by Hictor the Dragon
Doc note: We typically post training guides as “Beginner’s Guide’s”. This is because there is no correct way to train an amiibo, only foundations for other trainers to build on. This is posted as an “Expert’s Guide” because Hictor has uncovered so many revolutionary things with Link all at once and trained what is currently the #1 Link amiibo in the world in one fell swoop. Our guides are typically written by the best trainers, but they rarely storm the scene the way Hictor has done.
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To be honest, I never expected to be writing a guide for Link, especially with an unusual playstyle such as this. This playstyle relied a lot more on grappling, moonwalking, Jab 1 to move inputs (light use), some dragdown moves, Down Smash over Forward Smash (2-framing with Down Smash did this), and combo style.
Before delving further, you should know: this method of training is not for the faint of heart and I do not expect success on the first attempt due to how unorthodox this playstyle is. You will likely be making tons of backups as you progress and this will likely be a time-consuming process as it was for me. This will also come down to your ability to use your inputs perfectly and not leave any frame to waste. The amiibo will become much more active and aggressive as a result, and will have high critical and feint values.
It will be up to you if you want to use a spirit team. For Link I started out earlier using a spirit team to make perfect shielding easier and used Slow Smash, but you can also opt to use other Special Smash settings if you want to play around with it. I got some Palutenas making their way up Amiibots blindingly fast because I trained them in Reflect Slow Smash, believe it or not. Because of that success, I encourage trying out other settings to experiment with, since this Link playstyle was born through that thought process. I personally did all Omega stages, but you can also use Battlefield if you like. Make sure to never miss any anti-air attacks on the ground and always have it hit the end of your hitbox if you prefer to use Omega stages.
Training Method: Projectiles
Boomerang will be your most used projectile while training Link; however, make sure to parry all of those boomerangs thrown at you. Take advantage of the hitstun of the boomerang if you are able too.
Next projectile is the bow, and believe it or not we actually use it very lightly and only 2-3 times in training… then you never use it again and never get hit by it. If you feel ballsy, opt to parry it, but otherwise just shield it. Reason why it sometimes Link can use it in priority over remote bomb at ledge and it isn’t that bad out of boomerang up close. My logic is this: anything is better than bomb and if there is a way to reduce the chances of him touching it the better.
Last projectile is Bomb; we will never ever touch this move but there is something worth noting about it. The direction in which Link will throw his bomb is based on verticle and horizontal launch. So sometimes it may be worth doing a throw off the nearest ledge since it is better than throwing it straight down or straight up.
Training Method: Melee and Grabbing
Grabbing is a move that Link can utilize rather well and down throw can lead into an Up air at higher percents and earlier percents he can use Up smash from it. Sometimes it is worth using a Forward or Back throw since we need to take into account the remote bomb being affected by vertical and horizontal launch. Link can use his Grab quite fast but the tricky part is training him to not miss the grabs. Not missing the grab in training will help, but also try utilizing grab out of other situations. For example, try landing with a move that can drag down like Forward Air or Back Air and immediately grab on the first possible frame you can input it to use. Even light use on ledge trapping (two frame is better but we will get into that in a bit) is useful. Utilizing these other situations when you can use your grabs will help to improve your amiibo’s grab game but this is not for the faint of heart.
As for melee moves, hitting the perfect ratio is gonna be tricky too. His smash attacks are good like Forward smash, Down smash, and Up Smash but mine doesn’t just outright spam his smash attacks. He prioritizes Down smash over other ones which is very unusual for a Link. Up smash is a perfect anti air along with Up air too, and I tried to balance the use of these to about half and half and only used them to anti air. I used some Forward smash but I did two-frame him quite a bit with Down smash so keep in mind he will use Down smash more if you kill consistently from two framing him with Down smash.
As for tilts, Forward tilt and Up tilt are decent; Forward tilt deserves some light use and Up tilt only to anti air or out of jab one to reverse Up tilt (lightly) and it is pretty fast too. Down tilt is tricky… it has problems but if you can get the absolute perfect ratio, feint values, and other obscure things that play a role in this move then a light use of it can be beneficial; the tricky part is not getting Hero Spin from the Down tilt, which is a combo the amiibo really enjoys. A few things you can do to reduce the chances of this is only do these follow ups once:
- Down tilt to dash cancel Up smash
- Down tilt to Forward air (both non drag down and drag down grab)
- Down tilt to Back air (can lead into another Back air sometimes).
Try to punish Hero’s Spin and in early levels of training you can multi parry the low level Link’s AI when it recovers too high. Down tilt is not gonna come out as a first time success for you, and will require tons of patience to get down properly. I knew it had potential but it is very situational and specific to knock down. Some jab use is okay to use but it has to be lightly (sometimes use it for the entire jab and sometimes use it to jab one into a reverse Up tilt or a jab lock into Down smash if they are laying on the ground).
Consider these air moves:
- Down air to land, but once in a rare while kill with the meteor effect offstage since it will encourage Link to land with it (good if you have trouble getting him to use it)
- Neutral air to land sometimes but also if the opponent is behind you a Back air to land is perfect too if you can land the first hit only for hit stun (the amiibo can reverse grab really fast and this isn’t easy to achieve unfortunately)
- Forward air is easier to get the first hit of hitstun if you fast fall and land the first hit (then you can grab).
- Up air should be used out of down throw and make sure to do some light offstage Forward air. Always use a move when you get launched off stage since this will encourage the amiibo to be aggressive and this is true for also if you get launched high above stage too.
Other Things to Consider
It may be worth noting that there are a few things you can incorporate to improve your Link’s performance by like a fraction of a percent if you find that even worthwhile; you should only ever have to do these things once and never have to use them again.
- A footstool offstage: since I’ve seen it save Link’s life before and seen it take a stock before. Air dodge only once toward the ledge and should be done early and never touched ever again; we don’t want the amiibo to dodge away from the ledge and this should help in the future to prevent that.
- Use very light boomerang to return to the stage but only from high offstage; I’ve seen Link knock away characters like Ridley and this even discouraged an Isabelle from going for a Gimp because of a boomerang… but be wary of using this low and never use it low. It also is worth using boomerang onstage from a shorthop away from the opponent and angling it down (I like to face away and reverse it angling down cause I’m fancy) but make sure to be very light with this; you can add some interesting results to your Link and it is like a spice to a dish if done right, but do keep in mind it is not easy to get down perfectly.
- At the earliest stage of your amiibo’s life (like in the single digit level range for example) use one Up air from a double jump high above stage and then never bother using your double jump again (make sure to fast fall from using the up air).
This is without a doubt one of the most unusual ways to train a Link amiibo but it is fun to step away from the usual meta and try out something completely new. This is definitely a more tactical approach to training the Link amiibo and it is very unusual that the playstyle will shift plenty of match ups around. I wish you the best in trying this out and remember to not get discouraged if you succeed the first time. I went through many retrains to try and make an untraditional 20XX Link work and it took weeks to make it work.