINED)
  • catbooger — Good Tier (TTYD)
  • Codebox — Great Tier (COMBINED)
  • DiamondCrafterA — Good Tier (TTYD)
  • Dount Cooku — Good Tier (TTYD)
  • Dyla — Great Tier+ (TTYD)
  • Feposo — Good Tier (TTYD)
  • Gradis — Good Tier (TTYD)
  • Jayjar100 — Good Tier (TTYD)
  • JakeTheSnake — Good Tier (TTYD)
  • Jdaster64 — God Tier (COMBINED)
  • Lolyuri — Good Tier (64)
  • Mailguy — Good Tier (64)
  • Mathcat — Good Tier (TTYD)
  • Michael The Fox — Great Tier (TTYD)
  • MilesLuigi — Elite Tier (COMBINED)
  • MellowMathTeacher — Great Tier (COMBINED)
  • Mr_Some1 — Good Tier (TTYD)
  • ngburns — Great Tier (TTYD)
  • Olmi — Elite Tier (COMBINED)
  • OmegaRaptor — Good Tier (TTYD)
  • Prentiscool — Good Tier (TTYD)
  • Skawo — Elite Tier (COMBINED)
  • Starlad — Good Tier (64)
  • StarmanOmega — Great Tier (TTYD)
  • stebbdogg — Great Tier (TTYD)
  • Wayoshi — Elite Tier (TTYD) | Great Tier (64)
  • ThatOneSpyGuy — Elite Tier (TTYD)
  • Timmy — Great Tier (64)
  • TRex Quisite — Great Tier (COMBINED)
  • TwoPieRadian — Good Tier (TTYD) | Great Tier (64)
NOTABLE CHANGES & THOUGHTS
  • ilikepieinmouth has moved down from God Tier to Elite Tier because he continues to only do superguard-heavy runs when he does play. There’s no question of his superguarding superiority, but…there’s more to playing this game than superguarding. Good strategy cannot be overlooked.
  • Jdaster64, despite participation in the most recent puzzle challenges, has moved to Inactive. I thought about keeping him up because of the puzzle challenges, but he stopped pretty early in the game and he hasn’t done anything with Paper Mario in 3+ months, so Inactive seemed to be the best fit for now.
  • As I predicted, there are a lot of inactive players. C’mon, guys, let’s do some runs! I want to see more new faces!

And that’s it for this version of the tier list! I hope you all enjoyed reading my thoughts on this. If you’re interested in making it on this list, start challenge running (and if I missed you or you think someone else should be added, please let me know so I can update this and future tier lists)! A great resource for challenge runners is the Glitz Pit, a Discord server dedicated to challenge running the Paper Mario series. You can also check out my Discord server.

Just Sayin’

September 2018
December 2018
March 2019
October 2019

Kappy’s Paper Mario Challenge Running Tier List v5.0 (March 2019)

Since the end of December of 2017, I’ve been keeping tabs on the players who challenge run Paper Mario and Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door. I did this mainly because despite there not being an official list of the best players from the Glitz Pit Discord, there’s still discussion about it. Also, I like tier lists.

Let’s jump in!

  • + symbol means edge case for next tier up
  • This is my personal opinion; I repeat: this list is NOT objective.

GOD TIER

— The best of the best. The cream of the crop.
(sorted alphabetically)
COMBINED
  • Jdaster64
  • Kappy
  • Koop
TTYD

None.

