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Table of Contents

Tier Rating

Analysis by lordhelpme
Ranulf - Friend of Nations

5

Obtainable as a 5 only

Hero Stats

Max Avg Total Stats at Lvl 40
157
HP 40
ATK 30
SPD 37
DEF 33
RES 17

Stat Variations

Level 1 Stat Variation
5★
HP ATK SPD DEF RES
Low 15 7 10 6 3
Middle 16 8 11 7 4
High 17 9 12 8 5

Level 40 Stat Variations
5★
HP ATK SPD DEF RES
Low 37 26 34 30 13
Middle 40 30 37 33 17
High 43 33 40 36 20

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: Arguably his best choice of IVs, an Attack Asset can greatly improve Ranulf’s overall performance through increased damage output, granting him a much-needed boost to his otherwise unimpressive base Attack stat, and will undoubtedly prove to be useful regardless of his chosen build.

  • +SPD: A Speed Asset is also a good option to build upon his ability to reliably perform and deny his opponent’s follow-up attack, providing him with a great deal of additional flexibility in both Player Phase and Enemy Phase builds.

  • +DEF: Ranulf can make great use of a Defense Asset as well to improve his physical damage soak as well as increase the raw power of Defense-scaling Specials like Bonfire. In particular, this pairs especially well with builds aiming to capitalize on his combat prowess in the Enemy Phase.

Neutral

  • HP: It is generally best to leave Ranulf’s HP intact as to preserve his excellent physical bulk, however, a Flaw in this stat can be taken if necessary should one have no other option available.

Flaws

  • -RES: Ranulf’s ideal Flaw, as he requires all of his other stats to function properly — and at an extremely poor base value of 17, dropping his Resistance further has little to no impact on his overall performance.

Skill Sets

Vassal of the Future King (Generalist Support)

Recommended
Covert Cat Fang A Fury (3 or 4)
Alternate: Triangle Adept 3
Reposition B Chill Atk 3
Bonfire
Alternate: Moonbow
C Ward Beasts
Alternate: Drive Spd 2
SP1065SDrive Atk 2
Alternate: Def Tactic 3

Show Explanation/Analysis

Preferred IV: +SPD or +ATK or +DEF -RES

Thanks to the power of his personal weapon, Covert Cat Fang, Ranulf possesses the unique ability to perform as a rather formidable combatant and potent support unit simultaneously, allowing him to be overall quite flexible in the way that he can function — a factor of which this build aims to take full advantage of. That being said, however, this build does have Ranulf take a primarily support-inclined role and as such, any choice of IVs can work here, though Assets to his Attack, Speed, or Defense stats are still preferable options if available.

Weapon: Covert Cat Fang

  • In addition to granting him a consistent a +3 Defense to better take on incoming physical damage as well as increase the power of Defense-scaling Specials, Covert Cat Fang grants not only grants any allies within two spaces with a solid +3/+3 Atk/Def in-combat boost, but also enables Ranulf to benefit from the boost himself provided that he fulfills the weapon’s positioning requirement.

  • Combined with the fact that this boost can be built upon further through the use of skills such as Drives and Spurs, Ranulf can elevate his own stats as well as that of his teammates to reasonably high extents when utilized properly.

  • As a beast weapon, Covert Cat Fang also grants him with unique bonuses when transformed that are extremely useful in solidifying his combat prowess, providing him with a +2 Attack boost as well as an additional increase to his damage output and raw survivability in the Player Phase.

Assist: Reposition / Rally Atk/Def+ / Flexible

  • A movement Assist such as Reposition will typically be his best option to make the most efficient use of his extended mobility and extend the range of his allies’ attacks. Additionally, keep in mind that utilizing such Assists is mandatory should one wish to use a Link skill as his chosen B slot skill.

  • Alternatively, Ranulf can keep his native Rally Atk/Def+ to effectively grant any ally with a massive +9/+9 Atk/Def boost when factored in with the bonuses from his Covert Cat Fang, augmenting his supportive capabilities significantly; Rally Atk/Def+ also has the additional benefit of elevating his Arena scoring potential.

