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Ledgedash

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Leffen (Fox) performing a perfect ledgedash to escape edge pressure and reset the game to neutral position while battling Mew2King (Marth).

A ledgedash is an advanced technique in Super Smash Bros. Melee, used to allow a character to quickly return to the stage from the ledge; the technique is performed by releasing from the ledge, jumping, and immediately wavelanding onto the stage (by air dodging diagonally into the ground). When performed successfully, it allows the character to immediately move or attack from the ground (known as “actionability”). Compared to the standard methods of climbing off the ledge, the ledgedash is much faster and provides the performer with much greater control over their character, and is much more difficult to punish.

When performed immediately after grabbing the ledge, the ledgedash also allows the character to keep any remaining ledge intangibility frames; as such, a well-timed ledgedash allows most characters to perform a variety of movements and attacks while fully invincible. GALINT (an abbreviation of grounded actionable ledge intangibility) refers to the timeframe when a character both fully invincible and can move or attack freely after a ledgedash. The maximum number of GALINT frames (via a frame perfect ledgedash) varies among each character, though most characters still receive GALINT with even an imperfect ledgedash.

The ledgedash is well known for its highly technical requirements, and for being a rewarding but highly risky technique to perform. A successful invincible ledgedash requires numerous precisely-timed inputs to perform, and an improper ledgedash can result in the player air dodging off stage and self-destructing, or performing a heavily punishable standard getup option. Nonetheless, invincible ledgedashing is frequently used by skilled Melee players, as it grants certain characters a major advantage while returning from the ledge, which is normally an extremely vulnerable position.

Technical data[edit]

After grabbing the ledge, a perfect ledgedash (achieving maximum GALINT) requires the player to let go of the ledge using the Control Stick or C-Stick at frame 9 (the earliest frame possible), and instantly jump then air dodge diagonally into the stage; the 37 frames of ledge intangibility will continue to protect the user once they are back onstage. (The one exception is Link, due to his shorter 3 frame cliffcatch timer; he must let go of the ledge on frame 5, and has 33 frames of intangibility upon grabbing the ledge).

Due to the ledgedash’s extremely precise input requirements, there are many chances for the player to misinput and risk self-destructing off stage, or leaving themselves vulnerable on stage. Attempting to let go of the ledge early (before frame 9) will cause the initial stick input to perform no option, so the game will only read the player’s jump or air dodge input. This will cause the player to perform a jump from ledge, regular getup, or roll from ledge, all of which can be easily punished; the jump from ledge leaves the character especially vulnerable due to its very high ending lag, and is commonly known as the “tournament winner” as it causes players to get KOed so frequently. Meanwhile, air dodging too early (before the character model goes above the main platform) will cause the character to air dodge against the side of the stage, falling to their death. Air dodging too late will cause the character to perform a standard air dodge without wavelanding on the ground, leaving them vulnerable to a punish.

The risk of misinputting can be minimized by performing a less precise ledgedash, for example, by letting go of the ledge after frame 9, or timing the air dodge later to lessen the threat of air dodging off stage. A suboptimal ledgedash requires less precise timing, but can still grant the character some GALINT frames; as such, there is a tradeoff between gaining maximum GALINT frames vs. decreasing the risk of SDing.

Each character gains a certain amount of maximum GALINT frames from a perfect ledgedash; as such, some characters can perform a ledgedash faster than others, and have stronger ledgedashes. A character’s ledgedash speed is determined by their double jump speed, height, and the size of their environmental collision box. Shorter characters, and characters with faster double jumps, reach the stage faster, and thus gain more GALINT. Fox and Pichu are tied for the most GALINT from a perfect ledgedash at 15 frames, while Peach is the only character who receives 0 GALINT from a perfect ledgedash; this is because her double jump causes her to dip slightly lower before rising upwards. In addition, there is no direct relationship between a character’s perfect and suboptimal ledgedashes; some characters suboptimal ledgedashes grant more frames than their perfect ledgedashes would suggest, and every character's suboptimal ledgedash has a different timing and leniency window.

Ledgedashing is slightly more powerful on stages with slanted edges (such as Yoshi's Story), as these slants allow players to waveland farther towards center stage by air dodging at a more horizontal angle. Exact times per character can also vary based on whether the player does a regular fall or fastfall from the ledge.

