Aether Raids Tier List Article - June 2022

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Summary of changes

Effective this month, AR Defense will have subcategories according to the defensive mythic seasons. Defensive units who are projected to perform better in Anima or Dark will be denoted with “A” and “D” respectively, while units with no preferred season will be denoted with “AD”

General Changes

  • Nemesis: King of Liberation <TIER 4>
  • Helbindi: Savage Scourge <TIER 4>
  • Exalted Chrom: Knight Exalt <TIER 4>
  • Roy: Young Lion <TIER 4>
  • Siegbert: Future King <TIER 4>
  • Ogma: Loyal Blade <TIER 4>
  • Gray: Wry Comrade <TIER 4>
  • Lon'qu: Solitary Blade <TIER 4>
  • Caeda: Talys's Heart <TIER 4>
  • Selena: Cutting Wit <TIER 5>
  • Fir: Sword Student <TIER 5>
  • Ares: Black Knight <TIER 4>
  • Eldigan: Lionheart <TIER 4>
  • Joshua: Tempest King <TIER 4>
  • Eirika: Restoration Lady <TIER 5>
  • Clair: Highborn Flier <TIER 4>
  • Duessel: Obsidian <TIER 3>
  • Zeke: Past Unknown <TIER 3>
  • Sirius: Mysterious Knight <TIER 4>
  • Perceval: Knightly Ideal <TIER 4>
  • Tsubasa: Madcap Idol <TIER 4>
  • Legendary Hector: Marquess of Ostia <TIER 1>
  • Legendary Lilina: Firelight Leader <TIER 2>
  • Roy: Blazing Bachelors <TIER 1>
  • Lilina: Beaming Bride <TIER 2>
  • Sophia: Prescient Bride <TIER 4>
  • Larum: Dancing Bride <TIER 3> (A)
  • Myrrh: Guardian Dragon <TIER 2>
  • Ascendant Florina: Azure-Sky Knight <TIER 2>
  • Sain: Green Lance <TIER 3>
  • Letizia: Curse Director <TIER 2> (AD)
  • Limstella: Living Construct <TIER 3>
  • Ranulf: Friend of Nations <TIER 3>
  • Naesala: Sky's Shadow <TIER 2>
  • Fallen Berkut: Purgatorial Prince <TIER 4>
  • Velouria: Wolf Cub <TIER 1>
  • Picnic Flora: Signature Dish <TIER 1>

AR Defence Changes

Defense units that are not listed in the list below correspond to both seasons and have no changes in tiering. 


  • Alm: Imperial Ascent <TIER 1> (D)
  • Volke: Man of Mysteries <TIER 1> (D)
  • Nótt: Moon's Elegance <TIER 1> (D)
  • Young Innes: Frelian Moonlight <TIER 1> (D)
  • Ascendant Joshua: Resolute Tempest <TIER 1> (D)
  • Medeus: Earth-Dragon King <TIER 1> (D)
  • Spring Sonya: Dazzling Rabbits <TIER 1> (D)
  • Bridal Catria: Azure Wing Pair <TIER 1> (D)
  • Masquerade Eldigan: Strutting Lion <TIER 2> (D)
  • Masquerade Berkut: Debonair Noble <TIER 2> (D)
  • New Year Alfonse: Askran Duo <TIER 2> (D)
  • Winter Mirabilis: Sugarplum Vision <TIER 2> (D)
  • Masquerade Quan: Lightfoot Prince <TIER 2> (D)
  • Young Merric: Changing Winds <TIER 2> (D)
  • Pent: Mage General <TIER 2> (D)
  • Jamke: Prince of Verdane <TIER 2> (D)
  • Young Soren: Hushed Voice <TIER 2> (D)
  • Hoshidan Summer Xander: Dancing Knight <TIER 2> (D)
  • Young L'Arachel: Seeker of Justice <TIER 2> (D)
  • Maribelle: Dire Damsel <TIER 2> (D)
  • Sara: Lady of Loptr <TIER 2> (D)
  • Hilda (Thracia): Queen of Friege <TIER 3> (D)
  • Legendary Julia: Crusader of Light <TIER 3> (D)
  • Hel: Death Sovereign <TIER 3> (D)
  • Walhart: The Conqueror <TIER 3> (D)
  • Yune: Chaos Goddess <TIER 3> (D)
  • Mist: Helpful Sister <TIER 3> (D)


