Welcome to Cloud Nine’s Donkey Kong amiibo training guide! To start off, thank you for taking the time to visit: your support is very much appreciated. Huge thanks to Trainer Blue for sharing his knowledge of Donkey Kong and for contributing to the completion of the guide!
This king of the jungle is superstrong, a little scatterbrained, and absolutely nuts about bananas. His adventures usually start with people stealing his hoard of them. As his physique suggests, this Kong is a powerhouse, but he’s got speed to match too! His famous red necktie is adorned with his initials, DK.
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
In the past, nobody paid much attention to Donkey Kong’s amiibo, writing him off as “hopeless” and “a waste of time”. Fortunately, a few dedicated trainers gave him a second chance and were able to discover his true potential, and this significantly expanded his position on the amiibo tier list. Donkey Kong’s biggest strength is actually his grab game – it bypasses Improved escapability, the most common bonus effect in the game, and serves as an excellent damage-racking tool. He has a great jab that can be used repeatedly to great effect, as well as a good set of tilts that perfectly mix power and speed. His smash attacks are among the most powerful in the game, dealing incredible damage with proper timing and spacing. Donkey Kong is also a heavyweight fighter, meaning his in-game resilience is higher relative to the rest of the cast.
Even with his many promising advantages, Donkey Kong isn’t without his flaws. Donkey Kong has a few odd AI tendencies. He has a bad habit of overusing his forward aerial and tends to use uncharged Giant Punch attacks at random. Donkey Kong’s smash attacks may be strong, but this power comes at a price – they’re very slow and leave DK vulnerable if he misses.
Donkey Kong has really come far since the beginning of the amiibo metagame – he used to be seen as a terrible character, but now he has his niche. He may have his fair share of disadvantages, but his pros definitely outweigh his cons.
Section 2: Recommended Equipment
Donkey Kong – Recommended Stats & Bonuses
For more information on equipment, including instructions on how to farm for custom parts, please read the amiibo equipment guide.
Before you begin training your amiibo, you must equip it with a viable setup of stats and bonuses. The following build has been extensively tested and proven effective:
+100 Attack / +100 Defense / -80 Speed
Donkey Kong – Recommended Custom Moves
- Lightning Punch: This is a custom move version of Donkey Kong’s neutral special. It isn’t as powerful as the default, but is much faster. Donkey Kong’s amiibo likes to randomly use uncharged neutral specials – Lightning Punch’s enhanced speed will minimize the time he is left vulnerable.
- Stubborn Headbutt: This custom move version is slower than the default, but deals more damage and has super armor. It can catch other amiibo off-guard, and is even capable of breaking a full shield in one hit!
- Hot Slap: Hot Slap is a custom move version of Donkey Kong’s down special. It deals fire-based damage and comes out quicker. It shouldn’t necessarily be focused on during training, it’s a good idea to give DK this custom move in case he does decide to use it.
Once your amiibo’s equipment setup is refined and ready to go, your training will officially begin! If you ran into some sort of problem while feeding your amiibo, feel free to jump into Cloud Nine’s Discord server to ask a question.
Section 3: Leveling Up Your Amiibo
Amiibo training is a very specific task, and for the best possible results, you will need to go about it very carefully. You can’t just go all-out and use combos and aerials: both of these are frowned upon in the amiibo metagame. Instead, you should remain grounded at all times, punishing your amiibo for every aerial move it uses against you.
To help your amiibo properly utilize its moveset, you will mirror match it from Level 1 all the way to Level 50. Playing timed matches on Ω-form stages is highly recommended.
Donkey Kong Training Tips
- Primary damage-racking moves: jab, forward tilt, down tilt, up tilt, and grab. Donkey Kong’s jabs and tilts are all quite fast, and can easily rack up damage on opponents with proper timing. You might notice during training that your DK amiibo only uses his cargo throw – this is a good thing, because it’s specifically his cargo throw that bypasses Improved escapability. When grabbing your amiibo, use a cargo down throw when close to the edge, and a cargo up throw when closer to the center of the stage.
- Primary KO moves: forward smash, up smash and down smash. Donkey Kong’s smash attacks are slow and can get him punished, but are immensely powerful when used at the right time. Forward smash is best used when an opponent is about a character-length away from DK, up smash is most effective as an aerial punish, and down smash hits on both sides and can catch opponents by surprise. Make sure that you only use these attacks as KO moves: they’re too slow to function as neutral options.
- Moves to avoid: neutral special and down special. Although we did make a note to give your Donkey Kong amiibo these two custom moves, you should not use them during training. The reason we gave DK these moves is because he likes to randomly throw out attacks – and these two customs reduce the amount of time he is left vulnerable after using them.
- Utilize Stubborn Headbutt sparingly. This move serves as an excellent shield-breaking move, but if an opponent dodges in time, Donkey Kong is left open to punishment.
When your amiibo finally reaches Level 50, its training will truly begin. Just like a real player, amiibo need match experience and practice against different characters.
Section 4: Post-Level 50 Training
Now that your amiibo has reached Level 50, its training will become a bit more involved. Defense and counterattacks are important to your amiibo’s success, but its match experience is even more important. Your amiibo will need to be exposed to as many fighters, stages, and situations as possible.
Your Amiibo’s Match Experience
Every character in the Super Smash Bros. roster has their own unique playstyle and a variety of attacks to use. Ideally, your amiibo will learn to play against all 58 fighters. Training guides for every amiibo are now available: so if any of yours are untrained, raise them with their own personalized character guide. You can then pit the two amiibo against each other in a battle, and they’ll both become stronger.
Mirror Matches, Defense, & Counterattacks
As your amiibo’s knowledge of other fighters grows, its grasp on its own moveset slowly fades away. More specifically, your amiibo’s fighting skills will wear down over time. Match experience is great, but too much of it at once is a bad thing. Mirror matching your amiibo between battles against other characters is a great way to refresh its skills while retaining its match experience. In the previous section was a list of tips that specifically applied to your amiibo’s character – refer back to that list if necessary. Once again, be sure to stay grounded and to play defensively.
If your amiibo begins acting aggressively during battles or starts to use too many aerial attacks, there is a perfect solution: the defensive training session. In just a few minutes, you can retrain your amiibo to dodge, perfect shield, and counterattack with impeccable speed and timing. To keep your amiibo fresh and at its best, rotate both mirror matches and defensive training sessions as needed.
Section 5: Conclusion & Credits
Thank you so much for reading this guide! It was a long one, but you made it through! Although the guide may be coming to a conclusion, your training most certainly isn’t: there’s always a way to make an amiibo stronger, and yours is no exception. If you ever need additional help training your amiibo, stop by Cloud Nine’s Discord server.
If your desire to read amiibo training guides and articles hasn’t been entirely fulfilled, there are some more posts here that you might like. The official amiibo tier list ranks every amiibo’s overall capabilities – you might even 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!