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  1. Garreg Mach cafe has 3 new sandwiches for sale: the Warlock sandwich which costs 5 gold, the Dark Knight sandwich which costs 10 gold, and the Gremory sandwich which costs 10 gold. You can also pay extra for some condiments - avocado costs 2 gold extra, and Abraxas sauce costs 5 gold extra, although the Abraxas comes free if you purchase a Gremory sandwich. If hungry Shadow Annette is on a budget, she might grab the Warlock sandwich. If Annette likes Abraxas sauce for some reason (ick! it's an acquired taste) and wants to order it, then she might as well get the Gremory sandwich, it's basically the same price at that point. If Annette feels like she wants a premium sandwich but doesn't care for Abraxas sauce, then there's no price difference between the Gremory sandwich and the Dark Knight sandwich. It's just a matter of math: they both cost 10 gold. There's no additional "effort" to get one or the other, so she should buy the one she likes the best. If she likes Gremory sandwich better anyway, that's cool of course! Just don't justify it by saying it's cheaper or less effort, because it's not.
  2. A) This is discussing Annette specifically though, and her Faith list is *trash garbage*. It's still good to train her up to D+ Faith of course, but that's quick and effortless. She'll hit C naturally from the occasional heal and it isn't a big deal to manually train if you want. After she gets Recover at C (which is not even that important), her next spell is Abraxas at A - which is awful. Compare Abraxas to Excalibur and weep - Abraxas has +3 Mt and much worse everything else (Hit, Uses, Weight, Crit, Flying Effectiveness). Even if you bother to learn Abraxas, you will only use it if you somehow run out of all your Excaliburs. (This is obviously an entirely different conversation for the likes of Lysithea or Mercedes, who learn actually useful spells at high levels of Faith.) B) Given the above, the point is that if you don't care about Abraxas (and you shouldn't), then it doesn't take much more investment to go DK - it's the same investment. The actual "I hate skill training and everything it stands for" choice is Warlock, which really is significantly easier to hit than DK / Gremory and can be stayed in the rest of the game at the cost of a pokey 5 Move.
  3. I'm impressed that the characters look reasonably natural post-hack. My own personal presumption was that the reason that 3H gender-locked a bunch of classes was to avoid having to animate them again. But... everyone looks fine in those screenshots, so if the models were flexible enough to allow this, then question mark?! Just let every character be every class. (Especially the added DLC classes - Hubert & Lorenz really wouldn't mind Valkyrie / Mage Knight, and there's not even any "pegasi only let women ride them" concerns to worry about there!)
  4. Not to pile on, but this is just.. really, really wrong. The stat charts don't lie, check them out: https://serenesforest.net/three-houses/classes/growth-rates/ The class-adjusted growth rates don't really matter that much, but to the extent they do, Wyvern Rider / Wyvern Lord / Falcon Knight all have perfectly normal Str boost rates (10 or 15). Pegasus Knight doesn't, but it's also an Intermediate tier class where most other Intermediate classes don't sport Str boosts either. What you might be thinking of is that Ingrid, the cast's most default Peg Knight, has weak Str growth, which is fair. But it's definitely not true of flying classes in general - stick your Ferdinands / Hildas / Seteths / etc. on Wyverns, and they'll hit just as hard as normal. And stick Annette as a Wyvern Lord or the like and you won't even care about her Strength that much (which will be brought up by class mins anyway to something vaguely respectable), you'll just Lightning Axe everything using her Magic stat.
  5. Yeah, if you're recruiting a unit solely so you can play their paralogue then plan on benching them forever afterward, then recruiting them right before you want to do the paralogue is good. Although for one character at least even that is a bit shady! I have never seen a more pathetic Shamir than when I waited until C10/11 or so to recruit her so that she can be used at a reasonable level in her & Alois's paralogue once Alois is recruited - it might be non-ironically better to C6 recruit her anyway just so she can level up more on that chapter, she gets insanely little from extra levels.
  6. Just as a clarification, I think you've gotten some bad info here. For whatever arcane reason (probably unintentional), unrecruited students level with enemy class growths of their "favored" class. However, these are NOT necessarily "better". Most of the time it's a wash, and for a few unfortunate characters they actually get worse stats than if they were leveled normally (Enemy Brigands actually lose Resistance compared to PC Brigands - sorry Caspar!). There's only a few characters for which this is a notable stratagem - enemy Pegasus Knights & Cavaliers are significantly tankier than PC versions, so Ingrid / Leonie / Ferdinand / Sylvain all get improved tankiness if you wait. That said, if you're recruiting Sylvain out of house, you're usually doing it in C2 anyway with F-Byleth, so it's really only relevant for the first three. For everyone else, recruiting units sooner rather than later is usually better, although for the Ashen Wolves, waiting for C3 or so for Balthus / Hapi / Constance will get them better skill ranks than recruiting them in Commoner. Also, if you wait as late as possible (C12 on most routes, C11 on Crimson Flower) you won't really have time to do Paralogues - most of them are in White Clouds as a warning.