  • Mirabilis: Daydream <TIER 1> (A)
  • Nils: Bright Bard <TIER 2> (A)
  • Fallen Ninian: Frozen Heart <TIER 1> (A)
  • Seiros: Saint of Legend <TIER 2> (A)
  • Ótr: Kingsbrother <TIER 2> (A)
  • Duma: God of Strength <TIER 2> (A)
  • Líf: Lethal Swordsman <TIER 3> (A)
  • Thrasir: Omnicidal Witch <TIER 3> (A)
  • Hoshidan Summer Micaiah: Summer's Dawn <TIER 3> (A)
  • Infantry Refreshers: <TIER 3> (A)
  • Flying Refreshers: <TIER 3> (A)


  • Summer Caeda: Sea-Blossom Pair <TIER 1>
  • Legendary Lilina: Firelight Leader <TIER 2>
  • Legendary Lucina: Glorious Archer <TIER 2>
  • WT Reinhardt: Thunder's Sword <TIER 3>
  • Pirate Veronica: Harmonic Pirates <TIER 3>
  • Eirika (SM): Anamnesis Lady <TIER 4>
  • Kiria: Cool Façade <TIER 4>
  • Lilina: Delightful Noble <TIER 4>
  • Spring Catria: Spring Whitewing <TIER 4>
  • WT Olwen: Righteous Knight <TIER 4>
  • Solon: Church Shadow <TIER 4>


  • Ingrid: Galatea's Heir <TIER 2> (AD)
  • Sigurd: Holy Knight <TIER 3> (AD)
  • Summer Freyr: Estival Dreams <TIER 3> (AD)
  • Wolf: Coyote's Loyal <TIER 3> (AD)
  • Brave Veronica: Brave Princess <TIER 3> (AD)


The update is slightly delayed due to the relative size of the update. As mentioned in the previous update, the main focus of this update would be to reclassify the Aether Raids Defense units to their corresponding seasons. While it seemed that there are a lot of things to go through, in reality, the selection of seasons revolved around specific themes. This article will focus on these common themes when considering the state of defense in the different seasons.

The introduction of Chaos season starting this month is difficult to evaluate without any substantial data to work with, as such the team will be examining the state of the season when more data is available.

Aether Raids Defense Considerations

Assessment Criterion & Reclassification

In the past, we classified the unit based on the defensive merits should it exceeds their offensive contributions. However, this definition can be rather confusing for players as it can be counter-intuitive at times. This is changed in this update, as we now consider the defensive contribution should it be relatively intuitive. For example, while Valentine’s Chrom and Bridal Catria do have powerful kits for the offensive metagame, they are more seen as defensive threats for most players. Hence, they are evaluated more on the defensive side instead unless there is substantial data to support otherwise.

Speaking of re-evaluation, we took the opportunity to use the current state of the game to reclassify some of the units. For example, Halloween Nowi’s damage output alongside being a ranged flier makes her a poor candidate for use on defense, however, her debuff effects it does give her a unique niche to support magical allies while having hypermobility in getting the Aether structures. Another example would be Legendary Lilina; while her Gifted Magic scaling is starting to show issues when dealing with Far Save, her hit and run potential continue to be rather valuable against lower RES opposition assuming there is no Hardy Fighter involved.

Lastly, any units that drop below Tier 3 are also no longer considered for defensive tiering unless the said unit is mythic. This is a standard that was always present even before the overhaul, and moving forward this will continue to be the case. Naturally, due to the re-assessments, some of these units dropped out of Tier 3, removing any defensive considerations for those units. 

State of Refreshers

The elephant in the room for most refreshers is the isolation units; Bridal Fjorm and Mila, with the latter being a substantial issue for most dancers that could not match Mila in terms of physical defenses. We continue to favor units that could dodge isolation. However, we do not fault refreshers for the Anima season as much due to Bridal Fjorm being a relatively rare occurrence compared to Mila which is a Mythic unit. 

