Distant Counter is one of many skills that generates heated debates by many veteran players of the game. However, there is no denying that the sheer utility of this skill makes it one of the most desirable skills to obtain for a hero. The fact that you can counter from any range turns your character into an immediate threat in the enemy phase. With smart positioning, distant counter is one of the most desirable skills to have in order to bait the enemy.
Distant Counter has two means of acquisition. You can either get the skill embedded into a weapon (such as Ragnell or Lightning Breath+) or simply obtained as an A-slot skill from Hector. In this article, we will be discussing both of these approaches.
The main idea is to further exemplify Distant Counter's power in the enemy phase.
Passive Skill B
Admittedly, both these skills have their advantage. Quick Riposte offers the character the ability to kill a single target with the follow-up from Quick Riposte, which means that the remainder of the battle will be a 3v4. This makes Quick Riposte an "early-game" based skill unless you have the defensive stats to back it up, allowing it to be used more often due to taking minimal damage. Vantage is basically the total opposite since you need to take damage. You are meant to take a hit and slap the ever living hell out of the unit who attempted to kill you.
The general consensus is that if you have the bulk, grab Quick Riposte. Else, take Vantage.
This is only applicable if you possess Distant Counter in the A-slot.
For A-Slot Distant Counter users, there are honestly not many restrictions for a weapon. However, special mention goes to Killer Weapons if you are using Quick Riposte as your B slot skill. This weapon and skill combination is explained further in the Synergistic Build Guide.
Passive Skill A
As a unit that has a strong enemy phase, you need to take hits and deal the damage back. This means that every single stat will be useful in the skirmishes. Hence, one of the most desirable skills for distant counter units is Fury. Triangle Adept is not a bad choice as it improves both offensive and defensive capabilities when the unit battles with weapon advantage. Generally, skills that only apply in the player phase (Blow-based skills) and skills that ruin your defensive bulk (Life and Death) should be avoided.
Special mention to Heavy Blade as it enables a character to charge a 5-turn special in 1 battle if the character has a good amount of ATK and utilizes Quick Riposte. In other words, Quick Riposte Ike is a great unit.
Passive Skill C
There are no restrictions for this skill. Buffs are recommended (Just in case).
Your objective is to bait and attack, so positioning skills are particularly effective for these type of characters. Reposition and Swap are great for this purpose. Otherwise, one could consider Reciprocal Aid in order to be within threshold of Quick Riposte/Vantage.
The go-to seal for this build is HP+3, as the boost in resilience is much more significant than the small boost in offense from seal.
As mentioned in the introduction, the 2 ways of obtaining the Distant Counter effect are either through weapon or through the A-slot. Thus, your character choices will be heavily influenced by said fact.
Do note that the list is not meant to be exhaustive.
For a weapon-based Distant Counter unit, only characters yielding such a weapon or breath-based characters (Lightning Breath+) will be able to run the build. In other words, there isn't much of a choice for this category.
Anyone can use distant counter. However, the fact that this skill is in the A-slot makes normal characters running Distant Counter extremely problematic, as most stat boosters occupy that same spot. Sacrificing the A-slot for Distant Counter might be more harm than good, as you will most likely need the character to have that small boost in stats to aid in certain match-ups.
Hence, armored units are the most suitable for running the effect's passive A slot version. They have the stats to backup, so the lack of an additional stat boost will not make much of a difference.
This does not mean that you should never put Distant Counter on non-armored units. Rather, Armored units work the best with it.