Shulk 101

Shulk

Community Rating:
Idk tbh

Professional Rating:
0 (Even)
Note: The tips below are interchangeable, meaning they can be read on both point-of-views.

Monado Arts vs Monado Arts

When a Monado Art is in an advantage (Adv.), it means that Art has more advantage points than the opposing Art. However, just countering the other Monado Arts (“X” Art beats “Y” Art) does not truly dictate the MU.

 
  • Vanilla has no buffs nor debuffs. It tests the player’s fundamentals while emphasizing on spacing. Vanilla’s movement speed is the same as Buster and Smash Art. If one were to inflict more damage than they anticipated, it would have been better if Buster Art was used, instead. Overall, the general game plan in the ditto is to be defensive and patient so that the opponent approaches first, then take advantage of the Monado Arts’ weaknesses.
 
  • Jump vs Jump: An aerial duel that tests spacing. Both can inflict a bit more damage than normal (preferably through Nair combos) and edgeguard each other, though it is hard to gimp due to Air Slash’s increased height and aerial speed. If one is too predictable when jumping, the other can secure an easy KO by using Air Slash, Fair, or Uair.
  • Jump vs Speed (Adv. +1): Speed Art dominates onstage, being able to read and catch/shield some of Jump Art’s landings and airborne plays. Speed Art’s Utilt is a great anti-air tool. Jump Art can throw out Fairs or cross-up Bairs from behind. However, even with Jump Art’s great aerial speed + increased slide + spaced Nair, Speed Art can simply shield and anticipate the next action.
    • Offstage, Speed Art can still edgeguard, but Jump Art is ultimately superior offstage. Speed Art does have a decent recovery by delaying Air Slash’s second slash to gain a slight horizontal mobility.
  • Jump (Adv. +3) vs Shield: The Jump Art user can not only easily camp out the Shield Art player (especially if Jump Art is in the lead), but also can space against the opponent with great air mobility, Bair, and Fair. The Shield Art player will have difficulties punishing back due to poor mobility and bad OoS options (Air Slash and Dash Attack). Rolling is the only option to get to the right position and punish Jump Art’s landings. When knocked off the air, Jump Art has the clear advantage. The alternative goal is to gimp Shield Art.
    • If Shield Art is offstage (at high % like Little Mac’s recovery), it must be deactivated immediately (without wasting the DJ) to avoid Jump Art’s superior edgeguarding. Then they can switch to Jump or Speed Art to recover back.
  • Jump vs Buster (Adv.): Buster Art can inflict the most damage out of all Arts. But Jump Art has more freedom in the neutral to avoid the damage. It can also edgeguard Buster Art easily.
  • Jump vs Smash: Jump Art is amazing to kill vertically, spacing, and edgeguard against Smash Art. However, Smash Art can deal a bit more damage, and may get an early kill like using Utilt or Usmash.
 
  • Speed vs Speed: Sonic duel. Both will try to mix up their increased movements to either get grab combos or use a burst attack.
  • Speed vs Shield (Adv.): Speed Art does even less damage against Shield Art, and the Shield Art user can escape combos from low-mid %. At high %, Speed Art user can easily combo the Shield Art user offstage and usually takes stage control. Alternatively, the Speed Art user can simply camp against Shield Art (although Jump Art is much better at camping). Speed Art cannot shield pressure Shield Art.
    • Shield Art does deal more damage than Speed Art. It can also defend against Speed Art’s SH Nair approach by shielding or using Vision. If Speed Art runs for a grab, Shield Art can hold Jabs or grab first, which will force Speed Art to mixup his grab game. Shield Art is usually a mental attack to control the pace of the ditto and frustrate the Speed Art user.
  • Speed vs Buster: Speed Art can deal a bit more damage and can use its high mobility to maneuver around. If both exchange hits, Buster Art is usually the winner.
  • Speed vs Smash: Speed Art can easily retreat away until Smash Art times out. Speed Art can attack immediately if Smash Art does a risky option.
 
