Shaggy, who is featured prominently in MultiVersus’ key art and is the default character you’ll be playing as in Training Mode can be accurately described as “the Mario” of MultiVersus. He’s a balanced all-rounder designed to be easy to pick up and play for newcomers and has a bit of everything in his moveset. But don’t let this simplicity fool you! For our green-shirted glutton makes a hell of a knuckle sandwich. Here’s our comprehensive guide on how you can get better with Shaggy in MultiVersus.
As apt as our Mario comparison may have been, let me step outside of the realm of platform fighters and do you one better, Shaggy is the Ryu of MultiVersus. (Street Fighter Ryu, that is – not Smash Bros Ryu, god this stuff’s confusing.) And why do I say this? Because of Shaggy’s best move, and one that is the crux of his kit — his Up Special, Power Uppercut. Yes, it bears a striking resemblance to Ryu’s iconic Shoryuken, but dare I say it might even have more application? Power Uppercut is not just a useful recovery tool and killing option — it’s also a combo finisher, more on that later. This move can be used in almost every scenario that isn’t neutral, and you’ll hopefully be bagging a lot of your kills by reading an opponent’s jump and punishing them with it.
On top of punishing reads and intimidating kill potential, Shaggy also has a projectile – and one that he spawns with! Shaggy’s Sandwich can be thrown with Down Special whilst on the ground and in the air, it does mild damage and knockback and even heals teammates it passes through once he’s thrown it, he can spawn another one with another Down Special, nice!
And then we come to the cherry (or olive) on top (of the sandwich, if it’s an olive), Shaggy’s central gimmick and the one thing that sets him apart from the other beginner-type characters in most fighting games — Rage Mode. Yes, Warner Bros appear to have given Player First Games the go-ahead to make the memes a reality, Shaggy can in fact power up and take on a very Super Saiyan-inspired appearance with his Neutral Special. No, the screenshots you’ve seen are not fake, this is really in the game, and it’s a hugely important part of playing Shaggy that we’ll get to when we cover his Specials in more detail.
All-in-all, Shaggy has a bit of everything and appears to borrow elements of his design from lots of iconic fighting game characters over the years, he even has a move that’s very reminiscent of the classic Captain Falcon knee from Super Smash Bros. And while he may be simple in concept, that’s not to say he’s without identity. A Bruiser type character with a lot of speed and movement options, Shaggy is what traditional fighting game players would call a Rushdown character. He’s intended to be played aggressively and approach opponents with powerful offensive options. The Sandwich may give him a bit of leeway in backing up and creating distance, but this character really excels when opening up his opponent with his high damage combos and powerful killing options. Let’s get into the meaty middle;
Shaggy’s Combos in MultiVersus
Shaggy is a very combo-centric character with many moves that can lead into many things. To save trying to account for 1000+ situationally dependent combinations, we’re gonna go through Shaggy’s 3 most prominent combo starters, and what you can get off them.
- Grounded Side Attack/Jab (Combo Meal): Like most characters in MultiVersus, Shaggy gets a lot out of cancelling his multi-hit Jab before the final hit. Shaggy can, if he so chooses, simply perform Jab 1 & 2 straight into Power Uppercut for some safe damage and knockback. This alone is far more optimal than the Combo Meal in full, but if you feel like taking a walk on the wild side you can take this much further. Shaggy’s Grounded Up Attack (Like, Overhead Smash!) also true combos into Power Uppercut, and Jab 1 & 2 true combo into the Grounded Up Attack, so Jab 1 & 2 – Overhead Smash – Power Uppercut is indeed an entirely true combo at early percents. There’s a lot more you could mix in there too, maybe an aerial like Up Air (Flying Slacker Smack) which again, will also true combo into Power Uppercut. (We told you this was a crazy combo finisher.) Other moves like the spiking, armor-breaking Grounded Down Attack (Power Stomp) can combo out of Jab 1 & 2 and might be worth consideration if your opponent has armor or is at the ledge where it could knock them down into a disadvantageous position, or perhaps you feel like giving Neutral Air a try (Flurrious Feet) as it can also be combo’d out of Jab 1 & 2 and could send your enemy offstage horizontally and has multiple hits, so is a simple way to do more damage if you don’t have the confidence to execute a longer combo in the midst of a tense match. Probably Shaggy’s most reliable and damaging early game combo is Jab 1 & 2 – Grounded Up Attack – Up Air – Power Uppercut. Give it a try in Training Mode!
