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Tier Rating

Analysis by lordhelpme
Duo Ephraim - Dynastic Duo

5

Obtainable as a 5 only

Related Heroes

Hero Stats

Max Avg Total Stats at Lvl 40
172
HP 41
ATK 39
SPD 30
DEF 37
RES 25

Stat Variations

Level 1 Stat Variation
5★
HP ATK SPD DEF RES
Low 18 8 7 8 5
Middle 19 9 8 9 6
High 20 10 9 10 7

Level 40 Stat Variations
5★
HP ATK SPD DEF RES
Low 37 36 26 34 22
Middle 41 39 30 37 25
High 44 43 33 40 29

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

Assets

  • +ATK: Much of Ephraim’s functionality is dependent on his ability to consistently maintain high levels of Attack, so increasing it further with an Asset is ideal. Not only does this Asset improve his raw damage output notably thanks to it providing a four-point boost (as opposed to the typical three), but it also enables Ephraim to make much greater use of skills that scale off of this stat. 

Neutral

  • HP / DEF: Ephraim’s physical bulk is phenomenal and makes him quite resilient against other Defense-targeting opponents, but augmenting it further with an Asset is not as much of a priority as increasing his Attack so it should be left neutral if possible. However, if an Attack Asset is unavailable, taking a Defense Asset instead is a good secondary option. 

  • SPD: While Ephraim’s base Speed stat of 30 may not be particularly outstanding, it remains high enough to offer him some defensive value in helping prevent enemy follow-up attacks from other mid-tier foes. Thusly, his Speed should be preserved if possible, though it can be a workable choice of Flaw as well if no other is available.

Flaws

  • -RES: Ephraim’s Resistance isn’t that bad in comparison to his infantry lance-wielding brethren but even still, it remains his most nonessential stat and can be decreased safely with a Flaw as his overall performance as a unit will hardly be affected by this.  

Skill Sets

Land of Promise (Galeforce)

Recommended
Reginleif A Heavy Blade 4
Reposition B Wings of Mercy 3
Alternate: Null Follow-Up 3
Galeforce C Def Smoke 3
Alternate: Infantry Pulse 3
SP1995SQuickened Pulse

Show Explanation/Analysis

Preferred IV: +ATK / -RES

Ephraim’s ability to benefit from an on-command +1 movement buff combined with the sheer offensive power of Reginleif enables the young lord to shine when equipped with a Galeforce setup, lending himself especially well to Galeforce-centered strategies for use in Aether Raids Offense. A +ATK IV is ideal as Ephraim will be highly dependent on Reginleif’s and Heavy Blade’s respective effects to function properly, both of which scale off of his Attack stat; this also helps mitigate the loss of a damage-dealing Special to a notable extent. 

Weapon: Reginleif

  • Ephraim’s exclusive weapon, Reginleif, constitutes his main source of firepower and offers him incredible overall damage output through its various effects: guaranteed follow-up attacks when his Attack exceeds that of his opponent OR when affected by a movement buff, effective damage against armor and cavalry foes, and a passive Attack +3 to top it all off. While relatively simple, this combination allows Ephraim to bypass his middling Speed and present a formidable offensive threat, even without the added damage of a Special like his native Draconic Aura. 

  • Furthermore, it’s worth noting that even in scenarios where Ephraim is fighting against opponents with higher Attack stats than him, he remains fully capable of benefiting from Reginleif’s effect thanks to his Duo Skill, which grants him and any nearby infantry or armored allies +1 movement for the duration of the turn. When combined with his access to skills like Null Follow-Up, this makes Ephraim’s offensive capabilities not only incredibly oppressive but also quite difficult to stop. 

Assist: Reposition / Flexible

Special: Galeforce 

  • Galeforce is another crucial aspect of this build and helps Ephraim make the greatest use of the extended mobility he can obtain (and provide) through his Duo Skill, allowing him to take another action upon activation once per turn. Through this Special’s unique function, Ephraim sees a marked improvement to his overall maneuverability in the Player Phase which he can utilize to quickly take down multiple foes in a single turn; this attribute can prove indispensable for the success of certain strategies. 

