Super Smash Bros. series
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Toon Link's down aerial is an example of a stall-then-fall move.

A stall-then-fall is a type of aerial maneuver in all installments of the Super Smash Bros. series. Types of stall-then-falls vary from kicks to hip drops. No matter the type, all stall-then-falls are similar in function. Stall-then-fall special moves exist in all games of the series, and stall-then-fall aerial attacks have existed since Super Smash Bros. Brawl.



The attack is as simple as the name: the character pauses briefly in the air, then rockets downward, usually with a kick. The downward falling speed is much greater than the character's usual falling speed, even while fast falling. Most of these attacks launch the character diagonally forward and downwards, but a few of them (Toon Link's, Mr. Game & Watch's, Bowser's, Kirby's, Yoshi's, and Banjo & Kazooie's) do not, instead launching straight downwards or allowing the direction to be controlled (Mr. Game & Watch and Bowser's down aerial in Super Smash Bros. 4).

Landing shockwave[edit]

If the character performing the move hits the stage while the attack is still being executed, there is a fairly large landing lag with most of them. However, some of these moves have an additional hitbox upon hitting the ground, creating a shockwave effect that extends a short distance to either side of the character.


Stall-then-fall attacks have their downwards movement disabled if the character attempts to use such a move to cancel hitstun from vertical knockback they have recently received. This behaviour originates from Brawl, where aerial attacks can be used to cancel hitstun, in order to prevent this from being exploited to avoid being KOed vertically. Since special moves cannot cancel hitstun, this does not occur with moves such as the Falcon Kick. In certain situations this can result in hovering motionless in the air, known as the down air stall. However as of the 4.0.0 update for Ultimate this behaviour has been patched out altogether.

Platform stalling[edit]

If one of the down aerial stall-then-fall attacks is used immediately after beginning to fall through a platform, the stall will cause the character to move slightly above the platform, so that they fall immediately directly on to it. This is somewhat useful with Toon Link and Mr. Game and Watch, who have the shortest landing lags on their stall-then-fall aerials, and can use this technique to land several quick hits.


Certain stall-then-fall aerials will cause the user to skid down slopes a bit, mainly Toon Link's and Mr. Game & Watch's. Depending on the steepness of the slope, this can be a tiny distance or a huge one, and at steep slopes, the character slides a large distance at a speed that is often faster than their dash. This could be used to keep an opponent from taking advantage of the long landing lag, and also for mindgames.


Stall-then-falls are useful for sweet-spotting the edge. The player can use the attack in midair, fall to below the level of the edge, and use their midair jump or up special move. They must be very high above the bottom blast line to avoid a self-destruct.

Only Yoshi's Yoshi Bomb and Bowser's Bowser Bomb can sweetspot the ledge automatically while falling. The rest do not do so, continuing downwards.

Extra jump (Melee only)[edit]

In Super Smash Bros. Melee, Captain Falcon and Ganondorf could use another midair jump after using Falcon Kick and Wizard's Foot, respectively.

Juggling counters[edit]

Some characters are vulnerable to juggling due to floatiness, such as Kirby and Toon Link. Having a stall-then-fall move allows the character to be less vulnerable to juggling due to the increased falling speed, which will make it difficult for the juggler to respond quickly.


Stall-then-falls have a long duration. If used while off of the stage, they can result in a self-destruct. Therefore, it is advisable to not use the attack off the edge at all (except for sweet-spotting - see above).

Characters with stall-then-fall attacks[edit]

