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Azama: Carefree Monk

One of Hinoka's retainers, Azama is a prickly fellow with a curious stat spread. As a reference to Azama's low magical growth in Fates, Azama's attack is the lowest of all units in Fire Emblem Heroes. As a result, Azama's stats are concentrated in his bulk, particularly his HP and defense, which can make him obscenely difficult to defeat. And do not let his low attack fool you as his default Pain staff guarantees 10 damage after combat if he can attack allowing him to pile damage upon damage. The release of the Weapon Refinery has strengthened this further by giving him access to Pain+ which inflicts 10 damage to his target and enemies within 2 spaces of them. So, let's get ready for the pain train as we go over a bit on Azama.

Level 40, 5* Base Stats
Note: Bolded indicates stats that increase/decrease by 4.

HP: 40 | 43 | 46
Atk: 18 | 21 | 24
Spd: 23 | 26 | 30
Def: 29 | 32 | 35
Res: 22 | 25 | 29

Default Weapon and Skills

Weapon: Pain+
Assist: Martyr+
Special: Imbue and Solid-Earth Balm
A Passive: None
B Passive: None
C Passive: Threaten Atk 3

General Overview and Universal Skills

As with my previous analysis of another character, I'd like to go over some general things about Azama such as skills that he can use for any build unless specified for a particular build. This is to try and reduce unnecessary clutter and redundant explanations. The topics here will be healing spells (his Assists), Close Counter, and B and C passives and Sacred Seals.

Spoiler

Although Azama's low attack can make it an easy pick for a bane, -Atk, so that he can have improved bulk in his other stats, upgraded healing spells, healing spells with a plus (+), do factor in 50% of the healer's attack stat to calculate the health they will restore. Long story short, Recover+ allows Azama to recover the most HP at all times, but that should not deter you from using the other healing spells such as Rehabilitate+ if an ally dips into low health a lot or Martyr+ if he's going to take damage a lot.

Here's a rundown of what a =Atk Azama with Pain+ (10 Mt) will heal with each upgraded healing spell and their un-upgraded version currently available as of this posting.

Spoiler

=Atk Azama with Pain+ has 31 total attack. 50% of 31 attack is 15.5 which is rounded down to 15.

Martyr+ (default) heals: "Restores HP = this unit's suffered damage +50% of Atk. (Minimum of 7 HP.)" At full health, Azama would heal 0 HP + 15 HP = 15 HP; +8 over the minimum and Martyr.
Martyr (default) heals: " Restores HP=7+ this unit's suffered damage." At full health, Azama would heal 7 HP.

Physic+ heals: "Restores HP = 50% of Atk. (Minimum of 8 HP.)" Azama would simply heal 15 HP; +7 over the minimum and Physic.
Physic heals: "Restores 8 HP."

Recover+ heals: " Restores HP = 50% of Atk +10. (Minimum of 15 HP.)" Azama would heal 15 HP + 10 = 25 HP; +10 over the minimum and Recover.
Recover heals: "Restores 15 HP."

Rehabilitate+ heals: "Restores HP = 50% of Atk -10. (Minimum of 7 HP.)" It's a bit complicated, but in general if the ally is at high health, over 50% HP, then Azama would heal a flat 7 HP since 15 - 10 = 5 and that's under the minimum.
Rehabilitate heals: "Restores 7 HP or more the further below 50% the target's HP is."

Here's one for -Atk Azama:

Spoiler

-Atk Azama with Pain+ has 28 total attack. 50% of 28 attack is 14.

Martyr+ (default) heals: "Restores HP = this unit's suffered damage +50% of Atk. (Minimum of 7 HP.)" At full health, Azama would heal 0 HP + 14 HP = 14 HP; +7 over the minimum and Martyr.
Martyr (default) heals: " Restores HP=7+ this unit's suffered damage." At full health, Azama would heal 7 HP.

