Tier Rating
Analysis by Naz
Ares - Black Knight

4-5

Obtainable as a 4 - 5 only
Hero Stats
Max Avg Total Stats at Lvl 40
157
HP 40
ATK 36
SPD 30
DEF 33
RES 18
Stat Variations
Level 1 Stat Variation
5★
4★
HP ATK SPD DEF RES
Low 17 7 7 6 4
Middle 18 8 8 7 5
High 19 9 9 8 6

Level 40 Stat Variations
5★
4★
HP ATK SPD DEF RES
Low 36 33 26 30 14
Middle 40 36 30 33 18
High 43 39 33 36 21
IV Sets
Key stats worth increasing through nature if possible.
Complementary stats that matter, but not to the point of picking them over key stats for nature increase.
Relatively worthless stat that can safely be decreased through nature.
HPATKSPDDEFRES

Boons

  • +ATK: Attack is consistently the best boon that Ares can have regardless of the skill-set he is running, as it will increase his raw damage output in both Player and Enemy phase.

  • +SPD: Although somewhat middling at a base value of 30, a boon in Speed allows Ares to avoid crucial follow-up attacks from mid-high tier Speed units, greatly reducing the amount of damage he takes.

Neutral

  • DEF: While raising it is not a priority, Ares prefers to keep his Defense neutral in order to keep his solid physical bulk of 73 intact.

  • HP: Similarly, Ares would rather avoid his superbane in HP (-4 reduction rather than the standard -3), as it can be detrimental to his overall survivability.

Banes

  • -RES: Resistance is Ares’ weakest stat and the best bane that he can receive, as dropping it further will hardly affect his overall performance.

Skill Sets
The Dark Knight Rises (Distant Counter)
Recommended
Dark Mystletainn A Distant Counter
Reposition B Vantage 3
Draconic Aura C Def Smoke 3
Alternate: Hone Cavalry
SP1,435SQuickened Pulse

Show Explanation/Analysis
  • Preferred IV: +ATK / -RES or -HP
  • Weapon: Dark Mystletainn

  • Assist: Reposition / Flexible

  • Special: Draconic Aura / Luna

  • Passive A: Distant Counter

  • Passive B: Vantage

  • Passive C: Def Smoke / Hone Cavalry / Flexible

  • Sacred Seal: Quickened Pulse / Quick Riposte / Distant Def / Attack +3

Taking a page out of WT-Reinhardt’s book, this set aims to make Ares an untouchable Enemy Phase ranged check by utilizing the skill Distant Counter. Since this build revolves around taking out the opponent in only one hit, a boon in Attack the most desirable nature that Ares can receive. This increase in raw damage output grants Ares a wider scope of opponents that he can OHKO. In particular, this can be the deciding factor in his match-ups against Ayra, Legendary Ike, and Sigurd.

Thanks to the nature of his weapon, Dark Mystletainn, Ares is able to activate powerful Specials at a constant rate. In addition to the passive -1 cooldown, Dark Missiletainn drops the charge of any Special by two after any combat in which it activates. Specials with a base cooldown of three such as Draconic Aura and Luna fit this timing perfectly, as they will always be ready to go following after their initial activation. Draconic Aura makes for a fantastic choice due to its consistently high damage output thanks to Ares’ exceptional base Attack. Alternatively, Luna makes for a more effective option against physically bulky opponents such as Hector, Zelgius, and Adult Tiki.  

The bread and butter of this set is running Distant Counter together with Vantage. After activating his Special for the first time, Ares will always have it ready to use. Upon hitting the HP threshold for Vantage, any subsequent opponents that initiate on Ares are forced to take the full impact of his Special activation before even having the chance to counterattack. With this combination, Ares can potentially take out multiple opponents in the Enemy Phase unscathed.

Def Smoke is a great choice of C skill for Ares as a standalone unit. By reducing the physical bulk of opponents around him after combat, any affected targets that initiate on him afterward will be hit even harder. A more team-synergistic option is Hone Cavalry, as it allows Ares to be a benefactor on a cavalry-centric team. Otherwise, the C slot can be replaced with whatever will accommodate his team.

