Flame Mordecai

Analysis by MackerelPye
Flame Mordecai - Gentle Firetender

Hero Stats

Max Avg Total Stats at Lvl 40
HP 48
ATK 43
SPD 29
DEF 43
RES 24

Stat Variations

Level 1 Stat Variation
Low 19 12 6 9 4
Middle 20 13 7 10 5
High 21 14 8 11 6

Level 40 Stat Variations
Low 45 40 25 39 21
Middle 48 43 29 43 24
High 51 47 32 46 28

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.

Skill Sets

Eye of the Tiger, Dancing through Fire (Instant Special Retaliation Nuke)

Build by MackerelPye
Fiery Fang A Distant Foil
Alternate: Atk/Def Ideal 4
Positional Assist
Alternate: Rally Assist
B Atk/Def Bulwark 3
Alternate: Special Spiral 3
Alternate: Ignis
C Atk/Def Menace
Alternate: Time's Pulse 3

+ATK then +DEF / -RES

SSteady Breath
Alternate: Atk/Def Form 3

Show Explanation/Analysis

Weapon: Fiery Fang

Assist: Positional Assist

Special: Glimmer / Ignis / Bonfire

Passive A: Distant Foil / Atk/Def Ideal / Atk/Def Solo / Atk/Res Finish / Other Distant Counter variations

Passive B: Atk/Def Bulwark / Special Spiral / Wrath

Passive C: Atk/Def Menace / Time's Pulse / Def Smoke

Sacred Seal: Steady Breath / Atk/Def Form / Other Atk/Def-boosting skills

  • When transformed, Mordecai gains beast effects — specifically the null-Guard and additional +7 on Special triggers — that make a deadly retaliation build pretty effective, which works especially well given Mordecai's archetype is typically operates with one-shots over follow-ups. The strategy then, is simple: wait for combat in enemy phase and retaliate with a powerful single-shot. 
  • The most significant part of the build, then, is Mordecai's choice of Special and the acceleration Passives that optimally pair with each. Several combinations are as follows:
    • Glimmer + Steady Breath: 
      • A simple no-setup combination that leverages Mordecai's generally high damage potential. Due to Glimmer's short cooldown, it becomes instantly charged by any incoming attack with a Breath effect active.
      • Glimmer is chosen over Moonbow as a short 2 CD Special as it usually has a higher damage ceiling, and Moonbow's additional damaged is usually watered down by the in-combat penalties from Fiert Fang.
    • Ignis + Steady Breath + Special Spiral (+ 2 Pulse effects):
      • Ignis grants the largest damage return of other Specials possible due to Mordecai's highly-invested Def; however, because it's at a rather long 4 CD, Mordecai will need to take specific passives to charge it down reasonably, including running Special Spiral to cut it down by -2 after every trigger, and a Breath effect to charge it fully afterwards.
      • Precharging methods helps immensely here as Ignis always starts out at 4 CD turn 1. A minimum of two counts of active Pulse effects (such as Time's Pulse and outsourced Pulse support such as Rafiel's Groom Wing or Infantry Pulse) gives Ignis the minimum to fully charge with Breath active.
    • Bonfire + Special Spiral (+ 1 Pulse effect):
      • Bonfire is a fair trade of Ignis's power in exchange for generally less stressed firing conditions. 
      • Special Spiral will be required still for charging it in a reasonable amount of time and leaving it at 1 CD. 
      • In this case, just 1 count of Pulse should be good enough for its first trigger and subsequent Special Spiral activation.
  • The other parts of this build bear a fair bit of coverage:
    • For A-slots, you'll generally be seeking those of the Atk/Def-boosting persuasion to top off Mordecai's damage output as well as physical durability. Distant Foil, for instance, provides counterattacking coverage against bows and daggers, while Atk/Def Solo encourages transformation conditions. 
      • As a special mention, Atk/Res Finish directly benefits this build's Special-spamming nature by providing a sweet combination of extra Atk, a further +5 damage on Special triggers, and on-trigger healing to upkeep Fiery Fang's 25% HP conditionals. Undoubtedly, the Atk/Def version of this skill will be preferred as soon as it releases.
      • You can run other Distant Counter variations here to expand Mordecai's counterattacking to mages, though with his lower uninvested Res, he will generally be hesitant to take those on, and healers have Dazzling effects anyway. That being said, this is a preferred choice in Summoner Duels where punishing and killing anything on counterattack is absolutely paramount unless you can (preferably) provide Far Save support. 
    • For non-Special Spiral builds, Mordecai will generally be interested in Atk/Def Bulwark for further Atk/Def dominance and added healing (again, to stay above his weapon's 25% effect conditionals and to stay healthy in general) and Wrath (a generally accessible B-slot that boosts Special trigger damage but requires Mordecai to keep himself in a sweetspot between 75% and 25% HP).
    • Outside of Time's Pulse for more self-sufficient Special precharge — after which it's mostly a dead slot— you don't need to think particularly hard about the C-skill. Skills such as Atk/Def Menace, Def(/Res) Smoke, and Rouse Atk/Def all do well here in improving Mordecai's damage overall.
    • On builds that lack Steady Breath (whether that's being outsourced to an ally or not needed at all), the Sacred Seal is predictably open for a variety of additional damage and bulk-boosting passives such as Atk/Def Form.

