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XRay

Process for Building Characters (WIP)

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This is under major overhaul.

How do you go about planning builds for your characters for Arena? These are my general build processes, but they need a lot of improvement and streamlining so critique is much appreciated. Hopefully, this will also help players who have trouble figuring it out how to build their own units.

Disclaimer:

Spoiler

Please keep in mind that everyone's play style is different, so what works for me may not necessarily work for you. The build process is modular; you can easily adjust or change certain steps and the rest of the process will still work. Each step is usually designed to maximize kill count. If you feel that you need to prioritize something else other than kill count, feel free to adjust any steps you wish.

Ranged Player Phase teams with a Firesweep nuke is my preferred team composition and play style.

 

Here is arcticsilverfox's calculator that is required for this process; it is based on Andu2's calculator which you can also use. You can also use the calculator to experiment with your own ideas. The introduction covers some background information on my play style and philosophy. It is not necessary to read it, but you will have a better understanding of the build process.

Spoiler

I generally prefer to use Player Phase teams, or predominately Player Phase teams, for difficult and competitive content because they feel more responsive and flexible than Enemy Phase teams. A Player Phase team with a Firesweep nuke, a raw damage nuke, and one or two Dancers/Singers can handle the vast majority of content the game throws at you.

There are 4 primary types of builds:
Player Phase
Enemy Phase
Support
Counters/Specialists

A unit's build can overlap multiple categories. For example, a Counter-Vantage unit overlaps both Player Phase and Enemy Phase (Counter-Vantage units who are staff and dagger users are also support units who can heal and debuff respectively), while Eir with her base kit is often chosen for being a long range healer with strong Player Phase survivability. Units that fall under the counter/specialist category are units that are built to deal with a very narrow range of targets; a unit running [Armorsmasher [special], Glimmer, Triangle Adept, and Axebreaker] for example is used to deal with Surtr while Julia with [Naga [special], Moonbow, Fierce Stance, Vantage, Fierce Stance] is designed to shutdown most dragons.

Additionally, each build can be graded on many criteria, and some game modes prioritizes certain criteria more than others.
Combat Performance (which can be further broken down to coverage, kill count, death count/survivability)
Coverage (how well the unit performs against enemy diversity)
Kill Count (how effective the unit is in killing its enemies)
Death Count/Survivability (how well the unit can survive combat)
Sustainability (how long or well they can maintain their HP thresholds for optimal combat performance)
Durability (how long they can go without HP regeneration)
Support Performance (which can be further broken down to coverage, intensity, frequency, reliability)
Support Coverage (how well the unit can support a variety of allies)
Intensity (how strong is the support)
Frequency (how often is the support)
Reliability (how dependable is the support)
Active/Passive Support (whether or not a unit needs to use its turn to activate a support skill)
Mobility and Reach (how far the unit can move and attack/support)
Independence/Dependence (how much support the unit needs)

 

Before building a Player Phase unit, you should decide what kind of Player Phase unit you want to build. Player Phase builds are divided into two main categories: high Spd builds and low Spd builds. High Spd builds are your regular Player Phase builds that utilize an A skill that boosts both Atk and Spd and the B skill is usually Desperation. Low Spd builds consists of one shot builds, Brave builds, and Special spam builds.

Here is the build process for Player Phase units:

Spoiler

Maximize Wins on Player Phase:
1) Set enemies. I usually give enemies merge +5, Speed boon, Moonbow, and Fury.
1.5) Set optional buffs. The following are the most common buffs.

Spoiler

BONUS BUFFS

4/4/0/0

  • Atk +4, Spd +4, Def +0, Res +0
  • [Sieglinde [any] / Siegmund [any] / Hone Atk 3: Atk +4]
  • [Hone Spd 3: Spd +4]
  • Common Buffer: Dancers/Singers; Eirika/Ephraim
  • Common Buffee: All units

6/6/0/0

  • Atk +6, Spd +6, Def +0, Res +0
  • [Hone Armor/ Hone Cavalry / Hone Fliers / Hone Dragons: Atk +6, Spd +6]
  • Common Buffer: Cavalry/Fliers
  • Common Buffee: Cavalry and Fliers with Blade tomes

6/6/6/6

  • Atk +6, Spd +6, Def +6, Res +6
  • [Hone Armor/ Hone Cavalry / Hone Fliers / Hone Dragons: Atk +6, Spd +6]
  • [Fortify Armor/ Fortify Cavalry / Fortify Fliers / Fortify Dragons: Def +6, Res +6]
  • Common Buffer: Cavalry/Fliers
  • Common Buffee: Cavalry and Fliers with Blade tomes

COMBAT BUFFS

0/0/4/4

  • Atk +0, Spd +0, Def +4, Res +4
  • [Ward Armor / Ward Cavalry / Ward Dragons / Ward Fliers: Def +4, Res +4]
  • Common Buffer: Armor/Dragons
  • Common Buffee: Armor/Dragons

0/0/8/8

  • Atk +0, Spd +0, Def +8, Res +8
  • [Ward Armor / Ward Cavalry / Ward Dragons / Ward Fliers: Def +4, Res +4] 2 stacks
  • Common Buffer: Armor/Dragons
  • Common Buffee: Armor/Dragons

 

— — — — — — —

Here is a list of units with exclusive Weapons that buff their allies units at the start of the turn or during combat:
— —SWORDS— — —
Marth: Falchion [special]

