Chain grab

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"CG" redirects here. For the Mario technique abbreviated as "CG", see Cape glide.

A chain grab, also referred to as a chain throw or abbreviated as CG, refers to a series of grabs and throws that the victim cannot escape. Generally, a player throws the opponent in a specific direction (most commonly down or forward), chases the opponent's directional influence, then grabs the opponent in midair before they can tech. Sheik and the Ice Climbers are examples of characters who rely heavily on chain grabs. Due to the changes to hitstun and the more severe stale-move negation in Brawl, chain-grabbing is overall more prevalent. Generally, fastfallers, heavyweights, and large characters tend to be more vulnerable to chain grabs than floaty characters, lightweights, and smaller characters. Some circumstances can enable a chain grab to be a zero-to-death combo. The Ice Climbers are particularly potent at this. It is one of the two advanced techniques that were in the first three Smash games but no longer possible in Smash 4; the other is team wobble.

King Dedede's infinite chain grab on Donkey Kong
Pikachu takes advantage of Fox's very high falling speed acceleration attribute by chain grabbing him with its down throw in Brawl.
Falco performs two down throws before using his down aerial meteor smash out of a short hop to gimp Ike, and then quickly edgehogging to ensure the CPU couldn't recover.


Chain grabbing is a controversial technique within the community. Many players consider it an unsportsmanlike move because it can be inescapable when perfected by the grabber. It is additionally generally seen as "boring" even by competitive players to watch and play against, due to the repetition involved with repeatedly grabbing and throwing a character over and over while the opponent has negligible control in the matter, especially with prolonged chain throwing. Then since chain grabs tend to affect some characters a lot more severely, while for some other characters it is of negligent concern, it has a polarizing effect on matchups and is the primary cause for many hard counters. Infinite chain grabbing, in particular, has a tendency to encourage more defensive gameplay and camping tactics, especially in Brawl, another point of contention against chain grabbing. Since powerful chain throws can result in heavy damage or even a zero-death just from being grabbed, most players counter the risk of approaching opponents with access to such chain grabs by camping, either by staying airborne or on platforms.

However, competitive players generally see it as a valid technique and accept its usage, as it's simply a combo that is performed by grabbing, and that characters like Sheik, the Ice Climbers, and King Dedede need it to overcome other deficiencies in high-level matches, provided it is not used in extreme excess to stall (i.e. using King Dedede's standing infinite beyond 300% damage, which is well beyond the damage needed for Dedede to KO the opponent with his back throw). Competitive players additionally generally have a "play to win" mindset, meaning players are expected to utilize whatever legal means necessary in-game to win.

Possibly as a result of the controversy surrounding the technique, SSB4 has removed chain grabbing by granting 70 frames of invulnerability against grabs to a character who is thrown or grab-released. There is an argument about the change, but the general agreement is that it was for the best even in competitive play, due to the aforementioned polarizing effect chain throws tend to have on matchups, and them being generally regarded as spectator and player-unfriendly.


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Characters with well-known chain grabs include the following.

Super Smash Bros.[edit]

  • Pikachu: Can chain most characters with its forward throw at low percentages.
  • Donkey Kong: Can chain all characters to extreme percents by release grabbing with his forward throw (known as the infinite throw trap). This technique caused moderate controversy within the Smash 64 community, as it was seen as "cheap" by some. Yoshi and Ness are the most difficult to get out of the chain grab due to their odd double jumps. Pikachu has by far the easiest time escaping because it's up special, Quick Attack, has invincibility frames. Donkey Kong players usually do this in order to either set up a stronger or better throw (as each grab release does 8% damage) or to make it so DK is closer to the edge and can back throw instead of up throw, as the back throw has much more power.
  • Fox: Can chain throw forward and backward at low percentages.
Isai performing the Greenhouse combo.

The other main part of chain grabs can be seen on the "Combo Tent" portion of Hyrule Castle. Yoshi and Samus cannot do this due to their overly slow grabs (however, they can throw into a down aerial or a similar aerial to combo). Kirby, Ness, and Jigglypuff cannot do this due to their back throws having too much knockback to be able to combo before the opponent escapes hitstun. The majority requires down aerials and back throws. Here is a list of what each character can do.

