Karel

Basic Rating:
Analysis by Ceui
Karel
Sword Demon

5

Obtainable as a 5 only
Advanced Ratings
Rating TypeBudget Optimal
Attacker
7
7.5
Supporter
5.5
6
Max Avg Total Stats at Lvl 40
157
HP 47
ATK 30
SPD 35
DEF 25
RES 20
Stat Variations
Level 1 Stat Variation
5★
HP ATK SPD DEF RES
Low 18 7 8 5 4
Middle 19 8 9 6 5
High 20 9 10 7 6

Level 40 Stat Variations
5★
HP ATK SPD DEF RES
Low 44 26 32 22 17
Middle 47 30 35 25 20
High 50 33 38 28 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

Karel best boon is +SPD, although +ATK is not bad. +SPD allows him to reach 38 SPD before any buffs/skills kick in, which is one of his biggest strength and allow him to utilize his Wo Dao + Desperation combo to maximum effect. Of his remaining stats, HP and DEF do help him mitigate some melee encounters, since the majority of the time he will be in the opponent's faces. RES is not truly needed for Karel as he already have crippling RES anyway and he should not be the one tanking magical attack, unless you build him with Distant Counter (which some units will do better than him) to deal with mages.

Skill Sets
Speed Demon
Budget
Optimal
Wo Dao + A Life and Death 3
Reciprocal Aid B Desperation 3
Moonbow C Threaten Def 3

SP Cost1,325

  • Preferred Nature: +Speed - Res
  • Weapons: Wo Dao+
  • Assist: Reciprocal Aid/Ardent Sacrifice/ Reposition
  • Special: Moonbow/Reprisal
  • A Slot: Life and Death 3 / Fury 3 / Defiant Attack 3 / Death Blow 3 / Swift Sparrow 2
  • B Slot: Desperation 3
  • C Slot: Threaten Def / Threaten Spd / Hone/Spur skills depend on team need
  • Sacred Seal: SPD + 1/ ATK +1

This is Karel's bread and butter skillset that he utilizes really well thanks to his fantastic SPD and good Atk. With Life and Death 3 he reaches 48 Attack and 40 Speed on neutral. Karel's main strength is his weapon - Wo Dao+. With a fast charging special like Moonbow or Reprisal, he can punish enemies with very an additional +10 flat damage every time he uses his special. The idea of this skillset is to get Karel to sub 75% HP to trigger Desperation 3, which he gets by default by utilizing either Ardent Sacrifice or Reciprocal Aid, or even Fury 3 chips damage. Reciprocal Aid is the best choice for this, since you will need two Ardent Sacrifices to get him to Desperation 3 Range.

In case you use Defiant Attack 3 then you need to get him to below 50% hp before he can gain some much needed firepower. Death Blow 3 is also a good choice for him if you have a Hone Speed user in the team who can provide him with Speed buffs and allow him to double. Fury 3 is another alternatives for more additional stats and with Fury 3 you can actually tank a lot better, which is another way of getting down to Desperation range instead of relying on Reciprocal Aid. In that case then another Assist skill like Reposition can be helpful for positioning your teammates. Swift Sparrow 2 is a mix betwen Death Blow 2 and Darting Blow 2, and offer a good 4 speed/attack upon initiation, which are fantastic for Karel in Player's Phase. Since this build focus mostly on Player's Phase initiation due to Desperation 3, Swift Sparrow 2 is a great alternative over Life and Death 3 if you are worried about his defensive stats taking too much of a hit.

Threaten Def/Threaten Spd are both helpful in helping Karel kills his opponent. Threaten Spd should be used if Karel's speed is not too good or he doesn't run an A slot skill that helps with his Speed, or your team does not have a Hone/Spur Speed user. In the case that he can double most of the meta units that you are beware of, then Threaten Def adds much needed firepower to him.

Vantage in Your Face
Wo Dao + A Distant Counter
Reposition B Vantage 3
Moonbow C Threaten Def 3

SP Cost1,575

  • Preferred Nature: +Atk -HP
  • Weapons: Wo Dao+
  • Assist: Reposition/Reciprocal Aid
  • Special: Moonbow/Reprisal
  • A Slot: Distant Counter/ Fury 3 / Defiant Attack
  • B Slot: Vantage 3
  • C Slot: Threaten Def / Threaten Spd
  • Sacred Seal: ATK +1

This build is quite strong on Opponent's Phase and in Arena Defense, utilizing both Karel's high speed, decent attack and Wo Dao+. Karel actually has good bulk (Very high HP and passable Def) to run a Vantage set. At full Hp he even survives a neutral Death Blow 3 Kagero, which are quite potent since with a Fortify/Spur Def he can survive +Atk Death Blow 3 Kagero. With the recent addition of Defensive Tiles, Karel can survive for quite a long time on it, and let opponent suicide into him. If you manage to get Distant Counter from a spare Hector, he makes good use of it since he can kill Nino/Julia/Soren/Takumi/Kagero with it. Spring Camilla and Cecillia can be take down, assuming they are not too fully buffed (1 Hone + 1 Fortify buff) with Death Blow 3 and carry Gronnblade+. With Wo Dao+ and fast charging special, he can kills a surprisingly amount of units with his special, and his very good speed allow him to not get double by a majority of meta units.

