by Random Fire
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Doc Note: I am the worst at getting guides posted in a timely manner (life gets in the way of amiibo sometimes) – I’ve lost contact with this trainer in the months since I received his guide, so this is my best attempt at interpreting his instructions without the ability to clarify ambiguities. Amiibo Doctor guides are intended as snapshots of the best training methods to be used as foundations for future trainers, so interpret this information with some flexibility in your own training.
Random Fire is the best Meta Knight trainer to have walked the Earth. Hands down. There’s really no need to establish his credibility beyond knowing that simple fact.
Drill Rush – Meta Knight will try to use this in the air if you spam it, which isn’t good. The amiibo doesn’t have good angle AI, he’ll go off in a weird direction and most of the time hit nobody. It’ll send him into freefall, and he’ll get punished really badly, or even use it at ledge and SD with it, which really sucks as well. Despite all this, Side B is a crucial part of his moveset and should be used.
Dimensional Cape – This is a weird move that causes Meta Knight to SD.
The amiibo will occasionally fly under the stage with it, and die since it sends you into freefall. It may try to use it in the air as well, which has its rare uses but should normally be avoided as it leaves a large window for punishing. It also may not input the attacking part of the move, which is just about useless. It’s a situationally helpful move that does get kills, so you should only use it rarely to avoid the risk of SDing.
As far as onstage movement goes, Meta Knight should be walking, but occasionally be in the air above the stage to approach and for combos or strings. Don’t be afraid to shield and parry with Meta Knight
He should also always be going offstage for Forward Air and Neutral Air gimps, as this is where 80% of his kills are from. Go as deep as you can to gimp – the amiibo already knows how to recover from a deep gimp, even if you don’t teach it to. Meta Knight’s aerial behavior should be offensive to prevent the opponent from taking advantage of his easily-jugglable weight, and his onstage behavior should be equal parts defensive and offensive.
Contrary to popular belief, Meta Knight is not just Drill Rush spam.
How to Train the Meta Knight Amiibo in Smash Ultimate
We typically lay out a specific training method to replicate the trainer’s amiibo patterns. Random Fire’s notes focus more on move usage than behavior patterns, so we’ll assume that his Meta Knight followed the generic amiibo training guide.
Moves and Behaviors to Use
Down Smash is Meta Knight’s primary move: it comes out in 4 frames and covers both sides of the character. Use Down Smash when the opponent is at about 70%, and you’re up close to Meta Knight onstage.
Drill Rush is your long-distance approach option. Despite the AI issues we mentioned above, it’s still a multihit move that builds damage and can reach the opponent from a distance. It should never be spammed, and you really ought to be careful with it lest he use it too much.
Down Tilt is an optional move, but you really ought to use it. Meta Knight can combo it into Down Smash or Dash Attack, and so long as you’re still prioritizing Down Smash over Down Tilt (they have similar ranges, so be careful training them both!) your Meta Knight should benefit from having both in his arsenal.
Neutral Air is a great move to fill in the gaps: Meta Knight can run at his opponent in a full sprint, then short hop and throw out Neutral Air to force the opponent into an offstage situation. Meta Knight should also use Neutral Air as his most frequent landing option, with Back Air and Forward Air serving as his less-frequent landing options.
Forward Air is our #1 gimping move. When Meta Knight is going offstage, use Forward Air to gimp the opponent. Plain and simple.
Back Air is another move that we can use to fill in the gaps: Meta Knight can drop from the ledge to Back Air gimp a recovering opponent, and he can also use Back Air as a dragdown to finish off the opponent with a Down Smash. These aren’t particularly common behaviors, but they play a vital and small role in sculpting a Meta Knight with no real blind spots.
Dash Attack/Up Tilt are a match made in heaven. Dash Attack is your best friend when fighting onstage at a distance. It’s a burst option, putting out surprise damage and covering notable distance before ending. Opponents that aren’t squarely on their parrying game are going to get caught up in Dash Attack, which lets Meta Knight follow it up with Up Tilt. Don’t follow up Dash Attack with anything else: Up Tilt works best.
Dimensional Cape is the Pandora’s Box of Meta Knight’s moves. It’s powerful, but it comes with a hefty cost. As we said above, it has some AI issues that keep it from being a spamworthy move. At the same time, the KO potential from the optional attack is massive, and its movement pattern makes it more versatile than anything else Meta Knight has. You should only rarely use Dimensional Cape, but when you do, make sure to use the optional attack.
Forward Smash is acceptable in very small doses, but only to catch opponents rolling up from the ledge. You might only use it once or twice in training, which is fine.
Grabs can be peppered in, but are optional. Meta Knight’s best throw is heavily dependent on the stage he’s on, so simply pick the one you think will KO more frequently and run with that.
Moves and Behaviors to NEVER Use
Down Air isn’t a great option. It has its highly situational uses, but the hitbox is terrible, and it runs the risk of sending the opponent back towards the stage – the amiibo doesn’t differentiate between which side of the hitbox it should use.
Up Air is bad for the same reasons as Down Air. Meta Knight can’t do those fancy Up Air chains that human Smash players do, and without the chain it has no redeeming qualities over Forward Air or Neutral Air.
Forward Tilt is one of Meta Knight’s worst options. Meta Knight can’t use the third hit of the 3-hit combo, leaving him hanging with only the first two attacks. Using Forward Tilt is like inviting the opponent in for an easy KO.
Up Smash is a move that looks promising on paper, but can’t bring in the results. Meta Knight has no use for an anti-air option because he’s more capable in the air than on the ground. If the opponent is getting the drop on Meta Knight from above, then you ought to turn up the dial on his aggression to get him airborne before that can happen.
This isn’t Brawl. Mach Tornado is pointless compared to Drill Rush, and serves no function better than anything else Meta Knight already uses.
Shuttle Loop is only passable as a recovery option, and never as an attack. If the opponent shields or parries Shuttle Loop, and they often do, then Meta Knight is in freefall for several seconds while the opponent is completely free to line up their most powerful KO option. Since amiibo know how to recover without being trained, you don’t need to teach him Shuttle Loop at all for the amiibo to properly recover.
Why It Works
Meta Knight is a character that is designed to be played by a human, using human-specific tricks like the Up Air chain. The amiibo doesn’t have those capabilities in its AI.
As a result, we have to approach Meta Knight not from the perspective of a character with highly technical and precise options, but from the perspective of a character who will die from a single breeze that can only pull off a victory by sumo-wrestling the opponent offstage and into his territory. There’s really no in-between.
This combination of moves and playstyle is proven to do just that. By forcing the opponent to the edge with most of his horizontal moveset and getting the gimp, Meta Knight has a better shot than simply trying his brute force options over and over and hoping the opponent can’t parry them.