Table of Contents

Tier Rating

Analysis by raelet
Brave Ephraim - Sacred Twin Lord

5

Obtainable as a 5 only

Related Heroes

Hero Stats

Max Avg Total Stats at Lvl 40
174
HP 46
ATK 38
SPD 27
DEF 37
RES 26

Stat Variations

Level 1 Stat Variation
5★
HP ATK SPD DEF RES
Low 21 9 4 10 6
Middle 22 10 5 11 7
High 23 11 6 12 8

Level 40 Stat Variations
5★
HP ATK SPD DEF RES
Low 43 35 23 34 23
Middle 46 38 27 37 26
High 49 41 30 40 30

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

Legendary Ephraim’s Speed is without a doubt his dump stat, though whether you’d like to invest his boon in any of his other stats can be a matter of preference.

Boons

  • +ATK: With a massive neutral Attack of 38, Ephraim prefers to raise this stat to make him even more lethal with a natural Attack stat of 41.
  • +DEF: With a boon in Defense, Ephraim can reach a natural 40, making most melee attacks barely dent him.

Neutral

  • HP: Ephraim’s HP stat is a respectable 46- lowering it limits his tanking ability, but he doesn’t really need to increase it.
  • RES: While Ephraim’s Resistance isn’t stellar, it’s decent enough to allow him to withstand some attacks from dragons and mages and therefore shouldn’t be dumped. Resistance is also a superboon, meaning that it can be increased to 30, which also vaults Ephraim up into the 175 bst benchmark.

Banes

  • -SPD: Speed is Ephraim’s clear optimal bane, as he doesn’t need it to double in either phase. Keep in mind however, that Speed is a superbane, meaning that if you’re using Ephraim purely for scoring purposes, you’d rather take +RES -HP as an IV.

Skill Sets

Seek And Destroy (Player Phase)

Recommended
Garm A Death Blow 4
Alternate: Distant Counter
Pivot
Alternate: Swap
B Special Fighter 3
Aether
Alternate: Dragon Fang
C Odd Atk Wave 3
Alternate: Armor March 3
SP2,025SArmored Boots

Show Explanation/Analysis
  • Preferred IV: +ATK / -SPD
  • Weapon: Garm
  • Assist: Pivot / Swap / Reposition
  • Special: Aether / Dragon Fang
  • Passive A: Death Blow / Distant Counter
  • Passive B: Special Fighter
  • Passive C: Odd Atk Wave / Armor March
  • Sacred Seal: Armored Boots / Close Defense

When it really comes down to it, there really isn’t much to improve on in Ephraim’s base kit.  Special Fighter and Garm in tandem ensure that Ephraim has the effects of Bold Fighter, Vengeful Fighter, and Guard all at the same time so long as he’s affected by an ally buff or is equipped with the  Armored Boots seal. This makes him absolutely deadly in the player’s hands, as he can effectively control his opponent’s access to their Special while rapidly decreasing the cooldown of his own, no matter what Phase he’s fighting in.

This synergizes perfectly with Aether, which can keep him above the HP threshold needed for Special Fighter to activate. Ephraim’s native Draconic Aura can do a massive amount of damage with his large Attack stat, Death Blow, and Odd Atk Wave, but it lacks the staying power that Aether can accomplish for him.

Note that of course, this build is entirely self sustaining, but only if Ephraim is at 100% HP. If he loses his Armored Boots ability then he loses his ability to make guaranteed follow-up attacks on his opponent. At that point, he requires some kind of buff from an ally (Armor March, Hone, Rally, etc) to continue making follow-up attacks.  If you’re concerned about him losing HP after his first engagement or on even turns, then it may be beneficial to give up Odd Atk Wave in his C slot in order to keep his native Armor March, which he can use at any threshold of HP so long as he’s positioned next to an armored ally.

