|An enemy phase build that seeks to take advantage of Marth's naturally decent speed and just barely average defense.
While not the most impressive at it's base, a Def refinement on the Handbell+ lets Marth go up to 36 Defense, which is a solid enough starting point. If one feels the additional points from the Handbell aren't useful, however, Slaying Axe+ can be used instead; this can be combined with Bonfire to get a much stronger special activation. With Handbell, Moonbow or Glimmer should be used, so that the special will be more likely (or guaranteed with Quick Riposte) to activate during one round of combat.
Fury 3 is chosen as the primary A slot, because it's easy to get, works on any phase, and also buffs multiple stats at once - this allows Marth to avoid more doubles, deal better damage, and take less damage from enemies. If the self-damage isn't desired, however, a stance or bond ability can be used instead.
Quick Riposte 3 is used to guarantee that Marth will double enemies, although it should be noted that Marth's Speed is quite high - 41 during the enemy phase. There's a few common characters whom Marth would want to fight who can top this, and Quick Riposte will get around this; however, if one doesn't think this is necessary, one can use Vantage 3 to instead catch enemies off-guard. You can then combine with the Quick Riposte seal to get the best of both, but at the cost of the additional protection from Close Def 3.
The C slot can be whatever is desired by the player, however Drive Atk 2 is there from the start and quite helpful, so if you have nothing specific in mind that can be kept.
This build goes great with a Water Blessing & Fjorm, or if available, a Fire Blessing and Legendary Ephraim. The former helps Marth get his speed even higher, and is a good idea if one wants to use Vantage instead of Quick Riposte in the B slot. The latter further helps Marth's ability to tank enemies. Both are very helpful spear units that also cover for Marth's weaknesses quite well. On top of this, Fjorm opens up the potential for use of the Tactics skills for very strong buffs to the whole party, while Ephraim opens up for the ability to use Cavalry buffs.