The Radiant Don
Ah, the big, bad, bruiser himself: Ike. Well, maybe not bad. Ike is a good guy in the Fire Emblem series (he hates rich people!), but he’s definitely big and a bruiser. Since his intro in Brawl he’s been popular among both beginners and elites. It’s easy to see why. The dude is a tank. And in Ultimate, he’s a fast tank. Or, faster then he has been, in some ways at least.
His nair and fair are both fantastic. He feels more agile in the air to me; he seems overall just less clunky off the ground. Short hop nair and his blade hits just about all around him. You can still spike with the dair, but it also can hit upwards if it connects from the side. Approach through the air all day. The side b is still fast and hits (or at least trades) against a lot. His jab is annoyingly fast, and his f-tilt is monstrous. The u-tilt is still good, it comes out quick, (maybe not as quick as it used to) and can kill. Oh, yeah, I mean, everything can still kill. At 0% you should be able to u-throw or d-throw into an aether (up-b) but this doesn’t feel like a true combo. Or, maybe it is at 0% with certain characters? Not sure. Still, it’s abuse-able against anyone not DI-ing outta the way. his d-tilt seems slower… it’s range annoys me (not long enough) but it can still be useful for dealing with people on the ledge. All the smashes are dumb and long and kill at low percents. Down smash seems to come out pretty fast. They can all be used to punish opponents that are rolling around ya too much.
Ike has priority on moves for days. As I mentioned his jab is great and fast and dumb. His recovery, something the people have always loved about him, is still frustratingly hard to deal with offstage. Still though, he’s not unguardable. Aether can be interrupted by lasers and after forward b misses, you’re in free-fall. However, if it does connect, you’re good for another up-b or jump, unlike in Brawl I believe.
I’ve never really liked Ike before, but I do in Ultimate. He seems powerful. He may have a hard time cutting through serious zoners, but you can get up close with his fairs and nairs. I like to stutter walk and switch-up my jab vs f-tilt approach. Jab also hits above him on the final swing, so that’s fun. His uair can kill; he’s dangerous below people. Annnd he has a counter. I love counters. I also like throwing in his neutral b to be spicy, even though it seems the super armor is gone. Read a roll from the ledge or a poorly timed approach and punish with it. Oh yeah, it can kill.