New Sheik Tech: Instant Needle Cancels

tronfox64

Smash Cadet
Joined
May 14, 2015
Messages
72
Location
CT, USA - East Coast
#1
----------------------------------------------------------------------------Intro-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hey guys. New Smashboards user here. Glad to be a part of the ninja revolution.
Was recommended to move this to it's own thread from the Sheik Compendium of Advanced Techniques, Combos, and Tricks thread so here it is. Guess this isn't my first post any longer ^^

Anyways, I was messing around with wave needling... and accidentally instant needle canceled (INC?) into a jab (diagonal c-stick ftw). I then spent forever trying to recreate it (wasn't quite sure what inputs I had used) and finally managed to do it well enough to record it. However curiosity got the best of me, and alas I tried other moves as well... and lo and behold it worked with each. Essentially what this means is that any move can be used at any time while running with whichever direction of momentum and facing you want.

-Anyways the Gifs-

Note: Further techniques and applications have been discovered throughout the course of this thread, and have been added to this OP.

Another Note: Don't give up when trying to practice anything below! The inputs have really strict timing and must all be pressed within very quick succession. It took me probably 2 straight hours of failed practice just to do it once in a blue moon (With enough practice, everything here can be ingrained into muscle memory for near flawless execution mid match).

-----------------------------------------------------Tech 1: Instant (7 Frames) Needle Cancels----------------------------------------------
Running Reverse DTilt (with reverse momentum):
http://gfycat.com/BleakSameIchthyostega

Running Reverse DTilt (with standard momentum):
gfycat.com/ContentEsteemedFrillneckedlizard

Running DTilt:
http://gfycat.com/EvergreenBlissfulGalapagossealion

Running Jab:
http://gfycat.com/SeriousNeglectedHorsemouse

Running Reverse Jab:
http://gfycat.com/SarcasticExhaustedKomododragon

Running FTilt (I'm so good at spacing /s):
http://gfycat.com/SleepyGlossyEmu

Running Reverse FTilt (has a ton of reach if you space it better than I did):
http://gfycat.com/ScaryGleefulEgg


As @Jaxas has pointed out, it seems you can do any move out of running Needle Cancels.

Whats really cool is how Needle Cancelling covers the options that Perfect Pivoting cannot, and vice versa. In neutral standing animation or fox trotting/dash dancing? Perfect Pivots covers pretty much any option with sliding momentum (I think people in general hugely underestimate the usefulness of PPs and Forward Attacking Perfect Pivots [FAPPs... coincidence, I swear]). Already committed to a full run? Instant Needle Cancel into whatever you want in whichever direction you want with momentum. They go together like Peanut Butter and Jelly.

This seems to be about as fast as you can Needle Cancel into attacks out of a Dash Dance:
http://gfycat.com/SelfassuredDeepHornbill#

-Old- How I THINK it works (Sorry, its very hard to do considering I haven't practiced much yet):
I think this takes principals from the Wave Needle, where your needle changes your momentum, and then the shield cancels your needles, but instead buffers an attack in before you actually have the shield input registered.

Updated Theory1:
The inputs are really tricky for whatever reason. My new theory is that when you press L (or R) during Needles, instead of L programmed to cast a shield right away, there seems to be a programmed 1-2 frame window of programmed "go back to neutral state so that you can then shield" and THEN shield will come out should you still be holding (Probably seen by developers as an easy way to let Sheik cancel her needles without changing the code for shields in general). I think this is why you can also wave needle without shield ever coming out- you simply let go of shield during this weird window where L acts like a "go to neutral" action rather than "shield". Because this small window of weirdness exists, I'm guessing you can buffer in a move and, if done correctly, the move will go off at the same time as "go to neutral", since it's unlikely they would have added any lag whatsoever to this property of "go to neutral". The end result is you never need to wait for shield or neutral out of needles so long as something is buffered to come out during this window of weirdness.

Up

Inputs for Needle Canceled Attacks: Run > [Let go of left stick for a split second] > hold B (or B-Reverse, I use R as a second special button for this) > C-Stick > Shield

:GCR: > :GCN: > Hold :GCB: (My :GCRT:) > :GCCN:(for tilts) OR:GCA: (for jab) > :GCLT:

Note on Inputs #0: Sheik holds the Needle vertically right before she has a spark go off during the animation. At this precise moment (1-2 frames?) is when the above :GCCN:/ :GCA:needs to be pressed. Too early and Sheik will just cancel needles and do nothing. Too late and Sheik will wait for the entire needle startup/endlag to occur, and then use the buffered attack on the first possible frame (this takes roughly twice as long as a perfect INC). Sheik can also instantly cancel into Shield during this tiny window.

Note on inputs #1: Make sure to hold down special button until after you press shield. This makes it incredibly more reliable for some reason (at least for me). If done correctly, you should start an attack in only 7 frames.

