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Sophia

Tier Rating
Analysis by takaminacchan
Sophia - Nabata Prophet

3-4

Obtainable as a 3 - 4 only
Hero Stats
Max Avg Total Stats at Lvl 40
149
HP 40
ATK 33
SPD 19
DEF 28
RES 29
Stat Variations
Level 1 Stat Variation
5★
4★
3★
HP ATK SPD DEF RES
Low 17 8 3 5 6
Middle 18 9 4 6 7
High 19 10 5 7 8

Level 40 Stat Variations
5★
4★
3★
HP ATK SPD DEF RES
Low 36 30 16 24 25
Middle 40 33 19 28 29
High 43 36 22 31 32
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
  • Drop her speed if you can. It is too low to be salvaged in any way, shape or form, and as such it is completely useless to her.
  • As a mostly bait-centric mage, Sophia will function correctly whether her boon is attack, defense or resistance. She has a slight preference for attack, as it allows her to land a few more kills and her defenses are already reasonably good.
Skill Sets
Bait-and-Burn (Optimal, formation and bait-centric)
Recommended
Candelabra+ A Close Counter
Swap B Quick Riposte 3
Alternate: Quick Riposte 2
Aether C Threaten Atk 3
SP2,535SDistant Def 3

Show Explanation/Analysis
  • Preferred nature: +def/-spd / +res/-spd
  • Weapon: Candelabra+ / Raudrowl+
  • Assist: Swap / Reposition / Smite
  • Special: Aether
  • A slot: Close Counter
  • B slot: Quick Riposte 3
  • C slot: Threaten Atk 3
  • S slot: Distant Defense 3

This is the more generalist approach to playing Sophia. Unfortunately, this build is also extremely expensive and although it is comfortably her optimal, it requires extremely rare weaponry and skills and virtually demands that Sophia be heavily merged to really shine (as her unmerged stats all but require that she runs either Fury or Triangle Adept to approach anything resembling proficiency).

Candelabra vs Raudrowl is actually a close contest, and will probably be determined by your wealth more than anything else (as both Winter Tharja and Katarina are rare). Candelabra provides a permanent +2 buff to all four stats, as well as a +3 buff to either defense or resistance and a +2 buff to hit point, whereas Raudrowl provides a potential +6 buff to all four stats in full formation, but otherwise just gives you +3 to either defense and +2 to hp. In most cases, Candelabra is actually superior as it allows much more freedom of movement without dropping stats too much, but it's also bound to a limited unit and Raudrowl is still perfectly acceptable as a substitute if it is available to you.

The remainder of the build is relatively straightforward, and there is little room for variation. Unfortunately, Sophia can't run Vengeful Fighter, and as a result she is stuck with the infinitely inferior Quick Riposte; Swap vs Reposition is mostly a matter of playstyle. Smite can be an interesting third option, used to perform switch strategies in position play - but it's only interesting to use in combination with Candelabra.

Raven nostalgist (Anti-archery)
Rauðrraven+ A Fury 3
Reposition B Quick Riposte 3
Alternate: Bowbreaker 3
Moonbow
Alternate: Dragon Fang
C Threaten Atk 3
SP1,935SDistant Def 3

Show Explanation/Analysis
  • Preferred nature: +def/-spd
  • Weapon: Raudrraven+
  • Assist: Reposition / Swap
  • Special: Moonbow
  • A slot: Fury 3 / Triangle Adept 3
  • B slot: Quick Riposte 3 / Bowbreaker 3
  • C slot: Threaten Atk 3 / Atk Ploy 3
  • S slot: Distant Defense 3

The former "mainstream" build for high-defense mages (and the former staple of RobinM), Raven is still very much relevant in Sophia's case, and it has the huge advantage of being a relatively cheap build to gather that works decently well even at low merge levels.

You should probably steer away from Triangle Adept in most cases, as Cancel Affinity completely counters it and turns it into a liability; thus, Fury is her choice A-slot skill.

Quick Riposte vs Bowbreaker is a matter of specialisation degrees - Bowbreaker will allow Sophia to counter archers much more efficiently by preventing them from hitting her twice, but in exchange for this she will be unable to perform follow-up attacks on anything not wielding a bow.

