Super Smash Bros

Returning Smash Player – Need tips for climbing the ladder to Elite Smash – Maining Ike

Hey there, TL;DR at the bottom, but I would really appreciate the full read <3

I'm a returning Smash player. When I was younger, still in middle school/high school I practically devoted my life to Melee and Brawl with a bunch of my friends. Back when Smash 4 came out, I did play it for quite a bit, but not that much. Even with Smash Ultimate I'm quite a late joiner because I bought the Switch last week.

I have to say, it feels REALLY good to be back. Over the past few days I've cleared World of Light (mixed opinions on that one), decided to pick up my old main Ike, with whom I've played for months of hours in Brawl, spent some time watching SoloJones' videos for edgeguarding tips, ledgetrapping tips and general Ike related info. Yesterday I picked up Online Quickplay, albeit very anxiously, after spending some time in the training room, with a fairly standard ruleset (I think?); 3 stocks, 6 mins, no items, battlefield stages and smash meter on.

I have to say, I spent the entirety of yesterday being insanely stuck in the range of 2 million to 2,5 million GSP and I didn't really know what I could do to improve. I was triggered to the max. First thing today was trying to get back to the fundamentals of the game and Ike as a character and trying to determine how I could improve. Instead of getting mad at losing I tried to think why I lost, even though I couldn't always determine why, I sometimes just got curbstomped.

BUT, I did make good progress. I started noticing some people, maybe most people, around 2 million to 4,5 million GSP don't use tilt attacks and just spam dash attacks, smash attacks and specials. What I've learned today is how to correctly punish such behaviour with correct spacing and short hop aerials and capitalize on the opponent's mistakes. I even got to do some pretty standard but decent combo's and kill conforms, hell I even 3 stocked some people. There have been some times where I really had to figure out what to do, such as in a fight with a neutral, side and down special spamming Byleth, while I had never fought against a Byleth before or knowing what Byleth even does. I lost some stocks but I started noticing the tremendous amount of recovery time on Byleth's Down Special and figured that was easily punishable.

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I am mad happy for today because I am now comfortably sitting at roughly 5.5 million GSP, while I started at 2.5 million GSP this morning, with a 68% win rate over the last 50 games. I'm not here to gloat however, well maybe a little, I'm just so excited to keep going. I'm here to get prepared for what is ahead though. I expect fights around 6-7-8 million GSP to get a lot tougher, so I have some questions for you guys to get me prepared for what I think could be a difficulty spike;

  1. I'm currently still practicing my short hops, fast falls, RAR's and instant back airs. I'm doing fine on the short hops, but the RAR's and instant back airs still need some work. I can almost 80% of the time execute the RAR, but I think 60% of the time execute the instant back air. Are there any other techniques I definitely should learn if I want to get to Elite Smash?
  2. I often find it hard to punish some dash attack spamming characters like Ice Climbers out of shield. For some reason trying to grab out of shield feels very slow. Did they add frames to certain actions out of shield compared to previous Smash games? What else could I do to try and punish these characters? Same question for projectile spammers, they can give me a rough time as Ike.
  3. I am too scared to go too deep off stage to edgeguard properly in Online play. I think part of the reason is that my current mindset seems to be more defensive oriented, perhaps more along the lines of play lame, win games. I just play very safe and defensive and I think that helps we win a lot of these games, but rarely going off stage to edgeguard means I'm never going to practice it either. How can I force myself to go off stage to edgeguard? I know of the ways Ike can edgeguard, such as with down aerial and forward aerial, hell even Aether, I just….don't do it because I'm afraid of losing a stock while not gaining anything and losing the game. Is being defensive the right option? Should I be a bit more offensive oriented with my playstyle?
  4. My Switch is hooked up to a Lan adapter and luckily most opponents I've faced today had that as well, resulting in games with almost no lag, which I was very happy about. There have been some games though where the lag was so terrible, the opponent could perfectly read my every move and curbstomp me, while I was completely lagging out and not being able to really do anything. Is there anything I could do to try and win these laggy games?
  5. What can I generally expect when trying to aim for Elite Smash. What type of players will I face? What do I need to know? What do I need to learn? And general tips are very welcome.
  6. Last one (for the Ike mains or experts); What are some general Ike tips I might have missed? Things that work well when playing Ike? Things that don't work well? I know I'm having a lot of trouble against smaller characters such as pikachu and jigglypuff, since It's quite hard for me to hit them with my short hop aerials.
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Thanks a bunch to anyone who read the whole post! I'm glad to be back in Smash and I have yet to experience the community, the people and the delicious memes and shitposts. Any answers I really appreciate! I will try to respond to every post!

Cheers!

TL;DR: Returning Smash player, need tips for climbing the ladder to Elite Smash, maining Ike. Want to prepare for what I will face on the road to Elite Smash. What can I learn in advance? How can I prepare? Any tips for Ike specifically? Perhaps look at the questions above <3

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