Wow, a month has already flown by and the amiibo community is thriving! Over 600 members in our Discord server, regular tournaments and an all-around great group of people working on developing the meta. We’ve seen so many different sides of Ultimate: between the updated AI and the changes in character strength from 4 to Ultimate, those of us on the “Unofficial Research Team” have been working extra hard to answer the questions piling up about this unfamiliar territory. So let’s not waste any time and get right into the thick of things, beginning with the question we get the most.
This is the topic we get asked about the most, whether it’s on Discord or Reddit or Twitter, and sadly it’s the topic we have the least concrete knowledge about. To put it lightly, we were left in the dark as to what these personalities actually do. However, after a month of pattern recognition we can safely make a few statements on our findings.
First thing is what each personality does, and to that end I have to say, we haven’t actually seen every personality naturally. We have barely any data on quite a few. The reason for this may be that these personalities are extremes of certain characteristics and, as a result, are hard to get naturally. Here is our findings for the personalities we’ve come across enough to take semi-decent notes.
Normal: Seemingly regular AI, very generalist. Will fight off stage and/or in the air but doesn’t intentionally go to either unless taught to.
Cautious: No recorded data. Notable defensive.
Realistic: No recorded data. Notably defensive.
Unflappable: This is probably the most defensive personality that we have. Stays grounded most of the time and shields a LOT. Mostly tries to kill with throws, doesn’t tend to like smash attacks.
Light: A very aerial personality. Amiibo with this personality will prefer their aerials to most other moves. Likes throws so they can get the opponent into the air. Most of the time will also KO with an aerial.
Quick: This personality never seems to stop moving, whether it’s running at your from across the stage to dash attack, jumping up to you for an Up-Air, or dashdancing beneath you, waiting for an opening to attack, this amiibo hates standing still.
Lightning Fast: No recorded data.
Enthusiastic: As the name implies this personality wants to fight. Whether you train it to be reactive or proactive, this amiibo is following the opponent everywhere, whether its in the air or off stage, on ground, doesn’t matter. Some enthusiastic amiibo taunt every time they get a moment to breathe, some never taunt.
Aggressive: Aggressive is always attacking. A good example of the two sides of this can be displayed through Samus; an aggressive Samus can either be running up to you and hitting you with her melee or sitting in a corner spamming missiles. Either way; they’re always attacking.
Offensive: No recorded data. Notably offensive (obviously).
Reckless: Possibly the only personality we don’t recommend, this personality is very aggressive. It will chase farther offstage than it’s zone of comfort, resulting in SDs or punishes. However, this can catch an opponent seriously off guard when it works out, as the enemy will have the choice of recovering and possibly getting gimped or hitting your amiibo away and dying as a result. Loves to taunt.
Thrill Seeker: A more toned down version of Reckless, this amiibo loves to chase off stage and taunt. This personality is very fun to watch and can do some nasty gimps/spikes.
Daredevil: This personality is not afraid to die if it means bringing you with it. It will chase to the edge of the blast zone and back, depending on the character survive, and taunt 3 times. Unlike Reckless, they seem to only do things like this for spike KOs and not just gimps.
Versatile: No recorded data.
Technician: No recorded data.
Show-Off: No recorded data. We expect this to be a more extreme version of Flashy, with more style KOs.
Flashy: Tends to prefer style KO’s (like Falcon Punches or spikes) and taunt many times in a row.
Entertainer: No recorded data. We expect this to be a more extreme version of Flashy, with more taunts.
Cool: Prefer to be grounded but will follow into the air for a kill confirm/combo, and will jump off stage for a spike, but prefer safe gimp options if they have it. Appears to be a lot like Logical, with less projectile spam and more Style KOs.
Logical: A very defensive, projectile-based personality that loves to keep it’s feet on the ground for anything other than combos or kill confirms.
Sly: Tends to punish with grab/command grabs and use projectiles.
Laid Back: Doesn’t seem to go for crazy combos or offstage combat, might hit a spike once in awhile. Very reactive and passive, pretty projectile based.
Wild: Chases all over the place using projectiles and kill moves. Will follow in the air or off stage. Taunts often.
Lively: A toned down version of Wild but with the same concept, chasing with projectiles and kill moves and taunts from time to time.
That is all of our findings on specific personalities that remain consistent among multiple trainers. A more in depth guide and perhaps even a guide on how to obtain them will come to fruition much later, as even the information here is based on speculation and anecdotal evidence. As you can imagine with many different personal experiences it is hard to consolidate a good summary of any one personality.
In terms of what a personality affects, the answer isn’t too clear. Each personality has it’s own “default AI” that the amiibo will fall back onto when it hasn’t been taught what to do in a certain situation. The default personalities reflect what has been displayed above, but are different for every character. Needless to say, there’s a lot of layers to these personalities we have to uncover.
Personalities gained naturally just tell you which default AI the amiibo will use, and a general summary of how you have trained your amiibo in comparison to others.
A common question asked to us is what the Learning On/Off button actually does. The simple answer is that we aren’t sure. The description given in the menu is just vague enough that it may or may not be correct. When Learning is off, amiibo personality will not change and they will not learn to use new moves. However, a notable portion of our trainers, myself included, believe that amiibo will still learn to adapt to an opponent with Learning Off, resulting in Game 2 and 3 of a set being less clumsy than the games prior. However, without a confirmation from Nintendo or a general consensus from the majority of trainers, this one will remain up in the air.
Early Glance at the Meta
The meta in this game seems to be much different from the previous title, as should be expected. Air combat is entirely more optimal, to the point where being grounded could be seen as a weakness. We’ve had many more tournaments in Vanilla than Spirits, but we’ve dipped our feet into both to make a few brief observations.
