Little Mac is rather notorious within the community; in the previous title, he was the only character who was fully banned from competitive play. In the late Smash 4 amiibo metagame, he was allowed back in under heavy restrictions. Although Little Mac has been buffed in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, he is not the powerful force he used to be.
Changes from Super Smash Bros. 4
Little Mac has been notably buffed from Smash 4; being able to use both his side and up specials to recover has made him much more difficult to KO and the AI now understands how to use its KO Uppercut. His raw power combined with super armor on his smash attacks makes him a strong contender on the ground. Unfortunately, Little Mac is held back by the introduction of off-stage play; opponents will now try to gimp him and are almost always successful in doing so. Although Little Mac himself was directly buffed, the mechanics of Ultimate were not kind to him.
Stats & Spirit Effects
Little Mac is rather unorthodox when it comes to Spirit spreads. There is no specific setup that works perfectly on him; instead, he is a versatile character who can run several different setups.
Armor Knight and Move Speed ↑ bolsters Little Mac’s strong ground game, but worsens his recovery to the point where he gains barely any vertical height. Instadrop is another option that goes against the character’s grounded playstyle; however, it does help him get out of the air and also true combos into KO Uppercut at all percentages.
Other options include Impact Run, Fist Attack ↑, Physical Attack ↑, and Hyper Smash Attacks. These three bonuses can be used interchangeably for a powerful juggernaut setup.
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.
It is fairly obvious, but Little Mac benefits most from an aggressive grounded playstyle. Since his smash attacks have super armor, they are safe to use as long as Little Mac is not within grab range. His off-stage play is nonexistent, so do not attempt to gimp opponents with his weak aerials. Here is a complete breakdown of Little Mac’s moveset and which attacks to focus on during training.
- Neutral attack: A string of punches that can be extended into a flurry attack. One of the fastest attacks in the game, coming out almost instantly.
- Forward tilt: A two-hit combo that KOs at about 100% depending on the opponent’s weight. A solid neutral option.
- Up tilt: It can juggle, combo out of down throws at low percentages, and punish rolls or air dodges. Good to use frequently.
- Down tilt: A crouching punch that doesn’t combo into anything. Not very useful.
- Dash attack: One of the fastest dash attacks in the game. It has decent range and KO potential. Should be used frequently, as few opponents will be able to react to it in time.
- Neutral aerial (Weak Jab): Small range, but very fast. Its short ending lag can help break Little Mac out of combos. When knocked in the air, throw out a neutral aerial to avoid being juggled.
- Forward aerial: Useless. It’s a slow forward aerial that deals a pitiful 5%. Avoid it.
- Back aerial: Also useless. Deals 6%,and accomplishes nothing.
- Up aerial: Very fast, but horribly weak and should not be used.
- Down aerial: A meteor smash with poor range, damage, and knockback. Not worth using.
- Neutral special (Straight Lunge / KO Uppercut): Straight Lunge has immense ending lag and should be avoided as a result. When your KO Meter has become full, unleash a KO Uppercut and the AI will pick up on it very quickly.
- Side special (Jolt Haymaker): Best used as a recovery option, as using it on-stage leaves too much potential for a self-destruct. The AI knows how to recover with it without being taught.
- Up special (Rising Uppercut): Recovery purposes only. Don’t use it out of shield, don’t use it at all. Just to recover.
- Down special (Slip Counter): Do not use this move at all. Amiibo do not use counters properly and they will get punished for them heavily.
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