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Tier Rating

Analysis by Cecil
Hawkeye - Desert Guardian


Obtainable as a 3 - 4 only

Hero Stats

Max Avg Total Stats at Lvl 40
HP 45
ATK 33
SPD 22
DEF 28
RES 30

Stat Variations

Level 1 Stat Variation
Low 20 8 4 5 5
Middle 21 9 5 6 6
High 22 10 6 7 7

Level 40 Stat Variations
Low 42 30 19 24 27
Middle 45 33 22 28 30
High 48 36 25 31 33

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.

Hawkeye has relatively low Attack for a tank, and he appreciates all the help he can get in this regard. Since he aims to OHKO his opponents, he does not strictly need more defensive stats. And his Speed is so low that increasing it will not save him from many double attacks.


  • +ATK: More Attack equals more damage, and with only 30 base Attack, Hawkeye needs the extra power to secure wins on Hector, Ryoma and Winter Chrom.


  • HP: This stat isn’t too useful on it’s own, but he would still it prefer it kept high as it helps his great mixed defenses. Variants that use Infantry Pulse will want to keep HP as high as possible. Refining Hawkeye’s weapon will more than make up for a bane in HP.

  • DEF: Hawkeye’s Defense is important, letting him survive combat with many of the strong Brave Bow users. It’s not recommended for a boon, but avoid a Defense bane at all costs. A Defense bane will cost Hawkeye four in the stat instead of the usual three.


  • -SPD: Speed is Hawkeye’s least valuable stat, and the best choice of a bane overall. His Speed is already so low that reducing it further has little negative effect. Additionally, his optimal build is focused around one-shotting his opponent. They means that despite his low speed, they likely won’t survive to double Hawkeye in the end.

  • -RES: Resistance is the lesser of the three defensive stats. Hawkeye has an easier time against mages since they can usually hit him once. Even still, it’s highly recommended to pick a Speed bane over Resistance.

Skill Sets

Anti-ranged OHKO

Wo Gùn+ (+Def)
Alternate: Slaying Axe+ (+Def)
A Distant Counter
Alternate: Swap
B Wrath 3
Alternate: Iceberg
C Def Smoke 3
Alternate: Spur Def/Res 2
SP1695SQuickened Pulse

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

  • Weapon: Wo Gùn+ (+Def) / Slaying Axe+ (+Def)

  • Assist: Reposition / Swap

  • Special: Moonbow / Iceberg

  • Passive A: Distant Counter

  • Passive B: Wrath

  • Passive C: Def Smoke / Spur Def/Res

  • Sacred Seal: Quickened Pulse / Distant Def

Hawkeye’s flagship set seems him bear the tools necessary to tank and retaliate with powerful damage against those who attack him. This set is designed to give him an extremely powerful hit with his Special, enough to KO nearly all mages and many of his would-be attackers.

The core of the set is the Wo Gùn + Wrath combo, allowing him to deal an extra 20 damage with his Special. Distant Counter is also of utmost importance, allowing Hawkeye to KO mages who would otherwise double and KO him.

If you aren’t able to obtain a Wo Gùn, consider running a cheaper Slaying Axe with Iceberg. It has a slightly poorer performance, but does well nonetheless. Another option is Moonbow with a Slaying Axe and Distant Def. However, this combination loses on a fair amount of damage in exchange for ranged bulk.

His Assist and C slot skill are largely interchangeable. Reposition and Swap are both useful for maneuvering Hawkeye around the field. Def Smoke lets Hawkeye hit harder on more enemies, and is an excellent skill to support allies who are tanks.

Budget Offensive

Slaying Axe+ (+Atk) A Death Blow 4
Alternate: Death Blow 3
Alternate: Swap
B Axebreaker 3
Alternate: Vantage 3
Alternate: Moonbow
C Spur Def/Res 2
Alternate: Threaten Atk 3
SP1635SQuickened Pulse

Show Explanation/Analysis
  • Preferred IV: +ATK / -SPD
  • Weapon: Slaying Axe+ (+Atk)

  • Assist: Reposition / Swap

  • Special: Glimmer / Moonbow

  • Passive A: Death Blow

  • Passive B: Axebreaker / Vantage

  • Passive C: Spur Def/Res / Threaten Atk

  • Sacred Seal: Quickened Pulse

This build has minimal variation from his base set, and is a much cheaper version of Hawkeye (although it lacks effectiveness compared to the Optimal build). Rather than engage enemies during the Enemy Phase, it attempts to punch through them with a powerful Special. Death Blow 3 and Slaying Axe come normally on Hawkeye, so they remain for this build. Death Blow boosts Hawkeye’s Attack and helps him score OHKO’s. With a Slaying Axe and the Quickened Pulse Seal, Hawkeye can ready Glimmer for immediate use.

Axebreaker provides better matchups for Hawkeye and helps him to offset his otherwise low Speed. Vantage also works well, but he won’t gain the bonus from Death Blow when retaliating. Spur Def/Res is great for supporting tanky allies, but Threaten Atk works as a serviceable budget option. Having low Speed means that Hawkeye will gain twice the effect from having his opponent’s Attack lowered (provided he is doubled).


The Desert Guardian Hawkeye hails from Blazing Blade, and appears in the game as a friend of dragons. In Fire Emblem Heroes, he’s a potent infantry who comes wielding axes to slay his foes. His unusual stat spread gives him a valid niche over the myriad of axe-users, and his playstyle is largely different from them.

