Did Nintendo Ruin the Link amiibo?

by Doc – Owner, Founder, Professional Old Man

The Old Guard

I have been training amiibo for over 6 years now. I’ve seen just about every moment and change in a meta that you can think of, in both Smash Ultimate and Smash 4. I’ve seen new training methods arise, low tiers with a single breakout tournament performance, patches that devastated amiibo, and many, many people ask for spirit loadout recommendations. As far as the ebb and flow of competitive amiibo, there’s little that I have yet to encounter.

It was quite a shock for me when, in the aftermath of the June 2021 amiibo tier list vote, I was presented with this information on the Link amiibo by Luckman:

This was a statistical analysis of Link’s all-time performance against the other amiibo in A+ and A tier, and it proved quite damning. While I was a strong proponent of Link in A+ tier during the vote itself, this data fairly conclusively proved that Link just ain’t A+ tier anymore.

Well, darn.

Who Could Have Done This?

If you’ll recall the videos on the Amiibo Doctor Youtube channel, the Link amiibo had some AI patches that occurred starting in 9.0. Link now has some unusual Boomerang follow-ups, including Boomerang to Bow and Boomerang to Forward Air. These follow-ups have generally been inconsequential – but that’s not all he was given.

Link’s Bomb AI has been absolute shite since the 3.0 update, when Nintendo made it almost a requirement for him to pull and throw Bomb. This is typical for human Link players, for whom Bomb is a very important tool. However, amiibo don’t handle items very well, and Link’s Bomb is no different – forcing him to pull Bomb is effectively a nerf, even when Nintendo later patches in follow-ups with Bomb.

As Nintendo continues to tinker with the Link amiibo AI, it’s pretty clear that we’re going to get farther and farther away from what used to be considered the optimal Link amiibo (Boomerang, Forward Air, Up Smash, with no variation). Nintendo is evidently trying to make their Link amiibo play more like a human and less like a viable tournament contender.

In short, yes, Nintendo ruined the Link amiibo. It can still compete with A tier, but one more solid AI patch and he’s going down to B+ tier.

2 Comments

  1. Nintendo needs to stop messaging with Amiibo AI but I do think they may need to improve the inkling Amiibo AI because I am having a hard time perfecting it for a overpowered raid boss.

    Liked by 1 person

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