by LittleFang, Guest Contributor, and LML123, Guest Contributor and trainer of “Omega Luigi”
Between the two authors of this article there are a combined total of 3 1st-place wins in amiibo tournaments, and many Top 8 placements. LML123’s Luigi is the famous “Omega Luigi”, who placed 4th in the largest amiibo tournament in history – the one hosted by Captain Kidd on June 20th, 2020.
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Luigi has very few AI flaws.
He has an inconsistency with Side special, which hinders his use in small ways. He can misfire, but the chances of that are determined randomly. That, along with its normal specical being slow, makes Luigi easily punishable. If taught to use them too much, he’ll let those two moves overshadow the rest you try to teach him. Leaving them at their base value as in, not showing him them at all, will help minimize the consequences of these moves, if he happens to miss them.
Luigi’s other weakness is his recovery. He’s hard coded to do a similar pattern of Side special-Side special-Up special; which is very easy to hit for amiibo who love going offstage.
Luigi is very strong on the ground and can utilize his aerial game pretty well. Luigi is known for being a superior jumper to Mario, and his aerials show that with their good mix of combo and killing potential. His essential aerial kit includes Forward air, Up air, Down air, and Back air. These moves have a ton of combo potential and can combo into the other. They can also combo into an Up special, creating a one-two punch of power!
On the ground, he has a good neutral game with Up smash, Forward smash, Jab, Cyclone, and dash attack. Generally speaking, he has one of the best dash attacks in the game, with its multiple hits, large hitbox, good frame data, and knockback. When grounded, Luigi benefits the most from a Smash 4 amiibo-like playstyle, being very defensive, and capitalizing off of powershields. His tilts, Jab, dash attack and Smash attacks are all very effective with their combined speed, and power. This, combined with his stellar parry game makes him very strong on the ground.
In the end, you can always try to train a completely grounded Luigi, but there is still much more to be seen when he’s in the air. His Up special is also a huge part of his grounded kit since it can deal massive damage to his opponents. It works especially well when punishing your opponents when they roll or land right in front of him.
How to Train Luigi
Training a Luigi amiibo is quite simple. The first thing you will want to focus on are multi-hit moves like his dash attack and his Cyclone. They can often be followed up with big hitters, like Up smash and Forward smash. These two even have their own standalone uses – Up smash can be juggled into itself quite well, so use that to your advantage! Forward smash can also two-frame at ledge if angled downward, so make use of that whenever you can.
In addition, his Forward smash does have some useful range to it. Up smash is his strongest kill move for anti air and out of parry, Forward smash can work well too, and Down smash is the weakest but not useless.
For his specials, you’ve got to teach Luigi to use Super Jump Punch onstage. Teach it to your Luigi amiibo so he can punish rolls and other mistakes your opponents make when they’re in range. He can land it even when your opponent is halfway through the platform, or right when they are about to land in front of Luigi. Make sure you land the sweet spot as often as possible.
For his Green Missile, use it only to recover horizontally unless you want to take a stock from someone using a misfire (which is highly unrecommended and unreliable unless you’re a psychic). Despite the flaws, Side special isn’t as big of a problem as it is made out to be. It’s one of the many moves he’s coded to do out of parry, and that’s okay. Fireball doesn’t really need to be used though, as Dash attack makes up for its lack of range. So avoid using his Fireball if you can, and stick with dash attack instead.
And finally, Cyclone. This absolute monster of a move can be used for anything onstage. It’s quick, invincible, has high knockback, and can juggle! Back then, it was even hardcoded into his recovery procedure and this really nice quirk where he very intentionally goes under the stage. If you’re going to want your Luigi to know Cyclone, it’s best it becomes more prioritized than Super Jump Punch. Far more prioritized, as Cyclone is much easier for him to land and not near as risky.
For miscellaneous moves that are not as important as the ones previously mentioned, there is Forward tilt, to start. Forward tilt, for anyone wondering, can beat Pit’s forward smash if the first hit is parried, so if you can get Luigi to parry that move then follow up with Forward tilt, you’re golden!
His Back air is a good move for gimping, especially off stage, and it also has decent kill power. This move should definitely be thrown into his kit one hundred percent! In fact it is a decent kill option next to Forward smash, Up smash, Up special, and Cyclone.
His Neutral air can send opponents upward when it lands, and it can be a good combo starter as well. This move should not be used to finish combos in my opinion – however, it launches opponents straight up. That’s useful.
Jab’s great. Work that into him as well as you can. They are deceptively fast like his tilts, and can be used as a combo-starter as well.
Spirit Sets to give to a Luigi
I recommend the following: Instadrop and Landing lag down; Hyper Smash Attacks, Physical attack up, and Toss and Meteor; or 3 Up Special ups. Move Speed Up can also work with Luigi, especially when it comes to horizontal distance he can cover with Green Missile.
Now onto the spirit sets.
- Instadrop + Landing Lag Down
- Hyper Smash Attacks + Physical Attack Up + Toss and Meteor (some combination)
- Up Special Up x3
For Instadrop and Landing Lag down on a Luigi? Well Instadrop can create combos that aren’t really possible for amiibo to learn. Such examples include Instadrop to Cyclone, or Instadrop to Up special. Instadrop to Down air can be achieved as well as Instadrop to Jabs. Plus with the reduced landing lag, it makes it easier for Luigi to execute attacks faster while landing and some moves have no landing lag at all! A combo I highly recommend.
For Hyper Smash Attacks, it makes his smash attacks stronger than before, especially Up Smash and Forward Smash. Tack on the Physical Attack Buff, and it gets increased even more! And with Toss and Meteor, it increases the upward and downward launch of his moves. Up smash, Up air, Down air, Neutral air, and his Up special all benefit from this buff especially.
And For 3 Up Special Ups, it TREMENDOUSLY increases his kill power for his Up special. I’d argue that it even could kill at very low percentages depending on what the stat build is like.
Why it Works for Luigi
Luigi has very effective tools to do major damage to some of the highest ranked amiibo. When he succeeds, he succeeds greatly. His most prominent move, Cyclone, is so good because it can burst through just about everyone’s defenses, and completely beats amiibo with normal shielding tendencies. Combining that with wicked fast options of his own, options that can beat multi-hitting moves to the opponent before it reaches himself, there’s the potential for an absolute monster.
But that’s the thing holding him back. It’s all potential. These tools would usually grant him instant access to the higher tiers but due to his flawed and inconsistent AI, and his rather lack of representation, he doesn’t see the success his moveset would promise him.