How to play Pichu?

ADYBE

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#1
We know the entire Pichu’s moveset, we are (or not) Pichu mains, but do we know how to play him?
What can we do in neutral, in edgeguard, or to start a combo. Some moves hurt you, some don’t.

In this forum I want to talk with you about how to play our cute boy Pichu.
 

MalachitJR

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#2
Pichu is really small and faster then pikachu. The difference with there gameplay is pikachu mains usually uses his thunder jolt and his quick attack to have more spacing, but pichu can't do that since it hurts him and the damage adds up. So I feel like pichu has to play more aggressively and do alot of fake outs. He was blessed with a spiking thunder and a aerial spike. The spiking thunder is a kill confirm so you can grab your opponent, throw them up when they have high enough damage, and use thunder. Pichu having an aerial spike is amazing because he has awesome recovery so you don't have to worry about killing yourself off the edge trying to spike someone . I can't say pichu's combos are going to be exaclty the same as pikachu's since his attacks have more knockback and pikachu's neutral aerial is different.
And finally I am in LOVE with all of pichu's alts. Spike eared pichu being the only confirm female.
 

ADYBE

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#3
So, playing aggressively, do you think if a little jump nair and if the opponents shield, I crawl back and do a dtilt will be good, or I should try something else for neutral?
 

MalachitJR

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#4
I like the up tilt and neutral air combo. And his up aerial is gonna be great if it works the same as in melee since pichu surprisingly had one of the best up air. So for a start up combo I'd do a down grab, up tilt, and neutral air combo. His forward aerial seems good too for knockback.
 

MERPIS

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#5
Similar to pikachu except without QA spam, but in return more nairs or short hop up airs. Agility should only really be used for getting out of disadvantage, and thunderspike looks top tier much like pikachu's does.
 

ADYBE

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#6
With the rage effect in te game, would it be a good idea to use moves with recoil damages intensively in neutral?
 

VGrunner12

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#7
Depends, at low to mid percent it can help (0%~50%), but at high percent (75% +) its use starts to drop off. Also your opponent's character factors in this as well, power houses might capitalize your percent gain for an early KO.
 

Kalomaze

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#8
With the rage effect in te game, would it be a good idea to use moves with recoil damages intensively in neutral?
This isn't Smash 4. Rage jank has been weakened very hard. You'll likely die from this type of approach
 

Octorockandroll

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#9
What about the neutral? What tools can pichu use for approach, conditioning and mixups? It seems like he's going to have a hard time getting in.
 

GhostYB

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#11
his grabs and aerials look rly good. looks very combo heavy, racking up quick damage early with nair and up air and edgeguarding with thunderspike should be very effective
 

MERPIS

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#12
I love all these kill confirms at like 70 or so percent with thunder, its so stupidly good for a character like pichu to kill at a percent that low.
 

Teeb147

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#13
I love all these kill confirms at like 70 or so percent with thunder, its so stupidly good for a character like pichu to kill at a percent that low.
Pichu also gets ko'ed very early if not careful, so it's still a character that has to be played very well. Also the confirms arent necessarily guaranteed, so there's definitely going to be a learning curve.

Good thing the character is fun :)
 
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MERPIS

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#14
Pichu also gets ko'ed very early if not careful, so it's still a character that has to be played very well. Also the confirms arent necessarily guaranteed, so there's definitely going to be a learning curve.

Good thing the character is fun :)
kill
CONFIRMS
also its small so its hard to hit
 

MERPIS

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#16
merpis, nobody knows what the 'true' confirms are yet. DI has to be tested more thoroughly.
Teeb147, if uptilt combos into up air and up air combos into thunder, its a kill confirm since its kinda hard to di away and avoid something with a hitbox as big as thunder’s is
 

Teeb147

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#17
Teeb147, if uptilt combos into up air and up air combos into thunder, its a kill confirm since its kinda hard to di away and avoid something with a hitbox as big as thunder’s is
It really isn't. And these are basic things by the way. di is always a thing that needs to be checked thoroughly for smash combos.
In smash 4, there were some points where pika's thunder could combo even if they moved all the way with di, but it was very hard to pull off because you had to read or predict which direction they'll go and do a reverse aerial rush and the timing for it was hard.

