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Returning from Super Smash Bros. Melee after being absent in Brawl as a very similar clone of Mario. He made his first appearance in Dr. Mario, a Tetris-like game where you’d drop colored capsules onto viruses to eliminate them. Dr. Mario is low-tier in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS, however, his amiibo is actually capable of becoming quite good. With this guide, I’m going to teach you how to get your Dr. Mario to bust all of the viruses in his path!
Dr. Mario has been placed into the Balanced group. He’s very similar to Mario, just a bit slower and more powerful. He was formerly in the Grounded group, but was changed to Balanced after I received a few complaints that the guide wasn’t working well.
Dr. Mario is very similar to his red-clad counterpart, but there are a few key differences that separate him from Mario. First, he’s slower, and his attacks aren’t as quick. His throws are also a bit weaker. To compensate, Dr. Mario is generally more powerful and has a better projectile than Mario. Despite the power boost, Dr. Mario’s slower speed makes him significantly worse than his counterpart. Even so, Dr. Mario’s amiibo can still turn out really well in spite of its shortcomings. Dr. Mario, as I mentioned, is more powerful than Mario, and as a result, it’s slightly easier for the doctor to score some KOs. The Mario amiibo likes to use down throw into Up B as its go-to true combo, but that won’t work as well for Dr. Mario. Instead, he can utilize down throw to up air, which works just as well! He’s also got a fast reflector – his Super Sheet – that can be used in a pinch to reflect oncoming projectiles. His projectile, the Megavitamins, are just what the doctor ordered – they’re bouncy projectiles that deal more damage than Mario’s Fireballs. Even though Dr. Mario’s a doctor, he can’t recover. Literally. His Up B, Super Jump Punch, has less vertical distance than Little Mac’s Up B. Yeah. I know, unbelievable, but it’s true. He’s also pretty slow, which puts the doctor at a slight disadvantage against faster characters. It’s also possible for him to become spammy with his down smash and down B, Dr. Tornado, so it’s best to avoid using these moves too much. Dr. Mario is a very balanced amiibo overall, having its fair share of both pros and cons. Even if you already have a Mario amiibo, Dr. Mario is different enough to warrant a spot on your shelf.
What Mario doesn’t have, though, are great custom moves. Dr. Mario significantly benefits from a few custom moves, and will greatly improve him if taught correctly. The moves I’m talking about are “Fast Capsule” and “Soaring Tornado”. The former move is in place of his neutral B, the Megavitamins. Instead of bouncing, they’ll fly in a straight line and move faster than usual. The latter move is in place of his down B, Dr. Tornado. It grants Dr. Mario insane vertical distance if you mash that B button, so it does significantly improve his vertical recovery, at the cost of horizontal movement. It also doesn’t have a hitbox while Dr. Mario is spinning; rather, it simply deals one very strong hit at the end that is actually an excellent kill move. I consider these two moves essential to Dr. Mario’s play. There’s one other move that I don’t consider essential: “Breezy Sheet”. Breezy Sheet creates a small gust of wind as well as reflecting projectiles, which can push opponents back and disorient them. The projectiles the sheet reflects do deal less damage, though, and the move also has a bit more cooldown. Since the gust of wind pushes opponents away, it makes it impossible to use the move on a foe and then forward smash them. Again, the first two moves, Fast Capsule and Soaring Tornado, are pretty much necessary, while the choice of using Breezy Sheet is up to you.
The paragraphs in italics from this point on are excerpts from Amiibo Framework’s Balanced amiibo training guide. Below each paragraph will be additional tips and a further explanation of each step.
Step 1: Start by mirror matching the amiibo on an omega stage. You’re going to do this until level 25. You can also use Slow Mode if you’d like so that you can dodge and block your amiibo’s attacks easier. During these mirror matches, I’d recommend setting a time limit – 3 minutes per match if you’re in normal mode, 5 minutes per match if using slow mode. Use as many of the character’s moves and combos as you can without spamming them, and you’ll be good. Repeat until the amiibo is level 25.
We’ll be starting today’s training with a few mirror matches! Play timed matches and set the time to whatever you want, and you can even turn on Slow Mode in special smash if you’d like, but it’s not needed – I personally prefer to train amiibo in a regular-speed match. There’s a few character-specific tips I’ve prepared for you, too. First up, utilize Dr. Mario’s true combo – down throw to up air. Use this combo very often, and stop using it when the amiibo’s at around 70%. It’s important that you don’t pummel the amiibo at all until it’s taken around 70% damage; otherwise, the amiibo might start prioritizing pummeling over throws, which is not good at all. Pummeling is fine if your amiibo is only going to fight you, but if you plan on having your Dr. Mario fight other amiibo, what’ll happen is that Dr. Mario will grab an opposing amiibo that’s at 0-60% with the mindset that it’ll pummel them a few times, and then down throw to up air it. Problem is, amiibo escape grabs much easier than any other character, so your Dr. Mario will end up pummeling them once and then letting go, so you don’t want that. Speaking of throws, you should utilize Dr. Mario’s back throw to KO the amiibo. When the amiibo’s taken around 80% you can start pummeling 3-4 times and then back throwing them, but in general, you only want to pummel if you’re going to use a kill throw. Dr. Mario’s smash attacks are also really strong – namely his forward smash, so use that to kill the amiibo often as well. I’d recommend avoiding up smash and especially down smash, as the amiibo can get spammy with them. That said, it’s not the end of the world if you kill your amiibo with them a few times. If you’re using the Soaring Tornado custom move, it’s also important to teach the amiibo to recover with it. In order for the move to go as high as possible, you need to mash the B button really, really fast. Despite not having fingers, amiibo are really good at mashing buttons. Other than for recovering, Soaring Tornado is good for killing the amiibo when it’s very high off the-ground – an example of this is when you up smash it and the amiibo goes flying upwards, but doesn’t die. Lastly, you should utilize all of his aerials. The doctor’s back air is fast and can KO opponents. His forward air, even though it does not meteor smash like his red-clad counterpart’s, has a powerful sweetspot that deals a ton of damage and knockback. His down air is laggy and outclassed by his other aerials, though, so that’s one move I wouldn’t bother using. With all of these tips in mind, keep mirror matching the amiibo until it reaches Level 25.
