Aether Raids Tier List Article - February 1st 2021

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List of Changes - February 1st


Reginn: Bearing Hope has been placed in Tier 1
Selena: Fluorspar has been placed in Tier 2, defense icon added
Duessel: Obsidian has been placed in Tier 2, defense icon added
Natasha: Sacred Healer has been placed in Tier 4
Knoll: Darkness Watcher has been placed in Tier 4
Caellach: Tiger Eye has been placed in Tier 5

Bernadetta: Frosty Shut-In has been placed in Tier 1, defense icon added
Hilda: Holiday Layabout has been placed in Tier 3
Sephiran: Hoary Sovereign has been placed in Tier 4
Altina: Cross-Time Duo has been placed in Tier 1
Felix: Icy Gift Giver has been placed in Tier 3

Lilina: Firelight Leader has been placed in Tier 2

Kaden: Refreshed Kitsune has been placed in Tier 2, defense icon added
Velouria: Renewed Wolfpup has been placed in Tier 1
Plumeria: Temptation Anew has been placed in Tier 2
Peony: Álfar Dream Duo has been placed in Tier 1
Keaton: Resolved Wolfskin has been placed in Tier 4

Asbel: Windswept Youth has been placed in Tier 2
Ronan: Villager of Iz has been placed in Tier 2
Miranda: Willful Princess has been placed in Tier 4
Sara: Lady of Loptr has been placed in Tier 2
Veld: Manfroy's Rock has been placed in Tier 5

Tharja: Florid Charmer has been placed in Tier 4
Katarina: Torchlit Wanderer has been placed in Tier 3
Raphael: Muscle-Monger has been placed in Tier 2
Dorothea: Twilit Harmony has been placed in Tier 1
Kris: Ardent Firebrand has been placed in Tier 4

Seiros: Saint of Legend has been placed in Tier 1


Nowi: Eternal Youth has been promoted to Tier 1 (from Tier 4)
Lewyn: Guiding Breeze has been promoted to Tier 1, defense icon added

Hinoka: Blue Sky Warrior has been promoted to Tier 2 (from Tier 4)
Lucina: Future Witness has been promoted to Tier 2 (from Tier 4)

Chrom: Exalted Prince has been promoted to Tier 3 (from Tier 4)
Chrom: Knight Exalt has been promoted to Tier 3 (from Tier 6)
Mist: Helpful Sister has been promoted to Tier 3 (from Tier 6), defense icon added
Arden: Strong and Tough has been promoted to Tier 3 (from Tier 5)
Genny: Endearing Ally has been promoted to Tier 4 (from Tier 5)
Oliver: Admirer of Beauty has been promoted to Tier 5 (from Tier 6)

Tier List Changes; Moving Forward

Since the last tier list update, there have been a lot of changes to the mode itself. These changes prompted us to review our tier list criteria and the actions moving forward. Originally, the introduction of sacrifice-based plays would result in some tiering changes to player phase oriented units that would be perfect for such strategies, however the introduction of new Aether Raids tiers and the perfect clear bonuses prompted us to reconsider them.

One thing that remains consistent is the introduction of a new archetype of Mythics starting from Reginn, and having a consistent offensive Mythic as the bonus unit in the season. In the past, due to the inconsistencies of the bonus Mythic units, usually the bonus unit is likely to be a slot that is reserved as a smite-bot or a repo-bot. The bonus Mythic meant that a player could either choose to field an additional support or field an additional Mythic unit. The addition of the extra slot from Reginn’s Mythic effect further compounds the above advantage. 

What this means is that in theory, the difference between units is likely to be much smaller than before the change. Any unit can become excessively strong by fielding the correct supports and a large amount of Mythics. Add on Summoner Support and Ally Support, and a player can probably succeed simply by overloading their main unit with buffs and support. While this is currently mostly applicable to Astra season, proactivity is key as it is likely that the same impact could be felt on Light season once new Mythics are released.

