******************************************************************************* * Ike Guide v1.3 * * by Tha Stunna * ******************************************************************************* Section 1: Introduction/Version History Section 2: General Smash Bros Concepts 2.1 -[ Basic fighting strategy ]- 2.2 -[ Mixing up your moves ]- 2.3 -[ Where to fight ]- Section 3: Quick Strategy 3.1 -[ Strategy tips ]- 3.2 -[ Techniques ]- Section 4: Moves 4.1 -[ Ground A button attacks ]- 4.2 -[ Aerial A button attacks ]- 4.3 -[ B button attacks ]- 4.4 -[ Grabs ]- 4.5 -[ Move listing by KO power ]- Section 5: Combos Section 6: Detailed Strategies 6.1 -[ Quick Draw ]- 6.2 -[ Counter ]- (Still in progress) 6.3 -[ Approaches ]- 6.4 -[ Defending ]- 6.5 -[ Recovering ]- - Aether Recovery [AET] - Quick Draw Recovery [QUI] - Hanging from the Edge [HAN] 6.6 -[ Edgecamping ]- - Why edgecamp? [WHY] - General Tips [TIP] - Detailed Strategy [DET] - Improving your edgecamping skills [IMP] 6.7 -[ KOing fast enemies ]- Section 7: Anti-character Strategies Bowser [BOW] Captain Falcon [CAP] Diddy Kong [DID] Donkey Kong [DON] Falco [FAL] Fox [FOX] Ganondorf [GAN] Ice Climbers [ICE] Ike [IKE] Jigglypuff [JIG] King Dedede [DED] Kirby [KIR] Link [LIN] Lucario [LCO] Lucas [LCS] Luigi [LUG] Mario [MRO] Marth [MRH] Metaknight [MET] Mr Game and Watch [GAM] Ness [NES] (Still in progress) Olimar [OLI] (Still in progress) Pikachu [PIK] (Still in progress) Pit [PIT] (Still in progress) Pokemon Trainer [POK] - Charizard [CHA] - Ivysaur [IVY] (Still in progress) - Squirtle [SQU] (Still in progress) Princess Peach [PEA] (Still in progress) R.O.B. [ROB] Samus [SAM] (Still in progress) - Zero Suit Samus [ZER] (Still in progress) Snake [SNA] (Still in progress) Sonic [SON] (Still in progress) Toon Link [TOO] (Still in progress) Wario [WAR] (Still in progress) Wolf [WOL] (Still in progress) Zelda [ZEL] - Sheik [SHE] Section 8: Game Type Strategies 8.1 -[ Stock ]- 8.2 -[ Time ]- 8.3 -[ Sudden Death ]- 8.4 -[ Team ]- 8.5 -[ Items ]- Section 9: Final Thoughts Section 10: Contact Information ******************************************************************************* * Section 1: Introduction * ******************************************************************************* Ike is a powerful, heavy, melee-only character. Here are some pros and cons: Pros: -Ike outdamages most characters with his attacks. -Ike has superior knockback. -Ike's uncharged forward smash can kill even heavyweights at 50% in the middle of Battlefield. -Ike has good range on his ground attacks and great range on the forward smash and up smash. -Ike has great range on most of his aerials. -Ike's back aerial is very fast and quite powerful. -Ike's down aerial is an excellent spike that pierces through almost any attack. -Ike's neutral A combo does 16% damage and is fast. -Ike is heavy, so he can survive longer than many characters. -Ike has a Counter which scales and does a minimum of 10% damage. -Ike has a powerful anti-air attack by using Aether. -Ike can recover horizontally with Quick Draw or vertically with Aether. -Aether can easily stop and damage an enemy standing on the stage to edgecamp you. -Ike's aerials are useful for edgecamping due to their power and range. Cons: -Ike is a relatively big target. -Ike is a slow runner and attacker. -Ike has few (or no) true combos due to his slow attacks. -Ike can't break fast combos, since his Counter has startup time and his attacks are slow. -Ike can't jump very high. -Ike has a lot of downtime (lag) after almost all of his attacks. -Ike can kill himself easily by using an aerial after being knocked off, due to his downtime and weak jumping. -Ike is heavy, so he can be juggled or chain thrown easily. (Yes, this is an advantage and disadvantage.) -If Quick Draw hits a target in midair, Ike will become helpless and (usually) fall to his death. Should you use him? Well, if you're into characters with good range and power, Ike is one of the best. Ike is fairly intuitive to play, with relatively few tilt -> aerial -> more -> insanity combos, so that's a plus. Ike's mistakes can be punished quite easily, so that is a downside. If you're looking for a Roy replacement, Marth is more similar (who would have thought...) but Ike has his merits. If you're looking for the best character in the game or a combo master, Ike isn't it. If you want broken moves, Ike doesn't have them. Ike is a fairly popular character for new players online, so if you become good with him, you can surprise people by not being a weak player. If you're reading this guide to beat Ike because you're having trouble playing against him, my quick advice would be to play defensively and force him to miss or hit your shield, then counterattack. Projectile spamming is always useful, as long as you cut it out and use other attacks or shield when he gets close. Who am I? I'm not a tournament player, but I'm pretty decent at this game. A lot of my experience comes from random 2v2 online play through Wifi. In any case, judge the FAQ on its merits, not my credentials. -[ Version history ]- Added KO moves, Juggling sections for several characters. 6/6/10: (1.3) Added Wolf. Updated Diddy and Donky Kong. Changed move rankings. Added more KO moves/juggling sections. 11/5/09: Changed combo section, updated Charizard 11/4/09: (1.2) Added Ness, Charizard, Zelda, Sheik. Slight updates on Link/moves/items/team sections. Made neutral A combo, fair the only 5/5 moves, since they're the most commonly used. 10/11/09: (1.1) I, uh... wrote an Ike guide? Fancy that. Updated Metaknight and Mr Game and Watch sections. Expanded item section, slightly updated Counter section. Contact information added at end of guide. 10/31/08: (1.0) First version. ******************************************************************************* * Section 2: General Smash Bros Concepts * ******************************************************************************* 2.1 -[ Basic fighting strategy ]- There are three main ways to fight your opponent: attacks (which do damage and are not a grab), grabs, and shields (because you can counterattack after shielding an enemies attack). They follow a rock-paper-scissors relationship: Attacks beat grabs (some exceptions for ranged grabs or slow attacks) Shields beat attacks Grabs beat shields Some attacks are classified more as grabs, like Yoshi's neutral B egg lay or Kirby's neutral B swallow, because they pierce shields. Other moves work more like a shield, like Ike and Marth's counter, which work against attacks but not grabs. Roughly speaking, a good strategy counters the opponents attack based on how much damage their attack does and how often they use it. For instance, many beginners don't grab or shield much, so you should shield/counter them a lot. Some speedy characters like to run at you and grab you; using a fast attack on them is wise. Of course, your opponent generally won't tell you how they are going to attack, so you just have to watch their strategy. Many times you will be wrong; that's fine, just keep trying. Any time your opponent is beating you badly, think about how to beat their attack, and you may just get better results. This relationship applies to your attacks too; if your opponent is shielding (which will happen quite often when you play as Ike), you need to mix in some grabs. Still, you are better off countering your opponent if possible, since it's much harder to predict how your opponent will respond to your attacks. 2.2 -[ Mixing up your moves ]- Most characters have a specialty; Ike is proficient at slow and powerful long range melee strikes, while Sonic is excellent at quick and weak attacks. However, every type of attack can be countered, so having attacks of the other sort is essential. For Ike, moves like his neutral A, A, A combo and his side B Quick Draw charging attack work well to keep your opponent off balance. For Sonic, using his smashes from time to time will skew your opponents timing and make your opponents worry more about missing an attack. All characters should mix up their play unless they are up against an opponent who is weak. 2.3 -[ Where to fight ]- If you're damaged and your opponent isn't, fight near the center of the stage! This concept is basic, but still important. Conversely, if your opponent is damaged and you aren't, fight them near the edges. If you're both heavily damaged, you should fight near the center if you are a heavier character. The exception to these general rules is when you KO people by sending them upward, in which case you should always stay near the center if possible. It's harder to apply this concept when you don't have a ranged attack, since your opponent can use projectiles to draw you to them, but it's still worth considering. The best place to be is with your enemy between you and the edge of the stage, particularly in levels like Bridge of Eldin where the edge is very close to the stage. Even a weak attack can KO your opponent, so this is very desirable. Conversely, you don't want to be the person who is squashed between your opponent and the edge, so you'll want to get back to the center quickly. Jumping is usually the best way to do this, since rolling may just get you hit and attacking is high risk and low reward. Even if you get up smashed, that generally won't knock you off the edge. ******************************************************************************* * Section 3: Quick Strategy * ******************************************************************************* 3.1 -[ Strategy tips ]- Here's some key strategy behind using Ike; keep this in mind as you read through the rest of the guide. 1. Frequently use the neutral A, A, A combo in close quarters. This combo is far faster than Ike's other moves and does an excellent 16% damage, which is more damage than some other character's smash moves. This tip alone can make you far better with Ike. 2. Keep your enemies at the edge of your sword range. Ike's advantages come from range, damage, and knockback, not speed, so you are best off keeping your enemies at a distance. The C stick can be used to attack in midair so you can use the joystick to move slightly forward/backward as needed. 3. Short-hop Ike's aerial forward A at enemies. Ike's running attack is sluggish and has little damage; using his forward aerial will give better damage and knockback, with the best range of any forward aerial in the game. This is also useful after using Aether, Quick Draw, or a throw. Against faster enemies, you'll need to use it more defensively however. 4. Set your controller to tilts Ike's smashes are too sluggish to be used regularly. Ike's ftilt and utilt are both quite effective, so setting your c stick to tilts gives you more speed. Even more importantly, Ike's dair is a good spike, but will kill you with normal settings; with tilts, you won't fastfall to your death. 5. Knock enemies upward, then Aether them. Aether has unusual properties in that enemies above you will get hit by your flying sword but can't hit you back, even with a Counter (which is wasted on your flying sword, unless they are at the very top of the attack). Even if you miss, the rest of the attack will bring you back safely to the ground. This is a simple natural combo that is very effective, particularly with an up or down throw. 6. Learn Ike's key grab combos. Up/Down throw -> Aether Forward/Back throw (near edge) -> Shorthopped down aerial Ike does not do much damage with his grabs, but he can usually combo a vertical throw with Aether to do more damage than any of his normal uncharged attacks. Near the edge, he can toss heavier characters off and spike them (ideally) to KO them even at 0%. 6. Stay near the ground. Ike is vulnerable to juggling, lacks fast air attacks, and only has his down aerial and Counter to defend against attacks from below. Primarily stick with short hops or Aether, both of which will keep you safely near the ground. 7. Shielding, air dodging, and rolling are still useful against fast or charged attacks. Although Ike has Counter, it is often too slow to deal with a barrage of fast attacks and leave him vulnerable if your enemy doesn't attack. Shielding is faster and is often a good idea if you can't predict the timing of your enemy's attacks. Many opponents will try to let Ike make a move and then exploit the downtime after his attacks; this will foil their plans. 8. Shield, sidestep, use the neutral A combo, or jump if you miss. Ike's attacks have a lot of downtime, and your enemies will almost always counterattack or grab you after you miss. A quick response is generally the best option. This won't always work, but it certainly doesn't hurt, and is essential for anyone trying to become an expert player. Don't just stand there. 3.2 -[ Techniques ]- Some useful and/or common techniques are listed here; some of them are common to all characters and are common terms, while others are Ike-specific and have names made up by me. - Air dodge Press L or R in the air and Ike will become temporarily invulnerable; it's very useful for dodging projectiles and some fast attacks, since it is faster than Counter. - B sticking With a custom controller setup, you can set B special moves to the C-stick. This is pretty worthless for Ike, especially since Quick Draw is frequently charged. You're better off with the default setup, particularly since Ike frequently likes to space his aerials by pushing backward on the joystick while pressing forward with the C-stick. - Crawling Some characters can move while crouched; Ike can't. - Directional influence (DI) When moving through the air, you can use the joystick to influence where you go. This is useful for breaking combos and surviving at higher damage. Press the joystick up and toward the platform when you get knocked off and you'll be more likely to survive; if you get knocked vertically, press down and away from your attacker. - Reverse Aether Press up B, but press up about 30 degrees in the direction toward's Ike's back. Alternatively, press up B but then quickly push the control stick toward Ike's back. This is useful when you're facing the wrong way and want to use Aether. Although Aether can be aimed slightly backward, it has notably better horizontal distance when you're looking in the direction that you want to travel. There aren't any special powers for the attack that I'm aware of though. - Shield-aerial lure (I'm still working on the name) This technique is best done out of a shield; shorthop backwards and do a forward aerial against an approaching enemy. It's useful against people who like to run up and grab you; often, a slippery opponent won't be hit if you use a tilt, and will just run in and grab you afterwards. This is useful to deter your enemies from grabbing you when you shield, in addition to damaging them. Other characters can do this, but the excellent range of Ike's forward aerial is what makes it work. It also works well to deal with quick short-ranged characters, who will torment you given a chance. - Shorthop Press jump (or tap up on the joystick) and stop pressing jump before you leave the ground; you will perform a shorter jump, which is at a good height for hitting a grounded enemy with an aerial. - Quick Draw fakeout When running or jumping in, charge up a Quick Draw instead of attacking like normal; this will give you a chance to hit them if they try to hit you, roll/dodge, or Counter, and won't leave you vulnerable like you would normally be after attacking. ******************************************************************************* * Section 4: Moves * ******************************************************************************* This section contains info and strategies for each of Ike's moves. Damage percentages are the maximum before stale moves negation, which reduces the damage of a move when it is used repeatedly; using other moves will restore the damage of the unused moves. The KO %s were determined by testing against Ganondorf in the middle of the Battlefield stage at ground level. These are not meant to be absolute numbers, but instead guidelines for the relative power of each move. Any attack that KOs by sending your opponent upward will of course work much better against lighter characters. Aerials in particular will KO at far lower %s if you catch your opponent in the air near the edge/ceiling. There are ratings from 1-5, with 1 being a specialty move that is almost never used, 3 being a move that has some use in specific situations, and 5 being a move that should be very commonly used or is uniquely useful in several situations. The ratings are relative to the other moves Ike has, so even though I don't like Ike's up aerial because it is slow without large range, it gets a 3/5 because he doesn't have anything better to use. Quick tip: use the fastest move that will work to hit your opponent, unless you have a strong reason to do otherwise. Particularly with Ike, whose moves do similar damage to each other, you're best off hitting as fast as possible. 