Special: Bonfire / Luna / Moonbow

  • Bonfire is an excellent choice for his Special and will generally be his most consistent option of those available to him, scaling well with his good base Defense stat of 33 (36 when equipped with Covert Cat Fang and 39 when at least one ally is within two spaces of him).

  • Luna and Moonbow can also be considered to improve his match-ups against exceptionally bulky foes whom he would otherwise have difficulty in taking down, with the choice of which to use ultimately boiling down to a matter of whether one prefers having stronger or quicker Special activations.

Passive A: Fury 4 / Fury 3 / Triangle Adept

  • Ranulf’s ideal choice of A slot skill will largely depend on player preference. If aiming to transform him into a competent generalist, Fury 4 is a particularly standout candidate; when utilized in tandem with the potential bonuses from his weapon, its solid +4 overall stat boost capacitates him to readily tackle on a wide breadth of foes and comfortably engage in extended rounds of combat.

    • Should it be unavailable, Fury 3 makes for a perfectly fine substitute on a budget and will generally produce similar results.

  • For teams that already consist of other powerful attackers, however, Triangle Adept can also be considered to take a far more specialized approach to Ranulf’s playstyle and carve an additional niche for him as a dedicated check to blue foes who would otherwise pose a significant threat to his allies. Additionally, do keep in mind, that taking Triangle Adept eliminates any chance of Ranulf being able to survive any kind of incoming attack from red units, making it pivotal that he be kept out of reach from such opponents.

Passive B: Chill Atk / Atk/Spd Link / Atk/Def Link / Wings of Mercy

  • Chill skills, such as his native Chill Atk, are fantastic options to heighten the scope of his supportive capabilities even further, and allow him to provide valuable buffing and debuffing support concurrently. The choice of which Chill to actually take is entirely dependent on which most greatly benefits his specific team composition.

  • Link skills also make for worthwhile considerations as well in mixed team compositions where class-exclusive buffs are not as commonly, effectively mimicking the effects of such skills. Atk/Spd Link and Atk/Def Link are Ranulf’s most potent options by far thanks to their ability to maximize his teammates’ offensive potential and the effects of Covert Cat Fang respectively, but similarly to Chill skills, the choice of which Link skill to utilize here is ultimately team-dependent.

  • Alternatively, Wings of Mercy can be taken to elevate his already stellar maneuverability even further and enable him to assist weakened allies who will undoubtedly benefit immensely from receiving his support.

Passive C: Ward Beasts / Beast Buffs / Cavalry Buffs / Drive Skills / Tactic Skills / Flexible

  • When using Ranulf alongside fellow beast or cavalry units, class-exclusive buffs like his native Ward Beasts are a natural fit — combined with the effects of Covert Cat Fang, Ranulf can provide a strong mix of stat boosts to such allies.

  • In mixed team compositions, however, Drive and Tactic skills are much stronger (and more consistent) alternatives for his C slot, similarly allowing him to function as an invaluable asset to his team.

Sacred Seal: Drive Atk  / Drive Skills / Tactic Skills

  • Ranulf’s seal slot is quite flexible and is can be filled by any seal that serves to enhance his supportive capabilities further. Drive and Tactic skills are especially effective options in this regard.

Brave Shine (Offensive Support)

Recommended
Covert Cat Fang A Atk/Spd Solo 3
Alternate: Fury (3 or 4)
Reposition B Chill Def 3
Alternate: Chill Atk 3
Bonfire
Alternate: Galeforce
C Odd Atk Wave 3
Alternate: Ward Beasts
SP1605SDarting Blow 3
Alternate: Heavy Blade 3

Show Explanation/Analysis

Preferred IV: +SPD or +ATK -RES

In contrast to the first set, this build sees Ranulf take on a considerably more aggressive playstyle, showcasing a much heavier focus on his offensive potential as opposed to his supportive capabilities, though he still remains a reasonably solid support unit to his own right thanks to the inherent buffing properties of Covert Cat Fang. For his IVs, Ranulf most greatly benefits from receiving an Asset to either one of his offensive stats, with an Attack Asset being slightly more preferable than a Speed Asset to enhance his raw damage output as well as his proficiency at utilizing the Heavy Blade seal. Nonetheless, both are ultimately great options.

