Alfonse, Sharena, Anna - Best Builds for PvE

Since I’m starting to build up resources from PvE stuff and don’t really have any other projects at the moment, I was wondering what the best methods were for building up the Askran units. I wasn’t sure if they were supposed to be built in mind to work with each other or if it were better to have them made to be generally flexible, but either way I’m mostly building them to get the perks they provide in terms of event bonuses.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated, and thank you very much for the help!

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Alfonse and Sharena don’t need that much to be strong with their refined weapon. This isn’t necessarily the optimal build for them. Alfonse can be refined in Res and combine different Brazen effects to balance both defenses and things like that. I want to give Sharena Wrath (she ate Owain before the 4 skill inheritance was announced).

Anna is harder because her weapon doesn’t make her stronger in combat, which is what these three wanted especially since they can’t be merged. She tends to use a Hammer or a Wo Gùn, at least for Arena.

Triple Brazen Alfonse makes him a physical powerhouse once his hp lowers. Any kind of brazen work for him even Brazen atk/spd can make him a speedy hard hitter and brazen atk/res can make him a good mixed tank with some res buffs.

Sharena’s bond stacking and Dull everything makes her deceptively fast and/or bulky depending on the bond you give her. Her only drawback is bonds are more enemy phase.

Anna is harder to do. Her weapon is more support oriented and she needs other weapons like Wo Gun or Slaying Axe/Hammer to be an offensive unit.
Give her Life and Death/Desperation/Def Smoke with Flashing Blade and Moonbow/Luna.

For PvE, Anna could be a mobility support using Noatun and the Link skills, as nowadays Link skills are rather cheap. Pair it up with a position assist of your choice (Smite, Reposition, etc) and you got yourself a rather interesting unit for general use.

You can further leverage Noatun by using Bonds. I suggest running ATK based bonds to at least let Anna able to deal some damage.

For arena, don’t bother though. She’s absolutely garbage.

I disagree. I gave her atk/def bond + Blue Flame + wrath (and slaying axe, but could have gone slaying hammer too) and it’s pretty funny what I’ve been able to do. Even if it’s not objectively good, it’s amusing. In PvE I think she’s only decent. Stuff has too stupidly much HP. I did use her fairly successfully with slaying + iceberg + fury in Book II so she can’t be that bad.

But in general, @TheUnstableChemical I would recommend focus your Askr trio investment on arena because units that succeed in just about any other mode will succeed in PvE so you won’t need your Askr trio to shine in PvE. Just invest in your favourite mode other than PvE and figure out how to adjust the units a bit to work well in PvE. Unless I’m missing something by “event bonuses?”

Cries in no fodder

You can do that for literally any unit, and the result will be better. That’s why I say she is hot garbage unless she had the bonus stats, and even then she still is pretty bad.

Sharena/Alfonse are pretty easy to set up, but Sharena is a bit more expensive to reach her full potential. Whilst Anna is probably the hardest to build up.

I’ve seen people invest into a Anna with her Prf weapon. Especially with Sorcery blade, Bond seal, Wrath and Blue Flame. This is a great build as it takes advantage of her low Atk stat. I’ve built mine with SB, Renewal (supposed to be Wrath but I don’t have the fodder) and Atk Smoke with CD seal. When paired with Wo gun, and Ignis she can rack up loads of damage.

No, I still disagree. That’s not a build I would want to put on a slow unit (and it’s not an option on ranged units). Anna has the flexibility not to need to stall for charges or to rely on a breath skill + slaying, plus if she doesn’t OHKO (which isn’t that uncommon when at triangle disadvantage even if your atk IV is 35) she still has reasonable chances

Also helps that her defenses are in the right range to activate wrath without losing nearly all her HP. Like, try it on Caineghis when he has +res and bonus stats and there’s no anti-armour on the other team? Getting impatient during player phase will just get him killed on enemy phase

Had to rephrase. I don’t mean the exact builds. I mean the skills that Anna had could probably be better utilised somewhere else with better effect.

Furthermore, I am not comfortable in making investment into a shitty unit to make her not shitty in a mode that just requires her to do 1 damage to land the skill.

But why do you find her so bad to begin with? She has a similar statline to Fir’s.

Because Fir could be merged (biggest factor actually), and has an actually good personal weapon.

Anna has … Noatun.

Ok, and in reply I say:

  1. Fir can be good even without merges, and the overwhelming majority of players don’t have merged Fir
  2. Noatun’s effect is perfect for bond + Blue Flame builds, but if you don’t like it, change it (like I did).

