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  1. Level ups in FE games are mostly simple affairs - you gain a level, every stat has a chance of increasing, and that's about all that goes on, right? Well... not quite. A lot of FE games do small things to tilt the odds in your favour, from forced stat gains to hidden mechanics that raise growths. I wanted to have a bit of a think about those, at least out of the games I'm familiar with, and talk about what I'd like to see come back. In fact, so many that this post became MUCH longer than I initially expected. So, If you want to skip to the interesting bits, just skim through to the stuff in bold. I'll try and highlight the most interesting areas. As mentioned, and just to spell it out for those not familiar, typically when you level up in a FE game, each stat has a chance to increase dependent on the character. Often, this is the only thing that matters, for example if a character has a 60% HP growth, then every level up has a 60% chance to increase HP - previous level ups don't affect anything, there's no pattern to be followed, so sometimes you can simply get unlucky and get very low stats, and other times get lucky and get very high stats. This is the basic "standard" level up method I'll be referring to. Now, I also want to highlight this here before going on - the standard method is totally fine. Stats in FE games follow the binomial distribution - in short while there is a chance to get really blessed or screwed in a stat, on average stats are average (big shock). The standard deviation of a stat - the average distance from the exact average value - is probably less than you might think. FE1 to FE3 - I'm not especially familiar with these three FE games - I've played the remakes only. But there's an interesting bug in these games which leads to only certain "patterns" of stat gains existing. In short the random numbers (RNs) generated are extremely predictable, only 256 possible patterns of RNs for the entire level up, leading to characters having a small set of possible level ups they can get. Marth for example has only 14 such patterns While this seems like a flaw in the design and not an intentional mechanic, it does have some interesting consequences. For instance looking at FE1 Marth above, you can see he's guaranteed at least a two stat level up, but also can never get more than a five stat level up. FE1 Jeigan as another example, can gain both HP and Skl in the same level up (in 6/256 cases, or about 2.3% of the time), but otherwise all of his other stat gains are independent. You can't have a great Jeigan level up where he gains HP, Spd, Str, Skl all at once. In a way, this ends up smoothing out RNG a bit - looking at a single stat on its own, it's random as in the standard level up method, but here all of your stats are NOT independent of each other - a Marth with very low speed for example would expect to have very high Skill. Have a look at the chart I linked above and you can see that Speed and Skill never overlap - so if you told me your FE1 Marth had gained no speed in 10 levels, I would probably guess they had gained around 7-8 skill, because you gain Skill ~76% of the time when you don't gain speed. It's not really a mechanic which directly helps or hinders the player, though it does make the chance of a unit getting heavily RNG blessed or screwed significantly lower, since for many characters they will be guaranteed to get at least one or two stats. FE4 (Genealogy of the Holy War) - compared to the above, there's not actually a lot to say here. There's a second generation mechanic, which adds up the growths of one parent with half of the other, plus holy blood... but it doesn't really affect how level ups work directly. The one big interesting thing here is another bug - I don't fully understand it but in short, sometimes the game "runs out of RNs" somehow, typically in the arena, and you can end up getting blank level ups even in stats with 100%+ growths. Basically, another bug, but this one is purely hostile to the player. AFAIK recent translation patches also include a fix to this bug. FE5 (Thracia 776) - I'm not very familiar with FE5, but from what I know it has a pretty standard level up system, just it also adds Con and Move as stats which can level up as well. Which is pretty crazy (Mekkah's boy Ronan, with 9 move from his Ironman run, was fun to see) but really there's nothing special going on with the level up mechanics that I'm aware of. If you know of anything funky it does with level ups, let me know in the comments! FE6 to FE8 - These three all have one interesting quirk. If a unit would gain no stats on level up, ignoring stat caps, then the game re-rolls the entire level up, and it does this a second time if you'd still get no stat ups - meaning you get up to three attempts to gain at least one stat. Note the above point about stat caps though - character with at least one stat capped will get 