By - Blaistera
If I had to guess, based only on my own assumptions as someone who likes to sound as though he knows a lot about this game...
You may be sticking to a bunch of bad habits that you learned during the game's infancy which were good at the time, but don't fly anymore. Back when the game first came out, nobody knew how to play so spamming throw all the time and never guarding were completely viable strategies (not saying that's what you do, just that it was common at the time). But as the meta evolved and people became more capable at understanding the game's intricacies and developing better strategies things changed and the old habits players formed started hurting them.
I would recommend trying to slow down and focus more on reacting than just acting out of instinct. Pay attention to your own patterns. Do you always dodge by jump-dashing to the right? Do you favor starting your attacks with one arm over the other? Do you use Rush just because you have it or do you wait for an opening? Pay attention to your own playing first. React to what your opponents do and mix up your reactions to see what works and what doesn't. Getting better won't be instantaneous, but it's won't happen at all if you give up. So keep at it even if it gets frustrating at times.
As far as getting back into the swing of things. Try not to have both arms out at the same time. It makes you unable to move and thus unable to avoid getting punished. If you have only one arm out, you can knock away incoming punches or break incoming throws. Also, back to focusing on reactions, how does your opponent react to the punch you sent out? Do they always dodge to one side? Do they go into the air? Do they guard? If they're too consistent, you can take advantage of them.
Sorry if this isn't the sort of stuff you were looking for, but you didn't give a lot of information and I feel this is pretty general advice. Some might think it's common sense, but it's never safe to assume. People have gotten better overall, but you're also a people so you can get better too. Just keep at it and honestly, ignore party match. It's a nice warm up when you just launch the game, but it's not going to help you improve on ranked. Either get some friendlies set up in the Discord or just dive into rank and stop caring about the numbers.
Lastly, there's a lot of new arms since you last played, so why not give them a shot? They can really inspire some interesting strategies. Test them out in the training modes!
Hey! I'm completely new (literally on my way to pick up the game) and super stoked for this game. These tips are exactly what I needed to know apart from the basics. Maybe there should be a "good stuff to know" sticky thread for noobs like me on the forums :)
Probably two things.
1. Everyone got better. As time passes the people who are better at the game have stayed and those who didn't do as well left since it wasn't as fun losing. Everyone who is playing the game now knows all the tricks. Most of the community is aware of combos and other stuff.
2. The meta has changed big time, old strategies don't really work anymore. At launch everyone didn't know what works, it's changed quite a bit since then. You need to change your strategy as the community has developed much better ones.
Yeah but they got all better in one go, one day they were sloppy and suddenly people learn one thing or two, I lost 2 levels because I don't back down until the other left or battery dies. And I do have notice there was trend, I only start to play a month ago, use to own most people up to 10, and that was enough to see sudden changes lol. I also avoid party except when it's events, it really makes you sloppier.
I'm a twintelle apologist, parasol and thunderbird.
Only play on handheld (I don't have a tv, don't have the mean), which mean using l/r buttons are kind of hard to reach, so I use the faceplate button, which mean I can't move (dodge and jump button) and hit at the same time, trust me I do feel that millisecond of delay for switching button in match (hence my choice of weapon). I also don't like watching cinematics so no throw or rush (very rarely). I also don't use guard much because clicking stick is clunky prone to fatal error, dodge is way more powerful usually.
I remember when the army of springman appeared and disappeared as fast as they come out, they had the fast triple weapon, and just dance around you with dodge and try to get upclose to unleash their fury, I lost some match but adapt by having a much more aggressive style and pummel them so hard I got a badge for beating springmen and have consecutive victory.
Overall there was a lot of people just dodge turtling waiting for counter. BUt while waiting ranked i'm in the training room with twintelle trying to have consecutive perfect. But this trend is dead aside from the occasional. Also to develop instinct by playing mostly when I'm tired, really help sinking automation, I was doing that because the challenge weren't high enough and I was progressing fast lol, until recently that is, I still
Now the level is way more practical, I generally meet a bunch of people who play sloppy in the first round and then I pummel them out and they start to play strategically, it turns out everyone is having the same strategy ... it's generally slamander my kryptonic and the ice chakram with some other weapon, but I'm learning the offbeat tempo they impose, also the FRAKING whammer. The key point is that people are much smarter in using the special too. They guard much more, but instead of throwing I start pummeling then super fast until they guard broke, which is better for psychological warfare.
SO even though I find people have mostly average skills and I kind of land more hit, they come back pretty well because they seems to always land the rush, since I will inevitably jump, I have a lot of close lost because there is always a rush to get me. I don't have enough of a ground game yet, I prefer the air. They do play more strategically, they rotate character and weapon to study my weaknesses (I only use twintelle and the same 3 weapons, my choice), they block more (don't do much of a difference with me), they are simply more thoughtful.
However they don't aim, and by that I don't mean curve the punch vaguely in the direction of the opponent, I mean following it when they move by constantly adjusting the aim until the hit, which where I land a lot of hit, I dodge most attack by simply walking on the side, and barely dodging. Aiming is also how I do without blocking, I can't dodge and move at the same time but using aim is more than enough to stop all the hit of an enemy that dodge punch upclose.
But yeah slamander or whammer + distance + special, is more than enough to slowly chip me away it seems. I hate then they fucking retreat in the back of the stage as soon as they have more health lol, it become tedious of fighting turtle sniping you lol. I haven't adapted yet, I'm slowly going through the slamander by baiting them at an intermediate distance and then just doing one step forward, but the rythm hasn't sunk in yet, that's fresh lol. I also start developing counter rush tactics in which I use rush against rush and block all the incoming attack with the right rythm.
I don't feel they have become stronger at the level I was going up, just smarter but overnight, and I came to internet to verify where all these good students, applying what seems like a lesson, come from. And I have seen the exact strategy use against me explained here and on twitter, damn those whammer (although if they go double whammer they are generally dead lol). Stopping my ascension just like that! I'm not going to accept it lightly.