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Amiibo Metagame and Training Style Discussion

on 7/26/2016, 3:07 pm
I'd like to start an open discussion about the state of our metagame.  Be frank, be honest, but don't attack others here please.

State of the Game
Firstly, we've all seen that the state of the game itself is dwindling.  Players are quitting and moving on.  Tournaments are still happening, but the number of participants has dropped.  Gone are the days of 40+ people tournaments.  Blue had to beg for entrants to the last AASC and only got to 15. 


Why is this?
Arguably, this is because no one is streaming the tournament.  Half the fun of Amiibo battling is watching the battles.  When Amiibo Dan had to take time off due to a multitude of personal issues, others tried to step up to fill the void, but no one streamed anything short of an occasional Periscope.  Amiibrawl was the next hope, but ChiefGrizzly hasn't been heard from in 2 weeks, at least not publicly.  Amiibo Dan has promised to be back up and running next month, but when he does, will there be a community to support it?  Others like Cloud, Bysshe, Mr. Apple, and TrainerBlue tried, but it has worn on them.  Cloud hasn't done a tournament in a while.  Bysshe has publicly said WAS is coming to an end.  TrainerBlue has tried to pick up Mr. Apple's slack on AASC.  Skymiibo, salty as he is, did tournaments for a while, but it wore him down and he stopped.  UU and Keeth are trying their hands at tournaments now, but who knows how long they can keep it up.


What can we do to stop this?
Not a whole lot, unfortunately.  Cloud has been continually prodding Nintendo when they promote Smash tournaments about Amiibo tournaments, but those have fallen on deaf ears.  We can wait for Amiibo Dan and Amiibrawl, but honestly, we are a dying breed.  The only semi-regular, semi-publicly held tournament I've seen is ScrewAttack's Amiibo Cockfight.  The only good Amiibo they've ever had was a Ness in their early ones, but it was destroyed in a cheap punishment reversal on a RoosterTeeth Extra Life stream.  Since then, they've only featured poorly trained, and sometimes not even fully leveled, Amiibo.
Cloud has personally tried to lead several revival and expansion efforts, but to minimal success.
What am I going to do?  I'm going to ride this train until the end of the line.  I've seen too many people walk away and move on to the next thing.  Until I don't have people to put my Amiibo up against anymore, I will be training and have Amiibo always ready to fight.


Training styles
This is another topic that may have a problem with the stagnation of the meta.  The most popular and effective training style, at least among our group, is the defensive style.  This style alone has brought up the debates 'Is Explosive Perfect Shield Broken?' and 'Is Little Mac too powerful?'  I can argue that both of these are due to the defensive style.  In a healthy metagame, there is a rock-paper-scissors balance.  In ours, there is only rock and scissors.  Rock being the solid defensive style and scissors being the unhealthy aerial style.  I can hardly say hyper aggression is a paper because I don't see it in our group, and we hardly see aerials except in "poorly trained" Amiibo.  We have no balance, which is why the tier list is relatively stagnant.  The top is the top.  Some people try to push other characters to higher tiers, but honestly, you are still using the same training style.  The tier list should be renamed to "The Best Amiibo for the Defensive Style."

What about stall tactics?
Personally, I think stalling Amiibo are just to exploit timed matches.  Many organizers put timers on matches to make sure they don't take forever.  Stall Amiibo, Amiibo that do little to nothing in matches, play defensively and evasively, rarely attack and mostly stand still, making their opponent stand still, only win consistently in timed matches.  Olimar is a top practitioner of this style.  In my opinion, stall Amiibo are cheap, but are an evolution of the defensive meta.  We are training our Amiibo to be reactionary.  If the opponent does nothing, they wait.  Wait=win to a stall Amiibo because they are built to wait.

What do we do?
To change the meta, or at least balance it, we need a new style.  Specifically, a style that can beat defensive Amiibo.  Maybe that's what Cloud has been working on with the SNES challenge.  Who can beat his best defensively trained Amiibo?  So far, many have tried, few, if any have succeeded.  Yeah, there are still 3 more characters still to potentially get Amiibo and that can add a lot to the meta, but do you want to wait for Nintendo to maybe release the Final 3?  Not with the defensive style being the dominant one.  Unless we can find a way to beat that style, this meta will die and soon.

