Fire Emblem Heroes Wiki:Build Center/Sanaki: Begnion's Apostle

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Quick Hero Info
Icon Move Infantry.png Icon Class Red Tome.png
33 / 37 / 26 / 17 / 34
Exclusive skills

Dueling Sword.png Optimal
Dueling Crest.png Arena
Hero Feather Darkened.png High investment
Blade Nuke Sanaki
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Sanaki has the third highest attack stat at 37, with only Cherche and Effie having a higher stat. Combine this with Rauðrblade+'s effect where it adds up all bonuses to damage dealt, and you've got a really dangerous mage who can KO a good portion of the game's roster with the right support. While the ideal teammate would be Ephraim who can potentially buff all 4 if Sanaki's stats on his own, Sanaki can be run along any teammate that can provide buffs for the Apostle of Begnion.

However, for her outstanding attack and respectable resistance, she trades speed and defense. While her low speed can be helped with a +spd boon and Fury, she will still be unable to double a lot of units. As such, this build aims to deal as much damage in one hit. Thus, the A slot of choice for this build is Death Blow to augment Sanaki's killing potential even further. Alternatively, Fury can be chosen to make Sanaki more durable while also boosting her attack - although even with Fury, her defense stat is really low and as such, tanking physical hits is discouraged.

For the B slot, Swordbreaker or R Tomebreaker are the two best choices. Although a breaker is not neccesary if Sanaki has recieved any buffs, when unbuffed she actually struggles to cleanly oneshot red and blue units. Running a breaker can help her secure the KO on Sword units or red mages without needing buffs from an ally. Of the 2, Swordbreaker is the best option as Sword wielders are more common than red mages. The C slot is open to a skill that fits the player's team the most.

For the assist, Draw Back can be run to get an ally out of danger whilst Sanaki stays safe behind her ally. Reposition can also be used for its increased mobility compared to Draw Back, however this puts Sanaki in front of her ally. The choice is up to the player.

Moonbow is the special of choice, as it helps Sanaki deal with tankier Red units as well as some Blue units. Because Sanaki will not double a unit often, she won't charge her special as quickly as other Blade tome mages like Nino. This, combined with Rauðrblade's cooldown penalty, leaves Moonbow as the special of choice.

Lastly, Attack Plus 1.png Attack +1 is the seal of choice as it helps Sanaki deal more damage, however the seal slot is fairly flexible.
Dueling Sword.png Optimal
Build Icon Allpurpose.png All-purpose
Universal Crystal.png Medium investment
Empowering Empress
Icon Skill Assist.png Reposition / Flexible
Stats: +Atk/-Def
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Sanaki has incredible Atk and a unique tome, allowing her potentially incinerate her foes. She can also play the role of a supporter thanks to her tome's effect. Her tome is Cymbeline, which has a high 14 Mt and is unique to her, and it grants +4 Atk to any ally adjacent to her after she attacks. Her Assist is Reposition, a versatile Assist that can help her bring an ally closer to the fray or out of danger. Any other Assist can be used however, and is up to whatever the player needs. Iceberg is her Special, as it runs off of her high Res and will add a consistent 17 damage to her attacks. Her A skill is Triangle Adept. She comes with it naturally, and it heightens her advantage against greens. This, coupled with her great Res, lets her be a hard counter to any green tome. It also lets her completely overwhelm axe users too. However, this means she'll be even more vulnerable to blues, so she must be even more careful around them. Foes with Cancel Affinity may also prove to be troublesome. Her B skill is Swordbreaker. Her Spd is actually rather mediocre, so this allows her to double sword users and smite them, although she should be wary around Distant Counter. Her C skill can be Hone Spd, as her weapon already buffs allies for +4 Atk, so she might as well buff the other offensive stat. She can use other C skills however, like a Ploy skill as her Res is perfect to use with them, but ultimately this skill slot is flexible, up to whatever the player may need. Her Seal is Atk +1, bolstering her already high Atk even higher.
Dueling Sword.png Optimal
Stamina Potion.png Chain
Orb.png Very high investment
Spiral Sanaki
Flier Atk Res Bond W.png Cymbeline (Skill)
Icon Skill Assist.png Flexible
Stats: +Atk/-Spd,-Def
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With her high attack and usually flexible B-slot, Sanaki can make good use of Special Spiral 3.png Special Spiral 3. With it and Heavy Blade 3.png Heavy Blade 3, every time she uses her special it is instantly recharged to use again. It requires a little time to charge the special initially, but once it's active she can deal a lot of damage.

Atk Res Bond 3.png Atk/Res Bond 3 increases her attack while also helping her work as a magic tank. Alternatively, Life and Death 3.png Life and Death 3 focuses purely on offense. Unlike Atk/Res Bond or Death Blow, Life and Death works out of combat so it increases the damage of her special as well as her normal attack.

The Hardy Bearing 3.png Hardy Bearing 3 seal is a consideration in order to counter opponents with Vantage 3.png Vantage 3, which can be activated by the special damaging them before combat. If using it, Heavy Blade will need to be moved to the A-slot.
Dueling Sword.png Optimal
Build Icon Allpurpose.png All-purpose
Orb.png Very high investment
Mixed Team Empress
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Sanaki ties Lilina for the highest attack stat among any mage, giving her potent offense. Although she lacks the raw power of Lilina's Forblaze, Sanaki's refined Cymbeline and even higher magical bulk offer her a stronger enemy phase and increased synergy within her team, while still offering impressive OHKO power against green and some red enemies.

The optimal IVs are +Atk/-Def. Increasing her raw attack power will net her more damage and kills, while her defense can be safely decreased, being irrelevant to her magical bulk.

