Falco is one of three Star Fox representatives in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. In order of viability, the three are ranked like this: Wolf is best, Falco is second best, and Fox is third best (or in this case, worst). With Spirits on, though, Falco becomes stronger — to the point where he may even be better than Wolf! If you want to learn all about Falco’s metagame history, that information is stored on his wiki page. Otherwise, let’s jump right into today’s training!
It’s time for our Spirit recommendations of the day! Be sure to finish your FP’s completed build before you start training it, as each Spirit it inherits adjusts its training data the moment it’s equipped. For more information on why this is, check out our in-depth Spirits guide! It also includes additional viable setups and instructions on obtaining commonly sought-after Spirit effects. At any rate, here are some builds that work specifically well on Falco:
- Banned bonuses: Falco’s best setup is Armor Knight alongside either Move Speed ↑ or Trade-Off Ability ↑. The former boosts its user’s movement speed by 1.3x, while the latter grants a smaller speed boost but bolsters attack and defense on top of that. Trade-Off Ability ↑ also comes with a 30% damage penalty at the beginning of each stock, so the Spirit effect you choose here should depend on whether or not you want to take that risk.
- Tournament-legal bonuses: Falco is a versatile FP, and he can utilize several interesting Spirits to great effect. First, we’ve got power boosters: Physical Attack ↑ and Toss & Meteor work great here, and then you can add Air Defense ↑ to the third slot for a complete setup. Then there’s Critical-Health Stats ↑ and Critical Immunity, which are slightly more niche but come in handy in tough situations.
- Raid Boss bonuses: Falco is insane with Instadrop, and the only reason this wasn’t included earlier is that some (but not all) tournament hosts keep it banned — this isn’t a universal rule, though, so your mileage may vary. Instadrop also works incredibly well on a Raid Boss, and it can be paired with Physical Attack ↑. Otherwise, try using a setup of Physical Attack ↑ (without Instadrop), Move Speed ↑, and Landing Lag ↓.
Generally speaking, specific stat builds aren’t all that important. As long as your FP has stats, you should be good to go; if you’d rather shoot for a specific benchmark, though, try keeping Falco’s stats balanced (2100 / 2100). Make sure the FP’s Spirit-type is Neutral before you begin its training.
The Exion-patented competitive training tips apply to Falco, too — no running, jumping, taunting, or charging smash attacks. Use walking as your method of transportation, and do your best to parry and perfect shield as many attacks as possible. Off-stage play is perfectly viable with Falco despite his somewhat poor recovery, but we’ll discuss that in greater detail in just a moment. Here’s a full list of attacks to teach your FP as it levels up:
- Down tilt has insanely high combo potential; it can lead into a grab or any aerial move. It can also combo into forward smash, but generally only once per stock and at low percentages.
- Up smash is a good anti-air, meaning that Falco can use it under platforms and aerial opponents to great effect. Up smash is also Falco’s main kill move, so KO your FP with it often during training — and let it kill you with up smash every so often as well.
- Falco’s grabs are great! Up throw can combo into a neutral air and then a forward air, Reflector, or Blaster (which sounds strange, but works sometimes). Down throw combos into a forward air, and forward throw combos into a dash attack at low percentages. For the most part, once your Falco amiibo gets past Level 43, it’ll know exactly what throw combos to use; make sure you teach it to grab a lot and it’ll figure out the rest on its own.
- Down air should be used off-stage to meteor smash opponents. Remember, don’t run off-stage: walk off-stage and then attack with a down air.
- Falco Phantasm is a fast-moving hitbox that can combo into a back air or up air at later percentages. Use it occasionally, but not to the point where your FP starts spamming it.
- Furthermore, dash attack, forward tilt, neutral attack, forward smash, down smash at the ledge, and Blaster at a distance can be sprinkled in as well. None of these are instrumental to Falco’s success and thus should be used infrequently.
There is only one move to avoid, and its name is up tilt. For some reason, Falco’s AI places a very high priority on it and will often forgo its up smash in favor of up tilt despite its lower power. If Falco is your first-ever amiibo and you want to know more about how competitive training works, feel free to check out our general guide (or just bookmark it for later when you have more time to read).
Raid Boss Training
It’s best to mirror match your FP all the way to Level 50. Just in case you were wondering, by the time an FP reaches Level 43, their item usage and stage navigation are mostly hard-coded, so don’t worry about trying to teach it these things. For now, play on Battlefield- or Ω-form stages. Stay on-stage at all times, and use the following moves during training:
- Grabs are Falco’s jam. Up throw combos into a neutral air, which can then combo into a forward air; down throw links directly into forward air, and forward throw leads into a dash attack at low percentages. If you grab your FP while it’s heavily damaged, simply throw it toward the nearest ledge with a forward or back throw.
- Down tilt combos into a grab or any one of Falco’s aerials, and should be used very frequently during training. Forward tilt and neutral attack don’t have as much combo potential but are solid at close range nonetheless.
- Neutral air and down air should be rotated as landing options; the former is generally more useful because it can combo, though. Back air is incredibly strong and should be used often, while up air is a solid anti-air (which is ironic, given its status as an aerial move). Furthermore, just about all of Falco’s aerials work well out of shield.
- Up smash is another solid anti-air, down smash is good at the ledge or after a dragdown neutral or forward air, and forward smash… exists. It isn’t that good, but should still be sprinkled in every once in a while. Dash attack is also okay to mix in sometimes.
Most FPs don’t use their special moves very well, and for the most part, Falco is no exception. The AI will occasionally use Blaster too close to an opponent, which gives them an opportunit to strike — potentially with a devastating smash attack. Falco Phantasm serves little purpose against humans and is easily blocked, while Fire Bird should only be used to recover. Reflector is hard-coded, so at later levels the FP will automatically know how to use it. No need to teach!
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