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Tier Rating

Analysis by Maskilraid
Winter Fae - Holiday Dear

5

Obtainable as a 5 only

Related Heroes

Hero Stats

Max Avg Total Stats at Lvl 40
180
HP 45
ATK 35
SPD 26
DEF 33
RES 41

Stat Variations

Level 1 Stat Variation
5★
HP ATK SPD DEF RES
Low 16 8 3 8 7
Middle 17 9 4 9 8
High 18 10 5 10 9

Level 40 Stat Variations
5★
HP ATK SPD DEF RES
Low 42 32 22 30 37
Middle 45 35 26 33 41
High 48 38 29 36 44

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

Fae retains her general stat distribution compared to her infantry counterpart, albeit with much more stats to work with due to being a Gen 2 Melee Armored Trainee. The choice of IV heavily hinges on the role that Fae is playing in her team, pure Enemy Phase or Mixed Phase.

Boons

  • +ATK: Increasing her Attack is recommended if Fae is opting for a mixed phase setup. Fae has comparatively less Attack compared to many of her contemporaries, which means that Fae will value the extra boost in Attack more to give her more offensive presence in the Player Phase.

  • +DEF: For purely Enemy Phase builds, pursing her Defence might be a worthy endeavour as to allow her to soak up more physical damage.

Neutral

  • RES: Fae’s Resistance is naturally high, so having a boon provides somewhat of a diminishing return. However, as Fae is still predominantly an Enemy Phase unit that focuses on taking hits, it would be ideal for Fae to leave Resistance alone if possible. It is also worth noting that this is a superbane.

Banes

  • -SPD: Speed has always been a contentious stat for armors to use, as they have access to strong skills that outright ignore Speed checks (unless her opponent uses Null Follow-Up or related skills). As Fae also will be able to enjoy the Fighter Skill benefits, Speed is probably the most dispensable stat of the five. However, this is a superbane, which does hurt her arena scoring potential.

  • -HP: Fae needs to take hit, so having more HP naturally means the ability to take more damage. However,  HP has the least returns on investment as she is usually required to take multiple hits. This is probably the best bane for Fae that is not a superbane.

Skill Sets

Giant Fluffy Cockroach Nugget (Enemy Phase / Wall)

Recommended
Glittering Breath+ (+Def) A Distant Counter
Alternate: Steady Stance 4
Swap
Alternate: Pivot
B Special Fighter 3
Alternate: Vengeful Fighter 3
Aether
Alternate: Glacies
C Atk Smoke 3
Alternate: Armor March 3
SP2145SQuick Riposte 3

Show Explanation/Analysis
  • Preferred IV: +DEF or +ATK / -SPD
  • Weapon: Glittering Breath + (+Def) / Lightning Breath + (+Def)
  • Assist: Swap / Pivot
  • Special: Aether / Glacies / Moonbow / Noontime
  • Passive A: Distant Counter / Steady Stance 4
  • Passive B: Special Fighter 3 / Vengeful Fighter 3
  • Passive C: ATK Smoke 3 / Armor March 3
  • Sacred Seal: Quick Riposte / Fierce Stance 3 / ATK/DEF Bond 3

This build takes the main defining feature of Fae (her huge defensive stat distribution) and cranks it to the maximum. Other than users of dragon effective weapons, not many units can leave a huge dent on Fae unless they have their Special ready. Thus, lowering their Special charge rate is extremely helpful for the giant ball of stat.

As an armored unit, Fae has access to a very powerful Special denial skill, Special Fighter. Special Fighter is not only a skill that is able to deny Specials by lowering the opponent’s Special charge rate, but it also increases her own, akin to the Breath skills, on both phases. The quicker Special charge rate allows Fae to consider stronger Special options, most notably Aether to ensure that she remains in the health threshold of Special Fighter. We can further exploit Special Fighter by using Quick Riposte, which further improves her Enemy Phase.

Fae is suitable for the omnipotent Enemy Phase playstyle of parking her into the enemy’s line of fire. Hence, Distant Counter is the go-to A slot for players who wish to use Fae to counter most threats. For players who are less bothered about countering ranged threats, Fortress Def/Res or keeping her Def/Res bond are both great options to further improve her defensive capabilities. 

As the focus of this build is to be a giant ball of stat that refuses to yield, Fae will prefer to take less damage. Atk Smoke naturally fits Fae’s playstyle, as the opponent’s surrounding allies gets debuffed, which effectively increases her bulk. However, it is also plausible for Fae to just stick to Armor March in an Armor Emblem team and rely on Ward Armor stacking instead to exploit Glittering Breath.

For Special skills, Aether, in particular, is a good choice as it grants Fae sustain in addition to dealing damage. Honorable mentions go to 2 cooldown Specials, such as Moonbow and Noontime, as she could activate it in every single attack during the Enemy Phase.

Due to the rarity of Special Fighter, sticking to Vengeful Fighter is also a decent option. For Vengeful Fighter builds, due to it accelerating Specials on a per Fae's attack basis rather than a per action basis, 4 turn specials such as Glacies are preferred. One could then obtain the ability to reduce opponent’s special charge using Steady Stance 4. Quick Riposte will no longer be necessary and could be swapped out for other seal options depending on preference.

