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Analysis by accidentalgreed
Arden - Strong and Tough

4-5

Obtainable as a 4 - 5 only

Hero Stats

Max Avg Total Stats at Lvl 40
169
HP 60
ATK 36
SPD 16
DEF 41
RES 16

Stat Variations

Level 1 Stat Variation
5★
4★
HP ATK SPD DEF RES
Low 24 9 2 12 2
Middle 25 10 3 13 3
High 26 11 4 14 4

Level 40 Stat Variations
5★
4★
HP ATK SPD DEF RES
Low 57 33 12 38 12
Middle 60 36 16 41 16
High 63 39 19 44 19

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.
HPATKSPDDEFRES

This unit requires use of the Trait Fruits to get access to IVs

Skill Sets

I'LL HUFF AND I'LL PUFF (Enemy Phase / Instant Ignis Retaliation)

Build by accidentalgreed
Recommended
Arden's Blade (+Eff) A Steady Breath
Alternate: Atk/Def Solo 4
Positional Assist B Follow-Up Ring
Alternate: Special Fighter 3
Ignis C Atk Smoke 3
Alternate: Armor March 3
IVs

+ATK or +DEF / -SPD

SSturdy Stance 2
Alternate: Atk/Def Solo 3

Show Explanation/Analysis

Weapon: Arden's Blade

Assist: Positional Assist

Special: Ignis

Passive A: Fierce Breath / Sturdy Stance / Steady Breath / Distant Foil / Distant Counter / Warding Breath / Sturdy Stance

Passive B: Follow-Up Ring / Special Fighter

Passive C: Atk Smoke / Armor March / Def Smoke

Sacred Seal: Sturdy Stance / Atk/Def Bond / Atk/Def Solo

  • Arden's signature dual-phase Brave weapon, when paired with a Breath effect, gives him the rare ability to activate Ignis immediately after tanking an attack in enemy phase. Assuming the correct skills and no Guard effects are in place, the timing is as follows:
    • Arden's Ignis starts at its regularly too-long value of 4, which then gets reduced to 2 after taking an enemy hit. When it's Arden's turn to counterattack in the same round, his Blade's first hit charges it fully in time for its second hit to fire off a preposterously powerful Ignis burst.
  • As said before, a Breath effect in some form is required to fire Ignis off on Arden's counterattack. Here are his options:
    • A Breath skill in Arden's A-slot is the easiest and most self-sufficient way of doing so as he requires no ally support and Breath continues working regardless of Arden's HP. Any Breath version that isn't Darting is preferred for very obvious reasons.
    • Special Fighter can be run in the B slot as it also grants a similar Breath effect on Arden's hits. It runs into a slight redundancy issue, though; its "inflicts Special cooldown charge -1" effect is entirely wasted as it is already provided by Arden's Blade when refined. Additionally, and equally alarming, the cooldown acceleration also stops working once Arden gets below 50% HP.
    • An ally-provided support skill that grants Special cooldown +1, such as Geirskögul or Renewed Fang, allows Arden to free up his own skill slots for other options. This especially includes Distant Counter or Distant Foil to expand his counterattacking matchups, and Follow-Up Ring to allow for the possibility of activating Ignis TWICE and closing matchups more efficiently.
  • Given this build's focus on ending it all in one Ignis-powered shot, Sacred Seals that help his damage output even more are obvious. Atk/Def Bond or Atk/Def Solo all help him out in this respect while furthering his physical bulk. While Sturdy Stance 3's redundancy with Arden's Blade's Guard effect may seem like an optimization issue, using it allows Arden to keep Guard active at all HP points.
  • Atk Smoke is an easy-to-access C slot option that makes tanking incoming hits much easier. Alternatively, Def Smoke makes the likelihood of one-shots even better in subsequent battles, and Armor March is a good C slot for armors to improve their otherwise bad movement as always.

