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|WHO IS THE BUZZ SAW?|
|Yes, I actually do go by Buzz around family and friends. The Buzz Saw is simply my expanded online alias. I derived it from the 'buzz saw nature' of Young Link's up + B move on the ground. If you'd like to learn much more about me, be sure to visit my Smash Wiki page!|
AOL Instant Messenger - KokiriBuzzSaw
Yahoo! Messenger - KokiriBuzzSaw
MSN Messenger - TheBuzzSaw@Gmail.com
Google Talk - TheBuzzSaw@Gmail.com [email]
|OTHER RECOMMENDATIONS||The Kokiri Konqueror - my current Young Link montage
Kokiri Warrior - NJzFinest's montage of many Young Link players
Inside the Cave - Caveman's combo vid
Wak's Combo Video - various Young Link tricks
Smash World Forums - superb forum with thousands of members and constant activity
|GUIDE INTRODUCTION||Before getting into the meat of this guide, understand that this is not a guide for new smash players. You should know what a wave-dash is as well as an L-cancel, SHFFL, etc. If you are a bit shaky as far as smash terminology is confirmed then I suggest you read this guide before proceeding. Also, this guide contains no single-player mode help. The focus is how to play a tournament-worthy Young Link. If you are still trying to figure out how to unlock Young Link then you came to the wrong place. Otherwise, if you are tired of people making fun of Young Link (and pointing out that he is low tier for the 416th time) and seek to exact your revenge on those people then you came to right place. :)
|TABLE OF CONTENTS||
Can seven years really make the difference? (Link & Young Link comparison)
___- sword attacks
Konfessions of a Kokiri
Part I - STRAFE - projectile tactics
___- fire bow
___- deku shield
Part II - ENSNARE - defensive tactics
___- shield grabbing
Part III - STRIKE - offensive tactics
___- dash attack
___- platform swordplant cancel
Part IV - KONQUER - finishing tactics
___- bomb guarding
___- the boot wall
___- down-tilt spike
___- the fire spike
Complete Moveset - under construction
|CAN SEVEN YEARS REALLY MAKE THE DIFFERENCE?|
"When compared to Link [Young Link's] differences fall behind, but they are still capable in their own right. This is because the differences they have don�t determine how good they are against each other but rather change their matchups. Due to Link�s advantages he is more capable in most of his matchups, but Young Link�s differences allow him to tackle his matchups in a different manner, which allow him to be capable as well. For those Young Link players that think I�m trying to crap on him, don�t bother. All that I mentioned is simply fact which is inspired by and for high leveled play. Now that you know their differences, it should be easier to choose which one you�d like to play with. Regardless, neither should be taken lightly." - Lord HDL (excerpt from Lord HDL's Link Guide)
|KONFESSIONS OF A KOKIRI|
|OVERVIEW||In order to master the art of Young Link melee, one must understand the flow of battle. It is futile to memorize a large table of individual moves, their damage/knockback, and "when you're supposed to use them". Battle tactics should be studied relative to given scenarios (not to each of Young Link's moves). Young Link scores KOs in a four-step process: strafe, ensare, strike, and konquer. In a perfect smash world you would proceed through these four steps invariably for each stock. However, the opponent simply will not cooperate, so you may find yourself going back and forth in this process. Therefore, it is up to you to improvise according to each opponent you face, but for simplicity these four steps will be presented in linear order. First, an overview of each part will be presented below. Then each part will be more thoroughly examined in sections to follow.|
|STRAFE||So, what does it mean to "strafe"? The definition (courtesy of dictionary.com) is "an attack of machine-gun or cannon fire from a low-flying aircraft". Young Link is our low-flying aircraft; his bombs are his cannon fire, and his bow is his machine-gun. Close enough. Young Link's projectiles have limited knockback, so their purpose is only to inflict damage and connect combos. The idea with the low-flying aircraft is that the enemy cannot fight back (unless they have long-range artillery of their own). Young Link should always keep his distance while strafing. The whole purpose of this phase is to increase the opponent's damage while taking none yourself. Obviously, this is where you need to start when the opponent has little or no damage.