  • However, keep in mind that Galeforce is attached to a rather long five-turn cooldown. This means that to ensure its activation in the most effective way possible, Ephraim must be provided with ways of lowering his Special charge quickly. Fortunately enough, this can be quite simple to do as he benefits from access to numerous exclusive skills like Heavy Blade 4, Infantry Pulse, and Time’s Pulse that can greatly improve his consistency, especially when utilized in tandem. 

Passive A: Heavy Blade 4 / Sturdy Impact / Mirror Impact 

  • Ephraim’s native Heavy Blade 4 suits this build’s intended playstyle beautifully, increasing his overall damage output and helping him activate Galeforce at a much faster rate in addition when his Attack stat is greater than his opponent’s; it can be paired with the Quickened Pulse seal, Time’s Pulse, or Infantry Pulse to have activate Galeforce against any opponent he doubles. The bonus damage this skill deals also happens to be true damage, meaning that it remains unaffected by his opponent’s Defense stat which can be useful in the (admittedly unlikely) instance that he is unable to otherwise damage an enemy. 

  • Alternatively, Heavy Blade 4 can be swapped out in favor of Sturdy Impact or Mirror Impact to grant Ephraim some additional safety through their massive defensive stat boosts and ability to negate enemy follow-up attacks. However, this comes at the cost of restricting him exclusively to the Heavy Blade seal; this also means that he must be provided with some sort Special charge support (e.g., Velouria, Time’s Pulse, and Infantry Pulse) to let him activate Galeforce on foes who cannot counterattack. 

Passive B: Wings of Mercy / Null Follow-Up / Hit and Run / Drag Back 

  • Wings of Mercy serves to further build upon Ephraim’s maneuverability in the Player Phase, allowing him to teleport to a space directly next to a weakened ally. Although this skill sees relatively good use across most game modes, Wings of Mercy makes for an especially great choice for Galeforce-centric team compositions as it allows Ephraim to strike opposing foes from far more favorable positions than normally possible; when paired with a synergistic team composition, this can even allow him and his allies to eliminate all enemy forces before they can even react. 

  • Null Follow-Up is a strong alternative to negate skills that prevent Ephraim’s follow-up attack like Wary Fighter, as these can seriously detract from his offensive might. While this may seem unnecessary since Reginleif does break through such effects in a sense, it only does so to the extent that it forces a regular Speed contest which he is unlikely to win given his middling Speed, whereas Null Follow-Up ensures that Reginleif functions as intended — provided that its other prerequisite conditions are fulfilled. 

  • Hit and Run may be worth considering should one favor a less aggressive playstyle and instead, wish to improve Ephraim’s likelihood of being to escape enemy range after activating Galeforce. Drag Back can make for a worthwhile consideration as well to let his allies pick off foes that he is unable to kill in a single engagement.

Passive C: Def Smoke / Atk Smoke / Time’s Pulse / Infantry Pulse / Flexible

  • Thanks to their debilitating debuffs allowing their user to more easily KO opposing foes, Smoke skills pair excellently with Galeforce setups and this one is no exception. Of those available to him, Ephraim most greatly appreciates receiving Def Smoke to gain a substantial boost to his raw damage output against opponents afflicted by its debuff, though Atk Smoke is a good option as well to strengthen his chances of activating his PRF and Heavy Blade. 

  • Time’s Pulse makes for a great choice as well to lower Galeforce’s initial cooldown by one and allows Ephraim to activate Galeforce without requiring that his opponent be able to retaliate when coupled with Heavy Blade; it can even be stacked further with Infantry Pulse support and the Quickened Pulse seal to bolster his consistency immensely. Alternatively, one can equip Ephraim with Infantry Pulse to further his supportive capabilities instead. 

