Meta Knight’s always been kind of a sad character… at least in the context of amiibo training. As we know, combo-oriented fighters generally don’t translate to strong Figure Players (Ultimate’s AI is not very good with combos). There have been a few exceptions in more recent characters, but Meta Knight unfortunately falls right into this trope. The AI can’t pull off anything the character is known for. This was true in Super Smash Bros. 4, and it’s true in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, too. Either way, trainers have optimized Meta Knight’s gameplay, though it’s a bit different than what you might expect it to be.
Meta Knight is kind of low on strengths, but we’ll try to grasp at straws and name some good traits. He’s got multiple ways to recover, he has a mostly-functioning moveset, and he does indeed possess artificial intelligence. That’s about all we can come up with, unfortunately. There’s no denying it: this character is tough to train.
Weaknesses… where do we start? First, Meta Knight is incredibly light, worsening his matchups against top-tier characters, most of which are heavyweights who pack a punch. This also makes off-stage play risky, as just one well-timed meteor smash can KO him in an instant. He doesn’t have many good finishers, as his only moves with actual kill power come out kind of slowly. Meta Knight’s AI isn’t great with combos, either; it’s notorious for missing most of its aerial setups and leaving itself vulnerable instead. It’s sad.
Even so, Meta Knight’s tournament results aren’t quite as subpar as you might think. They’re not great, but as it turns out, teaching a Meta Knight amiibo to spam its side special actually yields decent results. We do have a wiki page on Meta Knight, so check it out if you’ve got an extra moment to read up!
Meta Knight’s got it tough, even with Spirits. As usual, you should prioritize letting your Figure Player inherit its Spirits at as early a Level as possible. If your Meta Knight amiibo is already Level 50 (or if you don’t want to give it a Spirit team at all), that’s fine, too. Quick reminder; Spirits do scramble an amiibo’s training data, which is why we want to finish loading them before we do any training.
Unfortunately, Meta Knight’s status as a lightweight makes the “big five” bonuses tricky. He’s too light to effectively use Super Armor or Slow Super Armor, and he can’t camp consistently enough to make use of Autoheal or Great Autoheal. Plus, what projectile would he even camp with? That leaves us with Armor Knight and Trade-Off Ability ↑. This setup will give Meta Knight a much-needed boost in defense, so if you’re entering a tournament that allows Armor Knight, you should probably go with this spread.
As far as other options go, here are a few more ideas. You could try Weapon Attack ↑, Side Special ↑, Hyper Smash Attacks, Trade-Off Ability ↑, Air Defense ↑, or even Instadrop! A balanced spread (2100 / 2100) works fine, but you could probably stand to lean a bit more into defense (1000 / 3200) to patch up Meta Knight’s low weight.
It’s time to discuss moves you should use during training! Of course, you should certainly mirror match your Meta Knight amiibo, which in this case, means you need to play as Meta Knight. When you’re satisfied with its training, you can turn its Learning off and level it up to 50 some other way. Just make sure it never faces a CPU with Learning on.
Drill Rush is your main move during training. Ultimate’s AI doesn’t deal with moving hitboxes too well and – you guessed it – Drill Rush is a moving hitbox. It’s got good damage and range and keeps Meta Knight relatively safe throughout. Don’t use it too close to the ledge, though, as there’s a chance the AI will self-destruct. The move’s benefits far outweigh its drawbacks, though, so we have to take what we can get.
The next move you can use is down smash. It’s pathetically weak, unfortunately, but it comes out quick and can interrupt an opponent’s attack. Also hits on both sides, which is a definite plus. You can use forward smash at the edge, too; it’s got a moment of startup, but is one of Meta Knight’s strongest (and only) kill moves. You can use it when both fighters are on-stage, but less so than Drill Rush and down smash.
Off-stage play isn’t very good on Meta Knight, unfortunately; the AI can get into a habit of spamming its aerials (not to mention the fact that it misses most of them) and his slow midair jumps and light weight make him very easily intercepted or gimped. It’s kind of sad, really; Meta Knight’s Figure Player is utterly incapable of utilizing the tools the character is supposed to use in competitive play. Drill Rush and down smash it is, then.
In terms of moves to avoid, there’s a lot. Up smash has pathetically low horizontal range, and straight-up misses against grounded opponents; up tilt has even worse range with less power, and the AI almost never uses its three-stage forward tilt combo properly. You could mix in some down tilts and rapid jabs, but they don’t deal much damage, nor do they lead into any follow-ups the AI can capitalize on.
It’s certainly a shame that Meta Knight can’t use the entirety of his kit to its fullest potential, but sadly, that’s the case for a lot of characters in Ultimate. Characters like Meta Knight are usually optimized by spamming just one or two of their decent moves. Training a strong amiibo is all about consistency — even if consistency means spamming, in this case. If you have any more questions that weren’t answered here, feel free to join our Discord server and ask around! Thanks again to Blank for contributing Meta Knight’s training information, and be sure to check out their YouTube channel here. Thank you for reading — happy training!
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