Ike's Matchups

Thane of Blue Flames

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I was actually a bit surprised to see that there wasn't a matchup thread for Ike. Especially since I think he's got more match-up data than most, from his overly-broken, overly-used days in 2.1.

To start off the discussion, how does Ike do against Sheik? I feel like he gets overwhelmed easily and is kind of the perfect size and combo weight for Sheik, who is able to link plenty of moves into each other and get you to uncomfortable percents very quickly. The only upside being she doesn't have enough finishing power.
 

Commander

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Ike has problems dealing with any character that can quickly apply a lot of pressure. Ike just doesn't seem to have many tools to get out of it. It seems like if Ike can apply pressure first he will have a better time in those match ups. I think Link is a hard match up for Ike. I can't find a way around the projectile pressure most of the time till Link actually approaches me himself.
 

lordhelmet

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Ike doesn't seem to have any polarizing matchups that other characters suffer (I use him to cover Falcon's bad matchups like Shiek and spacies).

Ike vs Sheik feels very even. Ike vs spacies seems either even or a -1 for Ike. The metagame is so new that it's really hard to say for sure. I think Ike has a strong matchup spread with only losing as a -1 to characters like Fox, Falco, Wolf?, Falcon, Bowser.
 

Commander

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Ike doesn't seem to have any polarizing matchups that other characters suffer (I use him to cover Falcon's bad matchups like Shiek and spacies).

Ike vs Sheik feels very even. Ike vs spacies seems either even or a -1 for Ike. The metagame is so new that it's really hard to say for sure. I think Ike has a strong matchup spread with only losing as a -1 to characters like Fox, Falco, Wolf?, Falcon, Bowser.
I doubt Bowser would have an advantage at all in that match up. Bowser isn't the best character, people just aren't used to fighting him. He leaves him self open for hard punishes a lot, and being punished by Ike is usually a death sentence.
 

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Bowser v/s Ike is even but unconventional, in the sense that it seems a lot like alternating punishes because both Bowser and Ike capitalize off of opponents' errors. That said with good spacing, Ragnell gives Ike an edge.
 

metroid1117

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To start off the discussion, how does Ike do against Sheik? I feel like he gets overwhelmed easily and is kind of the perfect size and combo weight for Sheik, who is able to link plenty of moves into each other and get you to uncomfortable percents very quickly. The only upside being she doesn't have enough finishing power.
Ike doesn't seem to have any polarizing matchups that other characters suffer (I use him to cover Falcon's bad matchups like Shiek and spacies).

Ike vs Sheik feels very even. Ike vs spacies seems either even or a -1 for Ike. The metagame is so new that it's really hard to say for sure. I think Ike has a strong matchup spread with only losing as a -1 to characters like Fox, Falco, Wolf?, Falcon, Bowser.
Personally, I don't like Ike vs Sheik - Ike doesn't have very good tools to deal with close-range pressure, and Sheik can do some nasty things with her tilts, grabs, and needles. Sheik is also one of the few characters that can reliably gimp Ike's recovery, using needles against QD and really low BAirs for Aether. It's not exactly easy to combo Sheik either, since Ike's combo game relies a lot on grabs (it's hard to grab a good Sheik) and he doesn't really have guaranteed combos on her once he gets a grab. I'm not sure about Ike versus spacies, but having free UThrow combos and chaingrabs on FD certainly helps.

Ike has problems dealing with any character that can quickly apply a lot of pressure. Ike just doesn't seem to have many tools to get out of it. It seems like if Ike can apply pressure first he will have a better time in those match ups. I think Link is a hard match up for Ike. I can't find a way around the projectile pressure most of the time till Link actually approaches me himself.
I think Link is disadvantageous, but I don't think it's that hard of a match-up; I do fairly well against Hylian's Link, you can reference this match for how to get around the projectile spam. Jumping over with NAir and QD'ing when you're within range helps a lot, otherwise you just get trapped with nowhere to go.

