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The Hidden Wisdom, A Project M Sheik Fundamental Information Guide!

The Hidden Wisdom, A Project M Sheik Fundamental Information Guide!

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With this guide I'm hoping to cover sheik's basic uses for her smash attack's, aerials, standard attacks, and specials for a fundamental understanding of the character in Project M! This guide will hopefully cover some basic outline on how to approach using sheik in PM. With the basic outline made for the character, hopefully this will inspire some creativity and innovation with Sheik for other players. I will gladly update, or correct any information the more I invest in this work. With it, ill also go over a few general tips for match-ups, as well as sheik's preferred stage selection/striking in tournament formats!


Frame Data For Sheik by AuraMaudeGone :
http://smashboards.com/threads/sheik-frame-data-thread-3-6.384275/#post-20544672 )

Move potential, and application information can also be sourced from Smashboards Forums:
Project M:










Captain Falcon








Meta Knight



Mr. Game & Watch


Diddy Kong







Donkey Kong








Zero Suit Samus

Toon Link

Standard Attacks

Ground Attacks (Uncharged/Non-Smash)[S-A-1]

Standing A (Jab) [S-A-1-a]

This move is a pretty important part of Sheik's poke game, notably due it its quick active start up, (1 frame, active on frame 2) and its short lifting potential which can lead to a grab, tilt, or almost anything off of it connecting at certain percent ranges. This move is very good for stuffing your opponents mistimed buttons as well if they try to grab you out of shield, or are attempting to catch you with almost any move that obviously is not invulnerable, out-prioritizing, or would cause a "clank" effect. (Shine being a very good example) To talk a little more about the second hit, and the rapid jab ender, (Jab 2, Loop) these moves are situational to how you can apply them. Standing double jab can help you learn what your opponent will do when they are forced to block, or if you hit them with both jabs at mid to low percent's, it will force them to dedicate to either trying to crouch cancel, block, or try to challenge the move. Of course these options are all next to the opponent attempting to SDI out, and away from these two hits, which can just lead to the neutral resetting, due to limited follow ups with this short string of hits. The only reason the rapid ender should be used, and I recommend this for a very situational use, is when you have someones back to a corner, and you get engaged in a crouch cancelling war with them. Let's face it, it's PM, we do that sometimes. Get your free damage where you can take it, you're sheik.
Forward Tilt (Wheel Kick) [S_A-1-b]

If you are familiar with sheik at any point in the smash series, Forward Tilt has become one of her trademark, and arguably a key part, of her juggle game. The move starts up relatively quickly, (4 frames) and leads to a lot of juggle, grab, and follow up opportunities. Because of this, a typical mindset that most new to mid level Sheik players, like myself, use this move as a crutch in hopes to lead to free follow ups if you hit an "auto pilot" mindset with the character. While this move has a pretty good reward if it lands, if you whiff the move up close, or hit an opponents shield when not at max range (excluding high grab reach characters like Marth) this move is VERY punishable. The most notable punish for this move on a whiff, or close block on shield, will be a grab out of shield by your opponent. Remember, this move can lead to a lot of damage, and possible grab mix-ups at low percent on a majority of the cast for free, but only if it connects. While the move may be for combos, use it sparingly in neutral, and only if you are confident in your spacing in a defensive/punishing position. You will get punished if you use this move too close to your opponent, and it misses.

But, as I mentioned, this move is great for juggling, and follow up potential. For a short case example, ill use Fox as a light-fast faller example for potential follow ups. Now, this move is good for when characters like fox are around 40-50 percent to try to attack or punish with, because it leaves them at a decent enough height in which you can attempt to reset them with a jab, go for multiple F-tilts (depending on DI, usually one more around this percent) or, even wait for the opponent to reach the ground again, and go for either another grab. The most efficient use, depending on where you are on the stage, is to try to end this combo starter with a F-air in order to lead to Sheik's above average edge guarding capabilities. Also, you can take this time to observe their habits to try to escape a combo. Take the time to do this from time to time, and keep it in mind. I'll explain more later on why this will help you down the line.

As far as using Forward Tilt in general, other than mentioned above, the move also is one of the hardest, if not nearly impossible, moves to punish if properly spaced. If you hit a person with it on shield, its extremely difficult to punish out of shield at full, or well spaced range. Even Marth can struggle to shield grab it if done well. Make sure to become as familiar as you can with the full range spacing of this move, it can lead you to "frame trap" (Punish an opponents attempted move after you pressure them with one or some of your own) your opponents with another quick move, like jab. These kind of reads, or punishes can lead to free chain grabs, tech chases, or grab follow ups off of one well spaced move!

Down Tilt (Crouching Sweep) [S-A-1-c]

This move is also another very useful juggling, and potential combo starting tool. It starts up as fast as Sheik's F-Tilt, (4 frames) and lifts slightly lower, which can lead into more moves, such as Up-tilt, (far hit) F-Tilt, Grab, Jab, etc. Of course this is always dependent on your opponents DI, and percent, but this move is another testament to Sheik's Juggle-to-Kill potential. But, similarly to the F-Tilt, this move is also pretty punishable if used at low percent, whiff, and on your opponents shield. This is another case of a move that should be used somewhat sparingly if in the neutral, and somewhat less as a defensive tool when punishing an approach. That all, of course, depends on your knowledge, and confidence in your spacing. As a full range poke, this move is decent to fish for out of shield reactions for characters with short reaching out of shield options. In general, I would only recommend this move as an opener for a combo off of a punish opportunity, or if you can manage it as a juggle in a combo, be bold!

Now, another aspect of this move should be addressed. That would be how well this move can hold out in a crouch cancel war in comparison to characters like DK, Roy, Rob, etc. And the sad answer, is not that well. While you can CC D-tilt as a selective punish, the move is not rapid firing, it's reach is slightly limited, and its lift is very dependent on how much percent your opponent has, which becomes even more of a factor when they are crouch cancelling. So, you are a lot better off not attempting to CC-war with characters that do exceptionally well with getting over on their down tilt and down-smash game such as Peach, Mario, Roy, etc.

