How to waveshine
In Melee, Fox and Falco can jump cancel their Reflector down specials beginning on frame 4. This notably opens up multiple offensive and defensive options for both characters, and is highly pivotal to their respective gameplans. As grounded characters can air dodge into the ground immediately after jumping to perform a wavedash, this allows both characters to wavedash immediately after jump-canceling Reflector.
Waveshining is performed by inputting a jump after performing a down special with either Fox or Falco, then inputting an air dodge toward the ground to perform a wavedash.
It is often easier to use the X/Y buttons instead of the control stick, because it is considered to be more difficult for one to to wavedash with only the control stick. The logic is that to jump with the control stick requires the stick to go up. To wavedash, the succeeding angle is angled towards the ground. This makes for more complicated manual motions, and should be avoided in order to achieve a speedy waveshine.
A waveshine infinite is an infinite in Super Smash Bros. Melee which uses the waveshine, performable using Fox. The Waveshine Infinite can not be done with Falco, as his Shine has vertical knockback. Performing the technique and its variations requires knowledge of L-canceling, the Waveshine, and the short hop.
There are two general types of the Waveshine infinite. One can infinite an opponent either against a wall, which is generally easier, or on a flat surface, without a wall. Both types of infinites have multiple ways to perform them.
Another infinite is the Drillshine infinite. In order to Drillshine infinite combo, the player uses Fox's down aerial and must L-cancel it into his Reflector and wavedash out of it. This can be repeated multiple times. This combo is extremely hard to pull off and takes a considerable amount of practice and technical skill.
Another infinite combo can be used when the player gets on the edge. To perform it, the performer must triple jump (so they just hit the edge again, when they just move into it without actually finishing it and firing), fall, shine, jump cancel the shine, and repeat.
The damage sustained from the infinite combo can go up to 999%, hence the name "infinite combo." Characters like Link, Peach, Captain Falcon, Ganondorf, Marth (only in the NTSC version), Bowser, and Samus cannot escape this if the Fox player is skilled enough. However, opponents may SDI the shine to make waveshine followups difficult. The rest of the characters cannot be infinite combo'd. Most characters are knocked down from the Shine, and the player is unable to infinite combo a character if he/she is on the ground.
The player must waveshine into another shine and repeat, hitting the opponent each time. Even if the opponent uses DI or SDI, the Fox player can catch him by reflex, but this requires considerable technical skill. On many characters, you must walk forward slightly after your waveshine, in order to reach them with the next shine.
This is very similar to the other infinites, except that it does not include Fox's SH(FF)L'd down aerials. It is performed by shining, jump-canceling the shine, and before leaving the ground, shining again (ad infinitum). The IJC Shine is widely recognized as the most difficult non-glitch technique to perform, as it requires frame perfect precision.
It also is possible to SDI during the 4 frames before Fox leaves the ground, as seen in many of SuperDoodleMan's works. Considering that it is possible to double and triple shine on flat land, this may allow Fox to IJC Shine anyone, regardless of stage layout.
The wavedash is used only to cancel the lag of the shine, and should be done so that Fox does not move forward. It is also possible to infinite against a wall by waveshining, then using the down aerial on an opponent, followed by another shine to repeat the process. This can also be done by jumping out of the shine instead of waveshining. As the down aerial is easily SDI'd, this is not as popular of a method, as it is much easier to escape. Another much harder method is to jump cancel the shine and SHFFL an up aerial so that only the first hit connects, then immediately shining. This is not a practical method, as it is very difficult to perform multiple times, and can also be escaped with good DI. However, it is possible to infinite someone using this method on Corneria, where normal wall infinites are not possible. The last possible way to wall infinite someone is to repeatedly multishine someone against a wall.
Against characters that fall down upon being hit by the shine, the only possible way to infinite them against a wall is to multishine. When a character that is lying on the floor is hit by the shine, he/she is pushed along the floor, and stands up when he/she stops sliding. If the character does not tech the first shine, that character can be kept in the animation of sliding on the floor by repeatedly shining them again before he/she has a chance to get up. This requires consistent multishining, and is thus very difficult to perform.
Wavedashing was removed in Brawl, therefore removing most of the waveshine infinites. However, Fox can still perform a simple wall infinite since the player must hold B in order to keep Fox's reflector in use. Therefore, the player can simply corner the opponent into a wall and keep repeating the Shine as many times as he or she wants until the momentum that the opponent receives from the shine sends the opponent flying behind Fox. This works well in Shadow Moses Island and can also be done with Wolf.
