From Dragdown

- wavebounce down guns

- Down tilt, dash grab, dash attack, full drift nair. All moves that employ similar purposes for Joker: burst options. When is it appropriate for Joker to use burst options? Dash Attack: The fastest option and also the one with the longest reach. Very good at covering nearly 1/3rd of the stage. Can anti-air with Arsene out. Stuffs out dash ins (particularly against characters with bad dash shields) and can catch dash backs into the corner. Can also catch dash backs to center or under platforms if character is slow enough. Down Tilt: Covers landings, beats spot dodges, low profiles. However, it doesn't really have many notable advantages over Joker's other options. Dash Grab: The shortest range, but also the most threatening of Joker's burst options. Range can be extended with dash attack cancel grab. Forces opponents to think about having to jump or spotdodge instead of feeling safe in a dash shield. Full drift short hop nair: Very good at covering short hops, covers spot dodges and roll backs, also can cover dash backs on slower characters. The safest option by far when used in a position that covers the entire corner. Not good in center stage or when trying to reclaim neutral. So then, when is it good to use Joker's burst options? Joker's burst options are best used at cornering your opponent while applying pressure as well as whiff punishing. Catching opponent's in their movement with Joker's burst options is difficult due to a combination of either short range or slow startups. To force opponents to play into the corner you have to use a combination of full hop neutral gun, full hop bair, and full hop fast fall nair to restrict their full hops as well as fadeback nairs and short hop double guns to restrict their ground movement and grounded approaches. If the opponent refuses to stop trying either of these there is no point in overcommitting with those burst options into the corner. You also don't have to directly commit to a move to take that powerful position. Your ultimate goal is to end up in a position where you are safe under a side platform or the edge of a center platform and have control over all of that space. On FD, Kalos, and sometimes on Town you really should be focusing more on backwards positions and the center of the stage. This means whittling it down in a slower way instead of slinging yourself into the corner recklessly (IE don't dash attack into the corner on FD because you will get stomp down aired for it by a falcon player or EWGF'd by a Kazuya player). Against characters where you are required to run at for whatever reason, you should be more concerned about taking that powerful space under the platform than conditioning them to be in the corner as most zoner players will work themselves into the corner trying to dashback on you and set up their projectiles and/or win conditioning (IE Steve mining and Samus charge shot). This also means that you should NOT take them to FD or Kalos as it makes their neutral significantly more effective against the general Joker gameplan.

- The FD problem: On stages with center and BF style side platforms, Joker has an easy "home-base" to play around in nearly every interaction. The safety of the platform makes it much easier for him to react to his opponents and cover options due to the way the platform restricts the opponent's tools. But what does Joker do if there is no platform to be safe on? Trying to play the same mid-range gun setup forced approach game doesn't work when your opponents can simply full hop fast fall over your entire gameplan and ruin your day. The best answer I can give for now is to play really hot and cold. Instead of trying to midrange people, you should be hyper-aggressive when behind and hard camping when ahead. At even pace you must decide based on the matchup what is appropriate. Against a zoners, charge characters, resource characters, etc you should be in their face. Against brawlers, swordies, and other midrangers it's best to go on the defensive. The theory behind why this works is that Joker's option coverage gets a lot better in both aggressive and defensive positions when there are no platforms. Nair covers a huge quantity of space and gun gets a massive buff, down gun especially. Town and City is an interesting case being the only legal stage that changes platform layout in the current ruleset. Camping is much preferred in that situation as you can bank on being able to return to your consistent and powerful gameplan in the future.

- What does it mean to hold a position?: Holding a position is choosing to stay in a specific area to create favorable interactions in the future. Most players intuitively recognize what positions do and are meant for if you simply stand there. That's why you need to do something extra to make them interact with it or simply choose a new, even more favorable position if given the opportunity. Standing in place does nothing on its own and most players aren't stupid enough to just blindly run at you if you're standing still. It is obvious that you're fishing for *something*. So then, to actually make a position threatening you have to gaslight your opponent into thinking it's a good idea to interact with you there using movement baits and safe pressure (short hop guns, nair, back air, shield, short hops, etc etc). The problem is that pressing too many preemptive buttons causes you to lose interactions anyway as it gives your opponent the upper hand on reacting to you. This is where timing mixups come into play. By delaying your actions you give yourself more time to react to your opponent as well as more opportunity to cover more things in the long run. The trade off is that you can lose out frame advantage battles, but Joker normally doesn't win those against good characters regardless. And good positions mitigate this factor quite a bit.

When to hold and when to advance: One of the reasons why Joker is so powerful is because he has the liberty to react to his opponent's options and punish them with a fast whiff punish that results in long-lasting disadvantage. The reason why he is so good at this strategy is because of his quick speed and hurtbox shifting properties. Joker's speed allows him to simultaneously position outside of an opponent's effective burst range as well as re-enter it quickly for a true whiff punish. The hurtbox shifting helps Joker deal with large hitboxes that he may struggle to deal with. Landing aerials are super common in Ultimate, so any small advantage in naturally avoiding them is a huge boon. Joker's dash back is basically invincible towards any aerial approach when in advantage state because of how fast and far his initial dash goes combined with his low stature on the ground. Platforms can help this positioning by eliminating many mixups that the opponent can employ to throw you off as well as making the aerial arc of characters more predictable. On stages without platforms this strategy can still be employed, but Joker has to play a lot more reserved and whiff punish with projectiles or just dash in shield to try to get a favorable interaction. Due to how Joker's projectiles operate, whiff punishing with them is usually a big commitment.

Gun, eiha, f tilt, and fadeback nair service this gameplan by discouraging the opponent from dashing straight in. Once you feel like the opponent has been properly conditioned to not dash straight into you you should lay off the preemptive options ASAP as they lose to the kind of options that Joker can react to when he's not committing to those. This is especially true in advantage state where unnecessary preemptivity can cost you a complete position swap with you getting ledge trapped or juggled.

How do you deal with roll in and burst from the corner? Both roll in and bursting from the corner both lose to the same options. Sitting at roll distance (outside of burst range) and waiting. Most players will be smart enough to recognize not to roll into you or drop down double jump fair directly into you when you are standing there, so they will likely either neutral getup or jump. This positioning conditioning funnels players into the same lose-lose situations Joker is trying to create.

When is it appropriate to actively pressure into the corner? Well, if you're standing at roll distance from ledge it's likely that you won't be directly punishing jump getup and neutral getup from ledge due to their combination of being hard to react to as well as tight to punish. Once you feel that the opponent has been appropriately conditioned to not roll and aggro you from ledge you can start pressuring. MAKE SURE YOU ARE VARYING TIMING. This pressure can build up tons of damage or can lead to one read that results in a kill (like f smash on neutral getup or drag down up air on jump getup).

What is the purpose of using movement when ledgetrapping with these concepts in mind? Camouflage and bait. By actively moving around the "hotspot" position of roll getup from ledge it baits the opponent to pick an option while disguising the actual gameplan behind what is happening at the ledge. This does decrease the success rate if you are not careful as it gives the opponent timing windows to dodge or attack through you. Things you should avoid in your movement at ledge to prevent this: full hop, roll, unecessary guns and eihas, etc. The most powerful movement option at ledge for Joker is short hop. It gives him the most control as well as access to all of his options. His fall speed is so fast that he has enough time to land and punish any grounded getup options and it gives him the ability to double jump up to catch jumps as well as fade back to avoid attack getups.

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