  • Shield vs Shield: At low %, both can barely be pushed back by their opponent’s attacks. This scenario is most likely used when both are at high %. Both can still use SH Nair, wall off approach options, roll to speed up their approach, Air Slash OoS, and Dash Attack.
  • Shield vs Buster (Adv. +2): Buster Art overwrites Shield Art’s damage taken while able to be safe on shield. Even if Shield Art can handle Buster Art’s shield damage, it does not decrease Buster Art’s shield-stun property. Thanks to the reduced knockback, Buster Art can combo with Dtilts, Dthrow → Dtilt, Dtilt → Ftilt, Dsmash, and more.
    • Shield Art will deal a bit less damage whereas the player could stay in Vanilla mode to deal more damage. Usually, hits from Buster Arts are more rewarding than the hits from Shield Art. When powershielding, Shield Art has little chance of punishing Buster Art’s landing Nair, Fair or Bair. Sometimes, Dash Attack may not work.
    • It comes down to whoever succeeds their objective: Buster Art dealing damage or Shield Art preventing damage.
  • Shield (Adv. +3) vs Smash: Unless the Shield Art user is at very high %, using Smash Art is usually not worth it due to dealing even less damage than Speed Art. Shield Art also gains more KO power against Smash Art’s weaker launch resistance, making it great if Smash Art commits a risky move and gets hit by Shield Art’s OoS options. Even when both players are crouch-canceling to reduce the knockback, Shield Art is superior. Holding shield against Smash Art is less scary since the only kill options in Smash Art are Dthrow or Bthrow.
    • Smash Art deals even less damage than out of all Monado Arts. It also cannot shield pressure Shield Art, even against powershielding. Smash Art should use its Vanilla mobility for grabs or cross-ups to take advantage of Shield Art's poor mobility. Having Rage to launch Shield Art offstage helps a lot, which will force that player to deactivate Shield Art and allow the Smash Art player to gain an even better advantage. On rare occasions, if the Shield Art is turned off during a grab, Smash Art Dthrow can now kill.
 
  • Buster vs Buster: The goal is to inflict more damage than the opponent or force the other to switch out. The reduced KB can lead to more damage.
  • Buster (Adv.) vs Smash: Despite Buster Art’s increased damage output, it cannot launch Smash Art unless at very high %. However, Buster Art applies more hitstun and is still safe on shield. Even when Smash Art hits Buster Art, it deals less damage (unless it kills, instead). Smash Art’s Vision can returned the damage back to the opponent.
 
  • Smash vs Smash: Sudden Death / High-Launch Smash mode that is most likely used when both players are at high %. Whoever hits first usually takes the stock. Even a Dtilt at the ledge can kill.

Neutral

  • Mirror/Ditto MU general concept:
    • Be unpredictable at all times to outplay the opponent.
      • Since both players have the exact movesets, those who spaces and attacks before the other player does will win the exchange.
    • Use the knowledge and experience against the other player. Know the character’s strengths and weaknesses.
      • Even though the players play the same character, this is just another MU. However, there are those who dislike and/or bad at the mirror MU.
    • Learn and gain the skills (usually from the winning player). That includes learning the player’s skills, fundamentals, conversions, punishes, etc.
    • For Shulk, the Monado Arts, spacing, and playstyles are distinguishable from the rest of the cast.
  • Monado Arts’ simplified properties (more detailed information in Resources → Moves → Monado Arts)
    • Vanilla
      • While staying in Vanilla provides no buffs, Shulk also does not get a debuff. Staying in this mode can be good if the opponent can capitalize each weaknesses of the Monado Arts or as a mixup due to having a predictable game plan once a Monado Art is selected.
      • MALLC.
        • MALLC air dodge against frame traps.
      • Cannot be timed out.
      • Decent damage dealt and KB.
      • Decent shield knockback without sacrificing character KB.
