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Ephraim

Tier Rating
Analysis by raelet
Ephraim - Restoration Lord

5

Obtainable as a 5 only
Hero Stats
Max Avg Total Stats at Lvl 40
157
HP 45
ATK 35
SPD 25
DEF 32
RES 20
Stat Variations
Level 1 Stat Variation
5★
HP ATK SPD DEF RES
Low 18 8 5 7 4
Middle 19 9 6 8 5
High 20 10 7 9 6

Level 40 Stat Variations
5★
HP ATK SPD DEF RES
Low 42 32 22 29 17
Middle 45 35 25 32 20
High 48 38 29 35 23
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:  Ephraim's best IV with his new-forged lance is an Attack boon, and lets him take full advantage of his guaranteed follow-up attacks above the HP threshold.
  • +DEF: A Defense-enhancing boon helps his survivability and his ability to stay above the HP threshold for the activation of Siegmund's new effect.

Neutral

  • HP: Ephraim's HP is reasonable as-is, and while it's not exactly high enough for Panic Ploying, it helps his defensive ability to keep it where it is, and so a bane should be avoided if possible.

Banes

  • -SPD: Because he has guaranteed doubles on initiation, a Speed bane is likely considered his dump stat unless running a Windsweep build.
  • -RES: A Resistance bane is also ideal, as he needs everything else to be run effectively.
Skill Sets
Offensive Powerhouse
Recommended
Siegmund (+Eff) A Death Blow 3
Reposition
Alternate: Rally Defense
B Vantage 3
Aether
Alternate: Glimmer
C Hone Spd 3
SP1,875SHeavy Blade 3

Show Explanation/Analysis
  • Preferred IVs: +ATK or +DEF / -SPD or -RES
  • Weapon: Siegmund (+Eff)
  • Assist: Reposition / Rally Defense
  • Special: Aether / Glimmer / Bonfire
  • A Slot: Death Blow / Sturdy Blow / Heavy Blade
  • B Slot: Vantage / Renewal / Wrath / Wings of Mercy
  • C Slot: Hone Spd
  • Sacred Seal: Heavy Blade / Fortify Res / Attack + 3

With this set, Ephraim gives up some of his support utility to become an extremely potent offensive unit. With his weapon's ability to strike twice with high HP, his priority then falls to ensuring that his HP remains above the threshold as much as he can. This is done one of two ways:

  • Heavy Blade (as an Attack boon Ephraim with Death Blow reaches 58 Attack), Aether, and Vantage: Ephraim's guaranteed double and significant chance of Heavy Blade proc ensures that after his first combat, he will have Aether primed and ready to fire. If he is within Vantage range, he will attack the next enemy who initiates on him with Aether in the following Enemy Phase. Ideally, this will kill his opponent and allow Ephraim to heal himself to where he will be in range for his weapon to proc the double attack again.
  • Sturdy Blow + Renewal is less risky, with the bonus of being able to proc a guaranteed Glimmer during your first turn. However, with this, Ephraim relies on Sturdy Blow's Defense bonus to prevent him from taking too much damage on the retaliation and then falls back to Renewal to heal up what he might have lost. This Ephraim will have difficulty healing off more damage within a respectable amount of time. Also, Sturdy Blow's Defense bonus is useless when attacking dragons.

Ephraim can also run Wings of Mercy in his B slot to support his mage allies who are in potential danger and could be able to warp in and kill whoever his mage ally could not finish off. And finally, he can run Wrath if you're intending on keeping him out of enemy range until your next Player Phase. Wrath will also increase the damage of Aether and help him to heal off more damage.

It still benefits his team for him to run Hone Spd in his C slot more than most other C slot skills to ensure that he's still capable of buffing a potential ally, and since Speed is Ephraim's dump stat, he's more suited to giving away that particular buff than any other.

Full Support
Siegmund (+Eff) A Triangle Adept 3
Alternate: Triangle Adept 2
Rally Defense B Renewal 3
Glimmer
Alternate: Moonbow
C Hone Spd 3
SP1,885SFortify Res 3

Show Explanation/Analysis
  • Preferred IVs: +ATK or +DEF or +HP / -SPD
  • Weapon: Siegmund (+Eff) 
  • Special: Glimmer / Moonbow
  • Assist: Rally Defense
  • A Slot: Triangle Adept / Death Blow
  • B Slot: Renewal / Quick Riposte / Wings of Mercy
  • C Slot: Hone Spd
  • Sacred Seal: Fortify Res

With this set, Ephraim's primary focus is buffing his teammates and acting as an anti-red unit. He does this by sacrificing his Assist, C slot, and seal slot in order to give maximum buff potential, for that sweet +4/+4/+4/+4 buff.

