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What are some Pikachu basics?


Smash Journeyman
Mar 31, 2017
ur mom
After playing with Jigglypuff a lot and doing better and better in tournaments, I've decided to pick up Pikachu as a secondary. He's fast, actually pretty good; I suck with him.

I have the very fundamentals down for him. Things like kill options, basic stage movement and some follow-ups and ledge guarding, but I can't get a hang of his recovery and Nair.

How does his recovery work? I want to go straight to the edge but it seems like with Fox and Falco it is hard to angle correctly, but you have so little time and have to do it accurately TWICE. What is the best way to use Nair and how to approach with it? I've never tried to focus time on another character before and want to still want to put time into my Jigglypuff.
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Smash Cadet
Mar 19, 2015
For the recovery, you just have to grind it out really, but there are a few "common angles" that you should practice and also know the positions from which you hit them. In particular the zap-to-ledge (from onstage, right followed by left/down or left followed by right/down), the Battlefield edge cancel (up then right or up then left to get a ledgecancel from the top platform on Battlefield), the back-and-forth jump steal (after backthrowing an opponent, upB right-then-left or left-then-right to punish their dj) and the invincible ledgestall (from ledge, drop down, jump, and up-B so that Pikachu regrabs the ledge without losing invulnerability; up-B is angled upwards and towards stage so you don't die if you miss the ledge). There are a couple of other tricks like this you can find on Youtube. Recovering to the top platform is useful. Landlag is awful (24 frames) but ledge-cancelled up-B is IMO the best recovery option in the game. If your up-B ends super high the landlag is only 4 frames (if Pikachu starts flashing before he touches the ground) which can be useful if you're desperate. Airdodge is a decent recovery option because Pikachu's landfallspeciallag is so low.

Side-B has two "lengths": one where you "tap" the control stick as you press B and one where you don't. Tapping makes it go further. Further is not always better because it can put you within range of an edgeguard. Charged side-B is nearly always wrong unless you're punishing Rest on a Puff you can't kill.

For nair, it's really about catching your opponent slipping. If your nair is predictable you get hit. So the biggest part of hitting with nair is probably short hopping out of your dashdance on reaction when your opponent makes a mistake. Invincible nair from the ledge is the only real trick here and the timing's pretty tight. Weak nair is your best combo opener; strong nair is one of your best kill moves.

Wavedash back -> ftilt is crucial. If you can't do this well your opponents will just keep approaching for free. Downsmash is the easier defensive maneuver but it's punishable. Up-angled ftilt is also important for hitting a floating Peach or punishing a high side-B recovery by a spacie. UAFT is hard to hit (bc accidental uptilt or tapjump) so practice it.

Honestly though if you want to get better, stick to your main, or find a main you can stick to.


Smash Hero
Jun 13, 2007
College Park, MD
Approach with run up d-tilt, run up grab, SHFFL'd fair, SH auto cancelled uair, and running dsmash. Running nair is okay but not very strong until mid to high percents, when it can combo or send the opponent offstage for an edgeguard.

Note that Pikachu's jump squat is 3 frames, which means you have to let go of the jump button sooner if you want to short hop.

Rising uair is like your best thing in neutral, especially out of shield. Learn to use and abuse this.
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