Character Guide: Little Mac

The information in this guide is up to date, but the format is not. I will be updating this guide with a smoother, cleaner format, as well as additional tips and tricks, in the near future.

Table of Contents


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Welcome to Amiibo Dojo’s Little Mac character guide! To start off, I’d like to thank you for taking the time to visit the Amiibo Dojo – your support is much appreciated.

Character Background / Amiibo Release Information

Little Mac is a 17-year old boxer from the somewhat obscure Punch-Out!! series. His mentor, Doc Louis, is a retired boxer, and helps Little Mac prepare for boxing tournaments.

Little Mac’s amiibo was released as part of Wave 2 in December 2014. There was no “street date” for Wave 2, so rather than selling these amiibo on a specific date, stores would put them on the shelves whenever they arrived. This led to a lot of confusion and many people weren’t able to get a Little Mac of their own. Luckily, the figure was produced again and returned to store shelves in October 2015. To this day, you can find him in-store and online much easier than at his initial release.

Anyone who has a Little Mac amiibo essentially has a tournament champion on their hands. He’s undeniably the best, most effective fighter in the game, and easy to train on top of that. Today’s guide will teach you everything you need to know to make your amiibo a true tournament contender.


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Now that I’ve given a formal guide introduction, it’s time to get down to business. We’re going to begin by talking about Little Mac’s pros and cons, and the reasoning behind my decision to place him in the amiibo tier list’s Rank.

Amiibo Overview

llittlemacprocon.PNGLittle Mac, despite being a character with very polarized strengths and weaknesses, emerges as by far the best amiibo in the game. The incredible strength he possesses throughout his moveset rivals that of Bowser and Ganondorf. He also holds the distinction of having super armor on his smash attacks – this means that Little Mac cannot flinch while he uses them. And if a strong attack comes his way, he can simply use his down special, Slip Counter, to turn the tide of battle in seconds. Additionally, he’s the only fighter who has a power meter that builds up during battle. When this meter maxes out, he can unleash a devastating KO Punch that, hence its name, can score very early kills. But Little Mac’s claim to fame (or infame) is that his forward smash (which the amiibo automatically priortizes due to its amazing power) can shatter a full shield in one hit. When trained correctly, Little Mac can dominate amiibo in ways no other character can. I’ve seen him win matches in less than 30 seconds. He confuses his opponents, because if they block his moves, their shield is broken, and they die. But if they don’t block his moves, they get hit, and they die.

As I said earlier, Little Mac is a very polarized character. With all of his strengths, he also has some, albeit negligible, weaknesses. First, he doesn’t properly recognize when his Power Meter is full, and will use the KO Punch in the same instances he would use his neutral special. However, with enough match experience, this problem can be completely fixed. Second, he may break an opponent’s shield only to miss his fully charged smash attack. This is because his forward smash makes him take a step forward, so sometimes he’ll just completely mess up. Stages with platforms also give him trouble – you see, when a character’s shield breaks, they do something called a “shield jump” which is high enough for them to land on a platform. Thing is, Little Mac will not jump up onto a platform and fully charge a smash attack, he’ll stay on the ground and miss the punish. Next, his recovery is notoriously bad – neither his side special nor his up special take him very far, though if you feed him speed points, this problem is slightly nullified. Lastly, like many other characters, he may randomly use his up special, but again, with enough match experience, this issue can be corrected.

The Consensus

Little Mac’s incredible strengths more than outweigh his cons (which can all be fixed with proper stats / bonuses and match experience), to the point where he might even be considered overpowered. Because of this, he has been placed into the amiibo tier list’s Rank.


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Alright, now that we’ve gone over Little  Mac’s pros and cons, it’s time to really get down to business and start training him!

Before we begin, there’s something I want to mention real quick. I feed all of my amiibo equipment and train them to be champions, so I don’t do any “vanilla” training (vanilla in this context means to train your amiibo without feeding it any equipment). I believe that by refusing to feed your amiibo, you’re handicapping it and limiting its potential. As such,  my guides are tailored to those of you who feed your amiibo, and this one is no exception. To get the most out of it, I highly recommend you feed your Little Mac.