64
None.

ELITE TIER

— Players in this tier are highly proficient in their game of choice. These are some of the best.
(sorted alphabetically)
COMBINED
  • Fatguy
  • GamerFourFun
  • MilesLuigi
  • Olmi
TTYD
  • A. A. Ran
  • Gibstack
  • Miccat87 — After a recent 10 HP PHP NMRP completion and continuing to work towards other things like BP Only PHP and his current runs, I see fit for him to join the Elite ranks of TTYD players. Miccat is another player who leans more towards the strategy side of things.
64
  • DarkMario1000

GREAT TIER

— Players in this tier are proficient in their game of choice. These are what I would consider to be a “general” challenge runner.
(sorted alphabetically)
COMBINED
  • MellowMathTeacher
TTYD
  • DarkMario1000
  • Grassdigger — I know this guy started No Damage during last list’s time period, but stopped really early so I didn’t bother putting him on. However, the guy’s impressive display so far in the puzzle challenges on the Glitz Pit are more than enough to get him up here. I don’t think I can really push him further (maybe a +?) until I see some solid game play and a run or two, but the kid’s smart when it comes to strategy in TTYD. Nothing but impressive so far.
  • Kyle
64
  • Jon — Jon’s moving up to Great tier after having decided to complete multiple submissions from the Community Challenges on the Glitz Pit and doing all of them. He’s pretty good, and it’s impressive that he completed so many unique challenges in 64. We’ll see if he climbs any higher.
  • Miccat87 — After the recent community challenges and seeing promise in his new Even Turn run, it just made sense to move Miccat up to Great tier in 64. I’m excited to see if he catches up to TTYD and we have another Elite in the COMBINED section soon.
  • Timmy

GOOD TIER

— Players here have breached past what I would consider “casual” and are officially challenge runners (or have the skills to be one). Most new challenge runners will be put her since usually they’ve only completed one or two challenges or are in the process of completing their first one.
(sorted alphabetically)
COMBINED
  • simodomino
TTYD
  • Auron Nomcario — Auron’s back in the game with Season 2 of the puzzle challenges underway and new challenges being attempted. Will he stay in Good tier or jump up to Great? Time will tell.
  • Slime — A new runner who jumped head first into Impossible Mode. Right now, he seems just alright. We’ll see how he fares as he continues the run (or if he gives up).
  • Stylish+ — A new runner who recently completed PHP and PHP NMRP. If he keeps going he’ll easily make it into Great tier.
64
  • A. A. Ran+
  • Lolyuri
  • Mailguy

INACTIVE TIER

— Inactive Players. Players have their last tier listed for reference.
(sorted alphabetically)
  • amazydayzee — Elite Tier (TTYD)
  • Auron Nomcario — Great Tier (64)
  • avengah — Elite Tier (TTYD)
  • Blanket P.I. — Great Tier (COMBINED)
  • catbooger — Good Tier (TTYD)
  • Codebox — Great Tier (COMBINED)
  • DiamondCrafterA — Good Tier (TTYD)
  • Dount Cooku — Good Tier (TTYD)
  • Dyla — Great Tier+ (TTYD)
  • Feposo — Good Tier (TTYD)
  • Gible_V — Good Tier (TTYD)
  • Gradis — Good Tier (TTYD)
  • Jayjar100 — Good Tier (TTYD)
  • JakeTheSnake — Good Tier (TTYD)
  • ilikepieinmouth — God Tier (TTYD)
  • Mathcat — Good Tier (TTYD)
  • Michael The Fox — Great Tier (TTYD)
  • Mr_Some1 — Good Tier (TTYD)
  • ngburns — Great Tier (TTYD)
  • OmegaRaptor — Good Tier (TTYD)
  • Prentiscool — Good Tier (TTYD)
  • Skawo — Elite Tier (COMBINED)
  • Starlad — Good Tier (64)
  • StarmanOmega — Great Tier (TTYD)
  • stebbdogg — Great Tier (TTYD)
  • Wayoshi — Elite Tier (TTYD) | Great Tier (64)
  • ThatOneSpyGuy — Elite Tier (TTYD)
  • TRex Quisite — Great Tier (COMBINED)
  • TwoPieRadian — Good Tier (TTYD) | Great Tier (64)
NOTABLE CHANGES & THOUGHTS
  • Not a lot of changes. It’s been a pretty slow start to the year. Some things to look out for:
    • ilikepieinmouth has become inactive. He’s still a God for those who may have panicked for a second when they didn’t see him up there.
    • Lots of people here are close to becoming inactive. If there are no real big updates from them expect to see that list grow quite a bit next update. Hopefully, that doesn’t happen!
    • While many have been continuing their runs, if it didn’t change their rank then I just didn’t see a need to update them this time around. I’d like to wait for them to be finished. Hopefully, that’s soon!
    • Snowy has been removed from the inactive list. Snowy speedruns PHP and is damn good at them, but it’s a little out of place here. No offense to Snowy — I’m a fan of his, but I don’t see a reason to keep him inactive when he’s active but not challenge running.
    • My journey for the one true GOAT status has finally begun. I am challenge running seriously once more!! Catch my Even Turn No Superguards (TTYD), Shufflizer BP Only (TTYD), and 10 HP Pacifist Mario (64) runs on Twitch or YouTube!

