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Table of Contents

Tier Rating

Analysis by UmbraCorvus
Xander - Paragon Knight

Related Heroes

Hero Stats

Max Avg Total Stats at Lvl 40
154
HP 44
ATK 32
SPD 24
DEF 37
RES 17

Stat Variations

Level 1 Stat Variation
5★
4★
3★
HP ATK SPD DEF RES
Low
Middle 20 8 5 9 4
High

Level 40 Stat Variations
5★
4★
3★
HP ATK SPD DEF RES
Low
Middle 44 32 24 37 17
High

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

This unit has no access to IVs.

Skill Sets

Don't IgNohr Me! (Defensive Tank)

Recommended
Siegfried
Alternate: Slaying Edge+ (+Def)
A Steady Stance (3 or 4)
Alternate: Warding Stance (3 or 4)
Reposition
Alternate: Rally Def/Res
B Lull Atk/Def 3
Alternate: Atk/Spd Ruse 3
Bonfire
Alternate: Ignis
C Atk Smoke 3
Alternate: Hone Cavalry
SP1245SQuick Riposte 3
Alternate: Distant Def 3

Show Explanation/Analysis

Weapon: Siegfried / Slaying Edge+ (+Def) / Safeguard+ (+Def)

  • Siegfried is taken to give Xander access to Distant Counter. He may struggle against mages and staves with his lower end Resistance, but he should be able to shrug off most bows and daggers with his high Defense.

  • Slaying Edge is an alternative choice that removes Xander’s Distant Counter in exchange for enhancing his performance as a close range physical tank. Slaying Edge ensures that Specials can be activated more frequently.

  • Safeguard is another alternative for the pure close range Xander that provides a large boost of 7 Defense during Enemy Phase at the cost of not helping Xander’s Special uptime like Slaying Edge does.

Assist: Reposition / Rally Def/Res / Player Preference

  • Reposition is a generally useful movement Assist that can be used to help Xander retreat, or help his allies move in with ease.

  • A Rally such as Rally Def/Res is to be taken if running a Ruse skill on Xander, as the Ruse requires either Xander to be rallied or for Xander himself to rally an ally.

Special: Bonfire / Ignis / Moonbow

  • Bonfire is one of Xander’s best specials as it scales off his high Defense stat and can activate within a reasonable timeframe.

  • Ignis activates less frequently than Bonfire, but hits much harder to compensate. It is best used with Slaying Edge for more frequency.

  • Moonbow is even more consistent than Ignis with Slaying Edge equipped, as every hit Xander takes in Enemy Phase will allow him to immediately retaliate with Moonbow.

Passive A: Steady Stance (3 or 4) / Warding Stance (3 or 4) / Distant Def (3 or 4) / Close Def

  • Steady Stance 4 provides Xander with a strong 8 Defense boost as well as a Guard effect during Enemy Phase. If Steady Stance 4 is unable to be obtained, then Steady Stance 3 can function well enough on budget at the cost of not having the Guard effect and possessing only a 6 Defense boost compared to 8.

  • Warding Stance can be a useful tool to try and salvage Xander’s poor Resistance somewhat, increasing his effectiveness at tanking hits from mages. It is best paired with a Sacred Seal that also grants a Resistance boost.

  • Distant Def 4 can nullify ranged buffs, allowing for much easier ranged tanking than before. Distant Def 3 does not possess the ability to nullify buffs but it is easier to obtain by comparison.

  • Close Def is an alternative option if Xander is expected to handle close range tanking more than ranged tanking.

Passive B: Lull Atk/Def / Atk/Spd Ruse / Quick Riposte / Guard

  • Lull Atk/Def provides immense utility for Xander and is one of the very few skills that cavalry units have access to. Not only will Xander inflict -3 Attack/Defense to his opponent during combat, but his opponent’s displayed buffs to their Attack and Defense will be ignored.

  • Atk/Spd Ruse, when used correctly, can inflict -5 Attack/Speed to whoever Xander is able to affect, as well as hit them with a Guard debuff. These debuffs help to make Xander much safer during combat, though it does force him to run a Rally Assist skill just to make it more consistently available.

  • Quick Riposte is very mandatory to Xander’s performance as a slow tank, as he is not fast enough to secure his own natural follow-up attacks. If Quick Riposte is not being used in the Sacred Seal, it should be used in the B Passive.

  • Guard makes a fine B Passive option for those that cannot have access to Steady Stance 4 or Warding Stance 4, as it can provide Xander with an immediate Guard effect.

