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 button (or in the case of Rain of Pain and Spitfire Fury, pressing repeatedly).
Captains can prevent opposing troopers' Special Skills from activating by using the Deny command after the "!" appears. In Bowser Jr.'s Journey, the Stop and Drop command can also prevent Special Skills, while also dealing a small amount of damage to the trooper being denied. Additionally, enemies under the effects of Malatone Formula:X cannot be denied, whereas Stop and Drop still works on them. 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 Group 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 group attack, at least one unit will resist. If Stop and Drop is used against a group attack, all units will be stopped and damaged.
List of Special Skills
Minion Quest: The Search for Bowser
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.
Bowser Jr.'s Journey
There is a total of 26 Special Skills in this game. Only four skills, all of which raise stats, are exclusive.