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Dark Holy Elf

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About Dark Holy Elf

  • Birthday 01/22/1982

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    Video games (Fire Emblem, JRPGs, and Nintendo games in particular), fantasy novels, writing, ice hockey, and mathematics
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  • Favorite Fire Emblem Game
    Three Houses

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  1. Thief movement is nice, but on the vast majority of maps, +2 move is better (only Chapter 14 has enough terrain in Azure Moon to tilt this). And +2 move and canter? That's definitely significantly better IMO. If you're using Battalion Vantage+Wrath, then Grappler's combat is far worse than Paladin's for Dimitri. Killing in one crit is what matters, and Grappler doesn't have -faire on a killer weapon with more than 3 might. Even if you're not using this build, Paladin Dimitri isn't failing to kill anything unless he's strength-screwed. Brave Lance off his strength is monstrous, and of course there's Atrocity. Grappler does have slightly higher avoid, I'll grant you that; I just don't think it's nearly enough weighed against all Paladin's other advantages. Dimitri has to be a Lord in Chapter 13 making class debates moot for him there, but if he could be a wyvern, that'd surely be his best class there. Being a flier lets you easily move where you need and avoid enemies you aren't ready for yet. There's a reason Verdant Wind has the easiest version of that map by all accounts.
  2. It's Dimitri's best Advanced class by a fair bit, aside from Wyvern, but AM has limited flying battalions. It's also a strong consideration for Seteth (same as Ferdinand/Sylvain), Hubert and Lorenz (Frozen Lance one-shots for much of Advanced tier, particularly in Hubert's case), and Dedue/Bernadetta (particularly if you're a bigger fan of Vengeance in this tier than I am). 8 move + can use ground battalions is pretty nice, and while its effect on speed is unfortunate, there are a bunch of 3H characters who don't really care about speed. It is a bad class for speed-focused units like Petra or Catherine, certainly, but I'd still rank it an above average class within its tier. Among physical classes, only the fliers and bow classes are ahead IMO. Cavalier would be similar, its only real problem is that you often just want mastery skills from Intermediate. Cav absolutely crushes e.g. Brigand or Mercenary if you've already got the masteries you want and are just waiting for 20, though. Anyway, here we go: 1. Path of Radiance: Yeah, not much question here. Titania is the best unit in the game, Oscar/Kieran are top five. Super canter, knight ward, choosing your weapon on promo (E axes are really good in this game thanks to forgeable steel and hand axes being E), there's a lot to like about this class. 2. The GBA games: Honestly they're close enough that I'm gonna talk about them together. 8 move, javelins (or hand axes in Blazing's case, but they're functionally similar), two weapons before promotion, non-combat canter and great rescue capabilities. Just an all-around stellar class. For specifics, Seth is more dominant than any other Paladin, but Forde and Kyle are a bit underwhelming by the standards of Christmas Cavs. Marcus6 isn't quite as dominant as Marcus7/Seth, but Zealot and Percival are great followups and Alance are two of the best units all game long. I don't feel like adjudicating the difference. 3. Genealogy of the Holy War: The game is Horse Emblem, but honestly I still think they managed to balance the class a bit better. Paladins are usually clearly worse statistically than their infantry competition (compare Alec and Ayra), at least. Still better units of course. Ares is really good but not Marcus7/Seth/Titania good. Sigurd I'm counting as a lord instead of a paladin. As mentioned above, considering Sigurd one alone would likely move this class up notably. 4. Fates: Cavalier gets Elbow Room, +3 damage which is almost always active, and Shelter, which is extremely valuable in a number of situations. Plus Xander's really good, y'know? The lower overall stats in some key areas mean they aren't as dominant as in the above games, but they're still very good 5. Three Houses: Certainly a less impressive showing by the standards of games with combat canter. But combat canter still rules. I strongly disagree that Stride devalues cavalry; in my mind it increases the value of canter, since +5 move on a brigand is often just overkill move, but +5 move on a cavalier can not only reach almost anything, but get to where you need to be after. 6. Radiant Dawn: Titania is still good, and the rest at least have canter though none are super-impressive statistically. As a class the ledges and indoor penalties really do rein in their mobility. Frankly they all have problems as units outside Titania and Oscar. 7. Awakening: While similar to Fates at base, the lack of Elbow Room or Shelter makes them notably worse. The units who start in the class aren't bad (understatement in the case of Frederick, if he counts) and I've certainly even reclassed others to get here (particularly Chrom), so it's probably still an above average class overall, but it doesn't stand out nearly as much without canter or key skills. 8. Echoes: They're solid enough. They have move, and lance access means Ridersbane which is handy (though two other classes have this too). Nothing wonderful past that, but there is a case they're actually a below average class this time! 9. Engage: Only +1 move over infantry, no innate canter, only one weapon. They're not trash but I confidently feel they're a below average class in this game, the only game I feel that way about.
