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Johann

Aether Raids Offense Team & Unit Building

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AETHER RAIDS OFFENSE TEAM & UNIT BUILDING

To help alleviate a lot of the stress many people have with this mode, I felt it would help to provide a list of general team and unit building strategies that are consistently effective, especially against the most consistently troublesome defense maps. I will be regularly updating this thread, especially as the mode is updated and new units (especially Mythics) are added that have a big impact. I encourage you all to ask questions, share what works for you, and scrutinize the ideas presented, so that we all may have better results and fewer headaches. This thread is created in mind for F2P players specifically, due to the extra challenges associated with limited resources, but of course all are welcome to post and discuss.

Note that this thread is specifically for discussing offensive strategy. If you wish to discuss your weekly progress, feelings about the mode, defense maps, etc, please use the Aether Raids General Thread.

Sections:

  1. Notable Unit Builds & Setups
  2. General AR Tips & Strategies
  3. Common Defense Map Setups & Tricks
  4. Basic AI Primer
  5. Example Team & Unit Builds
  6. Frequently Asked Questions

1. Notable Unit Builds & Setups

a. Super Mixed Bulk Units
Quite simply, stack up your Def and Res to the point where most units do little to no damage, even when they have a weapon advantage. Most players have seen this used by attackers who have Surtr, simply putting him in the way and letting other units suicide on him. However, not everyone has Surtr, and even if they did, many defending players are wising up by using more effective weaponry and other tricks that can take him out easily.

No unit can take on every situation, so it's worth considering a variety of options for this kind of role. It's generally a wise idea to have only one of these types of units on a team, though it's worth considering having multiple teams using different units (ie: one team with Fjorm, another with Hrid). Ideally they should be able to tank and kill most things that come at them. Giving one of these units Summoner Support is highly recommended, as they'll want as much of every stat as they can get. It is often worth calculating how much damage each enemy can do before even picking this team, in order to know whether or not they'll survive a large number of attacks. Eir's Light Blessing HP/Res boost and C skill helps these units out tremendously.

Example 3-4 units: Lukas, Hawkeye, Selena, most armors and dragons
Essential stats: Def/Res

Weapon: Unique weapons, DC weapons, defending stat boost weapons (ie: Berkut's Lance), Slaying weapons
Special: Generally damage boosting ones like Glimmer, Moonbow, Iceberg, Bonfire, or healing skills, notably Aether. They shouldn't depend on defensive specials like Aegis to keep them going unless it's Saber I guess.
A Skills: Anything to enhance their survival and counter killing ability, especially DC/CC or Steady Stance 4 (though SS3 will usually suffice). Bond skills not recommended due to these units often ending up going in alone.
B Skills: Null C-Disrupt, Null Follow-Up, Dull Ranged, Dull Close, Guard, QR, Special Spiral, Mystic Boost
C Skills: Atk Smoke is always the best choice. If you can't spare a 4* Kaze, anything that could be useful in the moment or preparation like Atk Ploy.
Seals: Distant Def, Close Def, Warding Stance, Atk Smoke if you don't have it for a C skill

General Strategy: Unit is buffed and sent into enemy territory, sometimes to kill off a frail enemy. If possible, stacking Drives/Wards from a safe distance can be very helpful, but there are going to be many situations where that isn't feasible.

Weaknesses: Firesweep weapons with Poison Strike, Pain+, Firesweep Lunge pulling them onto traps, Null Follow-Up users (if unit is slow), Luna/Moonbow Pulse setups, extremely high offense units, effective weaponry, Bold Fighter, overwhelming number of units doing too much damage

 

b. Vantage Counter Units
Nothing groundbreaking here, but sometimes it's possible to bait some or all of your enemy's units with these setups. This is a very nice way to deal with hyper-offensive units, provided your unit is safe to get into Vantage range. Just make sure to check every enemy first to determine whether or not your unit can actually kill them in one hit, and more importantly, see if they have Hardy Bearing.

The downside to this strategy, other than most people anticipating it and using Hardy Bearing, is that many of the best units for it are 5* exclusive, and nearly any unit is going to require a good deal of investment, including getting DC/CC.

Example units: Ares, Laevatein, Nino, Jaffar, Keaton, any unit with exceptional Atk and/or means to get it, or spam specials
Essential stats: Atk

Weapon: Bladetomes, Slaying weapons, unique weapons (notably DC weapons for some units), Pain+
Special: Varies, but other than with Ares, it shouldn't be needed for damage or else you're running the risk of getting killed. Miracle can also save that unit from worrying about Hardy Bearing or units that are just a little too strong.
A Skills: Distant/Close Counter, Fury, Brazen Atk, Fierce Stance, Fierce Breath, Bonus Doubler
B Skills: Vantage
C Skills: Misc buffs, Ploys, Def/Res Smoke, Savage Blow
Seals: Brazen Atk, Fierce Stance, Savage Blow

General Strategy: Aside from the obvious "get unit to under 75% HP and put in good spot", there are some finer points to this. If the enemy has a Bolt Trap in range, you might be able to get that 75% without having to engage, giving frail units the start they need. Surrounding the unit with Goads, Drive Atk, etc can also be necessary to ensuring they're strong enough, if it's safe to do so.

Weaknesses: Hardy Bearing (commonly on Ophelia, and naturally on Dancing Micaiah), Firesweep weapons, Staves, Sacae's Blessing, bulky units too strong to die in one hit, Chill Atk and similar debuffs, Dull skills vs your Bladetomes, unit having no safe way to get below 75% HP, Eir/Healing Tower bringing your unit back up above 75% at a really bad time

 

c. Galeforce + Wings of Mercy
Again, not a novel idea here, but it can go a long way, just as it does in other timed events like Grand Conquest. Teams with this setup should be using Wings of Mercy on at least a couple units, even if you only have Galeforce on one unit, since the benefit here is getting the jump on the enemy team before they can even do anything. This setup in particular can often allow units to box in enemy mages, which is great if they're the only ones left. Having multiple dancers is useful, and giving an otherwise useless bonus unit a skill like Smite can help you reach otherwise inaccessible foes.

Example 3-4 units: Caeda, Cordelia, Cherche, most cavalry melee units
Essential stats: Atk/Spd

Weapon: Any, though technically anything to help cooldown (including gaining a follow-up attack) is going to provide the most opportunities
A Skills: Swift Sparrow, Fury, Deathblow, Sturdy Impact, Heavy Blade, Flashing Blade, Bonus Doubler
B Skills: Wings of Mercy, misc B skills depending on the unit
C Skills: Smoke skills, misc buffs, whatever ya want really
Seals: Heavy/Flashing Blade, Atk/Spd boosting seals, Darting Blow

General Strategy: As always, do a calculation before you advance to make sure you can trigger Galeforce and/or Wings of Mercy. One unit is sent in (possible using Smite or Reposition) to attack and (ideally) kill an enemy. If they're not the Galeforce user, they are instead someone like a low HP Fury mage or whatever who can consistently get below 50% HP for Wings of Mercy. From here, the rest of your units, including the dancer, can jump in and take out the biggest threats. Sometimes, you can instead kill a unit and then have your Galeforce user pull back, but be wary of dancers. Also note that the Bolt Trap can be used to pre-emptively reach WoM range.

Weaknesses: Enemies with Guard/Steady Stance 4/Hack-o-Lantern, enemies who are too bulky/soft/high Atk or Spd to activate Galeforce, Wary Fighter and other double prevention skills, entirely mage setups preventing a 5-cooldown Galeforce from activating, traps or structures that prevent other units from warping in, unit is unable to retreat or safely end their turn, Eir/Healing Tower bringing someone out of Wings of Mercy range.

 

d. Raventomes
Given how common healers (notably Veronica), archers (notably Lyn), and even dagger users like Eir can be, having a unit who can safely bait or tank those units can be invaluable. Having Null C-Disrupt can turn these setups into complete jokes if you have it, but there's also an advantage to not having/using it-- enemies like Veronica can be left alive while you take on someone else or grab the pots.

Most of the ideal units for this strategy are 3-4* units (including GHB units Robin and Lyon) and are therefore pretty easy to make. Of special note is that Eir's Res boost can patch up the low Res of units like the Robins.

Example 3-4 units: Robin F, Robin M, Cecilia, Sophia, Lyon, etc
Essential stats: Def/Res

Weapon: Raventome/Unique Weapon with same effect
Special: Flexible, they won't be depending on it
A Skills: Usually Triangle Adept, sometimes defensive skills like CC or Distant Def
B Skills: Null C-Disrupt, QR, Dagger/Bowbreaker, Dull Ranged
C Skills: Atk Smoke, misc buffs or Ploys
Seals: Distant Def, Warding Stance, anything from the skills above

General Strategy: Ideally you can either place them someplace safe to bait the foe, or even send them in to safely pick off a Dazzling/Firesweep attacker and withstand the rest. In some situations, you can even bait a cavalry unit like Veronica away from a dancer, allowing you to focus on the rest of their team.

