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Analysis by lordhelpme
Lon'qu - Solitary Blade

3-4

Obtainable as a 3 - 4 only

Hero Stats

Max Avg Total Stats at Lvl 40
157
HP 45
ATK 29
SPD 39
DEF 22
RES 22

Stat Variations

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

Level 40 Stat Variations
5★
4★
3★
HP ATK SPD DEF RES
Low 42 25 36 19 19
Middle 45 29 39 22 22
High 48 32 42 25 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

Skill Sets

anime_irl (Galeforce)

Build by lordhelpme
Recommended
Ninja Katana+
Alternate: Solitary Blade (+Eff)
A Flashing Blade 4
Alternate: Atk/Spd Solo (3 or 4)
Positional Assist B Wings of Mercy 3
Alternate: Null Follow-Up 3
Galeforce C Time's Pulse 3
Alternate: Joint Drive Spd
IVs

+SPD or +ATK

SBlade Session 3
Alternate: Quickened Pulse

Show Explanation/Analysis

Weapon: Ninja Katana+ / Solitary Blade (+Eff)

Assist: Positional Assist / Flexible

Special: Galeforce 

Passive A: Flashing Blade 4 / Atk/Spd Solo / Swift Sparrow 

Passive B: Wings of Mercy / Spd/Def Tempo / Null Follow-Up 

Passive C: Time’s Pulse / Joint Drive Spd / Tempest Skills / Smoke Skills / Flexible

Sacred Seal: Blade Session / Quickened Pulse / Atk/Spd Form / Swift Sparrow / Flashing Blade

  • A standard Galeforce setup meant to maximize Lon'qu's maneuverability in the Player Phase and potentially take down multiple foes in one sitting, with consideration to both Aether Raids and general usage applications. A +SPD IV is crucial here to ensure his follow-up attack and strengthen Flashing Blade’s consistency, though +ATK is always a safe choice for boosted damage.
  • For his weapon, Ninja Katana is ideal over his Solitary Blade. Provided he can receive one cooldown charge such as through Time’s Pulse, the Quickened Pulse seal, or outside support, Ninja Katana’s Brave effect immediately guarantees the two attacks necessary to trigger the Special — and unlike regular Brave Sword, it increases his Spd for Flashing Blade synergy. 
    • If unavailable, his Solitary Blade can be kept and still works with Flashing Blade to activate Galeforce in a single engagement; however, unlike Ninja Katana, Solitary Blade leaves Lon’qu more susceptible to follow-up negation since landing two attacks is no longer guaranteed. 
    • To mitigate this weakness if seeking to keep Solitary Blade, you can further reduce his base cooldown so that Lon’qu can activate it in one strike. This can be achieved by combining Flashing Blade, Time’s Pulse, and Quickened Pulse, though the specific support he has available can open up the flexibility he has in his skills — regardless, the point is that enough forms of cooldown reduction allows Lon’qu to effectively guarantee his Special activation.
  • Unless Thórr’s Worldbreaker support is available, Flashing Blade will be required somewhere in Lon’qu’s build to ensure regular access to his Special. Utilizing the fourth-tier A skill version is usually ideal due to its true damage bonus (which synergizes nicely with Ninja Katana) and Sacred Seal flexibility; however, for general usage purposes or if keeping him highly supported, the Sacred Seal should work perfectly fine, in which case standard Atk/Spd boosting A skills are recommended.
  • For his B slot, Wings of Mercy is ideal in the context of Aether Raids Offense to grant quick access to the enemy team without sacrificing momentum, provided there’s someone to act as a low HP beacon (which are already pretty standard fare). This is especially prudent for Lon’qu as his base two movement can otherwise create issues in actually engaging with foes.
    • If deemed unnecessary (such as for general usage or if some other means of increased mobility is being used), Lon’qu should consider Spd/Def Tempo or Null Follow-Up. Spd/Def Tempo is especially potent when Lon’qu has less access to cooldown reduction, as Guard effects are the main threat to successful Galeforce runs, while Null Follow-Up is a great generalist option with widespread usage.
  • Time’s Pulse is an exceptional C skill to heighten Lon’qu’s self-sufficiency in accessing Galeforce quickly, though simple stat-enhancement options are always solid to improve his combat and ability to satisfy checks (such as that of Flashing Blade). Tempest skills are also an interesting choice to grant him cavalry-esque mobility with the advantage of having considerably better mobility.

