Sephiroth snaps his fingers and shoots a thin beam of light forward. If the beam hits an opponent, they become surrounded by a circling ball of darkness. After 4 seconds, the ball flashes and strikes the target. Multiple balls can be stacked on the same opponent; the move can be charged by holding the button in order to stick up to 3 at once, and a total of 5 can be on a single opponent. Existing balls will have between 0.5 and 3 seconds added to their attack timer if the move hits again, to a maximum of 3.5 seconds. If the balls are currently attacking an opponent, no more can be added until the attack concludes. Each ball is an individual projectile that can be reflected, absorbed, or pocketed, though they have no hitbox against the target until they attack. The balls can hurt other players if contact is made, which may use them up.
If the control stick is tilted in the opposite direction after the side special input is performed, Sephiroth will turn around and perform Shadow Flare behind him. This can be used for mindgames.
When using the move, Sephiroth may say 目障りだ ("Annoying." or "Pathetic."), 焼き付ける ("Burn."), 跪け ("Kneel."), 滅びる ("Perish."), くらえ ("Take this.") or simply chuckle.
Shadow Flare is a spell that first appeared in Final Fantasy III as a learnable action through the Geomancer class and has since been featured in various other games, often as a dark counterpart to the Flare spell. In Final Fantasy VII, Shadow Flare was a spell used by Safer Sephiroth and was one of the strongest non-Gravity spells in the game. Its depiction in Smash more closely resembles its iteration in the Kingdom Hearts series and in turn, the Dissidia series as flaming dark orbs that surrounded the target before blasting them.