Q&A Pikachu Q&A Thread (Ask a Quick Question, Get a Quick Answer)

Shram

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Why does skull bash sometimes hit backwards instead of forwards? Does anybody know?
 

A10theHero

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Why does skull bash sometimes hit backwards instead of forwards? Does anybody know?
Under what circumstances are you talking about?
In general, the only way you could accidentally go the wrong way was if you moved the control stick in the opposite direction when inputting Skull Bash. Otherwise it should go normally.
 

Shram

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Under what circumstances are you talking about?
In general, the only way you could accidentally go the wrong way was if you moved the control stick in the opposite direction when inputting Skull Bash. Otherwise it should go normally.
Not the direction you fly, the direction that your opponent is launched.
 

A10theHero

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Not the direction you fly, the direction that your opponent is launched.
I do not know the exact circumstances of when that happens, but the one time this happened to me was when I was very close to my opponent. Was it a similar situation for you?
 

Shram

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I do not know the exact circumstances of when that happens, but the one time this happened to me was when I was very close to my opponent. Was it a similar situation for you?
Yes, I'm guessing the hitbox activates just a little after pikachu moves but I thought it had happened from a distance before as well. I could be wrong.
 

A10theHero

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Yes, I'm guessing the hitbox activates just a little after pikachu moves but I thought it had happened from a distance before as well. I could be wrong.
If I have time when I get back from college next weekend, I'll test it. Or if someone else can take a look at it beforehand, that'd be good too.
 

Insightful

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Is there any general thread that explains pika's optimal combos & approaches on every character? Pls link me, I can't find any..
 

A10theHero

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Is there any general thread that explains pika's optimal combos & approaches on every character? Pls link me, I can't find any..
Unfortunately, there is no such thread. You could look at the matchup threads and see what's been said about how to face each character though. However, those threads are incomplete, so the amount of stuff you'll find there is pretty limited, but it's the best we got. Sorry.
Though now that we're not getting any more patches, it might be a good time to actually work on those matchup threads again. When I have time, I'll try and get those started up again. :)
 

flieskiller

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Hello guys. Other than Umbra Clock Tower, is there any other better omega stages for Pika? I'm thinking of using omega Halberd because of how the part under the stage is too flat so the opponent can't recover while Pika can, and pika can side-b under the stage to quick attack on the other side. (the ruletset where I am is any omega stage as counterpick)

edit: after testings, Robin can slide under Lylat, but not under Halberd with his up-b, so replaced Lylat Cruise with Halberd..
 
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Shaymin slicker

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Does ledge trumping benefit Pikachu in anyway? I've been trying to find a way to use it, but I haven't found any use for it yet.
 

A10theHero

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Why does skull bash sometimes hit backwards instead of forwards? Does anybody know?
So I did some testing last night. If the hitbox in front of Pikachu's head is not the first to connect, then the opponent will be sent backwards. When you're fairly close to your opponent, it's likely that one of the hitboxes around his body will make contact first, and this will cause them to be sent in the other direction.

Hello guys. Other than Umbra Clock Tower, is there any other better omega stages for Pika? I'm thinking of using omega Halberd because of how the part under the stage is too flat so the opponent can't recover while Pika can, and pika can side-b under the stage to quick attack on the other side. (the ruletset where I am is any omega stage as counterpick)

edit: after testings, Robin can slide under Lylat, but not under Halberd with his up-b, so replaced Lylat Cruise with Halberd..
Omega Umbra is definitely your best bet. Halberd is alright too for the reason you already stated. We don't get as much from any other Omega stage. The benefits are strictly matchup dependent with a somewhat limited effect. Like, if you're facing characters with bad recoveries who can wall jump (ie. Little Mac and Cloud), do not take them to an Omega stage with walls. Otherwise, walls are useful for extending your edgeguarding. And omega stages without walls, other then allowing us to Skull Bash underneath them to the other side, can lead to some pretty awkward stage spikes with bair. Though a skilled opponent is likely to be able to tech those anyways, so the utility of that benefit diminishes rapidly as you move up in the ranks.

