At Pin Clock's suggestion, I'm moving the discussion here... Here's what I don't like about Ike's No Sympathy Mode in 3.5: I.) When Ike deals 75% sword damage, he enters N.S.M.; his attacks are powered up at the cost of damaging himself with almost every attack. What if I don't want to play Ike as a glass cannon? Sometimes I'd prefer to have N.S.M. not activate, so I can keep my damage at a minimum, and stay alive longer by playing defensively. Sure, you can cancel N.S.M. via D-Taunt + A, but that's still annoying if you never wanted to use it in the first place. N.S.M. is supposed to be a reward for Ike playing offensively, but it's more of a burden if your focus is self-preservation. II.) While in N.S.M., Ike can no longer charge Eruption or use a standard Counter; pressing B will use his N.S.M. charge to execute a fully-charged Eruption, and landing Counter will execute Ike's Flourish finishing combo instead. Being able to charge Eruption is useful against approaching opponents, and the standard Counter is a great defensive move that is more reliable than Flourish currently is. Losing two of his best means of defense upon entering N.S.M. is frustrating, since you are basically forced to play offensively; if you don't hurry up and K.O. your opponent, your damage is going to rise too high, and Ike will be K.O.ed easily. III.) The pressure to play aggressively is even higher now that Ike loses his N.S.M. charge upon being K.O.ed. He has only a small window of opportunity to make use of his increased strength before he must begin focusing on dodging attacks or spamming Aether (see IV). Other characters (except Pichu) can damage their opponents enough to K.O. them, while remaining undamaged themselves if they play defensively. As-is, a good Ike player is going to enter N.S.M. fairly quickly no matter what; even if he avoids most of his enemies' attacks, he's going to put himself in danger of being K.O.ed before long. It feels like Ike is being punished for doing too well. IV.) In N.S.M., Aether spam is encouraged, even without its healing properties, because it's one of the few moves that Ike will not damage himself with. Encouraging spam is never a good thing. Aether's healing effect was added in to compensate somewhat for all the self-damage (and as a nod to the way it healed Ike in the Fire Emblem games he starred in), but it's not enough to keep Ike's damage from increasing steadily once he enters N.S.M. My suggestions to improve Ike: I.) Ike must still deal 75% sword damage to be able to enter N.S.M., but he no longer enters it automatically. Instead, once Ike deals 75% sword damage, he says "You'll get no sympathy from me", and he gains one N.S.M. charge to use whenever he wants. There is no visual indicator that Ike has a charge stored, only the verbal warning. This stored charge will not be lost if Ike is K.O.ed. However, Ike can only hold one N.S.M. charge at a time. His N.S.M. Meter will not reset to zero and begin refilling until Ike exits N.S.M. via being K.O.ed, spending the charge on Flourish, or cancelling N.S.M. via D-Taunt + A. II.) If Ike has a N.S.M. Charge available, he may enter N.S.M. by pressing Up Taunt. A powered-up version of the taunt will begin; similar to Lucario's Ultra Taunt, this variant of Up Taunt will have fire graphic effects, a hitbox, and a weak windbox surrounding Ike. Instead of his usual yell, Ike will say "Prepare yourself". It will differ from Lucario's Ultra Taunt in this way: instead of pulling foes in with delayed, highly-damaging, repeating hitboxes, it will have an immediate, constant hitbox that deals moderate fire damage and hits foes away, to just outside the windbox range. This variant of Up Taunt is faster than normal; it should last no longer than it takes for Ike to finish saying "Prepare yourself". Since it's so short, this taunt should not be cancellable. Ike may be knocked out of this N.S.M. activation by ranged attacks, but he doesn't lose his stored charge when this happens. Ike enters N.S.M. the moment the powered-up Up Taunt ends. III.) Eruption's charge meter exists entirely separately from Ike's N.S.M., and he may once again store a fully-charged, instant Eruption by cancelling it via Shield at max power. In N.S.M., Eruption remains unchanged; it gains no extra power or range, and it only damages Ike if he continues charging it past max-charge, as usual. Charge time is the same, and a stored max-charge will carry over from before when N.S.M. was activated. Eruption's charge level resets to zero if it is interrupted before reaching max power. However, a stored max-charge Instant Eruption is not lost if Ike is K.O.ed. Also, Ike will flicker white as long as he has a max-charge Eruption stored, just like D.K. does with a fully-charged Giant Punch. IV.) Ike's Flourish finishing combo will only trigger in N.S.M. if the B button is HELD during a successful counter. Flourish will link into its hits much better, on the ground and especially in the air. Ike yells the "HRRRAAHHH" from his Final Smash during Flourish, and each sword hit has a satisfying SFX. If B is only tapped, Counter will function exactly as it does in Normal Mode. N.S.M. Counter will not damage Ike, since it is a defensive move. It will not have the amount of stun or the ability to cancel into Eruption that it had in MAX 1.01; it will just be a regular Counter that reflects the strength of the move it counters, as usual. Ike will still damage himself in N.S.M., but now entering that mode is a choice, not something forced upon you. To clarify, if Ike is K.O.ed while in N.S.M., he respawns in Normal Mode with a N.S.M. Charge level of zero. Stored N.S.M. Charges and stored max-charge Eruptions are not lost upon being K.O.ed. Ike's sword, Ragnell, still catches on fire in N.S.M.. Ike players are no longer encouraged to spam Aether as much, since they have two more N.S.M. Special moves that will not damage them or waste their N.S.M. Charge. BONUS (take these a bit less seriously) V.) When Ike does not have a full N.S.M. charge ready to use, Up Taunt will look and sound like normal, but it will now fill up the N.S.M. Meter a moderate amount if it is completed without interruption. VI.) Another way to use a stored max-charge Eruption: If Ike has one fully charged, and he then fully charges and lands Quick Draw... A.) In Normal Mode, Ike goes through his opponents, and each one that was hit is stunned for about two seconds, before they fly off over Ike's head with a strong amount of knockback. Opponents below 50% damage or so may not be K.O.ed, but they'll be in a position where Ike can follow up with an aerial attack; Ike can cancel the last few frames of this Quick Draw variant's ending lag. B.) In N.S.M., Ike goes through his opponents, and each one simultaneously explodes from the max-charge Eruption animation about one second after Ike stops moving. Affected foes are very unlikely to survive this, so Ike says his "Hmph" from D-Taunt. Ike cannot cancel the ending lag of this version. Both "A" and "B" use up Ike's stored max-charge Eruption if they connect, even if they are shielded. If Ike does not hit anyone with a max-charge Quick Draw, his stored max-charge Eruption is not used up. "Why would I ever use regular max-charge Eruption over this", you ask? Because Eruption has super armor frames, and max-charge Quick Draw does not, while both use up your stored max-charge Eruption. It's impossible to shield max-charge Eruption, but it's easy to shield Quick Draw if your shield is full; Ike will go right through you, wasting his stored max-charge Eruption. In N.S.M., he'll even be left vulnerable in ending lag. "Hmph", indeed. Perhaps max-charge Quick Draw should have some armor too? If you don't have a max-charge Eruption stored, max-charge Quick Draw will function as it normally does. Well, there are my best ideas for Ike. What do you all think? Is any of this just not possible?