The wall-less infinite is performed by shining an opponent, chasing them with a wavedash, and following up with either a down aerial or another shine. Using the down aerial, however, is very unsafe, as the opponent can easily escape using Smash DI, which is easy to perform on the down aerial. Against characters that slide too far to be caught after only a wavedash, a dash is required before the down aerial. If the Fox player wants to infinite without a down aerial against characters with low traction, he has to Waveshine, run, and perform a run-canceled or jump canceled shine. This is considered difficult. Characters that fall to the shine cannot be infinited without a wall.
It can be performed on any level with a flat surface.
89er is the term given to a perfect or almost perfect waveshine. Most often seen in TAS videos, this technique allows the user to travel a further distance than a normal waveshine. The extended distance that a Fox player can gain from an 89er opens the door for many possibilities. Some examples include: performing the wall-less infinite on Peach without needing to JC shine, waveshining a Marth that doesn't SDI away, and waveshining Sheik (and any other character with an equal or shorter waveshine drift distance) no matter their SDI.
How It's Performed
The term 89er is a visual reference of the inputs one must do with their analog stick to perform the technique. After inputting Down+B (a Shine) a Fox player's analog stick is typically pointing straight down ↓. To get an 89er, the analog stick must then be rolled up either left or right (depending on the direction you want to go) to be as close to the 90° point (straight ← or →) without actually reaching this 90° point. This will give you the best airdodge angle needed for a max length waveshine. If you reach the 90° point by accident, or go over it, you will airdodge into thin air. So to summarize, you must roll-up the analog stick as close to the horizontal as possible, without actually reaching it or overshooting it.
After researching the exact angles that the GCN controller is capable of, it was discovered that after 74° of rolling up, the analog stick hits a point of 30° where an input would result in a straight left or right (look at the diagram to the right for reference). This means that 89° of roll-up would actually result in a straight airdodge. In conclusion, the perfect waveshine results from 74° of roll-up and therefore the technique's term should have been coined 74ers. Despite this discovery, it was decided that the term would remain 89er because the number is more useful when visually representing the angle. The Fox player must try to get as close to the horizontal as possible without actually becoming the horizontal; and conversely, the number 89 is as close to the number 90 (the horizontal) as possible without actually becoming the horizontal (ignoring 89.1, 89.2, etc).
Users of the waveshine
The waveshine is generally used for combos with Fox. However, some characters fall over when shined. This presents a problem, and generally these characters are immune to waveshine combos. Note that if these characters crouch-cancel the shine, they will not fall over and can be treated as normal waveshine. Also, using an attack after the wavedash can cause a character who has fallen over to be "forced" to stand up (most noticeably a neutral attack). This is referred to as "Thunder's Combo."
A waveshine can be followed up by many attacks. The choice of attacks depends on how far the opponent is pushed away. For example, Peach is not pushed away very far at all, but Luigi is pushed very far away. As such, Fox's choice of move following a waveshine against Luigi is more limited.
The waveshine is generally used to aid in Falco's vertical down aerial and shine combos. It gives Falco the added horizontal distance such that he can jump up and catch up with his opponent. This is especially useful against a DIing character. A waveshine followed by another wavedash makes Falco a combo machine.
The waveshined Laser is a very useful technique because it's a good defense and a good offense. To do this, use Reflector, Wavedash backwards without facing behind the player, and shoot as many Lasers that they want to shoot.
For both Fox and Falco, the waveshine can be used as a method of spacing and avoiding the lag after a Shine.
Dash shining is an advanced Brawl technique by Fox that greatly resembles waveshine. It is hard to pull off but is essential for advanced Fox play. To start off, the player must first have mastered the jump shine and foxtrot. To do a dash shine, the player first starts with a foxtrot. Out of foxtrot, the player must jump cancel their dash and immediately shine. If jump shined correctly, the player will instantly be able to dash again to start the whole attack over. Repeat if desired.
List of characters that cannot be waveshined
The following list refers to the characters that fall over when shined on the ground (lighter than 87 units):
In later games
Super Smash Bros. Brawl overhauled the air dodging system entirely, completely removing the ability to perform directional air dodges that are necessary in order to wavedash. Additionally, Fox and Falco's down specials were altered considerably. Fox can now only jump-cancel it after successfully reflecting a projectile, while Falco cannot do so at all. Super Smash Bros. 4 retains the changes made in Brawl, and waveshining remains impossible to perform.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate changed the air dodging system more significantly, with directional air dodges returning again. This means that wavedashing is now possible again, and it also means that Fox can waveshine once again, albeit only after successfully reflecting a projectile.