List of Changes - June
Shanna: Bridal Novice - Tier 4
Saul: Minister of Love - Tier 2
Juno: Soaring Bride - Tier 4
Catria: Azure Wing Pair - Tier 1 (defense icon added)
Zelot: Avowed Groom - Tier 5
Ashera: Order Goddess - Tier 2
Valentian Palla: Kind Eldest Sister - Tier 2
Zeke: Past Unknown - Tier 2
Tatiana: Devoted Saint - Tier 3
Luthier: Odd Wayfarer - Tier 3
Fernand - Traitorous Knight - Tier 5
Nótt: Moon's Elegance - Tier 1 (defense icon added)
Karla: Sword Vassal - Tier 1
Chrom: Exalted Prince - Tier 2
Flora: Cold as Ice - Tier 2
Sonia: Inhuman Beauty - Tier 3
Nino: Pious Mage - Tier 3
Fallen Takumi: Empty Vessel - Tier 3
Gunter: Inveterate Soldier - Tier 5
Camilla: Bewitching Beauty - Tier 5
Fallen Takumi: Empty Vessel <TIER 3>
In terms of sheer Aether Raids utility, Skadi is arguably a downgrade to his unrefined counterpart. While the damage indeed increases over the span of 2 turns, most of the time the damage does not stick due to the presence of on-field healing in the form of the healing tower. Due to nature of Skadi and a stat distribution that could not be compared with more modern units, Fallen Takumi is mostly used as a support unit, which meant that the combat gains from the weapon can be treated as non-existent, as it is under rather rare circumstances for Fallen Takumi to join in the fight. Fallen Takumi is essentially stuck in a limbo zone due to the refinement, being neither that great for combat nor for support.
With that said, we do feel that Takumi’s Skadi is undervalued even before the refinement. We begrudgingly moved Takumi to Tier 3 despite the refinement not providing much value to begin with.
Sothe: Zephyr <TIER 3>
With competition from Broadleaf Fan combat-wise, Sothe’s Peshkatz essentially provides Sothe an alternative to pure damage. While the stats gained is nothing to write-home about, and the base effect did not change much, Sothe does not only inflict Pulse Smoke onto the foe, but also provides cooldown reduction to both himself and ally within 2 spaces. While the latter effect is pretty unique, the limited space constraint makes Sothe a little clunky to use, with little to no way for the ally to easily gain the cooldown reduction in Sothe’s player phase.
While Peshkatz does provide some potential, we do not think that it is significantly better for Sothe to wield it over Broadleaf Fan, hence Sothe remains in Tier 3.
Flora: Cold as Ice <TIER 2 (Defense)>
Hoarfrost Knife dropped the foe weapon condition, which meant that follow-ups are easier to achieve than before. This is very useful against foes that are magically bulky, such as Fallen Lyon and Micaiah. The ability to slow down specials also meant that the foes that rely on instant specials such as Brave Hector and Fallen Edelgard will not be able to do so. Coupled with the original +20 DEF on initiation, Flora is surprisingly durable and hard to take down. However, even though Flora is likely to survive the engagement, the foe usually is able to as well due to the tendency of tanks having higher physical defenses. Hence she is slated for Tier 2.
Karla: Sword Vassal <TIER 1>
Karla is simply a more offensive version of Mareeta, with significantly worse bulk in exchange of more ATK and SPD, with the latter being especially relevant as it continues to creep upwards as time goes on. Regardless, we do not feel that there is a significant difference between Mareeta, Karla and Ryoma, hence they slot into Tier 1.
Sharena: Spring Princess <TIER 3>
Sharena’s weapon is a mix-up of many other effects that we are familiar with; Chill ATK, Chill RES, Heron Wing and some stats. Granted, the stat increase is rather substantial, however as Sharena’s a green tome unit, there are bound to be comparisons to the generic tomes, namely Amity Blooms (lesser stats but on-hit healing) and Plegian Torch (more stats but requires more set-up). We do not think that Muninn’s Egg is significantly better than the weapons stated above, hence she stays put in Tier 3.
Bridal Weapons 2021
The Bridal weapons introduced this year while simple in nature, could be useful to make pretty much any generic axe or blue tome unit a support unit, with Love Candelabra and Love Bouquet being what is essentially Joint Drive ATK/RES and Joint Drive ATK/DEF respectively. While these weapons are not game-changing by any means, it forces the team to relook at some of the support units that are in the lower pecking order.
- Gunter: Inveterate Soldier <TIER 5>
- Camilla: Bewitching Beauty <TIER 5>
Sonia: Inhuman Beauty <TIER 3>
For the past 2 months, we re-examined the magic users and adjusted most of their tiers, however, Sonia slipped through the cracks perhaps due to the recency of her release. As her statline is remarkably similar to Sophia, we felt that these 2 should probably share a tier. After discussion, both Sophia and Sonia are in Tier 3.
