Fans of the Banjo-Kazooie series are in for a treat here! There’s finally some new Banjo & Kazooie merchandise, and it comes in the form of a (surprisingly well-made) amiibo figurine. Here’s some even better news: Banjo & Kazooie’s Figure Player is solid. Not top-tier, by any means, but solid. It does have a few disappointing tendencies, unfortunately, but it’s nothing too bad. In case you were wondering, we were able to datamine Banjo & Kazooie’s amiibo file a while back, so that’s how we’re able to publish an accurate training guide so soon. Don’t forget to bookmark this page for when the Banjo & Kazooie amiibo is released for real!
Banjo & Kazooie boast a large number of impressive strengths. Right off the bat, we’re going to talk about one of their best moves: forward smash. It’s got respectable speed, range, and power, which makes it an easy recommendation. Then there’s Wonderwing, which would be the duo’s best move if it weren’t limited to five uses per stock. Even so, it grants Banjo & Kazooie full invincibility and beats every option an opponent might have except for grabs. It also helps that Wonderwing is really strong! The bear and bird also have several hard-coded combos that help them rack up damage fast. The AI can use up throw into two up airs and then a forward air, and as you might expect, this combo deals lots of damage. It’s also been seen using landing up airs to link into a forward smash. Grabs are important for Banjo & Kazooie, and it isn’t just because of the combo potential they get from their up throw: back throw is quite strong too, and can be used as a kill throw at higher percents. Adding to the duo’s strengths is a great set of ledge-trapping options. They can use their neutral special, Egg Firing, to harass enemies trying to recover. Interestingly enough, Egg Firing shoots at an angle that stops an off-stage Ness dead in his tracks at any percentage! Banjo & Kazooie can also use Rear Egg off the ledge to catch low recoveries. Then they can use their down smash at the edge to cover their enemies’ getup options. Lastly, Banjo & Kazooie are a heavyweight fighter, which alone is an advantage; but they’ve also got very decent combos, which is an unusual combination for a Figure Player.
Unfortunately, Banjo & Kazooie do suffer from a fair amount of weaknesses. Perhaps their most glaring flaw is their recovery; though Wonderwing and Shock Spring Jump grant acceptable horizontal and vertical distance, respectively, they leave the duo vulnerable to being gimped. The AI tends to prioritize Shock Spring Jump over Wonderwing, but if Banjo & Kazooie are attacked with a meteor smash at any point during their up special, they’ll be launched too far downward to be able to recover again. This makes off-stage play very dangerous. That’s okay, though, because the duo does have strong ledge options as mentioned earlier. Another definite weakness is that many of Banjo & Kazooie’s grounded moves only hit once, so they’re very easily parried by defensive opponents. Here’s a terrible flaw, though: the AI can’t tell when it’s out of Wonderwing feathers. Which means if it uses Wonderwing too often, it will try to activate the move but fall flat on its face. How frustrating! This, in turn, means that Banjo & Kazooie have to be even more careful with their side special. If they run out of feathers, they won’t be able to recover very well if they’re launched a long horizontal distance away. One last flaw here: Banjo & Kazooie’s down throw isn’t all that useful in the amiibo metagame, as opposing FPs are able to mash out before the duo can follow up. King K. Rool has the same problem with his down throw, so it isn’t exclusive to Banjo!
Overall, Banjo & Kazooie are a good Figure Player, but perhaps not much better than that. Their flaws – particularly their Wonderwing quirk and poor recovery – are quite disappointing, and these will certainly hold them back in tournament play. We’re not exactly sure where they’re going to rank on the tier list, but we estimate they’ll be mid-tier at worst. Only time will tell!
As per usual with our guides, be careful when giving your Banjo & Kazooie amiibo a Spirit setup. If the FP is already Level 50 and it inherits a Spirit, the training data you worked so hard for will be shuffled and essentially undone! It’s best to set it up at Level 1, so try your best to do just that. If you’re new to amiibo training and Banjo & Kazooie is your first character, I’d recommend reading our full-fledged Spirits guide for more information. Now then, moving on to character-specific setups…
Banjo & Kazooie are classified as a heavyweight fighter, so they can make good use of the three-slot Super Armor bonus. As its name might imply, it gives its user universal super armor! Said armor can be broken, but that generally will only happen when the user reaches a high damage percentage. Another solid option is Armor Knight, which grants its user 1.15x attack power, 1.8x defense, and slightly reduced movement speed. It only takes up two slots, though, so you can use either Move Speed ↑ or Trade-Off Ability ↑ to offset the speed penalty.
There are a variety of other Spirits you could use instead, and that’s because Banjo & Kazooie are a rather versatile fighter. Physical Attack ↑, Fist Attack ↑, and Hyper Smash Attacks all increase the power of their respective move categories by 1.1x, so if you’d like your FP to deal more damage these are good choices. Side Special ↑ is another potential option, if you want, but keep in mind that Banjo & Kazooie might not be able to use Wonderwing often enough to warrant the bonus’ usage. Additional Midair Jump partially fixes the duo’s poor recovery, though they should still remain on-stage just to be safe. Instadrop is another option that you could explore; as we’ll soon discuss, Banjo & Kazooie use a lot of their aerial moves to combo into grounded attacks and Instadrop could help them in that regard. For stats, don’t worry too much about the numbers. Somewhere around 2100 attack and 2100 defense works just fine for this character. That’s just a ballpark range, too; as long as the stats are close to those numbers, you’re good.
