Checking in on the amiibo metagame

It’s been a while since we’ve made one of these metagame analysis posts, but I thought now would be a good time to do so. There’s a pretty big announcement in this, so if the rest doesn’t interest you, please skip to the end!

Tier List

We finally have an official tier list! With the introduction of online Battle Arenas, we decided a tier list was more than necessary to keep up with the hype. However, much like we predicted, the tier list shuffles every week. A large portion of the high tier characters (Shulk, Little Mac, and Ness come to mind) are ranked that way due to a single trainer’s amiibo placing well in tournaments.

  • Shulk was an odd one for a while. Not enough people trained him to confirm if he was bad or good; that is, until Blank came back from his retirement and conquered the scene for a brief time with his Shulk amiibo NakedLad. Due to this new revelation in the character’s potential, he was given a higher placement on the list.
  • Ness is in a similar situation, carried to glory by none other than Super NES himself, Cloud’s Ness amiibo. Unlike Shulk, Ness had been well explored and we were well aware of the intricacies of his AI, but Cloud revolutionized the character’s training method with his Ness.
  • I may be a bit biased on this matter, but I believe Little Mac has shown the most promise of any of these three. Namely brought to glory by my own MACMACMAN, and assisted by MegaVGMaster’s KO King, Little Mac has shown an odd level of power. He has winning matchups with all four of the S-tiers, and no losing matchups with any of the A-tiers aside from King K. Rool (who has a devastatingly advantageous matchup against Little Mac). In fact, my own Little Mac was on a good track to place in the top four in the recent Clash of Chumps: On Air!, but lost both times to a King K. Rool, winding up in the 5th place tie.

These three up-and-comers have shown a high skill ceiling, but that doesn’t mean they’ve peaked just yet. Maybe this is your opportunity to shape the metagame! A more in-depth analysis of the tier list and each character’s placement will be available sometime soon.

Vanilla Metagame

The vanilla metagame is thriving at the moment! We’ve recently seen our first high-placing Kirby and Marth amiibo, while Pac-Man and Rosalina & Luma have claimed their first tournament wins. For the first time ever, there is an overabundance of characters that have a chance to win any given tournament. Needless to say, this metagame has come very far and has far yet to go. With so much to explore and no characters dominating the scene right now, the Spirits metagame has essentially been left in the dust. Which brings me to the important announcement.

Updates to the Spirits metagame’s ban list

Some believe this to be long overdue, some believe it to be unneeded, but it’s finally being decided. The following bonuses are now banned from the Spirits metagame:

  • Armor Knight
  • Great Autoheal
  • Autoheal

The following bonuses were already banned, and will remain banned.

These bonuses have strangulated the metagame and created a boring, defense-centered game that focuses more on recovery than actually playing the video game itself, so hopefully their removal will bring a breath of fresh air to the long since forgotten Spirits metagame. Alongside this, through a lot of testing that can be attributed almost entirely to Supernova, we have not found any bonus to amount to anywhere near the level of dominance these bonuses have shown. But, I’m not finished with the announcements.

A new metagame

In Super Smash Bros. 4, there were “two” metagames; equipment and vanilla (although very few trainers trained the latter). In this game mode however, we have been given more reach with the introduction of online amiibo battles, which creates the need for a more casual format. And so I introduce to you something we’ve already seen before: Unrestricted.

The “new” metagame, which will have no bans nor restrictions. This is the wild west of the amiibo game, and it is what we will use to interact with online players who are not aware of the “common” bans and restrictions. This will not be a very popular mode for tournaments, but we are making it an official format alongside Spirits to give new trainers and new tournaments hosts something to try out, as well as a more casual environment for new things to be tested Keep in mind that amiibo allowed in Spirits will also be allowed in Unrestricted, so there will always be people eligible to enter.


Please note that this update to the ban list does not invalidate wins with those bonuses prior to this change; just as wins with Super Armor were not invalidated after those bonuses were banned. All of the wins in question added up to these bans, and without them we would not be aware of the dominance these bonuses have shown. Yes, even the 4200 defense Great Autoheal Mii Gunner win counts. Yes, Cloud, we all still hate you.

That’s all the info I wanted to share today. Just some important announcements and recapping the previous months of amiibo training.


One thought on “Checking in on the amiibo metagame”

  1. Huh, so Armor Knight is finally banned. There goes all the Armor Knight + Move Speed sets out there that seemed to be the most balanced.

    Tis fine on my end, Grinding SP to catch it in Funky’s Shop has always been a big deal.

    Skills in general seem to be a smaller pool to begin with, with the only additional skill added was Item Autograb from the Phantom Thieves via DLC, but at least we’ll see more variety,

    Pretty sure Critical Healing will also get the boot sooner than later…

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