Down Tilt can also be utilized as an efficient combo starter. If you are facing an opponent with a higher reaching grab, Sheik can crouch underneath the grab range, and sweep to punish the attempt. Also, when tech chasing an opponent that misses their tech, this move is perfect for picking them up off the ground to continue into a combo, and lead into a favorable edge guarding position, a reset, or even resetting the neutral. Also, depending on opponents recovery, you can use Down Tilt on the ledge, which will pop them up over the ledge which can lead to another free Forward Air, or Neutral Air.
Up Tilt (Bow Form) [S-A-1-d]

Sheik's Up Tilt has more potential utility that what has actually been discussed, (with a start up of 4 frames) and displayed across the board in its use. Because of how the move starts up with and upward reaching split, that ends with a forward wheel-kick (depending on which way she's facing will be your "forward") and its surprisingly fast recovery speed, this move can be used as a selective platform poke, and a bit of an unexpected answer for some air approaches. Now, this move as I theorize from personal experience, can be used sparingly on a neutral get up after you reset an opponent. Now, it sounds off at first, but this move can hit multiple times (twice) in its duration, which can knock an opponent back, or if they CC the first it, they can be hit by the second hit. This will allow you a bit of either breathing room, or allow an opportunity for more offense, depending on the opponents percent, and DI upon being hit. However, as far as how dependable this move is on shield, its pretty much dependent on what your opponents OoS options are. For an example, a basic follow up after Up tilting a shield, would be to attempt a grab, which could work on characters with limited options like Bowser, or Peach. However, attempting this on a Spacie, or a character to that effect, could lead to your follow up attempts getting stuffed, and punished. There is also the factor of whether or not your opponent can properly time the punish after the fast hits on their shield. This move does recover fast, but the two-parts have a bit of an awkward timing on their active frames. I'll recommend using this move on stages like Fountain of Dreams, where you can find yourself under an opponent after knocking them on a platform, in which case you can literally pressure your opponent from a standing position underneath them!
Dash Attack (Gale Form) [S_A-1-e]

(Startup is 5 Frames)This move is probably going to be the most commonly overused, mis-spaced, and freely punished move in your arsenal. This is because the pay off for landing it is always worth the risk that comes with is extremely good in comparison to all of the casts' dash attacks. This move is literally either what can make or break an up incoming sheik players mindset from approaching in the neutral. Why? If you land the dash attack, it leads to almost everything your needle throwing heart desires for a follow up. You can dash attack Up Tilt, Forward Tilt, Neutral Air, Up Air, Forward Air, and literally dash attack again on a large portion of the cast when they hit mid percent. I do not exaggerate when I say this move's payoff is like cheese in a mouse trap. If you don't go about it correctly, you'll end up getting destroyed.

So, just to get the negative out of the way in terms of this move, this move is EXTREMELY punishable on shield. If you want an idea of how badly I mean, you are literally throwing your arms out at your opponent, and wait for them to grab you when you whiff, or hit their shield. The amount of follow ups that the cast of Project M can dish out as a punish vs. your missed, or blocked Dash Attack is too high to count, and there are too many to take lightly. Just to keep a bit of consistency, lets use Fox as the punishing party. You dash attack his shield, hitting the very first frame of its active box on the furthest part of his shield as well. From here, Fox can grab you, and Up Throw, U-air string you to about nearly 30 percent. This is assuming you DI properly, and on either Battlefield, or Smashville is where this punishment begins. Now, lets reset, you dash attack and get blocked again, this Fox uses Up Smash on you giving you an immediate 17, or possibly 13 percent depending on how close you are. Now, as the third, more likely punish for a basic dash attack punish, Fox releases his shield, and proceeds to wave shine you for about 5 reps, which he can end with a grab Up air string, or just up smash you, if you're lucky. So, you take at minimum 30 percent, and end up in a very poor situation: Either in the air, hoping the fox wont approach because of your limited options, or you are being punished which still leads to you hanging in the air. This is assuming the Fox knows the match up, so there isn't really a best case aside from hoping they drop their punish. See how much you can risk on just one risky, or mis-timed dash attack?

Now, dash attack isn't a move you want to throw away just because of the risk of missing and getting punished. This move can also be used to cover some aspects of your offense as well. If you are tech chasing and enemy, and you miss their wake up choice (Like rolling left, or right when you predicted a miss or neutral get up) you can dash attack the opponent in order to lead to another juggle, or to simply keep them off balance. This works primarily around the 20% or higher mark on your opponents.

Smash Attacks [S-A-2]

Forward Smash (Double Snake) [S-A-2-a]

Sheik's Forward Smash, unfortunately doesn't have very many practical uses. Usually you'll want to stick with moves the provide a decent amount of damage, or a combination of knock-back into order to lead to set ups with grabs, or resets. This move has a much longer start up compared to Sheik's tilt's, and Jabs. (13 Frames until first hit active) If you want to implement this into your game, its more for personal preference, but its relatively useless in the overall usage of the character in terms of juggling, and potential edge guarding. Even when the move hit's, you are at a considerable disadvantage when your opponent is at low percent. Use this move as little as possible in general, because the potential 15% that could come from this move can be made up for in other, more beneficial, ways.

If you are facing an opponent who like to abuse their Crouch Cancel ability, then you can sneak this move in from time to time to either cause an unexpected knock down, or to push them back off the stage. (Nothing like seeing a CC happy player down air off the stage.) Also, the knockdown it causes can only be teched if they manage to hit the shield at the exact moment the second hit knocks them down, or if they happen to be so familiar with the exchange that they can react properly. The latter isn't likely, but never count it as impossible. Too many things happen in Smash Brothers to mark another persons reaction as impossible. Keep in mind there are still other Tilts and Smash attacks that can out reach, out prioritize a poorly spaced F-Smash attempt. While this move can beat some, it doesn't beat all. (Mario Down Smash for example can be mashes in between hits.)
Up Smash (Razor Wing) [S-A-2-b]

Up Smash is actually a pretty peculiar move in that it can be used in a small handful of recommended situations, but they all are beneficial upon them landing. The move starts up about 3 frames faster than her F-Smash (Starting up in 10 Frames), and covers her head, and downward to slightly in front of her legs. This move has come to be another tool that is used in either under platform harassment, or as a means to kill with its tipper above Sheik's head. Up Smash is also another good follow up to a tech chase read for its damage, and ability to life an opponent in the air which can lead to potential kill set ups.

