Inkling was the first newcomer announced for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and appeared in its initial reveal trailer. Hailing from the popular Splatoon series, Inkling (alongside Incineroar) is one of the most recent characters in Ultimate. In competitive play, Inkling is considered a high-tier fighter; unfortunately, the amiibo metagame tells a different story. Inkling is fairly difficult to raise, and at the time of writing, has had below-average results and representation.
Inkling is a combo-based character with fast attacks and powerful finishers. Its moveset revolves around is bolstered by ink, which can run out over time. Inkling can refill its ink tank by shielding and pressing the special move button. Some of its attacks — namely Splattershot and Splat Roller – cover enemies in ink. Ink-covered opponents take more damage and may move more slowly. Among other strengths, Inkling has a great recovery, strong KO options, a potent aerial game, and a respectable comboing ability.
On paper, Inkling seems like a great amiibo, but its AI does not agree. For one, it overuses its Splat Roller and often walks directly off-stage with it to its death; the AI also fails to consistently replenish its ink and will only do so on rare occasions. Without ink, many of Inkling’s attacks become less effective; these include its neutral attack, forward smash, up smash, down smash, forward throw, Splattershot, Splat Roller, and Splat Bomb. This crippling flaw results in a weaker moveset that often struggles to KO enemies (especially heavyweights); as a result, Inkling has had poor tournament results.
Stats & Spirit Effects
At the time of writing, a vast majority of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate amiibo tournaments have enacted a blanket ban on Spirits. Within only a few months of the game’s release, competitions that allowed Spirits became stale; this is because almost every entry utilized heavily defensive Spirits and stats. For more information, check the Spirits & Equipment page.
Armor Knight and Move Speed ↑ is always a safe option. Inkling can afford to run a damage buff over Move Speed ↑ thanks to its excellent recovery. Other options include Weapon Attack ↑, Air Attack ↑, and Toss & Meteor. One of these effects should be used in conjunction with Armor Knight for the best possible result.
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.
Inkling benefits from one of two playstyles; the first option is to try and teach it to rely on its ink attacks (neutral attack, forward smash, and down smash, among others), but this risks the amiibo being left helpless until it decides to replenish its ink tank. The second option is to teach it to rely on moves that do not require ink (specifically its aerials). Either option works, but the choice comes down to your personal preference as a trainer.
- Neutral attack: Inkling’s rapid jab can be useful for racking up damage at low percentages. It also covers opponents in ink. When your ink tank is full, use neutral attack rather frequently.
- Forward tilt: Average knockback and speed. It’s outclassed by Inkling’s other neutral tools.
- Up tilt: It can launch opponents into the air and lead into an up aerial or up smash. Use it against aerial enemies to keep them airborne.
- Down tilt: This move is vastly overshadowed by other parts of Inkling’s kit. Anything down tilt can do is done better by another move.
- Dash attack: A fast attack that is best used as a mix-up. Use it somewhat infrequently.
- Forward smash (Inkbrush): With a full ink tank, it’s Inkling’s best grounded kill move. Keep in mind that the AI has trouble replenishing its ink; teach it to KO with forward smash but have it rely on aerials as well.
- Up smash (Blaster): A strong aerial punish that covers opponents in ink. Also serves as a powerful kill move.
- Down smash (Slosher): The AI will learn to spam its down smash if you aren’t careful, so use it infrequently. The first hit is rather strong, so try to connect that part.
- Neutral aerial: Inkling’s fastest aerial. It can be used after a down throw or as part of an aerial combo.
- Forward aerial: A solid gimping tool. It can also be used after a down throw and serves as a reliable kill move at higher percentages.
- Back aerial: Essentially a faster version of forward aerial. Can be used as an edgeguard or a situational kill move.
- Up aerial: Great for juggling opponents in the air. It can be used after an up throw at low percentages to rack up damage.
- Down aerial: A great edgeguarding tool that can be used to get early kills. Only use it off-stage.
- Forward throw: It’s much stronger with ink available and can also lead into a dash attack at lower percentages. Decent neutral option.
- Back throw: A surprisingly decent kill throw that can KO enemies at the edge. Use it as a situational last-resort tactic.
- Up throw: It can combo into a neutral or up aerial at low to medium percents. Use it often to rack up damage.
- Down throw: It can combo into a forward or down tilt at low percents. Up throw is generally a bit more useful for combos.
- Neutral special (Splattershot): Doesn’t have much hitstun, so it should be avoided. It also wastes ink and doesn’t accomplish much.
- Side special (Splat Roller): Only use it to recover, as the AI often runs straight off the stage with it.
- Up special (Super Jump): Recovery purposes only, as the amiibo may learn to use it as an on-stage attack otherwise.
- Down special (Splat Bomb): Splat Bomb is an alternative gimping tool that can be used from the comfort of the stage. However, it uses a lot of ink and therefore should not be used repeatedly.
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