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Analysis by lordhelpme
Thief Nina - Shadowy Figures

5

Obtainable as a 5 only

Hero Stats

Max Avg Total Stats at Lvl 40
168
HP 38
ATK 37
SPD 43
DEF 18
RES 32

Stat Variations

Level 1 Stat Variation
5★
HP ATK SPD DEF RES
Low 15 6 12 2 7
Middle 16 7 13 3 8
High 17 8 14 4 9

Level 40 Stat Variations
5★
HP ATK SPD DEF RES
Low 34 34 40 15 29
Middle 38 37 43 18 32
High 41 41 47 21 35

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

wait why do i hear Specialist playing (Utility Nuke / Hit-and-Run + Maximum Damage)

Build by lordhelpme
Recommended
Shadowy Quill A Atk/Spd Catch 4
Positional Assist B Wings of Mercy 3
Alternate: Disarm Trap 3
Lethality C C Feud 3
Alternate: Fatal Smoke 3
IVs

+ATK or +SPD / -DEF or -RES

SQuickened Pulse

Show Explanation/Analysis

Weapon: Shadowy Quill

Assist: Positional Assist / Flexible

Special: Lethality 

Passive A: Atk/Spd Catch 

Passive B: Wings of Mercy / Disarm Trap 

Passive C: C Feud / Fatal Smoke / Pulse Smoke / Flexible

Sacred Seal: Quickened Pulse / Atk/Spd Catch / Swift Sparrow / Atk/Spd Solo 

  • One quick glance of Thief Nina and Kagero’s kit reveals phenomenal synergy with aggressive play, and this build seeks to hone these qualities to their maximum in the context of hit-and-run strategies (particularly in Aether Raids Offense). While a +SPD IV is certainly a strong option to complement their damage output through more frequent follow-ups, a +ATK IV should be prioritized above all else as their inability to bypass Impact effects and poor bulk makes it more favorable to emphasize OHKOs instead.
  • Atk/Spd Catch and Lethality are essentially the best offense-enhancing skills available for Nina/Kagero’s specific gameplan, and both thankfully come included in her kit by default — genuinely, there’s no reason to swap them out.
    • However, it’s worth noting that while Lethality’s reduction-piercing effect is crucial to ensuring their damage ceiling remains unhindered, the Special comes with a few caveats. 
      • For one, its initial four-turn cooldown coupled with the lack of Slaying effect built into Shadowy Quill can make it difficult for Nina/Kagero to actually access it quick enough for it to actually matter. Those seeking to maximize her damage should focus on providing direct sources of Special charges, such as from the Quickened Pulse Sacred Seal, Legendary Hector’s Ostia's Pulse II, and Askr’s Opened Domain.
      • Second, the reduction-piercing effect has no bearing on damage reduction that comes from Special activations, which can make the increased presence of Hardy Fighter Save units extremely troublesome. 
        • Your annoyance with them may vary on how often you actually run into them (which may not be all that much at lower echelons), but those who want to avoid issues may consider pairing Nina/Kagero with an Even Pulse Tie ally to safeguard their OHKO potential.
  • Thief Nina and Kagero’s optimal B skill largely depends on whether she is the focus of her team’s damage output, or if using her alongside fellow initiators to sweep through enemy forces. If she is the star, Disarm Trap is generally best to avoid having her initiations unnecessarily interrupted during Offense runs. Otherwise, Wings of Mercy pairs quite nastily with 【Canto (Recall)】— even if she warps across the entire map with Wings of Mercy, her ability to return to her starting position is unimpeded, making the most of her hit-and-run proficiency since you can plan said position more easily.
  • Their default C Feud is an inherently powerful skill to debilitate colorless foes and support, but this is admittedly a little narrow for the purposes of Aether Raids Offense. If that proves to be true for you, it may be worth considering non-stat Smoke skills if using other Player Phase allies to aid their combat, or Joint Drives for (essentially) free stats; however, Nina/Kagero’s C skill is ultimately flexible. 

