[Lab Project] Exploring the use of Autocancel Neutral Air

Fox Lab Team - July 19, 2017

Project no.21: Exploring the use of Autocancel Nair

Provided by the Fox Discord Lab Team

IMPORTANT NOTE: Please be aware that there are hyperlinks to examples and demonstrations for visualisation purposes, so be sure to click on them!



All of Fox’s aerials have autocancel (AC) windows that he can access, given the right position and timing of inputting the move. For example, AC Bair can be done by doing a short hop and inputting Bair at the peak of his short hop. Each of his autocancel moves have different applications that significantly strengthen Fox’s pressure, ledge trapping and combo potential. This time, we’ll be going over one of the moves that have not been thoroughly labbed with before.


The execution of AC Nair

In order to perform AC Nair, you must do a full hop (FH) and input the Nair at roughly the peak of your FH, similar to AC Dair. However, because Nair’s hitbox isn’t as big, there is a tighter window to get the hit and autocancel compared to Dair.

Dair hitbox (last hitbox)

Sour Nair hitbox


Here is a demonstration on landing AC Nair on Sonic. Sonic is the smallest character in which it is possible to land AC Nair on. If you try to replicate the timing from this example, you will be able to hit all of the other characters in which it is possible to land AC Nair on. You will be hitting them with the sourspot of Nair. It is not possible to get the sweetspot of Nair and Autocancel the move. The only way to do this is to perform a frame sync Nair.


Who can we use AC Nair on?


Due to character height, there are certain characters that we cannot get AC Nair on, as they are too short. Here is an image of the roster, showing who can and who cannot get hit by AC Nair.

Those in colour are the characters that you can hit with AC Nair. Those who are in black and white cannot be hit with AC Nair

Some of the characters who cannot get hit by AC Nair also cannot get hit by AC Bair (Diddy Kong, Duck Hunt, Greninja, Jigglypuff, Kirby, Meta Knight, Mr. Game & Watch and Olimar). These characters require a frame sync Bair and Nair in order to do various combos based around this concept. Luckily, more than half of the cast can be hit by AC Nair.


The combo potential with AC Nair


AC Nair starts to become a useful tool to use from mid percent to very high percent (150%<). This is good as it compliments the combo potential with AC Dair. AC Dair has the best combo potential at low percent, but what you can follow up with becomes very limited at higher percents (although you can still do combos past 80% and you even have a kill confirm with AC Dair- AC Dair>RAR Bair). You can potentially switch between one combo starter with the other once you reach a certain percentage, so your combo potential never actually drops, but actually increases throughout all kinds of ranges, combined with your fundamental combos and frame traps. WIth this in mind, Fox can potentially have some very good combos.


But what is the difference between doing AC Nair and a normal Nair? Landing with Nair without it being autocanceled will put you in 11 frames of landing lag, compared to AC Nair, which will put you in Fox’s universal landing lag, which is 4 frames. Therefore, your time to followup with another move actually increases by at least 7 frames. Those 7 frames can actually make a big difference, because a lot of combos that wouldn’t work now do work. Furthermore, it increases the range of already known combos to be true. Here are some of the combos that we managed to find.


Combos (mid/high percent)

Important note: all of these combos would not be possible if you do not use AC Nair.


AC Nair>Turnaround Utilt>Uair>Uair

Not only is this the easiest combo that Fox can do, but it also dishes out some of the biggest damage out of the rest of his combos, dealing almost 50%. This can put quite a few characters in kill % from mid percent. If you get landing lag with your sour nair, then this combo will not be true, and your opponent will be able to shield your Utilt and punish you.


AC Nair>PP Utilt>Uair

We also consider this as one of the easiest combos to pull off. This can be done at higher percents, in which AC Nair>Turnaround Utilt will not connect, due to the opponent sliding too far. You will not be able to connect a second Uair, as their percentage is too high (unless you are under a platform. If you are under a platform, you can do Uair>Uair and actually kill the opponent. More information about that can be found here, as it was a previous lab project).


AC Nair>Tipper Dtilt>Uair

Another easy combo that Fox has with AC Nair, but can deal a good amount of damage. From roughly 110% onwards, it can become a kill combo as long as the opponent misses the tech when falling into tumble. You must get the tipper hitbox to do this combo.


AC Nair>Dsmash

This is a great combo to use near the ledge, as it not only is able to gimp certain characters with bad horizontal recovery, but it can make it much harder for characters to recover from directly below the stage. This means that they will have to recover from a more awkward angle, and makes it even easier for us to 2 frame punish their recovery using Utilt, Dtilt, or even another Dsmash. In the demonstration, we show how this combo, although it won’t kill Corrin, can set up to a kill confirm due to the 2 frame punish setup.


AC Nair>Grounded Footstool>UpB

AC Nair is a good setup into grounded footstool, and one of the easiest and the biggest damaging followups is doing footstool>upB. This combo will work at percents where the opponent will not get put into tumble by AC Nair (roughly from 105%. Dependent on character, staleness and rage), and starts becoming true from around 55%.


Tech Chases

AC Nair can also be used to setup tech chases, which can lead to hard punishes and kills.


AC Nair>Fthrow tech chase

AC Nair can true combo into a grab, which can setup the Fthrow tech chase at mid percent range. There are a lot of different combos and punishes that you can do from this, one of which being demonstrated in the hyperlinked video. We have already covered using Fthrow as a tech chase at mid percent in a past lab project. If you want more information, click here.


