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Table of Contents

Tier Rating

Analysis by Cecil
Donnel - Village Hero


Obtainable as a 3 - 4 only

Hero Stats

Max Avg Total Stats at Lvl 40
HP 43
ATK 35
SPD 29
DEF 32
RES 23

Stat Variations

Level 1 Stat Variation
Low 16 6 4 5 3
Middle 17 7 5 6 4
High 18 8 6 7 5

Level 40 Stat Variations
Low 40 32 26 29 20
Middle 43 35 29 32 23
High 46 38 32 35 27

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.

Donnel needs Attack on all of his sets and forgoes Resistance no matter what. However, the rest of his stats depend on the build. Donnel is a very flexible unit thanks to his statline and can run all kinds of sets depending on what’s available.


  • +ATK: Attack is great for all of Donnel’s sets and is the best choice for his optimal set.


  • HP: HP affects Donnel’s physical Defense, but is not important and can be reduced if necessary. After Resistance, it’s his second-best Flaw.

  • DEF: Reducing Donnel’s Defense will lower the power of his Bonfire and Ignis, so it’s recommended to keep it neutral.


  • -RES: Donnel does not need Resistance on any of his sets, so it can be reduced without penalty.
  • -SPD: With 29 Speed, Donnel does not have enough Speed to benefit from investment. Both of his sets ignore Speed and instead prefer to outright KO with Wrath, Quick Riposte or a Brave Lance.

Skill Sets

Defensive Donny (Tank)

Slaying Lance+ (+Atk) A Distant Counter
Alternate: Fury 3
Alternate: Swap
B Wrath 3
Alternate: Quick Riposte 3
Alternate: Luna
C Spur Def/Res 2
SP1695SQuickened Pulse

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

  • Weapon: Slaying Lance+ (+Atk)

  • Assist: Reposition / Swap

  • Special: Bonfire / Luna

  • Passive A: Distant Counter / Fury

  • Passive B: Wrath / Quick Riposte

  • Passive C: Spur Def/Res / Atk Smoke

  • Sacred Seal: Quickened Pulse

Donnel makes a great mixed tank despite having low Resistance. This set is designed to fire off powerful Specials after taking just one hit. Donnel does not need Resistance or Speed for this build, preferring Attack to hit back harder.

A Slaying Lance and the Quickened Pulse seal are what accelerate Donnel’s special cooldown and are important parts of the build. Wrath lets him fast-charge specials ready on subsequent turns and gives him extra power when counterattacking. Distant Counter is vital to be able to KO mages and other ranged units, but Fury is a decent alternative that limits him to melee combat, but gives him a nice all-rounded boost. Quick Riposte is something of a budget option over Wrath, but

Bonfire is picked as it scales off Donnel’s high defense, and the charge time of three allows him to activate it after taking just one attack (with Quickened Pulse). Luna is another decent option if Donnel is -Def or is mainly fighting Armor.

Donnel can be used alongside a wide range of units, defensive and offensive units alike. Reposition is a great move for any teammate, helping Armored allies with movement and potentially saving an offensive unit from danger. Whether you use a Smoke skill or a Dual Spur is down to player preference, as both are useful team support skills.

Farmer's Fury (Budget Offensive)

Brave Lance+ A Death Blow 4
Alternate: Death Blow 3
Reposition B Lancebreaker 3
Moonbow C Threaten Def 3
SP1875SQuickened Pulse

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

  • Weapon: Brave Lance+

  • Assist: Reposition / Swap

  • Special: Moonbow / Bonfire

  • Passive A: Death Blow / Life and Death / Attack +3

  • Passive B: Lancebreaker / Drag Back

  • Passive C: Atk Smoke / Threaten Def

  • Sacred Seal: Quickened Pulse / Attack +3

With only minimal investment, Donnel can turn  into a powerful melee attacker. With his native Brave Lance he can initiate and KO many red and blue units. There are two variants to this set, Quickened Pulse / Moonbow and Bonfire / Attack +3.

Death Blow is preferred on all sets due to its significant Attack boost. Other Attack boosting A skills can  work, but Death Blow is the best option, giving a +8 Attack bonus on initiation. Lancebreaker can be taken to deal with Wary Fighter Effie and other similar bulky lance units, but Drag Back is a great alternative that makes it a lot safer to use Donnel.

Quickened Pulse / Moonbow allow Donnel to trigger his Special up front for extra damage. However, the Bonfire / Attack +3 variant means that Donnel can activate Bonfire for his second enemy, utterly decimating them. He can beat a lot more enemies with Bonfire charged, so consider both options when building Donnel.

Reposition is a great Assist skill for any teammate, helping Armored allies with movement and potentially saving an offensive ally from danger. Smoke skills are preferred on this set, but a simple Threaten skill works as a good budget option.

