How to train a Pokémon Trainer amiibo in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Over the years, we’ve received a lot of questions regarding the Pokémon Trainer Figure Player. That’s understandable, then, because you would think that Pokémon Trainer is a complicated character. Unfortunately, you’d be thinking wrong: Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’s developers really took the easy way out crafting this fighter’s AI, and it shows. If you’d like to learn more about Pokémon Trainer’s metagame history before we begin (and how good Charizard was in Super Smash Bros. 4), feel free to read his corresponding wiki page. Otherwise, let’s jump right into today’s training!

Pokémon Trainer amiibo guide


If you own a Pokémon Trainer amiibo figure, you’ll be able to select the Pokémon it sends out first from the character select screen. It doesn’t really matter which Pokémon is sent out first; but if we had to pick a specific one, it’d be Ivysaur. As you can imagine, Pokémon Trainer’s three-in-one mechanic makes Spirit selection problematic; each of the Pokémon’s moves is buffed by different bonus effects, which means Support skills like Fire & Explosion Attack ↑ only work a third of the time. Here’s what we came up with for Pokémon Trainer’s optimal Spirit builds:

  • Banned bonuses: Armor Knight is quite good on Pokémon Trainer; it benefits Charizard the most, but grants Ivysaur and Squirtle some much-needed longevity thanks to its large defensive boost. Fill the third slot with Trade-Off Ability ↑, and you’ve likely got the best possible spread for this mess of an FP.
  • Tournament-legal bonuses: If you can’t use Armor Knight, then Trade-Off Ability ↑ is practically required, otherwise this fighter won’t be doing much damage. Physical Attack ↑ is Pokémon Trainer’s only viable power booster, as it increases the strength of a decent chunk of attacks across the board. For the third slot, you can use Air Defense ↑ or Critical-Health Stats ↑; you can also opt to leave it completely blank (which will allow the FP to increase its stat total by 300).
  • Raid Boss bonuses: If you’re opting for the Raid Boss route, your best bet is Physical Attack ↑, Move Speed ↑, and Landing Lag ↓. Each of these Spirit effects is useful to all three Pokémon! You could also choose Great Autoheal — which would go a long way in helping Squirtle survive for longer periods of time.

Regarding stat distribution, you should lean more heavily into defense (1900 / 2300). Pokémon Trainer’s AI will automatically switch Pokémon (even if you didn’t train it to), which means there’s no way to stop it from sending out Squirtle. As a result, you’ll have to lean into some extra cushioning so that Squirtle isn’t KO’d early. Make sure your FP’s Spirit-type is Neutral, by the way!

Competitive Training

Get ready for the most disappointingly simple training routine you’ll ever see! Before we begin, there’s something important you should know about Pokémon Trainer. Squirtle, Ivysaur, and Charizard all have slightly different base AIs, but they share the same pool of training data. This means that if you teach Squirtle to use forward smash, the other Pokémon will learn forward smash too. Fortunately, there are a few moves that work well on any of the three Pokémon, and those are going to be the ones we recommend here:

  • Regardless of which of its Pokémon is active, your FP should be using its side specials (Withdraw, Razor Leaf, and especially Flare Blitz) a lot. When Charizard is active, Flare Blitz becomes one of the strongest attacks in the game; AI opponents often fail to get out of the way in time and take damage as a result. In fact, if Charizard weren’t tethered to Squirtle and Ivysaur, it would be top-tier solely because of Flare Blitz. It’s that good.
  • Forward tilt and a little bit of forward smash and down smash work well at close range. Forward tilt certainly takes priority here, and with Charizard active, it’s got an extra-powerful sweetspot at the tip of its tail.
  • Up smash’s only real use is to intercept the FP as it tries to land. It’s especially strong with Ivysaur active, and the move isn’t bad on Squirtle or Charizard either.
  • Forward air and especially down air work well off-stage. Don’t chase your FP too far out, though, as none of the Pokémon in the trainer’s arsenal have great recoveries. If you’d rather not run the risk that the Pokémon gets gimped, you can opt to wait at the ledge instead.

While raising Pokémon Trainer, you always want to walk instead of run. If you’re new to amiibo training, this might sound strange — but you can read all about it at our wiki page on optimal movement. There’s only one particular move you should steer clear of at all costs, and that’s Pokémon Change. The AI will switch its Pokémon every so often no matter what, but you can minimize the chance of this happening by never using the move yourself.

Raid Boss Training

If you came here to learn how to raise a Pokémon Trainer Raid Boss (and didn’t read the previous section), you’re in for a disappointment. Squirtle, Ivysaur, and Charizard all pull from the same pool of training data, so anything you teach to the FP will be taught to all three Pokémon. With that in mind, we’ve selected a list of viable moves for Squirtle, Iyvsaur, and Charizard to use. Here’s everything your FP needs to know:

  • Grabs are perhaps most important here. Squirtle, Ivysaur, and Charizard are all capable of comboing a down throw into a forward air, which at least helps them rack on some damage. Otherwise, Squirtle and Ivysaur can use their back throws to KO and Charizard can rely on its up throw.
  • Forward tilt and down tilt work well at close range regardless of the active Pokémon. Remember that Charizard’s forward tilt deals additional damage if you connect with the tip of its tail!
  • Neutral air, forward air, up air, and back air. All four of these moves are quite good on each Pokémon! Once again, back air has a sweetspot at the tip of Charizard’s tail. Ivysaur’s up air is also incredibly strong and can get early KOs!
  • Forward smash and up smash will both be necessary to KO opponents at medium-high percentages, especially if Squirtle is the active Pokémon. Only use a small amount of smash attacks, though, and make sure you only do so when you’re sure they’ll connect.

During the matches you play against your FP, you’ll want to remain on-stage at all times and avoid switching your active Pokémon. To be clear, since you’re raising a Raid Boss, you’re welcome to run and dash around as often as you like. Keep your expectations for this FP low, and who knows — maybe they’ll be slightly exceeded!


It’s safe to say that Pokémon Trainer might just be the most confusing (and disheartening) FP around. Even so, he’s found a niche in the competitive game. Yes, that niche is spamming side specials, but it’s a good niche nonetheless. Please direct any of your questions to our Discord server, and remember to check out our tournaments guide if you want to learn how to start competing! If you like what you read today, Exion also has a Patreon page and a donation box — the proceeds of which go directly toward keeping the site up and running. Until next time — happy training!

If you would like to read more amiibo training guides, please follow this link.


2 thoughts on “How to train a Pokémon Trainer amiibo in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate”

    1. Squirtle is indeed bad in amiibo play. Its AI is poor and the character can’t kill. Squirtle is fine in competitive play, but not in amiibo play. There are many key differences between the two metagames.

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