Note on Inputs #2: I might recommend setting your extra shield button (R in my case) to Special Attack, as it feels a bit more natural to press R and L in quick succession than B and L and it allows me to flick the C-Stick to the right for FTilts within the tightly timed execution window much more reliably since my thumb doesn't have to be committed to B as well.

Note on Inputs #3: I realize my description of the inputs is mediocre at best. When I started learning it, I consciously thought of it in 2 steps. 1. Cancel Run into Needles (with whichever direction you want, essentially the start of a wave needle if your going to B-reverse) and then 2. as quickly as my fingers can (you should still be within the first few frames of bringing out needles), buffer the input of the attack I want to use, and like a frame later add in a brief L to add in this "go to neutral" weirdness phase.

Note on Inputs #4: For easy INC FSmashes, Turn on your A+B=Smash setting and press them together instead of a standalone A/C-stick. FSmash is the easiest since A+B without any direction initiates it, but you can do DSmash too with some practice (Credit: @00-Zero )

Grab applications:
Originally I couldn't get it to work with grab (I could have just been failing) so the closest thing I could pull off was this
Wave Needle standing grab:
http://gfycat.com/AppropriateDisgustingArthropods
Edit: Actually there does seem to be a grab option with that seems better than a regular boosted grab. Will have to try to figure out the inputs more precisely. Ill post any gifs of it right here if/when I do.
Edit2: This may actually be a roll cancelled grab.

----------------------------------------------Tech 1.5: Landing Attacks out of aerial Needle Charging-----------------------------------
(NOTE - THE BELOW GIFS NO LONGER WORK WELL WITH STANDARD B-REVERSES IN 1.0.8 AND ONWARD DUE TO NEEDLE GLIDE NO LONGER CARRYING MOMENTUM OFF LEDGES. USE THE BELOW TECH, C-BOUNCE, TO DO THESE WITH MORE MOMENTUM):
(Just input C-Stick > Shield just before you land while needling)

Edit:
You can actually still do these almost as fast using the tech below. it's still not quite as fast, but its faster than a normal B-Reverse while airborne.
http://gfycat.com/BlueJitteryCrow
http://gfycat.com/HardNaturalBat
http://gfycat.com/DearestDigitalAlligatorsnappingturtle
http://gfycat.com/PracticalSpotlessDinosaur
http://gfycat.com/HighSilkyLamprey

Inputs: While charging Needles in the air, buffer an attack just a couple frames before landing, then quickly press shield to cancel the charge and let the buffered attack come out.

While airborne: :GCB:(my :GCRT:) > About to hit ground > :GCCN: > :GCLT: (shield just as you hit the ground)
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

One other "weird thing". Every once in a while I accidentally do an extreme wave needle backwards while still facing the same direction I was running. It puts you into neutral extremely quickly too. Imagine a wave needle that's twice as fast and far, and keeps you facing forwards instead of turning you. No idea how to replicate this yet but it has something to do with left/right C-stick in combination of left/right stick while Needle Canceling

Edit: This has been fully discovered now too and has a huge myriad of applications! See below!

^ ---------------------------------------------------------Tech 2: C-Bounce-----------------------------------------------------------
(Credit to @ TheReflexWonder TheReflexWonder for discovering these inputs!)
Make sure to also check out the new thread on C-Bounces Here:
http://smashboards.com/threads/sheik-tech-c-bounce.409439/
(Note this is different from from traditional wavebounce in inputs, and produces a slightly further bounce in the air. It's [imo] a good bit easier than current wavebouncing methods as well, but it's still definitely worth knowing both):

This "weird thing" has been Figured out thanks to the video by @ TheReflexWonder TheReflexWonder towards the bottom of this page! Its a Grounded Wavebounce Cancel (C-Bounce) that acts similarly to a backwards wavedash believe it or not. It can also be used in the air for forward-facing-yet-retreating needles, needle fidgit options such as airdash back and then cancel into bouncing fish, or for needle landing (which you can then integrate tech 1.5 out of).

Added - Examples of Retreating C-Bounces from the next page:

--
Update 1 - Aerial and Grounded "WaveFish":​
(You can "WaveFish" in the air, while landing, on the ground, etc. In fact, It works exceptionally well with bouncing fish especially. Here are some examples.)

Landing WaveFish
http://gfycat.com/MediumSmallIbadanmalimbe

Grounded WaveFish:
http://gfycat.com/SkeletalSpotlessBelugawhale

Aerial WaveFish:
(Uses the Needle Fidgit tech to cancel the wavebounce into specials, most notably Bouncing Fish and Vanish)
http://gfycat.com/LikelyJampackedIchneumonfly

--
Update 2 - More Aerial Applications:​

Ledge Mind Games into TheifNade Fish:
http://www.gfycat.com/RareLivelyBats

Ledge Mind Games into Fish:
http://www.gfycat.com/ConsiderateMiserableArrowana

Platform Mind Games 1:
http://www.gfycat.com/ReflectingMeagerDowitcher

Platform Mind Games 2:
http://www.gfycat.com/DigitalInbornHypacrosaurus

Aerial Juking:
http://www.gfycat.com/BigheartedCommonChickadee

Quickly and easily go under almost any stage! (Works on Battlefield too. Couldn't get under Final Destination though):
http://www.gfycat.com/PassionateIlliterateBirdofparadise

