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BadIntent's Aegislash Guide

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Aegislash is one of the most versatile characters in the game and also one of the deepest and most complex. There's not one set playstyle for this character, so I will talk about how to excel with this character both offensively and defensively while breaking down some of its strongest tools. At the end I will go over some meaty setups and then link a combo video from the YouTubes. Most of the information in this guide was written by a couple top Aegislash mains: Wingtide and Euclase. For any additional data, Shoryuken Wiki has great information.




Aegislash has only 510HP so it is a bit on the frail side. It starts off in Sword Forme but regains 10HP everytime it transitions into Shield Forme giving a bit more stamina than it seems at first. I'll talk about transitions in a bit. Aegislash has very damaging and long reaching moves that allow it to completely dominate neutral, and up close the risk reward is heavily in its favor. 


Enhanced moves

Whenever Aegislash has any buff it gains access to enhanced moves. Many players call this sharp, and when you don't have any buffs you're dull so I'm gonna do that cause it's way faster than saying enhanced and unenhanced every time. This is important because Aegislash wants to constantly be sharp to use its best moves. Whenever you transition from Shield into Sword, you gain an attack buff as well - again more on that later. In Sharp, all of Aegislash's moves now deal chip damage and specific ones have improved properties. In Burst Mode, Aegislash is always Enhanced. 



Dull (left), Sharp (right)


Field Phase
-fY goes from being unsafe on block, and not going that far to going over half screen and being -8.  If you want to play a campy Aegislash, poke with enhanced fY as much as possible to inflict chip damage. But this move is excellent point blank as well. Say you're -4 with Aegislash in field phase, no big deal. Just use fY, it starts up in an insane 11 frames, it crushes throws, it's a true mid that can catch jumps AND it's -8 on block, so you can Homing cancel afterwards. This move goes over half screen when enhanced, but not as far normally and it's unsafe on block. Sharp fY is one of the best attacks in the game, but from mid range, dull fY is not too bad.




-nY is another effective projectile. It reaches super far and also inflicts chip damage when enhanced like the rest of its moves. It goes significantly farther when enhanced and can cancel into specials and fY.



-sY is a very good tool to close distance and mix opponents up with either a dash up grab or a special cancel into Iron head, Fury Cutter or even fY, all of which can be canceled into even on whiff. It can be canceled into a dash with R and a direction.




-Aegislash has one of the best homing attacks in the game, coming out on frame 17, which is tied for the fastest. Its homing Attack is multi-hit. Homing 3 avoids mid-lows and lows, it is special cancelable, and it is Shield Forme cancelable. (Don't forget if you press R too early instead of block you get the transition into Shield Forme). So for example, you can cancel homing into Iron Head for shield pressure, Fury Cutter for mixups.




-Fury Cutter is done with 5A and it can be ended different ways. Normally it does 80 damage. When enhanced it can do two follow-ups after and they have just frame inputs. 5AAA does (105 in field) 114 with no just frames and 133 damage with. Just frames are just when you press A at the correct timing. This is all without an attack up. Fury Cutter is one reason why you want to change your forms as much as possible. After 8 changes into Sword, you gain access to ULTRA FLAMES. On your 8th transition back to Sword and every transition to sword for the rest of the round, Aegislash gets an attack and speed buff. During this change, its 5AAA damage increases from 133 to 241 damage if you hit all the just frames. You also get a cool rainbow around you and Fury Cutter has a flashier rainbow animation.



U L T R A  F L A M E S


Now I talked about how Fury Cutter can be used as a mixup. Here are the different ways you can end it. 5A, 5AA, 5AAA, 5AX, and 5AAX. Your opponent has to predict how you will finish this attack if they want to punish. And, especially when you cancel this from homing attack, it is hit confirmable. The X follow up does this slow slash that doesn't combo from the previous hits, but it is only -8 on block. Plus it counter pierces so opponent's can't just armor to beat all the followups. Completing the 5AAA string is -12 on block and therefore punishable on block if you finished with that. The only way to consistently punish the different enders without having to predict is to use a combination of extended state and perfect blocking. I go over that in this video.



