Xander can counter at range; you want this unit. That's why I am here to help you figure out how to beat him.

Fire Emblem Heroes: How to Beat Xander

Xander can counter at range; you want this unit. That's why I am here to help you figure out how to beat him.

Fire Emblem Heroes has had events called Grand Hero Battles every few weeks since its release. This week we are being treated to probably the best unit yet: Xander (Yes I said that about Zephiel, but Xander is even better than him!). In Fire Emblem Fates, Xander was your main character’s adopted older brother from the kingdom of Nohr.

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Xander’s brow is oddly huge. Just saying.


Unit Comp: Eldigan (almost identical stats)

  1. High HP, Def, and Armored Blow skill make him tanky
  2. High Attack & AoE Special make him good offensive threat
  3. Spur Defense buff helps the whole team stay buffy
  4. Cavalry have great range
  5. His weapon can counterattack RANGED foes making him one of the best units in the game.
  6. F2P


  1. Low Res & Speed make him vulnerable magic users, especially Linde & Female Corrin
  2. ANOTHER sword user

Surveying the Battlefield

Let’s look at the battlefield, then we can start discussing some team compositions.


There are 5 units on the map representing a lot of diversity. You have magic and physical, cavalry and infantry. Thanks to Xander and his green mage cohort, this map is wall to wall coverage. It is going to be hard to penetrate through and you are going to be forced to face off against Xander early in the map.

The cavalry units are the hardest to kill. Xander is physically bulky (and his GHB version has an insane 61 HP), meaning you need to use magic. However, his ability to counter and kill a lot of mages thanks to his high strength leaves them vulnerable too. This means that some of the best units to use against him are the blue dragons: Nowi, Female Corrin, or Ninian. Note: Ninian is much less bulky, making her an inferior option.

However, blue units are extremely vulnerable to the green mage. In fact, I’d argue she is the most deadly unit on the battlefield thanks to her insane coverage and powerful ranged magic damage. Killing her is half the battle.

My Team Composition
  1. Ninian aka The dancer 
  2. Gunter aka The Buffer
  3. Ursula aka The Glass Cannon – I gave Ursula a Blarblade(Odin). This allows for some insane damage. You see, these weapons add whatever bonuses your unit has to their damage. Well, Gunter’s Hone Cavalry grants +6 Attack & Speed to nearby horseback units at the start of the turn. This means Hone Cavalry added 6 attack. The -blade weapons then add another 12 points of damage. This adds up to a whopping 18 point damage bonus for these mages whenever they start the turn standing next to Gunter.
  4. Eldigan aka the Tank – If you use Eldigan, then you will need to remove his Fury 3 skill; it will bleed him dry in this battle. If your Eldigan has -Attack IVs, then he will need an Attack +3 (Cherche, Gordin). 
Potential Substitutes

You can sub Olivia, but you will need to make sure that everything is just right. On the enemy’s first turn, your dancer will be vulnerable. Olivia should be able to withstand one hit from the lancer. (My Ninian takes 2 hits because I have a +HP/-Speed IV version of her. But as long as your Olivia has 31 speed she will only take 1 hit.) Olivia will also need to inherit “Escape Route 3” from a 4 star Cecilia because Ninian uses that in my strategy. Note: I have not tested this because my Olivia is not level 40. But the math says it SHOULD work.

Stahl can potentially sub for Eldigan, but he will need some changes to survive. Stahl’s Ruby Sword is weaker so you might need to actually give him more strength. A slot Passive Skills, like Triangle Adept (Roy, Selena) or Attack +3 (Cherche, Gordin) should be enough to push him over the edge. Or you could give him something like Green Tomebreaker in the B slot. Moreover, without a potent attack skill (Lilina), he won’t be able to kill the cleric. Another option would be to give him a Brave Sword (Draug) and Swordbreaker (Sully). The double attack should ensure he kills the green mage, help deal chip damage to the sword users, and set up an attack skill against the cleric. However, this might take some planning and experimentation.

You could use the 3 star Xander in a similar role as Stahl. Or you could use rank up the 3 star Xander to rank 5, get his Siegfried sword, and use him to help beat the lunatic version of this mission.


I’d like you to know that my strategy is different than most. Many decide to attack the infantry units on the left and right first. That can technically work, but none of my units were quite powerful enough to pull that off — for whatever reason, except for my horse units. However, the green mage uses a Gronnwolf + tome, which is super effective against cavalry. So I decided to press the attack hard and fast; to my surprise, this worked.

Turn 1

The first turn will be used to jostle units around. You want Eldigan near Gunter for the Hone Cavalry bonus. And Ninian will need to be close enough to dance for him. Your ultimate goal is taking out that green mage at the top. You will also move Gunter and Ursula forward, but still out of attack range; make sure they are next to one another. 


Turn 2

On the second turn, things will look a little chaotic. You will need to move Ursula up to attack and kill the sword infantry unit next to Eldigan.

Now the whole “Escape Route 3” part of the plan comes into action. Ninian can teleport behind Ursula — where she is safe — and dance for Ursula at the same time; do this. Then have Ursula attack the blue lance wielder.

And then have Gunter finish him off. Eldigan should be able to kill the cleric thanks to his special.

Interestingly, the small amount of damage that Ninian did post-healing is the only reason these units were able to kill this lancer. Hardy little guy. This will pose a problem for a team that uses Olivia. In such a case, you’d need to pull Eldigan away from the healer to the right.

Turn 3

Move Gunter down and then have Ursula move over to kill Xander.


Congratulations! You have now unlocked your very own 4 star Xander!

If you have any tips or suggestions as to how to improve my strategy, or if you have some strategies of your own you’d like to share, maybe you even want some help with making your own strategy, just leave a comment.

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Graduated from Full-Sail with a BS in Game Design (Speaking of BS, how about that student loan debt, eh?).