Link was the first amiibo to win a tournament in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, so it’s only natural that his training guide would come first. As if being top-tier in Smash 4 wasn’t enough, Link is back with a vengeance. Although he hasn’t received too many changes, he has received enough buffs to be considered one of the very best characters in the game.
Link is a very well rounded fighter, capable of many different playstyles. In amiibo, this statement is even more true; Link can be trained very aggressively, very passively, completely grounded or notably jumpy, and still put up results. He packs a punch, with heavy hits, quick interrupt options and strong projectiles. Despite this versatility, Link has quite a few important bad matchups; almost half of the established “high tiers” do well against him, namely Bowser and Mii Gunner.
In Super Smash Bros. 4, Link was a top tier character with many titles, and he looks to retain that spot in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate as well. Currently he is the most entered character in tournaments, which has positive and negative effects on his overall performance, but he has already cemented himself a top spot on the tier list.
Stats & Spirit Effects
In terms of stats, Link is quite versatile; using a balanced spread (2100 / 2100) or a more defensive leaning (1800/2400) are both fine options that work well on the character. Some characters do well with a full defensive setup (0/4200), however Link’s lackluster recovery means he needs games to close fast and reduce the chance of getting gimped or spiked. In general, Link can be trained and set up in any way and he will still yield results.
As with most fighters, Link is effective when equipped with Armor Knight and Move Speed ↑. His recovery is worsened by a small bit, but the extra defense and movement speed are invaluable and help him survive longer.
Other options include Weapon Attack ↑, Side Special ↑, Special-Move Power ↑, and Hyper Smash Attacks. That being said, the current tournament environment is defense-heavy, so running any of these over Armor Knight and Move Speed ↑ is not recommended.
An amiibo becomes strongest if it is mirror matched all the way to Level 50 with its Learn button switched on. Playing a best-of-five match (configurable via the rules menu) will cause it to level up much faster.
Link benefits most from a balanced playstyle that mixes melee attacks and projectiles. Racking up damage with Boomerang is key, as is going in for the kill with a forward or up smash attack. Remote Bombs can also be thrown off-stage to gimp opponents’ recoveries. Here is a complete breakdown of Link’s moveset and which attacks to focus on during training.
- Neutral attack: In Smash 4, Link’s jab was instrumental in his climb up the tier list. Jabs as a whole are less relevant in Ultimate, but Link’s can still prove effective when needed. Use it at point blank for best effect.
- Forward tilt: It doesn’t have the power of forward or up smash, but can still kill towards higher percentages. It also comes out quicker. It’s one of Link’s most useful attacks and should be used at close range.
- Up tilt: It can juggle an enemy and then follow up into a neutral aerial or up smash. Good to use every once in a while to set up simple combos.
- Down tilt: Link’s down tilt can interrupt recoveries and can also lead into a neutral aerial or forward aerial. Another simple combo tool that should be utilized fairly often.
- Dash attack (Jump Slash): One of the strongest dash attacks in the game. It’s a risky move, but can be used to KO enemies surprisingly early. Its startup is rather slow, so only use it when you know it will connect.
- Forward smash (Sword Slice): A two-part attack that serves as a solid KO option. Be sure to connect both halves of the move by pressing the button again. Prioritize it as your primary kill move.
- Up smash: It’s one of the strongest aerial punishes in the game and racks up a lot of damage. Use it to catch a falling opponent, but be wary of its ending lag.
- Down smash: A decent edgeguarding tool and a fine finisher at high percentages. Also quite fast for a smash attack.
- Neutral aerial: Link’s AI uses this as both an interrupt and a gimping tool. A fine damage-racking option that should be used quite often.
- Forward aerial: The AI likes to surprise its opponents with short hop forward aerials. Luckily, it’s a solid kill move both on- and off-stage. Definitely a good one to teach.
- Back aerial: Another solid kill move with decent utility for edgeguarding. At lower percentages, Link can land two back aerials on an airborne opponent before landing.
- Up aerial (Jump Thrust): A predictable but powerful stab with decent launching power. Hard to hit, but pays off if used properly. Outside of combos, Up smash outclasses up aerial, so wait for the opponent to fall and then punish with that instead.
- Down aerial (Downward Thrust): Even though it spikes, don’t be tempted to teach it to your amiibo; it’s too risky and rarely pays off. Avoid this one.
- Forward throw: Weak power and knockback. It isn’t very useful, so stick to Link’s other throws instead.
- Back throw: Fairly strong, but does not KO until higher percentages. It’s fine to use every once in a while but is never the match-winning move.
- Up throw: It’s powerful for being an up throw and can lead into an up smash punish. Unfortunately, its strength was nerfed from Smash 4.
- Down throw: It can combo into forward smash, neutral aerial, or forward aerial. Don’t focus on combos, but it’s okay to use them once in a while.
- Neutral special (Bow and Arrows): Not a move you should use at all; Link’s AI is very fragile with his three projectiles, and will easily develop spamming habits. The bow is not very useful in amiibo play and it’s few useful situations are not worth your Link using it all the time.
- Side special (Boomerang): So long, Gale Boomerang! The classic Boomerang returns for another round (as any functioning one should). It’s a great neutral option and can still be spammed to great effect, and is instrumental to Link’s zoning.
- Up special (Spin Attack): Recovery purposes only! Don’t use it as an attack, as it’s easy to miss and leaves Link vulnerable.
- Down special (Remote Bomb): The AI will detonate the Remote Bomb as long as an enemy is nearby. This means it will occasionally hit itself if both fighters are in the blast radius, or sometimes Link will completely fudge it and blow himself up while leaving the enemy unscathed. It is highly recommended not to train your Link to use bombs, as it adds an unpredictable factor to the game you cannot improve around, as well as being very difficult to untrain. Unfortunately, the AI cannot learn to use bombs to aid in its recovery.
If you would like to read more guides, follow this link to return to the master list.