Casual Amiibo Guide: Greninja

Welcome to Cloud Nine’s casual Greninja amiibo training guide! Cloud here, and thanks for joining me today! Before we begin, keep in mind that this is the casual guide – if you’d rather train your Greninja amiibo using equipment, follow this link to read the competitive training guide instead.

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

Amiibo Overview

grencas.PNGWithout the aid of equipment, Greninja is a tough amiibo to train. Its strengths and weaknesses perfectly balance each other out, leaving an average fighter whose effectiveness depends entirely on the ability of its trainer. Greninja has several tools at its disposal: a powerful set of smash attacks with fast startup, a useful projectile in Water Shuriken, an unorthodox set of aerials, and a pseudo-counter in Substitute. Its up special, Hydro Pump, also grants above-average horizontal and vertical distance.

On the other hand, Greninja’s attacks have a lot of ending lag for no apparent reason. Its grab is the slowest non-tether grab and brings the Ninja Pokémon no notable benefit due to its lack of kill throws. Adding to these troubles is the fact that Greninja’s amiibo does not have any combos hard-coded into its AI, forcing it to take on a slower, heavy-hitting playstyle. Finally, Greninja has three small issues in its AI; it may sometimes recover too high and shoot over the edge, it overuses its jab, and it almost always uses Shadow Sneak to approach opponents at far distances.

The Verdict

Greninja has no overwhelming strengths nor any crippling weaknesses. How effective your Greninja amiibo turns out depends entirely on your own abilities. If you aren’t proficient playing as Greninja, you’re likely going to have a difficult time raising it.

Raising your Amiibo to Level 50

Many new amiibo trainers share the same goal: to train a stylish amiibo that can combo, taunt, gimp, and match the abilities of Super Smash Bros. players like ZeRo and Nairo. This is 100% impossible, so get it out of your head right now. Amiibo can only learn combos that are hard-coded into their AI – and these combos are usually simple ones. Amiibo cannot learn complex move strings containing more than two attacks. They also will not taunt, nor will they willingly chase opponents off-stage to gimp them with a meteor smash.

Disappointed? That’s okay, so was I. Training a vanilla amiibo is difficult because it’s nearly impossible to make it meet all of your expectations; at the end of the day, amiibo are beefed-up CPU characters, and you have to keep that in mind as you train. Here at Cloud Nine, a majority of our amiibo content revolves around equipment, because that’s what ultimately makes amiibo unique – the competitive metagame is why amiibo training is still active today. In case it hasn’t yet been made clear, training a vanilla amiibo is much more difficult than training an equipped amiibo. Most trainers start vanilla and later become involved in the competitive metagame.

But if you want to avoid using equipment no matter what, a well-trained vanilla amiibo can still learn to handily decimate its trainer. At Level 1, they’re more like punching bags than actual fighters and have no problem letting you attack as you please. But as they grow, they adapt to your tactics and then absolutely destroy you. 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 Greninja. I recommend playing timed matches (anywhere from 3 to 5 minutes will do) on stages without hazards. Battlefield, Final Destination, N64 Dream Land, and Smashville are a few stages that fit this description.

Because you’ll be playing as Greninja during your training sessions, you will need basic knowledge on how to properly utilize its full moveset. 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.

Greninja Training Tips

  • Primary KO moves: forward smash, up smash, forward aerial, up aerial, and Water Shuriken. Greninja’s forward smash is its most reliable KO option. It comes out moderately fast and can kill opponents very early near the edge, but it does have punishable ending lag. Up smash is best used as an aerial punish, and is Greninja’s strongest attack. Its sweetspot is difficult to connect, however, which limits its effectiveness. Forward aerial should be only used as an off-stage gimp; its startup and ending lag prevent it from being effectively used out of a short hop. Its up aerial can KO enemies at high percentages close to the upper blast line, while a fully charged Water Shuriken can catch dodging opponents close to the edge.
  • Moves to avoid: jab. Greninja’s jab is actually a really good move, but many amiibo trainers get frustrated because their Greninja will do nothing but jab. For your sake, avoid using and getting hit by this attack.
  • Utilize all aerials. Greninja’s back, forward, and up aerials can be used to help rack up damage on opponents. Be very careful with its neutral and down aerials – the former’s ending lag is absolutely horrid, and can lead to self-destructs if used off-stage, while the latter will also result in a self-destruct if used off-stage.
  • Utilize Water Shuriken. In addition to being a good KO move, Water Shuriken can also rack up damage. Uncharged shurikens travel farther, while charged ones inflict more damage. Use whichever one you see fit depending on the situation you’re in.
  • Utilize Substitute. Substitute isn’t the best counter available, but it can disorient opponents with proper timing. Use this move sparingly during your training.