    • Jump Art
      • Buffs: Jump height, air speed, fall speed, and Air Slash height.
      • Debuffs: Damage taken (+22%=1.22x).
    • Speed Art
      • Buffs: Ground speed, air speed, and traction/friction.
      • Debuffs: Damage dealt (-20%=0.80x) and jump height.
    • Shield Art
      • Buffs: Damage taken (-33%=0.67x), KB taken, shield health (~63 HP), and shield regeneration.
      • Debuffs: Damage dealt (-30%=0.70x), jump height, ground speed, and air speed.
    • Buster Art
      • Buffs: Damage dealt (+40%=1.4x), and increased shieldstun and shield damage.
      • Debuffs: Damage taken (+13=1.13x) and KB dealt.
    • Smash Art
      • Buffs: KB dealt (-50%=0.5x)
      • Debuffs: KB taken, decreased shieldstun and shield damage.
  • Monado Arts to combat against in a simple list. However, the key is not just countering the other Monado Arts, but rather knowing what both Arts can do to each other:
    • Mobility Arts are great to start since Shulk struggles with pressure. They (and Vanilla) can also be used to figure out the opponent’s habits by baiting with SH retreating Fairs, Bairs, and empty hops.
      • Speed Art is the safest Monado Art because it does not have a notable debuff.
    • Jump against Shield.
    • Speed against Jump.
    • Shield against Speed/Smash.
    • Buster against Jump/Smash.
  • Be defensive, be patient, and let the other player approach. Due to Shulk’s poor frame data, it is easier to powershield his attacks than other characters.
    • Shield an improper spaced attack (like Nair), then punish.
    • If Shulk autopilots, it is much easier to punish. For example, if the opponent has an aggressive Speed Art playstyle, holding Jabs can beat Speed Art’s dash grab.
    • Use Air Slash OoS if the opponent whiffs an aerial or suffers landing lag.
    • Safer Fairs can be used to bait an option like Dash Attack.
  • Space yourself with retreating aerials and other spaced attacks.
    • Bair, Fair, and Nair are the most common attacks. Back Nair is another good option. The key is to punish during the animation, after the animation or their landing lag. Retreat away, to be safe. Shield-grabs help a lot.
      • Against Nair, perfect shield it, then use Ftilt depending on where he lands in front or behind.
        • Shield-grab an unspaced Nair at close range.
        • Fair, Bair and Fsmash outspaces Nair.
        • Air Slash or Vision will also work before Nair can hit.
        • Well-timed spot dodges.
        • Perfect Pivots (PP) is a great retreat option against approaching Nair.
      • Against Bair, it is possible to use Back Slash should Bair whiff. However, when Bair is inputted, it usually beats Back Slash. In most cases, the Bair user will suffer considerable landing lag.
    • Dtilt outspeeds and outspaces Ftilt.
    • Utilt outspaces Dair.
  • Throwing out smash attacks is risky. If they miss, that Shulk player will get heavily punished by dash grabs, Dash Attack, or aerials.
    • Buster Art Fsmash gets punished by Speed Art running Usmash.
    • Fsmash outspaces Dsmash. Due to Dsmash’s huge lag, it is easy to punish back (e.g. Speed Art Usmash). Dsmash should be used against rolls or at the ledge.
    • Dsmash beats spot dodges.
  • Though it is difficult to punish Nair's landing lag, it is still possible in certain situations. Anticipate their next action (usually a roll).
    • Dtilt against a whiffed Nair.
      • Combine it with PPs → Dtilt.
    • When a Shulk uses an aerial (except Nair), he can use Nair to suffer only 10 frames of landing lag.
  • When both players are close to each other (usually from rolling in), SH Nair or SH Bair can be used for a surprise attack since the front of Bair (F18 covering Shulk’s legs) is also a hitbox.
    • Smash Art Utilt works when the other player has a jumping habit in close range.
    • Vision also works.
  • Aside from Speed Art, Jump Art is another option for grabs.
    • Tomahawk grabs (empty hops → grab) are great for both mobility Arts if the opponent is shielding too much.
  • Watch out for Vision at higher %, but avoid Aerial Vision.