Oni Angel (All-Purpose Physical Tank)

Build by MackerelPye
Fiery Fang A Fort. Def/Res 3
Alternate: Atk/Def Ideal 4
Positional Assist B Atk/Def Bulwark 3
Alternate: Quick Riposte 3
Alternate: Noontime
C Atk/Def Menace
Alternate: Atk Smoke 3

+DEF then +ATK / -RES

SAtk/Def Form 3
Alternate: Mystic Boost 3

Show Explanation/Analysis

Weapon: Fiery Fang

Assist: Positional Assist

Special: Bonfire / Sol / Noontime

Passive A: Fort. Def/Res / Atk/Def Ideal / Sturdy Stance 3 / Atk/Def Unity / Atk/Def Form / Atk/Res Finish

Passive B: Atk/Def Bulwark / Quick Riposte / Lull Atk/Def

Passive C: Atk/Def Menace / Atk Smoke / Joint Drive Atk / Joint Drive Def

Sacred Seal: Mystic Boost / Steady Breath / Warding Breath / Atk/Def Form / Fort. Def/Res 2 / Quick Riposte

  • This build prioritizes absolute tanking and survivability with a fair amount of offensive upkeep. As such, we focus on maxing out Mordecai's melee tanking capabilities by making use of Fiery Fang's combat boosts along with high-quality stat-boosting passives. 
  • Given the number of high-pressure physical threats present in Heroes and the fact that Mordecai is able to weather a lot with his high Def, further boosting that is naturally suggestable. A number of options are on the table as far as A-slot and Sacred Seal:
    • Mordecai appreciates pretty much any of the conventional enemy phase Atk/Def-based A-slots, including Sturdy Stance, Unity, and Ideal 4. The former two in particular offer unique combat effects (Guard and penalty reversion, respectively) outside of stat boosts, among others.
    • You can take Mordecai's default Fort. Def/Res, upgrade it to its maximum version, and also take its Sacred Seal version for the highest Res yield possible thanks to the additional visible Def increases factoring in Fiery Fang's combat penalties on the enemy.
    • Atk/Res Finish is an understandably weird-sounding option for the fact that it doesn't improve Def or fit with Mordecai's Atk/Def-heavy stateline. The skill, however, is desirable for its healing effect upon Special trigger, and the extra Res definitely doesn't hurt in some of Mordecai's dragon matchups. Generally speaking it can be built around with other healing passives (like Mystic Boost) and/or specifically running a 2 CD Special + a Breath seal to consistently trigger the extra damage and healing. Obviously, the Atk/Def version of it will be preferable whenever that releases.
  • Mordecai's choice of B slot generally falls in three choices. Atk/Def Bulwark will generally be the best option as it provides significant enemy control and self-sustainability through further enemy Atk/Def debuffs, preventing enemy advances from getting to backline allies, and a dollop of after-combat healing. Lull Atk/Def is a tad more accessible and similarly keeps the enemy in-check by cancelling their buffs. Finally, Quick Riposte is an option that doesn't break the bank and is pretty good as a kill confirmation option, as many threats require a follow-up attack to fully defeat. 
    • Quick Riposte is available as a Sacred Seal, so you may certainly combo it with the other two mentioned B-slots if killing power is of upmost concern. Notably, Bulwark's healing works perfectly in upkeeping Quick Riposte's >70% HP condition.  
  • The C-slot option should also be dedicated to improving Mordecai's tanking capabilities. Atk/Def Menace applies penalties to a nearest enemy within 4 spaces while buffing himself, resulting in further stat dominance. Else, he's happy to take the standard Atk Smoke for an accessible way to bulk himself up versus mobs, or Joint Drives for a quick and easy way to buff himself and his allies.


