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Bowser
Universe Super Mario Bros.
Appears in Melee, Brawl, Clash
Debut Super Mario Bros. (1985)
Availability Starter
Tier D / D (26 / 24)

Bowser is a starting playable character in Super Smash Bros. Clash. This is Bowser's third time appearing in the Super Smash Bros. game series although he is now no longer the only enemy of Mario's who fights in Smash with the mushroom logo. Bowser curiously entered the Dark Tournament to see if his army could finally get somewhere and ended up encountering Master Hand, who had a plan to finally dispose of Mario and let him control the Mushroom Kingdom. Bowser agrees to this and becomes a much bigger threat than Mario could have ever imagined.

Bowser is an offensive character who also has great defensive options and a lot of ways to keep his opponent guessing. His mix-ups are great and his command throw is awesome plus he has some other tools at his disposal. Of course he has some problems with his size, among other things.

"Oh, how the mighty have fallen" sums Bowser over the course of development up. Bowser has fallen an absolute ton, from the top of B tier to on the verge of being considered a low-tier. While Bowser's close up game is something else, he's just so slow and hard to get in with he gets absolutely trampled by the top tiers. He's currently 24th out of 26 on Tier List and 26th out of 28th if you want Secret A there. His new revamp should boost him up quite a bit on the next list.

Overview

The King of Awesome is definitely one of the strongest characters you're going to find in Clash. Bowser's changes mostly helped him to combat the sheer speed the other characters have and he lacks, and oh boy can he utilize his new toys well. He's less of a straight forward grappler than Black Shadow but he's got plenty of elements of the style between his overall more defensive approach and excellent punishes to really bring the pain onto the fast rushdown characters who used to give him major problems among other boosts.

Once again, Bowser is the character with the heaviest weight making him extremely difficult to KO quickly. Bowser's armor rating is also the highest in the game, meaning he takes a little less stun from attacks than other characters and is fairly difficult to land basic jab -> tilt combos and the like on compared to everyone else. His power and punish game are both fantastic allowing Bowser to not only kill fast but punish people with quick KOs if they dare to do something punishable in his range. His Flying Slam is probably the best throw in Clash and it serves an absolute ton of uses for him. Some other things to note about the Koopa King are that he has several armored moves, excellent anti-air options, decent rolls, 3 out of 4 outstanding Smash Specials and has an excellent set of ground normals.

Bowser isn't the largest character anymore (that dishonor goes to Ridley) but he's still large enough to be pummeled by other characters easily. Even his crouch and crawl barely help him here. He also needs to be really really close to the other fighter in order to fight well although he can fight from a range with his two Final Smashes. Naturally, due to this Bowser has some problems getting inside the range of a more projectile-based defensive character. He also falls quickly which makes him easier to juggle, has a long list of moves that are very easy to punish on shield or whiff, has two difficult to set-up Final Smashes, is a slow meter builder and has a really bad spot dodge.

All in all, this is definitely Bowser's most useful incarnation in the Smash series. His moveset has more options than ever before and it all works well to make him an all around solid character with some fatal problems that make some of his match-ups harder than usual still. Whether he's the King of Awesome he claims himself to be or something else entirely all depends on who's playing as him.

I'm ALWAYS the King of Awesome! It's that lame Doom guy who thinks my awesomeness is variable! Pffft!

Pros

  • Heaviest weight and highest armor of all the characters; hard to KO and damage.
  • Has an amazing punish game with Flying Slam and Whirling Fortress
  • He has a lot of good mix-ups and ways to set up his very powerful command throw, let alone fast normal grab with powerful throws.
  • Good power; deals high damage and knockback with his attacks.
  • His armored attacks come in handy
  • An extremely difficult character to approach from the air thanks to armored anti-airs and kara set-ups.
  • His strong attacks are really good with high power, range and priority.

Cons

  • Massive target; very easy character to land blows against
  • Has a lot of problems approaching the other fighter, especially if they're good defensively.
  • Vertical recovery is extremely lackluster.
  • Needs to be right up close to deal the heavy damage he's known for.
  • Fast falling speed make him easy to land juggle combos
  • Some of his attacks are very easy to punish; particularly his Dash Attack, Down Smash and many of his aerials on landing.
  • Due to his style of play, it takes a while for him to build the meter he really enjoys using.

