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Legendary Ninian

Analysis by lordhelpme
Legendary Ninian - Ice-Dragon Oracle

5

Obtainable as a 5 only

Hero Stats

Max Avg Total Stats at Lvl 40
168
HP 44
ATK 37
SPD 41
DEF 22
RES 24

Stat Variations

Level 1 Stat Variation
5★
HP ATK SPD DEF RES
Low 15 6 7 4 6
Middle 16 7 8 5 7
High 17 8 9 6 8

Level 40 Stat Variations
5★
HP ATK SPD DEF RES
Low 41 34 37 19 21
Middle 44 37 41 22 24
High 47 41 44 25 27

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

Reminiscence (Offensive Support Hybrid)

Build by lordhelpme
Recommended
Faithful Breath A Atk/Spd Catch 4
Alternate: Atk/Spd Clash 4
Dragon's Dance B S/R Near Trace 3
Glimmer
Alternate: Moonbow
C Blue Feud 3
Alternate: Joint Drive Spd
IVs

+ATK or +SPD / -DEF or -RES

SAtk/Spd Form 3

Show Explanation/Analysis

Weapon: Faithful Breath

Assist: Dragon’s Dance

Special: Glimmer / Moonbow

Passive A: Atk/Spd Catch / Atk/Spd Clash

Passive B: S/R Near Trace / Wings of Mercy

Passive C: Blue Feud / Joint Drive Skills / C Feud / Atk/Spd Menace  Flexible

Sacred Seal: Swift Sparrow / Atk/Spd Form / Atk/Spd Solo 

  • Just one look at Legendary Ninian’s exclusive skills points to the maiden being naturally adept at offensive play despite her refresher status, though the unique self-refreshing component of Dragon’s Dance allows her to fulfill both roles concurrently. That being said, while the logistics of her gameplay varies on the specific map (as you have to be careful of when using her Dance after Turn 1), her actual build specifics are pretty universal regardless of where Ninian is being used. Taking a +ATK or +SPD IV is naturally highly recommended. 
  • The majority of her base kit actually works perfectly fine for most intents and purposes: Atk/Spd Catch is one of the strongest Atk/Spd boosters available to her and synergizes with the debuffs she applies through Faithful Breath, S/R Near Trace enables【Canto (Rem. +1)】for even greater safety when extending herself, and Blue Feud strengthens her proficiency against blue opponents further.
    • However, some alternatives may be considered.
      • Atk/Spd Catch lends itself perfectly with Ninian’s overall playstyle and certainly benefits her greatly, as its potential +9 Atk/Spd boost renders it highly effective at boosting her damage ceiling. That being said, those with a little more skill fodder to spare may want to consider Atk/Spd Clash as it can match Atk/Spd Catch’s boost (provided she moves three spaces before initiating combat), but moreover comes with the attached benefit of neutralizing Atk/Spd penalties.
        • This is pretty steep investment, though, so whether it’s worth it depends on player preference.
      • While S/R Near Trace is typically ideal for general gameplay to ensure she doesn’t simply remain in enemy range after attacking and works well for Offense strategies to help trap foes after attacking, one may consider Wings of Mercy a direct expansion to Ninian’s initial mobility (i.e. enable her to refresh from more favorable positions, particularly if impassable terrain is present).
      • Blue Feud actually may be ideal in the context of Aether Raids Defense given that some of the more popular Near Save units tend to be blue, while offering some decent(ish) functionality outside of that; however, speaking of Defense, you can also consider C Feud for counterplay to the abundance of colorless support units. Outside of Feud skills, Joint Drives, Atk/Spd Menace, and other stat-enhancing skills work well to develop Ninian’s damage.
  • Specials with two-turn cooldowns like Glimmer and Moonbow work excellently for their frequent activation rate, especially since Faithful Breath’s Firesweep effect makes her reliant on only her attacks to gain charges — and as an added bonus, they can pair with the Heavy Blade Sacred Seal to activate every round of combat. Otherwise, for Ninian’s Sacred Seal, any that augments both Atk and Spd is recommended.

Strengths

Excellent and Safe Offensive Performance

For a girl who could quite literally not attack in her original game, Legendary Ninian features a surprising hyper-offensive edge through the beauty that is having access to both the offensive half of Null Follow-Up and a readily-enabled Firesweep effect in one package; this ensures she can break through common enemy mechanics that would otherwise inhibit her damage without worrying about neglecting her defenses, especially since the majority of threats that can break through counterattack negation are often ranged specialists. 