Fiery Fang

Mordecai returns to Heroes with fiery new Fang…that isn't quite the color it implies, but is nevertheless a spicy package of combat tankiness. In addition to the usual infantry beast effects covered in the next section, for simply staying above 25% HP, Mordecai basically gains:

  • A simple visible Def boost of +3 along with a pretty huge helping of extra Atk and Def +6
  • …and potentially even more Atk/Def superiority on top of that for every 5 Def he can stack visibly (In the game's words, this is a penalty on foe's Atk/Def = 20% of Mordecai's Def). For instance, on a realistically typical build with 50+ Def, Mordecai essentially improves his Atk, Def, and even Res further by +10 at minimum.
  • And last but not least, follow-up prevention, which as always significantly fortifies overall tankiness against those unprepared for it. 

Overall, it's a simple but effective stat-stick weapon overall that works with respect to Mordecai's specialized statline. Expect him to cakewalk physical matches more often than not. 

Infantry Beast

The updated infantry beast effects — that is, additional Atk +2, more damage on Special triggers, and the Tempo effect — are appreciable additions to Mordecai's combat should you respect his transformation conditions. Additionally, his infantry status affords him several quality tricks of the tanking trade: this includes Special Spiral for very stylish Special spamming techniques, as well as Atk/Def Bulwark and Lull Atk/Def for overall better tanking and stat superiority. 

High Physical Stats

Mordecai also returns with a specialized statline that leans heavily towards HP, Atk, and Def. At exceptional values of 48, 43, and 43 respectively along with the various stat swings from Fiery Fang, Mordecai should generally have little problem zeroing out an extremely large number of physical matchups while dishing back some heavy sumo wrestling hurt. 

Free Unit Availability / Miscellaneous Strengths

Copies of Mordecai are acquired for free through his Tempest Trials and then the Heroic Grails shop afterward, meaning that the only potential Orb investments he'll ever require are through inherited skills — many optimal choices of which are also easily freely available though Compile Manuals.

At max investment, Mordecai is a pretty solid unit overall, especially as an Arena core unit due to his great combat prowess overall as well as high scoring potential due to his access to a PRF and being able to reach the 190 BST bin. 


Low Magical Tolerance

This wouldn't be a Mordecai unit if he wasn't allergic to anything mages and dragons throw his way. Across most builds, he will often quickly fold to high magical pressure, and that only gets high as Heroes ages. Although, at times, the in-combat penalties from Fiery Fang do tend to offer a bit of leeway in emergencies.   

Average Speed

Mordecai's Spd is surprisingly decent for his archetype, but it is still rather uninspiring at a base of 29 and is easily beaten by casual Spd investment from other enemies. 

