Soul Scouting: Forma Building Guide - November 2021: Awakening

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For this iteration of Hall of Forms, Fire Emblem Awakening strikes again with a lineup full of awkwardly-dressed, early-generation seasonal units. Notably, there are no heroes summoned via Heroic Grails this time around. So, if you're picking a Forma unit from this bunch, you'll likely be sticking with that one copy unless you're also planning on pulling more merges from their rerunning banners. Players have the chance to build up and possibly add the following units to their roster permanently by spending a Forma Soul:

  • Tharja: Obsessive Bride
  • Nowi: Eternal Witch
  • Inigo: Indigo Dancer
  • Cordelia: Knight Paradise

We will briefly display optimal inheritance options for each unit and the advantages/disadvantages of spending your Forma Soul on them. As Forma Souls take a considerable amount of resources to acquire, it is important to get the most out of your Forma units before purchasing.

General Considerations

Forma Unit Rules

  • Any Forma unit you purchase will come with their base skills already. Therefore, there is little need to inherit these base skills during Hall of Forms unless you need to save refinery costs (especially PRF weapons needing Divine Dew) or simply don’t care for hyper-optimal inheritance.
  • Formas are acquired completely neutral with no Assets and Flaws. If you desire a certain Asset/Flaw combination, you will have to utilize Trait Fruits. Since you cannot merge Forma units into existing copies, this may pose an issue on resource spending if you already have the same unit with an ideal Asset.

Skill Considerations

  • When rolling skills from the current Forma skill pool, unique PRF skills are often prioritized over inheritables. It's a good idea to take PRF skills first to improve your chances at finding good inheritable alternatives; Hall of Forms will pretty much constantly hound you to take the PRF skills if you don't take them otherwise.
  • Due to their extreme rarity and superior SP value over most other Special skills, Ruptured Sky (typically available only on Byleth and their variations) and Blue Flame (available only on Owain) will vastly be preferred as a final Special choice. For bow-using units, this extends to the bow-exclusive Deadeye.
    • Don't worry about not getting them too much, though! These skills are often not necessarily optimal; certain units may prefer running Specials from the low rarity pool like Sol, Glimmer, or Galeforce to achieve their goals. 
  • For the same reason as above, high-tier Assist skills like Rally+'s and Harsh Command+ are preferred on a potential purchased Forma to increase the unit's Arena scoring slightly as well as their overall value.
    • These, too, are also not necessarily optimal as positional Assists like Reposition are vastly preferred in most situations, and those can easily be inherited from lower rarity units like Norne or Barst.
    • Inheriting rally skills or Harsh Command+ too early in your Hall of Forms run can also inhibit your unit's ability to support other Forma allies and escape enemy range as well, increasing the likelihood of wasted Torches (the stamina currency for Hall of Forms) and thus wasted opportunities to get better skills.
  • Though optimal C Passive skills exist on a case-to-case basis, Joint Drives are essentially the most universal there is as they boost the stats of the unit as well as surrounding allies. Go for these (especially Joint Drive Atk) if available and there aren't better C slot options for your unit in particular.

Bridal Tharja

Save leader with Ruse + Rally support.

Offensive build with emphasis on building up Tharja's single hit damage while still supporting other allies.

Offensive build focused on building Tharja's unhindered follow-ups while still supporting other allies.

One variation of a Special Spiral + AOE build.


Bridal Tharja recently received a refinery update which rekindled the fires of her, um, love. Now, to compensate for her now-outdated statline, her refined Múspell Fireposy essentially adds a ton of Attack and Speed swings to her combat, essentially sprucing her offense up to be on-par with the majority of newer premium red mage units. 

For those seeking PVP viability in particular, the nice thing about Múspell Fireposy is the fact that it's basically a Rein skill; that is, it debuffs the enemy's Speed and Resistance in-combat from a distance without needing to involve Tharja in combat. Thus, Tharja can make herself as a decent "Save ball" leader in Aether Raids, as she can skew matchups in her fellow armored allies' favor while avoiding the consequences of her low bulk thanks to Near and Far Save substituting her own combat. The number of allies near her in such formations will also almost guarantee Múspell Fireposy will debuff at its maximum strength (3+ allies = -6 Spd/Res). 

Note, however, that the Spd/Res debuff doesn't benefit the majority of Save armors, as many of them are slower physical hitters. Tharja also fails to impact Atk, which is a major downer compared to other units used as Save leaders — Halloween Nowi, in particular, is literally in this same Hall of Forms batch while being able to run Rein skills. The main things Tharja has over her competition would be access to Ruse skills and more dedicated Spd/Res debuff. 

