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Analysis by UmbraCorvus
Dedue - Dimitri's Vassal

5

Obtainable as a 5 only

Hero Stats

Max Avg Total Stats at Lvl 40
185
HP 50
ATK 45
SPD 17
DEF 45
RES 28

Stat Variations

Level 1 Stat Variation
5★
HP ATK SPD DEF RES
Low 19 11 3 11 8
Middle 20 12 4 12 9
High 21 13 5 13 10

Level 40 Stat Variations
5★
HP ATK SPD DEF RES
Low 47 41 13 41 25
Middle 50 45 17 45 28
High 54 48 20 48 32

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

Smoking the Fish (Debuff Tank)

Build by UmbraCorvus
Recommended
Plegian Axe+ (+Res)
Alternate: Plegian Axe+ (+Def)
A Distant Counter
Alternate: Def/Res Solo 4
Positional Assist B Crafty Fighter 3
Alternate: Slick Fighter 3
Bonfire
Alternate: Sol
C Def Smoke 3
Alternate: Armored Stride 3
IVs

+RES or +DEF or +ATK / -SPD

SAtk Smoke 3
Alternate: Chill Atk 3

Show Explanation/Analysis

Weapon: Plegian Axe+ (+Res) / Plegian Axe+ (+Def)

Assist: Positional Assist

Special: Bonfire / Sol

Passive A: Distant Counter / Def/Res Solo (3 or 4)

Passive B: Crafty Fighter / Slick Fighter

Passive C: Def Smoke / Atk Smoke / Armored Stride

Sacred Seal: Atk Smoke / Chill Atk / Chill Def

  • With Plegian Kris being freely available as a unit that can be obtained through the usage of Heroic Grails, the Plegian Axe can be an excellent weapon for Dedue that can improve his effective bulk and damage output further. With the switch from his default Steadfast Axe, he gains an Attack debuff on foes as opposed to a Defense boost for himself, which can boost his mixed bulk tremendously by comparison. A Resistance Asset gives Dedue a large boost to his otherwise weaker defensive stat and is even a Super Asset that takes his Resistance from 28 to 32. Defense and Attack are still valuable Assets if a Resistance Asset cannot be obtained. Ideally, Dedue’s Speed is the Flaw stat on all of his builds as his Speed is beyond help.
  • With a Plegian Axe equipped, so long as Dedude does not find himself adjacent to an ally during combat, Dedue inflicts -5 Attack/Defense on his opponent during combat alongside doubling any displayed penalties that the opponent is currently suffering to their Attack and Defense. A Resistance refine is recommended for the weapon as Resistance is the weaker of Dedue’s defenses, though a Defense refine is viable as well if desiring to push his already great Defense even higher.
  • Bonfire is used to take advantage of Dedue’s massive base Defense and dish out powerful Special procs. Sol can be an alternative Special of choice that can give Dedue a means of healing himself somewhat whenever it activates.
  • Distant Counter gives Dedue the ability to counterattack ranged opponents which opens up what kind of enemies he can bait and counterattack. Def/Res Solo on the other hand limits Dedue from counter attacking ranged foes, but pairs nicely with the Plegian Axe’s solo requirements and gives Dedue a massive boost to his Defense and Resistance.
  • The choice of Crafty Fighter or Slick Fighter depends on whether the user would rather have a Guard effect to help deny enemy Specials through Crafty Fighter, or the ability to neutralize any debuffs that Dedue himself suffers from.
  • Def Smoke or Atk Smoke can give Dedue the means to set up debuffs on his own, making it so less help from allies to spread debuffs is necessary to make the most of Plegian Axe. Armored Stride can be used instead to give Dedue more flexible mobility.
  • If Def Smoke or Armored Stride was used in the C Passive, Atk Smoke is recommended greatly for the Sacred Seal Slot. If there are no Chill users on Dedue’s team, Dedue can instead opt to carry the Chill Atk or Chill Def Sacred Seals himself in order to give a fairly consistent way of applying a debuff to opponents that sport the highest of each stat in question.