His stat spread is unusual among units: He possesses high levels of Defense, Resistance and HP, but very low Speed. Hawkeye is susceptible to being double attacked, but due to his decent bulk he’s good at taking strong single hits. His high Resistance and HP also makes Hawkeye fantastic against mages and dragons.

Long considered a poor unit, the release of various skills over time has helped Hawkeye gain much more viability, and he is now a respectable Infantry axe-user. Just be aware that he is not quite as sturdy as the top tanks, and requires a lot of rare skills to reach his maximum potential.


Excellent mixed defenses

Hawkeye’s most notable feature is his stellar mix of HP, Defense and Resistance. Having good levels of all three stats makes Hawkeye tough to OHKO and gives him no direct weaknesses. While most physical tanks have low Resistance and vice versa, Hawkeye sits in a middle ground of sorts.

High Resistance.

It’s worth talking about Hawkeye’s Resistance on its own, as it makes him unique compared to most physical tanks. Having great Resistance lets Hawkeye (ironically) have an easier time when fighting dragons. It also makes him tougher to hit with Ploy skills. It’s also the key element that helps him tank damage from mages.


Low Speed.

Hawkeye’s biggest weakness is his critically low Speed. At just 22, he can be doubled by the majority of units in the game. This is one of the primary reasons a OHKO build is great on him, as he can effectively avoid being hit twice as long as he kills his opponent first.

Lacks a niche compared to specialist tanks.

While Hawkeye can tank both physical and magical damage, he’s not as good at it when compared to specialists at each role. He has trouble surviving strong hits from red mages, unlike Faye and Felicia who can tank them with ease. On the physical side, he is less sturdy compared to units like Brave Ike and armored units such as Valentine Hector and Fallen Robin.

Team Options

Hawkeye’s ability to remove ranged threats make him a great partner to units that don’t typically run Distant Counter. He works well with units that give him type coverage. Many of his best teammates are sturdy blues who can handle the red mages he fears so much. He is best played alongside tanky allies who can wall the things he can’t.

  • Dragons: Blue Dragons are great team-mates for Hawkeye. They can KO red mages that threaten him with Lightning Breath or Distant Counter, and he in turn is good at defeating units like Julia and Deirdre that counter them. Ninian, Nowi, and Corrin-F are great allies to Hawkeye.

  • Red Physical Tanks: Being strong vs. dragons makes Hawkeye great for allies like Zelgius, Ayra and Ike who have low Resistance and are weak to them. He can also protect them from strong blue mages who can easily KO them.


Hawkeye’s list of counters is defined by the units that can either KO him one one hit, or survive his retaliation to waste him with a double attack. Hawkeye has chancey matchups vs. Brave Bow users and strong red Blade tome users. He is also easily slain by high-defense reds and green tanks he cannot defeat in one hit.

  • Extremely powerful ranged attackers: Sanaki, Lilina, Celica, Winter Tharja and Halloween Jakob all have the power to break through Hawkeye’s defenses. Brave Lyn can avoid a retaliation from Distant Counter Hawkeye through her unique ability Sacae’s Blessing.

  • High Speed/Defense units: Units with reasonable Speed and Defense can survive Hawkeye’s Special and double him the following turn. Many red units such as the Black Knight, Ryoma, Ayra, Ike and Lucina can easily dispose of Hawkeye. Greens such as Brave Ike are slow, but still fast enough to double and KO Hawkeye.

Weapon Skills

Weapons SP Rng. Mt.
Iron Axe
Inheritable by Axe users only.
50 1 6
Steel Axe
Learns by default at 3 ★
Inheritable by Axe users only.
100 1 8
Killer AxeAccelerates Special trigger (cooldown count-1).
Learns by default at 4 ★
Unlocks at 3 ★
Inheritable by Axe users only.
200 1 7
Killer Axe+Accelerates Special trigger (cooldown count-1).
Learns by default at 5 ★
Unlocks at 5 ★
Inheritable by Axe users only.
300 1 11
Weapon Evolution
Weapon Upgrades
Weapon Upgrades

Special Skills

Special Skills SP Turns
Rising LightBefore combat this unit initiates, foes in an area near target take damage equal to (unit's Atk minus foe's Def or Res).
Learns by default at 4 ★
Unlocks at 3 ★
Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
150 4
Growing LightBefore combat this unit initiates, foes in a wide area around target take damage equal to (unit's Atk minus foe's Def or Res).
Unlocks at 4 ★
Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
300 4

Passive Skills

Passive Skills SP Slot
Death Blow 1Grants Atk+2 if unit initiates combat.
Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
Unlocks at 3 ★
Death Blow 2Grants Atk+4 if unit initiates combat.
Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
Unlocks at 4 ★
Death Blow 3Grants Atk+6 if unit initiates combat.
Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
Unlocks at 5 ★
Threaten Atk 1Inflicts Atk-3 on foes within 2 spaces through their next actions at the start of each turn.
Inheritable by all units.
Threaten Atk 2Inflicts Atk-4 on foes within 2 spaces through their next actions at the start of each turn.
Inheritable by all units.
Unlocks at 3 ★
Threaten Atk 3Inflicts Atk-5 on foes within 2 spaces through their next actions at the start of each turn.
Inheritable by all units.
Unlocks at 4 ★

Other Info

Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade

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