Table of Contents

Tier Rating

Analysis by CCZeroFire
Winter Chrom - Gifted Leader

5

Obtainable as a 5 only

Related Heroes

Hero Stats

Max Avg Total Stats at Lvl 40
174
HP 51
ATK 40
SPD 19
DEF 35
RES 29

Stat Variations

Level 1 Stat Variation
5★
HP ATK SPD DEF RES
Low 24 11 3 8 4
Middle 25 12 4 9 5
High 26 13 5 10 6

Level 40 Stat Variations
5★
HP ATK SPD DEF RES
Low 48 37 16 32 26
Middle 51 40 19 35 29
High 54 43 22 38 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

Boons

  • ATK: Winter Chrom enjoys a boon in Attack in order to further strengthen his monstrous base value, increasing his overall damage output with Bold Fighter, as well as increasing the number of physically-frail units that he is able to OHKO.

  • +DEF: A Defense boon can also be used to boost Winter Chrom's physical bulk, making him harder to take down and increasing the uptime of Quick Riposte, Vengeful Fighter, or Wary Fighter on builds that use them.

  • +RES: A boon in Resistance can also work, giving him some surprisingly high mixed defenses and easing fears he might have of mages.

Neutral

  • HP: Neutral HP keeps up both his physical and magical bulk. Its base value of 51 is also ginormous and makes him a great user of Panic Ploy. (Realistically, he is still a great user of it even with an HP bane.)

Banes

  • -SPD: Speed is without question Winter Chrom's best bane. It is already his dump stat, and unless you are worried about getting doubled by a neutral Speed Wrys, it offers little for him. Most of the time his B slot skill will make his Speed partially irrelevant anyway.

Skill Sets

Chrompus (Mixed Phase / Enemy Phase)

Recommended
Slaying Axe+ (+Atk)
Alternate: Sack o' Gifts+ (+Atk)
A Distant Counter
Alternate: Brazen Atk/Def 3
Pivot
Alternate: Swap
B Bold Fighter 3
Alternate: Vengeful Fighter 3
Bonfire
Alternate: Ignis
C Panic Ploy 3
Alternate: Armor March 3
SP1,470SQuick Riposte 3

Show Explanation/Analysis
  • Preferred IV: +ATK or +DEF or +RES / -SPD
  • Weapon: Slaying Axe+ (+Atk/Def/Res) / Sack o' Gifts+ (+Atk/Def/Res)
  • Assist: Pivot / Swap / Reposition
  • Special: Bonfire / Ignis / Aether
  • Passive A: Distant Counter / Brazen Atk/Def
  • Passive B: Bold Fighter / Vengeful Fighter
  • Passive C: Panic Ploy / Armor March / Armor passive
  • Sacred Seal: Quick Riposte / Close Def / Distant Def / Attack +3

Winter Chrom's gigantic 40 base Attack makes him an amazing Bold Fighter + Quick Riposte user who can fight on both phases. He will generally be aiming to maximize his Attack here with both an Attack boon and even an Attack refine. However if one wants a bulkier Winter Chrom, especially if one thinks they will be fighting more often on Enemy Phase, then boons and refines to his Defense or even his Resistance are both viable, letting him brush off many more hits. Generally, it will depend primarily on what his team needs. For example, if his team lacks many ranged units or anti-mages, then Resistance will serve him better.

Pivot is a popular assist for armored units, and Winter Chrom comes with it by default. Swap is an alternative that may help him get into better positions for Enemy Phase combat. Reposition is a good option if he is benefiting from Armor March.

Bonfire and Ignis are both powerful Special options, with Ignis being a little more powerful, though Bonfire a little more consistent. Slaying Axe will drop Bonfire's cooldown to 2, meaning that with Bold Fighter it will always activate on his second hit, even on an enemy that cannot counterattack. It will also always activate when he is attacked and is in Quick Riposte range. However, Ignis, with a cooldown of 3, will only activate on Player Phase when he is counterattacked, and only activate on Enemy Phase when he is doubled. This can be to one's advantage, however, as saving his Special for the following combat can let him instantly begin a second combat with an ideally fatal Special. If one uses Aether, then this style of play will almost always be the case, unless one is instead using Vengeful Fighter, a Slaying Axe, and gets doubled on Enemy Phase. If one prefers to keep Sack o' Gifts, then sticking to Bonfire will likely be preferred, as other Specials may charge too slowly.

