Competitive Amiibo Guide: Greninja

Welcome to Cloud Nine’s competitive Greninja amiibo training guide! Cloud here, and thanks for joining me today! Before we begin, keep in mind that this is the competitive guide – if you’d rather train your Greninja amiibo without using equipment, follow this link to read the casual training guide instead.

This Water- and Dark-type Pokémon is the fully evolved form of Froakie. It’s just as fast and dangerous as any other ninja, and the throwing stars it can make out of water can shear metal. When it spins the stars and throws them at high speed, they can split metal in two.

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

grennew.PNGGreninja is just about as average as you can get – its abilities aren’t particularly outstanding, and its strengths and weaknesses perfectly balance each other out. Even so, “average” is still good enough to work with. Greninja has a powerful set of smash attacks; each one has fast startup and can KO most opponents by 140%. It also has a fantastic infinite jab – it deals great damage and is very difficult to escape from. Greninja also has a useful projectile in Water Shuriken; its power and distance can be adjusted depending on how long the attack is charged. Its down special, Substitute, serves as a pseudo-counter that deals consistent damage each time. Greninja’s up special, Hydro Pump, also grants good horizontal and vertical distance.

However, Greninja is held back somewhat by several flaws in both its character design and AI. Though its smash attacks come out fast, they have high ending lag, making them punishable if missed. Greninja’s grab is the slowest non-tether grab in the game and brings it no notable benefit if successfully executed. Greninja’s amiibo may occasionally recover too high, leaving it vulnerable to attack; it may also use Shadow Sneak at close range and leave itself open.

The Verdict

Greninja’s amiibo is somewhat awkward because it has no overwhelming strengths nor any crippling weaknesses. That being said, training a champion Greninja amiibo is still a very realistic goal – just as long as it doesn’t get hit by a Blast Burn from Mega Charizard X.

Greninja – 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 Greninja:

Point Distribution: +80 Attack / +80 Defense / -40 Speed

Even with 40 points taken out of speed, Greninja’s up special, Hydro Pump, serves as a reliable recovery move. In exchange for this slight reduction in mobility, Greninja’s strength and durability will be significantly boosted.

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 Greninja is no exception. Auto-heal capability heals it for 2% of health every three seconds, while Lifesteal has a 50% chance of activating with every strike and heals Greninja for half of the damage it inflicts with a single hit. Rounding out the set is Improved escapability, enabling it to escape from grabs and throws twice as quickly. This improves its in-game durability by allowing it to avoid taking damage from throws.

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 Greninja. 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: +80 Attack / +80 Defense / -40 Speed

Bonus Combination:

  • 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 Greninja to block with perfect accuracy, and it wins – unless its 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 Greninja 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.

Greninja  – Recommended Custom Moves

  • Shifting Shuriken: This is a custom move version of Greninja’s neutral special. When uncharged, the Water Shuriken will deal strong upward knockback, while charged Water Shurikens will pierce opponents. The damage stays the same regardless of how long the move is charged. However, it is much slower and has much less range. Shifting Shuriken is not imperative to Greninja’s success, however, it’s a safe option if you’re concerned that your Greninja will have trouble charging the default Water Shuriken.
  • Exploding Attack: This is a custom move version of Greninja’s down special, Substitute. Exploding Attack is not a counterattack; instead, Greninja will vanish and reappear with an explosion around itself. Again, this move is not imperative to Greninja’s success; since Substitute is not the most effective counter, Exploding Attack may work better in certain situations. The choice between Substitute and Exploding Attack depends on whether or not you’d prefer a fast counter move or a slower (but stronger) burst attack.

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 its 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 Greninja 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), 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 it before. Don’t reset your Greninja 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 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 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 Greninja 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 its bonus slots blank, and you can feed it 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 its stat points. If you decided to follow my recommendation, your ultimate task is to give your amiibo 80 points in attack, 80 points in defense, and -40 points in speed. Don’t worry if your numbers aren’t exact – we’re aiming for a ballpark range with your Greninja’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 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.

