Best Aether Raids Defense Units | Fire Emblem Heroes (FEH)

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Aether Raids Defense Guide

A guide to building a great defense team in one of the modes of play in Fire Emblem Heroes (FEH), Aether Raids. This page shows great units to have in your defense team as well as how to integrate them into specific strategies and lineups.

Best Aether Raids Defense Team Units

Nótt

Nótt Image
FEH Blue StoneBlue Lance IconLance Infantry IconInfantry
Base Stats
Lv. 40 HP
40 (40)
Atk
57 (41)
Spd
43 (40)
Def
28 (28 )
Res
27 (27)
Default Skills
Weapon Skill IconHrímfaxi
Assist Skill Icon:-

Nótt is arguably the best Mythic hero you can field in an Aether Raids defense map. In addition to being a powerful unit, Nótt adds the following to your defense team:

  1. HP/Def+5 to your non-Mythic units conferred with a Dark blessing
  2. A 7th unit for your defense team
  3. Pathfinder shenanigans to make your defense team's movement harder to predict

Pathfinder alone is reason enough to use Nótt on your defense team. Losing units to unpredictable AI movement is one of the biggest reasons why players surrender, thus using a unit that enables unpredictable AI movement is great to catch people off guard.

Adding Nótt to your team also enables the 7th unit slot. The hero in this slot immediately ends their turn as long as you have 7 units alive. This AI action can be abused with certain refresher units, enabling dance traps that force a turn one engage. If the map and defense team are both built properly, the forced turn one engage can be unescapable.

Don't sleep on the HP/Def+5 boost either. It may seem minor compared to the other benefits Nótt brings to the table, but the additional stats matter as well. The extra Def helps your units fight off common tank units like Brave Hector and Fallen Edelgard, and it also helps certain refresher units like Masquerade Eldigan dodge the Isolation effect of Mila's Turnwheel!

With all these perks, Nótt is arguably a must-use hero for your Aether Raids defense team during Dark season.

Legendary Sigurd

Legendary Sigurd Image
FEH Red StoneRed Sword IconSword Cavalry IconCavalry
Base Stats
Lv. 40 HP
41 (41)
Atk
57 (41)
Spd
23 (23)
Def
37 (37)
Res
26 (26)
Default Skills
Assist Skill Icon:-

Legendary Sigurd is a scary sight to see on an Aether Raids defense team. Holy-Knight Aura provides his entire team with +1 movement when it activates, further increasing the threat range of all his allies and opening up the offense team's backline units to get picked off.

Experienced players will equip the Quickened Pulse Sacred Seal onto Legendary Sigurd to ensure that Holy-Knight Aura is active at the start of turn 1.

Take note that Legendary Sigurd is a Wind Legendary hero; during non-Wind seasons, he will not receive the bonus stats from your Mythic heroes and he will not decrease your lift loss should your team lose.

Veronica

Veronica Image
FEH Colorless StoneColorless Staff IconStaff Cavalry IconCavalry
Base Stats
Lv. 40 HP
36 (36)
Atk
46 (32)
Spd
36 (36)
Def
21 (21)
Res
19 (19)
Default Skills
Assist Skill IconRecover+
Passive Skill A Icon:-

Veronica is arguably the best staff cavalry unit you can field on an Aether Raids defense team. She has very high offensive stats compared to other staff cavalry units and can attack up to 5 spaces away without fear of retaliation through either her unique weapon Hliðskjálf or a different staff refined with the Dazzling Staff refine; Flash+ and Candlelight+ being the best options among them.

As a staff unit, Veronica can also inherit the C skill Odd Recovery 3. This skill is crucial in enabling the most degenerate defense teams in Aether Raids, cleansing off key debuffs like Isolation and Gravity from her allies and allowing them to move and attack unimpeded by any penalties whatsoever.

Valentine's Líf

Valentine
FEH Red StoneRed Red Tome IconRed Tome Cavalry IconCavalry
Base Stats
Lv. 40 HP
39 (39)
Atk
56 (39)
Spd
25 (25)
Def
30 (30)
Res
25 (25)
Default Skills
Weapon Skill IconÞjálfi
Assist Skill Icon:-
Special Skill IconGlimmer

Valentine's Líf is a very powerful red cavalry mage that should be strongly considered for your Aether Raids defense team. He has above average defensive stats crucial to his survival and can attack twice with his high Atk stat thanks to his unique tome Þjálfi.

He comes with great skills off his base kit and is pretty much ready to use right away. Atk/Def Push 4 boosts both his offensive and defensive prowess, helping him fire off that crucial second attack empowered by a 2 charge special such as Glimmer. Fatal Smoke 3 shuts down any healing skills, ensuring that his enemies remain wounded and prime to getting picked off by his allies.

