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 (Offense & Defense), Arena, and Summoner Duels.
In this issue of Asgardr Report, we would be covering the alternatives to the glue-sniffing Savior strategies in Aether Raids; Vantage & Galeforce. But first, we would as usual cover the latest developments in Fire Emblem Heroes
This Month in Fire Emblem Heroes
In this segment, we would focus on units or skills that the author thinks are new and going to be meta-relevant moving forward due to the updates introduced in the game. For this month, this segment would cover all the content introduced for the month.
Without consideration of his Duo Skill, Young Ike performs just about as well as many of the usual Infantry Sword units in the game. This meant that in Aether Raids, it can be potentially difficult to find a role that truly suits his playstyle. His main potency is definitely his Duo Skill with his rather ridiculous range. This meant that Young Ike seems to be designed for Summoner Duels (yet again), as the ability to disable specials at such a large range could be useful both defensively (disabling Deadeye / Lethality) and offensively (disabling Hardy Fighter).
The final Feud skill that almost everyone remotely serious about Aether Raids Defence is waiting for; Blue Feud prevents any blue unit from providing and receiving support. This is extremely potent against Brave Hector and Ascended Idunn, which are probably 2 of the most powerful armored units in the game. This is a huge boost for most of the green units, as they can finally be reliable enough to deal with their supposedly positive matchup. This includes the likes of New Year Dagr, Pirate Hinoka, and to some extent, Ninja Corrin.
After almost 3 years of complaining about Bolt Tower, we finally have a counterplay to perhaps one of the most centralizing offensive structures other than the Safety Fence. In the past, low threat range teams such as Bridal Catria clusters tended to struggle against the Bolt Tower, as most of the time a Bolt Tower down the middle would sufficiently weaken the Save units enough to be taken out by other nukes. Without the Bolt Tower, this is definitely much harder to perform than before. This is a huge boost for any team that does not activate on Turn 1 or 2, with the main boost being the aforementioned Bridal-Catria based teams.
- Warding Breath is another cooldown acceleration seal after Steady and Darting Breath. This is especially useful if you need to run multiple cooldown accelerations, and none of your Save armors want to run Darting Breath.
- Ascended Ishtar is essentially Winter Lysithea but Infantry. She trades mobility for some alternative skill access and Null Guard. However, there is also an increasing number of players who are opting for Deflect Magic in their Far Save unit, which definitely reduces the efficacy of Ascended Ishtar as a nuke.
- Canto Control is released alongside Medeus. Canto Control is probably better used in higher threat compositions, as it is relatively easy to run away from a low threat range composition by running Repositions akin to traditional FEH before Canto. This is also useful in Summoner Duels due to a large chunk of nukes in that mode that runs Canto in most of their teams.
Asgardr Hall of Fame (April)
Offensive Retrospective; Vantage and Galeforce
Over the past few updates, Aether Raids Offense has mostly devolved into the use of Saviour-based teams. While one could probably not deny the potency of such teams, excessive attention also meant that the defensive side would be more likely to specifically counter these teams. As such, it is probably ideal for players to also be aware of the state of other strategies in Aether Raids Offence. We would specifically focus on 2 strategies for this article; Vantage and Galeforce.
In all honesty, Galeforce strategies had not changed that much since the mode’s inception. The objective of these strategies remains the same; take out as many units as possible in a single turn, use Wings of Mercy to achieve the previous objective, and trap units through unit-blocking to ensure the safety of your units. The main difference compared to the past is not only new tools that can be used but also recent research and development efforts by many players in the game mode.
We had previously covered Galeforce in our maiden issue of the Asgardr Report, and most of it continues to be relevant today. We would specifically focus on recent developments that are not covered in the previous articles.
The largest changes for Galeforce are probably the Mythics, as we received Mythics that are excellent for Galeforce in both seasons. For Light Season, Ash has many things going for her as a Galeforce unit; cooldown -1, guaranteed follow-up and most importantly, Guard negation. All of the above helps with Ash getting her Galeforce charge, making her a phenomenal follow-up Galeforce unit. The only limitation with Ash is that for Ash to receive her Guard negation, she would need to be transformed, which is probably not the end of the world by practising social distancing on Turn 1, allowing Ash to transform on Turn 2.
The boost is even more obvious in Astra season, as Thorr is literally a Galeforce team’s bread and butter since her release. Thorr’s weapon provides extremely strong coverage against the likes of Near Save units due to being an Axe unit (covering for Brave Hector and Spring Idunn) and has Armour-effectiveness (cover for everything else). This meant that Thorr by herself has a huge potential in terms of simply taking the foes out.
Furthermore, Worldbreaker provides unconditional cooldown acceleration on all allies within 2 spaces, which means that units no longer need to meet any form of stat checks such as the likes of Heavy and Flashing Blade. This drastically reduced the entry point for units to succeed in a Galeforce strategy; dancers and suboptimal units no longer need to rely on Flashing / Heavy Blade with their suboptimal stat spread, cavalry and fliers can focus on getting the necessary charges using Quickened Pulse instead of being locked to Heavy Blade, etc. In other words, Thorr is a huge equaliser that allows a larger pool of units to be used in a Galeforce strategy.
