Bayonetta, Sheik, and Zero Suit Samus. These three characters have something in common: they’re not very good — at least when it comes to AI. In the context of our amiibo tier list, Bayonetta and Sheik aren’t rising anytime soon. But Zero Suit Samus has risen and has the potential to rise even further! She’s been quite underrepresented until recently, so now’s as good a time as ever to start training her!
Thanks to forenmagra for contributing Zero Suit Samus’s training information! Feel free to read their notes document for more character-specific strategies.
Zero Suit Samus has some problems. She’s light, she’s tall, and her AI doesn’t know how to use some of it attacks. She’s also got no answers to Bowser and Incineroar, the best characters in the game (at the moment). As you might expect, this isn’t good. Fellow Metroid representative Ridley is easier to obtain, easier to train, and stronger in battle, so most trainers lean towards Ridley instead.
That isn’t to say that Zero Suit Samus doesn’t have strengths of her own, though. Most of her attacks are respectably fast and deal solid damage. She’s got a decent recovery between her tether and up special, too. And… that’s about it!
Zero Suit Samus is certainly difficult to train, but it’s always fun to represent an unexplored character. Part of amiibo training’s charm is working with flawed AI to create something new and unexpected. Characters like Kirby and the Ice Climbers were thought to be low-tier at first, but new trainers emerged and showed us their true potential. We’re hoping the same happens with Zero Suit Samus!
If you’re intending to give your amiibo a Spirit team, I’d recommend doing so before you start training. If your Zero Suit Samus amiibo is already Level 50, feel free to set it up anyway — you’ll just need to play a few matches afterwards to refresh its scrambled move priorities.
As is the case with most fighters, Zero Suit Samus is strongest when paired alongside Armor Knight and Trade-Off Speed ↑ / Trade-Off Ability ↑. Super Armor and Great Autoheal could work too, but Armor Knight is likely going to be your best bet.
The Spirits mentioned above are banned in most online tournaments, though, so if you plan on entering one you’ll have to reconsider. Other options include Physical Attack ↑, Electric Attack ↑, Foot Attack ↑, and Instadrop. In terms of stats spreads, a balanced one (2100 / 2100) works best.
You might know the drill by now: for the best result, mirror match your Zero Suit Samus amiibo until it reaches Level 50. If you notice a bad habit forming before Level 50, don’t reset — these can be ironed out later. Figure Players continue learning past Level 50, so you’ll have the chance to improve its training later.
Let’s start with the essentials — and, in this case, there are four of them. The first is Plasma Whip, a long-ranged damage-racker that can KO at high percentages. It’s got a tipper, too, and when spaced properly, it can keep enemies from drawing near. Next is forward smash, a pair of fuel-powered kicks that deals high damage and knockback. It can be used to rack up damage at medium percents and then eventually KO. Boost Kick does leave the user vulnerable if missed, but serves as an excellent kill move out of shield. Lastly is dash attack, which functions as an important approach tool. Focus on all four of these moves during training.
There’s a few other moves to use every so often, too. In general, you’re going to want to keep Zero Suit Samus grounded, which means you shouldn’t be using too many aerials. To encourage a grounded playstyle, teach the FP to use its up tilt. It can hit opponents behind it, which comes in handy in a pinch. Forward tilt can be used at close range to swat opponents away.
Believe it or not, there are a fair amount of attacks Zero Suit Samus shouldn’t be using, mostly due to issues in her AI. Most significantly is her down special, Flip Jump — the AI never uses its kick outside of a specific hard-coded combo (which is likely to miss anyway). Definitely don’t teach the FP to use Flip Kick. If you go in with low expectations, you’ll still be disappointed. Up smash is rather slow, too, and its horizontal range is nothing to write home about. Down smash and Paralyzer aren’t great either; their sluggish startups are not properly compensated by their damage potential.
The Zero Suit Samus FP is still rather unexplored, so if you’re a fan of the character, we encourage you to try your hand at training one! Thanks again to forenmagra – perhaps the strongest Zero Suit Samus trainer out there right now – for contributing her training information. They’ve got a notes document on Zero Suit Samus that you should check out, too, because it contains even more tips and tricks to get you started. And if you have a question that wasn’t answered here, feel free to join our Discord server to ask. We’ll be happy to assist! As always, thanks so much for reading — until next time!
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