Q&A You Found the Hint Glasses! - Q&A and FAQ

Zelkam

Resident Wizard
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Hello, and welcome to the Link boards Q&A and FAQ thread! If you have any questions concerning Link in the latest installments of Super Smash Brothers then you’ve come to the right place. Before we get started, here’s a little bit of information about how this thread works.

This thread is split into four parts
  • Rules
  • FAQ
  • Q&A
  • Unanswered Questions
Please read through the rules before posting! I will try my best to keep the main page updated with all of the questions that have been asked, so use your browser’s search function by pressing CTRL+F before you ask a question to be sure that it hasn’t already been answered. Thank you!


Rules

For those asking a question:
  • Any questions concerning Link in Super Smash Brothers for 3DS and Wii U should be asked here. Please do not make a new thread!
  • Try to be as specific as possible when asking a question. If we can’t understand what you’re asking, we won’t be able to answer you properly.
  • If you have more than one question, please include them all in a single post. If you remember something after already submitting your post, use the edit feature. Please do not double post!
  • Please do not ask the same question more than once in an attempt to get a different answer just because you didn’t like the one we gave you. The people on this board have been dedicated to playing Link for a long time. We know what we’re talking about, trust us.
  • Remember that we are real people with real lives. We will try our best to answer questions in a timely manner, but occasionally other things get in the way. Please do not bump the thread because you feel you’re not getting an answer quick enough.

For those answering a question:
  • To prevent confusion, please quote the question you are answering.
  • Only respond to a question if you know the answer
  • Please answer questions with some substance and detail as to why that answer is the correct answer to his or her question.
  • It is perfectly acceptable to redirect someone to another thread or post if you feel it would best answer their question.
  • If you have something that either adds to or contradicts an answer that has already been given, please post it in a way that will not cause an argument. Remember that we are here to help the person who asked the question.
 
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Zelkam

Resident Wizard
Premium
Joined
Oct 8, 2014
Messages
881
Location
Knoxville, TN
Switch FC
1068-8431-0431
FAQ

Question: What are some tips on how to play Link?/Where can I find a list of Link’s AT’s?
This thread should have everything a new Link main needs to know: [Guide] It's Freakin' Link

Question: I’d like to start playing competitively. How can I find tournaments in my area?
You can click on the ‘events’ tab at the top of the page, or look in this thread here.

Question: What are Link's best custom special moves?
This is a video by NinjaLink where he showcases every custom special for Link so you can see the properties of each special even if you haven't unlocked them yet.

So, after personally testing the customs this is my opinion on each of them (I'll only talk about the customs, not vanilla specials, and all moves were tested on Mario in the middle of FD):

Neutral Special
Power Bow(2): I think this is a great custom since it gives Link an extra KO move but it comes with at a price (as most of Link's custom moves do). The arrow will only work as "an arrow" if fully drawn; if it's not fully drawn not only will the arrow be really slow but it also won't travel very far. In fact, if you simply tap the B button the arrow falls right at your feet. This means that Link has essentially lost one of his projectiles for his spam game, so if you're going to use the PB you need to be a lot more aggressive to compensate for that. However, the arrow still has quite a strong knockback even when not fully drawn, and yes, even when it falls at your feet (slightly more than the Gale I believe). So you can let it go before it's fully drawn and, if timed right or used appropriately you can hit your opponent with the arrow. Also, since the arrow falls tot he ground it could be used to hit opponent hanging from the ledge, but the knockback isn't that big and due to the hitlag of the PB it doesn't seem possible to capitalize on it.. This however is extremely situational and not to be counted on. There are other more effective and safer ways to attack hanging opponent.

The really interesting thing about this bow though is that if used to gimp someone, when fully drawn, that person is dead. The knockback is simply too big and if it doesn't kill them (so far every single gimp I've had with it ends in a KO) it should knock them back far enough as to make returning to the ledge impossible. The kill % is 90, so it is a very strong KO move.

As I said before though, this bow cannot be used against any character with a reflector, specially Fox (since he can just sit on his reflector indefinitely). The shot of the bow is extremely telegraphed and so your opponent will have enough time to reflect it in almost every case. I could still be used for mind games, but crippling our projectile game seems like too high a price to pay.


Quickfire Bow(3): This bow doesn't have a big range, but it goes through anything in it's path. So the shot only stops at a certain distance. In 1v1 this is important since, as NL's video shows, the arrow will cancel other projectiles and keep going. This could be good against some characters, but I don't see this strat working for long since the hitlag of putting the bow, while reduced, is still there which can lead to punishes. The damage is good at 8%, but it has no knockback nor it causes flinching so you are basically defenseless while spamming it. I usually say that it's just just like Fox's vanilla Laser, but worse due to the shorter range. I personally can't see any reason to use this bow since there just aren't enough perks to compensate for the downfalls. I do insist that we should keep testing this nonetheless since it could still be useful.

Side Special
Boomerang(2): This is the Smash 64 boomerang by all accounts. It has the same initial knockback as the Gale, but when it returns it has a single hitbox. This is great for extending combos, breaking combos, and setups since it's an extra hitbox out there that then opponent has to keep in mind even while attacking. It does more damage than the Gale (Gale does 6% - 7% and Boomerang does 8% - 9%). The knockback is ideal for follow up and setups since it seems to be a set knockback distance for damage ranges, and the angle is always horizontal at a nice height that allows for it to be comboed with a dash attack. This means that you can hit your opponent at blank range with the boomerang at 90% and follow with a tippered dash attack for an early kill. By comparison, the gale has a vertical knockback that even at early % becomes difficult to follow up with an aerial. When returning the boomerang has a jab like hitbox that causes 2% damage. It also has the exact same range or distance as the Gale.

This is a must, personally. The benefits of having this special over the Gale are simply too many and too big. I know that you can also setup with the gale and you have Gale guard, but they don't even compare to all the things you can get to do with this boomerang. It's simply that good.

Ripping Boomerang(3): This boomerang has extremely limited range and the throw doesn't seem to be possible to angle. It is an interesting choice nonetheless, but much like the Power Bow it forces you to not play campy defensive but rather aggro. This is because the range is really limited and so for the boomerang to be effective it can only be used at extremely close range. Again it seems that you can follow up the boomerang with a dash attack, which should be a guaranteed hit considering that your opponent is being locked by the ripping effect. This can be very very useful since a tippered dash attack can kill at 100% and so this combo becomes very interesting for a close up aggressive Link. The cost is again your camping game since due tot he limited range you can't keep the opponent away with it.

Personally, the Boomerang is the be all end all of the sideB, but I can see the use in this Ripping effect and as such I think that it just comes down more to personal taste and game style.

Up Special
Shocking Spin(2): This recovery comes with a heavy price. It has insane knockback and damage, but as a recovery it's just as bad or worse than Mac's vanilla upB. It could be considered as the Power Bow of the recoveries, since it gives you a very powerful hitbox on stage, but at a considerable price, our recovery. Even taking into account that this time around Link has an insanely long tether recovery, it's still not enough since the tether isn't that long (it's about 1/3 of FD) and it's again going back to Brawl days, where being thrown off stage meant basically a stock against top characters.

I honestly don't see the appeal nor the potential of this move at all. However, once again I do advocate the thorough testing of it since it could still be useful when combined with other customs, and also because I don't want us limiting the meta this early.

Whirling Leap(3): This recovery is simply amazing, but it works only as that, a recovery. I has no hitbox at all at any moment, so again this comes at a price for Link. The benefits are that we gain amazing air mobility with it and it travels a lot, so our recovery is quite boosted. How every, it doesn't sweetspot the ledge and since it has no hitbox we are basically defenseless while trying to recover with it. An opponent can easily gimp us in anyway he seems fit with this recovery if timed right.

I don't really see a reason to use this recovery considering that our standard recovery is quite decent this time around and it gives us the added benefit of a hitbox. Not only that, but at higher percentages it can even kill at 110% when done in the air. It warrants more testing as every other special, but I don't see much of a future for it.

Down Special
Giant Bomb(2): This bomb is intimidating due to it's size. It only explodes when its timer runs out or when hit by another explosion. This means that its uses are mostly setups and traps unless timed really well. The fuse is also short, it explodes at 3 seconds, and it doesn't travel much when thrown. It does 8% damage, doesn't have a big knockback, but it has a huge blast radius. This means that the bomb could be useful for stage control, but again not as a part of our spam game.

It would be really interesting to see decent use of this bomb, however to use it effectively would be to play a completely different Link from the one we're used to playing. We'd have to be less spammy, more aggro, and have stage control more than spacing/zoning in mind at all times.

Meteor Bomb(3): These bombs only explode upon contact with the opponent or after its timer has expired. It's fuse is of 2 seconds, so you don't have a lot of time to do anything once the bomb is out.This means that your spam game with this bomb has to be fast and dynamic. The bomb does 5% damage and the spike effect does start until at least 35% and even then it's not that strong. Even still, when it hit an opponent it has hitstun, even if it doesn't have knockback. This means that it can be used to extend combos, or as a defensive tool since it will stop any rushing opponent on its track. Add this to a follow up and you have a nice setup tool. At higher percentages, once the spike effect starts, the hitstun is increased considerably and thus it leaves the opponent open for more options of follow up. The downside is that you can't use the bomb to help you recover since it will spike you. This could be useful since it could spike you onto the stage, but it's not something to rely on by any means. One final notable characteristic is that the bomb loses all knockback properties if another active hitbox is out. So if you put out an Nair while the bomb explodes in your hand you'll receive the damage but not the spike effect.