Hence, in the next tier list update, we aim to reduce the number of tiers from 6 to 5 to reflect this reality; the power difference between units has become much smaller due to the abundance of support options. We also would look into being stricter with the requirements of Tier 1 to acknowledge some of the units that are beyond the power level of most units even with considerations of the shifts in the mode stated above.

Weapon Refinery - December

Nowi <TIER 1>

Debuff negation mechanics had always been very strong, as most units with such mechanics are ranked favourably on the tier list. The same would be said about Nowi, with the added bonus of having Distant Counter in her base weapon. Granted, the cooldown penalty of Lightning Breath remained on Purifying Breath, which does take away some options in terms of automatically activating lower cooldown specials, but higher charge specials such as Aether can be used by using Infantry Rush on the support. Another option would be to run Mystic Boost on top of damage specials such as Glimmer and Moonbow for extra damage and a small boost in damage output. 

In many ways, Nowi can be seen as a more budget friendly version of Fallen Ike, with more drawbacks such as the said cooldown penalty. While being a blue unit does make her food for Thrasir in the Anima season, that does not take away from her credentials as a powerful enemy phase option. N

Mist <TIER 3 (Defense)>

In general, noncavalry healers aren’t exactly in the best of spots. The main niche of being a healer is access to Dazzling Staff, which suggests that they can be a nuisance to face in the player phase. In that regard however, cavalry healers are highly preferred over infantry ones simply due to their superior mobility. For Aether Raids Offense, they are also outdone by other classes due to their lack of options as far as generic weapons go. Usually, the viability of a healer is largely dependent on their personal weapon. 

Fortunately for Mist, Elena staff does potentially provide something useful in the Aether Defense front due to the rather large range to inflict offensive debuffs and Panic. However, the issue is that Mist’s combat ranges from bad to mediocre, which means that the defense team would probably have to make up for her nuking deficiencies. Nevertheless, it is a viable strategy that probably warrants some consideration should a player be interested.

Chrom <TIER 3>

Marth: Enigmatic Blade  <TIER 3>

Lucina  <TIER 2>

Chrom: Knight Exalt  <TIER 3>

The Sealed Falchion laxed the original requirements of being damaged, as it now has an extra condition for activation by simply having a bonus on the unit. On top of the easier conditions, the refine effect also grants a follow-up prevention effect similar to Wary Fighter and the Impact skills. As Sealed Falchion also provides a large boost in speed, this meant that aggressors against wielders of Sealed Falchion would find difficulty to follow-up. This is mostly applicable to Bramimond, as Sealed Falchion effectively hard counters the guaranteed follow-up from Void Tome.

Out of the Infantry options, Lucina stood out as the best candidate due to having access to Resplendent stats and a statline to leverage other B slot options, most notably the damage reduction skills such as Spurn. Masked Marth and Chrom then follow closely behind with slightly weaker stat distribution. Unfortunately, the original wielder of Sealed Falchion is pretty much outdone by Eliwood with the follow-up negation on his Blazing Durandal, which gave this version of Chrom the short end of the stick.

Oliver <TIER 5>

If we are tiering based on the animation, Oliver would clearly be Tier 1. Unfortunately this is definitely not the case. The condition to activate the refine effect forces players to build a whole team around Oliver, and there is no way to get around it. The eventual payoff however is not impressive as it is mostly just a stronger version of Tannenbit. While the teleportation effect is cute, being able to only teleport to beast dancers can make some plays rather awkward to execute.


Lewyn <TIER 1 (Defense)>

As a green mage on Aether Raids Defense, the public enemy number one right now is Brave Hector. With that considered, Lewyn is about as good as Young Merric in that role of being able to take Brave Hector down. This is because of Forseti’s pseudo-Desperation effect, which meant that Hector will have to take two hits before retaliating, granting Lewyn a good opportunity to potentially take Brave Hector out. Being Infantry also means access to skills such as Lull and most notably, Null Follow-Up to further throw a wrench to Brave Hector’s plans. As such, he is considered Tier 1 on the defensive front.