Death Blow can be run in Ephraim’s A slot to further increase his Player Phase viability, whereas Distant Counter helps him to counter bows, daggers, and blue tomes in his Enemy Phase- both are good, but the final option here depends on what you’d prefer him to do more.

Close Defense is an option for his seal slot, if you’re running Armor March in his C slot or have a reliable source of buffs for him. This furthers his defensive capabilities and enables him to tank through many different threats.

Until It Sleeps (Enemy Phase)

Garm A Distant Counter
Alternate: Close Def 3
Pivot
Alternate: Swap
B Special Fighter 3
Aether
Alternate: Ignis
C Armor March 3
Alternate: Def Ploy 3
SP1,905SClose Def 3

Show Explanation/Analysis
  • Preferred IV: +RES or +DEF / -SPD
  • Weapon: Garm
  • Assist: Pivot / Swap
  • Special: Aether / Ignis
  • Passive A: Distant Counter / Close Defense
  • Passive B: Special Fighter
  • Passive C: Armor March / Defense Ploy / Ward Armor
  • Sacred Seal: Close Defense / Distant Defense / Panic Ploy

Utilizing his weapon and B slot again, we see Ephraim with a predominately Enemy Phase oriented kit, where he swaps out his Close Defense A slot for Distant Counter. With a Resistance boon and Close Defense seal, Ephraim can hit 36 Resistance when attacked by a dragon, which puts him on far better footing when  taking the engagement. Close Defense is another option for his A slot, helped by the fact that it’s also his native skill. This allows Ephraim to stack up his defenses and hit not only 42 Resistance, but also 49 Defense when attacked from melee range.

When combined with Special Fighter and a skill like Ignis, Ephraim’s retaliation is explosive, with a 39 damage Ignis on top of his already monstrous 57 Attack.

He retains Armor March simply as a way to ensure doubles via Garm, and if you have other units in your party who can consistently buff him, then he’s free to run other C slot skills, like armor buffs or even Ploy skills. At 30 Resistance, his ability to land Ploys on his opponent is somewhat unreliable- particularly if going up against fellow armored units- however, when it does land, he’ll find himself able to do 10 more damage due to guaranteed follow-ups from Garm.

For Whom the Bell Tolls (Player Phase Galeforce)

Slaying Axe+ (+Atk)
Alternate: Garm
A Death Blow 4
Pivot
Alternate: Swap
B Bold Fighter 3
Alternate: Special Fighter 3
Galeforce
Alternate: Aether
C Def Smoke 3
Alternate: Armor March 3
SP2,145SArmored Boots

Show Explanation/Analysis
  • Preferred IV: +ATK / -SPD
  • Weapon: Slaying Axe (+Atk) / Garm
  • Assist: Pivot / Swap
  • Special:  Galeforce / Aether
  • Passive A: Death Blow
  • Passive B: Bold Fighter / Special Fighter
  • Passive C: Def Smoke / Armor March
  • Sacred Seal: Armored Boots / Quickened Pulse / Atk + 3

When considering builds with both cooldown reduction and guaranteed follow-ups, Galeforce should never be far from one’s thoughts.  Ephraim’s ability to always double if buffed, plus his natural kit that reduces his Special cooldowns, allows him to run a potent Galeforce build, capable of eliminating multiple units during a single Player Phase.

With Garm and Special Fighter, Ephraim can activate Galeforce on the first turn of battle, provided his opponent counterattacks him. If they do not, he needs Quickened Pulse to work alongside Special Fighter in order to proc his Special. However, if you sacrifice Garm and Special Fighter and instead run him with a Slaying Axe and Bold Fighter, Ephraim loses the slight unreliability with a 5 turn cooldown and instead gets guaranteed procs of Galeforce enabled by Bold Fighter. This also eliminates his need for his Garm-related babysitting, as Bold Fighter will ensure a follow-up attack regardless of any ally buffs he may have.