This brings to the utility of refreshers as a whole. Infantry Dancers now have access to Canto Control, which provides significant disruption when paired with the likes of Save units. While Flying Dancer lacks disruption, they make up for it with mobility skill such as Flier Formation, Aerobatics, and Ground Orders, which can also assist in team creation. As such, the team felt that it is also a good time to raise the floor of all refreshers to Tier 3 in the Anima season, as the Dark season continues to be problematic for refreshers due to Mila’s prominence in the Light season.

Eli-meme and Anima

Elimine disabling any start-of-turn effects makes defending in the season much more difficult. The biggest issue with Elimine would be any movement boost and cooldown acceleration, as both of these effects can be potentially integral to how the unit works. This includes units such as Brave Alm (Dracofalchion’s additional movement), Ascended Joshua / Volke (reliance on Lethality), and any forms of Infantry Pulse. This meant that so long as any unit relies on any start-of-turn effects, they are almost always out of consideration for the Anima season, with only a few exceptions if the unit itself still has sufficient value even after the removal of such effects, with an example being Valentine’s Chrom who still has To Change Fate to change the outcome of the battle (heh).

A common theme for units considered highly on defense in Anima is that they are usually Cavalry, as they are not as reliant on start-of-turn effects compared to their Infantry counterparts. Whereas Infantries are likely to not be favored due to being much more reliant.

Medeus; A New Dark Era

Medeus blocking the bolt tower from activating resulted in a general shift where most players are shrinking down their threat range in favor of a more comprehensive overlap (usually in a composition that revolves around Bridal Catria). This is mostly an anti-thesis of what Nott sets out to do using Pathfinder to extend the range of her allies, and it can be difficult to shoehorn Nott into such a composition without her being a sitting duck. We felt that it is time for Nott to drop to Tier 2 to reflect this changing landscape. 

Other Changes

  • Nemesis: King of Liberation <TIER 4>
  • Helbindi: Savage Scourge <TIER 4>
  • Roy: Young Lion <TIER 4>
  • Siegbert: Future King <TIER 4>
  • Ogma: Loyal Blade <TIER 4>
  • Gray: Wry Comrade <TIER 4>
  • Lon'qu: Solitary Blade <TIER 4>
  • Selena: Cutting Wit <TIER 5>
  • Fir: Sword Student <TIER 5>
  • Joshua: Tempest King <TIER 4>
  • Eirika: Restoration Lady <TIER 5>
  • Sirius: Mysterious Knight <TIER 4>
  • Perceval: Knightly Ideal <TIER 4>

In the modern state of the game, simply providing a large amount of stats is unlikely going to be impactful on the unit’s performance. Generic weapons throughout the years have been power creeping in terms of effects, making such weapons a rather difficult proposition when considering the opportunity cost due to their mostly subpar stat distribution in modern times. As such, we re-assessed some of the units in the mid-tiers based on their stat distribution.

  • Legendary Hector: Marquess of Ostia <TIER 1>

Legendary Hector’s main utility is his Ostia Pulse, which while undeniably a good skill to have, is slightly marred by his movement type being relatively unwieldy. However, it was mentioned that performance-wise, he trades blows with Valentine’s Gustav; a slightly more potent debuff, and negates follow-up in exchange for the ludicrous 75% damage reduction and cooldown reduction. While the team still thinks that Gustav is still better, for the most part, Hector’s performance is sufficiently close for Tier 1 considerations. 

  • Duessel: Obsidian <TIER 3>
  • Zeke: Past Unknown <TIER 3>
  • Exalted Chrom: Knight Exalt <TIER 4>

The release of Fallen Berkut essentially gave us an opportunity to look at some of the cavaliers in the game, and it seemed that player-phase Cavalry units had been increasing in firepower for quite a while. Guaranteed follow-up by itself is usually not sufficient for a unit to be considered competitive in modern times, and enemy phase performance continues to be a problem due to a lack of competitive skill access.

