The devious Sharp Claw Pokémon is a relentless opponent
This is part of a series of written guides on Pokkén Tournament Deluxe for Nintendo Switch. I’ve always loved this game and I’ve wanted to give back to the community and generate more interest in it. I’ll be creating more guides like this in the future and I hope this gets new players invested in the fighting game that taught me about fighting games. These character guides are meant as surface-level breakdowns of each of the playable Pokémon in the cast. If you would like to try out Pokkén Tournament Deluxe, and learn more information about the game, be sure to check out the community Discord! Access to the character-specific Discords will help you find any information that isn’t listed in this guide, and you can also ask the players there for specific advice.
The eighteenth Trainer’s School character guide, and the last of the Speed-type characters, focuses on Weavile, the Sharp Claw Pokémon. The Dark/Ice dual-type is an iconic Pokémon from the generation two games who rose to competitive prominence due to its typing, speed, and utility in keeping powerful Dragon-type Pokémon in check. In Pokkén, Weavile was part of the console version’s debut roster, and much like the source material, she is a fast and devious character who can overwhelm her opponent with her rushdown game. It’s also implied that Nia, the game announcer, uses a Weavile of her own to provide you with Cheer Skills- if that isn’t the very same Weavile the player is controlling. Tiny and quick, Weavile makes use of long, safe blockstrings and fake-out pressure while building meter to earn massive damage.
Playstyle: Weavile’s kit revolves around long, Rekka-like strings that can be cancelled into each other in order to keep block pressure high and make her opponent desperate to escape.
Values: 540 Hit Points, 480 Shield Health, 100cc Synergy Gauge
Poké Moves: Agility, Fury Swipes, and Fake Out (Duel 5A/5A…/5AY, Field n.A/n.A…/n.AY,) Knock Off (Duel 6A, Field f.A,) Night Slash (Duel 4A, Field b.A,) Icicle Crash, Icicle Crash: Jump, and Icicle Crash: Signal Slash (j.A, j.A#B, j.AY,) Taunt (Duel only, 2A,) Ice Punch and Ice Punch: Followup (Duel only, 8A/8AA.)
High Stance: Restores shield health gradually.
Low Stance: Invincible against high-hitting moves.
Unique Features: Weavile can Nosedive with J.R. Nosedive is a fastfall that puts Weavile immediately on the ground. The Duel Phase Nosedive has a faster recovery. Weavile can use Nosedive out of Icicle Crash (j.AR) which sends the icicle downwards, causing it to explode. Icicle Crash: Jump has the following trajectories: j.A1B for straight back, j.A3B for straight forward, j.A4B for up-back, j.A5B for straight up, and j.A6B for up-forward. Icicle Crash: Jump can cancel into any aerial. Field Phase Grab and Icicle Crash: Signal Slash will fill your Support Gauge. A successful Taunt will debuff your opponent’s Synergy, and the hitboxes of Taunt and Knock Off will steal your opponent’s Synergy. Agility is projectile invulnerable for 26 frames. Both Night Slash and Knock Off can be cancelled with R.
A ‘Rekka’ character is an archetype that most often describes rushdown characters whose special moves can cancel into other specific special moves on hit or block. The style is named after Fei Long’s Rekkaken move and can be found in characters from other games, such as Ms. Fortune, Chipp Zanuff, and of course, Weavile. Weavile specializes in long blockstrings from normals like 4Y…/5Y… which can then be ended in different moves like 6X or Agility into Fury Swipes, which itself can be cancelled into Fake Out. The wide variety of options out of these strings is what makes Weavile’s rushdown pressure so powerful, since it makes guessing on how to escape pressure incredibly dangerous. Weavile can also punish attempts at aggression with moves like Taunt and Night Slash, and can make herself difficult to catch with harassment moves like Icicle Crash. Combine all of that with her incredible, easy-to-access meter gains, and Weavile can quickly become a snowballing, oppressive threat.
Remember as always to consult the frame data sheet for specific moves and their properties.
