Character Tips: Greninja

This guide is outdated. It will be updated in the near future with new information and a fresher, smoother format. Thanks for your understanding!

It’s been a few days since I’ve posted. It’s been too busy over here between work and school, so my apologies. Today we’re going to be covering Greninja as our next entry of character tips. Greninja is one of the newest characters on the Super Smash Bros. roster, making his debut in Pokemon X & Y, which was released in 2013. Greninja is known for its blistering speed and ability Protean, which causes its type to change to the type of the move it uses, giving it great versatility. Greninja made a splash in the Pokemon metagame in late 2014 – it dominated the entire tier to the point where it’d be on any team – the scarved frog was so prominent that if you weren’t using it, you’d lose. Many players found Greninja to be cheap and overpowered, and the word “cheap” describes its amiibo quite well.

Let’s begin with pros and cons. Greninja’s strong points include extremely potent smash attacks so strong that it may be impossible to train a Greninja that doesn’t rely on them, and that’s what I meant when I called the amiibo “cheap and overpowered”. Greninja, also true to its home series, is fast. As such, it can move out of harm’s way quickly. Its special moves are also quite potent, with Water Shuriken, Shadow Sneak, and Substitute being very viable kill moves. Substitute in particular is a big plus for the amiibo, as it’s amazing at appearing at the right angle to land a KO whether you teach it to do that or not. The blue ninja isn’t without its faults, however. Most noticeable is its tendency to spam its powerful up smash, to a degree much higher than any other amiibo I’ve trained. While the move is very powerful and good at scoring KOs, actually getting a kill with it will only ensure the amiibo will spam it later on. Second, Greninja’s aerials make it very hard to train with the Bouncy Method (which I’m going to cover in the next few days). Its forward air, while powerful, has considerable starting lag that makes it very hard for the amiibo to hit you with. Its down air is fast, but if the amiibo learns the move via the bouncy method, it may go for the down air off-stage, miss, and kill itself. Its up air doesn’t have much kill power, but it’s good for combos. It’s neutral aerial also has an obscene amount of ending lag, so I don’t recommend you teach it that move. Its back aerial is its most viable aerial, but its quick speed makes it hard to land. Greninja also suffers from a lack of combos; its throws are weak but don’t throw the opponent at a relevant angle, preventing guaranteed followups. Lastly, Greninja will also spam its jab. While said move is good, it leaves him open to attack if it misses. Despite these flaws, Greninja can become powerful; just not to the same degree as it was in its debut game.

There’s two main ways to go about training Greninja. First, you could take the standard approach and simply mirror match him to level 40 or so. During these mirror matches, it’s important not to get hit by his up smash or jab. If you get hit with one of these moves, you should quit the match. If the amiibo misses an up smash or jab, run to the amiibo and punish it with a dash attack or forward smash. As far as combos go, Greninja doesn’t have many. A few I’ve seen are up throw to back air and up throw to up air. If you want your amiibo to learn these combos, you should use them several times per match; since they’re not true combos, the amiibo won’t pick them up as quickly as, say, Ness with his down throw to forward air. It’s also a good idea to focus on Greninja’s special moves. Water Shuriken’s range decreases as it is charged, but its power increases and a fully charged shuriken has kill potential. Shadow Sneak can catch opponents by surprise and can be used to recover. Substitute is a slow but powerful counter, and once taught, the amiibo is amazing at landing it. Another way to train Greninja would be to do one ten-minute mirror match and then use an aggressive character from then on, all the way up to level 40. While I do prefer Captain Falcon to fill this role, Marth, Meta Knight, Roy, and Little Mac will also suffice. Aggressive characters with projectiles such as Zero Suit Samus, Sheik, and Mario work too, as long as you don’t use their respective projectiles too often. Whichever way you choose to train Greninja, you should switch to your best character at around level 40 whether it has projectiles or not. If you opted to play as an aggressive character without a projectile, you should mirror match Greninja for a total of 10 minutes once again when you hit level 40 (or you can do two five-minute matches), and then switch to your best characters. You should train Greninja with your best characters all the way up to level 50 from that point on.

And that’s your general training for Greninja…at least, up to level 50. Problem is, Greninja requires a lot of upkeep since it’s easy for him to get back into the habit of spamming its up smash and jab. There are many options for post level 50 training; maybe even too many to mention here. In the coming days I’m going to be releasing a guide on ways to train your amiibo past level 50. When this article is released, I’m going to include a link to it within this post for you to check out. Trust me, it’ll be very helpful to training Greninja. As always, thanks for reading this article, and if you have any questions about amiibo training, send them to amiibocloud@gmail.com! Until next time!


My apologies if that was too long, haha. I know a lot of people who read these articles might not have time to read my ramblings, so I’ve summarized some key points when it comes to training Greninja. Of course, if you read the full article, you’ll get a better understanding of the amiibo, but if you really don’t have time, the following training points will do.

  • Avoid using Up smash and jab, as the amiibo will almost always spam these moves. If the amiibo hits you with one of these moves, quit the match. If it misses you, move in and punish it.
  • Use up throw to up air when the opponent’s at low percentage, and up throw to back air when the opponent’s at mid percentage.
  • Focus on Greninja’s special moves as well. Water Shuriken, Shadow Sneak, and Substitute all provide great utility.
  • When using Water Shuriken, use the uncharged version from far away and use the charged version when closer up – it’s also a good idea to fire a charged shuriken offstage when the amiibo is trying to recover.
  • Aggressive characters like Captain Falcon can help the amiibo become more aggressive, especially if you don’t dodge or block and focus on offense.

Secret Password: gekkouga

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6 thoughts on “Character Tips: Greninja”

  1. So my wife got me this Amiibo as a valentine’s present. I’m not very good with Greninja. How badly will my lack of skill affect what he learns during mirror match?

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    1. This guide is actually outdated. It tells you to use aerials and as many attacks as you can, but that’s no longer accurate. For now you should focus on playing defense. I’ll have an updated guide out pretty soon. To answer your question, you won’t need any skill to train a proper defense Greninja.

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  2. Hey, cloud, I never actually had a problem with up smash. I avoided it as much as possible, then one day, I let my Greninja fight 8 level 9 computer Greninjas. They used the up smash. I was like, oh crap, and thought I was doomed. I made him fight one of my other amiibos, but he didn’t spam it. He maybe did it once of twice, but didn’t spam it.

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  3. Can you make an updated guide? I have been trying to get a greninja for a long time, now i finally have one and would like a guide on how to train him to his fullest potential.

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