Bowser v/s Ike is even but unconventional, in the sense that it seems a lot like alternating punishes because both Bowser and Ike capitalize off of opponents' errors. That said with good spacing, Ragnell gives Ike an edge.
I usually find Bowser to be a difficult match-up since Bowser can wall out Ike with Fire Breath and FTilt on top of just CC'ing most of Ike's attacks until very high %, but then again, I haven't played Kirk in a long time.
 

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I feel like grabbing Bowser a ton will mess him up pretty bad. Gimpyfish himself has said that if you lame out bowser and only grab him, you win pretty easily, regardless of the character.
 

Nguz95

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Pop all of her dins fires with nair so she can't set up. Then force her to approach. Since she can't approach, you're golden as soon as she stops trying to throw out dins.
 

Nguz95

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The range dins can travel is quite large. She can use it from across Final Destination as far as I know. Unfortunately that means you can't dash dance out of range most of the time. What I suggest is that every time Zelda tries to set something up from beyond the range she can act without moving, you use either jab, utilt, nair, or dtilt to clank with the dins, forcing her to either try again or give up and approach with teleport. Then you need to throw out some hitboxes with disjoint (ftilt, nair, fair, etc.) to catch her when she exits teleport.

You could also approach through the dins fire and catch her with a move before she can teleport/try to hit you, but that's what she wants you to do as she can hit you with a lightning kick before you can get to her unless you use a move with tons of disjoint (basically just fair and nair if you're moving fast)
 

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I had to put up with a Zelda matchup last night. Wish I read this thread first, cus I got beat consistently. Although I was able to pull some wins with Roy.
 

TranqJim

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I've developed good strategies against marth and Roy and even spacies. My friend has recently developed a pit that I can't seem to break. He gets out of grab combos quickly, uses arrows to stop QD approaches and floats me off the edge with constant Fairs (much like Armada 2014). Only thing I can get consistently is nair approach and then down throw back air. Any advice? I have a feeling I will be facing more pits soon
 

Nguz95

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practice your platform game to deal with arrows. Also practice powershielding a little. avoid approaching pit unless you know you won't fall within his grab range. Pit's throw combos are free, and Ike is particularly susceptible to getting juggled. Force Pit to commit to something unsafe by exerting pressure on him all the time. If you just sit at mid to long range he will use arrows to make your life miserable. Pit isn't particularly great in close range, so use Ike's disjoint to keep Pit within your range but outside his own. Try to be in his face, but don't over commit and let him in your defenses.
 

Commander

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I enjoy playing the Links. Their projectiles aren't fast enough to be obnoxious but they can do enough with them to make it really interesting.
 

metroid1117

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Marth-Ike is really hard when Marth is in close range and on the ground; it's not really safe to FAir or NAir at that range because Marth can dashdance into a grab to punish it and it's hard to get in with QD because Marth can either DTilt or CC it. IMO, Ike does best in this match-up when Marth is in the air at arm's length, where he can't use DTilt to stop QD and where he can't simply dashdance into a grab. Personally, I don't feel like this is in Ike's favor, but it's doable.
 

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I agree, Ragnell may have longer range, but Ike's relative sluggishness against Marth's quick aerials and his ability to stuff QD (which is hard to space at max range, so Marth can swat you out easy, or just CC) make the match up hard for Ike. No more than 55-45 though, I'd say. And I still find it really fun. Outranging Marth with Ragnell tippers can lead into a lot and Marth is surprisingly comboable for Ike. It's really just all about the spacing, which is cool.
 

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Ike is super fun. I like Marth's weight against Ike, it leads to some very interesting combos. Since I've recently begun playing Ike again (He was my very first P:M main). What MU's are solidified in his favor, or not his favor so far? Hopefully I can throw in some input myself.
 

