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Analysis by lordhelpme
Niles - Cruel to be Kind

3-4

Obtainable as a 3 - 4 only

Hero Stats

Max Avg Total Stats at Lvl 40
147
HP 37
ATK 25
SPD 34
DEF 17
RES 34

Stat Variations

Level 1 Stat Variation
5★
4★
3★
HP ATK SPD DEF RES
Low 17 5 7 3 7
Middle 18 6 8 4 8
High 19 7 9 5 9

Level 40 Stat Variations
5★
4★
3★
HP ATK SPD DEF RES
Low 34 22 31 13 31
Middle 37 25 34 17 34
High 41 29 37 20 37

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

Sadistic Streak (Aether Raids Offense)

Build by lordhelpme
Recommended
Spendthrift Bow+ (+Res)
Alternate: Niles's Bow (+Eff)
A Mirror Stance 3
Alternate: Atk/Spd Solo (3 or 4)
Positional Assist B Null C-Disrupt 3
Alternate: Mystic Boost 3
Noontime
Alternate: Sol
C Pulse Smoke 3
Alternate: Atk Smoke 3
IVs

+ATK or +RES or +SPD / -DEF

SAtk/Spd Solo 3

Show Explanation/Analysis

Weapon: Spendthrift Bow+ (+RES/SPD) / Niles’s Bow (+Eff)

Assist: Positional Assist / Flexible

Special: Noontime / Sol 

Passive A: Mirror Stance / Kestrel Stance / Atk/Spd Solo / Atk/Res Solo 

Passive B: Null C-Disrupt / Null Follow-Up / Mystic Boost / Quick Riposte

Passive C: Pulse Smoke / Smoke Skills / Flexible

Sacred Seal: Atk/Spd Solo / Spd/Res Solo / Mystic Boost / Swift Stance / Mirror Stance / Quick Riposte

  • Niles’s innate strengths—namely, his combination of decent Speed and Resistance—lend themselves well to an Enemy Phase anti-ranged set, even in an AR-O setting given the sufficient support and investment. He greatly appreciates receiving a +ATK IV to supplement his damage, but +RES and +SPD also works nicely to pad his survivability.
  • The inheritable Spendthrift Bow makes for a stellar weapon choice to simultaneously enhance his damage and raw durability, with its detriment being well worth the benefits it brings—and if Brave Lucina’s refined Geirskögul is available, it can easily be offset as well. This is a rather significant investment, though, so his exclusive Niles’s Bow can also work for its built-in Special acceleration effects. 
  • Relying on Niles’s stats alone generally won’t be enough to maintain high health (especially in Aether Raids), so equipping him with a healing Special is highly recommended. If using Spendthrift Bow, Noontime will always be preferred and pairs especially well with Brave Lucina support, though it may also be used with Niles’s Bow. Sol is another option when combining both Brave Lucina and his PRF’s built-in Slaying effect for immediate Special activations. 
  • Mirror Stance and Kestrel Stance are excellent defensive A slot options to augment his key stats during the Enemy Phase and delay enemy Specials. If pure stat boosts are preferred, Atk/Spd Solo and Atk/Res Solo both work excellently and come with the benefit of having dual phase functionality. 
    • Niles generally needs all the stat boosts he can get, so Close Foil or Close Counter don’t work particularly well with him—especially due to his innately low physical bulk—but they may be worth considering if one feels confident enough in his tanking ability. 
  • For his B slot, Null C-Disrupt and Null Follow-Up are both heavily meta-relevant skills that help him work around otherwise troublesome enemy mechanics, such as counterattack negation and built-in follow-ups respectively. Mystic Boost is another candidate that helps Niles’ more confidently combat Wrathful Staff healers and dragons while granting some appreciable healing, or Quick Riposte if nothing else to ensure his follow-up.
  • For those willing to pull out all the stops for the Nohrian archer, Pulse Smoke is highly recommended for the purposes of Aether Raids Offense to shut down the ever-punishing and ubiquitous Infantry Pulse setups. Otherwise, simple stat-debuffing skills like Atk Smoke work perfectly well to enhance his Enemy Phase prowess. 
  • Niles’s Sacred Seal slot can be filled by any available option that enhances his key stats (such as Atk/Spd Solo and Spd/Res Solo), or Quick Riposte if aiming to ensure his follow-up without relying purely on his Speed. Mystic Boost may also be considered for improved performance against certain magical threats and/or its attached healing.

Does My Face Look Like I'm Thinking Dirty Thoughts? (Player Phase Offensive)

Build by lordhelpme
Recommended
Niles's Bow (+Eff) A Sturdy Impact
Alternate: Swift Sparrow (2 or 3)
Positional Assist B Lull Atk/Spd 3
Alternate: Desperation 3
Glacies
Alternate: Iceberg
C Spd Smoke 3
Alternate: Time's Pulse 3
IVs

 +ATK or +SPD / -DEF

SAtk/Spd Solo 3

Show Explanation/Analysis

Weapon: Niles’ Bow (+Eff)

Assist: Positional Assist / Flexible

Special: Glacies / Iceberg / Luna 

Passive A: Sturdy Impact / Atk/Spd Solo / Mirror Impact / Swift Sparrow / Fury

Passive B: Lull Atk/Spd / Null Follow-Up / Desperation / Special Spiral

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

Sacred Seal: Atk/Spd Solo / Atk/Def Solo / Death Blow / Swift Sparrow / Sturdy Blow

