This is the official January 2023 tier list for USAC – It was voted on by the most achieved tournament victors and the most knowledgeable researchers from the USAC discord server, the center of competitive amiibo talent. The SUAL Discord server has its own tier list, which you can find here.
I’ve also added some personal commentaries on the placements of the tier list down below, in addition to periodic commentaries on the Amiibo Doctor Youtube channel.
Special thanks to Lady Cucco and the CTL committee for compiling and processing the data! She does an excellent job, and we’re lucky to have her.
Official Smash Ultimate Amiibo Tier List for January 2023
This tier list was built on the same data as the November 2022 tier list, but has since been sanity-checked and reorganized into the following.
The most important and substantial change on this list is the boost to Bayonetta out of D Tier. Bayonetta has been a pretty notorious D Tier for a long time now, and has been alone in that tier off and on again since February 2021. Significant improvements with Rukasu’s Jigglypuff has changed my mind on Jigglypuff being the rightful owner of “bottom of the pack”, so I can now safely say that placement still belongs to Bayonetta.
I don’t think Bayonetta will stay in D+ Tier, but I do believe this is indicative of “training creep” – a form of power creep where trainers improve their low-tier amiibo and those low-tiers move up on the list. Destroying D Tier is, therefore, a change I can agree with.
Min Min is the Best Legal?
As we saw in the November 2022 tier list below, Min Min is considered the best legal amiibo in the game. In a vacuum, I would be skeptical of this claim, and add the note that I could only see Min Min as the best legal if she were “20XX” – that is, she was near-perfectly walling opponents and keeping them at a distance the way a human would. Now that Min Min has been out for a while, I think it’s safe to say that we can expect 20XX-adjacent playstyles to have emerged. I accept this placement for Min Min.
I do think that when Kazuya comes out, he’ll give many of the S Tiers a run for their money. It’s hard to give specifics because widespread research isn’t available for Kazuya yet, but the early indicators suggest that he’s going to place pretty high up there.
Official Smash Ultimate Spirits Amiibo Tier List for January 2023
Official Smash Ultimate Amiibo Tier List for November 2022
Please understand that this tier list is a predecessor to the January 2023 tier list. The below list was the most updated list in November 2022, but it was later organized and converted into the January 2023 list using the same base data. The November 2022 list is being kept up to illustrate by comparison the differences between a pre-organized list and a finalized list. The January 2023 list should always be referenced over the November 2022 list.
Well, I didn’t see that coming. For the first time in amiibo history, Incineroar is not the sole proprietor of U Tier, Inc. Min Min’s been promoted to Universal Ban tier (U Tier) alongside Incineroar, but… it’s not really clear to me why that’s the case. Min Min does carry significant advantages over other heavyweights thanks to her character, but Amiibots performance for Min Min has historically been far below Incineroar, and her best representatives are pretty much on par with the other S and A+ tiers on Amiibots.
I’d chalk this up to Min Min being anti-meta against high tiers, and don’t expect a U Tier placement to last for the long run.
In my opinion, an optimal Steve fights at a low A tier level. Unfortunately, Steve’s playstyle is significantly crafted by RNG’s decision on which behaviors to use, so a B+ placement for Steve seems pretty reasonable. That’s a decision that should stick around for the foreseeable future.
Ryu’s movement all the way from C+ to B+ is a bit of a victory lap for me – not because I had anything to do with his success (that accomplishment is in the hands of the people who actually trained him) but because I spotted the importance of his AI patches several months back, and everyone told me I was dumb for thinking he could be A Tier when optimally trained. If you spotted the AI patch and thought the same thing, a pat on the back for you.
It’s a precarious B+ placement, and I’d fully expect the voters to swing a different way on the next tier list due to any number of factors, but as far as I’m concerned, Ryu is B+ now.
Regardless of placement, I do find it interesting how the vanilla meta has pretty much been in agreement as to the top ~10 amiibo for quite some time now. We’ll no doubt see some fluctuation for characters like Link who largely depend on convincing representation to keep tier list voters happy, but there really shouldn’t be much debate going forward about who the toppest of top tiers are in the meta.