Does ledge trumping benefit Pikachu in anyway? I've been trying to find a way to use it, but I haven't found any use for it yet.
There are some uses for it. Like, if your opponent jumps to get back onto the stage/ledge, you can hit them with an aerial. And if immediately after being trumped, they use an aerial in response, you can trade with them.
If you know that they are going to grab the ledge again, you can use something ESAM was practicing. If you're fast enough, you should get back onto the stage, jump and Thunder (so that the bolt will hit the opponent when they grab the ledge again; remember that they won't have their invulnerability), and then jump and use Thunder again offstage. The first bolt sends them in an optimal position to hit with the cloud of the second Thunder.
Another option is to get up back onto the stage, and then hit them with an up tilt when they grab the ledge. Depending on your spacing, it will either stage spike them or set up for a jab lock. I've done this a few times in the past and it's really satisfying, lol.
Finally, here's an option I've been trying out recently. I don't have a video or gif to show it, so this'll be a little difficult to explain. To try and compensate for that, I made a quick little image:
Potential LT Followup--Quick Attack Cancel to Nair.png

When you have trumped your opponent, get off the ledge and Quick Attack towards the stage and back. If you do it right, it will be a Quick Attack Cancel. Immediately input a nair. If during this time, your opponent grabs the ledge, they will be stage spiked. Otherwise, they will likely be hit by the nair. I don't think this will work against the entire cast in all situations, but it should be looked into--it could potentially still be useful.
 

Insightful

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Has anyone ever just watched an Esam match & try to understand why he does certain things?

The reason why I ask this is because he is obviously the best Pika player right now so I try to watch all of his matches and dissect each of them to understand match ups.

Against floaty characters, he usually doesn't seem to fast fall fair unless he wants a grab and he doesn't seem to use up tilt much either & I understand that but what confuses me

Why exactly does he use back air sometimes after up air or sometimes nair? Is it percent dependent or something? Because I'm pretty sure both of them are guaranteed. I know no one can think exactly like him but some insight would help me. Just trying to understand stuff better overall.
 

Valamway

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The normal FAF for Jab is 22, but what is the special case FAF for Jab into itself?
I can't find that answer, but maybe I'm wording it wrong in my searches.
 

Murlough

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I am looking for a secondary for Mewtwo.

My most difficult match-ups with him is Game & Watch and DK. How does Pika handle those?
 

A10theHero

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I am looking for a secondary for Mewtwo.

My most difficult match-ups with him is Game & Watch and DK. How does Pika handle those?
Overall, Pikachu does pretty well against DK. It's pretty easy for him to quickly rack up damage. Challenging DK's up special can be a little difficult though--fortunately, Pikachu's projectiles can sorta alleviate that problem. Most importantly, you have to be careful because DK's strength allows him to punish Pikachu hard. Though since you play Mewtwo, you probably already understand the con of being a light character pretty well.
Against Game & Watch, it's more iffy. Bucket is a legitimate move to be wary of though it is pretty punishable when baited. Game & Watch's aerials, especially that disjointed bair, can give Pikachu a hard time. Not to mention that he can be difficult to edgeguard as well. I could see that matchup being even or slightly in favor of either one of them. In ESAM's opinion, it's slightly in favor of Game & Watch. Make what you will of that.
I hope this helped! :)
 

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Just wondering: Do you consider Pika to be a solo viable character? And what matchups does he struggle with the most and by how much?
 

A10theHero

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Just wondering: Do you consider Pika to be a solo viable character? And what matchups does he struggle with the most and by how much?
Possibly.

The ones people rate as Pikachu's worst matchups are Mario, Ness, and Sheik.
Pikachu's worst matchup seems to be against Mario. In general, people rate it either -1 or -2. ESAM thinks it's 40:60 and worth having a secondary for. ANTi rated it as -1 for Pikachu. Against Ness, opinions typically range from even to -2. FOW rated it as even while ESAM put it as 40:60. With Sheik, opinions range from even to disadvantaged. ESAM thinks it's 45:55.

I suppose an honorable mention is Mr. Game & Watch. ESAM sees it as slightly disadvantaged (45:55). Opinions on this matchup range from slightly advantaged to slightly disadvantaged. Make what you will of that. :drshrug:

From my personal experience, the Ness, Sheik, and G&W matchups all seem doable. As for Mario, it's complicated. His aerials and up smash can beat out Pikachu's aerial game. Something I've personally wondered is if playing Pikachu with a more grounded playstyle (relying mostly on tilts and using aerials only for combos, reads, and edgeguards) could help make that matchup more bearable. Along with that, initial invincibility aside, Mario's recovery is not that great and edgeguarding him could lead to early deaths. (The hard part would be getting him off-stage in the first place, which is where the grounded playstyle would apply.) However, since ESAM is gonna use Corrin now, we're not really gonna have a chance to see this matchup played out at a top level ever again, so we'll never really know if this idea would work or not. Thus, a secondary could be useful for this matchup.

Given that's there's effectively only one matchup where you might want to have a secondary, for the most part, you could go solo Pikachu and do pretty well. I guess it depends on how many Mario players attend tournaments in your area and if you want to get a secondary or not for them. And that is why I say possibly.
 

