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. The inability to do chain grabs has been carried over into Ultimate.

King Dedede's infinite chain grab on Donkey Kong


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. However, Pikachu, Fox, Captain Falcon, Mario, and Luigi can all perform chain grabs on this portion of the stage.

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%. 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 heavyweights 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%. This chain can be escaped with DI, however.
  • 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.
  • 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 if he connects it into his 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. Becomes an infinite if used against a wall, until the opponent jump breaks.
  • 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 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.
  • Falco: Can chain grab with his down throw at lower percentages against everyone except very floaty characters such as Jigglypuff, giving ~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).
  • 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.
  • 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 or heavier. He does not need a wall to infinitely grab some characters, such as Mario, Luigi, Samus, and Donkey Kong, 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.
  • 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).
Pikachu takes advantage of Fox's very high falling speed acceleration attribute by chain grabbing him with its down throw in Brawl.
  • 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%.
  • Snake: Can chain grab everyone at any percent with a down throw by predicting what action the opponent takes in their getup, made easier when close to the edge or on small platforms like on Battlefield due to limiting the ability to roll away from Snake, potentially allowing him 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.
  • 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.

Super Smash Bros. 4[edit]

In Super Smash Bros. 4, a new mechanic was 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, 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.