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Launch resistance, also called knockback resistance or super armor, is a phenomenon that manifests itself during certain moves in all four Super Smash Bros. games. It is defined as a character not flying when hit during a certain time, or in some cases not flinching as far. Note that knockback resistance, as the name implies, only affects knockback. The attack's full damage will still be taken. Yoshi's Midair jump, Snake's Cypher, Diddy Kong's Rocketbarrel Boost (On the ground), and Kirby's Stone are the only common moves with finite amounts of knockback resistance, while all other knockback resistance moves have infinite knockback resistance (extremely strong attack on Kirby's stone makes full knockback but no damage).
Knockback resistance was limited to Yoshi's double jump cancel counter, most characters while throwing, Giant DK at low percentages, and Metal Mario. Master Hand basically has infinite knockback resistance, meaning he cannot be tossed and cannot be stunned by hard-hitting attacks unlike normal characters.
Yoshi retained his resistance, while Metal and Giant characters had their resistance decreased a whole lot. Giga Bowser also has very large amount of knockback resistance when fought in Adventure Mode. He must be at 200-300% to have average knockback. Master Hand and Crazy Hand both have infinite knockback resistance. Captain Falcon also has very few frames of Launch resistance while using a Falcon Punch.
Many characters have knockback resistance, usually in the form of moves that give a temporarily infinite amount (a.k.a. super armor.) All of the moves are "super armor" unless otherwise stated.
|Character||Moves||Conditions and Notes|
|Bowser||Giga Bowser||Giga Bowser: For the entire period of being Giga Bowser. Note that Giga Bowser is not immune to hitstun.|
|Diddy Kong||Rocketbarrel Blast||Only the grounded version (not standard launch resistance).|
|Donkey Kong||Giant Punch, Spinning Kong and Carry Throw|| Giant Punch: only if fully charged; while moving his arm forward but the attack needs to make contact with his left arm and before it is released. |
Spinning Kong: only the grounded version; just before he starts to release it (frames 10-16 first hitting on frame 19); if he leaves the ground with Super Armor frames when using the grounded version, a glitch will make the Super Armor frames last for the entire move. Also, if an item such as a Smart Bomb while spinning, he will freeze until the explosion is finished.
Carry: for the entire first second of the carry only.
|Ganondorf||Flame Choke||In the grounded version, when holding the opponent off the ground; opponent also gets super armor. In the aerial version, the opponent gets super armor but Ganondorf does not, allowing for strange KOs on stages like Norfair or Brinstar.|
|Ike||Aether and Eruption|| Aether: After throwing his sword in the air, but before he leaps up towards his sword. |
Eruption: some frames after the special move button is released but before the sword hits the ground. (The Eruption super armor will not work if the attack was fully charged.)
|King Dedede||Super Dedede Jump||From the start until just before the apex of the jump.|
|Kirby||Stone||The entire duration, does not take any damage or knockback except attacks that do at least 25% on him do full knockback but no damage (e.g. Critical Hit, King Dedede's fully charged side smash) (not standard launch resistance).|
|Olimar||Pikmin Order||During the first few frames|
|Pit||Mirror Shield||Grounded version only; while pulling the shield out: frames 4-6.|
|Pokémon Trainer||Charizard's Fly, Squirtle's Forward Smash, and Withdraw|| Charizard's Fly: The beginning of the ascension fumes: Frames 4-13, making it when jumping out of shield and also making it a very good combo breaker.|
|Snake||Cypher||Snake cannot be flinched by any hitbox that deals exactly 7% or less, regardless of the knockback of the individual hitboxes. Most multi-hit moves deal less than 7% per hit, so they usually cannot interrupt the Cypher (though they of course still deal damage) (not standard lauch resistance).|
|Wario||Forward Smash and Wario Waft|| Forward Smash: While moving forward: frames 8-12 |
Wario Waft: When fully charged, during the first few frames
|Yoshi||Double-Jump|| Yoshi gains (approximately) 3860 mph-worth of knockback resistance, as measured by the post-Brawl stats (under the "top launch speed", though the unit "mph" is nonsensical). This means that Yoshi will ignore any knockback that would launch him at less than ~3860 mph(approximately 150%). As he is damaged, of course, he takes more knockback from an attack with the same launching power, meaning that weaker attacks will begin interrupting his double jump when Yoshi is at higher percentages. None of this prevents Yoshi from being affected by hitstun. (super armor frame will only take up to about 33% damage on the Smart Bombs) (not standard launch resistance).
(See this post on SmashBoards for more details.)
|All Characters||All grabs (except Olimar's), including Special Moves that penetrate another character's shield such as Chomp, Egg Lay, Inhale, Super Inhale, Falcon Dive, Dark Dive, Flame Choke, Force Palm, Flying Slam (first frame only, not standard launch resistance).||But in fact grabs do not have real super armor just when the first frame that a grab hits a victim, they successfully connect, and like grabs have higher priority they stop the knock back of the attack in that frame (because it would be nonsensical to grab someone and receive knock back at the same time) and thus the victim doesn't receive knockback. Another Super Armor happens when both characters get hit while one is grabbing the other. Whoever has higher controller port priority (Whoever has higher number, for example player 4 always beats player 1) takes full damage but no knockback at all, while the other takes full damage and full knockback.|
- When a character has super armor frames, this is similar to being hit by a phantom hit.
- The nickname of "super armor" comes from the "SuperArmor" program seen in the Megaman Battle Network and Megaman Star Force series, which prevents Megaman from flinching or being knocked back while equipped.
- A better 'Super Armor List' Thread: lists characters and their moves that have Super Armor, along with some frame data.
- The Armor Project: explains how knockback-resisting moves that are not super armor work, including Snake's Cypher and Yoshi's midair jump.
- Smash 4 - Super & Heavy Armor
- Smashboards Invincibility and Super Armor Data on Smash 4