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.
You can never go wrong with Armor Knight and 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%.
There are plenty of other options to choose from! If you want to enter a tournament that follows our ban list, try out Physical Attack ↑, Hyper Smash Attacks, and Toss & Meteor instead. If you’re planning on going the Raid Boss training route, use Physical Attack ↑, Move Speed ↑, and Landing Lag ↓. Instadrop, Air Attack ↑, Foot Attack ↑, and Critical Healing & Metal are all perfectly viable as well, so take your pick. For stats, you can take them in any direction you like. You could go balanced (2100 / 2100), offensive (2500 / 1700), or defensive (1700 / 2500), and each of these sets can be utilized to great effect. Make sure your FP’s Spirit-type is Neutral before you put it into any matches!
Bayonetta’s best playstyle involves walking, parrying, and avoiding off-stage confrontations at all costs. Be sure to follow all of these rules during training! For 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 actually almost as bad as Little Mac’s, and that’s why she has to avoid going off-stage. Here are all the moves you should focus on, in descending order of priority:
- Forward smash: A giant fist with high power, especially if the attack’s sweetspot connects. Keep in mind that forward smash can’t hit an opponent if they’re directly in front of Bayonetta, so create a bit of distance between you and your FP before using this move.
- Up smash: Another giant fist with even higher power. Unfortunately, it’s quite slow, and its horizontal range leaves much to be desired. Use this against your FP as it’s trying to land.
- Dash attack: As mentioned previously, you are going to want to walk whenever possible. No running! But when you have to use your dash attack, you can break into a dash for an instant and then go right back to walking.
- Heel Slide: Every so often, attack your FP with Heel Slide. No need to follow up afterward, though — at later levels, the FP will teach itself to use ladder combos all on its own.
- Down tilt: Teaching your FP to use its down tilt will activate hard-coded combos at later levels. Bayonetta’s strongest down tilt follow-up is up smash, so attack your FP with down tilt to up smash combos a few times per match.
- Grab & throws: The only throw of interest here is Bayonetta’s up throw, which can combo into an up smash at low-to-mid percentages. She needs to rack on all the damage she can get, and this combo helps her accomplish just that.
- Down smash: A giant shoe that can meteor smash airborne opponents. When your FP is launched off-stage, walk up to the ledge and try to intercept its recovery with down smash. Don’t use this move in any other situation!
- Neutral aerial: When you’re launched upwards, land with a neutral air. This move doesn’t serve any other purpose, so don’t go out of your way to use it otherwise.
- Back aerial: You can, however, go out of your way to use this move. Back air is incredibly strong, and you can use it to read a ledge get-up jump.
- Up aerial: Juggling purposes only! After hitting an up smash, you can follow up with an up air. Generally speaking, you don’t want to extend Bayonetta’s attacks into their Bullet Arts versions — so in this case, just attack with a quick up air without the gun portion.
- Neutral attack: When your FP is right next to you, forward smash won’t hit. Try using a fully connected jab instead! It should take a backseat to your other options though, so don’t go too crazy with it.
- Up tilt: This can link directly into one of Bayonetta’s infamous ladder combos. When using up tilt, only use the up tilt. At later levels, the AI will start linking it into a Witch Twist. Don’t complete the combo yourself — let the FP figure it out on its own.
- Forward aerial: Another decent landing option you can try. When attacking with forward air, use all three hits of the combo.
As you can see, a competitive-trained Bayonetta FP makes use of a wide variety of its moveset. It’s also important to teach one to stay away from a good amount of its attacks, though. Don’t use (or get hit by) forward tilt, down air, Bullet Climax, Witch Time, or Witch Twist. You might be confused to hear that you have to avoid Witch Twist; this is because we want the FP to use it exclusively as part of its ladder combos (which are hard-coded after Level 43), and not on its own as a neutral option. This means you should do your best to neither use nor take damage from your FP’s Witch Twists during training.
Raid Boss Training
If you’d rather train a Raid Boss Bayonetta amiibo instead, no worries! You’re free 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 50. 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: A three-hit kick combo that works well against human opponents. When using this attack, don’t delay its consecutive hits; instead, use all three of its hits as quickly as possible.
- Down tilt: A fine combo starter that can link into a forward air or Witch Twist. No need to use these combos yourself; as the FP levels up, it’ll gain the ability to use them on its own.
- Neutral attack: When your FP is up close, you can occasionally attack it with a fully connected jab. When using Bayonetta’s moves, don’t extend them into their held-button Bullet Art versions. Just use the base attack and move on!
- Dash attack: It covers lots of distance and boasts fairly high KO power. Use it especially often when your FP is at high percentages.
- Heel Slide: Don’t use this move too often, as Bayonetta FPs that use too much Heel Slide can quickly become predictable. At later levels, the AI will teach itself to follow up with a Witch Twist combo.
- Grab & throws: Bayonetta’s throws aren’t very good, but they’re essentially required on a Raid Boss to be able to defeat opponents who shield a lot. Forward throw is probably your best option here.
- Back aerial: One of Bayonetta’s only reliable kill moves. Use it out of a short hop, full hop, or off-stage for maximum power.
- Forward smash: It’s quite slow and has low priority, but it’s necessary here, as Bayonetta has trouble KOing (at least when controlled by an AI). Only use a little bit of forward smash, as it leaves her highly vulnerable if it misses.
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 skips the first Witch Twist and loses out on valuable vertical distance. This is a shame, as without that first Witch Twist, Bayonetta actually has one of the weakest recoveries in the game. 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 leave the stage, your main attack should be back air. You can also mix in some forward airs. You should avoid using neutral air and down air at all costs!
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 a shot. Just prepare to be frustrated a lot. If you have any questions, feel free to join our Discord server and ask! Otherwise, if you want to make the bold choice to enter Bayonetta into a tournament, you can check out our Powersaves guide or mobile backup guide. We also appreciate donations to keep the site running. Thanks so much for reading! Until next time — happy training!
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