Aerial vs. Grounded

May 22, 2007
When fighting, do you tend to stick to the air or the ground more? On a specific level, do you feel that this is dependant on the matchup and what character they're using?

You would think that with huge range and two auto-cancels, no one would ever want to approach Ike when he throws out aerials. But it just makes him more vulnerable. Boxing, DTilts, and grab game seem to be the core of Ike's approach and defensive game, as his Frame 4 jab still has a good hitbox, his Frame 7 DTilt covers great range, and his grabs are where he gets the bulk of his damage, adding up to 20% for UThrow Fair. Against Mario, I've learned from history that it is imperative not to space him out in the air and abuse that, but to match his ground game by beating out his attempts to grab you with jabs.

I've been told it's better to stay grounded against certain characters. Do you feel that particular characters embody this, or is it simply better to fight a grounded game as Ike in general?


Smash Rookie
Mar 19, 2016
For defense, yeah Id say grounded is better. Your only defensive options aerially are like retreating fairs and bairs, and retreating aerials suck because stage control and also the guarantee of no follow ups. Its still not a terrible defensive option just theres better things out there.

But I guess you could just stand your ground and throw out an aerial and hope you time it right so the spacing is good. I guess you could actually throw out a nair and get a nice follow up off that, assuming you space it right/they dont shield. Good option? Maybe?

My usual goal when I see someone approaching is to try to condition them to shield so I can get a grab next time, but I also in general try to avoid throwing out moves that I dont have some sort of followup for, so I predominately throw out d-tilt, because ez spacing, ez combos, ez conditioning, and sometimes ill jab if Im certain their going for a grab because jab combo, jab to grab and jab to d-tilt, but in general I find d-tilt to be better if you have time.

As for mus, I tend to stick to the air against chars with high grounded pressure like fox, mk, shiek and ryu. I find his aerials are incredibly good for controlling the pace of the match and thats exactly what you need to do with those characters imo to win. I also feel like Ike wins in general against other chars aerially, but in the cases he loses (cloud namely) I tend to stick to the ground.

And against mario? If you just play your aerial game damn near perfect theres not much mario can do about it from my experience. I also feel like a lot of Ikes grounded options beat out marios, just keep the bugger out and its in the bag basically yeah?


Smash Lord
Nov 25, 2014
For me, it depends on the character sometimes but just as often depends on the opponent, I think. I prefer to approach from the air, as my default state. If they are playing a campy sort of defense I tend to start jumping around trying to mindgame pressure with spaced Fairs, Bairs from behind, Nairs from both sides, and tomahawks, along with air jump fakeouts. However, against players who will keep their distance and then rush in to challenge me, I want to stay grounded, because both Fair and Nair start above Ike, SH Bair won't reach short opponents and our Nair isn't Cloud's Nair - defensive opponents with large or quick hitboxes of their own can wait for you to jump first then barge into your space to challenge you. A wide assortment of characters are capable of doing this, from other spacies like Marth or Cloud to zoners like Samus, and it shuts down my usual modus operandi. That's when I have to get campy myself, spacing with jabs, Dtilt, and pivot Ftilts until I can throw them off their game and get an opening for a typical air approach. From the ground I can even play their own game and wait for an aerial approach before jumping backwards for Fair.

I feel no character embodies this more than Marth. His aerials beat out an aerial approach easily because of their speed and disjointed reach, making challenging him in the air very difficult. My highest priority is intruding on his space to avoid his tippers, and I won't be able to do that in the air where I can't shield.
Last edited:
Nov 28, 2015
I like to stay in the air a lot. His air presence is scarier than people think due to his disjoint allowing him to trade with other attacks safely. Both his fair and bair auto cancel on short hops which give him a good aerial approach. the only problem with it is not being able to use his grab combos


Smash Rookie
Aug 2, 2015
Nuremberg, Germany
the only problem with it is not being able to use his grab combos
I don't think that's the problem. Tomahawk grabs are an essential part of Ike's gameplan. And you can't expect your opponent to respect you all the time while you're in the air.
A decent opponent will just shield dash / grab you as soon as he sees an opening like for instance missed spacing or no double jump.
Also remember that his fair and bair only auto cancel if you buffer it and don't fast fall, which makes it kinda easy to be punished accordingly to, especially if your fighting fast characters.
Last edited:
Top Bottom