Analysis by Chibi_Chu
Ilyana - Hungering Mage


Obtainable as a 3 - 4 only

Hero Stats

Max Avg Total Stats at Lvl 40
HP 39
ATK 38
SPD 32
DEF 17
RES 40

Stat Variations

Level 1 Stat Variation
Low 16 9 7 3 9
Middle 17 10 8 4 10
High 18 11 9 5 11

Level 40 Stat Variations
Low 35 35 29 13 37
Middle 39 38 32 17 40
High 42 41 35 20 44

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

I hunger...for power. (Aether Raids Defense)

Build by Chibi_Chu
Flora Guide+ (+Res)
Alternate: Blárfox+ (+Res)
A Mirror Impact
Positional Assist B Lull Atk/Res 3
Glacies C Time's Pulse 3
Alternate: Panic Smoke 3

+ATK or +RES / -SPD or -DEF

SMirror Strike 2
Alternate: Hardy Bearing 3

Show Explanation/Analysis

Weapon: Flora Guide+ (+RES) / Blárfox+ (+RES)

Assist: Positional Assist / No Assist 

Special: Glacies 

Passive A: Mirror Impact 

Passive B: Lull Atk/Res 

Passive C: Time’s Pulse / Panic Smoke / Flexible 

Sacred Seal: Mirror Strike / Hardy Bearing 

  • As a Mage with low HP, high Attack, and excellent Resistance, Ilyana is a great choice for an Aether Raids Defense nuke on an Infantry Pulse team. By taking advantage of Time’s Pulse and/or Infantry Pulse from allies, Ilyana can have Glacies ready on Turn 1, which has the capability of OHKOing or dealing a massive chunk of damage to various superunits. If Ilyana is already receiving enough Special cooldown reduction, she can replace Time’s Pulse with Panic Smoke, which can cripple enemy teams reliant on visible buffs for her allies to clean up.
  • Since this set focuses on making the most of Ilyana’s Glacies, skills that increase her Attack and Resistance such as Mirror Impact and Mirror Strike are excellent; the latter is especially good considering it prevents the enemy from performing a follow-up attack. Lull Atk/Res nullifies the enemy’s visible Atk/Res buffs and inflicts -3 Atk/Res during combat, making it an excellent choice for higher damage and survivability.
  • Flora Guide is technically the strongest option for a nuking set, as it inflicts -5 Resistance as opposed to the -4 from Blárfox; the -5 Speed compared to -4 can help Ilyana avoid follow-up attacks against slower units with Null Follow-Up as well. However, Blárfox works perfectly fine and may help Ilyana avoid being OHKO’d thanks to its -4 Attack infliction.
  • While Mirror Strike is the best choice in terms of stats and consistency, Hardy Bearing is important to ensure Ilyana doesn’t get OHKO’d by a unit with Vantage before she can even use Glacies.

Craving Christmas Cookies (Aether Raids Offense)

Build by Chibi_Chu
Tannenbit+ (+Res)
Alternate: Blárserpent+ (+Res)
A Mirror Stance 3
Alternate: Atk/Res Solo (3 or 4)
Positional Assist B Special Spiral 3
Alternate: Null C-Disrupt 3
Alternate: Iceberg
C Pulse Smoke 3
Alternate: Atk Smoke 3

+ATK or +RES / -DEF

SQuick Riposte 3
Alternate: Mirror Stance 2

Show Explanation/Analysis

Weapon: Tannenbit+ (+RES) / Blárserpent+ (+RES)

Assist: Positional Assist 

Special: Sol / Iceberg

Passive A: Mirror Stance 3 / Atk/Res Solo (3 or 4)

