Smash Ultimate shows that sometimes you don’t need to mess with a good thing. The game is a lot like a revamped and improved version of Super Smash Bros. Wii U, for instance, and mostly focuses on bringing more characters into the existing framework. A lot of those characters — like Marth and Ike — also use tried and true weapons in the form of swords. Shulk from Xenoblade Chronicles is no different. He brings another basic (but very cool) blade into the mix. Although the character definitely makes the weapon his own in a way that bears examination.
Smash Ultimate sports 74 different playable characters at launch — including every single previous character from the super-franchise and a bunch of fresh faces. That’s not even including the glut of DLC fighters, assist trophies, and more. There’s so much that no one person could possibly keep track of everything. That’s why we’ve compiled a guide to every single character.
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Shulk’s signature weapon is the Monado from Xenoblade Chronicles. This sci-fi/fantasy blade comes with a lot of unique perks. For instance, Shulk is the only character in Smash Ultimate with a fully fleshed out stance system. The Monado lets him alternate between different modes with their own strengths and weaknesses. Let’s take a look!
According to the official Shulk description on the Smash Bros. website…
He is the only fighter that can change his status during battle. His sword, the Monado, allows him to switch between five modes—Jump, Speed, Shield, Buster and Smash—which change his abilities for a short time. Fun fact: Shulk’s eighth color variation puts him in a pair of swimming trunks!
Monado Arts (B) – Switches Arts—each has a different advantage. Can be switched by holding or pressing repeatedly.
Back Slash (Side + B) – Leaps forward and delivers a powerful slash. Deals massive damage to an enemy attacked from behind.
Air Slash (Up + B) – Lifts enemies into the air with a rising slash. Can be followed up with a midair strike.
Vision (Down + B) – Evades an incoming enemy attack and delivers a swift counterattack.
Chain Attack (Final Smash) – Shulk unleashes a bright circle of light in front of him and calls upon his friends to help unleash a combo attack that deals damage to anyone caught in the light. The damage done depends on which of the Monado Arts is active.
Here’s the details on Shulk’s Monado Art styles.
Strengths & Weaknesses
Oh boy. Shulk doesn’t just have one of the most unintentionally risque costumes in the game (‘sup swim trunks mains). He’s got a bit of a learning curve, too. Juggling his five Monado Arts is key to playing him; play smart, and to your advantages, and you’ll be rewarded with a character that can switch up playstyle on the fly. Shulk is very risk-reward. If you use your attacks to build up an advantage and then capitalize with a well-timed switch to a powerful Art, he’s dangerous.
The reverse is also true. Poor management of Shulk’s Arts can lead to poor results. Opponents who read what your intentions are and plan accordingly can frustrate you. While you’re trying to make the most of the short Arts timer, they can play keep-away or zone you out. Identify where Shulk excels, keep the game there, and don’t pop your important Arts until you’re certain.
Surprise, surprise. Shulk is another character with quite a few color swaps across his eight basic costumes. On the bright side, he sees a little more variation than other human fighters like Marth and Simon. Shulk’s hair changes color, along with a lot of the delicate accents all over his clothes. That’s nice. It pales in comparison, however, to the swordsman’s eighth costume — which just has him fighting in a pair of swimming trunks.
We hope this guide to Shulk in Smash Ultimate helps you on your journey! The hero of Xenoblade Chronicles is definitely unique, and might take some time to master, but his alternate stances open up a world of possibilities. Now get out there and take on the world!
All of our Smash Ultimate guides created with the help of Eric Van Allen.