Summer Gaius

Analysis by takaminacchan
Thief Exposed
Thief Exposed

Summer 5 Star

Obtainable as a 5 only - Ylissean Summer
Hero Ratings
Overall Rating
3
/ 5
Attacker Rating3.5 / 5
Max Avg Total Stats at Lvl 40
148
HP 34
ATK 30
SPD 37
DEF 19
RES 28
Stat Variations
Level 1 Stat Variation
5★
HP ATK SPD DEF RES
Low 16 7 8 3 5
Middle 17 8 9 4 6
High 18 9 10 5 7

Level 40 Stat Variations
5★
HP ATK SPD DEF RES
Low 31 26 34 16 24
Middle 34 30 37 19 28
High 37 33 40 22 31
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
  • +spd is ideal for quad-strike builds. +atk will work for every set, and +res helps Iceberg builds.
  • Either -hp or -def is ideal.
Skill Sets
Frost Square
Optimal
Brave Bow + A Life and Death 3
Ardent Sacrifice B Desperation 3
Luna C Threaten Def 3

SP Cost1,875

  • Preferred nature: +atk/-hp or +spd/-hp
  • Weapon: Brave Bow+
  • Assist: Ardent Sacrifice
  • Special: Luna
  • A slot: Life and Death 3 / Swift Sparrow 2 / Death Blow 3
  • B slot: Desperation 3
  • C slot: Threaten Def 3 / Threaten Spd 3 / Def Ploy 3

Standard quad-strike Setsuna, minus the clothing and the curves. Somehow this results in higher raw damage (you're attacking from 42 atk, 45 if +atk - this can be further honed to 46, 49 if +atk).

Life and Death provides the greatest autonomous damage, whereas Swift Sparrow makes Def Ploy usable which greatly improves damage on foes with low res. Death Blow misses a lot of quad-strikes, but is comparatively much cheaper than the alternatives and may suffice depending on your needs.

As with Setsuna, you'll be relying on Ardent Sacrifice to boot Desperation. Life and Death nearly makes GaiusS's def lose a digit, which means he cannot take hits at all — but even with Swift Sparrow, GaiusS has no business taking hits.

In most cases, Threaten Def will be the superior option for C slot - assuming position play is an option. A successful Threaten Def increases a quad strike's damage output by over 20 points (assuming your foe's defense isn't ridiculously high), which will greatly improve GaiusS's ability to land kills.

If you're running Swift Sparrow, consider running Def Ploy as a ranged and conditional Threaten Def.

This is the set that reliably deals the most raw damage. Understand that this is at the cost of sustain. With that being said, GaiusS will have a much easier actually fielding quad-strike than Bride Cordelia, which isn't exactly negligible.

Cold Fury
Budget
Refreshing Bolt+ A Fury 3
Draw Back B Vantage 3
Iceberg C Def Ploy 3

SP Cost1,265

  • Preferred nature: +atk/-hp or +spd/-hp or +res/-hp
  • Weapon: Refreshing Bolt+ / Brave Bow+
  • Assist: Draw Back
  • Special: Iceberg / Glacies / Luna
  • A slot: Fury 3
  • B slot: Vantage 3 / Desperation 3
  • C slot: Def Ploy 3

Fury increases GaiusS's bulk and especially res, making Iceberg a reliable source of supplementary damage while easing the use of Def Ploy for long-ranged debuffing.

Beyond that, this set is pretty similar to Frost Square (standard quad-strike) except it relies on Fury to boot Desperation/Vantage. GaiusS's spd is high enough to obtain frequent quad-strikes even with Fury's modest contribution.

Vantage makes GaiusS capable of engaging many mages and defeating them on defense phase. It's especially appropriate with Refreshing Bolt+, as this bow provides better preemptive counterattacks.

Ice Burn
Firesweep Bow+ A Fury 3
Draw Back B Swordbreaker 3
Iceberg C Def Ploy 3

SP Cost1,815

  • Preferred nature: +atk/-hp / +spd/-hp
  • Weapon: Firesweep Bow+
  • Assist: Draw Back
  • Special: Iceberg / Moonbow
  • A slot: Fury 3 / Life and Death 3
  • B slot: Swordbreaker 3 / Lancebreaker 3 / G Tomebreaker 3 / Seal Atk/Spd
  • C slot: Def Ploy 3 / Threaten Def 3 / Threaten Spd 3

Firesweep Bow+ means GaiusS can let go of Vantage and Desperation. This allows him to run Breaker skills for specialized offense.

Unfortunately, GaiusS's low base atk means he won't reliably defeat tougher foes without significant help. For instance Ike (32 base def) takes 12 damage from Furious GaiusS's 44 atk (Fury, Firesweep Bow+, neutral atk nature) - so, 24 total since he'll get hit twice.

If you manage to trigger Def Ploy and receive a Hone Atk, on the other hand, you'll deal an extra 18 damage (42 total damage) which is exactly the amount of hp Ike has at his disposal on neutral nature. Every single point helps — +atk GaiusS will deal 48 damage instead, guaranteeing the kill unless Ike is running a defense-increasing A-slot. Likewise, receiving a Spur Atk in addition to Hone Atk can help GaiusS bridge the gap to OHKO.