Ledgedash variations[edit]

Many characters can perform a variation of the standard ledgedash. This is done by using certain attacks to alter the character’s environmental collision box, either before grabbing the ledge, or while double jumping from the ledge to the stage (replacing the air dodge), known as an aerial interrupt. For some of these characters, their ledgedash variation grants them more GALINT frames than the standard ledgedash. However, many of these are highly situational, requiring specific setups beforehand or only working on certain stages (most commonly Battlefield, due to the stage's unique thin ledges); some techniques have extremely tight, often frame-perfect windows, and can only be consistently performed with TAS levels of precision, making such techniques less practical in competitive play.

  • Several characters, including Falco, Fox, Pichu, Pikachu, and Sheik can gain additional frames of GALINT by double jumping and then regrabbing the ledge before doing a ledgedash; this bring Fox and Pichu up 1 to 16 max frames of GALINT, Falco up 1 to 15, Pikachu up 2 to 15, and Sheik up 1 to 12. Sheik gains an additional 2 frames with this method on Battlefield, allowing her to gain up to 13 frames of GALINT on that stage.[1][2]
  • Bowser can gain 9 frames of GALINT with ECB, by using his down special to regrab the ledge before performing the ledgedash.
  • Captain Falcon can perform an aerial interrupt using his back aerial that grants 15 frames of GALINT.[3]
  • Captain Falcon and Ganondorf can jump directly on stage (using a no impact land) instead of air dodging (Captain Falcon must additionally fastfall for one frame before jumping). This grants Captain Falcon and Ganondorf 12 and 9 frames of GALINT respectively. They can also grab the ledge beforehand with the apex of their up specials to manipulate their ECB, which grants a total of 17 and 18 frames of GALINT respectively.
  • Fox can gain a large amount of semi-actionable intangibility frames using a jump cancel Shine. This is done by jumping (on frame 2 after letting go of the ledge), performing a Shine (frame 4), and jumping again (frame 7). This leaves him with 22 intangibility frames on Yoshi's Story, 20 frames on Battlefield (by holding forward after the first jump), and 18 frames on other legal stages. These frames start as semi-actionable, as he can only perform aerials and jump cancelable moves until returning to the ground.[4][5]
    • Falco can perform a similar technique, but must Shine on frame 5 and perform the second jump on frame 11; he gains 18 frames of semi-actionable intangibility on all legal stages.
  • If Link or Young Link catch their Boomerang after ledgedashing, they will cancel their landing lag and gain up to 20 and 22 frames of semi-actionable intangibility respectively, during the boomerang catch animation.
  • Luigi can perform a 15 frame GALINT on Yoshi's Story by dropping from the side platform to the ledge before ledgedashing.[6]
  • Marth and Roy have different ECB manipulation based ledgedashes.
    • The technique with maximum GALINT (known as “bonkdashing”) is performed on Battlefield, and grants up to 18 frames of GALINT. This requires the player to let go of ledge, perform hit 1 of side special, and instantly double jump under the lip of the stage, hitting the lip 1 to 2 frames after starting the double jump. The player must then instantly regrab the ledge, let go, then double jump back onstage using a no impact land. The timing is nearly frame perfect when returning from the ledge; there are slightly easier ways of performing the bonkdash, but these require the player to jump or fall from the stage beforehand as setup.[7]
    • Another technique known as “Dolphin Dashing” can be performed on any stage, granting up to 9 frames of GALINT. This requires the player to precisely sweetspot the ledge with the apex of their up special, while delaying the ledge grab by 4 to 6 frames (by briefly holding down on the Control Stick). The player must then immediately release ledge, double jump, and air dodge diagonally upward into the stage.[8]
  • Mewtwo can perform an neutral aerial interrupt on frame 12 (frame 11 on Battlefield) after double jumping; when perfectly timed, this grants 9 frames of GALINT on Battlefield and Dream Land, 7 frames on Yoshi's Story, and 6 frames on other legal stages.[9]
  • Peach can perform an ECB manipulation ledgedash known as “parasol dashing,” by sweetspotting the ledge with her up special before the parasol is released, and then ledgedashing on stage; this grants her up to 9 frames of GALINT.
  • Samus can perform an up aerial interrupt 10 to 11 frames after double jumping; when perfectly timed, this grants her 11 frames of GALINT. This is performable without setup on any stage, making it stronger than her standard ledgedash.
  • Yoshi can gain 8 frames of GALINT by performing an interrupt with any aerial on exactly 16 frames after jumping from ledge.[10] He also can gain 9 frames of GALINT from his ledgedash through manipulating his ECB, by grabbing the ledge during the apex of his double jump before starting the ledgedash.
  • Zelda can perform an aerial interrupt using her forward aerial, granting her 13 max frames of GALINT.

