Yes, I main Pichu. Yes, you read that correctly.
And yes, I am aware that Pichu is the worst character in the game. He is fundamentally flawed: half his moves cause damage to himself (which adds up fast), his attack range is poor. and his primary recovery (up-b) does 4% damage every time you use it. The list goes on and on and on. That said, many people choose to play him as a troll character, myself included. At first, I didn't take Pichu seriously at all. I won only a handful of matches, but the sense of sheer satisfaction I got when beating another player as Pichu was incredible. I suddenly wanted to prove to the world that Pichu can exceed everyone's expectations and promptly **** on the tier list.
For the last few months, I've been playing exclusively Pichu, and I've developed a solid understanding of the character. I don't consider myself a pro by any means -- take this post as more of a beginner's guide to Pichu. With these tips under your belt, you too can destroy your opponents with the best character in the game in my opinion.
Let's get started.
GENERAL CHARACTER NOTES
- For the love of God, USE NAIR
- As mentioned before, Pichu's electrical attacks cause damage to himself. It is an awful concept for a character, but not one that can't be avoided. It is very important to minimize the self-inflicted damage, especially since up-b and neutral b should be used often. Wherever possible, avoid using moves such as dair, fair, and down-b. Dair and fair can easily be replaced with nair in most situations (more about nair in the 'strategies' section).
- Pichu's attack range for ground based attacks is terrible. Ftilt is a complete joke in terms of range. You want to stay off the ground whenever possible, using SHFFLed nairs as your bread-and-butter approach option.
- Pichu suffers from high knockback. Learn the basics of DI and Crouch Canceling to keep you alive.
- Despite his many shortcomings, Pichu's recovery is very reliable (albeit predictable). Even when hit to the farthest corner, you can use side b -> jump -> up b to get back to the stage quickly. Learn to use up-b effectively for when you are hit below the stage.
- You must learn to space properly with Pichu. Rushing into battle spamming nair may be a valiant effort, but will almost surely get you killed.
- Pichu's grab game is good, and can set you up for combos (see the Pichu Beatchu combo in 'strategies' below). When all else fails, grab -> dthrow.
- Use Pichu's speed and size to your advantage. Once your opponent is in the air, relentlessly attack him with uairs/nairs to keep him above you. If you're under a platform and well below your opponent, down-b is a viable option, but won't set you up for combos as well as uair.
1) The Pichu Beatchu combo: This is Pichu's go-to killing move. Learn to use it depending on the type of character your opponent has and their percentage. Vary it up with a nair if your opponent is at a low percent. This combo is amazingly effective against spacies, but hard to do against floaties.
- Standard PB combo for medium weight characters: Grab -> dthrow -> upsmash
- PB combo for spacies/fastfallers at low percent: Grab -> uthrow -> upsmash
- PB combo for spacies/fastfallers at high percent: Grab -> dthrow -> upsmash
- For floaty characters, or to vary it up against any character, use: Grab -> uthrow -> jump -> nair
3) Neutral b pressure and edgeguarding: Neutral b is Pichu's only projectile, dealing ~6% damage to the opponent and 1% damage to Pichu. Whenever possible, use this move in the air. This makes it harder for your opponent to punish you because you are jumping. This move is a critical part of Pichu's game on FD and Pokemon stadium. It is also a very effective edgeguard because of how slow it moves in midair. Practice the timing and you will be preventing your opponent's recovery in no time.
4) Recovery: As stated before, Pichu can come back from just about any attack that doesn't KO him. A typical recovery would be as such: side b -> jump -> up b.
5) Dtilt spacing: Pichu's longest-ranged ground move is dtilt. Ideally, you should not have to use it, but certain scenarios call for it (i.e. preparing to crouch cancel an attack).
6) Fsmash KOing: Fsmash very powerful attack with godawful range, and must be sweetspotted. Very easy to punish. If you're playing on a stage with a high ceiling, this move comes in handy. The timing and spacing required takes a lot of practice to get down however. Use this sparingly and only when you think it is necessary.
7) Moves which you should rarely or never use: fair, dair, ftilt, side b, down b (on FD in particular), downsmash (can be useful but very hard to hit properly).
8) Watch this video and study it, KoreanDJ is arguably the best Pichu player in the smash community:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ENaWR-HWBlM
9) SHFFLed Nairs: Just do it.
- Yoshi's Story: This stage is a double-edged sword for Pichu, and my personal favorite. Its low ceiling makes it wonderful for the PB combo, and the low platforms make the uair/nair combo game very effective. The short boundaries, however, are what will get Pichu killed more easily. Despite this problem, I've had the most success playing on Yoshi's Story.
- Fountain of Dreams: Almost as good as Yoshi's Story, but with a higher ceiling, making the PB combo a bit harder to reliably kill. The low platform layout is again heavily tilted in Pichu's favor, making this stage a viable option.
- Pokemon Stadium: Pichu's home turf is actually a good option for the annoying rodent. The changing platforms allow for many combos.
- Battlefield: The platforms here are slightly higher up than the other stages I listed, making it slightly tougher to do uair/nair combos but not impossible. The ledge is bad for just about any character. Pick this stage as a last resort if the three above are not available, because you do not want to play on Final Destination or Dreamland.
- Final Destination: No platforms severely hinder Pichu's combo game. Be ready to bust out a TON of grabs and a TON of neutral-b's. PB combo works well here, so if you grab your opponent, make them pay. Spacing is criticalto your success on FD, more so than elsewhere.
- Dreamland: For the love of God, stay far away from this stage. The ceiling in the stratusphere will be a godsend for a high KB character as Pichu, but his only reliable killing move is impossible (PB combo). If you do happen to end up on Dreamland: rack up damage using nairs and attempt to sweetspot your f-smash. Pichu lives for the vertical attack pattern, but here he is forced to kill horizontally. Good luck.