Inkling was initially regarded as one of the worst characters in the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate amiibo metagame. In the present day, Inkling is still regarded as one of the worst fighters in tournament play, so it’s safe to say that not much has changed for our favorite squid kid. Its main issue is that its AI doesn’t recharge its ink, and that’s probably all we have to say to make its low-tier placement make sense. If you’d like to learn more about Inkling’s metagame history, you can do so over at its corresponding wiki page. Otherwise, let’s jump right into today’s training!
Special thanks to DoopFizzle for contributing Inkling’s training information!
Let’s start off by talking Spirits. If you don’t know this already, we have a full Spirits guide that goes in-depth on how they work in this game. It includes additional ideas for setups and the effects of Spirits on training data, among other things. To sum it up quickly, though: give your FP its full Spirit team before you play a single match against it. Here are some Spirit effects that work particularly well on Inkling:
- Banned bonuses: Inkling’s strongest Support skill is Armor Knight, and it can be matched with Move Speed ↑ or Trade-Off Ability ↑ to great effect. Autoheal and Great Autoheal are decent options here; Instadrop is worth investigating as well.
- Tournament-legal bonuses: Inkling is rather tough to equip without the use of banned bonuses. For slot number one, pick either Weapon Attack ↑ or Physical Attack ↑ — both buff different moves. For your remaining slots, you can include Air Defense ↑ and Critical-Health Stats ↑. Critical Healing & Metal is viable too, or you could forgo a bonus slot entirely and bank some extra stat points. Up to you!
- Raid Boss bonuses: If you don’t want to use Armor Knight, you can use a setup of Move Speed ↑, Landing Lag ↓, and either Physical Attack ↑ or Weapon Attack ↑. You’re probably better off using Physical Attack ↑ in this case; as we’ll soon discuss, an optimal Raid Boss Inkling doesn’t use many attacks that involve weapons.
Regarding stat distribution, Inkling’s potential setups can go one of two ways: balanced (2100 / 2100) or more offensive (2500 / 1700). To be honest, Inkling’s stats can be whatever you want; for the most part, as long as your FP has stats, it’s going to be good enough. By the way, make sure its Spirit-type is Neutral before you start its training!
Training a competitive Inkling FP can be kind of tough. In addition to walking, parrying, and steering clear of taunts and charged smashes, its trainer must remember to refill ink at every possible moment. This is because Inkling’s AI often fails to fill up its tank, which weakens its best moves and leaves it vulnerable to attacks as a result. Fortunately, Inkling can at least afford to go off-stage, and we’ll discuss that in greater detail in just a moment. Here’s everything an optimal Inkling FP’s moveset includes:
- Forward tilt and forward smash are your main close-range moves. Of these two, forward tilt should be used more often, as forward smash is easily parried and incurs a high ending lag penalty. Down smash is good for catching rolls and covering the opponent in ink.
- Both up smash and up air are useful for juggling and catching landings. Up air is most effective when used consecutively.
- Forward air, back air, and down air are all excellent off-stage — especially the former two. Down air won’t always sweetspot, but even its sourspot’s launch angle is favorable for edgeguarding.
- Inkling’s grab game is rather strong. Up throw is important, as it leads into up air chains; back throw is your other go-to throw and is great for KOing when used near the ledge. Forward throw and down throw are okay too, but Inkling’s up and back throws are key here.
Inkling’s AI struggles to properly utilize several of its moves, and these include Splattershot, Splat Roller, and Splat Bomb. Meanwhile, their jab, up tilt, and neutral air are outclassed by their other attacks. As a result, you’ll want to avoid using or getting hit by these — specifically the special moves. What’s particularly sad is that Inkling’s AI almost never punishes an opponent who was buried by Splat Roller, which is why the entire move isn’t worth using. One last reminder — refill your ink as often as possible!
Raid Boss Training
Players hoping to train a strong Raid Boss Inkling might be in for a rude awakening here. The harsh reality behind Inkling’s AI is that it cannot consistently recharge its ink; the behavior is almost entirely hard-coded. This means there will often be moments where the FP tries to use ink-based moves with an empty tank, which leaves it vulnerable to incoming danger. In contrast to the previous section, you’re welcome to dash around as often as you like — since Inkling cannot properly manage its ink, we’re going to try and stick to attacks that don’t use it. Which is sad, but it’s about the best we can do on a flawed fighter such as this one. Here are all the moves you should use during training:
- Grabs are Inkling’s most important tool — especially dash grabs. Up throw can combo into an up air, and then down throw can combo into a tilt or aerial move. These strings are hard-coded at later levels, so you don’t have to worry about teaching your FP every possible follow-up. You can also use back throw to KO a heavily damaged opponent.
- Down tilt, forward tilt, and short-hopped forward and back airs are your other neutral options. Thanks to Inkling’s excellent recovery, it can afford to go off-stage and edgeguard! It should do so primarily with forward and back air; down air can also be mixed in infrequently. Neutral air, however, is excellent when used on-stage. It’s an insanely strong air-to-air combat option, and it can be used to secure a safe landing as well.
- Up smash has a massive hitbox, so it’s a great anti-air; if you teach your FP to use this move, though, you need to try your best to get it to refill its ink. Forward smash, down smash, and up tilt can be sprinkled in as well, but are optional and aren’t essential to Inkling’s success.
Just to be clear, there are only two ways to encourage an Inkling amiibo to refill its ink tank more often: refill your ink tank as often as possible and don’t attack the FP while it’s refilling its own. If it means you have to quit the match anytime you accidentally hit your FP out of a recharge, so be it. As a side note, if you’re new to amiibo training and want to know more about how they learn, feel free to read our general guide! It includes information that would be relevant to both competitive and Raid Boss trainers.
At the time of writing, it seems Inkling may be forever doomed to the depths of the metagame’s lower tiers. The developers certainly missed the mark with Inkling’s AI; refilling ink is the character’s entire gimmick, and the FP won’t even be able to do that consistently. At any rate, if you’ve got questions regarding amiibo training that need answering, feel free to join our Discord community! If you want to learn how to enter one of its online tournaments, then check out our tour setup and entry guide. As always, if you enjoyed what you read today, we have a Patreon and a donation box – both with unique rewards – that help keep the site up and running. Thanks so much for reading! Until next time — happy training!
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