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Legendary Ike

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Analysis by accidentalgreed
Legendary Ike - Vanguard Legend

5

Obtainable as a 5 only

Hero Stats

Max Avg Total Stats at Lvl 40
163
HP 41
ATK 36
SPD 30
DEF 35
RES 21

Stat Variations

Level 1 Stat Variation
5★
HP ATK SPD DEF RES
Low 18 9 5 8 3
Middle 19 10 6 9 4
High 20 11 7 10 5

Level 40 Stat Variations
5★
HP ATK SPD DEF RES
Low 37 33 27 32 18
Middle 41 36 30 35 21
High 44 39 33 38 24

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.
HPATKSPDDEFRES

Skill Sets

Down Throw ➔ Up-B (Special Spiral + Radiant Aether II Retaliation Tank)

Build by accidentalgreed
Recommended
Ragnell (+Eff) A Atk/Spd Solo (3 or 4)
Alternate: Atk/Def Unity
Positional Assist B Special Spiral 3
Radiant Aether II C Joint Drive Atk
Alternate: Joint Drive Res
IVs

+ATK / -HP or -RES

SAtk/Spd Solo 3
Alternate: Mirror Stance 2

Show Explanation/Analysis

Weapon: Ragnell (+Eff)

Assist: Positional Assist

Special: Radiant Aether II

Passive A: Atk/Spd Solo / Kestrel Stance 3 / Atk/Def Unity / Atk/Spd Bond 4 / Atk/Res or Atk/Def versions of all aforementioned skills

Passive B: Special Spiral

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

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

  • Special Spiral is an ideal dancing partner to Radiant Aether II; after every round of combat where Radiant Aether successfully fires, Special Spiral will prepare it at a lower cooldown value (by -2) in time for Ike's next counterattack. Because Radiant Aether II already reduces its own cooldown on Turn 1 and provides both healing and great burst damage, Ike will have little problem getting it up and running while maintaining relatively good matchups against most except one-hit mages and Guard effect skills.
  • Ike's refined Ragnell comes new and improved with a lot of effects Ike wants in a compact weapon:
    • Most significantly, it completely eliminates the need to run a Breath skill anywhere on the build; it permanently reduces Radiant Aether II's cooldown even further to 3, so Ike only requires one enemy action to get it up and running at Turn 1 and after every forseeable Special Spiral. 
    • It provides the ability to counterattack distant enemies, which is always nice to have so Ike can retaliate with Radiant Aether II and keep from getting too worn down by ranged attackers.
    • It grants more stats across the board by +3 HP and +4 Atk/Spd/Def/Res in combat, all of which he greatly appreciates to strengthen his general tanking power. Although the in-combat stats are linked to his HP being above 25%, Radiant Aether II should be able to keep this effect in working range consistently. 
  • Thanks to the Slaying effect of Ragnell turning Warding Breath from a necessity to merely extra, Ike's A-slot skill is host to just about anything else under the sun. Preferably, a huge Attack-boosting skill amps up this build's ability to deal huge single-shot damage and heal back even more from Radiant Aether as a result. 
    • For a quick fix to Ike's occasional follow-up issues, Atk/Spd Solo and other Atk/Spd swing skills are on the table. 
    • Alternatively, you may opt to build upon Ike's Defense or Resistance to build up his raw survivability against physical and magical hits respectively. Atk/Def or Atk/Res Unity does this well, for example, while reversing penalties and generally meshing well with Joint Drive C slots.
  • In the C slot, Ike's base Joint Drive Res is a fine budget choice as-is as it slightly improves his exploitable magic bulk. To further increase the power of Ike's counterattacks, though, Def Smoke or Joint Drive Atk would be preferred. 
  • Finally, Ike will opt for Sacred Seals that improve his damage and/or follow-ups. Atk/Spd Solo is a direct solution to this, but Mirror Stance or Atk/Def Solo can be taken alternatively to raise his defenses instead. For a guaranteed follow-up regardless of Ike's Speed, Quick Riposte is also optimal and stays consistently active (specifically, it works only above 70% HP) thanks to Radiant Aether's healing.

