Bowser’s amiibo figure was first released on February 19, 2015, and is compatible with both Super Smash Bros. 4 and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Bowser is considered top-tier in both titles. Exion has several resources pertaining to Bowser’s amiibo. Its Super Smash Bros. 4 training guide can be accessed here, its Super Smash Bros. Ultimate competitive guide here, and its Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Raid Boss guide here.
Super Smash Bros. 4
In the final revision of Exion’s Super Smash Bros. 4 tier list, Bowser was ranked in the S tier, placing him among the strongest fighters in the game. Bowser’s claim to fame is his side special, Flying Slam. It is an extremely fast command grab with decent range and high KO potential. Smash 4’s AI either cannot see Flying Slam coming or cannot react in time to avoid it; as a result, most games Bowser plays consist of him connecting Flying Slam over and over until the opponent is KO’d. Flying Slam is considered one of the best moves in the game, and is single-handedly responsible for much of his tournament success. Additionally, Bowser boasts a powerful set of smash attacks, the best endurance of any fighter, and a unique Tough Guy ability that lets him shrug off knockback from weak attacks.
Despite his notable strengths, Bowser is not held back by many notable weaknesses. Perhaps his only flaw is the omnipresence of counters; if Marth or Lucina were to use their down specials against one of Bowser’s smash attacks, the resulting counterattack would be strong enough for a one-hit KO. The only other flaw Bowser has is that his AI is sometimes too jumpy and uses its forward aerial too often, though this is admittedly grasping at straws.
Overall, Bowser was one of the most successful characters in Super Smash Bros. 4. In the early metagame, Bowser was one of the only fighters who could give Little Mac (the best fighter in the game before being banned and restricted) trouble. He accrued stellar results over the game’s lifetime. Cloud, FarmingSim, Supernova, Arklaine, and many others have won competitions with the character. If you would like to learn how to train a Bowser amiibo in Smash 4, please check our training guide.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Despite his top-tier placement in Super Smash Bros. 4, Bowser has been significantly buffed for his appearance in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and is now the second-best character in the game (behind Incineroar). Compared to the previous title, optimal Bowsers no longer spam Flying Slam, and instead rely on super armor (which is present on startup for Bowser’s tilts and smash attacks). His up smash is one of the strongest aerial punishes in the entire game, and it grants Bowser full invincibility on his shell, which makes the move difficult to challenge. Furthermore, Bowser’s down air and down special moves go through projectiles, granting him great matchups against top-tiers such as Ness. Finally, Bowser’s Tough Guy ability has been buffed, and he can now shrug off knockback from even stronger attacks.
Bowser received no direct nerfs during his transition between games. Prior to the release of Incineroar’s amiibo figure, Bowser was considered the strongest amiibo in the game. Ultimate’s AI cannot tell if an opponent’s move has super armor, and thus will try to challenge armored attacks anyway (and then take damage). Bowser’s abundance of startup super armor allows him to win almost every trade. His excellent damage output far exceeds most other characters’, which allows him to rack up damage fast and KO enemies early. Bowser’s only disadvantageous matchup is against Incineroar, whose Alolan Whip ignores his super armor.
Due to Bowser’s overwhelming strength, Exion unanimously banned him from online tournaments in December 2019, making him the first character to be banned from Ultimate’s metagame. During the period of time he was allowed in tournaments, he accrued incredible tournament results. Since his ban, Bowser’s competitive results have understandably dwindled. Some tournaments that do not follow Exion’s ban list still allow Bowser, but he is often eclipsed by Incineroar, who consistently beats him. If you would like to learn how to train your own competitively-oriented Bowser amiibo, you can check out our training guide. If you’d prefer to train a Raid Boss Bowser amiibo, you can do so here!
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