Thursday, November 30, 2017

Diddy Kong Bread and Butter Combos Guide

If you are looking for crazy footstool combos, advanced tech, or some new discovery that you've never seen before, then this is not the video for you. Instead, I'm going to go over Diddy's basic bread and butter combos. If you are new to learning Diddy, then this is going to be a good place to start. These are going to be combos and follow ups that you can expect to be using in almost every set. This guide will also be useful to non-Diddy mains that want to learn more about how to avoid or escape some of Diddy's basic set ups.

For this entire guide, all of the percents I list will be approximations for a middleweight character like Mario. Keep in mind that the percents that combos work at in Smash 4 can vary drastically between training mode and a real game. Rage, stale moves, and character weight and fall speed can all effect which percents a follow up will work at. You can use the percents I list as a general outline of when you should be going for certain follow ups, but you will have to just get a feel for it by playing Diddy a lot.

Up Throw Combos

~0-15%: Up Throw -> Up Air x2
At very low percents, forward air and back air don't have enough knockback or hit stun to be a good follow up. Even if you hit with them, they can often still hit you back in the end lag of your aerial. Instead you will want to up air them, because the knockback will put them high enough above you that they can't hit you back. Against an opponent doing nothing or trying to throw out an attack, you can up air a second time after the first. This second up air can be air dodged, but you can bait the air dodge to get a stronger follow up. Jumping away from the second up air will let them escape. However, if they burn their double jump, then they won't have many options left to land with and you can trap their landing for more damage. Up throw up air in general works well against characters that are floaty and juggled easily.

~20-40%: Up Throw -> Back Air x2
Until about 20%, your opponent can air dodge or do a quick aerial to escape the second back air. After that, this becomes a true combo. If you go for this follow up at too low of a percent and they try to air dodge out, they will most likely land with landing lag from the air dodge. This lets you grab them and try again. At higher percents, the second back air is only true if you follow their DI properly. You need to start your dash in the direction of their DI so that they are close enough to you after the first back air so that the second can connect. When you see that you dashed the wrong way, you can still land the first back air easily, but don't try to follow up with the second or you will likely miss and get punished. Sometimes depending on the fall speed of the character you will need to fast fall between the back airs to adjust your vertical height.

~40%-115%: Up Throw -> Forward Air or Back Air
This is the most simple throw follow up that Diddy has. Jump straight up, and then react to their DI. Use back air if they end up behind you, and use forward air if they end up in front of you. Dashing in either direction before can make it harder to follow their DI. Don't worry about which aerial will do more damage, as there is only a 1% difference.

~115-135%: Up Throw -> Up Air
At a bit over 100%, they will end up too high to hit with fair or bair, so you will have to up air. Around 125% this leads to a 50/50 that can secure a kill by either waiting for an air dodge before the up air or trying to catch their double jump with an up air. Landing the 50/50 is easier with an unstaled up throw, because it will send them higher and closer to the blast zone. Because of this, when I get grabs just before this percent window, I will forward or back throw them to keep the up throw fresh. Characters that are both light and fast fallers, such as Fox and Sheik, will be easiest to 50/50, and the percent range is always much bigger on Town and City.

Down Tilt Combos
The first thing to know about down tilt is that it has two different hitboxes that will send an opponent at slightly different angles. The inside hitbox near Diddy's arms is the one that is easier to follow up on, whereas the hitbox closer to the hands will sometimes send them too far away.  When you trip an opponent with a banana, you can walk up to them close to ensure you get the inside hitbox.

~20-30%: Down Tilt -> Jab
Down tilt will not lead into any true follow ups at very low percents because they will be able shield before any of your hitboxes come out. At around 20% or so, jab becomes the first follow up you can do. Your opponent can sometimes SDI out of the jab, and that happens more often if they get hit further away from the initial jab, which is usually a result of hitting the down tilt with the bad hitbox.

~30-40%: Down Tilt -> Down Tilt -> Down Smash
At around 30% or so, you can chain one down tilt into another. If you hit with the inside hitbox on the first down tilt, you will hit with the outside hitbox on the second one, and so you won't have as strong of follow ups on it. Fast fallers are more prone to getting hit by this, because they will fall right into a down smash after the second down tilt.

~40-70%: Down Tilt -> Down Smash
Down tilt to down smash is especially good at the edge of the stage because of the angle it sends them at. Against characters with mediocre recoveries such as Cloud and Little Mac, this will be a very good option because it sets up a potential gimp opportunity.

~70-110%: Down Tilt -> Grab -> Up Throw -> Aerial
Down tilt into a throw combo will be the strongest follow up in terms of raw damage output. If you add in a pummel or two, this can end up dealing well over 20%. Once this becomes a true combo you will always want to use this follow up while you can until you get their percent high enough that you can kill off the down tilt.

