Captain Falcon Matchup Guide (Super Smash Bros. Brawl)
Captain Falcon Matchup Guide
I was going to provide a Captain Falcon character guide but I just discovered that Mence and Flow already posted one a while ago. It'd be a bit redundant to have two seperate character guides for the same character, since I read Flow's guide and I agreed with it, he gave pretty solid tips about the character. So what I am here to do is provide a more specific matchup guide as well as a damage analysis on Falcon's moves.
Note: When I make references to buttons and such I assume you are playing with a GameCube remote since most people do. So if I say Up B for example, maybe it's Up 1 for you if you use the Wii Mote, etc.
Neutral A: 3% first jab, 2% for the follow up jab, 6% for the knee attack, 1-2 % for every punch after
Up Smash: 21%, 29 % fully charged
Side Smash: 19 %, 26 % fully charged. This is your second most practical kill move.But it is rather laggy so use with caution.
Down Smash: 18%, 25% fully charged. Like Flow said, this is your primary kill move. The knockback is great, it has almost no start-up lag, and it is hard to dodge because usually the opponent will roll dodge behind Captain Falcon, only to get nailed by the second kick.
Raptor Boost: 7%. An aerial raptor boost when done over an abyss will send the opponent straight to hell. However if you miss/they dodge, Falcon will be left in "helpless mode" and fall to his doom. While I might reccommend his down aerial as a more practical spike technique, a Raptor boost spike will not only finish your opponent, but if you and the opponent are both trying to get back to the stage they will die and the attack will provide you a much needed boost back toward the stage.
Falcon Dive: 17% (5 % initial grab, 12% for the explosion.) Not many players think to use this move for offensive purposes, but it works wonders in my experience. It's a great combo finisher in my opinion, or a great air combo starter if you have launched the enemy skyward. It has incredible priority.
Falcon Kick: 13 % if both you and the opponent are grounded, 15% if you use the airborn version against an opponent in the air, 22% if you use the aerial version against a grounded opponent. If your opponent won't stop roll dodging, this a great punisher. It has many active frames so it will usually catch the opponent out of a roll dodge.This move can travel roughly half the length of Final Destination.
Falcon Punch: 27%. Obviously, you can't just waltz up to a player all willy nilly and just throw this out there. That's a good way to get a beatdown. No, you leap towards the opponent and when timed just right the punch will come out soon as Falcon hits the ground. Also, in case you don't know this, Falcon has a new trick in Brawl where if you hit the joystick in the opposite direction immediately after you press B, he will perform a "Reverse Falcon Punch" by switching direction halfway through the charge. It's a good way to catch people off guard. Assuming they roll dodge behind you, the punch will catch them coming out of the dodge. The key to successful Falcon punching is being strategic in your approach with it, as well as the ability to read your opponent and know their movements in advance (though the same could be said for the character in general). There's nothing more satisfying than ending the match with this move. The other player will be speechless.
The grab itself does 0%
Grab attack: 2% per attack. Don't forget to get at least two or three knee bashes in everytime you grab 'em. Helps rack up the damage.
Up throw: 7%
Down Throw: 7%
Forward Throw: 9%
Back Throw: 9%
Running attack: 6% if done before you reach the target, 8% if you hit the button right as you touch the opponent. Wonderful approach due to it's great priority and a wonderful air combo starter. This, is your main ice breaking move. The key of course is to mix up your approach with it. Sometimes, you will want to run and then roll back at the last second, or spot dodge. Don't do the attack everytime you dash at them, make it a guessing game of what you're going to do. You can run at them and follow up by either rolling back at the last second, sidestepping, rolling to the other side of them, or doing the running attack. Mix it up! But again this is your ice breaking move due to it's priority and it pops them into the air where you can follow up with either a Falcon Dive, or an air combo.
Final Smash: 40%. Not as powerful percentage wise as others but of course the beauty of this move is the knockback. Even at moderately high percentages lightweight-mediumweight characters can usually kiss their ass goodbye. Depending on the size of the stage/their relevance to the end of the screen. The move has more vertical knockback than lateral so it is advised to get them skyward if the top of the screen is high up. Also, keep in mind that the Blue Falcon flies in at a strange angle. It doesn't zoom by right next to Falcon it zooms by about one character space apart from him, and seems to be about two character spaces wide (especially if he's facing the left it seems, it seems to fly closer by him when he's facing the right). So be careful how far your enemy is from you or the F-Zero machine may just harmlessly zoom right past them and you will have an awkward moment. Also, wait a solid two or three seconds upon breaking the Smash Ball and absorbing its energy before pressing B so as to avoid doing a Falcon Punch by accident and potentially having the power knocked out of you.
