This article is about Shulk's appearance in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. For other uses, see Shulk.
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!
—Description from the Super Smash Blog.

Shulk is a veteran fighter in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, first playable in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U. He was confirmed during Nintendo's E3 2018 presentation. His fighter number is #57.

When unlocked, he is fought at Gaur Plain.



  • Heavy weight makes him difficult to launch.
  • 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 and can be adjusted to send opponents in the opposite direction if that is what Shulk needs at the moment.
  • Combined with the Smash Monado Art, Air Slash becomes an almost guaranteed kill at around 90%, even for heavy characters, as this move already has good knockback before Smash comes into play.


  • His tall frame makes him an easy target for juggling.
  • Considerably hard to master due to micromanagement of his Monado Arts.
  • 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 increases a parameter, but decreases another one. Shulk becomes vulnerable and cannot 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.
  • Back slash can become a suicide move if accidentally used near a ledge, where Shulk will just fly towards the lower blast line. Also, the hitbox only starts a moment after Shulk lunges forward, meaning it will not hit enemies extremely close by.


Changes from SSBWU/3DS


Ground Attacks

Aerial Attacks

Back air comes at a more straight angle rather than the Wii U version's slight upward tilt.

Grabs and Throws

Special Attacks

  • 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.
  • Fiora now appears during Chain Attack.


Ground Attacks


  • Neutral Attack: Quick jab, roundhouse kick, then upward slash with Monado.
  • Forward Tilt: Forward Monado swing.
  • Up Tilt: Upward Monado swing, very good anti-air with long reach.
  • Down Tilt: Forward ground Monado sweep. Especially good against shorter opponents.
  • Dash Attack: Dash plus Monado swing, sending foes flying. Long range.

Smash Attacks

  • Forward Smash: Strong forward Monado thrust via energy-extension. Very long range.
  • Up Smash: Monado straight up.
  • Down Smash: Projected energy blade 360-degree ground spin attack. Can hit multiple targets.

Other attacks

  • Floor Attack (Front):
  • Floor Attack (Back):
  • Floor Attack (Trip):
  • Ledge Attack:

Aerial Attacks

  • Neutral aerial: Monado arc swing, best against foes near upper body and back.
  • Forward aerial: Overhead Monado forward-to-back swing. Safe and fast, good to pair with a retreat.
  • Back aerial: Thrust Monado behind Shulk. Fairly safe, except against the fastest fighters. Long range, but long landing lag.
  • Up aerial: Monado straight up.
  • Down aerial: Monado stab down, with slow windup.

Grabs and Throws

  • Pummel: Smack opponents with Monado's hilt.
  • Forward Throw:
  • Back Throw:
  • Up Throw:
  • Down Throw:

Special Moves

Shulk's Special Moves
SSBWU/3DS Ultimate
Standard Special Monado Arts
Side Special Back Slash
Up Special Air Slash
Down Special Vision
Final Smash Chain Attack


  • Up Taunt: Holds out with his left arm half way from his body, saying “Now it's Shulk time!”
  • Down Taunt: Holds the Monado and activates its beam, saying “This is the Monado's power!”
  • Side Taunt: Holds the Monado's hilt with his right hand, while holding his left hand out in front of him to get himself pumped up, saying “I'm really feeling it!”

On-Screen Appearance

Idle Poses

Victory Poses

In competitive play

Early in Ultimate's lifespan, many pro players placed Shulk as a high tier or even occasionally a top tier character in their own tier lists; however, Shulk lacked the strong results and representation of many other high tiers and top tiers at the time. Part of this could be attributed to his high learning curve and usage of advanced techniques such as Dial Storage, resulting in fewer players using the character. As such, Shulk remained a rare yet dangerous character in the early meta. Shulk players have gradually seen more success, with Kome winning Sumabato SP 10, placing 3rd at 2GG: SwitchFest 2019 and placing 2nd at EVO Japan 2020 while Nicko proceeded to win Play With Heart and placed 2nd at Port Priority 5. Due to these results, Shulk now has seen a moderate degree of success, although still lower than other sword wielding characters in the game like Roy and Lucina, with now some players considering him potentially the best swordfighter in the game. Players often cite his large disjoints and usage of Monado Arts to escape combos and kill confirms as some of the character's best strengths. Shulk also has a terrific matchup spread, including positive matchups against meta relevant characters such as Mario, Peach, Mr. Game & Watch, Zero Suit Samus, Olimar and Young Link while having disadvantageous matchups against Pikachu, Palutena, R.O.B. and Snake. Overall opinion on Shulk's placement in the game's tier list has been slowly shifting into unanimous high tier or top tier status, and ESAM and Marss think the character is top 5.

Classic Mode: Witness the Monado's Power

Each of the opponents represent one of Shulk's Monado Arts and are fought in the cycling order of each Art in Super Smash Bros. 4. The penultimate battle against Mega Man continues the theme by having Mega Man represent Monado Enchant from Xenoblade Chronicles (represented by the kanji for "Machine"), which references that Art's ability of allowing Shulk's party to damage Mechon with conventional weapons.

Role in World of Light

Shulk was among the fighters that were summoned to fight the army of Master Hands.

After the Master Hands begin turning into energy for Galeem to absorb, Shulk experiences a vision where all of the fighters are annihilated and the universe engulfed in light. Shulk turns back attempting to warn everyone, but before he can tell the other fighters what he foresaw, his vision comes true when Galeem unleashes a shower of light that vaporizes Shulk off-screen and imprisons him with the rest of the fighters except for Kirby.

In the mode proper, he can be found right over a cliff that leads to a waterfall. The area Shulk can be found at is rocky and grassy with many water features, reminiscent to the appearance of Gaur Plain. The Camilla spirit must be defeated right before he can be challenged.

Palette Swaps


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.



External links

XenobladeSymbol.svg Xenoblade Chronicles universe
Characters Shulk (3DS/Wii U  · Ultimate)
Pyra and Mythra (Ultimate)
Side Characters Assist Trophy Riki
Mii Fighter Costumes Dunban  · Nia  · Rex
Background characters Nia and Dromarch  · Tora and Poppi α  · Mòrag and Brighid  · Zeke and Pandoria
Stage Hazards Metal Face
Final Smash Dunban  · Riki  · Fiora  · Rex
Stages Gaur Plain  · Cloud Sea of Alrest
Music List of Music (Xenoblade Chronicles series)
Collectibles Trophies 3DS Trophies  · Wii U Trophies
Spirits List of spirits (Xenoblade series)