Diddy Kong was strong in Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Super Smash Bros. 4. In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, he’s considered “pretty good”. That’s never been the case in amiibo training though, neither in 4 nor Ultimate. Combo-based characters tend to have wonky and inconsistent AI, and Diddy Kong is a good example. Even so, he’s still got a great deal of potential, so today we’re going to be talking about how to train a powerful Diddy Kong amiibo! Let’s get started.
In the context of amiibo training, Diddy Kong’s strengths are much the same as in competitive play (humans versus humans). Most of his attacks are really fast, coming out quick and having little cooldown. This lets him rack up damage fast, and by extension, KO faster, too! His movement speed is rather fast, and the AI has a few combos hard-coded into its metaphorical brain.
Unfortunately, Diddy Kong suffers from a multitude of important flaws. Most significantly, his recovery is extremely unreliable. This is a shame, because Diddy Kong’s aerials would be perfect for gimping. But Monkey Flip grants no vertical distance and Rocketbarrel Boost needs to be charged for quite some time. That charge time gives opponents a great opportunity to attack with an aerial of their own, which can often be the difference between whether or not Diddy Kong makes it back on-stage. As a result, he’s often KOed early and his finishers aren’t always strong or consistent enough to kill the enemy first.
Diddy Kong’s tournament results have been a bit disappointing, and many trainers simply cast him aside in favor of higher-tiered fighters. He’s still got potential, though, and with specific training, he can kind of contend against most of the cast. If you’d like to read more about Diddy Kong in his place in our metagame, be sure to take a look at his wiki page!
In terms of Spirits, Diddy Kong’s kind of tough. He’s too light to properly utilize Super Armor but needs to play too aggressively to benefit from Autoheal or Great Autoheal. This leaves us with a real shocker: Diddy Kong’s best setup is Armor Knight paired with either Trade-Off Ability ↑ or Move Speed ↑. The former grants additional stat buffs, while the later is a safer option that keeps Diddy Kong’s damage percent at zero while offsetting Armor Knight’s movement penalty.
Physical Attack ↑ boosts almost all of Diddy Kong’s relevant moves and thus is a great pick. Move Speed ↑ further increases his mobility and improves his recovery, while Hyper Smash Attacks increases the power of his strongest finishers. Toss & Meteor and Air Attack ↑ are options to consider, too.
Diddy Kong doesn’t have much room for creativity when it comes to stat spreads. Too little Attack investment and he won’t be strong enough; too little Defense investment and he’ll be launched too easily. Balanced (2100 / 2100) is your best bet (or a spread similar to those two numbers, if you can’t get them exactly).
As you might or might not know, Figure Players don’t save matchup experience. So they can’t tell what character you’re playing as! To streamline its training and help the AI learn to properly utilize its moveset, you should play as Diddy Kong. Even if you aren’t very good with him! Feel free to practice against your FP in training mode if you need to get a feel for how Diddy Kong plays. Just remember that FPs only learn in actual matches, not in the training room. Which is a shame. Here are all the moves you should be using during training:
- Forward smash: If you’ve read any of our other character guides, this should come as no surprise! Diddy Kong’s forward smash is really important, because it hits hard and hits twice. It’s safe to use on shielding opponents, because Ultimate’s AI always drops its guard after blocking the first strike of a multi-hit move. Use forward smash often!
- Up smash: Use up smash occasionally too. It can scoop a bit from the side and launches foes pretty high, but it can’t catch opponents on platforms. It’s best used when your FP is trying to land!
- Down aerial: Don’t go too far off-stage to use this move, as Diddy Kong’s recovery is kind of pitiful. You can use it on-stage, though, as it’s a surprisingly decent landing option against AI opponents!
- Back aerial: Powerful and safe on shield, so it’s a decent defensive air attack. Use it out of a short hop or while landing. But make sure you use your grounded moves more!
- Neutral aerial: Another good landing option, as its hitbox keeps Diddy Kong fairly safe.
- Grab & throws: Diddy Kong has a great down throw for combos. They’re all hard-coded, though, so as long as you teach your FP to grab a lot and land with aerials, it’ll teach itself all the necessary combos on its own. How convenient!
- Up aerial: It does KO eventually, but it’s best for pressuring a landing opponent and slapping them back into the air. We’ve listed four aerials here, so you’ll want to use them sparingly to keep your amiibo grounded.
- Forward tilt: Fast, but doesn’t kill all that well. Mostly useful for its frame data, but should still take a backseat to forward smash. Use this one sparingly.
- Up tilt: It doesn’t KO until high percentages, but can start simple combos. Again, said combos are hard-coded, so as long as your FP knows to use its up tilt, it’ll figure out its combos on its own.
- Dash attack: This attack hits a ton of times, and Ultimate’s AI is known for its poor blocking of multi-hits. Use it as a regular burst option and follow up with an aerial.
Consider the moves above high-priority. Now it’s time to talk about low-priority moves! The ones listed earlier should be your go-to options, but there are a few more you should use especially infrequently. Here they are:
- Down tilt: It’s got some merit due to potential combos, but forward tilt and forward smash launch in the same direction. We want Diddy Kong to use more forward smashes and forward tilts, so only use down tilt occasionally.
- Forward aerial: We’re already using a lot of aerials, so adding a fifth might be risky. The strongest tournament-winning FPs are mostly grounded, and we want that to be the case with Diddy Kong too. You can use forward airs every once in a while, just not too often.
- Down special: Diddy Kong’s Banana Peel isn’t great, but it isn’t quite bad, either. The AI can’t use its banana as intelligently as you might have hoped. Rather than being an asset to Diddy Kong’s playstyle, the banana is more of a distraction tool that lures AI opponents into trying to pick it up. Whether or not you want to use it is up to you!
Just two moves to avoid here. Monkey Flip should only be used for recovery, and Peanut Popgun should be completely avoided. It should go without saying, but also don’t use Rocketbarrel Boost to attack. Just to recover! If you’re thinking of a move that wasn’t mentioned here, it wasn’t good or bad enough to be considered noteworthy. Feel free to use it anyway if you want!
Thanks so much for reading, as always! Diddy Kong was arguably the least represented fighter in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate amiibo until recently, so we hope the release of this guide helps encourage trainers to give him a shot! If you have any questions during training, feel free to join our Discord server and ask away. We’ll be happy to help! And if you’d like to read more about amiibo training, check out our general training guide. Thanks again — until next time!
If you would like to read more amiibo training guides, please follow this link.