Analysis by lordhelpme
Claude - The Schemer


Obtainable as a 5 only

Hero Stats

Max Avg Total Stats at Lvl 40
HP 39
ATK 33
SPD 37
DEF 20
RES 21

Stat Variations

Level 1 Stat Variation
Low 16 6 10 4 3
Middle 17 7 11 5 4
High 18 8 12 6 5

Level 40 Stat Variations
Low 35 30 34 17 18
Middle 39 33 37 20 21
High 42 36 40 23 24

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: A +ATK IV makes for Claude’s optimal choice of Asset to maximize his raw damage output and round  out his base offensive statline to a formidable 36/37. When taken into consideration alongside the massive amount of Speed he can obtain from Cunning Bow, this IV offers him the greatest boost to his offensive potential, allowing him to both hit surprisingly hard and perform follow-up attacks with relative ease. 

  • +SPD: Although typically less preferable than a +ATK IV given how quickly Claude can reach excessive levels of Speed, a +SPD IV remains a standout option nonetheless to strengthen his ability to consistently perform follow-up attacks; this is particularly effective with Firesweep sets, though it also sees good use when utilizing his PRF. 


  • HP: A -HP IV is particularly debilitating to Claude’s overall durability due to its status as a four-point Flaw; this makes it best to avoid this IV if possible and leave his HP stat at neutral, though it can still be a serviceable option should no other be available. 


  • -DEF RES: Although his overall bulk is actually quite solid, both of Claude’s defensive stats sport disappointingly low base values and offer very little to him. However, thanks to his relatively decent HP pool, either one can be lowered as he will still possess enough bulk to safely take a hit from an opposing foe regardless of the chosen Flaw, meaning that his performance will hardly be impacted. 

Skill Sets

Crossroad Mirage (Offensive Nuke)

Build by
Cunning Bow A Swift Sparrow 3
Alternate: Fury (3 or 4)
Reposition B Desperation 3
Alternate: Lull Spd/Def 3
Glimmer C Def Smoke 3
Alternate: Hone Cavalry
IVsSHeavy Blade 3

Show Explanation/Analysis

Preferred IV: +ATK or +SPD -DEF or -RES

Claude’s access to class-exclusive buffs and exceptional mobility on top of Cunning Bow’s high damage potential allows him to excel in the Player Phase — and this build aims to capitalize on just that. Accordingly, an Asset to either one of Claude’s offensive stats will be his best choice here, with a +ATK IV being preferred over +SPD to maximize his damage output (especially given how fast he can become from Cunning Bow’s various combat boosts alone). Ultimately, however, both are excellent options in the long run. 

Weapon: Cunning Bow

  • Cunning Bow provides Claude with a massive improvement to his offensive capabilities, applying a debilitating 5 in-combat debuff to all of his opponent’s stats under the proper circumstances; it also grants him a passive Speed +3 for a greater likelihood of performing and denying doubles. When combined with his complementary base stats, this weapon allows Claude to function as an outstanding source of damage output. 

  • Cunning Bow’s potency is only bolstered further by the facility with which Claude can maintain its activation requirement, especially when taking his status as a cavalry unit into account as a single use of Hone or Fortify Cavalry will instantly satisfy its prerequisite conditions. With careful positioning, Claude can potentially benefit from his PRF’s powerful effect with virtually zero downtime. 

Assist: Reposition / Flexible 

Special: Glimmer / Moonbow / Ruptured Sky / Luna 

  • Specials like Glimmer and Moonbow will be Claude’s ideal choice as their relatively low cooldown let him make use of them quite frequently; both of the aforementioned options also possess the benefit of being able to activate in each round of combat before his opponent can even counterattack when paired with the Heavy Blade + Desperation combination. Ruptured Sky sports a similarly low cooldown, however, its unreliable scaling and limited availability make it less preferable. 

  • Luna may also be considered should one prefer stronger Special activations (as opposed to quicker ones); it can potentially be utilized with the Heavy Blade seal as well, though do note that using the Heavy Blade + Desperation combination with Luna is not recommended as to avoid wasting Special charges. 

