'Being able to grab [tomes] and abuse a fast projectile that does 18% is something I would never want to give up' - Dath on Robin's droppable tomes

Posted by Justin 'AdaptiveTrigger' Gordon • December 10, 2016 at 10:27 a.m. PST | Comments: 4

For my weekly Smash Bros. pro interview, I decided to ask Austin 'Dath' Brown about some of his opinions on Robin.

Dath is widely considered to be the best Robin player of Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U. He is notable for going through many high level Sonic players and Larry Lurr's Fox during Shine 2016.

Despite Dath's recognition and accomplishments with an unconventional character, Dath is currently an unsponsored player. He is a free agent.

In the interview, we go over Robin's viability on the tier list, his/her match ups, and whether Dath perceives the ability to drop tomes as a strength or a weakness. Also, we find out why Dath exclusively plays the female version of Robin over the male version.
AdaptiveTrigger: Why do you play Robin?

Dath: Well I started with Robin back during the 3DS, I had been excited to play Robin since the reveal trailer because I'm a huge Fire Emblem fan, and a mage-like character was something I always wanted to be included.

She felt extremely comfortable, was easy to control, had huge hitboxes, and had tons of power. "What's the point of movement speed if you have everything else?" I thought.

AdaptiveTrigger: Why do you play the female version of Robin?

Dath: Haha, I'm surprised, I think this is the first time this question has come up.

I remember watching videos of the Japanese version of the game and fell in love with the Japanese voice of female Robin, so it was sort of natural to play the female version when I got the game in English.

Her voice is better than the male's voice in English as well, in my opinion.

I used to joke around that I was playing the female version just so I could play her in the Japanese version one day.

AdaptiveTrigger: Where do you think Robin is on the tier list? Which characters do you put above him/her on your tier list?

Dath: Robin falls somewhere around #15-20 on the tier list.

Characters that are for sure better than her are: Cloud, Sheik, Rosalina, Bayonetta, Sonic, Diddy Kong, Mario, Fox, Zero Suit Samus, Ryu, and Pikachu.

Characters that are likely better are: Marth, Villager, Meta Knight, Mega Man, and Ness.

Characters that are around Robin are: Toon Link, Corrin, Greninja, Pit/Dark Pit, Captain Falcon, Luigi and Peach, but I think she's better than most of those.

AdaptiveTrigger: Which character do you feel deserves to be at the very top of the tier list?

Dath: That's a really difficult question, I don't think there's anyone who agrees on who's the best of the best. In my opinion, without looking at results, I'd say Bayonetta. If I include results then it's Diddy Kong, with Mario being a very close second.

AdaptiveTrigger: What are Robin's strengths?

Dath: Strong projectiles, a large disjoint, great auto-cancel frames and ending lag on almost all her aerials that give Robin great spacing tools, combos, and frame traps, a command grab which can be the most rewarding single move in the game, amazing kill power, projectiles that can't be shielded, kill confirm plus tons of damage off grabs.

AdaptiveTrigger: What are Robin's weaknesses?

Dath: Slow movement speed so it can be difficult to cover tech options or catch opponents, no solid out of shield options, a limited recovery without a hitbox above her, a slow jump, a lot of endlag on missed grabs, and a terrible disadvantage state.

AdaptiveTrigger: What are Robin's advantageous match ups that are relevant to the tournament scene?

Dath: Advantageous? Haha, maybe Sonic? Ness is a good MU as well, but we're starting to get out of relevant characters with him. Robin goes even or barely loses to most of the top tiers though.

AdaptiveTrigger: What are Robin's disadvantageous match ups?

Dath: Characters Robin definitely struggles against are: Cloud, Rosalina, Diddy Kong, Zero Suit Samus, Mewtwo, and Toon Link. There are other characters like Ryu, Lucario, Mega Man, Fox, and Villager that can be tough but usually aren't too bad.

AdaptiveTrigger: What is Robin's toughest match up, in your opinion? Why?

