Out of all the Fire Emblem fighters available in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Ike might just be the strongest — or at least, he was until Byleth came around to claim that spot. Regardless, Ike was pretty good in Super Smash Bros. 4 and he’s pretty good in this game, too. His unique traits – which include strong attacks, strong attacks, and strong attacks – all contribute to Ike’s respectable position on our tier list. If you’d like to learn more about his metagame history, please refer to his wiki page. Otherwise, let’s jump right into today’s training!
Special thanks to Murbert for contributing Ike’s training information!
Are you looking to equip your Ike amiibo with a Spirit team? If so – and as usual – we recommend doing so starting at Level 1. For whatever reason, Spirits are programmed to scramble a Figure Player’s training data beyond your control. If you want to leave it vanilla, that’s fine too — there are tournaments available for both styles. For more information, check out our full Spirits guide. Here is a complete list of Ike’s optimal Spirit builds:
- Banned bonuses: As a heavyweight fighter, Ike pairs well with either Super Armor or Armor Knight. Armor Knight is crazy good, and the developers only made it take up two Spirit slots. This means you can run Trade-Off Ability ↑ to round out the setup and add extra power.
- Tournament-legal bonuses: Of course, most tournaments don’t let you use Super Armor or Armor Knight. Some other options include Weapon Attack ↑ (applied either once or twice), Trade-Off Ability ↑, Floaty Jumps, Move Speed ↑, Critical-Health Stats ↑, Shield Damage ↑, and Shield Durability ↑. Feel free to take your pick of three, because each of these Support skills only occupies one slot.
- Raid Boss bonuses: If you’re going the Raid Boss route but don’t want to use any of the Spirit effects listed above, then we recommend a build including Weapon Attack ↑, Move Speed ↑, and Air Defense ↑. Great Autoheal works too!
Regarding stat distribution, you can essentially slap any spread onto your FP and it’ll work well as long as you’ve got good bonus effects. A few specific recommendations, though, would be a balanced build (2100 / 2100) or a more offensive one (2500 / 1700). Make sure your FP’s Spirit-type is Neutral before you begin its training routine.
Ike is a rare case because he’s one of the only fighters whose optimal competitive training strategy does not involve smash attacks. Instead, he’s meant to rely on his up special, Aether, which boasts super armor plus kill power. That’s not the only move an optimal Ike needs to use, though; in fact, we’ve got a whole list of his best moves just below:
- Aether grants Ike full super armor and is incredibly strong. It can KO opponents at medium-high percentages, and works great for hitting platforms and catching landings.
- Forward tilt and down tilt are your main close-ranged options (other than Aether), and the latter links into a forward air, back air, or up air.
- From a distance, you can approach your FP with a dash attack. Please note that the only time you should run is directly before attacking with this move!
- Use neutral air as a landing option and then a small amount of up air to KO. Remember, when using aerial moves, you have to execute them while falling or the FP won’t properly detect them. It’s strange but true.
- Grabs are optional in small amounts, but whatever you do, don’t use a dash grab. Down throw combos into a forward air, up tilt, up air, or up special; up throw combos into up tilt, up air, or up special.
As mentioned earlier, Ike’s training strategy purposefully excludes his smash attacks — they’re very slow and he’s able to KO opponents well enough between Aether and his tilts. Down smash is optional, but can be easily punished if the AI uses it in the wrong direction. You’ll also want to stay far, far away from Eruption and Quick Draw.
Raid Boss Training
Ike’s optimal training method is slightly different if you choose to raise him as a Raid Boss. Ideally, a Raid Boss Ike would rely on its aerials most of all while maintaining a strong defensive game. To be clear, you’re free to run and dash as often as you like here — you only need to restrict yourself to walking when training a competitive FP for tournaments. Here’s what an optimal Raid Boss Ike’s moveset includes, then:
- Your main neutral tools include down tilt, grabs, and neutral air. You could also include some forward tilt and forward air, but these are a bit slower and thus more dangerous if they miss.
- Up tilt, up smash, and up air can all be rotated in and out to catch landings. Each of Ike’s aerials (minus down air) should be utilized, with neutral air being mixed in as a landing option.
- Every so often you can also use Aether after a parry or a neutral attack when you’re up close to your FP. When using the latter, be sure to attack with all three hits!
Unfortunately, each of Ike’s special moves – Eruption, Quick Draw, and Counter – is rather suboptimal when taught to a Raid Boss. Generally speaking, Ultimate’s AI isn’t very good at using certain special moves; one notable problem is that they use the attacks when standing directly next to an opponent. We don’t want that to happen, so steer clear of all of Ike’s specials (except for Aether).
Thanks so much for reading! Training an Ike amiibo may actually be just as easy as playing the character yourself — if you’re training for competitive you spam Aether, and if you’re training a Raid Boss you spam neutral air. Nice and easy! If you have any questions, before, during, or after training, be sure to join our Discord community to ask. Those looking to enter a tournament can learn how via our guide! We’ve also got a Patreon page and a donation box if you’d want to help support site upkeep. Until next time — happy training!
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