Weapon Skills
SP:
50
Rng:
2
Mt:
4

Effective against flying units.

SP:
100
Rng:
2
Mt:
6

Effective against flying units.

SP:
200
Rng:
2
Mt:
8

If unit has 100% HP at start of combat, unit gets Atk/Spd/Def/Res+2.
If attacking, unit will take 2 damage after combat. Effective against fliers.

SP:
300
Rng:
2
Mt:
12

If unit has 100% HP at start of combat, unit gets Atk/Spd/Def/Res+2.
If attacking, unit will take 2 damage after combat. Effective against fliers.

Learns by default at 5 ★
Special Skills
SP:
100
CD:
4 Turns

Grant +50% to damage dealt

Learns by default at 5 ★
SP:
200
CD:
5 Turns

Grant +150% to damage dealt

Unlocks at 5 ★
Passive Skills
SP:
50
Slot:
B

Unit counterattacks first when attacked at HP ≤ 25%

SP:
100
Slot:
B

Unit counterattacks first when attacked at HP ≤ 50%

SP:
200
Slot:
B

Unit counterattacks first when attacked at HP ≤ 75%

Unlocks at 5 ★
SP:
60
Slot:
C

At start of turn, all foes in cardinal directions with Res 1 or more lower than unit suffer Def-3 until the end of foe's next action.

SP:
120
Slot:
C

At start of turn, all foes in cardinal directions with Res 1 or more lower than unit suffer Def-4 until the end of foe's next action.

SP:
240
Slot:
C

At start of turn, all foes in cardinal directions with Res 1 or more lower than unit suffer Def-5 until the end of foe's next action.

Unlocks at 5 ★
Introduction

Pros:

  • Excellent spd.
    • Offensively, he's Setsuna with two more points in atk. This makes him a straight upgrade when compared with her for quad strike builds.
  • Decent atk.
  • Base kit has decent synergy.
    • Def Ploy is extremely good against Life and Death foes, who can easily be debuffed from a safe distance before closing in for devastating offense.

Cons:

  • Ultimately, his atk is his most debilitating flaw - as is the case with Setsuna.
    • He's also more physically frail than her, but tanks magic slightly better.
  • Even with a lot of optimization, Brave Bow+ only goes so far on 30 base atk. Building for quad-strike is always a heavy investment and may not be satisfying on GaiusS, depending on your expectations.

GaiusS is the new Setsuna. No, really — GaiusS has 37 base spd, just like Setsuna, but he also has 30 base atk - 2 more than Setsuna, which makes him straight better than her for nearly every situation and especially for quad-strike builds.

As a quad-striker, the main comparison point for GaiusS is Bride Cordelia... and they're both limited units. Bride Cordelia has significantly higher atk, but 2 less base spd than GaiusS (35/35 vs 30/37). Roughly speaking, this means GaiusS will quad-strike more easily whereas each of Bride Cordelia's hits will deal about five more damage, potentially bypassing the need for actual quad-strikes.

GaiusS can also get decent results out of the Firesweep Bow, and out of his signature bow, Refreshing Bolt (+2 to all stats when starting combat at 100% hp, 2 hp recoil after attacking in these conditions). His excellent spd makes it easy to land double attacks on most units in the game, which is further improved by tactical use of Def Ploy.

Strengths/Weaknesses

Strengths:

  • Highly capable quad-striker.
    • Only Raven tome wielders resist colorless assault, which improves coverage.
  • His base skills work well with his spread, making him trivial to run efficiently.
    • However, quad-strike does require heavy investment. Make sure you understand his limitations before actually giving him a Brave Bow+.
  • Somewhat versatile.

Weaknesses:

  • There's only so much you can achieve as a quad-striker with 30 base atk.
  • Limited unit, which makes it hard to accumulate copies for late-game merging.
  • As infantry, GaiusS cannot receive class buffing which puts a hard cap on his stats.
    • 49 spd with Life and Death, Hone Spd and a +spd nature. Which is 44 with a Brave Bow+.
    • 46 atk with Life and Death, Hone Atk and a neutral atk nature.
    • (If you run a +atk nature instead, you'll get 49/41 atk/spd with both Hone Atk and Hone Spd.)
Team Options

GaiusS absolutely requires atk honing, and spd honing is somewhat needed in order to achieve reliable quad-strikes. Thus, GaiusS requires a buffer to function.

He also benefits greatly from dancers (just like blade tome mages - blade tome mages and quad-strike archers play very similarly).

Thanks to Def Ploy, GaiusS can also soften foes from a distance for his physically-inclined allies. This only works on non-Life-and-Death variants, though - GaiusS's res isn't high enough to reliably trigger Def Ploy with Life and Death.

Counters

Raven tome wielders are GaiusS's most feared predators. He also cannot take a hit physically, and units wielding Brave weapons in particular will tear him to pieces.

Generally speaking, countering GaiusS is pretty easy with a little position play - he's too frail for his own good.

From Series
Fire Emblem Heroes
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