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Analysis by Chibi_Chu
Malice - Deft Sellsword

5

Obtainable as a 5 only

Hero Stats

Max Avg Total Stats at Lvl 40
182
HP 40
ATK 39
SPD 43
DEF 32
RES 28

Stat Variations

Level 1 Stat Variation
5★
HP ATK SPD DEF RES
Low 17 8 12 7 5
Middle 18 9 13 8 6
High 19 10 14 9 7

Level 40 Stat Variations
5★
HP ATK SPD DEF RES
Low 36 36 40 29 24
Middle 40 39 43 32 28
High 43 43 47 35 31

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

So we roll the dice... (Galeforce)

Build by Chibi_Chu
Recommended
Spendy Scimitar A Atk/Spd Boosting A Slot
Positional Assist B Wings of Mercy 3
Alternate: Null Follow-Up 3
Galeforce C Savage Blow 3
Alternate: Even Tempest 3
IVs

+Atk and/or +Spd / -Res

SHeavy Blade 3 / Flashing Blade 3

Show Explanation/Analysis

Weapon: Spendy Scimitar 

Assist: Positional Assist 

Special: Galeforce 

Passive A: Atk/Spd Boosting A Slot 

Passive B: Wings of Mercy / Null Follow-Up 

Passive C: Savage Blow / Even Tempest (note Safety Fence) / Odd Tempest

Sacred Seal: Flashing Blade / Heavy Blade 

  • Spendy Scimitar’s -1 Special cooldown and neutralization of effects that slow Malice’s Special charge make her a great Galeforce unit in Aether Raids Offense and general use. Galeforce is a Special that grants its user an additional action when activated, but has a steep Special cooldown at 5. With Spendy Scimitar, this cooldown becomes 4, a key Special cooldown benchmark.
    • Flashing Blade and Heavy Blade, Sacred Seals used by most Galeforcers, grant an additional +1 Special charge when the unit lands an attack and their Speed or Attack respectively is higher than the enemy’s. This means that after 2 attacks (usually one initiation since Malice’s incredibly high Speed means frequent follow-up attacks), Malice can activate Galeforce regardless of whether the enemy counterattacks (4 -> 2 -> 0 cooldown).
  • Atk/Spd Boosting A Slots are Malice’s best options, as she wants to maximize damage output and activate Flashing/Heavy Blade at all costs.
    • Her native Atk/Spd Push 4 is one of her best options, increasing her Atk/Spd by 7 during combat if her HP at the start of combat is ≥ 25% in exchange for 5 recoil damage. This recoil damage can help her drop to ≤ 50% HP, which is vital because it allows allies with Wings of Mercy to teleport to spaces adjacent to her. This opens the door for other units to activate Galeforce and refreshers to grant additional actions to allies.
    • The same logic applies for Fury, but trades some offensive power for more defenses and recoil damage. Generally less preferred because higher offenses are prioritized over higher bulk in most team compositions.
  • Malice’s best B and C Slots depend on whether she or an ally is the unit to begin the Galeforce chain.
    • If an ally begins the Galeforce chain, Wings of Mercy in Malice’s B slot is greatly appreciated so she can teleport to that ally (or subsequent allies) if they drop to ≤ 50% HP. Given that Malice is an Infantry unit, it will be difficult for her to initiate otherwise. Savage Blow is a great choice to secure close KOs on enemies within 2 spaces after her first initiation, inflicting 7 damage on them.
    • If Malice begins the Galeforce chain, Null Follow-Up is key to neutralize effects that prevent Malice’s follow-up attack (preventing her from activating Galeforce at all) and guarantee the enemy’s follow-up attack (putting Malice at greater risk of being KO’d). Odd and Even Tempest grant Malice +1 Movement on odd and even turns respectively; with Safety Fence allowing Galeforce teams to safely set up on turn 1, Even Tempest is typically better, although Odd Tempest can also use the Safety Fence to hit-and-run KO an enemy, then retreat outside of every other enemy’s range to prevent them from moving.

