Today’s Super Smash Bros. Ultimate-centric Nintendo Direct was one of the greatest yet. Between a treasure trove of new information, beautifully animated reveal trailers, and a pinch of shenanigans, this presentation was significant. In addition to five new fighter announcements – Simon and King K. Rool, as well as Echo Fighters Chrom, Dark Samus, and Richter – the game’s developers made important announcements regarding upcoming game mods and rule customization.
I’m sure many of you are looking forward to trying out these new game modes for yourself. Given that I run an amiibo site, it’s probably not surprising that I’m wondering how these changes will affect amiibo training. It’s strange, really, and maybe a bit surreal: we’re going to have so much freedom in this new entry. Let’s break everything down – from the new fighters to the new mechanics.
As mentioned before, five new characters were announced – Dark Samus, Chrom, Simon, Richter, and King K. Rool. Let’s take an in-depth look at each one of these fighters and see where they might fall on an inevitable Super Smash Bros. Ultimate amiibo tier list.
Dark Samus, as you might expect, is an Echo Fighter of Samus. Aesthetically, Dark Samus has a different on-screen appearance, different animations, and new victory poses. Functionally, she appears to be exactly the same as Samus – in other words, we haven’t seen any moveset changes unique to Dark Samus – this could change in the future, though. Let’s take a look at how Samus herself was changed for her Smash Ultimate appearance, as all of these changes carry over to Dark Samus. For one, her roll is faster, meaning it’s no longer one of the slowest in the game. Her forward smash has a larger sweetspot, so it’s easier to connect and is now more reliable. Her down smash inflicts more knockback, and her back throw has been strengthened to the point of becoming a kill throw.
Samus’ most significant buff (at least in the amiibo game) is that she can now charge her Charge Shot in midair. In Smash 4, Samus’ AI would jump and spam uncharged projectiles, leaving her vulnerable. There’s a high chance that this problem is now solved. As a result, Samus and Dark Samus may be given a boost – rather than being low tier, they’d be slightly above average. However, this assumes that their AI is made more competent. Regarding AI, we can’t really make any assumptions at this stage in the game.
Chrom isn’t an Echo Fighter of Marth or Ike: he’s an Echo Fighter of Roy. Not much of Chrom was shown during the presentation, but there’s a little bit that we do know. As with all Echo Fighters, Chrom has different animations, taunts, and victory poses. But he’s got a few functional differences: his attacks don’t have a flame effect, and his sword doesn’t have a sweetspot. Essentially, Chrom is the Lucina to Roy’s Marth. Furthermore, Chrom has an entirely unique move: his up special resembles a speedier version of Ike’s Aether.
Roy himself was buffed for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. In Smash 4, his side special, Dancing Blade, was very slow; as a result, Marth and Lucina’s versions of the move were seen as superior. In Ultimate, the speed of Roy’s Dancing Blade has been increased. As you may know, Marth and Lucina’s Dancing Blade attacks were considering the best moves in Smash 4 amiibo due to their incredible speed and utility. Rumor has it, though, that its range has been decreased and its ending lag lengthened. We also don’t know if Chrom’s side special is Dancing Blade. Only time will tell.
Simon Belmont from Castlevania joins Super Smash Bros. for the first time! He uses a powerful and versatile whip to attack. It’s got long range and a lot of strength, but attacks involving the whip appear to have significant startup and ending lag. Simon’s forward smash is a whip crack with incredible range. It’s actually the farthest-reaching forward smash available, usurping Corrin’s forward smash. Simon’s up smash is kind of like Palutena’s in that it has great vertical reach, but poor horizontal reach.
Simon also has a few projectiles at his disposal! He can throw an axe, which I think is going to be a good gimping maneuver in the amiibo game. It travels in an arc, making it easily thrown off-stage. In Smash 4, several characters can use their projectiles to interrupt their opponents’ recoveries. Mario can use his Fireball, Link can use his Arrows, and King Dedede can use his Gordos. Simon joins this list with a particularly strong gimping tool.