Little Mac – Recommended Stat Boosts

Which stats do recommend for Little Mac? Well, there’s two main stat setups that work for Little Mac. I’ll list and explain them both, but in the end, it’s going to come down to your own personal preference. Here’s the first of the two stat spreads, known as the “Overload setup”:

  • Stat Spread #1: +200 Attack | +120 Defense | -200 Speed

This spread will bolster your amiibo’s attack and defense, allowing it to hit hard and take a lot of hits. One smash attack from a Little Mac with this spread is essentially guaranteed to break a shield. Then, he’ll be able to fully charge a forward smash and deal insane damage. In fact, I’ve seen my Little Mac (who has this spread) deal over 200% in one fully charged forward smash! The downside of this setup is that if your amiibo is knocked off the stage, it’s not going to come back, but in exchange for all that power? I think it’s worth it.

  • Stat Spread #2: +40 Attack | +40 Defense | +40 Speed

For those of you who are concerned with your amiibo’s ability to get back on stage, this is an alternate spread that could work for you. A Little Mac amiibo with this spread won’t be as devastating in battle as one with spread #1, but it will have an easier time returning to the stage thanks to the +40 in speed.

Once you’ve selected one of the above stat setups, we’ll move right along to deciding on bonus effects!

This is a picture of my Little Mac amiibo’s stats, bonuses, and custom moves.

Little Mac – Recommended Bonus Effects

I’m going to go right out and say it: Critical-hit capability is absolutely essential on Little Mac. If you don’t know already, this bonus gives all of your amiibo’s attacks a 20% chance of dealing triple damage. This bonus gives Little Mac a crucial power boost that allows him to deal insane damage and get frequent shield-breakers.

Another bonus that works well on Little Mac is Hyper smash attacks. If you chose to use the +200 / +120 / -200 spread we talked about earlier, this bonus is very important because your amiibo will literally be breaking shields left and right. The bonus increases the power of a fully charged smash attack by 30% – which, when coupled with Critical-hit capability, has a chance to one-hit KO light characters like Kirby. Crazy, huh? If you are using the +40 / +40 /  +40 spread, however, your amiibo won’t get as many shield breakers, so you’d be fine with using something else instead.

Improved escapability (a bonus that makes it easier for your amiibo to escape from grabs) is also very important, especially if you went with the overload setup. The -200 points in speed make it very difficult, if not impossible, for Little Mac to recover back on stage if he’s thrown off of it. Improved escapability essentially makes him immune to grabs, which improves his survivability. On an amiibo with 40/40/40, it’s not as important, but still allows Little Mac to entirely avoid being thrown.

A bonus effect spread of Critical-hit capability / Hyper smash attacks / Improved escapability is a good idea, but there are more options than just that. Here are a few other bonus effect spreads you could potentially choose from:

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Do any of these combinations strike your fancy? Pick a spread, and you’ll have your amiibo’s stats and bonuses decided. If you want to take a look at even more bonus setups, check out this article on feeding your amiibo! Amiibo Dan, a fellow trainer, has also created a video that talks about stat spreads for Little Mac. If you’re interested in watching that, click here!

Once you have decided on both stats (which you should’ve done a bit ago) and bonus effects, it’s time to move on to custom moves!

Little Mac – Recommended Custom Moves

In terms of custom moves, Little Mac doesn’t benefit from many of them. In fact, there’s only one custom move I recommend you use: Tornado Uppercut. It’s a custom up special that goes higher than the default version at the cost of damage and knockback. Your amiibo shouldn’t be using this move anyway, so the reduced damage doesn’t matter.

By now, you should have decided on stats, bonus effects, and custom moves for your amiibo. If not, you should go back and choose from the provided spreads. If you’ve already made your decision, it’s time to feed your amiibo!

Feeding your amiibo

If your Little Mac amiibo is Level 50, and you’re reading this guide because you want to make it better without resetting it (which is completely fine), please click HERE to be scrolled down to the Post-Level 50 Training section.

Go to Games & More, navigate to the Vault, and then go into the amiibo section. Tap in your Little Mac amiibo – it should still be Level 1. We’re going to begin by giving it the three bonuses you decided on. For example, if you chose the Critical-hit capability / Hyper smash attacks / Improved escapability set, you’d start by feeding it pieces of equipment that yield those bonuses. But let’s say you realize you don’t have a critical-hit bonus. In this case, you’d only give Little Mac the Hyper smash attacks and Improved escapability bonuses – which leaves open one slot. This is so that you can give your Little Mac amiibo the critical hit bonus once you get one.