words, sword, same thing - right? (Speed-Based Defensive)

Build by lordhelpme
Recommended
Solitary Blade (+Eff)
Alternate: Arcane Éljúðnir (+Spd)
A Kestrel Stance 3
Alternate: Atk/Spd Unity
Positional Assist B Velocity 3
Alternate: Spurn 3
Vital Astra
Alternate: Luna
C Time's Pulse 3
Alternate: Spd Smoke 3
IVs

+SPD 

SDarting Breath

Show Explanation/Analysis

Weapon: Solitary Blade (+Eff) / Arcane Éljúðnir (+SPD)

Assist: Reposition / Flexible

Special: Vital Astra / Moonbow / Luna 

Passive A: Kestrel Stance / Atk/Spd Unity / Atk/Spd Solo / Distant Dart / Distant Counter

Passive B: Velocity / Spurn / Repel / Close Call

Passive C: Time’s Pulse / Joint Drive Spd / Smoke Skills / Atk/Spd Menace / Flexible

Sacred Seal: Atk/Spd Form / Darting Breath / Kestrel Stance 

  • This build allows Lon’qu to maximize his statline’s hyper-investment into Spd for defensive purposes, focusing on his ability to wield Spd-based damage reduction effects in true myrmidon fashion. A +SPD IV is accordingly recommended here, as is gathering a considerable amount of investment and support given his otherwise dated stat distribution.
  • First and foremost, however, please note that it’s generally best to aid Lon’qu with a Far Save ally and use a standard stat-boosting A skill to focus on melee matchups — despite the tanking focus of this build, the frequency of Deadeye and other forms of reduction negation among ranged threats makes omni-tanking rather dubious. 
    • Those firmly convinced of using Lon’qu as a catch-all tank can utilize Distant Dart for its +5 Spd boost, or good ol’ Distant Counter if unavailable. 
    • Otherwise, Atk/Spd Unity and Kestrel Stance are by far his optimal A skills for their valuable penalty reversal and Guard effects, respectively. The choice between them largely depends on personal preference, though Kestrel Stance should receive priority if some form of Null Follow-Up is unavailable (as this prevents foes with automatic doubles from freely charging their Special at least).
  • His Solitary Blade is… a decent choice here, since the Slaying effect allows for frequent Special activations and the Life and Death refinement translates to appreciated firepower. However, it’s hardly better than most inheritable weapons nowadays and, if resources permit, highly dedicated Lon’qu fans should consider Arcane Éljúðnir.
    • Arcane Éljúðnir is an exceptional weapon that helps offset the deficiencies of damage-reduction sets substantially. 
      • While perhaps seemingly counterintuitive given how fast Lon’qu is, the sword’s guaranteed double and enemy follow-up denial effects help a lot in mitigating the loss of Null Follow-Up in his B skill. 
        • Due to how Arcane Éljúðnir would interact with them, foes with automatic doubles or Impact effects are forced into Spd checks — the likes of which Lon’qu would likely win. 
        • These effects are also very handy against other fast opponents who he may otherwise Spd-tie with. Further, even if such foes manage to break through these safety nets through high enough Spd, Arcane Éljúðnir still provides a perpetually active Guard effect and substantial in-combat debuff to mitigate damage.
      • The only real area where Arcane Éljúðnir loses (even remotely) to Solitary Blade is that it doesn’t enhance his Spd at base, but it can be refined so this is easily bridged.
    • However, it’s extremely expensive and valuable — so again, this is more of a recommendation for players who really like Lon’qu.
  • The usage of a Speed-based reduction skill in his B slot lies at the heart of this build, directly decreasing the amount of damage he takes from opposing foes (up to a maximum of 40%) based on how much faster he is; this makes any available Speed boost well appreciated. Of those available, Velocity and Spurn have the best bonus effects, with Velocity being especially strong for frequent Specials; otherwise, any of the other options Repel and Close Call are interchangeable.
  • Lon’qu can push his damage reduction further through the Vital Astra Special, which offers another potential 30% damage reduction for a total of 58% damage reduction — which, admittedly, isn’t that great of an improvement since they stack multiplicatively, but Vital Astra also offers exceptional burst by granting Spd-based bonus damage. This is another expensive skill, though, so standard Specials like Luna, Moonbow, or even Noontime if healing is desired are perfectly workable. 
  • Another potential mix of damage reduction comes from Spd Smoke 4, though it’s difficult to leverage with Vital Astra given that the latter requires Time’s Pulse for consistent benefits — and again, the benefits of stacking all these skills are not quite equivalent to the sheer cost. Realistically, anything that helps Lon’qu boost his effective stats works and can be slotted without further thought.