Overall, it seems as though Simon amiibo will need to be able to position themselves in such a way that their attacks’ range prevent opponents from coming in and attacking. His moves are quite slow, but as long as Simon can space himself properly, he has a shot at amiibo superstardom.
Richter is Simon’s Echo Fighter. Unfortunately, there’s not much to say about Richter that hasn’t already been said about Simon. Sure, he’s got different taunts and different victory animations, but we aren’t aware of any functional differences in how their movesets operate. Until more information about the character is revealed, it’s safe to say that the Simon and Richter amiibo will be about on par with each other – so choose your favorite and train up! …As soon as they’re released, that is.
King K. Rool
Now here’s a character I’m excited for. We only saw about two minutes of King K. Rool in action, but just from that, I’m pretty sure that this guy’s going to be a top tier (or at least very strong) amiibo. For one, heavyweights tend to perform best – that was the case in Smash 4, at least. Since AIs can’t combo well, fighters designed for one-off heavy hits ruled the metagame. King K. Rool is super strong, but he has two specific tools that set him apart from the other heavies: a counter and a projectile.
King K. Rool can inflate his stomach to counter an opponents’ move. We don’t know how much damage it deals, or if the AI will even use it, but we do know that it’s shaping up to be a powerful tool. King K. Rool can also throw his crown as a far-reaching projectile. He’s the only super-heavyweight with a projectile, which makes him incredibly unique. For all of you K. Rool fans out there, you’re in luck – this amiibo is going to be good. And you’d better believe we’ll have a training guide on it!
Lots of new match customization options were shown off today: Squad Strike, Tourney, Special Smash, and Smashdown. Squad Strike is exactly what it sounds like: select three or five characters, and then participate in a crew battle. The mode can be played with two or more players. It’s possible that we could even use amiibo in this mode, which would make for some really interesting tournaments!
Tourney mode is pretty straightforward. The game will set up a 32-player bracket. It can be played locally, with the remaining slots being filled with CPU characters. Hopefully amiibo will be allowed in Tourney mode, given as CPUs are options already.
Special Smash is the same as it’s always been. Customize your character’s Size, Head, Body, Status, Weight, and Speed, as well as the game’s camera. In Smash 4, Special Smash amiibo tournaments were nearly nonexistent. They probably won’t be much more common in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, but even so, it’s still an option for niche tours.
Smashdown almost certainly can’t be used alongside amiibo. Each player has access to the entire roster, except once a fighter is used in a match, it can’t be used again. It makes sense that amiibo couldn’t be used for this mode, as that would involve way too much figure-scanning. Oh well! It’s still a cool idea.
Amiibo Dojo’s Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Plans
You may remember that the Amiibo Dojo was releasing preliminary Super Smash Bros. Ultimate training guides a while back. You may have noticed that we removed them. We had a bit of a change of plans: originally, we were going to work quickly to release a set of training guides as soon as possible. But then I realized that that would destroy our experience with Ultimate. I’ve since decided that I’m not going to rush to get a set of guides out. That could ruin my enjoyment of the game early on, which I don’t want.
Here’s the plan, then: you’ll have to join our Discord server for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate amiibo training tips. That is to say, we’ll all be discussing it amongst ourselves, documenting new discoveries left and right. I’ll be sure to recap our findings on the main site every so often, and when we’re ready to start writing training guides, we will. Please don’t expect training guides on day one (or even week one (or even month one)) – if we were to release them so soon, they probably wouldn’t have complete information. We don’t want that.
Anyway, thanks so much for reading! Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is fast approaching, with just a few months to go. There’s still a lot we don’t know, but one thing we know for sure is that the amiibo training scene will be revitalized. We’ll be working here behind the scenes, as always, so that we’re ready for the influx of renewed interest and activity. Until next time – happy training!