Sad. If given one word, that’s the one we’d use to describe Sheik’s Figure Player. Alongside Bayonetta, Sheik is a contender for “worst in game” due to a wide variety of reasons. Which is a shame, because Sheik was considered mid-tier in Super Smash Bros. 4’s amiibo metagame. Simply put, if you’re looking to train a Sheik amiibo, it’s going be tough. She’s going to lose a lot of games. In some of them, she’ll be KOed early due to her lack of weight. In others, she’ll take too long to KO an opponent due to her concerning lack of kill power. Sheik’s a frustrating one, but we’re going to do our best today!
We usually start this section with a quick overview of the character’s pros and cons. Not this time. Because the only “pros” to speak of are that Sheik’s moveset is really fast. And that’s about it! As mentioned before, if you’re training Sheik, it’s going to be difficult. She’s a combination of many unfavorable traits. For one, her damage output is absolutely pathetic. Literally every other fighter in the game deals more damage than Sheik; adding to this trouble is that the AI can’t take advantage of its fast moves to string together consistent combos. She’s also really light, meaning she’s easily knocked away and is often KOed early. Her special moves aren’t very useful, as the AI can’t always use them properly. It will charge its Needle Storm attack, but often fails to use them; it uses Burst Grenade and Bouncing Fish with improper spacing, and it can self-destruct if trained to use Vanish on-stage. So, then, what is Sheik’s amiibo supposed to do? Sit at the bottom of our tier list, apparently.
Sheik’s most important flaws aren’t even in her AI. She’s flawed by design. The Smash Bros. developers would have to buff her damage output, which would affect the human-versus-human competitive scene. She’d need to be made stronger and heavier, which would mess with her character archetype. In other words, it’s very unlikely that Sheik’s position in our metagame will ever change. Especially since Sheik buffs seem kind of unlikely at this point in time.
Though Sheik’s tournament representation hasn’t been awful, her results kind of have. Bayonetta and the Ice Climbers – two other characters who were in contention for “worst in game” – have seen various improvements to the artificial intelligence. This doesn’t matter to Sheik, though; even the best AI in the world won’t save her. It’s a shame! If you’re not too discouraged, let’s move on to her optimal Spirit builds.
Fortunately, Sheik benefits from several potential Spirits. Armor Knight is her best friend, as it grants an additional 1.15x attack power and 1.8x defense. That’s huge, as Sheik is lacking in kill power and survivability. Pair Armor Knight alongside Move Speed ↑ and you’ve got the best possible setup on your hands! Trade-Off Ability ↑ works too, but do note that its 30% damage penalty can be problematic for Sheik, given her lightweight status.
Of course, most of our online tournaments ban Armor Knight. Here are some other options, then: try out Physical Attack ↑, Hyper Smash Attacks, Foot Attack ↑, and / or Instadrop. Not many options here, sadly, but you’ve got to work with what you can get, right? You could also try Air Attack ↑ or Air Defense ↑.
If you’re running Armor Knight, you could run a more offensive stat setup (3200 / 1000). With Armor Knight, Sheik’s defense will receive a huge boost, so you can afford to run more attack in that case! If not, a balanced setup (2100 / 2100) is your best bet. Sheik needs both the attack and the defense, so this is the way to go.
As usual, you’ll need to mirror match your Sheik amiibo in order to train it properly! Play on Ω-form stages and used a timed ruleset for best results. Refer to the list of moves below, and use them during these matches! You can stop once your FP is around Level 35. Then you can switch its Learning off, level it up against CPUs, and then switch its Learning back on at Level 50 for some brush-up games. Here’s the full list of moves to use during training!
- Forward smash: It’s pretty much impossible for Sheik to accidentally KO an opponent, so it’s very important to use her smash attacks whenever possible. Forward smash is a good choice; its multi-hitting properties make it a solid finisher.
- Down smash: Again, Sheik can’t kill by accident. Down smash needs to be used in tandem with forward smash to make sure the FP uses its kill options often.
- Up smash: Really, Sheik can’t kill on accident. Up smash has a powerful tipper hitbox, and the FP sometimes combos it out of a down tilt, so be sure to use up smash often. Best used against your FP when it’s trying to land!
- Dash attack: It shouldn’t be used too heavily, but it’s a great burst option that can catch opponents by surprise.
- Down tilt: Sheik’s AI doesn’t have too many hard-coded combos, but a good bit of the ones it does have involve down tilt. Use down tilt against your amiibo, and it’ll figure out its down tilt combos on its own. Very convenient!
- Forward tilt: A good combo move that should be used often. Make sure to prioritize forward smash over forward tilt, though.
- Neutral aerial: This is one of Sheik’s only landing options. Use it to ensure you land safely. Try to stay mostly grounded when you can!
- Forward aerial: It has such little knockback that it can be chained many times. The AI is capable of doing this, and can even carry an opponent across the stage. When you’re in the air, use forward airs often!
So those are your high-priority moves. Now it’s time to talk about two low-priority moves. You should sprinkle those in, too, but not as often as the important attacks we listed above. Here they are:
- Up aerial: This move does have potential for dragdown combos or additional air pressure, but it’s not very necessary in Sheik’s kit. It’s much more effective to stay on the ground and use up smash for potential kills.
- Back aerial: It’s a good move, but Sheik does need to stay mostly grounded to have easiest access to her best kill moves. Back air works well as a potential landing option.
There’s just one move to specifically avoid here: down air. Sheik’s AI can self-destruct if taught to down air, so steer clear of this move at all costs. You might have noticed we haven’t mentioned special moves yet! Well, none of them are good, per se, but they’re not quite bad either. If you’re going to try and teach it to use Needle Storm, keep in mind that the AI often will charge but not fire them. If you’re going to use Burst Grenade or Bouncing Fish, try to do so at a safe distance, because the AI occasionally messes up and tries them too close to an opponent. Sheik’s special moves aren’t instrumental to her success, though, so feel free to completely ignore them.
Thanks so much for reading! Sheik’s another one of those “no special moves” characters, but if you want to experiment with them, you’re more than welcome to! She’s definitely tough to train, so if you have any questions or need help, join our Discord community! We’ll do our best to further guide you through training. And if you want to learn more about amiibo training, check out our general amiibo training guide. Until next time, happy training!
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