Staunch Shield (Physical Tank/Budget)

Build by UmbraCorvus
Recommended
Steadfast Axe+ (+Def) A Sturdy Stance 3
Alternate: Distant Foil
Positional Assist B Vengeful Fighter 3
Alternate: Special Fighter 3
Ignis
Alternate: Noontime
C A/D Near Save 3
IVs

+ATK or +DEF / -SPD

SAtk/Def Bond 3
Alternate: Quick Riposte 3

Show Explanation/Analysis

Weapon: Steadfast Axe+ (+Def)

Assist: Positional Assist

Special: Ignis / Noontime / Bonfire

Passive A: Sturdy Stance 3 / Distant Foil

Passive B: Vengeful Fighter / Special Fighter / Wary Fighter / Quick Riposte

Passive C: A/D Near Save

Sacred Seal: Atk/Def Bond / Quick Riposte

  • Dedue comes with a strong set of Skills already for a close range physical tank build, and he just needs some minor adjustments in order to become a potent unit for this role. For the preferred IVs, either his massive Attack or Defense can be boosted, while his Speed is the ideal stat to dump.
  • Dedue’s default Steadfast Axe is a great weapon for him to start off with, giving him +5 Attack/Defense if two spaces or less away from an ally, while also ignoring any Attack/Defense debuffs he has during combat. Refining this weapon for Defense is a great way to further increase his already high Defense even further.
  • The choice of Special will greatly depend on which B Passive Dedue runs, so they will be looked at together. If using Vengeful Fighter for its Enemy Phase follow-up attacks and Special charging capability, Ignis can be guaranteed in a single round of combat for a massive damage boost based on Dedue’s Defense. If using Special Fighter, Noontime can be immediately utilized on counter-hit. As these two B Passives are quite expensive to come by, Wary Fighter can be used on a budget to make it so that neither can follow-up attack in most cases, or Quick Riposte can be used as a budget way to give Dedue follow-up attacks. In both of these cases with these budget Skills, Bonfire should be used as the Special of choice.
  • There is little reason to replace Dedue’s default Sturdy Stance 3 as it gives him a further boost to his Attack and Defense while also bestowing a Guard effect on him in the Enemy Phase. Distant Foil can be considered as an alternative Skill however, that can allow Dedue to counterattack bow and dagger units as well.
  • As Dedue will be nearby allies in order to take advantage of his Steadfast Axe, his default A/D Near Save can allow Dedue to activate Savior and take close range blows for his allies with his immense defensive bulk.
  • Atk/Def Bond can be a good Sacred Seal to use since Dedue will be around his allies often, while the Quick Riposte Sacred Seal can come in handy in giving Dedue follow-up attacks in the Enemy Phase if he is using Special Fighter in the B Passive.

Brigand Dedue? Sure, why not? (Player Phase)

Build by UmbraCorvus
Brave Axe+ A Death Blow (3 or 4)
Positional Assist B Bold Fighter 3
Glimmer
Alternate: Bonfire
C Armored Stride 3
IVs

+ATK / -SPD

SDeath Blow 3
Alternate: Quickened Pulse

Show Explanation/Analysis

Weapon: Brave Axe+

Assist: Positional Assist

Special: Glimmer / Bonfire

Passive A: Death Blow (3 or 4) 

Passive B: Bold Fighter

Passive C: Armored Stride

Sacred Seal: Death Blow / Quickened Pulse

  • Dedue’s very high base Attack of 45 can allow him to run a Brave Axe build with flying colours, especially when combined with the potent Player Phase potential of Bold Fighter. As this build is solely focused on power, the recommended Asset is Attack.
  • Glimmer can be activated twice in one instance of combat thanks to the low cooldown, and Dedue has the Attack capable of justifying this Special. If desiring a bit more initial firepower, the Quickened Pulse Sacred Seal can help Dedude proc Bonfire on his first initiation of combat.
  • Death Blow is used to give Dedue more Attack in the Player Phase, with Death Blow 4 being the most ideal if it is obtainable. Otherwise, Death Blow 3 still gets the job done fairly well, but may miss a few kills in comparison from time to time.
  • Armored Stride helps Dedue get around his low mobility as an armored unit if he starts the turn not adjacent to any allies, giving him more mobility to position himself freely and have a stronger and more flexible Player Phase presence.
  • Death Blow should be used as the Sacred Seal for more power, otherwise the Quickened Pulse Sacred Seal is used if running a higher cooldown Special like Bonfire.

Strengths

Excellent Stat Spread

Much like his appearance in Fire Emblem: Three Houses, Dedue is an outright beast when it comes to being a physical wall. Sporting 50 HP and 45 Defense at base, Dedue is extremely difficult to take down when it comes to using physical damage against him. Not only that, but his 45 base Attack means he can dish out punishment in return with great effectiveness. Even his Resistance, while much lower in comparison to his Defense, is a shockingly fair value of 28 which can be built upon further with the right Skills if desiring to do so.

