Welcome to Cloud Nine’s competitive Dr. Mario amiibo training guide! Cloud here, and thanks for joining me today!
In the 1990 Dr. Mario game, Mario threw on a white coat and decided to take a shot at that whole “medicine” thing. Dr. Mario destroys killer viruses with his amazing vitamin capsules and spends day and night in his laboratory working on new miracle cures. Somehow he’s managed to keep up with all the new viruses that have arisen over the years.
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
Appearances aside, Dr. Mario isn’t much different from Mario. He’s stronger and slower, but his AI is just the same. Dr. Mario’s tilts all come out very quick; as well as being fast, his forward tilt can be angled and deals decent damage. Up tilt and down tilt are generally less useful due to their limited range, but with proper spacing, can link into additional attacks. Dr. Mario’s smash attacks are just as useful – forward smash, while lacking in range, is incredibly powerful, and its sweetspot can KO opponents as early as 95% when angled upwards. Up smash is a great aerial punish that renders Dr. Mario’s head invincible throughout its duration. Down smash is quick and very difficult to block, and is quite powerful alongside its high speed. Dr. Mario can also gimp opponents by shooting Megavitamins off the edge – this means that he has a slight advantage against Ness and Lucas, whose recoveries can be repeatedly disrupted with the attack. He can also use his Cape to gimp enemies who recover high.
Dr. Mario has plenty of strengths, but just as many weaknesses holding him back. His AI is a bit strange – he has a tendency to jump into the air specifically to use his side special, Super Sheet, even if there aren’t any projectiles coming his way. This “strategy” doesn’t accomplish much of anything and gives his opponent a chance to land a free attack. He also tends to overuse his down smash; this becomes predictable very quickly. Dr. Mario’s recovery also isn’t so good – the amiibo doesn’t use his down special, Dr. Tornado, to recover; somehow, amiibo think that using a down special in midair will send them downwards. That leaves his up special, which grants poor horizontal and vertical distance. Finally, Dr. Mario’s attacks lack range, and his amiibo will often whiff them – even in close combat.
Most of Dr. Mario’s flaws are fixable with proper training. As long as you limit his use of problematic attacks, you’ll have a powerful contender on your hands. At his full potential, Dr. Mario has the ability to clash with the best and become a true tournament champion.
Dr. Mario – Recommended Stats & Bonuses
It’s time to begin your journey to train a tournament champion! The first step is to set your amiibo up with equipment. Equipping an amiibo is a daunting task to first-timers due to its many components and caveats – luckily, this section is dedicated to providing tips, tricks, and setups for your amiibo’s stats and bonuses. Here’s my recommended loadout for Dr. Mario:
Point Distribution: +70 Attack / +40 Defense / +10 Speed
The primary purpose of this spread is to bolster Dr. Mario’s strength to turn him into a real powerhouse. 70 points in attack help him to deal more damage and more easily get KOs. 40 points in defense enhance his survivability, while 10 points in speed slightly increase his jump height, mobility, and reaction time.
- Hyper smash attacks
- Improved launch ability
- Improved escapability
This is an offensive setup that will further enhance Dr. Mario’s ability to get quick KOs. The first slot is Hyper smash attacks – now, this is a bit of a deceptive bonus. Its in-game description is “charge smash attacks for longer to get 1.3x power”, but this isn’t entirely true: Hyper smash attacks actually grants a flat 30% increase to all smash attacks, even uncharged ones. This has been tried and tested in-game by our team of amiibo trainers. With a 30% power boost to his smash attacks, Dr. Mario will be approximately 30% more threatening. Improved launch ability increases Dr. Mario’s power even further – specifically, it adds a 30% boost to his upward-launching attacks. Slot number three is Improved escapability, which is completely necessary on any amiibo – it enables its user to escape from grabs twice as fast, which works wonders to increase Dr. Mario’s durability and resilience.
