For this update, we discussed and evaluated the placement of every hero in the game. Please see the main Tier List page here for all of the new placements. Due to the size of this update, there may be placements that appear incorrectly. We'll remedy any incorrect placements over the next couple of days.
Tier List Overhaul
As mentioned in the previous update, we are looking into reducing the number of tiers to 5. We considered each placement based on the following descriptors:
Due to the size of this update, this discussion will be done in multiple subsections.
Tier 5 and Tier 6 Merge
The first thing we did is merge the lowest two tiers on the list. We then reviewed the units in these tiers and promoted them on a case-by-case basis. As these units tend to be underpowered, units that can perform a certain niche well are more likely to be considered for promotion. Examples of such units include Veld and Cecilia.
Due to the size of the new bottom tier, there is a high probability of potential oversight in this tier. Hence, we will continue to monitor the units that are in this tier and make some adjustments if required.
Tier 1 and Tier 2 Adjustments
The previous update briefly touched upon this matter. We would like to acknowledge some of the units that are beyond the power level of most units. As Tier 1 is getting oversaturated, we want to have a clear distinction between meta and overpowered units. Units that are both in Tier 1 and Tier 2 are units that we should be able to comfortably recommend to players in the modern landscape of Aether Raids.
The bulk of demotions from Tier 1 to Tier 2 are not meant to dismiss the power of these units, rather it is an acknowledgment of the units who remain in the tier after this change. Due to this change, it will be common for units within Tier 2 to have some disparity in power. Regardless, units in Tier 2 and above are units that we can wholeheartedly recommend for consideration in the mode, be it in the offensive or defensive capacity.
State of Fliers
While the developers have been attempting to provide extra support for the flier class, the amount of options continues to be inadequate compared to the more competitive Infantry and Armored Movement Classes combat-wise. Pegasus and Wyvern Flight usually require checks that are far too strict for most units to use properly, Guard Bearing is significantly hindered by only working once per combat, and Dive Bomb gets blocked if the said unit can’t follow up anyway (which Infantry and Armor both have mechanics revolving around follow-ups).
Cavalry continues to dominate in the mobility front, which is helpful predominantly in the defense capacity with occasional competitive advantage in the hit-and-run playstyle in the offense. This is largely due to the lack of maps that fully leverage the mobility advantage of fliers, with Springwater, Desert, and Lava Flows being the only few maps which fliers have a slight advantage in, and even then the advantage is unlikely to be substantial.
Lastly, the skills mentioned in the first paragraph only apply to melee fliers. This is briefly mentioned in the previous update as well. Ranged Fliers continue to struggle due to the lack of meaningful options, be it in both player and enemy phase. This means that for Ranged Fliers, in particular, their personal weapon becomes all the more important to be the yardstick for their viability in the mode. Successful examples include Brave Claude and Summer Byleth.
Unfortunately, the above factors meant that most fliers are slated to demote in the tier list. Casualties include Spring Est, Ashnard, Cordelia, and Cherche.
This is mainly for consideration for units in the lower end of the tier list, namely Tier 3 and below. Infantry units tend to require at least acceptable speed to leverage on their competitive advantage, be it through Null Follow-Up or by damage reduction skills such as Spurn and Close Call for melee weapons. As such, infantry with a higher speed tends to be viewed in a more positive light than those that forsake it.
Another point of discussion is how the bulk is distributed. In general, RES is the better defensive stat compared to DEF due to the high prominence of mages in the defensive metagame. Hence, units that lack resistance tend to be viewed unfavorably in the tier list. This was a trend in the previous tier list and will continue to be even after the overhaul.
The Rise of Space Denial (Ranged Cavalry)
Over the past weeks, the team has noted that there is an increase in usage at denying attacking space for defense maps. This is exemplified by maps that have a high percentage of cavalry-ranged units on their team. In theory, these archetypes can be somewhat dealt with by using isolation, gravity (from Loki or Tactics Room), or simply just tanking due to their relative lack of firepower compared to Infantry mages in the player phase. However, such maps now have more tools to work with using Odd Recovery, Kia Staff, or Heal Traps revolving around Winter Bernadetta.
