Sunday, May 5, 2019

BOOK I - Fair AI: Basics

Zelda's lightning kick has a strange animation that sharply raises her ECB then drops it slightly immediately following. Timing this change in ECB near a platform can interrupt the startup of a kick, land zelda, autocancel for 4 frames, and leave Zelda actionable on platform. This is likely the fastest way to land and be actionable on a side platform on all stages.

Fair AI is extremely useful if not critical in the modern meta to bring Zelda up to speed. It is her fastest way to reach a side platform on any stage and drastically improves her mobility and power, as being on platform is one of the best places to be to maximize Zelda's power and mobility. In addition, fair AI enables speed enough to uthrow an opponent to a side platform, fair AI, and techchase grab. It is also exceptionally easy to buffer shield drop from, and you can quickly warp to platform and begin passing through it to maximize your movement and attack options.

The most influential stage to apply fair AI is battlefield. The fastest possible AIs are 2 non-overlapping frame perfect windows, either doublejump on frame 5 after jumpsquat and fair on frame 4 after double jump, or frame 4 and 5, respectively. Actionable on the platform on frame 28, counting the first jumpsquat frame as 1, every other option to be actionable on a side platform is slower, with a reasonably lenient window to input a slower AI and be actionable between frame 33 and frame 39, making it reasonably safe to attempt without the risk of floating upwards inactionable through platform throwing a kick.

The speeds of options to be actionable on battlefield side platform:
Fair AC AI: Frame 28
No-Impact Landing: Frame 32
Uair AC AI: Frame 33
Similar frame advantages are available on other stages. Other stages also afford the ability to waveland off of side platform and fair AI onto top platform; battlefield's top platform is too high to do so.

Fair AI is also one of the strongest albeit hardest ledge options Zelda has available to her, granting 7 galint (frames of invulnerable actionability from ledge) on a stage with flat walls, 9 galint on yoshi's, or 13 galint on battlefield.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019


Nayru's love is usually not a good option against a shielding opponent, but an interesting property of her environmental collision box allows it to gain some function where it would usually only lead to a neutral loss. When you nayru's very close to the ground, the bottom of your ECB rises and you begin sinking into the ground without being in a landed state. This actually drops the hitboxes down with your movement lower than they would be if you landed and hit a standing nayru's. I've been referring to this as a subwarp, in that it is a strange type of platform warp that can happen on any flat plane and lowers your model below the floor of what you're landing on.

This is surprisingly effective at shield poking your opponents and can convert a poor aerial approach vs a shield away from being grossly net negative and possibly squeak a neutral win into a punish out, and works very well when you've conditioned your oppponent to shield your nayru's and wait for punish.

This also can be seen during an out-of-shield nayru's performed one frame late, and indeed if you can spare the 60th of a second in an out-of-shield situation your nayru's hitboxes drop considerably and gain some considerable shield poking power.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

BOOK I - Speed By The Numbers (Smashboards)

The numbers behind Zelda's grounded movement speed and options.
Some things to note:
-The absolute fastest speed you can accomplish on the ground is a perfect waveland.
-Crossing flat ground is fastest with Farore's Wind, if you can afford the time and space to do so.
-Wavesurfing is your second fastest option.
-Her initial dash speed and maximum dash speed are identical; you move at full speed almost instantly.


Saturday, June 9, 2018

BOOK II - Nayru's Love: Basics

While initially appearing to be a clunky and restrictive special move, Nayru's is surprisingly versatile and useful in counterintuitive situations. The move has long end lag but is offset somewhat by a nice blender and a decent ending hitbox, but the real shining star of Nayru's is the 7 invuln frames it gives you during startup between frames 4 and 11. This enables you to use Nayru's as something similar to a parry with good timing, and it's much easier to land a more solid blender when your opponent whiffed something at you and is now halfway inside of you. This use in particular is closer to the triangle jump in terms of read requirements, but this is generally an easier read than a triangle jump. Unfortunately, unless you are on ledge and force your opponent offstage a Nayru's parry like this usually won't net you any followups, especially if your opponent rolls or techs out.

