With ROB's new buffs in Ultimate, lots of people are adding this character to their arsenal! This guide serves as a stepping stone for getting started with ROB. This will be mostly basic information that is familiar to veteran ROB players.
Let me know if anything should be added to this guide! Also, join the ROB Discord server to learn more about ROB from other ROB players and access more resources!
1.0: Moveset Overview
5.0: Advanced Technique
===== Moveset Overview [1.0]=====
In this section, I'll go over basic usage of ROB's moves, give some additional information and follow-ups, provide frame data, and rate each move out of five rainbow sheep emojis since that's what this site offers I guess.
=== Grounded Normals [1.1]===
Jab [3F | 21FAF | 3.6%]
A quick, basic jab that hits twice. This move can be used to pressure shields and locks at percents higher than dtilt. This move sends most characters into tumble around 35-45%, which can start a jab lock. However, it is overshadowed by dtilt in most other respects.
Dash Attack [7F | 32FAF | 8.4%]
ROB's furthest burst option which can be used sparingly to approach or whiff punish. Combos into fair at low-mid percents.
Forward Tilt [7F | 34FAF | 12%/9.6%]
Very mediocre move that can be used to whiff punish or as a "get off me" option. Can be angled up or down. Has a sweetspot that deals 10% at the tip, but won't kill until very high percents.
Up Tilt [4F | 27FAF | 9.6%/10.8%]
Very strong move for platform pressure or juggles, especially out of run. Slightly but not very disjointed. Has very little horizontal range. Combos into itself, usmash, and uair at low percents and uair at mid percents. A good mid-high percent option out of dthrow.
Down Tilt [3F | 15FAF | 6%]
One of ROB's best moves and his best grounded poke. Use this move to pressure shields, stuff approaches, punish OoS, start combos, and extend combos. Unsafe on hit until 15-25% on most characters. Can't be shieldgrabbed, and characters with poor OoS options (generally slow aerials and poor upb OoS) can't punish repeated dtilts on shield without parrying. Combos into itself starting at around 35-45%, into dash attack and ftilt around 70%, into gyro and dash grab around 80%, and dash -> dtilt around 90-100% (you can chain this and dash -> dtilt someone across the entire stage). Even at mid percents, you can often get a dash attack, gyro, or dash grab off a dtilt as the opponent will be too slow to react. From around 110%-120%, dtilt will start sending opponents into tumble which will start a tech chase situation where you can get a kill.
Forward Smash [16F | 55FAF | 18%/13.8%/7.2%]
ROB's strongest smash attack. Has a sweetspot near his eyes and a very weak sourspot at the tip. Can be angled up or down. Up angled fsmash can be used sparingly to call out aerial approaches. Down angled fsmash is required to hit some short characters. Can be used to whiff punish or call out an approach, as this move will outrange most moves. A down angled fsmash is a decent finisher for a jab lock.
Up Smash [10F | 49FAF | 20.4%/19.2%]
Good out of shield option versus cross-ups or poorly spaced attacks which is faster than shieldgrab. Outranges most down airs. Can be used out of dthrow versus poor mashers.
Down Smash [7F | 46FAF | 13.2%/14.4%]
ROB's fastest smash attack. Mediocre move unless you really need a quick kill option with a lot of space coverage. Hitting closer to ROB will usually send them to the opposite side of ROB, and hitting near max range will send them away from ROB. Can be used out of dthrow versus poor mashers.
=== Aerials [1.2]===
Neutral Air [14F | 48FAF | 7LLag | 33AC | 11.4%/9%]
Very safe approach option if they don't parry, and also combos well from low to mid percents. SHFF nair is safe versus shieldgrab and many OoS options even if unspaced and followed up with spotdodge, dtilt, or jab. To time this, SH then nair (delayed nair is safer), then FF as soon as possible. This is safer than SH AC nair in this game due to nair's reduced landing lag. Spaced nair is generally safe even on parry. Has a stronger hitbox further away which launches at 60 degrees, and a weaker closer hitbox that sends more vertically. The stronger hitbox combos into grab near 0% and fair from low-mid percent, and the weaker hitbox combos into grab near 0%, utilt, usmash, fair, and sideb at low-mid percent. SH nair hits opponents hanging on ledge and can hit below platforms. It can also be used to punish laggy cross-ups such as dash attacks.