Advantage/Disadvantage

  • Juggling and Anti-MALLC Tactics

    • Juggle with Utilt or SH Nair to bait an air dodge, frame trap the opponent, then punish the air dodge landing lag with grabs, tilts, Air Slash (OoS), or smash attacks. This is great on platform stages and against Shield Art to bait an option.
      • In Jump Art, Utilt → DJ Uair can be a good kill option.
      • A raw Jump Art Air Slash at high % can kill if the person reads the option like an air dodge.
    • When Shulk tries to choose an Art and attempts to MALLC from the air, the other Shulk can jump forward and use Fair or Air Slash to interrupt. Mobility Arts are great to interrupt MALLC.
    • Visions are great against Shulk’s aerials. Sometimes, Visions are a good counter to MALLC aerials (or rather Bair), but before that Shulk player lands on the ground.
      • On rare occasions, a successful MALLC against Vision can dodge the Vision with its intangibility frames (F1-14).
    • To land back safely, or trick the opponent, use MALLC air dodge, B-Reverses, Wavebounces, or MAIT/MAIL.
      • Usmash can beat MALLC air dodge.
      • Jumping away and grabbing the ledge also works, but that player is still in the Disadvantage.
    • If Shulk does an Fsmash against the aerial Vision, the second hit can completely bypassed the Vision and hit/kill the other player.
    • In Jump Art, Uthrow → Air Slash is a great attack option from 48-~106%.
      • At high %, Uthrow → wait for an air dodge → Utilt hit/kill.
  • Off-Stage
    • Jump Art and Speed Art strings are great to KO in a narrow stage since Shulk’s air acceleration is low. Try Nair → Fair → Fair/Air Slash hit/kill against Vanilla Shulk (45-90%).
      • If the Shulk in the receiving end tries to switch to an Art mid-combo, try Air Slash to finish it off.
      • At mid % (~60%), Jump Art Nair → Dair spike will finish the opponent unless the opponent has Jump Art.
        • Pseudo Ken Combo (~60%): Jump/Speed Nair/Fair → Fair → wait for an air dodge → Dair finisher.
      • If the opponent still manages to come back, drift beneath the ledge, read their next option, and use Air Slash to kill.
    • It is important to know when to know Shield Art’s recovery distance. Sometimes, it is possible to recover back, even with poor mobility. If knocked away too far, deactivate Shield Art (press 3 times), then switch to Jump (press 1) or Speed Art (press 2).
      • Warning: When trying to recover back while switching Arts, do not B-Reverse (hold to the side blastzone upon activation) or else that stock is guaranteed to be over.
    • Buster Art MABD Nair/Fair → Fair kill. Great on narrow stages.
    • Sometimes, a Shulk player may DJ back to the stage. Attacking back is a better option because that Shulk used his DJ, and is sometimes forced to recover with Air Slash.
    • Bair can be a surprise kill option, but requires great precision.
    • Footstooling the opponent is a rare option, but also works when edgeguarding.
    • A Shulk player who FF with Nair after using its DJ will lose his stock.
  • Ledge
    • To reach the ledge, Jump or Speed Art are the best options. But regardless of what Art, a good Shulk player will know the maximum Air Slash distance to the ledge in all Arts.
      • Delaying the second input of Air Slash will give Shulk a tiny horizontal recovery. This is slightly noticeable in his mobility Arts. This recovery method is most likely used when knocked offstage too far in Shield Art.
      • If both players are in the same disadvantage position, an Air Slash can stage spike the other player.
    • The best way to edgeguard the opponent who already used his DJ and Air Slash is to use Fair after or above the first hit of Air Slash. However, Air Slash can snap to the ledge by inputting the second hit directly in front of the ledge.
      • Dair at the ledge, against Air Slash, can meteor smash, stage spike, or send further to the side blastzone. However, Air Slash can also counter back if it attacks first or Dair misspaces, so Fair is the better option to gimp the opponent. Air Slash OoS (with Smash Art) and Fair can work since it can 2-Frame.
        • Bair also works for a stage spike (unless the opponent uses Air Slash away from the stage).
          • A late Fair also works for a stage spike and to 2-Frame Air Slash.
        • A misspaced Air Slash recovery to the ledge allows Vision to hit/kill.
        • Angled-down Fsmash if Air Slash misspaces.
      • Ledge-drop → DJ MALLC air dodge is another option to get back on stage. But SH Nair can beat it.
        • Jump Art Ledge-drop → DJ aerials to attack or kill.
      • Watch out for ledge-drop → DJ Fair for a surprise attack.
        • Shield-grab it.
        • Dash back to avoid the Fair and dash grab.
      • Ledge-drop → DJ Dair if the opponent is right next to the ledge. The Dair will drag the opponent into the second hit of its spike.
      • By shield-grabbing an unspaced Air Slash after the DJ, grab release can potentially kill against an uninformed player because that player’s aerial drift is greatly lowered.
        • To recover back after being grab released, air dodge toward the stage to regain horizontal momentum and use Air Slash. Be prepared for the counterattack.
      • When one hangs into the ledge while the other tries to recover back, the one at the ledge can use ledge-drop → DJ Air Slash as a wall. Jump Art extends the vertical wall. However, the one trying to get back on stage can also use Air Slash if the opponent loses his ledge invincibility. But be aware the first hit of Air Slash can save the other Shulk.
        • Ledge-drop → DJ Dair spike against a predictable Air Slash recovery.
    • Ledge options:
      • Use a shield bubble to be protected from attacks. Air Slash and Nair can cover all four common escape options.
        • Retreating Bair or Fair are safe options if the player in the advantage is unsure. However, the one who gets up from the ledge retakes the neutral.
        • Buster and Smash Art in this advantage state excels in this position the most. Inflict more damage or go for the kill.
        • If the advantageous Shulk is right at the edge, the Shulk hanging onto the ledge can ledge-drop → DJ Dair spike since Dair drags the opponent into the spike.
      • Ledge getup: Use grabs or (Speed Art running) Usmash. In Buster Art, semi-charged Dsmash can shield break, but this method is predictable to veteran players.
        • Barrier Nair also works.
      • Ledge attack: Use a shield-grab, Vision, Air Slash OoS, tilts, or Fsmash.
      • Ledge roll: Use Dash Grab or Pivot Grab (easier in Speed Art), Air Slash, Fsmash, Usmash (spaced), or Back Slash.
      • Ledge jump: Use Air Slash, Utilt, Fair, Nair, or Uair. Be prepared to read an air dodge or an attack.
      • No ledge invincibility:
        • Air Slash with Rage can connect with both hits. See more in Combos.
        • Dair spike.
        • Fair/Nair.
    • Ledge Trump
      • Air Slash.
      • Dair
      • Late Fair → Air Slash suicide kill.
  • Shulk can shield-grab the other Shulk’s 1st hit of Usmash before the 2nd hit occurs. If it is a Buster Art Usmash, try dash grab.
  • Watch out for Bthrow → Back Slash, especially at kill %. The one who gets Bthrown usually uses their DJ, so when they are hit again, they are most likely forced to use Air Slash to grab the ledge.
  • Try Buster Art Dthrow → Air Slash.
    • Against Shield Art who is around high % (ex: 112%), try Buster Art grab → Shield Art times out → MABD Buster Art Dthrow → run-off Air Slash (delaying the second hit to kill) for a true kill combo.
  • When pressuring the opponent who is on the platform, Buster Art Back Slash is an option for a shield break.

