King K. Rool (SSBU)/Up special
King K. Rool dons his Propellerpack from Donkey Kong Country 3 and ascends for a moment before drifting down. This move is designed for K. Rool to recover with, and as such carries very limited offensive utility.
This move hits multiple times, with a rehit rate of 15 frames, allowing it to drag opponents to the blast zone. Through good swerving it is possible for this to be somewhat consistent, although at higher percentages this is very easy to avoid due to the knockback growth. K. Rool players often set this up through up throw, though there are no true confirms into Propellerpack. This means it is very difficult to set up and many opponents can avoid it through jumping or air dodging.
Propellerpack goes an extremely long distance, allowing K. Rool to recover from virtually anywhere, especially in tandem with up aerial. As long as K. Rool survives a hit, he is generally able to find a way to make it back to the stage. Due to this phenomenal distance, he is also capable of going under stages like Smashville and even Battlefield with precise inputs to have a chance of escaping overwhelming ledgetrap setups. Effectively, King K. Rool has the single best vertical recovery move in the game, in terms of distance covered. Thanks to this, K. Rool is capable of staying off-stage for incredible amounts of time to stall out edgeguard attempts, or mix up his timing.
Propellerpack is also a decently well-protected recovery, thanks to the hitbox on the propeller. However, this hitbox carries a degree of randomness due to it being assigned to the left propeller. This means that it is inconsistent in regards to whether or not K. Rool will actually be protected. Moves such as Chrom's down aerial as particularly noteworthy for their inconsistency due to hurtbox extensions making interactions unpredictable for both parties.
Propellerpack also tends to snipe the ledge, which can disrupt ledgetraps or attempts to 2-frame him. This makes K. Rool one of the hardest characters to 2-frame by virtue of this defense as well as his low animation and lack of a hand hurtbox. The ledge snipe can also be confirmed into all of K. Rool's aerials depending on the DI (although there is always something that it can be confirmed into), including back aerial meteor smashes if they DI in. This makes it a useful reversal tool as well. The ledge snipe can be made more consistent through holding down to prevent an auto-ledgesnap as well, which will increase hitbox activity and have it go a bit higher, though the ledgegrab range makes it a bit inconsistent and occasionally dangerous if K. Rool rises above the range.
K. Rool, while essentially locked into Propellerpack upon use, does have the ability to swerve and influence Propellerpack's hitbox during recovery. While this does reduce the airtime of Propellerpack due to less vertical distance, it can potentially save K. Rool from being edgeguarded or taking unnecessary damage. Swerving backwards can allow K. Rool to prevent stage spike attempts quite consistently, which makes the recovery significantly less exploitable. LSI can also assist with the stage spike issue, with K. Rool's super heavyweight status enabling him to tech until around 150%, sometimes longer.
Once the gas in Propellerpack has been exhausted, K. Rool will enter a flapping fall animation. This isn't actually helplessness; players can input down to initiate the helplessness animation, and fast fall to the stage (or the blast zone to save time). This animation also has 1 frame less landing lag; 30 compared to the normal falling animation's 31. The hurtbox is also smaller horizontally.
While Propellerpack has many benefits, it has an equal amount of drawbacks. For one, K. Rool is completely locked into Propellerpack upon usage, unlike moves such as Cypher. This means that his options are significantly limited, making Propellerpack very exploitable. Once an opponent is under K. Rool while he is recovering, he is forced to take a hit that could potentially gimp or KO him. Propellerpack also reduces King K. Rool's vertical ledgegrab range, which allows the propellers to snipe the ledge more easily. However, it also makes it so that if the propellerpack runs out of gas near the ledge, it will cause K. Rool to just barely miss snapping. While Propellerpack can snipe the ledge with relative consistency, it is also very easy to avoid by standing a decent distance away or shielding it. Propellerpack also has 14 frames of startup lag which do not halt K. Rool's momentum, meaning he can be KO'd at the bottom blast zone through delaying recovery too much, or simply being launched too low.
All hitboxes have a rehit rate of 15 frames.
Landing Lag (Standard)
Landing Lag (Helpless)