After a short delay, Pikachu moves in a straight line in the direction in which the player's control stick is tilted, or upwards if it is not tilted. A tilt of the control stick in a different direction will cause another, similar burst. The high speed of this move renders Pikachu nearly invulnerable, but it is exposed at the beginning, middle, and end moments, when it briefly holds still. Quick Attack requires much practice before players can effectively take advantage of its two-direction functionality.
Quick Attack is a physical Normal-type attack introduced in Generation I in the Pokémon games. It's a rather weak move, with a low base power similar to Tackle and Pound. Unlike these other moves, it has a +1 priority, meaning it will go before other moves unless the opponent uses a move whose priority is higher. Pikachu learns Quick Attack by leveling up and can be learned among early levels in any Pokémon game.
In the main Pokémon games, Quick Attack is commonly depicted as a single quick dash towards the foe. Pikachu's Quick Attack in the Super Smash Bros. series instead has an unique trail of electrical bubbles, which also deal electric damage, despite the attack being Normal-type in the origin games. In a similar matter, Skull Bash in Melee also has an electrical property attack despite not being an Electric-type attack.
Unlike other special moves, Quick Attack deals no damage. However, it is considered one of the best recoveries options overall in the game. Pikachu is notable for having one of the most diverse recoveries as well. Pikachu has multiple invincibility frames during the beginning and middle. It is possible to attack Pikachu only before and after the bursts. Given this, Pikachu can ledge-stall indefinitely. The range of this move also allows Pikachu to go far out from the edge to edgeguard. It is also possible to travel with almost no change in direction between bursts. Quick Attack is even able to sweetspot the edge from almost any distance within the move's range. Pikachu can alternate between taunts and Quick Attack, each canceling the other. Pikachu can also use the move to escape situations such as escaping from a combo. Seemly, it can also go through a portion of the wall in Pikachu's Break the Targets stage.
Super Smash Bros Melee's Quick Attack is for the most part similar to the attack in Super Smash Bros. Unlike the original, Melee's deals 1-3% damage per hit to characters Pikachu passes through and has fewer invincibility frames. The attack has a huge range, but the second jump requires a minimum rotation of 38 degrees. New developments suggest that it may be possible to jump twice in the same direction, however. Pikachu can also cancel the move, like in Smash 64.
Pikachu can deal light damage to characters it passes through, being stronger in damage (5%, if hit twice by Pikachu pulling a 180°), but it has less range than in Melee. Thus, people often use Skull Bash as an additional recovery move. It has more invincibility frames by the edge, however. Pikachu's Quick Attack can also be cancelled into the ground, called QAC'ing. The technique is considered a staple for Pikachu's metagame in competitive play and it is seen as a main way for Pikachu to approach many characters.
Quick Attack returns as Pikachu's up special move in Super Smash Bros. 4. However, Quick Attack canceling is no longer possible on flat surfaces; it can only be done on slopes or the edges of platforms. Regardless, it still remains an important tool for Pikachu's approach.
Special Move customization was added in Super Smash Bros. 4. These are the variations:
Quick Attack once again serves as Pikachu's up special in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. It is functionally similar to its SSB4 incarnation, and remains an important approach option for Pikachu. However, Quick Attack canceling is no longer possible.
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