Character Guide: Pikachu

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

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File:Pikachu Direct.png

Welcome to Amiibo Dojo’s Pikachu character guide!

To start off, I’d like to thank you for taking the time to read this guide – your support is very much appreciated.

Pikachu has charmed fans and given a jolt to opponents for nearly 20 years – whether in the Pokémon TV series, the Pokémon Trading Card Game, or Pokémon video games, Pikachu has always been there as a stalwart companion for any Pokémon Trainer willing to take on the challenge of becoming the very best.

Many amiibo trainers aren’t interested in training Pikachu due to the flaws present in his AI. What these trainers don’t seem to realize, however, is that Pikachu can be good. If you’re patient with him, his bad tendencies (such as spamming Quick Attack and Thunder) can be corrected, and his true potential can be unlocked.

Today, I’m going to teach you all how to tap into Pikachu’s potential. To help you get a feel for what to look out for during training, we’re going to start by further elaborating on Pikachu’s in-battle strengths and weaknesses!

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.


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Amiibo Overview

pikachuprocon.PNGPikachu has more strengths than you might think – the problem is, they’re clouded by his issues spamming Quick Attack and Thunder. Overall, he has a very solid and useful moveset: his smash attacks are really good (forward smash has good range, up smash has excellent power, and down smash hits multiple times), and his special moves, if used correctly, can turn the tide of battle. They can also be made more useful with custom moves – Thunder Wave, an alternate neutral special, can stun opponents for a short time, and Thunder Burst is an incredible “get off me” move that is nearly impossible to block. Pikachu’s recovery is no slouch, either – between Skull Bash and Quick Attack, you can be sure that he’ll successfully return to the stage.

I’ve been talking about Pikachu’s flawed AI quite a lot, so let’s take a moment to go over it in detail. First, Pikachu’s use of Thunder is, to be blunt, awful. He uses the move more often than any other attack in his arsenal, and will call on it at inappropriate times, such as when he’s standing directly next to his enemy. Second, for some reason, your Pikachu amiibo will try to attack foes with his up special, Quick Attack. This usually doesn’t go well, since other amiibo have no trouble blocking it. These issues can be fixed with custom moves and proper training, however, which is part of what makes this character good. Flawed AI aside, Pikachu’s low weight means that his matchups against heavy hitters like Bowser and Ganondorf (who are some of the most common amiibo in tournaments) are poor. Finally, Pikachu doesn’t have any kill throws, which relegates his throws to damage-racking tools rather than direct KO moves.

The Consensus

Pikachu is a great amiibo whose potential is slightly overshadowed by his flawed AI. At the end of the day, Pikachu can shine in this metagame as long as his trainer is patient and determined. As long as you teach him to play defensively and use his special moves properly, you should have no problem tapping into the shocking potential found within this character.


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Pikachu – Recommended Stats & Bonuses

Now that I’ve given you a general outline of Pikachu’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. Let’s get started with my recommended build for Pikachu.

Point Distribution: +40 Attack / +70 Defense / +10 Speed

Many amiibo trainers use this point distribution on their amiibo – in fact, I’d say this is the most common stat spread. It focuses on defense, which is good for a lightweight character like Pikachu. In addition to a great defensive boost, your amiibo’s strength and mobility will be respectably boosted, too.

Bonus Combination:

  • Critical-hit capability
  • Explosive perfect shield
  • Improved escapability

Dubbed the “Rock-Paper-Scissors” setup, this is the best and most popular bonus combination in the game. 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 Pikachu to use his shield more often, which is a good thing. Eventually, though, opposing amiibo will take note of how often Pikachu 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 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!

Pikachu – Recommended Custom Moves

Pikachu has a unique set of custom moves that can give him brand-new options. Many of them are flat-out better than their default versions, so I’m going to individually talk about each special move, and which choice will work best for your amiibo.

Neutral special (Thunder Jolt): 

  • In addition to Thunder Jolt, the default version of the attack, there’s also Thunder Wave and Thunder Shock. The former acts similar to the move of the same name in the Pokémon series – it’s weaker and lacks range, but can paralyze grounded enemies. The latter is a more traditional projectile: it flies in a straight line and is faster than Pikachu’s default neutral special, but deals less damage. Between these three, your best option is Thunder Wave. Your Pikachu amiibo will be able to take advantage of the paralysis, and might even be able to follow up with a powerful attack.

