Ninian

Updated for 2.0
Overall Rating
4.5
Analysis by Ceui
Ninian - Oracle of Destiny

5

Obtainable as a 5 only
Hero Stats
Max Avg Total Stats at Lvl 40
149
HP 42
ATK 24
SPD 33
DEF 23
RES 27
Stat Variations
Level 1 Stat Variation
5★
HP ATK SPD DEF RES
Low 15 4 6 5 4
Middle 16 5 7 6 5
High 17 6 8 7 6

Level 40 Stat Variations
5★
HP ATK SPD DEF RES
Low 39 21 30 20 23
Middle 42 24 33 23 27
High 45 28 36 26 30
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

With a lot of Speed investment or buffs, Ninian can reach a safe level of Speed to avoid being doubled by fast units like Ayra, Mia, and Brave Lyn. Although her offenses aren't stellar, her Breath weapon can give her the upper hand against ranged units. Her ideal IV's, after everything, depend on what secondary role she serves after being a dancer.

Boons

  • +SPD: Ninian's best boon to have is Speed. A Speed increasing boon will put her at 36 neutral Speed, which is fantastic and quite pivotal for her survivability. It lets her avoid many doubles, especially from red swords that can heavily damage her with specials.
  • +ATK: If she opts for a more damaging approach, gaining Atk is also desirable as she gains 4 attack from it so it will alleviate one of her big weaknesses - damage. 

Neutral

  • HP: Ninian's decently large HP pool help her absorb damage from both physical and magical threats. Lowering it hurts her physical bulk, something undesirable since Ninian is expected to fight at least some Red Swords.
  • DEF: As a blue unit, Ninian will be facing a decent amount of Red units, many of whom are Swords. Lowering DEF hurts her physical bulk, something undesirable especially with Refined Falchions posing a risk of one-shotting her.

Banes

  • -RES: The reason for disposing Resistance is quite simple as Red is the weakest mage color in the game and Ninian normally does not need to worry a lot about Red mages, especially due to her Breath weapon and naturally high Resistance. Be aware, though, that a Res bane will decrease her Resistance by 4 instead of 3.
Skill Sets
Standard Manakete Tank (Enemy Phase Bait)
Optimal
Lightning Breath+ (+Spd) A Steady Breath
Budget: Fury 3
Dance B Quick Riposte 3
Budget: Swordbreaker 3
Aether
Budget: Luna
C Panic Ploy 3
Budget: Fortify Dragons
SP1,830SDistant Def 3

Show Explanation/Analysis
  • Preferred IV: +Spd or +Atk / -Res
  • Weapon: Lightning Breath (+Spd or +Def)
  • Assist: Dance
  • Special: Aether / Luna
  • Passive A: Steady Breath / Distant Defense / Close Defense / Steady Stance / Fury / Triangle Adept
  • Passive B: Quick Riposte / Swordbreaker / Renewal / Lancebreaker
  • Passive C: Panic Ploy / Fortify Dragons / Varies on Team
  • Sacred Seal: Distant Defense / Close Defense / Panic Ploy / Attack Smoke / Speed +3

While most Manakete can run the Lightning Breath + Aether + Steady Breath + Quick Riposte well, Ninian is the only one out of them that also offers Dance. This gives her amazing value even in matches where she does not have to engage in combat.

Most of the skill choices are fairly self-explanatory, focusing on improving her tanking capability while also offering utility to the team. Steady Breath gives her increased physical defense and bonus Special Charge, letting her potentially ORKO enemies in conjunction with Quick Riposte. Fury works as a great budget option. Distant Defense and Close Defense can be run if she's expected to fight quite a bit or function as the team's main tank. Lastly, Triangle Adept is worth considering if you want her to be able to beat Falchion users while taking the minimum amount of damage.

Do note that though Ninian's speed is great, she can still be severely threatened by high speed Sword units like Ayra or Mia who also pack amazing firepower through their specials. If Ninian is not the main tank in the team and there is no dedicated check for Ayra/Mia, it is worth giving her Swordbreaker over Quick Riposte. This gives her much more breathing room against those speedsters as well as Falchion users. Lancebreaker can also be considered to cover popular lance units like Tana, Effie, Cordelia, Fjorm, Brave Lucina or Ephraim if your green unit can't engage them in melee combat (such as Nino or Julia).

Her C skill varies depending on her team. She can make use of Panic Ploy on mixed teams due to her high HP after weapon refinery, but Fortify Dragons is preferred for manakete teams.

