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Tier Rating

Analysis by lordhelpme
Shannan - Wielder of Astra

5

Obtainable as a 5 only

Hero Stats

Max Avg Total Stats at Lvl 40
172
HP 43
ATK 38
SPD 36
DEF 37
RES 18

Stat Variations

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

Level 40 Stat Variations
5★
HP ATK SPD DEF RES
Low 40 35 33 34 14
Middle 43 38 36 37 18
High 46 42 39 40 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

Assets 

  • +ATK: Shannan benefits immensely from receiving a +ATK IV to further build upon its strong base Attack and enhance his raw damage output; it even comes as a four-point Asset to boot. This pairs particularly well with Vantage setups meant to maximize his OHKO potential in the Enemy Phase. 

  • +SPD: Increasing his Speed with a +SPD IV is another valid choice to enhance his ability to consistently perform and deny follow-up attacks; combined with the various boosts Balmung provides, this also serves to directly augment his ability to wield Speed-scaling skills like Imperial Astra, Close Call, and Repel.

Neutral

  • DEF / RES: Preserving Shannan’s defensive stats is recommended to keep him from taking unnecessary amounts of additional damage, with a -RES IV potentially proving particularly debilitating due to its status as a four-point Flaw; however, as his base Resistance is already quite poor, this remains a solid alternative should a -HP IV be unavailable.

Banes

  • -HP: Shannan can safely take a -HP IV without much detriment to his overall performance, making it his ideal choice of Flaw. Furthermore, it pairs quite nicely with skills like Vantage and Wrath that are dependent on maintaining low levels of HP. 

Skill Sets

Three Stage Eternity (Defensive Nuke)

Build by
Recommended
Balmung A Distant Counter
Reposition B Vantage 3
Glimmer
Alternate: Imperial Astra
C Pulse Smoke 3
Alternate: Def Smoke 3
IVsSFierce Stance 3

Show Explanation/Analysis

Preferred IVs: +ATK / -HP

This build aims to optimize Shannan’s performance as a defensive nuke -- a role he can carry out incredibly well thanks to his access to a stellar base Attack stat on top of the various boosts Balmung provides in the Enemy Phase. Accordingly, a +ATK IV is his ideal choice to heighten his raw damage output as much as possible.

Weapon: Balmung

  • Balmung benefits this build’s defensive playstyle perfectly, making him entirely impervious to penalties in the Enemy Phase (as well as when his foe is at full health at the start of combat). This makes for an extremely valuable quality given the increasing commonality of debuffs in enemy team compositions, allowing him to consistently remain at peak performance; the extra stats it provides are just a cherry-on-top. 

Assist: Reposition / Flexible

Special: Glimmer / Imperial Astra / Moonbow / Miracle

  • Specials with a short cooldown are preferred here to ensure Shannan’s ability to utilize them frequently. Glimmer is ideal as it possesses rather strong synergy with this build’s focus on heightening his firepower, though Imperial Astra is a good alternative should one desire a more consistent damage boost. Moonbow can also be taken to help solidify Shannan’s performance against bulkier opponents. 

  • Miracle makes for a worthwhile consideration to make here as well to grant Shannan some much-needed survivability since even with Vantage, taking damage isn’t always avoidable. However, taking Miracle may leave his damage output somewhat lacking if approached without adequate preparation, so providing him with a good amount of team support will prove vital in ensuring his success. 

Passive A: Distant Counter

  • Distant Counter is a phenomenal A slot skill that is wholly necessary for this build to function properly, providing Shannan with the coveted ability to counterattack against ranged opponents; while relatively simple, this effect translates into a huge boost to Shannan’s overall versatility and allows him to handle a greater number of threats than otherwise possible. 

Passive B: Vantage 

  • Vantage is another irreplaceable (but much more readily available) component of this build that allows the young prince to quickly shut down several foes consecutively without incurring further damage, making him incredibly effective at defensive play. That being said, one should still take caution as this skill is not without its flaws; opponents equipped with the Hardy Bearing seal or skills like the Hoshidan Summer weapons can negate the entirety of its potency.

