Aether Raids Tier List Article - August 2022

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Summary of changes

  • Eliwood: Knight of Lycia <TIER 3>
  • Roy: Brave Lion <TIER 3>
  • Winter Altina: Cross-Time Duo <TIER 1>
  • Bridal Sophia: Prescient Bride <TIER 3>
  • Lyon: Shadow Prince <TIER 3>
  • Henry: Twisted Mind <TIER 4>
  • Summer Byleth: Fell Star's Duo <TIER 3> (AD)
  • Constance: Fallen Noble <TIER 3> (AD)
  • Asbel: Windswept Youth <TIER 3>
  • Summer Selena: Sandbar Fluorspar <TIER 4>
  • Rinkah: Scion of Flame <TIER 3>
  • Amelia: Rose of the War <TIER 3>
  • Bridal Nailah: Blessed Queen <TIER 3>
  • Brave Edelgard: Adrestian Emperor <TIER 1>
  • Ephraim: Dynastic Duo <TIER 3>
  • Legendary Alm: Saint King <TIER 1> (AD)
  • Naga: Dragon Divinity <TIER 2>
  • Summer Laegjarn: Burning Sun <TIER 3> (AD)
  • Hilda: Idle Maiden <TIER 2>
  • Caineghis: Gallia's Lion King <TIER 1>
  • Keaton: Lupine Collector <TIER 2>
  • Rutger: Lone Swordsman <TIER 2>
  • Ascended Celica: Valentia's Hope <TIER 1> (AD)
  • Ymir: Life-Mother <TIER 1> (D)
  • Valentian Est: Sweet Baby Sis <TIER 3>
  • Askr: God of Openness <TIER 1>
  • Thief Cath: Caper Captain <TIER 3>
  • Thief Leila: Keen Lookout <TIER 2>
  • Thief Nina: Shadowy Figures <TIER 1>


This is the last set of updates before the Choose Your Legends (CYL) event, and it is likely that more scrutiny would be needed for not only the new set of CYL units but also the refines that are also likely to happen at the end of the month. Hence, this update would be a relatively tamed one so that more drastic changes can be introduced in the next update if it is required.

Other Changes

Red Tanks

  • Winter Altina: Cross-Time Duo <TIER 1>
  • Bridal Sophia: Prescient Bride <TIER 3>
  • Lyon: Shadow Prince <TIER 3>
  • Henry: Twisted Mind <TIER 4>

The team noticed that there is a significant lack of blue nukes in most team compositions on defense, with the most common being Reinhardt which is not the most threatening unit in the world when compared to the other colors. This meant that naturally, being a red unit at least in the current meta is relatively useful and is likely to punch above their weights. For Winter Altina, she further gains value due to the increased prominence of Medeus and damage reduction effects, which makes attacking twice and damage reduction nullification in Twin Blades more significant. 

Windsweep Woes

  • Summer Byleth: Fell Star's Duo <TIER 3> (AD)
  • Constance: Fallen Noble <TIER 3> (AD)

The introduction of the Distant Counter seal specifically for dragons meant that there is an increased tank pool for consideration.  In the past, one could probably use Valentine’s Chrom as a form of coverage due to Svalinn Shield and Distant Counter being mutually exclusive outside of Ascended Idunn. However, now that is not the case as Svalinn and Distant Counter can co-exist. This is particularly applicable for Windsweep units as they would not be able to stop counterattacks from an additional class type. Hence, we felt that Summer Byleth and Constance would likely fall behind. 

Miscellaneous Changes

  • Eliwood: Knight of Lycia <TIER 3>
  • Roy: Brave Lion <TIER 3>
  • Bridal Nailah: Blessed Queen <TIER 3>

Galeforce units are increasingly overloaded in terms of effects, and it is likely that this will not change moving forward. Eliwood and Brave Roy’s niche is no longer as unique as before for the role of Galeforce, and they lack the firepower needed to break down more durable units. The same will apply to Bridal Nailah as well. 

  • Duo Ephraim: Dynastic Duo <TIER 3>
  • Asbel: Windswept Youth <TIER 3>
  • Rinkah: Scion of Flame <TIER 3>
  • Amelia: Rose of the War <TIER 3>
  • Summer Selena: Sandbar Fluorspar <TIER 4>

We also made some changes that are likely to be overdue, so this is a quick fire round for all the changes. Duo Ephraim’s niche of easy follow-ups is superseded by the likes of Seahorse Axe and Coral Saber. Asbel’s weapon is not exactly keeping up with the times too well with a lack of a specific niche on both offense and defense. Rinkah, while does have a niche as a melee specialist, is struggling to keep up with generic weapons. Amelia is an overlooked change from the adjustments of Savvy Fighter, and Summer Selena’s weapon is simply not much better than generic options.

