by Doc, Owner, Founder, Medieval Enthusiast
It’s been known for a long time that Armor Knight is the best spirit in the game. Every amiibo trainer who trains with spirits knows that Armor Knight is the best of the Top Five spirits, bar none. As I explained in the guide linked previously, Armor Knight effectively turns your amiibo into a living tank that deals more damage. It’s an all-around stat boost with no real downsides.
So… if we were to change an existing spirit, what could theoretically beat Armor Knight?
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As it stands now, Lifesteal is not obtainable on an amiibo through normal means. While it exists on primary spirits and is perfectly functional when hacked onto amiibo, there’s no support spirits that give Lifesteal to an amiibo. However, as new spirits are introduced into the game, there is a good chance that Lifesteal could get a support spirit at some point before Ultimate’s last DLC.
If we were to modify Lifesteal so that it could beat Armor Knight, we’d need to change one simple number. When you deal damage to an opponent with a melee attack, Lifesteal lets you regain 3% of the damage you dealt. I think if we changed that to, say, 20%, it would keep opponents from dying quickly from Armor Knight’s boost, and result in a battle of attrition between the Armor Knight tank and the Lifesteal self-healer.
Unfortunately, Lifesteal is one slot, so you could have an Armor Knight + Lifesteal bonus, so… damn.
Here’s where balancing gets tricky. Giant only lasts for eight seconds, a fact I tried to take advantage of in a hypothetical Spirits ruleset a while back. Giant also only affects the first stock, making it effectively useless for multi-stock battles.
However, Giant is also ridiculously broken when it’s live. Amiibo like Ganondorf that have Giant active can take advantage of their massive hitboxes and massively increased power. Armor Knight is a defensive spirit, Giant is an offensive spirit. It’s a useful dichotomy, and Giant would be able to crush any defensive spirit as long as it’s active.
If we were to buff Giant so that it could beat Armor Knight, we’d need to make it active at the start of each stock, not just the first stock. In addition, we’d need to extend the length of time it would be active. I’d suppose taking it to 20 seconds instead of the current 8 seconds would be more or less balanced without creating another dominant amiibo.
General Attack Spirit Buffs
There’s lots of move-specific spirits in the game that only impact certain moves. Things like Side Special Up and Fist Attack Up and such are all pretty similar. They’re 10% damage increases when certain hitboxes are connected with.
Given that these spirits are almost exclusively the only offensive spirits in the game besides Item spirits and currently-irrelevant spirits like Giant, it makes sense to buff these overall. Taking these spirits to a 20% damage boost might be enough to counteract Armor Knight and other defensive spirits enough to bring them in line with the rest of the spirits meta.