Analysis by lordhelpme
Líf - Lethal Swordsman


Obtainable as a 5 only

Hero Stats

Max Avg Total Stats at Lvl 40
HP 42
ATK 38
SPD 30
DEF 34
RES 29

Stat Variations

Level 1 Stat Variation
Low 17 7 7 9 6
Middle 18 8 8 10 7
High 19 9 9 11 8

Level 40 Stat Variations
Low 39 35 26 31 25
Middle 42 38 30 34 29
High 45 42 33 37 32

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.


  • +ATK: An Attack Asset is highly recommended to strengthen Líf’s remarkable raw damage output further and maximize the use of Open the Future, enhancing its healing potential and his consistency at landing OHKOs. It even comes as a four-point Asset to boot, making it an overall attractive option. 
  • +DEF / RES: Both of Líf’s defensive stats are quite good and offer him a good amount of durability against physical and magical damage, so taking an Asset in either of them makes for a solid alternative to build upon this trait. A +DEF IV also has the benefit of increasing Open the Future’s damage potential. 


  • SPD: Líf’s Speed is fairly middling, but it’s still worth preserving as it does possess some defensive value in preventing follow-up attacks in instances where he is unable to successfully OHKO an opponent. However, if a -HP IV is unavailable, this can be a workable choice of Flaw. 


  • -HP: Decreasing Líf’s HP with a Flaw allows him to preserve all of his other stats (which he’ll find himself needing much more frequently), making this his ideal choice of Flaw. 

Skill Sets

Gleam of Obsidian Steel (Defensive Tank)

Build by
Alternate: Slaying Edge+ (+Def)
A Distant Counter
Reposition B Deadly Balance
Open the Future C Time's Pulse 3
Alternate: Pulse Smoke 3
IVsSMirror Stance 2

Show Explanation/Analysis

Preferred IVs: +ATK or +DEF or +RES / -HP

This is essentially Líf’s base kit with a few potential alterations and is centered around maximizing his performance in the Enemy Phase. A +ATK IV is a fantastic choice here for a couple of reasons: increasing his damage output results in improved sustainability from Open the Future’s built-in healing, and this also lets him to OHKO incoming opponents with greater ease. Alternatively, a +DEF or +RES IV may be considered to directly enhance Líf’s resilience to sustained offensive pressure. 

Weapon: Sökkvabekkr / Slaying Edge+ (+ATK/DEF) 

  • Sökkvabekkr’s effect of guaranteed follow-up attacks offers Líf a good deal of additional flexibility and helps keep his performance from faltering if unable to cleanly OHKO an opponent. Furthermore, it also allows Líf to go on the offensive if deemed necessary -- a trait typically not associated with standard defensive tanks. The overall stat boost it provides further solidifies Sökkvabekkr’s effectiveness. 

  • However, while Sökkvabekkr may indeed be a powerful weapon, it does come with one major caveat: after combat, if its effects successfully activate, the nearest ally within three spaces will be dealt a massive 20 damage automatically with no method of avoiding this. This can be used to one’s advantage by running him alongside allies who benefit from being at low levels of health (such as those equipped with Vantage or Desperation), but teams ill-equipped to handle this detriment may find their overall effectiveness greatly hampered. 

  • If one views this as too inconvenient and/or one wants to be less reliant on Time’s Pulse to consistently activate Open the Future on each counterattack, Sökkvabekkr can be replaced in favor of a Slaying Edge for its built-in Special cooldown reduction since Sökkvabekkr isn’t as important to Líf’s performance as his other PRF skills. Either a Defense or Attack refine should be taken here. 

Assist: Reposition / Flexible

Special: Open the Future

  • By pairing a strong damage boost alongside a moderate amount of healing, Open the Future allows the Lethal Swordsman to easily maintain high levels of health while simultaneously functioning as a great (and consistent) source of damage output, synergizing well with a tanking role and his inherently strong OHKO capabilities; rarely (if ever) should this Special be replaced. 

Passive A: Distant Counter 

  • His native Distant Counter is crucial to his overall performance with this build, allowing him to handle a much wider breadth of opponents than otherwise possible. 

Passive B: Deadly Balance

  • Líf’s Deadly Balance incorporates a powerful mix of effects, most notable of which being the +1 Special charge it grants per enemy hit. This is extremely valuable as it allows Líf consistently activate Open the Future on every counterattack in Enemy Phase when paired with either Time’s Pulse or a Slaying Edge, resulting in vastly improved sustain and damage output. The -5 in-combat Atk/Def debuff it can apply is useful as well in further supplementing his damage potential and survivability. 