You will need to continue to feed your amiibo and adjust its stats until their values match up with the decision you made earlier. At some point, though, your amiibo will become full and won’t be able to eat any more equipment. Normally, you’d have to battle it to be able to feed it more equipment – which would result in it leveling up. Luckily, there’s a workaround that was brought to light by Amiibo Trainer that allows you to have your amiibo fully fed before it ever levels up. If you take your full amiibo into a 1-stock match and immediately kill yourself when the game begins, you’ll be able to feed it again. You can simply repeat this as many times as needed until it’s fully fed. Using this method, you will be able to Level 1 have your amiibo fully fed with the stats and bonuses you want (this is because KOing yourself one time in such a short game isn’t enough for the amiibo to pass Level 1)!

Before you move on, make sure that your amiibo meets the following criteria:

  • Is still at Level 1*
  • Has the stats and bonuses you want

If your amiibo is not at Level 1, and you made a mistake, do not worry, you can still continue. I just recommend your amiibo have all its equipment at Level 1 so that it has slightly more time to adjust to its bonuses. 

If your amiibo meets the criteria above, great! If it doesn’t, and there’s a problem of some sort that you can’t fix, please don’t hesitate to ask me over at the Amiibo Dojo forums. You don’t have to register to ask a question, and you can expect a speedy response!

Training your amiibo

If you’re a site regular, you’d know that I train my amiibo to play defense. In fact, one of my amiibo, Ness, won a tournament because he was able to block and counterattack at the drop of a hat. Even for a character as powerful as Little Mac, playing good defense is very important. This guide’s going to go over the steps you need to take to turn your amiibo into a fighter who uses defense to win matches.

Step 1: Super Smash Bros. Fundamentals (Levels 1-18)

  • Character you need to play as: Little Mac
  • What stage to play on: Ω stages / Final Destination
  • Game rules: 3-5 minute timed matches
  • What you need to do: Use Forward smash, Jolt Haymaker, Slip Counter, and KO Punch.

We’re going to start your amiibo’s training with a relatively simple step. You’ll be using four moves and four moves only – forward smash, Jolt Haymaker (which is Little Mac’s side special), KO Punch, and Slip Counter. These are really the only moves your amiibo will need to use in order to win, so we’re introducing them at an early level. As you battle your amiibo, be sure not to jump or use any aerials. This should be obvious for a character like Little Mac – we don’t want him in the air at all, so it’s important that you send that signal now.

Training Tips: Your amiibo probably won’t be doing a lot of shielding because of its early level, so don’t worry about breaking its shield. Now, I did say that you should use the KO Punch when you have it (if you miss, don’t worry). But don’t use regular neutral special (which happens if your power meter is not full). You only want your amiibo to use its neutral special when the KO Punch is active.

Continue fighting your amiibo in this manner until it is around Level 18.

Step 2: Teaching Specific Moves (Levels 19-30)

  • Character you need to play as: Little Mac
  • What stage to play on: Ω stages / Final Destination
  • Game rules: 3-5 minute timed matches. amiibo at 300% handicap
  • What you need to do: Use Forward smash, Jolt Haymaker, Slip Counter, and KO Punch.

For step 2, you’re going to continue to play as Little Mac on omega stages. Except this time, you’ll have to set his handicap to 300% while leaving yours at 0%. As for the matches themselves, just like in step 1, you will KO your amiibo with forward smash, Jolt Haymaker, Slip Counter, and the KO Punch. Since your amiibo is at 300% handicap, it’s probably going to die to whatever move you hit it with. Be sure to only KO your amiibo with one of those four moves.

Continue fighting your amiibo in this manner until it is around Level 30.

Step 3: Standard Match Practice (Levels 31-45)

  • Character you need to play as: Little Mac
  • What stage to play on: Ω stages / Final Destination
  • Game rules: 3-5 minute timed matches
  • What you need to do: Use Forward smash, Jolt Haymaker, Slip Counter, and KO Punch.