Passive C: Atk Smoke / Hone Cavalry / Player Preference

  • Atk Smoke helps Xander’s to survive if he is to take on more than one opponent during the Enemy Phase. The -7 Attack debuff will greatly enhance Xander’s survivability.

  • A class-exclusive buff such as Hone Cavalry is a skill that will benefit Xander’s allies if he is on a team with other cavalry units.

Sacred Seal: Quick Riposte / Distant Def / Close Def / Steady Stance / Warding Stance

  • If Quick Riposte is not being run in the B Passive, Quick Riposte finds its home within the Sacred Seal slot as Xander requires additional aid to secure follow-up attacks.

  • Distant Def and Close Def are solid Sacred Seals to run that can enhance Xander’s survivability when taking on a specific attack range.

  • Steady Stance and Warding Stance are options for the Sacred Seal slot that work against both ranged and melee opponents compared to Distant Def and Close Def.

Oh Nohr You Didn't (Vantage Build)

Siegfried A Fierce Stance 3
Alternate: Brazen Atk/Def 3
Reposition B Vantage 3
Glimmer
Alternate: Bonfire
C Def Smoke 3
SP1485SFierce Stance 3
Alternate: Brazen Atk/Def 3

Show Explanation/Analysis

Weapon: Siegfried

  • Siegfried is a crucial part of this build, as it ensures that Xander is able to activate Vantage against even ranged opponents that try to attack him.

Assist: Reposition / Player Preference

Special: Glimmer / Bonfire

  • Glimmer can vary in effectiveness depending on the matchup that Xander finds himself in. Either it helps Xander get a OHKO easily thanks to the high attack potential of this set, or it barely helps at all as the opponent has too much Defense to make Glimmer worth it. Glimmer does have a 2 charge cooldown however, making it quite frequent in terms of activations.

  • Bonfire is somewhat less frequent than Glimmer in terms of uptime, but it is much more useful damage wise as it is dependent on Xander’s own high Defense stat.

Passive A: Fierce Stance / Brazen Atk/Def

  • Fierce Stance grants Xander with 6 Attack during the Enemy Phase. Vantage builds are dependent on delivering a powerful strike during Enemy Phase so that a OHKO can potentially be claimed, so Fierce Stance proves to be a very consistent way of bolstering Xander’s Attack.

  • Brazen Atk/Def requires that Xander be reduced to 80% HP or lower in order for the skill to activate, but it does grant Xander a large boost of 7 Attack/Defense during combat. Brazen Atk/Def will always be active once Xander has set up Vantage.

Passive B: Vantage

  • Vantage is the key component to this build, as Xander will be able to retaliate before his opponent has a chance to hit him once he has dropped to 75% HP or lower. Be on the lookout for opponents that possess Hardy Bearing, whether it be through the Sacred Seal or a weapon such as Dawn Suzu. These types of effects completely bypass skills such as Vantage, making them a direct counter to this build.

Passive C: Def Smoke / Player Preference

  • Def Smoke is exceptionally beneficial to Xander if he finds himself having to activate Vantage on more than one opponent. If additional enemies get hit by the -7 Defense debuff, Xander gets an effective 7 more Attack to work with that can greatly enhance what he can OHKO with Vantage.

Sacred Seal: Fierce Stance / Brazen Atk/Def

  • The Fierce Stance Sacred Seal when paired with Fierce Stance in the A Passive will grant Xander a consistently large 12 Attack during the Enemy Phase. It can also be used with Brazen Atk/Def A Passive in order to make up for the fact that Brazen Atk/Def will not be ready before Xander is at 80% HP or less.

  • The Brazen Atk/Def Seal will be exceptionally strong when Xander has lost the HP needed to activate it, but do be wary of the dangers of running both this Sacred Seal and the Brazen Atk/Def A Passive together. Xander’s performance before reaching 80% HP or less will be drastically weakened.

Nohr More Funds (Budget Arena Assault)

Siegfried A Triangle Adept 3
Alternate: Fury 3
Reposition B Swordbreaker 3
Alternate: Axebreaker 3
Moonbow
Alternate: Bonfire
C Hone Cavalry
Alternate: Spur Def 3
SP1425SAttack +3

Show Explanation/Analysis

Weapon: Siegfried

  • Siegfried is Xander’s default weapon. This makes it the cheapest weapon for Xander to use as no inheritance is required.

Assist: Reposition / Player Preference

Special: Moonbow / Bonfire

  • Moonbow is a special that activates very frequently and is necessary if Xander wants to push the most out of Swordbreaker.