Hinoka <TIER 2>

Warrior Princess is essentially a better version of Seteth’s Spear of Assal as it also inflicts additional in-combat debuffs of foes within three spaces. As debuffs in ATK are essentially double in value as it works on both physical and magic threats, there is essentially a 24 stat swing if both the debuffs from the refine and the buffs from the base refine are considered. However, the three space requirements of the debuffs meant that under the typical scenario of supporting a main unit from two spaces away, the debuff would only work against melee foes, which does somewhat reduce the versatility of the said weapon.

In terms of competition, Kaden provides a potentially larger boost at the expense of reduced reliability when faced with sources of Panic such as Panic Smoke, while Corrin (M) has a lower ceiling, but with more consistency and the ability to soak chills away from the main unit. As Hinoka seems to be able to trade blows with these two supports, we believe that she deserves a placement in Tier 2.

Arden <TIER 3>

Effects that essentially grant enemy phase double attacks cannot be underestimated. Arden being the only armored unit that has that effect is indeed fairly unique. However, most units with such effects leverage on Vantage, which meant that Fighter skills are probably taking a backseat. Arden’s stats also does not do much favour as his RES is severely limiting his ability to take damage from multiple combats. The saturation of magic threats on many defense teams does not help either. Lastly, the refine effect is also very awkward with Vantage strategies as it requires Arden to be above a certain HP threshold, an HP threshold that’s difficult to reach due to his high HP.

Genny <TIER 4>

Unfortunately, it is rather difficult to find a role for Springtime Staff in Aether Raids. While Genny does have a decent ATK power for a healer, Springtime Staff does not really help in further focusing on her strengths. The healing effect on Springtime Staff is useful if Genny could survive multiple engagements and be used as a sustain tool, but that itself is shaky due to Genny’s paper-like physical defenses. The main draw of the weapon is probably the +8 ATK (3 from the base, 5 from the refine), which is unfortunate since that’s all there is to the weapon.

Legendary / Mythics

Legendary Lilina <TIER 2>

The ability to charge an AoE special is rather valuable especially if the opponent has low visible defensive stats. Even though Lilina’s Gifted Magic only has a 0.8x multiplier over the standard 1.5x from Blazing Specials, it is sufficiently adequate as it can potentially counter stacking combat buffs such as the likes of Distant Guard and Wards. Another notable consideration is that shedeactivates Seliph’s Tyrfing, as Gifted Magic would reduce Seliph’s HP enough such that Tyrfing loses the Miracle effect. The combination of the above factors meant that she stacks up decently against other hit and run units such as Reinhardt and Summer Mia. 

Reginn <TIER 1> 

As the first Mythic that grants a unit extra slot, Reginn does not disappoint. Her stat distribution and her weapon type meant that she is prime to be a secondary Galeforce. Her unique special is also worth a shout as a clean-up tool and is a viable alternative to Galeforce. The star of her kit however is the ability to move again after an action. This can be used with positionals such as Smite, or attacking a structure and unit. Needless to say, this is a very powerful ability that grants Reginn a niche that is currently unmatched in the game.

Seiros <TIER 1> 

Like Reginn before her, Seiros allows an additional hero to be deployed during the respective season, immediately making her a huge asset to an Anima Aether Raids team. Seiros is no slouch as far as combat goes either: her only poor stat is Speed, but this is negligible as Aurora Breath offers both guaranteed follow-up attacks when initiating combat, and follow-up prevention when defending. This versatility makes Seiros a powerful combatant whose only true weaknesses are skills like Null Follow-up and dragon effectiveness


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.

  • Natasha: Sacred Healer <TIER 4>
  • Sephiran: Hoary Sovereign <TIER 4>

The above are rated based on the relative placements of other healers. While healers are now granted access to a decent support weapon in the form of Tannenbaton, the team believes that it is still outshined by other support alternatives in the game.

