Competitive Amiibo Training Guide: Zero Suit Samus

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

Samus is far from helpless when her Power Suit is deactivated. With her Zero Suit, she doesn’t have the firepower she’s famed for but is in full possession of the agility and athleticism she gained through her childhood training with the Chozo. Without the armor, she’s also much, much faster. The weapon she carries is a self-protection device known as a Paralyzer that stops enemies cold.

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

zssn32.PNGBeing a fast and combo-oriented fighter, you may think Zero Suit Samus is at an immediate disadvantage due to her amiibo’s inability to pull off such convoluted attack chains. This is partially true; however, unlike other combo-reliant fighters (such as Fox and Meta Knight), Zero Suit Samus is still a worthy contender in her own right. Her jab is the fastest in the game (tied with Little Mac’s own jab), coming out on frame one. This means that she can inflict chip damage before an opponent can even bring up their shield to block. Her tilts are fantastic, too – they aren’t as fast as her jab but are stronger and have minimal ending lag. Her smash attacks are decently fast as well, with her forward smash being her most reliable kill move and her down smash helping to set up a KO for said forward smash. Finally, Zero Suit Samus’ recovery is good; her jump, down special, tether grab, side special, and up special are all viable methods of recovery.

Even so, Zero Suit Samus suffers from several flaws, the most notable of which is her lack of KO power. She struggles to KO even injured opponents – they must be at extremely high percentages before one of her attacks can seal the deal. Her grab is also quite slow and leaves her vulnerable if missed. Adding to Zero Suit Samus’ troubles is her low weight, which makes her more susceptible to heavy hits from common tournament contenders such as Bowser and Ganondorf. She also has a tendency to over-rely on her tether recovery, and even occasionally whiffs it before falling to her death. Her AI is stubborn that way, and teaching her to consistently use her up special can be a hassle.

The Verdict

Zero Suit Samus is somewhat of a hit-or-miss amiibo – on one hand, she handily wins against the right opponent. On the other hand, she occasionally struggles to win in certain matchups. Even so, here’s an amiibo that’s worth seeing win a tournament – she’s an uncommon sight in competitive play and is not often prepared for. Training her can get frustrating at times, but in the end, Zero Suit Samus’ amiibo is one that’s definitely worth your time.

Zero Suit 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 Zero Suit Samus:

Point Distribution: +90 Attack / +80 Defense / -50 Speed

This unique stat spread aims to patch up Zero Suit Samus’ weakest aspects: her offensive power and defensive tolerance. Of the two, her strength is most lacking, so more of the allocated 120 points are invested into her attack stat than into her defense. Since her jump and recovery potential are already adequate, she can afford to drop 50 points in speed in exchange for a respectable boost to her other abilities.

Bonus Combination:

  • Auto-heal capability
  • Lifesteal
  • Improved escapability

Being one of the most common bonus combinations in competitive play, this setup works well with just about every amiibo, and Zero Suit Samus is no exception. Auto-heal capability heals her for 2% of health every three seconds, while Lifesteal has a 50% chance of activating with every strike and heals Zero Suit Samus for half of the damage she inflicts with a single hit. Rounding out the set is Improved escapability, enabling her to escape from grabs and throws twice as quickly. This improves her in-game durability by allowing her to avoid taking damage from throws.

If you feel that you aren’t confident in the stat spread and bonus combination listed above, there’s another page here at Cloud Nine that goes more in-depth on several different setups you could potentially use on your Zero Suit Samus amiibo, which you can check out by following this link.

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: +90 Attack / +80 Defense / -50 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 Zero Suit 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 Zero Suit 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.

Zero Suit Samus – Recommended Custom Moves

  • Electromagnetic Net: This custom move for Zero Suit Samus’ neutral special is objectionably better, but not necessarily required for her success. Instead of shooting a laser that temporarily stuns anyone it hits, Zero Suit Samus fires a short-ranged blast of energy that increases in size. Since amiibo can easily block the default Paralyzer’s single shot and easily escape stun thanks to the Improved escapability bonus, Electromagnetic Net is a nice alternative for Zero Suit Samus to have – it hits multiple times and is generally safe on shield at the cost of range.

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 Zero Suit 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 Zero Suit 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 Zero Suit 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 90 points in attack, 80 points in defense, and -50 points in speed. Don’t worry if your numbers aren’t exact – we’re aiming for a ballpark range with your Zero Suit 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 Zero Suit 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 Zero Suit 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 Zero Suit Samus against your Zero Suit 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 Zero Suit 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 Zero Suit 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 Zero Suit Samus that you will need to play by to ensure your amiibo’s success.

Zero Suit Samus Training Tips

  • Primary damage-racking moves: jab, tilts, and Plasma Whip. These are Zero Suit Samus’ fastest attacks, and thus are her best ways to rack up damage. Use every one of her tilts – forward, down, and up tilt – as well. Her side special is fine to use every once in a while, but avoid overusing this move – your amiibo may learn to rely on it, which you don’t want to happen.
  • Primary KO moves: forward smash. This is really Zero Suit Samus’ only viable kill move, but it’s not a bad attack by any means. Use this move when your amiibo is at a good kill percent. If you want to add a little flair to your kill, you can also combo down smash into a forward smash.
  • Moves to avoid: Flip Jump, grab, and grab aerial. You can’t teach your Zero Suit Samus amiibo to spike with Flip Jump, so avoid using it. Her other moves are much better for damage-racking since she’s more accurate with them. Aside from that, since Zero Suit Samus’ grab is a tether grab, it’s slow. Don’t bother using it at all – she doesn’t even have a kill throw, so that’s another reason not to use it.

If you started using this guide with a Level 1 amiibo, it will take some time for it to reach Level 50. If your Zero Suit 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 Zero Suit 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 Zero Suit 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 Zero Suit Samus to as many different fighters as possible. The best way of doing this is to have your Zero Suit 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 Zero Suit Samus’ fighting skills will wear down. Don’t get me wrong, match experience is great and all – but your Zero Suit 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 Zero Suit 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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