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Tier Rating

Analysis by milkyytoast
Saizo - Angry Ninja


Obtainable as a 3 - 4 only

Hero Stats

Max Avg Total Stats at Lvl 40
HP 36
ATK 29
SPD 34
DEF 33
RES 16

Stat Variations

Level 1 Stat Variation
Low 16 6 7 8 2
Middle 17 7 8 9 3
High 18 8 9 10 4

Level 40 Stat Variations
Low 33 25 31 30 12
Middle 36 29 34 33 16
High 40 32 37 36 19

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.


  • +ATK / +SPD: Allow Saizo to hit harder and deny follow-ups.
  • +DEF: Adds to Saizo’s already considerable physical tanking abilities.


  • HP: Since Saizo's base HP is quite low, reducing it compromises his physical bulk and should be avoided.


  • -RES: Saizo’s best bane, especially since there are other dagger users who battle mages more effectively.

Skill Sets

A Brave Archer's Nightmare (Bait + Debuff Build)

Barb Shuriken+ (+Def)
Alternate: Smoke Dagger+ (+Def)
A Steady Stance 3
Alternate: Fury 3
Alternate: Swap
B Bowbreaker 3
Bonfire C Atk Smoke 3
SP1485SDistant Def 3

Show Explanation/Analysis
  • Preferred IVs: +DEF or +ATK or +SPD / -RES
  • Weapon: Barb Shuriken+ (+Def) / Smoke Dagger+ (+Def)
  • Assist: Reposition / Swap / Pivot
  • Special: Bonfire
  • Passive A: Steady Stance / Fury
  • Passive B: Bowbreaker
  • Passive C: Atk Smoke / Spd Smoke / Drive Skill
  • Sacred Seal: Distant Def

Due to how common Brave Bow users in the arena and the new options the weapon refinery offers to daggers, Saizo presents an opportunity to not only bait Brave Bow archers, but to also apply wide-range debuffs to the other team as he does so.

Since buffs are so prevalent (especially on Calvary teams), Saizo’s high Defense even at neutral along with the penalties the Barb Shuriken or Smoke Dagger apply after combat provides a unique function of safely baiting a brave archer while also levelling the playing field against Fortify and/or Hone skills. Barb Shuriken also has the added bonus of a -1 cooldown effect, boosting Saizo’s damage output. Moreover, since he’s a dagger unit, the effects of Sacae’s Blessing do not apply to him, making him a good choice to counter Brave Bow or Mulagir Brave Lyn.

Preferred IV’s on this set are variable – +DEF allows Saizo to soak up more physical damage if he needs to take a hit from a melee foe to protect an ally, but +ATK boosts his potential damage output once the enemy’s archer(s) have been neutralized. +SPD denies follow-ups from any unit with less than 42 Speed, adding to Saizo’s survivability. Reposition allows Saizo to extend the movement of an ally as an assist or to swoop in and rescue a low-Defense unit from being obliterated by an archer or melee foe. Swap or Pivot helps him retreat to safety if he is caught in the range of a magical enemy, though Swap also has the added bonus over Pivot of allowing Saizo to extend an ally’s movement range by one if he’s in front and swaps with them.

Steady Stance, the higher cost investment, greatly adds to Saizo’s physical tanking ability by increasing his Defense by six whenever he is initiated on. Since this bonus applies regardless of the foe’s weapon type, this skill allows Saizo to take a hit or two for a teammate who needs protection during enemy phase with greater flexibility. Fury is another lower cost option that also serves to increase Saizo’s offensive capabilities, although he does struggle slightly with the six damage he’ll take after combat due to his relatively low HP. Bowbreaker continues to be excellent on any high-Defense unit who has a ranged counterattack, and along with Bonfire allows Saizo to KO any Brave archer who initiates on him. 

If using the Barb Shuriken, Atk of Spd Smoke are Saizo's ideal C-slot skills due to their ability to provide additional debuffs to the enemy. If Smoke Dagger is being used, however, Atk/Spd Smoke would be redundant. Therefore Drive Atk or Spd are the preferred C skills for this build, as they provide +3 Attack or Speed to allies within a two space range. This means that Saizo can still provide in-combat support even if he stays out of the direct line of fire, and additionally aids him in staying out of the range of mages.