  • Miranda: Willful Princess <TIER 4>
  • Knoll: Darkness Watcher <TIER 4>

Placed relative to other generic red tomes (Ewan and Hubert).

  • Felix: Icy Gift Giver <TIER 3>
  • Raphael: Muscle-Monger <TIER 2>

As a coloured bow unit, Felix is significantly worse compared to the other armored archers. Being blue is also a hindrance due to the color’s relative weakness to Thrasir and is further compounded by the lack of RES in his stat distribution. While Raphael’s RES stat is even worse, it is made up for by at least being a colourless unit. Raphael’s lack of SPD can also be somewhat remedied by using his base B passive,Odd Follow-Up.

  • Hilda: Holiday Layabout <TIER 3>

Placed 1 tier higher to Valentines Eliwood and Winter Robin.

  • Tharja: Florid Charmer <TIER 4>

Flier tomes are simply in a bad spot right now with a lack of options in the B passive slot. Until that option actually exists, we simply could not recommend building tome fliers right now in any capacity for Aether Raids.

  • Kris: Ardent Firebrand <TIER 4>

Placed 1 tier higher than other generic cavalries (Groom Marth, Spring Alfonse).

Book V Begins: Reginn and More

Selena: Fluorspar <TIER 2>

Put Young Merric on a horse, make it blue, change the condition a little bit, and change the cooldown -1 in favour of even more speed; that’s Selena in a nutshell. However, due to the difference in colour, the expectations of the two units are rather different; Selena’s main role should be to take down red units, which unfortunately Selena is not very good at due to the nature of most of them. Red units tend to be either extremely quick ones that are difficult to Windsweep (Fallen Ike or Mareeta), are not affected by Windsweep (Fallen Julia, Spring Idunn) or have Null C Disrupt to begin with (Xmas Altina). This makes Selena a slightly worser proposition overall. 

Duessel: Obsidian <TIER 2>

Similar to Selena, Duessel also has a parallel in the form of Sigurd with the guaranteed follow-up mechanic and is a different colour. Duessel in general fares better against the meta red units assuming that his weapon works. However, that assumption can sometimes not be true due to the solo requirements. This makes Duessel easier to outsmart in Aether Raids Defense relatively speaking.

A Festival Miracle

Bernadetta: Frosty Shut-In <TIER 1 (Defense)>

On paper, Bernadetta does not appear impressive as a unit. Her bulk is pretty weak and the damage reduction does not really help her out too much in that regard, and her weapon is a simple boost in ATK and SPD that we had seen before time and time again. However, it is only with consideration of the mobility heal skills, such as Rescue and most recently, Return, that propelled Bernadetta into the spotlight (which is something that she probably hates I guess).

Due to how the AI works in the game, as long as there are no valid attacks available (inclusive of attacks that deal less than 5 damage), heals will be prioritized before movement. When combined with Return or Rescue, this means that any target of the heal can be moved forward, which allows for more aggressive overlaps and denies more space from the enemy. Using Bernadetta’s weapon, players can now arrange in a formation such that this works to the favour of the defense. Due to this interaction, Bernadetta is slotted into Turn 1 on the virtue of defense. 

Altina: Cross-Time Duo <TIER 1>

When Altina was initially released, one of the weaknesses that the team touched upon is her flier mobility, which results in her being pigeonholed into being a Vantage sweeper due to the lack of B passive options. While things had significantly improved since then, infantries remained to be the first class citizens of the game with superior skill access and lack of weaknesses. Altina is instantly considered for Tier 1 simply due to being an Infantry version of her Mythic form, with the Duo skill essentially being the cherry on top as it potentially allows Xmas Altina to do exactly what her Mythic form set out to do. Should her Duo skill be denied, Xmas Altina still has considerable bulk due to Infantry having relatively high BST to distribute her stats around. 