|ENSNARE||The opponent is not going to take too kindly to your strafe action. In fact, some opponents will be so aggressive that you will never have had time to even begin a strafe. This is where you really have to play smart. Young Link is a defensive aggressive character. He excels at receiving attacks. The strafe acts as the bait because if the opponent chooses to ignore you then they will suffer an endless rain of projectiles. This is the part where Young Link prepares his booby traps. You want to ensnare the opponent as he comes to get you. They will not realize that they are only tangling themselves further and further into the spiderweb.
|STRIKE||This is the fun part. After the opponent's damage has risen to a substantially high value, the time has come to make your attack. This is the part where Young Link must knock the opponent off the stage (you're not playing on Onett, right?). As was just mentioned, Young Link fares a bit better at receiving attacks than giving them. So, you may find yourself ensnaring the opponent for a punishing strike. Young Link is faster than most players give him credit for. Even if you cannot bait the opponent into a trap you can still make a successful assault.|
|KONQUER||This is where you finish the job. Konquering involves intricate edge-guarding technique. Young Link probably has the widest array of options when it comes to edge-guarding.|
This game's winner is... Young Link!
|PART I - STRAFE - projectile tactics|
|OVERVIEW||Being able to send a barrage of different long-range weapons is what sets Young Link (and Link) apart from the other characters. All three of the projectiles have unique properties perfect for various situations. This section will cover the various projectiles in a very general sense. More advanced uses will come in the sections to follow.
|BOMB||The bomb is the single most important projectile because it is the most versatile. Any free moment should be used to pull out a bomb. The reason is that Young Link can simply dispose of it if the need arises (i.e. he needs his sword free). The bomb can be thrown in any direction, and the explosion takes priority over everything. That is important for situations where the bow or boomerang will not pierce. Young Link can also use his other projectiles while still holding a bomb, so it's best to pull the bomb out while you have a free moment.|
The bomb can be thrown at two distances on the ground but only one distance in the air. On the ground you can either throw or smash throw. It is worth noting that pressing down + B while you are holding a bomb is the equivalent of pushing smash forward + A (or Z). This is extremely useful for when you want to fast-fall and throw a bomb forward; you can smash down (fast-fall) and just press B (while still holding down, of course).
Occasionally you will encounter an opponent who can catch the bombs that you throw/drop. There are two solutions to this. The first option is to hold the bomb until it is close to exploding on its own. That way the opponent will eat the explosion even if they successfully catch the bomb. The other option is to aim for either the feet or the head. It is much more difficult for the opponent to catch the bomb that way.
|BOOMERANG||It is best to keep the boomerang flying around as often as possible. I cannot count the number of times it has come back to save me from a grab or otherwise nasty combo. It keeps the opponent uncomfortable. It can be thrown at two different intensities: throw and smash throw. Always go for a smash throw. There is rarely a useful time to do a normal throw. The steep angles that Young Link can achieve allow for some excellent stage traffic control. Opponents must jump much higher to clear the boomerang when it is thrown steeply up.|
A good habit to work is short-hop boomerang throwing. It does two things: first, it adds a mind game element making it harder for the opponent to recognize that you are throwing the boomerang; second, it allows you to move while throwing. It is particularly useful for opponents who like to dash grab. By short-hopping backward and throwing the boomerang forward (termed a reverse slide boomerang) the opponent usually falls short and takes a point-blank boomerang shot (close to 20 damage).
