Welcome to the casual Link amiibo training guide! Bear in mind that, because this is the casual Link training guide, we won’t be using any equipment. If you’d prefer to set your amiibo up with stats and bonuses to participate in the competitive metagame, have a look at the competitive Link training guide instead.
Link is a wonderful training partner who can be extremely strong with proper training. He has a variety of unique tools that allow him to be threatening at any distance. The key to success is to teach your amiibo to strike a perfect balance between attacking at point blank and at far range. With proper training, Link is unstoppable – a wild force of nature capable of ripping human players apart.
This guide is up-to-date as of version 1.1.6 of Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS.
Table of Contents
- Section 1: Amiibo Overview / Pros & Cons
- Section 2: Leveling up your Amiibo
- Section 3: Post Level-50 Training
- Section 4: Conclusion & Credits
Link has several unique attacks that can deceive and disorient his opponents; most notably, his smash attacks. They’re surprisingly effective against human players – his forward smash consists of two separate hits, meaning Link’s foe will need to either block or dodge twice in a row. His up smash is also one of the most efficient aerial punishes in the game – each hit is quite powerful, and the attack hits three times in total. Link also has a potent set of projectiles, the most useful of which is his Boomerang, which is quick to fire and can be used to keep enemies away. His recovery is also quite good – his up special doesn’t go very far, but his tether recovery is fast and safe. Finally, Link is a heavyweight fighter, making him bulkier and more resilient relative to the rest of the Super Smash Bros. cast.
Unfortunately, Link’s grab is horribly slow, and leaves him vulnerable to attack if missed – and since amiibo usually rely on their grab as a secondary option (and hence use it a lot, regardless of its speed), opponents will have many opportunities to attack. To add to this, Link doesn’t have any kill throws, so when he does successfully grab an enemy, it won’t do him any good. Rounding out his cons is a small problem in his AI – he doesn’t use his Bombs very well. He’ll either toss them upwards to no effect, or hold onto them for too long and damage himself with the resulting explosion.
Training Difficulty: Easy
Link is one of the most reliable training partners out there. In fact, if you’re familiar with Vinesauce, Vinny’s Link amiibo is somewhat notorious for being difficult to take down. It’s Link’s up smash in particular that makes him so tough – it hits three times and is great at catching aerial foes. As mentioned before, just make sure you strike a balance between up close and far away moves – Link has to be versatile in order to succeed.
Raising your Amiibo to Level 50
Note: If your Link amiibo is already Level 50, please don’t reset him just to use this guide. Instead, skip to Section 3, where we talk about post-Level 50 training. If your Link is fresh out of the box or isn’t Level 50 yet, keep reading this section.
I won’t even make an attempt to sugar-coat the fact that raising an amiibo to Level 50 is (in my opinion) the most tedious part of training an amiibo. I think it becomes much more interesting once it reaches Level 50. Even so, it’s important that you raise your Link the right way, and that’s what this section is all about. You will be mirror matching your amiibo all the way to Level 50. A “mirror match”, also known as a “ditto match”, is when you fight your amiibo while playing as the character it represents – so, in this case, you’ll be playing as Link. I recommend playing timed matches (anywhere from 3 to 5 minutes will do) on stages without hazards, such as Battlefield, Final Destination, Dream Land, and Smashville.
Please note, in case you are wondering, there is no vanilla amiibo metagame. About 95% of tournaments allow equipment, and as you might expect, amiibo that enter these tours without equipment don’t perform well at all. If for some reason you’re intending to train a competitive vanilla amiibo, this guide isn’t going to do much for you. This guide is meant to help you raise your amiibo as a training partner – the kind you can jump into a match with if you don’t have any human players around to fight. If you’re looking to become part of the competitive scene, again, check out the competitive guide instead. If not, keep on reading!
Amiibo Training Tips
Since you’ll be playing as Link during your training sessions, you will need basic knowledge of how to properly use Link’s moves. I’ve prepared a list of character-specific tips you should play by as you train your amiibo. Follow these, and you’ll be well on your way to raising a powerful adversary worthy of your shelf space.
- Use projectiles at far range, but don’t overuse them. As in, don’t make an attempt to run away from your amiibo. For example, at the beginning of the match, you and your amiibo will be at opposite ends of the stage. In this situation, throw a Boomerang to close the gap. Once you get up close to your amiibo, stick to close-ranged combat until your amiibo is knocked far enough away that it’s safe to throw another Boomerang. Link’s Boomerang pulls back enemies – if your amiibo gets pulled back, be ready to unleash a melee attack.
- Bombs are not necessary to Link’s success. Like I said earlier, Link has a bit of trouble with Bombs. He’ll either hold onto it for too long, or toss it the wrong way. In terms of projectiles, Gale Boomerang should be your top priority. You can try to use Bombs if you really want to, but it’s really up to you.
