GUEST ARTICLE – 3 Steps to Training an Offensive Amiibo

Wow, what a week last week was! I was so busy I didn’t get to put up anything I wanted to. This week, you’ll get two posts – tonight’s guest article and my review of Steins;Gate tomorrow!

Now, I’ve always been a fan of Amiibos and the concept of “training” them. Hell, I’ve won a few money matches with my Kirby Amiibo, HUPBOYZ. This guy, Glenn Cravens, is a tournament Amiibo trainer, which I think is pretty cool. Unlike my style of keeping an Amiibo itemless, he attends events where utilizing different combinations of items and skills is the way to win. If you’re interested in something like this (I know I’ll definitely be doing it with at least one Amiibo!), you should check out his stuff! There’ll be some links at the end of the article.

This is an article he wrote about training an offensive Amiibo. Enjoy!

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There are so many ways an Amiibo can be built and trained to dominate the competition. Some people like a balanced attack, while others prefer a defensive style or offensive style. I have tried several different Amiibo builds, including ones that are completely focused on offense. I use these Amiibos as sparring partners to get my main Amiibos ready for tournaments.

Recently, I had one of these offensive Amiibos play a few friendlies against other trainers’ Amiibos, and they dominated the competition. Perhaps this offensive Amiibo could be just as good if put in a tournament. Today, I want to share with you the five-step process I used to create one of these offensive juggernauts so you can build a similar Amiibo and take down fellow friends’ Amiibos.

First, I want to present to you my Charizard Amiibo. He is perhaps the most offensive-focused Amiibo I have and the greatest sparring partner for my main tournament Amiibos. Here are his stats:

  • 200 points Attack
  • 120 points Defense
  • -200 points Speed
  • Critical Hit
  • Double Improved Trade-Off Ability (60%)

I’m sharing with you how Charizard is built so you can get a quick idea of how I set him up to be heavily offensive. I’ll reference him a few times in this post. With that, let’s get to building your Amiibo.

It doesn’t matter whether your Amiibo is already at Level 50. Because Amiibos continue to learn even after Level 50, it should be able to take the lessons you are teaching it and apply it to future matches. For this lesson, I’m going to be teaching as if your Amiibo is already at Level 50.

Step 1: Visualization

The first thing I tell every trainer is to envision how their Amiibo will act under the build they are creating. So before we start, envision how your Amiibo will play in games as a heavily offensive character. It is going to do a lot of smash attacks and go for big damage early and often. It’s all about taking its power and using it to destroy everyone in its path. Spend a couple of moments envisioning your Amiibo in action destroying the competition.

Step 2: Creation

Now that you have an idea of how it will play, the next thing is to get to building said Amiibo. You’re going to enter into the Amiibo settings, where you can customize it with equipment upgrades and bonuses.

Since we’re going for power, I’ve saved you some time in trying to figure out what is best. First off, let’s start with the point distribution. You can feed your Amiibo equipment upgrades and bonuses to buff its Attack, Defense and Speed concentrations. For power purposes, there are three combinations you can go with. I’ll explain the reasoning behind all three.

  • 120 Attack, 0 Defense, 0 Speed: This is a typical offensive build. Since you’re allowed a maximum of 120 cumulative points without going into the negative on any concentration, it makes sense to slam it all toward Attack.
  • 200 Attack, 0 Defense, -80 Speed: You can go into the negative on one concentration in order to overload another concentration. That’s what this combination is all about. You’re giving the Attack concentration the most points possible to make its moves as strong as it can be. However, we’re taking away from the Speed concentration, which is OK because your Amiibo will still have some mobility. It should be able to recover if knocked off of the stage.
  • 200 Attack, 120 Defense, -200 Speed: With this combination, we’re maxing out the stats. Your Amiibo will be all power and will have a chance to withstand some attacks, but it will have no mobility, and if it is knocked off of the stage, there’s little chance it returns.

If your Amiibo has multiple jumps, I recommend 200/120/-200 because of the built-in advantage of returning to the stage should it get knocked off from there. That’s why I went with that combination for Charizard, given he has multiple recovery options in addition to his jumps.

Next, let’s focus on the bonuses we want to give our Amiibo. There are plenty that are geared toward offense, some better than others. I’ve come up with three specific combinations you should give your Amiibo if you’re focused on offense.

