Some early Hero frame data, MP mechanics, and other mechanical observations

Amazing Ampharos

Balanced Brawl Designer
Writing Team
Jan 31, 2008
Kansas City, MO
Hero frame data:

Jab1: 6
Ftilt: 9
Utilt: 8
Dtilt: 6
Fsmash: 17 (Charge Release: 12)
Usmash: 13 (Charge Release: 7)
Dsmash: 9 (front), 20 (back) (Charge Release Front: 7)
Dash Attack: 21

Standing Grab: 6
Running Grab: 9
Pivot Grab: 9

Nair: 8
Fair: 14
Bair: 18
Uair: 6
Dair: 16

Neutral Special (minimum charge): 17
Neutral Special (releasing maximum charge): 16
Side Special (minimum charge): 16
Side Special (maximum charge): 50
Up Special (minimum charge): 7
Up Special (maximum charge): 39

Basic Special MP Costs:

Neutral: 6/16/36 [Fails on release if no MP, able to charge with no MP, does not use accumulated charge]
Side: 8/18/42 [If no charge and no MP, does the attack anyway with no lightning, very poor attack; if you try to charge past your MP supply does a fail animation]
Up: 5/9/18 [If no MP or attempt to charge past your MP supply, does a very small upward recovery, similar distance to solo ICs Belay]

MP Recharge:

Recharge 1 point of MP every 60 frames passively (1 second).
MP will not recharge while using magic, including charging specials or selecting things in the command menu.
Recharge MP in chunks when hitting with standard attacks or throws. Here's a general measure of how much each restores per use, but I made some observations that were off by one. It's possible some moves may restore decimal amounts of MP, and of course, while doing these moves, the MP tick per time is happening in parallel which could just be making it hard to tell stuff. Charging smash attacks does not affect MP regeneration, but getting crits does. I'm not going to try to get crits on every smash to test (they seem pretty rare), but enjoy the data on usmash. Late/sourspot hitboxes seem to generally restore less, but I only documented that case on dair which is the most obvious example of a move having a different hitbox:

Jab1: 3
Jab2: 3
Jab3: 3
Ftilt1: 5
Ftilt2: 8
Utilt: 8
Dtilt: 7
Fsmash: 17
Usmash: 15
Usmash (crit): 31
Dsmash (front hit, uncharged): 11
Dash Attack: 12

Pummel: 1
Fthrow: 7
Bthrow: 9
Uthrow: 7
Dthrow: 5

Nair: 9
Fair: 11
Bair: 12
Uair: 7
Dair: 16 (9 with late non-meteor hit)

Command Stuff:

Command menu pops up in a single frame after hitting down-B and is responsive to input on the next frame. You can select commands with A or B. Either shield or jump cancels the menu, but jump cannot cancel the menu in midair if the double jump is spent. Shield will always airdodge as it menu cancels in the air, but on the ground if you release the button VERY quickly, you can cancel the menu without pulling up your shield. Pressing grab or c-stick (mapped to tilts at least) will behave like A or B and will use the currently selected move.

The menu is very responsive for cursor movement. The cursor responds to a directional input with movement every frame, but if a direction is held, the cursor will take 16 frames to move in that direction again. This means to move multiple consecutive times in the same direction, you need to tap that direction for one frame, release for one frame, and tap that direction again for one frame. The menu does "wrap around"; hitting up at the top or down at the bottom skips to the other side of the menu so the slowest spell to menu to will be your third spell.

To make this easier, and this is important, the dpad mapped to taunts can move the cursor! This can't let you do anything you couldn't with the stick (hitting dpad down on one frame and analogue stick down on the next does not move the cursor twice; it behaves like it was held), but you can obviously tap and untap the dpad WAY faster than you can do frame perfect return to neutrals on the stick. You might have guessed this as well, but hitting left/right (with either the stick or the dpad) simply does nothing in this menu.

For now I cannot possibly document all of these specials. A few notable things I can mention; Zoom doesn't put you in helpless and actually seems to restore your double jump (!), and Kaclang can't be canceled early which makes it 100% useless as far as I can imagine (maybe if you're during the countdown to a timeout?). Even with low MP, Magic Burst has a really impressive hitbox and might actually be a better move at very low MP. Bounce lasts a pretty long time (didn't measure but felt like at least 5 seconds) and doesn't seem to lose durability by reflecting stuff. You basically have enough time to try to use the command menu twice when sent off-stage and hope you get Zoom; if you get hit to the upper corner and still have your double jump as well, you could probably squeeze in three uses.

The specials you get feel really random, but I'm unconvinced it's true random. In theory if all 21 command menu items were equally likely, you'd expect not to see one particular special on 17/21 of command menu uses. The rough math is that using the menu three times gives you about a coinflip of seeing one special come up which doesn't speak well to your odds of being able to recover with Zoom. However, anecdotally, I've seen Zoom in the menu pretty often and Kamikazee seems really rare. A big future todo project is doing thousands of trials of menu usage and documenting how often each special appears; I strongly suspect each special has a rarity value associated. Alternatively, maybe a hacker will just give us this and spare us the pain. I'm pretty sure menu positioning is totally random, and I haven't noticed any obvious pattern of which specials appear alongside each other. It also has no problem giving you expensive specials when you're low on MP so I doubt there's context sensitive special selection going on here.
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Smash Journeyman
Dec 7, 2014
Nice info great stuff mang.

Later I want to sit down and ty to figure out the probability of OHKO scaling on Thwack with percentages. I imagine it's something like 1/4 your damage = probability of OHKO but I haven't been able to test yet.


Smash Hero
Nov 15, 2007
I wonder about zoom and kamikaze like you mentioned. It'd actually be cool of zoom would show up more often when off stage. I feel like i've seen both equally as much, but it's a really good thought, i'll try to see if i see some more than others.
Aug 29, 2018
Yeah, like the OP and Teeb147 said, I don't think the spell selection is truly random, I get some spells a lot more frequently than others. Like, at the start of most of my stocks, I have a very high chance of either Oomph or Phyche Up appearing in the menu, so I usually (not always) have a buff right away. If someone were to datamine the game and see the chances each spell showed up, it would be super handy to look at.


Smash Journeyman
Feb 1, 2015
Ann Arbor MI
I think the command menu has a little bit of a bias that can gives you just a little control over what spells you get. This is currently just a theory that I have not tested, but it seems the menu will always prioritize spells you can afford, as no matter how low my MP is I can usually afford at least 2 spells. Furthermore I see Hocus Pocus and Kamakaze more often at low MP levels.

I also think the command menu has some situational awareness. Whenever I aim for zoom off stage, I seem to get it fairly often. And while I very rarely see Metal Slash in my command list, it seems to almost always come up when an enemy hero casts Klang.

This could all just be coincidence, but I figured it is worth throwing out there. If this is true and investigated further, Hero players may be able to control the chaos that is this character in their favor.
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