Rebuilding Ike - Day 1.

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OgnarPliskin
#1
I've been playing Brawl as an Ike main since 2008. I love his power, spacing, and he's just a really cool character in the Fire Emblem games on GameCube and Wii, so I relate to him pretty well. Ike is my pride, having won a local tournament, always placing top 3 in local tournaments I attend, and even placing in the All is Brawl Top 64 ladder a few years ago. The sad thing is, I'm nowhere near as good as I thought I was. I'm good because I beat my friends. They're my major source of competition, and only one of them plays semi-competitively.

I live in Augusta, GA. Between the Tournament Center (which closed down sometime ago) and Level Up, we don't have many venues for local tournaments. All my practice comes from online, so I don't get adequate practice aside from Wi-Fi battles. Between getting 2-stocked and decimated by a Mario player and a Snake player at the last tournament I went to, or getting 3-stocked against particularly good players online who can pinpoint my every mistake, I've learned that I'm nowhere near as good as I thought I was. I have habits of repeating Fairs, rolling, air dodging, and jabbing as much as possible. This gets me in trouble with people who powershield, shieldgrab, bair repeatedly, pivot grab, and most of all, punish rolling with fatal moves.

My strategy needs an entire reboot, not just some reworking. Losing the tournament motivated me to get back into Smash because I want to be one of the absolute top players of the upcoming Wii U and 3DS versions. In the meantime, once again, I don't have many options in my area, and online is my only other choice, but I'm really looking for practice to improve my Ike.

Also, reading guides...I hate to admit it, but it's an intimidating book-read of strategy to learn. When I played Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter competitively, I knew the basics and simply had to ask a question, learn the next matchup strategy, and win from there. I could get by without learning frame data as long as I knew how to keep my distance (or rush them down) when playing as Sub-Zero or Fei Long. Smash just feels different altogether, and I've taken a brisk read at the Ike guides here with a wide-eyed nervous stare before even going halfway down the first post.

I feel like I'm missing a lot, but most importantly, I just want to know. Where do I begin?
 
Joined
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Messages
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#2
The guide isn't nearly as long as you think it might be, I promise. Start with the simple stuff. How to approach characters, spacing, jab 2 missing is cool, etc. The longest part is the platform part, so save that for when you're really feeling your Ike. That part is especially helpful on Battlefield.

Now, let's begin.

Zoning. By definition, it's using your moves to keep your opponents where you want them. Spacing is keeping your opponents away from you whereas zoning is keeping your opponents close to you (at least by my definition it is). Space with Fair, zone with Nair. Don't be that one Ike player everyone plays at least once who only goes for Fairs because of the range and charges Fsmash when it has no hope of hitting. Nair can be used to cover landings, as it does travel about 270 degress total around Ike, but keep in mind air dodging to the ground is a good idea too.

When you're being pressured, you can get away by retreating with a Bair. Or run towards them, turn around, and Bair (this is called a RAR, running aerial reversal). Your best option if you're being pressured from the front is to jab out of shield, because Ike takes too long to get into the air and use an aerial. You're not Meta Knight, please don't try to be.

You do not have to approach every time. This is a mistake I make a lot. You are not required by any law to approach any character in any situation, ever. If you don't want to approach, then don't! If you feel like you have to approach, still don't. Approach when you want to. You can approach many ways, but here are the most common ways: run-up shield, SHNair, SHFair, RAR, run-up shield-drop jab, Quickdraw onto platform...

Jab canceling, pivot grab, and the guaranteed Bthrow>dash attack are fundamentals you ABSOLUTELY MUST KNOW if you want to call yourself an Ike main. I thought that the pivot grab wasn't important, nor the Bthrow combo, until I played a man named Berserker Swordsman who stomped the bejeezus out of me with his flawless jab canceling and Bthrow combo. The pivot grab is important for mindgames and for people who are running at you from behind.

Match-up experience makes or breaks most characters, but I'm sure you knew that. I'm not going to bother telling you which ones to study, you figure out who you're bad against and good against and why.