The boomerang is also a double-edged sword. With a little discipline you can prevent the boomerang from biting you back in crucial situations. The first rule of thumb is to always throw a bomb on hand before throwing the boomerang; if you do it backwards the boomerang potentially returns to knock the bomb back into Young Link's face. As you become more familiar with boomerang trajectories you will learn to prevent such a disaster. The bomb throws much faster than the boomerang, so it is worth learning to throw the boomerang first to allow for more fluid combos. Also be aware that the boomerang is easily blocked by even the weakest character's attack. Be tricky in how you use it!
|FIRE BOW||The fire bow is Young Link's surprise third tool. It is perfect to pull out when the boomerang is already out and you already have a bomb on hand (or do not have time to pull out another one). On the other hand, the bow has the longest range (horizontally) of Young Link's projectiles. Fully charging the bow comes in handy mostly when edge-guarding, but it can be used in the heat of battle with the proper application of mind games; you need to charge the bow almost always while falling in order to mask your intent. Even then the opponent will catch on quickly, so plan ahead.
|DEKU SHIELD||Be grateful that this deku shield is completely fireproof (unlike the one he had in Ocarina of Time). If you are fighting an opponent that has their own projectiles then odds are they will attempt to strafe you back. Depending upon the opponent, you can just let them fire all they want. For example, characters with straight-shot weapons (Samus, Luigi, Sheik, etc.) require virtually no brain power. Be aware that if Young Link stands still for too long he begins to look around. When this happens some projectiles can break through. Where possible take steps forward after blocking each projectile. This not only prevents being suddenly sniped but also covers ground lost from the knockback.|
Since no timing is involved with blocking projectiles using the deku shield, it really lowers the effectiveness of the opponent's mind games. This in turn allows you to apply some of your own. Young Link just stands there so the opponent has no clue as to what you will do next. Here is a small video clip example: deku.wmv (263 KB)
|PART II - ENSARE - defensive tactics|
|OVERVIEW||Most of the higher tier characters are aggressive in nature. Your ability to win will depend on your interpretation of the opponent's mind-games while applying your own. A defensive tactic is nothing more than an offensive tactic that requires your opponent to move first. Young Link should always be dealing damage along the way.
|BOMB-DROPPING||Inexperienced smashers will usually keep their eyes on their own character. Experienced smashers are comfortable enough with their maneuvers to where they can watch the opponent instead (far more effective). Projectiles add that third element that can trip up even the most experienced players. Dropping bombs (not throwing them) essentially allows Young Link to exist in two places at once. As the opponent goes to strike your current position simply jump and press Z (almost at the same time). Young Link can then drift to either side and either throw a point-blank boomerang or do an aerial attack. If you are already airborne then you ought to double-jump anyway unless you are far enough from the ground to avoid an explosive backfire.|
Bomb-dropping is also the method you use to deal with reflectors. Remember this: bombs can only be reflected once. After that the bomb will pass through the reflector since it has changed possession. So, if Fox or Falco is hiding with his reflector on the far left side of Pokemon Stadium during its mountain phase then start dropping bombs from up top.
|SHIELD GRABBING||Young Link is one of the best shield grabbers in the game; only Link and Samus have longer grab ranges. Shield grabbing is where you block an attack using your shield and go right into a grab by pressing A (since you are already holding the L trigger or R trigger). When one first discovers shield grabbing it is extremely tempting to shield grab just about everything. You must resist that temptation. As the level of competition rises you will discover that shield grabbing is not as effective as one would hope. There are key situations to watch for.|
The most universal opportunity to shield grab is against an opponent's rising attack (from laying on the ground). Another is the forward smash. Another is the dash attack. Some characters such as Captain Falcon or Ganondorf have forward + B moves that can be shield grabbed without trouble. Moves to not shield grab would include most aerial attacks; the punishment for missing a hookshot grab is too great to risk gambling on the opponent's L-canceling ability.
Do not forget that you cannot grab someone while holding a bomb. If you find yourself in a situation where you are shielding an attack with a bomb in hand then the best option is to do a fast bomb-drop (see 'bomb-dropping' one section above). Another option is to use Young Link's up + B spin move since you can use that without throwing the bomb.
|RECOVERY||Young Link is basically a walking, breathing shotgun. Provided he is sent far and high he can use that time to reload. Pull out a bomb and spend the air time charging your bow (release to hit the opponent). If you are facing the wrong way then throw a bomb or boomerang to turn around (this helps your DI toward the stage as well).|
As you come within range of the stage you have several options. You must remain unpredictable in order to survive. Young Link's hookshot recovery is probably the ideal method of recovery. It does not cover as much distance as the aerial up + B spin attack, but if Young Link can reach the ledge using the hookshot it allows for quicker recovery. This is crucial, especially if the battle is high-paced. On the other hand, if it is not safe yet to rise then Young Link can simply dangle for a few seconds (don't hang too long).