Weapon: Covert Cat Fang

Assist: Reposition / Rally Atk/Def+ / Flexible

Special: Bonfire / Luna / Moonbow / Galeforce

  • Granting him a sizeable +18 (or potentially even higher) damage boost each time upon Special activations, Bonfire remains Ranulf’s most consistent option for his Special, though those that scale off of his opponent’s Defense stat such as Luna and Moonbow are noteworthy candidates as well to solidify his match-ups against bulky foes.

  • Ranulf can also make particularly effective use of Galeforce to increase the range of his attacks and gain an extraordinary amount of additional maneuverability in the Player Phase.

    • It should be noted, however, that in order for Ranulf to circumvent the Special’s otherwise long cooldown and activate it every turn, he will need to be equipped with the Heavy Blade seal in addition to requiring that his opponent can counterattack and that he himself performs a follow-up attack.

    • Not only does this make providing him with accompanying buffs to his Attack stat vitally important, but it also makes it crucial that Ranulf is able to consistently maintain his transformation as well as the in-combat boosts from his PRF active in order to ensure his ability to activate Heavy Blade reliably.

Passive A: Atk/Spd Solo / Swift Sparrow / Fury / Atk/Def Solo / Death Blow

  • Atk/Spd Solo is the standard choice of A slot skill for most offensive frontliners and Ranulf is no exception; its massive +6/+6 Atk/Spd in-combat boost allows Ranulf to thoroughly maximize his offensive potential and thanks to its relatively easy-to-meet activation requirement, he can do so quite effortlessly.

  • Should it be unavailable, Swift Sparrow and Fury (or if providing him with the prerequisite support, Life and Death and Brazen Atk/Spd) are much cheaper and more readily available alternatives that serve to similarly strengthen his combat prowess, albeit to a considerably lesser extent.

  • Given his extremely high Speed stat, and depending on the type of foes that one most commonly runs into, it is possible to raise Ranulf’s Speed to high enough levels with outside support alone such that it may be unnecessary to run a Speed-boosting A slot skill to secure follow-up attacks. In such instances, Atk/Def Solo and Death Blow can be considered as viable options as well to focus on supplementing Ranulf’s other key stats instead.

Passive B: Chill Def / Chill Atk / Chill Spd / Hit and Run / Drag Back

  • Thanks to Ranulf’s good overall bulk, he can forego the need to run Desperation entirely and opt for other powerful skills, most notable of which being Chill skills.

    • In particular, Chill Def and Chill Spd are both stellar options, providing him with the means to elevate his damage output dramatically through increased damaged output and more reliable follow-up attacks respectively. Chill Atk also makes for a worthwhile consideration to strengthen his ability to consistently activate Heavy Blade and trade blows with opposing foes.

  • Hit and Run and Drag Back are solid alternatives if making use of Galeforce to provide him with a greater variety of defensive options, increasing the likelihood of being able to escape his opponent’s reach if necessary after activating the Special.

Passive C: Odd Atk Wave / Even Spd Wave / Smoke Skills / Ward Beasts / Flexible

  • Odd Atk Wave, Even Spd Wave, and other offensive stat-boosting Wave skills are excellent choices to allow Ranulf to be much more self-sufficient and potentially provide additional support to his allies. Such skills are not entirely necessary for him to function at maximum efficiency, however, and can be replicated by simply providing him with team support.

  • Smoke skills also lend themselves quite well to this build’s offensively oriented playstyle, especially if making use of Galeforce, and help make it much easier for Ranulf to take down multiple foes in the same turn.

  • Otherwise, feel free to make use of any C slot skill that best compliments his chosen team composition. If using him alongside other cavalry or beast allies, class-exclusive buffs like his native Ward Beasts are once again wonderful options.

Sacred Seal: Darting Blow / Heavy Blade / Atk/Spd 2 / Drive Skills / Tactic Skills

  • Darting Blow pairs perfectly with this build’s intended playstyle, offering Ranulf an exceptional +6 Speed in-combat boost upon initiation which, when used in tandem with the effects of skills such as Atk/Spd Solo, ensures that Ranulf will be able to double all but the absolute fastest of foes.

