Pummel

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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 either the attack or grab button 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.

Since accumulated damage increases the period an opponent is grabbed for, pummels are more effective at high percentages. If too many pummels are attempted, the opponent can break free from the grab without allowing the pummeler to throw them. Because of this, a player should balance the amount of times they pummel the opponent before throwing, which also depends on their character; those with fast pummels such as Fox can spare a few frames to get some extra damage on the opponent, whereas those with slow pummels such as Ganondorf risk the opponent wriggling out of their grab if they pummel at lower percentages, making it more worthwhile to simply throw them.

Pummels across games[edit]

Peach pummeling Ike in Brawl.
Fox pummeling Mario in Melee.

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; the exceptions are Ice Climbers, Link, Young Link, and Zelda's pummels, which last 25 frames, as well as Jigglypuff, Kirby, and Mr. Game & Watch's, which last 30 frames. This causes them to be mostly identical across the cast.

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 pummel 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 than 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 that 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 table, the total duration lists the combined total frames of both the pummels' coded duration and the amount of freeze frames they inflict. The damage values and durations for pummels in Melee are listed in the above section.

Character Description Damage
Super Smash Bros. BrawlSuper Smash Bros. 4
Total duration
Super Smash Bros. BrawlSuper Smash Bros. 4
Damage
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Total duration
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Banjo & Kazooie Kazooie pecks the opponent. 1.4% 19
Bayonetta Slaps the opponent twice. 1.6%, 1.6% 27 0.6%, 0.7% 24
Bowser Headbutts the opponent. Super Smash Bros. Brawl 3%
Super Smash Bros. 4 3.1%
27 1.6% 22
Bowser Jr. Hits the opponent with a toy hammer. 2% 20 1.3% 19
Captain Falcon Knees the opponent. 2% 18 1.3% 19
Charizard Bites the opponent. 2% 19 1.6% 21
Chrom Knees the opponent. 1.3% 19
Cloud Knees the opponent. 3% 29 1.3% 19
Corrin Super Smash Bros. 4 Hits the opponent with the Omega Yato's hilt.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Knees the opponent.
3% 27 1.3% 19
Daisy Toad punches the opponent. 1.3% 19
Dark Pit Knees the opponent. 2% 18 1.3% 19
Dark Samus Chops the opponent with her free hand. 1.3% 19
Diddy Kong Headbutts the opponent. 2% 19 1% 16
Donkey Kong Chops the opponent with one hand. Super Smash Bros. Brawl 3%
Super Smash Bros. 4 2%
Super Smash Bros. Brawl 19
Super Smash Bros. 4 18
1.6% 21
Dr. Mario Headbutts the opponent. 3.64% 27 1.5275% 19
Duck Hunt The duck headbutts the opponent. 3% 32 1.3% 19
Falco Knees the opponent. 2% 19 1.3% 19
Fox Knees the opponent. Super Smash Bros. Brawl 1%
Super Smash Bros. 4 1.2%
12 1% 15
Ganondorf Knees the opponent. Super Smash Bros. Brawl 2%
Super Smash Bros. 4 3%
Super Smash Bros. Brawl 31
Super Smash Bros. 4 32
1.6% 21
Greninja Squeezes the opponent with water. 2% 29 1% 17
Hero Knees the opponent. 1.3% 19
Ice Climbers Headbutts the opponent. 1% 21 1% 16
Ike Headbutts the opponent. 3% 26 1.6% 20
Incineroar Headbutts the opponent. 1.6% 20
Inkling Kicks the opponent. 1.3% 19
Isabelle Yanks her net backwards. 1.3% 19
Ivysaur Super Smash Bros. Brawl Constricts the opponent with vines.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Headbutts the opponent.
3% 28 1.3% 19
Jigglypuff Super Smash Bros. MeleeSuper Smash Bros. Brawl Slaps the opponent with its hair tuft.
Super Smash Bros. 4 Punches the opponent with its free arm.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Kicks the opponent.
3% 24 1.3% 19
Joker Knees the opponent. 1.5% 19
Ken Knees the opponent. 1.3% 17
King Dedede Headbutts the opponent. 3% 24 1.6% 21
King K. Rool Headbutts the opponent. 1.6% 21
Kirby Punches the opponent. Super Smash Bros. Brawl 1%
Super Smash Bros. 4 1.55%
12 1% 15
Link Hits the opponent with the Master Sword's hilt. Super Smash Bros. Brawl 2%
Super Smash Bros. 4 2.1%
18 1.3% 19
Little Mac Punches the opponent. 2.1% 18 1% 15
Lucario Blasts the opponent with aura from its palms. Super Smash Bros. Brawl 1%
Super Smash Bros. 4 1%
10 1.3% 19
