The Super Smash Bros. series amiibo figures were first released on November 21, 2014. Since then, the amiibo metagame has come a long way, with hundreds of participating trainers and even more individual entries. The age of Smash 4 is coming to a close, and now it’s time to compile a list of the ten most influential amiibo in the history of the metagame.
We’re not talking about fighters as a whole here: instead, we’re talking about individual trainers’ amiibo that contributed to the development of the metagame. Without further ado, let’s get started with what may be our final Smash 4 post.
To kick off the list, we’ll start with some honorable mentions. These amiibo were both dominant and influential, but may not have contributed to significant changes within the metagame.
Cloud’s Little Mac (Mr. Dream)
My own Little Mac amiibo is our first honorable mention, but it isn’t on this list for a good reason: Mr. Dream was the final straw that led to the community’s unanimous decision of banning Little Mac from the metagame. The character’s forward smash was capable of breaking a full shield within one hit, and could then land a fully charged critical forward smash for a one-hit KO. Little Mac was later unbanned when Critical hits were removed from the metagame.
Amiibo Dan’s Ganondorf (Dark Lord)
Amiibo Dan was the only popular amiibo training YouTuber, and his Ganondorf amiibo, Dark Lord, was one of the earliest powerful contenders that we know of. Dan is credited with creating the online tournament system we still use today. Dark Lord was the winner of many of these early tournaments, proving to be a dominant force from the very beginning. Amiibo Dan no longer produces amiibo training content, and the content he did produce has since been deleted.
Blue’s Pac-Man (Plaid-Man)
At first, many trainers struggled with Pac-Man and his flawed AI. But Blue’s Pac-Man amiibo, Plaid-Man, was one of the first to achieve decent results. It placed second and third in many tournaments, which was unusual for the character. Plaid-Man also proved that the Dire Hydrant custom was essential to the fighter’s success.
Hihahaba’s Lucas (Tad)
Not many trainers worked with Lucas, but Hihahaba was among the few that did. In particular, this Lucas amiibo was one of the first fighters to utilize the Improved launch ability bonus effect. Hihahaba is credited with bringing this bonus to light, and since then, it has become a staple on many characters, including Kirby and Yoshi, among others.
MegaVGmaster’s Fox (FruitPunch)
For the duration of the entire metagame, Fox was seen as a non-viable fighter. His AI relentlessly spammed its down smash, and was generally ineffective against many characters. However, MegaVGmaster’s Fox amiibo, FruitPunch, utilized the Crash run bonus to great effect. In fact, with the help of Crash run, FruitPunch was able to contend against high-tier juggernauts like Bowser and Ganondorf!
Now that we’ve made it through the Honorable Mentions, we can get to the point of this post: the list.
#10: TMac’s Olimar (Entourage)
TMac’s Olimar amiibo, Entourage, is arguably the strongest Olimar amiibo in the metagame. It always knew when to pluck its Pikmin and when to throw them, and could rack up an insane amount of damage in no time flat. Entourage had trouble getting KOs, so its matches would often exhaust the timer, leading the match to go into Sudden Death. Before Entourage’s arrival, Sudden Death almost never happened in amiibo tournaments, so the community implemented rulings in the case that it did: the amiibo with the lower percentage would win the match. This led to many more victories for Entourage, ensuring its #10 spot on the list.
#9: Hono’s Sheik (Sleek)
Up until the very end of the metagame, Sheik was seen as about average. Hono’s Sleek was the only commonly-recurring Sheik amiibo, and its placement in tournaments essentially decided Sheik’s placement on the tier list. Needless to say, there was a lot of pressure on Sleek to perform well. It was the first amiibo to utilize the Crash run bonus effectively, leading to a whole new playstyle that many trainers would adopt. The aforementioned Fox amiibo FruitPunch was among them.