Practice Pays (General Offense)

Build by Chibi_Chu
Spendy Scimitar A Atk/Spd Boosting A Slot
Positional Assist B Null Follow-Up 3
Moonbow
Alternate: Luna
C Atk/Spd Menace
Alternate: Spd Smoke 3
IVs

+Atk and/or +Spd / -Res

SBlade Session 3
Alternate: Atk/Spd Solo 3

Show Explanation/Analysis

Weapon: Spendy Scimitar 

Assist: Positional Assist 

Special: Moonbow / Luna 

Passive A: Atk/Spd Boosting A Slot 

Passive B: Null Follow-Up 

Passive C: Atk/Spd Menace / Spd Smoke

Sacred Seal: Blade Session / Atk/Spd Solo

  • Malice is a fantastic Player Phase unit thanks to stellar 39/43 base offenses and her personal Spendy Scimitar.
    • Granting -1 Special cooldown, +6 to all stats with 1 Dragonflower (+4 to all with none), and neutralization of effects that grant the enemy additional Special charge and inflict Malice with slowed Special charge with 2 Dragonflowers, Malice can consistently deal high damage and activate Specials as long as players invest a little bit into her.
  • Moonbow and Luna are strong Special choices that help Malice cut through enemies with particularly high Defense. Because of Spendy Scimitar, Malice can activate Moonbow on her follow-up attack even if the enemy does not counterattack thanks to its base 2 cooldown, while Malice requires Special acceleration or an enemy counterattack to achieve the same feat with Luna due to its base 3 cooldown.
  • Atk/Spd Boosting A Slots increase Malice’s damage output and consistency. These include her base Atk/Spd Push 4, Fury, Atk/Spd Solo, Atk/Spd Unity, and Atk/Spd Bond. Whichever is chosen depends on if the player cares about recoil damage (if so, then Atk/Spd Push 4 and Fury are less desirable options) and Malice’s position relative to allies (if so, then Atk/Spd Solo, Atk/Spd Unity, and Atk/Spd Bond may be less desirable options; the first depends on Malice not being adjacent to an ally, the second depends on Malice being within 2 spaces of an ally, and the latter depends on Malice being adjacent to an ally).
  • Effects that prevent Malice’s follow-up attack and guarantee the enemy’s follow-up attack significantly hamper her offensive and defensive capabilities, so Null Follow-Up is vital for nullifying these effects.
  • Atk/Spd Menace makes Malice less reliant on allies for visible Atk/Spd buffs, as it grants Malice +6 Atk/Spd and inflicts -6 Atk/Spd on the closest enemies within 4 spaces. For a more budget option, Spd Smoke works well, inflicting -7 Speed on enemies within 2 spaces after combat. In addition, Spd Smoke is consistent; if there are no enemies within 4 spaces of Malice, Atk/Spd Menace will have no effect.
  • Blade Session and Atk/Spd Solo are the go-to offensive Sacred Seals. While the latter grants a consistent +6 Atk/Spd to Malice during combat if she is not adjacent to an ally, the former grants +9 Atk/Spd if 2 allies have moved before her and +6 Atk/Spd if 1, but only +3 Atk/Spd if none.

Super Spendthrift (Superunit)

Build by Chibi_Chu
Spendy Scimitar A Distant Counter
Positional Assist B Null C-Disrupt 3
Alternate: Spurn 3
Noontime
Alternate: Sol
C Joint Drive Atk
Alternate: Joint Drive Spd
IVs

