- 1 Overview
- 2 Moveset
- 2.1 Character Attributes
- 2.2 Universal
- 2.3 Field Phase
- 2.4 Duel Phase
- 2.5 Pokemon Moves
- 2.6 Synergy Burst
- 3 Strategy
- 4 Fighting against Pikachu
Pikachu is a balanced character with a great mix of tools that are simple enough for many beginners to pick up, while having room for technical mastery with some of its strong just frame attacks. It has a strong projectile game, quick and versatile melee attacks, simple but damaging combos, deceptive aerial mobility and a frequent Synergy Burst, letting it fit many playstyles and adapt to take on different characters. While Pikachu's simplicity makes it easy to learn, it also makes its offense and mixups straightforward, lacking any major tools to abuse. It also lacks a reliable anti-air which leaves a large gap in its defense.
- HP: 570
- Type: Standard
Pikachu is a well-rounded character, so it doesn't have any stats that stand out. It has average movement speed, an average jump, and decent dashes. However, Pikachu does have some interesting Duel Phase stance abilities. When in High Stance, Pikachu will start building up Synergy very gradually after a brief delay, indicated by the electric discharge from its tail. In Low Stance, Pikachu can duck under high attacks like most characters, but it additionally regenerates its shield.
In Field Phase, Pikachu ensnares the foe with electricity and shocks them. In Duel Phase, it launches the foe with two bolts then does a headbutt. Pikachu has a standard grab that deals average damage with a very low startup time, often tied for Pikachu's fastest option in most grounded scenarios. Like any grab it can be used to break guards and counters, and cause phase shifts. The Field Phase grab leaves your foe at about mid-range from you after shifting, giving you the option of either zoning the foe or rushing down.
Counter Attack (X+A)
Pikachu suspends and smashes two magnetic rocks together to crush the foe. This is a standard counter attack with a generous hitbox, hitting with a large orb directly in front of Pikachu. This is a good general tool to deal with most projectiles and enemy offense, occasionally capable of acting as an anti-air, but do not get predictable with it. In Duel Phase, this move causes the opponent to crumple on a critical hit, which sets them up for a damaging juggle combo. Getting critical hits with this attack is a great source of damage for Pikachu, so it's vital to be able to make use of it judiciously against your foe's attacks.
Charge Weak Attack
Pikachu unleashes a jumping uppercut. Hold the button longer for an enhanced version of the attack. This attack is similar to Pikachu's other electric uppercuts, except Pikachu can use this move in either phase. The yellow version launches foes straight up, while the blue version knocks them away in a high arc. While it doesn't see as much use as the other electric uppercuts, it does considerably more damage than said moves and is invincible to air attacks for its function as an anti-air. Since it requires you to hold the button, it effectively prevents you from jumping or using Y attacks while charging, which really limits its use. The partially charged version can launch foes for a juggle combo, but you can't combo off the blue version unless there's a wall nearby.
Ranged Attack (YYY)
Up to three small but long range electric shots that travel straight ahead. These projectiles have the most range of Pikachu's Y attacks, but they have poor tracking so they are easily evaded. Use this move primarily for long-range harassment; your other projectiles would be safer when your foe is around mid-range. The third hit of the attack is Pikachu's only Field Phase move that is special-cancellable, so you can follow-up with Pikachu's three available special moves depending on the situation. There's also the option to continue into your f.Y attack, which makes this move fairly versatile and responsive against an enemy's approach.
Side Ranged Attack (s.Y)
Three waves of electricity sent out at once. While it has less range than Pikachu's neutral Y attack, the projectiles themselves are wider and targets the foe individually the moment they are spawned, so they are more useful at closer ranges to respond to sideways movement from the opponent. It also generates all 3 projectiles with one input, so it is overall faster than your YYY attack. It also functions as a sidestep to evade while attacking. It's still slightly sluggish and ineffective against counters and block, so use it with care when the foe is within range to punish. It can link into your forward Y attack to catch foes off guard or combo into a phase shift.
Forward Ranged Attack (f.Y)
Pikachu sidesteps twice, firing an orb of electricity at the opponent each time. The second orb causes a phase shift on hit. Intermediate range, but it is excellent for mid-range engagements. You can dodge plenty of projectiles and disrupt your opponent's homing due to Pikachu's rapid leaps. It also has great tracking and the projectiles themselves are fast, so you have a good chance of hitting a moving foe as well. Additionally, it can be used as a natural follow-up for Pikachu's other ranged attacks. However, it does nothing against counters and guarding, so it is punishable if the enemy is close enough.
