Sorry we’re late! Version 8.0.0 of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate was released on Monday. Yes, it added Min Min, but we don’t care about that until her Figure Player is made available. What we’re here to look at today are the balance changes, and a lot of them will mix up our metagame. Quick spoiler: Incineroar was buffed. He’s definitely staying banned.
We’re going to go over all of the characters that received noticeable buffs. Note that we’re only including topics that are relevant to the amiibo metagame, so changes that involve combos and Final Smashes won’t be included.
Kirby received a number of buffs that will definitely help him in the long run. His dash attack – which the FP uses rather well – has less ending lag and launches opponents farther when attacking with the initial hit. Down smash is three frames faster, too, and deals more knockback. Back air’s sweetspot deals more damage and forward air and Stone have had their knockback increased.
Will these buffs be significant? Not necessarily, but they do improve Kirby’s damage output, particularly in the case of dash attack, down smash, and back air. All three of these are attacks Kirby FPs use often, so that little bit of extra power goes a long way.
Captain Falcon’s changes weren’t as noticeable as other characters’, but they’re important ones nonetheless. His down tilt, up smash, and down special have all had their knockback increased. Falcon Kick – in addition to being made stronger – also executes faster. If you don’t know this already, Ultimate’s AI doesn’t deal with moving hitboxes very well. Captain Falcon FPs usually rely on Falcon Kick to deal damage before the opponent can block or dodge, and this move just got even better.
His side special, Raptor Boost, has been changed a bit. Its attack range has been increased, and it doesn’t launch enemies as far when used on the ground. This is a detriment to the FP; the reduced knockback opens up combo potential for human players, but not so much for the AI.
Falco has been improved in a number of ways. Down tilt is faster, up smash is stronger and links into itself more easily, and neutral air has been given a bit more range. Furthermore, down air has less ending lag and landing lag, strengthening its use in an Instadrop Spirit build.
These buffs are a bit minor, but they don’t hurt by any means. Falco is something of a niche pick, especially without Spirits, but maybe these buffs will encourage trainers to work with him a bit more.
Forward, back, and up air all have increased tipper hitboxes, allowing Marth to more easily deal increased damage. This change isn’t too important, I’d say, because the AI may or may not be aware of them. Even in amiibo play, Lucina is considered better than Marth due to her more consistent damage output. Despite Marth’s buffs, this is likely to remain the case going forward.
Mewtwo is a great example of a character you don’t see too often. It’s been buffed in a number of ways: its back air deals more damage and knockback, its up air inflicts more knockback, and its down throw has less ending lag. Shadow Ball has been changed in a few ways, too. The power of its uncharged form has increased, the projectile moves faster, and the move has less lag. These are all really helpful changes… and hopefully they’ll be reflected in an increase of Mewtwo’s tournament representation!
Meta Knight didn’t receive too many changes; most of them involve making multi-hit attacks connect more easily. His forward air, back air, and up special moves have all been changed this way. Neutral aerial has been given additional range, too. I don’t think Meta Knight is going to significantly rise in viability as a result of these buffs, but they are just a little bit helpful.
Pit & Dark Pit
Pit and Dark Pit both received the same set of changes. Down tilt doesn’t launch opponents as far, which makes it slightly better with combos. Problem is, amiibo don’t combo. Their up smash and up air attacks are stronger and their down specials have less lag. Again, nothing too major, but they’re small quality-of-life improvements that will help the two angels become even stronger.
Ike’s dash attack, neutral air, forward air, and up special all launch enemies farther. They’re noticeably stronger, too, which will help Ike get KOs more easily. Ike was already a rather solid contender, so an additional increase to his kill power is much appreciated.
Diddy Kong has been buffed once again! His dash attack connects better and its final hit has increased range. His forward tilt has more range, and its hitbox lasts a bit longer. Forward air has a larger hitbox and down smash is faster.
King Dedede was a big winner of patch 8.0.0. He’s already quite strong as a Figure Player, but the buffs he’s just received make him even better. Dedede’s up tilt deals more damage and knockback, making it a bit less situational; his forward air and up air launch victims farther, and his neutral special has faster startup and higher range. Very good stuff here.
Villager received quite a few changes, too! Their rapid jab and up tilt link into themselves easier than before, with the latter receiving new invincibility frames on the arm and head. Up air deals more knockback, down air comes out faster, and Timber has less lag and its axe has had its launch distance extended.
Wii Fit Trainer
Down tilt has received a new launch angle, up smash is faster, and down smash and forward air have less lag. Sun Salutation has received a buff to its launch distance, making it a slightly stronger neutral option. That is, if the AI actually decides to fire it after charging.
Corrin was previously … somewhat unspectacular. He will probably remain about average, but he did receive a few interesting buffs. His back air and up air now deal more damage and knockback, improving his aerial damage output, while his side special’s kick is stronger and its lag has been reduced. Good stuff.
As you may know, Bayonetta is the worst Figure Player in the game — or, at least, she was. We’re not sure if these buffs are going to matter much, but word on the street is that her AI has been updated. If we can confirm this, you can be sure we’ll be updating our Bayonetta amiibo training guide with the new information.
Now then, moving right along: her side special has less lag, her side smash is stronger, and her up special is easier to combo with. The big one here – at least in my opinion – is forward smash’s damage increase. Bayonetta has a lot of trouble KOing, so an increase in kill power goes a long way.
King K. Rool
Here we go. A top-tier character has been buffed even further. Will we see a King K. Rool ban? Probably not (you never know), but let’s go over his changes. First, his belly can take more hits before breaking. This is important, because the amiibo Buff means attacks from Figure Players deal more damage than usual. The king’s dash attack and up smash launch enemies farther, making them even stronger kill moves. Crownerang has also been given additional super armor frames.
They say King K. Rool’s AI has been slightly updated concerning its use of down throw. We’re not sure to what extent this has been patched, but once again, we’ll be sure to update you when we figure it out for certain.
Slight improvements here! Dash attack is faster, which allows Isabelle to more quickly fling pots off the ledge to gimp opponents. Up smash is faster, up air is stronger, and down air is faster. Minor changes, but appreciated ones nonetheless.
The best amiibo in the game used to be Bowser, but now, it’s almost certainly Incineroar. Its grabs are faster, its forward throw is stronger, and its down special is faster and stronger. But here’s the kicker: Alolan Whip, which was already the best move in the game, was buffed. The initial dash is faster and the lariat (which the AI always connects) inflicts even more knockback. It looks like Incineroar is going to stay banned, to say the least.
Piranha Plant’s a known high-tier, but it just got a little bit better. Its down smash and forward air were made faster, and its back air has received additional launching power. That’s not too important, though, because back air is horribly slow. Up air also deals more damage and knockback.
This was a really good update! Incineroar buffs aside… King K. Rool buffs aside… Piranha Plant buffs aside, the characters who were changed needed buffs very badly. If you’re new to amiibo training and would like to start, check out our amiibo training guides. We’ve got guides available for (almost) every character, and if you have any other questions, feel free to join our Discord server! We’ll be happy to help you out. Thanks so much for reading — until next time!
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