4.1 -[ Ground A button attacks ]- Neutral A, A, A combo Damage: 16% (4+5+7) Ko: 180% Rating: 5/5 This is an excellent combo and will punish your enemies who try to fight up close. It counterbalances the slow nature of Ike's attacks and is invaluable in close range fighting. Remember, fast moves are more dangerous when they come from a slow character because your opponent expects a slower attack. If your enemy is close to you, always use this or possibly a grab; it will pay off well. I can't stress enough how great this move is; it would be a 6/5 if I believed in that nonsense. This combo will also work if you hold A, which is the best way to use it when you are near an edge. Otherwise, you may get knocked off, tap A before you react, and fall to your death due to Ike's weak vertical recovery. Occasionally, the game will repeat the the punch and kick twice in a row when holding A, which adds another 9% to the combo. However, the game might get caught in a cycle where the punch hits and the kick misses repeatedly; your opponent can use an attack on you if they're paying attention, so just shield or hit A, A, A manually to end that problem. Forward tilt A Damage: 15% Ko: 100% Rating: 3/5 This is basically equivalent to a smash move for light or midweight characters, and it is about as damaging and fast. This move does lacks the broad arc of Ike's forward smash or forward aerial, which limits its usefulness, but it does have good horizontal range. This is primarily a way to KO at higher damage or swat a runner, but is fairly effective at that, since it is Ike's second most powerful uncharged attack and has good range. Ike's forward tilt is the first reliable move you can use to KO your opponent, but it still leaves you vulnerable if spot dodged. Down tilt A Damage: 14% Ko: 150% Rating: 1/5 This attack is actually a spike; when used on a grounded opponent, it knocks your opponent straight upwards, useful for comboing with Aether. Unfortunately, this move is slow, has less range than the forward tilt, and will miss if your opponent is in the air, so it's hard to find an opportunity to use it in regular combat. It's also not the best way to achieve a KO. If you are above someone on an incline, you could possibly use this attack, but that is about it. Since the attack is a spike, it can be used to edgecamp enemies, particularly if they are just hanging off of the edge trying to avoid combat. However, most enemies will latch onto the edge and gain the resulting temporary invulnerability, so this is difficult to pull off when they are recovering (but it is rewarding). If you hit your opponent near the hilt of the blade, they will instead go flying forward with knockback similar to the forward tilt. This is too difficult to set up in order to be practical, and the forward tilt does a good job on its own. Up tilt A Damage: 9-12% (hitting your opponent after the initial swing does less damage) Ko: 120% (for hitting your opponent with the initial swing) Rating: 3/5 This move knocks your opponent upward and combos well with Aether at low damage. However, it has limited range (worse than Ike's Neutral A combo) and thus is mainly a defensive move. It can be used as a faster (and shorter ranged) alternative to the forward tilt at higher damage as a kill move. The up tilt is not the best suited for attacking midair opponents, since this attack does less damage (typically 10%) and knockback at the top of the swing. If the opponent is touching you while you're on the ground, the attack only does 9% damage. It is quite handy as a faster way to counter a shorthopped aerial, since many players will expect Ike's powerful and slower up smash. This is also a surprisingly good finisher for grounded opponents, as good as the up smash and faster than any of Ike's other KO moves. This move's effectiveness varies tremendously with who you're fighting; it's nearly worthless except as a KO move against long ranged characters, but it becomes quite handy against up close and personal characters, particularly if they use a lot of aerials. Forward smash Damage: 22-30% (17-23% at tip) Ko: 50% (100% at tip) Rating: 3/5 Very slow and very powerful, this move symbolizes Ike very well. This has a generous arc of attack and can even hit enemies on platforms above you (which can make it a better alternative to the up smash). Oddly enough, it does less damage at the tip, so if you get a chance to aim it (when your opponent is stunned, for instance), hit them with the middle of the blade. This move has the major flaw that your enemies can easily attack you while you're slowly preparing to attack. This should be used sparingly, but at medium damages (40-80%), throwing in an OCCASIONAL forward smash when your enemy is approaching from a distance will sometimes finish them off nicely. Usually, it will fail and you'll take 10-15% damage, but if it hits you'll do the equivalent of 50-70% damage (which it would take to hurt them more and then KO them using another faster attack). Abusing this attack will get you punished more than another strategy, particularly if your opponent has a Counter, although there are useful tricks you can use with the forward smash in that situation... see the Counter section for details. Down smash Damage: 13-18% (1st forward hit), 16-22% (2nd backward hit) Ko: 150% (1st forward hit), 120% (2nd backward hit) Rating: 2/5 This is your basic two hit downward smash which is actually quite fast, faster than the forward tilt. It sends your opponents upward. This can be followed up with Aether at low damages, but there is significant downtime from the second slash, so this won't turn into a full combo. The downtime will destroy you if you miss and this is less damaging than most of Ike's tilts, so this is mainly used to get desparation KOs at high damage or to punish people who roll into you as opposed to racking up damage. You should really never "try" to hit with the first hit; either be sure to hit with the first hit, or be punishing a roll with the second hit. Up smash Damage: 17-24% Ko: 120% Rating: 4/5 The up smash has a very large range, but is a bit slow. Despite its speed limitation, it is very useful for hitting opponents on a platform above you or for swatting enemies who descend from above. It's a very useful move against airborne enemies, and can even get a few good KOs in the middle of the stage. It's generally best to pick either this move or Aether to fight an airborne enemy, but don't get predictable; mix it up. Remember that you can use it out of a run without stopping. Running attack Damage: 7% Ko: >200% Rating: 1/5 The running attack has a surprisingly long range, because Ike both lunges forward and uses the reach of his blade. The knockback at the tip is horizontal, while the knockback close in is vertical; hitting close in makes some combos possible, but with greater risk to Ike. In either case, Ike's running attack has terrible damage and knockback, without having enough speed to compensate. There is also lag after the attack, leaving Ike vulnerable. There are lots of better options, such as a shorthopped aerial, Quick Draw from greater range, grabbing, or countering, so this attack should rarely, if ever, be used. If you are going to use this attack, learn its range (a bit bigger than a platform on Battlefield) so that you can tap A early and at least be your sword's distance away. Ledge attack Damage: 8% (if Ike's damage is < 100%) or 10% (if Ike's damage is > 100%) Ko: >200% Rating: 1/5 These attacks should rarely be used, particularly the slower ledge attack when Ike's damage is > 100%. Dropping down and then immediately using Aether will do a similar amount of damage without risk to Ike (because Ike's sword goes up without Ike at first). However, using the fast ledge attack occasionally can be useful to mix things up. 4.2 -[ Aerial A button attacks ]- Aerial neutral A (nair) Damage: 9% Ko: 180% Rating: 4/5 This attack has a generous arc of attack all around Ike, starting at the top of his head. However, this is Ike's weakest aerial, so you need a good reason to not use an aerial with a direction. One possible use for this aerial would be as a faster attack against an enemy that is above Ike, since Ike's up aerial is slow. It has less downtime after landing than Ike's other aerials, so using it at close range and then following up with a fast attack like the neutral A combo or an up tilt can pay off well. In a certain narrow damage range (around 30-40%), hitting with the top or front of the aerial will let you follow up with Aether. If your opponent is at higher damages, this is mainly a defensive aerial, since it won't KO them. This aerial has a lot of specific uses and an aerial with almost no downtime is handy, so it becomes better than fair if you are getting dodged/shielded a lot. Aerial forward A (fair) Damage: 13% Ko: 130% Rating: 4/5 The forward aerial attacks with a generous arc in front of Ike, although it does not attack directly above him. It is reasonably powerful, but more importantly has good range and damage. This move is one of Ike's two best moves that make Ike, along with the neutral A combo. Shorthopping a forward aerial at an enemy is a great way to approach them, particularly if you hit with the tip, and the superior range often means that you can hit them without being hit. If they start shielding all the time, you may have to back off, but this should otherwise be a frequently used approach or followup. It is also a decent finishing move at high damages or when edgecamping at medium damages. Aerial back A (bair) Damage: 14% Ko: 120% Rating: 4/5 The back aerial attack comes out very quickly, which will often surprise your enemies, and attacks behind Ike. It has good horizontal range, although Ike does not sweep the blade up or down, and it finishes faster than Ike's other aerials. This is a great attack whenever you can use it, but unfortunately it hits rather high up, so it's hard to shorthop this attack at a short enemy. This is very much the exception to the rule for Ike's attacks, since it is both fast and powerful, so this aerial can often take your enemies by surprise. It's useful for edgecamping and has even more power than the forward aerial, so it is quite handy; use it whenever you can, except possibly if you think that Counter would do even more damage. Although it is less used than some of Ike's other's attacks, it is dominant when it can be used. Aerial down A (dair) Damage: 16% Ko: 140% (when hitting a standing character) Rating: 3/5 Ike's down aerial has a short delay, but has good range and is quite useful for punishing jugglers. This attack is useful for jumping (not shorthopping, usually) at an opponent to hurt them, while dodging ground-based projectiles. It is also one of Ike's more powerful attacks and spikes very well. Although this isn't a primary way to damage your opponent, it is a valuable move since Ike has almost no other way to damage someone below him (Counter tends to miss, and Ike's neutral aerial is far from useful). Oddly, if the attack does not hit in the initial animation, it does only 12% damage and the opponent gets knocked upward, so try to hit with the initial swing. Aerial up A (uair) Damage: 14% Ko: 120% Rating: 3/5 This attack is rather slow to come out; Ike takes his blade and slowly twirls it over his head. It is best used by pressing A well before you reach your target, as soon as you jump off of the ground if you aren't using your second jump. It's not Ike's best aerial because it is so slow; it is basically a smash move in the air without good range. While the damage and knockback are good, there are many other up aerials that would be more useful. This is mainly useful as a kill move at higher damages, along with the forward tilt, and as an alternative to using Aether when your opponent is in the air. Remember that the listed KO percentage is higher than what is needed, since you'll be using this attack against an airborne enemy; it's theoretically better than Ike's up smash for KOing people due to that reason. If you mainly try to hit airborne enemies with the neutral aerial, then use this attack instead, they will generally screw up their air dodges and get hit. 4.3 -[ B button attacks ]- Eruption (neutral B) Damage: 10-37% Ko: 140% (no charge), 40% (full charge) Rating: 2/5 Ike raises his sword, then plunges it down to release a large plume of flame which even penetrates down through a platform. The attack can be charged by holding B. While Ike is plunging his sword downward, he is resistant to knockback, so if he is hit, he will take damage but will still finish the attack. At a full charge, the attack will automatically release with a slightly larger area effect and do 10% damage to Ike. Using this attack can pay off well against people who dash at you frequently, like Sonic, but it is otherwise rather slow compared to the benefit. In close quarters, you will be hit before you gain your knockback resistance, and the uncharged damage is too small to be worthwhile. Charging the attack pretty much tells your foes to run away and shoot you (Look out! He's gonna blow!), so that's only rarely useful. The uncharged attack can be useful for punishing people who are going up or down through a platform; in fact, Eruption can hit tall characters through the platform on stages like Battlefield, which will often surprise them and set up for further attacks. As a high damage KO move, particularly against lightweights who have to be in close range anyways, it is also reasonable due to its large area effect; in particular, it is quite handy against Metaknight, Kirby, and Jigglypuff. This move is generally overrated by the novice player and should be used sparingly, if at all. Quick Draw (side B) Damage: 9-16% Ko: >200% (no charge), 130% (full charge) Rating: 4/5 Ike charges forward toward another character, then rapidly slashes them if they are in range. This attack can be charged by holding B, and the charge can be held as long as you like (if you don't get hit or die). There will be a ding when the attack is fully charged. If this attack ends in the air, regardless of whether Ike hits an enemy or not, Ike is left helpless and will plummet to his death if a platform or edge is not nearby. This move can be used to recover. Although this is one of Ike's weakest attacks, it is very valuable because it is one of Ike's few fast attacks. Occasionally using it when charging towards an opponent can skew their timing and keep them guess. Mixing up your attacks between your ordinary attacks, an uncharged Quick Draw, and a charged Quick Draw can keep them guessing. Spamming Quick Draw will get you KOed, so use it to exploit openings or to occasionally surprise your opponent. Using it high up in the air is almost always a bad idea. There is more on Quick Draw in the Detailed Strategies section (Section 6.1). Counter (down B) Damage: 1.2x the attack damage with a minimum of 10% Ko: varies, knockback equals the knockback of the countered attack with an unknown minimum knockback Rating: 2/5 After a brief windup, Ike flashes and will counterattack if attacked (not grabbed). There is some ending lag, in which Ike can be attacked, before he can do anything else. The value of this move varies based on how well you use it, but it gets a fair rating because Ike is a big, tempting target and needs a defensive tactic besides his superior range. Any time when your opponent would normally attack you, consider using Counter if you can start it in time. You can shorthop it at enemies or wait for them to attack you, but either way it can deter the speedy enemies who will get up in your face. There is more on Counter in the Detailed Strategies section (Section 6.2). Aether (up B) Damage: 3-25% (varies based on when attack hits) Ko: >200% Rating: 4/5 Ike sends his sword spinning upward, then follows it upward, spins in the air, and finally plummets rapidly toward the ground. After Ike tosses his sword and before he is in the air, he is resistant to knockback and will proceed with the attack even if hit. The attack can be aimed while Ike is in the air; he normally moves forward by the end of the attack, but by pushing the joystick in a direction, Ike can move slightly backward or further forward. This is Ike's primary recovery move. Because Aether starts off with a sword and brings Ike back to the ground by the end of the attack, it is very useful for hitting airborne targes with little risk to Ike. It can also do a tremendous amount of damage, particularly to large characters. The attack is also not counterable by an airborne character unless they are at the very top of the sword's arc, since the sword precedes Ike, setting off the counter before Ike is in range. If you've been reading the rest of the guide, you'll notice that about half of Ike's attacks combo into Aether; it's hard to go wrong when using this to attack airborne enemies. You want to try and hit at the edge of Ike's range as usual. However, be wary of attacking grounded enemies with this; if they are quick, they can roll behind you and hit you with a charged smash. Great Aether (final smash) Damage: 64% Ko: 20%, varies based on height of center of level Ike instantly slashes for a large distance in front of him, as well as a small distance above, below, and behind him. If the hit connects, Ike becomes invincible and performs a deadly-looking combo on all enemies caught by the attack, then plummets down to the center of the stage to destroy his foes. If the hit misses, Ike uses his colorful slash animation and does no further damage. This attack can be dodged, but it is still quite easy to land. Just get within striking range of your opponent and wait a short time for them to dodge. If they dodge, hit them at the end of their dodge; if they don't, then just hit them. The only way you should miss is if they randomly choose to dodge after you get in range but right while you are pressing B. The best opponents to hit with this attack are grouped and/or are at the lowest damage at which you can Ko them. If you use your final smash to KO someone at 140%, you've turned your final smash into a tilt attack, so use it wisely. 4.4 -[ Grabs ]- Ike's throws are often underused, but they are quite important because a decent opponent will often shield in order to avoid getting attacked or countered. Since shields beat attacks and don't set off Counter, you'll have to grab to keep your opponents guessing. They can be used while you are running; if you are crouching, you can also grab by shield-grabbing. Grab attack Damage: 3% Ko: N/A This is your basic grab attack; use it only when your opponent is fairly damaged, or they will break out of the grab. Forward throw Damage: 6% Ko: >200% Rating: 2/5 Ike tosses an enemy forward a short distance. This throw is too weak to kill people; it is only useful if you are tossing them off the edge to edgecamp them. Otherwise, pick one of the vertical throws. Back throw Damage: 6% Ko: >200% Rating: 2/5 Ike tosses an enemy backward a short distance. This throw goes further than the forward throw, but still is useless as a kill move. Again, this is for tossing people off of the edge only; vertical throws are much better for dealing damage. Down throw Damage: 6% Ko: 200% Rating: 4/5 Ike tosses an enemy on the ground, which bounces them upward and slightly forward. This throw is probably designed to combo with Aether, and it works quite well, although it will start bouncing the enemy too high around 30-40% damage. This is a great throw for racking up damage; a simple Aether followup will yield around 27% damage total. Up throw Damage: 6% Ko: >200% Rating: 4/5 Ike tosses an enemy straight upward. This can be followed by a shorthopped aerial at low damages or Aether at high damages. This is Ike's best throw at higher damages for damaging an opponent; again, a simple Aether followup will yield around 27% damage total. 4.5 -[ Move listing by KO power ]- Again, remember these vary by weight of character and horizontal recovery capability. Vertical KOs are better than usual against light characters, while horizontal KOs are better than usual against heavy characters. 