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Tier Rating

Analysis by Lunare
Xander - Paragon Knight

Related Heroes

Hero Stats

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

Stat Variations

Level 1 Stat Variation
Middle 20 8 5 9 4

Level 40 Stat Variations
Middle 44 32 24 37 17

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.

This unit has no access to IVs.

Skill Sets

Nohrian Bulwark (Melee/Ranged Tank)

Siegfried A Close Def 3
Alternate: Fury 3
Reposition B Quick Riposte 3
Alternate: Quick Riposte 2
Alternate: Bonfire
C Threaten Def 3
Alternate: Spur Def 3
SP1945SClose Def 3

Show Explanation/Analysis
  • Weapon: Siegfried
  • Assist: Reposition / Swap
  • Special: Ignis / Bonfire
  • Passive A: Close Def / Distant Def / Fury / Armored Blow / Attack +3
  • Passive B: Quick Riposte / Vantage / Renewal / Guard
  • Passive C: Threaten Def / Flexible
  • Sacred Seal: Close Def / Distant Def / Attack +3 / Quick Riposte 

This skillset aims to maximize Xander's physical bulk, in order to guarantee favorable matchups against melee or ranged units: depending on his role within the team.

The build is centered around two skills: Close and Distant Def. The availability of these two skills as an A-slot skill and as a Sacred Seal allows Xander to push his defensive stats incredibly high. While defending, Xander boasts an effective 49 physical Defense and a decent 29 Resistance in either melee or range, or a respectable 43/23 total def/res if he chooses to run Close Def and Distant Def together. If they are too expensive for you, Fury can be run to improve his initial combat with its fantastic buff to his stats across the board. Attack+3 and Armored Blow should only be considered if there are absolutely no other options.

Quick Riposte in the B slot improves Xander's ability to deal damage while tanking since he cannot consistently double without it. If serious tanking is needed, Guard 3 can be run to prevent enemy Specials from activating, but that costs him Close Def or Distant Def as a Seal since QR is almost mandatory for him. Renewal can be chosen if Xander is expected to fight for long periods of time against low offense opponents. Vantage may prove to be useful if Xander gets low on health but can one-shot multiple enemy mages.

Bonfire or Ignis are boosted by the defensive bonuses granted by Close/Distant Def, making them the obvious choice for Special skills. Since Xander will likely be doubled, Ignis should be taken if you want to save his Special for the next combat. Bonfire is chosen if he needs the immediate damage to win his current matchup. However, against units like the green mages he counters, Ignis usually proves to be a better long-term investment for a battle.

His C slot should be tailored to fit his team. A Threaten skill is shown above, but he should be running Cavalry buffs in a cavalry team and whatever other support skills are useful for other teams.

Ideally, his Seal slot will give him additional bulkiness. Attack +3 is acceptable if the others aren't available. QR3 should be taken if another B skill was used in his B slot.

Swordbreaker Build (Anti-Sword focus)

Siegfried A Fury 3
Alternate: Attack +3
Reposition B Swordbreaker 3
Alternate: Swordbreaker 2
Alternate: Bonfire
C Drive Def 2
Alternate: Spur Def 3
SP1885SAttack +3

Show Explanation/Analysis
  • Weapon: Siegfried
  • Assist: Reposition / Swap
  • Special: Moonbow / Bonfire
  • Passive A: Fury / Close Def / Armored Blow / Attack +3
  • Passive B: Swordbreaker
  • Passive C: Drive Def / Spur Def 
  • Sacred Seal: Attack +3 / Quickened Pulse

Swordbreaker 3 is self-explanatory: it allows Xander to win any matchup against a sword-wielder at the cost of flexibility. The skill makes up for Xander's low Speed, but won't help any of his other matchups.

Fury is chosen since Xander shouldn't be seeing too much combat after eliminating an enemy Red Sword. Caution should be taken, however; if he fights something else before engaging an enemy sword, Fury may knock his health lower than the 50% needed to keep Swordbreaker active. Armored Blow 3 and Attack+3 are extreme budget options for him. Close Defense gives Xander much more staying power in his matchups against Swords as well as axes.