* WE * are Looking Disrespectfully (Wings of Mercy Beacon)

Build by lordhelpme
Shadowy Quill A Fury 4
Alternate: Fury 3
Positional Assist B Disarm Trap 3
Alternate: S/D Far Trace 3
Lethality C Savage Blow 3
Alternate: Pulse Smoke 3
IVs

+ATK or +SPD / -HP

SFury 3

Show Explanation/Analysis

Weapon: Shadowy Quill

Assist: Positional Assist / Flexible

Special: Lethality

Passive A: Fury

Passive B: Disarm Trap / S/D Far Trace / Sweep Skills 

Passive C: Savage Blow / Fatal Smoke / Pulse Smoke / C Feud / Flexible

Sacred Seal: Fury 

  • This build similarly emphasizes Nina and Kagero’s performance in the Player Phase, but narrows down the focus of their capabilities as beacons for Galeforce strategies in Aether Raids Offense — though, unlike other comparables, they can retain a good chunk of their firepower by merit of Shadowy Quill’s bonus true damage. Again, +ATK or +SPD IVs are ideal for greater potency (with +ATK deserving more priority), and it should be noted that unmerged Nina/Kagero greatly covet -HP IVs here specifically.
  • The primary gameplan here is to equip Fury in both their A skill and Sacred Seal slots to leverage the skill’s self-inflicted chip damage. When paired with refreshers to chain multiple actions, this can be leveraged favorably to allow the Shadowy Figures to fall below 50% HP; this then allows any Galeforce-equipped ally to gain quick access to the enemy team without relying on outside assistance, instead being able to simply teleport to a space adjacent to Thief Nina and Kagero. 
    • The advent of the Safety Fence structure also makes the required amount of combats necessary for Nina/Kagero fall below 50% HP much less complicated to achieve, as their effective five-tile range — or six, if the Duo Skill is accessible — and innate 【Canto (Recall)】effect make it easy to get a free engagement on the first turn to get the ball rolling.
    • However, as they very much rely on the effects of 【Canto (Recall)】for these first few turns, it becomes perhaps even doubly more prudent to remain cautious of 【Canto Control】sources. 
  • Disarm Trap is a staple among the few dagger units who can also fulfill this role, and for good reason as it lets Nina/Kagero safely carry out the setup portion of this playstyle without worrying about disruption from trap placement. 
    • That being said, the introduction of Hex Traps has done quite a bit to reduce the overall efficacy of Disarm Trap, so there are a few alternatives that can be considered such as S/D Far Trace to give them more flexibility in their Canto range. 
      • It does not allow Canto to activate more than once, but having 【Canto (Rem.)】spaces in addition to their starting position to choose from can smoothen a transition from accumulating chip damage by attacking to acting as a pure beacon.
    • Windsweep or Watersweep may also be considered. While they steer away from their damage potential a little, it offers a great degree of safety to Thief Nina and Kagero in setting up her team — and since they rely on OHKO’s as it is, losing on a follow-up in exchange isn’t a bad trade in the slightest. 

Strengths

Exceptional Damage Potential

The Shadowy Figures having a baseline of 37/43 Atk/Spd (in addition to a perpetually active +9 Atk/Spd boost and the ability to deal adaptive damage from their weapon) already places them at a stellar starting point relative to others: while they may not have any means of bypassing follow-up prevention, just one strike alone is going to leave a pretty hefty dent. This is amped substantially, however, through Shadowy Quill’s unique damage-boosting mechanic.

  • While reminiscent of the popularized Bladetome and Broadleaf effects, Thief Nina and Kagero’s Shadowy Quill is, for all intents and purposes, a strict upgrade in two key ways:
  • For one, Shadowy Quill combines both effects — in that it considers buffs Nina and Kagero have present and debuffs active on foes — into one seamless package by cherry picking the higher values in calculating the total.
    • For instance, if Nina and Kagero have +6 visible Atk/Spd/Def/Res against a foe with a -7 Atk/Def visible debuff, Shadowy Quill will specifically keep their +6 Spd/Res bonus while skipping their Atk/Def bonuses to instead count the -7 Atk/Def debuff on their enemy for +26 bonus damage. 
    • This individual stat calculation not only makes it quite simple to push Nina and Kagero’s damage to devastating heights, but also grants their gameplay an appreciable amount of safety. Even against foes who can potentially nullify the pair’s buffs or debuffs, they still have whatever isn’t nullified to rely on for their damage — and foes who can negate both aren’t particularly common.
  • Furthermore, whereas other similar effects enhance damage in the form of a direct boost to a unit’s Atk, Shadowy Quill takes this one step further and makes this a true damage bonus — meaning that it remains a flat number that won’t change, even if they otherwise wouldn’t be able to deal damage. This makes the ease in maintaining Shadow’s maximum bonus damage even more threatening.

Unparalleled Mobility

The 【Canto (Recall)】effect of Thief Nina and Kagero’s Shadowy Quill adds another layer of dimension to their overall gameplay, making the pair highly mobile by yeeting themselves back to their starting position after making an attacking or Assist action every turn. 

