- Micaiah: Radiant Queen - Tier 2
- Scion Lewyn: Wind-Song Scion - Tier 3
- Scion Nanna: Mystletainn Scion - Tier 3
- Scion Leif: Destined Scions - Tier 1
- Scion Larcei: Scion of Astra - Tier 1
- Scion Julia: Scion of the Saint - Tier 5
- Múspell: Flame God - Tier 1
- Yuri: Ashen Valiant - Tier 1
- Hapi: Drawn-Out Sigh - Tier 2
- Constance : Fallen Noble - Tier 2 (Defense icon added)
- Aelfric: Custodian Monk - Tier 4
- Balthus: King of Grappling - Tier 4
- Ótr: Kingsbrother - Tier 2 (Defense icon added)
- Halloween Robin (M): Fall Reincarnation - Tier 1
- Halloween Rhea: Witch of Creation - Tier 2
- Halloween Kurthnaga: Autumn Goldoan - Tier 4
- Halloween Sothis: Bound-Spirit Duo - Tier 2
- Halloween Sophia: Cobweb Prophet - Tier 5
- Ophelia: Dramatic Heroine - Tier 1 (Defense icon removed)
- Brave Alm: Imperial Ascent - Tier 1
- Brave Eliwood: Marquess of Pherae - Tier 1 (Defense icon added)
- Young Innes: Frelian Moonlight - Tier 1 (Defense icon added)
- Halloween Ilyana: Treat Harvester - Tier 1
- Julius: Scion of Darkness - Tier 2
- Brave Camilla: Light of Nohr - Tier 2
- Brave Micaiah: Queen of Dawn - Tier 2
- Legendary Lyn: Lady of the Wind - Tier 2 (Defense icon removed)
- Legendary Ephraim: Legendary Lord - Tier 2
- Legendary Hector: Marquess of Ostia - Tier 2
- Lysithea: Child Prodigy - Tier 2
- Nemesis: King of Liberation - Tier 3
- Soleil: Adorable Adorer - Tier 3
- Bridal Tharja: Obsessive Bride - Tier 3
- Erinys: Earnest Knight - Tier 3
- Ephraim: Restoration Lord - Tier 3
- Bridal Shanna: Bridal Novice - Tier 3
- Seteth: Seiros Adherent - Tier 3
- Kana (M): Dragon Spawn - Tier 3
- Summer Helbindi: Seaside Scourge - Tier 4
- Hinata: Wild Samurai - Tier 4
- Spring Bartre: Earsome Warrior - Tier 4
- Tobin: The Clueless One - Tier 4
- New Year Hríd: Resolute Prince - Tier 4
- Oboro: Fierce Fighter - Tier 4
- Melady: Crimson Rider - Tier 4
- Travant: King of Thracia - Tier 4
- Altena: Luminous Rider - Tier 4
- Galle: Azure Rider - Tier 4
- Spring Narcian: Vernal General - Tier 4
- Subaki: Perfect Expert - Tier 4
- Thea: Stormy Flier - Tier 4
- Heath: Wandering Knight - Tier 4
- Gerome: Masked Rider - Tier 4
- Groom Hinata: Samurai Groom - Tier 4
- Byleth (M): Tested Professor - Tier 2
- Byleth (F): Proven Professor - Tier 2
- Karla: Sword Vassal - Tier 2
- Seiros: Saint of Legend - Tier 2
- Triandra: Nightmare - Tier 2
- Bramimond: The Enigma - Tier 2
- Mareeta: Sword of Stars - Tier 2
- Young Eirika: Twin Refulgence - Tier 2
- Navarre: Scarlet Sword - Tier 3
- Fallen Mareeta: The Blade's Pawn - Tier 3
- Catherine: Thunder Knight - Tier 3
- Altina: Dawn's Trueblade - Tier 3
- Kana (F): Dragon Princess - Tier 3
- Fallen Celica: Imprisoned Soul - Tier 3
- Young Marth: Legacied Hero - Tier 3
- Kiria: Cool Façade - Tier 3
- Tailtiu: Thunder Noble - Tier 3
- Julian: Tender Thief - Tier 3
- New Year Anna: Wealth-Wisher - Tier 4
- Lukas: Sharp Soldier - Tier 4
- Summer Joshua: Tropical Gambler - Tier 4
- Brigid: Orgahil Pirate - Tier 4
- New Year Keaton: Resolved Wolfskin - Tier 5
We would like to take the opportunity to make some drastic adjustments that we felt were necessary to be more reflective of the current state of the game. More specifically, there is a general shift upwards in terms of many of the previously unfavored archetypes, and the explanations for these archetypes’ promotion (or demotion in some cases) will be explained in this article.
