Ike's super armor from his Aether
move. Notice how Ike didn't take any knockback from the Critical Hit
Final Smash, which almost always KOs characters in one hit
Launch resistance, also called knockback resistance, super armor, or heavy armor (when the knockback resistance is finite), is a phenomenon that manifests itself during certain moves in all three Super Smash Bros. games. It is defined as a character sustaining less knockback than usual when hit, or in most cases not flinching at all. Note that knockback resistance, as the name implies, only affects knockback. The attack's full damage will still be taken. Yoshi's Double jump, Snake's Cypher, Diddy Kong's Rocketbarrel Boost (on the ground), and Kirby's Stone are the only moves with finite amounts of knockback resistance, and are commonly referred to as having heavy armor. All other knockback resistance moves have infinite knockback resistance and are commonly referred to as super armor.
Note that grab hitboxes ignore all variations of launch resistance.
Yoshi double jumping through an attack.
Knockback resistance was limited to Yoshi's double jump cancel counter, most characters while throwing, Giant DK at low percentages, and Metal Mario. Master Hand has infinite knockback resistance.
While most things in the above list have unknown amounts of resistance, it is defined on the Japanese Super Smash Bros. website that Yoshi's double jump resistance works by subtracting 120 from the knockback that would have been delivered, with Yoshi not flinching if the result is negative.
Yoshi retained his resistance, while Metal and Giant characters had their resistance decreased a whole lot. Giga Bowser also has some amount of knockback resistance when fought in Adventure Mode. Master Hand and Crazy Hand both have infinite knockback resistance.
Many characters have knockback resistance, usually in the form of moves that give a temporarily infinite amount (a.k.a. super armor.) All of the moves are "super armor" unless otherwise stated.
|| Conditions and Notes
|| Giga Bowser
|| Giga Bowser: For the entire period of being Giga Bowser. Note that Giga Bowser is not immune to hitstun.
| Diddy Kong
|| Rocketbarrel Blast
|| Only the grounded version (this is a variation of heavy armor).
| Donkey Kong
|| Giant Punch, Spinning Kong and Carry Throw
|| Giant Punch: only if fully charged; while moving his arm forward but the attack needs to make contact with his left arm and before it is released. |
Spinning Kong: only the grounded version; just before he starts to release it (frames 10-16 first hitting on frame 19);if he leaves the ground with Super Armor frames when using the grounded version, a glitch will make the Super Armor frames last for the entire move.
Carry: DK gains knockback-based launch resistance for the entire duration of the Carry. Also works while holding heavy items.
|| Flame Choke
|| In the grounded version, when holding the opponent off the ground; the opponent also gets super armor. In the aerial version, the opponent gets super armor but Ganondorf does not, allowing for strange KOs in places like Norfair or Brinstar where Ganondorf will bounce off the acid, while the opponent will continue their plummet.
|| Aether and Eruption
|| Aether: After throwing his sword in the air, but before he leaps up towards his sword. |
Eruption: Some frames after the special move button is released but before the sword hits the ground.
| King Dedede
|| Super Dedede Jump
|| From the start until just before the apex of the jump.
|| The entire duration of the period Kirby is in his Stone transformation, where he will take no damage or knockback, but he can only take up to 29% damage per Stone before he actually sustains knockback. If Kirby takes 30% (or more) damage during a single Stone transformation, he'll be knocked out of Stone and will take the full knockback -- but strangely none of the damage -- of that hitbox (this is a variation of heavy armor).
|| Pikmin Order
|| During the first few frames
|| Mirror Shield
|| Grounded version only; while pulling the shield out: frames 4-6.
| Pokémon Trainer
|| Fly, and Squirtle's Forward Smash
|| Fly:The beginning of the ascension fimes: Frames 4-13, making it useful when jumping out of shield and an effective combo breaker.|
Squirtle's forward smash:While moving forward.
|| Snake cannot be flinched by any hitbox that deals exactly 7% or less, regardless of the knockback of the individual hitboxes. Most multi-hit moves deal less than 7% per hit, so they typically cannot interrupt the Cypher (a variation of heavy armor).
(See this post and this followup post on SmashBoards for more details.)
|| Forward Smash and Wario Waft
|| Forward Smash: While moving forward: frames 8-12 |
Wario Waft: When fully charged, during the first few frames
|| Yoshi gains (approximately) 3860mph-worth of knockback resistance, as measured by the post-Brawl stats (under the "top launch speed"). This means that Yoshi will ignore any knockback that would launch him at less than ~3860mph while in his midair jump. As he is damaged, he takes more knockback from an attack with the same launching power, meaning that weaker attacks will begin interrupting his midair jump as Yoshi approaches higher percentages. None of this prevents Yoshi from being affected by hitstun, (a variation of heavy armor).
(See this post on SmashBoards for more details.)
| All Characters
|| All grabs except Olimar's grab. This includes special moves that operate as a grab such as Chomp, Egg Lay, Inhale, Super Inhale, Falcon Dive, Dark Dive, Flame Choke, Force Palm, Flying Slam.
|| In Brawl, when a character successfully grabs an opponent while simultaneously connecting with a harmful hitbox, the grabbing character will have super armor and take no knockback or hitstun from the hitbox. Another form of launch resistance occurs when both characters are hit with the same hitbox while one has the other in a grab. When this occurs, whoever has higher controller port priority takes full damage but no knockback at all, while the other takes full damage and full knockback. This phenomenon is known as faux super armor, and unlike standard grab super armor, this variation does not occur with special move grabs.
So far, one character has been confirmed to possess super armor qualities. Pit can gain super armor by using Upperdash Arm.
- In Kid Icarus: Uprising, there is a power available to use known as Super Armor which makes Pit temporarily immune to flinching. Considering that Uprising was released after (and with many mechanics of) Brawl, it is curious how an identical effect took on a fan-made name.
 External references
- The Armor Project: explains how knockback-resisting moves that are not super armor work, including Snake's Cypher and Yoshi's double jump.