Analysis by MackerelPye
Altena - Luminous Rider


Obtainable as a 4 - 5 only

Hero Stats

Max Avg Total Stats at Lvl 40
HP 45
ATK 37
SPD 25
DEF 39
RES 20

Stat Variations

Level 1 Stat Variation
Low 18 8 5 8 6
Middle 19 9 6 9 7
High 20 10 7 10 8

Level 40 Stat Variations
Low 42 34 22 36 16
Middle 45 37 25 39 20
High 48 40 29 43 23

IV Sets

Key stats worth increasing through nature if possible.
Complementary stats that matter, but not to the point of picking them over key stats for nature increase.
Relatively worthless stat that can safely be decreased through nature.


  • +ATK: Generally speaking, Attack is a neat Asset for builds not focusing on superwalling. It results in slightly better damage coverage and less frequent neutral fights.
  • +DEF: Due to Altena's huge physical leanings and Defense being a super Asset (meaning +4 instead of +3 additional stat points), it has stupendous value on pretty much any build as Altena becomes more pristine physically.


  • HP: At its natural base value, Altena's HP isn't a priority stat, and is better left neutral to preserve physical matchups as best as possible. It isn't a bad choice as a Flaw on zero-merge builds, but Speed is better valued in the event you have a copy with a desired accompanying Asset.
  • +/-RES: There's little to praise about Altena's Resistance, and many of her major matchups reside on the physical side. Survivable magical fights exist at zero merges, however, meaning it's better to keep it neutral. For dedicated Resistance investment, it also sees use as an Asset.


  • -SPD: Altena technically stands to benefit defensively from a Speed Asset—she gains a +4 stat points as opposed to +3 and can be built to avoid doubles often. However, as her second lowest stat at a modest value of 25, it's essentially the prime choice of a Flaw overall.

Skill Sets

Shield of Thracia (Dedicated Melee)

Build by
Earthly Gáe Bolg A Steady Stance (3 or 4)
Alternate: Sturdy Stance 2
Alternate: Draw Back
B Chill Atk 3
Alternate: Quick Riposte 3
Alternate: Ignis
C Atk Smoke 3
Alternate: Even Def Wave 3
IVsSQuick Riposte 3
Alternate: Atk/Def Bond 3

Show Explanation/Analysis

Preferred IVs: +DEF or +ATK / -SPD or -RES

  • Builds purposed for pure walling definitely prefer a Defense Asset, while increasing Atk instead potentially allows Altena to deal some good non-Special damage on the side.
  • At zero merges, Altena's base Speed serves little practical purpose and is safest for a Flaw. If you are not particularly concerned with maintaining magical matchups, Resistance can be taken instead.

Weapon: Earthly Gáe Bolg

  • Earthly Gáe Bolg is the primary reason to use Altena competitively, and it does a fine job thanks to its built-in +3 Defense and Lull Atk/Def effect against nonflier enemies.
    • In addition to having bonuses neutralized, affected enemies are further punished with an in-combat debuff of Atk/Def -5. This serves to decrease both physical and magical damage done to Altena while bolstering damage done against her enemies.  

Assist: Reposition / Draw Back / Swap / Flexible

Special: Bonfire / Ignis / Aether

  • Damaging Specials that are scaled from user Defense are preferred as they work beautifully off of Altena's pristine Defense stat resulting from her natural stats and accompanying skills.
    • Generally speaking, Bonfire is more reliable due to its lower max cooldown and Altena's lack of cooldown acceleration tricks.
    • Ignis can be taken as a tactical nuke option or in the presence of Geirskögul support.
  • Aether's combination of good sustain and increased damage in one package would make it a great option if it weren't for the long cooldown value of 5. This makes it an option reserved for the most patient of Altena users, or those who are using Geirskögul or Heavy Blade to accelerate its activate rate.