To be good with Ike, you must know Ike inside and out. This doesn't mean you need to study frame data for hours or sit in front of a dim TV in the basement and tech train. This means going into training mode and playing around with him. Feel how long he takes to stop, how long it takes for him to start dashing. Quickdraw onto the platforms of Battlefield (see Nysyarc's platform guide in the Ike guide for more detailed information, which can be boiled down to very simple things), feel how high Ike jumps, figure out when you can fast fall.

You've chosen Ike. You don't have the luxury of maining Meta Knight and spamming B or maining Falco and spamming B and grab. Not to say that's what those characters do, trust me. I've played them both. Smashers who main mid-tier characters cannot afford to go into tournaments not knowing what the flam-dang they are going to do with their character. Mid-tier mainers in particular are notorious for knowing their characters in and out, so get to learning.

And finally, take a look into the Ike guide bit by bit. I read what I need to read when I need to read it. That being said, I've read just about everything on there. Take a look at a few things, give it time to digest, go Smash with some bros or play some wifi. Test it out, hit the lab for a bit if you want, go read some more, rinse wash repeat.

This is a basic, basic guide. Take from this what you will, and best of luck.
 

Ryuga

Banned via Warnings
Joined
Feb 24, 2013
Messages
108
Location
Cold ass Michigan under a ****ing pine tree
#3
The guide isn't nearly as long as you think it might be, I promise. Start with the simple stuff. How to approach characters, spacing, jab 2 missing is cool, etc. The longest part is the platform part, so save that for when you're really feeling your Ike. That part is especially helpful on Battlefield.

Now, let's begin.

Zoning. By definition, it's using your moves to keep your opponents where you want them. Spacing is keeping your opponents away from you whereas zoning is keeping your opponents close to you (at least by my definition it is). Space with Fair, zone with Nair. Don't be that one Ike player everyone plays at least once who only goes for Fairs because of the range and charges Fsmash when it has no hope of hitting. Nair can be used to cover landings, as it does travel about 270 degress total around Ike, but keep in mind air dodging to the ground is a good idea too.

When you're being pressured, you can get away by retreating with a Bair. Or run towards them, turn around, and Bair (this is called a RAR, running aerial reversal). Your best option if you're being pressured from the front is to jab out of shield, because Ike takes too long to get into the air and use an aerial. You're not Meta Knight, please don't try to be.

You do not have to approach every time. This is a mistake I make a lot. You are not required by any law to approach any character in any situation, ever. If you don't want to approach, then don't! If you feel like you have to approach, still don't. Approach when you want to. You can approach many ways, but here are the most common ways: run-up shield, SHNair, SHFair, RAR, run-up shield-drop jab, Quickdraw onto platform...

Jab canceling, pivot grab, and the guaranteed Bthrow>dash attack are fundamentals you ABSOLUTELY MUST KNOW if you want to call yourself an Ike main. I thought that the pivot grab wasn't important, nor the Bthrow combo, until I played a man named Berserker Swordsman who stomped the bejeezus out of me with his flawless jab canceling and Bthrow combo. The pivot grab is important for mindgames and for people who are running at you from behind.

Match-up experience makes or breaks most characters, but I'm sure you knew that. I'm not going to bother telling you which ones to study, you figure out who you're bad against and good against and why.

To be good with Ike, you must know Ike inside and out. This doesn't mean you need to study frame data for hours or sit in front of a dim TV in the basement and tech train. This means going into training mode and playing around with him. Feel how long he takes to stop, how long it takes for him to start dashing. Quickdraw onto the platforms of Battlefield (see Nysyarc's platform guide in the Ike guide for more detailed information, which can be boiled down to very simple things), feel how high Ike jumps, figure out when you can fast fall.

You've chosen Ike. You don't have the luxury of maining Meta Knight and spamming B or maining Falco and spamming B and grab. Not to say that's what those characters do, trust me. I've played them both. Smashers who main mid-tier characters cannot afford to go into tournaments not knowing what the flam-dang they are going to do with their character. Mid-tier mainers in particular are notorious for knowing their characters in and out, so get to learning.

And finally, take a look into the Ike guide bit by bit. I read what I need to read when I need to read it. That being said, I've read just about everything on there. Take a look at a few things, give it time to digest, go Smash with some bros or play some wifi. Test it out, hit the lab for a bit if you want, go read some more, rinse wash repeat.