while you were partying, I was studying the blade… (General Offense)

Build by lordhelpme
Solitary Blade (+Eff) A Surge Sparrow
Alternate: Swift Sparrow 3
Positional Assist B Null Follow-Up 3
Alternate: Spd/Def Tempo 3
Vital Astra
Alternate: Moonbow
C Time's Pulse 3
Alternate: Atk/Spd Menace
IVs

+SPD or +ATK 

SBlade Session 3

Show Explanation/Analysis

Weapon: Solitary Blade (+Eff)

Assist: Reposition / Flexible

Special: Vital Astra / Moonbow / Glimmer / Ruptured Sky 

Passive A: Surge Sparrow / Swift Sparrow / Atk/Spd Solo / Atk/Spd Ideal

Passive B: Null Follow-Up / Spd/Def Tempo / Lull Spd/Def 

Passive C: Time’s Pulse / Atk/Spd Menace / Joint Drive Skills / Flexible

Sacred Seal: Blade Session / Quickened Pulse / Swift Sparrow / Atk/Spd Solo / Flashing Blade

  • Lon’qu can also perform quite well with a more generalist offensive setup. Increasing either Atk or Spd is preferred here to maximize his effectiveness. 
  • Offensive A slot skills and Sacred Seals, such as Surge Sparrow, Swift Sparrow, and Atk/Spd Solo, are fantastic options that supplement his combat prowess in the Player Phase. That being said, those that can maintain dual phase functionality (such as Atk/Spd Solo and Atk/Spd Ideal) are quite useful for some added flexibility.
  • Specials with short cooldowns like Moonbow and Glimmer are effective for their synergy with Solitary Blade’s Slaying effect, allowing for potentially multiple activations in a single round of combat; this frequent burst helps offset the impact of his base Atk, especially if solidified with a Tempo skill and/or Time’s Pulse to guarantee it. While expensive, Vital Astra is particularly effective as it scales off Lon’qu’s excellent Spd.
  • Lon’qu has a flexible B slot here. Null Follow-Up is a good generalist choice that helps break through effects that would otherwise hamper his offensive presence, Spd/Def Tempo excels at stabilizing his damage by nullifying Guard (and is ideal if he has access to Null Follow-Up externally), and Lull skills are somewhat middling but still decent candidates to break through enemy bonuses.
  • Time’s Pulse is by far the swordsman’s optimal C skill, immediately charging his Special (assuming you use one with a two-turn cooldown as listed) to leverage multiple triggers. Other options include anything that directly aids his damage output like Atk/Spd Menace, Joint Drive Atk, and Def Smoke — so, it’s flexible. 

Strengths

Fantastic Speed 

Despite his statline’s overall age, Lon’qu’s base 39 Spd remains a strong advantage in his favor and aids  both offensive and defensive purposes through frequent performance and avoidance of follow-up attacks. This also enables great usage of Spd-based abilities, such as Spurn, Velocity, and similar B skills that grant coveted damage reduction effects and the【Null Follow-Up】buff that allows Lon’qu to avoid detrimental follow-up mechanics as long as he has more Spd.

Infantry Benefits

The incredible skill availability imparted by Lon’qu’s infantry status helps substantially in elevating his otherwise unimpressive performance; besides skills like Spurn, Velocity, and Null Follow-Up as mentioned above that naturally complement his innate strengths as a typical myrmidon, other options like Spd/Def Tempo and Flashing Blade are useful too in expanding his playstyle options.