Paired with their dagger cavalry status, this draws immediate parallel to the notorious Yuri and his (dis)Honorable Blade, though the difference is that Nina/Kagero’s Canto isn’t limited by a set number of spaces — as long as Canto Control isn’t in play, they will always warp back to their starting position no matter how much they actually moved. This is, needless to say, extremely powerful in the player’s hands, especially when paired with skills like Wings of Mercy and Disarm Trap that allow for simpler maneuvering, and helps largely circumvent their poor bulk — it’s hard to punish extending too far into enemy range when nothing is “too far.”

This easily places the Shadowy Figures’ mobility leaps and bounds above any comparable cavalry units, and this is further compounded by the effects of their Duo Skill as listed below.

Colorless Dagger + Cavalry Benefits

Thief Nina and Kagero’s ranged cavalry status is a natural complement to the hyper-offensive lean and 【Canto (Recall)】effect built into Shadowy Quill, as the pair can easily assert Player Phase dominance by an effective five-tile range to maximum effect (as they can go as far as they like without worrying about overextending). Furthermore, access to Disarm Trap (among other neat class-exclusive skills like Atk/Spd Catch) and neutral matchups across the board from the wonder that is being colorless helps round out their overall flexibility and ease-of-use.

Duo Hero Benefits

Having Kagero by her side does more favors for Nina than simply making her look prettier, with her status as a Duo Hero granting some accessory benefits. For instance, their scoring potential in Colosseum-related modes is drastically elevated as their BST is counted as a whopping 195, they can enable certain structures within Aether Raids, and they have access to a Duo Skill.

While Duo Skills have been rather… diverse in how useful they actually are, Thief Nina and Kagero’s is extremely synergistic with their preferred playstyle and makes them even more of a mobile nuke on turns (or maps) it is accessible: it immediately grants them another space of movement for an effective six-tile range, and any foes in their cardinal directions or who have a penalty active are debilitated with inflicts Atk/Spd/Def/Res-7 and the【Panic】 penalty. The debuffing portion of this skill makes maximizing their damage potential child’s play — especially when running Nina/Kagero alongside allies who passively apply global debuffs to avoid the cardinal direction limitation — and having so much movement is genuinely terrifying

Weaknesses

Abysmal Physical Bulk

With such an intense fixation on aggressive play built into every aspect of their kit, it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise that their overall physical bulk is as horrible as it is — with only a mere 56 physical bulk as a baseline and no form of Def enhancements in their weapon, Nina/Kagero are susceptible to being one-shot by a stiff breeze and largely rely on OHKO’s and their retreating options to operate.

Increasingly Common Countermeasures

It’s genuinely not too difficult to find units nowadays that can output considerable damage considering how overwhelming PRF weapons have gotten; however, what makes Thief Nina and Kagero truly unique is their ability to combine such prowess with little repercussion due to Canto and Disarm Trap, similar to direct comparable Yuri. While relying on 【Canto (Recall)】isn’t a bad thing in itself, the introduction of the Hex Trap and 【Canto Control】 make Nina/Kagero’s strategy much less foolproof than once before — and falling prey to either such mechanics makes it pretty likely that they’ll just be defeated quickly.

Duo Skill

Unit can move 1 extra space. (That turn only. Does not stack.) If any foes are in cardinal directions of unit or【Penalty】is active on any foes, inflicts Atk/Spd/Def/Res-7 and【Panic】 on those foes.  Once used, Duo Skill cannot be activated again right away. At start of every third turn, if Duo Skill has already been used, unit can use Duo Skill again.  【Penalty】 All effects that last "on foe through its next action." Includes penalties inflicted by a skill like Panic or Threaten and negative status effects (preventing counterattacks, restricting movement, or the effects of a skill like Triangle Adept or Guard).  【Panic】 Converts bonuses on target into penalties through its next action.