Other Notes

  • Notable characters against Shulk:

    • Diddy Kong, Bayonetta, Fox, and Sheik: These are universally considered as Shulk’s worst MUs. Their superior frame data with a patient and defensive playstyle overwhelms Shulk. Shulk’s punish game and quick-decision making must be on point without letting down his guard. Like all other MUs, Shulk’s realistic chance is to get a lead and use Ghostwalker (Jump Art camping) for a timeout. If Shulk loses the lead, Buster or Smash Art should be used for damage or raw early kills.
    • Pikachu
    • Sonic
    • Zero Suit Samus
    • Rosalina & Luma
    • Mewtwo
    • Corrin
    • Ryu
    • Greninja
    • Mario
  • Using the swimsuit alt can help players and spectators to distinguish two Shulk players more easily.
  • Do not use Air Slash against Shield Art because the second slash will not connect from the rising slash (there might be an exception such as the 1st hit connects at the apex into 2nd hit).
  • If Vision is hit by Buster Art, it will deal much more damage and KB. Using Vision against Speed, Shield and Smash Art are less effective.
  • Monado Purge % on Shulk with all progressions, but no Rage (simplified):
    • Smash: 56-164% [108% Range]
    • Buster: 75-191% [116% Range]
    • Vanilla/Speed: 76-193% [117% Range]
    • Jump: 74-209% [135% Range]
      • Jump Art is the easiest Art to Purge due to its increased fall speed.
      • The timing for the 5th progression is very tight if the opponent DIs away (the player has to delay the Uair more than usual. This can KO at 74% if the opponent tries to jump away.
    • Shield: 165-314% [149% Range]
      • To catch the air dodge with a falling Uair, it might be easier to perform a SH rather than a FH.
  • Jump Art Buffer Deactivation (JABD), the 2nd progression of Monado Purge, is most likely the best progression against Shulk. When Shulk gets hit by Uair1, the way his body shifts makes it quite hard for Uair2 to connect.
    • Smash: 90-109% [19% Range]
    • Buster: 111-128% [17% Range]
    • Vanilla/Speed: 110-131% [21% Range]
    • Jump: 125-147% [22% Range]
    • Shield: 213-235% [22% Range]
  • Air Acceleration: 0.04 [46-55th]
  • Air Dodges: Intangible 3-28; FAF 34 [34-51st]
  • Air Speed: 1.06 [24th]
  • Fall Speed: 1.5 [32-35th]
  • Fast Fall Speed: 2.4 [31-34th]
  • Ledge Attack: 24-26 (Intangible: 1-21); FAF 56 [46-53rd]
  • Ledge Getup: Intangible 1-33; FAF 35 [15-52nd]
  • Ledge Jump: Intangible 1-15; FAF 16 [56-57th]
  • Ledge Roll: Intangible 1-32; FAF 50 [3-7th]
  • Roll: Intangible 4-17; FAF 31 [30-47th]
  • Run Speed: 1.52 [35-36th]
  • Spot Dodge: Intangible 3-18; FAF 28 [35-51st]
  • Walk Speed: 1.1 [30-32nd]

Summary

Shulk (102)-

  • Attacks
    • Fair
      • DI down and away to any any potential follow-ups. Very useful to know against the first Fair to avoid the second Fair.
  • Shulk's Uthrow DI Options:
    • DI up and jump away.
    • DI up against Uair unless they read your jump.
    • Against Monado Purge, mix up between left or right.
  • Shulk's Fthrow DI Options:
    • DI away.
  • Shulk's Dthrow DI Options:
    • DI away.
    • Either away or up and away.
  • Order of Shulk's Kill Throws in Smash Art: Dthrow, Bthrow, Fthrow, and Uthrow.


Information from this guide on Smashboards

Note: Shulk is a character that does not have a bad stage; he focuses on counterpicking the opponent’s bad stages. He can play on any stage relatively well, so it’s depends on the opponent’s stage experience and their playstyle. Shulk prefers platforms, but platforms either help or hurt Shulk based on how the player navigates. Since this is a mirror MU, this section will explain what Shulk can do on each stage. 

 

Shadow Eye Methods on each stage

Miscellenous Tips:

  • On a platform, Shulk can B-Reverse.
  • Dair’s beam sourspot can stage spike.
  • When recovering to the ledge, by pressing against the wall, Shulk’s Air Slash and Fair can poke through the stage. Be warned that it can be countered.
    • In a Shulk ditto MU, Vision can be used should the other Shulk misspaced their Air Slash recovery/attack. Instead, Air Slash should snap to the ledge with the second slash.
  • It is possible to shield break the defensive opponent who is on the platform with Buster Art. Pressure with aerials and Utilt, then use Back Slash to shield break.
  • Sharking is going under the stage and attack the opponent from below. Shulk’s Uair is his only sharking move.