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I'm of the opinion that Falco was born an Ike counter and he struggles v/s Pit, too. Characters with projectiles that can knock Ike out of QD are quite awful to deal with in general, but Ike can actually work around Ivy and Shiek consistently. (I used to struggle with Sheik, but after player her a bit I don't quite as much. Hard match-up, no where close to unwinnable though. Plus you can clank needles, that came as a surprise to me.) He actually goes even with or beats Snake by a little, doesn't lose to Fox too hard and can space out MK who also has a good falling speed for combos, so the match-up is about even. I've already gone out of the realm of things I know for sure, though, so I'm going to just be quiet and let Metroid chip in with much more useful information :)
 

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Falco seems like a pain in the arse, right off the bat. Until he gets CG'd to F-Smash, haha. You think Ike struggles with Pit? I think I can agree to that, since I play/ex-main him. Pit isn't really that hard to beat, you've just gotta DI everything correctly, and don't let him get close to you. Mainly it's more or less of how good you are with spacing, and how well you can wall Pit out. Sure, you might eat some arrows, but I think Ike can pull it out, who knows! I know Ike does well against Ivy and Shiek for sure, as I play with Denti's Ivy almost all the time, and ALSM's Shiek (Before he went to Link). Snake never seemed problematic to me, I feel he's a great weight to get juggled from heaven to hell by Ike. I don't have much Ike vs Fox to add, so I'll take what you guys say for it as well. Meta Knight used to be a problem for me, until I started playing a heavy bait game, and going for a lot of QD grabs, and throwing out N-airs and U-airs to bait MK's D-air approach. Or just Crouch Cancel grab it at low %'s! Thanks for the input man, I look forward to contributing more to the Ike community myself in the near future.

I know this doesn't really help with MU's, but I lacked in finding an actual general discussion thread for Ike. Does anyone else use F-Throw > QD > RJ B-air as well? It kills most medium weight characters starting at around 100%. It's a little strict, but it's a very nice setup. I'm almost 60% sure it works on some FF'ers as well (Lucas, MK, Falcon).
 
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King of Hoboz

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Still having issues with Peach and Link, now mind you, I'm losing consistently by a hair or such. Just need some advice to improve.

In both cases two things seem to happen often. One, they often find ways to be -right in my face- and jab(or most anything for that matter) me for absolutely free. (no grab punishes at all to get) Second, there's a point where I find the players stop using anything -but- projectiles. They will openly refuse to attack with anything else once they've gotten any momentum. They will kill me with projectiles and have no problem just going as slow as they need to as long as they do the safest thing.

I can't seem to scare them into not attacking me, no, in fact, when the going gets tough for them, they keep attacking more and I just can't punish for some reason; in spite of any baits.

I'm already going to try to practice trying to gimp more as Link kept coming back cause I was being too much of a gentlemen/I kept misjudging where to Fair- but I don't think that'll fix the above.
 

metroid1117

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I'm of the opinion that Falco was born an Ike counter and he struggles v/s Pit, too. Characters with projectiles that can knock Ike out of QD are quite awful to deal with in general, but Ike can actually work around Ivy and Shiek consistently. (I used to struggle with Sheik, but after player her a bit I don't quite as much. Hard match-up, no where close to unwinnable though. Plus you can clank needles, that came as a surprise to me.) He actually goes even with or beats Snake by a little, doesn't lose to Fox too hard and can space out MK who also has a good falling speed for combos, so the match-up is about even. I've already gone out of the realm of things I know for sure, though, so I'm going to just be quiet and let Metroid chip in with much more useful information :)
Honestly, it's been a while since I've played and I don't have diverse match-up experience, so I don't really feel comfortable concretely judging anything more than a select few match-ups >.>. However, I'd imagine that Falco is very difficult to manage, Pit is more manageable because arrows are easier to punish in the neutral game than lasers (here's a $1 MM I played against a Pit, in case anyone's interested), Fox is probably disadvantageous because of his solid neutral game but they might be more manageable than Falco because he doesn't have a projectile that deals hitstun, and MK is probably disadvantageous as well for the same reasons as Fox but more even since he lacks Fox's shield pressure and kill potential in neutral.