  3. Honestly I think Engage has one of my favourite Maddening modes in the series, I associate almost all of them as having at least one change I strongly dislike (e.g. reinforcements which act immediately) but I have no complaints here. Personally I think bosses immuning their weakness is a good thing if you're going to make weaknesses as impactful as 3x might, and them being immune to break is just outright good because otherwise they'd be braindead easy to cheese. Engage Maddening has some of the most fun bosses in the series IMO, they're still not super tough but they're enjoyable and frequently a good test, at least until some of the emblem nonsense spins out of control in the second half of the game.
  4. Lindon is decent. You might have space for him and "has a competent magic stat" is a good place to be for a filler unit, especially with the synergy staff proficiency has with some classes. He doesn't really do anything to stand out, though. I guess you can try to build around his crit since that's his unique perk, but unfortunately magic options just don't have much crit in this game, and physical Lindon has the same bases as Rosado, three levels and two and a half maps (realistically more) later with worse growths across the board, so no thanks. But he can do any magic build competently. 5/10.
  5. Requiring full HP is not an onerous requirement (certainly less onerous than requiring low HP, but people can and do make that work without too much difficulty), but honestly Snowfire's response is better than anything I would have formulated. Hero is generally considered pretty good. If you disagree then sure, knock the class down a bit and that might knock Goldmary down a point because she loses one possible build, but it's still very valid to shift her to other classes like Great Knight (if maxing her defence), Warrior, or Wyvern, so it's not a huge loss for the purpose of this thread. It's been some time so correct me if I'm wrong, but in virtually every ranking of the emblems I've seen (both on Serenes and elsewhere), Roy is in the bottom half, and he's commonly in the bottom third (along with Marth, Celica, and Leif). Roy is still good, it's just that many other emblems are even better. So in relative terms I would consider Roy to be one of the less-demanded emblems.
  6. Missed Rosado. He's probably a 4/10, just kinda iffy bases and even if you want to run him as wyvern he really wants a reclass. Now, to be fair, lots of people want a reclass, but for someone marginal like him (joining after a lot of people with better combat) it does hurt a bit. 6/10 for Goldmary, could maybe be argued slightly higher. She's generally okay (str/spd are kinda average) but has two notable advantages. One, Hero is pretty cool, and she gets Brave Assist almost immediately, no seals required. The other is that she's probably the most durable unit in the game, both due to her free +20 avoid against most enemies and her game-best defence. Of course anyone can be durable with Ike, so there's only so far I'm willing to hype this, but I still have good memories of my first run where I didn't notice an Entrap chain in Chapter 25 and Goldmary just tanked/dodged everything Maddening could throw at her, that was fun. She works well with lower-demanded emblems like Marth or Roy to raise her offence, since her durability won't need help.