0 stat level ups moderately often, since the game considers a successful roll on a capped stat enough to prevent a re-roll, even though you can't actually increase the capped stat. This is a simple enough little system, and helps to avoid those frustrating 0 stat level ups, at least until the mid-lategame when units may cap some stats. The overall impact from this is actually pretty small for most characters, the odds of rolling a 0 stat level up are low on most characters - even for e.g. FE7 Marcus it's only about a 3.6% chance, and for most characters it's more around 1-2%. But it does mean that about 1-2% of your level ups will be an average of around 2.5-3 points better, so it has some positive impact on your stats. It has the most positive impact on characters with generally low growths, and no high growth, for example Yodel and Niime would have a ~25-30% chance of getting a 0 stat level up, so a pretty significant chunk of the time they simply get to reroll their level ups. Nifty. FE9 (Path of Radiance) - AFE9 has some VERY interesting things to talk about - and is one of the two things that really made me want to talk about level ups. The default random mode doesn't have any protections against 0 stat level ups that I'm aware of (there may be one - let me know if you know of one), but also growth rates are generally higher than previous games. Still overall the game just uses the standard level up model. There are many things that affect growths in weird ways here. Firstly there's a few accessories that increase growths, though that isn't even new or unique here so whatever. Secondly is BEXP, which can let you level up characters in the base - and if you want, save scum for good level ups. I don't recommend it but hey, if you want to do it then nothing is stopping you. And thirdly, the Blossom skill. This one also appears in FE10 and works the same way in both - it lets a character with the skill get two chances to increase each stat, on each level up. For example Sothe has a 60% HP growth. With Blossom he gets two 60% rolls, and if either procs he gains HP - so it's only a 16% chance to NOT gain HP (40% x 40%), i.e. an 84% HP growth. But of course the REAL interesting topic is Fixed Mode. Fixed mode is a whole beast of a completely different level up system. I could explain in detail but I'll just summarise, and leave this link for if you'd like to read more. In short: In fixed mode, characters will broadly follow their average stats. There's a bit of deviation, partially due to how the initial points are set up, partially due to class and weapon modifiers, and partially due to rounding errors, but the big idea is that characters can't get RNG blessed or screwed, they stay close to their average. Now, there's definitely some interesting things you can do with BEXP once you understand how the rounding works. The Bonus Experience Manipulation page on the above link explains more, but basically if you give constant chunks of some amount of BEXP in Fixed Mode, you can basically round their growth rates up and get extra value. 2 EXP at a time tends to work well for many characters, lots of growths in the 25-50% range that go up to 50%. Like with save scumming, I don't really recommend it - a big time investment for what you get, but if you don't mind the extra time investment it can be a way to get higher than usual stats. Personally, I'm not really a fan of the way the quasi-random aspects of fixed mode work (seems really random to tie it to weapons and enemy), and the rounding issues are also a bit annoying, but I do love the idea of having a fixed mode option. And I'd like to stress the OPTION part of that. I also enjoy the random side of FE level ups, so I'd still be happy for that to be the default, but also having the option to play with that one random part turned off when desired is so, so nice. I would very much like future FE games to have a fixed mode. FE10 (Radiant Dawn) - FE10 was the first game to have a guaranteed stat gain system. Characters will always gain at least 1 point in a stat they haven't yet capped, every level up. Even if you set all growths to 0%, they then start gaining HP every level up (I believe). It's a simple and explicit way to avoid blank level ups, and it does seem to have stuck around in many recent FE games. The BEXP system in the game has been revamped slightly, characters now are guaranteed to gain 3 stats from BEXP levels. Stat caps don't matter either, if you've capped 5 stats, well enjoy gaining the three you have a 15% growth in, every BEXP level. It's definitely an easily exploitable system, and will generally lead to your characters getting much higher stats in the lategame than their written averages would suggest. It's also very odd in how it distributes stats. Higher growths are favoured dispropotionately by BEXP. For instance if you gave 100 BEXP levels to a character, you might find they gain the 60% growth stat 80 times, and the 30% growth