Shadow Ball

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Shadow Ball
Releasing Shadow Ball in Ultimate.
User Mewtwo
Universe Pokémon
Article on Bulbapedia Shadow Ball (move)
Fires an energy projectile. Charging it for longer increases its damage and launch power.
—Description from Ultimate's Move List

Shadow Ball (シャドーボール, Shadow Ball) is Mewtwo's neutral special move in Super Smash Bros. Melee, Super Smash Bros. 4 and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. The move itself consists of Mewtwo concentrating shadow energy into a round ball to toss at opponents. It works as an auto-charge special.


The move begins by charging upon the B button being pressed and can be fired at any time by pressing B again while charging. The player can cancel the move and save the charge by shielding or rolling. Mewtwo can also charge the move in the air, where canceling it will make Mewtwo stop its charging animation normally as opposed to shielding or rolling.

When a full charge is saved, both of Mewtwo's hands will constantly glow with dark power. In Melee, only Mewtwo's left hand glows.

Unlike most auto-charge moves, even when it is fully charged, Mewtwo will continue to "charge" it until the player releases it or does a shield/roll cancel. In Melee, a charging Shadow Ball does electric damage and traps an opponent upon contact; in SSB4, it no longer has a hitbox while charging. Once fired, the ball will travel in a wave-shaped path, which makes it hard to aim but equally difficult to avoid. A fully charged Shadow Ball does heavy damage and knockback, and explodes on contact with a surface (though the explosion doesn't do anything).

The move has a considerable amount of recoil, especially when used in mid-air, so one must be careful not to use it too close to the edge. However, this can help with recovery if Mewtwo is facing in the opposite direction of the edge. The recoil causes Mewtwo to slide back about half the length of Flat Zone when it performs this move in midair but lands before the animation is complete. In later patches of Smash 4, however, Mewtwo suffers less recoil than before.

Forward throw[edit]

Mewtwo's forward throw also involves Shadow Balls. Mewtwo will telekinetically throw its opponent forward, then hit them with multiple small Shadow Balls. This throw will at minimum deal 9% damage, but in certain situations, the move can deal up to 18% damage. These Shadow Balls can be SDI'd, reflected, or absorbed.


Mewtwo starting to charge Shadow Ball to change direction midair in Melee.

There are two ways of B-reversing with Shadow Ball, depending on if it is full-charged or not.

  • Full-charged: to throw a full-charged Shadow Ball quickly in the opposite direction you are facing, press B and immediately tap the direction you want to face (but not at the same time, as that would result in using Confusion instead). In the air, it works the same way, and it can also be used as a recovery technique, due to allowing Mewtwo to face the other direction so the recoil can send it towards the stage; being the best way to utilize this technique.
  • Not full-charged (or not at all): as with all neutral B attacks, Shadow Ball can be used to change direction in the air. For this, use the keys exactly in the reverse order: first tap the direction you want to face, and then press B immediately. Combined with its ability to be quickly canceled with a shield button, this technique allows Mewtwo to be even more mobile in the air.

Shadow glitch[edit]

A closeup of Fox holding a shadow ball from the glitch.

The shadow glitch is a glitch exclusive to version 1.0 of Super Smash Bros. Melee. It was discovered by INF8, Veg, and Simna ibn Sind; it allows the Shadow Balls in Mewtwo's forward throw to be caught as items. This requires three characters: one Mewtwo, one character to catch the shadow ball, and one other character to be thrown.

The player must have Mewtwo grab and forward throw another player (this works well with Bowser). Then, they need to make the third character jump and air dodge into the resulting stream of Shadow Balls and press the Z button to catch one. This will not make the normal item-catching sound effect, so the player must look at the character's hands afterward to determine if the attempt was successful.

If the Shadow Ball is thrown, it will freeze the game unless it is quickly recaught.


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

1. Shadow Ball
"Fire an energy projectile. Charging it for longer increases destructive power but also recoil."
  1. Shadow Ball: Default.

Like the other DLC characters, Mewtwo lacks custom move variations (aside from the glitch ones in 1.0.6).


Mewtwo using a Shadow Ball in Mewtwo Strikes Back.

Shadow Ball is a Ghost-type attack in the Pokémon games. While it was introduced as an attack in the Generation II games, its first appearance in any form of Pokémon media was in the movie Mewtwo Strikes Back, where it was used by Mewtwo. It is available as TM30 in all games since its introduction, and it can be taught to a large variety of Pokémon, including Mewtwo and several other Psychic-types.



  • Lucario's Aura Sphere is very similar in operation to Mewtwo's Shadow Ball, although a fully charged Aura Sphere follows a straight path while the fully charged Shadow Ball in Melee keeps an erratic pattern. As of Mewtwo's addition to SSB4 the charge no longer damages opponents (along with their hand-cupping positions being switched around), further distinguishing the moves.
    • Lucario too is able to learn Shadow Ball in the Pokémon games, though only via TM30 like several other Pokémon (including Mewtwo). Similarly, Mewtwo can naturally learn Aura Sphere, albeit at very high levels.
  • When playing in Tiny Melee, a charging Shadow Ball will completely cover Mewtwo's body, making a sort of electric force-field that can only be broken through via an attack that has greater reach than that of the Shadow Ball.