Basic and Advanced Concepts/Techniques in SSB4
This is a list of useful techniques that are probably not immediately obvious to the average/beginner smasher. First I’ll start off with listing some concepts that are new to SSB4, then go into some of the easier Basic Techniques, then end off with the more difficult Advanced Techniques.
NEW STUFF IN SSB4
Enrage Effect: Have you noticed how characters will start steaming when they get towards higher and higher percents? There is more than just the aesthetic touch to that effect. Every character in SSB4 gradually gets more knockback for the more percentage that they have accumulated (i.e. Lucario in Brawl, but with only a knockback gain and not a damage gain).
Anti Edge Hogging Mechanic: Edge hogging was a technique that involved grabbing the edge a second or less before a recovering opponent, causing that opponent to be unable to grab the ledge. This was removed entirely in SSB4 and was replaced with a new mechanic: instead of preventing the recovering character to grab the ledge, the recovering character would always be able to grab the ledge and you would pop off the ledge backwards.
Ledge Invincibility: Invincibility on the ledge was changed. You can gain invincibility from the ledge only once for about a second. You can only get invincibility on the ledge again after landing or being hit. Basically, you want to immediately climb up rather than ledge stall.
Abusing the Anti Edge Hog Mechanic: I’m sorry. Okay, so basically in an edge guarding situation, you could wait for your opponent to grab the ledge. You might be able to sneakily drop down and grab the ledge on your opponent, popping him/her off. You could then follow up on the popped off (and hopefully off guard) opponent with an appropriate aerial move.
Anti Chain Grab Mechanic: The devs have also implemented in SSB4 something that makes every character unable to grab again immediately after throwing. Basically, you should just never try to chain grab in SSB4. Combo instead.
Vector Influence (VI): VI is the new version Directional Influence (DI). In previous Smash games, you could curve your trajectory by inputting a direction, i.e. up or down if you are flying rightward. In SSB4 however, the method of directional influence has changed. The control stick input creates a vector that adds to your current trajectory. In simple words, instead of inputting up or down when flying rightwards, you should input left (directly opposite of the direction you are flying).
Also, there is no L-cancelling and no random tripping (yay) in SSB4.
Fast Falling: If you are falling, you can tap the control stick down in order to fall at about double the speed. This can be used in conjunction with short hopping in order to perform fast aerials and land quickly.
Footstool Jumping: You can jump off of a character’s head, pushing the opponent downward if in the air. You can use this off the edge to both make certain your opponent gets KO’d and make sure you get back to the stage. This can be abused by some characters in SSB4 such as ZSS in conjunction with her Down B to do an infinite combo.
Power Shielding: Pressing the shield button will cause your shield to initially cover your entire body with a white shield and then decay slowly. That white shield has reflective properties. You can reflect most (all?) projectiles with the initiation of your shield.
Shield Grabbing: You can use your shield to block an incoming attack, and then press A to grab an opponent in front of you. This is an easy method of countering someone attacking you from the front and stopping in front of you. Most aerial attacks can be shield grabbed.
Shield Positioning: You can lightly input a direction while shielding to move your shield slightly in that direction. (Inputting a direction fully will cause you to jump, roll, or dodge.)
Short Hopping: Tapping up or the jump button for a short time will cause your character to jump to a smaller height then normal. This is really useful for using quick aerials on grounded opponents, and/or in conjunction with fast falling.
Teching (also known as Breakfall or Ukemi): If you are in a helpless state after being attacked, pressing the shield button while hitting the floor or wall will cause your character to be invulnerable for a short time. You can also input a direction when hitting the floor, and you will roll in that direction. It is most often useful to roll away from your opponent so as to not be attacked out of your tech.
Dash Dancing (very difficult): This is a technique that causes your character to run left and right in quick succession. You perform this by tapping left and right on the control stick very fast, without pressing down or up. You need to be fast enough to cause you character to change directions during the start of his/her running animation. This technique is useful, as you can try to bait out attacks from your opponent, weaving in and out of their range, and immediately turn around and counter attack.
Pivot Grab/Attack: If you run in one direction and then tap the other direction, your character will perform a pivoting animation. This animation can be cancelled into an attack or grab. The usefulness of this technique varies from character to character.
Reverse Aerial Rush (RAR): This is something you should use when approaching an opponent to Back Air them. Start running in one direction, begin a pivot, then immediately jump and continue going in the air in the original direction. I used this technique ALOT when playing as Kirby in Brawl, and now I use it a decent amount when playing Mega Man.
Shield Dropping (very difficult): This isn’t very important if your unshielding animation is short. If you shielding are on a platform, this causes you to drop from that platform without having to go through the unshielding animation. You have to tap your control stick down partially, large enough to drop from the platform, and small enough that you don’t spot dodge. Also, if you don’t do it fast enough, you will just shift your shield down.
Smash Directional Influence (SDI): Smash DI is where you tap the control stick in a direction while being hit by an attack. This causes you to immediately shift a short amount in that direction, sometimes causing the trajectory of the attack to be completely changed.
Neutral B Pivot (difficult): When performing a Neutral B attack, you can input a direction immediately after initiating the Neutral B in order to turn your character in that direction. This can also cause your momentum to shift if done in the air.
That’s all that I can think of right now. I can add to this list if anyone finds anything or if I forgot something.