Hardy Fighter in ARD — Fatally Flawed in the Vault?

I wanted to get input from the community here on whether Hardy Fighter is actually good for ARD or if it has too big of a fatal flaw. At first, it seems like an amazing skill because it really unlocks DR specials for armors, particularly ones with the Slaying effect in their weapon, like B!Hector. Technically almost all armors can inherit a Slaying weapon, but the ones with slaying pref weapons definitely outshine those. A!Fjorm probably uses the skill best so far, which makes sense. However, your DR special is not ready on the turn 1 PP because turn 1 EP is when the “pulse” happens. Thus, any Save unit with Hardy Fighter is vulnerable on turn 1.

To combat this, pretty much the only solution is to try to block access to your team with buildings and traps. This seems likely to work against lower-tier folks because they are less likely to have a dedicated Save-cracking team, but I’m not sure it will work at all in the Vault. Vault players already know about the flaw and many use the Safety Fence for hit-and-run turn 1/2 strategies already. It seems to be relatively easy to adapt to Hardy Fighter from an offensive perspective.

So, what are your thoughts here? Can enough buildings and traps be placed to keep your team safe on turn 1 or will Vaulters have this solved within the week? Does it depend on whether you’re running Saves on a mixed team (Catria Balls and whatnot) or on an armor-stall team? Or is Hardy Fighter just a waste in the Vault for ARD?


Well i just made a Catria Ball with A.Fjorm in it (so Hardy Fighter), if i had B!Hector i’d abuse it on him aswell cause he has insane synergy with it thx to his prf.

I tryed myself with many comp, i don’t see how you safely engage turn 1 on it. To be fair, you could probably somehow send a range cav, but hmm, first only L!Lilina as ranged cav can down A!Fjorm, and 2nd : Then what ? your Ranged Cav will be exposed and unprotected …

'tho i might be wrong, my AR-D will be up for testing soon.
Also i should add that it might have flaw but there isn’t a single perfect defense, so all AR-D have flaws.


People are idiots even in vault. So it will work.


I absolutely agree there. My question is whether it seems too big a flaw or if it’s not too bad. Mask seems to think it’s fine (above), for example.

That might be true when she has Ice Mirror ready, but I’m pretty sure there will be plenty that can punch through without it. That’s what worries me.

I have a dedicated armor-stall busting team in each season, and each one is a little different, but they consist of offensive units with NFU, armor effectiveness, and movement assists. I think each would not have much of a problem crushing armor stall teams with Hardy on turn 1. B!Eirika is a pretty common unit and she’s pretty much tailor-made for this.

Against a defense like yours, you would need to run in and snipe a Save and retreat outside threat range on turn 1. I ran a similar Catria ball this past week because I got my first copies of her on the recent banner. I had three full losses from variations of that this past week in the Vault. One each went turns 2, 3 and 4, and they all won and got both pots. My map is wide open with no buildings to allow the offense to create choke points, so if I used Hardy Saves, it would force them to go immediately without as much prep. If I moved the buildings to the bottom and created a wall, choke points become possible, but you can force at least 2-3 unit turns (actions) to happen before they can hit your defense. Those 2-3 actions aren’t enough to prevent them from getting the snipe off and you might need 2-3 actions to get back out of range, but that’s 5-7 actions including the snipe. You have enough units to do that pretty reliably and, without the DR special ready, you don’t even really need top-tier offensive units.


Oh no i meant, if A!Fjorm has no Ice mirror, the only RANGE CAV i can see killing her Turn 1 with no support is L!Lilina.
I’m not even scared of L!Lilina once A!Fjorm has ice mirror ready.

But i mean, we’ll see, i’ve tested A!Fjorm a lot on offense this week and she’s an absolute monster at her job.
I expect her to be at least half as good on defense, but i might be wrong. She’s a fresh unit, after all.


Nice! I probably missed it somewhere, but how many merges did you get?


Only one merge(+1), i have 2 more manual available, but i’m saving at least one for hardy fighter, not sure about the other.
3 copy in 150 orbs + the spark. I got lucky.


What IVs did you do?

I have pulled 4 (!!!) A!Fjorms so far and I’m on summon 29/40. At a minimum, I’ll have enough to get her to +4, maybe higher. At that many merges with so few orbs, I might actually go for the +10 since I’m basically halfway already. On the other hand, I could go +1 or +2 and hand out some Hardy Fighter. I don’t need it for anyone unless I use Hardy for ARD purposes, because I’d rather my other Saves run their OHKO Bonfire builds for offense. Thus my interest in whether Hardy is worth it on anyone but A!Fjorm on ARD.