Weaknesses: Pain+, Poison Strike with Firesweep, unable to kill Eir due to Lyfaberg preventing follow up attacks and Eir's decent Res, enemies with triangle advantage preventing a safe bait attempt. Technically Cancel Affinity, but these days, Lyns are using Poison Strike x2 with Firesweep Bow.

 

e. Effective Weaponry
It's pretty common to encounter armor or flier teams stacking Wards and Goads. Preparing some units specifically to handle these kinds of maps can turn them from a regular issue into a low-effort battle. Due to armors usually using Wary Fighter, or fliers stacking Spd to the mid-50's, it may be necessary to use units with enough Atk to take these foes out in one shot, or perhaps with the bulk to safely bait them.

Example 3-4 units: Frederick, Oboro, Caeda, Ursula, original Marth, most archers
Essential stats: Atk and potentially Spd/Def/Res depending on the foe

Weapon: Best effective weaponry, usually refined for Atk or Spd, with exception for weapons like Falchion with excellent unique effects
Special: Glimmer, or other preferable damage boosting special like Moonbow, Iceberg, Bonfire, etc. Don't use high charge specials except Galeforce.
A Skills: Deathblow, Fury, any offense boosting skill. Triangle Adept not recommended, don't use it and don't use units who depend on it.
B Skills: Breakers, Chills, Null Follow-Up, Desperation, really whatever works for that unit and their enemy type. Wings of Mercy is great too.
C Skills: Generally buffs, Def/Res debuffs, or Savage Blow
Seals: More offensive stuff (+Atk, Brazen Atk, Darting Blow) or Savage Blow

General Strategy: Not a lot to say, though you probably want to calculate to see how much damage the unit will do before you even select that team. Stack some buffs and send them in, but unless they've got the defenses for it, don't leave them there to tank and counter kill. If your unit is cut out for this, they should be taking out nearly any target foe with a single hit.

Weaknesses: Anti-effective shields (Iote's, etc), no safe approach, unit's offenses are too poor for a given enemy's stacked defenses

 

f. Unique Skill Effects
Just a couple things I wanted to add that are particularly useful for AR.

Aversa's Night: Absolutely invaluable against many setups, especially if you're a Hrid fan. Give Aversa HP+5 in her A slot and seal, and either Axebreaker (for Surtr) or Renewal (in case of Duma) for her B slot. C slot can be any buff you prefer, I usually bounce between Fortify Fliers, Drive Res, and her native Odd Res Wave depending on the team. Draw Back or Smite for Assist.

Some players have a single Aversa merged up, which is fine, but I've opted to make 2 Aversas with Light and Astra Blessing, since I'm certain I'll need her for both once we get an Astra hero. The HP boost from active blessings is sometimes necessary for her to affect some of the bulkiest units, and usually makes the extra HP from merges unnecessary. Note that always having Aversa can backfire if the enemy is either split up, has too much HP, or using Restore shenanigans (discussed in a section below), so it might not be wise to have her on all 5 teams.

Thokk (Loki's Staff): Like Aversa's Night, a very valuable ability to have. Loki should also be given as much HP as you can get for her. Consider Live to Serve or Renewal for her B slot to help her HP stay up. Bear in mind that some defense maps use skills like Guidance to circumvent the Gravity effect, and as such you wouldn't want her on more than probably one or two teams since you may get more from units who can Smite/Reposition/Draw Back.

Witchy Wand: Perhaps the best way to reliably shut down Pulse Parties, Halloween Mia's staff is a real game changer if you managed to pull her when she was available. Note that this staff works fine on any healer, though I highly recommend using it on a flier or cavalry since it's mostly about the landing the effect. Killing anyone with this staff is merely a bonus, so the priority is, as always with staves, the Dazzling refine. Interestingly, Halloween Mia's original banner ended the day before Aether Raids were introduced. I think a lot of people have since wished they had pulled her.

Yato, Falchion, and Kitsune Fang (Corrin M, Marth, Kaden): These skills (with unique refines on the swords) provide a great amount of additional support. Some players even make multiple Corrins, for instance, allowing them to reap some incredible stat boosts for one character. The main disadvantage to using these skills is that some maps are designed in a way that there's no safe place to put these units while still granting their boosts. 

 

2. General AR Tips & Strategies

a. Doing the Pre-Fight Math
This might go without saying, but before selecting your team and starting a fight, carefully examine the enemies you're up against. It's unwise to assume that your best team will be able to handle a map just because you usually do ok against those foes. This is generally the least fun part of AR.

  • Enemy Atk by Unit: If you're planning to tank a number of foes at once, compare your tank's stats to every foe. Don't forget to factor in Fortress, Blessing, and Bonus unit stat boosts. Consider their skills, buffs, debuffs, and whether or not they'll get Dance'd or Restore'd. There are situations where devastating foes (like Reinhardt or Ophelia) do little to no damage due to how heavily you've stacked your defenses, and how heavily debuffed those foes are. It's also worth noting if certain units can take a hit in order to buy some time, like if a melee dancer hits your Eir instead of suiciding against your tank.
  • Enemy HP and Def/Res by Unit: Determine which enemies can be killed by which units. Take special note of Wards and other out of combat skills, which if unnoticed, can unravel your strategy. Calculating how much damage your own units can do can be important for determining Damage Ratio, which in turn affects attack priority (discussed below)
  • Enemy Damage Ratio: This usually won't matter except in very specific situations, so you rarely need to calculate it. Anytime where your unit can be attacked by more than one unit, assuming they all have the same result (win, draw, or lose) and no special effects like Poison Strike or a staff, the one that attacks first has the highest damage ratio. This is calculated as [Damage Dealt] * 3 - [Damage Taken], which factors in post combat damage things like Poison Strike, healing from specials like Noontime, and damage reduction from things like Deflect skills. Note that Damage Dealt and Damage Taken never exceeds a unit's HP, so if you hit for 50 but only take away 5 HP from your foe, it counts as 5. 

b. The Best Move in the Game: SMITE
For the most part, we've been conditioned to using Reposition and Draw Back for most of the game's content. They're great here too, but of special note is Smite. I highly recommend you bring at least one unit with Smite on every team, ideally one that doesn't need to do much fighting (such as a obligatory Bonus Unit or a spare Eir).

  • Smite onto Traps: If a unit lands on a Trap after being pushed there with Smite, Shove, or Reposition, they will still trigger the trap, but they will not lose their turn. This is invaluable knowledge since it allows you to bypass the worst part of a trap and opens up a chance for a kill. Smite is best suited for this action since it gets the most distance, and unlike Reposition, they generally don't need to be pulled back somehow.
  • Smite over Impassible Terrain: Mountains, forests, water, etc can all be passed over by non-fliers if someone uses Smite on them. On the Desert map in particular, this is of great value since there are mountains blocking your approach from the south. Note that you cannot Smite through obstacles, structures, walls, or enemies.
  • Smite into Enemy Lines: This is of great value against cavalry teams and other setups where your units normally don't have the range to get the jump on far-reaching foes. This is of special note if you can't afford to Reposition or Dance your way there, or if you need to send multiple units.

c. Escape Route Dancers at Level 1
This is something of a niche strategy. With Duma being an inevitability, there's a very brilliant way you can capitalize on Upheaval's damage: Give Escape Route to a Dancer with incredibly low HP. This is a little more complicated than it might sound but can be extremely rewarding if done right. There are a few stipulations to this, however. The Dancer in question should/must:

  • Have 14 max HP: Since Upheaval does 7 damage, any match against Duma would automatically put this unit in range. Note that this will not work well (or at all) with Eir on your team (due to her healing), and is more or less screwed up by active Blessings unless there are two Dumas, in which case you can go as high as 18 base HP, for a total of 28 HP with 2 Mythics. 
  • Be Promotable: The only way you can retain such low HP on a unit is by keeping them at level 1. However, this means that the unit can't get SP to learn Escape Route and any other skills unless they are promoted from 3★ or 4★, as once promoted, they will not have a chance to get more SP. 
  • Never Level Up or Merge: Increasing this unit's HP makes it harder to reach that 50% HP threshold, so this means you should never level them up. You will almost certainly only use them for AR or other content where they will not be getting any kills. Likewise, they must never even attack a unit, even when it's safe to do so. Their weapon's only purpose is to provide buffs (if possible) or to break obstacles.

With that in mind, only a handful of units meet the criteria to pull this off on maps with a single Duma (that is, have 14 max HP):

  • Young Azura: Using the 4★ version. Note that learning her unique tome is not necessary since it doesn't provide any support to other units. If you already used your 4★ version, you could spend grails, though of the units available for this, she's technically the least useful.
  • Reyson: Must be -HP, or at least until they demote him to 3★. A pretty good choice for this since his 5★ weapon heals others, which can be very useful against Duma. Also, as a flier, you can use flier buffs. Pretty nice. His transformation effect also makes him an excellent choice if for some reason you can't get/keep his HP low.
  • Silvia: Must be -HP and summoned at 3★ if you want her at 14 HP.  Her sword doesn't matter unless you can spare a Kadomatsu or Geishun (normal versions are fine since you don't want to refine or attack). 

