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Tier Rating

Analysis by UmbraCorvus
Winter Zephiel - Winter's Crown


Obtainable as a 5 only

Related Heroes

Hero Stats

Max Avg Total Stats at Lvl 40
HP 48
ATK 38
SPD 19
DEF 38
RES 36

Stat Variations

Level 1 Stat Variation
Low 21 9 3 7 11
Middle 22 10 4 8 12
High 23 11 5 9 13

Level 40 Stat Variations
Low 45 35 16 35 33
Middle 48 38 19 38 36
High 51 41 22 42 39

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.


+DEF: A Defense Asset is a Super Asset that boosts Winter Zephiel’s Defense up to a value of 42. This makes him immensely durable on the physical end and is the best way to improve his bulkiness.

+ATK: An Attack Asset will be universally applicable on all of Winter Zephiel builds as higher damage can end up proving to be more useful in the long run compared to outlasting his opponents. Winter Zephiel is already quite durable and can increase his bulk even further with defensive weapon refines, so an Attack Asset can result in a strong gain to his performance.

+RES: A Resistance Asset will roughly balance out Winter Zephiel’s Attack, Defense, and Resistance stats and is especially useful when expecting to take on magical threats when utilizing a Distant Counter build.


HP: Winter Zephiel’s HP stat is already quite high, and while taking an HP Asset is certainly useful to make him bulkier, it is usually not worth taking over increasing his raw defenses or his Attack.


-SPD: Winter Zephiel’s Speed is his worst stat, and any form of investment into it will prove fruitless unless an immense amount of effort and team support is used. As such, many builds will cut their losses and dump his Speed rather than try to boost it.

Skill Sets

Special Spirit of Brighter Future (Special Fighter Tank)

Alternate: Wo Dao+ (+Res)
A Distant Counter
Alternate: Steady Stance 3
Alternate: Pivot
B Special Fighter 3
Alternate: Noontime
C Atk Smoke 3
Alternate: Ward Armor
SP1695SQuick Riposte 3
Alternate: Fierce Stance 3

Show Explanation/Analysis

Preferred IV: +DEF or +ATK or +RES / -SPD

  • Zephiel has the option of boosting either his Defense or Resistance for increased survivability, or his Attack for higher damage. All builds with Zephiel will drop Speed as it is his least important stat.

Weapon: Bellringer+ (+Res) / Wo Dao+ (+Res)

  • Winter Zephiel’s default Bellringer proves to be a reasonable weapon of choice due to its ability to heal him by 5 HP every time he hits his opponent during combat. This allows him to have a small amount of sustain that can keep him healthy and within Special Fighter’s effective range.

  • Wo Dao can be used instead to provide Winter Zephiel with more damage on his Special activations at the cost of losing the sustain that Bellringer provides.

Assist: Swap / Pivot / Player Preference

  • Due to their weaker end movement without the aid of Armor March, armored units typically run Swap or Pivot, though the Assist Skill is entirely open to whatever the player is most comfortable with.

Special: Moonbow / Noontime

  • Moonbow is the damage dealing route of the Special options, and will result in stable damage from Zephiel. With the help of Special Fighter, it will allow him to trigger two charge Specials such as Moonbow immediately on counter hit so long as his opponent is not limiting his Special cooldown.

  • Noontime is the sustain focused choice, as it does not provide Zephiel any form of damage boost but rather helps him to be even more sustainable than before. Choosing to run Wo Dao over Bellringer with Noontime can give his Noontime activations a guaranteed 10 damage.

Passive A: Distant Counter / Steady Stance / Fierce Stance

  • Distant Counter is very important to Zephiel’s matchups, allowing him to deal counter attacks against both melee and long range units so long as they are not running an ability to prevent his counter attacks such as a Firesweep weapon or using Dazzling Staff.

  • Steady Stance is an accessible boost to Zephiel’s Defense in the Enemy Phase, resulting in enhanced physical survivability. This is a useful option in the event of lacking Distant Counter, as Zephiel will be forced into counter attacking only close range opponents. Steady Stance 4 is not needed due to the fact that Special Fighter already has a Guard effect.

  • Fierce Stance is an accessible boost to Zephiel’s Attack in the Enemy Phase, better suited to ensure that Zephiel’s counter attack damage is as strong as can be.

Passive B: Special Fighter

  • Special Fighter is the core focus of this build, as the cooldown bonus it provides allows for Zephiel to trigger two cooldown Specials immediately after being hit so long as he stays at 50% HP or above. As an added bonus, he also gets the Guard effect if he can maintain this range. This range can be maintained through the self sustain of Bellringer and/or Noontime, but if Zephiel has access to other healing support he can be more aggressive with Wo Dao and Moonbow.

Passive C: Atk Smoke / Ward Armor / Armor March / Player Preference

  • Atk Smoke can help Zephiel survive better in the event that he has to enter multiple instances of the Enemy Phase in succession.

  • A Class Specific buff such as Ward Armor will function well if Zephiel is on an armor team, and Armor March can be solid to improve the team’s mobility.