Last but not least, Ares has several options for his Sacred Seal slot. Quickened Pulse starts Ares off on the fast track by reducing his initial Special cooldown to only 1. This allows him to activate his Special on his very first counterattack. Similarly, Quick Riposte guarantees that Ares activates his Special during his first round of combat as well as giving give longevity against opponents that survive his initial attack. Another solid choice that fits this playstyle is Distant Def, as it will reduce the damage he receives from all ranged opponents when initiated on. This grants Ares a better chance of surviving his opponent’s initial Attack, particularly when facing a tome user. Finally, Attack +3 is a good choice if one wishes to further improve Ares’ raw damage output.

Bloody Stream (Enemy Phase Bruiser)
Dark Mystletainn A Close Def 3
Reposition B Quick Riposte 3
Aether
Alternate: Bonfire
C Atk Smoke 3
Alternate: Hone Cavalry
SP2,055SClose Def 3

Show Explanation/Analysis
  • Preferred IV: +SPD or +ATK or +DEF / -RES

  • Weapon:  Dark Mystletainn

  • Assist: Reposition / Flexible

  • Special: Aether / Bonfire / Ignis

  • Passive A: Close Def / Steady Stance / Fierce Stance

  • Passive B: Quick Riposte / Guard

  • Passive C: Atk Smoke / Def Smoke / Hone Cavalry / Flexible

  • Sacred Seal: Close Def / Quick Riposte / Atk Smoke / Heavy Blade

At the expense of being able to retaliate against ranged opponents, this build leans more towards Ares as a physical combatant. In addition to Attack, both Speed and Defense also make for suitable choices of boon. Additional Speed allows Ares to better avoid follow-up attacks, greatly reducing the amount of damage he receives while a boon in Defense grants him a stronger resilience to physical attacks as well as additional damage into Defense-scaling Specials such as Bonfire and Ignis.  

In addition to being both powerful and allowing Ares to be a self-sustaining tank, Aether synergizes extremely well with Dark Missiletainn. After its first activation, Aether will drop to a cooldown of only 2. This allows Ares to potentially activate Aether every single round of combat assuming Quick Riposte is active. For a purely offensive approach, both Bonfire and Ignis make for great options. Bonfire has consistency as it will always be active after its first activation while Ignis trades a shorter cooldown for more raw power.

Moving on to main skills, Close Def is a great choice for his Enemy Phase oriented playstyle, as it will reduce damage taken from all melee opponents when initiated on. Similarly, both Steady and Fierce Stance provide Ares with an increase to his physical resilience as well as his raw damage output respectively.

Quick Riposte is key to this build, as Ares is reliant on it in order to consistently perform follow-up attacks in the Enemy Phase. Alternatively, one can move Quick Riposte to the Sacred Seal slot in favor of running Guard as his B skill. Guard will greatly reduce damage taken from opponents that rely on activating their special such as Ayra and Zelgius. This also applies to all armored units running Bold Fighter, as their follow-up attacks cannot be avoided if they initiate on Ares.

Once again, Ares makes great out of Smoke skills. Atk Smoke makes him a better overall tank by reducing the damage output of opponents around him after combat while Def Smoke will increase his own damage output against the affected targets. As for Sacred Seals, Close Def boosts Ares’ Enemy Phase damage resilience even further to +12 Def/Res when initiated on. If not already being used in the B slot, Quick Riposte seal is pivotal in allowing Ares to consistently perform follow-up attacks in the Enemy Phase. The same applies to Atk Smoke, which can also be run here if it is not already being used in the C slot.

