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Analysis by lordhelpme
Sain - Green Lance

5

Obtainable as a 5 only

Hero Stats

Max Avg Total Stats at Lvl 40
175
HP 41
ATK 42
SPD 38
DEF 36
RES 18

Stat Variations

Level 1 Stat Variation
5★
HP ATK SPD DEF RES
Low 18 8 9 9 2
Middle 19 9 10 10 3
High 20 10 11 11 4

Level 40 Stat Variations
5★
HP ATK SPD DEF RES
Low 37 38 35 33 15
Middle 41 42 38 36 18
High 44 45 41 39 21

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

does my face look like i’m thinking dirty thoughts? (General Offense)

Build by lordhelpme
Recommended
Jolly Jade Lance A Spd/Def Catch 4
Alternate: Atk/Spd Catch 4
Rally Assist B Flow Refresh 3
Alternate: Flow Guard 3
Glimmer
Alternate: Moonbow
C Atk/Spd Menace
Alternate: Joint Drive Spd
IVs

 +ATK or +SPD / -RES

SSwift Sparrow 2

Show Explanation/Analysis

Weapon: Jolly Jade Lance

Assist: Rally Assist / Flexible

Special: Glimmer / Moonbow / Ruptured Sky

Passive A: Spd/Def Catch / Atk/Spd Catch / Swift Sparrow / Atk/Spd Push

Passive B: Flow Refresh / Flow Guard / Flow Force 

Passive C: Atk/Spd Menace / Joint Drive Skills / Tactic Skills / Cavalry Buffs / Flexible

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

  • This build retains a Player Phase intensive approach, but adopts a straightforward damage focus rather than the more specialized capabilities of a Galeforce build. Both +ATK and +SPD IVs make for natural fits to elevate Sain’s offensive baseline.
  • The entirety of Sain’s default kit can be kept as all his native skills lend themselves well to the purposes of his build: Rally Up Atk+ naturally enables the bonus action effect of Jolly Jade Lance, Spd/Def Catch helps massively tone up Sain’s pressure and physical durability, and Flow Refresh offers nifty partial Null Follow-Up access while beefing up his longevity with constant heals.
    • That being said, Sain could do with replacing Spd/Def Catch for an A skill that enhances both Atk and Spd (rather than just one), as this reaps the greatest benefits for his damage. Atk/Spd Catch is especially notable for its staggering +9 Atk/Spd boost under the proper conditions, but Swift Sparrow and Atk/Spd Solo are good also.
    • Additionally, while Flow Refresh is solid, the secondary healing effect isn’t generally as potent as the Player Phase Guard allotted by Flow Guard and the debuff neutralization bonus of we; however, whether it’s worth switching to either of those two is largely up to personal preference and availability. 
  • Specials with low cooldowns (i.e. Glimmer, Moonbow, and Ruptured Sky) are optimal for their frequent activation rate, potentially triggering every round of combat if Sain’s foe can counterattack. As for his C and Sacred Seal, Sain is flexible to any option that boosts his offensive capacity and/or helps his team, such as Atk/Spd Menace (which pairs very well with Catch), Drive skills, and Swift Sparrow.

i believe in women’s wrongs (Galeforce / Hit-and-Run)

Build by lordhelpme
Recommended
Jolly Jade Lance A Heavy Blade 4
Alternate: Spd/Def Catch 4
Rally Assist B Flow Guard 3
Galeforce C Joint Drive Atk
Alternate: Def Smoke 3
IVs

 +ATK or +SPD / -RES

SQuickened Pulse

Show Explanation/Analysis

Weapon: Jolly Jade Lance

Assist: Rally Assist / Flexible

Special: Galeforce

Passive A: Heavy Blade / Spd/Def Catch / Atk/Spd Catch / Swift Sparrow

Passive B: Flow Guard / Flow Force / Flow Refresh / Wings of Mercy

Passive C: Joint Drive Atk / Smoke Skills / Cavalry Buffs / Savage Blow / Flexible

