by MiDe, Guest Contributor
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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. At the time of writing this, the Banjo amiibo has officially been out for less than twenty days. Yet, my Banjo has already accumulated two tournament wins and has a rating above 30.0 on amiibots.
Despite being a DLC character Banjo is not free of AI issues. The most notable issue is the management of his side special, Wonderwing. Banjo will try to use Wonderwing even if he doesn’t have any left. This means it probably isn’t a good idea to have him use it often, especially since he needs it to recover.
For whatever reason, Banjo has an affinity for using Rear Egg. He will use it out of parry, at ledge, and basically whenever he wants. Unless you specifically want him using Rear Egg, you should avoid this move as much as possible.
The last thing I want to talk about is his other default ledge option, his neutral special Breegul Blaster. Sometimes Banjo will use the version where he shoots out a single egg and returns to idle. Other times he will use the version where you walk and fire eggs. The problem arises with this version as he will walk right off the stage for no apparent reason. Thankfully this isn’t as bad as it sounds, as most of the time he will instantly snap to ledge. Although in the situations where he doesn’t, he is vulnerable to being counter-edge guarded.
This is going to be a Musket Method-style amiibo. If you are already familiar with what that entails, then you can just skip to the next section. If you have no idea what that means, then let me explain. Musket method amiibo are very disciplined and therefore consistent. They have three distinct characteristics, walking, forward smash, and a tilt (in Banjo’s case, down tilt). On top of that, Musket method amiibo should be taught to up smash when an enemy tries to land on them (assuming they have a good up smash, like Banjo). You make the decision based on whether or not to edge guard based on their default ledge behavior and how good they are offstage. Despite Banjo having wacky default ledge behavior, he should stay on the stage and try to ledge trap. Banjo should only walk and stay grounded. The only time he should leave the ground is when he juggles an opponent with up air. Normally whether you should parry/shield/neither is up for debate, but for Banjo parrying is crucial (the reason why will be explained later).
How to Train the Banjo amiibo
For the most part, Banjo is pretty simple to train. When in neutral, only use Down tilt or Forward smash. Try to aim for equal usage between the moves. You should also mix in a tiny amount of grabs, primarily at ledge. The best way to teach this is to ledge trap your amiibo using Down tilt/Forward smash while mixing in a grab every once in a while. Up smash whenever your amiibo tries to land on you. Land with neutral air most of the time with small amounts of down air mixed in. Banjo should use all of his aerials, although you should focus on up air. Juggling with up air is very good on Banjo because of his multiple jumps. In order to achieve this, I recommend doing some of your training on a stage with platforms (I like small battlefield). You might’ve noticed that I haven’t mentioned any special moves yet. That is because Banjo already uses all of his specials fairly well by default. Now before you bring up Wonderwing, this is where the parrying comes in. Banjo loves to use side special out of parry, which works out pretty well for reasons explained in the next section. You shouldn’t use any of Banjo’s special moves yourself, although recovering is fine.
Why it Works
This playstyle perfectly meshes Musket method with Banjo’s unique special moves. Wonderwing is managed by only having it used during recovery or out of a parry. This is infrequent enough where he won’t run out, but still often enough to secure kills with it. At ledge, Banjo’s default ledge use of neutral special makes for a great edge guarding tool.
Banjo is a great Musket method character. His Forward smash is good but it isn’t anything special. It’s relatively slow and doesn’t have a long range or a multi-hit to compensate. But Banjo’s Down tilt is amazing. It’s fast, has a deceptively large range, and sends at the most disgusting angle you’ve ever seen. The reason Banjo should ledge trap instead of edge guarding is because of this move. Most of the cast can’t recover at higher percents from getting hit by a Down tilt at ledge.
He wins neutral by parrying or through Musket Method. And gains kills from ledge trapping, forward smash, and Wonderwing. To put it simply, this playstyle makes the most out of Banjo’s options, making him a viable threat in the amiibo metagame.