Melee Specialist Tanks
We first considered the role of melee physical tanks, where the focus is less on tanking magical damage due to the relative sparsity of magic damage in the melee range. As mentioned in the previous article, there is now an option to run a Far Save unit to make up for the shortcomings of physical tanks. Hence, in this update, there is an overall appreciation towards tanks with high DEF. As Armored units are already generally assessed due to Near Save, we need to probably do the same for other movement types as well.
We decided that Infantry and Fliers will be the focus of this category of assessments, as these 2 movement types have competitive B slot options that could be used to provide a strong combat edge (Null Follow-Up on Infantries, Wyvern Flight / Guard Bearing on Fliers). The best option that cavalry tanks could obtain is Lulls, which the team felt would be insufficient to perform the role. We then zoned in on match-up against the absolute big-bad in Aether Raids Defense for the melee side; Legendary Sigurd. This unfortunately made most green melee tanks a tough sell outside of some exceptions such as Gerome.
Tier 4: Summer Helbindi, Hinata, Spring Bartre, Tobin, New Year Hrid, Lukas, Oboro, Melady, Travant, Altena, Galle, Spring Narcian, Subaki, Thea, Heath, Gerome, Groom Hinata
Tier 3: Seteth, Nemesis
Godsword or Dogsword?
One unit archetype that had been consistently on a downward trend is what is commonly known as the “godswords”, where these units have high ATK and SPD and rely on damage reduction skills such as Spurn and Close Call along with healing to allow them to sustain themselves in combat. However, the increased prominence of Fatal Smoke (more specifically Legendary Sigurd and Valentine’s Lif) meant that these units lost some of their charms in terms of healing.
Furthermore, the arrival of saves does bring up one compelling argument; why bother with damage reduction if you are taking 0 damage anyway? Even if we ignore the existence of Duo Lif (again) and Young Innes, the reality is that these units are still taking damage when there exists a strategy that could almost trivialize the amount of damage taken altogether. Hence, we felt that it might be time to re-assess the viability of the sword (predominantly) units that were previously favored in the tier list.
We re-assessed the melee infantry units based on their ability to shift into a different strategy; either as a Galeforce unit or as a melee specialist tank. Units that are not affected by these adjustments are those which could adjust accordingly. We also took the opportunity to adjust other infantry melee units of the same archetype as well.
- Tier 2: Kris (M), Mareeta, Young Eirika, Kris (F), Karla, Byleth (M), Byleth (F)
- Tier 3: Fallen Celica, Young Marth
In general, while the amount of stats for inheritable weapons did increase, the number of extra effects tagged onto personal weapons had substantially increased as well. We already demoted units such as Norne due to inadequacies of Spendthrift Bow in the modern metagame, and we believe that we should also adjust the lower-tiered units to reflect this trend as well. Kana also falls victim to this trend as her weapon simply lacks the modern punch and is merely a giant stat stick.
- Tier 3: Kana (F)
- Tier 4: Summer Joshua, Pirate Brigid, New Year Anna
As units on defense are now increasingly bulky, there is more incentive to run units solely for damage reasons. Units that have commendable damage output are adjusted upwards, with the most promising strategies at the top. In particular, units that are capable of looping area-of-effect specials and magic-based are the most desirable due to their capabilities in dismantling most of the Far Save units.
- Tier 1: Ophelia
- Tier 2: Resplendent Sonya
- Tier 3: Erinys, Bridal Shanna
Evaluating the more common Far Save units, Lysithea’s and Kiria’s match-up is remarkably poor despite their strong firepower. Whereas, due to the prominence of Flayn being used as a support unit, Young Innes has a lot of potential in doing a huge dent onto the opponent. As good physical nukes are few and far between, Young Innes stands heads and shoulders over the competition.
- Tier 1 (Defense): Young Innes
- Tier 2 (Defense): Lysithea
- Tier 3 (Defense): Kiria
Halloween Ilyana shares a lot of similarities with Valentine’s Henriette, with a similar emphasis to RES and ATK. Halloween Ilyana also has an arguably better matchup over units such a Reinhardt and Duo Lif. As powerful green nukes are still relatively sparse right now, we believe that Halloween Ilyana should move to the same tier as Valentine’s Henriette.
