Competitive Amiibo Guide: Samus

Greetings! Arklaine here, with yet another amiibo training guide! Thanks so much for visiting Cloud Nine – your support is always appreciated. And also, please note that this is the competitive Samus training guide, and that means we’ll be using equipment. If you’d prefer to train yours without equipment instead, head over to the casual Samus training guide.

Being an iconic video game protagonist, you’d expect Samus to be a great amiibo, just like Mario, Luigi, and Link, right? Unfortunately, that isn’t the case with Samus – her amiibo is actually very difficult to work withIn fact, she’s generally considered to be one of, if not the worst in the entire amiibo metagame. Even Meta Knight, who was once considered the worst amiibo, has had better tournament results than Samus. There may be potential to be found in Samus, but it either doesn’t exist or hasn’t been fully uncovered yet. But if you’re so determined to raise your own Samus amiibo, perhaps this guide will help you.

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: Recommended Equipment
  • Section 3: Leveling up your Amiibo
  • Section 4: Post Level-50 Training
  • Section 5: Conclusion & Credits

Amiibo Overview

samusnew.PNGDespite being heavily flawed and outclassed by almost every other amiibo, Samus does have a few redeeming qualities that help give her a bit of a fighting chance. Her special moves, which consist mostly of projectiles, help her to both rack up damage from afar and maintain some semblance of spacing and stage control. Charge Shot, her neutral special, can break full shields when fully charged, and serves as Samus’ most powerful projectile; Missile consists of two different types of ammunition Samus can fire, both of which are helpful for camping; and the last, Bomb, allows Samus to drop a small bomb that explodes after a short period of time. With the strengths of these special moves (and extensive training), Samus could possibly turn the tide of battle in her favor, depending on the situation at hand. Her recovery is decent, with her jump, up special, and tether grab usually being enough to help her get back to the stage. Lastly, Samus is a heavyweight – the sixth heaviest character in the game, tied with Bowser Jr. – so she can stomach many powerful hits before going down. This is a blessing for her, seeing as she’ll be getting thrown around a lot during battles.

However, these few boons are significantly outmatched by her massive collection of banes. Samus’ biggest flaw is her horrible AI – it’s one of the worst there is. Samus’ fighting style is designed to focus on projectile camping, but her amiibo doesn’t like that – she prefers to attack head-on with smash attacks and tilts. Given those moves’ relative sluggishness, they’re often easily dodged or blocked. You could theorize that she can instead be taught exclusively to camp with projectiles, but the amiibo ultimately butchers camping as well – she’ll fire off a few fully-charged Charge Shots and Missiles occasionally, but in most cases she’ll forgo using her projectiles in favor of slow melee attacks. Aside from her horrendous AI, most of Samus’ close-ranged attacks are easy to avoid due to their lack of speed: her forward tilt and jab are slow and lacking in power, and her smash attacks (most notably her forward and up smashes) have awkward disjointed hitboxes that lack range and will most likely whiff due to said range. Finally, Samus also has a slow grab, along with no viable kill throws.

The Verdict

Due to her unforgiveable AI flaws and her slow attacks, there is literally no proper nor effective method to train a Samus amiibo – she can’t camp with projectiles consistently, nor can she effectively fight up close. At the time of writing, there have been little to no proficient tournament results with Samus; she’s that hard to work with. Perhaps with the help of this guide, along with your own innovative ideas and a bit of luck, too, you can pull a miracle and shock the entire community with a champion Samus amiibo. Just keep your expectations low – that’s the key.

Samus – Recommended Stats & Bonuses

It’s time to begin your journey to train a tournament champion contender! The first step is to set your amiibo up with equipment, bonus effects, and custom moves. Equipping an amiibo is a bit of a daunting task to first-timers due to its complexities – luckily, this section is dedicated to giving you tips, tricks, and setups for your amiibo’s equipment. Here’s my recommended loadout for Samus:

Point Distribution: +30 Attack / +90 Defense / +0 Speed

With this defense-oriented setup, Samus is able to take more direct hits in close-range fights. A beefy 90 points in defense help reduce the damage and knockback she’ll receive, while 30 points in attack ensure that she’s not completely helpless – her projectiles and melee attacks receive a hefty boost in power and shield pressure. Samus doesn’t need any points in speed – her recovery is one of the few things she has going for her.

