Ike nair tips?

D0lphan72

Smash Rookie
Joined
Mar 17, 2019
Messages
13
#1
Hey guys,

I'm an Ike main who fights for his friends, and who also needs help working on my nair moves and combos in order to become elite.

I'm a 3.5-4 million GSP guy who literally only uses Ike. I've been in two live tournaments in my life (both this past week) and got to the sweet 16 before losing on both of them. I want to become insanely good with Ike and I know the only way to do that is to work heavily on landing my nairs more and to combo out of them. My buddy watched all of my matches at both tourneys and told me the reason I'm losing is I A) don't use nair nearly enough and B) Don't have a good enough hit percentage with it and C) don't combo enough when I DO hit.

I have elite juggling skills, well above average off map play, and my grabs are getting much more consistent and i'm combo-ing out of that really well. I just need to get this nair going to bring it all together.

I have just recently discovered the ability to short hop (hitting X and Y at the same time) and am getting better with that but still need to get it going with my nair, or just figure out what the best method is. I've been watching MKLEO and other pros and it seems to me that every time they nair they instantly drop themselves as fast as possible so they can jump back up and get their combo going ASAP. This is something I'm trying to practice but I'm struggling to do since I struggle even getting my nair going without having to worry about dropping down as I swing it.

I basically need to learn what to do when people keep shield-grabbing to counter my nair (happens all the time) and just to get more consistent with my spacing and what to do if they keep shielding my nair. I can combo out of nair up to ~20% but after that I struggle to hit them after the nair lands. If there are any tips or methods to practice to improve this I would greatly appreciate anything you could give me. I would also love it if anyone offered to practice together as I am a "learn on the spot" kind of guy. Thanks again!
 

Qualk

Smash Cadet
Writing Team
Joined
Feb 1, 2019
Messages
73
#2
I'd recommend doing this to develop the muscle memory to execute fast-fall N-airs:

Go into training mode and just do fast fall N-airs. You'll need to jump, then N-air, then immediately press down to fast fall while the N-air is coming out. If you do it too quickly you'll just do a D-air and if you do it too slowly you won't execute the fast fall. You'll notice a little star appear on Ike when you initiate a fast fall, that's how you can know you're doing it correctly.

Just do this for 10-15 minutes in a row. Concentrate hard and try to execute this as consistently as you can. Alternate between short and full hops.

After this first 10-15 minutes, continue practicing but now let your mind wander. Listen to a podcast or some music and think about other stuff as your hands continue to do the motions. This is how you develop muscle memory, your hands being able to do something almost independently of your mind.

Once you get this down it's just a matter of stringing together the correct follow-up. At very low percents against medium and heavy characters you can frontside N-air into a grab. Against most of the cast at <60% or so you can frontside N-air into a U-tilt which is the most reliable follow up. You can also frontside or backside N-air into an F-tilt (you might need to angle the F-tilt against smaller characters). Then at higher percent or against lighter enemies you'll want to frontside N-air into either an additional N-air (ideally up to a platform) a F-air or a U-air. Backside N-air into B-air is one of our most reliable KO options, but you'll need to practice doing it against light, medium, and heavy opponents at varying percents to determine how high you'll need to jump and even if you'll need to quickly double jump to get the B-air to connect.

As far as your opponents shielding it, tomahawk grabbing can be extremely effective once you condition your opponent to shield when you jump. The tomahawk grab is simply short or full hopping and then empty fast falling into a grab. You can also try to cross them up (get behind them as you hit their shield so they can't immediately grab you) with a falling N-air.

Hope this helps, GL!
 

D0lphan72

Smash Rookie
Joined
Mar 17, 2019
Messages
13
#3
I'd recommend doing this to develop the muscle memory to execute fast-fall N-airs:

Go into training mode and just do fast fall N-airs. You'll need to jump, then N-air, then immediately press down to fast fall while the N-air is coming out. If you do it too quickly you'll just do a D-air and if you do it too slowly you won't execute the fast fall. You'll notice a little star appear on Ike when you initiate a fast fall, that's how you can know you're doing it correctly.

