A complete summary of Donkey Kong’s performance in Super Smash Bros. 4 can be found on the character’s information page. It includes strengths and weaknesses, AI quirks, and an archive of tournament representation and results.
Stats & Bonus Effects
Donkey Kong’s best equipment setup involves a strong focus on Attack and Defense (+100 Attack / +100 Defense / -80 Speed) at the cost of Speed. In terms of bonus effects, Improved launch ability, Lifesteal, and Improved escapability are essential.
Donkey Kong benefits from the Lightning Punch, Stubborn Headbutt, and Hot Slap custom moves. Lightning Punch boasts an increased charge time and less ending lag, Stubborn Headbutt adds super armor, and Hot Slap reduces startup.
An amiibo becomes strongest if it is mirror matched all the way to Level 50. This is done to teach the AI which moves to rely on; after reaching Level 50, it will use this training as a base and expand upon it with matchup experience. While training your amiibo, do not play aggressively or go off-stage; instead, remain grounded and keep the following moves in mind:
- Neutral options: jab, up tilt, and forward throw (Kong Karry). Donkey Kong’s jab is quite fast and can easily rack up damage on opponents with proper timing. You might notice during training that your DK only uses its cargo throw – this is a good thing, because it’s specifically its cargo throw that bypasses Improved escapability. When grabbing your amiibo, use a cargo down throw when close to the edge, and a cargo up throw when closer to the center of the stage.
- Main KO moves: forward smash, up smash and down smash. Donkey Kong’s smash attacks are slow and can get him punished, but are immensely powerful when used at the right time. Forward smash is best used when an opponent is about a character-length away from DK, up smash is most effective as an aerial punish, and down smash hits on both sides and can catch opponents by surprise. Make sure that you only use these attacks as KO moves, as they’re too slow to function as neutral options.
- Moves to avoid: neutral special (Giant Punch) and down special (Hand Slap). Although we did make a note to give your Donkey Kong amiibo these two custom moves, you should not use them during training. The reason we gave DK these moves is because he likes to randomly throw out attacks – and these two customs reduce the amount of time he is left vulnerable after using them.
- Situational moves: side special (Stubborn Headbutt). This move serves as an excellent shield-breaking move, but if an opponent dodges in time, Donkey Kong is left open to punishment. Use it as an occasional neutral option and you might get a lucky shield break!
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