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Rock Smash

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Rock Smash
Rock Smash SSB4.jpeg
Rock Smash in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U.
User Charizard
Universe Pokémon
Article on Bulbapedia Rock Smash (move)

Rock Smash (いわくだき, Rock Smash) is Charizard's side special move in Super Smash Bros. Brawl and down special move in Super Smash Bros. 4.


When using Rock Smash, Charizard takes a large rock and headbutts it, shattering it into many pieces in the process. When Charizard headbutts the rock, it deals high damage and knockback, while the fragments deal much lower damage and knockback, but they can hit multiple times to build on extra damage.

In Super Smash Bros. Brawl[edit]

Found on Smash Bros. Dojo. Pokemon Trainer's Charizard using Rock Smash.
Charizard using Rock Smash in Brawl.

In Super Smash Bros. Brawl, the head butt deals a rather impressive 18% damage, along with strong vertical knockback, making it a great KO option. After the rock has shattered, the rock shatters into five smaller pieces that fly forward in a spread effect, dealing 5% damage each. The fragments are considered to be a projectile, so they can be reflected (although they cannot be absorbed). If the headbutt and all rock fragments hit, it will deal a massive 43%, though this can only occur in normal matches when Rock Smash is landed point blank on a low-damage opponent. However, against bosses, Rock Smash is an extremely effective move, as their massive size and inability to flinch ensures they will always get hit by all the rock fragments when hit with Rock Smash; this is so effective that Charizard can defeat all bosses faster than any other character in Brawl, and holds the world record time in Boss Battles, even on Intense difficulty (barring Peach with stitch-face turnips, which requires extreme luck to pull multiple stitch-faces across every Boss Battle and incredibly precise, tool-assisted inputs). Rock Smash's massive damage potential also means it is one of the few moves that can break a full health Smash Ball in one hit.

Rock Smash is easily considered to be one of Charizard's best moves in Brawl, as it is a damaging and powerful KO move which can be used on both the ground and in the air. The fragments can also build on some extra damage and they give the move solid shield pressuring potential, draining shield damage, easily shield poking and generally making the move difficult to punish. Even if the opponent hits Charizard before it headbutts the rock, the fragments can prematurely break early, building up damage on the opponent (allow Charizard must be hit in its upper body and the opponent must naturally be in front of Charizard). This can occur as early as frame 1 of Rock Smash's animation, allowing it to be used as a very quick, defensive damage racking tool. Because of these factors, Rock Smash is a excellent move, being a great approach tool, pressure tool, defensive tool and it is all around a great move to rack damage or to score KOes. It is one of Charizard's most useful moves as a result.

In Super Smash Bros. 4[edit]

In Super Smash Bros. 4, Rock Smash has now become Charizard's down special (replacing Pokémon Change due to Charizard becoming a solo character), as Flare Blitz has become its new side special. Besides the move being remapped, it has seen some changes.

One positive change the move received is that it now has super armor throughout most of startup. This allows the move to tank through attacks and hard punish them more consistently.

However, Rock Smash has mostly seen negative changes which hinder the move overall. The headbutt now deals a less impressive 14%, noticeably reducing its knockback and subsequently making it a worse KO move overall. The fragments now also only deal 3% each, making the move only deal 29% total in the rare instance where all hits connect.

In addition to this, the fragments can no longer prematurely break if Charizard is hit out of the move early. This means that the move having super armor is essentially a trade off. On the one hand, it is more consistent (being able to fully protect Charizard against all attacks from any angle, which the fragments could not do) and it can lead into a stronger punish. On the other hand, this makes the super armor less safe against low lag attacks, as players can now hit Charizard during its armor frames and potentially shield/dodge the rest of the attack, as opposed to instantly getting hit by the fragments, while Charizard receives potentially minimal lag depending on the strength of the attack. Along with this, the super armor does not start until frame 5 (as opposed to the fragments, which were a frame 1 option), making it a slower defensive option.

The move also has smaller hitboxes, along with having 10 more frames of ending lag, making it a more punishable move overall. Because of these changes, Rock Smash is a less effective move overall, although it still remains a solid tool in Charizard's moveset.

In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate[edit]

Due to Charizard becoming part of the Pokémon Trainer's team again in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Pokémon Change replaced Rock Smash as its down special move, with Charizard retaining Flare Blitz as its side special.

Instructional quotes[edit]

Super Smash Bros. Brawl instruction booklet CharizardHeadSSBB.png Produce a boulder and headbutt it. The rock fragments damage foes.
Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS case foldout CharizardHeadSSB4-3.png Headbutt a rock, and send the shards flying.


Special Move customization was added in Super Smash Bros. 4. These are the variations:

1. Rock Smash 2. Sinking Skull 3. Rock Hurl
"Headbutt a rock to send fragments flying. Both the headbutt and the fragments can hurt rivals." "Pound opponents into the ground, where they'll be stuck for a little while." "Similar to Rock Smash. The rock shards fly higher, but they cause less damage."
  1. Rock Smash: Default.
  2. Sinking Skull: Removes the rock and armor, instead burying opponents with a head smash, much like Headbutt. Can meteor smash aerial opponents below Charizard with the sweetspot on its head.
  3. Rock Hurl: The rock shards do not deal as much damage, but they fly higher. However, the move's super armor comes out on frame 1.
    In Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, this variation is a Challenge unlock, only obtainable by using Charizard to reach a score of 100m (328 ft.) in Home-Run Contest without using the bat.


Rock Smash being used by Charizard in Pokémon Gold.

Rock Smash is a physical Fighting-type move introduced in Generation II. It's alternated between TM and HM status across the series, but has consistently been an important field move up until Generation VII phased the concept out in favor of more convenient options. Rock Smash is typically distributed early, being a move to break rocks, allowing players to pass to otherwise inaccessible areas. Breaking these rocks also has a chance to reveal a Pokemon, usually a Geodude or Shuckle. In battle, Rock Smash originally had base 20 power, but was increased to 40 in Generation IV. It also has a 50% chance to lower the target's Defense, though this effect is only vaguely replicated in Smash with its variable damage output. Charizard has been able to learn Rock Smash whenever it's available as a TM or HM across the series.

Rock Smash's Smash incarnation appears to reference its Generation II incarnation, with the stone shards flying out being reminiscent of its battle animation. However, as of Generation IV, the move is specifically described and animated as a punch, rather than a simple attack, unlike the Smash version.

Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name
Japan Japanese いわくだき
UK English Rock Smash
France French Éclate-Roc
Germany German Zertrümmerer
Spain Spanish Golpe Roca
Italy Italian Spaccaroccia


  • While performing Rock Smash, any attack that interrupts Charizard will cause it to visibly drop the boulder. However, any attack that actually goes through Rock Smash's attack frames will simply make the boulder itself disappear, after the visible hit-lag.
  • This is the first special move to have its directional input changed throughout the series since the addition of side specials in Melee, and one of six to do so overall. The other five are Boomerang, Pound, PK Fire, Reflect Barrier and Explosive Flame.
    • Out of these, Rock Smash is the only one to have been removed from a character's moveset at any point (as Reflect Barrier was simply merged with Counter).
  • Charizard's use of Rock Smash—summoning a boulder and then breaking it—would later be referenced by Empoleon's use of the same move in Pokkén Tournament.

External links[edit]