Spirits are one of the most unique (and most unbalanced) components of amiibo training in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. They’re kind of like power boosts for your Figure Players; using Spirits, you can increase their attack strength, decrease the amount of damage they take, and let them inherit special bonus effects that come with a wide variety of powers. They can be a bit overwhelming to new trainers — and understandably so! It’s time to talk all about Spirits in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate!
Following in the footsteps of equipment from Super Smash Bros. 4, Spirits are collectible power-ups that can be obtained via World of Light, the Spirit Board, and the shop. As a player, you’re able to use these Spirits yourself to buff your character with extra strength and bonuses. But what we’re looking at today is the kind of Spirits that work best with amiibo! Once an FP inherits a Spirit, you can’t get it back — even if you choose not to save the figure’s progress afterward. You can bypass this restriction with cloud saves, but there’s a cooldown you’ll need to wait for.
It’s also important to note that giving your FP a Spirit will sometimes change its personality. If you’re new to amiibo training, please don’t worry about which personality your FP has, because it ultimately doesn’t matter very much! As long as you’re following our guides, any personality you wind up with is fine. Except for Unflappable.
Primary & Support Spirits
There are two types of Spirits: Primaries and Supports. Primary and Support Spirits work differently on Figure Players than they do on human players, so listen up! First, amiibo can only inherit Support skills from a Support Spirit — not from a Primary Spirit. So if you have a Primary Spirit with a trait, your FP won’t be able to inherit that trait to use on its own. This means Lifesteal, Hammer Duration ↑, Metal and Giant, and Weight ↑↑ – traits that can only be found on Primary Spirits – cannot be legitimately given to amiibo fighters in any way.
Let’s talk about the Spirit types we just mentioned. If you’ve seen your FP’s status screen (and have pressed R to bring up the personality menu), then you may have noticed a circular icon nearby. That’s its Spirit type, and there are four in total: an Attack type (red with a sword), a Shield type (blue with a shield), a Grab type (green with a claw), and a neutral type (gray). If your FP is Attack-type, that does not make it inherently more aggressive; the same goes for the Shield and Grab types, which have no effect on how often your FP blocks or grabs, respectively. Spirit types are essentially a game of rock-paper-scissors. Attack “beats” grab, grab “beats” shield, and shield “beats” attack. What does “beat” mean in this context, then? Well, for example, if a Grab-type Mario amiibo is fighting a Shield type Luigi amiibo, that Mario FP now has a Spirit-type advantage. That means Mario will deal 1.3x increased damage against Luigi. If that same Grab-type Mario FP goes up against an Attack-type Bowser amiibo, though, Mario will have a Spirit-type disadvantage and only inflict 0.85x damage against Bowser. So, in summary: for the best results, your amiibo should always have a neutral Spirit type! This way you don’t have to worry about an opponent receiving a 1.3x attack boost for reasons you can’t directly control. The neutral type doesn’t receive a boost or a penalty against any other type – even itself – which makes it the winning choice in tournaments.
If your amiibo is fresh out of the box and you want to set it up with Spirits, do so before you start training it (more on that later). The first thing you’re going to want to do is feed it a Primary Spirit with the neutral type. If you can, try using consecutive Primaries to get your FP’s stats to even numbers (such as 3200 / 1000); you can then give it Support Spirits to raise and lower its attack and defense in increments of hundreds. This makes it easier to set up your FP with a nice and even 2100 across both stats (and this is the recommended spread listed in most of our guides). Alternatively, let your FP inherit a Zacian & Zamazenta Spirit and its stats will even out right away.
With 2100 points in attack, an amiibo deals 1.84x increased damage. This damage bonus applies to attacks it uses and items it throws. With 2100 points in defense, an amiibo takes approximately 0.44x damage from opponents. Most trainers choose to occupy all three of their FPs’ bonus slots, but let’s say for a moment that you choose to leave all of them empty and go with the now-increased stat total of 2500 / 2500 instead. With 2500 points in attack, the FP deals 2x damage (whereas 2100 deals 1.84x). With 2500 points in defense, the FP takes 0.4x damage (whereas 2100 takes 0.44x damage).
A lot of our guides will tell you that stat points don’t matter too much. There’s as much merit to investment in attack as there is in investment in defense, so you’re free to give your FP any stat spread you want. We generally recommend balancing its total between attack and defense, as most tournament FPs run 2100 / 2100 (or similar). If you have trouble evening out your amiibo’s stats, don’t worry; something like 2078 / 2122 works just as well.
