By MiDe, Guest Contributor
I started competitive amiibo back in Smash 4, but have found a lot of success in Ultimate. I have multiple wins across a variety of characters and formats. For Ice Climbers, I have multiple top placements and have witnessed what I believe is the best the character can offer.
The Ice Climbers are a trainwreck of an amiibo… is what I would have said before the 9.0.0 balance patch.
Now they are only slightly a trainwreck. The 9.0.0 patch fixed the biggest flaw in their recovery, but they will still often fail to recover when they get separated. Occasional SDs can also happen when using side special, as they will sometimes just fly off the stage for no apparent reason.
Ice Climbers BIGGEST AI issue comes to light when Ice Climbers dittos happen (or in matches with an Ice climbers amiibo and multiple other amiibo).
Randomly during a match, both Ice Climbers will freeze in place, never to move again.
Here is an example, clipped from an Amiibots match.
Why does this happen? No clue, but it makes tourneys where Ice Climbers amiibo face a pain to host.
Ice Climbers have two main styles, one I call Standard and the other one I call Corruption.
It isn’t exactly clear which is better (Ice Climbers are a low tier after all) so this guide will be covering both playstyles.
General things for both Standard and Corruption playstyles:
Never go offstage to edgeguard. It is not worth the risk of self-destructing, as Ice Climbers have fairly good on-stage kill power.
Avoid using Down Special and Side Special, as the amiibo tends to use these moves in poor situations and as previously mentioned; Side Special can cause self-destructs. In general, only walk and never run. This isn’t an Ice Climbers specific thing but is something I recommend for most amiibo.
Whether or not the standard playstyle Ice Climbers should parry/shield is up to you, although I recommend avoiding it for the corruption playstyle.
This playstyle focuses on Ice Climbers smash attacks, tilts, grabs, and aerials.
In neutral, grab, forward smash, forward tilt, and up smash are your main tools.
This is called the Standard Playstyle because it is pretty standard, forward smash/forward tilt when they are in front of you, up smash when they are above you, and use up air to juggle when they are high above you.
Mixing in grabs is important for Ice Climbers because they have an abysmal attack range, meaning they end up losing to a lot of characters that outrange them.
Grabs can also set up for juggle situations which is an additional bonus of using them.
The last thing to note is landing with down air. This gives Ice Climbers a safe way to land that most amiibo can’t deal with properly. Be careful not to overuse down air though, as the amiibo may start to spam it.
This playstyle is based on the Ice Climber’s Neutral Special.
This move absolutely destroys amiibo AI, hence the name “Corruption Playstyle”.
Just like every other projectile, this move causes opposing amiibo to jump, but since this move is technically two projectiles, it is even more effective.
On top of that, additional weird side-effects are seen from using this move. I have seen amiibo literally “freeze” in place after interacting with this move and get hit by a forward smash.
In addition to spamming neutral special, most of the concepts from the standard playstyle are still used. The only variation is focusing more on smash attacks and less on tilts and grabs.
Since Neutral Special is how this playstyle attempts to win neutral, the only other things it needs to do are forward smash/up smash when amiibo get too close.
Up air juggling and down airing to land are still recommended, but up smashing when an amiibo lands on them and forward smashing when an amiibo approaches them is what you should focus on more.
How to Train
There is no “trick” to training a standard Ice Climbers, just use all the moves described while only walking and it should turn out fine. I would suggest focusing on Ice Climbers smash attacks first in order to get a good “base,” but as I said as long as you use the moves in the situations described in the playstyle section it should turn out fine.
Training a corruption Ice Climbers is a little more complicated. I would suggest spending the first five minutes of training using only smash attacks. Then for the rest of training, play like the playstyle describes. The reason you don’t focus on neutral special first is you don’t want it to only use neutral special. By doing smash attacks first you create a good “base” amiibo that can be sculpted into something greater.
Why it Works
Ice Climbers can easily rack up damage and kill, the problem comes when they try to win neutral. That’s what both playstyles focus on, taking a good “base” and adding extra jazz that helps them land attacks.
Both methods take a different but equally valid approach to solving this problem. The standard playstyle attempts to win neutral by mixing in grabs and tilts to gain an edge against pure smash attack/special move spammers. The corruption playstyle attempts to win neutral by breaking the enemy’s AI and therefore ruining their playstyle.
With the recent 9.0.0 patches, it is only a matter of time before the Ice Climbers amiibo starts placing higher in tournaments and climbs up the tier list.