The best way I can recommend to use this move is only as mentioned for general tech chase, and potential platform harassment. If you can lead into hits with this move following a down tilt, or possible punish for an opponents misplay, the damage, and awkward positioning they are placed in are worth the risk if you are confident in your read, and follow up capabilities. Most follow ups that come from landing this move at low percent are usually a reset into a grab, a F-Tilt, a Neutral Air, Forward Air, and Up air. These, of course, all vary with the opponents DI's and percent at which they are hit. But in general, look for an opportunity to go for more damage by striking an opponent in the air at mid percent. Go for more grounded resets at low percent, and at high percent if you are still using this move you should only be using it with the intent to hit the tipper above Sheik's head for the kill. Other wise, this move is relatively limited in potential used outside of potential combo and kill game that it's already used for.

Down Smash (Windmill) [S-A-2-c]

Sheik's Down Smash is a very versatile move in how it can be used offensively, defensively, and also preemptively. This move start's up surprisingly fast (4 frames), and is active on the 5th frame it comes out. That means that as long as you react accordingly to the situation, you can beat a large amount of moves your opponent may attempt to try with a good portion of the cast. Unfortunately, as fast as it may be, there are other moves that come out faster, so you should only compete with another characters CC Down-smash somewhat sparingly in certain matchups. ( AVOID Mario/Doc, Peach, etc.) But the offensive capabilities of this move are also something you should weigh into your game-plan from time to time, due to its multiple hits, reach, and good active window. This move may be a little more reliable in certain areas of the stage, such as near the ledge, because if you hit an opponent with it, they will be forced into a recovery situation, which Sheik's abilities excel at defending as a character.

This move is also a good move for edge guarding with, depending on the opponents recovery path. For a more basic example, I'll say fox again, if your opponent has a very linear horizontal recovery, and they have to snap to the ledge, you can time this move in order to knock them back away, almost always without a trade. Now, still thinking of fox as the recovering party, think about his Up-B, the Fire Fox. He gains a large hit-box with his body as the center, but if you space the Down Smash, you can either trade, or win the recovery all together!

To wrap up idea's on uses for this move, the preemptive side comes from the tech chase game sheik has as a cornerstone of her kit. Of course, you can follow an opponent with Down Throw till you are blue in the face, and their percent looks like California summer weather, but if you mix in more moves, you can end up in even better position to take stocks. When you are comfortable enough to make the read, or want to add on more damage on a wake up on an opponents tech when you D-Throw them, you can apply this move to add an element of surprise to your tech chasing game. Especially when you catch an opponent attempting to DI away with the intend to escape your throw follow ups.

Air Attacks [S-A-3]

Forward Air (Hatchet) [S-A-3-a]

Sheik's Forward Air is another one of her iconic moves that offers a decent amount of flexibility in terms of damage, knockback, and kill potential. The move hits hard for 13 Damage, and starts up in 4 frames. This move has a lot of presence when its active, making it an excellent way to wall out opponents in the air, and also is good for catching people by surprise when they are a little too comfortable approaching when you are landing. A majority of the time, this move is going to be your go-to move when you are trying to kill a front facing opponent. Also note, if you hit an opponent with the back of the hit-boxes of this move, you can also cause a reverse hit, sending them in the opposite direction.

Now, just like her other moves Forward Air has its drawbacks as well. While the move can do a relatively good job with walling out opposition, its range is slightly more limited than you'd think. If you want a good idea, don't attempt to challenge enemies who do well with "Walls of Pain" (Mario, Jigglypuff, Luigi, etc.) or any other fast, and far reaching aerial move. (Ike's Back Air, Ivy's Back Air, etc.) Keep in mind, you want solid, beneficial hits only. Don't risk unnecessary trades.

In short, you want to use this move after you've guaranteed it's use after a tilt, if an opponent can't beat it in the air, or off stage to deny an opponents recovery attempt as well. This move is made to basically make people very uncomfortable, because they know it's coming. The slap is cold, and merciless. Use it at almost any opportunity if you feel you need to establish a bit of an aerial presence if you are comfortable with your spacing. Nothing stifles opponents like having the taste slapped out of their mouth, especially when they love to cheese you with aerials. (PLEASE note how much I stress your comfortability in making these attempts. These are strictly situational, and if you mis-space, or trade it can lead to you regretting the attempt.)

Back Air (Flying Swallow) [S-A-3-b]

Sheik's Back Air is a very important spacing tool, as well as a critical defensive tool with many purposes. The move has incredible start up (3 Frames) and has a decent active window. (23 Frames) This move is probably the most common, and probably best, way to combat an aerial opponent. This move has a lot of great qualities that make it very dependable for stuffing approaches, shutting down off stage recoveries, and also good for hopping up and harassing through platforms!

All right, so as far as drawbacks for Back Air go, there aren't too many, but they still need to be addressed. This move, when you're learning Sheik is a little bit like a crutch if you are lazy with learning to properly space and L-Cancel your landings. I'd almost say it could generate the mindset that F-Tilt would give you on the ground. In saying that, I mean that if you mis-space this move, or just lazily throw it out, it can lead to the same series of punishes mentioned before if you don't actually pay attention to when and how you use it. It's active window is very generous for a fast character like Sheik to have, but due to this people relate active to safe. Active =/= Safe. Just like any move, how you hit the opponent, their DI, Percent, where it hits on shield, all of these things still play a factor in the success of Back Air's use. If you want a decent idea for how badly you can actually be punished from misuse of this move, refer back to whiffing, or getting CC'd while F-Tilting in the "Standard Attacks" section. It's not worth risking you aren't committed to spacing the move, as well as making its recovery as low as possible with L-cancelling.

