Shulk has always been kind of a misleading Figure Player — even in Super Smash Bros. 4. And this issue has only been intensified in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate! The reason Shulk is misleading is because you have to ignore so many of his moves to train an optimal Shulk amiibo. In today’s episode of “disappointing amiibo trainers”, we’re going to talk about why Shulk should only use forward smash. No, I’m not kidding.
Thanks to MiDe for contributing Shulk’s training information! Feel free to check out their YouTube channel by following this link.
Shulk has access to a wide range of moves that can potentially help him out in battle. He’s got his signature Monado Arts – Jump, Speed, Buster, Smash, and Shield – that can each give him a strong situational advantage if used at the right time. A few of his moves are really fast, too. And a few of his other moves are really powerful! Overall, Shulk has an excellent combination of tools that can help him contend against any opponent.
Or at least, he would. This just in: Ultimate’s AI is kind of stupid. Shulk’s is kind of iffy with its Monado Arts, it often gets gimped off-stage, and it can’t even properly use its counter half the time. Long story short, Shulk’s forward smash is a multi-hitting move, and Ultimate’s AI does not deal with those very well. So if you just spam forward smash against an opposing CPU or FP, chances are you’re going to hit them. A lot.
But that’s what Ultimate’s amiibo metagame is all about: teaching AI to exploit AI flaws. And that’s exactly what we’re going to do today! On the whole, Shulk might have been more successful in Super Smash Bros. 4, but he’s still perfectly viable in Ultimate! If you’re looking to train your Shulk amiibo specifically to fight human players, you might want to have a look at our general amiibo training guide too. This guide covers amiibo versus amiibo, and Shulk’s strategy for that is much different. Just remember to ignore Monado Arts either way.
If you don’t want to equip your Shulk amiibo with Spirits, feel free to skip this entire section! Otherwise, try giving it Spirits at Level 1. For whatever reason, they scramble a FP’s training data. If your amiibo is already Level 50 and you want to give it Spirits, be ready to play a few brush-up matches afterwards with Learning on.
Most of the “big five” bonus effects – Super Armor, Slow Super Armor, Autoheal, Great Autoheal, and Armor Knight – work well enough on Shulk, but Armor Knight is perhaps the strongest of these options. Pair it with Trade-Off Ability ↑ and you’ll have a really potent Spirit combination!
Of course, most Spirits tournaments keep Armor Knight banned, so if you’re looking to participate in one, you’ll need to explore some other options. Luckily, we’ve got you covered! You can try Weapon Attack ↑, Move Speed ↑, Hyper Smash Attacks, Trade-Off Ability ↑, or Additional Midair Jump if you want to give it a recovery boost. For stats, don’t worry too much. Just make sure they’re maxed out. If you need numbers, 2100 / 2100 should work fine.
Figure Players don’t save matchup data, as there’s no space on the chip dedicated to doing so. That means your amiibo can’t actually tell which character you’re playing as. With that in mind, it’s best to mirror match your FP until it reaches Level 50. That takes a long time, though, so instead you can raise it to around Level 30 and then turn its Learning off. Toss it in an hour-long game against a CPU opponent and you should be good to go! Just make sure your amiibo never goes against a CPU character with its Learning on. It’ll pick up bad habits.
Training an optimal Shulk amiibo couldn’t be simpler! It make take some time, but his game plan is very straightforward. When on-stage, attack your FP with forward smash. It comes out a bit slow, but it strikes twice and it’s really powerful! Opposing FPs will try to block the first hit, but will drop their guard too early and get hit anyway. This is a consistent way for Shulk to build up damage without risking too much. When your FP is knocked off-stage, stand at the ledge and use a down smash. It’s got wide range and solid launch power, which can help it to catch getup rolls and such. And those are the only two moves you have to use!
Now, in terms of movement, there are a few things to remember. No need to run! This is a walking-only zone. Just walk up to your FP and attack it with a forward smash. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’s AI is good against humans, but when it comes to AI versus AI, the more consistent FP usually wins. By teaching your Shulk to only use one move, you’re making it as consistent as possible. Shulk’s AI isn’t very good about handling its Monado Arts, not to mention the fact that each Art comes with drawbacks. And also not to mention that Shulk’s AI prioritizes the wrong Arts at the wrong times. If you want your Shulk to be strong against other FPs, teach it forward and down smash and you should be all set.
Keep in mind, then, that if you let your Shulk inherit any more Spirits after it has been trained to rely on forward smash, its move priorities will be shifted around. Which means it probably won’t rely on forward smash as heavily, which means you’ll have to go into training and remind it again. Just a little note in case you decide to alter your Shulk’s Spirit setup (if it has any, that is) at any point!
Thanks so much for reading! And, in classic Exion fashion, we’ve put out another thousand-word article that we could have just summed up with “use forward smash”. That’s kind of weird, but it’s best to include explanations for those who might not understanding the reasoning behind such a simple training strategy. Regardless, if you have any questions during training (or need help training your Shulk to fight human opponents — which would mean no spamming forward smash), feel free to join our Discord server. We’ll be sure to point you in the right direction! And thanks again to MiDe for contributing Shulk’s training information! You can find a link to their YouTube channel here.
If you would like to read more amiibo training guides, please follow this link.