This also frees up his seal slot to run seals that increase his Attack or movement. If you can run Armored Boots in his seal slot, then he’s free to run skills like Def Smoke or Threaten Def in his C slot, which enables him to do even more damage as long as he can access his opponents- which Armored Boots should help him to do.

This Ephraim is Player Phase only and will be vulnerable if he’s attacked during Enemy Phase (well, as vulnerable as you can be with 37 Defense). Therefore it is best to try and eliminate all opponents in his range during his Galeforce turn if possible.

Introduction

Coming in second during Choose Your Legends 2, Ephraim’s natural stats, weapon, and skills are definitely enough to shake up the metagame. Wielding the legendary Garm from Grado, Ephraim has picked up his father’s armor and cast aside his previous lances to become a green armor unit with an impressive legendary weapon.

His stat spread leaves little to be desired, with monstrous Attack and Defense, coupled with reasonable HP and Resistance for an armored unit, all with Speed as his optimal dump stat.  When compared with other high tier green armor units, such as Grima, Legendary Hector, and Love Abounds Hector, Ephraim finds himself about average in terms of Attack, Defense, and Resistance with somewhat higher Speed and slightly lower HP.

Ephraim comes equipped with Garm, a legendary axe that can guarantee follow-up attacks regardless of Speed in both Player and Enemy Phase, negating his need to run skills like Quick Riposte or either of the Fighter skills. This does come with the requirement that he must be buffed in some way, though self buffs through Armored Boots or Wave skills  do count as well, meaning that he can be quite self sustaining when it comes to it.

On top of all of this, Ephraim comes with a B skill that combines the lethality of the Fighter skills with the safety of Guard in Special Fighter. When combined with guaranteed follow-up attacks from Garm, Ephraim essentially gets Bold Fighter, Vengeful Fighter, and Guard all at once, making him absolutely destructive in the right hands.

All in all, Ephraim is absolutely one of the best units in the game and earns his spot at the top of the tier list; however, he faces heavy competition from other green armors, such as Legendary Hector, Grima, and Love Abounds Hector, who are all also incredible units in their own right, since green armor is one of the classes that make up the best units available.

Strengths

Optimized Stat Spread

Being an armored unit has its advantages, mainly that he has more stat points in general to work off of. Ephraim has one of the highest base Attack stats in the game, with an equally high Defense stat to match. These are his most important stats in any of the sets that he could run, as high Attack directly contributes to his killing power, while Defense enables him to tank for as much as he needs to during Enemy Phase or between Player Phase attacks.

Incredible Base Kit

Ephraim’s base kit includes the fourth Fighter skill to be introduced into the game in Special Fighter, a skill which combines Special cooldown reduction with a Guard effect. While ordinarily, this would pale in comparison to Bold or Vengeful Fighter, Ephraim also has means of ensuring doubles via Garm, turning his Weapon + B skill into an omni Fighter with Guard stacked on top of it.  

Flexible Skill Slots

Garm and Special Fighter alone makes him incredibly potent, but he then gains flexibility on top of it in a free A, C, and Seal slot, which can be customized to the Summoner’s preference to further enhance his combat abilities in Player or Enemy Phase.

Weaknesses

Useless Speed

Ephraim comes with 27 Speed in all of his iterations, and it’s equally unsalvageable in them all.  With Garm, Brave Ephraim has no need for his Speed stat at all, and the points allotted there could have easily gone to his Resistance stat instead to make him even tankier.

Limited Movement

The tradeoff for his increased stats is being locked to 1 movement.  It’s possible to increase his movement to 2 through Armor March and Armored Boots, which is generally his preferred C or S slot, considering that movement buffs enable him to double attack.

Needs Some Babysitting

Ephraim needs some form of buff for Garm’s special effect to function, whether it’s through movement buffs or visible stat buffs like Hone or Rally. This weakens him considerably when the player is not controlling him, such as during autobattles or Arena Defense. He always needs a unit nearby him in order to unleash his lethal combination of skills, which makes utilizing him a bit trickier.