Other dancers, including regular Olivia, are suitable if you are using the same strategy with a 18 base HP build, including merged 5★ exclusives except +HP versions of Flying Olivia and original Azura. Also note that Bolt Traps/Towers can be exploited in similar ways, though may require extra steps or turns and isn't always going to be a safe option.

d. Considering Structure Placement
Going to generally run through my own opinions on the structures and where they typically work best. Note that I will be referring to their placement based on the slot (1 through 6), with the 1st slot being the one farthest left, and the 6th being the farthest right.

  • Empty Slot(s): Might seem odd to start with what to keep open, but it's worth considering the importance of any unused slots for the purposes of positioning and retreating. Since you can only fill 5 slots anyway, one has to stay open. Of all of them, slot 4 is the most valuable to keep open due to it being the most consistently open pathway for advancing in any terrain, especially Lava Floes' lava in column 3 and Spring Breeze's wall, also in column 3. Slots 2 is too valuable for structures and is also blocked by the wall in Abandoned Castle. Some players will opt to use fewer structures to open up more slots, which is fine and worth discussing but I think it's not a worthwhile trade compared to effects like Gravity or whatever.
  • Fortress and Escape Ladder: Since the former is required and the ladder latter should always be set while you have access to it, we might as well consider them both in play at all times. The best place to put them are on the far ends (1st and 6th slot), since they're out of the way. It doesn't matter which goes where.
  • Bolt Tower: I'm not super crazy about Bolt Tower since the damage can cause problems, like making a healer run around healing everyone hit by it before you've attacked anyone. Alternatively, players with Healing Towers are likely going to heal up the damage anyway unless you're advancing early enough. With that in mind, there's no ideal spot for it, so place it based on whatever is open.
  • Tactics Room: Of the normal structures, this is the most popular, and for good reason. Many maps go from being a mess to a joke if a ranged enemy is caught in its effect. After Escape Ladder is maxed out, I recommend upgrading Tactics Room next. Anyway, I personally place mine in the 2nd slot, as I've noticed that most Defense maps are positioned on that side (especially Abandoned Castle maps), often with troublesome ranged units like dancers, Lyn, or Veronica placed in that column. Placing it in the 5th slot is also a decent idea, but mostly only helps against the Cavalry in a Corner setup.
  • Healing Tower: Place it in the 3rd slot so it covers the most ground. Doesn't have much use elsewhere, unless you're running teams where you deliberately want low HP, in which case slots 1 or 6 is also fine.
  • Panic Manor: Flexible, but I'd generally put it in slots 2, 3, or 5. Tactics Room is arguably more useful and deserves higher priority for placement. This structure is usually useless if you have Aversa on your team.
  • Catapult: 2nd slot, 5th slot, or 6th slot. 
  • Schools: Like Bolt Tower, these can go wherever. Mine end up in slot 3 usually since it's the only place left. They're not particularly great aside from when they're bonus structures.

e. Planning Your Blessings
Choosing who to give Blessings to is difficult primarily due to taking away that It seems fair to say that we can expect one of each blessing every 2 weeks, so hopefully people aren't running out of them just yet. Until we start getting more Light/Astra heroes and effects, we can only really plan them around Eir and her HP/Res Boost. Note that I will not be discussing who to give Anima/Dark Blessings since this is focused on AR Offense, not Defense. Also remember that Legendary Heroes gain the Blessing effect (including stats and score boost) if their season is active alongside the Mythic's season (ie: Fjorm with Eir in Water+Light Season).

By default, anyone who is well suited for the roles suggested in Section 1 makes for a good candidate, and should be given a Blessing even if only for the scoring. 

  • Dancer(s): You should have at least one Light blessed Dancer, even if you've got Legendary Azura, since she's going to bring your score down if it's not Water+Light Season. There are a lot to pick from, but if you can't make up your mind, consider taking a random 4* Dancer like Olivia, Silvia, or Reyson and simply focus on their ability to buff/support. Most dancers are ill suited for combat here anyway (with some exceptions like Dancing Micaiah). Keep in mind that Tactics Rooms are very popular defense map structures, so ranged dancers (aside from Legendary Azura) may be less practical unless you can use positioning skills like Guidance or Aerobatics. You may want to think about saving a dancer to use alongside the inevitable Astra hero down the road as well.
  • Res-Oriented Units: You can never have too much Res, especially with Yune on the scene. Ironically, her Dark type means she's always up against Eir, who is boosting everyone's Res, making her B and C skills less practical. Mages are also incredible popular for Defense, owing to the powerful tomes like Missletainn and Forblaze, so going all in on Res can shut those units down (but watch out for Luna). Ploys and units with Ploy-type tomes are also worth considering.
  • HP-Based Skills: Aversa and Loki go without saying, but also consider a unit like Cherche who has Panic Ploy and makes for a great Galeforce user (and hey, Flier buffs with Eir). Other than Panic Ploy, I'm struggling to think of other stand-out HP based skills, but surely we'll see new ones added in future banners.
  • Astra Hero in the Future: The first Astra hero will almost certainly appear in late May, with HP/Def+5 as their boost. Keep in mind that these units will regularly be up against Duma blessed units gaining Atk boosts. We'll discuss this more when that hero is introduced.

f. Bonus Unit Rotation Pattern
The 10 Bonus Heroes go like this, as of now:

  • Mythic Hero on rotation based on release (ie: Eir > Duma > Yune)
  • New Banner Heroes: If there are fewer than 4, those slots will instead seemingly be random heroes.
  • New TT/GHB Hero that corresponds to the release of the banner heroes above
  • Old TT/GHB Heroes going down the Grail list (sorted by Added)
  • Legendary Hero based on release order (ie: Ike > Ephraim > Robin), might not include Fjorm
  • Askr Trio + Fjorm, in order Alfonse > Sharena > Anna > Fjorm

g. Other Useful Tips

  • Focus Resources on Offense Structures: Since your points are coming from your offense matches, and given how difficult they can be, prioritize your Aether Stones and Dew for Offense Structures. Level up the Escape Ladder as early as you can, and spend Dew on the Fountain/Pots as well as the Fortress (O) over (D). Note that each Fountain/Pot upgrade gives you approximately an extra run per season.
  • LEGENDARIES: Not everybody knows this somehow, but using a Legendary hero in AR alongside a Mythic will grant that Legendary the full blessing effects if both of their seasons are active. For example, using Fjorm and Eir in Water+Light season gives Fjorm the HP/Res boost and increases your score. With that in mind, Legendaries are some of the best heroes for AR and very much worth investing in.
  • Sniping Units from Behind Structures: With the considerable amount of structures available, it's sometimes possible to snipe units from behind structures and pull back to safety from the ranged units. Also, if melee units are behind a wall of structures, they are trapped and won't take any actions besides Rallying until there's an opening somewhere.
  • Boxing in Ranged Units: Another exploit based on the excess of structures-- if an enemy ranged unit is in a position where you can place units all around them, preventing them from moving, you can buy yourself time to kill the other units or grab the pots. Just be mindful that they don't have Wings of Mercy or other teleporting moves.

3. Common Defense Map Setups & Tricks

  • Horses in a Corner
  • Armors in a Box
  • Fliers in a Ball
  • Infantry Pulse Party
  • Restore/Rally Gambit
  • Firesweep Lunge Trap
  • Other Miscellaneous Threats, or "I Keep Getting Screwed Over by Legendary Azura and Everybody Seems to Have Her Except for Me Because I'm Cursed"

4. Basic AI Primer 

a. The 5 Damage Rule - How to Bait Dancers & Ralliers
This is one of the most important things to understand when it comes to the AI, so it gets top billing. Dancers & Ralliers will prioritize attacking over their Assist skill when one of two things can happen:

  • The enemy gets a kill
  • The enemy's combat forecast shows them doing at least 5 damage from their regular attack

That second point is the one that matters. This is the "5 Damage Rule" which I will often bring up when discussing AI. You must never forget this rule, as it is often the difference between a smooth win or a horrible defeat. Some things to consider when factoring what does and doesn't count towards this 5 damage:

  • Special activation does NOT count. This includes general damage skills like Iceberg or Moonbow, but also pre-battle skills like Blazing Wind, or defensive specials like Aegis. For example, if Ophelia does 5 damage from Blazing Light but 0 on her normal attack, she'll Rally instead. Likewise, if Legendary Azura could hit Fjorm for 10 damage before Ice Mirror is factored in, she'll attack, even if she ends up dealing 2 damage. Miracle will also not interfere with this, like, for instance, your unit was at 5 HP and would otherwise have been killed.
  • Damage Reduction skills do NOT count. For example, if Legendary Azura would deal 8 damage to Sigurd, but Divine Tyrfing reduces that to 4 damage, she will still attack because the forecast would say 8. 
  • Doubling is factored into this. For example, if this enemy's combat forecast would read 3x2 on their battle forecast, they will attack, even if they'll die before getting that second hit in. The same applies if the enemy unit had a Brave weapon.
  • Pre/Post Combat damage does NOT count. If the enemy unit has Poison Strike, or your unit has Fury, their 0 damage from their actual hit will still count as 0.
  • Healing skills are also NOT factored into this. If your unit recovers that 5 damage due to a skill like Aether or Mystic Boost, it won't change whether or not a dancer will attack them.
  • Damage taken by the enemy is not considered, including if this enemy unit dies from this combat. They only care about how much damage they could do.
  • Vantage is not taken into account. If the enemy unit would have normally done 5 or more damage, they will attack anyway, even if they are killed first. Consider this when deciding between skills like Fury or Life & Death for a Vantage build.

