by Doc, Owner, Founder, and general hunk of a man
In the Smash 4 customs days, when ground-based, defense-based gameplay ruled over all, Link was a pretty high tier amiibo. He wasn’t broken like Little Mac or Cloud, but he was consistently a highly-placed amiibo in most trainers’ tier lists. This held true in Smash 4 vanilla as well – Link was an incredible generalist, able to neutralize almost any threat except for Bowser and Ness, who was considered to be the sole S tier of vanilla amiibo.
This has held true in Ultimate as well – Link’s AI is fungible enough that he’s almost impossible to screw up. Many new trainers try to impress me with their Link amiibo, thinking that their Link is special among other’s. His moveset is very useful in almost any situation, and the AI only has one moderately-sized flaw that can be somewhat mitigated.
What is it specifically that keeps Link relevant in every amiibo meta?
There’s a few moves that are evergreen throughout Link’s amiibo history and have proven to be worthy in every situation. Let’s list off these moves and then explain why they’re so useful.
Boomerang – Link’s Boomerang is so good that even in Smash 4 customs, it was preferable to the default Gale Boomerang. It was one of the few projectiles that managed to poke a hole in the ground-based, defense-based playstyles that dominated Smash 4 customs, allowing Link to do damage from a distance, a valuable tool in a mostly projectileless meta.
In Ultimate, Boomerang spam has been the optimal way to train a Link for a long time. In conjunction with a few other moves, Boomerang is Link’s best way to build up damage and stun opponents for a few frames, and works much better than his Bow.
Up Smash – There is no better way to explain this move than with a checklist.
- Juggler against airborne opponents
- KO Move
- Bigly damage
- Hits vertically
- Difficult to shield
- and many more
In Smash 4, this move was most optimal to punish airborne opponents and nab KOs by hard-punishing amiibo with suboptimal playstyles. In Ultimate, this move is most optimal to punish airborne opponents and nab KOs by hard-punishing anything that dared to come within range.
Why They’re Great
Both of these moves have something in common – they poke holes in even the best-laid plans. If you’re a grounded amiibo, Boomerang is going to hit you a bit into the air – a situation that the training likely didn’t prepare you for, which causes the AI to have a panic attack. Up Smash will do the same.
If you’re an aerial amiibo, Up Smash is perfectly poised to propel you perpendicular to the stage until you perish. It covers such a wide range that it’s almost impossible to return to the stage without being caught in another Up Smash (making an exception for Battlefield’s middle platform, of course).
Boomerang is also a reasonably useful projectile for edgeguarding and blocking another projectile – it can beat out Missile Gunner’s Missile, one of the few projectiles to do so. It provides what is effectively a moving wall, stopping projectiles, opponents, recoveries, Alolan Whip and whatever else it may come in contact with.
Ultimately, if you’re training the Link amiibo, you can’t forget these two moves. They’re bloody meta-breakers, man.