King K. Rool using Crownerang in Ultimate.
|User||King K. Rool|
K. Rool takes his crown off his head and tosses it forward as a projectile. True to its name, the crown acts like a boomerang. While the crown is in play, King K. Rool will not be able to use the move again until he retrieves it.
During the throw, K. Rool is granted damage-based armor to moves dealing less than 12% on frames 6-63, which is distinct from his character-specific Belly Super Armor and is not be confused with it. This armor is cumulative, with the following equation determining if the armor is broken if multiple hits are involved: (Base Damage of prior hits) * 1.2 + (Base Damage of the last hit) > 12%. This means that attacks like Explosive Flame, despite not having the damage to break the limit with individual hits, can still break the armor if all of them connect, as they deal 14.5% in the eyes of the equation. However, due to floating point errors, attacks like Arm Rotor can still break the armor unexpectedly.
When active, the crown acts as a kind of entity spawning hitboxes rather than a simple projectile. Nothing will stop the crown's trajectory outside of reflection; thus, the first hit is negated at worst when colliding with a projectile. This gives it the illusion of having high priority, though the damage it deals still means that a strong projectile is required to actually negate a hit. Thus, due to its "entity" status, even when a hitbox is negated, the crown will still spawn the remaining hitboxes regardless of what happened prior. Naturally, moves with transcendent priority ignore it, such as Wolf's Blaster. This nature makes Crownerang serve many purposes, such as stage control, setting up traps, juggling, and punishing camping. Each of these purposes are pivotal to K. Rool's success, ensuring that he can prevent evasive movement, particularly circle camping. Once Crownerang is out, high-level players typically think of it as an "option select" situation: a player will normally have a multitude of opportunities presented by Crownerang's interactions with King K. Rool. He has a surfeit of advanced techniques, the returning crown starts numerous combos, and the trajectory can be used to "box" players in alongside K. Rool's attacks. These all involve a plethora of strong options that can be adapted to on the fly, based on how the opposing player reacts to Crownerang's startup initially.
Crownerang requires good precision to not be punishable. If used from close range, the 26 frame startup — while there's the aforementioned armor from Frame 8 all the way to Frame 63 — makes it very punishable. Players that are close enough can simply jump over or shield the crown and punish misuse, often taking K. Rool out of the projectile's catch range and causing it to become an item. It's not difficult to jump over, grab him, and abuse throw invincibility to force the crown back onto his head either, neutralizing the threat completely. As a result, a King K. Rool player should always be using the move from mid- to long-range depending on the matchup to ensure they aren't punished. Neutral attack is a good way to punish jump-in attempts, keeping them in place to allow the returning crown to hit and perform a combo.
The returning hit from Crownerang allows for "pincer" attacks alongside K. Rool himself. By the time it starts returning, K. Rool is actionable, meaning that any stray hit is pure frame advantage. Forward throw, forward aerial, Blunderbuss Kannonballs, and more can also combo into the returning hit for high damage combos. Additionally, neutral attack can notably "lock" the opponent in place, allowing for the crown to return, connect, and finally allow for an up aerial kill confirm or other combos. When used on the ledge alongside the damage-based armor, the returning hit is also notorious for allowing a free meteor smash with back aerial. All things considered, Crownerang is a staple in King K. Rool's setup game.
If K. Rool doesn't retrieve the crown and it hits the floor, it can be picked up as an item if K. Rool fails to pick it up quickly. As a result, it can also be pocketed, pulled in by Gravitational Pull, or abused by other item-related moves. Should this happen, K. Rool will be unable to use the attack again until he regains his crown, or in the case of it being pocketed, the opponent losing the stock or pulling out the crown. If K. Rool touches the crown in general, he will perform a short, 17 frame uninterruptible animation of him placing it back on his head (unless he is performing another uninterruptible animation, such as another attack, reeling, jumpsquat, shielding; this is referred to as a crown cancel). However, there are roughly 30 frames prior to this that K. Rool can pick it up with no lag. Due to these prior factors, K. Rool is unable to pick up his own crown like a normal throwing item, as any contact will result in the crown being put back on his head; he can pick up a crown from another K. Rool as a throwing item, however. If the crown is thrown by another player, it will act as a normal item, constantly respawning whenever it crosses a blast zone or disappears over time, although it is usually close to K. Rool, often in a way he won't need to put in much effort to find it.
