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Analysis by MackerelPye
Brave Hector - Brave Warrior

5

Obtainable as a 5 only

Hero Stats

Max Avg Total Stats at Lvl 40
174
HP 48
ATK 37
SPD 22
DEF 39
RES 28

Stat Variations

Level 1 Stat Variation
5★
HP ATK SPD DEF RES
Low 23 10 4 8 5
Middle 24 11 5 9 6
High 25 12 6 10 7

Level 40 Stat Variations
5★
HP ATK SPD DEF RES
Low 45 34 19 36 24
Middle 48 37 22 39 28
High 51 40 25 43 31

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

Skill Sets

UTHER'S LANCE IS THE LANCE THAT WILL PIERCE THE HEAVENS (Near Savior)

Build by MackerelPye
Recommended
Maltet (+Eff) A Ostian Counter
Alternate: Close Def 4
Swap B Special Fighter 3
Alternate: Hardy Fighter 3
Bonfire
Alternate: Pavise
C A/D Near Save 3
Alternate: A/R Near Save 3
IVs

+ATK and/or +DEF

SMystic Boost 3
Alternate: Steady Breath

Show Explanation/Analysis

Weapon: Maltet (+Eff)

Assist: Swap

Special: Bonfire / Pavise / Aether 

Passive A: Ostian Counter / Close Def 4 / Sturdy Stance 3

Passive B: Special Fighter / Hardy Fighter / Special Spiral / Crafty Fighter / Wily Fighter

Passive C: A/D Near Save / A/R Near Save / D/R Near Save

Sacred Seal: Mystic Boost / Close Def / Sturdy Stance / Steady Breath / Atk/Def Form

  • This build utilizes the defensive strengths of Maltet and your chosen Near Save skill (it doesn't really matter which, as long as you have any to offer) to sub in for nearby allies in melee combat. Due to the many skills and variations of this that exist, though, several cohesive builds and short summaries of each are as follows:
    1. Bonfire + [Special Fighter OR Special Spiral] + Mystic Boost: The classic offensive Special Fighter build, ensuring that Hector retaliates with a fully-charged Bonfire every time an enemy initiates into him. Mystic Boost here is used as a form of sustain to heal slightly after combat, helping Hector maintain the working HP requirements of Special Fighter and Maltet. Special Spiral can be run over Special Fighter if you're unable to access Fighter for any reason, or prefer the reliability of Spiral's post-combat Special charging in addition to not needing Hector's HP to be maintained. Either way, a short-charged Bonfire comboed with Maltet's guaranteed Follow-up also makes this build a certified Fallen Edelgard (and similar armors for that matter) popper. 
    2. Pavise + Hardy Fighter + Steady Breath: A trending new favorite among Hector users, the combination of Hardy Fighter and Pavise allows Hector to drastically reduce the power of incoming melee hits by 75% in addition to taking off another five damage. Hardy Fighter also prevents Hector from being overwhelmed by guaranteed follow-up effects, an increasingly common and dangerous tool on some enemy units. An overall fair trade of survivability over burst.
    3. Aether + Special Spiral + Steady Breath: Provides both sustain and burst damage in one package. Steady Breath and Special Spiral enable Aether to fire off every counterattack after its first activation. Because Aether is 4 CD after Maltet's CD -1, though, it requires a little setup (one enemy and one player action, in optimal conditions) to get fully charged on its first trigger.
    4. Bonfire/Aether + [Crafty OR Wily Fighter] + Steady Breath: Though redundant with Maltet's guaranteed follow-up effect, having Crafty Fighter equipped means that Hector can overcome follow-up prevention effects such as Impact skills. Not a recommended choice outside avoiding this matchup as it compromises an effect slot.
  • Hector's chosen A-slot skill comes down to preference and slight optimization tweaks across all listed builds. Be mindful about possible redundant skill effects.
    • You can still run Hector's default Ostian Counter as a catch-all option, making him more independent from having a Far Save companion while still having some neat additional Atk/Def.
    • Close Def provides one of the highest defensive boosts possible for melee-only combat, which this build is precisely catered to. Notably, its Res boost makes Hector more impervious versus Dragonstone enemies. It also provides enemy bonus negation, a neat effect that is otherwise never present on Hector unless he runs Wily Fighter.
    • Sturdy Stance 3 provides heightened boosts in Atk and Def while more importantly providing Special denial (enemy Special cooldown +1), helping Hector avoid close calls from high-damage Special triggers. 
  • Note that all skills listed that provide Special cooldown acceleration (i.e. Steady Breath, Special Fighter, etc.) can be substituted by running this effect outsourced, such as Thórr's Worldbreaker or Brave Lucina's Geirskögul. With the now-free skill slot, you can run other skills and Seals in their place, such as an additional Close Def.

