Smash Ultimate Tips: Ledgetrapping

In a recent post, I covered the defensive method of avoiding ledgetraps and getting back to the stage. Today, I’m going to teach you how to ledgetrap more effectively. The act of ledgetrapping is to prevent your opponent from returning to center stage. Oftentimes, this involves a KO at high percents. However, it should not be confused with edgeguarding.

One jab from catching a ledge option can lead to a KO combo at under 90% against Roy or Chrom.

While edgeguarding is relegated to you going offstage against your opponent, ledgetrapping involves the offense player being on-stage and the one on defense being between the opponent and the ledge. For instance, you can charge projectiles or use them to pressure your opponent’s options.

Ledgetrapping is all about creating pressure, building damage, and cutting off your opponent’s route to center stage.

Some fighters are notoriously good at ledgetrapping. Roy immediately comes to mind. As such, swordfighters in general gain the benefit of a disjointed hitbox. Marth, Lucina, Chrom, Ike, and Cloud are no exception to this rule either. Sephiroth’s ledgetrapping is particularly dangerous thanks to his early KO power, range, and hit angles.

The most common method of ledgetrapping involves using back aerial (Bair) to smack your opponent while retreating in the air. Should they run into your Bair, they go flying. Bair is a common KO move among many fighters at high percents. As such, it’s incredibly common for players to swear by this as retreating Bair not only gives them a ranged KO option but one that can increase the potential of a safe landing.

Retreating Bair has a huge range, a low-to-high angle, and strong KO power. Cloud can also retreat safely with it.

Remember that these are just options and should be used with mixups to avoided being predictable. Make sure you’re reading your opponent’s movements too and not just mashing buttons.

The point to ledgetrapping involves holding control over the majority of the stage while cornering your opponent. Your opponent loses mobility options and cannot maneuver around as much. As such, they cannot camp you as freely as before. Any move they do can also get them punished due to your close proximity to them.

The lingering frames on Donkey Kong’s Bair can cover multiple ledge options like jump or neutral getup.

The whole point involves keeping your opponent out of center stage. Throw them back off as many times as you must. Not just with grabs but any move you can use to send them packing. Build damage with any tool in the book and they’ll be sent offstage.

They don’t have to be strong launches either. Just throwing them back offstage will keep your advantage.

But most importantly, keep a perimeter between the opponent and yourself. This means not allowing them to go to center stage. This also means not sticking your neck out too far near your opponent.

Ledgetrapping gives you the advantage and control of center-stage. However, a single mistake can put you in the opponent’s position. This could result in you struggling to get back to stage or even die at an early percent.

Don’t get too close. But also don’t zone from so far away that you give center stage back to your opponent.

For one, approaching with a dash-grab or dash attack is a surefire way to get punished. Dash grabs can be jumped over while dash attacks can be shielded. This can result in a shieldgrab to being thrown offstage. Now you’re the one trying to get back.

He baited me with shield but now he jumped over my grab attempt. What now?

Another is the opposite and that’s to give your opponent too much space. I’ve seen players dash past the center stage area while their opponent, including me, would get back to the stage safely. Well, keep in mind that Smash is not a traditional fighting game.

Winning in Smash is not just about holding a neutral advantage on your opponent and taking down their health. It’s about smacking them off-stage, keeping them off-stage, and doing them dirty with an early KO whenever the opportunity presents itself. The harder you hold the advantage with ledgetrap, the more damage you’ll build onto them.

Other fighting games involve beating your opponent’s health down to zero.

Sometimes I think the latter is due to the pressure their opponent creates. They try to keep their distance and go into camping range. However, while this is practical in neutral situations, you lose all advantage if you do this when your opponent is recovering. Remember to keep the pressure on them.

Make sure you take your opponent’s stock ASAP by any means necessary.

For further knowledge, I recommend watching this video. It helped build my ledgetrapping fundamentals as well.

Finally, make sure you study your safe moves, autocancels, and respect your opponent’s burst range. Read them out and react to moves instead of mashing buttons. Even if your opponent makes it back to center stage, a reset neutral is better than you getting flung off-stage for carelessness instead.

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