Brawlout – An Explanation of Meter and Defensive Mechanics

A quick description of Meter, Dodge Mechanics, and DI.


The meter in this game is part of the rage mechanic. there are two different ways the meter can be used within the rage mechanic. The first and most common is Burst. when you Burst, you must have at least half a meter (one dot siginifies hitting this point) and pressing two dodge inputs (or the burst input on keyboard) activates it. Burst stops your momentum and temporarily gives you invulnerability. In addition, it uses all of your current meter instantly. A few uses include:

  • Stop yourself from dying from a kill shot.
  • Recover once more (burst resets your air state so you can up b again).
  • Burst out of a combo and retaliate with IFrames.

Now, if you have a full meter, the mechanic changes and you go into Rage mode instead of Burst. in competitive mode, it does the same thing as burst, but also has some other long lasting defensive properties. You take reduced knockback until it drains out. In addition, you can’t be pulled, frozen, or have similar status effects on you, and you stop taking percentage damage. The meter drains faster when you get hit, and locks you from bursting until it has fully drained and you have built up meter again.

Meter itself is used for most specials and changes the properties of the moves, and it is your only resource for escaping combos aside from DI. because of this, some characters have to carefully manage their use of specials to avoid getting death combod. You build meter based on the percentage of damage you take (+ any multipliers) and also based on half of the damage you deal usually. For example, Olaf’s freeze with meter freezes an opponent for longer than a meterless freeze.

Dodge Mechanics

The differences in dodge are numerous. You have 5 states you can be in that use the dodge button aside from burst/rage. You can:

  • Roll
  • Spot Dodge
  • WaveDash (jump plus dodge in a direction)
  • Air Dodge
  • WaveLand (air dodge into the ground like traditional Melee Wavedashing)

Rolls give you I frames. They can be cancelled immediately into WaveDashes.
Spot Dodge gives you Iframes faster and can be cancelled into WaveDashes or Rolls.
WaveDashes can be cancelled into WaveDashes, Rolls, Spot Dodges, and any attack input. WaveDashes can be discretely controlled by how far you hold the control stick in a direction. please note that you can’t end a WD early by jumping.

Air Dodges can be similar to both Melee and Smash 4. if you dont hold a direction, the air dodge follows your current trajectory. if you hold a direction, you air dodge in that direction (like melee). It will follow the current direction of your stick, not just the direction it first read. you can arc your air dodges this way and force wavelands on platforms that were above you to begin with. However you dont get this back once you touch the ledge or get hit. You only get this once per time you leave the ground (i think bursting also resets this too). you can indeed air dodge into the ground like in Melee and PM, bringing us to WaveLanding.

WaveLanding is the name given for the state transition we call wavedashing in Melee and Project M. While in the WaveLand state you can cancel it by letting go of the control stick, and you can change your direction for the duration by holding the control stick in different directions. you can even oscillate multiple times in the same waveland. you can cancel a WaveLand into WaveDashes, Rolls, Spot dodges, and any attack input. you can buffer jump while in the waveland state too, but it wont proc until after you leave the waveland state. If you hit the ground in any manner while still being in an air dodge state, you get put into this state.

The Iframes on roll occur in the middle of the roll, so spamming rolls is more likely to get you hit than just waiting the roll out. similarly for spot dodge. Now, if you’re a god at this game, you can spot dodge-> wavedash-> attack within a 2 frame window. the spot dodge gives enough iframes to avoid an attack, and the wavedash is required to cut the end lag from spot dodge so you can attack sooner.

Directional Influence (DI)

DI in this game is different from Smash bros or other platform fighters. In this game, holding a direction affects the direction the knockback you recieve goes in. For the largest change in direction from the natural direction of the knockback, you would hold perpandicular to the direction you are being sent. This is exactly the same as the strategies in smash bros.

However, Holding parrallel to the direction you’re being sent has an effect as well. This affects the speed you are being launched. If you hold in the same direction as the knockback of some move, you will go farther out during hitstun than you normally would. The best use for this can be seen against olaf, apu, and drifter’s Utilt chains which are usually inescapable until 60-70% without increasing the knockback they deal by DI’ing up. Likewise, holding against the direction you’re being sent reduces the speed you are sent there, potentially preventing you from dying when you would normally die off a blastzone.

Aerial Recovery and the Ledge

In this game, every character has at least one aerial jump, usually referred to as a double jump. When you get hit after you have used a double jump, you get your double jump back. In most platform fighters, you do not get your double jump back, but instead get access to your air dodge. In this game, you only get one air dodge until you land on the ground completely.

Air dodging doesnt send you into a helpless state as in other fighters. instead, you can use your air dodge and still have access to your whole moveset, and the remainder of your double jumps.

If you have more than half meter after your air dodge, jump, and up b, you can burst and then up b again. Bursting does not restore your double jump or air dodge, so Paco and Olaf have harder times using Burst in their recovey.

Ledge Mechanics are like a mix of other fighters. when you grab the ledge the first time, you get iframes until a forced action takes place. You can

  • Ledge drop (hold away from the ledge).
  • Ledge get up (dont do anything. this is the default forced action).
  • Ledge attack (press attack).
  • Ledge roll (press dodge).
  • Ledge jump (press jump).

You have roughly 14 frames to choose which of these options you will take. you lose all your iframes on the startup of ledge jump and ledge drop, and you lose Iframes near the end of ledge attack and ledge roll.

If you did not touch the ground before grabbing the ledge again, you get no iframes until you touch the ground again. This makes it incredibly easy to get spiked because you ended up regrabbing the ledge.

Like in Smash 4, this game has ledge trumping. if someone is holding the ledge and you grab the ledge, they are forced off the ledge no matter what action they were taking. If they were starting to roll, they would still be pushed off and silenced. When ledge trumping occurs, an icon pops up on the silenced character. until it goes away, that character can do nothing. a viable strategy for some characters is to grab the ledge after an opponent, ledge drop, and then hit the silenced opponent away or punish their regrab.

Unlike in other fighters, the ledge has a magnet to it that enables characters to snap to it from far away. As long as you are not on the ground, or in hitstun, you will snap to the ledge during any other states. this snap can interrupt specials, aerials, and dodges.

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