When an opposing player picks up the crown, it's a less-than-ideal—albeit very preventable—situation for the K. Rool player. The crown deals around 9% to King K. Rool and has the same knockback statistics as the special move. However, it does not have the same priority as being thrown by K. Rool anymore, instead being cancelled out by even Blunderbuss's Kannonballs. Because item throws are generally quite quick and difficult to react to and the crown itself is so strong, it can lead to the opposing player getting strong combos against him. However, there is a myriad of counterplay options available to the K. Rool player that can make retrieving it workable. His neutral aerial is the most enticing with a short hop fast fall, acting as non-committal armor that can force a crown cancel. While more committal, dash attack can also function in the same way. Shielding or jumping are also serviceable options for playing around the throws.
|Move List||Throws his crown like it's a boomerang. Can't be thrown again until it is picked up.|
King K. Rool's Crownerang, while simple in execution, holds numerous advanced techniques. These tend to make use of the Crown Pickup animation from execution (with a FAF of 18, which at 0% from a Returning Crown Hit results in +8 hit advantage), which is not to be confused with the animation from the item pickup (with a FAF of 28). These techniques all have unique uses and execution, although they vary in viability. Crownerang's advanced techniques are a mainstay in King K. Rool's metagame for their strong reward if executed in the right situation, such as KO confirms, combos and massive shifts in game state. However, if executed poorly, they often have severe consequences due to the lag on Crownerang and the animations being abused.
Players looking to make use of K. Rool's technical side tend to lean towards Crown Sliding and Crown Bouncing for their utility in neutral. Many of these techniques abuse the fact that picking up the Crown, regardless of animation type, is considered a special move by the game. As such, techniques such as Crown bouncing can be considered forced b-reverses and wavebounces, though they have unique caveats that make them distinct, such as the ability to be reversed twice.
If an "uninterruptible animation" such as an attack is active while K. Rool collides with Crownerang, his head will flash green as the crown appears on his head. If done frame perfectly, there is no flash. This completely skips the crown pickup animations, leaving K. Rool less open for punishment. Given the broad execution requirement, it is a very common occurrence during play.
Most K. Rool players will attempt to attack or use shield when Crownerang is returning towards them, thus enabling the Crown cancel. The most notable application is when using neutral attack, as this will initiate a Crown cancel while locking the opponent in place for the returning hit. Crown canceling allows Crownerang's return to be mostly non-committal in a vacuum, though the commitment on K. Rool's moves makes this point questionable. However, having a hitbox or form of protection in use enables far more follow-up potential, as K. Rool is avoiding the 17 frames of lag on Crown Catch, or 27 frames of lag from picking it up as an item. If at a disadvantage, such as being juggled, K. Rool players will often land with neutral aerial after using Crownerang thanks to its low landing lag, often initiating a Crown cancel.
King K. Rool can use jumpsquat to crown cancel, which is often called Crown squatting. While precise in execution, this allows K. Rool to avoid the pickup lag and ensures he isn't taking unnecessary measures to prevent it. Thus, this can aid significantly in his neutral game and advantage states. The precise nature often leaves him at a horrible disadvantage should it fail, though. Using jumpsquat to Crown cancel can allow K. Rool to chain Crownerang multiple times, often creating some strong horizontal pressure; however, this is extremely committal and is often only used in the event K. Rool cannot break an opponent's neutral.
The main drawback to crown canceling is that most of K. Rool's moves have worse frame data than the crown catch animation. Ergo, in cases where K. Rool is collecting the crown with an attack unnecessarily, he is usually in a worse position than if he simply picked it up. Thus, in many situations, using the tech that comes with the crown catch animation is arguably more optimal than committing to attacks to initial crown cancels. However, there are exceptions, such as jumpsquat, releasing shield in a vacuum, and the endlag of Blunderbuss, all of which have strong uses with crown canceling. Plus, having a hitbox out through an attack is situationally more beneficial, protecting K. Rool whilst collecting the crown; this can be most notably seen with long-lasting hitboxes like neutral aerial. In these situations, the lag is comparable to that of the crown catch.
List of actions that can initiate a Crown cancel
- All attacks apart from Crownerang's "No Crown" Animation.
- All throws
- Knockback animations, such as Tumble and Reeling
- Initial dash, but not running itself
- Using shield in any way
- It should be noted that 1 frame of shield, including dropping it, has less cooldown than both crown catching animations.
- Airdodging, including airdodge landing lag.
- Any ledge option (attack, neutral getup, ledgejump)
- Teetering on the ledge
- Jumpsquat (sometimes called Crown Squatting)
- Dazed animation
- Footstooling an opponent
- Being footstooled himself
Hard and soft landing lag do not initiate a Crown Cancel, although a move's landing lag will.
