Analysis by ZeShado
Shez (M) - Rising Mercenary


Obtainable as a 5 only

Hero Stats

Max Avg Total Stats at Lvl 40
HP 40
ATK 43
SPD 41
DEF 37
RES 26

Stat Variations

Level 1 Stat Variation
Low 17 12 10 8 3
Middle 18 13 11 9 4
High 19 14 12 10 5

Level 40 Stat Variations
Low 36 40 38 34 22
Middle 40 43 41 37 26
High 43 47 45 40 29

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.

Skill Sets

The Vantage Demon (Vantage)

Build by ZeShado
Crimson Blades A Distant Dart
Alternate: Distant Countering A Slot
Ardent Sacrifice
Alternate: Positional Assist
B Vantage 3
Godlike Reflexes
Alternate: Ruptured Sky
C Time's Pulse 3
Alternate: Atk/Spd Oath 4


SBrazen Atk/Spd 3
Alternate: Atk/Spd Solo 3

Show Explanation/Analysis

Weapon: Crimson Blades

Assist: Ardent Sacrifice / Positional Assist

Special: Godlike Reflexes / Ruptured Sky / Vital Astra / Moonbow / Miracle

A Passive: Distant Dart / Distant Countering A Slot

B Passive: Vantage

C Passive: Time’s Pulse / Atk/Spd Oath 4 / Joint Drive Atk

Sacred Seal: Brazen Atk/Spd / Atk/Spd Solo

  • As with many other Dual Phase Brave weaponry, one of the better and more effective approaches in the current metagame is a Distant Counter + Vantage set as many units are opting out of the likes of Hardy Bearing and Firesweep due to the prevalence of Saves. As such, you can effectively sit around in most cases and have enemies launch themselves to their deaths. Many Dual Phase Brave weaponry also come in all sorts of facets, whether that’s Valentian Palla with her Adaptive Damage, Altina & Winter Altina with Twin Blades, or in Shez’s case, being extremely fast and not having to run the likes of Breath skills or support as it’s built into Crimson Blades. That, combined with his sky-high base Atk stat of 43, he’s going to be hitting quite hard in general and is effectively one of the few units that can take advantage of Spd-based effects or Specials. As such, this set will be here to highlight some of the best skills you can run for his Vantage set.
  • To get the most out of the Vantage set, Shez will want to have it ready out of the gate so that he isn’t playing with RNG to hopefully fall into the right HP threshold. So, running Ardent Sacrifice will allow him to dictate how much HP he wants and should dispose of so that he can Vantage will maintain the additional benefits that come with Crimson Blades. However, given that it does have 40% Damage Reduction, you could always gamble it and simply run any other Assist instead. Just keep in mind that it won’t always work out in your favor that way.
  • In terms of notable Specials, Shez is able to take advantage of the likes of Godlike Reflexes quite well as he can simply set up the charges in the Enemy Phase and have a bigger safety net on the off-chance he has to take a hit from an opponent and the innate Damage Reduction isn’t enough. However, if you feel confident in the amount of Damage Reduction he already has, he can simply run a low-cooldown Special such as Ruptured Sky, Vital Astra, or Moonbow. Ruptured Sky, while less consistent than Vital Astra, can help out dramatically against Medeus and Seiros matchups that he could potentially struggle with otherwise. However, beyond those specific threats, Vital Astra will be a lot better. That being said, given how expensive these Specials are, he could always keep his innate Moonbow, which should be fine enough, or run Miracle for a failsafe.
  • Since Shez will be acting as a Vantage unit, he’ll naturally want to counter against any foe so that he isn’t prone to damage or death. As such, Distant Counter is his only viable option in this set, and in terms of best options, Distant Dart will be the go-to. He could always opt for Distant Storm, but given that it does have chip damage attached to it, he could end up falling out of Crimson Blades’ HP thresholds and be less effective in the long run. Regardless, it’s not a bad option for him but just be wary of his HP throughout multiple combats.
  • For the most part, Shez can simply keep his innate Atk/Spd Oath 4 as it does grant Atk and Spd during combat in addition to the visible buffs it grants at the start of every turn. However, depending on where and/or which Aether Raids season you use him in, having an external first charge may be important, especially if he has to take a hit or two initially. As such, if there aren’t any external support options that can grant him some form of Quickened Pulse, then he’ll want to run Time’s Pulse instead, especially if running Godlike Reflexes, as he wants to have that failsafe ready to go as soon as possible. Beyond that, he could opt for Joint Drive Atk and while that’ll mostly be a considerable downgrade from Atk/Spd Oath 4, it does grant one more point of Atk during combat which can help for securing kills in general. He’s really fast as is, so perhaps ditching three points of Spd may be worth it for the extra point of Atk but more often than not, it won’t make the grandest difference.
  • Lastly, given that he already has a Breath effect present in his weapon, the best thing he can run in his Sacred Seal would be anything that significantly boosts his overall Atk and Spd. Brazen Atk/Spd is a perfect choice for him in particular as it synergizes amazingly with Vantage in general. However, if you want immediate Atk and Spd bonuses, Atk/Spd Solo is a good alternative.

