Super Smash Bros. Ultimate: How to Play Terry Bogard

Terry Bogard just dropped as the newest character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and he is powerful. Not only that, he is complex. In fact he is one of the most complex characters Smash has to offer. While he certainly doesn’t have as many moves or as much randomness as say, The Hero, his move variations and cancel mechanics make him challenging to play. However, mastering these mechanics will net you easy 30-50 damage combos, devastating defense, and easy knockouts.

This data was gathered based on day 1 impressions of the character, so of course new strategies will come out over time.

The cancel mechanic

Terry lives and dies via his ability to cancel some normals into special moves. All of his most damaging combos use this mechanic. Most of his kill confirms use this mechanic. If you are going to be good at Terry, you will need to get used to using this mechanic along with some old-school fighting game style finger gymnastics. If you can, you’ll find yourself at the helm of one of the most damaging, dangerous characters in the game.

Jab – Light Punch

Your fairly standard jab. It’s incredibly fast but short range. You have to be quite close to the opponent to get it to land. It’s a decent option out of shield and it stuffs a lot of other moves due to its speed. Just be wary of its range.

Jab 2 – Body Blow

Terry’s iconic command normal was his hit-confirm in most Fatal Fury and King of Fighters games, and it does the same here. It lasts for a long time and can be canceled into any of his specials or supers. If you manage to land the first hit of his jab combo you almost always want to transition into body blow just to get a split second to choose what to do next.

Jab 3 – High Kick

The third part of Terry’s jab combo is actually not that useful. Unlike his other normals, it’s not cancelable into specials. You pretty much only ever want to use this when you need space, and even then he has better options off a canceled body blow. Try not to mash this one out too often.

Ftilt – Middle Kick

Middle kick starts out slow but it has some of the best range of Terry’s normals. If you are outside Jab range, this is one of your major poking tools. This is also the move you want to try to connect if you want to combo into Burning Knuckle or Crack Shoot, as Body Blow does not true combo into them.

Dtilt – Under Kick

This is a similar poking tool to middle kick except it has less range but comes out a little quicker. It has absolutely no knockback whatsoever, even at higher percentages. However, it easily combos into both Rising Tackle and Power Dunk of all strengths. More importantly, you can easily execute this out of a dash by crouch canceling your dash. This makes it a much better approaching tool than Power Charge.

Utilt – Rising Upper

Rising upper is a strange up tilt. It has a lot of recovery and it knocks the opponent more horizontal than most up tilts, meaning it can’t combo into itself or other jumping attacks. It can, however, be used as a decent anti-air option and, if you connect, it combos into Rising Tackle and, in many cases, Power Dunk.

Dash attack – Power Charge

Aside from being a “get off me” tool, Power Charge isn’t that useful. It chucks Terry’s whole body at the opponent, doesn’t have a great hit-box, doesn’t really knock the opponent that far, and cannot be canceled out of. At best you might want to hit this at the edge to get a more horizontal knockback, but dash into under kick is still a better approach.

Fsmash – Backspin Kick

All of Terry’s smashes kind of suck. They have crap range, small hit-boxes, and they start up slow. They also can’t be canceled into or out of. If you can lead an opponent into making a mistake, punishing with a smash isn’t horrible, but most of the time you’d rather be doing combos.

Backspin kick’s most notable aspect is its range. It reaches out quite a bit in front of Terry and moves him forward a decent distance. However it’s unsafe and slow. Use this for scoring a couple poke kills on opponents that screw up their spacing and not much else.

Dsmash – Slide Kick

Slide kick doesn’t actually cause Terry to slide everywhere and it’s one of the worst down smashes in the game. It doesn’t hit on both sides, it has awful range, mediocre damage, and you’ll be waiting till the 200’s to score a kill with it. Considering his town tilt is just awesome, it feels like this was included just to punish people who don’t have tilts on their c-stick.

Usmash – Wild Upper

Wild upper is probably the most useful of his smashes, but that’s not saying much. It has a decent hit-box which makes it a good anti-air. It has low knockback but that’s actually good because it makes it easy to follow with a jumping attack. In fact it’s one of Terry’s only paths to “traditional” smash combos that don’t use cancels. Still, if your choice is this or rising upper and you can use rising upper with little risk, then use rising upper instead. You’ll get more damage and knockback on a small rising upper combo than you will with this smash.

Nair – Chop

This is amazing. It’s very unlike most Nair’s because it only hits in a small area and most Nairs are some form of full body hit-box. However, it comes out very fast and it combos into everything. “Everything you say?” EVERYTHING! Power Dunk, Burn Knuckle, Crack Shoot, you name it. It’s a bit hard to get Rising Tackle to combo at certain percents but you can still do it. If you jump in shallow enough you can even hit Terry’s two supers. It’s fantastic. Don’t get predictable (in the words of Geese Howard) but do land it every chance you get for easy damage.