Passive A: Steady Stance 4 / Sturdy Stance / Fort. Def/Res / Any Bond or Solo equivalents

  • Steady Stance 4's neat combination of a huge in-combat Defense boost and accompanying Guard effect makes it one of Altena's best A slot options if you can afford it to her.
  • Altena's default Sturdy Stance 2 is a neat budget option that offers a more basic Defense boost in conjunction with Attack. This allows for dealing nice non-Special damage especially when combined with Earthly Gáe Bolg's Lull Atk/Def effect.
  • Fort. Def/Res is Altena's best choice as far as mixed walling and Resistance investment is concerned, allowing her to also tank Resistance-hitting attacks with better ease at a mere cost of -2 Attack.
  • Bond or Solo equivalents of the aforementioned skills may be taken if inheriting those happen to be more practical to you.

Passive B: Chill Atk / Quick Riposte / Renewal / Atk/Def Link / Guard

  • Chill Atk passively inflicts a harsh Atk penalty of -7 to an opponent with the highest Atk, which allows Altena or her teammates to fight said enemy with increased ease.
  • Due to Altena's general lack of opportunities to perform follow-up attacks (no thanks to her below average Speed), Quick Riposte gives such against enemies without Null Follow-Up effects, allowing Altena to close kills more frequently.
  • For sustain in long-term matches, Renewal can be considered for passive recovery. Thanks to Altena's good movement options, she also tends to have good kiting opportunities and avoidance tactics to use this well.
  • Atk/Def Link combined with a movement-based Assist allows Altena to self-sufficiently boost her own Attack and Defense, as well as those of a chosen ally.
  • If Steady Stance 4 is not taken, Guard can be taken in the B slots in its absence to safeguard Altena against Special spammage.

Passive C: Atk Smoke / Even Def Wave / Goad Fliers / Flexible

  • Atk Smoke is a generally good choice for tanks like Altena by increasing her durability in subsequent enemy matchups.
  • Those inheriting Steady Stance and Reposition from multiple copies of Silas also have the option of grabbing Even Def Wave, which allows Altena to self-sufficiently boost her Defense on even turns.
  • The C slot is otherwise open for other team-dependent options. Altena's flier status, for example, makes her eligible to partake in flier teams which stack Goad Fliers.

Sacred Seal: Quick Riposte / Atk/Def Bond / Def/Res Bond / Iote's Shield / Heavy Blade / Flexible

  • If not taken in the B slot, Quick Riposte is mostly obvious as a Sacred Seal. Otherwise, Altena cannot fulfill kills or deal better damage often as she lacks natural follow-up potential.
  • Bond skills are generally easy to fulfill and provides hefty in-combat boosts to two stats of choice. Recommendations for Altena include Atk/Def Bond for further bolstering her physical prowess, or Def/Res Bond to improve both physical and magical matchups.
  • If bow wielders are a major concern, Iote's Shield cancels the flier effectiveness that comes with them. However, it has a huge opportunity cost against teams that don't run archers at all.
  • If using long-winded Specials like Aether or Ignis, Heavy Blade can be used to cut down on the amount of turns taken to activate them. Heavy Blade activation is also relatively easy thanks to Earthly Gáe Bolg.

Leonstar Afar (Distant Tank)

Build by
Earthly Gáe Bolg A Distant Counter
Alternate: Draw Back
B Quick Riposte 3
Alternate: Guard 3
Alternate: Glimmer
C Atk Smoke 3
Alternate: Def Smoke 3
IVsSIote's Shield
Alternate: Atk/Res Bond 3

Show Explanation/Analysis

Preferred IVs: +DEF or +RES or +ATK / -SPD

  • Defense and Attack are still largely desired for Assets, especially with the absence of an A-slot skill that boosts these stats.
  • To increase Altena's value as a Distant Counter user, Resistance can be taken to pad attacks from tome enemies, but this should be used only with other forms of Resistance investment (such as Resistance-based Bond Seals).  