Arena Assault (Budget Defensive)

Sapphire Lance+
Alternate: Sapphire Lance
A Fury 3
Alternate: Reciprocal Aid
B Lancebreaker 3
Bonfire C Threaten Def 3
Alternate: Threaten Atk 3
SP1875SQuick Riposte 3

Show Explanation/Analysis
  • Preferred IV: +ATK / -SPD
  • Weapon: Sapphire Lance+ / Sapphire Lance

  • Assist: Reposition / Swap / Reciprocal Aid

  • Special: Bonfire

  • Passive A: Fury

  • Passive B: Lancebreaker / Quick Riposte

  • Passive C: Spur Def/Res / Threaten Atk

  • Sacred Seal: Quick Riposte / Close Def

As mentioned in the Introduction, Donnel is great as a 4*+10 unit and with this build he becomes a great unit for Arena Assault. With this set, he can take on blue and red units as well as provide positional or buff support. He plays mostly defensive, but can initiate against Lances or if he has Bonfire charged.

The key elements of this set are Lancebreaker and Sapphire Lance. They combine to force good matchups for Donnel against red and blue units. Lancebreaker also gives Donnel the choice of initiating against Lances. Fury is an incredible skill for Donnel considering his well-rounded statline, and gives him some much-needed Resistance to help him fend off dragons such as the common Nowi.

The choice between Repostion and Swap comes down to user preference, but both allow Donnel to support other units he is paired with. He can even run Reciprocal Aid to grant allies a pseudo-heal, although this may be tough if Donnel has already seen combat. Spur Def/Res is the best team support choice, but Threaten Def or Threaten Atk give him more power on the frontline.

Donnel should run Quick Riposte, in either his B slot skill or as his Seal. Lancebreaker/Quick Riposte is stronger against units like Ephraim and Effie, while Close Def/Quick Riposte is better vs. Corrin(F) and Nowi. Quick Riposte in B slot is more expensive, but the choice should come down to which types of units Donnel aims to face.


Donnel hails from a small farming village in Fire Emblem: Awakening. This boy from the country is an infantry lance-user and is known for having a well-rounded statline with great Attack and Defense. Donnel is one of the easiest units to obtain, being on the free hero rotations and available as a 3-4 star summon.

His well-rounded statline makes him somewhat of a jack-of-all trades, with decent stats in all but his Resistance. Donnel can struggle to stand out in a world where his competitors have optimized statlines, unique weapons, or class-specific buffs. However, his advantage over them comes in the form of versatility. He can run many types of sets decently, and his all-rounder statline makes him a great unit to get creative with builds.

Being easy to obtain gives Donnel many advantages. It’s easy to hunt for a good IV set and merge him up. He’s a great unit even at four stars and is still strong as a  4*+10. Despite his weaknesses, Donnel is a strong pick and is a staple of many free players' barracks.


Well-rounded stat line.

Donnel has 43 HP, 35 Attack, 29 Speed, and 32 Defense. This makes him great at both taking and dealing damage. High Attack also lets Donnel run a decent Brave Lance build if he desires. High Defense makes Bonfire and Ignis the Specials of choice on his defensive sets. Even his Resistance at 23 is passable, albeit low.

Versatile and can access powerful tank skills.

Being an Infantry unit means that Donnel has access to strong skills such as Wrath and Steady Breath. Unlike Armors, however, he has the ease of mobility which makes it easier for him to maneuver around the battlefield. Donnel is versatile in what teams he can run with and is a great Arena Assault unit.


Speed sits at a weird tier.

29 Speed is not considered particularly low, but it sits an at awkward tier. It’s too low for meaningful investment and too high for it to be a dump stat. Donnel has a great stat total but much of it is wasted on his HP and Speed.

Outclassed by many other units.

Donnel finds himself outclassed by many other lance-users, due to more optimized statlines, better mobility options or unique weapons. Nephenee and Lukas are both stronger units that sit on either side of Donnel’s Speed tier. Other units such as the GHB Valter and Brave Lucina have unique weapons that give them an edge over Donnel.

Weapon Skills

Weapons SP Rng. Mt.
Learns by default at 1 ★
Steel Lance
Learns by default at 3 ★
Unlocks at 2 ★
Lance Users Only
100 1 8
Brave LanceSpd-5. Attack twice when initiating combat.
Learns by default at 4 ★
Unlocks at 3 ★
Lance Users Only
200 1 5
Brave Lance+Spd-5. Attack twice when initiating combat.
Unlocks at 5 ★
Lance Users Only
300 1 8
Weapon Evolution
Weapon Upgrades
Weapon Upgrades

Support Skills

Support Skills Rng. SP
Reciprocal AidSwap HP with adjacent ally (neither unit can go above their max HP).
Learns by default at 4 ★
1 150

Passive Skills

Passive Skills SP Slot
HP +3Grants +3 to max HP.
Inheritable by all units.
Unlocks at 1 ★
HP +4Grants +4 to max HP.
Inheritable by all units.
Unlocks at 2 ★
HP +5Grants +5 to max HP.
Inheritable by all units.
Unlocks at 4 ★
Drag BackIf unit initiates attack, the unit moves 1 space away after combat. Foe moves into unit's previous space.
Non-Inheritable by Mages and Ranged units.
Unlocks at 3 ★

Other Info

Fire Emblem: Awakening

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