Do people know what I mean when I talk about 1 player having a tempo advantage? I think ult players call it advantage state? When one player has the ability to act first repeatedly and the other player is trying to stabilize. A common one is when player 1 recovers on stage (with pika upb for example) , and player 2 can get over to them, but can’t hit them before their recovery endlag finishes. 2 can’t get a guaranteed punish, but they can chase 1 and pressure them into making a mistake.

A lot of players seem to think that careful play and not getting hit means camping or running away, and that they’re aggressive players that just don’t have the patience to play that way, and that’s why they keep running in and getting hit. I think one of the things that separates them from high level players is defensiveness not at the macro level of running towards the opponent or away, but at the micro level. Strong players know how to approach every interaction while minimizing the chances of getting hit, even when that interaction is attacking the opponent.

To go back to the previous situation, a new player in 2’s shoes might do an immediate sh aerial towards 1, and end up getting hit by a panicked immediately utilt from 2. A better player with the advantage might sh in place and fast fall to bait out the utilt from 1, then dash and grab. Knowing 2 can do that a better 1 might short hop away instead, and a good player 2 might take their space and look to intercept 1’s attempts to get out of the corner.

No matter what you’re doing, keep yourself safe. I keep seeing people using their double jump when recovering to jump at their waiting opponent with an aerial, an easy way to get an fsmash to the face. Focus on KYS and fast fall -> double jump to sweet spot ledge or jump away -> drift in to ledge instead of leaping at your opponent with a prayer. Don’t worry, you can still run at them the moment you get off ledge.