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Analysis by ZeShado
Arden - Strong and Tough

4-5

Obtainable as a 4 - 5 only

Hero Stats

Max Avg Total Stats at Lvl 40
169
HP 60
ATK 36
SPD 16
DEF 41
RES 16

Stat Variations

Level 1 Stat Variation
5★
4★
HP ATK SPD DEF RES
Low 24 9 2 12 2
Middle 25 10 3 13 3
High 26 11 4 14 4

Level 40 Stat Variations
5★
4★
HP ATK SPD DEF RES
Low 57 33 12 38 12
Middle 60 36 16 41 16
High 63 39 19 44 19

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 Fruits to get access to IVs

Skill Sets

STRONG AND TOUGH (Enemy Phase)

Build by ZeShado
Recommended
Arden's Blade (+Eff) A Atk/Def Unity
Alternate: Atk/Def Form 3
Positional Assist B Follow-Up Ring
Ignis C A/D Near Save 3
IVs

+ATK or +DEF / -SPD

SSteady Breath

Show Explanation/Analysis

Weapon: Arden’s Blade (+Eff)

Assist: Positional Assist

Special: Ignis

A Passive: Atk/Def Unity / Atk/Def Form

B Passive: Follow-Up Ring

C Passive: A/D Near Save

Sacred Seal: Steady Breath

  • With the addition of Save skills and the Steady Breath Sacred Seal, one of the few units that came out on top of these additions was Arden. Arden initially got a solid refine, but struggled to make the most of it since it was during the omni-tanking era full of Hardy Bearing. However, with recent meta shifts, Arden was able to adapt to a significant degree. Thanks to his Dual-Phase Brave weapon, as well as Near Save and the Steady Breath Sacred Seal, Arden was able to carve out his niche as an Ignis spammer since he can trigger Ignis on every second hit in the enemy phase, provided that there aren’t any Guard effects present. Moreover, he is able to do so without having to go up against every kind of foe. He can simply prioritize foes that he mostly triumphs against. And this set is here to highlight that role specifically.
     
  • Any A Passive that increases Arden’s overall Atk and Def will be the go-to option for him. One notable option is Atk/Def Unity since it can reverse any penalties that he gets to those specific stats and, in turn, can allow him to deal even more damage and tank more physical hits. Of course, given that it is rather expensive, he can also opt for Atk/Def Form since it synergizes fairly well with Near Save as the skill benefits from being near several allies.
     
  • His PRF B, Follow-Up Ring, allows Arden to make a guaranteed follow-up attack in both phases. That, combined with Arden’s Blade, will allow him to quad in both phases fairly consistently so long as he doesn’t fall below 50% HP. This can allow him to deal with tougher foes that survive a BIGNIS (strong-hitting Ignis) in the enemy phase with Steady Breath support and if there happens to be Guard present, he’ll still be able to trigger Ignis once since he’ll be able to quad and charge up his Special. There are other Fighter skills that he could use, but given that his PRF has innate Guard and one of the recommended skills is Atk/Def Unity, there aren’t really any other notable Fighter skills that he can run in place of it.
     
  • Near Save is very important to this set since it’ll allow Arden to prioritize matchups against one-ranged foes. And given that most one-ranged foes target Def, Arden can prioritize his best stats and still come out on top in most cases. As such, he’ll want to run Near Save, and preferably the A/D variant for this set specifically.
     
  • The Steady Breath Sacred Seal is going to be Arden’s best option since it allows him to trigger Ignis on every second hit if there aren’t any Guard effects present, which is vital for taking out his foes and minimizing the amount of damage he takes in. That being said, since he’s going to be stacking his Atk and Def quite significantly, the only types of foes that can really make a dent in him are Dragons. Even so, Ignis should take care of them :)

Dragons Fear Him… Somewhat (Totally Not Copium)

Build by ZeShado
Arden's Blade (+Eff) A Close Def (3 or 4)
Positional Assist B Slick Fighter 3
Ignis C D/R Near Save 3
Alternate: A/D Near Save 3
IVs

+ATK / -SPD

SSteady Breath

Show Explanation/Analysis

Weapon: Arden’s Blade (+Eff)

Assist: Positional Assist

Special: Ignis

A Passive: Close Def (3 or 4)

B Passive: Slick Fighter

C Passive: D/R Near Save / A/D Near Save

Sacred Seal: Steady Breath

  • This set is essentially an alternative to the previously mentioned one. Despite having a Dual-Phase Brave weapon, Arden is limited to a specific niche due to his status as an Armor, which isn’t exactly the worst given that he is one of the best Near Save armor units in the game. The idea with this set is to help remedy his low Res stat so that he can go up against more Dragon foes. The skills recommended will also increase his performance against foes that target his Def, so there’s no real opportunity cost. In any case, most of what you’ll see in this set is essentially the same, but with a few modifications.
     
  • As we’ll be attempting to patch up Arden’s Res stat, the only notable A Passive option for him would be Close Def. Close Def is able to grant 6-8 Def/Res, depending on the variant, as well as remove any visible buffs on the foe, if it’s Close Def 4. This, in turn, can inflate Arden’s overall defensive prowess and can allow him to take on many more foes in the process. The only potential concern may be losing out on Atk, but if he’s able to trigger Ignis on his second hit, then chances are he won’t struggle to take out his foes.
     
  • Since Arden will be functioning in the enemy phase for most, if not all, of his combats, he can swap out his Follow-Up Ring for Slick Fighter as not only does he still get the guaranteed follow-up attack, but, unlike Follow-Up Ring, can ignore any penalties to himself. This can increase Arden’s longevity in general.
     
