Young Link first appeared in Super Smash Bros. Melee as a clone of Link! Ten years later, he’s finally back and ready for action in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Link has received a number of moveset changes – namely a lack of tether and a new down special – so Young Link sort of maintains the status quo as a non-Breath of the Wild Link fighter. Unfortunately, his Figure Player is plagued with critical flaws that hold him back from greatness — and if you’d like to learn more, you can check out his wiki page. Otherwise, let’s jump right into today’s training!
Special thanks to Bunion J for contributing Young Link’s training information!
Young Link’s optimal Spirits are mostly straightforward: you’re going to want to boost his attack power and his recovery, if at all possible. We’ve included a number of strong setups below, but first, you should check out our full Spirits guide if you’re not sure how they work. It’s also important to note that most online tournaments do not allow Spirits, so keep that in mind if you’re looking to compete. Now then, here are Young Link’s best bonus spreads:
- Banned bonuses: This is the case for most fighters, to be honest, but Young Link’s strongest Spirit combination is Armor Knight plus Trade-Off Ability ↑. He’s going to want to stay close to the stage at all times, and this build’s extra defense power will help him do just that. Remember, you can find Armor Knight via the Halberd Support Spirit in Funky Kong’s shop!
- Tournament-legal bonuses: There are a few other options available here, too. First, you can use either one or two Weapon Attack ↑ Support skills — however many you prefer. You could also include Air Defense ↑, Critical-Health Stats ↑, or Floaty Jumps; the latter helps aid Young Link’s recovery.
- Raid Boss bonuses: A Raid Boss Young Link’s optimal Spirits aren’t too different from the ones listed above, so if you’d like, you can just use one of those setups! Alternatively, you could use Great Autoheal or a setup including Weapon Attack ↑, Move Speed ↑, and Landing Lag ↓.
Generally speaking, your FP’s specific stat totals aren’t super important here. As long as it has stats, you should be good to go. Shoot for a roughly balanced spread (2100 / 2100) and don’t worry if you can’t get those exact numbers. As a reminder, Spirits change FP training data — so be sure to give them to your Young Link amiibo before you start training it.
As you might expect, Young Link’s training strategy isn’t too different from the one you’d see on Link and Toon Link. Actually, Link is considered top-tier, but Young Link and Toon Link have long been lurking in the list’s lower tiers. Compared to Toon Link, Young Link’s attacks are generally stronger and strike multiple times… but Young Link also has a tendency to misjudge the length of his tether recovery and self-destruct, which is a problem that Toon Link doesn’t have. If you change your mind and would rather train Toon Link instead, check out our corresponding guide! If you’re still good to give Young Link a go, here’s his optimized move list:
- Boomerang is the only projectile Young Link gets right. To be fair, there’s not much room for error with this move — but when you’re on the ground, fire off a ton of Boomerangs at a medium distance to rack on damage. Just make sure you don’t use any projectiles while airborne! You can also use dash attack from a medium distance to approach.
- At close range, down tilt should be used to combo into an up air, forward air, or neutral air. Forward tilt, down smash, and forward smash should all be mixed in as well; the latter is well-suited for both KOs and general damage-racking!
- Up smash and up air are your go-to juggling tools. Up air, in particular, should be used several times in a row! You can also try grounded Spin Attacks every so often to catch botched rolls and ledge getups
- Forward air is incredibly strong when used off-stage — just don’t go too far out or you run the risk of your FP self-destructing at later levels. When you’re launched upward and want to clear a spot for a safe landing, use a neutral air!
Young Link is a rather finicky fellow to train, so there are several moves you’ll need to avoid altogether. These include down air, grab aerial, Fire Arrows, aerial Boomerang, and Bombs. You could mix in a few grabs, but Young Link’s AI thinks its hookshot extends farther than it actually does and so it often misses entirely. Also, only use standing grabs — no dash grabs. As mentioned earlier, you should still walk as often as possible while training this character.
Raid Boss Training
We’ve got a helpful word of advice to those of you looking to raise a Raid Boss Young Link: pick another character. In the context of Raid Boss training, he’s likely the worst of the three Link fighters; his AI self-destructs off-stage, struggles to properly utilize its projectiles, and has a somewhat-unimpressive combo ability. If you’re absolutely sure you want to train Young Link, here’s a list of every move you should focus on:
- Down tilt is Young Link’s best neutral option, as it can link into an aerial move that can then set up for up air juggles. You can also throw in a bit of neutral attack and forward tilt, but down tilt should be taking priority here.
- All of Young Link’s aerial moves are excellent — well, except for down air. Mix in neutral air, forward air, back air, and up air, but don’t use any of them off-stage. You’ll want to stay glued to the stage to keep Young Link’s clumsy AI alive for as long as possible. Forward air KOs, up air racks up damage and KOs, and back air is fast and good for combos.
- Do some shielding as you fight your FP, and the second it pokes your shield you can retaliate with Spin Attack, up smash, or a neutral air. Up tilt and up smash also work well as anti-airs, so be sure to use them for that purpose as well.
- Add in a sprinkle of down smash and you’re good to go! Forward smash is okay too, but it’s a bit too slow to be worth prioritizing against human opponents.
If you aren’t disappointed already, it’s time to fix that: you shouldn’t use any grabs or special moves while training Young Link. His AI is really bad about aiming its hookshot, either while grounded or aerial. This could be because his AI is an edited copy of Link’s from Super Smash Bros. 4, and in that game, his tether grab was a bit longer than Young Link’s currently is. Maybe Young Link’s hookshot issues stem from a sloppy AI port?
It’s a shame (and certainly true) that Young Link is objectively outclassed by his older incarnation. Don’t let that deter you, though! Young Link is still a unique fighter with plenty of strengths, and he’s got the potential to perform well in tournaments that only allow low-tier fighters. If you have any questions, please direct them to our Discord server! We’ve also got a tournament setup guide, a Patreon page, and a donation box if you’d like to give any of those a look. In the meantime, thanks so much for reading! Until next time — happy training!
If you would like to read more amiibo training guides, please follow this link.