Vanilla: Vanilla is all Link right now. 4/9 Vanilla Tournaments on record have been won by a Link amiibo (Clash of Chumps 1, Vanilla Surprise 1&2, and Amiibo Action 3), with Link finishing top 4 in all but one (Clash of Chumps 2) However, don’t let that discourage you. There are still some amiibo who have yet to see entry into a Vanilla tournament, namely Luigi, Lucario, Megaman, Wii Fit Trainer, and a handful of others. And, he is certainly far from untouchable. Amiibo such as Zelda, Olimar, Samus, and Marcina seem to be bad matchups for him, with only Olimar out of that list looking to be top tier. The main reason for Link’s dominance of Vanilla can mostly be chalked up to how almost every other amiibo who we expect to be high tier having a bad matchup against him. Bowser has historically been weak to Link, Marcina have fallen off quite a bit, Yoshi and Isabelle are too light for his smash attacks, and Ganondorf has currently lost 7 out of 7 matches against Link.
However, with all that said, there have only been 9 Vanilla tournaments on record, and some characters have yet to be entered more than once. Link seems strong right now, but with proper training to your amiibo and perhaps new faces coming along to shake things up, Link’s dominance will likely not last forever (However it would be surprising to see him ever anything lower than S tier.)
Aside from Link, the top tiers for this format look to be Link, Olimar, Yoshi, Ganondorf, and Bowser.
Spirits: On paper this format seems dominated by heavyweights; namely Bowser. But the real situation with Spirits can be summed up with one bonus: “Slow Super Armor.” This bonus is eating the format alive, knocking all competition out of the way. However, much like Link in Vanilla, it has lost before. It can be run with Improved Escapability to sort of negate a weakness to Grabs, or you could just run Regular Super Armor, negating the weakened recovery and speed. Much like Link, we’re waiting on something to come along and be a consistent counter for Slow Super Armor, and when it does, the format will shake beautifully.
As this was typed (Two days before the planned release date of this post), Slow and Regular Super Armor are under heavy criticism and have potential to be banned or restricted. A separate post will be made anywhere from hours to days after this one is uploaded detailing the decision.
Without taking individual bonuses into account, this format seems to have a similar top tier list. Link, Bowser, Ganondorf, and Yoshi are by far the top dogs as of now, however the future is uncertain for these 4 in either format, with new arrivals and amiibo who are prepared to handle their kit being inevitable. If not for the ban due to a glitched multiplier, Olimar would most likely be here too, however we will have to wait for a patch to know for sure.
Link: Link is running the amiibo game as of right now, namely Vanilla but also doing well in Spirits. With a kit containing no useless moves, being playable in every fighting style, and already 5 total tournament wins under his belt, Link looks ready to stay S tier for a long time.
Ness: A real heartbreak to the Dojo’s founder, Cloud, Ness has dropped off in performance massively since 4. With not liking grabs as much as in 4, and being unable to intentionally use PK Thunder 2, among a few other issues, Ness just isn’t the dominant force he used to be. Perhaps his code will be cracked soon and “The Perfect Ness” will arise soon, however as of right now it does not look good for our mascot.
Bowser: Another double-top tier placement, Bowser has been impressing everyone in Spirits, and far from disappointing in Vanilla considering the top dog is a bad matchup for him as of right now. Bowser has stayed relatively the same since 4 in terms of placement on the tier list, however now he uses much more of his kit and his AI seems generally improved.
Little Mac: The addition of dominant air and offstage game was not kind to Little Mac. Unlike 4 where his insane damage output forced us to put a cap on his attack stat, it seems he won’t need such restrictions now, as he seems nowhere near as broken in this much more offense-friendly meta. But don’t write him off yet, there’s still much experimenting to do.
Yoshi: Perhaps the best example of a rags to riches story we have, Yoshi has done the exact opposite of Ness. Currently, Yoshi is a consistent top 4 in our Vanilla and Spirits tournaments. Since winning Clash of Chumps 2, Yoshi has been someone everyone’s eyes are on, and he does not disappoint. Aside from a weakness to sword users, he seems to consistently give any amiibo a run for their money and, more often than not, a loss.
Early Speculation of Newcomers
In this final section we will discuss the Elite Trainer’s predictions for new amiibo coming soon, starting with the ones we’re most excited for.
Ice Climbers: Since Ness’ falling off, Cloud has already declared he will Amiibo Main the duo. I have to admit, their AI is already so fun to play against that training them makes me very hopeful, however some are more pessimistic. Stay strong, Icy mains!
King K. Rool: Tormenting the lower players online, King K. Rool’s moveset looks promising for amiibo. It seems generally agreed upon he will be relatively high tier, perhaps not S but some degree of high tier seems fair to estimate.
Piranha Plant: Plant Gang rise up! We don’t have enough hard data on the character to make fair assumptions on his tier placement, but my fellow Plant Gang Members and I can enter only Piranha Plants and he has to win eventually!
That’s the majority of our findings summed up! I hope this information is enough to sustain you all until the next group of guides are released or we find more to share with you all. I and my companions will make sure to put any findings on here so you call can stay clued in to the quirks of amiibo in Smash Ultimate!
While I have you here, I’d like to announce here what has already been announced in our discord; the third Clash of Chumps, which I have been given permission to host. The expected date is somewhere along the line of late January to early February, so get your amiibo ready! There will be a Vanilla Tournament followed up with a Spirits Tournament, so nobody gets left out of this one! I can’t wait to see you all there, these are gonna be the biggest tournaments yet, so hopefully the roster will be diverse!
Special thanks to Cloud for editing even though I wrote this before asking, and thanks to every single one of the Elite Trainers for helping me gather the info for this update. I couldn’t have done it without any of you <3