Tier Rating
Analysis by eclogia
Leon - True of Heart

3-4

Obtainable as a 3 - 4 only
Hero Stats
Max Avg Total Stats at Lvl 40
148
HP 39
ATK 34
SPD 30
DEF 30
RES 15
Stat Variations
Level 1 Stat Variation
5★
4★
3★
HP ATK SPD DEF RES
Low 16 7 5 7 4
Middle 17 8 6 8 5
High 18 9 7 9 6

Level 40 Stat Variations
5★
4★
3★
HP ATK SPD DEF RES
Low 35 31 27 26 12
Middle 39 34 30 30 15
High 42 37 33 33 19
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

Leon has a clear spread with high HP, Attack, Defense, average Speed, and awful Resistance. Min-maxing him is easy.

Boons

  • +ATK: More Attack is almost always a good thing to have, especially when you attack several times with a Brave Bow

Neutral

  • HP: Unlike Defense, HP doesn’t contribute to Leon’s damage output via Specials. Since Leon’s Resistance is rock-bottom, he relies on his HP pool to tank a magic attack. In the case of a mixed tank build, HP being a superbane makes it less desirable to dump compared to Resistance.

  • SPD: Leon’s middling Speed can be built on to avoid getting doubled. If Speed isn’t the focus of the build nor is supporting teammates, it is not worth lowering or raising.

  • DEF: High physical bulk is Leon’s main selling point. It allows him to survive counterattacks frailer archers have trouble tanking. However, Leon prefers Attack to secure more KOs.

Banes

  • -RES: As said above, Leon’s dump stat is clearly Resistance and 3 less points will not make a notable difference in his match-ups.
Skill Sets
Ignited Heart (Physical Tank)
Recommended
Slaying Bow+ (+Def)
Alternate: Slaying Bow+
A Close Counter
Alternate: Attack +3
Swap
Alternate: Reciprocal Aid
B Guard 3
Ignis C Threaten Def 3
SP1,475SQuick Riposte 3

Show Explanation/Analysis
  • Preferred IV: +ATK or +DEF / -RES

  • Weapon: Slaying Bow+ (+Def) / Slaying Bow+

  • Assist: Reciprocal Aid / Swap

  • Special: Ignis

  • Passive A: Close Counter / Atk/Def Bond / Atk + 3

  • Passive B: Guard

  • Passive C: Threaten Def / Flexible

  • Sacred Seal: Quick Riposte

The principle of this build is simple: Put Leon in range of a physical enemy, tank while not letting them charge their Special, then unleash an Ignis/Bonfire on Player Phase.

It is worth noting that +ATK IV with a +Def refine works better than +DEF IV with any refine in this build (especially when a +Atk refine on a ranged weapon gives less than a +ATK IV). Due to the low number of Dagger and Bow units in arena, this build goes down in value if you aren’t using Close Counter. It still allows Leon to survive an unbuffed Brave Bow Brave Lyn when Def-boosted.

Leon’s native B passive, Guard, is a very important component of the build due to the abundance of low-CD Specials, Cooldown-accelerating skills, and fast Brave Bow users. Since Guard is taken as B slot, Quick Riposte is taken as Sacred Seal.

With the Slaying Bow’s Cooldown reduction, Ignis will trigger at the end of the battle if the enemy doubles Leon, guaranteeing heavy damage on whoever tries to touch him. If the enemy isn’t fast enough to double, Ignis will be ready for the following Player Phase.

The recommended Assist is Reciprocal Aid, so Leon can stay in Quick Riposte range. The recommended C passive is Threaten Def as it enables an extra push against very bulky opponents who would have survived two rounds of combat.

Another Type of Defense (Speedy Tank)
Slaying Bow+ (+Spd)
Alternate: Slaying Bow+
A Fury 3
Reciprocal Aid
Alternate: Swap
B Quick Riposte 3
Bonfire
Alternate: Ignis
C Threaten Def 3
Alternate: Threaten Atk 3
SP1,485SDistant Def 3

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

  • Weapon: Slaying Bow+ (+Spd) / Slaying Bow+

  • Assist: Reciprocal Aid / Swap / Flexible

  • Special: Bonfire / Ignis

  • Passive A: Fury

  • Passive B: Quick Riposte

  • Passive C: Threaten Def / Threaten Atk / Flexible

  • Sacred Seal: Distant Def / Threaten Atk / Threaten Spd

Speed is an excellent defensive stat: No matter how low your Def/Res is, if you don’t get doubled, you will only take half as much damage. This build is geared for short battles as you will take significant damage on your first bait and won’t be able to do much afterwards. Unless you use Reciprocal Aid to switch your current HP with an ally’s who uses skills like Desperation or have a healer partner. Speed-boosting allies are recommended when using this build.