List of characters ranked by GALINT[edit]

This table lists characters ranked by maximum GALINT frames from a standard ledgedash. Note that some characters can consistently perform a ledgedash variation that grants them more GALINT frames than a standard ledgedash.[11]

Rank Character Maximum GALINT Frames
1-2 FoxHeadSSBM.png Fox 15
PichuHeadSSBM.png Pichu
3-4 DrMarioHeadSSBM.png Dr. Mario 14
FalcoHeadSSBM.png Falco
5-9 IceClimbersHeadSSBM.png Ice Climbers 13
LuigiHeadSSBM.png Luigi
MarioHeadSSBM.png Mario
PikachuHeadSSBM.png Pikachu
YoungLinkHeadSSBM.png Young Link
10 KirbyHeadSSBM.png Kirby 12
11 SheikHeadSSBM.png Sheik 11
12 CaptainFalconHeadSSBM.png Captain Falcon 10
13-15 JigglypuffHeadSSBM.png Jigglypuff 9
LinkHeadSSBM.png Link
MrGame&WatchHeadSSBM.png Mr. Game & Watch
16 BowserHeadSSBM.png Bowser 8
17 DonkeyKongHeadSSBM.png Donkey Kong 7
18 RoyHeadSSBM.png Roy 5
19-22 GanondorfHeadSSBM.png Ganondorf 4
MarthHeadSSBM.png Marth
NessHeadSSBM.png Ness
SamusHeadSSBM.png Samus
23-24 YoshiHeadSSBM.png Yoshi 2
ZeldaHeadSSBM.png Zelda
25 MewtwoHeadSSBM.png Mewtwo 1
26 PeachHeadSSBM.png Peach 0

Usage[edit]

Ledgedashing is a high-risk, high-reward technique in competitive play; it allows players to escape corner pressure from the ledge and perform invincible attacks, but is challenging to perform consistently due to the numerous precise inputs required, and carries the chance of losing a stock if done incorrectly. This difficulty also increases when attempting to perform a perfect ledgedash with maximum GALINT; as such, players will often choose to perform suboptimal ledgedashes in order to decrease the risk of misinputting and air dodging off stage, or doing a laggy getup on stage. Players will also ledgedash more frequently while at high percents, to minimize the consequences of self-destructing.

Ledgedashing is a staple technique for characters with strong ledgedashes (such as Fox, Sheik, and Captain Falcon), but is rarely used by characters with weaker ledgedashes (such as Peach and Marth), as the minimal benefit gained by the technique is not worth the risk of losing a stock for many players. For characters with strong ledgedashes, even a suboptimal version of the technique allows them to perform fully invincible grabs, combo starters, and KO moves. Fox is known for having a particularly fearsome ledgedash, due to the multitude of options available during his GALINT frames, including his aerials, grab, up smash, and Shine. Falco players ledgedash less frequently despite his large number of GALINT frames, as his double lasers and instant Falco Phantasm are already powerful ledge options on their own. Jigglypuff players will also rarely ledgedash, as their multiple jumps and high horizontal air speed gives them an easier time getting off the ledge without the risk of self-destructing.

Ledgedashing is best employed as a mixup off the ledge in conjunction with other options, such as ledge stalling, double jump aerial, standard getup, roll from ledge, ledge attack, and Falco’s double laser or instant Falco Phantasm. This is because ledgedashing every time is risky due the high chance of SDing, and the mere threat of an invincible ledgedash is enough to make opponents play more carefully when holding center stage. While the edge of the stage is normally a major positional disadvantage, an invincible ledgedash allows characters with strong ledgedashes to turn this position in their favor. Conversely, characters such as Peach and Marth have major difficulties escaping pressure from the edge of the stage, in large part due to their weak ledgedashes (as Peach gains zero GALINT, while Marth’s only invincible attacks are his jab and up special from his standard ledgedash).

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