Sacred Seal: Quickened Pulse / Heavy Blade

  • While Galeforce-centric builds are common recommendations for any decent offensive cavalier, Sain makes for a particularly interesting case given the unique effects of his Jolly Jade Lance: paired with the Special and appropriate use of his Assist, he can potentially move up to three times in one turn by himself and cover surprising ground even before accounting for outside sources of refreshes. 
    • Either a +ATK or +SPD IV work well for generalist purposes, though +ATK should take priority for Aether Raids Offense to make Heavy Blade more reliable.
  • Regardless of where you’re using him, including Heavy Blade somewhere in Sain’s build is highly recommended to bypass the hefty base cooldown of Galeforce — it’s far too infrequent otherwise to be worthwhile. Using the Sacred Seal is perfectly fine for most formats and allows the usage of a stat-boosting A skill like Spd/Def Catch, Atk/Spd Catch, or Swift Sparrow for sharpened damage. However, for Galeforce-centric teams in Aether Raids Offense, using Heavy Blade as an A skill becomes far superior.
    • This change subsequently enables freedom to use the Quickened Pulse Sacred Seal instead, which reduces the number of hits necessary to activate Galeforce down to two (assuming Sain passes the Heavy Blade check and that his initial foe is not equipped with a Guard effect).
    • Minimizing the number of exchanges necessary to activate Galeforce is crucial to the success of these strategies in Aether Raids Offense, as the mode applies an inherent time crunch, and adopting this change lets Sain contribute to his team’s sweep without delay.
    • Since Jolly Jade Lance carries an innate 【Canto (Rem. +1) effect, Sain has no need to utilize a Trace skill and can instead wield the much more powerful Flow skills to neutralize effects that would impede his follow-up. This is particularly vital as he needs to land at least two strikes with Heavy Blade + Quickened Pulse on Offense, and this makes it so he doesn’t have to be bailed out by a refresher if a foe has an Impact effect. 
  • Although Wings of Mercy is a common staple in such teams, Sain can actually go without it pretty reliably: due to the second action given by Jolly Jade Lance upon using a Rally, he can essentially move up to six spaces by himself with a well-placed Assist, so the warping ability of Wings of Mercy may not be needed. That being said, if this is deemed too risky, the skill remains a valid choice.
  • Joint Drive skills are always good options, but shine especially bright in Aether Raids Offense as Sain is guaranteed to maintain close proximity to his allies once in the Galeforce chain; thus, these skills grant him and his team stats practically for free. Smoke skills, cavalry-exclusive buffs, and Savage Blow are also alternatives that fit both generalist and specialist purposes. 

if she has a million fans, i’m one of them. if she has ten fans, i am one of them. if she has only one fan, that one is me. if she has no fans, i’m no longer alive. if the world is against her, i am against the world. (Offensive / Support Hybrid)

Build by lordhelpme
Jolly Jade Lance A Spd/Def Catch 4
Alternate: Atk/Spd Catch 4
Rally Assist B Atk/Spd Ruse 3
Moonbow
Alternate: Glimmer
C Joint Drive Spd
Alternate: Atk Tactic 3
IVs

Flexible

SDef Feint 3

Show Explanation/Analysis

Weapon: Jolly Jade Lance

Assist: Rally Assist / Flexible

Special: Moonbow  / Glimmer  w / Ruptured Sky

Passive A: Spd/Def Catch / Atk/Spd Catch / Swift Sparrow / Atk/Spd Push

Passive B: Ruse Skills / Feint Skills

Passive C: Joint Drive Skills / Tactic Skills / Drive Skills / Cavalry Skills / Flexible

Sacred Seal: Feint Skills / Drive Skills / Tactic Skills

  • Considering that Sain is actively rewarded for using Rallies on his allies (as Jolly Jade Lance’s effect immediately refunds his lost turn), the Green Lance also has the option of leaning into the supportive utility of such Assists and complementary skills — without outright sacrificing his own offensive capacity. While +ATK and +SPD IVs remain his best options and are more than welcome, he’s much more flexible here since even a bad IV set can be made manageable by focusing on ally support entirely.
  • The biggest outright difference in skills compared to his other build options here lies in his B and Sacred Seal recommendations: since the focus here is on maximizing the benefits reaped upon using Rally Assists, it’s only natural to equip Ruse and Feint skills which simultaneously apply debuffs on cardinal foes while he’s busy buffing his team.
    • Ruse skills (which are locked to his B skill at the time of writing) can prove especially useful as they not only debuff two enemy stats at once, but also apply the widely appreciated Guard debuff to prevent foes from triggering their Special. 
    • Even if you choose to use a Drive or Tact as Sain’s Sacred Seal, it’s advised to at least use a Ruse if possible as it translates to the greatest stat swings across the board: his allies receive the bonuses from his Rally, he gains +6 Atk/Spd, and applicable foes lose -5 in two stats of your choosing.
    • The choice of which Rally, Ruse, and or Feint to wield though largely depends on what most greatly benefits your specific team composition — and remember, Sain can exploit the applied debuffs as well since he can attack post-Rally!

Strengths

Jolly Jade Lance

Unlike his unfortunate counterpart, Sain manages to avoid complete obscurity by merit of having access to a PRF weapon of his own, with Jolly Jade Lance’s mix of effects playing well to his innate Player Phase strengths. 

