Of all the Figure Players available in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, none have remained as consistent a top-level threat from the very beginning quite like Link. He’s one of the most frequently-entered characters in tournaments for multiple reasons — his amiibo figures are rather common, he’s a popular and well-known gaming icon, and he’s powerful and versatile in the competitive metagame. If you’d like to learn more about Link’s FP, you can do so over at his wiki page. Otherwise, let’s jump right into today’s training!
Special thanks to Luckman for contributing Link’s training information!
As mentioned earlier, Link’s amiibo figures are quite common, so many new trainers start their journey with this character. If that’s the case for you as well, you might want to learn more about how Spirits work on Figure Players in this game. Luckily, we’ve got a full-fledged Spirits guide you can check out at your convenience! In the meantime, here are some specific builds you can use on Link:
- Banned bonuses: Link has a rather limited number of viable Spirit builds when compared to the rest of the cast. Super Armor doesn’t suit him very well due to his average weight and recovery, while Autoheal doesn’t always appeal since he has to get up close to finish off the enemy. In contrast, Armor Knight is ridiculously strong on Link — especially when paired with Trade-Off Ability ↑.
- Tournament-legal bonuses: Some single-slot Support skills you could use include Weapon Attack ↑, Trade-Off Ability ↑, Move Speed ↑, Critical-Health Stats ↑, and possibly even a second Weapon Attack ↑ bonus. The two-slot Giant Spirit effect is crazy, as Link can chain multiple up smashes into each other to get a quick kill.
- Raid Boss bonuses: If you’re training a Raid Boss, your best bet (other than the aforementioned Armor Knight and possibly Great Autoheal) is Weapon Attack ↑, Move Speed ↑, and Landing Lag ↓. You’re welcome to experiment with more fun options like Instadrop, Giant, Made of Metal, or Critical Healing & Metal too!
There really is no true best stat spread for any given FP, but we usually include a recommendation here anyway. For Link, that recommendation would be a balanced setup (2100 / 2100). Make sure the FP’s Spirit-type is Neutral before you begin its training!
If you’re new to competitive amiibo training and are worried that it might be too complicated, worry not! Link’s optimal playstyle is easy to grasp. You’ll need to mirror match your FP all the way to Level 50 (or mirror match it to around Level 30 and then turn its learning off), and you should do so on Battlefield-form stages for the best possible result. Don’t run, dash, jump, or taunt — keep it simple and slowly walk instead. This helps your FP react better to incoming attacks at later levels. Going off-stage is fine, but don’t go too far, as Link’s up special doesn’t grant him much distance. Here’s what an optimal Link FP’s moveset includes:
- Forward tilt is one of Link’s best close-ranged attacks. It’s a fast sword swipe that deals solid damage and can even KO — especially when used near the ledge. Down tilt can be used at close range as well, and its combos are hard-coded at later levels.
- Boomerang is Link’s strongest (and only viable) projectile. Use a few of them in a row at mid-range to rack on damage from afar. You can also wait at the edge and aim Boomerangs at your FP to delay its recovery.
- Up smash is an excellent aerial punish! Use it against your FP when it’s in the air. Up smash strikes three times and deals a ton of damage, making it very important to Link’s success. Up tilt and up air can be used alongside up smash to juggle, but up smash should be given the highest priority here.
- Forward smash can also be used to catch your FP’s landings and rolls. When attacking with this move, try your best to land both of its hits. At early levels, your amiibo might only use the first strike — don’t worry! This will fix itself by the time it reaches Level 50. Down smash is Link’s least useful smash attack, but it should still be mixed in every so often.
- Neutral air is Link’s primary landing option, but back air can occasionally be used for this purpose too (in which it can combo into a dragdown forward tilt). Forward air should be used exclusively off-stage, and it’s also the only attack worth using to edgeguard. Down air is another situational landing option that should be used less often than neutral or back air.
- Grab your FP often, and when you do, don’t pummel — just throw, and toss it to the nearest ledge! The AI has some hard-coded combos, but again, as long as it knows to grab it’ll teach itself the rest of the combos. No need to worry.
There are several important moves you’ll need to avoid using (or getting hit by) during training: Remote Bomb, Bow and Arrows, Spin Attack, and neutral attack. None of these moves are particularly useful to Link – at least, not in the context of competitive amiibo training – and thus should be avoided. Remote Bomb, in particular, is one of Link’s worst moves; the AI gets distracted and tries to pick up the bomb. It occasionally damages itself with its own projectile too! Unfortunately, Link’s AI will always pull out Remote Bombs to a certain extent. All you can do is minimize this behavior — it can’t be entirely eliminated no matter how hard you try.
Raid Boss Training
True to his title of Hero of Hyrule, Link makes for a strong Raid Boss! His traits are well-balanced, as he’s got respectable range, power, and speed. Since you’re training a Raid Boss, you’re welcome to dash and jump as often as you’d like (since just walking is very predictable for human opponents). You might want to be careful with teaching Link to go off-stage against humans, because a competent opponent will be able to intercept his recovery. Here are the moves to focus on:
- Forward tilt, neutral attack, and down tilt are all viable for close combat. Down tilt leads into tilt or aerial moves, but these combos are hard-coded by the time the FP reaches Level 50.
- Up tilt, up air, and up smash should be used to juggle airborne opponents to rack on damage. If you’re playing on a Battlefield-form stage, you can use up smash to attack your FP when it’s on a platform above you.
- At mid-range, fire off a Boomerang or two for good measure. It can be angled as well, and it does a great job of harassing opponents off-stage. The AI might occasionally combo a Boomerang into an arrow and then an aerial move, which is cool to see!
- More rarely, you can use a forward smash to punish a botched landing or to KO outright. As mentioned in the previous section, your FP might only use the first hit of forward smash when it’s at an early level. This problem will correct itself given time, so don’t worry!
- Neutral air is Link’s favorite air attack! It’s infamous for its incredible priority, and it can beat out a surprising number of incoming projectiles. Use it out of a short hop and to land! Forward air should be used above-stage to KO, and back air can be used for dragdown combos.
- Mix in some grabs as well, and toss your FP towards the nearest ledge! Link’s AI will eventually teach itself to use down throw aerial combos.
As with the competitive section, you’ll want to avoid using Bow and Arrows and Remote Bombs. FPs aren’t very good with items; they’ll get distracted and walk towards the item but then won’t actually do anything with it. If your Link FP fires off a Remote Bomb, try to avoid getting hit by it. Even with a down special value of 0 (which trainers can only see by decrypting amiibo files), Link will still pull out Remote Bombs every once in a while. Try to minimize the number of times it hits you!
Link is one of the most popular Figure Players for a reason: his strength, utility, and versatility are almost unrivaled. Link’s wiki page goes a bit more in-depth on his matchups and metagame position if you would be interested in that. And if you have any questions that weren’t answered here, feel free to drop by our Discord server and ask — we’ll be happy to help! If you want to enter a tournament after training, be sure to check out our competition startup guide. As always, we appreciate any donations to help keep the site running, and we’ve got a Patreon page too. Thank you so much for reading! Until next time — happy training!
If you would like to read more amiibo training guides, please follow this link.