- Tier 1: Halloween Ilyana
As Soleil got a refine which is predominantly used for Galeforce strategies, we also made some adjustments who are of a similar archetype that are falling behind compared to their competition. Catherine shares a lot of similarities with Soleil, while Fallen Mareeta probably wants some additional stats on her weapon for her to keep up with the modern competition.
- Tier 3: Catherine, Fallen Mareeta
Lastly, we considered the Resplendent Heroes that were not assessed before. Raven, Sothe, Kagero, Shanna, and Amelia’s placement did not change as we felt that the boost in stats will not make a significant difference in performance. Whereas for Tailtiu, the extra stats does land her well to at the very least comparable to modern Blue Tomes.
- Tier 3: Resplendent Tailtiu
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.
- Scion Lewyn: Wind-Song Scion <TIER 3>
- Scion Nanna: Mystletainn Scion <TIER 3>
- Scion Julia: Scion of the Saint <TIER 5>
- Aelfric: Custodian Monk <TIER 4>
- Balthus: King of Grappling <TIER 4>
- Halloween Kurthnaga: Autumn Goldoan <TIER 4>
- Halloween Sophia: Cobweb Prophet <TIER 5>
Brave Alm: Imperial Ascent <TIER 1 (Defense)>
In Choose Your Legend 2 refinery, they essentially made Brave Hector essentially not an armor. This year, the theme of changing movement types strikes again, this time with Brave Alm essentially being a Cavalry unit. Combined with Scendscale’s true damage, it is relatively straightforward that the best role for Alm is precisely in Aether Raids Defense, as there are also parallels that could be drawn with Ingrid, as both have the capability of stopping counterattacks while doing true damage (Ingrid can obtain Flow Refresh to stop follow-up negations).
As Alm is an Infantry, he does have additional options that are not available for cavaliers. While the B skill advantage is not as obvious (he already has offensive Null Follow-Up on his Dracofalchion), Brave Alm can be pre-charged by Infantry Pulse and Time’s Pulse. This could potentially increase Alm’s damage ceiling. Lastly, while the refined effect only works against physical targets, Dracofalchion being a falchion does mean that even dragons would have to be prudent against Alm.
Three things work relatively well against Alm; enemy-phase tomes and staves, and Stall Ploy. Due to the sparsity of these counters for Alm right now, we could not give Alm any lower than Tier 1 on defense.
Brave Eliwood: Marquess of Pherae <TIER 1 (Defense)>
Eliwood is simply Brave Alm but defensive; SPD-based damage reduction, with the same good ol’ offensive Null Follow-Up condition with a bucket worth of stats. This can then be combined with Windsweep using the same logic as Brave Alm; shut down the dragons with effective damage, and shut down the physicals using Windsweep. Another difference is Eliwood being a blue unit, which does mean that the color coverage is a little different, with Brave Eliwood being weaker against green melee tanks such as Valentine’s Gustav and Brave Ike.
Regardless, we believe that Eliwood is also deserving of being Tier 1 on defense.
Brave Micaiah: Queen of Dawn <TIER 2>
We mentioned time and time again; ranged fliers need a lot of help. Outdone by cavalry units in the trace skills, outdone by Infantry and armors in terms of enemy phase skills, allergy to bows not having a seal slot. While Brave Micaiah’s weapon contains everything and the kitchen sink, the only issue that it resolves is potentially the opportunity cost of the seal due to running Iote’s Shield due to the sheer stats that Light of Dawn gives, and even then the arguments were shaky.
Other than being a giant stat stick in a less than desirable movement type and weapon combination, the only thing the weapon has is the guaranteed follow-up effect. Similarities could be drawn between magic tanks such as Fallen Julia and Fallen Male Morgan, except with significantly inferior skill access outside of Trace. As Brave Micaiah does have a significant player phase, Trace is not necessarily the worst skill on her. As such, she is slated for Tier 2 despite her deeply flawed combination of being a ranged and flying unit.
