SSBM - Tech Skill Overview: Sheik

Are you a Sheik main getting started on Smash Box?  Or are you looking for a quick and dirty reference guide on how to ninja?  This is the guide for you!  Fast and furious, here's a Tech Skill Overview of Sheik!

We'll be demonstrating using this awesome layout!  For more information on how to make your own custom button layout, click here!

Tip: These GIF videos are interactive!
  • Play the GIF videos with sound.
  • Slow the video speed to slow motion. (PC Only)
  • Watch my fingers frame-by-frame by pausing the video and clicking 'Step Forward' (PC Only)
  • Mobile:  If the videos are slowing frame rate the further you scroll down, be sure to pause each GIF after you watch it to save ram:  Tap speaker icon, then tap the video to start/stop.

JC Grab

Dash (Analog Forward) -> Jump (Y) -> Grab (Z)

This is a very quick motion, and you only have 3 frames to cancel your Jump into Grab.  The buttons are right next to each other on this button layout, making this technique as easy and convenient as possible!

You can also alternatively perform JC Grab with Analog Up Tap Jump.  Both feel good, but I recommend Y Jump into Z Grab since they are literally next to each other!

Boost Grab

Dash (Analog Forward) -> Dash Attack (A) -> Grab (Z)

We're cancelling a Dash Attack into a Grab before the attack comes out to boost our distance! This technique has a specific timing.  Too fast and you won't get much boost distance.  Too slow and you won't cancel your Dash Attack into Grab.

TIP:  Hit the speaker icon on the GIF above and listen to the rhythm of how I press A into Z!

Cardinal Tilt Modifier

Up Tilt (Right-Facing):  TILT Modifier -> Up + Right + A
Up Tilt (Left-Facing):  TILT Modifier -> Up + Left + A
Down Tilt (Left-Facing):  TILT Modifier -> Down + Left + A

Down Tilt (Right-Facing):  TILT Modifier -> Down + Left + A

The Right Thumb TILT button is a very unique and powerful tool.  Not only does it make you walk and help angle your shield, but it also gives you what we call Cardinal Tilt Attacks.  If you watch the attacks in the video above, we're using diagonal directions to perform turnaround Up Tilts and Down Tilts that face a deliberate direction.

Long Wave Dash

Jump (Y), Y1 Modifier + Down-Forward (or Down-Back) -> Air Dodge (R)

The Y1 Tilt Modifier is handled by your Left Thumb.  Make sure your Smash Box is in Tilt Mode (not D-pad Mode):  The top left switch has two positions:  Line "|" position makes your Left Thumb buttons a D-Pad; Circle "O" position makes the Left Thumb buttons different Tilt Modifiers. 

All of the Tilt Modifiers give you a different Wave Dash angle; Y1 is the most shallow angle!  It's important to press Y1 AFTER you press Jump or you will accidentally Dash or Roll (out of shield).  You'll naturally begin to fit it snugly between the Jump and Air Dodge with some practice!

Sheik has the fastest tier of jump squat in Melee!  You're going to want to press Air Dodge on the 4th frame.  To better get this timing down, click the speaker icon on the video above and really get a rhythm for what that timing sounds like.  Arcade buttons will naturally help you get your wave dash into a very friendly and comfortable motion.

Y2 Sheild Drop

Shield (L), Y2 Tilt + Down

This platform drop happens on the first frame that you press the Down input!

Instant Platform Drop:

Sheild (L) + Y2 Tilt + Down

All these buttons are on our left hand, so it's very practical to hit three buttons on the same frame!

Main Recovery Angles

Up + B, then hold a diagonal analog direction + Tilt Modifier

In this case we're holding Up + Forward for our diagonal angle.  By adding any of the four Left Thumb Tilt Modifiers, we're able to get a high amount of recovery angles for most all situations!

Each thumb button represents a different angle:
Y1 (D-Pad Up):  Shallowest and furthest reaching recovery angle.
Y2 (D-Pad Right):  Shallow recovery angle.
None:  The standard 45° recovery angle.
X2 (D-Pad Down):  Steep recovery angle.

X1 (D-Pad Left):  Steepest recovery angle.

TIP:  You have access to the entire Smash Box Designer Software to customize a near infinite amount of angle possibilities!  Make your own profile and see what kind of crazy angle applications you can find!  Download the Smash Box Designer Software here.

The best feature of recovery angles using the Tilt Modifiers is that they are the exact same angles every time you press them.  That means if you know what buttons you're pressing, you know exactly what angle you're getting -- NO FLUBS!

X1 Turnaround Needle Cancel

Jump (X), Analog Back + Tilt Modifier X1 -> Special (Hold B), Needle Cancel (L)

We're using a tilt method to get our Neutral B Needles.  X1 Modifier (D-pad Left) is not just for steep recovery angles!

X1, TILT, and TILT2 all are a very slow walk speed -- slow enough to not trip a Side B!  Whichever direction we are holding, we will perform a Neutral B facing that direction.

I'm using X1 in this case because it's easier to coordinate my left hand Tilt Modifiers with the Analog stick.  This is also the method I use for Fox Turnaround Lasers.

Once again, it's always a good idea for safety to press the Tilt Modifier FIRST before hitting the Analog Direction or B Special.  If you aim to hit them all at once -- while very doable -- you're putting yourself at risk over time.  Always sneak in safety nets wherever possible!  The last thing you want to happen is the Side B Chain coming out when you're trying to Needle Cancel.  :P

Charging the Needle is pretty easy timing, and since we're holding down the B button, it's easier to cancel using the L button on your Pinky (rather than reaching over to the R Button).  Turn the volume on the video above to help get an idea of the timing for the Needle cancel, and if need be watch in slow motion!

Dashing Turnaround Needle Cancel

Dash -> Jump (X), Analog Back + Tilt Modifier X1 -> Special (Hold B), Needle Cancel (L)

This is the exact same thing only we're doing it out of a Dash!  This is where using X1 Tilt Modifier with your Left Thumb (rather than TILT or TILT2 with our Right) really starts to shine, because our Right Hand is Jumping into Needles almost immediately out of our squat jump.  Each hand is doing its task!

Cactuar Dash

Cactuar Dash (SOCD):
Run (hold Forward) 
Cancel (tap Down + Back)

Cactuar Dash (release to Neutral and quickly Forward Dash into Back Dash)

There are a lot of inputs going on here in a very quick motion:

After we Run Cancel we let go of the Analog Buttons and do a quick Forward Dash into a Back Dash.  The game will not allow you to Back Dash right away from your crouch until the slide ends, so we need to perform a quick Dash Dance from Forward to Back!

It is also very practical to Cactuar Dash without SOCDs since it's such a rapid input:
Cactuar Dash (without SOCDs):
Run (hold Forward)
Cancel (release Forward and tap Down)

Cactuar Dash (release Down and quickly Forward Dash into Back Dash)

I personally prefer the SOCD method since I use it with everything else, but both ways work great!  Without SOCDs it's much more of a piano motion.

TIP:  For more information on what you can do out of Run, and the techniques leading up to Cactuar Dash, follow this link to the SSBM Run Cancel Guide!


I'd say this is a pretty good list of things to train up your Sheik!  All the references are here, just knock them out one after the other... and you'll be TU TU TU GOOD in no time!

Happy Training!

-Hit Box Dustin