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Up-Air guide


Smash Rookie
Jul 22, 2021
Yo what's going on SmashBoards it's your boy Raven

I'm not a super knowledgeable person but I do know a bit about Pikachu's Up-Air. Alot of people think it depends on WHERE Pikachu hits with the Up-Air but it actually depends WHEN he hits you. I realized that alot of players don't actually understand how the Up-Air works. So I thought I could talk about it to help future Pika Mains or people who wanna pick Pikachu up as a fun secondary. Well let's get right into it.

Frame Data

To start off Pikachu has 3 frame start up. With a total of 27 frames (26 frames of landing lag) but the only active frames are 3-8.

It doesn't matter WHERE Pikachu hits you but entirely WHEN he hits you. There are 3 different directions in which Pikachu's Up-Air may send his opponent. I highly recommended if you wanna learn how to follow up with Up-Air you learn different character's weights. Frames 3-4 (clean) will send his opponent straight up. Frames 5-6 (mid) will send his opponent down and in front of you. Frames 7-8 (late) will send his opponent down and behind you.

Up-Air has a base damage of 4.0%
With 13 frames of L-Cancel lag.
It won't I repeat WON'T auto cancel frames 3-17 in other words if you full hop and throw out a Up-Air after frames through 18-26 it will automatically cancel the landing lag.
His weight is- 80
and his PLA (Perfect Ledgedash Angle) has 13 Intangibility Frames.

How to learn to use Up-Air

It's gonna take some time to figure out how to utilize the Up-Air but like most things in Melee it takes time. Luckily playing as Pikachu you will throw out tons of Up-Airs. Eventually you will get the hang of it and just know how to use the move.

There 3 training methods to learn how use the Up-Air correctly. (I personally recommend trying all three but one may not be for you)

1: Insanity Application. I call this first method of training the Insanity Application because like the definition of insanity you do the same thing over and over. Unlike the tradition definition of insanity you will get slightly different results and will learn how to use the Up-Air efficiently. The way to to put this Up-Air to use is to go into 20XX or Uncle Punch and enable DI Draw with CPU no DI input. I suggest you do this on Yoshi's, FOD, or Battlefield to help incorporate platform tech. I would do movement drills such as Wavedashing, Dashdancing, Up-B, Waveshielding, Foxtrotting, and whatever else you use for movement and when you get near you opponent simply throw out a Up-Air. This will help you get a feel for Up-Air.

2: Shadow Boxing with Gif reference. Okay so here I am going to link a Gif so that you can see Pikachu's Hitbox clearly Hitbox looking at the gif you should be to see which parts of the Up-Air actually hit. For this training method it's simple in training with collision bubbles turned on throw out Up-Air and hit your CPU. Try to notice when your Up-Air actually lands its mark. I recommend getting a second controller and while in 20XX make your CPU jump and fall in a open space such as FD and save your state. Consistently load the save state and throw out Up-Air. You will be able to see when the Up-Air makes impact and will be able to decide how long to wait to know when to throw out Up-Air.

3: Mental/Raven (Yes I'm making this about me) frame counting. Okay so this one is a little odd sounding but this is how I personally learned. I recommend checking out Melee Frame Data this sight will help you learn every characters individual frame data for a move. Clicking the link will take you to Pikachu's Frame Data. Scroll down and find Up-Air click on the hitbox to pull up a frame by frame example of Up-Air. Look at each of the 3 different hits 3-4 (clean) 5-6 (mid) and 7-8 (late). Every hit comes in a 2 frame window. So while in Uncle Punch you can make tapping L do a frame by frame movement. Throw out Up-Air consistently and do a frame by frame analysis of what each frame looks like ( I suggest you turn off collision bubbles for this) while going frame by frame I count each individual frame aloud and make sure to focus on 2 frame intervals (like 1-2, 3-4, 5-6 etc.) It's not super important to do every frame mainly 1-8 I will count aloud to every 2 frame window as 1 2 1 2 1 2 1 2 (which would be frames 1-8) with the CONSTANT practice you should be able to visualize exactly what frame 3 or frame 8 looks like to you. So you can know hey this is what frames 7-8 look like and chase a Fox off stage, throw out Up-Air wait till you know frames 7-8 come out then make sure you collide on those frames to gimp that fox down and behind you. This may not be the method for you and I 100% GET IT.

I recommend trying these out on all of the common characters that you encounter in locals/Slippi and characters with special and unique weights. You don't need to master this against every character 1. Because you probably won't be running into to many Pichus 2. Characters like Zelda, Sheik, and Peach all weight the same (90) so I would personally just practice against Sheik.

The final part to how to use Up-Air

Okay now that you have your method and learned character weights and so on here is it way to learn to apply it- Go into 20XX Turn on DI draw with No DI Influence and decide what part of the Up-Air do I wanna hit my opponent with? Simply just go for it and repeat this OVER AND OVER AGAIN till you can consistently feel confident in your Up-Airs. This may take a very long time but when you feel that you've got it we can move on to polish those Up-Airs. Simply run Un-Ranked in Slippi and go for your Up-Airs with the intention of hitting your opponent with a certain 2 frame window. Tell yourself hey I wanna hit him up so I will hit frames 3-4 (Clean).

Follow Ups

Okay so I am not gonna act like I know the best way to follow up but I can tell you some of the follow ups that I have.
The Basis for these will always be that you wavedashed towards your opponent and Up-tilted them.

Going for Up-Air frames 3-4 - You know this will send your opponent straight up and you can follow up with lots of options such as another Up-Air, Down-B, Up-B etc. but I suggest after your first Up-Air 3-4 you use your double jump and follow their DI with a Dair. If they go offstage after the Dair you can follow up by either Fastfalling Bair to take the both of you out | Fastfall Up-Air | Fastfall to stage/ledge and edgeguard | OR Fastfall and with the first part of Up-B gimp your opponent by taking their jump and the second Up-B to ledge. If you opponent doesn't get knocked offstage you can chase with a Nair or Up-Air and keep control of Neutral.

Going for Up-Air frames 5-6 - Your opponent will be taken down and in front of you either hitting platform/stage/ or off stage. If they land on platform you can punish their tech with a Nair. If they land on stage I would start Dashdancing to bait out an attack and decide how you think to punish. If the character goes offstage you have some real options LedgeHog | Edgeguard the ledge with Nair or another Up-Air | Neutral B gimp | Edgeguard the ledge with F-Tilt.

Going for Up-Air Frames 7-8 - Now this one is a bit more difficult I recommend throwing out this Up-Air in neutral to throw off your opponents DI and mix up the game. I say if you are going to purposely throw out this Up-Air you should do it while holding the ledge or chasing someone off stage. Otherwise you can basically follow up like the frame 5-6 Up-Air.


Well I hope this was useful and that it can help out new/future Pikachu players if you have any questions feel free to ask. Thank you for your time and until next time it's been ya boy Raven peace out.
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