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Tier Rating

Analysis by Adonyx
Gwendolyn - Adorable Knight

3-4

Obtainable as a 3 - 4 only

Hero Stats

Max Avg Total Stats at Lvl 40
169
HP 49
ATK 30
SPD 24
DEF 38
RES 28

Stat Variations

Level 1 Stat Variation
5★
4★
3★
HP ATK SPD DEF RES
Low 22 7 4 11 5
Middle 23 8 5 12 6
High 24 9 6 13 7

Level 40 Stat Variations
5★
4★
3★
HP ATK SPD DEF RES
Low 46 26 21 35 24
Middle 49 30 24 38 28
High 52 33 28 41 31

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

  • +DEF: Gwendolyn has incredibly high Defense which is particularly useful as a blue unit due to the abundance of powerful red sword threats in Arena. A +DEF boon turns her into an incredibly solid physical wall.

  • +ATK: Thanks to her huge Defense, Gwendolyn can make up for her middling Attack with exceptionally powerful Specials. However, a +ATK boon can help make up for her relative lack of damage without a Special. This may be more valuable than a +DEF boon since it is easily possible for Gwendolyn to boost her Defense to overkill levels.

  • +RES: Gwendolyn’s base 28 Resistance is workable, and a boon can make her into a fairly strong mixed tank.

Banes

  • -SPD: Gwendolyn’s Speed is easily her worst stat, and is therefore easily dumped. As an armored unit, she has access to skills that allow her to completely circumvent the need for a Speed stat.

    • If building Gwendolyn for maximum Arena scoring purposes, then a +SPD boon is the way to go due to it being a superboon (+4 to the stat). Pair it with a -HP bane in order to boost Gwendolyn’s BST to 170, increasing her bin and overall scoring potential.

  • -HP: This isn’t nearly as good as -SPD due to directly impacting Gwendolyn’s bulk, but overall doesn’t have a massive impact on her performance and is the only option available if running +SPD for scoring.

Skill Sets

Knight of Ostia (Defensive Tank)

Recommended
Slaying Lance+ (+Def)
Alternate: Reprisal Lance+ (+Def)
A Distant Counter
Swap B Special Fighter 3
Bonfire
Alternate: Aether
C Ward Armor
SP1635SQuick Riposte 3

Show Explanation/Analysis
  • Preferred IV: +DEF or +ATK or +RES / -SPD
  • Weapon: Slaying Lance+ (+Def) or (+Res) / Reprisal Lance+ (+Def) or (+Res)
  • Assist: Swap
  • Special: Bonfire / Aether / Ignis
  • Passive A: Distant Counter
  • Passive B: Special Fighter
  • Passive C: Ward Armor / Flexible
  • Sacred Seal: Quick Riposte

One of the biggest consequences of the Special Fighter skill is that now any armor can mimic one of the greatest strengths of the Steady Breath/Distant Counter combo, which is to be able to maintain a 1-2 range for counterattacks combined with an accelerated Special charge rate. For Gwendolyn, this means that she is now an even more effective defensive powerhouse due to now being able to instantly activate Bonfire on every counterattack while maintaining Distant Counter. It also allows her to mimic the Steady Breath/Distant Counter/Aether combo that used to be unique to dragons and units with built-in Distant Counter. For all of Gwendolyn’s weapons, either a +Def or +Res refine is acceptable; +Def doubles down on her massive physical bulk (and also boosts her Bonfire/Ignis damage) while +Res helps make her a better mixed tank.

A Slaying Lance is the weapon of choice to allow Gwendolyn to instantly activate Bonfire on every counterattack thanks to Special Fighter. Alternatively, a Reprisal Lance can work well if looking for a higher charge Special like Ignis or Aether. Reprisal Lance is recommended here as a higher damage alternative; Gwendolyn is flexible enough that she can utilize pretty much any lance effectively.

Ward Armor works great for Gwendolyn’s C skill since she’s at her best in an armor team, but can be freely replaced by any other C skill to suit the team. The Quick Riposte Seal is vital for this build, as otherwise Gwendolyn will not be able to make follow-up attacks against most enemies due to her poor Speed.

Lean, Mean, Orange Machine (Mixed Phase)

Recommended
Slaying Lance+ (+Def) A Distant Counter
Alternate: Steady Breath
Swap B Bold Fighter 3
Ignis
Alternate: Bonfire
C Armor March 3
Alternate: Ward Armor
SP1695SQuick Riposte 3

Show Explanation/Analysis
  • Preferred IV: +DEF or +ATK / -SPD
  • Weapon: Slaying Lance+ (+Def/Res)
  • Assist: Swap
  • Special: Ignis / Bonfire
  • Passive A: Distant Counter / Steady Breath / Warding Breath
  • Passive B: Bold Fighter
  • Passive C: Armor March / Def Ploy / Ward Armor / Flexible
  • Sacred Seal: Quick Riposte

This is a standard mixed phase setup for armored units. The combination of Bold Fighter and the Quick Riposte seal means that Gwendolyn will always be able to double, regardless of phase. Furthermore, the increased Special charge from Bold Fighter means that she will always be able to activate her Special on either phase, though she needs to be doubled on Enemy Phase for her Special to activate.

