Sonya: Unlock full potential?

So…Sonya. I have had her lying around at +1 merge +Atk for some time, waiting for a chance to unleash her full potential with skill inheritance. And now I finally have ideal fodder for her: a -Atk +Def B!Celica (Death Blow 4) and, after the current BHB banner, an extra neutral Lewyn (Special Spiral 3). I also have a -Spd +HP Dimitri for DB4 fodder but I like his character, and I have no attachment to Celica…although her refine might be around the corner soon, who knows!

Is she still a fantastic investment? I have a few green infantry mages already (L!Celica, Thrasir, Lewyn, Julia, Ced, Lugh, Rhajat) plus B!Micaiah, but only Sonya can run unique OHKO and AoE special builds with her Prf, refine and SS. I hear much more about Ophelia but I don’t have her yet, and I’m not really a fan of her character so not sure if I’ll ever try to pull her.

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@af1899
They have some pretty good tips for Sonya.

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I like Sonya…but strictly from a gameplay standpoint, I think she’s sadly outclassed by the current best crop of offensive green mages, although she is still better than most.

Her aoe build is more and more difficult to run these days vs gen 4 units due to needing to win the heavy blade atk check. Her 2 cd special spam build is consistent but doesn’t do nearly as much damage. The niche she has is that she is very good on AR defense since her job is mostly just to get one ko, but even in this niche I think Thrasir is better, although it’s debatable depending on comp.

Build her because she’s Sonya and/or you want a green AR defense bot that can be blessed during light season and/or you want someone who can precharge AOE specials while the rest of your comp has limited infantry pulse support. Otherwise, save your fodder imo, it’s a lot of investment.

Sorry @af1899 :pensive:

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Hello there. I can add something for your Sonya builds.

This is the one I run a lot and my favorite build for my favorite girl.

She’s still not complete yet. I plan on giving her Lull Atk/Res 3 and Chill Res 3 soon for maximum damage but as she is I can say her Iceberg/Glacies damage output is seriously good and if you don’t want to run AoE Special Spiral build for her, I can recommend this one.

Or since you have Death Blow 4, use that with Draconic Aura and Special Spiral 3 with the Chill Res 3/Heavy Blade 3 seal and maybe Res Smoke 3 from Brunnya and she can deal some very good.

As for the AoE build, I do use it for Sonya and it works very well with Time’s Pulse and Infantry Pulse support but @af1899 is the expert on this build so he’ll tell you more about. I see him typing so he’ll give a better explanation.

@anon80299318
With all the Gen 4 mages, yes I agree they’re better off the bat than she is but Sonya doesn’t always have to rely on AoE builds to be a powerful one shot mage. She can work well with some good investment.

Before I got Mirror Impact and the other premium skills, she did very well with Iceberg, Fury 3, Chill Res 3, Res Ploy 3 and quickened pulse seal.

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Sonya has two basic builds. AoE with LnD4, Spiral, etc. and Iceberg nuke with Mirror Impact, Lull A/R, A/R Oath, and QP. You use the former in most modes; you use the latter in ARD.

Problem is, only the latter build is unique to her. The former build is 100% outclassed by L!Celica who can run the same build and average at least 10 more damage. (Charging her up isn’t a problem as L!Celica is one of the fastest mages in the game and is a much natural FB3 user than Sonya is for HB3 and NY!Alfonse exists now.)

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Not so fast…

Outclassed? Yes, but obsolete? Not at all…


GEN4 is overrun with powercreep and damage mitigation skills for infantries (such as the green movement passives for sw/ax/ln users) but that doesn’t make her worse, and IS might have a new upgrade tool for our units.

Thanks for the tag @Pokyo and @NickofTime80, I’ll provide advice!


My recommendation? Go all out for her, this is mine:


While [Death Blow 4] isn’t as optimal because you can’t increase the damage of the AoE this way you can increase both the damage of the normal strike (rarely needed but useful), and mainly the attack check for [Heavy Blade 3], let me do a breakdown:
  • [Dark Excalibur (+eff)]: it grants +10 dmg. for offensive specials, this includes AoEs. Also it grants her CD-2 at the start of the first turn, this is really useful for chained maps like in [Tempest Trials+] events
  • [Draw Back]: personally what fits best magic units like her, this moves both her and the ally one square back to the direction you used it (ex.: if it was used from the left both units will move to the left a square)
  • [Blazing Wind]: IMO the most efficient AoE because this produces an attack that deals [ 1.5 × (user's visible attack - target's resistance) ] at the cost of smaller coverage than {growing} specials — [Blazing Wind] covers a 1-square radius in a “+” shape (5 blocks) area which is the best as it’s more likely to find enemies together like this, mainly in [Grand Counquests], [Rival Domains] and even some [AR-O].
    The damage is NON-LETHAL, meaning the target’s HP will drop as lowest as 1.
  • [Death Blow 4]: I don’t really recommend it, I have it because that’s what I have and I really favor her.
    It raises attack by +8 on initiation however the buff is invisible, she won’t deal extra damage by special with this skill.
  • [Special Spiral 3]: this is the main engine for this build and key to spam AoEs… with this skill if the special triggers before or during combat your unit gets -2 CD after combat (AoEs trigger before so each time it procs the skill will activate), [Heavy Blade 3] compliments her best because it’s her bigger stat and checks are easier to pass, her total attack needs to be at least one point higher than that of the enemy’s total, I’ll describe the flow of the build below
  • [Even Atk Wave 3]: just a skill for some self buffing, blue buff of attack+6 on even turns (2, 4, 6, …)
  • [Heavy Blade 3]: needed for her to spam AoEs as consistently as possible

