Analysis by MackerelPye
Brave Ike - Brave Mercenary

5 Legacy

Obtainable as a 5 during certain summoning events only.

Hero Stats

Max Avg Total Stats at Lvl 40
HP 43
ATK 36
SPD 28
DEF 35
RES 20

Stat Variations

Level 1 Stat Variation
Low 16 9 5 8 4
Middle 17 10 6 9 5
High 18 11 7 10 6

Level 40 Stat Variations
Low 40 33 24 32 17
Middle 43 36 28 35 20
High 46 39 31 38 23

IV Sets

Key stats worth increasing through nature if possible.
Complementary stats that matter, but not to the point of picking them over key stats for nature increase.
Relatively worthless stat that can safely be decreased through nature.

Skill Sets

Braver than Brave Squared (Aether Raids Offense / Standard Tank)

Build by MackerelPye
Urvan (+Eff) A Distant Counter
Positional Assist B Null Follow-Up 3
Alternate: Null C-Disrupt 3
Alternate: Aether
C Pulse Smoke 3
Alternate: Atk Smoke 3

+ATK / -SPD or -HP

SQuick Riposte 3
Alternate: Mirror Stance 2

Show Explanation/Analysis
  • Weapon: Urvan (+Eff)

    Assist: Positional Assist

    Special: Sol / Aether

    Passive A: Distant Counter

    Passive B: Null Follow-Up / Null C-Disrupt / Quick Riposte / Lull Atk/Def

    Passive C: Pulse Smoke / Atk Smoke

    Sacred Seal: Quick Riposte / Mirror Stance / Atk/Spd Solo / Atk/Def Solo / Distant Def / Bracing Stance / Mystic Boost

  • Here it is, the quintessential, original glue-eater build infamous for inflicting wrath and strife on most unprepared Aether Raid defenses. The soul of the build and Ike's sheer enemy phase strength stems from his effect-refined Urvan, which first grants 40% damage reduction from the foe unconditionally, and drastically reduces their second hit onwards by 80% if these hits come consecutively—which they are forced to do thanks to Urvan's refined effect. With some proper skills and teambuilding, Ike's ultimate playstyle in Aether Raids and most general content is as follows: end turn.
  • As a build catered towards Aether Raids Offense gameplay, it follows that Distant Counter is pretty much mandatory as the majority of defending threats are ranged. Thus, Ike can counterattack back and activate healing Specials against them instead of incurring damage.
  • Due the forced Desperation effect from Urvan (two attacks before Ike can counter), Ike can afford to run some higher-grade sustain Specials, especially Sol and Aether. Either work depending on your access to outsourced Breath support (such as Brave Lucina's Geirskögul):
    • Assuming the enemy doubles, Sol can activate on Ike's counterattack immediately without any cooldown acceleration support whatsoever, making its healing overall reliable. A lack of burst damage, however, means Attack stacking through supportive allies or skills is necessary to take foes down faster.
    • With Breath support, Aether becomes Ike's usually better choice due to providing both burst damage and subsequently increased sustain in one shots. Keep in mind that if the enemy does not double, however, Ike may be forced to activate Aether at a later time, which may not be optimal given his previous non-charged hit lowers the amount of healing he gets from Aether later on.
  • Due to the versatile nature of Urvan as well as the Quick Riposte Sacred Seal handling most follow-up concerns Ike may have, he has a few great B slot options to choose from.
    • Null Follow-Up minimizes many common casualties involving artificial follow-ups on AR-D, which includes Impact skills, Brammimond's Void tome, Seiros's Aurora Breath, Duma's Bold Fighter, and much more.
    • Brave Ike is notable one of the few actually good users of Null C-Disrupt as his Urvan allows him to not particularly miss the benefits of other B slots besides Null Follow-Up. Have this skill allows Ike to engage against Dazzling Staff or Sweep-type skill users with no frills, giving him a chance to defeat them before they can be refreshed by enemy dancers. Keep in mind that it's a rather empty B slot, however, if the enemy keep doesn't employ such threats at all.
    • Lull Atk/Def improves Ike's damage output and tankability at the same time, giving him a nice stat advantage in most matchups as well as cancelling visible bonuses if the enemy units use those.
    • Finally, Quick Riposte is a budget but effective option if you're lacking any of the aforementioned B slot options. Running this also opens Ike's Sacred Seal to other options while keeping Quick Riposte reserved for another unit that needs the Seal.
  • One of Ike's biggest issues is tanking powerful Specials all at once, especially AOE specials which Urvan cannot reduce at all. Pulse Smoke is a more direct solution to this than other things else, as it dismantles enemy setups reliant on precharged Special activations (such as Gifted Magic or Infantry Pulse stacking). To make efficient use of it and avoid getting sniped by AOE, however, it's best to initiate combat to apply the Smoke beforehand.
    • Lacking Pulse Smoke, Atk Smoke is always a good budget option to fall back on as it debuffs the Atk of surrounding enemies and increases Ike's bulk that much more. Additionally, you may consider running Pulse Tie support if precharged Specials are still a dire concern.
  • Ike's Sacred Seal will likely be taken up by Quick Riposte given he usually lacks the Speed to make follow-up attacks on his own while reserving his B slot for better options like Null Follow-Up. If it happens that his B slot IS taken by Quick likely or you achieve a considerable amount of Speed stacking on Ike to not need it (probably though Brave Lucina and Speed-boosting Mythics), however, a few alternative Seals are open for consideration.
    • As with many enemy phase units, Ike will definitely appreciate the additional stat swings coming from Solo and Stance skills. Mirror Stance, in particular, patches up his lower base Resistance while increasing his Attack power even more. Likewise, Atk/Spd Solo or Atk/Def Solo improve his follow-up avoidance / potential and physical attack tolerance, respectively, with larger stat swings than double Stances. Distant Def or Bracing Stance improves Ike's physical and magical matchups but makes Ike reliant on Atk-stacking support due to lack of increased damage.
    • For an emphasis on sustain, Mystic Boost recovers 6 HP after every combat Ike participates in, which definitely adds up if he's fighting multiple enemies in one sitting. It also disables any form of Wrathful Staff, which can be handy against particularly overbearing, high-investment healers like Brave Veronica or Sara.