--

Making a Read:
http://gfycat.com/SparseOilyAmoeba

Wavedash into Shield & Punish:
http://gfycat.com/SilentDeadlyKestrel

Avoiding & Punish (You could decide to not bring out her shield for faster punishes too):
http://gfycat.com/TiredFamousBass

Reverse Momentum Forward facing Needle Edgeguard:
http://gfycat.com/GrimTotalJavalina

Punishing Rolls:
http://gfycat.com/PastelShockedAkitainu
http://gfycat.com/IllinformedPartialGnatcatcher
http://gfycat.com/DopeyAcrobaticGreatdane

Punishing Dash Attacks:
http://gfycat.com/EsteemedSlightAfricanelephant

Covering the Ledge while recovering high:
http://gfycat.com/QueasyAgreeableDouglasfirbarkbeetle

Releasing Needles instead of Canceling:
http://gfycat.com/RecentFantasticCopperbutterfly

Mindgames? (can be done a bit faster than done here too):
http://gfycat.com/DampSpeedyAuklet

Inputs for C-Bounces:
While holding :GCR:, press :GCCL: + :GCB: (My :GCRT: too make it much easier), and then cancel with :GCLT:

Edit4: Fixed up the post... a lot. Also, read the entire thread to get a full understanding of how everything works, as a good amount of information was discovered from various users as to how and why both these techs work.

I don't play competitively so I'm not quite sure what the implications of this are... but something tells me 20XX includes Sheik.
 
Last edited:

Zankoku

Never Knows Best
Administrator
Premium
GRimer
Joined
Nov 8, 2006
Messages
22,992
Location
Milpitas, CA
NNID
SSBM_PLAYER
#2
This looks like you're just canceling needle charge, which indeed doesn't go into shield as long as you release L or R quickly enough. I think it was barely useful in Brawl due to taking a total of 15 frames or so to start and immediately end a charge? Compared to the fewer frames of a shield flicker, the only benefit being that it's less noticeable visually. Not sure if the frame data changed in Smash 4.
 

tronfox64

Smash Cadet
Joined
May 14, 2015
Messages
72
Location
CT, USA - East Coast
#3
This looks like you're just canceling needle charge, which indeed doesn't go into shield as long as you release L or R quickly enough. I think it was barely useful in Brawl due to taking a total of 15 frames or so to start and immediately end a charge? Compared to the fewer frames of a shield flicker, the only benefit being that it's less noticeable visually. Not sure if the frame data changed in Smash 4.
I'm not aware of the brawl meta for Sheik, but I can assure you this doesn't take 15 frames and is much faster than dropping shield. It seems to be as fast as you can do the inputs is as fast as you can. In addition, you can use the wave needle momentum to do it in any direction. The biggest drawback I can see in it is the difficulty but I'm getting a good bit more consistent at it after these last 2 days.
 
Last edited:

Zankoku

Never Knows Best
Administrator
Premium
GRimer
Joined
Nov 8, 2006
Messages
22,992
Location
Milpitas, CA
NNID
SSBM_PLAYER
#4
It's a bit harder to get exact numbers from a blend recording, but as far as I can tell, based on watching two of your videos frame by frame, the total duration of an immediate needle cancel is 7 frames before being able to perform another action.

Reading my extremely old posts from Brawl Sheik, it looks like it was 7 frames startup on charge and 8 frames on charge cancel, so... I guess they just eliminated charge cancel frames? Or made them Interruptible on frame 1, which would explain the forced airdodge and needle-to-special behaviors...
 
Last edited:

tronfox64

Smash Cadet
Joined
May 14, 2015
Messages
72
Location
CT, USA - East Coast
#5
I could also be doing it slowly in whichever gifs your taking that data from. It would probably be best to take such frame data from the fastest possible execution (which may not even be as fast as possible in the above gifs as I'm still not very good at these).
 

Zankoku

Never Knows Best
Administrator
Premium
GRimer
Joined
Nov 8, 2006
Messages
22,992
Location
Milpitas, CA
NNID
SSBM_PLAYER
#6
I checked two dtilts, a jab, and forward facing ftilt and consistently counted 7 frames. I believe 7 frames is accurate. This isn't instant by any means but it certainly is fast, considering it is now on par with stopping a dash with a shield flicker, but without the giant bright bubble popping up.
 

tronfox64

Smash Cadet
Joined
May 14, 2015
Messages
72
Location
CT, USA - East Coast
#7
Are you 100% sure? I'm shield flickering and not getting even close to the speed. It seems to take twice as long, if not longer at times, and I cant apply any backwards momentum or change directions out of it without incurring even more lag time.
 