Combat Buff: 2/2/2/2
Eirika: Sieglinde [any]
Bonus Buff: 4/0/0/0
M!Corrin: Yato [special]
Combat Buff: 4/4/4/4
— —RED TOMES— — —
Sanaki: Cymbeline [any]
Combat Buff: 3/0/0/0
— —LANCES— — —
Ephraim: Siegmund [any]
Bonus Buff: 4/0/0/0
BH!Lucina: Geirskögul
Combat Buff: 3/3/0/0
Restrictions: Only Sword, Lance, Axe, Bow, and Dagger Allies
— —BLUE TOMES— — —
Linde: Aura [any]
Bonus Buff: 6/0/0/0
Restrictions: Only Red Tome, Blue Tome, Green Tome, and Staff Allies
Linde: Dark Aura
Bonus Buff: 6/0/0/0
Restrictions: Only Sword, Lance, Axe, and Dragonstone Allies
Delthea: Dark Aura
Bonus Buff: 6/0/0/0
Restrictions: Only Sword, Lance, Axe, and Dragonstone Allies
Odin: Odin's Grimoire
Bonus Buff: 6/6/0/0
— —AXES — —
Camilla: Camilla's Axe
Combat Buff: 3/3/0/0
Restrictions: Only Cavalry and Flying Allies

Titaina: Draconic Poleax
Combat Buff: 0/0/0/6

Here is a list of units with inheritable Weapons that buff their allies during combat:
— —SWORDS— — —
HNY!Camilla: Kadomatsu+
Combat Buff: 0/0/2/2
— —RED TOMES— — —
NS!Leo: Tomato Tome+
Combat Buff: 1/1/0/0
— —BLUE TOMES— — —
NS!Corrin: Sealife Tome+
Combat Buff: 1/1/0/0
BB!Ninian: Fresh Bouquet+
Bonus Buff: 0/4/0/0
— —AXES — —
BB!Marth: Ardent Service+
Bonus Buff: 4/0/0/0
HNY!Azura: Hagoita+
Combat Buff: 0/0/2/2
NS!Xander: Lilith Floatie+
Combat Buff: 1/1/0/0
— —GREEN TOMES — —
NS!Elise: Hibiscus Tome+
Combat Buff: 1/1/0/0
— —BOWS — —
HNY!Corrin: Hama Ya+
Combat Buff: 0/0/2/2

2) Select one of the following Weapons and Refinement if applicable:

Spoiler

Italicized Weapons are generally the best in most cases for first round performance; if the best Weapon happens to be from a Special Hero, a Weapon that is not from a Special Hero will also be italicized. Weapons from Special Heroes have a strikethrough.

Sword:

  • Brave Sword+
  • Slaying Edge+ [Spd Refinement]
  • Wo Dao+ [Spd Refinement]
  • Firesweep S+

Lance:

  • Brave Lance+
  • Slaying Lance+ [Spd Refinement]
  • Harmonic Lance+ [Spd Refinement]
  • Firesweep L+
  • Deft Harpoon+ [Spd Refinement]
  • Shell Lance+ [Spd Refinement]

Axe:

  • Brave Axe+
  • Slaying Axe+ [Spd Refinement]
  • Wo Gùn+ [Spd Refinement]
  • Melon Crusher+ [Spd Refinement]
  • Giant Spoon+ [Spd Refinement]
  • Beach Banner + [Spd Refinement]

Bow:

  • Brave Bow+
  • Slaying Bow+ [Spd Refinement]
  • Firesweep Bow+
  • Coco Bow+ [Spd Refinement]
  • Refreshing Bolt+ [Spd Refinement]
  • Fishie Bow+ [Spd Refinement]

Dagger:

  • Poison Dagger+
  • Barb Shuriken+ [Speed Refnement]
  • Seashell+ [Speed Refnement]
  • Kitty Paddle+ [Speed Refinement]
  • Kagami Mochi+ [Speed Refinement]
  • Lethal Carrot+ [Speed Refinement]
  •  

Red Tome:

  • Rauðrblade+

Blue Tome:

  • Blárblade+
  • Juicy Wave+ [Spd Refinement]

Green Tome:

  • Gronnblade+

Staff:

  • Pain+ [Dazzling Staff Refinement] / Pain+ [Wrathful Staff Refinement]
  • Gravity+ [Dazzling Staff Refinement] / Gravity+ [Wrathful Staff Refinement]
  • Flash+ [Dazzling Staff Refinement] / Candlelight+ [Wrathful Staff Refinement]
  • Candlelight+ [Dazzling Staff Refinement] / Candlelight+ [Wrathful Staff Refinement]

Dragonstone:

  • Flametongue+ [Speed Refinement]

Notes:

  • Even though it does not have the best first round performance, I italicized Firesweep Bow because it can attack from a distance and prevent counter attacks.
  • Pain is better than Candlelight if the staff user got Dancer/Singer support to attack again.
  • Player Phase units with low Speed are better at using Brave Weapons than non Brave Weapons.
  • Generally, this is how Weapon effects are ranked based on their first round performance, from best to worst:
    • grants Atk/Spd/Def/Rest+2
      • Shell Lance+ [Spd Refinement]
      • Beach Banner + [Spd Refinement]
      • Coco Bow+ [Spd Refinement]
      • Deft Harpoon+ [Speed Refinement]
      • Melon Crusher+ [Speed Refinement]
      • Refreshing Bolt+ [Speed Refinement]
      • Seashell+ [Speed Refinement]
    • damage +10 when Special triggers
      • Wo Dao+ [Speed Refinement]
      • Giant Spoon+ [Speed Refinement]
      • Lethal Carrot+ [Speed Refinement]
    • accelerates Special trigger (cooldown count-1)
      • Slaying Edge
      • Slaying Lance
      • Slaying Axe
      • Slaying Bow
      • Kagai Mochi
    • unit attacks twice
      • Brave Sword
      • Brave Lance
      • Brave Axe
      • Brave Bow
  • There are some caveats and exceptions to the above list:
    • Brave Bow is actually generally better than Slaying Bow.
    • Kagami Mochi-Moonbow seems to be better than Lethal Carrot-Moonbow in the calculator. However if all melee enemies had their A slot set to Distant Counter, Lethal Carrot-Moonbow is actually better than Kagmi Mochi-Moonbow and Kagami Mochi-Luna.
    • Brave Weapons are ranked so lowly is due to the fact that they lack Refinements.

