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 the 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:
- General Content.
- Arena Scoring.
- Aether Raids Offense.
- Aether Raids Defense.
- Summoner Duels.
- Fodder (if notable).
Seliph: Enduring Legacy
Seliph shares a lot of similarities with Eirika in terms of roles; a Canto 2 melee cavalry unit that packs quite a punch. Eirika’s damage output stems from her Moonlight Bangle and effective damage against Cavalry and Armors with Binding Reginleif, while Seliph has true damage in his weapon as it provides up to 40% of the foe’s DEF as true damage depending on the amount of space moved by him in the player phase or the foe in the enemy phase. Seliph also has the Miracle effect reminiscent of his base version, which also provides him some level of protection when engaging with the foe. A trick up Seliph’s sleeves is his personal Passive C Heir to Light where he gains Null Follow-Up and additional movement at the start of the turn. However, as it is a start-of-turn effect, it can be switched off by the likes of Elimine with False Start and cleanses such as Summer Thorr’s Duo Skill. The additional movement can also be a problem when afflicted with Stall.
Seliph also introduces a series of new skills known as Clash. Atk/Spd Clash provides Atk/Spd boosts dependent on the movement of unit or foe similar to Seliph’s Holytide Tyrfing and also grants penalty negation similar to the likes of Atk/Spd Bond 4. However, it is restricted to melee units specifically. Enemy phase units probably would stick to the likes of Unity and Bonds as it is easier to maintain those conditions, while Clash provides a stronger alternative for melee player phase units who wants to have a way to negate their penalties.
In terms of mode utility, Seliph will notably see play in two modes; Aether Raids Defense and Summoner Duels. He can also perform decently in Aether Raids Offense with some skill and ally considerations
In Aether Raids Defense, Seliph’s additional movement, true damage, and Miracle capabilities are likely to cause some issues for the defender, and it is also possible to overlap his range with other melee cavalries, such as Nifl and Summer Dimitri in order to further complicate things for the defenders. Keep in mind however that this is only applicable for the Dark season due to the presence of Elimine in the Anima and Chaos season.
Seliph can also be used in Galeforce team compositions for Aether Raids Offense, although they have to watch out for Seliph potentially accidentally taking out the foe in a single hit, and he has to find ways to accelerate his specials either through support such as Thorr or from skills such as Heavy Blade. The Miracle effect on his weapon is also a potential outlet for Wings of Mercy plays as well.
For Summoner Duels, as he has a free B slot, Seliph can opt for Hit and Run to allow Seliph to charge in with his four-movement using Heir to Light, and retreat back three spaces using both Hit and Run and Canto 2.
Seliph is a phenomenal unit that does not take much to get going. The skills required to maximize his potential are relatively inexpensive, and he does not rely on a specific team composition to perform his roles well. Seliph is the go-to pick for any newcomers to Fire Emblem Heroes due to his plug-and-play nature, with notable utility in both Aether Raids Defense and Summoner Duels.
Chrom: Fated Honor
Chrom follows his Legendary and Valentine's version of himself by having a Reposition effect that does not use up his turn while inflicting Isolation on himself and his target ally. It also follows the tradition of being the only 500 SP assist in the game. However, this effect in the arena context is marginal due to his low-scoring potential as a melee cavalry unit (Legendary Chrom is a Legendary unit, while Valentine’s Chrom is a Duo unit).
Brave Chrom also changed the effect of the reposition; unlike the usual “To Change Fate!” which grants Atk +6 visible buff, “A Fate Changed!” (AFC) copies any form of visible bonuses on the target ally to himself. This synergizes with his weapon Geirdriful, where outside of the usual +6 to all stats, he also gains additional stats based on the number of bonuses on Chrom.
Note that this is different from Bonus Doubler which scales based on the visible buff, as bonuses in Chrom’s case meant status effects such as Null Panic, Null Follow-Up, and additional movement. For the case of visible buffs and debuffs, it is only counted once, so buff in a single stat would count the same as a buff to all stats (which is only a single count of bonus). For example, suppose there are no other effects on the field other than Brave Chrom’s base kit with Inf. Spd Tactic. If Brave Chrom AFC is on his infantry ally, he will receive two counts of bonuses (Visible buff, Null Follow-Up) and one count of penalty (Isolation). This grants +6 to all stats to Chrom. If that sounds complicated, that is because it is.