Just do this for 10-15 minutes in a row. Concentrate hard and try to execute this as consistently as you can. Alternate between short and full hops.

After this first 10-15 minutes, continue practicing but now let your mind wander. Listen to a podcast or some music and think about other stuff as your hands continue to do the motions. This is how you develop muscle memory, your hands being able to do something almost independently of your mind.

Once you get this down it's just a matter of stringing together the correct follow-up. At very low percents against medium and heavy characters you can frontside N-air into a grab. Against most of the cast at <60% or so you can frontside N-air into a U-tilt which is the most reliable follow up. You can also frontside or backside N-air into an F-tilt (you might need to angle the F-tilt against smaller characters). Then at higher percent or against lighter enemies you'll want to frontside N-air into either an additional N-air (ideally up to a platform) a F-air or a U-air. Backside N-air into B-air is one of our most reliable KO options, but you'll need to practice doing it against light, medium, and heavy opponents at varying percents to determine how high you'll need to jump and even if you'll need to quickly double jump to get the B-air to connect.

As far as your opponents shielding it, tomahawk grabbing can be extremely effective once you condition your opponent to shield when you jump. The tomahawk grab is simply short or full hopping and then empty fast falling into a grab. You can also try to cross them up (get behind them as you hit their shield so they can't immediately grab you) with a falling N-air.

Hope this helps, GL!
I really appreciate it!!! So when I actually play should I do the nair-drop every single time?
 

Qualk

Smash Cadet
Writing Team
Joined
Feb 1, 2019
Messages
73
#4
I really appreciate it!!! So when I actually play should I do the nair-drop every single time?
You probably should if you're facing your opponent because this gets you on the ground the fastest which lets you spot-dodge their punish attempt if they shield your N-air or allows you to follow up quicker if you hit them. However, don't be too predictable. A good indication that you're being predictable is your opponent will start parrying your N-airs, this should be a huge wakeup call that you need to switch up your timing.

If your back is to them then you don't want to fast fall it (unless you're full-hopping) because you'll hit the ground before the back part of the N-air swings around and you'll be left vulnerable.
 
Last edited:

D0lphan72

Smash Rookie
Joined
Mar 17, 2019
Messages
13
#5
You probably should if you're facing your opponent because this gets you on the ground the fastest which lets you spot-dodge their punish attempt if they shield your N-air or allows you to follow up quicker if you hit them. However, don't be too predictable. A good indication that you're being predictable is your opponent will start parrying your N-airs, this should be a huge wakeup call that you need to switch up your timing.

If your back is to them then you don't want to fast fall it (unless you're full-hopping) because you'll hit the ground before the back part of the N-air swings around and you'll be left vulnerable.
Ive been practicing and its already feeling more natural! It’s tough switching between full and short but I’m getting there. The tougher part will be practicing the combos ugh...
 
Last edited:

Qualk

Smash Cadet
Writing Team
Joined
Feb 1, 2019
Messages
73
#6
Not sure if you do already, but I like to have tilt attack set to my C-stick on Ike. It makes the N-air into U-tilt a lot easier to pull off than trying to do it with the control stick. When I tried to do tilts with the control stick I would accidentally smash attack all the time and get punished for it xD
 

D0lphan72

Smash Rookie
Joined
Mar 17, 2019
Messages
13
#7
Not sure if you do already, but I like to have tilt attack set to my C-stick on Ike. It makes the N-air into U-tilt a lot easier to pull off than trying to do it with the control stick. When I tried to do tilts with the control stick I would accidentally smash attack all the time and get punished for it xD
I’ve had it like that for awhile and it’s definitely helped the low percent combos for sure!
 

h4 Gambiteer

Smash Cadet
Writing Team
Joined
Dec 2, 2018
Messages
40
Location
Tellius
#8
I really appreciate it!!! So when I actually play should I do the nair-drop every single time?
This is called "fast falling." I would say that you should always fast fall at some point, but not necessarily immediately after the nair.

