This is my version of a Birthright Tier List. The overall goal is to analyze a unit's effectiveness throughout the entire game and to differentiate units based off of stats and availability. I have played birthright twice on Lunatic so I have experience with a wide variety of characters and build paths.
A couple things to note:
I am omitting DLC and any stat boosters and arms scrolls when assessing characters. This is to get the least biased approach to each unit. However Invasions and limited skirmishes are acceptable. THis is what separates Birthright from Conquest and I think it is fair to once in a while participate in a skirmish battle whenever available and not abuse the system (i.e. not spending gold to force enemies to appear.) No skill inheritance and no reclassing except for master seals. Any additional information that does not affect the rankings comes after a :
We all know that Ryoma makes this game really easy, even on Lunatic mode. So for this list, I judged units as if Ryoma never existed. I benched Ryoma to see how the other units would react and the game is quite more challenging without Lobster Lord (and chapter 25, the one with Camilla in the underground is one of the hardest levels in Fates with or without Ryoma.) You could make a whole separate list on which units benefit Ryoma the most but that isn’t the case here. You really get to see how other units shine when Ryoma isn’t in the fold. There is a giant drop off in viability from Ryoma to Corrin and another drop off from B-C tier or Azama to Hayato. One thing I noticed was that from Felicia to Azama, the units are very close together and there isn't as much of a gap as you might think.
The goal of this list is to discuss the overall ability of characters. The best ability is availability. This is factored into the list as well. The list also is effort to reward as it discusses which characters will perform best with the least amount of resources (however it is not an LTC list). Obviously your opinion might differ from mine so discuss why you agree or disagree.
Check out my Conquest Tier List
Now onto the list
S/God Tier/The overpowered tier where even if they get RNG screwed, remain elite and available throughout the game.
Ryoma- The number 1 unit in the game (they call Birthright Ryoma Emblem for a reason) and he probably could make a run for the Fire Emblem Hall of Fame. He joins with amazing base stats and above average growths in most other areas. He is 1 level away from Astra (which is even stronger because of removal of weapon durability.) With a pair up unit, he can single handedly carry your team. His only knock is his pedestrian resistance growths, but his skill and luck are high enough that he dodges constantly from mages. On top of that his passive ability is pretty much a free crit, damage reduction, and damage buff. What is there not to like? He joins relatively late, but that isn’t too much of an issue. On top of that, Rajinto lets him attack from 1 or 2 spaces which is invaluable. Definitely the best unit in this game by a landslide.
Corrin- You can shape him however you like and Yato is a very solid weapon even if it is locked to 1 range. Hoshidon Noble might have better skills that Nohr Noble, but rods over tomes is a huge downer. I can’t really recommend + magic because of that. I tend to go +speed -luck to match all the other units in the game with high speed. Either way, he/she is available for every level in the game so plenty of opportunities to overlevel.
Azura- Dancer/Singer/Heron/Refresher of Fates. Always viable. Even though she is hella squishy, her offensive growths are actually good and could pick up a few kills in a pinch. Even though she is locked to C lances, her with a killer lance is surprisingly filthy. Her skill and luck make her dodge consistently and her 60+20% speed growth is absurd. Don’t rely on her fighting though as most physical units will 1 shot her: Consider temporarily reclassing her to a witch to get teleport. She can still use her refresh after teleporting to an ally. Just think about how busted that is.
A tier/Tier 1/ Strong units that are extremely viable but RNG gods could prevent them from reaching their full potential.
Silas- He is the anti-epitome of Birthright; meh speed and great defensively. He is one of the very few units that can truly excel at being a tank. On top of being the only cavalier unit in the game (without MC branch,) he is one of the highest movements for a non-flying unit. And he hits hard with his exceptional strength. As for promotions, both Paladin and Great Knight work but Great Knight helps him be the tank you desperately need. A whopping 4 out of the 29 Hoshidon classes give a defensive bonus of 15% or more (and yes Rinkah’s classes are 3 of those 4) and 40+20% is insane for this route. A staple for any team.
Scarlett- Pretty much the only viable axe user before promotion and she comes in great shape. Excellent base stats with very high strength. On top of that she is the only unit that can go down the wyvern route in Birthright. She is one of the few candidates that can use the hammer obtained in Chapter 12 which is crucial considering the excess amount of armored units in the late game. She comes with a high base defense and her speed growths let her double consistently. She should fit into any team comp nicely.
