Tournament Training with PAC-MAN

The following is an archived post from the Amiibo Dojo. It has been uploaded to the Exion Vault for referential purposes and retains its original publication date; some of the post’s links may not function currently or exist at all.

Hey there guys! I’ve been busy lately. If you’re a regular visitor here, you probably know all about my amiibo tier list. It’s one of the most popular articles on the site – heck, it’s one of the most popular amiibo articles period. You probably also know about Amiibo Dan, who is currently the only person to run online amiibo tournaments. So far, there have been six amiibo tournaments, and my amiibo tier list has predicted the winner each time. The first Amiibo World Tournament was won by a Mario amiibo, who’s in the Very Strong tier. The second one, which was doubles, was won by another Mario and a Ganondorf amiibo (the latter of which is top-tier according to the list). My own Super NES (Ness is also top-tier according to my tier list) took the championship title of AWT #3. Another Ness and another Ganondorf emerged victorious in Amiibo World Tournament 4. A Rosalina & Luma amiibo (who, you guessed it, is also top-tier) earned the championship title of AWT5, while a Lucario (top tier!!) won the sixth iteration.

But I am tired of the amiibo tier list predicting the winners. I’m tired of seeing Little Mac. I’m tired of seeing Ness. I’m tired of seeing Ganondorf, Rosalina, Lucario, Charizard, Bowser. I’m tired of seeing top-tier amiibos emerge at the top. It’s becoming stale! The same amiibos are winning every time, and it’s just not fun to watch after a while. That’s why my goal as of late has been to defy my own tier list and win with a “bad” amiibo: Pac-Man.

Yup, you heard that right. I am entering one of the “worst” amiibo in the game, Pac-Man, into a future tournament. Which tournament he’s going to enter, I am not sure, but as soon as I’m given the opportunity, it’ll be his time to shine.

There’s this notion going around that Pac-Man is just a completely useless amiibo who can’t do anything right. That’s not true at all. But why do people think he’s terrible? Besides the fact that I literally used to say he was terrible, there are a few reasons. First, he apparently can’t use his Bonus Fruits correctly…however, all of the trainers who say this trained him incorrectly. He uses them well, but you need to train him a specific way. Second, his Fire Hydrant is a complete mess. The amiibo can’t detect where the Hydrant is positioned, and will usually become disoriented by the water spouts. Oh, and it cannot learn to send the hydrant flying with an attack. This is a real problem, but it’s nullified by giving him the Dire Hydrant custom move instead and refraining to use the move yourself.

Furthermore, “top-tier” amiibos like Bowser, Little Mac, Rosalina, and Shulk all rely on gimmicks to win. Bowser’s side special, Flying Slam, is his gimmick – it’s a quick, inescapable grab that’s pretty much unbeatable if used correctly. Little Mac’s gimmick is his incredible power and shield breaks, which allow him to exert a presence on the metagame that I almost consider to be toxic. Rosalina relies on her Luma to win – opponents who have never encountered Luma will be confused, giving her an edge. Besides that, she can essentially attack in two places at once, as well as escaping shield breaks thanks to the fact that Luma is unaffected by them. Shulk uses his counter and Monado Arts to gain an advantage in battle. But these guys aren’t the only top tiers that rely on gimmicks. There’s also Lucario, Marth, and Ness to an extent.

Pac-Man does not have any gimmicks at all. No counter, no kill throw, no command grab, no shield breaks. He’s a very down-to-earth character who needs to play amazing to do well in battle. Keeping a level head is the only thing that will allow him to win. He’s got some good tools, such as the aforementioned Bonus Fruits, as well as his Power Pellets, which give him super armor to brute force his way through attacks. But these tools are not nearly as powerful as the ones that top-tier amiibo possess. In addition to the problems with his special moves, as well as not having any gimmicks, his grab is awful. I consider it to be the worst grab in the entire game. It’s very slow, and while it has long range, if Pac-Man fails to grab a foe, he’s left vulnerable for what feels like ten years. It’s actually around one “Mississippi”, but that’s long enough for an opponent to charge and hit with a smash attack, which often spells doom for the yellow dot-muncher.

Yet, with all of that said, this is a replay of Pac-Man beating Little Mac, who is by far the best amiibo in the game thanks to his counter, incredible power, and shield breaking prowess. He won because he kept his cool and played great defense. He was able to get hits in at the right time and emerge victorious. This win alone proves that just because an amiibo starts off slow doesn’t mean they can’t be a champion. I’m hoping to get a tournament win with Pac-Man to prove this point even further.

So yup, that’s my tournament training so far. I am going to release a follow-up article in a few days that will explain the kind of training I’ve been putting Pac-Man through, and how you can turn him into a top tournament contender. Thanks for reading!


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