Updated for 2.0
Overall Rating
Analysis by Ceui
Karel - Sword Demon


Obtainable as a 5 only
Hero Stats
Max Avg Total Stats at Lvl 40
HP 47
ATK 30
SPD 35
DEF 25
RES 20
Stat Variations
Level 1 Stat Variation
Low 18 7 8 5 4
Middle 19 8 9 6 5
High 20 9 10 7 6

Level 40 Stat Variations
Low 44 26 32 22 17
Middle 47 30 35 25 20
High 50 33 38 29 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.

Karel best boon is either +ATK or +SPD. +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 (Player's Phase Offensive)
Wo Dao+ (+Spd) A Swift Sparrow 2
Budget: Life and Death 2
Reciprocal Aid B Wrath 3
Budget: Desperation 3
Budget: Reprisal
C Spd Smoke 2
Budget: Threaten Spd 3
SP1,425SBrash Assault 3

Show Explanation/Analysis
  • Weapons: Wo Dao
    • Refinery: +Spd / +Atk
  • Assist: Reciprocal Aid/Ardent Sacrifice/ Reposition
  • Special: Moonbow / Reprisal
  • A Slot: Swift Sparrow / Life and Death / Fury
  • B Slot: Desperation / Wrath
  • C Slot: Speed Smoke / Threaten Speed / Varies on Team
  • Sacred Seal: Brash Assault
  • Boon / Bane: +SPD/ATK -RES

Karel already comes with Wo Dao and Desperation and his speed make him a natural Player's Phase offensive swordsman. This build is focused on dealing as much damage on Player's Phase as possible, relying on Wo Dao + low cooldown specials + Desperation for sustained fights or Wrath instead of Desperation for immediate burst.

Speed is the main focus of this build, as doubling the enemy is the key to dealing meaningful damage with Karel. The choice of A slot skills, C slot skills, Weapon Refinery and Boon/Bane (if possible) should gear toward giving Karel as much likelihood to double enemies as possible at any given time, since Brash Assault has a strict activation conditions.

Sword Duelist (Enemy's Phase Dueling Build)
Slaying Edge+ (+Spd)
Budget: Wo Dao+ (+Spd)
A Steady Breath
Budget: Fury 3
Reposition B Wrath 3
Budget: Swordbreaker 3
Budget: Moonbow
C Panic Ploy 3
Budget: Threaten Spd 3
SP1,605SClose Def 3

Show Explanation/Analysis
  • Weapons: Wo Dao / Slaying Edge / Armorslayer / Zanbato
    • Refinery:
      • +Spd for Wo Dao and Slaying Edge
      • Buffs nullification for Armorslayer and Zanbato
  • Assist: Reposition
  • Special: Moonbow / Luna
  • A Slot: Steady Breath / Distant Counter / Steady Stance / Close Defense / Fury
  • B Slot: Wrath / Swordbreaker / Renewal / Windsweep / Quick Riposte
  • C Slot: Speed Smoke / Attack Smoke / Panic Ploy / Varies on Team
  • Sacred Seal: Close Defense / Distant Defense / Speed +3 / Attack Smoke
  • Boon / Bane: +SPD/ATK -RES

A more defensive-oriented approach can make Karel easier to use, especially when he has a good HP pool and Speed base which means he benefits a lot from gaining more Defense and Resistance. Most of the skill choices are quite self-explanatory and can be customized to fit personal preference / certain arena score range's meta.

For weapons, there are many different choices due to arena range. Wo Dao and Slaying Edge are the best for general use, one giving more intermediate burst while the other can grant more special uptime which allows Karel to excels in extended combat. Armorslayer is specially relevant at higher arena score range due to the more prevalent presence of strong Armor units, while Zanbato is more relevant at lower score range due to many Cavalry teams in defense.

Steady Breath is the best A slot for most duelist build due to its insane baiting potential, while Distant Counter gives Karel option against ranged attackers, especially if he run Panic Ploy to cripple them beforehand.

For Karel's B slot, Wrath is the best for bursting especially together with Wo Dao or Slaying Edge. Swordbreaker mainly is for speedy sword users like Ayra, Mia or Lyn who are out of Karel's double range in most circumstances. Renewal is a generic B slot for more sustain and is generally quite good in most situation. Similarly, Quick Riposte works well in most circumstances, especially when Karel can reach enough speed to avoid the doubling range of popular meta threats like Ayra.

Windsweep + Steady Breath is a great combo against slow bulky tank, allowing Karel to have dominance over them in both phase and can also be quite annoying when put into Defense team.


