Super Smash Bros. Melee/Fox

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Fox McCloud is the lead character from the space combat series Starfox. He is emblematic of speed, dominating foes with his rapid attacks, quick movement and overpowering offense in all areas of his game. Because of these advantages, Fox has won many tournaments and currently ranks 1st on the tier list (suggesting that he has the most potential of any character in Melee), ousting Sheik from the number one position for the fourth time.

Fox, however, is equally notorious for being an extremely difficult character to master. Almost all of his attributes reflect an unbridled speed, requiring quick fingers and reflexes to master. Players need utmost concentration to SHFFL aerials and shine combos with efficiency, and more importantly to avoid being grabbed by an opponent, which almost certainly means a painful chain throw or combo. Because of these struggles, Fox must remain slippery, unpredictable, and above all faster than his opponent to win.

"A" Moves Analysis

Ground moves

  • Neutral attack: Fox jabs forwards with his paw, followed by a short series of fast kicks. A versatile jab that can combo into several other attacks, including up smash (similar to SSB). Very useful against shields, to jab reset, and into shine cancels. More useful against lightweights than heavyweights (such as Jigglypuff). The second jabs makes Fox move forward a bit. 2-4% damage on the first jab, 4% damage on the second jab, and 1% damage on the kicks.
  • Dash attack: Fox runs forward and sticks a foot out. Low priority but good combo ability, especially into up smash. Very vulnerable to crouch canceling. 5-7% damage.
  • Strong down: Fox performs a sweeping tail lash. Moderately fast. Can combo at mid-percentages into aerials. It can also become a somewhat solid ground killer at higher percentages. 10% damage.
  • Strong side: Fox sticks a foot out to the side. This is best used for a quick close-ranged spacing move. 4-9% damage depending on how its angled.
  • Strong up: Fox performs a quick and surprisingly strong vertical back kick. It covers Fox's whole body; thus, it makes Fox and his vertically-aimed foot a hitbox. Its speed, power, and hitbox make it great for close-up spacing. It can easily combo into itself, up air, and up smash. Used as part as a chain-grab against fast-fallers with it being connected to his up throw. It can start killing around 120% on mostly the floaty lightweights. 9-12% damage.
Smash attacks
  • Side smash: Fox performs a flying hook kick. Has moderately low knockback for a smash, though is fast, and is actually quite reliable at higher percentages, KOing usually around 120%. This move does 12-15% uncharged, 16-20% fully charged.
  • Up smash: Fox performs a back flip kick. This move is very fast, and when used on the ground while facing the foe, it has very high vertical knockback. It is very reliable at mid-high damages. Shine into up smash is very useful for kills. 18% uncharged, 24% full. Hitting an opponent behind Fox does 13-17% damage.
  • Down smash: Fox does a split, hitting on both of his sides. It is fast and has moderate knockback. Useful for edgeguarding and an excellent spacing/killing move. 15% uncharged, 20% full.
Other attacks
  • Ledge attack- Climbs up and sticks his feet out in a similar fashion to his forward smash in Template:G. 8% damage
  • 100% ledge attack- Slowly climbs then very suddenly thrusts out his foot. 8% damage
  • Floor attack- Kicks on both sides. 6% damage


  • Neutral air: Sticks the entire foot out. Sex Kick properties. A very quick aerial. Very good against shields and great power when it first comes out. 12% damage.
  • Forward air: Fox kicks forward five times. Good knockback when all hits connect. Regrettably, this move is very awkward due to the short amount of forward distance, short range of the move, and bad physics of the kicks being chained together. All hits are extremely hard to connect without a good set-up, especially on lighter characters. Approximately 17% damage when all hits connect.
  • Back air: Fox does a quick no-look kick backwards. Sex kick properties. Great knockback when it first comes out. One of Fox's best edgeguarding moves. 9-15% damage.
  • Up air: Fox whips his tail up and kicks immediately after. A very high knockback move, good vertical killer, can combo out of up throw on virtually everyone. Can be Smash DI'd out of however. Two hits, 17% total.
  • Down air: Fox spins around, drilling downwards with his feet. It can combo into up smash and out of up tilt. Useful into shines as well. It is the weakest spike in the game, giving almost no knockback when it is used on an opponent. However, when it is used on a wire frame, it sends them strongly diagonally downwards, like a spike. Using this move will not win any of the meteor smash bonuses with it, and meteor smashes send opponents purely downwards, and not diagonally downwards like a spike, giving proof that it is a spike. 19% damage when all hits connect.