Of course, we still have a few amiibo left to release, and it’s looking like two of them will shake things up a bit, so stay tuned.
Official Smash Ultimate Spirits Amiibo Tier List for November 2022
Official Smash Ultimate Amiibo Tier List for July 2022
Meta Knight and Falco
Of particular note in this tier list is the newer, higher placement of Meta Knight and Falco. These characters have had outsizedly-good placements in the Amiibots tier list as I explained in this video. While they tend to defy the typical middleweight archetypes, Meta Knight and Falco have earned their spot in the middle tiers.
Zero Suit Samus
In the span of one year, Zero Suit Samus went from a low C-tier to back in the bottom of the tier list alongside Bayonetta. That’s quite a jump for a character who hasn’t had much representation.
It’s not clear to me why she’d have such significant movement, especially because she’s been in D+ tier for nearly the entire duration of amiibo tier lists. I chalk this up to a handful of data outliers dragging down what would otherwise be a low-D+ tier placement, and I don’t expect to see Zero Suit Samus with the likes of Bayonetta in the next tier list.
Min Min is the only (officially-released) character to be added since USAC’s previous tier list, and she’s been an absolute wrecking ball to many of the top tiers. I don’t doubt that Min Min is S tier anymore, now that she has the results to back it up.
I do question where in S tier she should be. While the ordering of Bowser, King K. Rool, Byleth and Min Min are largely interchangeable (so long as Bowser is above K. Rool, I’m fine) so long as Terry’s on top, I do think it’s an important distinction to place Min Min above or below the Bowser-K. Rool duo. If Min Min is above them, then she should be banned whenever Terry is banned. If Min Min is below them, then she’ll evade most bans and have a larger impact on the meta. (Ignoring the tournaments that ban based on tier placements, not specific characters, of course).
I think she’s going to end up in second place behind Terry in the long run. She’s not there yet because she’s much newer than the other amiibo, but as she gets incremental improvements she’ll earn it.
Official Smash Ultimate Spirits Amiibo Tier List for July 2022
It’s important to note that while Steve, Alex, Pyra, Mythra, Sephiroth and Kazuya all have bin files in the game, they have not been released as of the creation of this tier list and are thus not legal for use in tournaments. When they release, they’ll be added to the next tier list.
Official Smash Ultimate Amiibo Tier List for February 2022
It’s no secret that Byleth is quite the contender in amiibo tournaments. Previous tier lists placed him in A and eventually A+. But, as I theorized since the very beginning, Byleth’s special moves and overly powerful Smash attacks could create an impenetrable wall that other amiibo simply wouldn’t be able to break through.
I hate to say it, but… I told you so.
It’s not clear to me that Byleth’s better than Bowser and King K. Rool in the long run, but he’s definitely got the moveset for it, so I see it as a valid and reasonable placement.
While this tier list page is missing a lot of the older lists, long-term trainers remember the oldest official tier lists as having much narrower S-B+ tiers. Characters like Kirby, Mii Brawler, Pokemon Trainer and Mii Swordfighter used to be placed much lower, but each one had major innovations that led them to achieve much greater results.
It’s interesting to then wonder: what other low-tiers could be a secret high-tier? Now that amiibo AI patches are most likely finished, further developments in the amiibo meta can only come from the official releases of amiibo (we’ve had files for every character’s amiibo except Sora for several months now) and from trainer innovation. So… is there anything left to discover?
Official Smash Ultimate Spirits Amiibo Tier List for February 2022
This is the first official Spirits amiibo tier list that USAC has produced. Making a Spirits tier list is usually quite difficult, because every individual placement has to question whether the best representatives of that character used the best possible spirits loadout.
Official Smash Ultimate Amiibo Tier List for November 2021
This tier list page isn’t missing any lists – nay, there have been no lists since June 2021. This is indicative of one of the inevitabilities of competition – over time, as the most optimal strategies are discovered, there are simply fewer changes in the overall metagame to account for. If you compare to the June tier list below, you’ll notice something – the D+ and D tiers are identical, and so are several other orderings of characters. This almost never happens in amiibo, and is solid evidence that the competitive amiibo meta is slowing down significantly.
