by Riparo, Guest Contributor, with a note from Adam2qaz
Riparo currently owns the highest-ranked Fox in the amiibo scene. While Fox has had no tournament wins (he’s an incredibly bad amiibo) Riparo has made noteworthy headway with the character and demonstrated Fox’s potential.
Adam2qaz spent more time than anyone on Fox and has a different set of opinions on the amiibo. While his Fox is not as performative as Riparo’s, I’ve listed his opinions in the second half of each section for a second opinion.
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Fox doesn’t have any obvious AI issues. Most of his difficulty as an amiibo comes from his inability to use his moves the same way a human would: by comboing.
Adam2qaz: Be wary of using Fox Illusion to recover or in the air, as Fox is moved backwards by it a little bit. The AI doesn’t use it properly, so he occasionally SDs if he uses it.
Onstage, Fox is going to be a walker with a Smash-attack neutral game – don’t run except to use Dash attack. He’s going to mix in Dash attack and Up tilt chains to upset the situation. Dash attack can be comboed into Up tilt at low percents, and also serves as an easy setup tool for teaching his anti-air moves, which are Up smash and Up aerial.
Do not teach your Fox to Shine spike.
Instead, have your Fox use Up tilt chains into Reflector (Shine). The amiibo can learn it naturally, and the angle it sends at allows Fox to put some distance between himself and his opponent.
When he’s in the air, Fox will use his Up aerial to kill. When he’s on the ground and not in neutral, he’s going to use Smash attacks quite often. If he’s on the ledge, Fox ought to use down smash to 2-frame the opponent. Down smash 2-frames them reliably. Alternatively, he can go offstage with Neutral aerial to gimp the opponent. Don’t go too far offstage, as it’s easy to gimp Fox with his linear recovery.
Adam2qaz: Back aerial makes for an excellent KO move, but it has long endlag. It’s the non-gimping horizontal alternative to Neutral air.
How to train Fox amiibo in Smash Ultimate
Starting at level 1, set up 5-minute matches. The first two matches, you’ll want to hammer the smash attacks into Fox. (Remember to also be playing as Fox during this time.) Use Forward smash when in neutral game, Up smash to set up anti-air play and Down smash at the ledge. Just keep hitting him with those moves for the first two 5-minute matches, and don’t let up. When the amiibo uses them, let yourself get hit too!
Make sure to pay attention to your Fox amiibo’s habits at ledge after you finish training. There is a slight chance that he will attempt to shoot Neutral B at the ledge post-level 50. This is something you will want to fix, if it happens.
On your third and fourth 5-minute match, you’ll need to get more technical. Start training Dash attack and follow it up with Up tilt. Then teach Up tilt chains for damage-building, and finally finish them off with Up air juggling and KO. We’re wanting Fox to combine those chains together in the end product: Dash attack to Up tilt, Up tilt chain to Up air, Up air juggle to KO.
At some point, Fox will learn Up tilt to Shine on his own. That’s okay – just keep doing what you’re doing and don’t worry about training it out of him.
Why it Works
Fox has tremendous difficulty building damage. Nintendo designed the character with comboing and speed in mind, and amiibo aren’t good at either of those two things. We’re trying to work around that with Up tilt chains to build damage, and with Smash attacks to try to land early KOs. You’ll notice Blaster and Down tilt was never recommended: that’s because while they can deal damage, it’s not something that the amiibo can follow up on, and it will leave them vulnerable.
In short, this methodology works because Fox gets in, does his damage and chains his attacks, and gets the KO as fast as he can with whatever tools he has.
Pushing Fox Amiibo Farther
This may sound completely insane, but teaching Fox to use his Up Special, Fire Fox, on-stage might just be the missing puzzle piece for Fox’s gameplan. The move is a multi-hit on start-up, catches other amiibo’s landings, and reliably kills at reasonable percents. If someone ever decides to lab this out, I believe we just might finally see Fox make a push for breaking free of the bottom tiers.
Optimal Spirits Loadout
With how limited Fox’s options are in amiibo, it’s no surprise his legal options in the Spirits metagame are just as limited. Physical Attack & Hyper Smash Attacks are the obvious choices to keep his Attack up, while Air Defense helps him live just a bit longer if he’s hit out of the air and off-stage, where he’s most vulnerable. Air Attack is also an option over Hyper Smash Attacks, if your Fox is trained to be more aerial than grounded.