Soul.

 
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Lately I've been hearing MK beats Pikachu, and honestly he probably does. Pika's small range means MK can keep it out with his disjoints, as well as KO earlier. Also, he doesn't care much for QA with fsmash existing. I think some put it as even though.

The rest all seem like they're doable, however I don't think the Mario MU is bad enough to be -2. Advantage in his favor for sure, but yeah.
 
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A10theHero

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I can see vs MK being even. Pikachu has the better neutral, imo. And then MK is better at killing. However, if Pikachu is out of the window for death from uairs to up B, he'll be harder to kill. And MK using his disjoints to hit Pikachu would end up working against him in this case. And they're both hard to edgeguard (though it's slightly easier for Pikachu to edgeguard MK).
Also, Meta Knight doesn't have a projectile, so technically, Pikachu could potentially outrange Meta Knight as a result.
In addition, forward smash hits in front of Meta Knight, so QA would only be beaten by that if you go straight into his face.
 

Hero_2_All

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Possibly.

The ones people rate as Pikachu's worst matchups are Mario, Ness, and Sheik.
Pikachu's worst matchup seems to be against Mario. In general, people rate it either -1 or -2. ESAM thinks it's 40:60 and worth having a secondary for. ANTi rated it as -1 for Pikachu. Against Ness, opinions typically range from even to -2. FOW rated it as even while ESAM put it as 40:60. With Sheik, opinions range from even to disadvantaged. ESAM thinks it's 45:55.

I suppose an honorable mention is Mr. Game & Watch. ESAM sees it as slightly disadvantaged (45:55). Opinions on this matchup range from slightly advantaged to slightly disadvantaged. Make what you will of that. :drshrug:

From my personal experience, the Ness, Sheik, and G&W matchups all seem doable. As for Mario, it's complicated. His aerials and up smash can beat out Pikachu's aerial game. Something I've personally wondered is if playing Pikachu with a more grounded playstyle (relying mostly on tilts and using aerials only for combos, reads, and edgeguards) could help make that matchup more bearable. Along with that, initial invincibility aside, Mario's recovery is not that great and edgeguarding him could lead to early deaths. (The hard part would be getting him off-stage in the first place, which is where the grounded playstyle would apply.) However, since ESAM is gonna use Corrin now, we're not really gonna have a chance to see this matchup played out at a top level ever again, so we'll never really know if this idea would work or not. Thus, a secondary could be useful for this matchup.

Given that's there's effectively only one matchup where you might want to have a secondary, for the most part, you could go solo Pikachu and do pretty well. I guess it depends on how many Mario players attend tournaments in your area and if you want to get a secondary or not for them. And that is why I say possibly.
w8 esam is dropping pika for corrin? If this is true source pls.
 

Soul.

 
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I can see vs MK being even. Pikachu has the better neutral, imo. And then MK is better at killing. However, if Pikachu is out of the window for death from uairs to up B, he'll be harder to kill. And MK using his disjoints to hit Pikachu would end up working against him in this case. And they're both hard to edgeguard (though it's slightly easier for Pikachu to edgeguard MK). Also, Meta Knight doesn't have a projectile, so technically, Pikachu could potentially outrange Meta Knight as a result.

In addition, forward smash hits in front of Meta Knight, so QA would only be beaten by that if you go straight into his face.
MUs honestly fluctuate themselves every time, so I can understand people calling it even.

Onstage seems annoying for both characters because they have safe moves (down tilt for Pika, dash attack for MK) but one conversion from MK and it's either a lot of damage or KO. Though apparently up air combo is hard to get on Pika. It does get really nice damage on him due to his fall speed though, and when offstage Jolts can kinda make him uncomfortable when recovering so he'll either recover horizontally or use Down B.

Also, yeah, I forgot about forward smash hitting only in front of him. Seems like you can jump over and punish lol

I do agree with Pikachu having the better neutral, but don't you think it has to win that a lot in this MU? Interesting how so far in a few matches I've seen people stand on the ledge and camp because MK can't start his combo there.

w8 esam is dropping pika for corrin? If this is true source pls.
He's only getting a secondary.
 

Hero_2_All

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MUs honestly fluctuate themselves every time, so I can understand people calling it even.

Onstage seems annoying for both characters because they have safe moves (down tilt for Pika, dash attack for MK) but one conversion from MK and it's either a lot of damage or KO. Though apparently up air combo is hard to get on Pika. It does get really nice damage on him due to his fall speed though, and when offstage Jolts can kinda make him uncomfortable when recovering so he'll either recover horizontally or use Down B.