And of course, you can simply disregard all that jumbo and build her up as an all-out attacker for fun and general gameplay, which is fair and easy enough with a flexible loadout of offensive passives and infantry exclusive goodies. As a Forma choice overall, going for her tome potentially saves you 200 Divine Dew, and Tharja appreciates a kit overhaul as her starting loadout is definitely not great.

Recommended Skills: 

Weapons: Múspell Fireposy (+Eff)

Assist: Any Rally+ or Harsh Command+

Special: Ruptured Sky

A-Passive: Swift Sparrow 3, Atk/Spd Push 4, Life and Death 4, Atk/Spd Solo, Atk/Spd Ideal 4, Atk/Spd Unity, Atk/Spd Bond 4, Fury 4, Flashing Blade 4

B-Passive: Null Follow-Up, Lull Spd/Res, Lull Atk/Res, Special Spiral, Windsweep, Ruse skills

C-Passive: Joint Drive Atk, Joint Drive Spd, Time's Pulse, Atk/Spd Menace, Other Premium double Spurs

You'll find very little reason to run anything else other than Múspell Fireposy on Tharja whether you're purchasing her or not; it's a unique tome whose offensive boosts are nearly unmatched, and can spare Divine Dew costs especially if you haven't refined your own copy already.  

Pretty much anything under the Atk/Spd A-slot umbrella will do for Tharja as long as it's initiation-friendly; Atk/Spd Push and Swift Sparrow are very typical mage sweeper choices and you can't go wrong with them. For Special spamming builds, you'll want to seek out Fury, Life and Death, or Flashing Blade as the first two boost up Tharja's visible stats greatly for AOE, and Flashing Blade speeds up Special charge. 

Tharja's C slot can be pretty important depending on the build. You can't go wrong with a Joint Drive as it promotes the nearness effect of Múspell Fireposy while empowering both her and her allies. Double Spur skills may be preferred on Save-focused, support-leaning builds, but you can easily inherit those from low-rarity pulls. Menace skills pair well with Atk/Spd Ideal while also providing a degree of team support by debuffing a nearest enemy. Finally, Time's Pulse is a great selfish choice for all-out offense as it makes Tharja's Specials more frequent. 

Finally, you'll want to go for a luxury B slot as Desperation is basically available anytime from your nearest low-rarity Shanna. Null Follow-Up is good in general for getting natural doubles and cancelling follow-up prevention, but it can be dicey to use with Tharja's low bulk. Likewise, a Speed or Resistance-based Lull skill of choice maximizes Tharja's follow-up and one-shot potential. Special Spiral is great on builds focusing on Special spammage, and is especially a centerpoint with AOE activation. A Ruse skill combined with a Rally allows Tharja to flex her infantry fingers (making up for a lack of Reins compared to Nowi) and apply two visible debuffs + Guard to enemies remotely. Finally, Windsweep grants Tharja good attacking safety against physical enemies in exchange for a follow-up attack for supportive builds.

Halloween Nowi

Support Nowi with a positional skill and Snag. Catch reaches its maximum Atk/Spd potential if you can manage to inflict the Snag debuffs on a healthy enemy.

Save Ball lead. Def/Res Rein is ideal for Save Balls with both magic- and physical weapon-wielding armored units. 

Another Save Ball lead build with particular emphasis on Attack and Resistance. Ideal for dragon and tome Save units like Spring Idunn and Henriette.


Like Tharja, Halloween Nowi received a refine that significantly upped her viability, and would vastly appreciate an updated moveset to accommodate her effect-refined Grimoire. Grimoire inflicts Atk/Spd/Res -4 on enemies within three spaces of her, which can put matchups significantly in favor of both Nowi or other units subbing in for her in combat.

In particular, Nowi gets a lot of her competitive value when accommodated with allies with Near and Far Save, as Grimoire's debuffs will always be in place whenever Save activates in for Nowi. Because our little witch is a flier unit, she can amplify this further with a Rein skill, allowing her to apply even more debuffs in two stats of your choice. Furthermore, Grimoire's teleportation effect easily allows Nowi to situate herself in an ideal spot on a whim, allowing her to make efficient use of her Rein effects while sandwiching herself with her armored allies. 

A lot of Nowi's utility stems from support and we wouldn't really recommend trying to build her as an all-out sweeper as her defenses are very lacking and there are other choices in Nowi's class that do that job strictly better. Additionally, if you've refined Kinshi Hinoka's Warrior Princess already at this point, that technically outstats Grimoire by +4 Atk/Spd while impacting the enemy's Defense instead. 

