Completely out of left field for most players, Legendary Fae has joined the fray! While undeniably adorable, does her banner bring enough to the table to summon on?
Earth Legendary Comparisons and Matchups; Arena Discussion
Fae competes against and will, by virtue of sharing Earth-blessed seasons with them, frequently face 7 other Earth Legendaries: Ike, Female Grima, Tiki, Alm, Claude, Julia, and Seliph. Due to her Blue coloring, she can dispatch Ike and Seliph with relative ease. The combination of inflicting -5 to all stats, preventing follow-up attacks, a Guard effect, and Dragon’s Ire allows Fae to duel Female Grima quite effectively as well, in spite of the latter’s numerous in-combat, stat-influencing Skills. Somewhat surprisingly, Fae can also often ORKO Tiki on Enemy Phase. Life Unending’s Miracle effect allows Fae to survive an attack from Tiki’s Dragon-effective Divine Mist, before 2HKOing her thanks to Dragon’s Ire’s guaranteed follow-up attack as long as Fae’s HP is ≥ 50% at the start of combat. Note, however, that this is written only a few days before Divine Mist’s refine. If +Eff Divine Mist neutralizes effects that prevent Tiki’s follow-up attack, then she will likely ORKO Fae as long as she can force Life Unending’s Miracle effect on her first attack. If +Eff Divine Mist neutralizes effects that guarantee Fae’s follow-up attack, then Tiki will likely survive her first combat and KO Fae in the next combat.
While his 65 physical bulk and 61 magical bulk are quite low, high-investment Alms may be able to survive a counterattack from Fae via Mirror Impact, visible Def/Res buffs, and in-combat Def/Res buffs. Alm’s native B Slot, Null Follow-Up, neutralizes Dazzling Breath’s follow-up prevention and Dragon’s Ire altogether, meaning Fae needs to OHKO if she does not want Alm to deal good damage (given his still solid 37/37 offenses and Luna Arc’s additional damage based on 25% of Fae’s Defense). Thankfully, should Fae fall to Alm, Life Unending will grant her a lease on life and a full heal after combat, which should be sufficient to KO him in the following combat. However, if Life Unending’s healing effect has already been expended and its Miracle effect activates on Alm’s first attack, Fae must KO him on her counterattack, or his follow-up attack will KO her.
Unfortunately, Julia and Claude decisively pose problems for Fae. Dazzling Breath’s adaptive damage would normally enable Fae to OHKO Julia, but this is disabled by her personal B Slot, Light and Dark. In addition, Julia’s Dragon-effective Virtuous Naga and native Mirror Impact only worsen this matchup for Fae, as she will often deal little damage and be OHKO’d. Life Unending’s Miracle effect and healing after combat on its first activation mean little if Fae cannot KO Julia. Meanwhile, Claude’s Null Follow-Up effect and 80% damage reduction on initiation and the first attack of the following Enemy Phase allow him to have high damage output and astounding bulk, creating a similar problem for Fae as Julia does: Miracle and healing mean little if she cannot use those effects to her advantage to KO threatening enemies.
Back to a more positive side for this discussion, Fae’s scoring potential in Coliseum modes is unmatched by her Earth Legendary peers. Fae has 188 BST at +0, landing her in the 185-189 BST bin for Arena scoring; however, at +1 onward, she will have 191-192 BST because merges remove a unit’s Flaw (or grant additional stats if the unit is neutral). Unlike Julia and Seliph, Fae lacks a personal B Slot, preventing her from reaching the 2400 SP bin for a higher score; however, she more than makes up for this with the aforementioned much higher BST bin.
Relevance in Other Modes
The sheer dominance of Near Save and Far Save necessitates discussion about Fae’s performance in Aether Raids Offense to revolve primarily around having a partner with one of these Skills. On that note, Fae performs well on Enemy Phase regardless of which Save Skill her partner has thanks to her high Attack and fantastic defenses. If her partner has Near Save, she can take advantage of her native Distant Stance to receive magical attacks especially well. However, given that many ranged attacks are from Staff units that equip a Dazzling Staff effect or Bow units with Firesweep Bow to prevent counterattacks, Fae may need to switch Dragon’s Ire to Null C-Disrupt to counterattack against all ranged enemies; this means she will need Quick Riposte as her Sacred Seal or Speed-stacking to perform follow-up attacks. If her partner has Far Save, she can ditch Distant Stance for a different A Slot (such as Atk/Def Unity) and handle Red and Blue threats such as Legendary Sigurd, Eliwood, Kempf, Nótt, and Seiros very well. Like with her Near Save partner, she can also stack Speed with her Far Save partner and run Null Follow-Up. Keep in mind that Fae should be wary of Fatal Smoke (which prevents healing effects), Brave weapons (whose wielders may force Life Unending’s Miracle effect on their first attack, then KO on their second consecutive attack), and Null Follow-Up (if players choose not to stack Speed).
