Once upon a time, Zelda was a mid-tier fighter in Super Smash Bros. 4’s amiibo metagame. She wasn’t anything special; her only notable traits were multi-hitting smash attacks and a decent recovery. That’s no longer the case, though: not only is Zelda considered top-tier in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, she’s also considered one of the most highly-represented Figure Players of all time: to say Zelda has been successful in tournaments would be an understatement. If you’d like to learn more about her metagame history across both games, feel free to read her wiki page before you continue. Otherwise, let’s jump right into today’s training!
Special thanks to Leeya for contributing Zelda’s training information!
A good amount of trainers out there prefer to equip their FPs with Spirit teams. If you’re one of them, you’re in luck — we’ve got a variety of bonus setups here that you can try out. If you’re new to amiibo training and aren’t sure how Spirits work, you can read our full Spirits guide for more information. For now, remember that once you give an FP its Spirits, you can’t remove them without completely resetting the training data. Here are some viable bonus effects you could use on Zelda:
- Banned bonuses: Zelda is rather light, so her best build is Armor Knight plus Move Speed ↑. With this, her attack and defense stats will receive significant boosts, and these buffs will make her that much more threatening against unprepared opponents. If you want to take a risk, you can swap Move Speed ↑ for Trade-Off Ability ↑. Do note that Trade-Off bonuses start their user at 30% damage every stock. This is fine for heavyweights, but it’s a slight risk on a fighter as light as Zelda.
- Tournament-legal bonuses: If you want to enter a tournament that keeps Armor Knight banned, you can use any combination of the following Support skills instead: Magic Attack ↑ (either one or two), Trade-Off Ability ↑, Air Defense ↑, Air Attack ↑, Shield Damage ↑, Critical Healing & Metal, and Critical Immunity.
- Raid Boss bonuses: And if you’d prefer to train a Raid Boss, use Magic Attack ↑, Air Attack ↑, and Landing Lag ↓. Critical Healing & Metal, Instadrop, and Move Speed ↑ are all perfectly viable as well!
Zelda can make use of a wide variety of stat spreads, but the two best ones are balanced (2100 / 2100) and defense-leaning (1700 / 2500). The latter’s extra endurance investment will help Zelda stay alive for longer, which in turn gives her the opportunity to grab more KOs. Make sure her Spirit-type stays Neutral, too!
If you’ve trained a bunch of competitive FPs before, you know the drill! Don’t run — walk instead so that your FP can more easily defend against incoming attacks. Keep taunting to a minimum, don’t charge smash attacks, and play as Zelda as you fight your Zelda amiibo. Off-stage play works well for this character, as we’ll soon discuss! Here’s a full list of attacks you should focus on. Use these moves yourself, and do your best to occasionally get hit when your FP uses them:
- Forward smash is one of Zelda’s strongest kill moves. It’s got good range and power and hits multiple times. Most competitive FPs are trained to perfect shield frequently; however, the AI in this game often fails to hold its shield against multi-attacks. This means that when Zelda uses forward smash against an opponent, they will block the first strike but then drop their guard and get hit by the rest of the attack. Use this move when your FP is near you.
- Forward tilt is both faster and weaker than forward smash, and only hits once. Don’t use this move too often, as it’s easily parried. At close range, try using forward smash about 80% of the time, and then forward tilt 20% of the time.
- Dash attack can be used to approach. It can also be used after a forward throw as a follow-up. After you’re done using a dash attack, go right back to walking instead of running.
- Up smash, up tilt, and up air can all be used to juggle. Up air, in particular, is one of the craziest aerials in the game and should be put to good use! Utilize a balance of all three of these moves against your FP whenever it’s above you.
- Zelda benefits from a high grab value. Down throw can lead into a back air or neutral air, an up throw can lead into an up air, and a back throw can KO at the ledge. Forward throw is generally the least useful of the four, but can sometimes lead into a dash attack or forward air. Use all of these combos during training.
- Forward air and back air are especially useful after a grab, and can also be used out of a short hop to great effect. Down air is excellent off-stage, so meteor smash your FP with it while it’s trying to recover. Do that often, too!
- Down smash has a low horizontal range, but launches opponents at a favorable angle. During your entire training session, you can use one or two down smashes when you’re at the ledge. That should be enough to teach your FP to use the move on occasion.
- Nayru’s Love is the only special move Zelda’s AI can properly use. For the most part, her AI is hard-coded to use Nayru’s Love to reflect incoming projectiles. As you fight your FP, you’ll notice there aren’t many projectiles from it that you can actually reflect. Instead, you can walk up to Zelda and attack at close range with Nayru’s Love. Only do this once during your entire session, as we want the FP to focus on tilts and smashes instead.
Just two moves to avoid here: Din’s Fire and Phantom Slash. In the case of the former, the AI can’t angle the fireball, which means it will always shoot it straight ahead. It’ll also sometimes initiate Din’s Fire while standing directly next to an opponent. Neither of these traits is ideal, so we instead opt to avoid Din’s Fire entirely. In the case of Phantom Slash, the AI often uses it uncharged in the air after getting hit, which also isn’t ideal. You should also avoid using Farore’s Wind outside of recovery, but that part perhaps goes without saying.
Raid Boss Training
To train the strongest possible Raid Boss, you’ll have to mirror match your Zelda amiibo until it reaches Level 50. Alternatively, if you’re satisfied with its behavior at around Level 30, you can switch its learning off and level it up some other way. As usual, off-stage play is rather risky for Raid Bosses. FPs generally recover in the same way each time, so a human opponent will be able to easily predict when Zelda will activate her up special and then punish her accordingly. If you’re willing to take the risk, you can teach your FP to down air off-stage. Otherwise, keep her on-stage at all times. Here are the moves you should focus on:
- Forward tilt can help Zelda play keep-away. Use it at close range to rack on damage and keep your FP at a distance.
- Zelda’s grab actually has the same usage as was outlined in the previous section. Down throw combos into back air or neutral air, up throw combos into up air, and back throw can KO at the ledge. More rarely, forward throw can lead to a dash attack or forward air. Use all of these combos against your FP as it levels up.
- Up tilt, up smash, and up air can all be used to juggle. Up air is extremely strong against human opponents thanks to its gigantic hitbox, and should be used especially often during your training sessions with the FP.
- Neutral air can be used to land. Forward air and back air can be used for this as well, but less often than neutral air. Additionally, you can mix in some short-hopped forward and back airs, as well as a bit of forward smash.
These moves should take a backseat to the ones listed above, though. Avoid pressing the special-move button at all during training; this means no Nayru’s Love, no Din’s Fire, no Phantom Slash, and no Farore’s Wind (outside of recovery). As we discussed in the previous section, the AI has issues using these attacks, including being completely incapable of aiming Din’s Fire in any direction other than straight ahead. Yikes.
This character certainly doesn’t suffer from a lack of representation. In fact, sometimes it feels like everyone has trained a Zelda, and that speaks to how common she is in competitive tournaments. If you haven’t trained a Zelda amiibo and want to start now, we hope this guide proves helpful to you! As always, you’re welcome to join our Discord server and ask any questions you might have. If you want to learn how to enter tournaments, you can do so via our detailed guide. And if you like what you read today, we also appreciate all donations to help keep the site running. You can also check out our Patreon page! Until next time — happy training!
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