In Super Smash Bros. 4, heavyweight fighters often translated to powerful Figure Players. In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate… heavyweight fighters also translate to powerful Figure Players. Some things never change! It makes sense, then, that Wario’s placement in both metagames is rather similar. He’s quick, has a decent recovery, and is of course very strong. If you want to learn more about Wario’s metagame history, feel free to read his wiki page. Otherwise, let’s jump right into today’s training!
Special thanks to fammydamammy for contributing Wario’s training information!
There are two types of amiibo trainers: Spirits trainers and vanilla trainers. A good chunk of online tournaments are vanilla-only, which means your FP can’t have any stats or bonus effects. That being said, there are some Spirits tours out there, so the choice is yours! You can learn more about how Spirits work via our in-depth guide. In the meantime, here are some bonus builds that work well on Wario:
- Banned bonuses: Wario’s best Spirit effects are Super Armor and Armor Knight. In the case of the latter, fill the third slot with either Physical Attack ↑ or Trade-Off Ability ↑ and you’re good to go! Its 30% damage penalty poses little risk to a heavyweight fighter like Wario, so it’s well worth the Spirit slot it occupies.
- Tournament-legal bonuses: If you’re entering a Spirits tourney that follows our ban list, the absolute best setup you can choose is Physical Attack ↑, Fist Attack ↑, and Air Defense ↑. If you’re looking for something more unique, you could try out Critical-Health Stats ↑ or Trade-Off Ability ↑ (on its own, without Armor Knight).
- Raid Boss bonuses: The optimal Spirit loadout for a Raid Boss Wario is almost exactly the same as the tournament-legal one! That is to say, the setup includes Physical Attack ↑, Air Defense ↑, and another Physical Attack ↑. Air Defense ↑ is particularly troublesome for human opponents; it’ll make Wario much tougher to KO via juggling.
Wario can make use of two particular stat spreads; a balanced one (2100 / 2100) or one that leans more into attack power (2500 / 1700). Regardless of the build you choose, make sure your FP’s Spirit-type is Neutral before you start training it. If its Spirit-type isn’t Neutral, feed the FP a bunch of Neutral-type Primary Spirits to change it back.
You might know the drill by now: when training competitive FPs, you should avoid dashing or charging up smash attacks. Looking at the move list below, you may notice a concerning lack of Wario Waft; this is because the move is hard-coded to an extent, which means the AI will automatically unleash its gas at full charge. As we’ll mention in a moment, you can choose to keep Wario on-stage or teach him to edgeguard: both are viable! In the meantime, here’s a full explanation of every move you should use as you mirror match it to Level 50:
- At close range, rotate forward tilt and down tilt. Of these, forward tilt takes priority; in this instance, you’ll want to use forward tilt 80% of the time and down tilt 20% of the time. Down tilt activates hard-coded combos at later levels. Try to combo it into a dash attack! Speaking of which, you can use dash attack from a distance. When you do, try to connect the powerful hitbox at the very beginning of the move.
- Up tilt should be used when your FP is right next to you. It links into itself, and can eventually start a chain of up air attacks. Once you’ve got this combo going, attack your FP with as many consecutive up airs as you can. If you don’t wind up KOing it with an up air, you can use an up smash to catch its landing.
- Mix in as many grabs as possible. The only throw you’ll want to use is up throw; afterward, start a chain of up airs! This racks up damage fast and helps Wario score easy KOs.
- When you’re launched upward (or when you fall from the respawn platform after being KO’d), use back air or down air to secure a safe landing. If you decide to teach your Wario amiibo to edgeguard, you should do so with forward air and down air. If you’d rather not teach it to edgeguard, have it wait at the ledge to intercept the opponent with forward tilt or Chomp.
As mentioned before, you don’t have to use Wario Waft — by the time the AI reaches Level 50, it will know when and how to use it on its own. In a previous revision of the guide, we mentioned forward smash as one of Wario’s best tools — this is no longer the case, as most tournament-ready FPs will simply perfect shield it. You could choose to use forward smash out of shield instead, but only very rarely.
This list of moves will create a Figure Player that excels at juggling and scoring vertical KOs. Repeated up airs is where Wario racks up a good chunk of his damage, so they’re extra important here. When an opponent gets close, Wario will be able to slap them away with a forward tilt or start another up air chain with an up throw! If his forward tilt knocks an enemy off-stage, he can then choose to follow them and seal the deal with one of his aerial attacks.
Raid Boss Training
We’ll start by mirror matching your Wario amiibo for a while! You can either battle it the full way and wait until it reaches Level 50, or you can save yourself a bit of time by switching its learning off after it reaches Level 35. Since you’re training a Raid Boss in this case, you’re free to run and jump around as often as you like — you only want to avoid running when you’re training a competitive FP for tournaments. Off-stage play is rarely recommended for Raid Bosses, but Wario’s recovery is versatile, so if you really want to teach your FP to gimp, go for it! Here’s a full list of moves to use:
- Down tilt combos into itself, an aerial, or a dash attack. Use it often at close range, and mix in some forward tilts too while you’re at it. Neutral attack can be used at point-blank range.
- Grab and throw your FP frequently. At low percentages, use an up throw and then start doing up air juggling combos. At high percentages, you can use back throw to KO!
- Back air and neutral air can be used to land and as general damage-rackers. Forward air should be used off-stage (if you’re willing to take the risk) and up air should be used repeatedly to juggle your FP. Down air can also be used off-stage, and should be your lowest-priority air attack.
- Up tilt can link into itself a few times and set up for up air juggles! Use it decently often at close range or to catch your FP as it lands.
- Dash attack and forward smash can be sprinkled in as well. Only use a few of each. Up smash is okay too, but it’s got a lot of lag. Down smash, however, is not okay.
Do not use Wario Bike. As soon as the AI gets a taste of its bike, it has a chance of becoming spammy. Wario is highly vulnerable while riding his motorcycle, as he cannot shield or dodge. He can taunt, though, so make of that what you will. We mentioned this in the last section, but just in case you didn’t see: you don’t have to use Wario Waft; the AI learns to use it on its own, though its usage of said move is not particularly impressive.
Thanks so much for reading! Wario might be a popular character within the Super Mario series (and he is), but he still doesn’t have a ton of representation in this game. He does have a dedicated trainer or two, though, so it’s safe to say we’ve figured out his game plan! If you have any questions during training, feel free to join our Discord server and ask! You can also check out our tour entry guide to learn how to participate in online tournaments. We also greatly appreciate donations if our guides have helped you. That’s a lot of also’s! Until next time — happy training!
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