Ryu made his Super Smash Bros. series debut as a DLC fighter in Super Smash Bros. 4. In this game, he’s got a few unique tricks up his sleeve; his normals are split into held and tapped versions and his special moves can be executed via unique button inputs that increase their power and utility. Figure Players generally don’t make good use of their character’s gimmicks (see Bayonetta, Ken, and the Ice Climbers as examples), but Ryu is a rare exception! For more information on his metagame history, check out his wiki page. Otherwise, let’s jump right into today’s training!
Special thanks to not jordan for contributing Ryu’s training information!
There are two types of trainers: Spirits trainers and vanilla (no Spirits) trainers. Try to equip your Ryu amiibo with its full Spirit team – if you’re going to give it one at all, that is – as soon as possible. When a Figure Player inherits a Spirit, its training data is adjusted. Give your FP its Spirits at Level 1 to prevent this from happening! For more information, check out our full Spirits guide. In the meantime, here are some bonus builds you can use on Ryu:
- Banned bonuses: As a fairly heavy fighter, Ryu makes good use of the Armor Knight Spirit effect, which increases his attack power by 1.15x and his defense by 1.8x. Pair that with Trade-Off Ability ↑ and you’re good to go! Armor Knight can only be found randomly in Funky Kong’s in-game shop via the Halberd Support Spirit, so it may take a while to obtain — but it’s absolutely worth it. Super Armor is worth considering as well, and it’s obtained from the summon-exclusive Gold Mario Support Spirit.
- Tournament-legal bonuses: If you’re a seasoned amiibo trainer, you’re most likely well aware that Armor Knight and Super Armor are banned from most online tournaments. If you’re looking for other options, then, here are a few: Physical Attack ↑, Trade-Off Ability ↑, Foot Attack ↑, Shield Damage ↑, and Shield Durability ↑. Feel free to take your pick!
- Raid Boss bonuses: For a Raid Boss, you might want to include Move Speed ↑ and Landing Lag ↓ in your setup. So that build would most likely be Physical Attack ↑, Move Speed ↑, and Landing Lag ↓ all at once.
Regarding stat distributions, your best bet is to keep Ryu’s spread balanced between attack and defense (2100 / 2100). Make sure its Spirit-type is Neutral before you start raising it — that way, it won’t lose Spirit-type matchups during games it plays against other FPs when its training is complete.
When training Ryu, you’ll want to take it easy and teach the FP to walk instead of run. This will prevent it from dashing right into opponents’ moves during tournament matches. As you might imagine, that goes a long way in helping Ryu win matches. Keep him on-stage at all times, and don’t try to edgeguard your FP — just wait at the ledge instead. Here’s a full list of moves to teach during level-ups:
- Held up tilt actually isn’t all that great — instead, we’re actually using held up tilts to prevent Ryu from falling victim to a hard-coded AI flaw at later levels. If left unchecked, the FP has a tendency to spam tapped up tilts into itself over and over again, which doesn’t accomplish much and leaves it highly vulnerable. As a result, you’ll want to use held up tilts from levels 1 to 10 — this will, in turn, minimize the likelihood that the FP spams tapped up tilts later on.
- Held down tilt is Ryu’s primary combo starter. It can be canceled into Hadoken, Shakunetsu Hadoken, or Tatsumaki Senpukyaku, which makes it a rather versatile damage-racker. Use held down tilt often during training, and follow up with one of the attacks listed above. Tapped down tilt can link into Shoryuken when the opponent is at about 90%; only use Shoryuken after a tapped down tilt.
- Forward smash should be used to KO. Up smash is a solid juggling tool, and should be paired alongside up air to juggle your FP whenever it’s above you. Down smash is optional, and you can teach your FP to use it right after a parry. At later levels, the AI is hard-coded to cancel down smash into Hadoken, but since FPs will always tech the hit, the Hadoken almost never connects.
- Use Hadoken often from a distance. When using the blue fireball, you can use either the normal version or the special-input version. The red fireball, Shakunetsu Hadoken, is perhaps even better thanks to its multi-hit properties. To perform this move, you’ll need to use inputs. When facing right, tilt the control stick (← ↓ →) and then press the attack button. Overall, use Hadoken and Shakunetstu Hadoken about equally.
- Tatsumaki Senpukyaku can be used after a down tilt or all on its own. In this case, it serves as one of Ryu’s more consistent kill moves.
- Back air can secure a safe landing. Down air should be used a few times when the FP is at Level 40 or higher — specifically, it should be used in midair to cancel into a special move. The AI is hard-coded to use down air cancels every once in a while, but doing it yourself every so often won’t hurt!
There are several moves you should never use while training Ryu. First is tapped up tilt — if the FP lands a hit on you with this move, you may as well quit the match. The AI will eventually spam it to no end, which accomplishes very little and leaves it vulnerable to incoming danger. The second is jab: by Level 50, the FP will only use the first two hits of the move and can’t use it to combo into another attack. Next is neutral air; if left unchecked, the AI will use it to edgeguard, which can spell doom against opponents who are comfortable off-stage! You should also avoid forward air and forward tilt, though these moves are more outclassed than they are bad.
Raid Boss Training
For the most part, training a Figure Player is straightforward: mirror match it until it reaches Level 50. Don’t get your hopes too high, though, as Ryu’s AI is nowhere near as advanced as top-tier Ryu players in competitive Smash can be. For one, it can’t learn to Kara Cancel, so don’t even try! You might notice that Ryu’s optimal Raid Boss strategy is rather similar to his competitive one. Even so, we’ve included specialized usage descriptions of each move just in case:
- Held up tilt’s recommended usage is identical between our competitive and Raid Boss guides. Ryu’s AI gets out of hand with tapped up tilts and uses them incorrectly to boot. Only use held up tilts during the first few matches of your training — this will ensure that Ryu avoids spamming tapped up tilts at later levels.
- Held down tilt combos into Hadoken or Tatsumaki Senpukyaku. Use this move as a simple combo starter. Side note: the only time you should use Tatsumaki Senpukyaku (side special) is after a held down tilt. Using it on its own is somewhat risky against human opponents.
- Hadoken should be used from a distance to rack on damage. You can either use the default blue fireball, or the red multi-hit one. Ideally, you’d use a balance of the two.
- Tapped down tilt combos into Shoryuken. This is also the only instance you should be using Shoryuken — using it by itself is too risky because it leaves Ryu vulnerable if it misses.
- Up smash should be used out of shield, to KO, and to juggle. In the case of the latter, use both up smash and up airs to juggle your FP when it’s above you. Forward smash and down smash can also be used to KO.
- Down air can cancel into one of Ryu’s special moves while in the air (most likely side special or up special). Don’t use this move off-stage, though; Ryu’s recovery leaves him vulnerable to attack. Keep your FP on-stage to reduce the chance that it gets KO’d early.
The moves you should avoid while training a Raid Boss Ryu FP are mostly the same as the last section — no tapped up tilt, no jab, and no neutral air. You can use forward air or down air to land instead. On a somewhat unrelated note, if you’re new to amiibo training and want to learn more about how FPs work in this game, check out our general guide!
Ryu is rather difficult to train, but hey — at least he isn’t Ken (who is much worse, by all accounts). If you have any training-related questions, feel free to join our Discord server! You’re welcome to ask as many as you like. If you want to enter an online tournament with one of your FPs, you can find specific instructions on how to do that via our guide. If you liked what you read today, we also have a Patreon and a donation box. Thanks so much for reading! Until next time — happy training!
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