The Asgardr Report aims to provide high-level Fire Emblem Heroes content on a regular basis. Each article will contain 3-4 topics related to the end-game content of the game; Aether Raids (Offence & Defense), Arena, and Summoner Duels.
In this late edition (again) of the Asgardr Report, we will be focusing 3 topics; a brief overview of damage reduction, the new units from Choose Your Legends 6, and lastly the refines from Choose Your Legends 4.
Damage Reduction Clarification
Before touching on all the Choose Your Legend units, it is beneficial first to discuss the different types of damage reduction (DR) in Fire Emblem Heroes. As of the time of writing, there are 5 different types of DR:
- Defensive Special DR. These are specials that activate on enemy’s attacks and provide damage reduction to the user. Examples include Ice Mirror, Negating Fang, and the inheritable defensive specials such as Aegis, Pavise, and the newly introduced Godlike Reflexes. The special Miracle can also be classified under this category.
- Offensive Special DR. These are specials that activate after an offensive special activation and provide damage reduction to the user. This is a new mechanic introduced for this month, such as the likes of Brave Byleth’s Divine Pulse and Legendary Deirdre’s Circlet of Balance.
- Percentage DR. These are non-special abilities that reduce the damage done by a percentage amount. This can come in all shapes and sizes, as it can be from the weapon such as Sothis’s refined Sublime Surge and Brave Eirika’s Binding Reginleif, and passives such as Blue Lion Rule, Black Eagle Rule, and inheritable skills such as Dragon Wall and Spurn.
- Flat DR. These are non-special abilities that reduce the damage done by a flat amount. The first prominent introduction of this type of DR is Spring Maria, with Askr and Brave Dimitri following suit.
- Passive Miracle. These are non-special abilities that prevent HP to drop below 1. Examples of units with such properties include Brave Seliph and Ascended Celica, and Ymir’s Everliving Domain provides this effect as well.
This is relevant as there are now some effects that bypass DR, and percentage DR right now has the most amount of direct counterplays, with the likes of specials such as Lethality and Deadeye, and characters such as Young Innes, Valentine’s Lif, and Young Soren. As of the time of writing, there is only one unit with direct counterplay against defensive special DR (Legendary Nanna with Earth Sword), and none for the rest. However, that also means that it is possible for units in the future to have more methods of disabling types of DR.
Specifically for flat DR, as it is by a flat amount, this means that specials that scale based on damage output, such as Glimmer, Astra, and Deadeye can be helpful as the DR only comes into effect after damage reduction. Area-of-Effect (AoE) skills also work well due to their multiplicative nature as well, although currently there is no flat DR that works outside of combat for AoE skills.
In conclusion, the different types of DR would call for another counterplay. Sometimes, things can get pretty confusing in terms of what type of DR is involved. Case in point, a Hardy Fighter boosted defensive special actually consist of all three types of DR, with Hardy Fighter having both percentage (special triggers twice) and flat (reduces damage by 5) amount.
Asgardr Hall of Fame
The Asgardr’s Hall of Fame is a form of recognition for units that fulfills either of the following 2 requirements.
- The unit is sufficiently common in Aether Raids Offense strategies and performs at a sufficiently high level.
- The unit performs at an exceptional level even if they are less accessible without a steep learning curve.
The Hall of Fame would be updated in the next issue in October 2022.
Choose Your Legends 6
It has been about two weeks since the release of the new Choose Your Legends units, and the storm has somewhat settled a little bit. In this section, we will discuss not only the unit themselves but also the impact it has on the meta moving forward.
From the get-go, Tiki being an Infantry tank means that Tiki would have to climb a relatively steep hill in terms of competing against the likes of Savior Armors. The main thing Far Save offers compared to running a sole Infantry tank such as Tiki is protection, as they can protect their allies from getting attacked. This is especially relevant in Aether Raids and Summoner Duels; Far Save allows stacking a ridiculous amount of support and galvanizes the use of stat supports such as Kaden and Wings of Fate Hinoka while protecting Mythic units who are generally pretty frail, and Far Save allows for more aggressive positioning in Summoner Duels.