+Atk and/or +Spd / -HP or -Def

SSpd/Res Solo 3
Alternate: Steady Breath

Show Explanation/Analysis

Weapon: Spendy Scimitar 

Assist: Positional Assist 

Special: Noontime / Sol 

Passive A: Distant Counter 

Passive B: Null C-Disrupt / Spurn / Null Follow-Up

Passive C: Joint Drive Atk / Joint Drive Spd 

Sacred Seal: Spd/Res Solo / Steady Breath

  • While Aether Raids Offense superunits are becoming less and less prevalent due to the current reign of Near Save and Far Save, they are still great to have mostly because of their access to Infantry Skills. Malice is a great superunit thanks to this, in addition to her statline and Speedy Scimitar.
    • Speedy Scimitar grants -1 Special cooldown, +6 to all stats during combat if she has at least 1 Dragonflower (+4 if not), and neutralization of effects that decrease her Special charge or increase the enemy’s if she has at least 2 Dragonflowers. Higher offensive and defensive output and very consistent Specials for healing via Noontime or Sol make Malice a great Enemy Phase generalist.
  • Because of Speedy Scimitar’s -1 Special cooldown, Malice can activate 2-cooldown Specials on her first counterattack. However, if she can receive Special acceleration on the enemy’s first attack via the Steady Breath Sacred Seal or allies such as Brave Lucina and New Year Velouria, she can activate 3-cooldown Specials on her first counterattack. If only the former is possible, choose Noontime; if the latter is possible, choose Sol. Noontime heals 30% of damage dealt while Sol heals 50%, but Noontime has 2 cooldown, so which one is chosen should correspond with the inability or ability to have additional Special acceleration/charge.
  • Distant Counter is necessary because it allows Malice to counterattack against ranged enemies; surviving is not very helpful in most scenarios if she cannot deal damage in return. Many prevalent Aether Raids Defense units are also ranged, making being able to counterattack against them all the more valuable.
  • Spurn, Null C-Disrupt, and Null Follow-Up are all valuable B slots. The first grants damage reduction up to 40% (4% for every point of Speed Malice has over the enemy), the second allows Malice to neutralize effects that prevent her counterattack, and Null Follow-Up neutralizes effects that guarantee the enemy’s follow-up attack or prevent Malice’s. Choosing between the 3 is difficult, but note that damage reduction and Null Follow-Up can be granted by Flayn/Nifl and Legendary Male Byleth respectively; as of now, Null C-Disrupt cannot be granted to allies, making it a prime choice and generally helpful against the plethora of units with Dazzling Staff or Firesweep effects.
  • Joint Drive Atk consistently increases Malice’s damage by granting +4 Attack if she is within 2 spaces of an ally. This also indirectly increases her healing via Noontime or Sol, as more damage on Special activation increases healing. As for an alternative, Joint Drive Spd is a general go-to for superunits if they are reliant on Speed-based damage reduction (Spurn family of Skills).
  • If not using Steady Breath as a means of Special charge to activate 3-cooldown Specials on Malice’s first counterattack, Spd/Res Solo is great to increase follow-up consistency, ensure damage reduction if using Spurn, and surviving against magical enemies.

Strengths

High BST; strong overall statline

40/39/43/32/28 is a simply fantastic statline that allows for high offensive and defensive capabilities. Even her 67 magical bulk is workable, especially considering this is without any support from allies and damage reduction from Skills such as her native Spurn.

Spendy Scimitar

The more lenient sequel to Farina’s Hotshot Lance, Malice’s Spendy Scimitar:

  • Grants -1 Special cooldown, allowing for more frequent Special activations for additional damage (with Moonbow, Luna, etc.), healing (with Noontime, Sol, or Aether), or actions (with Galeforce).
  • Grants Malice +X Atk/Spd/Def/Res during combat if she initiates combat or is within 2 spaces of an ally. X = 4 if Malice has no Dragonflowers, but X = 6 if Malice has at least 1 Dragonflower.
  • Neutralizes effects that slow Malice’s Special charge or accelerate the enemy’s Special charge. This improves Malice’s offensive and defensive capabilities, as she can consistently activate Specials for higher damage/healing (or additional actions with Galeforce) while enemies have no way to accelerate their own Special charges for their own damage/healing/Galeforce.

Infantry advantages

While Armored units are once again taking over the meta with the addition of Near Save and Far Save, Infantry status is still nice for access to Skills that increase consistency and flexibility. Such Skills include Null Follow-Up, Null C-Disrupt, Odd Tempest, Even Tempest, and the Spurn family.

Weaknesses

Requires investment?

This is a nitpick at best, but Malice requires irreversible investment via needing Dragonflowers to use Spendy Scimitar to its fullest potential. While most players can probably throw 1-2 Dragonflowers Malice’s way without much thought or concern, players that are currently investing Dragonflowers into other Infantry units may be hard-pressed to spare even 1-2 for Malice.

Immense competition

It would be an understatement to say that there are a lot of Infantry Sword users in FEH. As such, only the best of the best or most unique ones can stand out amongst their peers, and Malice arguably falls short of this.