Brave Camilla: Light of Nohr <TIER 2>
The Safety Fence already proved to be rather strong for units with Gravity effects, with the main beneficiary being Legendary Claude due to his Fallen Star. Camilla’s refine essentially allows her to catch up to Legendary Claude in terms of firepower, with more ATK and SPD and a debuff to boot. This is however without some of the extra luxuries from Legendary Claude; Null Follow-Up on his weapon, and the 80% damage reduction on first combat which provides some protection in case Claude was attacked.
As such, we felt that Brave Camilla will do rather well as an Aether Raids offense unit, and we slotted her just below Legendary Claude in Tier 2.
Legendary Lyn: Lady of the Wind <TIER 2 (Defense)>
15% SPD as true damage, support nullification similar to Impenetrable Dark, blocks counterattacks against melee foes, Infantry means Null Follow-Up access and ability to pre-charge. All these are excellent traits to have as an Aether Raids Defense unit. The main issue is that it’s on Legendary Lyn, which while her stats, in general, are a cause of concern due to her subpar base ATK which hinders her damage output. When combined with the remix on Laws of Sacae, Legendary Lyn became much more viable in the defensive context even if her ability to take down opponents is fairly lacking. As such she is slated for Tier 2 defense.
Legendary Ephraim: Legendary Lord <TIER 2>
Ephraim: Restoration Lord <TIER 3>
Legendary Ephraim not only received a refine for Flame Siegmund; he also received a remix in Solar Brace, which allows Ephraim to be an excellent Galeforce unit. This is due to the cooldown acceleration on the weapon’s refined effect along with Solar’s Brace Guard nullification. One minor complaint is that it would be difficult to combine Legendary Ephraim’s Galeforce capabilities along with Wings of Mercy due to the healing post-combat, which is probably more of a hindrance rather than a benefit for all-in Galeforce strategies.
As for the original Ephraim, the lack of Guard nullification and having 1 lesser movement by default does somewhat reduce Ephraim’s viability as a Galeforce unit. While Ephraim does gain infantry skill access, Flame Siegmund’s effectiveness is slightly hampered as it requires Ephraim to not have adjacent units. We considered Ephraim’s potential utility as a melee tank with Far Save support, and we decided that Tier 3 is the most appropriate.
Legendary Hector: Marquess of Ostia <TIER 2>
The remix on Ostia’s Pulse meant that other than Legendary Hector could not only be used as Galeforce support, Legendary Hector can now be a serviceable Galeforce unit himself due to the cooldown reduction on himself. Furthermore, Ostia’s Pulse is not restricted to Turn 1, which meant that it’s more similar to Time’s Pulse rather than Infantry Pulse.
The usefulness of this property however is likely to be questionable due to the all-in nature of most Galeforce strategies. Compared to Velouria however, Hector’s ability to Galeforce is significantly worst due to lack of access to further cooldown reduction, and cooldown acceleration options are dodgy at best (Heavy Blade risks accidentally one-hit knockouts, too slow for Flashing Blade). Hence, we decided that Tier 2 is the most appropriate.
Kana (M): Dragon Spawn <TIER 3>
As we mentioned in the earlier segments, stats by themselves are no longer sufficient due to weapons being increasingly overloaded. The only extra effect on top of the sheer quantity of stats is the after-combat healing, which is questionable at best due to the existence of Fatal Smoke. However, as Kana is still an Infantry, his skill access is still adequate to work relatively well either as a general enemy phase tank or a melee specialist tank when paired up with Far Save.
Owain: Chosen One <TIER 3>
As eluded in the previous section, it is no longer sufficient for a melee infantry unit to be speedy due to a drop-off in performance as a singular tank. This meant that assessing Owain’s position in the meta is predominantly going to focus on his ability to pivot into either a melee specialist or a Galeforce sweeper. While Owain’s Missiletainn does help in boosting the firepower for the former role, the concern with a melee specialist is usually not taking down the foe, but rather the ability to survive multiple combats.
In that regard, Owain is more likely to struggle due to his inadequacies in DEF along with Missiletainn not granting any defensive boosts. This does mean that Owain is likely to be highly dependent on Spurn and taking foes out in a single hit in order to thrive. Unfortunately, that meant that the consistency of such a playstyle does come into question.
Laevatein: Searing Steel <TIER 3>
Stat-wise, Laevatein gained +10 ATK and DEF, which slates her to be a pretty adequate melee specialist. It is also pretty handy by the fact that most of the meta melee units tend to not run Lull skills or Dull Close, which does mean that Laevatein’s main method of taking foes out in a single hit is likely to be uninhibited.