Takumi-We are assuming no Point Blank skill as with that he could rival Ryoma as the top unit potentially. Fujin Yumi is an amazing weapon and helps add a lot of value to a yumi user who is locked to 2 range. Insanely high skill and the special weapon helps make up for his average strength and relatively subpar speed. He is also surprisingly beefy for a yumi user and can take a few more hits than a majority of other units. Also, helps deal with the plethora of wyverns in the game. Overall a really good unit and with minimal protection can shred through the enemy: even if the Ballistician class is relatively underwhelming, Fujin Yumi makes him hit like a truck and can take out squishies with ease, if he gets in range that is.
Hinoka- Joins with exceptional base stats and joins early. She is your only viable flying unit this early. She hits pretty hard and doubles consistently. She is a powerhouse late game as well as she scales well into the endgame and has solid defense and HP to compensate for the bow vulnerability. With a guard naginata, she will be one of your bulkier units. Works exceptionally well as a carrier as she can drop off slower movement units into the heart of the battle and fight alongside them. Her pair up gives a healthy balance of stats that are beneficial to a lot of units: Consider making her a Dark Falcon as well as her growths stay similar and her strength growths shifts to magic growths. Even if her magic growth is underwhelming, it is viable enough to make her a dual threat unit as she is one legitimate case of someone who can do that in this route. Even with the Galeforce nerfs, it still is a nice ability to shove in your back pocket.
Kagero- Best strength growths by a longshot at a commanding 65%. On top of that she has great speed as ninjas have some of the best class speed growths in the game. However, she has comically bad HP and Defense stats. True definition of glass cannon. Her skill growth isn’t anything to gawk at either, but shurkiens are some of the most accurate weapons so that mitigates it a ton. A surprisingly exceptional mage killer as well as her 40% Resistance is second only to Orochi. She takes close to no damage from mages and her high damage output shred through the low defenses. Works amazingly as a Master Ninja even if Lethality is kind of wasted on her, Shurikenfaire makes her even more deadly. Will deal the highest damage output out of any unit in the game. As a pair up bot, she gives the much-needed strength growths that a lot of units could benefit from. Definitely has potential to be at least a top 5 unit in most playthroughs.
Saizo- He has the best total growths in the entire game so that is definitely is vital. He is a pretty solid unit across the board but his biggest downfall is his pitiful speed at 30%. To be fair, the ninja class helps neutralize this weakness to some degree. He is a tanky unit in general and can take a decent amount of punishment. 45% magic growth is exceptional for a ninja as he is a solid dual threat option (although the only real option is a flame shuriken.) A thing to note is he joins with a measly 3 magic so it will take some time for him to build up his magic pool. He is probably the best candidate to make a Mechanist as his overall versatility lets you do more with Replicate and he is tanky enough to not get busted down if he is split up (although Master Ninja is almost always the way to go). You could knock him for being an all round unit as he won’t be the best at anything, but the versatility he brings is crucial to any team (and the fact that ninjas in general are strong)
Felicia 1- Even with the abundance of early game rod users, what makes her stand out from the pact is her magic ability. She isn’t competing against strong magic competition overall and her early game availability sets her over the top. Although, until she gets the Flame Shuriken, she is rather underwhelming. But any damage is better than no damage (which is the case with both Azama and Sakura.) Overall a great support unit who can be an effective mage killer as well as pick off Generals later in the game. S rank rods also are a nice addition as well.
Oboro- She has 40s across the board in the majority of her stats. She is the only Spear Master which benefits her greatly as she gets access to the highly coveted Lancefaire which increases her damage output significantly. Seal speed is a solid skill as well. Overall she is a good balance of attack and defense and can dodge a few hits as well. Unfortunately, there are not many Killer Lances in this game so getting your hands on one can be difficult, but her high ability to crit is also noticeable. Her passive is one of the best in the game as the vast majority of enemies faced are Nohrian in this route. Add all of that up and she hits extremely hard and can tank a solid number of hits as well.
B tier/Tier 2/ Balanced tier that has viable units but weaknesses are more noticeable or units are outclassed by contemporaries
Kaze- Out of the 3 ninjas he is by far the fastest. The problem is that it is usually overkill especially with Nohrian enemies being relatively slower. Other than that, he has very solid HP, Strength, and Resistance growths so he can also be a solid mage killer. Even with the high HP growths, he is still fragile due to his horrendous defensive growths. Kagero does his job better but with ninjas being so incredibly overpowered in this game, he won’t ever be a bad unit. SPOILER, on a lesser note, you must get an A support with the MC or he dies in chapter 15. It shouldn’t be too hard to do but if you ignore supports this can be detrimental as you lose a unit for nothing.