Threaten Atk is actually the default pick, as Sophia's resistance isn't stellar even once Fury has been accounted for. However, should you happen to be running her at a high merge level, or with a +res nature, or just plainly against weaker foes, Atk Ploy becomes a viable option.

Wolves are so next season (Novelty anti-cavalry)
Keen Rauðrwolf+ A Distant Def 3
Alternate: Fury 3
Swap B Quick Riposte 3
Aether C Threaten Atk 3
SP2,445SDistant Def 3

Show Explanation/Analysis
  • Preferred nature: +res/-spd / +def/-spd / +res/-atk
  • Weapon: Keen Raudrwolf+
  • Assist: Swap / Reposition
  • Special: Aether / Noontime / Moonbow
  • A slot: Distant Defense 3 / Fury 3
  • B slot: Quick Riposte 3 / Guard 3
  • C slot: Threaten Atk 3
  • S slot: Distant Defense 3

29 base resistance may seem like nothing to write home about, but if you stack two layers of Distant Defense on top of it, suddenly you're looking at 41 resistance against ranged attacks. Add a Fortify to get to 45, and things start getting interesting.

A maximally merged Reinhardt attacks from 54 attack (Keen Raudrwolf ignores buffs such as Hone Cavalry - otherwise, 60 is the number to remember). With the weapon triangle advantage, this turns into 64 effective attack, i.e. 19 damage per hit; Sophia survives two hits here thanks to her 40 hp (albeit with two hp, but keep in mind this is at +0 and with a neutral resistance).

Three things happen then.

Firstly, Reinhardt now absolutely requires Moonbow to go off in order to kill Sophia and he also needs not to have been Atk Ployed. If he can't fire Moonbow for whatever reason (for instance, because he just fired it or because she's running Guard, or because he's not running Quickened Pulse), he's simply not going to pierce her. If his attack happens to have been lowered by a Ploy, he'll be dealing 13 damage per hit (27 on Moonbow trigger) and Sophia will survive with one hp if she's just +1.

Secondly, Sophia is now in a position where she can counterattack, and considering the fact that she's wielding a bane weapon specialized in taking cavalry units down, things get somewhat ugly for Reinhardt. She's attacking from 45 atk, 54 effective after accounting for the bane and her color; at +10, Reinhardt has 29 resistance, so he takes 25 damage per hit (out of 42 hp). Even -atk variants (more about that down the road) will be attacking from 42 atk, and therefore still dealing 21 damage. There's really nothing Reinhardt can do to change the facts here - Sophia kills him in two hits, no matter what.

Thirdly, speed actually becomes a factor. At +10, Reinhardt reaches 27 speed if he's neutral - 22 with Dire Thunder. Sophia is one of the only units he can double by default (if she's -spd), and she really can't have that - she can't tank four hits of Dire Thunder, only two. Thankfully, you can just dump her attack to have 19 speed, and then Reinhardt won't be able to double her even if he's neutral (let us be real: he won't be +speed and he'll usually be -speed). Or, if this is a merging project, you can just laugh at the fact that your speed increase from all the merging is allowing you not to get doubled by Reinhardt in spite of a -spd nature.

Either way, the point is: this build can kill Reinhardt. This build can bait Reinhardt and win, in spite of his color advantage - and with proper support, it can do so reliably (Reinhardt will never be able to pierce +1 Sophia if he's been Atk Ployed, and she will kill him in retaliation).

Needless to say, this build can easily pull the same stunt off against the likes of Lyn, or really any ranged cavalry unit - Reinhardt is the toughest foe to bait and take down, and Sophia handles him. The only ranged cavalry unit she can't nuke at bait time is Firesweep Lyn, but that's by design.

Now that the point has been made: skill selection arguments!