I love this bomb and would use it over the other two bombs. It is however a risk since this bomb can kill you just as much as it can kill the opponent. Its short fuse however means that should the opponent be skillful enough to catch your bombs, he won't have enough time to throw it back at you and connect the hit.

Conclusion
I maintain my choice of 1213, 2213, and 1211 as the must custom setups. These seem to cover the strongest base options for every MU quite nicely since you always have a decent solid spam/camp game, extra kill moves, gimping options without really sacrificing anything major like recovery, defensive options, or losing hitboxes.

Question: What are some of Link's good/bad matchups?
Link's bad matchups
Mario
Diddy
Shiek
ZZS
Meta Knight
Pikachu
Greninja
Fox
Falco
Wario

Link's good matchups
Gannondorf
Charizard
DK
Palutena
Samus
Shulk
Peach
Gay

Question: Any tips for playing against ____?
You can visit the Matchup Index to find a list of all the currently known matchup threads

Question: What does ____ abbreviation/term mean?
If you're having trouble understanding the jargon used on the smash boards then this thread should be able to help you out: The Smash Dictionary

Question: Why are people calling me gay because I main Toon Link?
Here on the Link boards the definitions for the words “Toon Link” and “Gay” have been swapped. So a couple of examples would be – “Did you hear that Ellen Page came out as being Toon Link?” or “I played against a guy using Gay on FG last night and all he did was spam roll and boomerang”

Question: Why are people calling me/what I say Toon Link?
See above

Question: Who is better, Link or Toon Link?
Link is a man among men and Gay is toon link, nuff said

Question: What's in Shin's photobucket?
Only the deepest of depravities. Seriously, if you value your sanity you will avoid it like the plague
 
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Zelkam

Resident Wizard
Premium
Joined
Oct 8, 2014
Messages
881
Location
Knoxville, TN
Switch FC
1068-8431-0431
Q&A
[Question] Good Kill Set-Ups?
Any specific set-ups into dash attack, fsmash, etc. that you know of? I've been messing around with Link in the demo and I'm struggling to find good ways to consistently kill my opponents. I'm still fairly new to Smash in general, so any tips are appreciated.
Jab to up tilt will kill around 125% on Demo characters and is pretty easy to setup. I'm not sure it's a guaranteed combo, but I believe it's too fast for anyone to react to. I believe the first jab has IASA frames that lets you cancel it into an up tilt, and you can use the jab start up to buffer into the up tilt.

Up smash might also work but it has a lot less forward range and is a bit slower. If they are right next to you they get pushed away on the ground level. They have to be at medium range in order for then to get popped up for the up tilt
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[Question] Dealing With Rolling
So it is no secret that rolling has been tremendously buffed in this game compared to previous iterations. As a result, I'm having a lot of difficulty punishing rolls even when I read them with Link.
From my experiences, Link can actually punish rolls decently, short hop Nair stays out long enough to cover rolling if they roll into you and you can fast fall it without much lag, throwing bombs or boomerangs can punish rolling away and you can also pull a bomb and short hop zair drop. If they roll towards you the bomb will probably blow them up, if they roll away, the Zair might be able to reach far enough to hit them out of it, and if they don't roll you can fast fall the Zair without much lag. If you're spaced properly and have a read, then dsmash back hit is a great roll punish, especially at the ledge since it send them flying at a semispike angle which sets up really well for edge guarding.

Also, if you throw a bomb and they shield, it'll bounce in a way that usually will hit them if you can bait a roll forward afterwards. Also don't underestimate just planting bombs on the ground with short hop zdrop, the fuses are shorter than they were in brawl and they seem to function decently for stage control, however, that will be more useful for shutting down or discouraging rolling instead of punishing it. Oh, and dash attack works well against back rolls if you know they are going to do it, and is a very solid punish, especially if you land the tipper. Hope this helps! I may not be a Link main but he looks really in this game and I'm interested in pocketing him.
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[Question] Is Hylian Shield Enough to Hard-Counter Certain Characters?
Some of you may know me as the guy that came here and argued that Link's Hylian Shield is not enough to hard-counter Mega Man. I decided to make this a separate thread because I wanted to know if Link players believe Hylian Shield does hard-counter projectile-based characters.
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[Question] Grab Nerfed and Buffed at the Same Time?
So I've been playing the US demo, and I've noticed something strange: Link grab doesn't seem to have a grabbox at the end of the chain.
The cpu would always be standing the exact length or a little bit in and still won't grab.
And buffed as in ,yeah it doesn't drop anymore.

Any ideas? Maybe correct me.
Slightly shorter range but less ending lag. I'll take that because it means I can throw out a grab here and there as an offensive mixup and not feel completely terrible if they spam spotdodge.
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[Question] Link's Combos and Punishes?
I played a little Link in Melee and Brawl but I was never all that good with him even though I like the character's playstyle. I was hoping for someone to give me a few pointers on some of Link's combos and punishes.
Up tilt and nair and jab along with d throw are good for combos. Punishes include dash attack up smash and forward smash.
Gale boomerang can be used for combos. One of my favorite things to do to get a little extra damage in is to hit the opponent a few times on the ground. If they are prone I'll toss the boomerang, which pushes them away a little, and then hit 'em with the arrow. I'm very good at it and it helps to return the opponent to the spacing I want. More often that not, the whole thing is kicked off with either stabs or a bomb, so it ends up looking pretty brutal when they take all those hits in a row. lol

If you really want to see great combos, get used to the trajectory and the knockback of each projectile. When coming from above and you hit the opponent with a bomb just to spike them back to the ground with your dair is another really painful looking combo. lol
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[Question] Kill Moves With Link?
I lost a match with Link because he couldn't get the job done. DSmash can kill and is a little faster, but not fast enough and can get punished by a rolling opponent. Dash attack has startup frames that make it predictable, Spin Attack has startup frames so people rolling into shield can block and punish it. Dair is useless in this game, and FSmash bounces the enemy on the first hit so it can whiff the second. Ftilt seems practical, but doesn't have enough kill power. If your enemy has good recovery, gimping with arrows won't be enough.

If anyone can tell me a better way to kill with Link that's surefire, I'd be glad to jot it down in my memory. I've been wanting to believe that Link is one of the better characters in this game, but it's pretty hard to land a kill.
universal kill moves
utilt -floaty slayer
usmash - forward roll punish
upthrow - floaty slayer
upair - air dodge punish (easier with tap jump off)
dsmash1 - forward roll punish (i havent found a consistent way to kill with dsmash2 yet)
fsmash1 - back roll punish (it has a tight timing)
fsmash2 - i use it as a frame trap. if they try to press buttons after a blocked tipper fsmash1 hit them with fsmash2

edge guarding
nair - dropzone nair DJ nair wrecks a lot of characters
fair - at higher %s fair1 will wreck most of the cast
bair - ledge fall bair DJ nair gimps a lot of characters
dair - this move is worthless to kill off the top, use it to spike

IMO his best kill move is up-B OoS, it's such a good punish and comes out so quickly that most people don't even DI it.
fSmash tippers on the first hit, space it.
fTilt has amazing kill power, just try and use it on the edge of the stage if you can.
uSmash is great but risky due to the frame count.
Tipped dSmash kills on the side, not tipped kills at a higher percent.
Arrows kill like half the cast when sniping them with full charges off stage.
uAir is freaking ridiculous for kills and when sweetspoted does it much quicker.
fAir can kill with the first hit but destroys with the second hit.

I don't see the problem...
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[Question] How to deal with a spammy Link?
I haven't faced ONE SINGLE Link online that doesn't spam projectiles and Smash Attacks. Link is definitely one of the most annoying characters to play against when it comes to spamming. I played against one of those again tonight, played maybe 15-20 matches --- I didn't win one single match. I'm a decent player. I'm not saying I'm super good, I'm not saying I'm pro, but I'm decent. This Link made me, once again, shut down Smash 3DS with rage in my body.

Seriously, since Link has so different projectiles (one is explosive throwing item, one its a boomerang that can drag you back, and one is quick and annoying), it's impossible for me to get close. Seriously, there's really nothing I can do. Since he can use his projectiles so fast, there's not way to dodge it for me. Dodge the boomerang? Boom, a bomb. Dodge the bomb? Boom, an arrow. And boom, another Bomb. And so it goes. If I do get to come close, in addition to these excelent projectiles, Link has a frickin' sword to help him as well. Putting in a jab there, and I'm knocked away and he can continue. And since I'm too busy dodging his projectiles, how am I supposed to dodge his jab, or even attack him?!
There's good ways to take on Link, but of course you have to learn how to space well. Bombs can be caught, always stay focus on them, because although they disappear from a throw, they can land a nice punch. Bombs and the boomerang are mostly used to make damage and set trapped. Try to learn what are the traps Link can set and if they're on the stage, don't rush. If using Wario, here's a hint. Link's attacks, bombs and boomerang with require two or more hints to encounter the bike, use that in your advantage.

Many Links like to roll, punish them well if they do this. Learn to time your shields, shielding is essential to defeating a good Link. Most of his attacks have lag, so an attack after a shield might always land as well as a grab.

Spacing, Shields and Grabs are your best weapons against a Link.
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[Question] Aerial Bomb Drop Without Zair-ing?
Often I like to do a bomb drop in the air as a bit of a mixup. But whenever I do it, Link throws out his zair as well. Is there a way to bomb drop without zairing?
The input for dropping it is pretty precise. You have to jump and then immediately press your grab button right after. Takes some time to get used to the timing, but it's simple once you got it down.
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[Question] Clawshot Animation Differences?
In the Wii U version of the game, Link's clawshot animation is exactly the same as the one in Brawl. In the 3ds version, his the animation is more like the N64 version of the game. Specifically, in Brawl (and Melee as well), if Link missed a grab, the clawshot would fall limp to the ground before Link would retract it. In the N64 version, Link's hookshot would always remain parallel to the ground above the surface of the stage.

