Fighting Tips From The 2014 Nintendo Super Smash Bros. 3DS National Open Tournament Champion

by Kyle Hilliard on Nov 21, 2014 at 04:45 AM

Last month, Sam “Dubuz” Buzby took home the top prize at the Nintendo Super Smash Bros. 3DS National Open Tournament in New York. Along with bragging rights, Buzby also took home an impressive trophy and a one-of-kind Smash Bros. robe. We spoke with Buzby about his win, but also asked him for some tips for playing the new Smash Bros., who to start with if you’ve never played, and how Olimar, his former main, has changed since Brawl.

General tips
Sam “Dubuz” Buzby: I think the simplest tip is to just learn your character. Learn how far their moves go, learn what the combos are, learn what options you have to punish someone who’s rolling a lot. For example, when I play Sheik and I see someone rolling a lot I’ll just go and grab them because I have so much grab speed I can easily catch up their rolls. Or if I think someone’s going to air dodge, I’ll just use charge attacks.

Learn what your options are in every situation and really think about what you’re doing. The biggest thing I see is many go online and just roll a lot, or they stand in place and throw attacks out and that’s not going to hit someone who understands you’re throwing attacks out or just rolling a lot.

A lot of people, for some reason, think things like Yoshi’s down B, Bowser’s down B, and things that fall fast from the air are really good. Those kinds of moves are actually really bad. Anything that forces you to commit very hard to one attack (like the down Bs of Bowser and Yoshi) like Wario’s Bike, Pit’s side B – anything that just forces you to commit really hard to an option? It shouldn’t be used that much. Sonic’s up smash though, which is like really fast and safe and like quick? You’re not committing much. Or like Greninja’s jab, things that are just quick with low cooldowns are great to use a lot because it’s hard to punish them.

Best fighters for Smash Bros. newcomers
I think Mario is a really good character for starters. Bowser, Donkey Kong, Diddy Kong, Link, Sheik, Lucina is basically the beginner’s Marth, Ike, Robin, Kirby, Little Mac of course, Charizard, Lucario. Wii Fit Trainer. Ness too, as long as you can learn how to use his up B to recover, I think he’s good for starting.

If you think about a good character to start with, the characters who are just solid overall? Ness has everything you could want in a character without being too hard to use. When I think of difficult to use characters, I think of characters like Peach or Luigi, who aren’t necessarily bad and can actually be really good, but they don’t have every tool in the book. They have very specific tools. They are very good at one or two things and very bad at something else. Characters like Mario do everything very well, but have nothing centralized.

What happened to Olimar?
Pikmin is my favorite game series, so when I first started playing Brawl I just picked a character that I already liked because of the series, not because how good they were. In [Smash 3DS] I played Olimar, and he’s not as good as he is in brawl. He’s very different, and honestly just not as good a character in my opinion.

In Brawl, Olimar had had lots of fast moves from a large range. He had lots of damage, did nice grab combos, and he had very good mix ups. And he also had the whistle, which gave him super armor in the air and on the ground, so if you hit him he would just absorb the attack. In this game they took that away, so his attacks still have a lot of range, but not as long. They’re all very slow, and they don’t do much damage, and he basically lost that armor. If he gets hit in the air he has trouble landing and salvaging control again. If you’re against rush-down characters he doesn’t have any good ways to deal with it.

Buzby won the Nintendo open with Rosalina. Is she the best new fighter?
Rosalina is most fun, but not the best. Good enough to win [and] still a very good character. I think Sheik is the best right now. Out of the new characters, Rosalina is the best in general and as a whole.

Duck Hunt Dog?
I actually really don’t like him. I don’t really like Palutena that much either, but I think most of the other new characters are pretty decent.

When I pick a character I like to pick a character because I think they are cool – because I like the game they are in. I don’t like picking characters because, “Oh this character is good. I’m going to use this character because of that.” And Duck Hunt Dog? I like Duck Hunt the game. I played a little bit. It’s an old-school game, one of the first good games I remember being really fun, but the character to me is just a dog with a bird attached to it. I had no interest to play the character initially, then when I played the character? He’s a very defensive character that has trouble killing and it’s not fun to play a game of runaway until someone is at 100 percent then you can kill them. I like playing more aggressively.

Is Little Mac overpowered? What are the best countermeasures against him?
No, Little Mac is an OK character. The thing is with Little Mac is he is definitely at his best on Final Destination, which is a For Glory mode standard. If you just grab him and throw him off stage you can basically kill him for free if you read his recovery. If you read he’s going to side B, you throw out an attack up, you hit him in the air, launch him back, and he can’t recover. If he’s going to go under and use his up B you can oftentimes just go and hit him with a back air or something and force a stage spike or just spike him with a down air. You just have to grab him out of F Smash, or you just need to grab or something like that.