  • Aside from its aforementioned synergy with Galeforce, the Heavy Blade seal can also be put to good use if utilizing a Special with a three-turn cooldown like Bonfire and Luna, allowing him to activate such Specials in every round of combat provided that Ranulf performs a follow-up attack and his opponent can counterattack.

  • If either are unavailable, the Atk/Spd 2, Speed +3, and Attack +3 seals (or any of their variants) can be used here to grant him a solid bump to his offensive potential.

  • Drive skills and Tactic skills are also good substitutes should one wish to preserve some of the first build’s supportive capabilities.

Reckoning Night (Defensive Support)

Covert Cat Fang A Steady Stance 4
Alternate: Fury (3 or 4)
Reposition B Chill Spd 3
Alternate: Chill Atk 3
Bonfire
Alternate: Luna
C Atk Smoke 3
Alternate: Ward Beasts
SP1695SQuick Riposte 3

Show Explanation/Analysis

Preferred IV: +DEF or +SPD or +ATK -RES

Although Ranulf is typically more suited towards use in the Player Phase, he can still perform surprisingly well when equipped with a defensively oriented build thanks to his combination of good physical bulk and high Speed, as well as the fact that the +3 Atk/Def in-combat boost from his weapon is not restricted to a specific phase. An Asset to either his Attack or Speed stat will still be his best choice of IVs, but a Defense Asset may also demonstrate to be an effective option as well to directly reduce the amount of damage he receives from physical attacks.

Weapon: Covert Cat Fang

Assist: Reposition / Rally Atk/Def+ / Flexible

Special: Bonfire / Luna

Passive A: Steady Stance 4 / Atk/Def Solo / Atk/Def Bond / Sturdy Stance / Fury

  • Steady Stance 4 is Ranulf’s ideal choice for an A slot skill, granting him a phenomenal +8 boost to his Defense stat in the Enemy Phase in addition to a Guard-like effect of Special deceleration. This amalgam of effects enables him to easily trade blows with opponents who rely on fast Special activations for their damage output — and unlike Guard, Steady Stance 4 carries no accompanying HP threshold, meaning that Ranulf can always benefit from its massive defensive boost provided that his opponent initiates combat.

  • Atk/Def Bond and Atk/Def Solo are fantastic options as well to give Ranulf a simultaneous increase to both his damage output and physical durability.

    • It should be noted, though, that both of the aforementioned skills have a positioning requirement attached to them, making them somewhat inconsistent should one be unable to maintain ideal conditions.

  • For these reasons, depending on one’s playstyle, Sturdy Stance may prove to be a far better option, similarly improving his performance in the Enemy Phase without any other prerequisite conditions for combat other than having his opponent initiate combat.

  • On a budget, Fury can be taken as Ranulf’s chosen A slot skill to grant all of his stats a small, but appreciable, +3 bump; the boost to his Speed is particularly useful in further enhancing his overall survivability by lessening his chances of being doubled by opposing foes.

    • Do take caution, however, as its chip damage will force Ranulf to be much more picky in selecting his matchups to keep his HP from becoming too low.

Passive B: Chill Spd / Chill Atk / Guard / Quick Riposte

  • Chill Spd is a strong pick for Ranulf’s B slot if also making use of the Quick Riposte seal to augment his overall survivability, providing him with the ability to comfortably deny his opponent’s follow-up attack and guarantee his own in the Enemy Phase. His native Chill Atk can also be taken to serve a similar purpose, instead bolstering his raw survivability by making dealing with sustained offensive pressure a much easier task through its devastating -7 Attack debuff on the foe with the highest Attack stat.

    • Both of these options also have the benefit of providing team support.

  • Alternatively, Guard can be considered if Steady Stance 4 is not being utilized in his A slot to circumvent the loss of the skill’s Special deceleration effect in the Enemy Phase and increase Ranulf’s effectiveness as a defensive tank.
  • Keeping Quick Riposte in his B slot is a viable strategy as well to leave his seal slot open for another skill such as Atk/Spd Bond for further specialization.