Reina- Birthright did us the favour of giving us legendary prepromotes and Reina is definitely one of them. Even if her base stats are suspect for a prepromote, she has excellent growths in her 2 biggest stats, strength and speed. On top of that Chapter 11 is solely flying enemies so it is incredibly easy to get her a few levels. Her only knock is that she is terrible defensively and her growths won’t help her get much better here. She can use naginatas but it leaves her highly susceptible to counter attacks. It is easy to overextend with her but that leaves you increasingly vulnerable but if protected well enough, she can deal a ton of damage.
Sakura- Her growths in magic and luck are excellent and she can surprisingly take a few more hits than expected with her adequate HP and defensive growths. Her biggest fault is being stuck on Shrine Maiden which also has limited movement (although festivals help counter this weakness a lot.) As for promotions, her as a priestess with a shining bow is incredibly filthy. She can double many enemies and on top of being able to attack from 1 or 2 spaces, it is incredibly versatile as well. However, getting C rank bows is so difficult as you are stuck with using physical bows for so long. For a more immediate impact, her as a Onimyoji is also a solid option as she can succeed with E rank tomes. Both options are viable but depending on if you want her to help you instantly, or more in the future: A couple of arm scrolls can speed up the process along on priestess and make it even more viable. When I am not using them, I tend to favor Onimyoji as I don’t want her to be useless for so long and the extra babying you must do as Priestess is too much for me.
Hana- She is underappreciated mainly because she is often compared to Ryoma which is unfair. Even if Lobster Lord is better than her in every way, she is still incredibly lethal offensively. 55% Strength is the second highest and makes her hit incredibly hard. On top of that her speed at 55% is also well above average. However, she is made of glass. There is an incredibly high chance of her dying if hit with 2 strong attack. On top of that her early game is incredibly weak as it takes her a while to build up her skill pool. But after a bit of training, she can dodge pretty consistently and deal a ton of damage in the process. But a lot of luck is involved with her as she cannot get hit or she drops like a fly.
Jakub 1- The thing that made him so amazing in Conquest hurts him tremendously in Birthright. With 3 other ninjas who use hidden weapons and can debuff, he is by far the weakest in that regard. On top of that, his low magic makes his healing even weaker (especially with festivals having less base heal than staffs.) With that being said, he is still a solid support unit and still has solid kill potential. He is also one of the most readily available units in the game so he has plenty of opportunities to be helpful.
Oroichi- Her magic and skill are through the roof. She is a nuke that hits incredibly hard. Plus, the highest resistance growths in the game, she can also tank against mages incredibly well. With all of these amazing attributes it pains me to mention her nonexistent, sinful speed. 15% is so terrible that she gets doubled by godamn Generals. Especially with almost everyone else in the game having incredible speed, they are truly light years ahead in this area. Yes, she lands her hits and hits hard, but without being able to hit twice, her damage potential is wasted incredibly. But even with this terrible fault, she is still a solid magic user in a game lacking in that position and can be used as a long range nuke to weaken caught out enemies for other units to finish off.
Rinkah- She really should be a lot lower but she has one saving grace; she is the only early game axe user. Until chapter 13 where you get Scarlett, you are stuck with her. Unless you somehow got Silas promoted which is highly unlikely, she is your main unit to deal with the endless waves of lance users. Her strength is also terrible. But her defense and skill are above average and can be used as an off tank. On top of that, she is the only unit able to promote into a Blacksmith (for better stats) or Oni Chieften (for amazing skills). Overall being an axe user and having access to exclusive classes helps save her from being hot garbage: The memes about Sakura being more jacked are actually justified as her strength growth is surprisingly higher than Rinkahs. Apparently, muscles don’t mean anything in Ryoma Emblem.
Kaden- There is nothing to special about Kitsunes/Ninetails except for Beastbane which is a solid ability and Even Better which is incredibly busted. This ability gives him a bit of extra survivability as his defense his average. Overall speaking, his stats are average across the board but consistently doubles. Beaststone+ comes relatively late so that is something to factor in. Not a bad unit, but doesn’t bring anything special that another unit doesn’t already do.