3. Check each Boon and A passive skill combination for the most wins:

Spoiler

Attack Boon - Atk/Spd Solo
Attack Boon - Atk/Spd Push
Attack Boon - Life and Death 3
Attack Boon - Swift Sparrow 2
Attack Boon - Fury 3
Attack Boon - Death Blow 4
Attack Boon - Brazen Atk/Spd 3 (if HP is set to 80% or below)
Attack Boon - Brazen Atk/Def 3 (if HP is set to 80% or below)
Attack Boon - Brazen Atk/Res 3 (if HP is set to 80% or below)

Attack Boon - Atk/Spd Solo
Attack Boon - Atk/Spd Push
Speed Boon - Life and Death 3
Speed Boon - Swift Sparrow 2
Speed Boon - Fury 3
Speed Boon - Death Blow 4 (I do not think I have ever seen this combination being optimal, so you can probably ignore this.)
Speed Boon - Brazen Atk/Spd 3 (if HP is set to 80% or below)
Attack Boon - Brazen Atk/Def 3 (if HP is set to 80% or below)
Attack Boon - Brazen Atk/Res 3 (if HP is set to 80% or below)

4. Do step 2. again. (Usually, there is nothing to change.)
5. Check damage and damage reduction Specials for the most wins.

  • Moonbow, Luna, Draconic Aura, Dragon Fang, Bonfire, Ignis, Iceberg, Glacies
  • Escutcheon, Pavise (This does not apply to ranged units.)

6. Do step 2. again. (Usually, there is nothing to change. I skip this step unless it is a character I care about.)
7. Check Banes.

Notes:

Spoiler
  • Here is a break down of Specials:
Spoiler
  • Moonbow: This Special has a low cool down, so it is effective with exclusive Weapons and Weapons that causes a higher cooldown, like Blades and Lightning Breath.
  • Glimmer: This Special also has a low cool down, but it is generally less effective than Moonbow in most cases. Glimmer is usually better than Moonbow if the unit is utilizing Triangle Adept, effective Weapons, and Blade tomes.
  • Luna: This is my default go-to Special. Against enemies with weak defenses, you do not need a Special to kill them. Against enemies with strong defenses, this Special is great because the higher the enemy's Defense or Resistance, the stronger this Special becomes.
  • Draconic Aura: This is about the same as Luna. For this Special to be effective, the unit should have at least around 50 Attack. If the unit's physical Attack is around 50 or lower, Luna is usually better. If it is higher, it depends. I have not done enough testing with magical attacks to comment since I usually use Blade tomes; Blade tomes' increased Special cool down made me favor Moonbow over all others. If you do not mind the higher cooldown, you can run this on cavalry units with Blade tomes to inflict really high damage if the Special activates.
  • Dragon Fang: See Draconic Aura for more information. This Special has a high cool down and needs Quickened Pulse and/or Slaying/Killer Weapons to be effective. However, it sometimes gives a higher win ratio even without Quickened Pulse and/or Slaying/Killer Weapons. If you do not mind that it is unlikely to activate on Blade tomes, you can run this on Blade cavalry units to knock out the 99% of the cast no matter what merge level or build they have if it activates. If your unit has no or a few merges, only a few armor units and Julia with a Resistance Boon, Triangle Adept, Wary Fighter, and high merge levels can withstand the full power of Dragon Fang without using Aegis or defense tiles.
  • Bonfire: For this Special to be effective, the unit should have at least around 30 Defense.
  • Ignis: See Bonfire for more information. This Special has a high cool down and needs Quickened Pulse and/or Slaying/Killer Weapons to be effective.
  • Iceberg: For this Special to be effective, the unit should have at least around 30 Resistance.
  • Glacies: See Iceberg for more information. This Special has a high cool down and needs Quickened Pulse and/or Slaying/Killer Weapons to be effective.
  • Escutcheon: Under certain circumstances, a unit with really high offensive power and low defensive bulk will kill more units with a defensive Special than an offensive Special since it will allow them to survive a counter attack and continue to do more damage.
  • Pavise: See Escutcheon.
  • Sacred Cowl: See Escutcheon.
  • Aegis: See Escutcheon.
  • I leave Assists, C Passives, and Seals empty since these largely depend on team composition and preferences.
  • You may want to run the process multiple times to see the difference between buffed and unbuffed builds.
  • For units with exclusive Weapons, I run the process again.
  • For dragon units, I run the process again with Lightning Breath.

 

Here are my build processes for maximizing wins and minimizing losses on Enemy Phase. I do not enjoy planning these as much since they do not suit my play style as much.

Here is the build process for Enemy Phase units:

Spoiler

Maximize Wins on Enemy Phase:
1. Set Quick Riposte and Attack Boon.
1.5. Set optional buffs. The following are the most common buffs:

Spoiler

[I have no idea what this is called.] [Dancer Buff?]

  • Attack +0, Speed +4, Defense +0, Resistance +2
  • [Hone Speed 3: Speed +4] [Fortify Resistance (Sacred Seal): Resistance +2]
  • This is primarily for infantry with Blades.