Forward Air [6F | 36FAF | 9LLag | 25AC | 8.4%]
ROB's best aerial poke. Contends with most sword characters for range, but only slightly disjointed. SH retreating fair is very safe. SH fair is ROB's fastest OoS option. Unsafe on hit against most characters until around 25%. Strings into itself well at low and mid percents (ie. out of FH double fair), but doesn't true combo until roughly 60%. Fair -> dtilt is a decent pressure option at low percents versus characters with mediocre frame data. Great edgeguarding tool. Fair -> sideb and fair -> jump sideb can be used at low-mid percents offstage to snag cheeky early kills, but are not true.
Back Air [19F | 53FAF | 13LLag | 46AC | 18%/15.6% | 10.8%/9% (late)]
Use this move to call out an opponent's approach or offstage for an early kill. Generally safe on shield due to the pushback effect. Hits opponents hanging on the ledge if timed properly. Overshadowed by sideb in most offstage situations.
Up Air [7F | 52FAF | 13LLag | 40AC | 12%]
Great tool for juggles and platform pressure. Slightly disjointed. Situationally, landing uair can combo into up angled fsmash or usmash. SH uair is ROB's best kill option out of dthrow versus reasonable or fast mashers.
Down Air [20F | 70FAF | 13LLag | 45AC | 12%/11%/8%/6%]
Gigantic spike that demolishes linear delayed recoveries such as Fox or Ness. ROB can run off ledge and dair then retreat back to stage without jumping. The stall in the air can be used to help land and avoid juggle moves, or to counterattack opponent trying to punish your landing. Has a strong sourspot where ROB's base connects to his "column" that launches upward, and a weak sourspot near the tip of the flame which sends almost nowhere.
=== Specials [1.3]===
Robo Beam [25F | 50FAF | 8.4% (sparks)/5.4% (weak)/18% (strong) | 2.7s (weak charge)/14.3s (strong charge)]
The strong beam has been buffed and is now much stronger than the basic beam. Good tool to force approaches or edgeguard, and the strong laser will often kill opponents outright offstage. Can be angled between +/-30 degrees depending on how long up/down is held after the special input. The close hitbox of strong laser does 28% and is ROB's most damaging jab lock punish.
Arm Rotor [13F | 86FAF (no mash) | 12.6% (no mash) | 21.6% (full mash) | 13-36F reflects]
Buffed to infinity and beyond from previous iterations. Mash B during this move up to 5 times to do extra damage and extend the duration. Always knocks back in the direction ROB is facing. Very strong edgeguard option that kills incredibly early offstage and intercepts many recoveries with hitboxes. A strong ledge trap tool that covers neutral get-up, jump, roll, and ledge drop -> double jump if they're slow with their aerial. Can also be used to call out approaches or landings.
Robo Burner [25FAF]
Let go of up and mash b after the initial upb press instead of holding b to conserve fuel. New to this game, you can now airdodge and double jump out of upb. You can also aerial out of upb. With no fuel left, double jump + upb will take you higher then your double jump alone.
Gyro [9F | 43 FAF | 61 FAF (failure) | Cancellable 7F | 1.5s full charge]
Since this move is a fairly integral part of ROB's kit, there's an additional section in advanced techniques focusing on gyro. An incredible projectile that offers stage control and forces approaches. Gyro when thrown always knocks the opponent in the direction ROB was facing. New to this game, ROB can jump to cancel gyro and also will charge held gyros with downb (though they go back to 0 charge). Takes 8 spins to fully charge. The strongest gyro can be obtained by canceling gyro after the 8th spin but before ROB puts it away, which does more damage and stays on stage longer than a fully charged gyro. 5 spin gyros and onward are also stronger than a fully charged gyro.
=== Throws [1.4]===
Forward Throw [9.6%]
ROB yeets his opponent with a brand new animation. Leads into dash attack at low percents. At around 5%, this sends the opponent into tumble which can net an early jab lock from dash -> dtilt.
Back Throw [12%]
Basically fthrow except it does more damage.
