Marth Guide

How do I git gud with Marth on Project M? Annd how the fuck do I Ken Combo properly, the dair seems to have gigantic input lag and it never lets me recover until I’m halfway below the stage’s pit.

Follow Melee guides to Marth. Of all PM characters, Marth functions the most identically to his Melee incarnation and requires the least adjustment. The only big difference is dair has a really short landing lag time, so it’s more useful as a launcher.

The key to the ken combo is that you need to jump at someone, fair them, then jump again and dair as you’re jumping. Dair does have a long recovery time. If you are moving downwards at all offstage and decide to dair, you can kiss that stock goodbye. The big thing to practice with dair is looking for opportunities where the opponent is launched offstage in hitstun and capitalizing on those ASAP. If you dair as you jump, then you’ll recover mid-jump and be fine.

A good alternative to the ken combo that you should learn is fair into reverse dolphin slash. It works in situations that the ken combo doesn’t, and creates a pseudo DI trap with the ken combo (you can escape the ken combo by DIing out, which makes you more likely to die from reverse dolphin, it’s a pseudo trap because they’re DIing off the fair, not the second hit).

Ken combo just takes a lot of practice to build up the intuition for it.

Can you give some in-depth tips for engaging with Marth? Guides only mention general guidelines such as use the tipper, spacing is important, take advantage of the disjointed hitbox etc etc without giving more specific, practical examples

I’m practically writing a Marth guide from all these asks.

A lot of Marth’s neutral game is covered in broad strokes by my footsies guide:

I found this article really helpful for dealing with sheik, one of marth’s worst matchups:

Dtilt is marth’s safest option for controlling space because it has a lot of IASA frames, so it’s not very punishable. It loses to SHFFL anything though. Double SH fair is awesome for shutting down opponent’s SHFFL and grounded approaches, but it’s easily punished with shieldgrabs or whiff punishes (dash dance grab). Grab is your standard whiff punish option. Dash attack is bad, but works in scenarios where your opponent is running away from you and you’re running towards them and they’re in range, starts combos. Nair autocancels if used immediately after jumping and if you don’t fast fall it (or fast fall late), so it makes a great crossup pressure tool, but generally you shouldn’t approach with it (or if you do, hit with the tip, then abuse the autocancel frames to punish your opponent’s option out of shield). Nair is more about getting air superiority and preventing approaches. Up air can be used as a combo starter on landing, but only if you’re willing to go inside your opponent. Dair can too, but it has sucky landing lag, so it only works at higher percentages. Ftilt is a kind of slow poke move that will beat SHFFLs, and out of range ground stuff, it kind of sucks and is situational, but is also kind of good for pushing opponents offstage, or as a grounded anti-air option.

Fair, dash attack, grab, up tilt, and up air are your neutral combo starters.

You want to focus primarily on dtilt, fair, and grab in the neutral game, especially dtilt and grab. Fair looks good and leads into combos, but it’s risky. Dtilt on hit or block can throw your opponent off their game, opening them up for a grab. Dash dance grab is your anti-air option most of the time. You want to dash out of the range of your opponent’s attack, then dash back at them and grab. With every fair or nair, you want to hit precisely with the tip. Ideally you hit with the tip on everything. If you hit with the tip, then even on block it’s safe.

Fsmash is the best move ever when you land it, and the worst move ever when it whiffs or is blocked. Super easy to whiff punish, and gives your opponent a free wavedash out of shield into grab when blocked. Use it when they’re in the air to make it safe.

The key with Marth is, get the tipper Fsmash at 70% and/or edgeguard them successfully or they’ll live to 120-150%. Above 70%, your combos stop working, so you can’t set up for fsmash anymore and just need to fish for opportunities to push them offstage. If they’re at a ridiculously high percentage and they’re a floaty, side B them into up tilt. It’s not a true combo, but it’s the next best thing.

I recently played PM after a long time and for the first time against a player and how the FUCK are you supposed to fight Marth? ALL his moves have priority over everything I did (not to mention longer range). I could only beat the player using Charizard and his giant-ass hitboxes with flame-tip and claw sweetspots.

Hahaha, that’s funny. Marth has an advantageous matchup against charizard, because charizard’s tail isn’t disjointed and marth can just whiff punish slash it, also because marth gets good combos on floaties and can space against Charizard in shield really well (and charizard already suffers against shield pressure).

I play with the second best Charizard player in the world actually, and as you may know, I main Marth.

Some key things to remember are, priority doesn’t apply to air attacks. Air attacks cannot clank, so forward air from Marth will cut through your hitboxes.

Marth’s big weakness is that he doesn’t have any attacks that come out particularly fast, and his attacks don’t have great recovery. His fastest ground attacks are jab, down smash, and Up B, all coming out on the 4th or 5th frame.

If your friend is spamming SH double fair, you can either move out of the way, then hit him right when he lands (charizard has an amazing dash dance) either with a grab or forward tilt (charizard’s forward tilt is amazing), or move in closer to him and shield on the spot where he’s going to land, so he’s forced to land in your shieldgrab range. These apply to any character.

Marth’s dash attack sucks, can be beaten by shieldgrabbing or just letting it whiff and punishing it.

Marth’s down tilt is his best neutral move because it has amazing IASA frames, so it effectively has a short recovery. Also has a reasonably fast startup of 6 frames. He can usually dash out of it before getting shieldgrabbed, but it’s still susceptible to whiff punishing.