[I have no idea what this is called.] [Dancer Buff?] [Olivia Buff?]

  • Attack +4, Speed +0, Defense +0, Resistance +2
  • [Hone Attack 3: Attack +4] [Fortify Resistance (Sacred Seal): Resistance +2]
  • This is primarily for infantry with Blades.

[Eirika Buff] [Basic Eirika Buff] [Standard Eirika Buff]

  • Attack +3, Speed +4, Defense +0, Resistance +0
  • [Sieglinde/Siegmund: Attack +3] [Hone Speed 3: Speed +4]
  • This is primarily for infantry with Blades. Eirika can be replaced with Ephraim.

[I have no idea what this is called.] [Max Passive Eirika Buff?]

  • Attack +3, Speed +4, Defense +0, Resistance +2
  • [Sieglinde/Siegmund: Attack +3] [Hone Speed 3: Speed +4] [Fortify Resistance (Sacred Seal): Resistance +2]
  • This is primarily for infantry with Blades. Eirika can be replaced with Ephraim.

[Max Eirika Buff]

  • Attack +3, Speed +4, Defense +4, Resistance +2
  • [Sieglinde/Siegmund: Attack +3] [Hone Speed 3: Speed +4] [Rally Def: Defense +4] [Fortify Resistance (Sacred Seal): Resistance +2]
  • This is primarily for infantry with Blades. Eirika can be replaced with Ephraim.

[Max Eirika Buff]

  • Attack +3, Speed +4, Defense +3, Resistance +3
  • [Sieglinde/Siegmund: Attack +3] [Hone Speed 3: Speed +4] [Rally Def/Res: Defense+3, Resistance +3]
  • This is primarily for infantry with Blades. Eirika can be replaced with Ephraim.

[Delthea Buff] [Basic Delthea Buff] [Standard Delthea Buff]

  • Attack +6, Speed +0, Defense +0, Resistance +0
  • [Dark Aura: Attack +6]
  • Delthea's Dark Aura buff only works on melee units.

[Delthea Buff] [Basic Delthea Buff] [Standard Delthea Buff]

  • Attack +9, Speed +0, Defense +0, Resistance +0
  • [Dark Aura: Attack +6] [Drive Atk: Attack +3]
  • Delthea's Dark Aura buff only works on melee units.

[I have no idea what this is called.] [Max Passive Delthea Buff?]

  • Attack +6, Speed +4, Defense +0, Resistance +2
  • [Dark Aura: Attack +6] [Hone Speed 3: Speed +4] [Fortify Resistance (Sacred Seal): Resistance +2]
  • Delthea's Dark Aura buff only works on melee units.

[Max Delthea Buff]

  • Attack +6, Speed +4, Defense +4, Resistance +2
  • [Dark Aura: Attack +6] [Hone Speed 3: Speed +4] [Rally Def: Defense +4] [Fortify Resistance (Sacred Seal): Resistance +2]
  • Delthea's Dark Aura buff only works on melee units.

[Max Delthea Buff]

  • Attack +6, Speed +4, Defense +3, Resistance +3
  • [Dark Aura: Attack +6] [Hone Speed 3: Speed +4] [Rally Def/Res: Defense+3, Resistance +3]
  • Delthea's Dark Aura buff only works on melee units.

[Hone Armor] [Hone Cavalry] [Hone Flier]

  • Attack +6, Speed +6, Defense +0, Resistance +0
  • [Hone Armor/Cavalry/Flier: Attack +6, Speed +6]
  • This is primarily for cavalry and fliers with Blades.

dddd

[Fortify Cavalry] [Fortify Flier]

  • Attack +0, Speed +0, Defense +6, Resistance +6
  • [Fortify Armor/Cavalry/Dragon/Flier: Defense +6, Resistance +6]
  • This is primarily for dragon teams with Ninian as their Dancer.

2. Set Counter AND Fury. (Run process twice.)
3. Check the following combinations:

Spoiler
  • Silver/Tier 4 Tome/Flametongue and Moonbow
  • Lightning Breath and Moonbow (Usually, Moonbow does not activate due to Lightning Breath increasing cool down.)
  • Wo Dao and Moonbow
  • Deft Harpoon/Melon Crusher/Refreshing Bolt/Seashell and Moonbow (Weapons are from limited characters.)
  • Raven and Moonbow
  • Killer/Slayer and Luna
  • Killer/Slayer and Bonfire
  • Killer/Slayer and Iceberg
  • Killer/Slayer and Draconic Aura
  • Killer/Slayer and Pavise
  • Killer/Slayer and Aegis

4. Check bane

Notes:

Spoiler
  • Here is a break down of Specials:
Spoiler
  • Moonbow: This Special has a low cool down, so it is effective with exclusive Weapons and Weapons that causes a higher cooldown, like Blades and Lightning Breath.
  • Luna: This is my default go-to Special. Against enemies with weak defenses, you do not need a Special to kill them. Against enemies with strong defenses, this Special is great because the higher the enemy's Defense or Resistance, the stronger this Special becomes.
  • Draconic Aura: This is about the same as Luna. For this Special to be effective, the unit should have at least around 50 Attack. If the unit's physical Attack is around 50 or lower, Luna is usually better. If it is higher, it depends. I have not done enough testing with magical attacks to comment since I usually use Blade tomes; Blade tomes' increased Special cool down made me favor Moonbow over all others. If you do not mind the higher cooldown, you can run this on cavalry units with Blade tomes to inflict really high damage if the Special activates.
  • Dragon Fang: See Draconic Aura for more information. This Special has a high cool down and needs Quickened Pulse and/or Slaying/Killer Weapons to be effective. However, it sometimes gives a higher win ratio even without Quickened Pulse and/or Slaying/Killer Weapons. If you do not mind that it is unlikely to activate on Blade tomes, you can run this on Blade cavalry units to knock out the 99% of the cast no matter what merge level or build they have if it activates. If your unit has no or a few merges, only a few armor units and Julia with a Resistance Boon, Triangle Adept, Wary Fighter, and high merge levels can withstand the full power of Dragon Fang without using Aegis or defense tiles.
  • Bonfire: For this Special to be effective, the unit should have at least around 30 Defense.
  • Ignis: See Bonfire for more information. This Special has a high cool down and needs Quickened Pulse and/or Slaying/Killer Weapons to be effective.
  • Iceberg: For this Special to be effective, the unit should have at least around 30 Resistance.
  • Glacies: See Iceberg for more information. This Special has a high cool down and needs Quickened Pulse and/or Slaying/Killer Weapons to be effective.
  • Escutcheon: Under certain circumstances, a unit with really high offensive power and low defensive bulk will kill more units with a defensive Special than an offensive Special since it will allow them to survive a counter attack and continue to do more damage.
  • Pavise: See Escutcheon.
  • Sacred Cowl: See Escutcheon.
  • Aegis: See Escutcheon.
  • I leave Assists, C Passives, and Seals empty since these largely depend on team composition and preferences.
  • You may want to run the process multiple times to see the difference between buffed and unbuffed builds.
  • For units with exclusive Weapons, I run the process again.
  • For dagger units, Poison Dagger is more of a placeholder than something set in stone, since you should switch it out for Silver or Smoke Dagger depending on the situation.
  • For Hector, since he already has Quick Riposte built into his weapon, you can just put whatever suits your play style as a B Passive. You can use G Tomebreaker, Guard, Renewal, or Vantage to increase his bulk further; or choose Wings of Mercy for sadistic fun.

Here is the build process for Enemy Phase survival units:

Spoiler

Minimize Losses on Enemy Phase (Staff Users) (Lazy):
1. Set Attack Bane.
2. Check Boon.
3. Check Fortress Def 3, Fortress Res 3, Speed +3, HP +5.
4. Check Boon.

Minimize Losses on Enemy Phase (Staff Users):
1. Set Attack Bane.
2. Check the following combinations:

Spoiler

+Def/Fortress Def 3
+Def/Fortress Res 3
+Def/Speed +3
+Def/HP +5
+Res/Fortress Def 3
+Res/Fortress Res 3
+Res/Speed +3
+Res/HP +5
+Spd/Fortress Def 3
+Spd/Fortress Res 3
+Spd/Speed +3
+Spd/HP +5
+HP/Fortress Def 3
+HP/Fortress Res 3
+HP/Speed +3
+HP/HP +5

Notes:

Spoiler
  • I leave Weapon, B Passives, C Passives, Specials, and Seals blank since these largely depend on team composition and preferences.
  • I prefer the lazy method since the more thorough method should give the same results. I have only used the more thorough method a few times, so I cannot really say how much better the more thorough method is.
  • I could do this process for non-staff units and add in a few more steps, but I think this build is pointless on them since the best offense is the best defense.

 

What do you guys think? Are there any flaws or things that I overlooked? Obviously, my build processes are not able to give you cool builds like Medic Lucina, Medic Linde, Galeforce Lyn, Wings of Mercy Hector, or Wings of Mercy dancers/singer; that takes creativity and creativity does not sprout from static formulas.

You can also check this same guide on fireemblemheroesforum.com in this thread. The formatting there looks less "wordy" so it may be easier to read.

Edit Log:

Spoiler

2017-07-29
Corrected Delthea buff in the buff sections, separating it from the Hone Movement buff.

2017-08-01
Improved formatting. Updated Dealthea buff.

2017-08-14
Clarified Dealthea buff. Updated Minimize Loss section to take Fortress Res into account.

2018-04-18+
Updating guide.

Wishlist:

Spoiler
  • I wish this entire process can be automated with a program so the builds can update themselves as more characters and skills are added.
  • Instead of using neutral, vanilla units as a enemies, those enemies should use builds created in this guide.

— — — — — — —

- - - BEGINNER POINTERS - - -

Here is a list of pointers. Not a big fan of most beginner guides since they fail to mention important concepts and drone on about obvious stuff. If there is anything you think is too obvious on here, please let me know so I can remove it. I do not want new players reading about things they already know about; it wastes their time.

—<>—<>—<>— Before you start doing anything, please read these. —<>—<>—<>—

Rerolls

Spoiler

Do not over do it, spending too much time rerolling is not worth it. I would only do it half a dozen times at most. If you are trying to summon your favorite character that is not featured as a focus summon on one of the current banners, there is a very slim chance that you will ever get them. If they are on a banner, feel free to reroll until you get them, although it may take more than half a dozen times.

If you do not have a particular favorite, here is a list of characters that you can aim for. Besides Reinhardt and Nowi, all of these are five star exclusives. If you get one or two of these, it is a good idea to stop rerolling and start playing.

Dancer/Singer/Support: These units improve your quality of life.

Spoiler

Azura
Ephraim
BH!Lucina
Ninian

Ranged Nukes: These units make the game easier.