  • Critical Hit, Double Improved Trade-Off Attack (30%): Since Critical Hit is going to be in every combination I mention, let me break it down for a moment. With Critical Hit, any attack your Amiibo does has a 1-in-5 chance of doing extra damage. A single-digit percentage hit suddenly becomes 35 to 40 percent. A regular smash attack can turn into a one-hit KO. That’s how lethal Critical Hit can be. If you’re thinking offense, this is why you must have Critical Hit equipped as one of the three bonuses. With Improved Trade-Off Attack, your Amiibo starts off at 30 percent damage, but every hit does 1.15 times the damage. You can stack this bonus, which means starting off at a higher percentage but doing more damage. With this combination, your Amiibo is doing stronger attacks than normal, and there’s a chance it will get an additional attack boost.
  • Critical Hit, Double Improved Trade-Off Ability (60%): With Improved Trade-Off Ability, your Amiibo starts at 60 percent damage. However, the Amiibo slowly gains strength, defense and speed the longer it stays alive in the current stock. With two of these added, the Amiibo starts at 90 percent damage, but it gains twice as much strength, defense and speed. That’s why I have this equipped on my Charizard. Although Charizard is at minus-200 speed, it is regaining his mobility, and if he stays alive for a long time, the negative effect is gone. Oh, by the way, it’s also gaining attack power as well to go along with his already boosted attack.
  • Critical Hit, Double Improved Attack/Speed at 0 Percent: With the 0 percent bonus, an Amiibo gains a boost as long as it stays at 0 percent. Equipping two of these bonuses is huge, because one or two hits can result in a KO. However, the downside of the bonus is that even being at 1 percent means the bonus is gone. You can swap out one of the Improved Attack/Speed at 0 Percent bonuses for Auto-Heal, but you’re better off taking the risk of going for the early KO. If you can’t go with one of the previous two bonus combinations because you don’t have the bonuses available, consider this one.

Step 3: Training

Now that you’ve equipped your Amiibo, it’s time to train it to be the offensive juggernaut it should be. The training comes down to two lessons – grabbing and smash attacks.

If you went with one of the first two bonus combinations, your Amiibo will be at a percentage disadvantage as mentioned. Its mentality, even before you train it, will be to catch up in percentage to its opponent, which is probably starting off at 0 percent. The quickest way for your Amiibo to get there is by performing smash attacks, which your Amiibo will do constantly because it will feel it needs to pull even as soon as it can.

With this first game, we’re going to teach it to harness the power of its smash attack instead of just going for it randomly. Enter into a game against your Amiibo and play in a timed match, preferably five minutes. You can choose any character, although I prefer to use the Amiibo’s character. You’re going to play on an Omega-style stage or Final Destination.

When the game begins, walk up to your Amiibo and try to forward smash it. Even if you miss in this one attempt, make sure you do it. If you hit it, follow up with another forward smash. At some point, your Amiibo will predict it and attack you in some form.

When your Amiibo gets you, that’s when it’s time to change up. After recovering from whatever hit your Amiibo did, you’re going to wait for the Amiibo to attack again. When it does, roll dodge or spot dodge to get out of the way. If you get the dodge, then follow up with a smash attack. If your Amiibo dodges, then it will likely follow up with an attack of its own, which you’ll try to dodge, etc. This is the process you’re going to do for the full five minutes.

If you’re wondering about the outcome of the game, don’t. Winning and losing should not matter when you’re training your Amiibo. The ultimate goal is to teach it what you want it to learn, and in this game, we’re teaching it to rely on its forward smash.

After you’re done with the five-minute game, you’re going to play another five-minute game. In this game, our goal is to grab and throw the Amiibo. This is a tougher task because your Amiibo will attack you with the smash attacks you tried to teach it in the previous game. Like you did in the previous game, you can wait until the Amiibo attacks, spot dodge or roll dodge out of the way and then get the grab. You can also stand several body lengths away from the Amiibo and then do a dash grab.

Again, you’re not going to worry about the outcome of the game. Your goal in the second game should be to grab and throw the Amiibo as much as you can.

When you’re done with the two games, you have the option of going through the two games again or moving to the next step. It doesn’t hurt to give your Amiibos as much practice as you can, so feel free to go back and do the lessons a couple more times.

In the final step, we’re going to have our Amiibo go up against another opponent. It is preferred that the other opponent is an Amiibo. If you use a CPU character, be aware that it will take some of the lessons learned from what the CPU does. You can also have a friend or family member go up against it.

