Shulk 101


Q: I can't compete with this frame data! How do I approach?

A: Sometimes, it's best not to approach! A lot of the time a patient Shulk is more successful than an aggressive one. However, if you are forced to approach, your options are Nair, a well spaced Fair, a tomahawk grab or a far spaced MALLC Bair. Some art specific ones could be a Monado Jump cross-up RAR Fair or Bair.

Q: What art should I select at the beginning of the game?

A: Every art is a plausible starting art! Jump gives you good aerial movement and is good vs character with slow airspeed. Speed helps you take quick control over the neutral game and the majority of true speed combos start at early percents. Shield can help you escape from combos and deal damage, such as Mario's utilt, whilst also taking less damage. Buster has a good majority of combos provided at early percents, as a result you can start the game giving your opponent a lot of damage. Smash Art allows the player to escape from combos also, with a few combos granted by the 50% less damage and more knockback. It's important to keep your opponents guessing!

Q: I just picked up Shulk. What techs should I start learning?

A: While techs such as MALLC are quite important to Shulk's gameplay, it isn't immediately recommended to start practicing techs. You should first prioritize getting comfortable with which arts you should use in what situation, learn to snap your recovery to the ledge and generally get comfortable with the character, on accounts of his frame data.

Q: Does Monado Shield affect the knockback of Vision?

A: No.

Q: Who is a good secondary for Shulk?

A: Shulk takes a lot of commitment to play optimally, the metagame is evolving consistently and there is always a better way to play. However if you insist on having a secondary, consider choosing a character that specifically covers the match-ups you struggle with as a counterpick, or a high tier with a good overall match-up spread that rewards good fundamentals. Take into consideration how much time you are going to have to commit to a secondary, with an already high-commitment main like Shulk. If you still want a secondary, try Marth, Rosalina, Ryu, Bayonetta, Zero Suit Samus, or any character that can deal with Sheik (Shulk's worst MU).

Q: Does Shulk take more knockback when in Monado Buster / Monado Jump?

A: In both cases Jump and Buster Shulk take increased damage from a move, which is accounted for in Smash 4's knockback formula by Shulk's final percentage after being hit by the move. However, this increased damage does NOT increase a separate part of the formula, the damage the attack dealt, so the effect is not as large as many might expect. For Monado Buster, this applies to both horizontal and vertical knockback equally. For Monado Jump, this only applies to his horizontal knockback-- vertically, Shulk's increased damage taken is not the only factor in play. Monado Jump also affects other parameters that affect knockback, gravity and fall speed. Due to the dramatic increase in Shulk's fall speed, Monado Jump Shulk dies later vertically compared to Vanilla Shulk for the majority of moves(that is, his increased damage becomes negligible compared to the knockback resistance from increased fall speed). Monado Jump will die earlier vertically ONLY when the move deals a significant amount of damage (for example, a charged smash attack).

Q: Does Monado Jump / Speed / Shield / Buster / Smash affect Shulk's weight?

A: No. NONE of Shulk's arts affect his weight. Monado Smash and Shield affects his knockback received (that is, a flat multiplier applied after normal knockback calculations). Monado Jump and Buster affect his damage received (read above for the more detailed implications of this). Monado Speed dies at the exact same percents as Vanilla Shulk.

Q: Are you SURE Monado Shield doesn't maybe increase the knockback of Vision? Just a little bit?

A: No. Shield Shulk actually has a weaker counter than Vanilla Shulk– any perceptions of a stronger counter to be believed is caused by Shulk having higher rage effect if at a high percent in Shield Art.

Q: What is Shulk's best / worst stage?

A: It is not easy to say with certainty one best / worst stage for Shulk. It often is far better to consider the opponent's best and worst stages, and thinking of the ways in which Shulk can abuse or be abused on each stage (as an example, Shulk typically does well on Duck Hunt vs characters susceptible to camping). In addition, Shulk players can have wildly different playstyles (grounded vs aerial, campy vs aggressive), and so too can stage preference vary from player to player (see the "Profile" section under Home to see given player's favorite stages). For full details, go to Matchups -> Shulk (ditto) -> Stages.