King K. Rool shooting a Kannonball from the Blunderbuss in Ultimate.
|User||King K. Rool|
|Article on Super Mario Wiki||Blunderbuss|
When the special button is pressed, K. Rool pulls out a blunderbuss and shoots a Kannonball forward, donning the pirate hat he used in Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest. The projectile is slow, travels straight for 3/4 the length of Final Destination and deals 13%, with relatively strong knockback, being able to KO around 130-150%. After around 2 seconds, the Kannonball will disappear. K. Rool cannot fire another Kannonball if the one he previously shot is still in play, instead firing smoke, commonly referred to as a "Fake Shot". It serves no practical purpose aside from playing mindgames, for example tricking the opponent into thinking it is safe to get up from the ledge. It can then be cancelled into Vacuum after frame 25 while the smoke remains; this is referred to as a "Fake Shot Vacuum Cancel" by the K. Rool playerbase.
If the special button is held until Frame 25 while the Kannonball is in play, the Blunderbuss will automatically begin suck in air in front of K. Rool, creating a vortex which acts as a command grab known officially as "Suck Up" but colloquially as "Vacuum". This takes an additional 6 frames, making it Frame 31. Vacuum can be executed separately from the Kannonball fire so long as it's in play. The Blunderbuss will continue to suck as long as the special button is held, for a maximum of 2.5 seconds, allowing for edgeguarding. K. Rool can drop through platforms at any point while using Blunderbuss — from as soon as frame 1 — and players can influence the direction K. Rool drops in with the control stick if Vacuum is used in this state. If the player's own Kannonball or an opponent comes near the vacuum, the Blunderbuss will inhale and spit it out in one of three pre-set directions chosen by the player. Blunderbuss will usually prioritize a player rather than the Kannonball. While an opponent or Kannonball is being sucked in, K. Rool can still fall through platforms, enabling more unique reshoots. This also allows K. Rool to carry Kannonballs around, maintaining their hitbox. If a Kannonball is reflected, it can still be sucked in as well, returning ownership to K. Rool. However, other player's Kannonballs or projectiles cannot be reshot, so it isn't necessarily a reflector. Reflected and reshot Kannonballs do not maintain or increase their damage, being "reset" instead.
If a Kannonball hits a wall or player, it will fall down and retain its hitbox until it hits the floor, in which case it disappears after around half a second. Falling Kannonballs have questionable utility outside of Team Battles, mainly due to the Blunderbuss's ending lag and the short period of time the Kannonball remains active. However, one can shoot an opponent with a Kannonball, drop through a platform while vacuuming, and still manage to reshoot it. Off-stage, a falling Kannonball can be used to disrupt recovery or set up for back aerial, or a bold player could reshoot it at the opponent for a stylish — albeit often sacrificial — KO.
If a Kannonball or player is sucked into the Blunderbuss, K. Rool can pick one of three directions to shoot them out — diagonally forward, directly up, or diagonally backwards — from Frames 16-21; the input window technically allows for delayed shots. Blunderbuss's throws are known as "Reshoots" by the K. Rool playerbase. If a foe is thrown by the Blunderbuss, they have full-body intangibility until hitstun is over, eliminating all follow-up potential unless the opponent lacks a frame 1 escape option.
If a Kannonball is sucked in, it will be reshot; this cannot be cancelled. When this occurs, its damage increases to 17% with noticeably higher knockback. It is considered a new projectile by the game, known as "spitball" rather than "ironball", meaning that no matter how much a Kannonball is reflected, it will return to the default damage upon being reshot. Once shot out, however, reflectors can increase the damage of the reshot Kannonball as usual, although reshooting it again will return it back to normal. Reshot Kannonballs will remain until they reach the blast zone, during which Vacuum remains accessible. Thus, deliberately reshooting Kannonballs to keep Vacuum available is a legitimate strategy. It's possible to hit foes into reshot Kannonballs using moves like dash attack, forward aerial, and forward tilt, though it's punishable if telegraphed. Reshot Kannonballs are also plus on shield up-close, allowing K. Rool to easily score a grab.
In the 6.0.0 update of Ultimate, reshooting Kannonballs was reworked. All Blunderbuss throws and reshoots were made faster (interestingly, the released Kannonballs no longer match the animation), and Vacuum also had a searchbox added for the Vacuum feature when sucking up Kannonballs. This was designed to make taking in Kannonballs easier, allowing for reshoots to be much more consistent. Prior to this, the Vacuum's grabbox and windbox were used to pull Kannonballs in, which resulted in situations where it would be wrongly prioritised and cause K. Rool to be punished; it also made off-stage reshoots much less consistent. This new searchbox allows for more flexibility when taking in Kannonballs, allowing for them to be sucked in from quite far away and even be carried off-stage. It is also far easier to suck in Kannonballs from platforms thanks to the sheer range of the new searchbox. Furthermore, Kannonballs can be sucked in from off-stage while K. Rool is at the ledge, allowing them to be reshot at the then-launched opponent. As a result, the new Blunderbuss Vacuum searchbox patched up a lot of flaws reshooting as a strategy had, allowing for more creative use of the move.