Hence, we made numerous adjustments to many cavalry ranged units. Units with higher physical bulk, such as Reinhardt, Python, and Rolf are favored due to their relative durability against physical threats, which are more common in the offensive metagame. This also meant that cavalry units without the said physical bulk, such as Brave Lyn and Sue are not as well-liked as before.
The following are some units that are adjusted and do not fall in the above categories. There are other adjustments that are made to the tier list due to the recent developments in the generic weapons which will be discussed in the next section.
Lilith <TIER 3>
The main thing that Lilith stood to gain from is both the wildcard unit slot from new mythics such as Reginn, and having the Mythic as the bonus unit in the mode. With 2 extra unit slots, team compositions are no longer as restrictive as before, and there is probably room for Lilith to be used in some strategies that could potentially leverage Lilith's weapon.
Naga <TIER 2>
From a pure combat standpoint, Naga continues to be mediocre compared to before. However, with the introduction of Seiros, Naga’s Divine Fang can now be potentially useful to deal with a potentially common unit that players will field in Aether Raids Defense moving forward. Furthermore, there is a distinct lack of Mythics that provides defensive stats as well. Until either a new Astra or Anima Mythic is released, we believe that Naga deserves a promotion in the current state.
Edelgard <TIER 3>
Currently, the hot topic of Galeforce comps revolves around sniping using a low HP ranged unit (such as Eir and Ninja Lyn) and then warping using Wings of Mercy. Edelgard, unfortunately, does not perform as well in this role due to the condition of this weapon requiring her to be outnumbered by surrounding foes, which is a dodgy proposition when teleporting in.
Kempf <TIER 1 (Defense)>
Americans, be proud, as Kempf is now officially promoted into Tier 1 due to his potential contributions on the defense team. The main draw of Kempf is that Venin Edge does not require him to survive in combat. This makes him much more difficult to deal with. We believe that his performance can be comparable to the likes of Eliwood and Sigurd on defense, hence he is moved into Tier 1.
Jorge <TIER 2 (Defense)>
The team observed that Winter Altina is a relatively common unit seen in Aether Raids Offense, and Jorge is probably one of Altina’s biggest foil due to her lack of focus in the physical bulk. In many ways, many parallels can be drawn between Kiria and Jorge; Kiria is the more offensive of the 2 as she has higher ATK and her weapon providing even more firepower, while Jorge has cooldown reduction on his weapon which opens him up to obtaining specials through Time’s Pulse. Due to the above consideration, Jorge is now in Tier 2 for his contribution on defense.
Legendary Lilina <TIER 1 (Defense)>
Life and Death seal makes Lilina even more ridiculous than before, and she stood to gain the most due to her weapon already having the ability to negate Vantage effects. The seal is essentially free real estate for Lilina.
We will be recoloring some of the iconography used in the tier list for easier readability in the next update.
Reinhardt: Thunder's Sword <TIER 2 (Defense)>
After the adjustments, Sigurd, Eliwood, and Kempf form the trio of Sword Cavalry in Tier 1, and naturally, all Sword Cavalries from now on would have to compete with these 3 units to justify their position in Tier 1 defensively. For Reinhardt, he shares more similarities with Eliwood and Sigurd with his follow-up denial on initiation and a further boost in attack pegged onto the weapon.
As Reinhardt’s weapon is a dual-phased Brave Sword, it trades some attack for the ability to hit twice in both phases, which could mean a lower ceiling but higher floor compared to Sigurd and Eliwood, as both units rely on follow-up mechanics which could be countered by follow-up prevention (or Null Follow-Up for the case of Sigurd). Reinhardt also is stronger against Brave Edelgard as well due to his double attacks not counting as a follow-up, which means it bypasses Black Eagle Rule.
The issue however is the lower ceiling, as Reinhardt’s damage has a significant drop-off compared to Sigurd and Eliwood. This meant that even if he hits twice, he could still be easily walled, to begin with. Furthermore, Reinhardt’s follow-up prevention could be easily countered by Quick Riposte or any guaranteed follow-up in the enemy phase due to his mediocre speed. As such, he is currently slated for Tier 2 on defense.
