DK Throw Mini-FAQ


Smash Journeyman
Dec 13, 2002
South Bend, Indiana
DK Throw Mini-FAQ
By Brahma

DK’s throw game is IMO what makes him the character he is. Without it he has a lot harder time scoring kills and starting juggles. He has several tricks involving his unique Cargo throw, and he can start his deadly juggles easily from a grab. If you’re serious about learning DK, you need to know the ins and outs of his grab game.

Getting Started

First off, there are a few methods of grabbing with DK. You have your standard grab, dash grab, shield grab and jump-cancelled dash grab. Standing grab he simply reaches out with his giant arms and grabs whoever is close. Decent range and recovers quick, but who is going stand there and let DK grab them? A dash grab has the mobility to be more useful on a moving opponent, but if you miss DK is in for a world of hurt. So what is a giant necktie wearing simian to do to effectively get his grab on?

Jump-Cancelled Dashing Grab: The mobility of a dash grab without the appalling lag if missed. How exactly does one do this? First off, perform a dash, then at any time in the middle of a dash, simultaneously press Up on the control stick and Z. What this does is cancels DK’s dashing animations with a jump without halting his momentum, letting DK slide slightly forward while executing his standing grab. Mobile yet safe. You should always be using this to get a little extra range on his grab, the only time you should not be using this is when you are using the-

Shield Grab: One of the more useful features of SSBM, shield grabbing allows you to cancel your shield animation directly from a shield, immediately switching from defense to offense. If you do not already know how to shield grab, all you do is press A while you have your shield up. This allows you to grab people after they have attacked you with a laggy move. DK’s good grab range make his shield grab particularly effective, as he can grab quite a few people after attacks if they don’t space as far away as possible. Don’t rely on this too much though, as a few characters have ways around shield grab, like Fox and Falco, who can L-cancel an aerial attack into you and immediately use their shine move to hit you out of your grab animation.

I’ve Got Them! What Now?

So you’ve managed to capture the opponent in DK’s vicelike grip. The hard part is over, but what next? There are several factors to take into consideration and DK has a plethora of options at his disposal to do away with the poor soul who has come into the range of DK’s mighty monkey mitts.

First off, what is your opponent’s damage %? Is it low? If the opponent is under 20% you should probably go straight into a throw before they have a chance to break away from your grip. Usually Up throw or Cargo throw into juggles to rack up damage.

Are they at mid percent? You might want to use a grab attack (A while grabbing) or two to tack on a little extra damage before tossing them. Here I recommend either Up or Cargo-up if you need some more damage before the KO, or use Back-throw or Cargo and jump off if you’re in the mood for some edgeguarding.

Are they at high damage? Here you either have the choice of doing a few grab attacks (my rule of thumb is 1 attack per every 25% damage they have, but you can squeeze in more or less depending on what your opponent is doing) or you can go directly into a throw to catch them off guard and lessen the chance of them DIing your throw. I would go with Backthrow for most characters for the KO, but if you don’t think that will send them, you may want to use another throw to set up for the kill.

Next, look at your position. Are you near the edge with your back facing away from the stage? Try a Backthrow to Edgeguard. Facing the edge? Try a cargo and jump off the stage to throw. In the middle or under some platforms? Try some Cargo combos. Experiment a bit to see what works best for you.

Also consider your opponent and their recovery. Are you fighting Peach/Jiggly/Samus or someone who has great horizontal recovery? You may not want to Backthrow as she will most likely recover unless she is at some ridiculous damage or it is a stage with close boundaries. Try something like a Cargo-up to F-air instead or try and set up for a Star KO. Opponent Falco/Doc/Marth and have poor recovery? Backthrow will probably work well.

Just a few things to consider while deciding where to fling your foe. Now on to the beard and butter:

DK Throws

Back-Throw: DK’s most powerful knockback throw. This one can KO lighter character at high % and even heavier character on stages where the sidelines are close to the stage (Jungle Japes, Flatzone, MKII, you can figure out the rest). Good for getting the opponent off the stage then edgeguarding in larger stages.

Up-Throw: I don’t use this a lot, instead I use Cargo-Up since it is a bit more versatile. But it’s a decent up throw, launch height varies with opponents %. Launches a bit higher than his Cargo-Up throw at higher %. At lower % it sets up well for an U-tilt into juggles. Can be chained on some characters.

