My name is Amiibo Doctor. I’m heavily involved with the competitive amiibo scene, and I’ve been an amiibo training expert for seven years. The competitive amiibo scene, centered in the USAC Discord server, has had its hands on functioning Banjo, Terry and Byleth amiibo since the beginning of January. While we haven’t legalized their usage in officially-ranked amiibo tournaments yet, there are certain strategies and facts that one should be aware of before training any of these amiibo.
Competitive training strategies and amiibo AI subroutines do change over time. You can keep up-to-date by checking the official competitive amiibo training guides for Banjo, Terry and Byleth. These guides will be fully-fleshed out with the first expert opinions once the amiibo release. If you’re reading this post more than a month after their launch, be sure to get the updates and discoveries by reading those guides.
In addition, if you’re not familiar with the optimal rulesets and methods to train an amiibo, please reference the general amiibo training guide located here.
How to Train the Banjo amiibo
If you’re the type of amiibo trainer who puts spirits on their amiibo, I’d recommend using one of two loadouts depending on the ruleset you intend to play under. Bear in mind that most competitive amiibo tournaments use no spirits whatsoever, and there is no way in-game to completely remove spirit effects or stats in any fashion.
Raid Boss Banjo: Armor Knight, with a roughly even mix of Attack and Defense. Consider using Trade-Off Ability for the third spirit slot. Armor Knight boosts both Attack and Defense, so it’s effectively a steroid for your amiibo.
Competitive Spirits Banjo: Armor Knight and the other “Big Five” are banned in competitive Spirits, so you should run Physical Attack Up, Fist Attack Up, and Trade-off Ability. I recommend aiming for a 3000 Attack, 1200 Defense stat loadout.
Before you train the Banjo amiibo, there’s an AI issue you ought to be aware of. Similar to the Robin amiibo’s durability-based moves, Banjo won’t recognize when he’s run out of Wonderwing. He’ll attempt to use Wonderwing any time a Wonderwing attack would have landed, and instead trip. Because of this, you shouldn’t teach him to spam Wonderwing.
Banjo amiibo have very strong ground moves, and the AI appears to function better when trained to largely stay on the ground. At this state of the amiibo meta it appears that optimal Banjo amiibo will repeatedly use Forward Smash attacks and some Forward Tilt attacks, loosely resembling the “Musket Method” strategy, discovered by MiDe. The Musket Method strategy utilizes the inability of amiibo opponents to predict incoming hitboxes by teaching an amiibo to simply move and Forward Smash or Forward Tilt.
In order to facilitate Banjo amiibo maximizing their Musket Method-relevant amiibo subroutine commands, you’re going to want them to walk. Essentially, amiibo have access to more options when walking as opposed to running, and that includes the moves that a Banjo amiibo ought to use.
You’re going to want to avoid using most of Banjo’s aerial attacks except for Forward Air. The other aerials aren’t especially effective against opposing amiibo, despite Banjo having Nair-Dragdown built into the AI. Also, it’s not advisable to jump frequently when training Banjo amiibo - instead, you’ll teach him to use Forward Air by using it yourself whenever you’re knocked into the air.
Don’t be afraid if your Banjo amiibo hits level 50 and is using attacks you didn’t teach it. The amiibo AI has several other subroutines built-in, such as Up Air juggling and unusual usage of Grenade in the air. You won’t be able to get them to stop using those attacks.
How to Train the Terry amiibo
Raid Boss Terry amiibo have two interesting spirits loadouts that they should try.
- Instadrop + Trade-Off Ability results in a Terry that is able to connect a half-dozen attacks within seconds, often resulting in a KO. Content creators should take note of this strategy.
- Armor Knight + Trade-Off Ability creates a typical “Strongest Amiibo” Raid Boss archetype. It’s hard to kill and heavy, but not as interesting as the Instadrop loadout.
Terry has an incredibly advanced AI, and it’s clear that the developers gave the most love to the Terry amiibo. The Terry amiibo can connect nearly any attack out of Jab or Down Tilt, and it also has Jab - Jab - Powerdunk subroutines built-in. It can also connect Down Tilt into Jab, and will use both of these subroutines frame-perfectly. The AI will often combine these two subroutines to make a Down Tilt - Jab - Jab - Powerdunk. In short, if this amiibo lands Down Tilt or Jab on you, you’re going to get Powerdunked.
Training the Terry amiibo is fairly simple. Like with Banjo, you’re going to want to walk. Amiibo can use their hitboxes pixel-perfectly, so you needn’t worry about getting him in range to use Down Tilt. He’ll use Down Tilt the frame that it can connect, and follow it up through Powerdunk if he can.
In my personal opinion, one should avoid using Terry’s Side Special moves. If Terry is using either of his Side Special forms, he’ll forsake Down Tilt in favor of those attacks. They’re good attacks in their own right, but the ultimate goal for Terry amiibo is to set up Jab - Jab - Powerdunk however possible. Thus, we should avoid using nearly anything else that doesn’t lead into that setup, with the exception of Go! moves.
Don’t worry about using anything in the air against Terry. The best Terry amiibo are grounded as much as possible, because they simply can’t use Jab - Jab - Powerdunk if they’re in the air.
As a side note, the competitive amiibo scene expects Terry amiibo to be A+ tier or possibly even S tier in the amiibo tier list.
How to Train the Byleth amiibo
Raid Boss Byleth has only one unique playstyle option that has been labbed out thus far:
Super Armor, which ignores knockback below 132 KB units, will create a walking tank of a Byleth amiibo. You can only give Super Armor to an amiibo with a Support Spirit, so you’ll have to track down a Gold Mario spirit. In addition, run a -400 Attack, 4600 Defense loadout on Byleth. You can achieve this by putting on Support Spirits first, and then using the Absolutely Safe Capsule spirit.
For the record, this amiibo loadout is nearly unbeatable except by using high base-knockback projectiles. Camping out this Raid Boss with Charge Shot is a useful strategy if one can stay away long enough to charge the move.
Competitive Spirits Byleth is not set in stone yet, but it will definitely feature Weapon Attack Up.
Terry and Byleth are considered kin in the competitive amiibo scene. They’re both expected to be absolute monsters of an amiibo, and both have multiple tricks that will likely make them nearly unbeatable against other amiibo opponents. Byleth’s main trick is his Side Special, Areadbhar. Due to the way amiibo AI are programmed, amiibo will use an attack the very frame that they can connect with it. Fortunately for Byleth, the tipper hitbox on Side Special is enormous, resulting in a Byleth that can consistently hit the tipper. It’s not unusual for Byleth amiibo to KO their opponents at 70% or lower.
Thus, it’s optimal to train a very defensive Byleth amiibo. We’ll want a Byleth that only walks (running would only get the opponent inside of Areadbhar’s tipper), and almost exclusively uses Side Special. There is one exception to this rule: we want Byleth to use Down Smash when an opponent is approaching the ledge, or when they’re within Down Smash range. Be sure to use Down Smash periodically against your Byleth, as it’s their best point-blank defense option.
Avoid using anything on your Byleth amiibo besides Side Special and Down Smash. The Byleth amiibo can cover a massive chunk of the stage at any point in time using Areadbhar, and any time spent using other moves (even Failnaught) is time where Byleth is potentially vulnerable.
Author’s Note: Are you excited for these amiibo? I’m expecting them to absolutely destroy competitive amiibo! Tell me how you plan to use them in the comments below!