In the early days of FEH, Close Counter /Distant Counter and Vantage was a combination of Skills that was commonly used in Arena. DC/CC Vantage has seen somewhat of a resurgence in Aether Raids, where the strategy's objective is to KO the most prominent threat in the player phase, then use Vantage to clean up the rest of the foe’s team by ideally defeating them in a single hit.
Lethal Vantage Damage
This is the most fundamental requirement; the unit must be able to KO enemies out in a single hit. Failing to do so means taking additional damage from the initiating foe, which could easily result in the Vantage unit being KO’d as they are often hitting lower HP thresholds to reach Vantage range.
This can be achieved using a combination of out-of-combat damage and sheer firepower.
- Out-of-combat damage includes the utilization of Bolt Tower, or from skills such as Savage Blow, Pain+, and AoE specials such as Growing Wind.
- Boosting damage in Vantage range could be done in many different ways depending on the said unit. This includes gaining damage from buffs (Blade tomes), debuffs (Broadleaf Fan+), and many more.
Strong Player Phase
A strong player phase presence is a trait that is good for a Vantage unit to have. Sometimes there will be potentially problematic units that need to be KO’d first before sweeping the opposing team with Vantage (such as units using the Hardy Bearing Seal or Firesweep Weapons such as the Firesweep Bow+). This is more easily done with a unit who is able to initiate and KO as well.
Ease of Activation
The unit should also have a relatively easy way of getting into Vantage range. A unit most commonly is able to take advantage of the Vantage effect by making use of the Vantage B Skill, which requires the unit dropping to ≤ 75% of their total HP. It has, however, been seen on Athame with other activation requirements. While there are other ways of getting into the typical Vantage HP range such as exploiting the opponent’s Bolt Trap, a more consistent Vantage unit should be able to do the same without resorting to such measures.
The following are some of the Skills that are commonly used in a Vantage unit’s build. Note that this list is not meant to be exhaustive. Other Skills might prove to be just as useful as the ones mentioned.
These Skills are relatively important to ensure that the ranged/melee Vantage unit is able to Vantage sweep regardless of the opponent’s range. They are not absolutely integral, however -- all they do is ensure easier play and more consistency.
Savage Blow (C-slot or Sacred Seal)
By dealing 7 damage to foes located within 2 spaces of the target after combat, this Skill decreases the damage threshold required for a unit’s Vantage attacks to KO. In an ideal scenario, the Vantage unit carrying this Skill should be coupled with a Refresher, which would usually allow for the Savage Blow damage to be applied twice. Do be cautious of sources of healing such as Healing Tower or Heron Wing though, as they can invalidate use of Savage Blow sometimes quite easily.
These Skills function similarly to Savage Blow, although they instead apply debuffs instead of dealing damage. By decreasing the foe’s Defense or Resistance, the unit therefore decreases the amount of Attack they need to achieve a OHKO. Although this debuff does not stack like the damage from Savage Blow does with a Dancer, it also cannot be negated by healing. Whether Savage Blow or a Smoke Skill is used, then, depends on player play-style and preference.
Both of these Skills serve as defensive options for the Vantage unit. By decreasing the opponent’s firepower (either by disrupting their ability to activate Specials or by decreasing their Attack) it is less difficult to ensure a Vantage unit is able to safely reach their required HP threshold. Pulse Smoke is the premium option, while Atk Smoke is either a budget option or suited for players that already have other options for special disruption.
Should a player need to deal additional damage once in Vantage range, Brazens that boost Attack are very helpful. As the Vantage HP requirement overlaps with Brazen Skill’s ≤ 80% HP requirement, there is very little opportunity cost of using these Skills with a Vantage unit.
For ranged Vantage units, Refreshers are the go-to support unit. The most ideal scenario for a ranged Vantage unit would be to KO two foes by attacking twice -- once normally, and once after being refreshed. This allows the ranged Vantage units to KO multiple threats that could potentially KO the Vantage unit if left unchecked.
As Vantage units usually face the opponent head-on, Support units that apply debuffs from the backlines are very helpful to further bolster the Vantage unit’s power in both Player and Enemy Phase. Debuffers are also exceedingly helpful if the Vantage user’s damage scales based on how debuffed the opponent is (which is seen with the Broadleaf Fan).