Up Throw [14.4%]
ROB's best low percent combo throw and most damaging throw. Combos into fair at low-mid percents. Kills at very high percents (150%-200% depending on character) but can land on short platforms to kill earlier. Can be used to suicide with your opponent in niche situations.
Down Throw [6%]
The worst bury in the game. Follow-ups from this throw are convoluted, so it has its own subsection in the Combos section.
===== Neutral [2.0]=====
ROB generally wants to force approaches with his projectiles. Be careful when using them at mid range however, as both laser and gyro are laggy and can be punished if you opponent jumps over them. It can be worthwhile aiming laser up to catch jump-ins as well, or aim it down to hit small characters that low profile neutral laser. Running back then doing either a b-reverse laser or gyro can help make you more evasive and whiff punish approaches. ROB can also play near a grounded gyro to limit his opponent's movement.
When ROB needs to approach, nair is a strong tool versus characters with mediocre range. It is safe if spaced and very safe if not parried. You can use SH b-reverse gyro charge -> double jump FF nair, just FH FF nair, or RAR nair to help mix up your movement and timings with nair. Versus characters with good range like swordfighters, fair can be more useful for calling out their jumps and contesting their range. Fair is also safe on shield if spaced, but less rewarding and less forgiving to hit than nair. Dtilt is ROB's best option to contest grounded movement. It's fast, safe on shield, and converts well at mid percents and higher. These will be your main non-projectile neutral tools. Dash attack and dash grab can be used sparingly to approach if you have a read on what they'll do.
===== Combos [3.0]=====
=== Basics [3.1]===
-> grab/dash grab (around 0% on fastfallers and heavies)
-> fair (low - mid percent)
-> utilt (low - mid percent, requires sourspot)
-> usmash (low - mid percent, requires sourspot)
-> sideb (low - mid percent, requires sourspot)
-> uair (mid percent, requires sourspot)
-> fair (low - mid percent)
-> dash attack (around 0%)
-> dash -> jab (around 0%)
-> dash -> dtilt (around 0%)
-> Dash attack (low percent)
-> fair (low - mid percent)
-> utilt (low percent)
-> usmash (low percent)
-> fair (low percent)
-> uair (low-high percent)
-> dtilt (mid percent)
-> grab (mid percent)
-> fair (mid-high percent)
-> dash attack (mid-high percent)
-> gyro (mid-high percent)
-> dash grab (high percent)
-> dash dtilt (high percent)
-> fair (mid percent)
-> dtilt (mid percent, requires landing fair)
-> dash attack (mid percent, requires landing fair)
=== Situational but Rewarding [3.2]===
Jab lock set-ups
-> F/bthrow (around 5%)
-> Jab (around 40%)
-> Fair (around 55%)
-> Gyro toss
"That one 0-death"
-> See this video. Credit to Dragoomba for popularizing the combo and BeefySmashDoods for the video
-> You can apply the same ideas to various z-drop nair combos
Landing uair shenanigans
-> See this video. Credit to Lucretio for labbing these follow-ups
Using grounded gyro
-> When gyro is on the ground behind you opponent, you can aim to hit your opponent into the gyro and then use dtilts to trap your opponent for lots of damage or a strong punish. With dtilt chains, you can dtilt someone across the stage into the gyro and end with a Smash attack (see :55 of this video, credit to Mj).
-> Please also see Lucretio's video on this topic, called the Gyro Zone
=== Down Throw [3.3]===
How good this throw is depends entirely on how good your opponent is at mashing. This section provides some general follow-up guidelines based on your opponent's mash.
Terrible Masher/No Mash
Mid %: Utilt
High-Very high %: Usmash
Mid %: Don't use this throw
High %: Utilt
Very high %: SH uair or usmash
Mid %: Don't use this throw
High %: Utilt or wait to punish their option after unburying
Very high %: SH uair or wait to punish their option after unburying
Mid-High %: Don't use this throw
Very high %: SH uair or wait to punish their option after unburying
=== Gyro Ledge Traps [3.4]===
Gyro is an effective tool to assist with ledge traps. To set these up, either toss gyro down at the ledge or z-drop gyro at the ledge. This set-up has been nerfed slightly compared to Smash 4, with some ledge attacks beating the set-up and the time gyro is active after dtoss being reduced. There are two variants:
Gyro facing offstage
- To set this up, either z-drop gyro or toss gyro down at the ledge. This will send the opponent offstage
- Covers neutral get-up, jump, and ledge hang for some characters
-> Follow up with bair, sideb, fsmash, dtilt, or fair
Gyro facing towards stage
- To set this up, either roll to ledge and toss gyro down, or do a RAR JC down toss (see Advanced Techniques) near the ledge. This will send the opponent towards the stage
- Covers neutral get-up, jump, and ledge hang for some characters. This will stage spike characters some characters hanging on the ledge. You can position yourself to cover get-up attack and ledge roll as well with this set-up.