  • Clair: Highborn Flier <TIER 4>
  • Caeda: Talys's Heart <TIER 4>
  • Tsubasa: Madcap Idol <TIER 4>

As for melee Fliers, the lack of firepower from Caeda and Clair is starting to be a problem against physical bulky nukes such as Valentine’s Chrom, and not having any stat boost on their weapons makes it increasingly difficult to meet the stat check required for their playstyle. As for Tsubasa, it’s probably an overdue demotion as her role in the offensive meta is not exactly well defined even if skills such as the Flow skills are considered.

Weapon Refinery

Ranulf: Friend of Nations <TIER 3>

Ranulf’s weapon after the refine expanded the range to three spaces, and he also gets the usual boost to all his stats similar to the other modern weapon refines. The two big effects that Ranulf has is the neutralization of follow–up negation and true damage scaling based on the number of allies within 3 spaces. This is more likely to be useful in the enemy phase due to the increased likelihood for the maximum damage to go off, but the lack of enemy-phase skills specifically for his weapon and movement combination makes him potentially awkward to work with. 

Naesala: Sky's Shadow <TIER 2>

Naesala’s refine is rather impressive and solves a lot of problems Naesala had before; having SPD-based acceleration instead of relying on Heavy Blade, and the ability to neutralize follow-up negation (Beast Fliers could not get Flow skills). The true damage alongside the 10 ATK/SPD boost also more than makes up for his lack of firepower in his stat distribution. The only gripe with Naesala is the inability to get cooldown support easily compared to Infantry. Performance-wise, he is likely going to be a harder-hitting Eliwood, which is currently slated for Tier 2. We felt that Naesala is one step short of making it into Tier 1 as his weapon merely gives him a boost in SPD instead of the coveted cooldown reduction effect, nevertheless, he still will perform admirably as a Galeforce unit overall. 

Fallen Berkut: Purgatorial Prince <TIER 4>

We talked about simply having a guaranteed follow-up is not enough due to the increased ceiling of Cavalry damage dealers, and we also talked about the inadequacies of enemy-phase skills for them as well. Fallen Berkut not only shares the same traits but also hurts his allies in the process. The recoil on his allies is done in the enemy phase, making it hard to be used proactively to activate HP-based skills such as Wings of Mercy. Using him with a Save unit is also rather awkward, as one also needs to consider the distance of the Save unit to Berkut. In all, Berkut’s weapon is too awkward, and the payoff is also not worth it in most cases.

Velouria: Wolf Cub <TIER 1>

Velouria was already Tier 1 beforehand as she is the most potent source of cooldown reduction, and this has been relevant for Galeforce strategies since the start of the game mode. This weapon refine essentially makes Velouria’s Galeforce much more consistent, and she also hits harder due to the usual boost in ATK/SPD. 

Picnic Flora: Signature Dish <TIER 1>

Flora’s weapon relies heavily on her resistance stat, which is reliable for the most part as most modern nukes do not invest in any resistance at all. The ability to nullify negate follow-ups is also appreciated. However, unlike her sister, Flora being a ranged unit meant that her skill access and concerns are radically different. Flora’s lack of speed meant that Savvy is probably not the best option, which leaves her with Crafty and Slick Fighter, with the former probably being the better option due to Valentine’s Chrom consideration and the use of Svalinn Shield. Flora is likely going to thrive as a Far Save option in Aether Raids, and hence she is slated for Tier 1.

New Units

Groom Roy: Blazing Bachelors <TIER 1>

Groom Roy shares similarities to Brave Eirika, except with a smidge of racism tossed into the mix with his Dragon and Beast effectiveness. This meant having the same benefits; Null Guard (on his exclusive C skill) and neutralizing follow-up attack negation (from Flow skills such as Flow Force). While Eirika does hit for more relevant weaknesses in the form of Cavalry and Armors, Roy also has the additional combat debuffs on foe based on his own buffs. 

Bridal Lilina: Beaming Bride <TIER 2>

Bridal Lilina simply trades the Hardy Bearing effect on Legendary Lilina’s Studied Forblaze for a slight damage boost based on her RES. This meant that performance-wise these two are likely to be almost identical outside of her color. Hence, Lilina shares the same placement with her Legendary self. For more information, refer to the previous section on Legendary Lilina. 