This move is also pretty good for killing off stage, or as mentioned edge guarding at minimum. If you land the sweet-spot (Sheik's Foot/Ankle) that will generate the greatest form of knockback and damage that is possible with back air. Generally, of course, this is how you want to hit your opponent in order to knock them off platforms, knock them off balance, secure an edge guard, or in some cases a stock. The more efficient way to use this move as an edge guard is to drop down from the ledge, double jump towards your opponent (or straight up if they are close enough) and try to hit them with the sweet-spot of the move. Of course, immediately after landing the move, you're going to Up-B back to the ledge, then rinse and repeat as much as necessary until the opponent can no longer recover.
Down Air (Butcher Bird) [S-A-3-c]

Sheik's Down Air is a move that is often misused due to its surprisingly decent payoff, and follow up potential. Let me make it clear why I say this, Down Air starts up in 4 frames, and covers a lot of space. Its active for 19 frames, which is a pretty good window for a character like Sheik to have. Now here's the misuse: This move's priority is not that good. It's not a Ganon/Falcon stomp, or a Spacie Down Air, not even a Mushroom Kingdom drill. This move should not be used as an approach tool, and even less as a defensive tool. You will lose a trade, and you will lose your stock.

More on to the drawback of the move. Now, initially if you whiff this move, at any point, it is highly punishable. Period. This move is not a pressure tool, a defensive tool or anything like that. It starts up relatively fast, and that's it. Do not attempt any kind of Down Air pressure string like you would with a spacie. Do not use it like a drill, a stomp, or any aerial that applies pressure to shields. Even when you L-cancel at the lowest part of the shield hit, this move is not to be used like that. Refer back to ANY section I mentioned potential ways you can get punished, and this move is highly susceptible to it as well.

Now, just because this move is not a shield pressure tool, doesn't mean to not utilize it. This move is actually very good for tech read follow ups on platforms on a large portion of the cast from low to low-mid percent. (Medium and Heavy weight characters i.e. Falcon, Spacies, etc.) This move, when used in this way, can lift the opponent out of their neutral get ups, or rolls on platforms with correct positioning. Then you can follow up with a number of options from Tilts, Up-Smash, or almost any other aerial depending on their DI, and Percent. Keep in mind also, this move's priority is relatively low, so don't challenge get up attacks with it. You will lose, without even trading no less. Just remember to read before you commit, and you will have the follow ups you need to keep comboing, and taking stocks! Also, punishing recovery attempts by the opponent from the ledge that take a long time to recover from, is a very strong use of this move. (i.e. Sheik, Falcon, Marth, Ganon, etc. landing on the main platform of the stage after using Up-B)

Neutral Air (Falling Leaves) [S-A-3-d]

Sheik's Neutral Air is an amazing aerial tool that offers a fairly good mix of offensive, and defensive traits. This move starts up at an impressive 2 frames, and is active on frame 3. The reason this move is good because of its combination of fast start up, and its huge active window of 28 frames! Sheik's aerial game is slightly bolstered with having this move in her arsenal because it adds a slight "get off me" factor to her kit. If you're familiar with characters like Mario, and Luigi's kits, they always have a good way to break a sloppy aerial string with their Neutral Airs. (Mario N-Air active on frame 3 as well as Luigi's.) Sheik's starts at the same time, on frame 3.

Now, even with a good start up, and decent lingering window of active frames, this move isn't perfect. If you mindlessly throw is out in the air, you're still subject to being hit by faster, out-prioritizing, and longer moves. Air, or grounded. Also, while this is subject to match-up, this move should be sparingly used on shield. It doesn't pressure well enough to be used for a reliable starter for a shield pressure string. Don't hit it high on shields, and make sure you remember to fade away with it if you find yourself in a defensive, or retreating position. I don't personally recommend approaching with it if you don't have to. Especially against a defending opponent. Easy way to get shield grabbed.

Basically, this move is a very good offensive move if you are already either combo-ing a person, or if you need to break out of poor aerial pressure from an opponent. Keep in mind this move is also decent in certain match-ups as an off stage offense tool that can lead to edge guarding. There are more optimal ways, but just remember this move is longer lasting than most of Sheik's other aerials. Breaking out of air pressure should only mean that your opponent can't follow up, doesn't know how to follow up, or is unfamiliar with your tools. Remember to keep things like this in mind when using this tool. It can lead to free stocks.

Up Air (Vortex Form) [S-A-3-e]

Another one of Sheik's faster starting move's is her Up Air. It starts up in 4 frames, and lasts for 16. Pretty The move is a very unique one in that at low percent's it can serve as a decent juggling move, but at mid to high, it serves as an excellent vertical kill move with its sweet-spots. Especially on small stages. It has fairly decent range, and somewhat does a good job of harassing under high platforms on certain stages, like Battlefield, or Fountain of Dreams.

DO NOT PRESSURE SHEILDS WITH THIS MOVE. This move is only for finishing a stock, harassing under platforms, or attacking below someone in the air. If you utilize this move with the expectation of consistently pressuring someone on the ground, or in their shield, 9 times out of 10 you will be disappointed and down a stock. Don't do it. It ain't worth it. At ANY point. Sheik offers better pressure options, and follow ups to risk hitting someone's shield with Up Air.


Neutral B (Needle Storm) [SP-A-a]

All right, now for the fun stuff: Sheik's needle use. There are so many uses for Sheik's needles that it'll be hard to choose where to start off from. So, to go in with the general use of Sheik's needles we'll start with starting on the grounded variation. Sheik can charge up to six needles at a time, and then hold them for a full charge that can deal 18 Percent off of a full set. (3 damage per needle.) The most basic way that a lot of Sheik's begin their match (With Battlefield being the example) is with the attempt to either charge either a few or a full set of needles, or to drop down from the plat forms and proceed to play the neutral from there. Both options can be good, but unfortunately, they are always dependent on what character/opponent you are facing that will determine which is best. But, if you go the route in which you want to have the most efficient needle use as possible, then whenever the neutral is reset, and you aren't pressing with offense, or chain grab/tech chasing, then you need to ensure that you have needles on deck.

