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    Aah! Maths!
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    Sacred Stones

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  1. A few observations from my current (NG+) Maddening playthrough on CF: 1) Poison Strike only deals 10% of max HP to beast type enemies, rather than the usual 20% (rounded down in both cases). This I feel drops its value a lot - the one big strength it was argued to rise placement on was that beast damage, after all, and beasts tend to be easy to deal high damage to for various reasons, so 10% of max HP doesn't seem all that impressive in most cases to me. Nice but definitely on the weaker end. 2) You can't steal sacred/relic items, like the Ochain shield, Seiros Shield and others. Was majorly disappointed to find this - @Sillyposted a pretty interesting looking list of steals including a variety of them, but if you can't even steal those then the list becomes way less good. Not to mention I had to feed Assassin Petra (80% growth) Speedwings so she was fast enough to even attempt to steal from some of these enemies, that's how ridiculous their speed is. Steal is already pretty low down on the list though, it probably doesn't need to go further, but yeah - stealing is really not very helpful in this game.
  2. It's a moderately useful interaction, occasionally. I wouldn't call it broken, or enough to make Armoured Blow (or Armour Strike) worth using.
  3. Emperor definitely needs a few buffs as it is. It's a really bad class for a variety of reasons. Here are three buffs I would give it: 1) Magic use. As this thread is about. The class even has a +10% Mag growth! Magic access wouldn't do a whole lot due to the lack of -faire and Edelgard's strength being way better than her magic, but it would give a bit more of a niche, and make her budding talent in Reason not feel totally pointless. Yeah, +10% crit with only two of her spells is still probably not good, but at least actually raising her Reason rank would feel meaningful. She would also gain the ability to use Heal at just D Faith, which is generally worth getting on every mage IMO. This can also be paired with a +3 skill bonus to Reason, of course. 2) Weight -5 skill. Fortress Knight has it, Emperor gets Charm instead. What this ends up meaning though is that Fortress Knight is arguably better at combat than Emperor - it has 2 less speed, but weight -5 will mean more AS anyway with almost all axes, in fact even with Iron Axes until you have 30+ strength. It also has 2 extra defence. It feels kind of wrong that not only is Emperor weak, but it's arguably weaker than the Advance Class it's meant to be a supreme version of, an Advanced Class which is also considered one of the worse Advanced Classes too. Of course Emperor does have 1 extra move, which is huge, but still. Honestly, Fortress Knight could do with a buff as well. Adding this to Emperor gives it a bit more oomph, and fits thematically with Edelgard's claim that she feels Armour doesn't really slow her down. It would let you use shields with little/no AS loss, and especially combined with the weight -3/5 personal skills, let you use heavy weaponry without penalty. 3) Small increase in base Str (& Mag). Right now ALL armoured classes have a 0 mod to strength and magic, except Great Knight's +1 Str. That doesn't seem right, armoured units typically throughout the series have huge defence and generally pair that with high strength. This is probably a change that could benefit all armoured units, increase the strength stat bonus to about +2-3, which is a fairly substantial increase. Emperor in particular could also get +1-2 magic. Not a huge increase, but enough to make a difference, and at least acknowledge change #1 saying she can use magic. All three of these together, and you'd get a class that is... still not great, but decent at least.
  4. If people want to discuss how relevant tiny growth differences are for one of the worst mastery classes, could they do it elsewhere? Skimming through I don't think I've seen a single thing from @IonicAmalgam that's on topic and relevant, is there any points that would actually be worth paying attention to?
  5. Hmm, I see. I wasn't grinding for class mastery, generally I did one set of Aux/Paralogue battles per month and didn't do any of the class EXP grinding tricks. At most I would give someone a Knowledge Gem and focus on giving them more battles. That said, I DID do one set of optional battles per month, and while those battles don't tend to be very long (only about ~15 enemies compared to the often 50+ in a story mission) that would have definitely added up. So I think many Master class skills should probably drop down a little bit. In terms of playstyle, since this is intended as much as a guide as a tier list, I am thinking more casual playstyle but with no/minimal grinding. So while I'm assuming we are probably not one turning and LTCing everything, we should probably also assume the player isn't using broken weapons on Aux battles, or keeping enemies alive indefinitely while they end turn and spam spells. From what I've seen, the "usually explore, one set of battles per month" monastery strategy is fairly popular, so I'd say that we should probably assume at most one set of battles are being done, and perhaps slightly less?
