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Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Rillaboom for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Moveset Concept

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Rillaboom drums up a beatdown!

In exactly one week is Nintendo's E3 2021 conference. Everyone expects that the identities of one or both of the remaining two Fighter's Pass 2 Super Smash Bros. Ultimate downloadable content characters will be revealed then.

One (unsupported) “theory” is that the Pokémon franchise is “owed” one of the DLC fighter spots (because it's big and popular and The Pokémon Company has a lot of influence over Nintendo executive decisions), and the most common-sense decision is to take a popular Pokémon from the new Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield. Top contenders include Cinderace, Toxtricity, and Rillaboom. (No one wants Inteleon.) Of those three, I'd prefer Rillaboom. Unfortunately, Rillaboom detractors cite that he's just “moss Donkey Kong”, akin to:

Green Donkey Kong Moss Rillaboom Super Smash Bros. 64
After I got this screenshot I realised how scary the top of Moss DK's head looks like.
That's the blue Player 2 indicator, not Donkey Kong having the worst haircut of his life.

KoopaTV will therefore present a viable moveset concept for Rillaboom, taking deep inspiration from the Pokémon games in putting it together:

Rillaboom's Standard A Moves (Grounded and Aerials)

Neutral attack | Double Hit
Rillaboom punches with a hook on the first button press, and follows up with an uppercut on the second button press.
Forward tilt | Branch Poke
Rillaboom thrusts a branch forward, which can also be slightly angled up or down.
Up tilt | Slam
Rillaboom swipes its arm above its head in an arc (in front of Rillaboom's face to its back).
Down tilt | Grass Knot
Rillaboom crouches a bit and swiftly swats the area in front of it with some grass shaped like a knot. Has a high chance to trip the opponent. If they don't trip, they can be sent backwards a bit.
Dash attack | Body Press
Rillaboom transitions from running into a roll for some distance, and then gets out of its roll to a neutral position.
Forward smash | Strength
Rillaboom claps the space in front of it, lunging forward to extend the range of the impact.
Up smash | Assurance
Rillaboom starts with its hands to its sides and then slaps them together above its head, presumably crushing anyone above it.
Down smash | Hammer Arm
Rillaboom raises its arms above its head and then slams them to each side simultaneously. It's a rather slow attack but can be fairly powerful and cover good range.
Neutral aerial | Acrobatics
Rillaboom spins around in the air twice with its arms stuck out, slamming whomever with its arms. Can hit on either side of Rillaboom.
Forward aerial | Wood Hammer
Rillaboom does a flip in the air with its hands together, and then uses the combined force of swinging its two hands downward to crush its foe. Can meteor smash. Doesn't actually cause recoil damage.
Back aerial | Low Kick
Rillaboom thrusts one leg backwards while in the air while continuing to face forward. Fairly fast attack. Damage is not weight-dependent.
Up aerial | Brick Break
Rillaboom extends its head as far up as its neck can support in an arc while in the air, ending with its head looking down. Rillaboom is trying to slam foes with its head, which has intangibility during the active hitbox.
Down aerial | Stomp
Rillaboom thrusts one leg downward while in the air, crushing whomever is underneath it. Can meteor smash. Note that Rillaboom cannot actually learn Stomp, but it can learn Stomping Tantrum, so it should be physically capable of learning Stomp.
Get-up attacks | Facade
Rillaboom stands up and swats the ground in front of it and behind it. The exact sequence depends on how Rillaboom landed on the ground to have to use a get-up attack to begin with. (Lying face up, down, or after tripping.)
Ledge attack | Knock Off
Rillaboom climbs back to the stage, using one of its fists to slam the floor in front of it after it climbs back on.

Rillaboom's Grab and Throws

Rillaboom takes a hand and tries to grab what's in front of it. Same with dash grab (just with some forward momentum) and pivot-grab (grabbing as Rillaboom is turning around).
Pummel | Scratch
Rillaboom will scratch whomever it grabbed with its free hand.
Forward throw
Rillaboom's forward throw has a gimmick where, upon inputting forward, Rillaboom will be able to walk and jump while the stump-drum it usually keeps on its back is holding onto someone. The victim can still mash out, but until then, Rillaboom can throw an opponent forward, backward, upwards, or squeeze them downward. There's not much special to say about these special throws, but they're basically two-handed variants of Rillaboom's other throws.
Back throw
Rillaboom turns around and throws the opponent backwards.
Up throw
Rillaboom tosses the opponent with one arm in the air.
Down throw
Rillaboom slams the opponent into the ground, sending them flying horizontally.

