GamePress
Analysis by ZeShado
Balthus - King of Grappling

3-4

Obtainable as a 3 - 4 only

Hero Stats

Max Avg Total Stats at Lvl 40
181
HP 47
ATK 42
SPD 24
DEF 37
RES 31

Stat Variations

Level 1 Stat Variation
5★
4★
3★
HP ATK SPD DEF RES
Low 18 11 4 10 6
Middle 19 12 5 11 7
High 20 13 6 12 8

Level 40 Stat Variations
5★
4★
3★
HP ATK SPD DEF RES
Low 44 39 21 34 28
Middle 47 42 24 37 31
High 50 46 28 40 34

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

Skill Sets

King of Beating You Up With a Brave Axe (Player Phase)

Build by ZeShado
Recommended
Brave Axe+ A Death Blow (3 or 4)
Alternate: Heavy Blade (3 or 4)
Positional Assist B Lull Atk/Def 3
Alternate: Hit and Run
Bonfire
Alternate: Galeforce
C Time's Pulse 3
Alternate: Def Smoke 3
IVs

+ATK / -SPD

SHeavy Blade 3
Alternate: Atk/Def Solo 3

Show Explanation/Analysis

Weapon: Brave Axe+

Assist: Positional Assist

Special: Bonfire / Galeforce

A Passive: Death Blow (3 or 4) / Heavy Blade (3 or 4)

B Passive: Lull Atk/Def / Hit and Run  

C Passive: Time’s Pulse / Def Smoke

Sacred Seal: Heavy Blade / Atk/Def Solo / Death Blow

  • Balthus having a lack of Spd and an excellent amount of Atk screams running Brave Axe+. This can open up the potential for having a player phase presence, which is great as it is another avenue for Balthus beyond enemy phase tactics. I would preface that he shouldn’t run Ninja Masakari+, despite the one additional MT it grants, as it takes a toll on his mixed bulk, which can come in handy if he has to take a hit and/or is running Bonfire as his Special.
     
  • Depending on the avenue you want to take with player phasing, he can either focus on damage output or the ability to get out of harm's way. Bonfire is a solid option for his Special as he will be able to output significantly more damage if it triggers, which should be easy to do provided that he’s running Time’s Pulse or some other cooldown support. Meanwhile, Balthus can run Galeforce, similarly with cooldown support from Time’s Pulse, Velouria, Groom Rafiel, etc., and then back off when Galeforce triggers. Thus, limiting the amount of damage he takes overall.
     
  • Because Brave Axe+ has a MT penalty, the best option for Balthus’ A Passive is anything that can significantly increase his Atk stat, such as Death Blow. Death Blow is definitely the go-to option, especially Death Blow 4, as it can either grant six or eight additional Atk depending on the variant. Of course, he can also run Heavy Blade instead and free up his Sacred Seal. It wouldn’t be a bad option worth considering, especially Heavy Blade 4 as it can grant true damage, but it’s not the only option.
     
  • Lull Atk/Def is a great option for Balthus as it can secure more kills as well as secure Heavy Blade checks. He could also run Hit and Run with Galeforce as his B Passive as it can allow him to get out of danger during the enemy phase. Either of these options is solid when running Galeforce, but I wouldn’t recommend running Hit and Run with Bonfire as he won’t be able to move away without some assistance.
     
  • Time’s Pulse is going to be the bread and butter of this set as the rest of the kit heavily depends on it. That being said, if Balthus can receive some form of Special cooldown, whether that’s from Groom Rafiel or Velouria, then he can substitute Time’s Pulse for another skill such as Def Smoke. Def Smoke, while a tad expensive, is good for securing kills that mayhaps he could’ve missed without the assistance of Def Smoke.
     
  • If Heavy Blade isn’t being occupied in Balthus’ A Passive, it would be highly recommended that he run it as his Sacred Seal. Just like Time’s Pulse, it’s effectively the bread and butter of this set as the kit also relies on it for activating Specials such as Bonfire and Galeforce within two hits. However, if Heavy Blade is in the kit, then Balthus can run skills that further increase his overall Atk stat such as Atk/Def Solo or Death Blow, the former arguably being the better option if running Bonfire.