I'm not trying to bring everyone down.  I'm looking for thoughts, comments, critiques, anything.  None of us expected Amiibo battling to last long, but a year and a half is not long enough, especially with Nintendo still putting out Amiibo.

___________________
AASC2 3rd place - Bowser (Gojira)
Amiibrawl 3 3rd place - Shulk (Apollo)
WAS8 Winner - Ryu (C. Norris)
NNT 3rd place - Ryu (C. Norris)
AMG1 Runner-up - Marth (Ares)
Amiibrawl 4 3rd place - Blades of Destiny (Shulk/Lucina with Cyrox)
AASC6 Runner-up - Marth (Ares)
ANT1 Winner - Lucario (Hades)
CoC2 Runner-up - Charizard (Ghidorah)
BAT2 Runner-up - Charizard (Ghidorah)
Amiibrawl 2 3rd place - Charizard (Ghidorah)
Amiibrawl 8 Runner-up - Charizard (Ghidorah)
WAS10 Winner - King Dedede (Uranos)



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Re: Amiibo Metagame and Training Style Discussion

on 7/28/2016, 1:31 pm
Well like you said, there is still some things to look at later considering that the final three have not been released yet. It does get pretty repetitive with the defense + RPS meta becoming the dominant form style. If there is anything to try to change the meta, I'm welcome to it.
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Re: Amiibo Metagame and Training Style Discussion

on 7/28/2016, 11:31 pm
Let's look at what we do have, a wide dispersal. I'm in FL, Cloud's in PA, Dan's in WA. Mega's in the UK, we also got members in Canada. The best way to promote AvA is to make it a part of regular Smash tournaments. How to do this? Find a local tournament, and get in contact with the TO. Tell him/her about the AvA scene and ask to be put on the ticket as a side event, offering to provide all necessary hardware (WiiU, TV, streaming eqpt.) if possible. Next, get the word out in your community, make sure to promote the Dojo. This metagame, much like competitive Melee, is a happy accident with mass appeal. We need to channel this beyond our online hangouts into IRL. At present, the most widely known offline tourney is Screw Attack's annual cockfight; an absolute joke, an unprofessional exhibitionist's exercise in poor taste that is not representative of the AvA scene. That needs to change, and it begins with the us, the fans of a fun, offbeat Smash subculture that anyone can get into and compete in. Like, this shit is the Baseketball (it's a movie, pirate it now and watch it) of SSB. Sorry, I'm rambling, but that's my 2 pence. Revitalization lies outside, it's time to take this show offline.

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Re: Amiibo Metagame and Training Style Discussion

on 7/29/2016, 5:01 pm
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Honestly, I seriously don't know of any way to beat Super NES. I just, don't think it's possible. We're giving the 2nd best amiibo ever the best equipment. And yes, I firmly believe nothing beats the RPS setup besides maybe switching out EPS for Lifesteal on some occasions. 

I know for a fact that Lifesteal and Critical Hit have the same chance at activating (and 90% of the time, activate at the exact same time), which means that you can potentially recover tons of % depending on the move. This makes Lifesteal amazing if your amiibo has a consistent hit rate.


One thing I've considered before is just talking it out with the community and seeing about getting Critical Hit and Explosive Power Shield banned. The only problem with that is, now Lifesteal and Improved Escape are the next best thing, so everyone will just end up having those included instead. And if we ban those two, then people will start using Auto Heal, Trade-offs, and so on.


The biggest problem with the metagame right now is that the top bonus effects are so OP, that if you aren't using them, you're automatically put at a disadvantage. It's that simple. Not only that, but the metagame is centered around them.

In fact, here's a tier list of the many bonuses I've made up just from tournament experience.