- Grounded Up Attack (Like, Overhead Smash!): Grounded attacks will never be as easy to land in MultiVersus as aerial attacks because of the speedy, aerial nature of the game, but their rewards will always be proportionally huge – as is exemplified by Shaggy’s Grounded Up Attack. Of course, this move, much like almost everything else in Shaggy’s kit true combos into Power Uppercut, but it can also true combo into almost any of Shaggy’s other aerials too as it pops the opponent up at such a perfect angle. It helps that the other 2 moves listed here also combo into Grounded Up Attack, so this move is arguably even more important as a combo extender than a combo starter.
- Down Air (Get Down, Man): Shaggy’s two-handed spike will bounce characters up and off the ground as is par for the course in MultiVersus, but this is particularly important for Shaggy — whose combo game is very vertical. Down Air can hypothetically combo into every one of Shaggy’s other aerials, but ideally you’ll be looking for Up Air which as we’ve covered just above, true combos into Power Uppercut. (And does so at almost any percent.) If you’re looking for stage positioning, though, Down Air into Neutral Air may be preferable to send your opponent outwards and offstage, and at very early percents you can probably get Down Air into Jab, which can then lead into everything just covered.
How to Use Shaggy’s Specials
Though he may be a combo-heavy rushdown character, I’d argue Shaggy’s specials are actually the most important part of his kit overall as opposed to the aerials and normals that dominate most character’s metas. Shaggy’s normals may be helpful for combos and neutral, but Shaggy’s specials have application with combos, neutral, juggling, reads and even a bit of zoning. They’re his best moves across the board in my opinion;
- Neutral Special (Zoinks!): Is Shaggy’s defining gimmick. When he uses Neutral Special on the ground or in the air he begins charging up power, Super Saiyan style, and if allowed to charge for long enough uninterrupted, he enters Rage Mode. Whilst in Rage Mode, all of Shaggy’s other specials change to more powerful versions that have armor and apply “weaken” that we’ll cover in their own sections. Just using this charge with no intention to actually finish it and enter Rage Mode is a powerful tool in and of its own because it forces the opponent to interact with you, baiting them to approach and try and stop you before you can finish charging, and this can lead to easy punishes if you play around their approach. If Shaggy uses Neutral Special whilst in Rage Mode, he points a finger to his forehead and emits a small but powerful AOE explosion that deals a lot of knockback and is great for covering the ledge in particular. Whenever Shaggy uses a powered-up Rage Mode Special Attack, it then cancels the Rage Mode after.
- Side Special (Chiller Instinct Kick): Is a fairly simple move that should make immediate sense to players as soon as they see it. Shaggy flies a decent distance across the screen horizontally with his foot out to deliver a kick with reasonably high knockback. When using this move in Rage Mode, the distance, travel speed and knockback are all increased quite substantially. True to his rushdown nature, this move is great for helping Shaggy close distance and can score you a lot of kills off the top if you read an opponent’s aerial movement or recovery option. Speaking of recovery options, this move also works great as one! As the “two specials in the air before you touch the ground” rule in MultiVersus means you can use both this and Up Special to cover a good amount of vertical and horizontal distance as well as your two jumps to make it back to stage.
- Up Special (Power Uppercut): We’ve already covered a little bit as it’s such a key part of Shaggy’s kit, almost all of your combos will be ending with this move. Aside from that, it’s also a potent recovery option and will really come into its own once you get the hang of reading your opponent; knowing when and where they’re gonna jump and punishing them hard for it. When in Rage Mode, this move doesn’t just hit harder but also hits multiple times.
- Down Special (Like, Feed The Hunger/Like, C’Mere Man): The first time you use Down Special in any match as Shaggy, you’ll throw the Sandwich you spawned with. From here on out, using this move on the ground and not in Rage Mode will result in Shaggy reaching into the ground and yanking out yet another Sandwich to re-equip. This move becomes a larger and much more powerful projectile when in Rage Mode and the Sandwich as a whole is Shaggy’s only real way to create space from his opponent, and may be a solid edgeguarding tool as well — as Shaggy’s offstage presence is otherwise pretty weak overall. When you use Down Special in the air without a Sandwich equipped however, this becomes a different move entirely — Like, C’Mere Man. This move has Shaggy dive towards the ground with armour and pound it with both fists, creating a small shockwave that does huge knockback to anyone Shaggy makes contact with and will score you a lot of vertical KOs if used correctly. When used in Rage Mode, the shockwave actively travels vertically and Weakens anyone it touches. This move is a powerful mixup that can catch people off guard who are trying to be too aggressive when covering your landing, and gives people a great reason to respect Shaggy coming down. No, not like that. I know he’s a hippie but, c’mon.