Father to Sothe's Offspring (Assault Build / Defense Stacking / Physical Wall)

Build by accidentalgreed
Recommended
Ragnell (+Eff) A Sturdy Stance (2 or 3)
Alternate: Atk/Def Solo (3 or 4)
Positional Assist B Lull Atk/Def 3
Alternate: Special Spiral 3
Radiant Aether II
Alternate: Bonfire
C Atk Smoke 3
IVs

+ATK or +DEF / -SPD or -HP or -RES

SAtk/Def Solo 3
Alternate: Quick Riposte 3

Show Explanation/Analysis

Weapon: Ragnell (+Eff)

Assist: Positional Assist

Special: Radiant Aether II / Bonfire

Passive A: Sturdy Stance / Atk/Def Solo / Breath skills / Atk/Def Bond / Other Defense-based Tier 3-4 skills

Passive B: Lull Atk/Def / Special Spiral / Quick Riposte

Passive C: Atk Smoke

Sacred Seal: Atk/Def Solo / Atk/Def Form / Atk/Def Bond / Close Def / Quick Riposte

  • Ike's Defense starts at a pretty solid value of 35, and can be stacked upon so that Ike can hard-check even the toughest modern-day physical hitters. As a result, the skills listed here focus on building his in-combat Defense as much as possible. Unlike the Speed stacking build, this is also more lenient at low-investment as it's much easier to build up Ike's Defense than Speed. As a note, this build is preferred for Arena / Arena Assault usage rather than Aether Raids, as the latter mode generally prefers Ike to build up his Resistance and/or Speed instead, and generally speaking, you can never have too many Edelgard / Hector / Dagr / etc. checks. 
  • Sturdy Stance 3 is the most preferred inheritance choice out of anything else, as it grants a Guard effect and allows Ike to effectively lock a lot of physical hitters out of their Special and thus completely wall them. In the case of Special acceleration skills like Armored Wall or Special Fighter, Ike can typically delay Specials long enough despite the skill holders still gaining charges. 
    • Lacking this or any other high-tier Defense-based Stance skills entirely, Ike can run other Defense swing skills such as Atk/Def Solo or Atk/Def Bond or Close Def, and can doubly stack these same skills in the Sacred Seal. Additionally, a Breath skill can be used for instant Bonfire retaliation in combination with Ragell's -1 CD.
  • Lull Atk/Def rounds out the build by cancelling enemy bonuses in those stats while applying a further debuff of -3 in them, giving Ike considerable domination in the physical matchup department. Alternatively, Special Spiral can be used in combination with Radiant Aether II for consistent sustain and burst damage on most counterattacks, while Quick Riposte is an accessible and simple choice which grants Ike a follow-up attack to make up for a lack of Speed investment. 

Ranulf's Boytoy (Speed Stacking / Generalist)

Build by accidentalgreed
Ragnell (+Eff) A Atk/Spd Solo (3 or 4)
Alternate: Atk/Spd Boosting A Slot
Positional Assist B Spurn 3
Alternate: Null Follow-Up 3
Noontime
Alternate: Bonfire
C Joint Drive Spd
Alternate: Atk Smoke 3
IVs

+SPD / -HP or -RES

SAtk/Spd Solo 3
Alternate: Mystic Boost 3

Show Explanation/Analysis

Weapon: Ragnell (+Eff)

Assist: Positional Assist

Special: Noontime / Sol / Bonfire / Radiant Aether II

Passive A: Atk/Spd Solo / Kestrel Stance 3 / Darting Breath / Other Atk/Spd Boosting skills

Passive B: Spurn / Repel / Close Call / Null Follow-Up

Passive C: Joint Drive Spd / Atk Smoke / Joint Drive Atk

Sacred Seal: Atk/Spd Solo / Mystic Boost / Stance or Bond versions of mentioned skills