stat only 20 times, about four times as often despite the growth being only twice as high. If anyone knows the exact details on how this works, I definitely would like to hear it. FE11 (Shadow Dragon) - The other big game that inspired me to make this post. Shadow Dragon has a little known and oft misunderstood feature called Dynamic Growths. Dynamic Growths, if you read the Serenes Forest page on Dynamic growths you'll probably be more confused than anything - but in reality it's a very simple system. For every 0.1 points below average a stat is, you get +1% growth in that stat. Stat booster gains are ignored, and... that's it. That's everything that Dynamic growths do, in a single sentence. Well, okay, there's potentially some rounding weirdness that goes on, and the SF page does claim it's from testing and not reading the source code (if anyone HAS read the source code and can add extra details please chip in! Wishful thinking probably...), but for the most part, that's all it does. Cavalier Abel is 1.2 points below his speed average? You've got +12% speed growth (62%) at the moment. He levels up speed and is now only 0.7 points below average, now it's +7% growth (57%). Get two more speed level ups and are now slightly above average? You don't get penalties from dynamic growths, so it caps out at the default value, 50%. Dynamic Growths are awesome and should really come back in some form. They basically work as a cushion for characters who are getting RNG screwed. Stats that have fallen well below average start getting moderate bonuses to growth, preventing them falling too far behind or in fact letting them catch back up pretty effectively. Having quickly simulated 1000 times in Excel, an Able who falls 3 points of speed behind in his first 6 level ups (i.e. no speed gains), on average is only about 0.15 points behind in speed after 20 more level ups - so that RNG screwage early gets mostly caught up over time. You're still gonna feel being slow for a lot of the game of course, it doesn't just make bad RNG irrelevant - but it does help units bounce back a bit and keep up with their averages. Personally, as you can probably tell, I REALLY like the Dynamic Growth mechanic. It provides a gentle push towards character averages, without being as heavy handed as fixed mode. It's a purely beneficial mechanic for the player in its current form as well. I'll talk about it more in a conclusion at the end, but I'd actually have preferred it slightly if it could push in both directions, both reigning in an RNG blessed character as well as propping up RNG screwed ones. Anyway, asides from that this game doesn't have too much going on with its level ups. There's class changing, which can modify growths, but the level ups still work as normal. FE12 (New Mystery) - Sadly, the Dynamic Growth system from FE11 is gone. Probably it was included due to FE11's generally lower growths and with FE12 ramping up growths, they thought it was unneeded. The interesting level up weirdness here is the Drill Grounds, which work a bit like FE10 BEXP giving a fixed number of stats - only the fixed number has some variability, and is based on a character's total stats. It's also less weighted towards their best growths than FE10's BEXP as far as I'm aware. Not a whole lot to say here. FE13 (Awakening) - Perhaps the most generic game for level ups in the series. I'm not aware of a single weird quirk that goes on with growths in level ups in this game, at any point. Which considering all the other jankiness in the game with kids, Second Seals, Pair Ups, skills, personal stat caps and so on, is unusually... normal. Let me know if I've forgotten anything. FE14 (Fates) - On Lunatic difficulty, Fates pre-rolls all of your level ups for the entire game. This means you get the same level up every single time. In theory I guess you might be able to plan ahead if you play maps and see what stats you'll gain, and/or gain slightly more stats by changing classes sometimes, but realistically it's more something to control players resetting to try and get good levels I suppose. Asides from this fun little mechanic, nothing really stands out to me. I don't think the game has forced stat level ups, but let me know. FE15 (Echoes: Shadows of Valentia) - Yet again, another game with not much to say that I can think of in terms of level ups. Though I'm not that familiar with Echoes either - if there IS something level up related that's odd, let me know. Maybe it has forced gains of at least 1 stat? Not certain. Echoes gives characters who would gain no stats a +1 HP level up. So there's that, at least. FE16 (Three Houses) - Finally (sort of), Three Houses has one fun quirk. You know FE10 had guaranteed single stat levels? Well, Three Houses doubled down on that and has guaranteed TWO stat level ups, but only for students and Byleth. Church and Knight characters don't get this boon, so can gain 1 or even 0 stats. Being guaranteed at least