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Analysis by accidentalgreed
Setsuna - Absent Archer

3-4

Obtainable as a 3 - 4 only

Hero Stats

Max Avg Total Stats at Lvl 40
147
HP 37
ATK 28
SPD 37
DEF 22
RES 23

Stat Variations

Level 1 Stat Variation
5★
4★
3★
HP ATK SPD DEF RES
Low 17 5 8 4 5
Middle 18 6 9 5 6
High 19 7 10 6 7

Level 40 Stat Variations
5★
4★
3★
HP ATK SPD DEF RES
Low 34 24 34 19 20
Middle 37 28 37 22 23
High 41 31 40 25 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

A Regular At Midori's (Mixed Phase Build)

Build by accidentalgreed
Recommended
Setsuna's Yumi (+Eff)
Alternate: Spendthrift Bow+ (+Spd)
A Atk/Spd Solo (3 or 4)
Alternate: Mirror Stance 3
Positional Assist B Lull Atk/Spd 3
Alternate: Null C-Disrupt 3
Iceberg
Alternate: Noontime
C Atk Smoke 3
Alternate: Pulse Smoke 3
IVs

+SPD or +RES or +DEF

SSpd/Res Solo 3
Alternate: Swift Stance 2

Show Explanation/Analysis

Weapon: Setsuna's Yumi (+Eff) / Spendthrift Bow+ (+Spd)

Assist: Positional Assist

Special: Iceberg / Noontime / Moonbow

Passive A: Atk/Spd Solo / Mirror Stance 3 / Spd/Res Solo, Form, or Bond / Distant Def / Steady Posture / Bonus Doubler

Passive B: Lull Atk/Spd / Null C-Disrupt / Dull Ranged / Null Follow-Up

Passive C: Atk Smoke / Pulse Smoke

Sacred Seal: Spd/Res Solo / Swift Stance / Mirror Stance / Bond equivalents

  • A build more specialized against ranged enemies is what one of Setsuna's Yumi's effects is all about: she gets a nice spectrum of stats +4 against bow, dagger, staff, and magical enemies. As a result of the listed skills on this build, Setsuna tends to have more stable matchups and can generally last longer if not indefinitely. Unfortunately, her Defense and Resistance being rather uninspiring at base means Setsuna will have to try harder than other archers at improving her bulk.
    • For a more direct measure at improving Setsuna's bulk, the inheritable Spendthrift Bow does well in this—it directly applies a massive in-combat Atk debuff of -7 against all does (rather than just ranged). To top it off, it even improves Setsuna's damage output with a +7 in-combat Atk boost.
  • Fortunately, Setsuna's Speed being at such a high defensive value means Setsuna can afford to consider a variety of non-Spd boosting A slot skills and Sacred Seals. Mirror Stance, for instance, helps out Setsuna's normally low damage output while improving her magic tankability.
    • For those still wishing to invest in Setsuna's Speed—a valuable venture as Setsuna can avoid more doubles and perform follow-up attacks more frequently herself—skills such as Steady Posture, Spd/Res Solo, Atk/Spd Solo, and their Bond, Solo, Stance, or Form counterparts are also on the table. Which one you choose depends on what you can afford which additional stats you'd like to invest in.
    • If you honor Setsuna's Yumi's second condition—that is, having a bonus active and receiving +5 Atk/Spd in return—then Bonus Doubler may be worth consideration. If bonuses in all stats are active on Setsuna, she technically gains better stat boosts than she would with any other A slot skills. However this makes Setsuna dreadfully weak against opponents utilizing Lull or Panic skills as she is absolutely reliant on having visible bonuses at every given time.
  • Setsuna's chosen Sacred Seal also reflects the previous point; it's relatively easy to recommend Spd/Res Solo as it benefits Setsuna's bulk significantly for a rather relaxed condition.
  • Either Atk or Pulse Smoke enhances Setsuna's ability to persist against incoming mobs of enemies, which is a common scenario in Aether Raids Offense. The former directly debilitates incoming damage, whereas the latter dismantles enemy teams reliant on precharged Specials.
  • Finally, Setsuna's B slot is a choice between further enhancing her bulk or increasing her scope of targets. Lull Atk/Spd (or Dull Ranged if you're on a budget—it synergizes with Setsuna's Yumi's specialized ranged effect too) is easily one of the best you can offer the build as it swings Spd-based matchups in Setsuna's favor while shutting down fully-boosted attacks against her. Null C-Disrupt can also be considered if you'd like Setsuna to be your main healer / Firesweep Bow / Windsweep mage killer, though against other foes it's basically an empty B slot skill. Finally, Null Follow-Up significantly improves Setsuna's matchups against units with problematic follow-up manipulation skills, especially Impact skills, Bold Fighter, Quick RiposteDark Scripture, Great Flame, and others.