Nino: Pale Flower <TIER 3 (Defense)>
Essentially a better version of Candied Dagger from Gaius, Nino offers way better scaling with 20% of SPD instead of 10%. This scaling is closer to Legendary Alm’s Luna Arc and Legendary Celica’s Saintly Seraphim, except the true damage is within the unit’s control rather than the opponent. This could allow Nino to potentially stack quite a large amount of true damage on the opponent. The refine effect (which is effectively Joint Drive SPD and Joint Drive ATK in 1) also provides a further boost to not only her own firepower but her allies as well.
In a vacuum, Nino’s weapon has immense potential on defense with the likes of the 2 Legendary units stated above. Unfortunately, the weapon is largely foiled by her movement and weapon type, as they are severely lacking in any combat-based skill. Flying unit also finds it rather difficult to accelerate specials compared to infantry as they have access to Time’s Pulse and Infantry Pulse. Due to these limitations, we could not give Nino any higher than Tier 3.
Joshua: Tempest King <TIER 3>
Audhulma is a slightly more relaxed version of Young Minerva’s Dragoon Axe, and Perceval’s Prized Lance as it has the secondary condition of enemy phase (which is rather easy to do), and it grants 5 RES to boot. The main difference is that Joshua is a Sword Infantry, which comes with both benefits and issues. As Joshua’s speed is workable and he is a Sword Infantry, he can leverage either damage reduction skills such as Close Call and Spurn, or Null Follow-Up to shut down foes with guaranteed follow-up.
However, the same could also be said for his competition of sword units, which makes Joshua a difficult proposition overall relative to those units. Should a player invest in Joshua, it is unlikely for Joshua to disappoint, but competition is immense in this archetype and there are plenty of stronger units available to choose from.
Nina: Eye Spy <TIER 3>
While Nina’s weapon seems like a huge joke, the condition is actually not that difficult to fulfill should a player actually build around the weapon’s condition of requiring 2 units to have ally support with each other. However, this can also backfire as you cannot use ally support on Nina herself due to the potential awkwardness required to squeeze 3 units within 3 spaces of Nina without leaving them vulnerable. This meant that supports that use the ally support mechanic such as both variants of Velouria, Mathilda, Clive, and Corrin (M) are not likely to work.
The eventual payoff of the weapon’s effect might be worth the effort to build around, as it had everything and the kitchen sink inside the weapon. Specifically, cooldown reduction and healing on-hit open up using offensive specials such as Moonbow or Glimmer instead of the usual healing specials such as Noontime. Brave Lucina also remains to be an option, although you have to counterintuitively ask Lucina to support someone else other than Nina to be more likely for the weapon to go off. This is probably a viable strategy to be used in Aether Raids Offense, hence she is slated for Tier 3.
Ayra: Astra's Wielder <TIER 1>
Ayra’s Blade during her launch was pretty much dead on arrival, however with the new refine there is almost no reason to use other weapons for Ayra. Ayra’s main competitive advantage even before Aether Raids was her personal special Regnal Astra, and Ayra’s Blade pretty much guarantees Ayra to be able to activate the said special if she gets attacked due to guard nullification. While the 20% damage reduction is rather paltry compared to many damage reduction effects, when combined with Ayra’s Regnal Astra, that damage reduction will stick as she is very likely to one-shot her foes.
This could be useful should players wish to run Spurn on Ayra to double down on damage reduction, as she will not be punished by Bramimond due to her ability to take him out in a single blow. Of course, the trusty Null Follow-Up is the other option Ayra could run, and she could either continue with the theme of using Regnal Astra, or switch to a more defensive approach with Sol and supported by Brave Lucina.
However, Ayra is not in a vacuum as she will be competing with the likes of Debuff Nullification (Kris), Null Follow-Up on a weapon (Mareeta), Dual Phase Brave (Xmas Altina) and whatever Fallen Ike’s weapon is. The most apt comparison is probably Mareeta, as running Spurn / Close Call on Mareeta shares a lot of similarities with Ayra running Null Follow Up. The difference between these 2 units being the potential extra 20% damage reduction from Close Call over Ayra’s Blade, compared to guard nullification and Regnal Astra.
As units are getting increasingly bulky, we believe that Ayra’s competitive advantage with Regnal Astra will be very helpful moving forward, and it is already starting to show with Ayra capable of taking out Valentine’s Lif with little issue. We believe that Ayra is capable of competing with the highest echelon of units in Tier 1.