If you’re looking to get the highest amount of attack or defense points possible (and forgo the other stat), there are two specific Spirits that can help you do that. For maximum attack, you’ll need to get your hands on the Akuma Spirit (Street Fighter series), and you can do that by waiting for him to appear on the Spirit Board. Use board-shuffling items if you can! For maximum defense, you can summon the Absolutely Safe Capsule with a Mr. Saturn Spirit and six other cores. Please note that giving your FP these Spirits will change its Spirit type to one other than neutral. Luckily, feeding it additional neutral-type Spirits will change its type back! As a side note, it’s also impossible to have the maximum investment in one stat and none in the other. This means a spread of 4200 attack and 0 defense is pretty much impossible, but you can at least get close!
As mentioned before, although you can forgo bonus effects and pocket extra stat boosts, most trainers choose not to. There are a lot of helpful bonus effects that can really turn the tide of battle in your FP’s favor, and it’s important to understand the effects of each one. Let’s begin with the “big five” — a category of five really strong bonus effects that have been officially banned from Spirits tournaments (but are allowed elsewhere).
First we have Super Armor and Slow Super Armor, two of the most powerful (and controversial) bonus effects in the game. As their names imply, these effects grant the fighter universal super armor. When the user suffers 132 units of knockback or more, the armor is temporarily broken and the user is launched anyway. Super armor bonuses are extremely potent when their user hasn’t taken much damage, and are doubly effective on fighters like Bowser and Donkey Kong whose attacks already have super armor. Super Armor takes up all three bonus slots at once, whereas Slow Super Armor only occupies two. This is because Slow Super Armor comes with a penalty of 0.3x grounded movement speed and 0.5x air speed and jump height.
Next is Armor Knight, a two-slot bonus effect that we often recommend on our guides! It grants its user 1.15x increased attack power and a whopping 1.8x defense. In exchange, movement speed is reduced by 0.7x. Again, Armor Knight only occupies two slots, and that means the third slot can be filled by Move Speed ↑ or Trade-Off Ability ↑ to completely offset the speed penalty. Armor Knight’s 1.8x defense multiplier made matches take forever, and tournaments become so horribly boring and centralizing that the bonus was permanently banned.
And then we’ve got Autoheal and Great Autoheal! Autoheal occupies two bonus slots and recovers 3% of health (3% damage, that is) to its user every five seconds. Great Autoheal occupies all three bonus slots and restores 5% of health to its user every five seconds. It might not sound like much, but this health restoration goes a long way, especially if the user can stall for time. For example, Ness can juggle opponents with PK Thunder for upwards of thirty seconds and Mii Gunner can camp with Gunner Missile.
To review, Super Armor, Slow Super Armor, Armor Knight, Autoheal, and Great Autoheal are almost always prohibited in Spirits tournaments due to their centralizing natures. They also benefit characters that are already top-tier, which further stifles the metagame’s variety. Instadrop and Critical Healing & Metal are occasionally banned from tournaments, but these restrictions aren’t universal and will depend on the competition you’re entering. There are still plenty of unbanned bonus effects to choose from, though, and I assure you they’re much less lame! For the most part, that is.
With those bans in mind, Trade-Off Ability ↑ is perhaps the best bonus you could use. In exchange for starting each stock with 30% damage, the user will enjoy 1.18x increased attack power, 1.2x defense, and 1.2x increased mobility. Trade-Off Ability ↑ only occupies one bonus slot, so you can pair it with other small bonuses too. Between the other slots and the FP’s stats, Trade-Off Ability ↑ can have a big effect and is very often seen in Spirits tournaments. Of course, it is a bit risky thanks to starting every stock with 30%, but it’s still a great choice — as long as your FP isn’t a lightweight character. Here’s a list of more viable bonus effects you can use.
- Attack buffs: There are many attack buff bonuses to choose from, but the best ones to use depend on the fighter you’re going to train. Physical Attack ↑, Weapon Attack ↑, and Air Attack ↑ apply to the most amount of moves, but more niche skills like Fire & Explosion Attack ↑ and PSI Attack ↑ can see some use too. On characters with limited options, using two of the same strength-boosting bonus effect works well!
- Critical-Health Stats ↑: This is a one-slot bonus effect that activates on each stock when its user reaches 80% damage. For 20 seconds, the user’s attack power will increase by 1.1x, its defense by 1.3x, and its ground mobility and air speed by 1.3x. This is a solid pick to toss onto an FP if you’re not sure which Spirits to use, as it can help it make a comeback in dangerous situations!