Perhaps her most direct competition is Ayra; in addition to having Regnal Astra, Ayra’s Blade grants +3 Atk/Spd, -1 Special cooldown, and +4 to all stats and 20% damage reduction on the enemy’s first attack if the enemy’s HP is ≥ 75% HP at the start of combat. In addition, it has the same effect as Speedy Scimitar: it neutralizes effects that slow Ayra’s Special charge or hastens the enemy’s Special charge. Regnal Astra and 20% damage reduction separate Ayra from Malice, and not in a way that is favorable for the latter; Ayra’s nuking and survivability capabilities are stronger thanks to these. While Malice’s base stats are much higher, the 15 Dragonflower gap between her and Ayra closes this gap significantly. At the very least, though, Malice is likely a stronger Galeforcer due to higher offenses.

Weapon Skills

Weapons SP Rng. Mt.
Iron Sword
Learns by default at 1 ★
Unlocks at 1 ★
Only Inheritable by Sword Units.
50 1 6
Steel Sword
Learns by default at 2 ★
Unlocks at 2 ★
Only Inheritable by Sword Units.
100 1 8
Silver Sword
Learns by default at 4 ★
Unlocks at 3 ★
Only Inheritable by Sword Units.
200 1 11
Spendy ScimitarAccelerates Special trigger (cooldown count-1). If unit initiates combat or is within 2 spaces of an ally, grants bonus to Atk/Spd/Def/Res during combat based on the number of times unit has been enhanced using Dragonflowers (one or more times grants +6, zero times grants +4), and also, if unit has been enhanced using Dragonflowers two or more times, neutralizes effects that grant "Special cooldown charge +X" to foe or inflict "Special cooldown charge -X" on unit during combat.
Learns by default at 5 ★
Unlocks at 5 ★
Non-Inheritable skill.
400 1 16
Weapon Evolution
Weapon Upgrades
Weapon Upgrades

Special Skills

Special Skills SP Turns
New MoonResolve combat as if foe suffered Def/Res-30%
Learns by default at 4 ★
Unlocks at 3 ★
Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
100 3
LunaResolve combat as if foe suffered Def/Res-50%
Unlocks at 4 ★
Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
200 3

Passive Skills

Passive Skills SP Slot
Atk/Spd Push 1At start of combat, if unit's HP = 100%, grants Atk/Spd+3, but if unit attacked, deals 1 damage to unit after combat.
Inheritable by all units.
Unlocks at 2 ★
60
A
Atk/Spd Push 2At start of combat, if unit's HP = 100%, grants Atk/Spd+4, but if unit attacked, deals 1 damage to unit after combat.
Inheritable by all units.
Unlocks at 3 ★
120
A
Atk/Spd Push 3At start of combat, if unit's HP = 100%, grants Atk/Spd +5, but if unit attacked, deals 1 damage to unit after combat.
Inheritable by all units.
Unlocks at 4 ★
240
A
Atk/Spd Push 4At start of combat, if unit's HP >= 25%, grants Atk/Spd+7. but after combat, if unit attacked, deals 5 damage to unit.
Inheritable by all units.
Unlocks at 5 ★
300
A
Spurn 1If unit's Spd > foe's Spd, reduces damage from attacks during combat and from area-of-effect Specials (excluding Røkkr area-of-effect Specials) by percentage = difference between stats × 2 (max 20%). If unit's HP ≤ 25% and unit's attack triggers Special, deals +5 damage when Special triggers.
Infantry Sword, Lance & Axe Only
Unlocks at 1 ★
60
B
Spurn 2If unit's Spd > foe's Spd, reduces damage from attacks during combat and from area-of-effect Specials (excluding Røkkr area-of-effect Specials) by percentage = difference between stats × 3 (max 30%). If unit's HP ≤ 50% and unit's attack triggers Special, deals +5 damage when Special triggers.
Infantry Sword, Lance & Axe Only
Unlocks at 2 ★
120
B
Spurn 3If unit's Spd > foe's Spd, reduces damage from attacks during combat and from area-of-effect Specials (excluding Røkkr area-of-effect Specials) by percentage = difference between stats × 4 (max 40%). If unit's HP ≤ 75% and unit's attack triggers Special, deals +5 damage when Special triggers.
Infantry Sword, Lance & Axe Only
Unlocks at 4 ★
240
B

Other Info

Origin
Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem
Fire Emblem: New Mystery of the Emblem
Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon
Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light

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