You want to mix up some timings to throw your opponent off. If he realizes that you always ff nair, he'll start to drop shield quickly after you hit him and punish. But if instead you started the nair but fell regularly, he may drop his shield and get hit.

But once you know whether you hit or didn't, you always want to fast fall to reduce your lag and either get a faster followup or reduce the time your opponent has to punish you.
 

D0lphan72

Smash Rookie
Joined
Mar 17, 2019
Messages
13
#9
This is called "fast falling." I would say that you should always fast fall at some point, but not necessarily immediately after the nair.

You want to mix up some timings to throw your opponent off. If he realizes that you always ff nair, he'll start to drop shield quickly after you hit him and punish. But if instead you started the nair but fell regularly, he may drop his shield and get hit.

But once you know whether you hit or didn't, you always want to fast fall to reduce your lag and either get a faster followup or reduce the time your opponent has to punish you.
So I’ve gotten much better at
I'd recommend doing this to develop the muscle memory to execute fast-fall N-airs:

Go into training mode and just do fast fall N-airs. You'll need to jump, then N-air, then immediately press down to fast fall while the N-air is coming out. If you do it too quickly you'll just do a D-air and if you do it too slowly you won't execute the fast fall. You'll notice a little star appear on Ike when you initiate a fast fall, that's how you can know you're doing it correctly.

Just do this for 10-15 minutes in a row. Concentrate hard and try to execute this as consistently as you can. Alternate between short and full hops.

After this first 10-15 minutes, continue practicing but now let your mind wander. Listen to a podcast or some music and think about other stuff as your hands continue to do the motions. This is how you develop muscle memory, your hands being able to do something almost independently of your mind.

Once you get this down it's just a matter of stringing together the correct follow-up. At very low percents against medium and heavy characters you can frontside N-air into a grab. Against most of the cast at <60% or so you can frontside N-air into a U-tilt which is the most reliable follow up. You can also frontside or backside N-air into an F-tilt (you might need to angle the F-tilt against smaller characters). Then at higher percent or against lighter enemies you'll want to frontside N-air into either an additional N-air (ideally up to a platform) a F-air or a U-air. Backside N-air into B-air is one of our most reliable KO options, but you'll need to practice doing it against light, medium, and heavy opponents at varying percents to determine how high you'll need to jump and even if you'll need to quickly double jump to get the B-air to connect.

As far as your opponents shielding it, tomahawk grabbing can be extremely effective once you condition your opponent to shield when you jump. The tomahawk grab is simply short or full hopping and then empty fast falling into a grab. You can also try to cross them up (get behind them as you hit their shield so they can't immediately grab you) with a falling N-air.

Hope this helps, GL!
so I’ve gotten much better at turning my quick nair into a natural movement. What I’m really lacking on now is turning this into a combo. (Lack of reaction time mixed with not remembering what perfect they are when I hit them) is there something I can practice to expedite this?
 

Qualk

Smash Cadet
Writing Team
Joined
Feb 1, 2019
Messages
73
#10
Try to work with the buffering system in ultimate. Buffering basically means you can execute a button press before your character is able to perform the move (generally due to already using another move, such as n-air) and your character will 'queue up' that move and use it as soon as possible when the first animation is finished.

This can help with combos by allowing you to guarantee you u-tilt as soon as your n-air is done, so practice this by doing the fast fall n-air and then experimenting with how early in the n-air animation you can u-tilt and have it still come out. Be wary of this in an actual match though because it can cause you to get ahead of yourself if you do it too early (u-tilting even though your opponent shielded your n-air, etc).

Long story short, you don't have to wait for your n-air animation to finish before you do something else. This can help you play more fluidly.
 
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