Itsuki Scoring Build Theorycrafting (with some comparisons)

Like a lot of people, I’m really excited to think about using this unit in a variety of different modes. I thought I’d write down my thoughts rather than just think on them internally so maybe other people could benefit. I’m sure I messed up a bunch of my theorycrafting - I’m not perfect - but if it’s helpful to someone to think through these things, then that’s cool.

For me, since Itsuki clearly wants to be a light season AR tank, it doesn’t interest me that much to build him for that purpose as Matthew has been performing really well in light season and I have no reason to replace him. He can work in Astra, but we really need a +Res Astra mythic hero first before I consider that. It’s an option though - just not right now.

But as a general high-scoring unit, I’m interested in building him for all those modes as he’s able to run 300 SP skills in his A-slot without taking a score penalty. So this is where my thinking currently lies, and what I want to discuss :)

Itsuki General Purpose Tank Build

His most effective general purpose tank build I could come up with to achieve maximum score of 752 would be something like the following. A lot of B-slots work - such as Guard, Null-Follow-Up, Null-C Disrupt, Swordbreaker 3, etc. - but the Lull skills just have the lowest opportunity cost as they are generally great against everyone:

Thoughts on Astram Tank Build

Astram is really Itsuki’s main competitor. For a tank, Astram performs very similarly, and there are some advantages to using Astram too. His speed is currently high enough that you are not forced to use Quick Riposte 3, thus saving it for another character.

The one downside to using Astram is that if you’ve used up some of the free Wrath fodder like I have, he’ll be more expensive to build if you start now.

Note on Bonus Doubler: It’s definitely his second best skill as far as tank builds go, but the ability to counter at range is just better imo.

Thoughts on Adult Tiki Tank Build

I thought I’d comment on this because I still see a lot of posts on the forums about Adult Tiki specifically.

Despite the fact that Itsuki can’t run Mirror Stance 3 with Lightning Breath+, he’s very comparable to Adult Tiki due to his superior pref and bst. New players should look to invest in Itsuki instead honestly. Existing Adult Tikis with max investment will absolutely perform very similarly in most general scenarios when compared to Itsuki, but since she will not score as high as Itsuki, she’s basically obsolete now. New players should avoid spending resources on her honestly - just get a copy of DC and bear through it.

Itsuki Offense Build

When it comes to offense, because Itsuki doesn’t get any help from Spd on his pref, he really needs to rely on his skills to perform well as a player-phase unit. Unfortunately, with such a build, his enemy-phase potential is quite medicore. Still, at least he won’t be dying much due to his incredibly high defense, even if he can’t double and kill in retaliation as often as he’d like to.

The best player-phase build I could think up for him would be the following. He has some options with his A-slot - anything that increases his atk and spd makes him more effective. In terms of B-slots, Lull Spd/Def 3 (to help double or avoid doubles) and Lull Atk/Def 3 are great options too. Even Swordbreaker 3 is a great budget option.

He’ll perform alright with this build as of January 2020, but I do question his long-term future over the next 2 years just because he’s currently so reliant on skills to make up his spd stat.

Astram Offense Build

Astram on the other hand is much stronger when it comes to player phase compared to Itsuki, and I think due to ability to really take advantage of Bonus Doubler 3 and his naturally higher spd stat, he’ll be more future proof. The other nice thing with this build is that it surprisingly performs well on the enemy-phase, even if he sometimes can’t counterattack.

Astram Mixed-Phase Build

Since there’s a lot of similarities between Astram’s player-phase and enemy-phase builds, it makes a lot of sense to create a mixed-phase build for him. While you do give up DC in a mixed-phase build, his player-phase performance is hardly affected, making a bond skill, such as Atk/Spd Bond 3 (or even just atk/spd 2), a really good mixed-phase choice for him.

Itsuki Mixed-Phase Build???

Itsuki’s pref works on both phases, so it makes sense to try and capitalize on that. However, it’s really hard to do so due to his poor speed stat. Once you remove Quick Riposte 3 on his seal and DC from his A-slot, you’ve basically destroyed his enemy-phase potential entirely. I don’t think a mix-phased build is worth it on Itsuki.

Katie’s General Conclusions

Both Astram and Itsuki are awesome units. Astram is a stupidly strong player-phase unit with decent enemy-phase potential while Itsuki is a superior enemy-phase unit, but with weaker player-phase potential due to his lower speed. Itsuki’s player-phase potential is servicable if you build strictly for it, but it comes at the cost of deviating really hard from his strengths.

Who should you build? If you want a player-phase or mixed-phase unit, and you don’t mind giving up Wrath 3 fodder, go with Astram. If you want a tank in light season or tanky sword unit in arena, go with Itsuki.

PS: As for tiering these units, I’m not sure why Astram is tier 3. He’s such a super strong unit. I think he’s better than Legendary Marth honestly. That’s a little messed up I think :/ Itsuki should be tiered pretty high as well. I mean, if Zelgius is tier 1, Itsuki has something to say about that…

PPS: Don’t crucify me, lol


You mean the whole tier list?

Sounds about right, unfortunately I have barely any grails so I’m building neither atm, although I would be happy with either. I do also have too many swordies so… Are you planning on building either?


I’m still thinking about it, but there’s a 90% chance I fodder off Dimitri and Male Byleth to Itsuki and go for it, yeah.

I’m stupid and used 2 wrath fodders on legendary marth and female kana (I need to give her something decent for pve), so if I built Astram, it’ll cost me. I do have the bonus doubler fodder for him though, but not the null follow-up 3 currently.