Team Options

Ephraim needs units who can buff him in order to keep up Garm’s effects.

  • Armor Units: Armor units who run Armor March and increase mobility together, such as Effie, Draug, Zelgius, and Brave Hector are all fantastic options.
  • Magical Units: Units who can apply heavy magic damage to supplement Ephraim’s physical damage are helpful- particularly if they can take care of red threats, such as units like Winter Tharja, Valentine Lyn, Linde, and Nowi.
  • Dancers: Dancers can help Ephraim resolve his movement issue and PA Azura, PA Inigo, Olivia, and Ninian can all help Ephraim to overcome his positioning weaknesses.

Counters

While Ephraim’s sky-high Defense and double attacks are potent, he isn’t immortal.

  • Armor Counters: Units who can be seen with effective weapons, such as Tobin, Cherche, Caeda, and Selena can pack a strong punch against him.
  • Powerful Red Units: It takes a very sturdy, powerful unit to topple Ephraim, but it can be done by units such as Adult Tiki, Ayra, and Sanaki.
  • Axebreaker: Units who come with Axebreaker can circumvent Ephraim’s Fighter skills. Laslow and Eliwood both naturally have it, but it can be inherited to any other non-blue unit.

Weapon Skills

Weapons SP Rng. Mt.
Iron Axe
Inheritable by Axe users only.
50 1 6
Steel Axe
Inheritable by Axe users only.
100 1 8
Silver Axe
Inheritable by Axe users only.
200 1 11
GarmGrants Atk+3. If a bonus granted by a skill like Rally or Hone and/or extra movement granted by a skill like Armor March or Armored Boots is active, unit makes a guaranteed follow-up attack.
Learns by default 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 5 ★
Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
100 4
Draconic AuraBoosts Atk by 30%.
Unlocks at 5 ★
Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
200 3

Passive Skills

Passive Skills SP Slot
Close Def 1If unit is attacked by foe using sword, axe, lance, or dragonstone, unit receives Def/Res+2 during combat.
Inheritable by all units.
60
A
Close Def 2If unit is attacked by foe using sword, axe, lance, or dragonstone, unit receives Def/Res+4 during combat.
Inheritable by all units.
120
A
Close Def 3If unit is attacked by foe using sword, axe, lance, or dragonstone, unit receives Def/Res+6 during combat.
Unlocks at 5 ★
Inheritable by all units.
240
A
Special Fighter 1At start of combat, if unit's HP ≥ 90%, grants Special cooldown charge +1 to unit and inflicts Special cooldown charge -1 on foe per attack. (Only highest value applied. Does not stack.)
Only inheritable by armor units.
60
B
Special Fighter 2At start of combat, if unit's HP ≥ 70%, grants Special cooldown charge +1 to unit and inflicts Special cooldown charge -1 on foe per attack. (Only highest value applied. Does not stack.)
Only inheritable by armor units.
120
B
Special Fighter 3At start of combat, if unit's HP ≥ 50%, grants Special cooldown charge +1 to unit and inflicts Special cooldown charge -1 on foe per attack. (Only highest value applied. Does not stack.)
Unlocks at 5 ★
Only inheritable by armor units.
240
B
Armor March 1If unit has 100% HP and an adjacent armored ally at start of turn, unit and any such allies can move 1 extra space. (That turn only; does not stack.)
Only inheritable by armor units.
60
C
Armor March 2If unit has ≥ 50% HP and an adjacent armored ally at start of turn, unit and any such allies can move 1 extra space. (That turn only; does not stack.)
Only inheritable by armor units.
120
C
Armor March 3If unit has an adjacent armored ally at the start of turn, unit and any such allies can move 1 extra space. (That turn only, does not stack.)
Unlocks at 5 ★
Only inheritable by armor units.
240
C

Other Info

Origin
Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones

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