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• To get a normal powershield, you must transition from no shield on one frame to a full digital press on the next frame. This is difficult on unmodded controllers. It is easier on controllers with lubricated trigger tracks/weakened springs or controllers that have been plugged into the system with the triggers mostly depressed. PSs are easiest on controllers with no spring.
• PSs CANNOT be buffered shields. For example, if you wavedash and continue to hold down the trigger after the airdodge then it will buffer a shield on the first frame after your landing lag but this shield will NOT be able to powershield. To PS on the first frame out of endlag you'd need to press shield on that frame exactly.
• The window for reflecting a projectile is 2 frames. That is, the projectile must collide with the reflect sphere (an area within the digital shield sphere) on the first or second frame that it is active.
• The window for PSing a physical attack is 4 frames. The hitbox must collide with the PS sphere (i.e. your normal, digital shield) on frames 1-4 of an active shield.
Note: Because the reflect sphere is slightly smaller than the shield itself, PSing projectiles can be inconsistent unless the shield appears over the hitbox. If you try to hold a stationary shield and allow the hitbox to collide naturally then you run a small risk of the hitbox colliding with the shield, but not deep enough on that frame to connect with the reflect sphere. This is partly why some PS setups (including crouching under lasers as puff/sheik/marth) seem so much more consistent.
• PSing a projectile reflects a projectile AND skips any hitlag/shieldstun/pushback. You are immediately free to do any normal OoS action.
• PSing a physical attack has a normal amount of hitlag/shieldstun. There is added shield pushback. After shieldstun, Guardoff (dropping shield animation) can be canceled with any A or B attack or jump. In order to cancel Guradoff, you must have no more than 3 frames of shield active after shieldstun.
• PSs do not take shield damage.
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There are several exploits that allow for slightly different versions of a PS. They are listed and detailed below:
• ADT-PS (Analog Digital Transition Powershield)
execution: one frame of lightshield before digital shield.
The reflective sphere on frames 2 and 3 (frames 1 and 2 of hard shield) mimics the size of the initial lightshield. However, The window for powershielding physical attacks is reduced from 1-4 to 3-4, and the shield actually has downtime vs physical attacks after the digital press.
• DAT-PS (Digital Analog Transition Powershield)
execution: digital press at the same time as light press, then release digital press within the PS window.
DAT-PS increases the size of the PS sphere to match a lightshield on frame 3. The analog press may be 1f earlier than digital press but the window for a PS remains the appropriate 2 or 4 frames from when the shield activates. As the size increases after the PS window for a projectile, this is not an effective technique for reflecting projectiles, despite a false visual cue that in real time makes it appear as if the reflect sphere gets bigger on frame 2 if a projectile is reflected on that frame. It does not. DAT-PS increases shieldstun to match that of the lightshield after it expands on frame 3.
This technique has niche but profound uses and is relatively easy.
• Z-PS (Z-Powershield)
execution: while holding A, press a digital shield and Z on the same frame.
Z-PS increases the size of the PSsphere proportionally to the lightest lightshield on frame 1. It has shieldstun in accordance with the lightshield (about double) and dramatically increased pushback. It has wide application, but the need for a buffered A press makes it awkward to use in competitive play.
• ADT-Z-PS (Analog Digital Transition Z-Powershield)
execution: input analog shield, then a digital press and Z on the following frame. This negates the need to buffer an A press to perform a ZPS. Additionally, ADT-Z-PS has a 1-2 frame window of downtime from physical attacks after the digital press. However, this is not very significant in context and the bigger drawback is that it will remain to some level inconsistent due to the nature of one frame links.
• <3 AKA Heart Shielding (PS storing)
If you perform a frame 1 PS on a physical attack that does <3% OR miss a frame 1 PS against a projectile that does <3% because it collided with shield but not the reflect sphere then the next physical attack to connect with the shield will be PSed, even if it is transitioned to lightshield. This happens most frequently vs a falco with stale lasers.
Because Yoshi’s shield acts differently/buggy, he has different conditions and greater potential for expanded PS storing.
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None of this information is original to me. I am simply gathering some common, not-as-common, and should-be-common knowledge into one place for ease of reference. TY to @taukhan for proofreading. The bulk of this can be further researched from kadano’s post here https://smashboards.com/threads/official-ask-anyone-frame-things-thread.313889/page-17#post-18512581