Substitute (みがわり, Migawari, lit. Scapegoat) is Greninja's Down Special Move.


Greninja replaces itself with a substitute, and if the substitute is attacked during this time, it takes the damage for Greninja, and Greninja then appears behind it and rushes for the attacking player, damaging the attacker. This move is similar to Lucario's Double Team. A good way to gain some vertical distance for an early KO or for Recovery is to perform Substitute, then aim the control stick upwards, so Greninja rushes upwards, hits the opponent and sends him flying upwards. If the opponent Air Dodges Substitute, you can down air him and land a Meteor Smash.

n Ultimate, Substitute has received buffs and nerfs but was buffed overall. An extreme problem with Substitute was its inconsistency due to a lack of intangibility and opponents often being able to dodge the attack, but was extremely powerful in return, even having a strong spike hitbox. Substitute is more consistent as it slows down opponents and it now grants Greninja invincibility while also having a larger counter window, making it safer. However, it has higher-end lag on whiff while all variants also have more lag, but lower KO power as well in return.

Greninja's Special Moves
SSBWU/3DS Ultimate
Standard Special Water Shuriken
Side Special Shadow Sneak
Up Special Hydro Pump
Down Special Substitute
Final Smash Secret Ninja Attack

Custom Variations

The move can be customized to Exploding Attack or Substitute Ambush.

Exploding Attack

Exploding Attack causes Greninja to disappear for a time, rendering it invulnerable to attack, and then will reappear with an explosion, doing decent damage and knockback on the opponent. Not a counter.

Substitute Ambush

Substitute Ambush causes Greninja to disappear and leave a log in its stead. However, a short time after that, Greninja will re-appear on the other side of the log, and do a flying kick towards it, damaging the log and knocking it into the opponent, before Greninja hits the opponent, doing decent damage and knockback.

Greninja's Custom Special Moves
Custom 1 Custom 2
Standard Special Stagnant Shuriken Shifting Shuriken
Side Special Shadow Strike Shadow Dash
Up Special High-Capacity Pump Single-Shot Pump
Down Special Exploding Attack Substitute Ambush

Trophy Description

Substitute Doll

If it looks like a Pokemon and it gets attacked like a Pokemon, it's probably a--Oh, no, it could also be a Substitute Doll. This cute plush figure appears out of nowhere when a Pokemon uses the move Substitute. Is that a smile on its face or a grimace of determination? Only the doll knows, and it's not telling.

  • Game Boy - Pokémon Red & Pokémon Blue (09/1998)
  • 3DS - Pokémon X & Pokémon Y (10/2013)


Substitute is a Normal-type move that uses some of the users' HP to create a copy of itself that absorbs damage for the user, but it disappears it takes a certain amount of damage. It has existed since Pokémon Red and Green.

Additionally, it may be based on Ninja's commonly using items to conceal themselves and avoid attacks. The original concept of Kirby's Stone is likely based on this idea, with the usage of the move tying the similarities together.