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Saber

Overall Rating
3
Analysis by SirOxorsid
Saber - Driven Mercenary

5

Obtainable as a 5 only
Hero Stats
Max Avg Total Stats at Lvl 40
158
HP 40
ATK 31
SPD 33
DEF 32
RES 22
Stat Variations
Level 1 Stat Variation
5★
HP ATK SPD DEF RES
Low 17 6 8 7 4
Middle 18 7 9 8 5
High 19 8 10 9 6

Level 40 Stat Variations
5★
HP ATK SPD DEF RES
Low 36 28 30 29 19
Middle 40 31 33 32 22
High 43 34 36 35 25
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

Saber will generally want a Speed boon in order to help him avoid double attacks, although an Attack boon is a decent option as well. It is preferred to not drop his HP or his Defense in order to not compromise his physical bulk as well as not affect his Defense-based Special damage. Resistance is the preferred bane as it is not a superbane and will affect Saber’s combat abilities the least.

Boons

  • +SPD: Speed is preferred to boost Saber to 36 SPD, which will help him avoid a good number of double attacks.

  • +ATK: As 31 base Attack is on the lower side for sword units, an Attack boon will definitely be appreciated if Speed is unavailable.

Neutral

  • -HP: Saber prefers not to lower his physical bulk, and HP is also a superbane. Considering this, it is preferred to keep his HP neutral.

  • -DEF: Defense should be kept neutral in order to not compromise Saber’s physical bulk. Although a decent option for a boon, Defense will not be as consistently useful a boon as Speed or Attack.

Banes

  • RES: Saber will generally not be used for tanking mages, and lowering his already low Resistance will not affect him much at all, making it the preferred option for a bane.
Skill Sets
Calm Mercenary (Enemy Phase Nuke)
Optimal
Wo Dao+ (+Spd)
Budget: Slaying Edge+ (+Spd)
A Steady Breath
Budget: Warding Breath
Reposition B Quick Riposte 3
Budget: Swordbreaker 3
Ignis C Threaten Def 3
SP1,325SClose Def 3

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

  • Weapon: Wo Dao+ (+Spd/+Def) / Slaying Edge+ (+Spd/+Def)

  • Assist: Reposition

  • Special: Ignis / Aether

  • Passive A: Steady Breath / Warding Breath

  • Passive B: Quick Riposte / Wrath / Swordbreaker

  • Passive C: Atk Smoke / Threaten Def / Varies on Team

  • Sacred Seal: Close Def / Quick Riposte / Speed +3

This build aims to make Saber a strong Enemy Phase unit capable of activating a powerful Special on every enemy initiation.

Saber will prefer a Speed boon to help him avoid double attacks, although Attack is a decent boon as well. Defense is also a solid boon as this both increases his physical bulk and slightly increases the amount of damage he will be dealing with Ignis.

Wo Dao is taken as the choice of weapon to increase Saber’s Special damage even further, as Saber will be activating Ignis anyways when he is initiated on thanks to Steady Breath and Quick Riposte. With a Speed boon and weapon forge, Saber will be sitting at 39 base Speed, which will allow him to avoid double attacks from all but the fastest sword units. A Defense refine is also a good option as +4 to Defense will scale very well with Ignis. Slaying Edge can be used if Wo Dao is not available, as Saber can still function fairly well without Wo Dao.

Reposition is the preferred choice of Assist for the best overall map control.

Ignis will activate for crazy high amounts of damage given that Saber has the right setup. With a +Def forged weapon, Steady Breath, and Close Def seal, Saber will activate Ignis for a total of 36 damage ignoring buffs/debuffs/support. Wo Dao will bring this up to a staggering 46 damage. Aether is an option that works particularly well if Saber is using his default Slaying Edge, but his damage output will not be nearly as high.

Steady Breath is the key skill in this build. It will allow Saber to activate Ignis every battle provided he doubles on the counterattack. If Steady Breath is not available, Warding Breath is an acceptable alternative, as the Special cooldown effect is more important than the +4 to Defense during combat.