However, that does not necessarily mean that his combat ability is gone, as Ephraim is still able to double on initiation with his forge. He can also continue acting as a good blue defensive tank, walling and taking down enemy walls for your team.  His A slot goes to Triangle Adept, which will make him your team's guaranteed anti-red unit and give him optimal matchups against even red mages who might otherwise pose a threat to him. Alternatively, you can give him some semblance of his above build with a combination of Death Blow and Renewal, which utilizes his forge's effective ability while retaining his support utility.

Quick Riposte works better for a defensive approach, which when coupled with a Defense boon, allows him to be a great blue wall for squishy teams. He works best with green mages, such as Nino or Rhajat, providing buffs while also easily dismantling any red who threatens them.

Enemy Phase Ephraim
Siegmund (+Res)
Alternate: Siegmund (+Def)
A Distant Counter
Alternate: Close Defense 3
Reposition
Alternate: Rally Defense
B Quick Riposte 3
Alternate: Bowbreaker 3
Glimmer
Alternate: Ignis
C Hone Spd 3
SP2,035SDistant Def 3

Show Explanation/Analysis
  • Preferred IVs: +RES or +DEF or +ATK / -HP or -RES
  • Weapon: Siegmund (+Res) / Siegmund (+Def)
  • Assist: Reposition / Rally Defense
  • Special: Glimmer / Aether / Ignis
  • A slot: Distant Counter  / Steady Breath / Close Defense
  • B slot: Quick Riposte / Bowbreaker / B Tomebreaker
  • C Slot: Hone Spd
  • Sacred Seal: Distant Def / Close Defense

With a Resistance boon and forge on Siegmund, Ephraim reaches a Resistance stat of 27. With a Distant Def seal added in, his Resistance stat grows to a decent 33 with no outside support. This allows him to be a remarkably decent ranged counter, capable of striking back against tomes and bows alike.  With this set, he can eliminate magical threats such as Delthea, Linde, and Christmas Tharja, as well as bow units and daggers, such as Bridal Cordelia or Klein.

Opponents with Brave weapons will allow Ephraim to retaliate with a charged Glimmer shot, ensuring that he KO's tanky units, as well as those that are heavily merged. Despite his decent Resistance here, this Ephraim barely survives an unmerged Attack boon Death Blow Reinhardt and will require buffs to his Resistance to survive him if the Reinhardt is significantly merged or buffed.

Alternatively, Ephraim can run Steady Breath/Close Defense as an A slot in addition to a Defense forge on Siegmund for brutal physical tanking power. At a Defense stat of 35 with a boon, a Defense forge and Steady Breath/Close Defense give him an effective Defense of 50/52 when attacked from close range. Pair this with Quick Riposte and Ignis or Aether, and Ephraim is more than capable of dispatching many reds and blues and even some greens during the Enemy Phase.

Sweeper Memers
Siegmund (+Eff) A Darting Blow 3
Reposition B Windsweep 3
Glimmer C Threaten Spd 3
SP1,785SSpeed +3

Show Explanation/Analysis
  • Preferred IVs: +SPD / -HP or -RES
  • Weapon: Siegmund (+Eff)
  • Special: Glimmer
  • Assist: Reposition / Rally Defense
  • A Slot: Darting Blow / Life and Death
  • B Slot: Windsweep
  • C Slot: Threaten Spd / Hone Spd
  • Sacred Seal: Speed +3

As it turns out, Ephraim's weapon effect cancels out the double negation of Windsweep, meaning that he's capable of doubling without retaliation like a pseudo Firesweep weapon user. However, this is reliant on him being able to double naturally (meaning he must have 5 more points of Speed than the enemy unit). How can we make this happen?

A Speed boon, Darting Blow, and the Speed +3 seal get him to a base Speed of 38. From there, a Threaten Spd proc inflicts a debuff of -5 Speed on the enemy unit, allowing him to double everyone with a natural 38 speed. After that, it's up to his team support to buff his Speed through the use of Hone and Spur/Drive Spd. If you're willing to take the -1 Speed that Life and Death will give you in comparison to Darting Blow, it does offer him a significant attack boost that could help to kill an enemy if his Speed is too low to double.

This build is not ideal and should only be run if you have the resources to burn, but it essentially runs Ephraim like a Firesweep Lance, with the added bonus of having one more point of MT and retaining Siegmund's ally buff potential.

Introduction

Ephraim is a bulky lance wielder with exceptional power and supporting ability thanks to his fantastic legendary weapon, Siegmund. He boasts the rare ability to give a total of 16 points of buffs at once, making him a fantastic support, particularly for the powerful Blade tome users. Siegmund's power is even greater when considering its refinement or its upgrade, both of which offers him the ability to attack twice regardless of his low Speed. In addition, his high Attack and Defense make him a very solid counter to the numerous red swords that flood the game.

