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 Brad and Theia 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 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! Here are all of Kirby’s strongest builds:
- Banned bonuses: The best bonus setup Kirby can utilize is Armor Knight plus Trade-Off Ability ↑. We recommend giving the little guy a boost to his defense stat in exchange for this spread’s 30% damage penalty. Great Autoheal could be used instead, if you like!
- Tournament-legal bonuses: If you want to enter a Spirits tour that follows our ban list, you can use Physical Attack ↑ (applied twice) and then Air Defense ↑. You could also try Critical-Health Stats ↑ to give Kirby a higher chance of making comebacks, or Foot Attack ↑ alongside the aforementioned Physical Attack ↑ for extra strength.
- Raid Boss bonuses: In addition to each of the Spirits listed above, a setup including Physical Attack ↑, Move Speed ↑, and Landing Lag ↓ works excellently on a Raid Boss Kirby! If you’d rather take training less seriously and have some fun, try out Instadrop alongside Impact Run.
For stats, you can either keep them balanced (2100 / 2100) or lean more into defense (1700 / 2500) to help Kirby survive for longer periods of time. Make sure the FP’s Spirit-type is Neutral so that it can avoid participating in Spirit-type matchup shenanigans later on.
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 works great — Kirby’s down air packs a punch! Or a kick, in this case. Here’s what an optimal Kirby FP looks like:
- Down tilt and forward smash are Kirby’s best grounded attacks. They can easily rack up damage, especially when used in conjunction with each other. Down tilt combos into itself, forward smash, or a grab. This works great as long as you use forward smash a little more than down tilt.
- Up tilt should be used as an anti-air, but up smash should be used for this purpose even more often! Kirby’s down air is sometimes spammed by his AI, but can see some use as a landing option (in which it can combo into a down smash). You can occasionally use a landing forward air to combo into a forward smash, or a few up airs to juggle the opponent.
- Dash attack is an excellent approach tool. You’ll want to walk whenever possible, but an exception will need to be made when you’re about to use a dash attack. Once you’re done, go right back to walking! Dash attack can set up for a forward smash or down tilt, which comes in handy!
- When your FP is launched off-stage, you have two options. Going for a down air meteor smash has a chance to end the stock early, but staying on-stage and using Final Cutter at the edge is safer but less potent. The choice is yours!
- Every so often, use a mid-air Stone attack while you’re far above your FP. This helps Kirby in some of his tougher matchups, mainly against opponents who can easily juggle him. You could also mix in some jab or forward tilt, but neither of these are particularly important.
There is no reason to use Kirby’s side special, Hammer Flip, or his neutral special, Inhale. That’s right — Kirby is not allowed to eat in competitive tournaments. He’s got to keep his mouth shut and focus on the battle. By the way, if you’re new to hardcore amiibo training, you can read our introduction guide tailored for brand-new trainers!
Raid Boss Training
Kirby is a decently easy character to raise, which 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 and down tilt are great at close range. Down tilt can also combo into a forward smash at low percentages!
- Up smash has got a strong hitbox and covers a wide area, making it a great anti-air. It should serve as your FP’s primary grounded kill move. Consecutive up tilts can be used alongside up smash to juggle.
- Neutral air and forward airs are great landing options, and the latter can even perform dragdown combos that link into a grab or forward smash. Down air can be used extremely infrequently for landings as well, and back air should see some offensive use.
- Final Cutter is decent as an out of shield option, but shouldn’t see 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 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 tournament entry guide to get all set up for online competitions. We also appreciate donations to keep the site going, and we also have a Patreon page you can check out! Until next time — happy training!
If you would like to read more amiibo training guides, please follow this link.