Joker might just be the ultimate Raid Boss amiibo — that is, in terms of versatility. This is thanks to his hard-coded combos, which are the most impressive of any AI in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Joker can do it all: he can use dragdown up air combos, gun dashing, and guaranteed smash attack follow-ups. It’s clear that the developers wanted this FP to be flashy, and they’ve certainly achieved that goal. Joker isn’t quite as impressive in the competitive scene, but he’s still a solid mid-tier fighter who is well worth your time. Before we continue, we’ve got even more information on Joker’s strengths and weaknesses over at his wiki page, so be sure to bookmark it for later if you’re interested. Otherwise, let’s jump right into today’s training!
Special thanks to Dreamy Jay and Leeya for contributing Joker’s training information!
A lot of new amiibo trainers start out with Joker, and for good reason! He’s a cool character, and he’s one of the flashiest amiibo in Ultimate. Now, if you’re new to amiibo training, you might be having some trouble wrapping your head around Spirits. If that’s the case, we’ve got a full-fledged Spirits guide you can either read before continuing or save for later.
By all accounts, Joker’s strongest bonus setup is Armor Knight and Trade-Off Ability ↑. With this, he’ll enjoy a 1.15x attack boost and a 1.8x defense boost, and these stat increases will go a long way in helping him survive for longer periods of time. Most competitive tournaments keep Armor Knight banned, so have a look at the next paragraph for alternative options. If you’re going the Raid Boss route, you don’t have to worry about bans, so feel free to use Armor Knight in that case!
If you’re looking for some different bonuses you could use, here are a few: Weapon Attack ↑, Hyper Smash Attacks, and Toss & Meteor. If you’re training a Raid Boss but don’t want to use Armor Knight, you might want to try out Move Speed ↑ or Landing Lag ↓ in addition to one of the three bonus effects listed above. Trade-Off Ability ↑ is another option to consider; it grants its user several important stat boosts in exchange for starting the user off at 30% damage each stock. That 30% damage actually brings Joker closer to filling his Rebel’s Gauge and summoning Arsène! For stats, you can either keep them balanced (2100 / 2100) or lean more into defense (1700 / 2500). Make sure the FP’s Spirit type is set to Neutral.
As with most competitive FPs, you’re going to have to avoid dashing, jumping, taunting, and charging smash attacks. This means you’ll need to take your time and walk while training Joker! In spite of his occasionally exploitable recovery, you’ll actually want to teach your FP to go off-stage. Shield a bit during training, and be sure to let your FP successfully attack you with the moves you want it to use. Here’s a list of all the attacks you should keep an eye out for during training:
- Forward tilt: This is one of Joker’s best moves. It hits twice, and AI opponents will often drop their guard after the first hit and take damage. It can be angled, making it that much more versatile. Use it when you’re right next to your FP or at the edge!
- Down smash: This is a great get-off-me move, as it packs high speed, power, and range. Use it to KO your FP when you’re next to it. You can use this one near the ledge as well!
- Up smash: It covers a wide arc, making it great for aerial punishes. Attack your FP with an up smash whenever it’s directly above you!
- Forward aerial: Its primary use is off-stage, where it serves as a great gimping tool! It can be used occasionally on-stage, too, but make sure Joker’s grounded options are more heavily prioritized.
- Neutral aerial: This one’s good off-stage as well. It can also be used every so often on-stage, but don’t use it too much.
- Eiha / Eigaon: Only use this move when you’re a considerable distance away from your FP. Eiha’s long-lasting damage-dealing curse is great! With Arsène present, Eigaon serves as a decent kill move from afar.
- Up tilt: This move can lead to a dragdown up air combo! Every once in a while, you can use an up tilt to catch your FP’s landing instead of an up smash. You can then try to attack it with an up air afterward. This should, in turn, eventually activate the AI’s hard-coded up air combos.
- Down aerial: With Arsène active, Joker’s down air becomes a powerful meteor smash! Unfortunately, the AI can’t always tell when Arsène is present. As with the aerials listed above, you’ll want to use down airs to gimp your FP off-stage. And even then, your forward and neutral airs should have a slightly higher priority in that case (which is because down air launches at different angles depending on if Arsène is present or not).
- Dash attack: You should walk during training instead of running. Dash attack is the lowest priority move on this list, but when you do use it, you should break into a dash for a brief moment, attack, and then go back to walking.
