Tier Rating
Analysis by CCZeroFire
Fallen Hardin - Dark Emperor

5

Obtainable as a 5 only
Hero Stats
Max Avg Total Stats at Lvl 40
175
HP 45
ATK 34
SPD 28
DEF 36
RES 32
Stat Variations
Level 1 Stat Variation
5★
HP ATK SPD DEF RES
Low 22 7 5 9 7
Middle 23 8 6 10 8
High 24 9 7 11 9

Level 40 Stat Variations
5★
HP ATK SPD DEF RES
Low 41 31 24 33 29
Middle 45 34 28 36 32
High 48 37 31 39 35
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

Virtually all of Hardin's stats are high enough to make use of. Even his lowest, Speed, reaches a reasonable level for denying enemy follow-ups as a boon. It is quite fair to say that Hardin can perform comfortably with nearly any boon or bane and is absolutely fine with a Neutral nature.

Boons

  • +ATK: Retaliating harder is always an advantage, ensuring quicker and more reliable kills. This boon synergizes fantastically with Bold Fighter.

  • +DEF: More Defense greatly supports his ability to take on powerful red sword units like Ayra and Zelgius.

  • +RES: A boost to his fairly hefty Resistance helps Hardin act as a magical tank, especially paired with his Distant Counter weapon, Gradivus.

Banes

  • -SPD: Hardin's Speed is not quite high enough to reliably prevent follow-ups unless a boon, so if one does not want to use a Speed boon then it can instead be dumped without significantly impacting his performace. Hardin will perform doubles regardless thanks to skills like Bold Fighter.

  • -HP: If one does not to want to drop Hardin's Speed, HP may be the next best choice. Likely to engage in multiple magical and physical combats, he will lose less overall bulk from an HP bane then from one in either defensive stat.

  • -DEF / -RES: There is one good reason one might want to pick a Defense or Resistance bane: Hardin's Speed and HP banes are both 4-point "superbanes" and drop his BST from the 175-179 point scoring range to the 170-174 point scoring range. If scoring highly in Arena is important then taking a Defense or Resistance bane (which are both normal 3-point banes) will let him avoid those Speed and HP superbanes, and keep his BST at 175. At high score ranges, maintaining his Defense may be slightly more useful, with dangerous sword users like Zelgius more common than red tome users.

Skill Sets
Ire of the Maddened Coyote (Dual Phase)
Recommended
Gradivus A Warding Breath
Alternate: Brazen Def Res 3
Pivot
Alternate: Swap
B Bold Fighter 3
Aether
Alternate: Glimmer
C Armor March 3
Alternate: Ward Armor
SP1,935SQuick Riposte 3

Show Explanation/Analysis
  • Preferred IV: +ATK or +RES or +DEF / -SPD
  • Weapon: Gradivus
  • Assist: Pivot / Swap
  • Special: Aether / Ignis / Bonfire / Glimmer
  • Passive A: Warding Breath / Steady Breath / Brazen Def/Res
  • Passive B: Bold Fighter
  • Passive C: Armor March / Ward Armor / Hone Armor 
  • Sacred Seal: Quick Riposte

Thanks to Hardin's weapon Gradivus, the resistive power of Warding or Steady Breath, as well as the astounding power of Bold Fighter, Hardin has the ability to act as a fantastic fighter on both Player Phase and Enemy Phase.

For his assist, Hardin will usually prefer either Pivot or Swap, the most common options to aid slow armored units with their movement.

With all these Special-accelerating skills, the natural question becomes which Special to pick. Perhaps his strongest option, Hardin can proc Aether on every encounter when he is doubled and grants him welcome sustain. Ignis/Glacies activates for superior damage at similar intervals and lacks Aether's healing, but it will still activate when Hardin is not doubled. Bonfire/Iceberg is weaker, but will also activate on Player Phase so long as he is counterattacked. Glimmer grants Hardin an instant special retaliation and allows him to successfully secure one-hit-kills against Ayra or Bold Fighter Zelgius before they chunk Hardin hard with their own specials. Glimmer will also activate when Hardin initiates combat even against units that cannot counterattack, unlike Bonfire. 

