Analysis by MackerelPye
Gangrel - Plegia's Mad King

Hero Stats

Max Avg Total Stats at Lvl 40
HP 45
ATK 32
SPD 38
DEF 24
RES 27

Stat Variations

Level 1 Stat Variation
Low 18 5 9 4 7
Middle 19 6 10 5 8
High 20 7 11 6 9

Level 40 Stat Variations
Low 42 29 35 21 24
Middle 45 32 38 24 27
High 48 35 41 28 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.

If you're maining Gangrel as a part of your Arena team, consider using the Trait Fruit to gain +RES. As a super Asset, it is generally more useful than Gangrel's other one (+DEF), and Gangrel can elevate to the next base stat total bin of 170-174. Otherwise, +ATK or +SPD should be taken for better offensive performance.

This unit requires use of Trait Fruits to get access to IVs

Skill Sets

"Do a Flip!" (Aether Raids Defense)

Build by MackerelPye
Levin Dagger A Mirror Impact
Alternate: Sturdy Impact
Draw Back
Alternate: Rally Attack
B Lull Spd/Def 3
Alternate: Lull Atk/Def 3
Alternate: Iceberg
C Infantry Pulse 3
Alternate: Panic Smoke 3

+ATK or +SPD / -HP or -DEF

SSturdy Blow 2
Alternate: Swift Sparrow 2

Show Explanation/Analysis

Weapon: Levin Dagger 

Assist: Draw Back / Any Rally Skill / No Assist

Special: Iceberg / Glacies / Miracle

Passive A: Mirror Impact / Sturdy Impact

Passive B: Lull Spd/Def / Lull Atk/Def

Passive C: Infantry Pulse / Panic Smoke / Pulse Smoke

Sacred Seal: Sturdy Blow / Swift Sparrow 

  • Players technically can achieve a similar build with the offensive build here, but for the purpose of Aether Raids Defense which requires some tweaking, this build narrows down options specific for that mode. Unfortunately, a bit of expensive inheritance is needed to make him shine in what is probably his best game mode.
    • The Impact and Lull skills, while quite difficult to come by, maximizes Gangrel's chances at surviving matchups the AI decides to take him. Specifically, these skills also disrupts Offense players' momentum by disabling their carry units' follow-up as well as buffs in specific stats. A Brave Ike without significant Speed swings, for example, will never be able to bait and kill a reasonably healthy Gangrel by relying solely on Quick Riposte follow-ups. 
  • For Rally traps, using a namesake Rally skill spurs Gangrel into using it on an ally in position to attack an enemy, then get another action from a refresher unit and perhaps initiate on the enemy himself. Otherwise, Gangrel may opt for another positional Assist of choice or none at all.
  • In Defense setups focusing on precharging Specials for infantry, Infantry Pulse is the primary way of doing so, and Gangrel utilizes it well due to his high HP especially after Defense Mythic blessings. On such setups, Gangrel can also benefit from powerful, early-turn, precharged Specials, especially MiracleGlacies and Iceberg, if his other allies run Infantry Pulse themselves. Otherwise, Panic or Pulse Smoke are great disruptive C slot options that may spell the end for certain units.

Le Trou Du Cull (Player Phase Sweeper)

Build by MackerelPye
Levin Dagger A Fury (3 or 4)
Alternate: Flashing Blade 4
Draw Back
Alternate: Reposition
B Desperation 3
Alternate: Lull Spd/Def 3
Alternate: Glimmer
C Threaten Spd 3
Alternate: Infantry Pulse 3

+SPD or +ATK / -HP or -DEF

SFlashing Blade 3
Alternate: Swift Sparrow 2

Show Explanation/Analysis

Weapon: Levin Dagger

Assist: Draw Back / Reposition / Flexible

Special: Glimmer / Moonbow / Iceberg

Passive A: Fury (3 or 4) / Flashing Blade 4 / Mirror Impact / Atk/Spd Solo / Swift Sparrow

Passive B: Desperation / Lull Spd/Def

Passive C: Threaten Spd / Infantry Pulse / Spd Smoke / Def Smoke / Panic Smoke / Other Smoke or Threaten skills

