The Beginner’s Guide to Training the Robin amiibo in Smash Ultimate

by Simply Robin, Guest Contributor

I’ve been labbing Robin since I joined the community. They were my first amiibo, and I was passionate enough to want to test every single option possible. Almost a year later, I am here sharing everything I’ve gathered.
I’ve tested every move possible, discovering new AI bugs and new built-in combos. I compiled notes of all the moves so I’ll proceed to explain each move and each strategy which I have found most effective. All of what I’m saying is true at the time of writing (December 2020).

AI Issues

Robin has a really delicate AI. This is due to the nature of the discarded tomes and Levin sword and Nintendo’s sheer laziness. On this topic, I’d like to first talk about hitboxes. Due to how Robin has 2 hitboxes for most moves, they presume they always have Levin- leading to aerials and smash attacks sometimes missing altogether. This means sometimes without Levin, Robin can lose HUGE leads.

Robin will roll a lot. It’s inevitable due to how Thunder is built in. They WILL use Thunder and due to how amiibo roll out of charged moves…. it increases the roll value for Robin. I’d try to roll as little as possible if you want your Robin to be even slightly aggressive. This only applies to grounded Robins.

Now, for some ungodly reason, Robin will occasionally… stand still and charge Thunder. This cant be stopped and is completely random but they will sometimes try to charge Thunder completely oblivious to the opponent. This usually leads to losing a stock or eating a huge smash attack. This can only be avoided by having a jumpy Robin, but that’s another issue for later.

There are a lot of move-dependent AI bugs too, but I’ll get to those when I start to explain the different applications of each move and how they work in terms of the AI.


Down Tilt: Down Tilt is a solid, quick move which Robin can follow up from with an Arcfire or Dash Attack. Can be used occasionally on grounded playstyles.

Forward Tilt: Forward Tilt is a fast, get off me tool which can only be punished by parrying. This move is KEY for grounded playstyles as it helps stall to get Levin back.

Up Tilt: AVOID AT ALL COSTS. This move is horrible. If Robin uses this moves consecutively, they will freeze and stand still, using only up tilt for a solid 10 seconds.
This is long enough for the opponent to whack you with a big smash attack. The only use is Up Tilt to Up Air, which isn’t consistent enough. Just use Up Air or Up Smash.

Down Smash: Down Smash is a multihit which kills, has huge range, and is needed for grounded play. This is one of Robin’s best tools for racking up damage. This move can only be stopped
when you parry the very first hit. This move is safe on shield, as it pushes the opponent back as well. On top of this, it is best used at ledge to two frame. However, without Levin, this move becomes bad. Robin assumes it still has the huge wave hitbox and spaces it to hit that, so it usually misses. Combine this move with lots of tilts and aerials.

Forward Smash: Forward smash is an easy to parry move but kills early. It’s definitely a good move to use occasionally but is sadly not a spammable move.

Up Smash: A really good juggling tool when combined with Up Air, this has lots of active frames and can be used to follow up from Arcfire.

Down Air: Down Air can be used to land, but do not use it to spike. Robin is really easy to ledge guard and will most likely get spiked or gimped. Make sure your Robin stays nice and safe at the ledge.

Forward Air: Forward Air is Robin’s most consistent aerial, as it’s the easiest to hit and has the best kill power. It’s best used sparingly if you’re going grounded and a lot if you’re going aerial.

Up Air: Easily Robins best aerial. It can rack up 60% just from juggling and when combined with Up Smash, can lead to 0 to deaths or fast stocks like it’s nothing. Teach your Robin to juggle.

Back Air: Don’t use this a lot. It has a sour spot which amiibo don’t recognize and usually land a lot. However, this is their strongest aerial, as it kills the earliest.

Neutral Air: Only really good to land onto platforms or the ground due to the large disjoints. The amiibo won’t use this a lot anyway. It’s best not to think about this move.

Neutral Special: This move is built in. Do not use this unless you want your Robin to spam it or to train them to use a specific charge. With that aside, recently Robin has been able to be trained to use Thoron or uncharged Thunder. Elthunder and Arcthunder can not be trained but that’s fine. Robin has Thunder to Dash Attack built in, as well as Forward Throw to Thoron at ledge (Which can kill at 20%). This is one of their best tools.

Side Special: If spammed too much, Robin will refuse to follow up from it. Use this move sparingly, and never use it in the air, as Robin will USUALLY miss. Robin can follow up from Arcfire with basically anything, so I go with fair or up air to get Robin to juggle.

Down Special: Never use in the air or B-reverse this move. Robin thinks the move has more active frames than it does and will miss it. When grounded, Robin will 9/10 hit this move when it’s used.

Up Special: No utility onstage. Offstage can get lucky and get a spike when recovering.

How to Train the Robin amiibo

Grounded Sword Method: This Robin only jumps to follow up from Arcfire with a Forward Air or Up Air. Tends to use a lot of Down Smash, Forward Tilt, and Forward Smash. Will sometimes use Thunder because it’s built
into Robin. Never go offstage and try to 2 frame at ledge with Down Smash. Nosferatu with this playstyle is optional.

Grounded Magic Method: Only ever jumps to follow up from Arcfire also, but this Robin spams uncharged Thunder a moderate amount. This works because Robin will do Thunder into Dash attack a lot to rack up %. Combine this with Down Smash and Arcfire to net kills, and the opposing Amiibo will struggle to get in on Robin. Work in some Down B to make Robin harder to kill but this is still optional.

Aerial Method: This Robin will rarely use magic apart from the built in Thunder. It opts to use Robin’s strong aerials to juggle and rack up damage for easy kills with Bair and Fair. Smash attacks aren’t needed for this playstyle, as Robin’s aerials kill easily. However, try to not jump too much as Robin likes to empty hop a lot when taught to jump too much

AI Breaker Robin: I created this playstyle myself. This Robin spams Arcfire and will only follow up from itwith Down Smash or Up Smash. This Robin focuses on Juggling and Arcfire to gain % and get kills. This is referred as AI Breaker Robin as when arc fire touches the ground the opponent frantically holds shield or rolls back letting Robin easily get away with it.
This Robin can also use a lot of Down Smash to kill due to the Arcfire not being consistent enough for follow ups.

Why It Works

Robin doesn’t have a distinct Meta and all of these playstyles are viable. Robin has a lot of kill power with it’s smashes and aerials and has versatility with their specials. At the moment, what’s working for me is Grounded Sword method due to the potency and effectiveness of its playstyle. Overall, Robin has some consistency issues that you have to work hard to correct, but the pay off for putting time into this tactician is worth it.


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