To say that Little Mac was strong in Super Smash Bros. 4 would be the understatement of the century! He wasn’t just strong — he was broken. Thankfully, that’s no longer the case in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate; in this game, Little Mac is high-tier instead of top-tier. This is in contrast to his position in the competitive metagame (human-versus-human), where he’s considered bottom-tier. If you’ve got a spare moment and would like to learn more about Little Mac’s metagame history, check out his wiki page. Otherwise, let’s jump right into today’s training!
Special thanks to jozz for contributing Little Mac’s training information!
Looking to equip your FP with a Spirit team? Look no further, because we’ve got a whole bunch of setups you could use on Little Mac! Before you continue, you might want to look at our in-depth Spirits guide for a full explanation of their mechanics. If you’d prefer to leave your FP vanilla, that’s fine too! Feel free to skip this section and move on to the next. In the meantime, here are some Spirit builds that pair well with Little Mac:
- Banned bonuses: Super Armor is simultaneously useful and redundant here. Little Mac already has built-in super armor on his smash attacks, but the three-slot Super Armor Spirit effect takes this trait a step further by giving him universal armor. Armor Knight plus Trade-Off Ability ↑ comes in at second best, granting Little Mac incredible boosts to defense and attack power.
- Tournament-legal bonuses: If you’re not running Super Armor or Armor Knight, then Floaty Jumps is a must. It reduces its user’s falling speed, and this gives Little Mac more time in the air while recovering. It can mean the difference between life and death, so it’s certainly worth using! It pairs excellently alongside Physical Attack ↑ and Fist Attack ↑.
- Raid Boss bonuses: If you’re training a Raid Boss, use a setup of Move Speed ↑, Floaty Jumps, and Physical Attack ↑. With this, Little Mac’s mobility and recovery potential will be significantly increased, plus his moveset will receive a small power boost. That’s going to be one scary Raid Boss!
Regarding stat distribution, Little Mac can either run a balanced spread (2100 / 2100) or a more offensive one (2700 / 1500). Any setup works, really; these are just examples. Make sure your FP’s Spirit-type is Neutral before you start training it.
Training a strong Little Mac FP is fairly simple! As with most competitive FPs, you should keep running to a minimum. This means the FP will learn to slowly walk around and then attack its opponents that way, which is exactly what we’re looking for. You’re going to want to use grounded moves only — no aerials allowed! This, by extension, means you shouldn’t be going off-stage either. Here’s what an optimal Little Mac looks like:
- Forward tilt and forward smash should be your primary grounded options. The other moves we’ll mention are like little bonuses and should be given much less priority. When using forward smash, don’t angle it; this is because its downwards angle lacks kill power, and Little Mac needs to use this move to KO.
- Up tilt should be used less often than forward tilt and forward smash. When you do, you can link it into either another up tilt or an up smash. Up smash should also be used to intercept your FP’s landings.
- Down smash is one of the strongest edgeguarding options in the game — and Little Mac doesn’t even have to leave the stage to use it! When your FP is launched off-stage and trying to recover, walk up to the ledge and use a down smash to intercept it. Don’t use this move for any other purpose.
- Down tilt and dash attack can be used infrequently as well. When using dash attack, burst into a dash, use the move, and then go back to walking. We don’t want the FP dashing too often at later levels.
- KO Punch should be used whenever it’s active, though the FP will learn to do this on its own at later levels — which means you don’t have to use KO Punch if you don’t want to!
As you can see, Little Mac’s training strategy is straightforward. Grounded attacks only! You should also avoid using Slip Counter; Ultimate’s AI doesn’t use counter moves very well. As a side note, you might be wondering why you should train competitive FPs to walk instead of run. If an FP is trained to dash too often, it might dash right into incoming attacks and take damage even though it could have shielded instead. Teaching the AI to walk helps it to “think” more clearly, which gives it an edge in competitive matches.
Raid Boss Training
For what it’s worth, a Raid Boss Little Mac’s optimal training is very similar to how it was described in the previous section. There are a few small differences, though, and we’ll discuss these in just a moment. If you decided to equip your FP with Move Speed ↑ and Floaty Jumps as per our Spirit suggestions, good news: its recovery just got a whole lot better, which makes Little Mac that much more of a threat. You should still remain on-stage at all times, however, and use the following attacks during training:
- Forward tilt, down tilt, and (to a lesser extent) neutral attack can all be used at close range. Remember, since you’re training a Raid Boss, you’re free to run and dash as often as you’d like, so you can use forward tilt to cancel a dash.
- Forward smash is slightly slower than forward tilt, and thus is a weaker option against human opponents. Still, it’s got incredible power and helpful super armor, so use it against your FP when it’s taken a lot of damage. Down smash should be used exclusively at the ledge.
- Up tilt and up smash can be used to catch landings. Up smash is much stronger than up tilt, plus it’s got its own super armor to help protect Little Mac from attackers.
- KO Punch is hard-coded at later levels — meaning you don’t have to go out of your way to teach your FP to use it.
Just to reiterate, you’ll want to avoid Little Mac’s aerials at all costs. The AI uses them to follow up every once in a while, but these behaviors are hard-coded and need not be taught. Barring KO Punch and recoveries, you’ll want to steer clear of special moves as well. If you’d like to learn more about how amiibo learn in this game, feel free to read our general training guide for even more information. This post mostly contains Little Mac-specific information, so head on over to the general guide if you want to learn about things that apply to every character.
Little Mac is certainly an interesting case; in a way, the strongest tournament FPs in both Smash 4 and this game are trained to act just like him! That is to say, they’re trained to stay on the ground and focus on smash attacks. Of course, there are exceptions here and there, but that fact remains true for the most part! Here’s another fact that remains true for the most part: our Discord server is always open and welcoming to new trainers, and if you have a question to ask, you should join and ask the community! When you’re ready for tournament day, you can read our detailed guide to learn how to enter. We also appreciate donations to keep the site running, and we have a Patreon page too! Until next time — happy training!
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