Sacred Seal: Flashing Blade / Swift Sparrow / Brazen Atk/Spd / Brazen Atk/Res

  • Gangrel's high Speed, above average Attack, and access to a unique dagger with true damage built in makes a speedy offensive build rather obvious for his archetype.
  • Levin Dagger is Gangrel's main point of differentiation from other dagger units; as said before, it deals true damage which is based on Gangrel's Resistance. Additionally, it provides a much-needed spectrum buff across all of Gangrel's non-HP stats, making him a lot stronger than his base stats would already imply. However, these effects have a singular condition: the unit being attacked must have an existing penalty.
    • Provided you give Gangrel casual but proper passive team support (such as, fittingly enough, Aversa, or other units with Chills, Ruses, Sabotages, Feints, etc), however, said condition is actually easy to achieve in practice.
    • Additionally, Levin Dagger's after-combat Def/Res penalties achieves the dagger's conditions, but this shouldn't be Gangrel's sole source of debuffs as he must riskily initiate on enemies to do this. With refresher unit support, this helps him get the jump on surrounding enemies as well.
  • The rest of the essential skills is general Fury + Desperation faire with some variations. Said combination is potent but safe as always: it visibly piles up on Gangrel's relevant offensive stats (which is strong combined with the spectrum stats coming from Levin Dagger while boosting Resistance-based true damage), provides safe initiation on slower enemies below 75% health, and grants a means of getting into Desperation range safely.
    • A-slot skill variations include other Atk/Spd-boosting skills including Atk/Spd Solo and Swift Sparrow. Flashing Blade 4 is also notable as it provides faster Special activation and even further true damage on top of what Levin Dagger offers, assuming Gangrel's Speed is greater than his target's. It should be paired with a 2 CD Special (Glimmer or Moonbow being easily accessible) for easy one-turn activation, assuming Gangrel doubles.
    • Mirror Impact gets special mention as Levin Dagger's true damage scales significantly better off its huge Resistance buff on initiation, and the follow-up denial is very potent especially in cases where survivability is a priority (see: Aether Raids Defense). However, it provides no Speed fortification, and is best utilized Speed control and an accompanying Speed-increasing Sacred Seal.
    • Similarly, Gangrel's Sacred Seal slot serves to further fortify his offensive potential; Flashing Blade and Swift Sparrow are yet again options to consider. Brazen Atk/Spd or Brazen Atk/Res are also up on the table as they provide even better in-combat stats but require damage setup to activate.
  • Lull Spd/Def can be run for more short-lived matches (such as Aether Raids Defense), as said skill provides a beneficial stat swing in Gangrel's favor by nullifying bonuses and providing in-combat debuffs on top of this.
  • To honor Levin Dagger's effect conditions, Gangrel's C slot is best occupied by a skill that inflicts penalties. While Gangrel's default Panic Ploy would be a nice and cheap way of doing so passively, Gangrel will likely not be at enough HP throughout the battle to consistently apply it.
    • If you can keep a safe distance from a certain target while baiting them, Threaten skills are generally good but have an element of positioning unreliability.
    • Smoke skills face some redundancy issues considering Levin Dagger already provides after-combat Def/Res splash penalties (as all daggers should). However, Gangrel can opt to use the opportunity to soften subsequent matchups even more. Spd Smoke, for instance, makes follow-ups easier to achieve, while Panic Smoke significantly messes with enemy setups that are reliant on stat bonuses to beat you.
    • Alternatively, you can put Gangrel's unusually high HP to good use by using Infantry Pulse to support lower HP infantry allies with precharged Specials.

