Anticipation over Reaction

One of the most frusturating elements of this game, for me, is the focus on “anticipation” over reaction.

I can’t really say it’s a BAD thing, but after playing so many games that are heavily reaction based, it’s hard completely telegraphing ones intentions for the sake of “getting it out in time.”

Correct me if i’m wrong and assist me to learn… From what I can tell, some of the defensive options or moves in the game (Ike’s counter, Air dodging and the like) don’t seem to kick in instantly but instead take a moment to go into effect. I don’t know… it makes me feel like i’m giving away my intentions too early and allowing my opponents a greater chance to wait and observe my intentions.

Hmm… makes things appear to be a little too stacked against a defender.

Am I correct? Should I, instead, be focused on other options? Or am I reading things wrong? I’m not exactly an expert at the game and I know my first problem is that I keep trying to play it like other games where you would WANT to wait until the last possible second to do a lot of things…

Also, haven’t tested it much (AKA at all), but how is P-atch’s Toad counter in this game? Is it any better than Melee’s?

Brawl is all about spacing, spamming your characters best moves, and because of the floaty game play for the majority of the cast you’re rewarded for playing defensively more often than offensively (though i’m always aggressive no matter who I use).

Look at how effective shield countering is, it’s an essential cornerstone tactic to excel in brawl, almost everything during a match is a priority battle.


For example if i’m against D3 I know to watch out for chain grab, if i’m against wolf I should be prepared to counter laser spam, if I face gannon I should anticipate and punish the lag on his moves.

You got it twisted, the game is stacked against the aggressor, shield grabbing is really good, but you’re right about waiting to counter until the last second I know it’s hard to get the timing down at first but eventually you’ll get it and check out the links on my sticky they’ll help.

Well, knowing what a character can do is basics 101. I’m more concerned about how some of the defensive options like rolling and air dpdging are functioning.

Word indeed. Counter character-ing seems almost up to ST levels in this game.

At least so far…

Im having a really hard time anticipating moves, normal/air dodges are so difficult for me to use effectively, I end up just dodging randomly and feeling stupid and getting punished for it.

if you dont have a problem with anticipation and just aren’t used to it, why not get used to it? being able to predict your opponent’s every move is always a good thing, no matter the game. it should help you realize where your opponent is predictable, and how to counter that predictability and use it against them. I think this is one of the things that adds a considerable amount of depth to the game.

the only defensive moves you want to do in this game are shield, run, and air dodge. auto-counter moves are generally very very bad moves. it is much better to just air dodge then counter with your own attack or shield then counter, because there is no punishment that will make using a dodge/shield bad really. they are always good options.

edit: oh yeah never shield roll towards your opponent unless you are positive it will be safe. rolling behind your opponent with shield roll is ALWAYS punishable with a down smash or grab, it is never safe, even if it make work on some people, good players never let anyone do that.

Good post. Counter-character playing is actually 50% of the game’s strategy it seems. It has gotten to the point where I compare it to Pokemon.

The other 50% is knowing the priorities of moves, some characters have deceptive priority (Snake is a primary example) and many characters have priorities so high that an opponent’s entire offense is rendered useless because none of their normals can even clash, it’s quite absurd.