The Super Smash Bros. Ultimate amiibo metagame officially began alongside the release of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and its first wave of new amiibo figures (Ridley, Inkling, and Wolf) on December 7, 2018. It has completely replaced the Super Smash Bros. 4 amiibo metagame, and is thus considered a “sequel” of sorts.
Figure Players in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate are capable of much more than they were in Super Smash Bros. 4. They can now dash-dance, fox trot, taunt, B-reverse, and go off-stage to gimp opponents. This is in high contrast to Smash 4, where FPs were primitive in comparison.
Defensive play has been nerfed from Smash 4. If an FP is trained to rely on its shield, it will inevitably falter to multi-hit attacks. This is because Ultimate’s AI drops its guard after shielding the first hit of a multi-hit move. As a result, FPs are generally more aggressive than they were in Smash 4.
Perhaps the biggest change in Ultimate’s metagame is that FPs can now be trained to leave the stage and attempt to gimp opponents with aerial attacks. This has significantly changed certain characters’ viability. Zelda, Pit, and Kirby are examples of fighters who are better in Ultimate at least partially due to the introduction of off-stage play. Unfortunately, several characters must remain on-stage due to poor recoveries. Donkey Kong and Chrom are examples of characters who should stay on-stage due to poor recoveries; the Ice Climbers and Ness (among many others) are examples of characters whose AI often botches their recoveries. Our amiibo training guides will tell you which fighters should stay on-stage, so be sure to give them a read.
Personalities were added to Figure Players in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. They usually form by about Level 35 and are a very vague indicator of the FP’s current playstyle. There are many misconceptions regarding personalities (such as them being important). For more information on Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, check out our personalities guide, our character guides, and the general amiibo training guide.
The first Super Smash Bros. Ultimate amiibo tournament was hosted a few days after the game’s release. The tour’s results cemented Link’s status as a top-tier Figure Player (which still holds true to this day) and also featured two Isabelle FPs in the top four. This tournament sparked an inevitable interest in Ultimate’s metagame, and from that point on, it was soon found that many FPs that were previously low-tier in Smash 4 had improved. Yoshi, Olimar, and Mii Gunner are examples of fighters who clearly improved from 4. At present, the best characters in the game are Incineroar, Bowser, and King K. Rool in that order. Ridley, Ness, and the aforementioned Mii Gunner are additional cases of top-tier fighters.
During the early days of the Ultimate metagame, trainers tried to train their Figure Players like they did in Super Smash Bros. 4. This entailed heavy defensive play, staying on-stage at all times, and relying on smash attacks. This didn’t work very well for trainers at first, so players began to take advantage of the game’s updated AI by training their FPs to act aggressive and go off-stage to gimp. In present day, most characters’ optimal play styles are actually a mix of both of these styles. Most fighters are better off walking instead of running, which gives them more time to react; to add to this, forward smash is generally the best move for nearly every FP in the game to rely on. For characters with solid recoveries, it’s most optimal for them to leave the stage and try to gimp their enemy.
Each character has a rather unique history and skill set in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. For more information on each fighter’s place in the metagame, feel free to check their wiki pages (which can be accessed from the master list) and character guides. For more information on what traits strong Figure Players have in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, read this post.
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