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Analysis by Chibi_Chu
Ninja Zihark - Ninja Blademaster

4-5

Obtainable as a 4 - 5 only

Hero Stats

Max Avg Total Stats at Lvl 40
176
HP 43
ATK 37
SPD 42
DEF 30
RES 24

Stat Variations

Level 1 Stat Variation
5★
4★
HP ATK SPD DEF RES
Low 18 8 11 7 4
Middle 19 9 12 8 5
High 20 10 13 9 6

Level 40 Stat Variations
5★
4★
HP ATK SPD DEF RES
Low 40 34 39 26 21
Middle 43 37 42 30 24
High 46 40 46 33 28

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

Dream Offensive (Galeforce / General Offense)

Build by Chibi_Chu
Recommended
Ninja Katana+ A Fury (3 or 4)
Alternate: Swift Sparrow (2 or 3)
Positional Assist B Wings of Mercy 3
Alternate: Desperation 3
Galeforce
Alternate: Ruptured Sky
C Time's Pulse 3
Alternate: Odd Tempest 3
IVs

+ATK or +SPD / -HP or -RES

SFlashing Blade 3

Show Explanation/Analysis

Weapon: Ninja Katana+  

Assist: Positional Assist 

Special: Galeforce / Ruptured Sky / Moonbow 

Passive A: Fury (3 or 4) / Swift Sparrow (2 or 3) / Atk/Spd Push 4

Passive B: Wings of Mercy / Desperation 

Passive C: Time’s Pulse / Odd Tempest / Joint Drive Atk

Sacred Seal: Flashing Blade 

  • High offenses make a Player Phase set a naturally strong option for Zihark. His base Ninja Katana is a great choice for his weapon, allowing him to attack twice (4 times if he can perform a follow-up attack) and granting +4 Speed in exchange for -4 Def/Res. 
  • The combination of Ninja Katana, Galeforce, Time’s Pulse, and Flashing Blade allows Zihark to activate Galeforce after 2 attacks and perform another action assuming no Guard effect is active. Wings of Mercy is chosen for this set because Galeforce chains are a common strategy in Aether Raids Offense; when one Galeforce unit falls below 50% HP, another can teleport to a space adjacent to them and Galeforce themselves.
  • Alternatively, if Zihark is receiving -1 Special cooldown from an ally, he can swap Time’s Pulse with Odd Tempest instead, granting him greater mobility on odd turns.
  • Zihark can also swap Galeforce for a damaging Special for a more general offensive set; Ruptured Sky and Moonbow are 2-cooldown Specials that can be activated on Zihark’s second attack with Flashing Blade. He can also replace Wings of Mercy for Desperation, allowing Zihark to perform 4 attacks before the enemy can counterattack if he performs a follow-up attack and his HP is ≤ 75%.
  • On both sets, Fury, Swift Sparrow, and Atk/Spd Push 4 are excellent choices, bolstering Zihark’s offenses. Fury is particularly good for Galeforce chains because of its 6/8 recoil damage; Atk/Spd Push 4 performs a similar role, dealing 5 recoil damage instead.

Flash of Unity (Supertank)

Build by Chibi_Chu
Recommended
Slaying Edge+ (+Spd)
Alternate: Carrot Cudgel+ (+Spd)
A Distant Counter
Positional Assist B Spurn 3
Alternate: Null Follow-Up 3
Noontime
Alternate: Sol
C Pulse Smoke 3
Alternate: Joint Drive Res
IVs

+SPD or +RES / -HP

SSpd/Res Solo 3
Alternate: Atk/Def Solo 3

Show Explanation/Analysis

Weapon: Slaying Edge+ (+SPD or +RES) / Carrot Cudgel+ (+SPD or +RES) / Bellringer+ (+SPD or +RES) / Pledged Blade+ (+SPD or +RES)

Assist: Positional Assist 

Special: Noontime / Sol 

Passive A: Distant Counter 

Passive B: Spurn / Null Follow-Up

Passive C: Pulse Smoke / Joint Drive Res 

Sacred Seal: Spd/Res Solo / Atk/Def Solo 

  • With high Attack, stellar Speed, and decent Defense, Zihark can become a very effective supertank in Aether Raids Offense. His lower Resistance is problematic given the ubiquity of mages and staff units, but investment in his Resistance via Blessings, weapon refines, skills, and even a Resistance Superasset can greatly improve his survivability. Damage reduction from skills such as Spurn are also very beneficial, especially considering Zihark’s excellent Speed that can easily exceed 10 more than the enemy’s Speed to receive the full 40% damage reduction.
  • Because Zihark lacks a personal weapon, he has a myriad of weapons to choose from. Slaying Edge allows Zihark to activate Noontime on her first counterattack, but with how common Brave Lucina is with supporting supertanks, Carrot Cudgel and Bellringer may be better options, with the former granting +5 Atk/Def and neutralizing Zihark’s visible Atk/Def debuffs and the latter healing 5 HP for every attack Zihark performs.
  • Distant Counter is a necessity for any melee supertank, as receiving attacks only to fail to counterattack makes very little progress. In addition, Zihark is reliant on a healing Special such as Noontime or Sol to have sustainability unless he is using Bellringer.
  • An alternative to a damage reduction B slot is Null Follow-Up, which neutralizes effects that prevent Zihark’s follow-up and guarantee the enemy’s follow-up. This greatly boosts his consistency, as he will more frequently be able to perform a follow-up attack and less frequently receive a follow-up attack.
  • Infantry Pulse Aether Raids Defense teams are very common, so Pulse Smoke is an excellent C slot that shuts these teams down by inflicting +1 Special cooldown on the target and enemies within 2 spaces. A strong alternative is Joint Drive Res to help both his and his allies’ survivability against magical enemies. Spd/Res Solo and Atk/Def Solo both work wonders; the former increases his follow-up consistency, survivability against magical attacks, and consistency in gaining maximum damage reduction with Spurn, while the latter increases his damage output and survivability against physical enemies.

