Monado Arts is Shulk's standard special move in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. It is based on the special Arts exclusively available to Shulk in Xenoblade Chronicles as his Talent Art with the Monado. On use, a Japanese character appears above Shulk, symbolizing a certain stat boost, and continuing to press the special move button cycles through four other ones.
In order, the Monado Arts are Jump (翔), Speed (疾), Shield (盾), Buster (斬, which is closer to "slash"), and Smash (撃). Jump boosts Shulk's normal jumping height and air speed and the height of his Air Slash while decreasing his defense; Speed boosts his movement speed, while lowering his damage output, his jump height, and traction; Shield decreases the amount of damage and knockback taken, but also decreases his jump, speed, and damage dealt; Buster significantly increases the damage his attacks deal while lowering their knockback, as well as increasing the amount of damage taken from attacks; and Smash increases the knockback of attacks, but decreases their damage dealt, and increases Shulk's taken knockback. While Speed, Shield, and Buster are all arts that Shulk can use in Xenoblade Chronicles (though with different effects), Jump and Smash were created specifically for the Super Smash Bros. series.
For an art to be chosen, the special move button must not be pressed for a bit of time. While it is active, the art's color glows around the part it affects (for example, Jump and Speed create a glow around Shulk's feet), and in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, a corresponding icon appears on Shulk's portrait. The active aura lasts for fifteen seconds before disappearing, and the same art cannot be used again for another ten seconds. An aura can also be canceled manually by tapping the special move button three times, or holding down the special move button for a second. Two auras cannot be activated at the same time; in order for a second aura to be chosen, the first one must either run out or be canceled. The only exception is if Shulk is KO'd, in which case all of his arts are restored.
In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, the player can also select a specific Monado Art by pressing the special move button and tilting the control stick.
In Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, the move has two custom variants:
Decisive Monado Arts enables each Monado Art to last five seconds longer, recharge five seconds faster, and boosts the positive effects of each Monado Art. However, whenever a Monado Art is active, Shulk can not cancel its effects at all, requiring him to have to wait until the active Monado Art deactivates itself before he can choose a different Monado Art. There's also a longer pause time when choosing a Monado Art, which can give players a chance to reconsider which Monado Art to use.
Hyper Monado Arts amplifies the positive and negative effects of each Monado Art, but they last five seconds shorter, and take five seconds longer to recharge.