I think Sheik is a hard match-up, but Jolteon (who's a very solid PM player and used to main Ike) said the key to that match-up is to put her in the air with UThrow and keep her there with UAir and NAir; she has poor aerial drift, so it's best to use QD and Ike's aerial speed (which is pretty good relative to the rest of the cast) to shark under her as she tries to get back down. However, the neutral game is difficult because she has needles to force approaches, tilts to poke and juggle, and grabs to pressure your shield. The easiest way to edgeguard Sheik is to grab the edge, forcing her to up+B onto the stage, and then punishing it with edge getup (while she up+Bs such that you're still occupying the edge as she vanishes) -> DSmash to send her back off-stage until she dies, but edgehop BAir before she touches the ground works as well.

I know this doesn't really help with MU's, but I lacked in finding an actual general discussion thread for Ike. Does anyone else use F-Throw > QD > RJ B-air as well? It kills most medium weight characters starting at around 100%. It's a little strict, but it's a very nice setup. I'm almost 60% sure it works on some FF'ers as well (Lucas, MK, Falcon).
FThrow/BThrow/DThrow -> QD -> RAR BAir is probably my favorite combo to do with Ike, it looks sexy and is super satisfying to land. It's consistency depends on the opponent's DI though; if they DI down and away, then it's hard to get anything more than a tech chase.

Still having issues with Peach and Link, now mind you, I'm losing consistently by a hair or such. Just need some advice to improve.

In both cases two things seem to happen often. One, they often find ways to be -right in my face- and jab(or most anything for that matter) me for absolutely free. (no grab punishes at all to get) Second, there's a point where I find the players stop using anything -but- projectiles. They will openly refuse to attack with anything else once they've gotten any momentum. They will kill me with projectiles and have no problem just going as slow as they need to as long as they do the safest thing.

I can't seem to scare them into not attacking me, no, in fact, when the going gets tough for them, they keep attacking more and I just can't punish for some reason; in spite of any baits.

I'm already going to try to practice trying to gimp more as Link kept coming back cause I was being too much of a gentlemen/I kept misjudging where to Fair- but I don't think that'll fix the above.
It sounds like the biggest problem you face is dealing with projectiles, which causes you to be opened up to the point where they're constantly in your face. Ike's aerial mobility out of a run is pretty good, so keeping in the air and spacing NAirs/FAirs works relatively well. If you're interested, I have some games against Lazarond and Harry the Chin, both of whom are Link mains from Chicago. I can't really give you advice against Peach though =/.

As for gimping Link, it's hard to consistently edgeguard him because in addition to glide toss shenanigans, he can mix-up between up+B'ing early, tethering, tethering and letting go into an up+B, and sweetspotting with up+B (trust me on this one, I played against Hylian's Link a lot last year :p). You can jump out and FAir him if you read when he's pulling out a bomb, but other than that, the best ways I've found to deal with his other options are to Counter the early up+B (or DAir -> BAir/USmash if he lands onstage with it) and walk-off DAir or FAir the tether.
 

Thane of Blue Flames

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Oh, Peach ...

With here, you have to realize that there is a bubble around Ike that you just can't let her invade. Once Peach gets in about half a sword length from you, boom. Your attacks are too slow to fend her off except jab, which her aerials beat handily and your OoS options stink.

Buffer rolls. Wait for her to overshoot and move behind you so you can jump out and bair. Counter smartly, but sparingly, because Ike is a good combo weight for Peach. But more importantly just don't let her in.

You want Peach in the air - in the air, she has poor mobility options and bad drift, can't crouch cancel DSmash and can't turnips. Ike has good options for knocking her about and his uair is something for her to fear. Upthrow is good at early percents, though D-Throw -> QD attack -> Nair -> etc. works well too, and Fthrow -> reverse QD Bair plus QD regrabs work on her at mid percents as well. Nair is key to dealing with her turnips, as is just turning in the other direction and running away. Turnips are slow, don't go far, and there is a certain range for which you can clean jump at Peach with a Nair after she's thrown a turnip which gets swatted away while she takes a clean hit. Her projectiles are only annoying if you keep running into them, so I suggest you don't.