Zankoku

Never Knows Best
Administrator
Premium
GRimer
Joined
Nov 8, 2006
Messages
22,992
Location
Milpitas, CA
NNID
SSBM_PLAYER
#8
If you can record a shield flicker I can check the frames on that. :)

Sorry, a lot of my knowledge is based on what I remember from Brawl and Melee, which is definitely not going to fully parallel to Smash 4.
 

tronfox64

Smash Cadet
Joined
May 14, 2015
Messages
72
Location
CT, USA - East Coast
#9

Zankoku

Never Knows Best
Administrator
Premium
GRimer
Joined
Nov 8, 2006
Messages
22,992
Location
Milpitas, CA
NNID
SSBM_PLAYER
#10
Yeah, looks like 19 frames for shield flicker on both of your examples in that single video. Good to know!
 

Zankoku

Never Knows Best
Administrator
Premium
GRimer
Joined
Nov 8, 2006
Messages
22,992
Location
Milpitas, CA
NNID
SSBM_PLAYER
#12
I'm assuming a capture rate of 30 frames per second... it seems to smooth the animation by "blending" two frames together, which lets me see distinct frames in a sort of "afterimage" form. From there I just count frame by frame, where a "frame" of two frames of a given animation counts as two, while a frame of one action transitioning into another counts as one.
 

Zankoku

Never Knows Best
Administrator
Premium
GRimer
Joined
Nov 8, 2006
Messages
22,992
Location
Milpitas, CA
NNID
SSBM_PLAYER
#14
Yeah, sorry if I forgot to say earlier, but being able to "needle brake" in only 7 frames instead of 15 in a game where shield flicker braking is 19 frames is actually a really significant thing, so good stuff on pointing out the tech!
 

tronfox64

Smash Cadet
Joined
May 14, 2015
Messages
72
Location
CT, USA - East Coast
#15
@ Zankoku Zankoku I think you are right with 7 Frames to cancel. I noticed that the fastest variations of the inputs rarely worked but that would make sense as to why. I think It felt instant to me because of how those 7 frames can be put into momentum, thus feeling like a part of the run.
 

Othayuni

Smash Apprentice
Joined
Oct 26, 2014
Messages
87
3DS FC
0061-1205-7394
#16
Just so we're perfectly clear, this is an amazing thing you found and will be extremely valuable. Good work, tronfox--I for one am going to be studying this.
 

tronfox64

Smash Cadet
Joined
May 14, 2015
Messages
72
Location
CT, USA - East Coast
#18
@ S Smasher89 Sounds about right. An easier way to practice is to just stand still in practice mode and practice B > C-stick > Shield and B-Revese > C-stick > Shield in Rapid succession. C-Stick > Shield can be done as fast as possible, so long as C-stick is registered before Shield. If done correctly, you should start needles and go straight into a tilt/smash, depending on what your c-stick is set to (you can replace C-stick with A for jab). The timing is pretty tricky to do as quickly as in the gifs above, so don't feel bad if you start slow and work your way up. Also, I set my R Button to Specials as it felt much more natural. I still use B for typical special usage though.

Thanks @ Othayuni Othayuni . I agree with you in terms of value once mastered. I'm still not comfortable enough to use it in For Glory yet, but I've began hitting attacking targets with it in training.

Edit: Many of the gifs are the result of 4-5 hours of dedicated training. If you can't get it at first, just break it into steps and don't worry about the final result.
 

_Tree

The no-more hero
Joined
Oct 5, 2014
Messages
333
Location
Australia
3DS FC
1891-1276-1936
NNID
DekuBaba
#19
I'll probably make a Needle fidgeting 2.0 video about this (and some other recent fidgeting applications). The info seems both valuable and useful. Of course, the credit's all yours.
 
Last edited:

tronfox64

Smash Cadet
Joined
May 14, 2015
Messages
72
Location
CT, USA - East Coast
#20
@ _Tree _Tree By all means use anything I've posted or expand upon it however you like. I love your video series, but had no idea that was you! If you need anything clip wise or info wise, feel free to ask.

Edit: You can actually land from aerial needles/needle fidgit immediately into sliding attacks by pressing C-Stick > Shield just before landing. The momentum still seems useful despite using her slower aerial movement. Ill try and an example soon.

Edit 2: Some Examples using platforms:
http://gfycat.com/BlueJitteryCrow
http://gfycat.com/DearestDigitalAlligatorsnappingturtle
http://gfycat.com/HardNaturalBat

http://gfycat.com/PracticalSpotlessDinosaur
http://gfycat.com/HighSilkyLamprey

Might add these to the original post.
 
Last edited:

tronfox64

Smash Cadet
Joined
May 14, 2015
Messages
72
Location
CT, USA - East Coast
#22
One more thing I've noticed. You can make needle cancelling much more reliable for some reason by holding Special for the duration of the inputs, rather than letting go. (its not just a placebo effect, I swear!) I'm not sure why, but it definitely makes a difference. I really do recommend setting a trigger to Special because of how much easier it makes everything (good luck holding B while flicking the c-stick for tilts/smashes)

Here's a clip showing how quickly it can be done out of a Dash Dance with it's newly found reliabillity. Replace that jab with anything you desire ofc. DTilts and FTilts are my go to typically.

