Table of Contents
- Section 1: Guide Introduction
- Section 2: Amiibo Overview / Pros & Cons
- Section 3: Recommended Equipment
- Section 4: Leveling up your Amiibo
- Section 5: Post Level-50 Training
- Section 6: Conclusion & Credits
Welcome to Amiibo Dojo’s Link training guide!
To start off, I’d like to thank you for taking the time to read this guide – your support is very much appreciated. If you’re looking to train Toon Link, try this page instead.
Link is the main character in the Legend of Zelda games. A young boy living in Hyrule, Link is often given the task of rescuing Princess Zelda and Hyrule from the Gerudo thief Ganondorf. Humble to the end, Link is known not merely as a hero but as a symbol of courage, strength, and wisdom as well.
In the amiibo metagame, Link is a powerful contender. His strong smash attacks, versatile projectiles, and recovery options make him a flexible fighter who can handle any opponent. Many amiibo trainers have found success with this character in competitive play, and the purpose of this guide is to help you achieve the same result. Let’s get started by outlining Link’s in-game abilities – his strengths, weaknesses, and tendencies, so that you know what to look for during training!
Please note: Although all of the information in this guide is 100% accurate, it may be revised in the future if there are further game updates to Super Smash Bros.
In contrast to his cel-shaded counterpart, Link is a strong (and quite common) tournament pick. He possesses several unique attacks that can surprise and disorient his opponents – most notably, his smash attacks. His forward smash consists of two separate hits instead of one, which can cause foes to drop their guard. His up smash is one of the most efficient in the game, striking multiple times and dealing incredible damage all the while. Link is not only effective up close, but at a distance, too: he has a wide range of projectiles that allow him to rack up damage and keep enemies at bay. He can even use his arrows to potentially gimp recovering foes! His recovery is also quite good – while his up special doesn’t go very far, his tether recovery is a fast and reliable option. Finally, Link is very resilient thanks to his heavy weight, and is more than capable of stomaching powerful hits.
Unfortunately, Link’s grab is horribly slow, and leaves him vulnerable to attack if missed – and since amiibo like to rely on their grab as a secondary option (and hence use it a lot, regardless of its speed), opponents will have many opportunities to attack. To add to this, Link doesn’t have any kill throws, so when he does successfully grab an enemy, it won’t do him any good. Rounding out his cons is a small problem in his AI – he doesn’t use his Bombs very well. He’ll either toss them upwards to no effect, or hold onto them for too long and damage himself with the resulting explosion.
If trained properly, Link can work wonders in competitive play: the key is to teach him to play defensively, and strike a balance between melee and ranged attacks. It might take a bit of effort to sharpen his skills, but as long as you follow the information presented in this guide, you should have no problem turning your Link amiibo into a champion.
Link – Recommended Stats & Bonuses
Now that I’ve given you a general outline of Link’s strengths and weaknesses, it’s time to begin the training process by setting him up with equipment! When feeding your amiibo, it’s important that you know what you’re doing – if you carelessly slap random stats and bonuses onto your amiibo, it’s not going to work very well. That being said, feeding an amiibo can be kind of complicated to someone who hasn’t done it before – that’s why this section is dedicated to telling you how to properly equip your amiibo. Here’s my recommended setup for Link:
Point Distribution: +40 Attack / +40 Defense / +40 Speed
This is a rather common stat spread that balances the allocated 120 points between attack, defense, and speed. Link is somewhat lacking in mobility, so the extra points in speed will help him to move faster, recover better, and react to incoming attacks.
- Critical-hit capability
- Explosive perfect shield
- Improved escapability
Dubbed the “Rock-Paper-Scissors” setup, this is the best and most popular bonus combination. This is because the three bonuses here work together to create a well-rounded fighter with enhanced abilities. The centerpiece here is Explosive perfect shield, which allows your amiibo to damage opponents just by blocking! This capability will encourage your Link to use his shield more often, which is a good thing. Eventually, though, opposing amiibo will take note of how often Link is blocking, and go for grabs instead of direct attacks. That’s where Improved escapability comes in – with this bonus equipped, your amiibo will be able to escape from grabs almost instantly! Critical-hit capability rounds out the set, giving all of your amiibo’s attacks a 20% chance of dealing three times as much damage as usual!
If you would like to see some other bonus combinations that work well with Link, check out this post, which goes over several equipment setups you can use on your amiibo.
Link – Recommended Custom Moves
Link has a unique set of custom moves that can give him brand-new options. Even so, not all of them are good trade-offs: a few of his custom moves are flat-out inferior to their originals. To a new trainer (or one unfamiliar with the character), it can be tough to decide which versions to use, so I’m going to list each special move, and which choice will work best for your amiibo.