Also, there's sdi to take into account. In earlier builds, they hadn't added it, while now there is, so you can di 'while' youre being hit, which adds even more time to move out of the way.

I copied this video at 8:14, because pichu does a couple up-airs after, and you can see each time they were hit the person he fought moved differently. The first hit the opponent goes almost straight upwards (no di), the second he goes a little to the right (a bit of di), and the third one he goes much further towards the left (a bit more di). So you sometimes have to read where they move and follow them, when they di properly.


At 12:40 of the video, pichu grabs ridley and throws him upwards and thunders, and it didnt connect because he moved out of the way a little bit, so you can see the hitbox isn't so big that it wont be avoided or whatever.

Edit: well crap, the video got taken down. and it was a good one too :/
 
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Octorockandroll

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#18
Not so sure it does tbh. It shows Pichu can do well with dash dancing which is cool but I'm not really seeing much else that's good for the approach game since the dash attack looks a bit unsafe even tho it does have a pretty good range and the rest of the approaching they do seems to mostly be short hop aerials. What is cool tho is that it seems like that might be a decent mixup, since they use landing nair and dair to link into other attacks or a grab, forcing the opponent to guess if the aerial hits their shield, at least in theory anyway. I also liked the way the Team Aqua Pichu mixed up the timing on his tilts right at the end to trick the other one into dropping shield at the wrong moment, even though I don't think that would work that well on characters with actual range to their moves.

Maybe I'm just dumb, but I don't feel like I can really build a solid gameplan for Pichu based only on footage I've seen so far
 

Teeb147

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#19
Not so sure it does tbh. It shows Pichu can do well with dash dancing which is cool but I'm not really seeing much else that's good for the approach game since the dash attack looks a bit unsafe even tho it does have a pretty good range and the rest of the approaching they do seems to mostly be short hop aerials. What is cool tho is that it seems like that might be a decent mixup, since they use landing nair and dair to link into other attacks or a grab, forcing the opponent to guess if the aerial hits their shield, at least in theory anyway. I also liked the way the Team Aqua Pichu mixed up the timing on his tilts right at the end to trick the other one into dropping shield at the wrong moment, even though I don't think that would work that well on characters with actual range to their moves.

Maybe I'm just dumb, but I don't feel like I can really build a solid gameplan for Pichu based only on footage I've seen so far
Well, it's good to leave it open enough to be creative :)
But Fair and Nair are pretty good short-hop moves to approach with, if you can mix up where you land. If they shield, then grab.
If they have more range, dash dance and try to find an opening. Once you get in, I think that's where pichu shines most.

Full hops could be useful with thunderjolts. Pichu's a fast faller so it might be possible to follow up with more pressure in some cases. I think it needs to be experimented. It seems to be more of a downward angle than pikachu, which is actually good because that means it'll be closer.

Play around, see what works (including for you).. have fun too :)
 
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Octorockandroll

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#20
Well, it's good to leave it open enough to be creative :)
But Fair and Nair are pretty good short-hop moves to approach with, if you can mix up where you land. If they shield, then grab.
If they have more range, dash dance and try to find an opening.

Full hops could be useful with thunderjolts. Pichu's a fast faller so it might be possible to follow up with more pressure in some cases. I think it needs to be experimented. It seems to be more of a downward angle than pikachu, which is actually good because that means it'll be closer.

Play around, see what works (including for you).. have fun too :)
Full hop thunderjolts, eh? Seems like it has potential although I havent seen it be tried as an approach. Does he have anything good for catching landings if the opponent jumps it? I was thinking uptilt, dash attack and maaayybe skull bash but it seems like something really good would be needed to maintain control over the situation.

Course that might just be my history with Smash 4 Mario talking, punishing hella landings with reverse jcancel usmash.
 

Teeb147

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#21
Full hop thunderjolts, eh? Seems like it has potential although I havent seen it be tried as an approach. Does he have anything good for catching landings if the opponent jumps it? I was thinking uptilt, dash attack and maaayybe skull bash but it seems like something really good would be needed to maintain control over the situation.

