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Roderick

Tier Rating
Analysis by milkyytoast
Roderick - Steady Squire

3-4

Obtainable as a 3 - 4 only
Hero Stats
Max Avg Total Stats at Lvl 40
154
HP 40
ATK 31
SPD 34
DEF 25
RES 24
Stat Variations
Level 1 Stat Variation
5★
4★
3★
HP ATK SPD DEF RES
Low 17 6 7 5 6
Middle 18 7 8 6 7
High 19 8 9 7 8

Level 40 Stat Variations
5★
4★
3★
HP ATK SPD DEF RES
Low 36 28 31 22 21
Middle 40 31 34 25 24
High 43 34 37 29 27
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

Like most primarily offensive units, Roderick will particularly enjoy an increase of his Attack or Speed. Because of this, any of his other stats can be reduced to maximize his damage-dealing potential, though there are some preferences that will help in maximizing his effectiveness.

Boons

  • +ATK: While Roderick’s 31 base Attack isn’t horrible, it isn’t stellar either. Increasing it with a boon will naturally help his damage output.

  • +SPD: Roderick has excellent Speed for a cavalry unit, sitting at base 34. Increasing it to 37 drastically increases his viability for Firesweep builds.

Neutral

  • HP: Roderick’s natural bulk is quite good, and 40 HP at neutral allows him to soak up a fair amount of punishment. He also has a superbane in HP (-4 instead of -3), so decreasing it should be avoided if possible.

  • DEF: As the higher of Roderick’s two defensive stats, his Defense is best kept at neutral to allow him to better absorb physical blows.

Banes

  • -RES: Roderick most likely won’t be baiting mages, so his Resistance can be safely reduced by a bane.
Skill Sets
Pierce and Expose (Offensive Drag Back)
Recommended
Firesweep Lance+
Alternate: Harmonic Lance+ (+Spd)
A Life and Death 3
Pivot B Chill Spd 3
Alternate: Drag Back
Luna C Spd Smoke 3
Alternate: Threaten Spd 3
SP1,545SSpeed +3

Show Explanation/Analysis
  • Preferred IV: +SPD or +ATK / -RES
  • Weapon: Firesweep Lance / Harmonic Lance (+Spd/+Atk)
  • Assist: Pivot / Swap / Flexible
  • Special: Luna  
  • Passive A: Life and Death / Swift Sparrow
  • Passive B: Chill Spd / Drag Back
  • Passive C: Spd Smoke / Threaten Spd / Flexible
  • Sacred Seal: Speed +3

Like most builds on units with mid-to-high Speed, Roderick’s most optimal set seeks to boost his Speed and Attack to ensure he can perform heavily-damaging follow-ups. He achieves this through various stat boosts and debuffs, which in the most circumstances will allow him to easily power through most other speedy threats.

While a Speed boon is ideal in this set to allow Roderick to outspeed common Arena threats like Ayra without debuffs, an Attack boon can also be used to boost his damage output. +ATK will bring Roderick’s Speed to 42 and his Attack to 39 (without a weapon equipped) if he is running Life and Death and the Speed +3 seal, as opposed to the 45/36 Speed/Attack spread that is possible with a +SPD IV. Both of these IVs are quite good for an offensive unit, but the preference goes to Speed in order to secure follow-ups.

The Firesweep Lance, which is native to Roderick, allows him to attack without getting counterattacked when he initiates combat. This allows him to easily poke other units or KO them outright without taking damage. The drawback is that he will not be able to counterattack during Enemy Phase, though his high Speed should save him from getting KO’d by any unit who is not a high-firepower green mage or is not carrying a Brave weapon. Another option, the Harmonic Lance, does not have this drawback and serves to boost the damage deal by his Special procs. Additionally, it can be refined to grant Roderick additional Speed or Attack.

Life and Death -- despite decreasing Roderick’s Defense and Resistance significantly -- actually helps his survivability by allowing him to avoid being followed up on. Alternatively, Swift Sparrow offers a comparable boost during Player Phase only in exchange for leaving his defensive stats untouched.

For assists, Pivot may help Roderick retreat even farther than his high movement would normally allow, while Swap performs a similar function. This can vary, and since Roderick also naturally has a Dual Rally and Drive Def, he can easily provide team support instead.

Chill Spd is now one of the best B slot skills for most speedy units, inflicting a devastating -7 Spd debuff to the fastest opponent on the enemy's team at the start of every turn. This, when combined with his high movement, allows Roderick to charge forward and double most units, even when they’re at higher merge levels than he is. Drag Back is a good alternative for Firesweep users, allowing them to retreat after attacking and be swapped or repositioned to safety. Roderick also has this skill in his base kit, allowing him to use it without inheritance.