  • Pikachu: Isai's "Greenhouse" Pikachu combo: Multiple backs throw into a back aerial, up smash, and then a Thunderspike for a Star KO. Alternately, multiple up tilts can be used to set up a grab, and a neutral aerial can also be used to knock the opponent into the wall, setting up an up tilt or grab.
  • Fox: Back throw usually into a down aerial or forward aerial into another throw and at the end either an up aerial or an up smash at the end. Sometimes combined with forwarding throws, neutral aerials, or back aerials.
  • Mario: Forward throw or back throw into down aerial into up smash. Sometimes combined with back aerials or neutral aerials.
  • Captain Falcon: Back throw only, usually combined into multiple up aerials into either up special or down air for an edgeguard. His combos are usually the most varied by the edge as virtually all of his moves can combo against a ledge.
  • Luigi: Back throws, down aerial, up special, or down aerials, back aerial/forward aerial into up special/down special.
  • Donkey Kong: Back throws or forward throws into up smash (back throws being non-cargo and forward throws being cargo only). No aerials needed. The original wall combo and one of the reasons why Donkey Kong excels on Hyrule.

Super Smash Bros. Melee[edit]

  • Sheik: Can chain throw most characters (Bowser, Yoshi, Donkey Kong, Pikachu, Ganondorf, Pichu, Roy, Young Link, Mr. Game & Watch, Link, Ness, and Sheik) with her down throw from as little as 0% to medium or high percentages, as high as 90% if the opponent's DI is poor. On other characters, it can reliably tech chase to high percents. This doesn't work in the PAL version of Melee, however, due to her down throw sending her opponents on a more horizontal angle, disallowing regrabs except at very low percentages.
  • Marth and Roy: Up throw can chain throw Fox and Falco from 0% to about 60%. At very low percentages, they can pseudo-chaingrab with forwarding throw, though this is DI-dependent. Marth can also chaingrab Jigglypuff with forwarding throws and down throws until about 20%, depending on DI.
  • Ice Climbers: Can chain throw nearly every character in the game with hand-offs, edge throw exploits, and other traps, such as having Nana execute a down aerial as Popo down throws the opponent, forcing them to stand up and allowing them to be grabbed again. Wobbling, which is inescapable when performed right, can trap an opponent forever or until the player kills them or messes up. Even without Nana, Popo by himself can chain throw a handful of characters, such as Roy, Sheik, and Ganondorf with down throw until about 50%.
  • Peach: Can chain throw fast fallers, floaty characters, and heavyweight at high percentages with her down throw. She can also chain grab with her up throw against everyone at 0% (briefly) and fast fallers at around 40%.
  • Captain Falcon: Can pseudo chain throw with down throw against Marth, Sheik, and Roy from 0% to about 20%. It can easily be escaped with good DI. Up throw can also chain throw Fox/Falco/Falcon from about 50% to about 80% if they don't DI away.
  • Ganondorf: Can chain throw a variety of characters with his down and up throws. Up throw works similar to Captain Falcon's, but at lower percentages. Down throw can chain throw characters with moderate falling speeds (such as Pikachu and Link) at low percentages and chain throws fast-fallers at high percentages.
  • Luigi: Can chain throw Fox, Falco, Ganondorf (from 0% to about 30%) and Falcon with up throws and can chain throw Bowser, Ganondorf, and Sheik with down throw at 30%.
  • Peach, Pikachu, Pichu, Mewtwo, Fox, Mario, Dr. Mario, Marth, Roy, Donkey Kong, and Mr. Game & Watch can chain throw Fox, Falco, and Captain Falcon with up throws, and at 100% Mr. Game & Watch, and (at 150%) Mario and Doctor Mario can chain throw the fast falling characters with down throws. Marth and Roy cannot chain throw Captain Falcon.
  • Link: Can pseudo chain throw opponents at very low percentages with his forward throw; however, it is easy to DI out of.
  • Mewtwo: Can chain throw with its down throw on large characters like Bowser from 0-50%. Mewtwo can also chain throw fast fallers like Fox, Falco, Sheik, Captain Falcon and sometimes Roy, giving him an advantage against these characters. Ganondorf and Donkey Kong are also vulnerable to its chain grab, but Mewtwo needs to run and then grab to be able to grab again (though Ganondorf is easier to chain grab than DK).
  • Donkey Kong: Can chain throw Fox, Falco, and Falcon with the up throw at low to mid percentages. Donkey Kong can also chain throw Fox, Falco, and Captain Falcon with the forward throw, then while carrying them, up throw.
  • Fox: Can up-throw himself and Falco until mid percents, where he can then combo into either up-smash or up-air, depending on DI and whether or not the opponent jumps out of the chain grab.