However, Laevatein’s problems are somewhat the opposite compared to Owain’s. The end results though are the same; both Owain and Laevatein would be less reliable in surviving multiple melee combat. Due to the inadequacies in SPD, she is unable to leverage Spurn and other SPD-based damage reduction skills to their fullest extent. The lack of SPD also meant that the utility of Null Follow-Up is likely to be more limited, as it is not guaranteed that Laevatein could pass the SPD check even against some of the melee nukes. In other words, Laevatein is likely to be a large beat stick that is unlikely to last long in combat.
Soleil: Adorable Adorer <TIER 3>
Soleil’s Shine shifts her role into a Galeforce sweeper role, which is not the worst role to be in for the grand scheme of things. With an unconditional on-hit special acceleration and access to Time’s Pulse, Soleil should be at the very least able to charge up Galeforce successfully if she lands 2 hits on the foe.
The only competitive advantage Soleil has over other more competitive Galeforce units such as Navarre, Byleth and Brave Celica is the ability to negate counterattacks, which is not very useful for most Galeforce-focused team compositions. With that said, she is sufficiently competent as a Galeforce unit, as her acceleration does not require a stat check, which could be useful in terms of consistency.
Bridal Tharja: Obsessive Bride <TIER 3>
Combat-wise, Bridal Tharja’s effect is rather honest with merely a stat boost and nothing else, which pales in comparison with other tome units with more offensive effects such as the likes of built-in guaranteed follow-up or true damage. The main focus of her refined weapon is probably the special refine, which inflicts debuff so long as the foe is within 3 spaces of Bridal Tharja. This is similar to Warrior Princess on Wings of Fate Hinoka, except rather than debuffing ATK SPD and DEF, it debuffs SPD and RES.
While this could be used in a similar manner as Hinoka (which is in a save ball), the stats Bridal Tharja could provide is significantly worst. While the RES debuff could be useful for teams that use mages and dragons, it’s the lack of ATK debuff that is the kicker, as it could be argued that ATK debuffs are probably the most useful as it works for both physical and magical attacks. The additional boosts from SPD are also not helpful enough as most armors do not have the SPD stat to leverage on the stat boosts.
Julius: Scion of Darkness <TIER 2>
For a unit that could be obtained in the grail shop, Julius got a rather overloaded refine. It essentially inflicts a -11 (!) penalty on foe’s ATK and RES, alongside a Sabotage ATK/RES and RES-based damage reduction, in which the debuffs from the weapon could also be used for the damage reduction calculations.
This meant that Julius could take almost no damage magically, and his physical woes could be somewhat padded out by the damage reduction. In essence, this is very similar to Micaiah with Thani with her damage reduction against ranged foes as well, which meant that leveraging this refine to the maximum potential uses the same team composition; pair Julius with a Near Save. Similar to Micaiah and many of the defensively frail mages, units such as Young Innes could be a huge headache for him. That does not take away the potency of this refine for Julius. We felt that Loptous is enough for him to leapfrog many of his red tome contemporaries.
Scions of Twelve
Scion Leif: Destined Scions <TIER 1>
Scion Leif with Njolrun’s Zeal is reminiscent of his Legendary self. In fact, by simply switching from his Bow of Twelve to a good ol’ Brave Bow, he is as good as identical outside of the enemy-phase double attacks which rarely comes to play in the very first place. While Bow of Twelve is worth a mention as it shares Seliph’s Tyrfing effect by granting Scion Leif a pseudo-Miracle effect, offensively it might not be as helpful as Leif would probably need to rely on one-shotting the opponent due to a myriad of effects that could screw him over. This includes damage reduction such as those from Brave Edelgard’s Black Eagle Rule, or the very balanced weapon called Maltet.
With that said, we do not think that the difference in performance between Legendary Leif and Scion Leif makes up a tier of difference, hence they share the same tier.
Scion Larcei: Scion of Astra <TIER 1>
Scion Larcei’s Whirling Grace shares a lot of similarities to Byleth’s Creator Sword; exchanging foe’s acceleration nullification for stats. While in the normal context stats by themselves is not good enough, it is rather potent when the weapon is already this overloaded, to begin with. Furthermore, as melee tanks nowadays tend to prefer damage specials due to the presence of Fatal Smoke, having access to a much stronger damage special in the form of Regnal Astra is a valuable asset that cannot be ignored.
