Tier Rating
Analysis by Maskilraid
Sakura - Loving Priestess

3-4

Obtainable as a 3 - 4 only
Hero Stats
Max Avg Total Stats at Lvl 40
148
HP 36
ATK 28
SPD 30
DEF 24
RES 30
Stat Variations
Level 1 Stat Variation
5★
4★
3★
HP ATK SPD DEF RES
Low 16 5 7 4 7
Middle 17 6 8 5 8
High 18 7 9 6 9

Level 40 Stat Variations
5★
4★
3★
HP ATK SPD DEF RES
Low 33 24 26 21 26
Middle 36 28 30 24 30
High 40 31 33 28 33
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

Boons

  • +SPD: As a support unit for the team, Sakura appreciates having a boost in Speed in order to protect her from enemy doubles and increase the chances of doubling herself.
  • +RES: Running a boon in her Resistance if you want to use Sakura mainly as a Ploy supporter.

Neutral

  • DEF: Despite Defense being a superboon, having Speed is more significant for Sakura when facing physical units.
  • ATK: Due to the new healing formula which scales based on the Attack stat, it is recommended for Sakura to keep her Attack at neutral to retain her healing potency. It is also helpful in case Sakura needs to deal a finishing blow.

Banes

  • -HP: Similar to many units, Sakura finds it difficult justify having a higher HP pool. Specifically for Sakura, her default HP is low enough such that she is not a good user of Martyr+ and it is too low to avoid Panic Ploy from high HP opponents..
Skill Sets
Hoshidan Impersonator (Chip Damage)
Recommended
Dazzling Gravity+ A Atk/Spd Bond 3
Alternate: Attack +3
Physic+ B Wrathful Staff 3
Heavenly Light C Savage Blow 3
SP1,445SSavage Blow 3

Show Explanation/Analysis
  • Preferred IV: +ATK or +SPD / -HP
  • Weapon: Dazzling Gravity+ / Dazzling Pain+
  • Assist: Physic+
  • Special: Heavenly Light / Imbue
  • Passive A: Atk/Spd Bond / Speed +3 / Attack +3
  • Passive B: Wrathful Staff
  • Passive C: Savage Blow
  • Sacred Seal: Savage Blow

This build is the standard build for most offensive healers. By using the combination of Savage Blow and Dazzling Staff, any healer could do a large amount of damage to all foes, and Sakura is no exception.

The main focus of the build would be the double Savage Blow in the C slot and the Sacred Seal, allowing Sakura to deal 14 damage to all units within 2 spaces of the target. One could either choose Gravity+ to limit the opponent’s movement, or Pain+ to increase the passive damage to 24. However, too much nonlethal damage could result in the enemy team moving unpredictability with Wings of Mercy, so be conscientious of that.

As this build is mainly an offensive build, Passive A should be used to increasing the amount of damage. While Atk/Spd Bond is the most reliable option, running the cheaper stat boosting skills in Attack and Speed is fine as well. Brazen Atk/Spd is not recommended for this build, as it is difficult to meet the HP threshold on a Dazzling healer unit without putting them in danger.

The Undying Blossom (Attack Debuff)
Recommended
Dazzling Fear+ A Close Counter
Alternate: Speed +3
Physic+ B Wrathful Staff 3
Miracle C Savage Blow 3
SP1,310SClose Def 3

Show Explanation/Analysis
  • Preferred IV: +SPD / -HP
  • Weapon: Dazzling Fear+
  • Assist: Physic+
  • Special: Miracle / Heavenly Light
  • Passive A: Close Counter / Atk/Spd Bond / Speed +3
  • Passive B: Wrathful Staff
  • Passive C: Savage Blow / Res Ploy / Threaten Res / Flexible
  • Sacred Seal: Close Def / Distant Def / Savage Blow / Live to Serve

This build focuses on hitting the opponent without retaliation using the Dazzling Effect and surviving anything that comes in Sakura’s way.