- KO with forward smash and up smash. These are Link’s primary KO moves, and are best used when your amiibo has taken a lot of damage. Forward smash can be used against grounded foes, while up smash is best used as an aerial punish.
- Utilize Link’s aerials. His neutral, forward, and up aerials are going to be your best aerial moves. They all possess good general utility as well as KO potential. Back aerial isn’t as useful due to its low knockback, but it can at least rack up damage. Down aerial is risky, so don’t put emphasis on this move during training.
- Do not use Link’s grab. It’s far too slow and doesn’t bring any value to his moveset. He has no kill throws – his up throw is stronger than most, but still doesn’t KO until unrealistically high percentages (170% on middleweights). If you amiibo grabs you and misses, be sure to hit him.
If you started reading this guide with a Level 1 amiibo, it will take some time for it to reach Level 50. If your amiibo started anywhere in between, it shouldn’t take too long depending on how much training it had prior to this guide. As long as you play by these tips, you will be creating a strong foundation for your amiibo to build on later. Keep in mind that you can refer back to this list at any time in case you want to mirror match your amiibo to refresh its skills after it reaches Level 50.
When your Link amiibo finally hits Level 50, don’t assume that your training is done. In fact, it will have just begun. When you are finished leveling up your amiibo, it’ll be time to move on to the next section of the guide, which is all about improving your amiibo after it reaches Level 50!
Post-Level 50 Training
After reaching Level 50, several things change within your amiibo. The most important change being that your amiibo will now learn more from being defeated in battle. With this knowledge, it’s still possible to further improve your Link even if he isn’t all that great right now. Just like a real player, your amiibo will need practice and match experience in order to become strong.
Fighting Other Characters
From Level 1 to Level 50, we mirror matched your Link. This means that your amiibo was not exposed to any other characters. Now’s the time to start doing that. If you’re good as any fighters other than Link, fight your amiibo while playing as them. You could even call a friend over if you have one that’s good as a certain character. I like to give my amiibo experience against every character on the roster. If possible, it’s a great idea to have your Link face human opponents playing as every character on the roster. Try not to have your amiibo go up against CPU characters, though, as he might pick up some bad habits from them.
Playing On Every Stage
Again, during our time raising your Link to Level 50, we had him play on only stages without hazards. If you have time, mirror matching your Link on every stage in the game will help him to adapt more quickly to future battles. He’ll essentially become more aware of his surroundings, and this will help him to more easily secure victories against human players.
Common Training Problems
Vanilla amiibo are more difficult to train than amiibo with equipment, so you’re more likely to encounter a problem while training your Link. While the amiibo training FAQ does a great job at answering your training questions, there are a few common training issues in particular that you may or may not run into at some point, and I figured I’d put them here for your convenience:
- Your amiibo starts to spam its up smash. If your Link starts to use his up smash too often, it’s because you’re using too many aerials. You see, amiibo do learn to adapt to their opponents, and if you’re in the air for 75% of a match, he’s going to learn to punish your approach with an up smash. Link’s up smash is really good, so him relying on it shouldn’t be a problem. But if you really want him to space out his options, you can try using more grounded approaches to help mix up your Link’s tendencies.
- Your amiibo is too passive, and just stands around and waits. If this is the case with your Link at some point, you were likely playing too aggressively, and he has learned to play defense to counter your playstyle. To fix this, you’ll need to play defense to trick your Link into becoming aggressive to counter your playstyle.
- You aren’t satisfied with your amiibo, and want to reset it. Resetting an amiibo usually isn’t a very good idea, because it loses all of the training and match experience you’ve put into it. There’s always a way to correct your amiibo’s annoying tendencies, so if you keep at it, you’ll find a way eventually!
It’s hard to train a vanilla amiibo that lives up to all of your expectations. At the end of the day, amiibo are essentially beefed-up CPU characters, but it’s still possible to manipulate their tendencies and battle styles to your will. If your amiibo starts doing something you don’t like, and you have trouble fixing it, there’s several resources here at Cloud Nine that can help you. The FAQ contains answers to common training questions as well as solutions to common training problems. If you’re having a problem that isn’t on the FAQ, you can either join the community Discord server to ask a question, or you could use the forums instead.
After playing Breath of the Wild, something feels wrong with Super Smash Bros.’ version of Link. He looks kind of silly in that green tunic compared to the more contemporary blue tunic he wears in the new game. But I digress – if you ever need any help with training your amiibo, check out either Discord or the forums (or both)!
If your desire to read amiibo training guides and articles hasn’t been completely satisfied, there are some more posts here at Cloud Nine that you might like. The official amiibo tier list ranks every amiibo’s overall capabilities, and you might learn something new if you take a look at it. The FAQ is another good resource worth checking out. Alternatively, you can head to my master list of guides for even more amiibo training methods!