And that’s it for this version of the tier list! I hope you all enjoyed reading my thoughts on this. If you’re interested in making it on this list, start challenge running (and if I missed you, let me know)! A great resource for challenge runners is the Glitz Pit, a Discord server dedicated to challenge running the Paper Mario series. You can also check out my Discord server.

Just Sayin’

September 2018
December 2018
July 2019
October 2019

Choosing a Main in Super Smash Bros.

Thanksgiving is around the corner. That means you’ll be joining together with family and friends, and you know the relatives around your age are gonna want to play some Super Smash Bros.! So get ready to bust out your main and lay down some heat!

A “main” is something that anyone in a competitive fighting game can toss around – it’s the character you use the most; the character that you’re trying to win with; the character you have the most fun with. It doesn’t just encompass competitive play – even casual players have a “main” character that they’ll use amongst friends and challengers.

Picking your main is an important part of Super Smash Bros. This is the character you’ll be putting in most of your time practicing and playing with. It’s the character you’ll do research on, learn match-ups for, and try to win with.

So, how do you pick one? There are a lot of characters and a lot of different styles of play. I’m going to break this down, because finding a main happens even in casual play, and I’d like to address those players in this post as well.

The first thing I want to cover applies to every level, but especially competitive players, and that’s style.

I won’t go over this in too much detail (but I highly recommend you go look some of this stuff up or ask me personally to break it down further), but when I say “style” I’m referring to the style the character brings out. I’m sure you’ve heard the terms, “Aggressive Falco”, or “Defensive Mario”. Aggressive and Defensive are both styles of play. Let me give you a list of the common ones and a small definition of them:

Aggressive/Offensive: Focuses on applying pressure to win. Often will throw out many attacks.

Defensive/Campy: Focuses on defense and punishing. Tends to attack much less and throws out projectiles if able instead of running at the opponent.

Bait and Punish: Utilizes pressure and defense to fool opponent and punish them hard. Also likes to use frame traps to force 50/50 situations (you guess wrong you get punished, you guess right you’re safe).

Now, a player is not strictly one of these styles. I would say a player combines a blend of these styles but leans towards one more than the others.

So what does this have to do with picking a character?

Well, characters have certain styles that fit them better. Take the character I use: Kirby. Kirby doesn’t excel very well in the offensive department – he has slow ground and air speed and so doesn’t have the luxury of moving in and out quickly and just throwing out attacks. Kirby’s best played with a Bait and Punish style. He lures characters in and then punishes hard. If you lean more towards an Offensive style, Kirby might not feel right for you.

When you’re picking a character, you want to find one that fits ‘you’, the player. If you don’t feel comfortable playing a certain way, but that character begs to be played that way, I suggest you look for another character, or learn to play that style better. I actually lean heavily towards Offensive, but due to my experience I’m able to turn Kirby into a character that can be played my way. That takes a very long time – long after you’ve improved.

Okay, let’s dive a little deeper into the levels of play and how they should think about main selection.