Changes from Brawl to Clash

Buffs

  • Short hop and double jump each go a little bit higher.
  • Whirling Fortress goes up a little higher when used in the air.
  • Up Aerial now hits on frame 14, has 4 frames less recovery lag, 2 frames less landing lag, and when combined with his slightly higher short hop can be used as an auto-cancel. It's very hard to do, however.
  • Fire Breath priority upgraded to destroy all 1 priority or lower projectiles, starts on frame 18 (compare 23)
  • Ground Flying Slam now grabs on frame 4 and is much harder for the control to take over, plus it does 21%. Aerial Flying Slam does 22% and grabs on frame 6, plus it has invincibility to non-command air throws. Both versions have much higher knockback.
  • Flying Slam range increased: It now has a little more range than Dedede's old standing grab range. Air version has less range but it's still just around that standing grab area.
  • Standing grab will grab on frame 5; one of the fastest normal grabs in the game. Dashing and pivot grabs unmodified.
  • Bowser Bomb's two hits now automatically combo into each other.
  • Forward Aerial has received no changes to the slashing attack, but if Bowser is really close to the other fighter on frames 5-7 it can be used as a throw.
  • Down Aerial is much harder to DI out of, recovers 10 frames faster and on counterhit staggers the opponent for a great deal longer.
  • Side Smash, Up Smash, Up Aerial and Dash Attack can each absorb one hit of super armor: Side Smash can take 0.230 or weaker attacks, Up Smash 0.200, Up Aerial 0.195 and Dash Attack 0.145
  • When Side Smash is shielded at full charge, it deals 1% chip damage (now a VERY unique property to Smash Bros.) and does more shield damage.
  • Down Throw now puts the opponent in a knockdown state which allows Bowser to either go for OTG-hitting attacks or mix-ups.
  • Back Aerial has 4 less frames of ending lag.
  • All his throws do more damage, and Forward and Back Throws have noticeably higher knockback.
  • Side and Up Strongs now both start on frame 8.
  • Side Strong is less effected by Stale Move Negotiation in knockback; damage it's identical to Brawl.
  • Roll dodges now last 32 frames and are a bit longer, plus they have an added frame of invincibility at the end.
  • Air dash added that can be used to avoid some attacks decently.
  • Whirling Fortress has one frame less start-up; this means the invincibility now overlaps with its active frames like in Melee.
  • Falls slightly faster.

Nerfs

  • Bowser's lower arm can be damaged during his Side and Up Strongs. However, Bowser does keep intangible attacking hands during his jab and Down Strong.
  • Knockback growth on Up Aerial is oh so slightly slower; it KOs Mario about 4% later.
  • Knockback grwoth on Up Strong is also just a tad slower; Mario is KOed about 2% later.
  • Bowser recovers from grab releases at the same rate as the other characters. This effectively removes his grab release tricks from the last game.
  • Flying Slam 'Koopa Hop' glitch is still in, actually, but the move will work to get one double jump back per time Bowser is in the air.
  • Flying Slam base knockback increased enough to the point where it is extremely hard, if not impossible to follow it up without Clash Canceling it at even early percents.
  • Flying Slam has 18 frames extra of recovery when whiffed on the ground; 3 in the air.
  • Up Smash goes a little lower.
  • Falls slightly faster.
  • Fire Breath becomes weaker a bit faster.
  • Bowser Bomb drop does 18% damage and the hop does 3%.
  • Very slightly (like, 0.008% of his Brawl volume) larger model.

Other

Moveset

  • Note: Bowser has received a revamp and now plays a bit differently from his older self. His old moveset can be found in old revisions of this article.

Ground Moves

Normals

  • Neutral Attack: Bowser performs a left hand claw slash then a right claw slash. A high ranged jab with very fast start-up and is not an easy move to punish, plus Bowser's hands can't be hurt while the hitboxes are out. It also helps to set-up some of Bowser's really nasty tricks like his basic big damage combos and ticks into Flying Slam. Great move.
    • Damage: 5% per slash, 10% total
  • Side Strong Attack: The classic Koopa Punch from old games is back for Clash. It has Bowser perform a lopsided backhand punch that can be aimed to hit at an about 30 degree angle up or down: The up version works well as an anti-air for opponents who jump to right in front of you, the side version works best as a poke / stab attack, and the down version works to hit crouchers the regular version doesn't. This attack is very fast on start-up for a heavyweight tilt (8 frames) and has a hitbox out for 7 frames plus it has the standard heavyweight power. All the versions also have amazing range and crazy priority; this can clank with many weapon attacks easily. It's pretty safe if you hit with the farthest point of the hitbox but can be punished up close if the other fighter has fast reactions. Overall just a great all-purpose attack for the Koopa King.
    • Damage: 11%
  • Up Strong Attack: Bowser slashes above him in a rainbow arc starting from his front side and ending right behind him. The hitbox on it above and behind Bowser is fantastic, although the one right in front isn't great and as such you shouldn't really be using this against someone on the ground a whole lot. Besides, if it does hit on the ground, if it is shielded the opponent has a lot of time to counter. It's great to attack airborne opponents due to the fast start-up however and also works great in juggle combos. This is also a really strong Up Strong above all else; kills many lightweights around or below 100%.
    • Damage: 12%
  • Down Strong Attack: Bowser does two slashes along the ground. This is a rare two seperate attack move where the first is actually the stronger of the two, although the second one isn't bad in strength. The range is not as good as the Side Strong but it is stronger in damage and knockback, plus it hits every croucher cleanly obviously. Like the Neutral Attack this attack has Bowser's hands become in-damageable during the active frames. The range does make this hard to use but it really is a solid attack.
    • Damage: 14% on the first hit, 11% on the second
  • Dash Attack: Bowser falls on the ground and tries to headbutt the opponent. You can use it to absorb some attacks with the new armor property and launch the opponent into the air or as a kara throw for Flying Slam, but otherwise this isn't a useful move. The range isn't great plus it's insanely easy to punish.
    • Damage: 12%