Hardin makes great use of a Breath passive giving him amazing potential on both Player and Enemy Phase. With one of the highest Resistance stats among units with a Distant Counter weapon, Hardin exhibits himself as one of the greatest users of Warding Breath and is great at combating the rising popularity of red magic users like Winter Tharja and Eirika (SM). Of course, he is just fine with boosting his beefy Defense with Steady Breath. If building Hardin on a budget and unable to give him a Breath passive, stick with Glimmer for his Special, to ensure he is still activating a special on every Enemy Phase.

Bold Fighter is clearly the skill of choice for Hardin's B slot, and is what grants Hardin his astonishing Player Phase. It grants Hardin the ability to always perform a follow-up attack regardless of his Speed stat and also causes these blows to increase his Special charge by an extra point, widening the pool of Specials he is able to use. Not only is it one of the strongest skills available to armored units, but thankfully, he already comes packaged with it.

Performing best with an armor-centric team, it goes without surprise that Hardin's best C skill will be one that synergizes with other armored units. Armor March is Hardin's favorite option, as it is integral to his ability to effectively reach his targets on Player Phase, and Hardin's reliance on the Quick Riposte Sacred Seal prevents him from using the Armored Boots. If an ally is already granting him Armor March, Ward Armor is a common choice to bulk up his team even further. Hone Armor is also a fantastic choice for Hardin, particularly when used alongside a fast armored mage that can run a blade tome, like Halloween Henry.

An Exceptional Judge of Character (Pure Enemy-Phase)
Gradivus A Warding Breath
Alternate: Brazen Def Res 3
Swap
Alternate: Pivot
B Vengeful Fighter 3
Alternate: Quick Riposte 2
Aether
Alternate: Ignis
C Def Ploy 3
SP2,055SDistant Def 3

Show Explanation/Analysis
  • Preferred IV: +ATK or +RES or +DEF / -SPD
  • Weapon: Gradivus
  • Assist: Swap / Pivot
  • Special: Aether / Ignis / Glimmer
  • Passive A: Warding Breath / Steady Breath / Fury / Brazen Def/Res
  • Passive B: Vengeful Fighter / Quick Riposte / Guard 
  • Passive C: Def Ploy / Atk Ploy / Panic Ploy
  • Sacred Seal: Distant Def / Close Def / Armored Boots / Quick Riposte

Incredible bulk on both ends of the spectrum allows Hardin to invest fully in his defenses on an Enemy Phase set.

Swap allows Hardin to slide himself into spaces occupied by allies and may be slightly preferred in a bait-centric set compared to Pivot.

Hardin's special choice is similar to the previous set. Aether continues to be used for self-healing, more easily allowing Hardin to fight in successive combats. Ignis remains the optimal nuke choice, easily reaching over 30 damage. In optimal situations, such as when paired with Def Ploy debuffs, it can even result in kills against green tanks such as Fallen Robin (M). Glimmer instead offers the instant retaliation to destroy threats such as Zelgius before activating Black Luna. Choose whichever best suits the threats Hardin is needed to cover.

Warding or Steady Breath is used for the much-needed cooldown acceleration, although skills that offer stat boosts in other situations such as Fury or his default Brazen Def/Res can be used on a budget.

Vengeful Fighter is the primary option for his B slot. While its cooldown acceleration property does not stack with Warding Breath, its larger HP threshold compared to Quick Riposte makes it the superior option, if the skill is available. If not, Quick Riposte will work all the same in the majority of cases. The secondary option here is Guard, which secures Hardin's matchups versus Special nukers like Reinhardt and Ayra. In such a case, Quick Riposte can easily be swapped to the Sacred Seal slot.

Hardin's fantastic Resistance also grants him the ability to use Def Ploy, a welcome source of extra damage. Paired with a Special, Hardin can easily breach the weapon triangle as his damage on activation can begin to breach the 70s or even 80s depending on which Special is used. Atk Ploy is another option that can help Hardin tank harder and keep his HP as close to full as he can manage. Panic Ploy is an interesting alternative that may also allow him to tank even green mages such as Nino without much fear when inflicted at the right time.

As an Enemy Phase defender, either Distant Def or Close Def are fantastic options for stacking even more armor on top of his already imposing bulk. Armored Boots can also work as a tool to allow Hardin to more easily get into a proper position at the start of a map. Of course, make sure to use Quick Riposte if neither it nor Vengeful Fighter is his B skill.