Physic+ heals: "Restores HP = 50% of Atk. (Minimum of 8 HP.)" Azama would simply heal 14 HP; +6 over the minimum and Physic.
Physic heals: "Restores 8 HP."

Recover+ heals: " Restores HP = 50% of Atk +10. (Minimum of 15 HP.)" Azama would heal 14 HP + 10 = 24 HP; +9 over the minimum and Recover.
Recover heals: "Restores 15 HP."

Rehabilitate+ heals: "Restores HP = 50% of Atk -10. (Minimum of 7 HP.)" It's a bit complicated, but in general if the ally is at high health, over 50% HP, then Azama would heal a flat 7 HP since 14 - 10 = 4 and that's under the minimum.
Rehabilitate heals: "Restores 7 HP or more the further below 50% the target's HP is."

And here's one for +Atk Azama:

Spoiler

+Atk Azama with Pain+ has 34 total attack. 50% of 34 attack is 17.

Martyr+ (default) heals: "Restores HP = this unit's suffered damage +50% of Atk. (Minimum of 7 HP.)" At full health, Azama would heal 0 HP + 17 HP = 17 HP; +10 over the minimum and Martyr.
Martyr (default) heals: " Restores HP=7+ this unit's suffered damage." At full health, Azama would heal 7 HP.

Physic+ heals: "Restores HP = 50% of Atk. (Minimum of 8 HP.)" Azama would simply heal 17 HP; +9 over the minimum and Physic.
Physic heals: "Restores 8 HP."

Recover+ heals: " Restores HP = 50% of Atk +10. (Minimum of 15 HP.)" Azama would heal 17 HP + 10 = 27 HP; +12 over the minimum and Recover.
Recover heals: "Restores 15 HP."

Rehabilitate+ heals: "Restores HP = 50% of Atk -10. (Minimum of 7 HP.)" It's a bit complicated, but in general if the ally is at high health, over 50% HP, then Azama would heal a flat 7 HP since 17 - 10 = 7 which is the minimum amount.
Rehabilitate heals: "Restores 7 HP or more the further below 50% the target's HP is."

Moving on, due to Azama's high bulk and access to Pain+, Azama can use Close Counter fairly effectively as while he would not be doing much damage in combat, the fact that he would be able to attack back against most units, so units who aren't using Dazzling Staff as a skill or refined staff, Firesweep weapons, or if he doesn't die before attack back, means that he will fulfill the requirement for Pain+ allowing him to inflict 10 damage on his attacker and enemies 2 spaces near them. That being said, you do sacrifice increased bulk from running skills such as Fortress Def, Res +3, etc., by using Close Counter and Close Counter itself is a rare skill being found only on 5* unit of which one is season as of this posting. There is also the risk of running into 1-range units with BA/D (Brash Assault, Desperation) builds where Azama being able to counter back means they can double him with Brash Assault.

B and C passives and Sacred Seals are very flexible, so for the most part I am going to list those slots as "flexible" along with his C passive with Threaten Atk 3 as a default skill unless otherwise specified. For the most part, it will be up to you on what you want, however, there are some things to consider.

For B passives, as a healer, Azama can use Live to Serve allowing him to recover health back. He also has access to Dazzling Staff and Wrathful Staff to pair with his refined staff, but as Azama's attack is very low, I would not recommend this and instead, Azama should run something else and only refine his staff with the Dazzling Staff refinement. For training purposes or if you find it useful in general, Azama running Obstruct can be useful to keep enemies from going behind him to attack the unit(s) you're training. Remember: Obstruct does not affect units with Pass.

