Hello, everybody! For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Blakers, a veteran amiibo trainer who has seven tournament wins! As you know (or if you don’t, I’m about to tell you), the amiibo for Cloud, Corrin, and Bayonetta were announced on the most recent Nintendo Direct! As somebody who’s wanted to train these characters very badly, I figured that since we still have over three months of waiting, I could write about them to prepare the community for their arrival. In this article, I will talk about where and when you can get these amiibo, give my personal speculations for how they should be trained, and place my bets on where they’ll end up in the metagame and the Tier List.
Oh, and just one quick thing. I’d like to emphasize that this is purely speculation. I’ve given each aspect of these characters my most educated guess, but by no means is this an article you have to follow completely when training these guys. Just because I say a character could be broken, or be one of the worst doesn’t mean you should or shouldn’t buy it and spend time training it. And just because I don’t recommend a certain move doesn’t mean you can’t teach it to your amiibo. With that said, let’s dive into the article!
Obtaining the amiibo
So, the amiibo have been announced, and are set to release on July 21, which is roughly 100 days out. And Nintendo has completely surprised us in that there will be multiple amiibo for each character released! These have been dubbed as “Player 2” versions. For Cloud, you’ll get to choose between his classic Final Fantasy VII appearance and his appearance from the movie Advent Children. For Corrin, you get to choose between the male version, or the female version. And for Bayonetta, you’ll get to choose between her appearance in Bayonetta 2, with her short hair, or her appearance in the original Bayonetta game, where her hair is longer. Or you could not choose at all and get all of them. It’s up to you.
So, where exactly can you get these amiibo? Best Buy has preorders up for all three, although it’s only their original character alts. This is because unfortunately, retail-exclusive amiibo have returned again. At least they’ve kept them in reliable places, though! Those of you who want the Player 2 Cloud amiibo will have to get it specifically from GameStop, while those seeking Corrin’s Player 2 amiibo will have to get it from Amazon. Bayonetta’s Player 2 amiibo will also be exclusive, but nobody knows where as of right now. GameStop also does have preorders up, and they can be found here: http://www.gamestop.com/browse?nav=16k-3-apr17amiibo,28zu0
Considering that a lot of people are going to want to get their hands on these, I advise that you pre-order as soon as possible. One of the Link amiibo revealed in the same Nintendo Direct is already sold out, and it was GameStop-exclusive as well. While Cloud is very safely obtainable at this point no matter which alt you want, Corrin and Bayonetta’s Player 2 counterparts are not, so stay on the lookout for when pre-orders come up for those.
Training the amiibo
Of course, if you’re reading this article, you probably aren’t the type of person who’s just going to keep your new amiibo on the shelf! Training them is what really makes them worth having, so I figured I would give my input on that, too. Be forewarned: I’m going to use a lot of Super Smash Bros. jargon, so if you’d like this article to help you as much as possible, I would advise learning some of the terminology of that and some of the amiibo training jargon as well.
Most people have very high expectations for this character, and I’m no exception to that. Cloud has a ton going for him, including a moveset that translates well into an amiibo and a good amount of power and knockout potential. Almost every single one of Cloud’s ground attacks (stay away from using aerial attacks against your amiibo, trust me) can be used as an amiibo, and my list on what moves I think will be viable is this:
- Jab (It comes out quick, and does decent damage for a jab.)
- Side Tilt (Also comes out quick and is very hard to punish.)
- Blade Beam (It’s good for passive play when you need it, such as Pikachu’s Thunder Jolt or Luigi’s Fireballs.)
- Cross Slash (It comes out at decent speed and does good damage, could be used similarly to Marth and Lucina’s Double-Edge Dance.)
- Side Smash (This three hit attack comes out at great speed and with the right equipment it is more than capable of breaking shields. It’s also hard to punish with a counter, as the first strike doesn’t do all that much.)
- Down Smash (As well as hitting fast and hard, it’s great for punishing an amiibo who likes to roll a lot.)
The list I have above is what I think Cloud’s most viable moves will be, and it’s what I will focus on teaching my Cloud amiibo to use. To do this, simply use the moves against him, or use against another character when you’re on a team with your amiibo. You might be wondering where Limit Break is. Well, truth is, I don’t plan on teaching my Cloud to use Limit Break. I know, it sounds crazy. But think about it. Do you really think Cloud needs that move to win? I certainly don’t. And what I’ve noticed in my training is that sometimes using a particular move at a bad time, such as an Up Smash, can get an amiibo killed. So I don’t really see the need for it at all, and would opt for more consistency in the moves that Cloud uses. If trained to be consistent, I don’t see him losing very easily at all.