I think if you have B!Hector you should definitely give him one copy, his prf + hardy makes him stupid.
Follow up negation + NFU means unless you have NFU yourself, you can’t double him.
Outspeed + Forced double, or outspeed + Lancebreaker won’t work.

Other than that, idk, up to you.


I have always liked and used armors, which is apparently unusual if this site is any indication. B!Hector was one of my first Braves that I ever invested in. I had him at +5ish when his refine dropped and finished him on the next 3-unit rerun banner after that. He’s the main one I’m considering. B!Edelgard could run it, but Black Eagle Rule is excellent, so it’s not really necessary. I could also put it on Black Knight since refined Alondite got Slaying, or on Nagi. If I gave 3 copies out (B!Hector, Nagi, Black Knight), I’d still be able to keep A!Fjorm at +1 after the spark. But halfway to +10 at just the spark is really tempting to save up and finish her.

I feel like using one copy on B!Hector would be fine even if I decided to take A!Fjorm up to +10, since I was so lucky thus far. I was hoping to get just 1 copy on the way to the spark to use one and fodder the other, but I struck gold for once with RNG, so I’m trying hard not to waste my unforeseen windfall.


Can 100% confirm

My maps are just cavlines and i still have “0 lift lost” weeks

It’s sad just how many people just kinda throw their units into the threat range without any sort of plan

My only question is… why would she run it? Like hardy fighter bagle is just great value gustav tbh

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I was going to chip in with my thoughts, but after seeing this, all I can thing of is swear words…

But I’ll do it anyway. I feel that Hardy Fighter set ups can work on Catria Ball teams as the saviors in there are meant to be walls to protect the DPS. This week I’ve seen BEirika kill my Gustav because she survived with 3-5 HP twice. Hardy Fighter might have helped.

My biggest issue with Hardy Fighter on defense is not the vulnerability on turn one (I can patch that up with Gustav’s own DR), but it’s weakness to ruse/guard. Hardy Figther strats lack the damage output to OHKO on retaliation, so if their special is not up, then they become easy targets.

Something like PSurtr/Gustav with Breath + Hardy Fighter + Near Save + Deflect Melee might be enough to allow them to survive any fight, but their lack of damage output means the enemy survives the fight too. It succeeds in stalling one fight, but there’s nothing preventing the enemy to keep trying until they win. Catria Balls can make up for the lack of damage, but it will have to be designed with turn 2 in mind.


I thought I was incredibly lucky, but Cbyrd got 11 copies in 480 orbs. Apparently that’s in the 0.3% range of luck according to the simulator. If mine kept up like that, which I highly doubt, I’d be very excited. Don’t worry, I’ve had lots of total crap luck the past few months to compensate. :P

As it is, I merged my +Atk A!Fjorm to +1 and Ascended her +Spd. I foddered Hardy Fighter off to B!Hector and saved a +HP copy. I’ll keep summoning to at least the spark and decide what to do from there once I’ve tested A!Fjorm on ARO more. B!Hector is just a little too perfect for Hardy Fighter to not give him a copy, so my Catria ball map was reworked to shove the buildings to the bottom and we will see how it goes. I’m a little concerned that baiting it got easier, but it kept losing to hit-and-run, so I’m hoping that flaw is more patched.

Right now I just have B!Hector doing Far and B!Edelgard on Near duty, but she has her old Noontime + A/D Unity + BER + A/D Form build (she used to run Bonfire + Steady Breath, but B!Hector needs the Breath for Aegis). The idea is that B!Hector is a brick wall and everyone else is offensive, including mixed-phase B!Edelgard.

On B!Hector, he should still get his DR on the second hit if he’s hit with a Guard effect due to his Breath, which is weaker but not awful (that’s reduced to B!Edel’s DR from BER). Right now he also doesn’t have Guard in his own build, so I’m counting on his DR to make up for that, but I may have to work Tannenbaton+ on to the team (it’s on my +10 Linhardt, who isn’t an offensive powerhouse but does also have Odd Recovery). Worst case, I can move him to Near and use A!Fjorm for Far and either do your idea of Breath in the A with Deflect Melee or use a Stance to get the Guard in there.