Step 2: After this match is over, set your amiibo’s handicap back to 0%. Again, go into an omega stage for 5 minutes, but this time, do a regular mirror match. If you’re going to be teaching Bowser to focus on Flying Slam and forward smash, for example, what you’ll do is rack up damage with other moves but then KO the amiibo with either Flying Slam or forward smash. Repeat this until the amiibo is around level 18. It’s fine if it’s a few levels past 18.
Now’s the time to mirror match Dr. Mario as normal. The time doesn’t really matter; 5 minutes is just what I tend to use. For the tips I’m about to give you, I’m assuming you’re using the Fast Capsule and Soaring Tornado custom moves I mentioned earlier. My first tip to you is to use the capsules on the amiibo when it’s far enough away. This will help to rack up some damage against it. Something else is to utilize Dr. Mario’s true combo, down throw to up air. Speaking of throws, Dr. Mario’s back throw, while weaker than Mario’s, is still quite strong, and should be used to KO the amiibo sometimes. Doc’s Super Sheet can reflect projectiles, and can literally give the amiibo a taste of its own medicine. If using Dr. Mario’s default Super Sheet, using it to spin the opponent and then forward smash also works. Here’s something important: only use aerials on the amiibo when it’s in the air. Popping a neutral aerial to approach the amiibo while it’s standing won’t make it any worse, but by principle, you should be relying on ground moves to train a grounded amiibo like Dr. Mario. Doc also shares the down smash spamming with Mario, so avoid using this move too much (or to KO at all). His best smash attack is his forward smash, so make good use of that. As for his aerials, don’t try to meteor smash opponents at all. Dr. Mario’s forward aerial actually doesn’t meteor smash, but can still kill. Doc’s back aerial and up aerial are good damage rackers, but again, I advise using them only when your amiibo is in the air. My final tip to you is to mash, mash, MASH when you use that Soaring Tornado custom. Amiibo, humorously enough, are great at mashing buttons. In this case, mashing buttons will make the move travel farther. You’ve gotta press that B button as fast as your finger will let you to get the full recovery height. Utilizing all of these tips, mirror match Dr. Mario until around level 18.
Step 3: The amiibo in the grounded group will benefit from playing very aggressively. The characters in the group are Bowser, Charizard, Dr. Mario, King Dedede, and Little Mac. What you’re going to want to do is go into another 5-minute match on an omega stage and play against a specific character. For me, it was Captain Falcon. He’s an aggressive fighter with no projectiles, and training the amiibo against a character like him will teach him to be more aggressive. Don’t block many of the amiibo’s attacks – don’t even roll or air dodge that much. You’re trying to send a signal to the amiibo to play offensively. If you’re not good with Captain Falcon, Meta Knight, Marth, or Roy would work in theory, but I’ve never tested training an amiibo like this with anyone but Captain Falcon. Whichever character you choose, don’t use any aerials unless your amiibo is in the air. This is important, as if you use aerials while your amiibo is on the ground, that’ll teach the amiibo to the same. You want to go after the amiibo with aerials when they’re trying to recover, or when they jump. You’re going to repeat this all the way until level 40.
This part is relatively self-explanatory. Pick an aggressive character with no projectile and use them to fight the amiibo until level 40. Prioritize offense over defense; and try killing the amiibo as fast as you possibly can without spamming a move. This is to send a signal to Dr. Mario to play offensively. For me, this character was Captain Falcon, but someone like Meta Knight or Roy would work too. Continue mirror matching the amiibo until around level 40.
Step 4: By now, your amiibo should be showing signs of becoming pretty good. Mirror match your amiibo for around 3 minutes once more, on an omega stage. This time, focus on those two moves you taught the amiibo. Be sure to kill the amiibo with these moves each time. I’d recommend mirror matching the amiibo up until around level 45.
Like the rest of the steps in this guide, this one’s quite self-explanatory. Mirror match Dr. Mario once again. Now, don’t misread this step – you’re NOT setting any handicap at all. Focus on the two moves you taught it to use, and try to secure the KO with them each time. Keep doing this up to Level 45.
Step 5: From here, it’s time to use your best characters against the amiibo, whether they have a projectile or not. Don’t use projectiles too often though, and try to remain aggressive. Again, try not to use aerials against the amiibo unless it’s in the air. Another thing you can do is pit your amiibo against other level 50 amiibo, no matter what their playstyle is.
It’s time for the fifth and final step. You’ll need to play as your best characters against the amiibo, whilst avoiding spamming projectiles and remaining aggressive. Try not to use too many aerials against the amiibo unless it’s in the air, by the way. You can also have other Level 50 amiibo fight Dr. Mario, but if you don’t have any of those, keep using your best characters until Dr. Mario is level 50.
And that’s it! We’re done Dr. Mario’s initial training. If you’d like it to become even better, for it to become ready for anything it could possibly encounter in battle, I’d recommend you check out AMIIBO FRAMEWORK: CHAPTER 2. It’s a free guide that will help you prepare Dr. Mario to fight every character and to help it adapt well to anything you could throw at it. As always, thank you for reading this guide. If you’ve got any guide feedback or training questions, please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org!
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