Passive A: Swift Sparrow / Atk/Spd Solo / Death Blow / Fury 

  • Lending itself perfectly to this build’s intended playstyle, Swift Sparrow (2 or 3) is a fantastic candidate of A slot skill to bolster Claude’s combat prowess in the Player Phase through its considerable offensive boost upon initiation. 

  • Alternatively, Atk/Spd Solo can be taken instead to offer him the flexibility of potentially maintaining his offensive presence in the Enemy Phase if necessary, as Claude’s ability to benefit from its powerful +6 Atk/Spd boost is not contingent upon him initiating combat. It does, however, come attached to an accompanying positioning requirement, though this is negligible at worst given that Claude will typically be away from his allies when initiating combat regardless. 

  • Thanks to Claude’s outstanding base Speed stat on top of the substantial amount of effective Speed he can gain from Cunning Bow, it’s possible to elevate this stat to high enough levels with outside support alone such that the use of a Speed-boosting A slot skill may not be entirely necessary. In such instances, Death Blow can prove to be a more worthwhile investment to capitalize on his other key stat and maximize his overall damage potential. 

  • On a budget, Fury is a solid alternative that serves to supplement Claude’s strong base offenses as well as improve his overall bulk to lessen his chances of being OHKO’d; this combined with its after-combat chip damage makes Fury an especially effective choice when utilizing Desperation. 

Passive B: Desperation / Lull Spd/Def 

  • Desperation is a standard choice of B slot skill for most offensive frontliners like Claude (and for good reason), allowing him to perform his follow-up attack before his opponent can even counterattack. This effect is greatly beneficial to Claude’s overall performance as it enables him to effectively circumvent the impact of his poor base defensive stats and guarantees his ability to engage in extended rounds of combat.

  • Should one feel confident in Claude’s ability to freely initiate combat without the use of Desperation (such as when providing him with Fortify Cavalry support), his native Lull Spd/Def is an incredible option to consider. Through its negation of any Speed and Defense field buffs that may be affecting his foe and -3 Spd/Def in-combat debuff, this skill can translate to a substantial improvement to Claude’s offensive capabilities. 

Passive C: Def Smoke / Atk/Def Rouse / Hone Cavalry / Flexible

  • Smoke skills, such as his native Def Smoke, are strong options when using Claude alongside a refresher to let him kill multiple foes more effectively with its debilitating debuff; this also serves the purpose of increasing his likelihood of activating his PRF. 

  • In a similar vein, Atk/Def Rouse can be considered to instantly fulfill Cunning Bow’s activation requirement at the start of the turn and make Claude much more self-sufficient. However, this is not entirely necessary for him to function properly and can be simply replicated by team support if unavailable.

  • Otherwise, feel free to make use of any C slot skill that best fulfills his allies’ needs, with class-exclusive buffs like Hone Cavalry being wonderful options if using him alongside fellow cavalry units. 

Sacred Seal: Heavy Blade / Darting Blow / Brazen Atk/Spd

  • The Heavy Blade seal is an exceptional choice to bolster Claude’s damage output through quicker Special activations. Alternatively, the Darting Blow and Brazen Atk/Spd seals can be taken to build upon his strong base offensive stats, though do keep in mind that Brazen Atk/Spd has the drawback of requiring some set-up before becoming functionally useful to him.

Fleeting Dawn (Offensive Nuke)

Build by
Firesweep Bow+ A Swift Sparrow 3
Alternate: Life and Death 3
Reposition B Lull Spd/Def 3
Alternate: Moonbow
C Def Smoke 3
Alternate: Hone Cavalry
IVsSDarting Blow 3
Alternate: Quickened Pulse

Show Explanation/Analysis

Preferred IV: +SPD or +ATK -HP or -DEF or -RES

Claude can also make great use of a standard Firesweep set, trading in his PRF’s high damage potential in exchange for the more specialized and safer offensive capabilities of a Firesweep weapon. However, since the intended playstyle between this build and the first remain largely the same, an Asset to either one of his offensive stats is once again highly recommended, though it should be noted that a +SPD IV is preferred over +ATK due to Claude’s reliance on follow-up attacks for his damage output. 

