Bayonetta’s life has been spiraling out of control since the release of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate in 2018. Not only is she no longer top-tier, but she’s also actually considered one of the worst fighters in competitive amiibo training. How unfortunate! That being said, players who clearly remember the Smash 4 days might argue that she’s deserved a low ranking all along. If you’d like to read up on Bayonetta’s metagame history, you can do just that over at her wiki page. Otherwise, let’s jump right into today’s training!
If you’d like to equip your FP with a Spirit team, you should do so at Level 1 — in other words, before you start training it. If your Bayonetta amiibo is already Level 50, feel free to equip it with stats and bonuses anyway. You can then utilize the next section’s training tips to hone its skills! We’ve also got an in-depth Spirits guide if you want to learn more about how they work in this game. In the meantime, here are all of Bayonetta’s best setups:
- Banned bonuses: You can never go wrong with Armor Knight plus Trade-Off Ability ↑. This build blesses the Umbra Witch with additional defense and attack power! You can obtain Armor Knight from the Halberd Support Spirit, which in turn can randomly appear in Funky Kong’s shop. You could also opt to use Move Speed ↑ over Trade-Off Ability ↑ (since the latter has a starting damage penalty of 30%).
- Tournament-legal bonuses: You can’t go wrong with power boosters, either, and Physical Attack ↑ is the perfect fit. Fist Attack ↑ and Foot Attack ↑ aren’t perfect fits, as Bayonetta’s physical moves are almost evenly split between the two. Instead, you could run a second Physical Attack ↑ Support skill for maximum power. Critical-Health Stats ↑, Critical-Health Healing ↑, and Critical-Health Healing ↑↑ are well worth considering as well. Feel free to mix and match!
- Raid Boss bonuses: If you’re planning on taking the Raid Boss route, use a setup including Physical Attack ↑, Move Speed ↑, and Landing Lag ↓. You’re also welcome to experiment with Instadrop, Air Attack ↑, and Critical Healing & Metal in addition to all of the Spirit effects we discussed above.
Regarding stat distributions, they don’t matter too much. Bayonetta’s versatile; she can use a balanced build (2100 / 2100), an offensive one (2500 / 1700), or a defensive one (1700 / 2500). Make sure your FP’s Spirit-type is Neutral before you begin its training routine!
Bayonetta’s best playstyle involves walking, parrying, and avoiding off-stage confrontations at all costs. Be sure to follow all of these rules during your training sessions! For an optimal recovery, Bayonetta is supposed to use Witch Twist, her midair jump, and then a second Witch Twist to gain the maximum vertical distance. Frustratingly, her AI consistently fails to use one of the necessary Witch Twists while recovering, and instead goes for an instant double jump into just one up special. This means her recovery is sometimes worse than Little Mac’s, and that’s why she has to avoid going off-stage. Here are all of her moves that you should focus on, listed in descending order of priority:
- Dash attack is both fast and strong, and should be used from a distance to approach. Once you’re up close, you can attack with a full jab combo, a forward tilt, or a down tilt. These moves are involved in hard-coded combos at later levels, but the actual combos need not be taught — just focus on the individual moves.
- From a slight distance, you can use forward smash and up smash. Up smash also does a decent job of catching landings; unfortunately, the move comes out in front of Bayonetta rather than above her. This means the AI will occasionally attack with the wrong spacing.
- From a medium distance, attack with Heel Slide. At later levels, Bayonetta’s AI will attempt to combo Heel Slide into Witch Twist, but won’t always succeed. Sadly, there’s not much to be done about this, but on rare occasions the AI can properly chain together three or more attacks.
- Up tilt serves as a secondary anti-air. At low percentages, it combos into a back air; using this back air should be the only time you willingly jump while training your FP (other than when performing Heel Slide follow-up combos).
Though an optimal Bayonetta FP (as if that really exists) uses a decent chunk of its moveset, there is one attack is must be trained to avoid: its down air. On that note, most of Bayonetta’s aerials aren’t all that strong in competitive tournaments, but down air moreso; this is because it leaves the Umbra Witch vulnerable to incoming danger if it misses its target.
Raid Boss Training
If you’d rather train a Raid Boss Bayonetta amiibo instead, that’s no problem! You’re welcome to dash and jump around as often as you’d like. As stated in the previous section, Bayonetta’s ladder combos are hard-coded, which means the AI will automatically learn them by the time it reaches Level 43. Just make sure to use Heel Slide – the combo’s “activating move” – and you’ll be all set. It’s also important to note that off-stage play is a mixed bag; without it, Bayonetta misses out on much-needed kill power, but the AI also consistently botches its recovery. We’ll discuss this in greater detail in just a moment; in the meantime, here is a complete list of all the attacks you should focus on:
- Forward tilt, neutral attack, and down tilt are to be used up close. Down tilt can combo into a forward air or Witch Twist, and a Witch Twist can kickstart one of Bayonetta’s signature ladder combos!
- From a distance, you can use a dash attack or Heel Slide to approach. Don’t use Heel Slide too often; Bayonetta FPs that use too much of it become predictable and easy to punish.
- Bayonetta’s grabs are nothing special, but they’re essentially required on her Raid Boss variant. Forward throw is generally your best option here!
- Back air is one of the Umbra Witch’s only reliable kill moves. Use it out of a short hop, full hop, or off-stage for maximum power.
- Forward smash is quite slow and has low priority, but it’s a necessary evil. This character has trouble KOing, and thus needs just a sprinkle of forward smash to help mitigate that flaw.
Here’s that off-stage section we were talking about. Basically — Bayonetta’s AI cannot properly recover. The character is supposed to use Witch Twist, a midair jump, and then another Witch Twist, but the AI often skips that first Witch Twist and misses out on valuable vertical distance. That being said, off-stage play occasionally works out in her favor, but only against a human foe. Should you choose to teach your FP to edgeguard, its main attack should be back air. You can also mix in some forward airs, but whatever you do, don’t edgeguard with neutral or down airs.
Bayonetta is an unfortunate case. She’s almost completely outclassed and / or eclipsed by every other Figure Player in the game. The only fighters she can consistently beat are Inkling and R.O.B., who are both considered on-par with or worse than Bayonetta herself. Still, if you’re a fan of the character, you may as well give her training routine a chance. Just prepare to be frustrated. If you have any questions, feel free to join our Discord community and ask! If you’re thinking of making the bold choice to enter Bayonetta into a tournament, you can check out our tourney preparation guide. We also appreciate donations and Patreon subscribers to keep the site up and running. Thanks so much for reading! Until next time — happy training!
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