MALTET DORIRUUU BREAKUUU (Far Savior)

Build by MackerelPye
Recommended
Maltet (+Eff) A Distant Countering A Slot
Alternate: Bracing Stance 3
Swap B Hardy Fighter 3
Alternate: Special Fighter 3
Aegis
Alternate: Bonfire
C A/R Far Save 3
Alternate: D/R Far Save 3
IVs

 +RES and/or +ATK and/or +DEF

SDeflect Magic 3
Alternate: Distant Def 3

Show Explanation/Analysis

Weapon: Maltet (+Eff)

Assist: Swap

Special: Aegis / Bonfire / Aether

Passive A: Ostian Counter / Distant Def 4 / Mirror Stance 3 / Bracing Stance 3 / Distant Stance 

Passive B: Hardy Fighter / Special Fighter / Special Spiral

Passive C: A/R Far Save / D/R Far Save / A/D Far Save

Sacred Seal: Deflect Magic / Mystic Boost / Distant Def / Atk/Res Form 

  • This build utilizes the defensive strengths of Maltet and your chosen Far Save skill (Res-based ones are preferred, but any will do) to sub in for nearby allies in distant combat. Due to the many skills and variations of this that exist, though, several cohesive builds and short summaries of each are as follows:
    1. Aegis + Hardy Fighter + [Deflect Magic OR additional stat seal]: Due to Hector's rather shaky magical bulk at times, especially in high-scoring environments in Aether Raids and Summoner Duels, Hardy Fighter + Aegis is often considered the most reliable build. Specifically, it prioritizes survivability through 75% ranged damage reduction and continued Aegis triggers. While additional stats through a Sacred Seal will do in most circumstances, Deflect Magic provides even more insurance against the increasing amount of brave tome users — Ninja Corrin and Winter Lysithea being enemies number one here.
      • Thie build is distinct from other builds in that it does not require a Distant Counter-type A-slot; Hector can simply opt to absorb all combat with little fear of being taken down thanks to additional stat skills and the damage reduction of Aegis and/or Deflect Magic. 
      • In the mentioned case, you should consider running Distant Def 4 or any Res-based Stance in the A-slot to maximize Hector's raw tanking capabilities as far as possible.
    2. Distant Countering A-Slot Skill + Bonfire + [Special Fighter OR Special Spiral] + Mystic Boost: The Classic Hector Build strikes once again with upmost simplicity: bait an attack, strike back with a ready-charged and powerful Bonfire, and heal a bit back afterwards. Due to emphasis on retaliation and damage, distant countering A-slots are required here.
    3. Distant Countering A-Slot Skill + Aether + Special Spiral + Steady Breath:  Provides both sustain and burst damage in one package. Steady Breath and Special Spiral enable Aether to fire off every counterattack after its first activation. Because Aether is 4 CD after Maltet's CD -1, though, it requires a little setup (one enemy and one player action, in optimal conditions) to get fully charged on its first trigger. Due to emphasis on retaliation and damage, distant countering A-slots are required here.
  • All builds that plan on retaliating against ranged foes have a choice between Hector's default Ostian Counter or Distant Stance. In most cases, Ostian Counter's Atk/Def +4 will do in most scenarios and is literally given free, though Distant Stance's fairly beefy Res +5 helps to maximize Hector's magical tanking instead.
  • If the Sacred Seal slot is free, Hector should absolutely aim to fortify his damage and bulk with stat seals such as Atk/Res FormDistant Def, and so forth. 

Strengths

Maltet

Two years strong after Maltet's refinery update, Brave Hector's signature weapon still reigns supreme as one of the highest standards of tanking — even as new behemoths like Fallen Edelgard and Halloween Grima threaten to break the fabric of the metagame. It's actually remarkably simple without breaking into an essay; regardless, here's everything that makes Maltet pierce the skies:

  • It grants more frequent Special activation in its Special cooldown -1 effect. Thus, Hector makes efficient use of short CD or CD-reductive skills such as Special SpiralBonfire, Special Fighter, Hardy Fighter, Aegis, and Pavise.
  • Automatic follow-up is always appreciated, allowing Hector to frequently secure kills without needing to run follow-up passives like Crafty Fighter or Quick Riposte.
  • It erases one of Brave Hector's most crippling weaknesses: armor effective attacks, allowing him to confidently go toe-to-toe with many otherwise feared Far Save matchups, including all variations of Micaiah and Legendary / Valentine's Chrom
  • If the foe initiates on Hector — which is pretty much almost a given with Hector's general playstyle — he gains penalty neutralization as well as the ability to apply -6 Atk/Def against any matchup, allowing him to be stat-healthy throughout most matchups.
    • The icing on the cake is follow-up denial, meaning that unless the enemy has specialized methods of breaking through, they can only manage to do one hit per battle.

