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Guide Shai Drop Update: Detailed Guide + Frame Data

Discussion in 'Melee Discussion' started by Shai Hulud, May 5, 2012.

  1. Shai Hulud

    Shai Hulud Smash Lord

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    Shai Drop Update: Detailed Guide + Frame Data


    A little over four years ago I made a thread and video introducing this technique. To review, briefly, it is a technique (with several methods) for dropping quickly through a platform while dashing , running, or landing. It is the fastest way to drop through a platform in most cases, and in some cases the only way. Since posting the original thread I have learned a lot more about the mechanics, as well as an alternate method that is much easier. I have known about this for a long time, but I was inactive in Melee for a few years, and did not have access to debug mode until recently, otherwise I'd have made this thread earlier, so...my apologies for the lateness. Anyway, I have been able to examine the mechanics of the technique in detail. There are four different methods of performing a Shai Drop. In my original thread I described at least two of them but lumped them together as the same method.


    Background​


    To understand the mechanics of these methods it is necessary to define some terminology, and to understand the mechanics of the spot dodge and the roll, which are fairly complex.

    Some terminology ​


    The control stick:
    The Gamecube control stick is centered in an octagon. For the purposes of this thread, we can consider the control stick directions an octagon divided into octants, similar to a compass rose. For simplicity I will refer to directions in this manner: N, S, E, W, NE, SE, NW, SW. This refers specifically to the stick positions of up, down, right, left, and those positions halfway in between, corresponding to vertices of the octagon.

    Directions and Priority:
    Jumping with the control stick requires directional input from NE to NW, including the NE and NW vertices. Rolling with the control stick requires directional input from SE to NE or SW to NW, including the SE and SW vertices but not NE and NW. Spot dodge with the control stick requires directional input from SW to SE, not including the SE and SW vertices. Shield drop requires directional input from SW to SE, including the SW and SE vertices. Since some of these moves accept vertex input, what happens exactly at a vertex where more than one move is possible? Roll has priority over spot dodge, and both roll and spot dodge have priority over shield drop. So if you dash on a platform and input down + shield for example, you will spot dodge instead of drop, as long as the spot dodge move is possible. And if you are standing on a platform and input SE + shield, you will roll instead of shield drop, but if you dashing right and input SE + shield, you will shield drop because rolling requires the control stick to be in a different direction on the previous frame.

    Frame notation: Frame 0 is the point where you enter the first command, before the game has had time to translate the command into an action. So for instance if you shield on Frame 0, the shield comes up on the next available frame. When I say something like "down + shield = spot dodge" what I mean is that pressing down + shield during this frame will cause the player to begin a spot dodge on the next frame. There can be some confusion about specifying the time between frames, because a frame is not a unit of time. Exactly when "the next available frame" is depends on when you press the button. So you could press shield, for example, near the end of a frame and it would come out quicker than if you pressed shield at the beginning of a frame, even though it comes out on the first available frame, because the time to that available frame varies by up to 1/60th of second (or longer if the frame rate has dropped). So saying something like "Press down, then R three frames later" is necessarily ambiguous, because a frame is not a unit of time, and the actual timing can vary depending on when the button press was registered.

    The Spot Dodge​


    A spot dodge occurs when the player presses a direction between SE and SW (not including these vertices as the vertices cause a roll) while shielding or presses shield after holding this direction. For simplicity I will generally refer to the direction as "down" unless otherwise specified. For the Shai Drop we are interested in the latter case of holding down then shielding. If you shield while holding down, you will spot dodge if shielded within 2 frames of starting to press down. If you shield 3 frames or more after holding down, you will shield. Here are the exact frame results for various timings of down + shield.

    The Roll​


    Rolling occurs when the player shields and then presses a direction between NW and SW or between NE and SE (including SW and SE vertices but not NW and NE vertices), or when the player presses the direction and then shields. For simplicity I will refer to the direction as "forward" or "backward" unless otherwise specified. Again, for the Shai drop we are interested in the latter case of inputting direction then shield. If you press forward and shield within 2 frames you will roll forward. If you shield 3 frames or more after holding forward, then you will shield. Here are the exact frame results for various timings of forward + shield.

