Donnel

Basic Rating:
Analysis by Ceui
Donnel
Village Hero

3-4

Obtainable as a 3 - 4 only
Advanced Ratings
Rating TypeBudget Optimal
Attacker
5.5
6
Supporter
1.5
2
Max Avg Total Stats at Lvl 40
162
HP 43
ATK 35
SPD 29
DEF 32
RES 23
Stat Variations
Level 1 Stat Variation
5★
4★
3★
HP ATK SPD DEF RES
Low 16 6 4 5 3
Middle 17 7 5 6 4
High 18 8 6 7 5

Level 40 Stat Variations
5★
4★
3★
HP ATK SPD DEF RES
Low 40 32 26 29 20
Middle 43 35 29 32 23
High 46 38 32 35 26
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

+Atk is universally good in all of Donnel's builds, as he has fantastic attack and does a lot of damage regardless of his skills. +Spd is quite potent for any tank build because it helps him avoid being doubled too much.

Res is his weakest stats and should not be priotized, due to its being low regardless of his boon. A HP boon is also acceptable since it can be fixed easily with a +3HP seal. Spd boon is preferrable for Brave Lance build over the other bane.

Skill Sets
Lancer ga shinda (Brave Lance Attacker)
Budget
Optimal
Brave Lance+ A Death Blow 3
Reposition B Drag Back
Luna C Threaten Def 3

SP Cost1,500

  • Weapon: Brave Lance+
  • Assist: Reposition / Draw Back
  • Special: Luna / Bonfire
  • A slot: Death Blow 
  • B slot: Drag Back / Quick Riposte
  • C slot: Threaten Def / Varies on team
  • Sacred Seal: Atk+1
  • Bane / Boon: +Atk -Spd

This set is Donnel's bread and butter for being both cheap and strong at the same time. His high attack combined with Death Blow and Brave Lance makes him a strong pure attacker in player's phase. Drag Back is a skill he already have and it synergizes extremely well with Brave Lance's nature, allowing him to kill with a lot more safety.

With +Atk Seal, a +Atk boon and Death Blow 3, Donnels reaches a whopping 53 attack on initiation before any buffs, which is enough to destroy plenty of opponents before they can strike back. Speed is unnecessary with this set and can take a bad bane.

Positioning assist is to combo with Dancer or help out the team. Luna and Bonfire are both strong 3 charges special that synergizes well with his stats. Bonfire is more stable due to it always adding 16 flat damage for Donnel, while Luna's value goes up when he attack high Defense opponents like Lukas or Effie

Quick Riposte can be used over Drag Back if you want him to have some power during Opponent's Phase, since with his bulk he can survive well even with the Speed penalty.

C slot is always flexible depending on team. Threaten Def is a good choice, as it bolster his offensive power thanks to Brave Lance.

 

The Great Wall of Donnel Trump (Tank build)
Killer Lance+ A Fury 3
Reposition B Quick Riposte 3
Ignis C Threaten Atk 3

SP Cost1,935

  • Weapon: Killer Lance / Carrot Lance / Heavy Spear
  • Assist: Reposition / Reciprocal Aid
  • Special: Ignis / Bonfire / Sol 
  • A slot: Fury / Fortress Def / Earth Boost
  • B slot: Quick Riposte 
  • C slot: Threaten Atk
  • Sacred Seal: +Atk
  • Bane / Boon: +Atk -Res 

Donnel has impressive physical bulk, so this build can turn him into a 2 movement Effie that soaks in physical attackers and destroy them on the counters. The only problem with this build is that it is an expensive build, but its versatility is worth the investment.

With +Atk boon and +Atk Seal and Fury 3, he reaches an impressive stats line 53 Atk, 43 Hp, 32 Spd and 35 Def. +Speed boon is also not bad, as it prevents him from being doubled. A +3 HP seal boosts his HP to 46 which is fantastic, and can be considered using if other units need the other 2 seals more.

Earth Boost and Fortress Def are both decent skills that improve his tankiness, but Fury 3 is generally superior

Killer Lance is a great choice for comboing with Ignis and Sol. Carrot Lance provides frequent heals that can help offset Fury 3 damage, but is not preferred. Heavy Spear is an interesting choice as it helps killing units like Zephiel, Effie and Hector much easier. Donnel with full HP and Heavy Spear can tank Hector, and kills him on counter with Quick Riposte, so it's a very strong choice against Armored Emblem.

Reciprocal Aid can be used as an emergency heal if your Donnel is required to tank more than one or two units, immediately bringing him to high health for Quick Riposte again. 

Ignis/Bonfire are the best specials for tank Donnel. With Killer Lance, Ignis has a 3 cooldown only, making any units that can double him (or Brave users) risk eating a full blown Ignis charged counterattack within the same turn. Bonfire is better for Carrot and Heavy Spear. Sol helps him heal frequently thanks to the reduced cooldown, allowing him to last longer.

Quick Riposte is a no brainer for this build, and is generally preferred. Donnel is so tanky that most of the time he doesn't really find Breaker skill necessary.

Threaten Attack rounds this build up well, but you can use other Debuff/Buff skills depending on what your team requires

Weapon Skills
Learns by default at 1 ★
Learns by default at 3 ★
Unlocks at 2 ★
Rng:
1
Mt:
5

Spd-5. Attack twice when initiating combat.