Also, yeah, I forgot about forward smash hitting only in front of him. Seems like you can jump over and punish lol

I do agree with Pikachu having the better neutral, but don't you think it has to win that a lot in this MU? Interesting how so far in a few matches I've seen people stand on the ledge and camp because MK can't start his combo there.


He's only getting a secondary.
ya saw the video its for the mario match up
 

A10theHero

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I'm double posting because I can. :p
MUs honestly fluctuate themselves every time, so I can understand people calling it even.

Onstage seems annoying for both characters because they have safe moves (down tilt for Pika, dash attack for MK) but one conversion from MK and it's either a lot of damage or KO. Though apparently up air combo is hard to get on Pika. It does get really nice damage on him due to his fall speed though, and when offstage Jolts can kinda make him uncomfortable when recovering so he'll either recover horizontally or use Down B.

Also, yeah, I forgot about forward smash hitting only in front of him. Seems like you can jump over and punish lol

I do agree with Pikachu having the better neutral, but don't you think it has to win that a lot in this MU? Interesting how so far in a few matches I've seen people stand on the ledge and camp because MK can't start his combo there.
Isn't MK's Dash Attack unsafe on shield?
I dunno about winning neutral constantly being a problem. If anything, you can just rack up damage to get the lead and then start edge camping. You can punish them if they try and mess with you after that. Even if you make a mistake in that, you'll be alright for the most part. And if you're successful and that punish takes them offstage, that's an even easier place to rack up damage with Pikachu.
 

w0ah

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Just wondering: Do you consider Pika to be a solo viable character? And what matchups does he struggle with the most and by how much?
Personally I think Rosalina is the best option for a secondary. I say this lots but she destroys Ness and does well vs Mario.
 

Funkermonster

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I'm double posting because I can. :p

Isn't MK's Dash Attack unsafe on shield?
I dunno about winning neutral constantly being a problem. If anything, you can just rack up damage to get the lead and then start edge camping. You can punish them if they try and mess with you after that. Even if you make a mistake in that, you'll be alright for the most part. And if you're successful and that punish takes them offstage, that's an even easier place to rack up damage with Pikachu.
Kind of yes and no. In my experience, MK's dash attack is safe if he manages to cross up with it and boost past your shield, but if he doesn't crossup he's pretty vulnerable. I've been able to punish it with :4megaman:'s Up Smash OoS, and although I don't really play Pika I'll bet you could probably just Nair or Shieldgrab it.

Could just be my opponents being too slow, though.


On a side note, would anybody here have experience in the Pika/Mega Man matchup and could you possibly give me your thoughts on it? Or perhaps some advice on fighting Pika in general? I dunno if I really think its a losing MU, but I feel I as though I don't quite understand Pika enough yet and its always a wild ride whenever I meet one. Can't stand fighting him, personally, but I think that maybe if I can learn the MU better some of my grievances will go away the next time I have to play one in bracket.
 

A10theHero

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Kind of yes and no. In my experience, MK's dash attack is safe if he manages to cross up with it and boost past your shield, but if he doesn't crossup he's pretty vulnerable. I've been able to punish it with :4megaman:'s Up Smash OoS, and although I don't really play Pika I'll bet you could probably just Nair or Shieldgrab it.

Could just be my opponents being too slow, though.
Thanks for the info! :)

On a side note, would anybody here have experience in the Pika/Mega Man matchup and could you possibly give me your thoughts on it? Or perhaps some advice on fighting Pika in general? I dunno if I really think its a losing MU, but I feel I as though I don't quite understand Pika enough yet and its always a wild ride whenever I meet one. Can't stand fighting him, personally, but I think that maybe if I can learn the MU better some of my grievances will go away the next time I have to play one in bracket.
I was about to check out our Mega Man matchup thread but then I realized it's one of the 30+ matchup threads that doesn't exist. :lol:
In my personal experience, the goal for Mega Man should be to box Pikachu in with projectiles and punish his reactions. The problem then is that Pikachu has Quick Attack to escape pressure. However, if you make proper accommodations for that, you should still be able to properly punish him.
I like Megaman's fair and bair in this matchup. Good disjoints like those can give Pikachu a hard time.
Pikachu players generally like to approach with fair, which isn't usually safe on shield. An OoS Up Smash is a good punish for that move.
Sorry, I know this all sounds pretty general; my knowledge on the matchup is pretty limited. >.<
 

Shram

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Lately I've been hearing MK beats Pikachu, and honestly he probably does. Pika's small range means MK can keep it out with his disjoints, as well as KO earlier. Also, he doesn't care much for QA with fsmash existing. I think some put it as even though.