I Love Hitting Twice in the Player Phase (Galeforce)

Build by ZeShado
Crimson Blades A Fury (3 or 4)
Alternate: Atk/Spd Boosting A Slot
Positional Assist
Alternate: Reciprocal Aid
B Velocity 3
Alternate: Spd/Def Tempo 3
Galeforce C Time's Pulse 3
Alternate: Odd Tempest 3

+ATK or +SPD / -HP

SFury 3
Alternate: Blade Session 3

Show Explanation/Analysis

Weapon: Crimson Blades

Assist: Positional Assist / Reciprocal Aid

Special: Galeforce

A Passive: Fury (3 or 4) / Atk/Spd Boosting A Slot

B Passive: Velocity / Spd/Def Tempo / Frenzy / Windsweep / Watersweep / Desperation / Null Follow-Up

C Passive: Time’s Pulse / Odd Tempest / Even Tempest

Sacred Seal: Fury / Blade Session

  • Crimson Blades having an innate Breath effect, on top of Shez being Infantry, means he can opt for a solid Galeforce set. What’s also beneficial is that his HP is relatively balanced, sitting at a base of 40, and also contains a superbane, so setting him up as a Wings of Mercy beacon is more than feasible. As such, this set is here to highlight notable passive options that can synergize with the role in mind. Just keep note that once he falls below 20% HP, he will lose the Breath effect but this won’t matter too much since the idea is to have allies teleport in and clean up the rest.
  • The Assist doesn’t matter too much in the grand scheme of things but you could always have him ready out of the gate as a Wings of Mercy beacon if he’s running Reciprocal Aid and an ally that inflicts chip damage at the start of every turn (Winter Bernadetta & Brave Lysithea). That being said, it’s relatively easy to set up via two combats so it’s not that necessary. Regardless, it’s worth mentioning.
  • Given that the idea is to have Shez fall below or equal to half of his max health, he’ll naturally want to run passives that inflict chip damage after each combat. As such, Fury in the A Slot and Sacred Seal will allow him to fall into the Wings of Mercy range within two combats, regardless if it’s Fury 3 or 4. However, if you plan to go down the Reciprocal Aid route, he can simply run any A Passive and Sacred Seal that boosts his overall Atk and Spd.
  • The B Passive is where Shez has some of the most variety. The goal, first and foremost, is to get an initial Galeforce off, so having any form of Tempo effect will be the best possible approach. The recently released Velocity, which also grants Damage Reduction, is a fantastic option especially for helping him securely fall into range. He could also run Spd/Def Tempo if Velocity isn’t an option. That being said, he could always run external support to further charge his Galeforce on Turn 1 so that he won’t need Tempo in his kit. If that’s the approach you choose, he can instead opt for Frenzy or Windsweep/Watersweep, the former allowing him to quad before the foe can counter while also providing Damage Reduction, and the latter allowing him to negate counterattacks based on certain weapon types.
  • Time’s Pulse will be convenient for helping Shez get Galeforce going safely. However, if you can provide enough external charges to him so that he can securely trigger Galeforce without the need of Time’s Pulse, he can instead opt for either Odd Tempest or Even Tempest for ease of entering combat. A simple Infantry Pulse support should suffice but if you want to be extra secure, you can also pair him with Velouria.