S-tier:


1. Explosive Power Shield/Easy Perfect Shield
2. Improved Escape
3. Critical Hit/Lifesteal


A-tier:


4. Trade-offs/Auto Heal or Lifesteal
5. Smooth Lander (this might just be bias tho)
6. Improved *insert stat here* in a crisis


B-tier:

7. KO Healing
8. Crash Run


C-tier:

9-ect. Everything else (they stink, + they're really just gimmicks)


There ya go, bonuses in a nutshell. 


The 2nd biggest problem is that we've been cheating the system right from the get-go. Using our Powersaves and whatnot to get the rarest (and best) equipment pieces and bonus effects instantly when they were meant to reward you for your hard work and progression of the game. Anyone who doesn't have a Powersaves is also at a disadvantage.

See where I'm going with this?

I agree that equipment as a whole is super entertaining and much more fun than vanilla training, but it comes with a tier system that restricts the metagame a lot more than people realize. At least vanilla training has much more balanced character viability.


Ok, actually, the biggest problem with our metagame? Now that I think about it, it might be that matches are determined by RNG. Not even joking, Critical Hit + Explosive Power Shield probably decides a lot more matches I know of. I'm not discrediting any training here that amiibo trainers have done, but let's say we have two amiibo of the exact same skill. Both have the same setup, and both have the same bonus effects (say, RPS), who wins?

Well, that's up for RNG to decide.

Do we really want a metagame that's based on luck? NO, everybody ever has been pushing for a metagame that's based on skill since day 1. (At least I think.)


So what if we just ban bonuses and just keep equipment? Well, we run into another problem.

Overload setups + Little Mac.


Now, as we all know, Little Mac literally becomes our For Glory Overlord in the amiibo metagame solely because of the fact that he gains the ability to break shields in one hit. Combine that with overload, and hardly anything changes. But if we ban Overload and Little Mac along with bonus effects, we might find a nice compromise between vanilla and equipment. 

It might even be balanced, to an extent. 

Sure, things won't be the same as before, but it might be the breakthrough we needed. I think if we actually tried this, it might encourage trainers to really think about how they arrange their equipment spreads for their amiibo. It might reward the more experienced players, and encourage the newer ones to get better. It also might encourage more playstyle variety in high level play instead of just defense.


I dunno, just my thoughts.

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Re: Amiibo Metagame and Training Style Discussion

on 7/31/2016, 5:36 pm
Welp... With Amiibo Dan back in the game, I can't say that exposure won't be the biggest issue any more, however... We shouldn't get complacent, and we would need to inspire more people who have the equipment needed to stream amiibo fights.

Exposure is important. As it is, Dan's really the only guy out there who does these in a way people can view - while we flooded the market in tourneys with the Amiibo Dojo forums, most of those were hosted via twitter and challonge, where all we saw were the aftermath results.

Granted, part of that key thing is time, money, and presentation. Dan works because he's charismatic, which is a talent that I think helps in getting people involved in these things.

Streaming equipment isn't cheap either. An Elgato HD60 S costs about $175 base and with most people here riding on 3DS for their prime game, a Wii U would cost over $200 depending on if they get it used.

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Re: Amiibo Metagame and Training Style Discussion

on 8/2/2016, 8:48 am
Eli,

As someone who doesn't have a Powersaves, I don't feel I am at too much of a disadvantage.  Granted, I don't have easy access to harder to get bonuses like Crit or Lifesteal, but I do get them and I do use them.  I do think the use of Powersaves has flooded the meta with those abilities that would otherwise be difficult to acquire.

___________________
AASC2 3rd place - Bowser (Gojira)
Amiibrawl 3 3rd place - Shulk (Apollo)
WAS8 Winner - Ryu (C. Norris)
NNT 3rd place - Ryu (C. Norris)
AMG1 Runner-up - Marth (Ares)
Amiibrawl 4 3rd place - Blades of Destiny (Shulk/Lucina with Cyrox)
AASC6 Runner-up - Marth (Ares)
ANT1 Winner - Lucario (Hades)
CoC2 Runner-up - Charizard (Ghidorah)
BAT2 Runner-up - Charizard (Ghidorah)
Amiibrawl 2 3rd place - Charizard (Ghidorah)
Amiibrawl 8 Runner-up - Charizard (Ghidorah)
WAS10 Winner - King Dedede (Uranos)



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Re: Amiibo Metagame and Training Style Discussion

on 8/6/2016, 8:13 am
I'll be honest here, for a while I tried training amiibo with the recommended training setups - no aerials, play defensively, etc.