  • Banjo & Kazooie's down aerial — the Beak Buster from Banjo-Kazooie, in which Kazooie dives down beak first. The start of the move meteor smashes opponents.
  • Bayonetta's down aerial — She front flips and dives down heel-first. The heel meteor smashes opponents. Surprisingly low duration, allowing quick recovery.
  • Bowser:
    • Bowser Bomb — Bowser faces the screen, takes a sitting position midair, then plummets. Has considerable landing lag, but greatly damages shields. Bowser will self-destruct if used over a pit, but he can still grab ledges during the attack. Meteors in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
    • down aerial in Super Smash Bros. 4 — Bowser withdraws into his shell then falls. The first hitbox can meteor smash, while the others send the opponent at a meteor smash angle or diagonally upward, depending on what frame they connect. Can be slightly directed left or right. This move also grants Bowser minor additional height; more than other stall-then-falls.
  • Captain Falcon's Falcon Kick — when performed in the air, Captain Falcon extends his leg and shoots diagonally downward in a blaze of fire.
  • Corrin's down aerial — The Dragon Fang transforms his legs into spears and Corrin dives straight downward. The only multi-hit stall-then-fall, and it meteor smashes throughout with weak, set knockback. There is a shockwave when landing before the move completes that launches opponents diagonally at an nonadjustable angle.
  • Ganondorf:
    • Wizard's Foot — when performed in the air, Ganondorf extends his leg and shoots diagonally downward surrounded by dark energy. Spikes during all hitboxes in Melee, but meteor smashes in the initial falling hitbox in Brawl and Smash 4.
    • Flame Choke in Super Smash Bros. 4 — The only grab-based stall-and-fall, Ganondorf dashes forward to choke his opponent. If successful in midair, the pair rise slightly before slamming the foe to the ground. Unlike other stall-then-falls, this only damages the grabbed opponent. Ganondorf can steer left or right just after grabbing his opponent, which can be combined with the stall to prevent or cause Ganoncide.
  • Greninja's down aerial — Plummets incredibly quickly. Can't be controlled and has no super armor. If Greninja strikes an opponent, they will backflip upwards off them and regain control, consuming a midair jump. The first hitbox meteor smashes. Lasts a long time, has no landing hitbox, and suffers plenty of landing lag, making it very punishable.
  • Ice Climbers's down aerial (Brawl onwards) — the pair thrusts their hammers below them and then drop down. Falls slower than most stall-then-falls in Brawl, but with less landing lag than most. They also do not "stall" for very long (seemingly not at all), making the move less predictable.
  • Kirby's Stone — during the stall, Kirby transforms into an invincible stone and plummets. The stone remains invincible after hitting the ground, other than grabs. Can be cancelled midair by pressing the special button. Won't cancel automatically until some time after hitting the ground.
  • Mii Brawler's Head-On Assault — Flips around while airborne then crashes down headfirst, attacking anyone it hits.
  • Min Min's down aerial - She extends her leg outward and then dives downward.
  • Mr. Game & Watch's Down aerial (Brawl onwards) — pulls out a large key and rides it to the ground. Meteor smashes in the initial fall. Can be directed left or right slightly.
  • Richter's down aerial — works exactly like Simon's down aerial.
  • Ridley's down aerial — stomps down with both feet. Meteors at the beginning, but has a good bit of landing lag.
  • Sheik's down aerial (Brawl onwards) — extends a leg and shoots diagonally downward. Can meteor smash in Super Smash Bros. 4.
  • Simon's down aerial — extends a leg and shoots diagonally downward. Meteor smashes at the beginning. If he hits an opponent, he bounces off, giving Simon a safe edgeguarding option.
  • Sonic's down aerial — extends a leg and shoots diagonally downward. Can meteor smash in Super Smash Bros. 4.
  • Steve's down aerial- Generates an anvil below himself, then stands on it as it falls. The first example of a stall-then-fall that can be cancelled, in which case Steve will jump off the anvil as it continues to fall. However, it requires one piece of iron to perform and will fail if he has no iron.
  • Toon Link's down aerial — Points his sword down, then falls quickly. Meteor smashes in the initial fall. In Brawl, bounces off successful targets and loses downward momentum. In Super Smash Bros. 4, it does not bounce off opponents, making it riskier.
  • Wario-Man's down aerial (Brawl and Smash 4) — Plummets downward head-first, meteor smashing anyone in the way.
  • Yoshi's Yoshi Bomb — when Yoshi starts the attack in the air, he flips once then butt-stomps downward. When Yoshi hits the ground, damaging stars appear on either side. Like the Bowser Bomb, this will always self-destruct if used over a pit.
  • Zero Suit Samus's down aerial - extends a leg and shoots diagonally downward. Falling hitbox is a meteor smash.

See also[edit]