# [Clarification Session] Fox vs Mewtwo Shadow Ball Tennis

The Fox Discord lab team are back again with another clarification session! A lot of Foxes and Mewtwo players tend to be misinformed about who can actually win the shadow ball reflection war. For clarification, the shadow ball war occurs when Mewtwo shoots his neutral B (Shadow ball) at Fox, and Fox reflects it back. Because Mewtwo’s side B (Confusion) also has reflective properties, he can reflect the already reflected shadow ball back at Fox. The winner of the war is the one who’s reflector does not break before the other’s reflector.

**Fox and Mewtwo’s frame data on reflectors**

Link to Fox Kurogane Hammer page

Link to Mewtwo Kurogane Hammer page

Fox’s reflector is active from frame 4 (the hitbox itself that does damage comes out on frame 6), and multiplies the original damage AND the speed of a projectile by 1.4x, so not only does the reflected projectile do more damage, but it travels faster than it did before. Furthermore, Fox’s reflector can be held, so the reflector can be out for an infinite number of frames until down B is released.

Mewtwo’s reflector works in a similar way, in which his reflector multiplies the damage of the projectile by 1.4x. However, Mewtwo’s reflector multiplies the speed of the projectile by 1.2x. Also, his reflector is out between frame 12-35, with the hitbox active between frame 12-15. Mewtwo’s side B cannot be held down, so it is only out for a temporary period of time before he must wait for the move to finish (First actionable frame, FAF, is 45).

Both of their reflectors have a reflector break threshold of 50%, meaning that any projectile that does more than 50% of damage will break their reflector and they will get hit (and probably die because they are both extremely light).

**Rage does ****NOT**** affect the outcome of the reflect war. Rage only increases the knockback of a move, not the damage. **

**Who ***actually ***wins shadow ball tennis?**

*actually*

The winner is determined by 3 factors:

- How many times shadow ball is in the move queue
- The position the shadow balls are in the queue
- The distance between Fox and Mewtwo

We will explain all of the factors in detail.

**Factor 1. How many times shadow ball is in the move queue**

*For now, we will assume that the shadow ball is fully charged.*

When the shadow ball is reflected, it will inflict more damage and travel faster. It is when the damage gets so high they it bypasses the 50% reflector break threshold that someone’s reflector will break. This requires it to be reflected a number of times, in order for the move to be reflected enough times to deal more than 50%. Depending on the number of times it is in the move queue, it will take more reflects for it to reach the threshold, as the move originally does less damage than before. Let’s use Mewtwo’s fresh shadow ball as an example.

Mewtwo’s fresh fully charged Shadow Ball will do 26.25%. If Fox reflects it, it will now deal 36.75%. If Mewtwo reflects it back, the shadow ball will now deal 51.45%. Fox cannot reflect it back, because the damage output of Shadow ball now exceeds the 50% reflector break threshold. Therefore, Fox’s reflector will break, and he will get hit by the shadow ball. We have figured out the number of reflects it will take for shadow ball to reach past 50% for all number of times it is in the queue, thus determining the winner of the shadow ball tennis.

- 2 reflects
**(M2 wins.**M2 shoots the ball, Fox reflects, M2 reflects, Fox’s shine breaks ) - 3 reflects (
**Fox wins.**M2 shoots the ball, Fox reflects, M2 reflects, Fox reflects, M2’s reflector breaks) - 3 reflects
- 3 reflects
- 4 reflects (
**M2 wins.**M2 shoots the ball, Fox reflects, M2 reflects, Fox reflects, M2 reflects, Fox’s shine breaks) - 4 reflects
- 4 reflects
- 4 reflects
- 4 reflects
- 4 reflects

*Note: “1”, is the move being fresh. It has a freshness bonus, so it deals 1.05x more damage, which is why it deals 26.25% instead of 25%. It technically isn’t in a queue at all, so it can be perceived as “0”.*

Fox and Mewtwo can win the shadow ball tennis depending on how many times shadow ball has been used prior to it being reflected.

**Factor 2. The position in the queue in which the shadow balls were used**

One thing that some players do not know is that the damage of your move is not only determined by the number of times it is in the queue, but the position it is in. If the move if used again while the repeat moves are later in the queue, it actually does slightly more damage than if the moves were earlier in the queue when the current move was used. This can make it slightly more unclear on who should win. What we have done is determined whether the positions make a significant enough effect to change who wins the shadow ball tennis.

