Neutral attack

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Super Smash Bros. series
Mario's neutral attack in Super Smash Bros. Melee.

A neutral attack (弱攻撃), often referred to as a jab (and officially standard attack or weak attack before Super Smash Bros. Ultimate), is the most basic attack a character can perform. It is performed by pressing the attack button while standing on the ground, with no input from the control stick. Typically, neutral attacks are fast, short-ranged, weak attacks meant for easy close-range punishes or escaping pressure.

Almost all neutral attacks in the series are natural combos: a type of attack with multiple stages which lead directly into each other. Just after the first attack is thrown, pressing the attack button again – regardless of whether the first attack connected – will result in an immediate follow-up attack. Certain natural combos also have a third stage, with a few that have a fourth stage. Mario's iconic neutral attack, a simple punch-punch-kick combo, is a well-known example of a three-stage neutral attack.

From Brawl onwards, holding the attack button instead of pressing it for the first hit of certain neutral attacks will cause the character to continually perform the first attack at a very high speed until it hits an opponent. This property is known as consecutiveness, and can be a helpful way to ensure an opponent will be hit by a jab without requiring strict timing. Additionally, when a neutral attack connects, regardless of whether it possesses consecutiveness, the next stages can be activated by simply holding the button, rather than pressing it repeatedly like in the original Super Smash Bros. and Melee.

Types of neutral attacks[edit]

Since generally all nonfinal stages of a natural combo have the simple purpose of leading into the final one, most neutral attacks are defined by the nature of their final stage. To this end, there are three types of jab enders:

Standard[edit]

Characters like Mario, Sonic, and Ness have jabs that end with a simple final hit, launching opponents away. Certain characters with one-hit jabs that are not natural combos, such as Pikachu, Ganondorf, and Roy, fall into this category as well. Because this is by far the most common type of jab, there is not a universally-accepted term for it.

Rapid jabs[edit]

The final hit of Fox's rapid jab in Smash 4.

A rapid jab is a constantly-looping flurry of incredibly fast and weak attacks that link into each other. Once this attack is launched, it can be infinitely looped by pressing the attack button repeatedly in SSB and Melee, or by simply holding it from Brawl onward. Despite their infinite nature, rapid jabs can be escaped relatively quickly with proper DI and SDI, especially prior to Smash 4. Later games mitigate this by speeding up the rapid jabs' hit rate and lowering their SDI multipliers (as well as weakening SDI itself), but they instead slightly push the attacker back after landing a certain amount of hits.

The rapid jab ends once the attack button is released. Prior to Smash 4, this causes the character to simply stop attacking – however, from Smash 4 onwards, rapid jabs have a final hit known as a rapid jab finisher that is designed to launch opponents away, and is used once the attack button is released. Since no new button input is made to activate this final hit, it is not its own stage of the natural combo.

Characters like Kirby, Fox, and Sheik are known for possessing rapid jabs.

Choosables[edit]

A choosable jab is one that can end either in a rapid jab or a standard final hit (which, in the context of a choosable, may be referred to as a Gentleman). The rapid jab is chosen by repeatedly pressing the attack button during the nonfinal hits of the jab – once it is launched, it functions identically to the typical rapid jab. Likewise, the Gentleman is chosen by pressing the attack button less frequently, or by simply holding it once the first hit connects with an opponent.

Characters like Pit, Little Mac, and Corrin are known for possessing choosables.

List of jabs[edit]

Consecutiveness only applies from Brawl onward, as the feature did not exist in previous games.