  • Brave Edelgard: Adrestian Emperor <TIER 1>

Stout Axe is now an available inheritable option for Axe units, and Brave Edelgard leverages the weapon extremely well with a 50% / 80% damage reduction on the first / follow-up attack. The only hit that is not influenced by the damage reduction is the 2nd hit if the opponent attacks twice, but that is not enough for Brave Edelgard to not be an excellent unit for Near Save usage in Aether Raids Offense.

Weapon Refinery

Legendary Alm: Saint King <TIER 1> (AD)

Legendary Alm’s effect is straightforward but effective; a Windsweep effect with a stricter SPD check, a Tempo effect that nullifies Guard, and the usual true damage based on foe’s DEF on top of bumps in ATK and SPD. As magic Vantage units are still of relative rarity compared to physical counterparts, this makes Alm a good answer to not only tanks but also Vantage units as well. There are some slight concerns that Alm’s Windsweep might not be as effective due to the potential rise of Dragons with the introduction of DC on dragons as a seal, but the team believes that there are sufficient reasons for Alm to be Tier 1 for now. 

Naga: Dragon Divinity <TIER 2>

Naga’s combat potential with her refine is surprisingly decent with damage reduction and a slightly stronger version of Dragon’s Wrath (25% instead of 20%). More importantly, Naga also provides support to all dragon-effective and dragons 3 to all stats within 4 spaces, which is a very generous range. The combination of these 2 factors meant that Naga can be used in 2 ways; melee specialist at the frontline, or just a pure support unit sitting at the back to provide more support. The remixed Divine Fang also grants allies within 2 spaces 6 ATK/SPD and the ability to follow up, although keep in mind that the latter is only the player phase, which is not exactly the most useful for an enemy-phase composition. The guaranteed follow-up is also switched off by the likes of Hardy Fighter as well, making it not as useful as it seems. Regardless, Naga got a significant boost in both support and combat, justifying her placement in Tier 2. 

Summer Laegjarn: Burning Sun <TIER 3> (AD)

As mentioned in the previous section, the reliance on Windsweep does not bode well for any unit that relies on it heavily. Unfortunately, Summer Laegjarn is one of those units. While the Dive-Bomb effect can be useful, mages are not exactly in the best of spots right now due to the presence of Deflect Magic and Hardy Fighter. At least until there exists a way for Summer Laegjarn to deal with these issues, it would be difficult to suggest Laegjarn be in a higher tier. 

Hilda: Idle Maiden <TIER 2>

Hilda is now substantially better support that has a niche; providing her allies the ability to deny follow-ups akin to the likes of Ascended Idunn and Brave Hector. Hilda is also relatively decent in combat, although her convoluted support condition might be turned off if she engages in combat (immersion?) and does not meet the alternative condition. She lines herself well with other support units such as the likes of Kaden, Ylgr, and Hinoka (WF), which meant that she is slated for Tier 2.

Keaton: Lupine Collector <TIER 2>

While a relatively straightforward refine, Keaton’s effectiveness undeniably went up. As Hardy Bearing continues to be a rare inclusion in many defense teams, units such as Keaton benefit as he now can establish his win condition more easily; sweeping units with the usual Vantage strategies. Keaton with the enhanced beast refine also meant that he is immune to Guard, meaning that Keaton can easily activate his specials. The only qualm compared to Winter Altina would be the lack of any effects that pierce damage reduction, which is especially relevant against the likes of Seiros and Medeus. This means that he slots himself in right below Winter Altina at Tier 2.

Rutger: Lone Swordsman <TIER 2>

Rutger’s refined weapon is again relatively straightforward; ATK/SPD +10, cooldown acceleration based on an in-combat check (unlike Flashing Blade, this weapon also works on foe’s attacks), and also Dodge (SPD-based damage reduction). However, similar to many of the fast sword units, Rutger in the enemy phase potentially struggles to find a good strategy that fits the weapon due to Deadeye and Lethality. In the player phase, however, Rutger can be used as a Galeforce unit with the help of his acceleration and Infantry access to additional cooldown reduction such as Infantry Pulse. As such, he is slated for Tier 2 for now. The team might review the state of Galeforce units in the future if it is necessary. 