Does anyone know the frame data for Link's grab for the two versions? I'm curious if the animation differences results in different frame data. After watching the two moves briefly, I've thought that the 3ds version was faster than the Wii U version, but I'd like to see actual frame data to back it up.
There is still no frame data for the Wi U that I know of, but there is no difference in speed. The animation is different because the 3DS can't handle it but the recovery speed is the same.
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[Question] Problem With Link's Tether Recovery
I always try to recover with my tether if possible, but sometimes when I press the grab button I do an aerial attack instead. I've lost plenty of stocks because of this. Sometimes Link brings out his hookshot, other times he's just flailing in the air. Does anybody know the reason why?
I think I know exactly why. Sometimes, if you hit the circle pad and your grapple button at the same time, Link will do an aerial instead of the grapple. Same goes for ground attacks, but the timing is different. You can prevent this by just pressing L/R+A instead of Z.
Just like in Brawl, pressing Z after being hit out of tether will result in doing a normal air attack. To prevent this, input your next tether as (L or R) + A.
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[Question] When Should I Use Tether Recovery?
Extremely basic question: when is tethering preferable to an up B? I generally just jump twice and use the special to get back to the stage (if I am that far away). You can't tether after said special though right? It seems weirdly specific in terms of when it would provide a benefit. It probably isn't, but that is how I understand it currently.
The problem with always recovering the same way is that vs a decent player you'll be able to recover, with luck, maximum twice. Realistically, you won't recover because you'll get gimped every time. Changing how you recover, low, high, tether, etc, mixes up your game and turns you unpredictable, harder to read. This way you can actually make it to the ledge instead of getting gimped.

As to when it's preferable, that's entirely situational. Note, it's not that recovering with tether is situational, but WHEN to do so is. Also, no, you can't tether after an upB.
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[Question] How is Link's Air Game?
I've mained Link for a long time, but with Smash 4 I'm looking to mix up/improve my playing style. I've been playing more and more Zamus for her strings, but I still want to main mah boi. Does he have good air/string potential in Smash 4? I especially like finishing them off when they are trying to recover.
Link has a very strong airgame. Most of his aerials stay out for long periods of time and are hard to counter such as Dair, Fair, and Uair. Combine them with his projectiles, and you can dish out lots of damage.
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[Question] Wii U Bombslide?
So since Bombslide hasnt been patched out, I was trying to do it but with no success.
I think its because if you input a C-stick action it doesnt read the other inputs anymore(since there is a bug with it) or maybe I just suck.

So anyone was able to do it already on the Wii U?
btw I am using the Wii u pro controller.
The c-stick is only required for the initial dash throw part (to make it easier), so I'd imagine that changing the c-stick to tilts instead of smashes will help, if this is in fact the problem.
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[Question] Should I Use Link's Dash Attack?
As far as I know, Link's Jump Attack isn't quite as good of a roll punisher like other Dash-As since it's not a lingering attack, but Link's Spin Attack makes up for that.

But in this video, the Link player lands the finishing KO with the Jump Attack (linked to right time):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=966piwSHn7w#t=159

It's a bit startup laggy, though. Is this a reliable move, or should I not even bother?

And if it is reliable, how do I set up?
The dash attack is an amazing move since it has a tipper effect. Is it laggy? Yes. Slow? Yes. Telegraphed? Yes. However, don't shun it because of that, just be smarter when you use it, like to tech chase or punish rolls. You need to know and use every attack Link has since everything is useful. Just be smart about using it.
It's like Volcano Kick; just because it's slow doesn't mean it's useless. You can sometimes use it to jump over other characters projectiles and land killing blows with it. It's also good for punishing back-rolls.
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[Question] How Should I Play the Little Mac MU?
Little Mac is the first character who's given me a lot of trouble. How should I play that MU and any tips?
To answer your question simply and concisely, gimp him. His recovery is the worst recovery from all 4 game. Just camp at the ledge, grab, throw off stage, gimp.
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[Question] Bomb Recovery in Smash 4?
I dunno if this question has been already ask, but is there bomb recovery in smash 4?
The bomb doesn't react to hitting it with your sword but if you time the explosion with th UpB you can perform a Bomb Recovery.
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[Question] Do Meteor Bombs Meteor Smash Link?
Question, does link's meteor bombs meteor smash link when he is holding them in midair?
Zelkam said:
Yes, they do
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[Question] Bomb Planting?
how do you plant bombs?
Z-air/ grab button before you land on the ground or shortly after leaving the ground.
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[Question] Approaches with Link?
I'm trying to become more of a competitive type player with the new game, and after using the dash attack for approaches and follow ups in brawl, I was wondering what Link's best approaches are. I'm trying to get out of that habit of the dash attack because it's so punishable.
The important thing is not so much which attack, but to cover your approach with a projectile or a disjoint like Zair. Link is not a rush character, so don't rush. Look for an opening or create one with your projectiles and approach only to punish. For example, there a rang and bomb to force the opponent to shield, then approach for a grab as they're shielding. Try to time so that if they let go of their shield they'll get hit by a projectile.
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[Question] How to Set Up a Dair Spike?
What ways would you suggest setting up a Dair spike? I've managed a couple early kills with it but it's readable at least when I do so.
I only go for the spike when reading a recovery, so as a gimp (very creative, I know, thanks). So I'll either do the tried and true bthrow to dair, which could be replaced with nair, zair, or rang for mind games and to become unpredicatble, or else try to punish slow recoveries, like FOx7Falco, DK, Bowser, D3, etc. The key for this is simply to wait until they have committed to the move, essentially, already started their recovery (hence the need for slow recoveries) and then just punish.
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[Question] Phantom Hits?
Do phantom hits exist? I have a saved replayed where I had a Falcon clip just slightly into a boomerang pull. I hit him with a Nair, and the boomerang kept pulling him. No knockback, and he had like 45%. The Nair hit the sweetspot too. Not even a flinch.
Yes there are. I assume you mean the times that fox's or falcos' phantasm goes through our hitboxes without registering a hit. It happens. I've only seen it happen with space animal sideB though.
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[Question] Bomb Planting Without Z Dropping?
Is there specific input that allows you to throw a bomb away from you, and have it land with out exploding? I'm not referring to the Zair drop, there have been a few times where I throw a bomb and it lands without exploding. It didn't touch a shield either. I've tried to duplicate this in training, but I can't seem to do it whenever I'm actually trying to make it work.
I believe that bombs don't explode anymore upon landing if they land soft. That means, if you throw it hard or up they'll explode, but a soft throw on a platform shouldn't. That's for normal bombs. Giant bombs and meteor only explode when the fuse runs out or when they touch an opponent iirc.
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[Question] Spin Attack Semi-Spike?
Does Link still have the grounded upb semispike? in ssbwiki says that now is aerial, how does it work if that it's true?
He does not, actually. His Down Smash (back portion) is a semi-spike now, though not as reliable as one would think.
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[Question] Is Link All About Camping?
Is links gameplay based entirely on running away and shooting projectiles now?
Now? It has always been based on that. Link is in essence a spamming character, much like Falco and now DHD. Now it's the first time we don't have to do that thanks to the new mechanics but can actually go melee.
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[Question] Which Attacks Have a Tipper Effect?
Can Link tipper on aerials? I thought it was only Fsmash and Dash attack.
Link only has tipper in three hits as far as I know: 1st hit fsmash, dash attack and dsmash.
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[Question] Is it Easy to Switch from Gay to Link?
Q: Is Link easy for a ToonLink Main to pick up? Or his play style a lot different.
I'm not the most advanced player out there but I find it pretty easy to pick up Gay if I ever just get that bored.

I'm not ToonLink and I don't main Gay, but I assume that if it's easy for us to make the switch, it would be relatively easy for you too. You just might not like the switch due to some of the limits Link has in mobility compared to Gay. The power is there and pressure Link can lay down is pretty decent but just know that they do feel different and the gameplay does slow down some when going from Gay to Link. Thankfully, it's not as obvious as with Ganondorf and C.Falcon though. I'd say give it a shot and see for yourself.
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[Question] Does Fsmash Still Whiff at Point Blank?
By the way I have a question, in the demo if you are standing right next to another character (touching them) and you perform a Fsmash Link would miss the hit and get behind the character. Is this still happening in this build?
Yes it does. Just space for fsmash, and if our opponent is right next to you just jab cancel into a fsmash and you're good.
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[Question] Is it OK if I Don't Find Toon Link 'Gay'?
Is it ok if I don't find Toon Link 'Gay'?
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[Question] When is it safe to use Zair?
Long-time Brawl player here, just got the game, and... is zair EVER a good call anymore? It seems as though every time I use it, the landing lag not only prevents me from following up on it, but actively gets me punished!