5AAA ender (left), 5AAX ender (right)



This is a good time to talk about Shield Forme, Sword Forme, and when and how to transition between the two. As I stated, Aegislash starts off in Sword Forme, but many of its moves switch its stance from Sword Forme to Shield Forme and vice versa. One of many examples is King's Shield which is done with back A, and leaves you in Shield forme. Seamlessly and safely transitioning between the two Formes is very important. Sword Forme functions like any other character. But in Shield Forme it gains an entirely different move set, it can no longer use its standard counter attack, it cannot grab, it cannot block, it moves extremely slowly, and it has permanent blue armor. When opponents make contact with this armor, you do an automatic parry. If you've ever played Soul Calibur it's like the auto-Guard Impact mechanic. The auto parry is +5 on hit and -12 if the opponent somehow manages to block it.


As long as it is not in an actual attacking animation, Aegislash can be punished just for being in Shield Forme by grabbing it. Counter pierces break this armor too. Its moves in shield forme are generally much slower and punishable on block. Though the punishes are unique because being -16 in Shield Forme means the opponent usually still has to punish with just a grab due to the blue armor. Let's go over some of the more notable moves in Shield Forme in field phase:



Shield Forme (left), Shield Forme permanent blue armor (middle), Shield Forme auto parry (right)

-bY shoots out a beam upwards which works well as an anti air. 15 frame startup and it's -16 on block, but it recovers in armor. Can transition with R.



-SF sY shoots out an angled beam in 25 frames that stuns opponents on hit. When charged it shoots out an additional beam. Only -12 on block and can transition back to Sword Forme by pressing R.



-SF nY starts up in 23 frames and is an ok poke which can cancel into fY. -16 on block by itself.



-SF fY is 31 frame startup and shifts instantly. It's -24 on block, but again armored on recovery. On phase shift, it transitions back into Sword.



-Shield Homing is 25 frame startup and invincible to highs frame 1. Outside of that it is similar to other homings, but pressing R or B transitions instead of going into block or jump.




-fA in Shield Forme is Flash Cannon. This move is -24 on block and always transitions back into Sword Forme after it is complete so opponents can punish this normally.




-5A in Shield Forme is Shadow Sneak which has a ton of active frames and is mainly good as oki which I'll talk about at the end. When charged it pierces and -4 on block. Otherwise it is -8. This is assuming point blank range and not meaty, however. It can be made much more positive when meaty.




-bA is Sacred Sword. This move is -12 on block even though a lot of players don't realize it's punishable. More on that at the end. It puts out a mist that last for 10 seconds and

transitions Aegislash back to Sword Forme. The next time you go into Shield Forme, this mist explodes and this explosion can make several transitions into shield forme such as 8Y in duel phase completely unpunishable and doubles as a strong oki option.



Shield Forme Mist (bA or 4A in duel phase) on the left and the Mist explosion when returning back to Shield Forme on the right


Safely transitioning
Shield form is much more functional at a distance because up close you can be grabbed after many of your moves. Shield Forme is often just used as a means to an end which is: getting back into Sword Forme with the attack buff to get access to its enhanced moves. Generally, you do NOT want to be in your opponents face when you are in Shield Forme. Always try to transition into Sword Form with either B or a Shield Forme Pokémon Move. R does a ghost dash which has a ton of recovery so it's not recommended. If you want to safely get out of Shield Forme, the best way is to either use Sacred Sword at a safe unpunishable/small punishable range or B which does a short hop which is invulnerable to both grabs and lows. By the way, Activating support transitions from Shield to Sword. Now that we know how Shield and Sword work, let's move onto the rest of Aegislash's field phase moves. Starting with Iron Head since it allows for quick transitions into Shield Forme.


Field Phase continued


-Iron Head is done with fA and it has a plethora of uses. First off, it is the quickest way to transition into Shield Form in neutral without committing to an attack. To transition quickly from Sword to shield and back, a common technique is to use Iron Head but and cancel it into R to quickly get into Shield. Then press B to hop back out into Sword with the attack buff.


Iron Head itself starts up in 27 frames, and is invincible against lows on frame 5 and only -4 on block. In the latest patch as of this video, it can now be anti-aired as if it was a mid-high. When fully charged, this move counter pierces and is +4 on block. Good as a meaty, and good for poking through counter attacks when canceled from homing. You can use R to transition into Shield before the attack comes out or after.




