The protagonist of FINAL FANTASY VII, Cloud wields the enormous Buster Sword, a memento from his comrade Zack. Once a SOLDIER of Shinra, he now fights as a mercenary against the corporation he originally served. His decision to join AVALANCHE’s insurgence, however, will transform his destiny.
Section 1: Character Overview
Judging by the large size of Cloud’s Buster Sword, you can imagine that just one swing of it would hurt a lot. This is exactly the case; Cloud’s smash attacks are his defining traits, and all inflict huge damage on his opponents. His forward smash, which is his strongest smash attack, hits three times in quick succession for massive amounts of damage and can greatly wear down shields. In fact, with the right amount of points allocated into his attack stat, it can even break full shields! His up smash is just as useful, as it covers a wide radius around Cloud and is a great way to catch aerial amiibo off-guard. Cloud also packs an always-helpful set of tilts and a jab, with both coming out extremely quick and having decent power to boot. Since Cloud is a swordfighter, and thus will be fighting in close proximity to his opponent most of the time, these moves’ varied speed and power are essential to his success during combat.
Cloud has some weaknesses that hinder or even destroy his chances of winning, with the most notable of which being his poor usage of Limit Break, Cloud’s unique trait. The amiibo can be taught to manually charge up its Limit Gauge, but has problems registering when it has reached full charge – more often than not, it’ll waste its Limit Gauge by firing the Limit Break variant of Blade Beam, his only projectile and a move that the amiibo often spams to no end. Cloud’s AI is unusually jumpy as well, and given the relative difficulty of punishing his aerial attacks, it can be hard to train him grounded at times. And though Cloud’s best attacks are undoubtedly his smash attacks, they are quite slow in startup time – his forward and up smashes may be powerful, but opponents will have the chance to easily avoid them. Cloud also has one of the worst recoveries in the game, with his non-Limit Break up special, Climhazzard, having average vertical range and even poorer horizontal range with the added hindrance of it having trouble snapping to the ledge, making him susceptible to gimps.
Though Cloud has a slew of flaws that may make him a challenging amiibo to train, the payoff is worth it – you’ll have a strong tournament contender on your hands, given you prepare him with proper training.
Section 2: Recommended Equipment
Stats & Bonuses
For more information on equipment – including instructions on how to farm for custom parts – please read our amiibo equipment guide.
Most amiibo tournaments allow and encourage equipment. In fact, over ninety percent of competitions do – but if you’d prefer to forgo custom gear and leave your amiibo ‘vanilla’, you can skip this section. Otherwise, you will need to equip your amiibo with a viable setup of stats and bonuses. The following build has been extensively tested and proven effective:
+60 Attack / +60 Defense / 0 Speed
Once your amiibo’s stats, bonuses, and custom moves are refined and ready to go, your training will officially begin! If you encountered a problem while equipping your amiibo, feel free to join our Discord server to ask for help.
Section 3: Training Your Amiibo
Amiibo training is a very specific task, and for the best possible result, you will need to approach it with caution. You can’t just go all-out using combos and aerials: both are seen as “newbie tactics” by competitive trainers. Instead, you should remain grounded at all times, making sure to punish your amiibo for every aerial attack it uses against you. This is true regardless of whether or not your amiibo was fed equipment.
To help your amiibo properly utilize its moveset, you will mirror match it from Level 1 all the way to Level 50. Playing timed matches on Ω-form stages is highly recommended.
Training Tips (Equipment & Vanilla)
- Neutral options: jab, forward tilt, and down tilt. Cloud’s jab and tilts are unarguably his best way to rack up damage quickly, with his jab coming out extremely fast and his tilts having a good mix of speed and power. For Cloud’s tilts, emphasize on his down tilt – it works almost like a dash attack and is his best move out of his fantastic arsenal of tilts.
- Main KO moves: forward smash, up smash, and Cross Slash (Limit Break). Cloud’s forward smash is a reliable kill move that has a high damage output and knockback, and thus should be utilized. Up smash is great for catching your amiibo if it jumps above you, and should be used just as much. And while Cloud isn’t the best at aiming his Limit Break Cross Slash, it’s a much better option for killing than his Limit Break Blade Beam. Try your best at hitting your amiibo with it.
- Moves to avoid: Blade Beam and Climhazzard. Cloud painfully spams Blade Beam to no end, which is a bad option since with this problem he’s more prone to wasting his Limit Break on this move. Cloud also uses his up special, Climhazzard, onstage as an attack, but more often than not he doesn’t use the second hit of it to safely land back on the ground. Avoid these two moves like the plague.
- Situational moves: Limit Charge. Though Limit usage is Cloud’s biggest flaw, it wouldn’t help at all to not have him manually charge it during breathers. Charge the Limit Gauge when there is a good distance between you and your amiibo.
Training Tips (Vanilla-Only)
- If you did not feed your amiibo equipment, it’s a good idea to teach it to grab, pummel, and throw its opponents. When grabbing your amiibo, throw it towards the nearest edge. This means you will only need to use forward and back throws. In the equipment metagame, Improved escapability renders most grabs and throws useless. Without the presence of this bonus, your amiibo is free to use its grab as often as it pleases.
When your amiibo finally reaches Level 50, its training will truly begin. Just like a real player, amiibo need match experience and practice against different characters. For more information on training your amiibo past Level 50, follow this link.
Section 4: Conclusion & Credits
Thank you so much for reading! Although the guide may be coming to an end, your training most certainly isn’t: there’s always a way to make an amiibo stronger, and yours is no exception. If you need additional help, check out the Amiibo Mechanics & Metagame Guide. If you want to ask specific questions, you can also stop by our Discord server.
If your desire to read amiibo training guides and articles hasn’t been entirely fulfilled, there are more posts here that you might like. Amiibo Training Analysis analyzes a specific aspect of the metagame in great detail. Meanwhile, the official amiibo tier list ranks each amiibo’s potential. The FAQ is another good resource worth checking out. Alternatively, you can head back to the master list of guides for even more amiibo training methods!