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Legendary Ephraim

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Analysis by lordhelpme
Legendary Ephraim - Legendary Lord

5

Obtainable as a 5 only

Hero Stats

Max Avg Total Stats at Lvl 40
157
HP 43
ATK 36
SPD 27
DEF 33
RES 18

Stat Variations

Level 1 Stat Variation
5★
HP ATK SPD DEF RES
Low 18 9 4 8 2
Middle 19 10 5 9 3
High 20 11 6 10 4

Level 40 Stat Variations
5★
HP ATK SPD DEF RES
Low 40 33 23 30 15
Middle 43 36 27 33 18
High 46 39 30 36 21

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

flew too close to the sun (Offensive / Damage Focus)

Build by lordhelpme
Recommended
Flame Siegmund (+Eff) A Atk/Def Catch 4
Alternate: Atk/Def Solo 4
Positional Assist
Alternate: Assistless
B Solar Brace II
Dragon Fang
Alternate: Ignis
C Fatal Smoke 3
Alternate: Def Smoke 3
IVs

+ATK / -RES

SDeath Blow 3

Show Explanation/Analysis

Weapon: Flame Siegmund (+EFF)

Assist: Positional Assist / Assistless / Flexible

Special: Dragon Fang / Ignis / Glimmer / Ruptured Sky 

Passive A: Atk/Def Catch / Atk/Def Solo / Atk/Def Push / AR-D Atk/Def

Passive B: Solar Brace II

Passive C: Fatal Smoke / Def Smoke / Joint Drive Atk / Flexible

Sacred Seal: Death Blow / Atk/Def Solo / Sturdy Blow / Hardy Bearing

  • Legendary Ephraim’s solid base Attack, cavalry movement,  and assortment of goodies from his two PRF skills altogether let him excel at offensive play; this build emphasizes moreso on maximizing his damage ceiling to threaten enemy foes, with some consideration to Aether Raids Defense. 
  • His Assist skill choice is inconsequential for general gameplay; simply slot in any movement based option like Reposition based on your preference. However, if using him in Aether Raids Defense, it may be best to simply not equip one at all for a standard movement-based overload outside of attempts to use something like a Rally trap. 
  • The pairing of “Breath”-esque Special acceleration from refined Flame Siegmund and Guard nullification from Solar Brace II is exceptionally synergistic, and lends itself well here to enable the use of powerful Specials that would otherwise take too long to charge; among them, Dragon Fang and Ignis scale best with his stat distribution. Glimmer and Ruptured Sky are alternatives to have a Special that charges in one hit.
  • For his A skill, Legendary Ephraim realistically works well with anything that boosts his Attack, and secondly his Defense if possible (as that is his next best stat). This includes his base Atk/Def Solo, but also extends to other options like Atk/Def Catch (which currently provides the greatest potential buffs), Atk/Def Push 4, and AR-D Atk/Def depending on context and what works best with your specific playstyle, needs, and skill availability.
  • Smoke skills shine amongst Legendary Ephraim’s C skill options thanks to their ability to debilitate enemy groups for smoother subsequent matchups. Def Smoke is the most generally useful of those available, but special consideration should be given to Fatal Smoke (and to a lesser extent, Panic Smoke) for Aether Raids Defense. Joint Drive Atk also works well for mutual boosts to Ephraim’s damage as well as that of any nearby allies. 
  • Lastly, any Sacred Seal that augments Legendary Ephraim’s Attack is worth using, including skills like Death Blow and Atk/Def Solo. Specifically for Aether Raids Defense, Hardy Bearing is a potential alternative if Vantage strategies are particularly prevalent among the teams that challenge your map. 

we ride at dawn (Galeforce / Hit-and-Run)

Build by lordhelpme
Recommended
Flame Siegmund (+Eff) A Atk/Def Catch 4
Alternate: Atk/Def Solo 4
Positional Assist B Solar Brace II
Galeforce C Joint Drive Atk
Alternate: Atk Smoke 3
IVs

