Special Skill

From the Super Mario Wiki
A Goomba's Special Skill activating

Special Skills are techniques used in Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser's Minions and Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story + Bowser Jr.'s Journey. They are exclusive to the Minion Quest: The Search for Bowser mode in the former and the Bowser Jr.'s Journey mode in the latter. Every ally and enemy in both games has a Special Skill which will randomly activate during battles. The likelihood of this happening is determined by a trooper's spirit stat. Most Special Skills are offensive moves which deal heavy damage to one or more opposing troopers, though a few of them give stat boosts instead.

When a trooper is about to use their Special Skill, an "!" will appear above their head. The "!" will be red for allies and blue for enemies. The effectiveness of allied troopers' Special Skills is dependent on action commands requiring well-timed presses of the A Button button (or in the case of Rain of Pain and Spitfire Fury, pressing A Button repeatedly).

Captains can prevent opposing troopers' Special Skills from activating by using the Deny command after the "!" appears. Only one Special Skill can activate at a time, and the effects of any Captain Commands used during a Special Skill's execution other than Deny will not occur until after it is finished.

Bowser Jr's Journey introduces Team Attacks, where multiple copies of the same troop team up to perform a more powerful version of their Special Skill. If Deny is used against a team attack, at least one unit will resist.

List of Special Skills[edit]

Minion Quest: The Search for Bowser[edit]

There are a total of 22 Special Skills in the game. Most of them are usable by multiple kinds of troopers. The only exceptions are Evasion Cloak and Feed the Speed, which are exclusive to Boos and White Magikoopas, respectively.

Name Description Allies Enemies
Rocket Headbutt Face a foe and fly forward to give them a powerful headbutt! Press the A Button button right as your trooper slams into their opponent. Goomba, Private Goomp Gritty Goomba
Cranium Crush Move above the enemy, and then drop down with great force to deal lots of damage. The big drop happens after a mid-air spin. Press the A Button Button as your trooper lands! Paragoomba, Koopa Paratroopa, Koopa Paratroopa (Red), Corporal Paraplonk Parabeanie, Paratroopea, Scaratroopea, Mecha-Fawful Y
Spin Cycle Swing a tail or weapon to deal damage to surrounding foes. Press the A Button Button right as your trooper slams into their opponent! Big Tail Goomba, Tail Boo Tanoomba, Chuck Guy, Elite Chuck Guy
Whomping Wallop Aim a unit's body or weapon at an enemy and crash into them with great force to deal damage to the foe in front. Press the A Button Button right when your trooper has leaned all the way back. Goomba Tower, Pokey Clumph
Rock Solid Increases a trooper's DEF. Press the A Button Button when the meter is at its highest point. Koopa Troopa, Buzzy Beetle Troopea, Elite Troopea
Chain Shot Press the A Button Button each time the moving cursor is squarely placed over the target. Each time a button input is successfully performed, the number of projectiles increases, all of which are eventually fired at once. Dry Bones, Magikoopa (Blue), Ludwig Most Furious Fawful Z, Fawful
Evasion Cloak Raises a trooper's EVASION, but beware! You still will not be able to evade Special Skill attacks. Press the A Button Button when the meter is at its highest point! Boo None
Kaboom Bash Crash into an enemy and explode. This also damages nearby foes. After your unit explodes, it will not reappear until the next battle. Press the A Button Button right as your trooper strikes their opponent! Bomb Boo, Bob-omb None
Piercing Projectile A thrown weapon or beam will pierce through an opponent and damage all enemies behind them. Press the A Button Button when the moving cursor is squarely placed over the target. Big Boo, Boomerang Bro, Wendy Beanerang Bro, Mecha-Fawful Z
Air Bash Knock an opponent into the air to deal heavy damage. This attack also lowers the foe's defense. Press the A Button Button right as your trooper slams into their opponent! Broozer, Chargin Chuck None
Throw the Fight Throw a huge weapon and deal heavy damage to an opponent! Press the A Button Button when the moving cursor is squarely placed over the target. Shy Guy, Bandit, Ice Bro, Spike, Larry Birdo
Rain of Pain Gather power and cause projectiles to hail down on and damage multiple surrounding foes. Press the A Button Button quickly to build up power. The more power that is built up, the more projectiles your trooper will be able to throw. Spear Guy, Hammer Bro, Fire Bro Fuzzbush, Popple
Mega Tackle Ram into an opponent with a powerful tackle! Press the A Button Button as your trooper slams into their foe. Fly Guy, Mechakoopa Beanie, Gold Beanie, Rex
Dive Attack Aim for an opponent's head from up high, and then crash into them at a high speed! Press the A Button Button right as your trooper slams into their opponent! Para-Beetle, Starlow Most Furious Fawful Y
Spin to Win Spin and smash into enemies. Successfully perform button inputs to attack foes up to three times. Press the A Button Button right as your trooper strikes their opponent. Spiny, Roy Sharpea, Pestnut, Elite Pestnut
Chain Stomp Jump atop an opponent's head, and then jump some more to chain together up to two stomps. Press the A Button Button right as your trooper stomps down. Succeed to get another chance to stomp! Lakitu, Morton Lakipea, Most Furious Fawful X
Charging Champ A trooper charges through foes before returning to their starting position. Deals damage to all enemies they run into along the way. Press the A Button Button as your trooper strikes their opponent. Chain Chomp, Prince Peasley Mecha-Fawful X
Spitfire Fury Spit out flames or projectiles to damage enemies in front. Press the A Button Button quickly to build up power. The more power that is built up, the more projectiles your trooper will be able to throw. Fire Stalking Piranha Plant, Lemmy Ice Snifit, Piranha Bean, Starkiss
Feed the Speed Ups the SPEED of a trooper and their surrounding allies, allowing for more battle actions. Press the A Button Button when the meter is at its highest point! Magikoopa (White) None
Power Up Increases the POW of a trooper and their surrounding allies. Press the A Button Button when the meter is at its highest point. Magikoopa (Red), Iggy None
Sure Shot Ups the ACCURACY of a trooper and their surrounding allies. Press the A Button Button when the meter is at its highest point! Magikoopa (Green), Sergeant Guy None
Smack Back Attack Knock an opponent backwards and into the unit behind them. The other unit also recieves damage. Press the A Button Button right as your trooper slams into their opponent! Bowser Jr. Limbo Bro, Elite Limbo Bro