Side special (Skull Bash):

  • There are two custom versions of this move: Shocking Skull Bash and Heavy Skull Bash. The first one, Shocking Skull Bash, hits multiple times before launching its victim. Heavy Skull Bash doesn’t fly as far, but deals more damage at the start of the move. Your best choice is Shocking Skull Bash. You shouldn’t necessarily be teaching your Pikachu amiibo to use this move, but when he does use it, there’s a higher chance of it doing something useful.

Up special (Quick Attack):

  • Along with the default Quick Attack, we also have Meteor Quick Attack and Quick Feet. The former, as you might guess, has a meteor effect on aerial foes, but each dash has decreased distance, worsening its recovery potential. The latter goes much farther than any of Pikachu’s other up specials, but only one dash can be performed rather than two. Your best bet here is Quick Feet, as it is better for recovery than the other two options.

Down special (Thunder):

  • In addition to the default version of the move, we also have Thunder Burst and Distant Thunder. I think it’s absolutely essential that you give Thunder Burst to your amiibo. Like I said before, it’s a great “get off me” move that deals a ton of damage and hits multiple times, which makes it hard for foes to block. In fact, I’m pretty sure the last hit goes through shields, which is incredible.

Feeding Your Amiibo

Now that we’ve talked about stats, bonuses, and custom moves, we can start feeding your amiibo equipment! Please be aware that, for this part, I’m going to assume 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 Pikachu 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, and definitely don’t reset it just to use this guide. Just like an old dog can learn new tricks, a Level 50 amiibo can adapt to newly added or changed equipment. It can be Level 1, Level 50, or anywhere in between – whichever the case, the feeding method I’m about to explain will work on your amiibo.

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 Pikachu the missing bonus later.

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, 70 points defense, and 10 points speed. Don’t worry if you end up with, say, 36 points attack, 76 points defense, and 8 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 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

If you’ve been using this guide correctly, your amiibo should be complete with its stats and bonuses. If your Pikachu is all set and ready to go, great – you can move onto the next section to begin your training (or continue it, if your amiibo is already Level 50)! If it’s not all set and ready to go, and there’s a problem of some sort you can’t resolve, I can help you out! Don’t be shy: you can send an email to amiibocloud@gmail.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.


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Raising your Amiibo to Level 50

Note: If your Pikachu 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 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 Pikachu. 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 amiibo 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 Pikachu, and are specific to him as a character.

  • Rely on smash attacks to rack up damage and KO. With Pikachu, your go-to move should be his forward smash. It has great reach, as well as decent power and speed. Up smash is actually Pikachu’s strongest attack, but its short range makes it tough to use properly. You’re best off relegating it to an aerial punish tool. Down smash hits multiple times, but takes a long time to use. If you’re going to teach your amiibo to use this move (which I don’t entirely recommend), you’d better be sure he’s accurate with it.
  • Teach your amiibo to use Thunder Burst as an out of shield attack. You might want to stop your Pikachu from using his Thunder Burst attack, but in reality, it’s one of his best moves. Try to get him to use it out of shield. Don’t use the move too often, though, just every once in a while. If, for some reason, you did not give your amiibo this custom move, don’t bother with down special at all.
  • Follow up with forward smash after using Thunder Wave. This skill racks up a lot of damage and can even KO at higher percentages. It might be hard to hit your amiibo with a forward smash after stunning it (since they escape from status conditions much faster than a normal CPU character), so don’t worry if you can’t. Just try your best! If you didn’t give your Pikachu amiibo the Thunder Wave custom move, just use neutral special against him when he’s far away.
  • Only use Pikachu’s up special to recover. Your amiibo, at some point, will try to attack you with his up special, no matter what custom move version you gave to him. It’ll happen so fast that you probably won’t have time to shield or get out of the way. To minimize his usage of Quick Attack, it’s important that you do not hit him with it.
  • When grabbing your amiibo, throw towards the ledge. This means you’ll only be using forward and back throws. They don’t have much KO potential, but Pikachu’s quick grab can allow him to rack some damage up in a pinch.

It will take some time before your amiibo reaches Level 50. 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 Pikachu 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!


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Your Pikachu 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 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 if you are interested in reading more!

Defensive Practice

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.

You should be using this guide on your amiibo regularly, too. You see, as your amiibo plays matches against other amiibo, its defensive capability will be somewhat watered down over time. To keep your amiibo 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.

Going Forward

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 amiibocloud@gmail.com. If you don’t like sending emails, you can also contact me on Reddit or Twitter.


