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Analysis by accidentalgreed
Gwendolyn - Adorable Knight

3-4

Obtainable as a 3 - 4 only

Hero Stats

Max Avg Total Stats at Lvl 40
169
HP 49
ATK 30
SPD 24
DEF 38
RES 28

Stat Variations

Level 1 Stat Variation
5★
4★
3★
HP ATK SPD DEF RES
Low 22 7 4 11 5
Middle 23 8 5 12 6
High 24 9 6 13 7

Level 40 Stat Variations
5★
4★
3★
HP ATK SPD DEF RES
Low 46 26 21 35 24
Middle 49 30 24 38 28
High 52 33 28 41 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.
HPATKSPDDEFRES

Skill Sets

Crabshell Blossoms (Bold Fighter / Mixed Phase Focus)

Build by accidentalgreed
Recommended
Weighted Lance (+Eff) A Atk/Def Bond 3
Alternate: Distant Counter
Swap
Alternate: Pivot
B Bold Fighter 3
Bonfire
Alternate: Aether
C Armor March 3
Alternate: Hone Armor
IVs

+ATK or +RES or +DEF / -SPD

SQuick Riposte 3

Show Explanation/Analysis

Weapon: Weighted Lance (+Eff)

Assist: Swap / Pivot / Flexible

Special: Bonfire / Aether / Blue Flame

Passive A: Atk/Def Bond / Distant Counter / Atk/Res Push 4 / Bond or Solo Equivalents

Passive B: Bold Fighter

Passive C: Armor March / Hone Armor / Flexible

Sacred Seal: Quick Riposte

  • Weighted Lance provides a Breath-like effect on enemy attacks and typically allows Specials to either fire off immediately, if not with near-certainty. Thus, Gwendolyn can run a pretty effective setup akin to Book II's classic "dual phase armor build". This includes utilizing the automatic follow ups from both Bold Fighter and Quick Riposte to double and pose a threat in both player and enemy phase, respectively.
  • The idea behind a build such as this is to make Gwendolyn a more flexible threat no matter which phase she must act in. Unless or until she goes against an enemy with Null Follow-Up or sustains too much damage, this build keeps up a nice early- to mid-game presence.
  • A mixed phase armor build usually calls for Distant Counter, which allows Gwendolyn to take on threats of all weapon types in any phase, or a Push, Solo, or Bond skill to strengthen herself in both phases. Each of these skills have their advantages and disadvantages depending on your preferred playstyle and Gwendolyn's allies.
    • In particular, the Push skills provide a huge double stat buff and will not inflict its recoil if Gwendolyn doesn't counterattack (against ranged and Firesweep weapons). However, it is highly recommended to use them with Aether to keep Gwendolyn's healthy and keep the HP thresholds of Quick Riposte, the chosen Push skill, and Weighted Lance's cooldown acceleration effect active.
    • Other builds focused on immediate, short-term damage can run Bonfire or Blue Flame. In particular, these are useful against enemies with Null Follow-Up— Gwendolyn can activate these immediate on counterattack, and will thus likely not be reliant on an additional attack to deal significant damage to them.
  • Due to this build's tendency to take heavy damage over time, it is recommended to have a form of healing to keep the effects of several skills (Weighted Lance, Push, and Quick Riposte) activated.  Depending on your team setup, this may include simply using Aether for self-sufficiency, or specifically pairing Gwendolyn with an ally that heals (through staves, Sparkling Boost, Heron Wing, etc).

Sapphiric Missiletainn (Vengeful Fighter)

Build by accidentalgreed
Recommended
Weighted Lance (+Eff) A Distant Counter
Alternate: Fort. Def/Res 3
Swap
Alternate: Pivot
B Vengeful Fighter 3
Bonfire
Alternate: Aether
C Atk Smoke 3
Alternate: Hone Armor
IVs

+DEF or +RES / -SPD or -HP

SAtk/Res Bond 3
Alternate: Def/Res Bond 3

Show Explanation/Analysis

Weapon: Weighted Lance (+Eff)

Assist: Swap / Pivot / Flexible

Special: Bonfire / Aether / Blue Flame

Passive A: Distant Counter / Fort. Def/Res 3 / Any high-tier Stance or Bond skills