The Refine's a Trap (Offensive Setsuna's Yumi)

Build by accidentalgreed
Recommended
Setsuna's Yumi (+Eff) A Swift Sparrow 3
Alternate: Bonus Doubler 3
Positional Assist B Desperation 3
Alternate: Lull Spd/Def 3
Moonbow
Alternate: Luna
C Atk/Spd Oath 3
Alternate: Rouse Spd/Def 3
IVs

+SPD or +ATK

SSwift Sparrow 2
Alternate: Flashing Blade 3

Show Explanation/Analysis

Weapon: Setsuna's Yumi (+Eff)

Assist: Positional Assist / Ardent Sacrifice

Special: Moonbow / Luna

Passive A: Swift Sparrow 3 / Bonus Doubler / Atk/Spd Push 4 / Life and Death / Fury

Passive B: Desperation / Lull Spd/Def

Passive C: Atk/Spd Oath / Rouse Spd/Def/ Joint Hone Spd / Flexible

Sacred Seal: Swift Sparrow / Flashing Blade

  • This build is centered around using Setsuna's Yumi offensively. Setsuna's unique weapon provides much-needed additional stats to improve its namesake holder's only passable statline. It has two main effects:
    • First it grants +4 Atk/Spd/Def/Res if Setsuna is fighting ranged enemies.
    • Second, it further boosts Setsuna's Atk/Spd by 5 provided she has a visible stat bonus on herself.
  • The weapon's first condition of fighting ranged allies is unfortunately dependent on the enemy's team setup, so much of this build relies on the more consistent circumstance: having a bonus on Setsuna. This can easily be done by running Rallies, Openings, Gaps, and other support skills on Setsuna's allies, but for the sake of build optimization, passive Cs such as Atk/Spd Oath and Rouse Spd/Def and Joint Hone Spd allow Setsuna to self-sufficiently get visible bonuses at her own convenience.
  • A focus on attaining bonuses to fulfill Setsuna's Yumi's conditions makes Bonus Doubler a good option to consider. With a self-buffing C slot and other methods of attaining bonuses, the skill can provide an all-round stat increase, though it is extremely vulnerable to enemies running Panic or Lull skills. For insurance against such foes and general reliability, you may instead consider typical Atk/Spd-focused modifiers such as Swift Sparrow, Atk/Spd Push, Fury, or Life and Death; Setsuna only really misses out on defensive bonuses by taking one of these.
  • Such a player phase-focused build also makes the Sacred Seals Flashing Blade (faster Special activation) or Swift Sparrow (another consistent source of offensive stats) optimal.
  • Finally, the B slot is a choice between Desperation (safety in initiating attacks at lower health while being a cheap general gameplay choice) and Lull Spd/Def (pushes Setsuna's damage even further while swinging Spd comparisons in her favor for more follow-up attacks).

