Super Smash Bros. Melee/Pikachu

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Introduction

Pikachu ranks 12th on the current tier list, in the D tier. Pikachu, while nerfed, is still a potent fighter; it has very good speed and plenty of KO options, as it owns the strongest up smash in the game and a quick semi-spike. Pikachu also has decent approach options, due to an average air speed, some good aerials and a decent projectile. Pikachu's grab game can also allow for chaingrabbing, and it also has a very long, safe, and versatile recovery. However, Pikachu is strongly held back by a bad range, with its best finishers having hitboxes very close to its body, suffers high periods of hitstun making it vulnerable to combos despite its size and weight class, as well as a short grab range (the shortest in the game). Pikachu is also unusually vulnerable to chaingrabs.

"A" Moves Analysis

Ground attacks

  • Neutral attack - An extremely quick headbutt. Does very minimal damage (1-2%), and has a short range. This attack can be canceled into itself with two frames between possible inputs, so it can be mashed for a quick series of headbutts. If you need an extremely quick attack, this is basically your only use for this attack. This has low priority, and lags noticeably before you can do anything else aside from chaining this attack into itself.
  • Forward tilt - Pikachu plants itself on its upper paws and kicks its lower paws in front of its body. This attack can be a UF-tilt or DF-tilt as well, depending on the direction held. This move has surprising range, and hits for nearly the whole duration of its animation. Can be used as a defensive attack, or as an edgeguard. It is best used as a counter to shuffling characters, as it will almost always interrupt their approach. Low damage, low knockback.
  • Up tilt - Pikachu swings its tail above its body in an arc. This attack is hard to set up, as it has low range and low priority. The knockback works well for juggles however, as it sends opponents upward. Low damage, low knockback.
  • Down tilt - Pikachu sweeps its tail in front of itself. This move has decent range, low knockback, low damage, and low priority. However, it doesn't have a lot of lag and hits rather low. This can be used as an edgeguard against a sloppy recovery, though there are better options.
  • Dash attack - Pikachu jumps forwards, headbutting.

Smashes

  • Forward smash - Pikachu rears back, then ejects an attached jolt of electricity in front from its cheeks. A powerful attack that can evade some attacks with the initial animation. Has decent range. The hitbox is disjointed, which makes it a wise choice for edge guarding.
  • Up smash - Pikachu does a back flip. This is the strongest up smash in the game in terms of knockback, and is extremely quick with decent range, and one of the strongest smash attacks. Pikachu's up smash is extremely versatile, whether it be setting up juggles or going for a quick low percent KO. Is also good for shieldstabbing.
  • Down smash - Pikachu spins around in place repeatedly. This is a multi-hit attack that comes out very quickly. As with its other smash attacks, the down smash is a useful move for Pikachu. Easily used from a successful crouch cancel, and sets up for an aerial at lower percentages.

Other attacks

  • Ledge attack- Quickly does a cartwheel onto the stage. 8% damage
  • 100% ledge attack- Slowly climbs up and whips it's tail. 6% damage
  • Floor attack- Whirls around, tail extended. Can just barely hit the foe for 3% damage; 6% normally.

Aerial attacks

  • Neutral aerial - Pikachu curls up in a ball and does somersaults in the air. This is a versatile aerial, as it does decent damage, decent knockback, and comes out very quickly. A generic use-anywhere aerial.
  • Up aerial - Pikachu swiftly swings its tail above itself in an arc. Extremely quick with low knockback, this can be used to juggle opponents repeatedly. Also, if hit with the tip of the tail at certain points during the arc, this will send opponents far at a nasty side angle similar to Sheik's forward aerial. This trajectory can be achieved even at low percentages. This attack makes edgeguarding a breeze with predictable recoveries. An essential attack for controlling a match.
  • Forward aerial - Pikachu does a barrel roll for lack of a better term. This has multiple hits with minimal damage. This has more horizontal range than any of Pikachu's aerials, and even still that is not saying much. This is good when used as an interruption attack and for setups. Next to no knockback on this attack.
  • Down aerial - Pikachu does a barrel roll, except it is facing the ground. Unlike the forward aerial, this does one hit in the air, and one hit upon landing if the animation is still going. The aerial hit does decent damage, has good priority and good knockback, more so than the neutral aerial. The hit upon landing has far lower knockback and stun, leaving you open for a counterattack. This attack lags significantly more than the neutral aerial however, and has a noticeable startup.
  • Back aerial - Pikachu spins in a manner similar to its down smash. Decent range, damage and knockback, however it lags noticeably if missed. To summarize it is a worse version of Pikachu's neutral aerial.

