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This page is about Captain Falcon's Melee appearance. For information about his SSB appearance, see here.

Captain Falcon (キャプテン・ファルコン, Kyaputen Farukon, full name: Captain Douglas Jay Falcon, often shortened to "Capt. Falcon" or "Falcon") is a starter character in Super Smash Bros. Melee, famous for his running speed, falling speed, combo ability and the knee. Falcon currently ranks 6th place on the tier list.

Overview

Captain Falcon suffers from falling speed that renders him weak to enemy combos, and a poor up B recovery that is easily edge-guarded. Thus, Captain Falcon gets hit hard and dies quickly. Capt Falcon makes up for this with his unparalleled speed and versatile attacks which allow him to confuse, combo and defeat opponents. It is imperative for all Capt Falcon players to be able to SHFFL extremely well and to be wary of when certain knee setups are applicable.

Captain Falcon's matchups are strangely balanced - unlike other characters high up on the tier list, Capt. Falcon lacks "broken" attacks and fares only even matchups against even low-tier characters. There are many claims, for instance, that Captain Falcon is countered by low-tier characters like Ness, Pikachu and Mewtwo. His sixth place position is vindicated by the fact that he matches evenly against most top and upper tier characters, too, which allows him to fare well in tournaments comprised of these characters.

Falcon's true balance is his versatility as an offensive/counterattacking character. He has an amazing ability to break through defensive strategies with a jump-canceled grab or a well-placed knee (or even a forward-B), and a similarly effective counterattacking game, able to shield-jump into a down-air or neutral air and combo from there. His high speed makes him a threat anywhere, and he can use dash-dancing to simply dodge an attack and return with a JC'd grab before the opponent can react. The effect of this can quickly accumulate, as almost all of Falcon's moves combo into an aerial or a grab, which can lead to additional moves which re-combo into aerials and grabs, although he does not possess anything truly infinite, and proper DI can mitigate the damage. Nevertheless, playing with and playing against Captain Falcon requires an immense amount of technical knowledge, and this makes him a threat in every match.

Captain Falcon Match-ups

see Captain Falcon Match-ups

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Fastest dashing character in the game
  • Fast falling lends speed to his air game.
  • His running speed and high lateral air speed give him the game's longest and fastest long jump, allowing him to close great distances with short hop aerials and edge-guard faraway enemies.
  • The trajectory of his aerials complements his speed, allowing him effectively combo all characters
  • Low lag aerials
  • Most resistant character to vertical KOs with his combination of weight and falling speed.
  • His fair (the knee) is a powerful, low-trajectory finisher
  • The best dashdancer in the game
  • One of the best out-of-grab games available.
  • The game's best moonwalker
  • Has one of the fastest backwards rolls in the game and a good forward roll

Cons

  • Due to Falcon's fast falling speed, enemies can combo him very easily.
  • His up-B cannot attack people hanging on the edge, making him extremely vulnerable to edge-guarders
  • Low range
  • Slow and poor ground attacks
  • No Projectile
  • Reliant on his knee to gain early kills.

Moveset

For a detailed moveset, see AngeloBangelo's Captain Falcon guide on Smash World Forums, at http://www.smashboards.com/showthread.php?t=53471.

Improving your Game with Falcon

Raw Technique

Technique is the fiery blood and core of Captain Falcon's game. Improving one's game with Falcon is simply a matter of maximizing one's ability to combo, finish combos, and remove stocks. Captain Falcon can be very good if simply played quickly and not foolishly without advanced techniques, but each technique should be considered as an additional situation or option that allows one to dictate the stock and remove an opponent's ability to fight.

Movement Techniques

  • Dash: Captain Falcon has the fastest dash speed in the game.
  • Wavedashing: Falcon's Wavedash is relatively short due to his high traction, but still fairly quick. Forward wavedashes can be used to net a grab or give a touch extra reach on any forward hitting move at the expense of a few frames. Reverse wavedashes are primarily uses for spacing and cancelling dashes.
  • Shield Dashing: Useful to advance on defensive opponents, and to reduce vulnerability. Remember, Captain Falcon is vulnerable during the jump animation and the landing animation, so these must be timed well.
  • Dash-dancing: Captain Falcon has a very fast and versatile dash-dance. Vary the timing in order to trick opponents and slightly change position.
  • Fox-trotting: A little extra speed never hurts. Foxtrots are primarily used by Captain Falcon as a mindgaming approach method. Since he explodes forward when he dashes, opponents will react either by putting up a shield or by attacking. But if the player feints and only uses the dash but doesn't follow up with the run, he's then free to rush in and punish his opponent.
  • Triangle Jump: Allows one to dodge an attack while moving forward and without as much lag as a roll or sidestep dodge.
  • Moonwalk: Captain Falcon has the best and most uses for his moonwalk.
  • Pivot: Because Captain Falcon's dashdance covers such a large distance, players can trick opponents and bait them into approaching Captain Falcon who can punish them with powerful pivots.
  • Shield-stop: Characters can cancel their dash animations with a shield. This technique is used to approach characters defensively or to mindgame opponents by quickly dashing forward then immediately stopping.