Smash Attacks

  • Side Smash Attack: This has Bowser lean back a bit before charging forward with an insanely powerful headbutt. The attack is a two hitter that does enormous damage if it does hit and also does insane knockback. The little lean at the end works well to dodge attacks that hit right next to Bowser then slam them with this... or you can just use the one hit of armor to absorb whatever they threw at you. Either way they'll take huge pain. Despite having a lot of recovery it it does get shielded the high amount of shieldstun and push back makes it very hard to punish without a very fast long ranged attack. All of these factors make spacing a very important part of the attack; if too close it can whiff entirely or just hit once for low damage and knockback. You need to be a bit farther so either both or just the second hit connects. This move does have a high learning curve and takes time to know how to use properly due to the start-up; if mastered though this is a really powerful force. Another use for this attack is as a kara throw for the Flying Slam to both increase the grab range and avoid a punish before the super armor kicks in. Check the Flying Slam section for more.
    • Damage First Hit: 10% uncharged, 14% charged
    • Damage Second Hit: 23% at body uncharged, 21% at head uncharged, 32% at body charged (if this is blocked it deals 1% to the opponent), 29% at head charged.
    • Total Damage: 33-31% uncharged, 46-43% charged
  • Up Smash Attack: Bowser stands on all fours and then jumps up with his shell to hit opponents. This move will also hit again on the way down as a little quake. This move going up a bit shorter of a height is a shame, but it's still a great anti-air. Even better at that job now that it has some armor on it actually; you cannot absorb EVERY Aerial (example attack that has a high enough armor rating to break the armor is Thunder Stomp) plus you take damage but it is the next best thing to having a Shoryuken. It also works great to punish ledge mix-ups and people who tend to put shield downs too quickly, plus it's very powerful with ok start-up.
    • Damage: 20% (uncharged), 28% (charged)
  • Down Smash Attack: Bowser hides in his shell and spins around for several hits. The long amount of active frames allow you to really easily punish anyone who tries to roll or sidestep dodge Bowser's arsenal, plus for a Down Smash the knockback is great and the damage is awesome. This is also Bowser's fastest Smash Attack (fast enough to combo off jab 1) to start and is difficult to DI out of. The main problem with it is probably the poor hitbox.
    • Damage: 7 hits for a total of 21% uncharged and 29% charged

Aerial Moves

  • Neutral Aerial: Bowser hides in his shell and spins around mid-air. There's a good amount of active frames on this move plus it's fast. By the standards of a Neutral Aerial the power is great but by Bowser's standards not so much. An alright air dodge punish but otherwise not too useful.
    • Damage: 13% clean, 9% late
  • Forward Aerial: Bowser quickly slashes at the air right in front of him. This is an incredibly fast attack and probably the most useful Aerial Bowser has at his disposal; it's auto cancel ability, range and speed all work together to create a very powerful attack to apply offensive pressure, it ticks well into Flying Slam, and it's also a great attack to combo into and out of. It's also one of Bowser's best edgeguarding options and if kept fresh it's not weak. Just an amazing attack and one move that a Bowser user must know.
    • Damage: 13%
    • Alternate Forward Aerial: If you perform this move right next to an airborne opponent, on frame 5 instead of doing the regular attack you get a throw that has Bowser launch the foe off of his head like his old Forward Throw. It's hard to follow-up and is mostly just there for air dodge punishes, but if you get it this comes in handy. Does 16%.
  • Back Aerial: Bowser leans back to crush opponents with his shell. It has a great hitbox, good damage and good knockback plus it isn't slow making it decent for opponents trying to attack behind you. The landing lag on this is absolutely enormous still; you are doomed if you do land on the ground because they can punish with almost anything. It does have some properties that make it worth using in the air though; at least it recovers faster in the air than it does on the ground.
    • Damage: 15% initially, 7% clean
  • Up Aerial: Bowser headbutts anything that comes above him. This is one of the extremely few armored aerials in the game and also one of the strongest aerials, let alone just up aerials, in the game (albeit nerfed from Brawl slightly) plus it is good in all areas of speed except, naturally being Bowser, the landing lag. Being able to auto cancel this for a short hop is an enormous plus now; combined with the armor Bowser is a very unsafe character to approach from the air. Can also be put into juggle combos for very low percent KOs if done on low blast line stages.
    • Damage: 17%
  • Down Aerial: Bowser hides into his shell, flips himself over, and spins around for several hits. This still isn't a terribly useful move outside of it's Meteor Smash gimmick but there are some new applications for it. It's slightly easier to use as an auto cancel for a full hop and is easier to connect all the hits. The main new application for it is that you get what is essentially whatever you want to do if it hits another attacks and wins the priority battle; that is a LONG stagger which allows for some good damage. Otherwise this is far from a notable move; at least it's safe on shield. Far from safe on whiff and landing however.
    • Damage: 9 hits for 27% in the air, landing hit does 2%

Grabs and Throws

  • Grab: A quick two hand grab that's really easy to punish if you're out of range. The range on it is ok, but it's still better than the really bad range on his dash and pivot grabs. The standing grab is really fast though; one of the fastest in Clash.
  • Pummel: Bowser headbutts the foe. Not very fast but good damage.
    • Damage: 3%
  • Forward Throw: Bowser grabs the foe's face, breathes fire on it, then slams his other palm into the foe's face to launch them forward. Absolutely brutal and long animation, although the DI window for it only starts right before Bowser launches them. The knockback on it is high for a throw and can kill around 120%; at low percents a Dash Attack combos from it.
    • Damage: 18%
  • Back Throw: Bowser walks the foe over to his behind and punches them with a fiery fist. Stronger than the above, but also has higher base knockback (making follow-ups just about impossible) and does a bit less damage.
    • Damage: 16%
  • Up Throw: Bowser throws the foe up into the air where they'll then be hit by his rotating shell multiple times. This move has low, set knockback that allows for some good juggles after it lands.
    • Damage: 12%
  • Down Throw: Bowser comically body slams onto his opponent while they're on the ground, putting them in a knockdown state. This makes for a great mix-up attack that can put the opponent in really bad situations be it with a punish when they get up, a Bowser Bomb OTG attempt or other attacks.
    • Damage: 14%
  • Air Throw: Bowser throws the opponent into the ground with both of his hands. Bowser's air throw is a very high ranged one and like the above if you're close to the ground sets up great mix-up opportunities to gain a huge advantage over the opponent.
    • Damage: 16%

Special and Super Moves

Standard Special Move: Fire Breath

Bowser's signature ability. Bowser leans back a bit while inhaling, then exhales with a huge stream of flames coming out of his mouth. This flame stream can be angled up or down plus it is capable of hitting downed opponents as an OTG attack if aimed downward.

