Shulk (シュルク, Shulk) is the main protagonist of Xenoblade Chronicles.
Shulk is a level-headed 18-year-old youth with high intelligence and a methodical approach to situations. He is one of the few who can wield the Monado, a special sword able to defeat the Mechon, as he was one of the only known survivors on a previous expedition to retrieve it. He later acquires the sword when his home, Colony 9, is attacked by a group of Mechon led by Metal Face. Upon acquiring the Monado, he sets out for revenge against the Mechon for their attack on his colony.
However, his adventures lead him to discover the true origins behind both his home world and the Monado, as well as many secrets of the world's inner workings and of his comrades.
Main article: Shulk (SSB4)
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 series, 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 though 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. Shulk's tournament results have been below-average, but his results have been improving as of late due to dedicated mains such as Nicko and Kome bringing noticeable success to him at nationals.
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