Casual

If you’re playing at a more casual level, I highly recommend that your main be who you have the most fun with. Or, if you’ve got character loyalty, go ahead and continue being loyal. At this level of play, characters are pretty balanced. No one really understands the ways to abuse a character’s strong points and exploit their weak points.

Why would someone casual have a main? C’mon, Smash is still a competition, and people like to win. Even if you’re casual, there’s gonna be kids who want to challenge you. You gotta have a character to lay the smack down with. It’s definitely not as important, but identifying yourself with a character definitely helps you bond with other players (“Oh, you play Fox? Cool! I play Ike.”). That conversation happens a lot in any level of play.

Style is important, but really, your style isn’t as refined here, so you can get away with playing basically everyone.

Casual-Competitive

This is for the players who are casual but might be interested in joining the competitive scene or are just naturally competitive and play much more than their casual counterpart, or are players who are part of the competitive scene but don’t have a burning desire to improve (AKA ME).

At this point your style has been refined. You probably can recognize how you play and are able to pinpoint which characters suit your style. If you’re not worried about how you place or if you want to develop a character that’s not top tier, go ahead. If they suit your style, go for it!

The bottom line for this level and the other level is that you shouldn’t sweat who your main is. Pick who you like and who you have fun with! Try and further a character’s meta along. Who knows? That character might become the next top tier fad.

If you want to win and really improve results-wise, however…

Competitive

Pick a current high – top tier character. You want to win and to improve. You want results. If you don’t, you’re Casual-Competitive, and that’s okay. But for those that want glory, pick a character that’s high on the tier list and that fits your style. Don’t try to mold a character – pick one that flows with the style you lean towards naturally – you’ll improve much faster when you’re not battling your main’s preferred style. And don’t try to change your own style yet – wait until you’ve got some experience. You want a character that lets you lean towards your own style, which means you can utilize their tools effectively.

Characters like Mario and Sheik are all great characters to pick because they mesh well with basically all three styles of play and allow you to lean towards any style and not feel like you’re battling the character.

If your character falls out of favor and is deemed less than high tier? Stick with it for at least a year (as I mentioned in my improvement post about character loyalty) and then consider changing. At that point you’ve got enough experience to make a solid decision yourself, provided you’ve been improving often and not hitting a plateau.

———

Your main is a part of you. Don’t take picking one lightly, but also don’t put too much thought into it. It is just a character in a game after all. I suggest, for every skill level, you play around with the characters available to you and feel each one out. Then you can make an informed decision about which one you want to pick.

And if you’re competitive: stick to the main you’ve chosen. That means put in the appropriate time to pick one and not regret it.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone – have fun Smashing with family and friends! 🙂

Just Sayin’

Improvement in Smash 4 VI – Preparing for a Tournament

**If you’re unfamiliar with Smash, this probably isn’t the post for you unless you’re curious. In order to get a full understanding of this, you should be familiar with Smash’s game mechanics and lingo (EX: Forward Air = Fair), specifically the mechanics for Super Smash Bros. Wii U.

In a stroke of a luck, I actually have a tournament I’ll be attending this weekend! All of you who read this series and find it insightful can now meet me in person (if you haven’t already). Don’t worry, I’ll have a pen ready to sign autographs!

But blissful dreams aside, preparing for a tournament is a crucial part to how you’re going to play the day of. You need to be prepared if you want to maximize your chances of succeeding. With that in mind, let’s jump right in!

Research

The first thing you want to do is research. It doesn’t matter if it’s a local*/monthly/regional/national – you need to do your research. Are Miis allowed? Customs on or off? What about stage list?

*Obviously, if this is a local that you’re a regular at, you should know the rules

Next, research the players. Who’s attending? Any top names? Also try and find prominent local members of that area’s community. Are other players from different areas in the stage going? Who’s in the top 15 of the state/region/area?