This is Totally A Levin Sword™ (Vantage)

Build by MackerelPye
Levin Dagger
Alternate: Broadleaf Fan+ (+Atk)
A Close Foil
Alternate: Close Counter
Reposition B Vantage 3
Alternate: Moonbow
C Atk Smoke 3
Alternate: Pulse Smoke 3

+ATK / -HP or -DEF

SFierce Stance 3
Alternate: Brazen Atk/Res 3

Show Explanation/Analysis

Weapon: Levin Dagger / Broadleaf Fan+ (+Atk)

Assist: Reposition

Special: Glimmer / Moonbow

Passive A: Close Foil / Close Counter / Fury (3 or 4)

Passive B: Vantage

Passive C: Atk Smoke / Pulse Smoke / Spd Smoke / Panic Smoke

Sacred Seal: Fierce Stance / Brazen Atk/Res / Spd Smoke / Atk Smoke

  • Also like nearly every other dagger unit, Gangrel can opt for a Vantage setup, allowing him to get the jump on his attackers assuming low health.
    • The setup is made potent by his weapon typing inherently providing Defense penalties on his enemies. On top of this, Levin Dagger provides Resistance-based true damage and additional stats against already-debuffed units. Thus, Gangrel will more often than not benefit from his targets already being weakened by penalties already.
  • While Levin Dagger is a great default option as it grants true damage and additional key in-combat stats (especially Resistance for magic bulk), the rare and overrated Broadleaf Fan yet again worms its way into another dagger unit's build due to its extremely high damage potential coming off of debuffs. To envisage, this is +21 more damage with Def/Res debuffs combined with a Smoke skill, or +28 with two Smoke skills (in both the C and Sacred Seal slot) in effect.
    • Both daggers rely on the presence of existing debuffs at any rate, making outsourced passive debuff support effectively essential as usual. Ways to achieve this include Aversa's Night, Temari, Sabotages, Ploys, and Ruses.
  • Of course, this wouldn't be a Vantage dagger build without the ever-handy Close Counter, which allows Gangrel to extend his Vantage counterattacks to melee units. Close Foil makes for a rather good argument, however, as it provides a handy stat boost of Atk/Def +5 on every melee enemy except for only dragon units, which is a relatively great tradeoff.
    • Those without Close skills yet, on a budget, or simply willing to target ranged enemies only can use Fury. This provides nice all-around stat padding while making it easier for Gangrel to initiate in combat himself and get into Vantage range by his lonesome.
  • To lessen the margin of error against as many foes as possible (as Gangrel is rather reliant on single shots before going down), a short CD Special is preferred above all else. This pretty much narrows Gangrel's Special down to Moonbow or Glimmer depending how confident you are in Gangrel's base damage output.
  • The Sacred Seal is reserved for damage improvement. 
    • Fierce Stance is a straightforward way of doing so as Gangrel gets the +6 Attack on enemy initiation regardless of health level. Brazen Atk/Res takes some damage setup but activates at nearly the same HP threshold as Vantage anyway, and the added Resistance does well in improving the amount of true damage Levin Dagger does.
    • If using Broadleaf Fan, an additional Smoke skill (Atk or Spd so as to not be redundant with dagger debuffs) not only debilitates an enemy further but also factors in the calculated damage done by said dagger. However, the previously mentioned Stance and Brazen seals will also do the job by improving Gangrel's Attack directly anyway.


Levin Dagger

Those Intelligent System teases won't let us have Levin Sword just yet, though Gangrel's Dagger offshoot makes for a perfectly competitive weapon by itself. Levin Dagger is essentially an improved Scallop Blade; it punishes already-debuffed enemies by providing a lovely +4 in-combat boost across Gangrel's already nice statline, making him more difficult to overcome by stats alone. While applying penalties beforehand may seem like a cumbersome task, casually applying outsourced support (especially in Aether Raids where Shrine structures are an option) makes this more often applicable than not.

On top of this, his unique dagger also adds true damage on top of however much damage he's already dealing. Said true damage is based on his Resistance, which is easy enough to stack on with the help of the dagger's existing effects (+3 Res and the spectrum stat buff), Gangrel's other skills and bonuses, and outsourced support such as Drive Res or Distant Guard.

