by Doc – Owner, Founder, About Time For His Annual Meta-Upsetting Breakout Amiibo
Let’s break with our typical content style, and get a bit more personal. Most people train an amiibo for one of a few reasons:
- They like a character
- They want to win with a specific character
I don’t train for those reasons, per se. You’ll notice some similarities between why I train and items on this list, but I tend to approach amiibo training from completely different angles.
My amiibo thought process is very focused on what can gain a foothold in the amiibo meta that doesn’t currently have one – in other words, what has yet to be explored. You can see this in my Young Link amiibo livestream and my Toon Link amiibo livestream. In both of these linked livestreams, I’ve experimented with training the amiibo to mainly use Boomerang, with some Up Smash and Forward Air edgeguarding – just like the optimal Links of old. I chose these two amiibo because there’s no notable Young Link trainers and never really has been, and almost no Toon Link experts save for the author of the Toon Link amiibo guide. They’re ripe for an undiscovered foothold in the meta.
My second angle was examining how Boomerang specifically is responded to by amiibo opponents. They typically have a hard time against Link’s Boomerang, and the Link Children are no different – the Boomerang has slight vertical knockback, is easily spammable, goes long-distance quickly, and racks up moderate damage, just like Link’s.
Having taken these two angles into account, I then trained the actual amiibo, which you can see on the stream. The skill of amiibo training is a tricky one, and it’s easy to mess up, so I stuck to the guidelines that exist for every amiibo and made changes as I perceived them necessary. This produced the third angle: “riffing” out amiibo training.
Riffing an Amiibo
When someone is skilled enough at something, they can do something called a “riff”. It’s a guitarist term – guitarists will pick up their guitar with only a little melody in mind, and try continuations of the melody or whatever sounds good, until they come across something they like. It’s the same idea with amiibo – you start at level 1 with a rough plan, but if you think the amiibo need more move diversity, or to do some walking, or if you want to change up the move usage ratio, you do that as needed.
The Bullet Points
So in short, my training process is:
- Have a hunch that something is unexplored in the meta, and explain why it could work. This will typically revolve around a single move or playstyle that isn’t currently used by the best amiibo of that character.
- Get more specific about how it would work, and what it’s improving on. Add some other behaviors outside of that single move, because no amiibo does only one thing. Even Incineroar has Down Smash in addition to Alolan Whip.
- Train it, and train it like it’s an art that can be spontaneously created, not a technical science. The best amiibo are sometimes trained when the trainer is bored or half-asleep or suffering from an anxiety attack, not when they’re intensely focused on getting every detail right.