Character Stages Last stage Cons. Description
Banjo & Kazooie unknown
Bayonetta 4 Rapid No Performs three pistol whips, then leans forwards and rapidly thrusts her guns forwards before throwing a downwards gun-spinning punch for a final hit.
Bowser 2 Standard No Strikes forwards with one hand, then the other.
Bowser Jr. 3 Rapid Yes Deploys a pair of mechanical arms with boxing gloves from the Koopa Clown Car, then uses them to throw a jab, a cross, and then a flurry of rapid punches.
Captain Falcon Super Smash Bros.Super Smash Bros. MeleeSuper Smash Bros. Brawl 4
Super Smash Bros. 4Super Smash Bros. Ultimate 3
Super Smash Bros.Super Smash Bros. Melee Rapid
Super Smash Bros. BrawlSuper Smash Bros. 4Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Choosable
Yes Super Smash Bros.Super Smash Bros. MeleeSuper Smash Bros. Brawl Jabs twice, strikes with his knee, and then performs a series of one-handed jabs.
Super Smash Bros. 4Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Jabs twice, then either strikes with his knee or performs a series of one-handed jabs ending in an uppercut.
Charizard 3 Standard No Throws alternating swipes with its claws, then slashes its wing upwards and inwards.
Chrom 1 Standard No Slashes upwards in front of himself.
Cloud 3 Standard Yes Throws two kicks, then slashes outwards with the Buster Sword.
Corrin 3 Choosable No Stabs forwards with a draconic spear arm, slashes with Omega Yato, and then either strikes forwards with Omega Yato again or leans forwards and performs a rapid series of bites with an arm-mounted draconic mouth.
Daisy 2 Standard No Slaps twice.
Dark Pit 3 Choosable No Slashes twice, then either uppercuts with one of his blades or repeatedly attacks with both of them.
Dark Samus 2 Standard No Jabs, then clubs downwards with her Arm Cannon.
Diddy Kong 3 Super Smash Bros. BrawlSuper Smash Bros. 4 Rapid
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Standard
Super Smash Bros. BrawlSuper Smash Bros. 4 No
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Yes
Super Smash Bros. BrawlSuper Smash Bros. 4 Slaps twice, then rapidly flicks his tail around in front of himself.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Slaps twice, then throws a side kick.
Donkey Kong 2 Standard No Punches forwards, then uppercuts.
Dr. Mario 3 Standard Yes Throws two punches, then a straight kick.
Duck Hunt 3 Choosable No The dog performs a paw swipe, then a headbutt, and then either throws a two-footed kick or lays down while the duck rapidly pecks forwards.
Falco 3 Rapid No Super Smash Bros. Melee Throws two punches, then a series of kicks with incredible speed.
Super Smash Bros. BrawlSuper Smash Bros. 4Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Slashes inwards and then outwards with his wing, then leans forwards while spinning with both wings outstretched to perform a tornado-like series of rapid strikes.
Fox 3 Rapid Yes Throws two punches, then a series of kicks with incredible speed.
Ganondorf 1 Standard No Strikes straight forwards with his hand.
Greninja 3 Choosable No Performs two alternating palm strikes, then either explodes a burst of water from both of its palms or performs a rapid series of watery slashes.
Hero 3 Standard No Swings his sword straight upward, then straight downward, and then inward.
Ice Climbers 2 Standard No Swing their hammers outwards, then upwards and inwards.
Ike 3 Standard Yes Throws a jab, then a stepping-forwards kick, and then slams Ragnell downwards onto the ground.
Incineroar 3 Standard No Throws a straight spearhand, then a knee jab, and then a leaning-forwards elbow bash.
Inkling 3 Choosable Yes Performs a finger jab, a roundhouse kick, and then either a side kick or a series of close-ranged Splattershot blasts.
Isabelle 1 Standard Yes Swings a toy hammer downwards for a very fast and weak single hit.
Ivysaur 3 Rapid No Whips forwards with one vine, then another, and then performs a rapid storm of vine slaps forwards.
Jigglypuff 2 Standard Yes Throws two alternating punches.
Joker 3 Standard No Slashes inwards, stabs forwards in reverse grip, and then slashes outwards.
