Character Guide: Zelda

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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Welcome to Amiibo Dojo’s Zelda 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.

Zelda is the princess of Hyrule and the namesake of The Legend of Zelda games. Her appearance may change, but she always plays an important role. She knows much about the Triforce; in fact, the only person who likely knows more about Triforce lore is Ganondorf himself, whom Zelda evaded in Ocarina of Time by transforming into her alter ego, Sheik.

Zelda is a very underrated character in the Smash 4 metagame, and even more so in the amiibo metagame. Fortunately, she’s actually a very strong amiibo! Let’s kick this training guide off by outlining Zelda’s in-game abilities – her strengths, weaknesses, and AI 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.

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Amiibo Overview

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While Zelda ranks quite low on the Smash 4 tier list, her placement in the amiibo metagame’s begs to differ. When trained properly, she can be a very deadly “glass cannon” fighter. Every one of her smash attacks are great: her down smash is a very quick get-off-me move and her forward and up smashes both hit multiple times and can catch spot-dodging and air-dodging amiibo, respectively, off guard. And to top it all off, all three smashes have really good kill power! Her special moves are just as useful; she has a reflector that also protects her from a majority of attacks, a useful gimping tool in Din’s Fire, a recovery move that almost always ensures her safe return to the stage, and a custom down special that can either break shields or deal major damage. But her most powerful moves are her forward and back aerials. Zelda can use these moves to near perfection, even when trained to never use them, and she almost always lands the sweetspot to deal huge knockback or shield damage. She also has a viable kill throw: her back throw.

However, some problems may hold Zelda back from greatness. First off, she’s a lightweight, meaning that a lot of points need to be invested in her Defense stat in order for her to survive longer. Her smash attacks, while great, have average at best range. She also has a tendency to spam down and up smash if it is used too much during training, though not to an extent like Mario. She has a problem of using Farore’s Wind, her up special, on the stage (most likely as an attack), which leaves her open for punishment, and Din’s Fire, her side special, not as a edgeguard, but as a short-range attack, which may never do any good for her. She can also spam her awesome forward and back aerials too often, as well as her other aerials; she can use these sparingly with enough ground training, however.

The Consensus

Zelda may be frail and have several AI issues, but in the end she’s a very rewarding amiibo that not many will prepare for. Her massive strengths outweigh her weaknesses, and she has the possibility of rivaling or surpassing those of the S and A tiers with the right training.

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Zelda – Recommended Stats & Bonuses

Now that I’ve given you a general outline of Zelda’s strengths and weaknesses, it’s time to begin the training process by setting her 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 Zelda:

Point Distribution: +40 Attack / +80 Defense / 0 Speed

Zelda is light and quite frail, so this defensive spread suits her nicely. 40 points in attack ensures that Zelda’s moves pack a punch, while 80 points defense provides her with extra padding against powerful opponents like Bowser and Ganondorf.

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. 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 Zelda to use her shield more often, which is a good thing. Eventually, though, opposing amiibo will take note of how often Zelda 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 Zelda, check out this post, which goes over several equipment setups you can use on your amiibo.

Zelda – Recommended Custom Moves

Zelda has an interesting set of custom moves that can give her brand-new options. Even so, not all of them are good trade-offs: a few of their 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 (Nayru’s Love): Nayru’s Love

  • Zelda has two other customs: Nayru’s Rejection and Nayru’s Passion. Nayru’s Rejection still reflects projectiles, but spins around opponents instead of hitting them multiple times. Nayru’s Passion cannot reflect projectiles, but is instead a powerful single-hitting attack. Your best option is the default Nayru’s Love, as it’s the fastest and most useful of the three.

Side special (Din’s Fire): Din’s Fire

  • Zelda’s other two customs are Din’s Flare and Din’s Blaze. The former’s power is strong at any distance, but lacks vertical range. The latter travels much slower and takes a longer time to explode, but deals more damage and knockback. Go with the default Din’s Fire, Zelda’s best tool for gimping offstage.

Up special (Farore’s Wind): Farore’s Wind

  • Zelda has two other customs: Farore’s Squall and Farore’s Windfall. Farore’s Squall travels farther, but is a bit slower and deals no damage. Zelda may also have some trouble recovering with this move. Farore’s Windfall only travels up, and can meteor spike when Zelda reappears. Again, Zelda may have trouble recovering with this move. Her best custom is the default Farore’s Wind, as it grants the safest recovery of the three.

Down special (Phantom Slash): Phantom Strike

  • Zelda’s other two customs are Phantom Breaker and Phantom Strike. The former always travels a set distance even when fully charged, and also deals more shield damage. The latter charges up faster and deals more damage, but doesn’t travel very far and can’t launch opponents just as far. Surprisingly, her best custom is Phantom Strike. She can be taught to fully charge this move, and it can either deal major damage or break an opponent’s shield!

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 Zelda amiibo, and you’ll see a status screen that details her 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 Zelda 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 30 points attack, 90 points defense, and 0 points speed. Don’t worry if you end up with, say, 31 points attack, 87 points defense, and 2 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, don’t fret! The Cloud Nine Forums are here if you need to ask the community a question. Signing up to create an account is completely free – not that it matters, though, because you don’t even need one to post an amiibo training question!

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Note: If your Zelda amiibo is already Level 50, and you want to further improve her 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 Zelda. 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 Zelda, and are specific to her as a character.

  • Use her smash attacks often. Zelda’s smash attacks are her best tools at racking up damage. Teach her to prioritize forward smash over the other two smash attacks, though; she may end up using either one of the two at a most inopportune moment.
  • Use Nayru’s Love to reflect projectiles and as a spacing attack. Teach Zelda to ledge-guard and reflect projectiles with Nayru’s Love. It’s a very good move that can hit multiple times and be considered an excellent “get-off-me” attack.
  • Only use Din’s Fire as an edgeguard attack. Only use Din’s Fire when the amiibo is offstage. The amiibo may use Din’s Fire as a short-range attack while the opponent is onstage, which won’t do her any good most of the time.
  • Don’t use Farore’s Wind as an attack. Zelda has a tendency to use this move onstage. She always warps upwards and falls slowly, and that can give many opponents enough time to punish with an up smash. Use this move only to recover.
  • Use Phantom Strike or any of its customs. Zelda can be taught to fully charge any of the customs. Phantom Strike can be particularly useful, as it can dual huge damage or break shields. It’s best to use it when you’ve cornered your amiibo at the edge of the stage, where they cannot easily dodge the Phantom.
  • Optional: use forward and back air. A grounded defensive training guide shouldn’t be advising the use of aerials, but this could be considered an exception. Zelda’s forward and back aerials deal major damage and knockback. So, if you wish for her to use these, I recommend only using one per training session, or else she may get jumpy. Be sure to properly land the sweetspot when you do use it, though.

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 Zelda 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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Post-Level 50 Training

Your Zelda 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 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.

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.

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 check out the forums whenever you wish.

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Conclusion

Thanks so much for sticking it out all the way to the end! While this guide may be over, your training is not – you’re never truly “done” training an amiibo. There’s always a way forward, even if you can’t see it. Again, if you run into any roadblocks along the way, you can ask the community a question by heading over to the forums.

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. The official amiibo tier list ranks every amiibo’s overall capabilities, and you might learn something new if you take a look at it. The FAQ is another good resource worth checking out. Alternatively, you can head to my master list of guides for even more amiibo training methods!

Credits

Thanks a ton to Arklaine (one of the most experienced Zelda trainers there is) for writing up this guide. If you want to see some more of his work, be sure to give the Luigi training guide a look as well.

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