Super Smash Bros. Brawl[edit]

A sequence of chain grabs by the Ice Climbers.
  • Bowser: Can chain grab by grabbing and releasing the opponent. This action works on everyone except Donkey Kong and the Ice Climbers together. This action can become an infinite chain grab when used against a wall until the opponent manages to jump break. He can also grab release infinite Wario without a wall; however, it needs perfect timing with dash grabs. Moreover, he can grab release every other character infinitely without a wall by usage of buffered pivot grabs, but the high technical difficulty of buffering a pivot grab combined with the various timings of when an opponent breaks the grab makes it nigh-impossible to perform in actual matches repeatedly.
  • Captain Falcon: Can air release Wario.
  • Charizard: Can ground release Ness and dash grab Lucas.
  • Donkey Kong: Can also carry release infinitely against Ness and Lucas, guaranteeing success by turning before releasing and turn grabbing so Ness/Lucas releases in his back (turned grab). He can also chain grab with his down throw at lower percentages.
  • Falco: Can chain grab with his down throw at lower percentages against everyone except very floaty characters, usually giving around 42% to most characters, more to the heavyweights. It easily combos into dash attack (which when canceled to up smash it allows a total of 65% damage), or his down aerial, setting up an early edge-guarding situation, and easily KOing Wolf due to his 60 frame meteor canceling delay and the ease of edge-hogging his recovery. Most characters can be grabbed with both dash grab and standing grab, but the floaty characters need good timing and only the walking chain grab works. After the chain grab percent, it works as a Tech-chasing move. His forward throw also can chain grab, like Fox and Wolf, at low percentages.
  • Fox: Can chain grab with using his forward throw on most characters by buffering a dash grab at very low percentages.
  • Ice Climbers: Can chain throw with their backward, forward, and down throws on everyone except another pair of Ice Climbers. There are an excessive amount of chain grabs that the Ice Climbers can perform such as the usual alternating grabs, grab spikes, footstool grabs, release grabs, and more. An Ice Climber player can make the chain grab "infinite" and "inescapable" when the timing is 100% perfect, and can potentially do a zero-to-death combo. A lone ice climber can chain grab with down throws at lower percentages on most fast fallers like Fox. Note that if both Ice Climbers are present, they are considered to be "immune" to chain grabs, due to one climber being able to interrupt the opponent while the other is incapacitated. See here for more information.
  • Ike: Can grab release Wario infinitely by pivot grabbing, but it needs nearly perfect timing, being extremely hard to pull off and Wario can mash out of his pummel to ground break until fairly high percents because of Ike's slow pummel. In walls, he can inescapably chain grab from low percents until high percents with his forward throw or if Ike is behind when Ike grabs him/her, a back throw to continue with a forward throw.
  • King Dedede: Can chain grab with his down throw by chasing the sliding opponent and re-grabbing them before they can act, against any character with a weight of 87 (Marth's weight) or heavier, with lighter and lower traction characters requiring more precise timing due to sliding farther (which in turn can limit the amount of grabs possible). Characters with a weight below 87 are knocked down instead for a tech-chase opportunity, where Dedede can grab if he reads his opponent right. He can chain grab against a wall infinitely and finish with a back throw. He does not need a wall to infinitely grab some characters, such as Mario, Luigi, Samus, and Donkey Kong, and can infinitely chain grab Wolf and another King Dedede over the edge of a platform or a slope, though all these characters besides DK require the down throw to be fresh enough to deal at least 6% damage for the standing grab to connect. Also, by buffering a pivot grab out of the throw, Dedede can infinite the prior two without being over an edge/slope in addition to Snake, Bowser, Ganondorf, Charizard, and Ivysaur, though the extreme technical demands of buffering a pivot grab repeatedly led to this infinite never seeing real usage in competitive play. The down throw has set knockback, so the chain throw can be performed at any percent on characters in which it is effective to use. How long it can be performed for depends on the amount of space in front of Dedede remaining on the platform he is grabbing on. Dedede can decrease the distance needed for each grab by performing a walking grab on DK and Bowser while doing a precisely-timed running shield grab instead of a dash grab against other characters. When there is no more space to continue the chain grab, Dedede players typically finish with a forward throw for decent additional damage and to set up an edge-guarding opportunity. They may opt for a back throw for greater guaranteed damage, another down throw to put the opponent into a potentially more vulnerable recovery position, or a guaranteed down tilt followup from a down throw on the characters it works on for a stronger release. Overall the damage output of the chain throw varies significantly, but it'll generally get at least 20% damage each time.
  • Kirby: Can chain grab fast fallers with his down throw at low percentages. Can land a u-tilt between throws to add extra damage and finish with the f-throw to u-air to b-air combo. His forward throw can chain grab at low percentages too.
  • Link: Can chain grab characters (most notably fast fallers) with his down throw at low percentages. Also, his forward throw can be used to chain grab to around 20%, depending on the character.
  • Lucario: Can chain grab fast fallers with his up throw at low percentages. Moreover, Force Palm can chain at low percentages, though DI can be used to escape it, and characters can break out of Force Palm with fast enough mashing.
