Ike (アイク, Ike) is a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. He was officially confirmed on June 12th, 2018. Ike is classified as fighter #32.
Michihiko Hagi reprises his role in the Japanese version now providing new voice clips, and Greg Chun now voices Ike in English version, reprising his role from Fire Emblem Heroes, replacing Jason Adkins who voiced him in Brawl and Smash 4.
How to unlock
Complete one of the following:
With the exception of the third method, Ike must then be defeated on Coliseum.
Ike is a tall heavyweight swordfighter hailing from the Fire Emblem series, being tied for the 13th-heaviest character in the game with Wario, Ridley, Simon, and Richter. Fittingly for a heavyweight, Ike's mobility is generally poor: while he has above-average air speed, traction, falling speed, fast falling speed, and gravity, he sports the 14th-slowest walking speed, the 13th-slowest dashing speed, below-average initial dash, low jumping height, and the 8th-lowest air acceleration.
Ike's KO potential is a staple of his attributes, having some of the strongest attacks in the game. Additionally, Ike possesses great, disjointed reach throughout his moveset. His forward smash deals among the highest damage and knockback out of any smash attack, with the clean hit being able to KO most opponents at a mere 75% at the center of Final Destination. It is also useful for mindgames and shield breaks due to its excellent reach (the early hit can hit opponents above and behind him). Up smash hits in a wide, semi-circle arc that covers Ike. Like his forward smash, it also deals decent damage and knockback, albeit it is generally weaker. However, it is useful for punishing rolls and landings. Down smash is Ike's fastest smash attack, initially hitting on frame 13, while boasting high damage and knockback overall. The move hits from the front and the back of him (the back hit starts on frame 32), with the clean back hit sporting considerably more power than the front. Other notable attacks that possess great damage and knockback include forward tilt, up tilt, dash attack, back aerial, up aerial, and down aerial.
Ike also has a unique special moveset. His neutral special, Eruption, is chargeable, grants super armor when released half charge or higher, deals very high damage and knockback, and has an excellent vertical reach and the most horizontal range out of his entire kit, all of which make it a fearsome edgeguarding tool. His side special, Quick Draw, is also chargeable and propels him forward, making it a good mixup in his neutral game as it helps his recovery, mobility, and approach. His up special, Aether, covers decent vertical distance for a recovery move, but minimal horizontal distance. However, the descending hitbox is an incredibly powerful meteor smash that has the potential to KO opponents at 0% when they are offstage (even if just barely), making it quite dangerous to intercept Ike in many circumstances. His down special, Counter, is among the strongest of their kind in the game, having a 1.2x damage multiplier and dealing excellent knockback. It is also relatively useful for protecting against edgeguarding and disrupting some recoveries.
As mentioned earlier, Ike possesses high weight, which not only grants him great endurance but also allows him to take advantage of rage better than most characters, compounded by his excellent kill power.
His combo ability is also respectable, with neutral aerial being his best combo starter. Not only does it cover a large area around him to protect him from many attacks, but it also deals fairly low knockback and has little landing lag, which allows it to combo into itself or other moves at various percentages. Neutral aerial can also combo into his back aerial or up aerial for semi-reliable KO confirms at moderately high percentages. At low percentages, it can combo into grabs. Additionally, Ike can start combos with his down throw at low percentages, leading to moves such as up tilt, up aerial, or Aether. Finally, down tilt has low knockback scaling and launches at a mostly vertical angle, making it a consistent, reliable combo starter at most percentages.
Despite his strengths, Ike is not without his fair share of flaws. As mentioned earlier, he possesses slow movement speed (especially on the ground), which causes him to struggle against quick, agile characters like Zero Suit Samus and Pikachu. He also has some of the worst frame data in the game, with severe ending lag in most of his attacks and only his three-hit neutral attack (frame 4, 3, and 5 for each respective hit), down tilt, and back aerial (both frame 7) coming out faster than frame 10. Back aerial is also his only aerial attack that can autocancel in a short hop. His aforementioned counter is one of his most punishable options due to being arguably the slowest in the game, with a sluggish startup of 9 frames and considerable ending lag (on both the whiff and counterattack). Consequently, characters with superior attack speed like Mario and Fox can easily overwhelm and punish him, especially if his attacks are whiffed. Most of Ike’s out-of-shield options are slow and committal, granting him a mediocre out-of-shield game. Additionally, Ike's disadvantage state is extremely poor due to lacking effective options to land or protect him from pressure and juggling. Furthermore, several of his landing options (like neutral aerial) are predictable and/or having short-lasting hitboxes. While his high weight grants him long survivability, it also makes him easy to combo and juggle, made worse by his unimpressive landing options. Ike also possesses two linear and predictable recovery moves, Quick Draw and Aether, ultimately making him vulnerable to gimps and low semi-spikes offstage. Quick Draw travels a strictly horizontal distance, and Aether leaves him vulnerable to many attacks when ascending, especially counters and projectiles. These weaknesses grant him a poor approach against many characters, which is exacerbated by his lack of projectiles not allowing him to camp or force approaches from opponents.
