Optimal Pokémon Change Frame Data Comparison


Smash Journeyman
Oct 25, 2014
As you probably know, the long cooldown between switching Pokémon can be shortened by using a Special or Taunt to cancel the Pokémon Trainer's switching animation. From experience, people already have a rough idea which Specials are optimal to use for each Pokémon but there were some that were not completely clear like Ivysaur Side B vs Up B. So I decided to test the frame data of all the relevant moves that can shorten the switching animation.

Pokémon Change duration = 141 frames (can switch soonest on frame 142 after pressing Down B)
However you are stuck in the Pokémon Change animation only for 40 frames. So starting from frame 41 you can act freely.

This means you have exactly 101 frames to perform any Special or Taunt and if its duration is 100 frames or less, you will be able to switch sooner than if you just used regular attacks or didn't move at all and just kept mashing down B.

The Taunt durations are equal for all 3 Pokémon:
All Taunts are cancellable after 50 frames, allowing you to act freely, but not switch yet for another 24-26 frames.
Down Taunt
: - first switch possible on frame 74
Up Taunt:
- first switch possible on frame 74
Side Taunt
: - first switch possible on frame 76

So Taunts can save you at most 28 frames between switches. Side Taunts for some reason take 2 frames longer to switch, so always use Up or Down Taunts for this.

Neutral B (Spot dodge cancelled): - first switch on frame 39
Neutral B (Shield cancelled): - first switch on frame 34
Neutral B (Jump cancelled): - first switch on frame 23

Up B: - first switch on frame 48
Side B: - first switch on frame 47

Neutral B
: - first switch on frame 71


- the best Specials for fastest Pokémon switching are Squirtle's jump cancelled Neutral B, Ivysaur's Side B and Charizard's Neutral B.
- learn the timing for Squirtle's jump cancelled Neutral B. It saves you more than 10 frames over the next best option.
- taunts are slower than the best specials, however I could see Up or Down Taunt being viable for Charizard. The Taunts prolong your switch only by 3 frames compared to Flamethrower but in exchange, you can act 20 frames sooner if you cancel them. So they leave you less vulnerable. Not to mention how cool it is having an actual optimal use for your taunts.
- using this technique you can save up to 79 frames with Squirtle, 55 frames with Ivysaur and 31 frames with Charizard for a total of 165 frames per full cycle. That's almost 3 seconds of lag you can eliminate!