Pummel

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Fox pummeling Mario in Melee.

A pummel (つかみ攻撃 or 掴み攻撃, Grab, grasp, grip or catch attack; referred to as CatchAttack by the internal game files, and officially as Grab Attack in Super Smash Bros. 4 and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate) is an attack usable while an opponent remains trapped in the player's grab. It was first introduced in Super Smash Bros. Melee, and is performed by pressing the attack or grab buttons after a successful grab. Pummels deal very low damage (usually from 1% to 3% per use), but can be used repeatedly at a relatively fast rate until the opponent is eventually thrown or breaks free from the grab.

Most pummels consist of knee jabs or headbutts, since the pummeling character will already be holding their opponent using their arms. Pummeling is primarily used to rack up extra damage before a throw, and to restore moves from stale-move negation. The latter utility becomes more critical from Brawl onward, as staleness has a greater effect on the knockback inflicted, allowing pummels to bring KO moves back to full strength, and in Brawl, to keep subsequent throws at the appropriate knockback for chain grabbing.

The higher an opponent's damage, the longer one can pummel before they're able to break free from the grab. If not executed swiftly, an adept fighter may escape before even a single blow is landed, which is one of the decisions a player must make when they grab an opponent: a character with a fast pummel (such as Lucario) can spare a few frames to get some extra damage on the opponent, whereas one with a slow pummel (such as Ganondorf) risks the opponent wriggling out of their grab if they pummel, making it more worthwhile to simply throw the opponent.

Pummels across games[edit]

The attack rate of pummels has been generally sped up throughout the Super Smash Bros. series, though their damage has also decreased in the process.

In Melee, all pummels deal 3% damage, and most characters' pummels last 24 frames, with only Ice Climbers, Jigglypuff, Kirby, Link, Mr. Game & Watch, Young Link and Zelda's being slower, causing them to be mostly identical across the cast. Jigglypuff, Kirby, and Mr. Game & Watch are tied for the slowest pummel, lasting 30 frames.

In Brawl, several characters have received more unique pummels that are faster, but deal less damage. The fastest pummel is Wolf's, which deals 1% damage and lasts a mere 6 frames, while the slowest is Mr. Game & Watch's, which deals 3% and lasts 29 frames. The average duration of pummels among the cast is 17 frames, down from 24 frames in Melee, making them much faster overall. Due to Brawl's lack of decimal values for base damage, all pummels deal either 1%, 2%, or 3% damage (or in the case of Olimar's pummel with White Pikmin, 4% damage).

In Smash 4, all returning veterans except Lucas retain their pummeling speeds from Brawl. However, due to several newcomers such as Mega Man, Mii Swordfighter, Robin, and Wii Fit Trainer possessing notoriously slow pummels, the average duration has been increased to 20 frames. The fastest pummel is now Lucario's at 7 frames, due to Wolf being cut from the game, while the slowest is Mii Swordfighter's at 33 frames. Pummels are also far more unique across the cast because of the new ability to give moves decimal base damage, with several of them dealing a variety of decimal damage values; this results in some more damaging pummels that the most damaging from Brawl (discounting Olimar's with White Pikmin), with Dr. Mario's dealing 3.64%.

In Ultimate, while some variance remains between characters, pummels have overall been standardized across the board, much like in Melee, except keeping the average pummel duration closer to those of Brawl and Smash 4; this applies to their damage as well, which is considerably lower overall, with a minimum of 1% and a maximum of 1.6%, and the majority of pummels dealing 1.3%. As a result of these changes, previously fast pummels such as Lucario, Ness and Samus's deal slightly more damage, but are noticeably slower, while previously slow pummels such as Ganondorf, Mr. Game & Watch and Robin's are significantly faster, but deal moderately less damage. This eliminates a large part of the imbalance between pummels in previous games, as characters no longer refresh other moves or rack up damage at a disproportionally fast rate compared to others based on pummel speed.

It is worth noting that like other attacks, pummels inflict freeze frames (hitlag), and opponents can still mash out of the attacker's grab during them, so they are another factor to consider for a pummel's practical duration. Because of this, pummels that inflict fewer freeze frames are more advantageous. In Ultimate, the actual duration of pummels is significantly shorter than in previous games (from 5 to 7 frames), but it is augmented by a much higher amount of freeze frames (from 10 to 16), which keep their average speed roughly the same as in previous games.

List of pummels[edit]

In the following tables, "Duration" means how many frames the attack lasts for until another pummel can be made.