Course that might just be my history with Smash 4 Mario talking, punishing hella landings with reverse jcancel usmash.
Yeah I think those would be good (and fair is just a good move too in a lot of situaitons). Maybe even upsmash, apparently it has some parts of it that either are invul or lessen the hurtbox. Once you have them above you, the up-air and thunder game start :)
(or finish with another aerial. I'd also like to see when dair can be used)
 
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Octorockandroll

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#22
Yeah I think those would be good (and fair is just a good move too in a lot of situaitons). Maybe even upsmash, apparently it has some parts of it that either are invul or lessen the hurtbox. Once you have them above you, the up-air and thunder game start :)
(or finish with another aerial. I'd also like to see when dair can be used)
That's actually some good option coverage. We didn't even mention thunder for hard reads on airbornes. I'm not very good with mixing myself up, but it looks like Pichu would really benefit from me getting better at it.
 

Teeb147

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#23
I thought this was a nice example of how safe side-b can be when it hits something. (saved at 3:24)
Look how fast pichu was able to jump after it.

 

NualphaJPN

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#24
Based off of past melee experience with the character and seeing Pichu as it is now in Ultimate, playing a safe and patient approach will be the most effective. Playing aggressively may provide a little merit but most of the potential will definitely come from a more controlled and defensive style, using bait punishing to rack up damage over time.

Since Pichu takes damage it's important to also understand percentage management and knowing when it's time to back away vs time to approach and go for the kills. Pichu is going to rely heavily on optimization and not simply running in. Making great use of its small stature in the neutral will be highly effective when it comes time to gaining the advantage and maintaining consistent control over the opponent.
 

Octorockandroll

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#25
Based off of past melee experience with the character and seeing Pichu as it is now in Ultimate, playing a safe and patient approach will be the most effective. Playing aggressively may provide a little merit but most of the potential will definitely come from a more controlled and defensive style, using bait punishing to rack up damage over time.

Since Pichu takes damage it's important to also understand percentage management and knowing when it's time to back away vs time to approach and go for the kills. Pichu is going to rely heavily on optimization and not simply running in. Making great use of its small stature in the neutral will be highly effective when it comes time to gaining the advantage and maintaining consistent control over the opponent.
What do you mean by a more defensive style? Pichu probably can't projectile camp much since that'll do damage to him as well and I dont see him having an easy tim stopping approaches either unless they're from the air so I'm not sure what your strategy is.

For my money, I think Pichu's ideal will be to get in and start going to town with shield pressure, that sort of thing is way safer now than in 4 or brawl and he's got some really good tools for it.
 

Teeb147

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#26
Based off of past melee experience with the character and seeing Pichu as it is now in Ultimate, playing a safe and patient approach will be the most effective. Playing aggressively may provide a little merit but most of the potential will definitely come from a more controlled and defensive style, using bait punishing to rack up damage over time.

Since Pichu takes damage it's important to also understand percentage management and knowing when it's time to back away vs time to approach and go for the kills. Pichu is going to rely heavily on optimization and not simply running in. Making great use of its small stature in the neutral will be highly effective when it comes time to gaining the advantage and maintaining consistent control over the opponent.
What do you mean by a more defensive style? Pichu probably can't projectile camp much since that'll do damage to him as well and I dont see him having an easy tim stopping approaches either unless they're from the air so I'm not sure what your strategy is.

For my money, I think Pichu's ideal will be to get in and start going to town with shield pressure, that sort of thing is way safer now than in 4 or brawl and he's got some really good tools for it.
I think it'll take a mix of both. Pichu can't be totally aggressive since it will get ko'ed easily from taking any damage (cuz of weight, especially), it lacks range and isn't quite as fast enough to overlook others' range so it's not gonna win just by charging at someone. And defensive play wont work by itself, especially with ultimate's new mechanics, it's an extra reason that you can't just camp and punish. You have to make the most of his size and speed to avoid attacks and retaliate at the right times. Might mean plenty of fake outs but also maybe being aggressive (with combos, of course) at safer percents to give them a reason to try and attack prematurely at other times.