Based on initial inspection, despite Larcei being a green unit which is usually a great cause of concern, we felt that she has the capabilities to defy the triangle even against the toughest match-ups such as Legendary Sigurd.
Abyss and Múspell
Yuri: Ashen Valiant <TIER 1>
Yuri’s main competitive advantage is that with his weapon, Honorable Blade, he is an Infantry while having what is essentially Cavalry mobility. One could say that he gets the best of both worlds; the unparalleled mobility of cavalry alongside Infantry skill access such as Special Spiral / Null Follow Up and pre-charges from skills such as Infantry Pulse. Foul Play also provides Yuri with some level of utility as he can drag an ally out of potentially dangerous situations. Honorable Blade also grants Yuri Canto 2, which when paired up with his high mobility makes him a prime unit for hit and run strategies.
Of course, compared to modern units, simply having only ATK and SPD boosts might be a little vanilla. Yuri would probably have the same problems as Ninja Lyn where he will potentially struggle against high DEF units. We however believe that Yuri brings sufficiently new things to the table to warrant a Tier 1 placement.
Constance: Fallen Noble <TIER 2 (Defense)>
Constance is extremely similar to Summer Byleth when comparing both of their weapons and movement type. Essentially, Constance trades cooldown reduction for 1 ATK, 4 SPD, and the turn-based extra effects which do have a tangible impact on Constance’s firepower. While Constance is probably more likely to hit harder, Summer Byleth is also a Duo Unit which enables the usage of Duo’s Hindrance, which is pretty much a staple for more competitive teams on defense.
We felt that there is not much of a difference between Constance and Summer Byleth to justify these 2 units to be in different tiers, hence Constance is slated for Tier 2 for now. We might adjust the placements in the future should we felt that both Byleth and Constance fell out of favor in the defensive meta.
Hapi: Drawn Out Sigh <TIER 2>
Similar to Constance, Hapi also has a unit that shares many of her similar traits; Legendary Lilina. Both units have the ability to charge specials on turn 1. While both units are capable of cycling through their specials every turn, they do it rather differently. Lilina relies on her personal special Gifted Magic which is a 2 charge special that activates pre-combat and recharges the special in-combat. For Hapi, her recharge special is more similar to Time’s Pulse, as it recharges at the start of every turn, unlike Lilina which only recharges on Turn 1.
However, it could not be denied that Lilina’s firepower is significantly stronger than Hapi’s due to Gifted Magic, which is an area-of-effect special which ignores in-combat stats and the weapon triangle. We felt that the difference in firepower is significant enough for Hapi to be a tier lower than Lilina.
Múspell: Flame God <TIER 1>
Muspell is the antithesis of Nifl, but he works in a very similar way albeit with totally different effects. Rather than inflicting Flash and granting allies damage reduction, Muspell inflicts Deep Wounds and grant allies true damage that is dependent on the allies ATK and foe’s RES. The nature of the damage calculation meant that this is likely to be more beneficial for physical units, as the ally would be able to hedge their damage output should the foe have lopsided defensive spreads, in which most of the time foes have a higher DEF than RES.
As the saying goes; the best defense is a good offense. Muspell does provide the opportunity for some of the units to be more likely to land a kill in a single strike, which denies the foe’s opportunities for a follow-up. Unlike cooldown acceleration effects such as Brave Lucina and Summer Hilda which could potentially be denied by skills such as Guard, Muspell’s Domain of Flame is significantly harder to stop, with the only counterplay being damage reduction which can be easily brute-forced by stacking even more ATK. As such, we felt that Muspell is deserving of Tier 1 in the offensive context.
Halloween Robin (M): Fall Reincarnation <TIER 1>
A colorless unit is usually not at the mercy of the color triangle so long as the foe’s weapon does not say otherwise. With there only be a literal single melee unit with that effect (it’s Nagi by the way), should Robin go with his base kit playstyle as a Near Save Unit, Robin should not have to deal with the color triangle, which is definitely more of a boon as he is less likely to be affected by the ebbs and flows in defensive meta unit.
Furthermore, as a dragon that hits for RES on top of having a cooldown reduction weapon, this meant that Robin should not struggle on the offensive front, and it is likely that Robin could shut down the opponent in a single strike. This can then either be coupled by either Dragon’s Wall for even more defensive solidity, or the new Dragon’s Wrath for a higher likelihood of one-hit takedowns. As such, we believe he competes well with most of the meta Near Save units, such as Arden and Spring Idunn.