In Super Smash Bros. Melee[edit]

All pummels in Melee deal 3% damage. Pichu takes 1% recoil damage for every pummel.

Character Description Duration in frames
Bowser Headbutts opponent. 24
Captain Falcon Knees opponent. 24
Donkey Kong Karate chops opponent. 24
Dr. Mario Headbutts opponent. 24
Falco Knees opponent. 24
Fox Knees opponent. 24
Ganondorf Knees opponent. 24
Ice Climbers Headbutts opponent. 25
Jigglypuff Slaps opponent with its tuft of hair. 30
Kirby Punches opponent. 30
Link Hits opponent with the hilt of his sword. 25
Luigi Headbutts opponent. 24
Mario Headbutts opponent. 24
Marth Knees opponent. 24
Mewtwo Shocks opponent. 24
Mr. Game & Watch Hits opponent with a bell. 30
Ness Headbutts opponent. 24
Peach Stomps on opponent's shins. 25
Pichu Zaps opponent. 24
Pikachu Zaps opponent. 24
Roy Knees opponent. 24
Samus Chops opponent with her left hand. 24
Sheik Hits opponent with her elbow. 24
Yoshi Bites down on opponent. 24
Young Link Hits opponent with the hilt of his sword. 25
Zelda Zaps opponent with magic. 25

In Super Smash Bros. Brawl[edit]

Peach pummeling Ike in Brawl.

All characters' pummels have normal hitlag multipliers, with the exception of Pikachu's, which possesses a multiplier of 0.5×.

Character Description Damage Duration in frames
Bowser Headbutts opponent. 3% 23
Captain Falcon Knees opponent. 2% 15
Charizard Bites opponent. 2% 16
Diddy Kong Headbutts opponent. 2% 16
Donkey Kong Karate chops opponent with his hand. 3% 15
Falco Knees opponent. 2% 16
Fox Knees opponent. 1% 9
Ganondorf Knees opponent. 2% 23
Ice Climbers Headbutts opponent. 1%* 18
Ike Headbutts opponent. 3% 22
Ivysaur Constricts opponent with vines. 3% 24
Jigglypuff Slaps opponent with its tuft of hair. 3% 20
King Dedede Headbutts opponent. 3% 24
Kirby Punches opponent. 1% 9
Link Hits opponent with the hilt of his sword. 2% 15
Lucario Hits opponent with a blast of aura. 1% 7
Lucas Headbutts opponent. 3% 12
Luigi Headbutts opponent. 3% 23
Mario Headbutts opponent. 3% 23
Marth Knees opponent. 2% 15
Meta Knight Hits opponent with the claws on his wings. 3% 23
Mr. Game & Watch Hits opponent with a bell. 3% 29
Ness Headbutts opponent. 1% 9
Olimar Pikmin headbutts opponent. 2% (Other colors), 4% (White) 21
Peach Stomps on opponent's shins. 2% 18
Pikachu Zaps opponent. 2% 15
Pit Knees opponent. 2% 15
R.O.B. Squeezes opponent with both his hands. 2% 16
Samus Chops opponent with her left hand. 1%** 8
Sheik Hits opponent with her elbow. 3% 23
Snake Tightens his chokehold on the opponent. 2% 17
Sonic Knees opponent. 3% 15
Squirtle Headbutts opponent. 2% 15
Toon Link Hits opponent with the hilt of his sword. 2% 15
Wario Pokes opponent in the gut with his finger. 2% 18
Wolf Knees opponent. 1% 6
Yoshi Bites down on opponent. 2% 15
Zelda Zaps opponent with magic. 3% 24
Zero Suit Samus Knees opponent. 2% 15

*The partner can attack while the leader is grabbing the opponent, making it possible to deal more damage.
** Can miss during certain frames of Bowser's struggling animation.

In Super Smash Bros. 4[edit]

Ness pummeling Rosalina.

All characters' pummels have normal hitlag multipliers, with the exception of Pikachu, Rosalina and Shulk, which possess multipliers of 0.5×, 0.75× and 1.5× respectively.