For the A slot, Fury is taken over Life and Death to raise Leon’s offense as well as his defense since the latter skill would seriously dent his overall bulk . Despite the Speed-raising build choices, Leon’s base Speed is average, meaning he won’t double faster enemies without the help of Quick Riposte.

Distant Def is an amazing Sacred Seal that will add to Leon’s bulk, but if it is taken by another unit you can turn Leon into a debuffer with another Threaten skill as Sacred Seal. Any flat stat booster is good as Sacred Seal too.

The choice between Ignis and Bonfire depends on whether Leon has enough firepower for most of his matchups. Bonfire‘s cooldown goes down to 2 with the Slaying Bow, which means it will fire on Leon’s follow-up attack and tip the scales in his favor. If one doesn’t have the fodder for Bonfire or finds that the 15 extra damage is superfluous because Leon already KOs his targets with his follow-up attack, Ignis will be ready for a possible OHKO on the following Player Phase.

Author’s note: A Guard Bow + double Distant Def set was considered, but it yielded similar results to this set for a much bigger investment. Said skill set would perform particularly better against very fast units or those who have a guaranteed double like with the Bold Fighter skill.

Hurry Up, I Need My Beauty Sleep (Brave Bow)
Brave Bow+ A Death Blow 4
Alternate: Death Blow 3
Draw Back
Alternate: Reposition
B Chill Def 3
Alternate: Swordbreaker 3
Bonfire
Alternate: Moonbow
C Threaten Def 3
SP1,885SAttack +3

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

  • Weapon: Brave Bow+

  • Assist: Draw Back / Reposition

  • Special: Bonfire / Ignis / Moonbow

  • Passive A: Death Blow / Attack +3

  • Passive B: Chill Def / Swordbreaker / Guard / Flexible

  • Passive C: Threaten Def / Flexible

  • Sacred Seal: Attack +3 / Quickened Pulse

A straightforward Brave Bow set with maximized Attack. Since Brave weapons make one hit twice on Player Phase, each Attack point the unit gains is used twice, and each Defense point the enemy loses is counted twice. Leon’s okay Speed coupled with the weapon’s Speed penalty means he won’t double naturally and risks getting doubled, so every other stat is secondary. If one does not have Death Blow fodder, a simple Atk + 3 will do.

B passives have always been varied for the slower Brave weapon users until the release of Chill Def . Chill Def lowers the Defense of the foe(s) that have the highest Defense stat among the enemy team. Since Brave weapons have lowered Might compared to standard weapons, they are particularly ineffective against high-Defense foes, making Chill Def an excellent fit for them.

Swordbreaker is also a good option due to the high number of sword users with innate Distant Counter. It can be replaced by the skill of your choice, like the excellent Guard Leon comes with. After all, Brave weapons also charge the enemy’s Special faster, so one of your units getting hit with a Special when Leon is unable to finish off his foe can potentially make the battle go awry .

Since Brave weapon users want to keep their battles to the Player Phase, their choice of Special skill is particular. In the case of units who won’t double (like Leon), that will be two shots fired on the first encounter (Cooldown charge +2). If a 2-CD Special is taken, it would be ready then. But whether Leon is attacked (charge +1 or +2) or is attacking in a new fight ( Charge +2), there would be a wasted charge. This is why Brave weapon users typically take an odd-numbered cooldown Special.

If one wants a higher burst damage on the second battle, Ignis + Quickened Pulse is preferred. If a higher damage output at every match is the goal instead, Moonbow + Quickened Pulse is the way to go.

Introduction

Leon sure looks pretty, but he’s also physically tough and packs a good punch. While most archers see the Brave Bow path as best, Leon has flexibility and a good starting kit with Slaying Bow and Guard.

Strengths

Excellent Defense and HP

39 HP and 30 Def before buffs allows him to tank any physical attack of up to 68 ATK or any physical double attack of up to 49 ATK. As such, Leon is capable of taking retaliation hits and keep going. He can also be left in the frontlines if there’s no way to make him back out via Dance or Reposition after his attack. His natural Defense also allows him to power his way through with a Defense-based Special.

High Attack

Leon can KO enemies of moderate bulk with his Attack, the second highest among archers at the time of writing.