Weapon: Firesweep Bow+

  • Firesweep Bow’s negation of all enemy counterattacks enables Claude to establish himself as a fearsome attacker who can freely initiate combat without worry of being killed in retaliation, eliminating any need for the use of skills like Desperation; in turn, this provides him with the benefit of being able to focus solely on maximizing his damage output. Do keep an eye out for opponents equipped with Null C-Disrupt, though, as they can quickly spell trouble for him if one is too careless. 

Assist: Reposition / Flexible

Special: Luna / Moonbow / Glimmer / Ruptured Sky 

  • Luna is an excellent choice of Special that lets Claude pierce through particularly bulky foes with relative ease — and thanks to its decent three-turn cooldown, he can benefit from its damage boost quite frequently, activating in every other round of combat provided that he performs a follow-up attack in each one. 

  • Moonbow and his native Glimmer can also make for worthwhile considerations if providing Claude with enough support such that he can reliably use the Heavy Blade seal, or if using the Quickened Pulse seal; combining them with either one of these aforementioned seals allows him to activate them quicker for increased damage output. 

    • For the same reasons as before (namely its unreliable scaling and limited availability), Ruptured Sky is slightly less preferred than Moonbow or Glimmer despite its similarly low cooldown, though it’s still a good choice should one favor its somewhat stronger effectiveness against dragon and beast foes. 

Passive A: Swift Sparrow / Atk/Spd Solo / Fury / Life and Death

  • Aside from standard offensive stat-boosting A slot skills like Swift Sparrow (2 or 3), Atk/Spd Solo, and Fury, Life and Death is a valid option here as well. Although its five-point reduction to both of his defensive stats would typically be quite detrimental to Claude’s overall performance, Firesweep Bow’s negation of enemy counterattacks makes this inconsequential. 

Passive B: Lull Spd/Def / Chill Spd / Chill Def

  • Since Claude has no need to run Desperation thanks to Firesweep Bow’s powerful effect, his native Lull Spd/Def should be kept to consistently provide him with improved damage output and doubling potential. 

  • Although Chill skills apply a greater debuff on his opponents, the commonality of field buffs in enemy team compositions as well as its ability to debilitate two stats at once means that Lull Spd/Def will usually have a much more meaningful impact in the long run. That being said, Chill skills can still be considered should one wish to grant him the option of potentially providing team support.

Passive C: Def Smoke / Hone Cavalry / Flexible 

Sacred Seal: Darting Blow / Quickened Pulse / Heavy Blade 

  • The Darting Blow seal’s +6 Speed boost upon initiation makes it a stellar choice of seal here, augmenting Claude’s ability to perform follow-up attacks by a significant amount, but the Quickened Pulse and Heavy Blade seals can also be chosen for faster Special activations. 

  • If all of the aforementioned seals are already equipped by one of his allies, the standard Atk/Spd 2, Speed +3, and Attack +3 seals (or any of their variants) can be used instead to grant him an appreciable boost to his offensive potential


The charming (and notoriously flirty) leader of the Golden Deers, Claude: The Schemer makes his debut appearance as a colorless bow cavalier sporting an assortment of traits that define him as a potent threat in the Player Phase. 

Statwise, he boasts a top-notch offensive statline of 33/37 that distinguishes him as a standout amongst his peers, providing him a strong foundation for dealing damage (especially when taking his access to class-exclusive buffs into consideration), and his bulk isn’t too shabby either. While not particularly outstanding, it’s generally enough to safeguard him from the risk of being outright OHKO’d by an opposing foe, regardless of the type of damage they deal. His effectiveness is only added onto further by the power of his unique personal weapon, the aptly named Cunning Bow, which applies a considerable -5 in-combat debuff on all of his opponent’s stats upon fulfilling its relatively simple activation requirement; it also grants him a passive Speed +3 for improved doubling potential. When combined with his effective five-tile range, these aforementioned factors make Claude a fearsome offensive force. 