  • He can also opt for a more aggressive approach and utilize a Player Phase oriented setup, centered around maximizing his damage and the use of his PRF. Accordingly, a boost to either one of his offensive stats with the appropriate Asset is ideal.
  • His Special choice will be primarily dependent on his choice of B slot skill. Thanks to the properties of his PRF, Niles benefits from both a flat cooldown reduction (akin to Slaying weapons) and built-in Flashing Blade, thus making Glacies a rather strong and consistent choice for general usage. If using Desperation (or Special Spiral for Special activation chains), Iceberg and Luna are preferred. 
  • Sturdy Impact is a phenomenal A slot skill to supplement Niles’s damage and survivability, doing a great deal to circumvent his otherwise poor physical durability; its Resistance-based alternative, Mirror Impact, should only be used in combination with Special Spiral and Iceberg for maximum damage sets. 
    • However, these do come with the downside of doing nothing to enhance his Speed—which he relies on for both doubles and his PRF—so more generally useful and available alternatives include Atk/Spd Solo, Swift Sparrow, and Fury
  • Lull Atk/Spd works wonderfully to boost the archer’s survivability and consistency at doubling, especially through its ability to break through enemy bonuses. Niles’s B slot is rather diverse, though, and can also be filled by other offensive skills such as Null Follow-Up (to break through forms of follow-up denial), Desperation (for successive doubles), and Special Spiral (for Special chains).
  • Niles has a flexible C slot that can be occupied by pretty much anything; however, there are some standouts. Smoke skills are always solid when provided with refresher support, Joint Drives work nicely for mutual buffing to himself and nearby allies, and Time’s Pulse assists his damage by allowing him to access his Special sooner. Any Sacred Seal that supplements his Attack or Speed will work here.

Strengths

Niles’ Bow

His aptly named Niles’s Bow provides a solid boost to his combat performance, combining the effects of two weapons—Shining Bow and Slaying Bow—at base and attaching built-in Flashing Blade as well through its unique refinement. This provides Niles a means of offsetting his poor damage output, particularly against certain high Defense foes, and overall grants a good deal of overall flexibility. 

Decent Speed and Resistance

Although Niles’ overall statline is rather unimpressive, his Speed and Resistance are some of his better qualities; with base values of 34 in each stat, this gives Niles a decent foundation for performing and denying follow-up attacks as well as soaking magical damage. This can be elevated further through investment.

Good Availability 

Currently available in the 3-4* colorless pool, Niles has the benefit of being quite common, making gathering merges and optimal IVs for him a relatively simple task—both of which he desperately needs to actually shine. 

Infantry Strengths

By merit of being an infantry unit, Niles benefits from incredible skill availability and can access several useful assets, such as Null C-Disrupt, Special Spiral, and Time’s Pulse. This enables him to further develop his potential and also makes him quite moldable, as his build options as more varied compared to his mounted counterparts.

Resplendent 

Okay, yeah, he gets extra stats to help remedy his otherwise unimpressive statline, but the real important part here is the art. Wew. Definitely an upgrade.

Weaknesses

Low Attack

Although his personal weapon does much to aid his otherwise poor damage output, Niles’s low base Attack stat of 25 remains his most glaring weakness—there is only so much one can do to alleviate it, even at maximum investment. This can leave him struggling to deal meaningful damage against bulkier foes. 

Low Physical Bulk

Additionally, his mix of mediocre HP and low Defense together render him incredibly susceptible to any form of physical damage; opposing dragonstone users will also prove to be an issue as they will always target his low Defense stat thanks to their adaptive damage property against ranged units.

Outclassed

Ultimately, although he can certainly perform admirably to his own right, the Nohrian archer remains thoroughly kept back by his unfortunately outdated statline combined with his lack of an outstanding or redeeming quality. Thus, he still faces an incredible amount of competition from other archers who can fulfill a similar role while requiring much less team support and/or investment to function properly—especially those that have been more recently released.

Weapon Skills

Weapons SP Rng. Mt.
Iron BowEffective against flying units.
Only Inheritable by Bow users.
50 2 4
Steel BowEffective against flying units.
Learns by default at 3 ★
Only Inheritable by Bow users.
100 2 6
Killer BowEffective against flying units. Accelerates Special trigger (cooldown count-1).
Learns by default at 4 ★
Unlocks at 3 ★
Only Inheritable by Bow users.
200 2 5
Killer Bow+Effective against flying units. Accelerates Special trigger (cooldown count-1).
Unlocks at 5 ★
Only Inheritable by Bow users.
300 2 9
Niles's BowAccelerates Special trigger (cooldown count-1). Effective against flying foes. If foe's Def ≥ foe's Res+5, deals +7 damage.
Non-Inheritable skill.
400 2 14
Weapon Evolution
Weapon Upgrades
Weapon Upgrades

Special Skills

Special Skills SP Turns
Chilling WindBoosts damage dealt by 50% of unit's Res.
Learns by default at 4 ★
Unlocks at 3 ★
Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
100 4
IcebergBoosts damage dealt by 50% of unit's Res.
Unlocks at 4 ★
Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
200 3

Passive Skills

Passive Skills SP Slot
Warding Blow 1Grants Res+2 during combat if unit initiates the attack.
Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
Unlocks at 3 ★
50
A
Warding Blow 2Grants Res+4 during combat if unit initiates the attack.
Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
Unlocks at 3 ★
100
A
Warding Blow 3Grants Res+6 during combat if unit initiates the attack.
Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
Unlocks at 4 ★
200
A
Spur Res 1Grants adjacent allies Res+2 during combat
Inheritable by all units.
Unlocks at 3 ★
50
C
Spur Res 2Grants adjacent allies Res+3 during combat
Inheritable by all units.
Unlocks at 4 ★
100
C
Spur Res 3Grants adjacent allies Res+4 during combat
Inheritable by all units.
Unlocks at 5 ★
200
C

Other Info

Origin
Fire Emblem Fates

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Official Hero Artwork