Stomp (archetype)

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Not to be confused with Sonic's Custom Neutral Special of the same name.

The stomp is a common move archetype in the Smash series that has been the down aerial of several characters. Stomps are single- or multi-hit aerials that involve the character stomping downwards. The single-hit stomps always have meteor smash properties on opponents they connect with, as does Lucas's. In Melee, single-hit variants are powerful (except in the case of Zelda's) and reliable meteor smashes. They have made very effective edge-guarding maneuvers and are very reliable combo starters at low to mid damages. In Brawl, stomps aren't as effective, though Zelda's got buffed. They're a large part of Ganondorf's metagame, acting as quick aerials he can easily autocancel, unlike every other single-hit stomp. In Melee, only one multi-hit variant existed: Peach's, and was fairly useful. In Brawl, a few other characters besides Peach (all newcomers; Lucas, Lucario, and Snake) have down aerials with more than one stomp, and all of them have final hits that deal average to above average knockback. Stomps tend to have sweet spots located on the character's feet and legs.

Characters with a single-hit stomp[edit]

  • Ganondorf: The most famous stomp, Ganondorf thrusts both his feet straight downwards, inflicting heavy damage and massive knockback, while electrifying foes it lands on. Its knockback is so powerful, it's the strongest meteor smash, as well as the strongest aerial attack, in both Melee and Brawl, by a considerable margin. Airborne opponents hit by it offstage are virtually guaranteed to be KO'd by it or sent down too far to recover if hit while having the slightest amount of damage (unless they meteor cancel near immediately in Melee). It's additionally so powerful it's the only meteor smash that has been an especially reliable KO move on grounded opponents (with it reliably KOing any grounded character below 100% or very slightly above it in the case of the most vertically resistant characters). It does however have some of the slowest start-up lag among aerials, but its surprisingly low ending lag makes it low risk to use offstage, and L-cancelling in Melee/auto-cancelling in Brawl make it very useable on grounded opponents. Its hitboxes are also massive, covering more than Ganondorf's entire very large body in Melee while covering most of it in Brawl, which help make the meteor surprisingly easier to land than most meteors despite the slow start-up.
  • Captain Falcon: Visually similar to Ganondorf's stomp, but weaker with smaller hitboxes while having faster start-up and ending lag. Captain Falcon has had the move in each Smash installment, with it being especially effective in Smash 64 and Melee, also containing the nipple spike. However, the move was nerfed in Brawl in about every area, most notably being given smaller hitboxes and the upper hitbox taking up a larger portion of Falcon's body while now hitting opponents forward, significantly reducing its edge-guarding and combo starting capabilities.
  • Donkey Kong: Donkey Kong stomps downwards with his right foot, while making a tough guy pose facing the screen. Donkey Kong has had this move in every Smash installment, though its animation was different in Smash 64, where he faced forward while stomping with both feet. It was powerful in Melee, but noticeably weaker than Ganondorf's and Falcon's stomps, while in Brawl, it had a significant power buff that made it the third strongest stomp after Ganondorf's and Zelda's, and one of the strongest meteors in the game. While slow and laggy, it has very large hitboxes covering most of Donkey Kong's body that all meteor smash, which has had made it one of the most reliable meteors.
  • Ness: Ness' stomp involves him turning his head around to look behind while stomping down with his right foot, which he has had in every Smash installment. The move is a bit peculiar among meteor smashes, where it has extremely high base knockback, being even stronger than Ganondorf's at 0%, but has low knockback scaling that make it not as effective as other meteors on damaged opponents, and make it incapable of KOing grounded opponents under 200%. Nonetheless, its base knockback is so high that it can KO offstage at even 0% if the opponent doesn't meteor cancel, especially in Smash 64 and Brawl, which has made it considered one of the most lethal meteors in those games where meteor cancelling is remarkably more difficult and less effective in the latter while being nonexistent in the former. Compared to other meteors, its start-up and ending lag isn't as slow, but the move has smaller hitboxes than other stomps (though they still cover most of Ness' body).
  • Charizard: Charizard faces the screen roaring while stomping down with both feet. It's powerful, but not as strong as all the other stomps in Brawl except Falcon's. While the attack is very safe offstage, with its non-heavy ending lag and Charizard's multiple midair jumps plus super armor recovery, it's difficult to land, with its very slow start-up, Charizard's poor aerial mobility, and its surprisingly small hitboxes (they only cover Charizard's stubby legs and barely any of Charizard's body, unlike other stomps). It always meteor smashes if it lands, though, with no sour spots, making it still one of the more reliable meteors in Brawl. For a peculiarity of the move, when landed on grounded opponents, it produces a diagonally-vertical trajectory that isn't a meteor smash, with slightly more power. This makes it potent as a finisher on grounded opponents (though still significantly less so than Ganondorf's), and also misled people, who didn't realise it was producing a different hitbox on grounded opponents, to think it was the second strongest meteor in Brawl when it was seen to KO grounded opponents faster than all other meteor smashes except Ganondorf's.
  • Zelda: Zelda looks down as she quietly stomps her foot downward. In Melee, despite being pretty fast for a meteor smash, it was seen as near useless, as the knockback it produced was so pitifully weak it could never KO at realistic damages (it was by far the weakest single strike meteor in Melee, not being able to KO grounded opponents until ridiculously high damages over 500%). Its small hitboxes also made it difficult to land despite the fast start-up. In Brawl, the move was made to function like her Lightning Kicks; it gained a very powerful sweetspot on her foot that electrified opponents as they're sent soaring down, while the sourspots remained as weak as the move was in Melee. When sweetspotted, it's the second strongest stomp in the game, and fifth strongest meteor overall. While potentially very lethal and fast, it's very difficult to land, with the aforementioned small hitboxes and sweetspot issues. Also, the move's sweetspot cannot be landed on grounded opponents in Brawl, which makes the move practically useless outside edge-guarding and completely incapable of KOing grounded opponents. The sweetspot can hit grounded opponents in SSB4, and it can combo into an up smash, up tilt, neutral aerial and up aerial depending on the percentage of the opponent.