Over $420k in Pedestrian Accidents (Aether Raids Offense / Spiral Tank)

Build by MackerelPye
Urvan (+Eff) A Distant Counter
Positional Assist B Special Spiral 3
Aether C Joint Drive Atk
Alternate: Def Smoke 3

+ATK / -SPD or -HP

SAtk/Def Solo 3
Alternate: Quick Riposte 3

Show Explanation/Analysis

Weapon: Urvan (+Eff)

Assist: Positional Assist

Special: Aether

Passive A: Distant Counter

Passive B: Special Spiral

Passive C: Def Smoke / Joint Drive Atk / Pulse Smoke / Atk Smoke

Sacred Seal: Atk/Def Solo / Quick Riposte / Atk/Spd Solo

  • With the cooldown-cutting effect of -2 granted by Special Spiral after every successful fight, this build pays more focus to activating Aether more reliably. After Aether is reduced to a mere 2 CD, Ike should be able to both heal and deal significant damage after his enemy's initiation is finished.
    • While other builds may have little trouble getting Aether up and running with some outsourced Breath support, it always requires either two counterattacks from Ike or two consecutive attacks from the enemy to get going, both of which will not always be at Ike's convenience. Additionally, Ike may not always optimize the amount of healing he gets from Aether; his first counterattack may lower the enemy's HP to the point where he can't recover effectively for multiple fights.
    • To optimize Aether healing, it is still recommended to run outsourced Breath support through methods such as Renewed Fang or Geirskögul so Ike can fire off Aether immediately regardless of whether the enemy makes a follow-up attack on him.
  • The other skill slots are otherwise not dissimilar to how his normal tank build works; Distant Counter is still essential to fight and heal off against ranged enemies, a Smoke of your choices makes multiple units easier to fight against in one turn, and most Sacred Seals that improve Ike's ability to tank are appreciated. Given this build is more damage-focused than others—specifically to deal more damage and heal back more from Aether—priority should be considered for damage-increasing skills such as Def Smoke, Atk/Def Solo or Atk/Spd SoloJoint Drive Atk is also pretty good as a package deal with Distant Counter inherited from the same Legendary Corrin. 

Back to Two-Thousand Seventeen (Low-Investment Breath Build)

Build by MackerelPye
Urvan (+Eff) A Steady Breath
Positional Assist B Quick Riposte 3
Alternate: Lancebreaker 3
Aether C Atk Smoke 3


SAtk/Def Solo 3
Alternate: Atk/Def Bond 3

Show Explanation/Analysis

Weapon: Urvan (+Eff)