Bonus Combination:

  • Auto-heal capability
  • Health-restoring shield OR Auto-heal capability
  • Improved escapability

A basic healing set that gives Samus some much-needed relief when she has some distance between her and her opponent. Auto-heal capability lets Samus passively heal 2% of damage every 3 seconds, meaning Samus could, in theory, heal off a good amount of damage if she chooses to fight at a distance with her projectiles. Health-restoring shield pairs well with the first bonus, allowing Samus to recover more health by blocking attacks. Alternatively, it can be swapped out in favor of a second Auto-heal capability bonus instead. The last bonus, Improved escapability, is a must on Samus, since amiibo with this bonus can escape from grabs and kill throws twice as fast.

If for some reason you’re not confident in the stats and bonuses I’ve recommended, there’s another page here at Cloud Nine that goes more in-depth on several different setups you could potentially use on your amiibo. You can check that out by following this link. Bear in mind that Critical-hit capability and Explosive perfect shield are banned in the online competitive amiibo scene – if you’re entering a physical tournament that allows all types of equipment, you should use this following setup:

Point Distribution: +40 Attack / +70 Defense / +10 Speed

Bonus Combination:

  • Critical-hit capability
  • Explosive perfect shield
  • Improved escapability

Now here’s a setup that Samus actually does well with. If you did not know by now, the online community banned Critical-hit capability because it was too luck-based – it gave its user a 20% chance of dealing triple damage and knockback, which led to KOs as early as 10% off of a single smash attack. The community also banned Explosive perfect shield because teaching an amiibo to do nothing but perfect shielding didn’t require much skill. But most real-life amiibo tournaments (which are rare nowadays) do not explicitly ban these bonus effects, so you’re free to use the above setup, which is unarguably the best in the game.

But if you plan to enter an online tournament, Critical-hit capability and Explosive perfect shield will most likely be banned. Be sure to carefully read the rules of each tournament before submitting your amiibo – you certainly don’t want it getting disqualified after all of your hard work! If you’d like to learn more about online amiibo tournaments and how to enter them, take a look at this page.

Samus – Recommended Custom Moves

  • Dense Charge Shot: This is a custom move version for Samus’ neutral special. It shoots a bigger and more powerful blast of energy, but moves significantly slower and has less range. Amiibo have a tendency to shoot fully-charged projectiles in the air, essentially wasting them, and Samus is no exception. Changing the default to slower Dense Charge Shot not only increases the chance of the projectile hitting an opponent, but it can catch dodges and rolls as well!
  • Mega Bomb: This is a custom move version for Samus’ down special. Hence its name, the bomb is bigger and deals more damage, but takes longer to explode. Mega Bomb is Samus’ optimal down special because opponents will have trouble detecting when the bomb will explode – this means they’ll often get caught in the blast and take damage as a result.

Feeding Your Amiibo

By now, you should know exactly what stats, bonuses, and custom moves you’ll want to equip your amiibo with. Now it’s time to go ahead with your plan and get your amiibo all set up with its proper equipment pieces! Once you’re ready to roll, open Super Smash Bros., navigate to the Games & More menu, and then to the amiibo section. Tap your Samus amiibo in (on the Wii U, tap it to the left side of the Gamepad; on the Nintendo 3DS, you must use an NFC reader, which is sold separately; on the New Nintendo 3DS, tap the figurine to the console’s bottom screen), and you’ll see a status menu that details her current stats and bonus effects.

Don’t worry about your amiibo’s current level, or if you have trained her before. Don’t reset your Samus just to use this guide – remember, it’s always possible to correct an amiibo’s bad habits (but in this case, good luck trying). If you’re intending to try and patch up a Samus you had trained before, you can keep on reading this section. If your Samus is brand-new and fresh out of the box, you can keep on reading, too. Either way, the feeding method I’m about to explain will work just the same.