The Firesweep portion of Faithful Breath does come with a condition attached, but Ninian can satisfy the Penalty requirement herself through the widespread debuff her weapon applies upon using Dragon’s Dance (which can come at no cost to her, as discussed below)... and, honestly, blue melee specialists are weirdly common and they’re automatically subject to the effect anyway. Furthermore, through the various stat swings allotted by both of her PRFs, Legendary Ninian gets an effective +21/+12 Atk/Spd (assuming optimal conditions) before accounting for further skills, all on top of a baseline stat distribution of 37/41 Atk/Spd and access to a four-point +ATK IV — all of which is just a long-winded way of saying Ninian has the numbers to easily exploit her many strengths.

Apparently, she really wasn’t messing around when she killed those dragons at the end of Blazing Blade.

Legitimate Value and Versatility as a Hybrid Unit

While offensively-tuned dancers are not anything new by any means, the biggest flaw of this archetype has generally lied in the fact that such units cannot fully exploit their hybrid roles simultaneously: if they engage in combat, they cannot Dance, and vice versa. There have been some particular “workarounds” to this, like the advent of Duo or Harmonic skills that refresh without requiring the use of an Assist — however, even these often require additional considerations in competitive play.

Legendary Ninian presents an (almost obvious) alternative that streamlines the main issue by simply refreshing herself at the same time as her target when using Dragon’s Dance. While she unfortunately can’t gain further actions through Galeforce and this comes with a turn-locked caveat, the power and flexibility of this cannot be denied as it distinguishes Ninian as one of the few ‘true’ hybrid units in the game; she doesn’t have to sacrifice potential in either role to maximize both, granting great value.

Cavalry Benefits

The usual mobility advantage given by the cavalry class’s three base movement is taken to its limit thanks to Legendary Ninian’s self-refreshing ability (as seen previously with Brave Chrom), allowing her to cover ridiculous ground with little effort — complemented by the fact that she can pair this with Canto and her Firesweep effect to extend herself with minimal penalty in doing so. This alludes to another crucial benefit of Ninian’s movement-type: access to skills like S/R Near Trace to trigger said Canto effect and Atk/Spd Catch for maximum damage are pivotal to altogether meld her kit’s moving parts.

Weaknesses

Legendary Drawbacks

For all her potency, it’s a shame that the Ice-Dragon Oracle’s usage in competitive modes is limited pretty severely given her Legendary status, as using her outside of WaterSeason results in considerable drops in usefulness; she becomes unable to either receive the effects of Mythic Blessings in Aether Raids or improve her allies' scoring potential in Colosseum modes. 

Low Defensive Statline

Legendary Ninian’s base 22/24 Defense and Resistance are predictably poor given the offensive lean of her entire kit and while Faithful Breath’s counterattack negation is generally sufficient to mitigate this, it’s only active during the Player Phase and makes her a bit inflexible (though this can be generalized to many units beyond just her).

Weapon Skills

Weapons SP Rng. Mt.
Fire Breath
Learns by default at 1 ★
Unlocks at 1 ★
Only inheritable by Dragon units.
50 1 6
Fire Breath+
Learns by default at 2 ★
Unlocks at 2 ★
Only inheritable by Dragon units.
100 1 8
Flametongue
Learns by default at 4 ★
Unlocks at 3 ★
Only inheritable by Dragon units.
200 1 11
Faithful BreathGrants Atk+3. If Sing or Dance is used, inflicts Def/Res-6 on nearest foes within 4 spaces of both unit and target ally through their next actions. At start of combat, if unit's HP ≥ 40%, grants Atk/Spd+6 to unit during combat, and also, if unit initiates combat, neutralizes effects that prevent unit's follow-up attacks, and also, if unit initiates combat and has weapon-triangle advantage or【Penalty】is active on foe, foe cannot counterattack. If foe's Range = 2, calculates damage using the lower of foe's Def or Res.  【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).
Learns by default at 5 ★
Unlocks at 5 ★
Non-Inheritable skill.
400 1 16
Available Rearmed Weapons
Arcane Grima
Weapon Evolution
Weapon Upgrades
Weapon Upgrades

Support Skills

Support Skills Rng. SP
DanceEnables target to take another action. Cannot be used on units with Sing or Dance
Learns by default at 4 ★
1 150
Dragon's DanceGrants another action to target ally. If used on turn 2 onward, also grants another action to unit, grants Atk/Spd+6 to unit and Pair Up cohort (if any) for 1 turn, and inflicts【Isolation】 on unit and Pair Up cohort (if any) through their next action. (Effects that can trigger on turn 2 onward will not trigger again for 3 turns after triggering. Cannot target an ally with Sing or Dance. This skill treated as Sing or Dance.)  【Isolation】 Target cannot use or be the target of Assist skills through its next action. (Target can neither use nor be the target of skills like Dance and Sing, skills that neutralize penalties, like Restore and Harsh Command+, etc.)
1 500