Flow

This gives a general idea of how the build works, after this you should read the next sections since things may not go as expected without some planning!.
Let’s see…:

  1. You start the map and Sonya gets her [Blazing Wind] to CD=2 but either 2×[Infantry Pulse 3] from teammates or 1×[Infantry Pulse 3] + [Time’s Pulse 3] will bring the CD to 0 on the first turn, readying the special
    It’s quite expensive to set-up but it makes a difference to have an AoE ready.
  2. Order Sonya to attack.
    If her AoE is ready, the following will happen:
  3. Her [Blazing Wind] activates and deals an area attack before the combat begins
  4. The CD resets to 4 and combat begins
  5. She attacks normally the enemy, generally being able to finish it off
  6. If she passed the check for [Heavy Blade 3] during the finishing attack she’ll get CD=2, otherwise it’s going to be CD=3
  7. [Special Spiral 3] will activate and grant Sonya 2 special charges after combat
  8. In the best scenario which is generally easy to meet the special will be ready for another attack

Advantages

:white_check_mark: She can “double” enemies that prevents follow-ups, this is the simple way for me to explain it but unless she’s faster than the enemy it’s just the AoE activating and the finishing blow
:white_check_mark: AoEs are executed outside of combat, meaning that their activation won’t charge enemy specials in case her target has to be someone she can’t KO
:white_check_mark: Highish damage toward enemies together, remember the area:

- X -
X X X
- X -
(The bigger "X" is the enemy she's attacking and the center of [Blazing Wind]'s attack) This is a great boon for dealing with the reinforcement spawns in [Grand Conquests] and [Rival Domains] since 4 enemies appear in an incomplete "+" shape, provided there were 4 or less enemies (at the end of EP)

Recommendations:

:bulb: [Life and Death 4] is perfect for her, she has low DEF and her magic bulk will still be high, in return of the loss for these stats’ bases by -5 she would gain attack&speed stats’ bases +7, I wish I could have it but I don’t sadly :pensive:.
:bulb: [Time’s Pulse 3] is great for an extra special charge, it’s very expensive however but it’s a good alternative, it’s a great help on {tactic} teams where you can have only one more infantry unit however.
:bulb: If you take the previous recommendation you’ll need only one infantry unit for [Infantry Pulse 3], the best candidate is Ninian, we all get one for free and her HP is amazingly high, she’s blue too so it adds color variety.
Nowi is another great unit to bring along.
Either one can have [Sudden Panic 3] and/or a [Panic Ploy] seal to help Sonya with more damage and easier attack check passes
:bulb: If you’re NOT willing to give her [Time’s Pulse 3] she should get two infantries with [Infantry Pulse 3], that’s far less costly but you shouldn’t use {tactic} teams because she can’t benefit from their buffs and the other infantries however (the other types may get blue buffs from {tactic} skills provided they don’t have 3+ mates with same movement type)

Disadvantages

:x: Powercreep is making her hard to run her build specially with damage mitigation being more available and busted PRFs, be careful with the red swords you send her to!
:x: Weak to [Vantage], the AoE runs before combat, meaning that before she can deal a normal attack, if the enemy has said skill and can counter her the enemy will attack first. Protect her! :feh_nobulli:
:x: Investment is high, to make her build work at its best it takes quite some set-up

Experiences

Despite all of this I plan to take my own highest-investment recommendations to make her a purple-haired Goddess of sharp gales :feh_obotank:.
I don’t regret any investment, she runs her build near efficiently, sure, some enemies don’t let her fully charge the AoE but they’re quite rare for me and generally she cripples down her enemies.

Let me share a few shots, I wanted to share her average performance:

Build+stats of that Eirika:

If you like her and are willing to go high on investment do it…

1 5 0 • B S T

…is no joke :fire:

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General Kenobi! I can’t help it the prequel memes have conditioned me at this point

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It is pretty amazing how much better she would be if she had just a simple slaying effect on her refine. If she did, I think she would have some claim to her tier 1 listing. So close yet so far.

