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Shadow Ball

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Shadow Ball
Mewtwo Neutral B SSBU.gif
Releasing Shadow Ball in Ultimate.
User Mewtwo
Universe Pokémon
Article on Bulbapedia Shadow Ball (move)

Shadow Ball (シャドーボール, Shadow Ball) is Mewtwo's neutral special move.


When the special button is pressed, the Shadow Ball will begin charging. It can be fired at any time by pressing the special button again while charging. It will deal gradually more damage and knockback the bigger it gets. The player can cancel the move and save the charge by shielding, rolling, spot dodging, or, to cancel with no additional action, by lightly tapping the shield button. 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 Super Smash Bros. Melee, only Mewtwo's left hand glows.

Unlike most auto-charge moves, even when Shadow Ball is fully charged, Mewtwo will continue to hold it until the player releases it or cancels. In Melee, a charging Shadow Ball does electric damage and traps an opponent upon contact; from Super Smash Bros. 4 onward, it no longer has a hitbox while charging. Once fired, the ball will travel in a wave-like path, which can make it hard to aim but equally difficult to avoid. A fully charged Shadow Ball does heavy damage and knockback, and if shielded, it will damage a shield by about half health. It explodes on contact with a surface, though the explosion is aesthetic only and lacks a hitbox.

The move has a considerable amount of recoil when used in mid-air, and as of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, it will push Mewtwo back about a quarter of the length of Final Destination, 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.

Forward throw[edit]

Mewtwo's forward throw also involves Shadow Balls. Mewtwo will telekinetically throw its opponent forward, then hit them with five small Shadow Balls. Unlike the standard version, these travel very fast and in a straight line. They can hit other opponents in addition to the one thrown and can be SDI'd, reflected, or absorbed. They do not vary based on the charge of the special move, and do not consume its charge.


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.

  • Fully charged: to throw a fully charged Shadow Ball quickly in the opposite direction, press the special button and immediately tap the direction to face (but not at the same time, as that would result in using Confusion instead). In the air, it works the same way. This can be used as a recovery technique, as it will turn Mewtwo around to face the other direction so the recoil can send it towards the stage.
  • Not full-charged (or not at all): as with all neutral specials, Shadow Ball can be used to change direction in the air. For this, use the aforementioned inputs in the reverse order: first tap the target direction to face, and then press the special button 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 grab 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.

Instructional quote[edit]

Super Smash Bros. Melee trophy description MewtwoHeadSSBM.png Shadow Ball traces a jagged path once released; the longer Mewtwo holds it, the more powerful it becomes.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Move List MewtwoHeadSSBU.png Fires an energy projectile. Charging it for longer increases its damage and launch power.


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

1. Shadow Ball
"North America Fire an energy projectile. Charging it for longer increases destructive power but also recoil.
Europe Fires 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).


Shadow Ball being used by Mewtwo in Pokémon Gold.

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. However, its animation in Melee is distinctly reminiscent of the animation in Generation II, such as in its trajectory and coloration. It was available as TM30 from its introduction up to Ultra Sun & Ultra Moon, after which it became TM43 in Let's Go Pikachu & Let's Go Eevee and TR33 in Sword & Shield. It can be taught to a large variety of Pokémon, including Mewtwo and several other Psychic-types.


Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name
Japan Japanese シャドーボール, Shadow Ball
UK English Shadow Ball
France French Ball'Ombre
Germany German Spukball
Spain Spanish Bola Sombra
Italy Italian Palla Ombra
China Chinese 暗影球
South Korea Korean 섀도볼, Shadow Ball
Netherlands Dutch Schaduwbal
Russia Russian Шар Тьмы


  • Lucario's Aura Sphere is very similar in operation to Mewtwo's Shadow Ball, although Aura Sphere follows a straight path while Shadow Ball keeps an erratic pattern, and Lucario must be at about 150% damage for Aura Sphere to deal similar knockback and damage at full charge. In SSB4, the charge no longer damages opponents (along with their hand-cupping positions being switched around), further distinguishing the move.
    • Lucario too is able to learn Shadow Ball in the Pokémon games, though only via TM30 or TR33 like several other Pokémon (including Mewtwo). Similarly, Mewtwo can naturally learn Aura Sphere via level up.
  • 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.