Is wrath even that good on L!Marth? I run him with desperation for general use and binding shield for AA. But that extra 1000 grails (right?) is probably going to hurt if you do build Astram

Not really, no. I’d probably give Marth Lull Atk/Def 3 or Null Follow up 3 as well, but again I didn’t want to actually invest a lot into him. I tried Wrath to see if I liked him more, and I didn’t.

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I love how dragons dominated the game,and now many would recommend running only 2/3

As a Light carry,I use Nowi and will use her forever,because fave char of all times,but in Astra,I’m really having a bad choice

Even with NY!Shalfonse,Astra still sucks,and Keaton doesn’t do many things in that season

I hate this saduwu


wait for Lull Def/Res or,y’now,give her Dull Close,or even Guard,they all work great with her


I find Itsuki a lot more appealing due to his statline being very unique for a Sword Infantry.

That said he requires 950 more Grails (assuming no Astrams were missed/foddered) so if you really just want a very high scoring unit, Astram will be a lot cheaper :feh_eirikathink:


She’s only 40+2, but I don’t plan on investing anything more into her. Guard might have been a really great choice for her, but what’s done is done now, haha.

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I kinda plan on investing onto Myrrh a lil more,as she stalks me

Give me DC Game

Yeah, it’s hard a choice. I thought it was best to really tackle Astram too in order to properly assess Itsuki. Astram is even more likely to get a rerun, so if you’ve burnt copies like I have, he still might be cheaper in the long-run.

However, Itsuki as a tank is really, really, really good.

You’ve done the work for me! Fantastic! :) In all seriousness, good job.

My small addition:
Looking at their stat lines, Astram has the edge on HP (+3), roughly the same attack (+1), more speed (+6), same def (+0), and much lower res (-11). Assuming full effects of each of their pref weapons (to compare peak performance), Astram has HP +3, Atk -2, Spd +10, Def -3, Res -7. His HP makes up somewhat for the lost bulk overall, and his much higher speed is likely to deny far more doubles with any build.

In a vacuum, I feel like Astram will be overall better and more flexible to build for various modes, but Itsuki will have the edge for magical threats, particularly dragons.

In AR tanking situations, I think Itsuki gets the edge due to his buffs being in-combat and his higher res, but with enough speed to deny some doubles with support, Astram can perform well.

In Arena, if you have a lot of Harsh Command+ (unlikely), Astram’s bonuses are great. If you only have dual rallies, his pref really only helps if your unit(s) being used to battle aren’t fully rally buffed, which will happen if your rallies don’t align or if you’re using multiple units to fight in one turn. Assuming his buffs are mostly active, Astram’s pref weapon is still powerful. If not, Itsuki’s dragon effectiveness and in-combat buffs give him the edge. Assuming Astram’s pref is swamped by full rally support and Itsuki has max buffs, Astram becomes HP +3, Atk -6, Spd +6, Def -7, Res -11, which is far less appealing for Astram.

Both units are weakest to tomes and staves, while Astram is weaker to magical damage overall. Both would appreciate a high-res teammate or offensive teammates to clear tomes or staves, especially blue ones. On the other hand, Itsuki could be an interesting choice against green mages compared to most swords.

Myself, I don’t use Wrath much, so I haven’t used a single copy of Astram, which makes him cheaper for me to build. Definitely good food for thought in this thread. Thanks for posting it!

Oh, and I agree about Adult Tiki: invest in one of these two instead!


Yeah, I pretty much agree with all of that. Both units really do have their merits. For me, I want more good tanks, and if I surprisingly get the option to run him in astra season in the future, those feathers will be extremely well spent. Astram, to me, feels like a really good arena/pve character, but his AR prospects are slim. With the long-term goal of replacing Corrin in arena, and with the upside of using Itsuki in AR, and when you consider the fact that I was stupid and burnt 2 astram copies, I am perfectly priced into building Itsuki.

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Eventually we will get a Res-boosting Astra Mythic, at which point all of my tanks will be happier. It sounds to me like you might have an Itsuki project in your future.

I use CC Vantage Tharja as my red tank in Astra, so Itsuki would compete with her for a slot primarily in AR. In Arena, either one would do well for me. You’ve put my front runner for next Grail unit into serious contention with these two, IS. I’m missing a DC fodder at the moment, but I do have all the others available to build either one and DC fodder is on special with OG!Hector right now. Hmm.


I also thought about building an Astram and an Itsuki, however, I gave up for now because I already have an Ares Classic +10 and Lilina +10 (Two reds). As my next merge project will be a blue one, it may be that in the future I will consider building one of the two.

Btw great analysis.

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I’m hoping that’ll be Líf :catroll:

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Definitely. Against Thrasir, with “Eir” as blessing in the duel similator, a max invested Itsuki beats a max-invested Thrasir with her pref/b-slot enabled. This is an important battle to win, and itsuki does it beautifully.

Come on +res astra mythic, come on!


Who knows, Líf might be a Res Astra mythic on this month’s banner as a counterpart to Thrasir being a Def Anima mythic :feh_legion:


To be honest, I don’t want the +res mythic to be another red melee - or a melee in general :/ I’m crossing my fingers that isn’t actually the case.


At least we’d have an offensive mythic that isn’t a flier :upside_down_face:

He could set up some interesting Galeforce strats with that weapon of his :feh_eirikathink: