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Tier Rating

Analysis by Adonyx
Karla - Sword Vassal


Obtainable as a 5 only

Hero Stats

Max Avg Total Stats at Lvl 40
HP 42
ATK 35
SPD 40
DEF 23
RES 22

Stat Variations

Level 1 Stat Variation
Low 17 6 9 5 6
Middle 18 7 10 6 7
High 19 8 11 7 8

Level 40 Stat Variations
Low 39 32 37 20 19
Middle 42 35 40 23 22
High 45 38 44 26 25

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.


  • +SPD: Optimal by a large margin; not only does this boost Karla’s Speed to a massive 44 base (thanks to a superboon), but it also synergizes with her Vassal’s Blade.

  • +ATK: Not quite as good as +SPD, but still a decent boon. +ATK can be better than +SPD if Karla has access to team support in the form of Speed combat buffs, as having anything more than a 10 Speed advantage is overkill.


  • DEF: Taking a -DEF bane isn’t a big deal for Karla, who will have plenty of bulk to spare regardless of defensive bane. However, -DEF is marginally worse than -RES due to Karla fighting physical damage dealers slightly more often than magical damage dealers.


  • -HP: While this bane impacts both physical and magical bulk for Karla, it does make it a bit easier for her to reach specific HP thresholds (such as 75% for Wrath).

  • -RES: This is slightly better than -DEF simply due to Karla fighting physical damage dealers a bit more often than magical damage dealers.

Skill Sets

Princess of Swords (Offensive Nuke)

Vassal's Blade A Distant Counter
Alternate: Fury 3
Reposition B Wrath 3
Moonbow C Even Spd Wave 3
SP1455SQuickened Pulse

Show Explanation/Analysis
  • Preferred IV: +SPD or +ATK / -HP or -RES
  • Weapon: Vassal’s Blade
  • Assist: Reposition
  • Special: Moonbow
  • Passive A: Distant Counter / Fury / Swift Sparrow
  • Passive B: Wrath / Desperation
  • Passive C: Even Spd Wave / Flexible
  • Sacred Seal: Quickened Pulse / Speed +3 / Phantom Spd

Despite the lack of unique Special, Karla has incredible damage potential thanks to Vassal’s Blade. With her massive Speed stat, she is in a good position to consistently activate the bonus damage due to most units not being able to keep up. Her base Even Spd Wave skill makes it even easier for her to maintain a Speed advantage thanks to the massive +6 buff. If Karla can maintain the maximum +7 damage, then her damage potential can outclass even Ayra.

Moonbow is chosen for its low cooldown; with the -1 Special cooldown effect from Vassal’s Blade, Moonbow will be activating constantly. Running Quickened Pulse allows Karla to activate Moonbow twice in a single combat, including a potential Wrath-boosted activation.

Distant Counter gives Karla some useful versatility to allow her to tackle ranged threats. While not strictly necessary, it does allow her to handle a huge number of typical opponents. Otherwise, either Fury or Swift Sparrow works just fine for offensive purposes. Life and Death and Brazen Atk/Spd can be considered as potential options with proper team support.

Karla’s base Wrath skill works well by granting her access to significant burst through her Specials, but is not strictly necessary due to the massive damage boost potentially gained via Vassal’s Blade. The choice between Wrath and Desperation is mostly up to preference - hitting twice with Desperation with minimum +5 bonus from Vassal’s Blade will break even with the bonus damage from Wrath, and any higher bonus will exceed Wrath’s damage. However, the +10 damage from Wrath can potentially allow Karla to one hit KO an enemy, as the -1 Special charge allows her to have her Special primed at the start of every turn that she is in the HP threshold.

The massive +6 Speed buff from Even Spd Wave synergizes well with Vassal’s Blade, as +6 buffs can otherwise be fairly difficult for infantry units to acquire. If this buff is accessible from the team (such as from Spd Tactic), then it can easily be swapped out for another skill to better suit the team.

Quickened Pulse significantly bolsters Karla’s initial combat prowess, as having instant access to a double Moonbow (including a potential Wrath-boosted one) allows her to overpower a huge number of enemy units. Alternatively, a Speed +3 Seal can give Karla a bit of a boost to her Speed if she needs it, such as if she doesn’t have access to a +SPD IV and lacks team buff support. Phantom Spd is an option if Karla needs a massive Speed boost, such as if she has a -SPD IV, or can’t get access to Speed buffs (including not being able to run Even Spd Wave). However, Speed +3 is still generally better than Phantom Spd due to giving a tangible benefit outside of specifically activating Vassal’s Blade.

Winds of Sacae (Offensive Nuke)

Vassal's Blade A Fury 3
Alternate: Swift Sparrow 2
Reposition B Desperation 3
Galeforce C Even Spd Wave 3
SP1815SFlashing Blade 3

Show Explanation/Analysis
  • Preferred IV: +ATK or +SPD / -HP or -DEF or -RES
  • Weapon: Vassal’s Blade
  • Assist: Reposition / Ardent Sacrifice / Reciprocal Aid
  • Special: Galeforce
  • Passive A: Fury / Swift Sparrow / Life and Death / Brazen Atk/Spd
  • Passive B: Desperation
  • Passive C: Even Spd Wave / Spd Smoke / Def Smoke
  • Sacred Seal: Flashing Blade

This is an alternative nuking option to the first build, as Karla is not dependent on damage from her Special activations in order to defeat her opponents thanks to the potential +7 damage boost from Vassal’s Blade. Combined with the -1 Special cooldown from Vassal’s Blade, this allows Karla to be an effective Galeforce user.

One of the main considerations to make with this build is choice of Assist: a movement Assist like Reposition works well as always, but Ardent Sacrifice and Reciprocal Aid provide Karla with an alternative way of safely dropping her HP into the requisite 75% threshold to activate Desperation. Utilizing her Assist to drop her HP allows Karla to run more aggressive A skills like Life and Death or Brazen Atk/Spd, as she can circumvent the risks typically associated with those skills. Keep in mind that Karla needs a -HP bane to effectively utilize Ardent Sacrifice, and even then will no longer work with enough merges or Summoner Support.

Karla’s A skill is dependent on her choice of Assist. Since she can run Flashing Blade as a Seal, she can choose from the myriad of options that boost her stats. Fury is always a good choice due to increasing her bulk as well as making it easier for her to enter Desperation range thanks to the recoil damage. Swift Sparrow gives slightly more offensive stats, but doesn’t boost Karla’s bulk; it becomes much better at higher merges. Life and Death or Brazen Atk/Spd are excellent choices if using Ardent Sacrifice or Reciprocal Aid as they allow Karla to circumvent the downsides of Life and Death or Brazen Atk/Spd by entering Desperation’s HP threshold without having to enter a risky combat first.

Karla’s base Even Spd Wave is excellent for fueling her Vassal’s Blade bonus damage as well as securing doubles, but can easily be replaced if she has access to Speed buffs from her team. Spd Smoke and Def Smoke both synergize well with Galeforce as they make it easier for her to take out her second target.

All Life No Death (Offensive Nuke)

Vassal's Blade A Life and Death 3
Reposition B Shield Pulse 3
Pavise C Even Spd Wave 3
SP1425SFlashing Blade 3

Show Explanation/Analysis
  • Preferred IV: +ATK or +SPD / -HP or -RES
  • Weapon: Vassal’s Blade
  • Assist: Reposition
  • Special: Pavise
  • Passive A: Life and Death
  • Passive B: Shield Pulse
  • Passive C: Even Spd Wave / Flexible
  • Sacred Seal: Flashing Blade

One of the main perks of Vassal’s Blade is that it boosts Karla’s damage output enough that she often doesn’t even need a damaging Special to KO her opponents. This means that she can instead opt to use a defensive Special like Pavise. Combining Pavise with Shield Pulse means that Karla is very deceptively hard to KO; for example, she can easily survive a Black Luna from Zelgius. This continues to be true even if she actively lowers her own defenses with an aggressive skill like Life and Death.

The beauty of utilizing Life and Death with the Pavise/Shield Pulse combo is that the reduced defenses have basically no effect but Karla gets to enjoy the big boost to her offensive stats on both phases; this set can effectively engage powerful melee threats on either phase. The Flashing Blade Seal is vitally important to this build, as it is key to making sure that Karla can have Pavise active for every enemy attack. Without Pavise active, Karla will easily get KO’d.


In a complete and utter turnaround from her performance in Blazing Blade, Karla arrives in Fire Emblem Heroes as a monstrously powerful sword unit. Characterized by good Attack and incredible Speed, Karla’s combat performance is already exceptional before considering her unique weapon, Vassal’s Blade. In addition to a -1 Special cooldown, the potential +7 bonus damage gives Karla exceptionally high damage output, enough to outclass even the likes of Ayra.

These strengths don’t even come with significant weaknesses. With 65 physical and 64 magical bulk before IVs, Karla is hardly in danger of getting KO’d in a single hit outside of blue enemies and Special activations, both of which can be easily avoided via smart play.

Overall, Karla is an incredibly powerful unit that can fulfill a heavy damage role in any team. She is not particularly reliant on her team for anything, though she can be significantly stronger with proper support. She will certainly be a powerful threat in any given match.


Vassal’s Blade

Karla’s unique weapon grants her a massive damage boost (up to +7), in addition to -1 Special cooldown. This turns her into a significant damage threat, able to keep up with the likes of Ayra.

Powerful offenses

35/40 is already exceptional, but Karla’s superboon in Speed puts her potential over the top, particularly because of her unique weapon’s interaction with her Speed.

Good versatility

As a consequence of the large damage boost from Vassal’s Blade, Karla is not nearly as reliant on her Special activations as many other units that share her myrmidon archetype (such as Mia and Fir). This allows her to consider other builds, such as a Galeforce setup.