Neutral special (Hero’s Bow): Hero’s Bow
- In addition to Hero’s Bow, the default version of the move, there’s also Power Bow and Quickfire Bow. The former shoots stronger arrows that can even KO opponents at reasonable percentages, at the cost of reduced range and increased charge time. The latter, hence its name, shoots magical arrows that charge quickly and travel in a perfectly straight line. Of the three, your best option is the default Hero’s Bow, as it balances power, range, and speed – furthermore, it is the only version of the move that can gimp recovering enemies.
Side special (Gale Boomerang): Boomerang
- There are two custom versions of this move: Boomerang and Ripping Boomerang. The former doesn’t have the wind effect of the default version, but deals more damage and is easier to aim. The latter hits multiple times and can stun victims, but has decreased range and speed. Your best choice is Boomerang, the first custom move version. It is a more traditional projectile, and is better at racking up damage from afar.
Up special (Spin Attack): Spin Attack
- Along with the default Spin Attack, we also have Shocking Spin and Whirling Leap. The first one, Shocking Spin, is a much more powerful electric version of the move, but has worsened recovery potential. Whirling Leap deals no damage, but travels much higher and much farther. Believe it or not, I think your best bet here is the default Spin Attack, not Whirling Leap. You see, every once in a while, Link will try to use a special combo – jab to Spin Attack. If you give him Whirling Leap, he’ll end up jabbing his enemy, and then leaping into the air without dealing any damage…which leaves him vulnerable to attack.
Down special (Bomb): N/A
- In addition to the default version of the move, there’s also Giant Bomb and Meteor Bomb. However, I don’t think it’s necessary to worry about this move – Link’s AI can’t use any of the three custom versions well at all. It’s better to focus on the two other projectiles in his arsenal.
Feeding Your Amiibo
Now that you know all of your options, it’s time to start feeding your amiibo equipment! Please be aware that, for this part, I’m assuming that you’re going with my recommendations for stats and bonuses. Once you’re ready to begin, open the game, navigate to Games & More, and then to the amiibo section. Scan in your Link amiibo, and you’ll see a status screen that details his stats and bonus effects.
There are a few things I want to mention before we continue. First, don’t worry about your amiibo’s current level. If it has already been trained, don’t reset it just to use this guide. Like an old dog can learn new tricks, an amiibo is more than capable of adapting to newly added or changed equipment. It doesn’t matter what level your amiibo is at – the feeding method I’m about to explain will work just fine.
Step 1: Equipping Bonus Effects
The first thing we’re going to do is give your amiibo its three bonus effects. Click the “Feed Equipment” option from the menu, and sort your equipment stash alphabetically. You’re going to be searching for three specific “prefixes” on your equipment pieces: “Critical Hitter”, “Escape Artist”, and “Shield Exploder”. You can look at the image above for a visual example. If you realize you don’t have one of these bonuses, leave one of the slots blank, and you can feed your Link the missing bonus later (if you want, you can always check out the equipment farming guide).
Step 2: Rounding Out Stat Values
For many people, this is the most difficult step: rounding out your amiibo’s points. The goal is to give your amiibo 40 points attack, 40 points defense, and 40 points speed. Don’t worry if you end up with, say, 34 points attack, 41 points defense, and 45 points speed. We’re aiming for a ballpark range here.
If you don’t know this already, each piece of equipment has a different color: orange, blue, or green. Orange pieces will increase an amiibo’s attack power, but decrease its defense. Blue pieces will increase its defense, but lower its speed. A green piece will increase its speed, but lower its strength.
Step 3: When Your Amiibo Gets Full
At some point as you feed your amiibo, it’ll become full and won’t be able to eat any more equipment. Normally, you’d have to battle your amiibo to continue the feeding process, but luckily, there’s an exploit of sorts that was brought to light by Amiibo Trainer. If you take your full amiibo into a 1-stock match and immediately run off the stage and KO yourself when the game begins, you’ll be able to feed it again once the match ends. Now, as you may know, an amiibo can’t learn to KO itself – and since that’s the only thing you’re doing in this kind of match, your amiibo learns nothing. It has no effect on its tendencies, no matter how many times you repeat it.
Why is this trick relevant, you ask? Well, when your amiibo does become full (it’ll happen eventually), you probably won’t yet be done adjusting its points. If you were to play a legitimate match with your amiibo at this point, it would start to adapt to its new spread, only for it to be changed again the next round. That’s why we KO ourselves – the match will have ended too quickly for your amiibo to adapt. Oh, and it saves time, so there’s that too.