Bring your amiibo’s handicap back to 0%. We’re going to essentially do a modified version of step 1. You will still play as Little Mac on omega stages and only use Forward smash, Jolt Haymaker, Slip Counter, and the KO Punch, and you’ll also continue to remain grounded at all times. There’s just one change we’ll be making to this match archetype: when you’re on land and your amiibo is below 80% or so, aim your forward smash downwards. If you don’t know, Little Mac’s forward smash can be aimed up or down. A downward aimed forward smash does major damage to shields, so you are doing this to attempt to break your amiibo’s shield. If you’re using a custom build that has extra attack, that works even better. If your amiibo’s shield breaks, walk up to your amiibo (not right next to the amiibo, more like a character’s length away – if you’re too close, the forward smash will miss) and hit it with a fully charged [upward-aimed, if possible] forward smash! If you aren’t able to break your amiibo’s shield during these rounds, that’s fine too.

Continue fighting your amiibo in this manner until it is around Level 45.

Step 4: Defensive Practice (Levels 46-50)

  • Character you need to play as: Little Mac
  • What stage to play on: Ω stages / Final Destination
  • Game rules: 3-5 minute timed matches
  • What you need to do: Play defense against your amiibo.

There’s two options you can do for this step. The first and simplest option is to use the Amiibo 15 guide. This is a guide by the Amiibo Trainer website that I use on my amiibo a lot. It helps you to teach them to play defense.

If you do not want to do that, you can use the timer item instead. Be warned, though – even though I find it easy to use them, others find it difficult and frustrating, which is why I gave you the option of using the Amiibo 15 instead. The concept of using Timers to improve your amiibo was brought to light by Amiibo Trainer. He uses them for passive play, but I have found success by using them for defense.

If you definitely for sure want to use timers (I still recommend you use the Amiibo 15 instead, but everyone has their preferences), you first might want to create a custom Little Mac build (which you can do by going to Games & More > Custom > Little Mac) that has three Easy perfect shield bonuses. This will allow you to perfect shield your amiibo’s attacks easier.

So, you’re going to need to turn handicap back on, and set both you and your amiibo to 300%. Go into items and turn on only the Timer item, and set its frequency to high. If you grab this item, it will slow down your amiibo, but you’ll remain at the same speed, which will give you a lot of time to react to its movement. You’ll be playing timed matches again – set the time for 3 or 5 minutes, whichever suits your fancy. When the game begins, grab the first timer that appears. There’s actually a few things that could happen once you activate this item – here are all three possible effects:

First Effect: The timer slows down your amiibo, but you remain at the same speed. 

  • This is what you want to happen. If the timer has this effect, you should walk over to your slowed down amiibo and wait for him to attack. When he does, try to perfect shield the attack. If you successfully block with perfect timing, you will hear a soft “ping” sound. Immediately after you perfect shield, respond with either a forward smash or Jolt Haymaker – this will likely KO your amiibo. When it respawns (keep in mind that if a character is standing on the respawn platform, they are immune to the timer’s effects), grab the next timer that appears and repeat this process.

Second Effect: The timer slows down the whole game, including you and your amiibo.

  • This isn’t very desirable, because this effect does not give you an advantage over your amiibo like it normally would. If this happens, be on the lookout for another timer. Perfect shield your amiibo’s attacks and respond with a forward smash if you can, but you should focus on grabbing another timer.

Third Effect: The timer backfires and slows you down, while your amiibo is at normal speed.

  • This is a really frustrating outcome, as your amiibo will now have a speed advantage over you. That being said, though, it probably won’t go all-out on you while you’re slowed down. If the timer backfires on you, you should hold down your shield. Your amiibo will grab you and very likely kill you with a throw, and you’ll respawn at normal speed and will have another chance at grabbing a timer.

Basically, if you do choose to go with the timers, you want to perfect shield and counterattack with forward smash or Jolt Haymaker as often as you can. We’re doing this to teach the amiibo that he can use defensive tactics like blocking and dodging to open up an opportunity to get a strong hit in on his opponent. By the way, you can also use timers for the purpose of teaching your amiibo to use its Counter more often.

Continue fighting your amiibo in this manner until it is at Level 50!

Post-Level 50 Training

Congratulations! Your Little Mac amiibo has reached Level 50. Now your training really begins. In order to make him a top tournament contender, he’ll need as much experience against as many different amiibo opponents as possible. In addition to that, there are multiple things you can do to improve your amiibo after it hits Level 50. You can always check about my guide that talks about training your amiibo after it hits Level 50, but there are a few specific training methods that work very well on Little Mac.