BY MY CHINNY CHIN CHIN (Player or Mixed Phase / Aggressive)

Build by accidentalgreed
Recommended
Arden's Blade (+Eff) A Atk/Def Solo 4
Alternate: Death Blow (3 or 4)
Positional Assist B Follow-Up Ring
Alternate: Bold Fighter 3
Ignis
Alternate: Moonbow
C Armored Stride 3
Alternate: Armor March 3
IVs

+ATK / -SPD

SAtk/Def Solo 3
Alternate: Death Blow 3

Show Explanation/Analysis

Weapon: Arden's Blade

Assist: Positional Assist

Special: Ignis / Moonbow / Aether

Passive A: Atk/Def Solo / Death Blow

Passive B: Follow-Up Ring / Bold Fighter

Passive C: Armored Stride / Armor March

Sacred Seal: Atk/Def Solo / Death Blow / Armor March

  • See that speck on the horizon? That's Arden coming at you with 99 Speed! …well, that's not quite right, but this build is the closest he can come to the idea. Thanks to the guaranteed follow-up attack granted by your choice of Follow-Up Ring or Bold Fighter as well as the utter blitz damage coming from Arden's Blade alone, an aggressive player-phase build is definitely on the table. The strategy thus is as simple as Arden: initiate combat and watch (a reasonable amount of) things explode.
  • In both Arden's A slot and Sacred Seal, his best choices basically boil down to Death Blow or Atk/Def Solo. Keeping in mind that Arden's Blade and Follow-Up Ring works in both phases, Atk/Def Solo is definitely preferred for enhanced attacking and physical defending in both phases.
  • The choice between Follow-Up Ring and Bold Fighter basically boils down to each skills' individual effects.
    •  Follow-Up Ring comes natively on Arden and generally does the job fine enough as it provides follow-up attacks in both phases, making it the preferred B slot for mixed phase attacking. It should be noted that it only works when Arden is above 50% HP, meaning ally-supported healing or Aether is required for consistent performance.
    • Bold Fighter keeps Arden's routine effectively locked to player phase only, but in exchange, it provides faster Special charging (Moonbow in particular activates immediately on Arden's Blade's second hit, while Ignis can activate on the third) and suffers from no HP condition like Follow-Up Ring.
  • Given this build's focus on player phase aggressiveness, methods of improving Arden's mobility are appreciated. Arden can provide this for himself through his C slot through Armor March and Armored Stride—Armored Stride in particular synergizes particularly well with Atk/Def Solo.

AND I'LL BLOW YOUR HOUSE IN (Vantage Sweeper)

Build by accidentalgreed
Arden's Blade (+Eff) A Distant Counter
Alternate: Distant Foil
Positional Assist B Vantage 3
Moonbow
Alternate: Ruptured Sky
C Def Smoke 3
Alternate: Joint Drive Atk
IVs

+ATK / -SPD

SFierce Stance 3
Alternate: Atk/Def Solo 3

Show Explanation/Analysis

Weapon: Arden's Blade

Assist: Positional Assist

Special: Moonbow / Ruptured Sky / Glimmer / Ignis

Passive A: Distant Counter / Distant Foil

Passive B: Vantage

Passive C: Def Smoke / Joint Drive Atk

Sacred Seal: Fierce Stance / Atk/Def Solo / Brazen Atk/Def

  • He's strong and he's tough, and he can run Distant Counter + Vantage! …which is pretty much a completely expected and standard combination on all enemy-phase Brave weapon users at this point.
  • Whereas Vantage allows Arden to counterattack immediately before enemies can hit him at lower health, Distant Counter (or Foil if you prefer simply going against physical enemies only) expands the number of enemies he can Vantage sweep against. So as long as you don't push it against healthy blue or physically bulky enemies, as well as Dazzling staff users or tomes with Sweep or Hardy Bearing effects, Arden can get the job done well.
  • Besides its famed Brave effect in both phases, Arden's Blade provides a number of benefits if Arden's HP is above 50%. Notably, on a build as focused on pure damage as this, the Atk +4 provides appreciable power to both hits. There's a couple of contentions with this, however: Arden's HP must be in a sweetspot between 75% and 50% to make use of both Vantage and the refined effects of Arden's Blade. Though Arden's damage output can be good enough without the in-combat Atk boost, it's recommended to be careful of initial matchups so that Arden can soak enough damage to achieve the sweetspot.
  • Moonbow, Ruptured Sky, and Glimmer are preferred Specials on this build due to its constant one-round KO nature; thanks to their short cooldown and Arden's Blade's double hitting effect, these Specials can activate very frequently. If paired with Geirskögul (or some similar Breath equivalent) support, they can even activate on the Blade's second hit on every Vantage counterattack. Given such support, Ignis is also a huge damage option that activates every other turn.
  • To further supplement Arden's one-shot potential, appropriate C slot and Sacred Seals should be considered.
    • In the C slot, Def Smoke drastically deteriorates the Defense of surrounding enemies through a debuff of -7 and is typically pretty affordable. Joint Drive Atk has a few advantages in that Arden can support other allies with an Attack boost himself, while being able to benefit from increased damage without needing Smoke applied first.
    • Fierce Stance and Atk/Def Solo are solid Sacred Seal choices which both provide a meaty amount of Atk in Arden's enemy phase. Atk/Def Solo also provides some dual phase utility by providing more bulk and some initiation power if Arden must duke it out there. If those Seals are taken elsewhere, Brazen Atk/Def technically provides slightly better stat boosts but requires the same damage setup as Vantage.