Spoiler

RED
Celica
Katarina

BLUE
Delthea
Linde
Reinhardt

GREEN
Sonya

COLORLESS
Innes
BH!Lyn
Takumi

Distant Counter: These units are amazing crutches. They are decent units who can solo the early game, easy as pie to use, and very new player friendly. They may seem overpowered at first, but they are not. You might need to even bench them later. If you want game breaking units, go for one of the ranged nukes in the above list.

Spoiler

RED
Ike
Ryoma

BLUE
Nowi

GREEN
Hector

Natures

Spoiler

Unless you are pay to play or are hardcore player versus player, perfect natures do not matter too much. Realistically, most free players will be bouncing between Tier 18 and Tier 19, and natures hardly matters at that level; as long as your ranged nukes are not -Spd, they will be fine. Natures matter a little more if you want to bounce between Tier 19 and Tier 20, so you may want to have either +Atk/Spd natures; the bane does not matter too much so I would not worry about it as long as it is not -Spd.

DO NOT SEND HOME FREE UNITS!!!

Spoiler

When in doubt, keep all units the game throws at you for free; if you did not spend Orbs on it, favorite it for now. To favorite a unit, go to their character screen and tap the heart icon on the left edge of the screen.

This excludes all free summons from the Summon Screen, except it does include the free Brave Hero summon that features a guaranteed BH!Ike, BH!Lucina, BH!Lyn, or BH!Roy.

If you summon neutral units that were once free units, keep them. Here is a list of free units. Favorite at least one copy of each of these Heroes.

Spoiler

Askr (Always Available): You cannot send them home (they are already at home, well, maybe except Anna), or sacrifice them for skill fodder, so you do not have to favorite them.

Spoiler

Alfonse 1(2*)
Anna 1(2*)
Sharena 1(2*)

Starter (Always Available)

Spoiler

Matthew 1(2*)
Raigh 1(2*)
Virion 1(2*)

Special Maps - Hero Battles (Always Available)

Spoiler

Sophia 1(1*) 1(2*)
Virion 1(1*) 1(2*)
Hana 1(1*) 1(2*)
Subaki 1(1*) 1(2*)
Donnel 1(1*) 1(2*)
Lissa 1(1*) 1(2*)
Gunter 1(1*) 1(2*)
Cecilia 1(1*) 1(2*)
Felicia 1(1*) 1(2*)
Wrys 1(1*) 1(2*)
Olivia 1(1*) 1(2*)
Stahl 1(1*) 1(2*)

Special Maps - Grand Hero Battles

Spoiler

Berkut 1(3*) 2(4*)
Camus 1(3*) 1(4*)
Clarisse 1(3*) 2(4*)
Michalis 1(3*) 1(4*)
Narcian 1(2*) 1(3*) 1(4*)
Navarre 1(3*) 1(4*)
Legion 1(3*) 2(4*)
Lloyd 1(3*) 2(4*)
Robin 1(2*) 1(3*)
Ursula 1(3*) 1(4*)
Valter 1(3*) 2(4*)
Xander 1(3*) 1(4*)
Zephiel 1(3*) 1(4*)

Other

Spoiler

F!Corrin 1(4*) Login Reward
Clive 1(4*) 1(5*) Tempest Trials
Lucina!Marth 2(4*) 2(5*) Tempest Trials
Tobin 1(4*) 1(5*) Tempest Trials
BH!Ike, BH!Lucina, BH!Lyn, or BH!Roy 1(5*) Free Summon

Quest - Starter

Spoiler

Matthew 1(3*)
Raigh 1(3*)

Quest - Hero Battle Units

Spoiler

Sophia 1(3*)
Hana 1(3*)
Subaki 1(3*)
Donnel 1(3*)
Cecilia 1(3*)
Felicia 1(3*)
Stahl 1(3*)

Quest - Grand Hero Battle Units

Spoiler

Michalis 1(3*)
Narcian 2(2*)
Navarre 1(3*) 1(4*)
Legion 1(3*)
Lloyd 1(3*)
Robin 1(2*) 1(3*)
Ursula 1(3*)
Zephiel 1(3*)

Quest - Other

Spoiler

Arthur 1(3*)
Barst 1(3*)
Catria 1(3*)
Draug 1(2*) 1(3*)
Est 1(3*)
Oboro 1(3*)
Selena 1(3*)

—<>—<>—<>— Here are pointers for general housekeeping right after the tutorial. —<>—<>—<>—

DO NOT COMPLETE CHAIN CHALLENGES ON NORMAL DIFFICULTY!!!

Spoiler

You need these to be incomplete in order to continuously farm Skills Points at maximum efficiency. Just complete the ninth map and surrender on the tenth map. I do not recommend completing any of them since you may find certain units to have an easier time on certain challenges but not others.

Positioning Units at the Start of the Map

Spoiler

If you cannot adjust your unit's formation at the start of a map, tap <Misc.> with the gear icon on the bottom, then tap <Settings>, and then tap <Starting a Map> to <Swap Spaces>.

I am not sure if this is the default setting, so I listed it here just in case.

Upgrade Castle

Spoiler

Upgrade your Castle all the way. It is worth training your units faster.

Alternatively, you can skip upgrading your Castle completely. Doing so will allow you to farm Skill Points more efficiently in the Training Tower. However, this is unnecessary since you can farm Skill Points even more efficiently in Chain Challenges.

Upgrade Barracks

Spoiler

Do not feel stingy about upgrading your Barracks. A single Orb for 5 additional slots is a very good deal. Think of that 1 Orb as a very, very cheap insurance that can protect an investment portfolio of five characters that is wroth 20 to 25 Orbs.

Skip Animation

Spoiler

You will eventually get bored of watching the battle animations. To skip it, tap <Misc.> with the gear icon on the bottom, then tap <Settings>, and then tap <Combat Animations> and <Support Animations> to <Off>.