However, this does not mean that it is the end of Tiki’s viability; the introduction of the Bulwark skills essentially allows any Infantry tank to block off any approach from the enemy, which does mean that Infantry tanks can now perform a role similar to the likes of Far Save armors. However, that is at the expense of positional flexibility, as the Infantry tank needs to always be at the frontline to protect the allies. It is likely that in Aether Raids, Bulwarks might be a better option over her personal B passive due to the potential of overloading with supports. It might be worth mentioning that the generally weak state of Aether Raids Defense means that the investments might not be justified.
Lastly, the introduction of the Finish skills does suggest that the developers are trying to provide a bump to Infantry tanks. An indirect inference is that the developers are aware of the state of enemy phase units in general due to the issues stated above. Bulwarks and Finishes are both signs of this trend, and it might be sooner rather than later that the developers could pull the rug on the Savior units and force Infantry tanks into the meta. If that happens, units such as Brave Tiki will likely be in good stead.
Tiki might not have the clearest application in the current state, but the same could be said for Brave Marth last year, and since then he popped off as one of the best Vantage sweepers in the game. The same can easily happen for Tiki, so watch the space.
Brave Byleth’s Divine Pulse introduced a new mechanic; an offensive special DR. While Byleth’s status as a ranged flier limits her Passive B option, as usual, she came with Spd Pre-empt, which is a Vantage effect on an Spd check against ranged foes. When coupled with the general lack of Hardy Bearing in the meta for Aether Raids, Brave Byleth is a relatively competent Vantage sweeper with a damage reduction as a failsafe. Furthermore, due to Byleth’s generally low bulk, rally traps would actually attack Byleth rather than using their assist due to the 5 damage rule.
As for Divine Pulse, the damage reduction works against the likes of Deadeye and Lethality as they only pierce through percentage DR on non-specials. As of the time of writing, there is no specific counterplay for Divine Pulse outside of preventing the special from going off in the first place. At least until new counters are released, Brave Byleth’s Divine Pulse makes her a menace in Summoner Duels and Aether Raids. The only risk for Byleth would be to ensure that she beats the Spd check for Pre-empt, which can be difficult to do sometimes in Summoner Duels due to offensive seals being more powerful in the player phase (Blade Session).
The two key abilities of Brave Chrom would be his personal weapon and assist. Geirdriful provides cooldown acceleration, stat boosts based on bonuses, and A Fate Changed! (AFC) copies all bonuses of an ally to himself on top of the usual free Reposition shenanigans. Notably, this is also the first version of Chrom with the free Reposition to be a melee and cavalry, which means that he can be played rather differently compared to the other versions.
Specifically, him being a melee unit means that he can use Galeforce, and the additional movement as a Cavalry poise him to be a phenomenal unit on Aether Raids offense. For example, he can be paired with Yuri for additional movement, Velouria for the buff nullification, or any unit that works well in a Galeforce strategy. This effectively frees up a slot of a Smite bot, which is undeniably useful as the attacker now has one additional unit to work with for the clear.
Chrom can also potentially see play on Aether Raids Defense with the three-movement, as Chrom would be able to catch up with cavaliers and land a possible Reposition. This is useful for any cavaliers that have defensive mechanisms, such as Spring Delthea and Brave Seliph. However, Chrom is weak to the Isolation effect, so it is ideal for the player not to field him in Dark / Chaos season due to the presence of Mila, and be cautious of possible clears using Bridal Fjorm as well.
Lastly, in terms of Summoner Duels he is frequently seen hanging around Askr as Askr provides almost everything Chrom needs to succeed; visible bonuses in the form of the two Resonance Buffs, Infantry, so he is a recipient of Inf. Spd Tactic for Null-Follow Up, and cooldown acceleration to further increase Chrom’s damage output or longevity depending on the choice of special. Brave Seliph is also another commonly seen partner for Chrom due to the additional movement and Null Follow-Up as well. Speaking of Seliph…
In short, out of the four Brave units for the year, for the past month, Seliph has made the biggest splash in the meta, especially in Aether Raids Defense and Summoner Duels. Seliph’s additional movement catches people off guard in terms of the threat range, and Seliph has the firepower (his damage scales with foe’s HP) backed up with a powerful defensive mechanism in the form of a passive Miracle. Melee tanks or Near Saves nowadays would likely want to field a unit with damage reduction to somewhat reduce Seliph’s firepower for the most part, although that might also mean walking right into Legendary Nanna (which fortunately is not exactly the most common in the game right now).
