As per usual traditions in Fire Emblem Heroes, each player gets to choose to get 1 free copy of a unit in the Choose Your Legends banner. In this article, we will break down reasons a player might want to select a particular hero. A disclaimer; if you have your favorites, feel free to pick them! This article is mainly for players who are on the fence about selecting the free unit.
We will, in particular, discuss the unit’s potential in the following:
Lysithea: Earnest Seeker
Lysithea’s main strength is her utility in general content, especially under player control. With a strong offensive stat line, guaranteed follow-up, and a pseudo-Desperation effect, Lysithea is very likely to take most foes down after her first hit. This assumes that Lysithea can set up, as her tome does require her HP to be less than 100%. For general gameplay, Lysithea’s base ATK SPD Push 4 does somewhat help her to reach that condition.
Lysithea also has room to grow should player invest more in her skills outside of her base kit; Death Blow 4 is likely to be more consistent as Push 4 loses its effect when she is below 25% HP, and Special Spiral along with a higher cooldown special boosts her damage more effectively than Lull SPD RES in most cases.
Due to her nuking potential, initial intuition might suggest that Lysithea is worth considering in Aether Raids Defense. However, as her weapon requires her to be chipped, it is rather difficult to be able to guarantee that Lysithea will take damage before she attacks. This effectively makes Lysithea’s Dark Spikes T a mere stat stick on Defense.
Her role in Aether Raids is likely to be on offense, in particular Astra season. This is because Duma’s Upheaval will guarantee Lysithea to obtain her effect. However, such considerations will likely require Lysithea to be more heavily invested, as Lysithea’s bulk leaves a lot to be desired.
Lastly, despite Lysithea receiving a stat boost compared to units before this banner, Lysithea has a base stat total (BST) of 165. This unfortunately meant that her score is capped at this bin even with a super asset. This heavily limits Lysithea’s option, as players either choose to score low with her optimal skillset or are forced to give her R Duel Infantry just to be on par with much older units.
As a free pick, Lysithea is likely to thrive in clearing maps, such as Abyssals and Chain Challenges. Newer players who are struggling with such content can consider Lysithea. Otherwise, her other utility is likely in Aether Raids Offense in Astra season, although that will take a large amount of investment to excel in. Despite Lysithea’s strong statline, her success in Aether Raids Defense is likely to be limited due to her weapon condition.
Edelgard: Adrestian Emperor
Edelgard has an exclusive B passive (Black Eagle Rule) as one of the winners of CYL. The damage reduction of the passive is reminiscent of Brave Ike’s Urvan effect, the main difference being Brave Ike’s requiring the opponent’s attacks to be consecutive, which can be countered by Hardy Bearing on the foe to cancel the forced Desperation. This counterplay does not work on Edelgard, which suggests that although there is no up-front damage reduction compared to Urvan, it is also significantly more difficult to counter.
Edelgard might be an Armored unit, but she does not play like one due to her weapon (Flower Hauteclere). Her movement is more akin to a melee flier with Aerobatics while keeping the main draw of being an armored unit; a very high BST of 185. This combination of good mobility and high BST makes her an extremely desirable unit to use in Arena. When her exclusive 300SP B passive is considered, Edelgard is the highest scoring Arena unit at the time of writing.
The unhindered movement also makes her fairly easy to use when it comes to general content relative to other armors. She however experiences the same woes as other armored units; weakness to potential effective weapons. This reduces her value as an auto-battle unit. In terms of more difficult content such as Legendary Hero Battles, Edelgard’s B passive could be harder to leverage as the foes on the map tend to cheat a whole lot with their special charges and stat inflations. Lastly, for newer players, Distant Ward in her base kit leaves a lot to be desired due to its inconsistencies. Regardless, as some quests mandate the use of an Armored unit, Edelgard will still be useful in that regard.
One area which does not have stat inflation is Aether Raids Offense. In this area, Edelgard’s potential is difficult to deny as well. However, to fully leverage her B passive, Edelgard will likely need to stop instant specials (such as Infantry Pulse) from happening. This meant either Pulse Ties (Even or Odd) or Pulse Smoke is required, which are undeniably expensive. Add on Distant Counter to her A passive and it gets expensive real fast.
What might be overlooked by some is her potential in Aether Raids Defense. Her B passive naturally fits her into the frontline role. However, unlike other frontline units, Edelgard also has an automatic follow-up as long as she is above 25% HP. This meant that Edelgard can pack quite a punch. Her weapon providing in-combat debuffs along with cooldown reduction is the icing on the very sweet cake for Edelgard in Aether Raids Defense.
Even though she is significantly easier to use compared to other armors, she falls behind Dimitri and Lysithea in terms of general content viability. Edelgard is likely the best choice for seasoned players who are willing to invest everything to Edelgard; what a player potentially gets is a unit that hits the ceiling for scoring in Arena and a very strong unit to field in both Aether Raids Offense and Defense. We are, however, not joking when we said everything, as you will want to fully merge her up and give her the most premium of skills with the best support available
Dimitri: King of Faerghus
Dimitri as a CYL winner also received an extra bump in the form of an exclusive passive. Blue Lion’s Rule is essentially a fusion of Quick Riposte and damage reduction skills such as Close Call or Repel, except the condition is based on having more defense than his foe. This skill somewhat undermines Dimitri’s advantage as a Lance Infantry unit, as it is even stronger than the already powerful B passives that others could get.
