Rest assured, it isn’t that difficult. Before we begin, let’s address the elephant in the room: Incineroar is currently banned from the Exion amiibo metagame, and it’s unlikely this restriction will be lifted anytime soon. “So why write a guide, then?”, you might be thinking. Well, we need guides on every fighter, even if said fighter cannot be used in tournaments. If you’re looking to train an Incineroar that can beat up your friends, though, you’ve come to the right place!
By all accounts, Incineroar is the strongest character in the game (save for Bowser, of course). In competitive matches between humans, Incineroar isn’t that strong; its moves are slow and predictable and its recovery is rather poor. Why, then, does being controlled by an AI make it top-tier? The answer is simple: opposing Figure Players (and, therefore, the AI in general) cannot properly respond to several of Incineroar’s moves.
There’s one offender in particular here: its side special, Alolan Whip. There’s no other way to describe it: Incineroar’s AI uses this move perfectly. It extends Alolan Whip into its full lariat form each and every time, but with a few exceptions. If Incineroar is close to the top blast zone, it will toss the enemy upward; if it is off-stage, it will fail the move on purpose so the opponent falls and can be gimped with a down aerial. Incineroar is really smart with its side special, and the fact that it deals so much damage sends this character over the top. Literally.
Incineroar doesn’t struggle with too many flaws. Yes, its moves are slow, and yes, its recovery is unreliable, but these issues don’t cut too deep. The AI occasionally uses Cross Chop and then Alolan Whip to recover, which sends it under the stage and to its death; that being said, Cross Chop can meteor smash a cheeky opponent who tries to intercept. If you’d like more information on Incineroar, we’ve got it: take a look at its wiki page and its official ban announcement.
If you’re looking to equip your amiibo with Spirits, I recommend doing so as soon as possible. If your Incineroar amiibo is already Level 50, adding Spirits won’t hurt, but you’ll have to play a few rounds against it to keep its gameplay sharp.
In descending order of viability, Super Armor, Armor Knight, Slow Super Armor, and Autoheal are excellent bonuses for Incineroar. Do note, then, that these are banned from competitive play. Incineroar itself is banned, though, so go wild with these bonuses if you’re looking to raise a powerful Raid Boss.
In the very specific (and honestly unrealistic) case that Incineroar is permitted, but the bonuses above are not, there are other options you could choose from. Additional Midair Jump, Side Special ↑, Fire & Explosion Attack ↑, and Physical Attack ↑ all work just fine. For stats, setups between 2800 / 1400 and 2100 / 2100 are viable and can be used to great effect.
I recommend mirror matching your Incineroar amiibo all the way to Level 50. Figure Players tend to learn best when they face their own character (but don’t misinterpret this — they don’t save matchup experience). Incineroar’s AI can learn basic combos, but be sure to keep your expectations in check; it’s nothing too crazy.
Let’s get this out of the way: Alolan Whip functions as a strong damage-racker and an even stronger kill move. If you can’t nail the timing, don’t worry: it’s hard-coded and can’t be messed up through spotty training. Alolan Whip should be heavily relied on, but Incineroar should also use a variety of its other moves to keep its opponents on edge. Jab, forward tilt, and neutral aerial are all fine options, and can be rotated to rack up damage and set up for an Alolan Whip KO. Up air is an excellent juggling tool that can chain into itself and punish landings; this is especially effective against fellow heavyweights. As Incineroar tends to self-destruct every so often (it uses its recovery moves in the wrong order), it’s best for it to stay on-stage; if it does find itself off-stage, though, a swift down air can nab an early kill.
Incineroar also possesses an incredibly potent set of smash attacks. They do lack range, but they’re powerful enough to secure KOs at medium-high percentages. Down smash is its best smash attack, as its moving hitbox confuses opponents and can catch rolls and edge recoveries. Up smash is next, as it can intercept landings; forward smash is generally its least useful smash attack, but still packs quite a wallop. Incineroar’s throws are also among the best in the game; its forward and back throws can be used at the edge for a quick kill. They should be used even if the enemy isn’t within kill range, as they deal a lot of damage. And then, of course, there’s Alolan Whip, which should be used at a distance.
Basically, Incineroar can rely primarily on its down tilt (which can combo into a forward aerial, among other moves), up aerial, down smash, and side special and get solid results. If you’re training your Incineroar to fight humans, though, go a bit light on Alolan Whip. But if it’s being raised to battle other amiibo, follow my word and use it frequently.
Compared to other characters, Incineroar is relatively easy to train. Its game plan is straightforward and its powerful kit allows it to stomp most opponents with ease. It’s still possible to have trouble training Incineroar, though, so don’t feel bad if it doesn’t work out immediately. Once again, I’ve included links to Incineroar’s wiki page and ban announcement for anyone interested. If you’ve got questions that haven’t been answered here, feel free to drop by our Discord server and ask them! Thanks to Spike for providing some of the information presented here. Happy training, and until next time!
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