- Critical Healing & Metal: A two-slot Support skill — and it’s one so strong (specifically on lightweights who need some extra staying power) that some tournaments even decide to ban it. Once per stock, this bonus will activate when its user reaches 80% damage. When it does, the user will turn metal for 13 seconds and heal 30%. The reason this Spirit effect is sometimes banned is that it serves little purpose other than making matches longer, which in turn makes them more boring to watch. And believe us, a niche like amiibo training needs as many viewers as it can get.
- Critical Immunity: Not quite as splashable as the other Critical-Health Support skills, but a good choice nonetheless. It activates once per stock at 100%, and it renders its user invincible for seven seconds. The FPs won’t always use this time to the fullest, but it does create the potential for comebacks.
- Floaty Jumps: This bonus decreases its user’s fall speed by 0.65x. It’s helpful on characters such as Mii Brawler and Ganondorf who fall fast and need the extra air time to space their recovery moves properly.
- Instadrop: On some characters, Instadrop is absolutely insane. It turns its user’s fast fall into an attack that deals 3% when falling and 6% upon landing. It has set knockback and can combo into many characters’ aerial moves. It’s most effective on air fighters like Falco and Jigglypuff (the latter can true combo Instadrop into Rest at any percentage).
- Move Speed ↑: This Spirit effect – hence its name – increases its user’s movement speed by 1.2x! Works great on Incineroar, King Dedede, and other fighters who run slowly.
- Team Power ↑: This bonus only works if the user is on a team. If that criterion is met, the user’s attack power will be increased by 1.26x and their defense by 1.38x. Please note that Critical Healing & Metal, Instadrop, and Team Power ↑ are the only bonuses on this particular list that occupy two slots instead of one.
You might be thinking of other bonuses and wondering why we haven’t mentioned them! Well, certain categories of bonus effects only activate on the user’s first stock. After they’re KO’d once, these bonuses won’t activate for the rest of the match. These include Made of Metal, Giant, Critical Super Giant, and Critical-Health Healing. Item bonuses work the same, but there’s a catch. Let’s say you set your FP up with Killing Edge Equipped, Beam Sword Equipped, and Lip’s Stick Equipped. On the first stock, it’ll have the Killing Edge, on the second stock it will have the Beam Sword, and so on. Unfortunately, the AI often tosses its item away without using it first, so these item bonuses can sometimes be rendered useless. For the most part, these Support skills aren’t worth using — but a select few of our character guides may mention them, depending on the fighter. One final note here regarding Spirit effects: Critical Hit ↑ and Critical Hit ↑↑ do not increase the chances of getting a Judge 9 with Mr. Game & Watch, nor do they increase the odds of getting a critical-hit smash attack as Hero. These bonuses are an independent 8% chance to deal 1.2x damage across all attacks (yuck).
Acquiring Support Spirits
When Super Smash Bros. Ultimate updates to add support for a new DLC fighter, a brand-new DLC Spirit Board is added as well! These Spirit Boards feature repeatable battles that let you farm specific Support Spirits over and over. This is especially helpful for training amiibo. Here’s a full list of viable bonus effects you can farm for via the DLC Spirit Board. Complete the Spirit battle and you’ll earn the corresponding Spirit!
- Persona 5 Spirit Board: Not too much in this one, unfortunately. The only viable Support Spirit you can obtain here is Fist Attack ↑ from Makoto Niijima.
- Dragon Quest Spirit Board: This Spirit Board is great! You can infinitely farm Move Speed ↑ from Liquid Metal Slime, and the Hero’s Comrades Spirit battle lets you obtain Team Power ↑.
- Banjo-Kazooie Spirit Board: This board isn’t too helpful either. Buzzbomb lets you get Floaty Jumps as many times as you want, though!
- Fatal Fury Spirit Board: Another rather empty board. You can get Foot Attack ↑ from Kim Kaphwan if you need it!
- Fire Emblem Spirit Board: Lots of good stuff here. Air Attack ↑ from Seteth, Electric Attack ↑ from Dorothea, and Landing Lag ↓ from Ingrid.
- ARMS Spirit Board: There’s another way to get repeatable Move Speed ↑ Spirits from the ARMS board: complete the Ninjara Spirit battle! Not much else here, unfortunately.
- Minecraft Spirit Board: You can get Jump ↑ from Slime (Minecraft), Air Attack ↑ from Ghast, and Weapon Attack ↑ from Piglin. This Board was a great addition; the ability to obtain Weapon Attack ↑ Spirits anytime is incredibly helpful!
