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Leif

Overall Rating
4
Analysis by Lunare
Leif - Prince of Leonster

5

Obtainable as a 5 only
Hero Stats
Max Avg Total Stats at Lvl 40
163
HP 40
ATK 32
SPD 38
DEF 30
RES 23
Stat Variations
Level 1 Stat Variation
5★
HP ATK SPD DEF RES
Low 17 5 9 7 5
Middle 18 6 10 8 6
High 19 7 11 9 7

Level 40 Stat Variations
5★
HP ATK SPD DEF RES
Low 36 29 35 26 20
Middle 40 32 38 30 23
High 43 35 41 33 26
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

Boon

  • +ATK: A fantastic boon, as it pushes Leif’s Attack to a solid base 35. This greatly increases his damage output if he can ensure follow-up attacks with his high base Speed or through skills like Quick Riposte.

  • +SPD: One of Leif’s best boon stats thanks to his stellar base 38 Speed. With a Speed Boon, this value reaches an impressive base 41 before skills, which assists Leif’s offensive and defensive abilities greatly.

Neutral

  • DEF: Worth preserving on Leif when possible. Though a bane is somewhat mitigated by the +3 Def from Light Brand, Leif’s base 30 Defense grants him respectable physical soak. This is important, as most of Leif’s opponents will be high-Defense heroes as he wants to capitalize on the +7 damage of Light Brand as much as possible.

Bane

  • -RES: Arguably Leif’s best bane. While base 23 Resistance isn’t completely unsalvageable, Leif’s superbane in HP makes this bane slightly more appealing. Leif should have little issue surviving a hit from most mages regardless of his Resistance stat thanks to his high Speed.

  • -HP: This bane allows Leif to maintain some of his magical bulk at the cost of worsened physical bulk and a lower BST. This superbane does not place Leif in a different BST bin, but a Resistance bane is generally preferred in order to preserve Leif’s physical bulk.
Skill Sets
Lord of Light (Light Brand Enemy Phase)
Optimal
Light Brand A Distant Counter
Budget: Fury 3
Reposition B Quick Riposte 3
Budget: Quick Riposte 2
Moonbow C Drive Atk 2
SP1,380SAttack +3

Show Explanation/Analysis
  • Preferred Boon/Bane: +ATK / -RES
  • Weapon: Light Brand
  • Assist: Reposition / Flexible
  • Special: Moonbow / Draconic Aura / Aether
  • Passive A: Distant Counter / Steady Breath / Fury
  • Passive B: Quick Riposte 3 / Quick Riposte 2 / Guard
  • Passive C: Drive Atk / Flexible
  • Sacred Seal: Attack +3 / Quick Riposte

This is Leif’s optimal set if he wishes to take advantage of Light Brand. Distant Counter is a must in order for Leif to combat archers and mages that fail to KO him, and Quick Riposte should need little introduction. Despite his high speed, Leif will struggle to KO faster opponents that reach Speed values around the low 40s, making Quick Riposte a useful addition. Leif’s seal and boon/bane serve to improve his damage output, whereas the Assist and C slot skills are flexible.

For those looking to focus on Leif's physical match-ups, Steady or Warding Breath are the best choices over Distant Counter. Warding Breath is useful for improving Leif's Resistance for the match-up against dragons, but this match-up is already quite weak so Steady Breath is arguably the better of the two skills. As for which Special is the best choice to complement these skills, Draconic Aura can be a great choice if Leif is reliably meeting the requirements of Light Brand. Aether is useful as well, as it vastly improves his mileage with Quick Riposte.

The Attack +3 seal can be replaced with the Quick Riposte seal, but this leaves Leif with fewer choices for a B slot skill. Guard can be useful in safeguarding Leif against special skills, but the extra 3 Attack from the Attack +3 seal will generally be more useful.

Master Knight (Player Phase Offense)
Wo Dao+ (+Spd)
Budget: Light Brand
A Swift Sparrow 2
Budget: Death Blow 3
Reposition B Wrath 3
Budget: Desperation 3
Moonbow C Drive Atk 2
SP1,485SSpeed +3

Show Explanation/Analysis
  • Preferred Boon/Bane: +SPD / -RES
  • Weapon: Wo Dao+ (+Spd) / Slaying Edge+ (+Spd) / Light Brand
  • Assist: Reposition / Flexible
  • Special: Moonbow / Flexible
  • Passive A: Swift Sparrow / Death Blow / Fury
  • Passive B: Wrath / Desperation
  • Passive C: Drive Atk / Flexible
  • Sacred Seal: Speed +3 / Attack +3 / Quickened Pulse

For those looking to take advantage of Leif’s high base Speed, it’s worth considering a replacement weapon. Light Brand’s damage is strong, but sometimes unreliable, making more consistent weapons such as a Wo Dao+ or Slaying Edge+ more appealing. With a +Spd boon, +Spd refinement on the weapon and a Speed +3 seal, Leif will reach an impressive 47 base Speed. Swift Sparrow pushes this up to 51, which is enough Speed to make follow-up attacks against particularly notorious heroes such as a Speed invested DC Ayra before merges. With reliable follow-up attacks, Leif should have no problem tackling any hero that isn't bulky and/or blue.