Passive B: Special Spiral / Null C-Disrupt

Passive C: Pulse Smoke / Atk Smoke

Sacred Seal: Quick Riposte / Mirror Stance 

  • While specifically tanking ranged units can be a sketchy niche for some players, Ilyana performs this role wonderfully thanks to her high Attack and Resistance. She can abuse weak points in a Defense’s structural makeup to avoid receiving attacks from melee units; in addition, many Defenses rely solely on ranged units to get the job done (possibly with refreshers being the only melee units), which Ilyana can take great advantage of.
  • The combination of Special Spiral and Sol allows Ilyana to have Sol at 1 cooldown (at most) after activating it during combat for the first time. Once she receives an enemy attack, Sol will be ready again, which can heal her for a large amount of HP in combination with Tannenbit’s 5 HP heals. The same logic applies to Iceberg; something interesting to note is that Ilyana can reliably OHKO Archers and Daggers with Iceberg, both of whom target her much lower Defense stat. This can potentially allow her to survive what would usually be lethal combats against those units, making the +6 Defense from Blárserpent very significant.
  • An alternative to Special Spiral is Null C-Disrupt, which allows her to counterattack against pesky Dazzling Staff and FIresweep units. This increases her damage output’s consistency and prevents high-mobility units like Brave Lyn and Brave Veronica from attacking Ilyana, then being refreshed to infiltrate the backlines.
  • Increasing Ilyana’s Attack with skills such as Mirror Stance 3 and Atk/Res Solo improves her healing as well, with the former granting a Guard effect (key against enemies with low Special cooldowns) and the latter also working on Player Phase. While Mirror Stance is a strong choice, Quick Riposte may be stronger considering she’ll be able to activate Sol on her second attack if the enemy can perform a follow-up attack against her; gaining a follow-up attack also greatly benefits her damage output.
  • Both Tannenbit and Blárserpent are strong choices for Ilyana’s weapon, with the former healing Ilyana for 5 HP per her attack and the latter granting +6 Def/Res if a ranged unit initiates against her. As for her C slot, Pulse Smoke is important for any tank, as it shuts down Infantry Pulse Defense teams by inflicting +1 Special cooldown on the target and enemies within 2 spaces of the target, preventing them from activating their Specials to slice through Ilyana’s bulk.

Escaping the Past (Player Phase)

Build by Chibi_Chu
Spooky Censer+ (+Atk)
Alternate: Flora Guide+ (+Spd)
A Life and Death (3 or 4)
Alternate: Swift Sparrow (2 or 3)
Positional Assist B Special Spiral 3
Alternate: Lull Spd/Res 3
Blazing Special
Alternate: Glimmer
C Res Smoke 3
Alternate: Joint Drive Spd

+ATK or +SPD / -DEF

SHeavy Blade 3
Alternate: Swift Sparrow 2

Show Explanation/Analysis

Weapon: Spooky Censer (+ATK) / Flora Guide+ (+SPD)

Assist: Positional Assist 

Special: Blazing Special / Glimmer 

Passive A: Life and Death (3 or 4) / Swift Sparrow (2 or 3) / Fury (3 or 4) 