Seliph is now the go-to option for Summoner Duels if the map is cavalry focused where there are no obstructions in the middle of the map. Seliph being relatively quick also means that he is not a prime target against the likes of Summer Thorr and Riev, which means that it is significantly easier for Seliph to dodge the Stall effect to keep his 4 space movement. Coupled with his firepower, Seliph is likely to win a one-on-one fight so long as there is no damage reduction involved.
There are a couple of considerations to make him more tolerable; Seliph relies on being within two spaces of an ally to gain the additional movement and Null Follow-Up. This means that it is perfectly possible to take out all the allies near Seliph first and stall him out in the next turn. Similar to Aether Raids, Seliph is also weak to damage reduction, so damage reduction abilities such as Dragon Wall, Spurn, and, to some extent, Black Eagle Rule also have immense potential to be used against Seliph. However, all these do come with an opportunity cost of not running Hardy Fighter on your Far Save if it is necessary. It is up to the player to determine if the opportunity cost is worth it, to begin with.
Choose Your Legends 4 Refines
The reason why this Asgardr Report was delayed mainly stemmed from the CYL4 refines as the refines for Choose Your Legends units tend to be rather meta-defining. This year was no exception, as all four refines are relatively useful for the most part. In this section, we would provide a quick overview of the refines and analyze how things have changed for these units.
Before her refinement, Edelgard was still one of the most mobile armors with Flower Hauteclere’s additional movement alongside a pseudo-Aerobatics effect. This is useful as the usual choice of mobility is Passive C, which is usually taken up by Save skills. However, due to Edelgard’s durability not being the best, she slowly gets squeezed out of the meta, with her only seeing a slight resurgence due to the introduction of Stout Axe as it synergizes with Black Eagle Rule by providing the damage reduction on the first hit.
Flower Hauteclere continues to provide Edelgard with the additional movement and provides Edelgard with even more stats to work with. The stats can also be used in the player phase, which means that, by herself, she is probably one of the hardest-hitting Save units in the player phase while maintaining the ability to warp and provide Savior Support for her allies. While the weapon does provide healing on hit, it can be a difficult proposition should Edelgard use Far Save due to the prominence of Valentine’s Chrom, which not running Svalinn Shield is most likely a death sentence.
In short, Brave Edelgard’s game plan continues to be the same for most game modes; she is still an excellent Near Save unit in Aether Raids Offense, and in Summoner Duels, she likely is useful for a team that lacks mobility support such as the likes of Bridal Catria and Ash, with her best use likely to be Svalinn Shield to ward against Armor Effective unit such as Valentine’s Chrom, Brave Eirika, Valentine’s Chrom, Brave Chrom, and did I mention Valentine’s Chrom?
Brave Lysithea was criticized for the lack of self-setup, as she struggles to find a way to activate her weapon’s HP condition by herself. The developers tried to fix it by introducing Winter Bernadetta to do the 1 damage, but instead of Brave Lysithea rising to prominence, it instead lead to HP manipulation being frequently used in Aether Raids strategy. As a result, Brave Lysithea continued to get thrown in the corner and forgotten in mediocrity.
Fortunately, with the refine, they fixed the weapon’s primary issue by doing 1 chip damage every single turn regardless of her HP. This guarantees Lysithea always be able to activate the weapon’s HP condition in the player phase. The HP chip damage can also be used to manipulate HP values similar to the likes of Winter Bernadetta, however, Lysithea only provides chip damage on herself every turn, while Bernadetta does the chip damage for all allies within two spaces if she is at 100% HP. This means that HP manipulation can be done much quicker using Bernadetta than Lysithea.
Brave Lysithea, while largely lost in the manipulation context, more than makes up for it in the combat prospect. She follows the footstep of Leif by having cooldown reduction as part of her refined weapon, and she gains the ability to have pseudo-Aerobatics similar to the likes of Edelgard on top of cooldown acceleration. This means that Lysithea can either activate a three-cooldown special such as Luna or guarantee a two-cooldown special like Ruptured Sky and Moonbow outside of very specific circumstances (Guard + Tempo). This can be further combined with Bridal Catria for potential four consecutive attacks, alongside the potential use of Tempo to ensure that Guard cannot stop her special activation.
