Dial Storage is an advanced technique in Ultimate which allows Shulk to bypass up to 10 frames of startup lag when using the Monado Arts dial wheel. It is named as such due to a technical quirk that allows the initial frames of the Monado dial to be "used up" before its next use.
How to perform
To perform Dial Storage, the player must hold the special button while in idle/landing lag/hitstun animations. The dial must be released with the special button before the Monado dial visually appears. This will "store" the current dial charge (a visual "flash" effect around Shulk's torso can be used to time this correctly). As the dial appears at frame 11, this technique can cut out up to 10 frames from the dial animation.
If done correctly, Shulk's next use of the Monado dial will have its startup lag reduced by how many frames were "stored", with a maximum of having no startup frames at all when all 10 frames are used up. This grants an instantaneous Monado Art switch on the next attempt, but Shulk will still suffer from 4 frames of lag after releasing the special button (these 4 frames allow him to input directions to switch Arts).
Pressing and holding the special button during any action that prevents Shulk from switching Arts or during an action’s interruptibility frames (ie: landing lag or after the action’s ending lag) will resume the charge when the action ends.
Max Dial Charge setups
As simply charging the dial manually is inconsistent, there are a few practical setups which guarantee a maximum Dial Charge in advance:
Both these methods have 10 frames of buffer time (in these cases, landing lag), allowing for a consistent 10-frame Dial Storage.
With maximum charge, Shulk can switch Arts instantly to gain up to 14 frames of intangibility, allowing him to escape or switch to the Shield Art during certain multi-moves, or use a directional airdodge to escape from a string, minimizing airdodge landing lag. These situations may otherwise be impossible to escape from when using the standard dial switch (which has 11 frames of startup lag).
Dial Storage can be used to switch Arts almost immediately, allowing a wide variety of combos; this includes potent KO combos like Buster Art moves that lead into finishers in the Smash Art, or mid-combo Art switches that extend strings.
The dial animation can also cancel landing lag from aerial attacks or airdodges. As a result, this technique can be used much like Shulk's signature technique, the Monado Art Landing Lag Cancel. However, the applications of this technique are far more useful and can be used more aggressively, mostly due to the reduced utility of MALLC. In comparison, Dial Storage is more flexible as it doesn't require airtime nor a timed landing, and can be used in any Art (MALLC requires no Arts to be active). However, MALLC has no vulnerability when landing (Dial Storage suffers from 4 frames of lag, which allows Arts to be chosen). Overall, both techniques can be used for different situations.