Thank you very much for all of the input so far! I’m reading through and sorting through my options while I’m building up the resources for actually building them all up, and I only have a couple of questions at this point;

  • Just in terms of my investment in the long term, should I be focusing on a comp where they all want to be working in conjunction with each other, or should I just make them as optimal as possible for the arena? While I agree with making them arena viable since I can’t really go wrong with benefiting from the bonuses there (as well as in Aether Raids), I just wasn’t sure if this was all contingent on them working in conjunction with each other or if I could freely move them about from team to team. I suppose it matters less with the way skill inheritance works in this game, but still wanted to ask for curiosity’s sake.

  • I haven’t seen a whole lot of Alfonse discussion outside of a potential Brazen build, and was wondering if that more offensively oriented build was more optimal than a potentially tankier build. For example, my original thought was to build off of the Prf eff and do (A) DC/Fury, (B) Swordbreaker 3/Wrath/???, © Spur Def/Res 2/Spur Spd/Def 2/Atk Smoke 3 , and (S) QR/Spur Atk. Of course, I could understand focusing on his reasonable ATK/DEF stats being a perk, but was hoping for a little more clarification on that front.

  • Sharena is someone I am more than willing to spend quite a bit on in order to make as optimal as possible, but, from what I understand, she works best as a full-on support unit? Thinking I might be going with something similar to what @Dannwond suggested (especially with the July Mythic Banner around the corner and my interest in spending a lot of Orbs on that for fodder). So maybe something like (A) Atk/Spd Bond/Fury 3, (B) Wrath/Renewal/Chill Spd, © Atk Smoke/Drive Spd, (S) Atk/Def Bond

  • Anna actually seems interesting for me to build, but I am really taking a liking to slapping a Wo Gun on her and building her as offensively as possible. However, I’m seeing a lot of Blue Flame recommendations; would something like Glimmer/Moonbow be a decent substitute if I’m strapped on 5:star: exclusives? As of right now, I’m thinking of borrowing @NickofTime80’s suggestion, which would be (A)Life and Death/Swift Sparrow (???), (B) Desperation/Wrath, ©???, (S)Flashing Blade

All this being said, thanks a ton for all the input!

Sharena can be a good duelist, she’s not a support unit. She just may generally work better as a baiter since she wants to be adjacent to an ally. Her refined weapon also ignores visible buffs, which is often underestimated.

I’m pretty new to the game overall as well, but this is my current plan for “Got nothing else to build, might as well high invest the Askr trio” builds:

Braindead Brazen Benchlord, basically.

  • Folkvangr with a +Spd refine to stay away from Triangle Adept, and to get him into better cast-doubling range when Brazen Atk/Spd 4 kicks in.
  • Dual Rally for arena points, but otherwise a movement assist.
  • Moonbow for low cooldown Def debuffing.
  • Desperation because player phase unit.
  • Atk Smoke for longevity (though C is flexible, and I’ll probably also give him Savage Blow for arena).
  • Brazen Atk/Res for mixed bulk. Can be subbed for Brazen Atk/Spd (more doubles) or Atk/Def (if you go Def refine and Bonfire).

Enemy phase bonds.

  • Fensalir refined for effect, which helps with longevity and gives a free bond.
  • Again, dual rally or movement.
  • Noontime for longevity.
  • Distant Counter for enemy phase coverage.
  • Null C Disrupt to make sure that she’s giving back a counter.
  • Joint Hone Spd because she’s going to be adjacent to somebody.
  • Atk/Spd Bond, but this is actually flexible. I went with this to bump her up to 49 speed with all buffs as long as she’s standing next to somebody, but Flashing Blade isn’t a bad choice, or a Atk/Res Bond. Take your pick really.

Imagine Anna as a Michael Bay fan, as a chipper/follow-up build.

  • Noatun allows Anna to fly in and make someone explode and cause a bunch of damage to their friends (hopefully) thanks to the true damage from Flashing Blade 4, Wrath, and dual Savage Blow.
  • Wo Gun +(Spd) is an easy sub in, causing a bigger true damage explosion if you keep Wrath, or (how I’m probably going to build this for Arena) keep her with Vantage for more explosions.
  • Dual Rally for actual reasons on Anna, with her flying about thanks to her axe. Otherwise, points.
  • Growing Wind for the increased AOE, since we’re more worried about the true damage than her actual Atk.
  • Flashing Blade 4 works extremely well for Anna, giving her true damage and cooldown by leveraging her high Spd.
  • Wrath for more true damage, as the cooldown is a bit wasted considering her out of combat special, though it will help sometimes. Otherwise, Vantage for enemy phase longevity and explosions.
  • And Savage Blow in C and Seal to get more chip out there, allowing the damage from Flashing Blade to make Anna not particularly care that her Atk is so low.