  7. Personally I find healing quite useful. I'm sure you can adapt your playstyle to not needing it, but conversely I can adapt (have adapted?) my playstyle to rarely if ever needing certain tools that you value - that's just the nature of 3H, it's a beautifully flexible game. To elaborate on my view: negating damage with a gambit takes an action, so unless you can negate quite a bit of damage, it's not coming out ahead of healing in terms of action economy. Additionally, setting a damage-negating gambit requires giving up another useful gambit option, and often giving up stats as well, and the move can only be used at range 1. Meanwhile, units with access to healing have access to it without any loss of stats or other options, and can use it at range 10+. Tactically, healing allows you to react to, instead of predict, enemy actions, and this is useful both in terms of ease of play and general flexibility. Let's say there's an archer who you don't plan to kill this turn who will be able to attack at least one of your units on enemy phase. If you target a unit with Impregnable Wall, enemies will ignore them if they have other options, so the only strategy is to have the wall'd unit be the only one (without Stealth) in the archer's range. By comparison, if you just heal after the archer attacks, you can leave as many units in range of that archer as you want (provided none of them can be killed in one hit). Impregnable Wall is an option, but it eliminates counterattack damage; healing afterwards does not have this drawback. I generally find it very useful to bait in enemies with units who can survive them and counter, since it draws enemies to bad positions, lets me kill some with counters, and those I don't kill will be weakened and easily killed by flexible options (including weaker damage sources like spells and Curved Shot) next turn. In addition to its enemy phase applications, healing's also nice for using on units who kill via doubling (who tend to take counters at least sometimes) and topping up Ferdinand/Dimitri. Magical units with access to Physic rate significantly higher than comparable units who don't (I just averaged 'em up, it's over a 1.5-point gap between their averages and that's with me being nice and not counting Lorenz or Anna toward Team No-Physic), with only Lysithea really bucking this trend and only because she brings so much else to the table. It's obvious a lot of people value it as a spell option. That's certainly fair. Having 7-8 move and flight really limits how bad a unit can be. And I'll happily concede your build is better than the one I did back when I tried it last - I went through Wyvern Rider and honestly, I think that's part of why I was less impressed, because as a Wyvern Rider she still has no faith access and she often isn't able to kill armours at range. Bolt Axe is 15 weight, Wyvern Rider is 17 speed + 20ish str = 6 AS = not doubling much, while Wyvern Lord gets that nice base speed boost and will be at least 24 + 25ish str = 14 AS, which has a much easier time combined with any subsequent levels and bullheads, etc. Valkyrie's just a better place to be in Advanced, because Wind can actually double even with the class's bad speed. It also helps the build's struggles with accuracy.
  8. Compared to most of those characters, the big thing is concentration of resources. Aside from exp I guess (which falls off quickly if you try to focus it), GBA units don't really compete over that much with each other. Choosing to bench Ninian will still lower your total gain of exp, of course, but having done it, it's not a huge difference. By comparison, Engage introduces emblems which are a massively important resource and there are only so many to go around. Seadall adding one to your "number of emblem unit turns" is a big deal, even moreso when it's actually "number of engaged unit turns" which can be even more valuable. Another factor is that the non-dancer unit curve in Engage is pretty narrow. Tethys can't be the best unit in SS because Seth exists. But no nobody in Engage is anywhere near Seth-level good. Whoever the best non-dancer is (I'd say it's Ivy?), they have flaws and/or aren't that amazing without being given some major resources. So Seadall ends up at the top of his own game's rankings both because he's somewhat better than a Tethys (due to the previous paragraph) but also because he doesn't compete with a Seth. I do think some of the four-unit dancers have a case to be better than Seadall. The big one I might suggest is Lene/Laylea. Like Engage, no other unit is crazy dominant in FE4 gen 2 (unlike gen 1, which has Sigurd) and obviously four-person dance is a big deal. But there are valid reasons to prefer Seadall even then.
  9. Seadall is the best unit in Engage, and I think it's very clear that this is true. Sure, dancers are always good, but has any dancer ever inarguably been the best unit in the game before? Emblem rings make a big difference here (which are part of the reason he's so good, there's nothing analogous in previous games). You only have so many really good ones, so Seadall not even remotely needing one is a huge boon. Beyond that... he can canter (might as well be a free skill for him, he starts with the SP for it), he can take a hit if you need him to for some reason, he can dance for engaged characters who are typically more effective and also increases your uses of dominant tools like Dreadful Aura and AOE staff use. The only negative things to say about him is he can't dance for four people (well without Byleth. Don't give him Byleth) and I guess his availability could be better. But he is the obvious no-brainer "use him, your team will be measurably worse if you don't" unit in Engage.