Character Specific Matchup
The only other thing Flow's guide didn't cover was specific matchups.But he did mention the types that were good and bad. Tall characters: Good. Big and slow Characters: Great (sans Ike). Short characters: Falcon's krytponite.
For your convienience, I have arranged this in alphabetical order.
vs. Bowser: Easy prey for the bounty hunter. While Bowser may have a new trick or two up his sleeve, we [Falcon players] can still stomp him just as easily as we could in Melee. He's simply overwhelmed by Falcon's speed. Provided you are proficient with dodging, Bowser's hard hitters leave him wide open if he misses so punish, punish, punish. He's heavy, which makes him a prime target for combos because he is too large and too heavy too escape. His only tool for keeping you at bay is his flame breath, which we will respond to by short hopping into the air and feeding him an aerial Falcon Kick. I hate to sound like this but I really can't think of even the most competent Bowser user being able to overwhelm an equally competent Falcon user. Falcon's superior movement and attack speed, as well as his power to boot, is just too much for the Koopa King. And I have encountered an occasional good Bowser. Now If I'm wrong and you are a Falcon who has had his tush handed to him by a Bowser, let me know and I will adjust. Same goes for any matchup you don't agree with, as to be fair competitve Bowsers are rare.
vs. Captain Falcon: It's a bit difficult writing about mirror matches because while it seems somewhat lazy just to say "comes down to whoever is more skilled", in most cases that's true. After all, whatever you can do to him, he can do to you. All I can say is, it's more important than normal to change your tactics up. It helps to get inside the enemy Falcon's mind, though. Think of how you would react to something, and use that to outmaneuver him. Also Falcon is moderately heavy which makes him a great target for your combos. And if the other player is using the Captain Fabulous costume, you had better not lose this.
vs. Charizard: Basically everything in the Bowser strategy applies to Charizard. They're not exact clones but they're both big [target], heavyweights who are much slower than you, i.e. the exact type of characters Captain Falcon eats for breakfast. Again, can combo the crap out of him, easy to capitalize on his mistakes, overhead Falcon Kick to punish Fire Breath, etc. Charizard is strong in the air but not fast at all, so you can destroy him in air combat (as well as ground combat because his heavy hitters are too laggy).
vs. Diddy Kong: And this is the type of character we don't like.Short lightweights. Many of your solid attacks will go right over him and he's too light to combo. The peanuts and bananas are more like minor annoyances than serious problems, because we will use our top class running speed to be in his face before he can even throw them. In my experiences, Captain Falcon's air game is superior to Diddy's since we outrange him in the air.
vs. Donkey Kong: Like Bowser, and almost every other heavyweight, this battle is heavily in your favor (no pun intended). However I do have one crucial nugget of advice: Do not allow him to get a Super Punch charged. To be honest, I feel like the Donkey Pawnch is stronger than the Falcon Pawnch. The knockback on it definately rivals the Falcon Punch, and unlike the Falcon Punch it has almost no startup time once fully chargedf. Plus, it has much greater range than the Falcon Punch. If, God forbid, he manages to get a punch charged, then you can expect a Headbutt>Punch combo. As such, you need to stay in his face at all times. If he does that Down B Temper Tantrum move, leap above him and aerial Falcon Kick.
vs. Falco: His blaster will be a problem. He will use it to pressure you into an approach, and because it has infinite range, you have to deal with it. Of course if the battle takes place on a level with platforms, then you should be able to approach relatively easily but if you're on a stage like Smashville or Final D....good luck. You will have to take an aerial approach, and then you will have to deal with Falco in the air. I really do not have much experience with human Falcos, but I feel like Falco outperforms Captain Falcon in the air. He is quicker in the air and his deadly spike makes air combat with him very risky. He isn't at as tall as we'd like, but he's heavy enough to be comboed. Up close and personal he's no slouch, either. He has some pretty nasty combos himself, and Captain Falcon being relatively heavy and being tall is very susceptible to this. My advice here is just to avoid using smash attacks and specials too much.
vs. Fox: Fox is the easiest StarFox character for Falcon to deal with. His blaster has 0 knockback so when he starts spamming it just dash at him and you'll be able to lay into him before he can put it away. Fox isn't quite as strong as his co-pilot and I feel like his attacks have more ending lag. I do not have much experience battling professional Fox players however so if anyone can contribute a more concrete strategy vs. this character, I and many other Falcons would greatly appreciate it. I will say that air combat with Fox is much more practical than it is against his wingman, as he doesn't have a strong aerial attack and we outrange him in the air. Down smash and Falcon kick are your friends here.
