Welcome to D3v’s quick and dirty guide to Dr. Shoals. The goal of this is to get players quickly up to speed on playing the good doctor at a reasonable level. No, to get this out of the way, here’s a summary of Dr. Shoals moves from the [Shoals GD thread](Dr. Shoals Overview and General Discussion Thread
Now to the meat of this thing.
Why should you play Dr. Shoals
Winning in Divekick is all about height. To put it simply, the player who is higher on screen during a confrontation usually wins out. In relation to this, Shoals is a character who is able to remain pretty high on screen quite easily. Aside from her decent jumpdive height, her shallow dive kick and float air special allow her to stay relatively high longer than most other characters. Her ground float special on the other hand can eventually put her higher than most of the cast can dive. He shallow kick is important since she can do it higher than any other character with a similar shallow kick and, more importantly she can cancel it into her second, deeper kick. Meanwhile, she can move forward and backwards during her float unlike MarnMr.N.
What should you be doing to maintain height
Simple don’t do anything lower than your opponent. Use her float to stay high and gain some ground while your opponent falls or kicks downward. For her shallow kick, time your jumps so that you hit it’s peak later than your opponent does theirs. This way you’re guaranteed that your shallow kick will come out higher than your opponent. Don’t worry if it seems too high as you can simply cancel into her deep dive to get the hit.
If you do make a mistake and do her shallow dive too low, quickly cancel into a float and float backwards - the only exception to this would probably be against characters with shallow kicks and the Baz where you would probably want to deep kick instead depending on the angle (if the Baz sets up for a shallow kick, definitely deep kick as soon as possible to try to avoid the lightning).
What are her weaknesses
First up, her shallow kick ends after about 1.5 seconds if it doesn’t hit the ground, after which she drops like a rock. Dealing with this depends on how you read the angles available to your opponent. Your options to deal with this include simply cancelling into a deep kick, float canceling then doing another shallow kick, or simply letting Shoals fall if you think that your distance is safe enough.
Unlike most characters, Dr. Shoals low kickback does not allow her to quickly build meter by kicking out. To build meter, a good Shoals player will have to be creative in getting as many kicks out as possible during a dive while remaining safe. One recommended option is to dive low and then kick twice to get back into the ground, kickback as soon as you’re on the ground to keep safe. You can also float cancel a deep kick early, then let go of the float to kick again.
Quick tricks you might want to learn
Float Cancel - Basically cancelling a kick into a float. As mentioned above, the most basic use for this is to stop yourself from losing from a badly angled kick. You can also use this to keep yourself up in the aid to set up for another shallow kick (in case your opponent dives up again).
Quick Deep Kick - Cancelling a shallow kick as early as possible. Now, most of the time, using a shallow kick as a punish is better since it tends to hit higher. In addition to this, there is still some delay between diving and kicking since Shoals still has to go through some frames of her shallow kick animation. However, there are times where being able to quickly kick deep will be useful, especially when a nearby opponent thinks that they’ve gotten away by kicking early(low). If timed and spaced right, it can be used to setup surprise headshots on opponents trying to land quickly.