  6. On Hard, that was mostly the case. You would generally be mastering Master tier classes around chapter 20-22, meaning you barely got to make use of the mastery skills, and as a result, most Master tier classes were pretty low down. On Maddening the combination of there being more enemies along with many enemies taking more than one round of combat to kill, plus also you being more likely to face attacks on enemy phase, means that you master classes WAY faster. I had most of my master tier classes maxed around chapters 17-20 for example. Combine that with the fact that the final few chapters on each route are very tricky and therefore extra skills are more significant, and Master tier classes have risen a fair bit in viability and usefulness. You may only get 2-5 chapters of use out of them, but they're long and often difficult chapters and so the value of such skills becomes quite important. You can see this with e.g. HP+5 being high on the list, despite being only just an okay skill. All that said, looking back over the list though, it's possible that some of the Master classes should be a little lower due to how little game the skills are available for. Like, Quick Riposte is absolutely busted but you'll probably only have it for like ~5 chapters. So I have a question: Other people who have played through Maddening - when did you mostly hit mastery of your final Master tier classes? Was it at about the same point I did?
  7. I've skimmed through this, haven't read in a huge amount of detail, but I would like to add a few points: * A lot of Bow Knight utility is their move and range, not necessarily getting OHKOs on everything and everyone. A lot of the time, a basic attack from even something like an Iron Bow is all you're after, to soften an enemy enough to kill. Doubly the case with many of the useful combat arts bow focused units get such as Waning Shot, Break Shot, Encloser, Ward Arrow etc. They don't need to be spamming Brave Bows every single combat to do their job. * The Inexhaustible exists and uses different materials to repair compared to Brave Bows (Mythril). Even ignoring that, it's slightly stronger than a Brave Bow and while you certainly can't assume you'll get access to it every playthrough, it's not too hard to get on 3 out of 4 routes. Regardless, you've got at least 2 Brave Bows you can go through before you need to even repair once. As an example from personal experience, I had Bow Knight Ignatz and Barbarossa Claude on my team using bows on Maddening, I think I repaired The Inexhaustible once and never needed to repair a Brave Bow. Their durability is not a massive concern unless you're spamming them unnecessarily. * Remember that Bow Knight picks up Defiant Spd, and that's pretty relevant to a class that really wants to double and can keep itself off the front lines. Bernadetta for example can make very good use of it, combine with Darting Blow and Death Blow (if you can get both on her, may be a little tricky) and she's got +11 Atk, +14 Spd while attacking at very low HP. I'd need to look at the numbers in more detail but IIRC Bernie is pretty fast on average, so +14 Spd should make it fairly viable for her to double a lot of stuff. * As an alternative to the above point of staying away from the front lines, also remember that a few characters - Cyril and Leonie - learn Point Blank Volley. While I would certainly agree that Hunter's Volley is the better art in a vacuum, if you could choose between the two at will, Point Blank Volley does largely the same things but forcing you to move in at close range. (Side note: I'm actually not sure if range +1/2 applies to this art but I'm gonna guess it doesn't). This is still not all that bad, compared to Snipers who would shoot from 2-3 squares away typically, you need 1-2 more move to get in close and 1-2 more to get away as far, so in a lot of cases you can still position about as well as you could as a Sniper using Hunter's Volley. But obviously there's other downsides to consider - you can't shoot over walls with it and you may have to take a counter. Of course, this is STILL just an alternative to the good old Brave Bow option that Bow Knight Leonie and Cyril will still have. * Finally, while the debate is definitely interesting, the key thing in terms of placement here is how useful it is for class mastery. I realise that this intrinsically links in to the question of, how good is Sniper versus Bow Knight. I feel like to really compare you'd need to use both, perhaps even play some chapters where you use someone as a Sniper then again as a Bow Knight, and even then that's not entirely objective. It's a tough thing to compare hypothetically.