Passive C: Pulse Smoke / Def Smoke / Savage Blow / Flexible

  • Smoke skills complement this defensive nature and bolster Shannan’s performance notably when attempting to engage multiple opponents in a single Enemy Phase. Pulse Smoke is particularly strong when utilizing him in Aether Raids Offense as this quickly neuters the effectiveness of teams centered around quick or instant Special activations, such as Infantry Pulse set-ups. 

  • Def Smoke is another good option for directly increased damage output. On a budget, Savage Blow may be taken to serve a similar purpose and directly diminish his opponents’ health, though its effectiveness compared to Def Smoke is generally inferior. 

Sacred Seal: Fierce Stance / Brazen Atk/Res / Brazen Atk/Def / Brazen Atk/Spd

  • The Fierce Stance seal is a simple, but powerful choice that further supplements Shannan’s Attack stat with no other prerequisite conditions other than simply being attacked. 

  • In exchange for losing out on Fierce Stance’s consistency, any of the Brazen seals that boost Attack currently available may be taken to enhance his combat prowess at lower levels of HP.

Boundlessness (Defensive Tank)

Build by
Recommended
Balmung A Distant Counter
Alternate: Steady Posture 3
Reposition B Repel 3
Alternate: Close Call 3
Noontime
Alternate: Sol
C Pulse Smoke 3
Alternate: Spd Smoke 3
IVsSSwift Stance 2

Show Explanation/Analysis

Preferred IVs: +SPD / -HP

While this build once again places an emphasis on Shannan’s performance in the Enemy Phase (similarly to the first), it focuses more on his ability to directly take on sustained offensive pressure through Speed-stacking to fully exploit the effects of skills like Repel and Close Call, as well as consistently avoid enemy follow-up attacks. Thus, a +SPD IV is Shannan’s optimal choice for the purposes of this build. 

Weapon: Balmung

Assist: Reposition / Flexible

Special: Noontime / Sol

  • A healing Special is highly recommended to further build upon Shannan’s survivability, though Balmung’s lack of a built-in Slaying effect does hinder their effectiveness somewhat. If providing some form of accelerated cooldown support (namely via Brave Lucina’s refined Geirskögul or Infantry Breath), Noontime is ideal as it will then activate on every counterattack -- otherwise, Sol should be taken to not waste Special charges. 

Passive A: Distant Counter / Steady Posture 

  • Distant Counter is recommended once more to boost Shannan’s versatility and widen the breadth of threats he can take on in the Enemy Phase. If unavailable, his native Steady Posture makes a decent alternative for its built-in Guard effect and simultaneous boost to his Speed and Defense upon being attacked, though this will limit his overall applicability immensely. 

Passive B: Repel / Close Call

  • Repel and Close Call are the centerpiece of this build, and for good reason. Aside from their minor movement-based effects (which will typically be a nonfactor given this build’s defensive playstyle), these skills also grant Shannan a substantial enemy damage reduction (including damage incurred from AoE Specials) based on the difference between his Speed stat and his opponent’s. 

  • At maximum potency (which requires that he have a ten-point Speed advantage), Shannan can reduce incoming damage by a significant 40% and easily take the brunt of most sources of sustained offensive pressure; this allows him to shine as a defensive tank. 

Passive C: Pulse Smoke / Atk Smoke / Spd Smoke / Flexible

Sacred Seal: Swift Stance / Darting Stance 

  • In accordance with this build’s intended playstyle, seals that increase his Speed in the Enemy Phase are ideal. Swift Stance is arguably his best option due to its concurrent boost to his Resistance (another key stat), but Darting Stance is a strong contender as well. 

Strengths

Balmung

Shannan’s defining feature is undoubtedly his exclusive weapon, Balmung. In addition to providing an excellent +5 overall stat boost when his foe has full HP at the start of combat or in the Enemy Phase, Balmung possesses the rare ability to negate any penalties affecting Shannan upon fulfilling its conditions -- an effect that proves extremely useful given the increasing commonality of debuffs in enemy team compositions. 