Lucas Super Smash Bros. BrawlSuper Smash Bros. 4 Headbutts the opponent.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Zaps the opponent with PSI.
Super Smash Bros. Brawl 3%
Super Smash Bros. 4 1.2%
Super Smash Bros. Brawl 16
Super Smash Bros. 4 12
1.3% 19
Lucina Knees the opponent. 2% 18 1.3% 19
Luigi Super Smash Bros. MeleeSuper Smash Bros. BrawlSuper Smash Bros. 4 Headbutts the opponent.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Squeezes the opponent with the Poltergust G-00.
Super Smash Bros. Brawl 3%
Super Smash Bros. 4 3.2%
27 1.3% 19
Mario Headbutts the opponent. Super Smash Bros. Brawl 3%
Super Smash Bros. 4 3.25%
27 1.3% 19
Marth Knees the opponent. 2% 18 1.3% 19
Mega Man Squeezes the opponent. 3% 32 1.3% 19
Meta Knight Stabs the opponent with one wing. 3% 27 1% 15
Mewtwo Super Smash Bros. MeleeSuper Smash Bros. 4 Zaps the opponent with its palm.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Blasts the opponent with dark energy from its palm.
2% 24 1.3% 19
Mii Brawler Headbutts the opponent. 3.25% 27 1.3% 19
Mii Gunner Super Smash Bros. 4 Hits the opponent with their arm cannon.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Knees the opponent.
2% 27 1.3% 19
Mii Swordfighter Super Smash Bros. 4 Hits the opponent with their sword's hilt.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Knees the opponent.
3.25% 37 1.3% 19
Mr. Game & Watch Hits the opponent with a bell. Super Smash Bros. Brawl 3%
Super Smash Bros. 4 3.2%
33 1.3% 19
Ness Super Smash Bros. MeleeSuper Smash Bros. BrawlSuper Smash Bros. 4 Headbutts the opponent.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Blasts the opponent with PSI.
Super Smash Bros. Brawl 1%
Super Smash Bros. 4 1.2%
12 1.3% 19
Olimar Super Smash Bros. BrawlSuper Smash Bros. 4 The Pikmin grabbing the opponent headbutts them. White Pikmin deal more damage than the rest.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Olimar chops the opponent with one hand.
2%/4% 21 1% 16
Pac-Man Headbutts the opponent. 3.25% 28 1.3% 19
Palutena Blasts the opponent with magic from her staff. 3.1% 26 1.3% 19
Peach Super Smash Bros. MeleeSuper Smash Bros. BrawlSuper Smash Bros. 4 Kicks the opponent.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Toad punches the opponent.
2% 21 1.3% 19
Pichu Super Smash Bros. Melee Zaps the opponent. Causes 1% recoil damage to Pichu.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Electrically headbutts the opponent. Causes 0.1% recoil damage to Pichu.
1.4% 18[1]
Pikachu Super Smash Bros. MeleeSuper Smash Bros. BrawlSuper Smash Bros. 4 Zaps the opponent.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Electrically headbutts the opponent.
Super Smash Bros. Brawl 2%
Super Smash Bros. 4 1.9%
17 1% 16[2]
Piranha Plant Bites the opponent. 1.4% 19
Pit Knees the opponent. 2% 18 1.3% 19
R.O.B. Super Smash Bros. BrawlSuper Smash Bros. 4 Squeezes the opponent.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Headbutts the opponent.
2% 19 1.3% 18
Richter Knees the opponent. 1.3% 19
Ridley Stabs the opponent with his tail. 1.6% 21
Robin Zaps the opponent with magic. 3% 39 1.5% 21
Rosalina Hits the opponent with her wand. 2% 20 1.3% 19
Roy Knees the opponent. 2% 18 1.3% 19
Ryu Knees the opponent. 2% 18 1.3% 17
Samus Chops the opponent with her free hand. Super Smash Bros. Brawl 1%
Super Smash Bros. 4 1.2%
11 1.3% 19
Sheik Super Smash Bros. MeleeSuper Smash Bros. BrawlSuper Smash Bros. 4 Hits the opponent with her free arm's elbow.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Knees the opponent.
Super Smash Bros. Brawl 3%
Super Smash Bros. 4 3.1%
27 1% 15
Shulk Hits the opponent with the Monado's hilt. 3% 33 1.3% 19
Simon Knees the opponent. 1.3% 19
Snake Tightens his chokehold on the opponent. 2% 20 1.3% 19
Sonic Knees the opponent. Super Smash Bros. Brawl 3%
Super Smash Bros. 4 2%
18 1.3% 19
Squirtle Headbutts the opponent. 2% 18 1% 15
Terry Performs a gut punch. 1.8% N/A
Toon Link Hits the opponent with the Master Sword's hilt. 2% 18 1% 16
Villager Yanks his net backwards. 3% 30 1.3% 19
Wario Pokes the opponent with his free arm's index finger. 2% 21 1.6% 21
Wii Fit Trainer Squeezes the opponent. 3% 34 1.3% 19
Wolf Knees the opponent. 1% 9 1.3% 19
Yoshi Chews the opponent. 2% 18 1.3% 19
Young Link Hits the opponent with the Kokiri Sword's hilt. 1% 18
Zelda Blasts the opponent with magic. 3% 28 1.3% 20
Zero Suit Samus Knees the opponent. 2% 18 1.3% 19

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ 19 prior to version 2.0.0
  2. ^ 18 prior to version 2.0.0