vs. Ganondorf: While this battle is in Falcon's favor, you can't really afford to get too lax. The King of Evil is merciless when it comes to punishing mistakes, and every blow he lands adds up. I honestly advise against mid air combat with Ganon, as he outprioritizes, outranges, and is stronger than Captain Falcon in the air. Seriously, people underestimate Ganon's air game. A forward aerial attack from him will send you packing, and kill you at somewhat high percentages. And unlike his ground moves his aerials come out with no real startup lag. 'Dorf's Flame Choke is typically used as a combo starter (yes, he has combos). If he manages to catch you with his Side B move, do not roll. Just stay down for a second, then just rise up after he does a follow up. If you just have to roll, roll away from him instead of to the other side of him. Otherwise he'll catch you with his down smash and you will know what that feels like. Because Ganondorf has way more priority than Falcon, you need to watch his movements carefully and be proficient at spot-dodging. Also, if he comes at you with a Wizard's Foot, use Falcon Kick. If a Wizard's Foot and a Falcon Kick clash, they will cancel each other out with no harm to either Falcon or Ganon. If Ganondorf is relatively far away and he starts up a Warlock Punch, he's most likely trying to lure you over there to capitalize. Don't take the bait, as the Warlock Punch has ghost hitboxes that might take you by surprise. Just wait until he has completed the punch, then capitalize during the cooldown time. Also, if Ganondorf is trying to recover, just leave him alone. More than likely one of three outcomes will occur: 1) He spikes you straight to hell using his superior priority. 2) He Flame Choke suicides and sends you both to your graves. 3) By attacking him you actually help him by taking him out of "helpless mode" and allow him another jump.
vs. Ice Climbers: I would say they're more annoying than threatening. They can't really take alot of punishment, and if one is killed, the other is as good as dead. Try air approaches when they're grounded to avoid getting Frozen all day, as the Frost comes out on both sides of them and I tested it and Falcon Kick is stopped dead in its tracks against that Ice Storm move. Same for their projectile B move, those Ice Blocks. As you would with a Fire happy Bowser or Charizard, respond to their specials with aerial Falcon Kicks. They're light and will be dead before you know it, especially if you manage to kill one of them then the other.
vs. Ike: The prime example of a matchup where hunter becomes the hunted, Ike is one heavyweight who doesn't take crap from Captain Falcon.This matchup is not fun. Not fun at all. You have to fight smart here. Punishment from Ike is the worst kind of punishment, a solid three or four smashes from him = the end of a stock. Fortunately, he's pretty predictable. But even that fact won't completely save you; you know his AAA combo is coming as punishment but you can't stop it. Also, many of Ike's attacks have ghost hitboxes (in other words, they hit in areas that are irrelevant to or extend beyond the physical reach of the attack.) Most Ike users will attempt to pressure you into approaching by charging up his Side B charge attack and holding it. Since you have no projectiles there's really nothing you can do about it, so you have to play into his game a little by dashing towards him. However, as soon as you sense he's about to release the charge and zip toward you, you need to short hop and do an air dodge. If done correctly you should end up near him and he should be vulnerable provided you dodged him. The basic strategy vs. Ike is hit and run. Just dodge and weave about him until he makes a mistake, rough him up a bit, and then retreat, or else he will push you away using his jab combo. Also, don't bother Ike when he's trying to recover, unless he's horizontally very far from the edge in which case you can easily ruin his Side B recovery by jumping into it, or spike him. If he uses Aether to recover do not bother him, because it has high priority and upon being slammed down to the ground you will pop into the air and get set up perfectly for a painful smash.Falcon's air game is way better than Ike's, so keep this battle airborn whenever possible. However I would advise against approaching him from directly underneath when he's in the air because his down aerial will make you regret it. Fortunately his weight makes him suseptible to combos. The basic pattern of this battle will go approach, dodge, combo, roll away, rinse & repeat. Most Ike players really won't change up their strategy so it's pretty effective.
vs. Ivysaur: The most crucial piece of advice vs. this character, if you haven't learned it already, is: NEVER come at Ivysaur from above when he is grounded. If you didn't already know that I hopefully just saved you from learning that the hard way. Ivysaur (alongside Lucas) has the most powerful Up Smash in the game in terms of knockback. Even at moderately high percentages, falling victim to this move will result in you making a Team Rocket-style exit from the arena. Ivysaur's other smashes aren't exactly ones you can just walk off either, so being up close and personal with this pocket monster is no easy task. Make good use of tilts like the leg sweep and up tilt in this battle. Since he's too small to effectively fight on the ground I would reccomend air combat as a more viable approach.