Bowser's Fire Breath serves quite a few uses in Bowser's game. It is one of Bowser's only ways to inflict damage from anywhere outside of super close range and is one of his primary methods of dealing with those pesky projectiles that make his approaching life Hell. Anything with 1 or less priority (basically anything that isn't something like full charged Shadow Ball) can be destroyed using your fire. The Fire Breath itself counts as a 1 priority projectile, as well, so you can use it easily to override your enemies' basic attacks and control ground and air space against characters right up close. You need to be aware of how your opponent directional influences themselves though; angle the fire and retract the flames as appropriate to avoid a punish.

The aerial version starts up faster than the ground version which when combined with it's projectile-class priority makes an excellent approach for Bowser and one of his only reliable ways to get inside the range of defensive characters such as Falco and Funky Kong. It's also great to dominate anti-air attacks of most types that lack invincibility; you'll just burn them and all is good.

The Fire, if used by a ledge is also a very annoying edgeguarding tool for characters who do not have invincible recoveries or tethers. It can cover a lot of space around the edge of the stage, including near the ledge. If you can get the opponent down at a good angle using attacks like Forward / Neutral Aerial and down tilted Side Strong you can really mess the other fighter up with this. It's really difficult to get around without taking some damage, and when they are back on the stage that damage will get you that much closer to the KO.

Your Fire is going to become very weak and cover barely any space around Bowser if you breath for too long (especially notable since it becomes weak a bit faster in Clash) so make sure to rely on this only sparingly and make sure it's charged. To charge it you just have to not use it for a while, although using the Smash Special version wil let you keep your charge as it doesn't use the energy the normal version does.

The Fire also takes a while to recover and has short shieldstun, the range it covers isn't exactly outstanding and isn't going to do a lot of damage by it's own. Almost anytime you have your opponent fried, you need to either Clash Cancel it and go into other attacks or cancel into Bowser's Clash Attack (this can be only done before the 5th hit the opponent receives, though) if you want to get some good damage off of it. The shield damage isn't bad though. Fire can also be reflected and absorbed by Mr. Game & Watch's Oil Panic, Ness' / Lucas' PK Magnets, can be countered by Lucario's Mirror Coat and the like just like other projectile esque moves so be aware of these as well.

Still a solid attack people will be aware of. Each hit does approximately 1-2%.

Smash Special Version: This version is completely different from the regular version of the move and probably most resembles Urien's Aegis Reflector if you need a reference for how it works. This version has Bowser inhale yet again, but when he leans forward he this time releases a fire ball right at the maximum distance of the standard Fire Breath. Before it is thrown out you can use the control stick to angle where Bowser spits this ball out. This fireball has 5 points of 'stamina' and this stamina can be broken in these ways:

  • Getting hit by it will have the opponent stuck by it until they either DI out of it or take all the hits and make it disappear. Each 'stamina' point deals 3%, but they count as separate attacks. This means if Bowser tries to follow this up with more attacks and all five hits connect, the follow-up will count as the 6th hit of the combo and be scaled appropriately.
  • Disjointed hitboxes that hit it that are not fully charged smashes take off one point.
  • Making contact with a shield for 12 frames does one point of damage.
  • Fully charged smashes that are disjointed hitboxes take off two points.
  • 0 priority projectiles take off one point per hit.
  • 1 priority projectiles take off 2 points per hit.
  • 1 priority projectiles that are Smash Specials take off 3 points per hit.
  • 2 priority projectiles take off 4 points per hit.
  • Smash Special 2 priority projectiles break the ball.
  • 3 priority projectiles break the ball.
  • Any attacks with invincibility frames immediately vaporizes the ball.
  • Bowser being hit while the ball is on screen will automatically have it vaporized.

Yes, it is possible to catch Clash Attack and Final Smash attempts with this ball if they do not have invincibility. The ball 'breaking' off into an explosion does 6% with alright knockback and does not happen if enemy physical contact (ie they took damage from the ball as mentioned in the first point above) is what made it lose all it's stamina, if Bowser was hit, and it also doesn't happen if an invincibility frame move broke it. Using Fire Breath also makes it vaporize immediately as does using this Smash Special again.

This is an incredible tool to annoy people with just like the regular version; many characters that do not have a solid counter to it like what's listed above or a teleport are going to have problems dealing with this thing. It allows Bowser to attack safely with just about whatever he wants to create strings that lead to huge shield damage. You can also use this in some combos for alright damage. Just an incredible move and one of Bowser's primary uses of meter against rushdown characters.