Interestingly, Fae may also find a place in Aether Raids Defense thanks to Life Unending’s Miracle and post-combat healing effects. Because Fatal Smoke is uncommon in Aether Raids Offense, Fae typically does not need to worry about Life Unending’s healing effect being stymied. Null Follow-Up is becoming less common due to the transition from Infantry Enemy Phasers to Armored ones, meaning Fae can make full use of Dazzling Breath and Dragon’s Ire in many battles. Finally, Brave Weapons are uncommon and Altina, the only Mythic with a Brave Weapon, will hardly deal damage to Fae thanks to color disadvantage and Dazzling Breath. Fae’s high Attack and excellent survivability may force players to sacrifice a unit to defeat her.
As for PvE content, Life Unending, strong statline, and Dazzling Breath lend themselves well to grind-heavy content and/or content with multiple maps, such as Tempest Trials, Chain Challenges, and Forging Bonds. However, she may struggle in longer maps with enemies that have inflated HP pools. Life Unending does not increase Fae’s damage output, and while her 42 Attack, 19 Might weapon, and -5 Resistance on the enemy during combat make her powerful at base, she cannot augment this damage with damage-increasing Specials. Life Unending’s healing effect can only be activated once per combat as well, so her survivability may falter late into reinforcement-heavy maps.
Banner Color Analysis
Red: Legendary Roy, Mirabilis, Nyx
Arguably the weakest color, if only because of Legendary Roy.
The meta has become less kind to Infantry Sword superunits, and Legendary Roy is no exception. With Near Save and Far Save dominating the meta, Infantry units have begun to specialize in combating melee OR ranged threats; unfortunately, with Dragonbind only granting Dragon-effectiveness and Distant Counter, he is not great at either. Even among Infantry Sword superunits, he is outclassed by peers such as Mareeta, Fallen Ike, and Brave Marth. As if this weren’t enough already, Roy’s fodder is poor.
Mirabilis is a staple for most Anima Defense Keeps, and for good reason; her status as an Anima Mythic with a refresh Assist alone makes her invaluable, and her personal Skills and Flier status only further her value. Whimsical Dream grants +5 Attack to Mirabilis’ target and allies within 2 spaces while inflicting -5 Attack on the nearest enemies within 4 spaces and all enemies within 2 spaces of them; in combination with Flower of Ease’s -3 Atk/Def/Res infliction on debuffed enemies within 3 columns centered on Mirabilis, allies can effectively gain +8 Atk/Def/Res. Her Flier status permits the usage of mobility-centric Skills such as Aerobatics and Ground Orders to boost the team’s flexibility and surprise factor. Finally, granting +5 HP/Resistance to Anima-blessed allies is the icing on the cake for maximizing their bulk. Aside from specific uses, though, Mirabilis’ fodder leaves much to be desired.
With Ginnungagap’s 40% damage reduction on initiation or when defending against a magic enemy, Nyx’s bulk is deceptively strong. Using the reduced damage to power up her next attack in the same combat makes her damage output impressive as well. Despite 40% damage reduction and her poor bulk contributing to stronger damage, however, she may still be OHKO’d or deal somewhat middling damage in some circumstances. Null Follow-Up fodder is always valuable, though Spd/Res Solo 4 is niche.
Blue: Legendary Fae, Nifl, Ullr
Decisively and fittingly the strongest color.
Nifl is currently one of the strongest Aether Raids Defense units thanks to Frostbite Breath, her personal weapon, and Domain of Ice, her personal C Slot. The former’s most notable effect is that it inflicts a Flash effect on the target and enemies within 2 spaces after combat, meaning they cannot counterattack. This is incredibly helpful for ensuring her allies’ survival in subsequent combats, effectively allowing them to deal free damage unless the target has a Null C-Disrupt effect, which neutralizes counterattack prevention. As for Domain of Ice, it is effectively a Joint Drive Spd/Res + Guard Bearing; Nifl grants +4 Spd/Res and 30% damage reduction on the enemy’s first attack to allies within 2 spaces, in addition to granting herself these effects if she is within 2 spaces of an ally. This significantly increases the survivability of Nifl and her allies, notably making Near Save and Far Save allies nigh impossible to KO. The worst part of Nifl is her fodder, as it is useful only for Aether Raids Defense units.