+ATK / -RES

SQuickened Pulse

Show Explanation/Analysis

Weapon: Flame Siegmund (+EFF)

Assist: Positional Assist / Flexible

Special: Galeforce 

Passive A: Atk/Def Catch / Atk/Def Solo / Death Blow / Atk/Def Push

Passive B: Solar Brace II

Passive C: Joint Drive Atk / Savage Blow / Smoke Skills / Flexible

Sacred Seal: Quickened Pulse

  • This is yet another offensively-tuned setup, but alternatively highlights Legendary Ephraim’s impressive maneuverability by merit of his three-space movement, facility in activating Galeforce, and【Canto (2)】access for use in Aether Raids Offense. Since the focus is on offensive play, however, a +ATK IV is once again the prime choice.
  • The key to Legendary Ephraim’s success here, as briefly mentioned, remains in the combination of the Galeforce Special (whose self-refreshing quality allows him and his team to chain multiple initiations in quick succession) and his PRF skills: Siegmund + his Guard negation circumvents its otherwise long cooldown without fear of being slowed, and Canto provides welcome breathing room for any potential complications that may occur in a given Offense run. 
    • Something to consider when including Legendary Ephraim in a composition for Offense purposes, though, is Solar Brace II’s post-combat healing, as this is directly anti-synergistic with the common Wings of Mercy strategy used in many traditional Galeforce compositions. 
    • This essentially means that Legendary Ephraim should typically not be depended on as a low HP beacon for such compositions, in addition to meaning that he will generally need outside assistance from refreshers or allies equipped with Assists such as Smite to obtain close proximity to the enemy team.
    • With this in mind, it may be simpler to use Legendary Ephraim with a more hit-and-run inclined strategy in mind, employing both Galeforce and Canto effect as methods of escape. This would ideally work as follows: Ephraim initiates against an opponent and gains enough charges to trigger Galeforce, moves back up to three spaces and uses either an Assist or attacks a structure, and then uses Solar Brace II’s Canto to retreat another two spaces. 
      • The advent of the Safety Fence does make this quite potent to essentially snipe a free kill from the enemy team, provided no traps impede Legendary Ephraim’s initial assault. 
  • Joint Drive Atk is an exceptional C skill to use here if using Ephraim in a standard Galeforce chain alongside his team, as this then essentially provides stats for free since everyone should be close to each other regardless. Smoke skills also work excellently to aid subsequent matchups, with those that apply stat debuffs being useful if paired with allies who rely on Heavy or Flashing Blade to activate Galeforce. 
  • The Quickened Pulse Sacred Seal is ideal to reduce the amount of hits necessary to activate Galeforce down to two. This means that any foe who can counterattack will immediately let Legendary Ephraim activate his Special, though it may be preferable to provide additional cooldown reduction (via support like Velouria’s Wolfpup Fang) to potentially let him charge it with just his attack for maximum safety.

specifically choosing fights I can’t lose (Physical Tank)

Build by lordhelpme
Flame Siegmund (+Eff) A Sturdy Stance 3
Alternate: Atk/Def Solo 4
Positional Assist B Solar Brace II
Glimmer
Alternate: Noontime
C Atk Smoke 3
Alternate: Def Smoke 3
IVs

+ATK or +DEF / -RES

SAtk/Def Solo 3

Show Explanation/Analysis

Weapon: Flame Siegmund (+EFF)