Ishtar: Thunder Goddess <TIER 1 (Defense)>
The closest thing to a direct copy paste from Young Merric, we can also use the same concept for her. Ishtar’s neutralizing follow-up negation meant that she can be coupled with Windsweep, which is identical to Young Merric. Young Merric is one of the two mages that can consistently beat Brave Hector, which warrants his current position in Tier 1. The question is whether changing the colour would change the proposition for this combination of skills.
For Blues, we also got Selena, however she is slightly let down due to the presence of Xmas Altina, as she would struggle to take Altina out in a single hit and would likely be taken out. While Ishtar does share the same issue, the main difference between the two is Ishtar’s ability to pre-charge specials more easily; Mjölnir’s cooldown -1, Time’s Pulse and Infantry Pulse. This meant that Ishtar does have a potential counterplay against Xmas Altina; taking out her in a single hit with a high charged special. Should a player be concerned about Even Pulse Tie or Pulse Smoke, using Time’s Pulse along with Mjölnir’s reduction would also work, albeit without the pure firepower of a special with a higher cooldown.
Due to the above consideration, we believe that Ishtar is a step up from Selena despite their similarities. Hence we placed Ishtar in Tier 1 for defensive considerations.
Lyon: Shadow Prince <TIER 3>
Being a red unit right now is mostly a boon for both seasons, with the only slight blemish being the introduction of Seiros in Anima season. Lyon’s refine is relatively straightforward, with a in-combat debuff on foe and Quick Riposte. The latter suggests that Lyon should be used as an enemy phase unit, however the range advantage meant that he can also be used in the player phase more smoothly compared to melee tanking counterparts. With direct comparison to Resplendent Sophia, while Naglfar is a significant step up from Eternal Tome, Sophia does have the upper hand in terms of stat distribution and the extra stats from being a Resplendent Hero. Hence, he shares the same tier as Sophia in Tier 3.
Nowi: Eternal Witch <TIER 3 (Defense)>
The absolute teleport shenanigan weapon, Nowi’s ability to teleport within 2 spaces of allies as oppose to adjacency immediately strikes as a unit to be used for Aether Raids Defense, with the specific role of sniping the support or weaker Mythic units such as Peony. However, as ranged fliers continue to be ranged fliers, the lack of a B-slot option is detrimental for Nowi’s firepower on defense. In particular, Windsweep is a poor option as Nowi would be unable to follow-up, which ruins Nowi’s whole purpose of sniping the units at the back. This meant that Nowi is very likely to do absolutely nothing even after the teleport, which is unfortunate.
In a vacuum, Nowi’s weapon has immense potential on defense. Unfortunately, the weapon is largely foiled by her movement and weapon type, as they are severely lacking in any combat-based skill. Flying units also find it rather difficult to accelerate specials compared to infantry who have access to Time’s Pulse and Infantry Pulse. Due to these limitations, we could not give Nowi any higher than Tier 3. If you did not notice, this is just a copy paste from Nino’s description.
L'Arachel: Princess of Light <TIER 4>
The unfortunate case of a weapon mismatch of her movement type and her stat distribution. In many ways, Ivaldi shares a lot of properties as the recently released Blooms weapon. Unfortunately ranged cavalry simply lack the option to pull off the same concept compared to Infantry and Fliers, with the best option being Lulls, Mystic Boost or Quick Riposte, with none of the options being significantly better than the movement type stated above. She also fares poorly compared to the likes of Reinhardt and Ursula, which are of the exact same weapon and movement type. Hence, she is given a slight bump to Tier 4, but not much else.
The Plegian series of weapons is probably one of the most suitable generic weapons used in Aether Raids. The main parallels drawn are weapons that double penalties, such as Saizo’s Dart., Light of Dawn, and Gloom Breath, except there is also a base stat debuff of 5 instead of the penalty doubling being the sole stat booster. While Plegian weapons only do in-combat debuff in 2 stats rather than all 4, it is mostly fine as debuffing RES (or DEF for magic damage) is fairly useless anyway. The only stats that will be missed is SPD, and even then it can be somewhat mitigated by opting for an SPD refine instead. Players can also opt to use faster units instead rather than being locked into the characters with the respective weapon.