b. Attack Priority
The order in which units attack can be extremely important if certain skills like Vantage are in play. It's also important to know who will be attacked if multiple units are in range. Anything highlighted like this is generally something you won't need to think about. Here's the sequence for Target Priority:

  1. Win > Draw > Loss: Of course, they'll go for a kill if possible, but they'll prefer to make an attack that does even 0 damage over an attack that gets them killed on counter.
  2. Able to Debuff foes by at least 2 Def or Res using certain specific skills: This only applies to Veronica's staff, and to a lesser priority, Seal Def/Res skills, unrefined Rogue Daggers, and Kitty Paddle/Poison Dagger. The main thing here is that Veronica (using her default staff) will prioritize a target that can be debuffed over one that can't due to already being debuffed. 
  3. Highest Damage Ratio: [Damage dealt] * 3 - [Damage taken] = Damage Ratio. This includes negative numbers. See Section 4.h below for more specifics on what counts towards this.
  4. Special Charge Increase: Another obscure rare thing, this is the enemy's ability to leave their target's special value at a higher amount (eg: Aether at 5 charge instead of 4 or less) than when battle started. This probably won't be an issue and you can almost always ignore it.
  5. Lowest Slot Order: All else being equal, your unit on the right end slot of your team will get hit.

For the most part, it comes down to the W>D>L result and damage ratio. Now let's look at Attack Order:

  1. Win > Draw > Loss: Just like above, units would rather deal 0 damage than die.
  2. Able to Debuff foes by at least 2 Def or Res using certain specific skills: See above for more details. This basically means Veronica will almost always go first when she has an attack and no heals to do unless you're already debuffed. Since you need Null C -Disrupt to counter kill her, she'll both survive and debuff you with one of those specific skills.
  3. Able to Debuff or damage foe using a different list of skills: While Veronica's staff and a few other obscure skills have priority, the next units are those with a certain set of skills, which include all other status inflicting staves (but not Fear or Slow), Pain, Deathly Dagger, and Panic-inducing weapons like Legion's Axe. On a lower priority is Poison Strike. This primarily means that most staves will generally attack first, followed by Firesweep users with Poison Strike, then everyone else.
  4. Highest Damage Ratio: [Damage dealt] * 3 - [Damage taken] = Damage Ratio. This includes negative numbers. See Section 4.h below for more specifics on what counts towards this.
  5. Highest Movement Range: Assuming everything else above is equal, units with greatest movement range go first. This usually means cavalry, but also includes units getting a movement boost like Tibarn or units hit with Grey Waves, or even Armor March. Gravity also affects this, so a Gravity'd cavalry would go after an unaffected infantry.
  6. Special Charge Increase: See above. Usually inconsequential.
  7. Highest Slot Order: All else being equal, the unit on the top of the list will go first. Since you can only see the lead unit in AR (before battle), you might not know it.

So, before sending in your tank, when you're looking at the enemies, observe what skills are set, because things like staves and Poison Strike can and will take priority before other attacks make their move.

c. Assist Order Priority
The order in which units perform their assists can have a major effect on how the battles go. Is Ophelia going to Rally before someone else, and will Azura dance Ophelia? Clever Def map makers understand this sequence and use it to ensure that dangerous units like Ophelia aren't exploited by debuffs. Let's look at this priority of using assists before initiating combat (that is, at least one enemy unit is in attacking range of one of your units).

  1. Units with non-movement assists: Movement assists (Swap, Draw Back, etc) are only used when no other units on the team have a turn and can attack a target. Note that Future Sight's AI works like Swap, and Lucina will not use it if she has an enemy target in her attack range. If the enemy has any of those movement skills and a target in range, they will attack (after other assists are done) unless their allies are in the way.
  2. Units with no weapon: Weaponless units take priority with their assists since they have nothing else to do.
  3. Unit who is the furthest distance from their closest enemy: This can be a little tricky if things like walls or Gravity are in play, but as a general rule of thumb, the furthest away units will use their assists first. These units do not need to have an enemy target in range, but Rallies will only be used if their assisted ally has an enemy target in range (or, in the case of Rally Up, they'll use it if said ally is within two spaces of someone who can Rally'd).
  4. Dance/Sing/Grey Waves > Heal/Restore/Rally: Assuming someone can be Dance'd and the Dancer is eligible to do so (see the 5 damage rule above), the dancers will jump to the top of the priority list. Of course, this requires someone take an action first. For example, a Rallying unit will use their Rally (if the conditions are met), and the Dancer will immediately Dance that Rallier. 
  5. Unit with the lowest slot order: Assuming all those other things are equal (ie: two dancers at the same range from a potential target), this is what decides who goes first. Since you can't see the enemy's slot order in AR beyond the first slot, you can't tell.

I'm going to add a picture example in the near future.

If there are no enemy units in range and thus no combat can happen, the AI will then change it's priority a bit.

  1. Dance/Sing/Grey Waves > Heal/Restore > Rally > Movement Assists: Of course, the Dancers always go first. Keep in mind that their dance'd target being in range to attack will change the assist priority to the list above. Also note that because movement assists are at the end of the list, Future Vision will go after the dancing, healing, and rallying unless those other skills can't be used.
  2. Units with no weapon: Not that there are a lot of weaponless units, but in this case, a weaponless healer would go after a dancer, whereas before it would be the opposite.
  3. Healers using Staves/Sacrifice > Other units using Reciprocal Aid/Ardent Sacrifice: Again, something you don't see a lot, but staff users and Micaiahs would take priority with their healing.
  4. Unit who is the furthest distance from their closest enemy: Two dancers? Assuming all else is equal, the one further away will use take priority.
  5. Unit with the lowest slot order: Again, assuming everything else is equal, this is the final decider. If two dancers are the same distance from their target, it will come down to this.

Note, however, if something is done to allow a unit to now attack (like Dance, Future Vision, or a unit can suddenly warp into attack range), the priority list will refer to the first list above until no more units are in range of an enemy target.

d. Dance Target Priority
For the most part, Dancers are going to use Dance on whoever is immediately available, unless they're in range to attack and do more than 5 damage. However, if positioning skills like Wings of Mercy or Aerobatics suddenly come into play, the Dancer might suddenly have multiple units available to Dance. In these cases, this is how they determine the target of their Dance:

  1. Unit with an enemy in attack range: Priority goes to units who has at least one foe they can attack over those with no foes in range. The results of those fights is not considered.
  2. Unit with the highest visible stat total: Factoring in Atk/Spd/Def/Res but NOT HP, the Dancer will prioritize the unit who has the highest amount. This includes skills (weapons, Fury, etc), stat boosts (merges, dragonflowers) field buffs (Hone, Rally, etc), debuffs (Ploys, dagger effects), and Panic'd buffs, but not in-combat buffs (Drives, Bonds, Bonus Doubler). Note that the status recovery effect from being Dance'd or any stat boosts from things like Earth Dance are not factored into this.
  3. Highest slot order unit: As in, the order they're listed from their Edit Defense Team screen. Since you'll only be able to see who their first unit is, you kinda can't tell.

What's interesting is that the Dancer will not necessarily focus on whoever is strategically ideal. Even if a Reinhardt with his special ready could murder everybody, Azura might still pick some weak unit to Sing just because they meet the criteria listed above. 

e. Rally Target Priority
Since Rally gambits are one of the deadliest tricks in AR, this is important to understand. Note that Harsh Command counts as a Rally when it works, and that Ralliers don't change their AI even if their target has Panic. Rally users will prioritize their targets as follows:

  1. Highest Amount Buffed: For example, a unit who already has Atk+4 from Hone Atk 3 would have lower priority for Rally Atk/Spd+ (which is Atk/Spd+6) over someone who has no buffs. 
  2. Ally closest to their Enemy: Ralliers will prefer units closer to their targets over units who are further away. 
  3. Unit with the highest visible stat total: Factoring in Atk/Spd/Def/Res but NOT HP, the Dancer will prioritize the unit who has the highest amount. This includes skills (weapons, Fury, etc), stat boosts (merges, dragonflowers) field buffs (Hone, Rally, etc), debuffs (Ploys, dagger effects), and Panic'd buffs, but not in-combat buffs (Drives, Bonds, Bonus Doubler). Note that the status recovery effect from being Dance'd or any stat boosts from things like Earth Dance are not factored into this.
  4. Highest slot order unit: As in, the order they're listed from their Edit Defense Team screen. Since you'll only be able to see who their first unit is, you kinda can't tell.