Winter Chicken Run (Mixed Phase)

Lightning Breath+ (+Def) A Steady Breath
Alternate: Death Blow 4
Swap
Alternate: Pivot
B Bold Fighter 3
Aether
Alternate: Moonbow
C Armor March 3
SP1935SQuick Riposte 3

Show Explanation/Analysis
  • Preferred IV: +ATK / -SPD
  • Weapon: Lightning Breath + (+Def)
  • Assist: Swap / Pivot
  • Special: Aether / Moonbow
  • Passive A: Steady Breath / Warding Breath / Fierce Breath / Death Blow 4
  • Passive B: Bold Fighter
  • Passive C: Armor March
  • Sacred Seal: Quick Riposte

This is a tried and tested build that is used by many armored units with access to innate Distant Counter. Fae using a Dragonstone means that she will be able to inherit Lightning Breath to leverage this cookie-cutter build.

For IVs, the ideal set is +ATK/-SPD. Going for the extra Attack is crucial for Fae to boost her offensive presence in the Player Phase. Due to having 2 skills that largely ignore Speed checks (Bold Fighter and Quick Riposte), taking a hit in Speed for more offensive power is a worthwhile trade.

The crux of this build is in Passive B and Sacred Seals; Bold Fighter gives Fae the offensive power in the Player Phase with the guaranteed double, while Quick Riposte does the same in the Enemy Phase provided that she is above the health threshold. Bold Fighter also provides Special acceleration for Fae, allowing her to consider higher cooldown Specials in the Player Phase.

Steady Breath has a slight edge over Warding Breath due to Fae’s slight inclination towards Resistance, which means that going for Steady Breath allows Fae to be a better mixed wall in the Enemy Phase. Another potential candidate that is worth considering is Death Blow, which increases Fae’s offensive power during  Player Phase, which Fae might actually prefer due to her lower Attack compared to her competition like Fallen Robin (M).

The choice of Specials would depend on the focus of the build. For a more Enemy hase-focused build using Steady Breath or Warding Breath, Aether would be the go-to option as she will be able to activate it in a single exchange during the Enemy Phase. For more PlayerPhase-oriented builds with Death Blow, one will be looking at a 3 turn cooldown special to leverage on the cooldown acceleration of Bold Fighter. However, due to Lightning Breath’s cooldown penalty , this pretty much locks her into Moonbow if she is looking into activating it every Player Phase.

Lastly, Armor March is very important to have for this build, as she values the extra mobility that could be used in the Player Phase. Fae does come with this skill by default, which makes running this skill an easy decision.

Introduction

Winter Fae, our beloved best chicken, finally graced upon us as the second armored green dragon in Fire Emblem Heroes. Similar to many of the younger manaketes, Fae shares the same high base stat total as her armored young dragon contemporaries.

In terms of stat distribution, Fae chose to be a giant fluffball of defensive stat. 45 HP, 33 Def and 41 Res makes her one of the harder units to take out if the player do not bring any effective damage dealers. Furthermore, as dragons also hits for resistance, even her merely adequate 35 ATK could pack quite a punch.

The good news for Fae is that being armored grants her special access to many powerful skills, such as the Breath passives, and more notably the Fighter skills. However, being armored also means that she faces stiff competition to 2 units; namely Fallen Robin (M) and Surtr. Both of these units have considerably higher attack, and Fallen Robin (M) is the exact same class as her while sacrificing defensive capabilities.

Fae’s archetype is very similar to Gwendolyn and Sheena; overwhelming the opponent with defensive stat and withering the opponent down. This is further supported by her boosted base stat total. However, being both armored and a dragon meant that her walling capabilities could be cut short due to effective weapons. This could be a potential problem due to the armor meta especially in higher arena thresholds.

Strengths

Monstrous Defensive Stats

At 45 HP, 33 Def and 41 Res, it is obvious that Fae placed a lot of resources in keeping herself alive. She will take most standard hits without much problem. The high Resistance also enables her to run Ploy Skills without much issue.

Access to Armor Skills

As an armored hero, Winter Fae can wield the highly desired armor skills: Bold Fighter, Vengeful Fighter, and Special Fighter. These skills puts Fae in an excellent spot to do anything that she wants, be it the standard Mixed Phase, or solely focusing on Enemy Phase.

Dragonstone

Being a Dragonstone user meant that Fae is dealing magic damage on melee units, and adaptive damage on ranged units. This means that Fae will hit hard in most circumstances, as melee units usually have lower Resistance than Defense.

Weaknesses

Double Weaknesses

Being an armored unit meant that she is a prime target by armor-effective weapons. Furthermore, she is also have an additional weakness as a dragon. In particular, being a green dragon especially hurts as reds have the most accessible dragon killing weapons such as Falchion and Breath of Fog.

Mediocre Speed

Fae’s speed is at an unfortunate 26. While she might be able to pass some Speed checks against the slowest of units, in most cases this rarely comes into play due to the armor exclusive skills.

