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A tether recovery is a type of recovery move where the player latches onto the side of an arena with an extendable item/hook. If there is a nearby ledge when this is used, the tether will automatically snap to it. Pressing the standard attack button after grappling a ledge will pull the character to that ledge. If the ledge is currently occupied when a tether recovery is used, it will fail to grab. If a player ledge-drops after tethering, they can re-tether. A similar move in SSBM (called the Wall-grapple) existed for Link, Young Link and Samus; however, the difference between the two moves is that a tether seeks out a ledge, while wall-grapples activate when they touch any wall. In addition, throw based Tether Recoveries, like those that were Wall Grapples in Melee, no longer put characters in a helpless animation if they miss, although Up Special tether recoveries do (With the exception of Zero Suit Samus).
Many of these moves have longer range than regular recoveries and also home in on the ledge, allowing for better control. On the downside, they can be edgehogged, making the recovery useless (although, if done correctly, the player can take his/her enemies down with him/her if the tether hits the opponent). In addition, none of the other players can grab the ledge while a player is attached to it with a tether, making it a way to edgehog the other players. Tether Recoveries can't work on ledges like drop blocks and icy edges.
In Super Smash Bros. (Wii U and 3DS), tether recovery can now be done from an even longer range than before. In addition, multiple characters can latch on, but the one that actually grabs hold is determined by the same rules as the standard ledge grab.
List of Tether Recoveries
A Grab Aerial (also know by the technical term Zair) is an aerial attack that utilizes a character's grab attack in the air. It can also be used as a Tether Recovery. Link, Samus, Young Link, Lucas, and Toon Link are the only characters with this ability. However, Lucas's Grab Aerial does no damage and has no knockback, and is for recovery purposes only. Grab Aerials are performed simply by pressing the grab button while in the air.
Grab Aerials inflict little damage and have very little KO potential. However, they have long range, and can be used to surprise an opponent. A short hop followed by a Grab Aerial can be useful for spacing. They are also considerably more useful in SSBB than in SSBM, due to no lag upon landing, contrary to the game's lack of L-cancel. In both games characters with it can cancel an air dodge with Zair, which in Brawl it allows one to Zair or tether recovery without dropping a held item. Another difference between the two games is that Zairs do not cause a character to go into a helpless state in Brawl, allowing for repeated usage more easily, as well as being able to safely use the move off of the stage.
If Link, Toon Link, or Samus use their Grab Aerial right before they get Star KO'd (i.e. in the air, but not in the blast line), they will get instead KO'd in the same manner as when they are KO'd horizontally.
List of Grab Aerials
- Link (Melee) - Shoots his Hookshot forwards. Very low power and high ending lag.
- Link (Brawl) - Shoots his Clawshot forwards. Long range, but not as long as Samus' Zair. Two hits, 4% first hit, 6% second hit. Can "combo" into a Boosted up smash. Good spacing move.
- Lucas (Brawl) - Thrusts his Rope Snake forward. No damage.
- Samus (Melee) - Extends her Grapple Beam. Can be cancelled by dropping a bomb before doing the Zair.
- Samus (Brawl) - Extends her Grapple Beam. Has great range and speed making it a very good spacing move. 4%. Commonly considered Samus's best spacing move.
- Toon Link (Brawl) - Shoots his Hookshot forwards. Short range compared to Link and Samus' Zair. 4%. "Combos" into U-smash and into aerials. Very useful for kill combos.
- Young Link (Melee) - Shoots his Hookshot forwards.