Welcome to the second training guide for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate! Seeing as he was the winner of our first official tournament it seems only fitting we would next cover Link. As if placing S-tier in Super Smash Bros. 4 wasn’t enough for him, Link has come back with a vengeance, however not many changes to the character as a whole, in terms of amiibo. The one major change that makes Link so intriguing is his bombs, but alongside that, his sword is longer making his already scary smash attacks that much deadlier.
Changes from Super Smash Bros. 4
Link has been notably buffed from the previous game, with a longer range paired with remote-detonation bombs that already have a long list of combo setups. His boomerang has been changed to the regular boomerang, so the gale effect is no longer present, however it hits even harder and proves an excellent neutral, midrange option. His arrows are relatively similar with the added gimmick of “picking up” missed arrows. However, the opponent can do this too!
Now with all these buffs mentioned, the main question is how the amiibo utilizes his upgraded kit. His amiibo loves the new boomerang (Which is one of the custom moves from Smash 4 we recommended in our guides, so no surprise it’s a welcome sight to us.), using it to secure his recovery, inflict midrange damage, and even as a combo setup towards higher levels. He doesn’t really do much when he picks up an arrow aside from chuck it and occasionally hit. The real upgrade is the bombs. Similar to Smash 4 he will still sometimes hit himself with the bomb, however he seems much more tactical this time around. He will use them to terrorize offstage opponents, use them for combos on stage, and sometimes just hit the opponent with the bomb itself for combo setups or gimps.
Spirit Stats & Effects
Link is a very versatile fighter who benefits from a wide range of spirit setups. Being such a generalist fighter who can do anything well, Link can be trained and kitted out however you want and he will give you results.
One of the main spirits that Link benefits from are Weapon Attack ↑, boosting all of his sword attacks. Side Special ↑, considering Link’s love for his boomerang, is another heavily considerable option. Lastly, Hyper Smash Attacks will severely buff Link’s main kill options.
A few other buffs Link might consider take up more than one spot, so they limit the versatility, however they are all worth those spots. Instadrop is a bonus Link will use insanely well, comboing with his Nair and Fair for some insane damage. Auto Heal and Greater Auto Heal were absolutely necessary in Smash 4 and, while not as strong now, still give a large edge to whoever has it. Lastly, the ability Armor Knight is one many people are looking at. It buffs Defense largely and Attack some, while lowering Speed; a trade-off that Link is happy to make. It can also be run with Speed ↑, partially negating the downside.
- Neutral Attack: In Smash 4, Link’s Jab was instrumental to his climb up the tier list. While Jabs as a whole seem less relevant in Ultimate, his can still prove deadly when he needs to whip it out. Link can use this move to interrupt pretty much anything, and will gladly do so. He seems to be one of the few amiibo that will easily learn his Jab.
- Forward Tilt: A hard swing over the head. While it doesn’t have the power of his Forward or Up smash, it can still kill towards high percents and comes out quicker. With the longer reach link has in this game, this is an insanely good move, and the knockback can easily earn Link stage control, or even a KO.
- Up Tilt: Link quickly arcs his sword over his head and hits both sides, albeit not that hard. Link can juggle this move two to three times depending on the enemy’s damage, and can follow up with a Neutral Air or an Up Smash.
- Down Tilt: Every sword character in Ultimate seemingly has the same Down Tilt; he jabs his sword at foot level and can do it over the edge to interrupt some recoveries, and can combo into Neutral or Forward Air.
- Forward Smash: His best kill move with a new trick, Link swings his sword twice. The first has good launching power on its own, but both hits connecting spells for a very quick KO tool. Link’s Forward Smash will now fire a beam out while he is at 0%. It’s not necessarily powerful but it’s faster than his boomerang and goes as far. No reason to avoid it. During low levels, this beam will confuse his AI into only using one half of his Forward Smash, however this is fixed by the time he reaches 50. This should be prioritized as your strongest killmove.
- Up Smash: Link swipes his sword upwards three times, chaining easily with the third hit having most of the launching power. Much like Smash 4, it’s one of the most effective aerial punishes in the game, and Link’s AI can make it hit before any opponents trying to sneak in a Down Aerial from above. Aside from being his second best kill move, it racks up a nice amount of damage and keeps the opponent off the ground, however the lag is easily punished, especially by opponents with a Tether Grab.
- Down Smash: Link swipes in both directions, front first. A decent edgeguarding tool and a finisher at high percents.
- Dash Attack: Amiibo finally use their dash attack! Link’s in particular is nasty, it’s quick(ish) and has great kill potential, however it’s easily punished if missed or shielded.