+Atk nature with +Atk seal are preferred over +Speed one since once he gets below 75% health, it's all about that first hit. If you already have someone that can deal with ranged units, then Defiant Attack and Fury 3 can be considered over it to give him either more fire power at low health, or better bulk. Threaten Def/ Threaten Speed are both great to give Karel's better chance against opposing foe, with -Def helping him netting more KO, while -Spd prevent units like +Spd Nino or +Spd Lucina to double him.

Sword Duelist
Wo Dao + A Fury 3
Reposition B Swordbreaker 3
Moonbow C Threaten Def 3

SP Cost1,425

  • Preferred Nature: +Speed - Res
  • Weapons: Wo Dao+
  • Assist: Reposition
  • Special: Moonbow/Reprisal
  • A Slot: Fury 3/ Swift Sparrow 2/ Death Blow 3
  • B Slot: Swordbreaker 3/Seal Attack
  • C Slot: Threaten Def / Threaten Spd
  • Sacred Seal: SPD +1 / ATK +1

This build focus on his melee dueling potential thanks to his high Speed and Wo Dao+. Fury 3 is strong in both Player and Opponent's Phases as it provides free stats, at the cost of not lasting too long due to the 6 damage per turn. Swift Sparrow 2 and Death Blow 3 are not bad either on initiation, but they are useless on opponent's phase. Swordbreaker 3 allow him to outduel most Swords unit on both Initiation and Defending. Popular swords user like Ryoma, Ike or Xander generally use skills like Vantage or Quick Riposte, meaning they lack the mean to bypass Swordbreaker. Swordbreaker also override Zephiel's Wary Fighter as Karel has a lot more speed than him, allowing Karel to double Zephiel. The Assist, Special and C slot are quite self-explanatory. This build is a bit more specialized than his other builds but it gives him very strong coverage and can help you cover Red Swords if your team require.

In case you don't want to run Swordbreaker, Seal Attack is a good alternative that ensure Karel to won most extended duels due to the -Atk debuffs. But in general, Swordbreaker is the superior choice.

Weapon Skills
Rng:
1
Mt:
9

Grants +10 to damage when Special triggers.

Rng:
1
Mt:
13

Grants +10 to damage when Special triggers.

Learns by default at 5 ★
Special Skills
SP:
100
CD:
3 Turns

Grants bonus to damage dealt equal to 30% of damage suffered.

Learns by default at 5 ★
SP:
200
CD:
2 Turns

Grants bonus to damage dealt equal to 30% of damage suffered.

Unlocks at 5 ★
Passive Skills
SP:
40
Slot:
A

Grants Atk +3 at start of turn if unit's HP ≤ 50%

SP:
80
Slot:
A

Grants Atk +5 at start of turn if unit's HP ≤ 50%

SP:
160
Slot:
A

Grants Atk +7 at start of turn if unit's HP ≤ 50%

Unlocks at 5 ★
SP:
50
Slot:
B

If unit initiates combat with HP ≤ 25%, follow-up attacks occur immediately after unit's attack.

SP:
100
Slot:
B

If unit initiates combat with HP ≤ 50%, follow-up attacks occur immediately after unit's attack.

SP:
200
Slot:
B

If unit initiates combat with HP ≤ 75%, follow-up attacks occur immediately after unit's attack.

Unlocks at 5 ★
Introduction

Pros:

  • Good speed and attack making him a competent melee attacker
  • Very high Health, allowing him to take a surprising amount of punishment
  • Wo Dao+ is a great weapon and yield fantastic damage output with a fast charging special skills
  • Already good out of the box and does not require too hefty investment to work well

Cons:

  • Relatively low Resistance, making him vulnerable to Mages and Dragons
  • Compete with many red sword infantries for a Red slots in your team

Karel is a strong pure attacker that is already good out of the box and is relatively cheap to build. He can serves as a primary damage dealer in a team that support him, due to his fantastic damage output thanks to Wo Dao+, or as a secondary damage threat in your team. He can kill most Green units with low difficulty using any of his skillsets, due to his good bulk and a combination of high speed and attack. His decent bulk also makes him a very potent 1 on 1 units, as attackers risk getting reverse kill by his Wo Dao+ charged special when initiating on him, as very rarely he will die thanks to his high health and speed. Utilize him well and he will prove to be a very potent damage dealer that can often carries his team to victory in Arena.

Karel's main weakness is his low Resistance. Although slightly better than units like Lucina, Ike or Xander, it is still a glaring weakness for him, espeically considering most team have one or two mage recently. Defensive Tiles helps mitigate this somehow, so positioning well with Karel is key. His Attack without Special is also not that great, meaning he cannot breakthrough physically tanky units such as Lukas, Ephraim, Effie, Tiki Young or Zephiel without his Special damage.