    There are two additional aspects of rolling that are significant.
    1. If you are already holding forward, you cannot start a roll in that direction with the control stick. The control stick has to be in a neutral or other non-forward position for at least one frame before your roll inputs will be read as a roll. This is very significant for Method 2, so keep this in mind. The exception to this is if you are starting a dash from standing or walking. There are some strange properties of this initial dash, as certain inputs are ignored during the first few frames. For instance you can't turn around. I think directional inputs in general are being ignored during the first three frames, so if, from standing, you were to press forward, then neutral, then roll, you would still roll because the neutral position of the stick is ignored during the first three frames.
    2. Rolling has priority over the spot dodge. If you are inputting directions that could cause a spot dodge and a roll, the roll takes priority and you will roll. This is significant for doing Method 2 after changing directions dash-dancing.

    Shai Drop Methods​


    First some general notes about how the Shai drop works. You can fall through the platform from frames 0 - 3 while pressing down and shielding (first four frames), but roll and spot dodge take priority, so you can't be doing something that would cause a roll or spot dodge. This prohibits you from dashing and pressing down and shield in the same frame, for example. Note that you can shield with light shield or full shield, and even Z-shield for Method 3. It doesn't matter, but I suggest light shielding because if you full shield you might accidentally spot dodge after dropping through, for Method 1 and 2.

    Method 1​


    This method was only limitedly described in the previous thread, so I don't know whether anyone knows about this, but in any case, I believe it is the easiest. With a little practice it is not hard to do this with excellent consistency. In this method, during a dash or run, you press and hold down and then shield within a 2-frame window. If you shield too soon you will spot dodge and if you shield too late you will just shield. The reason this works is because you can input a shield drop during the first 4 frames of pressing down, and you input a spot dodge during the first 2 frames. Spot dodge takes priority when both functions are defined, so this leaves the last 2 frames where you can drop but not spot dodge. In my opinion the timing is easiest if you let the stick return to neutral before pressing down, but it's not necessary.

    For turn-around dashes the timing is the same, so you can start pressing down as soon as you turn around, even in the pivot stance.

    Here is the exact frame data.

    Method 2​


    This is the method I reported in the original thread. This is the fastest way to drop through a platform. If timed right you can pass through on the second available frame. However, this method is highly dependent on your control stick registering a true neutral position when the console is powered on. With some controllers it may not be possible at all, due to the stick not being centered, and with others it may be possible but hard to do consistently. This method is easiest with newer controllers, and with sticks in good condition.

    To use this method, from a dash or run, quickly put the stick in the SE or SW position (the direction you are facing) and hold shield. You must do EXACTLY SE or SW. Too far down and you spot dodge, too far up and you just shield. You will drop through in 2 - 6 frames depending on the timing of the shield. It is not too difficult to drop on the second available frame if your controller is in good condition.

    The reason this method works is because rolling and shield drop, but not spot dodge, are both defined at the SE and SW vertices. Ordinarily the SE and SW vertices will cause a roll, not a shield drop, as rolling has higher priority. BUT rolling requires a neutral or non-forward control stick position on the previous frame, and here we are continually holding a direction considered forward, which prevents rolling. Hence rolling is not possible here, so you will drop through the platform instead. NOTE: You must wait 3 frames or more from the start of an initial dash from standing before you start the Shai drop, to avoid rolling. See the section on rolling for roll frame details.

    For turn-around dashes you must wait 1 additional frame for the roll priority to go away, since otherwise the previous frame would not have met the criteria for stopping a roll (stick was in opposite direction frame before pivot stance, so you can't do Method 2 starting on pivot frame, but must wait 1 frame).

    Here is the exact frame data. It's assumed you are running to the right here. For running left replace SE with SW.

    Method 3​


    I described this method to some degree in my previous thread, though at the time I considered it the same technique as Method 2. They are indeed related but I think it is worth describing separately as the uses can be quite different.