The Plegian weapon does predominantly reward players with sufficient speed, as the debuffs in ATK go a long way especially if the opponent does not double. With this in mind, we promoted Ninja Hana and Echidna to Tier 3 to reflect this shift. Bows are untouched due to the existence of Spendthrift, and Plegian Tomes are discussed along with the next seasonal series of weapons.
Bloom Tomes 2021
Take Flora Guide and Tannenbit, let them mate (how appropriate for Valentine’s Day). That’s essentially what the new Bloom tomes are. The main difference being that the Bloom tomes have an extra condition of a nearby ally, and the debuffs only work on themselves rather than on allies as well. As the condition is something that is relatively simple to achieve, this is likely to be the generic tome of choice for both Blue and Red tomes in Aether Raids Offense moving forward. Greens probably have merits to run both Plegian and Blooms, though it is worth noting that the Bloom tomes are significantly cheaper due to it being accessible from a demote (Valentine’s Alfonse) rather than from a high rarity unit (Plegian Tharja).
Observing the effect of the new Bloom Tomes (and by proxy, the Plegian Tomes as well) can be cross-referenced by the introduction of Spendthrift Bows back last year. The huge winners of the updates are either fast units capable of blocking follow-ups such as Norne, or giant stat balls that can attempt to either one-shot the foe or laugh at the opponent’s damage such as Valentine’s Faye last year. We can then extrapolate these observations and make an educated guess on the net effect of the weapons on all the tomes who either have no personal weapon or a weak weapon that requires replacement.
The adjustments made are predominantly on Red and Green Tomes, as Blue Tomes already have decent options before as mentioned in the first paragraph. Units that exhibit the traits mentioned in the previous paragraph are viewed more favorably and promoted accordingly.
Far Saves & Close Saves
Far Saves and Close Saves have both applications in both offensive and defensive contexts. In terms of offense, Far Saves enable a melee unit to not run Distant Counter and rely on the Far Save unit to deal with ranged threats and vice versa. We observed 2 net effects from this change; using a Save unit could remove the need of running either Close or Distant Counter on some of your units, and units that handle only certain ranges well (such as Fallen Lyon and Micaiah) can now be further supported by these units.
Defensively, Far Save is likely the better skill of the 2 as it is easier to protect against melee matchups by well-placed traps. However, Armors continue to be armor, as they mostly lack the mobility to be able to catch up with their allies, which meant that Far Save might only work in the initial turns of the defense.
The sky is probably the limit of the possibilities of this series of skills. As the team remains cautious of the impact of saves on the current pool of units, we are reluctant to be trigger happy with the unit promotions until more data points are observed in the meta outside of the obvious plan of giving a particular blue Choose Your Legends unit Save skills.
Outside of the obvious, the 2 biggest winners with the Save skills are probably Brave Edelgard and Arden. Offensively, Brave Edelgard and Arden can work out very well as melee specialists to assist ranged tanks such as the ones mentioned in the first paragraph. While this is an option, we hesitate to promote these 2 units as it is more of the strength of the team composition rather than the unit itself.
With that said, the only promotion for the Save skills is Brave Edelgard, specifically in the defensive context. Flower Hauteclere grants Brave Edelgard what is essentially flier mobility while keeping her monstrous stat distribution and having an actually usable B skill. Adding Far Save into the mix meant that she could potentially improve the momentum of the team by keeping up with her squishy allies and repeatedly activate Far Saves. Hence, while originally Brave Edelgard is slated to be demoted, she remains in Tier 1 due to her potential defensive contributions.
Using the Springy weapons meant that a player does not need to be concerned about soaking the Bright Shrine due to the debuff immunity in ATK and SPD. Outside of the debuff immunity, it shares a lot of similarities with the weapons from the first Summer banner from 2020 such as Coral Bow and Flora Guide. For the ranged units, it is potentially a weapon that could be used in AR Defense due to the debuff immunity, however outside of that it could be a rather difficult proposition.
Generics are defined as units that do not have access to a unique weapon. As such, they will be tiered based on similar units from the current tier list placements. An explanation will be provided if required.
- Alfonse: Uplifting Love <TIER 2>
- Henriette: Overflowing Love <TIER 2>
Refer to the discussion of Blooms 2021 weapon for more information.