Valentine's Líf is also a Duo hero, enabling the use of the key defensive structure Duo's Hindrance. This structure is crucial in preventing powerful Duo and Harmonized skills from being used against your defense team such as Ninja Lyn's, New Year Alfonse's, and New Year Peony's Duo skills. Those units are significantly weaker without their patented Duo and Harmonized skills, and shutting them down through Duo's Hindrance is essential in making your defense team succeed.

Armored Units with Save Skills

Valentine
FEH Green StoneGreen Axe IconAxe Armored IconArmored
Base Stats
Lv. 40 HP
49 (49)
Atk
57 (41)
Spd
18 (18)
Def
46 (46)
Res
31 (31)
Default Skills
Assist Skill Icon:-
Special Skill IconIgnis

Save skills such as D/R Near Save 3 and A/R Far Save 3 allow armored units to shield their nearby allies from attacks, and there's nothing more frustrating than being forced to attack a fully invested tank instead of a prone and weakened foe. Armored units with Save skills protect their team from powerful offensive strategies such as Hit and Run or Galeforce.

Certain armored units do this job better than others, such as Valentine's Gustav for Near Save and Brave Hector for Far Save. What these armored units have in common is high defensive capability and Guard effects such as Special Fighter in their kits.

Best Flying Refresher-Assist Units

Best Flying Refresher Units
Peony - Álfar Dream DuoNew Year Peony Azura - Vallite SongstressLegendary Azura Triandra - NightmareTriandra Mirabilis - DaydreamMirabilis

A raider's success in Aether Raids relies on a degree of prediction and planning against your AI-controlled team. By making use of the danger zone indication, a raider can predict which units will attack which. This gets more complicated if refresher units are added into the mix, making it harder for the raider to predict the AI's movement. By combining refresher units with allies with high firepower and reach like Valentine's Líf or Veronica mentioned above, the AI can take out the unsusceptible raider if he or she is not being careful with the raid.

New Year Peony and Legendary Azura have built-in movement bonuses applied to their refresher assists. New Year Peony's Gentle Dream applies an Orders buff to multiple allies, while Legendary Azura's Gray Waves directly adds +1 movement to the target unit. Unpredictable movement is the most common reason why raiders lose units, and these two refresher heroes perform that task better than everyone else.

Triandra and Mirabilis are Mythic heroes with refresher assists, and this can help teambuilding immensely. Having your support units take up the Mythic hero role on your team opens up the rest of the unit slots for other heroes who specialize in their roles such as additional offensive ranged cavalry units like Valentine's Líf or Veronica. Strongly consider these two Mythic heroes above others if you have the choice.

Another way to increase the variability of how the AI moves is to incorporate Wings of Mercy 3 into your refresher-assist units. If the raider is not being careful, he or she might be a victim of an unseen attack that is caused by a refresher-assist unit teleporting to a unit like Valentine's Líf for a second attack. This can cause the raider to lose control of his or her plan and lose the raid eventually.

We highly recomend making use of flying refresher units as the varying terrain and the tight spacings of an Aether Raids map makes it hard for infantry units to reach their allies.

Building a Refresher Unit for Aether Raids

Example Aether Raids Defense Setups

Example 1: Using offensive cavalry ranged units to threaten starting spaces

F2P Cavline

A sample Cavline defense map with mostly F2P options.

This sample defense map utilizes F2P options like Reinhardt and Nanna to threaten the starting tiles for the raider's party. It also contains two Mythic heroes in Bramimond and Triandra to minimize lift loss in case the defense team fails.

Each defense team should have at least 2 Mythic heroes, with a 3rd possibly on the team as well through the 7th unit slot, and 4-5 appropriately blessed units. This team composition is the best way to minimize lift loss should the defense team lose.

A good number of players enter battle with a full row of offensive structures, leaving no room for their weaker units (such as their Mythic heroes who do not receive bonus stats) to hide. As soon as the enemy phase begins, the ranged cavalry units will be in range of at least one enemy, forcing them to engage. Bramimond will then move and be in range of a refresh from either Triandra or Masquerade Eldigan, allowing a second action to follow-up on the first wave of attack from the ranged cavalry units.

The bottom row is filled with decorations and the unbreakable Fortress, with the row above it filled with traps. The purpose of this building placement is to waste the raider's time and reduce the chance that he/she cannot engage with player phase units on turn 1.

How to defeat this defense map

Only use three offensive buildings: the mandatory Fortress, Escape Ladder, and the bonus structure, as shown in the sample map. This leaves three spaces for your units to hide in the back.

Field two defensive units that can deal with enemy cavalry units such as Fallen Lyon, Micaiah, or Brave Hector if properly invested. Hide the other 3-4 units in the empty spaces that you prepared beforehand and in the corner column without an enemy unit. Once enemy phase begins, their units will have no choice but to attack your defensive units, engaging in poor matchups and hopefully dying in the process. You can then clean up afterwards by leaving the refresher units alive as you clear the Aether pots.