Rillaboom's Special Attacks and Final Smash

Neutral special | Power-Up Punch
Rillaboom winds up a punch that gets stronger with every wind up, eventually capping out at a maximum charge. The wind up charge can be stored for later at any point for either more wind ups, or to unleash the punch. Once the punch is unleashed, the charge goes back to zero. Can be b-reversed. Rillaboom cannot actually learn Power-Up Punch in Galar, but if you took the TM disc from Kalos for Power-Up Punch and smuggled it into Galar, it'd totally be able to since almost everything with arms (and even some Pokémon without arms) could learn the move.
Side special | Drum Beating
Rillaboom will take its drum out from its back and swing it downward. If used on an opponent standing on the ground, the opponent can be buried by it. If used on an aerial opponent, Drum Beating can be a meteor smash.
Up special | Brutal Swing
Rillaboom's Brutal Swing differs based on if it's used from the ground or in the air. If from the ground, Rillaboom will spin around (and slowly step forward), recklessly swinging its arms, with some super armour because it's that hard to disrupt Rillaboom once it's feeling brutal. In the air, Rillaboom can spin around for some decent horizontal distance but poor vertical distance. Opponents can easily get caught up in multiple arm spins.
Down special | Stomping Tantrum
Rillaboom will angrily start slamming on the ground with its fists and create tremors that can send opponents flying. If used in the air, it can be a meteor smash as Rillaboom will slam the area below it.
Final Smash | Frenzy Plant
Rillaboom will start by trying to punch forward. It's a rather short punch. But if it connects and Rillaboom successfully stuns the opponent, Rillaboom will summon two thick spiky tree roots that will repeatedly slam into the opponent, with the Final Smash ending in a giant tree stump emerging from the ground to send the opponent flying vertically.

Overall and conclusion

Overall, I envision Rillaboom to be a super heavyweight fighter that is hard to knock into the blast zones and can certainly dish out high damage. While Rillaboom can move relatively briskly on the ground (which makes sense given its Grass affinity), Rillaboom's aerial movement speed is sluggish (Grass types aren't typically air fighters), and most of its attacks are either slow to come out or slow to be able to follow-up due to end lag. Rillaboom's large body gives it both large hitboxes (range on its moves) but also means it has a big hurtbox and can be juggled easily by opponents. It's easy for Rillaboom to be the victim of combos, and it's pretty difficult for Rillaboom to escape pressure.

By the time I finished all of this hard work and idea-conjuring, I discover that it turns out that someone actually made a video with nearly all of my Rillaboom ideas already implemented into Super Smash Bros. Ultimate:

Upon watching this...Hm, I guess Rillaboom really does march to the beat of someone else's drum... Moss Donkey Kong it is!

Ludwig doesn't actually want Rillaboom, though it'd be better than Cinderace. If he wasn't refusing to purchase Pokémon Shield, he would've gotten Grookey as his starter, and he in fact has a Grookey plush next to him on his desk. As for another Grass-type Pokémon, Ludwig sincerely does want Grovyle from Pokémon Mystery Dungeon, especially if Grovyle came with music. Ludwig had considered writing up (legitimate) moveset concepts a long time ago for KoopaTV but he's never gotten around to it.

The next Super Smash Bros. Ultimate character is Kazuya from Tekken, not Rillaboom.
In fact, there was a curious lack of Pokémon at E3 2021 altogether.


  1. I do not have high hopes for Rillaboom. Cinderace is much more likely due to being promoted much more in the anime. I find the anime is a good predictor of what Pokémon TPC wants to promote and Pikachu, Pichu, Squirtle, Charizard, Jigglypuff (during Kanto anyway), Greninja, Incineroar and Lucario were heavily promoted in the anime. Does not explain much about Ivysaur but Bulbasaur almost evolved into an Ivysaur if that counts.

    1. Grookey might end up evolving into Rillaboom by the end, you don't know!

  2. As someone who started with Grookey, I can confirm it was a good choice!


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