Assist: Positional Assist

Special: Aether

Passive A: Steady Breath

Passive B: Quick Riposte / Lancebreaker

Passive C: Atk Smoke

Sacred Seal: Atk/Def Solo / Atk/Def Bond / Close Def / Flexible

  • Fortunately, Ike can run back to his good old 2017 tank build if you're not willing to shell out the big bucks for him just yet, which caters him more towards good general gameplay or Arena Assault. The biggest change from other builds is simply settling for his native Steady Breath, which allows him to charge up his Aether very quickly without needing assistance from other Breath-granting skills like Geirskögul. If possible, players should still make an attempt to refine Urvan, given its fantastic damage reduction effects and forcing Aether to get charged immediately against enemies that double him.
  • Beorc's Blessing is unfortunately still as narrowly useful as ever, so a simple yet budgeable substitution to either Quick Riposte (guaranteed follow-up against nearly all enemies) or Lancebreaker (which turns Brave Ike into a fantastic Lance unit counter all-around, especially against higher investment Brave Hector builds) should be the only significant change from his native skills.
  • Ike's C slot isn't exactly a huge deal at this point, though most alternative choices are pretty much better than what his native Threaten Def offers, given its awkward positioning requirements. For an easy and effective way to improve Ike's defense against mobs, Atk Smoke is available as always.
  • Finally, Ike's Sacred Seal isn't too difficult to figure out either; anything that improves his Attack, Defense, or simply overall tankability should work out well on him. Atk/Def Solo and Atk/Def Bond are easiest to recommend, for example, as Ike is more focused on those stats at low investment, though alternatives like Close Def work out as well.

Strategy Role Playing on Motorcycles (High-Investment Speed Build)

Build by MackerelPye
Urvan (+Eff) A Atk/Spd Solo (3 or 4)
Alternate: Distant Counter
Positional Assist B Spurn 3
Alternate: Spd-Based DR B Slot
Alternate: Bonfire
C Atk Smoke 3
Alternate: Spd Smoke 3

+SPD / -HP or -RES

SAtk/Spd Solo 3
Alternate: Spd/Res Solo 3

Show Explanation/Analysis

Weapon: Urvan (+Eff)

Assist: Positional Assist

Special: Noontime / Bonfire / Sol

Passive A: Atk/Spd Solo / Distant Counter

Passive B: Spurn / Close Call / Repel

Passive C: Spd Smoke / Def Smoke / Pulse Smoke / Atk Smoke

Sacred Seal: Atk/Spd Solo / Spd/Res Solo / Kestrel Stance

  • This build doesn't inflict as much psychological damage to your frontal cortex as certain internet personalities may have you think. However, with refined Urvan already providing two forms of damage reduction and Ike being able to run virtually any skills he wants with the right stat support or Mythic blessing inflation, making some actual investments in his Speed—for both offensive and defensive purposes—starts making sense at some point. As a result of building Ike's speed, he can avoid doubles very often while gaining the ability to use Close Call / Repel / Spurn feasibly well to further reduce incoming damage. Additionally, Ike can take a much more aggressive approach by initiating himself and gaining a generally better number of follow-up attacks. 
  • Of course, given Ike doesn't start out with much Speed to begin with, it follows that this build requires some pretty heavy investment and extremely odd building choices to fix that. We totally don't blame you for scrolling on by. If you're still into the idea, though, here are the measures:
    • Taking a Speed Asset is obvious, as it's basically three free stat points there.
    • Spd-based Solo skills provide a significant Speed swing compared to other skills, and can be employed in both the A slot and Sacred Seal to maximize Ike's overall combat Speed. Of course, Distant Counter is always an option to enable combat against ranged units and is pretty much nonnegotiable for Aether Raids play.  
    • Spd Smoke is an easy way to significantly put Speed comparisons in Ike's favor if handling a mob of enemies. That said, the other Smoke skills are also paramount for improving Ike's matchups in other areas since it may be possible to overkill in Speed investment.
    • Pairing Ike with Spd-boosting Mythic Heroes—Peony and Plumeria are the only ones providing this at this time of writing—grants him both inflated bulk (+5 HP each mythic)  and free additional Speed (+4 each mythic). Both of these heroes also provide some great in-combat perks of their own; Plumeria provides increased Attack power and Resistance if nearby, while Peony provides even more Speed and Atk simply by being in the same column as Ike.
    • Finally, providing additional support through supporting allies helps Ike achieve his peak in Speed and other stats. For example, Brave Lucina as always can lend Breath support through Geirskögul (making Sol and Bonfire proc immediately upon retaliation), which also happens to grant a bit of all other stats as well and can be stacked with Joint or regular Drive Spd. Likewise, other battery unit alternatives like male Corrin, Scattered Fangs Nino, Kinshi Hinoka, and Brave Veronica provide great stat swings in their own respective ways.


Refined Urvan

More than a year after Urvan's refinery update, Brave Ike still proves to be a massive enemy phase threat thanks to the sheer amount of defensive effects his unique weapons provides. In a nutshell, in addition to nearly halving any incoming hit by 40% unconditionally—meaning a considerable amount of reduction take place even if the enemy doesn't double Ike—Urvan forces the opponent to consecutively make an extremely weakened follow-up attack on Ike before he can counterattack. Not only does this massively increase Ike's survivability against even the toughest matchups, but it also gives him a way to charge his Specials—Aether in particular—very quickly due to the changed attack priority and the always-handy Slaying effect of the weapon.