  • It’s worth noting that thanks to Deadly Balance’s unique effect, Líf has much greater flexibility in choosing supports than many of his direct comparables; since he isn’t reliant on effects like Brave Lucina’s refined Geirskögul to obtain access to accelerated Special cooldown, he can free up team slots for other potent support allies that one would otherwise be unable to select, 

Passive C: Time’s Pulse / Pulse Smoke / Def Smoke / Atk Smoke / Flexible

  • Líf’s choice of C slot skill depends primarily on the weapon one chooses to equip him with. If making use of Sökkvabekkr, his base Time’s Pulse is of utmost necessity to ensure Open the Future’s activation on each counterattack with Deadly Balance.

  • However, if using a Slaying Edge, Líf’s options become much more diverse, with Smoke skills always being excellent choices for defensively oriented setups such as this one. Pulse Smoke is a particularly effective option that improves survivability by delaying enemy Special activations, but the standard Def Smoke and Atk Smoke work wonderfully as well; note that the debuffs they apply DO stack with those applied by Deadly Balance. 

Sacred Seal: Mirror Stance / Fierce Stance 

  • Seals that supplement his combat prowess in the Enemy Phase are ideal. Since Líf should typically aim to OHKO incoming threats when provided with the proper support, the Mirror Stance and Fierce Stance seals are his ideal choices amongst those available given their synergy with such a playstyle.

Transience (Offensive Player Phase)

Build by
Sökkvabekkr A Sturdy Impact
Alternate: Death Blow (3 or 4)
Reposition B Deadly Balance
Alternate: Open the Future
C Time's Pulse 3
Alternate: Def Smoke 3
IVsSSturdy Blow 2

Show Explanation/Analysis

Preferred IVs: +ATK / -HP

In heavy contrast to the first, this build focuses on heightening Líf’s destructive potential in the Player Phase to function as a powerful offensive nuke -- a role he can pull of quite well despite his statline’s defensive inclination thanks to Sökkvabekkr’s versatile effect. Accordingly, an Attack Asset will be his ideal choice of IVs here to maximize his raw damage output, though this is easily replicable to an extent with the proper support if unavailable. 

Weapon: Sökkvabekkr

  • Since Líf’s Speed is far too low to consistently perform follow-up attacks on his own, Sökkvabekkr is entirely necessary for the Lethal Swordsman to actually be able to present an offensive threat in the Player Phase. 

Assist: Reposition / Flexible

Special: Galeforce / Open the Future

  • Líf’s damage potential is quite high even without the use of a damage-dealing Special, letting him make great use of Galeforce to improve his maneuverability in the Player Phase. Combined with Time’s Pulse and Deadly Balance, Líf can activate Galeforce in every round of combat despite its lengthy five-turn cooldown, provided that his opponent can counterattack and isn’t equipped with Guard.

  • Otherwise, Open the Future should be used for the significant damage boost it provides on top of consistent healing; this allows Líf to function as an incredibly powerful and safe source of damage. 

Passive A: Sturdy Impact / Death Blow 

  • Sturdy Impact grants a phenomenal mix of offensive and defensive utility, beefing up Líf’s raw damage output by a sizable amount while also making initations much safer through its massive +10 in-combat Defense boost and negation of enemy follow-up attacks; the Defense boost also pairs quite nicely with Open the Future. For a purely offensive approach, Death Blow should be taken. 

Passive B: Deadly Balance 

  • Deadly Balance should be kept to enhance Líf’s performance via faster Special activations and the in-combat debuffs it can apply to his foe’s Attack and Defense stats.

Passive C: Time’s Pulse / Def Smoke / Atk Smoke / Odd Atk Wave / Flexible 

  • His native Time’s Pulse is necessary if attempting to utilize Galeforce since when factored alongside Deadly Balance’s effect, this allows Líf to activate the Special in a single round of combat against opponents who can counterattack. 

  • Otherwise, Líf’s C slot is pretty flexible and can be filled by most available skills, with those that serve to bolster his offensive potential (such as Attack-increasing Wave skills or Smoke skills when provided refresher support) always being solid options. 

Sacred Seal: Sturdy Blow 

  • The Sturdy Blow seal is chosen to directly build upon two of Líf’s most important stats in the Player Phase, simultaneously elevating his damage output and physical resilience.