The choice of B slot and seal are dependent upon one another. Quick Riposte can be taken as the B slot to guarantee Saber a double on the counterattack, and Close Def can be taken as the seal in order to both increase Saber’s survivability and increase the amount of damage Ignis will activate for considerably. Wrath is an interesting choice for the B slot as well that can take Saber’s Special damage to even further heights,  although one will want to pair this with a Quick Riposte seal to compensate for his middling Speed. If Quick Riposte and Wrath are not available for the B slot, Swordbreaker is a very serviceable alternative that will greatly improve Saber’s matchup against the speedy meta sword units such as Ayra and Mia.

Thanks to his high bulk, it’s very possible that Saber can take on multiple sword or axe units in a single turn, and Atk Smoke helps make this even more possible. However, any C slot will work with this build and is mostly up to player preference. A simple Threaten Def is a good option as well.

Angery Mercenary (Standard Dueler)
Slaying Edge+ (+Spd) A Fury 3
Budget: Defense +3
Reposition
Budget: Swap
B Swordbreaker 3
Budget: Axebreaker 3
Bonfire C Threaten Def 3
Budget: Hone Atk 3
SP1,425SClose Def 3

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

  • Weapon: Slaying Edge+ (+Spd/Def)

  • Assist: Reposition / Swap

  • Special: Bonfire

  • Passive A: Fury / Defense +3

  • Passive B: Swordbreaker / Axebreaker

  • Passive C: Threaten Def / Hone Atk / Varies on Team

  • Sacred Seal: Close Def / Speed +3 / Attack +3

Saber can still be a very decent sword dueler both Enemy Phase and Player Phase without the use of Steady Breath.

Speed is still the preferred boon to improve Saber’s overall survivability, but as Saber’s primary speedy targets will be other sword units, it is fine if he has another boon as Swordbreaker will make his Speed slightly less relevant.

Slaying Edge is a very solid weapon that will synergize well with Bonfire, making it a 2 cooldown Special that will activate each battle provided the enemy can counterattack and Saber survives. Either Speed or Defense will be solid options to choose as a forge, although one might consider Saber’s IVs when choosing; if Saber is +Spd, then a Def Forge might be preferred and vice-versa.

Fury is the choice of A slot and works very well on Saber, increasing his stats all around while also slightly increasing Bonfire damage. If one has not been blessed with stockpiles of Hinatas, Defense +3 is another decent albeit low SP cost alternative.

As Saber will not be able to keep up with the faster sword units in the game, it is preferred to take Swordbreaker to improve his matchup against those units. Axebreaker is another budget option that will guarantee he tears every axe unit to shreds, although this comes at the cost of his effectiveness against other swords.

The C slot is not particularly important for Saber, although Threaten Def is never a bad option. A team-oriented option like Hone Atk will work well too dependent on user preference.

There are many choices for the seal slot. Close Def is always nice as it will both increase Saber’s bulk and improve the damage dealt with Bonfire. If Close Def is already being used on one’s team, then a standard Speed or Attack seal will be appreciated by Saber as well.

Introduction

The cool sword for hire Saber makes his appearance in Heroes with fairly unremarkable stats. Compared to other sword units, Saber has been treated with below average Attack and very average Speed. However, being an infantry sword unit with an above average Defense stat of 32, Saber can run a very serviceable Steady Breath build, allowing him to deal very large chunks of damage with Ignis.

Unfortunately for Saber, his offensive potential is mainly dependent on his Special activation. This makes him less ideal as a Distant Counter user as he will be unable to make use of Steady Breath, nor does he have the Attack to effectively run Heavy Blade. Saber’s balanced statline makes him a very decent overall unit, but it is difficult to recommend using him over other powerful offensive sword units such as Mia, Soleil, Ayra, Lucina, or Hana that will have a higher consistent damage output than him.

Strengths

Decent Bulk

At 32 base Defense and 40 HP, Saber has solid physical bulk for an infantry sword unit. This makes him a prime candidate for Defense-based Specials like Ignis and Bonfire.