—<>—<>—<>— Playing the game. —<>—<>—<>—

Grand Hero Battles

Spoiler

Go to YouTube and look up strategy videos that uses free units. It saves you a lot of Stamina and headaches.

Team Composition

Spoiler

Your team should be balanced color wise. HAVING TWO PRIMARY COLORS ALONG WITH A COLORLESS ARCHER ALSO COUNTS AS BALANCED; you do not always need all three primary colors. The fourth color on your team does not matter too much and you can double one of the colors.

You should almost always have at least one ranged unit on your team.

You should also have one Dancer/Singer on your team so she can pair up with your ranged unit and Assist the ranged unit out of enemy range. If you are not using one, it is highly recommend to use positioning Assists on all of your units.

Ranged Versus Melee Units

Spoiler

Ranged units are better since they have more reach compared to melee units with the same movement. Making ranged units stronger should be your priority.

Player Phase Versus Enemy Phase Combat

Spoiler

It is almost always better to attack the enemy during your turn than to let the enemy attack you on their turn. Your units will have a much higher chance of taking no damage from the engagement since most units are locked into either 1 or 2 range combat. Making Player Phase units stronger should be your priority.

If you are using units like Hector, while they can always counter attack at any range, they will almost always take some damage. Only use these units to balance out the color distribution on your team; they should not be the core of your team. The only exception I can think of is a dragon based team utilizing Lightning Breath and Triangle Adept.

Use Dancers/Singer/Assists

Spoiler

There is no reason not to use Dancers/Singer and positioning Assists to move your Player Phase units out of enemy range.

Skill Inheritance

Spoiler

Unless you know what you are doing, do not mix Player Phase and Enemy Phase skills together on a unit. The unit will not perform optimally in either phase. There is a reason why we have cookie cutter builds.

Player Phase builds should have something like the following:
+Atk/Spd -HP/Spd/Def/Res
Weapon: Brave/Blade/Exclusive Weapon
Special: Moonbow/Luna/Bonfire/Iceberg/Draconic Aura
A: Life and Death/Swift Sparrow/Death Blow/Fury
B: Breaker/Desperation

Enemy Phase builds should have something like the following:
+Atk/Spd/Def/Res -HP/Atk/Spd/Def/Res (Natures are a little more complicated for Enemy Phase units.)
Weapon: Slayer/Killer/Gem/Raven/Breath/Exclusive Weapon
Special: Moonbow/Luna/Bonfire/Iceberg/Draconic Aura/Escutcheon/Sacred Cowl
A: Distant Counter/Fury/Triangle Adept
B: Quick Riposte/Vantage

Merging

Spoiler

Do not merge down units. Merging a 5* into a 4* will make 4*+1, but when you promote the 4*+1 to 5* again, it will just be a normal 5*. Merge levels do not carry over when promoting.

If a unit is available at 3*, that means they are not normally available as 5* naturally. I do not recommend promoting them to 5*. Just merge them to 4*+10 and they will have about the same effectiveness as 5*+4/5.

—<>—<>—<>— Here are some other pointers. —<>—<>—<>—

Online Resources

Spoiler

———COMMUNITIES———

Captain Obvious.
https://serenesforest.net/forums/index.php?/forum/92-fire-emblem-heroes/

Reddit is pretty active and you get data mine news there.
https://www.reddit.com/r/FireEmblemHeroes/

This is a new forum with a budding community. I originally put my build process guide up there and won a Google Play gift card. They do not do the guide contest anymore though.
https://fireemblemheroesforum.com/

Gamepress also has a questions section that get answered pretty quickly too. I would be wary of using their builds on their character pages though since many of them are poorly built in my opinion. If you are really low on resources, their builds are so-so, but if you have the resources, it is better to tailor the build yourself or ask an experienced player.
https://fireemblem.gamepress.gg/Q-A

———RESEARCH———

This is the wiki with the most information on Fire Emblem Heroes. Again, be wary of their builds on their character pages.
https://feheroes.gamepedia.com/Main_Page

This is a more compact version of the wiki, so there is less scrolling involved; they also host the almighty calculator.
https://kagerochart.com/

The almighty calculator!
https://kagerochart.com/damage-calc

———YOUTUBE———

This is Phoenixmaster1's YouTube channel. It has a lot of good stuff on there:
https://www.youtube.com/user/Pheonixmaster1

This is nstyler's channel and she has useful free unit strategy videos.
https://www.youtube.com/user/nstyler

This is the legendary Mkv.'s channel. He is succeeded by さる Games.
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJ_QRK7oSk2lMDw6_D410Vw/feed

This is さる Games, Mkv.'s successor.
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCa6un0_j1Wa3w1IWM6m_eeg

Common Abbreviations/Jargon

Spoiler

<#*>
Number Star Rarity (e.g.: 5* means Five Star Rarity).

<___ Emblem>
Armor/Cavalry/Flier/Character Emblem means using three or more of the same type of unit (or even the same unit) on your offense or defense team.

<___!Character>
The abbreviation or descriptor before the "!" clarifies which version of the character the writer is referring to (e.g.: BB!Lyn refers to Lyn that is summoned from Bridal Blessings banner, BH!Lyn refers to Lyn that is on horse using a bow that debuted in Brave Heroes banner, and plain old Lyn who uses Sol Katti has no descriptor in front of her.).

<AA>
Arena Assault.

<Blade>
Rauðrblade, Blárblade, Gronnblade.

<Brave>
Brave Sword, Brave Lance, Brave Axe, Brave Bow; could also refer to Dire Thunder.