For C passives, Azama can stack Savage Blow with Pain+ unlike with Poison Strike which he is not allowed to. As there is also a Savage Blow seal, Azama can also stack that as well, so if he initiates combat he can inflict upwards to 24 damage after combat on enemies within 2 spaces of his target. Otherwise, Azama's high 43 HP and also depending on the build, high resistance can allow him to run Infantry Pulse, Panic Ploy, and the resistance-based Ploy skills very well. For example, a +Res, =HP Azama with Fortress Res 3 has 43 HP and 34 resistance meaning he can run both Panic Ploy 3 and Atk, Spd, Def, or Res Ploy as a C passive and Sacred Seal. One caveat to this is that as refined staves do not grant increased stats of any kind, Azama cannot have increased HP or resistance to increase his coverage. That being said, he is still very capable of running these skills if they are available to you

Iron Monk
General use, physical wall, defensive

Spoiler

Nature: preferably +Def, -Atk or +Spd, -Atk or +HP, -Atk
+Def, -Atk base stats: 43 HP | 18 Atk | 26 Spd | 35 Def | 25 Res
+Spd, -Atk base stats: 43 HP | 18 Atk | 30 Spd | 32 Def | 25 Res

Weapon: Pain+ (default, Dazzling Staff refined), flexible
Assist: Martyr+ (default), Recover+, flexible
Special: Imbue (default), flexible
A Passive: Fortress Def 3, Close Def 3, Distant Def 3, Def +3, Steady Stance 3, flexible
B Passive: Guard 2/3, Live to Serve 2/3, Obstruct 3, flexible
C Passive: Threaten Atk 3 (default), flexible
Sacred Seal: Close Def 3, Distant Def 3, flexible

Overview

This build focuses on building upon Azama's natural defense and increasing it further.

As noted earlier, Azama's low attack will prevent him from dealing real damage, so he will mainly be a wall that can inflict damage after combat. This can create a problem, especially if he is not running Guard, as enemies could charge their special and power through his defense or use it on an ally. That, and as this build focuses on physical defense, Azama's magical defense will be his weaker defense. For instance, dragons with refined Breaths will target his lower defensive stat which in this case will be his 25 neutral resistance. He can avoid this if he's initiating, but only with Dazzling Staff, either as a B passive or preferably, by refining his staff. I should not have to mention -raven tome, T-Adept mages being something he should avoid.

Skills

Weapon: Azama conveniently comes with Pain+ and while his actual damage output is not good, he is guaranteed 10 damage on his target and enemies 2 space within them. Make sure to refine it with the Dazzling Staff refinement to allow Azama to attack without fear of counterattacks and as Wrathful Staff is not really useful when Azama's attack is low. Consider using other staves as available and as needed.

Assist/Heal: Recover+ will allow Azama to restore the most HP to his ally, however, depending on the situation, Azama can use any of the other staves. Martyr+ works fine if the other staves are not available.

A Passives: Focus on improving Azama's defense to make him a tougher physical wall. Close Def 3, Distant Def 3, and Steady Stance 3 provide the highest defense boost, +6 Def, along with +6 Res through Close Def 3 and Distant Def 3. This is followed by Fortress Def 3 (+5 Def, -3 Atk) and Def +3. Other skills such as HP +5 and Spd +3 can be used as well if needed.

  • Fortress Def 3 works well with Azama as his attack is low enough where a -3 Atk penalty cannot make it substantially worse unlike other units who would want to keep their attack as high as possible. In return, Azama will have +5 Def at all times.
    • +Def, -Atk Azama will have 43 HP, 40 Def, and 25 Res granting him 83 total or 62x2 physical bulk and 68 total or 47x2 magical bulk. He will be doubled by units with >= 31 Spd or skills that guarantee follow-ups.
    • +Spd, -Atk Azama will have 43 HP, 37 Def, and 25 Res granting him 80 total or 59x2 physical bulk and 68 total or 47x2 magical bulk. He will be doubled by units with >= 35 Spd or skills that guarantee follow-ups.