During your training sessions, your amiibo might develop a habit you don’t like. A good example of this is up smashing. Many new trainers like to use aerials against their amiibo – as a result, said amiibo adapts and learns to repeatedly punish with up smash. Up smashes are generally very effective as aerial punishes, so more often than not, your amiibo will get the KO. This type of situation angers many trainers because they’d rather have their amiibo kill its opponents with combos and meteor smashes. But if there’s one thing to keep in mind at all time, it’s this: if your amiibo is finding success with a certain move or strategy, why change it? Success is success. Don’t ruin it because you don’t like the method your amiibo is using to succeed.

Either way, 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 its skills after it hits Level 50.

After reaching Level 50, several things change within your amiibo – the most notable change being that it will now learn much more from being defeated in battles. If your amiibo wins a match, it won’t learn very much; it’ll simply take note of which of its attacks connected and then use them more often. Knowing this, it’s still possible for you to improve your Greninja with additional match experience and practice.

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 Greninja to as many different fighters as possible. The best way of doing this is to have your Greninja fight other amiibo characters. If you have a friend who’s good at the game, call them over. If you’re proficient with several different characters, get some matches in. If you have other Level 50 amiibo, go for it. 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.

Playing On Every Stage

During our training sessions raising Greninja to Level 50, we played on stages without hazards. If you have the time (and patience), mirror matching your amiibo on every stage in the game is a great way to increase its wits and adaptability. This regimen will help your Greninja to become more aware of its surroundings. But don’t worry – playing on every stage in the game is not entirely necessary. If you don’t have time to do this, it’s not a big deal.

Common Training Problems

As mentioned before, vanilla amiibo are more difficult to train in comparison to equipped amiibo. This is because the habits of vanilla amiibo are harder to change once they’ve been established. Unfortunately, you’re likely to encounter a problem at some point as you train your Greninja. The FAQ contains many common questions and answers, but there are a few particular issues I’d like to address up-front.

  • Your Greninja overuses its up smash. I talked about this earlier, but if you use too many aerials against your Greninja, it may come to rely on its up smash. This is because it has adapted, and is staying grounded in response to your continued aerial approaches. To help fix this problem, try more grounded tactics to help mix up your Greninja’s routine.
  • Your Greninja is passive, and stands around and waits. In a similar vein as the issue above, your Greninja may at some point become passive. If you’re too aggressive during training, it’ll adapt and play defensively instead. To fix this, you need to play defensively to trick your Greninja into becoming aggressive to counter your new playstyle.
  • Your Greninja has failed you, and you are considering resetting it. Resetting your amiibo generally isn’t a good idea, because it’ll lose all of the effort you’ve put forth. Only if your amiibo is absolutely, positively beyond your repair do I recommend resetting it back to zero. Once again, and I can’t stress this enough, it’s tougher to correct the flaws of a vanilla amiibo in comparison to an equipped amiibo. If you’ve continuously reset your Greninja and are slowly losing faith in it, I recommend giving the competitive metagame a shot, even if it seems utterly ridiculous to you now.

Training a vanilla amiibo that meets your potentially high standards 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. If you ever run into an issue you can’t resolve, you can either join the community Discord server to ask a question, or you could use the forums instead.

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 Greninja is no exception to this rule. Again, if you run into any roadblocks along the way, 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!


Image credit goes to the official Super Smash Bros. website. Except for the one used in this section – that one was taken in-game by me (Cloud).



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