Items are among the most iconic mechanics in the Smash series, even if they don't have that big of a presence in competitive play. However, thanks to characters like Link, Peach, Diddy Kong and Snake, many aspects of these mechanics are still relevant in a tournament setting. The underlying mechanics behind items are also far more intricate than most players realize. Because of this, Smash Ultimate content creator Zack "WDBTHtGP?" Toner (a.k.a. WhyDo) has put together a video explaining many of the advanced techniques involving items.
The video starts off going over some of the basics of item mechanics—including the different types of item throws, and more standard forms of item grabs—before getting into some widely-known advanced techniques like Z-dropping. WhyDo then builds on this foundation to discuss further techniques like Z-drop aerials, and later dives into more obscure techniques like Z-catching and instatoss.
Alongside specific techniques, WhyDo also discusses some of the stranger quirks of Smash's item mechanics. This includes things like the oddly long range for grabbing items with forward tilts, as well as the weird way Smash Ultimate standardized item toss frame data.
While the length of each type of item toss is the same across the cast, the startup and endlag for each item toss varies. The end result is that the startup for a given item toss is inversely proportional to the endlag. For instance, Pichu's down toss has longer startup than Link's, but Pichu's down toss also has lower endlag than Link's, with both down tosses having a total duration of 19 frames.
All in all, this video is a great primer on the intricacies surrounding item play, as well as how utterly bizarre Smash mechanics can be when you actually take the time to thoroughly examine them.
Author's Note: What are your favorite aspects of item play in Smash? What is your favorite character with an item projectile?