If you’re looking for Mario, you’ve got the wrong character – kind of. Between Mario and Dr. Mario, the doctor is considered the stronger contender. He’s got stronger moves, stronger moves, and stronger moves, too, which adds up to a big advantage in competitive tournaments. Although the two fighters are similar, their training strategies are different, so make sure you’ve got the right Mario before you continue! If you’d like to learn more about Dr. Mario’s metagame history, you can read all about it over at his wiki page. Otherwise, let’s jump right into today’s training!
Special thanks to fammydamammy for contributing Dr. Mario’s training information!
Do you want to equip your Dr. Mario amiibo with Spirits? If so, you’re in luck, because this just so happens to be the Spirits section! We say this in every character guide, but try your best to have your FP inherit its Spirit stats and effects starting at Level 1. When a Spirit is inherited, the FP’s training data is changed. So if you raise your amiibo to Level 50 and then feed it a Spirit, it’s going to behave differently all of a sudden! For more information, please read our full Spirits guide. Without further ado, here are some specific builds that work well with Dr. Mario:
- Banned bonuses: Dr. Mario isn’t a heavyweight fighter, but he still benefits from Super Armor. It allows him to more freely throw out powerful attacks without being interrupted, and it also helps protect him as he recovers back to the stage. Armor Knight works too, and can be paired alongside Move Speed ↑ or Trade-Off Ability ↑ to great effect!
- Tournament-legal bonuses: A simple setup of Physical Attack ↑, Trade-Off Ability ↑, and Move Speed ↑ is an excellent choice here, as it bolsters Dr. Mario’s attack power and movement speed. Floaty Jumps is worth considering to improve his recovery potential; unfortunately, it also comes with the side effect of messing up the AI’s hard-coded grab combos.
- Raid Boss bonuses: If you’d rather raise a Raid Boss, the rather standard build including Move Speed ↑, Physical Attack ↑, and Landing Lag ↓ is a great option. The aforementioned Super Armor and Armor Knight work too, in addition to Great Autoheal (though with this bonus equipped, human players might not want to fight your Raid Boss at all).
Regarding stat distribution, Dr. Mario can go two ways: he can either use a balanced spread (2100 / 2100) or a more offensive one (2500 / 1700). With additional attack power, Dr. Mario hits like a truck. One final note here: make sure your FP’s Spirit-type is Neutral before you begin its training routine.
When training Dr. Mario, you’ll want to follow four particular rules at all times: don’t run, don’t jump (other than to recover or juggle), don’t go off-stage, and don’t charge smash attacks when you use them. Abide by these rules, and you’ll be off to a great start! At later levels, you’ll want to do your best to purposefully get hit by some of Dr. Mario’s most important moves, including forward smash and forward tilt. Here’s what an optimal Dr. Mario FP looks like, then:
- Forward smash is an excellent move, and one of the strongest forward smashes in the whole game. When attacking with it, try to connect the sweetspot at Dr. Mario’s arm.
- Forward tilt is another good move for him to use up close; when your FP is nearby, you should use forward smash 60% of the time and forward tilt 40% of the time.
- Grab your FP frequently. At low percentages, Dr. Mario’s AI is hard-coded to use a down throw and then follow up with down air, forward air, up air, Super Jump Punch, or Dr. Tornado. With that said, when you use down throw, don’t follow up with anything other than an up air. At higher percentages, use back throw to KO your FP!
- Use up smash against your FP to attack it as it lands. It’s incredibly strong and the AI can use it several times in a row to great effect! Use down smash less than Dr. Mario’s other smash attacks, but still decently often. It catches both sides and deals more damage on its second hit.
- Every so often, shoot a single Megavitamin at your FP from a distance, but don’t follow up afterward. At later levels, the FP will learn to follow its Megavitamin and then combo off it with hard-coded moves.
- Down tilt can combo into an up air. At low percentages, attack your FP with a down tilt and then go in to start an up air juggling chain!
Earlier, we did say that Dr. Mario should avoid off-stage play at all costs, but you can still mix in a few down air attacks during training. When using this move, short hop off of the ledge and then fire off a down air without falling too far away. You only need to do this once or twice during your FP’s level-ups; that should be enough to get it to do the same at later levels. Avoid using Dr. Tornado during training, as the AI occasionally slides right off the stage with it and self-destructs!
Raid Boss Training
Even though Mario and Dr. Mario are similar fighters, they’re actually different enough that we have to clarify this: fight your FP as Dr. Mario, not regular Mario. Set up a timed or stock ruleset and play on either Battlefield- or Ω-form stages. Stage hazards are hard-coded into amiibo AI, so we want to focus on raw gameplay instead. To be clear, since you’re training a Raid Boss, you’re free to run and jump as often as you’d like. Stay on-stage as often as possible, as Dr. Mario’s recovery is extremely exploitable. Here’s a full list of attacks to focus on:
- Dr. Mario’s grab game is highly versatile. His down throw can combo into a down air, forward air, up air, Super Jump Punch, or Dr. Tornado; that being said, you don’t have to follow up after using a down throw because all these combos are built into Dr. Mario’s AI at later levels. You should also use back throws to KO your FP whenever possible!
- Down tilt can link into an up air or up special at low percentages, which helps Dr. Mario rack up damage by starting juggling combos. Forward tilt has decent strength and speed, making it a solid neutral option; neutral attack can also be mixed in every so often. Use all three of these moves at close range!
- Back air, neutral air, and forward air can all be used for air-to-air combat (and the former two can be used to secure a safe landing). Up air is a bit stronger than Mario’s version of the move, but still has a good amount of combo potential. When your FP is in the air, you can juggle it a few times with some up airs!
- Up smash is Dr. Mario’s most useful smash attack, and perhaps one of the strongest up smashes in the game — that is, against human opponents, at least! Use it to attack your FP as it tries to land, or when it’s standing directly behind you.
Additionally, you can also mix in a small amount of forward air, forward smash, and down smash. As mentioned before, Dr. Mario should remain on-stage at all times; his recovery is among the worst in the game and human opponents will have no problem taking advantage of that fact. If you happened to give your FP the Floaty Jumps Spirit, Dr. Tornado is safe to use on-stage — if your FP does not have Floaty Jumps, then you need to avoid Dr. Tornado at all costs. This is because the AI often uses it at the ledge and drifts off-stage and to its death. If you want to learn more about amiibo training, feel free to read our general training guide if you’ve got a spare moment!
Thanks so much for reading! Dr. Mario’s really strong when trained just right, so we hope this guide can help you make yours a force to be reckoned with! If you have any questions during your training, or just want to test your amiibo in a Battle Arena, feel free to join our Discord server. We’ll be happy to have you there! If you’re interested in entering a tournament, you can learn how via our setup guide. If you like what you’ve read today, we’d appreciate it if you checked out our Patreon or donations page. Until next time — happy training!
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