And it killed my enjoyment of training amiibo, moreso than before

Forcing myself to play in a different way made the training less fun overall - THIS IS THE BEST WAY TO DO EVERYTHING YESSIR - but it wasn't enjoyable. I was getting mad at myself when I couldn't do something a guide wanted me to (effing Amiibo 15 really pissed me off everytime I tried it) and would stop playing long before I wanted to

So I've just stopped training with the hopes of entering any of my amiibo in a tourney. I've been using aerials, going offstage, using throws other than forward and back throw, being really offensive, and I've been enjoying myself a lot more

There's a youtuber called AQWGhostface who primarily posts amiibo videos, and he really emulates what I think amiibo training was meant to be - having fun, experimenting, and not really following a specific formula for training; he doesn't train to enter his amiibo in tournaments (though I think he has before), and you can see how much he enjoys it by just doing his own thing

So yeah; I'm not saying that the best ways to do things aren't good, in fact they are. I'm saying that in trying to make my amiibos fit this formula, all of the joys surrounding amiibo sort of died

tl;dr - I 100% agree about a stale meta, though I guess not necessarily for the same reasons as others
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Re: Amiibo Metagame and Training Style Discussion

on 8/8/2016, 1:09 pm
Puff,

That goes into what I'm hoping for.  I would like to see a fun-to-play style come out of that type of training that can actually beat defensive amiibo.  That is what we need to shake things up.

My personal style is a mix of a lot of things.  First, I don't consider myself a very good Smash player.  I'm average at best and that is a stretch.  This makes it tough to train as my amiibo will quickly surpass my abilities.  So I do what some people consider a no-no among amiibo training, I use lvl 9 cpu to supplement my training.  My amiibo never see computer opponents until lvl 40 or beyond, but they all fight them.  I will usually make custom versions of the characters, usually with the special moves that are good, add some stat boosts, and turn them loose.  They are not as good as a fully leveled amiibo, but they cover my flaws.  Yes, they make my amiibo use aerials.  That's where other training comes in.

I supplement my training with a strong defensive base, using the standard practice for defensive training.  I do a lot of this while leveling and after 50 for refreshers.  The last thing I do is work on move variety.  Many complain "he's only spamming down/forward smash and I can't get him to stop."  I work to avoid this.  If I want them to learn a new move for their arsenal, I spam it in a match with them.  The amiibo usually pick up on it.  Move variety keeps things interesting and allows for more creativity in battle.  I can vividly remember spamming down tilt with my Villager to get her to learn that great move.  She still doesn't do it enough.

This does still lead to aerials being used.  I use them sparingly, but they still get used.  I try to give them situations on when to use them.  Say someone is recovering high.  That is when you jump and up aerial them.

I'm terrible in off stage fighting, so when I see my amiibo do it themselves, I rejoice.  It's been rare.

___________________
AASC2 3rd place - Bowser (Gojira)
Amiibrawl 3 3rd place - Shulk (Apollo)
WAS8 Winner - Ryu (C. Norris)
NNT 3rd place - Ryu (C. Norris)
AMG1 Runner-up - Marth (Ares)
Amiibrawl 4 3rd place - Blades of Destiny (Shulk/Lucina with Cyrox)
AASC6 Runner-up - Marth (Ares)
ANT1 Winner - Lucario (Hades)
CoC2 Runner-up - Charizard (Ghidorah)
BAT2 Runner-up - Charizard (Ghidorah)
Amiibrawl 2 3rd place - Charizard (Ghidorah)
Amiibrawl 8 Runner-up - Charizard (Ghidorah)
WAS10 Winner - King Dedede (Uranos)



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