Competitive Amiibo Training Guide: Samus

Hey, guys! Arklaine here, and welcome to Cloud Nine’s competitive Samus amiibo training guide!

Samus Aran, an intergalactic bounty hunter, has fought her way across a variety of planets in the Metroid series. Orphaned at an early age, she was taken in and raised by the alien race known as the Chozo. The Power Suit she wears is a product of their technology. Her unique combat skills combined with her athleticism and Arm Cannon have seen her through countless missions.

This guide is up-to-date as of version 1.1.7 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 unforgivable AI flaws and 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 train up your own tournament champion! Let’s begin by planning out what equipment your amiibo will have. To many new trainers starting out their journey, this step can be quite difficult due to the many complexities it contains – luckily, this section is dedicated to providing recommended stat spreads and bonuses for your amiibo. Here is 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 you didn’t know by now, the bonuses “Critical-hit capability” and “Explosive perfect shield” are banned in the online competitive amiibo scene. That’s why these weren’t mentioned at all. While these two bonuses are banned online, some real-life tournaments, which are far and few in-between, don’t ban them. If you’re reading this guide because you want to prepare for a real-life tournament that allows all types of equipment, use this setup instead:

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

Bonus Combination:

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

This is, without a doubt, the greatest bonus combination in the game. Critical-hit capability and Explosive perfect shield are incredibly powerful in tandem with each other, as a single perfect shield can possibly inflict up to 45% on an opponent. With this setup, all you really have to do is teach your Samus to block with perfect accuracy, and she wins – unless the opponent blocks better. Improved escapability rounds out the set, and it’s just as important in real-life tournaments as it is in the online scene.

Just be sure to carefully read the rules of any amiibo tournament you enter, whether it be online or real-life. As stated before, Critical-hit capability and Explosive perfect shield are both banned in online tourneys, so make sure to carefully read the rules before entering. You certainly don’t want your Samus getting disqualified after all of your “hard work”! If you’d like to learn more about online amiibo tournaments and how to enter one, 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

Now you should know exactly what stats and bonuses you will want to equip your amiibo with. 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, boot up your copy of Super Smash Bros. for Wii U/3DS, navigate to the Games & More menu, and then go to the amiibo section. Scan in your Samus amiibo (on Wii U, tap it to the left side of the Gamepad; on the Nintendo 3DS, you must use an NFC reader (sold separately); and on the New Nintendo 3DS, tap the figurine to the console’s bottom screen), and you’ll see a status menu that details its 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.

Step 1: Equipping Three Bonus Effects

We’re going to begin by setting your amiibo up with its three bonus effects. From your amiibo’s status screen, go to 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 bonuses and the prefixes you should search for – find the three bonus effects you decided on from the list below, and then feed them to your amiibo in-game. The bonus effects I recommended for Samus will be 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 equipment menu looks like, sorted alphabetically. If you find that you don’t have one of the bonuses you wanted to give to your amiibo, leave one of its bonus slots blank, and you can feed the missing bonus effect later. For more information on amiibo equipment, including how to farm for bonus effects and custom moves, check 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 the recommended stat spread, your ultimate task is to give your amiibo 30 points in attack and 90 points in defense. Don’t worry if your numbers aren’t exact – we’re aiming for a ballpark range with your Samus’ stats. If you don’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

Your 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 game 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 this whole process. Keep repeating this step until your amiibo has your desired stat spread.

Completing the Feeding Process

Once your amiibo is set up with its stat points, bonus effects, and custom moves, you’ll be ready to begin your training. (Or continue it, if your amiibo is already Level 50 and will be using this guide for the first time.) It’s quite 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 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 does talk about raising your amiibo to Level 50, but it also contains helpful tips to use when mirror matching your amiibo. They’ll still be helpful to you even if your amiibo is already at Level 50. Take a look at Section 4 of the guide, which talks about additional post-Level 50 training techniques.

Raising an amiibo to Level 50 is possibly the most boring and tedious part of training that you will ever experience. Since aerial training is frowned upon in the competitive metagame due to how easy an amiibo can block an aerial opponent, you can’t go all-out against your amiibo with combos and edgeguards and expect it to become great – you have to play against your Samus amiibo very carefully. That’s why, for this step, you’ll 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 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. 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, success is having your amiibo block, then counterattack. To support these components, I’ve put together 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 Samus is airborne, it can’t block at all, so if it misses an aerial move, it’ll be left vulnerable to a counterattack. 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, your amiibo’s approach should be calm and calculated. 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 it’s taken a lot of damage, switch it up – 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. 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 every 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 will 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 too long to level her up depending on how much training she originally had. As long as you play by the tips provided, you’ll be well on your way to 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 hits Level 50.

When your Samus amiibo finally reaches Level 50, her training will truly begin. Much like a real player, amiibo need match experience and practice against different characters, stages, and situations. 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!

Now that your Samus amiibo has reached Level 50, things finally get interesting. It’s time to really make her great. Defense and counterattacks are important to your amiibo’s success and all, but match experience is even more important. Your amiibo will need to be exposed to the many possible situations it could face in a tournament setting.

Your Amiibo’s Match Experience

Every character in the Super Smash Bros. roster has their own unique playstyle and a variety of different moves to use. It’s a good idea to expose your Samus to as many different fighters as possible. The best 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 tournament! 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 will diminish – in other words, your Samus’ fighting skills will wear down. Don’t get me wrong, match experience is great and all – but your Samus will require your intervention now and then in order to be 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? Refer back to that list, and also remember to stay on the ground at all times, and to 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 block incoming attacks and then counter with greater precision. It’s also another great way to refresh your amiibo’s skills, in addition to the mirror match above. To keep your amiibo fresh and at its best, repeat both mirror matches and the defensive training session as much as it’s needed.

Training a champion amiibo isn’t a simple feat, and it certainly isn’t as easy as following a step-by-step guide from start to finish – it requires innovation, creativity, and a lot of patience. Amiibo are finicky things at times, and yours will likely develop a habit you aren’t so fond of; it might use too many aerials or walk right into attacks, for one. Luckily, several resources at Cloud Nine exist to help you to correct these problems. The FAQ will answer most of your questions, but if your question isn’t there, you can join Cloud Nine’s Discord server for additional help.

Thanks for reading this guide all the way to the end! You toughed it out – good job! Though the guide may be wrapping up, your training won’t be done anytime soon. There’s always a way forward with an amiibo, and your Samus amiibo is no exception to this rule. Again, if you run into any roadblocks along the way, check out Cloud Nine’s Discord server.

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 the master list of guides for even more amiibo training methods!

If you noticed any spelling, grammar, or formatting errors while reading this guide, please either join the aforementioned Discord server to tell us about the mistake. Your help is much appreciated – thank you in advance!

Credits

All of the images you see in this guide were taken in-game by Cloud.


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