Completing the Feeding Process
Once your amiibo is all set with its points, bonuses, and custom moves, you’ll be ready to begin your training (or continue it, if your amiibo is already Level 50!) If you run into a problem of some sort that you can’t resolve, I can help you out! Don’t be shy: you can send an email to email@example.com anytime explaining your issue, and I’ll give you personal advice to correct it. Emailing me is free, and I don’t get annoyed by repeated messages, so you don’t need to worry about that.
Note: If your Link amiibo is already Level 50, and you want to further improve his abilities, please skip to Section 5. If your amiibo is not yet Level 50, keep reading this section!
Raising your Amiibo to Level 50
Raising an amiibo to Level 50 is simple in concept, but in practice, it takes a lot of time and perseverance. You will be mirror matching your amiibo until its level maxes out. A “mirror match”, also known as a “ditto”, is when you play as the character that is your amiibo – in this case, you’ll be playing as Link. I recommend playing timed matches (3 to 5 minutes will do) on Ω-form stages only.
I want to be as specific as possible in this section so that you know exactly what steps to take here – to help you out, I’ve put together a big list of tips you can use to maximize your amiibo’s potential.
Amiibo Training Tips (Defensive)
As I said before, you should be mirror matching your amiibo all the way to Level 50. I’ve talked about defense a lot in this guide, but you might not know how to properly play defensively. This list of tips will help you – as long as you’re faithful to them, your amiibo will start off strong.
- Do not jump or use aerials. I say this very often, but it utterly confuses some people. Many amiibo trainers have aerial attacks incorporated into their playstyles, and can’t understand why they shouldn’t be used. Simply put, in a metagame where shields can do damage, aerials are too big a risk to take. As many tournaments have shown, amiibo who rely on air attacks leave themselves vulnerable, which leads to their demise. If you disagree, and need further convincing, head over to this post.
- Play defensively. Like I said, a Level 50 amiibo can react within 1/60th of a second (which is one frame). Why throw out attacks when you can just shield instead? In fact, if you followed my equipment recommendation and gave your amiibo Explosive perfect shield, all it needs to do is use its shield. If you can, try to perfect shield your amiibo’s attacks (equip yourself with Easy perfect shield and/or use slow motion settings if necessary) and immediately counterattack with forward smash after the block. This is an important concept that often decides which amiibo emerges victorious.Want more information on why defense is the most effective playstyle? Click here.
- Don’t make any attempt to combo. At the end of the day, amiibo are beefed up CPU characters. As trainers, we can teach our amiibo a general philosophy to play by – we can’t necessarily teach them to string certain moves together. Additionally, amiibo will not use combos that aren’t coded into their AI (for example, Ness is programmed to use down throw to forward aerial), so even if you do successfully land sweet 10-move combos, your amiibo likely will not learn to do the same. You’re better off focusing on attacking with powerful moves instead of linking several weak attacks.
Amiibo Training Tips (Character-Specific)
In addition to the aforementioned defensive tips, you should be playing be the following ones as well. They’re all about moves, habits, and tendencies that work best for Link, and are specific to him as a character.
- Rely on smash attacks to rack up damage and KO. With Link, your go-to move should be his forward smash. When you use this attack, be sure to use both hits of it by pressing the button twice. His up smash is one of the best aerial punish moves in the game, so be sure to hit your amiibo with it while he’s airborne. Down smash is a quick “get off me” move, but don’t use this attack too often, or your amiibo may end up spamming it.
- Don’t use projectiles up close – attack your amiibo with them from afar. Link’s best close-ranged options are defense and his smash attacks, so when you are standing right next to your amiibo, don’t throw a projectile – your amiibo could pick up this habit and get punished big time by a powerful opponent. Only use the Boomerang when your amiibo is far away or is starting to flee from you.
- Teach your amiibo to gimp with arrows. Amiibo don’t go off stage, so the least your Link can do is shoot arrows in an attempt to snipe the recoveries of foes (especially Ness and Lucas!). You don’t really need to charge the arrows, just stand at the ledge and fire away at your amiibo while he’s recovering!
- When recovering, use up special when you can. Characters who have tether grabs may end up spamming their grab aerial if not trained carefully. If you use Link’s clawshot to recover too often, your amiibo may try to use it as an attack and leave itself vulnerable.
- Don’t even bother using grab. Link doesn’t benefit at all from grabbing enemies, since he has no kill throws. If your amiibo tries to grab you and misses, be sure to attack him while he’s vulnerable.
