Official artwork of Shulk from
|Debut||Xenoblade Chronicles (2010)|
|Smash Bros. appearances||SSB4|
|Most recent non-Smash appearance||Xenoblade Chronicles 3: Future Redeemed (2023)|
|Console/platform of origin||Wii|
|Place of origin||Bionis|
|Created by||Tetsuya Takahashi|
|English voice actor||Adam Howden|
|Japanese voice actor||Shintarō Asanuma|
|Article on Xeno Series Wiki||Shulk|
Shulk is a young scientist who hails from Colony 9, a settlement situated on the lower leg of the Bionis, one of the two long-dormant titans that make up the world of Xenoblade Chronicles. He lives in a time when the people of Bionis are under siege from the Mechon, mechanical soldiers sent from Mechonis, the other titan. As a child, he was the only survivor of the expedition that discovered the Monado, the only weapon known to be able to damage Mechon.
In the present day, at age 18, he works for the Colony 9 Defence Force and studies the Monado, in the hope of determining its secrets and finding a way for people other than the injured Dunban to be able to wield it. He also works to salvage fallen Mechon parts and develop weapons for the Defence Force, including a unique "Gunlance" that he designed for his best friend Reyn, a soldier. He is also close friends with Fiora, Dunban's younger sister, who is also his love interest.
The story begins with a surprise attack on Colony 9 by a horde of Mechon, led by a powerful new model who is immune to the Monado, who Shulk and company would later come to know as Metal Face. Dunban's inability to continue using the Monado forces Shulk to take it up, and to everyone's surprise, not only can he control it even better than Dunban ever did, but it spontaneously shows him visions of the future, a power that nobody had previously known about. With Shulk's help, Colony 9 withstands the Mechon assault, but Fiora is killed by Metal Face.
After the battle, Shulk and Reyn set out on a journey across Bionis to pursue Metal Face and get revenge for the loss of Fiora and the others. The two follow both Shulk's visions and rumors of Mechon movements. Along the way, they become involved in various struggles by the people of Bionis against both the Mechon and various forces native to Bionis itself, and are joined by new and old allies including Dunban and Riki. Shulk also slowly begins to discover new powers of the Monado, and begins to unravel the nature of the sword and what both the sword's power and similar powers in the world philosophically represent.
Shulk is clever and level-headed, but is also socially clumsy, sheltered, and lacking in life experience. He is easily absorbed in his work, especially his studies of the Monado, to the point of neglecting his own health and his surroundings. Coming from a scientific background, Shulk usually approaches situations rationally and methodically, sometimes to the point of a social faux pas: once, where the Monado accidentally went off in Reyn's hands, his knowledge that it was incapable of harming Bionis lifeforms like Fiora angered her when he seemed to care more about a lab machine it destroyed than the (in his mind, non-existent) possibility of it killing her.
Despite Shulk's desire for revenge on the Mechon, he wants to understand their origins and motivations before he does anything rash against their leaders, and respects the wishes of others even when it appears they might hinder his quest. However, he has a habit of trying to assume the burdens that come with his mission all by himself, and is initially reluctant to reveal his visions to others to the point that he inadvertently endangers the party. Additionally, when Fiora is involved, threatened, or even mocked, he is easily provoked and tends to let his emotions get the better of him.
In combat, Shulk's main role is to slip beneath enemy notice and deal large amounts of physical damage. His Back Slash and Slit Edge Arts are most effective when the enemy's attention is elsewhere, and he can also contribute break and daze around an ally's topple to momentarily incapacitate foes. The Monado gives Shulk an extra set of Arts that allow him to deal extreme damage to Mechon, disable an enemy's powerful auras, or protect party members from powerful attacks he has foreseen. Although Shulk does not have to be present for the party to receive visions of imminent attacks, he is the one who is best-equipped for dealing with them.
Shulk's main weakness is that his high damage output can easily draw attention and he does not have much health to survive being the target of enemies, making him a glass cannon. He also lacks ether attacks, which is problematic against enemies good at dodging his physical arts, and his complex character design renders the game's AI rather poor at controlling him when the player is playing as someone else.
As a playable character
Shulk was leaked as a playable character three weeks before the release of Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS on YouTube videos from a video used to rate the game by ESRB, before being officially confirmed on August 29th, 2014. On May 19th, 2014, before the leaks and his official reveal, Shulk's English voice actor, Adam Howden, had posted on his Twitter that he had done recording for a game he was not allowed to talk about.
Shulk uses the Monado as his weapon, which grants him the longest overall reach in the game, even outclassing other swordsmen like Ike and Cloud, and uses an ability from his original game, Monado Arts, to adapt quickly in combat by tweaking his abilities. While active, they grant him multiple perks such as a greatly improved edgeguarding game (with Jump) or an extremely damaging moveset (with Buster), at the cost of giving him disadvantages as well. He also has one of the more effective counters in Vision, which grants an especially long counter window when fresh along with high range and power.