Just Blaze (AOE Special Activation)
Dark Mystletainn A Death Blow 3
Reposition B Chill Def 3
Blazing Wind C Hone Cavalry
SP1,635SQuickened Pulse

Show Explanation/Analysis
  • Preferred IV: +ATK / -HP or -RES

  • Weapon:  Dark Mystletainn

  • Assist: Reposition / Flexible

  • Special: Blazing Wind / Blazing Flame / Blazing Thunder

  • Passive A: Death Blow

  • Passive B: Chill Def

  • Passive C: Hone Cavalry / Flexible

  • Sacred Seal: Quickened Pulse / Attack +3

This build takes somewhat of an unorthodox approach. Thanks to the effect of Dark Missiletainn, Ares can make extremely effective use of AOE Specials. After their first activation, they will drop to a cooldown of only 1. Their activation before combat, as well as the attack during combat, allow for them to be readily activated every single time. This one-shot playstyle once again makes Attack the choice boon for Ares to have. Not only does it increase Ares’ raw damage output, it also grants a boost to the power behind his Special activation.

As for the Special itself, Blazing Wind is generally the most consistent among the AOE skills thanks to its wide range. This makes it easier to catch other enemies in its range and hit them with heavy non-lethal damage. However, both Blazing Flame and Blazing Thunder work as solid alternatives. In order to maximize his OHKO potential as well as the power behind his Special activation, Death Blow makes for the best option by providing Ares with a very strong Attack boost on initiation.

Chill Def is a great choice for increasing both Ares’ damage output as well as the overall support he can provide to his team. While Chill Def can massively increase physical damage against the affected target, it is not always consistent. This is due to it targeting the unit with the highest Defense and not necessarily the unit with highest physical bulk. Once again, Quickened Pulse gives Ares a boost in getting the ball rolling by allowing him to activate his Special for the first time sooner. Otherwise, Attack +3 gives Ares a solid boost to his raw damage output.

Introduction

As another addition to the already oversaturated pool of sword-wielding cavalry, Ares manages to bring something that is both unique and powerful. Dark Mystletainn is a phenomenal personal weapon that allows Ares to activate powerful Specials at a constant rate. Depending on the skill-set, Ares can potentially activate Draconic Aura on every single counterattack in order to take out his opponents in only one hit or Aether every single round of combat for fantastic sustain.

Statwise, Ares sports an exceptional 36 Attack. When paired with an Attack-scaling Special such as Draconic Aura, Ares has the potential to take out his opponents in only one hit upon activation. In addition to this, his physical bulk stands firm at a base value of 73. Although his base Speed is somewhat middling, it can be brought up to a respectable amount through a boon and  team support with Hone Cavalry. This can greatly reduce the amount of damage he takes by avoiding follow-up attacks from a wider range of opponents.

Ares’ greatest downfall is his terrible magical bulk. At a meager base value of 18, Ares is susceptible to getting taken out in only one hit by magical-damage dealing opponents. This can serve as a detriment when utilizing his Distant Counter set as Ares will need to tread carefully during his first round of combat.

Overall, Ares is an Enemy Phase powerhouse that both flexible in his builds and powerful in his combat ability. He is very effective in his role and performs well both on and off a cavalry-centric team.

Strengths

Dark Mystletainn

Dark Mystletainn is an outstanding weapon that allows Ares to activate powerful Specials at a constant rate. Not only does this grant him massive damage output, it also allows him to run a variety of different builds that fulfill different roles.

Fantastic Attack

At a base value of 36, Ares hits hard with his raw Attack alone. In addition to this, it adds to the potency of Attack-scaling Specials such as Draconic Aura and AOE Specials.

Good Physical Bulk

Ares has a solid physical bulk of 73, making him a suitable physical tank as well as an effective user of Defense-scaling Specials such as Bonfire and Ignis depending on the skill-set he is running.

Cavalry

In addition to his superior mobility, Ares has access to class-exclusive buffs such as Hone Cavalry.

Weaknesses

Terrible Magical Bulk

Ares’ low magical bulk of 58 causes him to get massively chunked, if not outright killed in one hit by magic opponents. This is particularly detrimental when utilizing a Distant Counter set.

Cavalry

Although being a cavalry unit has its advantages, it can also be a detriment. On top of forests and trenches making it harder to navigate maps, Ares has an innate weakness to cavalry effective weapons.

