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!
Can enhance his abilities with Monado Arts to improve his performance and adapt to different situations and opponents. Now, the effect is chosen by inputting a direction while holding B, instead of cycling through the effects. Jump can greatly increase his recovery potential. Shield makes Shulk heavier than normal while the effect lasts.
All his attacks save for the first two hits of his Neutral Combo are disjointed hitboxes.
High range on most attacks, with the Monado's energy blade extending and retracting. Shulk's Monado grants him very high overall range.
Powerful KO moves with good variety of uses.
Good combo potential, with some of his aerial attacks having low ending lag, being able to string together with his ground attacks.
Long duration of hitboxes on most attacks.
Down Aerial can Meteor Smash.
Vision is a counter-attack.
His tall frame makes him an easy target for juggling.
Considerably hard to master due to micromanagement of his Monado Arts.
Has a sluggish frame data due the considerable startup for many of his moves.
Considerable lag for some moves, mostly for his Smash Attacks and some aerials attacks.
Cannot auto cancel any of his aerial attacks.
Many of his attacks require precise timing and accuracy, or require opponents to be in a specific position in order to hit effectively.
Using Monado Arts has drawbacks; while it increases a parameter, it decreases another one. Shulk becomes vulnerable and can't use his recovery moves while the power is being activated. He also cannot activate Monado Arts while on a revival platform. Each Art also has its own cooldown once the effect finishes, meaning Shulk cannot use the same art repeatedly. It requires awareness from the player, as using an Art at the wrong moment can be dangerous for Shulk.
His predictable recovery moves have big drawbacks. Air Slash does not sweetspot the ledge as much and Back Slash cannot sweetspot the ledge at all.
Changes from SSBWU/3DS
Back air comes at a more straight angle rather than thee Wii U version's slight upward tilt.
Grabs and Throws
Monado Arts can now be more easily toggled by holding the special attack button and pushing in the direction of the desired art with the control stick.
Tips about a character's background and how to use that character can appear at random intervals on the loading screen. The player can also access the full list of tips at any time in the "Vault" section. The following tips are copied verbatim from the in-game text.
Shulk's Origins: Shulk made his debut in North America with the 2012 release of Xenoblade Chronicles. A budding scientist, this young man has a kind and curious heart.
In His Series: The main character for Xenoblade Chronicles. Shulk is a gentle young man who hopes for peace, but he also has the courage to confront any opponent.
Up Taunt: The line Shulk speaks when he uses his up taunt, "Now it's Shulk time!" is a reference to Shulk's childhood friend Reyn.
Summertime Shulk: Shulk's eighth color variation puts him in a pair of swimming trunks! In the original game, this is how he appeared with all his equipment removed.
Monado Arts (Neutral Special): Shulk switches between five modes—Jump, Speed, Shield, Buster, and Smash—that change his abilities for a short time.
Monado Arts - Speed (Neutral Special): In Speed mode, you'll sacrifice damage and jump height in order to move faster.
Monado Arts - Shield (Neutral Special): In Shield mode, the power of your shield is boosted but you can't move as fast, jump as high, or deal as much damage.
Monado Arts - Buster (Neutral Special): In Buster mode, you deal more damage than usual, but you can't launch opponents as far and you'll receive more damage.
Monado Arts - Smash (Neutral Special): In Smash mode, you can launch opponents more effectively, but you deal less damage and can be launched more easily yourself.
Monado Arts - Jump (Neutral Special): In Jump mode, it's not just Shulk's standard jump and midair jump that go higher—his Air Slash move gives him more height than usual, too.
Monado Arts and Being Launched (Neutral Special): Shulk can switch between Monado Arts even while being launched. If you get launched off a cliff, switching to Jump mode might save you!
Limitations of Monado Arts (Neutral Special): You can't use a Monado Art immediately after it's run out. If you wait a certain period of time, it will become available for use again.
Canceling Monado Arts (Neutral Special): To cancel the current Monado Art, press the special-move button quickly three times in a row.
Chain Attack and Monado Arts (Neutral Special): Shulk's Monado Arts even affect his Final Smash. If you select Buster, your launch power will go down but your attack will go up, causing you to deal more damage.
Shortcuts for Monado Arts (Neutral Special): Press and hold the special-move button to see all the Monado Arts. Select the Monado Art you want with the control stick, and let go of the button to confirm your selection.
Back Slash (Side Special): Shulk leaps forward and performs a vertical slice downward. As the name implies, it deals more damage if you hit the enemy from behind.
Back Slash Details (Side Special): After using Back Slash, you won't be able to grab stage edges until enough time has passed. While swinging the Monado downward, you can move slightly left and right by tilting the control stick.
Air Slash (Up Special): Press the attack button while using an Air Slash to perform another slash forward and rise a little farther. It won't work after you start falling.
Length of Vision (Down Special): Shulk's vision is a powerful counter move, but its activation timing becomes stricter when used repeatedly. It recovers slowly while not in use.
Strike from Behind with Vision (Down Special): Input toward your foe when you pull off a counter, and you'll swing around them to attack from the other side. This launches farther but won't work in the air.
Shouts in Chain Attack (Final Smash): There are variations on this attack, depending on whether Shulk calls for Dunban, Fiora, or Riki. They don't change anything but the lines spoken, though.
Chain Attack (Final Smash): Shulk's Final Smash hits within a set radius. Dunban, Riki, and Fiora join in to deal repeated attacks.
Behind Thrust (Back Air Attack): Shulk's back air has tremendous reach, but the timing can be a bit tricky.