Panic Smoke is great on Aether Raids Defense, as @TMFM said, and is honestly one of the best skills for bulky units. If I ever manage to get Panic Smoke I’ll either put it on my defense’s Sturdy Impact Micaiah or on my defense’s Winter Cecilia, since both are pretty tough to kill on the counter. On offense, as has already been stated, it’s better to support with Panic Ploy, Panic Manor, or Sudden Panic - Pulse Smoke or Atk Smoke are usually better C-Slots.
Flashing Blade 4 is a little interesting because while at a glance it doesn’t perform much differently than Flashing Blade 3, it makes it actually worth the A-Slot. However, you have to be using the seal for high value. Otherwise, it’d be better to just run a normal A-Slot like Swift Sparrow 3 and then Flashing Blade in the seal slot.
There’s a few criteria that you need to really get value from it:
- Low attack stat - one of the key reasons you’re running Flashing Blade 4 is for the chip damage, and it’s one of the few advantages over having it in the seal. Therefore, it’s good on units who have a low attack stat and benefit from the extra guaranteed damage.
- High speed stat - as you’d guess, you need a high speed to be able to run it well. Who would’ve guessed.
- High value seal - I mentioned this earlier. Here’s a list of ones I would say could at least be USEABLE - Swift Sparrow, Brazen Atk/Spd, Atk Feint, Spd Feint, Chill Atk, Chill Def, any C-Slot skill, Quickened Pulse, Hardy Bearing, Armored Boots, and Phantom Spd (maybe).
- Infantry or Armor - Basic inheritance restrictions on the skill. Armors often would rather use Fighters though.
Here’s a couple of archetypes that might benefit from it:
- Aether Raids Defense units running Hardy Bearing/Quickened Pulse that also want cooldown acceleration. It lets them have a little more tech options while having the same benefits of Flashing Blade 3 (and more damage).
- Mixed offense-support units. By running another supportive B-Slot or C-Slot in the seal, you can get more value in terms of support, while dedicating the A-Slot to cooldown reduction. Very niche though honestly since most supports aren’t going to be going into combat.
- Units that you don’t use enough to merit dedicating the coveted Flashing Blade 3 seal to, but still want the effects of Flashing Blade. Essentially, if you need two Flashing Blade users on the same team.
- A few other miscellaneous things I guess. Not going to get into it because it could take forever.
Own Design (Winter Jaffar) - It works, though tbh not necessarily better than Bold Fighter
Credits to TheSeunger for design (Legault) - One of my favorite uses I’ve seen of FB 4
Own Design (Silvia) - A Galeforce Dancer for Aether Raids Galeforce offense teams. Flexible C & Seal
Own Design (L Alm) - AR Defense L Alm. Not necessarily better than most other L Alm builds, but neat
Essentially, Flashing Blade is pretty neat, but honestly there’s pretty niche uses for it. I’ve seen some really awesome ones in the past (mine here are mostly just playing around with it), so it has potential, but Panic Smoke is probably the way to go if you’re planning to fodder some Thrasir. It is really good on the Galeforce dancers though lol.