**Significant-** changes the number of reflects needed to exceed the 50% break threshold, therefore changing who wins

**Insignificant-** does not change the number of reflects needed. The winner stays the same, no matter the position of the shadow balls in the queue

We calculated the damage shadow ball must originally be able to inflict in order to reach the 50% threshold based on how many times it needs to be reflected. Please note that each reflect will multiply the damage by 1.4x.

**2 reflects-** 25.51%

**3 reflects-** 18.22%

**4 reflects-** 13.015%

**Insignificant**(it will always deal 26.25%)**Insignificant**(deals between 23 - 24.45%, over the minimum % needed for 3 reflects)**Insignificant**(deals between 21.10 - 23.71%, over the minimum % needed for 3 reflects)**Insignificant**(deals between 19.40 - 22.77%, over the minimum % needed for 3 reflects)**Significant**(deals between 17.88 - 21.65%. If shadow balls are earlier in the queue, then it will require 4 reflects to reach past 50%. However, if the shadow balls are later in the queue, it will only require 3 reflects)**Significant**(deals between 16.58 - 20.33%. If shadow balls are earlier in the queue, then it will require 4 reflects to reach past 50%. However, if the shadow balls are later in the queue, it will only require 3 reflects)**Significant**Significant (deals between 16.58 - 20.33%. If shadow balls are earlier in the queue, then it will require 4 reflects to reach past 50%. However, if the shadow balls are later in the queue, it will only require 3 reflects)**Insignificant**(you get the point….)**Insignificant****Insignificant**

**In conclusion, if shadow ball has been used:****1-4 times:** The results will not change based on the position of the previous shadow balls (1= M2 will ALWAYS win. 2-4= Fox will ALWAYS win)

**5-7 times:** They will change based on position. Fox will win if the shadow balls are later in the queue. M2 will win if the shadow balls are earlier in the queue

**8-10 times:** The results will not change based on the position of the previous shadow balls (M2 will ALWAYS win)

*Idk why a M2 would use shadow ball more than 4 times in queue but k*

**Factor 3. The distance between Fox and Mewtwo**

Since M2 cannot have his reflector out for an infinite number of times, he can be hit while the reflected shadow ball is coming back at him. Depending on the distance, Mewtwo can either:

- Not have enough time to get confusion out and get hit
- Can only reflect it once
- Can reflect it twice

We have made a visualisation to explain the distance needed for each condition!

*Although we try our hardest to be as accurate as possible, this visualisation is not pixel perfect. It’s purpose is to give a rough idea of the distances for each condition.*

We have some gfycats showcasing the shadow ball tennis in action in different regions, and applying the other factors:

**Red region:**

Link 1 - Fox wins because M2 cannot reflect back in time

**Amber region:**

Link 1 - M2 wins as the shadow ball is fresh, so it breaks Fox’s reflector first

Link 2 - Fox wins as the shadow ball was stale and M2 could not reflect back in time

**Green region:**

Link 1 - M2 wins as shadow ball, although stale, broke Fox’s reflector before M2’s

Link 2 - Same outcome, but at a further distance

**What if the shadow ball was ***almost ***charged?**

*almost*

If in a scenario in which M2 does not fully charge his shadow ball, then Fox does in fact win. We have only tried it when the shadow ball was almost charged (obviously it will not be released on the exact same frame, so we have a few percentage differences, but M2 was hit everytime). Here is an example

(You can see that M2’s reflector did actually come out, but because the shadow ball was over 50%, it broke though it, hitting M2).

**I think I might end up losing? What do I do if I have already started reflecting?**

No need to worry. Because Fox’s reflector is jump cancellable upon reflecting a projectile, you can jump over the shadow ball (even shinestall to be extra safe). Shielding is not recommended because Shadow ball can do a lot of shield damage (it does roughly 31.24% shield damage + 3% extra shield damage, so 34.24 shield damage all together. Knowing the fact that your shield has 50% health, it eats roughly 7/10 of your shield from a single shadow ball. You can end up getting your shield broken if you have already recieved shield damage).

This concludes our clarification session. We hope we cleared a few things about the shadow ball tennis!*-Fox discord Lab team*

Follow the Lab Team on Twitter

Special thanks to Kurogane Hammer and Ruben. We used their resources to calculate some of the outcomes. Without it, this would have been a much harder and more difficult process. Please give them a follow and look at their resources!

KuroganeHammer’s website for sm4sh frame data and character attributes

Blog link to how to use and apply Ruben’s Sm4sh calculator

*This blog post was written by a SSB World
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