King of Beating You Up in Arena (Arena)

Build by ZeShado
Huge Fan+ (+Def)
Alternate: Deck Swabber+ (+Def)
A Distant Counter
Rally Atk/Spd+ B Quick Riposte 3
Alternate: Lull Atk/Def 3
Ruptured Sky
Alternate: Aether
C Joint Drive Atk
Alternate: Atk/Def Menace
IVs

+ATK / -SPD

SAtk/Def Solo 3
Alternate: Quick Riposte 3

Show Explanation/Analysis

Weapon: Huge Fan+ (+Def) / Deck Swabber+ (+Def)

Assist: Preference

Special: Ruptured Sky / Aether

A Passive: Distant Counter

B Passive: Quick Riposte / Lull Atk/Def 

C Passive: Joint Drive Atk / Atk/Def Menace

Sacred Seal: Atk/Def Solo / Quick Riposte / Def/Res Solo

  • Depending on the route you want to take with Balthus, he can either run Huge Fan+ or Deck Swabber+. Huge Fan+ granting additional cooldown can allow Balthus to retaliate with Ruptured Sky on every attack so long as there aren’t any Guard effects present or with Aether on his second attack as he’ll be able to fully charge an Aether with two Huge Fan+ cooldowns and a regular retaliation. Meanwhile, if you want to focus on Balthus’ longevity, he can run Deck Swabber+ instead. Deck Swabber+ inflicting -5 Atk/Def on the foe as well as neutralizing any visible buffs to said stats on said foe helps bolster his overall mixed bulk.
     
  • Since scoring well will require a hefty investment, two of the best options for Balthus’ Special are Ruptured Sky and Aether. Ruptured Sky is easier to trigger and can help deal with foes faster while Aether takes a bit longer, but increases his overall longevity. The choice is yours.
     
  • Because Balthus can naturally score 185 BST with a superboon, there really isn’t a better option than Distant Counter as it can allow him to take on more foes in general. And given that his mixed bulk is relatively good, he shouldn’t have an issue going up against a ranged foe from time to time. Did I forget to mention it also scores 300 SP, which happens to be the optimal amount for an A Passive?
     
  • Quick Riposte is going to be one of Balthus’ preferred choices since his Spd is too low for him to naturally double. Of course, it’s not his only option. He can also run Lull Atk/Def as it can help raise his damage output as well as his longevity. Similarly, Quick Riposte is available as a Sacred Seal, so he has a bit of flexibility for his B Passive.
     
  • As Balthus will need another 300 SP skill to score as much as possible, two solid options are Joint Drive Atk and Atk/Def Menace. Joint Drive Atk simply increases his overall damage output, which is great in general. Meanwhile, Atk/Def Menace is able to not only increase Balthus’ Atk and Def but also decrease the nearest foe’s Atk and Def as well, thus allowing Balthus to take more hits and output more damage. The only catch is that it can be stopped by skills and weapons that neutralize visible buffs, but otherwise, it’s a solid option.
     
  • Depending on whether Balthus is running Quick Riposte as his B Passive, he can choose to run a Solo skill as his Sacred Seal. Two of the best options for him are Atk/Def Solo and Def/Res Solo. Atk/Def Solo provides a mixture of damage output and longevity against physical-hitting foes. Meanwhile, Def/Res Solo covers all foes’ attacks and that can potentially come in clutch against magical foes. However, if Balthus isn’t running Quick Riposte as his B Passive, he’ll want it as his Sacred Seal.

King of- Is This Getting Old Yet? (Enemy Phase)

Build by ZeShado
Huge Fan+ (+Def)
Alternate: Slaying Axe+ (+Def)
A Sturdy Stance (2 or 3)
Alternate: Close Def (3 or 4)
Positional Assist B Special Spiral 3
Alternate: Quick Riposte 3
Ignis
Alternate: Bonfire
C Time's Pulse 3
Alternate: Def Smoke 3
IVs

+ATK or +DEF / -SPD

SQuickened Pulse
Alternate: Steady Breath

Show Explanation/Analysis

Weapon: Huge Fan+ (+Def) / Slaying Axe+ (+Def)

Assist: Positional Assist

Special: Ignis / Bonfire

A Passive: Sturdy Stance (2 or 3) / Close Def (3 or 4)

B Passive: Special Spiral / Quick Riposte

C Passive: Time’s Pulse / Def Smoke

Sacred Seal: Quickened Pulse / Steady Breath / Atk/Def Solo

  • The idea for this build is to quickly set up Balthus’ ability to retaliate with Ignis triggers and go for one-shots. To achieve this, he’ll need help from Huge Fan+ as it is able to grant additional cooldown from a foe’s attack so long as he has an active bonus, which is relatively easy to accomplish. You could also run Steady Breath with a Slaying Axe+, but because Huge Fan+ grants an additional +4 Atk/Def, Balthus ends up performing much better with Huge Fan+.
     
  • If Balthus is to one-shot his opponent, he’ll want one of the strongest options for a Special. As such, Ignis is going to be the way to go. Huge Fan+ granting cooldown alongside turn one support from Time’s Pulse and Quickened Pulse will allow Balthus to trigger Ignis in the first combat he enters so long as there aren’t any Guard effects present. Afterward, Special Spiral will always return Ignis to 2 CD and the cycle continues. However, for budget purposes, he can run Bonfire with the Steady Breath seal instead and whichever B Passive you see fit.
     
