Welcome to our Pikachu amiibo training guide, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate edition! This is our first completed post for the new game. If you’re looking for tips on training your Pikachu amiibo, you’ve come to the right place! Let’s get started.
Changes from Super Smash Bros. 4
In the previous title, Pikachu was a mid-tier fighter who struggled against most competent opponents. It relied entirely on Thunder Burst, a custom down special. In Ultimate, custom moves are no longer present, meaning that Pikachu lost its former claim to fame. Fortunately, Pikachu has been significantly buffed during its transition to the new game, and it is currently believed to be better than it was in Smash 4.
For one, Pikachu’s neutral attack, tilts, and forward smash deal more damage and have increased range, improving its ground game. Its aerials have less ending lag and its updated neutral aerial serves as an excellent neutral option. Its specials are also stronger and faster. However, Pikachu benefits most from Ultimate’s revamped AI. Compared to Smash 4, both amiibo and CPU fighters are much more aggressive. Pikachu will now use a wider variety of moves, and it now seldom uses Thunder.
However, Pikachu has also received a few nerfs. Its forward smash is slightly slower while its up smash has had its knockback weakened. In other words, two of Pikachu’s strongest moves are less reliable than they were in Smash 4. Luckily, the character’s buffs far outweigh its nerfs. Things are looking good for Pikachu in the amiibo metagame.
Spirit Stats & Effects
Smash 4’s most commonly-used bonus effects included Auto-heal capability, Lifesteal, and Improved escapability, among others. No matter who you were training, that was your most optimal setup. Ultimate has given equipment a breath of fresh air with its newly-introduced Spirits. Auto-heal capability has been significantly nerfed, Lifesteal doesn’t exist, and Improved escapability… is exactly the same, but amiibo don’t grab nearly as often.
There’s one specific Spirit effect that would benefit Pikachu. Electric Attack ↑, hence its name, slightly increases the power of electricity attacks. Forward smash, down smash, neutral aerial, forward aerial, and down aerial will all see an increase in strength. Keep in mind that the boost is only about 10%, so using this bonus is by no means necessary. If you’d like to train an aggressive aerial Pikachu amiibo, congratulations – it’s viable now! But you have to use Instadrop, a brand new effect that increases fast fall speed and allows its user to deal damage while doing so. It takes up two slots, but it’s definitely worth it, not to mention fun to watch!
Overall, equipment in Ultimate isn’t nearly as defining as it was in Smash 4. Your amiibo could have a bunch of useless bonus effects and still be really good. Its playstyle and overall in-battle ability is what’s most important: Spirit effects are just icing on the cake. If you’d like to take a look at a complete list of all the bonuses in the game, check out this list.
In Smash 4, defensive grounded play was the go-to for each and every character. In Ultimate, that’s no longer the case: any playstyle can function well as long as the amiibo’s trainer can pull it off. So, then, it’s up to you: play how you want your amiibo to play, because their learning abilities in Ultimate far surpass anything we’ve seen before.
It’s still best to mirror match your amiibo all the way to Level 50, just to help it get acquainted with its full moveset. Don’t use CPUs; the amiibo will pick up bad habits. In terms of the character’s moveset, here’s what you should be focusing on as you fight your amiibo:
- Headbutt (Neutral attack): A fast headbutt with minimal range. It’s only useful against opponents at point blank. Since amiibo are really active now, there often won’t be a chance for Pikachu to use Headbutt. Definitely not a move to focus on.
- Forward tilt: A moderately-ranged double kick. It can be used as a get-off-me move at close range. Not very effective against opponents who like to jump around a lot, but can keep grounded foes away. Use it infrequently.
- Up tilt: A fast tail swipe. Most effective against falling opponents, so use it wisely to rack up damage fast. Don’t use it against a grounded enemy.
- Down tilt: Another fast tail swipe, except right above the ground. Nothing special, but it can potentially start combos.
- Dash attack: Unlike in Smash 4, amiibo will actually use their dash attack! Pikachu’s has a respectable damage output, and can even KO opponents at high percentages. Use it infrequently but not too often, as it leaves the character vulnerable afterwards.
- Forward smash: A slow but powerful attack. It’s best not to use this one raw. If you break your amiibo’s shield, charge it up. But never charge a smash attack expecting your amiibo to walk into it: sure, it might connect, but your amiibo will start overcharging its smash attacks like a fool.
- Up smash: Weaker than in Smash 4, but still worth using. Most effective against an aerial enemy. Don’t go spamming it, and make sure to time it well, because it has a late sourspot.
- Electric Flower (Down smash): A rapid electrical spin. It can be used to catch rolls or cover grounded ledge options. It’s also quite fast, so it’s a good idea to use this one every once in a while.
- Neutral aerial: Excellent move. Hits multiple times and chains into itself, especially on Battlefield-form stages. Try to set up combos with neutral aerial. It feels strange to be able to finally say it, but yes, your amiibo will learn to combo with it!
- Forward aerial: An electrical corkscrew attack that can be used to gimp opponents. Pikachu’s got a great recovery, so it can afford to go off-stage and try to intercept its enemy.
- Glider (Back aerial): Also known as “the flying pizza”, Pikachu’s back aerial is a decent gimping tool that can drag opponents to the bottom blast zone. Be careful when using it, as you don’t want to self-destruct.
- Electric Screw (Down aerial): It can now meteor smash! Go off-stage and try to hit your amiibo with its sweetspot. For being a meteor smash, it’s really fast and strong. Put it to good use.
- Grab: In Ultimate, amiibo almost never grab. Pikachu is no exception. It doesn’t seem to have any confirmed throw combos, so if you happen to grab your amiibo (which you shouldn’t go out of your way to do), throw it towards the nearest blast zone.
- Thunder Jolt: If you don’t want to go off-stage, you can hassle recovering opponents with repeated Thunder Jolts. Or you could use it from afar to link into a neutral aerial!
- Skull Bash: Your go-to recovery if you get launched near the left or right blast zone. Other than that, don’t use this attack at all. It leaves you vulnerable.
- Quick Attack: An excellent recovery move! Just don’t use it as an attack. Pikachu was prone to spamming it in the previous title.
- Thunder: It’s fine to use this move every once in a while, but don’t go crazy. It isn’t something to prioritize.
In Smash 4, it was really easy to mess your amiibo up. But the AI is smarter and more resilient than ever in Ultimate, so don’t worry too much. Play timed or stock matches, whichever suits your fancy. If you want your amiibo to level up really quick, play a best of five (there’s a setting in the rules for this, so look for it) where each match is 3 minutes long. After the best of five is complete, your amiibo will be Level 40 in just 15 minutes (assuming you win all of the games).
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