Additional Tricks to Know:
Shaggy’s Neutral Air is a great, multi-hit move with a very generous hitbox that pops your opponent out for a great angle at follow-ups, however due to MultiVersus’ frantic, fast-paced nature, you might find when trying to use it whilst holding forward (which you’ll be doing often), you often misinput Forward Air instead. This will put some serious shackles on your neutral game, but can be rectified in the game’s controller settings. Try either setting a second button to “Neutral Attack” (in my case I use the Right Trigger/RT on my Xbox controller, and also use the Left Trigger to jump) or ticking the “Swap Air Side And Neutral Attack” setting so that you can use this hugely important Neutral Air with the free range of movement without fear that you’ll perform a Forward Air instead.
Shaggy is a simple character and there’s not a lot of advanced techniques to learn, but definitely practice his combos in Training Mode (in particular the ones off Grounded Side Attack/Jab) and get used to cancelling your dodges and other moves to get your stuff out as fast as possible and optimise your combos! Your neutral should consist of a lot of Neutral Air, Forward Air, a sprinkle of Down Air, some Sandwich throwing and generally trying to move yourself into a position where you can open an opponent up with a Jab combo!
As a fast-moving rushdown character, we want perks that will accentuate Shaggy’s mobility and allow him to further excel at smothering opponents. Here are some perks I recommend and have seen other, better Shaggy players doing so too;
- Lumpy Space Punch increases the damage you deal with melee attacks in the air by 5% (and 10% if stacked with a teammate). This perk will come up often if you like to read opponent’s jumps with Power Uppercut as much as I do, and considering how many of Shaggy’s combos are vertical and have you taking the opponent up into the air with multiple hits, you can’t really go wrong here.
- Gravity Manipulation is part of a core of perks that will play a part in further accentuating Shaggy’s mobility. It increases your team’s fastfall speed by 10% (20% if stacked), which is very helpful for Shaggy whom — aside from the occasional Neutral Air or Down Special, generally struggles to get down to the ground and can be juggled quite hard.
- Aerial Acrobat should be an obvious one. It increases your team’s aerial acceleration by 10% (20% if stacked) and will come in hugely handy considering how much time Shaggy spends hopping about the place throwing out aerials, it’ll also influence your Chiller Instinct Kick and make it slightly less reactable, which is a huge plus as the move is generally quite punishable if done from far enough away.
- Speed Force Assist gives your team +4% base movement speed (and +8% if stacked) is another no-brainer if you’re wanting to build the fastest Shaggy in the west. A whole core of speed-based perks like the trinity we’ve just covered could have you moving so fast that it might even open up new combos that others builds of Shaggy simply aren’t capable of!
- Hit ‘Em While They’re Down gives your team a 5% damage increase to debuffed enemies (10% increase if stacked), and while it may be a relatively niche option, all of Shaggy’s Rage Mode specials weaken your opponent — so it’s something that could come into play and result in some even earlier-than-expected kills fairly often.
- Triple Jump is a perk I feel almost foolish for not mentioning in my Bugs Bunny guide, but perhaps it seemed almost too obvious and too…general? This perk is everywhere right now and is used by almost every character (especially in teams, where stacking it just gives both members of your team a permanent triple jump from go.) But even in singles it could still be very useful for Shaggy, while it’ll only give Shaggy a triple jump after hitting an opponent in the air in singles — that’s something Shaggy does quite a lot! I’d absolutely recommend this perk for Shaggy as would I retroactively recommend it for Bugs and preemptively recommend it for every other character in the game as well.
Not much of a toss-up here.
- Hangry Man lets you charge up Rage faster if you have a Sandwich equipped by automatically consuming said Sandwich when you charge. It’s a perk I’ve seen almost no one using and not really heard anyone recommend.
- One Last Zoinks on the other hand is what all the big kids are using. It automatically triggers Rage Mode whenever Shaggy passes 100%, almost guaranteeing that you’ll get it at least one per match, this could even cause your opponent to change strategy and fish for early kills so as to not let you get over that threshold, and by consequence that could lead them to playing desperate and being easily punished. This is just really good. Pick this one.
And bon appetit! I hope this 6-course meal was to your liking and that you look forward to polishing off your opponents on the online ladder as if they were a Scooby Snack and you were a very hungry stoner. Get in, mash on some people, do some cool combos and then kill ‘em at 70 with a ridiculous Bruce Lee kick whilst surrounded by a vaguely Super Saiyan meme aura. Ahh, nothing else like it.
Have fun, and happy climbing!