What characters do all of those players use? What’s the area/state’s most popular character? Chicago, for example, is heavy on Mario and Sheik.

If you’re traveling, make sure you’ve got stuff planned. The more stress you can reduce before the tournament, the more you can focus on training and health.

Where are you going to eat? See the food options available at the venue.

Training

Here’s where you take your research and apply it to your training. When it comes to a monthly/regional/national, you need to change your regiment. Play a little more and narrow down your training. If you’re from State Y and you’re coming to a Chicago monthly, you’re going to want to practice a little more against Sheik and Mario. Obviously, don’t neglect any characters, but your focus should be more on the popular characters and top players in the region and those characters. Is someone Out of State coming that’s a top player? Prepare for them too.

When you’re watching videos, study the top players to get a feel for how they play.

For stages, make sure you practice all the stages legal for that tournament. Give special attention to stages that aren’t legal in your local scene.

Remember when I said play for 30 minutes a day? Bump that up to 45 minutes to an hour. Try and attend as many locals as you can. If you want to win, you need to put in the time and effort, and you wanna ramp up before a tournament to maximize how well you’re playing.

A Few Other Things

SLEEP – You may want to play into the night before a tournament, but believe me you want to be alert, and coffee ain’t gonna do it for you. Get proper rest. If you’re staying up hella late you’re cutting your chances of winning.

SHOWER – And let me be clear, this doesn’t just benefit everyone. Cleaning yourself gives you a better chance of warding off being sick. You play worse when you’re sick.

EAT WELL – Don’t get a goddamn McGriddle before you play. You want sustainable energy that’ll help keep you alert and not exhausted. So, seriously, try and eat better the day of. Get chicken instead of a burger. Get a salad instead of fries. Eat a meal bar or a protein bar.

WATER – Drink it. Love it. Be it. Don’t drink poison *coughsodaenergydrinksanythingnotwatercough* Stay hydrated.

At the Tournament

Play friendlies!!! I can’t stress this enough. Play as many friendlies with as many different people as possible, preferably with either your main or a very comfortable secondary. The goal here is to attain as much knowledge as possible about your prospective opponents. Even if it means throwing down a little cash, get in those games with top players and talk to them. Most top players are actually pretty nice, and should be more than happy to offer you some tips.

Also, friendlies are a very good way to learn without going through the stress of a tournament match, which helps you conserve energy. You’ll want to make sure you don’t burn out over the course of the day, so make sure you do whatever it takes to stay in tip top form all day.

Most Importantly

When you’re at a tournament, have fun. Your mood is crucial to how well you’re going to be playing that day, so make sure you’re not focused solely on winning and stressing yourself out. Enjoy yourself! Plenty of times you’ll read articles from top players where they play insanely well because they were just enjoying themselves and somehow ended up winning the biggest tournament of their life.

——

Seriously, come say hi to me if you’ll be at Mashfest this Saturday, September 5th, if you haven’t already met me in person. I’ll be there, available for questions, chatting, friendlies, etc… you’ll know it’s me because I’m super loud and I’ll be wearing a gray Fedora with a Paper Mario pin on it.

Also, one more blog post before I wrap up the improvement series!

Just Sayin’

The tournament I’m going to is called Mashfest. Check out the FB page for it! Go to it! Y’know…to get my autograph 🙂 https://www.facebook.com/events/724406491038862/

I – Fundamentals
II – A Different Way to Look at Match Ups
III – Attitude
IV – Friendlies
V – Stages
VII – Training Regimens
VIII – Character Loyalty

Check out the BONUS series!

IX – The Plateau
X – Practice Methods I
XI – Practice Methods II
XII – Practice Methods III
XIII – At a Tournament
XIV – Practice Methods BONUS IV
XV – Game Flow

Improvement in Smash 4 IV – Friendlies

**If you’re unfamiliar with Smash, this probably isn’t the post for you unless you’re curious. In order to get a full understanding of this, you should be familiar with Smash’s game mechanics and lingo (EX: Forward Air = Fair), specifically the mechanics for Super Smash Bros. Wii U.

