|With the introduction of a refinery option for Regal Blade, and additional hero battles allowing for an increased number of merges, Lloyd has gone from a forgettable, outclassed red unit with a niche killing green mages to a formidable foe who excels at killing mages. He still has serious competition as an infantry sword unit, and lacks the raw power of other units in this class such as Ayra, Mia, Legendary Ike and Zelgius. That having been said, under the right conditions, Lloyd can be a monster, and for anyone who wished they could play as the oh-so-cool swordmaster in Blazing Blade, you now have a chance to do so without harming yourself to do so.
IVs: The trade off for guaranteed availability is locked neutral IVs. It's a shame too since his stats could use a bit more focus, but, unless something changes down the line allowing us to get a +Res,+Spd/-Def variant, we'll have to stick with neutral for now.
Weapon: The one thing besides his high resistance that Lloyd really brings to the table is his unique weapon Regal Blade, so we'll definitely be recommending that for this build since any other item has a pretty severe chance of letting him get outclassed. For how old a unit Lloyd is, he actually boasts a pretty good unique weapon, functioning similarly to Ivaldi and Gleipnir but with a flexible option for refinement. The skill refinement of +3 to all stats (but only when within 2 spaces of an infantry mage) is definitely the strongest option and on a team with one or two tome users, it is not difficult to keep up consistantly. As a combat bonus, it also can't be reversed by panic or similar skills, but that also means it isn't used to help calculate skills such as ploys. The massive across-the-board stat boost helps immensely with his forced neutral stat-line as it makes his defense actually workable as long as he's not getting doubled by strong physical units or a strong lance user and when combined with the regular passive of regal blade, it brings his speed to top-tier levels and gives his attack some bite befitting of the title "White Wolf"
Assist Skill: Reposition is the skill of choice here. we're building to be a counter-attack focused unit, and our refinement skill on Regal Blade means we'll have at least one tome user on our team. Unless they are running close counter and are built to frontline like Boey or Winter Tharja, we will definitely want the option to move them, safely, behind us.
Special: Since we can't run Warding Breath AND Distant Counter on the same set unless a sacred seal for one becomes available, the lower cooldown of Iceberg makes it more attractive since, Glacies isn't as likely to get triggered more than maybe once without some form of cooldown reduction, but Glacies is still a very strong option.
A Skill: Distant Counter is required for this build. By hitting physical defense and having a high resistance stat, Lloyd excels at countering mages (especially red and green ones), but needs this skill to be able to retaliate vs their 2 square range. Warding Breath is an alternative to make him solely threaten dragons but it threatens much of what makes him unique.
B Skill: Vantage 3 is a strong option for many DC users, and Lloyd is no exception. Unlike many enemy phase units, especially with a skill refined regal blade, Lloyd's speed is quite high meaning he won't require Quick Riposte 3 to double attack, and, with a low defense and no way to restore HP built into his kit, Vantage lets him kill or injure on counterattack before taking damage, which can completely reverse the outcome of engagements.
C Skill: Lloyd is actually one of the game's best users of Def Ploy 3. Since very few characters have higher resistance and target the defense stat of enemies. Spd Ploy 3 and Atk Ploy 3 are also both strong options but Lloyd's speed is so high that speed ploy is often unnecessary, and, with this build, you have at least ONE mage on your team. Depending on who they are, they may be better wielders of those skills (a Lute, for example, can handle all three other ploys with her Weirding Tome her C skill and an attack ploy seal. All that having been said, the availability for the Def Ploy seal is very low, so the Threaten Atk 3 that he comes with naturally is an acceptable budget option.
Sacred Seal: If you can't get Def Ploy 3 from inheritance on Lloyd's C slot, you're going to probably want it here on his seal slot to make use of his high resistance stat and targeting of physical defense. If you CAN get it on his C slot, you have a lot of options here, but Distant Def 3 is preferred to not only add more kick to his special activation, but also to shrug off the damage he'll be taking from doing his job attracting ranged attacks. Close Def 3 can also be used to make him a better dragon counter and just generally frontline better, and other Ploy skills or Quick Riposte can find there way here too if they are what is situationally needed, but are generally inferior to the choices mentioned above.
~Sonic The Hedgedawg