We usually start our Super Smash Bros. Ultimate veteran training guides by talking about the character’s performance in the previous title, Super Smash Bros. 4. Let’s continue that trend by stating that Cloud was insane in that game. He was one of two fighters to be completely banned from competitive play, though he was later allowed back under a set of strict equipment restrictions. Cloud isn’t quite as strong in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, but he’s still pretty good — in fact, he’s at the higher end of mid-tier. Whether it’s as a tournament contender or a Raid Boss, Cloud’s got tons of potential. If you’d like to learn more about him, feel free to check out his wiki page. Otherwise, let’s jump right into today’s training!
Special thanks to Luckman for contributing Cloud’s training information!
If you’re looking for some Spirits to put on your Cloud amiibo, look no further! We’ve also got a full writeup on how Spirits work in this game, so head on over if you need more information before moving ahead. In the meantime, we’ve gathered a wide variety of optimal setups you can use on Cloud, which are as follows:
- Banned bonuses: Cloud has accrued strong tournament results with both Super Armor and Slow Super Armor, though the former tends to produce the best outcome (since it has no speed penalty). Armor Knight is also a solid choice, and it can be paired with Trade-Off Ability ↑ for an especially deadly bonus combination! You can obtain the Super Armor effect from the summon-exclusive Gold Mario Support Spirit, while Armor Knight is obtained from the Halberd Support Spirit that can sometimes be found in Funky Kong’s shop.
- Tournament-legal bonuses: Cloud uses a weapon, which means the Weapon Attack ↑ Spirit effect increases its power. In terms of some less obvious bonuses to try, some good ideas would be Air Defense ↑, Trade-Off Ability ↑, Floaty Jumps or Move Speed ↑ for recovery, or even a second Weapon Attack ↑ skill. The two-slot Giant Spirit effect works rather well too, as it allows Cloud to use a super-powered forward smash.
- Raid Boss bonuses: Each of the Support skills listed above is applicable to a Raid Boss, too! Great Autoheal is another top pick, as it makes its user extremely difficult to defeat thanks to its fast recovery rate. If you’d rather not use any of the Spirits listed above, try a build of Weapon Attack ↑, Move Speed ↑, and Landing Lag ↓ instead. You could also mix in Shield Damage ↑ and give your FP additional attack investment if you like!
Regarding stat distribution, you don’t have to think about your FP’s spread for too long. As long as it has stats, you’re good to go. That being said, if you’re looking for a specific benchmark to shoot for, try a balanced build (2100 / 2100) — and make sure your FP’s Spirit-type is Neutral before you start training it.
If you’re training your Cloud FP to enter tournaments, then there are three things you should never teach it to do: run, jump, taunt, or charge smash attacks. Yes, that’s four things, but they’re incredibly important ones! You’ll need to take it slow and walk during training — this will give your FP more time to calculate the best defensive option to use against incoming danger. Don’t go off-stage to edgeguard, and use the following moves during training:
- Forward smash is Cloud’s best move, and it’s easy to see why: it’s strong, it strikes multiple times, and it’s strong. Use lots of forward smashes, both to rack on damage and to KO. You’re welcome to mix in some forward tilt, down smash, and Cross Slash attacks at close range too!
- At mid-range, you should be rotating Blade Beam, down tilt, and dash attack. You don’t want to go overboard with any of these moves, though; use them in moderation. Also, the only time you should ever run during your training sessions is right before using a dash attack! Go back to walking afterward.
- Up smash and up tilt are your anti-airs here — not up air. When using up tilt, you can follow up with a second one and then finish the string with an up smash.
- In descending order of viability, you can use down air, back air, neutral air, and forward air to secure a landing when you’re launched upward. It’s worth noting that you should never jump on purpose (other than to recover) — which means you’ll have to wait until your FP launches you upward at later levels.
- Climhazzard serves as a solid (albeit slightly situational) out-of-shield option. Only start attacking with this move while you’re still on the ground, by the way!
You might be wondering why we don’t have up air listed here! Cloud’s AI can rack on damage with it, but it often struggles to KO its opponent if uses its up air too often. That’s why we suggest that you use his other aerials instead! You’ll also want to avoid using jabs, grabs, and Limit Charge. With a full Limit Gauge, your highest priority should be connecting Cross Slash instead of Finishing Touch.
Raid Boss Training
The current consensus on Cloud is that he’s a rather disappointing Raid Boss. His AI’s recovery patterns are hard-coded, which means human players will be able to predict the angle of its up special and then react accordingly. To prevent that from happening, you’ll have to teach the FP to stay on the stage at all times. Furthermore, Cloud’s AI often wastes its Limit Charge on a Blade Beam that will never connect, though this can be mitigated through training. Here’s what an optimal Raid Boss Cloud FP looks like, then:
- Forward tilt, neutral attack, and grabs are best used at close range. Cloud’s grabs are almost useless, but are necessary on a Raid Boss. Without them, he won’t be able to get past opponents who shield a lot (unless you gave your FP the Shield Damage ↑ Spirit effect). Dash attack and down tilt should be mixed in as well.
- Use an up tilt or two when your FP is nearby, and then combo into an up smash. More rarely, you can use a raw up smash to punish your FP as it tries to land.
- Cross Slash and Climhazzard should see some use here, too. Cross Slash is especially strong at the ledge, and both hits of Climhazzard should be used out of shield. In fact, you should only use Climhazzard directly after blocking an attack.
- Use neutral air out of a short hop or just to land. Its range isn’t as high as it was in the previous game, but it’s still quite a useful move!
You can also mix in some forward and down smash, but you can’t spam them! If you do, the FP will become predictable and human players will have no problem avoiding the attacks and then retaliating. Keep an eye on your Limit Gauge and don’t charge it with your down special — Cloud’s AI can get carried away and may try to charge its gauge when standing right next to an opponent.
Thanks for reading all the way to the end! If you just scrolled through to get the good info, that’s fine too. Our guides consist of a thousand words or more, so we understand that that can get tiring. If you’re in the mood for reading even more words, feel free to join our Discord server and ask an amiibo training question — we guarantee you’ll have plenty of words to read, in that case! If you’re ready to enter a tournament, be sure to check out our full guide on how to do just that. If you like what you read today, we appreciate any and all donations to help keep the site up and running. We’ve also got a Patreon with unique rewards in case you’re interested. Until next time — happy training!
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