Editor’s note: this is a user-contributed guide. Special thanks to Isla for writing this up! If you’d like to join her Spirit-focused amiibo server for more information on how they work, please follow this link.
Hello, my name is Isla and I’ve been in the scene for over a year now — long enough to see the Instadrop Spirit constantly fluctuating between both allowed and banned so often that it’s now banned almost everywhere. Now I do feel like I should preface this before we continue: Instadrop is banned in most tournaments and servers for being frustrating to fight and boring to watch. There’s a reason for this, though: for most of Ultimate’s lifespan, Spirited amiibo tours have been done through Battle Arenas because of their casual and easy-to-access nature. As the Spirits metagame has progressed, however, there’s been a big shift to file submission tours over the past few months.
Now, as for my stance on the Instadrop legality question, in arena tours I do feel that it should be banned for the time being. For those of you who may not know, Battle Arenas slightly change the way amiibo behave, usually making them more jumpy and even changing their move priorities in extreme cases. As for file submission tours (which you can read more about here), this Spirit should 100% remain legal. With FPs being more consistent with how they behave in file tournaments as well as Critical Healing & Metal being added to the game, Instadrop’s popularity has been on the decline and only shows up on a few characters. Even then, the fighters who do use Instadrop sometimes perform worse with the bonus equipped.
Why it works
Instadrop is a very interesting Spirit. With this equipped, it replaces your fast fall with a quick downward motion with a hitbox, which brings you to the stage almost instantly. This action is incredibly powerful — not only does it keep you out of bad positions, but if the hitbox connects, FPs are able to follow up into other attacks (most often aerials). This action does one more thing that’s really important: it happens faster than AI opponents can react. For that reason, Instadrop is a strong tool that serves as perhaps the best AI-breaking maneuver in the entire game.
Now as great as that all is, Instadrop doesn’t work on everyone and that’s for many reasons. First off, it takes up two out of your three Spirit slots, so it’s potentially costing you a lot of kill power (since you can’t run power-boosting bonuses instead). Secondly, FPs that work well with Instadrop tend to be fast characters that have trouble scoring KOs. Not every fighter fits that bill, but there are some fighters that match it perfectly!
Best Instadrop Characters
- Falco is the poster boy for Instadrop as a whole. He’s able to use both up tilt and up smash after Instadrop, which lets him snag easy kills. Falco is also one of several Instadrop-friendly fighters who has a fast down air that spikes.
- Luigi is a strange character, but there’s a specific trainer out there whose Luigi FP uses Instadrop to great effect. He’s actually a bit different than other Instadrop fighters; his moves are so fast that he can sometimes combo a neutral aerial into Instadrop rather than using the drop solely to start combos.
- Pikachu is another amiibo with fast aerials and a down air that spikes. Paired with its strong up smash, Instadrop is a great candidate here.
- Chrom is one of the few characters here that uses Instadrop as more of a “get out of jail free-card”. He’s got such a bad recovery that being able to drop down to the stage and avoid being juggled in the middle of his opponent’s combo is a huge help.
- Kirby is yet another character with a drill-like down air that spikes. Kirby plus Instadrop is an absolute terror on the battlefield, and is able to cancel Instadrop in order to use down air into down smash or up smash.
For the last thing, I’d like to mention Instadrop Jigglypuff. A common misconception in the competitive community is how good Instadrop Jigglypuff actually is. A lot of trainers will tell you that her ability to true combo Instadrop into Rest places her in the A or B-tier range on a hypothetical Spirits tier list, but in my opinion that’s simply not the case. At the time of writing, the highest-rated Jigglypuff on Spirited Amiibots has an ELO score of 23.9 — which is about what you’d expect from a C-tier amiibo. She’s left highly vulnerable after using Rest and can’t do much in terms of horizontal knockback, which is part of the reason why she sometimes struggles.
To those of you looking to train an Instadrop amiibo of your own, each character’s follow-ups are mostly hard-coded. They tend to play more human-like than what Exion’s training guides suggest, since they’ll be in the air more often. If you’d like more help training an Instadrop amiibo of your own, feel free to join both the Exion Discord server and the S.A.M. Discord server — the latter of which focuses specifically on Spirited amiibo!
If you would like to read more amiibo training guides, please follow this link.