40%: Fully charged Eruption 50%: Forward smash (center of blade) 100%: Forward tilt, forward smash (tip of blade) 120%: Up smash, up aerial, up tilt, back aerial, down smash (2nd hit) 130%: Fully charged Quick Draw, forward aerial 140%: Uncharged Eruption, down aerial 150%: Down smash (1st hit), down tilt 180%: Neutral A combo, neutral aerial 200%: Down throw ******************************************************************************* * Section 5: Combos * ******************************************************************************* 5.1 -[ Combos ]- Well, Ike doesn't have real combos, since his moves have such high knockback. Many of them have about the same knockback, so they are often interchangeable. In fact, there's really about four combos that Ike has: Vertical knockback -> Aether Moves: nair + landing at 30-40%, dtilt, utilt dthrow < 40%, uthrow > 40% Use this whenever you won't get punished for the Aether. There are some alternative followups like full hopped uair or nair, but they are less damaging. They're mainly used when your opponent uses directional influence to dodge the Aether, or when you want to KO with uair. Uair is particularly good against air dodgers. Bonus combo: uthrow/dtilt -> utilt -> Aether at 0% This depends on your opponent and their weight, but it's quite painful. Nair + landing -> neutral A combo At < 20% damage This is a nice way to get close to your enemy, and if you miss with the nair, you aren't in trouble as long as you land out of grab range. Horizontal throw -> Quick Draw Back/forward throw work equally well for this one, but it's not very damaging. It's best in 2v2 battles where you can toss an enemy at their teammater, then try to hit both. If they air dodge your Quick Draw, don't bother with this. Horizontal knockback -> spike Moves: bthrow/fthrow -> dair, 1-2 neutral A hits -> dtilt These are great if you can pull them off, but your opponent can do a lot to stop them, mainly jumping or air dodging. However, they can still be a good idea even if they don't work most of the time, since early KOs are awesome. If your opponent likes to jump back after a fthrow/bthrow, you can Aether instead of spiking; your opponent will get caught in the Aether and you'll do a weak Aether spike to knock them downwards, while you'll end up hugging the edge. There's a lot that can go wrong with this one; if your opponent gets to the ledge first, hold backward while doing Aether and you won't plunge to your death, although they might get a free hit on you. Fake but useful combo: Neutral A combo -> Aether At 0-30% damage This isn't actually a combo, but enough characters will second jump back towards you that it's worth knowing. When they second jump back, they will be at the perfect angle and height for Aether, so you can punish them for it. ******************************************************************************* * Section 6: Detailed Strategies * ******************************************************************************* 6.1 -[ Quick Draw ]- Quick Draw is one of Ike's most valuable moves for keeping his opponent off balance. This section has several tricks for use with Quick Draw, as well as some advice for when to avoid using Quick Draw. - Attacking an opening Smashes, some special moves, some aerials, and some tilts have downtime, leaving the other character open to an attack. Rolls also leave the roller vulnerable at the end of the roll. Quick Draw is Ike's fastest way to hit someone who has just attacked. This is the main use of Quick Draw, since it is fast but has some nasty downtime itself. You can charge Quick Draw as much as you like, depending on how long your enemy is vulnerable. In fact, this is a great counter to an enemy who likes to charge smashes. However, do not use Quick Draw if the enemy is close; a tilt will do more damage and/or set up for a combo. - Canceling or beating other attacks Some attacks can be beaten by Quick Draw, like the Falcon Kick; others will be canceled, like Sonic's Spin Dash (well, at least one of them). If you beat them, great; if not, that's usually fine too. You'll be next to your opponent, so quickly use the Neutral A combo (or maybe a grab), and you'll generally still do some damage. In fact, it's a good habit to start tapping A any time it appears your Quick Draw will hit (or come close to hitting) your opponent. Be warned that some neutral A combos are faster than yours, like Sonic's, so you may still get hit by a jab. Know your opponent; if they don't jab, great; if they do jab, pick another more to respond with. - Hitting a runner Well, hit a runner with Quick Draw sometimes. This works particularly well if you have a hard time predicting your enemy's approach. Don't do it too often or they'll catch on and start shielding randomly, then smashing you during Quick Draw's large downtime. - Breaking a stalemate Against an enemy who doesn't have a horizontal projectile, charging a Quick Draw will force your enemy to jump or watch their shield wither away. This is useful when your opponent has been playing defensively and winning. There's also the off chance that they do something stupid and actually let you hit them, which is an added bonus. - Moving around the platform quickly Quick Draw only has large downtime if you hit an enemy; if you miss, it is no worse than walking around, since you can do any attack you like almost immediately. In fact, if you miss but end up very close to your enemy, you can follow up with a neutral A combo or a grab -> Aether combo for better damage. This can be useful even if your enemy isn't on the ground. You can use Quick Draw to get under them, then immediately use Aether, Reverse Aether, or jump and use an up aerial to hit them. The speed of Quick Draw, compared to Ike's sluggish running, will often surprise your enemies. I'd strongly recommend using Quick Draw to move around, even when it isn't necessary, so you can get used to the distance that it travels. - Quick Draw fakeout This is fairly simple; go through your normal attack pattern, except when you would normally attack your enemy (in midair or on the ground), charge a Quick Draw instead. Obviously, this only works when you are outside of your opponents attack range and when you won't get blasted by a projectile, unless you're expecting your opponent to roll, sidestep, or Counter. This is very handy because you can exploit the lag after your opponent's attack and damage them with a partially or fully charged Quick Draw. Even if your opponent does not attack and jumps away, you still do not lose, since you can choose when to relase the Quick Draw so you don't charge right into an enemy aerial. If you miss with the Quick Draw, you can still jump up and hit your enemy with a back aerial, up aerial, or Reverse Aether. This will also confuse your opponent and make your regular attacks more effective; when they jump to avoid your Quick Draw fakeout, sometimes they will get hit by your shorthopped forward aerial instead. - When not to use Don't use Quick Draw against opponents with low damage; because of the large lag, you can easily hit them and still get hit back. Don't use Quick Draw randomly, as a routine approach, or just because you feel like it. Quick Draw is a low upside, high downside attack because it deals low damage but has a large downtime; if your enemy sees it coming, you will be punished by your opponent shielding or air dodging, then smashing or comboing you. Don't use Quick Draw when you could hit your opponent with a more damaging attack. Every bit of damage can count, so don't waste a good opportunity. Don't use Quick Draw when it could take you off of the edge; even if you are quite confident it will hit, a small chance of self-destructing is a major problem. Don't use Quick Draw when you will get swallowed; it is humiliating and ineffective. There is also an odd effect on the edge of platforms in particular, where Ike will be dragged off the platform and falls to his death when he uses a fully charged Quick Draw on an enemy using Swallow. 6.2 -[ Counter ]- There are two categories of Counters; reactive and preemptive. - Reactive counters After seeing someone attack, counter it with the right timing. This works against slow attacks like G-dorf's Warlock Punch, although most opponents learn not to use those on you. Certain attacks can not be countered; here is a list of these attacks. Respond with your sword if you can predict them well in advance, and air dodge or sidestep otherwise. Attacks that count as grabs: Bowser's Flying Slam (side B) Captain Falcon's Falcon Dive (up B) Diddy Kong's Monkey Flip (side B) Ganondorf's Dark Dive (up B) Ganondorf's Flame Choke (side B) King Dedede's Swallow (neutral B) Kirby's Swallow (neutral B) Lucario's Force Palm (side B) Wario's Bite (neutral B) Yoshi's Egg Lay (neutral B) - Preemptive counters This is what most of your counters are; you are guessing your opponent will attack and Countering before you see them attack. This is mostly what you will be using, since Ike's Counter is slow. Keep in mind: 1. Will your opponent attack? 2. Will you do better by attacking, shield-grabbing or sidestepping? 6.3 -[ Approaches ]- Ike has a lot of approaches, which is good because you'll be chasing after your opponent most of the time. Be sure to pick different approaches, particularly if one isn't working. The main way to approach is: - Shorthop and use a forward aerial This is a good default approach, and you can even use it against shielding if your opponent doesn't have a good ranged grab. Ike's forward aerial has excellent range, good damage, and will slice through many projectiles. Since you'll often be approaching through the air anyways to avoid projectiles, this is a very natural approach. The downside is the forward aerial has some lag time, so if you miss, you will be in front of your enemy; hitting with the tip of your forward aerial will help a LOT in keeping you safe, but you'll need other options too. - Jump and use a down aerial This can avoid almost all projectiles, and it can still hit all characters if you time the aerial correctly. It also does the best damage of any single approach, and sets up well for combos due to the upwards knockback. However, it is generally a bit slower than the shorthopped forward aerial. Ike is also in the worst position when attacking, since he is in the air above the enemy; this position is generally a bad idea. This is a nice alternative when used rarely, but it is too risky to be a main option. It's best against the tall characters of course. - Shorthop and use Counter If your enemy likes to smash you or hit you with a projectile when you approach, jumping and using Counter will punish your enemy severely, if you time it well. A Countered smash can do more damage than even Ike's down aerial and may even KO your opponent. This does leave Ike vulnerable for a time, so it is best used as an alternative, rather than a routine attack. - Use a running attack Ike's running attack has good range, particularly if you time it right. But, it has bad damage and still has a little downtime at the end of the attack. This is generally a bad option, but it is a little less risky than the other attacking options. It should be used somewhere between rarely and never, depending on how good your opponent is at stopping your other approaches. - Use an uncharged Quick Draw Ike's fastest approach seems useful, but should rarely or never be used, except when your enemy attacks and leaves an opening, due to the high risk of using Quick Draw predictably. Pick a different set of approaches and use them. The only exception is if your enemy is using an antiair projectile; in that case, you'll have to approach through the ground, and Quick Draw is the fastest way to hit them while they are still attacking. - Use a Quick Draw fakeout This is covered in the Quick Draw section, but using this from time to time will help to make your other attacks more dangerous. It won't work against enemies with projectiles that can hit you from range, but it can work if their projectiles are slow to come out (such as Zelda), since Ike can hit them before they release the projectile. It's particularly potent for an opponent at 140% or so damage, since a fully charged Quick Draw can KO them if they roll or sidestep, if you get the timing correct. - Run and shield-grab To stop enemies who frequently shield or Counter, a running shield-grab can put them in their place. The damage for this varies greatly on whether you can pull off a grab -> Aether combo; it can be Ike's worst or best approach in terms of damage. Ike is rather slow, so this is yet another alternative, rather than a routine option. - Roll behind your opponent Sometimes you can't predict your enemy's timing; rolling behind them can let you exploit them when they stand still to attack. It works best against characters like Ike, who stand still to attack, as opposed to characters like Wolf, who move forward with their forward smash. Your enemy can counter this with a down smash; if they routinely use this when you approach, you're far better off Countering or using an aerial. Otherwise, this is another chance to mix up your play. 6.4 -[ Defending ]- These strategies are for enemies who are charging you; this doesn't happen as much, but it's worth thinking about. When your opponent is charging you: If you're on the ground, you can either brace for the attack with Counter or by shielding, stand there and counterattack, or charge out and counterattack. Using Counter or shielding is useful as a change of pace, but your faster opponents will frequently grab you simply because you can Counter (or because fast characters like grabs), so this shouldn't be your primary option. Counter is generally better than shielding, unless you feel you can pull off a vertical grab -> Aether combo. Grabs are often difficult against speedy foes as well. A standing counterattack is best done with a tilt, usually the forward tilt, or the occasional forward smash (at 50-80% when it would actually kill your enemy). The up tilt is useful against shorthopped aerials. Eruption can also be a decent option if you expect your opponent may instead attack from the air. This is often your best bet, since if your attacks come out at the same time you are guaranteed not to get hit. However, an enemy can exploit this by charging in, shielding or standing still, and then dashing in to smack you around. The timing for this can also be awkward, since fast characters can easily surprise you.Charging out should only be done with Quick Draw, but this can be quite effective, since Quick Draw will at least neutralize and often override other fast attacks. It also works if the other person hasn't attacked yet, obviously. However, your opponent can fake you out by shielding or, to a lesser extent, jumping, so this isn't a reliable response either. There is no single correct answer here, but you should select from these three main options and change them up randomly. If you can usually get all three options to work, usually pick the option that does the most damage, but don't do it all of the time. This will confuse your opponent and also keep them from trying to stop your favorite strategy. If you're in the air, you have very limited options. Against an opponent attacking from the side, you can use the forward or back aerial, Counter, or just air dodge and hope for better times. Particularly if you are facing away from your enemy, it isn't a big deal to be attacked from the side. If your enemy is trying to juggle you however, Ike only has one attack of value: his down aerial. This is slow to come out, so Ike is easily juggled. The best option is often to try to move off to one side, so Ike can actually hit them with Counter. Counter won't hit an enemy directly below you, so it is generally a waste against a good juggler. The other option is to air dodge, but this is less effective against fast characters since they can often smack you with an aerial after you dodge. 6.5 -[ Recovering ]- Ike has two recovery options: Aether and Quick Draw. Of the two options, Aether is much more reliable than Quick Draw, but Quick Draw has greater recovery potential if Ike needs large horizontal recovery. They cannot be combined, since Quick Draw will leave Ike helpless and unable to attack after it is used and Aether will make Ike plummet to his death. As a general rule, use Quick Draw only if Aether won't work, which can be figured out from experience and how far away you are from the platform. - Aether Recovery [AET] When you are knocked out from the platform, immediately hold the joystick toward the platform and keep it there. Use your double jump, if you have it, to move toward the platform. Using midair attacks and Counter are fine, provided that you will recover from the downtime in time to use Aether. If someone jumps out, odds are that they are trying to knock you outward and/or spike you. Counter will deal with this problem, provided you use it in time. Spikes typically have a delay compared to regular aerials, so know the attack your enemy will use. The forward aerial can also work to keep your enemy away, but be sure to hit them at the maximum range or you might get hit anyways. If they can spike you, odds are that you could use Quick Draw to recover, so you should also consider that if you have trouble predicting your enemy's timing. For maximum recovery power, use Aether when the top of your spinning sword is level with the top of the platform and the far side of your sword is almost, but not quite touching the platform. Hold the joystick toward the platform after you start the Aether, and you will move toward the stage while you are spinning in the air. You will latch onto the edge and be temporarily invincible. Sometimes, your opponent will try to edgehog you; if that happens, try to Quick Draw past them or, at the proper range, use Aether and hold the joystick toward the platform so you land on it, rather than the edge. If you do get spiked, try to use Aether repeatedly; you're basically guaranteed to die, but if you can hit your enemy with Aether, the end of the attack is a weak downward spike that may take them with you. The same applies if they hit you, but do try to accurately hit them with Aether rather than just spamming it. Spite is always a good reason to KO an enemy. - Quick Draw Recovery [QUI] When you are knocked out from the platform, immediately hold the joystick toward the platform and keep it there. Use your double jump, if you have it, to move toward the platform. Then simply charge Quick Draw. If you are not attacked by projectiles and no one gets in your way in the air or on the edge, release it when the top of Ike is just below the top of the platform, and you will hopefully latch onto the edge and be temporarily invincible. However, a Quick Draw recovery can easily be ruined if someone is in front of Ike. If someone jumps out, you may need to use Quick Draw early to sail over their heads; this is normally a bad idea, since you will be knocked back out if someone stays on the platform, but it is better than certain death. However, if you realize for some reason that you will not be able to recover with Quick Draw, feel free to hit your opponent out of spite if possible. - Hanging from the Edge [HAN] When you are hanging from the edge, you can hit L or R to roll onto the stage, push the joystick toward the platform to climb on with no attack, press up or jump to jump up from the edge, press A to ledge attack, or press down to fall down off of the edge. If an enemy is close to the edge, you can tap down and then immediately use Aether to safely hit them; if they are damaged by the combo, you can move in toward the platform while spinning and land on the platform, then follow up the attack like a standard Aether. If they stay fairly close, then don't move and just let the attack bring you back down to the edge, then drop down again and use Aether again. Eventually, they will decide to back off and stand farther away. Don't get too happy; wait for a little and see if they charge a smash; if they do, don't roll if it's a down smash and don't get up normally if it's a forward smash. Your opponent will probably try to forward smash you, so jumping up from the edge or rolling will generally avoid this attack. Rolling is riskier, but puts you in a great position with your opponent between you and the edge. Watch out for enemies who use a down smash however; you should just climb up normally then, by pressing the joystick toward the platform. Jumping leaves Ike high in the air, which is generally a bad idea, but avoids almost all attacks. Don't form habits here; mix up your choices here and don't pick the options that will get you hit against your opponents habitual attacks. Whatever the outcome, do try to return the favor and knock your opponent off so you can try out some edgecamping. 