Team Options

Winter Fae generally needs other armors and a synergistic team composition to enhance her strengths and cover her main weakness; common dragon effective weapons.

  • Blue Units: It is imperative for Fae to tag along with a Blue unit to take out any dragon-killing threats. It is ideal that these units do not share a dragon weakness. This includes Reinhardt, Ophelia, Est or any unit that can defeat Swords and Tiki(s).
  • Armored Physical Units: Units who can apply heavy physical damage to supplement Fae's magical damage are helpful- particularly if they can take care of red threats stated above, such as Brave Hector, Fallen Hardin and Winter Ephraim.
  • Combat Buffers: When leveraging Glittering Breath, it is also rather synergistic for players to stack more Wards and Drives to Fae. Units that could provide such buffs are armored units in general with Ward Armor, Corrin (M) and Marth. Certain weapons such as the New Year 2018 weapons can also do the same thing.
  • Healers: Fae is likely to be in a lot of combat due to her being predominantly defensive. Having a healer to top off Fae’s health is a bonus. This includes healers such as Elise and Genny, and Eir with her Sparkling Boost.

Counters

It might be difficult for even standard red units to take Fae down due to her rather extraordinary bulk. However, she has a rather crippling double weakness against anti-armor and anti-dragon weapons.

  • Falchion and Breath of Fog: Users of these 2 weapons in particular are problematic for Fae, as they are not only very common weapons that are used, they also provide triangle advantage over Fae, which can easily undermine Fae’s defensive capabilities. List include Chrom, Marth, Lucina and Tiki(s).
  • Anti-Armor: If Fae does not choose Svalinn Shield, anti-armor weapon users will put a ding in Fae’s fluffy feathers. While units such as Bartre have their own armor-effective Weapons, many units in higher arena scoring teams will bring inheritable anti-armor weapons such as Armorsmasher.
  • Null Follow Up: Fae’s mediocre Speed meant that units with Null Follow Up could potentially reduce Fae’s offensive presence in the Enemy Phase. This could potentially includes units such as Eir and Hríd due their respective weapons Lyfjaberg and Gjöll containing this effect.

Weapon Skills

Weapons SP Rng. Mt.
Fire Breath
Only inheritable by Dragon units.
50 1 6
Fire Breath+
Only inheritable by Dragon units.
100 1 8
Glittering BreathDuring combat, boosts unit's Def/Res by number of allies within 2 spaces × 2. (Maximum bonus of +6 to each stat.) If foe's Range = 2, calculates damage using the lower of foe's Def or Res.
Only inheritable by Dragon units.
200 1 11
Glittering Breath+During combat, boosts unit's Def/Res by number of allies within 2 spaces x 2. (Maximum bonus of +6 to each stat.) If foe's Range = 2, calculates damage using the lower of foe's Def or Res.
Learns by default at 5 ★
Only inheritable by Dragon units.
300 1 14
Weapon Evolution
Weapon Upgrades
Weapon Upgrades

Special Skills

Special Skills SP Turns
New MoonResolve combat as if foe suffered Def/Res-30%
Learns by default at 5 ★
Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
100 3
LunaResolve combat as if foe suffered Def/Res-50%
Unlocks at 5 ★
Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
200 3

Passive Skills

Passive Skills SP Slot
Def/Res Bond 1If unit is adjacent to an ally, grants Def/Res+3 during combat.
Inheritable by all units.
60
A
Def/Res Bond 2If unit is adjacent to an ally, grants Def/Res+4 during combat.
Inheritable by all units.
120
A
Def/Res Bond 3If unit is adjacent to an ally, grants Def/Res+5 during combat.
Inheritable by all units.
Unlocks at 5 ★
240
A
Vengeful Fighter 1If unit's HP ≥ 90% and foe initiates combat, unit makes a guaranteed follow-up attack. Grants Special cooldown charge +1 per attack. (Does not stack.)
Only inheritable by armor units.
60
B
Vengeful Fighter 2If unit's HP ≥ 70% and foe initiates combat, unit makes a guaranteed follow-up attack. Grants Special cooldown charge +1 per attack. (Does not stack.)
Only inheritable by armor units.
120
B
Vengeful Fighter 3If unit's HP ≥ 50% and foe initiates combat, unit makes a guaranteed follow-up attack. Grants special cooldown charge 1+ per attack. (Does not stack.)
Only inheritable by armor units.
Unlocks at 5 ★
240
B
Armor March 1If unit has 100% HP and an adjacent armored ally at start of turn, unit and any such allies can move 1 extra space. (That turn only; does not stack.)
Only inheritable by armor units.
60
C
Armor March 2If unit has ≥ 50% HP and an adjacent armored ally at start of turn, unit and any such allies can move 1 extra space. (That turn only; does not stack.)
Only inheritable by armor units.
120
C
Armor March 3If unit has an adjacent armored ally at the start of turn, unit and any such allies can move 1 extra space. (That turn only, does not stack.)
Only inheritable by armor units.
Unlocks at 5 ★
240
C

Other Info

Origin
Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade

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