Shulk is currently ranked 35th on the Smash 4 tier list, placing him within the D tier. While he has a good amount of strengths, such as a very effective moveset for spacing, versatility in his multiple Monado Arts, and outstanding through polarized stats while any Art is active, he is held back by a very high learning curve due to his multiple Arts changing his attributes, one of the slowest movesets in the game, and the inability to autocancel any of his aerial moves without the use of frame-perfect Monado Art Landing Lag Canceling. This forces him to be heavily reliant on spacing due to his sluggish moves and vulnerability of being juggled up close. Throughout the game's lifespan, Shulk's tournament results have been below-average, with his best results coming from dedicated mains such as Nicko and Kome, who bring noticeable success to him at nationals.
- In Xenoblade Chronicles, this young lad's colony is attacked by the Mechon, so he and his friends set off to take them down. In Smash Bros., his Monado Arts let him change his specialization during battle. You can choose to boost a stat—his jump or attack, for example—but other stats might drop as a result, so choose wisely.
- In Xenoblade Chronicles, this young lad's colony is attacked by the Mechon, so he and his friends set off to take them down. In Smash Bros., his Monado Arts let him change his specialization during battle. You can choose to boost a stat—his jump or attack, for example—but other stats will drop as a result, so choose wisely.
- : Xenoblade Chronicles (04/2012)
- In Xenoblade Chronicles, this young lad's colony is attacked by the Mechon, so he and his friends set off to take them down. In this game, his Monado Arts let him change his specialisation during battle. You can choose to boost a stat – his jump or attack, for example – but other stats might drop as a result, so choose wisely.
- : Xenoblade Chronicles (08/2011)
- Shulk (Alt.)
- Shulk's up special Air Slash is an upward slash done during a jump. Press the button again quickly to launch opponents sideways. His side special Back Slash, on the other hand, is a downward swing with a very wide range, though using it leaves Shulk wide open. Try hitting foes from behind with this!
- : Xenoblade Chronicles (04/2012)
- Shulk's up special, Air Slash, is an upward slash done during a jump. Press the button again quickly to launch opponents sideways. His side special, Back Slash, on the other hand, is a downward swing with a very wide range, although using it leaves Shulk wide open. Try hitting foes from behind with this to do more damage!
- : Xenoblade Chronicles (08/2011)
As a playable character
Shulk returns as a playable fighter in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, albeit as an unlockable character instead of a starter character like in Super Smash Bros. 4. Aesthetically, his moveset is largely the same, with the most notable change being Mecha-Fiora participating in Chain Attack. Mechanically, however, Shulk's moveset received several noticeable improvements. Monado Arts can be chosen directly via a rotary dial-like interface instead of having to cycle through them via button presses. The Arts also have more significant buffs at the cost of significant debuffs, shorter durations, and longer cooldowns.
Along with this, Shulk's frame data has been sped up noticeably (although it is still rather slow) and he benefits immensely from the near-universal reduction to landing lag on aerials. Aside from forward smash, the rest of Shulk's multi-hit moves also connect much more reliably due to various types of hitbox adjustments. In addition to these buffs, the Monado retains its high damage output (even without Monado Arts active) and long range. This has led to Shulk gaining much higher representation and better results than in SSB4. Although it is unclear where he ranks among the cast, it is widely agreed that Shulk is significantly stronger than he was in SSB4, ranking at the bottom of the S- tier at 19th out of 82 as a top tier character.
Names in other languages
|Chinese (Simplified)||修尔克, Shulk|
|Chinese (Traditional)||修爾克, Shulk|
- Shulk, Wii Fit Trainer, Rosalina and the Mii Fighters are the only characters whose console of origin is the Nintendo Wii.
- Almost all of Shulk's voice clips in the Super Smash Bros. series are exact lines of dialogue he uses in Xenoblade Chronicles, albeit rerecorded.
- Shulk's official height, as listed in the Xenoblade Chronicles artbook, is 171 cm or 5'7". In the Palutena's Guidance conversation regarding him, Palutena correctly states that he is 171 cm in Japanese, but inaccurately claims he is 5'6" (around 168 cm) in English.
|Xenoblade Chronicles universe|
|Fighters||Shulk (SSB4 · SSBU) · Pyra (SSBU) · Mythra (SSBU)|
|Stages||Gaur Plain · Cloud Sea of Alrest|
|Other characters||Azurda · Dunban · Fiora · Metal Face · Nia · Rex|
|Trophies and Spirits||Trophies · Spirits|
|Music||SSB4 · Ultimate|