Proper Spacing

Other Techniques To Know

Fighting with Falcon: Tips, Tricks, and Strategy

In this section, it is hoped to create a complete list of all options out of all techniques in all situations. Some options will be weaker than others, but all in all, Falcon does not have a weak move that holds no use, so each option listed here and mastered is another notch in Falcon's belt.

Landing the First Hit

There are quite a few ways to land the first hit with Captain Falcon and continue to dominate from there. Though nearly all of his moves combo into another attack, messing up a SHFFL or whiffing your attack is a fast way to eat a combo or smash, therefore, here is a short list of techniques designed to get that elusive first hit.

I'll be right back...

SHFFL an aerial (knee, nair) directly into your opponent's shield. As you land, dash like a madman in the opposite direction. If they attempt to shield-grab, they will often miss, and you can quickly return and net yourself a free grab. Make sure you fox-trot, or else you will not be able to turn quickly enough to counterattack (this also nets a bit more speed).

Nutmeg

Same as above, but just dash through your opponent, and return from the opposite side. Often better against Link, Marth, and Shiek due to their somewhat longer horizontal grabs.

BOP!

Same as above, but you can use a jab, or double-jab, or Gentleman to prevent the sheild-grab. Smart opponents may just continue shielding this and grab you afterward.

Options Tree

Options From Close Quarters

Defined as within jab or grab range. Your standing options are: Jab, Grab, Forward Tilt, Down Tilt, Forward Smash, Down Smash, Up Smash, Falcon Kick, Raptor Boost, Falcon Punch, or even Up-B (Falcon Dive). You can also SHFFL Nair, SHFFL Dair, SHFFL Knee, or Full Jump and fastfall any of the above, short hop or full jump a Fast-falled, L-Cancelled late Uair. Additionally, you can move to other areas with Dashes, Wavedashes and their variations, shield, roll, or simply sidestep in place if you fear an attack or grab. As you can see, almost every move in your arsenal is available here, however, many of them involve dangerous gambles - particularly all of the B moves, due to their horrendus cooldowns.

Options From Near Opponent

Defined as outside of grab range, but within the range of a D-tilt, F-tilt, or F-smash. Your standing options are: F-tilt, D-tilt, D-Smash, F-Smash. You can SHFFL or full-jump a Nair, Fair, Late Uair, and sometimes even a Dair from these ranges. Additionally, you can wavedash forward to open up any attack that would work from close quarters, wavedash forward into a shield, or wavedash backwards and do just about anything you like, though you may end up in the blind spot. Another option is to dash slightly forward into a jump-cancelled grab or up smash, dash forward and pivot into any standing attack, or perform a dash-cancel into any standing attack. You can also dash or fox-trot straight past the opponent, and dash cancel into any standing attack, or SHFFL a Back-Aerial.

Falcon Punch, Falcon Kick, and Raptor Boost are additional options but at this range they tend to be shielded, jumped over, or countered. You can additionally jump or double-jump forward into a Falcon Kick on top of your opponent, but this is also punishable. A Roll is generally more appropriate than a sidestep here. You can often roll directly behind an opponent from this distance, however, most of the time this will simply get you smashed or grabbed due to the roll's cooldown frames. If they are attacking, a roll forward or backward is a good option, but can be replaced with a dash-dance, shield or side-step, often to better effect.

If you feel hesitation or discomfort here, feel free to flee the scene and await another opportunity.

Options From "Danger Zone"

Some characters have the ability to hit from a further distance than C.F. can safely attack. Additionally, C.F. has a small blind spot, where he cannot dash directly into his opponent, SHFFL an aerial, or full-jump towards the opponent without exposing himself. Most pronounced against Marth, this is a weird spacing for C.F., because most of his attacks require a lead in with a dash or a forward-directioned short hop, and if the other player is fast enough they can simply hit you out of this. Generally the best option is to get out of this zone immediately. Additionally, you could shield, dash attack, or dash and jump-cancel a grab. You can also dash or wavedash forward into a shield, which actually gives you much better options that what you had a moment ago, but is vulnerable to grabbing, and low hits.

