In 2020, Greninja was voted the most popular Pokémon character in series history. So what’s going on here? The Ninja Pokémon has been underrated in competitive amiibo training since its figurine’s initial release in 2015. It didn’t accumulate any significant tournament results in Super Smash Bros. 4, and for the most part, that’s still true for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Though they are far and few between, a couple of dedicated trainers have accrued solid results with the character. In today’s guide, we are going to attempt to replicate that success! If you’d like to read more about Greninja’s metagame history before you continue, feel free to check out its wiki page. Otherwise, let’s jump right into today’s training!
Special thanks to SinSei for contributing Greninja’s training information!
Let’s start by talking Spirits! Greninja’s status as a combo-oriented character makes it a bit difficult to equip, but we’ve managed to pull together a bunch of viable setups nonetheless. If you don’t know this already, you should let your FP inherit each of its Spirits at Level 1 — before you start training it. For more information on why that is, read our full Spirits guide! In the meantime, here are some Spirit effect builds you can use on Greninja:
- Banned bonuses: This is the case with most fighters, and Greninja is no exception: its strongest bonus setup is Armor Knight and Trade-Off Ability ↑. You can only obtain Armor Knight from the Halberd Support Spirit, which is sometimes available for purchase in Funky Kong’s in-game shop (accessed via World of Light).
- Tournament-legal bonuses: Though Physical Attack ↑, Water & Ice Attack ↑, and Weapon Attack ↑ each boost part of Greninja’s moveset, Weapon Attack ↑ is the power-booster you’re going to want to go with. Air Defense ↑ and Critical-Health Stats ↑ can be used here as well. Critical Healing & Metal is likely Greninja’s best legal Spirit effect, and you can pair it with Weapon Attack ↑, Transformation Duration ↑, or Air Defense ↑ to great effect.
- Raid Boss bonuses: Any of the Spirit effects mentioned above work well on a Raid Boss! You can also use Great Autoheal if you want your Greninja amiibo to annoy and outlast any opponent it faces. Otherwise, try using a setup of Weapon Attack ↑, Landing Lag ↓, and Move Speed ↑.
Regarding stat points, you can keep Greninja’s spread balanced between attack and defense (2100 / 2100). Make sure your FP’s Spirit-type is Neutral before you begin its training. When you’re ready to start, pick either our competitive training section or our Raid Boss training section — whichever suits your fancy.
More often than not, Greninja is going to want to walk. FPs think more clearly when raised this way; if they’re trained to dash, there’s a chance that they’ll run right into an incoming smash attack and take damage that would have otherwise been avoidable. Do your best to perfect shield some of your FP’s attacks as well — bonus points if you parry an attack that is not listed below. Here’s what an optimal competitive Greninja looks like, then:
- Forward smash is Greninja’s main source of damage-racking and KOs. It’s surprisingly quick and often beats out opponents’ close-ranged options, so you’ll want to use plenty of forward smashes against your FP during its training.
- Dash attack is a solid approach tool, and can combo into an up smash at low percentages or a forward air kill confirm at high percentages. The only time you’re allowed to run is right before using this move!
- Up smash is an excellent anti-air that can secure KOs, finish combos, and deal high amounts of damage. Up smash should be used as an anti-air and combo finisher for dash attack and down tilt (which we’ll discuss in a moment). Try to connect the sweetspot between Greninja’s swords.
- At low percents, down tilt can combo into a forward smash. At higher damages, it can combo into an up smash instead. Compared to forward smash – which we consider as Greninja’s best move – down tilt is faster but has less power and range.
- Down smash is best used after a parry or while standing at the edge. It doesn’t have as much range as forward smash, but it does launch its victims at a favorable angle that can make recovering back to the stage difficult for certain characters.
- Forward air has a large and powerful hitbox, making it great for landing. Alternatively, it can be used to edgeguard, though this should only be done sparingly. Neutral air can secure a safe landing as well, but should never be used off-stage.
As you can see, Greninja’s training is rather simple, but its varied combo game helps keep things interesting! There are several moves to avoid during training; these include Water Shuriken (the AI likes to spam it), Substitute (the AI misuses and mistimes it), Shadow Sneak (the AI spams it as well), up tilt (short range and outclassed by up smash), up air (it’s best to teach Greninja to get KOs while grounded), and neutral attack (outclassed by down tilt and forward smash). That’s a lot of parentheses, but avoid all of these attacks during training and you should be all set.
Raid Boss Training
Now it’s time for the moment Raid Boss trainers worldwide have been waiting for! We’re going to raise your Greninja amiibo all the way to Level 50. If its level is already maxed out, it might be a good idea to reset and retrain it — just keep in mind that its Spirit team will be erased and you’ll have to re-equip it. Since you’re training a Raid Boss, you’re free to dash and jump around as you see fit — which is in contrast to the previous section. Here’s a complete list of moves to teach to your FP:
- Forward tilt, neutral attack, and grabs are to be used at close range. Greninja’s grab game isn’t anything spectacular, but it’s a necessary component of its kit nonetheless. After you get a hold of your FP, simply throw it toward the nearest ledge.
- Dash attack is a highly versatile combo starter that should be mixed in often. Depending on the enemy’s percentage, it can combo into an up smash or a forward air. Make sure your FP knows to use this move!
- Forward air, back air, and neutral air should all be used for air-to-air combat. Up air can juggle or, more rarely, activate hard-coded dragdown combos! You can also use forward air off-stage, albeit only rarely.
- Additionally, you can mix in a bit of forward smash and up smash at high percentages to KO your FP.
In terms of moves to avoid, you may as well map your special move button to serve a different purpose, as an optimal Raid Boss Greninja FP doesn’t use any of its specials (except for Hydro Pump as recovery). You also shouldn’t try to gimp your FP with Hydro Pump’s push effect; the AI cannot properly replicate this technique and will often get punished and KO’d as a result.
Thanks so much for reading! Since the release of Exion’s original Greninja training guide, the character has enjoyed increased tournament representation and results. Was its slight surge in popularity a direct result of this post? Who knows, but we’d like to think it was! At any rate, if you have questions you’d like to have answered, you’re welcome to join our Discord server and ask as many as you want. To learn how to enter online tournaments that we host on said server, check out our dedicated how-to post. We’re constantly working hard on new content and guides, so if you appreciate our work, we’d appreciate you taking a look at our Patreon and donation box! Until next time — happy training!
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