Dash Dance into anything:
http://gfycat.com/SelfassuredDeepHornbill#

Inputs for this ^ are:

>, <, >, <, >, (let go of everything for a split moment), R (My Special), Cstick, L

One final side note: Aerial Needle Fidgeting can be made many times easier (for me at least) by using C-Stick + Special to B-Reverse, rather than left stick. Literally flick the C-stick just as you press special in the direction you want to B-reverse to. This keeps your left thumb free for standard movement and momentum (again, I use R as an extra special making this extremely easy). Sorry if this is known already.
 
Last edited:

Shado

Smash Rookie
Joined
Nov 4, 2014
Messages
13
Location
Staten Island, NY
3DS FC
0018-1402-9492
NNID
Pershado
#23
Im assuming you are doing this with C-stick set to attack. If so is this possible with C-stick set to Smash Attack. I'm trying to do a normal tilt then shield but the roll comes out instead. But on another note this allows you do Down Smash or Up Smash out of needles if that wasn't already known. I don't see Usmash out of needles having much use but Dsmash could do something.
 

Sean de Lure

Smash Apprentice
Joined
Feb 5, 2015
Messages
90
3DS FC
4313-1004-2187
#24
Im assuming you are doing this with C-stick set to attack. If so is this possible with C-stick set to Smash Attack. I'm trying to do a normal tilt then shield but the roll comes out instead. But on another note this allows you do Down Smash or Up Smash out of needles if that wasn't already known. I don't see Usmash out of needles having much use but Dsmash could do something.
tbh looking at the smashes sheik has, I don't see much use for smash-stick, dsmash isnt amazing (I only use it to punish rolls every now and then), usmash can be done straight out of a run, and you can always pivot fsmash. This means the only purposes useful for smash-stick is breverse > usmash (for spacing purposes to get tipper), down smash (already said it), and forward fsmash (not the most amazing thing). Then if you look at tilts, you can dtilt out of a run (might allow you to get tipper dtilts easier, idk) which is amazing cause dtilt is amazing, you can ftilt/breverse ftilt(which is slightly different from pivot ftilt) and ftilt is a good fast move, you can utilt (kinda meh compared to other tilts, but still has uses). On top of all of that, it's easier to aerial with attack-stick than smash-stick, due to the wonky cstick functions. I think tilt-stick is just much better with INC. Still of course, personal preference.
You also said you are rolling instead of tilting>shield, are you sure you are releasing the shield button quickly enough after canceling needles? If you don't let go all the way, a buffered roll should come out.

note that I'm talking completely hypothetical, I don't have a wii u :[
but I do think I know what I'm talking about, kinda, sorta, not really, idk anymore
yeah, bleh, should sleep
 

ArikadoSD

the cream of the crop
Joined
Oct 27, 2014
Messages
1,466
Location
Dublin
3DS FC
0748-2790-0166
NNID
ArikadoSD
#25
tbh looking at the smashes sheik has, I don't se
e much use for smash-stick, dsmash isnt amazing (I only use it to punish rolls every now and then), usmash can be done straight out of a run, and you can always pivot fsmash. This means the only purposes useful for smash-stick is breverse > usmash (for spacing purposes to get tipper), down smash (already said it), and forward fsmash (not the most amazing thing). Then if you look at tilts, you can dtilt out of a run (might allow you to get tipper dtilts easier, idk) which is amazing cause dtilt is amazing, you can ftilt/breverse ftilt(which is slightly different from pivot ftilt) and ftilt is a good fast move, you can utilt (kinda meh compared to other tilts, but still has uses). On top of all of that, it's easier to aerial with attack-stick than smash-stick, due to the wonky cstick functions. I think tilt-stick is just much better with INC. Still of course, personal preference.
You also said you are rolling instead of tilting>shield, are you sure you are releasing the shield button quickly enough after canceling needles? If you don't let go all the way, a buffered roll should come out.

note that I'm talking completely hypothetical, I don't have a wii u :[
but I do think I know what I'm talking about, kinda, sorta, not really, idk anymore
yeah, bleh, should sleep
I use the control stick + A for aerials and C for smash attacks. I use other characters than Sheik where C for smash is absolutely crucial, but even on Sheik I don't wanna set C for tilts. It's pretty good for quickly using dtilt but I'd rather have usmash and fsmash on demand pretty quickly than having an easier time doing dtilt.

That being said you can do INC (is that what we're calling it now?) with C stick set to smash. I've done it a few times. It's probably harder, but it's doable. I still haven't mastered it yet ;_; either end up with going to shield or grabbing instead of doing an actual attack
 
Last edited:

tronfox64

Smash Cadet
Joined
May 14, 2015
Messages
72
Location
CT, USA - East Coast
#26
@ Shado Shado @ ArikadoSD ArikadoSD I highly prefer setting C-Stick to tilts for sheik. Her tilts are great for both combo and kill setups, and are much less commitments than pretty much any of her smash attacks.

