Shulk 101
Ground Moves
Straight Punch | Jab1

Hitbox Frames IASA Jab2 Input Window Total Frames Base Damage Angle Base Knockback Knockback Growth
5 - 6 12 12 - 30 25 3.5% 70 / 60 / 88° W: 40 100
Side Kick | Jab2

Hitbox Frames IASA Jab3 Input Window Total Frames Base Damage Angle Base Knockback Knockback Growth
5 - 7 13 13 - 29 33 3.5% 66 / 70 / 80° W: 52 100
Upper Swing | Jab3

Hitbox Frames Total Frames Base Damage Angle Base Knockback Knockback Growth
(Early) 12 - 13 44 5.3% 50° 60 100
(Late) 14 4.2% 70° 70
  • Design Flaws
    • Upper swing whiffed means punishment. The overall speed of his jab combo can't interrupt as quickly when compared to other jabs.
    • Mediocre range and overall poor frame data for Upper swing. Also lacks a hitbox on the Monado's end of the blade too.
    • Cannot jab lock because of it's vertical launch angles.
    • Inconsistent on floaty / lighter fighters. It heavily depends on straight punch's spacing, delay throughout the jab combo, and the opponent's DI responses.
    • Lastly, a medium or even large amount of rage accumulated means you MUST delay in between the jab combo. Characters like:
      • Zelda:
      • Peach and Rosalina: Upper swing whiffs completely at point blank. Otherwise, the late hit connects.
      • Olimar:
      • Mewtwo: Late hit, unless from super point blank by walking into him.
      • Kirby: Always hit by the late hitbox of Jab 3.
      • Jigglypuff: Connect straight punch from mid-close. Without DI from 45% onward, straight punch mid-spaced into a mashed combo can't connect.
  • Note: Straight punch and side kick do not hit characters with very low crouching or landing hurtboxes. Also, side kick hits just a tad higher than straight punch.
     
  • Community-rated performance in battle
    • 4/5 Buster
    • 3.5/5 Vanilla, Jump, Speed, Shield, Smash
       
  • Competitive Applications
    • Generous damage output. Being Shulk’s fastest attack button, it's one of his most important attacks in close-quarters (others include grabs, pivot Ftilt, etc.)
      • Nair → Jab combo at low-mid %.
      • Buster Art deals 17-18% damage. Combined that with Buster Art Nair → Jabs at low-high % for more damage.
      • A good move to stale, especially in Buster Art .
      • Opponents DI’ing up the upper swing can decrease the damage output.
      • Combine it with mixups.
    • Holding Jab-rapid can possibly beat-out:
      • Spot dodges, rolls, and air dodge landing lag.
      • Dash grab (e.g. Speed Art Shulk, fast characters, etc.)
      • Other moves (e.g. Sonic’s Spin Dash).
      • Ledge getup.
      • Pseudo anti-air attack on reaction vs some aerial approaches.
         
  • Other / Situational
    • Jab 1 → Imagination (includes things like tilts, jab mixup into smashes, grab of choice, Air Slash, etc.)
    • Even if Smash Art Jabs connect, it can set up an edgeguarding situation.
    • Combat Walking
      • Mid-distance tool to clash with projectiles or stylish movement. Recommended in Buster Art.
    • Rarely In Smash Art and on a stage with small blast zones, it can kill at ledge but only at a very high % (+150%). Dthrow would be a better kill option.
    • Jab 3 can hit characters hanging on the ledge via ledge-trumping.
  • Resource: Buster Art Jab combo against all characters [Smashboards]

Dash Slash | Dash attack

Hitbox Frames Total Frames Base Damage Angle Base Knockback Knockback Growth
15 - 16 52 11.5% 60° 70 80
  • Design Flaws:
    • Can whiff at point blank.
    • Subpar move due to high startup and endlag. Considered as one of Shulk’s worst moves.
  • Note: One frame slower than Fsmash. Fsmash is also longer range, deals more damage, and has higher KB.
     