Step 1: Equipping Three Bonus Effects

To start off, we’re going to set your amiibo up with its three bonus effects. From your amiibo’s status screen, click the “Feed Equipment” option, and sort your equipment stash alphabetically. You’ll notice that each piece has a “prefix”, and this prefix determines what bonus effect it yields. Here’s a list of some common bonus effects and the prefixes you should search for – find the three bonus effects you’ve decided on from the list below, and then feed them to your amiibo in-game. The three bonus effects I have recommended for Samus are underlined.

  • All-Around Trade-off (Improved trade-off ability)
  • Auto-Healer (Auto-heal capability)
  • Escape Artist (Improved escapability)
  • Gluey Edge (Easier edge grabs)
  • Hyper Smasher (Hyper smash attacks)
  • Moon Launcher (Improved launch ability)
  • Nimble Dodger (Improved dodge ability)
  • Perfect-Shield Helper / Perfect-Shield Whiz (Easy perfect shield)
  • Shield Healer / Healing-Shield (Health-restoring shield)
  • Shield Reflector / Shield Counter (Mirror shield)
  • Shield Regenerator / Speedy Shield Recharge (Improved shield regeneration)
  • Trade-off Attacker (Improved trade-off attack)
  • Trade-off Defender (Improved trade-off defense)
  • Trade-off Speedster (Improved trade-off speed)
  • Vampire (Lifesteal)

If you scroll up a bit, you’ll see a visual example image of what the correct menu looks like. If you realize you actually don’t have one of the bonuses you wanted to give to your amiibo, leave one of the bonus slots blank, and you can feed it the missing bonus effect when you get it later on. If you’d like more information on amiibo equipment, including how to farm for bonus effects and custom moves, I recommend you check out this page before moving on.

Step 2: Rounding Out Stat Values

For many, this is the most difficult step in feeding your amiibo: evenly distributing its stat points. If you decided to follow my recommendation, your ultimate task is to give your amiibo 30 points in attack, 90 points in defense, and 0 points in speed. Don’t worry if your numbers aren’t exact – we’re aiming for a ballpark range with your Samus’ stats. If you didn’t know this already, each piece of equipment has one of three different colors: orange, blue, or green. Orange pieces will increase an amiibo’s attack power but decrease its defense. Blue pieces will increase its defense but lower its speed. A green piece will increase its speed, but lower its strength. You’ll need to use these equipment pieces to balance your amiibo’s stats to the values you want them to be.

Step 3: When Your Amiibo Gets Full

An amiibo can only eat so much equipment before it becomes full and can’t eat anymore. It’s possible to feed your amiibo more equipment by battling it. You don’t want to formally start your training until your amiibo is complete with the correct stats and bonuses, so if your amiibo becomes full midway through the feeding process, hop into a quick 1-stock match as any character. When the match begins, run off the stage and KO yourself. Your amiibo’s tendencies and habits won’t be negatively affected, regardless of whether it is Level 1, Level 50, or anywhere in between. Your amiibo will then be ready to eat more equipment, and you’ll be one step closer to completing the feeding process. Repeat this step until you have your desired stat spread.

Completing the Feeding Process

Once your amiibo is all set with its stat points, bonus effects, and custom moves, you’re ready to begin “training”! (Or continue it, if your amiibo is already Level 50 and is using this guide for the first time.) It’s easy to make mistakes while feeding your amiibo, however – and if you run into a problem of some sort that you can’t resolve, you can always hop into the community Discord server to ask us a question.

Raising your Amiibo to Level 50

Note: If your Samus amiibo was trained prior to using this guide, do not reset it. This section talks about raising your amiibo to Level 50, but it also contains helpful tips to use when mirror matching your amiibo. They’ll be helpful to you even if your amiibo is already Level 50. You should also take a look at Section 4 of the guide, which instead talks about post-Level 50 training techniques.