Team Options

As a cavalry unit, Ares appreciates fellow cavalry allies that can provide him with powerful class-exclusive buffs such as Hone Cavalry and Fortify Cavalry. With his poor magical bulk, Ares also enjoys magically bulky teammates that can tank hits for him. This also applies to green units that can cover his Weapon Triangle disadvantage. Finally, refreshers give Ares massive longevity through the extra turn they provide, as it allows him to get into more favorable positions.

  • Cavalry: Eirika (SM), Gunnthrá, Olwen (WT), Legendary Ephraim, and Reinhardt all make for fantastic teammates by providing Ares with powerful buffs such as Hone Cavalry and Fortify Cavalry while keeping up with his high movement.

  • Magically Bulky Units: Micaiah, Lute, Halloween Henry, and Delthea are all strong allies, as they can tank magical hits while keeping Ares safe. Delthea and Lute also function as a buffer and debuffer respectively.

  • Strong Greens: Hector, Nino, Fae, and Myrrh all perform well in checking both physical and magical blues that may pose a threat to Ares.

  • Refreshers: Performing Inigo, Ninian, Lene, and New Years Azura are among many great choices that provide Ares with fantastic support through an extra turn, allowing him to move into more favorable positions.

Counters

Due to his abysmal magical bulk, Ares can easily fall to magic damage dealing opponents. In addition to this, physically bulky blue units can easily mitigate his damage, especially if they are running Guard in order to prevent him from activating his Specials. Last but not least, Ares’ status as a cavalry unit gives him an innate weakness to opponents carrying class-effective weapons.

  • Magical Damage Dealers: Nowi, Delthea, Lute, Reinhardt, and Linde can all make short work of Ares’ sparse magical bulk.

  • Physically Bulky Blues: Fallen Hardin, Effie, Winter Robin, Female Corrin, and Lukas can easily mitigate the amount of damage that Ares can do thanks to their high physical bulk and Weapon Triangle advantage. In addition, units that utilize the skill Guard can completely wall him off by preventing him from activating his Specials.

  • Effective Weapons: Anti-cavalry weapons, both physical and magic alike will easily tear through Ares’ health bar due to their high damage multiplier. Common users include Micaiah, Gray, and Gerome.
Weapon Skills
Weapons SP Rng. Mt.
Iron Sword
Only Inheritable by Sword Units.
50 1 6
Steel Sword
Only Inheritable by Sword Units.
100 1 8
Slaying EdgeAccelerates Special trigger (cooldown count-1).
Learns by default at 4 ★
Only Inheritable by Sword Units.
200 1 10
Dark MystletainnAccelerates Special trigger (cooldown count-1). If Special triggers before or during combat, grants Special cooldown count-2 after combat.
Learns by default at 5 ★
Unlocks at 5 ★
Non-Inheritable skill.
400 1 16
Weapon Evolution
Weapon Upgrades
Weapon Upgrades
Special Skills
Special Skills SP Turns
Dragon GazeBoosts Atk by 30%.
Learns by default at 4 ★
Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
100 4
Draconic AuraBoosts Atk by 30%.
Unlocks at 4 ★
Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
200 3
Passive Skills
Passive Skills SP Slot
Brazen Atk/Def 1If unit's HP ≤ 80% at the start of combat, grants Atk/Def+3 during combat.
Inheritable by all units.
60
A
Brazen Atk/Def 2If unit's HP ≤ 80% at the start of combat, grants Atk/Def+5 during combat.
Inheritable by all units.
120
A
Brazen Atk/Def 3If unit's HP ≤ 80% at the start of combat, grants Atk/Def+7 during combat.
Unlocks at 4 ★
Inheritable by all units.
240
A
Seal Def 1After combat, foe suffers Def -3 through its next action.
Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
40
B
Seal Def/Res 1Inflicts Def/Res-3 on foe through its next action after combat.
Unlocks at 4 ★
Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
100
B
Seal Def/Res 2Inflicts Def/Res-5 on foe through its next action after combat.
Unlocks at 5 ★
Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
200
B
Other Info
Origin
Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War

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