two stat gains isn't a huge difference but it will give you a few extra stats you otherwise wouldn't, even with the generally high growths in 3H. For example, by my estimate Felix (Noble) has a 6.0% chance to gain 1 stat and a 0.9% chance to gain 0 stats on a level, so on average he gets about 0.078 extra stats per level up from this rule - or about a total growth increase of ~8%. As he changes class it becomes less relevant, e.g. as a Grappler he drops to a roughly 0.1% chance to gain no stats (thank you +40% HP growth) and a 1.6% chance of gaining just 1, so more like an average of 0.018 points of stats per level. Basically, it's a small subtle bonus early in the game, likely to give you a couple of extra points across your team, while later it's a very small bonus only. And that's it! All the games in the series. Well, except there's a few spinoffs to mention. I haven't played TMS#FE so can't comment on that one. FE Heroes has semi-random level up patterns which can be determined through certain observations, but mostly people don't care - max level stats are fixed barring a stat increase and decrease from a boon and most FEH content takes place with max level characters. FE Warriors actually has totally fixed level ups, and it's all at constant rates as well. I really like FE Warriors personally and did a bit of research into how level ups and stats work there (also it's the only FE game where Luck is the dominant stat), but as far as level up mechanics go, it's as simple as they come. Conclusions Honestly, there was a lot more here to talk about than I expected. Lots of FE games have done weird little things to mess with level ups, from safety nets to mitigate bad level ups, to outright forcing a minimum number of stat gains, right up to adding mechanics that heavily shift how level ups work altogether. Personally, I would really like to see future FE games give us some options regarding level ups. This doesn't have to be anywhere near as in depth as the above. For example, a game could give three options: Random (default), controlled, and fixed: * Random is the default, perhaps forced on a first play through. It does what you'd expect. Great if you want the usual, chaotic FE experience. * "Controlled" is basically a variant on dynamic growths - it would both boost growths of below average stats, and drop growths of above average stats, using the exact same mechanic as the FE11 dynamic growth system (+1% per 0.1 points). This would give stats some degree of randomness, and let them get RNG blessed or RNG screwed, but also at the same time stop stats getting too high or low. This would be great for players who still want a bit of RNG in their stats, but also want some reliability and security that stats will be close to averages. This method could even have different levels of control, e.g. "weak" is just +1% per 0.2 points (5% per point above/below average), so it has a very gentle push towards averages, or "strong" which is +1% per 0.05 points (20% per point above/below average), which pushes stats quite heavily towards their average if you want basically some slight RNG, but otherwise reliable stats. * "Fixed" would be more or less just a fixed stat mode like FE9. Maybe very small amounts of randomness in e.g. initially seeding setup somehow, but otherwise a predictable mode where you can calculate stats. Would be pretty nice for players who like consistency and want something more like a traditional RPG, where stat gains aren't something to worry about. It kind of disappoints me somewhat that Fire Emblem has had several interesting mechanics to help deal with the randomness, but never really stuck with giving players one of these as an option. While the standard random modes are of course fun, it's really nice having an extra option every now and again. And the devs have shown they can make all kinds of interesting level up stuff happen, so please, can it just be an option going forward? Anyway, this ended up WAY longer than I initially expected, and took me close to 2 hours to type up, but hopefully you found it interesting. Let me know what your thoughts are - did you like Fixed mode in FE9? Want to see any old mechanics return? Do you now appreciate my Waifu Dynamic Growths as much as I do? Finally, xpost on Reddit here.
  2. 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.
  3. It's a moderately useful interaction, occasionally. I wouldn't call it broken, or enough to make Armoured Blow (or Armour Strike) worth using.
  4. 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.
  5. 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?
  6. 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?
  7. 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?
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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)
  15. 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.
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