Why Am I Tanking? I Have Defensive Penalties in My Weapon! (Melee Specialist)

Build by ZeShado
Crimson Blades A Atk/Spd Unity
Alternate: Steady Posture 3
Positional Assist B Spd/Def Bulwark 3
Alternate: Null C-Disrupt 3
Dragon Fang
Alternate: Noontime
C Atk/Spd Oath 4
Alternate: Pulse Smoke 3

+ATK or +SPD / -RES

SMystic Boost 3
Alternate: Atk/Spd Form 3

Show Explanation/Analysis

Weapon: Crimson Blades

Assist: Positional Assist

Special: Dragon Fang / Noontime / Ignis

A Passive: Atk/Spd Unity / Steady Posture 3

B Passive: Spd/Def Bulwark / Null C-Disrupt / Velocity / Atk/Def Bulwark / Null Follow-Up

C Passive: Atk/Spd Oath 4 / Pulse Smoke

Sacred Seal: Mystic Boost / Atk/Spd Form

  • Shez has quite a lot of flexibility when it comes to what roles he can enter, and the Melee Specialist role is no exception. He already comes with Bulwark so the initial investment won’t be as bad compared to other kits he would otherwise run. It’s a relatively simple role in the grand scheme of things as the idea is to stack up bulk and healing properties so that he can prioritize one-ranged foes and have Far Save support in the back protecting him from any two-ranged threat. And despite having a Def and Res penalty built into Crimson Blades, his Def stat after that point isn’t exactly the worst, and if you are worried about incoming damage, he has innate Damage Reduction and can run Spd-based Damage Reduction skills in his B Passive. As such, it could be a worthwhile endeavor, especially if you want more build variety.
  • Because Crimson Blades has innate Breath, either running a four-cooldown Special or a fast-charging healing Special will be the way to go. His defensive stats aren’t nearly as high as his Atk stat, and more often than not, Specials that scale on his Atk stat will deal more damage than Specials that scale off his Def. However, depending on which stats you decide to stack, he could always interchange the Special between Dragon Fang and Ignis. Otherwise, he can run Noontime for instant healing on retaliation.
  • Depending on the tanking route you want to go down, Shez can either run Atk/Spd Unity or Steady Posture 3. The former helps against skills and effects that would otherwise hinder his ability to get damage out while the latter can bolster his Def and Spd, thus double-dipping into the tanking niche and making him a much more effective physical tank. In some niche cases, it can also help against units that have a Brave-Esque weapon as the Guard effect can prevent Specials they’d otherwise trigger.
  • Akin to the previous set, Shez has quite a lot of options for his B Passive. Spd/Def Bulwark and Atk/Def Bulwark are some of his best options as they not only protect the backline and make him a much more effective Melee Specialist but they also debuff for their respective stats and heal his HP after each combat, thus keeping his Crimson Blades’ conditions easier to manage. Atk/Def Bulwark will probably be the better of the two as it cuts down on the foes’ Atk. Of course, if you would rather run something else, he can instead either opt for Null C-Disrupt, if you want to prevent any form of Firesweep effect, Velocity if you would much rather rely on Spd-based Damage reduction and have the ability to secure Specials, or Null Follow-Up if you’re worried about missing a kill and the foe having some form of guaranteed follow-up.
  • In terms of notable C Passives, Shez already has Atk/Spd Oath 4 which will do well enough for him. It not only boosts his visible Atk and Spd but also provides Atk and Spd during combat. The former effect can also pair well with Atk/Spd Unity and essentially secure his ability to double in most, if not all, scenarios. Of course, you could always replace it with Pulse Smoke if you want to prevent instant Specials from foes but more often than not, Atk/Spd Oath is going to be a lot more consistent since there’s never a guarantee that the foe will have an instant Special and/or if it can simply be recharged with a Slaying weapon and Time’s Pulse.
  • Beyond that, if running any Bulwark, Shez will want Mystic Boost as his Sacred Seal so that he can keep his sustainability consistently high. With Bulwark and Mystic Boost, he’ll heal back 13 HP after each combat, which is very convenient for maintaining Crimson Blades’ conditions. However, if you would rather run a healing Special instead for consistent sustain, he can instead opt for any Sacred Seal that boosts his Atk and Spd (mainly Atk/Spd Form since it’ll be the most consistent).


