King Dedede has had a rich history within the amiibo metagame. He was high-tier in Super Smash Bros. 4, and he’s high-tier in this game, too. This is in contrast to both titles’ competitive scenes (human-versus-human), in which Dedede is considered… not great. It’s a nice change of pace to see him in the higher rankings! The king has had plenty of dedicated trainers, and though he isn’t quite king of the metagame, he’s powerful enough to rule over most fighters ranked below him on our tier list. If you’d like to learn more about King Dedede’s strengths and weaknesses, be sure to read his wiki page. Otherwise, let’s jump right into today’s training!
Special thanks to Dreamy Jay for contributing King Dedede’s training information!
If you’re new to amiibo training, chances are you might be a little confused on how Spirits work in this game. First, try and make sure your FP has its finalized stats and bonuses before you start training it. Second, make sure its Spirit type is Neutral. Third, if you want even more information on how Spirits work, you can check out our full Spirits guide! Now then, here are some character-specific builds you can use on King Dedede:
- Banned bonuses: As a heavyweight fighter, King Dedede pairs extraordinarily well with the Super Armor bonus effect. It grants its user full super armor, though said armor can eventually be broken by powerful attacks once the user has taken a lot of damage. Super Armor comes with an additional advantage here; it actually helps protect Dedede while he’s trying to recover. Those double jumps leave him vulnerable! Armor Knight plus Trade-Off Ability ↑ is another solid choice worth considering.
- Tournament-legal bonuses: King Dedede can utilize a variety of tournament-friendly Spirit effects, but the best two are Weapon Attack ↑ (which can even be applied twice) and Trade-Off Ability ↑. If you like, you could swap out any one of those bonuses for Move Speed ↑, Air Defense ↑, Lightweight, or Critical-Health Healing ↑↑.
- Raid Boss bonuses: As a Raid Boss, King Dedede benefits big time from mobility-enhancing Spirit effects. A setup of Move Speed ↑, Landing Lag ↓, and Physical Attack ↑ works great! If you want, you can replace Physical Attack ↑ with another Move Speed ↑; it’s one of the only bonus effects in the game that properly stacks without offering a diminishing return.
Just about any stat spread works good on Dedede, but if you’re looking for a specific one to use as a benchmark, go for a balanced build (2100 / 2100). You could also lean more into attack power if you like (2700 / 1500). Once again, make sure the FP’s Spirit-type is Neutral before you begin its training.
As with most competitive FPs, it’s best to teach King Dedede to walk instead of run. If you teach an amiibo to dash, it might run right into an opponent’s attack! In other words, walking gives FPs easier access to blocking and dodging, which helps it avoid taking unnecessary damage. As you fight against your FP, make sure to shield a bit but go light on rolling and air dodging. Here’s what an optimal Dedede FP looks like:
- Forward tilt is the king’s most useful grounded move. It strikes enemies multiple times, boasts a high range, and deals solid damage. Use lots of forward tilts at close range and at the edge! More rarely, you can opt to use a neutral attack combo instead — more specifically, you’ll want to use the rapid jab for a brief moment.
- Grab your FP often! The AI can link a down throw into a forward air at low percentages, but you don’t actually have to teach it to use this combo. Just make sure it knows to grab, and it’ll figure out the rest on its own! You could also use back throw to KO, and up throw to start up air juggles.
- On the subject of up air, it’s a powerful multi-hitting aerial that can spell doom for opponents trying to land! Use it to juggle your FP after it’s been launched or thrown upwards.
- Down smash is one of King Dedede’s fastest smash attacks and a solid kill move. It covers both sides, and KOs especially early at the edge. Use this move often!
- Up smash is Dedede’s other optimal kill move. It’s best used against your FP when it’s trying to land. Rack up damage with forward tilt and up air juggles, and then KO with a down smash or up smash!
When your FP is launched off-stage, don’t chase it. Exercise restraint and just wait at the ledge! After your FP reaches Level 43, it will automatically begin edgeguarding with Gordo Throw. There’s just one move you should specifically avoid, and that’s Inhale. It can reflect projectiles with good timing, but it’s got a slow startup and high ending lag, making it too risky to be worth your while.
Raid Boss Training
If you’re going for a Raid Boss Dedede, its optimal training is kind of similar to its competitive training strategy. The Raid Boss version has a higher emphasis placed on aerials and quick attacks, though. As usual, you’ll want to mirror match your King Dedede amiibo until it reaches Level 50. You’ll need to stay on-stage here, as the king is left highly vulnerable when he recovers back (specifically during his double jumps, which human players will often be able to intercept). Feel free to run around and short hop as often as you like! Here’s a full list of all the attacks you should be using during training:
- Forward tilt is great. It’s got range, power, and a long-lasting hitbox. It comes out rather fast, and it doesn’t leave Dedede vulnerable for long. This should be your go-to ground move! Neutral attack can occasionally be used in its place.
- Grab is the king’s other go-to ground move. The AI can execute a simple down throw to forward air combo, so you can use this string at low percentages to rack up a bit of damage. It’s also been seen using down throw to back air at higher percentages!
- Up air is a disjointed juggling tool that KOs surprisingly early. When your FP is launched upwards, juggle it with consecutive up airs! You can also use an up throw to launch the FP into the air and then attack it.
- Forward air hits hard and covers a massive area, making it extremely useful. Neutral air is mostly useful as a landing option and should be kept in moderation. Back air is just an extra aerial tool that should only be used a few times during training.
- You’re welcome to use down tilt, up tilt, up smash, and down smash as well, but very infrequently — especially those last two moves. Prioritize forward tilts and grabs most of all.
You should avoid using Inhale, Jet Hammer, and Gordo Throw; in the case of the latter, the Gordo is easily reflected back at Dedede, and this can sometimes prove fatal if he’s taken too much damage. As a final reminder, make sure you stay on-stage for the best results. No edgeguarding allowed!
Thanks for reading! If you’re a King Dedede main (or just really like the character), you were probably happy to find out he’s actually high-tier in this format. The purpose of this guide was to start you out on the right track, so we hope it was helpful! As always, if you have any training questions (or just want to talk about amiibo, which is totally understandable), feel free to join our Discord server! We advertise it in literally every single guide we release, so it has to be worth a look… right? Once you’re ready to submit to a tournament, you can read our detailed guide for more information on how to enter. If you like what you’ve read today, we greatly appreciate donations to help keep the site going. You can also check out our Patreon for special rewards! Until next time — happy training!
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