  10. I'm not surprised, myself. Marianne impressing players more than Annette is common, though admittedly the gap is closer considering Azure Moon only. Marianne doesn't do quite as much damage, true, but she still one-shots the large majority of enemies for much of the game, and unlike Wyvern Annette she has access to Physic, which the original poster cited as a significant point in her favour (I would agree). She can also use Caduceus or Thyrsus to raise her attack and threat range (the original poster said those staves were on other units by default, but trading is still possible). Finally, she has better accuracy by a significant amount - her combat arts have hit bonuses, her weapons are more accurate, she has Uncanny Blow as per the original poster's notes, and she has access to ground battalions. I know you got around the accuracy point with your own build which goes through Valkyrie, but that does make Annette's build quite expensive, since you'll need both good flying and good riding ranks (as well as the otherwise useless C lances for Annette). In general I fall somewhere between you and Mir on this one (if closer to you); I definitely agree with you that Gremory/Warlock Annette is a waste of her talents; she does not have the ranged options to do well in a 4-5 move class, nor does she have spells which benefit a lot from double uses like Lysithea does. On the other hand I found Wyvern Annette an interesting but ultimately middling build when I tried it. I feel Dark Knight is probably the happy medium, here; she'd have almost the same damage (higher magic offsetting loss of Axefaire), doesn't monopolize Nuvelle Fliers (and can use various ground battalions), can heal, and is lighter on training due to no required flying rank (and Valkyrie will naturally work toward Dark Knight's riding). (Also, to with regards to your last quoted sentence: while not many magic units can one-shot enemies on AM endgame, quite a number can two-shot them with Magic Bow Hunter's Volley or Aura Knuckles, both builds I found more impressive than Wyvern Annette myself. In the case of Sniper I find the range flexibility very useful, in the case of War Cleric the unit maintains spell access. Granted, Wyvern does have more move and canter so I can certainly see room for argument.)
  11. Missed a rating for Merrin, so I'll do it here I suppose. Merrin's good, able to do any physical build well. The comparison with Kagetsu is an obvious one to make given their similar join times and stat builds; Merrin gives up 2 strength and 2 defence in exchange for a better personal (in no small part because it helps her teammates who might need it more than her). This is probably a losing trade? But not by enough to change the score. 8/10. (This is a Merrin rating, do not count this for this thread.) Hortensia I find very difficult to rate and I might just abstain. She's the best at what she does, but on my replay when I didn't use her I found that there are definitely advantages to not having a pure staff-user. Is it better to have Hortensia with +1 range and saving you the odd staff use, or is it better to use a unit with good combat who can also use staves (and Micaiah means this could be almost anyone)... a team with multiple such units is better set up for turns where all you need is combat while still being able to handle heavy staff use if needed. To be fair Hortensia does have a shadow of combat herself thanks to flight and speed even if she tends to be short of one-rounding much of anything thanks to iffy magic and a max B in tomes. I think she probably belongs on the "best" team, but it's less of a slam-dunk compared to what I expected from my first playthrough.
  12. Congrats. For what it's worth the horror stories about needing the whole team to down an enemy definitely aren't correct; even in the earlygame on NG, regular enemies should never ever need more than three attacks to kill and honestly two is usually possible if the second hit is Tempest Lance or a similarly powerful attack. If you ever try NG you might want to take a look at suggested earlygame investments for characters, but it's totally fair if you don't want to! Wyvern Lord Byleth is absolutely capable of ORKOs, in fact. Level 40 Wyvern Lord Byleth has around 38 str and 31 spd. Str+2, Death Blow, Axefaire, their personal, and Cichol Wyverns or Galatea Pegasus yield 60 base attack. 73 with Brave Axe+, 77 with Silver+, 111 with Axe of Zoltan hitting weakness. This can one-round every enemy on Azure Moon endgame (either by doubling or by a brave) except the demonic beasts and the two War Masters who have battalions, which are very difficult enemies to ORKO generally. The only caveat is that Darting Blow or another source of speed is needed to double the mages / snipers / mortal savants (but you can kill all of those with brave even if you miss the double). This is without any strength boosters, Dimitri link, or a Flayn adjutant for +3. Earlier maps have easier thresholds to reach (and cooking as well). Wyvern Lord is definitely Byleth's best class IMO. You don't get crit but Byleth shouldn't need crits to kill things, +2 move and flight on War Master are just too much. The only reason to consider a non-wyvern class for Byleth if you're optimizing is because you have too many other physical fliers already and the battalion situation is dire, and admittedly Azure Moon is the route this is most likely to be the case on. Yeah I hate them too. At this point I've played 3H enough times that I've memorized a lot of them, and divine pulse does help make them not as time-wasting as they are in, e.g., a blind and non-savestate playthrough of Binding Blade, but they're still frustrating design wise. Yeah I dunno what's up with Great Knight. It would have been a mediocre class with standard A/B+/C requires of most other master mounted classes, but they went for A/B+/B+ which is brutal. I think Mortal Savant has a use on maddening, but it's very much a "for units who benefit from sword magical combat arts but still want to use magic" which is a pretty short list (Lysithea, Dorothea, Marianne, Constance headline it). And even then it's a lateral choice, not an optimum one It's absolutely a trap class for units like Felix and Yuri whom you might think it's "intended" for. But then, most sword classes are kinda trap classes; I would consider Swordmaster possibly even worse than all the ones you listed, myself.
