It’s clear that – for whatever reason – the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate developers love Piranha Plant. Despite being a DLC fighter, Piranha Plant’s amiibo figure was released before Young Link, Pichu, Snake, and Chrom, who were all included in the base game. Wow. To add to this, Piranha Plant has received consistent representation in our metagame, where it’s actually considered one of the strongest fighters available!
Piranha Plant benefits from a combination of favorable traits. First, it’s one of the heaviest characters in the game – must be that pot – allowing it to survive longer than the rest of the cast. Its off-stage game is nothing short of spectacular; its recovery is long and difficult to interrupt, and it can gimp opponents with a well-timed forward or down aerial. Piranha Plant also has one of the best up smashes of any Figure Player; it catches landings, deals a lot of damage, and can KO at reasonable percentages. Ptooie and Long-Stem Strike, while somewhat risky, function as solid edge-guard and distance moves, respectively.
It’s true that Piranha Plant is one of the strongest fighters in the game, but it actually struggles against even stronger characters. Ness, a common tournament entry, is an absolute nightmare for Piranha Plant, who can’t escape PK Fire and is endlessly juggled by PK Thunder. Piranha Plant also lacks a solid horizontal kill move; its forward smash is easily blocked and its Long-Stem Strike can be intercepted. Lastly, Piranha Plant suffers from a slow movement speed both on the ground and in the air.
Even with its flaws, Piranha Plant finds itself as a high-tier character, and one that’s certainly worth your time. It’s even stronger with Spirits, so if you prefer equipping your FP with stats and bonuses, you’re in luck. If you’d like to read more on Piranha Plant, it has its very own wiki page for you to check out.
If at all possible, try to equip your Piranha Plant with its Spirit team before training it. Spirits actually change a Figure Player’s personality and move priorities, though these can be corrected through additional training. If your amiibo is already Level 50, feel free to add Spirits now; just be prepared to play a few games against it.
As with most characters, Armor Knight paired with Trade-Off Ability ↑ turns Piranha Plant into an offensive juggernaut. Its Attack and Defense will be noticeably increased, while its move speed will receive a slight buff thanks to the Trade-Off Ability ↑ bonus.
Do note, though, that Armor Knight is usually banned from competitive play. Other options include Side Special ↑, Physical Attack ↑, Fire & Explosion Attack ↑, and Hyper Smash Attacks. For stats, a balanced setup (2100 / 2100) works just fine. Pairing a fully defensive setup (0 / 4200) with Great Autoheal – which is also banned from tournaments – is another potential build.
If you’ve read our guides before, you know the drill: mirror match (or ditto, whichever you want to call it) your Piranha Plant amiibo until it reaches Level 50. If you really want to, you can train it until it has reached somewhere around Level 30; you can then switch its Learning off and have it level up against CPU players. That being said, never have a Learning on Figure Player fight a CPU. It’s not good for their mentality.
Piranha Plant is most threatening on the ground, so try not to use too many aerials unless you’re going off-stage. Its neutral attack is fast and deals decent damage, but it’s got short range and doesn’t offer much of a reward. Up tilt can link into itself before chaining into an up aerial, so try using this simple combo against your FP at low percentages. Its down throw combos into a forward aerial, too. Piranha Plant can also charge and store its Poison Breath move to create a stage hazard for a few seconds. Be sure to fully charge it before firing, and don’t use it too often. The AI occasionally spits its poison without charging, so don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t store it right away.
At high percentages, Piranha Plant has a few KO options. Its up smash is its easiest and strongest kill move, as it catches landings and inflicts a good bit of knockback. Up smash is definitely the best finisher to focus on, so make sure your FP knows to use it. Up throw can kill, but it doesn’t do so until very high percentages, so only use it in a pinch. Forward smash and down smash are decent, but are easily blocked. Rotate these two in as well, but focus more heavily on teaching the FP to attack with its up smash.
As mentioned before, Piranha Plant has a strong off-stage game. It can use its throws to toss enemies off the stage. Its excellent recovery move, Piranhacopter, grants it a huge amount of distance, allowing Piranha Plant to chase opponents to the very edge of the blast zone. It can use forward and down aerials to gimp its victims; in the case of the latter, try to hit with the edge of the pot for best effect. Piranha Plant can wait at the edge and fire Ptooie, though repeated down airs tend to finish the job faster.
Though Piranha Plant is high-tier, it is not necessarily easy to train. You might find trouble even after following this guide, as a lot of Piranha Plant’s success comes from its movement and timing in addition to its move usage. If you’re looking for additional help, feel free to join our Discord server, where we’ll be happy to provide it! Big thanks to Smitty, the top Piranha Plant trainer, for helping out with crucial information. Happy training, and until next time!
If you would like to read more amiibo training guides, please follow this link.