*Note that Rally Up users will use their Rally on an ally that is in range of their preferred target if they can't reach them, so long as the effect reaches them.

In terms of positioning, Ralliers will prefer to Rally from a position based on these rules:

  1. Position is on a Defense Tile
  2. Position is the furthest away from enemies
  3. Position requires teleportation (like Wings of Mercy, Guidance, etc)
  4. Position terrain priority: Flier-only terrain (like mountains) > Forest > Trench > Regular
  5. Position requires the least amount of movement
  6. Position has higher "tile priority": Consult the linked image, units take the highest number tile possible when everything else above is equal or doesn't apply. In short, units will prioritize being more north over south, more east over west, and more north over east when they have a choice.

In AR, this means that units are generally going to stay back at enemy lines when Rallying unless they have no other position and have to run/teleport forward (which many players set up deliberately to put them in attack range).

f. Healing Target Priority
As a rule, Healers will prioritize healing over attacking unless they can get a kill. For almost all heals and targeted allies, the target ally has to recover at least 10 damage for the Healer to heal anyone before they make their attacks (Physic/+ require 8). Keep note of this since Bolt Tower/Trap can and will trigger enemy healing, even if you haven't engaged an enemy yet. In terms of target priority, it goes like this:

  1. Unit who would recover the most HP from the heal: For example, if two units are hurt, one has taken 10 damage and the other 20, the Healer will prioritize the one who took 20. If they are the same...
  2. Unit with the highest visible stat total: Factoring in Atk/Spd/Def/Res but NOT HP, the Healer will prioritize the unit who has the highest amount. This includes skills (weapons, Fury, etc), stat boosts (merges, dragonflowers) field buffs (Hone, Rally, etc), debuffs (Ploys, dagger effects), and Panic'd buffs, but not in-combat buffs (Drives, Bonds, Bonus Doubler).
  3. Highest slot order unit: As in, the order they're listed from their Edit Defense Team screen. Since you'll only be able to see who their first unit is, you kinda can't tell.

Note that if the healer's team has no other units who can make an attack, the healer will heal any amount of damage.

g. Restore Target Priority
Restore is the sneakiest of the heals since it can trigger the AI without needing to heal any damage, so long as someone is debuffed (see the Restore Gambit strategy in section 3.e). Assuming the healer cannot get a kill, they will use Restore based on this "order":

  1. Lowest slot order unit: As in, the order they're listed from their Edit Defense Team screen. Since you'll only be able to see who their first unit is, you kinda can't tell.

This is what makes Restore so sneaky; you can't tell who will be Restore'd until they use it. As such, if your setup will debuff the foes and the enemy has Restore, consider what could happen based on which unit the healer Restore's. Note that the AI will prioritize Restore's healing over status removal if any unit has taken 10 or more damage, in which case it will use the Healing Priority rules above.

h. Damage Ratio
When deciding who to attack and who attacks first, the enemy's attack priority (after Win > Draw > Lose) is based on their damage ratio as per the following calculation:

[Damage Dealt] * 3 - [Damage Taken]

Whichever unit/target has the highest value goes first. Doesn't matter if numbers are in the negatives. Note the following details about this:

  • Pre-combat damage (ie: Blazing Wind) are factored into this calculation. Damage done to foes within the area of effect from skills like Blazing Wind is NOT factored into this, only damage to the main target.
  • Post-combat damage (ie: Pain, Fury, Poison Strike) are NOT factored into this calculation.
  • Damage reducing specials/abilities (ie: Ice Mirror, Miracle, Divine Tyrfing, Deflect seals) are factored into this calculation. 
  • Healing skills during battle (ie: Noontime, Aether, Absorb) are factored into this calculation. The amount healed from a defending unit is reduced from the [Damage Dealt], while the attacking enemy unit will have their healed amount reduced from [Damage Taken]. Like with Damage, this is capped at a unit's max HP (ie: a unit using Aether when they're already at full HP would be 0 HP healed).
  • Healing skills after battle are NOT factored into this. This includes skills like Mystic Boost and Carrot/Egg weapons.
  • Vantage is factored into this. If a defending unit has Vantage and kills their foe before they can attack, then the [Damage Dealt] is effectively zero (not counting damage from pre-combat specials).
  • Total HP: Both Damage Dealt and Taken are capped at a unit's max HP. If you could deal 60 damage to a unit that has 35 HP, it counts as 35 damage. Likewise, healing from specials won't count if the unit is already at max HP. As such, it's common to see the low HP units (like dancers and mages) killing themselves on your super tank before the high HP units due to having less HP to subtract.

Generally this isn't too hard to calculate, but keep in mind that the Damage Dealt/Taken may change based on some criteria, like:

  • Stat changes: Notably from daggers, but also things like if an enemy or ally providing buffs is now dead
  • Special activation changes: If your special activates when you fight one foe and it's not ready when the next unit attacks, the AI is going to respond accordingly. This can mean a bulky unit is waiting until the moment comes when  your special isn't ready so they can attack and survive.

i. Tricks to Exploit Enemy AI
---

j. Full AI Guide
If you want a more in-depth guide to AI, check out this guide, which covers practically every aspect of AI: https://vervefeh.github.io/FEH-AI/index.html

5. Example Team & Unit Builds

  • Hey Johann! Whatcha Using?
  • Legendary/Mythic Hero Builds
    • Eir
    • Fjorm
    • Legendary Ryoma
    • Legendary Eirika
    • Legendary Azura
    • Gunnthra
    • Legendary Lyn
    • Legendary Lucina
    • Hrid
    • Legendary Ike
    • Legendary Robin
    • Legendary Tiki
    • Legendary Ephraim
    • Legendary Hector
    • Legendary Marth
    • Legendary Roy
    • Dark/Anima Mythics

6. Frequently Asked Questions

  • Do I need [Unit/Strategy X] to even stand a chance at reaching higher tiers?
  • Should I save orbs for Mythic Banners?
  • What should I do with my spare Eir(s)?
  • Can you do my Aether Raids for me while I go get some snacks?

-------------------------------------------------

I will be updating/revising this thread regularly, and I'm planning to add pictures (and maybe even a gif or video here and there) for some of these subjects. Feel free to suggest anything you think should be covered, etc.

Edited by Johann

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Second post saved in case I run out of space in the future. One never knows!

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For the mixed bulk builds, I highly suggest using a green unit (Winter Fae, Surtr, Helbindi) because the most dangerous of the nukes (Reinhardt, Ophelia, Legendary Lucina) are blue. I personally recommend Aether on the bulkiest of tanks to help with damage output and healing.

Kaden + Legendary Azura is amazing support on these teams as Kaden can grant +6/6/9/9 Drive support with almost trivial setup. Kaden + Legendary Tiki is almost as good and requires less setup, giving +0/0/8/8 Drive support.

Male Corrin is also extremely effective as support and is cheaper to obtain (but more expensive to build due to the Divine Dew required).

Edited by Ice Dragon

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Dunno how viable this is in the higher tiers (didn't really start playing aether raids in earnest or trying to build lift until the patch where dragonflower rewards became a thing)

But at Tier 18, flier emblem offense + reposition strats has been working pretty consistently for me. 

The archetype notably supports already excellent offensive raid units like Aversia, Legendary Azura, and Eir.

Flying Bladetome users, Naesela, Tibarn, P! Olivia, and Cherche are all noteworthy standouts.

________


What I really like about this archetype is its ability to just ignore defensive set-ups built around bottle-necking grounded teams with the lava terrain on the fire map, which seems to be a pretty common thing.

Flying movement + reposition also gives you plenty of freedom to play aggressively with player-phase units on player phase but still keep them pulled back out of counterattack range on enemy phase

Dancer supported cavalry can outmanuever you on open maps, which is probably this archetypes biggest weakness, although from what I've seen the defensive meta leans more towards entrenched armor and heavily fortified tanks with set-ups that heavily restrict cavalry movment.

So that hasn't been too much of a problem.

Also--tactics room stops Brave Lyn and V-Day Roy from causing too much of a ruckus, which is nice. 

Edited by Shoblongoo

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The cheapest carry team/super tank team (in terms of Orbs) is Distant Counter Sharena, 2 M!Corrins, and 2 Eirs, where you only need to pull for one Distant Counter fodder and a second Eir. You might be able to get away with only 1 Eir, but that will give Sharena less HP/Res and less healing. You will also need 600 Dew (Sharena and 2 M!Corrins) and 80,000 Feathers (Sharena, 2 M!Corrins, and Guard from Titania for Sharena).

Sharena's advantage compared to other carrying tanks is that she shuts down bonus buffs completely and that she is a frequent bonus unit, with the primary downside being that she cannot be merged, so she is not really usable during her non-bonus weeks.

