Normal Shot: Shadow Blade: Shadow Man’s normal shot fires his signature Shadow Blade weapon from Mega Man 3. It behaves like the copy weapon Mega Man gets from Shadow Man. Once the blade goes a certain distance, it boomerangs back to where it was thrown from, before de-spawning. The range is short but it is a very effective, difficult to predict and dodge move. Unlike Mega Man, who is only able to throw it in 5 directions, Shadow Man can throw it in 8 directions. I wonder why that’s the case? However, this does give Shadow Man more versatility for dealing damage in close quarters, so I’m not complaining. This move deals 3 damage and Shadow Man can have 1 on screen at a time.
Special 1: Mega Blade: Shadow Man fires out two large blades. One is thrown straight forward, and the other can be thrown diagonally downwards (by holding down), or diagonally upwards (by holding up). This move is a great screen filling tool because unlike the Shadow Blade, the Mega Blade does not boomerang. It is Shadow Man’s best damage dealing option at range. If used on the ground, this move will have some startup to it, however, it is near instantaneous in mid-air. If Mega Blade is used while Shadow Man is very close to the opponent, he will not hesitate and assassinate the opponent with those 2 giant blades! Shadow Man can assassinate opponents both in mid-air, and on the ground. Both Assassinate and Mega Blade cost 6 energy points, and Assassinate deals 6 damage. Mega Blade deals 4 damage and Shadow Man can only have 1 pair on screen at a time.
Special 2: High Jump/Fast Slide: Shadow Man jumps really high and gains a bit more horizontal air speed. This move is reliable for avoiding other projectiles and getting out of tight situations. For example, you could fire a Shadow Blade and then High Jump out of the way to avoid an incoming attack. You could also High Jump and then use a Mega Blade to deal a good amount of damage, on top of avoiding other attacks. By holding down and using Special 2, Shadow Man can initiate a fast slide. This move is fairly basic, but can be very useful in close combat. Fast slide has twice as much invulnerability as a regular slide, and is another good mix-up tool to dodge attacks and land some quick attacks yourself. Both High Jump and Fast Slide cost 1 energy point.
Other: Shadow Man has a long wavedash, and an even longer one at that when wavedashing out of a Fast Slide. By pressing jump or Special 2 in mid-air Shadow Man will initiate a Fast Fall and fall to the ground at high speed. Shadow Man is also invulnerable during a Fast Fall, making it a good way to avoid attacks in mid air, coming directly from below. Shadow Man can also wall cling, just like a ninja, by pressing jump and holding the direction opposing the wall. While wall clinging, Shadow Man cannot use Mega Blade and his weapon energy will not regenerate. Shadow Man also has a time limit for how long he can cling to a wall. Shadow Man can still use Shadow Blade while wall clinging, and jumping out of a wall cling will give Shadow Man extra momentum.
Shadow Man is very versatile and flexible, with a lot more mobility options than any other character. With mastery of Fast Slide, Fast Fall and Wall Cling, Shadow Man has many mix-up options you can use to dodge incoming attacks, approach and escape the opponent.
Shadow Man also heavily favors flat, closed stages because of how he can use the walls to wall cling, and the flat floor to slide freely and avoid attacks.
With Shadow Man, getting up close and personal is the best way you will be able to deal high damage. At close range, Shadow Blade is a very effective damage dealer due to how difficult it can be to predict and dodge on its own, or combined with his mobility options. It is also possible for Shadow Man to land an Assassinate if he is at close range.
While Shadow Man is highly flexible on flat and closed stages, non-flat, open stages with many ledges can be troublesome to him. In these circumstances, it is difficult for Shadow Man to be able to use Fast Slide and Wall Cling to maneuver around opponent projectiles and approach safely. The lack of versatility also makes Shadow Man more predictable to fight against.
Although Shadow Man can deal good damage and dodge attacks with ease, it can be difficult for him to land an Assassinate on characters that can defend with melee attacks or shield weapons. This can make his highest damage weapon in battle obsolete.
Shadow Man can be a very predictable character at ranged combat due to the short range on his normal shot, as well as the high cost and max limit on his Mega Blades.