You’re going to have your Amiibo play under tournament settings: 2 out of 3 games, 2 stock, 6 minutes, Omega-style stage or Final Destination. You’re going to watch to see how your Amiibo does in action against its opponent. It should be going for power in some situations and grabs in other situations.

When the match is done, you’ve completed the guide! However, Amiibo training is nonstop, and to keep your Amiibo in top shape, you need to train it consistently. I suggest going back into training against your Amiibo and then putting it in more matches against other Amiibos. The more your Amiibo plays, the more experience it will have, which will make it stronger.

Happy training, and I hope to see your heavy hitter at a future tournament!

Glenn Cravens is the host of the Amiibo Trainer Podcast, which runs Monday through Friday on iTunes, Stitcher and Soundcloud. For a free training guide, head to amiibotrainer.com/amiibo15.

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Just Sayin’

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Training Amiibos

Before I begin, a quick shout-out to this thread, which is what I used to train my amiibos.

So, when the new Super Smash Bros. was announced, Nintendo also announced Amiibo, a figurine that could interact with games on the Wii U through an NFC touch point built-in on the game pad. In Super Smash Bros. Wii U, this scanning translated to a fighter that you could then fight with/against. I saw it as an opportunity to train these fighters and pit them against other amiibos because that sounded really fun to me (as a competitive Smash player it’s at the heart of what I find the most fun about training an amiibo).

So, I quickly bought a Kirby amiibo, named him H U P BOYZ, and got to work training him. I played with my brother in amiibo + player teams until he got to 50 (the max level for an amiibo), and then I realized that H U P BOYZ used Inhale too much (Neutral B move for those who don’t know). He also used a lot of grounded Rock (Down + B special) and Up Smash, but not too many aerials. He used some, but I wanted him to play like I did with Kirby.

So I started doing some research, and found a couple articles with some training tips. A few of them were very similar. CPU mirrors 1-10, you vs them mirrors 10-20, 20-30 playstyle chars, 30-50 your main + CPU mirrors to see how they’re progressing. It sounded pretty good, so I gave it a shot. I reset H U P BOYZ and started training him.

Spoiler alert – H U P BOYZ still sucked.

He still used too much Inhale and grounded Rock. he also spammed jab a lot this time. So I went back to researching when I came upon that thread I linked in the beginning of this post. It was pretty much eye-opening for me.

Let me break this down for you:

Amiibos basically have a hit % variable stored inside of it for every move in its arsenal (probably not including pummel, which is guaranteed out of a throw). From what I’m theorizing, whenever they hit with a move, the % for that move goes up. If they use a move and it whiffs, is blocked, or is outright beaten or punished, the % goes down. No one has truly found out everything about amiibos, but this sounds the most logical to me given that thread confirmed data tables. Anyway, amiibos will use moves with a higher hit % more often. However, they won’t use it all the time, just more than a normal level 9 CPU would. And this data table updates even after they’ve hit 50.

So what does this mean? Basically, the amiibos will use moves more based on what opponents they fight. That means that if you let a Kirby amiibo get off Inhale or Rock against you, it’ll think it’s better than against a player that never lets a Kirby amiibo get away with it. Amiibo do have slightly different styles, it’s just based off of hit %, and the placebo effect takes it from there because of that subtle difference between amiibos.

So, I did my second reset on H U P BOYZ and trained him from 1 – 50 against just me, except this time I literally air camped so that H U P BOYZ would be forced to take to the air and use aerials against me. Every time he tried to use Rock, or Hammer (Side + B special), or Inhale, I would punish him. And to top it off, I would literally let him hit me with aerials and tilts so that he thought they were better moves.

And it actually worked (a little).

See, amiibos still have that core AI ingrained in them. They’re going to do some stuff no matter what, but you can influence them. H U P BOYZ does the standard Power Shield and then a grab or smash attack, but sometimes he’ll throw out three Forward Airs in a row or use Up Tilt twice in a row or even do Up Tilt to Back Air instead of Up Tilt to Forward Air (which is a level 9 Kirby combo implemented into their base AI).

So that’s how I train amiibos. I let them hit me with the moves I want them to use and try to punish them for using moves I don’t want them to use. H U P BOYZ barely uses Hammer or Rock, although now that he’s fought other amiibos and CPU’s he uses Inhale a fair amount (although not nearly as much as the first two times), but overall, training him was a success.