Best Stages:

  • Lylat Cruise
    • Arguably his best stage.
      • 1. Slopes let Shulk slide ridiculously far when landing increasing his landing mixups, especially in Jump Art.
      • 2. The platforms are at a great position to pressure with SH aerials (Nair, Fair, and Bair), Utilt, Air Slash, Back Slash, or camp on with Jump Art or Speed Art.
      • 3. Medium ceiling height, which Shulk can still get his kills off the top with easily, but characters that love lower ceilings do not gain much advantage with.
      • 4. Close blastzones off the side, allowing Shulk to more easily carry people off the stage and buffing Smash Art.
      • 5. The ledge does not mess up Shulk as much as it messes up most other characters because his recovery is 2 steps and as room for error (Air Slash 1 → Air Slash 2). Shulk’s great at edgeguarding, so he can use this lip against his opponents, including PP angled down Fsmash.
        • Air Slash is a great stage spike kill.
        • Ledge attack is an odd attack that can stage spike.
      • 6. The tilt of the stage does not mess Shulk up much, but messes up horizontal projectiles (e.g. Sheik’s grounded needles) hard. He can also Dsmash to 2-Frame on quite a few characters.
        • However, smaller characters are harder to hit when tilted to their advantage, even with Shulk’s Dtilts, Ftilts, and third hit of Jab. SH aerials are best used against these characters.
      • The one downside is that MALLC becomes a bit more inconsistent.
    • Due to a somewhat small stage, it is easier for both characters to rack up damage (especially for rushdown characters).
    • Can shark with Uair. Use Jump Art Uair to shark to the center stage.
    • Best stage for Shadow Eye methods.
    • Unfortunately, this stage suffers with glitches and bugs such as going through the stage, sudden teleportation, etc.
  • Town & City
    • A good stage for Shulk.
    • A stage with platforms and large spaces is great for Shulk’s mobility Arts.
      • With the stage transforming and shifting into different platform layouts, this stage is great for fighting and camping with Jump Art (aka Ghostwalker). Shulk should still be careful who also excels at punishing platform landings or using them against him.
        • A Shulk player can keep track of when the stage transforms to manage the Monado Arts’ availability. For example, by using one immediately at the start of the match, it can later be used again by the time the platforms begin to shift (28 seconds).
    • Requires FH to land on the platforms in all Arts.
    • Utilt can reach the side platforms on the first portion, but not Usmash.
      • Against the grounded opponent, Air Slash is another attack option. However, when rising for the first hit, Shulk may immediately stop and land without the second hit, leaving him vulnerable for a brief moment. But Shulk can use another Air Slash to possibly kill the opponent.
    • Shulk’s horizontal kill moves kill the earliest.
      • Mobility Arts Nair → Fair → Fair/Air Slash kill at mid-high %.
    • Can shark with Uair.
    • On rare occasions, if a character falls on the side platforms while it transitions to the side blastzones, it can kill them if the player does not tech.
  • Smashville
    • A good stage for Shulk.
    • This is Final Destination, but with the moving platform. The moving platform helps players to camp out against the other opponent. It is also another option to recover instead of the ledge (especially with Jump Art). Some characters have their combo strings extended or kill throws for earlier kills, which would not have been possible on Final Destination.
      • To land on the platform in Speed or Shield Art, DJ (and technically Back Slash) is necessary.
      • Riding on the platform in Shield Art for transportation moves in the exact speed as Shield Art’s walk speed. However, rolling in Shield Art is its fastest mobility.
    • A shorter stage than Final Destination, allowing Shulk to close in to zoners and projectile users easier.
    • Speed Art gains some good buffs on this stage. It allows Shulk to use Nairs and Fairs to cover the opponent’s landing should they try to land on the moving platform.
    • Shulk’s horizontal kill moves kill the earliest.
      • Mobility Arts Nair → Fair → Fair/Air Slash kill at mid-high %.
      • The moving platform + (Smash Art) Dthrow/Bthrow.
      • Smash Art Back Slash, even the front hit. Use it just before the opponent lands.
    • With mobility Arts, Shulk can go past the ledge (e.g. air dodge), DJ while underneath the stage, and Air Slash to the other ledge.
    • On top of the platform at the ledge, Shulk can select Jump Art → B-Reverse Fair to edgeguard behind him, usually when the opponent tries to recover to the ledge.
    • Can shark with Uair.
    • Can MALS.

