It’s been a while since we’ve done one of these: a preliminary guide for a character who isn’t released yet! This week, we’re starting with Joker from Persona 5 and Persona 5 Royal. It’s difficult to say for sure how strong he’ll be, but that’s why this is labeled preliminary! In the event that the Joker amiibo is ever released, you’ll be able to come back to this post and use our advice to train a good one from the very beginning. This guide will be updated in the future, so stay tuned for that!
When it comes to human versus human matches, Joker is one of the best. Unfortunately, when it comes to CPU versus CPU (not Figure Players, CPUs) matches, Joker is one of the worst. This combination makes him something of a wildcard entering the amiibo scene (which is a role I’m sure he’d be pleased with). We don’t have much information on what his AI might be like, but we do know what his moveset is like. Of course, there’s Arsene, who is summoned upon the completion of Joker’s Rebellion Gauge. Arsene increases the power of Joker’s attacks, gifting them with additional range and utility to boot. Between Grappling Hook and Wings of Rebellion, Joker will have no problem returning to the stage (though it’s important to learn that the AI will almost certainly be incapable of learning Grappling Hook combos). Joker also boasts high movement and attack speed, which will allow him to intercept slower incoming moves.
In terms of Joker’s weaknesses, a prominent one is his lack of firepower. Without Arsene active, Joker will struggle to earn KOs outside of raw smash attacks or lucky off-stage back airs. Additionally, Joker is rather light, making him susceptible to being launched and KOed early. Joker’s primary issue, however, is his combo-character archetype. These fighters – Sheik and Fox being other examples – do not translate to strong Figure Players, as the AI is nigh incapable of using anything that isn’t hard-coded). Joker’s special moves appear useless in tournament matches; Gun leaves him rather defenseless and using its aerial versions creates a vulnerability to up smash interception; in the same vein, Rebel’s Guard leaves him vulnerable to grabs. Overall, Joker is a fighter best controlled by human players. Though we don’t know for sure what his AI will be like, we do know that it won’t be able to play the character to its highest potential.
The “big five” are going to be strange on Joker, but it is safe to assume the Autoheal Spirits won’t be terribly effective with him (unless something surprises us). Super Armor might have some merit, especially when Arsene is on the field; Slow Super Armor, however, detracts from Joker’s excellent mobility. As with many fighters, Armor Knight will probably be his best bet going forward. If you’ve read a lot of our guides, you’re probably tired of reading about Armor Knight, but it is what it is.
Outside of the big five, Weapon Attack ↑ will be a huge boon to Joker, as it will increase his overall damage output. However, Joker has an even mix of “weapon” and “foot” attacks, which might lower the effectiveness of either option. Hyper Smash Attacks would provide a much-needed bonus to his kill power, and could be one of his best choices. Depending on Eiha’s effectiveness against AI opponents, Side Special ↑ could make it even better.
Stat builds are harder to guess because of the wide range of possibilities with Joker, but you can never go wrong with a balanced setup (2100 / 2100)! In addition to increasing Joker’s attack power (and strengthening some of his kill moves), it increases his Defense to allow him to survive for a little while longer.
You’re probably going to want to mirror match your Joker amiibo until it reaches Level 50. As always, I recommend playing on Ω-form stages with either Stock or Timed rules. When fighting your FP, keep an eye out for the following moves (which we estimate will be his best):
- Forward smash: No matter how you slice it, this move is more than likely going to be Joker’s best KO option. I strongly recommend relying on this move for kill power.
- Forward tilt: A quick two-hit stab. It’s got a lot of potential, and Arsene’s activation makes it even stronger. Figure Players perfect pivot every once in a while, which would add a lot of utility to forward tilt.
- Side special: A simple projectile that adds a poison effect, this move will be essential for racking up damage, especially against projectile based opponents.
- Down aerial: As long as Arsene isn’t active, the move always sends enemies forward, and FPs love moves that swipe in arcs. This will be a great landing option and, with Arsene active, a great spiking or gimping tool.
- Back aerial: Due to the nature of Joker’s recovery, he can safely drop from the ledge and catch opponents with a back air. It’s one of Joker’s best moves, and it becomes even better after summoning Arsene.
Of course, we don’t know for sure which moves are going to be Joker’s “bread-and-butter”, but we have tested these attacks against other AI. The following moves still appear to be worthwhile, but perhaps not to the extent as the ones listed above.
- Up smash: It only strikes opponents directly in front of Joker. Palutena’s AI doesn’t seem to understand this, so it’s possible that Joker’s won’t, either. If it is able to wield its hitbox properly, up smash will be fantastic for Joker; there’s still potential that it doesn’t work out, though.
- Neutral aerial: A safe landing option with gimping potential. I suspect this move will be effective as long as the AI doesn’t prioritize it over its down aerial.
Joker has a lot of moves that don’t appear to have any potential at all. His gun requires a lot of mental presence to use effectively, and FPs are not capable of such. I expect this move will at best be useless, and at worst be a hindrance to his AI. His Down Special does not appear too promising either, as amiibo tend to never use counters properly. However, they do sometimes use reflectors correctly, and as his serves as both (so long as Arsene is present), there might be some hope for this move.
Keep in mind that everything in this guide is subject to change. It will change, in fact, and when it does, we’ll bring it to the top of the site to make it more visible. Though we may find parts of this guide outdated once we get our hands on Joker’s amiibo, you’ll at least be able to read it and get a good start with yours. If you have any questions about Joker and how his Figure Player might play, feel free to drop by our Discord server and ask. We’d be happy to help. Thanks so much for reading, and happy training! Whenever they do decide to release Joker, that is.
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