Before all you seasoned trainers start calling me out, allow me to clarify: yes, that title is a lie. To those of you just getting into amiibo training… you have my sympathy. Say hello to Bayonetta, the worst Figure Player in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Compared to her appearance in the previous title, Bayonetta has been nerfed beyond salvation. I’m not exaggerating when I say she is complete and utter garbage; after all, she sits at the very bottom of our tier list for good reason.
Competitive Smash players might recall Bayonetta’s reign of terror in Super Smash Bros. 4’s late metagame. Powerful moves, ladder combos, Witch Time… she was so strong that some countries even banned her from competitive play! As a result, Bayonetta was significantly nerfed for her appearance in Ultimate. Though she’s a solid mid-tier in competitive play, these nerfs have dropped her to last place on our community tier list.
If you enter a tournament with Bayonetta, congratulations: you’ve got guts. She’s riddled with a number of critical flaws that come together to make victory almost impossible. Perhaps most severe is Bayonetta’s AI, which cannot properly recover and often self-destructs at low percentages. You’re supposed to use Witch Twist, your double jump, and then a second Witch Twist, but the AI often uses one Witch Twist before falling to its death. The rest of Bayonetta’s problems are rather self-explanatory; her moveset is slow, she can’t kill, she’s light, she has bad matchups, and her AI rarely uses its combos correctly. Simply put, Bayonetta is a mess.
This is usually the part where I write a positive takeaway on the character, but …no, not today. Anything Bayonetta can do, another fighter can do better. It’s possible she has yet to be optimized, but for now, her flaws are too crippling to overlook. By all means, though, if you’ve managed to get your hands on a Bayonetta amiibo, give this training a shot. Her wiki page includes a bit more information, if you’re interested in reading it.
If you’d like to equip your amiibo with a Spirit team, I recommend doing so at Level 1 — before you start training it. If your Bayonetta is already Level 50, feel free to equip it with stats and bonuses anyway. You can then utilize our training tips below to hone its skills (or, in the case of Bayonetta, lack thereof).
At this point in time, there is no definitive Spirit setup for Bayonetta. You can’t go wrong with Armor Knight and Trade-Off Ability ↑, though; since Bayonetta’s AI tends to self-destruct when recovering, she should stay on stage at all times, and some extra Defense certainly wouldn’t hurt.
Other options include Instadrop, Physical Attack ↑, Air Attack ↑, and Weapon Attack ↑. In terms of stat spreads, don’t worry about them too much. A balanced (2100 / 2100) or more defensive one (1000 / 3200) would work just fine. I briefly mentioned this earlier, but Bayonetta is rather underrepresented due to her awful win rate, so her optimal Spirit build has yet to be determined.
Normally, I’d tell you to mirror match your Bayonetta to Level 50, but the AI barely understands its character as-is. Playing against the Figure Player as Bayonetta would be best, but if you can’t do that, don’t sweat it. I’d also recommend toning down your expectations: the FP cannot learn to use its combos (save for extremely rare and unpredictable scenarios).
Heel Slide is thought to be Bayonetta’s strongest neutral option. Opposing FPs might block it, but they can’t always punish its ending lag in time, making it a rather low-risk maneuver. It’s also a combo starter, as it can lead to an up tilt → Witch Twist → After Burner Kick → reverse After Burner Kick → back air string. If we’re being honest, you’d be lucky if the AI makes it to the first Witch Twist. If you can pull off this combo, do so, but don’t be disappointed if the FP doesn’t pick up on it right away. Jab and forward tilt are decent options as well, but both are rather slow and can be intercepted by faster moves. Grabs won’t help, either, as Bayonetta’s range is short and her throws don’t go anywhere until high percentages.
KOing opponents is very difficult for Bayonetta. Her smash attacks, while long-ranged, are slow and easy to dodge. If used to often, the opponent will adapt and punish with a smash attack of their own; given Bayonetta’s light weight, this could easily spell doom for her in a pinch. Use smash attacks to KO, but use them carefully, as their power decreases when overused. Back aerials should be rotated as well, though its short range makes connecting the move tough. Witch Time is another option that can slow down its victims; it’s actually good to use every once in a while, though the AI often overcharges a smash attack and wastes its chance.
Bayonetta can gimp recovering opponents, but her opportunities to do so are limited. Bullet Climax can KO enemies close to the blast zone; when using it, charge them and then release the button and the move will have additional knockback. Down smash can catch high recoveries, though this doesn’t always work and sometimes leaves her vulnerable instead.
“Wrapping up already?“, you might be thinking, and that’s understandable. Bayonetta doesn’t have many options, as absolutely all of them are outclassed. What’s left is a character that excels at nothing. Some would argue Bayonetta is where she deserves to be – bottom-tier – and it seems it’s going to stay that way for quite some time. Even if Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’s developers read this post and fix her recovery problems, her moveset is still too sluggish to contend against top-tiers like Ness and Incineroar. Once again, I have written a wiki page that describes Bayonetta’s position in the Exion amiibo metagame, so feel free to check that out if you’ve got the time. If you have any more questions (or complaints), feel free to join our Discord server and ask away! Thanks to MiDe, fammydamammy, Spike, and Rise for helping out with information. Happy training, and until next time!
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