Spd Smoke allows Roderick to debuff surrounding foes once he attacks, which further adds to his bulk by allowing him to avoid follow-ups. Alternatively, Threaten Spd can net him some doubles if he tanks a hit from a foe.

Budget Brooms Can Still Clean Up (Budget Firesweep)
Firesweep Lance+ A Fury 3
Alternate: Darting Blow 3
Pivot
Alternate: Rally Def/Res
B Drag Back
Luna C Threaten Spd 3
Alternate: Drive Def 2
SP1,275SSpeed +3

Show Explanation/Analysis
  • Preferred IV: +SPD / -RES
  • Weapon: Firesweep Lance+
  • Assist: Pivot / Swap / Rally Def/Res
  • Special: Luna
  • Passive A: Fury / Darting Blow
  • Passive B: Drag Back
  • Passive C: Threaten Spd / Drive Def
  • Sacred Seal: Speed +3

If one is looking for a Firesweep build that requires less heavy investment, this set will likely prove to be perfectly functional, especially in modes like Arena Assault.

Once again, Roderick’s ideal boon is Speed to secure more follow-ups, but an Attack boon is also a serviceable alternative. -RES does decrease his magical bulk somewhat, but it’s a bad idea to have Roderick baiting mages anyways.

Fury is almost always a great budget option on any unit, and Roderick is no exception. In exchange for taking 6 damage after combat has concluded, Roderick receives a +3 boost to his Attack, Speed, Defense, and Resistance. This increases both his offensive and defensive presence. Darting Blow is another easily accessible skill which grants Roderick a +6 boost to his Speed when he initiates combat. Although he loses out on the boost to his Attack, Defense, and Resistance, the extra Speed allows him to secure more doubles.

Drag Back is a common component of a Firesweep build that also just so happens to be a part of Roderick’s base kit. It allows him to damage an enemy and bring them into range of his allies, or retreat once he has netted a KO so he can be repositioned or swapped to safety.

Threaten Spd allows Roderick to debuff any enemy within range, and will come in handy if he must tank a hit from a sword-wielding enemy. Drive Def is another part of Roderick’s base kit that will be particularly useful if he is using Rally Def/Res instead of a movement assist.

Home Of The Brave (Quad Brave)
Brave Lance+ A Life and Death 3
Ardent Sacrifice B Desperation 3
Luna C Hone Cavalry
Alternate: Drive Def 2
SP1,650SAttack +3

Show Explanation/Analysis
  • Preferred IV: +SPD / -RES
  • Weapon: Brave Lance+
  • Assist: Ardent Sacrifice
  • Special: Luna
  • Passive A: Life and Death / Swift Sparrow
  • Passive B: Desperation
  • Passive C: Hone Cavalry / Fortify Cavalry / Goad Cavalry / Ward Cavalry / Flexible
  • Sacred Seal: Speed +3

Roderick’s impressive base Speed allows him to run a Quad Brave build quite easily if he receives the proper team support.

Combined with Life and Death and the Speed +3 seal, a +Spd IV grants Roderick 44/40 Attack/Speed. This brings him to 50/46 while he is buffed with Hone Cavalry, which is enough to quad most units.

Once again, Life and Death increases Roderick’s Speed and Attack considerably. This negates the -5 Speed penalty the Brave Lance inflicts in exchange for free doubles, and also boosts Roderick’s rather low Attack. It does, however, reduce his Defense and Resistance by 5. Swift Sparrow is an option that can be used instead that inflicts no penalty, but the fact that it only offers a +4 Attack/Speed boost only during Player Phase (as well as its limited availability) makes it a slightly less desirable choice.

For assists, Ardent Sacrifice makes perfect use of Roderick’s 40 base HP, allowing him to activate Desperation after using Ardent Sacrifice only once. This enables him to perform consecutive attacks, which means he can quad without taking a hit in between the first two strikes. Combined with Luna, which will proc on the last hit, it’s exceedingly likely that any unit Roderick attacks will be KO’d unless they are a bulky green.

The C slot of this build is variable. Since Roderick functions best while under the effects of a Hone Cavalry buff, it logically follows that he would support his allies in a similar manner. If a cavalry buff or Spur is unnecessary, then he can run his native Drive Def or any other support skill instead.

Introduction

Comparable to Abel offensively (possessing 2 less Attack and 2 more Speed), Roderick is a lance cavalry unit that boasts quite a few impressive qualities. Possessing native access to the continually excellent Firesweep Lance, a high-SP cost Dual Rally skill, and a Drive skill, Roderick is also is available in the 4 star rarity pool, which makes it much easier to obtain an ideal or semi-ideal IV before building him.