Ken Tapped: 3
Held: 1
Standard Yes[1] Tapped: Throws a straight jab, then a short-straight punch, and then a hook.
Held (far): Swings his leg upwards and then brings it back down for a swift axe kick.
Held (close): Throws an uppercut.
King Dedede 3 Rapid No Swipes inwards with his hammer, then upwards, and then thrusts it forward while spinning its head like a drill for several hits.
King K. Rool 3 Standard Yes Strikes forwards with his palm, slashes inwards with his claws, then kicks straight forwards.
Kirby 3 Rapid Yes Jabs twice, then throws a very fast series of punches.
Link 3 Super Smash Bros.Super Smash Bros. Melee Choosable
Super Smash Bros. BrawlSuper Smash Bros. 4Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Standard
No Super Smash Bros.Super Smash Bros. Melee Slashes twice with the Master Sword, then either stabs forwards a single time or performs a very fast series of forwards stabs.
Super Smash Bros. BrawlSuper Smash Bros. 4Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Slashes twice with the Master Sword, then leans into a final forwards strike.
Little Mac 3 Choosable Yes Throws a jab, then a hook, and then either a leaning uppercut or a barrage of high-speed punches.
Lucario 3 Standard No Performs a downwards paw swing, a forward palm thrust, and then a high kick.
Lucas 3 Standard Yes Throws a quick combo of three kicks.
Lucina 2 Standard No Performs a pair of upwards swings with Parallel Falchion.
Luigi 3 Standard Super Smash Bros. BrawlSuper Smash Bros. 4 No
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Yes
Super Smash Bros. Throws two punches, then a straight kick.
Super Smash Bros. MeleeSuper Smash Bros. BrawlSuper Smash Bros. 4Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Throws two punches, then performs a jumping hip check.
Mario 3 Standard Yes Throws two punches, then a straight kick.
Marth 2 Standard No Performs a pair of upwards swings with Falchion.
Mega Man 3 Standard No Fires the Mega Buster straight ahead up to three times in a row.
Meta Knight 1 Rapid No Super Smash Bros. Brawl Unleashes a storm of slashes to cover his entire body.
Super Smash Bros. 4Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Performs several very fast slashes in front of himself before ending with a backflipping slash.
Mewtwo 2 Rapid No Performs a dark-powered palm thrust, then leans further forwards to release a stream of dark smoke from that same palm for rapid hits.
Mii Brawler 3 Rapid Yes Throws two jabs, then a barrage of quick punches ending in a swift back kick.
Mii Gunner 3 Standard Super Smash Bros. 4 No
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Yes
Super Smash Bros. 4 Performs a pair of bludgeons with the arm cannon, then thrusts it straight forwards accompanied by a near-immediate flame blast.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Throws a jab, then a side kick, and then thrusts the arm cannon straight forwards accompanied by a near-immediate flame blast.
Mii Swordfighter 3 Standard No Slashes inwards, outwards, and then upwards.
Mr. Game & Watch 2 Rapid No Pumps insecticide forwards, then begins to pump it much more rapidly.
Ness 3 Standard Yes Throws two jabs, then a side kick.
Olimar 2 Standard No Super Smash Bros. Brawl Performs a pair of headbutts.
Super Smash Bros. 4Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Throws two leaning punches.
Pac-Man 3 Standard Yes Throws two jabs, then performs a backflipping kick.
Palutena 2 Rapid No Thrusts her staff forwards at hip level, then keeps it there while releasing a rapidly-hitting blast of light from it.
Peach 2 Standard No Slaps twice.
Pichu 1 Standard Yes Performs a very fast and weak headbutt.
Pikachu 1 Standard Yes Performs a very fast and weak headbutt.
Piranha Plant 3 Choosable Yes Throws a leaf jab, then a cross, and then either headbutts straight forwards or performs a furious storm of bites.
Pit 3 Choosable No Slashes twice, then either uppercuts with one of his blades or repeatedly attacks with both of them.
R.O.B. 2 Standard Super Smash Bros. BrawlSuper Smash Bros. 4 No
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Yes