<CC>
Chain Challenges.

<Color Spam>
Using three or more of the same color on your defense team.

<DB>
Death Blow.

<IV>
Nature.

<L&D/LaD/LnD>
Life and Death.

<Raven>
Rauðrraven, Blárraven, Gronnraven; could also refer to the character Raven.

<SP>
Skill Points

This section is still under construction. I will add more pointers when I encounter something new players should know.

Edited by XRay
Updated information and streamlined instructions. Will update guide as necessary.

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Thanks for sharing this, i took some new hints by you (again). I don't build all my units this way (trying out new ways to play, new skills etc.), but when i need get one unit very effective, i'm doing something similar. 

Since checking your builts in Kagero Charts calculator is a fundamental and often repeated step, how will you do this if there won't be any more updates by @Winsomniak (last update middle of June)? 

Even if there would be updates in the future, to have a better process, i think we would need different scenarios to check the numbers against. For instance: If i want to build a unit for arena, i don't care very much how it fares against Henry or Tobin, but against typical builts of Reinhardt, Reinhardt or the Cordelias. If i want to build a unit for TT, it would be interesting how it fares against what is to be expected there (boosted stats units, random builts, typical threats because of map design (ie Faye in TT1)). 

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17 hours ago, mampfoid said:

Thanks for sharing this, i took some new hints by you (again). I don't build all my units this way (trying out new ways to play, new skills etc.), but when i need get one unit very effective, i'm doing something similar. 

Since checking your builts in Kagero Charts calculator is a fundamental and often repeated step, how will you do this if there won't be any more updates by @Winsomniak (last update middle of June)? 

Even if there would be updates in the future, to have a better process, i think we would need different scenarios to check the numbers against. For instance: If i want to build a unit for arena, i don't care very much how it fares against Henry or Tobin, but against typical builts of Reinhardt, Reinhardt or the Cordelias. If i want to build a unit for TT, it would be interesting how it fares against what is to be expected there (boosted stats units, random builts, typical threats because of map design (ie Faye in TT1)). 

Last update was July 14. There is no changelog because I am busy working on the new version.  Enjoy buggy indev version!

I must ask that you please do not make and spread assumptions like "never updating again". In reality it has been less than a week without the banner heroes on the calc, and this is the only time I've been behind more than a day.

Build creation/sharing will be implemented soon(tm) and it will be easier to load in arena builds vs other arena builds.

 

Thanks

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@Winsomniak That's great news, i'm glad you guys continue working on that fine piece of software. I guess keeping all that data up to date is a lot of work, especially if there are new skills/rules to implement. Now that i read my post again, it seems quite speculative, sorry for that. I like your website (the calculator in particular) and appreciate all that energy you put into something that useful. 

@mods: Sorry for pushing that old topic. Following the Link in @XRays Signature, i only saw that it was edited few hours ago then, but did not check the creation date. My bad. 

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Since the calculator only really applies to the Arena, I don't really use it as much as simply checking level 40 stats.That's really all I have to do when I get someone new, or my interest is piqued. I already know which skills are useful for certain stat variations, so I don't really have to think too hard about what might work. I avoid trying to go for the "perfect setup" but instead what would be a "common situation", partly because you never know what you'll be up against, but also because of limited availability (I'm cheap).

Additionally, when leveling someone up, before even spending their SP, I'll get a good idea as to what their strengths and weaknesses are. Probably more important than that though, I being to determine whether or not I like their voice acting.

Lastly, Draw Back on ranged units, Reposition on melees, generally. They're just too good.

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On 6/12/2017 at 0:19 PM, XRay said:

How do you go about planning builds for your characters?

I just look at the stats and go from there. It's not much more than that heh

You can really just look at the stats and/or base skills and compare them to what people do with other units. Also, to me, getting the most wins isn't always as important as getting the most usage in the long run. Like Life and Death Nino can't tank a Reinhardt, while Fury Nino can (Fury Nino also takes a hit from Takumi). Now my Nino is in desperation range for freeeeeee!

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28 minutes ago, Oboro! said:

You can really just look at the stats and/or base skills and compare them to what people do with other units. Also, to me, getting the most wins isn't always as important as getting the most usage in the long run. Like Life and Death Nino can't tank a Reinhardt, while Fury Nino can (Fury Nino also takes a hit from Takumi). Now my Nino is in desperation range for freeeeeee!

I agree, I've never been impressed with Life & Death, especially considering the lack of availability. I like that other people use it though, since it sometimes means my weaker units can get a kill in there (barring speed). To me, Fury is definitely the superior skill.

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I check with the calc for sure, but I also like to ask around here in the skill inheritance thread too, just in case people have out-of-the-box ideas.

Usually when picking who to build, if they're someone rare and I really like, I just build them regardless of IVs and stats. If they're common 3*/4* I  prefer to wait for a good boon/bane. 

I also like to keep a copy of all the characters who have decent boon/banes, regardless of who they are, favorited on my list, just in case I feel like building them later down the line when there's nothing better to do. 

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I look at their stats. There's usually a few standard builds for each character stat archetype. Though sometimes I differ from the normal builds when I need a specific counter, like bowbreaker Lilina back when the meta was Takumi emblem. Other times I build around their weapons, like Falchion healers or quad buffers.

Honestly, the best way for me to test builds is to take them into the arena. I spend the rest of my duelling swords with experimental teams after getting my perfect run to figure out which units hard counter that team/build and work around it. Mass duel sim only really gives a general idea of how good a build is, but doesn't take into account varying IVs and popular builds for meta characters 

Edited by Korath88

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