Distant Counter is naturally Winter Chrom's preferred A skill, allowing him to counterattack any ranged unit that dares to face him. Powerful mages may chip him very hard, however, which is why investing so much in Attack is usually the smart option: the best way to ensure less damage is taken is to try and take down his opponent in one shot. For this reason, Glimmer is also an ok Special, although keep in mind it completely waste his B skill's acceleration property. Keeping Brazen Atk/Def is good as a cheap option. Though the skill won't activate until he takes some damage first, it pays off quite well once it does.

Bold Fighter allows Winter Chrom to double on Player Phase regardless of his Speed and accelerates his Special as he does so. Meanwhile, Vengeful Fighter instead does the same for Enemy Phase and may be preferred if one is unable to consistently give Winter Chrom the Quick Riposte Sacred Seal.

Winter Chrom has an insanely high HP pool, sitting at 56 after a weapon refine with a neutral IV. This makes Winter Chrom one of the best users of Panic Ploy in the game and makes him infinitely better at combating units that rely on buffs, especially Blade tome mages. Armor March or any other Armor buff such as Hone Armor may be more preferable if he is on an armor-centric team composition.

Quick Riposte is the preferred Sacred Seal and combined with Bold Fighter allows Winter Chrom to be a huge threat on both phases of the game. If Winter Chrom opts for Vengeful Fighter instead and/or if the Quick Riposte seal is unavailable, then Winter Chrom will prefer any seal that can boost his bulk (such as Close Def or Distant Def) or his offense (such as Attack +3).

Season's Beatings (Brave Axe)

Brave Axe+ A Death Blow 4
Alternate: Death Blow 3
Pivot B Bold Fighter 3
Alternate: Wary Fighter 3
Bonfire
Alternate: Ignis
C Armor March 3
Alternate: Threaten Def 3
SP1,920SQuickened Pulse

Show Explanation/Analysis
  • Preferred IV: +ATK / -SPD 
  • Weapon: Brave Axe+
  • Assist: Pivot / Swap
  • Special: Bonfire / Ignis
  • Passive A: Death Blow / Distant Counter
  • Passive B: Bold Fighter / Wary Fighter
  • Passive C: Armor March / Threaten Def
  • Sacred Seal: Quickened Pulse / Attack +3 / Armored Boots 

Tied for the highest Attack stat in the game, Winter Chrom can utilize a Brave Axe+ to become the jolly exalt that beats you down, beats you down, and never lets up. There are two paths to take this build—If Winter Chrom is able to acquire Bold Fighter, he can find himself dishing out devastating quad onslaughts that not many will be able to withstand. This converts him into a Player Phase juggernaut, but be careful that he will be not nearly as powerful on Enemy Phase. The second (and cheaper) option for Winter Chrom is to play safe and stick with Wary Fighter. This prevents enemies from doubling him and will make him much more confident in his ability to stick around, at the expense of raw power. Even so, Winter Chrom will still be striking twice due to Brave Axe, even though while enemies will remain unable to do so without a Brave weapon of their own or another skill that grants follow-ups, such as an opposing Bold Fighter.

For his Special, the Heavy Blade-esque effect offered by Bold Fighter allows Winter Chrom to utilize Quickened Pulse to recreate the classic one turn "QP-Moonbow" combo, but this time with the deadly power of Bonfire. If one feels like QP-Bonfire is not needed for the opening kill, switch to an Attack +3 seal and instead take Ignis to let him atomic nuke an enemy at the start of his second combat, regardless of who initiates it. The loss of burst on the first two hits isn't a huge loss, as if he doesn't score the kill, Bold Fighter will let him attack another two times anyway. With Wary Fighter, stick with Bonfire over Ignis to guarantee his Special launches within two combats. 