- Neutral Aerial: Link uses this often as an interrupt and a gimping tool: if he’s caught in an aerial spree he will kick out and put some distance between him and the opponent. In terms of gimping, Link will jump down to his opponent and hit with this, and use his extra jump to safely recover. Link can be taught to buy space with this move, as it’s knockback is pretty hefty and can easily restore neutral game.
- Forward Aerial: Link likes to short hop with this one as a surprise. It’s his favorite aerial, and a solid killmove, off or on stage. He will combo this out of down throw, however it doesn’t always hit and sometimes he prefers Forward Smash, usually at lower percents.
- Up Aerial: A predictable but solid stab, with decent launching power. Hard to hit but pays off if used properly. When his toolkit also contains Up Smash, it’s probably safer not to bother with this one.
- Down Aerial: If you’re trying to get back onto the stage or just think you’ll get lucky offstage maybe, but this move is too easy to punish. Best to avoid it.
- Back Aerial: Another solid kill move in the air. While Forward Smash is better, sometimes you don’t have a choice which to use and sometimes your amiibo won’t either. No sense not teaching it at least a handful of times, make sure he knows it kills. At lower percents, you can land two of these on an airborne opponent before hitting the ground.
- Grab: For the first time ever Link does not have the hook shot. This makes his Grab much better, as it’s faster and harder to punish, however it also has less reach, removing it as a midrange option and removing his tether recovery, which brings his recovery from mediocre to slightly bad.
- Forward Throw: Not a kill or combo throw, no real use outside of getting the opponent off stage. It’s always a good idea to teach your amiibo to throw to the nearest edge.
- Back Throw: Same boat as the Forward Throw, just chuck your opponent to the closest edge so they get the point.
- Up Throw: One of the only notably nerfed moves on his kit, it doesn’t kill anywhere near as easily, so maybe teach him to kill with it at really high percents and nothing else.
- Down Throw: Forward Smash, Forward Air and Neutral Air combo well out of this one, definitely a good one to teach.
- Hero’s Bow: The only change to this move is the ability to pick up arrows and fire two at a time or chuck them. Link doesn’t fire them on stage much, and when he does the opponent is usually closer and picks it up first, and will just sort of chuck it at Link. Sadly, Link does the same if he’s lucky enough to get ahold of it. No clever two-arrow tricks.
- Boomerang: So long, Gale boomerang! The classic one returns, as any good boomerang should. Link loves to use this as a neutral option and will bludgeon an opponent almost literally to death with it. It can be angled when it’s thrown and will ricochet off the ground, allowed you to evade his shield if you hit right in front of his feet. He will throw it downwards towards recovering foes and try to gimp them, or simply get more damage off. He throws it towards the stage as he recovers, or sometimes behind him as he recovers so it comes back on the stage and hits the opponent as he rolls past them. He will learn quite a few combos off of the boomerang if taught, but knows very few without intervention.
- Hero’s Spin: Link sometimes uses it on stage, however not like he did in 4 where he’d edgeguard with it; sometimes he just uses it. Not the best habit, not the worst, just punish it if you see it. Only use it for recovery.
- Remote Bombs: Now we get to the fun part. Firstly, Link will sometimes still hit himself with the bombs. He mainly does this because he sees himself as collateral damage in this situation regardless of his percent, as long as it hits the enemy. Other times, he detonated as the enemy chucks his bomb back at him, making the delay just enough to hurt him. The last category is when he forgets how they work and only hits himself for no reason. On to the good parts, he will quite easily combo off of the blast if the enemy is sent towards him, usually with a Fair or Upsmash. He will also hurl these at recovering opponents to terrorize them as they try to return the stage. He will Z drop them to interrupt and gimp opponents, He will throw them at your face without detonating so he can follow with a dash attack or forward smash, he’ll do all kinds of things with these bombs. The only thing he won’t learn to do is use them to recover.
Link is proving to be a dominant force in the Vanilla metagame, and a strong contender in Spirits. No doubt, Link will be one of, if not the, highest tiered amiibo in both metagames. There is no doubt he will place S tier in Vanilla, and Spirits looks as though it may follow suit. His weaknesses as of now seem to be Projectile amiibo such as the Mii Gunner, and a returning weak matchup from 4, Lucina.
We’re still labbing hard trying to figure this game’s amiibo out, and this post will more than likely be updated in the near future. I sincerely hope this helps you train your Link to be a dominant amiibo slayer! If you have any questions, join our Discord server. Thank you so much for reading!
Special thanks to Diddles for the notes provided from his tournament winning Link, to Noah, and to Cloud.