Now, needle's are important to have on you because even in their most basic use, they provide free horizontal harassment, space control, and damage if they land. If you throw needles they produce a similar result as a Falco laser: The opponent has to either block the needle(s), neutral jump, jump forward, or jump to a platform to avoid them. There is also the option to power-shield the needle, but that option doesn't really assist them much because the return path of the needle is ridiculously short (about 1/3 the length of which you originally threw it out) and the needle can collide with the other 4-5 needles that may be following if you threw a full set. The amount of pressure you can apply horizontally with Sheik's Needle Storm completely depends on your positioning, and consistency of use. If you want a decent idea of what I mean, if an opponent were attempting to run away, or camp you from a distance, and you're both on the same horizontal plain, then you can combat them by disrupting the timing they may have established with their tactic. (Like stuffing a fox that like to Double-Laser from across the stage.)

An important thing to remember about Sheik's grounded Needle Storm is that you can be very susceptible to punishment if you release the needles up close. More specifically, on their shield, or grab range close.

Aerial Needle Storm:

The benefit of using Sheik's Needle Storm isn't just limited to the ground. A decent selections of options come from the air off of her use of Aerial Needle Storm. The most basic use for ANS is the ability to use its steep 45 degree angle to hit an opponent that is below the ledge off the stage, or to collide with an enemy that is trying to snap to the ledge. (i.e. Spacie's Side-B, Kirby's Final Cutter, etc.) The real benefit in using the move this way is in how it can stop and opponents momentum completely while off stage. Because of that, they must completely use every resource available just to focus on surviving. (Watch for recoveries which come in at different heights and angles like DeDeDe's Waddle Dash, Luigi's Down-B stalling, etc.) Opponents with linear recovery paths should be struggling with Sheik needles because they have either two, or less options above the ledge, and then are limited to only one option to get back without a jump under the ledge. (Fire Emblem characters, Spacies, basically a large majority of the cast.) The magic that happens when you land a "snipe" with any amount of needles, besides forcing immediate use of resources from an opponent" is the fact that you can open up different opportunities to edge guard for yourself. You can continue to throw needles at the opposition, or you can proceed to the ledge to attempt to edge guard with sheiks fast, long reaching aerials. All options are fine, but the more efficient choices tend to be to snipe, depending on distance, grab the ledge, or attack the ledge with either up or down tilt, or Down Smash. Of course if the enemies attempt to recover is predictable, you can wait on stage, and send them right back off with whatever follow up you are more comfortable with as well.

Needle Storm Grab:

Sheik's use of Aerial Needle Storm is also bolstered by her potential to use them as an Air-to-Ground offense tactic as well. Then you are falling towards an opponent and you have a set of needles (approx. 4-6) you can perform what is known as a "Needle Grab" Just as the name implies, you can actually use your needles to lead into a grab when you land. Because of the offered hit-stun from falling Needle Storm, if your opponent is blocking, or get hit and doesn't DI to a safe rage from you, you can follow up on the landing with a grab almost completely for free! The benefit of landing with Needle Storm is that it Auto Cancels, so you can follow up on the landing immediately. The reason you need at least 4 to 6 needles is because you need to be able to output enough hit-stun to make your landing safe for you to attempt the grab, or desired follow up. Also, the more needles, the better the landing. I can't stress that enough, make sure you don't just attempt this with like one or two needles. It more than likely won't work, or you may get punished because it not working.

Turn Around Needle (B-Reverse Needle):

Sheik's aerial game is also further improved by her ability to change the direction she faces in the air with the use of Needle Storm. If you tap the opposite direction you are facing, leave the stick back in the neutral position, then tap, or hold B, your character will face that direction and begin to either use or charge their Neutral B Special Move. This is called "B-Reversing." When it comes to saving the charge, you can save, or "cancel" the needles by pressing R, L, or Z before you land. This tactic alone helps a lot of characters make their aerial approaches, and recoveries a lot more safe. Sheik is one of the characters that benefit from this more than most because of the numerous opportunities that she has at her disposal. Sheik can use Turn Around Needle to give her a means of approaching, edge guarding, or in some cases she can defend herself with it. If and when you approach with a TAN, you want to make sure you are using it simply to out space or stuff an opponents recovery, or approach with a back air. Since that's one of your primary spacing tools anyway, learning to turn and use it almost any time at will, helps you bolster your offense immensely against poor approaches, and still helps you harass characters that are on platforms, or are above you. TAN help you also is useful for ensuring that you can grab the ledge by running towards it, jumping and B-Reversing, then cancelling the charge. When you stop charging you resume the neutral falling state, which allows you to immediately grab the ledge. From there you can also proceed to edge guard as necessary. Another notable benefit of using TAN is that you can also proceed to Needle Grab if you already have a full set of needles before you turn around. Since you have a full charge, you can fall on to your either blocking or standing opponent with enough needles to allow the grab to connect.

The prime example of all of these tactics at use are performed by Mew2King here. 1001 times actually. The footage is of melee gameplay, but im confident in saying that the fundamental use is the same, and can be transitioned into Project M. Don't just watch it because it's M2K, observe each situation closely, and try to understand how he did it. Anyone can toss needles, but make sure you realize the potential guards that can come from the use of Ground, and Aerial Needle Storm.

Up B (Vanish) [SP-A-b]

Sheik's recovery move Vanish, is a move that can either be your best friend, or it can pretty much lead to your demise. That's because this move offers one of the most consistent ledge stalling tactics in the game, the Shino Stall, and it is also so punishable if it misses, that anyone that reads the recovery on stage, or happens to be in the right place at the right time (doubles for example) will spell bad news for you. The move has a hit box that offers 15 damage on hit, but please, if you are comfortable and familiar with Smash 4 Sheik, understand that the knockback does not kill in this edition of Smash Brothers. Don't do it. Don't juggle a person and think you will be killing them off the top with Vanish. You will, at best, return to neutral, or get punished severely. The hit-box and damage is not intended to be used offensively. Try to stick to following up if someone gets too close to the edge, and gets knocked up with the explosion.