Building on his Player Phase, Winter Chrom takes Death Blow in his A slot to potentially add up to 24 damage on initiation with Bold Fighter. When using Wary Fighter, Death Blow is still great, but he can optionally continue to run Distant Counter. Though Distant Counter + Brave Axe is normally a pathetic combo due to the Brave Axe's terrible Enemy Phase, Winter Chrom will still have a hefty 51 Attack after an Attack boon with it. Additionally, Wary Fighter means he is not quite so scared of fast mages, and the ability to counter at a range will also give him more opportunity to charge his Special.

As this is a Player Phase-oriented build, here Winter Chrom especially enjoys the skill Armor March. This will more safely allow him to reach his targets before they reach him and is especially important when using Bold Fighter, as Winter Chrom should expect to get doubled on nearly every combat, with his only way of preventing his enemies from doing so is by killing them first. If unavailable or if an ally already possesses the skill, Threaten Defense works wonders with a Brave Axe and is essentially multiplied for each hit he makes, up to four times for a potential 20 bonus damage.

If not using Quickened Pulse, Winter Chrom that isn't using Armored March may also greatly appreciate the Armored Boot Sacred Seal. This also allows him to be a fairly great Player Phase unit even outside of armor teams. 

Our Gifts Give Me Strength! (Wary Fighter, Budget friendly)

Slaying Axe+ (+Atk)
Alternate: Sack o' Gifts+ (+Atk)
A Distant Counter
Alternate: Brazen Atk/Def 3
Pivot B Wary Fighter 3
Glimmer
Alternate: Bonfire
C Panic Ploy 3
Alternate: Threaten Def 3
SP1,350SDistant Def 3

Show Explanation/Analysis
  • Preferred IV: +ATK or +DEF / -SPD
  • Weapon: Slaying Axe+ (+Atk/Def/Res) / Sack o' Gifts+ (+Atk/Def/Res)
  • Assist: Pivot / Swap
  • Special: Glimmer / Bonfire / Ignis 
  • Passive A: Distant Counter / Brazen Atk/Def / Earth Boost
  • Passive B: Wary Fighter 
  • Passive C: Panic Ploy  / Threaten Def  / Threaten Atk  / Armor Passive
  • Sacred Seal: Distant Def / Close Def / Quickened Pulse  / Flexible

Like many an armored unit before him, Winter Chrom loves making up for his limited movement by luring in his enemies and blowing them up on the counter-attack. With his absurdly high base Attack, Winter Chrom can run the old Effie playstyle with a Distant Counter + Wary Fighter set that stops all enemies from doubling him and can often manage to take down physically frail units in a single blow.

Slaying Axe is the weapon of choice, lowing his Special count by one and giving him multiple great options to utilize his special. Refining it for Attack boosts his one-shot potential, Defense will boost his ability to tank, and a Resistance refine will improve his ability to take hits from mages and dragons such as Nowi. If running the budget version of this set, keep Sack o' Gifts, which is still a fabulous weapon that further improves his giant stat total on Enemy Phase.

Winter Chrom has many options for his Special depending on how much he chooses to accelerate it (with a Slaying Axe and/or Quickened Pulse seal) and when he wishes to activate it. Slaying Axe specifically works great in tandem with Glimmer (or Moonbow), as he will retaliate with it every time he is attacked. A Special that ends up with a 2 cooldown (Bonfire with Slaying Axe, Glimmer Sack o' Gifts, etc.) will be ready to activate at the start of Player Phase after taking a hit, while a 3 cooldown Special (Ignis with Slaying Axe, Bonfire with Sack o' Gifts) activates every other Enemy Phase. Quickened Pulse can be added into any of these situations to also allow him to use a more powerful Special in an earlier situation, but just once.

Distant Counter is the preferred option if one can afford it, as with Wary Fighter he can quite safely Enemy Phase Speed-invested mages. On a budget, one can keep his default Brazen Atk/Def. Alternatively, his giant base HP actually makes him a good user of Boost skills such as Earth Boost, which unlike Brazen Atk/Def will be ready on Winter Chrom's first combat.

With the fourth-highest HP stat in the game, sitting at 56 HP with a refined weapon, Winter Chrom is one of the best users of Panic Ploy, stopping units that try to beat him with buffs dead in their tracks. For the cheaper alternative, he can aim to ease long engagements vs enemy tanks by debuffing them with a Threaten skill, softening up their Defense with Threaten Def, or diminishing their ability to even output damage on him with Threaten Atk. When utilized on an armor-centric team, Winter Chrom instead opts to provide boosts with a skill such as Ward Armor.