Down-Throw: While not great for comboing, this throw does have limited uses in mind games and even edgeguarding. On fastfallers, there is no reason to use this. Up or Cargo-Up will give you the damage and KO opportunities you need. On normal and floaties this gives you some nice options. At low percentages you can sometimes follow up with a Giant Punch if the opponent doesn’t tech roll, or a short hopped Giant punch if they tech away. If they tech away from you then you have the option of following the tech and regrabbing with a jump cancelled grab, or they might roll too far away and reset the stage. If they tech toward you, depending on their %, you can turn around and regrab, or Down-B, Down Smash, or shuffle a B-air or N-air into them. If they are close to the edge, they will usually tech towards you or risk teching into the edge and covering no ground, which with DK’s awesome reach you should be able to hit them wherever they go. Tech chasing with D-air can work well too. Another trick I like to use is to D-Throw the opponent when I’m near and facing a wall, since it severely limits their tech options and you can usually get at least a free Down-B if they tech. Most of this is situational, but if you are good at reading techs and get a feel for the distance of the throw, you can get some good setups off of this at low %.

At high % this sets up for edgeguarding. If they bounce off the edge, you have several edgeguarding options available. A run up F-tilt of D-tilt are what I usually use. few tricky ones are a shuffl’d F-air hitting just over the edge to spike. A dash jumped Forward-B is a neat trick, which if you do the Forward-B right after you jump, you will float just above the ground and off the stage and spike with the headbutt, many times knocking them right out of their 2nd jump. This one works well mostly as a surprise tactic, I seem to have the easiest time connecting this one on Doc. Need to get a short vid of that…

Forward-Throw: I saved the best for last. The F-Throw, or Cargo, is DK’s most versatile throw, and is a big part of his game. It allows you to move around the stage and place the opponent where you want them for juggling, edgeguarding, etc. After the initial grab, you press Forward to have DK put the opponent on his back. From here, you can run and jump off the ground until the opponent breaks out or use one of the 4 different throw options. DK and the opponent take 10% damage when the opponent breaks out of Cargo. A few tricks out of this are the Cargo Suicide (Cargo then jump off the edge, only use this at high % or they will most likely breakout and recover while you fall to your doom, it also help to toss them under the stage if you can). Also, you can use this to take away people’s second jumps if they are foolish enough to DJ to break out of the throw. A simple f-tilt after they break out and jump is all it takes, especially useful on Ness/Yoshi and at the edge of the stage (Check out Mike(DK) vs. Nick(Yoshi) for an idea on how you might be able to use this) . Anyhow, on to the Cargo throws!

Cargo-Forward: DK tosses the opponent out and slightly up. This doesn’t go far, esp. at low %. At higher %, you can use this to run to the edge and toss the opponent off for some edgeguarding. If you grab the opponent by the edge, you can Cargo, then jump off the edge and use this to throw them out even further, then use your 2nd jump and Up-B if necessary to return. From here go into edgeguard mode.

Cargo-Back: DK tosses the opponent behind him. This goes further than the Cargo-F and I would usually recommend this one if you’re jumping off the stage and throwing.

Cargo-Down: This has a little less knockback of the Cargo-F, but the opponent is tossed on a slightly less than horizontal trajectory. Use this one if you don’t want to put them too far away, or throw them into items, or want to put them about at edge height when tossing off the stage. Also useful for Cargo suicides. Another neat trick on fastfallers is around 70%, Cargo and jump off the stage, throwing them with the Cargo-D, then DJ and drop a F-air on them for the spike. (Don’t know who discovered this but I saw it first about 0:25 into Mofo(Fox) vs. Cort(DK)). Also, If you've got a wall to work with, you can throw them into a wall from a short distance away (about the length of his f-tilt from the wall) and since it doesn't throw far, it doesn't hit on the wall so they don't have a chance to tech, from here you can easily regrab, sheild grab, downsmash, whatever.

Cargo-Up: This is what sets up many of DK’s awesome juggles.

Vs. Fastfallers: This move is an absolute nightmare for fastfallers, as you can grab them and put some ridiculous damage on them. At 0% if you grab them, and Cargo-U, you can usually get a free Giant Punch/U-smash/D-smash/U-tilts for damage racking. Also you can chain-throw with this, Cargo-U dash to follow their DI, grab again and repeat until about 30-40% when you can shorthop into the Cargo-U, then land and begin your shuffl’d Up-air juggles then finish with a Giant Punch/F-air for the KO (To see some great examples of this check out the vid of Captain Jack (DK) vs. ikki (Fox), and CJ vs. Delani (Falco)).

Vs. Normals/Floaties: Cargo-U doesn’t set up quite such devastating juggles on these guys as it does on fastfallers, but it is useful. At low % you can simply Cargo-U and U-air/u-tilt. At higher % on normal weights you can usually hit Cargo, jump and U-throw at the same time and U-air, F-air, or Giant Punch. My staple against a lot of people is Cargo U to a full jumped F-air. You have to watch their DI a bit and space accordingly, you may need to jump a bit backwards or forwards so you hit with the tip of DK’s hands. This works best around 60-90% on most normal characters. Floaties can be put into the headbutt combos, if you can tag them, fastfall and get back to them quick enough. (See Mike (DK) vs. Umbreon Mow (M2)).