  • The weapon’s Atk/Spd boost and innate 【Canto (Rem. +1)】 alone are quite nifty for greater maneuverability options while on the offensive (especially as this frees his B skill for a Flow skill to gain partial Null Follow-Up), though the most interesting and alluring draw likely lies in its secondary effect.
  • Drawing inspiration from the infamous To Change Fate! and Future Vision Assist skills, Jolly Jade Lance immediately grants Sain another action and a bonus visible +6 Atk/Spd upon him using a Rally — akin to a self-refresh. 
  • Coupled with his【Canto (Rem. +1)】and exemplary cavalry movement, this makes Sain readily adept at expanding his reach far beyond what is expected of typical units without sacrificing momentum (particularly when supplemented further with Galeforce), while also offering some supportive value. 

Jolly Jade Lance isn’t really game-breaking or overly powerful per se, especially as he has no other means of punishing opponents beyond the above-mentioned Atk/Spd boost — however, there’s no denying that this is unique and certainly makes Sain a breath of fresh air relative to many of his contemporaries.

Great Offensive Statline

It would be pretty funny (and somewhat in-character) if Sain screwed up a whopping 175 base stat total, though he thankfully does not and actually features very competitive offensive values: with 42 Atk, 38 Spd, and further stat swings from his weapon, the Green Lance has little issue in dealing damage and performing follow-up attacks regularly.

Cavalry Benefits

As mentioned previously, Sain is in a fantastic position to exploit the heavy Player Phase lean and mobility-based nature of Jolly Jade Lance thanks to his cavalry status; this grants a starting three spaces of movement to work with for leveraging multiple actions, making his range deceptively large. This also gives access to the neat Flow line of skills to ensure his follow-up regardless of enemy mechanics, as well as ultimately dated (but still appreciated) class-exclusive buffs for easy team building at a lower investment. 

Weaknesses

Horrible Resistance

Similar to many, many, many cavalry units before him, Sain’s stat distribution leans so heavily into his offenses (and physical bulk to a slightly lesser degree) that his Resistance is left extremely poor. While his multiple means of escaping enemy range make it pretty simple to avoid leaving him at risk of being sniped by opposing mages, this poor value creates some problems even during the Player Phase as magical opponents who can counterattack may flat out OHKO him.

Weapon Skills

Weapons SP Rng. Mt.
Iron Lance
Learns by default at 1 ★
Unlocks at 1 ★
Lance Users Only
50 1 6
Steel Lance
Learns by default at 2 ★
Unlocks at 2 ★
Lance Users Only
100 1 8
Silver Sword
Learns by default at 4 ★
Unlocks at 3 ★
Only Inheritable by Sword Units.
200 1 11
Jolly Jade LanceEnables【Canto (Rem. +1)】. Grants Atk+3. If unit initiates combat or is within 2 spaces of an ally, grants Atk/Spd+6 to unit during combat. If a Rally Assist is used by unit, grants Atk/Spd+6 to unit for 1 turn and grants unit another action. (Once per turn.) 【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.)
Learns by default at 5 ★
Unlocks at 5 ★
Non-Inheritable skill.
400 1 16
Weapon Evolution
Weapon Upgrades
Weapon Upgrades

Support Skills

Support Skills Rng. SP
Rally AttackGrants Atk+4 to an adjacent ally until the end of the turn.
Learns by default at 4 ★
1 150
Rally Up AtkGrants Atk+3 to target ally and allies within 2 spaces of target (excluding unit) for 1 turn.
1 300
Rally Up Atk+Grants Atk+6 to target ally and allies within 2 spaces of target (excluding unit) for 1 turn.
1 400

Passive Skills

Passive Skills SP Slot
Spd/Def Catch 1At start of combat, if foe's HP = 100% or if【Penalty】is active on foe, grants Spd/Def+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
Spd/Def Catch 2At start of combat, if foe's HP = 100% or if【Penalty】is active on foe, grants Spd/Def+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
Spd/Def Catch 3At start of combat, if foe's HP = 100% or if【Penalty】is active on foe, grants Spd/Def+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
Spd/Def Catch 4At start of combat, if foe's HP = 100% or if【Penalty】is active on foe, grants Spd/Def+7 to unit during combat. At start of combat, if foe's HP = 100% and【Penalty】is active on foe, grants an additional Spd/Def+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
Flow Refresh 1At the start of combat, if unit's HP = 100% and unit initiates combat, neutralizes effects that prevent unit's follow-up attacks and restores 5 HP to unit after combat.
Melee Cavalry & Melee Flying Units Only
Unlocks at 1 ★
60
B
Flow Refresh 2At the start of combat, if unit's HP ≥ 50% and unit initiates combat, neutralizes effects that prevent unit's follow-up attacks and restores 7 HP to unit after combat.
Melee Cavalry & Melee Flying Units Only
Unlocks at 2 ★
120
B
Flow Refresh 3If unit initiates combat, neutralizes effects that prevent unit's follow-up attacks and restores 10 HP to unit after combat.
Melee Cavalry & Melee Flying Units Only
Unlocks at 4 ★
120
B

Other Info

Origin
Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade

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