Once upon a time, Zelda was a mid-tier fighter in Super Smash Bros. 4’s amiibo metagame. She wasn’t anything too special; her only truly 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, but 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, be sure 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 fair 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, just remember that once you give an FP some Spirits, you can’t remove them without completely resetting the training data.
Zelda is rather light, so her best build is Armor Knight and Move Speed ↑. With this, her attack and defense stats will receive significant boosts, and these increases 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 heavier fighters, but it’s a bit of a risk on a character as light as Zelda.
If you want to enter a tournament that keeps Armor Knight banned, there are other options available. For competitive FPs, you can use Hyper Smash Attacks, Toss & Meteor, and Magic Attack ↑. If you’d prefer to train a Raid Boss, use Magic Attack ↑, Air Attack ↑, and Landing Lag ↓ instead. You could also explore more interesting options such as Critical Healing & Metal or Instadrop! For stats, you can either choose to keep them balanced (2100 / 2100) or lean more into defense (1700 / 2500). Make sure your FP’s Spirit-type is Neutral.
If you’ve trained a bunch of competitive FPs before, you know the drill! Don’t run — just walk around 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 by them when your FP uses them:
- Forward smash: 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-hits. This means that when Zelda uses forward smash against an opponent, they will block the first hit 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: It’s both faster and weaker than forward smash and only hits once. Don’t use this move too often, as it’s easily parried. When your FP is close to you, you can sometimes use forward tilt instead of forward smash. Try using forward smash 80% of the time, and forward tilt 20% of the time.
- Dash attack: When your FP is far away from you, you can break into a momentary run to use a quick dash attack. It can also be used after a forward throw as a follow-up. After you’re done using dash attack, go right back to walking instead of running.
- Up aerial: This right here is one of the craziest aerials in the game. It boasts stellar damage, knockback, and range, and can KO even the heaviest of opponents at only medium-high percentages. Use up air to catch your FP as it lands. You should also use up air after an up throw, up tilt, or up smash. Attack with as many up airs as you can!
- Forward aerial: Especially useful when used after a grab, but we’ll cover that in a moment. Forward air can be used out of a short hop to great effect, too!
- Back aerial: Same deal as above. Try to hit the sweetspot!
- Down aerial: Ever since version 9.0.0, Zelda’s AI has tended to use too many down airs above-stage. This move is excellent off-stage, though, so meteor smash your FP with it whenever possible. If there’s ground below you, don’t use down air, and don’t get hit by your FP when it uses down air. When you’re off-stage, you’re free to use as many as you want (and you’re also free to get hit by as many as you want).
- Up tilt: As mentioned before, up air is a great follow-up to many moves, and up tilt is one of them. When your FP is above you, you can attack it with an up tilt and then follow up with either an up smash or up air.
- Up smash: In addition to being useful after an up tilt, you can also just use up smash on its own. When your FP is directly above, you can use an up smash against it as well — ideally, you’ll want to rotate up tilt, up smash, and up airs. And then if the attack doesn’t KO, go in and use up air.
- Down smash: 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 sometimes.
- Nayru’s Love: 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 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 up close instead.
- Grab & throws: 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!
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 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 all the moves to use:
- Forward tilt: This move can help Zelda play keep-away. Use it at close range to rack on damage and keep your FP at a distance.
- Grab & throws: This 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: It can link into itself or a forward smash at low percentages. As your FP takes more damage, up tilt opens up and can chain into a neutral or up air. You can also choose to follow up with an up smash!
- Up smash: A magical attack that hits twice. Has good power, too. In addition to being potentially useful after an up tilt, up smash is strong all on its own. If the attack doesn’t KO, you can jump up and follow with an up air.
- Up aerial: Use this move as many times in a row (ideally hitting each one) as you possibly can. It’s one of the strongest juggling tools in the game and boasts ridiculously high kill power. You may have noticed this, but most of Zelda’s options – up throw, up tilt, and up smash – can all set up a big up air juggle. Make use of all of these combos!
- Neutral aerial: One of your main landing options. To be honest, Zelda doesn’t have the best landing aerials, so as well as neutral air, you should also use some forward and back air to land.
Additionally, you can mix in some short-hopped forward and back airs, as well as a few forward smashes. 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 are going 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 Powersaves guide or mobile backup guide. If you like what you read today, we also appreciate all donations to help keep the site running. Until next time — happy training!
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