This is my personal set up:

Spoiler

Sharena
Fensalir [Spd]
Reposition
Moonbow
Distant Counter
Guard
Atk Smoke
Distant Def — Close Def — Quick Riposte
For her Special, I have tried Aether, but the damage output and healing is just too low for the rate it charges, and with 2 Eirs constantly healing her, the healing from Aether is not really necessary. For her B slot, I do not have Null C-Disrupt fodder, so I cannot really say for certain that it is better than Guard, but Guard is very useful for shutting down Specials and limiting the damage Sharena takes, so it is the equivalent of Def/Res+6 or higher in my opinion.

M!Corrin
+Atk+1 — neutral
Yato [special]
Reposition
Moonbow
Triangle Adept
Axebreaker
Drive Def
Drive Atk — Drive Spd
They both have the same set up, except for the nature and Sacred Seal slot. I only had 1 +Atk M!Corrin at the time, so I made do with neutral.

Eir
neutral — +Def/-Res
Lyfjaberg
Reposition
Moonbow
Swift Sparrow
Mystic Boost
Sparkling Boost
Drive Res — Drive Def
I opted for Moonbow for more damage output. Iceberg still feels too slow in my opinion.

An alternative to Sharena is HS!Camilla; she requires no Orbs and have access to merges, but she is very Grail expensive. Maybe RR!Loki is fine too, but her Atk is pretty low.

In my opinion, these are the qualities that I find ideal in a carrier:
- Access to Merges: More stats is better.
- Gen III: More stats is better.
- Trainee Bonus: More stats is better.
- Melee: More stats is better.
- Beast Damage: There are no Effective Weapons and no Breakers against beast units. Dragons are a close second due to lack of inheritable Breakers and cheap Distant Counter, but I still see a few dragon effective users around, mostly TBK!Chrom since he has high mobility. Daggers are next best in my opinion, due to Smoke Dagger, Goodie Boot, and Bottled Juice being really good tanking options and I think that some what makes up for the lower stats. Melee Weapons are okay, but they really need Guard since Brave Bow-Sacae's Blessing would massacre or cripple any that do not have it, although I have not seen BH!Lyn as much lately. For bows and tomes, they are not as good compared to daggers in my opinion. Guard Bow/Serpent tomes are not as good compared to Goodie Boot since Goodie Boot also affects melee foes, and Owl tomes and Greil's Devoted Weapons are inferior due to their adjacency requirement. Bottled Juice-Dull Range is also better than Love Abounds Weapons-Guard due to dagger's inherit debuff effect as well as Bottle Juice not having an HP requirement.
- Colorless: They do not have to worry about the color triangle. Green is a close second since they can deal with Est and Ophelia a bit better, but I also see quite a few Celicas and strong red ponies, so I do not think green is as good as colorless in my opinion.
- Flying: Being able to tank anywhere is a huge plus. Infantry is close second, due to their higher stats and lack of Effective Weapons (Poison Dagger is rare), so infantry units do not have to sacrifice their Sacred Seal slot for Iote's Shield and can further compound their stat advantage. I personally do not recommend armor units since they are really slow and Est often spearheads flier balls, and flier balls are starting to be really common. Cavalry have too much terrain restrictions and they have low stats.

Edited by XRay

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Okay...I've seen my entire previous post invalidated just in the jump from Tier 18 to Tier 19.

This looks to be the first major tier shift where the difference in Power Level of Defensive Teams + The trickiness of terrain layouts and defensive formations is--pretty goddamn massive. I'm struggling now.  (much moreso than arena, this is looking like a format that rewards whaling for legendaries and mythics + punishes F2P. I'm still strictly F2P) 

Questions:

1)  How exactly do the seasonal stat bonuses for bonus heroes and affinities work?  I'm getting run-over by teams with stats that look ridiculously inflated beyond mergers and dragonflowers. I know its because of those bonuses, and I don't understand how that mechanic works.  (I'm running units with the seasonal blessings and it doesn't look like I'm getting the same stat inflation on my dudes)

2) Does your lift always reset to the lowest possible lift for your tier at the end of season, or are there lift thresholds within the tier that I should be trying to hit?
 

Edited by Shoblongoo

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For Super tanks (or Omega tanks, as I know them), I have heard colorless unit’s are the best for this overall. Namely, F!Grima and Velouria, but I think Caineghis will be one as well, since his weapon gives him the DC when transformed, and he has a good mixed defense spread by default.

The problem is that these are all expensive options, as the latter two either are or expected to be 5-star units only, and F!Grima is a legendary hero that will only come every few months or so. Unless you got a lot of merges back when she was the only colorless legendary/mythic Hero.

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49 minutes ago, Shoblongoo said:

1)  How exactly do the seasonal stat bonuses for bonus heroes and affinities work?  I'm getting run-over by teams with stats that look ridiculously inflated beyond mergers and dragonflowers. I know its because of those bonuses, and I don't understand how that mechanic works.  (I'm running units with the seasonal blessings and it doesn't look like I'm getting the same stat inflation on my dudes)

Bonus heroes get the usual +10 HP and +4 to all stats.

Mythic Heroes matching the current season's elements will provide their usual stat bonuses to each blessed Hero and stacks with multiple Mythic Heroes.

Legendary Heroes matching the current season's elements count as if they are always blessed with every Mythic Hero element.

For example, if it is Fire-Water-Light-Dark season, Eir will provide +5 HP and +5 Res to every Fire and Water Legendary Hero, and Yune will provider +5 HP and +4 Spd to every Fire and Water Legendary Hero.

 

Note that this works in reverse outside of Aether Raids with Mythic Heroes matching the current season's elements counting as if they are always blessed with every Legendary Hero element.

 

54 minutes ago, Shoblongoo said:

2) Does your lift always reset to the lowest possible lift for your tier at the end of season, or are there lift thresholds within the tier that I should be trying to hit?

It always resets to the lowest Lift for your tier until you hit Tier 21. From Tier 21 and up, it always resets to the lowest Lift for Tier 21.

There are no mid-tier thresholds.

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30 minutes ago, Ice Dragon said:

Bonus heroes get the usual +10 HP and +4 to all stats.

Mythic Heroes matching the current season's elements will provide their usual stat bonuses to each blessed Hero and  stacks with multiple Mythic Heroes.

Legendary Heroes matching the current season's elements count as if they are always blessed with every Mythic Hero element.

For example, if it is Fire-Water-Light-Dark season, Eir will provide +5 HP and +5 Res to every Fire and Water Legendary Hero, and Yune will provider +5 HP and +4 Spd to every Fire and Water Legendary Hero.

 

Note that this works in reverse outside of Aether Raids with Mythic Heroes matching the current season's elements counting as if they are always blessed with every Legendary Hero element.

 

It always resets to the lowest Lift for your tier until you hit Tier 21. From Tier 21 and up, it always resets to the lowest Lift for Tier 21.

There are no mid-tier thresholds.


Oh wow thats dumb.

So this really is the whaling meta for people who drop $$$ on mythic and legendary banners 

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6 minutes ago, Shoblongoo said:

Oh wow thats dumb.

So this really is the whaling meta for people who drop $$$ on mythic and legendary banners 

Stacking with multiple Legendary/Mythic Heroes has always been a thing. A team of 3 Fjorms gives a water-blessed unit +9 HP and +9 Spd.

The change to make Legendary Heroes receive Mythic bonuses and vice versa was likely due to the complaint that Mythic Heroes were otherwise completely useless in the Arena (since they couldn't receive the blessing score bonus and also couldn't receive blessing bonus stats).

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15 minutes ago, Ice Dragon said:

Stacking with multiple Legendary/Mythic Heroes has always been a thing. A team of 3 Fjorms gives a water-blessed unit +9 HP and +9 Spd.

The change to make Legendary Heroes receive Mythic bonuses and vice versa was likely due to the complaint that Mythic Heroes were otherwise completely useless in the Arena (since they couldn't receive the blessing score bonus and also couldn't receive blessing bonus stats).

Ehhhhhhhhh. Even without most of the mythics and legendaries (and almost no mergers on the ones I have) , in arena I've had absolutely no problem hitting tier 20 on a F2P resource budget + getting an arena crown every other season. 

I can actually see how that would be frustrating if you're a player that puts big money into this game and the gap between what you can do and what F2P players can do is that small. (before trying aether raids, the only thing in the game whales could do that I felt I had no hope of even attempting was clear reinforced legendary/mythic/GHB maps on abyssal)

The game was overdue for a PvP mode that actually rewards you for your investment. 

Maybe I'll make it a long term goal to try and hit tier 21 then. Don't think I'm gonna kill myself trying to climb beyond that. 
_______

I will keep an eye out here to see if anyone comes up with some good F2P strats I can use.

I do have a Legendary Robin(F) merged up to +3 that I haven't been using at all, and based on the mechanics you just described I probably should be.

Sounds like she could put in some serious work.

Any ideas how to build a team around her?

Edited by Shoblongoo

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3 hours ago, Azure in a Roundabout said:

For Super tanks (or Omega tanks, as I know them), I have heard colorless unit’s are the best for this overall. Namely, F!Grima and Velouria, but I think Caineghis will be one as well, since his weapon gives him the DC when transformed, and he has a good mixed defense spread by default.