Once Pichu gets in, it's hard to shake it off, it's really about either finding a way in or making them think you're going for it and getting them for it.
That's only my first impression of it, I havent played yet .. and I say give it time too, to develop other good ways, anyway :)
 
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#27
I think it'll take a mix of both. Pichu can't be totally aggressive since it will get ko'ed easily from taking any damage (cuz of weight, especially), it lacks range and isn't quite as fast enough to overlook others' range so it's not gonna win just by charging at someone. And defensive play wont work by itself, especially with ultimate's new mechanics, it's an extra reason that you can't just camp and punish. You have to make the most of his size and speed to avoid attacks and retaliate at the right times. Might mean plenty of fake outs but also maybe being aggressive (with combos, of course) at safer percents to give them a reason to try and attack prematurely at other times.

Once Pichu gets in, it's hard to shake it off, it's really about either finding a way in or making them think you're going for it and getting them for it.
That's only my first impression of it, I havent played yet .. and I say give it time too, to develop other good ways, anyway :)

Very well said. This is what my explanation was trying to emphasize, in that Pichu can't play on either extremes since percent management is going to play a major role in the success of this character. Knowing when to attack and when to sit back and wait for openings (bait and punish as stated) is how Pichu will become a serious threat in neutral, off-stage, and during pivotal moments when pressure is important. Learning to master both sides of the coin will make Pichu players a lot more threatening, perhaps to the point where not-so-good matchups (later in the meta of course) can find a workaround and create opportunities. At least that's how I'll be approaching it long term.
 
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#28
Another thing to also consider is that using the same moves frequently will result in staling, which means that Ultimate is going to be a game where creativity with your character is going to go a LOONG way, more so than Smash 4. No more relying on autopilot approaches, it will now require thinking outside of the box and looking for new ways to maintain consistency.
 
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#29
Another thing to also consider is that using the same moves frequently will result in staling, which means that Ultimate is going to be a game where creativity with your character is going to go a LOONG way, more so than Smash 4. No more relying on autopilot approaches, it will now require thinking outside of the box and looking for new ways to maintain consistency.
I don't think that'll be that much of a problem with better movement options like wavelanding and dash dancing, it'll just mean we can't poke as liberally and Pichu has lots of approach tools, so he should be able to get in alright. Besides, that one video from a while ago showed a Pichu poking another Pichu's shield with dtilt a bunch and then killing with it immediately after a shield drop so staling probably won't be that bad anyway. I still figure Pichu will want to keep it up close in most matchups.
 
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#30
Any of you guys find any good Pichu combos yet? I think I've got a good low percent one. It starts with an utilt string, the exact number depends on the character and damage percentage but its pretty obvious when you need to switch, then uair and then the tricky part is landing the fair after that, you sorta need to fade back only after the uair lands and then double jump forward into the fair. It dors about 38% and better yet can carry opponents off stage because it has a lot of horizontal movement. Let me know how you guys find this and if you see any of your own stuff.

Edit: It seems like you can then follow it up with another uair to fair. I dont have a friend with me rn to test if its true but I doubt it is.

Edit 2: a few kill confirms I found so far:
Uthrow, thunder. Starts killing around 80% with a ridiculously big window like up to 120% or something

Bair, ftilt/any smash attack: kills in the neighbourhood of 100%. You need to land as you're hitting the bair for this to work. If any of you tried Mario's dair confirms in sm4sh then you'll get the idea. Also works with fair but less consistently
 
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#31
I've been playing quite a bit of pichu yesterday night.

It's pretty percentage dependent, but there's quite a bit of combo potential. Also depends on di from the opponent.
Dtilt always can combo into fair, sometimes into up-air, and even into run upsmash at some lower percents.
Up-air can almost always combo into jump fair. Can combo into thunder at certain percents, tho i havent found the window to be quite as big, and it really depends on di.

Landing fair doesnt have true combos, as it doesnt have enough hitstun, but it can still often work if they're not quick to react, to grab or even dtilt, and filtilt can be good for ko's at higher percents. (Tho it's quite a bit higher than 100%, but obviously being close to the ledge helps.)

I'm trying to find when dair can be landed after upair or up tilt because there's extra combo potential after it :p
There's definitely different ways to ko at different percentages, it's a learning curve.
Anyway, pichu could be quite good. It's really a glass cannon situation tho.
 