Throws

  • Pummel - Pikachu zaps the enemy.
  • Forward throw - Pikachu places the opponent on its back and shocks them, sending them forward. This throw is multi-hit, and has low knockback. The only use for this throw is to build damage if you have no other throw setups, which is a rare situation.
  • Back throw - Pikachu does backwards somersaults with the opponent, then flings them behind itself. Has decent knockback, and is best used near an edge so as to get maximum range from your throw.
  • Up throw - Pikachu places the opponent on its head, then headbutts the opponent upward. This is a useful throw for high percent fastfallers, as it will lead to a up smash or up aerial most times.
  • Down throw - Pikachu places the opponent on the ground, then jumps on them. This is good for lower percent lightweights, as it will sometimes lead to a up smash. This throw is more easily DIed than the up throw.

"B" Moves List

Neutral B

Thunder Jolt is fairly unique for a projectile attack in that it hugs the ground it travels on, bouncing up and down as it moves forward (often over obstacles). When used in the air, or when facing over a ledge, a ball of electricity is launched that falls diagonally until it hits a solid object, where it assumes the normal arc form. Pikachu's Thunder Jolt does about 5% damage. When ball-shaped, this attack does slightly more damage. This move is also good for spamming heavy characters and fast fallers.

Side B

Skull Bash:It is similar to Luigi's Green Missile, only without the chance of a misfire and can't hold the charge infinitely. The move can be charged up to increase the damage and range of the attack. The distance covered and the knockback when fully charged is tremendous, dealing almost 40% and nearly covering the length of Final Destination.

Up B

Quick Attack:After a short delay, Pikachu moves in a straight line in the direction in which the player's control stick is tilted, or upwards if it is not tilted. A tilt of the control stick in a different direction will cause another, similar burst. The high speed of this move renders Pikachu nearly invulnerable, but it is exposed at the beginning, middle, and end moments, when it briefly holds still. Quick Attack requires much practice before players can effectively take advantage of its two-direction functionality.

Quick Attack is for the most part similar to the attack in Super Smash Bros. Unlike the SSB version, Melee's deals 1-3% damage per hit to characters Pikachu passes through. The attack has a huge range, but the second jump requires a minimum rotation of 38 degrees. (New developments suggest that it may be possible to jump twice in the same direction.) Quick Attack in Melee has fewer invincibility frames than it does in Smash 64. You can also cancel the move like in Smash 64.

Down B

When used, the Pokémon yells as a bolt of lightning drops from the sky, striking the user if its horizontal momentum has not carried it out of the way (and if there is no platform in the way). Upon hitting the user a large shockwave is created with stronger knockback than the lightning itself. The user can act quicker if they are not stuck. The thunder portion of the attack is considered a projectile and can be reflected back at Pikachu or absorbed for health. The explosion cannot, however. An interesting property of this is that if this attack connects with Pikachu in mid-air, Pikachu will bounce upwards a bit. Due to its startup time, it won't aid much in recovery, but is useful to guard break, especially against spikers. If used near the edge of a stage, the Thunder can create a wall of electricity to prevent a recovering opponent (especially if Thunder Jolts are sent out beforehand), best if they try to go for the ledge.

Combos

Frame Data

Strategies

Overview

Zoning

Character Specific

Additional Note

Match-ups

Serious Advantage Match-ups

None

Advantage Match-ups

Y.Link, Zelda, Roy, Mew2, Yoshi, G&W, Ness, Bowser, Kirby, Pichu

Fair Match-ups

Ganon, DK

Disadvantage Match-ups

Everyone else

Serious Disadvantage Match-ups

Sheik