Fairly Versatile Unit

Saber is capable of both running a very potent Enemy Phase build in the form of Steady Breath as well as a fairly solid Player Phase unit in the form of Slaying Edge and Bonfire. This versatility certainly helps in making him a jack of all trades type of unit (but conversely, also a master of none).

Weaknesses

Overly Balanced Stats

Other units such as Hana and Ogma are both much more available than Saber and can run Player Phase offensive builds better than Saber can.

Difficult to Merge

Despite not possessing a stellar statline or any must-have skills, Saber has remained a 5* only summonable unit and at the time of writing has only been on a single focus banner, his release banner. This makes using him in high-level Arena difficult as it will be tough to merge him in order to increase Arena score.

Takes Up Valuable Spot

With many other extremely potent sword units out there that can consistently duke out high damage such as Mia, Ayra, and Soleil, one must decide if they are willing to have Saber take up the valuable sword slot on their team.

Team Options

Saber will want units that can cover his weakness to mages as well as bulky physical units.

  • Green Check: Saber will want a unit that can cover his weakness to mages, in particular blue mages. Julia, Deirdre, Nino, or LA Hector will be great options.

  • Buff/Spur Teammate: A unit like Brave Lucina will be a great option for Saber, as the increase in stats all around will be much appreciated in his attempt to be an Enemy Phase nuking monster if one desires to run him that way. Performing or New Year Azura are both great options as well, serving as both a green check and having skills to increase Saber’s overall bulk.
Counters

In general, Saber will want to avoid taking any kind of magic damage at all.

  • Blue Mages: Reinhardt will be able to dispose of Saber with his eyes closed, so it is imperative to keep him away from him at all costs. Other heavy-hitting blue mages such as Delthea, Micaiah, and Lute can also potentially completely destroy Saber in one hit.

  • Red Mages: As Swordbreaker is a very popular choice for red mages, Saber will very likely fall to them in one round. Saber will want another unit on his team to deal with the likes of SM Eirika, Celica, and Winter Tharja.

  • Bulky Lance Units: Although Saber could possibly take down less bulky lance units with his Steady Breath build, he will likely be overcome by bulky lance units such a Lukas, Fallen Hardin, Ephraim, and Effie. A solid green mage or axe should be run with Saber for these threats.

Weapon Skills
Weapons SP Rng. Mt.
Iron Sword
Only Inheritable by Sword Units.
50 1 6
Steel Sword
Only Inheritable by Sword Units.
100 1 8
Slaying EdgeAccelerates Special trigger (cooldown count-1).
Only Inheritable by Sword Units.
200 1 10
Slaying Edge+Accelerates Special trigger (cooldown count -1).
Learns by default at 5 ★
Only Inheritable by Sword Units.
300 1 14
Weapon Evolution
Weapon Upgrades
Weapon Upgrades
Special Skills
Special Skills SP Turns
Holy VestmentsReduces damage inflicted by attacks from foes 2 spaces away by 30%.
Restricted to melee units.
100 3
AegisReduces damage inflicted by attacks from foes 2 spaces away by 50%.
Learns by default at 5 ★
Restricted to melee units.
200 3
Passive Skills
Passive Skills SP Slot
HP +3Grants +3 to max HP.
Inheritable by all units.
40
A
HP/Spd 1Grants HP+3, Spd+1.
Inheritable by all units.
100
A
HP/Spd 2Grants HP+4, Spd +2.
Unlocks at 5 ★
Inheritable by all units.
200
A
Shield Pulse 1If unit's Special triggers based on a foe's attack, Special cooldown count-1 at start of turn 1.
Melee, Infantry, and Armored Only
60
B
Shield Pulse 2If unit's Special triggers based on a foe's attack, Special cooldown count-1 at start of turn 1. Unit takes 5 less damage when Special triggers.
Melee, Infantry, and Armored Only
120
B
Shield Pulse 3If unit's Special triggers based on a foe's attack, Special cooldown count -2 at start of turn 1. Unit takes 5 less damage when Special triggers.
Unlocks at 5 ★
Melee, Infantry, and Armored Only
240
B
Other Info
Origin
Fire Emblem Echoes

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