Claude’s main weakness lies in the limitations imposed upon him due to his status as a cavalry unit, with hindrances such as hampered mobility on certain maps and poor skill availability detracting from his overall potential to a significant degree; the introduction of Lull skills has made the latter not as much of an issue as it once was, though it’s still very much prevalent. His frailty to cavalry-effective weaponry can also prove to be a serious problem for him as well depending on the map in which he is deployed. Furthermore, while his overall bulk may be surprisingly decent, this is largely attributed to his relatively good HP pool for an archer and not his actual defensive stats, both of which sport incredibly low base values. This makes him quite fragile to any sort of sustained offensive pressure and consequently limits his functionality to exist primarily in the Player Phase. 

Overall, Claude is certainly a capable unit who can shine when played to his strengths, making for a welcome addition to any team composition looking for a formidable offensive nuke. 


Cunning Bow

Claude’s unique personal weapon, Cunning Bow, is the key behind his excellent offensive capabilities; assuming one can consistently fulfill its activation requirement (which is a rather simple feat given his access to class-exclusive buffs), this weapon grants him the edge in any battle and translates to a significant improvement to his damage potential, as well as his overall survivability.

Strong Offenses 

His base offensive statline of 33/37 is one of the strongest amongst all bow cavaliers and inherently makes him quite proficient at both dealing damage and consistently performing follow-up attacks against opposing foes. 

Just Enough Bulk

Although he definitely shouldn’t be attempting to perform as a tank, Claude’s overall bulk is generally sufficient enough to let him safely take a single hit from an opposing foe; his PRF’s ability to apply a -5 Attack debuff on his foe also aids him in this task. 


Claude’s exceptional mobility and access to class-exclusive buffs are both crucial strengths that help solidify his considerable offensive potential even further. 



As a cavalry unit, Claude is plagued by a debilitating weakness to cavalry-effective weaponry, impeded mobility due to certain terrain, and limited skill availability, hindering his overall potential substantially. 

Low Defensive Stats 

Claude’s low defensive stats make it a priority to keep him out of harm’s way in the Enemy Phase, as any sort of sustained offensive pressure can quickly take him out of commission. 

Weapon Skills

Weapons SP Rng. Mt.
Iron Bow

Effective against flying units.

Learns by default at 1 ★
Unlocks at 1 ★
Only Inheritable by Bow users.
50 2 4
Steel Bow

Effective against flying units.

Learns by default at 3 ★
Unlocks at 2 ★
Only Inheritable by Bow users.
100 2 6
Silver Bow

Effective against flying units.

Learns by default at 4 ★
Unlocks at 3 ★
Only Inheritable by Bow users.
200 2 9
Cunning Bow

Grants Spd+3. Effective against flying foes. When total bonuses on unit + total penalties on foe >= 10, inflicts Atk/Spd/Def/Res-5 on foe during combat.
(Example: if unit has a +5 bonus and foe has a -5 penalty, the calculated total will be 10.)

Learns by default at 5 ★
Unlocks at 5 ★
Non-Inheritable skill.
400 2 14
Weapon Evolution
Weapon Upgrades
Weapon Upgrades

Special Skills

Special Skills SP Turns
Night Sky

Boosts damage dealt by 50%.

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

Boosts damage dealt by 50%.

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

Passive Skills

Passive Skills SP Slot
Lull Spd/Def 1

Inflicts Spd/Def-1 on foe and neutralizes foe's bonuses to Spd/Def (from skills like Fortify, Rally, etc.) during combat.

Excludes Armor and Flying units.
Unlocks at 3 ★
Lull Spd/Def 2

Inflicts Spd/Def-2 on foe and neutralizes foe's bonuses to Spd/Def (from skills like Fortify, Rally, etc.) during combat.

Excludes Armor and Flying units.
Unlocks at 4 ★
Lull Spd/Def 3

Inflicts Spd/Def-3 on foe and neutralizes foe's bonuses to Atk/Def (from skills like Fortify, Rally, etc.) during combat.

Excludes Armor and Flying units.
Unlocks at 5 ★
Def Smoke 1

Inflicts Def-3 on foes within 2 spaces of target through their next actions after combat.

Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
Unlocks at 1 ★
Def Smoke 2

Inflicts Def-5 on foes within 2 spaces of target through their next actions after combat.

Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
Unlocks at 2 ★
Def Smoke 3

Inflicts Def-7 on foes within 2 spaces of target through their next actions after combat.

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

Other Info

Fire Emblem: Three Houses

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