- Veronica: Bestowed Love <TIER 4>
Unfortunately, the discussion does not apply for Veronica, as the weapon requirements suggest for a play style that focuses on the enemy phase. Ranged Cavalry simply lacks the option to do so meaningfully, hence Veronica is slated for Tier 4 more as a consideration as a hit and run unit, a role that she’s overshadowed in by many units of the same weapon and class type.
- Annand: Knight Defender <TIER 4>
- Díthorba: Cutting Knight <TIER 4>
- Inigo: Festival Flower <TIER 4>
Refer to the discussion of State of Fliers for more information.
- Linhardt: Hevring's Heir <TIER 4>
Placed in the same tier as Silque.
- Dedue: Dimitri's Vassal <TIER 3>
Placed a tier higher than Valentines Greil and Flame Emperor.
- Minerva: Verdant Dragoon <TIER 4>
- Saleh: Vernal Sage <TIER 4>
Placed in the same tier as Summer Cordelia and Plegian Kris respectively with their offensive spread.
Love of a King
Gustav: Majestic Love <TIER 2>
Gustav’s weapon is a spruced-up version of Courtly Candle with the damage reduction on the first hit. This meant that we are relatively familiar with the inner workings of the weapon, with the main condition requiring Gustav to receive a follow-up attack. This meant that using skills such as Even Follow-Up or Odd Follow-Up is unfortunately off the table to leverage on Loyalist Axe’s effect.
While we can somewhat overlook the shortcomings of Courtly Candle as it is mainly improving the state of slow armors at the lower tiers, we cannot do the same for higher tiers. The main game plan for Gustav is to probably one-shot the foe to ensure that the 2nd attack does not even go off, to begin with, which sometimes might not be possible against foes such as Summer Mia and Kagero. Coupled with the bars being raised for Tier 1, Gustav is currently slotted into Tier 2.
Líf: Undying Ties Duo <TIER 1 (Defense)>
Unlike his unfortunate Mythic self, Valentines Lif immediately has Bramimond vibes with a guaranteed follow-up mechanic, a rather substantial stat boost and a very similar skill set and stat distribution. Líf being on a horse is also rather helpful in the age of space denial, and being a Duo unit does mean that players can now use Duo Hindrance, which could be valuable in shutting down some offensive strategies.
However, Líf’s weapon similar to his base form is literally a double-edged sword due to the nearest ally receiving 20 damage. This is a rather awkward amount, as it is neither low enough to be ignored like the effects of Hrist, nor it is high enough to set-up a chain of Wings of Mercy by itself. The latter is probably possible should a player consider more recoil skills such as the Push skills or Fury, but that becomes relative of a stretch. Lif’s recoil however does not happen if Lif does not make contact with the enemy, which means that Lif can be surprisingly durable against units he can’t counterattack, such as melee units.
The main point that pushes him to Tier 1 is the ability to survive at least a hit from the foe. Coupled with Mythic stats and his weapon, Lif can be absurdly difficult to take down in a single hit, which means that Lif is very likely to land the follow-up hit. We were originally skeptic about his performance after his bonus season, but he did withstood the test on time based on extensive testing. Hence, he is slated for Tier 1 on defense. The main counterplay to Lif is to ensure that there aren't any allies within 3 spaces of Lif, but that could be difficult to accomplish.
Azelle: Youthful Flame <TIER 3>
Azelle’s Sparking Tome draws inspiration from Legion’s Sneering Axe, which essentially shuts down visible buffs by turning the foe’s buffs into in-combat debuffs. While Sneering Axe sees limited use on offense due to the lack of visible buffs for the most part in Aether Raids Offense, there is some use for it on defense by coupling it with damage reduction skills, which makes Legion a somewhat decent frontline that can also potentially disrupt with his on-hit Panic effect.
That is not the case for Azelle. Despite Azelle having almost the same BST as Legion, the lack of access to damage reduction skills makes him not exactly the best option as a frontline. Should a player choose not to bring any buffs, Azelle is just about as flimsy as your typical old mage, which makes Azelle somewhat of a shaky proposition on defense.