Hinoka's Zero Yen Payroll (Literally Any Other Bow)

Build by accidentalgreed
Helm Bow+ (+Spd)
Alternate: Brave Bow+
A Swift Sparrow (2 or 3)
Alternate: Life and Death (3 or 4)
Ardent Sacrifice
Alternate: Draw Back
B Desperation 3
Alternate: Lull Spd/Def 3
Luna
Alternate: Moonbow
C Time's Pulse 3
Alternate: Spd Smoke 3
IVs

+ATK (especially for Brave Bow) or +SPD

SSwift Sparrow 2
Alternate: Death Blow 3

Show Explanation/Analysis

Weapon: Helm Bow+ (+Spd) / Brave Bow+ / Firesweep Bow+ / Fishie Bow (+Spd) / Coral Bow+ (+Spd) / Candlewax Bow+ (+Spd) / Slaying Bow+ (+Spd)

Assist: Positional Assist

Special: Luna / Moonbow / Blazing Wind

Passive A: Swift Sparrow / Life and Death / Atk/Spd Solo / Fury / Atk/Spd Push 4 / Flashing Blade 4

Passive B: Desperation / Lull Spd/Def / Special Spiral

Passive C: Time's Pulse / Spd Smoke / Def Smoke

Sacred Seal: Swift Sparrow / Death Blow / Flashing Blade

  • Let's not mince words: Setsuna could have gone with something significantly better than what she got for an exclusive weapon, and nobody will fault you for going with literally any other bow. Aside from your personal choice of bow, however, this build is built largely the same way as other offensive heroes: an Atk/Spd-boosting A-slot (also your choice and preference, though Special Spiral + AOE builds will prefer Life and Death or Fury as well as Candlewax Bow's Fury effect), Desperation or Lull Spd/Def to promote follow-up attacks, and a useful offensive Sacred Seal.
  • By fate's whims, the seasonal pirate Brigid came in the same update Setsuna's Yumi did, and her weapon, Helm Bow, is pretty much what the doctor ordered. It provides a stronger built-in form of Lull Spd/Def, which serves to improve Setsuna's follow-up potential and her normally piddling damage while nullifying enemy boosts.
    • However, it is a rather hefty investment coming from a 5 star exclusive seasonal unit, which applies to other very potent weapons such as Fishie Bow (Desperation built-in so you can simply run Lull Spd/Def in the B slot) and Coral Bow (functions similarly to Helm Bow while providing stat support for other allies).
  • Fortunately, the generic summoning and Heroic grail pool holds some pretty promising weapon choices.
    • Brave Bow and Firesweep Bow have been longtime friends of Setsuna since launch, and for good reason. The former provides great single-strike blitz damage thanks to hitting twice, though its low Might is not a great match for Setsuna's low Atk these days unless you equip high Atk-boosting A slots and Seals. Firesweep Bow allows for safe initiations by hitting everybody but Null C-Disrupt users for free. However, it tends to lack additional bite compared to other stat-granting weapons.
    • Candlewax Bow and Slaying Bow are ideal for builds running Special Spiral + AOE Specials, as the former improves Setsuna's Atk visibly and thus improves AOE damage, whereas the latter takes away the need to run Flashing Blade in either the A slot or Seal to get the Special ready immediately. Otherwise, however, Candlewax Bow tends to outclassed by the additional stats Setsuna's Yumi offers, and Slaying Bow tends to be a rather boring choice without good Special activation techniques.
  • As far as the C slot is concerned, Time's Pulse is the only real premium recommendation as it enables frequent Special activation without Blade skill usage. Otherwise, a Smoke of your choosing or anything else that suits your team will do more than fine!

Strengths

High Speed

If there's one standout thing about Setsuna's statline, it's her fortunately and reasonably high base 37 Speed. With further skill investment, Setsuna has little trouble getting follow-up attacks and avoiding being doubled herself, giving it nice defensive and offensive applications. It also synergizes well with Flashing Blade, a potent skill that finds itself in many Setsuna builds.

