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Super Smash Bros./Donkey Kong

From SuperCombo Wiki
Super Smash Bros.SSB64.png



Donkey Kong is 7th on the Tier List for his powerful moves and his infamous grab release, however he is somewhat slow, and is the largest and heaviest character in Super Smash Bros., making him viable for many combos and target practice. In high level play, Donkey Kong is known for his incredible priority Spinning Kong and back throw gimps. Donkey Kong is a hard counter to Jigglypuff, as a Donkey Kong player can grab, cargo release, and re-grab into a Giant Punch for KOs. Donkey Kong however has problems with projectiles, and characters like Fox, Kirby, and Captain Falcon combo him too heavily for him to rise on the tier list.

Normal Move Analysis

Ground Moves

  • Neutral attack: Jab, 2-4%, followed by an uppercut for another 2-4%. Comes out fast, but short range.
  • Forward tilt: Extended Punch. A somewhat slow punch forward with decent range and good knockback. 12%
  • Up tilt: Upward Knock. Donkey Kong swings his hands in an arch above him. Hitbox is the arch above him and foes standing on the ground close to him. Can chain into itself, but opponent can DI. Sets up aerial combos. KOs around 130%. Good anti-air move is timed right. Some ending lag. Can also lead into a down smash at lower damage percentages. 13%
  • Down tilt: Low Slap. A quick hand swipe aimed downwards with a little start-up. 8%
  • Dash attack: Konga Kick. A very awkward move where DK sticks his foot out and stops. Bad range and duration, lots of lag, and easily shielded. Will not hit foes that are floored. 12%
Smash attacks
  • Forward smash: Big Slap. Donkey Kong reels his hand back and thrusts it forward. Very noticeable start-up, but good range and excellent knockback. 20%
  • Up smash: Upward Clap. Donkey Kong claps directly above him, with some start-up lag. Grounded enemies near him will not be affected at all. Best used under a platform where an opponent is standing or a well timed anti-air attack. Very powerful. 21%
  • Down smash: Spinning Splits. He does a 360° spin while doing a split, which comes out surprisingly fast, for a move of Donkey Kong, and hits on both sides at the same time. However, it does have some ending lag. 19%

Other attacks
  • Ledge attack: Hoists himself onto the stage back-first, ramming into opponents. Long range, low knockback, 5-6%
  • 100% ledge attack: Climbs back onto the stage slowly, slapping opponents in front of him. Very short range, low knockback, 5-6%
  • Floor attack- Kicks while on his back, forcing his body down, then picks himself up and kicks on the other side. 6% damage

Aerial attacks

  • Neutral aerial: Spin. Donkey Kong spins around with his arms out. Somewhat long duration, decent defensive move. 15%
  • Forward aerial: Spinning Spike. Donkey Kong does a front flip with his fists clasped together, smashing them into opponents. A powerful spike if the foe is hit near the end of the animation. 12%
  • Back aerial: Backwards Kick. Donkey Kong puts his feet together and thrusts them out behind him, his body moving sideways with them. Some long duration, but good range. This attack is Donkey Kong's Sex Kick, since it not only has long duration, but gets weaker as it stays out. Donkey Kong's Neutral Aerial isn't a sex kick, him being the only character other than Fox to have a SK other than the neutral aerial. 14% damage.
  • Up aerial: Upward Knock. Donkey Kong swings his hands in an arch almost exactly like his Up Tilt. However, it is very weak, barely KO'ing above 150% in most cases. Its only real use is juggling. Some ending lag. 12%
  • Down aerial: A simple near-instantaneous Meteor Smash where Donkey Kong thrusts his feet down. His feet grow slightly as he's doing so, and slightly longer hitbox than most spikes. 13%

Grabs & throws

  • Forward throw: Trap Throw. Donkey Kong holds his opponent on his back, dealing 8%. He can then move around before throwing them forward for another 8%. This throw is based on his ability in Donkey Kong Country to effortlessly carry barrels on his back. However, foes will eventually automatically escape from his grasp. The throw has good knockback, although it can be DI'd. Can be used to perform the infinite throw trap (covered below).
  • Back throw: Backwards Throw. Turns around and tosses the opponent. Powerful in terms of both damage and knockback. Effective for both gimping and KO'ing. 18%