vs. Jigglypuff: Jigglypuff isn't really as difficult as Kirby for Captain Falcon, although it presents many similar issues like being too short, light, and floaty jumps. The only things you really need to look out for are: Roll and Rest. The problem with the former is that it is very hard on Shields, so that's not really a viable option especially if your Shield is already very deteriorated. If Jigglypuff uses Roll, do a Falcon Kick! I just tested it, and when Roll clashes with Falcon Kick, they cancel each other out! Another viable option is that if Jigglypuff charges up Roll from very far away, you can beat it with a well timed Falcon Punch. Jigglypuff has to eventually perform the move once she starts charging it, so if she waits too late, you will definately know it's coming when she exclaims, "Jigglypuff!". Rest is an absolute killer if hit with it, but it has a very small and specific hit detection, and since it leaves Jigglypuff wide open so you will probably not, or rarely, have a player attempt to use it on you. She has to basically be hugging you for it to work. Other than that she's very light and will have difficulty finishing you off so you should outlast her.
vs. King Dedede: Like Bowser, this match is very much in Falcon's favor. Dedede is easy prey for the Captain; he's big, slow, and heavy. You can pretty much have a field day with him, all his attacks have so much startup lag that Falcon's superior function speed just overwhelms him.Of course, a blow the king does manage to land is going to be tough to walk off. But as long as you stay in his face and are relentless and don't let up, the king is no match for the captain.
vs. Kirby: This is another matchup that is not fun. Out of the entire cast, Kirby is the opposite of his arch-nemesis in that he is probably THE anti-Captain Falcon. It's funny to think that Falcon's most difficult foe in a game featuring monsters, elite soldiers, and demi gods is....a pink marshmallow...but honestly I can't think of a worse matchup for the captain. At least with Ike, he's a big target and he's heavy so you can combo the crap out of him. With Kirby, he is everything Falcon hates in an opponent. He's short, so many of our attacks go right over him or he can just duck under them; he's light, so he can't really be comboed because he can escape them easily; he's rather strong for a lightweight, so we really can't afford to take too much punishment from him; and finally he has both a solid ground game and air game. What's a racer to do?
Some players may not agree that it's more practical to fight him in the air but Falcon is stronger and outranges Kirby in the air even though Kirby can stay airborn longer. Another reason why close combat on the ground against Kirby isn't advised is that damn hammer. Yes it has noticeable start up lag but if he nails you with that it won't be pretty.
One thing that most Kirby's invariably like to do is smash you with that Down B Stone move when they are directly above you. Let him try that, sidestep him, then try to time a Falcon Punch for right when he reverts back into Kirby form, as he is vulnerable for a brieft moment when he first pops out of the Stone. Though the window of opportunity is very small and specific. He has to come out of the Stone eventually, but the problem is that he as you know can choose to pop out anytime before he is forced to automatically. He can even do so in mid air so be careful in case he catches on to your ploy. If you want to get really crafty, you can allow him to copy you and then punish him if he tries the Pawnch on you. Actually I just thought of something...while Kirby is a tough match for Falcon...I forgot about the smallest character in the game....Squirtle.
vs. Link: This is one of the more problematic fights. It's the king of projectiles vs. the king of fistocuffs. Being such, you will have to be the one to approach. The problem is that Link is no slouch in close quarters combat either. He outranges you, and his attacks come out faster than yours. Fortunately, he's just the right size and height to be a prime target for combos. The key here is that Falcon's air game is better, so that's where you want to challenge him. Also Link is very susceptable to having his ass spiked into the pit due to his horrid recovery. More experienced Links might have a preference for the Tether method of recovery in which case edge-hogging will mean the end of him. If he throws a boomerang, dodge it, then as it is sweeping you toward Link, be charging a Falcon Punch. If timed right, you will nail Link with a Falcon Punch just as the boomerang brings you to his position.
vs. Lucario: He hits hard, so be cautious. There's also that little thing about how his attacks become more powerful as he takes more damage. He outranges Falcon on the ground, but I would still say Falcon has a superior air game. Lucario's heavy hitters have startup lag and cooldown lag so provided you are proficient at reading your opponents and dodging (rolling and sidestep), this matchup shouldn't be too bad, as he plays like a heavyweight. Unlike Mewtwo, his Energy Sphere travels in a straight line rather than the zigzag motion of his predecessor's, so it's pretty predicatble. However you don't want to let him get that charged up.Also be careful of his Force Palm or whatever his Side B is called.
vs. Lucas: Out of the two Mother protagonists in the game, Lucas is easier for Captain Falcon to handle. He hits harder than Ness, has disjointed hitboxes on many of his attacks, but has more lag on his attacks than Ness.Also, unlike Ness, Lucas's attacks push his opponent away rather than keep them locked in one spot, meaning he can't really combo you like his Mother 2 Counterpart. He will pressure you into approaching with his PSI energy attacks, but fortunately he's pretty light and can be knocked away easily.
vs. Luigi: He's much easier for Captain Falcon to deal with than his red clad brother. He's a taller target, and he does not have recovery gimping utilities like FLUDD or the cape that can screw you over in mid-air. His smash attacks aren't really as strong as his brother's either, so this battle shouldn't be nearly as difficult. Not that I know of there being an abundance of competitive Luigi users but I've encountered them here and there. Luigi does have a better air game than Falcon however, so try to keep this battle on the ground.
