Near the beginning of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’s competitive amiibo metagame, Kirby was overlooked and underrated. It wasn’t until fairly recently that a clear “strongest Kirby amiibo” emerged, and this caused the character’s tier list placement to shoot up significantly. These days, Kirby is actually considered high-tier! If you’re a Kirby main, hearing the words “Kirby is high-tier” might be strange. But it’s true, and it’s amazing! If you want to learn more about Kirby’s strengths, you can read all about them on his wiki page. Otherwise, let’s jump right into today’s training!
Special thanks to Clockwerk66 for contributing Kirby’s training information!
If you’d like to enter a tournament that allows Spirits, you’re in luck — we’ve got a few recommendations for Kirby here! We’ve picked out some Spirit effects that pair well with the moves we recommend teaching the FP in our training sections (which we’ll get to in just a moment). In the meantime, be sure to read our full Spirits guide if you haven’t done so already!
The best bonus setup Kirby can utilize is Armor Knight and Move Speed ↑. We’d normally suggest Trade-Off Ability ↑ over Move Speed ↑, but Trade-Off bonus effects start their user at 30% damage. Kirby’s a light little guy, so we don’t want to worsen his already-questionable durability. Great Autoheal can be used instead if you like!
Armor Knight is banned in most tournaments, so if you want to enter a Spirits tour that follows our ban list, you can use Hyper Smash Attacks, Physical Attack ↑, and Foot Attack ↑ instead. Instadrop is another potential option, but Kirby’s AI can get a little crazy with it. 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 Neutral so that it can avoid participating in Spirit-type matchup shenanigans.
Let’s get right into it: you’ll want to mirror match your Kirby amiibo until it reaches Level 50. In terms of movement, you should only walk when training Kirby, as this gives him faster access to important defensive options. Off-stage play should be avoided; as we’ll soon discuss, walking up to the ledge and spamming Final Cutter actually works better against AI opponents! It sounds silly, but it’s true. Here’s a full list of moves you should be using during training, sorted in descending order of priority:
- Forward smash: This is definitely Kirby’s most important move. It’s fast, strong, and should be your go-to move for racking up damage and killing. Use it very frequently against your FP!
- Up smash: Here’s an alternative KO move, and it should be used when your FP is directly above you. You can also just use it to build up damage and punish landings!
- Dash attack: You should walk while training Kirby, but you can start running to use a dash attack. It’s quite strong and can be mixed in alongside forward smash and up smash as both a damage-racker and a kill move.
- Final Cutter: Remember, don’t go off-stage! When your FP is launched away, walk up to the edge and start spamming Final Cutter (even if it doesn’t connect). As lame as it sounds, this is Kirby’s best edgeguarding option against other amiibo. Keep using Final Cutter until the FP recovers back or is KO’d by the descending hit.
- Down tilt: More situationally, you can use a single down tilt to rack up damage. The AI will eventually learn to combo this into a forward smash. Down tilt can also lead into an up throw and then into Final Cutter, and this is a combo the AI can learn.
- Neutral aerial: If you’re launched into the air, you can occasionally use a neutral aerial to land. Don’t use neutral airs too often, though, as Ultimate’s AI kind of likes to spam them.
- Forward aerial: You can also use a forward air as you land. The AI can learn to combo its first few hits into a grounded forward smash. You don’t have to actually use this combo to teach the FP, though. Just hit it with a forward air every so often and you’re good to go!
There are two moves in particular that you should avoid: Inhale and down air. That being said, you only need to use the moves we listed in this section. All Kirby really needs is forward smash, up smash, dash attack, and Final Cutter, and then the other moves are kind of like the cherry on top. If you’re new to competitive amiibo and want to learn more about it, you can read our introduction guide tailored for brand-new trainers!
Raid Boss Training
Kirby is a fairly easy character to raise, and this trait extends to his Raid Boss version as well. If Kirby is the first amiibo you’ve ever trained, here are a few tips for you! First, never charge smash attacks, even if you break your FP’s shield. The AI will quickly learn to charge all of its smash attacks, which will give its opponents a chance to intercept. Second, don’t taunt too much, as FPs can quickly spiral out of control and use several taunts in a row, even with an enemy nearby (and Kirby is especially prone to this). Finally, there’s no evidence that FPs can learn matchup experience, so don’t worry about training your Kirby to take on other characters. That being said, you’ll need to mirror match your amiibo (which means you’ll have to play as Kirby) until it hits Level 50. Stay on-stage at all times, and use the following moves during training:
- Forward tilt: A fast option that can be angled. It chases off opponents who come too close, so use forward tilt as one of your main close-ranged options!
- Down tilt: The AI can learn to combo this into a forward smash, so be sure to teach your FP this simple string. Down tilt and forward tilt should be your main neutral moves.
- Up smash: It’s got a great hitbox and covers a wide area, making it a great anti-air move. It should serve as your FP’s primary grounded kill move.
- Up tilt: Much weaker than up smash, but it handily combos into itself and can even link into an up air!
- Neutral aerial: This move is a great landing option, as it deals solid damage and can even KO at higher percentages.
- Forward aerial: One of Kirby’s best aerial moves. It strikes multiple times, and the AI can use a dragdown forward air to combo into a grab or forward smash. It’s also useful off-stage, if you choose to teach your Kirby amiibo to do so!
- Back aerial: This move is fast, strong, and has a surprisingly large hitbox, making it exceptionally useful. It’s even more deadly off-stage, but again, any off-stage attacks can be risky for Kirby.
- Down aerial: If you’re confident in your Kirby’s abilities off-stage, this move is a must-have. Be careful, though, as Kirby’s AI is known to spam this move if left unchecked. Only use this off-stage and very infrequently to land (in which it combos into a down smash).
- Final Cutter: This is decent as an out of shield option, but shouldn’t see too much use otherwise. Human opponents have a much easier time punishing Final Cutter than fellow FPs do.
There’s just one move you should specifically avoid with Kirby, and that’s his neutral special, Inhale. All of the AI’s copy abilities are hard-coded; this means you can control how often the FP “presses” the special-move button, but you can’t control the scenarios it will use it in. Kirby’s AI is kind of silly with some of its copy abilities; for example, it often uses Ness’ PK Flash and Donkey Kong’s Giant Punch attacks uncharged, which doesn’t work so well in practice!
Thanks so much for reading — use the moves we discussed above and your Kirby amiibo will be starting out on the right foot! Or shoe, in this case. As usual, if you have any questions during your training sessions, feel free to join our Discord server and ask. We’ll be happy to help! You can also check out our Powersaves backup guide or mobile backup guide if you want to enter a tournament. We also appreciate donations to keep the site going! Until next time — happy training!
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