Overall, Ike is a character who possesses worthy strengths, but players must be cautious when playing him. As such, his outstanding range and power grant him an excellent punish game, but players must space his attacks precisely so that his advantages are even useful against opponents. They must also bear several drawbacks, such as his exploitable recovery, subpar mobility, and awful frame data. These attributes have helped Ike in achieving strong tournament results in the early competitive metagame, but his playstyle has also become highly superficial as the metagame progressed, causing both his tournament representation and results to collapse considerably. Regardless, Ike is still considered a viable character in competitive play, and active players like Ryuga have achieved competent results with the character.
Changes from Super Smash Bros. 4
Ike has received a mix of buffs and nerfs in the transition from SSB4 to Ultimate, but he was buffed overall.
Ike's mobility has been improved to help with the new faster pace of Ultimate, and he shares the universal buffs of a 3-frame jumpsquat (reduced from 7 frames) and significant landing lag decreases for his aerials. Ike's neutral aerial has faster startup, lower landing lag, reduced damage, and a more reliable disjoint, making it an even better approach option and combo starter, to the point it now has semi-reliable KO confirms on his back and up aerials. He has also received a new up aerial with greatly increased horizontal and vertical range, improving his powerful juggling capabilities. Thanks to his faster jumpsquat, Ike is able to combo with his down throw at low percents more reliably. Eruption can now generate a maximum of three flame pillars if fully charged, improving its already powerful ledge-trapping potential. Finally, the already-high power on a few of his moves has been further increased, such as with forward tilt, forward smash, down smash, and the landing hit of Aether.
However, Ike's nerfs were also noticeable and he still struggles in a few areas. His dashing speed was almost unchanged, making it much worse relative to the cast, now being the 13th-slowest runner in the game. His forward aerial, a staple of his neutral game in Brawl and SSB4, has been nerfed as well, with it dealing less damage, having increased ending lag, no longer autocanceling in a short hop, the hitboxes being repositioned to create new blindspots, and having significantly decreased knockback, making it less useful as an edgeguarding tool and removing almost all of its KO potential. Combined with his much slower grounded mobility relative to the cast, this hinders Ike's approach. While several of his attacks now have increased power, it has been reduced on some of his other moves, most notably with up tilt and his aforementioned forward aerial. Additionally, the changes to rage have indirectly nerfed Ike since it is now less effective for comebacks at higher percents. Also, he is now more vulnerable to edgeguarding offstage during Aether, since Ragnell no longer passes through the stage (instead moving along the perimeters). Combined with the size reduction of most stage's ledges, Ike's recovery remains highly exploitable due to Aether's short horizontal recovery distance, and Quick Draw not receiving changes to help its recovery potential. Lastly, Ike's grabs have been nerfed; while the increased ending lag is a universal nerf for the cast, Ike's grabs also have shorter range, making them much less reliable for punishing.
In the end, Ike's changes and improvements have given him new ways to gain the advantage and also grant him a deadlier punish game. As such, he has less overall difficulty in KOing due to his enhanced overall moveset and combo ability, but because his mobility has not improved significantly (especially when compared to most other characters), he has a slightly harder time at keeping up with the rest of the cast. His worsened grabs also force him more to use his range to punish opponents. As far as tournament representation, Ike achieved impressive results in the early competitive metagame of Ultimate, thanks to players such as MkLeo, Marss, and Ryuga. Unfortunately, Ike's popularity has noticeably diminished as the metagame advanced, and he hasn't achieved nearly as many results as before (with MkLeo completely dropping the character, and Marss only using him as a rare counterpick character). Furthermore, other characters such as Cloud and Lucina have started to become more popular than him.
Fortunately, Ike has received even more buffs in 8.0.0, with his already excellent KO power becoming even stronger, thanks to changes to his dash attack, forward aerial and Aether. Although his neutral aerial was weakened, his combo game has remained strong thanks to improvements to down tilt, while neutral aerial remained as a viable combo tool. Due to these turn of events, Ike's overall perception has become more positive again, with many players considering him to be a high-tier character, making this his best iteration in the series. However, his viability still remains somewhat debatable due to online tournaments currently being more prominent, and it is unknown if he will become more popular than other characters that once became more popular than him before 8.0.0, such as Cloud.