The rest all seem like they're doable, however I don't think the Mario MU is bad enough to be -2. Advantage in his favor for sure, but yeah.
I find the matchup 55-45 in pikachu's favour actually.
Meta Knight has 2 approaches he can throw out, dash attack and grab. Both of them are beatable by pikachu's autocancelled dair.
Some characters are too short to be hit by dair (like Sonic's Spindash), and other characters have such a high hitbox that it trades with it. (like Captain Falcon's dash attack)

But Meta Knight has the perfect dash attack height so that he'll get hit by dair at any point in its animation, but his dash attack shouldn't trade often.
 

w0ah

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On a side note, would anybody here have experience in the Pika/Mega Man matchup and could you possibly give me your thoughts on it? Or perhaps some advice on fighting Pika in general? I dunno if I really think its a losing MU, but I feel I as though I don't quite understand Pika enough yet and its always a wild ride whenever I meet one. Can't stand fighting him, personally, but I think that maybe if I can learn the MU better some of my grievances will go away the next time I have to play one in bracket.
Watch out for grabs. Megaman has a fall speed thats combo food for Pika. Wall him out with disjoints, you shouldn't approach unless you're being camped out. The most I can say is just general knowledge.
 
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Cassio

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So I know thunder comes out frame 13 or so, but does anyone know how soon youre able to press thunder so that itll still come out? Will it come out as long as you can get the input or are there a few frames it can be interupted?

Pikabunz Pikabunz or whoever may have the data
 

Cassio

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Thunder starts on frame 2.
ty ty

Also nice work on this chart:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1Rn4WRJJMc_pzKnyprpfhj2Uhm1zB0DvBAmJkslqs5j4/edit#gid=0

Not sure if you remember but I said something about this awhile ago
If you fast fall fair when you land a hit the timing is more lenient for whatever reason.
Glad to see theres research to back it up. Some questions I have:
1. Does the min and max have to do with rage or something else?
2. If I pop the opponent up and they hit the ground, does frame advantage include the time it takes for them to hit the ground? For instance if they are in hitstun and it takes them 3 frames to hit the ground does the advantage include those 3 frames or add onto it?
The reason I ask is bc almost every time fair > usmash works it usually pops them up but not high enough for them to jump away, so theyre forced to fall for awhile then get usmashed.

Also sort of a hint embedded in that quote I posted but you can sort of control when you get the spike or raise hit, if you wait to fast fall at the last second youll pop them up into the spike hit then fast fall. Getting the rising hit you want (sometimes it raises them too high) is harder imo but this new info might be able to help once I can test stuff.

Looks like peeps figured out utilt thunder and other stuff too. Gonna have more stuff once I make it back unless yall figure everything out, lol.
 

Pikabunz

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1. The min and max has to do with your height when you hit with fair. The closer you are to the ground with the last hit, the more frame advantage you get.
2. Hitstun from the air to the ground is shared. Also, landing on the ground adds 1 frame of hitstun, which is why the spike hit gives 1 extra frame advantage over the popup hit. So let's say you do a popup hit with fair that does 20 frames of hitstun, if they're in the air for 15 frames and land, then the remained 5 frames of hitstun will be on the ground plus 1 more frame for landing.
 

Cassio

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1. The min and max has to do with your height when you hit with fair. The closer you are to the ground with the last hit, the more frame advantage you get.
2. Hitstun from the air to the ground is shared. Also, landing on the ground adds 1 frame of hitstun, which is why the spike hit gives 1 extra frame advantage over the popup hit. So let's say you do a popup hit with fair that does 20 frames of hitstun, if they're in the air for 15 frames and land, then the remained 5 frames of hitstun will be on the ground plus 1 more frame for landing.
Great thank you. I guess something to consider is that if theyre in the air they dont have a fast option like shield and only a few will have fast aerials with a good low hitbox, and even jumping will take time for them to get away if theyre close to you. I think thats the best explanation for why I feel like certain pop ups can lead to usmash most often, or maybe im just crazy, lol.
 

Pikabunz

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No, you're right about that. Jumping or using an aerial takes more time than shielding, so that kind of adds to your frame advantage.

Also, one thing I want to mention is if you do a popup hit on your opponent and their hitstun wears off 1 frame before they hit the ground, then they're forced to land and suffer from their heavy landing lag.
 

fatespeon_pika

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I'm not sure if this is a legit question here but, is there a discord chat or a chat here on smashboards for pikachu mains. I'm a pikachu main myself and I feel lonely hehe. Btw I"m new here so I'm not sure if this is the place to ask this question.
 
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