Great Availability

Lon’qu’s long-standing status as one of the first units in the game honestly does him somewhat of a disservice, given that a substantial amount of investment is required to keep pace even with just contemporary generic units who don’t have a PRF of their own. Thankfully enough, though, this investment isn’t too bad where acquiring merges and complementary is concerned as he is readily accessible in the 3-4 ✰ pool, and veterans are likely to have accumulated more than their fair share of copies of the Solitary Blade by now…

Weaknesses

Requires Heavy Investment 

…However, the premium skills necessary to maximize Lon’qu’s performance (such as the various fourth-tier Atk/Spd boosters, Flashing Blade 4, and replacements for his weapon) can be expensive and difficult to obtain, not to mention often coveted by many among any player’s roster. The same applies for the high amount of Dragonflowers needed to bridge the gap between modern comparables and his first generation stat distribution, altogether making it difficult to justify giving him such investment — especially since he is effectively a generic unit, as his PRF has aged incredibly poorly.

Harsh Competition

The problem posed by the significant investment Lon’qu requires is underscored dramatically by the fact that even with his optimal set, he still falls considerably behind numerous competitors with more defined statlines and legitimately powerful exclusive skills. Infantry sword units, in particular, are already compose a heavily bloated pool of units, and with premium options like Ascended Mareeta, Brave Marth, and Male Shez featuring otherwise irreplicable combat feats — well, suffice to say, it becomes very hard for Lon’qu to find firm footing for himself in essentially any competitive facet outside of favoritism.

Poor Defensive Stats

Lastly, while his combination of solid overall bulk and high Spd does a good job of protecting him from being flat-out ORKO’d (particularly when paired with damage reduction), relying on this alone is tricky in a meta where automatic follow-up attacks, Brave effects, and means of piercing damage mitigation are common features on any legitimate offensive threat. However, his low defensive values — with both Def and Res sitting at paltry values of 22 — doesn’t really give him any choice, making it necessary to use caution against incoming offensive pressure as he can easily take crippling amounts of damage against the wrong opponents.

Weapon Skills

Weapons SP Rng. Mt.
Iron Sword
Only Inheritable by Sword Units.
50 1 6
Steel Sword
Learns by default at 3 ★
Only Inheritable by Sword Units.
100 1 8
Killing EdgeAccelerates Special trigger (cooldown count-1).
Learns by default at 4 ★
Unlocks at 3 ★
Only Inheritable by Sword Units.
200 1 7
Killing Edge+Accelerates Special trigger (cooldown count-1).
Unlocks at 5 ★
Only Inheritable by Sword Units.
300 1 11
Solitary BladeAccelerates Special trigger (cooldown count-1).
Unlocks at 5 ★
Non-Inheritable skill.
400 1 16
Available Rearmed Weapons
Arcane Éljúðnir
Weapon Evolution
Weapon Upgrades
Weapon Upgrades

Special Skills

Special Skills SP Turns
Night SkyBoosts damage dealt by 50%.
Learns by default at 4 ★
Unlocks at 3 ★
Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
100 3
GlimmerBoosts damage dealt by 50%.
Unlocks at 4 ★
Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
200 2

Passive Skills

Passive Skills SP Slot
Speed +1Grants Spd+1
Inheritable by all units.
Unlocks at 3 ★
30
A
Speed +2Grants Spd+2
Inheritable by all units.
Unlocks at 4 ★
60
A
Speed +3Grants Spd+3
Inheritable by all units.
Unlocks at 5 ★
120
A
Vantage 1Unit counterattacks first when attacked at HP ≤ 25%
Inheritable by all units.
50
B
Vantage 2Unit counterattacks first when attacked at HP ≤ 50%
Inheritable by all units.
Unlocks at 3 ★
100
B
Vantage 3Unit counterattacks first when attacked at HP ≤ 75%
Inheritable by all units.
Unlocks at 4 ★
200
B

Other Info

Origin
Fire Emblem: Awakening

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