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Plegian Raphael

Analysis by accidentalgreed
Plegian Raphael - Muscle-Monger

4-5

Obtainable as a 4 - 5 only

Hero Stats

Max Avg Total Stats at Lvl 40
179
HP 48
ATK 42
SPD 28
DEF 38
RES 23

Stat Variations

Level 1 Stat Variation
5★
4★
HP ATK SPD DEF RES
Low 19 11 5 9 5
Middle 20 12 6 10 6
High 21 13 7 11 7

Level 40 Stat Variations
5★
4★
HP ATK SPD DEF RES
Low 45 39 24 35 20
Middle 48 42 28 38 23
High 51 46 31 41 26

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

Emptied Out Valentine Faye's Meat Locker (Bold Fighter)

Build by accidentalgreed
Recommended
Brave Bow+
Alternate: Plegian Bow+ (+Def)
A Death Blow (3 or 4)
Positional Assist B Bold Fighter 3
Ignis
Alternate: Bonfire
C Armor March 3
Alternate: Def Smoke 3
IVs

+ATK / -RES or -SPD

SArmored Boots
Alternate: Death Blow 3

Show Explanation/Analysis

Weapon: Brave Bow+ / Plegian Bow+ (+Def)
Assist: Positional Assist
Special: Ignis / Bonfire
Passive A: Death Blow
Passive B: Bold Fighter / Odd Follow-Up
Passive C: Armor March / Def Smoke
Sacred Seal: Armored Boots / Death Blow / Armor March

  • The quintessential Brave Bow + Bold Fighter build that made Valentines Faye and Halloween Jakob feared back in their day. The great, bigger, and better news is that Raphael arguably uses it better than the both of them due to significantly higher Attack. 
  • The premise is simple: utilize the sheer player phase strength of both Bold Fighter and Brave Bow to achieve uninterrupted powerful quadruple hits, dismantling nearly any foe within Raphael’s range. Those that aren't already taken down by the sheer blitz damage of Brave Bow may suffer the wrath of a fast-charged Ignis, thanks to Brave Bow hitting four times and Bold Fighter accelerating Special charge.
  • Odd Follow-Up is a cheap way to give Raphael that famed quad attack since he comes with it, though it's significantly inferior to Bold Fighter due to turn inconsistency and lack of increased Special charge. 
  • Such a player-phase oriented build means you don't need to look much further than Death Blow as the main A-slot (and possible Sacred Seal) skill in order to further build Raphael's incredible damage. 
  • To further promote this build's aggressive nature and expand Raphael's movement options and range, Armor March is pretty much his best C slot option if run with other armored allies. Else, Def Smoke further increases the amount of damage surrounding enemies may take, especially if Raphael gets multiple times to attack with dancer support. 
  • Another way to play this build is simply keeping Raphael's base weapon, Plegian Bow. This benefits from effectively higher single-shot Might if Raphael is away from allies, and the damage becomes even more ridiculous if Defense penalties are accounted for. Bonfire would be the preferred Special in this case as it activates on Raphael's second hit after an enemy counterattack, and Def Smoke directly synergizes with the penalty effect of Plegian Bow.
     

When Cultural Appropriation Gets Too Chesty… (Aether Raids Offense / Superunit Tank)

Build by accidentalgreed
Recommended
Spendthrift Bow+ (+Res)
Alternate: Plegian Bow+ (+Res)
A Close Foil
Alternate: Close Counter
Positional Assist B Special Fighter 3
Alternate: Odd Follow-Up 3
Noontime
Alternate: Sol
C Atk Smoke 3
Alternate: Pulse Smoke 3
IVs

+ATK or +RES or +DEF 

SQuick Riposte 3
Alternate: Atk/Def Solo 3

Show Explanation/Analysis

Weapon: Spendthrift Bow+ (+Res) / Plegian Bow+ (+Res) / Defense-refined versions of these weapons