Crimson Blades

    Take what you knew about Brave-Esque weaponry and turn the dial up to 11 because Shez’s Crimson Blades is arguably one of the best Swords we’ve gotten to date. To summarize its effects, it essentially grants the following:

  • Grants +5 Spd & Inflicts -5 Def/Res
  • Attack Twice Consecutively in Both Phases (Dual Phase Brave)
  • Accelerated Special Cooldown Per Hit if Above 20% HP (Breath)
  • 40% Damage Reduction on Foe’s First Hit if Above 40% HP

    This may not seem like much in the grand scheme of things as the weapon description doesn’t take up the entire screen like Nailah’s weapon does, but it’s the effects that he does have that make him as amazing as he is. For starters, and arguably the most important effect, the Dual Phase Brave he has innately, allowing him to strike twice in both phases consecutively, grants him an absurd amount of passive and role flexibility, akin to other types of Dual Phase Brave users. However, most units of that kind cannot stack Spd, which gives Shez a desirable edge over his contemporaries. Beyond that, he also has a Breath effect that can allow him to easily charge Specials and output significant amounts of damage, as well as 40% Damage Reduction which can be used for setting up Vantage or general tanking, especially when paired with a Damage Reduction B Passive. When combining all of these effects into one weapon, Shez ends up performing at the top of his class, and given that there are barely any notable counters to Dual Phase Brave weaponry at this time, especially for those who can stack Spd, I find it difficult to see Shez aging terribly over the course of FEH unless they were to simply roll out an effect that negates Dual Phase Brave entirely. But IS won’t do that… right?

Phenomenal Offensive Statline

    As with most modern-day units, it’s hard to mess up a stat allocation as there are way too many stats to distribute, and thankfully, Shez was treated quite well in that regard. Despite his weapon only having 11 MT, Shez boasts a monstrous base Atk stat of 43 and an extremely high base Spd stat of 41, both of which have superboons to boot, meaning that any fear of him dealing damage should be cast aside as he boasts one of the highest Atk stats for any Dual Phase Brave unit.


    Infantry being Infantry, they have a lot of passive options at their disposal, and Shez, in particular, can afford to run many more B Passives without a notable opportunity cost as his PRF allows him to double in both phases no matter what while also granting Damage Reduction if he meets the condition. As such, he doesn’t have to give up his B Passive for the likes of Null Follow-Up or Spd-based Damage Reduction skills and can instead run passives such as Bulwark, Tempo, and Null C-Disrupt. However, it is worth mentioning that he can still run Damage Reduction skills, including the recently released Velocity, which combines Tempo with Spd-based Damage Reduction, as well as Null Follow-Up if you feel that it’s important to shut down any form of guaranteed follow-up. That being said, you more than likely get more mileage out of the former than the latter.

General Flexibility

    Because Crimsons Blades’ Breath effect and Damage Reduction apply in both phases, Shez can take on several types of combative roles to the point where his flexibility is much grander than most units in the current state of the game. Whether he sticks with a Vantage niche, take on a Galeforce role, or act as a Melee Specialist, there are very few roles Shez cannot take on.


Crimson Blades’ HP Conditions

    Because two of the notable effects that come from Crimson Blades are tied behind having a certain amount of HP present at the start of combat, Breath and Damage Reduction respectively, Shez will have to watch out for units that can either apply out-of-combat damage, whether that’s from the likes of area-of-effect Specials or after-combat skills such as Poison Strike, Pain+, etc., or units that can land a hit on him during combat whether that’s due to him missing a kill while in Vantage range or if going up against a unit with Hardy Bearing and/or a guaranteed follow-up without any sort of Null Follow-Up effect present. However, given how offensively loaded Shez is, it may not occur too often but threats such as Medeus, Seiros, or anyone with notable types of Damage Reduction could potentially soak his damage and knock him out of the effects’ conditions’ ranges, or take him out entirely if he isn’t careful.