Still, Halloween Nowi gets the most out of this Hall of Forms by overall value and utility. You can grab a good Save ball leader (and the Save meta is REALLY hot right now), save up on 200 Divine Dew, ball up some high-quality skills without touching a dime in inheritance, and avoid the trouble of summoning on Nowi's very outdated banner in one package. 

Recommended Skills: 

Weapons: Grimoire (+Eff)

Assist: Any Rally+ or Harsh Command+

Special: Ruptured Sky, Blue Flame

A-Passive: Atk/Spd Push 4, Atk/Spd Bond 4, Atk/Spd Solo 4, Atk/Spd Catch 4, Fury 4, Swift Sparrow 3, Atk/Spd Unity

B-Passive: S/R Far Trace, A/S Far Trace, A/R Far Trace, Snag skills

C-Passive: Atk/Spd Rein, Def/Res Rein, Atk/Def Rein, Atk/Res Rein, Spd/Res Rein, Spd/Def Rein, Joint Drive Atk, Joint Drive Spd, Guidance, Ground Orders

As mentioned in the summary, you'll primarily want to go for effect-refined Grimoire and a Rein skill to save Divine Dew and stack up Nowi's debuffs and maximize her debilitative utility. Literally any Rein you run into is pretty much usable, too, as the type of Rein in question mostly depends on your allies. For example, physical hitters — which constitutes most competitive Save armor units — appreciate any sort of Defense-based Rein you can find, and you'll probably want to avoid the Spd-based Reins if Nowi's teammates are on the extremely slower end. 

If you're running out of time and Torches, Joint Drives are a viable substitution for Reins. If you're focusing on support, though, you may find that running a cheap double Spur skill grants more net benefits than a single Joint Drive boost. Guidance and Ground Orders are also okay secondary choices as they help Nowi ferry around her fellow armors. 

Nowi's B passive typically serves very little supportive purpose; as a tome flier, Nowi is unfortunately locked out of Ruse skills and is left with the positionally-situational Link and Snag skill lines. Thus, there's no harm in going for a Far Trace, which slightly improves Nowi's combat whenever she has to snipe something while allowing her to fall back to a favorable position. Nowi's offensively-skewed statline also makes any high-quality Atk/Spd A Passives obvious, though Solo is on lower preference due to Grimoire promoting ally nearness.

Performing Arts Inigo

The Offensive Inigo Build That Could

Desperation build with Speed focus

HP support build to accelerate ally Specials while lowering the enemy's own.

Another variation of HP support. Inigo's infantry mage status makes him one of the better users of Infantry Hexblade. Hibiscus Tome and Infantry Hexblade play well as both increase ally offenses in exchange for being adjacent.

Plegian Torch + Menace build. Decent at taking down slower, follow-up reliant lance enemies like Brave Hector.


We'll summarize this eloquently: Gen 1 dancer mage moment.

Above all, Inigo's value is carried significantly by his status as a Dance user; no matter which build he ends up with, the ability to refresh other allies is an extremely useful constant.

That being said, though, his utility outside of dancing is significantly slogged down by his performatively-limiting statline and lack of actually good support weapons for green tomes. You'll also notice that the builds above rely on low-rarity skills; more than likely, he won't be making the best use of the skills available Hall of Forms outside of the C slot.

Verdict: Dancer. 

Recommended Skills: 

Weapons: Madness Flask+, Hibiscus Tome+, Plegian Torch+, Amity Blooms+

Assist: Dance

Special: Ruptured Sky, Blue Flame

A-Passive: Fury 4, Atk/Spd Push 4, Atk/Spd Ideal 4, Atk/Spd Solo 4, Atk/Spd Unity, HP skills, Close Foil

B-Passive: Lull Spd/Res, Lull Atk/Res, Lull Atk/Spd, Even or Odd Pulse Tie, Null Follow-Up, Sudden Panic

C-Passive: Joint Drive Atk, Atk/Res Menace, Atk/Spd Menace, Joint Drive Spd, Joint Drive Def, Infantry Hexblade, Infantry Pulse

Inigo's low stats overall render most A and B passives questionably viable. Thus, the general game plan is as follows: try to get Dance first-and-foremost to breeze through this Hall of Forms, pray for a good C Passive along the way — as it's an important source of secondary support for dancers — and build from there.

One conventional option is stacking up on Inigo's bare but sufficient offense. For this, Madness Flask, Plegian Torch, and Amity Blooms improve his damage in various ways, and running a good Atk/Spd-boosting A-slot along with a Lull skill of choice further improves his offensive contributions. 