Unfortunately, there are a few factors that do hold Roderick back somewhat like his base 31 Attack, which means there are more offensively oriented units that can utilize his Firesweep Lance better than he can. That is not to say that Roderick is among the bottom of his unit class, however -- among cavalry, he’s far from the worst at what he does, especially when he has access to cavalry buffs.

Strengths

Excellent Native Weapon / Skills

Roderick possesses not only the Firesweep Lance, but also a Dual Rally and Drive Def in his base kit.

This means that Roderick does not have to be heavily invested in to produce a decent Arena score, and also makes him top-tier skill inheritance fodder.

Great Speed

Roderick’s base Speed of 34 is only 1 point less than arguably one of the best Firesweep users, Cordelia.

Cavalry Unit Class

Roderick’s high movement of 3 and ability to access powerful cavalry buffs makes him an excellent candidate for Firesweep or Brave builds.

Weaknesses

Mediocre Base Attack

Although 31 base Attack isn’t unsalvageable, it is distinctly lower than the Attack stat of most other top-tier Firesweep threats.

Because of this, Roderick may struggle to threaten blue or green units that other Firesweep users would readily handle.

Balanced Defensive Stats

Roderick possesses rather balanced defensive stats, which seems to hurt him offensively.

For example, since he is a melee unit, his Resistance has limited utility.

If he had a few less points in Resistance and a few more points in Speed or Attack, he’d be a stellar unit instead of just an average one.

High Competition

Among blue cavalry, Roderick must compete with extremely strong units like Legendary Ephraim and Reinhardt.

If one has these units available to them, it may be difficult to justify using Roderick instead.

Team Options

Since Roderick performs best while under the effects of cavalry buffs, it logically follows that he would prefer to be run within a cavalry team. He also should be paired with a strong red who can easily take care of bulky green threats.

  • Strong Physical Cavalry Units: Xander, Brave Roy, Brave Lyn, Siegbert, Eldigan, and Sigurd all provide color coverage and can also grant cavalry buffs.

  • Strong Magical Cavalry Units: Gunnthrá, Cecilia, and Sacred Memories Eirika deal valuable magic damage to break through high Defense threats that Roderick may need support to defeat. They too can provide cavalry buffs.

  • Red Wallbreakers: Ayra, Mia, Soleil, Zelgius, Adult Tiki, Black Knight, and Winter Tharja all can deal with bulky green units that Roderick will struggle to KO.

Counters

Due to his relatively low base Attack, Roderick can’t break through most physically defensive greens. He also struggles to overpower tanky lance units as well as brave units, and should not be baiting mages in general.

  • Bulky Greens: Hector, Valentine Hector, Amelia, Myrrh, Fallen Robin, Fae, Dorcas, and Brave Ike possess the physical bulk to KO Roderick upon counterattacking.

  • Tanky Lances: Effie, Winter Robin, Fallen Hardin, and Lukas possess enough Defense to withstand Roderick’s attacks and will hit him hard in return, if not KO him outright.

  • Magic Users: Reinhardt, Linde, Micaiah, Rhajat, Nino, Spring Camilla, Sonya, and Halloween Henry present a significant threat to Roderick due to their ability to either deal heavy or effective magic damage.

Weapon Skills
Weapons SP Rng. Mt.
Iron Lance
Lance Users Only
50 1 6
Steel Lance
Learns by default at 3 ★
Lance Users Only
100 1 8
Firesweep LanceUnit and enemies cannot use counterattacks.
Learns by default at 4 ★
Unlocks at 3 ★
Lance Users Only
200 1 11
Firesweep Lance+Unit and enemies cannot use counterattacks.
Learns by default at 5 ★
Unlocks at 5 ★
Lance Users Only
300 1 15
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 ★
Unlocks at 3 ★
1 150
Rally Def/ResGrants Def/Res+3 to an adjacent ally until the end of the turn.
Unlocks at 4 ★
1 300
Passive Skills
Passive Skills SP Slot
Drag BackIf unit initiates attack, the unit moves 1 space away after combat. Foe moves into unit's previous space.
Unlocks at 4 ★
Non-Inheritable by Mages and Ranged units.
150
B
Spur Def 1Grants adjacent allies Def+2 during combat.
Unlocks at 3 ★
Inheritable by all units.
50
C
Drive Def 1Grants allies within 2 spaces Def+2 during combat.
Unlocks at 4 ★
Inheritable by all units.
120
C
Drive Def 2Grants allies within 2 spaces Def+3 during combat.
Unlocks at 5 ★
Inheritable by all units.
240
C
Other Info
Origin
Fire Emblem: New Mystery of the Emblem

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