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. 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 amiibo vanilla, that’s fine too! Feel free to skip this section and move on to the next.
Super Armor is simultaneously useful and redundant for Little Mac. He’s already got 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 alongside Trade-Off Ability ↑ comes in at second best, granting Little Mac incredible boosts to defense and attack power. These bonuses are generally banned in competitive play, so keep that in mind in case you want to enter a tournament that follows our ban list.
Fortunately, Little Mac can make use of several other Spirit effects. Whether you’re training a competitive FP or a Raid Boss one, 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 well alongside Physical Attack and Fist Attack ↑. If you are training a Raid Boss, you could replace Fist Attack ↑ with Move Speed ↑ instead. For stats, you can either keep them balanced (2100 / 2100) or lean more heavily into attack power (2700 / 1500). Make sure your FP’s Spirit-type is Neutral.
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 here. 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 a full list of all the moves to use during training:
- Forward smash: 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 KO power, and Little Mac needs to use this move to KO.
- Forward tilt: Much weaker than forward smash, but it hits twice, and that’s important! You should use about as many forward tilts as you use forward smashes. They’re both vital to Little Mac’s competitive success.
- Up tilt: You should use this move less often than forward tilt and forward smash. When you do, you can link it into either another up tilt or an up smash.
- Down tilt: Use this move less than up tilt, and much less than forward tilt and forward smash. It’s a good poking tool that should be used infrequently.
- Dash attack: Only attack with this move 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.
- Up smash: Use it to attack your FP as it lands, and nothing else.
- Down smash: 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 is trying to recover, walk up to the ledge and use a down smash to intercept its recovery. Don’t use down smash for any other purpose.
As you can see, Little Mac’s training strategy is straightforward. Grounded attacks only! You should also avoid using Slip Counter, as 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 blocked 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 the one 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:
- Forward tilt: It’s quite strong and boasts high launch power. Use this as one of your primary grounded options! Remember, since you’re training a Raid Boss, you’re free to jump and dash as often as you’d like, so you can use a forward tilt to cancel a dash.
- Down tilt: A useful poking tool that can combo into KO Punch. Make sure your FP knows to use this combo! You can also use down tilt on its own to rack on additional damage.
- Neutral attack: Mostly outclassed by forward tilt and down tilt, but can still be mixed in every so often. When using Little Mac’s neutral attack, try your best to extend it into the full rapid jab.
- Forward smash: It’s slightly slower than forward tilt, and thus is a slightly weaker option against human opponents. Still, it’s got incredible kill power and helpful super armor, so use it against your FP when it’s taken a lot of damage.
- Up tilt: Short range, but can link into itself or an up smash. Use up tilt to catch your FP as it lands.
- Up smash: You can use up smash to catch landings too! It’s much stronger than up tilt, and it’s got its own super armor to protect Little Mac from attackers.
- Down smash: Use this at the ledge and nowhere else. Try to attack your FP with a down smash right before it reaches the edge, or directly after it gets up from the ledge.
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 use our Powersaves guide or mobile backup guide to learn how to enter one. We also appreciate donations to keep the site running! Until next time — happy training!
If you would like to read more amiibo training guides, please follow this link.