Sacred Seal:  Quick Riposte / Fierce Stance

  • The Quick Riposte Sacred Seal allows for Zephiel to counter attack twice in one instance of combat so long as he is able to stay above 80% HP.

  • The Fierce Stance Sacred Seal improves how much damage Zephiel can dish out on his counter attacks.

Bold Spirit of Generous Present (Bold Fighter Dual Phase)

Slaying Edge+ (+Res)
Alternate: Slaying Edge+ (+Def)
A Distant Counter
Alternate: Death Blow (3 or 4)
Alternate: Pivot
B Bold Fighter 3
Alternate: Glacies
C Armor March 3
Alternate: Ward Armor
SP1695SQuick Riposte 3

Show Explanation/Analysis

Preferred IV: +ATK or +DEF or +RES / -SPD

  • Bold Fighter builds often take a more aggressive route whenever possible, with that said an Attack Asset will prove to be the most useful Asset to take. However, if one wishes to increase Zephiel’s defensive stats that is fine as well. Dropping Speed is the way to go as per usual with units that don’t have redeemable Speed.

Weapon: Slaying Edge+ (+Res) / Slaying Edge+ (+Def)

  • A Slaying Edge, whether it be Resistance refined or Defense refined is the weapon of choice as it has applications in both the Player Phase and the Enemy Phase, and will allow for Zephiel to consistently activate powerful four cooldown Specials with the help of cooldown bonuses.

Assist: Swap / Pivot / Player Preference

Special: Ignis / Glacies

  • Ignis and Glacies are the strongest Specials that Zephiel can run, as they scale extremely well off his high defenses. Which is taken depends on which of the two defensive stats ends up the highest value.

Passive A: Distant Counter / Death Blow (3 or 4)

  • Distant Counter is still Zephiel’s most important A Passive to take for sheer matchup versatility.

  • Death Blow can be used to improve Zephiel’s performance when he is the one initiating combat. While it weakens his range of matchups, it does allow for his Player Phase to be quite scarier than before.

Passive B: Bold Fighter

  • Bold Fighter gives Zephiel near guaranteed follow-up attacks when he is the one to initiate combat, as well as a boost to his Special cooldown during his attacks. This is what enables him to activate Ignis or Glacies in a single round of combat if he trades blows with his opponent.

Passive C: Armor March / Ward Armor / Player Preference

Sacred Seal: Quick Riposte

  • The Quick Riposte Sacred Seal is taken to give Zephiel follow-up attacks during the Enemy Phase so that he can bait out opponents to strike him while he is healthy, and then shift to using Bold Fighter once he has fallen out of Quick Riposte’s effective range.

Vengeful Spirit of Scornful Past (Vengeful Fighter Tank)

Guard Sword+ (+Res)
Alternate: Barrier Blade+ (+Res)
A Distant Counter
Alternate: Fort. Def/Res 3
Alternate: Pivot
B Vengeful Fighter 3
Alternate: Ignis
C Atk Smoke 3
Alternate: Ward Armor
SP1475SClose Def 3
Alternate: Def/Res Bond 3

Show Explanation/Analysis

Preferred IV: +DEF or +RES or +ATK / -SPD

  • Any of Zephiel’s defensive stats can be increased, or his Attack to improve how much damage his counter attacks deal. The Defense Super Asset is greatly recommended as a Resistance refined weapon with the Defense Super Asset results in more bulk than a Resistance Asset with a Defense refined weapon. Speed is the obvious dump stat as he does not use his Speed at all.

Weapon: Guard Sword+ (+Res) / Barrier Blade+ (+Res) / Bellringer+ (+Res)

  • The Guard Sword inflicts Special cooldown charge -1 on Zephiel’s opponents per attack. Denying their Special is an immense merit that Zephiel can appreciate as Specials will often prove to be Zephiel’s main concern, especially defense bypassing Specials such as Luna.

  • The Barrier Blade drastically increases Zephiel’s Resistance during the Enemy Phase, allowing his Resistance to easily shut down most mages that try to attack him.

  • His default Bellringer is also a noteworthy option as it does still provide him a bit of sustain on every strike he lands.

Assist: Swap / Pivot

Special: Glacies / Ignis

  • Glacies or Ignis can be activated in a single round of combat with ease thanks to the combination of the cooldown bonus from Vengeful Fighter alongside Zephiel’s innate horrible Speed allowing for him to be hit twice and thus generate more cooldown.

Passive A: Distant Counter / Fort. Def/Res / Steady Stance (3 or 4)

  • Distant Counter allows Zephiel to counter attack ranged opponents, which is very important to his performance as this build focuses purely on the Enemy Phase.

  • Fort. Def/Res increases Zephiel’s Defense and Resistance by 6 at the cost of lowering his Attack by 2. While this makes Zephiel very durable, the lack of Distant Counter will mean that he will not be able to fight back against mages unless he initiates combat against them.

  • Steady Stance can improve Zephiel’s Defense in the Enemy Phase, adding to his survivability. Steady Stance 3 in particular so happens to be the easiest of the recommended Skills to come by. Steady Stance 4 can be a strong choice if opting for a purely melee range Zephiel, and the Guard Sword is not being used.