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Wow, so much info to digest! I’ll have to mull this over as she sounds really fun to use given proper setup and support. Thanks all for the food for thought, especially @af1899!

One very important note: I have Duo Alfonse and can use his Duo Skill to fully charge Sonya’s special on turn 1 for an AoE set. Does this heavily sway odds in favor of building an AoE set for her? Or would I be better off just using L!Celica for an AoE build (mine’s merged +Spd) anyway? :thinking:

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You’re very welcome! I’m glad to be of help and that she sees some use :feh_ceciliaculture:.

Ahh if you have NY!Alfonse it helps a ton and saves fodder, I apologize since I forgot!.
Let’s check out what he does:
IMG_20200123_022437
(That chart is here if you need it :+1:)
Yes, with this you’ll be able to save a lot of fodder as you can charge Sonya’s special on the first turn by using this, using NY!Alfonse is a great idea.
It’ll let you pick a really strong blue unit while you free up the C-slot for something else, since you get [Life and Death 4] from Igrene you can also take [Pulse Smoke 3] (it’s possible if Sonya got [Life and Death 3] from a 4★ Sothe beforehand).
That is, if you want and need to delay some specials but you can also go for [Panic Smoke 3] or cheaper options like the stat-debuffing {smoke} skills such as [Res Smoke 3] on 4★ Brunnya or L!Robin.

If you like L!Celica she’s likely going to perform better than Sonya, the former has an offensive spread of 38/38 at base while the latter has a 33/31.
It doesn’t make much of a difference since speed doesn’t matter on AoEs but visible attack does.
However Sonya is more accesible than L!Celica who takes a lot of planning and summoning restraining for +10ing, also the former will get a rerun next week, more exactly in about three days so you may want to hunt for some merges with the advantageous odds.

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It’s more than just offensive spread, it’s that L!Celica gets the 25% of enemy RES dealt to enemy HP on both her AoE and her regular attacks, whereas Sonya gets +10 DMG only to the AoE. Pretty much, any enemy with 20 or more RES, even if Celica and Sonya have the same ATK, L!Celica would do more damage. Once you factor in the stat spread, it almost isn’t fair. Sonya’s advantage of -2 CD is a very big advantage, but now that NY!Al exists, it’s not really that relevant anymore.

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Eh, Duo Fonse I feel shouldn’t be part of the comparison, although he helps Celica more than Sonya. I wouldn’t ever bother running AOE on Celica, but the point stands that Celica can at least do it with support, whereas Sonya is kind of locked into AOE to do damage competitive with the others, and is dependent on heavy blade checks.

On a side note, I saw a Duo Fonse on ARD today on an IP team with sturdy impact and sturdy blow. Did ~100 damage per hit. Just when I thought he was a bit of a dud on defense…

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Since when extra damage is necessary? :feh_tooobin: No, you don’t need it, Sonya will generally deal pretty high damage with an AoE to greatly bring down enemies’ HP to 1 or near death points and her normal attack will still be good to finish one target. L!Celica will at least be an unneded overkill but it may help on abyssals due to stat inflation.
Their offensive spreads are different, yes, but the ATTACK stat particularly is just beaten for a mere 5 points by L!Celica… and Sonya can get 10 DF boosts meaning +2 base attack improvement.

Actually it is relevant, L!Celica’s AoEs will start with CD=4 but Sonya’s? 2 with refine, and NY!Alfonse’s Duo Skill will bring it to 0, for L!Celica you need extra set-up like how I mentioned in my first comment, with Sonya if you have NY!Alfonse you don’t need anything more for that.
IMO L!Celica isn’t really worth that much investment and she has rare fodder to consider unless the OP likes her more than Sonya, in that case the former is definitely recommendable but Sonya is certainly a great unit for AoE spam even to date

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The extra damage is actually highly relevant. A L!Celica with AoE damage at max merges, +ATK, Spec+6 can 1HKO a +10/+5 Idunn through WTD even if she is +RES with PRF activated and +6 RES. Sonya can’t do that. Not even Ophelia can do that.

Pretty much, other than Nagi and B!Ike, many things that relied on color or RES to tank Ophelia and Sonya actually lose to L!Celica because of the anti-RES true damage.

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The extra damage, again, isn’t that necessary, it’s an extra overkill but for the most part you don’t need it and I can say because Sonya has been performing excellently for me, and L!Celica is still better running more of a nuking build with her [Soul of Zofia] anyways.
Furthermore, she’s harder to get, but I’m merely pointing out, it’s viable but it takes more investment and summoning restraint :man_shrugging:t2:

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