A natural combo is a move divided into multiple phases. After the first phase is activated, pressing the relevant button at the correct time will launch the next segment of the move, while not pressing the button will end the sequence. This is different from a standard combo as those require multiple attacks to pull off, and is more akin to the rekka seen in traditional fighting games.
The term is sometimes used interchangeably with neutral attack, its most common type; most characters will perform multiple attacks (such as Mario's jab, cross, kick), with some following into a rapid attack. Some characters, such as Snake, Bayonetta and Link, have natural combos using their tilts, aerials, or smashes, and some special moves, like Dancing Blade and Cross Slash, are natural combos as well.
Similarly to multi-hit attacks, most natural combos are useful in quickly damaging the opponent or otherwise applying pressure for relatively little effort (this is especially true for infinite attacks as of Brawl, since the player can simply hold the button down to perform the infinite most of the time). Natural combos tend to do significant damage and shield damage given their quick startup, and often prevent the opponent from using their shield at all if earlier hits connect. The user can also stop the combo early if the first hits are blocked or miss altogether, making them somewhat safer to use than comparable multi-hit attacks.
However, natural combos tend to deal less knockback than single-hit attacks, with early hits merely flinching opponents for the sake of leading into the finisher hit. Opponents can also sometimes escape using techniques like SDI, leaving the user open if they commit to later phases of the combo.
List of natural combos
Unconventional natural combos
Though the following moves are also divided into phases, they differ significantly from typical natural combos in other ways; early phases may not combo into later ones, and some phases may not even damage opponents at all.