Furthermore, Dimitri’s weapon is a Distant Counter weapon, with an extra effect of receiving more charges when he gets hit. This is another win for Dimitri as normal units would need to sacrifice their A passive for Distant Counter, and be paired with a Brave Lucina just to get a similar acceleration effect to Dimitri. This means that he will heal back his health after he gets hit if he runs Noontime (which he does come with, how convenient!). The application to Aether Raids Offense is fairly obvious. However, some prudence needs to be exercised if he is fielded on Astra season due to the existence of Thrasir as a defense Mythic and Dimitri’s rather mediocre resistances.
His A passive (ATK DEF Unity) also has strong potential ramifications to the game, as it provides not only Dimitri but also many Distant Counter users a counterplay to potential debuffs on him (similar to Fallen Ike with Chaos Ragnell). However, it is worth noting that other stat combinations of the unity skills might be available in the future, so there is no rush unless a player wants a boost in attack and defense.
Even without considering the B skill advantage of Infantry Melee units, Dimitri still has a lot to gain. Infantry is the only movement class in the game that does not have a weakness to effective damage (outside of Poison Dagger, which at this point is obsolete). Combined with the consistent healing stated above, Dimitri is perfect as an auto-battle unit in modes such as Tempest Trial and Forging Bonds. For more difficult general content such as Abyssal Legendary Hero Battles, Dimitri’s contribution is likely to be less consistent due to his reliance on stat checks.
Dimitri’s BST is another positive consequence of being a melee infantry unit; at 176, he is capable of reaching 180 BST bin with a help from a super asset, which puts him on par with many of the armored units in the game. Furthermore, Dimitri also has a 300SP B passive, which is likely to push his already high scoring ceiling even more.
In Aether Raids Defense, Dimitri will serve a similar role to Brave Ike and Seliph; a frontline unit that is capable of soaking offensive pressure in the attacker’s player phase, while potentially providing Infantry Pulse for his allies. However, he also shares many weaknesses with the other 2 units; lack of offensive presence in Dimitri’s player phase. In that aspect, Dimitri is good but not groundbreaking.
Dimitri is pretty much fully ready out of the box; give him an assist of your choice (probably Reposition) and he is ready to go. Being a Lance Infantry makes Dimitri essentially a first-class citizen in the game; almost non-existent effective weapons, high BST for arena scoring, and favorable access to B passives. The last point however is irrelevant for Dimitri as Blue Lion’s Rule is even stronger than those coveted passives. Distant Counter and on-damage acceleration meant that players are not required to be picky in terms of his support. New players who are looking into Aether Raids are highly recommended to pick Dimitri due to the low-investment and high-efficacy of his base kit. Be wary of his potential weakness to green mages, and you should be fairly covered.
Claude: Almyra’s King
In the first 3 units of the banner, we have seen most of the gimmicks of the other units before, and parallels could be drawn to units with a similar mechanic. Claude does not fall into this category, as his weapon (Wind Parthia) is probably the most unique of the bunch.
Other than the standard cooldown reduction and stat boosts, Claude’s main utility is that he heals for 50% of his own maximum HP after he charges his special. This is radically different from healing specials such as Sol and Aether, as those are not only determined by the damage that is dealt but also the amount of maximum HP the opponent has. Furthermore, nothing is stopping Claude from running a low-charge cooldown special such as Moonbow or Ruptured Sky. There is also the option of running Claude with Brave Lucina, which enables Claude to run a slightly more powerful special such as Luna.
Due to how radically different Claude is, it is difficult to analyze how well Claude is in the higher difficulty general content. Claude is likely going to be a phenomenal auto-battle unit similar to Dimitri due to excellent healing. Effective damage is a non-issue due to Iote’s Shield as a seal.
What Claude is going to shine in is Aether Raids Offense. This is because Claude’s Wind Parthia scales based on his maximum HP, and Aether Raids Blessings does provide Claude with even more HP for his weapon to scale on. Further considering Claude’s synergy with Brave Lucina mentioned above, Claude opens up some interesting possibilities that were not possible before Claude exists as a unit. One small blemish to Claude is probably his unfortunate lack of access to most of the combat B passives. However, Vantage is a good fail-safe in case Claude could not heal sufficiently from his weapon.
Lastly, his arena scoring capabilities are acceptable. At 166 BST, he will need a super asset to reach the 170 BST threshold in parity with the Duel Skill users. It is however likely that players would have higher scoring units that are from the summoning pool or the grail shop. Arena is definitely not the reason why a player should pull for Claude.
Claude forces players to think outside of the conventional methods of unit building, with an unprecedented healing mechanic that could potentially be game-changing. It is also precisely this difference from the conventional wisdom that makes it difficult to assess his potential performance in general content and Aether Raids Defense. The certainties however are his immense potential in Aether Raids Offense, and his ability to auto-battle in easier content. Players who like to experiment with units will not go wrong with picking Claude as their free pick.
Assuming you are pulling units to use rather than to fodder:
- Lysithea is for players that are not interested in coliseum modes or Aether Raids.
- Claude is for players who want a strong Aether Raids Offense unit, and want to do it in a different and unorthodox manner.
- Dimitri is for players who might want a powerful Aether Raids Offense unit and sometimes use him as a score stick in Arena. Beginners are highly recommended to pick Dimitri due to his ability to auto-battle without big investments.
- Edelgard is for seasoned players who want a unit that is potentially good in everything (arena inclusive) and is willing to sacrifice an arm and a leg to make that a reality.