Passive B: Vengeful Fighter

  • Vengeful Fighter is Zephiel’s default B Passive and while it does have its shortcomings compared to other Fighter Skills, it is still a worthwhile Skill to work around on a budget for a pure Enemy Phase build. The 50% HP threshold can be very generous to work with, and the Special cooldown bonus while weaker than Special Fighter, is still useful for allowing Zephiel to abuse powerful Specials with relative frequency.

Passive C: Atk Smoke / Ward Armor / Armor March / Player Preference

Sacred Seal: Close Def / Distant Def / Def/Res Bond

  • The Close Def or Distant Def Sacred Seals can improve Zephiel’s Defense and Resistance depending on which range he is attacked in.

  • The Def/Res Bond Sacred Seal boosts Zephiel’s Defense and Resistance regardless of what range his opponent strikes from, but it forces Zephiel to be adjacent to an ally during combat to make use of the bonus.


Strong Defensive Stats and Attack

Winter Zephiel has solid HP, Defense, and Resistance, alongside a high Attack stat. This allows Winter Zephiel to easily take hits while also bringing powerful strikes in his own right. He can bolster these stats easily with the help of taking an Asset in any of them, even down to him having a Super Asset in Defense.

Access to Armor Skills

Being an armor unit comes with the perks of being able to run the assortment of Fighter Skills, making him much more versatile than initially expected. While he can perfectly function with his default Vengeful Fighter, he can diverge into other builds that involve Special Fighter or Bold Fighter making him have no shortage of options at his disposal.


Poor Speed

Winter Zephiel’s horrible base Speed will often betray him. While he is very durable, the fact that his opponents will almost guarantee follow-up attacks against him unless he is actively running Wary Fighter will mean that Winter Zephiel will be forced to take two hits compared to just one in most situations of combat. Winter Zephiel’s horrible Speed also makes him get completely torn apart by weapons and Skills that behave like Null Follow-Up, as his cumbersome nature makes him completely reliant on follow-up Skills to secure his own follow-up attacks.

Armor Disadvantages

Alongside the obvious disadvantage of being locked to one movement space unless any form of movement boost is occurring such as Armor March, Winter Zephiel must also be wary of the ever so common armor effectiveness weapons. In many modes where heavy investment is underwent, armor slaying users will be aplenty and pose a major threat for Zephiel despite how bulky he is.

No Unique Weapon

Winter Zephiel has very strong stats, but his lack of a unique weapon or unique Skills does hold him back somewhat from being better than he could have potentially been. He is unfortunately beat out by powerful armored sword units such as Valentines Ike or Zelgius who all sport unique selling points to their name. Winter Zephiel could easily be replaced the moment that a vastly superior sword armor with stronger stats than him were to show up in the future.

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
BellringerWhen unit deals damage to foe during combat, restores 5 HP to unit. (Triggers even if 0 damage is dealt.)
Learns by default at 4 ★
Unlocks at 3 ★
Only Inheritable by Sword Units.
200 1 10
Bellringer+When unit deals damage to foe during combat, restores 5 HP to unit. (Triggers even if 0 damage is dealt.)
Learns by default at 5 ★
Unlocks at 5 ★
Only Inheritable by Sword Units.
300 1 14
Weapon Evolution
Weapon Upgrades
Weapon Upgrades

Special Skills

Special Skills SP Turns
Chilling WindBoosts damage dealt by 50% of unit's Res.
Learns by default at 4 ★
Unlocks at 3 ★
Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
100 4
GlaciesBoosts damage dealt by 80% of unit's Res.
Unlocks at 4 ★
Non-inheritable by Staff-wielding units.
200 4

Passive Skills

Passive Skills SP Slot
Vengeful Fighter 1If unit's HP ≥ 90% and foe initiates combat, grants Special cooldown charge +1 per unit's attack, and unit makes a guaranteed follow-up attack. (Does not stack.)
Only inheritable by armor units.
Unlocks at 3 ★
Vengeful Fighter 2If unit's HP ≥ 70% and foe initiates combat, grants Special cooldown charge +1 per unit's attack, and unit makes a guaranteed follow-up attack. (Does not stack.)
Only inheritable by armor units.
Unlocks at 4 ★
Vengeful Fighter 3If unit's HP ≥ 50% and foe initiates combat, grants Special cooldown charge +1 per unit's attack, and unit makes a guaranteed follow-up attack. (Does not stack.)
Only inheritable by armor units.
Unlocks at 5 ★
Def/Res Gap 1At start of turn, grants Def/Res+3 to ally with the highest Def+Res total for 1 turn. (Excludes unit.)
Inheritable by all units.
Unlocks at 1 ★
Def/Res Gap 2At start of turn, grants Def/Res+4 to ally with the highest Def+Res total for 1 turn. (Excludes unit.)
Inheritable by all units.
Unlocks at 2 ★
Def/Res Gap 3At start of turn, grants Def/Res+5 to ally with the highest Def+Res total for 1 turn. (Excludes unit.)
Inheritable by all units.
Unlocks at 4 ★

Other Info

Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade
Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade

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