Fair – Jump Kick

Jump kick is an OK move. It’s decent at edge guarding and, if used shallowly, can combo into ground specials. However, It doesn’t naturally cancel into anything so it’s applications are limited. Only use this if you are stuck in an air-to-air situation and need a move with more range than Nair.

Bair – Jump Back Kick

Similar to jump kick, jump back kick cannot be canceled into anything giving it limited use. However, it does have decent range and impressive knockback making it a decent choice if you are trying to wall off an opponent.

Dair – Jump Karate Punch

This is one of Terry’s best moves. First of all, it cancels into any special which makes it combo into everything (EVERYTHING!) on a jump in at low percepts. “But what if my opponent isn’t at low percents” you might ask. Don’t worry, because jump karate punch is also an absurdly powerful spike. It has enough range to hit a recovering character without going too far off the stage. Since it can be canceled on hit, you can easily spike an opponent and then cancel into rising tackle for an easy recover. This is just a good move all around. Use it all the time. 

Uair – Somersault Kick

This is a new move designed just for Smash and it’s pretty amazing. It’s another cancelable air normal, though it doesn’t combo as easily as Nair and Dair. Still, it’s your go to move when an opponent is over you and can combo into Rising Tackle or Power Dunk for good damage and knockback.


Terry’s grab is actually better than it appears. He lunges forward when grabbing an opponent giving it deceptive range. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have many good options after a grab, so only use this when the opponent is turtling up. Remember, if the opponent’s shield has diminished you might be able to poke it with a Dtilt instead of a grab, and it will get you better returns.


Terry’s pummel is pretty average. It does around 2-3 damage and hits relatively fast. Note, it may be worth it to just pummel and release an opponent after a grab rather than throwing them as Terry doesn’t have very many good throws.

Side Throw –Buster Throw

Terry’s forward and back throw appear to be exactly the same. They have mediocre knockback and don’t set up for combo opportunities. The best you can do is chase the opponent afterward.

Dthrow – Neck Breaker Drop

At low percentages this can combo into an Utilt for some pretty amazing damage. Otherwise you’ll have to chase with Uairs.

Uthrow – Grasping Upper

This might be Terry’s most powerful throw distance wise but it likely won’t ever score you a kill. The best you can do is chase with an Uair and hope to combo into Rising Tackle.

Spot Dodge Attack – Dodge Upper

Terry has the ability to attack directly out of a spot dodge. While everyone can spot dodge cancel into moves, Terry is the only character who can move directly from invincibility frames into moves. The move he throws is almost the same as his up tilt, so it doesn’t have a whole lot of range. It also can’t be canceled like his normal up tilt. However, it is a fantastic move to punish people who are recklessly aggressive. Make people scared of you by landing this and shift the momentum of battle in your favor.

Nspecial 1 – Light Power Wave

Terry has a lot of special moves, each with different strengths and variations. Light Power Wave is executed by lightly pressing the special move button. It travels across the floor slowly and deals low damage, but is very good for chipping away at shields or getting your opponent to jump.

Nspecial 2 – Strong Power Wave

Strong Power Wave is executed by pressing and holding the special move button for slightly longer. This move does more damage and moves faster but otherwise is the same. If you attack the opponent with a cancelable normal but aren’t in a position to combo one of Terry’s other specials, cancel into this for some extra damage.

Nspecial air 1 – Light Burst Power Wave

Executing Power Wave in the air produces a small shockwave in front of Terry that halts his vertical and horizontal movement. You can use this after a short hop to play spacing tricks or use it to wall off an opponent. It’s also a decent gimping tool as it can knock players back after they use their jumps and recovery moves while still giving Terry enough time to Rising Tackle back to a platform.

Nspecial air 2 – Strong Burst Power Wave

This is about the same as Light Burst Power Wave but has a little less range and deals about a percentage more damage. There doesn’t seem to be enough of a difference between the two to really choose one or the other.

Fspecial 1 – Weak Burning Knuckle

Burning Knuckle has four different versions, two with the special move button and two with a command input. Weak Burning Knuckle moves a short distance and does little damage but it’s also the quickest making it your go to when you want to be sure it combos. It is done by pressing forward and lightly tapping the special move button.

Fspecial 2 – Strong Burning Knuckle

By pressing forward and holding the special move button, Terry will do a slightly slower but longer range Burning Knuckle that will knock the opponent into mid-range. Use this if you are trying to reset the opponent into neutral.

Fspecial 3 – Weak EX Burning Knuckle

This is done by doing a quarter circle forward input and lightly tapping the attack (or special) button. It does a short range but strong lunging punch that is good for combos. It has the potential to kill at high percents.