Azama- His growths are actually amazing. Amazing HP, Strength, Speed, and Defense growth. But unfortunately, he starts off locked onto rods, which scale off magic. Another unit’s potential wasted due to a terrible starting class. Consider master sealing him early as he is a very solid naginata user with the ability to double consistently. It’s a shame that his early levels plus rod abilities are wasted with his terrible magic growths.
C Tier/ Tier 3/Requires a lot more work put into them or units that get outclassed due to bad growth distributions.
Hayato- He has pretty average growths across the board except for Luck which is well above average. His early game is absolutely atrocious though. Joins incredibly underleveled with subpar base stats. His direct comparison is Orochi who joins 1 level earlier and far stronger. Maybe at 20/20 they are comparable but usually 1 Orochi hit equates to 2 Hayato hits if you look at the math. He has solid potential if enough resources are dedicated to him but even then, he is nothing special. Highest potential is a top 10 unit which is nothing to write home about.
Subaki- It is complete irony that he is portrayed as a “perfect person” when in reality, he is one of the most imperfect units in the game. 30% strength and 20% is god awful and means he literally will not do any damage. 45% defense and 55% HP might make him into a viable tank and then you see the 5% resistance growths and wonder what they were thinking when they made this character. However, giving him a bolt naginata makes him marginally better as 20% magic is not too bad for a physical unit. But a bolt naginata works for a lot of other units like Hinoka, or Scarlet, or Azama, or Oboro, or even Azura. At best, he is a solid tank that needs to stay miles away from mages.
Hinata- His stats are all over the place. Until you reach his speed at 15% …as a samurai…whose MO is to double enemies. He has good defense but is literally shoved into the worst class as both Swordmaster and Master of Arms are not tanky classes. And 35% strength is nothing to write home about either. Although to his credit, he joins with 14 base speed so he will be a lot more useful off the bat than Hana, but she literally needs a few levels before she starts running circles around Hinata. He also is one of the worst characters in the end game as his scaling will catch up to him and his high base speed will get ousted by literally every other unit. Useful due to his high base stats he joins at but he will fall off a cliff real fast.
Mozu- Very similar to Hayato except that she is locked to lances so she can’t even hit from a range until she gets D rank javelin. The one thing going for her is access to the Merchant class which no one else has access to even if it is a gimmicky class. Spendthrift is a sketchy ability but if used correctly can be game changing. With more areas to train, she is a little more viable in Birthright. But even with her above average growths and aptitude (which only equals to 1 extra point every 10 levels), she requires way too much effort to get the ball rolling and you are better off using the exp on someone else.
D Tier/ Tier 4/ Joins late and terribly under leveled. Requires too much effort for too little gain
Izana- A solid unit to slot in the bottom of your team if too many units die. He joins underleveled and almost every unit will be higher level than him. Can be a solid mage if your other mages didn’t pan out (which surprisingly happens very easily), he can be a niche magic user which are barren in this route.
Felicia 2- Another healer is always welcome and another magic user couldn’t come quickly enough. Unfortunately, she is incredibly underleveled and needs a lot of staff spamming to catch up to the rest of the team.
Shura- He wouldn’t be bad if he didn’t join in Chapter 22. Even if he isn’t underleveled, his stats are just bad and he doesn’t provide anything to the team besides maybe a marginal healer. Having too many bow users on your team leaves you incredibly vulnerable and he really isn’t worth running over Takumi or Reina.
Jakub 2- Similar to Felicia 2, really underleveld. On top of that, he scales off of strength and not magic which hurts his healing ability tremendously. His debuffs are helpful but gets outshined by the other ninjas who are far ahead.
Setsuna- The only things she excels at are speed (which is number 1) and resistance. Every other stat is terrible. She is so fragile that she could die to 1 ballista shot if they let them kill in this game. Additonally her strength is terrible and struggles to deal significant damage to wyverns (where there is a 3x multiplier.) She can be used exclusively as a mage killer at best. Especially with all the amazing yumi users in this game, she gets outclassed by a mile: A shame because she probably was one of the funniest characters in Birthright in a route that lacked intriguing personalities in general.
Yukimura- Just don’t even bother. He isn’t worth the time. Terrible stats and joins at Chapter 23 at the earliest. To be fair his passive gives +5 hit rate to all units which is one of the better personal abilities. But if you are not running him for that then there is 0 reason to use him. And replicating trash just gets you more trash so don’t be deceived by that ability.