vs. Mario: This is another rather problematic match that seems to be more in Mario's favor. But as a Falcon player, beating the odds constantly is your thing. The main problem with Mario aside from the fact that he's shorter than we'd like is that he specializes in effing up your recovery. If Mario knocks you off the stage, wait before you use your mid air jump. Basically, the key to recovering against Mario is to approach the ledge of the stage from underneath, rather than a horizontal approach. Otherwise, he will FLUDD you when you are in helpless mode after your third jump and laugh as you fall to your doom. If Mariojumps off the stage after you, more likely than not he will try to redirect your recovery with the cape. Try to hit him with an aerial attack and hopefully grab the ledge before he does. Attempting to gimp his recovery however is impractical unless it is attempted with a down aerial. Attempting to raptor boost him has too much potential to end up getting caped toward your doom.
He'll likely attempt to pressure you into approaching with Fireballs but you can Falcon Kick through those. Close combat is a bit tricky because Mario is short and his attacks come out faster. The down smash is your best friend in this scenario, as Mario will most likely be rolling around you trying to find an opening. The Raptor boost is also helpful if you can read his patterns and nail him with it, then follow up with a solid air combo. Raptor Boost>Up aerial>Falcon Dive seems to work wonders. But be wary and don't overuse Raptor boost. Because Raptor Boost leaves you in helpless mode if used in mid air, he could very well cape you off the ledge and you will fall to death (for this reason it's very important you try to keep the fight in the middle of the stage and away from edges).
vs. Marth: Two major things to avoid: Counter, and his Side B Dancing Blade combo. Grabs will be your friend to avoid the former. You really want to avoid just throwing out smash attacks with no setup against Marth, or an experienced player who is good at reading your patterns will know just when to counter. You can usually expect him to capitalize on your mistakes with a Dancing Blade, and that's not something you want to experience too many times per match because that can really pile on the damage and depending on which version of it he uses the knockback isn't pretty. You mainly want to save smash attacks for if he messes up and Counters nothing. Ground combat against Marth is more of a toss up (he's one of my mains, and I've pitted my Marth against good Falcons so I'd know). While Marth has a nice air game, Falcon I believe is quite capable of giving him a run for his money up there, so that's always a good resort if things aren't going well on the ground. This matchup is always a good one because it is more of an intellectual battle and will test your ability as a tactician more than most other battles; Marth will be weaving about you looking for an opening and trying to pressure you into doing something he can counter, and you will be looking for a way past his defenses and trying to trick him into doing a Counter that you can capitalize on.
vs. Meta Knight: I've yet to meet a player who actually plays Meta Knight intelligently, fortunately those are extemely rare. Most of them devolve into spamming Mach Tornado and his Side B special. While that is very annoying I don't think the average Meta Knight player is a serious threat to a seasoned Falcon user. Falcon outprioritizes Meta Knight, or at least has attacks capable of negating his specials causing them to cancel each other out.Raptor Boost and Falcon Kick are viable answers vs. Mach Tornado. The Dream Land knight has horrible killing power so while he will have difficulty finishing you off, you will be able to kill him much easier than he can kill you. I deem air combat against Meta Knight to be a viable approach, as you outrange and outprioritize him in the air. Just be wary of his Up B, as it has powerful knockback compared to the rest of his arsenal and as such is probably his most favored kill move.
vs. Mr. Game & Watch: This is a very overlooked character. He was once one of my mains back in the Melee days, and he's improved by leaps and bounds for Brawl. Maybe it's just me, but it seems like Number 9 Mallets are much more probable than they were before, and the only way to avoid death when struck by a level 9 Judgement Hammer is to be a very low percentage, and on a large stage where the ends of the screen are very far away. His smash attacks are even more powerful, but they're telegraphed enough to where you can see them coming if you're good at reading your opponent and using his patterns to deduce his next movements. If you end up directly underneath Game & Watch, you can expect him to come at you with a down aerial. He has one of those down aerials like Sonic and Zero Suit Samus that he takes him straight down until he hits the ground. His recovery is much better this time because his parachute automatically comes out to help him glide back toward safety, and his new Neutral A isn't as powerful but has disjointed hitboxes. Game & Watch also has pretty high priority.