#8: Amiibo Dan’s Samus (Suit Samus)
If you’ve read our Samus amiibo training guide, you’re probably surprised to see a Samus on this list. The fighter’s AI is terrible, and trainers often had a tough time working with it. But not Amiibo Dan – he created perhaps the strongest Samus amiibo of all time – thanks to the help of the Explosive perfect shield bonus effect. Suit Samus utilized this effect incredibly well, and was able to place third in a tournament full of top-tiers. Suit Samus also ran the Overload setup – meaning it had maxed-out Attack and Defense, and negative Speed – during a time when many characters invested into their Speed stats.
#7: Havok’s Charizard (Ghidorah)
Havok’s Charizard amiibo, was one of the only fighters that thrived with and without Critical hits and Explosive perfect shield present. When these bonus effects were around, Ghidorah didn’t use them, but was able to contend with other fighters that did. When they were banned, Ghidorah became even stronger, and helped push jab and tilts as stronger neutral options (whereas before, amiibo were often taught to rely on their smash attacks).
#6: MegaVGmaster’s Cloud (Mac 2.0)
Cloud’s amiibo was released in July 2017. From the very beginning, we knew Cloud was a powerful contender. But MegaVGmaster’s Mac 2.0 taught us just how powerful he really was. With maxed-out Attack, one of Cloud’s forward smashes could break a full shield – just like Little Mac used to before he was banned. Essentially, Mac 2.0’s success resulted in restrictions being placed on Cloud: the fighter now cannot run more than 60 Attack points.
#5: Supernova’s Lucina (Sarah)
Shortly after Cloud’s introduction to the metagame, Lucina amiibo started becoming really dominant. Among the strongest of these was Sarah, Supernova’s Lucina amiibo. It was proficient with its timing, Counters – actually, it was proficient in almost everything. Sarah racked up many tournament wins, and helped cement the character’s position in the top spot of the tier list.
#4: Blue’s Marth (Ken)
However, Blue’s Marth, Ken, was the first truly dominant Marcina. It spaced its tippers astonishingly well, and within just one tournament, proved that the character was more than a force to be reckoned with. You might say that Ken set a precedent for all Marth and Lucina amiibo – and you’d be correct.
#3: Arklaine’s Link (Mahboi)
For several years, Link was a criminally underrated amiibo that didn’t see much usage. But Arklaine showed us one of the strongest amiibo in the entire metagame: his own Link amiibo, Mahboi. It entered the scene right after Critical hits and Explosive perfect shield were banned, and relied primarily on its jab and tilts to rack up damage. It might seem like an obvious concept, but it was totally unknown at the time – amiibo were often taught to rely on one single move and spam it to no end. Mahboi won more than a few high-stakes competitions, and even won a tournament whose entries had all won other tournaments. That’s quite some power.
#2: Keeth’s Donkey Kong (Boi)
The first truly “jabby” amiibo was Boi, Keeth’s Donkey Kong amiibo. Jabs quickly became one of the best neutral options for several characters, and Boi helped bring this fact to our recognition. However, Boi was also the first Donkey Kong amiibo to consistently perform well in tournaments. Keeth found out that DK’s cargo throw ignored Improved escapability, the most centralizing bonus effect in the game, which helped carve an important niche for an otherwise underused fighter.
#1: Cloud’s Ness (Super NES)
Let me preface this by saying it feels wrong to put my own amiibo in the top position. That being said, I can explain. My Ness amiibo, Super NES, made its debut in Amiibo World Tournament III. It plowed through the competition, thanks in part to the fighter’s powerful back throw. This prompted trainers to run Improved escapability on their own amiibo in order to avoid being back thrown into oblivion. Since 2016, Improved escapability has been a must on every character. Over the years, Super NES went on to win five more tournaments, but became weaker with time after opponents had time to adapt to his playstyle.
Overall, the Smash 4 metagame was an absolute blast, and Smash Ultimate’s amiibo game is going to be even better. To those of you who weren’t able to participate in Smash 4, I encourage you to do so in Ultimate. With rumors of online functionality fast circulating, the metagame has the potential to become larger than it’s ever been. Thanks so much for reading – until next time!