I’ve had enough “Leaf is the hero” jokes to last me a lifetime, and yet I’m still looking forward to the Hero amiibo making his debut in the metagame. The Hero is a highly controversial character due to his many RNG-factors, and I have no doubt those factors will carry over into amiibo, and possibly be even more potent. I’m excited to write this one, so I’ll skip the formalities and get right into it.
Hero is a character that many people want banned from competitive play, due to his RNG nature, and leaving a lot of things up to luck. Very similar to Joker, we will not be able to train him to abuse these Wildcard mechanics, however we can 100% train him in a way that makes the most out of them.
The main argument against his Critical Smash attacks being an issue is that smash attacks are not often thrown out in neutral game, due to being easily shielded. In amiibo, no such thing exists – Smash attacks are thrown out often, and land fairly often as well, due to amiibo being unable to properly defend themselves. This means that Hero’s Smash attacks, which are already going to be potent, will have a chance to be even more so. How strong do I think they’ll be? Well, let’s look at some classic Forward Smash spamming sword amiibo – Link and Lucina come to mind, and both are very high tier characters with numerous tournament wins. There’s no doubt in my mind an F-smash spamming Hero will do well, but that’s not where his potential ends, not by any means.
The second biggest issue with Hero’s RNG is his Down Special – it pulls up four random spells from a long list that the Hero can choose from. In Human play, the downside is that the player must read and decide which one they want – meanwhile, the opponent has a chance to do the same. Well, not only will the opponent not be able to do so since amiibo can’t read – but the Hero amiibo will instantly know which one it wants! We have seen a glimpse of this via a spoofed Hero amiibo AI courtesy of Supernova, and the thought of this in tournament play is pretty terrifying to be honest.
So, there’s a few deciding factors to whether or not I think Hero will be the strongest amiibo in the game:
- Does he know he can’t recover without MP? Our closest comparison in this case would be the Robin amiibo, who will indeed avoid going offstage if he doesn’t have any charge left on his Elwind. Because of this, I am hopeful that Hero will be just as smart – which means training him offstage combat is also acceptable. The downside to this is, he will not keep track, and may burn all of his MP while onstage, and not have any left to recover in the case that he is knocked off – however, there are plenty of ways to avoid such a thing, that I’ll get into later.
- Does he use his side and neutral specials well, and does he know he can’t use them without MP? My current theory based on the CPU AI is, yes, he will use both of them exceedingly well, and potentially even their uncharged forms, however that one might be wishful thinking. As for the MP issue… we will have to wait and see, as that could be something that differs from amiibo to CPU.
- Does he use his Down Special smartly? It’s entirely possible that, while he uses Down B at insane speeds, he doesn’t know which ones to pick and might even pick the wrong ones fairly often, such as Kamikaze. For this, we will have to wait and see, however again the Level 9 CPU gives me hope in this regard.
Now that that list is out of the way, my work-around for the issue in #1 is fairly simple – just don’t train Hero to use a lot of specials. His sword will be enough to carry him to a high tier as is, and if using MP is a risk to his recovery, just don’t use it!
Now, on to his moves of interest.
Down Special – Do I really need to say anything here?
Forward Smash – This move is going to hard carry this amiibo and be the bane of any non-sword user. Heavily recommended.
Up Smash – See, I’m conflicted on this move. On one hand, amiibo like Palutena with a straight upwards Up smash tend to use it improperly, expecting it to hit on both sides. However, Hero’s doesn’t hit on one “side”, it just hits straight upwards. I’m iffy on what my predictions are for this move, but I can certainly say one thing – he won’t need it.
Down Air – I can’t say for sure if he will use this move properly, because Link doesn’t even know his spikes. If he can land the spike on this, that’s pretty sick, and Hero will have a lot of different potential fighting styles.
Alright, I’ve talked Hero up enough I probably don’t need to do this, but I’m going to anyways: Tier prediction.
Unless we get blindsided by an AI flaw, there’s no doubt in my mind Hero will be top 3 (S tier), and if he uses his whole special move kit properly he might even be the best amiibo in the game barring Bowser. What does this mean? Will we have to ban him if that’s the case? I literally have no idea and we’ll have to wait and see, but I for one welcome our RNG overlords.
Remember that these are my personal predictions, not official statements by Exion or the collective opinions of the amiibo community. Thanks so much for reading, and I’ll see you next time when I cover Banjo & Kazooie!