Ninja Corrin and Hatari Azura
Ninja Corrin and Hatari Azura is a one-two punch that is extremely potent in Aether Raids Offence. Both did not really bring anything new to the table; Ninja Corrin is essentially Ninja Lyn but magic, Hatari Azura is a cavalry dancer (similar to Masquerade Sigurd) and has the Harmonic Dance ability (similar to Summer Caeda and Plegian Dorothea). However, the combination of all these old effects created an extremely effective concoction that strikes fear in many of the defensive maps.
Both Ninja Corrin and Hatari Azura have 3-movement range, which means that the reach of the 2 units are rather large. Furthermore, as Harmonic Dance does have an additional range compared to New Year Peony’s Duo Skill, that enables Ninja Corrin to have even more positional flexibility. Lastly, there are also other units that could also be used alongside Ninja Corrin, such as the previously mentioned New Year Peony, or the Mythics mentioned in the previous section.
A Hero Rises 2022
One point of similarity between Thorr, Hatari Azura and Ninja Corrin is that all these 3 units (alongside Legendary Byleth (M)) are voted into A Hero Rises (AHR) 2022. Due to the colour share, it is very likely that players get some (if not all) of the units mentioned in this section. This meant that chances are, you probably have either some or all the components required to create the teams as mentioned above.
However, that can also be a double-edged sword; due to Ninja Corrin being the winner of AHR2022, more players are switching to Deflect Magic on their seal slot, making Ninja Corrin’s gameplan of taking out the opponent much more difficult to achieve compared to before. With that said, there is probably no harm to try the strategy out in at least one of the teams other than the usual Saviour teams.
Let’s bring our attention to the other strategy that had fallen off the radar, but recently saw a resurgence; Vantage. In order to understand the resurgence, we need to roughly explain what has happened over the past few months; the introduction of Ascended Fjorm. Her sole existence drove many null-counter effects to extinction. Windsweep? Blow that away. Flash? More like trash (heh). Firesweep Bow? … I ran out of smart comebacks.
Furthermore, more and more players are using Save Armors, which meant that there is increased pressure to inflict as much damage as possible. This meant that usually, the defense had little to no room to run a Hardy Bearing unit just to cover for all the common tanks in the meta, such as Brave Hector, Ascended Idunn, and the aforementioned Ascended Fjorm.
The excessive focus on killing things meant that Hardy Bearing is mostly an afterthought outside of a few nukes such as Legendary Lilina. This is essentially prime for a revival of any Vantage-based strategy.
Turn 1 Vantage
One consideration is that the damage ceiling for the enemy nukes is exceedingly high thanks to the devolution of the offense meta, and some nukes are also potentially bulky as well (looking at you Valentine’s Chrom). Furthermore, the introduction of the Hex Trap also meant that one could not simply rely on activating the Bolt Trap to get into the Vantage range, as having a Bolt Trap on the field is no longer a certainty.
As such, the modern Vantage units do need to instantly get into Vantage range in order to start sweeping the opponent. While there are other alternative conditions to consider (Brave Marth with ally buff condition, to a smaller extent Kronya with lowered HP on foes), this is mostly done through the use of HP manipulation with the help of Winter Bernadetta; using Hrist to artificially lower your unit’s HP by 1 so that your Vantage sweeper could swap the HP around and get instantly into Vantage range. This also allows finer control of your HP, as you can remain sufficiently healthy to take a hit if it is required.
Speaking of taking a hit…
Failsafe; Taking a hit
There will be times when either the foe does have Hardy Bearing or Windsweep, or the unit has some way to survive a hit be it through damage reduction or sheer durability. That is where a failsafe comes in; having a Vantage unit that could potentially take a hit is extremely useful. If a unit has any ways to increase its longevity, it can be considered a failsafe. This can either be done through damage reduction (Brave Marth with Spurn, Ascended Mareeta) or sheer bulk (Laslow, Winter Altina, and Valentian Palla).
One nice thing about Vantage tanks is that usually, dancers will usually attack instead of refreshing due to them doing more than 5 damage to the Vantage unit. As such, the chances of overlap occurring to hit a support unit are rather unlikely. This meant that it is possible to slot in a couple of support units to increase their damage output. This reduces the likelihood of the opponent surviving a hit, and you can use your failsafe in other situations such as Hardy Bearing.
Muspell appears the 2nd time in Asgardr Report, as he is probably one of the most potent Vantage supports in the game due to Domain of Flames. Specifically for a physical melee unit, Domain of Flame essentially grants the Vantage unit an alternative source of damage by hitting for RES instead of DEF. Muspell is useful if the goal is to take the foe out in a single strike, such as the likes of Brave Marth and Ascended Mareeta.
While this is an expensive build, one could not deny that New Year Peony provides something that many supports do not have; potential map-wide support. The original Peony could probably do the same, although the +6 ATK boost from the New Year version is probably better than +3 ATK and SPD for this strategy. This grants more positional flexibility to not only the Vantage unit but gives extra space for additional supports, such as the Mythics. Peony is especially useful for units that can hit twice in the enemy phase, such as Valentian Palla, Winter Altina, and Laslow.
We hope you enjoyed this edition of the Asgardr Report, and we jolt your memory in old strategies that might be effective in the offensive meta moving forward. In the next edition of Asgardr Report, we would shift focus back into the coliseum modes as we examine the general arena meta and team-building consideration moving forward. We hope to see you all again right here on the Asgardr Report.