His only projectile move, Chef, isn't really a threat to you so you have the advantage in approach. A running attack followed by an air combo is a good way to break the ice, and his lightweight when met with your powerful moves won't be good for him. For the most part he will have issues killing you, so just keep nailing him. Make good use of grabs and combos you can follow up from them, air combos are your friend because you outmaneuver him in the air (but be cautious if you end up right under him).
vs. Ness: In my opinion Ness is more of a problem to Captain Falcon than his Mother 3 counterpart. Ness is definately more combo-oriented, and Captain Falcon is just the right weight to be susceptible to many of his locks and combos. Ness's down tilt is a lock that will keep you trapped in and do ugly amounts of damage; also unlike Lucas, Ness's PK Fire keeps you trapped in it's flames as opposed to pushing you away. Not only does that do more damage, it sets you up for further attacks. Also, PK Flash is not something you want to experience. While it may seem like an impractical move in a one on one scenario, veteran Ness players will know just how to hit you with it, like when you're recovering toward the ledge, etc. If Ness throws out what seems like a random PK Thunder, he's most likely going to attempt to hit himself with it and use himself as a living torpedo. If he's relatively far away and does this, quickly jump to the other side of him. Ness's air game seems to outclass that of Captain Falcon's because he's stronger in the air and outranges him. However you can ruin his recovery by taking the PK Thunder to keep it from hitting Ness and rocketing him back to safety.
vs. Olimar: A downsmash and/or an up smash should get those damn Pikmin off you. Having three or four of those pesky buggers latched on to you is not good and must be tended to immediately. Then once they are off you, Falcon Kick them as they are running back to Olimar and that should hopefully kill them. With Olimar, use lots of grab and throw techniques, as well as tilts, as he's too short and too nimble for smash attacks. You outrange him in the air and his air game isn't great if he doesn't have that many Pikmin on the field. The Purple Pikmin are the ones that you want to be on the lookout for, because they have significantly more knockback than the rest and can send you flying. The running attack is your best friend in this battle. But as I outlined in my notes on the attack, mix it up! Sometimes you can roll back or sidestep at the last second instead of doing the running attack everytime, and make it a guessing game. I like the combo of Running attack>Neutral Aerial>Falcon Dive. Olimar has absolutely no other recovery method than his Up B, so if you edgehog there's really nothing he can do about it unless he throws a Purple Pikmin. But the other ones won't force you to let go of the ledge. Also, the turbo punch (jab combo + hold A) works wonders.
vs. Peach: Dishing out ass whoopings the polite way since 2001, I've wondered since then just how she's so easily kidnapped all the time. The princess of the Mushroom Kingdom is not to be trifled with, and she will definately be one of the characters to give you a run for your money. She has been beefed up since Melee big time. Close combat is tricky because she has a counter, as well as smash attacks that are hard to walk off. You will need to be more grabby in this fight or else you will continually recieve spores in your face. If timed perfectly, Toad will return every point damage the attack was worth so smashes and specials are risky. Since you will need to be more grabby, the explosive Falcon Dive works wonders. Also, if Peach short hops and floats toward you seemingly randomly, she's likely going for a forward aerial (where she hits you with her crown). It's one of the strongest forward aerials in the game and one of her most reliable kill moves, so expect it at higher percentages. Fortunately she's rather light and will be sent flying by your smashes. The key is setting them up. Peach has very strong smash attacks and a solid air game, much like Captain Falcon. She's considerably lighter however, so your goal is to outlast her. This sort of goes to whoever gets their momentum going first. If you are the first to lose a life, it will be hard making a comeback.
vs. Pit: Pit's air game is vastly superior to Falcon's and attempting to fight him in mid air combat will not end well for the captain. But other than that I never really struggle against the average Pit player. He's a bit of a wussy in close quarters combat vs. Captain Falcon, relying almost solely on arrows and aerial maneuvers to combat the mighty bounty hunter. He does however, possess something that makes him Falcon Punch proof. His Down B Shield. That Shield truly is blessed by God himself, because even a Falcon Punch cannot pentrate it. With Falcon Punch almost completely out of the question, you will have to be proficient at spot dodging. I do believe a Falcon Kick will negate his Side B (Angel Ring). Luckily he's light, so you should outlast him as a few good smashes will send him back to the Heavens.
vs. Pikachu: One of the most dreaded matchups in the game for any character. For the love of God, do not end up directly over this yellow furball. If this does occur, air dodge the following Thunder Strike. Being proficient at air dodging is a must against Pikachu for this very reason. The key in this battle is to keep it on the ground and up close. Stay in his face. He shouldn't be likely to throw out a random Thunder Strike while grounded because of its startup and cooldown lag. He also has some pretty dangerous smashes so try not to use anything that's too laggy, stick to tilts and other lighter attacks.
vs. R.O.B. Competitive R.O.B. players are pretty slim as far as I know, but in the very very rare chance you encounter one, be wary of his Down B projectile, the Gyro. Also his laser can be problematic, but it needs to recharge after each use so fortunately he can't spam it at you in a barrage. Lastly, he has some extremely strong knockback on his air moves but they're telegraphed enough to see coming. But eating one of those at a high percentage is death so expect him to attempt them when you reach that point. Other than that though, he is a big heavyweight, which means he doesn't stand a chance.
