X Waves

Mar 18, 2020

One of the more difficult and certainly confusing aspects of the Elliott Wave Theory involves the nebulous complex corrections and X Waves. A beginner with the wave theory will certainly spend a lot of time trying to understand X waves. To add to the complication they will undoubtedly follow other Elliotticians and not understand why what appeared to be a normal correction was labeled as a WXY or WXYXZ. We are going to try to take the mystery out of this issue for you.

When to declare an X wave and a complex correction

An A,B,C correction, whether a flat, zigzag, or triangle, needs to follow some proper guidelines. Those are expressed in the webpages on the specific corrections. When they don't follow the guidelines they are not properly labeled as a zigzag, flat, or triangle. They have become complex and must instead be labeled as such.  Here is an ongoing list of when you should declare an X wave, and thus a complex correction:

  • When wave A consists of 3 waves, but wave B does not reach a 90% retracement of A.  You can not properly identify the structure as a flat or a zigzag.  Potentially it could work as a triangle, but without a really complex C wave or a D wave you can't really label it as a triangle either.  It should tentatively be labeled as an X wave.

  • Following an A,B,C retracement, the price starts what is expected to be wave 3 (or wave 5), but pivots and reverses before reaching the pivot of wave 1 (or 3).  Label it as an X wave.  (Note it can't be an extension forming (another 1-2), as that would penetrate the pivot before reversing.

Signs that a complex correction may be underway

There are some trip-offs that complex correction may be occurring.

  • When wave A fails to penetrate a trend line drawn between wave 2 and 4 of the previous impulse wave, there is a better than average chance you will have a complex correction form, no matter whether wave c drops to a normal level thereafter.

  • complex wave tip

  • When the A,B,C retracement looks complete, but has not achieved a minimal Fibonacci retracement level.


1 Home Rules and Guidelines Applicable to All Motive and Corrective Waves

2 Wave 1 Characteristics and Structure

3 Wave 2 Characteristics and Structure

4 Wave 3 Characteristics and Structure

5 Wave 4 Characteristics and Structure

6 Wave 5 Characteristics and Structure

7 Wave A Characteristics and Structure

8 Wave B Characteristics and Structure

9 Wave C Characteristics and Structure

10 Extensions Structure and Trading

11 Fibonacci Targets Price Targets for Retracement and Extension

12 1-2/1-2 Structures  Wave 1-2 /1-2 Characteristics

13 Zigzags Structure and characteristics

14 Flats This is All FLAT Rules 

15 Triangles Triangles (3-3-3-3-3) Description and samples

16 Complex Corrections Characteristics of Complex Corrections (Combinations)

17 Declaring X Waves When to declare an X wave and a complex correction

18 Ending Diagonals Description and samples.

19 Leading Diagonals  Description and samples. This is quite rare.

20 Wave Identification

21 Channeling How to Use Channels to Identify Waves

22 Correction Times Use the appropriate time frame to analyze the correction.

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