  • Near Save is essentially Arden’s only C Passive option as it is the skill that allows him to perform to the best of his abilities, despite being rather expensive. Even so, having the ability to step in for an ally’s combat against a one-ranged foe is extremely strong since it can allow Arden to prioritize his best matchups. You can go with either D/R Near Save or A/D Near Save since they both do the same thing, but since we want to patch up Arden’s Res stat as much as possible, D/R Near Save is the priority.
     
  • Steady Breath is the only Sacred Seal I can recommend to him as it allows Arden to trigger Ignis on every second attack in the enemy phase, provided that there aren’t any Guard effects present. You could swap it out with a Sacred Seal that increases his overall Atk, Def, or Res if you would rather run a support unit such as Brave Lucina or Thorr in Astra. However, that comes with a bit of an opportunity cost, but it’s an option nonetheless.

Strengths

Arden’s Blade

    Arden’s Blade is a Dual-Phase Brave weapon, meaning he can attack twice regardless of the combat phase, which also grants Guard and an additional +4 Atk and +6 Def if his HP is above or equal to 50%. Having the ability to attack twice no matter what is arguably one of the strongest effects a unit can have as not only do both attacks come out at once, but it also allows a unit to function in both phases and essentially bypass Impact effects as there’ll always be two attacks present. Likewise, the additional Atk and Def it grants can help Arden deal with foes more quickly in the enemy phase with a Steady Breath Ignis set as he’ll be able to trigger Ignis before the foe can land a second attack, provided that they can double, and even if he doesn’t kill with Ignis, the Guard effect that is present in his weapon can prevent more damage from being taken in the process as most foes will not be able to trigger a Special.

Armor

    If it were not for the fact that Near Save exists, I struggle to imagine where Arden would be in today’s meta. Near Save, quite literally, saved Arden. Having access to an ability that allows a unit to step in for another during combat is extremely potent as he doesn’t have to throw himself in the frontlines where magical threats may exist. This, in turn, can allow him to prioritize matchups that benefit him. That, on top of having access to a Dual-Phase Brave weapon, all the Fighter skills, Follow-Up Ring, and Steady Breath, Arden is what can be considered every one-ranged foes’ nightmare as he can Quad in both phases with Follow-Up Ring, activate Ignis on every second hit in the enemy phase with Steady Breath, provided that there aren’t any Guard effects, and can increase his overall longevity by slowing the foes’ cooldown with Arden’s Blade.

High Defense

    Starting out with a base Def stat of 41, chances are most Def-targeting foes are going to struggle to dent the lad. Combined with his obnoxiously high HP stat, Arden is rarely going to struggle against said foes.

High HP

    Arden still reigns as the king of HP with a base HP stat of 60. This is before his refine effect, merges, Dragonflowers, and blessing buffs come into play, all of which can inflate his HP stat, even more, especially blessing buffs. This, in turn, can inflate his defensive prowess to the point where he doesn’t have to fear falling out of the Arden’s Blade HP condition and can allow him to take on the occasional Dragon or two.

Weaknesses

Low Resistance

    Arden is the definition of being a min-maxed unit when all of his stats are allocated to his HP, Atk, and Def while leaving his Spd and Res to rot. Arden’s low Res stat can be a problem for him as a Near Save unit if he has to go up against Dragon foes. This can be somewhat patched with proper investment, albeit to a certain extent. Moreover, if you play Aether Raids, his magical bulk can be inflated thanks to blessing buffs. This, in turn, can make up for his lackluster Res stat.

Slow

    For the most part, Arden being min-maxed is great since he can focus on his most important stats. However, there is always the concern of Firesweep effects, mainly Windsweep, which can cut down on his ability to perform as a Near Save unit. Units such as Brave Alm and Ingrid are notable examples that come to mind. That being said, if he can survive against said Windsweep foes, then it shouldn’t be difficult to take them out on the following turn.

Weapon Skills

Weapons SP Rng. Mt.
Iron Sword
Only Inheritable by Sword Units.
50 1 6
Steel Sword
Only Inheritable by Sword Units.
100 1 8
Brave SwordSpd-5. Attack twice when initiating combat.
Learns by default at 4 ★
Only Inheritable by Sword Units.
200 1 5
Brave Sword+Spd-5. Attack twice when initiating combat.
Learns by default at 5 ★
Unlocks at 5 ★
Only Inheritable by Sword Units.
300 1 8
Weapon Evolution
Weapon Upgrades
Weapon Upgrades

Special Skills

Special Skills SP Turns
BucklerReduces damage inflicted by attacks from adjacent foes by 30%.
Learns by default at 4 ★
Restricted to melee units.
100 3
PaviseReduces damage inflicted by attacks from adjacent foes by 50%.
Unlocks at 4 ★
Restricted to melee units.
200 3

Passive Skills

Passive Skills SP Slot
Follow-Up RingUnit makes a guaranteed follow-up attack when unit's HP ≥ 50% at start of combat. (Skill cannot be inherited.)
Non-Inheritable skill.
300
B
Spur Def 1Grants adjacent allies Def+2 during combat.
Inheritable by all units.
50
C
Drive Def 1Grants allies within 2 spaces Def+2 during combat.
Inheritable by all units.
120
C
Drive Def 2Grants allies within 2 spaces Def+3 during combat.
Inheritable by all units.
240
C

Other Info

Origin
Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War

Banners Featured In

None

Official Hero Artwork