vs. Samus: The projectile queen against the master of Falcon...fu in a battle of the bounty hunters. Captain Falcon can handle Samus pretty well at close range...it's getting to her that will be the problem. To do so, you must overcome the obstacle course of missles, bombs, and Energy Beams. I can't guarentee you'll make it without a scratch but try not to take too much damage on the way in. At close range, just be careful because Samus can really screw you over (sorry, couldn't resist). But seriously, that Up B of hers hurts alot and you have to endure the entire duration of the attack. It comes out pretty fast and has considerable range to it. It will be used mainly as an escape maneuver once Samus has had enough of trying to fight you hand to hand, because it spits you out far away, and Samus will land and roll away so as to start up another round of the Bomb-Missle-Beam obstacle course. In other words you want to stay in her face. She's tall and rather heavy, which makes her great for combos. Falcon is also better in the air than Samus.She's difficult to gimp if she uses the Screw Attack to recover which has monster priority, but experienced Samus's will opt for the bomb jump method. She's otherwise pretty spikeable.
vs. Sheik: This matchup is in Sheik's favor. Her Needles, Whip, and unrivaled attack speed ensure that you will have to really, really work for your victory here. For starters her Needles; each Needle does 3%, and being hit with the full Needle Storm results in 18% damage. That's right. If that doesn't sound like too big a deal to you, 18% can turn into 36%, then 54%, then 72%, then 90%, etc. That's how Sheik piles on the damage. Another reason why this matchup favors Sheik is because Captain Falcon is just the right size and height for her locks and combos; Sheik's forward tilt, when done multiple times in quick succession, creates a lock that is hard to escape from and piles on the damage like crazy. Sheik's Whip will also keep you at bay though she takes a while to put it away. But Sheik's speed will present a problem. Her running speed is only a slight notch below yours but it basically feels the same. But more importantly, her attack speed is superior. You don't want to get caught in her Turbo punch after her jab combo because you're basically locked in. Her smashes and tilts all come out fast, and her air game is also better than Falcon's. In spite of all this, you want to stay in her face because allowing her the space to charge a Needle Storm is not good for you in the long run. This will be a very fast paced battle in which you are basically waiting for Sheik to make a mistake and then capitalize on it. The good news is she has really low killing power and even when you are well into the 100's in damage she will have difficulties finishing you off. So essentially you want to outlast her, as you can kill her much easily than she can kill you.
vs. Snake: The two manliest characters in the game duking it out. This is also a fun matchup. Well, not because it's exactly in your favor, as Snake can kill you much easier than you can kill him. But the intensity of it means this matchup is never boring.This here is the only other heavyweight besides Ike that can stand up to Captain Falcon. Snake not only has high knockback on his Melee attacks, but a high resistence to knockback. Seriously, this guy could survive a nuke blowing up onstage (without a refrigerator). The strategy against Snake is a hit and run strategy. Most people will tell you to stay in his face so that he can't set up his little traps, but if you stay in his face, eventually you will get nailed by either his jab combo or his side tilt (both of which are incredibly powerful and can kill you at moderately high percentages).Approach (whilst sidestepping grenades), running attack to break the ice, combo, retreat. Rinse and repeat. If Snake sends a Nikita missle after you, short hop, air dodge, and punish. But be careful, for this is also a trap. Many Snake players know that their opponent will dash towards them as soon as they whip out the Nikita Launcher, and so they set it up to where the missile will fall onto their opponent while their opponent is grabbing/punishing Snake. So be careful about taking the bait. It's best to short hop and air dodge the missle then roll behind Snake on landing, then punish. Assuming this is a one on one battle (since that's what a matchup is) you shouldn't have to worry about Land Mines because Snake won't have time to plant them or he knows the other player will see him plant them. However, you'd be surprised at how easily he can plant a C4 without you noticing so it's still important to keep an eye on him. Turbo punch works wonders, and he's tall and heavy enough to be comboed nicely with not much he can do about it. Also, while Snake has some strong aerials he sucks in actual air combat so that's another practical approach to this battle.
As far as gimping his recovery is concerned, Snake has very high knockback resistance while riding the Cypher. The only move that will definately take him out of it is Falcon Kick. As for spiking him with a Raptor Boost, it's doable but I believe it depends on how damaged Snake is. It seems that he can be spiked with a Raptor Boost if he's at a real high percentage according to my tests. Also, you have to hit Snake himself, not the Cypher, for the Raptor Boost spike to work. The Raptor Boost spike will send him straight down, whereas Falcon Kicking him will force him to let go of the Cypher, but he will be able to produce another one. He can also be stopped with a down aerial but this takes more precise aim. If done right though it will send him off the side of the screen to his death.