Overall, Karel is quite effective at whatever role you assign him to do. Very rarely you'll find Karel in a team useless, as his damage output is one of the best amongst melee units thanks to his weapon. Even in the case of not needing Karel, passing his Wo Dao+ to another sword user might make them a lot more viable due to how potent it is.

Strengths/Weaknesses

Strengths:

Wo Dao+:

  •  A fantastic weapon that currently only available at the start for Karel. Through increasing Special's Damage output, it has great synergies with low charge special like Moonbow/Reprisal and Karel's high speed, allowing him to kill even tanky opponents due to the bonus damage is flat.
  • Aside from helping his damage output, having Wo Dao+ right out of the box relief players' of the need to inherit him a new weapon.
  • Even if player finds no need for him, Wo Dao+ is a highly coveted weapon to pass to another Sword user, meaning pulling Karel is always worthwhile.

High Speed:

  • At 35 Speed, he is ranked 8th amongst Swords User. Speed is very important for him as it helps preventing double from faster units, as well as allowing him to double many meta units

Good skillsets out of the box

  • Karel has access to Wo Dao+, Reprisal, Defiant Attack 3 and Desperation 3 immediately upon being summoned. These four synergize very well together and players have the luxury of either investing more on him, or just fill up his missing slot and he will already function well
  • Other skills to inherit on him to make him stronger are not too expensive as well, barring Distant Counter and Life and Death (which at Level 2 provided by Hana at 4 star is already good enough)

Weaknesses:

Lack of means to counter Ranged units:

  • Without Distant Counter, he lacks a way to properly counter mages and Archers/Ninjas
  • Inheriting Distant Counter is also very expensive, and there are units that run Distant Counter better than him, or Sword units that already have it built-in to their weapons like Ike or Ryoma

Low Resistance:

  • 20 Resistance makes him weak to mages as well as tanky Dragon who can take his attack and retaliate.
Team Options

Karel is an one-dimensional but very potent damage dealer, which means he can benefit a lot from buffers and Dancers, as well as someone who can take care of units that generally he struggles against.

Units that provide great support to Karel:

  • Ninian/Azura/Olivia: Dance allow his sweeping potential to be off the chart. At Desperation threshold, a Karel with a Dancer is a monster, since he can take care of two units in one turn with his powerful special.
  • Eirika/Ephraim: They have the ability to buffs 3 stats in 1 turn due to their unique weapon. Just standing near one of this twins is enough to enhance Karel's offensive power to highly dangerous level.
  • Lucina/Alm/Marth/Chrom: Although they are Sword users comrade, these units are most of the time used as a HP battery for the entire team with the Renewal/Reciprocal Aid skills, meaning for any of Karel's build he can always benefit from someone either healing him, or help him reach Desperation/Vantage threshold with Reciprocal Aid. They can relief him off having to use Reciprocal Aid in Assist slot and go for a positioning Assist.

Units that take care of units that Karel's struggle against:

  • Julia/Nino/Soren: These units destroy Blue Mage as well as Blue Dragons, which are by far what Karel's struggle the most. Of these 3, Julia is the best because of how potent her Resistance and damage to dragon is. Sticking a Karel behind these 3 is a very effective way of baiting Blue Mages like Reinhardt, Linde, Olwen or Ursula to suicide into them, allowing Karel to clean up afterward
  • Hector: With the recent introduction of Defensive Tiles, Hector becomes a lot more potent at killing Blue mages since now he can tank most of them without dying when standing in it. His physical bulk also allowing Hector to takes care of physical blue like Ephraim or Lukas, which Karel struggled to break through
  • Kagero/Klein: Strong ranged units specialize in killing squishy backline mages, allowing clean up from Karel without retribution
Counters

Karel's low Res means he struggles immensely against magic users, which includes:

  • Corrin F/Nowi/Ninian (high speed and physically tanky dragon, generally build Tri Adept)
  • Linde/Spring Lucina (extremely high magic damage and high speed)
  • Robin M (most Robin uses Tri Adept + Swordbreaker, meaning Karel stands no chance against him)
  • Reinhardt/Olwen (3 ranged movement with a Brave tome)
  • Ursula (blue Cavalry mage)
  • Tiki Y/ Tiki A (physically tanky dragon, generally carry Swordbreaker, can be killed if not and with Specials)
  • Sanaki/Lilina (high damage red mages that generally carry Swordbreaker)
  • Tharja (Blade tomes damage allow her to shred through his Resistance)

He also struggles to break through physically tanky units, especially blue ones:

  • Ephraim: high damage, tanky unit that generally carry Quick Riposte
  • Lukas: extremely tanky against physical attack, carrying Killer Lance + Ignis + Quick Riposte most of the time
  • Effie: Wary Fighter means she won't get doubled from Karel. She kills most red on initiation with Death Blow 3
  • Donnel: Tanky infantry units with high base stats, can kill Karel in initiation with Brave Lance build.
From Series
Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade
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