Explosive perfect shield is an equipment effect introduced in Super Smash Bros. 4. It was considered the strongest bonus available during the peak of its competitive metagame, and was unanimously banned from tournaments soon afterward. Perhaps as a result of its dominance in Smash 4, Explosive perfect shield does not reappear in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. This is one of the few instances where competitive amiibo training may have actually influenced an exclusion from a future Smash title.
Explosive perfect shield, hence its name, generates a damaging explosion whenever its user parries an attack. The explosion deals 15% to the opponent and can stack with Critical-hit capability to deal up to 45% off of just one perfect shield. These numbers do not factor in equipment or the amiibo buff, so the explosion usually deals even more damage in practice. Smash 4’s AI was heavily defensive and could react to attacks within one frame. As a result, amiibo tournaments that allowed Explosive perfect shield quickly devolved into perfect shield contests of sorts. The bonus favors characters with large frames like Bowser and King Dedede, as their large hitbox means the shield’s explosion technically has more range.
Explosive perfect shield was so prominent, in fact, that trainers often played several matches against their FPs specifically to hone their shielding skills. First, a trainer would play several matches against the FP with a focus on perfect shielding its attacks (slow mode was often activated for this purpose). Next, a trainer would purposefully run off-stage, which would lure the FP to stand at the edge. From there, the player would perform a get-up attack and the FP would block it, activating the explosion. This would reinforce defensive behavior and allow it to better perform in tournaments.
Explosive perfect shield, along with Critical-hit capability, are some of the most sought-after bonus effects in Smash 4. Using amiibo Powersaves, trainers were able to manually edit their Figure Player’s stored values to add Explosive perfect shield to their setup without having to farm for an equipment piece in-game. Players without Powersaves must farm for randomly dropped equipment via Master Orders, Crazy Orders, Trophy Rush, or Smash Run. Since Explosive perfect shield is randomly dropped, it can take quite some time to farm for one.
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