I think this is the best way to train them right now. Let me go over how I do it in terms of levels.

Levels 1 – 20: Beat them down. Amiibo aren’t very smart here. Sure, they’ll throw out attacks, but it’s best to just beat them down so that they don’t throw out anything bad that’ll hit you. Even if you let them hit you, they won’t be borrowing from the data table too much because their base AI at this point is, well…dumb.

Levels 20 – 30: This is where I make them start learning. At this point they should be borrowing from level 4 or 5 AI, so they’ll be throwing out attacks, but they won’t be utilizing the hit % table a lot unless you let them hit you a ton in the earlier levels. You won’t see certain attacks because the 4 or 5 base AI just doesn’t choose it. If you see them throwing out any moves you’d like them to learn, let them hit you. This can be tricky with aerials and tilts (especially if you don’t want them using smash attacks); my advice is to jump around a LOT for aerials. Tilts are much harder and I have no safe way to get hit by them without being hit by a smash attack. It takes a lot of patience.

Also, don’t forget to beat them. They level up faster losing.

Levels 30 – 40: This is where most of the learning happens. At this point, they’re borrowing from level 6 or 7 AI and so will most likely be using every move. They’ll also be borrowing from the data table so you’ll find them using certain moves less and certain moves more. Just keep letting them hit you and maintain victory over them so that they level up faster. This is probably the longest phase for me because I take a lot of time making sure they learn what moves are better than others.

Levels 40-50: This is where the amiibos’ inherent buffs (yeah, they’re stronger than normal fighters even without equipment) start to become noticeable. You’ll also see a noticeable change in how they fight compared to level 8 and 9 CPU’s. If you’ve done your training correctly, you’ll notice them using moves you let them hit you with more often. That means it’s time for some crazy positive reinforcement. Let them hit you A LOT. Sure, you still need to win or else leveling them up takes longer, but make them extra close. Let them take you down to that last stock (if you’re using time, make sure you maintain a point lead).

This is a good time to pit them against any level 50 amiibos you have, also.

Level 50: You’ve done it. Your amiibo is now max level! A couple things to note here:

– While you’ve been training them, don’t fret if they use a move you’ve been punishing a lot or never let them hit you with. They are, in theory, at Level 10 if there was a Level 10 AI in the game, and so have hard-coded scripts that they simply can’t ignore.

– They will start rolling, spot-dodging, air dodging, and perfect shielding a LOT, and usually right when you use a move. They will punish you with a smash or grab after perfect shielding a LOT, even if you trained them to think smash attacks are bad. It’s part of their script. Don’t let it bother you.

– You should notice that they’re very rarely using moves you’ve punished them for using and using moves you let them hit you with more frequently. However, there will be no drastic change in their move selection unless you let them hit you with the same move over and over from 1 to 50. Then they’ll spam a move way more than a level 9 CPU would.

– Amiibo buffs are pretty apparent here. H U P BOYZ does over 20% with one Back Air. That’s as much as a normal smash attack with an aerial!

And that’s how I train my amiibos. So far I have 3 trained amiibos (H U P BOYZ the Kirby, a Mario that likes Up B, and a Pikachu that doesn’t use Thunder a lot). They’ve all been trained using this method and they’ve all shown good results, so I think this is a really solid training method. Give it a try next time you want to train an amiibo. I’ll end this with a few more notes:

– Because amiibos learn after 50, it’s impossible to stop them from landing a certain move. If you let them fight another amiibo, a CPU, or a person, they might land that move and increase the hit % of it. The nice thing is that that hit % has to contend with the other ones you’ve trained, meaning they’re not suddenly going to start spamming that move, but you will see them try and use it more. If you see them using a move too much, just play them and punish it whenever they do. My Pikachu spammed Thunder between levels 30-40 and I literally sat there for two games and punished Thunder. After those, he never spammed Thunder again because of how low I made the hit % after that and from levels 40-50. He still uses it, but he hasn’t used it twice in a row since.

– Amiibos only update their hit % after a match is completed. This is really important. If you don’t like how a match is going, just quit out of it. I can’t tell you how many times I had to do this because H U P BOYZ landed Inhale on me.

– Amiibos level up insanely fast on a different Wii U. Not really important, just thought I’d let you know. They also level up faster fighting CPU’s and other amiibos than they do against humans.

Have fun with your amiibos! I can’t wait to enter these guys in amiibo-only tournaments!

Just Sayin’