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 either Weapon Attack ↑ or Trade-Off Ability to round out the setup and add extra power!
- Tournament-legal bonuses: Of course, most tournaments won’t let you use Super Armor or Armor Knight. There are plenty of other bonus effects to use, though! You could use Weapon Attack ↑ (applied either once or twice), Floaty Jumps, Move Speed ↑, Critical-Health Stats ↑, Shield Damage ↑, or Shield Durability ↑. Of these, the best combination is probably Weapon Attack ↑, Floaty Jumps, and Air Defense ↑. You could also use Trade-Off Ability ↑ here; if you do, you might want to lean a bit more heavily into Ike’s defense stat.
- Raid Boss bonuses: If you’re going the Raid Boss route, you can always choose Armor Knight and Weapon Attack ↑! For something less gimmicky, you can go with Weapon Attack ↑, Air Defense ↑, and Move Speed ↑ instead. If you’re looking to train a Raid Boss that makes all of its opponents ragequit, you could go with Great Autoheal 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). As mentioned before, you might want to lean more into defense (1700 / 2500) if you decide to use Trade-Off Ability ↑. 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 — a fantastic combination of traits! 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 below:
- Indeed, Aether is Ike’s main attack. It grants him full super armor and is incredibly strong, being capable of KOing opponents at medium-high percentages. Do focus on Aether at close range, but mix in forward tilt, down tilt, and three-hit jab combos every so often as well.
- From a distance, you can approach your FP with a dash attack. Please note that the only time you should run or dash at all is right before using this move!
- Use neutral air as a landing option and then a small amount of up air for juggling and KOs. 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.
- Mix in some standing grabs every so often, too — and use either a down throw or up throw afterward. Down throw activates hard-coded combos at later levels, while up throw can lead into a whole bunch of consecutive up airs.
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. They’re both easily blocked by perfect shields, which leave Ike horribly vulnerable afterward.
With this moveset, your Ike amiibo will rely on super armor to brute-force its way through powerful enemies. Even at high percentages, Ike’s Aether protects him from recoil — which can be the deciding factor in tricky matchups. If you don’t know this already, Figure Players can’t recognize when a fighter is protected by super armor, so they’ll try to challenge it with one of their attacks and lose the trade. In addition to its super armor, the FP will also be able to capitalize on airborne opponents via juggling.
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 donation box if you’d want to help support site upkeep. Until next time — happy training!
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