Explosive perfect shield is a bonus effect introduced in Super Smash Bros. 4. It was considered the best bonus effect available and was a centralizing force in the early metagame. Perhaps as a result of its potency when paired alongside Smash 4’s heavily defensive AI, Explosive perfect shield did not reappear in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
Explosive perfect shield, hence its name, generates a damaging explosion whenever its user perfect shields an attack. The explosion deals 15% to the opponent and can stack with Critical-hit capability to deal up to 45% off of just one perfect shield. Smash 4’s AI was incredibly defensive, and could react to attacks within one frame; as a result, matches often devolved into perfect-shield contests. Explosive perfect shield favors characters with large frames, including Bowser, Ganondorf, and King Dedede; because their shields are larger, the explosion generated by a perfect shield is larger as well. Smaller characters can use Explosive perfect shield as well, but the loss in range is noticeable.
Explosive perfect shield was first popularized by Glenn in 2015. Alongside Critical-hit capability and Improved escapability, it was a part of the powerful “Rock-Paper-Scissors” setup, which was considered the best bonus effect spread in the game. The Rock-Paper-Scissors setup became standard until Critical-hit capability and Explosive perfect shield were banned. Perhaps as a result of this setup’s strength, Critical-hit capability was severely nerfed in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Explosive perfect shield was completely removed from the game.
Explosive perfect shield, as with all bonus effects in Super Smash Bros. 4, is randomly dropped. Equipment pieces can be obtained via Master Orders, Crazy Orders, Trophy Rush, or as a reward from training an amiibo. The amiibo Powersaves device can edit an infinite number of Explosive perfect shield bonuses onto FPs; as a result, Powersaves saved trainers a lot of time and effort in the early metagame where Explosive perfect shield was still allowed.
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