If an opponent is shot out, it will inflict 12% damage to said opponent and briefly turn them into a sort of projectile; said projectile uses a similar hitbox to reshot Kannonballs. Opponents that are reshot cannot be reflected. While primarily useful in free for all and team matches, this also helps K. Rool against the Ice Climbers and Rosalina & Luma, as he can potentially hit their partner while reshooting the other. Forward Reshoot is a very strong throw, KOing opponents at around 120% at the edge. Upward Reshoot is mediocre, only really setting up for up aerial as a frame trap, or for KOs at exceedingly high percentages on top platforms of stages like Battlefield. Backward Reshoot is useful when recovering while using Vacuum after being launched high, as K. Rool can carry opponents to the blast zone they were trying to send him to. This either closes out a stock early or ends in a stock trade (K. Rool will be KO'd first). Due to this, opponents will be less inclined to try and stop K. Rool from returning.
Blunderbuss Vacuum Delay
Though holding the B Button will transition Blunderbuss into the Vacuum stance, this isn't actually the only way to do it. By tapping B to trigger Blunderbuss, there are 19 frames (after the shot) where Vacuum can be inputted at any point. This is known as Blunderbuss Vacuum Delay by the playerbase.
This tech is typically used by King K. Rool players when ledgetrapping, as a mixup. For example, a player seeking to end a ledgetrap situation quickly could try to jump and attack, only to get caught by a delayed Vacuum to reset the recovery situation again. In circumstances where this catches a jumping opponent (for example trying to use a forward aerial after being knocked back only slightly), this can potentially gimp them. It can be used when dropping through platforms in a similar manner, minimizing the potential punish for not using it far away.
Managing Vacuum Delay isn't too difficult, although practice in Training Mode can help a player understand the timing for catching opponents. As a general rule, Vacuum has 6 Frames of startup, meaning it is very possible to catch opponents on reaction. As a result, this tech is extremely practical when one is attempting to zone and keep the opponent out: it doesn't have to be executed with intention, it can also be executed as a defensive measure.
Unintentionally introduced in 6.0.0 as part of the lag changes, Blunderbouncing uses the Frame Speed Multiplier applied on frame 1 alongside the Blunderbuss's firing recoil to reverse K. Rool's momentum, usually from a full hop or double jump. In practice, K. Rool falls akin to a fast fall. Blunderbouncing mainly occurs when K. Rool shoots the Kannonball at the apex of a jump or knockback, though other situations have been observed, such as in response to windboxes. Indirectly due to the technique's properties, K. Rool can experience less clank lag against disjointed hitboxes when firing a Kannonball in this scenario. Additionally, Blunderbouncing can also apply to Vacuum, allowing for very quick edgeguarding if b-reversed from a ledge jump.
|Move List||Fires an iron ball from his gun. The button can be held to suck the iron ball (or opponents) back in.|
The Blunderbuss is a real life weapon that was created in the Netherlands and became prominent throughout the 17th century. It is a firearm with a short, large caliber barrel which is flared at the muzzle and used with shot and other projectiles of equivalent quantity or caliber. The blunderbuss is commonly considered to be an early predecessor of the modern shotgun, with similar military and defensive use. The two handed variant King K. Rool uses was effective only at short range, lacking accuracy at long distances.
The attack itself is based on the boss fight against Kaptain K. Rool, King K. Rool's pirate persona, in Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest. In the fight, Diddy Kong and Dixie Kong have to avoid Kannonballs shot by K. Rool, then grab and throw them into his blunderbuss when he tries to vacuum up the Kongs; if a Kong got close to the blunderbuss as it vacuumed, they would not get sucked inside, but instead K. Rool would strike them with the butt of the gun. Throwing a Kannonball into the blunderbuss as it vacuumed would result in it clogging up and exploding, dealing damage to K. Rool in a comical manner; this also shoots the Kannonball back out at increasing speeds as the fight goes on. Kannonballs also bounce once as they hit the ground, similar to how they did in Donkey Kong Country during the boss fight against King K. Rool.
Unlike in Ultimate, Kaptain K. Rool's blunderbuss could shoot out Kannonballs with spikes, and at various heights and trajectories, such as bouncing on the ground or spiraling through the air. It could also be used to rocket K. Rool across the stage, with the blunderbuss acting as an exhaust. It could shoot odd mists that would freeze, confuse or slow down Diddy and Dixie Kong on contact. The explosion is also absent, likely due to not wanting the move to inflict damage on the player, especially considering the ease at which a cannonball can be regained.