Passive C: Atk Smoke / Spd Smoke / Ward Beasts / Flexible

  • Atk Smoke and Spd Smoke are great options to strengthen his ability to tank multiple opponents in one Enemy Phase, with the former granting him greater durability and the latter decreasing his chances of getting doubled.

  • Otherwise, feel free to make use of any C slot skill that best compliments his chosen team composition. If using him alongside other cavalry or beast allies, class-exclusive buffs like his native Ward Beasts are once again wonderful choices.

Sacred Seal: Quick Riposte / Darting Stance / Atk/Spd Bond / Atk/Def Bond / Close Def

  • Thanks to Ranulf’s excellent base Speed stat, he can make reasonable use of Darting Stance should the Quick Riposte seal already be taken by one of his allies, helping him secure follow-up attacks against opponents who would otherwise force a speed-tie.

  • Lastly, if Quick Riposte is being used in the B slot instead, Atk/Spd Bond, Atk/Def Bond, and Close Def are stellar options that lend themselves well to this build’s intended playstyle, offering his performance in the Enemy Phase a substantial improvement through their respective stat boosts.

Introduction

Taking inspiration from his appearance in Radiant Dawn, the carefree cat laguz Ranulf makes his long-awaited debut in Fire Emblem Heroes as a green beast unit, entering the fray alongside his Gallian comrades. Statwise, he boasts high Speed and excellent physical bulk, inherently possessing all the makings of a formidable duelist capable of comfortably fighting foes head-on without needing to use skills like Desperation. Combined with his status as a cavalry unit (despite his lack of a mount), Ranulf can perform as a surprisingly decent combatant to his own right. Ranulf’s defining feature, however, is his personal weapon, Covert Cat Fang.

In addition to granting him a passive +3 Defense boost, Covert Cat Fang provides him with good supportive capabilities and offers any allies within two spaces of him with a sizeable +3/+3 Atk/Def in-combat buff. Unlike other similar skills, however, this weapon is unique in that it also allows Ranulf himself to benefit from the buffs that it grants, enabling him to further build upon his key stats in addition to letting him function as a solid support unit without necessitating that he sacrifice his offensive potential in order to do so. It also comes with the typical benefits associated with beast weapons and gives him the ability to transform, provided that he is either adjacent to another beast unit or dragonstone wielder, or not adjacent to any units at all at the start of the turn. Upon transformation, Ranulf gains +2 Attack but more importantly, he attains the ability to deny his opponent’s follow-up attack and inflict a substantial -4/-4 in-combat Atk/Def debuff upon initiation, making him a formidable attacker under the proper circumstances.

However, Ranulf does have his fair share of weaknesses. While his status as a cavalry unit does allow him access to useful advantages over his infantry counterparts, it conversely comes with some notable disadvantages, most notable of which being the movement type’s limited skill availability, inability to traverse through certain terrain, and weakness to cavalry-exclusive weaponry. Additionally, Ranulf’s base Resistance stat is downright poor and spells trouble for him when facing off against magical damage dealers. Overall, despite these weaknesses, Ranulf is a solid unit whose unique mix of offensive and supportive utility allows him to be an incredibly flexible ally that can fit well into a variety of different team compositions.

Strengths

Covert Cat Fang

Ranulf’s unique personal weapon, Covert Cat Fang, provides him with the ability to grant himself  and any ally within two spaces an appreciable +3/+3 Atk/Def in-combat boost. With proper usage, Covert Cat Fang allows Ranulf to heighten his entire team’s stats to reasonably high extents, making him an incredibly flexible ally.

Good Speed

Resting at a neutral base value of 37, Ranulf’s Speed is quite good and capacitates him to perform follow-up attacks against opposing foes with relative ease. When taken into consideration with the bonuses he can gain through his PRF, Ranulf can function as a surprisingly capable combatant if necessary.

Excellent Physical Bulk

Ranulf is exceedingly adept at trading blows with other physical damage dealers, being able to shrug off the brunt of their attacks in large part due to his strong base physical bulk of 73 — and thanks to the power of Covert Cat Fang, he can elevate it further to an effective 83 under the proper circumstances with no outside support, making him even bulkier than his base stats would imply.