Side Special Move: Flying Slam

Bowser's primary command throw that has received a wide variety of adjustments, although at face value it's the same. It has Bowser grab anyone close by him and if he's successful he flies into the air while spinning then slams back down into the ground. Bowser can control the attack's landing path by steering the control stick during the lift but the opponent also has some control over this although it's a lot more limited: The opponent needs to have about 40% or higher less damage than Bowser to do almost anything significant to this move's path.

Many of the old tricks (except for some follow-up options) from Brawl you could do with this are back in one way or another. Probably the most important one of these is Bowsercide which has Bowser using this to kill both himself and an opponent at once, which has many useful applications. It's useful to 'reset' the stocks to 0% if Bowser is at a stock lead and high percent while the opponent is at a low one; if you can pull this off you're going to give the other fighter huge problems. Bowsercide is also useful for a 'safe win' since if Bowser's control port is lower than the other player's and both players are at a single stock Bowser is the winner. However, if Bowser's control part is larger, Sudden Death will occur.

The 'Koopa Hop' from Brawl is also in, albeit butchered. This was a glitch in Brawl that allowed Bowser to use this close to the ground to retain his double jump and thus let Bowser stay in the air forever and increase Bowser's air mobility. It's still here... sort of. It only works once per air borne launch. This means you can do a double jump, air Flying Slam, double jump again, but the Flying Slam performed after that will not get a jump back. However, since air dashes in Clash share a counter with double jumps you can also use this to regain air dashes and make Bowser's air mobility when combined with his good air speed pretty insane. Very useful tactic to help Bowser get inside and create some of his very few combos.

Bowser has a variety of ways to 'tick' (grab the opponent right after shieldstun ends for a tough to avoid set-up) into this grab to catch someone who shields a lot off guard. Some basic and obvious methods are the first hit of a jab or Clash Canceling a Fire Breath from long range then dashing in with it. Another great set-up for it is a properly timed Up Aerial auto cancel (only works on larger characters); the shieldstun on it is high so unless the foe side steps or rolls the Uair this can be a very difficult tactic to avoid. This also works with the Forward Aerial but not quite as well. Anytime you are trying to tick, make sure to be aware of grab immune (such as Lucario's SS-ExtremeSpeed) or invincibility frame (Ryu's Shoryuken, etc.) moves which can counter it, as well as frame 1 start-up attacks like Squirtle's jab. Always be aware of people just trying to move out of the way also since the throw has a ton of recovery on whiff allowing them to punish with all kinds of things.

Some other more unorthodox set ups for it are by using kara canceling; a popular gimmick from other fighting games now applicable with the new attack cancel system in Clash. Kara'ing a Side Smash before it hits into a Flying Slam can really catch people off guard since it not only gets you a much faster to come out and unblockable attack but since the Side Smash moves Bowser forward a bit you're effectively increasing the already crazy range on the grab. Also a strange bug you can do with it is by charging the Up Smash and then releasing the charge and canceling into a Flying Slam at the exact same time: It gets you a sort of Instant Air Flying Slam that has Bowser float upwards to Usmash jump height while executing the grab; makes a decent anti-air option.

This is a move you're going to constantly be making people scared of when you are inside. It's very fast and is extremely painful, being a huge damage dealer and KOing some characters below or around 100% which is a HUGE knockback boost from Brawl. Plus it can grab people who are in the air, breaks air dodges, is not techable (it's a command throw!) and has an absolute ton of range. This is why people are afraid of being anywhere near Bowser and you should always be pressuring the opponent into being opened up for this move.

The ground version has faster start-up but is slightly weaker in damage and knockback. The air version is slower with less range and can't grab crouching characters but it is stronger than the normal ground version.

This attack does 21% on the ground and 22% in the air.

Smash Special Version: This version has less range and does less damage than the regular version, but it is invincible and grabs on frame 1 for both the air and ground versions. It has Bowser fly straight into the air with his opponent, spin around several times then slam the opponent into the ground extremely hard. This will ground bounce the opponent allowing you to follow it up with more attacks, and when used off stage is a guaranteed Bowsercide that grants Bowser victory regardless of controller port.

This gives Bowser access to some of his truly dangerous combos and resets; something he otherwise isn't very good about and the start-up speed + invulnerability lets you punish almost any attack that comes out of the opponent. Plus, very few characters aside from Bowser and Ganondorf can effectively perform resets at this point in time. A fantastic move to use meter for. Does 18%.

Up Special Move: Whirling Fortress

Bowser spins around incredibly fast to the point where you can notice the shell visually rotating around at high speeds. In Melee, this move was one of the very few good reasons to play Bowser, and in Brawl it is definitely one of his major tools. Clash is not different as far as this move being insanely useful goes.

This has never been a good recovery move and still isn't in Clash, although it has some uses as one. The horizontal distance it can cover is insane which allows Bowser, when combined with his fast air speed and air dash, to easily make it back from almost any attack that sends a fighter mostly horizontally. The vertical distance is the problem; it barely goes higher than Bowser's double jump now and really is pathetic for helping Bowser recover from Meteor Smashes, spikes and semi-spikes. The handy part of the aerial version is that it has start-up invincibility that, unlike a lot of moves with them, actually overlaps with active frames (albeit barely) which makes punishing it harder than it seems. High priority after the invincible active frame doesn't hurt either.

Kara canceling an Up Smash into this as mentioned in the Flying Slam description above can also make this version of the move function alright as an anti-air since it has invincibility and is going to deal a TON of damage if the opponent doesn't DI correctly. The damage also makes this ok to use in some juggle combos.