Access to Armor Skills

As an armored axe unit, Dedue gets access to the coveted Fighter Skill line, giving him a shocking amount of versatility towards which kinds of builds he can utilize. Whether it be Enemy Phase, Player Phase, or even a dual phase build with the help of Bold Fighter and the Quick Riposte Seal, Dedue can cover many different options for Summoners needing a versatile physical brute.

Weaknesses

Poor Speed and a Reliance on Follow-Up Skills

In exchange for the rest of Dedue’s stats being very high, his Speed has taken a major backseat as it falls on a base value of 17, making Dedue one of the slowest units in the game. This makes Dedue ultimately reliant on follow-up granting Skills in order to ensure he can hit twice in one instance of combat. As an armored unit, there is certainly no shortage of these kinds of Skills for him, but follow-up blocking Skills or weapons such as Null Follow-Up can prove to be a massive problem for Dedue as he has no chance of naturally follow-up attacking on his own against the myriad of fast foes out there.

Axe Armors are a Competitive Group

While Dedue himself is an excellent axe armor, there is no shortage of axe armor units that are just as good if not better than Dedue himself. With options such as Brave Edelgard, Brave Ephraim, Surtr, and Mamori out there, Dedue finds himself just being a solid option among a sea of titans that he just can’t quite reach the level of.

Weapon Skills

Weapons SP Rng. Mt.
Iron Axe
Learns by default at 1 ★
Unlocks at 1 ★
Inheritable by Axe users only.
50 1 6
Steel Axe
Learns by default at 3 ★
Unlocks at 2 ★
Inheritable by Axe users only.
100 1 8
Steadfast AxeIf unit is within 2 spaces of an ally, grants Atk/Def+5 to unit and neutralizes unit's penalties to Atk/Def during combat.
Learns by default at 4 ★
Unlocks at 3 ★
Inheritable by Axe users only.
200 1 10
Steadfast Axe+If unit is within 2 spaces of an ally, grants Atk/Def+5 to unit and neutralizes unit's penalties to Atk/Def during combat.
Learns by default at 5 ★
Unlocks at 5 ★
Inheritable by Axe users only.
300 1 14
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 ★
Unlocks at 3 ★
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
Steady Stance 1Grants Def+2 during combat when this unit is attacked.
Inheritable by all units.
Unlocks at 2 ★
50
A
Sturdy Stance 1Grants Atk/Def+2 during combat if foe initiates combat.
Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
Unlocks at 3 ★
120
A
Sturdy Stance 2Grants Atk/Def+4 during combat if foe initiates combat.
Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
Unlocks at 4 ★
240
A
Sturdy Stance 3If foe initiates combat, grants Atk/Def +6 during combat and inflicts Special cooldown charge -1 on foe per attack. (Only highest value applied. Does not stack.)
Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
Unlocks at 5 ★
300
A
A/D Near Save 1If a foe uses sword, lance, axe, dragonstone, or beast damage and initiates combat against an ally adjacent to unit, triggers【Savior】on unit.  If unit triggers Savior, grants Atk/Def+1 during combat.  【Savior】 Unit takes ally's space, enters combat in ally's place, and receives all after-combat effects.  Savior will not trigger if ally is on terrain that unit cannot move to or if multiple units are able to use Savior during the same combat. If Savior triggers, after-combat movement effects do not occur.
Only inheritable by armor units.
Unlocks at 1 ★
100
C
A/D Near Save 2If a foe uses sword, lance, axe, dragonstone, or beast damage and initiates combat against an ally within 2 spaces of unit, triggers【Savior】 on unit.  If unit triggers Savior, grants Atk/Def+2 during combat.  【Savior】 Unit takes ally's space, enters combat in ally's place, and receives all after-combat effects.  Savior will not trigger if ally is on terrain that unit cannot move to or if multiple units are able to use Savior during the same combat. If Savior triggers, after-combat movement effects do not occur.
Only inheritable by armor units.
Unlocks at 2 ★
200
C
A/D Near Save 3If a foe uses sword, lance, axe, dragonstone, or beast damage and initiates combat against an ally within 2 spaces of unit, triggers【Savior】 on unit.  If unit triggers Savior, grants Atk/Def+4 during combat.  【Savior】 Unit takes ally's space, enters combat in ally's place, and receives all after-combat effects.  Savior will not trigger if ally is on terrain that unit cannot move to or if multiple units are able to use Savior during the same combat. If Savior triggers, after-combat movement effects do not occur.
Only inheritable by armor units.
Unlocks at 4 ★
300
C

Other Info

Origin
Fire Emblem: Three Houses

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