Let’s get one thing straight before you read this guide: Raid Bosses can come in many shapes and sizes, so feel free to experiment with yours. But a word of advice before I move on; fast moves work best for Raid Bosses, so prioritize any quick and powerful moves that your Figure Player may be able to use. With that out of the way, let’s move on to the best ways to train a Raid Boss Bowser!
Before we talk about Bowser’s strengths, we’ve got to bring up some of his weaknesses. While his recovery is decent enough, it can be a problem depending on the kind of opponent he is fighting. He can get both countered and edgeguarded off-stage, but there aren’t many options to help solve this. All I recommend is to go light on off-stage edgeguarding and to employ Bowser’s basic ledge-trapping options, which I will bring up later. That’s about the only real weakness a Raid Boss Bowser has — other than being easy to combo, that is, but its high damage output will help offset this.
As a Raid Boss, Bowser has many strengths. His damage output is insanely strong; his smash attacks and tilts are all great options and his aerials deal massive amounts of damage if they connect. His grabs are also quite helpful, and the best part about this character’s moveset is that everything he has can KO an injured enemy. Bowser is also the heaviest fighter in the game, so if you don’t try to cheese him off-stage you’ll have a very difficult time taking a stock off of him. Let’s talk about some of his best individual moves, then:
- Forward smash: Kills super early, breaks shields, and has super armor. Just don’t spam it, because it’s rather slow — mix it in infrequently instead.
- Down smash: Good to use at the ledge, and a good option to use in general. It breaks shields, KOs (but not as early as forward smash), and does good damage, plus it strikes on both sides. Definitely use this move!
- Up smash: Has invincibility, deals good damage if the opponent is above, and can also break shields — but not reliably as the other two smash attacks. Use this move when your opponent is above you or if you think you can hit them with the sweetspot. Just don’t rely on it too much!
- Forward tilt: A fast option with a high damage output and knockback rate. It can even two-frame opponents hanging from the ledge, though the AI won’t always do this even if taught to. Use this move very often for its speed and power!
- Side special: A command grab that comes out fast. Has decent damage and kills rather early. This move sounds good, but it’s better to sprinkle it in infrequently and stick to forward tilt and other similar moves. You’re welcome to mix in at least a little bit of Flying Slam though!
- Up tilt: Can be used to combo into another up tilt or up air, and does pretty good damage and is decently fast. So use this every now and then, and mix it in with up smash when the opponent is right above you.
- Down tilt: I would only use this move at the ledge to two-frame enemies, but it can sort of be used on-stage. Overall though, most of its usage will be at the ledge.
- Down special: This can be used as a landing option or just as a raw move. It’s like forward smash in terms of usage (so not too much) but slightly faster. Sprinkle this in, but don’t spam it.
- Down air: This move can be used to land, it’s good for the damage and kill so you can sprinkle this in too if you want.
- Forward air: If you do decide to edgeguard as Bowser, only use forward air when off-stage (other than Whirling Fortress to recover). You can also use forward air while above the stage at times, as it’s a decent landing option when positioned correctly. Otherwise, don’t go out of your way to use this move.
- Back air: Basically the same as forward air, except you shouldn’t use it off-stage (maybe once or twice, and that’s it). You can use it when landing and it’s a decent option.
- Neutral air: This move can be used a little, but only a little. If you use it too much the AI will spam it, so do not use neutral air too often. The only time to use it is every so often when landing.
- Up air: Slightly helpful, but use it in modesty because you don’t want Bowser jumping too often.
- Grabs: These are good, try to mainly use up throw when throwing and combo out of it unless you can kill with back throw or forward throw. Down throw is the only throw here that has practically no use but make sure to mix in grabs without spamming them.
If you’d rather make a more aerial Bowser that edgeguards, it may actually be a good idea to make him jumpy; that way he likes being in the air and will hopefully edgeguard more often. As mentioned before I recommend only using forward air off-stage, but if you plan to make a jumpy Bowser try placing a focus on up tilt, some smash attacks, and a little bit of forward tilt — that way he isn’t completely helpless while grounded. Aerial Bowser can definitely work so don’t count him out!
- Critical Healing & Metal: Good for disrupting opponents in the late game. If you have Bowser’s stats at 2100 / 2100 (or perhaps more defensive) he can become extremely difficult to kill with this setup. You can add Move Speed ↑ in the last slot to have this work even better.
- Physical Attack ↑, Fist Attack ↑, Hyper Smash Attacks: This is just an all around strong set since it buffs pretty much everything Bowser has. Hyper Smash Attacks can be replaced with Air Attack ↑ or something else though, especially if you’re going for an aerially-focused Bowser. In terms of raw power this is probably Bowser’s best Spirit set.
- Jump ↑, Physical Attack ↑, Move Speed ↑: This is best for an aerial Bowser. You could replace Move Speed ↑ with Landing Lag ↓ since the movement bonus isn’t really necessary, plus that reduced landing impact can help Bowser quite a bit. There are other Spirit sets you could use too so feel free to experiment!
In summary, Bowser has a solid moveset which makes him a perfect fit for all of your Raid Boss needs. So if you’re looking for an FP to train that can beat up your friends in Smash, try out Bowser! I hope you all continue to enjoy training your amiibo, and as always feel free to change up and experiment with your training as you see fit. Until next time, this is Bubs signing off!
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