Special Move Analysis

Neutral Special

By pressing the special move button, DK will start swinging his arm around, charging a punch. Pressing the button once more will deliver the blow, which gains power for every completed swing. If no button is pressed, after ten swings DK will become fully charged and stop winding up; his head will start smoking to indicate this. The fully charged punch can then be delivered at any time by pressing the special move button; the punch is weaker when used in midair. If the player presses a shield button or presses the control stick left or right while charging, DK will save whatever charge he has and shield or roll. He can then continue charging later. Being hit while charging will cancel out any charge.

Giant Punch has stages of being charged, these are recorded in swings of Donkey Kong's arm, each swing DK does increases damage and knockback for the punch, the charge has eleven stages in total, the eleventh stage is the fully charged stage. A fully charged Giant Punch will have a quicker animation resulting in a quicker punch and do the most damage but is weaker in knockback.

SSB stages

Stage Number of swings Damage Percent that can KO Elbow damage Elbow percent that can KO
Stage 1 1 14%
Stage 2 2 16%
Stage 3 3 18
Stage 4 4 20%
Stage 5 5 22%
Stage 6 6 23%
Stage 7 7 26%
Stage 8 8 28%
Stage 9 9 30% 65%
Stage 10 10 32% 50% 31%
Stage 11 11 36% 48% 35%

Up Special

In terms of vertical recovery, this move goes a very short distance, but it goes almost as far horizontally as Meta Knight's Mach Tornado, making it a fairly effective recovery move. When used on the ground, the Spinning Kong can be used in a fashion similar to Bowser's Whirling Fortress; it can be used out of the shield, or as a disruptive tactic. The Spinning Kong's first hit, in which Donkey Kong extends his fist to charge up the spin, has decent knockback. The Spinning Kong can also act as a pseudo shield for some projectiles which is helpful when recovering.

Down Special

When performing it, Donkey Kong delivers an earth-shaking blow to the ground, sending nearby enemies skyward. It is one of the few down special attacks that can't be used in the air.


Advanced Strategy

Donkey Kong has the ability to use his Forward Throw as a means of nigh-inescapably racking up damage on characters. In order to do this, Donkey Kong must use the Trap Throw, but not any other throw. If the opponent escapes, they will likely still be within Donkey Kong's grab range whereupon they can be grabbed again. This throw trap can be broken if the opponent can shake towards Donkey Kong and his grab. Yoshi and Ness have the most difficulty escaping the throw trap due to their unique double jumps. Pikachu has the least difficulty due to it being able to escape using the invincibility frames of its Up Special.

Ledge Dropping

Due to Donkey Kong's laggy aerials, Donkey Kong has very little combo ability with his aerials except a Down Aerial or Forward Aerial into a throw. However, if Donkey Kong drops from a ledge, he can quickly use an Up Aerial and then l-cancel. Donkey Kong can also jump, use an aerial, and l-cancel on a ledge for a similar effect. As a result, on ledges, Donkey Kong can juggle characters with Up Aerials whom he would otherwise be unable to combo.

Down Special resets and Down Aerial usage

Donkey Kong can also cancel the first slap of Hand Slap by moving the Control Stick back after the first slap, enabling him to combo it into a virtually any move to KO the majority of the cast outside of Luigi and Jigglypuff. Donkey Kong's other main KO'ing setup outside of grab-based gimps is a Down Aerial into an Up Smash or a Down Air into a Down Smash.


Matchups Pikachu Fox Kirby C.Falcon Mario Yoshi DK Ness Puff Luigi Link Samus Total
DK 3.5 4 4 4 4 4 - 6 6 5 5 6 51.5 DK
Pikachu Fox Kirby C.Falcon Mario Yoshi DK Ness Puff Luigi Link Samus Total