The problem is that these are all expensive options, as the latter two either are or expected to be 5-star units only, and F!Grima is a legendary hero that will only come every few months or so. Unless you got a lot of merges back when she was the only colorless legendary/mythic Hero.

This is what I heard as well, in that they won't be screwed over by having a color weakness.  They have no color to fear.  However from what I've seen, and seeing offense teams beat my defense teams it is always a +10 unit.  +10 merge is expensive, even if it is a grail colorless like Winter Cecilia.  Then in addition the unit absolutely must be able to counter at any distance so if they don't come with DC or CC well that is another expensive skill to be given. 

About Caineghis he comes with DC, and he gets that +4 to all stats from his weapon and has good mixed bulk.  Could he actually be a cheaper option, in terms of maybe having enough stats that he doesn't need +10 merge, and having most of the skills right out of the box?  DD4 will negate all those Azura buffs, or one could put Svalin shield and be immune from effective damage.  I pulled him and Lethe on the banner, he is +atk/-res though so would need a merge at least to even consider this.  The tactic drill with Mordecai, seemed like he would be a great partner.  He smites Lion king, the king debuffs enemy team -4 to all stats, and when enemy team attacks him he gets +4 to all stats.  Anyone already experimenting with Caineghis in AR?

Surtr, how many merges do you need for him to be successful and how much team support?  I have one Surtr at neutral IV currently.  I am very interested in this super tank strategy cause it seems like by far the easiest way to counter the largest variety of teams. 

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40 minutes ago, Lewyn said:

This is what I heard as well, in that they won't be screwed over by having a color weakness.  They have no color to fear.  However from what I've seen, and seeing offense teams beat my defense teams it is always a +10 unit.  +10 merge is expensive, even if it is a grail colorless like Winter Cecilia.  Then in addition the unit absolutely must be able to counter at any distance so if they don't come with DC or CC well that is another expensive skill to be given. 

About Caineghis he comes with DC, and he gets that +4 to all stats from his weapon and has good mixed bulk.  Could he actually be a cheaper option, in terms of maybe having enough stats that he doesn't need +10 merge, and having most of the skills right out of the box?  DD4 will negate all those Azura buffs, or one could put Svalin shield and be immune from effective damage.  I pulled him and Lethe on the banner, he is +atk/-res though so would need a merge at least to even consider this.  The tactic drill with Mordecai, seemed like he would be a great partner.  He smites Lion king, the king debuffs enemy team -4 to all stats, and when enemy team attacks him he gets +4 to all stats.  Anyone already experimenting with Caineghis in AR?

Surtr, how many merges do you need for him to be successful and how much team support?  I have one Surtr at neutral IV currently.  I am very interested in this super tank strategy cause it seems like by far the easiest way to counter the largest variety of teams. 

Yeah, these tanks are expensive. As I have already said before. I do not have Caineghis, and I may as well use just his base kit (unless something needs to be replaced). As for Surtr, while Sinmara is fine enough, upgrading to Wo Gún+ or Hack-o’-Lantern+ (Res ref for either) and using Special Fighter or Vengeful Fighter respectively will give him better performance. You aren’t held back by scoring, after all. As for merges, I do not know. And teams with super tanks usually go with at least one Eir (ideally two), Aversa, and a Support partner to buff Surtr. Can be someone with Armor March, Corrin, or Velouria. Generally, though, I am inexperienced. I just use a balanced team in tier 18 (which I am fine with).

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@Johann This topic is now pinned.

 

5 hours ago, Lewyn said:

Surtr, how many merges do you need for him to be successful and how much team support?  I have one Surtr at neutral IV currently.  I am very interested in this super tank strategy cause it seems like by far the easiest way to counter the largest variety of teams. 

The biggest problem I find with Surtr is that he becomes less useful as you get to higher tiers because enemy teams are more prepared to deal with him.

Surtr has weaknesses to armor-effective weapons and Axebreaker. If you run Steady Stance 4, he is vulnerable to enemy units attacking from range and being danced to either hit your back line or hit your debuffed Surtr again (since the danced unit is often Eir or Veronica). If you run Distant Counter, Veronica is still a problem and you become vulnerable to Axebreaker + Moonbow/Glimmer, which is relatively common on Aversa and Lilina, which pretty much forces you to run Hack-o'-Lantern.

Surtr is also very vulnerable to Tibarn and teleporting Festival Micaiahs.

 

He's good if he's all you have, but Caineghis and Winter Fae are better.

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3 hours ago, Ice Dragon said:

 

 

The biggest problem I find with Surtr is that he becomes less useful as you get to higher tiers because enemy teams are more prepared to deal with him.

Surtr has weaknesses to armor-effective weapons and Axebreaker. If you run Steady Stance 4, he is vulnerable to enemy units attacking from range and being danced to either hit your back line or hit your debuffed Surtr again (since the danced unit is often Eir or Veronica). If you run Distant Counter, Veronica is still a problem and you become vulnerable to Axebreaker + Moonbow/Glimmer, which is relatively common on Aversa and Lilina, which pretty much forces you to run Hack-o'-Lantern.

Surtr is also very vulnerable to Tibarn and teleporting Festival Micaiahs.

 

He's good if he's all you have, but Caineghis and Winter Fae are better.

Could you elaborate on Caineghis?  How many merges do you need on him?  Is DD4 good enough, or is Svalin shield preferred?  Does he have to have Kaden support/or M Corrin support?  

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2 hours ago, Ice Dragon said:

@Johann This topic is now pinned.

Thanks. Somewhat related, I figure you can unsticky my old Weapon Refinery thread since it's pretty obsolete at this point. Made more sense when the refinery was new and the info wasn't consolidated too well on the big resource sites.

 

10 hours ago, Shoblongoo said:

I do have a Legendary Robin(F) merged up to +3 that I haven't been using at all, and based on the mechanics you just described I probably should be.

Sounds like she could put in some serious work.

Any ideas how to build a team around her?

Legendary Robin is one of the best AR units. Not sure what options you have, but generally for a build:

  • Expiration
  • Reposition
  • Aether or a special of your choice (I prefer Aether for the recovery)
  • Dragonskin
  • Dull Ranged 2 (I'd get 3 if it weren't 20k feathers)
  • Atk Smoke 3
  • Distant Def 3 seal

If you can spare a little bit of time to Auto-Battle the Chapter 1&2 Chain Challenge on Normal, you can build her S Support as well, which goes a long way for such a well-rounded unit (I usually just slap Renewal and Distant Def seal on her and she can pretty much solo it). Anyway, for supporting teammates in AR:

  • Eir: Dunno how many you have, but she's essential in Light Season, and the +5 or +10 to HP and Res is an absolute treat for Robin. Her default kit is fine, and the healing effect from her C skill is very helpful for a super tank like Robin. Of my two Eirs, I give one Draw Back + Savage Blow seal, and the other Smite + Poison Strike seal. This helps in case I run into Surtr or Idunn or something.
  • Aversa: An S+ Tier AR unit. With a low effort build she can give Robin Fortify Fliers, Ally Support (if you want), and best of all, the Panic effect. Many teams pack Atk Tactic, and with Atk Smoke + Panic, you can inflict them with a massive -13 Atk, making Robin laugh off almost any threat (barring effective weaponry and some specials). Can give Aversa Axebreaker to help in case there's a Surtr, or Renewal in Astra season in case of Duma.
  • A dancer or two: Should already have at least one dancer with Light Blessing, though if you're struggling to succeed and you have her, Legendary Azura is a good choice (it won't be Water season next week though, so she won't get a score boost). Wings of Mercy is a must. Aerobatics or Flier Formation seals are nice to have as well for flying dancers, if you have any.
  • Bonus unit: I'll be using Spring Loki with Light Blessing and Smite. I didn't give her anything special for a build beyond feeding her a 4* Bartre for Fury 2 and Smite, as well as a Res refined bow. We'll see that works out next week I guess.
  • Halloween Mia?: Another great option if you're lucky enough to have her.

Such a team would be Robin, Eir (in Light Season), Aversa, a dancer, and the last slot being the bonus unit. Since Eir and the bonus unit are essential for scoring (depending on the week), you may need to consider having multiple teams set up with some variation on this (ie: one team replaces Aversa with another dancer). Don't need to use Eir this week of course, in which case you can try some more flexible options. In practice, the strategy involves buffing Robin as best you can, debuffing the foes as best you can, and then sending her in (often with Smite/Dance) to pick off any frail but threatening units like Ophelia.

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3 hours ago, Lewyn said:

Could you elaborate on Caineghis?  How many merges do you need on him?  Is DD4 good enough, or is Svalin shield preferred?  Does he have to have Kaden support/or M Corrin support?  

I would suggest Distant Def 4 for the time being. From my experience, the most common anti-armor threat I see is Festival Micaiah, but she's usually placed in the back of the enemy formation and won't be part of the initial attack unless you get unlucky and she teleports in. I occasionally see Armorsmashers or Slaying Hammers, but they're much less common than Micaiah.