~110-130%: Down Tilt -> Forward Smash
Down tilt into forward smash is one of the best ways for Diddy to secure a kill. In order to connect with this, you must hit with the inside hitbox of the down tilt. To guarantee connecting with the right hitbox, this is usually done as a follow up from a banana trip in which you have enough time to walk up close enough to them. At around 100-115%, this combo is completely true. Any higher and they can DI away and escape before the f smash connects. There is an awkward percent range of about 120%-130% or so in which down tilt forward smash isn't true but down tilt up smash doesn't kill yet. In that range I sometimes go for the forward smash anyways, because many people will try to air dodge out and end up falling into the second hit of the forward smash and dying anyways.

~130-150%: Down Tilt -> Up Smash
Perhaps the most well-known follow up, down tilt into up smash is great because of how big of a percent range that it is a true kill combo in. When the opponent is just below kill percent, follow up the down tilt with an aerial instead so that you don't stale the up smash. The distance you have to dash will depend on their DI and which hitbox the down tilt connects with.

~150%+: Down Tilt -> Forward Air and RAR Back Air
Once their percent is a little too high, down tilt into up smash stops working. Luckily for Diddy mains, down tilt will still true combo into a kill at much higher percents with down tilt into RAR bair. The advantage that RAR bair has over fair is that there is no weak hitbox on bair. If you connect, they will always get the full knockback. However, with a forward air, if you only hit with the late hitbox it will not result in a kill. Therefore it is almost always better to go with the back air. Back air also has more knockback growth (102 vs fair's 86), so at really high percents you will start killing with bair sooner anyways. One important thing to know about this set up is that at really high percents they can sometimes DI away and air dodge out, but because of how fast back air is, you can frame trap them and punish the end lag or landing lag of the air dodge with a second back air. This isn't possible with forward air.

Other Follow Ups

Up Throw -> Down Air
Diddy's strongest aerial in terms of damage dealt is his down air, so this is one of his best follow ups from an up throw. The catch is that your opponent will almost always be able to air dodge out, and characters like ZSS can down b out every time. However, even if they do air dodge, they will get stuck in air dodge landing lag and you can hit them with a falling aerial anyways. At higher percents this sets up a tech chase situation, and on platforms you can set up another grab easily. In Smash 4, at low enough percents you can act immediately out of hitting the ground. If your opponent's percent is high enough to bounce off the ground, but not high enough to end up in hit stun, then they will be able to hit you right away with an up air. This follow up is good for catching opponents off guard, but it isn't as reliable as the other combos listed.

Forward Throw -> Forward Air
Forward throw combos into forward air at low percents, depending on the opponent's DI. If they DI down and away, you won't be able to hit with the fair, but it will put them in a tech chase scenario that you can still capitalize on for solid damage. Deciding between using forward throw into forward air or up throw into up air at low percents will depend on stage positioning and the opponent's character. Characters with bad recoveries or bad ledge options will usually be worse off after f throw fair since it will usually put them off stage. Characters that have limited options for landing will be worse off above you after an up throw up air.

Down Throw -> Back Air x2
Down throw combos are very dependent on DI. Out of any of Diddy's throws, down throw's angle is influenced the most by DI. DIing in will send them straight up, almost like an up throw, whereas DIing out will send them far back like a back throw. In order to get good follow ups on down throw, you need to catch an opponent DIing in. The situation in which this is likely to happen at is by the ledge; they will be DIing in because they don't want to end up far offstage from a back throw. Just like the up throw to double back air, you will need to get your opponent to around 20% or so before this follow up becomes true.

Down Throw -> Down Air
A very strong follow up to catch inward DI on down throw is down air. This is true until about 40% or so, but at those percents it usually wont kill. At around 50% until around 70%, catching your opponent DIing in turns into a 50/50 where you either wait out their air dodge before doing the down air, or do the early down air to catch their double jump.

Falling Neutral Air -> Aerial
At almost any percent, you can get true follow ups if you land on an opponent with a neutral air. I find this set up to work best when you throw your banana down at them so that they trip, then land with the nair. This is most effective around 20-30% or so when back air will combo into itself. You will see ZeRo do this set up a lot against shielding opponents. If you throw the banana down on their shield, it will land right next to them. Then when you fall with the nair, it will either catch them dropping shield, or push their shield into the banana and lead to a follow up either way.

Following up on a banana
There are so many factors that play into which follow up to use after a banana trip that it isn't worth trying to outline them. Most of the time you will want to either use one of the combos listed earlier in this guide for maximum damage, or just go for a charged smash attack at kill percents. I highly recommend practicing the timing to maximize how long you can charge each of your smashes on tripped opponents before they can roll out. That small amount of charge can be the difference between securing the kill or not.