However, because the move isn't meant to be used offensively, doesn't mean you'll want to avoid using it. The move offers a very decent window in invulnerability which you can use as a tactic called the Shino Stall on the ledge. It's distance is pretty short, but if you absolutely need to recover back to the stage, you can try to Up-B in different places each time in order to mix up your recovery. For example, on Battlefield, you don't want to just go back to the main platform every time. So, try aiming for one of the platforms to recover on. Most of the time, you're still going to be stuck recovering, but it's better than getting F-Smashed or grabbed immediately off before touching the ground again. At least here, you can get a jump back, and have a chance to DI if your opponent is capable of punishing whatever choice you dedicated to.

The Shino Stall:

Now, this tactic is one of the cornerstone traits a Sheik player should know and understand. In Melee, and Project M, Sheik is able to release the stage (By pressing back on the control stick, or down on the C-Stick) and can Up-B.Now, the thing that makes this tactic work is the timing. While you are performing the move, during the first few frames you'll want to aim straight up, and then right before the explosion or the verbal cue "Tu" occurs you'll want to hold down. When that happens, you'll also have to release the stick back to neutral in order to grab the ledge. If you don't you'll miss it, and fall into the blast zone. If you rush, and immediately Up-B while facing an opponent who can cover the ledge with a move, you'll be knocked out of the Up-B before you can even reach the invulnerability phase of the move. And, of course, if you wait too long, you'll be too low for the Up-B to reach the ledge again. Now, the ideal sweet spot when performing this move is to make sure that your rise up during the first few frames happens under the ledge, then you enter the invulnerable state as you rise past the ledge. Then when you start to hold down, or rather in the direction of the ledge, you'll already be preparing to grab the ledge, and the explosion can either clank with a move your opponent throws out, or will hit them if they are carelessly approaching you.

A better visual of the Shino Stall can be seen here, as provided by SSBM Tutorials.

Side B (Chain) [SP-A-c]

Sheik's Chain, unfortunately, is the worst move that she has. In this iteration of Smash Brothers, I'd be willing to say that this move gets used less than any damaging, or healing taunt in the game. This move offers no benefit for the risk of drawing it out. The hits are easily SDI-able so the opponent can escape any kind of trapping that may have been doable in Melee. The damage it does is literally not worth it. Up until now, there has been no real recorded, or reported positive use for the chain in a competitive setting. Please message me if you have any beneficial information to add about the chain, and I will gladly review it.
Down B (Transform) [SP-A-d]

Sheik's Down B is slightly more useful than the chain which, unfortunately, isn't saying much. The move offers a brief period of invulnerability during the switch from Sheik into Zelda, but you also have a lengthy recovery period after the transformation. Granted, this move gives you access to two characters which can either help or hinder you depending on your experience with both characters. There's also the factor of the match-up you are currently fighting against which could make or break the use of this move. In general, you should refrain from just transforming if your opponent is on the stage at any point. If your opponent is in the neutral, if they are defending, and especially if they are attacking are all bad times to transform. The only real last ditch effort is to use Transform when you are out of recovery options, and you've been knocked high up and away on a stage like Dreamland. Even then it's still not recommended, because if you survive you have to fight as Zelda, and that is all dependent on how efficient you are with that character as well.

Grabs (Follow ups/Mix-ups) [G-1]

Forward Throw (Battering Ram) [G-1-a]

Sheik's Forward throw is a pretty standard tool. It doesn't offer a high amount of damage, but it still does its job as far as forcing your opponent into unfavorable positions depending on where you throw them from. For example, if you grab an opponent, and you are facing the ledge, the best bet is to try to add a few pummels before you throw them over the ledge. If you're capable of reading you opponents immediate reactions of being thrown off the ledge, you can actually stuff their recovery attempts with any number of moves that could fit their position. But, since there are so many different ways this could actually occur, there's no guaranteed way for you to immediately follow up after a forward throw unless its purely a read based situation after you condition an opponent when throwing them in a specific unfavorable situation like over the ledge.
Up Throw (Standing Crane) [G-1-b]

Up Throw is more than likely the least useful of all of Sheik's throw options. While, yes, it puts an opponent in the air, and also does about 8%, there is no potential follow up, or set up that is guaranteed off of this move. This move is still available to be used, if you prefer to do so personally, but its along the lines of a move that doesn't have much purpose besides being a move. The only plausible, but unlikely, use would probably a set up for a team combo in doubles. Or anything else to that effect.
Back Throw (Backlash) [G-1-c]

Because of the returned knockback that was nerfed in the previous version, Sheik now has the capability to use her back throw as a DI Mix-up. The basic idea is that when a person gets grabbed by Sheik, they expect to be Down thrown, in which they'd reach with DI-ing away from Sheik. This is the typical correct response in some cases. However, when effectively used, Back Throw can be used to trap an opponent that is trying to DI away from Sheik, which will cause them to actually DI in towards her. Then, you can actually follow up with a number of juggles, or resets, depending on the character Weight/Percent/DI. Of course, this is all just a benefit on top of the initial use of using the throw to toss an enemy off the stage, which leads to Sheik's amazing edge guarding game.

Project M Specific/General Tech Use [HM-1]

Reverse Aerial Rush (RAR) [HM-1-a]

A tech that actually benefits Sheik substantially in her air-to-air, and platform harassment game is the use of Reverse Aerial Rush (RAR). Basically, RAR allows you to use the frames in which you are turning around after a run, and you can jump, which makes you face the direction you were turning around to. This is useful for a lot of characters that make trademark use of their Back Airs like Sheik, Sonic, Diddy Kong, Mario, etc. As mentioned, if you have the opportunity to create an aerial offense, or harassment attempt against your opponent, you should take it almost always, especially if you stand to come out with the advantage. Sheik's Back Air is already a strong tool for spacing, but it's use is further bolstered by being able to run towards an enemy, turn, and throw it into their approach attempts. You run the risk of stuffing them, knocking them away, or even off stage. And of course, back Air isn't the only move that benefits from RAR. Any aerial that really fits the situation can be utilized with RAR. If an opponent is recklessly chasing you, you can RAR Neutral Air, Forward Air, wetc. depending on the situation.