    For this method, shield while holding forward or backward so that you tilt your shield but don't roll. An easy way to do this is out of a walk, dash, or run, provided you don't shield too early. While shielding and holding forward or backward, you can drop similar to Method 2 by quickly putting the stick in the SE or SW direction (on the side you are tilting the stick). The mechanics are similar. You can drop at any point while shielding, so long as you are holding a direction that will prevent you from rolling when doing the rotation (forward or backward). You can do light shield, full shield, or Z-shield. Here is the frame data. Assume you are tilting right (direction being faced doesn't matter).

    Method 4 - Standing / Landing Lag Drop​


    The Shai drop can be done from landing lag from jumping, from a SHL, etc. When you land on a platform with no aerial lag, there are 30 frames of lag where you cannot drop through the platform. You can walk from this lag after 3 frames, then press down, which puts you in a squat animation and then you drop through the platform. This is the Isai Drop. The Shai drop can also be done during the early frames of the landing lag. It is faster than the Isai drop. A Shai drop from landing lag is 3 frames faster than a perfect Isai drop.

    This method accepts several different possible timings. If you press down on the first lag frame, you can press R anywhere from 0 to 4 frames later and it will still work. This is because your down press does not read into spot dodge during the first frame of lag so it is ignored for that purpose. If you do not press down on the first lag frame, the timing is like Method 1. You may press down any point during the landing lag starting from 1 frame after landing (all the way up to 30 frames), and from there timing is like Method 1. Here are a few possible timings, as well as a perfect Isai drop for comparison.


    Conclusion​

    I hope this thread increases awareness of this technique, and proficiency to actually perform it. I don't think I've ever seen anyone use this technique in a match, which is puzzling, because it's at least as useful (for some characters) as something like moonwalking, and less difficult. And with Method 1 it is even less difficult. My feeling is that although Method 2 drops a few frames faster, Method 1 is more reliable and still quite fast, so it should be the preferred method, especially for those with controllers not suitable for Method 2, or for those whose tech skill is not as good. I think now there is no excuse not to learn to do this.

    A couple additional notes:
    1. The various methods seem to work for all characters equally EXCEPT FOR THE ICE CLIMBERS. I didn't test all of them, but I did test the possible characters that might not work such as Yoshi and ICs. Yoshi is fine. For ICs, Method 2 is unreliable. Sometimes Nana will not drop. Method 1 works but of course Nana drops 6 frames later. Method 3 will only work if both Popo and Nana are shielding when you start the rotation, otherwise Nana won't drop. Method 4 seems to always work but sometimes Nana will drop very late (several frames more than 6 frames).
    2. I may try to add a video later if there is interest and I can get my capture card to work with my current setup.

    EDIT: 5/6/12 - Made a few minor changes in the explanations regarding mechanics, in particular what happens at some of the vertices of the octagon for rolling, spot dodge, jump, shield drop. I think the explanation is more accurate and complete now.
  2. Shai Hulud

    Shai Hulud Smash Lord

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    Reserved for future updates or comments.
  3. Kal

    Kal Smash Debater

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    Wow, the format of this thread alone makes it awesome. Nicely done.

    Also, poor Ice Climbers. :(
  4. Blu

    Blu Smash Apprentice

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    This just blew my ****ing mind.
  5. Fregadero

    Fregadero Smash Journeyman

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    I ****ing love it when technical threads like these are made.

    Between this, Strong Bad's thread, and the IC's thread, I've just gotta say good **** guys melee discussions been pretty meh lately.

    :phone:
  6. Cummings

    Cummings Smash Apprentice

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    I've got the weirdest boner right now....

    fantastic.

    Interest - I have it. Make a vid
  7. Strong Bad

    Strong Bad Wario time!

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    Yessss frame data
    Good **** Shai
  8. Jolteon

    Jolteon Lightning Pokémon

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    This is very useful. I've been using method one for quite sometime but the explanation of the mechanics behind this means it makes much more sense. Thanks.
  9. TheDekuNut

    TheDekuNut Smash Journeyman

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    Everyone read the Frame Notation its soo good
  10. Wizzrobe

    Wizzrobe Smash Champion

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    Good stufff, I will go and try this out now

    [glow]Also, I would be interested if you could do a video showing this off so I understand it better.[/glow]
  11. choknater

    choknater Smash Obsessed

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    THE shai?!

    ishai drop? haha.
  12. Bones0

    Bones0 Smash Legend

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    It's MUCH more useful than moonwalking for EVERY character.