It’s very tempting to create new tier lists frequently for the people involved, even for minor changes. Other competitive games will update their tier lists if they believe even one character has moved up or down a tier. Fortunately, due partially to the integrity of the USAC tier list system and partially to the somewhat deterministic nature of the meta, these tier lists will continue to depend on the level of innovation in the meta, and not just an arbitrary desire for another tier list.
The most noteworthy mention in this tier list is the acknowledgement of Terry’s dominant position in amiibo. Prior to Terry’s release there was significant disagreement over the placement of King K. Rool and Bowser, with much of the community divided. Now, that argument isn’t so important – Terry can flatten out both of them quite easily.
Terry is a combo-based character, and the only combo-based heavyweight in the game. In addition, his AI provides him with a vast toolkit of small-hit inescapable chains that are difficult for large, slow heavyweights to avoid. While Terry’s physical range is minimal, he only needs a few hits to take a stock.
Of course, Incineroar is still the king of it all.
Official Smash Ultimate Amiibo Tier List for June 2021
This June 2021 tier list featured two very controversial elements: the introduction of the U tier for Incineroar, and King K. Rool having S tier all to himself.
Voting on the tier list is straightforward: participants are given a Google poll with each amiibo in the game, and asked to assign a tier list placement to each amiibo. The tier placements range from S to D.
Suggestions for an “S+”, “SS”, “Uber”, “Cat” tier that was above S had been submitted frequently for most of 2021, but the vote had never been put on the ballot proper. While the addition of Incineroar in U tier was generally met with quiet agreement, the decision was unilateral on the part of the tier list statisticians. Their reasoning for creating a new tier without a vote was that Incineroar was unanimously voted S tier.
King K. Rool, alone at the top
The significantly more controversial element is King K. Rool’s single placement in S tier. S tier has historically been the “banworthy” tier – amiibo that are considered game-breaking enough to be banned from all tournaments are placed in S tier. You’ll notice that in the previous tier lists, Incineroar is always in S tier.
There were close contenders for S tier in addition to King K. Rool. Bowser and Terry have been controversial competitors for the top spot, but due to the mathematical way the tier list is produced, they averaged out to be slightly below S tier. It’s an unusual quirk of the math – most voters feel that either Bowser or Terry were also S tier, but they were cancelled out by the ones who felt that the other amiibo was S tier, and by the few who only voted for King K. Rool in S tier.
Continuing Changes to the Game
Nintendo is still patching AI periodically, with the release of every new character or amiibo. You may notice with the previous tier lists that some characters have just dropped significantly for seemingly no reason – while this is occasionally due to the whims of voters who collude to bring down a character, it’s also sometimes caused by a change to the character’s AI that severely hinders their gameplay.
If your amiibo is suddenly not performing in tournaments as well as it used to, it may be that a patch has altered their ability to fight.
Official Smash Ultimate Amiibo Tier List for April/May 2021
King K. Rool – is he S tier?
I’ve talked about this before, but King K. Rool is definitely not an S tier amiibo. The data’s all there in the previously-linked article, and I did a more recent video on this on the Amiibo Doctor Youtube channel.
This is an eternal issue with competitive amiibo that I’ve discussed in other videos. If, either by chance or by decision, a larger than normal number of people submit an amiibo to a tournament consistently, that amiibo will place better on average. It’s simple reasoning – the more shots you take, the more shots you make.
What’s been happening is that there’s a number of people who, for their own reasons, are upset about King K. Rool and think that entering him is the best way to win amiibo tournaments. Thus, when they try to win tournaments, they enter King K. Rool. Then he gets more wins, and eventually the perception is created that he’s banworthy.
Bayonetta – The Lonely Old Hag
One of the most interesting things to come out of the April/May 2021 amiibo tier list is that, for the first time ever, there is only one amiibo in D tier. This may be the only time we see something like this occur, and it should definitely be studied.
Personally, I would’ve at least placed Jigglypuff in D tier alongside Bayonetta, and I think I voted that way, but that’s a minority opinion for sure.