Alternatively, use a Far Save armored unit and ample support units such as Flayn and Bow Hinoka. The Far Save unit will protect the rest of your team. Keep in mind that certain enemies that prevent counterattacks such as staff units and heroes with Windsweep will be safe from retaliation and may lead to uncomfortable positions.

Example 2: Utilizing the 7th unit slot as a dance and/or rally trap

Premium Dance Trap

A highly invested rally up trap defense map with mostly premium options.

This sample defense map presents multiple threatening units backed up by two Nótts, a Triandra, and a Legendary Sigurd to make the AI as unpredictable as possible. The Nótt on the second row is the 7th slot unit and will end her turn immediately. The other Nótt will move to the tile with the real gravity trap and use her Rally Up assist, creating a vertical line of Nótts with stacking Pathfinder to allow Legendary Sigurd to attack backline units as far as 7 spaces away and activate Holy-Knight Aura.

The rest of the ranged cavalry units will then engage, now with 4 movement due to Holy-Knight Aura and up to two possible Pathfinder spaces of additional movement, threatening enemy units as far as 8 spaces away.

The key component of defenses like these is having an offensive staff cavalry unit with Odd Recovery 3. Odd Recovery 3 cleanses all debuffs from nearby allies, especially dangerous ones like Isolation and Gravity. Without those penalties, the rest of the team is free to move and act unimpeded.

Nótt and Legendary Sigurd maps are very common in the Vault of Heaven since Nótt's release in-game. Various popular FEH content creators such as Eldervi have made videos showing the prowess of these two units put together, and a lot of people have emulated their success by building similar teams. If you are in the Vault of Heaven, ensure that you are prepared for defense maps similar to this.

How to defeat this defense map

Only use three offensive buildings: the mandatory Fortress, Escape Ladder, and the bonus structure, as shown in the sample map. This leaves three spaces for your units to hide in the back.

If you have Winter Bernadetta, prepare her alongside a mage unit with Close Counter, Vantage 3, Ardent Sacrifice, and a cavalry-effective tome such as Keen Blárwolf+ or Micaiah's refined Thani. Once the map begins, Winter Bernadetta's Hrist will trigger and deal 1 damage to nearby allies. Have your mage unit use Ardent Sacrifice on two allies with the help of a refresh assist, which should bring them into Vantage range, while leaving him/her in range of Legendary Sigurd. He will then rush in and immediately die without activating Holy-Knight Aura, destroying the defense team's setup and leaving the rest of the units prone to cleanup.

If you do not have Winter Bernadetta, field a heavily invested armored unit with Far Save and surround him/her with support units equipped with various passive bonuses like Distant Guard. Hopefully, your armored unit survives the barrage of attacks coming in.

Alternatively, prepare either a standard Galeforce team with multiple units with Wings of Mercy or a Lynforce team with Ninja Lyn and multiple refresher units to clear a majority of the enemies on turn 1. Surround a ranged enemy with two of your units and the adjacent structures to trap them in place while you spend turns collecting the Aether pots.

Maps like these are incredibly oppressive and a major reason why upgrading your Escape Ladder is a priority. If you are not prepared to deal with the presented defense map, use your Escape Ladder.

Example 3: Trapping Save skill armors in a corner

Saveball

A rough corner Saveball defense map.

This sample defense team traps a trio of armored units and a healer in a corner with the aim to stall the raider out of turns. Brave Hector runs A/R Far Save 3 while Brave Edelgard runs D/R Near Save 3, protecting all four units in the corner by forcing enemy units to attack properly invested tank units. The healer unit, Loki in this example, does nothing but heal the two savior units to keep them as healthy as possible.

The key unit in this setup is the third armored unit, Duma. Duma is weaponless and carries a rally assist skill, ensuring that he remains in place, trapping the other units in the corner. Duma also carries Upheaval, and together with the Catapult, they destroy possible Bolt Towers that can heavily damage the units in the corner and leave them vulnerable to death.

The three mythic heroes on the left side are all weaponless as well. The only purpose they serve is to boost the stats of Brave Hector and Brave Edelgard with their respective blessing bonuses. If the raider wastes time attacking these weaponless units, then that is time not spent whittling down the savior units.

How to defeat this defense map

Prepare a unit that can attack without retaliation such as a staff unit with Pain+ refined with the Dazzling Staff effect or a bow unit with Firesweep Bow+. Fill their kit with as much chip damage skills like Poison Strike 3 and Savage Blow 3 as possible.

To prevent the healer unit from sustaining the savior armors, either equip Fatal Smoke 3 onto your chip damage unit, or apply the Isolation debuff to them using Mila or Bridal Fjorm.

Use your chip damage unit to bring the savior armors down to 1 HP, and then apply the killing blow with one of your other units.

Show Us Your Aether Raids Defense Maps Below!

We encourage users to send their Aether Keep layouts below! If you prefer, you can provide a brief explanation as to why you use said layouts and maybe tell us a thing or two about the heroes that are present in your layout. Additionally, you can ask other users in the website for tips and tricks on how to make your defense better.

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