What Beats Parrying?

by Doc – Owner, Founder, Was Really Hoping Parrying Would Be the 20XX Option

As the resident Old Man of amiibo training, it is my duty to look at patterns in the amiibo meta across the years and make comparisons, and then explain those patterns to the young whippersnappers who won’t listen anyway and hop on every bandwagon they can find.

I’ve noticed a pattern that has slowly risen as more amiibo are successfully trained to parry. I’d estimate that this pattern has had about a year of lag time, but it’s possible that that lag time is even longer and I just haven’t been aware of it. It seems that as amiibo get overall more consistent at parrying, the effectiveness of grabs has increased as well.

Mario parrying attack from Chrom.

This makes sense on its face: in the early meta, grabs were mostly unsuccessful. A few amiibo had useful kill throws, but didn’t have useful grabs to use their throws. The only amiibo that had any real success with grabs were the ones with tether grabs like Lucas and Samus. For some reason, amiibo could tether grab more competently than a regular grab, so these amiibo had a minor edge over the competition.

Grabs couldn’t really be successful if not for the prevalence of parrying. Amiibo that flicker their shield or parry all normal attacks are more likely to be susceptible to a grab because they haven’t been taught any other way to avoid being hit by an attack. They don’t roll or dodge or jump out of the way, they only parry.

If my initial observation is reasonable, then the reverse would also be reasonable. If more trainers train grabs into their amiibo or seek non-parrying methods of training, then grabs would become less useful because there’s less parrying for the grabs to counter. It’s not unreasonable to believe that the parry meta could devolve back down into a mix of shielding, parrying and dodging just like it was in the early meta. It probably won’t get to that point because grabs are only effective insofar as parrying occurs, but we’ll probably see at least some devolution if this continues.

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