Table of Contents

Tier Rating

Analysis by lordhelpme
Niles - Cruel to be Kind

3-4

Obtainable as a 3 - 4 only

Related Heroes

Hero Stats

Max Avg Total Stats at Lvl 40
147
HP 37
ATK 25
SPD 34
DEF 17
RES 34

Stat Variations

Level 1 Stat Variation
5★
4★
3★
HP ATK SPD DEF RES
Low 17 5 7 3 7
Middle 18 6 8 4 8
High 19 7 9 5 9

Level 40 Stat Variations
5★
4★
3★
HP ATK SPD DEF RES
Low 34 22 31 13 31
Middle 37 25 34 17 34
High 41 29 37 20 37

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

Assets 

  • +ATK: Sporting one of the lowest base Attack stats in the entire game, Niles benefits immensely from taking his four-point Attack Asset to heighten his otherwise pitiful damage output. While 29 Attack is still quite mediocre, it is much more workable when taking team support and the potential +7 damage from his PRF into account. 
  • +SPD: This is a good alternative should an Attack Asset be unavailable to similarly enhance his offensive potential, strengthening his ability to reliably perform and deny follow-up attacks as well as allowing him to more consistently activate his PRF’s effect of built-in Flashing Blade. 
  • +RES: Although generally less preferable than either of the aforementioned options, a Resistance Asset can be considered if aiming to capitalize on Niles’ solid anti-mage capabilities and directly lessen the amount of damage he takes from sustained offensive pressure. Otherwise, however, it is best to simply leave this stat neutral as he will more notably appreciate the boost to either of his offensive stats instead. 

Neutral

  • HP: To avoid tampering with Niles’ good magical bulk, it is recommended to leave this stat untouched, though it still can be a suitable choice of Flaw if making use of an offensively oriented build to make it easier for him to reach the HP thresholds of skills such as Desperation. 

Flaws

  • -DEF: Niles’ base Defense stat is quite horrible, resting at a pitiful base value of 17 -- this allows him to safely take it as his chosen Flaw to retain all of his other stats, as lowering it further will hardly impact his already poor durability against physical damage dealers. 

Skill Sets

Like Daughter, Like Father (Player Phase Offensive)

Recommended
Niles's Bow (+Eff) A Atk/Spd Solo 3
Alternate: Fury (3 or 4)
Reposition B Desperation 3
Iceberg
Alternate: Luna
C Odd Atk Wave 3
Alternate: Spd Ploy 3
SP1,545SDarting Blow 3

Show Explanation/Analysis
  • Preferred IV: +ATK or +SPD / -DEF
  • Weapon: Niles’ Bow (+Eff)
  • Assist: Reposition / Flexible
  • Special: Iceberg / Luna / Blue Flame
  • Passive A: Atk/Spd Solo / Atk/Spd Bond /  Swift Sparrow / Fury
  • Passive B: Desperation 
  • Passive C: Odd Atk Wave / Even Spd Wave / Spd Ploy / Flexible
  • Sacred Seal: Darting Blow / Atk/Spd Bond / Atk/Spd 2 / Attack +3 / Speed +3

Although previously quite underwhelming when utilized as a frontline combatant in comparison to other archers, Niles’ newly acquired personal weapon, the aptly named Niles’ Bow, has allowed for him to attain rather formidable combat prowess and excel when equipped with an offensively oriented build such as this one. Granting him a consistent -1 Special cooldown, a significant +7 damage boost per hit when his foe’s Defense exceeds their Resistance by 5 or more points, and built-in Flashing Blade when refined, Niles can be a surprisingly potent source of damage output under the proper circumstances, however, he will still be somewhat reliant on team support to function to the fullest of his capabilities.

For his Special, those with a 3-turn cooldown will be Niles’ best options here as the combined effects of his refined PRF allow him to consistently activate them in each round of combat in which he performs a follow-up attack, even while under Desperation’s HP threshold. Of those available to him, Iceberg makes for his ideal choice as it scales quite nicely with his strong base Resistance stat of 34, granting him an additional 17 damage each time upon activation. Luna can also be considered to help against foes with particularly high Defense stats who may prove troublesome to shut down, even with Niles’ Bow bonus damage. Blue Flame offers him the highest damage of all the aforementioned options, but is somewhat impractical to effectively utilize as maintaining its adjacency requirement can prove to be rather troublesome in the Player Phase; it will also not behave synergistically with skills such as Atk/Spd Solo and is overall quite limiting. Additionally, do keep in mind that Iceberg and Luna can potentially match Blue Flame by either buffing him up to at least 50 Resistance or if his opponent has at least 50 Defense respectively.