  • Ike definitely isn't the best leg day workout partner or fastest swordsman alive, and all the investment required for this build (i.e. high merges, Dragonflowers, and skill inheritance) may be better allocated to other modern-day swords. For you current or former Ike mains out there, however, it's worth considering increasing Ike's general strengths by investing heavily into his Speed, which helps him avoid more follow-ups (thusly improving his general survivability) and make his own with surprisingly consistent frequency. 
  • Refined Ragnell contributes much to this build's purpose already.
    • The spectrum stats are appreciated as tanks like Ike makes use of every stat point they can get. In particular, +4 Speed is rather modest by itself but helpfully stacks up with every other Speed swing you can provide here.
    • The permanently-reduced cooldown enables Ike to make frequent use of good Specials. This is especially true of:
      • Bonfire, which is very effective with a Breath skill provided somewhere like Brave Lucina's Geirskögul or just using Darting Breath on Ike himself. Mystic Boost is recommended with it to have at least some sustain.
      • Noontime, which provides a small but frequent helping of healing with no cooldown acceleration needed. Similarly, Sol does the same but has bigger healing payoffs and requires Breath support to activate on single retaliations like Bonfire. 
      • Radiant Aether II, which would be fine if it weren't stuck at 3 CD. You're effectively better off running a high-investment Spiral Build at this point if consistent RDII activation is what you're looking for. 
    • Having Distant Counter built-in is always handy versus ranged enemies, and while Ike's at it, it frees up his A slot for a variety of high-tier Speed swing skills. 
  • Ike's A-slot is pretty much open to almost any high-tier Atk/Spd boosting skill you're able to offer. Atk/Spd Solo and Kestrel Stance 3 are generally pretty great recommendations; Solo works regardless of phase (so Ike's performance isn't relegated to just enemy phase) and only requires Ike to be away from other allies, while Stance comes with a handy Guard effect but keeps Ike's performance softlocked to waiting for the enemy to come to him. Such recommendations also apply to his Sacred Seal; double Atk/Spd Solo is notably easy to comprehend as well as stat-optimal. 
  • Joint Drive Spd is a pretty obvious C-slot choice given the goal of this build, though Atk Smoke or other Joint Drives are good to run if you don't have access to that or believe Ike's had enough nyoom for one day.
  • With Ike's Speed being highly invested as is, this opens some really nice B slot options; namely, the Dodge skill line or Null Follow-Up.
    • Your choice of Spurn, Close Call, or Repel grants some nice damage reduction (up to 40%) for every point of Speed Ike dominates over his foe, granting him significantly improved survivability against slower enemies. Of course, this also means you can't just push him against other speedy units as they will be able to hit Ike for full damage if faster than him. 
    • In quite a few considerable cases, however, Null Follow-Up is better than damage reduction as a lot of units these days are reliant on follow-up manipulation (i.e. guaranteed follow-up attacks or preventing follow-ups). With Ike flexing his Speed muscles quite a bit, he will likely be able to naturally double slower enemies that are reliant on follow-up manipulation to perform, especially such as all forms of Edelgard.

2018ing a Little Too Hard (Budget Enemy Phase)

Build by accidentalgreed
Ragnell
Alternate: Ragnell (+Eff)
A Warding Breath
Alternate: Fierce Stance 3
Positional Assist B Quick Riposte 3
Radiant Aether II C Joint Drive Res
IVs

Flexible

SAtk/Def Solo 3
Alternate: Mirror Stance 2

Show Explanation/Analysis

Weapon: Ragnell / refined Ragnell

Assist: Positional Assist

Special: Radiant Aether II 

Passive A: Warding Breath / Fierce Stance (with refined Ragnell)

Passive B: Quick Riposte

Passive C: Joint Drive Res

Sacred Seal: Atk/Def Solo / Mirror Stance / Atk/Spd Solo / Fierce Stance

  • If you really don't want to treat Ike a bit luxuriously from the get-go, that's fine and dandy! As long as you replace his pretty bad default B slot (Seal Atk/Def) with the much more useful Quick Riposte — which guarantees Ike can counterattack twice as long as he's above 70% HP — he's already quite built with a somewhat antiquated but synergistic enemy phase build. Notably, Radiant Aether II's healing keeps Quick Riposte's threshold going as long as you exercise reasonable matchups. The game plan is mostly similar to the first build with just as simple finesse: End Turn and watch the Special sparks fly.
  • Fortunately, the list of Seals Ike can use has gotten significantly better as years went by. Most Atk-based Solo (which offers two beefy stats swings in non-tight maps) or Stance skills (less stat boosts but works unconditionally) will do great here. Of note is Mirror Stance, which stacks up Ike's otherwise forgettable Resistance alongside Joint Drive Res and Warding Breath.
  • For budget purposes, spending 200 Divine Dew on refining Ragnell is not definitely necessary as Warding Breath + Quick Riposte will do most of the musclework. If you do refine it, Warding Breath is a bit redundant with the slaying effect active, and can easily be replaced with Fierce Stance