-> Follow up with fsmash, usmash, dsmash, or grab (at mid percents)
The following is a reference for characters that can stay on ledge without getting hit by the ledge set-up, and characters that often beat the ledge set-up with their ledge attack without trading with gyro:
There are various options to deal with these characters:
- SH instant dtoss: this throws gyro over the ledge for a stage spike if you're facing towards the stage and can surprise players trying to stall out ledge gyro
- Side b: dropping past the ledge with sideb will allow you to hit characters trying to stall past the gyro setup
- Bair/dtilt: these moves when spaced properly will hit characters hanging on the ledge
- Fsmash: this move outranges many ledge attacks
- Dtoss -> shield: covers ledge attack
===== Disadvantage State [4.0]=====
ROB is pretty terrible in disadvantage state. This section provides some tips for ROB to help land, get off ledge, and out of shield. ROB is a huge frame with mediocre frame data and really has nothing to escape true combos and tight strings aside from DIing properly and airdodging intelligently.
Versus characters with mediocre range, nair is a decent landing option. Dair can also can used to stall in the air and help you land. B-reversing gyro (see Advanced Techniques) and stalling in the air with upb also help with landing. Platforms add landing options but also help opponents extend combos, so pick your poison.
ROB can drop down and DJ aerial with fair, uair, and nair. Uair will autocancel out of a ledge hop, which may surprise people. If someone is hanging back, you can instead opt to double jump up with gyro shot or arm rotor. Ledge jump -> buffered fair will hit tall characters or characters jumping near the ledge. Remember to mix up your timing and ledge options. Don't be afraid to wait on the ledge for your opponent to commit to an option!
Mash upb instead of holding to conserve fuel. Use uair to contest edgeguarders when recovering from below or when they're standing near the ledge. Cover yourself with nair when recovering high to ledge. Airdodging out of upb to ledge is currently a very powerful option. Shoot laser to get chip damage when recovering or if they're edgeguarding with a projectile (ie. PK Thunder, Nikita). You can shoot gyro into the side of the stage and then recatch it to have gyro in hand when recovering.
Out of Shield
ROB's fastest out of shield option is SH fair OoS (frame 9). This is below average among the cast. Following that, usmash OoS and shieldgrab are frame 10, and drop shield jab and dtilt are frame 14. Having gyro in hand greatly improves ROB's OoS frame data as items can be tossed directly out of shield. Ftoss is frame 7, btoss is frame 9, dtoss is frame 5, and SH z-drop is frame 4. However, most of these options will not hit short characters. ROB's options versus short characters are usmash OoS, drop shield dtilt, dtoss gyro, and SH z-drop gyro.
===== Advanced Techniques [5.0]=====
If you want to take your ROB to the next level, Lucretio's Youtube channel has a bunch of ROB videos featuring advanced tech and how to handle certain situations with ROB. Lucretio is a top European player and the best ROB in the UK, and I'd highly recommend his content for improving your ROB gameplay!
=== Gyro Techniques [5.1]===
You can laglessly catch gyro by pressing the grab button while in the air.
Jump Cancelled Item Toss
Jumping, then tossing your item in the next 2 frames during your jumpsquat will let you slide a little bit during the item toss. This also let's you set up the ledge trap faster if you JC your dtoss with a RAR.
You can keep perform aerials with the gyro in hand by dropping it with grab while in the air, then performing the aerial. This allows for some long combos where you connect with both the z-dropped gyro and the aerial. However, there is a 2 frame window where you cannot grab the gyro with your aerial if you hit someone with the z-drop.