Weapon: Icon Class Red Tome.png Cymbeline, with its refinement, is Sanaki's weapon of choice. It imitates the effects of Atk Res Bond 3.png Atk/Res Bond 3, granting a hefty bonus of 5 attack and resistance if Sanaki is within 2 spaces of a flying ally. Not only does this further amplify her damage potential, but also boosts her resistance to 39, making her a formidable magical tank. Furthermore, it grants a Drive Atk 2.png Drive Atk 2 effect, allowing Sanaki to increase the damage of her allies as well.

Assist: Icon Skill Assist.png Draw Back is the standard positioning skill for ranged units. This allows Sanaki to retreat an ally and herself to get out of the line of fire.

Special: Icon Skill Special.png Glimmer is chosen for its low cooldown and synergy with Sanaki's high attack. With Sanaki's slow speed, her special cooldown needs to be as low as possible for the best chance of her activating it during a battle. Once charged, Glimmer gives Sanaki the ability to nuke an enemy unit, likely one-shotting them.

A Passive: Death Blow 3.png Death Blow 3 is Sanaki's A passive. Stacking an extra 6 attack upon her already high attack stat, Death Blow's attack boost helps her to better initiate on and one-shot common threats.

B Passive: R Tomebreaker 3.png R Tomebreaker 3 is Sanaki's B passive. It secures her matchups against any red mage (including herself), allowing her to bait them effectively in the enemy phase. However, this slot is relatively flexible and can be tailored to fit a team's needs. One interesting option is Wings of Mercy 3.png Wings of Mercy 3. It grants increased mobility and works especially well with fliers, as Sanaki will be able to activate the +5 Atk/+5 Res boost from Cymbeline when she teleports next to an injured flier and enters combat.

C Passive: Atk Tactic 3.png Atk Tactic 3 is Sanaki's B passive. Due to Cymbeline's requirements of having a flier ally, Sanaki finds her place best on a mixed team, allowing her to use a Tactic skill. When combining the buff and the Drive Atk 2 from Cymbeline, Sanaki can bulk up her allies to a max of +9 attack during combat. It can easily be substituted with a different skill, however, such as her default Hone Atk 3.png Hone Atk 3, or ploys to make use of Sanaki's high resistance stat.

Sacred Seal: Res Ploy 3.png Res Ploy 3 is chosen for Sanaki's sacred seal. It activates quite reliably due to her base resistance of 34, and helps to soften up targets for herself as well as her team. Like her C slot, it can be substituted with another seal depending on the player's choice/preference, such as Heavy Blade 3.png Heavy Blade 3 to charge up her special faster.
Dueling Sword.png Optimal
Orb.png Very high investment
Glass Cannon Team Buff
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This build is most effective in a team of fliers and attack/speed heavy units.

Cymbeline Skill (Assuming you have a flier unit nearby) paired with Life and Death 3 totals to a large amount of damage that should safely kill ranged units, including most blue units. Heavy blade as a seal allows you to have your special every two attacks, and if you have your special, it should likely kill ANY unit due to it's large burst. Heavy Blade is key to this kit.

Having Vantage 3 is her main defense against bow and tome heroes, potentially killing them before your Glass Cannon dies. You can however substitute it for desperation if you find your Sanaki to fail double attacks.

Here comes the interesting part. Sanaki's base weapon grants her nearby allies bonus attack, allowing for a nearby ally to follow up with an empowered attack. In the case where she isn't nearby after her attack, Hone Atk 3 does the job for her. This however is why it is flexible because there can be more beneficial choices. Harsh Command also neutralizes many dagger debuffs and other passives on your allies allowing them to use their max strength.

There are a few paths for teams you could use for Glass Buff Sanaki. I emphasize the use of fliers, and definitely have a flier with pull back swap or reposition, to catch Sanaki when she gets in too deep. You can also use Ninian or Inigo or anyone else with sing or dance to get that turn one Rising Thunder melt.
Pen.png Creative
Build Icon Allpurpose.png All-purpose
Orb.png Very high investment
Speedy Empress
Speed Plus W.png Cymbeline (Spd)
Icon Skill Assist.png Reposition / Flexible
Stats: +Spd -Def
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Sanaki is, at first, seemingly only capable in two stats, Attack and Resistance. The introduction of Chill skills, however, allows many units to explore stats outside of their normal comfort zones. With a refinable Legendary tome allowing her to invest further in Spd and power than other mages, and with naturally very high Atk and Res, Sanaki is one of the most prime candidates to go down this road.

With this build, she lands an impressive statline featuring 54 Atk, 38 Spd, and 37 Res, with reliable debuffing to enemy Speed and Resistance that allows her a very strong offensive and defensive presence only Lute can truly match. Though a more standard mage build may achieve more reliably high Speed and Power, and a more traditional Sanaki setup could invest further in Atk and Res, this build manages to be impressive in all three stats, at the cost of being truly fantastic in any of them. Whether this is desirable is dependent on player preference, but a faster than normal Sanaki is certainly something to be considered, for anyone willing to put in high investment.

As she relies heavily on debuffing, Harsh Command can wall this build very well, but this is an uncommon choice of assist slot. Additional concern should be put on the fact that Chill Spd only effects the enemy with the highest Speed (or enemies, in case of a tie), which can lead to situations where the desired target stays outside of her doubling range. On the other hand, however, the boost she gains from this skill, as well as Res Ploy, can be utilized by her entire team. Other traditionally slow users of Chill Spd, such as Frederick, can boost off of her use of it and open up their B slot in the process, and more traditional fast units gain an advantage against similarly speedy opponents. Due to using Cymbeline, Sanaki also further aids her teammates with an impressive Atk buff of seven points, if positioned properly. Sofar as her own support, Sanaki appreciates any sort of Speed buff possible, as it expands her range of targets. Spur or Drive Spd is an ideal choice, as Cymbeline encourages her to be near allies to begin with.