|LEDGE-HOPPING||A ledge-hop consists of dropping from the hanging position (press down but not smash down or else you'll fast-fall) and immediately jumping in such a manner that Young Link seems to just leap onto the stage. The other options (climbing attack with A or B, climbing dodge with L or R, etc.) should be used on rare occasion for mind-games and/or to mix things up a bit.|
Ledge-hopping also allows for a series of ledge attacks. The most useful and commonly used ledge attack is by far the aerial neutral A boot. The aerial down + A swordplant and aerial forward + A spin slice should really only be used if the opponent is suffering lag from a previous move; otherwise Young Link will easily be shield grabbed.
|PART III - STRIKE - offensive tactics|
|OVERVIEW||Young Link's defensive tactics are far superior to his offensive ones. In fact, most of the following strategies will involve some ensnaring prowess. You must manipulate your opponent with good mind games. Young Link does not have a wonderful direct approach.
|BOMB-CATCHING||Learn to recycle Young Link's bombs! The most typical defense opponents use on bombs is the shield. This pops the bombs back into the air. Provided the opponent did not use a reflector (or power shield) it is very simple to retrieve these bombs. Just slap A if you are on the ground. If the bomb pops up then leap into the air and push Z when Young Link's body is over the bomb. Sometimes bombs will softly rest on the ground or a platform. These are easy to recover. If the bomb happens to be resting on a platform that is above you then leap up and use the Z catch.
|SHUFFLE||Okay, so it's actually spelled 'SHFFL' and stands for 'short-hop fast-fall lag-cancel'. Young Link has an awesome shuffle! There are a couple varieties of shuffle that you should be aware of. In a standard shuffle, the sequence is as follows: short-hop aerial-attack fast-fall lag-cancel. The best aerial attacks to shuffle are the back-air, the neutral-air, and forward-air. The up-air should be shuffled on an opponent who is standing on a platform above you. The down-air should be shuffled on a stunned opponent (i.e. Sheik after completing her up + B teleport move).|
Be careful when shuffling against a shielding opponent! If you have presigious L-cancel timing then just sidestep the opponent's shield grab or shield jab after your shuffle. Otherwise you may want to try shuffle variety #2: short-hop hesitate aerial-attack lag-cancel. You will notice that there is no fast-fall in this sequence. That is the mind game. The opponent sees a short-hop but nothing else. Immediately before touch the ground he sneaks in a neutral-air and L-cancel. Oftentimes the opponent brings the shield down to move away from a potential grab allowing for Young Link's boot to strike.
Keep in mind that Young Link's shuffle is also an excellent ensare tactic.
|DASH ATTACK||Young Link's dash attack is quick, powerful, and an excellent horizontal finisher. A word of caution: Never use the dash attack on an opponent whose feet are on the ground. You will be shield grabbed (or otherwise punished) if you do. The dash attack should only be used if the opponent is in the air or otherwise stunned. The opponent does not have to be high in the air; they only have to be off their feet. The boomerang or bomb is an excellent setup for the dash attack.
|Even if you L-cancel the down-air swordplant the lag is horrible once you stab into the ground. This is part of the reason Young Link excels on a level with platforms: he can reduce the lag to zero by striking the edge of the platform while having momentum in the direction going off the platform. Here is a small video clip example: psc.wmv (229 KB)|
|PART IV - KONQUER - finishing tactics|
|OVERVIEW||The ability to konquer depends upon your ability to guard the edge. Young Link does not have any spectacular finishers (like Fox's up-smash), rather he has a wide variety of edge-guarding options. His off-the-top and off-the-side finishers are explained in more detail in the character matchup section.