    Basic example of application at 3:10, 3:07.
  13. Shai Hulud

    Shai Hulud Smash Lord

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    You're officially the first person I've seen use this in a match (besides myself). You get a Shai Drop Medal...or... maybe a :pokeball:

    Your Fox is really good, also <_<
  14. TheCrimsonBlur

    TheCrimsonBlur Smash Master

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    This is really cool.

    But it also makes me super paranoid about how I plug in my controller since I typically do method 2..
  15. KrIsP!

    KrIsP! Smash Champion

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    I'm gunna try this out later. I've been practicing shield dropping through a platform which is pre gud for mind games or another option when shielding, this seems pretty useful, thanks for the info.
  16. Wake

    Wake Smash Master

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    Thank you Based Mimi.
    This is so sweet for when I float cancel onto a platform.
  17. Popopidopop

    Popopidopop Smash Cadet

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    Wow really helped. I saw some videos of Jeapie and realised the value of shielddropping, and tried it for myself with mediocre success, but after reading this I got the hang of it! Gonna start practicing this bigtime!
  18. Moxin

    Moxin Smash Apprentice

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    This is the ****!
  19. Massive

    Massive Smash Champion

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    Am I reading this wrong or is method 3 supposed to work at any time during shield?

    I was fiddling with this yesterday, trying to see if it would allow me to drop through a platform after shielding an attack, but I was unable to get anything but shield tilts to happen.
  20. KrIsP!

    KrIsP! Smash Champion

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    Although I mess these up sometimes I can definitely do them about ~70% of the time I try to. Just shield, tilt forward and roll downwards. I dunno that's what someone told me so i tinkered with it and it worked for me.

    and just for you massive, but if you master it.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uiH65kh0qgU
  21. Shai Hulud

    Shai Hulud Smash Lord

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    It will work if you are already holding forward. You can press forward during the hit stun of an attack and you won't roll, then you could drop. If you aren't holding forward you have to tilt while in shield to get to forward, then do SE or SW (depending which direction you are holding).

    Method 3 is highly dependent on the condition of your controller. If the stick doesn't read true neutral when centered then it won't work. The same applies to Method 2. So if you are able to do Method 2 but not 3 then your controller is fine and you aren't doing it right. If you can't do either, it's still possible you're not doing it right but if you've been trying it a while and generally have decent tech skill, it's more likely there's a problem with your controller.

    Also, note that with some controllers you may be able to do this in one direction but not the other.
  22. Massive

    Massive Smash Champion

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    Yeah, I've done this before in teams, actually. I've just been having a hell of a time reproducing it.

    It is super rare for someone to attack me from above a platform though, unfortunately. It's more useful for punishing things like marth/fox below-platform pokes.

    I could see this being a monumental thing for falco mains, since they could just drop through the platform OoS and dair whoever was below them for attempting a poke.

    Sounds about right. I'll keep trying it.
  23. Wizzrobe

    Wizzrobe Smash Champion

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    I've gotten pretty good at doing this technique, hopefully I can get a little use out of this technique in a real match.
  24. Shai Hulud

    Shai Hulud Smash Lord

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    Disappointing response given the time I put into this, don't think I'll bother with a video. :ohwell:
  25. Mahie

    Mahie Smash Lord

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    I was wondering why this wasn't stickied. I always need to dig it up from the abyss when I want to show it to people.

    Great technique, I just wish you had a solution for when you're already in shield, but Shai Dropping is great for all Shield Dropping-related movement.
  26. leffen

    leffen Banned (6 Points)

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    Mahie read my post in the fox boards about that (current or last page atm)
  27. Popopidopop

    Popopidopop Smash Cadet

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    Sorry Shai, you are right gotta give credit when credit is due!
    This guide was great and I think most people just read it and then go practice instead of posting about how great it is!

