Non-Inheritance Tier List

This list is based on individual unit performance and versatility, without factoring in skill inheritance.

Inheritance Tier List
Non-Inheritance Tier List

Non-Inheritance Tier List
Table of Contents

Creating a tier list in a game as modular as Fire Emblem: Heroes is a challenging prospect. Since the system is more likely to match vs. teams with similar unit levels, merging and skill amounts, it means that those without the means to fully kit out their units can enjoy the base game, for the most part, without interruptions from highly optimized teams. Units were ranked on a number of criteria, but this this did not include base stat total, viability outside the arena, and how strong they are on arena defense teams.

We started by looking at each character individually, and asking, “In any given arena battle, how likely is it that this unit will be useful.” This is why Olivia, Ninian and Azura are S-rank: They are nearly guaranteed to be useful, no matter the enemy team composition. Next, we went though and applied secondary considerations. As the goal of Arena is to win seven games in a row, we ranked units with risky play styles or critical weaknesses less favorably.

Reliability was also a factor: A unit may be able to lure and KO Lucina and Hector, but can they do both within the same battle? Units with breaker skills, Triangle Adept or a Chroma weapon excel here despite their tendency to have fixed pools of favorable matchups.

Other considerations:

  • Does a unit require support to reach their maximum potential?
  • Do they rely on conditions for their skills such as HP thresholds?
  • Do they have good or bad matchups vs. the most common arena threats?
  • How well can they effectively support other units?
  • Finally, we went through and compared similar units with each other. Selecting units and asking, why is X rated higher than Y?

This tier list is the final result, and while there are some surprises, we feel it’s an accurate representation of unit viability within the arena. This list will be updated over time, as new characters are added and trends within the arena change.

Tier 1
Tier 1 Explanations
Hero Explanation

Azura's placement is largely thanks to her ability to Sing. However, she is a decent offensive threat, possessing high speed and decent attack. Her low defense is a weakness, but it's offset by her high speed, which ensures she will rarely be double attacked. Her Sapphire Lance+ makes her adept at slaying reds, and she can lure mages thanks to her decent resistance.

Ike is one of the premiere swordsmen in the game. His stat spread is excellent, giving him exceptional attack, defense and a passable speed. Ike's skills let him quickly charge the powerful Aether and effectively duel other swordsmen. Ragnell's in-built Distant Counter let him be a threat to ranged units and mages, despite his low resistance.

In the context of this tier list, Hector is considered the strongest unit in the entire game. Armads gives him access to Quick Riposte 2, when combined with Distant Counter, give him the ability to double attack any unit with his base attack of 52. Hector is the best duelist in the game, with his only counters being red or rarely-used units such as Cherche and Bartre. His presence can make or break whole games. Hector's low resistance is his downfall, making him weak to sources of magic damage. Many of them require defensive buffs to avoid being one-shot by him.

Kagero is one of the most dangerous units in the entire game. Her Poison Dagger gives her a bonus vs. infantry, giving her one of the best matchup spreads in the entire game. Compared to Klein, she has less general power, requiring buffs or a dancer to achieve some KO's. However, she is capable of supporting the team much more, by luring and KO'ing mages. She can be very difficult to stop, but lacks power vs. non-infantry.

Klein is the benchmark for ranged offense, possessing a great set of skills and stats. Brave Bow+ synergises perfectly with Death Blow, offsetting his low attack and giving him high guaranteed damage. Quick Riposte is also a great ability, although Klein is not a particularly good user of it. Compared to Kagero, Klein has more general offensive power, but cannot lure and KO mages. His placement reflects his power and reliability as an offensive threat.

Linde is one of the top offensive threats in the game, thanks to her blazing speed coupled with her attack of 49. Her effective speed of 39 means she can double attack and KO a large number of units in the game. Her stat spread leaves her with low defense, but this is largely negligible, as most distant counter users are red. Linde is one of the main meta-game shapers, and every team that attempts the Arena must have an answer for her.

Ninian's placement is largely thanks to her ability to Dance. She is more defensive than the other dancers, possessing a solid HP stat at the cost of lowered offenses. Her attack stat is low, but her ability to deal magic damage counteracts this weakness. She also has an additional weakness to dragon-slaying weapons, but these are somewhat rare. She is the weakest of the dancers, but still an incredible unit in her own right.

Ryoma is a solid swordsman, with an exceptional stat spread giving him high attack and speed with reasonable defense. Rajinto's built-in Distant Counter lets him threaten mages who would otherwise exploit his low resistance. Defiant Attack boosts his offenses to godlike levels, and Hone Speed is a very valuable buff (although he can't use it himself). Ryoma's placement reflects his versatile strength, being useful in nearly any match.

The main reason for Olivia's placement is her access to the Dance support skill, one of the most impactful in the entire game. Olivia also has a decent stat spread, giving her reasonable stats across the board. She comes with Hone Attack, which synergises excellently with her Dance ability. While she is weaker than most in terms of raw combat ability, she can still do the job of KO'ing green units. It can be hard to legitimize using other red units over her thanks to her incredible support abilities.