Grabs & throws

  • Pummel: A quick knee jab to the opponent. 2-3% damage
  • Down throw: Fox throws the opponent into the ground and shoots him/her with his blaster. This throw does not make opponents bounce off the ground like other down throws (except Falco) because it is a meteor smash. Not useful due to being able to tech out of it, but you can read techs for kills. Can lead into up-tilt or his Reflector. It meteor smashes over a ledge if his body is partially overlapping it. 5% damage.
  • Back throw: Fox throws backwards and shoots the opponent with his blaster. Used mainly for setting up edgeguards off-stage, though really not many other uses besides mixing up a Fox player's throw game. 7% damage.
  • Forward throw: Fox punches the opponent forward; furthermore, this is Fox's only throw that does not involve him shooting his opponent with his blaster. Despite its generally poor combo ability, it can chain-grab on some heavy characters. Although, it is best used for edge-guarding. 7% damage.
  • Up throw: Fox uses his laser and throws the opponent into the air. It can easily combo into up tilt, up aerial, and up smash. It can also chain-grab fast fallers at lower percentages; however, it can be Smash DI'd out of the chain-grab. 7% damage.

"B" Moves List

Move Analysis


Frame Data


Shine Spike

The Shine spike is one of Fox's edge-guarding techniques. It consists of using Fox's down B to spike an opponent who is already off of the stage, down and away, to prevent their recovery. The Shine spike is especially effective, because the Shine has set knockback and stun, making it as capable at zero percent as it is at three hundred percent. Also, since the move slows Fox's vertical movement, it allows him to easily recover after spiking.

Wave Shine

How to Waveshine

A wavedash can be performed anytime a character is on the ground and can jump. The shine can be canceled by jumping shortly after it is initiated. Therefore, it is possible to jump out of the shine into a wavedash.

To waveshine, use the shine, then jump cancel into a wavedash out of it.

It is often easier to use the X/Y buttons instead of the Control Stick because it is considered harder to wavedash with only the control-stick. The logic is that to jump with the Control Stick requires the stick to go up. To wavedash, the succeeding angle is angled towards the ground. This makes for more complicated manual motions, and should be avoided in order to achieve a speedy waveshine.

Uses of the Waveshine

The waveshine is generally used for combos with Fox. However, some characters fall over when shined. This presents a problem, and generally these characters are immune to waveshine combos. Note that if these characters crouch-cancel the shine, they will not fall over and can be treated as normal waveshine. Also, using an attack after the wavedash can cause a character who has fallen over to be "forced" to stand up (most noticeably a neutral attack). This is referred to as "Thunder's Combo."

A waveshine can be followed up by many attacks. The choice of attacks depends on how far the opponent is pushed away. For example, Peach is not pushed away very far at all, but Luigi is pushed very far away. As such, Fox's choice of move following a waveshine against Luigi is more limited.

Some of the most useful attacks used in conjunction are the up smash, grab, down aerial, or even another shine. Waveshining plays a vital part in Fox's infinite combo.

Waveshined Laser

The Waveshined Laser is a very useful technique because it's a good defense and a good offense. To do this, use Reflector, Wavedash backwards without facing behind the player, and shoot as many Lasers that they want to shoot.

Waveshining is also a popular mixup when pillaring an opponent's shield. The waveshine allows the Falco player to move behind an opponent's shield to not get shieldgrabbed.

For both Fox and Falco, the waveshine can be used as a method of spacing and avoiding the lag after a Shine.

Character Specific

Additional Note


Serious Advantage Match-ups

Link, Zelda, Mew2, Yoshi, G&W, Ness, Bowser, Kirby, Pichu

Advantage Match-ups

Puff, Sheik, Peach, C.Falcon, IC, Doc, Ganon, Pikachu, Mario, Luigi, DK, Y.Link, Roy

Fair Match-ups

Falco, Marth, Samus

Disadvantage Match-ups


Serious Disadvantage Match-ups