Hero is one of five (and soon-to-be six) DLC characters in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Hero’s amiibo is actually the only DLC fighter we were able to test; while the preliminary AI will likely be changed in the final game, we did get an early look at how Hero might play. His kit seems rather promising, and when the real Hero amiibo does come out, you’ll be able to check back and get a headstart in training the strongest one out there!
There’s a lot we don’t know about Hero right now, but one thing we do know is that he runs hot and cold. His smash attacks each have a 1/8 chance to land a critical hit, which inflicts increased damage and knockback. Some games, Hero will land a ridiculous amount of critical hits, but in others, he won’t. A lot of Hero’s viability is going to be left up to chance.
RNG aside, Hero boasts a strong moveset. Many of his attacks – particularly his special moves – deal a lot of damage. Frizz (when fully charged) inflicts an incredible 31% and can KO enemies at ridiculously low percentages. Zap’s second charge state has a ton of range — so much, in fact, that it outranges every non-projectile attack. Hero’s AI knows how to handle its Command Selection menus; the second it opens the menu, it knows which option to choose. You likely won’t be able to influence which move it chooses, but you will be able to influence how often it opens the menu in the first place.
While Hero might be a strong tournament contender, he is not going to be perfect. His moveset is frustratingly sluggish, meaning he will often be intercepted before he can move. His up and down smashes lack range (especially the former), limiting their usages. Hero’s throws are poor, as they don’t kill and don’t follow up into anything. Lastly, Hero relies on MP to use his strongest moves. If Hero is off-stage and runs out of MP, he’ll move upward with a pathetic hop (kind of like the Ice Climbers when separated). It’s possible that the AI might get too reckless with its spells, waste its MP, and then self-destruct off-stage. Of course, this is all speculation, but it’s still something to consider.
Each of the “big five” bonuses will have some merit on Hero. Autoheal and Great Autoheal might be the worst of them, but might be interesting when paired with Hero’s Heal spell. Super Armor allows Hero to tank incoming smash attacks, potentially allowing him to respond with a critical hit. Armor Knight, of course, will be a solid Spirit setup as well.
Big five aside, Hero could have quite a few interesting setups. Magic Attack ↑ buffs his magical abilities, though this could be unreliable depending on the AI’s MP management. Weapon Attack ↑ and Hyper Smash Attacks are solid bonuses – at least on paper – that could further bolster the strength of his critical hits. Running Critical Hit ↑ allows for the potential of double-critical smash attacks, though the chance of activation is slim (5% on top of 12%, which both have to trigger at once).
It’s difficult to predict Hero’s optimal stat values this early on, but a balanced setup (2100 / 2100) works well with just about any character. It’s safe to assume the same is true for Hero, though more Attack or Defense might wind up being optimal depending on the character’s metagame development.
As per usual, you will want to mirror match your Hero amiibo until it reaches Level 50. Playing on Ω-form stages with Stock or Timed rules will make training a bit easier, as you’ll be able to focus on attacking without being interrupted by stage hazards and geometry. While fighting your FP, focus on teaching it the following moves:
- Forward smash: Rather slow, but it’s Hero’s strongest sword attack and can even score a critical hit. Use it to catch rolls and getup attacks but be wary of its high ending lag.
- Neutral attack: Hero’s fastest move, and one he’ll need to keep faster opponents at a comfortable distance. Its three hits deal decent damage, too.
- Forward tilt: It can block incoming projectiles with the first hit, but the AI might not know to utilize this. Focus on attacking with both parts of the move.
- Neutral aerial: Solid range, but only decent speed. If the enemy’s come too close and Hero is in the air, he can swat them away with a neutral aerial.
- Forward aerial: Similar usage to neutral aerial, but a bit more aggressive. It can more easily kill off-stage. We don’t actually know whether or not off-stage play is optimal for Hero yet; if he stays on the stage when his MP gauge is empty, then it is optimal.
There’s a few other moves worth teaching, too. Their usage is a bit more niche, though, so don’t focus on them as heavily as the ones above.
- Side special: Zap’s second charge stage has incredible range, though we aren’t sure if the AI is going to be able to target specific charges (it might only use it uncharged or fully charged). A fully-charged Zap is incredibly powerful, but eats a lot of MP, so don’t use that version of the move too often.
- Neutral special: It’s in a similar situation as Zap. It uses up even more MP when fully charged, though, and it’s even easier to miss due to its projectile status.
- Down special: As mentioned earlier, we think you’ll only be able to influence how often the FP opens the Command Selection menu. As far as we know, its selection is hard-coded. The AI seems to know which moves do what, though, so this probably isn’t anything to worry about. Don’t open the menu when you’re close to the enemy, and you should be fine.
- Up smash: If the AI knows this move’s narrow hitbox, it should be able to connect it to falling opponents. If not, it’s just going to miss over and over again. We aren’t sure how aware the AI is of its up smash’s nonexistent horizontal range, so don’t use this move too much at first. We’ll provide an update later.
None of Hero’s moves stand out as especially poor. As with most fighters, you shouldn’t use up specials offensively; the AI often self-destructs or leaves itself vulnerable to attack. Hero’s tilts weren’t mentioned here, as they have short range, but they can be used as situational combo starters.
Everything written here is subject to change. Even though we’ve done a spot of testing with Hero’s amiibo (thanks to Supernova), it’s possible that the AI we trained wasn’t finalized. For all we know, it could be completely different in its final release. Regardless, the information presented here should have you off to a good start. When we release our full guide, you’ll be able to mirror match your Hero amiibo at Level 50 without resetting it (and with all of the latest information). In the meantime, if you have any questions, drop by our Discord server and ask! We’d be happy to help. Thanks so much for reading, and happy training!
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