Getting your amiibo to counter more

If you haven’t gotten the message (which is fine), amiibo that have counterattacks are really good (except for Palutena, who never uses hers). It is important that your amiibo learns to use its own counter move. There’s a very simple way of doing this – simply turn on the timer item and set its frequency to high just like Step 3.

When the game begins, grab the first timer that appears. Your amiibo will be slowed down, but you will remain at the same speed (sometimes the timer backfires, though). Then, all you have to do is wait for your amiibo to attack – when it starts to make its move, you’ll have ample time to use Slip Counter. That’s the general jist of it, anyway.

Improving your amiibo’s defensive capabilities

If you ever notice that your amiibo’s defensive capabilities are lacking, it’s not using enough forward smash, or if it’s not playing well in general, the Amiibo 15 is a great guide you can use to improve your amiibo. Me and many other trainers have used this guide to prepare our amiibo for tournaments, and you should too! Amiibo Trainer, who created the Amiibo 15, has also provided Amiibo Dojo with an article on defense, which you can read by clicking here.


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Alright, we’re all done here – thanks so much for reading this guide! I hope you can put the strategies we talked about to good use. If you liked this guide, and want to learn more about amiibo training, why not check out the Amiibo Dojo forums? They’re 100% free to join, and you’ll be able to talk to fellow amiibo trainers worldwide. If you have any questions, you can ask them here. It’s a forum section that guests can post in, so if you have any burning questions, you don’t need to register to ask them!

By the way, Amiibo Dan has started posting a series of YouTube videos called “Your online amiibo tournament”. He takes viewer-submitted amiibo and has them fight each other! You can check those out at his channel.

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!

Secret Password: shieldbroken

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10 thoughts on “Character Guide: Little Mac”

  1. Retrained Little Mac this week and I am noticing him spam down smash almost as much as Mario while doing is training. Ask around and see if this is common. Sad part is his down smash is an excellent edge guard move, since its even hits under the ledge.

    Like

  2. If Little Mac has no K.O. power on his aerials: If you made:
    – a 300% Special Smash
    – on the bouncy stage
    – let him try to hit you with his aerials while you keep knocking him out with the specials.

    Would that be enough to persuade him to stop using them?

    Like

  3. When you say “don’t jump”, does that include when you’re trying to recover?

    Also, for the first part of his training, does the time really matter? Because with 5-minute increments, it’s kind of annoying having to restart if I miss the KO Punch xD

    Like

    1. This guide’s sorta outdated. The information is correct, but there’s a few things my Little Mac has developed that does not make it necessary to quit the match whenever you miss a KO Punch. Rather, just focus on trying to kill him with the KO Punch whenever you get it. My Little Mac taught himself to hit opponents with a single jab, and then unleash the KO Punch (which is a true combo).

      As far as no jumping goes…yeah, I’d say don’t even jump when you’re trying to recover. The amiibo’s ability to recover won’t be harmed, I promise. Recovery is drilled so deep into amiibo’s AI that it can’t be butchered just by messing up your own recovery.

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      1. I’m thinking a better combo that has a higher success rate for low-medium percents is;
        D-Tilt, KO
        D-Tilt causes more damage and leaves them high up, just in range for the hit to land, and since the knockback goes upward, it increases the death rate by just the slightest.
        D-Tilt,KO is a better combo than Jab, KO.
        It’s a 2-hit combo, which isn’t too complicated or ‘risky’ for an amiibo.

        Like

  4. Hey,
    I was wondering how you could train an aerial Little Mac – not for tournaments, but as a joke. I’ve tried everything from using only aerials as Jigglypuff and Little Mac to giving bonuses that focus on aerial movement and power. But no matter what I do, he seems to spam his up and down smashes excessively, to the point of not using any move other than his up smash in a 6 minute match against me.
    Is there any way that I could drill this into his head? Or is his AI hardcoded to be annoying?

    Like

  5. I gave my mac (named lil’ali im so clever) 1.25 aerial movement, now he recovers like a pro, I then gave him 1.33x attack in exchange 30% then lifesteal, lost to an explosive shield ganondorf, any idea how to teach explodi g shield defense?

    Like

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