Infantry / Axe Skill Access and Privileges

Let's pretend Beorc's Blessing doesn't exist for a moment and focus instead on the ridiculous variety of B slots Ike can utilize thanks to his infantry status. Because Urvan already provides so much in one slot, Ike can afford to consider a number of great B slot options that fit your needs. This includes but is not limited to Null C-Disrupt, Null Follow-Up, Special Spiral, and even Speed-based damage reduction skills to further improve any specific matchups you need. Additionally, as an Axe user, Brave Ike can benefit specifically from the great effects provided by his fellow Brave Lucina's Geirskögul, hence the infamous BikeCina combo.

Solid Statline

Though Ike is carried significantly by Urvan rather than stats in terms of overall performance (if that weren't the case, Dieck would reign supreme), his great HP, Attack, and Defense stats still go a long way in consistently great damage output and solid physical matchups. His Speed and Resistance are on the lower side but can be spot-improved with specific investment or outsourced support such as Mythic blessings or support allies.

Gains Even More Stats Though a Resplendent Skin

How disgusting.


Hardy Bearing

Units with the Hardy Bearing effect in some form (whether it would be through the Sacred Seal or built-in like Sky Maiougi) can ignore being forced to hit consecutively by Urvan. Thus, they can hit for full damage on their follow-up attack rather than having it reduced. Additionally, if Ike runs Aether, they are likely to attack freely before fully charging that, giving them a window of opportunity to defeat Ike in one go.

Repeated Special Pressure

Not even Urvan can fully protect Ike from the harsh full frontal-assault of repeated Special hits; this is especially the case against full Infantry Pulse teams where he can be subjected to numerous forms of precharge burst damage such as Luna and Glacies. Additionally, area-of-effect Specials such as Gifted Magic or Blazing Wind completely bypasses the damage reduction effects of Urvan by using Ike's relatively okay visible Resistance against him. Finally, archers can also utilize Deadeye to blow past the damage reduction; however, they need to actually hit naturally hard versus Ike's usually-great Defense to make that count.

Impact skills

Aether Raids Defense keeps can employ defenders with Impact skills to force Ike to perform only one attack per battle. Being able to reliate only once significantly lessens the likelihood of him taking them down in one round and inviting other defending units to come in through Wings of Mercy and wreak havoc however they please.

Weapon Skills

Weapons SP Rng. Mt.
Iron Axe
Inheritable by Axe users only.
50 1 6
Steel Axe
Inheritable by Axe users only.
100 1 8
Silver Axe
Inheritable by Axe users only.
200 1 11

Accelerates Special trigger (cooldown count -1). If unit receives consecutive attacks, damage from second attack onward reduced by 80%.

Non-Inheritable skill.
400 1 16
Available Rearmed Weapons
Arcane Þrima
Arcane Downfall
Weapon Evolution
Weapon Upgrades
Weapon Upgrades

Special Skills

Special Skills SP Turns
New Moon

Treats foe's Def/Res as if reduced by 30% during combat.

Learns by default at 5 ★
Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
100 3

Treats foe's Def/Res as if reduced by 50% during combat.

Unlocks at 5 ★
Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
200 3

Treats foe's Def/Res as if reduced by 50% during combat. Restores HP = half of damage dealt.

Unlocks at 5 ★
Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
500 5

Passive Skills

Passive Skills SP Slot
Steady Stance 1

If foe initiates combat, grants Def+2 during combat.

Inheritable by all units.
Steady Stance 2

If foe initiates combat, grants Def+4 during combat.

Inheritable by all units.
Steady Breath

If foe initiates combat, grants Def+4 during combat and Special cooldown charge +1 per attack. (Only highest value applied. Does not stack.)

Melee, Infantry, and Armored Only
Unlocks at 5 ★
Beorc's Blessing

Neutralizes cavalry and flying foe's bonuses (from skills like Fortify, Rally, etc.) during combat.

Non-Inheritable skill.
Unlocks at 5 ★
Threaten Def 1

At start of turn, inflicts Def-3 on foes within 2 spaces through their next actions.

Inheritable by all units.
Threaten Def 2

At start of turn, inflicts Def-4 on foes within 2 spaces through their next actions.

Inheritable by all units.
Threaten Def 3

At start of turn, inflicts Def-5 on foes within 2 spaces through their next actions.

Inheritable by all units.
Unlocks at 5 ★

Other Info

Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance

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