Throws two alternating hooks.
Richter 3 Standard No[2] Holds a short length of the Vampire Killer in his hands to strike twice with its tip, then rapidly swirls it around in front of himself for multiple hits.
Ridley 3 Choosable No Slashes inwards with both claws, then either bites in front of himself or performs a high-speed flurry of tail stabs.
Robin 3 Choosable No Slashes upwards, then downwards with a bronze sword, then either opens up a fire tome to cast an exploding fireball or rapidly flits through pages in a wind tome to create a whirling storm of magic wind slashes.
Rosalina & Luma 3 Choosable No Rosalina: Swings her wand forwards twice, then either casts a small burst of stardust from the wand or twirls it in a circle for several hits.
Luma: Throws a jab, then kicks, and then either performs a backflipping kick or leans forwards while rapidly spinning for several hits, ending with a headbutt.
Roy 1 Standard No Slashes upwards in front of himself.
Ryu Tapped: 3
Held: 1
Standard Yes[1] Tapped: Throws a straight jab, then a short-straight punch, and then a hook.
Held (far): Performs a strong, upwards-angled roundhouse kick.
Held (close): Throws an uppercut. (only exists in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate)
Samus 2 Standard No Jabs, then clubs downwards with her Arm Cannon.
Sheik 3 Rapid No Throws two knifehands, then a series of spearhand thrusts.
Shulk 3 Standard Yes Throws a jab and a side kick, then slashes upwards with the Monado.
Simon 3 Standard No[2] Holds a short length of the Vampire Killer in his hands to strike twice with its tip, then rapidly swirls it around in front of himself for multiple hits.
Snake 3 Standard No Throws two jabs and then performs a spinning roundhouse kick.
Sonic 3 Standard Yes Throws two jabs, then a kick.
Squirtle 3 Standard Yes Super Smash Bros. Brawl Throws a jab, performs an inwards tail whip, and flips forwards for a downwards tail drop.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Throws a jab, performs a jumping kick, and then spins its tail in a modified roundhouse.
Toon Link 3 Standard No Slashes twice, then stabs straight forwards.
Villager Super Smash Bros. 4 2
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate 3
Super Smash Bros. 4 Unique
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Rapid
Yes[3] Super Smash Bros. 4 Throw a pair of alternating hooks.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Throws a pair of alternating hooks, then begins to throw a faster chain of hooks ending with a straight punch.
Wario 2 Standard No Throws a pair of alternating hooks.
Wii Fit Trainer 3 Standard Yes Throws a forwards spearhand while simultaneously striking backwards with a back kick, then performs a knee thrust, and finally lunges forwards with a stomp that can bury.
Wolf 3 Standard Yes Performs two claw slashes, then leans forwards for a final blow.
Yoshi 2 Standard No Throws two simple kicks.
Young Link 3 Choosable No Slashes twice with the Kokiri Sword, then either stabs forwards a single time or performs a very fast series of strikes.
Zelda Super Smash Bros. MeleeSuper Smash Bros. BrawlSuper Smash Bros. 4 1
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate 2
Super Smash Bros. MeleeSuper Smash Bros. BrawlSuper Smash Bros. 4 Standard
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Rapid
No Super Smash Bros. MeleeSuper Smash Bros. BrawlSuper Smash Bros. 4 Releases three magic sparks from her outstretched palm.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Releases two magic sparks from her palm, then braces herself slightly as she unleashes a larger surge of magic for several hits.
Zero Suit Samus 3 Standard Yes Throws a jab, strikes inwards with the Paralyzer, and then thrusts her elbow forwards.
  1. ^ a b Holding the attack button uses the appropriate held variant of the attack, but the attack can still effectively be made consecutive by repeatedly tapping the attack button quickly.
  2. ^ a b Holding the attack button instead enables free whip movement.
  3. ^ Repeats the first two punches instead of just the first.

