Welcome to Cloud Nine’s competitive Shulk amiibo training guide! Trainer Blue here, and thanks for joining me today!
A handsome young man and a budding scientist, Shulk is the main protagonist in the Xenoblade Chronicles game. After his home colony is attacked by the Mechon, he and his friends set off to take them down. Shulk wields the Monado, a legendary blade imbued with a curious power that allows it to effortlessly slice through Mechon armor.
This guide is up-to-date as of version 1.1.7 of Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS.
Table of Contents
- Section 1: Amiibo Overview / Pros & Cons
- Section 2: Recommended Equipment
- Section 3: Leveling up your Amiibo
- Section 4: Post Level-50 Training
- Section 5: Conclusion & Credits
Shulk is quite the interesting amiibo to train. To start off, he’s got a great set of tilts, a great set of smash attacks, and a good jab as well. Alongside that, he’s got a devastating counter that can kill at incredibly early percentages, and turn around a game in seconds. Shulk’s Shield, Buster, and Smash arts are also useful, and can help his playstyle out with some risk involved.
Shulk’s pros are very promising, but he isn’t without his flaws. To begin, his AI knows multiple different ways to self-destruct, his first and most notable way is to use Backslash right off the edge, but can be ironed out in training. His next method of self-destructing involves shuffling through arts while off-stage, locking him from using his recovery. Lastly, he may butcher the usage of Jump and Speed Arts, putting him at a rough situation for when he decides to use them.
Shulk is an amiibo with plenty of promising pros. Iron out his habits of self-destructing, and mis-using arts, and you have a highly competent fighter at your hands.
Shulk – Recommended Stats & Bonuses
It’s time to begin your quest to train a tournament champion! The first step is to set your amiibo up with equipment. Equipping your amiibo might seem like a daunting task due to its many components and limitations – luckily, this section is here to help provide you with tips, tricks, and setups for your amiibo’s stats and bonus effects. Here’s my recommended loadout for Shulk:
Point Distribution: +60 Attack / +60 Defense / +0 Speed
A standard setup that balances the allocated 120 points between Attack and Defense.
- Hyper smash attacks
- Improved escapability
This is a common bonus setup that works exceptionally well on Shulk. All three of Shulk’s smash attacks are great, so it only makes sense to use hyper smash, as it’ll make them even stronger. Lifesteal allows Shulk to heal percentage back, keeping him alive for long periods at a time. Lastly, Improved escapability prevents him from being thrown to death by characters such as Ness.
If you’d like to explore different options for your amiibo’s point distribution and bonus combination, follow this link.
Shulk – Recommended Custom Moves
- Decisive Monado Arts and Hyper Monado Arts: Whichever arts you want to use is up to personal preference, default Monado Arts give a nice boost, and are overall safe,.Decisive Arts give the best boost, but also give the biggest drawback, alongside having Shulk locked in an art for longer than usual, which can lead to him getting in trouble if he goes into something like smash arts when the opponent is barely damaged. Hyper Arts are best if you want a Shulk that doesn’t utilize arts much due to the fact they don’t last long at all, and can generally be a safe move for Shulk. Overall any of the arts work, so it’s up to your decision to decide which to use.
- Power Vision: A custom version of Shulk’s down special, vision, that’s much stronger than the default, it’s highly suggested you use it as it’s incredibly powerful, especially compared to the default.
Feeding Your Amiibo
By now, you should know which stats and bonus effects you want to equip your amiibo with. Now it’s time to put your plan into motion and set your amiibo up with its proper equipment pieces! Once you’re ready to begin, open Super Smash Bros., navigate to the Games & More menu, and then to the amiibo tab. Tap in your amiibo (on Wii U, tap it to the left side of the Wii U Gamepad; on the Nintendo 3DS, you must use an NFC reader (sold separately); on the New Nintendo 3DS, tap it to the console’s bottom screen) and you’ll see a status menu that details its current stats and bonus effects.
Don’t worry about your amiibo’s current level, or if you have trained it before. Don’t reset it just to use this guide – remember, it’s always possible to correct an amiibo’s bad habits.
Step 1: Equipping Three Bonus Effects
First things first – we’re going to set your amiibo up with its three bonus effects. From your amiibo’s status screen, click the “Feed Equipment” option, and sort your equipment stash alphabetically. You’ll notice that each piece has a “prefix”, and this prefix determines which bonus effect it yields. Below are the three prefixes you should look for – find the correct equipment pieces, and then feed each one to your amiibo.