  • Bonfire uses Xander’s high Defense stat for a burst of damage, but it does not activate in one round of combat if Xander is running a breaker skill.

Passive A: Triangle Adept / Fury

  • Triangle Adept is a very accessible A Passive that seeks to enhance Xander’s matchups against green units. Even if Xander is not able to secure a kill against these opponents, he should at the very least be able to wall them off with ease.

  • Fury is another accessible A Passive that gives Xander an all around stat boost. The chip damage from Fury can eventually prove to be an issue, but if Xander does not partake in multiple rounds of combat this should not be an issue.

Passive B: Swordbreaker / Axebreaker / G Tomebreaker / Quick Riposte

  • Swordbreaker gives Xander some coverage in terms of what opponents he can try to take on. Moonbow, when run with Swordbreaker, will activate in one round of combat. This can help to somewhat bypass Xander’s middling Attack stat.

  • Axebreaker or G Tomebreaker can be used if the player requires Xander to specifically hard counter these types of units. They are less flexible than Swordbreaker, but will push matchups against these types of units heavily in Xander’s favor when combined with Triangle Adept.

  • Quick Riposte does not prevent specific opponents from landing follow-up attacks against Xander, but it does ensure that he can follow-up attack on more than just one weapon type.

Passive C: Hone Cavalry / Spur Def  / Player Preference

  • Hone Cavalry is a simple C Passive that allows Xander to buff his fellow cavalry allies that he may be deployed alongside.

  • In the event that a C Passive is not to be inherited, Xander’s default Spur Def is fine to keep on this build.

Sacred Seal: Attack +3 / Player Preference

  • Due to the fact that the Quick Riposte Sacred Seal is likely taken by another unit during a player’s Arena Assault run, a simple Attack +3 Sacred Seal can be fine enough to squeeze a bit more damage out of Xander during his instances of combat.

Introduction

Xander is a very polarizing hero to talk about, as he finds himself being one of the accessible means of securing a Distant Counter weapon user without the use of summoning. With the addition of the Heroes' Path quests, Xander is even easier to obtain as players just need to get through the simple tasks asked of them in order to obtain both a four star and five star Xander for themselves. This would be special niche however is ruined by the fact that while other cavalry sword units may require Distant Counter in their A Passive in order to function in ways similar to Xander, their strong unique weapons allow them to surpass Xander in his role. Combine this with Xander being locked out of taking an Asset or Flaw, on top of requiring an investment of Grails in order to earn merges, the Crown Prince of Nohr suffers more problems than he’d like to.

Xander’s statline heavily favors his physical bulk. He sports a very high 37 Defense, meaning he can easily shrug off physical blows especially when his Defense is pushed even higher. With his HP stat of 44, Xander reaches a fantastic 81 physical bulk with just his base stats taken into account. The rest of his statline suffers as an unfortunate result, as his 32 Attack is only slightly above average and his worst stats cap out at 24 Speed and 17 Resistance. His poor Speed, while useful for helping him charge Specials faster due to being hit more often, is more often than not his downfall as many units will take advantage of easily landing follow-up attacks on Xander and making his strong bulk less impressive than it seems. The final nail in the coffin is Xander’s lackluster Resistance stat meaning that he is ill suited to dealing with magical damage. Even green mages will find themselves doing fairly high damage against Xander if Xander is not prepared to deal with them.

Xander’s free status as a Grand Hero Battle unit as well as his innate Distant Counter may have been a selling point before, but now that every player has access to a free Legendary Ike, Xander’s limelight as the free accessible Distant Counter sword unit ended a long time ago. Xander can still prove his worth to an extent as a physical tank that can handle both melee and ranged attackers, but it is best that Xander tries to avoid magical damage almost entirely unless specifically built to salvage his Resistance. Consider building Nohr’s Crown Prince if you desire a Distant Counter cavalry sword unit and do not have the means to build more commonly run units in the role such as Hríd or the easier to merge Ares. It may not hurt to have a spare Distant Counter sword in case of a rainy day, but only diehard Xander fans might consider giving him heavy investment now.

Strengths

Siegfried

Xander wields Siegfried, a Distant Counter weapon. His low end Resistance does hurt Siegfried’s usage against magical damage, but Siegfried allows Xander to be able to check most physical ranged units with relative ease so long as he is able to counter attack them. 

Strong Physical Bulk

Xander sports 44 HP and 37 Defense, which gives him a strong presence as a physical wall. His Speed can hamper this role somewhat, but by stacking enough Defense he may not have to fear this as much as his low Speed can be beneficial in retaliating with a powerful Special.