- Final Fantasy Spirit Board: This is one of the most helpful Spirit Boards yet: you can get Autoheal from Aerith and Trade-Off Ability ↑ from The Turks & Rufus Shinra. Excellent board, especially for repeatable Trade-Off Ability ↑ Spirits!
- Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Spirit Board: This board is incredible, too! You can infinitely farm Physical Attack ↑ from Lora, Shooting Attack ↑ from Poppi α, and Critical Healing & Metal from Pneuma.
- Tekken Spirit Board: This one’s not so great; you can get Impact Run from Kuma & Panda and Lightweight from Asuka Kazama. Nothing more of note here.
- Kingdom Hearts Spirit Board: Not much here, either. Roxas offers Weapon Attack & Move Speed ↑↑, which is a perfectly viable Spirit effect. That’s about it, though.
The Super Armor (Gold Mario) Support Spirit can be obtained via summoning, and you’ll have to use the Metal Mario, Super Mushroom, and Fire Flower Spirits to do that. These, in turn, can be found in World of Light Spirit shops. Armor Knight can only be found via the Halberd Support Spirit, which randomly appears in Funky Kong’s World of Light shop. Great Autoheal can be found on Celebi in the default Spirit Board, and Instadrop can be found on Rocky and Miltank in the same way.
When giving a Figure Player Spirits, be careful! We say this a lot, but Spirits actually adjust FP training data. So if you raise an amiibo and then give it a Spirit, it’s going to start behaving strangely. In a worst-case scenario, certain Spirits can actually cause FPs to start taunting uncontrollably (we know for sure that the Meloetta Spirit can cause this), and once that habit forms it’s very difficult to break. If you’ve already given your Level 50 amiibo a Spirit, you can use one of our character guides as an outline and play a bunch of brush-up matches against it!
As always, if you have any further questions, you’re free to join our Discord community and ask as many as you want! Like we mentioned before, amiibo personalities are closely related to Spirits, so if you’d like to take this opportunity to learn more about them, you can do so via our post. Thank you so much for reading! Until next time — happy training!
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3 thoughts on “The best amiibo Spirit builds in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate”
I feel like I should mention that in the Dragon Quest XI spirit board the Cetacea spirit makes you giant at the beginning of the match.
i’d just like to note that spirit stat inheritance is actually based on the primary spirit’s ratio of attack to defense, not the raw numbers themselves. thus, there are several spirits that are better than akuma if you’re looking to invest super-heavily in attack. spring man and the mighty jinjonator have incredibly high attack-to-defense ratios, are farmable via dlc spirit boards (although jinjonator is resource-heavy because it’s only available through enhancements), and have a neutral typing. i-tetrimino has an even higher attack-to-defense ratio, but it’s an attack-type and is only available through the spirit board.
just coming back to clear up a few other common misconceptions and offer some useful information, since i’ve been doing some research:
-critical super giant and critical-health healing don’t only apply to the first stock. they can apply to any stock, but they only activate once per match.
-critical healing & metal is one of the best legal effects for most characters, but characters with bad recoveries absolutely DO NOT want their fall speed increased just as they’re knocked offstage.
-if you play on a ruleset with fs meter on, look into fast fs meter, jam fs meter, and ESPECIALLY double final smash and critical fast fs meter ^^. that last one will net you at least two final smashes, three if you’re lucky, once per stock. if you’re training someone like zelda or pac-man in a ruleset that has fs meter on, invest in it.
-several spirits do cause taunting if they’re fed to your amiibo. even if you use them before you begin training, it’s almost impossible to eliminate this behavior, so avoid these spirits whenever possible. i’ve compiled a list of all the ones i’ve seen cause taunting.
primaries: amazon pandora, andrew oikonny, ann takamaki, birdo, bowser (wedding), broque monsieur, cutie j, dan, dee jay, diancie, dj k.k., gold bone, groose, gryll, hades, heracles, jack levin, jimmy t, king knight, lanky kong, nick, octoman, owain, panther caroso, peachette, prince of sablé, queen sectonia, reporter & wrestler, revolver ocelot (mgs3), ribbon girl, sukapon, super macho man, tom nook (nookington’s), tsubasa oribe, vega, vivian, yuga, yusuke kitagawa, and zeke
supports: donkey kong & bongos, fei long, meloetta, off the hook, squid sisters, swanky kong, and toy-con vr goggles