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Fire Emblem Heroes Wiki:Build Center/Arden: Strong and Tough

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Quick Hero Info
Type
Icon Move Armored.png Icon Class Red Sword.png
Stats
60 / 36 / 16 / 41 / 16
Exclusive skills

Dueling Sword.png Optimal
Dueling Crest.png Arena
Orb.png Very high investment
Icon Move Armored.png Armored
Strong and Tough
Click to show/hide build description 
This set for Arden replaces his own Brave Sword with a Slaying Edge. Instead of a Player Phase monster, this set makes Arden a formidable Enemy Phase fighter. Distant Counter.png Distant Counter is the A passive of choice and allows Arden to counter both melee and ranged units. Thanks to his high HP stat of 60 and very good defense, very few enemies will be able to KO Arden before he can hit back, which means they'll have to take at least one hit in return.

This is where the rest of his kit comes in to play. Thanks to the cooldown reduction of Icon Class Red Sword.png Slaying Edge+, Arden will have Icon Skill Special.png Glimmer ready for his first counter. Combine this with his great Attack stat and Arden will prove that he is indeed Strong and Tough. An Attack refine and the Attack Plus 3.png Attack +3 Seal are chosen to make him retaliate even harder. As an alternative to Glimmer, Icon Skill Special.png Bonfire can be chosen instead in conjunction with Quickened Pulse.png Quickened Pulse to counter with a Bonfire-fueled attack. However, be aware that this only works for the first combat.

In his B slot, Arden can choose to keep his own skil, Follow-Up Ring.png Follow-Up Ring, as it allows him to counter twice so long as his HP is above 50%. This means he'll almost always fire off a Bonfire every combat so long as his HP is higher than 50%. Another option is to run Wrath 3.png Wrath 3 instead. Since this set means that Arden will likely be taking damage before he can counter, chances are that he will drop 75% HP to activate Wrath, which adds a flat 10 damage any time he uses a special. Note that this skill chekcs for hp during combat, so even if Arden starts combat higher than the activation threshold, if his HP is below the threshold when he uses his special, Wrath's effect will go off. Wrath will also reduce Arden's special cooldown by 1 at the start of the player's turn when Arden's HP is below 75%.

Lastly, his C slot can be used for Panic Ploy 3.png Panic Ploy 3. Since Arden has one of the highest HP stats in the entire game, he can reliably proc Panic Ploy on his enemies. Otherwise, Arden can run an Armor buff when used in Armor Emblem, or a different buff when used outside of Armor Emblem
Build Icon Alternative.png Alternative
Build Icon Allpurpose.png All-purpose
Orb.png Very high investment
Icon Move Armored.png Armored
Strong and Steady
Click to show/hide build description 
Arden is strong and tough, and with his peerless HP and Def stats, he can serve as a solid physical tank when given the right tools. The aim of this build is to play to these strengths by making him very formidable on the enemy phase. This is done by bolstering his Def to greater heights with Steady Breath, which would also help him fire off powerful Bonfires.

Weapon: Icon Class Red Sword.png Slaying Edge+ is Arden's weapon of choice. It is chosen for its great 14 Mt, but it also accelerates his Special charge, which would allow him to activate it more frequently.

Assist: Icon Skill Assist.png Swap or Icon Skill Assist.png Pivot both help patch up Arden's poor mobility, with the former switching places with an ally and the latter helping Arden jump ahead of an ally. Either one will help do the job in helping him move around the map.

Special: Icon Skill Special.png Bonfire is Arden's preferred Special. It runs off of his fantastic Def stat, and adds a great 22 damage to his attack with Steady Breath factored in. Thanks to Steady Breath and the Slaying Edge+ helping speed up his Special charge, he'll be able to fire this off pretty much at all times.

A Passive: Steady Breath.png Steady Breath is the perfect A skill for Arden. It grants him extra Def when he's attacked, which helps improve his enemy phase presence by beefing up his Def up to a whopping 45. More importantly, it also gives him an extra Special charge when he's attacked. If a melee attacker engages with Arden, he can withstand the hit and retaliate with Bonfire already charged, which will help him muscle through his opponents.

B Passive: Follow-Up Ring.png Follow-Up Ring is Arden's B skill, and is unique to him. This skill allows Arden to perform a follow up attack if he's above 50% HP. Any opponent that wasn't already destroyed by Bonfire will have to take another strike from Arden thanks to his skill. Wrath 3.png Wrath 3 is another option as Arden's B skill, and will instead beef up the power of his Special, and afterwards, Wrath will help charge his Special faster for him to use it again.

C Passive: Panic Ploy 3.png Panic Ploy 3 can be put to great use as Arden has a massive HP stat, allowing him to inflict the Panic debuff on pretty much any opponent except for opposing Ardens. Being able to deny an enemy's buffs and turn them into debuffs instead would help him withstand even more hits. Ward Armor.png Ward Armor is an acceptable alternative, as he is best used on full armor teams, so he can help support his team this way by helping them survive.