    Leffens advice helped too maybe you could collaborate to gather all information in one place :)
  28. Shai Hulud

    Shai Hulud Smash Lord

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    There seems to be a lot of confusion about Shai Drop / shield drop. I found the post Leffen was referencing and I have described all of these methods before, either in this thread or the one I made four years ago, which I linked in the OP.

    Shield drop refers to dropping through while shielding, relying on nothing but the amount of pressure input, which is very difficult. This was the only method known when I made my original thread on Shai Dropping. Every other form of "shield dropping" is a Shai Drop IMO. In particular methods 2 - 4 mentioned by Leffen in this post are various ways to implement what I described as Method 3 in this thread, and which I described several years ago in this thread. I can dredge up the actual quotes if you want.

    And Mahie, you can Shai Drop OOS, this is Method 3.
  29. Wenbobular

    Wenbobular Smash Hero

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    That's nothing check out THIS sick shield drop from WENBO
    http://www.twitch.tv/vgbootcamp/b/318788484 - first stock lasts roughly 10 seconds

    Also, great thread someone sticky
  30. Construct

    Construct Smash Journeyman

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    Wow this is amaaaazing. I've always been isai dropping or waveland dropping, this looks so much faster. Why isn't this stickied? Took me forever to find it and it's probably the most helpful thread i've seen. Great stuff Shai!
  31. Bones0

    Bones0 Smash Legend

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    @Wenbo
    That was a shield drop, not a Shai drop. God, you're bad.


    The thread is great, but a sticky is completely unnecessary. We can't have a sticky for every technique in the game because we'd have 2 full pages of stickies... Just link it in the Everything compilation thread.
  32. Shai Hulud

    Shai Hulud Smash Lord

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    I agree, I would feel weird asking for a sticky, doesn't seem important enough =/

    I'll see if I can get it in the Everything thread though.
  33. s2j

    s2j Smash Master

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    what is the best method for someone who is lazy
  34. Shai Hulud

    Shai Hulud Smash Lord

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    @ S2J: They have different uses, if you want to drop through the platform while dashing around use Method 1 or Method 2. Method 2 is two frames faster but more difficult (and controller-dependent). I would advocate Method 1 as it's pretty easy to do consistently and not controller-dependent. During a dash or run, press and hold down, then shield (light shield works best IMO) 3 or 4 frames later. This method requires 2-frame timing but it's really not that hard.

    For defensive purposes, like if you're on a platform and being attacked while in shield, you can use Method 3 to drop through. There are a few ways to do this, but you need to be pressing left or right before rotating to SW or SE (depending on whether you are pressing left or right respectively) or else you will roll. During any shield stun, you can press the stick left or right and you won't roll, so you could quickly do this during stun, or you can slowly tilt left or right, which if done at the right speed won't cause a roll, then you can complete the rotation to drop.

    Method 4 is for quickly dropping after landing during the regular landing animation on a platform. It's slightly faster than the Isai Drop but also more difficult, so it's not that necessary to learn this method.
  35. ShroudedOne

    ShroudedOne Smash Hero

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    Oh yay. Something else to practice. :urg:

    No, this is really sweet and useful. Thanks a lot!
  36. Construct

    Construct Smash Journeyman

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    When I try doing this I seem to fall through the platform and then airdodge 80% of the time, any clue what i'm doing wrong? You can still see the brief outline of the shield pop up so I know i'm not just falling through and airdodging...
  37. Wenbobular

    Wenbobular Smash Hero

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    You're squeezing the trigger too hard bro
    Let off the trigger earlier, a light(shield) tap of L/R is all it takes
  38. Construct

    Construct Smash Journeyman

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    That helped a TON wenbo, thanks!
  39. KidWithChemicals

    KidWithChemicals Smash Cadet

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    so i knew this was a really awesome and incredibly useful technique. and i've been practicing it for about a week now. but i just accidentally did the most amazing thing ever. (pivot shai drop > nair)

    from the descriptions, i guess you'd have to use method 2 to do this..

    seriously though, this is like ground breaking for me. and it makes me wonder why don't i see more people doing this...
    its definitely got a ton of use.
  40. The Star King

    The Star King Smash Hero

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    Isn't this just a regular shield drop? I thought that's how most Melee players did it. That's how I've always done it.

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