|BOMB GUARDING||The bomb in itself is not an effective KO tool, but it certainly makes a recovering opponent's life complicated. The first and most common bomb guard is a simple bomb-drop. The bomb is an excellent tool to prevent the opponent from sweetspotting the ledge; this requires that you aim the bomb to land on the stage itself. Otherwise, having the bomb actually clear the ledge is good for messing up low-flying characters. If the opponent is taking his or her sweet time returning to the stage then walk up to the ledge, throw a bomb straight up, back away from the edge, and pull out another bomb. The flying bomb usually takes long enough to eventually collide with the recovering opponent, and by this time, Young Link already has another bomb in his hand.|
On stages that curve inward beneath the ledge (like Final Destination) many opponents can avoid bomb drops. This is an instance where you have to start being creative: turn so Young Link's back is to the edge. Short hop off backward and throw the bomb in at the stage. Throw somewhat early (if being accurate is difficult); the explosions will linger and hit.
The rather unorthodox third option is the bomberang. If you are the incorrect distance from the edge for a bomb to hit where the opponent is hanging then throw a boomerang first. As it comes back, throw a bomb to hit the boomerang right as it hangs over the opponent. This will stop the bomb in its tracks and cause it to drop straight down. It's a rather unusual tactic, but it definitely catches the opponent off guard.
|THE BOOT WALL||Young Link has one of the best neutral-airs in the game; it is a moving constant wall of damage (hence the title the boot wall). On top of that, Young Link can also string two or three together depending on his aerial position. Learn how to effectively position the boot wall at any given height off the edge! There are three takeoffs: full-hop, short-hop, and run-off (just dashing off the edge). From there you can fast-fall or double-jump to further align the boot wall. Young Link can go pretty far (down or across) and still return to the edge. Here are some standard procedure routines: short-hop neutral-air fast-fall recover (good against opponents that recover low); short-hop neutral-air double-jump neutral-air recover (prolonged boot wall for various situations); run-off neutral-air recover (usually for an awkwardly positioned Fox or Falco during their aerial up + B recovery). The possibilities are endless. Learn how to perfectly position Young Link for any incoming opponent.
|DOWN-TILT SPIKE||The use of the down-tilt spike is extremely situational. It is also a meteor smash, so it can be meteor canceled. Use it sparingly. Also remember that you can spike any character hanging on the ledge; take advantage of opponents who fail to monitor their invincibility frames hanging on the lege.|
Just crouch on the ledge when any of these characters is coming in from down low (or directly horizontal) to the edge. The timings are pretty straightforward. Fox and Falco, for instance, move swiftly through the air but have an invariable timing. Their timings can be learned in Training Mode even.
These spikes require more anticipation than timing. I do not recommend attempting these spikes unless you have confidence in your opponent's timing of the third jump. Honestly, a well placed bomb-drop will suffice more than a spike attempt will (particularly since these characters fly through the air pretty quickly).
These characters can be down-tilt spiked, but the timing is quite counter-intuitive. It almost looks like Young Link is going to miss entirely (swinging too early). Oftentimes these characters' third jump will hit before you have a chance to react (the range is bigger than it seems). Again, unless you are confident in timing these spikes, a bomb-drop will probably set them up for a better edge-guard.
NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE SPIKES
Spiking these characters is extremely situational. In other words, the opportunities are few and far between. These characters have strange trajectories or otherwise odd patterns. Try something else. :)
|SWORDPLANT||The best targets for a down-air edge-guard are in the "tricky spikes" category (see above in the down-tilt spike section). Young Link's swordplant takes definite priority over all of their third jumps. With good timing/precision, the down-air can even puncture slightly below the stage (an 'anti-sweetspot' of sorts).