Backward Ranged Attack (b.Y)
Pikachu jumps forward while discharging power in a sphere around it. This move can be used for surprise phase shifts at mid-range, but it's a tad slow to be regularly usable. It has the longest startup of Pikachu's normal moves in Field Phase so it can be interrupted by faster moves, and it is terribly disadvantageous on block. Using this move carelessly will often let the foe cause a phase shift instead. Nevertheless, this move has a nice hitbox that can catch sidesteps or airborne foes, so it can be used every so often if the foe is not expecting it.
Jumping Ranged Attack (j.Y)
A tall, weak lightning bolt that slowly tracks the foe. While this is Pikachu's slowest projectile, it lasts long so you can combine it with Pikachu's other ranged attacks to impede an opponent's approach. It has great vertical range, making it a nice air-to-air move. Unfortunately, the attack only covers a tiny area on the ground and it homes in on opponents poorly, so grounded foes can move around it with ease. It also doesn't lead to much reward on hit outside of some stray damage.
Homing Attack (XXX)
Pikachu attacks the foe with some tail swipes and a headbutt, then discharges electricity at them. Pikachu's Homing Attack has a fairly quick homing dash that can be used as one of Pikachu's movement options in short bursts. It doesn't have a lot of range, but it is very quick, safe on block, breaks grabs and good for punishing and phase shifting out of Field Phase. For the third hit of Pikachu's Homing Attack you are considered airborne while charging and thus can't be grabbed, so most foes cannot simply respond to a homing attack charge with their fastest attacking option.
Jumping Attack (j.X)
Pikachu does a dive kick imbued with electricity, causing a phase shift on hit. This move has counter properties throughout the attack, so it can consistently beat out many of your opponent's attacks. Since it's an air attack, you are also safe from most grabs, and counter piercing moves are rare in Field Phase. However, it has a rigid trajectory that can cause it to whiff against opponents making a lot of sideways movement, as well as approaching enemies if you are at the peak of your jump. It's a good punish move against aggressive foes, but unreliable in neutral.
Weak Attack (5YYY)
Pikachu sweeps with its tail up to three times. Pressing X any time in the combo will make Pikachu do an uppercut, getting a stronger blue version if X is inputted the moment an attack hits. Pikachu can also cancel any hit of the Y attacks with a Pokemon Move. This move is a fast, flexible poke with the number of options Pikachu can use off of it. The ability to cancel into specials any time during the attack gives you plenty of time to hit confirm into a Pokemon Move for additional damage, or perform mixups like canceling into Nuzzle or Iron Tail to break through the foe's defense.
The X follow-up is an interesting feature of this move with important uses of its own, but most of it is from the well-timed, blue version of the uppercut. The yellow uppercut launches foes but lets them air tech very early, so it doesn't allow for any combos. However, the blue uppercut gives you enough time to combo the airborne opponent, especially if used in the middle of a combo since it launches them higher. This makes 5Y a great combo glue, as it can both relaunch a juggled enemy and end a combo by canceling into a special move instead. Either uppercut is advantageous on block, but there is a delay between the tail sweep and the uppercut that lets foes interrupt or hold their counter. Do not use the X follow-up on the first Y hit against a grounded foe, since it will not combo.
Forward Weak Attack (6Y)
Pikachu performs an electric uppercut that launches the foe. Inputting both the direction and button at the exact moment grants an enhanced, blue version of the move, reminiscent of Tekken's famous Electric Wind God Fist. 6Y is one of Pikachu's best duel phase attacks. It is fast, it launches enemies for combos, it is safe on block, and it can dodge high attacks during its startup. The main difference between the two versions is that the blue 6Y does more damage and takes more attacks to phase shift, as well as being more advantageous on block. 6Y is Pikachu's primary combo starter with many follow-up options, essential for raising Pikachu's damage output.
High Stance Weak Attack (8Y)
Pikachu leaps up while spinning, attacking with its tail. Being an 8Y input, this move has anti-air properties, but only during its startup, making it fairly situational. It also has considerable startup and a rigid angled trajectory, giving it difficulty intercepting aerial attacks. However, it carries a foe up with Pikachu on hit, and lets you use any of your aerial options afterward. The most common follow-up is your air X move, which drags the enemy back down and causes a knockdown. It knocks grounded foes away instead and is very punishable on whiff and block, so save it for anti-airing. Curiously, it can carry a ground enemy up on critical hit, as if it was used against an aerial foe, but this move should never be your first choice for breaking grabs.