Weaknesses

Awfully low Resistance

If not for his HP, a magical breeze would bring Leon down. If Leon gets doubled or attacked by a Raven tome mage, he will not last.

Middling Speed

If not invested in or supported, Leon will only double slower enemies. While he is speedy enough to avoid common doubles, new units have more BST to spread and the doubling threshold has raised, making 30 an unimpressive number.

Team Options

As a low-Resistance archer, Leon particularly appreciates dancers and mage-counters. Like every unit, he also likes getting a good buff, whether it is to his offense of defense. Squishy mages will be grateful for Leon’s protection.

  • Dancers: With their refreshing assist, dancers grant an ally the possibility to either retreat or attack again, which is very useful for a Brave weapon user. Olivia, Azura and Performing Inigo are some examples.

  • Mage-counters: Units with high Resistance who hit on the mages’ commonly lower Defense stat such as Felicia, Fjorm, Sheena.

  • Breath users with decent Resistance: A subset of the above group. Refined Breath weapons target ranged units’ lower defensive stat. The dragons with the most Resistance are Myrrh, Fae and Young Tiki.

  • Buffers: Units such as Brave Lucina, Ephraim, or Eirika whose buffs take effect on a ranged infantry.

  • Squishy mages: Mages who dumped their Defense in favor of raw damage. Examples include Linde, Nino, and Arvis.

  • Healers: Slaying Bow Leon is likely to fall out of Quick Riposte range. A healing teammate will keep him going. It can be either a Staff user like Maria or Sakura, or a Falchion user like Marth (who also provides buffs!)

Counters

15 Res is a big gaping hole in Leon’s armor. Moreover, units with a high Defense will withstand Leon’s attacks and counterattack hard.

  • Offensive mages: Blade Tome user and other offensive powerhouses such as Tharja, Delthea or Rhajat

  • Raven tome mages: Their color advantage, combined with Triangle Adept, goes a long way to cut Leon’s damage output and raise theirs. Popular users include Sophia, Robin (Male and Female) and Performing Inigo

  • Dragons: With their high bulk and magic attacks, those units can retaliate hard. Tiki (Adult and Young), Female Corrin and Grima are potent threats.

  • High-Defense armored units: Besides their heightened BST, Armored units have got a lot of tools that made them both durable and hard hitters. Be wary of the likes of Zelgius, Effie and Hector.

 

Weapon Skills
Weapons SP Rng. Mt.
Iron BowEffective against flying units.
Only Inheritable by Bow users.
50 2 4
Steel BowEffective against flying units.
Learns by default at 3 ★
Only Inheritable by Bow users.
100 2 6
Slaying BowEffective against flying units. Accelerates Special trigger (cooldown count-1).
Learns by default at 4 ★
Unlocks at 3 ★
Only Inheritable by Bow users.
200 2 8
Slaying Bow+Effective against flying units. Accelerate Special trigger (cooldown count -1)
Learns by default at 5 ★
Unlocks at 5 ★
Only Inheritable by Bow users.
300 2 12
Weapon Evolution
Weapon Upgrades
Weapon Upgrades
Special Skills
Special Skills SP Turns
Glowing EmberBoosts damage dealt by 50% of unit's Def.
Learns by default at 4 ★
Unlocks at 3 ★
Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
100 4
IgnisBoosts damage dealt by 80% of unit's Def.
Learns by default at 5 ★
Unlocks at 4 ★
Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
200 4
Passive Skills
Passive Skills SP Slot
Speed +1Grants Spd+1
Inheritable by all units.
30
A
Speed +2Grants Spd+2
Unlocks at 3 ★
Inheritable by all units.
60
A
Speed +3Grants Spd+3
Unlocks at 4 ★
Inheritable by all units.
120
A
Guard 1If unit's HP is ≥ 100% at start of combat, enemy is inflicted with Special cooldown charge-1. (If using similar skill, only highest value applied.)
Unlocks at 3 ★
Inheritable by all units.
50
B
Guard 2If unit's HP is ≥ 90% at start of combat, enemy is inflicted with Special cooldown charge-1. (If using similar skill, only highest value applied.)
Unlocks at 4 ★
Inheritable by all units.
100
B
Guard 3If unit's HP is ≥ 80% at start of combat, enemy is inflicted with Special cooldown charge-1. (If using similar skill, only highest value applied.)
Unlocks at 5 ★
Inheritable by all units.
200
B
Other Info
Origin
Fire Emblem Gaiden

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