A rather unique accompaniment to his overall kit, Sökkvabekkr provides Líf with a tremendous amount of firepower through its two main effects: a considerable +4 overall stat boost and guaranteed follow-up attacks when within three spaces of an ally. This lends itself nicely to both defensive and offensive playstyles and contributes notably to his immense versatility as a unit. 

Open the Future

Líf’s exclusive Special, Open the Future, boasts a rather simple effect but nonetheless remains a core aspect of his kit, offering him a fantastic mix of offensive utility and survivability via its Defense-scaling damage boost and a moderate amount of healing. 

Deadly Balance

His counterpart to Thrasir’s Killing Intent, Deadly Balance is an excellent exclusive skill that allows him to rapidly unleash devastating Special activations (this being especially potent in Enemy Phase when paired with Time’s Pulse or a Slaying Edge) without outside support; the in-combat Atk/Def debuffs it applies are also useful in strengthening his damage output and physical durability directly.  

Fantastic Attack & Good Mixed Bulk

Líf’s base Attack stat of 38 is nothing short of remarkable (not to mention his access to a four-point +ATK IV) and allows him to make heavy dents in enemy HP pools; combined with the constant damage boost he can obtain via Open the Future, Líf can easily land OHKOs against unsuspecting threats. Additionally, Líf’s mixed bulk is rather solid and allows him to stand tall when faced with sustained offensive pressure from both physical and magical threats. 


Defensive Mythical Hero

Lif’s varied strengths are extremely well-suited to standard strategies in Aether Raids Offense; however, due to his status as a defensive Mythical Hero, one is unable to utilize them in this mode without incurring a marked score penalty, thus detracting from his allure heavily. Furthermore, even with defense team compositions, he can be quite unwieldy to deploy properly as he lacks range and Sökkvabekkr’s chip damage to the nearest ally within three spaces can prove more harmful than otherwise to the team’s success. 

Weapon Skills

Weapons SP Rng. Mt.
Iron Sword
Learns by default at 1 ★
Unlocks at 1 ★
Only Inheritable by Sword Units.
50 1 6
Steel Sword
Learns by default at 3 ★
Unlocks at 2 ★
Only Inheritable by Sword Units.
100 1 8
Silver Sword
Learns by default at 4 ★
Unlocks at 3 ★
Only Inheritable by Sword Units.
200 1 11
SökkvabekkrIf unit is within 3 spaces of an ally, grants Atk / Spd / Def / Res +4 during combat, and unit makes a guaranteed follow-up attack, but after combat, if unit attacked, deals 20 damage to the nearest ally.
Learns by default at 5 ★
Unlocks at 5 ★
Non-Inheritable skill.
400 1 16
Weapon Evolution
Weapon Upgrades
Weapon Upgrades

Special Skills

Special Skills SP Turns
Glowing EmberBoosts damage dealt by 50% of unit's Def.
Learns by default at 4 ★
Unlocks at 3 ★
Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
100 4
BonfireBoosts damage dealt by 50% of unit's Def.
Unlocks at 4 ★
Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
200 3
Open the FutureBoosts damage by 50% of unit's Def. Restores HP = 25% of damage dealt.
Unlocks at 5 ★
Non-Inheritable skill.
500 3

Passive Skills

Passive Skills SP Slot
Distant CounterEnables unit to counterattack regardless of distance to attacker.
Restricted to melee units.
Unlocks at 5 ★
Deadly BalanceAt start of combat, if unit's HP ≥ 50% or if【Penalty】is active on unit, inflicts Atk/Def-5 on foe and grants Special cooldown charge +1 per foe's attack during combat. (Only highest value applied. Does not stack. Special cooldown charge granted even if foe's attack deals 0 damage.)  【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).
Non-Inheritable skill.
Unlocks at 5 ★
Time's Pulse 1At the start of every third turn, if Special cooldown count is at its maximum value, grants Special cooldown count-1.
Infantry Units Only
Unlocks at 1 ★
Time's Pulse 2At the start of every second turn, if Special cooldown count is at its maximum value, grants Special cooldown count-1.
Infantry Units Only
Unlocks at 2 ★
Time's Pulse 3At start of turn, if Special cooldown count is at its maximum value, grants Special cooldown count-1.
Infantry Units Only
Unlocks at 4 ★

Other Info

Fire Emblem Heroes

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