Anti-Planking: Ledge Grab Limit
The technique commonly known as “planking” in standard Brawl consists of repeatedly grabbing a ledge to exploit the massive invulnerability and stall the timer. This tactic’s overall value is highly controversial, but everyone can agree it does the game no good at all. After much trial, we have constructed a solution:
Every time a character grabs a ledge, a counter is incremented. Grabs using tethers (Olimar up special, Link tether attack, etc.) do not count, and Nana has a separate counter from Popo. If this counter is at five or more when the character grabs the ledge (except via a tether), the character will automatically do a ledge climb action. (This is the action normally done when holding a ledge and tapping the control stick toward the stage.)
This counter is reset to zero under the following circumstances:
-Transformation into another character (Zelda & Sheik, etc.)
-Entering hitstun, including Zero Suit Samus’s stun and being hit by a Deku Nut
-Being grabbed, including by special grabs
-Being grounded (Donkey Kong side special, etc.)
-Being put to sleep
The basic idea here is that you have a limited number of ledge grabs until the enemy “gets” you. Simply touching the stage is not good enough, but entering a legitimate confrontation with the enemy will certainly reset it.
In actual play, this change is extremely non-intrusive and only comes up when a player is deliberately trying to stall via abusing ledges or running away under the stage. Anyone who tries this risks eating a charged smash attack after 5 ledge grabs, so stalling is no longer a valid strategy. This code has been thoroughly tested, and it simply does not play a significant factor in matches between two players of similar skill attempting to play “legitimately”, not even on Norfair.
Water Stalling Limit
As a corollary to the planking removal, abusing repeated water entries to stall has also been addressed. This uses the same counter as ledge grabs; when it reaches seven, entering the water will cause the character to automatically drown. The only end result this has on normal water gameplay is the prevention of stalling on Pirate Ship.
Rudder Stalling Limit
A similar change is that the “rudder stalling” technique on Pirate Ship is removed. If a character is swimming up for more than 5 seconds, he will automatically drown. This has been rigorously tested, and it only applies to the specific case of rudder stalling.