DACUS (Dash Attack Cancelled Up Smash) [HM-1-b]

(Thanks to Smashpedia for definition: DACUS )
A Dash Attack Canceled Up Smash (also known as DACUS) is when a character intiates a dash attack and immediately inputs an Up Smash right after the dash attack. To do a DACUS on the GameCube controller, the most well-known and/or easiest way is to initiate a dash, push down on the C-stick to start the dash attack and press up on the control stick and press Z at the same time to cancel into an up smash. Another method involves using R instead of Z if R is set to attack.
MATCH UPS (Subject to change)

Fox [MU-FOX] :fox:
    • Match up is considered to be 60-40 in Fox's favor. Depending on consideration of nerfs Fox received, it may also be considered 55-45 now. He took nerfs to his recovery, and also his kill power, making the MU more survivable.
    • This MU is very much dependent on surviving on the stage, and racking up as much damage as possible with Tech Chasing, hitting Fox with stray aerials, tilts, down-smashes, and whatever you can, as safely as you can, until you can follow up with down throw into a possible F-tilt, F-air kill combo, or lead into an edge guard.
    • Do not challenge Fox in the air in the neutral. His N-air, B-air, and also anti-air options are too strong to ignore. Honestly, you should only be in the air when you are juggling him in general. Everything you have save for N-air, and F-air, and B-air will lose to his priority. His hits are somewhat weaker, but still being hit by him is very dangerous. he just has to hit more to make up for it.
    • Take advantage of his relatively linear recovery. If he his above the stage, take the ledge, and hop out to bair him. Then from there, he should either be nearly dead, or at a point in which you can B-air again. So, take the initiative to keep doing it until he cannot recovery, or your B-air sweet spots, and you kill him.
    • Needles are also a highly beneficial item to have when edge guarding, and breaking up possible laser camping. They do considerably less damage at the same rate they come out compared to melee, and you can rack about 18 percent on a full needle set. Lasers do clank with needles, so if you challenge it with needles, it'll do less, but you'll have far more projectiles out horizontally that could potentially net you more damage as well.
    • BANS: Final Destination, Pokémon Stadium 2, Green Hill Zone, Distant Planet. (Flat/Low ceiling stages)
    • I recommend these bans in general, because even though Fox's kill power has been reduced, its is still present. He is more than capable of wave shining, wave shine-to-grab, wave shine-to-up-smashing, and drill/n-air shining you to death. Typically at the more common mid to low level, you just need to avoid being grabbed, or baited into an up-smash. Shine's power has been reduced, so you have an opportunity to survive if you get hit with it off stage. Just be greedy with your recovery resources, and you will be fine. When you get shine'd on stage, the best bet is to DI down-away from fox. If you DI straight down, you'll stay closer to him, making it easier for you to get combo'ed into up-smash or a grab.
    • Priority Bans are Final Destination, and Pokémon Stadium overall.
    • COUNTER-PICKS: Fountain of Dreams, Battlefield, Wario Ware, Dream Lan, and Delfino's Secret.
    • I recommend the stages due to the fact that you will have platforms to maneuver around to avoid Fox's laser game, and platforms can assist you in your combo game in unexpected ways as well. Also, the more room you have to utilize against Fox, the same goes for what he has against you. However, you have more of an opportunity to interrupt Fox's movement on stages like Fountain, and Wario Ware, which helps making him uncomfortable and unbalanced much easier for you. The more likely the Fox is to miss pressure, and follow ups, only help you in the end because of your relatively simply and reliable punish game on him.
    • But, back to the comparison of larger stages, like Delfino, and Dreamland, you have a better capability of defensive play, and space to charge needles on bigger stages. While Fox can recover, your edge guarding game will stay mostly the same, so you just need to become as efficient as you can with your off stage punishes just like any other stage.
    • Priority Counter Picks would be Fountain of Dreams, and Battlefield.
Marth [MU-MARTH] :marth:

  • Considering the level of the Marth, this MU can go from being 55-45 in your favor, or its even. Although Marth had received the "nerf" of no longer being able to float for a while after his Up-B animation was completed, allowing a stall that let him grab ledge, he is still more than a threat to Sheik.
    [*]Something to keep in mind is that Marth has a considerable juggle game supported by his Forward-Airs, Up-Tilts, Up-Airs, and are always strengthened with the possibility of Forward-Smash, and Down-Air combo finishers.
    [*]Be prepared to chain grab to about 30-40 percent. After or near these percents, the Marth can DI away, so you can be ambitious with keeping him in the air with a jab, or F-Tilt as a follow up with the D-throw. Also, once you've conditioned your opponent to DI a certain way, you have the added benefit of Sheik's Back Throw DI mixup.
    [*]Typically you don't approach as Sheik, but this is somewhat the general theme in this MU as well. Get comfortable with harassing with grounded, and aerial needle storm. If you utilize aerial needles, you need to make sure its at an angle/height you can follow up with a grab, or reset the neutral if you wont commit. This, however, is still dependent on if you hit them or they block. If you hit them, grab, or go with a follow up you can manage. If they block, you can still trap them and grab them depending on how many needles you throw at them first.
    [*]Stay out of the air, or platforms above Marth. There is no good reason, generally, to be above Marth. If you find yourself above him on a platform, the best bet is to try to Sheild Drop. If not, do whatever you can manage to get back to the main platform and proceed from there.
    [*]Edge guarding Marth is relatively simple depending on his height and distance from the edge. If Marth is above the stage, and still has the stall of side-b, or a jump, refresh your invulnerability and try to hit him with rising B-air if he is behind you. If he is in front, get back on to the stage, and punish his landing with a grab from either a block, or crouch cancel. If he is below the ledge, this is when you have to utilize the reach of your bair, along with your ledge invulnerability, so you have to do it relatively quickly to catch him before he up-b's and knocks you away or spikes you into the stage. Rising N-air is always an option if you are more comfortable with using that as a means of covering the ledge while invulnerable too.
    [*]BANS: Final Destination, Yoshi's Story, Wario Ware, Smashville*, and Battlefield*
    [*]The reason why I selected the stages is because marth is a great mid range juggler, that has exceptional grab reach. You don't, generally, want to be near him in close quarters, or have to deal with his platform reset/combo game. You have to deal with evading his reach already, but when you couple that with stages that naturally help him snag you with Forward Smashes while he is underneath you, or can force you to be isolated when you recover on a platform if he is occupying ledge on a recovery, then it becomes pretty disheartening.
    [*]Specifically, Final Destination and Smashville are stages where Marth can benefit from their flat surfaces, and keep you in the air. All of your aerial priority won't matter if you can't get near and reach him while being juggled to an edge guard, or getting killed. However, if you are comfortable enough in the neutral to know which stage of the two you can handle a marth on, then feel free to take the risk you feel best on. That's why I wanted to note Smashville specifically. Its another one of the more neutral stages like PS2 or battlefield, save for its one consistently moving platform.
    [*]Priority bans are FD, and Yoshi's Story. (Wario Ware as well)
    [*]COUNTER-PICKS: Fountain of Dreams, Delfino's Secret, and Dreamland, and Pokémon Stadium 2*
    [*]These are relatively decent, and strong picks for considering Counter Picks. You want to have either stages where Sheik is primarily dominant in poking through platforms, have good horizontal stage space, or give you the capability of surviving with DI. Any mix, or single selection of these traits are available, and easily displayed on each of these stages. Basically, Marth can do decent work with combos on a majority of stages, but you want to make it as hard for him to reach you, or at least make it easy to disrupt is normal combo game if you can.
    [*]Basically, Fountain of Dreams is the "default" Sheik stage. It's platforms help you disrupt people attempting to DI out of your throw game, and can cause them to miss techs, or tech too soon which assists you by keeping them off balance. This is the same in this MU. Other than that, if Marth cannot reach you, or does enough damage nearing the 100's, he has a really hard time killing nearly any opponent until he catches them with tippers. That's why you want to make sure you keep in mind large stages like Dreamland, and Delfino's Secret.
    [*]Priority Counter Picks are Dreamland, Fountain, and Delfino's Secret.
Ganondorf [MU-Ganon] :ganondorf:

  • Match-up can be seen as either 55-45 for Sheik, or 60-40 for Sheik. You have a very strong grab game on Ganondorf, which can allow you to bully him, and add on large amounts of damage. It can come from tech chasing, chain grabbing, re-grabbing, etc. You have a very considerable advantage in edge guarding since Ganon will have to commit to either an Up, or Side B recovery, both of which leave him vulnerable to a number of options like aerials, and needles for edge guarding him.
  • Ganon's punish game is severely brutal, because he can either kill or, cause an edge guard situation in a decent number of ways. If you don't respect his range, you can eat a F-air, a B-air, N-air, and even an angled up-air depending on where he is. All of his moves have strong knock back, which can lead to either a follow up, or cause a very unbeneficial situation for you. He has a chain grab on you that lasts until about 80 (?) percent, with which he can finish with really any move he can manage to land on you depending on your DI. Basically, you want to respect his range when he is attempting to wall him out, then disrespect him when you're in.
  • Grab him, tilt him, fair him. Basically, anything that keeps him either in the air, off the stage, or off balance. You don't want to give him the chance to start establishing offensive pressure from the neutral by whiffing, or getting crouch cancelled. You also don't want to challenge him in the air. Just play it relatively safe until you create your opening from catching him with a tilt, or a grab, then be relentless with your punishes.
  • BANS: Final Destination*, Smashville, Wario Ware and Dreamland.
  • Basically I recommend these bans because of the fact that you don't want to give Ganon the opportunity to create a wall with no way to navigate around a flat stage. You also don't want to give him the opportunity to chain grab forever on a flat stage. While Dreamland may not be jus a flat stage, it has very large blast zones which benefits Ganon because he has more opportunity to live if he is knocked off the stage. His B-recoveries are pretty linear, but if he is recovering from a high vertical point, then Wizard kick allows him another jump, then he can still recover with his up, or side b depending on where he is. At the end of it all, your best be on the stages is to harass with needles, and get as much as you can out of punishing his approaches and whiffs with grabs, and tilts of your own.
  • Priority ban is Dreamland.
  • COUNTER PICKS: Fountain of Dreams, Final Destination*, Battlefield, and Pokémon Stadium 2.
  • These stages are my recommendation due to the fact that they have consistent platforms, (obviously no FoD) that can lets you play around the field more often. While the height that you escape the chain grabs may not always help you on BF and PS2, the constant moving platforms of FoD will often give you opportunities to escape the throw set ups. It also makes it harder for Ganon to directly approach you on FoD. Ganon will gain the benefit of platform movement, but you will also be able to move, and not be faced solely with a one-side wall of fairs that you have to deal with. Typically you want a medium, or platform-clad stage that can help you move, and get decent punish, or approaches on Ganon.
  • Needle storm is much easier to do from the air if you are falling from the platform, so you don't have to risk jumping straight at him, losing your resources. Needles in general will be a key tool in this MU, because you want to force approaches to punish.
  • Final Destination: This stage is gonna be noted as a counter pick for you as well because, yes Ganon has strong capabilities on this stage, but you still win out over him in the neutral and punish game. If you grab him, you can get follow ups off of your down throw (re-brab, f-tilt, etc.) and you can use your DI-Mixups. Just as you can be walled out by him, you can efficiently wall him out the same way, and you have more reliable edge guarding tools with needles, and your back air. Bait the approaches, and be as merciless with your punishes as you can, and this match up will pretty much be yours to win on this map.
  • Priority Counter pick will be Fountain of Dreams.
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Thank you! Sorry for the lack of subject material, but im hoping to get more information into the guid within the coming weeks! Please let me know if there is specific tech that you think new players could benefit from knowing as well!
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