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Analysis by accidentalgreed
Alfonse - Prince of Askr

4 Star Story

Obtainable as a 4 from story

Related Heroes

Hero Stats

Max Avg Total Stats at Lvl 40
157
HP 43
ATK 35
SPD 25
DEF 32
RES 22

Stat Variations

Level 1 Stat Variation
5★
4★
HP ATK SPD DEF RES
Low 18 8 5 7 4
Middle 19 9 6 8 5
High 20 10 7 9 6

Level 40 Stat Variations
5★
4★
HP ATK SPD DEF RES
Low 40 32 22 29 19
Middle 43 35 25 32 22
High 46 38 29 35 25

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 requires use of the Trait Fruit to get access to IVs

Skill Sets

Askran Wrath (Fólkvangr + Wrath)

Build by accidentalgreed
Recommended
Fólkvangr (+Def)
Alternate: Fólkvangr (+Spd)
A Fury (3 or 4)
Alternate: Atk/Def Solo 4
Positional Assist
Alternate: Rally Assist
B Wrath 3
Ruptured Sky
Alternate: Bonfire
C Time's Pulse 3
Alternate: Joint Drive Atk
IVs

+ATK or +SPD / -HP or -RES

SBrazen Atk/Def 3
Alternate: Atk/Def Solo 3

Show Explanation/Analysis
  • Here it is: Alfonse's extremely easy-to-build and standard triple Brazen build. The name itself should be self-explanatory already: equip Wrath along with Alfonse's native Fólkvangr (which already comes with a Brazen skill itself upon weapon refinery). After proper HP lowering setup, Alfonse gains upwards of a whopping +16 - +21 in Atk (depending on A and Sacred Seal slots used) along with additional +10 damage and passive Special charging from Wrath.
  • While it seems very memetastic and fitting to run a triple Brazen setup, said setup is a lot harder said than done. The problem is that Brazen skills offer no stat improvements when Alfonse is at a high HP level, and this setup is dependent on the enemy team having easy targets to do initial combat on. Alfonse can't guarantee having easy setup every match, making more immediate alternative A-slot skills and Sacred Seals such as Atk/Def Solo, Atk/Def Push, and Fury a bit more conventional for this build.
  • Time's Pulse synergizes particularly decently with Wrath as both skills passively charge Alfonse's Special out of combat in their own ways. In particular, having both skills ensures 2 CD Specials such as Ruptured Sky or Moonbow are charged immediately every turn (assuming lowered HP), while 3 CD Specials like Blue Flame or Bonfire take only two turns to passively charge instead of three. Lacking this, Alfonse's C slot doesn't really affect his performance aside from any other offense-improving skills you can offer.
  • To improve Alfonse's follow-up potential and avoidance, you can run Speed-based skills such like Atk/Spd Solo, Fury, Brazen Atk/Spd, or any combination thereof while refining Fólkvangr for Speed and taking a Speed Asset via Trait Fruit.

Askran Vigor (No-Setup Physical Tank / Alternative Weapon)

Build by accidentalgreed
Carrot Cudgel+ (+Def)
Alternate: Slaying Edge+ (+Def)
A Atk/Def Bond 3
Alternate: Sturdy Stance (2 or 3)
Positional Assist B Lull Atk/Def 3
Alternate: Quick Riposte 3
Bonfire
Alternate: Noontime
C Joint Drive Atk
Alternate: Even Def Wave 3
IVs

+ATK / -HP or -RES

SAtk/Def Bond 3
Alternate: Quick Riposte 3

Show Explanation/Analysis

Weapon: Carrot Cudgel (+Def) / Slaying Edge+ (+Def) / Armorsmasher+ (+Def)

Assist: Positional Assist

Special: Bonfire / Noontime / Sol

Passive A: Atk/Def Bond / Sturdy Stance / Atk/Def Solo / Steady Breath / Fury / Steady Posture

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

Passive C: Joint Drive Atk / Even Def Wave / Atk Smoke

Sacred Seal: Atk/Def Bond / Quick Riposte / Atk/Def Solo / Sturdy Stance / Steady Posture / Steady Stance

  • Fólkvangr isn't exactly critical to keeping Alfonse playable; to reiterate, its main effect is granting Brazen Atk/Def 3, which will only work when Alfonse is damaged. This obviously takes safe prior setup, which is something you cannot guarantee for Alfonse every map.
  • Fortunately, some alternative inheritable swords give Fólkvangr a nice run for its money.
    • Carrot Cudgel stands out for being both optimal and easily attainable—you can grab it from Spring Bartre via Heroic Grails. Like Fólkvangr, it grants a nice amount of Attack and Defense, but at a much more accommodating condition: Alfonse simply has to be near his allies to get the bonuses. Furthermore, under the same conditions, Alfonse gains debuff immunity, making him consistently pristine even in the face of Surtr's Menace or Smoke skills.
    • Lacking Grails or not willing to part with them yet, Slaying Edge is another perfectly affordable and viable inheritable. Its cooldown -1 makes Alfonse's Special proc much more quickly; in particular, with some form of Breath such as Steady Breath or Brave Lucina's Geirskögul, 3 CD Specials like Bonfire and Sol can fire off immediately on any counterattack, rather than every other attack.
    • For Arena Assault, Alfonse can prey on the multitude of tough armored units in higher tiers with Armorsmasher.
  • The rest of the build is simple "slow infantry tank" fare.
    • Alfonse has a variety of great Atk/Def-stacking A slot skills to choose from depending on needs and budgeting. His most conventional, reliable choices here are Atk/Def Bond, Sturdy Stance, or Atk/Def Solo. Note that with Carrot Cudgel, which requires ally nearness, getting Solo conditions just right might be a bit cumbersome compared to Atk/Def Bond.
    • Slower tanks like Alfonse are pretty much limited to Lull Atk/Def or Quick Riposte for their B slot; the latter mellows out matchups by cancelling Atk/Def bonuses on the enemy side, while Quick Riposte is easier to obtain while giving Alfonse a follow-up attack.
    • Atk/Def Solo and Atk/Def Bond yet again are a great skills to consider thanks to their high Attack and Defense swings and can easily be taken in Sacred Seal form. Lacking Quick Riposte in the B slot, Alfonse can take it as a Seal as well.
    • C slot skills that further improve Alfonse's tanking abilities, including Joint Drives, Atk Smoke, or Def Waves, are pretty obvious here.

Askran Obligé (AR Offense Bonus Supporter)

Build by accidentalgreed
Fólkvangr (+Def)
Alternate: Fólkvangr (+Eff)
A Fury (3 or 4)
Smite
Alternate: Shove
B Spd/Def Link 3
Alternate: Wings of Mercy 3
Bonfire
Alternate: Moonbow
C Atk Tactic 3
Alternate: Res Tactic 3
IVs

+ATK / -RES

SRes Tactic 3
Alternate: Drive Atk 2

Show Explanation/Analysis

Weapon: Fólkvangr (+Def)

Assist: Smite / Shove / Reposition

Special: Bonfire / Moonbow

Passive A: Fury

Passive B: Spd/Def Link / Wings of Mercy / Atk/Def Link / Atk/Res Link / Other Link skills

Passive C: Atk Tactic / Res Tactic / Def Tactic / Drive Atk / Infantry Rush / Flexible

Sacred Seal: Res Tactic / Distant Guard / Drive Atk / Flexible

  • If you're inclined to use Alfonse as a bonus unit in Aether Raids, he can run a pretty generic but nevertheless helpful support build. For the most part, he will simply be providing movement support and buffs. 
  • The movement assist choice is a bit more essential here. 
    • Smite allows Alfonse to safely test out and activate traps from a distance by pushing a smitee into them. Additionally, it helps fellow allies to reach their destinations—including opposing units, Aether fountains, other structures, and so on—much quicker.
    • Shove has less reach than Smite, but its main benefit is not making allies stray too far if Alfonse is using nearness-reliant support skills such as Drive Atk.
    • Reposition is a good rescue-oriented Assist skill to fall back on as it drags teammates back from dangerous spots. If used correctly, it also technically has the same reach as Smite; its real point of contention is that it can't activate traps as safely.
  • For practicality, Defense-refined Fólkvangr simply improves what Alfonse is already, naturally good at: melee battling. The built-in Brazen Atk/Def effect also allows Alfonse to do his own smacking around whenever the need comes around and is fairly easy to activate by intentionally activating Bolt Traps.
    • The +Eff refine hinders emergency matchups against blue units, though it makes fights with green units relatively one-sided and fits well with the short-lived combat of this build. 
  • Alfonse's actual combat participation is minimal, so you don't especially need to think hard about his A slot skill. For general purposes, Fury grants immediate stat padding and the recoil complementary for Fólkvangr effect activation.
  • A Link skill combined with a positional Assist and the appropriate accompanying C slot skill and Sacred Seals allows Alfonse to provide bonuses to an array of stats for an ally of his choice. Spd/Def Link in particular is recommended as it's easily inheritable from low-rarity Norne; it also covers for Spd and Def Tactic, both of which are less frequently inherited and used compared to Atk and Res Tactic in the C slot.
  • Wings of Mercy grants significantly improved movement options when fellow allies are badly damaged as a result of natural combat or Bolt Traps. Using said skill thus allows Alfonse to participate better directly by combatting adjacent foes (relative to Alfonse after teleporting) or provide assistance via Assist skill or supportive C skills and Sacred Seals.
  • Considering the currently released Offense Mythic heroes are fliers at this time of writing, a Tactic skill of your choice (depending on the B slot Link skill used) should be relatively valid with most AR Offense setups. This is team-dependent, of course, and the C slot is otherwise open for other support skills, especially including Drive skills such as Joint Drive Atk.
  • Much of what has been said in the C slot section applies for Sacred Seals. 

