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PaperSak

Basic Guide to Counter Forme- I mean Shield Forme

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Intro

 

Pokkén Aegislash would not represent his main series counterpart if he couldn't switch between Shield Forme and Blade Forme. Similar to the games, Shield Forme doesn't protect you from everything, and a lot of buttons switch you back to Blade Forme. However, the similarities sort of end there. Shield Forme is actually more of a risky state to be in than Blade Forme, depending on how your opponent reacts.

 

(and I swear it's Forme with an "e" when referring to the stance by its name, but "form" when using a generic noun to talk about it)

 

Basic Notes

 

A.k.a. the cheat sheet

 

When you are in Shield Forme...

  • You have nonstop counter armor as long as you don't push anything.
  • If you're hit with a normal attack, you will parry it and shift to Blade Forme.
  • If you shift to Blade Forme successfully, you will get an attack buff.
  • Unsuccessfully = you're grabbed, counter pierced, or interrupted mid-attack from Shield Forme.
  • You have a different moveset.
  • You cannot have buffs.
  • You have no high stance, low stance, grab, or (default) counter. But I'm not sure why you would want the last one...
  • You have no jump, shield, or dash. Instead, those buttons will shift you into Blade Forme.
  • You technically can call support, but it defaults you into Blade Forme. You miss out on the form-switching attack buff.
  • Your burst attack has a different hitbox (is a laser) and different damage.

 

Getting into Shield

 

The fastest way into Shield Forms is 6AR. Arguably the most effective way into Shield Forme is King's Shield, since you can rack up a nice combo if you catch them with the hit afterward. You may want to familiarize yourself with the other options, though, to prevent putting yourself into a pickle and/or to get out of a pickle (such as the ones at the end of this guide).

 

The following moves can be cancelled into shield by pushing R afterward:

6A

Field

nY

s.Y

nX
 

The following moves will always put you in shield, so long as they aren't stuffed:

 

4A (King's shield)

Counter

(Duel)

5YYY

8Y

2YX

j.YX

 

Last note, when I said "you can't have buffs," it's not that it isn't allowed… it's that the game, under normal conditions, makes it impossible. Buffs will vanish when you enter Shield Forme, and there is no way to get them while in said form. Supports and hits from others will all take you into Blade Forme. Sure, you can use a support that buffs you… if you don't mind losing them to Shield Forme. It's up to you and how you want to apply pressure.

 

Things to do in Shield Forme

 

As previously mentioned, you have an entirely different moveset. Many moves have a great range for good reason: you are extremely weak to grabs.

 

If your opponent is throwing things from a distance, staying in shield until you're hit isn't a bad plan. Obviously, beware of piercing projectiles, but Shield Forme is quite safe from characters whose ranged moves never pierce. You can avoid quick projectiles entirely by guard cancelling out of shield, making use of the iframes.

 

On the offensive in field, you have bullets and mini lasers to toy with your opponent. You have counter armor on startup, but beware that the armor briefly disappears (try having two swords spam f.y; notice that one of the swords will lose). It's also quite easy for characters to just walk around these lasers. They're okaaay oki options/ knowledge checks, but spamming them once the opponent is free will get you wrecked. s.Y and s.[Y] are also options to stun your opponents who try to run sideways, although the diagonal hitbox is hard for me to explain. s.[Y] shifts Aegislash to the side at the last moment, as a possible option to avoid (and punish) linear projectiles. Once stunned, you can knock them into Duel. b.Y is your anti-air.

 

To win field phase in Shield Forme (without switching to Blade beforehand), you need to land a homing attack (two hits), b.Y, YY, or f.Y. Doing so will start you up in Duel in Blade Forme with an attack buff.

 

In Duel phase, you retain a few Y moves and gain a diagonal ground laser (now 5Y). But if you want to stay in shield, this phase will be a lot less eventful. Unless your opponent is camping camping at a distance (and zoners/intimidated opponents may do that), there's little reason to stay in shield. Although at least you get to use tiny little lasers...?

 

An important reminder about being in Shield Forme is your burst attack becomes a ground laser. SF's attack power is stagnant due to the inability to have a buff, but it does slightly more base damage than Blade Forme's burst.

 

Getting out of Shield

 

Not only do you want to leave Shield Forme not because it's an incredibly vulnerable position to be in, but also because you become a sharp sword! Yes, the true beauty of getting out of Shield Forme is that shiny attack buff that sharpens all your moves. I'm really only going to cover that exit step here, and save all of the Blade Forme descriptions for another guide.

 

Any Y move will keep you in SF (except for 5YY in Duel, but that's technically a Poke Combo). Every other button will get you out of Shield Forme. But what do you use?

 

To crush or tech grabs, any strong (X) move will count as a normal attack. Every other attack will have counter frames. You can still avoid grabs (and other moves) using the iframes from R while switching to Blade Forme. You can also jump. Jumping a very fast cancel that can extend certain combos into Blade Forme. It will leave you vulnerable otherwise, but it's an okay option with a safe enough distance, especially if speed is a concern.

 

A strong exit option (assuming your opponent can't grab you) is 4A (Sacred Sword), coincidentally the second move from Shield Forme 5YY in Duel. If landed, your opponent falls in a hard knockdown. Regardless, you will leave behind a mist which "explodes" the next time you enter Shield Forme. Super handy for making Blade Forme safer and adding pressure in general.

 

6A (Flash Cannon) and 5A (Shadow Sneak) are good in their own ways, though quite slow. 5A lingers where your opponent was at the time of activation, thus they can run right over it. 6A can be jumped over, depending on the distance and character. Both 6A and charged 5A can pierce counter, whereas 4A does not.

 

As mentioned in the intro, any way you exit Shield Forme will grant you an attack buff/ leave you sharp for Blade Forme *except* calling support. Shift to Blade 7+ times you'll get 2 buffs!
 

The Dangers of Shield Forme

 

This is how I often die… don't let these happen to you.

 

There are times where I will use a move that is blatantly unsafe and puts me in Shield Forme (read: any time I use 8Y). This is bad. Well, unless your opponent is mashing attacks; you'll counter them, of course. Grab punishes can be remedied by having mist to protect you. Recall that when a move like 8Y forces you into Shield Forme, it activates mist. Thus they can't grab punish you like they would otherwise.

 

My other biggest kicker in the beginning is accidentally cancelling homing while in Blade Forme. You can certainly stop the homing attack string and shield normally, but if you push it too fast, you will cancel into Shield Forme *in their face*. Do not do this unless you're trying to call something out (Frenzy Plant, Lucario b.y… something that isn't a grab).

 

Be extremely careful about sitting in Shield Forme while your opponent is in burst. The form alone will not save you from any of them. It is possible you can stuff them with an strong or piercing attack, and it is also possible to iframe through some of them using R (in fact, there are videos on this). But! Being! In! Shield! Forme! On! Accident! While! They're in! Burst! Has! Gotten! Me! Killed! More! Often! Than! You might! Think!

 

As people learn to counter this character, bells will probably go off if you enter Shield Forme in any way that is unsafe. Definitely keep track of how close your opponent is, and choose your exit wisely.

 

--

 

This wound up being less of a pro-strat guide and more of a note-taking session so I would forget this stuff less often. Hopefully it's useful to people passing by. I tried to keep this mostly factual with sprinkles of advice, but don't hesitate to correct me on stuff. ><;

As for the burst punishes, I didn't find them and I'm bugging the person who did to post them here >3>

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Great guide!  I treat shield form on their burst/emolga as I would a CA - free punish.  Only the iframes can save lol.

Accidental shield entries plague me too

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