From the Super Mario Wiki, the Mario encyclopedia
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Tuff Puffs are weaker versions of Ruff Puffs that are knocked off from the much larger Huff N. Puff. The Tuff Puffs provide backup while Huff N. Puff is battling Mario and his comrades, and attack collectively as one unit by draining two HP from Mario with each use of their HP Drain move. Ten Tuff Puffs can only surround Huff N. Puff; others will just disappear if ten are already surrounding him.
The player must repeatedly tap the A button to tear them off, similar to the action command for the Jungle Fuzzy. In addition, Huff N. Puff can suck them back up, and restore one HP for every small Tuff Puff and two HP for every large Tuff Puff. All of the Tuff Puffs are defeated automatically when Huff N. Puff himself is destroyed.
Although the Tuff Puffs were once part of Huff N. Puff, they still refer to him as their master, implying this may be how other Ruff Puffs are created.
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