Learns by default at 4 ★
Unlocks at 3 ★
SP:
300
Rng:
1
Mt:
8

Spd-5. Attack twice when initiating combat.

Unlocks at 5 ★
Support Skills
SP:
150
Rng:
1

Swap HP with adjacent ally (neither unit can go above their max HP).

Learns by default at 4 ★
Unlocks at 3 ★
Passive Skills
SP:
40
Slot:
A

Grants +3 to max HP.

Unlocks at 1 ★
SP:
80
Slot:
A

Grants +4 to max HP.

Unlocks at 2 ★
SP:
160
Slot:
A

Grants +5 to max HP.

Unlocks at 4 ★
SP:
150
Slot:
B

If unit initiates attack, the unit moves 1 space away after combat. Foe moves into unit's previous space.

Unlocks at 3 ★
Introduction

Pros:

  • High base stats total for an Infantry, making him weight more for Arena score
  • Great offensive as well as defensive stats spread
  • Available at low star level, as well as being one of the free units from Quest

Cons:

  • Weak to Magic attacks

Donnel is a strong Lance user with very high total base stats (The third highest amongst infantry units after TikiY and Nowi), making him a good units to invest in over the long-term for arena scoring. His high Defense, HP and Attack make him a strong physical attacker as well as a tank, and his Speed is also at an acceptable level as well.

Donnel's weakness is his low Magic Resistance, meaning even with his high Health pool, he will fall to strong magic attackers like Linde, Reinhardt, Nino or Soren. Other than that, he is a worthwhile unit to use, as his versatility and strong baseline stats make him very effective at whatever you want him to be.

Strengths/Weaknesses

Strengths

+/ High base attack:

  • Donnel has 35 base attack, tied with Cordelia, Hinoka, Lukas, Ephraim and Est for the 2nd highest place amongst Lance users. 35 base is fantastic even without Legendary Weapon, meaning he can run both Brave Lance set and other set using different weapons without being hindered much

+/ Extremely bulky:

  • While his Defense is no Lukas's level, it is definitely no slouch. A combination of 43 HP / 32 Def and 29 Speed makes him tough to take down with Physical Attack, even when he runs offensive builds.

 

Weaknesses:

+/ Lacks of ways to deal with Ranged attacks:

  • Being an Infantry Melee units, Donnel lacks the mean to counter ranged attackers. His bulk somewhat allows him to survive better than his peers, but it is still a problem

+/ Low Resistance:

  • Donnel low Resistance makes him a poor choice to take Magical Attack. Even with his high health, he will falls to Speedy and high Damage mages, as well as making going up against physically bulky Dragons like Nowi challenging.
Team Options

Donnel acts as both a tank and damage dealer for the team, thus he appreciates both Defensive buffs and Offensive buffs greatly. Units like Eirika, Ephraim, Corrin F or Sharena who can both buff/debuff make potent allies no matter the set up.

As a tank, Donnel depends on skills like Quick Riposte to function well. Unit that can keeps him healthy are valuable, such as Lucina / Marth / Alm / Chrom who can run the Healer build and also cover Green units for him.

Dancers are always appreciated, no matter the set up. There is little reason not to use Dancer if they are available, unless you want to score a little bit higher with high BST units like Armored Units or Dragons.

Donnel is vulnerable to mages and Dragons, so units that can reliably deal with them are appreciated. Strong Red Swords with Distant Counter like Ike,

  • Ryoma or Xander makes great allies, as they can swiftly deal with strong Green Mages like Julia, Nino or Soren as well as green tanks like Hector.
  • Julia herself is also a strong candidate, as she destroy bulky Dragon like Nowi, Fae or Corrin F without much difficulty, as well as handling strong magic attacker like Reinhardt, Nino, Soren or Linde. In the same vein, Sanaki/Lilina is also a potent choice for handling green units.

 

Counters

Donnel is weak to most Green units, especially magical ones or physically bulky ones:

  • Hector / Narcian / Michalis / Frederick / Minerva / Titania: These units are nasty one on one against any lance users. Avoid engaging them 
  • Julia / Nino / Soren / Spring Camilla / Cecilia: Powerful green nukers can send Donnel flying quick, even with his high HP
  • Merric: Merric has one of the best Defense out of all mages, he also does green magic damage and tends to build Close Counter to fight physical units. 
  • Cherche: She has one of the most brutal intiation in the game. Donnel won't survive a Brave Axe Cherche in anyway whatsoever. Raven is also worth mentioning for his good attack and speed combination.

Physically strong Dragons who can shrug off Donnel's attack and causing a world of pain to him are also threatening, so be careful around them

  • Corrin F / Nowi: They are bulky, have good speed and does magic attack. 
  • Fae: She is a Green Dragon who generally build Tri Adept these days, she will destroy Donnel hands down

Strong magic nuker of other colors also capable of killing Donnel on initiation if he's not careful:

  • Reinhardt / Olwen / Ursula: It's just not worth tanking them, especially in Horse Emblem setting
  • Spring Lucina / Linde: They outspeed Donnel and will definitely kill him if they gets their attack in.

 

From Series
Fire Emblem: Awakening
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