Shulk 101


Community Rating:
-0.5 (Slight Disadvantage)

Professional Rating:
-0.2 (Even)


  • Jump is undoubtedly the best art in the MU, as Robin cannot handle the variety of angles of approach / pressure Jump Shulk has.
  • Robin has very little answer to cross ups on shield; mix in tomahawks with crossup fair/nair/uair.
  • Robin's dtilt can be used as a baiting tool due to it's low FAF; either wait for a subsequent move to punish or space yourself properly.
  • When in Speed, it is possible to run underneath Robin's arcfire and punish the endlag with a grab, etc. Jump works similarly, except in jumping over the arc of the fire.
  • While it is hardly the best command grab in the game, Nosferatu is always a threat when holding shield for too long (esp. when anticipating a landing aerial).
  • Be mindful of Robin's tomes / Levin sword availability. Similar to Shulk's arts, knowing what your opponent does and doesn't have allows you to better approach and take advantage of them.
    • When Levin Sword is gone (8 uses, 10s of cooldown): Smash attacks are (nigh on) useless, and dsmash does not hit behind Robin. Aerials will not KO, but nair still remains a valid gimping tool. Their kill options are limited to raw specials (arcthunder / thoron) and bthrow. 
    • When Arcfire Tome is gone (12s of cooldown): Expect more use of Ar/El/Thunder and aerials for zoning, gentlemen's jab disappears (will use multi-hit so prepare to SDI)
    • When Thunder Tome is gone (12s of cooldown): Again, expect more use of Arcfire and aerials for zoning. Robin will no longer have a fast projectile to get you off them, nor Arcthunder setups to be afraid of. Instead, be mindful of arcfire traps to set up into KO confirms, and baits into aerials.
    • When Elwind Tome is gone (7s of cooldown): This state does not last for long, but Robin cannot recover. You can attempt to take advantage of this with an edgeguard, but don't try too hard as the chance of succeeding is slim. Multi-hit jab also disappears.
    • When Nosferatu Tome is gone (4 uses, 40s of cooldown): watch out for flying books
  • Nosferatu lasts longer if the foe is grabbed from behind, and the amount healed scales with the difference in damage between Robin and his opponent… Especially based on how high his foe’s damage is.
  • Regarding flying books, good Robins will attempt to grab every dropped tome/sword, not just Nosferatu.  However, at 4 uses, Nosferatu is the easiest to waste and generate a book when Robin needs a quick option.
  • Robin has an instant book grab tech that allows him to pick up a book without jumping up to catch it.  If they anticipate a book drop, a quick DTilt stalls the item drop and causes it to be dropped at ground level at the end of the tilt, allowing it to be quickly grabbed at chest-level.
  • Practicing item game, while not mandatory, becomes useful if you manage to snag a tome / Levin sword. The tomes in particular are brutal if hit, so please don't get hit + steal the damn books.


  • Like Shulk, Robin has very slow aerials (fastest = frame 9), so once you gain advantage, be sure you press that advantage as far as possible. Robin's 'get off me' options are quite limited.
  • Be wary of peekaboo Nosferatu when Robin is holding the ledge (i.e. don't hold shield trying to bait out an option every time).

Peekaboo Nosferatu at the ledge

  • DO NOT LET ROBIN RECOVER FOR FREE. While Elwind is not a bad recovery by any means, Shulk should always harass Robin offstage if there is time to do so.
    • Robin's recovery has a very good snapping distance from below the stage (would have to 2-frame punish), but is very vulnerable from above. Dair and fair are both viable.
    • Forcing Robin to recover at a diagonal angle rather than vertical makes Elwind easier to snag (i.e. fsmash is a viable punish if Robin's head pokes above the stage)

Robin recovering diagonally is far more susceptible to dair spikes


  • Nair is usually Robin's go-to gimping aerial, but Shulk's fair will out-range it, so swat Robin back with fair if they go for this option.
  • First hit of Elwind can spike, so (as always) sweet spot the ledge.

Other Notes

  • It's possible to avoid pressure from Arcthunder on shield by tilting your shield towards it, resetting shield to neutral position while taking shield hitlag / shield stun from the projectile, and then dropping shield to attempt rolling away
    • If this doesn't work out exactly, you can still try to be hit only once from dropping shield and be able to jump away or run away. This piece of info helps Shulk players try not to running & shielding towards them so much, and more-so walk and hold shield towards Arcthunder so that you can pull this off easier.
  • Bair can poke activate Arcthunder from a safe distance with relatively low risk (fair and nair also viable, but harder to space without being hit by the activated Arcthunder).
  • Robin's autocancelled F-air on shield can be punished with a shield grab, but only if she doesn't space it.  
    • We can airslash this OoS ONLY if Robin is 2-frames off her autocancel timing, or goes for something other than shield afterwards (assuming Shulk has perfect AS OoS timing)


Vanilla Full Hop Buffered Nair hits while Standing? No.

Vanilla Full Hop Buffered Fair hits while Standing? Yes.

Vanilla Full Hop Buffered Dair hits while Standing? Yes.

Jump SH/Speed FH Buffered Fair hits while Standing? Yes.

Jump SH/Speed FH Buffered Nair hits while Standing? Yes.


Vanilla Full Hop Buffered Nair hits while Crouching? No.
Vanilla Full Hop Buffered Fair hits while Crouching? No.
Vanilla Full Hop Buffered Dair hits while Crouching? No.
Jump SH/Speed FH Buffered Nair hits while Crouching? No.
Jump SH/Speed FH Buffered Fair hits while Crouching? No.

Robin (95)-

  • Down Throw (C)
    • DI up & away, up and in for a mix up although that's very risky since Levin up air comes for your soul at around 85%. Consider away only at high percent because you really don't want to get hit by d throw
  • Back Throw (K)
    • Kills at about 125 from the edge of the stage.
    • Kills at about 185% from the middle of the stage.

Information from this guide on Smashboards

Best Stages:

  • Battlefield
  • Town and City
  • Dream Land 64
  • Lylat Cruise

Worst Stages:

  • Final Destination
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VideoPlayer 1Player 2P1 CharactersP2 CharactersStagesDate
NickoDathGame 1: Shulk
Game 2: Shulk
Game 3: Shulk
Game 4: Shulk
Game 5: Shulk
Game 1: Robin
Game 2: Robin
Game 3: Robin
Game 4: Robin
Game 5: Robin
Game 1: Battlefield
Game 2: Battlefield
Game 3: Smashville
Game 4: Battlefield
Game 5: Battlefield