  • Community-rated performance in battle
    • 4/5: Smash
    • 2.5/5: Vanilla/Jump/Speed
    • 2/5: Shield
    • 1.5/5: Buster
       
  • Competitive Applications
    • Stellar K.O. when augmented with Smash ArtIs rarely staled since it's seldom used in battle.
    • Long-ranged punish. A instant dash slash in Speed Art barely improves reach while Shield Art barely reduces the reach [Clip 1]
    • Catches landings.
      • Mistechs from Shulk’s aerials or throws because of bad DI. However, opponents would usually jump out of dash slash.
      • Ex 1: Dthrow → Dash slash at low-mid %.
      • Ex 2: Buster Art Dthrow → Dash slash (assuming the oppoenent does not DI up).
      • Laggy attacks, predicted rolls, etc..
      • Speed Art improving ground friction gives dash slash incentive for moves having high shield damage and knockback with enough endlag.
      • Edgeguarding tool [Clip 1]
    • An OoS option in case standard options (Grabs, Air Slash) wouldn't reach. The more instant, the better.
      • Great in Shield Art since dash slash looks relatively fast despite of barely reducing the reach.
         
  • Other / Situational
    • In Shield Art, dash slash is more useful because ground speed heavily suffers. However, rolling in is the fastest movement option.
    • Buster Art dash slash spaced on block can be safe unless the opponent has high traction and a decent dash grab.

Side Swing | Forward tilt

Hitbox Frames Total Frames Base Damage Angle Base Knockback Knockback Growth
12 - 13 43 13.5% (Blade) 361° 30 92
12% (Ether)
  • Design Flaw
    • Cannot be angled, which is problematic against small characters crouching.
  • Notes:
    • Subpar. Shulk's slowest tilt; risky to use in the neutral as this is punishable.
    • Can "hipcheck" by hitting slightly behind Shulk at point blank.
    • Small chance of tripping at early %, especially in Buster Art.
    • Lock on a missed tech at very low %.
       
  • Community-rated performance in battle
    • 4/5: Speed/Buster/Smash
    • 3.5/5: Shield
    • 3/5: Vanilla/Jump
       
  • Competitive Applications
    • Neat optional combo finisher:
      • Nair → Ftilt at low-mid %.
      • Buster Art Dthrow → Ftilt at low % against Bowser and Donkey Kong.
    • Great damage and shieldstun push.
      • Buster Art Ftilt (18% sweetspot; 16% sourspot), in addition to continue applying pressure.
        • Can shield break in Buster Art, or at least setup a shieldbreaking punish.
      • If Shulk does a spaced Nair on shield, and the opponent whiffs their shield grab, Ftilt can hit/kill.
      • Counters against Buster Art Ftilt can kill Shulk at high %.
    • Neat kill move but stellar while augmented by Smash Art.
      • Pseudo Fsmash, but quicker by two frames.
      • Best used as an anti-air or a punishment tool.
    • Good spacing tool, but still has a noticeable endlag.
      • Pivot Ftilt.
        • Tech chasing situations vs fast-falling characters.
        • Great in Speed Art, including offensive mixups.
          • Covers a lot of space that can beat pivot grabs.
        • Defensive retreat option in Shield Art.
      • Ledge trapping against rolls, attacks, and getups.
         
  • Other / Situational
    • Lock move on Battlefield’s side platform at 0%.
      • Ex: Buster Art Fair → Ftilt lock.

Hop Swing | Up tilt

Hitbox Frames Total Frames Base Damage Angle Base Knockback Knockback Growth

11 - 23 (Blade)

39 8.5% (Blade) 85° (Blade) 70 (Blade) 90 (Blade)
13 - 23 (Ether) 7.5% (Ether) 108° (Ether) 65 (Ether) 85 (Ether)
  • Notes:
    • Frame 11 - 12 is Blade-only. The Ether hitbox later transitions on frame 13 syncing with the Blade, thus both remain constant together.
    • Can hit about ankle height, even when Wii Fit Trainer is crouching down.
    • Endlag can still be punished. (Buster Art???)
       
  • Community-rated performance in battle
    • 5/5: Jump Buster
    • 4.5/5: Smash
    • 4/5: Vanilla / Speed
    • 3.5/5: Shield
       
  • Competitive Applications
    • Great anti-air move in the game.
      • Good for juggling and frame trapping against air dodges and non-disjointed aerials. Shulk can bait with empty hop to trigger an air dodge reaction, then Utilt. Sometimes, the late Utilt can hit after the air dodge animation. Overall, Utilt in the neutral to bait, then attack [Clip 1]
        • Combined it with mobility Arts to continue juggling with increased mobility.
      • Beating incoming aerial assaults or trading hits.
      • Speed Art can juggle by walking / dashing to shield to dropping shield.
        • Can use PP Utilt thanks to its slide effect and turning the direction around, which would be ideal for frame trapping air dodges that drift toward Shulk in order to get behind him.
      • Defensive game in Shield Art by hitting a mixture of aerial approaches coming from the front and above him, followed by more spacing moves.
    • Great KO move (in Smash Art ) [Clip 1]
    • Good damage racking in Buster Art, but not safe at low %.
      • Great against heavy characters.
      • Uthrow → Utilt(s) → Utilt/Air Slash at low-mid %. Even if the opponent jumps out of Utilt, they used up their DJ and are still in the disadvantageous state against Shulk’s juggling.
      • Uthrow → opponent air dodges to the ground → Jabs/tilts/smash attacks.
    • Good ledge-trapping tool, but requires precise spacing.
      • Best used against ledge jump.
      • Can work against ledge getup and ledge roll [Clip 1]
    • Can extend combos
      • Jump Art Utilt → Fair → Fair/Air Slash.
         