-King's Shield is a unique command counter done with bA. Aegislash gets blue armor frame 5-26. And after the attack it leaves it in Shield Forme. Countering an opponent's attack grants Aegislash invincibility the way Stone Edge works, but on whiff, this can be whiff punished before the transition. When attacked while using this, Aegislash shoots out this giant light shield that stuns and counter pierces. And it debuffs the opponent's attack for 9 seconds on hit. Even if the opponent has time to block it, it's plus 4. This move really messes up a lot of characters field phases. If they try to strike from far away you can absorb the attack with this and get into shield forme for free and start firing back at them behind your permanent blue armor. Alternatively, you can hop back out of Shield Forme, and your opponent just gave you access to and attack up, and enhanced fY and Fury Cutter for free. If they were too close when they used their projectile, they'll just get hit.




-Another move that's not too common is Gyro Ball or jA. This move's properties get worse when the opponent has a speed debuff, and better when they have a speed buff. Nothing too fancy, but a lot of players have no idea what the frame data is so I've included it.




And lastly, Aegislash's field phase grab does 80 base damage and gives it a speed buff.


Field Phase Summary
Aegislash wants to be in sharp as much as possible so it can fire off fY. It can do this with any buff, but an easy way to get them is to cancel Iron Head into R, then B to get back out. Staying in Shield Forme from far away isn't a terrible idea, but up close, it's likely to get punished. When rushing down, sY helps to close the gap, and homing attack is just excellent. Its cancels into either Iron Head or Fury Cutter make it dangerous to try to counter against it.


Duel Phase
This guide is getting really long, so for duel phase I will mostly skip the moves that are straight up bad or really niche like dull 4X. Aegislash has just as strong of a duel phase as its field, maybe even better. It shuts down most characters neutral with its super far reaching moves and up close it has fast attacks that force the opponent into high commitment guesses.


-Aegislash’s 4Y, specifically sharp 4Y is probably the best move in the game. Well the best duel phase move, Chandelure fY in field is the best field move. It is an 11 frame true mid, which is only -4 on block.  4Y also gives a full confirm on an aerial hit for like 250 damage, so it makes a good reactionary tool as well. It launches on critical hit as well, and being 11 frames, it crushes grabs. Therefore, this is definitely going to be your throw crush of choice. The only way most characters can deter you from spamming this point blank is with a preemptive counter attack. But this can be grabbed on reaction for 120 damage, no 144 damage since you're sharp, no 180 (!) damage since it's a critical hit. The only downside to this move is while dull it is -16 on block.




-From a distance, spacing and keep out can be done using sharp 4X or using its Shield Forme Moves. Sharp 4X shoots out a giant projectile. Most characters have no choice but to respect it since jumping over it is very difficult, and it it also pierces armor. Aegislash's body itself pierces too. The only drawback is now this attack decreases how long Aegislash's buffs last and consequently its sharp enhancement.




-Iron Head, 6A is a pretty good lungie especially when opponents aren't properly reacting by either jumping or anti airing it. But this is mostly good as a meaty which will be talked about at the end.


Shield form has strong defensive options, but only mediocre offensive options.  Most of these moves are similar to their duel phase counter parts.


-SF 6A, Flash Cannon is a good tool to apply chip, shield damage, and shift you back into Sword.  Beware, this laser is slow and very minus, so don’t use within a punishable range of your opponent.  


-SF 4Y in shield form is a very strong anti-air on reaction, so jumping against shield form is almost always a bad idea. Basically the equivalent of bY from field phase.


-SF 4A, Sacred Sword, the best move in shield form is i15, knocks down, and creates mist. This move is -12, so it's punishable but spacing dependant.

Aegislash also has extremely strong options for whiff punishing. 4Y is good against options with mild recovery, and if you are not confident in going for a slower, more risky, but higher rewarding punish. 


-6X has an extremely long range, is i19, and converts into a lot of damage, at least 200 if you have more than 4 PSP.  However, outside of a whiff punish tool it is quite risky, as it is -20. That said, at max distance even characters with great fast normals like Shadow Mewtwo cannot punish it.





