This guide will explain in detail the MU between Peach and Marth and how it currently works at the highest level of play. I focus on the neutral game, defensive play, offensive play, and edgeguarding. Keep in mind throughout this guide that some things I say that are “wrong” can be good if used wisely, and anything that’s “good” can be bad if it’s predictable.
The neutral game in this MU is VERY different, depending on one simple factor: if Peach is holding a turnip in her hands. The main goal for Peach in this MU is to have a turnip. For Marth, it all comes down to not letting her get one often.
This MU is so much about the neutral, one of the MUs with the most important neutral game in the entire game I would say, so this is the part you really should focus on.
What are the most common mistakes from Peach players in the neutral game?
Mistake #1 – Pulling turnips at the wrong times
From Peach’s point of view, you have to be extremely careful of when to pull your turnips. Pulling a turnip puts you in a lot of lag, and if you try to pull a turnip when Marth is in the range where he can REACT to you pulling the turnip, then he can punish you. Reaction is not everything though – you simply have to be careful and pull turnips when Marth can’t reach you at all.
This clip is showing exactly what I’m talking about. Ken may not have gotten a huge punish, but the important part is that he got an entire opening just because MacD pulled a turnip when Marth was too close. Keep this lesson in mind, and be very careful pulling turnips.
Mistake #2 – Relying on Peach’s dash attack
Peach’s dash attack is great, don’t get me wrong, but this move cannot be spammed in the MU, especially if the Marth has a great dash dance game. You should use dash attack at a range close enough that it’s hard for Marth to know if you’re going to dash attack, FC nair, or grab.
This mixup is powerful because Marth beats dash attack with shield and with good dash dance spacing, but FC nair gives you an advantage if Marth shields in many cases because Marth’s shield is easy to shield poke. Grab also straight out beats shield in this situation.
Here it is very easy to see why dash attack should not be spammed with Peach. Marth has such a long dash, if you place the dash attack anywhere near where Marth’s current location, you can end up in a lot of trouble. Be very careful to not throw it out if you are very far away from Marth while he is grounded.
Mistake #3 – Floating at fulljump height trying to approach Marth
Floating at a high height is dangerous because Marth’s moves are both faster and have better range than Peach’s. Do NOT stay in the air too much. At the very least, throw a turnip in front of you, but in general, don’t float at a high height at all. Good Marths will destroy you for it.
What should Peach be doing instead?
There are lots of things you can do instead of pulling turnips when you don’t have the time for it. Again, keep in mind that some things that are commonly viewed as “wrong” can also be good if you use them at the right moment.
Peach’s neutral game while not holding a turnip is way trickier, but is very important to learn since it will be something you have to deal with a lot.
Space bairs! (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2GDs_3ubpDM 06:03-06:07)
The tactic shown in the video above is extremely good against Marth. Compare this with floating TOWARDS Marth where he is the one defending himself with more range. It actually is very tricky for Marth to land a hit against this tactic, since Peach’s bair has a great hitbox, the move is pretty fast, and Peach also has decent mobility in the air.
What is also shown in this clip is the fact that if you do hit Marth when he’s at around 40%, he flies far enough that you can pull a turnip (though he can prevent this with CC).
Remember, the entire plan is to get the turnip. Bair protects you very well, and you can buy enough time to pull a turnip, even at early %s.
Use dash attacks wisely!
Yes, I did state that relying on dash attack is one of the most common mistakes with Peach. However, I do think you have to mix it up with dash attacks. Here are some things to keep in mind while doing it.
- You are not the one having advantage in the neutral. It is not an option to throw out dash attack without a purpose. The risk reward is not in your favor.
- Peach is not a very fast character, so if you wanna use dash attack when Marth is grounded, you should do it at a very close range so he can’t possibly react with a shield.
- If you only space bairs you will be predictable – switching to offense sometimes by mixing in dash attacks and low FC nair can really catch Marth off guard. This is especially effective if you do it right after he dashes AWAY from you, because if he continues the dash dance, he will soon enough be close to you.
- If you start landing dash attacks, there is a high chance that the Marth will start looking out for them. This can buy you more space, which helps you achieve your goal of pulling a turnip.
What should I be doing while holding a turnip?
This is actually super important. I recently discovered a lot about this MU and how important it is to not over-extend once you’re holding a turnip.