Lex: Young Blade <TIER 3>
Weapons cannot really go much wrong from double phase brave effects, and the same could be said for Lex. The magic prominence in the defense meta meant that Lex should avoid tanking if possible as he is likely going down in a couple of hits. Essentially, this parallel can be drawn to Ares, which also shares similar problems as Lex on offense by having a low RES stat.
One competitive advantage Lex has is his boast-worthy DEF stat, which allows him to take physical punishment even when he goes against the weapon triangle. This can be coupled with Deflect Melee to ensure that he at least be neutral against his physical melee matchups. Of course, he will likely belly-up the moment a mage looks at him funny, but he does serve a niche on both Aether Raids Offense and Defense. He is slotted in at Tier 3 for his offensive capabilities and remarkably similar performance as Ares.
Erinys: Earnest Knight <TIER 4>
As mentioned in the State of Fliers discussion, a flier’s viability in Aether Raids is very dependent on the unique weapon. Unfortunately, Silisse Frost is overkill at best and awkward at worst. This is due to the relative lack of durability in most Aether Raids Defense in the enemy phase, as most defenses load their bulk in the attacker’s player phase rather than the enemy phase with the likes of Sturdy Impact and Blazing Durandal. Should Erinys be considered as a Galeforce unit, it is within the realm of possibility that she accidentally one-shot her foe and fail to charge Galeforce. As a Flier, cooldown reduction is sparse compared to the likes of Infantries.
Erinys’s Silisse Frost is akin to using a knife to drink soup when talking about Aether Raids context. Until there exists a common circumstance that necessitates the use of such firepower, it is a difficult proposition for her personal weapon to be used in any capacity. This meant that Erinys’s best option is exactly the same as Cordelia’s; curtains, which also, in turn, leads to her placement in Tier 4.
Seeds of Fódlan
Ingrid: Galatea's Heir <TIER 2 (Defense)>
Cooldown reduction is good. 20% of the unit's speed as true damage is good. Preventing counterattacks is excellent although the speed threshold is a little rough. However, she also suffers from the same issue as Selena, as red units tend to either be extremely quick, or already run Null C-Disrupt. The only improvement over Selena is that her weapon works on dragons as well, as opposed to Windsweep which only works against physical foes.
As for her offensive potential, she can technically be used as a Galeforce unit. However, sometimes she might suffer from success as she would deal too much damage and be left in an awkward position as she is unable to charge Galeforce in a single combat. While that can be remedied by using cooldown supports such as Velouria, it does not change the fact that it is something that needs to be worked around. Hence for the tiering, we placed Ingrid in Tier 2 for her defensive considerations.
Marianne: Adopted Daughter <TIER 2>
The main comparison to Marianne is Fallen Julia, with similar debuffs and the ability to guarantee follow-ups. Marianne does have the upper hand in terms of abilities as Icy Fimbulvetr provides extra on-hit healing. Outside of color, the main comparison would be the activation condition; Julia simply needs to have no adjacent allies, while Marianne has a 3-space leash from a cavalry or flying foe. While Marianne’s conditions are also fairly easy to achieve, it is something that a player could easily forget and make mistakes, and it can also be a limiting factor due to the 3 space requirement.
While it sounds rather picky, we decided that Marianne is slated for Tier 2. She does have the potential to be a Tier 1 unit with decent execution when attacking, but she lacks the unconditional strength of most of the units in Tier 1.
Solon: Church Shadow <TIER 3>
Solon is the developer’s method of trying very hard to make turn-based effects worthwhile by giving almost every single debuff under the sun on Turn 3 and 4. Furthermore, unlike competition such as Aversa or Iago, it does not rely on a stat check to get the debuffs off; rather it is a positional check as it works on the closest foe within 5 (!!) spaces of the unit. With the 5-space constraint, the only unit type that Solon struggles to debuff is ranged cavalry unit. Otherwise it is fairly easy for Solon to be able to inflict the debuff on a desired target.
However, the said weakness to ranged cavalry is probably his achilles heel, as there is an increase in popularity of space denial set-ups. Solon’s weapon also does not work on all foes, and it is the player’s responsibility to target the unit of their choice. Despite the above disadvantages, we believe that Solon’s debuff potency is sufficient for Solon to be a viable unit. As such he is placed in Tier 3.