Pause! Icicle Crash and Nosedive
While Icicle Crash and Nosedive aren’t inherently a centralizing ‘gimmick’ in the same way as some other character’s core mechanics, they are fairly important moves in Weavile’s kit, and they function fairly similarly in both Phases. Furthermore, in Duel Phase, Icicle Crash: Jump is Weavile’s only projectile, so getting the most out of the tool will help even a low-level player immensely. A low-hanging Icicle Crash has a hitbox, which means any opponent that walks into it as a trap will get hit. Signal Slash will let you farm Support meter, but since it deals no actual damage and isn’t as practical as, say, Braixen’s Sunny Day, this isn’t something for newbies to keep in mind. You will mainly do one of two things out of Icicle Crash: either jump away from your opponent, letting them eat the projectile, or Nosedive directly into the ground, letting the hitbox explode in front of you. The Icicle Crash: Nosedive is normally -8, but due to certain character-specific ticks, it is a whopping -22 against the following: Aegislash, Decidueye, Gardevoir, and Suicune. Also, you can do a regular Nosedive after doing Icicle Crash: Jump, which lets you land immediately after firing the projectile so you don’t float down and get anti-aired. This also means you can jump back into the air and do the loop again if you need to. Furthermore, Field b.Y and Duel 8Y are both cancellable into Icicle Crash on hit or block, letting you access that option and escape or continue a combo if you need to. While Icicle Crash isn’t stellar by any means, it’s by far your best keep-away tool, and it can force characters who have bad anti-air options or who can’t deal with the odd projectile to slip up when approaching you.
Weavile will want to end Field as soon as possible so that she can exert her pressure in Duel. All of your projectile moves are pretty useful here. N.Y and j.Y are fast and quick, and you can twirl around while charging n.[Y] for some extra mobility (just be careful not to get hit.) S.Y is probably one of your best projectiles, as walking into the trap will freeze and stun your opponent, letting you get an f.Y or a Homing Attack followup and a Shift. B.Y is a similar move to f.Y, but takes Weavile in an anti-air trajectory, for obvious applications in stuffing air approaches. Likewise, Weavile also has a j.X that functions as an aerial Homing Attack, which can also be used after Icicle Crash: Jump, further enhancing your air pressure and air stall game.
Weavile doesn’t have anything else to write home about, so remember to rely on your normal system options as well. Agility is projectile invuln, which will likely help you approach a lot in this Phase since zoning options are more abundant here. You can also use Night Slash as a fake-out or Knock Off as part of your close-to-midrange aggression, but watch out since they are both -8 and -12 respectively. Otherwise, CADC, Homing Attack, and even your very fast walk speed make your normal approach very effective.
This is where Weavile’s strengths come out to play the most. The Sharp Claw Pokémon has the benefits of excellent frame data on her normals, and almost all of them are special cancellable, which can make you even safer than the -8 or -12 that you normally are. 4Y and 5Y are essentially the same type of jab. 4Y is i11, and thus is a faster, throw crush variant of the i15 5Y, but it also has slightly more damage scaling, so the full string will do less damage off a 4Y starter. The 4/5Y…X ender move is also essentially the same move as 6X, and much like that move, it can also be charged for equivalent properties, namely being +4 on block and counter-piercing. Being able to special cancel your strings into a move of your choice also lets you mix up your situations on block, which can either condition your opponent or punish their habits out of block. For example, you may use Agility into Fury Swipes to continue your pressure, Night Slash to fade away and whiff punish, or Taunt to armor through your opponent’s mash. If your opponent is scared and still blocking, you can end your string in Fake Out to be +8 on block and continue your pressure, or even charge it to pierce your opponent’s reversal.
Weavile also has a handful of other strong albeit situational tools. 8X is a powerful overhead that is even on block and whose range can change depending on whether 7 or 9 is held during the input. 2X is i15 and is normally -16 but can be made safer if properly spaced and will low-profile high- and mid-high-hitting moves. Ice Punch probably won’t see a lot of use in neutral, but the charged version of the followup is yet another counter-piercing move. Duel j.X is a divekick that is normally a whopping -33, but Weavile can jump away from the opponent and perform aerials on block, allowing you to continue air stalling in a pinch. If you want a more aggressive jump-in option, you can rely on your relatively safe j.Y, but be careful not to get anti-aired.
Weavile’s Synergy Gauge is 100cc and her Burst Mode activation lasts for 13 second. Alongside her ability to steal meter from her opponent, you will likely have a full Gauge fairly often, so feel free to let it rip whenever you want. Your Taunt debuff will also mean your opponent will access their own Burst less often, allowing the Dark/Ice-type to snowball further than normal. Burst Mode Weavile gains the following few set of enhancements:
- Field s.Y throws five icicle traps instead of three.
- Field j.Y splits into three snowballs.
- Icicle Crash can be used twice in a row, i.e. after an Icicle Crash: Jump.