6.6 -[ Edgecamping ]- - Why edgecamp? [WHY] Simply put, edgecamping is nearly the only way you can consistently beat an xcellent player. Ike has a lower ceiling than most other characters for dealing combo damage because his fast attacks do not combo and his tilts have significant downtime and are slow to come out. Some fast characters can devise complicated schemes (or just juggle you) to take you from 0 to 50% starting with a down tilt; Ike is simply too slow to deal with that. Ike's attacks are balanced against a player with few or no combos, but when an enemy can use their faster tilts (or grabs) to do more total damage than Ike's equivalent attack, they gain a major advantage. Your enemy also has many ways on the stage to dodge your powerful long-ranged attacks. All of these problems are turned on their head when your enemy is recovering. They have no combos, and your opponent is just worried about attacks in general. Ike's superior knockback is what counts, and his excellent range and his sword use allow him to trump enemy attacks. Your opponent also must behave much more predictably in getting back to the stage, or they will simply fall to their deaths. Some people feel that edgecamping is cheap; in a friendly game where your opponents don't know many combos, you should be able to beat them on the stage alone. If you can't, then there are some flaws in your game that you need to fix. Therefore, you may choose to not edgecamp to be nice and work on your stage game. However, against enemies who chain throw or know lots of combos, edgecamping is vital and entirely fair. - General Tips [TIP] Ike has a natural advantage in edgecamping due to his fast long-ranged back aerial and his powerful long-ranged down aerial. However, his attacks all have significant downtime and Ike himself is a weak jumper, so it takes some skill to edgecamp well. Here are some quick tips for edgecamping. 1. Jump off and use only one attack. Almost no good enemy will fall prey to Ike's forward smash near the edge, even though it would likely be a KO. THerefore, it is better to take the fight to the enemy. Unfortunately, Ike will generally die if he uses multiple attacks off of the edge; even one poorly timed attack can kill him due to the lag from his attacks. Thus, you have to make your attack count. 2. The down aerial spike is preferable at low damages. Ike's spike is fairly powerful and can kill some opponents at 0% damage; this is the equivalent of doing 120% damage or so with a single attack, which is better than your forward smash or final smash. The back aerial generally won't kill people right away; if it does, they aren't at low damages. However, using the back aerial does give you a chance to hit them again when they come back, so don't pass up on a sure back aerial for an unlikely spike opportunity. 3. Edgehog tether users. Only one person can be on the edge, so Ivysaur, Olimar, and Zero Suit Samus will fall to their death if they can't knock you off or recover with their second jump. Short hop off and grab the edge to edgehog them. If they can recover with their second jump, hit them with an aerial first and then edgehog them. 4. Get back on the platform quickly. If your attack succeeds, you can get back up and jump out to attack them again, if need be. If your attack fails, your opponent will generally recover with their up B attack; if you're quick, you can hit them with Aether while they are recovering. Even if they get back on with no damage, it's better to use Aether early; if they try to edgehog you, you'll need all the Aether height you can get. - Detailed Strategy [DET] Ike has several edgecamping techniques, which are: 1. Stay near the edge and use a forward smash (or rarely, a forward tilt). This technique shouldn't be used by default; it should only be used when your opponent shows that they are vulnerable to it by not going for the edge. They don't necessarily have to be bad players for this to work; Bowser and Donkey Kong may get tired of you spiking them and use their recovery earlier than normal. The upside of this technique is almost always a KO due to Ike's forward smash, but it is too predictable to use as a normal technique. 2. Stay near the edge and use a down tilt. The down tilt will spike your opponents fairly well, but most opponents will go straight for the edge, gain the temporary invincibility, and get off of the edge quickly. This can work against enemies who are just staying on the edge for a while to stall the game or hope you will make a mistake. A few characters like Sonic do not grab the edge when they pass it; a well timed down tilt can stop them in their tracks. Against other characters, if you stand way out on the edge, you may be able to stop some poorly aimed up B recoveries, but a forward smash or tilt will generally be better due to the superior range. 3. Stay somewhat near the edge and hit your opponent after they use their up B. This is best against characters against King Dedede and Sonic who won't grab the edge with their up B. Sometimes, its better to see where your opponent is going and then react, particularly if they have a lot of range like Dedede or Zelda. Try to KO them if you can, but even a little bit of damage helps. If your opponent grabs the edge, this is fairly worthless. 4. Stand on the edge and use Aether facing away from the platform. As crazy as this sounds, if you do an Aether facing outward from the platform (do NOT use the joystick to move further outward), you will damage your opponent and send them falling downward while grabbing the edge to save yourself and possibly edgehog. Obviously, if you move too far out, you'll die instead, but this technique can be quite useful against a recovering enemy who is very high up in the air. Otherwise, an aerial or possibly a forward smash is a better bet. 5. Jump or shorthop off and use a down aerial. This is Ike's best option, if he can pull it off, since it will frequently kill your opponent outright even at low damages (characters like ROB are an exception). It is excellent against Bowser and Donkey Kong and still good against many other characters. This doesn't have to work often to be effective; if your opponent smacks you for 13% most of the time and you KO them for the equivalent of up to 120% occasionally, it's still a good plan. Your opponent may also make mistakes to avoid being spiked, allowing you to edgecamp them a different way in the future. Even though this takes lots of practice, since Ike's down aerial is not instant, it is easily worth the effort to learn. 6. Jump or shorthop off and use a back aerial. A lot of the time, your opponent will be too high up for a down aerial, so use a back aerial. This is the easiest aerial to use, since it is fast; hit your enemy while using as much of your range as possible. You generally won't start out facing away from the platform, so roll towards the edge (or turn around if you are already there) before jumping out. Your opponent really can't do much about this attack other than air dodge (or Counter, if they have it), so it is a low risk manuever. 7. Jump or shorthop off and use a forward aerial. Well, sometimes you are facing the platform and don't have time to turn around; use a forward aerial instead. The forward aerial is often better than the back aerial if your opponent is relatively low because it is easier to hit with the forward aerial due to its generous arc. You're generally better off being skilled with the back aerial due to its speed and power, but hitting your opponent is the most important thing. The forward aerial can be also better if you have a hard time predicting your enemy's movements. 8. Jump or shorthop off and use Counter. This is good against enemies who can or want to use their up B attacks a lot to recover, with a few exceptions for tethers, grabs, and teleports. It is generally a bad idea against aerials; even if it will frequently work, you're on the wrong end of the spike game, so use Counter from a safe distance. 9. Jump or shorthop off, then jump back. Obviously, this does nothing on its own; its meant to fake your opponent into using their up B early, so you can smack them with an attack (forward smash, down tilt, or forward tilt). This is useful against enemies who are used to you jumping out and hitting them. Don't try this against enemies who will recover anyways, like Fox with his side B, or against enemies who will ignore you, like Ike with Aether. 10. Edgehog. Jump off and hang off of the edge. It's great against certain opponents and nearly worthless against some others; see anti-character strategies for details. The key time to edgehog almost any character is when both you and an opponent are recovering; if you get there first, you'll be temporarily invulnerable, so just hang out and force your enemy to recover to the platform. You can then press down and quickly use Aether to punish them. - Improving your edgecamping skills [IMP] Obviously, you need to practice. Practicing on computers helps a little, but the best experience comes from practicing on humans. The key thing is to keep trying edgecamping, even though it will usually fail and sometimes kill you at first. The payoff is definitely worthwhile in the long run, so don't get discouraged. You may notice your enemies altering their recovery tactics due to your edgecamping; note what they do and figure out how you can deal with it (Should you stay on the edge and attack from there? Should you attack later? Will they mess up if you shorthop out and then hop back without attacking?). It's always an evolving struggle, but it will be very helpful if you're careful. 6.7 -[ KOing fast enemies ]- Occasionally, you'll run into an enemy that will drive you crazy by bouncing around with projectiles, shield grabs, and dodges when they are at high damage; since Ike's three best kill moves (forward smash, forward tilt, and up smash) are all slow, they will often keep you at bay while sneaking in some attacks. To beat this, keep in mind that your enemy only has a few ways to dodge in close range; they can roll away, sidestep/air dodge, roll toward you, or jump. If they frequently roll away, charge a Quick Draw when you would normally attack, and hit them at the end of their roll. If they like to sidestep, a delayed forward tilt or even the overkill forward smash can work well to throw off their timing. If they roll towards you, a down smash will work well, particularly if you hit them with the backward hit, which is a fairly good attack. If they take to the air, a forward aerial will sometimes work, but a back aerial is the best way to defeat your enemy. You can also just try to get them off the edge and use the standard edgecamping techniques; spiking someone at 100% isn't as fun as spiking them at 20%, but it's still a KO. ******************************************************************************* * Section 7: Anti-Character Strategies * ******************************************************************************* Characters are discussed in alphabetical order by their parent character. Difficulty ratings are not included, since they are generally tainted by a small sample size and by certain bad players who spam one or two moves. Your opponent will determine how tough the fight is anyways. Any guesses about another character's strategy are based mostly on WiFi play. KO moves are shown with their KO percents against Ike from the middle of Final Destination. The KO percents are determined by hitting an AI Ike on the ground, so vertical KOing aerials, in particular, may end your life earlier. Juggling has four ratings: good, okay, bad, and never. Good means you should try to juggle them more than half the time, while bad means you should only try to juggle them when they wouldn't expect it. Never means that you should stick to Aether or the ground, unless you're going for a RARE surprise KO with uair. Although Aether will often outdamage Ike's aerials, hitting an opponent with an aerial lets you hit them again or Aether, so it's useful to sneak in aerials when you can. As a general rule, if you can trade hits as Ike, this is almost always a good idea, particularly against lightweights. However, this is even true against heavyweights, with one glaring exception. Bowser [BOW] Horizontal KO moves: Fsmash (2nd hit) 90%, Bair 120%, Fair 150% Vertical KO moves: Dsmash 110%, Usmash 110%, Uair 110%, Utilt 130%, up B 150% Fighting Bowser is different from other characters because if you just sit there trading hits with Bowser, you will lose. He is the heaviest character in the game, has a very damaging forward smash, and has a very punishing grab (the side B Flying Slam). Bowser will often try to use Flying Slam to suicide off of the edge when he is more damaged than you are; hold your joystick toward the platform after you are grabbed and you should survive; do the opposite if you are more damaged than he is. Counter is of less use than normal because Bowser can perform a midair Flying Slam, which will pierce through your Counter and do 18% damage to you, so use Counter almost never. mainly to deal with Bowser Bomb (down B) and Whirling Fortress (up B). The key against Bowser is to use your range with the forward aerial, forward smash, and forward tilt in order to keep him at bay, like fighting a beast. If at all possible, using a vertial tilt or Eruption to get him in the air will also pay off. Charging Quick Draw should generally be avoided if Bowser is in the air, since he can use his flame breath to block the attack and hurt you. Quick Draw should only be used to exploit openings, not as a normal attack or approach. If you can keep Bowser at range or above you, Ike has a good chance of winning. Otherwise, you'll just have to use the neutral A combo (or a grab -> Aether combo) to get him out of your face. Don't get sucked into an air battle, since Bowser's excellent air options (a fast forward aerial and Flying Slam) will generally destroy you; using your back aerial is an exception, or keeping your distance. Juggling: Okay Aether does a large amount of damage to Bowser, and even his fast falling Bowser Bomb will be stopped by a flying sword. Juggling with uair or nair is actually a decent tactic against Bowser, due to his laggy dair and poor range below him, but it's even better to jump up and Bowser Bomb-bait, which you can Counter. Uair will also hit Bowser even through the Bowser Bomb, although Ike will still get hurt. Bowser can juggle Ike with utilt; his uair is too slow and can always be stopped by a dair if you see it coming, but will often KO you if you mess up the timing. Edgecamping: Bowser's Whirling Fortress can be intercepted with dair (best), bair, or fair fairly easily, so do try to knock him off of the edge. Bowser may try to smack you with a forward aerial if you return from up high; try to punish him with a forward aerial if that happens, but remember that his fair is very fast and has some range. Final Smash Bowser transforms into Giga Bowser, the giant version of himself that does not flinch and does much more damage. The best option is to avoid him by running away, rolling away, and/or jumping. If you have to stand and fight, Counter is your friend, as Bowser tends to be very direct and attack much more when he is a giant. Aether can also be useful, since it will usually do full damage and you won't flinch for a short time after you throw your sword. Captain Falcon [CAP] Captain Falcon is a nice fast runner, but his attacks generally aren't too fast. Quick Draw will pierce through his Raptor Boost (side B) and Falcon Kick (down B) to damage him, so it is quite useful in this fight to counter those moves and occasionally smack him when he approaches you. You can Counter those moves too, but they can come at you fast, so Quick Draw is generally a better response. Counter is quite effective against him, particularly if he likes to smash. Avoid the air due to his very powerful forward aerial and quick attacks, except to land your back aerial, and use Counter and your superior range if you have to fight him while airborne. Captain Falcon will often try to sit back, dodge/shield your attack, and then use his superior speed to exploit the lag after your attacks. This behavior is quite annoying, so charging a Quick Draw will force him to jump and actually fight you; hitting him with the charged Quick Draw probably won't happen, but is a nice potential bonus. Fighting Falcon up close on the ground is generally fine, due to your superior A, A, A combo, and can be simpler if you have a hard time dealing with his running speed. Juggling: Bad Falcon has a damaging dair spike with decent range below him; you can hit him safely with a rising uair or hitting him from the side, but it's really not worth the trouble, especially since he can just Falcon Kick you if you try any of that. It's not hopeless, but Aether or usmash are better almost all of the time. The down aerial will stop his Falcon Dive (up B) if you get it out in time, but the timing can be difficult. The Falcon Dive will of course pierce through Counter, but you shouldn't be countering enemies who are directly below you anyways. Falcon can also just uair you with similar results; air dodge is fine against either move if you have trouble predicting him. Edgecamping: Edgecamping with the down aerial if he is low or a horizontal aerial if he is at