On the supportive side of things, Inigo can stack up his HP to improve his supportive utility and run skills such as the Pulse Ties, Sudden Panic, and Infantry Pulse, though note that HP A-slots are extremely easy to acquire outside of Hall of Forms. Due to a lack of green tomes with supportive effects, Inigo's choices here boil down to Hibiscus Tome and its hilariously low Atk/Spd +1 Spur effect — you don't have to feel obligated to seek this specifically at any rate. Any of the Joint Drive skills will prove to be good assets across any build. To support Infantry allies specifically, you may also be interested in running Infantry Hexblade or Infantry Pulse

Finally, the classic Plegian Torch + Atk/Res Menace combo is worth noting as it hits a few right notes: it swings stats significantly to Inigo's favor (not brokenly so, though) while providing team support by debuffing a nearest enemy. Running Close Foil + Null Follow-Up with this also converts Inigo into a decent slow Lance unit check, especially versus Brave Hector. 

Summer Cordelia

Hit and Run build focused on building damage and Speed while having Canto. Attempts to maximize Cordelia's damage by upping her Attack and lowering the enemy's Defense through Menace while providing maximum conditions for Atk/Spd Catch.

Aether Raids Galeforce. It is necessary to run Atk swing skills to skew Heavy Blade in Cordelia's favor.

Spurn slayer build. Springy Lance + Speed swing skills all-around allow Cordelia to match comfortably versus dodge units and naturally fast enemies generally.

"Bulky" build focused on giving Cordelia safe initiations without compromising her offense. Promotes increased defenses and healing in a couple of slots.


Considering some top-of-the-line Lance cavalry units with PRF skills that have come out this year (i.e. Summer Ashe, Ingrid, Brave Eirika, Duessel) and the very existence of Spring Minerva (who's a demote and thus more easily mergeable, with virtually identical statline except an advantage of +4 Attack and +7 Defense), it's not exactly all sunshine and funtimes for our Paragon Paradise. In a nutshell, she's only running on some good generic lance weapons and decent Atk/Spd fumes these days. 

For these reasons, Cordelia is probably the most unnecessary pick of the bunch. Fortunately, if you're still determined enough to spruce her up, she, like most other cavalry and flier units, can simply stat-stack her way to the top with exclusive passives and great Lance weapons. Her status as a cavalry unit is also still a massive boon competitively as she benefits from extended attacking reach, with the possibility of having Canto available through the Near Trace skill line. 

Recommended Skills: 

Weapons: It's Curtains…+, Springy Lance+, Ninja Yari+, Firesweep L+, Flowing Lance+

Assist: Any Rally+ or Harsh Command+

Special: Ruptured Sky, Blue Flame, Galeforce

A-Passive: Atk/Spd Solo 4 or Catch 4 or Push 4, Fury 4, Swift Sparrow 3, Life and Death 4, Heavy Blade 4

B-Passive: S/D Near Trace, A/D Near Trace, Flow Refresh, Lull Spd/Def, Lull Atk/Spd, Lull Atk/Def

C-Passive: Atk/Spd Menace, Atk/Def Menace, Joint Drive Atk, Joint Drive Spd, Panic Smoke, Fatal Smoke

The general concept behind Cordelia is simple enough as she's built like much of her competition: stack Atk and Spd as far as you can, especially with a high-tier A Passive like Atk/Spd Catch

For an Aether Raids-viable Cordelia, you'll want to seek out It's Curtains… above all other weapons as it grants accelerated activation towards Galeforce. Pairing it with an offensive Joint Drive is ideal to strengthen the general Galeforce team chain, especially when Wings of Mercy is in play somehow (on Cordelia herself, in which case you can simply inherit from Cain when you get Cordelia, or other allies). Ninja Yari combined with a Near Trace of choice also makes Cordelia a nice hit-and-run unit; you'll have to accommodate this with a tactical mind and sufficient movement support (Dance, Reposition, Smite) to maximize its performance. 

For general gameplay, viable skills are much more relaxed; for instance, Cordelia can play bulky with Flowing Lance and Flow Refresh or an Atk-based Near Trace or Lull of your choice (Lull Atk/Spd preferred to avoid effect redundancy). Generally speaking, Springy Lance primes Cordelia for pure combat far better than other choices due to its conditionally-easy Atk/Spd +5 effect. Thus, combined with a Speed-based Lull or Near Trace, it grants a better fighting chance versus modern-day Speed demons, especially the typical Spurn-using infantry. 

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