Lastly, good reads and Usmash are your friend. Knock her onto a platform, read the tech roll and let fly with a well-timed QD -> USmash, or Dacus, or just a plain charged smash if you were under her and tossed her up. It's slow but it's one of the best and biggest vertical finishers in the game and you can slide across a stage with it. Use it well.

That's about all I got on Peach, hope it serves you well.
 

King of Hoboz

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I should probably add that the particular situation which it reduces to solely projectiles tends to be when I'm off stage. The Peach (as well as the Link player after awhile) player is totally comfortable with just throwing turnips until I get stitched. It gets particularly annoying cause well...you can't exactly dodge turnip by that point when you have so little space to dodge after trying to get off ledge.

Lordling, that's actually a lot of my game plan to be honest. I just feel there's a point where I lose too much stage space trying to do it and I get hit anyway. Its really hard to dodge when you're cornered. Though, I don't U-Smash because I've just gotten repeatedly stuffed by the stupidest things. This peach player I go against some how manages to consistently try to drop shield then d-smash/dash attack. Man, its the most maddening thing to see that **** work at times. More than it should, on things 'safer' than U-Smash. (Namely F-Tilt not fully spaced).

Edit: Um, first question actually. What directions should you DI Link's stuff to avoid being combo'd? Or at least, minimize his combos.
 
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metroid1117

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Edit: Um, first question actually. What directions should you DI Link's stuff to avoid being combo'd? Or at least, minimize his combos.
If you're at low %, you can try CC'ing the majority of his moves much like any other character. However, once you can't CC anymore, it's generally best to DI away.
 

BlinkIV

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I can add a good amount of advice against Link.

For Link, the main key is QD attack against him. I play with ALSM, and Problemo often, and they play really defensive Links. They're always patient, and won't approach unless they get a boomerang confirm, or they read a grab as well. I advise you to take Link to stages with platforms. Having good movement on the platforms, and kinda plat-camping until you find a good time to get in. Aside from abusing QD attack to break Link's wall, N-air is also a good tool to use on Link. Trying to clank aerials with boomerang is also ideal in the MU. If you do a lot of jumping approaches, Link can actually dash attack to keep you out, and abuse it easy. OoS WD when bombs/boomerang hit your shield is great, and just QD after that and punish Link.

As far as gimping him goes, I normally just jump out and f-air him when he pulls a bomb. Or keep ledge-cancelling F-airs so the sword goes under the stage to knock him away. I actually uploaded a video yesterday so you can see what I mean. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tbzGnkaXajU

That's my take on Link so far.
 
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broliftic

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I can't seem to do jack against the Lucario or Marth matchup. Marth's aerial game trumps mine almost every time, and Lucario applies so much close-quarters pressure if he can get in that I have no idea what to do. Any advice against these two?

EDIT: a letter
 
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metroid1117

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I can't seem to do jack against the Lucario or Marth matchup. Marth's aerial game trumps mine almost every time, and Lucario applies so much close-quarters pressure if he can get in that I have no idea what to do. Any advice against these two?

EDIT: a letter
For Marth, you want to avoid challenging his air game unless you are out of range of his FAir or NAir; it's best to either dash away from his aerials and counter with QD attack, retreating FAir, or NAiring from above if you see him using NAir. Marth's dash dance is very scary because he can punish attempts to approach with grabs and stop approaches with DTilts, but thankfully he's not that heavy, so he can't CC QD at mid %s. If you're interested, you can reference this close set I had with Dart.

For Lucario, the key is to stay just outside his dash attack range until an opening appears, otherwise he can come in and pressure like you said. Spacing him out with retreating NAirs and FAirs work relatively well, but you have to be careful about your spacing because he may try to run in with a grab or dash attack if you are too careless. This is an outdated video, but you can reference this match I had with Hylian back in 2.6b; this is before Lucario's ability to start with a meter of aura, but the match-up hasn't really changed since then.
 