Chip and Dip Support (Debuff + Chip Damage Build)

Barb Shuriken+ (+Def)
Alternate: Smoke Dagger+ (+Def)
A Close Counter
Alternate: Swap
B Poison Strike 3
Bonfire C Atk Smoke 3
Alternate: Savage Blow 3
SP1575SClose Def 3

Show Explanation/Analysis
  • Preferred IVs: +DEF / -RES
  • Weapon: Barb Shuriken+ (+Def) / Smoke Dagger+ (+Def) / Poison Dagger+
  • Assist: Reposition / Swap / Pivot
  • Special: Bonfire
  • Passive A: Close Counter
  • Passive B: Poison Strike
  • Passive C: Atk Smoke / Savage Blow
  • Sacred Seal: Close Def / Savage Blow

This build takes advantage of Saizo’s excellent Defense and the AI’s tendency to group enemy units together in order to enable an offensive blitz the moment Saizo attacks or is attacked.

With any refined dagger (+Def) and the Close Def Seal, Saizo effectively has 45 Defense against melee units. Without Close Def, Saizo can comfortably tank a hit from any melee unit that doesn’t have a brave weapon with less than 39 Speed. Poison Dagger is also a potential option and boasts increased damage output against infantry foes, but the lack of refinement options slightly reduces Saizo’s physical bulk and nullifies his wide-range debuff capabilities.

Close Counter is the essential component of this build, as it lets Saizo counterattack against melee units on enemy phase to take advantage of the Barb Shuriken or Smoke Dagger’s debuff on the player phase. A debuff to Defense and Resistance softens even the most mighty defensive units, and the additional debuff to Attack and Speed the Smoke Dagger offers greatly reduces the likelihood of units being KO’d once they are able to go on the offensive -- though the Barb Shuriken only debuffs Defense and Resistance, this can be mitigated by using Atk Smoke as a C-slot. It is this skill allows Saizo to really shine, as his Defense and decent Speed enables him to trade hits with mid-Speed non-Brave melee units, charge Bonfire, and debuff not only his target but also any enemy units that are nearby.

Poison Strike and/or Savage Blow allows Saizo to chip away at both the unit that is attacked and the entire enemy team whenever combat is initiated. Combined with the Barb Shuriken + Atk Smoke or Smoke Dagger’s effect, this gives free reign to use other units to completely wipe out the weakened opposing team. Reposition or Swap enable Saizo to ferry an ally out of the way if they’ve already attacked or moved that turn, giving him the chance to bait and apply debuffs to the other team. Pivot is another option that adds to Saizo’s baiting ability, allowing him to sling himself forward if an ally is near and he’s not in a melee foe’s range.

While using this build, it would be advisable to bring a unit with a Firesweep weapon or the Hardy Bearing seal equipped in order to to deal with enemies pushed into Vantage range.

Swept Away (Sweep Skills Build)

Barb Shuriken+ (+Spd)
Alternate: Smoke Dagger+ (+Spd)
A Life and Death 3
Alternate: Darting Blow 3
Alternate: Swap
B Watersweep 3
Alternate: Bonfire
C Drive Atk 2
Alternate: Spur Atk 3
SP1545SPhantom Spd 3

Show Explanation/Analysis
  • Preferred IVs: +SPD / -RES or -HP
  • Weapon: Barb Shuriken+ (+Spd) / Smoke Dagger+ (+Spd)
  • Assist: Reposition / Swap / Flexible
  • Special: Moonbow / Bonfire
  • Passive A: Life and Death / Darting Blow
  • Passive B: Watersweep / Windsweep
  • Passive C: Drive Atk / Drive Spd / Spur Atk / Spur Spd
  • Sacred Seal: Phantom Spd

Since Saizo’s Speed reaches a respectable 37 with a boon, the intent of this build is to deal damage to a target during the player phase while piling on debuffs and preventing counterattacks.

With a Speed boon, refined dagger, Life and Death or Darting Blow, and the Phantom Spd seal, Saizo can safely initiate on most units. If he uses Watersweep, this allows him to make a sizeable dent in speedy low Defense magic users and archers like Life and Death Nino or Bride Cordelia, debuffing them and the other team and allowing for other units to perform a clean sweep.

If Windsweep is chosen instead, Saizo can engage fast threats like Distant Counter Mia and slower threats like Ike without taking damage in return, weakening them to allow for an easy KO. Drive Atk / Spd or a Spur helps him support his allies to ensure the weakened enemy is defeated during both player and enemy phase.


As was true of most Dagger users prior to the 2.0 update, Saizo simply did not have any notable strengths. Although his stat spread allowed for some impressive physical tanking, Kagero’s Poison Dagger and significantly higher base Attack stat made her the superior dagger user.

Now, however, that the weapon refinery has given a considerable buff to almost every dagger in the game, Saizo’s unique and interesting traits like his high Defense, passable Speed, and ability to debuff four stats at once with the refined Smoke Dagger make him a much more compelling choice than he ever was previously.

So while he doesn’t possess the raw firepower to net OHKOs himself, Saizo’s utility as a wide-range debuffer definitely has value as support. If a team has problems with OHKOing or struggles with the inflated stats in tempest trials and infernal difficulty, then he may be a good choice for a roster.  


