Shieldbreaker Heathcote is an ex-thief turned butler who has a vast knowledge of the underground (Black Butler vibes anyone?).

Cunning and shrewd, Heathcote has mastered the art of breaking anyone and anything.

Tier List Overview of Heathcote #

In my tier list of all units by roles, Heathcote is given the highest score for the Breaker category, and he deals amazing Dagger damage. 

Despite high power values for his wind elemental attacks, his low EATK stats dropped his EDPS ranking to B.

He is quite brittle – don’t let him tank.

Weighted Average Stats #

Heathcote has the 2nd highest Crit and 2nd highest Speed. His other stats all rank around 7th place. 

This speed demon can act first in every battle, allowing him to break every enemy on the field. 

At a weighted average stat of 6.09, he has above average stats for 5* units.

Best Skills #

His best skill is easily his 3★ Skill. This 3-hit dagger is guaranteed to shave off 3 shield points from one enemy. It is an expensive skill to use.
 
Against multiple enemies, you can either use his 4★ Skill (the better option against neutral or enemies weak to Dagger) or 5★ Skill 1 to shave off 2 shield points.
 
His 1Passive is a real bummer. Firstly, it can only remove status ailment (Bleed, Poison, Paralyze), not debuffs. 
 
Secondly, at a rate of 20%, it might as well be nonexistent. The RNG is too meowch.
 
Bleed and Poison can be countered by Regen or Heals.
 
Against pesky paralysis, you can slot in a Bertrand and now your team has total immunity.
 
His 3Passive is the better passive, useful against enemies weak to Knife and Wind. 
 
His [Act First] skill along with his various shield breaking abilities make him the best EXP Cait killer. This is an absolute insane quality of life improvement for EXP farming. 
 
I can’t stress this part enough. EXP is the lifeblood of this game (Gems as well).
 
His expensive SP skills and low SP pool can be a real problem. 
 
There are a few ways to go around this. 
 
  1. Obviously heal up before you go into a boss fight.
  2. Accessories that boost max SP.
  3. Master the art of switching. When the enemy is broken, put him in the back row to recover SP.

Hunting EXP Cait Guide #

 This topic is so important that it deserves it’s own section.
 
Let’s look at the Cait table, compliments of this Reddit post.

Wild Caits can run away on turn 2, so you want to break them on Turn 1 or the very beginning of Turn 2
 
The most important Caits for players right now are going to be the 100k and 300k EXP.
 
Let’s see how we can guarantee break Chubby Cait (100k).
 
  • Chubs is weak to Sword, Dagger, Axe, Bow, and Staff. 
  • Scarecrow (4-hits), Fiore, Theo, Sigrid, Trish, Viola, Lucetta, Madelaine, Shelby, Heathcote (3-hits).
  • At best, you can get 4 + 3 + 3 + 3 = 13 hits.
  • 2nd best would be 3 + 3 + 3 + 3 = 12 hits.
  • 3rd best, 11 hits.
  • You can then bring in an ally that can deal 1, 2 or 3-hits to the Cait.
What you want to do is reach the sweet spot of 13 hits on the first turn.
 
On the very beginning of the 2nd turn, you use Heathcote’s [Act First] skill and break the Cait for what is essentially two turns worth of damage.
 
With 26 HP remaining, you have two turns to shave it all off before Break ends. 
 
3 + 3 + 3 + ally (turn 2) and 4 + 4 + 4 + 4 (turn 3). 
 

Job Points Priority #

Taking the shortest routes and skipping early stats nodes… unlock his 1★ and 3Passives3★ Skill, and 4★ Skill. 

For stat nodes, prioritize SPD, PATK, and SP.

Team Comps #

Most players who won’t have an exhaustive pool of units for a very long time, so Heathcote will slot into any team for any battle.
 
His ability to break multiple shield points is very valuable and takes away the guesswork for boss fights.
 
But as you progress further and further into the game (think multiple months), you’ll realize that building a full team of 8 to take advantage of the enemy’s weakness is stronger than units who can only break shields.
 
Assuming Heathcote is one of your main damage dealer:
 
Barrad: As your paired ally to receive his 15% PATK passive for 3 turns. Carroll can do the same, but at 10% PATK.
 
Menno (best), Noelle, Kurtz: They can reduce enemy Wind Res, allowing Heathcote to hit harder.
 
Scarecrow: Tags along with Heathcote to become the shield-breaking god kings. They’re both Wind, and ideal against bosses weak to it.
 
Lynette/Viola: Obligatory, as these two buff/debuff queens fit in any team comp.
 

Last Bit of Advice #

Heathcote as a knife user, is powercrept in JP. 

Because JP players have such a massive pool of units, they won’t be using him on a team unless the enemy is weak to Knife or Wind.

But… 

EXP Cait farming is forever. You’re going to thank yourself if you pull Heathcote early on in your Octopath Traveler: Champions of the Continent journey.