Shulk, otherwise known as “The Visionary”, is a newcomer in Smash 4. He has a unique quality: he is able to change his Monado Arts, which means that he will change his strengths and weaknesses. He will get an increase in at least one stat, and get a decrease in another. One mode will only last for about 16 seconds, and that specific one cannot be used for 10 seconds afterwards or Shulk is knocked out. However, there are five Monado Arts, so Shulk will always be able to use a Monado Art. The Monado Arts do regenerate after a while, so do not worry if you want to use a certain Monado Art again. You can also quit the Monado Art if you want Shulk to be more balanced. Depending on the situation, it may be better to use a specific one. Before going over his first set of special moves, I will talk about the different Monado Arts.
- The first Monado Art is Jump. Like its name would suggest, this gives Shulk the ability to jump higher. Not only that, but his up special, Air Slash, gains more height as well. However, you take more 1.22 times normal damage. This is good if you are getting knocked around the stage, as it makes it easier for you to recover.
- The second Monado Art is Speed. Like its name would suggest, this increase Shulk’s speed. You move faster on the ground as well as in the air. However, you deal .8 times normal damage. This is good for faster opponents, such as Sonic and Captain Falcon.
- The third Monado Art is Shield. Like its name would suggest, this lowers the amount of damage done to Shulk to .67 times normal damage. Your shield can also take more damage before breaking, and moves do not send you flying as far. However, everything else gets a decrease: you move slower, jump less high, and deal .7 times normal damage. This is good if your opponent and you are at high damage.
- The fourth Monado Art is Buster. This one increases the amount of damage you deal to opponents as well as yourself. It is also easier for you to break your opponent’s shield. If you are skilled with Shulk, use this at the beginning of the match. You will rack up damage on your opponent. Do not use this when your opponents are at high percentages. This art decreases the amount of knockback on your moves.
- The fifth Monado Art is Smash. This is the opposite of Buster; your moves have more knockback but so do moves used on you. You deal less damage as well and it is more difficult to break your opponent’s shield. Use this when your opponent is at high percentages, but only if you do not have a high percentage as well. Heavier opponents such as Bowser and Donkey Kong will be easier to knock out.
I do not think it is necessary to talk about his neutral special, so let’s move on.
His side special is Back Slash. This move is rather strange, as it deals more damage if your opponent is not facing you. This move is not very useful in one-on-one matches. It deals about 9% or 10% if your opponent is facing you and about 14% to 16% damage if they are not.
His up special is Air Slash. Pressing the special button at the end of this move will give Shulk a little more height and can hit opponents as well.
His down special is Vision. This move is a counter. It is a little slow, but can deal 1.3 times the damage of the damage of the original move. This move’s damage and knockback can be helped using Buster or Smash, respectively.
Which is your favorite Monado Art?