We’re not exactly sure what it is about Super Smash Bros. 4 newcomers, but a ton of them are super underrepresented in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate amiibo tournaments. Duck Hunt is one such fighter, but unfortunately, for good reason: their AI is one of the most disappointing in the game. If you’re looking to train a Duck Hunt amiibo to camp and use its projectiles to their max potential, then we’ve got bad news: it doesn’t do that very well. Our training strategy for Duck Hunt might seem a little strange, then, but with proper training, the retro duo still has a place in the metagame!
Thanks to MiDe for contributing Duck Hunt’s training information! Feel free to check out their YouTube channel by following this link.
Duck Hunt’s got a load of projectiles at their disposal. You’ve got Trick Shot, which spawns a controllable can that can even gimp opponents off-stage; there’s Clay Shooting, which attacks from a distance and strikes multiple times; and then we’ve got Wild Gunman, a weak projectile with quite a bit of startup lag. You might think Duck Hunt has a great projectile game, right? Wrong. Duck Hunt’s AI does not use its projectiles properly. It’ll often try one right in front of the enemy, giving them an ample opportunity to strike. And while Duck Jump grants a good amount of distance, it’s super slow, so Duck Hunt has to be careful with its recovery to avoid being gimped.
With Duck Hunt’s training, we’re going to take a different approach: full-on aggressive. No projectiles, no camping, none of that. We’re going to be focusing on up-close attacks, which Duck Hunt actually does decently well. Most important is using Duck Hunt’s strong down air to get early kills; it’s really key to land those in tournament matches. So you’re going to have change your expectations for Duck Hunt just a little bit. If you can do that and follow our training methods below, you’ll be good to go!
Duck Hunt’s tournament results and representation have been rather low. Perhaps it’s because the Duck Hunt amiibo figure is expensive, or maybe it’s because the AI doesn’t like to conform to how people perceive Duck Hunt’s playstyle. Either way, we’d love to see more trainers give Duck Hunt a chance. If you want to read more about Duck Hunt, you can find their wiki page here!
For this section, we’ll assume your Duck Hunt amiibo is at Level 1. If you’re planning on equipping it with Spirits, that’s great — just try your best to get its setup all… set before you start training. When a Spirit is given to a Figure Player, its personality and move values are shuffled around. Make your training count by giving it Spirits sooner than later! If your amiibo is already Level 50, you can still give it Spirits. Just be ready to do a few brush-up matches!
Huge surprise here! Duck Hunt’s best bonus combination is Armor Knight and Trade-Off Ability ↑. The raw firepower Duck Hunt gains from this Spirit setup is unlike any other. 1.15x attack and 1.8 defense from Armor Knight is already a huge boost. Couple that with Trade-Off Ability ↑’s many stat buffs, and you’ve got a really sturdy fighter on your hands.
Of course, most online tournaments (at least within our community) keep Armor Knight banned, so here are a few other options to pick from! You could use Hyper Smash Attacks, Move Speed ↑, Shooting Attack ↑, Air Attack ↑, Toss & Meteor, or Easier Dodging (to extend the distance of Duck Hunt’s air dodge during recovery). For stats, a balanced spread (2100 / 2100) works just fine.
Now, I’m sure there’s quite a few of you reading this who want to train a Duck Hunt amiibo, but aren’t very good at Duck Hunt. If that’s the case with you, don’t worry! You should definitely try to play as Duck Hunt, if possible, but we’re going to lay out everything you have to do to train a strong Duck Hunt amiibo. Play some timed matches against your FP (using the training strategies in the paragraphs below), and when it reaches about Level 30, you can switch its Learning off and then level it up in the background against CPUs. When it hits Level 50, you can turn its Learning back on and teach it even more!
With Duck Hunt, you’re going to want to walk as your main method of transportation. Don’t run unless your FP is really far away and you need to catch up to it. Your main attacking move is going to be forward smash! When using smash attacks, don’t charge them, just flick the right stick and let them rip. Forward smash hits multiple times and deals good knockback, too, which makes it your best bet as a neutral option and finisher. There’s a few other moves to use on-stage: though you should be relying on forward smash first and foremost, you should mix in up smashes against aerial opponents. You can then juggle them with repeated up smash attacks and then use an up tilt every once in a while. More rarely, you can try using short-hopped forward and back airs, but remember to prioritize forward smash above all else.
As mentioned before, it’s very important to train Duck Hunt to go off-stage even though their recovery leaves them vulnerable. Down air can end stocks really early, so if your FP is off-stage, you should be too. Focus on attacking your Duck Hunt amiibo with down airs, but feel free to mix in a forward or back air every once in a while. But down airs are Duck Hunt’s most important kill move, so go for them as often as you possibly can!
Thanks so much for reading! Duck Hunt’s training completely goes against everything their character is supposed to do, but we promise it’s better this way! Thanks again to MiDe for contributing Duck Hunt’s training information. You can check out their YouTube channel here, if you have a minute! And if you have any amiibo training questions for us, feel free to join our Discord server and ask. Happy training — until next time!
If you would like to read more amiibo training guides, please follow this link.