Throw GROUNDED turnips from a defensive point of view!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GXzb3wMgsj0 (12:11 – 12:16)
As we can see here, when Peach is throwing a turnip from the ground, she has a lot of options. Marth is trying to get around the turnip and safely punish Peach. So I will explain a few pretty common outcomes from a scenaio like this.
1: Marth tries to shield the turnip and afterwards WD towards Peach and F-smash
If Marth is doing this and the distance from Peach and Marth is close to max range (in other words, the turnip hits Marth’s shield right before it hits the ground) Peach will ALWAYS have enough time to turn around and bair (at least in my experience vs severall of good Marths).
2: Marth stays in shield, WD in place, or WD slightly forward
The turnip is gonna bounce on the shield and might be a potential threat afterwards, shown here: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GXzb3wMgsj0 09:05-09:10)
If Marth doesn’t move away from his shield (by WD or roll, for example), the turnip bounce is always gonna be a threat.
3: Marth rolls away or WD backwards
Peach is allowed to pull another turnip, which at least is okay for her, since that’s the tool she wants to use in neutral.
Should I always throw grounded turnips from a defensive point of view?
As with most things in Smash, nothing is “always the best” or “always bad”. I do think the grounded turnips are very good to keep Marth away from Peach, and as explained above she has tools afterwards, and she is a living wall defending herself.
However, every now and then, you should jump towards Marth with a short hop turnip throw into FC nair, or fulljump turnip throw into FC fair. I would mostly recommend this kind of thing when Marth is close to the edge. This is because his dash dance game becomes weaker as he has less room to work with.
Once Peach gets a good opening and has a chance to attack Marth’s shield, we need to keep in mind what kind of options Marth has from shield, and simply how to beat them.
1: Marth stays in shield
Marth doesn’t really have any very fast aerials from shield, so staying in shield is a common option for many players. Shield literally only loses to grab in most scenarios. If you predict that the Marth player will stay in shield, you should go for a grab and d-throw. If they DI into you, you have a free nair. If they DI behind you, you have a free dash attack from around 30-90%.
Other than this, you also can do d-smash on Marth’s shield, which often results in a poke. Note that the better the Marth, the more likely they will angle their shield and use shield DI to prevent getting shield poked.
2: Marth rolls away
Another kinda common option will be to roll away from you. You have to predict the roll to punish. A “guess” might not sound too tempting to you, but you do have to go for it once in a while.
3: Marth grabs
Not a very common option, but it does happen. If you do a bair, try to space it so Marth can’t grab out of shield. If you do a fair on his shield, your grab is gonna beat his grab.
Edgeguarding Marth is rather tricky, and I would also say it’s clearly not as “flowchart” as it is vs many other characters. I do have some tricks I would like to point out, though.
1: Trade with the up-B
Pretty tricky, but it does work as shown here:
The things I usually look after is to be very close to Marth when going for it, and aim for the strong hit OR wait until the move is almost finished.
2: Drop a turnip while going for the edge
This strategy works really well when Marth only has the up-b left and barely will make it back on stage.
You should also try floating out a bit further so that you drop the turnip and BARELY make it to the edge. This way, you give Marth way less room to work with, and in many cases he has to die cause the turnip covers the only good area for him. This approach forces him to be further away from the edge than if he had gotten hit by a turnip close to the edge.
3: Throw turnips upwards when Marth is recovering from a distance
This is good if you have great timing. You want the turnips to fall down around the time Marth is in the area for the turnip.
4: Dair the ledge when Marth up-b
If Marth is going for the up-b, you can actually dair close to the edge and you will hit Marth before he grabs the ledge. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iBMgkr-s4jI 14:09
In this example, the theory in showed. Marth can smash DI down to avoid the nair, but the dair option is at least okay.
Against a Marth that is very solid vs Peach, I would not go for the ledge often at all. Peach’s options from the ledge are way too limited, and Marth can punish everything on reaction kinda easily. Recovery comes down to how good you can trick Marth with your movement from above. This area is actually one of the more “braindead” ones. Peach has to mix it up with random fairs/airdodge and that’s basically it.
1: You don’t want to be above Marth. The speed/range advantage is a nightmare. Respect his uair.
2: Turnip out of shield is good vs d-tilts on shield.
3: Crouch Cancel is very good vs Marth, he has a lot of stuff you can CC (including side b at higher %).
4: Peach’s shield is not bad against Marth (in fact, shield is pretty good vs Marth regardless of character). Marth usually throws out a lot of moves, trying to defend himself. If you get close to him and he spaces one of his moves incorrectly, you can often punish him for it with a grab or something like that.