  • Other / Situational
    • When the opponent is at the ledge, MADC Smash Art Utilt can be a surprise option. Dash to the ledge while switching to Smash Art → Art activation to cancel the dash → Utilt.
    • Not ideal to use Utilt to pressure shields on platforms. Some fast characters can still punish Utilt’s endlag. Use Uair, Nair, or late Utilt.
    • Battlefield’s top platform is barely out of Utilt’s sourspot, but a character’s hurtbox via a move extended through the platfgorm’s floor, or their bubble shield put up.
    • The late Utilt (back hitbox) can hit from behind Shulk.
      • Certain tall characters: Bowser, Donkey Kong, Ganondorf, King Dedede (extremely specific), Rosalina, and Samus.
      • During certain parts of their idle animation:
        • Bowser Jr.’s shell when he lifts himself out of the care and his jumping idle animation.
        • Charizard when he rears his head
        • Ike when he lifts his sword on his shoulder.
        • Sheik when she lifts herself up on one foot.
        • Wii Fit Trainer when he/she stands on the balls of his/her feet
      • During certain taunts:
        • Up taunts:
          • Ike when he lifts his hands up.
          • Marth.
          • Mewtwo
          • Palutena.
          • Zelda.
        • Side taunts:
          • Bowser Jr. when he lifts himself father out of the car to plop back in.
          • Ike when his arms are in the air.
          • Palutena when she straightens up.
        • Down taunts:
          • Captain Falcon.
          • Ike.
          • Link from the back (he pushes Shulk too far forward to hit him from the front).
          • Zelda when she is standing directly behind Shulk as her hands reaches in front of Shulk far enough.

Low Cutter | Down tilt

Hitbox Frames Total Frames Base Damage Angle Base Knockback Knockback Growth
10 - 11 31 9.5% (Blade) 60° 45 90
7.5% (Ether)
  • Notes:
    • Shulk’s fastest tilt; one of Shulk’s best and most important moves as a main spacing tool. Less likely to be punished.
    • Seen as inferior compared to Ike's (faster speed & endlag) or Link's (better shieldstun, less endlag).
    • Although, damage is medium & the longest-ranged Dtilt among them. Also longer ranged than Ftilt.
       
  • Community-rated performance in battle
    • 5/5: Buster
    • 4.5/5: Jump
    • 4/5: Speed
    • 3.5/5: Vanilla
    • 2.5/5: Shield, Smash
       
  • Competitive Applications
    • Great spacing tool against grounded approaches (hitting the feet), but less effective against aerial approaches.
      • Speed Art further improves Dtilt as a spacing tool even against aerial approaches when perfect pivoted.
      • Strong cross-up option. Performs well during instances you'd land from an aerial or empty hop.
      • Recommended tilt against shorter characters (Pikachu, Kirby, etc.)
      • Tipper Dtilt makes it safe. Sometimes unsafe on shield due to low damage output.
      • Combined it with Buster Art , it is safe on shield when tipped or when it lands the mid-portion of its hitbox.
        • Good ledge trapping tool.
    • Decent setup after the opponent gets hit by Dtilt.
      • Ex: Read an air dodge → Punish with aerials or Utilt.
      • Aerial assault in Jump or Speed Art.
    • Combo-finisher.
      • Nair → Dtilt at low %.
      • Buster Art Nair → Dtilt at mid-high %.
      • Even if it does not become a true combo after low %, it has good follow ups or feign the follow ups to make the opponent air dodge, then punish.
         
  • Other / Situational
    • Can be a combo-starter in Buster, Speed, or Jump.
      • Jump Art Dtilt → Fair (thanks to the increased air mobility).
      • Buster Art Dtilt → Dash Grab or Dtilt.
    • Can kill with Smash Art + Rage at the ledge.
      • Notable in a Shulk ditto when both are in Smash Art at high %.

