When Super Smash Bros. Brawl was released in 2008, it drew criticism from much of the competitive Super Smash Bros. Melee community for its slower pace and lack of advanced techniques such as as L-canceling, wavedashing and so on.
One technique that originated in Brawl, however, was the DACUS. It became a staple move for several top tiers in the game and remains one of the more noteworthy advanced techniques in Brawl’s meta.
What’s A DACUS?
DACUS stands for “dash attack canceled up smash” and has also been called “boost smashing” as well. By initiating a dash attack and canceling it with an up smash, characters can use the momentum from the dash attack to gain more distance on the up smash.
There is a small frame window to perform a DACUS, and it can depend on the character as well. How far a DACUS goes depends on what frame you pull off the move as well. While every character can perform a DACUS, it is more useful for some characters (such as Snake, Sheik and Falco) than others.
What Is The DACUS Used For?
DACUS is often used as a follow up and potential kill confirm; it’s common to see Falco, Wolf and Sheik mains use a DACUS to try and land an up smash KO (Falco in particular gets good use out of DACUS out of his down throw and to confirm off of lasers.) Any character that gets good distance on a DACUS can punish bad landings and potentially net a KO off it.
Snake players will use DACUS to move around the stage quickly and easily; it’s more often used as a positioning tool for this character. Snake has the largest window to pull off a DACUS, and the distance he covers with the move makes it a powerful tool with multiple uses such as escaping danger, applying pressure and getting to the ledge quickly.
Variations Of DACUS
A less common variation of the DACUS is the “Gatling combo” where the character actually connects with the dash attack rather than canceling it before it comes out; the result is a dash attack that hits, followed immediately by an u-smash that true combos. The Gatling combo is most commonly seen with Falco, although Snake and Wario can do it as well.
Another version is the BDACUS (buffered dash attack canceled up smash.) It requires different inputs than a regular DACUS and the timing for a BDACUS is more precise, but it covers a longer distance. This can be a difference maker for characters such as Falco, who can get KO confirms off of throws at higher percents thanks to the speed and distance of BDACUS.
DACUS In Other Smash Games
DACUS was originally in Super Smash Bros. for 3DS, but it was patched out relatively early on and didn’t appear in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U as a result. It also doesn’t appear in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate as well, making Brawl the only mainline title game to still have DACUS.
While DACUS won’t be a silver bullet to guarantee a player wins, it is a must-learn technique for certain characters if someone wants an optimal punish game and the ability to control the stage better.