- Takumi was once considered a top tier threat. He comes with the skill Close Counter, which allows him to counterattack even if he's attacked at close range. His Atk and Spd are pretty good, so his strikes will likely hurt. He also comes with the skill Vengeance, which allows him to do more damage based on how much damage he's taken. Since he is colourless, most units can't use the weapon triangle to mitigate damage from him, outside of mages who wield -Raven tomesnote , which have only the standard weapon triangle effect. After the advent of Skill Inheritance, Takumi began to fall out of favour, but he can still be annoying to fight if he's either given Vantage or opts for the standard Brave Bow+ set.
- Hector. He comes with the skill Distant Counter, allowing him to counterattack ranged attackers. His Armads has the Quick Riposte skill built in, which allows him to do follow up attack if he is attacked while his HP is above 80%. His HP, Atk, and Defense are all fantastic, allowing him to take and dish out a lot of physical punishment. With his high HP, he should be able to take a magical strike here or there too. What makes Hector unique among units who can run Distant Counter and Quick Riposte is that his Quick Riposte is built into his weapon, freeing up his B skill. He could use Wings of Mercy to help him traverse the map easily and get the jump on unsuspecting foes. He could also use Vantage, which would let an injured Hector strike first at a certain HP threshold. His HP threshold for his weapon's effect is 80% HP, and Vantage's HP threshold is 75% HP, so if he's not in one threshold, he's in the other, being able to either strike twice, or strike first, both dangerous prospects for his enemies, especially if he's got a Special charged up. His only real weaknesses are his low Res and Spd, and his lack of movement due to being an armoured unit (and the latter can be fixed with Amelia's Armor March). This means that, while having a counter to him is recommended, it isn't particularly difficult to build one.
- Reinhardt. He wields the Dire Thunder tome, which strikes twice consecutively, but reduces his Spd. It's already low enough to not matter however, and Reinhardt can pack so much power that two strikes are usually all he needs. He is the perfect example of a Glass Cannon, as while his low Spd could spell his demise on the enemy phase, he has a fearsome player phase as he can potentially destroy almost any unit he comes across. As he both a mounted and ranged unit, he has a massive attack range, being able to seek out foes from across the map with ease. With the right skills and teammates, he becomes the absurd boss he was in his home game. Death Blow grants +6 Atk when initiating combat, and he can be given cavalry buffs such as Hone Cavalry or Goad Cavalry to further increase his offensive prowess. With those three aforementioned skills, that's a massive +16 Atk boost, allowing him to smite his opponents. With the Quickened Pulse Seal, he can fire off Moonbow on his second strike. Nothing but the sturdiest of green units can stand up to Reinhardt, like Fae, Deirdre, or Julia. That is why every player is expected to have an answer to Reinhardt, given how common he is in the Arena. Given that he's available as both a 4* and a 5*, he's actually not too hard to obtain, even if he would require a large feather investment to upgrade him to 5* for his Dire Thunder. With his overwhelming power, it would absolutely be worth it. It's also worth noting that Reinhardt is one of the few units capable of withstanding the Power Creep the game gained over time, being able to decimate S-tier units like the Black Knight, Ike, Arden, and Ayra.
- Bridal Cordelia, an archer variant of the regular Cordelia. She boasts top notch offensive stats, with an impressive 35 Atk and 35 Spd. With either the Brave Bow+ or Firesweep Bow+, as well as skills like Death Blow or Life and Death to augment her offense, she is capable of destroying a lot of units. The Brave Bow+ lets her strike twice consecutively, potentially up to four times if she's fast enough, while the Firesweep Bow+ prevents her and her foes from counterattacking. As she is colourless, only -Raven tome wielders possess an advantage against her, especially if they also have Triangle Adept. However, Cordelia can then equip Cancel Affinity to negate Triangle Adept's advantage. Her only real weakness is just her poor defenses, as she'd fold pretty quickly when attacked.
- Brave Lyn, a mounted archer variant of the regular Lyn. Similar to Bridal Cordelia, she has stellar offensive stats with 33 Atk and 35 Spd. Her Mulagir boosts her Spd even higher, while also nullifying any buffs that a mage has, allowing her to strike -Blade tome users without fear. She can also put the Brave Bow+ or Firesweep Bow+ to good use as well. She comes with Swift Sparrow, which grants +4 Atk and Spd upon initiating combat, giving her a great player phase presence. She also comes with a unique B skill, Sacae's Blessing. This nullifies Distant Counter on physical melee units like Hector, denying them the ability to counterattack against her. As she is a mounted and ranged unit like Reinhardt, she has a huge attack range and can seek out foes from across the map pretty easily, and she also benefits from cavalry buffs like Hone and Goad Cavalry. Given that she was available for free, she also shows up pretty often in the Arena, meaning players will need an answer for her as well.
- Brave Ike, an axe variant of the regular Ike. His Urvan has a damage mitigation effect, reducing the damage dealt by consecutive attacks by 80%. This allows him to withstand any Brave weapon user. The Urvan also speeds up his Special charge, letting him fire off his Special even faster. He comes with Steady Breath, which bolsters his already high Def even further, and it also grants him an extra Special charge, allowing him to use a normally slow charging but powerful Special like Aether or Ignis effectively. He also has a unique B skill, Beorc's Blessing. It nullifies any stat buffs on cavalry or flying units, which helps him stand against full cavalry or flier teams. With his great bulk and weapon's effect, he can take quite a beating before going down. Brave Ike was also available for free, just like Brave Lyn.