The ground version is much different from the air version. It doesn't lift him up like many grounded versions of Up Specials do and has the same start-up, high priority and invincibility the air version has. It also deals less hits and shield damage, but makes up for it with some noticeable knockback and some added on shieldstun. The primary use for the ground version is as a punisher when Bowser has a shield up; this move as an Out-of-Shield option is really one of Bowser's defining traits as anti-rushdown: It allows Bowser to quickly move along the ground with a high priority, alright strength attack that's hard to punish and can't even be damaged initially. This can even work as an ok alternative to Bowser's roll since it's an attack and itself an ok roll punish (albeit not a safe one if it hits later in active frames) but Bowser's much needed roll buff makes this not quite as reliable as it was. Also should be noted that if you just roll off the stage with it you are left in helpless; be careful!

One of the best defensive attacks in the game. When combined with his Flying Slam, he's a really difficult character to punish and it's just all-around awesome.

The ground version does 11% on frames 5-6, 5% on frames 7, 11, 15, and 19 and 3% on frames 23, 27, 31, and 35. The air version does 10% on frames 5-6, 3% on frames 7-10, 12-14, 15-18, 19-22 and 23-26 and 2% on frames 27-30, 31-34, 35-38, 39-42 and 43-46. The ground version will usually only connect with just a hit or two so usually just 16%. The air version can do up to 31% if every single hit connects.

Smash Special Version: Has invincibility for 14 frames instead of 5; otherwise no changes. The air version does not leave Bowser in helpless but you cannot double jump, air dodge or use specials afterward. Rolling off the stage with the ground version does leave you in helpless though. Canbe used as an even better punishing attack to just ram through all sorts of things you aren't sure the normal version would.

If you're a master at utilizing the normal invincibility however this may seem kind of redundant and you may find better uses for your meter.

Down Special Move: Bowser Bomb

Bowser hops into the air a bit in front of him and slams down using his rear. Bowser hits on the way up into the air. When used in the air it obviously only hits once; just the slam. Bowser beginning this move in the air has slightly faster start-up than the ground slam following the hop.

The hop doesn't have any kind of invincibility and does not have particularly high priority so there are only a few match-ups where this can be applied as an anti-air successfully. The start-up isn't horrible however; there are some ways you can stuff this in as a combo ender for pretty good damage. It's been nerfed, sure, but 21% is still plenty to get you through the day especially since the hop and slam are not separate damage scaling hits.

It isn't the best attack to just fall on someone with since as mentioned above the priority isn't the best. The really bad part is that in exchange for that power, it is extremely unsafe and punishable by almost any attack the other fighter uses. This means you can be in a really bad spot if the other fighters see this move coming. Probably the easiest way to land it is to constantly assault the opponent from the air with Fair/Bair/Uair and get them used to the timing on dodging them. After that, you can just slam them with the rear of the Koopa King for a powerful mix-up.

The primary use for this is as an edgeguarding technique. Bowser can use this as an edgeguard by activating right above an edge and being by it during active frames will have him cancel the attack and immediately grab the edge. This allows you to not only just ram through someone in the vertical area of the ledge but also keep you safe as you're not going to deal with the enormous ending lag this usually has.

The initial hop does 3% and the slam does 18%.

Smash Special Version: The ground version does the Brawl damage of 4% / 20%, and the aerial drop does 22%; both also kill Mario about 10% earlier. There still isn't any invincibility, but speed buffs have been added all around. The hop now starts on frame 3, the ground-to-air slam on frame 17, and the air drop starts up incredibly fast for a stall-then-fall at frame 7. The priority is also a fair bit higher than the regular versions. The ground version is a very powerful tool for combos and if you have a full bar, can lead to Clash Cancel -> double jump, SS-Flying Slam for an effective reset. The air version is a great surprise move to punish people who make dumb decisions on the ground.

Neither version will grab ledges like the regular version so be aware of that as well. They also have the same, really bad landing lag the normal versions have.

Clash Attack: Fist of the Koopa King

  • Uses 2 bars of Bowser's Clash Attack Meter.
  • Done with Down, Down Forward, Forward + Special + Attack.

Bowser leans back, then attacks with a quick uppercut that launches the foe high into the air. He'll follow that up a different punch depending on where Bowser is: The air version has Bowser perform a double handed hammer that semi-spikes with very high knockback and the ground version has his him perform a roaring straight similar to his standard Bowser's Inside Story punch attack that has slightly higher, straightly horizontal knockback. If the uppercut does not hit then the other punch is not performed, but instead Bowser will take note of the whiff / shielding and attempt to grab the opponent with an extremely powerful version of his Flying Slam.

The range on this isn't much, although the start-up isn't much at 5 frames and all of it is before the hyper flash so if the opponent did not pull a shield up / begin to dodge / start an invincible attack before the attack began then they WILL get hit by this. Plus, the damage on every possible version of this attack is very high and the knockback is HUGE. The priority on this is, oddly enough, really bad, so don't expect to beat a lot of attacks that have a lot of active frames with this move. You are also in a pretty bad spot if the uppercut is blocked since the shieldstun from it ends well before Bowser initiates the throw; probably the main way the throw will connect is if the opponent is dealing with a SS-Fire Breath ball.

It isn't very hard at all to combo to and you just cannot ignore that power. If you can abuse those two factors, this isn't a bad meter use.

