You might think Mario is a good Raid Boss amiibo for beginners. After all, throughout the Super Smash Bros. series, Mario has traditionally served as a beginner-friendly fighter (though he’s also quite good in competitive play these days). Unfortunately, that’s not the case here, as Mario’s AI is notoriously difficult to work with sometimes. It’s got a bunch of issues spamming particular moves, and today, we’re going to talk about ways to [hopefully] get around these quirks! In the meantime, if you’d like to learn more about Mario’s strengths and weaknesses, you can check his page over at the amiibo Wiki.
Please note that this particular training guide targets the amiibo-versus-human format. If you’d like to learn how to train a competitive Mario amiibo (amiibo-versus-amiibo), feel free to check out our corresponding guide instead.
Raid Boss-formatted Figure Players almost always use a Spirit team to increase their power. As always, you should give your Mario amiibo its Spirits before training (if possible). For reasons unknown, Spirits scramble an FP’s training data – that is, if it has some saved – so the best practice here is to give out Spirits and then start training. If you’d like to learn more about how Spirits work in this game, check out our full guide! Moving right along, then, here are some Spirit recommendations that would work well specifically with Mario.
Super Armor helps protect Mario during his admittedly-vulnerable recovery, which can help him live much longer and prevent him from being gimped at low percentages. It occupies all three bonus slots, though, so do keep that in mind! Instadrop is another option, though it’s arguably only average on this character. Slow Super Armor is not recommended for Mario, as his respectable mobility is an important part of his success.
If you’re looking for a more unique build, there are other options available! Physical Attack ↑ is one of Mario’s best, as it grants his entire moveset (bar Fireball, Cape, and F.L.U.D.D.) a 1.1x damage boost. Toss & Meteor boosts the strength of attacks that launch upwards or downwards by 1.1x, and works well alongside Physical Attack ↑. Lastly, Move Speed ↑ makes Mario more difficult for a human player to keep up with, and Landing Lag ↓ can be used if your FP uses more aerials than is recommended. Take your pick from these! For stats, any spread works just fine, but we always recommend to try and go for a balance between attack and defense. Make sure your FP’s Spirit type is Neutral, too!
A lot of new amiibo trainers start by training Mario. There are a lot of Mario amiibo figures available to purchase, and that’s probably why! If you’re starting out with Mario, here are a few tips. First, you should mirror match your amiibo until it reaches Level 50, and that means you’ll have to fight it while playing as Mario. Next, don’t charge smash attacks; the FP will learn to charge them in every scenario and leave itself wide open. Don’t taunt too much, and don’t worry about matchup experience against other fighters. When training Mario, it’s important to stay on-stage as often as possible. Human players will be able to rather easily gimp his recovery, so teaching the FP to leave the stage is a definite risk that might not be one worth taking.
Mario’s optimal playstyle is an aggressive one. Move in and fire off lots of attacks! And of course, when your FP is within kill range, you can finish it off with one of Mario’s stronger moves. Here’s another general tip: let yourself get hit by moves you want your FP to use. For example, if you want your FP to use forward smash, you should attack it with forward smashes of your own and then be sure to take damage from some of the FP’s forward smashes. It won’t start becoming aggressive until its later levels, though, so keep that in mind. Here are all the moves you should focus on during training:
- Down tilt: This move acts as a combo starter for Mario, whose AI will know to combo it into up airs once it reaches Level 43 (give or take a few levels). Teach your FP to use down tilt fairly often, especially given its low risk factor.
- Forward tilt: It’s a solid neutral tool. It’s a simple move and can also be angled, so the AI uses it well. Forward tilt also kills at the ledge at high percentages, which can be very convenient!
- Neutral attack: A fast move that should be sprinkled into your Raid Boss’ kit. It doesn’t need to be prioritized, per se, but every Mario Raid Boss should know this move.
- Up smash: Its hitbox starts from behind, making it great out of shield. The AI often turns around instantly to connect up smash’s beginning hitbox. Smart! This move is also a great finisher, and thus should be used often.
- Up aerial: Mario FPs will be using this move to combo a lot at low percentages, and to try and KO at high percentages. It’s a useful juggling tool!
- Back aerial: Its hitbox and power are ridiculous, making back air an essential tool. It should be used as a landing option and as an offensive one.
- Neutral aerial: This move does a little bit of everything! It shouldn’t be prioritized, as the FP will eventually learn to prefer neutral air a bit too much, but it is useful in moderation.
- Grab & throws: Due to a lack of shield pressure, grabs are essential for Mario. The FP will use up throw into down air at low percentages. It can also follow down throw with up airs or even an up special. Back throw is also a potential kill option! Don’t worry about comboing with throws; though, as long as your FP knows to grab at all, it’ll figure out its combos on its own.
- Super Jump Punch: Only use this move to recover or as a combo finisher after one or two up airs. This habit is hard-coded, but just to be safe, use it once or twice for the FP to imitate. Mario’s AI can use this out of a down throw, but it’ll learn to do that by itself. You don’t have to teach it!
- Forward smash: It’s slow and risky, but as long as it’s tempered with his other ground options – including neutral attack, down tilt, and forward tilt – this move is fine to use occasionally. Don’t spam it, though, as it’s easily punishable.
- Down smash: Similar situation to forward smash. It’s faster, but weaker and much less safe on shield. Use this one with caution!
- Fireball: If you feel the need to prevent your FP from constantly running off-stage, teach it to throw Fireballs off the edge instead! Otherwise, they’re okay to throw out on stage occasionally, but they can become a bad habit very quickly.
- Cape: Just a quick note here: the FP should automatically learn how to use this move as a reflector by the time it reaches Level 50. No need to teach it!
- Forward aerial: “Look, I get it”. Forward aerials are funny, they’re interesting to watch, and a certain YouTuber has made this move a fan favorite. Mario shouldn’t be going off-stage at all if you can help it, and he certainly has no use for forward air above-stage. That being said, there’s one area where it’s deadly, and that’s just above the ledge, where its launch angle will still KO. Optimally, you’d land the meteor smash only one or two times during training (which would entail going off-stage) and then never leave the stage again. Forward air is far from essential, but many of you Mario trainers probably want to use this move.
The only moves you should specifically avoid with Mario are down air and F.LU.D.D.. As mentioned earlier, Mario’s AI can get very spammy with its down airs, much to his trainer’s frustration. His AI is just fine with using F.L.U.D.D., it’s just that there’s not much of a use for it. In case you’re wondering about up tilt, the FP doesn’t use it very well, but it’s not necessarily harmful to his success!
Mario’s optimized Raid Boss playstyle is significantly different than his optimal playstyle in competitive amiibo tournaments. If you decide that you’d prefer to train your Mario amiibo to battle other amiibo, you can check out our competitive training guide instead. Remember, try not to train your Mario amiibo to do too many things at once. It’s generally best to train an FP to either beat human opponents or AI-controlled ones.
Thank you very much for reading until the end! It’s a bit of a shame that Mario’s AI is difficult to work with, but with lots of patience he’s certainly workable. If you have any further questions during training that you’d like to have answered, you’re always welcome to join our Discord server and ask away. Until next time — happy training!
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