Three Movement

Xander is able to move three spaces as opposed to the usual two. While trenches may slow Xander down, for the most part he has a strong positioning game. He is able to come in quickly and efficiently to shield allies, or make a retreat if things are not looking favorable for him.

Extremely Accessible

Xander is not only obtainable via completing his Grand Hero Battle which is part of the daily Grand Hero Battle rotation maps, but an additional four star copy and even a five star copy can be earned via the Heroes' Path quests. This ensures that every player should have easy access to a Xander of their own. While Xander cannot be summoned, additional copies can be earned via the usage of Grails. If players were around for all of Xander’s original runs, it is not too far fetched to claim that one could have a relatively high merged Xander if they wanted to.

Weaknesses

Poor Speed

Xander has little to no chance of avoiding follow-up attacks due to his Speed stat of 24. A Hone Cavalry buff applied on him can push his Speed to a middling 30, but even this is not enough to avoid follow-up attacks from faster heroes. Xander’s Speed makes him heavily reliant on running Quick Riposte just to ensure he can follow-up attack, and this can be shut down by skills such as Null Follow-Up or weapons such as Creator Sword.

Awful Resistance

Xander’s extremely low Resistance of 17 can be easily exploited by the likes of strong blue mages such as Reinhardt, Ophelia, Ishtar, Tailtiu, and Micaiah. Even physically frail green mages that were able to preemptively set up Desperation will find themselves able to defeat Xander as his Speed ensures that he will more often than not be hit twice in one round of combat.

Cavalry Skill Limitations

Cavalry units are locked out of different options that could have greatly benefitted Xander. For example, Xander as a physically defensive wall could have appreciated Steady Breath as he could use more powerful Specials consistently, which could aid his matchups. Cavalry may seem to be getting new Skill options lately such as Lulls and Ruses and this may continue in the future, but as of right now Xander’s limited Skill options hurt his performance compared to Distant Counter weapon carriers of other movement types.

Accessibility Comes at Costs

Xander may be an extremely accessible Distant Counter sword carrier, but this has its fair share of problems. For starters, Xander is locked out of picking IVs which could have worked to either enhance his Defense or even attempt to salvage his poor Resistance somewhat. As for Xander’s niche as a Distant Counter cavalry sword, while he may not require players to inherit Distant Counter, units such as Sword Reinhardt and Ares are able to outclass Xander in the role once given access to the Distant Counter A Passive. Even Hríd naturally has Distant Counter in his base kit. Finally, Xander is not the only accessible Distant Counter sword unit, as Legendary Ike is given to players for free as a result of the A Hero Rises event. These three costs greatly hampers Xander’s value as a unit, even for Free to Play users.

Weapon Skills

Weapons SP Rng. Mt.
Iron Sword
Only Inheritable by Sword Units.
50 1 6
Steel Sword
Learns by default at 3 ★
Only Inheritable by Sword Units.
100 1 8
Silver Sword
Learns by default at 4 ★
Unlocks at 3 ★
Only Inheritable by Sword Units.
200 1 11
SiegfriedEnables counterattack regardless of distance if this unit is attacked.
Unlocks at 5 ★
Non-Inheritable skill.
400 1 16
Weapon Evolution
Weapon Upgrades
Weapon Upgrades

Special Skills

Special Skills SP Turns
Rising LightBefore combat this unit initiates, foes in an area near target take damage equal to (unit's Atk minus foe's Def or Res).
Learns by default at 4 ★
Unlocks at 3 ★
Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
150 4
Blazing LightBefore combat this unit initiates, foes in an area near target take damage equal to 1.5 x (unit's Atk minus foe's Def or Res).
Unlocks at 4 ★
Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
300 4

Passive Skills

Passive Skills SP Slot
Armored Blow 1Grants Def+2 during combat if unit initiates the attack.
Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
50
A
Armored Blow 2Grants Def+4 during combat if unit initiates the attack.
Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
100
A
Armored Blow 3Grants Def+6 during combat if unit initiates the attack.
Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
Unlocks at 5 ★
200
A
Spur Def 1Grants adjacent allies Def+2 during combat.
Inheritable by all units.
50
C
Spur Def 2Grants adjacent allies Def+3 during combat.
Inheritable by all units.
Unlocks at 4 ★
100
C
Spur Def 3Grants adjacent allies Def+4 during combat.
Inheritable by all units.
Unlocks at 5 ★
200
C

Other Info

Origin
Fire Emblem Fates

Banners Featured In

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Official Hero Artwork