Caineghis: Gallia's Lion King <TIER 1>

For once, the developers actually gave a unit that has a Distant Counter in the weapon an actually good refine. Caineghis has the potential of a huge stat ball with damage reduction on second hits (similar to Brave Edelgard’s Black Eagle Rule) and Area-of-Effects (similar to Nagi). He also does not need to sacrifice his Passive A for Distant Counter, which meant that he can run a passive depending on the matchup. This includes the likes of New Year Dagr with Distant Def 4 (his base skill), Valentine’s Chrom with Svalinn Shield, or a Stance skill for anything else. Considering that he’s an armored unit, save unit OP yada yada, Tier 1, moving on

New Units

Ascended Celica: Valentia's Hope <TIER 1> (AD)

Ascended Celica is likely to be an absolute menace when considered for Aether Raids Defense. This is because of the embedded Miracle effect on top of guard nullification. Deflect Magic is a problem for Celica as well. However, if Celica doubles she would be able to charge up an Area-of-Effect special, which will bypass any of the Hardy Fighter Deflect Magic shenanigans. This interaction can be incredibly difficult to counter against as the only way is to attack twice, either through double-hitting effects such as the likes of Winter Altina and Summer Edelgard, or straight-up follow-up by beating a SPD check. While she is best used in a Bridal Catria team composition, that does not mean that she is not used elsewhere due to the above interaction, as such she joins Ascended Ishtar as one of the few infantry mages that are slated on Tier 1 for both defensive seasons. 

Ymir: Life-Mother <TIER 1> (D)

Ymir providing a pseudo-Miracle effect can be especially useful in the defensive context, and it is also possible to run a frontline without a Near Save unit by substituting it for Ymir instead. This is especially applicable during the Dark season due to the likes of Nott and Medeus being relatively bulky themselves. This is likely to only be applicable in the Dark season, however, as the lack of distinct counterplay against Bolt Tower makes Ymir a difficult proposition for Anima season. 

Valentian Est: Sweet Baby Sis <TIER 3>

Est shares many similar problems compared to the likes of Erinys and Farina; a lack of a specialization that allows her to stand out. Est does not have the cooldown acceleration to serve as a Galeforce unit, and she lacks the bulk to be a decent melee specialist either. At the end of the day, Est’s only redeeming quality is that she hits hard. Without any other significant contributions though, she is slated for Tier 3 similar to Erinys and Farina. 

Askr: God of Openness <TIER 1>

Askr’s Opened Domain provides both Resonance buffs to all allies with a relatively easy condition. This is particularly useful as status effects are not affected by the likes of C Feud. Furthermore, Askr himself is a phenomenal melee specialist with the new Bulwark skill to stop enemy movement on their tracks. His flat damage reduction similar to the likes of Maria meant that he is all the more difficult to take down in the melee range. Should it be necessary, Askr can also be used as Galeforce support due to Opened Domain’s cooldown reduction and Askr having guard nullification while transformed. This incredible versatility lands him in Tier 1. 

Thief Cath: Caper Captain <TIER 3>

Thief Nina: Shadowy Figures <TIER 1>

Both units actually play rather similar to each other as both have some form of Canto effect in their weapon alongside some form of damage boost. Both are also likely to struggle without support as cavaliers do not have access to Null Follow-Up unless they are supported. However, that’s where the similarities end as Nina is likely to perform the hit and run role much better than Cath. This is because that scaling-wise, Cath’s 15% of SPD damage boost pales in comparison to Nina’s damage boosts that are based on her own buffs and the foe’s penalties with the added benefit of being adaptive as well.

Furthermore, Nina’s Canto Recall is significantly better than Cath’s Canto 3x3; usually, Canto is used by moving vertically in most hit and run strategies. Cath’s Canto 3x3 usually meant that she can only move 1 space back vertically, while Nina can easily move up to 3 spaces back. 

The combination of these factors meant that while these 2 fulfill the same role, one is significantly better than the other, hence the two-tier difference as Nina is slated for Tier 1 while Cath goes into Tier 3.

Thief Leila: Keen Lookout <TIER 2>

Leila is slightly different compared to Cath and Nina as she is a flier as opposed to a cavalier. While she does indeed have a lack of reach to some extent, she makes up for it by preventing foes from attacking so long as she meets a SPD check, which should not be difficult to do in the offensive context. Leila can be more of a disruptor by running Poison Strike, Pulse Smoke, and Fatal Smoke, and look into retreating using Canto Ally 2, which is a pretty decent Canto variant due to having a high potential vertical movement. It is also worth noting that Canto Ally 2 works extremely well with warp effects from the likes of Ash and Ascended Florina. This can be especially useful to slowly wither down the opponent for a potential Galeforce clear as well. While her kill pressure is particularly lacking, we felt that there is a niche for Theif Leila in the current meta of aggressive Far Save units. 

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About the Author(s)

Maskilraid is a writer specialising in Fire Emblem Heroes. He situates in the tiny island of Singapore, and is a fanatic in crafting Aether Raids Defence teams. He also has academic background in Statistics, providing statistical analysis of the pull rates in Fire Emblem Heroes.