The uppercut does 20%, the double fist hammer does 27% and the straight does 30% for a total of either 47% or 50%. Hyper Flying Slam does 60%.

Final Smash 1: Dark World Military

  • Requiers his entire Super Smash Meter to be filled.
  • Done with Down, Down + Special + Attack

A small piece of text "Oh, you think you'e going to win. You and what army?" appears at the bottom of the screen. Then a small Koopa Troop airship appears out of nowhere and picks Bowser up. Bowser then yells "THIS ARMY!" in his trademark ham tone and then, naturally, shows you that army. Bowser's airship will be found at the VERY top left or top right (depends on which end of the stage he was closer to when the Final Smash started) and is invincible until the attack ends, or under one circumstance...

From there, a slew of Koopa Troop soldiers pop up on screen to attack the opponents. The things that can show up are:

  • Goombas just dash across and stagger into opponents for 5%. These are common.
  • Koopa Troopas start off marching forward, but then get into their shells and ram across the screen for 8%. These are common.
  • Shy Guys come on to the screen while rolling massive, spike boulders that deal 17% with good knockback. They are really, really slow however. These are uncommon.
  • Bob-ombs function fairly differently from how they do as an item. They'll just stroll around on the screen and explode if someone comes by, but this explosion has a bit larger of a blast radius in exchange for less power than the item version. When they explode they do 23% and are uncommon.
  • Magikoopas quickly fly through the stage on a broom, and if anyone is something resembling close to them, they'll zap the opponents with geometric magic that does 15% with high knockback. They fly really fast, and if they DO make contact with people they'll deal 12% with a big less knockback. These are rare.
  • Blitty is a little block kitten that will just run across the screen like a Goomba will, but they only deal 2%. Only one Blitty shows up per use of the Final Smash at around the middle of the storm. If the Blitty gets hit by the other fighter (not easy, considering how small and fast it is) Bowser halts all orders and the Final Smash ends. If it does hit then the opponent needs to be prepared for...
  • ... Broggy, who will only shows up if that Blitty in the middle of the storm hit. He's always the last enemy to pop up in an army; if you don't get the Blitty to hit a Goomba hits at the end instead. He'll appear, bark and hop for a small bit then home in onto whoever has the least damage for an extremely powerful rushing attack. He'll then, if there are other players, attack the fighters with the second and third most damage. Broggy is much, much harder to avoid than every other part of this move and is ridiculously powerful KOing most characters around 15-20% and dealing 75%.

Depending on the amount of opposing players in a match, a different amount of soldiers show up for the party. Filling the Super Smash Meter up more causes more enemies to join, determine the speed of how soldiers move, and the rate of enemy appearance (there is more time between enemies coming on screen at low SSM and far less at high SSM)

  • Bowser or Bowser's team are fighting one opponent: 24-34 enemies
  • Bowser or Bowser's team are fighting two opponents: 33-46 enemies
  • Bowser is fighting three opponents: 45-63 enemies

This is definitely an attack you'll want to save the SSM for in order to make really effective. It's Bowser's by far best way of fighting from anything resembling a distance, but a lot of the enemies aren't hard to dodge when Bowser doesn't have the SSM filled a whole lot. Near full or at that point it becomes very difficult to dodge everything as they'll be moving around everywhere with faster dashes, higher jumps and the like and it becomes a lot easier to hit with Broggy for a very easy KO.

It is very obvious that you can't combo into it, but it can be easy to string some of the goons Bowser summons together. Decent Final Smash.

Final Smash 2: Burning Doomsday

  • Requires at least half his Super Smash Meter to be filled.
  • Done with Forward, Down, Forward + Special + Attack.

Bowser roars at the sky and then points one of his claws down. After that, an enormous pillar of lava charges through the entire vertical axis of the stage. Where this pillar appears depends on how you moved the Control Stick: It starts about half a Battlefield length away from Bowser and the maximum distances are full battlefield length away and right next to Bowser.

Sadly not as good of a keep away killer as you would think. It takes a while for the lava to move closer to the ground, usually giving the other players enough time to recover from what they're doing and dodge it. You have a better shot at catching someone high in the air with it; it can be very difficult for someone high in the sky using flying mode to dodge the pillar since they're so close to the initial appearance line. The lava initially moves very slowly, but as it comes closer to the ground it starts to fall down faster.

The other two uses for this are edgeguarding and in combos. This is the Bowser Final Smash you can combo into, albeit several of the set-ups are either difficult or require meter. Some ways are:

  • SS-Flying Slam can work if you summoned the pillar just a bit before grabbing.
  • Using grounded Bowser Bomb (either version) to launch the opponent, Clash Cancel, then activate this. On smaller stages, there's enough time for the pillar to get to the ground fast enough for this to combo. On Final Destination, Realgam Tower and other large arenas this is not a guaranteed combo but this Final Smash does hit OTG and will hit not a whole lot later than the smaller stage set-up.
  • Counterhit Down Aerial staggers the opponent long enough to the point where if you activate it RIGHT after coming out of Down Aerial's landing lag you can summon the pillar and on REALLY small stages it will hit before the opponent comes out of stun. On most other stages it just comes fast enough so that the opponent doesn't have much time to dodge.

This makes a really good edgeguarding option for Bowser if you are willing to use it as such. The pillar does cover the ENTIRE vertical area of a stage regardless of whether it hits on the stage or otherwise which can make characters who do not have good options for 'floating' in the air or do not have very fast recoveries have problems getting back on to the stage alive and well. Snake, Ike if he needs to use Aether, Sonic and Ganondorf are characters this can be an effective tactic against.

