by Doc – Owner, Founder, Owner, Founder, Owner, Founder, Owner, Founder
New trainers typically measure their amiibo by how well that amiibo performs against an amiibo of the same character. They’ll obtain a copy of the best known, say, Ness amiibo and pit it against their Ness amiibo, and make judgements on their Ness based on the results of the match.
That’s a bad test of its training. Here’s why.
Why Ditto Matches Don’t Count
(Ditto match: when both opponents are the same character)
When you’re competing in amiibo, you want it to win. To that end, you need to strategically engineer your amiibo’s playstyle so it’ll perform as well as possible against the opponents it may play against. That could be a Cloud, or a Bayonetta, or a Ness or anyone else in the Smash roster. Training for the playstyle that works the best against all potential opponents is called being “optimal”.
Thing is, the optimal playstyle against the entire Smash roster is almost never the playstyle that will win in a character ditto.
Let’s use Ness as an example. The optimal Ness playstyle uses a lot of PK Fire spam on the stage. This is because most of the roster has a hard time dealing with the repeated hitboxes, so Ness can use the spam to build free damage. Amiibo opponents simply can’t deal with it.
However, if you’re playing against another Ness amiibo, the best playstyle is not PK Fire. The best playstyle for Ditto matches is to focus on PK Magnet to absorb any PK Fires and Thunders that the opposing Ness uses. This is because the opponent Ness will probably still rely on PK Fire, and if they don’t, you can still fend off their other behaviors.
Notice the difference between the optimal behavior and the Ditto playstyle I described. The Ditto playstyle will get you slaughtered against other amiibo at Ness’ tier placement. It’s simply a bad playstyle against the opponents he’ll probably face.
So How Do I Tell If It’s Good Or Bad?
Your best option is always to enter it in an amiibo tournament, and I’ve compiled a list of places you can do that here. While not everyone in an amiibo tournament will be submitting their best amiibo, you’ll still get the chance to pit your amiibo against other opponents with different habits. It’s very important to not compare your amiibo to your other amiibo, or to how you play as a human, because you and your amiibo may have playstyle habits that your opponents can capitalize on and exploit.
If you don’t have an amiibo tournament you can join, your next best option is to try to open an arena in one of the Discord servers on that page. There’s usually at least one trainer wanting to also test theirs, so just ask around or ping an arena-specific role. Keep in mind, though, that arenas do mess with amiibo AI, so this isn’t as helpful of an indicator as entering a tournament.
You should also join Amiibots, which is again linked to on that page. Amiibots is a 24/7 amiibo battle that provides relative matchmaking using an ELO-type system. Your amiibo will be randomly selected to be put in for a match, but with a Twitch subscription to the streamer Amiibots it’ll be more likely to get chosen.
Failing that, then you’ll just have to get some friends and train amiibo together!