"Worst" Stages:

  • Dream Land 64 (same notes as Battlefield unless otherwise)
    • Slightly shorter blastzones than Battlefield.
    • Shulk’s mobility, including Jump Art, has more freedom than Battlefield. Only Jump Art can go underneath the stage and Air Slash to the other ledge.
    • Regarding the wind:
      • Jump, Speed, and Buster Art can assist or hinder Shulk depending on the direction of the wind.
        • Jump Art gets an additional jump start boost while jumping offstage to edgeguard.
          • When hanging on the ledge (disadvantage state), having the wind blowing toward Shulk and his opponent can help his ledge-drop → DJ air dodge to land to the center stage. This may help Shulk if the opponent does not react to this.
        • Speed Art allows Shulk to run either extra fast or charge through the wind.
    • Can zone and pressure with his long-ranged aerials, Utilt, and sometimes Back Slash. They are best used just before the opponent lands on the platform. Regarding platforms:
      • If the opponent is on the top platform:
        • FH Jump Art aerials can attack and land on the top platform.
        • Utilt cannot reach the top platform.
      • If Shulk is on the side platforms:
        • Requires FH Jump Art to land on the side platforms.
        • When covering the ledge-jump option, only FH Speed Art Nair can zone the side platform while landing simultaneously.
        • On the side platforms, Shulk in Jump Art can drop down → Fair.
    • Air Slash OoS (except Jump Art) is great on tri-platform stages. In the center of the stage, use it to attack and land on the top platform.
      • Against the grounded opponent, Air Slash is another attack option. However, when rising for the first hit, Shulk may immediately stop and land without the second hit, leaving him vulnerable for a brief moment. But Shulk can use another Air Slash to possibly kill the opponent.
      • When using Air Slash to the top platform, after the second input, Shulk can FF through the platform suddenly.
    • The bottom stage can stop Air Slash recovery if Shulk goes in too deep (aka pineappled).
    • Cannot Jab Lock due to the strange “flat” structure of the stage.
    • Cannot shark with Uair.
  • Battlefield
    • Jump Art (and his movements in general) may hinder him, regarding the center portion of the stage, due to the tighter platforms. However, both his mobility Arts (Speed Art having a strict timing) can go past the ledge (e.g. air dodge), DJ while underneath the stage, and Air Slash to the other ledge.
    • Can zone and pressure with his long-ranged aerials, Utilt, and sometimes Back Slash. They are best used just before the opponent lands on the platform. Regarding platforms:
      • If the opponent is on the side platforms:
        • Though Utilt is common to pressure an opponent on the platforms, the opponent can easily shield it. Instead, Shulk’s (Buster) Uair/Dair is a better tool to shield pressure.
          • Alternatively, Shulk can buffer two FH Fairs/Bairs to hit the shielding opponent, then the second aerial or Air Slash can land a hit if the opponent drops their shield. The key is to buffer an aerial after leaving the ground, then take advantage of Shulk’s aerials and their FAFs.
        • Speed Art requires FH aerials to cover the platforms. Its dominating ground game can quickly cover the lower platforms.
        • Jump Art Uair → FH DJ Uair can kill very early (+50%).
        • Back Slash has a large hitbox to intercept opponents while they are above the platforms. If spaced right, it may register as a back hit. However, it has a blindspot when the opponent is standing on the platform. For Back Slash for work, the opponent has to be level with Shulk or right above Shulk when he does Back Slash.
        • Can Jab Lock opponents by using the side platforms and using Buster Art to force the opponent to tumble off (Tumble Lock). See more in Jerm’s video.
      • If the opponent is on the top platform:
        • In Jump Art, SH Nair, Fair, or Uair can poke the top platform.
          • Vanilla/Buster/Smash FH Nair, Fair, Uair or Bair.
          • Speed Art FH aerials are needed to juggle.
          • Shield Art FH Nair, Fair, or Uair.
        • Utilt can reach the top platform, but requires strict timing. This is more noticeable during Multi-Man Smash mode. Regardless, Utilt is a good option should the opponent drops down.
        • Air Slash is another attack option. However, when rising for the first hit, Shulk may immediately stop and land without the second hit, leaving him vulnerable for a brief moment.
      • If Shulk is on the side platforms:
        • He can run off and use Bair/Fair, or use MALLC. This is not possible to MALLC consistently in Jump Art due to its increased fall speed.
        • When about to land, but most likely to be pressured, activate Jump Art with MAIT/MAIL, shield during the activation time, and then jump out of shield to escape.
        • Go through the platform and use Nair.
        • Can drop down with Fair (except in Jump Art).
        • His Nair, Fair, Bair, and Dair’s 2nd hit can hit opponents below him (though taller characters are much easier to hit). The problem is that if Shulk whiffs, he suffers landing lag. This disadvantage iseven worse if the opponent shields or use on OoS option like Usmash. MALLC can compensate this problem.
        • In Jump Art, he can FH any aerials, then drift down to the flat stage to autocancel.
        • When covering a ledge-jump option, Jump Art allows Shulk to SH → any aerial to zone the side platforms. Using a SH aerial will cause Shulk to finish before landing on the side platforms. Speed Art aerials also work, but requires a FH.
        • SH aerials to the top platform like pyramid traveling.
      • If Shulk is on the top platform:
        • Early Monado Purge kills.
        • Early Usmash kills as it can cover the platform.
        • Early Jump Art Uair2 → FH Uair kill on taller opponents.
        • Can drop down and use aerials or MALLC to cover his landings.
        • Can B-Reverse to the center stage.
    • Air Slash OoS (in any Art) is great on tri-platform stages. In the center of the stage, use it to attack and land on the top platform.
      • When using Air Slash to the top platform, after the second input, Shulk can FF through the platform suddenly.
    • When edgeguarding, Shulk’s aerials can stage spike the opponent. Using Dair’s beam sourspot can also stage spike.
    • Can MALS.
  • Final Destination
    • A neutral stage, either good or his worst stage.
    • Jump Art has more freedom, but requires to be unpredictable to fake out the opponent. Shulk can FF Nair, FF then do nothing, FF then dash grab, retreating Fair, retreating Bair, staying grounded, etc.
    • Speed Art is great on flat stages thanks to the increased ground speed, lowered jump height and air mobility.
    • The stage lip makes Shulk’s recovery with Air Slash easier.
    • When the background transitions into a light background, the beam of the Monado makes it difficult to spot.
    • Can Jab Lock on all stages. See more in Jerm’s video

