A complete summary of Young Link’s performance in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate 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 & Spirit Effects
Using a balanced spread (2100 / 2100) or a slightly offensive one (2400/1800) are both fine options that work well with Young Link. A fully defensive setup (0/4200) is not recommended at all, as the longer a match goes on the more likely Young Link is to lose a stock to his AI flaw.
Young Link’s most optimal setup is Armor Knight and Move Speed ↑. It increases its user’s attack and defense stat, which goes a long way in helping Young Link survive longer. His recovery is weakened a bit, but it doesn’t matter too much; the character will self-destruct with its recovery with or without this setup. Another option is Additional Midair Jump and Weapon Attack ↑. Additional Midair Jump completely negates Young Link’s AI flaw at the cost of providing no increases to his stats, making it less than worth it.
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.
Young Link is heavily restricted by the prevalence of off-stage play, and the character struggles against any opponent who is comfortable gimping him. His recovery is far from decent, his falling speed is rather high, and he often fails to recover even when no one is edgeguarding him; as a result, Young Link should be trained almost exclusively as an on- and above-stage fighter. Additionally, Young Link’s AI is incredibly spammy with projectiles, and has to avoid them at all costs. This means he has to rely on his quick, weak smash attacks to gain the edge, making him less than reliable.
- Neutral attack: Two sword swings followed by a solid jab or a flurry attack. Comes out fast and is a good interrupt for any situation.
- Forward tilt: Not as strong as Link’s due to its shorter range and decreased power, but it’s speed make it much better – this move should be used very often.
- Up tilt: Another fast overhead swing. Unlike Link’s up tilt, Young Link’s starts in front and ends around back. It’s fast and leads into many good options. Vital to the character’s success.
- Down tilt: This move spaces well and can combo into a forward aerial or up aerial. Use it sparingly, as he may begin to spam it.
- Dash attack: Notable startup, but not much ending lag. If the opponent is recovering high, a dash attack can catch them and net a cheap KO.
- Forward smash: A two-part attack with decent KO power. Be sure to attack with both hits. Prioritize it as the main kill move on the ground and punish any opening with it.
- Up smash: A good aerial punish with a decent bit of kill power. Use it to catch airborne opponents or catch off airdodges or rolling.
- Down smash: A knee-high swing that is best used as a ledge-trapping tool. Its speed and knockback are high enough to consider it for other situations as well, but don’t use it too frequently.
- Neutral aerial: One of Young Link’s most important melee attacks. It’s got considerable power and speed and even functions as a KO move at high percentages. A fast-falling neutral aerial is especially effective against Mii Gunner (one of the most successful amiibo in Ultimate).
- Forward aerial: It can be used to catch high recoveries, and shorthopped to great effect. This should be your primary kill move.
- Back aerial: Fairly strong and can be autocanceled to set up powerful combos. Can be used as a situational KO move, but it’s better for making space and racking up damage.
- Up aerial: A solid kill move that is disjointed enough to protect from opposing downward attacks. Use this move mostly as a combo finisher mostly, and a punish on airborne opponents infrequently.
- Down aerial: Not a good move to rely on due to its somewhat low speed and short hitbox. Avoid this one for the most part.
- Forward throw: A weak throw that doesn’t combo into anything. Use it to toss opponents off-stage.
- Back throw: Another fairly weak throw that doesn’t combo into much. Use it to toss opponents towards the edge.
- Up throw: Another weak throw that doesn’t do anything notable. Forward and back throws are generally the better options.
- Down throw: A simple combo throw that only leads into a few potential options. One of Young Link’s most useful throws (although that isn’t saying very much).
- Neutral special (Fire Arrow): Do not use these, the amiibo will spam any projectile you teach it even when the move is easily punished and ineffective.
- Side special (Boomerang): Same issue as the Fire Arrows, however you can actually get away with this one a bit, as it comes back and can protect the amiibo to an extent.
- Up special (Spin Attack): Very weak knockback that doesn’t KO until higher percentages. It can be used out of shield, but should generally be relegated to recovery purposes only.
- Down special (Bomb): Not good to teach as the amiibo will spam them. He will hold bombs too long and blow himself up, hit himself with explosions, and generally just make a mess with this move. Try to avoid it.
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