Sacred Seal: Quickened Pulse / Sturdy Blow / Heavy Blade 

  • Similarly to Time’s Pulse, the Quickened Pulse seal is a notable option if aiming to decrease Galeforce’s initial cooldown to let Ephraim leverage its unique abilities with much greater reliability. If one is already content with its cooldown, the Sturdy Blow seal can be taken instead to supplement his raw damage output. 

  • If Heavy Blade 4 is to be replaced by another A slot skill, using the Heavy Blade seal will become of the utmost necessity to mitigate the loss of accelerated Special cooldown. 

Stalwart Command (Offensive Nuke)

Reginleif A Heavy Blade 4
Reposition B Lull Atk/Def 3
Alternate: Null Follow-Up 3
Draconic Aura
Alternate: Luna
C Odd Atk Wave 3
Alternate: Rouse Atk/Def 3
SP1305SSturdy Blow 2

Show Explanation/Analysis

Preferred IV: +ATK / -RES

This build trades the former’s more specialized capabilities for a more generalist approach to Ephraim’s immense combat prowess and takes a sharper inclination towards maximizing his damage output (as opposed to his maneuverability). However, since his intended playstyle remains of an offensive nature, an Attack Asset will once again be his preferred choice of IVs to heighten his destructive potential as much as possible, providing him with various benefits besides increased damage output. 

Weapon: Reginleif

Assist: Reposition / Flexible 

Special: Draconic Aura / Bonfire / Luna / Glimmer

  • Specials with a three-turn cooldown are Ephraim’s best options; combined with Heavy Blade (either in his A slot or as a seal), these Specials will activate in each round of combat provided that Reginleif is active and his opponent can counterattack. Of those available to him, his native Draconic Aura and Bonfire both scale nicely with his strong Attack and Defense stats, though Luna may be considered as well to help him cleave through bulkier foes with greater ease. Glimmer is a decent choice as well to have his Special activate regardless of whether his opponent can counterattack. 

Passive A: Heavy Blade 4 / Sturdy Impact / Mirror Impact 

  • Ephraim’s default Heavy Blade 4 continues to be a fantastic choice of A slot skill to accelerate the rate at which his Special activates and heighten his damage output simultaneously, though it can easily be swapped out for Sturdy Impact or Mirror Impact to strengthen his Player Phase survivability massively. While Death Blow 4 may seem like a natural fit here, inheriting it onto Ephraim is mostly unnecessary as utilizing Heavy Blade 4 + the Sturdy Blow seal in tandem actually outdamages Death Blow 4 + the Heavy Blade seal. 

Passive B: Lull Atk/Def / Null Follow-Up 

  • Ephraim’s native Lull Atk/Def is by far his most potent option for a couple of reasons: its ability to negate enemy bonuses allows him to easily pierce through foes regardless of how much support they are given, and this paired with the in-combat debuffs it applies serves to both, directly and indirectly, bolster his damage output (since it also assists in activating his PRF and other similar skills significantly). Overall, this skill is undeniably powerful and will consistently prove useful across most game modes. 

  • Null Follow-Up is another strong option that boasts highly regarded usefulness, though for entirely good reasons. Through a negation of enemy skills that would otherwise prevent Reginleif’s automatic follow-up attack, Null Follow-Up makes Ephraim’s offensive capabilities much more applicable as it allows him to freely engage in combat without fear of having them impeded on. Depending on how frequently one runs into such skills, this may even be preferred over Lull Atk/Def. 

Passive C: Odd Atk Wave / Rouse Atk/Def / Flexible

  • Ephraim has no particular attachment to a specific C slot skill here, so feel free to experiment here with any available option. That being said, Odd Atk Wave, Even Atk Wave, and Rouse Atk/Def do make for especially effective choices to make him much more self-sufficient. 