Character Description Damage Duration in frames
Bayonetta Slaps the grabbed opponent twice. 1.6% each hit 21
Bowser Headbutts opponent. 3.1% 23
Bowser Jr. Hits opponent with a toy hammer. 2% 17
Captain Falcon Knees opponent. 2% 15
Charizard Bites opponent. 2% 16
Cloud Knees opponent. 3% 25
Corrin Hits the opponent with the Omega Yato's hilt. 3% 23
Dark Pit Knees opponent. 2% 15
Diddy Kong Headbutts opponent. 2% 16
Donkey Kong Chops opponent with one hand. 2% 15
Dr. Mario Headbutts opponent. It is the most damaging pummel in the game if Olimar's White Pikmin and Shulk's Monado Arts are excluded. 3.64% 23
Duck Hunt The duck headbutts the opponent. 3% 28
Falco Knees opponent. 2% 16
Fox Knees opponent. 1.2% 9
Ganondorf Knees opponent. 3% 23
Greninja Squeezes opponent with water. 2% 26
Ike Headbutts opponent. 3% 22
Jigglypuff Punches opponent. 3% 20
King Dedede Headbutts opponent. 3% 24
Kirby Punches opponent. Can be used in rapid succession. 1.55% 9
Link Hits opponent with the hilt of his sword. 2.1% 15
Little Mac Punches opponent in the stomach. 2.1% 15
Lucario Hits opponent with a blast of aura. The fastest pummel in the game. 1% 7
Lucas Headbutts opponent. 1.2% 9
Lucina Knees opponent. 2% 15
Luigi Headbutts opponent. 3.2% 23
Mario Headbutts opponent. 3.25% 23
Marth Knees opponent. 2% 15
Mega Man Squeezes opponent. 3% 28
Meta Knight Hits opponent with the claws on his wings. 3% 23
Mewtwo Zaps opponent with a small psychic pulse. 2% 18
Mii Brawler Headbutts opponent. 3.25%* 23
Mii Gunner Whacks opponent with their arm cannon. 2%* 24
Mii Swordfighter Hits opponent with the hilt of their sword. It has the longest frame duration of all pummel animations. 3.25%* 33
Mr. Game & Watch Hits opponent with a bell. 3.2% 29
Ness Headbutts opponent. 1.2% 9
Olimar Pikmin headbutts opponent. The third most damaging pummel whenever the White Pikmin is used. 2% (Other colors), 4% (White) 21
Pac-Man Headbutts opponent. 3.25% 24
Palutena Hits opponent with magic through her staff. 3.1% 22
Peach Stomps on opponent's shins. 2% 18
Pikachu Zaps opponent. 1.9% 15
Pit Knees opponent. 2% 15
R.O.B. Squeezes opponent with both his hands. 2% 16
Robin Zaps opponent with magic. 3% 32
Rosalina Hits opponent with her wand. 2% 18
Roy Knees opponent. 2% 15
Ryu Knees opponent. 2% 15
Samus Chops opponent with her left hand. The second fastest pummel in the game behind Lucario. 1.2% 8
Sheik Hits opponent with her arm. 3.1% 23
Shulk Hits opponent with the hilt of the Monado. When using the Buster Monado Art, it is the most damaging pummel in the game, dealing 4.2%. 3% 26
Sonic Knees opponent. 2% 15
Toon Link Hits opponent with the hilt of his sword. 2% 15
Villager Yanks net backwards. 3% 26
Wario Pokes opponent in the gut with his finger. 2% 18
Wii Fit Trainer Squeezes opponent. 3% 30
Yoshi Bites down on opponent. 2% 15
Zelda Zaps opponent with magic. 3% 24
Zero Suit Samus Knees opponent. 2% 15

* This assumes the Mii is default height and weight.

In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate[edit]

NOTE: All values are listed as base damage, without the 1v1 multiplier.