Weapon Skills

Weapons SP Rng. Mt.
Iron DaggerAfter combat, inflicts Def/Res-3 on foe through its next action.
Learns by default at 1 ★
Unlocks at 1 ★
Dagger users only.
50 2 3
Steel DaggerAfter combat, inflicts Def/Res-3 on foe through its next action.
Learns by default at 2 ★
Unlocks at 2 ★
Dagger users only.
100 2 5
Silver DaggerAfter battle, inflicts Def/Res-5 on foe through its next action.
Learns by default at 4 ★
Unlocks at 3 ★
Dagger users only.
200 2 7
Shadowy QuillEnables【Canto (Recall)】.  Grants Atk+3. If unit initiates combat or is within 2 spaces of an ally, calculates damage using the lower of foe's Def or Res, grants Atk/Spd+6 to unit during combat, and deals damage = total of the greater between unit's current bonus or foe's current penalty to Atk/Spd/Def/Res. (Calculates each value independently. Excluding area-of-effect Specials.) Effect:【Dagger 7】  【Canto (Recall)】 After an attack, Assist skill, or structure destruction, unit can return to the space they moved from.  (Once per turn. Cannot attack or assist. 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. Granted movement treated as Warp movement.)  【Dagger 7】 After combat, if unit attacked, inflicts Def/Res-7 on target and foes within 2 spaces of target through their next actions.
Learns by default at 5 ★
Unlocks at 5 ★
Non-Inheritable skill.
400 2 14
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
LethalityWhen Special triggers, treats foe's Def/Res as if reduced by 75% during combat. Disables non-Special skills that "reduce damage by X%."
Unlocks at 5 ★
Dagger users only.
500 4

Passive Skills

Passive Skills SP Slot
Atk/Spd Catch 1At start of combat, if foe's HP = 100% or if【Penalty】is active on foe, grants Atk/Spd+3 to unit during combat.  【Penalty】 All effects that last "on foe through its next action." Includes penalties inflicted by a skill like Panic or Threaten and negative status effects (preventing counterattacks, restricting movement, or the effects of a skill like Triangle Adept or Guard).
Cavalry & Flying Only
Unlocks at 2 ★
60
A
Atk/Spd Catch 2At start of combat, if foe’s HP = 100% or if【Penalty】is active on foe, grants Atk/Spd+4 to unit during combat.  【Penalty】 All effects that last "on foe through its next action." Includes penalties inflicted by a skill like Panic or Threaten and negative status effects (preventing counterattacks, restricting movement, or the effects of a skill like Triangle Adept or Guard).
Cavalry & Flying Only
Unlocks at 3 ★
120
A
Atk/Spd Catch 3At start of combat, if foe’s HP = 100% or if【Penalty】is active on foe, grants Atk/Spd+5 to unit during combat.  【Penalty】 All effects that last "on foe through its next action." Includes penalties inflicted by a skill like Panic or Threaten and negative status effects (preventing counterattacks, restricting movement, or the effects of a skill like Triangle Adept or Guard).
Cavalry & Flying Only
Unlocks at 4 ★
240
A
Atk/Spd Catch 4At start of combat, if foe's HP = 100% or if【Penalty】is active on foe, grants Atk/Spd+7 to unit during combat. At start of combat, if foe's HP = 100% and【Penalty】is active on foe, grants an additional Atk/Spd+2 to unit during combat.  【Penalty】 All effects that last "on foe through its next action." Includes penalties inflicted by a skill like Panic or Threaten and negative status effects (preventing counterattacks, restricting movement, or the effects of a skill like Triangle Adept or Guard).
Cavalry & Flying Only
Unlocks at 5 ★
300
A
Chill Def 1At start of turn, inflicts Def-3 on foe on the enemy team with the highest Def through its next action.
Inheritable by all units.
Unlocks at 2 ★
60
B
Chill Def/Res 1At start of turn, inflicts Def/Res-3 on foe on the enemy team with the highest Def+Res total through its next action.
Inheritable by all units.
Unlocks at 3 ★
120
B
Chill Def/Res 2At start of turn, inflicts Def/Res-5 on foe on the enemy team with the highest Def+Res total through its next action.
Inheritable by all units.
Unlocks at 4 ★
240
B
Chill Def/Res 3At start of turn, inflicts Def/Res-6 on foe on the enemy team with the highest Def+Res total and foes within 2 spaces of that foe through their next actions.
Inheritable by all units.
Unlocks at 5 ★
300
B
C Feud 1If in combat against a colorless foe, disables skills of all foes, excluding foe in combat. During combat, disables skills of all colorless foes, excluding foe in combat.
Inheritable by all units.
Unlocks at 1 ★
60
C
C Feud 2If in combat against a colorless foe, disables skills of all foes, excluding foe in combat, and inflicts Atk/Spd/Def/Res-2 on foe during combat. During combat, disables skills of all colorless foes, excluding foe in combat.
Inheritable by all units.
Unlocks at 2 ★
120
C
C Feud 3If in combat against a colorless foe, disables skills of all foes, excluding foe in combat, and inflicts Atk/Spd/Def/Res-4 on foe during combat. During combat, disables skills of all colorless foes, excluding foe in combat.
Inheritable by all units.
Unlocks at 4 ★
240
C

Other Info

Origin
Fire Emblem Fates

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