Plus It's much easier for me to perfect pivot into tilts if I use the C-stick, as left Stick has to be dedicated to the PP, making it hard to quickly transition into a tilt.

Some examples of what I mean:

PP Ftilt setup
http://gfycat.com/OldDizzyHuemul

PP Ftilt spam on a Poorly DI'd Falcon :)
http://gfycat.com/SaneBountifulCattle

Also, you can call it whatever you want. @ Zankoku Zankoku technically proved that it's not truly instant, so maybe Sliding Needle Cancel would be better?
 

YGK

Smash Cadet
Joined
Jan 23, 2015
Messages
55
Location
Minneapolis, MN
#30
I've been working on this a bit today and I though I'd share some of my analysis so far, I don't think I have much new information, but I believe I have some insight into the mechanics of how this works.

NOTE: I've only been able to test this on my 3ds so far, so I haven't been able to execute, or analyze, the more difficult variations of this technique yet.

Lets start with the properties of Sheik's neutral B.

1) After the input is made, Sheik goes through a quick animation that you cannot act out of (leaning back slightly and moving her arms). this lasts only a few frames, about as long as the window you have to input a B-reverse.

2) Once the startup animation is over, Sheik begins generating needles. You can leave this state with any of the following inputs:
  • Shield*
  • Grab
  • Roll
  • B (throw needles)
*: inputting shield while charging needles does not make you shield, it just cancels the move. Once the move is canceled Sheik goes through another short animation (standing back up), after which you are in the default "standing around doing nothing" state, from which you can perform any action. Most people aren't used to quickly tapping the shield button and end up holding it too long, so when the move has been canceled they are still holding shield and the game responds accordingly.
EDIT: this isn't 100% accurate. A true INC skips the cancel animation, allowing you to instantly transition to a shield state or a buffered attack. Read my posts on the next page of this thread for a more accurate analysis of this aspect of the technique.

NOTE: Any other input does "nothing". Read on to see why I used quotation marks.

3) As a special, this move can be B-reversed. If you aren't familiar with B reversing, see this video guide by the YouTube channel "My Smash Corner": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vw1elkJwtDo
This allows you to instantly change direction and reverse your momentum, whether you are in the air or on the ground.

4) While in the air, if you cancel the move you will be forced to air dodge (I guess this move needs to have at least one downside)

5) If you land on the ground while charging needles, the transition between the aerial and grounded version of the move is instant. (So long, downside!)

The startup and cancel animations I mentioned above are very short, just a few frames each.

The core of this technique is exploiting the great frame data of this move, and the fact that you can initiate it while running, to drastically reduce the time it takes you to transition from running to the "standing around doing nothing" state. The transition is so quick you can begin an attack while you still have some momentum left over from before you initiated neutral B. This makes the move work similarly to Fox and Falco's reflector ("Shine") from Melee, which was a special move with great startup speed, that could be canceled quickly by jumping out of it. While Sheik's needles are not nearly as good an attack as Melee's Shine, it's quick startup and exit frames make it almost as exploitable, so it should allow for a similarly large number of advanced techniques.


The basic idea of canceling your run with the needles requires just 3 inputs:
Run -> Neutral B -> Shield cancel
But this is just the basics, there are hundreds, if not thousands of permutations of this technique, involving B-reversing, Wave Bouncing (a double B reverse that changes momentum but not orientation), low latency air to ground transitions, and of course, the ability to perform literally any action after canceling the neutral B. (Also, if we want to get crazy, we may be able to boost the distance Sheik slides by glide tossing a fallen grenade, or jump canceling an up smash)

While the technique works by canceling neutral B with shield and then doing whatever you want, tronfox64 has been executing it by making the attack input before the shield cancel. This is why I used quotation marks in my note about inputs earlier, any input that doesn't cause you to roll, grab, or throw needles, will still enter the input buffer*. By buffering an action like Ftilt during the charge animation when it cannot be performed, then quickly exiting the animation, the game engine will automatically execute the Ftilt immediately after the cancel animation. This trick is not necessary, but it guarantees that your next action will be frame perfect, and makes it less likely that you will accidentally cancel the animation into a grab by inputting Shield + A at the same time (I think the C stick input also avoids this, but hey, I'm doing this all on a 3ds).

*For anyone not familiar with input buffering: Smash 4 has an 10 frame input buffer, meaning you can input your next action up to 10 frames before it can actually be executed. For example, if you launched while at high damage, you can input a jump up to 10 frames (1/6th of a second) before you would leave hit stun, and the game will automatically have you jump on the first frame you are out of hit stun. The needle startup animation is only about 7 frames, so we don't quite get the whole 10 frames to make our inputs.