Passive B: Vengeful Fighter

Passive C: Atk Smoke / Hone Armor / Flexible

Sacred Seal: Atk/Res Bond / Def/Res Bond / Stance Equivalents

  • Weighted Lance's cooldown acceleration on enemy attacks works separately with respect to Vengeful Fighter working on Gwendolyn's own attacks—while also providing a handy automatic follow-up attack when above 50% HP. Any action thus performed by and against Gwendolyn reduces her cooldown by 2 each in enemy phase.
  • As Weighted Lance also permanently reduces the cooldown of Gwendolyn's chosen Special by 1, odd-numbered Specials in particular can activate with extreme increased frequency.
    • Bonfire and Blue Flame can activate immediately upon any non-Guarded counterattack, and even twice in one turn if the opponent lives through the first action. For sustained matchups, however, this will not last long as Weighted Lance's cooldown acceleration only works above 50% HP, meaning an outsourced form of healing is needed.
    • Aether activates on Gwendolyn's second enemy phase attack, which is conveniently provided by Vengeful Fighter. It provides both attack power and sustain in one package, helping Gwendolyn keep her health at reasonable levels while keeping Weighted Lance and Vengeful Fighter activated consistently (as they only both fully work above 50% HP).
  • As this build is rather enemy phase focused, other skills that improve Gwendolyn's enemy phase performance are rather obvious.
    • Distant Counter significantly expands the scope of what Gwendolyn can counterattack, especially mages, dagger users, and archers that can otherwise attack her for free.
    • A melee-focused Gwendolyn can instead opt for stat augmenting Sacred Seals and slots. In particular, having a higher tier Stance skill (Mirror Stance 3, Warding Stance 4, Steady Posture 3, etc) provides a Guard effect, allowing Gwendolyn to run what is practically a more flexible Special Fighter build. Otherwise, Gwendolyn's tendency to be near allies (due to her slower movement) warrants the use of Bond skills.
    • Against a mob of multiple enemies, Atk Smoke is generally Gwendolyn's best option as it mitigates incoming damage after an initial fight.

Cherry Sodas (Open B-Slot)

Build by accidentalgreed
Weighted Lance (+Eff) A Distant Counter
Alternate: Sturdy Stance (2 or 3)
Pivot
Alternate: Swap
B Special Spiral 3
Alternate: Wary Fighter 3
Bonfire
Alternate: Aether
C Atk Smoke 3
Alternate: Hone Armor
IVs

+RES or +DEF or +ATK / -SPD

SMirror Stance 2
Alternate: Quick Riposte 3

Show Explanation/Analysis

Weapon: Weighted Lance (+Eff)

Assist: Swap / Pivot / Flexible

Special: Bonfire / Aether / Ignis / Sol

Passive A: Distant Counter / Sturdy Stance / Atk/Def Bond / Atk/Res Bond / Stance Equivalents

Passive B: Wary Fighter / Special Spiral / Wrath

Passive C: Atk Smoke / Hone Armor / Flexible

Sacred Seal: Sturdy Stance / Quick Riposte / Fierce Stance / Bond or Stance Equivalents

  • This is a build more focused towards avoiding higher-end inheritance options, especially Bold and Vengeful Fighter, in favor of alternative options available mainly through Compile Manuals, Heroic Grails, or lower rarity units.
  • Weighted Lance, being designed the way it is, actually gives Gwendolyn a degree of freedom when it comes to her B slot skills—and unlike most other armors, she doesn't have to rely on a high-investment Fighter skill to be a credible threat.
    • Wary Fighter is significantly easier to access compared to the other Fighter skills—it comes with fellow lower-rarity Effie—and cheaply increases Gwendolyn's survivability by limiting herself and her enemy to only one attack per round. It particularly combos well with Bonfire as Weighted Lance allows said Special to activate on every counterattack.
    • Special Spiral in combination with Aether helps Gwendolyn avoid the need to activate said Special in two enemy hits by essentially reducing it to one. In a nutshell, Special Spiral activation plus one counterattack is all it takes to activate Aether, which will help maintain health and Weighted Lance's cooldown effect while dealing nice burst damage.
    • Wrath is obtainable from Astram, a Grand Hero Battle unit, and supports Gwendolyn's Special activation and damage output by passively charging her chosen Special by 1 and dealing +10 additional Special damage when below 75% HP. In particular, it helps Gwendolyn charge her Special and recover more naturally if she's below Weighted Lance's working HP range, and works particularly well with Ignis (powerful and immediately activates after Wrath and a counterattack) or Sol (sustained healing while doing damage).
  • For optimization's sake, Distant Counter is still a prime option for giving Gwendolyn a jump against ranged enemies, but other melee-oriented options are perfectly on the table depending on your desired level of investment. Bonds and double stat Stances are notable, while the Quick Riposte Sacred Seal is optimal when used with Special Spiral and Wrath.

Ostian Emperor (Bold Fighter / Player Phase Focus)

Build by accidentalgreed
Weighted Lance (+Eff) A Death Blow (3 or 4)
Alternate: Atk/Def Solo 3
Swap
Alternate: Pivot
B Bold Fighter 3
Bonfire
Alternate: Galeforce
C Armor March 3
Alternate: Armored Stride 3
IVs

+ATK / -SPD or -HP

SDeath Blow 3
Alternate: Sturdy Blow 2

Show Explanation/Analysis

Weapon: Weighted Lance (+Eff)

