Amiibo Training Guide: Duck Hunt (SSB4)

These two were the stars of the NES launch title Duck Hunt, way back in 1985. This goofy dog would chase down any ducks hit by the Zapper™ accessory, but wasn’t shy about laughing at missed shots. In Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS, these two work as a team to fight. Quack! Bark? Both!

Section 1: Character Overview

Duck Hunt is an interesting amiibo in competitive play: most notable are their excellent special moves. Trick Shot spawns a tin can that explodes upon contact with an enemy. Duck Hunt’s AI is absolutely excellent at controlling its trajectory – its competence with the move surpasses even a human’s. Clay Shooting is a versatile, long-ranged projectile that can be shot several times for additional damage, while Wild Gunman fires a single shot after a short delay. In addition to an excellent ranged game, Duck Hunt also has a solid recovery, a good jab, and a useful set of tilts.

However, Duck Hunt suffers from a wide range of flaws. As mentioned before, Duck Hunt’s AI is more than proficient in its use of Trick Shot. The problem is, it always jumps before firing it, which can expose the duo to incoming attacks. Speaking of jumping, the AI does that a lot, and often throws in a forward or neutral aerial during a jump. Duck Hunt also struggles to consistently KO opponents: their forward, up, and down smashes tend to whiff due to their multi-hit properties.

The Verdict

Duck Hunt is difficult to train due to the flaws present in their character design and AI. They’ll take patience to train, but can contend with the best given hard work and determination.

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:

+90 Attack / +80 Defense / -50 Speed


Custom Moves

  • High-Explosive Shot: This is a custom move version of Duck Hunt’s neutral special. High-Explosive Shot is kicked only once upon its initial activation before exploding. Pressing the special move button will make it explode again – the amiibo is great at timing this. High-Explosive Shot is recommended, but not necessary.
  • Mega Gunman: Hence its name, Duck Hunt will summon larger gunmen who inflict slightly less damage. They help act as shields and can catch opponents off-guard.

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, down tilt, neutral special, side special, and down special. Duck Hunt’s jab and forward tilt are best suited for close combat. High-Explosive Shot, Clay Shooting, and Mega Gunman should all be used from a distance.
  • Main KO moves: forward smash. In terms of KO moves, forward smash is just about all Duck Hunt has. It’s not very reliable, but with good timing and spacing, it can work.
  • Moves to avoid: up smash. Duck Hunt may learn to overuse up smash. This isn’t a good thing. Up smash lacks range and its three separate hits often fail to connect.

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

File:SSB4-Wii U Congratulations Classic Duck Hunt.png

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!

Thanks to Nickural for compiling Duck Hunt’s information. Images are courtesy of SmashWiki and the official Super Smash Bros. website.

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