Attack Cancelled Instant Toss
Attack cancelling is performed by pressing jump on the first or second frame of performing a grounded attack. Performed near an item, this will catch and then immediately throw the item. You can control the direction of the instant toss with your c-stick after jumping, but the timing for this technique is fairly tight.
=== B-reverse & Wavebounce [5.2]===
See a tutorial about these techniques here, credit to MySmashCorner. Note that b-reversing using tilt stick (c-bouncing) no longer works in Ultimate.
B-reverse gyro and laser are good ways to stay mobile when camping, and can surprise opponents and bait them to unshield. B-reverse gyro can also be used in the air as a bait by changing your momentum; you can then double jump out of gyro charge. This can help you land or whiff punish in the air, and also makes your movement trickier to read. B-reverse upb can also help you land, but upb's reduced aerial mobility hurts in this regard.
=== Pivot Cancels [5.3]===
To perform a pivot cancelled attack, press the opposite direction during your run then cancel your skid animation with an attack. This must be performed while running, and not during your initial dash. When performed correctly, ROB will slide a little with his attack. Canceling the skid animation earlier makes ROB slide further
ROB will slide with all of his attacks, which extend their range when used out of a run. This is particularly useful with utilt and dtilt. Pivot cancel utilt will allow you to catch opponents that may otherwise be out of utilt's range. Pivot cancel dtilt can allow ROB to slide forward with dtilt if you perform a reverse dtilt out of the pivot, which requires hitting a precise angle; this allows ROB to combo dtilt into usmash and fsmash at kill percents.
Please also see Captain L's video on pivot cancel utilt and dtilt applications! There's a section specifically about ROB.
=== Robo Burner Boosting [5.4]===
Burner Boosting (BB) is performed by jumping during ROB's initial dash animation (roughly frames 1-3) then using upb during his jumpsquat (also frames 1-3). With tap jump on, the input simplifies to just dash -> upb in the first 3 frames of ROB's dash. Performed correctly, ROB will gain an incredible momentum boost from upb much greater than his usual aerial speed, that will let him travel across roughly 70% of Final Destination from just the initial upb press.
This technique can also be combined with turnaround specials, b-reversing, and wavebouncing. B-reversing this technique isn't particularly useful, but performing a turnaround BB let's ROB threaten with bair from far away, and a wavebounced BB gives ROB a quick retreat option.
BB can be used in neutral as a zone-breaking option to punish projectile usage versus characters such as the Links, Wolf, and Ivysaur that tend to use lots of horizontal projectiles. After the BB, ROB can do a fairly safe FF nair. BB can also be used to follow up in situations where ROB cannot with his normal aerial mobility. For instance, going for a BB fair or BB double jump fair after a mid percent f/bthrow, or after a mid/high percent sweetspot nair. Turnaround BB bair is also a strong option to punish high recoveries that can net early kills. However, note that due to the start-up of upb, there are currently no true combos involving BB. This tech is still being developed, so you'll likely surprise people with this burst option.
Please also see Lucretio's video about BB for more applications!
===== Stages [6.0]=====
ROB's preferred stages are heavily MU dependent. In this section, I'll give a quick summary of the benefits and drawbacks of common stages, and which general archetypes to ban or pick each stage against.
The platforms on this stage help against zoners. The platforms also offer landing options, but can make it more difficult to actually reset to neutral. ROB holds center stage quite well on BF. The platforms can also assist with combo extensions, though this is often to ROB's detriment. ROB can easily pressure the lower platforms, but doesn't pressure the top platform as well.
Pick versus: characters that can be easily juggled, zoners
Ban versus: characters with strong platform combo extensions (ie. Ike, Fox), some heavies, swords
Here's a great video detailing the differences between Pokemon Stadium 1 and 2. This stage is very wide and assists in zoning out opponents. The platforms offer extra landing options which are generally useful for ROB. Certain characters struggle to safely pressure PS2 platforms, but ROB is not one of them. It can be difficult to escape the corner on this stage since the platform offers extra safety and mobility to the player controlling the stage. Commonly believed to be ROB's most versatile starter stage, so open the set up with a "Wanna just start on Pokemon Stadium?" if you can.