The reliable Wrathful Dazzling combination is only accessible to staff users. Sakura exploits this along with her default staff to heavily neuter her potential aggressors. The main utility of Close Counter is not only for the damage it could provide, but also the ability to charge Sakura’s Special at a faster rate, which synergises with both Miracle and Heavenly Light.

Other alternatives of Passive A includes Atk/Spd Bond, which allows Sakura to duel with mages more efficiently, or the budget Speed +3 to prevent possible follow-up attacks. The choice of Passive C is also pretty flexible, with Savage Blow having good synergy with the Dazzling Staff upgrade, while Threaten Res allows Sakura to have effectively 5 more Attack to work with. The same could be said for her Sacred Seal options. Both Close Def and Distant Def Seals could be helpful in increasing her longevity, while Savage Blow 3 offers more support by providing chip damage.

The rule of thumb is that if you are looking for a more self-sustaining build, go for skills that increases her longevity. Otherwise, go for the passives which could help out her allies. Fear+ also has great synergy with Heavy Blade users, which allows for more aggressive builds for her teammates rather than focusing on survivability.

Hydrangea (Aggressive Healer)
Wrathful Pain+ A Brazen Atk/Spd 3
Alternate: Attack +3
Physic+ B Vantage 3
Heavenly Light
Alternate: Imbue
C Res Ploy 3
Alternate: Savage Blow 3
SP1,125SSavage Blow 3

Show Explanation/Analysis
  • Preferred IV: +RES or +SPD / -HP
  • Weapon: Wrathful Pain+
  • Assist: Physic+
  • Special: Heavenly Light / Imbue
  • Passive A: Brazen Atk/Spd / Attack + 3
  • Passive B: Vantage
  • Passive C: Res Ploy / Savage Blow
  • Sacred Seal: Savage Blow

This is a more offensive variant of the typical Wrathful Dazzling combination. The concept of this build is to deal sufficient passive damage with the help of Pain+ and Savage Blow, and finish off enemies during enemy phase with Vantage.

Due to Sakura’s adequate mixed bulk and Speed, with sufficient ally supports, Sakura could take a hit and easily reach the threshold required for Brazen and Vantage. The choice of Brazen is up to the personal preference as long as it boosts Sakura’s Attack stat. Speed is the most versatile due to its dual purpose as both an offensive stat for doubles and defensive stat to prevent follow up attacks. A more budget option is Attack +3, which still serves to increase Sakura's Attack. This also makes her slightly more vulnerable to doubles, which increases her likelihood of activating Vantage in future engagements.

While the passive damage from Savage Blow is tempting for healers,they cannot decrease an enemy unit's HP to 0 with passive damage.. That is where using Res Ploy could come in to give Sakura the extra push that she needs to secure the kill. 

Introduction

Sakura hails from the land of Hoshido in Fire Emblem Fates as a staff infantry user. Before the refinery update, healers saw little play due to a one hit KO meta.. After the staff refinery update, while the staff units received a welcome boost, Sakura as a healer seemed mediocre due to the having a relatively poor offensive distribution and lack of horse mobility compared to another healer from the same game, Elise.

However, Sakura does have a niche. Relative to other healers, her mixed bulk is relatively impressive while retaining a good amount of Speed, making Sakura a relatively difficult target to take down in a single round of combat. It is possible to exploit Sakura's bulk to give her a mixed tanking utility that many other healers lack.

Strengths

Decent Speed

While Sakura is not earth-shattering fast, she is nimble enough to prevent doubles from the slower opponents. Sakura’s Speed is mainly used for its defensive properties of preventing follow-ups.

Great Resistance

Sakura’s Resistance is on the higher side of the spectrum, which means that she can take a fair amount of magical punishment. Notably, she can run a Ploy skill with a decent level of success.

Adequate Defenses

Like her Speed, her defenses are passable. While Sakura is not an absolute tank, she could utilize her Speed and adequate bulk to survive her first round of combat unless it is from a powerhouse offensive unit. Sakura can also take damage from dragons relatively well as her defense spread is not as uneven as many other healers.