platform level can work decently well. Falcon can suicide KO you with side B, so don't miss... unless you're more damaged. Falcon can fair you to death if you are off the ledge; try to air dodge this, and be aware of the attack well in advance, since it is fast. Final Smash Captain Falcon brings in his racer in front of him, then viciously runs over anyone caught by the initial hit, resulting in instant KOs. This move is best air dodged or rolled away from, like all short range final smashes. Diddy Kong [DID] Horizontal KO moves: Fsmash 130%, Dsmash 130%, Fair 150%, Bair 170% Vertical KO moves: Uair 180% Monkey Flip (side B) is a nasty move that can turn into either a grab or an attack; it's best to counter this with a forward tilt, as you'll tie with the attack and beat the grab. Diddy will often sprinkle banana peels in your path; obviously, don't try to Quick Draw over a banana peel and feel free to throw them at him. The uncharged Peanut Popgun is more of an antiair projectile than an antiground projectile, so try to approach through the ground and avoid shorthopping aerials from a distance. Quick Draw, charged or uncharged, will often work as an approach if there are no banana peels in your path. The running attack can be a decent option, since it will cancel or beat Monkey Flip, if Diddy feels like counterattacking, and Diddy has rather short range, making it harder for him to punish a miss. Running attack can also pick up bananas if you press A right when you're about to touch the peel. Too late or too early, and you trip and eat an attack. When used right, it does a lot to negate Diddy's major advantage in limiting your options. As usual, avoid short range air combat against this quick character, particularly since Diddy can grab you in midair, and use bair or defensive fairs if you must fight in midair. Diddy's throws are reasonably damaging and set up for further attacks, so spot dodging can often be better than shielding. Diddy can't really KO upward, so stay in the middle of the platform if you get fairly damaged. You'll still have to chase him a bit, but keep him between you and the edge. Don't run over bananas if you want to live. Juggling: Good Diddy has a slow dair spike with almost no range and doesn't have a fastfalling aerial attack, so juggle away. Diddy can juggle you fairly easily due to his good jumping and fast uair with low knockback; bair will help to keep him off of you. Edgecamping: Edgecamping is dangerous against Diddy, since he can use Monkey Flip to spike you if he catches you horizontally. It's best to stay away unless Diddy must use Rocketbarrel Boost to recover, in which case you can use dair, fair, or Counter to defend as you choose. You can occasionally hit him from the platform with ftilt or dtilt if he's recovering at an angle, since Rocketbarrel Boost is hard to aim. Diddy can spike you with his dair, so you may need to air dodge. Final Smash Diddy jumps into the air and blasts peanuts, which pierce shields and Counter. The remains from the peanuts can be eaten to regain health. Hide well under a platform if possible. If that isn't possible, roll or air dodge in the direction his guns used to be pointing once his guns are pointed at you. For example, if he is bombarding the platform from left to right, roll or air dodge to the left once his guns are aimed at you. Donkey Kong [DON] Horizontal KO moves: Fsmash 80%, Bair 130% Vertical KO moves: Usmash 90%, Dsmash 110%, Utilt (close to DK) 130%, Uair 140% Donkey Kong is rather similar to you as a melee character with good range, except with a powerful charged punch and no Counter. He does have faster tilts that do less damage than your attacks, but your sword beats his attacks. If Donkey Kong is overly aggressive, shorthopping backward and fairing him will typically work, so most Donkey Kongs will play defensive. You'll have to attack Donkey Kong in order to keep him from charging up his punch (neutral B). If he does have a fully charged punch, be very careful about using the forward smash or other attacks with large downtime; roll around more than you normally would and try to make him miss. Counter is useful in this fight due to Donkey Kong's good range and power. Approaching Donkey Kong is generally better from the air due to his Ground Pound (down B), which has excellent range; a shorthopped fair, nair, or Counter will generally work quite well. Fighting Donkey Kong in the air can be effective well; his Headbutt (side B) and forward aerial have a significant delay before they land, and all his aerials are outranged by Ike. Counter is also an excellent option in midair due to that delay. However, DK's bair is very fast and has almost no downtime with decent range, so you don't particularly want to go toe to toe with that... except with your bair, which trumps pretty much everything. An oddity of DK is that he can be more threatening with his back to you; besides his good bair, his utilt hits far behind him and combos with itself at low %s, or sets up for an uair/bair at higher %s. On the ground, fighting at range is not nearly as useful as normal, due to Donkey Kong's excellent range; getting in close for a vertical grab -> Aether or a neutral A combo will often pay off well. Quick Draw is useful to exploit mistakes, but charging it won't work against a good grounded Donkey Kong, who will spam Ground Pound (down B) until you charge and get hit. Again, DK is well-protected against opponents behind him with his bair, utilt, and excellent + fast dsmash, so don't consider yourself safe unless you've got range as well. Donkey Kong can KO with his fsmash very early or his dsmash/usmash very quickly, and his uair/bair can cause some later KOs as well. Be leery of using fair/ftilt against a DK who can spot dodge at higher %s; spot dodge to fsmash can destroy you very quickly. Juggling: Good DK has a slow dair spike with low range and is a big target, so juggling is handy... but Aether is too, so you're spoiled for choice here. The trick is getting him into the air, which is tough due to his range; countering a predicted bair with utilt is one useful trick. DK can juggle you with uair, which has good upward range and is fast but loses to your dair. The timing is tricky however, so don't expect to consistently win. A bigger problem is his utilt, which has almost usmash- worthy range above and behind him. This move can juggle you quite easily, so you really need your full range or the neutral A combo. Edgecamping: Donkey Kong can be spiked with the down aerial or hit with the back aerial when recovering fairly easily, so knocking him off of the edge can lead to some early KOs. A good Donkey Kong player will be fairly talented at spiking, so try to Counter (or intercept with the forward aerial) accordingly when you recover from high up. He can also bair you if you come in too high. Final Smash Donkey Kong knocks out a wicked beat on his bongo drums. Just get as far away as possible by jumping and/or using Quick Draw or Aether to avoid this attack. Don't kill yourself when trying to run away though. Baiting can work if he is tricked into using the attack in the middle of the stage, but don't rely on it. Falco [FAL] Falco has a very annoying blaster that absolutely requires approaching from the air. If you are far away, you may have to pull desparation moves like jumping, using Quick Draw above the blaster fire, falling into a blaster shot, then using your second jump to get close enough to attack. Falco's reflector is another low damaging annoyance that is nearly impossible to avoid up close; Counter it if you can get close, or stop and charge a Quick Draw just outside of the reflector's range, then release when you get a clear approach. His Falco Phantasm (side B) will knock you upward, which is not where you want to be; use the neutral A combo on the ground or air dodge in the air to defeat it. Falco mainly uses his forward smash as a KO move or when his opponent is on the far end of melee range. This smash can often be predicted, so a well timed Counter will pay off well, particularly when you are highly damaged and your opponent is trying hard to KO you. Another option when you are at high damage is to fight in the air; this is typically a bad idea, but Falco's aerials cannot KO you when you are over a platform, while your forward or back aerials can KO him. Falco is a light fastfaller, so Aether combos will work well against him. Falco has a nasty chain grab involving his down throw; with Ike's lack of fast aerials and heavy weight, you'll get repeatedly caught by it. Just be aware that Falco is quite likely to go for a grab at low damage, so try to put your sword in between you and him, don't use attacks with large downtime, and don't use uncharged Quick Draw without a guaranteed hit. Juggling: Okay Falco doesn't have a fastfalling aerial, but his dair is fast and has some downward range. You're fine if you hit him with uair/nair slightly to the side, however. Falco can use side B and aim it downward, but this is just Counter bait and should never be used by a good player. Falco can juggle decently with his uair (or utilt if you are too close); it's fast and has some range but loses to dair. Edgecamping: When Falco is knocked off, he will often try to recover with Falco Phantasm; putting a sword in his path, particularly the down tilt when he is going for the edge will finish him off. Nair, uari or even Eruption can do a decent job of keeping Falco off the stage as well, if he recovers above the edge. Against Fire Bird (up B), jumping off and using the down aerial or Counter can work quite well. Falco Phantasm can kill you if you get hit by it over air; make sure to have a sword in Falco's path, or else get out of the way. Falco has an instant spike, so you'll have to Counter well in advance, use a forward aerial, or try a Quick Draw over his head if he jumps off the platform. Final Smash Falco jumps up, damaging enemies on the way up, and summons his landmaster. He can fire shots from the turret or do a barrel roll to damage enemies on the tank. However, Falco mainly gets landmaster KOs by rising into the air and pushing enemies off the top of the screen. This is very effective against Ike's sluggish ways, so if you find yourself on top of the landmaster, use Quick Draw to get to the nearest side and run off (not jump off). Otherwise, try to crouch and roll around alot. Hiding under a platform, if there is one, will often protect you for awhile. Fox [FOX] Fox is the quickest of the three space animals, and specializes in KOing enemies by knocking them off the top of the screen with his up smash and up aerial. Fox's blaster does not stun you, so stick to the air at distance and hit him with a Quick Draw if you are in range and he continues to spam. However, never stay in his blaster fire unless you have no choice or you are about to hit/grab him; it can rack up damage very quickly. Fox is the most deadly at close range, so use your full range against him. In close range, you'll just have to use the neutral A combo and hope. Fox can bait your usmash, utilt, and aerials by approaching from above, using his Shine (neutral B) to stall until you finish the attack, then dropping down and dairing you, and finishing it all with a dsmash. This is trouble even if you don't get caught attacking, since the dair -> dsmash combo can pierce through your shield at times; just Aether or walk away. Fox's aerials tend to be multihitting and are thus worthless to counter; nair is good if you are getting run over up close, since it still outranges Fox. Fox's KO moves don't have much horizontal range, so keeping your distance is even more important when you are heavily damaged. Juggling: Never Fox should never be juggled due to his Shine shenanigans mentioned earlier; at best, you should uair to get the KO at high damage, hopefully surprising him. Aether is vastly superior to any aerial otherwise, and Fox's Shine stalling just makes him easier to hit with Aether. Fox can also use side B and aim it downward, but this is just Counter bait and should never be used by a good player. Falco can juggle decently with his uair (or utilt if you are too close); it's fast and has some range but loses to dair. His uair is more relevant as a KO move however, due to its power and speed. Edgecamping: (mostly pasted from Falco) When Fox is knocked off, he will often try to recover with side B; putting a sword in his path, particularly the down tilt when he is going for the edge will finish him off. Nair, uari or even Eruption can do a decent job of keeping Falco off the stage as well, if he recovers above the edge. Against Fire Fox (up B), jumping off and using the down aerial or Counter can work quite well. Side B can kill you if you get hit by it over air; make sure to have a sword in Fox's path, or else get out of the way. Fox will probably try for a horizontal aerial, so you'll have to Counter well in advance, use a forward aerial, or try a Quick Draw over his head if he jumps off the platform. Final Smash Fox jumps up, damaging enemies on the way up, and summons his landmaster. He can fire shots from the turret or do a barrel roll to damage enemies on the tank. Fox mainly gets landmaster KOs by shooting enemies off of the screen; Ike will take damage if he's standing on the barrel of the tank. If you find yourself on top of the landmaster, use Quick Draw to get to the nearest side and run off (not jump off) to avoid being shot or levitated off the top of the screen. Otherwise, try to crouch and roll around alot. Hiding under a platform, if there is one, will often protect you for a little while. Ganondorf [GAN] Horizontal KO moves: Neutral B 30%, Fsmash 80%, Fair 90%, Dsmash 130% Vertical KO moves: Dair 100%, Running attack 120%, Usmash 120% G-dorf is a very slow attacker; his attacks are about as slow as Ike's, making this a test of skill. Both air and ground are decent options; Ganondorf's aerials do more damage but have shorter range than Ike's aerials. Ganondorf's forward aerial has a notable delay before it hits, making it ripe for Countering. An air battle will thus go in Ike's favor if you are careful to use his range and Counter advantages. Juggling can work against Ganondorf, since he is big and heavy; however, his down aerial is an incredibly powerful spike, making this a high risk activity. A better option is to leap up and hope to counter his down aerial or Wizard's Foot (down B). Ike can also use Aether very well against Ganondorf, since he is big and heavy, so Aether combos work well. Ganondorf may occasionally try his up tilt or Warlock Punch (neutral B); you can always shield out of these attacks, even if you screw up an attack; the sole exception may be a missed forward smash. They can both be easily Countered, but you may mess up the timing if you are inexperienced, so you may just want to use Quick Draw and hurt them in a pinch. On the ground, it's best to either stay very close to use the Neutral A combo, since G-dorf doesn't have an equivalent fast close range combo, or far enough that the fight is more of a Flame Choke (side B), Warlock Kick (down B), and Quick Draw battle. Quick Draw pierces through both Flame Choke and Warlock Kick, so Ike will win the long range battle. Counter is less valuable at long range; Flame Choke is a grab and goes right through Counter, although the Warlock Kick will be countered. In medium range, Ike is at a bit of a disadvantage; Ganondorf's tilts tend to be a bit faster (excluding the odd up tilt) and Ganondorf's forward smash is faster than Ike's forward smash and more damaging than Ike's forward tilt. Since you have different strengths, the battle may turn into a standoff where you sit back and wait for the other person to make a mistake, then exploit the lag after their attack to charge in and hurt them. However, Ike is excellent at breaking this stalemate by simply charging Quick Draw; Ganondorf will have to get out of the way, and you can then fight in the air on your terms. In fact, Quick Draw Fakeouts are very valuable for approaching Ganondorf, particularly if your enemy is aggressive. Perhaps the best summary is how to lose the fight: charging in on the ground, trying to trade medium range attacks, and letting Ganondorf play defensive and counterattack. Don't do this. Juggling: Never Ganondorf has a deadly dair with good range, and the risk vs reward is terribly in favor of Ganondorf, unlike most other juggling matchups. Just Aether, since Ganondorf is an easy target, and save yourself the trouble. That's true even when you don't consider G-Dorf's down B, which can hit you as you're trying to get into aerial range; stay down and out of trouble, or send your sword into trouble first with Aether. G-Dorf can juggle you with uair, but his terrible jumping means that it won't happen much, although his uair is quick with good range. Dair as per usual in advance. Up B is another option that is also countered by dair. Edgecamping: Your spike has good enough range than you can spike Ganondorf out of his Dark Dive (up B), and you can smack Ganondorf with your back aerial out of his Flame Choke. If you screw up (or if you just hang out on the edge of the platform), Ganondorf will grab you and suicide KO you, which is generally not to your benefit, so be careful. G-dorf has his dangerous spike, which is almost a guaranteed KO at any damage, so Counter that or die. He can actually spike you out of Aether with good timing; recovering very low is best. Final Smash Ganondorf transforms, stomps to paralyze all enemies, then charges forward and KOs anyone in his path. The main way to dodge this is to be behind G-dorf when he transforms. Otherwise, you can try to use Aether to resist the final smash. Ice Climbers [ICE] The ice climbers have a fair amount of power, but they are largely limited by their range. Ike has an advantage as long as he sticks to the edge of his range. He does have to charge the ice climbers, since they can shoot ice at him. Ice is ground based, so shorthopping in through the air will work best as an approach. A key tactic against the Ice Climbers is to split them up and then pick on the AI player; the occasional Aether can be your best bet to get this to work. Top Ice Climber players will be able to do infinite grab combos; if they get you in this you are dead, but keep in mind that they will try to grab you more than normal, so sword them more than normal and roll rather than shielding; still, you're not going to win this fight unless you get forward smash + luck. Another unique Ice Climbers trick is desyncing them, so they attack separately. This is less hard for Ike to deal with than most other people, since he can generally use his superior range to hit them. Counter also gains a lot of value in that situation, although it is less useful due to the aforementioned grab combos. Quick Draw