However, his low Resistance and Speed consistently get him doubled and makes him vulnerable to all magic, particularly green tomes. Despite these flaws, his ability to buff allies while holding his ground against physical units makes him an excellent pick for almost any team.

Strengths

Incredible Buffer

With a forged Siegmund, Ephraim is able to buff +4 Attack. When coupled with a rally, C slot, and seal, Ephraim is one of only two units in the game who is capable of giving a full +4/+4/+4/+4 spectrum of buffs, making his utility as an infantry Blade tome buffer unparalleled. Ephraim is capable of buffing any of his allies in this manner, and while he shines with a Blade tome, he is a fantastic support unit for any unit in the game.

Forged Legendary Weapon

Weapon forges breathed new life into Ephraim as an offensive unit, allowing him a guaranteed followup attack when his HP is over 90% and invalidates his low Speed in the Player Phase. This effect plus his high base Attack and Siegmund's high MT make him an incredible asset to have.  

Great Attack and Defense

Though he's typically thought of as a support unit, Ephraim's Defense makes him a good candidate for a brutal Quick Riposte build. Conversely, his high Attack and fantastic legendary weapon combined with his weapon forge turn Ephraim into a force to be reckoned with in the Player Phase. 

Weaknesses

Low Speed

Despite his weapon forge's ability to bypass his low Speed in order to double in the Player Phase, it still hurts him during the Enemy Phase, as many enemy units will double him. His guaranteed follow-up attack also does not negate his opponent's own follow-up attack, and If something can survive his initial two attacks then it's likely that they will double him in turn.

Low Resistance

Ephraim is very weak to green and blue mages alike, who are very popular in the meta right now. Nino is ever-present, and now, Gunnthrá poses a threat to him as well. This also increases his chance of getting ployed by enemy units with a high Resistance stat.

Heavy Competition

As a physical lancer, Ephraim faces heavy competition for his slot on the team. Units like Tana, Effie, or Cordelia rival his offensive utility and have the added benefit of being able to be placed in movement-type-exclusive teams. As a support lancer, Brave Lucina rivals him in utility, though her buffing effect will not affect blade tomes. He also fights Azura and Sharena for support lancer spots on a team.

Team Options

Ephraim's utility as a support lancer gives him a wide array of team options. He will work with almost any unit in the game- after all, who doesn't want free buffs?

  • Infantry Blade Tomes: His strongest allies are, without a doubt, infantry Blade tome users due to his unique ability to give them the spectrum of +4/+4/+4/+4 buffs.  Units like Nino, Tharja, and Linde are all top tier in this regard.
  • Strong Reds: At the same time, he benefits from units who can cover his weaknesses, or in other words, red units who can kill encroaching greens, such as Sanaki, Ryoma, and Black Knight.
  • Healers: Healers who can heal him up to full for his weapon forge effect are also greatly appreciated, such as Lucius, Elise, Bridal Lyn, and Genny.
Counters

Despite Ephraim's combat prowess, he still has a few glaring weaknesses:

  • Fast Greens: His low Speed is still an issue for him, allowing fast units to easily double him in the Enemy Phase, such as Anna, Minerva, and Raven.
  • Green Mages: His poor Resistance makes him particularly susceptible to mages, particularly green mages such as Nino, Julia, and Rhajat.
Weapon Skills
Weapons SP Rng. Mt.
Iron Lance
Lance Users Only
50 1 6
Steel Lance
Lance Users Only
100 1 8
Heavy SpearEffective against armored units.
Lance Users Only
200 1 8
SiegmundGrants adjacent allies Atk+3 through their next actions at the start of each turn.
Learns by default at 5 ★
Non-Inheritable skill.
400 1 16
Weapon Evolution
Weapon Upgrades
Weapon Upgrades
Special Skills
Special Skills SP Turns
New MoonResolve combat as if foe suffered Def/Res-30%
Learns by default at 5 ★
Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
100 3
MoonbowResolve combat as if foe suffered Def/Res-30%.
Unlocks at 5 ★
Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
200 2
Passive Skills
Passive Skills SP Slot
Seal Def 1After combat, foe suffers Def -3 through its next action.
Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
40
B
Seal Def 2After combat, foe suffers Def -5 through its next action.
Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
80
B
Seal Def 3After combat, foe suffers Def -7 through its next action.
Unlocks at 5 ★
Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
160
B
Threaten Def 1Inflicts Def-3 on foes within 2 spaces through their next actions at the start of each turn
Inheritable by all units.
50
C
Threaten Def 2Inflicts Def-4 on foes within 2 spaces through their next actions at the start of each turn
Inheritable by all units.
100
C
Threaten Def 3Inflicts Def-5 on foes within 2 spaces through their next actions at the start of each turn
Unlocks at 5 ★
Inheritable by all units.
200
C
Other Info
Origin
Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones

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