Character Description Damage Duration in frames Freeze frames
Banjo & Kazooie N/A N/A N/A N/A
Bayonetta Slaps the grabbed opponent twice. 0.6% (hit 1), 0.7% (hit 2) 6 10 each hit
Bowser Headbutts opponent. 1.6% 7 15
Bowser Jr. Hits opponent with a toy hammer. 1.3% 6 14
Captain Falcon Knees opponent. 1.3% 6 14
Charizard Bites opponent. 1.6% 7 15
Chrom Knees opponent. 1.3% 6 14
Cloud Knees opponent. 1.3% 6 14
Corrin Knees opponent. 1.3% 6 14
Daisy Toad punches opponent. 1.3% 6 14
Dark Pit Knees opponent. 1.3% 6 14
Dark Samus Chops opponent with her left hand. 1.3% 6 14
Diddy Kong Headbutts opponent. 1% 6 11
Donkey Kong Chops opponent with one hand. 1.6% 7 15
Dr. Mario Headbutts opponent. 1.534% 6 14
Duck Hunt The duck headbutts the opponent. 1.3% 6 14
Falco Knees opponent. 1.3% 6 14
Fox Knees opponent. 1% 5 11
Ganondorf Knees opponent. 1.6% 7 15
Greninja Squeezes opponent with water. 1% 7 11
Hero N/A N/A N/A N/A
Ice Climbers Headbutts opponent. 1% 6 11
Ike Headbutts opponent. 1.6% 6 15
Incineroar Headbutts opponent. 1.6% 6 15
Inkling Kicks opponent. 1.3% 6 14
Isabelle Yanks net backwards. 1.3% 6 14
Ivysaur Constricts opponent with vines. 1.3% 6 14
Jigglypuff Kicks opponent. 1.3% 6 14
Joker Knees the opponent. 1.5%
Ken Knees opponent. 1.3% 6 12
King Dedede Headbutts opponent. 1.6% 7 15
King K. Rool Headbutts opponent. 1.6% 7 15
Kirby Punches opponent. 1% 5 11
Link Hits opponent with the hilt of his sword. 1.3% 6 14
Little Mac Punches opponent in the stomach. 1% 5 11
Lucario Hits opponent with a blast of aura. 1.3% 6 14
Lucas Zaps opponent with PSI. 1.3% 6 14
Lucina Knees opponent. 1.3% 6 14
Luigi Squeezes opponent with the Poltergust G-00. 1.3% 6 14
Mario Headbutts opponent. 1.3% 6 14
Marth Knees opponent. 1.3% 6 14
Mega Man Squeezes opponent. 1.3% 6 14
Meta Knight Hits opponent with the claws on his wings. 1% 5 11
Mewtwo Blasts opponent with a pulse of darkness. 1.3% 6 14
Mii Brawler Headbutts opponent. 1.3% 6 14
Mii Gunner Knees opponent. 1.3% 6 14
Mii Swordfighter Knees opponent. 1.3% 6 14
Mr. Game & Watch Hits opponent with a bell. 1.3% 6 14
Ness Blasts opponent with PSI. 1.3% 6 14
Olimar Chops opponent with one hand. Unlike in previous games, it is not affected by the Pikmin grabbing the opponent. 1% 6 11
Pac-Man Headbutts opponent. 1.3% 6 14
Palutena Hits opponent with magic through her staff. 1.3% 6 14
Peach Toad punches opponent. 1.3% 6 14
Pichu Zaps opponent with a headbutt. 1.4% (0.1% recoil) 5 14[1]
Pikachu Zaps opponent with a headbutt. 1% 5 12[2]
Piranha Plant Bites opponent. 1.4% 6 14
Pit Knees opponent. 1.3% 6 14
R.O.B. Headbutts opponent. 1.3% 5 14
Richter Knees opponent. 1.3% 6 14
Ridley Stabs opponent with his tail. 1.6% 7 15
Robin Zaps opponent with magic. 1.5% 6 16
Rosalina Hits opponent with her wand. 1.3% 6 14
Roy Knees opponent. 1.3% 6 14
Ryu Knees opponent. 1.3% 6 12
Samus Chops opponent with her left hand. 1.3% 6 14
Sheik Knees opponent. 1% 5 11
Shulk Hits opponent with the hilt of the Monado. When using the Buster Monado Art, it is the most damaging pummel in the game, dealing 1.82%. 1.3% 6 14
Simon Knees opponent. 1.3% 6 14
Snake Tightens his chokehold on the opponent. 1.3% 6 14
Sonic Knees opponent. 1.3% 6 14
Squirtle Headbutts opponent. 1% 5 11
Toon Link Hits opponent with the hilt of his sword. 1% 6 11
Villager Yanks net backwards. 1.3% 6 14
Wario Pokes opponent in the gut with his finger. 1.6% 7 15
Wii Fit Trainer Squeezes opponent. 1.3% 6 14
Wolf Knees opponent. 1.3% 6 14
Yoshi Bites down on opponent. 1.3% 6 14
Young Link Hits opponent with the hilt of his sword. 1% 6 13
Zelda Blasts opponent with magic. 1.3% 7 14
Zero Suit Samus Knees opponent. 1.3% 6 14

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ 15 prior to version 2.0.0
  2. ^ 14 prior to version 2.0.0


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