Darksphere's Frenzy (Wrath Nuker)
Gradivus A Steady Breath
Swap
Alternate: Pivot
B Wrath 3
Ignis
Alternate: Noontime
C Def Ploy 3
Alternate: Threaten Def 3
SP1,605SQuick Riposte 3

Show Explanation/Analysis
  • Preferred IV: +ATK / -SPD
  • Weapon: Gradivus
  • Assist: Swap / Pivot
  • Special: Ignis / Glimmer / Noontime
  • Passive A: Steady Breath / Warding Breath
  • Passive B: Wrath
  • Passive C: Def Ploy / Threaten Def
  • Sacred Seal: Quick Riposte

Such high Defense also allows Hardin to go all in on a set designed to nuke virtually every unit in the game out of existence. Explained quite simply, a Wrath-boosted Ignis from Hardin is able to blow up even the sturdiest of green foes without trouble, including Love Abounds Hector, Myrrh, and Fallen Robin (M).

This set is essentially a variation on the previous Enemy Phase set, but with all cards put into maximizing Hardin's damage as sky high as possible, ensuring nobody will survive. Virtually the only thing Hardin has to fear is ensuring he gets his nuke off. While Hardin is assuredly quite bulky, there is always the possibility of being knocked out in two hits from an incredibly powerful enemy, such as opposing Zelgius running Bold Fighter.

While Ignis is most likely to achieve total domination, there is still the opportunity of changing out his special for a different style of play. Glimmer is a strong option for a Hardin that wants to be able to take a hit from a mage and virtually always ensure an instantaneous death in return. As well, Hardin also has the opportunity to make use of the special Noontime. This will result in Hardin healing on every single counterattack he makes, and any time he falls below 75% health, Wrath will activate, resulting in a "miniature Aether" of sorts until his health recovers.
 

Introduction

Hardin, the twenty-fourth emperor of Archanea makes his way into Fire Emblem Heroes possessing what can only be described as some of the highest mixed bulk seen to date. That alone is not enough however as he also carries along with him one of the three regalia of House Archanea, the legendary lance Gradivus. This weapon allows our emperor to make fantastic use of his bulk, as it grants him the ability Distant Counter, and allows him to run the dreaded Distant Counter + Steady/Warding Breath combo. This is not even the end of it, as Hardin also comes packaged with the extraordinarily coveted skill Bold Fighter, which lets Hardin double his foes, boosted by accelerated Special cooldown, regardless of his Speed stat.

Adept at taking care of both physical threats as well as magical ones, Hardin is easily a force to be reckoned with during all phases of combat. Regardless of whether he opts to mix his power between both phases or throw all his ability into dominating just one, Hardin will easily be a dangerous threat that should never be taken lightly. Every single one of Hardin's stats is a powerful asset—a Hardin with a boon in Speed will have not even one of his stats reach below 30. Especially as the first blue armored unit in the game wielding a Distant Counter weapon, Hardin will likely be a mainstay on armored teams for a very long time to come.

Strengths

Extraordinary bulk

A mixed defensive combination of 36 Defense and 32 Resistance makes Hardin adept at combating threats both Physical and Magical. Such Resistance is also high enough to grant him access to powerful Ploy skills which can simply ruin the effectiveness of certain enemies.

Distant Counter weapon

Hardin's weapon Gradivus grants him the coveted Distant Counter ability without needing to take up his A slot. This allows Hardin to act as one of the few existing units who can combine the powerful Breath passives with Distant Counter, letting him rapidly fire off specials against all enemies.

Great Attack

Hardin's base 34 Attack combines with his 16 might legendary lance to allow him into the envied club of units that achieve at least 50 Attack before any boons or skills.

Default skill Bold Fighter

Included with every Hardin is a copy of what is often considered one of the strongest skills in the entirety of Fire Emblem Heroes, Bold Fighter. Formerly exclusive to the seasonal unit Winter Lissa, and sought after on virtually every armored unit with a respectable Attack, Hardin's skill boosts the rate that his Special charges on top of enabling him to always double his opponent regardless of Speed—certainly a welcome asset.