Assist: Swap / Pivot / Flexible

Special: Bonfire / Galeforce / Aether

Passive A: Death Blow / Atk/Def Solo / Atk/Res Solo

Passive B: Bold Fighter

Passive C: Armor March / Armored Stride / Goad Armor / Flexible

Sacred Seal: Death Blow / Sturdy Blow

  • This is a more aggressive twist on the previous Bold Fighter build, focusing mainly on Gwendolyn's player phase performance and damage output. As such, this build tends to be less of a potential sitting duck thanks to increased non-Special damage and the guaranteed follow up attack from Bold Fighter.
  • To accommodate Gwendolyn's increased focus on player phase as well as her average base Attack, Attack-boosting augments such as Death Blow, Sturdy Blow, and Atk/Def Solo are taken for their more maximized Attack boosts compared to other Sacred Seals and A slot skills.
  • A more aggressive approach also calls for more movement-based flexibility and independence, in which case skills such as Armored March, Armored Stride, and Galeforce are considered (but not required). The former two C skills allow Gwendolyn to overcome her single-space movement by empowering herself with other armored allies or by herself, respectively. Galeforce, meanwhile, gives Gwendolyn an extra turn to act after activating, at which point she can choose to attack again or retreat.
  • Bonfire notably allows Gwendolyn to maintain a semblance of her mixed phase performance; its shorter cooldown and Weighted Lance's enabling faster Special activation means Bonfire can activate on any non-Guarded enemy counterattack. For continued performance and health sustain, Aether is a reliable option to fall back on as always, though without Quick Riposte, it needs Bold Fighter and Weighted Lance to activate in a single round.

Strengths

Weighted Lance

With the advent of update 4.5.0, Gwendolyn receives a shiny new tool in a new unique weapon: Weighted Lance. In addition to the ever-handy Slaying effect (which permanently reduces the cooldown of Gwendolyn's chosen Special by 1), her new weapon also doubles down on her role and Special activation tricks further by providing +4 Def/Res (in both phases) and accelerating cooldown against enemy attacks if she's above 50% HP. In layman's terms, odd-numbered Specials—especially Bonfire and Aether—are easier to activate in any phase than ever, and thus make up for Gwendolyn's otherwise lacking damage output outside of activating her Special.

Great Free-to-Play Investment

For Arena scoring purposes, Gwendolyn remains one of many free-to-play players' best choices due to her high base stat total. She is easily summonable as a low-rarity blue armor, with comparable competition in Effie and Valbar. Additionally, thanks to receiving a unique weapon, she does not require a 300 SP C slot skill to maximize her scoring potential, which alleviates inheritance burdens on players wishing to keep a low cost.

Open B-Slot Options

Thanks to Weighted Lance, Gwendolyn isn't merely limited to high-investment Fighter skills—which is a key differencing feature of armored units. Something unheard of for most other armored units, there are alternative B-slot skills that pair well with her weapon—including Wrath and Special Spiral. The lance effect working against enemy attacks also mean that Gwendolyn's main reason to run Special Fighter (immediate activation on counterattacks) is already fulfilled.

Great Defensive Stat Spread

Gwendolyn's statline is hardly a key differentiating feature on her (it's actually rather generic), but her defensive strengths—including high HP, great Defense, and above-average but improvable Resistance—are consistent and become even better after the stat augments that come with Weighted Lance's refinery.

Weaknesses

Armored Weaknesses and Shortcomings

Gwendolyn's movement typing has a few deployment issues. Mainly, she can only move 1 space without assistance from other allies (through skills such as Guidance, Gentle Dream, Armored March, etc.), which limits her escapability and flexibility in tough situations. This comes in tandem with her vulnerability armor-effective attacks (such as Thani, Light of Dawn, Slaying Spear), which make quick riddance of her.

Average Non-Special Performance

If Gwendolyn isn't firing off a Special, her contributions outside of walling can be a bit lacking as she lacks raw Attack power without significant investment.

Playstyle Weaknesses

Weighted Lance's main benefits work only if Gwendolyn's HP is above 50%. Although this seems easy enough to maintain given the short-lived nature of most matches and several tools such as Aether and healer allies, the threat of a sourspot still means Gwendolyn is somewhat high-maintenance.

Weapon Skills

Weapons SP Rng. Mt.
Steel Lance
Learns by default at 3 ★
Lance Users Only
100 1 8
Killer LanceAccelerates Special trigger (cooldown count-1).
Learns by default at 4 ★
Unlocks at 3 ★
Lance Users Only
200 1 7
Killer Lance+Accelerates Special trigger (cooldown count-1).
Unlocks at 5 ★
Lance Users Only
300 1 11
Weighted LanceAccelerates Special trigger (cooldown count-1).
Unlocks at 5 ★
Non-Inheritable skill.
400 1 16
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
EscutcheonReduces damage inflicted by attacks from adjacent foes by 30%.
Unlocks at 4 ★
Restricted to melee units.
200 2

Passive Skills

Passive Skills SP Slot
Drag BackIf unit initiates attack, the unit moves 1 space away after combat. Foe moves into unit's previous space.
Non-Inheritable by Mages and Ranged units.
Unlocks at 3 ★
150
B
Hone Atk 1Grants adjacent allies Atk+2 through their next actions at the start of each turn.
Inheritable by all units.
50
C
Hone Atk 2Grants adjacent allies Atk+3 through their next actions at the start of each turn.
Inheritable by all units.
Unlocks at 3 ★
100
C
Hone ArmorGrants adjacent armored allies Atk/Spd+6 through their next actions at the start of each turn. Requires Hone Atk 2 or Hone Spd 2.
Only inheritable by armor units.
Unlocks at 4 ★
200
C

Other Info

Origin
Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade

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