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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. While special move stall-then-falls existed in all four games, aerial attack stall-then-falls only exist in Brawl and Smash 4.



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, and Yoshi's) do not, instead launching straight downwards or that the direction can 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 this is still possible in SSB4, the feature remains. 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.

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 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]

  • Bowser:
    • Bowser Bomb - when Bowser starts the attack, he faces the screen and takes a sitting position midair. He falls downward lower body first. Has considerable landing lag. This will always result in an SD if used off the edge; however, it can grab ledges.
    • Down aerial in Super Smash Bros. 4 - Bowser gets into his shell and falls downward. The initial hitbox meteor smashes while the remaining hitboxes send the opponent vertically, or at a spike angle, depending on what part of the hitbox connects. Can be directed left or right slightly. The move also grants Bowser some small additional height, higher than the other aerial stall-then-falls.
  • Yoshi: Yoshi Bomb - when Yoshi starts the attack in the air, he flips once then shoots downward. When Yoshi hits the ground, damage-dealing stars appear on either side of Yoshi. Like the Bowser Bomb, this will always result in an SD if used off the edge.
  • Wario-Man: Down aerial - Plummets downward head-first, meteor smashing anyone in the way.
  • Sheik: Down aerial (Brawl and Smash 4) - extends a leg and launches herself downward diagonally. In Super Smash Bros. 4, the move can meteor smash.
  • Ganondorf:
    • Wizard's Foot - when performed while airborne, Ganondorf extends his leg, then shoots downward diagonally whilst surrounded by dark energy. Spikes during all hitboxes in Melee; meteor smashes in the initial falling hitbox in Brawl and Smash 4.
    • Flame Choke in Super Smash Bros. 4 - Ganondorf dashes forward to grab his opponent, and if successful while in midair, the pair will rise up slightly before descending quickly and forcefully slamming his foe to the ground. Unlike other stall-then-falls, this move only affects the grabbed opponent, as it deals no damage to anyone during the descent nor does it produce a harmful shockwave. Ganondorf can steer to the left or right shortly after grabbing his opponent, which when combined with the stall function gives him an option to prevent Ganoncide.
  • Toon Link: Down aerial - Points his blade downward, then falls quickly. Meteor smashes in the initial fall. If he hits an opponent with this attack, he bounces off, and the attack acts like a normal aerial attack. In Super Smash Bros. 4, it does not bounce off opponents, making it more risky to use.
  • Zero Suit Samus: Down aerial - extends a leg, then shoots downward diagonally. Falling hitbox is a meteor smash.
  • Kirby: Stone - during the Stall portion of the move, Kirby is transforming to a stone. When he hits the ground, he remains invincible, although he can be grabbed out of it. This move can be cancelled in midair by pressing the special button.
  • Captain Falcon: Falcon Kick - when performed while airborne, Captain Falcon extends his leg, then shoots downward diagonally whilst surrounded by fire.
  • Ice Climbers: Down aerial (Brawl only) - thrusts their hammers beneath them and then drop down. Speed is lower than most of the other stall-then-fall aerials in Brawl, but landing lag is shorter than most. They also do not "stall" for very long (seemingly not at all), making the move less predictable.
  • Mr. Game & Watch: Down aerial (Brawl and Smash 4) - pulls out key and rides it to the ground. Meteor smashes in the initial fall. Can be directed left or right slightly.
  • Sonic: Down aerial - extends a leg, then shoots downward diagonally. In Super Smash Bros. 4, the move can meteor smash.
  • Greninja: Down aerial - Strikes downwards incredibly fast. Cannot be controlled while it is active, and does not gain super armor. If it makes contact with an opponent, it recovers upwards with a backflip, while regaining control. The initial hitbox meteor smashes
  • Mii Brawler: Head-On Assault -The Mii Brawler flips around while airborne and comes crashing down headfirst, attacking anyone it hits.
  • Corrin: Down aerial - Transforms his legs into spears via Dragon Fang and dives straight downward. The move is the only stall-then-fall drill, and it meteor smashes throughout the entirety of the move with weak and set knockback. There is a shockwave upon landing before the move is completed, sending opponents diagonally away. The angle cannot be adjusted.
  • Bayonetta: Down aerial - She front flips and dives down heel first. Hitting with the heel meteor smashes opponents. Surprisingly low duration, allowing her to recover out of it quickly.

See also[edit]

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