  13. Interesting that you group Cyril as an adult; I personally thought he was incredibly kid-coded. He looks significantly smaller than any other male character pre-timeskip, and he's blunt and kinda socially unaware in a way kids often are. Interestingly, Lysithea and Cyril are shipped together relatively often by the fanbase (I think it's each character's most popular one? It's certainly Cyril's), and I don't think it's a coincidence that this happened to the two most obviously "kid-coded" characters. Though it's worth emphasizing, of course, that even in the real world people are varied; I've certainly taught 15-year-olds who look older than the average 18-year old. Or who act more mature. Or, in rarer cases, both. So with that in mind there's certainly no character age in 3H I consider to be unrealistic (with obvious magical exceptions like Rhea and Jeralt). Edelgard calls Petra "incredibly smart" in her introductions of the students to Byleth during Chapter 1. She's meant to be extremely competent at both martial and intellectual skills for her age, and I think players sometimes underestimate her a bit because of her weak grasp of Fodlan language. She brags a bit less than Lysithea perhaps, but I wouldn't exactly call her humble either; just look at her supports with Edelgard, Hubert, or Claude for examples of the fact that she knows she's good. If so it's incorrect, Flayn is 151 cm (relatively short) while Edelgard is 158 (slightly below average). That said dress, demeanor, and body shape all count for a lot when considering if a character looks like a child - nobody would ever mistake Edelgard or the even shorter Hilda as children, while thinking Flayn is a child at first glance seems reasonable to me. Yeah I think to varying degrees those characters you mention all come across as younger due to their personalities and in some cases design. Caspar in particular "acts" the youngest of any character IMO, though I definitely buy him as 16-17. FE3H at least is one of the more benign cases of it in the series. Cyril is the youngest character in the cast, and he's 20 by the time the game ends (Lysithea is 21). So it definitely manages to avoid the skeeviness of pairing certain young characters which Awakening and Fates both had.
  14. I feel like Byleth is one of those game-warping emblems who can easily turn a unit into "instruct / Goddess Dance a lot". Obviously it's nice to have that on a unit who can otherwise contribute, because instruct isn't a useful action all the time (you simply don't always need hit extra stat benchmarks it enables). But most units can contribute otherwise. Just take your typical archer; with minimal investment they'll be able to kill fliers very easily, so if you slap Byleth on an archer they'll have access to instruct, Goddess Dance, and flier-murder as needed. This already sounds like a pretty good unit to me. Obviously it isn't the only use of Byleth - sages and dragons offer stiff competition in particular - but I would definitely consider it good. Also it definitely should be emphasized that if engaging is that important to a unit, they aren't going to be plinking daggers/arrows to build engage meter; they're gonna be grabbing emblem energy.
  15. So I want to talk about how I used Panette on my first playthrough. I saw a monstrous strength stat and mediocre speed and said "you know, I bet if I stacked speed on her via Lyn she'd be really good". I was correct, Panette could double and 2HKO basically everything in the game, with surprisingly better hit than I'm used to from her archetype. Against particularly bulky foes I could try for crits which she's unusually good at too. Anyway she was great, easily one of the best physical units in the game. Like there's a case she's better than any competing Kagetsu build. And here's the thing: by all accounts, this is not the best use of Panette. Because Lyn is a huge boost for anyone, but Panette can also do incredible things with Ike or Leif if you build around crit instead of speed, so arguably it's a better use of your resources to do just that. Anyway she's very good. I'm trying to avoid giving many very high scores for this game and ultimately "very good physical combat" is relatively replaceable in this game (on my replay I did not use Panette and certainly built a Merrin and Kagetsu who killed things just as well). So I'll put her in what is now a three-way tie for best physical unit in Engage and give her 8/10.
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