You want to DI marth’s fair chains out, to avoid getting spiked. His up tilt and dash attack have a trajectory that sends you in at Marth, so you’ll want to DI down and in at Marth. Those three moves are how he sets up most of his combos. His grab is normally useful in combos, but charizard is so heavy it rarely comes into play. Just be sure to DI down and away from him when he forward throws you. On lighter characters, he can also down throw as a DI trap into fsmash, so you’ll have to guess which way to DI to avoid getting fsmashed.

His fsmash by the way, has almost no shield pushback, so you can shieldgrab it no problem. If he’s out of range, then let him whiff the fsmash and you are totally free to run in and do whatever you want to him. I do this to a lot of marth players I know are worse than I am when I feel they’re about to fsmash. Just wait at the very edge of their fsmash range, let them miss the attack, dash in an grab.

As charizard, watch out with your dash dance, your tail lags behind you, and can be slashed if you’re not careful.

What are Marth’s weaknesses in Melee? I.e. what should people playing against him emphasize?

lol, I’ve given an answer to this one before:

Also, when he’s recovering, the trick to beating him is either to refresh your ledge invulnerability so it covers when he actually up Bs, or to use the marth killer if he’s too low to recover on-stage. Marth can delay his trip to the stage in 2 ways, side B and jump. The first time he side Bs, he gets a big air stall, which can wait out your ledge roll or invincibility time, the times after that he only falls slightly more slowly. So pay attention to which options he’s used up, and think about what he’s going to try to get back. Be invincible when he up Bs, and if he goes on stage, do a ledgehop bair (or reverse fair, whatever’s appropriate for your character) to send him back out.

Also beware of any time marth exits hitstun and you’re not directly on top of him. He can turn your combos around back on you by attacking as soon as hitstun ends if you’re not careful.

And he sucks when he’s getting juggled, has very poor options for when he’s coming down. Again, he can stall with double jump or side B, you need to bait those out so he can’t use them to escape and is force to use down air as a hail mary. Down air has long recovery, both in the air, and on landing, so he really doesn’t want to use it unless he’s sure it will work.

What’s the best way to use Marth’s throws in Melee/PM? As in, a couple of good examples for each throw? I often end up just using uthrow

Alright, I’ve mapped out Marth’s throw combos and setups rather thoroughly. Basically, Fthrow gets the most frame advantage, dthrow is like a reverse Fthrow with a worse angle and worse advantage time, bthrow is nearly useless, uthrow gets guaranteed combos on all applicable characters. Combos are not guaranteed with any other throw, except fthrow under specific circumstances. So Uthrow is your respect option. It gets the worst followups (on most characters), but it’s guaranteed regardless of their DI. All of Marth’s throws are so fast that they’re unreactable. It’s hard to react to how fast marth can grab and throw you, it’s impossible to react to which throw he decides to use. Uthrow is great on spacies. Fthrow and Dthrow are great on floaties. I recommend dthrow for super heavy characters. Bthrow is good for sending people onto platforms when you want to do platform setups at high percentages and almost nothing else.

The first thing to learn is the fthrow chaingrab. If you fthrow a floaty character, like marth, peach, sheik, etc, it is possible to regrab them before they hit the ground, and do it again. Downside, this can be escaped if they DI down and away (mostly down, slightly away). It can be escaped even at 0%, so it’s not guaranteed unless they fuck up their DI. However the first time you grab and throw them in a combo, they usually will have trouble reacting to the throw, and will not DI properly, allowing you one chance to chaingrab them. So many marths will combo fthrow, regrab, then uthrow. Below like 7% or so, the Fthrow does not do enough knockback to knock the opponent down, so they will land on the ground standing. So below those percentages, you can get a super free regrab that even works on fox and falco. If they know about this, they can buffer a roll or spot dodge to evade or punish your grab, so watch out for high level opponents. If the opponent does not DI or DIs in, then it’s not only possible to regrab, but also fsmash. If they DI out and are being thrown offstage, then you can catch them with a dash attack, which gets another guaranteed followup. If they are being thrown offstage and DI in, you can spike them right there. So in that scenario you have guaranteed combo options off fthrow on floaties. Versus jigglypuff and other low gravity characters, even if they DI out correctly, you can fthrow pivot fsmash to get guaranteed followups.

Next, dthrow. This always does enough knockback to knock down. That means it sets up tech chases rather well on all characters, and on floaties it acts as a DI trap for the fthrow. If they DI to get out of the fthrow and you Dthrow them, you can fsmash them. On jigglypuff you pivot fsmash on correct DI as well. Dthrow has a worse angle than fthrow and less frame advantage, but the two together can be mixed up between to catch opponents. Dthrow gets the most damage, and is good for tech chasing heavies like Falcon.

What’s the best way, or the one you prefer, to do airs out of jumps in Melee/PM (ie, Marth’s SH double fair)? Do you jump with X/Y and immediately move your right thumb over the C-stick? Same thing but you move your left thumb from the left stick to the right instead? Or do you use tap jump instead?

I move to the C-stick as fast as possible. When doing double SH fair to the right though, I sometimes use A, because it’s slightly easier than trying to pull the C-stick with my right thumb (or I hope no one notices that I’m not using double SH fair while facing right). Using the C-stick, you can jump, and double fair while moving backwards. Not possible if you use A. I do not use tap jump, I never move my left thumb off the control stick.

And for those still reading, here’s my marth notes:

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