Strengths

Great offenses

With 37 Attack and 42 Speed, Zihark is capable of dishing out high amounts of damage and consistently performing follow-up attacks, especially with skills and support.

Respectable physical bulk

43 HP and 30 Defense totals to a surprisingly solid 72 physical bulk. If need be, he is likely capable of surviving at least one physical attack, and he can become an obnoxious Enemy Phase supertank in combination with a B slot such as Spurn or Null Follow-Up.

Infantry advantages

As an Infantry unit, Zihark is able to take advantage of a variety of benefits:

  • He is able to use fantastic skills such as Spurn, Repel, Close Call, Null Follow-Up, and Lull Spd/Def.
  • Zihark’s 176 BST allows him to score higher than most in Arena. If one chooses Zihark’s +SPD or +RES Superassets, his BST will increase to 177; with a merge, his Flaw will go away, and his BST will increase to 180, which is one scoring bin above the 175-179 BST scoring bin.
  • Infantry-effective weapons are exceedingly uncommon, so Zihark doesn’t need to worry about receiving 1.5x damage from a vast majority of units in a vast majority of situations.

Flexible

With 176 BST to play around with, Zihark is able to fit both a Player Phase and an Enemy Phase role; depending on the set, he can perform both at the same time, too!

Weaknesses

Low magical bulk

As with most Sword units, Zihark sacrifices some Resistance in exchange for his strong offenses and decent physical bulk. While 66 magical bulk is usually enough to survive one magical attack, Blade tomes and Attack-stacking can make the situation frisky. Thankfully, this can be partially remedied with the aforementioned damage reduction skills.

Inability to stand out (lacking a personal weapon)

The Infantry Sword pool is already very bloated, with superstars such as Mareeta, Fallen Ike, and both Male and Female Byleth stealing the show. Zihark’s lack of a personal weapon makes it nigh impossible for him to stick out despite his very strong statline. While he is available at 4*, he is also a seasonal unit, similar to Young Marth; because of this, despite his lower rarity, his availability is still quite limited.

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
Ninja KatanaGrants Spd+4. Inflicts Def/Res-4. If unit initiates combat, unit attacks twice.
Learns by default at 4 ★
Unlocks at 3 ★
Only Inheritable by Sword Units.
200 1 6
Ninja Katana+Grants Spd+4. Inflicts Def/Res-4. If unit initiates combat, unit attacks twice.
Learns by default at 5 ★
Unlocks at 5 ★
Only Inheritable by Sword Units.
300 1 9
Weapon Evolution
Weapon Upgrades
Weapon Upgrades

Special Skills

Special Skills SP Turns
Night SkyBoosts damage dealt by 50%.
Learns by default at 4 ★
Unlocks at 3 ★
Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
100 3
AstraBoosts damage dealt by 150%.
Unlocks at 4 ★
Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
200 4

Passive Skills

Passive Skills SP Slot
Chill Spd 1At the start of each turn, inflicts Spd-3 on foe on the enemy team with the highest Spd through its next action. If there is a tie between several units, they will all get the debuff.
Inheritable by all units.
Unlocks at 3 ★
60
B
Chill Spd 2At the start of each turn, inflicts Spd-5 on foe on the enemy team with the highest Spd through its next action. If there is a tie between several units, they will all get the debuff.
Inheritable by all units.
Unlocks at 4 ★
120
B
Chill Spd 3At the start of each turn, inflicts Spd-7 on foe on the enemy team with the highest Spd through its next action. If there is a tie between several units, they will all get the debuff.
Inheritable by all units.
Unlocks at 5 ★
240
B
Spd/Def Gap 1At start of turn, grants Spd/Def+1 to ally with the highest Spd+Def total for 1 turn. (Excludes unit.)
Inheritable by all units.
Unlocks at 1 ★
60
C
Spd/Def Gap 2At start of turn, grants Spd/Def+3 to ally with the highest Spd+Def total for 1 turn. (Excludes unit.)
Inheritable by all units.
Unlocks at 2 ★
120
C
Spd/Def Gap 3At start of turn, grants Spd/Def+5 to ally with the highest Spd+Def total for 1 turn. (Excludes unit.)
Inheritable by all units.
Unlocks at 4 ★
240
C

Other Info

Origin
Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance

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