Slaying Lance is important for this build, as the reduced cooldown allows Gwendolyn to run higher damage Specials like Ignis or Bonfire. The choice of refine is mostly up to preference; +Def is generally better due to physical damage threats being significantly more abundant (particularly amongst red units), but +Res is a good option to help round out Gwendolyn’s defenses to improve her matchups against magical threats. Keep in mind that +Def will also increase Gwendolyn’s Special damage in addition to increasing her physical bulk.

The choice of Special is tied to the choice of A skill: run Bonfire only if using Steady Breath or Warding Breath to allow Gwendolyn to activate her Special on every counterattack. Otherwise, Ignis is the best choice.

Distant Counter is important to allow Gwendolyn to take on all types of threats on either phase. However, Steady Breath or Warding Breath can be used instead if ranged threats aren’t an issue.

Armor March is an important skill to have, as the increased mobility makes it much easier for Gwendolyn to close the distance to an enemy in order to engage them on Player Phase. If unavailable or unneeded, then Def Ploy is a good option to help Gwendolyn increase her damage output against enemies with low Resistance or simply to provide support for her team. Ward Armor is always a good choice if running Gwendolyn in an armor team. Her C skill slot can be easily replaced as needed to suit the team.

Great Wall of Ostia (Defensive Tank)

Berkut’s Lance+ (+Def)
Alternate: Slaying Lance+ (+Def)
A Distant Counter
Alternate: Steady Breath
Swap B Vengeful Fighter 3
Alternate: Guard 3
Ignis
Alternate: Bonfire
C Ward Armor
SP1635SClose Def 3

Show Explanation/Analysis
  • Preferred IV: +ATK or +DEF / -SPD
  • Weapon: Berkut’s Lance+ (+Def/Res) / Slaying Lance+ (+Def/Res)
  • Assist: Swap
  • Special: Ignis / Aether / Bonfire
  • Passive A: Distant Counter / Steady Breath / Warding Breath
  • Passive B: Vengeful Fighter / Guard / Quick Riposte
  • Passive C: Ward Armor / Flexible
  • Sacred Seal: Close Def / Distant Def / Quick Riposte / Flexible

This build is oriented purely toward Enemy Phase prowess, and plays to many of Gwendolyn’s strengths. There are several factors that can drastically change how the build plays out, though the basic premise generally stays the same. The first choice to be made is preferred choice of Special: Ignis will offer by far the best damage output, but Aether offers far superior scoring in Arena and a bit of sustain. Bonfire is only recommended as a Special if paired with Steady Breath or Warding Breath and a Slaying Lance to allow Gwendolyn to activate her Special on every counterattack.

If running Vengeful Fighter with Ignis and an A skill other than Steady Breath or Warding Breath, then basically any lance can be utilized. Berkut’s Lance is recommended due to it giving a large boost to Gwendolyn’s Resistance, rounding out her defenses, but it can easily be replaced with any other lance such as Tannenboom!, Harmonic Lance, Carrot Lance, or Slaying Spear. The choice is entirely up to preference. If running Aether, then Slaying Lance is a must to ensure that Gwendolyn can activate it every combat that she gets doubled thanks to Vengeful Fighter giving an extra Special charge on counterattacks.

Pairing Steady Breath or Warding Breath with Vengeful Fighter is somewhat inefficient due to the increased Special charge gain not stacking, but it is still worthwhile since Vengeful Fighter will not give extra Special charges on enemy attacks as well as having a larger HP threshold than Quick Riposte. If Vengeful Fighter is unavailable, then Guard is a great option for protecting Gwendolyn from enemy Specials, greatly enhancing her survivability. If running Guard, then pairing it with the Quick Riposte seal is a must to ensure that Gwendolyn can still double. Otherwise, running Quick Riposte as a B skill is acceptable despite being strictly inferior to Vengeful Fighter.

If not running the Quick Riposte seal (due to running Vengeful Fighter or Quick Riposte as a B skill), then Close Def and Distant Def are both good choices for simply increasing Gwendolyn’s tankiness. Neither are particularly necessary, however, and can be swapped as needed.

Introduction

As far as armor units go, Gwendolyn excels at being an excellent full-time tank. While she struggles to keep up with the more recently released armors (such as Fallen Hardin), she has a saving grace in that she is available to summon as a 3-4 star unit. This means that she is one of the easiest armored units to obtain ideal IVs and merges for, only competing with Effie in that regard amongst blues.

Gwendolyn’s high Defense is quite useful due to physical units being significantly more prevalent than magical units, particularly amongst reds. This allows her to function as a physical tank quite effectively. However, her middling Attack can make it a bit difficult to secure KOs, though this isn’t much of a problem if she can activate a high-powered Special like Ignis.

While Gwendolyn suffers from typical armored unit problems like poor mobility and a weakness to anti-armor weapons in addition to her shortcomings in her stats, she is still quite a powerful unit simply due to her access to unique armor skills like Bold Fighter. While her best builds require significant investment, she is still fully capable of being a great asset to a team even with a more budget build.