Completing the Feeding Process

Once your amiibo is all set 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 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 Greninja amiibo was trained prior to using this guide, please 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 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 it to become strong. You have to play against your Greninja 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 Greninja. 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 Greninja 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, its 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 Greninja is at low damage, use tilts and jabs more often. When it’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 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 Greninja that you will need to play by to ensure your amiibo’s success.

Greninja Training Tips

  • Primary damage-racking moves: jab, forward tilt, down tilt, and Water Shuriken. Greninja’s infinite jab is one of the most efficient available – it deals a lot of damage and is difficult for opponents to escape from. Jab should be your go-to move for damage-racking. Its forward tilt is stronger but slower, while down tilt can combo into a forward smash. It’s also a good idea to occasionally use Water Shuriken from a distance. Uncharged shurikens travel far, whereas charged shurikens hit multiple times and inflict more damage. Be sure to fully charge Water Shuriken before firing so that your amiibo learns to do the same. If you gave your Greninja the Shifting Shuriken custom move, charge the attack each time so that you fire the piercing shuriken – the uncharged Shifting Shuriken is far too slow and has pitiful range.
  • Primary KO moves: forward smash, up smash, and Water Shuriken. Greninja’s forward smash is its most reliable KO option. It’s moderately fast, but has punishable ending lag. When sweetspotted, Greninja’s up smash is its strongest attack. Unfortunately, this sweetspot is difficult to land, which relegates its utility to an aerial punish. The Ninja Pokémon’s fully charged Water Shuriken also has decent KO potential near the edge.
  • Utilize Substitute. Greninja’s Substitute isn’t very effective as a counter due to its delayed reaction time, but it can be aimed in different directions to disorient opponents. Greninja’s amiibo is extraordinarily accurate in its aim, so encouraging the use of Substitute is a good plan. If you gave your Greninja the Exploding Attack custom move, don’t use it as often – in fact, don’t use it at all. Your Greninja may learn to overuse it unless proper precautions are taken.

If you started using this guide with a Level 1 amiibo, it will take some time for it to reach Level 50. If your Greninja began its training anywhere in between Level 1 and Level 50, it shouldn’t take too long to level it up depending on how much training it 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 its skills after it hits Level 50.

When your Greninja amiibo finally reaches Level 50, its 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 it into a champion!

Are you ready for things to get interesting? Your amiibo has reached Level 50, and its journey has just begun. It’s time to take off the training wheels and really make it great. Defense and counterattacks are very important to your amiibo’s success, but its match experience is even more important. Your Greninja will need to be exposed to many possible situations it 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 Greninja to as many different fighters as possible. The best way of doing this is to have your Greninja 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, its knowledge of its own moveset will diminish. That is to say, your Greninja’s fighting skills will wear down. Don’t get me wrong, match experience is great – but your Greninja 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 it 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 its 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 its 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. It 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 Greninja 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 my 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 or send an email to cloudnine987@gmail.com 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 me (Cloud).


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2 thoughts on “Competitive Amiibo Guide: Greninja”

  1. Hi there, your guides are really interesting I appreciate all the information you’re laying out. I’m an experienced smash player but I’m just getting into the amiibo meta game so I’ve just been playing around with what works and what doesn’t. However, I’d like to point out that I know maybe training with CPU may not be the best idea, but it might be worth while if you go into a match with a CPU and notice some nice simple combos they may pull like for example, since I’m commenting on the Greninja guide, I’d like to point out that the CPU character tends to string short combos with forward tilt. For example, D tilt to F tilt. I know Greninja’s grab is sluggish, but I’ve seen him combo with a D throw to F tilt as well. I’m still quite early in the learning process so correct me if you wish. Anyway keep up the great work! I’ll stay tuned in!

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  2. Hey i just wanted to give a little heads up on Greninja training in general. Be very careful playing off stage and edge guarding your Greninja one of the minor A.I. flaws and nasty habits that a Greninja amiibo can pick up is using Neutral Air to edge guard which the amiibo sees as a nice damage output but it causes them to frequently SD because they simply cant get out of the animation and recover in time. I say this because this minor flaw can ruin a greninja amiibo

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