So that brings me to what setup I would choose to run. For stats, I would go with 60 Attack, 40 Defense, and 20 Speed. Putting 60 in Cloud’s Attack stat will allow him to hit hard and potentially break shields if used in conjunction with the Hyper Smasher or Trade-Off Attack bonuses. Cloud’s recovery is easily in the bottom five out of every Smash character, so applying points to his Speed stat is a must so his midair jump can do most of the work in recovering. But we don’t want to apply too much, so a solid 20 points should be good enough. That leaves 40 points for Defense, which is an acceptable amount.
Some of you might be thinking about going 200/120/-200 instead. My advice to you: Don’t do it. This is not Little Mac. Cloud’s attacks do not come out nearly as fast, and if you miss a Smash attack you will probably get punished, and you will most likely die way too early for such a setup to be beneficial. Other heavy hitters such as Ganondorf and Bowser have been run with these stats, and trust me: On a character lacking in recovery, an Overload setup simply doesn’t work. Mac is the exception to the rule only because of how fast his attacks come out.
Next we have bonuses. I’ll start with the most obvious one: Improved Escapability. For those who don’t know, this lets your amiibo get out of grabs, effectively preventing it from being thrown. In my personal experience, it is imperative that every amiibo that wants to contend for a tournament run this bonus. Another bonus that I would 100% recommend on Cloud is Lifesteal. When you attack, you have a 50% chance of healing half the damage you did with this bonus, and since we want Cloud to do a lot of damage, it seems only natural. This brings me to the third bonus. For this, it’s a toss up between Hyper Smasher and Trade-Off Attack. I personally would go with Hyper Smasher, because it gives you a much better chance of breaking shields with that Side Smash. Or it gets your opponent hit by an incredibly hard third hit, because if an amiibo knows its shield will get broken by an attack and it knows it can’t Perfect Shield, it drops the shield and opts to get itself hit instead. Cloud can take full advantage of this with Hyper Smasher, but not really with Trade-Off Attack.
So, with all of that said, where do I think Cloud will end up on the Tier List? I personally think he’s going to be an S-Tier, a Top 10 character at the very least. The only thing that could really hold him back is poor AI, and that most likely won’t be an issue at all with Cloud. With an appropriate Speed boost, his recovery becomes acceptable, and that’s really his only crippling weakness. So to sum it all up: Those of you with the foresight to pre-order Cloud right now while it’s very easy to will have a potential tournament champion on your hands in about three months.
And next we’ve got Corrin. People think he’s going to be good, but whether he’ll be A-Tier or completely dominate in S-Tier isn’t quite as predictable. Corrin has a lot going for him as a character, such as the most powerful counter in the game (not including customs, I’m not sure if Shulk’s Power Vision hits harder or not), the longest Side Smash in the game, and a good arsenal for fighting up close. Below is the list of all his ground based moves that I think will be viable:
- Jab (It’s a good attack with decent frame data, but I would try to avoid using more than just the first three hits on him, because then you could risk getting punished.)
- Side Tilt (Decent damage and comes out fast.)
- Dragon Fang Shot (The projectile can be charged and shot for decent damage, but I would try to only focus on the projectile. While the bite at the end does lots of damage, we don’t want to encourage Corrin to charge this attack right next to the opponent.
- Counter Surge (For those of you who followed my recent tournament, you may have noticed a lot of talk about counters and how prominent they were. So this attack is pretty much an essential to teach Corrin, and if the attack you counter with this move is powerful enough, you could be looking at a one-hit KO.)
- Side Smash (This has the most range out of any Smash attack in the game. Like Marth’s attacks, it does more damage when you hit with the tip, so try to teach Corrin to hit with the tip of the lance.)
- Down Smash (Does good damage, try to use it to punish rolling amiibo.)
The list I have above are the moves that I think will be the most effective, and it’s what I’m planning to try to teach my Corrin amiibo when I get her (Yes, I’m getting the female version). And let me guess: You’re wondering why Dragon Lunge isn’t on this list. Well, that would be because in order to use Dragon Lunge properly, you have to jump, whether it’s through the use of the move or not. And you don’t want amiibo to jump. So while it could be a very good move, I would refrain from using it simply because it could possibly teach your amiibo bad habits.
Next we come to his setup! Corrin is somewhat lacking in recovery, so giving his speed 10 points should fix that and allow him to get back safely most if not every time he’s knocked offstage. Giving Defense a fair amount of points is always a good idea, so I would give him 50 in Defense. This leaves 60 points to go into his Attack stat. This will allow him to get a decent amount of damage more into his attacks. While it probably won’t be enough for Corrin to break any shields, it’’s still going to allow him to do a good amount of damage.
