The Ins-and-Outs of Game and Watch Bucket

Wood - October 26, 2017

I think there is some confusion about G&W bucket that needs to be addressed since no commentators seem to know how it works.

Bucket has it's own KBG and BKB stats, it does NOT matter what the knockback of the projectile you absorb is. ALL that matters is the damage you absorb. This is why you can absorb something like samus bombs that do no knockback but do like 8% and kill samus from 30% in the middle of the stage.

EVERY bucket kills. Bucket, provided it is not stale, has a minimum % of around 18%, which means it has a minimum knockback. yes even fox laser bucket will kill fox around 100% from the middle of FD. Yes even PK fire bucket will kill ness around 115%. It is almost as strong as his sourspot Fsmash.

Bucket has a maximum damage of around 60% too, no matter what you throw in it, with corresponding KB.

To calculate how much damage a bucket will do, the calculation is 2.8x the damage of the projectile you absorb. YES, if the projectile is stale it WILL affect bucket. Do this for each projectile until the bucket is full. 

Here are some examples of projectiles filling G&W's bucket.

  • Fox laser bucket does 18%. Late Fox laser does 1.4% each. 18/3 = 6, 6/1.4 = 4.2, it hits the minimum
  • Mario fireball bucket does 42%. Mario fireball does 5% each. 42/3 = 14, 14/5 = 2.8
  • Charge shot bucket maxes out at 60%. Charge shot does 25%. 25*2.8= 70%, it reaches the ceiling

Below is a chart denoting the damage of the bucket if you filled it up with the below damage moves. (example: 4 damage means using 3 4% projectiles to fill bucket).

As you can see, there is a trough in the middle once you start filling it with moves that do more than 10%. Here's the catch. Each slot of G&W bucket can only be responsible for 20% of damage output. This means if you have a move like sheik vanish, the first one will absorb 33.6% (12*2.8), filling two slots, and the second one will fill up the last slot, maxing it out at 20% for a bucket total of 53.6%

Damage Needed to Fill Bucket Slots

  • 0-9.4% = 1 slot
  • 9.5-19.4% = 2 slot
  • >19.5% = 3 slots filled at once

Bucket is NOT a projectile, and should not be attempted to be reflected or absorbed. It is a disjoint, like a sword, or more aptly, palutena upsmash.

The oil attack itself starts frame 2, so it is an excellent combo breaker, OOS option, and combo ender as it's range will help reach what your fair wont. It will also hit below ledge if it's at the very end of the "spill" and will cover up to roll on distance, so keep that in mind when covering ledge options.

WOOD's Smash Guides: G&W Buck Bucket Guide Part 1


Aside from just the attack itself, the absorb move has a few properties worth noting.

For one, it stalls your vertical momentum and carries your horizontal. While the latter is only useful for some under the stage shenanigans or using it twice to extend your double jump momentum, the former is useful in certain situations, mainly when you are grounded and your opponent is trying to read your pop out. Pull out bucket and it will stall you immediately, most likely making your opponent overshoot you as they expect you to fly out.

You also get Intangibility Frames while you are absorbing something. This is what allows G&W to bucket things like link's bomb and bomb-omb without getting hurt, as they use 1 frame to prime, activating I frames, then another to explode. This creates fake-out situations with things like PK fire, as the Ness will often try to grab you after you absorb it. Keep in mind you need 7 frames before bucket will start absorbing something, so time carefully.

Bucket has a minimum FAF of 50 frames, pretty slow, and if you absorb anything during that, the timer will basically start over, unless you absorb into a full bucket. That will shorten the FAF somewhat.

What  Moves Can and Can't Be Absorbed by G&W's Bucket?

There are youtube videos showing what you can and can't absorb with bucket, so I'll put one below instead of listing them, but you'd be surprised what counts as "energy" in this game with some inginuity.


I hope these facts have alleviated some confusion over this powerful, yet obscure move. Thank you for taking the time to read this.


This blog post was written by a SSB World community member. Share your Smash 4 knowledge by creating your own blog post now.


Good article! Well-written and informative. Keep up the good work!
Mr. Roo - October 27, 2017

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