So I was right about that, but it's more like Iron Fist in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, instead of Phoenix Wright.
Miiverse Page: https://miiverse.nintendo.net/posts/AYMHAAACAAAYUKlkeWRiCQ
Based on his trailer, using Shulk at his best means managing the 5 different Monado Arts he has. The difference between him & Iron Fist is that each of Shulk's arts raise one stat AND drop another or two, a lot like the buffs and debuffs in his own game.
Shulk activating his Smash art.
Besides the physics changes, each art has its own Chinese (not Japanese) symbol & color to go with it. 翔 (Jump)
: Higher jumps, lower defense.* 疾 (Speed)
: Faster movement, weaker attacks. 盾 (Shield)
: Higher defense, slower movement. 斬 (Buster)
: Stronger attacks, weaker launch ability. 撃 (Smash)
: Stronger launch ability, weaker attacks, lower defense against launching.*
*Jump & Smash do not exist in Xenoblade and were made just for Smash 4.
Looks like you'll have to shuffle through the art you want first, then select it to activate it, with Shulk saying the art. I bet this will leave him open for an attack, however, and I don't know yet if this will work with his Final Smash.
Besides Palutena & her Lightweight move, I don't know anyone else in the game that works like this. Shulk's shaping up to be a complex-but-rewarding character in this game with a sword that's longer than Ike's.
A smart Shulk main will likely wreck in tourneys if he manages all of these arts carefully, but I'm not gonna say that he's overpowered like everyone does with almost every newcomer.
Shulk is also a milestone for the roster, because with 40 characters revealed (leaks for the rest aside), the game now officially has more characters than Brawl!
A laser swordsman from a far "out-there" Nintendo JRPG, more so than Pokémon, Fire Emblem, & Earthbound combined. One who sports a shirtless alt and a British voice. Shulk is promising to have a lot of his own things going on with him compared to every other sword fighter in this game.
Even Sakurai himself admits that Shulk didn't feel like the kind of character that would fit into Smash Bros., but in the end, he's very proud that he and his crew made it happen.
If you plan to main Shulk, then with the Monado, the future is yours for the taking!
Now let's see those trailers for Bowser Jr. & the Duck Hunt Dog, next!