- All-Around Trade-off (Improved trade-off ability)
- Auto-Healer (Auto-heal capability)
- Escape Artist (Improved escapability)
- Hyper Smasher (Hyper smash attacks)
- Moon Launcher (Improved launch ability)
- Nimble Dodger (Improved dodge ability)
- Perfect-Shield Helper / Perfect-Shield Whiz (Easy perfect shield)
- Shield Healer / Healing-Shield (Health-restoring shield)
- Shield Reflector / Shield Counter (Mirror shield)
- Shield Regenerator / Speedy Shield Recharge (Improved shield regeneration)
- Trade-off Attacker (Improved trade-off attack)
- Trade-off Defender (Improved trade-off defense)
- Trade-off Speedster (Improved trade-off speed)
- Vampire (Lifesteal)
If you realize you don’t have one of the bonus effects you had wanted to feed your amiibo, you will need to farm for it. Please visit this page for more information. In the meantime, leave one of your amiibo’s bonus slots blank, and you can feed it the missing bonus effect later.
Step 2: Rounding Out Stat Values
For many, this is the most difficult step in feeding your amiibo: evenly distributing its stat points. Here’s a quick reminder of the point distribution you should be trying to give to your amiibo:
Point Distribution: +60 Attack / +60 Defense / 0Speed
Don’t worry if your numbers aren’t exact – we’re aiming for a ballpark range. If you don’t know this already, each piece of equipment has one of three different colors: orange, blue, or green. Orange pieces will increase an amiibo’s attack power but decrease its defense. Blue pieces will increase its defense but lower its speed. A green piece will increase its speed, but lower its strength. You’ll need to use these equipment pieces to balance your amiibo’s stats to the values you want them to be.
Step 3: When Your Amiibo Gets Full
Your amiibo can only eat so many pieces of equipment before it becomes full. It’s possible to feed your amiibo more equipment by battling it. It’s best to refrain from formally starting your training until your amiibo is complete with the correct stats and bonus effects. If your amiibo becomes full midway through the feeding process, hop into a quick 1-stock game as any character. When the match begins, run off the stage and KO yourself. Your amiibo’s habits and tendencies will not be negatively affected, and you will be able to continue feeding it equipment afterwards.
Completing the Feeding Process
Once your amiibo is all set with its stat points, bonus effects, and custom moves, you’ll be ready to begin your training (or continue it, if your amiibo is already Level 50 and is using this guide for the first time). It’s easy to make mistakes while feeding your amiibo, however, and if you run into a problem of some sort that you can’t resolve, you can always visit the community Discord server to ask a question.
Raising your Amiibo to Level 50
Note: If your amiibo was trained prior to using this guide, please do not reset it. This section does talk about raising your amiibo to Level 50, but it also contains helpful tips to use when mirror matching your amiibo – these tips are essential even to amiibo that have already reached Level 50.
Raising an amiibo to Level 50 is widely considered to be the most boring and tedious aspect of amiibo training. For the best results, you have to raise your amiibo very carefully. You can’t just go all-out and use combos and aerials (both of which are frowned upon in the amiibo metagame). For this step, you will be mirror matching your amiibo all the way to Level 50. A “mirror match”, also known as a “ditto match”, is when you fight your amiibo while playing as its character – so in this case, you’ll need to play as Shulk against your Shulk amiibo. I recommend playing timed matches (anywhere from 3 to 5 minutes will do) on Ω-form stages only.
If you don’t know already, defense is one of the most important components to an amiibo’s success. Believe it or not, the amiibo metagame is not about combos, mindgames, or outsmarting the opponent. It’s about playing good defense and attacking decisively. Here’s a list of defensive-minded tips that you should play by during your mirror matches.
Defensive Training Tips
- Do not jump or use aerials. Amiibo can be trained to block incoming attacks within a fraction of a second. Their reflexes are faster than any human’s can ever be. If your amiibo is airborne, it can’t block – so if it misses an aerial attack, it will be left vulnerable. Remaining grounded at all times is every amiibo character’s best option and safest playstyle. There have been over 150 tournaments thus far, and each one has shown that aerial amiibo always fail.
- Focus on blocking and dodging your amiibo’s attacks. Since amiibo can react so quickly, you shouldn’t teach yours to randomly throw out attacks. Instead, its approach should be calm and calculated. During training, block or dodge as many of your amiibo’s attacks as you can. After perfect shielding or dodging, respond with a counterattack. When your amiibo is at low damage, use tilts and jabs. When your amiibo has taken a lot of damage, use smash attacks instead.
- Do not make any attempt to combo. Amiibo can only use combos that are hard-coded into their AI, and even these combos aren’t very effective tools in the amiibo metagame. Plus, since amiibo can block and dodge with incredible accuracy, combos will usually be ineffective against them. Focus on well-timed blocks, dodges, and counterattacks instead.
- Don’t be too picky. If you mess up during training, don’t get frustrated and reset your amiibo. In fact, you should never reset your amiibo, because it’s always possible to correct bad habits. If you do make a mistake, shrug it off and just keep going.
While each and every amiibo should be trained to play good defense, each character has a vastly different moveset that needs to be taught and mastered. You should play by both the defensive tips listed above and the character-specific tips listed below.