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Thank you so much for reading this guide! The fact that you were looking for amiibo training help and decided to read this post over any other warms my heart. I hope you found what you were looking for! Again, if you run into any roadblocks along the way, I’m here to help. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, hit me up at amiibocloud@gmail.com!

And hey, since you’re here, you obviously like amiibo training, but do you like beautiful views of space and random discussion? Cloud’s Observatory has all three, and currently serves as the main amiibo training hub. Registration is free, and by joining, you’ll be able to pick up some sweet rewards (including exclusive guides!) and talk to amiibo trainers worldwide.

Credits:

I may have done the training and the initial guide writing, but I had some help from a few others. This part’s dedicated to thanking them for their assistance!

Note: If you post a comment here, I might not see it. The best way of asking me a question is through email.

 

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6 thoughts on “Character Guide: Pikachu”

  1. *NOTE: MY COMMENT ONLY HELPS TO PEOPLE WHO DO AMIIBO VS AMIIBO MATCHES, AND NOT AMIIBO VS HUMAN MATCHES*

    Pikachu definetly is a horrible amiibo once it’s fresh Level 50. However, I found a way to make the annoying Down B spam useful for Pikachu.

    Obviously, we shouldn’t have Pikachu spamming Down B literally after every other move. What you do is you go to the Standstill Arena through Special Smash, with it set to FAST and to 300%. You set the timer to 5 minutes. Once you get to the Standstill Arena, you have to designate one minute to a single move, and use that move to kill Pikachu for the entire minute. The moves I used were “Up Smash”, “Down Smash”, “Side Smash”, “Neutral Air”, and “Dash Attack”. You have to do this 4 times, for a total of 20 minutes.

    Afterwards, you want to go back into the Special Smash selection, and turn off the 300%, so only FAST should be on. Go back to Standstill Arena, and just do multiple strings and combos onto Pikachu, as well as utilize all his aerials. You do this 4 times, for a total of 20 minutes, and a grand total of 40 minutes.

    Once this is done, Pikachu should use Thunder a lot less than what he used to do.

    The reason that Thunder is a horrible move for Pikachu to spam is because of it’s horrendous end lag, it’s low kill power, and the fact that it will almost NEVER hit. The custom move Thunder Burst should make use of the hard coded Down B spam for Pikachu. Although the start up lag of Thunder Burst is longer than Thunder, it has pretty low end lag compared to Thunder. I think that the move is just faster than Thunder. Thunder Burst is actually a kill move. It does about 20% of damage, and his very high knockback. A lot of the time, my Pikachu uses Down B whenever he is near an opponent. Since Thunder Burst always hits around Pikachu, the opponent will often get hit by it.

    I believe that one of the biggest problems of the Thunder spam is how easy it is to punish, since it will never hit. Thunder Burst basically decreases the times of being punished by a lot. Probably more than half. I set Pikachu against a Mario Amiibo in a Best of 5 Set. Pikachu actually won, with the set being 3 – 1. For me atleast, the Thunder Burst change as well as the 40 minute Standstill sessions helped a lot.

    I hope that this helps you Cloud, as well as other people looking at this.

    I’m not sure if this will work for everyone, but it certainly worked for me! 😀

    Like

  2. Omg, I cant wait for the updated guide. Im more looking foward to Palutena, because shes vanilla, and im gonna reset her and retrain her to be competitive.

    hopefully this guide teaches pikachu how to be passive

    Like

  3. One problem, I’m doing the timers, and instead of attacking, he grabs! Do I just dodge, or let him slo-mo-thro me? Also, he beats me to the timers 75% of the time XD

    Like

    1. If he grabs you, let him kill you. If the timer slows you down instead, a good thing to do is to keep shielding until your amiibo grabs you, so that it can kill you that way instead. The timer method is frustrating for sure, but pays off greatly in the end.

      Like

  4. So out of the 5 Pikachu I have there is one that I swear has a mind of his own, his lv 50 and still taunts, he will sit around and not even move, and in doubles tournament he killed his own partner instead of the opposing amiibo then proceeding to taunt, long story short he beat both amiibo as well, and is an undefeated amiibo in Delaware , he wont spam thunder burst either, yet my other 4 Pikachu are mediocre at best
    He easily beats my Mac amiibo witch is my second best amiibo,and he will purposely sit at the edge waiting to throw him off the edge
    Does anyone else an amiibo like that? IV heard some people do but I havnt seen none im delaware

    Like

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