by Doc – Owner, Founder, Ha Ha, I have a Mii Gunner Figure and You Don’t
Stop N’ Swop
I’ve written before on the infinite capabilities of the Mii amiibo in the competitive amiibo scene. They’re lucky, in a lot of ways – the Mii Fighters are the only amiibo to retain their custom-move options from Smash 4’s amiibo scene, which was notorious for having hundreds of custom move options available that had to be individually unlocked. Mii-exclusive trainers can already start theorycrafting their amiibo before scanning it in by deciding what movesets to use.
This will prove to be especially helpful if a counterpick metagame begins to take place. If arena tournaments begin to encourage real-time counterpicking, then having two nearly-identical Mii amiibo with different movesets and training can elevate one’s strategy into a mental game. If you swap out your Missile Spam Mii Gunner for a Forward Smash Mii Gunner, that’s an entirely different set of matchups that your opponent will never see coming. After all, Missile Spam Mii Gunner loses to Bowser most of the time, but Forward Smash Spam Mii Gunner is looking like they beat Bowser. Slap the same costume, name and Mii on both of them and your opponent will never see it coming.
Disrupting the Thicc amiibo
We’ve learned that there’s a significant possibility that Forward Smash Mii Gunner counters Bowser. There’s a lot of speculation on the mechanics of why that’s the case, but I think the most credible argument is that Mii Gunner’s Forward Smash is simply one of the most broken moves in amiibo. It’s a multihit KO move that extends over massive horizontal distance and is unparryable. That tool alone (not to mention Mii Gunner’s Missiles as well) enables Gunner to be a “defensive-offensive” amiibo that can camp at the edge of a stage and blast away any opponents that come close. This has historically been a unique position in the metagame, but it’s also looking like Byleth will have that ability with his Side Special.
This unique position in the metagame is precisely what is needed to counter many heavies. Most of the heavyweights in the amiibo meta don’t have the range needed to compete with Gunner’s moveset. What can Bowser throw out that is both optimal and going to outrange Gunner? What about Ridley? Ridley’s Fireball isn’t optimal onstage by any stretch of the imagination, so that can’t count either. Incineroar doesn’t even come close save for Alolan Whip, and Mii Gunner has plenty of time to respond to Alolan Whip before it connects.
I went to MARIA and pulled the historical Mii Gunner data, which uses all types of Mii Gunner data and doesn’t discriminate between playstyle, and these were the win rates against some of the heavies.
Bowser – 50%
King K. Rool – 50%
Ridley – 70%
Incineroar – 57%
Bearing in mind that this isn’t specific to Missile Gunner or Forward Smash Mii Gunner, that’s a crazy impressive win rate. It gets more impressive when you remember that until 10.0, Missile Gunner was considered the optimal playstyle, and Forward Smash Mii Gunner is the one that fares better against heavies. That’s ridiculous.
The New Meta
With the impending release of Terry and Byleth (and Banjo, but he’s not relevant), we need to see how Mii Gunner might shake up against these two likely-A or likely-S tier amiibo. Mii Gunner’s lost the projectile abilities that she once had thanks to 10.0 nerfing her tendency to use Missile spam. This is probably going to hurt her against walled-off amiibo, specifically Byleth. If Byleth’s optimal strategy revolves around Side Special spam as early tests indicate it does, then Mii Gunner will likely suffer in that matchup.
However, if Byleth is banned, then this may put Mii Gunner at the forefront of an entirely new counterpick-based meta. A potential Bowser unban could put the meta back into a heavy-centric headlock, even moreso than it was pre-ban, but we’ve already seen how well Mii Gunner does against the heavies. If Mii Gunner is the only option for beating a heavy (aside from another heavy), then… why wouldn’t players run with Gunner?
I think Mii Gunner might end up one of the best amiibo in the meta for a long time to come, even without Missile spam.