Slit Edge! | Forward smash ↑ and ↓ angles

Hitbox Frames Angle Window Total Frames Base Damage Angle Base Knockback Knockback Growth
(Hit 1): 14 - 16 1 - 9 67 5.5% 78 / 10 / 40° W: 28 100
(Hit 2): 23 13% (Blade) 361° 30 Up: 125
Down: 115
11.5% (Ether)

Slit Edge! | Straight-forward smash

Hitbox Frames Total Frames Base Damage Angle Base Knockback Knockback Growth
(Hit 1): 14 - 15 67 5.5% 78 / 10 / 40° W: 28 100
(Hit 2): 23 13% (Blade) 361° 30 115
11.5% (Ether)
  • Design Flaws:
    • The first hit may not link into the second hit.
    • The opponent (especially lighter characters) applying upward SDI can evade Slit Edge's launcher, leaving Shulk wide open. [YT Video] [Clip 1]
    • Terrible hitboxes. When the ether erupts, it's active for only 1 frame.
    • Can whiff at point blank.
    • Lacks transcendent priority, meaning it can clank, even against Jabs and weak projectiles.
       
  • Notes:
    • The "Angle Window" is a choice of angling Slit Edge up or down. Frame 10 and onward without angling gets you the straight-forward smash.
    • Long-range smash attack, but easily punishable.
      • Third longest Fsmash (behind Corrin’s and Mii Gunner’s).
      • Straight-forward smash hits the farthest, then up-angle, then down-angle.
    • All angles in general are:
      • More damage and rewarding in Buster Art.
      • Risky to use in the neutral.
      • Unsafe on block no matter how spaced it is (even in Buster Art against fast characters). The only character that cannot punish back is Luigi due to his poor traction. (???)
         
  • Community-rated performance in battle
    • 5/5: BusterSmash
    • 4.5/5: Speed
    • 4/5: Vanilla, Jump
    • 3.5/5: Shield
       
  • Competitive Applications
    • Angled up
      • Additional KB. Best KO move in Smash Art, especially after shieldbreaking the opponent.
      • Has 1 more active frame when angled up, which can catch landings if timed well.
    • Angled down
      • Can hit opponents hanging on the ledge, but it is only 1 frame hitbox.
    • Nair → Fsmash at low %.
      • Buster Nair → Fsmash at mid-high %.
    • Pivot Fsmash, especially in Speed Art.
      • Good against certain approaches like Diddy Kong’s Monkey Flip, but requires prediction and fast reaction.
      • Risky to use against rushdown characters.
    • Against ledge rolls [Clip 1]
       
  • Other / Situational
    • MALLC aerial → Fsmash combo.
      • Can possibly shield break. Ex: Buster Art MALLC Bair → semi-charged Fsmash.
    • Jump Art tomahawk Fsmash.
      • Or Jump Art sliding Fsmash.

Pierce Edge! | Up smash

Hitbox Frames Total Frames Base Damage Angle Base Knockback Knockback Growth
(Hit 1 Ground): 18 - 21  67 4.5% 105° W: 110 100
(Hit 1): 18 - 29  4.5% 92° W: 70 / 60 40 / 100
(Hit 2): 30 - 33 13.5% 89° 45 98
  • Design Flaws
    • The opponent can DI away the ground hit, escaping the second launcher. Lighter and floaty, and even heavy characters, can easily DI away [YT Video].
      • Therefore, it's advised not to rely on Usmash for a shield break punish.
    • Before the launcher, characters hit by the sword up-close have enough time to prevent from being launched with a swift move.
      • Marth - Dolphin Slash.
      • Jigglypuff - Rest.
      • Sheik, Fox, and Greninja - land & hold perfect shield to block the second launcher, granting them punish.
         
  • Notes:
    • Vertical Fsmash / stationary Uair. Long-range, but easily punishable like Fsmash.
    • F18-21 have the ground-only hitboxes above his ankles. The left ankle hits farther from him than the right ankle.
    • Airborne fighters can't be hit by the grounded hit.
       
  • Community-rated performance in battle
    • 4.5/5: Speed
    • 4/5: Smash
    • 3/5: Vanilla, JumpBuster
    • 1.5/5: Shield
       
  • Competitive Applications
    • Great KO move and best used against ledge options (getup, some rolls, jump), especially in Speed, Buster, or Smash Art.
      • More KO power when the grounded hit connects and links into the second hit.
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