Moonbow is recommended for his build since it aims to quickly ORKO an enemy red sword; against units like Ayra or Zelgius, Xander will struggle to eliminate them without the power of a quickly charging Special. Bonfire can be taken instead if you don't need that quick kill and want to nuke something else after that first combat.

His C slot, as in his vantage build, serves to make Xander useful even after he is done fighting.

Attack+3 is self-explanatory; that 6 Attack can make or break his matchups against red swords. Alternatively, Quickened Pulse used in conjunction with Bonfire gives him a hefty burst of damage for his first Special trigger, but serves no purpose after the first trigger of his Special.

Vantage Build (Enemy Phase)

Siegfried A Fury 3
Alternate: Armored Blow 3
Reposition B Vantage 3
Alternate: Vantage 2
Bonfire C Drive Def 2
Alternate: Spur Def 3
SP1885SDistant Def 3

Show Explanation/Analysis
  • Weapon: Siegfried
  • Assist: Reposition / Swap
  • Special: Bonfire / Ignis
  • Passive A: Fury / Armored Blow / Attack+ 3
  • Passive B: Vantage
  • Passive C: Drive Def / Flexible
  • Sacred Seal: Quick Riposte / Distant Def / Attack +3

Just like Ryoma and Ike, Xander can make great use of Vantage thanks to his weapon's ability to retaliate against ranged attacks.

Fury 3 is more useful here than the Defense skills, as it provides a more reliable means of dropping below the 75% threshold while giving him resilience to being ORKO'd. He really wants to run Fury, but Armored Blow 3 and Attack+3 can be taken as last resorts if no other SI is available.

Vantage gives Xander a safety net against green mages, as he can OHKO them with Siegfried before they have a chance to double him. Notably, Xander will also be able to take out some mages that use Desperation builds. For example, if Linde has lost 10 HP from Ardent Sacrifice to reach the threshold for Desperation, Fury will give Xander just enough Attack to KO her unless she happens to be +Def.

Bonfire or Ignis are recommended for his Special. Bonfire is ideal if you want Xander to try for the ORKO on his first round of combat. Ignis can be taken if you are confident that he will ORKO without Bonfire and you want to save Ignis for the Vantage nuke.

As usual, his C Slot is flexible. It's recommended to run supporting skills since he needs to go to the backline if up against threats that don't fear his Vantage.

Quick Riposte serves as the ideal Seal for him; it lets Xander attack twice on his first combat, potentially ORKO'ing and enemy. Ideally, he will also be in Vantage range after the combat and potentially have Ignis charged for his Vantage attack.


With his divine blade Siegfried, Xander holds one of the most coveted weapon effects: Distant Counter. His legendary weapon allows him to counter ranged units without sacrificing his A slot, allowing him to run skills like Distant Def, Close Def, Fury or Steady Stance. 32 Attack is decent, but Xander's major selling point is his fantastic 37 Defense, which makes him a great defensive wall and grants consistently high damage through Bonfire or Ignis. Xander's low Speed means that he will never make follow-ups naturally however, and without his Specials Xander's damage output will be less than stellar. Nevertheless, he performs the role of a physical wall well, and Siegfried makes him a great answer to archers.

"The sad truth is that justice is an illusion. There is no light path that always leads to good, nor dark path that leads to evil."

Xander, Fire Emblem Fates



Xander carries a 16 mt Distant Counter weapon. Though his poor Resistance still hurts his match-ups against mages, Xander can effectively check most archers in the game so long as they aren't equipped with Sacae's Blessing or Swordbreaker.

Solid physical bulk

44 HP and 37 Defence grants Xander stellar physical bulk. Though this is somewhat hindered by his low Speed, Xander can soak physical hits well and retaliate from any range.