Infantry Perks and Skill Access

Setsuna is only thankful for her access to Lull skills and Time's Pulse thanks to being an infantry unit. Support-wise, Setsuna also enjoys her allies being able to offer her Infantry Pulse, Infantry Flash, Geirskögul, and much more.

Fantastic Weapon Library

Bow units are blessed with a variety of colorful, viable bow weapons to choose from, and Setsuna fortunately has the choice of being able to choose from alternatives if her unique weapon doesn't quite suit your playstyle. Helm Bow and Fishie Bow are examples of such alternatives that would have been her best choices had she not received her unique weapon.

Weaknesses

Limiting Weapon

An occuring opinion among dedicated users of the character, Setsuna's Yumi doesn't quite satisfy as one of its effects only grants additional stats against ranged enemies (instead, it could have been useful against all enemies, especially Distant Counter units). Additionally, though providing visible bonuses should be a relatively easy task, specialized bonus support may impose teambuilding constraints for some players.

Low Attack

One of Setsuna's main points of mocked-fame is unfortunately her starting base Attack stat of 28, which touches a not-so-hot point of averageness between "acceptable" and "laughable". While it can be made up by using high damage modifiers such as the Death Blow seal, Flashing Blade 4, Swift Sparrow 3, and others, the fact of the matter is that Setsuna won't be hitting the fat quite as frequently as other modern-day bow choices.

Exploitable Defenses

Base 22 Defense and 23 Resistance cushioned only by a worrying 37 HP is something that limits Setsuna's tanking abilities across all builds. Even the best defensive skills can only hold up so much against constant pressure.

Outclassed

Setsuna has a lot going for her, but the things holding her up are also accessible to bow units with more stable statlines and sometimes clearly better unique weapons and movement options (see: Brave Lyn and Bernadetta). Setsuna's main point of uniqueness, her own weapon, merely improves her stats all-around where which newer units would eclipse them with their natural statlines.

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
Assassin's BowEffective against fliers. If target has a dagger, it can't make a follow-up attack and this unit will.
Learns by default at 4 ★
Unlocks at 3 ★
Only Inheritable by Bow users.
200 2 7
Assassin's Bow+Effective against fliers. If target has a dagger, it can't make a follow-up attack and this unit will.
Learns by default at 5 ★
Unlocks at 5 ★
Only Inheritable by Bow users.
300 2 11
Setsuna's YumiEffective against flying foes. If foe uses bow, dagger, magic, or staff, grants Atk/Spd/Def/Res+4 during combat.  
Unlocks at 5 ★
Non-Inheritable skill.
400 2 14
Weapon Evolution
Weapon Upgrades
Weapon Upgrades

Support Skills

Support Skills Rng. SP
Reciprocal AidSwap HP with adjacent ally (neither unit can go above their max HP).
Learns by default at 4 ★
1 150

Passive Skills

Passive Skills SP Slot
HP +3Grants +3 to max HP.
Inheritable by all units.
Unlocks at 3 ★
40
A
HP +4Grants +4 to max HP.
Inheritable by all units.
Unlocks at 4 ★
80
A
HP +5Grants +5 to max HP.
Inheritable by all units.
Unlocks at 5 ★
160
A
Bowbreaker 1If unit's HP ≥ 90% in combat against a colorless bow user, unit makes a follow-up attack and foe cannot.
Non-Inheritable by flying units.
Unlocks at 3 ★
50
B
Bowbreaker 2If unit's HP ≥ 70% in combat against a colorless bow user, unit makes a follow-up attack and foe cannot.
Non-Inheritable by flying units.
Unlocks at 3 ★
100
B
Bowbreaker 3If unit's HP ≥ 50% in combat against a colorless bow user, unit makes a follow-up attack and foe cannot.
Non-Inheritable by flying units.
Unlocks at 4 ★
200
B

Other Info

Origin
Fire Emblem Fates

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Official Hero Artwork