Nayru's shines (heh) most of all when using this parry as an out-of-shield option. You must jump oos to perform this nayru's after jumpsquat ends. Frame perfect this move is invuln 10-17 and hits on 17 from shield. This is best used to read grabs on shield and hard punish them. If timed correctly, a good grab read will leave them with empty hands dead in the center of Nayru's where it is most difficult to SDI out of the resulting blender.

Another really magnificent use of Nayru's is an aerial stall. You can use Nayru's midair to stop your vertical momentum. This is most useful to mixup when you are descending for followup or escape. If you missed a kick and your opponent is conditioned towards you wavelanding or regular landing, he may attempt something when actionable OoS. Throwing a Nayru's at around head level on shield will dodge any grab and blend and disrupt any option thrown too late. Aiming this with a little momentum  at their shield is best as you will have the option to land behind them where you cannot get shieldgrabbed if they manage to shield the entire Nayru's blender.

Nayru's can also be used to gimp recoveries, and most effectively flat / low and close recoveries. A nayru's slightly below ledge will blend a space animal hugging the stage, making stage teching almost impossible to time correctly. It is also useful against marth as good timing can put you in invuln during dolphin slash and stage spike before his sweetspot hits. A fast fthrow and an aggressive-coverage ledge nayru's can also be used to frame trap and interrupt DJs and fast recoveries and gimp at very low %.

Nayru's on platform has an additional and much faster OoS option, shield drop platform warp Nayru's. If you shield drop through the platform and Nayru's in the next 3 frames you will perform a platform warp and be grounded part of the way through the move without needing to jump. Frame perfect this gives you invuln 5-12 and hits 12-18, making it an extremely solid defensive option to further buff your presence on platforms.

It's worth noting that nayru's does have "edge cancel" ledge tech, but it is not a true edge cancel, nor extremely useful, nor an easy thing to pull off. If you SH Nayru's in air and land on the edge and slide off, you will complete the nayru's and become actionable shortly before grabbing ledge. This has fringe uses at best, with the most obvious being stuffing a high spacie recovery and taking ledge. There are almost always better coverage options, however.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

BOOK I - Boost Wavedash / Wavesurfing

Zelda's wavedash is tied for worst in the game alongside peach distance-wise, but that doesn't mean we can't improve it or otherwise bend it to our will. Zelda also has absurdly high initial dash speed that quickly falls off, and we can use this to extend our wavedash quite a bit farther than usual and cover more ground in a shorter time. Dashing for between 2 and 4 frames before wavedashing leads to an extended wavedash; it is a faster way to cover ground than just dashing or just wavedashing.

I have seen this referred to in a couple of places coloquially as 'surf wavedash' or 'wavesurfing', and it's fundamental in keeping your movement speed on-par with the rest of the cast such that you can respond to their movement options. This also has implications in landing your bairs and fairs; dashing 2 frames before starting a bair moves the bair significantly closer to your original position and makes punishing an approach rely less on a read and more on a reaction by replacing your original position with a kick rather than relying on them to move into a kick along a specific path to you.

Sunday, July 16, 2017


Uair has a ridiculous little thing that it does during the autocancel window where it pulls your feet (the bottom of your ECB) up then drops them within the first few frames. This can be used to quickly put yourself into 4-frame landing while not quite all the way up through a platform, shaving a ton of frames off of getting Zelda’s slow, hulking mass up onto a platform. Anytime you could waveland onto a platform while coming up through it (with a few exceptions) you can also uair ac ai and be grounded and actionable within a few frames. This really improves our platform game, for example taking platform then quickly dashing back can solidify your position and dodge a punish while possibly creating an opening of your own. This is a critical piece of platform movement that I’ve been employing to great effect. It can be used to quickly setup a dsmash or a techchase from a grab below a platform.