|THE FIRE SPIKE||Young Link's fire spike occurs when he strikes the opponent with the hilt of his sword during a down-air. Most often Young Link has to come in from the side or from below. I have yet to witness or perform a reliable, repeatable combo that leads into a successful down-air fire spike every time. The low success rate of the fire spike makes it highly impractical to implement into a prepared combo (which KOs the opponent via meteor). It is not worthless, though. It allows for some demonic combos on the stage itself. It deals wicked damage and allows Young Link to follow up (usually with a bouncing down-air). In terms of being a finisher opportunities will present themselves. The most common opening I've seen follows a point blank boomerang near the edge of the stage. This pops the opponent up allowing for an easy attempt. Bowser and DK are relatively vulnerable; other opponents tend to avoid it with ease.|
As far as attempts go, never short-hop down-air off the edge. Young Link holds the down-air position too long to recover after the attempt. The only hope for survival is to hit the opponent. The bounce delays the fall and permits Young Link to recover. If you really want to flirt with danger then the full-hop down-air is recommended. He can recover from that.
|OVERVIEW||Okay, now it is time for some specifics. Young Link needs to adapt based on his opponent (as most characters do). Let me lay down a disclaimer regarding this part of the guide: The information below will not predetermine the victor of the match. Just me saying Young Link counters Jigglypuff does not mean Jigglypuff cannot combo the crap out of Young Link. On the other hand, me saying that Falco rapes Young Link does not mean that Young Link cannot emerge victorious. It all comes down to who the better player is. This is all based off my own experience. I guarantee that players will have varying opinions based upon their own experiences.|
There are six degrees of difficulty (color coded using a traffic signal: easy, medium, and hard):
Young Link has an extreme advantage over John Doe.
Young Link has a moderate advantage over John Doe.
Young Link has a slight advantage over John Doe.
Young Link has a slight disadvantage to John Doe.
Young Link has a moderate disadvantage to John Doe.
Young Link has an extreme disadvantage to John Doe.
|Young Link has a extreme advantage over Bowser.|
Bowser has no projectiles (unless you consider his fire breath a projectile). Young Link should be able to effectively control the stage at all times. Bowser has two strong offensive tactics: his up + B whirling fortress and his edge rising attack (when he is under 100 damage). If Bowser is hanging on the edge, stay very far away; that rising attack can reach farther than it seems. Use Young Link's projectiles to prod him back onto the stage. When Bowser rises above 100 damage, continue to keep some distance from edges. Bowser has some of the meanest ledge-hop attacks.
Never stand below Bowser with your shield up waiting for him to come down! Bowsers like seeing the shield come out; that's when they bust out the forward + B Koopa Klaw. Immediately start shuffling Young Link's up-air. When recovering, be very vigilant if Bowser is hanging on the edge. Bowser's ledge-hop back-air is instant death for Young Link (courtesy of Gojira). You may want to use the hookshot if possible.
|Young Link has a moderate disadvantage to Captain Falcon.|
Captain Falcon has no projectiles of his own. That is because he is a freakin' projectile. Young Link must beware of Falcon's insane speed. All laggy moves must be kept to a minimum. Some Falcon players are quick enough to see a projectile start to come out and dash in for a grab/attack before the projectile can come all the way out. On the other hand, it is good to depend on projectiles since all Falcon can do is block or evade them. Focus on maintaining a heavy strafe before moving in for a kill. Once Falcon is at high damage, try to land a neutral-air. Then proceed to konquer. Captain Falcon is really easy to edge-guard.
|Young Link has a slight advantage over Doctor Mario.|
This fight is somewhat tricky. The matchup is relatively even, but Young Link does have a slight edge: projectile spam. Doc's pills are quite versatile and can rival Young Link's projectile spam quite well. His weak area is exactly where he cannot> fire: above. If you find that Doc likes to sit back and throw pills then pull out a bomb, jump high into the air (double jump if Doc is jumping too), and throw it over the top. Resist the urge to overuse Young Link's boomerang. Doctor Mario's cape has a far lower success rate against Young Link's bomb than he does against his boomerang when using the cape.