Other Stages:

  • Omegas (Same notes as FD unless otherwise)
    • Palutena’s Temple
    • Wily Castle
    • Suzaku Castle
      • Can MALS.
    • Midgar
      • Can MALS.
    • Gaur Plains
      • In the Wii U version only, there is a pillar under the center that cannot be wall jumped or stuck.
        • The stage lip makes Shulk’s recovery with Air Slash easier.
      • In the 3DS version only, Shulk’s Jump Art can go under the stage and Air Slash to the other side of the ledge.
      • When a character rolls to the ledge and throws an item down, it will go through the stage.
    • Grass Omegas [Mushroom Kingdom U, Mario Galaxy (except the small patch of road), Yoshi’s Island, The Great Cave Offensive (left half), and Windy Hill Zone]
      • Grass reduces the character’s slide distance by about 1/2. This can impact dashing Usmash not covering as much distance. In Shulk’s case, Jump Art’s aerials upon landing is decreased, and Speed Art running Usmash for extra distance hitting bad landings.
    • Online Practice Stage in “With Friends”.
      • Can practice MALS.
  • Duck Hunt
    • A good stage for Shulk.
      • A great counterpick against characters with bad verticals like Little Mac, Ganondorf, Dr. Mario, etc.
    • The best stage for camping with Jump Art (aka Ghostwalker).
      • He can also kill very early (such as using Monado Purge) if he abuses the top tree by camping there when he has the lead. Alternatively, staying there allows Shulk to recharge his Monado Arts.
        • However, the top tree can bring the earliest vertical kills for certain characters, so be wary.
    • With the wide space, Shulk can easily use retreating aerials.
    • The shrub platform on the right can be covered with Utilt and aerials.
      • Requires a FH to land on top of it in all Arts.
    • FH DJ Speed Art can barely land on top of the most bottom right shrub of the tree.
      • Running from the middle shrub to the bottom left shrub to the bottom right sbrub to running off drifting airborne looks fancy with stylish footwork.
    • Hitting the ducks creates hitstuns, which extends the time on some hitboxes. However, this is super situational.
      • Also, hitting them removes the move’s freshness, slow Shulk down, and can mess up MALLC inputs.
      • One benefit when hitting the duck is Shulk’s Nair to extends the activity of the hitbox and add any mixture of positioning to it like drifting or FF.
      • Another benefit is to use Uair or Dair to unstale other moves.
    • The dog can help Monado Purge being a true kill combo, but that is also situational.
  • Miiverse (same notes as Battlefield unless otherwise)
    • Alternative good option instead of Battlefield:
      • Less risk of getting caught in the lip when using Air Slash.
      • Can easily scourge below the stage.
        • This extends ledge-drop & air dodge → DJ Fair against the underside of the stage, attacking nearby opponents while scrooging back to the other side. While other stages use Uair2 to pierce through the stage, Fair is now possible. Fair’s FAF is great to use than Uair’s FAF.
      • Lower platforms are wider, shutting down characters’ certain moves (e.g. Villager’s bowling balls, DownBs of Bowser, Yoshi, & Kirby, etc).
        • Shulk’s Utilt and Nair pressure are more usable, especially in Buster Art.
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Last updated by TrueSapphire on September 6th, 2017 at 09:24 PM