  7. Yes, but also no. *All* classes have enemy-only versions, but they don't have personal base stats or base growths like PCs do. It's like saying "Pegasus Knight Ingrid has +8 Str, +6 Magic, +6 Skill, " etc. Yeah, that's true, but that's just Ingrid's bases. (Fair point that there's two different sets for enemy Pegasus Knights though, the enemy 10-19 and enemy 20-29.) It is true that enemy flyers got dealt unusually good growths (most notable in the quirk wherein late-recruiting Ingrid gets her unusually good defenses, since she'll have leveled in enemy Pegasus Knight instead which is notably tankier than PC Pegasus Knight).
  8. I'm not sure if he counts as the strongest Mortal Savant, but I'd be inclined to agree with Objeckts that Yuri might be the most in-flavor example of a Mortal Savant. If nothing else, he's the one that credibly threatens both the Swordfaire side & Black Tomefaire side well. Certainly the sword-mage ladies can use it but they're more about one-shotting with Hexblade / Soulblade, while Yuri uses (too many!) of the options - regular attacks, spells, combat arts, etc. (Insert usual "Grounder is bad" disclaimer though, just give him a spare Iron Bow+ & Curved Shot instead.) For the Shamir debate, I will say that I don't think backtracking for Death Blow is that bad, if you're willing to do annoying class & item juggling. First off, rush Hunter's Volley as usual. Once you've gotten that, though, as noted you should also have a Knowledge Gem by that point as well as tutored up a rudimentary axe rank. Assuming you're running 12 characters, most maps let you only deploy ~10 of them. So the trick is to switch Shamir to Brigand whenever she wouldn't be deployed, give her a Knowledge Gem, and make her the adjutant of a character you expect to receive a lot of combat. It isn't the speediest way to learn Death Blow, but it will happen, and you won't ever have to deploy a nerfed Brigand Shamir. (If you're in a hurry, you can always do trusty aux battle grinding to speed this up, but assuming we're skipping those.) Of course, if we're assuming a bit of KG favoritism, this probably also helps Felix too, since he'll hit Bow Crit +10 faster to "catch up" with Shamir's great starting A-rank in Bows.
  9. Strongly disagree with this. At least in Fates Seal Resistance exists, it's a level 1 skill on a base class in a game where getting enough relevant skills to fill your slots is far more difficult than Three Houses, so you can use it as "better than an empty slot." Seal Resistance is god-awful in 3H because it comes so ludicrously late such that even if you wanted to build a mage-heavy team that synergized with Seal Resistance use, you will have to use that team without Seal Resistance for 70% of the game minimum, maybe more like 90% if you don't explicitly grind it, and Dark Knight isn't even the best magic class for safe chipping (that would be Valkyrie, though sure, Caduceus can help). But it's even worse: debuffs in Fates fall off slowly over time, while debuffs in 3H end the same turn. You can pretty easily concoct an early-game scenario where Rinkah hits a tanky enemy, then Dragonstone Corrin / Orochi finishes thanks to the -6 Resistance added. It's very difficult to imagine 3H Seal Resistance earning a slot ever.
  10. Absolute Defense: 3/10. Battleground Cafe: 2/10. I know that these are theoretically availability agnostic ratings, but... I just can't for these two. Rallies are good early but do not scale, so the fact that these would be great battalion abilities to have in an NG+ run of C1 / C2 counts for very little here (and are competing against Dance of the Goddess & friends if you Renown pump Authority on NG+). You don't even get them THAT late, but the time for Rallies has already passed, they were at their best in C1-C7 or so. Battleground Cafe is worse - just using an offensive Gambit or Curved Shot chip is almost always going to be better outside of weird constructed situations. If you wanted just a bit more damage, then just chip normally (Curved Shot merely has to outdamage, what, 4 damage for a single hit, or 8 damage for a doubled hit? Easy.); if you wanted lots more damage, you're probably fighting a monster, which means you'd rather break some monster barriers with a normal Gambit. About the only thing it's good for is randomly spamming it on empty turns for experience. Absolute Defense is not great either, but at least there's some hypothetical use for helping a unit hold a chokepoint, or maybe if you're fighting some extremely badass boss that just barely is OHKOing you and you need every buff you can get to survive.