If for some reason you aren’t confident in the bonus combination I’ve presented, there’s another page here at Cloud Nine that goes more in-depth on several different setups you could potentially use on Dr. Mario. You can check that out by following this link.
Keep in mind that both Critical-hit capability and Explosive perfect shield are banned in the online competitive amiibo scene. That’s why I haven’t mentioned them. While these two bonuses are banned online, some real-life tournaments do not ban them. If you’re reading this guide because you want to prepare for a real-life tournament that allows all types of equipment, you should use this setup instead:
Point Distribution: +70 Attack / +40 Defense / +10 Speed
- Critical-hit capability
- Explosive perfect shield
- Improved escapability
This is undoubtedly 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 inflict up to 45% on an opponent. With this setup, all you really have to do is teach your Dr. Mario to block with perfect accuracy, and he wins – unless his opponent blocks better. Improved escapability rounds out the set, and is just as important in real-life tournaments as it is in the online scene.
Be sure to carefully read the rules of any amiibo tournament you enter. Again, Critical-hit capability and Explosive perfect shield are both banned in online tourneys, so be sure to carefully read the rules of each one before entering. You certainly don’t want your Dr. Mario 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.
Dr. Mario – Recommended Custom Moves
- Breezy Sheet: This is a custom move version of Dr. Mario’s side special. Its power is similar to the original’s and also emits a small gust of wind that pushes opponents back. Dr. Mario should not be using his side special at all, so if he tries it anyway, his foes will be pushed too far away to respond with a counterattack.
Feeding your Amiibo
By now, you should know exactly what stats and bonuses you want to equip your amiibo with. Now it’s time to go ahead with your plan and get your amiibo all set up with his proper equipment pieces! Once you’re ready to begin, open Super Smash Bros., navigate to the Games & More menu, and then to the amiibo section. Tap in your Dr. Mario amiibo (on Wii U, tap him to the left side of the Gamepad; on the Nintendo 3DS, you must use an NFC reader (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 his current stats and bonus effects.
Don’t worry about your amiibo’s current level, or if you have trained him before. Don’t reset your Dr. Mario just to use this guide – remember, it’s always possible to correct an amiibo’s bad habits.
Step 1: Equipping Three Bonus Effects
First things first – we’re going to set your amiibo up with his 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 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 Dr. Mario 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. If you realize you actually don’t have one of the bonuses you had wanted to give to your amiibo, leave one of his bonus slots blank, and you can feed him the missing bonus effect later. If you’d like 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 his stat points. If you decided to follow my recommendation, your ultimate task is to give your amiibo 70 points in attack, 40 points in defense, and 10 points in speed. Don’t worry if your numbers aren’t exact – we’re aiming for a ballpark range with your Dr. Mario’s 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 he becomes full and can’t eat anymore. It’s possible to feed your amiibo more equipment by battling him. 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 he 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.
Completing the Feeding Process
Once your amiibo is all set with his 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 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 a question.
Raising your Amiibo to Level 50
Note: If your Dr. Mario amiibo was trained prior to using this guide, please do not reset him. 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 be helpful to you even if your amiibo is already at Level 50. You should also be sure to take a look at Section 4 of the guide, which talks about post-Level 50 training techniques.
Unfortunately, I find raising an amiibo to Level 50 to be somewhat boring and tedious. Aerials are a big no-no in the competitive metagame due to how easy they are to block, so you can’t just go all-out against your amiibo with combos and edgeguards and expect him to become strong. You have to play against your Dr. Mario very carefully. 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 Dr. Mario. I recommend playing timed matches (anywhere from 3 to 5 minutes will do) on Ω-form stages only.
I haven’t talked much about defense in this guide yet, but it’s one of the most important components of 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 your opponent. But in the amiibo metagame, the key components are defense and counterattacks. 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 Dr. Mario is airborne, he can’t block at all, so if he misses an aerial move, he’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, his 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 Dr. Mario is at low damage, use tilts and jabs more often. When he’s taken a lot of damage, start using more smash attacks.