Doc excels when it comes to shuffling. In fact, you really ought to clear out when the big bad back-air starts flying out. Wave-dash back into a down-smash or grab. The boomerang is probably safe in this instance considering Doc's back is turned to you.
|Young Link has a moderate advantage over Donkey Kong.|
The Donkey Kong fight is similar to Bowser in that you have a huge target with powerful attacks. The primary difference here is that Donkey Kong has the most wicked shuffles; Young Link can be juggled till doomsday by DK, so be sure and ban Final Destination like I told you to. :)
Do not use laggy attacks in close quarters. In the time it takes Young Link to pull out a bomb (or miss a grab), DK can roll through you and grab you. DK is faster than he seems. When recovering, watch out for DK's ledge-drop into his up + B spin attack. That one will knock Young Link out of recovery range. Just keep your distance and use projectile spam.
|Young Link has an extreme disadvantage to Falco.|
Basically, it was this very matchup that got me into investigating playing alternate characters in tournaments (surprisingly it wasn't Sheik). There is not much to say here except that you will lose unless you are clearly more skilled than your opponent. Reason? Falco can short-hop laser you. To make matters worse, Falco can jump so high that there isn't much hope in trying to travel over the top of it. Since Young Link cannot duck under this nightmare either, you are completely doomed on Final Destination. Platforms are your only hope in this fight. Now that I've eliminated all your optimism for this match, let's begin, shall we?
You have to be extremely clever to win this fight. You cannot keep your distance because Falco will send lasers over to ruin your day. You have to move toward him. Avoid lasers as best you can and pull out a bomb. Good Falco players know not to use their down + B move to actually reflect projectiles (despite that being its original intent). However, if you can frustrate Falco with enough projectiles, oftentimes they become too tempted. If Falco reflects a projectile, he is stunned for a moment. It is a small moment, so that is why I recommended getting in close whenever possible. You need to exploit that opportunity whether it be grabbing him or down-smashing him off the edge.
If Falco starts attempting pillars, shield and roll. Young Link's roll is pretty slow, but it's really the safest option in that you are invincible for part of it. Shield until the shine barrage ceases and then roll forward. Your best bet at this point is to shuffle Young Link's up-air; it cuts through Falco's down-air. However, if you are recovering, make sure that you don't move too close to the edge when using your up + B third jump. Falco's down-air will cut right through that. Hover back from the ledge a tad to where only Young Link's Kokiri sword hits the ledge. Just before beginning your descent, smash forward to DI over and grab the ledge.
Thank goodness Falco is incredibly easy to edge-guard. His fire bird recovery is very short, so he does not have many options as far as trajectory is concerned. Usually a good edge-hog will suffice. If not, use bombs to mess him up (the fire bird usually cuts through arrows or boomerangs).
|Young Link has a moderate disadvantage to Fox.|
It took a lot of meditating to rank this matchup. I used to believe that Fox was just as hard as Falco, but suddenly it dawned on me: matches against Fox are much faster than against Falco but far easier. Fox's lasers have no stun factor. That in itself gives Young Link a fighting chance. In addition to that, Young Link falls over when shined by Fox, so he cannot be infinitely wave-shined (unlike his older counterpart).
Fox is going to be in your face pretty much the whole time. He can sit back and fire lasers, but Young Link can still advance; the only caution here is that bombs are influenced by Fox's lasers, so never throw a bomb while a stream of lasers are coming at you. Fox is very good at close combat. His shine will be your undoing in most cases. It is imperative that you litter the area with projectiles. Do not fall prey to Fox's mind games. Just send in a projectile or three to do the job. Shuffling Young Link's neutral-air will prove quite beneficial. If Fox likes to drill-shine (shuffle his down-air into his down + B), shield until the nightmare is over, then shuffle up-airs.
The one beauty of fighting Fox is that he is a fast-faller. This makes him easy to combo/juggle. If you can catch Fox in an up-smash, most of the time you can follow up with another up-smash (if he is at low damage). You can also semi-chain grab Fox. Young Link's up-throw can be connected to multiple up-throws since the natural reaction for Fox is to shield. Don't overdo it; finish the last up-throw with a down-smash or double forward-smash!
|Young Link has a moderate advantage over Mr. Game & Watch.|
Well, this is an awkward fight. Projectiles and down-smash will be your best friends in this match. G&W's shield is basically the worst in the game. He will suffer numerous shield pokes at your hand. Take care to avoid his neutral-air parachute; it outprioritizes most of Young Link's attacks.