  • Preferably, if possible, Balthus will want to run Sturdy Stance as it increases his two most important stats for this set. Of course, if that isn’t an available option, he can always run Close Def, which is a decent option as well. The additional Def and Res it grants can allow Balthus to take more hits before his retaliation, thus increasing his longevity. And, depending on the version, can even negate the foe’s visible bonuses, which in turn, can lead to harder-hitting attacks.
     
  • Special Spiral is the only consistent option for Balthus in this set as there are no other skills that can act as a substitute. Of course, if this isn’t an option, running Quick Riposte is not a bad idea either as it can allow him to secure a kill when one-shots wouldn’t be able to.
     
  • Time’s Pulse is rather imperative to the idea of setting up Ignis spamming. Thankfully, there are substitutions to this type of cooldown acceleration mainly in the form of units such as Groom Rafiel and Velouria. Unfortunately, his HP stat is rather high, which makes it difficult to Infantry Pulse him. That being said, if you have an available C Passive due to Groom Rafiel or Velouria support, he can run Def Smoke instead for more damage output.
     
  • Similar to Time’s Pulse, Quickened Pulse is imperative to setting up Ignis spamming. And just like Time’s Pulse, Quickened Pulse can be substituted for Groom Rafiel or Velouria support. If you happen to have this type of support ready to go, he can instead run Atk/Def Solo for heavier damage output on his Ignis trigger. Steady Breath is also an option if running Slaying Axe+ since it can help activate Bonfire spamming.

Strengths

Massive Attack

    With newer units come more overall allocated stats, and Balthus is no exception to that rule. Of his 181 base stat total, 42 points are allocated to his Atk stat, which is extremely high. That isn’t even including his superboon in Atk, which bolsters his already amazing Atk stat to a base of 46. This can open up room for lower MT weapons such as Brave Axe+ as the MT penalty will be subsided by his base Atk, or better yet, can attempt to run one-shot builds.

Solid Mixed Bulk

    With a base Def stat of 37 and a base Res stat of 31, Balthus is able to take on an assortment of foes with relative ease. He’ll still have to watch out for the weapon triangle against hard-hitting red mages, but with proper investment, he should have no issue taking on a majority of melee foes.

Weaknesses

Low Speed

    Balthus’ low Spd can be detrimental if he goes up against units that have some form of Impact skill as Balthus heavily depends on Quick Riposte when being used as an enemy phase unit. Likewise, because he is so slow, he’ll more than likely be doubled by most, if not all, of his foes, which can take a toll on his longevity.

Weapon Skills

Weapons SP Rng. Mt.
Iron Axe
Learns by default at 1 ★
Unlocks at 1 ★
Inheritable by Axe users only.
50 1 6
Steel Axe
Learns by default at 2 ★
Unlocks at 2 ★
Inheritable by Axe users only.
100 1 8
Instant AxeIf unit initiates combat, grants Atk/Def+4 during combat and foe cannot make a follow-up attack.
Learns by default at 4 ★
Unlocks at 3 ★
Inheritable by Axe users only.
200 1 10
Instant Axe+If unit initiates combat, grants Atk/Def+4 during combat and foe cannot make a follow-up attack.
Learns by default at 5 ★
Unlocks at 5 ★
Inheritable by Axe users only.
300 1 14
Weapon Evolution
Weapon Upgrades
Weapon Upgrades

Special Skills

Special Skills SP Turns
Glowing EmberBoosts damage dealt by 50% of unit's Def.
Learns by default at 4 ★
Unlocks at 3 ★
Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
100 4
IgnisBoosts damage dealt by 80% of unit's Def.
Unlocks at 4 ★
Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
200 4

Passive Skills

Passive Skills SP Slot
Brazen Atk/Def 1If unit's HP ≤ 80% at the start of combat, grants Atk/Def+3 during combat.
Inheritable by all units.
Unlocks at 1 ★
60
A
Brazen Atk/Def 2If unit's HP ≤ 80% at the start of combat, grants Atk/Def+5 during combat.
Inheritable by all units.
Unlocks at 2 ★
120
A
Brazen Atk/Def 3If unit's HP ≤ 80% at the start of combat, grants Atk/Def+7 during combat.
Inheritable by all units.
Unlocks at 4 ★
240
A
Close Guard 1Allies within 2 spaces gain: "If foe uses sword, lance, axe, or dragonstone, grants Def/Res+2 during combat."
Inheritable by all units.
Unlocks at 3 ★
60
C
Close Guard 2Allies within 2 spaces gain: "If foe uses sword, lance, axe, or dragonstone, grants Def/Res+3 during combat."
Inheritable by all units.
Unlocks at 4 ★
120
C
Close Guard 3Allies within 2 spaces gain: "If foe uses sword, lance, axe, or dragonstone, grants Def/Res+4 during combat."
Inheritable by all units.
Unlocks at 5 ★
240
C

Other Info

Origin
Fire Emblem: Three Houses

Banners Featured In

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