Simon's gameplan revolves around his oppressive neutral with his whip and projectiles. Using fast, precise whip strikes and Cross to keep the opponent out and force them into a corner is Simon's main objective, as this is where he shines. By forcing his opponent to the ledge, he can begin ledgetrapping, keeping opponents there for potentially a long time or until the opponent loses their stock. Because of Simon's much less than favorable disadvantage, this gameplan must be carefully implemented, and Simon needs to make sure to keep as many bases covered as possible.
Simon's excellent space control is thanks to his whip and set of projectiles, all of which are tools that he can use to lock off parts of the screen and punish opponents for committing in neutral. The tools below are the most common and useful ones, but the majority of Simon's arsenal can have a place, no matter how niche, in his gameplan. Effective ranges are described in terms of roll distances (Short: <1, Medium: 1-2, Long: 2+).
- Cross (Effective Range: Long)
Simon's best projectile in neutral and the one that covers the most space. Use it to cover the ground, at SH height to cover the air/platforms, or returning to go through other projectiles.
- F-Tilt (Effective Range: Short-Medium)
Simon's least-committal neutral tool. Covers the ground in front of him well (with the exception of low-profiling moves) and sends into a techchase even at low percents.
- F-Air/B-Air (Effective Range: Medium)
Simon's most versatile tool in neutral. Can be used approaching or retreating, can be angled up or down, and can be used rising or falling. A swiss-army knife that you should be careful not to cut yourself on since using it recklessly will get you punished.
- (Dash) Grab (Effective Range: Short)
Simon's only unblockable. Use if an opponent is getting too comfortable shielding, as Simon is very weak to patient shield use. Keep in mind that Simon's grab is below average, but it's still necessary in a few situations.
Below this point are Simon's less valuable but still notable neutral moves.
- N-Air (Effective Range: Short)
Simon's close-range air-to-air used to catch unsafe approaches and generally put hitboxes around him. Can either drag down or combo into DJ F-Air/B-Air.
- D-Tilt1 (Effective Range: Short)
Simon's way of low-profiling some projectiles. Can tick throw if opponents are too comfortable shielding, expecting D-Tilt2, or lead into D-Tilt2 on those expecting the former. Sends at a fairly low angle.
- Holy Water (Effective Range: Medium-High)
A wall that can be placed in between Simon and his opponent. Used mostly for punishing opponents for approaching too recklessly or condition an aerial approach. On a platform, can travel much farther.
Because of Simon's above average range, he benefits a lot from dashing back after a poke. A lot of Simon players will land with an aerial, create space by dashing back, then anticipate an approach with F-Tilt, and for good reason as well.
Generally, Simon does not want to be in the air unless he has the advantage. That means don't be too tempted to chase after an opponent in the air. Instead, be more focused on catching the landing with moves like L-Cross and F-Tilt. At most, throw out an U-Air if you can follow their drift, but don't commit to a double jump if possible. A good place for Simon to be is right under a platform; he can cover the sides with L-Cross and F-Tilt and the platform itself with N-Air and U-Tilt. That being said, if Simon managed to be forced onto a platform with an opponent below him, he is in a bad position.
Simon's advantage is just as oppressive as his neutral. In particular, his ledgetrapping is extremely good. Simon also has an exceptional combo and setup game, and, while he prefers to ledgetrap, in some situations, Simon can also opt to edgeguard and take stocks that way. This is more detailed in both the Combos and Setplay sections above, but a brief summary/guide will be given here. In advantage, Simon prefers using a slightly different toolkit than in neutral since his opponent now has to respect these specific tools, but Simon can still use the majority of his toolkit in this situation in particular. Instead of Effective Range, these tools are now sorted by situation: Ledgetrap, Edgeguard, and Juggle.
- Holy Water (Ledgetrap, EdgeguardOnly if used while descending)
One of Simon's main ledgetrapping tools. Exceptionally good at covering options, and the flame can even descend if the bottle explodes right at the edge of the stage. Can consistently cover all options besides ledge roll if placed and timed correctly.
- Cross (Ledgetrap, Edgeguard)
Simon's best neutral projectile functions well in advantage as well. S-Cross can be used to deny space on ledge by threatening neutral getup and jump, and L-Cross can be used to threaten a recovering opponent.
- Axe (Edgeguard, Ledgetrap, JuggleUsing Axe for either of these purposes is committal, but can be rewarding)
A projectile used to block off space, especially for opponents recovering low. Has high-reward conversions and solid--but not amazing--vertical killpower.
- F-Air/B-Air (Ledgetrap, Edgeguard)
Simon's aerial pokes are, unsurprisingly, good for his advantage as well. When angled upward, Simon can cover opponents trying to jump and recover over his other moves, and when angled downward, Simon can 2-Frame opponents at the ledge. Even works as a traditional edgeguard that requires a little extra precision.
- U-Air (Juggle)
Simon's best juggling tool. Not a lot of horizontal range, but the vertical range and Simon's frametrapping ability makes it extremely potent for keeping opponents in the air.
- N-Air (Edgeguard)
Simon's least rewarding but safest edgeguarding tool due to it being a lingeringokay, flickering, but who cares hitbox. Doesn't send very far, but that may be just far enough to deny their recovery.
- D-Smash/F-Smash (Ledgetrap)
Two lateral smash attacks that can punish opponents for getting hit by or trying to unsafely get around Simon's other ledgetrapping moves (mostly Holy Water). In addition, both of these moves can hit some ledgehangs. D-Smash is preferable due to its ability cover ledge roll, but it sacrifices a mild amount of killpower in the process.
When ledgetrapping, it's important for Simon to cover as many options as possible. It's also important that Simon, when edgeguarding, is certain that the edgeguard will be successful, as a failed edgeguard usually means giving up stage control. This causes Simon's position to drastically change, as his advantage state is as good as his disadvantage is bad.
Antiair, Air-to-Air, and Juggling
Simon's catalog of moves to deal with aerial opponents is fairly decent. As mentioned earlier, U-Air is Simon's best juggling tool and directly-up antiair, but he has a lot more. As grounded antiairs, his U-Tilt and Dash Attack are his go-to options, with the former used as a stationary antiair and the latter as a running antiair. More committal but rewarding, "hard read" options are his U-Smash that goes straight up and his Axe that goes in an arc, but, especially in regards to the frame 30 Axe, these are much less safe options.
Simon's air-to-air game is also decent. At long distances, F-Air and B-Air are his best options. Closer up, Simon's N-Air is an alright move to use at frame 8. For catching a prone opponent out of the sky, either as an antiair or an air-to-air, Uppercut is a good option due to its speed and range, but make sure it hits, or else a brutal punish might be coming Simon's way.
However, in most aerial situations, it's likely that the main flaws of Simon's moves--how thin and fleeting his hitboxes are--will come into play. An opponent with good mobility will be very hard to hit with Simon's whip, so covering the landing with Cross, Holy Water, and even Grab can work in that scenario.
Tips and Tricks
• Controls • FAQ •
• Movement • Offense • Defense •
Detailed & Advanced Information
• Damage/Knockback • Frame Data Explanations • States of Play • Universal Strategy • Esoterica •
• Patch Notes • Tier Lists • Alternate Resources • Discords •