Assist: Positional Assist / Flexible

Special: Glimmer / Noontime / Moonbow

Passive A: Sturdy Stance 3 / Close Def 4 / Atk/Def Solo

Passive B: Solar Brace II

Passive C: Atk Smoke / Def Smoke / Joint Drive Skills / Flexible

Sacred Seal: Atk/Def Solo / Mystic Boost / Close Def / Sturdy Stance

  • Since virtually all of his PRF’s effects can remain active during the Enemy Phase (except Canto), one also has the option of capitalizing on Legendary Ephraim’s respectable Defense to specialize the lord as a dedicated physical tank. His Resistance is far too low to ever consider magical tanking — especially with how offensively overloaded relevant magic nukes are nowadays — so pairing him with a Far Save ally will assist greatly in alleviating this weakness. 
  • Specials with two-turn cooldowns are Legendary Ephraim’s ideal choice since refined Flame Siegmund and Solar Brace II ensure that they will activate on every counterattack, maximizing the advantages of his innate Breath access. Glimmer scales well with his naturally high damage output, but Noontime works well to further supplement the healing provided by his B skill. Moonbow is usually unnecessary, but may be worth it if you commonly run into high Defense foes. 
  • Sturdy Stance 3 is a stellar A skill choice for its permanent Guard effect in the Enemy Phase; since his Speed is not fast enough to reliably avoid enemy doubles and he lacks access to any form of follow-up negation, this helps him avoid an untimely death from a foe gathering enough Special charges to burst through his defenses. Close Def 4 is also an option to deny enemy buffs, though this sacrifices his damage output considerably. Otherwise, simply use Atk/Def Solo 4 — it provides strong values, packs dual phase functionality, and already comes in his kit anyway. 
  • While it may seem strange to retain Solar Brace II despite Canto’s inability to activate in the Enemy Phase, its Guard nullification is always useful and the constant 10 HP heal it applies does come in handy for supplementing his longevity. Plus… he really doesn’t have any other B skill option to use since cavalry units are a little lacking in defensive B slots, and his PRFs already pack everything he would otherwise want from what is available.
  • Smoke skills complement defensive styles quite well when attempting to bait multiple foes at once. Atk Smoke is great to add on to Ephraim’s overall durability, though Def Smoke is better if damage is preferred. Joint Drives also work well. For his Sacred Seal, either a standard stat-boosting skill or Mystic Boost (for bonus healing) should be equipped; he has no need for anything else like Quick Riposte.

Strengths

Flame Siegmund

Legendary Ephraim’s refined Flame Siegmund breathes new life to the Legendary Lord through a useful expansion of the weapon’s original capabilities. 

  • First and foremost, this refinement does away with the pesky (but admittedly thematic) requirement of needing more allies than allies nearby to activate. Now, Legendary Ephraim’s automatic follow-up attacks remain permanently active during the Player Phase, as well as becoming more readily achievable in the Enemy Phase through an alternative Solo condition. 
  • This alone does quite a bit to improve his ease-of-use while also bumping up his overall viability, given that he can now maintain close proximity to nearby teammates (either to simply receive support or for certain strategies that demand it) without outright hampering his offensive potential.
  • The addition of an effective +9/+9/+4 Atk/Def/Res boost and Breath effect are extremely handy as well. Together with easier maintenance of his guaranteed follow-ups, this translates to a massive upgrade to Ephraim’s damage potential across the board — especially when considering that the accelerated rate of his Special activations cannot be stopped thanks to Solar Brace II. 

Overall, Flame Siegmund helps bring some much-needed improvement and relevance to Legendary Ephraim’s performance.

Solar Brace II

Legendary Ephraim’s exclusive Solar Brace also received a noteworthy upgrade through the new inclusions of both【Canto (2)】and Guard nullification, similar to his sister's Moonlight Bangle. Beyond accentuating his stellar offensive capacity via greater Player Phase mobility and effectively guaranteed Special activations, this combination importantly also makes Legendary Ephraim a very safe and reliable frontliner since he generally doesn't have to worry about most enemy skills other than factors like Null Follow-Up, and always has the safety option of simply retreating with Canto if things don’t pan out exactly according to plan. 

Solar Brace II also slightly modifies the base healing effect to be a constant 10 HP heal post-combat, rather than being tied to his Special activation or damage — the downside of this is that his healing potential does not scale anymore, but conversely comes with the upside of allowing his B skill to combo with Galeforce. This also means that he is guaranteed to heal at least somewhat in the albeit unlikely scenario that he cannot deal much damage to a foe.