Bridal Sophia: Prescient Bride <TIER 4>

Even if the higher-tier smoke skill actually exists, that does not mean that ranged Fliers get an automatic pass. Ranged Fliers are still marred by their lack of competitive B skill option, and Sophia’s stat spread is focused on the enemy phase does her no favors at all. It felt like kicking a dead horse every time, but until the B skill issue is fixed, it is hard to recommend ranged Fliers that do not bring enough to the table. 

Bridal Larum: Dancing Bride <TIER 3> (A)

Bridal Larum is an aggressive flying dancer, and unfortunately, the role is not exactly well defined in the game mode. As mentioned in the previous section, she is considered for her performance in Anima defense. 

Legendary Myrrh: Guardian Dragon <TIER 2>

Legendary Myrrh provides the Warp Bubble effect similar to Gatekeeper, making her a decent counter against any team composition that relies on warps, most notably Bridal Catria. However, Myrrh at the end of the day is just another hard-to-kill melee specialist, which Near Save mostly supersedes in terms of performance and reliability. However, the introduction of Chaos season and locking Saves to a single unit is something that is worth considering down the line, but until then she is considered for Tier 2.

Ascendant Florina: Azure-Sky Knight <TIER 2>

Florina has a warping effect similar to Ash and Summer Tana. However, in exchange for stat support from Ash’s Opening Retainer and Summer Tana’s weapon, Florina enables anyone to warp adjacent to her so long she is below 60% HP. The key determining factor of how useful this ability hinges on her combat ability and whether she can reach the HP threshold in a reliable fashion. The main qualm with Florina lies in the former, as being a ranged flier does mean that she is handicapped on that front, and the firepower on her weapon is inadequate compared to Ninja Lyn, which is seeing a slight resurgence due to the unpopularity of Deflect Missile over Deflect Magic. Florina shows immense potential, however, it would probably take quite a bit of work for her to achieve it by relying on support. 

Sain: Green Lance <TIER 3>

Sain has two notable things about him; having Canto Rem+1 on his weapon and granting himself another action when he rallies. One side effect of having another action is that he rids himself of any debuffs, which can be potentially useful. Sain can be further paired up with the Flow skills to grant him the ability to neutralize follow-up negations or the Lull skill for buff neutralization. However, Sain’s ATK and SPD boost is not exactly awe-inspiring on the defensive side, and the lack of cooldown reduction meant that some additional work needs to be done to allow him to perform for the offense. 

Letizia: Curse Director <TIER 2> (AD)

Letizia is functionally sharing many similarities with Valentine’s Lif, with Letizia having a substantially more optimized stat spread with higher bulk and lower SPD. Letizia’s weapon also potentially inflicts even more debuffs on her foes depending on the weapon condition. This makes Letizia incredibly difficult to take out even if she has a stat disadvantage due to being a Cavalry. The issue with Letizia, however, is that this weapon is a giant stat stick with guaranteed follow-up. While the stat boost is substantial as mentioned, Letizia’s ability to take down her foe can be hampered by the likes of damage reduction, which is seeing a resurgence due to skills such as Hardy Fighter, Vital Astra, and Deflect Magic. For now, we believe that Letizia’s lack of killing intent (heh) slates her for Tier 2, but this could change in the near future. 

Limstella: Living Construct <TIER 3>

Limstella can potentially hit pretty hard with them inflicting not only substantial debuffs on their foes but also gaining damage based on their allies. This is similar to Ashera, except Limstella only gains damage from ATK and RES bonuses as opposed to all stats for Ashera. While Limstella does have the additional upside of preventing follow-up attacks, they also hurt the closest ally within 3 spaces as well. This can be used in the player phase, so it might be possible for Limstella to be used proactively, such as for instance, a Vantage strategy by chipping her ally into Vantage range. However, such applications can be considered fringe at the very best, and using them in an enemy-phase strategy is rather problematic when they are bringing an ally closer to death every time they attack.

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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.