Translation: This is an absolute juggernaut of a weapon. +Eff refinery is recommended on any remotely merged or invested Brave Hector copy you have. 

Armor Skill Access

If Hector's sheer combat prowess and access to a variety of useful Fighter skills weren't enough, we can't even leave this house without mentioning the dreaded and blessed Save skill line. In short, using any of them simply rockets Hector's status as an absolute unit even further as he's able to sub in combat for nearby allies.  

Fantastic Damage and Great Bulk

Hector's stats definitely aren't as crazy as those of shinier new armors, but as a grandfathered benefit of his armored status, he's still got a lot of power and girth to give out.

At the cost of Hector's Spd — which actually isn't that bad defensively and is often offset by utilizing Maltet's automatic follow-up as well as other skills and Mythic blessings anyway — Hector relishes high-performance mixed tanking returns. As for his Res, base 28 gives him quite decent magic resilience, especially when combined with Maltet's fantastic defensive perks as well as skill combinations like Aegis + Hardy Fighter.

On top of it all, his high base 48 HP is an important yet often overlooked competitive strength. It's actually a lot higher than some of the more recently-released armors in the game (as a result of said units prioritizing important stats like Atk), and only becomes higher after a number of stat additives like merges, Maltet's +3 HP after refinery, Mythic blessings, and Dragonflowers. Basically, in addition to supporting both sides of his overall bulk quite well, his high HP also allows easier upkeep of HP-reliant skills — especially some effects from Maltet and pretty much most Fighter skills — as well as better avoidance of HP-checking factors like Panic skills/structures.

Ostian Counter

Basically, Hector had Distant Storm before it was cool. It's still no fair contest, though, as Ostian Counter stacks both extra bulk and power — all with no recoil — on top of everything Maltet is already giving.

Weaknesses

Poor Speed / Null Follow-Up

Hector's Spd issues are entirely avoidable thanks to the follow-up perks from Maltet. His low Spd, however, may come to haunt him in situations where that fails to work, such as going against foes with Null Follow-Up or guaranteed follow-up skills of their own.

Just Decent Magical Bulk / Specific Countermeasures

Hector's magical bulk is quite good after taking into account a nice base value and Maltet's follow-up perks. Not giving it enough investment on certain builds, however, might make it a particularly painful exploit. This should not be an overlooked concern as new weapon refines and magical threats continually become more hard-hitting (looking at you, Ninja Corrin).

Additionally, newer skills and weapons may contain frightening, built-in check factors like Null Follow-Up and counterattack cancellation (i.e. Windsweep, Flash or Dazzling effects, Spring Delthea's Bright-Shell Egg).

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
MaltetAccelerates Special trigger (cooldown count-1). If unit's HP ≥ 50% and foe initiates combat, unit makes a guaranteed follow-up attack.
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
Glowing EmberBoosts damage dealt by 50% of unit's Def.
Learns by default at 5 ★
Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
100 4
IgnisBoosts damage dealt by 80% of unit's Def.
Unlocks at 5 ★
Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
200 4

Passive Skills

Passive Skills SP Slot
Ostian CounterUnit can counterattack regardless of foe's range. If foe initiates combat, grants Atk/Def+4 during combat.
Non-Inheritable skill.
Unlocks at 5 ★
350
A
Bold Fighter 1If unit's HP = 100% and unit initiates combat, grants Special cooldown charge +1 per unit's attack, and unit makes a guaranteed follow-up attack. (Does not stack.)
Only inheritable by armor units.
60
B
Bold Fighter 2If unit's HP ≥ 50% and unit initiates combat, grants Special cooldown charge +1 per unit's attack, and unit makes a guaranteed follow-up attack. (Does not stack.)
Only inheritable by armor units.
120
B
Bold Fighter 3If unit initiates combat, grants Special cooldown charge +1 per unit's attack, and unit makes a guaranteed follow-up attack. (Does not stack.)
Only inheritable by armor units.
Unlocks at 5 ★
240
B
Even Res Wave 1At start of even-numbered turns, grants Res+2 to unit and adjacent allies for 1 turn. (Bonus granted to unit even if no allies are adjacent.)
Inheritable by all units.
60
C
Even Res Wave 2At start of even-numbered turns, grants Res+4 to unit and adjacent allies for 1 turn. (Bonus granted to unit even if no allies are adjacent.)
Inheritable by all units.
120
C
Even Res Wave 3At start of even-numbered turns, grants Res+6 to unit and adjacent allies for 1 turn. (Bonus granted to unit even if no allies are adjacent.)
Inheritable by all units.
Unlocks at 5 ★
240
C

Other Info

Origin
Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade

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