New Year: ω Special Heroes

Kaden: Refreshed Kitsune <TIER 2 (Defense)>

As a cavalry beast unit, Kaden is able to negate follow-ups if he is transformed. As he is also a red cavalry unit, it is inevitable that he is compared to Eliwood as he is the go-to comparison for  red cavalry units. Kaden fares relatively well, as Kaden is potentially quicker than Eliwood, which means that not only was Kaden more likely to follow-up, it also means that the opponent is less likely to follow-up after negating his follow-up negation with Quick Riposte or similar skills. 

However, Eliwood having the extra cooldown charge on Blazing Durandal means that Eliwood is more likely to cause more damage to the team, either from the sheer damage of Glacies or picking off supports with Galeforce. Keeping all these in mind, we felt that Tier 2 is a good placement.

Velouria: Renewed Wolfpup <TIER 1>

Her ability to grant special acceleration to both herself and her support partner meant that Velouria could both be used as a tank and a support unit. However, the in-combat debuff that Velouria gains is difficult for her allies to use due to its limited range. This meant that as a support, she is less impactful when compared to Brave Lucina in terms of providing additional stats. With that said, Velouria’s weapon works with all unit types as opposed to physicals for Brave Lucina, so it is essentially a trade-off between versatility and potency.

One area which Velouria could one-up her support competition is being a competent combat unit herself. While the combat debuff she gained might not work as well for her allies, it works well for herself. Coupled with the cooldown reduction, transformation bonus special damage and the special acceleration on herself as well, Velouria can take a couple of hits and bite back if required. 

Plumeria: Temptation Anew <TIER 2>

This version of Plumeria shares many similarities with her original Mythic self; same unique refresh skill, similar stat distribution and a weapon that grants a boost in ATK. The main difference is the in-combat debuff from three spaces. Similar to Hinoka (WF), this range is mainly for dealing with melee threats rather than ranged assuming the standard two space support range. 

While her Mythic self essentially gets a free pass to Tier 1 simply due to being a Mythic dancer, the same could not be said for this variant, as it could be rather difficult to justify using New Year Plumeria over other supports when there are Mythics that already fulfilled the same role.

Peony: Álfar Dream Duo <TIER 1>

Similar to Plumeria, Peony also shares a lot of similarities with her original Mythic self. The main difference between the two forms is her in-combat buff, which is now fully allocated to ATK rather than a split of ATK and SPD. Peony, unlike Plumeria, has something extra up her sleeve, as she is also a Duo Unit that could refresh units from adjacent space. The main consideration is that this Duo skill can work on refreshers themselves, which is usually not possible under the standard construct of a refresher.

The adjacency clause is something that can be potentially difficult to work with. However, it is undeniable that having an extra refresh available that works even on refreshers opens up a lot of potential shenanigans for the attacker. It is also worth mentioning that Gentle Dream is probably the strongest of the four unique refresh skills introduced in Book IV due to the extra mobility granted by the skill. Peony will see play on both offense and defense teams, and it is difficult to place her anywhere else other than Tier 1.

Keaton: Resolved Wolfskin <TIER 4>

Unfortunately, almost everything about Keaton makes him not the best candidate for use in Aether Raids. His weapon granting him extra DEF is not exactly the most helpful when most of the hard hitting units are magic. His subpar RES also is a problem due to the same reason, and being an Infantry with low SPD also could be rough due to the lack of any options available to remedy the issue (armors have skills such as Odd Follow-Up to somewhat patch having low SPD). Lastly, being a green unit meant being somewhat weaker against a particular sword cavalier that used to have big eyes, which defeats the whole purpose of having high physical bulk in the very first place.

Shared Purpose

Asbel: Windswept Youth <TIER 2>

Asbel’s Grafcalibur on paper shares many similarities with Larcei’s Edge, as he is able to nullify buffs on the foe with relative ease. The cooldown reduction granted by the weapon on top of being an Infantry unit grants Asbel quick access to stronger specials with the help of Infantry Pulse and Time’s Pulse.