Fantastic Attack & Defense

Legendary Ephraim’s base 36 Attack may not quite be what it used to, but it's still plenty respectable; paired with the assortment of in-combat benefits he reaps from his two personal skills, this remains a great starting point to build upon for dealing damage. His statline also features a sturdy 33 Defense (which is, once again, also supplemented considerably by his PRFs) that helps in protecting him against opposing physical threats.

Cavalry Benefits

The three-space movement imparted by his cavalry status is simply the icing on the cake, helping Legendary Ephraim threaten opponents with  his offensive advantages from great distances. As a bonus, his cavalry status also makes it fairly simple to team build given his access to simple but effective class-exclusive buffs like Hone Cavalry.

Weaknesses

Legendary Hero Drawbacks

The Legendary Lord’s ability to shine in competitive modes is unquestionable, but the ability to actually use him is restricted considerably due to his Legendary status; using him outside of Fire Season renders him unable to receive the effects of Mythic Blessings in Aether Raids and sizeably decreases one’s scoring potential in both AR and Colosseum modes.

Low Speed & Resistance

His base Speed isn’t the worst, but it's certainly not high enough to let him perform follow-up attacks by himself. This is bypassed to an extent by the fact that Flame Siegmund lets Legendary Ephraim double an opponent without the need for a Speed check, but this does mean that foes with Null Follow-Up or follow-up negation effects  — both of which are rather common amongst most relevant tanks nowadays  — may bring his assault to a halt. Those with the ability to deal magical damage may be especially tricky given his horrible 18 Resistance, so definitely try to avoid tanking such threats when possible.

Weapon Skills

Weapons SP Rng. Mt.
Iron Lance
Lance Users Only
50 1 6
Steel Lance
Lance Users Only
100 1 8
Heavy SpearEffective against armored units.
Lance Users Only
200 1 8
Flame SiegmundGrants Atk+3. If the number of foes within 2 spaces (excluding target) ≥ the number of allies within 2 spaces (excluding unit), unit makes a guaranteed follow-up attack.
Learns by default 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 5 ★
Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
100 3
SolRestores HP = 50% of damage dealt.
Unlocks at 5 ★
Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
200 3

Passive Skills

Passive Skills SP Slot
Fierce Stance 1Grants Atk+2 during combat when this unit is attacked.
Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
50
A
Sturdy Stance 1Grants Atk/Def+2 during combat if foe initiates combat.
Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
120
A
Sturdy Stance 2Grants Atk/Def+4 during combat if foe initiates combat.
Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
Unlocks at 5 ★
240
A
Solar BraceRestores 30% of damage dealt when Special triggers during combat. (Stacks with effects of skills like Sol.)
Non-Inheritable skill.
Unlocks at 5 ★
300
B
Fortify Def 1Grants adjacent allies Def+2 through their next actions at the start of each turn.
Inheritable by all units.
50
C
Fortify Def 2Grants adjacent allies Def+3 through their next actions at the start of each turn.
Inheritable by all units.
100
C
Fortify Def 3Grants adjacent allies Def+4 through their next actions at the start of each turn.
Inheritable by all units.
Unlocks at 5 ★
200
C
Solar Brace IIEnables【Canto (2)】.  Neutralizes unit's penalties that inflict "Special cooldown charge -X" on unit during combat. Restores 10 HP to unit after combat.  【Canto (2)】 After an attack, Assist skill, or structure destruction, unit can move 2 space(s).  (Unit moves according to movement type. Once per turn. Cannot attack or assist. Only highest value applied. Does not stack. After moving, if a skill that grants another action would be triggered (like with Galeforce), Canto will trigger after the granted action. Unit's base movement has no effect on movement granted. Cannot warp (using skills like Wings of Mercy) a distance greater than 2 space(s).)
Non-Inheritable skill.
Unlocks at 5 ★
300
B

Other Info

Origin
Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones

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