  11. Recovery Roar: 1/10. Insanely situational. If you had access to this in Cindered Shadows, there might be a map or two this was reasonable on (the timed maps most notably) just because you're more likely to be clumped up and need a huge rattle-dispel right now, but... yeah no. Stride: 9/10, although I could easily be argued for 10/10 (and, in practice, its extreme availability makes it feel like a 10/10). I'm somebody who likes to "kill every last one of them" and avoid too much use of boss skipping strats, and Stride still has some amazing use cases separate from ganking the boss - getting in on dangerous enemies, avoiding ninja reinforcements, timed maps where bad things happen if you wait too long like thieves escaping with treasure or soldiers turning into monsters or green units dying, etc. If you're not running some sort of powerful dodgetank or Impenetrable Wall strat for safer baiting, this gets even better. Just really solid. Dance of the Goddess: 10/10. If we're ranking gambits as stand-alone, I can't see this being any worse than this - it's one of the most powerful effects imaginable for the same reason Stride is good, except the range is slightly more constrained, but you get actual extra actions rather than just extra movement. The main thing that forces this down in practice is awful availability and the stats of the associated battalions being garbo such that attempting to use this massively reduces the combat capabilities of the unit (especially Opera Co. Volunteers - join at Battalion Level 1 with 1-3 maps left, genius!). But if we're ranking independently of that - nah, this & Impenetrable Wall are the best gambits. Blessing: Extremely hard to rate for the reasons lenticular brings up. It's not a Gambit you can just throw into any unit comp and call it a day, like you can with Ashes & Dust - it's a much, much worse Impenetrable Wall if you don't have a plan, so probably not worth using at all. That said, if you do have a plan, this gambit single-handedly helps enable some extremely powerful strategies like Vantage / Retribution. It's also at its best vs. some of the toughest enemies on Maddening - if you're having trouble with Nemesis, say, some sort of "Lysithea gets Blessing & a Guard Adjutant, then blasts Luna into Nemesis's face" strat can do wonders. This can straight-up be the difference between victory and defeat if you have some sort of playthrough in trouble (stat-screwed characters, Classic deaths) as it's pretty stat-independent. Call it a 6/10, but as noted it's really either a 3/10 or a 9/10 depending on whether you can exploit it.
  12. I haven't participated in this topic too much, but these two are worthy of note. Impregnable Wall: 10/10. If Ashes & Dust is a 10/10, then call Impregnable Wall an 11/10. It, Stride, and Dance of the Goddess are the strongest gambits in the entire game that break the game in different ways. All three enable you to play in fundamentally different ways that isn't true from the "here's some damage" ones. This gambit is so strong that I try to soft-restrict myself from using it too much after being a little too Wall-happy in some playthroughs. So a few things to note. Wall has an amazing 5 uses. it can hit up to 3 characters each time. That's a lot of turns where you can stonewall / blockade. Wall is very flexible in how it's used. You can get damage in first then Wall afterward for Enemy Phase (great for player phase glass cannons, who can be moved into danger safely), or you can Wall a unit then send them forward to bravely aggro a cluster of enemies while shrugging them off. You can create an unbreakable chokepoint, even with random force-deployed underlevel units or backline healers. You can bait forward dangerous enemies & lure bosses off defensive terrain / formations. You can use Wall to more easily break monster shields, even terrifying boss monsters. You can navigate some nonsense ninja reinforcements and take paths that will be in their paths that wouldn't be safe to do otherwise. While this is more a styling thing, Wall also allows for some goofy weapon-break strategies against dangerous units equipped with weapons that don't have a ton of uses - Wall a unit, send it way ahead to draw out Gronder 2 Edelgard and let her waste all her Raging Storm uses, say (as long as nobody else is in range!), or break the C6 Death Knight's Scythe of Sariel, or just wear down limited Siege Tome uses like enemy Meteor / Bolting. As noted, the baiting use of Wall overlaps a bit with dodgetanks, but I don't consider that a flaw of the gambit. Dodgetank builds are extremely broken; the fact that Wall emulates it just makes it also broken. I got the heaviest use out of Wall in my Crimson Flower playthrough where I didn't really use many flyers (just Byleth, and only sometimes) nor a dodgetank dancer, and Impregnable Wall's value was obvious as a result (doing the Deirdru map sans flyers was a choice all right - I can't imagine how to deal with Nader without Wall in such a situation, especially if you want to save a Meteor shot for Claude. Maybe Stride but then you have to survive all his friends.). Even if you are running some proper dodgetanks, well, the more the merrier - sometimes you want to safely bait in two different directions, or you don't want to risk an unlucky hit. And the main usage of "change a dangerous overextension into a safe one" remains of course. Finally, while this is theoretically a battalion agnostic ranking, this gambit is on a flying battalion for the Deer; since this gambit has exceptional synergy with Canto, that's pretty handy. (Not the end of the world to use Empire Armored Co on a cavalier or something though, of course.) Sacred Shield: 6/10. It's very situational and worse than Impregnable Wall in most situations, but that's not a bad place to be, and it's actually better for a few rare situations (the already noted Azure Moon final maps where some sort of Retribution / Sacred Shield setup can allow you to clear a bunch of siege tome users in a single turn - and the AM final map is hard, that's worth something). It's niche, but powerful in that niche.