  8. Physical hit: Dex + Weapon hit + Skills + Linked Attack bonus + Battalion bonus Magic hit: (Dex+Luk)/2 + Weapon hit + Skills + Linked Attack bonus + Battalion bonus Physical Avoid: AS + Skills + Linked Attack bonus + Battalion bonus + Terrain bonus Magical Avoid: (Spd+Luk)/2 + Skills + Linked Attack bonus + Battalion bonus Note that yes, that is correct about magic avoid using Spd and not AS. Weird but how it works. There's possibly other things that can increase hit or avoid that I've forgotten, but IIRC that's everything which is unique to physical or magical hit/avoid.
  9. Yeah, Gremory has +3 magic over Dark Knight which does negate some of the damage lead, but that's not Dark Knight's only advantage. +2 move and Canto are very big advantages as well - it makes it much easier for them to be aggressive, position where they can attack an enemy and still move out of danger. As well as to just generally keep up with your army, having +2 move helps a lot there too. The Riding investment I'll agree is a bit of a pain, although they often end up getting +1 move out of it eventually at A+ riding, which is a very nice skill to pick up, and the lance rank investment, well, see what I mentioned above regarding the same thing for Wyvern Lords. It's really not a big deal, even for a weakness honestly. Also, the "most female mages" bit - it's three out of five that do. And two of those, as mentioned, are lance weaknesses, which honestly barely matters when you only need to reach about D+ rank. Dorothea though, yeah not going Dark Knight with her. Also bear in mind, Gremory is female exclusive, which hurts it a bit. Someone like Hubert? No other good option to go for really anyway. Same for for Lorenz, for Linhardt unless you want to leave him as a Bishop for pure support, and for magic based Ignatz builds as well. And none of these four have any weaknesses in the relevant skills.
  10. VW Ladislava looks the same as that, I assume AM is also the exact same. I used a speedwing on my Byleth before Rallying her to have enough speed to steal the Aurora Shield (for reference I was already considering giving her the speedwing, wasn't JUST the shield. It was the straw that broke the camels back so to speak! It wasn't even needed actually as I forgot Special Dance + Rally stack). Looking at recent posts, It seems like people are thinking both defensive blows to bottom, I don't have any immediate objections. Regarding arts that scale off them, I don't see why they wouldn't work but also, I don't see that being a particularly helpful synergy. You only get +30% of the stat as extra damage, so +6 Def/Res is only +1.8 damage extra. Not really an impressive damage addition for a skill slot. That steal list actually looks pretty good on CF, can you actually steal relics and things? I asked about that before and nobody was able to confirm, if you can then I think it's reasonable for Steal to move up - at least for CF route. Although I guess several of those are coming pretty late, and a few require very high speed as well, so maybe not... The nice thing about Steal is that you can just equip it for the handful of chapters it's useful, I suppose. Hit+20 going up because of working with Gambits, hmm... that does seem like a decent argument, Gambit hit rates are a little shaky early in Maddening. It could be worthwhile for lower Charm units at least - while early in Maddening I found it was hard to get good hit rates with Gambits, by the point you're mastering Intermediate classes you've got lots of C supports and some B supports, and high enough Charm that I was generally pretty close to 100% with many units. But needing less support helps, and there's definitely a few bosses with really high Charm on a few routes I suppose. Defiant Str I'll have to think about. Hero is pretty bad overall, but of the Defiant skills, Defiant Str is definitely one of the better ones. Hunter's Volley for Sniper, I think part of the issue is that there's a very limited time between mastering Sniper and being ready for Bow Knight. But I can see the argument of it being useful for that short period, I did make some use of it with my Ignatz, it's true (also on the Wind Caller mission, since I swapped classes back to Sniper there). I'm still kind of undecided on this one - it does have its uses, even if it's only something you use for a while.