. Sonic: The only character in the game that can run faster than Captain Falcon. That's pretty much the only thing better about him. He's pretty predictable since his specials are all very telegraphed and he's so light that he'll be sent flying with ease. In terms of his maneuvering and attack speed it isn't quite up to par, and he isn't that strong either. I'm honestly trying to think of how Sonic will be a problem for you but...I really can't. He has bad killing power and weak moves with low priority whereas Falcon has the opposite. Falcon is better on the ground and has a better air game.
vs. Squirtle: By far the hardest of the Pokemon Trainer team to fight with Falcon. With Falcon, small = bad and he's the smallest character in the game. His smashes aren't exactly weak either and come out rather quick with no real startup time. Like Mario with his FLUDD, Squirtle can ruin your recovery with Water Gun. As such, when trying to return to the stage in a battle with Squirtle, you will do the same as you would do with Mario, which is to steer your fall below the stage and aim for the ledge from under. At least if he hoses you, you can still use your jumps to recover. Next, Squirtle's Side B (forget what it's called but the move where he gets in his shell and rolls around like a thrown Koopa shell) has super armor the whole time it's in use. Seriously, Squirtle can withstand a side smash from Ike while doing his Side B Shell move so there's really no way you can stop him. Just hop over him. You will have to make good use of tilts in this fight. Or, you can allow Squirtle some distance in case the Trainer wants to switch but just thinks he can't (but do so in a discreet way or he might catch on that we want him to switch Pokemon).
vs. Toon Link: Definately easier for Captain Falcon to deal with than his Twilight Princess counterpart. His projectiles are very floaty and easy to dodge, and he has inferior range. Just don't end up directly underneath him because his Down Aerial move is a killer but that aside, he really is just an easier version of Link. At least, in terms of Falcon's matchups.
vs. Wario: He stands a better chance than most of the other heavyweights but not much. He has some pretty mean priority when he's coming at you on his motorcycle, give or take how fast he's going, so the best thing to do is just to jump over him. Although a well timed Falcon Punch will take him right off that bike. While Wario's attacks are enough to knock Falcon off his feet, he has extremely poor range. He has good killing power but most of his major kill moves are either horrible in range or are very telegraphed. This matchup favors the captain greatly. Like almost every other heavyweight, he ultimately is outclassed in this matchup.
vs. Wolf: This matchup is definately in Wolf's favor. His blaster is tough to deal with because it can stop you in your tracks and hence ruin your running>run attack approach. He's also simply superior in hand-to-hand combat to Captain Falcon, because his moves just come out quicker, do more damage, and push the enemy away. Many Wolf players, myself included, like to rush you with his Up B Firewolf move from long distances. Firewolf can travel roughly the same length as a Falcon Kick, and the kick at the end of it is very powerful.
I tested to see if a Firewolf could be negated by a Falcon Kick, and for the most part Falcon Kick usually won when they clashed. Firewolf won once but it had covered alot of distance and Falcon had just barely started the Falcon Kick. However it seems a Raptor Boost can cancel out a Fire Wolf indefinately, so that's probably the best defense against that move.
Overall this is another tactics battle similar to the Marth one where you and Wolf will both be trying to pressure the other into making a mistake. And he has more ways of punishing your mistakes than you do his.
vs. Yoshi: He's a mediumweight character who's a good height for combos. He has high knockback resistance during Flutter Jump so the only way to stop him in the air is with a sweetspotted Knee. Yoshi shouldn't really provide too many issues to a seasoned Falcon player though. Superior ground game is where Falcon shines. Air combat against Yoshi is questionable however.
vs. Zelda: A lightweight who plays like a heavyweight. She will pressure you into approaching with Din's Fire, but once you're up close just lay into her. She's powerful, but slow, so Falcon's superior movement and manueverability should win him this match.Although if she grabs you it won't be pretty as her throws are all nasty and some set up for some mean follow ups. Air combat is advisable but careful not to end up directly above Zelda. Obviously you want to stay close to avoid Din's Fire, but long as we stay in Zelda's face and assault her constantly, her light weight will be the end of her as we can outlast her.
vs. Zero Suit Samus: I honestly feel like this battle is in Zero Suit Samus's favor, (as I recall all too well some duels in the past with Tanis). Her plasma attacks tend to have a stun property that keeps you locked in place for a few seconds, allowing her to follow up with basically whatever she wants. Her standard A moves all come out very quickly and she has monster range with her whip attacks. Running wise, she's as fast as Sheik so she won't have issues keeping up. The tip here is to be extremely proficient with sidestepping more than rolling, and your Shield is your friend. You will want to stay close to her and be rather grabby in this battle. Falcon Kick approach is much safer than the standard running approach, and I personally wouldn't advise challenging her in mid air.