Burst Mode Weavile’s main enhancements allow her to utilize her projectile tools more effectively. In Field, a Burst s.Y will completely pollute the stage and drastically reduce your opponent’s movement space, making it an effective okizeme option or simply a powerful ranged attack. Field J.Y is likely much stronger for the same reasons, being able to keep your opponent out or harass them from multiple angles. The most obvious and most powerful application is the ability to fire Icicle Crash twice, which greatly increases your air time and makes you much harder to anti-air. Weavile also gets access to a powerful Burst Attack, Sonic Slash. Sonic Slash is an i11 move with frame 1 counter armor and frame 9 invincibility that counter pierces and anti-airs. The hitbox of the tornado becomes larger as Weavile ascends into the air and disappears when she falls. The move is -4, and on a successful hit, it will drain the opponent’s Synergy by 12.5cc for every hit. Sonic Slash is a powerful reversal that can also catch out any opponent foolish enough to lay the pressure on you- just be careful about getting thrown, or pierced by another Burst Attack.
Strengths and Weaknesses
Weavile is a very powerful rushdown character who can be difficult to lock down due to her unique air stalling and fade-away. If your opponent has bad reversal options, bad anti-air options, or simply bad habits, they can find themselves on the receiving end of her numerous Rekka series. Beyond that, her ability to use Burst so frequently allows her to exert a similar pressure to that of Pikachu Libre. This lets her absolutely overwhelm characters like Scizor or Machamp who rely heavily on armor and grounded approaches. On the other hand, much like fellow rushdown character Blaziken, Weavile will still get locked out by zoners, especially those like Chandelure and Gardevoir who can also fill the air with projectiles and catch Weavile at any part of the screen. Still, Weavile’s own armored and projectile invulnerable options allow her to make safer approaches in her own way, even if she can’t compete with zoning in the same way.
Support and Cheer Pairings
Weavile will likely want to make use of Supports that help her lock down her opponent at any range. Emolga is always a very solid counter-piercing projectile, while Rotom/Togekiss can both keep her opponent out of the air and enhance her already high speed. Similarly, Mimikyu can hold down the neutral while Mega-Rayquaza can act as a fast high-damage projectile that won’t cost Weavile much meter. Yveltal-Latios can both also limit your opponent’s movement and allow you to approach safely. Also, with creative use, Popplio can even keep you in the air for longer with its double-jump buff. You can use Special Cheer to gain meter back quickly after using Burst to close out a round, or Support Cheer if you want to rely more on assists.
These are some easy combos that you can get started with right away- they are bread-and-butter combos, not necessarily the most difficult or the most optimal. If you want to learn more about what your character has to offer, I suggest exploring the longer combo guides found in the Pokkén character Discords, as they will often be the most up-to-date with the current version of the game. The sample combos in the tutorial mode are also very good at helping you figure out your character’s combo theory.
Weavile’s starter combos are fairly simple, and you can improvise with them however you want depending on your opponent’s habits as explained in the Duel Phase section. I will provide here a few examples of confirms you can get off of the long 4Y…/5Y… string, as well as an example of a confirm you may be able to get off 8Y Icicle Crash. The latter combo can be practiced in the ingame tutorial, but they’ll have you go for a Knock Off ender instead.
5YYYX 5AAAA W! 4Y 5AAAA
5X 4A 5YYYX 6A
8Y j.A1B j.R 5AAAA
Weavile is a pure rushdown character with a plethora of mix-ups and special move options out of her strings, allowing her to pour on the pressure until her opponent makes a mistake and gets opened up. Icicle Crash and Nosedive also offers her a unique air option that, when combined with her normal ground speed, can make her annoying to catch. In Field Phase, Weavile has the benefit of trapping her opponent with s.Y icicles and dashing in from the air with j.X, but her power opens up in Duel. After a Shift, Weavile uses cheap and safe normals to get her pressure started, which can then be chained into each other or special cancelled to push her opponent all the way to the wall. Weavile can also steal her opponent’s Synergy, which in turn fills up her already small gauge, allowing her to Burst fast and frequently. While she may struggle against zoners, she has a few tools such as Icicle Crash and Agility that can make it easier, and her bait-and-punish game with moves like Taunt and Night Slash is impressive. Weavile’s Burst Mode increases her projectile game and air stall capability, and Sonic Slash is one of the best counter-armor supers in the game.
And now, the Speed-type character guides are all done! All that’s left are the final five Technical-type Pokémon. Each of these Pokémon are highly-specialized with a variety of playstyles and gameplans, so beginners should take the time to get familiar with the basics of the game before committing to them. The first of these last five characters will be Darkrai, the Pitch-Black Pokémon!