  11. Skimmed through everything, and... it's based on final class, but yet Rider being accessed earlier is considered a plus for making it superior as a final class? I don't understand the logic at all here. Wyvern Lord is very easy to get the weapon ranks for, even if you aren't really going out of your way for it you're going to get to A axes and A flying pretty easily if you're using Wyvern Rider, while C lances is a pretty easy requirement. In fact, you can get a very good success rate with just D+ lances (80% + Luk/2), requiring just 180 EXP invested into Lances. That's less than 3 chapters leaving it as a study goal and no other tutoring or using it in battle, assuming you start at a flat E rank lances, a pretty low investment considering you instantly get a free +1 move among other bonuses. It's similar with a few other master classes. You seem to really be over valuing the investment required to reach them compared to the benefits they give. Like, there's no way Sniper should ever be above Bow Knight. Hunter's Volley is a nice consolation prize for not investing into the requirements for Bow Knight but that's all it is. Especially as this list is based on Hard mode, where many enemies can be easily doubled and for faster ones, a Brave Bow alone is often a ORKO, making Hunter's Volley even more niche - and you can often shoot at 4 range without too many hit rate issues. But even outside of that Bow Knight has too many advantages - +3 move is huge, Canto is huge, slightly better stats is nice, and to top it off it's got a pretty strong mastery skill as well that perfectly synergises with Bow Knight's strengths. Other particular things that stand out to me: * Dark Knight and Gremory are at least comparable. DK is probably better in general actually, double uses is nice for support magic but offensively, DK's faire skills plus higher move and Canto are very valuable. * Paladin seems too high. Normally a great class but it's pretty mediocre in 3H. -1 Speed base is pretty bad when most Master and many advanced classes give speed bonuses, especially combined with the growth penalty and lack of other good stats asides from move. I guess it's the best lance focused class for males at least, though for females it's massively outclassed by Falcon Knight. * Grappler looks a little low. It should probably be a tier above Sniper at least. 6 move and no terrain penalties is nice, and it's got probably the best class combat art in the game. For high strength fist users, such as potentially any of Dedue, Raphael, Alois or Gilbert, having a 3 hit, low cost attack basically means you can just delete any enemy of choice on player phase. On the other hand if this list is based on an easier difficulty like Hard, then actually maybe it's correctly placed. FIF is immensely valuable on Maddening, but on Hard you can kinda just kill stuff with a normal gauntlet attack anyway I suppose.
  12. I can certainly see the argument for Defiant Crit moving back down a tier - it is a strong skill but it needs a little support to make work, and it's debatable if that support is worth it overall. Lower Mid may be a better place to put it than Upper Mid, especially considering that even though it's from a commonly used class, by the time you hit mastering a Master Tier class you often have 5+ good skills already, so it's not like you can just slot in Defiant Crit for free any more. Also the list on the first page is updated based on recent discussions, so feel free to give it a look and see if there are any other skills that stand out as being wrong.
  13. Defiant Crit was always a very strong skill, on Maddening it's a lot easier to master the class earlier and so take more advantage of it. Defiant skills don't require enemies to be attacking you, they're active on both phases, but Defiant Crit can work well as part of a player phase or enemy phase build. Hmm... I'm really not entirely convinced on it. On the one hand Hunter's Volley IS strong, and while it burns through bows quickly to use constantly, you can hit a little harder than a Bow Knight using a Brave Bow/Inexhaustible could do when necessary (e.g. Silver Bow+ with Hunter's Volley has 3 might more than The Inexhaustible). On the other hand, the only way to take advantage of Hunter's Volley is to stay as a Sniper, which is generally pretty bad in... basically every other way compared to Bow Knight. Of the Advanced classes with Mastery Arts, I think Grappler > Sniper > Assassin > Swordmaster is almost certainly the order, but it's where the tier divisions should be that's less clear. If anything I'm wondering if Grappler should be Lower Mid rather than Upper Mid. Fierce Iron Fist is really valuable, a three hit attack is REALLY good for player phase offence, but just like with Sniper - you have to stick in the advanced class to take advantage, which is kinda lame. For now I think I'm gonna go with Grappler and Sniper both to Lower Mid, but I'm willing to consider argument for why Upper Mid is appropriate I suppose. Edit: Tier list is updated, but now I'm wondering if Great Lord and Emperor should have even moved up. In particular, because to take advantage of them you need to actually be using the relevant class. That's especially dubious for Edelgard I feel, Emperor is not a good class after all. For Dimitri, eh. For reference, Great Lord is now Lower Mid (was Low) and Emperor is now Low (was Bottom)
  14. That's a fair point. Definitely less good in Maddening than it was on Hard. I'll pencil that in to move down unless someone wants to defend it. Later on, yeah mages often have better things they can do, but the ability to pull someone out of danger can still be pretty helpful on occasion. Reposition is honestly the big powerful one, since it's so ridiculously versatile and valuable. I was probably using it something like 20 times per map through most of Maddening mode, being able to hit and run easily, shunt non-fliers over any number of walls (especially useful in chapter 13 I found), keep the entire army moving quickly enough to outmanoeuvre or just outrun reinforcements etc. was really strong.