I started this guide more or less for my own clarification and to jot down some thoughts (and I was bored at work). But after working on it for a while, I decided that it could be a decent Mini-FAQ and I fleshed it out accordingly. I don’t think I’ll be updating, but if I see anything missing or find any other useful tricks I will post them. Several of the combos I put in I saw in vids of AOB, Mike, CJ, and a few others. Some I came up with on my own. I’m not trying to steal credit for creating juggles from any of them I just thought they needed to be in this guide to make it complete. Thanks the to the aforementioned for creating some of the combos in this FAQ, and thank to myself for creating the rest, demon-red DK for performing the combos and special thanks to Sandman for being a punching bag for said combos.

I’m hoping to get some short vids of a few of the techniques and also some of my match vids sometime in the near future. This guide is my intellectual property yadda-yadda if you want to use if just e-mail me and I will probably let you as long as I receive credit. Hope you enjoyed and if you have any questions or comments feel free to post them, PM me on Smashboards, or e-mail me at Thanks for reading!

King Kong

Smash Lord
Feb 13, 2005
Brisbane, Australia
Im impressed.

Thats very well written and very informative. I even learned something I didnt know (That you can jump cancel a grab cancelled dash......... I dont even know if I can think quickly enough in a match to do that)

Yeah, well done

peace out
Oct 3, 2005
hey this stuff is great. good work, were can i find some of those vids you talked about in the guide? I don't have and cannot use DC++, don't ask, its a long story. So if you could let me know how to get a hold of those vids i'd really appreciate it.


Smash Rookie
Nov 29, 2005
somewhere that isn't visible.
I usually just grab and throw backwards... only because then, I have a clear shot for a Smash > A or a giant punch. and then I sometimes just cargo the ppl off the side on a last resort (in other words, I grab, walk off the edge, and kill them with me)


Smash Cadet
Nov 20, 2005
An excellent guide for those interested in mastering DK's throws. I usually play as one of the fastfallers. Hopefully, my friend who's devoted to DK won't read this!


Smash Lord
May 28, 2004
for your information, on the video mofo(fox)vsCort(dk), he doesn't use a cargo down throw into fair, but a cargo forward throw into fair.


Smash Rookie
Apr 24, 2006
Wow, you really know your DK throws. Thanks for some of the tips...I've used a couple of those, particularly juggling with cargo up throws, but will be sure to use more of those in the future. Thanks again!

-DK prevails


Smash Apprentice
Jun 13, 2006
This is a good guide, I never knew about the jump calcel dash grab. I'll be using that now. When I used play I would never dash grab. xD


Smash Apprentice
Mar 27, 2007
Rutgers University, NJ
i think to get an extra bit of height on the throw to have easier juggling.

oh and like he says in the cargo-up throw on normals/floaties, you can directly combo into upair or another aerial with a double jump!


Smash Rookie
May 1, 2008
I was fighting agasint one of my better friends and he 4 stocked my falco with his DK. Useful tecks for DK

*Spam Uair to juggle
*JC grab>Cargo Up>DK punch (charge before)
*Spam bair for distance and edgegaurding
*Down B to punish roll tecks and dodges
*nair as an ice breaker to begin the fight


Smash Hero
Mar 30, 2010
Baldwin, NY, USA or Alexandria, VA, USA (Pick one)
Hey, I find, a lot of the time that if you cargo and jump off *on the last stock* you can throw your opponent backward against the stage, effectively stage spiking. It only works on slanted stages, though, like FD and stages with shelves, like BF.
So uh, I guess after all this time, this would technically be bumping, but I had to address this....even though he posted it years ago. (>.<) Anyway, what if your victim techs the throw against the stage? Then you're below him and you'll probably die first.
May 22, 2011
Hyrule Honeymoon
So uh, I guess after all this time, this would technically be bumping, but I had to address this....even though he posted it years ago. (>.<) Anyway, what if your victim techs the throw against the stage? Then you're below him and you'll probably die first.
This is even more el bumpo ... Yes, you will die if they tech. End of story.

However, if they miss the tech, then throwing them into the stage works on non-slanted stages. You just have to know how.


Smash Apprentice
May 27, 2014
Does anyone have frame data on the throws? I'm starting to think that c back throw is faster than fthrow and dthrow, leading to follow ups and mixups PM style.

Does anyone have any good low % kill setups for Captain Falcon with jumping from the ledge in cargo throw?

I can get an edgeguard which is super nice, but if I can do anything to knock him out for a nice easy kill, that would be nice.

I've noticed if you have him in cargo, reverse jump off the edge and do a back throw, you are super close to him, but I'm never close enough to get a nair or anything.


Smash Apprentice
Aug 8, 2005
Fremont, CA
I generally don't jump off with Falcon because he is so easy to edgeguard. I would just walk to the edge and cargo dthrow then dtilt/bair camp him. Uthrow is almost always a better option though unless you want a low% gimp