Strengths

Fantastic Defense

Gwendolyn’s strongest stat is her Defense. At 38 base, she is incredibly resilient against physical threats and can leverage this in her favor via powerful Specials to help make up for her middling Attack.

Armor Unit

As an armor, Gwendolyn enjoys access to the armor-exclusive skills Bold Fighter, Vengeful Fighter, and armor buffs (like Ward Armor), as well as a big boost to her BST.

Low Speed

One of the biggest perks of being an armored unit is that Gwendolyn has access to skills like Bold Fighter that allow her to completely circumvent the need for Speed. This means that Gwendolyn can use her low Speed to her advantage by emphasizing her other stats and allowing enemies to double her to more easily activate her Specials.

Great Availability

As a unit available in the 3-4 star summoning pool, Gwendolyn is a fantastic choice for someone looking for an accessible option for long-term potential. Combined with her high BST (and potential to increase further with a +SPD superboon), Gwendolyn is a great unit to bring into Arena for scoring purposes.

Weaknesses

Anti-Armor Weapons

As an armor unit, Gwendolyn shares a weakness to anti-armor weapons such as Armorslayer. Technically she could easily mitigate this with Svalinn Shield, but it severely limits her potential to not be able to run another skill like Distant Counter.

Poor Mobility

As an armored unit, Gwendolyn has very low movement; this can be mitigated with Armor March (or potentially the Armored Boots seal), but that is sacrificing a skill or Seal slot that could otherwise be used for something else.

Low Speed

The downside to having low Speed is that enemies will also be able to charge their Specials much more quickly in addition to dealing more damage if they can break through Gwendolyn’s defenses. This can be mitigated with Guard, but a lot of Gwendolyn’s tankiness can be brushed aside by units with exceptionally powerful Specials.

Team Options

  • Armors: Armored units like Zelgius, Hector, Fallen Robin (M), and Halloween Jakob can all provide access to powerful armor-specific buffs like Armor March, Hone Armor, and Ward Armor.

    • Legendary Hector is an extremely powerful ally due to Ostia’s Pulse. Lowering Gwendolyn’s starting Special cooldown by 1 has a ton of applications (such as allowing her to activate Aether in her first combat with Vengeful Fighter without needing to rely on a Slaying Lance), though it does come with the tradeoff of limiting team building due to its restrictions.

  • Buffers: Units like Delthea, Marth, and Sanaki can all grant powerful bonuses from their unique weapons that can greatly enhance Gwendolyn’s combat ability.

  • Debuffers: Debilitating Gwendolyn’s enemies enhances her combat capabilities similarly to directly buffing her, making units like Arvis, Lute, Saias, and Soren good teammates.

  • Strong Reds: Black Knight, Lilina, Tiki (Adult), and Alm can all help Gwendolyn deal with the green enemies that she can struggle with.

  • Guidance Fliers: Summer Tiki (Young), Tana, Elincia, and New Year Azura can all greatly enhance Gwendolyn’s mobility, which helps fix one of her biggest weaknesses.

Counters

  • Anti-Armor Units: As an armor unit, Gwendolyn is vulnerable to units wielding anti-armor weapons like Nephenee, Clair, Bartre, Micaiah, and Winter Chrom.

  • Strong Greens: Gwendolyn’s defenses can easily be pierced by strong units with color advantage like Hector (LA), Myrrh, Fallen Robin (M), Nino (SF), Raven, and Kana (F).

  • Debuffs: While Gwendolyn has good Resistance, she is still vulnerable to getting hit by Ploys from dedicated debuffers like Arvis, Saias, Lute, and Katarina.

Weapon Skills

Weapons SP Rng. Mt.
Steel Lance
Learns by default at 3 ★
Lance Users Only
100 1 8
Killer LanceAccelerates Special trigger (cooldown count-1).
Learns by default at 4 ★
Unlocks at 3 ★
Lance Users Only
200 1 7
Killer Lance+Accelerates Special trigger (cooldown count-1).
Unlocks at 5 ★
Lance Users Only
300 1 11
Weapon Evolution
Weapon Upgrades
Weapon Upgrades

Special Skills

Special Skills SP Turns
BucklerReduces damage inflicted by attacks from adjacent foes by 30%.
Learns by default at 4 ★
Unlocks at 3 ★
Restricted to melee units.
100 3
EscutcheonReduces damage inflicted by attacks from adjacent foes by 30%.
Unlocks at 4 ★
Restricted to melee units.
200 2

Passive Skills

Passive Skills SP Slot
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 ★
150
B
Hone Atk 1Grants adjacent allies Atk+2 through their next actions at the start of each turn.
Inheritable by all units.
50
C
Hone Atk 2Grants adjacent allies Atk+3 through their next actions at the start of each turn.
Inheritable by all units.
Unlocks at 3 ★
100
C
Hone ArmorGrants adjacent armored allies Atk/Spd+6 through their next actions at the start of each turn. Requires Hone Atk 2 or Hone Spd 2.
Only inheritable by armor units.
Unlocks at 4 ★
200
C

Other Info

Origin
Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade

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