Passive B: Special Spiral / Lull Spd/Res / Desperation 

Passive C: Res Smoke / Joint Drive Spd / Flexible 

Sacred Seal: Heavy Blade / Swift Sparrow 

  • Ilyana has 2 routes for a Player Phase set: 1 for AoE Special spam and 1 for Speed-stacking.
  • AoE Special Spam:
    • The synergy between a 4-cooldown Blazing Special, Special Spiral, and Heavy Blade makes Ilyana a fantastic Player Phase nuke focused on dealing as much damage as possible with her AoE attack, then finishing the job with 1 in-combat attack. When Ilyana activates her Blazing Special, she’ll have 2 cooldown after combat assuming Heavy Blade activated; Special Spiral decreases her Special cooldown by 2 after any combat she activates it in, so her cooldown will then be 0 and she’ll be ready to activate it again.
    • Ilyana’s A and C slots should be dedicated to increasing the gap between her visible Attack and the enemy’s visible Resistance, as AoE Specials calculate damage based on the gap between the 2. Life and Death grants the highest visible Attack possible (+5/7), while Res Smoke inflicts the highest visible Resistance debuff possible (-7). 
  • Speed-stacking:
    • Speed-stacking is more straight-forward than AoE Special spamming; simply get Ilyana’s Speed as high as possible to secure follow-up attacks as consistently as possible. Swift Sparrow is an excellent choice, as it grants Ilyana +4/6 Attack and +4/7 Speed on initiation, which is what a Player Phase set seeks to do for a majority of combats. Lull Spd/Res nullifies the enemy’s visible Spd/Res buffs and inflicts -3 Spd/Res during combat, potentially granting Ilyana much higher damage output and follow-up frequency. Desperation is another strong B slot, allowing Ilyana to perform a follow-up attack before the enemy can counterattack if her HP is ≤ 75%, helping her circumvent her awful physical bulk and cut through enemies that she fails to OHKO.


Great Attack

Ilyana boasts an impressive 38 Attack, allowing her to deal high amounts of burst damage.

Excellent magical bulk

While Ilyana’s 39 HP is quite low, her 40 Resistance is superb, allowing her to have 78 magical bulk. With so much, she’ll be able to survive several magical attacks with relative ease, especially with investment and support. In addition, she can take great advantage of Specials such as Iceberg and Glacies.

Weapon variety

Blue Tome users have received a pampered treatment from Intelligent Systems, as they have a variety of great weapons to choose from, including Flora Guide, Spooky Censer, Tannenbit, and Ilyana’s native Blárfox.

Infantry advantages

As an Infantry unit, Ilyana has access to a myriad of excellent skills, including Mirror Impact, Special Spiral, Lull Atk/Res, Panic Smoke, and Pulse Smoke, all of which improve Ilyana’s damage output or tanking ability.


Middling Speed

Unfortunately, Ilyana’s 38 Attack is held back by her mediocre 32 Speed. Without a lot of investment and/or support, she will frequently fail to perform and avoid follow-up attacks.

Awful physical bulk

39 HP and 17 Defense sums to a terrible 55 physical bulk. Surviving just 1 physical attack may prove to be a challenge, and with her Speed leaving much to be desired, becoming a mixed tank is exceedingly difficult.

Weapon Skills

Weapons SP Rng. Mt.
Learns by default at 1 ★
Unlocks at 1 ★
Blue Tome Users Only
50 2 4
Learns by default at 3 ★
Unlocks at 2 ★
Blue Tome Users Only
100 2 6

If unit initiates combat, inflicts Atk/Spd/Def/Res-4 on foe during combat.

Learns by default at 4 ★
Unlocks at 3 ★
Blue Tome Users Only
200 2 8

If unit initiates combat, inflicts Atk/Spd/Def/Res-4 on foe during combat.

Learns by default at 5 ★
Unlocks at 5 ★
Blue Tome Users Only
300 2 12
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 50% of unit's Res.

Unlocks at 4 ★
Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
200 3

Passive Skills

Passive Skills SP Slot
Warding Blow 1

If unit initiates combat, grants Res+2 during combat.

Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
Unlocks at 1 ★
Mirror Strike 1

If unit initiates combat, grants Atk/Res+2 during combat.

Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
Unlocks at 2 ★
Mirror Strike 2

If unit initiates combat, grants Atk/Res+4 during combat.

Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
Unlocks at 4 ★
Res Ploy 1

At start of turn, inflicts Res-3 on foes in cardinal directions with Res < unit's Res through their next actions.

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

At start of turn, inflicts Res-4 on foes in cardinal directions with Res < unit's Res through their next actions.

Inheritable by all units.
Unlocks at 4 ★
Res Ploy 3

At start of turn, inflicts Res-5 on foes in cardinal directions with Res < unit's Res through their next actions.

Inheritable by all units.
Unlocks at 5 ★

Other Info

Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance

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