Strengths

Radiant Aether II

Radiant Aether II is a direct upgrade over Legendary Ike's previous version of it; like the original version, it provides all the perks of Aether (both powerful burst damage and sustain off whatever damage it's doing) at a more even cooldown of 4. After Ike's legendary hero remix, it now sports the ability to precharge itself by -2 on Turn 1, giving Ike the opportunity to activate it sooner. This works especially well in conjunction with the CD-1 effect of Ragnell and Special Spiral, which previously needed Ike to retaliate twice to get it going on its first activation. 

Refined Ragnell

Ike's signature blade got a refine that isn't exactly flashy (just look at Raijinto and Ayra's Blade, man) but grants quite a few of his wishes. In addition to maintaining the built-in Distant Counter effect (which is handy for very obvious reasons) Ragnell gains:

  • A spectrum of additional stats, or HP+3, Atk/Spd/Def/Res +4, which helps him catch up stats-wise to other modern-day Heroes and generally be more competent across the board. This is especially appreciable in stacking stats he's rather lacking in (Speed and Resistance).
  • Special cooldown -1, which accelerates the activation of Ike's Specials. As a result, he can definitely run some pretty useful and flashy skill combinations. This includes Radiant Aether II + Special Spiral, Breath skill + Bonfire, or even just opting for something as simple as running a 1 CD Noontime. Thanks to this and the previously-mentioned spectrum stats, refined Ragnell is almost effectively superior to Ike's former secondary weapon, Slaying Edge (sans +2 HP).

Infantry Perks

A lack of effective weaknesses is something Ike at least enjoys due to his infantry movement typing. Additionally, Special Spiral, Null Follow-Up, and the Lull skills are also great exclusive tools at his disposal.

Decent Stat Spread

Legendary Ike's stat spread can hardly be called fantastic these days, but as mentioned, Ragnell helps him quite well in all areas as long as you can keep Ike above 25% HP. 36 base Attack at least ensures his Radiant Aether powered hits strike very hard, 35 Defense is decent enough to go toe-to-toe against fellow physical hitters, and 30 Speed, though average, is buildable through the right skill investments and ally choices. 

Legendary Hero Perks

Ike is more readily available in Legendary Hero Remix banners, where he can be summoned at an improved rate with no other off-focus heroes while having a guaranteed chance after 40 summons if needed. Additionally, on Earth seasons, he can contribute upwards of six additional points to your Arena scoring range (though more recent Earth legendaries score better by themselves), while on Aether Raids, he can benefit from the blessing boosts of other Mythic heroes in Aether Raids. 

Weaknesses

Guard / Somewhat Reliant on Specials 

Ike's main game plan is to typically wait until some unit attacks into him in order to retaliate with his very frequent and deadly Radiant Aether. If some form of Guard is in play, however, the opposing unit can easily deny him the chance to do this, rendering him mostly reliant on his alright non-Special combat. Special Fighter is a common skill where this would apply as it works in both phases, as well as other variations of it (such as the recent Armored Wall). 

Low Resistance

Legendary Ike, unfortunately, suffers a common early-installment weakness of having a distant countering weapon yet unable to use it with full effectiveness due to his weaker Resistance stat. A base Resistance value of 21 indeed leaves Ike weaker to powerful magical hits, which can take him down quickly through one-shots or double attacks.

Average Speed

High Speed is a key offensive and defensive strength in Fire Emblem Heroes, and Ike unfortunately doesn't spare much of that at a base value of 30. Without high investment (which even then can be beaten by dedicated speedsters such as Mareeta), Ike will not be able to perform many follow-ups or avoid them on his own. 