Thane of Blue Flames

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Even with his buffs, Ike is mostly about good reads, minding your spacing and using his massive reach with Ragnell to keep people out until he sees an opportunity to go in. It's textbook vBrawl Ike, who is one of the only entertaining characters to watch in that game.

Of course, I really like Ike.
 

Commander

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Those are also things for Marth in both Melee and Brawl. Ike doesn't require reads as much as he requires mix ups. Ike is great when the opponent has bad DI or is out spaced. Reads help everyone, it is just when Ike gets a read it is worse for your opponent than it is when anyone else gets a read.
 

Thane of Blue Flames

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Those are also things for Marth in both Melee and Brawl.
That explains my melee main, then ...

Reads help everyone, it is just when Ike gets a read it is worse for your opponent than it is when anyone else gets a read.
Yeah ... that's what I said too.

Ike also doesn't share Marth's superior ability to deal with pressure and projectiles. He has to play a careful game to prevent people sticking to him because he is a good combo weight for much of the cast. He lack's Marth higher speed and quicker "swat" moves, without even mentioning Marth's longer and terrifying grab. Finally, Ike's combo game, the only thing that doesn't carry over from Brawl, is also pretty non-intuitive, which is where the P:M exclusive integration of QD into your combos comes in. In short, their playstyles, while similar, require much more commitment from Ike and therefore more reliance on reads. His ability to go is phenomenal when possible, but more limited than true rush-down characters and requires a more careful game of bait and punish. Saying he needs mix-ups and conditioning doesn't detract from his reliance to reads, it adds to it. I've been QD grabbing a lot, will my opponent spot-dodge again expecting another, so I should charge an upsmash and catch him? Grab again? WD out and hope he doesn't roll away? Etc. Speed buff or not, Ike is still relatively beat to the draw on all but one of his moves. Our extra options only mean we need to be smarter about picking the right one.

Playing Ike in an environment where he's more limited helps, trust me.
 
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Commander

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That explains my melee main, then ...



Yeah ... that's what I said too.

Ike also doesn't share Marth's superior ability to deal with pressure and projectiles. He has to play a careful game to prevent people sticking to him because he is a good combo weight for much of the cast. He lack's Marth higher speed and quicker "swat" moves, without even mentioning Marth's longer and terrifying grab. Finally, Ike's combo game, the only thing that doesn't carry over from Brawl, is also pretty non-intuitive, which is where the P:M exclusive integration of QD into your combos comes in. In short, their playstyles, while similar, require much more commitment from Ike and therefore more reliance on reads. His ability to go is phenomenal when possible, but more limited than true rush-down characters and requires a more careful game of bait and punish. Saying he needs mix-ups and conditioning doesn't detract from his reliance to reads, it adds to it. I've been QD grabbing a lot, will my opponent spot-dodge again expecting another, so I should charge an upsmash and catch him? Grab again? WD out and hope he doesn't roll away? Etc. Speed buff or not, Ike is still relatively beat to the draw on all but one of his moves. Our extra options only mean we need to be smarter about picking the right one.

Playing Ike in an environment where he's more limited helps, trust me.
Ike is very similar to Marth in how he deals with projectiles. Both can use counter to effectively deal with things like Falco's lasers(Falco is my current favorite matchup), Ike's nair can be used to swat away most projectiles just like Marth's fair. Ike's falling speed is actually really close to Marth's and it just requires good DI to get out of combos. How intuitive Ike's combo game is depends on he person playing him, for me Ike is the single most natural character in all of smash and is really the only reason I play P:M. If Ike was in Melee I would have no reason to play P:M. I actually don't use quick draw in my combos very often because a lot of the people I play against have projectiles or big disjoints that help them camp it out, instead I use it to jump into nairs mostly. I don't really consider mixups and conditioning in the same vein as reading but that would be a semantical argument which isn't worth discussing. I never feel more committed to Ike's moves than I am with Roy's or Marth's. In fact I feel like I can do less in any given situation with those two than I can with Ike.
 
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