Weapon: Earthly Gáe Bolg

  • Thanks to the Lull effect of Earthly Gáe Bolg, Altena gains an effective +5 to her Attack, Defense, and even Resistance against nonflier enemies.
    • Thus, even with the opportunity cost of using Distant Counter (i.e. unable to use A-slot skills focused on stat improvement), Altena can still take physical hits with neat ease.
    • While the increased Resistance allows for more magical punishment on paper, exercise reason and prudence on particularly powerful mage enemies.

Assist: Reposition / Draw Back / Flexible

Special: Bonfire / Moonbow / Glimmer / Aether

  • Altena's naturally high Defense naturally and after investment means Bonfire is a reliable and powerful Special of choice.
  • For more frequent increased damage in a pinch, Moonbow and Glimmer may be considered for their lower cooldown of 2.
    • Moonbow generally has more value against high-Defense enemies, though Earthly Gáe Bolg's Lull Atk/Def effect means potentially lower base damage across most other targets.
    • For those concerned about Earthly Gáe Bolg's negative Defense modifications or simply confident in Altena's resulting damage output, Glimmer scales well off existing damage.
  • Due to Altena's lack of cooldown acceleration options, Aether's long cooldown makes it somewhat unwieldy to run despite its sustain and increased damage benefits. If you don't mind this or can provide some outsourced cooldown support (i.e. refined Geirskögul), this is always up for consideration.

Passive A: Distant Counter

  • As the meat of the moveset, Distant Counter opens up the number of enemies Altena can attack significantly; she no longer is a sitting duck against ranged attackers and has a chance to defeat them on counterattack.

Passive B: Quick Riposte / Mystic Boost / Renewal / Guard / Vantage

  • Altena's slowness means Quick Riposte is mostly a requirement on this build in one form or another. It allows for an artificial follow-up attack above 70% HP, meaning Altena can close matches more often on enemies she regularly couldn't one-round kill before.
  • Mystic Boost and Renewal are options for sustain.
    • Mystic Boost regains 6 HP after a successful round of combat, meaning it's generally better than Renewal in cases of multiple consecutive fights. Additionally, it blocks the "Wrathful" effect of staff weapons, meaning Altena can more confidently tank staff-wielding enemies in tough situations.
    • Renewal is easier to access and unconditionally heals 10 HP every second turn. Thus, Altena doesn't have to participate in combat to heal if she is in critical condition.
  • Guard is still especially potent for fighting enemies reliant on Specials to take down Altena, though its low HP threshold as a B-slot skill makes it a mostly temporary solution.
  • Vantage is not a bad option (especially for bonus seasons in Aether Raids) as Earthly Gáe Bolg's Defense in-combat drops allows for great single-hit damage output across many foes.

Passive C: Atk Smoke / Def Smoke / Flexible

  • For better survival in subsequent fights, Atk Smoke is generally best as it applies a harsh debuff of -7 Attack on surrounding enemies respective of Altena's first matchup.
  • On the other hand, Def Smoke similarly allows for more awesome damage output on affected enemies and is generally preferred for damage-focused or Vantage-based setups.
  • Like C slots on other units, the choice for this ultimately depends on your team and preferred setup.

Sacred Seal: Iote's Shield / Atk/Res Bond / Def/Res Bond / Distant Def / Warding Stance / Fierce Stance / Quick Riposte

  • Altena's being able to counter distant enemies means she also participates in direct fights against bow-wielding foes. Iote's Shield significantly helps her matchups against such enemies by cancelling her movement-type's Bow weakness.
  • Sacred Seals that improve Altena's stats in enemy phase are also highly considerable.
    • In particular, if you wish to improve Altena's Resistance against mages, Atk/Res Bond and Def/Res Bond provide this while covering another stat. Distant Def and Warding Stance are more independent options if ally adjacency is a concern.
    • Fierce Stance's great Attack boost in enemy phase is a great option for damage-focused or Vantage-based builds.
  • Quick Riposte generally should be run here if it is not run in the B-slot for reasons stated previously.