The choice of Winter Chrom's Sacred Seal depends on which enemies he is most required to take down on his team. If using Distant Counter and he is the team's main mage counter, then Distant Def helps out most here. If not, Close Def will improve his melee matchups and best let him soak up hits for his teammates. Many other Seals work, like Quickened Pulse for a quicker Special, Attack +3 for boosting his OHKO potential, Threaten Atk for boosting his bulk, and many more.

Introduction

Winter Chrom is an armored unit that comes bursting into the fray with a monstrous 40 base Attack, tied only with Effie on release (and Fallen Robin (M) thereafter) for being the highest base Attack value in the entire game. The comparisons don't stop there, with his stat distribution mimicking hers at nearly every turn. He comes with a nearly non-existent Speed, a sky-high HP pool, and a fantastic overall bulk that he can use to brush off hits and stick around for seasons to come. His base Resistance is quite a bit higher than hers however, meaning he is not quite as afraid of magical damage as she is, and not as compelled to switch his weapon to one designed for combatting magical damage, like Effie often does with Berkut's Lance—thankfully so, as no axe counterpart of that weapon currently exists.

While Winter Chrom's lopsided stat spread can be a huge benefit to him, it can also be his Achilles' heel. With his Speed so abysmal, he can be very reliant on OHKOs or Wary Fighter in order to stay alive, as the majority of units in the game will be doubling him. While Winter Chrom is quite deadly with a Bold Fighter set and boasts some straight up outrageous damage potential, it comes as a double-edged sword, as he becomes very vulnerable to getting brought down by doubles, and is extremely reliant on a proper team composition for him perform at his best. While his overall bulk is surely great, compared to some of his armored brethren, his Defense is not quite at the impenetrable level of Arden or Gwendolyn, nor is his Resistance at the impervious level of Halloween Henry, or even his sister Winter Lissa.

Overall, Winter Chrom remains a fantastic unit and one of the best at what he does, with an incredible overall stat line that will keep foes on edge long after winter ends.

Strengths

Incredible Attack

Winter Chrom's Attack is tied for the highest in the entire game. When invested into or boosted by a Special, an extreme number of enemies may falter in a single blow.

Great mixed bulk

With an HP of 51, Defense of 35, and Resistance of 29, not a single one of Winter Chrom's defensive stats can be laughed at. With Distant Counter, it can easily become impossible for some teams to put any damage on him without taking some serious damage back or making some sacrifice in the process.

High scoring

Winter Chrom's BST puts him in the 170-174 BST scoring zone, which only a very limited pool of other armored units can reach or exceed. Also, several high-point skills like Distant Counter synergize perfectly with him, leading to high overall Arena scores.

Weaknesses

Pitiful Speed

His Speed sits at a meager 19, the game's fourth-lowest on his release. This means his B slot becomes incredibly limited to skills that that grant him doubles like Bold/Vengeful Fighter or that prevent enemy ones like Wary Fighter. Bread-and-butter B skills like Renewal, Vantage, or even expensive options like Wrath, are quite risky for him.

Limited movement

As an armored unit, Winter Chrom can only move just one space. Enemies that can prevent counterattacks can run circles around him, especially when teammates can protect them with movement Assists. His movement also means he is forced himself to use Assists like Pivot or Swap in order to boost his mobility rather than use Assists that more directly aid his team. Even if benefiting from Armor March, he must remain ever-conscious to stay in position and keep the buff active, limiting his movement options.

Steep competition

Especially for an armor-centric Team, he faces competition from the large amount of high-value green armored units such as Hector, Love Abounds Hector, Fallen Robin (M), Amelia, and Halloween Henry, many of which some of the game's strongest units. All of these units possess widely different stats and niches, which means choosing your green unit on your armored team likely becomes not a matter of who does the role best, but of what role your team requires. Because of this, Winter Chrom can find himself on the chopping block largely as a result of his color.

Team Options

In addition to armored allies that can provide him with powerful class-exclusive buffs, Winter Chrom enjoys teammates that can keep him in battle longer such as healers as well as those that play off both his Weapon Triangle advantage and disadvantage.

