Welcome to the Little Mac training guide for Smash Ultimate! The powerhouse returns, and while he’s not as overpowered as he was in 4, those fists still pack a punch and that means you can’t ever count him out!
Changes from Super Smash Bros. 4
Little Mac as a fighter and an amiibo has gotten notably better since the previous title; being able to use his Side Special and his Up Special to recover has made him so much harder to kill, and his AI seems to understand the KO Punch naturally now. Considering his insane power in 4, this should mean he is even more dominant, right? Well, my friend who hasn’t kept up with the current metagame, amiibo actually fight in the air and offstage now! This makes him incredibly weaker in terms of character vs character; also take into consideration that giving him Attack stats doesn’t make him an unstoppable Forward Smashing machine and… he doesn’t keep up with the changes to the metagame.
This doesn’t mean he’s not a considerable fighter, however! Little Mac’s raw power paired with an upgraded AI puts him at a very strong position even without any air or offstage game. The super armor on his wicked powerful smash attacks will make even the heavyweights worried. The new ability to hold fully charged smash attacks is absolutely devastating with fists as powerful as Mac’s, and his AI knows he has super armor, so he feels more than confident charging a smash attack in an opponent’s face.
When it comes to playstyle, Little Mac has not changed much at all. Aside from ledge-trapping and anti-air combat, you’re still playing him like a C-stick on legs.
Spirit Stats & Effects
Little Mac’s spirit setup is where things get odd. There’s no one setup that is just perfect for him, but almost everything could work. AKS (Armor Knight + Speed Up) is always good, but it makes his already bad recovery worse, meaning he will have next to zero vertical recovery. Instadrop, another common mention here, is a great setup for getting out of the air, and to make it sweeter, it true combos into KO Punch at almost all percents – and your Little Mac knows this.
Another setup that I personally like, brought to my attention by MegaVGmaster, is what I like to call “All Out”. Instead of trying to patch up Little Mac’s weaknesses, just play his strengths hard. Running Fist Attack, Physical Attack, and Hyper Smash creates this terrifying setup that has actually done well in the past. My personal twist on it, which has also placed well but not as consistently is to replace one of those bonuses with Crash Run.
- Neutral Attack: A string of punches that can also be a flurry attack. This is one of the fastest attacks in the game, coming out practically instantaneously.
- Forward Tilt: A two-hit combo that can KO at about 100% depending on the character (assuming you land the second hit.)
- Up Tilt: Mac swings his fist over his head, covering his entire body. This move can juggle, combo out of down throws at low percents, and punish any rolls or air dodges.
- Down Tilt: A crouching punch that doesn’t combo into anything anymore. Not a very useful move to teach your amiibo.
- Dash Attack: One of the fastest dash attacks in the game, this dash attack has decently long range and KO potential. Little Mac is one of the few amiibo whose dash attack is a must; very few amiibo will have the reaction time to deal with this move consistently.
- Forward Smash: About half of your arsenal is this move. Arc it downwards for damage and shield breaking. Upwards and Forwards are better for KOing, and while Upwards is better on light characters it’s more useful to teach the forward variant as their priority.
- Up Smash: A powerful uppercut. This is much better to teach him than the upwards-arced forward smash, as he will use these two moves in different situations. This is your laggiest ground move, however, so be sparing in it’s use.
- Down Smash: A spinning sweep with his fist. This is your best edgeguarding and ledge trapping tool. Be sparing in it’s use, however, or your Little Mac will start to prefer it over his much better forward smash.
- Neutral Air: Little range, but excessively fast. This is the only aerial you should teach your amiibo. It has little ending lag and can break combos. When knocked in the air, throw this move out if he is juggling you with up tilt or if he is in hitting range for any other reason and try to get back to the ground.
- Forward Air: A hook that can semi spike, but pitifully low damage.
- Back Air: A slightly faster and stronger version of the Forward Air; still not worth using.
- Down Air: A meteor smash with poor range, damage, and knockback, but impressive speed. Still not worth using; if your Little Mac learns this move can meteor smash he will attempt spikes and get himself killed.
- Throws: Little Mac’s throws are bad. Little to no combo potential and knockback, your best bet is to just teach him back throw as a possible KO option and down throw to lead into Up tilt juggle at low percents.
- Straight Lunge (Neutral Special): Little Mac charges up and launches himself. Surprisingly, this is a good move, as the amiibo don’t seem that good at preparing for it, however it’s immense end lag will get punished hard.
- KO Punch: Little Mac’s AI has severely improved in terms of using KO Punches. He will still forget to use it sometimes, but in comparison to the previous title it’s a relief to see him land it fairly consistently. Any time you get your KO Punch make sure to use it on him, but stay away from the edge when doing so.
- Jolt Haymaker (Side Special): An overhanded superman punch. This move is best used as a recovery option; using it on stage leaves too much potential for a self-destruct. He will automatically know how to use it for recovering, so you don’t need to worry about teaching that.
- Rising Uppercut (Up Special): A rising flurry of fists. This move should also remain as a recovery tool and not much more.
- Slip Counter (Down Special): Counters are severely nerfed in this game’s amiibo meta; the AI does not use them as consistently. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t teach it. Punish every now and then with this move, but in the long run your amiibo will get more value from learning to parry than countering.
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