is less useful since there tends to be ice or hammers in your way most of the time, although it can still be used to fake them out if they like to smash. The Ice Climbers can be fought in the air decently well, since their forward aerial has lag time and shorter range than Ike's forward aerial; Counter can be quite useful in midair as well. Juggling: Rarely The Ice Climbers have a fastfalling dair with good downward range; normally this would dictate a "never" rating, but if baited this move is quite easy to punish with a ftilt or something similar. Aether is usually better, but jumping to bait dairs or sometimes uair them can be helpful. The Ice Climbers have a nice uair to hurt you, which has very good vertical range; a perfect dair will work, but air dodging is typically much better. Edgeguarding: The Ice Climber up B recovery is generally predictable, so they can be spiked with your down aerial or hit with your fair if you have less time. They can also use Squall Hammer (side B) to recover, but this is rare; they are capable of picking between the two options to mess you up however. The Ice Climbers can spike you, so be ready to Counter or forward aerial them as desired when you are recovering. Final Smash The Ice Climbers generate an iceberg that does constant damage to any characters who are on it. If the Ice Climbers are not nearby, then staying in the air will avoid damage. If they are heading over to attack you, just fight them, preferably in the air. Shorthopping backwards and fairing works wonders. Avoiding the iceberg is secondary to dealing with your foes. Ike [IKE] Many Ike players can be grouped into two categories: attackers and Counterers. (Obviously, a good player will mix attacks, Counter, and grabs.) Against Ikes who attack a lot, you'll want to use Counter a lot, obviously, and attack a fair amount of the time as well. Think of what you would do if you were the other player, and Counter accordingly. Grabs should be avoided unless you get a great opportunity. A lot of Ike players are very prone to using their up smash when you fall from a height, so this is easily countered. If you can guess when they will use Quick Draw, a shield + grab + Aether or shield + tilt response will do more damage than using Counter. Against Counter spammers, you should use grabs heavily; you can also use the anti-Counter techniques in the Counter section, like charging a forward smash when you would normally use another attack. Against a balanced Ike player, fight relatively normally, except to use grabs more than you normally would and on a few occasions use the charged forward smash trick. If you both end up using Quick Draw, you'll end up next to each other and both attacks will cancel out; the first player to use the Neutral A combo will win the day. Ike is relatively heavy, so Aether combos will work well against him. If your opponent starts charging Eruption, stay back and charge Quick Draw; it's tempting to try and Counter or attack them, but a skilled opponent is quite capable of releasing Eruption at the wrong time for you. Juggling: Rarely Ike has that nice dair I keep mentioning, so approaching directly from below is foolish; you can hit him with nair/uair from the side, but Aether is usually better. Dair will sometimes work to stop juggling, but more likely you'll just want to land as fast as possible, due to getting Aethered or uaired/naired. Edgeguarding: You can spike or fair Ike, but he can Counter fair, so dair is safer if you have your control stick set on tilts. Obviously, the same can happen to you, so Counter (if you can predict them well) or air dodge (if you can't) and you'll make it back. Final Smash An air dodge or roll can dodge the initial hit; if Ike hits someone else, just stay away from the center, since the final hit at the end of his combo can hurt you. Trying to Counter means you'll get hit, so don't bother. Hold down and away from the enemy Ike when you take the final hit, and you'll live longer. Jigglypuff [JIG] Jigglypuff is still a confusing character with a dangerous air game, a nasty roll attack, and little ground power or weight. Stick to the ground; Jigglypuff has a lot of agilty in the air and a skilled player will often make you miss, then exploit the lag in your aerials. Eruption can be a surprisingly good option in the air, since it is hard to evade and knocking Jigglypuff upward is very potent; you'll need to start the attack well in advance however. Rollout (neutral B) should not be Countered unless Jigglypuff uses it from a considerable distance, since Jigglypuff can hold the charge forever. Quick Draw will not beat Rollout, but it will keep you from being damaged, so charging a Quick Draw in a tight spot can keep you from being crushed by it. Jigglypuff does not have a projectile, making Quick Draw fakeouts a useful trick. Rest (down B) is weaker than it once was, although using attacks with a long downtime is still a bad idea. This includes Counter; don't use it unless you are very confident your enemy will hit you. You can punish a missed Rest with a charged forward smash for an easy kill, making it a rare move from Jigglypuff. Shield after you attack, and you may hit the jackpot, so to speak. Jigglypuff is too light for many Aether combos, except at very low damage. Juggling: Okay Jigglypuff falls slowly and has a dair with low range; this would make juggling very good, except that Jigglypuff will often be knocked out of range by your aerials. Jiggly can then escape with its good air speed, so Aether for more damage is often useful; variety is best though. Uair KOs are more important later on, so save that move. Jigglypuff has terrible upward range with its uair, so dair can stop it easily. A bigger issue is Jigglypuff dodging and hitting you from the sides, in which case Counter/fair/bair/nair all become viable options. Edgecamping: Edgecamping is difficult against Jigglypuff, who has an excellent recovery and isn't resigned to moving slowly toward the platform; the forward aerial, back aerial, and down aerial are all reasonable options. The greater arc of the forward aerial can offset the decreased speed, so pick a direction that you like. If Jigglypuff is using Rollout, just get back to the platform unless you can get a quick hit in. Jigglypuff's edgecamping mainly involves jumping out and putting lots of aerials in your face; Counter may be your best option here. A charged Quick Draw recovery will fail against a good Jigglypuff, who will just float in your way, so don't try it unless you are desperate or you are willing to trade your life to possibly hit Jigglypuff will a fully charged Quick Draw. Final Smash Jigglypuff puffs up to a very large size and damages enemies who touch it. Just run away to the farthest edge; if you have to get hit, try using Aether so you don't get knocked away. King Dedede [DED] King Dedede is the odd heavyweight with a projectile and an excellent recovery. Dedede is very formidable to approach from the ground due to his Waddle Dee (side B) spam and his forward tilt, which has huge range. Due to this, approaching with a Counter or a down aerial (from a full jump) is often best. Once you get in range, keep hitting him with the neutral A combo or tilts; King Dedede is especially weak up close, so the neutral A combo is quite potent. The big problems you'll have are with King Dedede's grabs; King Dedede likes to grab people like [ANALOGY REDACTED] and has excellent range and damage (up to 16%) with his grabs. Don't shield or Counter up close (unless you are reacting to an attack); roll away if possible. King Dedede does have a forward smash that is as powerful as Ike's, so don't walk into it and try to Counter if you do see it coming. Quick Draw is severely devalued because it will target the Waddle Dees that wander around the platform, so don't use it if you won't hit the King himself. Occasionally, King Dedede will charge up Jet Hammer (down B) and wander around; stay back and don't try to Counter it. You can try to hit him with a long range attack if you're brave, or you can jump onto the edge and Aether him if he gets close. In the air, King Dedede will be outranged by Ike's side aerials, so air to air combat is fine, but he has good range with his up and down aerials, so try to avoid those and Aether him instead of juggling (as usual). Edgecamping: King Dedede is difficult to edgecamp because he can use his Super Dedede Jump (up B) to recover, even from the bottom of the stage to recover from a spike. If he has to use his up B, you're better off staying on the platform and hitting him when he's about to land; use the charged forward smash if you have great timing, the up aerial or up smash if you have good timing, and Counter otherwise. If he can recover just by jumping, smacking him with an aerial or faking that you'll smack him and then jumping back will at least help you, although it probably won't kill him. Using Quick Draw to recover won't work against a good King Dedede, who will toss Waddle Dees in front of you and force you to hit them and die or get hit and lose your charge; Aether is best against a good King Dedede. Final Smash King Dedede summons his Waddle Dee Army to destroy you. The best way to evade this is to stay away from the edges, jump and air dodge a lot. It generally won't kill you unless you get hit several times off of the edge, but it can hurt quite a bit. Kirby [KIR] Kirby is quite fast and quite light. Kirby has almost no range and no projectile (other than the shockwave from his Final Cutter up B), so Ike can use his range to the fullest; putting a sword in Kirby's face at a distance is pretty much the optimal way to fight the little puffball. Quick Draw is useful as a defensive move or as an approach, but most of Kirby's moves, other than his Hammer (Side B) don't have much downtime to exploit, so you'll need good timing to hit him. Counter is useful, but Kirby can use Swallow (neutral B) in midair, so don't be completely confident in being able to Counter all of Kirby's aerials. Kirby can take Eruption from you using Swallow, which is fine because Kirby can't use Swallow again and Eruption is hardly a great move, so don't discourage that. Kirby can also try to suicide KO you by swallowing your and walking off the edge; mash the buttons to try and break out whenever you are swallowed to prevent this. Many of Kirby's aerials are combo based, making Counter less useful, and they tend to be pretty fast, so avoid the air and play defensive if you find yourself up there. Rock Drop (down B) will punish you if you try to juggle, so stick to Aethering Kirby in midair and you'll be okay. If Kirby lands as a rock, you can grab him immediately or try to anticipate when he'll transform back and forward smash/tilt him. Kirby's KO moves are mostly short ranged, with the exception of his forward smash; his Hammer (on the ground) is the most powerful, but also the slowest, so this can often be Countered if you anticipate Kirby trying to finish you off. Kirby is tough to edgecamp because he can frequently sail over you; use Aether if he appears to be going up high. If not, try to hit him with the forward aerial when he is too far out to use Final Cutter. Kirby can jump out and hit you, but can be sent packing with the forward aerial; charging Quick Draw probably won't work because Kirby can just float in your way, so Aether is the best if Kirby knows how to stop Quick Draw. Final Smash Kirby puts on his chef hat and tries to cook everyone in the area for dinner. It can be air dodged or better yet sidestepped; being out of the area will work fine too. The ending of the Final Smash will generate lots of items; try to go for these if possible. Link [LIN] Link has almost as much range as you and also has projectiles and a ranged grab, so you'll have to approach him. The optimal range for fighting Link is different than usual; you'll want to be in close, where you can hit him with the neutral A combo, or just outside of his sword range, where you can go for a forward smash, Quick Draw him if he tries to boomerang you, Counter the second hit of his forward smash, or shorthop an aerial if Link goes for a grab. Link's neutral A combo is less damaging than yours but has excellent range and blocks all of your attacks, so staying in tilt range will generally not favor you against a skilled Link. Link has good projectiles to deter approaching enemies and is capable of aiming his boomerang upwards to hit you in midair, so approach cautiously and always be ready to air dodge or shield. Link's most powerful KO move is his down aerial, which kills very early and deters jugglers; Ike has less of a problem than most characters against this because he doesn't juggle much, can Counter it, and can use his up smash with far better range. If Link still decides to use it and misses, a smash is a good retort. Link's fair combos you pretty nicely at low % and his aerials tend to have little lag, so be careful. His zair (hookshot) does 4+6% damage and outranges your fair, which may mess up your approach plans. Edgecamping Link is best done with the forward aerial, since you'll have a range advantage, or with the down aerial, assuming you can dodge his up B recovery. Link can use his hookshot as a Tether, so edgehogging and Counter generally won't work. Simply hitting Link will work best, since his weak recovery means that he'll usually get KOed. The one big danger is that Link will snag you with the Gale Boomerang when you jump out, making you fall to your death; be ready to abort and jump back if this looks likely. Link can't really do much against Ike other than using projectiles, which can be air dodged, or aerials, which can be defeated by the forward aerial. Final Smash Link binds his target between two Triforces, which can hit for a fairly long range in front of him, then delivers a nasty series of slashes and almost invariably KOs his target. This is quite similar to Ike's final smash, so dodge it the same way (rolling, sidestepping, or air dodging). Lucario [LCO] Lucario gains power as he becomes more damaged, so early kills are more rewarding than usual. A forward smash gamble is excellent for this, but charge the forward smash and only release it if Lucario is vulnerable, since he does have a counter (Double Team, down B). If you do accidentally set off Double Team, hold shield immediately and you may be able to avoid the damage. Lucario's attacks have better range than they look due to the Aura that fills his attacks, so be wary; Ike still outranges him though. It's very important to space well and not just land near him; Lucario's fsmash hurts. Lucario is fairly quick in the air and has decent range, so you'll want to fight defensively in the air and mainly stick to Aethering him if he is airborne. On the ground, Lucario has his Aura Sphere (neutral B) which is powerful when fully charged and can ruin your Quick Draws when uncharged. An air approach is usually best, but be ready to air dodge. Lucario can grab you with Force Palm (side B) in midair, so don't be overly reliant on Counter. Lucario is quick in the air, so use the usual defensive strategy if you end up fighting in midair and use your full range. Edgecamping Lucario is fairly effective; although Lucario can Counter your aerials, he will often Counter, reappear too low to recover, and fall to his death. You do have to be ready for Lucario to use his up B to recover through you, which won't set off your Counter, but he'll pause before he uses it, so you can smack him if he starts it too late. Lucario can't do much unusual when you're off the platform, although you may need to air dodge an Aura Sphere, so stay awake. Final Smash Lucario leaps up and howls as he aims a giant blast downward, which can be aimed slowly. Once you are hit, you are stuck in the attack for the duration. This is a weak Final Smash against most characters, who can jump to avoid it; Ike is too heavy to dodge this attack very effectively. Try to get up high, use your double jump, and then Aether; even if you can't dodge the whole attack, getting hit only by the end is better than taking the full attack head on. Lucas [LCS] Horizontal KO moves: Fsmash 90%, Dsmash (sweetspot) 90%, Fair 150% Vertical KO moves: Usmash 90%, dthrow 160% Lucas does not have great range, but has a nasty array of projectiles to cause you pain. PK fire (side B) will ruin your Quick Draws and punish you from afar; try to dodge or jump and make Lucas miss, since this will give you a brief opening. PK freeze (neutral B) and PK thunder (up B) can be dodged or Countered, but your best retort is a Quick Draw if you can hit Lucas, since he will be vulnerable. Your optimal fighting range is, as usual, at the tip of your sword range. In the air, Lucas is quicker with shorter ranged attacks, so play defensive; Counter or any aerial will work fine here. Against a grounded Lucas, be careful; Lucas's up smash is slow but deadly, and can KO you around 80%; trading a down aerial for getting hit by the up smash is not worth it, so don't be above Lucas unless you can hit him quickly or you have Counter planned. Lucas will sometimes try to approach you by full hopping his down aerial at you; this is a multihit attack that is awkward to deal with, but a well-timed up smash or a backwards shorthopped forward aerial can work. Edgecamping Lucas can work well if you hit him while he is aiming PK thunder at himself, but don't be slow; Lucas has one of the most damaging recovery moves in the game. Countering it isn't worthwhile either, as it is a multihit attack. Lucas can use his wide array of projectiles to edgecamp you; be ready to air dodge or Counter, and remember that Quick Draw can be used to dodge and recover if you get a chance. Final Smash Lucas yells, "PK Thunderrrrr," and causes comets to rain from the sky. Shielding will fail here, so dodge or roll out of the way. Stay on the ground to ensure that you can roll out of the way. Feel free to try and knock the smash ball out of Lucas before he uses it; there's no particular penalty for being close when he starts the final smash. Luigi [LUG] Luigi has quick and effective aerial attacks, so be wary and keep your distance. Sticking to the ground is generally best. It is particularly dangerous to give Luigi an opening with a missed attack, since his Super Jump Punch (up B) can do huge damage and knockback if Luigi is right next to you; always shield or use the neutral A combo when you miss an attack, if Luigi is close enough to punish you. Otherwise, Luigi will shoot Fireballs (neutral B) at you from a distance; these can be dodged or shielded quite easily, but be on the lookout. Luigi can also approach you with the Green Missile (side B), which can be easily shielded; Quick Draw will also pierce through it, although shield + attack will do more damage. If he charges up the Green Missile, don't