  • Armored Units: Winter Chrom naturally works best when on a synergistic team full of other powerful armored units like Zelgius, Halloween Jakob, Winter Tharja, Winter Robin, and Fallen Hardin. These units can help buff up his mixed defenses with skills like Ward Armor, and fix his mobility with Armor March.

  • Healers: His susceptibility to doubles mean he may be taking damage often, and if using a Wary Fighter build demands he keeps his health pool up. If given the opportunity, Winter Chrom much appreciates being on the same team as a staff user like Elise, Priscilla, Clarine, or Genny. Units that often run HP-transfer skills such as Lucina or Micaiah can also help greatly.

  • Blue Anti-Mages: Tough red mages will still deliver serious hurt to Winter Chrom, so a bulky blue ally like Nowi, Fjorm, Micaiah, or Delthea pairs nicely with him. Delthea in particular stands out, sporting great Resistance and the ability to further add to Winter Chrom's already gargantuan Attack with Dark Aura.

  • Frail Red Units: Winter Chrom himself can easily bail out low Defense red allies like Celica, Elincia, Katarina, and Eirika (SM) by taking care of the physical blues they may have no chance against.

Counters

Despite his massive Attack, Winter Chrom can have trouble putting a dent in physically bulky red units due to their weapon triangle advantage. In addition to this, units that can prevent counterattacks can also sometimes pose as a problem, as without Bold Fighter they can chip away at Winter Chrom's health without him being able Player Phase efficiently. Finally, Winter Chrom has an innate weakness to armor-effective weapons.

  • High-Defense Red Units: Durable red units like Arden, Zelgius, Adult Tiki, and Xander may easily withstand his attacks. Arden and Zelgius specifically are likely be carrying weapons or skills that grant them multiple attacks, which can even pierce a Wary Fighter build.

  • Units That Prevent Counterattacks: With many Winter Chrom sets aiming to make most of his attacks on Enemy Phase, units like Brave Lyn with her Sacae's Blessing, Firesweep Sword users like Soleil, Elincia, and Legendary Ryoma, and high Attack Dazzling Staff users like Elise and Genny can completely shut down such builds.

  • Anti-Armor Swords: Armorslayer-wielding units such as Tobin, Hana, and Caeda can potentially slay Winter Chrom in a single strike. To break through Winter Chrom's post-refine 91 physical bulk requires just 51 Attack from such a unit.

Weapon Skills

Weapons SP Rng. Mt.
Iron Axe
Inheritable by Axe users only.
50 1 6
Steel Axe
Inheritable by Axe users only.
100 1 8
Sack o' GiftsGrants Atk/Spd/Def/Res+2 during combat if foe initiates combat.
Inheritable by Axe users only.
200 1 10
Sack o' Gifts+Grants Atk/Spd/Def/Res+2 during combat if foe initiates combat.
Learns by default at 5 ★
Inheritable by Axe users only.
300 1 14
Weapon Evolution
Weapon Upgrades
Weapon Upgrades

Support Skills

Support Skills Rng. SP
PivotUnit moves to opposite side of adjacent ally.
Learns by default at 5 ★
1 150

Passive Skills

Passive Skills SP Slot
Brazen Atk/Def 1If unit's HP ≤ 80% at the start of combat, grants Atk/Def+3 during combat.
Inheritable by all units.
60
A
Brazen Atk/Def 2If unit's HP ≤ 80% at the start of combat, grants Atk/Def+5 during combat.
Inheritable by all units.
120
A
Brazen Atk/Def 3If unit's HP ≤ 80% at the start of combat, grants Atk/Def+7 during combat.
Unlocks at 5 ★
Inheritable by all units.
240
A
Wary Fighter 1Prevents follow up attack in combat from unit and foes if unit's HP ≥ 90%
Only inheritable by armor units.
60
B
Wary Fighter 2Prevents follow up attack in combat from unit and foes if unit's HP ≥ 70%
Only inheritable by armor units.
120
B
Wary Fighter 3Prevents follow up attack in combat from unit and foes if unit's HP ≥ 50%
Unlocks at 5 ★
Only inheritable by armor units.
240
B

Other Info

Origin
Fire Emblem: Awakening

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