The most boring and tedious part of amiibo training, in my opinion, is raising them from Level 1 to Level 50. Aerial training in the competitive amiibo metagame is frowned upon due to how easy an aerial-spamming amiibo is to block, so you can’t go all-out against your amiibo with combos and edgeguards and expect it to become strong, especially not with Samus. You’ll have to play against your Samus with extreme caution. For this step, you will be mirror matching your amiibo all the way to Level 50. A “mirror match”, known by some as a “ditto match”, is when you fight your amiibo while playing as its character – so in this case, you’ll need to play as Samus against your Samus amiibo. I recommend playing timed matches (anywhere from 3 to 5 minutes will do, but 5 is generally preferred) on Ω-form stages only.

We haven’t talked much about defense in this guide yet, have we? Well, it’s one of, if not the most important of components towards an amiibo’s success. You see, in the competitive Super Smash Bros. metagame (human players vs. human players), success is all about getting off the strongest combos, playing a good neutral game, and outsmarting and predicting your opponent. But in the amiibo metagame, the key components are defense and counterattacks. To support these components, here is a list of defensive training tips. Be sure to play by them at all times during your training.

Defensive Training Tips

  • Do not jump or use aerials. amiibo can be trained to block incoming attacks within a fraction of a second – faster than any human. If your amiibo is airborne, it can’t block at all, so if it misses an aerial attack, it’ll be left vulnerable to an up smash. Remaining grounded at all times is every amiibo’s best option and safest playstyle. There have been over 100 tournaments thus far, and each one has shown that amiibo who use or rely on their aerial attacks do not perform well at all.
  • Block and dodge attacks as often as you can. Since amiibo can react so quickly, you shouldn’t teach yours to randomly throw out different attacks – instead, its approach should be as calm and calculated a Samus amiibo can be. During training, block as many of your amiibo’s attacks as you can. After perfect shielding or dodging, respond with a move of your own. When your Samus is at low damage, use tilts and jabs more often than smash attacks. When she’s taken a lot of damage, start using more smash attacks than tilts and jabs.
  • Do not make any attempt to combo. amiibo can only use combos that are hard-coded into their AI, and even these combos aren’t very effective tools in the amiibo metagame. Plus, since amiibo can block and dodge with incredible accuracy, combos will usually be ineffective against them. Focus on well-timed blocks, dodges, and counterattacks instead.
  • Don’t be too picky. If you mess up during training, don’t get frustrated and reset your amiibo. In fact, you should never reset your amiibo, because it’s always possible to correct bad habits (unless its name is Samus). If you do make a mistake, shrug it off and just keep going. The level-up process isn’t too important; at the end of the day, it’s the training you execute on your amiibo after it has reached Level 50 that counts.

The defensive training tips apply to any amiibo character. However, there are some tips that apply specifically to Samus that you will need to play by to ensure your amiibo’s success.

Samus Training Tips

  • Primary damage-racking moves: Up tilt, down tilt, Dense Charge Shot, Missile, and Mega Bomb. Samus’ only viable melee attacks are her up tilt and down tilt. The former deals good damage, but only meteor smashes grounded opponents, making it ineffective as an edgeguard. The latter, on the other hand, is surprisingly fast, but has high ending lag and can’t KO until extremely high percentages. Dense Charge Shot is Samus’ primary ranged attack – when using this move, always fully charge it before firing. Many amiibo characters, including Samus, as well as Mewtwo and Lucario, share a recurring problem with shooting several uncharged projectiles in a row. Missiles are best used at a distance – use both kinds of missiles (the type of missile Samus fires depends on how long the attack button is held) to great effect, possibly to a point of spamming. Just make sure that you only fire them when your amiibo is far away – it wouldn’t do your Samus any good to use them at point blank. As for Mega Bomb, drop one whenever your amiibo tries to get in close. What you want to do is to try and get your amiibo caught in its blast radius, so try and time it so that it hits your opponent. This is an invaluable move that your Samus amiibo should learn to use.
  • Primary KO moves: forward smash and Dense Charge Shot. Samus’ smash attacks aren’t very effective. They’re slow, lack range, and lack power. But her forward smash is still her most reliable close-range KO move (which really isn’t saying much). Like we just went over, be sure to always charge Dense Charge Shot to its maximum before firing it. Its slow speed can take amiibo by surprise.
  • Moves to avoid: grab. Samus’ grab is very slow, and her amiibo tries using it very often. When mirror matching Samus, make sure you never use her grab – don’t even use it as a tether grab for recovering back on stage.