Fspecial 4 – Strong EX Burning Knuckle

You guessed it. You do this by doing a quarter circle forward and holding the attack button. This does the most damage and knockback but is harder to combo. However, it kills at 70%-ish from the right distance. This will be one of your go to kill moves especially since you can throw it out as a poke from long range and score kills on sloppy spacing.

Bspecial 1 – Weak Crack Shoot

Terry’s Crack Shoots are decent anti-air moves and good combo tools. They are also much safer than burning Knuckle since they push Terry away from the opponent on a blocked hit. The weak version of Crack shoot, done by holding back and lightly tapping the special move button, is fast but weak and is best used as a movement tool and to poke people on platforms above you.

Bspecial 2 – Strong Crack Shoot

The Strong Crack Shoot is done by holding the special move button while holding back and it operates pretty much the same as the weak version but covers more distance.

Bspecial 3 – Weak EX Crack Shoot

EX Crack Shoots are stronger and do more hits than standard Crack Shoots, making them better combo tools and worse poking tools. You execute Weak EX Crack Shoot by doing a quarter circle back and pressing an attack button.

Bspecial 4 – Strong EX Crack Shoot

To execute this do the same motion as the Weak EX Crack Shoot and hold the attack button. It has the same properties as the weaker version but covers more range. ‘

It’s also worth noting that Crack Shoot is a decent damage dealer, leading you to combos of 30+ off a simple cancel. It also leaves the opponent popped up into the air for a possible follow-up. In general, use Burning Knuckle if you want to try and KO an opponent and use Crack Shoot if you are looking for damage.

Uspecial 1 – Weak Rising Tackle

Rising Tackle is another one of Terry’s best moves. It deals quite a bit of damage and is Terry’s main method of recovery. That being said, Weak Rising Tackle, which is done by pressing up and tapping the special move button, is the least useful version. The only thing it has going for it is a low recovery time and easy execution. You’ll almost always want to use another version.

Uspecial 2 – Strong Rising Tackle

If you need to use a shortcut version, use this one. Executed by pressing up and holding the special move button, this travels are farther distance and does more damage. In addition it has slight invulnerability on Terry’s legs.

Uspecial 3 – Weak EX Rising Tackle

This is what I’m talking about. To execute EX Rising Tackles you need to charge down for a bit and then press up and an attack button. The charge is ludicrously short though and can most of the time be pulled out without much preparation. Executing a Weak EX Rising Tackle is not only more powerful than other Rising Tackle options, but it has full invincibility on startup. It’s a fantastic out of shield option, a kill tool in the air, and a great recovery tool.

Uspecial 4 – Strong EX Rising Tackle

This is executed the say way as Weak EX Rising Tackle but you hold the attack button. It travels the furthest, does the most damage, and has the biggest chance to kill. This is likely the version you will be using the most.

Dspecial 1 – Weak Power Dunk

The only difference between Terry’s Weak and Strong Power Dunks is the distance that they travel. Weak travels less distance and is less risky when used near an edge, but strong travels more distance and does a better job of carrying an opponent to the blast zone. In general, Power Dunk is a combo tool and is the go-to combo tool for knocking the opponent to the side. It also rivals Burning Knuckle for kill power. The weak version is done by simply tapping down and the special move button.

Dspecial 2 – Strong Power Dunk

As said before, Strong Power Dunk covers more distance and is done by pressing down and holding the special move button.

Dspecial 3 – Weak EX Power Dunk

EX Power Dunks do more damage but can be comboed just as easily as normal Power Dunks. They also have better knockback and invincibility on startup. If you can, use these almost all the time. They are executed by doing an SRK motion (forward, down, down/forward and an attack button).

Dspecial 4 – Strong EX Power Dunk

Once again this executed the same way as the Weak EX Power Dunk but by holding the button. It also covers more distance. In general, use the Strong EX Power Dunk if your opponent is higher over your head or if you are going for a kill and use the Weak EX Power Dunk in all other situations.

Super 1 – Power Geyser

Terry gains access to supers when his percentage rises over 100% and all must be done with special command inputs. Power Geyser is done with a quarter circle back-half circle forward motion and an attack button. In essence, anything that would combo into Power Dunk or Rising Tackle will combo into Power Geyser, and if you have access to it, you should use it in those situations. Note, that all supers can only be used on the ground though.

Super 2 – Buster Wolf

Buster Wolf is done with a double quarter circle and an attack button. If anything would combo into Burn Knuckle or Crack Shoot, then it would also combo into Buster Wolf. Once again, it can only be used on the ground. Buster Wolf can also be used as a long range punish, but whiffing will earn you a strong punish back.

Final Smash – Trinity Geyser

Finally we have Terry’s Final Smash, which causes three Power Geyser’s in a row which, if they connect, transition into a Power Dunk and Buster Wolf. The most interesting thing to note here is that it can be canceled from special and super moves.

That’s all the tips we have for you today. If you have any tips for playing Terry Bogard in Smash leave them down in the comments.