use Counter; charge up Quick Draw instead and just hit him when he gets in range. Luigi has good throws, so be ready to punish Luigi if he tries to grab, and keep your distance. Edgecamping Luigi can be easy or nearly impossible, depending on how he uses Green Missile; if he uses it and lands anywhere near you, send him back out with a forward aerial (better than the back aerial due to its bigger attack arc) or forward tilt. Do the same thing if Luigi uses the Super Jump Punch at a higher altitude. Luigi has fireballs to edgecamp you, so be ready to air dodge, but aerials are more likely if anything. Luigi has a very limited spike, so have Counter if ready. Final Smash Luigi does a bizarre dance and creates a "negative zone"; anyone who is near him is put to sleep. Once he uses it, Luigi can KO anyone in the zone. Stay away from him and try to stay in the air; fighting him will work just fine outside of the zone. Hanging off of the edge and Aethering if he gets close can also work in a pinch. Mario [MRO] Mario has a nondamaging FLUDD (down B) attack that can push you off of the edge while charging an attack or can trick you into doing an aerial off of the edge, causing you to kill yourself. Mario has a decent fireball projectile (neutral B) to punish you; airdodge or shield to stop it. Mario's Cape (side B) is quick and can flip you around; a Quick Draw can turn you the right way, although a back aerial would be an even better retort in the air. Mario also has good throws; punish them with your sword or neutral A combo as needed. Otherwise, Mario is unspectacular and is best countered by using your sword's maximum range. Mario can juggle you in the air, but his moves all have inferior range, so you can dair him with careful timing. Mario's aerials are quick (except fair) with low range; utilt is useful to set up for Aether or juggling as a response. His KO moves are his forward smash and up smash, both of which can be dodged by staying at range; at higher damage, throws may KO you too. Edgecamping Mario can be done by jumping out and hitting him with an aerial. Mario can spike with his forward aerial; forward aerial him or Counter him if he jumps out. Mario can also fireball you, so be ready to air dodge, and otherwise you mostly just need to dodge aerials. He does have one nasty trick where he can cape either recovery move, but he has to hit you to do it; this is a guaranteed KO unless you will still make it to the edge with Reverse Aether, since you will be facing the wrong way. Even then, you can be edgehogged, so avoid being caped at all costs. Final Smash Mario releases a giant fireball, which does relatively small damage but has good knockback. If you are hit near the edge of a stage, you will die; keep that in mind and keep your opponent between you and the edge (which you should be doing anyway). If you are quick, you can fake Mario out by jumping over him and causing him to release the attack in the wrong direction. Marth [MRH] Horizontal KO moves: Fsmash (tip) 70%, Fsmash (blade) 130%, Up B 130% Vertical KO moves: Side B (4th upward hit) 130%, Usmash/Dsmash 140% Marth is the quicker swordsman, but has quite a bit less knockback than you. This is guaranteed to be a tough fight, but fight defensively and try to use Counter heavily against Marth's forward aerial spam or if he seems determined to dominate you with his quicker attacks. Don't stay in the range of Marth's sword tip, or you will be setting yourself up to die early due to Marth's extra knockback. Staying in close is better than usual, and is especially important when you are at high damage, as Marth has little knockback when he can't hit with the tip of his blade. Marth does have a Counter which is superior to yours, due to its speed; staying near grab range can be a great asset, and try to charge up a forward smash or Eruption if you can predict the Counter. Avoid charging in spamming the forward aerial at all costs; its only worthwhile as part of a balanced strategy with Quick Draw fakeouts or the aforementioned charged Eruption. Marth's Dancing Blade (side B) is a deadly and quick combo at any range; Ike needs to either use the neutral A combo or shield, but neither option is perfect here. Marth's Dolphin Slash (up B) has surprising knockback and guarantees a KO at very high damages; the only counter is to be shielding, since a Counter will not hit Marth due to him instantly moving out of the way. As usual with Ike, you'll have to predict your opponent's move, rather than trying to react to them. Quick Draw is good to punish missed attacks, but a Marth with excellent reflexes can actually use Dolphin Slash to counter it, so don't rely on it as a primary attack unless your opponent can't deal with it. The other option for fighting against Marth is to fight at extreme range; you need to be an expert at using your maximum range, but the forward aerial can work very well because Marth's Counter doesn't reach far enough to hit you back. Fighting in midair is generally a horrible idea, except for cautious shorthopped attacks, since Marth has better speed and good range. Counter can swing things your way, but don't expect it to win this fight for you. Edgecamping Marth works poorly, although using a spike can swing things your way. Marth's Dolphin Slash can't be effectively countered. Marth may edgecamp you by Countering Aether, which is annoying but generally won't stop your from recovering. Marth may jump out and try to hit you with a forward aerial or try to Counter your defensive forward aerial; air dodge, Counter, or use the forward aerial based on what you think the appropriate response is. Final Smash Marth raises his sword, then charges forward very quickly and hits anyone in range. Anyone hit will be KOed, even at 0%. If Marth uses this attack in the air, he will charge off the screen to his death unless he hits an enemy or hits B very quickly. The best approach is to air dodge and stay away; if Marth uses the attack, air dodge or sidestep immediately. Try to bait him into using it in the air, on the off chance that Marth will suicide. Metaknight [MET] Horizontal KO moves: Fsmash 110%, Dsmash (sourspot) 120%, Up B 130% Vertical KO moves: Utilt/smash 160% Metaknight is incredibly fast, can slice right through your jabs, and has a nearly unstoppable recovery. He's also incredibly light, and his range is no match for yours (as usual). So, this becomes a match based on range and spacing. You'll have to play defensively; keep your distance at all costs and don't ever charge in without a very good reason. Shorthopping backwards and doing a fair is an excellent way to counter his aggression and speed. Metaknight is infamous for his Mach Tornado (neutral B), but all of your sword moves can pierce through it (fair and ftilt are usually best), so he shouldn't be using that from range much. He can use Drill Rush (side B) to punish your mistakes easily even from range, so don't be foolish. Metaknight has a great air game, so keep your distance and try not to go above a short hop. He will also typically follow up an aerial with a down smash, so don't let your shield get too low. Metaknight will punish you mercilessly if you get above him; Counter is generally ineffective against his uair, but you can sometimes use Eruption to land and/or KO him. Incidentally, Ike's best KO moves are upward for this match, so use utilt/smash and/or Eruption. MK can KO with his down smash or his up B, so stay at long range when damaged. Edgecamping a good Metaknight is basically impossible; however, he will often glide back and try a glide attack on you; this can hurt, but it can often be Countered. Metaknight can smack you with lots of aerials and cause lots of pain in general; use your fair/Counter wisely, and try a few air dodges too. Final Smash Metaknight envelops any enemies in front of him with his cape. After the screen goes dark, he does a surprisingly weak hit to anyone he catches. The difference here is that he also does a lesser hit to every enemy on the screen. If MK is after you, airdodge/sidestep as usual. If he catches someone else, sidestep like mad (or time it, if you know the timing) and you might not get hit. Mr Game and Watch [GAM] Horizontal KO moves: Fsmash 100%, Dsmash (sourspot) 100%, fair 130% Vertical KO moves: Usmash 90%, Dsmash (sweetspot) 90% Mr Game and Watch is a quick but hard-hitting light character with potent aerials. Of note is his back aerial, which is a multihitting attack that pierces through shields and will be abused by any good opponent. You can Counter for 10% damage or shorthop backwards and fair; the latter is typically better. Range is the key to this matchup, since G-dub hits very hard with most of his attacks. His other aerials are very fast, and he has a fastfalling dair that creates a small shockwave when it lands, making it tough to grab him upon landing. Use your sword instead. G-dub hits hard on the ground and can ko with all of his smashes; the down smash in particular is commonly the source of your demise. His specials are pretty irrelevant except for his up B, which is nearly instant and allows him to pick an aerial of his choice to hurt you afterward. Stay on the ground, and don't expect dair to counter his up B. As for you, ftilt, fair, fsmash, and bair are all pretty handy here, while the neutral A combo is still great up close. Quick Draw will quickly get you burnt by his frying pan, so don't bother except when there's an opening. He can juggle you easily with his up tilt, so use the neutral A combo up close or keep your distance. G-dub is very light, so usmash and Eruption are great kill moves; Eruption-baiting in the air is very effective and counters juggling decently well. Utilt is generally outranged by G-dubs aerials, but smack him with it if he leaves an opening. Game and Watch's key can be countered, but you need to predict it, since the attack comes out very fast. He can use it to hit you, even through a platform since Ike is tall and the key has range below G-dub himself. Game and Watch can pretty much hit you with any aerial while you're recovering and make it back; use Counter or fair to make him pay. Counter is great against his fair. You can edgeguard with a fair, but it's only really worthwhile if he's already burnt his up B, since he can just up B when he sees you leap out and make you the victim. You can fake him out, but he can still typically land, so be cautious. If he tends to recover high by burning his up B at the wrong time, it's possible to send him packing with a bair or even a fsmash, but if he's smart, you should mainly play it safe. If he recovers really high, Aether will at least add a bit of damage. Final Smash Game and Watch turns into a giant octopus. Not much to say here except that he will hurt you, so jump around and run away. Ike, as usual, is pretty poor for dodging long duration final smashes. One oddity is that Game and Watch only has a second jump in this form, so you may be able to bait him off the edge and make him commit suicide. You are best off hiding by an edge, since he will either suicide or just have to camp by the edge, minimizing the number of hits you can take. *Other anti-character strategies coming soon* Ness [NES] Horizontal KO moves: Fsmash (tip) 100%, Bthrow 130%, Fsmash (middle) 130% Vertical KO moves: Uair 140%, utilt/usmash 160% Ness has a very nasty PK Fire (side B) projectile that will essentially paralyze you and set you up for all sorts of pain, often a back throw (which kills rather quickly) or sometimes a smash. It's not Counterable, as you'll still get burned, but if you can dodge it you can often get a good hit in on Ness, as there's a lot of downtime after the attack. An fair can hit Ness and dodge PK fire up close, so you can punish him if he is predictable. Ness also has PK Thunder (up B), which he can steer into himself to make a very powerful and very Counterable attack or steer at you to do a minor amount of damage. PK Flash (neutral B) is easy to punish with Quick Draw if you're near the ground; air dodge if you're vulnerable in the air, or even Counter. Ness has decent aerials that are outranged by yours as usual. His aerials do have decent range and every aerial except dair is lagless. Ness also has a powerful projectile in PK fire, which goes at a 45 degree angle downward in midair. Did I mention Ness has PK fire? Seriously, keep that in mind throughout the match. Ness can also juggle you with his uair or his PK Thunder; your dair can stop the first but not the second. Ness will mainly KO you with his fsmash or back throw, so keep your distance at high damage, stick to faster attacks, and avoid using your fsmash even more than usual. Ness can also bair you to death later on, so being in the air does not make you safe. It becomes very awkward to survive against Ness, since against most characters you can shield all of their KO moves; you'll have to play the guessing game to stay alive. Ness can spike you and will get away with it if you recover too close in, so stay low if you're close. He may also try to hit you with his projectiles; this can actually work against Ike since he can't burn his up B before he's hit, so try to air dodge. Ike can try to Counter Ness's recovery, fair/dair him, or just get hit by the PK Thunder; pick one based on how far out Ness is. Final Smash Ness yells PK Thunder, but takes longer than usual. Lots of comets rain from the sky, doing decent damage and knockback to anyone in their path. Ness is invulnerable during this, but you can try to sidestep/roll/air dodge the comets. Feel free to try and knock the smash ball out of Ness before he uses it; there's no particular penalty for being close when he starts the final smash. Olimar [OLI] Pikachu [PIK] Usmash, whether standing still, running, or out of shield, will probably be your demise in this match. It doesn't have much range, but it's quick and the aforementioned run or out of shield options are the ways you may die. Pit [PIT] If Pit uses his angel ring, you can hit Pit with a fair even if you are right on the edge of the ring's radius, but if you use a fsmash, you'll get hit since you would move slightly forward, so just use fair as a counter. Pokemon Trainer [POK] Final Smash The camera zooms in for Triple Finish, which takes a while to start up and does a large amount of damage directly in front of, but not behind, the Pokemon. You can often avoid the final smash by jumping behind the Pokemon, so stay relatively close to make this possible. If the final smash misses you, try not to kill yourself by jumping off the edge, since you can't see yourself; just try not to move horizontally. - Charizard [CHA] Horizontal KO moves: Fsmash 80%, bair (tip) 110%, dtilt (tip) 120%, ftilt (center) 130% Vertical KO moves: Usmash 120%, Dsmash 140% You have almost every advantage over Charizard, except for his Rock Smash (side B), his weight, and his recovery. Charizard has a sweetspot on the tip of his tail. His neutral A combo is almost as good as yours, so being close is not as good as usual. You're best off at range, since Rock Smash has a sweetspot that can hurt and kill you quickly up close. Counter is great against his Rock Smash or Fire Breath (neutral B). On the ground, Charizard is not that different from you, with a slow but deadly fsmash and tilts with decent range. However, your attacks will beat his, since you have a sword, and Charizard is a bigger target. Grab -> Aether combos are potent. Charizard does have a nice dsmash, which will punish your rolls and general openings. In the air, Charizard has fairly weak aerials with decent but lesser range; it's fine to fight here, but watch out for that tip. Remember that Rock Smash is a nice aerial, even if it is a little slower; your fair isn't all that fast either. Charizard's fair does shoot flames out a good distance, but these do little damage. Charizard is weak to your juggling and can be Aethered without much trouble. Ike can be juggled, but dair will help to prevent that. The wild cards throughout all of this are Rock Smash and Charizard's fsmash; if Charizard can get a full hit from one of these on Ike early, you can be in for lots of trouble. He can also KO relatively early with his quick tilts. Charizard can head out and either smack you with a fast aerial (probably fair, which has a sweetspot at the wings and sends you off at a bad angle) or try to sweetspot Rock Smash as an alternative, while still recovering easily. Fair will keep you mostly safe. Charizard has great horizontal recovery and decent vertical recovery; while spiking would sound good, Charizard's up B can ignore spikes, so just use fair against a low Charizard and bair against a high Charizard (from gliding). Countering a glide attack is always fun. - Ivysaur [IVY] The first rule of Ivysaur: don't be above Ivysaur. - Squirtle [SQU] Squirtle is a fast character with good, quick aerials. If he tries to recover with side B, you can knock him back out to his death with an aerial. A skilled Squirtle won't try this however. Princess Peach [PEA] Peach's Fair can pierce through your shield if part of you is exposed; don't expect shielding to work repeatedly, and try to dodge rather than shield. R.O.B. [ROB] Horizontal KO moves: Fsmash 130%, Bair 140%, Down B (full charge) 150% Vertical KO moves: Usmash 110% (midair hit), Nair 160%, Dsmash 170% Many ROBs will open the fight with their laser; start by shielding. Rob is mainly defined by his projectiles in this fight; you will need to air dodge and approach from the air, since they are both anti-ground. Rob's laser (neutral B) can also be angled upward, so be on your guard. Rob's gyro (down B) spins for a while on the ground and continues to damage you; jump over it or move away. Quick draw is thus quite bad as an approach or as a fakeout. Once you get in close, you'll need to use quick attacks like the neutral A combo to deal damage, since all of Rob's moves are very fast. His down smash does good damage and is fast out of a spot dodge. The key to this fight is knocking Rob into the air; he's a big target and can be hit by pretty much anything there. Despite all of Rob's attacks, most of them don't do much damage, so you'll do well by trading hits. Rob's aerials are fast and his nair/bair can KO, so you'll want to bair or use defensive fairs as usual. He has a double fair combo that he can pull at low percents, so watch for that, along with a possible projectile follow-up. Rob also has good throws for damage and followups with uair/projectiles. Rob has a hard time KOing you since his Usmash can't hit a grounded Ike, but he can KO quite easily at high damages with his fsmash or nair. Juggling: Good You can use Aether, uair, or nair to hit Rob, and he can't do much about it. His dair comes out slowly and the range isn't that great, although you should still attack slightly off to