|Young Link has a moderate disadvantage to Ganondorf.|
I have heard numerous inexperienced players state that Young Link totally dominates this fight simply because Ganondorf has no projectiles. That is simply not the case, and anyone that says so has not played a proficient Ganondorf player. The only times I win against Ganondorf are when I'm having a good day and my opponent forgets about key winning strategies. Ganondorf is heavy, powerful, and relentless. While Young Link's projectiles are the path to victory, Ganondorf does not respond to them the same way other characters do. Ganondorf is a beast; he just eats up the projectiles as they come and still lands his fatal forward-air. His up-air neutralizes any down-air attempts and utterly destroys Young Link's recovery (whether it be hookshot or third jump).
Young Link's safest attack against an aerial Ganondorf is up-air. Watch out for Ganondorf's standing A jab because it is fast and deadly. Shield grab his forward + B moves. If you execute a down-throw, be vigilant! Ganondorf usually has time to recover and strike with an aerial. Evade or strike quickly (up-tilt or shuffle up-air)!
|Young Link has a slight advantage over Ice Climbers.|
This match really goes both ways. I could have easily stated that Young Link has a slight disadvantage to Ice Climbers. Young Link's projectiles protect against Ice Climbers' demonic grabs (whether it be wobbling, chain grabs, or smash combos). Well placed projectiles mixed with solid sword attacks is key; the Ice Climbers' hammers reach just as far (if not farther) than the Kokiri sword.
|Young Link has a moderate advantage over Jigglypuff.|
Young Link is an excellent counter to Jigglypuff. Projectiles completely neutralize the Wall of Pain technique and creates a nightmare for Jigglypuff's recovery. Jigglypuff tends to spend of lot of time in the air; this is a grand opportunity for Young Link because it means she cannot shield his projectiles or aerial attacks. Young Link is also slightly more difficult to edge-guard for Jigglypuff. His up + B spin recovery provides good protection. Jigglypuff has to swing out wide and come back in to attempt an attack.
|Young Link has an extreme advantage over Kirby.|
There really isn't much to say here. Two reasons: Kirby offers no substantial advantage over Jigglypuff, and I have not played a proficient Kirby player. :P
|Young Link has a slight advantage over Link.|
Everyone has been waiting for this one. I have spent a great deal of time pondering over this matchup. I have played a wide variety of Link players. I have to say that Young Link does have the edge in this fight... but not a big one. Be sure you know the differences between these two similar characters before taking on this match. Link has greater range with his sword and more power. In order to win this fight, you have to place particular emphasis on Young Link's strengths over Link: faster/longer wave-dash, sharper angle boomerang, and wall jumps. You must watch for key opportunities.
Exploit Link's missed hookshot! For once, an opponent has the same lag issue regarding missed grabs. It's best to stay out of range of a grab to begin with, but if you feel prone to a hookshot, sidestep it! The lag is tremendous (as you well know). Charge up a smash (generally a down-smash) and release as Link starts to bring his hookshot in.
Exploit Link's up + B spin attack! His spin attack can only hit once. Experiment sometime! When Link spins, shield it, and take down the shield once you see the impact spark. You can literally stand in Link's tornado of blades unharmed after that point. So, if you manage to shield it, immediately take it down and charge a smash attack (or grab depending on the circumstances).
...to be continued...
|Luigi has a small advantage over Young Link.|
|Young Link has a small advantage over Mario.|
|Young Link has a moderate disadvantage to Marth.|
|Young Link has a large advantage over Mewtwo.|
|Young Link has a small advantage over Ness.|
|Young Link has a moderate advantage over Peach.|
|Young Link has a large advantage over Pichu.|
|Young Link has a moderate advantage over Pikachu.|
|Young Link has a small advantage over Roy.|
|Young Link has a moderate advantage over Samus.|
|Young Link has a moderate disadvantage to Sheik.|
|Young Link has a small advantage over Yoshi.|
|Young Link will win. :)|
|Young Link has a moderate advantage over Zelda.|