Strengths

HE'S STRONG AND HE'S TOUGH

Arden stills boasts a quite memeable but deceptively useful base 60 HP, accompanied by great stat values in Attack and Defense. Put together, this makes him a very tough physical tank, especially when further strengthened with the right stat skills like Atk/Def Solo.

HIS BLADE IS TOP-GRADE

As previous similar heroes like both versions of Altina have attested, dual phase double-hitting is nothing to sneeze at as Arden boasts great blitz damage plus faster Special charging per hit whether defending or attacking. Furthermore, it gains a few neat perks when refined; if he manages to stay above 50% HP, Arden gains even more firepower per hit through Atk +4, as well as better defensive presence through +6 Def and Guard applied against enemies. 

HE'S FREE AND HE'S CHEAP

If you've played Heroes since year 1 and attained all three free copies of him, maximum investment in him would be slightly cheaper than most other Tempest Trials units due to less Heroic Grails needed. Needless to say, no orbs are necessary to have him. 

Weaknesses

HE'S SLOW AND HE'S DULL

With Speed and Resistance values totally polarized from the rest of the statline at 16 each, not much else needs to be said of Arden's most glaring weakness other than "outrageously allergic to magic units with a literal Speed stat". Just, don't go near even a meter from a magic book. Especially the anti-armor kind. Okay? Okay. Here's Idunn's and Dheginsea's business cards for all your magic tanking needs. Laslow also exists with the looming competitive argument of being much easier to merge with similar gameplay while suffering absolutely none of the nonsense associated with armors.

WHEW THIS IS SOME HEAVY ARMOR

And of course Arden's inability to escape his issues with a paltry movement of one space is never not an issue. To overcome it, he'll need some real movement support in the form of Smite, Guidance, Ground Orders, Armor March, etc.

Weapon Skills

Weapons SP Rng. Mt.
Iron Sword
Only Inheritable by Sword Units.
50 1 6
Steel Sword
Only Inheritable by Sword Units.
100 1 8
Brave SwordSpd-5. Attack twice when initiating combat.
Learns by default at 4 ★
Only Inheritable by Sword Units.
200 1 5
Brave Sword+Spd-5. Attack twice when initiating combat.
Learns by default at 5 ★
Unlocks at 5 ★
Only Inheritable by Sword Units.
300 1 8
Weapon Evolution
Weapon Upgrades
Weapon Upgrades

Special Skills

Special Skills SP Turns
BucklerReduces damage inflicted by attacks from adjacent foes by 30%.
Learns by default at 4 ★
Restricted to melee units.
100 3
PaviseReduces damage inflicted by attacks from adjacent foes by 50%.
Unlocks at 4 ★
Restricted to melee units.
200 3

Passive Skills

Passive Skills SP Slot
Follow-Up RingUnit makes a guaranteed follow-up attack when unit's HP ≥ 50% at start of combat. (Skill cannot be inherited.)
Non-Inheritable skill.
300
B
Spur Def 1Grants adjacent allies Def+2 during combat.
Inheritable by all units.
50
C
Drive Def 1Grants allies within 2 spaces Def+2 during combat.
Inheritable by all units.
120
C
Drive Def 2Grants allies within 2 spaces Def+3 during combat.
Inheritable by all units.
240
C

Other Info

Origin
Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War

Banners Featured In

None

Official Hero Artwork