If a player executes an initial dash (including foxtrot or dash dance) or a run turnaround into Crownerang while the move is active, King K. Rool will "slide" while picking it up. Crown sliding has seen significant use in competitive play. Onua was a particularly prolific user in high-level play prior to dropping the character. The technique has multiple variants that can be executed based on the inputs used by the K. Rool player. The technique was originally discovered by ChaosBlasta early into Ultimate's lifespan.
The main benefits to Crown sliding mainly include its ability to enable combos through the jostling mechanics during hitstun, allowing Smash 4-style interactions. These allow K. Rool to score easy grabs and down tilts in particular, giving him access to the majority of his combo game. Another large benefit is collecting the crown without losing much momentum, meaning he doesn't need to move away from his game plan to continue using it later, which is useful resource management. Crown sliding is affected by modifications to K. Rool's traction, such as on ice stages like Summit and the respective transformation of Pokémon Stadium 2. In these situations, Crown sliding will make K. Rool travel a significant distance, being able to even attack during the later portion of the slide itself.
Crown sliding has various issues, however. The lag of the crown catch animation means that during the slide, K. Rool is completely vulnerable. While 17 frames of lag is less than a majority of K. Rool's moveset and the generic options Ultimate provides, being almost always forced to go forward means that K. Rool is often catapulting himself into attacks if it's executed rashly. Thus, Crown sliding isn't a staple form of movement and should not be seen as a replacement for such.
Regular Crown Slide
The regular Crown Slide is executed through executing a run turnaround when close to the crown. This will have K. Rool go a long distance with his back turned. This makes it useful for getting around the stage while collecting the crown, thanks to its ease of execution. Regular Crown sliding is usually used for enabling combos from Crownerang, such as Crown Slide into grab at 0% (thereby allowing for forward throw to dash attack) or an early up tilt at low to mid percentages. Outside of this, however, it is mostly frame traps until around 40%, in which a forward aerial is viable; this is particularly good after using Crownerang from the ledge, as forward aerial in this situation will lead to a reversal, though simply jumping over the crown and using back aerial instead is better if it can lead to a KO.
Regular crown sliding, due to having K. Rool's back turned during use, tends to leave him vulnerable if it's being used without a set purpose. With his options limited by being turned around—effectively losing access to his Belly Super Armor—he lacks much defense when punished with combos or even general interception. Thus, regular Crown sliding is usually reserved to enabling combos or movement setups in simplified game states.
Forward Crown Slide
By using the C-Stick in the opposite direction within 2 frames of the control stick input, it's possible for K. Rool to go a boosted distance while also facing forward. However, by buffering the action during a turnaround animation, the technique becomes far easier, allowing for practical usage; this method was popularised by Smithers.
This functions as a niche approach option akin to a wavedash, though reckless use often leads to a punish. While it has little to no combo utility, its use as an extra boost in movement is more than enough, assisting in pursuing opponents, being less predictable when collecting the Crown, and more. Since the FAF of a Crown Catch is just 18, it is possible to attack while sliding or cancel momentum with some attacks, giving K. Rool some approaches akin to pivot cancels.
Reverse Crown Slide
It is possible to reverse a crown slide through inputting the opposite direction right after doing the normal input. In this scenario, K. Rool will do a quick double-pivot, known as a Reverse Crown Slide. This is made far easier with the C-Stick, although it is not required, and using it can occasionally lead to an accidental Forward Crown Slide. If inputted correctly, King K. Rool will slide back roughly the length of his model backwards. The slide's spacing has shown itself to be useful for microspacing, mindgames, and reads, with Chad being a common user. Because K. Rool remains facing forward, this tech has more utility in advantageous game states.
Reverse Crown Sliding enables K. Rool's neutral attack as a true combo at 0% for 33.6% in 1v1, while also generating a tech situation. This is more consistent than a regular Crown slide, while keeping the combo moving forward, allowing for more utility in advantage state. Grabs, forward tilt, and forward smash are also possible, but they are generally considered to be suboptimal due to various inconsistencies.
While safer than a regular Crown slide, reverse Crown slide has some issues. It is possible to execute the forward Crown slide if the c-stick and control stick are pressed together, which has K. Rool catapult forward. As such, it's possible to get the opposite of the desired result. If done too late, the double-pivot effect will also worsen in momentum, thereby making the spacing go from minimal to none at all.
Initial Dash Crown Slide
If an initial dash crown cancel is executed too early or too late, K. Rool will execute a slight crown slide instead. This has niche use with neutral attack as an approach, or a mixup with grab, but it generally doesn't excel due to how short the slide is. This crown slide is also the only way for K. Rool to go completely backwards; through initial dashing the other way (which also moves the catch searchbox).