Going Below 25% HP

Some of Mordecai's most important combat effects — that is, the Atk/Def -6, Def-based enemy penalties, and follow-up prevention — assume Mordecai keeps himself above 25% HP. This is reasonably easy enough to uphold, but for a unit that's expected to weather attacks constantly while also being magically weak, it is also easy to fall out of. This also makes skills such as Fury, Push 4, and Brazen skills generally unoptimal for him. Fortunately, with sustain-focused skills such as Finish and Bulwark available to him, this limitation can potentially be sidelined.

General Beast Limitations

Mordecai would much prefer being transformed at all times to take advantage of his class's Special spamming combat benefits. Unfortunately, this is something that can be a concern if Mordecai is being fielded with human (non-beast, non-dragon) units, which puts somewhat of a strain on teambuilding and positioning at times. 

Weapon Skills

Weapons SP Rng. Mt.
Whelp (Infantry)

At start of turn, if unit is adjacent to only beast or dragon allies or if unit is not adjacent to any ally, unit transforms (otherwise, unit reverts). If unit transforms, grants Atk+2 and deals +10 damage when Special triggers.

Learns by default at 1 ★
Unlocks at 1 ★
Beast Infantry Only
50 1 4
Yearling (Infantry)

At start of turn, if unit is adjacent to only beast or dragon allies or if unit is not adjacent to any ally, unit transforms (otherwise, unit reverts). If unit transforms, grants Atk+2 and deals +10 damage when Special triggers.

Learns by default at 2 ★
Unlocks at 2 ★
Beast Infantry Only
100 1 6
Adult (Infantry)

At start of turn, if unit is adjacent to only beast or dragon allies or if unit is not adjacent to any ally, unit transforms (otherwise, unit reverts). If unit transforms, grants Atk+2 and deals +10 damage when Special triggers.

Learns by default at 4 ★
Unlocks at 3 ★
Beast Infantry Only
200 1 9
Fiery Fang

Grants Def+3. At start of combat, if unit's HP ≥ 25%, grants Atk/Def+6 to unit during combat, inflicts penalty on foe's Atk/Def during combat = 20% of unit's Def at start of combat, and foe cannot make a follow-up attack. At start of turn, if unit is adjacent to only beast or dragon allies or if unit is not adjacent to any ally, unit transforms (otherwise, unit reverts). If unit transforms, grants Atk+2, deals +7 damage when Special triggers, and neutralizes effects that grant "Special cooldown charge +X" to foe or inflict "Special cooldown charge -X" on unit.

Learns by default at 5 ★
Unlocks at 5 ★
Non-Inheritable skill.
400 1 14
Weapon Evolution
Weapon Upgrades
Weapon Upgrades

Support Skills

Support Skills Rng. SP

Push adjacent ally 2 spaces farther away.

Learns by default at 4 ★
1 150

Passive Skills

Passive Skills SP Slot
Fortress Def 1

Grants Def+3. Inflicts Atk-3.

Inheritable by all units.
Unlocks at 1 ★
Fort. Def/Res 1

Grants Def/Res+3. Inflicts Atk-3.

Inheritable by all units.
Unlocks at 2 ★
Fort. Def/Res 2

Grants Def/Res+4. Inflicts Atk-3.

Inheritable by all units.
Unlocks at 4 ★
Atk/Def Gap 1

At start of turn, grants Atk/Def+1 to ally with the highest Atk+Spd total for 1 turn. (Excludes unit.)

Inheritable by all units.
Unlocks at 3 ★
Atk/Def Gap 2

At start of turn, grants Atk/Def+3 to ally with the highest Atk+Spd total for 1 turn. (Excludes unit.)

Inheritable by all units.
Unlocks at 4 ★
Atk/Def Gap 3

At start of turn, grants Atk/Def+5 to ally with the highest Atk+Def total for 1 turn. (Excludes unit.)

Inheritable by all units.
Unlocks at 5 ★

Other Info

Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn

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