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 Ultimate’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 so before you start training it. If your Pichu amiibo is already Level 50 and you want to give it some Spirits, 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!
In an unrestricted Spirits tournament, 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.
Other potential options include Electric Attack ↑, Physical Attack ↑, and Hyper Smash Attacks. Critical Healing and Metal is another solid option; it activates once per stock, and when Pichu reaches 80%, the bonus lets it heal 30% damage and become metal for 13 seconds. Don’t use other Critical-Health Healing bonuses, though; the others activate once per match rather than once per stock, making them considerably weaker when used in-game. For stats, you can keep them balanced (2100 / 2100) or lean more into defense (1500 / 2700). Keep your FP’s Spirit-type Neutral!
If you’d like to raise a competitive Pichu FP to enter into amiibo-versus-amiibo tournaments, 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! Here are all the moves you should use during training:
- Down smash: 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 high kill power. Use it often during training!
- Forward smash: Stronger than down smash, but with less range. It’s still a great move, though, and it’s certainly one to place a high emphasis on.
- Grab & throws: 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: 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 aerial: When your FP is launched off-stage, you can walk or jump off the ledge and try to intercept its recovery with a down air. This maneuver is rather stylish by Figure Player standards!
- Neutral aerial: Don’t use this out of a short hop! At later levels, your FP will start attacking more often, and eventually, it’ll launch you upward. Every so often when this happens, you can use neutral air to land.
Additionally, you can use a small 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 amiibo, 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 too high; this isn’t anything you can change, so if you notice it happening during training, 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 one meteor smash is often enough to KO Pichu, but you can choose to teach it to leave the stage if you really want to. Here are all the moves to use during training:
- Forward tilt: Compared to a competitive-trained FP, a Raid Boss Pichu uses much more of its moveset. Forward tilt is an excellent option, as it’s fast and rather strong. Use it often at close range!
- Grab & throws: 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 an up air. These combos are fairly simple, but they’re actually 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.
- Up tilt: A fast tail swipe that serves as a solid combo starter. It can link into another up tilt, or into an up air and then a forward or back air.
- Down tilt: It can combo into an up tilt or forward air, making it worth your while.
- Neutral aerial: This move doesn’t deal any recoil damage, so it’s considerably safer to use than Pichu’s electrical attacks. Good range, too, and especially effective for landing.
- Forward aerial: Strikes multiple times and deals respectable knockback. You can use it out of a short hop to rack on damage! It can also be used after an up air.
- Back aerial: Same deal as above! Use it after an up air for best effect. Please note that FPs can’t learn to use lightning loops, so trying to teach it to would be a waste of time.
- Up aerial: Use this after an up throw, or simply jump up and intercept your FP with one when it’s above you. Up air deals minor damage and knockback, but is particularly useful when used multiple times in a row.
- Down aerial: Going off-stage is always risky for Raid Bosses. FPs often recover in the exact same way over and over again, so a human player will eventually be able to predict their recovery angle. If you’re willing to take that risk, feel free to jump off-stage and attack your FP with down airs as it levels up.
You can also sprinkle in just a little bit of jab, 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 little 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 Powersaves guide or mobile backup guide to learn how to participate. Finally, we appreciate donations to keep the site running! Until next time — happy training!
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