Weaknesses

Awkward stat distribution

While most healers have a niche, Sakura doesn’t. She does not have the blistering offensive power of Elise, the defensive prowess of Azama, or the cockroach-like durability of Clarine. While this does mean that she can run most builds well, she is unable to excel in a single role.

Mediocre Attack

As healing now scales based on the Attack stat, having a low neutral Attack might be detrimental in certain circumstances. With most healer builds gravitating towards more offensive variants, Sakura is unable to thrive from such circumstances.
 

Team Options

Healers like targets that they can actually heal, so the obvious options are those which could benefit from her healing.

  • Enemy phase units: As staff users are mainly for healing, enemy phase units that often takes damage could appreciate having a healer on the team. This includes units such as the dragons (Fae and Nowi) and distant counter users (Ryoma and Ike).
  • Dancers: For more aggressive builds with double Savage Blow users, dancers are extremely potent due to effectively doubling the non-lethal damage. This allows Sakura to pretty much wipe out the opposing team in 2 hits. 
  • Heavy Blade: For players who want to stick with Sakura’s base Fear+ staff, Heavy Blade has great synergy with decreasing the Attack of the foes. Units such as Cordelia and Brave Roy could exploit Heavy Blade very well.
Counters

Sakura has a relative good amount of mixed bulk, however due to her lack of commitment towards any stat, with sufficient amount of commitment in either Attack or Speed Sakura could be easily taken down.

  • Physical Brave weapons: Her Defense is poorer than her Resistance. While she could live a single hit, she could not live two. These potentially includes Alm with Refined Falchion, Elincia with Amiti and Cherche with her typical Brave Axe build.
  • Bold Fighter: As mentioned above, she can take one hit, but not two. 
  • High Speed units: Sakura’s Speed is unable to outpace any unit with a decent amount of Speed commitment. Hence, any unit with naturally high Speed could easily erase Sakura. These could range from physical units such as Fallen Celica and Ayra, to magical ones such as Nino and Linde.
Weapon Skills
Weapons SP Rng. Mt.
Assault
Restricted to units that use a Staff.
50 2 10
FearAfter combat, inflicts Atk-6 on targeted foe through its next action.
Unlocks at 3 ★
Restricted to units that use a Staff.
150 2 5
Fear+After combat, if unit attacked, inflicts Atk-7 on target and foes within 2 spaces of target through their next actions.
Unlocks at 5 ★
Restricted to units that use a Staff.
300 2 12
Weapon Evolution
Weapon Upgrades
Weapon Upgrades
Support Skills
Support Skills Rng. SP
HealRestores 5 HP.
Learns by default at 4 ★
1
MendRestores 10 HP.
Learns by default at 4 ★
1 100
PhysicRestores 8 HP. Rng 2.
Learns by default at 5 ★
Unlocks at 3 ★
2 200
Physic+Restores HP = 50% of Atk. (Minimum of 8 HP.)
Unlocks at 5 ★
2 300
Special Skills
Special Skills SP Turns
ImbueWhen healing an ally with a staff, restores an additional 10 HP to target ally.
Learns by default at 4 ★
Restricted to units that use a Staff.
50 1
Still-Water BalmWhen healing an ally with a staff, grants Res+4 to all allies for 1 turn.
Learns by default at 5 ★
Unlocks at 3 ★
Restricted to units that use a Staff.
150 1
Passive Skills
Passive Skills SP Slot
Fortify Def 1Grants adjacent allies Def+2 through their next actions at the start of each turn.
Unlocks at 3 ★
Inheritable by all units.
50
C
Fortify Def 2Grants adjacent allies Def+3 through their next actions at the start of each turn.
Unlocks at 4 ★
Inheritable by all units.
100
C
Fortify Def 3Grants adjacent allies Def+4 through their next actions at the start of each turn.
Unlocks at 5 ★
Inheritable by all units.
200
C
Other Info
Origin
Fire Emblem Fates

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