Great Stat Spread

Fortunately enough, Shannan can make great use of Balmung’s various effects thanks to his overall solid statline. His offensive stats are quite good (and he even boasts access to a four-point +ATK IV), his physical bulk is phenomenal, and his magical bulk (albeit rather low in comparison to other new entries) is generally sufficient to survive an attack from most green mages. 

Fantastic Defensive Capabilities

While he may not necessarily boast as much of the flexibility in playstyle as some of his contemporaries (such as Mareeta and both versions of Byleth), Shannan’s defensive capabilities are some of the strongest around thanks to the combined power of Balmung and his inherently good statline; this allows him to shine when built with such a purpose in mind.

Imperial Astra

Shannan’s exclusive Special, Imperial Astra, is a formidable offensive Special that allows him to convert his high base Speed into offensive might and comes with a short two-turn Special to boot. While not quite as useful as it once may have been, it remains a noteworthy tool at his disposal nonetheless.

Infantry

As an infantry unit, Shannan benefits from access to powerful exclusive skills like Repel and Close Call, which he can utilize quite effectively to augment his combat prowess considerably.

Weaknesses

Low Resistance

Shannan’s base Resistance stat of 18 is absolutely horrendous and causes him to take notable amounts of damage from incoming magical threats, rendering him incapable of handling them should he not be properly equipped to do so. 

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
BalmungGrants Spd+3. If foe initiates combat or if foe's HP = 100% at start of combat, neutralizes penalties on unit and grants Atk/Spd/Def/Res+5 to unit during combat.
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
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
Imperial AstraBoost damage by 40% of unit's Spd.
Unlocks at 5 ★
500 2

Passive Skills

Passive Skills SP Slot
Darting Stance 1Grants Spd+2 during combat when this unit is attacked.
Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
Unlocks at 2 ★
50
A
Steady Posture 1If foe initiates combat, grants Spd/Def+2 during combat.
Inheritable by all units.
Unlocks at 3 ★
120
A
Steady Posture 2If foe initiates combat, grants Spd/Def+4 during combat.
Inheritable by all units.
Unlocks at 4 ★
240
A
Steady Posture 3If foe initiates combat, grants Spd/Def+6 to unit during combat and inflicts Special cooldown charge -1 on foe per attack. (Only highest value applied. Does not stack.)
Inheritable by all units.
Unlocks at 5 ★
300
A
Wrath 1If unit's HP ≤ 25%, Special cooldown count-1 at start of turn if Special triggers by attacking. If Special triggers, +10 damage from Special.
Melee, Infantry, and Armored Only
Unlocks at 3 ★
60
B
Wrath 2If unit's HP ≤ 50%, Special cooldown count-1 at start of turn if Special triggers by attacking. If Special triggers, +10 damage from Special.
Melee, Infantry, and Armored Only
Unlocks at 4 ★
120
B
Wrath 3If unit's HP ≤ 75%, Special cooldown count-1 at start of turn if Special triggers by attacking. If Special triggers, +10 damage from Special.
Melee, Infantry, and Armored Only
Unlocks at 5 ★
240
B
Even Spd Wave 1At start of even-numbered turns, grants Spd+2 to unit and adjacent allies for 1 turn. (Bonus granted to unit even if no allies are adjacent.)
Inheritable by all units.
Unlocks at 1 ★
60
C
Even Spd Wave 2At start of even-numbered turns, grants Spd+4 to unit and adjacent allies for 1 turn. (Bonus granted to unit even if no allies are adjacent.)
Inheritable by all units.
Unlocks at 2 ★
120
C
Even Spd Wave 3At start of even-numbered turns, grants Spd+6 to unit and adjacent allies for 1 turn. (Bonus granted to unit even if no allies are adjacent.)
Inheritable by all units.
Unlocks at 4 ★
240
C

Other Info

Origin
Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War

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