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#32
Any of you guys find any good Pichu combos yet? I think I've got a good low percent one. It starts with an utilt string, the exact number depends on the character and damage percentage but its pretty obvious when you need to switch, then uair and then the tricky part is landing the fair after that, you sorta need to fade back only after the uair lands and then double jump forward into the fair. It dors about 38% and better yet can carry opponents off stage because it has a lot of horizontal movement. Let me know how you guys find this and if you see any of your own stuff.

Edit: It seems like you can then follow it up with another uair to fair. I dont have a friend with me rn to test if its true but I doubt it is.

Edit 2: a few kill confirms I found so far:
Uthrow, thunder. Starts killing around 80% with a ridiculously big window like up to 120% or something

Bair, ftilt/any smash attack: kills in the neighbourhood of 100%. You need to land as you're hitting the bair for this to work. If any of you tried Mario's dair confirms in sm4sh then you'll get the idea. Also works with fair but less consistently
Thanks for sharing, utilts to uair to fair is real nice. Do you know how the ftilts work? Looks like it stuns in beginning then starts pushing them back after they take some damage.

Also any good throw combos besides uair to thunder, to rack out damage
 
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#33
Thanks for sharing, utilts to uair to fair is real nice. Do you know how the ftilts work? Looks like it stuns in beginning then starts pushing them back after they take some damage.

Also any good throw combos besides uair to thunder, to rack out damage
Just down throw at lower percents, I think.
 
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#34
Thanks for sharing, utilts to uair to fair is real nice. Do you know how the ftilts work? Looks like it stuns in beginning then starts pushing them back after they take some damage.

Also any good throw combos besides uair to thunder, to rack out damage
dthrow can combo into just about any aerial early on, but you'll probably need to read the DI.

Also on fast fallers uthrow combos to uair to fair fast fall to uair into fair again or to nair into pretty much anything. I think nair to double jump dair could lead to more followups if you land the spiking hitbox, but I'll have to test that myself once my term paper is done to be certain.

Oh, and another thing for throws is to use back throw if your back is even remotely close to the ledge. you roll back a ton when doing it so your opponent is going to be guaranteed to be off the level unless they're heavy or just at a low percent, which will most likely put you in advantage since Pichu's recovery is so crazy good that you can go really deep to try and gimp your opponent, though again, I haven't had the time to test his gimping tools, so I can't make any educated predictions as to how well that's going to turn out.
 
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zipzo

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#35
Main things I've noticed in beginning my journey as a Pichu main:

Usmash has a sick hitbox that gets the area behind Pichu which is great for mixing up when running under your enemy or catching them when they roll under you, and additionally it doesn't cause self-harm.

Nair is basically the bread and butter move. It doesn't cause self harm, it has a long activity window, and it's fast. I sometimes jump all over the stage doing this, acting as sort of flying wrecking ball. It does wonders for gimping but it does seem to get out-priotized against most up-bs so you have to watch out when edge guarding.
 
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#36
Main things I've noticed in beginning my journey as a Pichu main:

Usmash has a sick hitbox that gets the area behind Pichu which is great for mixing up when running under your enemy or catching them when they roll under you, and additionally it doesn't cause self-harm.

Nair is basically the bread and butter move. It doesn't cause self harm, it has a long activity window, and it's fast. I sometimes jump all over the stage doing this, acting as sort of flying wrecking ball. It does wonders for gimping but it does seem to get out-priotized against most up-bs so you have to watch out when edge guarding.
Because Pichu has no range I recommend only going for serious edgeguards when your opponent is in a position where their up b would be wasted. Of course what you can do once you're in that position is amazing so don't be shy about going offstage once your opponent can't recover easily.

As for using dair spike in combos like I was theory crafting earlier, I've tested it out and sadly there don't seem to be any true combos with it. You can use it to effectively extend combos if you connect it after a dtilt or dthrow at around 65% to 80% but if your opponent DI's even a little bit you'll hit with the wrong part of the hit box and send them far off instead of getting a floor bounce. Still, it could probably be useful near the ledge, since you can more easily predict the opponent will DI in to avoid a potential offstage hit and if they dont well you may just spike them off the stage in which case you're at a big advantage. I've also been looking into Pichu's neutral, but I don't want to get into that right now because I'm not good at neutral yet so I wanna be absolutely certain before I say anything on it other than stay in opponents' faces, remember that you can now use tilts and smash attacks out of a dash which will get you some really early kills if you have good stage control, always nair oos like zipzo said and be sure to stay creative with your movement. I'm really looking forward to experiencing the Pichu meta along with you guys.
 

zipzo

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#37
Because Pichu has no range I recommend only going for serious edgeguards when your opponent is in a position where their up b would be wasted. Of course what you can do once you're in that position is amazing so don't be shy about going offstage once your opponent can't recover easily.