Mystical Monk
General use, mixed-magical tank, defensive

Spoiler

Nature: preferably +Res, -Atk or +Spd, -Atk
+Res, -Atk base stats: 43 HP | 18 Atk | 26 Spd | 32 Def | 29 Res
+Spd, -Atk base stats: 43 HP | 18 Atk | 30 Spd | 32 Def | 25 Res

Weapon: Pain+ (default, Dazzling Staff refined), flexible
Assist: Martyr+ (default), Recover+, flexible
Special: Imbue (default), flexible
A Passive: Fortress Res 3, Distant Def 3, Res +3, Warding Stance 3, flexible
B Passive: Guard 2/3, Live to Serve 2/3, Obstruct 3, flexible
C Passive: Atk, Spd, Def, or Res Ploy 3; Threaten Atk 3 (default), flexible
Sacred Seal: Atk, Spd, Def, or Res Ploy 3, Distant Def 3, flexible

Overview

Combining Azama's natural defense with a boon and/or skill to increase his resistance, this build aims to make Azama a mixed wall.

Although Azama can be a great mixed tank, he can be whittled away at or even take severe damage as his neither of his defense or resistance will be incredibly high -- relative to armored units or units like Lukas having 38 neutral defense. Providing Azama as much defensive buffs as possible and debuffing his enemies' attack and/or speed can alleviate this, but do keep in mind that as great of a tank Azama can be, he still has his limits. Once again, keep Azama away from -raven tome, T-Adept mages.

Skills

Weapon: Azama conveniently comes with Pain+ and while his actual damage output is not good, he is guaranteed 10 damage on his target and enemies 2 space within them. Make sure to refine it with the Dazzling Staff refinement to allow Azama to attack without fear of counterattacks and as Wrathful Staff is not really useful when Azama's attack is low. Consider using other staves as available and as needed.

Assist/Heal: Recover+ will allow Azama to restore the most HP to his ally, however, depending on the situation, Azama can use any of the other staves. Martyr+ works fine if the other staves are not available.

A Passives: Focus on improving Azama's resistance here. Close Def 3, Distant Def 3, and Warding Stance 3 provide the highest resistance boost, +6 Res, along with +6 Def through Close Def 3 and Distant Def 3. This is followed by Fortress Res 3 (+5 Res, -3 Atk) and Res +3.

  • Given Azama's low attack, Azama can use Fortress Res 3 without much of problem unlike other units who want to keep their attack as high as possible. In return for -3 Atk, Azama will have +5 Res at all times.
    • +Res, -Atk Azama will have 43 HP, 32 Def, and 34 Res granting him 77 total or 56x2 magical bulk and 75 total or 54x2 physical bulk. He will be doubled by units with >= 31 Spd or skills that guarantee follow-ups.
    • +Spd, -Atk Azama will have 43 HP, 32 Def, and 30 Res granting him 73 total or 52x2 magical bulk and 75 total or 54x2 physical bulk. He will be doubled by units with >= 35 Spd or skills that guarantee follow-ups.

C Passives and Sacred Seal: Given Azama's potential to have high base resistance, Azama can be a good user Atk, Spd, Def, and Res Ploy where he can run two at the same time with one as a C passive and the other as a seal or run one of them alongside Infantry Pulse or Panic Ploy.

 

Edited by Kaden

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I dig the build names, hah. Good call on Guard, disabling specials is always a good idea on walls :o

Couple questions/suggestions:

  • Do the statlines you've given us factor in Azama's weapon and skills? I would suggest showing what the stats look like after weapon/stat increases are factored in to minimize math that readers need to do in their heads and show a more accurate picture of his tanking capabilities. 
  • I'm curious to know what Azama survives better by being +Spd; don't forget to highlight specific results/differences that each achieves. It's good to know the reason for wanting to take +Spd VS just focusing on his physical bulk. If +Def is better, definitely mention that; if +Spd is almost as good, talk about why but stress that +Def is the preferred, +Spd will work if you can't get that, etc.
  • I would suggest bolding/underlining/highlighting in whatever fashion you like the recommended/optimal options for each set (I'm assuming they're listed in that order, but if one option in particular offers much better performance then it seems to me that should be made clear on the build skeleton... And I don't think Martyr is ever really optimal tbh). And honestly, in some areas I don't think there's any point listing it as 'flexible'; no staff besides Pain is gonna be worthwhile on him with as low as his Atk is haha. 
  • Don't forget to mention Savage Blow stacking for his C/seal, since they can do a LOT of damage to a clustered team (10 target/24 AoE as I recall). Threaten Speed may also be worth a mention for his seal slot if he's running Threaten Atk. 
  • Have you tested Close Def and Distant Def as options? both offer more in the way of defense than Fortress Def/Res (Fortress Def IMO should be seen as more of a budget option, albeit a pretty good one), and since the mixed tank's defenses don't get very high (~30 isn't great for shrugging off hits so much as surviving one or two), throwing some combination of CD+DD or doubling up on either might be a good idea. 

Good start! o3o don't forget to be running calcs so you can cite specific matchups and determine what's optimal for his survival and whatnot!

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I guess I'll start with this one.

1 hour ago, BANRYU said:

I would suggest bolding/underlining/highlighting in whatever fashion you like the recommended/optimal options for each set (I'm assuming they're listed in that order, but if one option in particular offers much better performance then it seems to me that should be made clear on the build skeleton... And I don't think Martyr is ever really optimal tbh). And honestly, in some areas I don't think there's any point listing it as 'flexible'; no staff besides Pain is gonna be worthwhile on him with as low as his Atk is haha. 

None of them are listed in any order. Unless it's for a specific build needing a specific skill or skills, I'd like to keep options open in consideration to what people have access to. That said, I should have explained some things more such as why I feel Azama should use Fortress Def or Fortress Res even though as you've noted Close Def, Distant Def, and also, Steady and Warding Stance would grant him stronger defensive boosts, but Azama's attack is low and it can't get substantially worse while other units want to keep their attack and those skills would be put to better use on other units than Azama who while he can become more tankier, might not need it as much as say Faye with Guard Bow wanting Distant Def more than him as as a skill and/or seal.

For the flexible listings, I made the General Overview and Universal Skills section to attempt to address that. There's just a lot things that anyone can run, but builds focus on doing a specific thing like physical tank Azama is going to be a physical tank. Whatever else the players wants him to do, be that making it harder for enemies to get by him with Obstruct, inflicting Panic with a Panic staff or Panic Ploy, etc., is up to them. That being said, maybe I should have instead listed "etc." or "similar skills" for parts like A passives where the build focuses on bumping up Azama's physical bulk instead of listing it as "flexible".

For Martyr+ and healing spells, although I did explain which heals work well for Azama in general in the General Overview section, maybe I should have directly stated that if you wanted the most health restored, go with Recover+ or stick with his default Martyr+ since it's around regular Recover's 15 HP, give or take depending on Azama's bane, if you don't have access to Recover+.

As for Pain+ and other staves, Azama's never going to do real damage, but some people might find using the other staves useful regardless if he ever does actual damage. Essentially, Pain+ is just plain good and Azama happens to have it as his default staff, however, if the time comes, Azama can make use of Candlelight+, Fear+, Panic+, or whatever as needed and as available to the player. Hmm, speaking of which, I might put up a Panic build for Azama.

1 hour ago, BANRYU said:

Do the statlines you've given us factor in Azama's weapon and skills? I would suggest showing what the stats look like after weapon/stat increases are factored in to minimize math that readers need to do in their heads and show a more accurate picture of his tanking capabilities. 

It's just his base stats. I could do it for some examples like Azama with Fortress Def or Res, but there are times where I feel like I put out too much information.

1 hour ago, BANRYU said:

Don't forget to mention Savage Blow stacking for his C/seal, since they can do a LOT of damage to a clustered team (10 target/24 AoE as I recall). Threaten Speed may also be worth a mention for his seal slot if he's running Threaten Atk. 

That was mentioned in the General Overview and Universal Skills section.

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