This is the Bowser Final Smash to use against rushdown or other close-up fighters while his first one is more anti-defense designed. A good attack.

This Final Smash does 20 hits 3-4.2% each. The total damage varies from 60-80%. It all depends on how much the Super Smash Meter is filled.

Other

  • Ledge Attack: Bowser hides into his shell and rolls onto the stage. Extremely fast but otherwise not special.
    • Damage: 8%
  • Ledge Attack (100+): Bowser perfoms a slow claw swipe. Easily punished.
    • Damage: 9%
  • Trip Attack: Bowser gets up and slashes his claws twice, once back and once forward.
    • Damage: 8%
  • Get-up Attack: Bowser rears himself backward to hit with his feet, then forward to hit with his head.
    • Damage: 8%

Taunts and Victory Poses

On-screen appearance

Appears onto the screen by emerging from a wall of extremely hot fire.

In The Dark Tournament: Adventure Mode

Competitive Tactics and Advice

Match-ups

Advanced techniques

Combos

Advanced

  • 1. Far Forward Aerial, double jump, Far Forward Aerial, cancel into Flying Slam (should whiff), double jump, Far Forward Aerial, land, dash, Bowser Bomb (1 hit), Clash Cancel, double jump, wait for opponent to come out of hitstun (they should flip over mid-air), SS-Flying Slam, Side Smash (close, 2 hits)
    • Damage: 89%
    • Notes: The soul crusher, although it costs 4 meters. Deals enormous damage and usually gets the opponent off-stage to set up edgeguards. Works best around 20-30%, where some characters can be killed outright with this combo. If Clash Attacks are set to cost 1 meter, using Fist of the Koopa King instead of SS-Flying Slam will deal 106% and almost always finishes the opponent off.

Costume Colors

Trophies and Profile information

Challenge Wall rewards

This is a list of Challenge Wall rewards for Bowser in Super Smash Bros. Clash and how to obtain them. You need to do these tasks with Bowser, obviously.

  • 1-1: Bowser (Trophy) - Clear Classic Mode.
  • 1-2: Bowser Profile A (Profile) - Clear All-Star Colosseum.
  • 1-3: Airship Armada (Trophy), Nuclear Flying Slam (Trophy) - Clear Boss Strike Colosseum.
  • 1-4: Bowser Icon #2 (Wi-Fi Icon), Bowser Color Set A2 (Colors) - Clear 100-Man Clash.
  • 1-5: Prologue: Bowser (Movie), Cutscenes: Bowser (Movie), Ending: Bowser (Movie) - Clear Last Story.
  • 2-1: Theme of Bowser (Super Smash Bros. Clash) (Music), Bowser's Castle (Stage) - Clear Bowser's storyline in The Dark Tournament: Adventure Mode.
  • 2-2: Zangief (Super Street Fighter II: The New Challengers) (Sticker, [Throwing] Attack +24) - KO at least 75 opponents in Endless Clash.
  • 2-3: Bowser Jr. (Character) - Win at least 30 matches on Stage Builder stages. Note if you unlock Bowser Jr. in a different way, this is automatically crossed out.
  • 2-4: Bowser's Castle (Trophy) - Play 3 matches on Bowser's Castle.
  • 2-5: Bowser (Super Mario Sluggers) (Sticker, Flinch Resistance +44) - Send Sandbag over 1,458 feet in Home-Run Contest.
  • 3-1: Omega (Sonic Heroes) (Sticker, Launch Power +20) - Encounter Bowser's first Rival in Classic Mode.
  • 3-2: Dry Bones (Assist Trophy / Assist Character) - Land 3 KOs using Assist Characters.
  • 3-3: Bowser Brawl (Super Mario Galaxy 2) (Music, plays on Bowser's Castle) - Land 20 knockouts against Mario across all game modes.
  • 3-4: Super Mario Bros. Game Set C (Chronicle Game Set) - Play as Bowser in Group and Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection modes for 25 minutes.
  • 3-5: Bowser Bronze Title Set (Title Set) - Clear Classic Mode, All-Star Colosseum, and Boss Strike Colosseum on Hard at least once each.
  • 4-1: Zangief Stage (Street Fighter II: The World Warrior) (Music, plays on Training Stage) - Perform at least 10 Final Smash Finishes in Stock matches.
  • 4-2: Airship Fortress (Mario Kart DS), (Music, play's on Rainbow Road - Encounter Bowser's second Rival in Classic Mode.
  • 4-3: Koopalings (Trophy), Bowser Silver Title Set (Title Set) - Clear 15 stages of the Pit of Survival without taking any damage.
  • 4-4: Bowser Profile B (Profile) - Clear Grand Finale Colosseum.
  • 4-5: Bowser Color Set B (Colors), Bowser Game Script (Script), Bowser Wi-Fi Icon #3 (Wi-Fi Icon), Bowser Gold Title Set (Title Set) - Clear Bowser's other 19 challenges.

Trivia

  • Magmortar had several other ideas for how Burning Doomsday would work. One included being a mutli-character grabbing throw that had him throwing the opponents into a sea of lava in the Dark World and another idea had Bowser throw a fireball either forwards or upwards; each hit several times and if the upward one reached the upper blast line without hitting any characters it would cause a rain of lava to fall onto the stage similarly to a whiffed Sphere Flame.

External links

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