Low Stance Weak Attack (2Y)
Pikachu sweeps the ground with its tail, tossing up some dirt. 2Y's main function is as a fairly safe poke. It's a low attack, which means it can be used to low profile some enemy attacks, and its speed lets it crush grabs reliably. It can also be canceled with Pokemon Moves, so you can get more damage out of a successful hit by comboing into another attack. 2Y followed by a Pokemon Move is a solid combo ender. Its role overlaps with Pikachu's 5Y attack in both neutral and combos; while 5Y does more damage and has more options off a hit, 2Y is slightly faster and dodges high attacks.
Midair Weak Attack (j.Y)
Pikachu extends its tail charged with a sphere of electricity. This attack doesn't have a lot of range, but it comes out extremely quickly, making it a nice air-to-air attack. It's Pikachu's only aerial option that doesn't alter its trajectory, and it doesn't hit behind Pikachu so be careful when crossing over the opponent. It is generally safe on block and very advantageous on hit to allow for combos, but j.X is more commonly used as a combo starter.
Strong Attack (5X)
Pikachu fires a jolt of electricity a good distance ahead. This is an incredible normal for playing a defensive gameplan, since it has ridiculous range and can cancel into specials, though it is a tad slow. The move hits roughly 2 Pikachus ahead, so it's handy for impeding approaches against characters with threatening grapples or a superior close-range game. On hit, Thunderbolt is the only move that hits if you cancel into a Pokemon Move at max range, but Iron Tail does the most damage if you're a bit closer. Take note that the attack is low to the ground, so you are vulnerable to enemy jump-ins.
High Stance Strong Attack (8X)
Pikachu performs two midair kicks as it leaps forward. This is Pikachu's designated grab crush attack as it makes Pikachu airborne for the duration of the attack, but its poor speed makes it virtually unused for this purpose compared to Pikachu's other grab crushing options. Pikachu hovers high enough over the ground to evade many low attacks, but doesn't get much reward on hit against grounded foes. It is usually used in combos after a launcher, as it juggles aerial foes and can carry the victim closer to the wall.
Low Stance Strong Attack (2X)
Pikachu does two tail sweeps that sends out two waves of dirt. Like 2Y, 2X is a sweep attack that can low profile enemy moves, but has a longer startup and slightly more range. It sends foes flying away in an arc, so it can't lead to combos on grounded foes unless you're near the wall. Using it in a juggle combo instead launches them high enough for follow-ups, and it carries the foe a good distance horizontally for positioning purposes. Since it is rather sluggish, it rarely finds uses outside of combos.
Midair Strong Attack (j.X)
Pikachu dives toward the ground while curled up. A diagonally downward input will change the angle of Pikachu's dive. While it has a long startup compared to Pikachu's other attacks, it has a large hitbox in a circle around Pikachu that makes it easy to hit. It is advantageous on block and drastically more so on hit, so it can easily lead to a combo afterward. Against aerial foes, it carries them to the ground and ends with a knockdown, which lets you pressure their wakeup. It's most common use is as a whiff punish that can lead to high damage combos afterward.
Pikachu sends a bolt of lightning straight across the ground. In Field Phase, it can be charged to shoot 3 bolts that fan out, each stunning the foe if it hits. In Duel Phase, fulling charging the attack causes Pikachu to fire two bolts in quick succession. Thunderbolt is Pikachu's most durable projectile and its only projectile in Duel Phase. Its high durability makes it handy for absorbing enemy projectiles in Field Phase, and it's good for causing phase shifts due to its speed and range. Meanwhile, it's handy for covering ground approaches in Duel Phase, letting Pikachu put up a decent keepaway game. The projectile is quite low, so enemies can jump over them and it affects which enemy projectiles it can absorb. The charged versions are rarely used due to their longer startup and low reward.
Nuzzle (f.A or 6A)
Pikachu lunges forward to grab the foe. If it succeeds, it will discharge electricity from its cheeks to knock its target away. This move causes a guaranteed phase shift in Field Phase. Nuzzle is a grab that shares many properties with Pikachu's regular grab, being able to ignore guards and counters while losing consistently to normal attacks. It is slower than your normal grab but has better range due to the lunge. Pikachu can dodge low attacks due to the move's animation, but conversely it will whiff against most crouching foes. Since it is a Pokemon Move, it can be canceled into from other moves as a reaction to enemy counters or to tick throw. For instance, Pikachu can cancel its 5Y combo into Nuzzle upon hitting a foe's counter attack, netting a critical hit.
Electro Ball (b.A or 4A)
Pikachu throws a huge electric orb that follows a mild straight upward slope. This move is designed for hitting aerial foes, so it will whiff entirely against most crouching opponents and some standing ones. It has a lengthy startup so it can't be used on reaction, instead it is more of a preemptive anti-air against jump-happy characters like Charizard or Gardevoir. Electro Ball's trajectory is great against airdashes and other aerial maneuvers and it covers foes attempting to jump in from a safe range.