As for using dair spike in combos like I was theory crafting earlier, I've tested it out and sadly there don't seem to be any true combos with it. You can use it to effectively extend combos if you connect it after a dtilt or dthrow at around 65% to 80% but if your opponent DI's even a little bit you'll hit with the wrong part of the hit box and send them far off instead of getting a floor bounce. Still, it could probably be useful near the ledge, since you can more easily predict the opponent will DI in to avoid a potential offstage hit and if they dont well you may just spike them off the stage in which case you're at a big advantage. I've also been looking into Pichu's neutral, but I don't want to get into that right now because I'm not good at neutral yet so I wanna be absolutely certain before I say anything on it other than stay in opponents' faces, remember that you can now use tilts and smash attacks out of a dash which will get you some really early kills if you have good stage control, always nair oos like zipzo said and be sure to stay creative with your movement. I'm really looking forward to experiencing the Pichu meta along with you guys.
Here's to hoping Pichu sticks for me, I find him really fun, and I hope I don't hit that wall you sometimes hit where your growth feels stunted without swapping to a "better character" which I imagine will be Pikachu for this entire era of Smash. We will be hearing it out of our ears all the way until the next game, "Why not just play Pikachu?".
 
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#38
I started playing Pichu and I'm having fun with this char. I found that short hop dair on a grounded opponent combo's into thunder, at 70-80ish %. U gotta make sure u land the spike hitbox tho, the same applies for usmash thunder (this has a smaller window)
 
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#39
I started playing Pichu and I'm having fun with this char. I found that short hop dair on a grounded opponent combo's into thunder, at 70-80ish %. U gotta make sure u land the spike hitbox tho, the same applies for usmash thunder (this has a smaller window)
Honestly mate, you're better off just doing uthrow to thunder. Just saying.
 
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#40
Main things I've noticed in beginning my journey as a Pichu main:

Usmash has a sick hitbox that gets the area behind Pichu which is great for mixing up when running under your enemy or catching them when they roll under you, and additionally it doesn't cause self-harm.

Nair is basically the bread and butter move. It doesn't cause self harm, it has a long activity window, and it's fast. I sometimes jump all over the stage doing this, acting as sort of flying wrecking ball. It does wonders for gimping but it does seem to get out-priotized against most up-bs so you have to watch out when edge guarding.
Nair comes out fast and is good to get them off you quick, but generally as pichu you want to be on them and go for combo hits, cuz nair only does 6%, which is pitiful and others can outrange it in most situations. Also aerial mobility isnt the best, even if better than pikachu, so you dont want to be in the air that often, though full hop thunder jolt is pretty good.

I started playing Pichu and I'm having fun with this char. I found that short hop dair on a grounded opponent combo's into thunder, at 70-80ish %. U gotta make sure u land the spike hitbox tho, the same applies for usmash thunder (this has a smaller window)
Honestly mate, you're better off just doing uthrow to thunder. Just saying.
I mean, you can just use both, depending on the situation. CPU never seems to di on the up throw, but it'd be good to practice against people that di to test how to go about using the thunder.

Here's to hoping Pichu sticks for me, I find him really fun, and I hope I don't hit that wall you sometimes hit where your growth feels stunted without swapping to a "better character" which I imagine will be Pikachu for this entire era of Smash. We will be hearing it out of our ears all the way until the next game, "Why not just play Pikachu?".
Yeah there's a few times I switched to pikachu, and the range feels really good, but it's more of a good neutral character, while pichu's fun for leading into combos, including more kill confirms, so i think pichu will always be more of a glass cannon that's more risky but more rewarding. Im still playing quite a few characters, so i dont know if i'll end up using both, but I like going between them once in a while for now.
 
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