I'm currently running my Winter Fae at +10 merge and Summoner Support with no Ally Support, so you can probably simulate approximately the same stats by using Corrin and Summoner Support, preferably with additional Drive and Ward support if possible.

It's probably best, though, to just field him a few times and see how he fares for yourself and adjust the team as needed.

 

3 hours ago, Johann said:

Thanks. Somewhat related, I figure you can unsticky my old Weapon Refinery thread since it's pretty obsolete at this point. Made more sense when the refinery was new and the info wasn't consolidated too well on the big resource sites.

I figure I'll take care of that once I get off my lazy ass and finish my spreadsheets to get the weapon tables onto the main site.

Edited by Ice Dragon

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6 minutes ago, Ice Dragon said:

I would suggest Distant Def 4 for the time being. From my experience, the most common anti-armor threat I see is Festival Micaiah, but she's usually placed in the back of the enemy formation and won't be part of the initial attack unless you get unlucky and she teleports in. I occasionally see Armorsmashers or Slaying Hammers, but they're much less common than Micaiah.

I'm currently running my Winter Fae at +10 merge and Summoner Support with no Ally Support, so you can probably simulate approximately the same stats by using Corrin and Summoner Support, preferably with additional Drive and Ward support if possible.

It's probably best, though, to just field him a few times and see how he fares for yourself and adjust the team as needed.

 

I figure I'll take care of that once I get off my lazy ass and finish my spreadsheets to get the weapon tables onto the main site.

Oh that's good, so he is set to go.  I guess I can try him out when I have some padding in score.  

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So something that should probably be emphasized strongly in the general tips section is the importance of making sure you’re making effective use of your mythic/legendary blessing bonuses for star buffs. Because I just played a few games today using the information provided to me by @Ice Dragon, and the difference in how my team was performing before and how it’s performinh now is night-and-day.

7 hours ago, Johann said:

Thanks. Somewhat related, I figure you can unsticky my old Weapon Refinery thread since it's pretty obsolete at this point. Made more sense when the refinery was new and the info wasn't consolidated too well on the big resource sites.

 

Legendary Robin is one of the best AR units. Not sure what options you have, but generally for a build:

  • Expiration
  • Reposition
  • Aether or a special of your choice (I prefer Aether for the recovery)
  • Dragonskin
  • Dull Ranged 2 (I'd get 3 if it weren't 20k feathers)
  • Atk Smoke 3
  • Distant Def 3 seal

If you can spare a little bit of time to Auto-Battle the Chapter 1&2 Chain Challenge on Normal, you can build her S Support as well, which goes a long way for such a well-rounded unit (I usually just slap Renewal and Distant Def seal on her and she can pretty much solo it). Anyway, for supporting teammates in AR:

  • Eir: Dunno how many you have, but she's essential in Light Season, and the +5 or +10 to HP and Res is an absolute treat for Robin. Her default kit is fine, and the healing effect from her C skill is very helpful for a super tank like Robin. Of my two Eirs, I give one Draw Back + Savage Blow seal, and the other Smite + Poison Strike seal. This helps in case I run into Surtr or Idunn or something.
  • Aversa: An S+ Tier AR unit. With a low effort build she can give Robin Fortify Fliers, Ally Support (if you want), and best of all, the Panic effect. Many teams pack Atk Tactic, and with Atk Smoke + Panic, you can inflict them with a massive -13 Atk, making Robin laugh off almost any threat (barring effective weaponry and some specials). Can give Aversa Axebreaker to help in case there's a Surtr, or Renewal in Astra season in case of Duma.
  • A dancer or two: Should already have at least one dancer with Light Blessing, though if you're struggling to succeed and you have her, Legendary Azura is a good choice (it won't be Water season next week though, so she won't get a score boost). Wings of Mercy is a must. Aerobatics or Flier Formation seals are nice to have as well for flying dancers, if you have any.
  • Bonus unit: I'll be using Spring Loki with Light Blessing and Smite. I didn't give her anything special for a build beyond feeding her a 4* Bartre for Fury 2 and Smite, as well as a Res refined bow. We'll see that works out next week I guess.
  • Halloween Mia?: Another great option if you're lucky enough to have her.

Such a team would be Robin, Eir (in Light Season), Aversa, a dancer, and the last slot being the bonus unit. Since Eir and the bonus unit are essential for scoring (depending on the week), you may need to consider having multiple teams set up with some variation on this (ie: one team replaces Aversa with another dancer). Don't need to use Eir this week of course, in which case you can try some more flexible options. In practice, the strategy involves buffing Robin as best you can, debuffing the foes as best you can, and then sending her in (often with Smite/Dance) to pick off any frail but threatening units like Ophelia.

I’ll consider using some feathers and sacking a Chrom to give her Aether. Sounds like a good investment. Just went back and sacked a bunch of stuff to build a +attk legendary Ephraim that was collecting dust in my barracks into a galeforce sweeper, and haven’t been disappointed with the results.

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What's are good ways to take care of Aversa and Veronica in AR? They makes my strategies much more difficult. Debuffing my team, eating turns away from me.

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1 hour ago, Jingle Jangle said:

What's are good ways to take care of Aversa and Veronica in AR? They makes my strategies much more difficult. Debuffing my team, eating turns away from me.

VS!Azura can bypass Aversa's debuffs with her default Atk Tactic and positioning two spaces away. She is not exactly cheap though for free players, but paying players generally should have no trouble obtaining at least one copy of her.

As for Veronica and Pain Healers, for Sharena's bonus weeks, I just let Sharena tank them since Drive buffs from 2 M!Corrins is usually sufficient, and I run 2 Eirs to bring Sharena's HP back up quickly. On weeks without Sharena, I often have to sacrifice a unit, sometimes 2 or even 3 units if I fuck up.

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12 hours ago, Jingle Jangle said:

What's are good ways to take care of Aversa and Veronica in AR? They makes my strategies much more difficult. Debuffing my team, eating turns away from me.

Aversa you can only really handle by having more HP, positioning, or using Dance, if possible. At least she's terrible as an attacker, so it's easy to tank her damage, even with greens.

For Veronica in particular, there are a few tricks:

  • If she has a heal equipped, she will prioritize healing over damage, provided she can do at least 10 HP recovery (8 with Physic), restore if using Restore, and can't get a kill. This is usually only possible with Bolt Tower/Trap, Pain, Savage Blow, or Deathly Dagger.
  • If you're baiting multiple enemies and Veronica on the front lines, you can have two units baiting; your super tank is in whatever spot you want to use, while a unit who would take more damage baits Veronica from a safe spot. This will cause Veronica to run her full distance to that unit with less Res to attack them, ignoring your main tank. Most importantly, not only can this be used to prevent your main tank from getting debuffed and enemies buffed, but if done right, she'll be too far from any dancers. I'll whip up an example image if you need it.
  • Gravity (especially Tactics Room). I put my TR in the 2nd slot from the left and it catches a considerable number of Veronicas and other ranged cavalry. Of course, unless you have Loki, this is a matter of luck. Gravity staff works too, but it's usually too difficult to safely use on the approach.
  • Box her in. Depends entirely on the map you're against. Sometimes this means sending in a Galeforce+WoM crew (often Cavalry) to trap her, or baiting her into a position where she's nearly all boxed in anyway. I can get some pictures of this too, though it usually requires some knowledge of positioning assists to keep her from getting pulled back to a dancer.
  • High Res units who don't care how much she's doing. Usually more of a thing either when super tanking in Light season, or at the end of a fight when she's the only one left. With Aversa, there are some matches where I don't mind sending in Robin, Hrid, Fjorm, etc to just take the hits since she won't do much damage, and her buff effect can end up harming her teammates, while having the dancers go on her instead of dangerous foes like Ophelia or Reinhardt. Eir's B skill also works great since it reduces the damage Eir (or inherited unit) will take and they'll recover 6 HP, making it unlikely that they'll die even with repeated hits.

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@Johann

Is this thread a good place to request complete advice on how to make the best of my units and resources for getting one red chair (top 3,000) in Aether Raids? Or is this thread more for strategies, general advice, and quick questions?

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5 hours ago, Tree said:

@Johann

Is this thread a good place to request complete advice on how to make the best of my units and resources for getting one red chair (top 3,000) in Aether Raids? Or is this thread more for strategies, general advice, and quick questions?

Depends what you mean. I think a "here's every unit in my barracks, someone make some teams for me" would be asking too much from others, but saying "here's some units I have in mind, what kind of builds should I consider for them?" is good and encouraged. Ideally, once the guide is finished, there should be enough information in there to guide players to the highest score they can achieve, and the ongoing discussions we all have should help give more ideas and answer questions.

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3 hours ago, Johann said:

Depends what you mean. I think a "here's every unit in my barracks, someone make some teams for me" would be asking too much from others, but saying "here's some units I have in mind, what kind of builds should I consider for them?" is good and encouraged. Ideally, once the guide is finished, there should be enough information in there to guide players to the highest score they can achieve, and the ongoing discussions we all have should help give more ideas and answer questions.

OK, thanks. I'll see about narrowing things down then. :):

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