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by Spike, Regular Contributor
As always, I’m going to get credibility out of the way first, just to prove that I know what I’m writing about. At the time of writing, my King K. Rool amiibo, Pig God, has the most tournament wins of any King K Rool amiibo with four. He has also garnered a pair of second places and a third place, along with numerous good placements. He’s done it all in under three weeks.
What makes him so good? What does he have that other King K Rool amiibo don’t? Well, that’s what I’ll be exploring in today’s guide.
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First of all, a quick examination of the character. King K Rool is a fairly heavy and heavy hitting character, with excellent recovery, a pair of projectile options, and a counter to boot. The majority of his moveset hits hard, with his forward and down smash attacks in particular dealing incredibly heavy damage. His Neutral B, Blunderbuss, both shoots a projectile (which has impressive range, though fairly low speed) and can suck in enemies, before shooting them out at high velocity. His down special causes his belly to momentarily become armored, reflecting attacks, while his side special throws a small crown like a boomerang. All of his tilts, along with his jab, pack incredibly good damage-racking ability, while his smash attacks can all kill early. His down aerial spikes offstage, his up aerial is a very good move for keeping opponents in the air, and his forward and back aerials deal decent damage.
So, how should I train him, then?
Well, there are actually three ways to train King K Rool amiibo, with all resulting in good amiibo, and all being viable depending on the meta. For a slight edge over another pair of top amiibo, Ridley and Incineroar, I’d go with option three.
Option One: The Offstage Maniac
King K Rool amiibo using this are the most common King K Rool archetype, playing a simple, general K Rool playstyle- but they don’t attempt to use Blunderbuss or the crown to gimp offstage opponents. Instead, they follow the opponent offstage and attempt to kill them with either forward or down aerial. Personally, I prefer forward aerial, because the amiibo has an easier time landing it, but does generally need to go farther offstage to land it. Thankfully, the King’s up special is amazingly good and he can recover from nearly the blast zone.
Benefits to this style include a better matchup against the terror that is Ness; unfortunately, it comes at the cost of a worse mirror match and bad matchups against characters such as Link, King Dedede, or Ridley who have good recoveries, good aerials, and good projectiles/ long range attacks.
Option Two: Blunder Down Under
This is, by far, the rarest kind of King K Rool. This archetype of K Rool is super defensive, using Blunderbuss and the crown to keep opponents away, using Gut Check (Belly Counter, down b) often, throwing the opponent away whenever they get close, and just generally trying to keep from being hit.
This type of King K Rool is subpar. It tends to spam Gut Check at random times, it has trouble getting kills- which should never happen for this powerful of a character- and, perhaps worst of all, uses down throw far more often then it should. I don’t recommend it, but if you do decide to train one, it comes at an advantage over a lot of lightweight characters such as Jigglypuff, Pikachu, and Diddy Kong, but most such characters are low tier in amiibo anyways. The really big matchup issue with this type of K Rool is that it loses to a lot of amiibo with longer range attacks, such as Shulk’s forward smash or King Dedede’s forward tilt, and that can be really deadly. It’s also plagued with ai issues, much more so than options one and three.
Option Three: Jack of All Trades, Master Of… Actually All Of ‘Em
This is, in my opinion, the best way to train King K Rool. Using this option, the amiibo will have both melee and ranged options, air options, and gimp options. King K Rools using Option One are essentially the same as this, but Option Three forgoes offstage play in favor of Blunderbuss.
Well, now that you’ve seen the options, here’s my recommendation for training!
First of all, you should be mirror matching your amiibo if Learning is set to Learning On. Matchup Experience (teaching your amiibo how to fight differently against different characters) does not exist. Sorry. There’s no point in using other characters to train your amiibo, and doing so can mess the amiibo up. Once you hit Level 50, or once you’re happy with how your amiibo plays, you should turn Learning Off. Don’t worry about any issues until level 50.
King K Rool is a very interesting character in amiibo: most of his moveset is beneficial to him and very little of it is taboo. The only move that his AI is completely incompetant with is down throw. The amiibo is hardcoded and will always attempt to use forward smash after burying the opponent, and that will rarely land on amiibo. I also would go as far as to recommend never using any grabs or throws on your amiibo. If it doesn’t learn throws, it won’t learn down throw, and the AI issue won’t even come into play often, if ever. Problem solved. I also would advise against using up special outside of recovering. Human players can do cool stuff with it, but amiibo are not that smart- and most amiibo will simply dodge it.
On stage, King K Rool is going to want to use jab, down tilt, up tilt (to catch falling opponents), and, most importantly, forward tilt. Forward tilt has decent range, damage, and knockback, can lead into forward air, and, most importantly, leads into dash attack.
Dash attack is a really, really good move for King K Rool. It has a fairly slow startup time, but it does decent damage and a lot of knockback. It can get kills at the edge, intercept projectiles, and get opponents into the air. It has Super Armor on it as an added bonus- King K Rool is normally going to finish using dash attack, ignoring projectiles or even light melee attacks. Dash attack is just good.
On stage, also be sure to throw a crown every now and then. King K Rool loves using it, so keep your usage low to prevent spamming, but make sure he knows it. Blunderbuss is also a good option to have from a distance, especially with the Inhale-like second part to it. King K Rool should use the Inhale unless the opponent is right on top of him, because it’s deadly to other amiibo.
If the opponent is in the air, King K Rool is happy. Up air is a really solid move to keep opponents in the air, forward air deals damage and has good knockback, and down air can get the opponent back to the stage, just in time for King K Rool to land and throw out a raw forward smash.
To kill onstage, every single one of King K Rool’s smash attacks are solid. Like with all amiibo, make sure to use them raw, or the amiibo will overcharge them. Forward smash is a good option to use every now and then, and up smash is excellent to catch aerial opponents. Down smash is pretty good, especially at the ledge, but forward smash is better at mid stage, so make sure to strike a healthy balance between the two.
Gut Check should also be used on occasion, but the AI does learn to spam it at bad times fairly often, so only use it to punish overcharged smash attacks.
If King K Rool is off stage or in the air, priority number one is getting back to the stage. If offstage, simply use forward air to deal with any opponents who are right next to you, then use up special to recover. If above the stage, King K Rool should use down air and falling neutral air to get back to stage, as both are solid options.
If the opponent is offstage, Blunderbuss at the edge is by far your best option. Aside from the cannonball intercepting recoveries, hitting an opponent close to you lets you catch the projectile with the vortex and shoot it back at the opponent- again! The amiibo has no idea how to change the angle of the cannonball, though, so be aware that he will always send it up diagonally. Even better, you can catch the opponent in the vortex- which at higher percentages is nearly always a kill.
In conclusion, King K Rool is truly worthy of S tier. His smash attacks are solid, he has a great edgeguarding game, all of his aerials work, he has not one, but two solid projectiles- he’s just plain good.
Well, until next time,
Never Stop Training.