Moonbow and Swift Sparrow are relatively standard offensive options, but these skills are flexible depending on skill availability. Alternatives include Death Blow, which is a stronger alternative against foes around 40-42 Speed that Leif can already ensure follow-up attacks against. Fury is also worth considering, as it allows Leif to maintain some Speed as well as his decent defensive stats during the Enemy Phase. Wrath is a powerful skill that can allow Leif to do tremendous damage with the Wo Dao+, but may be unavailable to some players due to availability. Desperation is the perfect replacement in this case, and some players may even prefer Desperation in order to reduce the risk of KO.

Drive Atk is Leif's ideal C slot due to its ease of use, strong effect in addition to the fact that he has the skill as a part of his base skillset. Speed +3 is recommended to ensure follow-up attacks, but Attack +3 or Quickened Pulse are worthy replacements for enemies that can't match Leif's agility.

One Hit Wonder (S Drink Build)
Light Brand A Fury 3
Reposition B S Drink
Moonbow C Drive Atk 2
SP1,265SQuickened Pulse

Show Explanation/Analysis
  • Preferred Boon/Bane: +SPD or +DEF / -RES
  • Weapon: Slaying Edge+ (+Spd) / Wo Dao+ (+Spd) / Light Brand
  • Assist: Reposition / Flexible
  • Special: Moonbow / Ignis / Dragon Fang / Blazing Light
  • Passive A: Fury
  • Passive B: S Drink
  • Passive C: Drive Atk / Flexible
  • Sacred Seal: Quickened Pulse / Speed +3 / Attack +3

While not recommended for use in Arena, S Drink can be an exceptionally useful skill in PvE modes with consecutive battles. This build can be relatively cheap depending on how far players wish to take Leif. Leif's Special skill is dependant on whatever weapon Leif is using. With the Light Brand or Wo Dao+, any skill with a short cooldown is the best choice. Those opting for a Slaying Edge+ will find better value in Specials with longer cooldowns however.

Despite the above statement, there are some small changes that players can make for a wildly unreliable, but amusing OHKO build for Arena. Leif is unique in that he can reduce his Special charge cooldown more than any other hero on the first turn thanks to S Drink, which allows him to use Moonbow right from the get-go. With a supporting team-member with Infantry Pulse, or a Slaying Edge+ instead of a Wo Dao+, Leif can increase the variety of Specials he can activate before a single round of combat. With a Slaying Edge+, S Drink, Quickened Pulse and one teammate with Infantry Pulse, Leif can use Ignis or Dragon Fang in his first engagement, allowing him to deal tremendous damage to most enemies and almost guarantee an OHKO.

Though this sounds like something stronger in theory than in practice, Leif's high Speed and reasonable Defense means that unlike many other heroes with similar builds, Leif can perform respectably well even after delivering his initial blow. The build can be particularly strong in consecutive game modes as Leif can trigger these Special charge cooldown effects in every battle.

Overall, this build can be a cheap filler for those looking to have Leif fill in the roster during a consecutive battling mode, or an expensive, but effective build to turn Leif into a powerhouse for that first initiation.

Introduction

As the final main series lord to be released, Leif of Thracia 776 is easily one of the more unique sword infantry in the game. His playstyle is defined by his unique weapon: Light Brand, which grants a huge +7 damage when the foe’s Defense exceeds their Resistance by 5 or more points. Coupled with Leif’s naturally high Speed and decent Defense, it doesn’t take much investment for Leif to become a powerful answer to physical heroes.

With that said, Leif’s usefulness drops if he cannot meet the conditions of the Light Brand. Effectively losing 14 damage from Leif’s two attacks hinders his KO potential massively, making Dragons with high Defense and Resistance one of Leif’s greatest counters. Leif will also struggle against mages, as though he has the upper hand against archers thanks to Light Brand, few mages have more Defense than Resistance. Despite these shortcomings, Leif can be a powerful hero with the right support.

“I have every intention of living up to my father’s good name. He had earned the distinction that comes with being a Knight of Noba.”

