Pichu was first introduced as something of a “joke character” in Super Smash Bros. Melee. For its appearance in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, it received a large buff to its moveset and attributes. In other words, it’s not a joke character anymore! Pichu has sent sparks flying in this game’s competitive scene, but does its newfound strength carry over to competitive amiibo training? The short answer: not really. Unfortunately, Pichu is often considered the weakest Pokémon character in amiibo tournaments — though Jigglypuff is also in contention for this title, assuming Spirits are off. If you’d like to learn more about Pichu’s metagame history, you can do so over at its corresponding wiki page. Otherwise, let’s jump right into today’s training!
Special thanks to Mono for contributing Pichu’s training information!
Do you plan on equipping your Figure Player with a Spirit team? If so, you should do that before you start training it. If your Pichu amiibo is already Level 50 and you want to give it some Spirits for the first time, that’s fine too. Just be prepared to play a few matches against it to refine its training. We’ve also got a full write-up on Spirits if you want to learn more about them! Here are some specific builds you can use on Pichu:
- Banned bonuses: In unrestricted Spirits tournaments, Pichu’s best Spirit effect is Great Autoheal. With this bonus, Pichu will recover health every few seconds, and this can partially offset its self-inflicted damage. Great Autoheal is a fantastic option for Raid Bosses, too, so keep that in mind if you decide to go that route.
- Tournament-legal bonuses: Critical Healing & Metal plus Trade-Off Ability ↑ is all you need here. With this, Pichu will turn metal and heal 30% when its damage meter reaches 80% — and this effect will activate once per stock. If for some reason you’re entering a tournament that doesn’t allow Critical Healing & Metal, you could try stacking two Physical Attack ↑ Support skills.
- Raid Boss bonuses: All of the Spirit effects mentioned above work great on a Raid Boss! You could also try out Move Speed ↑ and Landing Lag ↓ to further bolster Pichu’s mobility.
Regarding stat distribution, you can either keep Pichu’s stats balanced (2100 / 2100) or invest in additional defense to increase its longevity (1500 / 2700). Please ensure that your FP’s Spirit-type is Neutral before you begin training it!
If you’d like to raise a competitive Pichu FP to enter into amiibo-versus-amiibo tourneys, there are a few important rules you’ll want to follow: only train it via mirror matches, teach it to walk instead of run, and make sure it stays grounded whenever possible. Sure, this makes for a somewhat lame playstyle, but these behaviors work really well against AI opponents. Pichu is the lightest fighter in the game, so it can afford to take a risk and go off-stage (since it’s most likely going to be KO’d early anyway). Here are all the moves you should use here:
- Down smash is one of Pichu’s strongest attacks. It hits multiple times, and opposing FPs often drop their guards after blocking the first strike. Down smash also deals respectable damage and boasts lots of kill power. Use it often!
- Forward smash is stronger than down smash, but has less range. It’s still a great move, though, and it’s certainly one to place a high emphasis on.
- Pichu’s grab game is highly versatile, as the AI comes packed with a number of hard-coded follow-ups. It can combo a down throw into an up air and then a forward air (or a back air, depending on the trajectory of the attack); alternatively, it may choose to combo down throw directly into a forward air.
- Forward tilt is a speedy electrical kick that deals decent damage and knockback. You’ll want to place a higher priority on down smash and forward smash, but make sure you fit some forward tilts in as well.
- Down air should be used off-stage to meteor smash your FP as it tries to recover. Neutral air is Pichu’s primary landing option, and shouldn’t be used for any other purpose.
Additionally, you can use a tiny amount of up tilt and down tilt. The former can combo into an up air, while the latter combos into a forward air or up tilt. Your top priorities should be down smash and forward smash, so don’t get too distracted with add-on moves! The attacks you’ll want to avoid are jab, back air, up smash, Thunder Jolt, and Thunder.
Raid Boss Training
As is the case with every FP, Pichu is best trained via mirror matches. This means you’ll have to fight against it as Pichu — regardless of your skill level. Do note that the character’s AI occasionally recovers high; this isn’t anything you can change, so if you notice it happening, it isn’t your fault! To be clear, since you’re raising a Raid Boss, you’re free to dash and jump around as often as you want. Off-stage play is incredibly risky, as Pichu’s recovery pattern is consistent and predictable, but you can choose to teach it to leave the stage if you really want to. Here’s what an optimal Raid Boss Pichu’s moveset includes:
- Forward tilt is an excellent neutral option that should be used often at close range. Up tilt combos into itself or into an up air, and down tilt can combo into an up tilt or up air as well.
- Pichu’s grabs are versatile! It can combo down throw into an up air and then a forward or back aerial. It can also combo up throw into up air. These combos are fairly simple, but they’re actually quite impressive by AI standards! Don’t try to teach Pichu to use up throw to Thunder — for some reason, it doesn’t seem to like using Thunder after a throw.
- Neutral air can be used both offensively and to secure a safe landing. Forward air, back air, and up air can all be used in the same manner. Going off-stage is risky, as we mentioned earlier, but if you’re willing to take that risk you can jump off-stage and attack your FP with down airs.
- You can also sprinkle in just a little bit of neutral attack, forward smash, and down smash.
You may have noticed we’ve opted to stay away from Pichu’s special moves; Thunder Jolt is perhaps the most puzzling exclusion here. Pichu’s AI may occasionally follow up a Thunder Jolt with a grab, but this isn’t consistent, as it sometimes opts to simply camp with Thunder Jolt instead. The AI’s usage of Thunder is strange, so it’s best to just avoid it altogether and focus on close-range moves.
Thanks so much for reading! Between its light weight, self-inflicted damage, and lack of range, Pichu’s got it tough. It’s not as strong a fighter in competitive amiibo training as it is in human-versus-human matches, and this might be a bit disappointing to some. Still, Pichu is fun to raise! If you have any questions that weren’t answered here, feel free to join our Discord server and ask — we’ll be happy to help! If you’d like to enter a tournament, you can read our guide to learn how to participate. Finally, we appreciate donations and Patreon subscribers to keep the site running! Until next time — happy training!
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