Sacred Seal: Arden has a few options for his choice of Seal, making this slot flexible. Deflect Magic 3.png Deflect Magic 3 can act as an emergency lifeline against Reinhardt and any other mages who can break through Arden through the use of Swordbreaker. Their first strikes will sting, but their second strikes will be mitigated heavily, allowing Arden to survive. However, they must be hit by Panic Ploy first to ensure that Arden will survive, as buffed mages will still decimate him. Should the player feel that Arden withstanding these mages to be unnecessary, then Panic Ploy 3.png Panic Ploy 3 could be used instead and Arden could run Ward Armor as his C skill, or he could use Defense Plus 3.png Defense +3 to maximize his Def and grant 2 more damge when Bonfire triggers.
Build Icon Alternative.png Alternative
Build Icon Allpurpose.png All-purpose
Universal Crystal.png Medium investment
Icon Move Armored.png Armored
Strong and Brave
Click to show/hide build description 
The aim of this build is to allow Arden to be a player phase monster, having the ability to quad no matter his hp percentage.

Weapon: Icon Class Red Sword.png Brave Sword+ is Ardens free weapon of destruction. It allows him to double for free, and even quad due to his personal skill, Follow-Up Ring.

Assist: Icon Skill Assist.png Swap and Icon Skill Assist.png Pivot will both improve Arden's mobility. Often you will be using these assists to disengage due to the player phase nature of this build, so Swap may often be a more favorable option, being able to work in more situations (though Pivot will also have its instances where it will help more. It's helpful to have a unit with Reposition on the team to further help any disengagement.

Special: Icon Skill Special.png Ignis is Arden's best special option when it comes to damage due to it playing off of his incredibly high defense stat. It will be very easy to charge thanks to Brave Sword+ and Follow-Up Ring allowing multiple attacks, it's also bound to be charged after being hit by a counter-attacking unit (unless an ability that prevents followups is in play). Bonfire is another good option for weaker but quicker peril for your opponents.

A Passive: Death Blow 3.png Death Blow 3 is a fantastic skill for Arden as it greatly increases his damage potential and digs a deeper grave for any opponent hoping to survive a hit. Attack Plus 3.png Attack +3 is a decent budget option, and can very well be helpful if Arden is caught during enemy phase.

B Passive: Follow-Up Ring.png Follow-Up Ring is a very essential part of this build. Arden's raw speed is way too low to naturally double any unit with a respectable speed stat, this ability completely dismisses his speed and allows Arden to follow up attack regardless of how much his Armor weighs him down. This synergy this ability has with Brave Sword+ allows him to proc his Ignis or Bonfire in one encounter, with Ignis being dependent on if your enemy can counter attack. This is until Arden reaches 50%, in this case his Seal takes the baton.

C Passive: Armor March 3.png Armor March 3 is a staple ability on any Armor Emblem team, as it fixes the natural Armor unit flaw of only being able to move 1 space. While you may have Amelia for this, it wouldn't hurt to have a second Armor March unit for if you would wish for your Armor team to split up into twos. If not then Hone Armor.png Hone Armor is another great armor emblem ability to boost your other armor units that will likely be running other abilities like Armor March or Ward Armor.png Ward Armor, but it depends on what your armor emblem team already has. Some non-Armor emblem C skills for regular teams could be Threaten Def 3.png Threaten Def 3 to soften an enemy up for you or your team or Panic Ploy 3.png Panic Ploy 3 since it takes advantage of Arden's incredible HP.
Dueling Sword.png Optimal
Build Icon Allpurpose.png All-purpose
Orb.png Very high investment
Indomitable Ignition
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Arden’s known for his ridiculously high HP and defense, so why not abuse that fact to the fullest?

Arden is one of the best users, if not then the best user, of Ignis due to having the the highest base def in the game, but it doesn’t need to stop at the base. When wielding the Safeguard+, he’s guaranteed +7 def to add on when he gets hit. You can even refine it to add on to his defense. The addition of Close Def will further boost this bulk on enemy phase, and the use of Earth Boost can have it effect both phases (his 60 base HP makes the condition for it little to no issue). With these total buffs, you’re looking at 64 def whenever he gets attacked, not only making him near impervious to physical melee damage (even physicsl range units have trouble touching him), but it fuels Ignis even more as well.

Off the bat, that’s 51 extra damage with Ignis when he gets attacked at close range, clearing out almost every one of the units currently in the game’s total HP on its own, and it’s capable of killing plenty of units if he initiates. Get some defense buffs on him, and this power becomes even more monstrous as he gains the potential to instantly kill units no matter how strong their merges make them.

Panic Ploy can also be utilized greatly due to his HP, making it a useful C skill in case of an enemy’s usage of field buffs.