Characters with multi-hit stomps[edit]

  • Peach: Peach stomps her feet on the opponent multiple times. The attack is useful in Melee for setting up opponents to be hit by a stronger attack, normally her neutral aerial. It's optimal to use the move while floating, which is a technique exclusive to Peach, as it will likely end before she lands. In Brawl, Peach's stomp retains its usefulness, and is probably the factor (besides her air mobility and floatiness) that contributes most to her advantageous matchup with the Ice Climbers, as it can easily separate them. It's also good for edgeguarding, and is difficult to air dodge. In this iteration, the stomp has a final hit with weak knockback, allowing for more easily executed attack strings.
  • Lucas: Lucas stomps multiple times, with the last stomp being a meteor smash. This move is important to Lucas's metagame, as the opponent getting hit (if he or she does not DI upward) will hit the ground and become vulnerable to Lucas's down tilt lock. It's also a decent edgeguarding move.
  • Lucario: Lucario's stomping move is the fastest (in terms of how quickly it comes out), shortest (duration-wise), and has the fewest hits (only 2) of all of the multi-hit stomping moves. It also halts Lucario's momentum (like R.O.B.'s down aerial; also provided he isn't taking knockback), allowing for precision. It also has no landing lag, good knockback for a move with its speed (and as an Aura attack, gains power as Lucario takes damage), and can guard the edge well. Lucario's stomp is considered one of its best moves, and greatly accentuates its already impeccable air game.
  • Snake: Snake's stomping move isn't used as much as his other aerials, but it's the strongest of all multi-hit variants (damage- and knockback-wise), and is executed rather quickly (all four hits can be landed within a short hop). In the air, instances in which it's optimal to use Snake's down aerial aren't common. However, it is used on grounded opponents much more than the other aerials, being very effective against shields and generally rewarding hard-read rolls. Its biggest flaw is its long ending lag, which makes it very easy to punish.
  • Pac-Man: The last stomp deals vertical knockback and is somewhat similar to Snake's.

Gallery[edit]

Smash 64[edit]

Melee[edit]

Brawl[edit]

Other types of aerial archetypes[edit]

  • Drill: A down aerial that involves the character "drilling" downward in some way, while often being weak meteor smashes.
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