Distant Defense is the most reliable seal for her since it gives her bulkiness against tomes and bows. If these units are handled by the remainder of the team, she can use Close Defense patch up her lower melee combat stats. Panic Ploy can be employed here if your C slot is being used as a buff. Attack Smoke also works well in conjunction with her Lightning Breath. If none of these seem particularly useful most of the time, you can opt to simply run Speed+3 to make her combat safer.

Debuff Tank (Dark Breath)
Dark Breath+ (+Spd)
Budget: Light Breath+ (+Spd)
A Steady Breath
Budget: Fury 3
Dance B Windsweep 3
Budget: Swordbreaker 3
Aether
Budget: Miracle
C Panic Ploy 3
Budget: Fortify Dragons
SP1,830SClose Def 3

Show Explanation/Analysis
  • Preferred IV: +Spd / -Res
  • Weapon: Dark Breath (+Spd or +Def) / Light Breath (+Spd/Def)
  • Assist: Dance
  • Special: Aether / Miracle
  • Passive A: Steady Breath / Distant Defense / Close Defense / Steady Stance / Distant Counter
  • Passive B: Windsweep / Swordbreaker / Lancebreaker
  • Passive C: Panic Ploy / Fortify Dragons / Varies on Team
  • Sacred Seal: Close Defense / Panic Ploy / Speed +3 / Phantom Spd

Thanks to Weapon Refinery, Dark Breath has become an amazing debuff weapon since it works in both phases now. With Windsweep, a defensive A slot/Sacred Sea,l and enough Speed investment, this Ninian build can greatly support the team through heavy debuffs or a powerful AoE buff.

This build focuses on survivability in both phases so that Ninian can safely debuff the enemies or buff her teammates. Light Breath is a lot harder to utilize than Dark Breath since it is more reliant on positioning and the buff also doesn't carry to next turn if she is attacked in Opponent's Phase. However, the self-buff component of Light Breath can be quite strong if she has to tank several units. Nonetheless, Dark Breath is by far the bread and butter of this build and should be prioritized over Light Breath since it is much more forgiving for your unit positioning while heavily penalizing enemy Speed.

Steady Breath is still the best A slot for her as it vastly improves her survivability and cooldown reduction at the same time. Distant Defense / Close Defense / Steady Stance are all good variations of Steady Breath for tanking purposes, but she really prefers Steady Breath to speed up her special charge. Distant Counter allows her to not only retaliate against ranged attackers but also debuff them when baiting, making her a great choice at lower arena score range where mages/archers are prevalent.

Windsweep allows her to safely apply her debuff in Player Phase, forcing the opponent to attack her with a -7 Attack/Speed debuff and with Steady Breath active in Opponent Phase. Swordbreaker/Lancebreaker allows her to do better against some specific matchups like Ayra/Mia for sword users and Effie/Fjorm/Ephraim for lance users.

To round it off, Panic Ploy allows her to easily handle the popular cavalry teams or Blade tome users thanks to her HP pool. As before, she can choose more supportive C Skills to reinforce her team.

She enjoys the Close Defense seal since she will be fighting in Melee quite often, but boosting her Speed is also good. If your Ninian lacks speed heavily, Phantom Spd can be chosen to guarantee Windsweep procs.

Introduction

Ninian is a combination of a Manakete and a Dancer, making her a decent hybrid tank with great utility. Compared to other Manaketes like Nowi or F!Corrin, Ninian is definitely weaker in term of combat ability due to her lower Base Stats Total; compared to her Dancer/Singer counterparts, she has access to the Dragonstones which make her more versatile in her ability to damage enemies.

Ninian is not without flaws, however, as she has some inherent weaknesses that the Manaketes possess. Falchion, Naga, and Poison Dagger are all weapons that Ninian must be very wary of due to her inherently lower BST. Her low Defense also makes her not reliable in melee combat against Brave weapons users, even Brave Swords. She also possesses a fairly weak base skillset and might need a complete makeover to be optimal.

Nonetheless, Ninian is a fantastic unit that benefits hugely from Weapon Refinery and her status as a versatile Dancer. Utilize her well and she can completely swing the battle in your favor with her support abilities and breath weapon.

Strengths

Good HP pool

Although her Defense and Resistance might be a bit low, her HP pool is high, allowing her to tank through more damage than fellow dancers/singers. It makes her a good user of skills like Panic Ploy or Infantry Pulse while being less susceptible to Panic Ploy.

Decent speed

33 speed is a good start for a supporting character; with Speed investment and buffs, she can reach a high enough level to avoid being doubled in crucial matchups like against Ayra/Mia

Dance

Dance is an immensely powerful tool capable of turning the tide of battle completely. It allows Ninian to always be useful, no matter the circumstances as she can pass her turn to a powerful ally.

