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by MiDe, Guest Contributor
I started amiibo back in Smash 4, but found a lot of success early on in Ultimate. I have multiple wins across a variety of characters, including winning the biggest amiibo tourney of all time, Amiibo Strike 10. I have entered Duck Hunt in around 50 tournaments and in doing so raised him out of D tier.
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Duck Hunt has similar problems to many other amiibo. Duck Hunt will randomly Up Special on stage sometimes, despite his Up Special not having a hitbox. This isn’t a solveable problem, but it can be reduced if the trainer doesn’t use Up Special.
The biggest flaw in Duck Hunt’s AI surrounds his projectiles. Duck Hunt’s AI has a compulsion to cycle through all three of his projectiles in a row before doing anything else. It is usually best to avoid using Duck Hunt’s projectiles all together to avoid any unintended move usage.
The entire playstyle of Duck Hunt revolves around his Forward smash, which is by far his best move in the amiibo metagame. Duck Hunt has a decent amount of utility options as well to keep Forward smash from getting stale. Read on.
Up Tilt and Up Smash are both good options to initiate a juggle situation, as Duck Hunt can follow these up with Up Air. Duck Hunt also has a solid grab game, with Down Throw into Forward Air at low percents.
Duck Hunt overall has a simple plan. When both amiibo are standing on the stage, he should be Forward smashing with a small amount of grab mixed in. If the other amiibo is in the air, Duck Hunt should be sharking them with Up Smash or Up Air. When the opponent is off stage, Duck Hunt should attempt to spike them with Down Air. Spiking enemies is the only way Duck Hunt can succeed in tougher matchups, such as Link.
How to train Duck Hunt
For the first 5 minutes of leveling up this amiibo I only want you to do two things: Walk and Forward Smash. Yes, that’s it: as I said, Duck Hunt is hard carried by Forward Smash.
The walking aspect is important because Duck Hunt wants his enemies to approach him and run into a Forward Smash. The range on Forward Smash makes it so very few amiibo can out right beat him in neutral.
For the next levels, all you have to do is mix in some of his other options to make sure Forward Smashing isn’t the only thing he does. If I had to list moves in order of importance, I’d say it goes like: Forward Smash, Up Smash, Down Air, Up Air, grabs, and Up Tilt (Down Smash is optional but I kind of just see it as a worse Forward Smash).
It’s also important to not be overzealous when edgeguarding, as Duck Hunt gets reverse edgeguarded a lot when he is overzealous, so make him as disciplined as possible.
Why it Works
If you have trained enough amiibo, you will eventually learn multi-hit moves are fundamentally broken in amiibo. 99% of amiibo that parry will only parry the first hit in a multi-hit attack and just eat the rest. Amiibo have a similar problem trying to just shield multi-hits in general as well.
What beats this style of Duck Hunt is amiibo who go even or beat him in the Forward Smash game (Shulk, Link, Lucina), or amiibo that destroy him in the edge guarding game (Ridley, Lucas, Piranha Plant). Overall this Forward smash style is sound enough to give him a good matchup spread against most amiibo, including a few top tiers.
no, Duck Hunts AI doesn’t “randomly” up on stage there is a reason, that reason is the use of Neutral B. Through hours and days of testing Neutral B is the cause of this special spam in the AI that’s why he spams at ledge too, so yes you may use side b and down b but avoid neutral b at all costs because he will fill the stage with his other specials when he lands.
After consulting with amiibo data reseachers, they’ve told me that no, it’s 100% not because of Neutral B or his other special moves.