Throws and other attacks
Ike has received a mix of buffs and nerfs from game updates, but has been slightly buffed overall. In update 2.0.0, Aether's meteor smash hitbox was made weaker, a nerf shared with Chrom's Soaring Slash. However, using Aether after ledge trumping the opponent or to secure sacrificial KOs remains a viable strategy. Update 8.0.0 granted Ike a variety of changes, with one notable nerf and several buffs. Neutral aerial's combo potential was worsened due to its increased knockback and lowered range on the sourspot, making it less effective for combos at high percents. To compensate, down tilt's knockback was lowered, allowing it to combo for a longer time, while forward aerial has lower ending lag and increased damage (with compensation on knockback), making it safer to use and increasing the damage it deals during combos. Both dash attack and Aether were also made stronger KO options, with Aether's first hitbox no longer being cancelled by other moves, and the landing hit having its knockback and angle improved to reliably KO.
For a gallery of Ike's hitboxes, see here.
Note: All numbers are listed as base damage, without the 1v1 multiplier.
In competitive play
At the beginning of the game’s release, Ike was seen as a significantly improved character from the previous installment, where he was considered a low-mid tier character. At that time, the metagame involved the prominence of disjoints, which benefitted Ike. Thanks to this, Ike developed very strong results, especially from MkLeo. This caused him to have a positive reception, with ZeRo, ESAM, and Mew2King designating him as a high-tier character. However, Ike has been less popular since MkLeo dropped him in favor of other characters.
As people learned more of the metagame, he’s been slowly worsening due to more characters having potential or more buffs such as Cloud or Sonic. With more characters having much potential, Ike was prominently said to be more of a mid tier character ever since the metagame grew upon some characters.
When Patch 8.0.0 dropped, Ike received numerous buffs and a nerf. His neutral aerial, which was once his best combo starter and his main neutral tool, now has more knockback, allowing for fewer followups, most notably his up aerial for a kill confirm. Although this can be seen as a nerf that hurt him, it also serves as an indirect buff to allow Ike to rely less on his neutral aerial and instead use more moves and not have a one-dimensional linear gameplan. For example, his Aether now kills much earlier at the ledge, giving him a better out of shield option and down tilt has more combo potential and forward air has more knockback. These buffs further improved his perception in the community and some players, such as ESAM, Maister, Dabuz, and Marss, now see him as a high tier character. Maister, in particular, believes that Ike is one of Mr. Game & Watch's few losing matchups, if not his hardest matchup. As a result, this iteration is generally considered to be his best one in Smash yet, achieving arguably the best tournament results relative to his previous incarnations.
As of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, Ike has a lot of reputation in online. His aerials can be safe since players having a hard time parrying with lag online. A few players such as Yez and Ravenking had been having great placements due to Ike being part of the online COVID-19 competitive scene. Yez as an example has done very successfully in major online tournaments like The Box or Super Smash Galaxy as an notable example. Ravenking also has a noticeable player base as well, doing very well in Lockhart Series, Collision Online, and even winning an A-Tier tournament The Box: Lunch Box 2. Due to this, Ike in online is seen much better than his offline player base, but they're still both viable nevertheless.
Any number following the Smasher name indicates placement on the Fall 2019 PGRU, which recognizes the official top 50 players in the world in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate from July 13th, 2019 to December 15th, 2019.
Classic Mode: The Black-Clad Warriors
Ike's opponents are all fighters in black alternate costumes, referencing his rivalry with the Black Knight.
Role in World of Light
Although Ike does not appear in the World of Light opening cutscene, he was vaporized and later imprisoned alongside the rest of the fighters (sans Kirby) when Galeem unleashed his beams of light.
Ike was one of the many fighters that fell under Dharkon's control upon Galeem's first defeat. He is one of the fighters found in the Mysterious Dimension sub-area, being an obligatory unlock before the next necessary fighter battle Meta Knight is encountered, and after Greninja has been awakened.
Ike's default Fighter Spirit can be obtained by completing Classic Mode. His Fighter Spirit is also available periodically for purchase in the shop for 500 coins, or by completing a challenge (Classic Mode: KO fighters from Fire Emblem 20 times). Unlocking Ike in World of Light allows the player to preview the first spirit below in the Spirit List under the name "???". As a Fighter Spirit, it cannot be used in Spirit Battles and is purely aesthetic. Additionally, his Radiant Dawn outfit has a Fighter Spirit of its own, available through the shop. Each Fighter Spirit has an alternate version that replaces them with their artwork in Ultimate.
In Spirit battles
As the main opponent
As a minion
Character Showcase Video