Happy 9th anniversary, Exion!

It’s nearly February 24, 2020 — and nine years ago, our community was born! Of course, we only recently found our footing as Exion; over the years, we went through many different names and iterations. If you’re a new reader and want to learn about some of our history, you’ve come to the right place! In the spirit of our ninth anniversary, I am going to outline our community and its past.

If you aren’t ready to read a massive wall of text, then I’ll leave you with this: thanks for sticking around for nine years. Things have been picking up for us, and I hope to see our community continue to grow and thrive. You, as viewers, are the most important part of our work, and I am very thankful for that!

(2020) Exion 9th Anniversary Mural

Here is a commemorative poster I have drawn especially for this occasion. It depicts characters, objects, and places that have been relevant in our community over the course of its history.

The Beginning

Our community was created on February 24, 2011. Given that amiibo training didn’t exist back then, it was actually focused on something different! The site (which started out as a message board) revolved around Super Mario Bros. X, a Super Mario fangame that allowed players to create and share their own levels. Super Mario Bros. X was released before Super Mario Maker was ever announced, so as you might expect, it was rather popular.

I created the site when I was twelve years old. I was really young, so you can imagine how poor management was! It was my first chance to lead a community and make rules of my own. Switch eventually joined and was quickly promoted to co-founder.

It was around this time that I began practicing digital art. I was really bad. If you don’t believe me, read The Quest of the Admins, my first-ever comic series. I also helped design the site’s appearance, which included shades of deep blue, deep green, and… deep orange. Needless to say, it didn’t look very good, and a good number of people found that offputting.

Despite all of our weaknesses, our community was a success! By 2013, we had accumulated almost 3,000 unique members. Running a community of several thousand was difficult, especially since I was so young, but this was made easier by the fact that only a hundred users or so were actually active.

The Merge

If you know what this is, you probably were not happy about it when it happened. In late 2013, I made the decision to merge my site with a rivaling Super Mario Bros. X forum. It was two different communities coming together as one, so it didn’t go very well. Most of our active members left, never to be seen again. I was a middle schooler at this point, so I didn’t realize this was a bad decision until a few months later.

Starting from scratch, I created my second site. This time, it wasn’t centered around anything in particular. It was just “Cloud’s New Forum“, or “CNF” for short. I couldn’t attract members with Super Mario Bros. X content anymore, so I made something that I thought was even more compelling: Cloud’s Forum Adventures. If you’ve read even one episode of CFA, you’d probably agree with me when I say the series isn’t very good. At the time of its release, CFA wasn’t too popular, which led to a lot of serials being cut short.

Eventually, CNF had a phishing mishap and the entire board was deleted. Its posts, messages, and images were all completely wiped. After this unfortunate occurrence, I tried to open up the original site, but it never gained traction. Things were not looking good: most of our old members were gone and we couldn’t keep any new ones. By 2015, I had essentially stopped running websites, and thought that my time managing them was over. That was not true.

A New Beginning

In late 2014, Super Smash Bros. was released on the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U systems. At the time, I had no idea these were going to be the games that brought our community back to life. Regardless, something else that came out around the same time as Super Smash Bros. were amiibo figures. There were figurines available for many different characters. Physically, they resembled a statue of the fighter. But their actual use was one that I found interesting: by scanning it into Super Smash Bros., you could train an AI to play the game! The AI would use the character represented by the figure, so it was important to buy the fighters you wanted to train. I found the concept of AI training fascinating, and began to study the best way to train the best amiibo. There was no information available anywhere online, and I was determined to be the first one to post something helpful.

I published my first training guide on reddit in early 2015. It was the first of its kind! Things escalated from there. I began updating my guide… and then making guides on each individual character… and then, in August 2015, I created the Amiibo Dojo, a “test” blog to store all of my writings. It succeeded, and quickly made a name for itself as a top-notch amiibo training resource.

Navigating a New Metagame

In January 2016, I won an important tournament with my Ness amiibo, securing credibility for the Amiibo Dojo and helping cement it as a credible resource. It was at this point that the Super Smash Bros. 4 amiibo metagame really began. People began hosting online tournaments (with the use of Amiibo Powersaves). Before long, a new subdivision of the Smash community was born. During the lifespan of the Smash 4 metagame, we worked hard to pump out reliable training guides for over sixty characters.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate was released on Nintendo Switch in late 2018. Our popularity exploded. New trainers flooded in from every which way looking to train their amiibo to be the strongest around. Once again, we worked hard to create training guides for many, many characters. In March 2019, Smash was updated to include official online support for amiibo figures. Our popularity exploded again. Now our training could be showcased online, giving players a greater incentive to raise a powerful amiibo.

We’ve been going strong ever since the release of Ultimate, and I think things will only get better from here! What I’ve provided here is just a brief summary of our community and its history. If you’d like to read more, I recommend you give the Community Wiki a look. In the meantime, I’m sure our community will continue to grow and change. Thank you all so much for sticking around for so long! If you’re new to the site, we appreciate you too! Feel free to join our Discord or follow our Twitter if you would like to get some more information.

Here’s to another nine years. For our tenth anniversary…  well, I have no idea what we’re going to do for our tenth anniversary. Ten years is a long time. Let’s just focus on nine for now.

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