Pikachu was kind of ridiculous in Super Smash Bros. 4. Back then, its Figure Player couldn’t make any kind of tournament progress unless it spammed its custom down special, Thunder Burst. In regard to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, we’ve got good news and bad news. The good news is that Pikachu can make better use of its full kit. The bad news is that Thunder Burst doesn’t exist anymore. Even so, Pikachu is much better off in Ultimate, and if you’re looking to train a good one, you’ve come to the right place!
Thanks to MiDe for contributing Pikachu’s training information! Feel free to check out their YouTube channel by following this link.
Before we get started, we should get this out of the way as soon as possible: Pikachu is, by all accounts, better than Pichu. At least in the context of amiibo training. Pikachu’s got stronger moves, greater range, and a heavier weight, not to mention the fact that it doesn’t damage itself while attacking.
If Pikachu is the first amiibo you ever train, there’s a few things to keep in mind. First, amiibo can’t combo. They’ve got a few very simple strings hard-coded into their AI, but they can’t improvise combos or even learn new ones at all. Most of Pikachu’s hard-coded combos involve its down throw and up air. If you expect your Figure Player to learn anything beyond that, though, I’m sorry to say you’re going to be disappointed.
Regardless, Pikachu is a solid character. Its forward smash messes with AI opponents, it can go far off-stage to edgeguard, and… that’s about it. But those two advantages are enough! It’s still really light and struggles against high-tier characters, but these flaws can be overlooked in favor of its notable strengths.
If you don’t want to equip your Pikachu amiibo with Spirits, great — you can skip this entire section! Otherwise, let’s get into the good old Spirits lecture. “If you’re planning on giving your Figure Player a Spirit team, I recommend doing so at Level 1″, “giving an amiibo Spirits scrambles its training data, which is why you want to set them up early”, etc.
Pikachu’s a lightweight, so the “big five” bonus effects – Super Armor, Slow Super Armor, Autoheal, Great Autoheal, and Armor Knight – aren’t as strong on it as they are on heavyweights. Armor Knight is probably the most potent of the five, and it can be paired with Trade-Off Ability ↑ to increase Pikachu’s stats by a ton.
Most tournaments do keep those bonuses banned, though, so here are some other options. Trade-Off Ability ↑ doesn’t fall under the “big five” category we discussed earlier, so it’s a fine option on Pikachu. Electric Attack ↑, Physical Attack ↑, Air Attack ↑, and Hyper Smash Attacks are strong options, too! For stats, a balanced setup (2100 / 2100) works great.
As with other fighters, Pikachu is best trained via mirror matches. You’re going to have to play as Pikachu even if you aren’t very good with it. But don’t worry — it’s actually going to be easier than you think. The optimal Pikachu amiibo is kind of lame, but the same can be said for every optimal Figure Player.
We did mention this before, but I’ll repeat it for good measure: amiibo can’t combo. Generally speaking, that’s a true statement, but in Pikachu’s case: amiibo can’t combo well. Which means we’re going to almost completely forgo combos. Which means we’re not going to be playing very aggressively. While training your Pikachu amiibo, don’t run. Just walk up to it slowly. And don’t jump, either.
This is going to sound silly, but Figure Players don’t always know how to deal with Pikachu’s forward smash. Neither do new Smash players, either, so that says a lot about how smart FPs can get. At high percentages (or at mid-range), attack your amiibo with forward smashes. It deals a good bit of damage and knockback, which is always a plus.
At close range, you can try using grabs. The most complicated combo Pikachu can learn is down throw to up air to forward or back air. Riveting, I know. If you don’t want to focus on down throws, you can just use forward or back throws to toss the FP toward the nearest ledge. You can also use dash attacks every once in a while, but again, don’t run too much. Walking reigns supreme.
This method is called the Musket Method. It was popularized by MiDe and works really well in tournaments! Not with every character, but Pikachu is one of them! Here’s where we deviate a bit, though: if Pikachu’s opponent is off-stage, it should be too. Be sure to attack your FP off-stage as often as possible. Hit it with back airs, forward airs, and especially down airs. Try your best to gimp it! And don’t worry if you mess up your recovery and self-destruct. It won’t make the FP any worse.
Thank you very much for reading! Despite being semi-clones of each other, Pikachu and Pichu are trained much differently. If you want to read Pichu’s training guide, you can do so here. And if you have any questions during training, feel free to join our Discord server and ask! Big thanks to MiDe for contributing Pikachu’s training information! You can find a link to their YouTube channel here.
If you would like to read more amiibo training guides, please follow this link.