Bear in mind that these are just my findings and hypotheses, I may be misunderstanding how something works or overlooking some potential limitations of the technique. Please correct me if you see any mistakes, and if you think my explanation of something could be better, let me know.

Finally, I know it's been said before, but huge props to tronfox64 for finding this, realizing its potential, and putting in the leg work to show what's possible. The potential applications of this are huge, eventually it may become the most important tech skill for competitive Sheik players in smash 4.

EDIT:
I added a warning to my description of shield canceling to indicate that the information is incomplete, and revised some of the numbers in my description of input buffering. Much of the information in this post is good, but there's a reason this thread kept going. We still don't have a perfect understanding of how INC works, so the earlier posts in this thread may contain some bad, or incomplete, analysis. If you are serious about learning how this works, read every post.
 
Last edited:

tronfox64

Smash Cadet
Joined
May 14, 2015
Messages
72
Location
CT, USA - East Coast
#31
@ Y YGK I think that mostly sums up it's properties. I don't think its quite an 11 frame buffer window like everything else (possibly because the whole combination of inputs has to be done in less time anyways), but otherwise seems pretty spot on. Being able to guarantee a frame perfect cancel (with the remaining dash momentum as you say) is why it can be used so effectively.

On a side note, I've gotten pretty good at non reversed canceled attacks, and have even netted some kills online out of running Dtilts > Uairs ^^. Also, being able to fake a dash attack and instead start a jab attack has been incredibly useful for me in for glory. I think i've finally reached that plateau of being able to reliably use it in actual battle. Now if only the rest of my sheik was on Zero's level...

Edit: I recommend turning off the A + B = Smash Attack function as well for this. This makes pressing A for running jabs much easier, as otherwise you will often use a Fsmash, at least while practicing.
 
Last edited:

YGK

Smash Cadet
Joined
Jan 23, 2015
Messages
55
Location
Minneapolis, MN
#32
@ Y YGK I think that mostly sums up it's properties. I don't think its quite an 11 frame buffer window like everything else (possibly because the whole combination of inputs has to be done in less time anyways), but otherwise seems pretty spot on. Being able to guarantee a frame perfect cancel (with the remaining dash momentum as you say) is why it can be used so effectively.

On a side note, I've gotten pretty good at non reversed canceled attacks, and have even netted some kills online out of running Dtilts > Uairs ^^. Also, being able to fake a dash attack and instead start a jab attack has been incredibly useful for me in for glory. I think i've finally reached that plateau of being able to reliably use it in actual battle. Now if only the rest of my sheik was on Zero's level...
Thanks for bringing that up; the game has an 11 10 frame input buffer, but the actual window in which you need to make the correct input is a bit smaller, since the input still needs to be in the buffer when the cancel animation ends. I don't know exactly how long that animation is, but you probably have 5-9 frames to input the attack you want to use and tap shield. It gets even tougher if you want to buffer a compound action like a short hop aerial or a jump canceled up smash. I still mess up running neutral B's a lot of the time, so it may be a while until I can really make use of this.

If anyone is trying to learn how to do this, I strongly suggest breaking it down into fragments, and practicing them separately. Effectively using this technique means reliably executing 2-3 difficult maneuvers in a row, don't try to learn them all at once, or even in a row, they are separate skills that happen to go together well, but are useful on their own. Here are the "components" as I see them:
  • Neutral B while running
  • Canceling without shielding
  • Canceling as soon as possible
  • Buffering inputs, [optional, but makes your moves reliably frame perfect]
  • B reversing
  • Canceling an aerial needle charge as soon as you land
These are not in any particular order, but your practice will be made much easier if you learn to reliably use Neutral B while running first, besides that one element, I suggest practicing these in a random order. When you learn things in a certain sequence, your memory depends partially on that sequence (like little kids who need to sing the alphabet song to remember all the letters). If you only practice B reversing a running neutral B, you will have a hard time B reversing an aerial neutral B. Treat all of these as separate skills and learn to do them independently, and you will be much better at customizing the sequence in the middle of a fight.

EDIT: I remembered wrong, the input buffer is 10 frames according to ssbwiki: http://www.ssbwiki.com/Buffer
 
Last edited:

YGK

Smash Cadet
Joined
Jan 23, 2015
Messages
55
Location
Minneapolis, MN
#33
Looks like some engine changes in the latest patch have eliminated the sliding effect we get from running needles, or diminished it enough that it wont carry over any significant momentum to the next move. The tech still allows us to use any move out of a full run, which is very powerful, but the movement options are a bit more limited now.
 

_Tree

The no-more hero
Joined
Oct 5, 2014
Messages
333
Location
Australia
3DS FC
1891-1276-1936
NNID
DekuBaba
#34
This tech stills works. The sliding effect isn't really diminished, it's just that we can't slide off edges anymore.
 