Passive Skills

Passive Skills SP Slot
Atk/Spd Catch 1At start of combat, if foe's HP = 100% or if【Penalty】is active on foe, grants Atk/Spd+3 to unit during combat.  【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).
Cavalry & Flying Only
Unlocks at 2 ★
60
A
Atk/Spd Catch 2At start of combat, if foe’s HP = 100% or if【Penalty】is active on foe, grants Atk/Spd+4 to unit during combat.  【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).
Cavalry & Flying Only
Unlocks at 3 ★
120
A
Atk/Spd Catch 3At start of combat, if foe’s HP = 100% or if【Penalty】is active on foe, grants Atk/Spd+5 to unit during combat.  【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).
Cavalry & Flying Only
Unlocks at 4 ★
240
A
Atk/Spd Catch 4At start of combat, if foe's HP = 100% or if【Penalty】is active on foe, grants Atk/Spd+7 to unit during combat. At start of combat, if foe's HP = 100% and【Penalty】is active on foe, grants an additional Atk/Spd+2 to unit during combat.  【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).
Cavalry & Flying Only
Unlocks at 5 ★
300
A
S/R Near Trace 1Enables【Canto (Rem. +1)】.  Inflicts Spd/Res-1 on foe during combat.  【Canto (Rem. +1)】 After an attack, Assist skill, or structure destruction, unit can move spaces = any movement not already used that turn +1. (If unit used a movement skill that warped them, its remaining movement is 0.)  (Unit moves according to movement type. Once per turn. Cannot attack or assist. Only highest value applied. Does not stack. After moving, if a skill that grants another action would be triggered (like with Galeforce), Canto will trigger after the granted action. Unit's base movement has no effect on movement granted. Cannot warp (using skills like Wings of Mercy) a distance greater than unit's remaining movement +1.)
Cavalry & Flying Only
Unlocks at 1 ★
60
B
S/R Near Trace 2Enables【Canto (Rem. +1)】.  Inflicts Spd/Res-2 on foe during combat.  【Canto (Rem. +1)】 After an attack, Assist skill, or structure destruction, unit can move spaces = any movement not already used that turn +1. (If unit used a movement skill that warped them, its remaining movement is 0.)  (Unit moves according to movement type. Once per turn. Cannot attack or assist. Only highest value applied. Does not stack. After moving, if a skill that grants another action would be triggered (like with Galeforce), Canto will trigger after the granted action. Unit's base movement has no effect on movement granted. Cannot warp (using skills like Wings of Mercy) a distance greater than unit's remaining movement +1.)
Cavalry & Flying Only
Unlocks at 2 ★
120
B
S/R Near Trace 3Enables【Canto (Rem. +1)】.  Inflicts Spd/Res-3 on foe during combat.  【Canto (Rem. +1)】 After an attack, Assist skill, or structure destruction, unit can move spaces = any movement not already used that turn +1. (If unit used a movement skill that warped them, its remaining movement is 0.)  (Unit moves according to movement type. Once per turn. Cannot attack or assist. Only highest value applied. Does not stack. After moving, if a skill that grants another action would be triggered (like with Galeforce), Canto will trigger after the granted action. Unit's base movement has no effect on movement granted. Cannot warp (using skills like Wings of Mercy) a distance greater than unit's remaining movement +1.)
Cavalry & Flying Only
Unlocks at 4 ★
240
B
Blue Feud 1During combat, disables skills of all blue foes, excluding foe in combat. If in combat against a blue foe, disables skills of all foes, excluding foe in combat.
Excludes Red Units from inheriting this skill.
Unlocks at 3 ★
60
C
Blue Feud 2During combat, disables skills of all blue foes, excluding foe in combat. If in combat against a blue foe, disables skills of all foes, excluding foe in combat, and inflicts Atk/Spd/Def/Res-2 on foe during combat.
Excludes Red Units from inheriting this skill.
Unlocks at 4 ★
120
C
Blue Feud 3During combat, disables skills of all blue foes, excluding foe in combat. If in combat against a blue foe, disables skills of all foes, excluding foe in combat, and inflicts Atk/Spd/Def/Res-4 on foe during combat.
Excludes Red Units from inheriting this skill.
Unlocks at 5 ★
240
C

Other Info

Origin
Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade

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