Amiibo Training Guide: Shulk (SSB4)

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.

Section 1: Character Overview

In contrast to his position on the Super Smash Bros. tier list, Shulk is a highly capable amiibo with an incredibly potent skill set. He possesses a deadly set of smash attacks: each one has great strength and range and are strong against shields. Alongside these, Shulk has access to the strongest counter in the game: with proper timing, it can help him turn a match around in just a few seconds. Each of Shulk’s Monado Arts help him to catch opponents off-guard by shuffling his stats. The Buster and Smash Arts in particular are invaluable and are essential to his success.

Shulk has very promising strengths, but he is not without his flaws. A general rule of thumb in Smash is that with great power comes great lag, and Shulk is no exception: his strongest moves are horribly slow and can be taken advantage of due to their sluggishness. Shulk’s AI can also self-destruct in several ways. Most commonly, Shulk will use Back Slash off the edge. More rarely, he will shuffle through his Monado Arts while recovering – this distracts him from successfully returning to the stage. Finally, Shulk may prioritize the Jump and Speed Arts over the superior Buster, Smash, and Shield Arts.

The Verdict

Shulk has an extremely high potential that can be met with patience and perseverance. Focus on ironing out his tendency to self-destruct, and you will have a truly formidable fighter on your hands.

Section 2: Recommended Equipment

Stats & Bonuses

For more information on equipment – including instructions on how to farm for custom parts – please read our amiibo equipment guide.

Most amiibo tournaments allow and encourage equipment. In fact, over ninety percent of competitions do – but if you’d prefer to forgo custom gear and leave your amiibo ‘vanilla’, you can skip this section. Otherwise, you will need to equip your amiibo with a viable setup of stats and bonuses. The following build has been extensively tested and proven effective:

+60 Attack / +60 Defense / Speed


Custom Moves

  • Decisive Monado Arts OR Hyper Monado Arts: The Decisive Monado Arts last longer and cannot be cancelled. These traits line up nicely with the Shulk amiibo’s tendencies: it will never cancel an Art, so Decisive Monado Arts is quite fitting. Alternatively, Hyper Monado Arts amplifies the buffs and debuffs of each Art, but the effects end faster. Either of these custom moves works well for Shulk – it simply comes down to your personal preference.
  • Power Vision: A custom down special with drastically increased damage and knockback. Consecutive uses of Power Vision shorten its active frames – this means that after several uses in a row, it will be impossible to successfully counterattack until a cooldown period ends.

Once your amiibo’s stats, bonuses, and custom moves are refined and ready to go, your training will officially begin! If you encountered a problem while equipping your amiibo, feel free to join our Discord server to ask for help.

Section 3: Training Your Amiibo

Amiibo training is a very specific task, and for the best possible result, you will need to approach it with caution. You can’t just go all-out using combos and aerials: both are seen as “newbie tactics” by competitive trainers. Instead, you should remain grounded at all times, making sure to punish your amiibo for every aerial attack it uses against you. This is true regardless of whether or not your amiibo was fed equipment.

To help your amiibo properly utilize its moveset, you will mirror match it from Level 1 all the way to Level 50. Playing timed matches on Ω-form stages is highly recommended.

Training Tips (Equipment & Vanilla)

  • Neutral options: jab, forward tilt, down tilt, and up tilt. Jab is one of Shulk’s fastest attacks and serves as a solid “get-off-me” move. Shulk’s tilts have impressive strength and reach, making them great neutral options.
  • Main KO moves: forward smash and up smash. In addition to having incredible damage and knockback, Shulk’s forward smash is strong against shields and serves as a great edge-guarding tool. Up smash has limited horizontal range, but extends very high, making it an optimal aerial punish.
  • Moves to avoid: Monado Arts (Jump), Monado Arts (Speed), and Back Slash. The Jump and Speed Monado Arts do not bring Shulk much benefit. Shulk’s AI often prioritizes activating either the Jump or Speed Arts, which can put him at a disadvantage in certain situations. Back Slash is rather weak and Shulk has a tendency to self-destruct with it, so avoid the move entirely during training.
  • Situational moves: Monado Arts (Buster), Monado Arts (Smash), and Monado Arts (Shield). The Buster Art is pink and increases the damage of Shulk’s attacks. Activate this Art when the opponent is at low percentages. The Smash Art is red and increases the knockback of Shulk’s attacks. Activate it against a weakened opponent. The Shield Art is yellow and increases Shulk’s defensive capabilities. Activate the Art when you have taken over 100% damage.

Training Tips (Vanilla-Only)

  • If you did not feed your amiibo equipment, it’s a good idea to teach it to grab, pummel, and throw its opponents. When grabbing your amiibo, throw it towards the nearest edge. This means you will only need to use forward and back throws. In the equipment metagame, Improved escapability renders most grabs and throws useless. Without the presence of this bonus, your amiibo is free to use its grab as often as it pleases.
  • Utilize down throw as a secondary KO move. With the Smash Art active, Shulk’s down throw can KO opponents at early percentages. It’s most effective when used facing the very edge of the stage.

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. For more information on training your amiibo past Level 50, follow this link.

Section 4: Conclusion & Credits

File:SSB4-Wii U Congratulations Classic Shulk.png

Thank you so much for reading! Although the guide may be coming to an end, your training most certainly isn’t: there’s always a way to make an amiibo stronger, and yours is no exception. If you need additional help, check out the Amiibo Mechanics & Metagame Guide. If you want to ask specific questions, you can also stop by our Discord server.

If your desire to read amiibo training guides and articles hasn’t been entirely fulfilled, there are more posts here that you might like. Amiibo Training Analysis analyzes a specific aspect of the metagame in great detail. Meanwhile, the official amiibo tier list ranks each amiibo’s potential. The FAQ is another good resource worth checking out. Alternatively, you can head back to the master list of guides for even more amiibo training methods!

Thanks to Blue for compiling Shulk’s information. Images are courtesy of SmashWiki and the official Super Smash Bros. website.

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