Do I just need to learn how to use it better? Or is its usefulness much more limited?
Zair sadly doesn't chain into attacks like in Brawl because the general nerf to landings. It also does 6% total (2+4) instead of 10% in Brawl. It is longer than Brawl's and Link has better mobility, so SSB4 Zair is great for spacing. It can beat most aerial approaches and makes ground approaches from larger characters difficult (still great vs Bowser, DK, etc). If you space Zair from near the tip Link should be able to land and jab safely. It's great vs reflectors: if Rosalina's gravitational pulling your projectiles use Zair, etc.
Samus' Zair length has been nerfed so Link's is even better.
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[Question] How do I maintain the proper mindset while switching between Melee and Smash 4?
I'm experiencing an interesting predicament. I've been a Link main for a LONG time. The only Smash game I didn't main him in was Brawl. I love Link in Melee, and in the few months that I've been in the competitive scene, I've begun improving my bracket placement in tourneys. Then, Sm4sh came out. Since it's come out, I've had a very hard playing Melee Link. Melee feels.... clunkier I guess. Whenever I try to play Melee after a couple weeks of playing 4, I end up playing terribly. It feels like I need relearn all the basic AT's that I've been able to do smoothly. I feel like it's hard to get into the Melee mindset after playing 4 for so long.
I've reversed the situation on purpose also. I spent a few days playing nothing but Melee, then switched back to 4 for a tourney. Again, I began playing 4 with the Melee mindset, and I found it very difficult to get back into the 4 mindset. So here's my question. Say you enter a tourney and sign up for Melee and 4, how do you maintain the mindset for that particular game?
This is something very hard to do since your muscle memory will betray you. Theoretically, you' have to practice changing your mentality a lot at home by playing a couple of sm4sh matches, then switching to melee, switching back, rinse and repeat. You want to get an association of the game's look with the playstyle. In practice, the problem is that not everyone can do it, so you might have to pick one.
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[Question] What should I do against characters with reflectors?
I play offline because online is still hit and miss with the lag and I can't stand playing through lag. If I'm going to lose, I'd like to know it's because I suck not because lag screwed me over... so I play offline... against bots.

Unfortunately, playing Link 1 v 1 on a neutral stage against most Lvl 9 CPUs is insanely easy compared to playing against other characters. It truly seems to me that AI doesn't know what to do when you start spamming projectiles at them at an alarming rate (and I love spamming those projectiles one after another). It's actually to the point to where it feels cheap. It's so bad, I've been wanting to make a video showcasing it, but haven't gotten around to it.

Then I play characters like Fox or Rosalina and my projectile strategies go out the window. Any character with a projectile deflector (or eater like Rosalina) except for Zelda spams their reflectors as often as they can, requiring me to come in close to attack... seeing as Link isn't all that fast, and the AI has split second reflexes, I don't stand much of a chance. I'm not looking for specific matchup tips for specific characters, I can figure all that stuff out if I need too; I just need some ideas on what I should generally do against characters who reflect projectiles.

Thanks in advance.
My first advise is to play offline versus other humans, as much as possible. Try, however you can, to do that since humans have on huge trait that you need to learn how to deal with: we adapt.

Concerning your question: first, play vs cpus lvl 7 or 8 since 9 has an unreal reaction time so it won't really help you as practice when learning, which is what it seems as you're doing. Change to 9 once those two levels are too easy for you.

Second, concerning the reflectors, when facing an opponent with a reflector your spam game has to change, it can't be the same or you'll die. Your spam will be mostly to bait the reflector so you can punish it, and to punish moves. Try to keep them away though with zair since that can't be reflected and it goes through all reflectors. Three, Link is slow, but he's still fast enough to zone in and punish when timed right. You just have to play Link accordingly, so don't try to rush anyone. Bait and pressure with your projectiles, punish with your sword.

But in all honesty, try to play vs other humans. Find people in your area and grow with them.
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[Question] How am I losing my second jump off stage?
There's an issue when you jump too close to the Ledge it uses your second jump rather than the first one so you're left jump less. How specifically does this happen? I think this has happened a lot to me I'll jump off stage and think I can double jump but he doesn't.
It happens every time you jump on the Ledge. The range varies according to your speed. If you're dashing, the distance increases. So far what I've found the distance is the same as the Ledge markings on FD and BF. Go to FD, left Ledge, and you'll see a blue line on the Ledge. If you step on the line while dashing and jump once you're on the line you'll use your second jump rather than your first jump.
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[Question] Should I ever use spin attack over down smash?
I've got a question. When should I use link's grounded up b? links up b no longer has that nasty semi spike effect that was in melee that was pretty great for edge guarding. So... Doesn't that just make his grounded up b a non tipper down smash with horrendous end lag or am I missing something? Basically when should I use this, if ever, over down smash?
I never use it to be honest. However, it can be useful to use if from an auto canceled empty sh. Imo, grounded upB is just a very gimmicky move that has no benefits over dsmash.
UpB has one thing over Dsmash that I like, the persistent hitbox, I will grounded spin attack someone who is spotdodging or spamming Roll-->Dsmash like a scrub and it almost always punishes them.
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[Question] When should I use down tilt?
D-tilt: when should I be using this move? I usually use it as a mix up for f-tilt, but I was wondering if it had more specific applications, other than the spike effect, it's so hard to hit. (Though I did see someone combo a jab to a d-tilt off-stage, it was pretty sweet.)
Dtilt is another move that is seldom used. You can try to go for the spike, but first learn how to connect it. While the spike s still weird, this time around it can hit consistently if you know when to do it. Think of it a bit like Marth/Lucina' meteor or Luigi's meteor. Do I would use it for edge guarding in special occasions, like is someone overshot the Ledge with a recovery use it for a nice kill (in this case, his with dtilt when your opponent's feet are leveled with Links head). On stage, dtilt is a nice launcher at low percentages to start a nice combo when the opponent's shield is weak. Since the shield only covers the area of the bubble you can connect a dtilt while they are still shielding. At low percentages this launches nicely for a fair or nair or even an utilt juggle.

As I said, know every move and be ready to use them, but use them smartly, don't just put anything out without having a reason for it because you will get punished and Link is still a heavy character that gets easily juggled and comboed.
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[Question] How do I land KO moves in Smash 4?
I have a lot of trouble landing KOs with Link since I lost Brawl's tools like landing cancel chains and locks. Jab cancel isn't great as opponents seem to escape sometimes. Dsmash got nerfed and starts frame 9 (rather than 7). I feel like the only buff he got to hit with KO moves, even though they're stronger and rage helps, is grab is less punishable and Uthrow KOs earlier.
So how should Link land KOs now?
I haven't had an issue with KOs yet. I usually go for a gimp or a tipped fsmash. Tipped fsmash at the edge kills at roughly 50% already, and the second fsmash hit kills at 80. Try to land more ftilts, utilts, uair, fsmash and gimps and you should be fine. Just try to keep them fresh until you get to kill %. A good way of doing this for fsmash is to always use only the first hit of fsmash, and keep the second hit fresh for an early kill at 80.
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[Question] Tips for using Link's projectiles?
I play Link since a lot of time now, and i dunno really well when use which projectile and when, often, when i throw a boomerang, i get punish because the animation is pretty long, and if the opponent shield it, you're still punishable.

In general, i dunno how react when my opponent shield my projectiles, and when switch melee to projectile.
Probably the biggest thing to remember while projectile spamming with Link is to always keep moving. The reason you get punished for spamming projectiles is because you're not moving. Learn how to incorporate jumps into your spam game, this is the best way to keep moving. Also, other mobility techs like bombsliding, JCT, and wavebouncing are great to keep in mind.

Here's some other general tips concerning Link's projectiles: (1) Honestly, you never want to catch the boomerang. The catching animation is much shorter in Smash 4, but that doesn't matter. You should always try to be doing something else when the boomerang returns. Some good options would be Zair, Fair, or a bomb pull. (2) Charging the bow is generally considered a bad idea. Charging your bow makes it easy for your opponent to block or even avoid the arrow completely. Not to mention that it keeps you from moving, and remember that we want to keep moving. If you want more range from your bow then try firing an uncharged shot from the peak of a short or full hop. (3) Bombs are great vs shields. When you throw a bomb at a shield it doesn't explode, it just bounces off. This means that it's still there to put pressure on your opponent. A lot of times, the opponent will stay in their shield and wait for the bomb to explode. This leaves them wide open for a grab. (4) remember that you can throw bombs in the 4 compass directions, and you can drop them by pressing grab in mid air. Try to learn to incorporate all of these into your game to keep things fresh.

As far as when to switch between projectiles and melee goes, you should be switching between them freely throughout a match. Things like following up a boomerang with a Zair or Fair. jumping towards your opponent while throwing a bomb and then follow up with jabs. Grabbing someone, doing a forward/back throw and then throwing an up angled boomerang. You shouldn't really think of melee and projectiles as two separate things, but rather as different tools that work together and compliment each other.

To finish it all off, here's a couple of videos that might help you get a grasp on things:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zAGBn57C2NM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jYzQfF0Z-e8
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[Question] Does Link's dash attack have invincibility frames?
I've been trying to reliably replicate this, but without a friend who also owns the game living near me, it's proving difficult, so I'd like some help from you guys here.

There are times, when using Link's dash attack, when I notice that he is capable of "dodging" projectiles mid-leap.
Bigger ones like Samus's charge shot still hit him, but smaller ones, like Mario's fireball or similar small projectiles, can sometimes, if timed correctly, miss Link entirely during the midpoint of his DA animation.

Can someone show this in action/ confirm it exists? I swear it's not my imagination, but it could also just be a glitch, so I want to make sure of it...
He's probably jumping over them, not really a glitch or anything unusual. There are many attacks that move a character's hurtbox, the areas where they can take damage. When Mario is charging a smash attack his hurtbox gets smaller, for example.

very much doubt it's invincibility frames.
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[Question] I've read the guides, now how do I continue learning and getting better?
I've read the stickies but I'm not sure where to start to improve my Link. A majority of the time in online matches I find myself simply spamming jabs and projectiles and being very defensive/evasive. In a way, instinctually reacting to my opponent. The reason this doesn't do me well is because when I see an opening I go for moves that are way to slow or other characters beat out my stuff.