Leif, Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War

Strengths

Light Brand

Light Brand has a relatively binary activation requirement, but this weapon effectively grants 23 might against many heroes in the game, as dropping points in Resistance is common among high Defense heroes. This effect also considers Resistance debuffs, meaning that a teammate debuffing an enemy hero’s Resistance stat could allow Leif to gain bonus damage. +3 Defense is also quite useful.

Strong offensive stats

32/38 Attack and Speed is very impressive, even among sword infantry. Leif’s naturally high Speed is fantastic for offensive and defensive builds, and requires little investment to reach the low-mid 40s. 32 Attack, while not as good, is still decent enough, and vastly improved by Light Brand: a neutral Leif with Light Brand’s effect will have an effective 55 Attack before skills.

S Drink

While S Drink has very little practical use in Arena, the skill is notable as the strongest effect in the game for modes with consecutive battles, namely: Tempest Trials and Chain Challenge. In Arena, the skill has a niche use for charging special skills more quickly, but this is rarely worth sacrificing another B slot skill for.

Weaknesses

Light Brand is sometimes useless

Light Brand is a double-edged sword: though it will grant an extra +7 damage per attack, other times it may be nothing more than a 16 Might sword. Without any guarantee that Leif will benefit from this effect, Light Brand is much weaker.

Poor Resistance

Resistance is the weakest of Leif’s stats, and while his high Speed will help prevent mages from defeating him, his poor Resistance means he’ll still take heavy damage. Many high-attack blue mages can KO Leif with relative ease.

Team Options

If he is using the Light Brand, Leif benefits massively from any ally that can debuff Resistance, or ideally, both Defense and Resistance. This allows him to benefit from the +7 damage from Light Brand as well as deal more considerable damage against a debuffed Defense stat. Note that the foe’s Defense must remain 5 points higher than their Resistance however, so it may be worth utilising these debuffs on two different heroes in order to reach this requirement. Otherwise, Leif’s optimal allies will be able to check his glaring weakness to blue mages.

  • Debuffers: Spring Catria, Spring Sharena, Lilina, Felicia and Sothe are a few examples of Heroes who can debuff enemy heroes to Leif’s benefit.

  • Powerful Green Heroes: Green heroes that can retaliate from melee or range make great partners for Leif, as they can all check her prominent weakness to green heroes. Hector, Hector (LA), Fae, Fallen Robin (M), and Myrrh are among the best options, but high Resistance heroes that can best blue mages such as Julia, Deirdre, and Halloween Henry are also great partners.

Counters

Leif’s greatest counters are dragons, blue mages, and blue heroes with exceptional Defense. Dragons will often have quite balanced defensive stats, making the Light Brand ineffective, whereas blue mages can deal considerable or lethal damage to Leif.

  • Dragons: Nowi, Corrin (F), and Adult Tiki can exploit Leif’s low Resistance to deal considerable damage. It is also difficult for Leif to activate Light Brand against Nowi unless she is heavily invested in Defense.

  • Strong Blue Heroes with High Defense: Gwendolyn, Lukas, Fallen Hardin, Winter Robin, and Shiro are examples of heroes that Leif will struggle to pierce the defenses of; even with Light Brand.

  • Blue Mages: Reinhardt, Micaiah, Lute, Mae, Lyn (LA), Delthea, Olwen, and other high power mages can all deal KO Leif with relative ease if their Attack is high enough.

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
Silver Sword
Only Inheritable by Sword Units.
200 1 11
Light BrandGrants Def+3. If foe's Def ≥ foe's Res+5, deals +7 damage.
Learns by default at 5 ★
Non-Inheritable skill.
300 1 16
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 5 ★
Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
150 4
Blazing LightBefore combat this unit initiates, foes in an area near target take damage equal to 1.5 x (unit's Atk minus foe's Def or Res).
Unlocks at 5 ★
Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
300 4
Passive Skills
Passive Skills SP Slot
Armored Blow 1Grants Def+2 during combat if unit initiates the attack.
Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
50
A
Steady Blow 1If unit initiates combat, unit granted Spd/Def+2 during battle.
Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
120
A
Steady Blow 2If unit initiates combat, unit granted Spd/Def+4 during battle.
Unlocks at 5 ★
Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
240
A
S DrinkAt the start of turn 1, restores 99 HP and grants Special cooldown count -1.
Unlocks at 5 ★
Non-Inheritable skill.
300
B
Spur Atk 1Grants adjacent allies Atk+2 during combat.
Inheritable by all units.
50
C
Drive Atk 1Grants allies within 2 spaces Atk+2 during combat.
Inheritable by all units.
120
C
Drive Atk 2Grants allies within 2 spaces Atk+3 during combat.
Unlocks at 5 ★
Inheritable by all units.
240
C
Other Info
Origin
Fire Emblem: Thracia 776

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