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Reverse aerial rush

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Kirby performing a RAR back aerial.
Kirby performing a RAR back aerial in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U.

A reverse aerial rush (abbreviated as RAR) is a technique in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Super Smash Bros. 4 and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. It is done by running and canceling the turnaround animation with a jump. It works as a very useful way to approach with back aerials (and jump-canceled up smashes in Brawl and SSB4).


To perform a RAR in Brawl, the player must be running, and cannot be in the initial dash animation (limiting the usefulness of the RAR for characters with long initial dashes, such as Captain Falcon and Sonic). In SSB4, a RAR can be performed at any time during the dash animation as long as it does not coincide with the dash-dance window, which is the first five frames. In Ultimate, a RAR is possible during virtually any part of the initial dash. If the player presses the control stick backwards to turn around but jumps as soon as the turnaround begins, the character will jump backwards while keeping the running momentum. The result is a jump like a normal jump out of a run, except that the character is facing the other direction.

The main purpose of using a RAR is to attack with a back aerial with running momentum. This is especially helpful for characters with very strong or effective back aerials (e.g. Ike or Mr. Game & Watch) and/or slow or ineffective forward aerials (e.g. Falco). It is also useful for attacking a player behind with a special move or aerial.

RAR with Special Stick[edit]

With the C-Stick set to special moves and while a character is running, the player can press the C-Stick in the opposite direction of the run, and their character will then start a turnaround. In Brawl, this causes the character to jump (presumably a glitch), while in SSB4, it requires a jump input from the player. Since the special stick inputs last one frame only, it reduces less momentum overall and is considered to be a more effective input, albeit requiring different controller settings.

In Ultimate, pressing the C-Stick in the opposite direction the character is running in results in the character performing their side special in the opposite direction while grounded, rendering this method impossible.

Characters that notably benefit[edit]

  • Bayonetta - Bayonetta's back aerial is one of her few kill and spacing options. Her up aerial also benefits since its hitbox starts behind her, allowing her to make the most out of the move's fast start up and early knock back angle, the latter allowing more moves to connect.
  • Donkey Kong - his back aerial has very quick startup and is overall a good spacing and aerial approach tool, being much more reliable than his other aerials and most other of his moves outside of his forward tilt.
  • Falco - his back aerial is a viable aerial approach option due to its quick speed, fairly high power, and good ability to space.
  • Ganondorf - his back aerial is more reliable than his other aerials for aerial approaches due to having faster startup, and it can lead into other aerials offstage as well as kill the easiest out of his other aerials, though it is not one of Ganondorf's best options.
  • Captain Falcon - his back aerial has no nearly useless sourspot, unlike his knee, has bigger hitboxes, and less lag in general.
  • Ike - his back aerial is his fastest move in terms of startup, and is powerful and a great as a finisher or a move for aerial approaching.
  • Inkling - her back aerial has stronger knockback than her other options and is safe on shield with proper spacing.
  • Jigglypuff - its back aerial is a useful spacing and aerial approach option, and is very useful when the forward aerial is getting stale, due to it being one of Jigglypuff's few reliable KO options along with its DACUS.
  • King Dedede - his back aerial is generally considered his best move, with great KO power when it first comes out, fairly quick startup, and a somewhat long duration that can give the opponent trouble approaching.
  • Kirby - his back aerial is easily among his best moves, being great as a finisher, or for aerial approaches, spacing, and the like.
  • Lucas - his back aerial is a meteor smash, meaning it can be used for edgeguarding, though using it out of a RAR is not highly recommended, due to it being hard to hit with near the edge (the move has short range and the opponent needs to be close to Lucas for the meteor smash hitbox to hit), and Lucas having better edgeguarding options.
  • Mario - his back aerial has the best range of his aerial attacks, can be comboed out of his forward throw, and has decent knockback.
  • Mewtwo - Mewtwo's back aerial uses its tail to attack a long and wide area behind it. Coupled with the character's high ground and air speed, a RAR can be used for a quick and effective edgeguard wherein the opponent is walled out with repeated back aerials, similar to Jigglypuff's wall of pain.
  • Mr. Game & Watch - his back aerial (turtle) is disjointed, can space well, and is also an easy way to rack damage.
  • Ness - in certain situations, his back aerial out of a RAR can be unpredictable and has great KO power when sweetspotted. When sourspotted, it can set up a guaranteed up smash or jab.
  • Roy - In Ultimate, a neutral attack into RAR back aerial is one of Roy's quintessential KO combos, due to its effectiveness through a wide percent range and ability to close stocks very early, especially at the ledge. Roy's Echo Fighter, Chrom, shares this combo.
  • Snake - his back aerial is a decent KO option when his DACUS is getting predictable, though its very heavy landing lag means it should be used sparingly.
  • Toon Link - his back aerial, with its very low knockback, can lead into an offstage down aerial meteor smash, and start aerial combos.
  • Wolf - his back aerial is an excellent spacing tool, is very reliable to use for aerial approaches, and can be used as a finisher.
  • Yoshi - his back aerial is a great move to use against shielding opponents, and can rack damage fairly easily.
  • Zelda - her back aerial, the back Lightning Kick, has much faster startup than her forward aerial (the other version of the Lightning Kick, though note that these differences are less pronounced in Ultimate), making it a much more reliable as a surprise KO option (similar to Ness's RAR back aerial). However, it has a weak sourspot that cannot KO, even at Sudden Death percentages.
  • Zero Suit Samus - her back aerial has strong knockback and is a reliable finisher, much easier to hit with than the forward aerial. It is also a useful spacing and aerial approach option, even more effective when coupled with ZSS's high movement speed. However, her high short hop limits its effectiveness.
  • Cloud - his back aerial comes out notoriously fast, can auto-cancel in a short hop, kills reliably, and is a pseudo-combo starter into down tilt.
  • Corrin - Corrin's back aerial is a very reliable KO move at reasonable percentages, especially when compared with Corrin's forward aerial (which under normal circumstances is effectively useless for securing a KO, except via combos). The forward horizontal push the back aerial provides, paired with its disjoint, means it is a much safer option than Corrin's other aerials in many circumstances.
  • Joker - Joker's back aerial is extremely quick with low end lag and has a wide hitbox, making it one of his best approach tools. Offstage, it serves as a potent edgeguard. With Arsène, it is an effective onstage KO option.
  • Pichu - at high percentages, Pichu can drag down opponents with its RAR back aerial and finish them with a forward tilt. The dragdown RAR back aerial can also be used with down tilt and grab.
  • Ryu - in 1-on-1 matches, it is much harder for Ryu to land back aerials on opponents without first performing a reverse aerial rush, as he always faces his opponents while grounded. This also applies to Ken, Terry and Kazuya, who similarly always face their opponents in 1-on-1 matches.

External links[edit]

Project M RAR guide.

ESAM SSB4 RAR guide.