Time for the most important part: training your amiibo! Assuming your Banjo & Kazooie amiibo is Level 1 (or slightly higher than that, if you’ve given it a Spirit setup), we’re going to train it until it reaches Level 50. After its level maxes out, you can keep training it, because the FP will keep learning! As with all characters, you’re going to want to play as Banjo & Kazooie while training your FP. If you don’t have the first Fighters Pass – and thus can’t play as Banjo & Kazooie – this process is going to be more difficult, but you can try to follow along anyway.
Your main move on Banjo & Kazooie should be forward smash. It racks up damage, catches rolls, and kills. This move does everything, and it’s quite consistent in doing so. Otherwise, when your FP is at low percentages, you can also attack it with forward tilt and down tilt. They’re both rather fast and deal good damage, and down tilt slides Banjo & Kazooie across the ground, thus creating a moving hitbox (which are known to be effective against AI opponents). Grabs should be a focus too; your go-to throw at low percents should be up throw. It combos into an up air, which can combo into another up air, and that can combo into a powerful forward air to finish off the string. This is a hard-coded combo, so your FP should have no trouble picking this up. When your amiibo is airborne, intercept its landing with an up air or up smash. Alternatively, you can read its potential landing spot and then prepare to attack it with a well-spaced forward smash. If you’re launched in mid-air, you can use back air to land. It hits multiple times, and the AI can learn to combo it into grab or dash attack, which helps rack up even more damage. If you’re launched really high upwards, you can use a down air to accelerate your landing. Don’t initiate the move too close to the ground, as if you land while attacking, you’ll suffer a slight landing lag penalty. A landing neutral air also combos into a grab. Landing aerials are really helpful, but it’s important to only use them when your FP forces you into the air. You’re going to want to stay grounded otherwise.
Forward smash is Banjo & Kazooie’s most consistent grounded kill move. Down smash is Banjo’s second-best kill move, and it’s especially effective when used at the ledge or out of a parry. Up smash is likely the duo’s worst smash attack due to its short horizontal range, but it can be used as an aerial punish every so often. Regarding Wonderwing, you can start using it when your FP is at a high damage percentage, and when you do, try not to spam all five of its uses consecutively. Ideally, you want your FP to use Wonderwing occasionally but never run out of feathers. If you find yourself in a position where you have to use Wonderwing to recover, try your best not to hit your FP with the move while you’re in the air.
When your FP is knocked off-stage, don’t chase it. Banjo’s up special doesn’t grant much horizontal distance, and if he’s out of Wonderwing feathers he really isn’t going anywhere, so that’s why we want to stay on-stage. Besides, Banjo & Kazooie have impressive ledge-trapping options that we want the FP to focus on. While your FP tries to recover, walk up to the ledge and stop. You can use single-shot neutral specials (Egg Firing) to poke at its recovery over and over again, or you could opt to use Rear Egg off the ledge in case your amiibo decides to recover low. Once it grabs the ledge, be ready to intercept with a down tilt or – more preferably – a down smash!
There’s not many moves you’re going to want to specifically avoid, but one in particular is Shock Spring Jump (up special) on-stage. It has a lot of startup and will leave Banjo & Kazooie vulnerable, plus it doesn’t really accomplish anything a normal jump cannot. Another move that isn’t worth using (but also is not necessarily bad) is up tilt. It’s got short range and is outclassed by up air and up smash. Outside of being used at the edge, Rear Egg is tricky. When Banjo & Kazooie summon an egg, chaos ensues as both FPs try to pick up the egg. Inevitably, one of them is going to take damage; unfortunately, it’s often Banjo who takes damage, as he picks up the egg but it explodes before he’s able to throw it. Interestingly enough, the AI is capable of using Rear Egg in midair and catching it almost instantly. I’ve also seen the AI attempt ladder-like shenanigans with Rear Egg in which it will use an aerial Rear Egg, hit the opponent, and then jump and use another one. This doesn’t seem to go anywhere though, so when you do use Rear Egg, only do so at the ledge or – very rarely – in the air. Banjo & Kazooie’s full neutral special, Breegull Blaster, is a strange case. The AI occasionally uses it at the edge and walks off-stage; fortunately, this never results in its death, but it’s still something to note. Banjo also occasionally tries using Breegull Blaster on-stage, in which it will jump and “lock” the opponent for a few seconds. This appears to be hard-coded, but doesn’t do too much except for rack up a small bit of damage. When using neutral special, try and make sure it’s single-shot!
Thanks so much for reading! Just by reading this article, you’ve helped support Exion, and I very much appreciate that! It took a lot of training and labbing to get Banjo & Kazooie’s guide ready, so I hope you can use the information I’ve provided here to get yours up to snuff on the day it releases. Or, if you somehow have the amiibo file early, you can use the information now to get a head-start. Regardless, if you have any questions during training, be sure to head to our Discord server and ask. If Banjo & Kazooie is your first amiibo and you’re still kind of confused as to how amiibo training works, you should check out our general amiibo training guide too!
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