Karel is a quintessential Myrmydon archetype unit - a speedy sword-wielding infantry with a focus on Player's Phase power. Karel however isn't as lucky as his peers, namely Ayra, Mia, Soleil and Lyn who fulfill similar role. His stats is a lot less minmaxed (30 Attack and 35 Speed is not outright terrible but is depressingly low compared to what the others can offer), coupled with the lack of legendary skill and low DEF and RES make him inferior in every possible role he can play compared to those units. His poor availability (5 stars only unit) only exacerbate his problems.

All in all, Karel is not someone you should go for if you already have someone like Mia or Ayra, but given the good amount of investment he can still be usable.


Good Speed:

  • 35 base Speed is pretty good for an infantry unit. Though not on the level of units like Ayra, Lyn or Mia, Karel's speed is enough to double most tanks while also having enough to avoid crucial doubles from many high speed tier threats


Good skillsets out of the box

  • Karel has access to Wo Dao+, Reprisal, Defiant Attack 3 and Desperation 3 immediately upon being summoned, which synergize with each other quite well.

Lackluster Attack:

  • 30 base attack with no Legendary Weapon make Karel a poor choice in comparison to his peers, and he is quite reliant on special to deal meaningful damage in most of his encounters

Mediocre bulk:

  • While Karel has great HP pool for an infantry unit, his Resistance and Defense are both lackluster
  • It makes him incredibly susceptible to Brave weapons and overall isn't as durable as his HP pool might suggest.

Have many competitions in an over saturated niche:

  • Ayra, Mia, Soleil, Lyn, Athena are Hana are some notable competitions for the same role that Karel occupy, most of them having much better tools and/or stats spread


Team Options

Karel is a one-dimensional but can be 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 he struggles against.

Units that provide great support to Karel:

  • Dancers / Singers : Dance / Sing vastly improve his damage output, especially once he is in Desperation's range.
  • Ephraim / Brave Lucina / Delthea / Linde / Lute: These powerful buffers can make Karel a lot more effective at his role, and are great teammates in general due to them covering different colors.

Units that take care of Karel’s counters:

  • Julia / Nino / Deirdre: These units can handle blue mages as well as blue dragons, which are by far what Karel struggles against the most.
  • Bulky Green units like Hector, Fae, Amelia, Winter Chrom, Winter Lissa can serve as some good Blue counters for Karel to function safely

Karel's low Resistance and Defense means he struggles immensely against high damage output units, especially Brave users, which includes:

  • Corrin F / Nowi / Ninian (high speed and physically tanky dragons, generally build Triangle Adept.)
  • Linde / Delthea / Lute / Summer Corrin (extremely high magic damage output)
  • Robin M (most Robins use Triangle Adept + Swordbreaker, meaning Karel stands no chance against him.)
  • Reinhardt / Olwen / Ursula (three range movement with high damage output)
  • Elincia / Tana / Cordelia / Effie / Brave Lyn / Halloween Jakob / Bridal Cordelia: High damage output Brave weapons users.

He also struggles to break through physically tanky units, especially blue tanks like Winter Robin, Lukas or Shiro and units at higher speed threshold like Ayra or Mia.

Weapon Skills
Weapons SP Rng. Mt.
Iron Sword
Only Inheritable by Sword Units.
50 1 6
Steel Sword
Only Inheritable by Sword Units.
100 1 8
Wo DaoGrants +10 to damage when Special triggers.
Only Inheritable by Sword Units.
200 1 9
Wo Dao+Grants +10 to damage when Special triggers.
Learns by default at 5 ★
Only Inheritable by Sword Units.
300 1 13
Weapon Evolution
Weapon Upgrades
Weapon Upgrades
Special Skills
Special Skills SP Turns
RetributionGrants bonus to damage dealt equal to 30% of damage suffered.
Learns by default at 5 ★
Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
100 3
ReprisalGrants bonus to damage dealt equal to 30% of damage suffered.
Unlocks at 5 ★
Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
200 2
Passive Skills
Passive Skills SP Slot
Defiant Atk 1Grants Atk +3 at start of turn if unit's HP ≤ 50%
Inheritable by all units.
Defiant Atk 2Grants Atk +5 at start of turn if unit's HP ≤ 50%
Inheritable by all units.
Defiant Atk 3Grants Atk +7 at start of turn if unit's HP ≤ 50%
Unlocks at 5 ★
Inheritable by all units.
Desperation 1If unit initiates combat with HP ≤ 25%, follow-up attacks occur immediately after unit's attack.
Inheritable by all units.
Desperation 2If unit initiates combat with HP ≤ 50%, follow-up attacks occur immediately after unit's attack.
Inheritable by all units.
Desperation 3If unit initiates combat with HP ≤ 75%, follow-up attacks occur immediately after unit's attack.
Unlocks at 5 ★
Inheritable by all units.
Other Info
Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade

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