Bowser Jr.'s Journey[edit]

There is a total of 26 Special Skills in this game. Only four skills, all of which raise stats, are exclusive.

Name Description Allies Enemies
Rocket Headbutt Face a foe and fly forward to give them a powerful headbutt! Press A Button as your trooper slams into their enemy. When used as a group attack, troopers will line up and headbutt the enemy from the front. Goomba, Captain Goomba, Private Goomp Oho Jee (Red)
Mega Tackle Ram into an opponent with a powerful tackle! Press A Button as your trooper slams into their enemy. When used as a group attack, troopers will line up on either side of the enemy and take turns tackling. Koopa Troopa (Green), Buzzy Beetle, Mechakoopa, Para-Biddybud (Purple), Fly Guy Scutlet, Sockop
Spin Cycle Swing your tail to deal damage to surrounding enemies. Press A Button as your trooper slams into the enemy. When used as a group attack, troopers stack up and spin their tails together, dealing a high amount of damage to all surrounding enemies. Particularly effective against flying enemies. Big Tail Goomba, Tail Boo None
Chain Stomp Jump atop an opponent's head, and then jump some more to chain together up to two stomps. Press A Button right as your trooper stomps down. Succeed to get another chance to stomp! When used as a group attack, both troopers will face the opponent and stomp at the same time. Morton, Lakitu Fawful Guy, Urchin, Oho Jee (Blue)
Charging Champ A trooper charges through foes before returning to their starting position. Deals damage to all enemies they run into along the way. Press A Button as your trooper slams into its foe. When used as a group attack, troopers will charge forward in order, starting with the one who is farthest in. Koopa Troopa (Red), Chain Chomp Fawflant, Pendril, Choomba
Hit 'Em Up Launch a foe into the air, and then pierce them with your horns or spikes when they land. Press A Button when you first hit an enemy. Then press A Button again when the launched enemy lands to ram into them. When used as a group attack, the foe will be launched toward an ally, and the two allies will keep hitting the foe back and forth. Spike Top, Spiny, Horned Ant Trooper Drillbit Crab
Whomping Wallop Aim a unit's body or weapon at an enemy and crash into them with great force to deal damage to the foe in front. Press A Button right when your trooper leans all the way back. When used as a group attack, all troopers will line up and attack at the same time. Bowser Jr. (Melee), Goomba Tower, Pokey Toothy, Crawful
Kaboom Bash Crash into an enemy and explode. This also damages nearby foes. After your unit explodes, it will not reappear until the next battle. Press A Button as your trooper slams into their enemy. When used as a group attack, exploding allies will latch onto an enemy and wait for a melee trooper to charge in and detonate them. Bomb Boo, Bob-omb Alarm Bob-omb
Spin to Win Spin and smash into enemies. Successfully perform button inputs to attack foes up to three times. Press A Button as your trooper slams into their foe. Roy, Bowser (Melee) None
Smack Back Attack Knock an opponent backwards and into the unit behind them. The other unit also recieves damage. Press A Button as your trooper slams into their enemy. When used as a group attack, the enemy will be thrown high, and then an ally will be thrown at the foe to deal even more damage. Bowser Jr. (Flying), Broozer, Chargin' Chuck, Bully Chuboomba, Broque Madame
Cranium Crush Move above the enemy, and then drop down with great force to deal lots of damage. The big drop happens after a mid-air spin. Press A Button as your trooper lands! When used as a group attack, troopers will move above the enemy and stomp down on them in order. Paragoomba, Koopa Paratroopa (Green and Red), Corporal Paraplonk, Para-Biddybud (Green) None