So my question is this, even after having developed a rudimentary understanding of Link's capabilities in Smash 4. Where specifically can I look to implement an actual gameplan when I'm playing? As I've mentioned, I read the OP's in the stickies but you guys have info sprinkled all over the place, so it's not like the information isn't there I just can't seem to piece it together in an order that I can practice on.

Again keep in mind, I'm new as a competitive smash player (at the very least, an online warrior) so I need to take things one step at a time.
You've got the first step right; being evasive and throwing out projectiles is very hard for most characters to deal with. I suggest learning to chain attacks offline because lag can be a killer. Once you have a feel for it offline you'll be able to pull off more on wifi.
As for exploiting openings:
Jab 1 or 2 can be canceled to a quick attack like grab, Utilt or Dsmash; it's not guaranteed but often works. Bombs are Link's trump card. Their explosions won't hurt Link if the bomb hits the opponent and they can be thrown OoS. At low %s Link can Utilt/Usmash/Ftilt after throwing a bomb forward at the opponent close by. At higher %s the bombs launch the opponent up farther and you can read where they go and try to Uair or something. Remember what goes up must come down and what goes offstage must return.
Use Frame traps. Throw out a boomerang or something and as the opponent dodges, punish their end lag with a sword attack.
If you jump>throw a bomb down the opponent will be launched up into Link's Nair/Dair.
Utilt is a fast, safe move and can chain into Utilt>Utilt>Usmash at low %s. You need to watch the opponent's DI to know what you can get away with.
I think at low %s grab>Dthrow>Utilt will have a good chance of comboing.
Stuff like that.
To answer your question, the best and most practical advice, I can give you it to watch as many vids as possible and go lose as much as possible. Reading guides and stickies is great, but that's all theoretical knowledge. Putting that knowledge in practice is something completely different. You need to feel the fight. Reading guides will give you theoretical knowledge. Watching videos wil give you an idea of how to implement that knowledge in new and innovative ways. Playing will make you able to implement this during a match. It is a slow process and it takes a lot of effort and self awareness. Just go and lose, that's the most important thing, don't be afraid of losing. When you lose you can see your weaknesses and improve based on that.

You have a big resource here: Us. Play against us and ask for feedback. Post your matches and ask for feedback. Ask questions and we will answer, you have already seen this if you have been lurking. However I can't stress this enough. You need to go out and lose in order to improve, and it takes a long time and hard work to improve.

You can do it however. You're a Link Main, right? Bearer of courage. Go and lose until you win.
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[Question] How to do an aerial bomb pull without fast falling?
Q: How do you pull out a bomb midair without simultaneously fastfalling? I want to incorporate more bombs into my off-stage/recovery game but it feels counterproductive when I'm causing myself to fastfall to death at the same time. Thanks.
It sounds to me like you're not pressing the B button fast enough. If you press the B button immediately after pressing down then you shouldn't fast fall. I know that one of things that newer players struggle with is the idea of inputting a direction along with an action. With time and plenty of practice you'll begin to being able to perform an action without having to think about the button inputs. I would suggest going into training mode and just practice pulling bombs while jumping until the the timing becomes natural.
There three ways but all revolve around one. I'll only give you the best one however. You have to take out the bomb before your momentum changes to falling. As long as your momentum still hasn't began a downward motion you'll be fine. A lot of people do this by using their second jump to get an ascending momentum and then take it out. Don't do this since you're basically wasting your jump and worsening your recovery (this was the second way) the third one is mapping cstick to specials, but this is highly inadvisable since you won't be able to do many other ATs.

Just remember, flick downB quickly before you start falling and you'll be good.
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[Question] How do I maintain my momentum during a tournament?
So I have another mind set question. This is for those that play at large tourneys regularly. I went to Pacific North Western Regionals last week. Using just Link, I placed 33rd out of 64 people. I wasn't particularly thrilled with my placement, but it's way better than placing dead last. I was told after I got knocked out that I was the Link that traveled the farthest in the tourney. I ended up getting knocked out of winners bracket by the guy that placed 4th in the tourney, and shortly after got knocked out by the guy that placed 7th. Unlucky bracket spot I guess.
Here's my issue. Whenever I play my first tourney match, I play really well. I either don't lose a single stock or game in the first set I play. Afterwards though, I play terribly. Maybe my first match up is against someone who isn't all that great, but I've played competent people in the first round and still won cleanly. I have no problem making it into the winners bracket. It seems that I lose steam after that first match though. In the losers bracket, the guy who knocked me out said "I've seen you play better." To my credit, it was only the second time I've played the Wii U Smash. I've been playing the 3DS version forever.
So my question is, how do I overcome this hurdle? Should I move around more? Play more friendlies whenever they become available? Is it because I didn't bring any food or drink? Is it because I feel proud that I've leaped that first hurdle, and when I stumble on that second hurdle, I lose the will to continue? How can I fix this?
I have this problem too. I'll play fine for a few hours then start getting worn out and eventually play terrible. If the TO is efficient at getting matches started on time it helps. I've found if I know the group I play better from being less nervous, but we can't always do that. I don't like being around crowds so I'll go for a walk or fresh air part way through.
The most important thing is to always have fun; when you start taking the games too seriously, you choke.
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[Question] Which stages can you tether slide on?
Quick question, what stages can you tetherslide aside from Jungle Japes?
I went through all the stages where I thought it might be possible and here's the ones I was able to perform it successfully on: Find Mii, Green Hill Zone (if you break the middle of the stage), Gaur Plain, Distant Planet (while standing on the...thing's head), Reset Bomb Forest (while standing on the bottom left platform after the transformation), 3D Land (if you make those blocks fall near the beginning and also once you get to the pipes), Rainbow Road (when you land on the three split tracks).

It's also worth noting that I couldn't seem to get it to work anywhere on the Wii U version, even it areas I think it should have. Unless someone can prove me wrong, it seems that tether sliding is limited to the 3DS version for now.
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[Question] Help performing the reverse bombslide?
I can now do the first two bombsliding, but the reverse, and the revers fakeout seems really hard in SSB4, is it someone know how to do the reverse and the fakeout ? I could do this in Brawl, but it seems to be different in this game.

For those who don't know of what i talk about : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qjdQY5SOqEE
I believe this thread ought to help you out. Best of luck!
[Question] Wii U Bombslide
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[Question] When to use Nair and Dtilt? Tips on camping?
hey all, i'm trying to improve Link as a secondary because I've never had a look around on the Link boards until now.
I want some proper advice and I have some questions:
1. how much should I be using nair and dtilt?
2. how do I go about camping properly?
1. Nair is a good quick attack. It can be used as a combo breaker, quick offstage attack or a substitute for Dair if you don't want to commit to the lag. Assuming the hitbubble are how they looked in Brawl, it looks like this:

Good disjoint for a sex-kick move.
DTilt is mostly worthless. This post explains hot it works.
http://smashboards.com/threads/guid...t-link-in-smash-4.368190/page-4#post-18070535

2 Projectiles are largely about frame traps. Link can have all 3 out at once and they work together. For example, throw boomerang>the opponent dodges and gets hit with an arrow. There are a lot of complicated specifics but projectiles are used for chains of attack with each other and melee moves.
Bombs deserve a special note, these are Link's trump card. Since the explosions don't hurt Link if the bomb hits the opponent, bombs are great combo starters. They also can aid recoveries. Use them often.
Jump/hop around as you spam projectiles for spacing. There are a lot of ATs like bombslides too.

IMO to play Link you have to be passive aggressive, not pure aggressive or pure passive.
To expand on Rizen: Nair is excellent, use it often. Experiment. Gimp with it, short hop it to stop approaches, fall wit hit, break combos with it. Its hitbox last surprisingly long.

Dtilt is a basically useless spike (see Rizen's link) or a replacement for Dsmash if you don't want to stale it. It comes out very slow (frame 13 according to Rizen) but if you predict a roll that you would normally punish with Dsmash it is a fine replacement.
Nair depends a lot on the MU, however it is a very safe move (unless you hit a shield) with massive knockback. I would say to use it often, specially vs Ganondorf or Falcon. In fact, nair in the Ganondorf match I'd a must since it stops Ganondorf's SideB and DownB (when Don on the stage to approach). This makes it a must since it shuts down Ganondorf's approach fame almost entirely. Nair also has a ridiculous priority, a really strong hitbox (dmg wise), and it stays out forever. Experiment with it and play with it's properties (sweetspot vs sourspot) as much as possible until you get a feeling of when to use it.

About camping, one thing I live about Sm4sh Link is that we don't have to camp anymore. Link can actually go toe to toe vs most chars on equal footing. This means that the spam game has changed from "please stay away" to "here, deal with these 3 disjointed hitboxes while I hit you from behind". Projectiles are meant to create pressure, set frame traps, combo setups, interrupt attacks/approaches, bait, and punish now instead of only chipping dmg while we run away. Mind you though, we still need to camp occasionally, it's just that it's not a must anymore. You need to get a feel for the rhythm of the match and camp when necessary and approach for a combo and a kill. Go here for a more detailed discussion on the topic.
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[Question] Is soft bomb throw or bomb smashing more useful?
So, it seems like bomb planting (uses C-stick for "attack") and bomb smashing (uses c-stick for "smash attacks") are exclusive of each other and can't work together on a single control scheme (GameCube anyway). Which do you all find more useful?
I have every intention on keeping my c-stick set to attack. Bomb smashing was never an AT that I used much in the past and the soft thrown bomb seems too useful to give up. Not to mention that attack c-stick allows for bombslides.
While I don't really use nor have never used bomb smashing plan on keeping my cstick on smashes. I don't use bombslide, instead I JC throw so I don't need it for bombsliding. I also don't soft throw. I don't have any reason for it, I just never incorporated it into my game since I have always had cstick to smash. The reason why I have it set to smash is to be able to do Kara smashes and pivot smashes more effectively and easily, and those are two ATs that I use a lot. So it's not a decision to be made based only on those two ATs you mentioned, but actually on the whole spectrum of ATs which would be affected.
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[Question] Any more advice on stopping Link's spam?
I know that it says to shield and space well when dealing with spamming links but is there a more in depth explanation as to how to stop getting hit so often?
I would say to pay attention to his spam pattern. Most people have a pattern in howitzer spam and can actually become quite predictable. Pay attention to this as well as which projectile they're throwing since this matters when choosing how to approach. taking out a bomb for example leaves link vulnerable during the animation so this might be a good moment to rush in.