This brings me to bonuses, and what I have to say here probably won’t surprise you too much. For starters, I’ll be giving what in my opinion is the most necessary bonus, Improved Escapability. This will be accompanied by Trade-Off Attack and Lifesteal. Lifesteal will work very well on Corrin given his high-ish damage output, and it’ll work wonders with his counter. Trade-Off Attack will give him the power boost that will help him contend with the kill power of other amiibo, and the more your attacks do, the more you get back from Lifesteal.
And now the hard part: predicting Corrin’s place on the tier list. I know some of you expect Corrin to be S-Tier. While I think he is going to be very powerful, I think he will be in the A+ Tier, definitely in the Top 15. The reason I say this is because as a character, his kill power isn’t quite up there with other characters such as Bowser, Ganondorf, and Lucina. So you’re going to have to work a little harder to make Corrin a champion. But what work you do put into this character will definitely be worth it.
Last, and probably least, is Bayonetta, the Umbra Witch. Some people are expecting her to be decent. Others are expecting her to be so-so. And others are expecting her to be terrible. Bayonetta does have a few solid perks: Bullet Arts, Witch Time, hard-hitting Smash attacks and a decent jab and tilts. Below is my list on what moves will probably be Bayonetta’s best options as an amiibo:
- Jab (I mean, it does decent damage, but just make sure Bayonetta is smart about how she uses it because it’s easy to punish.)
- Side Tilt (One of Bayonetta’s best moves. The three hit combo will be pretty hard to punish.)
- Bullet Climax (The angling might be difficult, but odds are, at least one of the bullets will get your opponent. And this move is pretty much perfect for edgeguarding.)
- Heel Slide (It’s difficult to punish, so I say go for it. Just don’t teach Bayonetta to combo out of it.)
- Witch Time (This is useful no matter how you look at it. Just hope Bayonetta is smart enough to at least somewhat punish after using this.)
- Side Smash (This will do decent damage if it connects, but watch out, because its ending lag is annoying and you could get punished.)
So there you have it. That’s my list of what moves I would try to teach my Bayonetta amiibo. You might be wondering why I don’t have her Up Smash and Down Smash on there. This is because both of them only hit in one direction, and you have to be so close to your opponent to land them that if they dodge, you’re going to get punished for sure. And with this character, you’re going to want to teach her to be as cautious as possible.
So now for her setup. Bayonetta’s recovery is tricky, and due to her lackluster AI, she could easily mess it up and kill herself if not careful. So I would give her 20 points in Speed so she makes it back most of the time. Her attacks aren’t the most powerful, and she’s also one of the lightest characters in the game. So I would spread the remaining 100 points evenly between Attack and Defense, giving her 50 in both of those stats.
Next for her bonuses. Of course, you all probably knew that I would recommend Improved Escapability, and at this point I don’t feel the need to explain my reasoning behind it much further. The power to get out of throws is huge, so definitely give this bonus to Bayonetta if you can. The next bonus I would recommend is Mirror Shield. A lot of Bayonetta’s attacks are somewhat risky, so having an easy way to rack up damage would really help her as a character. The last bonus I would recommend is Health-Restoring Shield. This encourages use of the shield even more by killing two birds with one stone (healing her and damaging her opponent.)
So with all of this said, where do I think Bayonetta will end up on the tier list? I’m sorry to say it, but I think she’ll either fall in the D-Tier or lower C-Tier area. There’s just too much risk involved with her character for her to be reliable, and her AI isn’t very good at all. How do I know this? Because I’ve seen her Level 9 CPU in action. Unless Nintendo goes all out on making her AI good, she’s going to be very hard teach, and she will most likely take bad risks. I will say this about her though: I seriously hope someone tries her out in Doubles. If she’s smart enough, I could see her being a good support role for a more powerful character in a 2v2 match. She’s got a bunch of options that could trap opponents and since it’s a 2v2, everyone’s guard is down and they aren’t nearly as proficient blockers or punishers. So in my opinion, Doubles is the place for Bayonetta.
But just because I don’t think Bayonetta will be good doesn’t mean that we as a community shouldn’t give her our best effort. We’ve seen amiibo that everyone thought were terrible rise up and be competitive, such as Donkey Kong, Roy, and Samus. So please give her a chance!
So that wraps up my first article ever! How do you all think I did? Which character are you most excited to train and why? And how do you think the stock issues are going to be? Amazon isn’t exactly giving me confidence right now, considering they’ve got only placeholders up, and they’ve got the wrong picture for the Player 2 Corrin. So we’ll see how this goes! Thank you all for reading, and happy training!