- The Black Knight. He boasts incredible overall stats, with only low Res as a weakness. His Alondite has Distant Counter built in, allowing him to retaliate against ranged opponents. He comes with Steady Stance, which grants a great +6 Def boost when he's attacked, giving him a sturdier enemy phase presence, which can be bolstered further if he's given Quick Riposte or Vantage. Finally, he comes with Black Luna, a Special that's exclusive to him. It has the same charge time as Luna, but its effect is much stronger, piercing an opponent's Def by 80%, which can help him break through even the toughest of foes. Notably, he was available for free as a Tempest Trial reward.
- -Blade tome users. Each colors come with one character packing the tome themselves and have the stats to make it scary: Tharja (Red), Nino (Green) and Tailtiu (Blue).note The tome is so powerful that basically any mage carrying it can become decentnote , because of its effect: bonus damage equal to all of the stat bonuses given to that unit is added. The more stat buffs given to the unit, the stronger they will get. Using supporting characters with Rally or Hone skills to boost the -blade unit's stats and they can hit as hard as nukes. Eirika and Ephraim are noteworthy partners as their weapons boost the Atk of adjacent allies by +3. With their weapons, Hone Speed, and the Fortify Def or Res Seal, they can boost three stats simply by standing adjacent to an ally, or they can boost four stats with the appropriate Rally.
- Refresher units. These are units who can allow another ally to act again through the use of Sing or Dance. Just like in the main series, the ability for a unit to act again is absolutely invaluable, especially when the player has one of the units listed on this page that can defeat many opposing units. There are three that are available at any time, being Olivia, Ninian, and Azura. Special, seasonal variants of Azura and Olivia were also introduced, as well as Shigure and Inigo. They all come with the ability to boost stats upon refreshing a unit, with Azura in particular being able to boost all stats by +3 thanks to her weapon. No matter which refresher the player uses, they can all benefit from being given Wings of Mercy as it helps them immediately reach injured allies and give them a Heroic Second Wind.
- Specialized or themed teams have become popular with the advent of skill inheritance. There are specialized buff skills that work for specific types of units (namely Cavalry, Armour, and Flying units), so these teams usually take advantage of that. Hone and Fortify skills will boost their respective stats (Hone for Atk and Spd, Fortify for Def and Res) by 6 each to any adjacent unit that it applies to, while Goad and Ward skills will boost their respective stats (Goad for Atk and Spd, Ward for Def and Res) by 4 each to any nearby unit within two spaces that it applies to. The regular equivalents to these skills are less effective but more general, boosting only one stat, or only working for adjacent allies. This is why these specialized teams are not only very viable, but potentially very dangerous to face thanks to their benefits. Cavalry units have great movement, armoured units having great stats, and fliers having freedom of movement. Mounted and flier -Blade tome wielders can take full advantage of these buffs, allowing them to devastate their foes. For instance, single Hone boost would effectively grant an extra +18 damage, far greater than any other buffer could provide.
- Full cavalry teams get a special mention since they're the easiest to form, thus making them a popular choice for players to build. A lot of the components that go into making a full cavalry team are either free or available as common units. For instance, Hone Cavalry comes from Gunter who is free, and Fortify Cavalry comes from Jagen who is either 3* or 4*. On top of that, four units have been available for free and they alone are enough to form a team: Xander, Camus, Cecilia, and Brave Lyn. This kind of team is what allows a unit like Reinhardt or a mounted mage with a -Blade tome to reach their full potential, thanks to the offensive buffs that augment their combat performance to greater heights. One thing to note is that their allies will often run Reposition. This way, a unit can strike, and then another cavalry ally can use their high movement to march over to their ally quickly and use Reposition to get them out of danger, allowing them to basically perform hit and run strategies. The November 2017 update provided a counter by allowing Anti-Cavalry weapons to be upgraded to ignore stat boosts from skills like Hone and Fortify, making cavalry teams far less threatening to them.
- In contrast, full flier and full armor teams are far harder to form. For flier teams, mage fliers are from seasonal banners, and their buff skills are on much harder to find units, as Hone Fliers is locked to the 5* exclusive Hinoka or the seasonal variant of Nowi. As for armor teams, the essential skills they need are also on 5* exclusive units, like Distant Counter being on Hector and Armour March being on Amelia or the seasonal variant of Henry. Both of these skills help make up for the weaknesses that armored units usually have. While full flier and full armor teams can still succeed, they are just a bit more difficult to form than full cavalry teams.
- The mounted healers of all characters are shaping to be the next and rising threat in the arena. Being able to stack Wrathful Staff and Dazzling Staff thanks to the weapon refinery essentially turns them into colorless versions of Reinhardt, with the bonus of causing deadly status effects to the whole party and being able to freely attack enemies with 2-range weapons or Distant Counter without fear.
Game Breaker / Fire Emblem Heroes
Given the large roster of characters, there are some that are bound to stand above the rest. Fittingly enough, there are some characters that were overpowered in their home games and they continue to be so here.