AC Nair>Ftilt tech chase

At high percent, Ftilt can put opponents into tumble, and you can get very heavy punishes if you read the right option that the opponent goes for. In the demonstration, we show how we can convert into a kill from a missed tech.


AC Nair>FF Fair tech chase

This particular tech chase is very good because it works at percents where Fox’s normal kill confirms do not work anymore, and Fox has less ways to kill. After the FF Fair drag down, simply react to what tech option they go for, and punish with Usmash. This starts to work from around 130% and can work till around 175%. DI can affect the range in which it will work, especially DI away, as they will get too far to connect the Fair at percents lower than if they did not DI at all.


Kill confirms

To begin with, Fox’s already existing kill confirms end up having a larger window in which it will be a true combo. Due to the fact that Fox is not stuck in landing lag, he has more time to run and connect a Usmash. AC Nair>Usmash can work between around 60-150%, compared to normal Nair>Usmash, which works between 85-130%. Now, let’s look at what other kinds of kill confirms Fox has with AC Nair.


AC Nair>FTHC>Usmash

Because of the cut of frames when using AC Nair, Fox now has a true setup into FTHC>Usmash. This allows you to kill opponents at percents in which Usmash would, at first, not kill.


AC Nair>Dair>Usmash

This kill confirm is a little bit more difficult to land than using AC Nair>FTHC>Usmash, but it is still a good kill confirm, nevertheless.


AC Nair>RAR Bair

This is another good kill confirm that works at very high percents. Because of AC Nair, Fox does have a few kill confirms that he can use to kill, so he may not always have to rely on raw Uairs, Bairs and other strong moves to get the kill (this does NOT mean that you should fish for these kill confirms. That is not how you will effectively kill as Fox). What is significant about this particular kill confirm is that it has an answer to almost all kinds of DI. If they were to:


  • DI Away, then you can followup with Usmash instead of RAR Bair (Example)


  • DI In, then you can followup with Uair, instead of RAR Bair (Example)


Moreover, at extremely high percents, if the opponent DIs in after being hit by AC Nair, you can true combo into RAR Bair, similar to how AC Dair>RAR Bair works at around 120% (Demonstration). If they DI in any other direction, you will not be able to followup with anything.


AC Nair>RAR Bair can be used at lower percents if you manage to catch them trying to jump or are already in the air. The same can be done with Uair, too. If they do DI away, then you can followup with Usmash or RAR Bair (depending on how high they are from the ground), like stated before.

AC Nair>RAR Bair (catching jump)

AC Nair>Uair (catching jump)


AC Nair>Fair>Footstool kill setup

To our surprise, AC Nair can indeed combo into the infamous Fair>Footstool setup. What is great about it is that it has a large range in which it will work, both very low and high percent. What is special about this kill setup is that, because they are not put in tumble for a very long time, they cannot DI this kill setup, so it is guaranteed, no matter what they do, as long as you execute it properly.


AC Nair>Fair>Footstool (low percent)

This should not actually work, but the reason why it works is that Nair slides characters across the ground when the percent is not high enough to actually lift them off the ground. When opponents slide past a ledge, they are put in a pratfall, in which they cannot do anything for a short period of time, as they fall off the ledge. This is a popular setup for jab locks on tri platform stages like Battlefield. Because they are put in this pratfall state, you can true combo the Fair>Footstool setup from AC Nair.


AC Nair>Fair>Footstool (high percent)

At percents where sour Nair can lift opponents off the ground, they are in enough hitstun for AC Nair to true combo into Fair>Footstool. This will work until around 105%, in which they will be launched too far for you to connect anything (and at that point, you might as well go for Usmash).


Note: The higher the percentage, the further away from the ledge you want to be. This way, you can be close enough to them to actually connect the Fair>Footstool.


Second note: Between around 60-75%, the Nair will start to make them rise. However, because they land shortly afterwards while still sliding, they will slide off the stage, but instead of going into a pratfall, they will go straight into their idle falling animation, in which they can do anything, which means dealing with buttons and airdodges. To avoid this, do the setup closer to the ledge at this specific range.


AC Nair and shield poking

AC Nair has the ability to shield poke opponents who have smaller shields. This allows a more aggressive approach towards pressure, and can allow you to get kills if you have applied enough shield pressure before. AC Dair can technically do this too, but because of its massive hitbox on the last hit, it makes it a lot harder to accomplish this than with AC Nair, as you are more likely to hit their shield. Here are a few examples of AC Nair being used to shield poke opponents.

Example 1

Example 2

Example 3


AC Nair and jab locks

Finally, AC Nair can be used as a setup after a jab lock for damaging combos. This is especially prominent at higher percents, as the combo potential that AC Dair has is limited past around 60%, as stated before. What could you use AC Nair for after a punish? All of the combos and tech chases that we have showcased can be used as potential followups after a jab lock, meaning you could deal at least 50%, which will either kill or get them at kill %. Here is a rough concept that you could use after a jab lock.


That concludes our lab project about AC Nair! We hope that we have opened people’s eyes with the potential that this move has, and maybe it will be viable enough to be used in tournament. Til next time~


-Fox lab team

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