- Do not use Bombs. For some reason, amiibo will throw a held item up into the air 90% of the time. The purpose of this tendency is unknown even to me, but take my advice – don’t even bother trying to get your amiibo to use them correctly. Throwing up items is coded into its AI.
If you started reading this guide with a Level 1 amiibo, it will take some time for it to reach Level 50. If your amiibo started anywhere in between, it shouldn’t take too long depending on how much it was trained prior to this guide. As long as you play by these tips, you will be creating a strong foundation for your amiibo to build on. Keep in mind that you can refer back to this list at any time.
When your Link amiibo does reach Level 50, don’t think your training is done. In fact, it will have just begun. When you are finished leveling up your amiibo, we will move onto the most important section in the guide – honing your Level 50 amiibo’s skills and turning it into a true champion!
Post-Level 50 Training
Your Link amiibo should now be Level 50, meaning your journey has officially just begun! You see, you can’t take a fresh Level 50 amiibo, enter it into a tournament, and expect it to do well – just like a real player, your amiibo needs additional practice and match experience in order to truly become strong. Here are some tips, tricks, and training methods you can use to further enhance your amiibo’s abilities:
Your Amiibo’s Match Experience
One of the most important things your amiibo needs to succeed is match experience. It needs to know how to handle certain characters, attacks, and mechanics – some examples are Little Mac’s effortless shield breakers, Bowser’s infamous Flying Slam attack, and Lucario’s aura skill. If you have other amiibo, train them up with my guides and have them all fight each other in 1v1 matches. You will want to expose your amiibo to as many other amiibo as you can.
I also have a detailed and in-depth article on your amiibo’s match experience. It talks about the characters you need to prepare for, and the skills your amiibo can learn to overcome any fighter. Follow this link (ha, get it? Since we’re training Link?) if you are interested in reading more!
It’s also important for your amiibo to play defense, and my defensive training session outline will help it do just that. It only takes a few minutes, and can be used multiple times in a row to great effect.
As your amiibo plays matches against other amiibo, its defensive capability will wear down over time. To keep your amiibo “fresh” and at its best, repeat the defensive training session as needed.
Amiibo Trainer’s Guides
Along with the Amiibo Dojo, Amiibo Trainer is one of the main amiibo training sites. They have some very helpful training guides (and a long-running podcast, too) that I recommend you use in conjunction with the ones I have here.
First is the Amiibo 15, a 15-minute training session that hundreds of amiibo trainers around the globe have used. Its concept and goal are similar to my defensive training session that I mentioned earlier, and is another great option for quickly improving your amiibo.
And then we have Amiibo Trainer’s monthly guide series. Each month, a new training guide is released that talks about a specific bonus combination you can use on your amiibo, and training sessions that will maximize your amiibo’s use of its three bonus effects. I use these guides as a supplement to my own methods, and I think you should, too.
The road to amiibo superstardom is long and hard, and it isn’t as simple as this guide might suggest. At some point, your amiibo might develop a bad habit. Or maybe you’ll become stumped on what to do next. It doesn’t matter what problem you run into – I’m here to help. If you have any questions regarding amiibo training or the site, you can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you don’t like sending emails, you can also fill out the Amiibo Dojo contact form or shoot me a message on Reddit or Twitter.
Thanks so much for sticking with me to the end! Like the vast starscape of outer space, amiibo training is endless – there’s always a way forward, even if you can’t see it. You’re never truly “done” training. Again, if you run into any roadblocks along the way, I’m here to help you. You can easily ask me a question by filling out the contact form, sending an email to email@example.com, or getting in touch on Reddit or Twitter.
If your desire to read amiibo training guides and articles hasn’t been entirely fulfilled, there are some more posts I think you might like. If you have a Toon Link amiibo, I suggest you check out my free training guide on him. Even though he’s quite similar to Link, his training strategy is a bit different. You should also check out the official amiibo tier list, the FAQ, and the Amiibo Dojo forums. Alternatively, you can head to my master list of guides for even more amiibo training methods!
I trained my Link amiibo extensively in order to prepare for this guide, and I did the initial writeup as well – but I had some help from a few others, such as grammar checks and training tips. This part is dedicated to thanking them for their assistance!
- Grammar checks: Unoriginal Username and Nickural
- Training: Unoriginal Username, Keeth, and Trainer Blue
- Images: Official Super Smash Bros. website
P.S.: If you post a comment or question on this guide, and don’t get a response, I’m not ignoring you! I don’t get notified of replies here, so I might not see it. The best way to contact me is through the methods I listed above.