Pick versus: characters that get zoned, heavies, any time you're unsure of a particular MU this is a pretty safe pick
Ban versus: no one, unless you're getting destroyed on this stage
A very strong zoning stage due to the lack of platforms. However, the lack of platforms also gives ROB very few landing options which can be easily abused combined with ROB's own lack of landing options. Generally, picking this stage or not is a balance between stronger zoning and difficulty landing.
Pick versus: heavies, characters you can zone well
Ban versus: stronger zoners, Pikachu+Pichu, sometimes characters with strong juggling tools
A very difficult stage to zone on due to its size and the platform offering approach options. ROB holds center stage well and also struggles to reset to neutral here, similar to BF. However, zoning is weaker on this stage.
Pick versus: stronger zoners, characters that are easily juggled
Ban versus: heavies, characters that have strong platform combo extensions, characters you want to zone
Town & City
Unlike Smash 4, this stage now has the largest vertical blastzone but normal side blastzones. As such, it strengthens edgeguarding and weakens vertical kills. The platforms are generally too high or too close to the side to extend combos, but can lead to situationally early kills. The stage with no platforms is more or less identical to FD. Overall, a fairly strong ROB stage.
Pick versus: characters with good vertical kill power that can be edgeguarded, characters that can be zoned
Ban versus: characters who edgeguard ROB well but are difficult to edgeguard (ie. Pichu/Pikachu)
Kalos Pokemon League
A very strong zoner stage due to the platform layout giving zoners additional space to work with. The platforms give additional recovery options, but don't assist with resetting to neutral as much, which is generally detrimental to ROB.
Pick versus: characters you want to play the zoning game against
Ban versus: stronger zoners, Pikachu+Pichu
A small stage that's difficult to zone on. ROB controls center stage fairly well, but the size of the main platform can make it difficult to cover. Certain characters can hold center stage much better than ROB can. The heavily slanted edges also make gyro ledge trapping almost impossible. Overall, a subpar stage for ROB.
Pick versus: zoners sometimes
Ban versus: heavies, characters with large aerials and good juggle tools, characters with strong platform combo extentsions
This stage is very similar to Battlefield aside from the fact that the blastzones are smaller and the ledge set-ups with gyro are different due to the slants ledges.
Pick versus: zoners, characters with weak KO power or that ROB wants early kills against such as Pichu
Ban versus: heavies, swords, characters with strong platform combo extensions (ie. Ike, Fox)
Due to the slants on this stage, gyro gameplay is different and the ledge traps have to be adjusted, but are still possible by throwing gyro down close to the ledge and letting it bounce off. The platform layout can make it difficult to land and can be used to extend combos. The ledge can be slightly finnicky, but this doesn't affect ROB. A stage that requires familiarity to perform well on.
Pick versus: spacies or if your opponent is uncomfortable on this stage, there are usually better options otherwise
Ban versus: swords, if you're uncomfortable with this stage
Unova Pokemon League
A fairly similar stage to Pokemon Stadium. The stage is a bit narrower, and the platforms are higher and closer to the ledge. In general, this makes the platforms worse landing options, but makes escaping from the ledge easier. The platforms also are not very conducive to stage control as they're so close to the edge. The stage can be troublesome for characters with teleport recoveries due to the underside bouncing them off instead of helping them snap to ledge.
Pick versus: most anyone if you're unsure of the MU as IMO this is ROB's best stage
Ban versus: no one, unless you're getting destroyed on this stage
A very polarizing stage that is no longer legal in most regions, but I'll cover this stage briefly for those competing in regions with very liberal stage lists. This stage is bar none the strongest anti-zoner stage on this list due to the incredibly small stage making approaching easier, platforms and the middle slant helping with avoiding projectiles, and the small blastzones resulting in earlier kills.
Pick versus: stronger zoners than ROB if you are having problems approaching
Ban versus: anyone you want to play the zoning game against
===== Matchups [7.0]=====
With so many characters in this game, I'm both underqualified to provide a matchup overview for this character and also unable to effective summarize all of ROB's matchups into this guide. Check out the matchups channel in the ROB Discord if you have any trouble against a particular character!
The ROB Discord has also started an MU info compilation project that seeks to archive good MU posts in the Discord! Currently it's a little barren, but it's a living document and will hopefully one day become a vital resource. Check it out though in case there's information on an MU you're struggling with.