Sacred Seal: Sturdy Blow / Brazen Atk/Def / Heavy Blade 

  • The Sturdy Blow and Brazen Atk/Def seals are both noteworthy options to build upon his two key stats even further (keep in mind that the latter does require a bit of setup to be functionally useful to him), though the Heavy Blade seal should take precedence if using something other than his native Heavy Blade 4 in his A slot. 

Introduction

Displaying the strong bond shared between him and his close friend Lyon, the crown prince of Renais enters the battlefield as the game’s second Duo Hero to be introduced thus far and proves his worth as a powerhouse infantry lance wielder. Statwise, Ephraim remains faithful to his original incarnation’s overall stat distribution, though with notably higher values all around as a result of his greater BST (172 compared to 157). His Attack is his most notable feature in this regard due to its exceptional base value of 39 and status as a four-point Asset, but his physical bulk is surprisingly formidable as well; this combination makes him an especially effective combatant when fighting against other physical threats. 

Surprisingly enough, this iteration of the Restoration Lord ditches Siegmund in favor of his other personal lance, Reginleif, which further builds upon the foundation laid out by his strong statline. In addition to granting him a passive Attack +3 and effective damage against armor and cavalry threats, Reginleif enables Ephraim to automatically perform follow-up attacks against foes whose Attack is lower than his, or when he is affected by any sort of movement buff. Through this amalgam of effects, he can easily tear through enemy defenses — and when taken into account with his access to skills like Sturdy Impact, Null Follow-Up, and his native Lull Atk/Def, his onslaught can prove quite difficult to fully withstand. This is not to mention Ephraim’s unique nature amongst other units with comparable PRFs (such as Edelgard and his Legendary version), as he is capable of actually remaining near his allies to receive their support without having his performance suffer. 

Ephraim’s exclusive Duo Skill adds another dimension of depth to his overall performance as a unit, allowing him to grant himself (as well as any infantry and armored allies within two spaces) +1 movement for the duration of the turn. While this Duo Skill may not be as universally applicable as the one recently seen on Halloween Hector, the improvement it provides to his team’s overall maneuverability and reach can certainly prove quite beneficial, synergizing beautifully with Player Phase oriented strategies. Its arguably most effective application can be found within infantry Galeforce setups in Aether Raids Offense; with this Duo Skill, Ephraim enables such setups to appreciate the best of two worlds, allowing them to benefit from the extended range of cavalry units while still enjoying the advantages of infantry-exclusive skills. 

The young prince’s main weakness lies in his Resistance’s relatively middling base value, which leaves him rather weak to sustained offensive pressure from magical damage dealers; while one can potentially take his four-point Resistance Asset to try and mitigate this weakness, this has its issues of detracting from the potency of his offensive capabilities. Also, his exceptionally limited availability does make it quite difficult to accumulate merges or acquire optimal IVs for him, arguably even more so than seasonal and Legendary/Mythical units. However, despite these weaknesses, Ephraim: Dynastic Duo shines as one of the best units in his class for his ability to excel in every game mode, boasting a myriad of widespread uses. 

Strengths

Reginleif

Ephraim’s unique personal weapon, Reginleif, provides him with a fearsome offensive presence through guaranteed follow-up attacks under the proper conditions on top of a passive Attack +3, allowing him to quickly and consistently deal large sums of damage. Reginleif also boasts the ability to deal effective damage against armored and cavalry foes; combined with his inherently high firepower, he can function as a reliable check to such threats. 

Duo Hero

Ephraim’s status as a Duo Hero grants him numerous advantages, most notable of which being his access to an on-command AoE movement buff to him and any nearby infantry or armored allies; this lends itself especially well to Galeforce strategies in Aether Raids Offense where the improved mobility can be exploited to its fullest extent. Furthermore, as a Duo Hero, Ephraim has fantastic scoring potential in Colosseum modes as his BST will be counted as 185. 