Dath: For sure that's Diddy Kong. Sometimes it feels like the character was specifically designed to keep Robin in check, haha.

Banana fizzles every thunder option (except thoron) which means a free punish if Robin shoots anything, he's fast so he can run away from Robin and get banana easily or just reset neutral if needs to.

His roll is obnoxious against Robin, his shield is amazing because of his small body which results in items not bouncing off his shield correctly. He can crawl under every thunder variant, has a faster jump squat and much faster disjointed aerial to throw out.

Great ways to force Robin into shield (one of her worst states) and a super solid neutral that he can abuse to keep Robin off stage or in disadvantage.

AdaptiveTrigger: Earlier this year during Shine 2016, you went through some very notable Sonic mains. How do you feel about the Robin vs. Sonic match up?

Dath: Probably slight Robin advantage. Robin has one of the few tools to deal with spin dash invincibility with arcthunder, a large sword to fight Sonic's limbs, and a good way to keep sonic in the air with auto-cancels/frame trap aerials.

AdaptiveTrigger: You also eliminated Larry Lurr's Fox during Shine 2016. How do you feel about the Robin vs. Fox match up?

Dath: Slight fox advantage, Larry gave me a lot of space during our set and let me breathe way too much. Usually Robin struggles to get hits in because Fox is always on top of her, but that wasn't too much of a problem during our set for some reason.

Robin will always get a lot off getting those hits in on fox, and does great keeping him off stage as well, with arcfire or arcthunder to beat fox illusion. Plus Robin's main kill confirm "checkmate" is easy on fox and works early on him.

Click image for animated version

AdaptiveTrigger: How well does Robin fare against characters with reflectors? Specifically, how should Robin players work around reflectors?

Dath: Reflectors just make it so you can't just throw items or spells wildly, never a true hindrance to Robin in my opinion. Although spells like arcfire and sometimes arcthunder/thunder can't reasonably be reflected so they can be safe to throw in those MUs.

In general these MUs are usually best dealt with by throwing out more Levin Sword aerials, and then every once in a while shooting out an elthunder or arcthunder to make them second guess when to use their reflector.

When you have an item a lot of players spam their reflector thinking it's a "beat all" Robin's options of throwing the item, instead Robin can go for a z-drop Forward Air or Up Air, or just Nosferatu them, surprisingly effective.

AdaptiveTrigger: Would you say the ability to drop books and temporarily lose access to specials, but gain a throw-able item adds to or takes away from Robin's game plan?

Dath: This is probably one of Robin's greatest strengths, gaining an immediate hitbox to cover you after using up the item, and being able to grab it and abuse a fast projectile that does 18% is something I would never want to give up.

The items have always proved to be extremely useful to me, giving me early kills or giving me stage control/positioning by juggling books off people's shield. I just wish my recovery wouldn't break as easily, or at all, haha.

AdaptiveTrigger: How often do you keep track of your special and smash charges? How difficult is this to do?

Dath: A large majority of the time, I'm just pressing buttons till I see them flicker. As far as I know, each item will start to blink when 25% or less of the item is left for use.

So the important ones are fire will break after one use when it's blinking, and sword after two. Thunder will have a maximum of 5 charges when it starts blinking, so one arcthunder or thoron should cause it to break.

Once you know that stuff and only watch for the blinks, it's pretty easy!

AdaptiveTrigger: What would you say is your greatest accomplishment in Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U?

Dath: There's a couple tourney results that I'm proud of, winning the South Florida regional "Vitality" as well as the biggest Versus Gaming Center weekly (~145 entrants), and of course my Shine 2016 run.

However, the thing that gives me the most pride and joy is just being known as the best Robin and carrying the character into the tournament meta. It was my dream to do so back when I started playing the game on the 3DS.
A big special thanks to Dath for taking the time to speak with us. If you want to see more from Dath, be sure to follow him on his Twitter account.

If you haven't seen them already, I've also done interviews with Ally (part 1, part 2) and Mr. ConCon.

GIF and photo source: VGBootCamp YouTube channel.
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