Decent bulk

Despite her seemingly low defenses, Karla has 65 physical and 64 magical bulk before IVs, making her quite safe from getting KO’d in one hit from most enemies aside from blues and Special activations (both of which can easily be avoided with smart play).

Great base kit

Having both Wrath and Even Spd Wave built in to her base kit allows Karla to be built fairly cheaply if desired, though she can be significantly improved with heavy investment (such as Distant Counter).



While this is much less of a weakness than before due to access to skills like Even Spd Wave, Odd Atk Wave, and Tactics buffs, infantry units still have to contend with lacking the superior mobility of cavalry and fliers. The buffs are still not quite as good as the dual +6/+6 buffs or +4/+4 combat boosts that other unit types have access to, either.

Vulnerable to debuffs

One of the consequences of Karla’s min-maxed stat spread is that she is exceptionally vulnerable to debuffs. Chill Spd, Spd Ploy, or Panic Ploy are just some examples of debuffs that can heavily debilitate Karla’s combat capabilities.

Team Options

  • Buffers: Karla’s combat performance is heavily reliant on her stats, making buffers like Delthea, Marth, and Brave Lucina great allies.
  • Debuffers: Debilitating enemies enhances Karla’s combat capabilities similarly to directly buffing her, making units like Arvis, Lute, Saias, and Soren good teammates.
  • Refreshers: Karla’s role as an offensive nuker means that gaining the ability to act multiple times in a turn can allow her to take out multiple enemies (particularly if running a Galeforce build). Good Refresher allies include Bridal Ninian, New Year Azura, and Performing Azura.
  • Strong greens: One of Karla’s few weaknesses is her susceptibility to color advantage; units like Myrrh, Fallen Robin (M), Kana (F), Dorcas, and Bartre can handle the blue units that Karla can be endangered by.
  • Harsh Command: Karla can be utterly ruined by debuffs, due to her heavy reliance on her stats for her performance. Harsh Command can reverse debuffs, but can be difficult to justify in Arena; Micaiah’s unique Sacrifice ability is the best possible candidate for this.


  • Strong blues: Karla is still susceptible to color advantage despite her strengths (particularly if they are not reliant on Speed to double), making units like Reinhardt, Fallen Hardin, Ephraim, and Lukas strong counters to her.
  • Debuffers: Karla is quite vulnerable to debuffs, and her reliance on her stats make units like Arvis, Lute, Saias, and Soren good choices.
    • Panic Ploy: Karla’s access to Even Spd Wave means that she has easy access to field buffs, making Panic Ploy a strong option for negating her advantage. Some good Panic Ploy users include Zelgius, Effie, and Nowi.
  • Strong offense: Karla has decent bulk, but she will buckle under sustained offensive pressure, particularly from units who aren’t reliant on Speed to double such as Zelgius, Reinhardt (WT), Elincia, and Olwen.
    • Poison Dagger: Karla is also vulnerable to effective damage from Poison Dagger, making units like Sothe and Kagero good potential options.

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
Vassal's BladeAccelerates Special trigger (cooldown count-1). If unit's Spd > foe's Spd, boosts damage dealt by 70% of difference between stats. (Maximum bonus of +7 damage. Combos with Phantom Spd.)
Learns by default at 5 ★
Non-Inheritable skill.
400 1 16
Weapon Evolution
Weapon Upgrades
Weapon Upgrades

Special Skills

Special Skills SP Turns
Dragon GazeBoosts Atk by 30%.
Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
100 4
Draconic AuraBoosts Atk by 30%.
Learns by default at 5 ★
Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
200 3

Passive Skills

Passive Skills SP Slot
Wrath 1If unit's HP ≤ 25%, Special cooldown count-1 at start of turn if Special triggers by attacking. If Special triggers, +10 damage from Special.
Melee, Infantry, and Armored Only
Wrath 2If unit's HP ≤ 50%, Special cooldown count-1 at start of turn if Special triggers by attacking. If Special triggers, +10 damage from Special.
Melee, Infantry, and Armored Only
Wrath 3If unit's HP ≤ 75%, Special cooldown count-1 at start of turn if Special triggers by attacking. If Special triggers, +10 damage from Special.
Melee, Infantry, and Armored Only
Unlocks at 5 ★
Even Spd Wave 1At start of even-numbered turns, grants Spd+2 to unit and adjacent allies for 1 turn. (Bonus granted to unit even if no allies are adjacent.)
Inheritable by all units.
Even Spd Wave 2At start of even-numbered turns, grants Spd+4 to unit and adjacent allies for 1 turn. (Bonus granted to unit even if no allies are adjacent.)
Inheritable by all units.
Even Spd Wave 3At start of even-numbered turns, grants Spd+6 to unit and adjacent allies for 1 turn. (Bonus granted to unit even if no allies are adjacent.)
Inheritable by all units.
Unlocks at 5 ★

Other Info

Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade

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