Ullr is one of the most offensively potent units in the game, possessing startlingly high 42/41 offenses, Holy Yewfelle (-1 Special cooldown, +6 Atk/Spd, and neutralization of visible Atk/Spd debuffs and effects that slow Special charge), and Yngvi Ascendent (neutralization of effects that prevent Ullr’s follow-up attack and a non-HP gated Desperation effect). While her status as a Light Mythic is somewhat awkward in that she would be stronger as an Aether Raids Defense Mythic rather than an Offense one, she still provides value in enabling Light teams to bring 6 units and being a very effective “Delete Enemy” button, being able to even ORKO high-investment Fallen Edelgards if Deadeye is swapped for Luna. Granting +5 HP and +4 Speed to Light-blessed allies during Light season can also help offensively and defensively. Life and Death 4 and Deadeye make Ullr a great unit to fodder to other Archers, though the former is valuable enough for some units to be foddered without Deadeye.
Green: Charlotte, Hel, Triandra
Probably the second strongest color, but not that strong.
43/41 offenses, -1 Special cooldown, +6 Atk/Spd during combat, and true damage based on 15% of her Speed make Charlotte an incredible Player Phase unit that can dish out fantastic damage and be an integral part of Galeforce strategies. Not a must-have unit by any needs, but certainly nice to have and can put up startlingly high and consistent damage numbers. Swift Sparrow 3 is on plenty of units nowadays, and Frenzy is arguably the worst Speed-based damage reduction Skill, so her fodder value is only decent.
Hel’s potency as an unkillable Dark Mythic is continuing to dwindle due to Near Save, Far Save, and stat creep, so she lacks combat and practical value. At the very least, granting +5 HP/Def to Dark-blessed allies is nice for improving matchups against physical threats such as Ninja Lyn and Brave Eirika, and Distant Counter is still valuable in spite of Saves.
Triandra is an awkward Dark Mythic to evaluate because of Mila’s personal C Slot, Mila’s Turnwheel, which increases the turn limit in Aether Raids by 1 turn and inflicts Isolation, a status preventing Assist Skills from being used on or with a unit, on enemies within cardinal directions that have less Defense than her. Because of this, Triandra’s value as a Flying Dark Mythic with a refresh has been called into question since her release; in addition, her impressive offenses may result in her attacking instead of refreshing. Regardless, though, Triandra is still a great unit due to a multitude of strengths: Flower of Sorrow’s -4 Def/Res infliction on enemies within cardinal directions boosts damage output, Frightful Dream’s -4 Atk/Spd/Def/Res and Guard infliction on enemies within cardinal directions of Triandra and her target increases damage output and bulk, Flier status allows for flexibility via Skills, high offenses can catch Raiding Parties off guard, and granting +5 HP and +3 Speed to Dark-blessed allies is always nice. Atk/Spd Push 4 and Spd/Res Rein are nice Skills to fodder, too!
Colorless: Duma, Legendary Alm, Mila
Value is highly dependent on whether you have these units and/or want their Skills for fodder, as they do not particularly value merges.
Upheaval and granting +5 HP and +3 Attack to Anima-blessed allies are perhaps Duma’s only saving graces, as his fodder, Armored status, and sketchy combat capabilities leave much to be desired. Upheaval is effectively a Catapult, destroying Offense structures in the same column as Duma on turn 1; with Safety Fence as prevalent as it is, this is very helpful.
Once the undisputed Archer king of FEH, Legendary Alm is still good, but has been showing his age for a while. Luna Arc and Lunar Flash help cut through high-Defense enemies, and 37/37 offenses are still solid, but he simply needs a bit more. As such, he eagerly awaits a Luna Arc refine that could put him back on his pedestal. As with Nyx, Null Follow-Up is always valuable fodder, but Darting Blow 4 is generally outclassed by other offensive A Slots.
Based on Triandra’s analysis, it should be clear that Mila is a very oppressive unit--more specifically, a very oppressive Light Mythic that grants +5 HP/Def to Light-blessed allies in addition to +2 Atk/Spd/Def/Res to allies within 7 rows and columns centered on her. Mila is the sole reason that Masquerade Eldigan is as common as he is, as he is one of the only refreshers that can consistently exceed Mila’s Defense to avoid Isolation. Bracing Stance 3 is nice fodder for frontline tanks, while Sabotage Atk has its niche uses.
Should You Pull?
Overall, Fae’s banner is unfortunately far from top-tier (or perhaps fortunately, for players that wish to save Orbs at the moment). Legendary Roy significantly damages the Red pool, the Colorless pool’s value changes from player-to-player, and while Blue and Green are strong, no unit on this banner is a must-have or meta-defining (aside from maybe Mila, but even then, she has her counters and can be less useful against some Defense Keeps). As such, most players will probably skip on this banner, and I would not suggest summoning.
At the end of the day, though, remember that whether you summon on any given banner or not is dependent on your own wants and needs! You may find some units essential for particular strategies, in which case summoning may be worthwhile. Others may find some Skills essential for particular strategies rather than the units that natively have those Skills, in which case they may summon for fodder. And of course, if you like a character for whatever reason, then don’t feel guilty about summoning for them! I think I speak for most players when I say FEH is most fun when you use the units and characters you like, so always keep that in mind. :)