Competitive Amiibo Training Guide: Charizard

Welcome to Cloud Nine’s competitive Charizard amiibo training guide! I’m Trainer Blue, and I’m here to teach you how to train your amiibo to its fullest potential.

Charizard is the iconic Fire- and Flying-type Pokémon. Its scorching fiery breath can melt anything in its path. Charizard is known to fly around the sky in search of powerful opponents. However, it never turns its fire on opponents weaker than itself.

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

zardproconCharizard is a popular choice in competitive amiibo play – and for good reason: its attack power and durability are among the highest in the game. The Flame Pokémon also packs a useful set of smash attacks, including a forward smash that renders it intangible. Charizard’s jab is one of the best available – its blend of power and speed makes for a great get-off-me move. Its special moves come in handy as well, with Dragon Rush (a side special custom move) greatly aiding its recovery.

However, Charizard is held back somewhat by an array of flaws. The speed of its moves (bar jab) is below average, meaning that its attacks must be timed and space perfectly – otherwise, Charizard is left vulnerable. Its large frame also makes it easy to hit and an optimal target for multi-hit moves like Ness’ PK Fire. Finally, Charizard’s AI has a few strange tendencies – it’s a bit jumpy, uses its up special on stage at random, and may learn to over-rely on its down smash.

The Verdict

Charizard is a menace on the amiibo battlefield. Its deadly strength, great longevity, and tough-to-intercept recovery make it a top-tier threat. If you’re willing to put up with some minor AI quirks, then Charizard is the Pokémon for you!

Charizard – 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 Charizard:

Point Distribution: +100 Attack / +100 Defense / -80 Speed

This stat setup further cements Charizard’s role as a heavy hitter. 100 points in both attack and defense increase its strength and durability, respectively, and make it even tougher to take down. -80 points in speed might sound bad, but it’s a worthy trade-off – even with decreased mobility, Charizard’s recovery functions just fine between two double jumps, Dragon Rush, and Fly High (the latter two of which are custom moves). Another idea is 200 Attack / 120 Defense / -200 Speed – this spread will maximize Charizard’s abilities but will significantly worsen its recovery.

Bonus Combination:

  • Improved launch ability OR Improved trade-off attack
  • Lifesteal
  • Improved escapability

This is an offensive bonus combination that will bolster Charizard’s abilities even further. The first bonus is up to you – Improved launch ability grants a free 30% boost to attacks that launch opponents upwards – this includes Charizard’s jab and up smash. Improved trade-off attack grants a 15% attack boost to Charizard’s entire moveset, but in exchange, it will start each stock with 30% damage already taken. Both of these bonuses pair well with Lifesteal, which will allow your amiibo to restore its health just by attacking. Improved escapability is a must-have – if your Charizard enters a tournament and faces a character with a powerful kill throw (such as Ness), Improved escapability will prevent it from being thrown to its death.

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 Charizard. 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: +100 Attack / +100 Defense / -80 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 Charizard 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 Charizard 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.

Charizard – Recommended Custom Moves

  • Fire Fang: This is a custom move version of Charizard’s neutral special. Instead of attacking with a long stream of fire, Charizard will use a short-ranged spurt of flames that deals repeating damage. Charizard overuses its default Flamethrower at times, and this custom move version fixes this issue. While not vital to your amiibo’s success, it is an alternative worth looking into.
  • Dragon Rush: This is a custom move version of Charizard’s side special. It is a direct upgrade to the default Flare Blitz, functioning as a safe recovery move. Charizard won’t take any damage from using the move, and will not stop flying after hitting an opponent.
  • Fly High: This is a custom move version of Charizard’s up special, and another direct move upgrade. Fly High has increased distance compared to the default, but deals no damage. Dealing no damage is no problem, because it discourages Charizard from using the move at random.

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 Charizard 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 Charizard 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 Charizard 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 100 points in attack, 100 points in defense, and -80 points in speed. Don’t worry if your numbers aren’t exact – we’re aiming for a ballpark range with your Charizard’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 Charizard 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 Charizard 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 Charizard. 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 Charizard 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 Charizard 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 Charizard that you will need to play by to ensure your amiibo’s success.

Charizard Training Tips

  • Primary damage-racking moves: jab, forward tilt, and down tilt. Charizard can quickly rack up damage on unsuspecting opponents. Its jab is its fastest move available, and deals a lot of damage for being a neutral attack. Forward tilt has a lot of range as well as a sweetspot on the tip of its tail. Down tilt is faster than forward tilt, but has less range.
  • Primary KO moves: forward smash, up smash, and down smash. Forward smash is Charizard’s most reliable KO move – it grants it intangibility, meaning that it can’t take any damage or knockback while using it. Unfortunately, it suffers from high ending lag, so use this move with proper timing. Charizard’s up smash is a great aerial punish and strikes multiple times. Down smash is faster and has less ending lag, hits on both sides, and can even catch recovering opponents, but is much weaker in exchange.
  • Moves to avoid: Fire Fang. Fire Fang can be seen as a decent edge-guarding tool, but Charizard’s amiibo AI has a tendency to use this attack too often. It’s best to shelf this attack during your training.
  • Utilize Dragon Rush and Rock Smash in moderation. Dragon Rush is a powerful move, and aids in Charizard’s recovery – but it’s best if you limit your use of this move. Rock Smash might not seem like an important move on paper, but your Charizard amiibo may choose to use it during a vital situation – for example, its super armor allows it to interrupt Marth’s Dancing Blade. That being said, you don’t want your Charizard to overuse this attack, as there are better moves for it to focus on.

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

Thanks to Yoshi for helping to compile Charizard’s information – this includes its 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 Cloud.


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