  15. I've finished Maddening (no NG+) difficulty, and I feel like there's a decent number of changes that need to be made. As @Silly points out, enemies are WAY faster on Maddening. Darting Blow becomes a lot more important, even fast characters like my Falcon Knight Leonie was relying on Darting Blow for a lot of doubles. I think that 100% secures Pegasus Knight as a top tier mastery. I'm not sure if it should move Myrmidon up, since Swap is pretty mediocre - in fact Swap I'd say is niche enough that it would probably be a tier below, if not for Spd+2. So probably Myrmidon stays where it is. On the other hand, Desperation can go down - doubling is even harder now and Cavalier is not a great class to go through for doubling, so it feels way more niche than it used to be. One big change on Maddening is how much easier class mastery becomes. With a higher enemy density and enemies often taking significantly more rounds of combat, you get a lot more class EXP compared to Hard. This means Advanced and Master classes are considerably quicker to master - e.g. on Hard I was barely getting Quick Riposte before endgame even when promoting to Warmaster ASAP. On Maddening I waited a few chapters, and still mastered Warmaster with a few chapters to spare before the end. As a result, I think that the Advanced and Master classes with very strong mastery bonuses go up a fair bit. With enemies being so much tougher, especially early in the game, I feel that things which help you survive are more valuable, as well as enemy phase performance throughout the game. HP+5 can probably go up based on that. Defiant Avo is also quite feasible to take advantage of, especially when stacked with other avoid sources. Lategame enemies in Maddening only have around 15 more hit than on Hard, which isn't really THAT much. There's a few other things I've simply found are pretty good which I'd underrated before. On high power, slow characters (Dedue, Raphael, Gilbert), staying in Grappler for Fierce Iron Fist is insanely valuable. @Cysx pointed it out way before and I kind of read it and was like "Huh, that's neat." I did eventually try it out - my Raphael mastered Warmaster and went straight back to Grappler - and my goodness it's worth it. On Maddening, Seal skills are pretty strong, especially against giant beasts, as you often cannot ORKO many enemies - knocking one of their defensive stats down by 5 can help you clean up afterwards. So with all of that said, here's the tier changes I think should be made to adapt this list for Maddening: Up War Master (Quick Riposte/War Master's Strike): Upper Mid > High Commoner/Noble (HP+5): Lower Mid > Upper Mid Wyvern Lord (Defiant Crit): Lower Mid > Upper Mid Wyvern Rider (Seal Def): Lower Mid > Upper Mid Barbarossa (Wind God): Low > Lower Mid Bow Knight (Defiant Spd): Low > Lower Mid Dark Knight (Seal Res): Low > Lower Mid Falcon Knight (Defiant Avo): Low > Lower Mid Grappler (Tomebreaker, Fierce Iron Fist): Low > Upper Mid (Is Upper Mid or Lower Mid more reasonable? I feel it was very underrated before) Great Lord (Paraselene): Low > Lower Mid Sniper: (Hunter's Volley): Low > Lower Mid (Not as sure on this one - Sniper vs Bow Knight is much less of a good final class compared to Grappler vs Warmaster, and you can emulate Hunter's Volley more easily with Brave Bow/Inexhaustible). Emperor (Flickering Flower): Bottom > Low Down Thief (Steal): High > Low (Big jump but it's just become painfully apparent that there really isn't enough of value to steal. 1-2 good shields and a few Master Seals notably, but you get lots of decent accessories anyway so even those shields aren't insanely powerful). Cavalier (Desperation): Lower Mid > Low So, yeah. A lot moving up and only a few things moving down, but I think that's fair - right now the list was very bottom heavy anyway. Before I make any changes I'd like to hear feedback, especially from others who have specific opinions on things that are much stronger or weaker on Maddening. (nb. checked with eclipse before posting as this technically falls under necrobumping, they gave the go ahead)
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