Of all the amiibo in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, none have remained as consistent a top-level threat from day one to now quite like Link. He’s the most frequently-entered character in tournaments for multiple reasons — if you collect amiibo in any capacity, chances are you’ve gotten your hands on one of the many figurines that will become Link when scanned into Smash. Still, if it were that simple, Mario would also be a frequent appearance, but Link’s power and versatility is what makes him so popular. Realistically, you can train your Link in any way and he’ll put up results. Multiple styles of Link have emerged, each with their own strengths and weaknesses; however, there is one style that has been regarded as the best for a very long time: the one I’m going to tell you abut today!
Link is a very versatile fighter. He has excellent projectiles, loads of firepower, gimping tools, a decent recovery, and useful throws. Balancing these traits is important for making your Link as strong as possible. Your FP should be a patient fighter who keeps its distance until it has the opponent off-stage, where its ledge trapping tools can net a KO (even at medium percentages). Due to his versatility, many of Link’s moves are “double-edged swords” that make him better in some matchups and worse in others, but there is a definitive “best training method” — admittedly, it shifts with time, but I will do my best to keep this guide up to date.
Link’s entire game plan is to passively wait for the enemy to mess up. This means he is excellent at dismantling opponents with linear game plans such as (but certainly not limited to) Lucina, King Dedede, Zelda, and Mii Swordfighter. By spamming projectiles from afar, he forces the foe to take damage or move in at an awkward angle that leaves them vulnerable. After his opponent is launched off-stage, Link can stay at the ledge and wait for them to recover; he can then invalidate their options with his variety of ledge-trapping tools. You should avoid running or jumping while training your Link, as both habits are detrimental to his playstyle.
Link has a limited number of viable Spirit setups in comparison to the rest of the cast. Super Armor doesn’t suit him well due to his average weight and recovery, while Autoheal doesn’t appeal since he has to get up close to finish off his enemy. In contrast, Armor Knight is scarily good on Link. He thrives on raw firepower and durability, and Armor Knight takes this to the extreme — especially when paired with Trade-Off Ability ↑.
Excluding the big five (which are banned from the Exion amiibo metagame), Link’s setups are pretty straightforward. Side Special ↑ makes his Boomerang even more overwhelming and is well worth the slot for its bonus damage. Hyper Smash Attacks and / or Weapon Attack ↑ will provide a bonus to Link’s kill power, which is even stronger when you consider how much damage his Boomerang will be racking up. The last spot is a bit difficult, and I would even say it’s worth running all three of the bonuses mentioned before rather than including anything else. Trade-Off Ability ↑ is a hard choice because the 30% starting damage is a big deal to Link; he would have to heavily lean into the Defense stat to make up for this trade-off. Regardless, if all goes according to plan, this third slot is just a formality, so pick whatever you’d like.
As for stat spreads, the optimal build varies depending on whether or not you used any trade-off Spirits. If you did, give your FP more Defense than Attack; otherwise, a balanced setup (2100 / 2100) works well with Link.
As with most characters, you’re going to want to mirror match your Link amiibo until it reaches Level 50. I recommend playing on Ω-form stages with either Stock or Timed rules. While fighting your FP, be sure to use the following moves as your primaries:
- Side special: The Boomerang is essential to Link’s neutral game. This projectile hurts. The more he throws this out, the more the opponent will get whacked before moving in. Throw a Boomerang, take a step forward, throw another, and repeat until the enemy is within slashing range.
- Up smash: This move is devastating, racking up damage and launching the victim upward. It can also catch any aerial assault: if the enemy is one that prefers to land with an air attack, they’re in for a rough time once they get thrown upward. This move, like all multi-hits, can get around opponent’s shields for free if they accidentally drop it too early. Don’t teach your FP to use its up smash unless the foe is directly above — it is easily punished in neutral.
- Forward smash: Link’s main killing move. Use this to ledge trap and punish approaches. It is important to note that Link will not use the second hit until he reaches Level 50 (the reason for this is unknown). As with up smash, forward smash works on shield if the enemy drops it too soon.
- Neutral aerial: Not many things carry over from the competitive metagame to the amiibo scene, but there is one consistent rule: a solid move is a solid move. Link’s neutral air pays the bills — it’s a fantastic landing option, great out of shield, good at gimping, and even a kill move! Use this as a “get out of jail free” card while training your amiibo and it’ll be sure to do the same.
- Neutral attack: Link’s jab is fast and strong, and should definitely be used when forward smash won’t be quick enough. When taught to play patiently, the AI will use its jab to disrupt any oncoming moves that their smash attacks would be too slow for.
The moves listed above are instrumental to every Link amiibo’s success, though there are few others that are worth looking into. Don’t use these too often, but do keep them in mind:
- Forward tilt: In the earlier days, this move single-handedly carried my Link amiibo to victory. It fell off as the metagame has developed, but is nonetheless a solid move that kills at a fair percentage. It’s just outclassed by his forward smash in almost every way.
- Dash attack: This is a decent burst option, and can catch an opponent off-guard as a ledge trapping option. I would avoid teaching it as a neutral tool, but it does have its uses, especially if you never run. If trained correctly, the FP will only “run” to initiate a dash attack.
- Forward aerial: This move is strange, because the AI uses it adeptly. Unfortunately, it occasionally uses it wrong and leaves itself vulnerable. It seems to think it combos out of Boomerang for some reason, which generally does not work. As long as you don’t jump too often, this issue shouldn’t cause much trouble.
The only truly bad move in Link’s kit is his Remote Bomb, but it does have its uses. I said before that a lot of Link’s moves are double-edged swords, and this one is the most tempting of them all. The moment the bomb comes out onto the stage, the FP turns into a fool. It will blow itself up, prioritize grabbing the bomb over hitting the enemy, and will sometimes toss the bomb downward and then use Spin Attack (I have my theories, but there’s no sensible reason this occurs). Link also uses some parts of the Remote Bombs correctly; he knows what direction the victim will be launched and combos them accordingly, and will sometimes throw a bomb to snipe recoveries from a distance. It’s impossible to prevent Link from pulling out bombs, but you can strongly mitigate the amount he pulls and the damage they do with a lot of time and care. My Link amiibo has a down special value of zero, and yet still pulls bombs — this indicates that the behavior is hard-coded. I have tried to lessen his bomb usage by fighting off-stage, dash dancing beneath the opponent, and training with items. Any time you hold the bomb or any other item, throw it away immediately. Do not go out of your way to pick up items or the bomb, or else your Link amiibo will mimic this. At the time of writing, we have no idea how to naturally lower a FP’s “item pickup” value.
If a move was not listed in this guide, its usage is not recommended, but isn’t advised against either. You can train your amiibo how you see fit, as slight deviations from the norm are not always bad and can sometimes even be game-changing!
Link is one of the most popular Figure Players for a reason: his strength, utility, and versatility are almost unrivaled. Link’s wiki page goes a bit more in-depth on his matchups and metagame position, if you’re interested in that. And if you have any questions that weren’t answered here, feel free to drop by our Discord server and ask — we’ll be happy to help! Thanks so much for reading, and until next time!
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