Isabelle and Villager are Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’s two Animal Crossing representatives. Between the two of them, Isabelle has definitely seen more action in amiibo tournaments. That being said, Isabelle and Villager’s optimal training strategies are very different, so if you’re looking to train a Villager amiibo, read this guide instead. Now then, without further ado, let’s go through today’s training!
If you’ve taken a look at our amiibo tier list lately, you might have noticed Isabelle and Villager in their (relatively) low-tier positions. It’s hard to say whether Isabelle or Villager is the stronger Figure Player, but it’s easy to say that Isabelle’s had more representation. That’s probably because she’s an Ultimate newcomer; most Ultimate newcomers have been properly represented in tournaments, after all. Isabelle does have one key strength over Villager, though: her Fishing Rod. It’s kind of like a command grab, except it doesn’t go through shields. It’s got a decent range, deals a lot of damage, and AI opponents sometimes have trouble dodging it. She does share several strengths with Villager, though, including a strong recovery, solid off-stage options, and the ability to pocket projectiles.
Isabelle is actually kind of tough to train, though, because many of her attacks become risky if they’re used too close to her opponent. Lloid Trap sets up a buried projectile that launches if an enemy steps on it. Thing is, it takes a long time to bury, so if Isabelle’s FP tries Lloid Trap right next to her foe, she leaves herself vulnerable and is probably going to be hit with a smash attack. And although Fishing Rod is a good damage-racker, Isabelle’s AI sometimes sits there with the Fishing Rod out if it misses. And then it’ll wait until it’s attacked, or after a few seconds pass. There’s a recurring theme here: Isabelle has an interesting set of tools, but they leave her vulnerable if missed. These periods of vulnerability can really hurt, especially against fighters who pack a punch.
Though Isabelle’s tournament representation has been decent, her tournament results have been sort of disappointing. Again, it’s hard to say whether Isabelle or Villager is stronger, as it seems they’ve both got strengths and weaknesses that balance each other out. In any case, if you’d like to read more about Isabelle and her place in our metagame, check out her wiki page! Otherwise, let’s move on to her optimal Spirit setup.
If you don’t want to give your Figure Player a Spirit team, no worries! You can skip over to the next section. Most of our tournaments don’t allow Spirits, so this way, you’ll be able to enter them! Or, if you’re not into tournaments, then at least any human players your Isabelle amiibo faces will have a fair shot! Now then, if possible, only give your FP Spirits at Level 1 — before you start training. If it’s already Level 50, you can give it Spirits, but you’ll have to play a few brush-up matches afterwards.
Autoheal, Great Autoheal, and Armor Knight all work on Isabelle. Great Autoheal takes up all three bonus slots. If you’re running Autoheal, you can pair it with Weapon Attack ↑ for some extra power. If you’re running Armor Knight, use Move Speed ↑ or Trade-Off Ability ↑. Armor Knight is probably the better build, but Autoheal and Great Autoheal work well too. Up to you!
Most Spirits tournaments keep Autoheal, Great Autoheal, and Armor Knight banned (real balanced metagame, huh?), so if you want to enter one, you’ll have to look at some other options. Weapon Attack ↑ buffs Isabelle’s entire moveset (just about, anyway), while Hyper Smash Attacks, Air Attack ↑, Air Defense ↑, and Move Speed ↑ can be used to fill the extra slots. For stats, your typical balanced spread (2100 / 2100) works just fine here!
Isabelle and Villager are kind of similar, but make no mistake — you’ll need to play as Isabelle to mirror match your Isabelle amiibo. You can train it in timed matches on Ω-form stages. Figure Players are hard-coded to avoid stage hazards at Level 50, so don’t worry about teaching it to dodge them. If Isabelle is your first amiibo, feel free to check out our general amiibo training guide first. But then come back for character-specific tips and tricks!
With Isabelle, there’s no need to run! Use walking to get around instead. This’ll help your FP more quickly react to incoming attacks. At the start of each game, walk up to your FP and start attacking. Forward tilt is a solid close-ranged option that can KO at the edge at high percentages, so use it often! At really close range, up tilt can swat your FP into the air. Once your FP is airborne, you can juggle it with up airs and up smashes! Down tilt is another close-ranged kill move that can rack up damage in a pinch. So, to review: Isabelle’s tilts are pretty good up close.
At a distance, you can use Isabelle’s Fishing Rod to try and catch your amiibo! Reel it in and then throw it any direction you like. When your FP eventually starts to use its Fishing Rod, it’ll throw you in any direction it wants regardless of the directions you used. Don’t use Fishing Rod too close, though, and if you miss, reel it in as soon as possible. Your FP might try to use its Fishing Rod, miss, and then stand there and keep the line out. If you see this happen, punish it with a tilt or a properly-used Fishing Rod. When you’re really far away from your FP, you can plant a Lloid Trap. Never use this up-close, and don’t use it too often to begin with.
By Level 50, your Isabelle amiibo should know how to use its Pocket to catch and reflect projectiles. It’s hard to teach, though, because the only pocketable projectiles Isabelle can use are her forward and back aerials. You can use them out of a short hop every once in a while, by the way, just make sure you focus more on tilts. Down smash is another good option at close range (and the most reliable of Isabelle’s smash attacks), so be sure to use that too. Especially at the ledge! Speaking of the ledge, when your FP is knocked off-stage, chase after it and attack with forward, back, and down airs. Isabelle’s got a great recovery, so you can go as far off-stage as you want. Try to gimp at as often as you can!
Isabelle’s forward and up smashes can be used in a pinch, but they’re not very good. Forward smash is powerful, but really slow, so only use it when you’re sure it’s going to connect. Up smash has pitifully short horizontal range, so you probably won’t find many chances to put it to good use. In terms of moves to flat-out avoid, that’s probably going to be grabs. Isabelle’s silly bug net comes out really slow, so she’s left vulnerable if she misses. You can KO your FP with a back throw, but do so very rarely and be sure to attack your amiibo if it tries to grab you and misses. And that’s the general gist of Isabelle’s training!
Thank you so much for reading, as always! Just repeat a bunch of matches using the moves listed above, and you should be good to go. If you have any additional questions, or are confused about any step of the training process, feel free to join our Discord community. We’ll be happy to help you out! Until next time — happy training!
If you would like to read more amiibo training guides, please follow this link.