- 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 he has reached Level 50 that counts.
The defensive training tips apply to every amiibo character. However, there are some tips that apply specifically to Dr. Mario that you will need to play by to ensure your amiibo’s success.
Dr. Mario Training Tips
- Primary damage-racking moves: jab and tilts. When your Dr. Mario hasn’t taken much damage, the moves you use against him should primarily be jab and forward tilt. They’re fast and surprisingly powerful, making them great damage-racking moves. Dr. Mario’s down tilt is another good move to use, as it can link into other grounded attacks. But since each opponent takes a different amount of knockback due to their weight and potential defense investment, down tilt is not a consistently reliable option.
- Primary KO moves: forward smash and up smash. Dr. Mario’s forward smash is incredibly powerful, but only if you can land the sweetspot. When using this move, try to connect with Dr. Mario’s arm – that’s where it’ll do the most damage. If only the spark of electricity hits, it won’t be as strong. Forward smash can also be angled. An upward-angled forward smash is strong but has an awkward hitbox, which makes it tough to land. Dr. Mario’s up smash should be used against aerial opponents. It’s quick, strong, and gives enemies very little time to strike back if the attack misses.
- Moves to avoid: Breezy Sheet, Dr. Tornado, and down smash. Dr. Mario loves to overuse his down smash. The range on this move is particularly poor, so it often whiffs. His AI also uses its Super Sheet enough as-is, without being taught to. You shouldn’t use it at all, not even for reflecting. Your amiibo also won’t learn to use Dr. Tornado as a recovery move – instead, he’ll use it as an on-stage attack, which usually isn’t very effective. Try your best not to avoid using or getting hit by any of these attacks during training.
- Utilize Megavitamins. If your amiibo is knocked off-stage, don’t follow him. Stand at the edge and shoot Megavitamins. This may seem counter-productive, but remember, amiibo will never go off-stage to intercept their opponent’s recovery.
If you started using this guide with a Level 1 amiibo, it will take some time for him to reach Level 50. If your Dr. Mario began his training anywhere in between Level 1 and Level 50, it shouldn’t take too long to level him up depending on how much training he originally had. As long as you play by the tips I’ve 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 his skills after he hits Level 50.
When your Dr. Mario amiibo finally reaches Level 50, his training will truly begin. Just 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 him into a champion!
Are you ready for things to get interesting? Your amiibo has reached Level 50, and his journey has just begun. It’s time to take off the training wheels and really make him great. Defense and counterattacks are very important to your amiibo’s success, but his match experience is even more important. Your Dr. Mario will need to be exposed to many possible situations he could face in a tournament setting.
Your Amiibo’s Match Experience
Each 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 Dr. Mario to as many different fighters as possible. The best way of doing this is to have your Dr. Mario 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 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, his knowledge of his own moveset will diminish. That is to say, your Dr. Mario’s fighting skills will wear down. Don’t get me wrong, match experience is great – but your Dr. Mario 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? We went over a list of tips you should use as you mirror match your amiibo. Refer back to that list if you want to. Be sure 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 him through some advanced defensive training. The aptly-named defensive training session will help your amiibo to more accurately block incoming attacks and then counter with a move of his own. It’s also a great way to refresh your amiibo’s skills, in addition to the mirror match above. To keep your amiibo fresh and at his best, repeat both mirror matches and the defensive training session as 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. He might use too many aerials, or walk right into attacks. Luckily, 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 join Cloud Nine’s Discord server for additional help.
Thanks for sticking with me all the way to the end! It’s been a long guide, but you toughed it out – I really appreciate that! Although the guide may be wrapping up, your training most likely won’t be done anytime soon. There’s always a way forward with an amiibo, and Dr. Mario 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!
Thanks to Trainer Blue for compiling all of Dr. Mario’s information – this includes his strengths and weaknesses, stat and bonus effect setup, custom moves, and training tips. All of the images you see in this guide were taken in-game by me (Cloud).