I found myself with a 5* Sanaki pull and no idea what the hell to do with her. All I knew at the time, or thought I knew, was that Tharja was the only red mage worth anything. After a while of bench warming, I decided to look into my 5* red mage, and I haven’t regretted it. Here is what my chat discussions, forum input from the community, trial and error arena testing, and grinding discoveries have led me to. Thanks everyone for your valuable input. Sanaki Pros: She has an amazingly high attack. At a neutral 37 attack, she’ll hit 51 with Cymbeline and 54 with +Atk nature. Her base kit is solid. You’ll notice this when we get into build options. She can kill a lot of crap with her stock kit. So if you are on an SI budget, she’ll do work for you. I am in love with her res stat. Her res stats are 31/34/37, so even if you draw a -res Sanaki, she can still tank magic hits. With the right build she can handle two color spectrums for you with ease: red and green. Colorless is hit or miss depending on the units you are up against. She goes unnoticed as a buffing unit. If you stick with Cymbeline, she can offer blade tomb allies 4 buffs. Weapon + Ally + C Slot + Seal. Sanaki Cons: She is squishy from a melee standpoint. She won’t hold up like a Robin or Merric if you need a tanky mage. With 33 neutral HP and 17 neutral defense, she’ll die fast. This is one reason she can struggle with colorless units. Without Raven Tomb, she doesn’t have color advantage and will often die in counter attacks. Her speed is average. She’s not Tharja, and shouldn’t be treated as such. She can double some enemies with a +Spd nature and perhaps prevent getting doubled, but it’s not who she is. In my opinion it’s best to focus on that initial first hit and get it as powerful as possible. She can be niche if you focus on her stock A slot, Triangle Adept. She won’t solo run a map and needs help from her allies to take out blue units. Preferred IVs: I think +Atk is the best nature for her. Since her speed is average, you want the first blow to be as powerful as possible. +Atk will help. +Spd is another alternative. We will look at some build ideas to capitalize on this, but at the very least +Spd will give her 30 base speed, and she can double some things and resist getting doubled by some things. With a speed focused build, we can get her 30 speed up to 41 when initiating. A -spd IV can be tolerated but you will really have to crank out that high attack stat to make up for it. -Atk is the worst IV you can draw for her, and I wouldn’t proceed at that point. Use her for Triangle Adept fodder or hold out for a merge. Weapon Overview Raudrblade + is the best option here, but it will require a 5* Tharja. Without Raudrblade +, Sanaki still struggles to OHKO Hector at times, depending on his IVs and buffs. This even includes a Triangle Adept build. You lose 1 might to Cymbeline and have to suffer the +1 cooldown, but the blade tomb will really deliver the knockout ability Sanaki is looking for. Cymbeline is a great weapon that works most of the time, and it's stock. Don’t get me wrong, you can still OHKO Hector with it, but the consistency is not there. You’ll also lose a little attack power, but it is good enough. It also can buff adjacent allies. Assist Overview Rally Spectrum is a fine way to go. Choose a rally that fits your team needs. It can also be a nice support option when facing a heavy blue team because Sanaki will be limited in what she can do. Swap/Reposition can work defensively for Sanaki because of her res. If you have a low res unit that can’t take a magic hit, Sanaki can help. Shove/Smite is situational but can work. I run shove with Sanaki when Hector is her ally. Special Overview Draconic Aura will consistently pack the most punch because of her high Attack. The downside is Raudrblade + will add an additional charge to it, and you’re stuck with a 4 charge. I still prefer it because of sheer damage output. Moonbow is a good option to run with Raudrblade + because of low charge time. You just won’t get a lot of Pow. A Slot Overview Triangle Adept 3 is her stock skill and my favorite. If you aren’t looking to kill blues with her, I do think it’s the best. Your damage output to red units will be limited, but swordbreaker can help that. Red mages are few and far between, so not being able to OHKO them isn’t the worst. Best part of Triangle Adept: TA + Sanaki’s Res = Baiting Nino. Not many units can do that. It’s also good to keep things simple sometimes. Deathblow 3 is a good alternative if you want a more diverse Sanaki. It pairs well with Raudrblade + as well. Darting Blow 3 is an intriguing option for +Spd nature. With Darting Blow 3 and a speed buff, you can get up to 41 speed when initiating. You’ll be able to double most units. What I don’t like about it is that you are removing TA’s defensive benefits and are relying on an ally’s speed buff to hit that 40 speed mark. Life and Death 3 can work if you are willing to sacrifice her beautiful res stat. Her defense is trash anyways, so dropping to single digits isn’t the worst thing in the world. It will give you one less speed than Darting Blow 3 with the upside of a consistent attack and speed bonus when countering. However, with lower res and Triangle Adept removed, her counter ability will be limited. B Slot Overview Swordbreaker to me is the best option here. You will dominate the red sword meta while taking out greens with ease. You can also double Ryoma and Xander without them hitting you back. Red Tomb Breaker is a nice niche skill to have for specific map/quests. Wouldn’t be bad to inherit it, but there is no need to use it constantly. Desperation will complement the speed build nicely if you are worried about Distant Counter melee units. Vantage is a great option if you want Sanaki to be strictly a red/green mage counter unit. Ardent Sacrifice will drop her into Vantage range, and you can literally camp her to draw the AI hit and blast the enemy first. C Slot Overview Any team needed buff is fine. Maybe Threaten Res, but I’m not sold on it. If you use Cymbeline it will help increase damage. What I don’t like is that she is too squishy to setup Threaten against a melee unit unless you have a tank protecting her. I think the best use for Threaten Res would be for red mage dueling. Possibly Threaten Speed if you are trying to double enemies, but it has same difficulties as Threaten Res. Threaten Speed is great defense against Nino, though, especially if you don’t have Triangle Adept to aid your defense. Seal Overview Attack +1 is great when focusing on attack output. Speed +1 can help speed build. Fortify/Res seal can help buff an ally. Fortify is especially nice if you are supporting a blade tomb ally. Team Building My preferred Sanaki Build looks like this: Weapon: Raudrblade + Assist: Flexible/Shove Special: Draconic Aura A: Triangle Adept B: Swordbreaker C: Hone Attack/Fortify Res S: Attack +1 With this build green units are obliterated, red swords are obliterated, and red mages are dealt with. To help Sanaki, I recommend bringing in a top green unit to take care of blue threats. I like the shove assist if you are running Hector. Fortify Res can help him as well if you are using him to counter blue mages. You can also run Hone Attack to boost Vantage. While I haven’t ran this myself, keeping Cymbeline, running a buff build, and pairing her with Nino could have potential. Wyvern riders make a great pairing too. Their mobility can come in handy if you need to seek and destroy a blue unit.