  • Ganondorf: Can chain grab at any percent with Flame Choke by predicting his opponent's action.
  • Mario and Luigi: Can both chain grab with their forward throw across neutral stages, but only works at lower percentages.
  • Marth: Can chain grab Fox and Falco with his forward throw 2 times (these 2 times can truly set up a tipped down air), then chain grab with his down throw 3 to 4 times, then set up a sweet-spotted forward smash for 41%-45% damage. He can also infinitely grab release on Ness and Lucas. If Ness and Lucas were air released, he could follow up by using forward and up aerials. He can also set up a guaranteed tipper forward smash after a forward throw for 25% damage on most characters at 0%. His up special, Dolphin Slash, can help him escape from most chain grabs (except Dedede's running chain grab, Falco's chain grab when buffered dash grab, though it limits it to 3 grabs and Ice Climbers' Infinite Chain Grab).
  • Mr. Game & Watch: Like Ganondorf with his Flame Choke he can infinitely chain grab opponents with his down throw by predicting their rolls.
  • Peach: Can dash grab Ness and Lucas across the stage. She can also chain grab with down throws, turning around to grab the opponent against about half of the cast. She can set up Bair (almost every character and it must be buffered), up tilt, forward tilt or a pair string combo(must be buffered with a dash). She can also chain grab heavies with her forward throw at low percentages provided that one buffers a dash grab. She can infinitely chain grab air release Wario as well, by using a footstool jump on him upon release, followed by a float without using a midair jump, then a fast fall down aerial without the fourth kick landing, and ending with a grab.
  • Pikachu: Can chain grab most characters by using dash grabs out of its forward throw, up to mid-percentages or until it runs out of space on the stage. It can additionally chain grab with its down throw by just repeated buffered standing grabs, with it not working as well as the forward throw on more floaty characters while being especially severe on characters with fast falling-acceleration. In particular, it works on the space animals and Captain Falcon until damages as high as 115% if it gets staled enough, which can then lead to an unavoidable up smash followup that can then lead to a Thunder KO, resulting in potentially a zero-death. Pikachu can also alternate between the two throws with a pummel to control Stale-Move Negation, though generally, a Pikachu player would try to extend the length of the down throw chain throw by keeping it as stable as possible. Pikachu can also chain grab Wario on a ledge until 120%.
  • Pit: Can chain grab with forward-throws certain characters like Fox and Bowser, but it only works at lower percentages.
  • Olimar: Can chain grab with his down throw. However, this chain grab is very situational. It only works at low percentages, but if it can be pulled off, it is a guaranteed 30% on the opponent.
  • Samus: Can chain grab air release Wario by dash grab.
  • Sheik: Can air release most characters. With correct timing, she can follow up with Needle Storm, forward, up tilts or another dash grab at a low percentage. At high percentage, she can follow with up smash (with jump canceled up smash or DACUS), forward and neutral aerials for a KO or another dash grab. She can also ground release Ness and Lucas and then dash grab. If Ness and Lucas were air released, she can follow up by using forward and neutral aerials or up smash (by using jump canceled up smash or DACUS) at a high percentage.
  • Snake: Can chain grab everyone at any percent with a down throw by predicting what action the opponent takes in their getup. It's easier when close to the edge or on small platforms like on Battlefield due to limiting the ability to roll away from Snake, as well as on characters with poor getup rolls, potentially allowing Snake to tech-chase on reaction. He can also infinitely grab release on Ness and Lucas as well. Because his Grenades appear in frame 1, this prevents some chain grabs like Pikachu's down throw.
  • Sonic: Can chain grab at low to mid percentages with his down throw. Because it leaves the victim on the ground, Sonic can predict and chase where they will roll and re-grab them; this is further complimented with Sonic's insane dash speed (the fastest in the game). Although the opponent can tech before they hit the ground, this shouldn't be much of a problem due to Sonic's aforementioned high dash speed.
  • Squirtle: Can grab release Ness at any percentage by forcing a grab release, taking a small step, and grabbing again.
  • Toon Link: Can chain grab like Link with his down throw to around 25%-30%. His forward throw can chain grab characters as well.
  • Wario: Can chain grab up to higher percentages with his down throw and buffering a turn-around and grab on characters like Captain Falcon (0-70%), Ganondorf (0-90%), Wolf (20-220%), Falco (52-120%, from 73% the throw must be stale), Donkey Kong (0-145%; can jump out at 100-110%, though it requires considerable reaction) and Bowser (0-180%, can even hit with his Wario Waft out of the attack and forward smash). At other percents or characters, it works as a tech-chasing move.
  • Wolf: Can chain grab at lower percentages by buffering a dash grab with a forward throw. Certain characters can be grabbed more, like Falco. He can also infinitely grab release on Wario, but he must grab Wario after he uses his midair jump at the edge to do a grab release.
  • Yoshi: Can chain grab with grab releases, although it requires a pivot grab to grab them again when they come back down from the air. Called infinite pivot grabbing. Yoshi can also chain grab by using a forward throw.
  • Zero Suit Samus: Can chain grab most characters with her forward throw. She can grab release infinite Wario and Squirtle, though, like all air release infinite except Yoshi's, it doesn't work at low percents because it makes them do a ground break.

