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Ridley Down B SSBU.gif
Ridley using Skewer (sweetspotted).
User Ridley
Universe Metroid

Skewer (デススタッブ, Death Stab) is Ridley's down special move in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.


Ridley attacking at Skewer’s sweet spot. Note the sweet spot is causing the Special Zoom effect.

Ridley pauses and winds up before performing a sudden tail stab. It has a long startup and hits some distance away. It does a mere 5% of damage and flinches if he hits with the base or very tip of his tail, but if the sweet spot at the center of Ridley's tail barb connects, the target will be impaled while being dealt almost 10 times as much damage: 45% with initial stab and a further 10% when Ridley retracts his tail, for among the highest total damage of a single attack across the entire roster. Conversely, both the sour spot and the sweet spot deal very little shield damage, however. The sweet spot hit causes the opponent to crumple, similarly to a fully charged Focus Attack. Despite requiring very specific precision, it is capable of piercing two opponents at once, though the extra damage from Ridley yanking out his tail will only apply to the "main" target. While the sweet spot deals extreme damage, the opponent gets to act 4 frames before Ridley, making followup attacks based on reading the opponent's getup option. During the sweet spotted Skewer animation, Ridley is invulnerable and cannot be made to flinch or take damage. Skewer is one of the few special moves in the game that will cause a Special Zoom.

When landed in the air, Skewer will simply send the victim at a roughly 30 degree arch after the tail yank, and has low set knockback. During the animation, neither Ridley or the stabbed victim are affected by gravity, though they will descend after Ridley yanks his tail out, meaning the crumple animation can still occur if both are low enough to the ground. Ridley is actually able to act before the opponent in this circumstance, but the launch distance and Ridley's fall speed prevents any true follow ups.

Due to the sweetspotted Skewer being considered a hit grab, it will ignore any armor from the opponent, including Joker's Rebel's Guard, Wario's Wario Waft, and Ganondorf's Warlock Punch. While certain damage reduction attributes such as King K. Rool's Belly Super Armor will still apply, the crumple state and animation will play out as usual, though in King K. Rool's case specifically, the "Belly Armor Break" animation will play out instead. Because of this, only true intangibility can safely contact the sweet spot of Skewer without harm.

Due to the sheer damage output the move deals in a single hit, it's possible to OHKO Ridley if the sweet spot activates certain counters, such as Tetrakarn, Vision or Counter Surge[1]. However, due to Skewer being a disjointed move that can be used while falling, it's possible for Ridley to just barely be out of range for certain counters, like Palutena's. The highest percentage Ridley can handle is around 50% from King K. Rool's Gut Check.

The attack can't do damage behind a wall, and the sweet spot does not work in Home-Run Contest.

In version 8.0.0, characters in grab invulnerability take the full damage of the sweetspot, but do not undergo the hitstun or Special Zoom. In turn however, the move was buffed in raw damage even more, eclipsing Roy and Chrom's Flare Blade in damage and becoming the most damaging attack out of all playable characters if it causes crumple and connects fully. The damage buff has also allowed Ridley to still break King K. Rool's Belly Super Armor in one hit despite the latter's HP buff to their ability.

While Ridley is unable to cause the crumple animations on various boss characters and Assist Trophies, they still endure the full damage of Skewer, and can even instantly knock out some Assist Trophies.

Instructional quote[edit]

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Move List RidleyHeadSSBU.png Stabs forward with the sharp end of its tail. With the right positioning, this can be a debilitating blow!


Many of Ridley's attacks in the Metroid series involve jabbing with the large spike on the end of his tail, making this attack another of the many ways Ridley uses his tail to his advantage. Proteus Ridley performs a similar move during his boss fight in Metroid: Samus Returns, functioning nearly identically as a tail stab with long start up that does dangerous damage at the tail spike, though Ridley primarily uses it while airborne and aims it toward the ground here. The move could also be a reference to Metroid: Other M during the attack of Adolescent Ridley in Sector 1 where he tried to stab Samus. He has a delay in his attack, allowing her to shoot the tail with a Missile.

Outside of the games, Ridley used a very similar tail stab in the canonical 2002 Metroid manga to fatally wound Gray Voice, a Chozo who was one of Samus Aran's adoptive father figures and whose DNA was used to augment Samus's own.


Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name
Japan Japanese デススタッブ, Death Stab
UK English Skewer
France French Aiguillon mortel
Germany German Spieß
Spain Spanish Estocada mortal
Italy Italian Stoccata
China Chinese (Simplified) 死亡刺击
Taiwan Chinese (Traditional) 死亡刺擊
South Korea Korean 데스 스탭, Death Stab
Netherlands Dutch Spies
Russia Russian Жало


  • The animation of each fighter slowly crumpling to the ground after getting hit by Skewer is the same animation they use for being defeated in Stamina Mode if they are standing still and hit with a weak attack. It is one of five attacks in the series that is able to force fighters into this animation, along with Ryu's and Ken's fully-charged Focus Attack and three of Kazuya's moves (9th hit of 10-Hit Combo, Demon God Fist, and sweetspotted Devil Fist).
  • Skewer's sweetspot has high negative shield damage. In early versions of Ultimate, this resulted in the net damage to shields for a fresh Skewer sweetspot being equal to the base damage of the sourspot, 5%, giving the impression the sweetspot does not affect shields. It was done this way because there was no way to make a specific hitbox not damage shields, without it also piercing the shield, and the sweetspot would instantly break shields otherwise. However, in version 8.0.0, the damage of the sweetspot was increased by 5%, but the shield damage was not increased. Because of this, the sweetspot now deals more damage to shields than the sourspot, though it still does not deal a significant amount of damage to them.
  • If the attack sweetspots Nana, the noise will happen, but not the zoom effect.
  • Oddly, in Ridley's Move list page, neutral pronouns are used when describing Ridley striking with his tail, despite Ridley being male.
  • Originally, the patch notes for version 8.0.0 did not claim that Skewer could not affect opponents with grab invulnerability, causing it to be repeatedly reported as a glitch; Beefy Smash Doods, however, notably suggested it as an actual change in their video about changes in the patch. Nintendo later added an update for the patch notes on July 2nd, 2020, confirming the "glitch" was actually an intended nerf.[2]