Additionally, there are several moves you’ll need to avoid attacking with while training Joker. Though Gun / Gun Special has its uses in competitive play (human-versus-human), it’s essentially pointless against other amiibo. Joker’s jab isn’t too great either, and thus should be avoided in favor of forward tilts. Rebel’s Guard, Tetrakarn, and Makarakarn should be avoided as well, as they’re too slow and committal to be worthwhile options. You could use some down tilt and forward smash, but only a little bit. The AI has a chance of spamming its down tilt and losing out on its stronger KO options, and forward smash has a bit too much startup to be a consistent kill move.
Raid Boss Training
For training, you’ll need to mirror match your Joker amiibo until it reaches Level 50. If you don’t want to train it for that long, you’re welcome to switch its learning off somewhere around Level 35 and then level it up against CPUs. Since you’re training a Raid Boss, you’re welcome to jump and dash around as you’d like. Just try your best to keep taunting and smash attack charging to a minimum. Unlike the competitive training section, you are going to want to keep Joker on-stage, as human opponents will be able to react to and punish the AI’s predictable recovery patterns (with Arsène active, Joker’s AI occasionally recovers high with Wings of Rebellion). Here are all the moves you should be teaching a Raid Boss Joker FP to use:
- Forward tilt: Strikes twice and deals good damage. When your FP is close to you, attack it with a forward tilt!
- Neutral attack: Joker’s jab is more useful when you’re training a Raid Boss FP instead of a competitive one. Its startup is slightly faster than forward tilt, making it a good get-off-me move. It doesn’t deal much damage, though.
- Grab & throws: Joker’s down throw can combo into his aerial moves. Follow up with an air attack of your choice! If you were to follow up with an up air, you’d be able to activate the FP’s hard-coded dragdown combos. It’s also important to use dash grabs often!
- Gun / Gun Special: You can use this move on the ground infrequently. When you’re in the air above your FP, you can use Gun’s downward angle to rack up some damage. If your FP knows to use Gun, it’ll eventually teach itself to gun dash. Fancy!
- Neutral aerial: A quick spin attack. You can use it after a down throw or just out of a short hop. Use it often, but don’t spam it, as FPs can very easily get out of hand with their neutral airs.
- Forward aerial: The FP can learn to use the first hit of forward air as a dragdown combo. You don’t have to specifically teach it to use the first hit, though. Just attack it with a full forward air and it’ll teach itself.
- Back aerial: If you’re facing away from your FP, you can use a short-hopped back air to swat it away. It becomes even stronger with Arsène active!
- Up aerial: This move is Joker’s claim to fame! The AI has crazy combo potential with up air. It’s known to use dragdown up airs to combo into down smash or even another up air. Attack your FP with full up airs, and it’ll teach itself how to use the dragdown part. How convenient!
- Eiha / Eigaon: Not a move to be relied on, but you should use Eiha from afar every so often to rack up additional damage. More situationally, Eigaon can be used as a kill move.
- Down aerial: As mentioned earlier, Raid Boss Joker FPs should stay on-stage. Down airs can be used to land, but keep their usage low. Neutral and forward airs are better for landing.
- Up smash: And finally, we’ve got Joker’s smash attacks. You can use all three every so often, but their slightly slow speed makes them a bit risky at times. Of the three smashes, you should use up smash most of all. Human players are in the air way more often than competitive-trained amiibo, so that’s why Raid Boss Joker FPs should use up smash over their other two smash attacks.
The only moves you should specifically avoid are Grappling Hook, Rebel’s Guard, Tetrakarn, and Makarakarn. It’s okay to use Grappling Hook to recover, but don’t try to use it as an attack. The FP will often miss and wind up leaving itself open instead. Joker’s AI isn’t very consistent with its counter moves, and sometimes initiates them too early and (once again) leaves itself vulnerable. If you’d like to learn even more about amiibo training, you’re welcome to read our general training guide for extra tips and tricks that might help you out here!
Thanks so much for reading! We hope this guide helps set you on the right track to training the strongest-ever Joker amiibo. If you have any questions, please feel free to join our Discord server and ask. We’ll be happy to help you out! If you’re looking to submit your newly-trained Joker amiibo to a tournament, check out our Powersaves backup guide or mobile backup guide, depending on which device you have available. And if you like what you read today, we appreciate any and all donations to help fund the site’s upkeep. Until next time — happy training!
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