Assist: Positional Assist

Special: Noontime / Sol

Passive A: Close Foil / Close Counter

Passive B: Special Fighter / Odd Follow-Up / Crafty Fighter

Passive C: Atk Smoke / Pulse Smoke / Def Smoke

Sacred Seal: Quick Riposte / Atk/Def Solo / Mirror Stance

  • Those already familiar with the playstyle of Norne and Midori should know the score by now: Spendthrift Bow grants its holders an exceptional amount of durability and power (+7 Atk to holder and -7 Atk to enemy), allowing them to perform gracefully in tanking enemy hits and dishing some nice punishment back. With a solid defensive statline altogether and several armor-exclusive B slots at his disposal, Raphael is definitely a fantastic choice for it. Raphael's native Plegian Bow, however, shouldn't be easily overlooked either: it also augments Raphael's bulk and damage well with a higher effective buff/debuff cap when penalties are taken into account. Even if penalties aren't in effect, Raphael still inflicts a considerable -5 debuff on the enemy's Atk/Def as long as he is solo.
    • Assuming Atk and/or Def Smoke penalties are applied, this equates to a net -14 Atk and -14 Def with Spendfthrift Bow, and more splendid values of -19 Atk and -19 Def with Plegian Bow.
  • Raphael's armored status affords him a variety of great B slot options:
    • Special Fighter is Raphael's most independent B slot option as it manipulates Special charging so Raphael earns acceleration while the enemy gets no charge at all. Thus, Noontime can activate on any counterattack and consistently bypass the +2 cooldown effect of Spendthrift Bow post-combat while Raphael's chances of eating a Special hit are significantly lowered. It should always be paired with the Quick Riposte Sacred Seal to bypass Raphael's low chances at achieving follow-up attacks and activate Noontime twice. 
    • Raphael's Odd Follow-Up, however, is also worth seriously considering despite its turn inconsistency. On odd turns, Raphael gains a massive follow-up advantage against all enemies (except for those with Null Follow-Up), which gets rid of the need for the Quick Riposte seal, Raphael's main form of follow-up with Special Fighter. Additionally, unlike Special Fighter and Quick Riposte, it is not HP-conditional, meaning Raphael's sitting duck moments are limited to even turns rather than attempting to recover back above 50%-70% HP. 
    • Crafty Fighter is a reasonable compromise between the two aforementioned skills; like Special Fighter, it inflicts negative Special charge on the enemy, but also provides an improved follow-up attack with a more forgiving HP condition (25%). Raphael can even utilized outsourced Breath support (like Brave Lucina's Geirskögul) to replicate the effects of Special Fighter while freeing up his Sacred Seal for better things such as Mirror Stance or Atk/Def Solo. 
  • If you're getting Spendthrift Bow from Midori, you might as well take Close Foil from her also as it grants Raphael +5 Atk/Def and the ability to counterattack all physical initiators. While this doesn't account for Dragonstone enemies, those are usually rare AR-Defense defenders and can be dealt with by other allies. Close Counter is a good-enough substitute which includes dragon enemies but lacks the stat boosts of Foil. 
  • As with almost any Aether Raids carry tank, Raphael will vastly prefer Smoke skills above anything else for his C slot. Fortunately, he comes with a very effective one right off the bat in Atk Smoke, which greatly reduces incoming damage from surrounding enemies while further padding the Attack debuff of Plegian Bow. Def Smoke is another option if more damage is a priority to you, and Pulse Smoke makes Aether Raids Defense teams with precharged enemy Specials significantly easier to approach. Note that the penalties of Atk and Def Smoke can be substituted simply by running ally-provided skills, such as Temari and/or Sabotage Atk/Def.

Pecs of Steel (Vantage Nuke)

Build by accidentalgreed
Plegian Bow+ (+Atk) A Close Foil
Alternate: Close Counter
Positional Assist B Vantage 3
Moonbow
Alternate: Glimmer
C Def Smoke 3
Alternate: Joint Drive Atk
IVs

+ATK / -SPD

SAtk/Def Solo 3
Alternate: Fierce Stance 3

Show Explanation/Analysis

Weapon: Plegian Bow+ (+Atk)