Most offensively oriented A slot skills will work excellently here, with Atk/Spd Solo being a particularly standout choice that grants him a massive +6/+6 Atk/Spd boost without detracting from his overall bulk or requiring additional set-up -- and thanks to this build’s offensively oriented playstyle, its positioning requirement will generally be a non-issue as he will typically be away from his allies regardless. That being said, Atk/Spd Bond is a decent alternative if making use of the Atk/Spd Bond seal to stack the skill’s powerful offensive boost, however, it faces the same issues as Blue Flame in that it can be quite tricky to consistently maintain its adjacency requirement in the Player Phase. Should either of the aforementioned options be unavailable, or if one does not wish to make Niles’ offensive potential entirely dependent on his ability to consistently fulfill a positioning requirement, Swift Sparrow makes for an excellent choice as well, granting him a comparable +4/+4 Atk/Spd boost upon initiation. Fury can also be considered to similarly enhance his offenses while also giving his overall bulk a much-needed increase. 

Desperation is a pivotal component of this build, being of the utmost necessity in order for Niles freely engage in combat without having to worry about being killed in retaliation by enabling him to perform successive follow-up attacks upon initiation. Wave skills such as Odd Atk Wave and Even Spd Wave are great options for his C slot as they allow Niles to be much more self-sufficient, but are not strictly necessary for him to function properly and can simply be replicated through team support. His good base Resistance stat also allows him to be a reliable user of Ploys to similarly enhance his offensive potential, though one should keep in mind that Def Ploy is actually a relatively poor option on him due to it lessening his chances of benefitting from his PRF’s bonus damage. Instead, Spd Ploy will generally be his best option in this regard, strengthening his ability to perform follow-up attacks against any foes whom he manages to target with its potent debuff. Otherwise, Niles has no real preference towards any particular C slot, so feel free to use any skill that best fits his team composition here. 

Lastly, since Niles’ Bow unique refine already allows Niles to benefit from the effects of Flashing Blade, his seal slot is actually quite flexible and open to any offensive stat-boosting seal. Darting Blow is an exceptional option that lends itself well to this build’s playstyle, elevating his combat prowess substantially through its formidable +6 Speed boost upon initiation. If it is unavailable, the Atk/Spd Bond seal is a decent option if also utilizing the skill in his A slot as previously mentioned but otherwise, Niles will generally find more consistency from other alternatives such as Atk/Spd 2, Attack +3, and Speed +3. 

Best Served Cold (Anti-Magic)

Recommended
Niles's Bow (+Eff) A Atk/Spd Bond 3
Alternate: Fury (3 or 4)
Reposition B Null C-Disrupt 3
Alternate: Guard 3
Glacies C Atk Smoke 3
Alternate: Atk Ploy 3
SP1,605SQuick Riposte 3

Show Explanation/Analysis
  • Preferred IV: +ATK or +SPD or +RES / -DEF
  • Weapon: Niles’ Bow (+Eff)
  • Assist: Reposition / Flexible
  • Special: Glacies 
  • Passive A: Atk/Spd Bond / Atk/Res Bond / Atk/Spd Solo / Atk/Res Bond / Fury  
  • Passive B: Null C-Disrupt / Guard / Quick Riposte 
  • Passive C: Atk Smoke / Spd Smoke / Atk Smoke / Spd Smoke / Flexible 
  • Sacred Seal: Quick Riposte / Atk/Spd Bond / Distant Def

This build sees Niles capitalize on his more obvious strengths, taking his combination of decent Speed and good Resistance to transform him into a capable anti-magic unit in the Enemy Phase -- and fortunately enough, his PRF complements his ability to fulfill this role quite nicely. Although the fact that mages tend to have higher Resistance than Defense does make it more difficult for him to benefit from Niles’ Bow +7 bonus damage, Niles can still make fantastic use of its consistent -1 Special cooldown and built-in Flashing Blade to increase his damage output substantially through more frequent Special activations. In addition to Assets to his Attack and Speed, a Resistance Asset may be a worthwhile option to consider should one wish to augment his magical resilience and diminish the amount of damage he receives from such foes. 

Glacies makes for his ideal choice of Special and lends itself perfectly with this build’s defensively oriented playstyle -- combined with Niles’ Bow’s amalgam of effects, this ensures that Niles will be able to consistently activate it in every round of combat in which he can counterattack regardless of whether or not he is doubled, provided that he himself performs a follow-up attack and his built-in Flashing Blade activates. 

