Speaking in terms of human-versus-human play, Diddy Kong is strong in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Super Smash Bros. 4, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. However, this has never been the case in competitive amiibo training; in this context, combo-based fighters tend to have wonky and inconsistent AI, and Diddy Kong is no exception. Even so, he’s still got a great deal of potential and is well worth your time. If you’d like to learn more about his metagame history, please read his corresponding wiki page. Otherwise, let’s jump right into today’s training!
Special thanks to Riparo for contributing Diddy Kong’s training information!
Diddy Kong’s strength is just about equal between the Spirits and vanilla (Spiritless) metagames. He does benefit from a decent number of bonus effects, but no amount of Spirits can fully patch his poor range and recovery. If you’d rather skip ahead to the training section, you’re welcome to do just that! If not, we have an in-depth Spirits guide you can read before you continue. Here are Diddy Kong’s best setups, then:
- Banned bonuses: Diddy Kong’s absolute-best Spirit build isn’t all that surprising: just slap on Armor Knight and Trade-Off Ability ↑ and you’re good to go! With this, Diddy Kong will enjoy a 1.15x attack boost and a whopping 1.8x defense boost on top of the individual stat buffs that come from the Trade-Off Ability ↑ Spirit effect.
- Tournament-legal bonuses: There are more options available, too! Physical Attack ↑ is a clear choice here, and it can either be applied once or twice to great effect. Additionally, you can mix and match Toss & Meteor, Air Defense ↑, Critical-Health Stats ↑, and Critical Healing & Metal as you like.
- Raid Boss bonuses: For the most part, each and every Spirit effect listed above applies well to a Raid Boss Diddy Kong. You could also opt to use Great Autoheal, which will drastically increase your FP’s longevity.
Remember, in terms of importance, bonus effects come first and then stat points come second. As always, we recommend a balanced build (2100 / 2100) but you could invest a bit more heavily into attack or defense depending on the kind of FP you want to raise. Make sure its Spirit-type is Neutral before you start training it, by the way! If its Spirit-type is anything else, give your FP a bunch of Neutral-type Primary Spirits to fix it up.
Most competitive FPs have a short move list — Diddy Kong is not one of them. His training is actually quite involved, and makes use of a large portion of his moveset! It might take you a few tries to get it right, but this fighter is surprisingly decent when raised properly! To those of you who haven’t trained a competitive FP before, check out our general training guide — it’ll help you start out on the right foot! Now then, without further ado, here’s what an optimized Diddy Kong looks like:
- Forward smash is Diddy Kong’s best grounded tool, and it strikes opponents twice to nullify parry-heavy opponents. Down tilt can be used in this instance too; the AI can learn to combo it into a forward tilt or up smash depending on the percentage. Mix in some grabs, and when you do, use down throw to combo into two back airs, a forward air, or an up air. Of these three moves, place the highest priority on forward smash.
- Dash attack and Monkey Flip should be used at mid-range to approach (with extra priority given to the former). At later levels, Diddy Kong’s AI can learn to combo a dash attack into a forward air or up air!
- Up tilt and up smash are both perfect for Diddy Kong’s anti-air game. String together an up tilt or two and then follow up with an up smash before your FP can land. On that note, be sure to punish all of your FP’s botched landings with up smash!
- Diddy Kong’s recovery definitely leaves him vulnerable, but off-stage forward airs and back airs are often too good to pass up. Use back air right after you drop from the ledge for best effect, and if you’re launched upward you can use an above-stage down air to secure a safe landing.
- You can also opt to mix in a little bit of out-of-shield down smash and landing neutral aerial, but Diddy Kong’s AI has a chance of learning to spam its neutral air. Only use that move two or three times total — that is, if you decide to use the move at all.
Remember, you’ll want to walk instead of run as often as possible. If you’re new to amiibo training, that might sound strange, but we have a wiki entry here that goes in-depth on optimal movement at a tournament level. As one final note here, Diddy Kong actually doesn’t really need his bananas — they serve more as distractions to his AI than tools to set up for KOs.
Raid Boss Training
Despite his middling position on the competitive amiibo tier list, Diddy Kong is actually a decent Raid Boss! By the time the FP reaches Level 43, it’ll start using simple combos, and these go a long way in helping to rack up damage against human opponents. He’s also allowed to go for a bit of edgeguarding even though his recovery leaves him vulnerable. Here’s a complete list of every move you should teach your FP as it levels up:
- Diddy Kong has a ton of neutral options to use: down tilt, grabs, some forward tilt, dash attack, and the occasional jab and up tilt. Remember, down tilt combos into a forward tilt or up smash and down throw combos into two back airs, a forward air, or an up air.
- Back air and forward air are fantastic general options, and then neutral air can be used every so often to secure a safe landing. Up air is excellent for juggling, and then you can teach a tiny bit of down air too.
- Up tilt, up smash, and up air can be used in tandem with each other as anti-airs. When it comes to getting KOs, you can use small doses of forward smash, up smash, and down smash.
- When you launch your FP off-stage, you can go for a forward air, back air, or down air depending on your position. There’s just one catch: don’t edgeguard too deep. Only go slightly off-stage — Diddy Kong’s signature jetpack is known for being unreliable.
Here’s your disappointment of the day: you shouldn’t use any special moves. Peanut Popgun and Banana Peel both generate items, and that’s a problem against human players. Figure Players are hard-coded to track down items laying around on the field, even if it means they walk directly into an attack on their way. For this reason, you’ll want to minimize the number of items your FP creates — which means you have to avoid using Diddy Kong’s special moves.
Thanks so much for reading, as always! Diddy Kong was once one of the least represented fighters in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, but his metagame placement has drastically improved over time. If you have any questions, please direct them to our Discord community! You can also check out our Patreon page and donation box if you have a spare moment. Until next time — happy training!
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