Wednesday, December 7, 2011

How I discovered Meta Knight's general handling

I think it's high time I talked about the story of how I discovered that Meta Knight is really designed to be a Wake Up Call Character who is vulnerable to good character play.

Well, it started when I was talking to MarioMastar on (I believe) YIM, I think about Brawl and how he had won a match with Mario and got respect for it, then he got into mentioning about how he had more trouble with Meta Knights who Tornado spam than the ones who don't. Now while I do currently believe that Mach Tornado is a bit OP, it's still only one move. With a common weakness that I'll mention when I get to it. But anyway, I decided to see if I could arrange some Brawl matches with another friend, one on AIM. He would be Meta Knight, I would be a character I would want to try out against Tornado shenanigans.

Now I started with Ice Climbers. Why? Because they're a reverse main I'd be up for proving as good without that stupid deathgrab. Because I'd rather never do the deathgrab, it's just disrespectful and cowardly to turn an opponent into a joke like that. Oh, but I should care only about money? First off, tournaments should give some money to all participants, not just the ones in the top 3; and second, caring only for money? Great idea. Hey, while we're at it, let's care only about girl pleasures when it comes to the opposite sex. Seriously, THAT is at least understandable, and if I as a 14YO teen knew THAT has problems, what makes you think I don't find caring only about money a problem now? I have a sense of pride to be sure, but you can't deny that proving you're consistently better with question is better than winning just because you either hit only once, which can be a lucky hit or via a lucky factor; or have a better overfavored state of body.

Anyway, as I play through with Icies, I manage to counter the tornado with the down-air, which actually can be done with anybody, although the difficulty ranges between characters. Of course, Icies end up having a blatant power advantage from the fact that there's two of them that it cancels out their status as a reverse main of mine. Short range? Meta Knight doesn't even have incredible melee range so he can't push on that very well either.

So I switch to Pikachu, who is another reverse main, and this time I feel sure that Pika's power advantage wouldn't be as strong. However, it doesn't need to be, because Pikachu is also fast. Certainly fast enough to keep Meta Knight from pushing on any stat advantage against Pikachu. While I find out the hard way that Pika's neutral B is too slow to possibly be of much help against the Dream Land paragon, I still win the match because Pika can still wait for Meta Knight to attack knowing he can't projectile and he'd be right there for my net attack advantage to hit him hard in a counterattack if he approaches.

At this point, I felt I ought to demonstrate the effectiveness of one character people generally underestimate: Link. The victory wasn't as strong as I had hoped, since projectiles don't keep Meta Knight away forever, but it turns out that Link can do things like punish Meta Knight's high priority jab with his range grab. Now I forget exactly what I did, but there was plenty of lag (actually, this applies to all of the matches, but doesn't stop me from making a point with any of them), which you'd think would hurt LINK more because apparently Link's moves are "too slow" allowing Meta Knight to push on a blatant speed advantage. But nope, Link does quite fine against Meta Knight. In a game where speedsters are stupidly overfavored. Probably Link rewards behavior that for me happens to be intuitive to a fault. At the very least, though, I find him able to manage hyper-accuracy, that might have something to do with it.

At this point, I go with Kirby, who while I have him as my #3 I feel has subpar performance for that. And it turns out the whole matchup is a freaking maneuver war. This hurts Meta Knight's priority just as much as Kirby's net attack advantage. But what catches my thinking is that when I knocked Meta Knight back, I did a chase attack once, but I avoided continuing so that he couldn't nail me with a counterattack, which would have exploited Kirby's shoddy defense power. It occured to me that that's the problem with a Glass Cannon metagame: it's too easy for a faster player to just maintain balance against the slower player and keep them unable to do anything. Speed is a state of body, don't pretend otherwise.

Regardless, when I was knocked away at one point, I was recovering, Meta Knight tried to juggle me and I used Stone to get through. Not only did I break through, I ended up hitting him and thus gaining a Star KO. So the next time I was doing a similar recovery start, he DIDN'T try to attack, because he did not want to have a second meeting with the incredible punishment I had (inadvertently) dealt to him for the juggling attempt before. But as he did not try to juggle me, I could just hang around high in the air looking for an opening where I could get back onto the ground safely before losing my air time, just keeping Stone ready but only using it cautiously.

And to think the tourneytrash sees fit to say this matchup is BRUTAL for Kirby. Honestly, I can't see anything too bad. Kirby can actually resist Meta Knight's accuracy. He's not going to get gimped so easily, simply because he has 5 midair jumps, and juggling is not going to happen, Kirby comes as close to laughing at that as he can with Stone. Oh, but apparently Kirby has worse approach. WHY WOULD YOU APPROACH FREQUENTLY AGAINST A MELEE TORNADO? Hey, I'm going to approach this group of Flame Vets with nothing but infantry. zomg mai gaiz r brnd falme vetz r borken. Seriously, Kirby has NO incentive to even approach without good reason. These people misplay characters.

Which is exactly my point: if you try to fight Meta Knight by just combating him personally, at best, you're just overthinking. And considering that this post or even my own thought process can come across as such, that is saying something. Just be creative with your characters' basic fighting skills. If you even need dumb stuff like chaingrabs, then it only shows that YOU can't adapt. And before you call players like me the pot calling the kettle black, I will point out that there is a reason why one-hit-kill shenanigans get frowned upon even in games like Disgaea.

Again, play your characters properly and learn to tank. None of this Fake Skill nonsense.

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