While the stat bonus is uncapped, such effects are usually locked to premium units. For example, Askr with Opened Domain provides Resonance Blade and Resonance Shield, which provide two counts of bonuses. Summer Edelgard can provide potentially three bonuses with Bonus Doubler (from her Duo Skill), Assault Troop, and potentially additional movement when used with Armored Boots. Brave Seliph himself with Heir To Light provides two counts with Null Follow-Up and additional movement for Brave Chrom as well.
Outside of the stat bonuses, Chrom also has the usual modern boosts for a melee cavalier; cooldown acceleration per attack (both his and his opponent’s), cooldown reduction, and damage reduction on the first hit. Chrom also has Armor effectiveness similar to the likes of Brave Eirika as well. The above meant that even without fiddling with the extra stat mechanics, Chrom is an excellent Galeforce unit right off the bat in Aether Raids Offense, with the additional reposition from AFC potentially providing more flexible plays for the player. In the same vein as Valentine’s Chrom and Legendary Chrom, the nature of AFC not using up the turn is also going to be useful in Summoner Duels as well, although it would be ideal for the user to try to maximize the effects from Geirdriful as well with potentially Duo Skills and other skill effects.
Chrom is likely to be the total opposite of Seliph; while he provides some value off the bat, Chrom truly shines when the user is willing to work for the additional stat boosts. This meant that Chrom is recommended mainly for players with the premium units to back up, and it would be a tall order for a newcomer to be able to leverage the visible bonus conditions. Players who tend to pull frequently for new units will benefit from Chrom, while players who rarely summons and only gun for favorites might not be able to maximize Chrom’s potential.
Byleth: Sublime Light
The main defining feature of Byleth is her exclusive special; Divine Pulse, which is a combination of a damage special and a defensive special (a rarity for ranged units) with 75% damage reduction after Divine Pulse activates. As it is classified as a defensive special, it works against damage-piercing skills such as Deadeye and Lethality, but does not work against effects such as Legendary Nanna’s Lands Sword where defensive specials are disabled. Note that Divine Pulse needs to activate on Byleth’s attacks first before the damage reduction kicks in, so if the foe lands any hit before Divine Pulse, no damage reduction will occur.
This is meant to synergize with Byleth’s weapon. Inner Wellspring grants cooldown reduction at the start of turn, a mini Special Spiral effect, and Null Follow-Up at the start of turn as well. This meant that Byleth is very likely to be able to activate Divine Pulse and leverage on the defensive effect of Divine Pulse. However, as two of the effects are start-of-turn effects, this can be switched off by the likes of False Start with Elimine, which somewhat limits her use in Aether Raids Offense on Anima season.
Byleth also introduces a new series of skills known as Preempts, where it is a Vantage effect only on ranged units based on a stat check. For Byleth’s case, it is Spd Preempt that checks on the Spd. This is meant to be in synergy with Byleth’s Divine Pulse by not allowing the foe to attack first without Divine Pulse’s damage reduction due to the reason stated in the first paragraph. The main counterplays of Byleth would be melee attackers and anything that stop Vantage sweeping such as the likes of Firesweeps and Hardy Bearing. Outside of Byleth, Spd Preempt can also be useful for any weapon with a high damage cap, such as Spring Veronica, Ashera, and inheritable weapons such as Broadleaf Fan.
Byleth being a ranged flier meant that outside of Spd Preempt in her base kit, there are unfortunately not many competitive skill options, with the best being the Trace skills, which fliers are severely outpaced by cavalry due to their additional movement. For players who wish to customize their units, Byleth, unfortunately, does not offer much in that regard.
Byleth is likely to have a very strong presence in Summoner Duels S, as her ranged Vantage effect could potentially cause some issues for the opposing team if they do not have a proper answer in their remaining teams after the ban phase. Summoner Duels R is likely to be a tough call due to the prominence of Hardy Bearing specifically on Valentine’s Chrom. Byleth can also be paired up with a Near Save unit to form a competent battery for an enemy-phase focused compositions in Aether Raids Offense, and it is helped by the general sparsity of Hardy Bearing and Firesweep effects in the defensive meta. For the defensive side, similar to Chrom and Seliph (and in all honesty almost every damn unit) her weapon effect gets switched off by Elimeme, so take note.