Pikachu targets a lightning bolt at the foe's current location, which strikes after a brief moment. The lightning strike stuns the foe for follow-ups, but causes a knockdown after the third consecutive Thunder. Pikachu can cancel the lightning strike by pressing the guard button. The initial jump can hit foes below Pikachu, but it's not very useful. Thunder is a heavily situationa attack, since there's a significant delay between the input and the attack actually hitting. Opponents can easily move out of the way or absorb it with a counter for free Synergy. It also suspends Pikachu in the air until the strike, leaving you open for a big punish if the foe is close enough. It can be a decent anti-zoning tool against a turtling enemy, or to use after a knockdown or phase shift to pressure the foe's wakeup. In most cases, the foe would be too far away to combo after a successful Thunder, so your best bet is to follow-up with more Thunders for additional damage.
WHile Thunder's use is limited as an attack. Thunder shifts Pikachu's position during two parts: the initial input and the lightning cancel. For the initial input, you can hold forward or backward to make Pikachu leap in that direction, and even sideways in Field Phase. Then, you can also hold forward or backward when canceling Thunder to make Pikachu fall in that direction after cancellation. This effectively lets you shift Pikachu's aerial momentum twice, which can cause enemy anti-airs to whiff and give opportunities to punish. You can use your other air attacks after canceling Thunder, giving you the ability to immediately punish mistakes or to cover your landing.
Volt Tackle (8A)
Pikachu charges upward in a zigzag motion. This move is a typical reversal attack, having very fast startup and counter armor for the whole attack. The armor on the move is very useful for alleviating pressure and for anti-airing, though it has an odd trajectory for attacking aerial opponents. Volt Tackle is a powerful tool when used sparingly, but it has glaring weaknesses if you get predictable with it. It is vulnerable to grabs during startup due to its counter properties, and leaves you open to punishment on whiff or on block as you fall from the attack.
Iron Tail (2A)
Pikachu hops up and slams its tail down. Iron Tail is Pikachu's most common combo ender, dealing the most damage out of its Pokemon Moves and leaving the foe in a knockdown state. The move has a long startup and is punishable on counter or block, so it is a poor attack to use in neutral, while using it in combos alleviates both of these problems. Pikachu jumps high enough to dodge low and some mid attacks, so it can sometimes be used as a mixup to hit foes mashing or countering out of pressure.
Pikachu has one of the fastest charging Synergy Gauges in the game, letting it enter Synergy Burst mode very often. Its burst mode also lasts a bit longer than other fast Synergy-charge characters. While it doesn't gain a lot from Synergy Burst, Pikachu can enter burst mode so frequently it can just abuse the universal stat boosts and armor against weak attacks to enhance its offense and pressure.
During Synergy Burst, Pikachu's 6Y and the X follow-up of its YYY attack are always enhanced. While you need precise timing to enhance these attacks normally, you will always get the blue electricity version in burst mode. As a result, your combos and juggles will do more damage overall. The exception to this if your charged Y attack, which still has two stages of charge despite their similar animations.
Pikachu's 2Y also gets a major buff in burst mode, having nearly double its normal range. This turns it into an incredible poke and combo tool, having the reach of 5X but with much better speed. It is still special cancellable, so it can confirm into some devastating combos, chief of which being Pikachu's Burst Attack.
Lightning strikes twice
Some of Pikachu's Pokemon moves are powered-up in Synergy Burst. Thunder now hits two times, giving you more time to combo off of a successful hit. It still has the same drawbacks of regular Thunder, so it's not a big buff. Volt Tackle gains a follow-up attack where Pikachu crashes into the ground. The follow-up is still punishable on block, but it might catch foes off guard. It can also be used as a high damage combo ender.
Burst Attack: Volt Shock Fist
Pikachu rushes forward and tackles the foe, then launches them up with its tail. It shoots skyward with a trail of lightning to finish off with a mighty punch. Pikachu has a straightforward Burst Attack, albeit with relatively low damage to compensate for how frequent it can use it. The initial hit travels very quickly and has a fairly lenient vertical hitbox, so it can be used as an anti-air of sorts, or as a great long-range punish. It can also be used as an ender for many of Pikachu's standard juggle combos, but the damage scaling drastically reduces the attack's already poor damage. Pikachu has many fast or ranged attacks that can confirm into its Burst Attack, like its 5Y combo, 2Y, 5X or Nuzzle.