Super Smash Bros. 4[edit]

In Super Smash Bros. 4, a new mechanic has been introduced, where after escaping from a grab or being thrown, characters are immune to any grabs for one second, as mentioned in one of the tips (although this period is actually 70 frames, which is 10 frames longer than one second). This change makes chain grabs virtually impossible to perform, and it seems that this measure has been implemented as a direct counter to this technique from previous games, given its controversy. Special moves involving grabs, such as Lucario's Force Palm and Kirby's Inhale, are also affected by this mechanic; this is more noticeable with the latter, causing the opponent to pass through Kirby without being swallowed if he uses the move again on them immediately after releasing them from it. However, if a player can keep an opponent stuck in hitstun after being thrown with other attacks over this immunity period, it's possible to grab the opponent before they can react and set up a pseudo-chain grab. Luigi, Ness, Sheik, and Roy are examples of characters with notable combos involving this. Additionally, and oddly enough, Donkey Kong's cargo throws do not count by the game as grabs for this mechanic, allowing him to still chain grab opponents with his cargo down throw from low to mid percents when on a moving platform (such as Smashville's) or against a wall.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate[edit]

Similar to Super Smash Bros. 4, true chain grabs remain virtually impossible to perform in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate due to the grabbing mechanics remaining unchanged from the previous game. However, a character-specific technique that works like chain grabbing is present in Ultimate:

  • King K. Rool: Can "chain grab" by grabbing, using his down throw, and then hitting the buried opponent with the first hit of his jab or with other weak moves. The opponent will be then unburied and knocked out by such a little amount that King K. Rool is able to regrab while the opponent is still in hit stun, as the bury "bypasses" the 70 frame grab immunity. After regrabbing, King K. Rool can repeat the process, making it functionally a chain grab. Prior to patch 2.0.0, King K. Rool could regrab an unlimited amount of times, technically making it an infinite, but patch 2.0.0 fixed this so that it's only possible to regrab the opponent two times after the first grab, as the opponent will simply be knocked off after the 3rd down throw. While it sounds useful on paper, in reality, it's possible to escape the down throw's bury before King K. Rool's jab connects up until 160-180% by mashing. As King K. Rool already has guaranteed kill confirms out of the down throw at those percents, such chain grab is practically useless in competitive play, even prior 2.0.0.