Severa: Bitter Blossom <TIER 2 (Defense)>
As long as all of Severa’s weapon condition is met, it is essentially a 20 mt Brave weapon with a speed boost. The potential of this weapon is undeniable in defense; the extra attack is helpful in taking out a lot of opposing units without retaliation, and the extra speed could either be used for potential quads or go for the Windsweep, with the latter option being the more practical of the two due to her typical glass cannon stat distribution. A slight blemish would be her slightly weaker matchup against Brave Ike due to Urvan’s Deflect effect, but she will still deal a fair chunk of damage nevertheless.
The above however, assumes that all the weapon conditions are met. The requirement of attacking twice could be potentially difficult to manipulate as it requires an ally to attack first. Fortunately it does not require the said ally to survive the encounter. It is recommended for players to have some sort of on-hit status afflictions (such as Panic Smoke, Flash, etc.) or Poison Strike to ensure that Severa is more likely to attack second, or consider a formation that has Severa situated closer to the back. In both cases however, her attacking second is not a guarantee. While her power ceiling is definitely high on defense, it lacks the user-friendliness for consideration of Tier 1.
Myrrh: Spring Harmony <TIER 1>
Myrrh’s Lilac Jade Breath is the closest thing in the game to the concept of “stats for existing”, as it provides a flat 40% damage reduction on top of the usual +5 to all stats with a negligible condition. While Spring Myrrh’s movement is a concern, her being a dragon does somewhat mitigate the lack of B passives with access to Dragon’s Ire and Dragon’s Wall.
While Myrrh’s Duo Skill does somewhat help by removing her vulnerability to bow units, it is easily blocked by a Duo Hindrance structure, and Myrrh lacks the counterplay option of either taking out the Duo Unit in player phase, or destroying the said structure. With that said, her flat damage reduction in the weapon somewhat reduces the efficacy of effective damage against Myrrh. This does mean that Myrrh has the choice of just simply getting more stats rather than sticking to Iotes Shield. Due to Myrrh’s incredible consistency and mitigation strategies against her weak match-ups, she slots well into Tier 1.
Legendary / Mythics
Legendary Claude <TIER 1 (Defense)>
The drawbacks stated for ranged fliers does not apply for Legendary Claude, as Fallen Star is a phenomenal ability that can be both used in offense and defense. Offensively it can be used as a hit and run set-up, with the damage reduction effect being rather useful should a random unit leak out from the gravity afflictions. Whereas on defense, the damage reduction along with Failnaught’s Null Follow-Up effect and high speed meant that it is rather difficult for Claude to be taken down in the enemy phase. We are doubtful for his offensive potential as it can be argued that cavalry are better for hit and run strategies as the terrains that punish cavalry are fairly uncommon. However, we believe that this niche is significantly stronger than the other strong defensive fliers such as Summer Byleth, as such he is slated for Tier 1
Mythic Dagr <TIER 2>
Between Light and Astra season, Light season is definitely the easier offensive season of the two due to the much stronger Mythics on offense (Mila with Mila’s Turnwheel, Eir with a myriad of offensive option, or Peony just being Peony) and a relatively weaker defensively line-up such as Sothis, Yune and to a lesser extent, Hel. Mythics in the offensive metagame tends to favour support due to the lack of access to Mythic stat boosts from the Mythic blessing, which is unfortunate for Dagr as she is essentially a combat-based Mythic with a debuff reversal weapon and a stronger Null Follow-Up in her B passive.
However, as we know from Reginn with Canto, it is still possible for Dagr to stand out if she provides enough intangibles to the table. Unlike Canto which has many obvious use cases, Pathfinder is way more situational and difficult to use due to the stricter positional requirements for it to succeed. In fact, it can be argued that the main potential in Pathfinder is on defense due to the potential increase in foe overlap that can be created from this unique ability.
Due to the prominence of other powerful supportive Mythics on Light, Dagr fares relatively poorly. Players who want to potentially prepare for the new Dark Mythic in May would want to pull for Dagr due to the 6th unit slot. Being infantry provides her the ability to charge cooldown quickly using Infantry Pulse and Time Pulse, and the nature of Skinfaxi reversing debuffs makes her potentially a powerful option as a bright shrine soaker. As such, we felt that Tier 2 is probably the most apt placement right now.