This is a basic, basic guide. Take from this what you will, and best of luck.
You should be character specific... Because all of this doesn't work versus every character
 
Joined
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#4
With the exception of Meta Knight and Ice Climbers? Yes, it does. Besides, this is a general guide, not a character specific guide. If he wants match up experience, he can go to the appropriate thread.
 
Joined
Apr 11, 2010
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#6
Also, accept the fact that Ike is a defensive character, going in with him requires some precision and is slow. You'll need to learn patience, and I mean "let me powershield all your projectiles for 20 seconds straight while I regain my composure" type of patience. Pick a secondary for at least MK (you could throw Olimar and Marth in there too), imo.

If your jabs get you punished, switch it up with grabs. Don't roll too much, as Ike's is terrible. Sometimes shielding, or running away are just as good. Regarding air dodges, don't approach with them unless you have a good read. And if you find yourself in positions where you need to airdodge often, well, avoid these positions in the first place. Don't waste your double-jump so you keep that option. A landing can also be covered with nair, fair, or even bair.

Regarding the guide, I saw it as a mine of informations. Even the frame data helped me understand how everything Ike has is slow aside from jab. It's a good read.
 
Joined
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#7
I'd really like to find someone to play against online. I don't frequently get challengers on AiB's Free Play chat. :(
 

Ryuga

Banned via Warnings
Joined
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Messages
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#8
All this time and I still never read the Ike guide but another thing is...


DONT by any means jump or do random aerials or random moves in general. This gets you punished to degrees only a heavy mainer knows... Try not to spot dodge to much vs Metaknight and some of the other high tiers on the roster. Platform canceling is common but you should learn how to use it. When I played you you didn't use it at all.
 

ns_decipher

Smash Rookie
Joined
Dec 25, 2013
Messages
9
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United Kingdom
#9
All this time and I still never read the Ike guide but another thing is...


DONT by any means jump or do random aerials or random moves in general. This gets you punished to degrees only a heavy mainer knows... Try not to spot dodge to much vs Metaknight and some of the other high tiers on the roster. Platform canceling is common but you should learn how to use it. When I played you you didn't use it at all.
definitely agree with those tips on Ike- He's a hard one to master. All about timing his moves accurately. I know he's a heavy tier but don't you think he's a little too slow at times or maybe it's just my reaction time. But I do miss Roy!
 

Ryuga

Banned via Warnings
Joined
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Messages
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Location
Cold ass Michigan under a ****ing pine tree
#10
definitely agree with those tips on Ike- He's a hard one to master. All about timing his moves accurately. I know he's a heavy tier but don't you think he's a little too slow at times or maybe it's just my reaction time. But I do miss Roy!
Yeah which is why platform canceling and stages with platforms in general help Ike alot Vs faster characters try to not use laggy moves and try to not air battle those characters with better aerials. Another good think about ike is since people expect you to Jab you can grab them because they're dumb. I'll keep adding stuff at a later time. ^ - ^ Happy Ike'ing
 

ns_decipher

Smash Rookie
Joined
Dec 25, 2013
Messages
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#11
Yeah which is why platform canceling and stages with platforms in general help Ike alot Vs faster characters try to not use laggy moves and try to not air battle those characters with better aerials. Another good think about ike is since people expect you to Jab you can grab them because they're dumb. I'll keep adding stuff at a later time. ^ - ^ Happy Ike'ing
Hahah thanks for this! A little gentle/precise with his moves for sure! YES. Grabbing is lethal, do a combo after plus smash them out of the screen=win. Cheers- yeah i'll see what new tips I can collect too. He's one lethal character worth mastering.
 
Joined
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#15
Okay, so Mega on AiB told me what I was doing wrong. Apparently, I am way too aggressive. I play Ike like Marth, a total rushdown character. This ends with me getting punished for using too many fairs. While I've been trying to use more air-dash into grabs and jabs lately, people still read it. They also read my recoveries very well and punish my Aether, or even before I get it out they send me flying. And lastly, he beat me by reading my air-dash landing frame and FSmashed me twice into death.

If anyone would like to play me, please add my FC. I'd love to get some tips on how I can play better and would really appreciate it. On a related note, I may try using Toon Link, Marth, and Mario more often so I can channel my aggressive playstyle into more suitable characters.
 
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