If you started using this guide with a Level 1 amiibo, it’ll take some time for it to reach Level 50. If your Samus began her training anywhere in between Level 1 and Level 50, it shouldn’t take that long to level her up depending on how much training she had prior to this guide. As long as you play by the tips I’ve provided, you’ll probably be well on your way to creating a strong foundation for your amiibo to build on later. Keep in mind, you can always refer back to this list at any time in case you want to mirror match your amiibo to refresh its skills after it hits Level 50.

When your Samus amiibo finally reaches Level 50, her real training has just begin. Just like a real human player, amiibo need match experience and practice against different characters, stages, and situations, and Samus is no exception. When you’re all done here, we’ll move on to the most important section of the guide – honing your Level 50 amiibo’s skills and turning it into a champion worthy contender!

Now that your amiibo has reached Level 50, training is now going to be interesting. It’s time to take off the training wheels and hopefully make her great. I cannot stress how important defense and counterattacks are towards an amiibo’s success (especially for Samus), but match experience is even more important. Your amiibo will need to be exposed to many possible situations it could face in a tournament setting.

Your Amiibo’s Match Experience

It’s a good idea to try and expose your Samus to other characters. Each character in the Super Smash Bros. roster has their own unique playstyle and a variety of different moves to use. The most optimal way of doing this is to have your Samus fight other amiibo characters. Set the stock to 2, the time to 6 minutes, and have them play three matches. The first character to win 2 matches wins the set, just like in a real competitive tournament! (Good luck, Samus!) Here at Cloud Nine, we have guides for every amiibo character, so if you have any other amiibo characters left untrained, train them up with their own personalized character guide.

Mirror Matches, Defense, and Counterattacks

As your amiibo’s knowledge of other characters expands, its knowledge of its own moveset vastly diminishes, which means your Samus’ fighting skills will wear down and become ineffective. Match experience is great and all, but your amiibo will require your intervention now and then in order to possibly become successful.  Mirror matching your amiibo every so often is a great way to refresh its skills. Remember Section 3 of this guide, where we went over a list of tips you should use as you mirror match your amiibo? I recommend that you refer back to that list when you train your amiibo. Always be sure to stay on the ground at all times, and play defensively.

Speaking of playing defensively, now that your amiibo is Level 50, you can put it through some advanced defensive training. The aptly-named defensive training session will help your amiibo to accurately block incoming attacks and then hopefully counter with a move of its own with greater precision. It’s also a decent way to refresh your amiibo’s skills, in addition to the mirror match above. To keep your amiibo as fresh as a Samus amiibo can be, repeat both mirror matches and the defensive training session as much as you need.

Training a champion amiibo is definitely not a simple feat, and it’s certainly not as easy as following a step-by-step guide from start to finish, and this rings true especially for Samus. She requires innovation, creativity, and a ton of patience. amiibo are finicky things at times, and yours will develop a habit you aren’t so fond of. For example, it might use too many aerials or walk right into attacks, which is quite common with Samus amiibo. Luckily for you, I’ve set up some resources that will help you to correct these problems. The FAQ will answer most of your questions, but if your question isn’t there, you can either join the community Discord server to ask the community, or you could use the forums instead.

Conclusion

Thanks for sticking with me all the way to the end of this guide! It’s been a long read, but you toughed it out – great job! Although the guide may be wrapping up, your training is never done – there’s always a way forward with an amiibo, and Samus is no exception to this rule. Again, when you run into any roadblocks along the way, check out either Discord or the forums. (Or how about both?)

If your desire to read amiibo training guides and articles haven’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 may even learn something new if you take a look at it. The FAQ is another good resource worth checking out. Alternatively, you can head to the master list of guides for even more amiibo training methods!

Credits

Samus is definitely one of the most frustrating amiibo I’ve tried to train right, and that may have shown up in this guide as you have read it. Fortunately, I’ve not had to suffer alone during her training – huge thanks to Trainer Blue for providing additional training tips and setups, and for powering through his own frustrations with his Samus amiibo. All images were taken in-game by Cloud.


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