Assist: Positional Assist

Special: Moonbow / Glimmer

Passive A: Close Foil / Close Counter

Passive B: Vantage

Passive C: Def Smoke / Joint Drive Atk

Sacred Seal: Atk/Def Solo / Fierce Stance / Atk/Spd Solo

  • Another take on a Close Foil / Close Counter build, with exceptional focus on Vantage sweeping before enemies can get their hits in. Thanks to the high damage output of Plegian Bow—especially after Defense penalties are applied on enemies—Raphael can deal a sheer amount of damage in single shots, very much similar to dagger units utilizing Broadleaf Fan. Thanks to Raphael’s nice bulk and the additional Attack penalty coming from Plegian Bow, he also exercises a fair amount of survivability should the enemy survive the initial hit. As with all Vantage units, though, don't get cocky against Sweep-effects, Hardy Bearing, and enemies that can double and defeat him quickly if they survive.  
  • As a build focused on single-shot damage, Raphael will appreciate any form of additional damage you can scavenge. 
    • Close Foil, for instance, provides +5 extra damage against all physical enemies — with the only opportunity cost being the inability to counterattack dragon units compared to Close Counter. 
    • In the C slot, Def Smoke is an accessible yet effective option which greatly reduces the survivability of surrounding enemies, and its penalties only become even more magnified with the doubling effect of Plegian Bow. Joint Drive Atk technically grants better returns if your Defense penalties can be provided through ally-provided means like Sabotage Def.
    • Plegian Bow requires Raphael to be solo rather than adjacent to allies, meaning Atk/Def Solo is pretty much a shoe-in in his Sacred Seal. Should that not be available, Fierce Stance or even Atk/Spd Solo are similar-enough alternatives.
    • For increased burst damage at short notice (given Raphael should strive to do maximum damage at any given time), Glimmer and Moonbow are preferred Specials due to their short cooldown of 2.

Egyptian Theme Day, Only on Onlyfans! (Odd Follow-Up / Budget)

Build by accidentalgreed
Plegian Bow+ (+Def) A Death Blow 3
Alternate: Mirror Stance 2
Positional Assist B Odd Follow-Up 3
Moonbow
Alternate: Noontime
C Atk Smoke 3
IVs

+ATK or +DEF / -SPD or -RES or -HP

SAtk/Def Solo 3
Alternate: Death Blow 3

Show Explanation/Analysis

Weapon: Plegian Bow+ (+Def)

Assist: Positional Assist

Special: Moonbow / Noontime / Bonfire / Sol

Passive A: Death Blow / Mirror Stance 2 / Sturdy Stance 2

Passive B: Odd Follow-Up

Passive C: Atk Smoke

Sacred Seal: Atk/Def Solo / Death Blow

  • Not willing to put up some nice investment in Raphael just yet? No problem! His native skills as well as great stats allow him to operate as a mixed-phase nuke even with minimal investment, as long as you abide by his basic skill conditions such as attacking exclusively on odd turns (Odd Follow-Up) or not being adjacent to allies (Plegian Bow and Atk/Def Solo seal). 
  • Death Blow is an easily accessible A slot option which grants a nice amount of initiating power, whereas Mirror Stance or Sturdy Stance improves both his damage and bulk against incoming enemies. 
  • Since no Special acceleration in particular is involved with the build, Raphael can simply run Moonbow or Bonfire for short no-frills damage, or Noontime or Sol for sustained matchups. 

Strengths

Extremely Solid Statline

Being a fifth-generation armored unit has its perks, and it's made extremely obvious when looking at Raphael's modern-day base stat total of 179-180 and resulting distribution. The most obvious standout is Raphael's huge base 42 Attack, which ensures solid damage output across all builds he may run while becoming even more pristine at 46 with a super Asset (+4 instead of +3). The rest of Raphael's stats don't totally suffer from min-maxing either; 48 HP and 38 Defense provide a great amount of overall bulk — which can be made even better with skills and investment — while a modest 28 Speed can allow him to escape follow-up attacks from slower enemies. While he could stand to benefit from a bit more Resistance (the only trait where Valentines Faye reigns supreme over him), this, too, is buildable or serves little purpose on certain builds.