Atk/Spd Bond is an exceptional choice of A slot skill that provides Niles with a significant boost to his raw damage output as well as his survivability via a lesser chance of being doubled, merely necessitating that he has at least one adjacent ally in order to benefit from the skill’s powerful effect. Alternatively, Atk/Res Bond can be taken if already providing him with a substantial amount of support to his Speed stat and focus more on his ability to directly take on sustained offensive pressure from opposing magical damage dealers. Atk/Spd Solo and Atk/Res Solo make for strong options as well to similarly enhance his performance, possessing the additional benefit of providing him greater functionality in the Player Phase -- however, they are still generally less preferable than Bond skills as Niles greatly appreciates receiving team support to perform up to par with his direct comparables, meaning that he generally prefers being close to his allies rather than away from them. On a budget, Fury is a suitable substitute that provides Niles with an appreciable +3 overall stat boost, though its chip damage will cause him to be more picky with selecting his matchups as to keep his HP from becoming too low. 

Regardless of his chosen A slot skill, however, Quick Riposte remains a crucial and core aspect of this build as any kind of Speed-stacking here is meant only to improve his ability to deny his opponent’s follow-up attacks, with the choice of whether to utilize it in his B slot or seal slot boiling down to a matter of skill availability and personal preference. Using it as his chosen B slot skill allows him to free up his seal slot for the Atk/Spd Bond and Distant Def seals to further enhance his combat prowess in the Enemy Phase, whereas utilizing it in his seal slot lets him make use of other powerful skills, most notable which being Null C-Disrupt. Effectively canceling out the counterattack-negating property of Dazzling Staff and other similar skills, Null C-Disrupt is a rather strong option and allows him to leverage his anti-mage capabilities against staff users as well, and is especially useful in modes such as Aether Raids. Guard is also a good option to let Niles safely take on a wider variety of foes, particularly mages who rely on quick Special activations to deal massive amounts of damage.

Atk and Spd Smoke are two great potential C slot skills that can go a long way in strengthening his individual performance in the Enemy Phase, with both options helping increase his overall survivability when baiting multiple foes at once. Ploys, such as Atk Ploy and Spd Ploy, remain effective choices here as well that pair quite nicely with Niles’ inherently high base Resistance stat. Otherwise, any skill that most suits his team composition can be used instead.  

Introduction

Originally a thief from Fire Emblem Fates commonly known for his flagrant sadistic tendencies, Niles was previously regarded as one of the worst archers in the entire game, though for good reason. Sporting an absolutely horrid base Attack stat of 25 in addition to relatively poor physical bulk, he struggled to carve a niche for himself as anything other than a dedicated anti-mage unit, a role which he admittedly fulfilled rather decently thanks to his combination of good Speed and Resistance -- but even still, the introduction of newer units with far more specialized and potent statlines left him sorely outclassed even in this regard. 

However, Niles’ newly acquired personal weapon, the aptly named Niles’ Bow, has done much to change this and alleviated many of the issues that previously plagued him. Combining the effects of his base Slaying Bow with that of a Shining Bow and Flashing Blade, Niles’ Bow is undoubtedly a phenomenal personal weapon that was tailor-made for the mischievous archer, allowing him to circumvent his otherwise poor damage output through consistent (and powerful) Special activations and a significant damage boost against high Defense tanks who he would have previously failed to even damage -- needless to say, under the proper circumstances, Niles can attain considerable offensive power and perform as a capable combatant to his own right. Furthermore, the fact that none of its effects are locked to a particular phase allows him to be quite versatile in the way that he functions, having the options to go for an all-out offensive build or capitalize on his inherent strengths as an anti-mage. 

Overall, despite the fact that Niles still suffers from the same issues as always, these weaknesses are made much less prominent by how much his personal weapon does to alleviate them, providing him with the means overcome many of his previous shortcomings and allow his own unique strengths to finally shine. 

Strengths

Niles’ Bow

Niles’ newly acquired personal weapon complements his statline incredibly well and provides him with the means to circumvent his previously lacking overall damage output, accelerating the rate at which he can activate his Special greatly in addition to granting him with a substantial damage boost against opponents with polarizing defensive stat spreads. 

Decent Speed 

Resting at a solid base value of 34, Niles’ Speed stat is one of his better qualities and gives him a respectable foundation for both performing and denying follow-up attacks, especially when capitalized on with the proper support and investment. 

Excellent Resistance

Niles’ base Resistance stat of 34 is quite high; combined with his decent Speed, Niles can perform as a readily available check to opposing mages. Additionally, this lets him make great user of Ploys and Resistance-scaling Specials like Iceberg and Glacies. 

