Having returned from the previous games, playing as Marth can be a quite familiar experience, but some noticeable tweaks were made to his play style. Despite these minor changes, there were quite a few difficulties that I came across when reacquainting myself with an old friend. Here’s what I learned from my recent experience as Marth.
Marth once again yields the counterattack skill, but just how useful can this skill be? Well, depend upon the timing, it bring about a fruitful victory or an utter embarrassment. For awhile, I habitually tried to counter every single smash attack that was thrown at me. This resulted in me being about to counter about every three to five smash attacks they got on me, but it was far from effective and left me vulnerable for a moment after the skill was preformed. Timing is key when it comes to countering and counters are best used conservatively because the opponent will quickly catch on and adapt their strategy — and this is also an important step to winning with Marth or any character, really.
Don’t be predictable; Don’t rush in blindly; Don’t let them consistently combo you with the same moves. Face it, many character have some amazing combos hidden in there for skilled players to use, so watch for those (or study them prior to the match) to know how to avoid them. Marth is quite skilled at surveying enemies due to his speed, so bait the enemy a few times and watch for their playing style and combos. It is as simple as running in and rolling to safety. After doing some research, the challenger’s combos are able to be predicted and later countered. Learning the enemy is vital in a match. Timing your strikes and predicting the opponent’s next move will all come with time.
Learn to time smash attacks to do as much damage as possible. Part of this process involves where the opponent is hit. When using Marth, damage varies upon where the enemy is hit with the sword. By striking the enemy with the tip of Marth’s blade a little extra damage is done — and if that is added to a charged up smash attack there can be some massive damage dealt. On top of doing massive damage, Marth is also great at poking at the enemy, getting in small attacks over time. By dash attacking and then rolling to safety, large amounts of damage can accrue over time. Another skill that is quite useful is Dancing Blade (Forward+B), a really nice side special combo attack. After some practice, there are multiple variations of the skill that each have their own use in different situations. Dancing Blade is easy to learn, but quite hard to master. Although it is initially slower than a neutral attack, it can quickly escalate into a formidable barrage of attacks.
Marth will pull his sword backwards and lunge into the opponent with quite a bit of force. This attack, Shield Breaker, is quite useful at, well, breaking shields! For best results, use this move after predicting an enemy counter (and wait for it to end) or an enemy shielding. Be careful as to not leave yourself vulnerable and release the button instantly if the enemy evades. If you manage to break their shield then use a smash attack before they recover to get in some major damage.
Playing Marth (or any character, really) will not always be easy, but practicing all these skills is important. After hours of playing as both Marth and Lucina I have come to realize that sometimes the enemy will choose a character that counters your own — but that does not mean they have already won. No, it means they have the advantage. Through lots of rigorous training and practice, that advantage can be offset with skill alone. Eventually, the variations of Dancing Blade, striking with the tip of the blade, and breaking shields will become second nature.
A lot of times I have found myself getting a little too worked up and it ruins my whole play style. My smash attacks begin to miss, my recoveries get sloppy. If you ever get angry or frustrated at the game just take a short break and play again later. Not only will it be much more enjoyable, but you will play much better when you’re not mentally slicing your adversaries to pieces.
So how are you faring with Marth? Let us know in the comments below.
Want to have a little chat or get even more information about Marth? Tweet me at @Linacati
By Zach Henderson
Images via Nintendo