Notable neutral attacks[edit]

  • Pikachu, Pichu, and Isabelle all have incredibly fast jabs that hit once and, from Brawl onwards, are consecutive. Each one is easily capable of chaining into itself, especially at low damage percentages. This may lead to the false conception that they are rapid jabs.
  • Meta Knight is the only character with a one-stage rapid jab. Even pressing the attack button once causes him to commit to at least one full cycle of the attack, leading an in-game tip to humorously state that Meta Knight "doesn't do 'standard attacks'." In Brawl, it is also one of only two jabs in the series to hit all around the character instead of just in front of them.
  • Olimar's jab in Brawl consists of two headbutts that deal direct damage and knockback; however, the resultant flicks from his antenna have their own hitboxes which strike for extra damage, but deal no knockback. This makes it the only jab in the series to have a damaging hitbox which does not make opponents flinch.
  • Mega Man's neutral attack is the only one that is a projectile. It also flows freely with his near-identical forward tilt and neutral aerial, effectively allowing Mega Man to fire his Mega Buster while walking and jumping without interruption.
  • The first hit of Wii Fit Trainer's jab combines a spearhand with a back kick for an attack that hits on both sides of their body, being one of only two jabs to do so alongside Meta Knight's in Brawl. Also unique to Wii Fit Trainer's jab is that the third hit, when sweetspotted at the foot, can bury opponents. It is the only jab capable of burying, or inflicting any movement-inhibiting effect for that matter.
  • Both Robin's standard jab ender and rapid jab involve the use of tomes, and thereby have the unique ability both to affect their special moves and be affected by them. Arcfire and Robin's standard jab ender draw from the same durability meter, as do Elwind and their rapid jab. The longer the rapid jab is held, the more durability will be sapped from Elwind. If one or both of these tomes is broken, the relevant jab ender(s) cannot be used until it respawns.
  • Ryu has two different attacks which can be achieved through a jab input; in Ultimate, he and his new echo fighter Ken each have three. For both characters, quickly pressing the attack button instead of holding it results in a three-stage jab. However, the second and third stages of this jab can only be accessed upon a successful hit. Otherwise, repeatedly tapping the button will simply cause the first hit to be used repeatedly, in a modified form of consecutiveness. Both of these properties are unique to Ryu and Ken. Holding the button results in a different attack altogether, which is not a natural combo. In Ultimate, Ryu and Ken are also the only fighters to have proximity normals, of which their jabs are an example. Holding the attack button while close to an opponent results in them instead performing an attack similar to their held up tilt, but with virtually no knockback.
  • Inkling's rapid jab covers opponents in ink. If Inkling runs out of ink, the rapid jab can still be used, but it will possess no hitboxes.
  • If the attack button is held instead of pressed during Simon and Richter's jab, they will hold the Vampire Killer forwards in front of themselves and remain stationary. Input from the control stick while the button is being held will cause them to rotate their whip, loosely flinging a short section of it in the held direction. This can destroy small projectiles, and its weak knockback can be used for unusual gimps, but its overall utility is rather limited.
  • Particularly in Smash 4, Villager's jab functions quite unlike any other in the series. It is a two-hit natural combo whose second hit can be cancelled back into the first hit, allowing for an endless volley of repeating punches. It is also a consecutive jab that uniquely repeats both hits instead of just the first one. Both of these factors may lead players to the conclusion that it is a rapid jab, but this is inaccurate, as it lacks a finishing hit. Its nature as a repeating and consecutive natural combo also means the time between hits can be shortened by rapidly pressing the attack button instead of holding it, which cannot be done for any true rapid jab. In Ultimate, a true rapid jab was added as a third stage of the natural combo, giving it a proper final hit, but its unique two-hit consecutiveness remains.
  • In all games, there is only one character with a four-stage neutral attack: Captain Falcon prior to Smash 4, and Bayonetta from Smash 4 onwards. Both are unique in other ways, as well.
    • Particularly in Melee, the third hit of Captain Falcon's neutral attack – a knee strike – is quick, safe, highly damaging, and overall an excellent way to end close-range strings. However, on the NTSC version of the game, it is notoriously difficult to trigger this attack without also using the notoriously slow and ineffective rapid jab that follows it. Because of the difficulty in utilizing this attack, combined with its importance in Captain Falcon's moveset, this portion of the attack became well-known enough to garner its own nickname, the Gentleman.
    • Bayonetta's rapid jab is the only one in the series that cannot be held indefinitely. After being held for sufficiently long, even if it isn't hitting anything, the rapid jab's final hit will come out with no input from the player, and the attack will end.

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]