The big elephant in the room, however, is the lack of DR-piercing specials for mages, as those are either locked to Bows (Deadeye) or Daggers (Lethality). This means that her damage can be potentially walled by the likes of Hardy Fighter and Deflect Magic, which is unfortunately a very common combination frequently used in Aether Raids Defense and Summoner Duels. At least until then, Brave Lysithea is going to be an excellent nuke in Summoner Duels Survival where there is only one Deflect Magic seal to go around.
Brave Dimitri essentially became an amalgamation of Spring Maria and Askr. The difference between the three units being the distance requirement; Spring Maria does not need allies to be near her, Askr has a two-space unit requirement, and Dimitri has a three-space requirement. This means that Dimitri has a fairly easier time moving forward to do damage in the player phase without losing his weapon’s effect, which does somewhat increase his flexibility.
Furthermore, as Brave Dimitri comes with Blue Lion Rule, this means that he has both percentage DR and flat DR in his kit. This is an extremely potent combination, as percentage DR covers for the likes of AoE and damage multipliers such as Glimmer and Astra, while flat DR ensures that skills such as Lethality are unable to cause significant damage on Dimitri. This means that Dimitri went from a mediocre tank with low Res, to an excellent tank, despite his low Res, due to the flat damage reduction. It is also helping Dimitri that there are no percentage DR-piercing specials for mages, which means that his low Res is largely going unpunished in the current state of the game.
Brave Dimitri is an excellent counter to the current state of melee nukes in the game as well due to the multiple types of DR in his kit, with Legendary Nanna being checked by his flat DR, while Brave Seliph would likely struggle to go through his percentage DR with Blue Lion Rule. All these factors make Dimitri potentially a really powerful frontline unit in Summoner Duels, with a lot of potential as a melee specialist due to the lack of answers to him for the most part.
Dimitri is not infallible; his low Res might sometimes rear its ugly head as he is potentially unable to engage in multiple magical engagements in Summoner Duels. This is especially scary if there are dragons on the field, which are increasingly common due to their increased relative strength, and they cannot be protected by Far Saves either. Dimitri, however, is going from zero to hero in Aether Raids, as it is largely possible to make up for his shortcomings with some help from ally support. Just make sure that his allies are well hidden as unlike Far Saves, Dimitri will not be providing his allies protection against enemy fire.
Brave Claude, simply put, was absolutely dysfunctional before the refinement. The combination of Fatal Smoke, lack of general durability, vulnerability to Guard, and ranged fliers being the absolute pariahs of the developers all did not help Brave Claude’s claim. While the last point is still not fixed as of the time of writing, the remaining three-pointers are all somewhat fixed for the most part. Fatal Smoke does not totally ruin Claude’s day anymore with the refinement, durability is somewhat patched with additional stats alongside damage reduction on the first hit, and he is given a Tempo effect to ensure that Claude can guarantee his specials.
His only main caveat is the lack of guaranteed follow-up prevention; he was given the wrong half of Null Follow-Up as he stops follow-up negations. As Brave Claude isn’t known for his breakneck firepower, this means that he likely still has to watch out for guaranteed follow-up attacks unless support is provided such as from Fallen Lilith with her Null Follow-Up status, or Hilda with her weapon providing follow-up negation for allies within two spaces.
There is also the point of double-attacks such as the likes of Bridal Catria with her Triangle attack, but that is likely to be an unfair comparison for the most part as outside of a small minority of rather dumb units such as the aforementioned Brave Dimitri, most units are likely to struggle anyway. Under most circumstances, Brave Claude is likely to perform admirably, and this can be stretched to the whole Astra season if you are a cheater and use Elimeme.
Final Words and Announcements
We hope you enjoyed this special edition of Asgardr Report. As we are now formally a year into the Asgardr Report, that also means that we have pretty much covered most of the detailed aspects of Fire Emblem Heroes in the end-game. As such, there will be changes to the schedule of the Asgardr Report.
Asgardr Report will now be on a quarterly basis as opposed to monthly, with issues at the start of each quarter of the year (January, April, July, and October) where the issue would cover all the new content in the previous quarter. A special edition of Asgardr Report will also be scheduled every September to not only go through the Choose Your Legends units but also celebrate the anniversary of the article series and make any changes should it be necessary.
This means that we will have our usual issue of Asgardr Report next month in October, where we would cover the contents of the game for August and September. The next issue after that would be three months later in January 2023, and we will be following the new schedule as stated above. Once again, I would like to thank all the readers for the past year and see you all again next month in the next issue of Asgardr Report.