-jY is a very strong tool to pull opponents close in. jY alone is hard to react to, and in most cases is safe on block. With proper spacing it can even be plus. Specifically, when done far out it is more minus on block. When used closer up it can be positive. Quite counterintuitive. jYY however, is more punishable, and when fighting Aegislash it is important to realize the difference. jYY does not reel the opponent in and arcs upwards but can immediately lead into combos. This move is most useful against zoners that you must fight head on. 



In close range, Aegislash has some incredibly strong options for pressure, reaction, and other sorts of things to make your opponent start to panic. Some of Aegislash's best normals close up are 5X, 2Y, 4Y, and 5YY. 


-5X (sharp) is an i19 special mid, multi-hit normal move that has several cancel options even on whiff. It can cancel into parry when it's not enhanced. I'll talk more about this at the end since it's a great meaty tool. 




-2Y, i11 low that avoids highs and lows, you don't get anything good out of it besides like 25 damage and +4 on hit. But it can annoy opponents long enough to get them to stop pressing buttons long enough to get grabbed.




-4Y, was explained earlier.  


-5YY is good simply to pressure your opponent.  When sharp, the jabs have multiple hits, making it very easy for them to stuff out counters if you happen to jab into them. 



-2X (enhanced) is an advancing slide, that leaves a lingering projectile only on whiff. This projectile is most useful as an oki, as it must be respected (Unless you’re Braixen or Weavile), and leaves you very plus after they block it.




-8Y is Aegislash's main reactionary anti-air even though 4Y is excellent preemptively. This move has a wide hitbox that hits on both sides. It is unsafe on block since it transitions into Shield Forme, at -20. That said, if you have the Mist out from Sacred Sword, 4A, then your transition is completely safe.




Last thing for duel phase we'll cover is one of Aegislash's best reversals:

-Parry 6R. This is different than the auto-parry because it leads to full combos. This command counter is super good.

This can actually be done in field phase too with fR. It gives counter armor from frame 1-11 and instantly repels physical attacks. Even attacks that normally can be canceled to be safe against command counters get beaten out. This increases your Synergy Gauge and it grants a different amount of hitstun depending on if it parried a light or a heavy hit. However, against aerial attacks, the opponents will air reset.




Field Phase Parry:
Light = +12
Heavy = +20

Duel Phase Parry:
Light = +24
Heavy = +16


Duel Phase Summary

To summarize Duel Phase, from far out Aegislash can use jY, Sharp 4X, and even 6X at max distance if you're being greedy nullify opposing normals. Close up, Sharp 4Y is the best normal in the game and there's no reason to not lean heavily on it.


-Iron Head is one of the best oki options in the game. It does a ton of chip and shield damage while leaving Aegislash at +4.  In addition, 6[A] can be cancelled with R into shield stance.  In duel phase, 6[A]R4A (Iron Head>>Sacred Sword) is a true blockstring, and does enough pushback to the point where most characters cannot punish it.  In normal circumstances, outside of Synergy Burst, it is only punishable by Lucario, Pikachu, Pikachu Libre, Aegislash, Mewtwo, Shadow Mewtwo, Garchomp, Scizor, Machamp, and Suicune. Some of those punishes are very light hits, so in most cases it is best to go for the full setup anyways.


-SF 5[A]/n[A], probably Wingtide’s favourite Oki, Euclase thinks this move is butt. One opportunity to use this is when you get an air tech with 6[A] in neutral. It is super active, counter pierces, does lots of chip damage, and is very positive on block. Most importantly, it has a disjointed hitbox that stays active after Aegislash has fully recovered from its animation.


-5X, Multihit, special cancelable, heavy cancelable dash cancelable a very good oki aswell, unluckily this is super underused. Its safe on every i19 reversal its not safe on i11/i15. Its like Jab, you have to react accordingly to what the are pressing.

And quickly on Aegislash's Burst mode. Burst leaves it enhanced the whole time. It has two versions of its Burst Attack. In Sword Forme, the move is -4 on block and a mid-low that starts up in 11 frames. In Shield the move counts as a counter and starts up in 23 frames. It is still a mid-low that is -4 on block but it goes full screen this time.



Sword Forme Burst Attack (Left), Shield Forme Burst Attack (Right)


That's it for Aegislash. This was much more in depth than most of my other character guides. Thanks again to Wingtide and Euclase for providing much of the information I shared here. 




Combo Spreadsheet



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