Versatile

Niles’ unique stat spread combined with the power of his personal weapon enables him to run a variety of different builds quite effectively, most notably having the choice between functioning as a capable offensive unit or as a formidable anti-mage. 

Good Availability 

Currently available in the 3-4* colorless pool, Niles is amongst one of the most common units in the game, allowing one to easily gather merges and ideal IVs for him. 

Weaknesses

Low Attack

Although his personal weapon does much to aid his otherwise poor damage output, Niles’ low base Attack stat of 25 remains his most glaring weakness -- against foes who prevent him from gaining the benefits of Niles’ Bow, such as mixed tanks and units using Guard, his overall level of effectiveness drops significantly as he’ll struggle to deal any kind of meaningful damage. 

Low Physical Bulk

Niles’ mix of mediocre HP and low Defense render him incredibly susceptible to any form of physical damage; opposing dragonstone users will also prove to be an issue as they will always target his low Defense stat thanks to their ability to deal adaptive damage against ranged units.

Team Options

  • Buffers: Niles’ overall performance sees great improvement when provided with buffer support from units such as Kaden, Ephraim, and Odin to gain a stronger offensive presence and additional survivability. 
  • Refreshers: Refreshers such as Performing Shigure, Azura, and Olivia (YT) can improve Niles’ individual performance greatly, providing him with additional maneuverability which he can use to extend the range of his attacks and get into more favorable positions. 
  • High Defense Tanks: Zelgius, Black Knight, Amelia, and other high Defense tanks make for wonderful team options to utilize alongside Niles and can establish a mutually beneficial relationship with him -- such allies can safeguard him from opposing physical hits and in turn, they gain someone who can cover their weakness to mages. 
  • Anti-Dragons: Given dragonstone users’ ability to target his low Defense stat on account of him being ranged, units such as Alm, Julia, Summer Linde, Hostile Springs Hinoka, Hoshidan Summer Elincia, and Deirdre who can wield dragon-effective weaponry can quickly take down such foes make for valuable allies. 

Counters

  • Bulky Armors: Exceptionally bulky armored units, such as Sheena, Winter Lissa, and Duma, can prevent Niles from gaining the +7 bonus damage from his personal weapon thanks to their excellent mixed bulk and easily soak up Niles’ low damage output, especially when class-exclusive buffs like Ward Armor are active. 
  • Dragonstone Users: Dragonstone users like Tiki (Young), Tiki (Adult), Winter Fae, Nowi, Kana (F), and Adrift Corrin (F) can perform as formidable counters to Niles as well, possessing the inherent ability to target his low Defense stat and deal considerable amounts of damage against him. 
  • Raven Tomes: Despite Niles’ high Resistance stat, common users of the Triangle Adept + Raven tome combination can still pose a significant threat to him due to their heavy focus on taking down colorless units such as him. Some notable examples include Lyon, Sophia, and Cecilia. 

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
Killer 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 5
Killer Bow+Effective against flying units. Accelerates Special trigger (cooldown count-1).
Unlocks at 5 ★
Only Inheritable by Bow users.
300 2 9
Niles's BowAccelerates Special trigger (cooldown count-1). Effective against flying foes. If foe's Def ≥ foe's Res+5, deals +7 damage.
Non-Inheritable skill.
400 2 14
Weapon Evolution
Weapon Upgrades
Weapon Upgrades

Special Skills

Special Skills SP Turns
Chilling WindBoosts damage dealt by 50% of unit's Res.
Learns by default at 4 ★
Unlocks at 3 ★
Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
100 4
IcebergBoosts damage dealt by 50% of unit's Res.
Unlocks at 4 ★
Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
200 3

Passive Skills

Passive Skills SP Slot
Warding Blow 1Grants Res+2 during combat if unit initiates the attack.
Unlocks at 3 ★
Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
50
A
Warding Blow 2Grants Res+4 during combat if unit initiates the attack.
Unlocks at 3 ★
Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
100
A
Warding Blow 3Grants Res+6 during combat if unit initiates the attack.
Unlocks at 4 ★
Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
200
A
Spur Res 1Grants adjacent allies Res+2 during combat
Unlocks at 3 ★
Inheritable by all units.
50
C
Spur Res 2Grants adjacent allies Res+3 during combat
Unlocks at 4 ★
Inheritable by all units.
100
C
Spur Res 3Grants adjacent allies Res+4 during combat
Unlocks at 5 ★
Inheritable by all units.
200
C

Other Info

Origin
Fire Emblem Fates

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