However this questions can't be answers in more detail than this since a really detailed answer would depend on you character. That is, this is a MU question. Sonic, for example, would approach very differently than Fox or Sheik, even when all three are very aggro rush down chars. I'd suggest you check the MU index thread we have which will direct you to the threads in every char board which deal with MU. If you can't find a MU for Link in those boards, then consider checking this thread.

If this doesn't answer your question then I would suggest posting in one of our MU threads or even creating a new thread as long as you make sure we don't have a MU thread for your char. If we don't, create the thread with the tag [MU] and the name of you char and post the question as simply and straight forward as you can.
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[Question] Does Zair clank with other attacks?
Quick question: I've been noticing in my matches that Link's Zair never clanks with any of my attacks. Does the Zair have a transient hit box? Rethinking my options.
Aerials never clash with anything. At most, they'll trade with other attacks, but they'll never clash.
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[Question] When should I use bombs over boomerang or bow?
Here's a basic question.

When would you want to use the bomb versus throwing boomerang or shooting a bow?
Bombs are easily your weapon with the most utility. You can have throw it in all four directions as you know, and with jumps and shorthops, can easily hit your target. Bombs are great close up, and far away if you space correctly. However, bombs have the most starting lag out of all of Link's tools, so you need to save bombs for the correct moments. Charged up arrows on the ground aren't that useful as a good opponent will either jump over it, or shield it. Mixing up various short charges of the bow with short hops and full jumps will give you a fast reliable way of covering in front of without using bombs. The boomerang, on the other hand has greater range than an uncharged arrow, and has just a little bit more lag. It also has the privilege of being able to be thrown diagonally both ways. We have Arrows, when uncharged, becomes a horizontal threat and can disrupt combos. Your boomerang, which has more lag, but has more reach and being able to throw diagonally. Your bombs have the most uses, but it is a risk to pull out a bomb, and you need to make sure you are safe whenever you pull out a bomb.

So, I will say this, it all depends on playstyle, though each projectile should be used in conjunction with each other. For example, you can use the boomerang to distract the opponent, with a little bit of hitstun to pull out a bomb and use either use your bomb or save it. You can use arrows to cover your horizontal ground in the air, and your bombs to cover directly below. You could also choose to use the bomb more defensively, waiting until the opponent comes close and using bombs out of shield to combo out of it. You can use your projectiles in such a variety, that there should not be a "definitive Link playstyle" with this iteration of Link. Be inventive, stay smart, and do not mindlessly spam and someday, you might be taking down Ganondorf's like lil' ol' me.
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[Question] Should I play Link or Gay?
I'm not sure if this is the right thread to answer this question since I don't wanna create thread just for afew silly questions anyways I was deciding between maining Link or T.link I feel better with Link but some people said t.link is better but this game feels really balanced so you guys think I should just stick to the character I like? Sorry for the silly question,also who are some of the top or higher placing Link players I should check out?
Play Link. No elucidation required.

Watch Kirinblaze, Legan, BrimeZ, Ninjalink, Scizor(Link). You can find videos of all save Legan in the video thread.
 
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Zelkam

Resident Wizard
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Unanswered Questions
This section will be used to showcase any questions that have not yet received an answer​
 
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Elessar

Nouyons TO
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People have a hard time finding the rules as it is, merging them with another thread would be like translating them into Sanskrit, and then burying them.
 
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Questions I see asked a lot:

"Who does Link have a bad match up against"
"Why are you guys such arseholes?"

I think the first one merits its own answer separate from a link to the match up index simply to save us time. We can just point to it once, and be done.

It makes sense since you'd have to read each match up thread individually to find out the consensus, whereas if we FAQ it we can just direct the ****lords off of our boards in a single post.

The second one I just kind of like.
 

Rizen

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Little Mac is the first character who's given me a lot of trouble. How should I play that MU and any tips?

Edit, played a few more games. He's weak to a game of keep away. The first stage I fought Mac on was Mario Kart Brawl with no ledges; it's like his perfect stage.
 
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Elessar

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Rizen, we have a MU thread on him, go check out the MU index.

But to answer your question simply and concisely, gimp him. His recovery is the worst recovery from all 4 game. Just Campeche Ledge, grab, throw off stage, gimp.
 

mackman

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Long-time Brawl player here, just got the game, and... is zair EVER a good call anymore? It seems as though every time I use it, the landing lag not only prevents me from following up on it, but actively gets me punished!

Do I just need to learn how to use it better? Or is its usefulness much more limited?
 

link7

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I'm experiencing an interesting predicament. I've been a Link main for a LONG time. The only Smash game I didn't main him in was Brawl. I love Link in Melee, and in the few months that I've been in the competitive scene, I've begun improving my bracket placement in tourneys. Then, Sm4sh came out. Since it's come out, I've had a very hard playing Melee Link. Melee feels.... clunkier I guess. Whenever I try to play Melee after a couple weeks of playing 4, I end up playing terribly. It feels like I need relearn all the basic AT's that I've been able to do smoothly. I feel like it's hard to get into the Melee mindset after playing 4 for so long.
I've reversed the situation on purpose also. I spent a few days playing nothing but Melee, then switched back to 4 for a tourney. Again, I began playing 4 with the Melee mindset, and I found it very difficult to get back into the 4 mindset. So here's my question. Say you enter a tourney and sign up for Melee and 4, how do you maintain the mindset for that particular game?
 

Fox Is Openly Deceptive

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I just wanted to add that you can z-drop/bomb-drop without a Zair/tether coming out not just immediately after a SH or FH, but also immediately after a ledgehop, a footstool, doing any aerial while holding a bomb, and coming out of hitstun.
 
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Rizen

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Long-time Brawl player here, just got the game, and... is zair EVER a good call anymore? It seems as though every time I use it, the landing lag not only prevents me from following up on it, but actively gets me punished!

Do I just need to learn how to use it better? Or is its usefulness much more limited?
Zair sadly doesn't chain into attacks like in Brawl because the general nerf to landings. It also does 6% total (2+4) instead of 10% in Brawl. It is longer than Brawl's and Link has better mobility, so SSB4 Zair is great for spacing. It can beat most aerial approaches and makes ground approaches from larger characters difficult (still great vs Bowser, DK, etc). If you space Zair from near the tip Link should be able to land and jab safely. It's great vs reflectors: if Rosalina's gravitational pulling your projectiles use Zair, etc.
Samus' Zair length has been nerfed so Link's is even better.
 

Elessar

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Long-time Brawl player here, just got the game, and... is zair EVER a good call anymore? It seems as though every time I use it, the landing lag not only prevents me from following up on it, but actively gets me punished!

Do I just need to learn how to use it better? Or is its usefulness much more limited?
It is still useful but it must not be used like in Brawl. This is a new game with new mechanics, so don't play it like brawl. Zair now (in the current metagame) is only used to keep the spacing, basically stopping the opponent's approach, not to approach yourself. Basically, as a get out from my face tool. It's very good at this when done properly.

Say you enter a tourney and sign up for Melee and 4, how do you maintain the mindset for that particular game?
This is something very hard to do since your muscle memory will betray UoE. Theoretically, you' have to practice changing your mentality a lot at home by playing a couple of sm4sh matches, then switching to melee, switching back, rinse and repeat. You want to get an association of the game's look with the playstyle. In practice, the problem is that not everyone can do it, so you might have to pick one. @Cyner can help you more though since he does this and in fact just did it last Saturday and managed to place quite high in both games going only Link.
 

Fools Requiem

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Ok, the question I'm asking isn't really technically up there.

I play offline because online is still hit and miss with the lag and I can't stand playing through lag. If I'm going to lose, I'd like to know it's because I suck not because lag screwed me over... so I play offline... against bots.

Unfortunately, playing Link 1 v 1 on a neutral stage against most Lvl 9 CPUs is insanely easy compared to playing against other characters. It truly seems to me that AI doesn't know what to do when you start spamming projectiles at them at an alarming rate (and I love spamming those projectiles one after another). It's actually to the point to where it feels cheap. It's so bad, I've been wanting to make a video showcasing it, but haven't gotten around to it.

Then I play characters like Fox or Rosalina and my projectile strategies go out the window. Any character with a projectile deflector (or eater like Rosalina) except for Zelda spams their reflectors as often as they can, requiring me to come in close to attack... seeing as Link isn't all that fast, and the AI has split second reflexes, I don't stand much of a chance. I'm not looking for specific matchup tips for specific characters, I can figure all that stuff out if I need too; I just need some ideas on what I should generally do against characters who reflect projectiles.

Thanks in advance.
 
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Rizen

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Link is slow but he has a good reach. If you attack from the tip of Link's reach it will beat most characters. Against reflectors, Zair is a great long reaching tool. If you see a character is using reflector it means they are vulnerable to sword attacks. Jab is a safe move that can create openings.
 