Shulk Training Tips
- Primary damage-racking moves: jab, forward tilt, down tilt, up tilt. Shulk’s set of tilts are great, forward tilt and down tilt are handy in most situations, while up tilt is a great juggling move. Shulk’s jab is good as well, it’s quick, and deals a fair amount of damage.
- Primary KO moves: forward smash, up smash. Shulk’s forward smash is a great ledge-guarding move, a shield breaker, and a great kill move, it should be your main KO move for sure. Shulk’s up smash should be used to KO as well, but not as much as forward smash. As far as Shulk’s down smash goes, if he picks it up on his own, then that’s fine, just make sure he isn’t ignoring forward smash for it
- Moves to avoid: Backslash, Jump Arts and Speed Arts. Shulk has a silly habit of using Backslash right off the edge, so it’s best to completely ignore the move to prevent this. As far as Jump and Speed arts go, Shulk will automatically use Jump while recovering, which means it’s useless to teach him the use the art since he may butcher it on-stage. Speed arts aren’t really beneficial to his playstyle, and should be ignored.
- Utilize Shield, Buster, and Smash Arts. All three of these arts should be utilized, Buster while the amiibo is at a low percent, Smash while the amiibo is at a high percent, and shield while you’re at a high percent.
If you started using this guide with a Level 1 amiibo, it will take some time for it to reach Level 50. If your amiibo began its training anywhere in between Level 1 and Level 50, it shouldn’t take too long to level it up depending on how much training it originally had. Keep in mind that you can refer back to this list at any time in case you want to mirror match your amiibo to refresh its skills after it reaches Level 50.
When your amiibo finally reaches Level 50, its training will truly begin. Just like a real player, amiibo need match experience and practice against different characters and stages. When you are finished training your amiibo, we will move on to the most important section of the guide – honing your Level 50 amiibo’s skills and turning it into a champion!
Are you ready for things to get interesting? It’s time to take off the training wheels and really make your amiibo great. Defense and counterattacks are important to your amiibo’s success, but its match experience is even more important. Your amiibo will need to be exposed to as many different fighters, stages, and situations as possible.
Your Amiibo’s Match Experience
Each character in the Super Smash Bros. roster has their own unique playstyle and a variety of different attacks to use. You should try your best to expose your amiibo to every fighter in the game. Here at Cloud Nine, we have guides for every amiibo character – so if you have any other amiibo characters left untrained, train them up with their own personalized character guide. You can then have your two amiibo fight each other, and they’ll both become stronger!
Mirror Matches, Defense, and Counterattacks
As your amiibo’s knowledge of other characters expands, its knowledge of its own moveset will diminish. That is to say, your amiibo’s fighting skills will wear down over time. Don’t get me wrong, match experience is great – but too much of it at a time will weaken your amiibo’s overall abilities. Mirror matching your amiibo between battles against other characters is a great way to refresh its skills. In the previous section was a list of tips that specifically applied to your amiibo – refer back to that if you want to. Again, be sure to remain grounded and to play defensively.
Speaking of playing defensively, now that your amiibo is Level 50, you can put it through some advanced defensive training. The aptly-named defensive training session will help your amiibo to more accurately block incoming attacks and then counter with a move of its own. It’s also a great way to refresh your amiibo’s skills, in addition to standard mirror matches. To keep your amiibo fresh and at its best, repeat both mirror matches and the defensive training session as needed.
Training a champion amiibo isn’t a simple feat, and it certainly isn’t as easy as following a step-by-step guide from start to finish. It requires innovation, creativity, and a lot of patience. Amiibo are finicky things at times, and yours will likely develop a habit you aren’t so fond of. It might use too many aerials, or walk right into attacks. Luckily, I’ve set up some resources that will help you to correct these problems. The FAQ will answer most of your questions, but if your question isn’t there, you can join Cloud Nine’s Discord server for additional help.
Thanks for sticking with me all the way to the end! It’s been a long guide, but you toughed it out – I really appreciate that! Although the guide may be wrapping up, your training most likely won’t be done anytime soon. There’s always a way forward with an amiibo, and Shulk is no exception to this rule. Again, if you run into any roadblocks along the way, check out Cloud Nine’s Discord server.
If your desire to read amiibo training guides and articles hasn’t been completely satisfied, there are some more posts here at Cloud Nine that you might like. The official amiibo tier list ranks every amiibo’s overall capabilities, and you might learn something new if you take a look at it. The FAQ is another good resource worth checking out. Alternatively, you can head to the master list of guides for even more amiibo training methods!
If you noticed any spelling, grammar, or formatting errors while reading this guide, please join the aforementioned Discord server to tell us about the mistake. Your help is much appreciated – thank you in advance!
Thanks to Trainer Blue for compiling all of Shulk’s information – this includes his strengths and weaknesses, stats and bonuses, custom moves, and training tips. All of the images you see in this guide are courtesy of the official Super Smash Bros. website and SmashWiki.