Strong Attack

At a strong base value of 39, Ephraim’s Attack is nothing short of remarkable and enables him to make great use of skills like Heavy Blade and his PRF that scale off of this stat; this is to not mention his access to a four-point +ATK IV which further bolsters his insane damage potential. 

Great Physical Bulk

Ephraim’s physical bulk of 78 is remarkably good and lets him stand tall against opposing Defense-targeting foes, allowing him to excel at both dealing and taking damage. 

Infantry

As an infantry unit, Ephraim has the benefit of access to numerous, powerful exclusive skills  like Null Follow-Up, Lull Atk/Def, Infantry Pulse, and Time’s Pulse which can improve his overall performance substantially when used with precision. 

Exceptional Base Kit

Although adjustments can always be made to finetune the young lord to better fit one’s needs, Ephraim’s base kit is nonetheless is exceedingly synergistic and comes packed with several valuable skills; this makes him rather cheap to build as he already has many of the tools needed to obtain strong combat prowess right off the bat. 

Weaknesses

Middling Resistance

While Ephraim’s base Resistance isn’t necessarily horrible in comparison to others who share his typing, its base value is still rather unimpressive and renders him susceptible to receiving significant amounts of damage from incoming magical threats. However, his relatively good HP pool does allow him to generally be safe from being outright KO’d by such opponents. 

Limited Availability

Since Ephraim isn’t in the regular five star pool and will remain unavailable for unpredictable amounts of time, he is much more difficult to obtain multiple copies of for merges and optimal IVs than most other units. 

Duo Skill

Grants Infantry and Armored allies within 2 spaces of unit (including unit) to move 1 extra space. (That turn only. Does not stack.)

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
ReginleifEffective against armored and cavalry foes. Grants Atk+3. If unit's Atk > foe's Atk and/or extra movement granted by another skill is active on unit, 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
Dragon GazeBoosts Atk by 30%.
Learns by default at 4 ★
Unlocks at 3 ★
Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
100 4
Draconic AuraBoosts Atk by 30%.
Unlocks at 4 ★
Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
200 3

Passive Skills

Passive Skills SP Slot
Heavy Blade 1If unit's Atk - foe's Atk ≥ 5, unit gains Special cooldown charge +1 attack. (If using other similar skill, only highest value applied.)
Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
Unlocks at 2 ★
60
A
Heavy Blade 2If unit's Atk - foe's Atk ≥ 3, unit gains Special cooldown charge +1 attack. (If using other similar skill, only highest value applied.)
Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
Unlocks at 3 ★
120
A
Heavy Blade 3If unit's Atk - foe's Atk ≥ 1, unit gains Special cooldown charge +1 attack. (If using other similar skill, only highest value applied.)
Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
Unlocks at 4 ★
240
A
Heavy Blade 4If unit's Attack > foe's Atk, grants Special cooldown charge +1 and deals +5 ddamage to foe per unit's attack. (Only highest value applied. Does not stack.)
Unlocks at 5 ★
300
A
Lull Atk/Def 1Inflicts Atk/Def-1 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 3 ★
60
B
Lull Atk/Def 2Inflicts Atk/Def-2 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 4 ★
120
B
Lull Atk/Def 3Inflicts Atk/Def-3 on foe and neutralizes foe's bonuses to Atk/Def (from skills like Fortify, Rally, etc.) during combat.
Unlocks at 5 ★
240
B
Odd Atk Wave 1At start of odd-numbered turns, grants Atk+2 to unit and adjacent allies for 1 turn. (Bonus granted to unit even if no allies are adjacent.)
Inheritable by all units.
Unlocks at 1 ★
60
C
Odd Atk Wave 2At start of odd-numbered turns, grants Atk+4 to unit and adjacent allies for 1 turn. (Bonus granted to unit even if no allies are adjacent.)
Inheritable by all units.
Unlocks at 2 ★
120
C
Odd Atk Wave 3At start of odd-numbered turns, grants Atk+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 4 ★
240
C

Other Info

Origin
Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones

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