Reverse aerial rush

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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 and Super Smash Bros. 4. It's done by running and canceling the turnaround animation with a jump. It works as a very useful way to approach with back airs and jump-canceled up-smashes.


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 Smash 4, 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 5 frames. 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, 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 Smash 4 it requires a jump input from the player. Since the special stick inputs last 1 frame only it reduces less momentum overall and is considered to be a more effective input, albeit requiring different controller settings.

Characters that notably benefit[edit]

  • 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 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, though it isn't one of Ganondorf's best options.
  • 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.
  • 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 genereally considered his best move, with great KO power when it first comes out, pretty 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 isn't recommended much, 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 compared to his other aerials, can be comboed out of Forward Throw, and has decent knockback.
  • 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.
  • 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), making it a much more reliable as a surprise KO option (similar to Ness's RAR bair). However, it has a weak sourspot that cannot KO at even 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.

External Links[edit]

Project M RAR guide.

ESAM SSB4 RAR guide.

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