How to train the Snake amiibo in Smash Ultimate

by Kangoni, Regular Contributor

Yo, Kangoni here.

Today’s guide is going to be going over Snake. I currently have the best Snake on the rankings, #26th on the All-Time Rankings, and #1 on the Season 7 Rankings, as of July 13th, 2020.
My Snake has only attended 9 Tournaments, and I know what your thinking. 9? That’s not a ton. Your right, but my Snake, “Ban Snake.”, has been Top 8 in 7/9 Tournaments, while winning 3 out of 7 of those Top 8 Placements.

AI Issues:
Snake tends to be a really smart AI, except when he’s not. Snake has some weird quirks on certain stages, and in general, that affect his ability to even function properly.

  1. C4 Recovery.
    For starters, Snake can, in fact, use and have an Infinite Recovery. By using C4 to launch himself upward when he runs out of up special. The problem with this is that sometimes, Snake will do some of the following:
    ~Sticky C4 to the bottom of the stage.
    ~Drift too far away for the C4 to hit him.
    ~Kill himself with the C4 if he’s too high %.
    ~Miss techs against walls of stages, resulting in death.
    Although there’s a lot of cons to the C4 Recovery, the pros outweigh them. Snake recovers correctly 90% of the time, so these usually aren’t issues in the first place. Just some things that are possible to happen.
  2. Grenade and Nikita usage.
    Now, to me at least, Snake is considered an “AI Breaker”. What does this mean? Well there are certain types of things in the game that tend to “Break AI”, which means when these certain moves are used, or certain characters have these traits, the opponent’s brain tends to break down, and sometimes even not work properly. Such as using wrong moves, or using “Panic Options.”
    The qualities that Snake has to be in this category, are most notably his Neutral Special, and his Side Special; Grenades and Nikita.
    Opposing amiibo, and even Snake himself, tend to treat Grenades as Items. This means that they will about 80% of the time gravitate towards active grenades, and go to pick them up. The majority of the time the amiibo will just hold the grenades and take chip damage in the process.
    The Grenade AI breaking mostly applies to the opposing amiibo, but at times Snake tends to think he’s The Goblin from The Lord of the Rings, and the grenades are his precious. He must pick up the shiny. He gets blown up and realizes it was a hoax the whole time. FeelsSnakeMan.

Nikita usage is good, but Snake sometimes can have issues using it. This can include:
~Using Nikita right in front of an opponent, which usually gets him punished.
~Using Nikita the wrong way when an opponent is offstage. (Like seriously WHAT are you doing??)
~Using Nikita OFFSTAGE instead of recovering. This one is extremely rare but it definitely CAN happen.

Enough of the AI Issues. Let’s get to some of Snakes overall playstyles.

Overall playstyle

There are really only two ways that I know of to train Snake, that end up with a decently good amiibo. These two methods being:
~Melee Only (we love you Ffuzzy).
~AI Breaker Snake (This one doesn’t really have a name, so for the sake of my entire argument that I’ve been vouching for the past two weeks, let’s go with that.)

Melee Only is fairly simple.
~Up Tilt
~Forward Tilt
~Dash Attack
~Up Smash
~Down Smash
~Neutral Air
~Back Air
~Up Air
~Down Air
~Down Throw > Up Tilt (Can usually be into two Up Tilts, so keep that in mind.)
~Up Throw > Up Air (An alternative to this can be Up Throw > Up Tilt > Up Air. Works at lower percents, and racks up 40%-50% damage. Its crazy.)
~Nikita Edgeguarding

That’s really it. No grenades, No on-stage Nikita, just plain and simple hand to hand combat.
Down Throw > Up Tilt is a kill combo. It kills at around 90% usually. I would HIGHLY recommend forcing your Snake to learn this by any means necessary.

AI Breaker Snake is quite tedious to train, as it does require some work.
Here are the main moves you will be using.
~Up Tilt
~Grenades
~Forward Tilt
~C4 (Don’t use this too often, as sometimes it can lead to Snake SD’ing offstage because of having C4 on stage.)
~Dash Attack
~Nikita On-stage (Tread lightly with this one. Use it too much and he will overuse/spam Nikita on stage.)
~Down Throw > Up Tilt (Again, can usually combo into two Up Tilts, and is a HUGE must especially for this version of Snake.)
~Up Throw > Up Air (Again, works as Up Throw > Up Tilt > Up Air.)
~Nikita Edgeguarding

This is how I trained Ban Snake. It’s very complicated and precise so pay attention.
Make sure when you move, most of the time you are WALKING. No, I’m not joking. Do I look like I’m laughing?

Levels 1-20:
~Spam Grenades. Like, use them every moment you can. Shield Drop them, toss them up, down, and around. Become one with the Grenade.
~Spam Up Tilt
~Spam Forward Tilt
~Edgeguard with Nikita ONLY. Don’t go offstage, just edgeguard with Nikita. Don’t use Nikita onstage either.
~Spam Down Throw into SEVERAL Up Tilts. This will attempt to make Snake using Up Tilt after Down Throw his #1 option.

Levels 21-30:
~Stop spamming Grenades. Use them every so often, about once every 30 seconds. This will attempt to make Snake not spam grenades, but use them strategically. Trust me. This works.
~Keep using Up Tilt
~Keep using Forward Tilt
~Start using occasional Dash Attacks.
~Keep using Down Throw > Up Tilt.
~Start using occasional C4’s onstage.
~Keep Edgeguarding with Nikita.

Levels 31-40:
~At this point, you can stop using grenades depending on your Snakes usage of them. If Snake starts to ignore grenades, pick back up occasional usage of them.
~Keep using Up Tilt
~Keep using Forward Tilt
~Keep using occasional Dash Attacks.
~Keep using Down Throw > Up Tilt.
~Slow down/Speed up C4 usage depending on your liking.
~Keep Edgeguarding with Nikita.
~Start using Up Smash at the ledge to cover ledge jumps.
~Start occasionally shield flickering/parry to get him to start parrying hits.

Levels 41-45:
~No more grenades past this point.
~Keep using Up Tilt
~Keep using Forward Tilt
~Slow down the Dash Attack usage.
~Keep using Down Throw > Up Tilt
~Start using Up Throw > Up Air (and the Up Throw > Up Tilt > Up Air string.)
~No more C4 past this point.
~Keep Edgeguarding with Nikita
~Slow Down the Up Smash ledge trapping.
~Keep Shield Flickering

Levels 46-50
At this point, I recommend Shield Flickering for the rest of the games.
Alternatively, you can just Turn Learning OFF and level Snake up against a CPU.
You’re done here.

What you do post-50 is up to you.

Some key AI Breaking Issues towards Snake.
~Amiibo tend to wait 1-2 seconds (extremely longer than a human) to get up from Down Throw. This gives Snake a LARGE window to punish.
~Nikita has “Auto-Kill Angles” off-stage. Opponents with horizontal recovery, or that recover far out from the stage (Ness/Lucas type recovery distances) suffer very heavily from Nikita off-stage. It pretty much automatically means death if they are offstage VS Snake.

That’s it. I would like to thank SirFfuzzyLogik and Zenabie for being my inspirations towards even training Snake, albeit Zenabie being more of a… Salt-inducing inspiration. (Curse you, Oyecomova.)

I’ll see you all later, for when I attempt to get another character banned. (This joke is old now, right?)
-Kangoni

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