Let’s talk friendlies.

Friendlies are one of your best resources for valuable practice, especially since you can play in a low-risk environment where you can talk mid-match, pause, etc…

The absolute best way to utilize friendlies is to disregard their relevance as it pertains to your skill level. Losing sucks, but that shouldn’t compel you to play to win all the time. I want you to make sure you drill this into your head: Winning. Friendlies. Is NOT. Important. There’s no pride lost in losing a friendly.

Let me paint you a quick picture. It’s been 3 months since I picked up Project M competitively, and I go to the local monthly. There, an Out of State (OoS) Lucas players 3-stocks me in friendlies. Now my friends are gettin’ hype because I got bopped, as friends do, and I just laugh it off. Coincidentally, I fight the same Lucas player, and I solidly beat him – it’s a complete turnaround to what happened while we were playing friendlies. The kid wasn’t very happy when he lost – I’m pretty sure he was going in confident after 3-stocking me before. I won where it counted – in tournament.

So then, what should you be doing during friendlies once you’ve acquired this mindset? How did I go from losing those friendlies to winning in tournament? By experimenting!

When I play friendlies, my general game plan is “what can I get away with against this player?” To that end, I ask myself questions as I play – what if I try x move in y situation? Would z be more optimal? How well can my opponent punish me for throwing out moves haphazardly? How well can they deal with pressure on and offstage? Will they fall for a gimmick? What spacing are they struggling with against me? What habits can I ascertain easily? Once I find this out, I can adjust my game plan accordingly if we meet in bracket, where all that information will be put towards me winning.

To this end, I always play friendlies to learn, rather to win. Winning a bunch of friendlies is great, but playing to win means you’re not allowing yourself to explore the “what if” scenarios that are present in every game you play. That spike you don’t go for? Maybe you could’ve learned if it were possible by at least going for it in a friendly. You’re basically stripping yourself of valuable information.

Friendlies are also a great way to practice a specific MU. This is the only time I’ll tell you to take the player out of the equation momentarily – when you practice a MU, look for a few things:

– Move priority
– Kill %’s
– General Spacing

Then zone in more tightly. Look for ways to get around a Sheik throwing needles. What’s the best spot to disrupt a Yoshi’s Eggs? How can you space away from a Luigi’s grab? In other words, look for very character-specific instances and look for ways your character can beat it. Then, take all of this information and apply it to the player. Luigi can Nair through a double Uair combo, so see how a player reacts to it – do they stop it, do they not? Sometimes, even a disadvantageous position can turn advantageous if the player is unaware of it.

Make sure you’re talking with your opponent before, during, and after friendlies. Even if they don’t know much about the game, asking for advice or just conversing about the game can sometimes provide valuable insight into the game itself, the fundamentals, and how that player views and plays the game. That’s critical information when playing against them. You’ve (hopefully) read all of my posts now – how do you think I play the game? What’s my style? I guarantee you can tell from reading these posts.

Finally, friendlies provide one other very useful function – they’re GIANT energy-savers when it comes to endurance during a tournament. But we’ll talk about that later.

Friendlies are your best tool for practice. They allow you to learn and adapt without the pressure of winning. And if you’re experiencing pressure to win, drop that now and start thinking about friendlies differently. They’re a tool for you, not a way to prove yourself.

That’s what results and taking names in bracket are for.

Just Sayin’

I – Fundamentals
II – A Different Way to Look at Match Ups
III – Attitude
V -Stages
VI – Preparing for a Tournament
VII – Training Regimens
VIII – Character Loyalty

Check out the BONUS series!

IX – The Plateau
X – Practice Methods I
XI – Practice Methods II
XII – Practice Methods III
XIII – At a Tournament
XIV – Practice Methods BONUS IV
XV – Game Flow