Options From Afar

Since Captain Falcon does not have a projectile, its obvious that he cant do anything when hes on the other side of the stage.

Avoiding Projectiles

Its fairly simple to avoid projectiles just by jumping. Try to avoid side stepping because it can easily be punished due to the lag it has from it. You can also power shield almost all projectiles (This takes alot of practice).

Options From Grabs

Neutral A attacks during grabs can be used to rack up damage. A good rule of thumb is, for every 15-20% damage the opponent has, you can use a Neutral A one time without risking their escape.

  • Down Throw
    • can chain-grab many characters with average falling speeds and weights at various percents. Simply down-throw, follow the opponent's DI with a dash, and use a Jump Cancelled Grab to grab again. If the opponent DIs towards the player, a re-grab in place or turning and re-grabbing may be possible.
    • combos into N-air at most percents and DIs against non-fastfallers.
    • can combo into a f-air at medium to high percents against non-fastfallers. This may be escapable at some percents with DI. This is also an option at very high percents against fast-fallers.
    • Tech-chasing chain grabs are possible as well against fast-fallers. Additionally, you can Tech-chase with Isai Stomps and Raptor Boost. Down-smash is additionally useful as it hits in front of and behind Falcon, hitting 2/3 tech-rolls and hitting non-techs if properly timed.
  • Up Throw
    • Combos into an N-air, U-air, and F-air at various percents and DIs against virtually every character. The higher the percent, the more chance opponents have to break free.
    • Combos into D-tilt at low-medium percents against fast-fallers.
    • Combos into F-Smash and D-Smash against fastfallers at medium percents, depending on DI.
    • Against fast fallers at low percents, does not combo directly but leads to Tech-chasing.
    • Combos into a Up-smash against fastfallers that do not DI to a side. Against large, heavy characters, can be wavedashed into at several DIs.
    • Can combo into an angled F-tilt depending on DI. Useful for catching awkward DIs and perecents.
    • If an opponent bounces, it is possible to hit them with any SHFFL'd aerial, a down-smash, Raptor Boost, Falcon Kick, Falcon Punch, and any tilts out of the bounce.
    • Raptor Boost is always an option, and directly combos against many characters at low percents and against most DIs, however is known to be very touchy and avoidable. Can be used to tech-chase as well.
    • Up throw can lead to a dashing, jump-cancelled re-grab against Fox at very high percents (approximately 110%) if the opponent DI's away. This is possible due to to Fox's light weight and high downward acceleration.
  • Forward Throw
  • Back Throw

Options From Aerials

  • Neutral-Aerial
  • Up-Aerial
  • Forward-Aerial (the Knee)
  • Back-Aerial
  • Down-Aerial (the Stomp)

Options From Tilts

The D-tilt is a great launcher, if difficult to land. The attack itself has great range, but has a long cooldown time and therefore is not one of Captain Falcon's preferred setups. However It can combo at most percentages and almost every DI into a SHFFLed neutral aerial, which can further combo (see the corresponding section). Fox and Falco can often be regrabbed from a d-tilt at medium percents, and their Forward B attacks can be intercepted by Falcon's D-tilt if they try to sweetspot the ledge. The D-tilt can also combo into the Knee, and the u-air, depending on knockback and DI.

There are not a significant amount of combo options from an F-tilt because of it's horizontal hit trajectory, low knockback and stun time, and wind-down lag. You can try to follow up with a u-air or a JC'd grab, and even a dash-cancelled D-tilt or Raptor Boost, but they are not true combos and can be countered by every character. It may be a good idea to wavedash slightly forward to maintain pressure, and enter a defensive stance or used after a pivot as a surprise attack to keep enemies away. But an angled up F-tilt is known to stun enemies long enough from an u/d-throw that it can lead to a Knee.

C.F.'s Up-tilt has horizontal knockback as well, and like the F-tilt is difficult to combo from. Due to it's low trajectory, you can often follow of the edge of a platform or stage with a falling n-air or non-sweetspotted f-air edgeguard, but this is not a true combo. It may be a good idea to wavedash slightly forward to maintain pressure, and enter a defensive stance. Most players use U-tilts as an edgeguard technique since the heel can extend below the platform.

Edgeguarding

Opponent is:

  • High and Close
  • High and Far
  • Even with the ledge and Close
  • Even with the ledge and Far
  • Recovering Low
  • Recovering from a Meteor-Cancel
  • I got edge-teched!
    • I got Ledge-tech-Wall-Jumped!
  • Character specific:
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