Powerful Selection of Weapons

Raphael already starts out with what is possibly a top-five bow weapon; Plegian Bow gains much by being native on Raphael, working on him both offensively and defensively, and granting similar if not more bonuses than Spendthrift Bow if you set up penalties right. Additionally, he can utilize Brave Bow for powerful single-strike damage on more offensive builds, or even use ol' reliable Spendthrift if penalty distribution isn't in your playstyle.

Four Star Focus

Very fortunately for Raphael fans or simply interested players alike, his seasonal summoning event puts him in the four star focus category. Thus, getting many copies / merges of him is quite feasible compared to five star locked heroes. Considering Raphael's overall value in many competitive game modes (he scores really well in modes based on Arena scoring and can be built to be a fantastic Aether Raids carry unit), it's definitely worth setting aside some rainy day Orbs for him.

Weaknesses

Average Speed and Resistance

Raphael’s Speed is actually rather decent for his archetype, though not to the point of avoiding a great amount of double attacks when uninvested. Generally, he should beware of hard hitters — especially magic-using — that can survive his hits and retaliate twice. Even if his Resistance is invested, base 23 can only get him so far as multiple repeated powerful magic hits may cave him in eventually.

Armored Shortcomings

Being limited to one space per turn not only limits Raphael's movement options without outsourced support (like Guidance or Armor March), but it also tends to be anti-synergistic with the solo nature of his native Plegian Bow. Having a weakness against armor-effective weapons will also cut into his bulkiness really quickly if not properly prepared against.

Weapon Skills

Weapons SP Rng. Mt.
Iron BowEffective against flying units.
Learns by default at 1 ★
Unlocks at 1 ★
Only Inheritable by Bow users.
50 2 4
Steel BowEffective against flying units.
Learns by default at 3 ★
Unlocks at 2 ★
Only Inheritable by Bow users.
100 2 6
Plegian BowEffective against flying foes. If unit is not adjacent to an ally, inflicts penalty on foe's Atk/Def during combat = 5 + any current penalty on each of those stats. (Example: if foe has -7 penalty to Atk, inflicts Atk-12, for a net penalty of Atk-19 during combat.) Calculates each stat penalty independently.
Learns by default at 4 ★
Unlocks at 3 ★
Only Inheritable by Bow users.
200 2 8
Plegian Bow+Effective against flying foes. If unit is not adjacent to an ally, inflicts penalty on foe's Atk/Def during combat = 5 + any current penalty on each of those stats. (Example: if foe has -7 penalty to Atk, inflicts Atk-12, for a net penalty of Atk-19 during combat.) Calculates each stat penalty independently.
Learns by default at 5 ★
Unlocks at 5 ★
Only Inheritable by Bow users.
300 2 12
Weapon Evolution
Weapon Upgrades
Weapon Upgrades

Support Skills

Support Skills Rng. SP
SmitePush adjacent ally 2 spaces farther away.
Learns by default at 4 ★
1 150

Passive Skills

Passive Skills SP Slot
Odd Follow-Up 1If it is an odd-numbered turn and unit's HP = 100%, unit makes a guaranteed follow-up attack and foe cannot make a follow-up attack.
Only inheritable by armor units.
Unlocks at 1 ★
60
B
Odd Follow-Up 2If it is an odd-numbered turn and unit's HP ≥ 50%, unit makes a guaranteed follow-up attack and foe cannot make a follow-up attack.
Only inheritable by armor units.
Unlocks at 2 ★
120
B
Odd Follow-Up 3If it is an odd-numbered turn, unit makes a guaranteed follow-up attack and foe cannot make a follow-up attack.
Only inheritable by armor units.
Unlocks at 4 ★
240
B
Atk Smoke 1After combat, inflicts Atk-3 on foes within 2 spaces of target through their next actions.
Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
Unlocks at 3 ★
60
C
Atk Smoke 2After combat, inflicts Atk-5 on foes within 2 spaces of target through their next actions.
Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
Unlocks at 4 ★
120
C
Atk Smoke 3After combat, inflicts Atk-7 on foes within 2 spaces of target through their next actions.
Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
Unlocks at 5 ★
240
C

Other Info

Origin
Fire Emblem: Three Houses

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