Monado Art Landing Lag Cancel

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Landing lag comparisons of Shulk's back aerial in Smash 4, with (left) and without (right) MALLC. The Shulk on the left can cancel the Jump pose into any action due to a successful landing lag cancel.

The Monado Art Landing Lag Cancel (abbreviated MALLC) is an advanced technique for Shulk in both Smash 4 and Ultimate. It allows Shulk to remove part of the landing lag of his aerials or air dodge by using the animations from selecting Monado Arts, which lets him apply safer pressure with his aerials, escape from juggles, perform longer combos or strings, and even take advantage of the few frames of intangibility during art activation to land safely onto stage.

MALLC has been refined by the Shulk community since its discovery in Smash 4: Erico9001 first explained the timings of MALLC in his YouTube guide. Later, Jerm provided a more in-depth video guide on the timings and added details of the technique. Finally, Paradigm/Erico9001 uploaded a video providing the exact frames to successful Art Cancel different moves on varying stages with their video guide.

Performing MALLC[edit]

To perform the technique, the player should start the activation of any Monado Art while in midair, use an aerial attack, and land with the aerial just before the Art fully activates. Shulk performs a pose after any Art activates (provided he isn't in a non landing lag animation), and this pose will replace the landing lag animation. The pose can be immediately canceled as if Shulk is standing still, allowing him to bypass the landing lag of his aerials and use any other action. As Shulk cannot act out of an Art's pose for 6 frames, this technique does not fully eliminate landing lag, but reduces it significantly.

This technique allows Shulk to make use of the 14 frames of intangibility gained right when he poses. Simply doing nothing leads to the longest possible intangible window (14 frames), while buffering an option allows Shulk to act out earlier at the cost of having a smaller window of intangibility (only 6 frames).

MALLC's timings are affected by what the player hits: if Shulk misses or clashes against a shield (even if perfect shielded), he will cancel successfully, but if Shulk hits an opponent, it will cause more hitlag and cause him to land slightly later, making the Art activate during hitlag and failing the MALLC.

Benefits[edit]

In Smash 4[edit]

This technique is the most widely known Shulk technique and is extremely beneficial in Smash 4, due to Shulk's aerials having high landing lag; the lag reduction allows Shulk's high-ranged aerials to space more effectively, and makes him less open when attacking against shields. This technique also grants intangibility, which can act as a controllable and interruptible pseudo-sidestep, granting him a chance to dodge possible punishes from his opponents. If Shulk puts up their shield during these 14 frames, it will always be a perfect shield. Finally, it gives Shulk an accessible B-reverse while in midair, which gives opportunities for unique combos or a quick getaway. However, MALLC is used sparingly in top-level play due to the benefits of having an active Art, and is generally used as a mixup option.

In Ultimate[edit]

MALLC sees much less use in Ultimate due to Shulk's landing lag being significantly reduced like all fighters, which mostly eliminates the need of reducing his lag further. Monado Arts (selected manually instead of the dial wheel) also activate significantly faster, which heavily affects MALLC timings. However, it is still useful for its other properties, such as B-reversing in midair or using the intangibility for mixups and unique movement options. The new dial method for selecting Arts also allows Shulk to access the brief intangibility from changing Arts at any moment. MALLC's offensive purposes have mostly been replaced by a new advanced technique, Dial Storage.

Examples of Beneficial Art Cancels[edit]

All his aerials have varying benefits from MALLC: back aerial benefits the most from this, as it suffers from high landing lag while having the longest range and good KO power. Neutral aerial and forward aerial benefit slightly less due to their speed, while up aerial and down aerial benefit the least, since connecting both hits of these moves cause too much hitlag to land at the correct time.

These are examples of some Art cancels in Smash 4:

  • Short-hop forward/back aerial, Art activated at peak of jump, only cancels on hit.
  • Short-hop up/down aerial (second hit), Art activated after jumping, only cancels if the second hit (the blade beam) connects, as hitting both hits cause too much hitstun.
  • Full-hop to fast-fall aerial, Art activated after jumping, only cancels if whiffed.
  • Full-hop to fast-fall neutral/up aerial (second hit), Art activated at peak of jump, always cancels
  • Revival platform drop to back aerial, Art activated immediately after dropping, allows for a simple back air cancel on certain stages.

Due to the changes to shield mechanics made in version 1.1.1 of Smash 4, cancelling a back air into Buster, and immediately following with a forward smash can instantly break a full-health shield without giving the target a chance to drop shield, provided the initial attack isn't perfect shielded, or aimed at another Shulk or Kirby with the Shield Art active.

Via copy ability, Kirby himself is able to make use of all Monado Art advanced techniques as well; while he can enhance his combo game with MALLC in theory, he benefits less due to his already fast attacks. Like Shulk, Kirby's down aerial suffers from significantly higher hitlag akin to his up and down aerials, making it the least optimal aerial for the technique. However, due to his quicker aerials and different aerial movement speeds, Kirby's timings for the MALLC vary a lot more, though the general principle is the same.

Trivia[edit]

  • The name for the MonaDACUS technique, "SABDJCUS", was a placeholder name for the technique created early in the Shulk community.[1] However, it quickly gained notoriety due to its elongated and gibberish-sounding nature, and became memetic within the Smash community especially when used to describe any of Shulk's advanced techniques.

See also[edit]