Earthly Gáe Bolg

Altena's personal weapon is her primary cause of use. Skills in the Lull family are normally exclusive to infantry and cavalry units, and Altena easily differentiates herself from the crowded lance flier pool by having access to an improved Lull effect built into Earthly Gáe Bolg. With this effect as well as an extra +3 Defense on top, the majority of Altena's physical non-flier matchups are significantly eased towards her favor as a result.

Flier Perks

Altena's status as a flier means she easily fits on team compositions that utilize flier-specific team buffs, including any combination of Goad, Hone, Fortify, and Ward Fliers. She also has access to neat movement options as her movement type doesn't waver from usual terrain blocks such as trees, water, or trenches.

Fantastic Physical Assets

With fantastic stat values in Attack, HP, and Defense, Altena isn't asking for much more in the physical tanking department. Combined with the Lull effect of Earthly Gáe Bolg, many physical attackers without Special acceleration tricks (and even then if this is the case) will struggle to take down Altena in a clean matchup.


Exploitable Resistance and Speed

Altena's base Resistance makes her somewhat of a downer in the magic tanking department. Without dedicated Resistance investment and considering her also-basic Speed, she tends to coil at the sight of Speed-invested dragons and mages like Winter Sothis or Tailtiu respectively.

Flier Flaws / Lack of Tools

As a flier, Altena unfortunately is cursed with a lack of particularly fantastic inheritance options. Without follow-up or Special manipulation skills usually reserved for other movement types, Altena mostly relies on the sheer might of her stats, weapon, and generic skills to get by. Additionally, bow units can bypass Altena's sheer physical prowess with weapon effectiveness if she doesn't equip Iote's Shield.  

Weapon Skills

Weapons SP Rng. Mt.
Iron Lance
Learns by default at 1 ★
Unlocks at 1 ★
Lance Users Only
50 1 6
Steel Lance
Learns by default at 3 ★
Unlocks at 2 ★
Lance Users Only
100 1 8
Silver Lance
Learns by default at 4 ★
Unlocks at 3 ★
Lance Users Only
200 1 11
Earthly Gáe Bolg

Grants Def+3.
In combat against an infantry, armored, or cavalry foe, inflicts Atk/Def-5 on foe and neutralizes foe's bonuses to Atk/Def (from skills like Fortify, Rally, etc.) during combat

Learns by default at 5 ★
Unlocks at 5 ★
Non-Inheritable skill.
400 1 16
Weapon Evolution
Weapon Upgrades
Weapon Upgrades

Special Skills

Special Skills SP Turns

Boosts damage dealt to foe by 30% of damage dealt to unit.

Learns by default at 4 ★
Unlocks at 3 ★
Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
100 3

Boosts damage dealt to foe by 30% of damage dealt to unit.

Unlocks at 4 ★
Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
200 2

Passive Skills

Passive Skills SP Slot
Steady Stance 1

If foe initiates combat, grants Def+2 during combat.

Inheritable by all units.
Unlocks at 1 ★
Sturdy Stance 1

If foe initiates combat, grants Atk/Def+2 during combat.

Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
Unlocks at 2 ★
Sturdy Stance 2

If foe initiates combat, grants Atk/Def+4 during combat.

Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
Unlocks at 4 ★
Brash Assault 1

If unit initiates combat against a foe that can counter and unit's HP ≤ 30%, unit makes a guaranteed follow-up attack.

Inheritable by all units.
Unlocks at 3 ★
Brash Assault 2

If unit initiates combat against a foe that can counter and unit's HP ≤ 40%, unit makes a guaranteed follow-up attack.

Inheritable by all units.
Unlocks at 4 ★
Brash Assault 3

If unit initiates combat against a foe that can counter and unit's HP ≤ 50%, unit makes a guaranteed follow-up attack.

Inheritable by all units.
Unlocks at 5 ★

Other Info

Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War

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