Cavalry

As a cavalry unit, Ranulf has access to several key advantages that he can use to enhance his overall potential significantly, namely exceptional mobility as well as his ability to benefit from class-exclusive buffs like Hone Cavalry.

Beast

On top of allowing him access to even more class-exclusive buffs, Ranulf’s status as a beast unit allows him to inflict a substantial -4/-4 Atk/Def in-combat debuff and deny his opponent’s follow-up attack upon initiation when transformed, functioning essentially as a miniature version of Sturdy Impact. This is greatly beneficial in complementing his already decent offensive capabilities in the Player Phase.

Weaknesses

Cavalry

Ranulf’s status as a cavalry unit prevents him from gaining access to a variety of different skills, greatly limiting his overall potential. In addition, he suffers from a crippling weakness to cavalry-effective weaponry and is hindered by certain terrain such as trenches.

Low Resistance

Ranulf’s pitiful base Resistance stat of 17 makes it nearly impossible for him to effectively take on sustained offensive pressure from opposing magical damage dealers, making it crucial to his longevity that he be kept out of reach from such foes as he will otherwise suffer heavy amounts of damage.

Weapon Skills

Weapons SP Rng. Mt.
Whelp (Cavalry)At start of turn, if unit is adjacent to only beast or dragon allies or if unit is not adjacent to any ally, unit transforms (otherwise, unit reverts). If unit transforms, grants Atk+2, and if unit initiates combat, inflicts Atk/Def-4 on foe during combat and foe cannot make a follow-up attack.
Beast (Cavalry Only)
50 1 4
Yearling (Cavalry)At start of turn, if unit is adjacent to only beast or dragon allies or if unit is not adjacent to any ally, unit transforms (otherwise, unit reverts). If unit transforms, grants Atk+2, and if unit initiates combat, inflicts Atk/Def-4 on foe during combat and foe cannot make a follow-up attack.
Beast (Cavalry Only)
100 1 6
Adult (Cavalry)At start of turn, if unit is adjacent to only beast or dragon allies or if unit is not adjacent to any ally, unit transforms (otherwise, unit reverts). If unit transforms, grants Atk+2, and if unit initiates combat, inflicts Atk/Def-4 on foe during combat and foe cannot make a follow-up attack.
Beast (Cavalry Only)
200 1 9
Covert Cat FangGrants Def +3. If unit is within 2 spaces of an ally, grants Atk/Def+3 to unit and allies withing 2 spaces of unit during combat. At start of turn, if unit is adjacent to only beast or dragon allies or unit is not adjacent to any ally, unit transforms (otherwise, unit reverts). If unit transforms, grants Atk+2 and if unit initiates combat, inflicts Atk/Def-4 on foe during combat and foe cannot make a follow-up attack.
Learns by default at 5 ★
Unlocks at 5 ★
400 1 14
Weapon Evolution
Weapon Upgrades
Weapon Upgrades

Support Skills

Support Skills Rng. SP
Rally DefenseGrants Def+4 to an adjacent ally until the end of the turn.
Learns by default at 4 ★
1 150
Rally Atk/DefGrants Atk/Def+3 to an adjacent ally until the end of the turn.
1 300
Rally Atk/Def+Grants Atk/Def+6 to target ally for 1 turn.
1 400

Passive Skills

Passive Skills SP Slot
Chill Atk 1At the start of each turn, inflicts Atk-3 on foe on the enemy team with the highest Atk through its next action.
Inheritable by all units.
60
B
Chill Atk 2At the start of each turn, inflicts Atk-5 on foe on the enemy team with the highest Atk through its next action.
Inheritable by all units.
120
B
Chill Atk 3At the start of each turn, inflicts Atk-7 on foe on the enemy team with the highest Atk through its next action.
Inheritable by all units.
Unlocks at 5 ★
240
B
Spur Def 1Grants adjacent allies Def+2 during combat.
Inheritable by all units.
50
C
Spur Def 2Grants adjacent allies Def+3 during combat.
Inheritable by all units.
100
C
Ward BeastsGrants Def/Res+4 to beast allies within 2 spaces during combat.
Beast Only
Unlocks at 4 ★
200
C

Other Info

Origin
Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance
Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn

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