Native Weaponry

Saizo’s native dagger, the Smoke Dagger, allows him to apply a -6 debuff to Attack, Speed, Defense, and Resistance at the same time once refined.

Not only that, it affects all enemy units within two spaces of the unit that Saizo attacks or counterattacks.

Specialized Stat Distribution

In combination with tools like the Distant Def seal, Saizo’s Defense allows him to check many popular archers.

His bulk also allows him to take a hit from slower melee threats without being KO’d.


Limitations of Native Weaponry

If Saizo does not attack or counterattack, the debuff from his dagger will not activate.

That means that in order to truly threaten non-ranged units on enemy phase, he must use Close Counter.

Not an Effective Mage Check

Because high-firepower mages are so prevalent and his Resistance is so low, dagger users other than Saizo depending on a team's composition.

Team Options

Since Saizo usually will want to stay far away from mages, units with high Resistance would be ideal teammates. This is especially true if Saizo will be used as a check to Brave Lyn, as he is severely limited in his ability to counter other common members of Calvary teams. High mobility units can also not only tank physical hits from debuffed enemies for Saizo and counterattack, but can also use Swap or Reposition to get him away from dangerous situations.

  • Resistance Tanks: Deirdre, Julia, Sanaki, Michaiah, and Fury Arvis all are able to soak up magic damage, especially if they carry a tomebreaker of their own color for extra coverage.
  • Mounted Mages: Reinhardt, Cecilia, Gunnthra, Summer Corrin, and Spring Camilla can take advantage of calvary buffs combined with the debuffs Saizo provides to sweep the enemy team.
  • Cavalry Walls: Sigurd, Camus, and Xander offer up their mobility to ferry Saizo away from danger. They also are able to soak up physical damage if Saizo is low on HP, and in the case of Camus and Xander are able to counterattack at any distance.


Although dagger buffs have greatly helped Saizo, his low base 29 Atk and dreadful 16 Res at neutral hold him back. While as a support unit it isn’t always necessary that he deal heavy damage, Saizo needs to rely on his teammates to engage mages at all times if he’s not running a Watersweep build. Despite his Defense, a unit with a high Attack and a Brave Weapon will have no trouble KOing Saizo. Saizo also is hard countered by any dragon units with mid-to-high Defense, especially if they use Lightning Breath (+Def).

  • Physical Brave Users: Alfonse, Effie, Cherche, and Cordelia are all common users of brave weapons who are able to target Saizo despite his high Defense because of his low base HP.
  • Mages: Nino, Reinhardt, Spring Camilla, Summer Corrin, Cecilia, and Raven Mages such as Raven Sophia target Saizo’s low Resistance, either KOing him before he has the chance to attack.
  • Dragons: Nowi, Fae, Myrrh, and Adult Tiki also hit Saizo in his weaker Resistance and negate the damage he deals with their high Def.

Weapon Skills

Weapons SP Rng. Mt.
Iron DaggerAfter combat, inflicts Def/Res-3 on foe through its next action.
Dagger users only.
50 2 3
Steel DaggerAfter combat, inflicts Def/Res-3 on foe through its next action.
Learns by default at 3 ★
Dagger users only.
100 2 5
Smoke DaggerAfter combat, inflicts Def/Res-4 on foes within 2 spaces of target through their next actions.
Learns by default at 4 ★
Unlocks at 3 ★
Dagger users only.
200 2 6
Smoke Dagger+After combat, if unit attacked, inflicts Def/Res-6 on foes within 2 spaces of target through their next actions.
Unlocks at 5 ★
Dagger users only.
300 2 9
Weapon Evolution
Weapon Upgrades
Weapon Upgrades

Support Skills

Support Skills Rng. SP
Harsh CommandConverts penalties on target into bonuses.
Learns by default at 4 ★
1 150

Passive Skills

Passive Skills SP Slot
Poison Strike 1Inflicts 4 damage to foe after any combat this unit initiates.
Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
Unlocks at 3 ★
Poison Strike 2Inflicts 7 damage to foe after any combat this unit initiates.
Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
Unlocks at 3 ★
Poison Strike 3Inflicts 10 damage to foe after any combat this unit initiates.
Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
Unlocks at 4 ★
Spur Spd 1Grants adjacent allies Spd+2 during combat.
Inheritable by all units.
Unlocks at 3 ★
Spur Spd 2Grants adjacent allies Spd+3 during combat.
Inheritable by all units.
Unlocks at 4 ★
Spur Spd 3Grants adjacent allies Spd+4 during combat.
Inheritable by all units.
Unlocks at 5 ★

Other Info

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