Elessar

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@ F Fools Requiem my first advise is to play offline versus other humans, as much as possible. Try, however you can, to do that since humans have on huge trait that you need to learn how to deal with: we adapt.

Concerning your question: first, play vs cpus lvl 7 or 8 since 9 has an unreal reaction time so it won't really help you as practice when learning, which is what it seems as you're doing. Change to 9 once those two levels are too easy for you.

Second, concerning the reflectors, when facing an opponent with a reflector your spam game has to change, it can't be the same or you'll die. Your spam will be mostly to bait the reflector so you can punish it, and to punish moves. Try to keep them away though with zair since that can't be reflected and it goes through all reflectors. Three, Link is slow, but he's still fast enough to zone in and punish when timed right. You just have to play Link accordingly, so don't try to rush anyone. Bait and pressure with your projectiles, punish with your sword.

But in all honesty, try to play vs other humans. Find people in your area and grow with them.
 

Ieven

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Now that we still have bomb slide, i wonder if back slide > footstool would be a good setup ? Even if it seems flashy at the first sight.
 

Rizen

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there's an issue when you jump too close to the Ledge it uses your second jump rather than the first one so you're left jump less.
How specifically does this happen? I think this has happened a lot to me I'll jump off stage and think I can double jump but he doesn't.
 

Elessar

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How specifically does this happen? I think this has happened a lot to me I'll jump off stage and think I can double jump but he doesn't.
It happens every time you jump on the Ledge. The range varies according to your speed. If you're dashing, the distance increases. So far what I've found the distance is the same as the Ledge markings on FD and BF. Go to FD, left Ledge, and you'll see a blue line on the Ledge. If you step on the line while dashing and jump once you're on the line you'll use your second jump rather than your first jump.
 

Real Smooth-Like

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I've got a question. When should I use link's grounded up b? links up b no longer has that nasty semi spike effect that was in melee that was pretty great for edge guarding. So... Doesn't that just make his grounded up b a non tipper down smash with horrendous end lag or am I missing something? Basically when should I use this, if ever, over down smash?
 

Elessar

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I've got a question. When should I use link's grounded up b? links up b no longer has that nasty semi spike effect that was in melee that was pretty great for edge guarding. So... Doesn't that just make his grounded up b a non tipper down smash with horrendous end lag or am I missing something? Basically when should I use this, if ever, over down smash?
I never use it to be honest. However, it can be useful to use if from an auto canceled empty sh. Imo, grounded upB is just a very gimmicky move that has no benefits over dsmash.
 

Real Smooth-Like

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I never use it to be honest. However, it can be useful to use if from an auto canceled empty sh. Imo, grounded upB is just a very gimmicky move that has no benefits over dsmash.
thank you. I haven't been using it either, I was just wondering since Link has a high skill cap, and you said yourself once that you should try to be using all of his moves to be effective (I've been lurking for a long time now...)

Anyways, another question. D-tilt: when should I be using this move? I usually use it as a mix up for f-tilt, but I was wondering if it had more specific applications, other than the spike effect, it's so hard to hit. (Though I did see someone combo a jab to a d-tilt off-stage, it was pretty sweet.)
 

Elessar

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thank you. I haven't been using it either, I was just wondering since Link has a high skill cap, and you said yourself once that you should try to be using all of his moves to be effective (I've been lurking for a long time now...)

Anyways, another question. D-tilt: when should I be using this move? I usually use it as a mix up for f-tilt, but I was wondering if it had more specific applications, other than the spike effect, it's so hard to hit. (Though I did see someone combo a jab to a d-tilt off-stage, it was pretty sweet.)

Dtilt is another move that is seldom used. You can try to go for the spike, but first learn how to connect it. While the spike s still weird, this time around it can hit consistently if you know when to do it. Think of it a bit like Marth/Lucina' meteor or Luigi's meteor. Do I would use it for edge guarding in special occasions, like is someone overshot the Ledge with a recovery use it for a nice kill (in this case, his with dtilt when your opponent's feet are leveled with Links head). On stage, dtilt is a nice launcher at low percentages to start a nice combo when the opponent's shield is weak. Since the shield only covers the area of the bubble you can connect a dtilt while they are still shielding. At low percentages this launches nicely for a fair or nair or even an utilt juggle.

As for grounded upB, yes I did say that you needed to know every move, and you do. You can still use it for mixing up but just as a surprise imo. Don't abuse it precisely because it's so slow and easily punishable. UpB is beastly in the air though, and if used to chase someone in the air instead of am uair it may actually kill earlier in some stages.

As I said, know ever love and ve ready to use them, but use them smartly, don't just put anything out without having a reason for it because you will get punished and Link is still a heavy chat that gets easily juggled and comboed.
 
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UpB has one thing over Dsmash that I like, the persistent hitbox, I will grounded spin attack someone who is spotdodging or spamming Roll-->Dsmash like a scrub and it almost always punishes them.
 

FGC-Oni

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So... this is the Q&A thread. So I'd assume I'd be ok to ask here, but I'm reluctant giving the nature of what I've seen lurking in the Link boards. Not to be off topic but I come from much worse forums it's just that you guys are more hellbent on rules from what I've seen. Anyways, I've read the stickies but I'm not sure where to start to improve my Link. A majority of the time in online matches I find myself simply spamming jabs and projectiles and being very defensive/evasive. In a way, instinctually reacting to my opponent. The reason this doesn't do me well is because when I see an opening I go for moves that are way to slow or other characters beat out my stuff.

So my question is this, even after having developed a rudimentary understanding of Link's capabilities in Smash 4. Where specifically can I look to implement an actual gameplan when I'm playing? As I've mentioned, I read the OP's in the stickies but you guys have info sprinkled all over the place, so it's not like the information isn't there I just can't seem to piece it together in an order that I can practice on.

Again keep in mind, I'm new as a competitive smash player (at the very least, an online warrior) so I need to take things one step at a time.
 

Rizen

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So... this is the Q&A thread. So I'd assume I'd be ok to ask here, but I'm reluctant giving the nature of what I've seen lurking in the Link boards. Not to be off topic but I come from much worse forums it's just that you guys are more hellbent on rules from what I've seen. Anyways, I've read the stickies but I'm not sure where to start to improve my Link. A majority of the time in online matches I find myself simply spamming jabs and projectiles and being very defensive/evasive. In a way, instinctually reacting to my opponent. The reason this doesn't do me well is because when I see an opening I go for moves that are way to slow or other characters beat out my stuff.

So my question is this, even after having developed a rudimentary understanding of Link's capabilities in Smash 4. Where specifically can I look to implement an actual gameplan when I'm playing? As I've mentioned, I read the OP's in the stickies but you guys have info sprinkled all over the place, so it's not like the information isn't there I just can't seem to piece it together in an order that I can practice on.

Again keep in mind, I'm new as a competitive smash player (at the very least, an online warrior) so I need to take things one step at a time.
You've got the first step right; being evasive and throwing out projectiles is very hard for most characters to deal with. I suggest learning to chain attacks offline because lag can be a killer. Once you have a feel for it offline you'll be able to pull off more on wifi.
As for exploiting openings:
Jab 1 or 2 can be canceled to a quick attack like grab, Utilt or Dsmash; it's not guaranteed but often works. Bombs are Link's trump card. Their explosions won't hurt Link if the bomb hits the opponent and they can be thrown OoS. At low %s Link can Utilt/Usmash/Ftilt after throwing a bomb forward at the opponent close by. At higher %s the bombs launch the opponent up farther and you can read where they go and try to Uair or something. Remember what goes up must come down and what goes offstage must return.
Use Frame traps. Throw out a boomerang or something and as the opponent dodges, punish their end lag with a sword attack.
If you jump>throw a bomb down the opponent will be launched up into Link's Nair/Dair.
Utilt is a fast, safe move and can chain into Utilt>Utilt>Usmash at low %s. You need to watch the opponent's DI to know what you can get away with.
I think at low %s grab>Dthrow>Utilt will have a good chance of comboing.
Stuff like that.
 

Elessar

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So... this is the Q&A thread. So I'd assume I'd be ok to ask here, but I'm reluctant giving the nature of what I've seen lurking in the Link boards. Not to be off topic but I come from much worse forums it's just that you guys are more hellbent on rules from what I've seen. Anyways, I've read the stickies but I'm not sure where to start to improve my Link. A majority of the time in online matches I find myself simply spamming jabs and projectiles and being very defensive/evasive. In a way, instinctually reacting to my opponent. The reason this doesn't do me well is because when I see an opening I go for moves that are way to slow or other characters beat out my stuff.

So my question is this, even after having developed a rudimentary understanding of Link's capabilities in Smash 4. Where specifically can I look to implement an actual gameplan when I'm playing? As I've mentioned, I read the OP's in the stickies but you guys have info sprinkled all over the place, so it's not like the information isn't there I just can't seem to piece it together in an order that I can practice on.

Again keep in mind, I'm new as a competitive smash player (at the very least, an online warrior) so I need to take things one step at a time.
You don't have to worry about us as long as you do what you're doing. Lurk, read think before you post and post. It might seem scary but it isn't, you'll see with time.

To answer your question, the best and most practical advice, I can give you it to watch as many vids as possible and go lose as much as possible. Reading guides and stickies is great, but that's all theoretical knowledge. Putting that knowledge in practice is something completely different. You need to feel the fight. Reading guides will give you theoretical knowledge. Watching videos wil give you an idea of how to implement that knowledge in new and innovative ways. Playing will make you able to implement this during match. It is a slow process and it takes a lot of effort and self awareness. Just go and lose, that's the most important thing, don't be afraid of losing. When you lose you can see your weaknesses and improve based on that.