Halloween Rhea: Witch of Creation <TIER 2>
Rhea shares many similarities with Seiros in terms of mechanics, as both units have a weapon that grants and denies follow-up. The main difference is that Halloween Rhea could activate both follow-up effects in a single phase, be it enemy or player phase. This also makes Rhea a relatively rare specimen of a dragon with a relatively strong player phase.
While Rhea being green is relatively unfortunate due to the prevalence of some very strong melee nukes such as most notably Legendary Sigurd, Rhea being a dragon does help out somewhat due to hitting for RES while most other melee nukes are hitting for DEF. Coupled with infantry skill access such as most notably Null Follow Up, this essentially provides somewhat of a decent foundation to be a melee specialist when paired with a Far Save unit.
Halloween Sothis: Bound-Spirit Duo <TIER 2>
As a flying dragon, Sothis is locked out of the usual competitive melee flying skills such as the Flight skills and Guard Bearing in exchange for the dragon exclusive ones. That is not necessarily a bad trade, as it could be argued that the dragon skills, such as Dragon’s Wall and Dragon’s Wrath are more competitively viable especially in an enemy phase unit, which Sothis seems to aspire to be with a Distant Counter weapon on top of a healing special in the form of Sirius.
Sothis’s game plan could be relatively problematic, however; fliers have little to no means to manipulate follow-ups, such as Null Follow-Up for Infantries and Odd / Even Follow Up for Armors. As such, Sothis’s high SPD becomes much less of an asset due to the huge prevalence of guaranteed follow-up effect. The high SPD also comes with an opportunity cost, as taking little to no damage with such a generalist stat distribution is probably a distant dream. Lastly, being flier means the usual bow allergy, which meant either switching to Iote’s Shield or use Sothis as a melee specialist instead, in which both are concessions to what she sets out to do.
The only saving grace that Halloween Sothis has is her color; blue is probably one of the most meta-relevant colors right now as red nukes are relatively common. As such her match-up against the common suspects is likely to be decent. We decided that for now, she could remain in Tier 2, but we are not optimistic of Halloween Sothis’s longevity moving forward.
Legendary & Mythic Units
Legendary Micaiah: Radiant Queen <TIER 2>
Legendary Micaiah took out the damage reduction from her original form and added Desperation 2 into the weapon. The damage reduction effect is now in her exclusive B skill, where it is further relaxed as now it applies to all weapon types. Unfortunately, this meant that there is an opportunity cost when running the damage reduction in terms of the go-to infantry skills for ranged tanking, such as Null Follow-Up and more importantly, Null C-Disrupt. Micaiah’s damage reduction against melee is probably only useful in the player phase, as Micaiah is unlikely to survive due to her physical bulk.
We felt that her original form is probably the better pick for Aether Raids Offense, and Legendary Micaiah would probably perform on the same level as the likes of Guinevere and Marianne in Tier 2.
Mythic Otr: Kingsbrother <TIER 2 (Defense)>
Otr with his strong physical bulk makes him a huge threat for largely blue foes. While his Brutal Shell works similarly to Reginn with the instant charge, the potency could come into question especially when first hit damage reduction such as Valentines Gustav and Pirate Surtr exists. Furthermore, with Kuthnaga as a seasonal demote and Nils being part of the grail shop, it remained to be seen whether the active player base would bother to prepare Even Pulse Tie to specifically deal with Otr. That could be unlikely due to the unpopularity of Otr in general.
While his weapon provides the guaranteed follow-up and stats, the Canto effect could be seen as a double-edged sword, as the default behavior when used by the AI is usually defensive. This meant that Otr is likely to track back, which could be bad should the focus of the team be exerting pressure on the foe. It is worth noting that most of his threat actually comes from his special, so changing out his weapon is actually not a terrible option. This could include Firesweep Axe with Poison Strike, Giant Spoon with Deflect melee, or other possible combinations as well.
We felt that there are reasons for using both Otr and Seiros; Seiros is definitely the more threatening of the two, while Otr has the 3 movements to potentially threaten the foe. We felt that to reflect this, we pushed Seiros into Tier 2 and placed Otr there as well to reflect this, as Seiros is no longer the only option for the new mythic slot.