Weaknesses

Limited Mobility

The classic Achilles' heel of every armored unit, Hardin is naturally only able to move one space per turn. This essentially necessitates that he has allies that help him fix his movement with skills such as Guidance or Armor March unless he himself wants to use the Armored Boots Sacred Seal.

Unremarkable Speed

Hardin's one questionable stat among his spread is his Speed, which sits as a rather unremarkable 28. While it is high enough that Hardin is able to convincingly stop enemies from doubling him when it is boosted by a boon and paired with a skill like Spd Ploy or an allied Goad Armor, it is most likely his least useful stat in most other cases. While Hardin is normally fine with dropping his Speed and tanking multiple rounds of combat, it does open him up to a potential beating, especially to opposing Bold Fighter units that may run similar combinations against him.

Team Options
  • Armored Units: Hardin's absolute best fit on a team is expectedly going to be among other armored units like Zelgius, Hector (LA), and Fallen Robin (M). With everybody buffing each other with skills such as Armor March and Ward Armor, Hardin's strength can reach truly insane levels.

  • Red mages: Hardin's biggest problem will usually be enemy green mages or tanks, and a powerful red mage like Winter Tharja, Celica, Sanaki, or Eirika (SM) can cover these matchups for him.

  • Bow counters: As a lance unit, Hardin is effectively barred from ever counterattacking a Brave Lyn, one of the most prominent physical units in Arena. To alleviate this, dragon units like Adult Tiki and Fae as well as Raventome users like Lyon and Cecilia that can counter such colorless units make for great synergy with Hardin.

Counters
  • Effective Damage: As an armored unit, Hardin may find himself taking excessively high damage from any enemy wielding a Hammer, such as a Cherche, Bartre, or Frederick that stick with their base kit weapon, as well as a Micaiah with Thani.

  • Extreme Special Procs: Hardin's vulnerability to getting doubled also means enemies like Sonya, Zelgius, Halloween Jakob, and Hector (LA) may be able to charge against and then hit him with a dangerously strong Special proc before he can take them down.

  • Green Tanks: While Hardin has quite the potential to burst through them a well-timed Special, he still has a good chance of losing typical duels versus high Defense green units like Hector, Myrrh, Amelia, Brave Ike, and Winter Chrom.

Weapon Skills
Weapons SP Rng. Mt.
Iron Lance
Lance Users Only
50 1 6
Steel Lance
Lance Users Only
100 1 8
Silver Lance
Lance Users Only
200 1 11
GradivusEnables counterattack regardless of distance if this unit is attacked.
Learns by default at 5 ★
Non-Inheritable skill.
400 1 16
Weapon Evolution
Weapon Upgrades
Weapon Upgrades
Special Skills
Special Skills SP Turns
RetributionBoosts damage dealt to foe by 30% of damage dealt to unit.
Learns by default at 5 ★
Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
100 3
VengeanceBoosts damage dealt to foe by 50% of damage dealt to unit.
Unlocks at 5 ★
Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
200 3
Passive Skills
Passive Skills SP Slot
Brazen Def Res 1If unit's HP ≤ 80% at the start of combat, grants Def/Res+3 during combat.
Inheritable by all units.
60
A
Brazen Def Res 2If unit's HP ≤ 80% at the start of combat, grants Def/Res+5 during combat.
Inheritable by all units.
120
A
Brazen Def Res 3If unit's HP ≤ 80% at the start of combat, grants Def/Res+7 during combat.
Unlocks at 5 ★
Inheritable by all units.
240
A
Bold Fighter 1If unit's HP = 100% and unit initiates combat, unit makes a guaranteed follow-up attack. Grants Special cooldown charge +1 per attack. (Does not stack.)
Only inheritable by armor units.
60
B
Bold Fighter 2If unit's HP ≥ 50% and unit initiates combat, unit makes a guaranteed follow-up attack. Grants Special cooldown charge +1 per attack. (Does not stack.)
Only inheritable by armor units.
120
B
Bold Fighter 3If unit initiates combat, unit makes a guaranteed follow-up attack. Grants Special cooldown charge +1 per attack. (Does not stack.)
Unlocks at 5 ★
Only inheritable by armor units.
240
B
Other Info
Origin
Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem

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