Byleth brings a new paradigm for a ranged tank in the form of Spd Preempt, and the synergy of the skill alongside her kit meant that Byleth can perform in Aether Raids Offense well in the current meta. However, it might not be certain that this meta will stick, as history shows that just because a unit might be in a good spot now does not mean that he would be in the future (Brave Claude for example). Nevertheless, Byleth’s playstyle is something that is completely different compared to what we have before, and that also means that it can be difficult to prepare against without sacrificing other match-ups. Byleth is recommended mainly for innovators, as while Byleth has distinct weaknesses, it is possible to patch those up depending on the team compositions.
Tiki: Fated Divinity
Tiki’s main unique effect on her weapon, Remote Breath; depending on a Res check, she slows down the opponent's special charges before their first attack if it is charged. This means that the foe will not be able to activate their specials on the first hit, and this can be further augmented by Guard effects to further prevent any specials from happening regardless of double attacks or follow-ups.
This is especially relevant when we consider Tiki’s personal B Passive. New Divinity is a spruced-up version of Dragon Wall with additional stat swing and follow-up prevention. As there are numerous damage reduction piercing effects from specials, not having to worry about specials meant not having to worry about those specials as well. This limits the number of counterplays to damage even further for Tiki.
Furthermore, Tiki also gains a special charge before her first attack (similar to Young Ike), which means that when her cooldown reduction is considered (every single unit in CYL has cooldown reduction, gee I wonder why) Tiki can either guarantee a special with two charges such as Glimmer, or amp up her damage even further with a higher cooldown special such as Iceberg or Glacies depending on other accelerations. This increases the likelihood of Tiki taking out the foe in a single hit.
However, that is not to say that there are no counterplays; any form of cooldown acceleration such as Flashing Blade / Heavy Blade, and Thorr’s Worldbreaker might cause some issues for Tiki. Tempo effects such as the likes of Brave Eirika’s Moonlight Bangle and Tempo skills also potentially allow specials to activate on the second hit. While New Divinity has follow-up prevention, it is negated by Null Follow-Up effects as well, and this is potentially a problem for Tiki due to her awkward Spd; too high to be a dump stat, too low to compete with Spd-focused units.
Tiki is also the first unit with the Finish skills (Atk/Res Finish), which is locked specifically to infantries. Finish provides not only extra damage if the unit’s special activates, but it also provides healing as well. Unlike Surge skills, this can activate in the enemy phase, which makes Finish skills a far superior option as enemy phase units tend to use the healing much better than player phase ones. This can be combined with different skills, such as the Bulwark skills for even more healing, Special Spiral for potential Miracle loops, or even the good ol’ Quick Riposte to ensure that the HP threshold is maintained.
Tiki’s main utility is likely Summoner Duels, as Tiki is likely to be very difficult to take down when supported by her allies. Players can focus their buffs on Tiki to ensure that Tiki is as difficult to kill as possible, with Tiki, not exactly a chump in the player phase due to her having a guaranteed follow-up attack alongside special charges before her attacks. There are two things to keep in mind; Tiki’s weapon requires her to be within three spaces of an ally so players have to ensure that this distance is somewhat maintained throughout, and the prominence of Summer Thorr and Bridal Catria does mean that Tiki might not be as impervious if the player is not careful.
As for Aether Raids Offense, Tiki is an enemy-phase focused unit. Unfortunately at the time of writing, this role is largely superseded by the likes of Savior units. At least until the meta shifts and such skills are no longer favored, it can be difficult for Tiki to truly stand out. That is not to say that Tiki will not succeed in the offensive context, but rather there are likely to be better options available due to ease of support for Save units as opposed to using Tiki as a sole tank. The main way for Tiki to stand out is likely with the Bulwark skill that does somewhat allow for more support, but that would also come at the opportunity cost of New Divinity, which might not be the brightest idea either.
For once, however, Brave Tiki is not affected by Elimine if she is used in Aether Raids Defense, but that is because you probably shouldn’t.
Tiki is an enemy-phase focused unit that is introduced in the time when Savior Units are pretty much the meta, which means that her use in Aether Raids Offense is likely to be rather limiting. Either she had to risk her supports getting sniped which is a fundamental flaw of infantry tanks as opposed to saves, or she has to run Bulwark which is with the opportunity cost of her personal B skill. When well supported, Tiki can be an absolute menace in Summoner Duels if the foe does not bring the right answers. However, as nukes are getting more and more powerful, it is not guaranteed that Tiki can perform to an adequate standard as well. The state of the meta can be incredibly hostile for Tiki. However, that also means that players might also underestimate what Tiki can do. Players who wish to go against the flow of the meta would likely enjoy Brave Tiki but be warned that the player would have to do some homework and prepare against the meta threats.