3 movement

As a cavalry unit, Xander can move 3 spaces instead of the regular two. This allows him to bypass enemy units attempting to shield ranged units, safely engage ranged infantry without having to bait a hit and make a quick retreat if he finds himself in an unfavorable matchup.


Poor Speed

Xander's Speed is pretty awful: he has no hope of avoiding follow-ups from the majority of blue mages without the help of a cavalry buff and even then he's cutting it close. This leaves him particularly vulnerable to mages, many of whom can ORKO Xander without fear if they're in Desperation range.

Awful Resistance

Mages such as Reinhardt, Linde, Spring Lucina and Olwen will all have no trouble dueling Xander, and most common green mages will be able to finish Xander off if he's taken some damage and isn't running Vantage, or ORKO him from full HP if they have Desperation. Popular blue dragons such as Ninian and Nowi can also take Xander down with ease.

No access to IVs

Xander desperately wishes he could shift some points from his useless Resistance stat into Attack or Defense, but this isn't a luxury he has available to him. This also hurts his competitiveness against other sword-wielding cavaliers including Brave Roy, Sigurd, and Eldigan.

Limited merges

As a Grand Hero Battle unit, Xander is released a finite number of times in periodic events. This makes him vastly inferior as a long-term investment compared to other sword-wielding cavaliers unless GHB units will be provided more easily in the future.

Team Options

Xander is looking for a teammate that can check his crippling weakness to magic users. In addition, his average Attack leaves him vulnerable to barely scratching blue units, and his low Speed may result in him being doubled and killed by units like Ayra/Mia. Xander, on the other hand, provides most teams with a great Green unit counter, since his DC defeats common green mages and his bulk lets him wall off any melee green unit. 

  • Green mages: Units such as Nino, Cecilia, and Julia absorb the blue magic that threatens Xander and can poke Lances down from a distance. Xander grants them protection against dangerous Green threats like Hector and Amelia.
  • Blue magical attackers: These allies grant Xander a reliable teammate who aids him in defeating reds that he struggles with. Tomes like Delthea and Reinhardt can quickly delete most red units while Nowi and F!Corrin counter the many swords users.
  • Complementary colored cavalry: In addition to supporting Xander with powerful class exclusive buffs such as Hone Cavalry, these teammates let him reliably fight other red units or absorb even more punishment from green units. Ideally, these units will be spread out across the weapon triangle to both support Xander and benefit from his state as a red unit. Characters like Camus, Brave Lyn, and Cecilia can be received without rolling.


Magical threats are the main units that Xander has to worry about. His high physical Defense means that he can take a hit from most lance wielders that aren't Effie with a Brave Lance+, but he can't be expected to tank consecutive magical hits. 

  • Dragons: These units can easily absorb his attacks and strike back hard with their magic-based damage. A!Tiki, Nowi, and F!Corrin laugh off any damage he deals while taking off half to 90% of his HP in a single blow. 
  • Blue mages: These will obliterate Xander. Delthea and Reinhardt get special mentions for easily outright OHKO'ing him. Other fast blue mages like Linde and Tailtiu easily double him and eat through his low Resistance.
  • Bulky blues and reds: Those with physical bulk can shrug off his attacks and deal crippling damage back. Brave Lucina, Effie, and Nephenee take little damage from him and beat him in a duel. Zelgius stands out in his own category for receiving little damage from Xander while KO'ing back with Black Luna.

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.
Armored Blow 2Grants Def+4 during combat if unit initiates the attack.
Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
Armored Blow 3Grants Def+6 during combat if unit initiates the attack.
Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
Unlocks at 5 ★
Spur Def 1Grants adjacent allies Def+2 during combat.
Inheritable by all units.
Spur Def 2Grants adjacent allies Def+3 during combat.
Inheritable by all units.
Unlocks at 4 ★
Spur Def 3Grants adjacent allies Def+4 during combat.
Inheritable by all units.
Unlocks at 5 ★

Other Info

Fire Emblem Fates

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