Strengths

Bonus Rotation Frequency and Benefits

This is one of Alfonse's greatest qualities as an individual free unit. Specifically, he is part of two ongoing bonus unit rotations in Arena and Aether Raids. This allows him to benefit you competitively in both modes by directly improving your scoring (via increased Lift or doubled Arena scoring). Contrary to popular belief and his basic statline at a glance, Alfonse is also far from a hassle combat-wise as he frequently benefits from the beefy additional stats bonus units are usually supplied with. After HP+10 and Atk/Spd/Def/Res+4, Alfonse is just about on-par with a variety of mid- to high-investment Reds.

Workable Stat Spread

Alfonse's high Attack and respectable Defense lend themselves well to melee combat and with his unique weapon by default. Additionally, Alfonse's statline improves immensely with bonus stats; they apply at a fairly regular schedule and allow Alfonse to match up well against even high-investment threats. Moreover, though merging is out of his reach, Alfonse can further improve his statline through items such as Dragonflowers and Trait Fruit.

Fólkvangr 

Next to his sister, Alfonse essentially won the raffle for most improved Askr unit thanks to the refined effects of his unique weapon, Fólkvangr. Specifically, after refinery, Fólkvangr's previous underwhelming Defiant Atk effect evolves into the significantly more potent Brazen Atk/Def, allowing for potent offensive stacking setups thanks to the high in-combat stats it provides. Though the Triangle Adept effect refine is a letdown, that is fortunately and entirely avoidable in favor of stat-based refinery options.   

Infantry Perks

Alfonse's movement type allows him some advantages which are commonly taken for granted, including standard two-space movement and access to type-locked skills such as Wrath and Lull skills.

Weaknesses

Subpar Secondary Stat Allocation

Alfonse's base stat total of 157 isn't exactly impressive considering the current stat model for melee infantry units. In combination with Alfonse's higher commitment to his physical stats, this consequently doesn't leave much room for his Resistance and Speed, both of which suffer at extremely exploitable values if uninvested.

The Current Arena Scoring Formula

This has no relevance to those seeking a review of Alfonse's Aether Raids performance. Nevertheless, as the scoring formula for Arena is at this time of writing, it prioritizes high base stat totals as well as a max amount of merges possible on individual units. These are traits that Alfonse unfortunately does not have; he is limited to only one copy of himself, and his base statline can definitely stand to improve especially by modern infantry standards.

Thus, other units that are highly-merged or simply sport a higher stat total in the same season typically have higher scoring potential than Alfonse himself. For people simply looking to switch between tiers 19-20.5 rather than maintain tier 21—and even this is possible with Alfonse—this is fortunately an ignorable issue at best.

Outclassed

If it weren't for Alfonse's frequent bonus benefits, the benchlord status would've stayed quite frankly true as he is otherwise unimaginably outclassed by others in his movement and weapon class combination. As far as direct competition is concerned, Hinata, Laslow, Ogma, and Soleil have the prime benefit of easy mergeability at their rarity. Additionally, newer entries in the game threaten to eclipse Alfonse from a performance perspective even at low investment; standouts in this field include Mareeta, Brave Celica, both versions of Byleth, and Fallen Ike.

Weapon Skills

Weapons SP Rng. Mt.
Iron Sword
Learns by default at 2 ★
Only Inheritable by Sword Units.
50 1 6
Steel Sword
Unlocks at 2 ★
Only Inheritable by Sword Units.
100 1 8
Silver Sword
Unlocks at 3 ★
Only Inheritable by Sword Units.
200 1 11
FólkvangrGrants Atk+5 at start of turn if HP<=50%
Unlocks at 5 ★
Non-Inheritable skill.
400 1 16
Weapon Evolution
Weapon Upgrades
Weapon Upgrades

Special Skills

Special Skills SP Turns
DaylightRestores HP = 30% of damage dealt.
Learns by default at 2 ★
Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
100 3
SolRestores HP = 50% of damage dealt.
Unlocks at 4 ★
Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
200 3

Passive Skills

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

Other Info

Origin
Fire Emblem Heroes

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