Resplendent Chrom: Exalted Prince <TIER 2>
On a pure stat distribution standpoint, Resplendent Chrom is not as well optimized compared to his daughter. However, when we compared Chrom, Lucina and Masked Marth together, we felt that these 3 units should now share the same tier, hence Chrom is moved to Tier 2.
Generics are defined as units that do not have access to a unique weapon. As such, they will be tiered based on similar units from the current tier list placements. An explanation will be provided if required.
- Saul: Minister of Love <TIER 3>
- Juno: Soaring Bride <TIER 4>
- Zelot: Avowed Groom <TIER 5>
- Tatiana: Devoted Saint <TIER 3>
- Luthier: Odd Wayfarer <TIER 3>
- Fernand: Traitorous Knight <TIER 5>
Shanna: Bridal Novice <TIER 3 (Defense)>
Shanna’s tier position is largely based on Nino: Pale Flower. Since Nino’s refinement in February, not much has changed, with the only new skill being Far Trace which is arguably bad in defense as Canto controlled by AI usually moves backwards which is probably not what you want anyway.
The same story holds; the true damage scaling is good, but the lack of combat-based skills in Passive B largely sullied their application in Aether Raids, be it in both the offensive and defensive context. Hence she is slated for Tier 3 (Defense), just like Nino.
Catria: Azure Wing Pair <TIER 1 (Defense)>
The original Whitewing refines for Catria and Est were one of the more interesting refines, however they were mostly sidelined due to their inadequate firepower and limited reach due to the strict conditions. Bridal Catria seeks to solve one of the core issues by removing the movement type requirement of Triangle Attack on top of granting everyone within the 2 spaces the ability to Triangle Attack on top of Orders (from Ground Orders / Air Orders).
This change is largely welcomed, as the inadequate firepower is largely resolved as both ranged and melee units are capable of leveraging Triangle Attack. While the limited reach continues to be a problem due to the rather strict requirements of 2 allies nearby, the presence of Bridal Catria makes it difficult for the opponent to bait aggressively, which can be rather valuable.
Book V Midpoint
Valentian Palla: Kind Eldest Sister <TIER 2>
Valentian Palla shares many similarities to Ninja Laevatein, with a similar offensive stat distribution of high ATK and low SPD. While their defensive bulk is allocated rather differently, their playstyle is remarkably similar; get into Vantage range and sweep the opponent as there are still no competitive Passive B slots for both of these fliers.
Valentian Palla however, does have the extra advantage of Canto 2, which provides Palla with more flexible movement in the player phase. This can be combined relatively well with Galeforce by weaving in and out of the opponent’s threat range to allow Palla to be refreshed without endangering her allies. We decide that Tier 2 is a fair placement for Valentian Palla until the Passive B situation improves.
Zeke: Past Unknown <TIER 2 >
Zeke follows a similar mould as Duessel as he also gets a guaranteed follow-up attack albeit in a slightly different condition. Zeke trades the stats from Obsidian Lance for Distant Counter, which is definitely a worthwhile trade due to the amount of Passive B options that are available.
Furthermore, the release of Near Trace skill benefits Zeke greatly as Holy Gradivus can be used aggressively in the player phase for Galeforce plays, as Near Trace does provide Zeke an extra option to disengage the foe if it is required. We felt that due to the amount of strategic options available for Zeke with Far Trace, he will be placed in Tier 2.
Ashera: Order Goddess <TIER 2>
Ashera is the 2nd Astra Mythic with the additional unit slot in Aether Raids Offense, which meant that Reginn is the main competition for comparisons. Ashera is also the very first Mythic that provides RES boosts in Astra season, which is something very valuable due to the prevalence of magical threats in defense. In terms of support capabilities, Ashera’s Order Restraint provides the new [Null Panic] effect, which not only provides some assistance retaining buffs for her allies, but also extra damage when used in conjunction with Order’s Sentence.
However, we do feel that Ashera falls into the same mould as Dagr; a combat Mythic with a situational support. Null Panic is less universally helpful compared to the other intangibles provided by the more competitive Mythics (Plumeria as a refresher, Reginn with Canto), and her occasional nuke might or might not be helpful depending on the circumstances. There will be certain team compositions that could leverage Ashera’s Null Panic utility, however that is more of an exception rather than a norm.
Nott: Moon's Elegance <TIER 1 (Defense)>
The introduction of Nott in Dark Defense essentially cranked the difficulty dial from 1 to 11 out of 10. Pathfinder on defense is an absolute menace as it allows the defense to potentially overlap in ways that were not possible before, and Moon Twin Wing does allow Nott to be a rather competent frontline unit, which provides even more grief for the attacker as units behind Nott essentially have an extra movement.
In particular, Nott is especially threatening in a space control set-up where cavalry could easily reach from one end of the map to the other, and the defender can use multiple Nott to great effect, allowing even more overlapping shenanigans from the cavalry units. We simply could not place Nott anywhere else other than Tier 1.