    With all of Shez’s flexibility comes an overabundance of role overlap from other types of units that can replicate similar niches. In terms of Vantage, units with Dual Phase Brave effects such as Winter Altina, Keaton, and other units of similar strength can mimic quite a fair amount of his performance, generally being extremely hard-hitting and more likely to tear down foes, especially when taking Twin Blades into account. Even with that being the case, Shez is simply a step above in that regard. Meanwhile, Vantage units that heavily prioritize their survivability, mainly Brave Marth and Ascended Mareeta, while lacking in significant damage output comparatively to Shez and other Dual Phase Brave units, will have a much easier time taking hits when needed as the former can have Vantage at any health percentage, the latter being able to consistently loop Damage Reduction Specials, and both having Null Follow-Up innately meaning they’ll only be taking one hit in most cases. Beyond that, if you were to take Shez into a Galeforce role, he would still have to compete with other, more easily accessible, Sword Infantry including, but not limited to, Rutger and Soleil, the former being able to easily charge a Galeforce thanks to their innate Slaying and Dual Phase Spd-based Breath effect, and the latter having a much better safety net due to the Firesweep effect as well as the accelerated cooldown they gain per their own attack. However, despite not necessarily bringing much new to the table, what he does bring allows him to stand above most of his contemporaries, thus making him one of the more desirable units in the game.

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 2 ★
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
Crimson Blades

Grants Spd+5. Inflicts Def/Res-5. Unit attacks twice. At start of combat, the following effects will occur based on unit's HP: if ≥ 20%, grants Special cooldown charge +1 to unit per attack (only highest value applied; does not stack), and also, if ≥ 40%, reduces damage from foe's first attack during combat by 40%.

Learns by default at 5 ★
Unlocks at 5 ★
Non-Inheritable skill.
400 1 11
Available Rearmed Weapons
Arcane Devourer
Arcane Éljúðnir
Weapon Evolution
Weapon Upgrades
Weapon Upgrades

Special Skills

Special Skills SP Turns
New Moon

Treats foe's Def/Res as if reduced by 30% during combat.

Learns by default at 4 ★
Unlocks at 3 ★
Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
100 3

Treats foe's Def/Res as if reduced by 30% during combat.

Unlocks at 4 ★
Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
200 2

Passive Skills

Passive Skills SP Slot
Spd/Def Bulwark 1

Foes with Range = 1 cannot move through spaces adjacent to unit, and foes with Range = 2 cannot move through spaces within 2 spaces of unit. (Does not affect foes with Pass skills.) Inflicts Spd/Def-2 on foe during combat. Restores 3 HP to unit after combat.

Excludes Armor, Cavalry, and Flying
Unlocks at 1 ★
Spd/Def Bulwark 2

Foes with Range = 1 cannot move through spaces adjacent to unit, and foes with Range = 2 cannot move through spaces within 2 spaces of unit. (Does not affect foes with Pass skills.) Inflicts Spd/Def-3 on foe during combat. Restores 5 HP to unit after combat.

Excludes Armor, Cavalry, and Flying
Unlocks at 2 ★
Spd/Def Bulwark 3

Foes with Range = 1 cannot move through spaces adjacent to unit, and foes with Range = 2 cannot move through spaces within 2 spaces of unit. (Does not affect foes with Pass skills.) Inflicts Spd/Def-4 on foe during combat. Restores 7 HP to unit after combat.

Excludes Armor, Cavalry, and Flying
Unlocks at 4 ★
Atk/Spd Oath 1

At start of turn, if unit is adjacent to an ally, grants Atk/Spd+3 to unit for 1 turn.

Infantry & Flying Units Only
Unlocks at 2 ★
Atk/Spd Oath 2

At start of turn, if unit is adjacent to an ally, grants Atk/Spd+4 to unit for 1 turn.

Infantry & Flying Units Only
Unlocks at 3 ★
Atk/Spd Oath 3

At start of turn, if unit is adjacent to an ally, grants Atk/Spd+5 to unit for 1 turn.

Infantry & Flying Units Only
Unlocks at 4 ★
Atk/Spd Oath 4

At start of turn, if unit is within 2 spaces of an ally, grants Atk/Spd+6 and the following status to unit for 1 turn: "Unit can move to a space adjacent to any ally within 2 spaces." If unit is within 2 spaces of an ally, grants Atk/Spd+3 to unit during combat.

Infantry & Flying Units Only
Unlocks at 5 ★

Other Info

Fire Emblem: Three Houses

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