the side. Aether is just fine if ROB is actually hitting you. Rob is a decent jumper, has a fast uair, and can stay in the air as long as he likes. Dair and fastfall to mostly stay out of trouble. Samus [SAM] - Zero Suit Samus [ZER] Snake [SNA] Sonic [SON] Toon Link [TOO] Watch out for the dair; it fastfalls and it bounces to do lots of damage. Countering fails because it has downward range; roll out of the way. Wario [WAR] Wario is agile, fast, and unpredictable. He also has terrible range, and nearly every attack you have outranges him. Utilt is godly to counter his speedy aerials; abuse it. Wario's fsmash has frames in which he doesn't flinch; avoid jumping in with nairs against a grounded Wario when you're heavily damaged for this reason. Defensive nairs are still fine (and helpful). Wolf [WOL] Horizontal KO moves: Dsmash 110-120%, Bair 130%, Fsmash 160% Vertical KO moves: Usmash 140%, Utilt 150%, Fair 160% Wolf has a fast and good fsmash, which is best punished by a shield-grab. From a distance, he has his blaster (neutral B), which can be shielded or air dodged. Unfortunately, Wolf can also combo well with his throws, so you have to mix up your approaches instead of jumping in with fair, which is easily punished by the fsmash. Shield, spot dodge, and do what you can to avoid being predictable. Wolf's aerials are all very fast, and only his fair/dair have much downtime, but the fair doesn't have any time when used quickly. Be defensive in the air and stick to bair or retreating fair; Counter is too slow to be of much use here. Your best bet in this fight is point blank range, or baiting wolf into attacks that you can then fair/ftilt. Mainly, the neutral A combo or grab -> aether combos are the best ways to rack up damage. If you are below Wolf, you can also get some good damage in. Wolf's most dangerous KO moves are horizontal, so stay near the middle. Dsmash and bair are both very fast and don't leave Wolf vulnerable. Later on, utilt is also a quick and effective kill move, and it has more horizontal range than you'd expect. Juggling: Good Wolf has a nice slow dair spike with little range, so you can use uair, nair, or Aether to your heart's content. He might try to up B downward; Aether will stop that quickly. Wolf is a champion juggler, as his uair and fair are both very fast and have good range. Wolf is also a good jumper. You can sorta Counter fair and you can sorta dair his uair, but mainly you will just need to air dodge and fastfall. Wolf will probably try for his side B recovery, which is horizontal and slightly upward. If he doesn't sweetspot the ledge, you can hit him back out. Otherwise, he'll use his up B, which can be intercepted with a well-timed aerial but is tough to deal with. Mainly, try to make him worry; his up B is hard to aim and some Wolf's will kill themselves by mistake when under pressure. Wolf can spike you or more likely bair you; air dodge, fair, and counter are effective as usual. He can also blaster you out of the top of Aether, if you aim poorly. Zelda [ZEL] Zelda can burn you with Din's Fire (side B) when you are attacking, in the air, recovering, crouching, or any other time you give her an opening. This is essential to keep in mind during the match; it does lots of damage and has enough knockback to kill you when you are high in the air. Air dodging is nice when you can pull it off, but Zelda can vary the timing on releasing Din's Fire (as soon as it would hit you or letting it go past, then releasing), so Counter is actually safer here. If you fight a Zelda player, particularly a bad one, you'll get plenty of practice. Zelda also has very powerful fair and bairs, which can kill you around 80%, so be cautious when Zelda is in the air. The attack does hit pretty high up, so you can crouch and then retaliate with utilt or usmash on the ground. In the air... you'll have to predict it and Counter, smack her with fair, or just air dodge. Trading hits is a loser's game. Zelda has an uair that will kill you early and has good range (i.e. Counter won't hit her); Eruption baiting will work decently well as a retort (or very well if you need to KO), but dodging by any means is best. On the ground, Zelda has lengthy multihit smashes that you'll need to shield. She can also juggle you with usmash/utilt for a while. Zelda can teleport around with Farore's Wind (up B); learn the range of it and try to have a dash attack or tilt waiting for her when she arrives. Ike does have range here, although not as much as usual; what's really preferable is to get up in her face and neutral A combo/uthrow -> Aether her. You can still hit her with fair if you are careful but be cautious. The best close range attack she has is dsmash, which is fast but not as damaging. You're also heavier than her; she's easy to KO upward, so usmash, utilt (particularly against her fair/bair), or Eruption work well. Zelda can kill you with her aerials early or with her smashes at more normal damages. Zelda can spike you with dair, which is pretty much a guaranteed KO, or hit you with fair/bair, or blast you with Din's Fire. Be ready to dodge/fair/ Counter; you'll have some warning either way, since Zelda will jump out or start the Din's Fire casting animation. You can fair Zelda if she's close, but Farore's Wind is an awkward, albeit long range recovery. Expect that she'll pick one of the eight main directions on the joystick when she recovers, and have a smash/aerial waiting. It's tough for her to sweetspot the ledge, so wait until she uses her up B and then punish her. Final Smash Zelda whips out her bow and shoots everyone in a line in front of her. It's typically a guaranteed KO for one target, but drops in power as more targets are hit. You can air dodge/sidestep it if you see it coming, as per usual. Everyone gets paralyzed while the smash is happening, so you can't help out if your teammate uses it. - Sheik [SHE] Sheik is quick, can grab or combo you easily with many moves, can toss Needles (neutral B) at you, and can't KO for quite a long time. Your main concern in this fight is not leaving yourself vulnerable to Sheik, which is easier said than done. Sheik can run at you and grab, dash attack, or shield, which can nullify most of your normal defenses. Your best option in many cases is to shorthop backward and fair, perhaps even going for a shield-aerial lure. This tactic will help to keep Sheik off balance, and is still great against almost all fast characters. Sheik also has ftilt lock, which can rack up lots of damage; keep your distance. Sheik's fsmash covers decent horizontal range; shield-grabbing works just fine. Your goal is to get in close enough to fair if Sheik decides to needle you, but be cautious. In the air, Sheik has very fast aerials with terrible range; fair from a distance, nair up close (or if you're uncertain). Juggling is problematic if you are low, but up high you can dair or counter; fastfall to land anyway. Sheik will often try to needle you when you land; air dodge as you approach the ground to save yourself from some damage. Sheik has a fastfalling low damage dair; juggling is still probably fine, but Aether is generally better as usual for fastfalling opponents. Sheik will probably try to KO with fair or usmash, both of which are short range, so don't try to fight up close and avoid laggy moves like fsmash when you are heavily damaged. There's also some possiblity she'll transform to Zelda for KOs; charge a smash (up close) or Quick Draw (far away) to punish this, since the transformation leaves them vulnerable. Shiek can knock you away with fair off the ledge, and that's mostly it. Fair or Counter in advance and you should be okay. Needles can also be used to slightly hamper your recovery, but they won't stop you in most situations; air dodge anyway, since Counter will hurt your momentum somewhat. Fair is often best against Sheik, who pauses in place briefly before using her up B. Final Smash Same as Zelda's, with slightly different knockback; deal with it the same way. ******************************************************************************* * Section 8: Game Type Strategies * ******************************************************************************* 8.1 -[ Stock ]- This is standard for one on one fighting. With 3 or 4 players, be sure not to get stuck in the middle of two players, and play more cautiously than you normally would. Don't jump out to spike someone if another enemy will just spike you when you try to come back. If one person is notably ahead, mainly focus on them. If people start ganging up on you, use Counter much more than normal. Even if one person is "smart" and tries to go for a grab, odds are someone else will hit you anyways, so Counter will work well. 8.2 -[ Time ]- In one on one, this is fairly normal, except that you should go for desparation KOs using the forward smash near the end of the time limit if your enemy is at medium damage (and you can't be killed by a single enemy smash). Since they won't die to any other move (excluding a charged Eruption), you may as well go for a slim chance, rather than no chance. The exception is when your opponent can Counter your attack, but even then it may be worthwhile. In a 3 or 4 player brawl, KOs are what matter here, so try the forward smash much more than usual when it will kill your enemies. Ike's forward smash is silent for much of the attack, unlike G-dorf's "Get out of the way" punch, so it can be surprisingly easy to hit a distracted enemy. Anyone who sits on the edge trying to edgecamp someone else is a prime target for this. Avoid getting stuck in the middle at all costs. Forward smashing near the end of the time limit is also valuable here. None of this justifies spamming fsmashes, but it does gain more value than usual. 8.3 -[ Sudden Death ]- Mainly, you'll rely on Quick Draw for this fight; Counter, the neutral A combo, fair, nair, and grabs can also be useful. An uncharged Quick Draw will KO your opponent; Counter, even when used on a low knockback attack will KO your opponent. For the record, every A or B button attack that is not called "Aether" or the first hits of a combo will KO your opponent; Ike is a powerful character after all. Basically, try to hit your enemy with Quick Draw if they are unskilled; if they are skilled, you may want to let them rush toward you and then use Quick Draw or Counter. A shield + down throw will also kill your opponents. The neutral A combo will also kill your opponent with the final hit, if your opponent ends up next to you. If your enemy just wants to stall on an edge and wait for bombs to knock you off the stage, go over to them and smack them with the down tilt; their ledge attack, even if they pull it off, can't kill you (at least, Ganondorf's can't). There's plenty of luck involved in Sudden Death, but playing well still matters quite a bit. 8.4 -[ Team ]- Ike's (and every character's) strengths and weaknesses are exaggerated in team play. Ike has twice as many targets for a fair and forward smash, but he can get shredded if he ends up alone against two speedy characters, since it's twice as likely that his slow attacks get interrupted. Here are a few quick tips for fighting in a 2v2 battle without friendly fire. 1. Don't stand next to your teammate. If you stand near a teammate, you're more likely to get attacked by a speedy attack. However if you land an attack, this will often knock your enemy(s) out of your teammate's attack range. You're better off fighting one on one so you can actually hit your enemies. 2. Forward smash an enemy who is stunned by your teammate. Occasionally your teammate will catch your enemy with one of those A, A, infinite A combos, or an equivalent attack that holds your enemy in place (Donkey Kong's Headbutt, Pit's Angel Ring). Feel free to exploit this by using Ike's forward smash for a quick kill, but realize that their teammate, if they are decent, will try to save them from you. This also applies to certain Final Smashes; you can Aether an enemy who's being hit by Ike's final smash or forward smash an enemy who's stunned by Link's final smash. 3. Help out a teammate who is grabbed or stunned. Likewise, if your teammate is the one about to get hit, run over and help them. The running attack can work fine for this due to its good range, or a shorthopped fair; just hit your enemy, and your teammate will thank you. 4. Use grabs, particularly the down throw, less; horizontal throws are better than usual though. When you grab someone, you're vulnerable to getting hit while you perform the throw, so try not to use them if your enemy's teammate can hit you. However, if you can throw their teammate at them and follow up with Quick Draw, you can hurt both of them and still be fine. 5. Keep your distance in 2v1 situations. Ike can get destroyed up close by any two characters, even slow ones. Shorthop backward and fair if they start charging you, and play it safe until your teammate respawns. If you are the only one left, you still want to play defensively unless you are getting attacked by projectiles. 8.5 -[ Items ]- A few item tips are included, alphabetically with the smash ball added first; enjoy. Keep in mind that Ike has a double-hit combo for 15% with most melee weapons, but the combo will fail against heavily damaged opponents. -Smash Ball The best way to get the smash ball is to get nearby, let your opponent hit it once, then Aether them to ideally get the smash ball. Ike can't get the smash ball in one normal aerial, and his knockback is too high to go for a good combo. When you finish the Aether, they will often be in range for the Final Smash, but they can dodge, so wait a little and then hit them if they don't dodge. -Beam Sword Forward smash is a two hit combo with all of the range of the beam sword; use it a lot if you won't get punished. You do lack power when using it though. It is also a decent projectile for edgecamping and such. -Bumper An overpowered projectile. You can die to this very early, so air dodge at all costs. If you have it, toss it at an opponent when they are recovering, and they will die if hit. -Gooey Bomb An opponent who is stuck with this will chase you and try to stick it to you; use fair to keep them at bay. -Hammer/Golden Hammer Honestly, you're better off letting your opponent have it. Even if your opponent doesn't get a broken hammer, you can Counter the hammer if you're careful; if you're on the edge, you can drop down and Aether the person several times. If you get the hammer, many attacks can pierce through it (Din's Fire and Yoshi Bomb) and hurt or kill you, so just leave it alone unless you're confident you can kill your enemy quickly. If your opponent is in the air, they are vulnerable from below, so try to know them off the platform. -Home run bat Throw it at your enemy, but be wary of reflectors. Don't swing it. If your opponent uses the smash attack, you can typically Counter it... so do that. -Hothead Ike can pump this up with Eruption, if you have time; otherwise just pick it up and throw it, but make sure you don't throw it off by accident trying to hit your enemy if you're on a stage where it can orbit. If your enemy has a reflector (and a brain), they can reflect this back around the stage, so you may want to just toss it off. You can counter an Enemy Hothead pretty easily, which can be useful for a faster but damaging attack. -Pitfall Pitfall = a free forward smash; you may or may not be able to charge the smash depending on how damaged they are. Don't hit with the tip, hit with the blade. -Sandbag It will block most projectiles; it will also count as a target for Quick Draw, so don't use that. -Super mushroom You're bigger, but you're more vulnerable and neutral A combo will often miss. Dsmash will come in handy here, and Counter works well against faster type enemies. If your enemy is bigger, they are an easier target; use your range and Aether combos if you get a chance. If they have better range than you, use Counter. -Superspicy curry Counter it if you're on stage; there's nothing they can do to keep the fire from hitting you, since Counter will go off before they get in grab range. Aethering sometimes works if you're offstage. -Timer You're typically screwed, but Counter will last much longer than usual, so use it. Against mediocre opponents, you can easily bait them into hurting themselves. If your opponent is slowed, you can land all sorts of slow attacks like fsmash and uair, so go for those. -Warp star This can't be countered for some reason, so air dodge it. ******************************************************************************* * Section 9: Final Thoughts * ******************************************************************************* Well, I hope reading the guide was worth it. To really be good with Ike, I'd recommend learning how to play a spammer and a quick close range character so you can learn to better defend against them. Who knows, you may even like them better. The point of Brawl is to have fun, and you'll be happiest by picking the character you like best. If that's not Ike, that's fine, but at the very least you should gain appreciation of Ike as someone who does more than forward smash and Aether all day. Finally, to reiterate some key points: Ike's two best moves are his neutral A combo and his fair. The neutral A combo is fast and great up close, while the fair is great at range for both offense and defense that also lets Ike move around. Down/up throw to Aether is a great damaging grab combo. Quick Draw and Counter are best used carefully. Finally, jump off and edgecamp your opponent after you knock them off. Repetition is one of the best ways to learn. Good luck out there... ******************************************************************************* * Section 10: Contact Information * ******************************************************************************* I suppose I should add this. My email is at yahoo. The name used for this email is th0a1st0st0unna Take out the zeros, and you have my email (I really don't want more spam). Please put FAQ in the title. I check my email very infrequently (who would have thought...), but I'll get to it eventually. If you have a useful suggestion or comment, I'll add it in at my discretion and give you credit for it. If you have a question, I might sneak it in the guide and/or answer it. Don't say anything about the unfinished matchups until I'm done with them; I'll probably forget your presumably useful information. Don't ask about when the guide will be finished. It'll probably happen. Don't be obnoxious, and I won't be either. ******************************************************************************* * Legal Information * ******************************************************************************* Copyright 2009 Tha Stunna Only www.gamefaqs.com is allowed to host this FAQ.