  • Distant Defense is preferred and necessary at lower merge levels. If you merge Sophia high enough (starting from about +7~+8), Fury becomes an acceptable budget option.
  • Sophia does not need her Special to take cavalry foes down. Moonbow won't change many matchups, and since she'll usually be running Quick Riposte she'll kill virtually any ranged cavalry unit on bait. This means you can run any Special you like - Aether is suggested as it's the highest-yield Special and can be used to refill her life in a pinch.
  • Quick Riposte should be used if Sophia has adequate support (specificially: an ally capable of Atk Ploying Reinhardt to remove his ability to kill Sophia entirely). Guard should be used if she's on her own, in which case she won't kill Reinhardt upon baiting him but can still finish him off next turn.
    • In other words, in the overwhelming majority of cases you'll want Quick Riposte and proper support.
Introduction

Sophia is basically non-limited Winter Tharja without the associated armor Base Stat Total, about ten months before Winter Tharja became a thing. An absurdly slow red mage with otherwise high and balanced stats, her natural leaning is towards baiting and there is little point in fighting that nature.

She isn't particularly menacing on her own, but with proper support she can turn into a solid unit and kill or at least maim most non-blue foes.

Strengths
  • Great combination of (for an infantry mage) good attack and decently high defense and resistance.
  • Easy to merge, since she is a low-rarity unit. Her statline at maximum merge level is straight brutal for a bait-centric unit, and tells a very different story from her statline at +0.
  • As infantry, she isn't particularly vulnerable to bane weapons (Poison Dagger notwithstanding, but this weapon is bordering into obsolescence recently).
Weaknesses
  • Actually sort of middling at +0, and only somewhat great at +10 4star. You will need to invest a lot of resources into her to unlock her full potential (which is: maximum merge 5star).
  • Stuck with a low Base Stat Total due to her nature as an infantry mage. This will hurt in higher Arena tiers.
    • Obligatory reality check: at +3, Winter Tharja has superior stats than Sophia +10 everywhere (except speed, but speed doesn't matter or help), and with the special Armor-only skills she also has access to straight superior builds.
  • Infantry has a harder time receiving significant buffs, which is a crucial handicap for a bait-centric unit.
Team Options

She really can't handle blue foes, so strong green units pair with her particularly well. Fae is a choice teammate here, as she can basically shutdown most blue foes with her defenses; also worth considering are Titania, Amelia, Brave Ike and Dorcas.

In most cases, you want to build your team around her and make her your team's pillar, so she'll want to receive buffs from most/all of her teammates regardless of their identities.

Counters

Raven Adept builds are scared of Cancel Affinity Bow units (especially Brave Lyn, who can also negate her buffs on some builds), and all builds just fear blue units in general (especially Fjorm). Sophia's much easier to kill when she's controlled by the computer, as most of her potential requires careful tactics that can only reliably be achieved by players.

Weapon Skills
Weapons SP Rng. Mt.
Flux
Learns by default at 1 ★
Red Tome Users Only
50 2 4
Ruin
Learns by default at 3 ★
Unlocks at 2 ★
Red Tome Users Only
100 2 6
Fenrir
Learns by default at 4 ★
Unlocks at 3 ★
Red Tome Users Only
200 2 9
Fenrir+
Unlocks at 5 ★
Red Tome Users Only
300 2 13
Weapon Evolution
Weapon Upgrades
Weapon Upgrades
Special Skills
Special Skills SP Turns
Dragon GazeBoosts Atk by 30%.
Learns by default at 4 ★
Unlocks at 3 ★
Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
100 4
Dragon FangBoosts Atk by 50%.
Unlocks at 4 ★
Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
200 4
Passive Skills
Passive Skills SP Slot
Warding Blow 1Grants Res+2 during combat if unit initiates the attack.
Unlocks at 3 ★
Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
50
A
Warding Blow 2Grants Res+4 during combat if unit initiates the attack.
Unlocks at 4 ★
Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
100
A
Warding Blow 3Grants Res+6 during combat if unit initiates the attack.
Unlocks at 5 ★
Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
200
A
Fortify Res 1Grants adajacent allies Res+2 through their next actions at the start of each turn.
Unlocks at 1 ★
Inheritable by all units.
50
C
Fortify Res 2Grants adajacent allies Res+3 through their next actions at the start of each turn.
Unlocks at 2 ★
Inheritable by all units.
100
C
Fortify Res 3Grants adjacent allies Res+4 through their next actions at the start of each turn.
Unlocks at 4 ★
Inheritable by all units.
200
C
Other Info
Origin
Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade

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