Crown Bouncing is an advanced technique exclusive to King K. Rool's Crownerang attack. It was discovered by DkDavy. While difficult to set up, it's considered to be a powerful movement option for King K. Rool's neutral game. It occurs due to the Crown Catch and Crown Pickup animations being considered special moves, acting as a forced B button input for the player in practice. As such, Crown bouncing and its variants are essentially b-reverses and wavebounces.
Regular Crown Bounce
A regular Crown bounce is essentially a forced b-reverse of the Crown Pickup animations. By directing the control stick in the opposite direction just as K. Rool grabs his crown in the air, he will fly in the opposite direction as if he executed a b-reverse. However, he will go further than if he b-reversed Crownerang itself, as picking up the crown influences his aerial drift. This is best used with platforms for movement, as K. Rool will experience no landing lag or even no impact landing (NIL). This is because picking up the crown reduces K. Rool's air speed to the point he doesn't even meet the conditions for soft landing; this technique is known as Crown landing. As such, by buffering actions out of this as K. Rool hits a platform, he will execute them immediately.
Crown Bouncing is also used during recovery in circumstances where it is possible, as it adds another bit of horizontal distance that can be crucial if K. Rool is launched far off-stage. This is because while there is lag, in edgeguard situations, it is far more difficult to intercept than on land. This also allows for buffer options to be performed through the pickup animation, enabling up aerial recovery without hitstun stopping K. Rool from rising. While opportunities are few and far between, crown bouncing is an important aspect of recovery when it's possible.
Reverse Crown Bounce
In a similar manner to Crown sliding, it's possible to execute a reverse crown bounce through utilizing the C-Stick, or a very quick directional input in the opposite direction. This serves as a mixup to reduce the distance a normal Crown Bounce would send a player, as well as ensure K. Rool is facing his opponent. Like the regular crown bounce, this is primarily used for platform movement, but can also be used to space aerials off-stage, most notably back aerial.
Crown Landing is an advanced technique in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate discovered by Plague von Karma, that allows King K. Rool to significantly reduce—or if performed frame-perfectly, completely erase—his landing lag. This is executed in two ways, referred to as the "No Crown" and "Crown Pickup" variants by the playerbase. Crown landing occurs due King K. Rool's air speed being slowed when picking up the crown or entering the "No Crown" animation. As a result, he does not meet the requirements for soft landing lag, snapping to the idle animation instead.
Crown Catch Crown Landing
To execute the "Crown Pickup" variant, the player must collect K. Rool's crown 35 frames before landing for picking it up as an item, but the Crown Catch animation is far more forgiving, cancelling lag as soon as 18 frames. This will almost always leave the player with either little or even no landing lag, being much more generous—albeit situational—than the "No Crown" variant. The biggest benefit of this is that it gives K. Rool his crown back immediately, allowing him to use Crownerang immediately, enabling a lot of horizontal pressure. In particular, this enables a lot of pressure around Battlefield's platforms, as they provide a very safe way of executing this tech. Crown bouncing and Crown jumping are often used alongside this variant to streamline platform movement. It is possible to Crown land out of short hop, should K. Rool catch the crown as a projectile.
Crownless / "No Crown" Crown Landing
To execute the "No Crown" variant, the player must input King K. Rool's side special move Crownerang while the crown is not on K. Rool's head between 35 and 45 frames before landing. This will have K. Rool land a few frames before the "No Crown" animation ends (which lasts 36 frames), converting into his landing lag in an unnatural way. If done perfectly, this will leave K. Rool with either only one single frame of landing lag (rather than six from the hard landing), or snap him into his idle animation. Thus, it is possible to land and then immediately perform another action. However, the lag that occurs here often makes this punishable. Players often wavebounce when executing the tech to reduce the chance of this occurring, though it's unnecessary.
When K. Rool throws his crown, and the crown touches solid ground while he is in an egg from Yoshi's Egg Lay, the crown will become almost as large as Yoshi himself. The crown will retain its massive size even if an opponent holds and throws it as an item, and it will only revert back to normal size if the K. Rool picks up his own crown. The glitch is functionally similar to previous Egg Lay-related glitches, such as the one which increases the size of Jigglypuff under the effects of the regenerating terrain glitch, and a glitch in Smash 4's Multi-Man Smash that caused giant opponents to turn gargantuan if caught by Egg Lay.
This glitch was fixed in 3.0.0.
Crownerang is based on King K. Rool's main attack from the final boss fight against him in Donkey Kong Country. In the fight, K. Rool would throw his crown to attack the Kongs, usually to conclude a cycle of other attacks, especially later in the fight. True to K. Rool's bumbling nature, this attack also provides the only opening for the Kongs to damage him, as he is completely invincible at all other times.