Access to Fortify Dragons naturally

This skill allows her to bolster her kin’s defensive capabilities to great levels. It makes her the best ally to have for Manakete tanks, particularly green dragons like Myrrh and Fae who adore the defensive buffs.

Weaknesses

Poor attack

Ninian should not be expected to be a damage dealer; even with her 33 base speed, her base attack is too low to make use of it outside from beating the frailest units.

Weak to Falchion / Naga / Poison Dagger

As a Manakete, Ninian is completely at the mercy of Julia and Deirdre, and to a certain extent the Falchion users and Poison Dagger users. This hampers her ability to be the sole Red counter on your team.

Low defense

Even with her decent speed and big HP pool, there is a plethora of units that can burn through it quickly, especially if they can double her due to her mediocre defense. Brave weapons are very dangerous for her.

Low Total Base Stats

Her low base stat total means she does not weigh as much as other infantry units for arena score.

Team Options

Being a dancer, Ninian is a great ally for every unit in the game, barring her fellow dancer/singers. However, she goes best with strong damage dealers that need her to improve their sweeping potential, mobility and survivability.

  • Mankete units like Nowi, Y!Tiki, A!Tiki, Fae and Myrrh become a whole lot tankier alongside her. Their enormous base defenses will be increased to fantastic levels, letting them beat even color neutral units. In exchange, they provide Ninian with a wall to hide behind.
  • Archers like Klein and Brave Lyn love her since she can let them retreat after they blast foes from a distance. Ninian also gives them some defensive support, as offensively oriented archers find themselves unable to bait most enemies safely.
  • DC Red Swords safely counter the Green Tomes that plague Ninian; the strongest Swords can also duel their fellow reds, especially with Ninian's support.
Counters

Ninian isn't too fantastic at fighting, so any fight where she doesn't already have an advantage in will be very dangerous to her. Green units almost universally obliterate her due to her low damage and mid-tier bulk. Ninian also struggles against bulky blue units, especially those she can't double.

  • Naga Tome users Julia and Deirdre are her biggest counter, as they can one shot her immediately due to effectiveness stacking onto the Weapon Triangle
  • Falchion wielders like Marth, Lucina, Chrom or Alm can do severe damage to her; Ninian has to build extremely defensively to avoid being killed despite her status as a blue unit.
  • Strong green attacker, be it physical or magical, can blow through her HP quickly and are resistant to taking significant damage from her. Units like Raven, Minerva, Titania, Amelia, Cherche, or Cecilia are particularly dangerous, since they will easily ORKO her with their common builds.
  • Bulky blues can easily sponge her low damage and smack her back for very high damage. Effie and Winter Robin stand out in particular due to their B skills easily shutting Ninian down.
Weapon Skills
Weapons SP Rng. Mt.
Fire Breath
Only inheritable by Dragon units.
50 1 6
Fire Breath+
Only inheritable by Dragon units.
100 1 8
Light BreathGrants adjacent allies Def/Res+4 through their next actions after any combat this unit initiates.
Only inheritable by Dragon units.
300 1 9
Light Breath+Grants adjacent allies Def/Res+4 through their next actions after any combat this unit initiates.
Learns by default at 5 ★
Only inheritable by Dragon units.
300 1 13
Weapon Evolution
Weapon Upgrades
Weapon Upgrades
Support Skills
Support Skills Rng. SP
DanceEnables target to take another action. Cannot be used on units with Sing or Dance
Learns by default at 5 ★
150
Passive Skills
Passive Skills SP Slot
Escape Route 1Enables unit whose own HP ≤ 30% to wrap adjacent to any ally.
Inheritable by all units.
60
B
Escape Route 2Enables unit whose own HP ≤ 40% to wrap adjacent to any ally.
Inheritable by all units.
120
B
Escape Route 3Enables unit whose own HP ≤ 50% to wrap adjacent to any ally.
Unlocks at 5 ★
Inheritable by all units.
240
B
Fortify Def 1Grants adjacent allies Def+2 through their next actions at the start of each turn.
Inheritable by all units.
50
C
Fortify Def 2Grants adjacent allies Def+3 through their next actions at the start of each turn.
Inheritable by all units.
100
C
Fortify DragonsGrants adjacent dragon allies Def/Res +6 through their next actions at the start of each turn. Requires Fortify Def 2 or Fortify Res 2.
Unlocks at 5 ★
Only inheritable by Dragon units.
200
C
Other Info
Origin
Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade

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