YGK

Smash Cadet
Joined
Jan 23, 2015
Messages
55
Location
Minneapolis, MN
#35
Hmm, perhaps it's just my execution, but I can't seem to get nearly as much of a sliding effect as I remember getting yesterday, or can see in Tronfox's gifs. I'll keep trying, should be able to do some testing on Wii U soonish.
 

tronfox64

Smash Cadet
Joined
May 14, 2015
Messages
72
Location
CT, USA - East Coast
#36
Hmm, perhaps it's just my execution, but I can't seem to get nearly as much of a sliding effect as I remember getting yesterday, or can see in Tronfox's gifs. I'll keep trying, should be able to do some testing on Wii U soonish.
I'm still able to do the grounded versions the same as pre-patch. Only thing that seems effected is using it to drop from platforms as quickly since now you have to wait until your mid air to activate needles.
 
Last edited:

YGK

Smash Cadet
Joined
Jan 23, 2015
Messages
55
Location
Minneapolis, MN
#37
It seems I was a victim of the usual patch-induced placebo effect. Once I switched to playing on my Wii U the slide effect looked much more pronounced, I guess that's the problem with comparing results on the 3ds to gifs captured on Wii U: the animations, character models, and camera angle are slightly different, so things may not match up visually, even if they work the same.

As Tronfox and _Tree have said not being able to slide off platforms with needles obviously won't be that big a deal, but it does make this tech a little less useful around platforms. Running off a platform for a B reverse needle landing tilt takes a little bit longer and doesn't put you quite as far under the platform as it used to (you need to actually run off the platform before you can use a B reverse to change your momentum, whereas before you could do it just before leaving the platform). The difference is small, but theoretically relevant; something to pay attention to if they ever revert special ledge mechanics to the way they worked before.

Now that I've finally had some time to practice this on a GC controller, I've definitely found it beneficial to map a trigger button to specials, and the C stick to attack ("tilt-sticking"). I always shield with R and use L for something else (usually grab, jump for Peach and now special for Sheik. Even in Melee I only use L to wavedash). If anyone is trying to learn this AT I strongly suggest using similar bindings, especially if you use the gamepad or a pro controller which give you an extra shoulder button and a more convenient C stick.

Tronfox had mentioned that he has more consistent results if he holds special while making his other inputs. I don't think this has anything to do with the game engine, but I think it is true. GC controller triggers are quite "deep", so releasing one is a relatively significant move of the fingers, which makes the inputs that much more complicated. Keeping the trigger down simplifies things a little so you can focus more on properly buffering your attack and immediately canceling needles.

On the subject of buffering + canceling, I don't believe anyone has really dissected the correct ordering and timing of inputs for this step, and I think I can:

As mentioned earlier in the thread, you can make an input just before canceling needles and the game engine will automatically execute it on the earliest possible frame after you've canceled the needle animation. In order to do this you must make your input within (10 - N) frames of hitting shield to cancel, where N is the number of frames it takes to cancel the needle animation (can't find the exact number, but I think it's at least 3).

Making things more complicated is the fact that you cannot buffer a shield input to cancel the needle animation during it's startup frames; if you could the inputs would just be [B -> Attack -> Shield] as quickly as possible, but that doesn't work, so the inputs must be [B -> wait a few frames -> Attack -> Shield].

Additionally, there must be at least one frame of separation between your buffered input and the shield input, otherwise the game will read it as [Shield+A = Grab] and you will perform a standing grab instead of the attack you wanted. If there is too much time between the inputs you will simply cancel needles and Sheik will just stand there (or put up her shield if you are still holding that button).

To get the most out of this technique you will have to practice making the inputs quickly and precisely, but there are a few tricks you can use to make things a bit easier, like the controller bindings mentioned earlier, and holding the special trigger down while you make the rest of your inputs. I'd also like to point out that you can easily input jabs and up/down tilts (or smashes) with the joystick and A since these inputs on their own won't cause the needle animation to cancel, while a side tilt/smash using the joystick will cause you to roll. (technically, you can input a Ftilt with the left joystick without causing a roll, but the movement required is very subtle and messing it up changes your awesome needle canceled Ftilt into an easily punished roll). Using the joystick and A to input your attacks can be quite helpful if, like me, you find yourself making input errors with the C stick, or (also like me) your C stick sometimes fails to completely reset to neutral and won't work until you adjust it.
 

YGK

Smash Cadet
Joined
Jan 23, 2015
Messages
55
Location
Minneapolis, MN
#40
@ TheReflexWonder TheReflexWonder : I was just wondering if there was a good way to do a grounded wavebounce. This just gives Sheik one more spacing option out of a dash, so you can effectively use any attack in any direction with a bit momentum added in. A Sheik player whose mastered this has access to a ridiculous amount of options while approaching; in theory there is no truly safe option for the defending player, if you correctly read their response Sheik has at least one good way to punish it.

So we can pseudo wavedash back down tilt now?
Yes. We can also wavedash forward with it, which I think may be a lot better; sliding at the opponent while crouching and putting out a hitbox prone to shield poking, with low cool down and good follow ups. It basically gives Sheik a way safer dash attack.
 
Top