High Base Stat Total and Stat Distribution

Coming in as a fourth-genration dagger unit, Gangrel eats as befitting of his royal title in terms of stats. With 166 BST by default, he benefits from great Coliseum scoring potential as well as a lot of stats to pass around. Resultingly, he comes out with a nice offensive stat spread of 32/38, which is made better by Levin Dagger's conditional stat boosts. Furthermore, for a ranged unit, he has an exceptional HP value of 45 paired with decent defensive values in both his Def and Res—similarly, these are also made better by Levin Dagger providing stat boosts, making him fairly tougher to take down than he might look.

Infantry Perks

Gangrel's infantry status gives him a number of neat benefits, including standard two-space movement (meaning he can keep up with most other units in the game) and access to exclusive skills and support including Infantry Pulse, Lull skills, and Infantry Rush/Flash.


CTRL + C, CTRL + V / Competition

Levin Dagger aside, Gangrel isn't doing much to differentiate himself from the usual Atk/Spd-focused dagger competition—many of them, especially Kronya, Chad, Gaius, Sothe, and Leila, can do much of what Gangrel does with some variation or superiority. Thus, as a unit obtainable from only Grand Hero Battles and Heroic Grails—Gangrel can be a rather tough sell compared to said unit if resources is an issue on your behalf.

Playstyle Weaknesses

This is more of a small teambuilding limitation than anything else—providing passive debuff support through other allies otherwise fixes deployment issues and uses Levin Dagger at its fullest potential. Without said support, however, Gangrel cannot easily activate Levin Dagger by his lonesome and thus loses out on his unique benefits against completely neutralized foes, leaving him reliant on his just-decent Attack in such cases. Additionally, his defenses are just decent but not enough to withstand repeated punishment, which typically doesn't come in his favor especially on Vantage builds.

Weapon Skills

Weapons SP Rng. Mt.
Iron Dagger

After combat, inflicts Def/Res-3 on foe through its next action.

Learns by default at 1 ★
Unlocks at 1 ★
Dagger users only.
50 2 3
Steel Dagger

After combat, inflicts Def/Res-3 on foe through its next action.

Learns by default at 3 ★
Unlocks at 2 ★
Dagger users only.
100 2 5
Silver Dagger

After battle, inflicts Def/Res-5 on foe through its next action.

Learns by default at 4 ★
Unlocks at 3 ★
Dagger users only.
200 2 7
Levin Dagger

Grants Res+3.

If【Penalty】is active on foe, grants Atk/Spd/Def/Res+4 to unit and deals damage = 20% of unit's Res during combat. Effect:【Dagger 7】  

【Penalty】 All effects that last "on foe through its next action." Includes penalties inflicted by a skill like Panic or Threaten and negative status effects (preventing counterattacks, restricting movement, or the effects of a skill like Triangle Adept or Guard).  

【Dagger 7】 After combat, if unit attacked, inflicts Def/Res-7 on target and foes within 2 spaces of target through their next actions.

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
Chilling Wind

Boosts damage dealt by 50% of unit's Res.

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

Boosts damage dealt by 80% of unit's Res.

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

Passive Skills

Passive Skills SP Slot
Chill Atk 1

At start of turn, inflicts Atk-3 on foe on the enemy team with the highest Atk through its next action.

Inheritable by all units.
Unlocks at 3 ★
Chill Atk 2

At start of turn, inflicts Atk-5 on foe on the enemy team with the highest Atk through its next action.

Inheritable by all units.
Unlocks at 4 ★
Chill Atk 3

At start of turn, inflicts Atk-7 on foe on the enemy team with the highest Atk through its next action.

Inheritable by all units.
Unlocks at 5 ★
Panic Ploy 1

At start of turn, bonuses become penalties on all foes in cardinal directions with HP 5 or more lower than unit through foe's next action.

Inheritable by all units.
Unlocks at 1 ★
Panic Ploy 2

At start of turn, bonuses become penalties on all foes in cardinal directions with HP 3 or more lower than unit through foe's next action.

Inheritable by all units.
Unlocks at 2 ★
Panic Ploy 3

At start of turn, bonuses become penalties on all foes in cardinal directions with HP 1 or more lower than unit through foe's next action.

Inheritable by all units.
Unlocks at 4 ★

Other Info

Fire Emblem: Awakening

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