Super Stomp A mighty stomp on an enemy from above. Try to press A Button when you're positioned right above the enemy's head. When used as a group attack, all troopers will move into the air. Press A Button when they're right above an enemy's head! Koopa Paratroopa Trio, Para-Biddybud (Yellow) Cheep Cheep
Dive Attack Aim for an opponent's head from up high, and then crash into them at a high speed! Press A Button as your trooper slams into their enemy. When used as a group attack, troopers will line up and crash into the enemy, one after another. Para-Beetle, Parabones, Para-Biddybud (Red) None
Discord Uses a dissonant chord to deal a small amount of damage to a nearby enemy and to reduce their stats. Press A Button when the circle appears right over the character. When used as a group attack, Discord is performed after input has been completed for all units involved. Boo, Swoop Fawfulcopter, Kaley
Air Bash Knock an opponent into the air to deal heavy damage. This attack also lowers the foe's defense. Press A Button right as your trooper strikes their enemy. Iggy Beef
Rain of Pain Gather power and cause projectiles to hail down on and damage multiple surrounding foes. Press A Button quickly to build up power. The more power you build, the more projectiles your trooper will be able to throw. When used as a group attack, all troopers will throw their weapons at once. Bowser Jr. (Ranged), Dry Bones, Spear Guy, Hammer Bro, Fire Bro Treevil, Dieter, King Bob-omb
Spitfire Fury This attack spits flames to damage enemies in front. Press A Button quickly to build up power. The more power you build, the more fire you can spew at your enemies. When used as a group attack, all troopers will blast fire at the same time. Lemmy, Fire Stalking Piranha Plant Borp
Throw the Fight Throw a huge weapon and deal heavy damage to an opponent! Press A Button when the moving cursor appears over the target. When used as a group attack, the cursor will grow even bigger and can damage anything caught within its scope. Larry, Shy Guy (All colors), Captain Shy Guy, Ice Bro, Spike, Bandit None
Chain Shot Press A Button each time the moving cursor appears over the target. Each time a button input is successfully performed, the number of projectiles increases, all of which are eventually fired at once. Ludwig, Kamek Magifoofa
Piercing Projectile A thrown weapon or beam will pierce through an opponent and damage all enemies behind them. Press A Button when the moving cursor appears over the target. When used as a group attack, troopers line up and throw weapons or fire shots at once. Press A Button when the dark cursor is over a foe. Wendy, Big Boo, Boomerang Bro Shroob, Beehoss, Best Fitness Friends, Bowser (Ranged)
DEF Up Increases the DEF of a trooper and their surrounding allies. Press A Button when the circle appears right over the character. Captain Koopa Troopa, Magikoopa (White) None
POW Up Increases the POW of a trooper and their surrounding allies. Press A Button when the circle appears right over the character. Magikoopa (Red)
SPEED Up Ups the SPEED of a trooper and their surrounding allies, allowing for more battle actions. Press A Button when the circle appears right over the character. Magikoopa (Green)
ACCURACY Up Makes the attacks of a trooper and their surrounding allies more accurate. Press A Button when the circle appears right over the character. Sergeant Guy
EVASION Up Makes enemy attacks easier to avoid. Special Skills still cannot be avoided, so be careful! Press A Button when the circle appears right over the character. Captain Boo
Hurt or Heal Hit a block overhead to earn a mushroom or a weapon. If a mushroom comes out, it will heal you. If a weapon comes out, it will deal damage to enemies. When used as a group attack, mushrooms and weapons will also affect troopers other than you and your target. Ninji, Nabbit Lakitu King