You have a big resource here: Us. Play against us and ask for feedback. Post your matches and ask for feedback. Ask questions and we will answer, you have already seen this if you have been lurking. However I can't stress this enough. You need to go out and lose in order to improve, and it takes a long time and hard work to improve.

You can do it however. You're a Link Main, right? Bearer of courage. Go and lose until you win.
 

link7

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So I have another mind set question. This is for those that play at large tourneys regularly. I went to Pacific North Western Regionals last week. Using just Link, I placed 33rd out of 64 people. I wasn't particularly thrilled with my placement, but it's way better than placing dead last. I was told after I got knocked out that I was the Link that traveled the farthest in the tourney. I ended up getting knocked out of winners bracket by the guy that placed 4th in the tourney, and shortly after got knocked out by the guy that placed 7th. Unlucky bracket spot I guess.
Here's my issue. Whenever I play my first tourney match, I play really well. I either don't lose a single stock or game in the first set I play. Afterwards though, I play terribly. Maybe my first match up is against someone who isn't all that great, but I've played competent people in the first round and still won cleanly. I have no problem making it into the winners bracket. It seems that I lose steam after that first match though. In the losers bracket, the guy who knocked me out said "I've seen you play better." To my credit, it was only the second time I've played the Wii U Smash. I've been playing the 3DS version forever.
So my question is, how do I overcome this hurdle? Should I move around more? Play more friendlies whenever they become available? Is it because I didn't bring any food or drink? Is it because I feel proud that I've leaped that first hurdle, and when I stumble on that second hurdle, I lose the will to continue? How can I fix this?
 

Zelkam

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So... this is the Q&A thread. So I'd assume I'd be ok to ask here, but I'm reluctant giving the nature of what I've seen lurking in the Link boards. Not to be off topic but I come from much worse forums it's just that you guys are more hellbent on rules from what I've seen. Anyways, I've read the stickies but I'm not sure where to start to improve my Link. A majority of the time in online matches I find myself simply spamming jabs and projectiles and being very defensive/evasive. In a way, instinctually reacting to my opponent. The reason this doesn't do me well is because when I see an opening I go for moves that are way to slow or other characters beat out my stuff.

So my question is this, even after having developed a rudimentary understanding of Link's capabilities in Smash 4. Where specifically can I look to implement an actual gameplan when I'm playing? As I've mentioned, I read the OP's in the stickies but you guys have info sprinkled all over the place, so it's not like the information isn't there I just can't seem to piece it together in an order that I can practice on.

Again keep in mind, I'm new as a competitive smash player (at the very least, an online warrior) so I need to take things one step at a time.
I won't bother typing out an answer to you question seems how Rizen and Elessar have already done an excellent job at that. I would like to say, though, that you should never be afraid to ask any questions here. This thread is a flame free zone. If you genuinely want to improve your game with Link and have any questions then this is the place to ask them.

From the outside looking in we might seem like a bunch of angry and jaded trolls. And you wouldn't be far from the truth. But the reason we are the way we are is because we've had to endure years of people telling us our character is crap and that we should just switch mains. We're not going to do that though because he's freakin' Link! So in a way, our flaming and harassing is a way of preparing you for whats to come. Because if you can't put up with us, you surely won't be able to put up with them.
 

eveningninja

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Q: How do you pull out a bomb midair without simultaneously fastfalling? I want to incorporate more bombs into my off-stage/recovery game but it feels counterproductive when I'm causing myself to fastfall to death at the same time. Thanks.
 

Zelkam

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Q: How do you pull out a bomb midair without simultaneously fastfalling? I want to incorporate more bombs into my off-stage/recovery game but it feels counterproductive when I'm causing myself to fastfall to death at the same time. Thanks.
It sounds to me like you're not pressing the B button fast enough. If you press the B button immediately after pressing down then you shouldn't fast fall. I know that one of things that newer players struggle with is the idea of inputting a direction along with an action. With time and plenty of practice you'll begin to being able to perform an action without having to think about the button inputs. I would suggest going into training mode and just practice pulling bombs while jumping until the the timing becomes natural.
 

Elessar

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Q: How do you pull out a bomb midair without simultaneously fastfalling? I want to incorporate more bombs into my off-stage/recovery game but it feels counterproductive when I'm causing myself to fastfall to death at the same time. Thanks.
There three ways but all revolve around one. I'll only give you the best one however. You have to take out the bomb before your momentum changes to falling. As long as your momentum still hasn't began a downward motion you'll be fine. A lot of people do this by using their second jump to get an ascending momentum and then take it out. Don't do this since you're basically wasting your jump and worsening your recovery (this was the second way) the third one is mapping cstick to specials, but this is highly inadvisable since you won't be able to do many other ATs.

Just remember, flick downB quickly before you start falling and you'll be good.
 

Rizen

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I have this problem too. I'll play fine for a few hours then start getting worn out and eventually play terrible. If the TO is efficient at getting matches started on time it helps. I've found if I know the group I play better from being less nervous, but we can't always do that. I don't like being around crowds so I'll go for a walk or fresh air part way through.
The most important thing is to always have fun; when you start taking the games too seriously, you choke.

Good work repping Link btw :)
 

link7

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The most important thing is to always have fun; when you start taking the games too seriously, you choke. Good work repping Link btw :)
Yea, I go for the chance to meet people who love the game as much as I do. I always have fun when I'm there. I just wish I could have given Link the recognition that he deserves. Sadly M2K cleaned house with Diddy.
 
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Got a tiny question to ask for a friend who's in need of some advice. I didn't want to bump that old Shulk MU thread you guys got here sooo.... how do you deal with a Shulk that spams the hell out of counter against you? My friend played against a great Shulk and it's what mostly did the damage and kills against him too. And just to clarify, he was playing very defensive with Link. Link having an unforgivingly bad grab animation doesn't make his case better against a Shulk like this. I already know how to deal with Link, but I don't know how a counter-spamming Shulk's MU with Link really goes since it really just isn't my style.
 

Rizen

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Got a tiny question to ask for a friend who's in need of some advice. I didn't want to bump that old Shulk MU thread you guys got here sooo.... how do you deal with a Shulk that spams the hell out of counter against you? My friend played against a great Shulk and it's what mostly did the damage and kills against him too. And just to clarify, he was playing very defensive with Link. Link having an unforgivingly bad grab animation doesn't make his case better against a Shulk like this. I already know how to deal with Link, but I don't know how a counter-spamming Shulk's MU with Link really goes since it really just isn't my style.
Link's grab isn't nearly as bad as it was in Brawl. Any grab can punish a counter. I don't know the Shulk MU but generally to deal with counters, projectiles and Zair spaced from far away are safe. Just don't rush in with obvious big, slow attacks.
 
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Link's grab isn't nearly as bad as it was in Brawl. Any grab can punish a counter. I don't know the Shulk MU but generally to deal with counters, projectiles and Zair spaced from far away are safe. Just don't rush in with obvious big, slow attacks.
I should have added that I told him that baiting a counter works very well but he isn't really good at doing that yet so I had to ask you guys for other strategies. Thanks for answering :)
 

Elessar

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Got a tiny question to ask for a friend who's in need of some advice. I didn't want to bump that old Shulk MU thread you guys got here sooo.... how do you deal with a Shulk that spams the hell out of counter against you? My friend played against a great Shulk and it's what mostly did the damage and kills against him too. And just to clarify, he was playing very defensive with Link. Link having an unforgivingly bad grab animation doesn't make his case better against a Shulk like this. I already know how to deal with Link, but I don't know how a counter-spamming Shulk's MU with Link really goes since it really just isn't my style.
Don't worry about bumping the Shulk thread though. That's our official Shulk thread so all Shulk MU posts should go there, no matter in I'd you'll necrobump it.

To answer your questions specifically, Shulk' counter is a but bad in that the counter window is very small and precise so baiting it becomes really easy. Most people who use counter either spam it or only bring it out when you already committed to a big hi, like changing a smash. My advise is to hit confirm before smashes with a Jab cancel; this way if he does counter you'll get hit with the equivalent of a Jab rather than a smash, and if your Jab connects you can cancel it into a fsmash, usmash or dsmash.

Against people who spam counters it's actually easy since you can condition them early on to spam it frequently by getting hit a couple of times with it. The later on you can bait the counters repeating the a Yoon which you know will bring a counter (like chasing for an uair) and punish accordingly.

Most importantly probably is to keep in mind that he will get hit with it occasionally. The idea is to minimize the times that happens or at least minimize the damage received. For this remember to hit confirm and do not commit to big hits unless you know it will connect. Good players will always wait until you commit to jump into your path with a counter (for example wait until you charge a smash to edge guard son they can Ledgehop into a counter).
 
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Shulk' counter is a but bad in that the counter window is very small and precise so baiting it becomes really easy.
Correction: this is untrue, unless Shulk spams it. Shulk's counter charges over time, and every 30 seconds or so he gets a very powerful one that can kill you very easily, especially if he uses it on the ground and holds the right input causing him to do an even more powerful version which is thankfully not available in the air. Shulk's counter has an absurdly long window if used sparingly.

The rest of what Elessar said is basically still true, hit confirm with a jab first, force him to approach with (safe)spam, or at least annoy him and try to control neutral. Mix up your recovery. Shulk has a surprisingly dangerous air game. Zair/Fair are very good against Shulk, by the way. Just don't get overconfident because if that counter is charged up you will die.

Oh, another thing, there are times where you can set off the counter without being animation locked, such as by use of a projectile, if this happens, the counter is still unblockable and will go right thorugh your shield. Jump or otherwise avoid it, and punish the attack animation when it ends.
 
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