Unfortunately, as mentioned in the analysis of Lewyn, public enemy number one right now for blue units is Brave Hector. Unfortunately for Asbel, he is lacking in terms of that regard as he would find it difficult to sidestep Maltet’s shenanigans. The only hope for Asbel to be able to tackle Brave Hector would be through taking him out in a single hit with a powerful special, but even that is riddled with issues when considering special disruptions such as the likes of Pulse Ties and Pulse Smoke. 

The reality is that should Asbel fail to take Hector out in a single hit, it is very likely that Hector will wipe Asbel out in a single Bonfire activation. While it might be a little petty to place Asbel in Tier 2 due to this reason, this is a match-up that is difficult to ignore.

Ronan: Villager of Iz <TIER 2>

Indignant Bow is essentially a Spendthrift Bow without the cooldown drawback, negates the opponent’s ATK buff and the extra perk of being immune to ATK debuff. This is very helpful in Astra season when dealing with Mirabilis’s Whimsical Dream. Rowan’s stat distribution is also fairly unique, as it placed all his eggs in magical bulk and almost completely ignored his physical bulk. However, it is worth noting that his weapon does make him deceptively bulky even in that regard, and being a blue unit meant that he is able to at least deal with one of the most commonly used melee units in defense (Hint: big eyes).

While Ronan works under general scenarios, his lopsided defense does mean that there will be occasions which Ronan gets hard countered, such as the occasional Brave Edelgard on defense. Due to this, Ronan is placed in Tier 2.

Sara: Lady of Loptr <TIER 2 (Defense)>

Kia Staff is essentially another counterplay for isolation outside of Odd Recovery. As it works based on a HP threshold, this usually meant that the target of Kia Staff is usually the Mythic Dancer. While that utility is indeed very helpful, the issue is that outside of the isolation negation, Sara is mostly a giant beatstick that does not have any access to damage specials, which will definitely reduce the offensive presence of the defense team. As such she is placed in Tier 2.

Veld: Manfroy's Rock <TIER 5>

Veld’s Petrify could either be game-changing, or downright useless. It is the only non hit skill in the game at the moment that could inflict gravity on melee units, which does mean that there will be times which the Gravity potentially influences the battlefield on both offense and defense that were not possible before. Unfortunately, it is simply too inconsistent for Veld to be considered favourably in the tier list in both offensive and defensive capacity.

Dark Desert Rituals

Katarina: Torchlit Wanderer <TIER 3>

Katarina’s weapon is actually pretty good, as it is very similar to Brave Micaiah’s Light of Dawn and Saizo’s Dart, except it also grants +5 to all stats and cooldown -1 by default. However, as mentioned in Tharja’s tier analysis, tome fliers are in a dreadful spot in Aether Raids due to the lack of meaningful B skill options. Until then, we believe Tier 3 is the highest we could place Katarina. Hopefully we could review this change in the near future where the developers actually give them something to work with.

Dorothea: Twilit Harmony <TIER 1>

As a unit, Dorothea’s weapon is essentially all four chills in a single skill. While it is a decent ability, most players tend to gravitate towards debuffs that affect more units in general, such as the likes of Sabotage and weapons such as Temari. 

In terms of roles, Dorothea is very similar to New Year Peony, as she is a harmonic dancer that has a refresh ability in her harmonic skill. However, Dorothea’s Harmonic Skill only works for units from either Three Houses or Genealogy of Holy War, which does somewhat reduce her versatility as opposed to Peony. The effective range of the skill is two spaces as opposed to Peony’s requirements of adjacency however, which makes it positionally more flexible. If your main unit is a unit from the two games, such as Sigurd or Brave Claude, Dorothea is an excellent pick simply due to the Harmonic Skill’s extended range.