Run Ragged With Sword Competition

It's no longer undeniable that Ike's stats, though great in 2018, are simply lacking in comparison to modern sword infantry units. For instance, his most comparable competition, his Fallen version, is leagues above him due to a version of Ragnell that absorbs penalties, while boasting significantly higher Speed and the ability to be blessed in any season. A lot of sword infantry units like Fallen Ike also tend to perform the role of a tank much more reliably with better usage of Speed-based reduction skills. It's pretty clear there's still more room for Ike to improve, generally speaking.

Weapon Skills

Weapons SP Rng. Mt.
Iron Sword
Learns by default at 1 ★
Unlocks at 1 ★
Only Inheritable by Sword Units.
50 1 6
Steel Sword
Learns by default at 3 ★
Unlocks at 2 ★
Only Inheritable by Sword Units.
100 1 8
Silver Sword
Learns by default at 4 ★
Unlocks at 3 ★
Only Inheritable by Sword Units.
200 1 11
RagnellEnables counterattack regardless of distance if this unit is attacked.
Learns by default at 5 ★
Unlocks at 5 ★
Non-Inheritable skill.
400 1 16
Weapon Evolution
Weapon Upgrades
Weapon Upgrades

Special Skills

Special Skills SP Turns
DaylightRestores HP = 30% of damage dealt.
Learns by default at 4 ★
Unlocks at 3 ★
Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
100 3
SolRestores HP = 50% of damage dealt.
Unlocks at 4 ★
Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
200 3
Radiant AetherDuring combat, treats foe's Def/Res as if reduced by 50%. Restores HP = 50% of damage dealt.
Unlocks at 5 ★
Non-Inheritable skill.
500 4
Radiant Aether IIAt the start of turn 1, grants Special cooldown count-2 to unit. Treats foe's Def/Res as if reduced by 50% during combat. Restores HP = 50% of damage dealt.
Unlocks at 5 ★
Non-Inheritable skill.
500 4

Passive Skills

Passive Skills SP Slot
Warding Stance 1Grants Res+2 during combat when this unit is attacked.
Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
Unlocks at 3 ★
50
A
Warding Stance 2Grants Res+4 during combat when this unit is attacked.
Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
Unlocks at 4 ★
100
A
Warding BreathGrants Res+4 during combat if unit is attacked. Also grants Special cooldown charge +1 per attack. (Does not stack. Only highest value applied.)
Melee, Infantry, and Armored Only
Unlocks at 5 ★
240
A
Seal Def 1After combat, foe suffers Def -3 through its next action.
Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
Unlocks at 3 ★
40
B
Seal Atk Def 1After combat, inflicts Atk/Def-3 on foe through its next action.
Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
Unlocks at 4 ★
100
B
Seal Atk Def 2After combat, inflicts Atk/Def-5 on foe through its next action.
Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
Unlocks at 5 ★
200
B
Def Tactic 1At start of turn, grants Def+2 to allies within 2 spaces for 1 turn. Granted only if number of that ally's movement type on current team ≤ 2.
Inheritable by all units.
Unlocks at 1 ★
60
C
Def Tactic 2At start of turn, grants Def+4 to allies within 2 spaces for 1 turn. Granted only if number of that ally's movement type on current team ≤ 2.
Inheritable by all units.
Unlocks at 2 ★
120
C
Def Tactic 3At start of turn, grants Def+6 to allies within 2 spaces for 1 turn. Granted only if number of that ally's movement type on current team ≤ 2.
Inheritable by all units.
Unlocks at 4 ★
240
C
Spur Res 1Grants adjacent allies Res+2 during combat
Inheritable by all units.
Unlocks at 2 ★
50
C
Drive Res 1Grants allies within 2 spaces Res+2 during combat.
Inheritable by all units.
Unlocks at 3 ★
120
C
Drive Res 2Grants allies within 2 spaces Res+3 during combat.
Inheritable by all units.
Unlocks at 4 ★
240
C
Joint Drive ResGrants Res+4 to allies within 2 spaces during combat. If unit is within 2 spaces of an ally, grants Res+4 to unit during combat.
Inheritable by all units.
Unlocks at 5 ★
300
C

Other Info

Origin
Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn

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