  13. If you're playing on Normal, I wouldn't sweat things too much. Your original plan of Merc->Assassin sounds fine to me. Byleth also eventually unlocks a unique class and she'll use that well too, although Assassin still has its merits (terrain-ignoring movement most notably). There's other classes you can play with if you want but you can safely build for whatever you think is cool flavor - Normal enemies are really Not That Bad and pretty much any leveled unit can mow 'em down without too much trouble, as long as you're not doing something completely crazy.
  14. I'm gonna say that Trickster is the best of the low investment builds. Yeah, you lose Swordfaire from Assassin 5/7 of the time, as well as terrain-ignoring. However, you keep Stealth (important for fragile Manuela), and you keep Manuela's white magic utility, much of which is still fine on half charges like Silence & Warp as noted. She's still more of a support unit but can chip or finished off the wounded even without Swordfaire. This will also allow you to build into the best high-investment option naturally, Mortal Savant. Trickster's speed growth is great which helps offset the eventual MS penalty. MS is good not so much from gaining Sword/Black Tomefaire (it's nice, but her offense still struggles to one-round), but because getting 2 charges of Bolting, one of the most useful spells in the game, is more important than Trickster's 1. Bolting allows some plays that simply can't be done without it, so while it takes for freaking ever to train up A Reason for her, there is at least a satisfying reward at the end. Bishop is the truly low investment build for when you don't really want to use Manuela and haven't trained her but have decided to deploy her anyway because you want some Warp charges. It's a niche at least. I'm sure Dark Flier is solid, because that class is good and can make even meh mages scary. As noted you only get 1 +Mag Flying Battalion and Manuela probably isn't as good as something like Constance / Annnette / Marianne, but whatever, I'm sure she'd be fine at it. In the realm of "eh, probably not"... Gremory seems worse than doing Mortal Savant if you want to grind up her Reason, but if you want FOUR Boltings, sure. War Cleric, I guess it might work? But I don't see the point of switching from Swords to Fists when Manuela has Hexblade. Brawl Avo+20 maybe? Except that Stealth off Assassin / Trickster is like Avo+100, and Mortal Savant can stay back behind the lines of battle entirely. For Falcon Knight, it's one of the best classes in the game so I'm sure it's probably fine, but there's some real "Ingrid but worse" issues. Ingrid has Frozen Lance to hit low-res enemies hiding in trees with the magic hit formula which works nicely with Lancefaire, Manuela's stuck with unboosted Hexblade. Ingrid has a Strength in Lances and a Lance Relic. AM Ingrid can start training right away, other routes can take advantage of cheaty enemy Peg Knight stat growths. If you really want to take a speedy late-joining character who isn't a Lance specialist and make them a Falcon Knight, pick Catherine instead - she's got a much better Strength score. The point about Crimson Flower's Arrow of Indra access is interesting, but CF is also shorter, which is kinda meh for "train really hard in skills that start at E-rank in C6 or C7 for a cool payoff eventually" builds.
  15. As others have noted, the issue with Hybrid units is that skill slots are incredibly precious in 3H. Setting just one Prowess is ideal, and "true" Hybrid units frequently want to set 2 or even 3 Prowesses. Then you have your Death Blow, Fiendish Blow, St r+2, Mag+2, type slots. And then there's really key utility like Hit +20, Darting Blow, X-Breaker, and so on. It's just hard to find room. Now, luckily, the opportunity cost of throwing a Levin Sword+ / Bolt Axe+ onto a unit is generally quite low, but I'm not sure I'd really hype that as being a "Hybrid" unit. As others have pointed out, this isn't like Fates where lots of characters' magic scores are extremely bad rendering Bolt Naginata's damage meme-y if not used by say Azama or the like. Lots of units can blast Armor Knights / Fortress Knights good with a magic weapon. That's helpful, but enemy armors aren't often the biggest threat on a map, so I'd question some vanilla Edelgard build in Warrior or Wyvern Lord as being a true hybrid unit just because she lugs around a Bolt Axe for armors. (A true Edelgard Hybrid build would be Mortal Savant... and I think most would agree that while funny, it's weaker than just emphasizing physical damage.) On the flip side, for magical units going physical... I think I had Hapi Tempest Lance a high-resistance unit once for giggles, and magical Wyvern Riders like Annette can occasionally go for physical damage against Bishops or the like, but it's not commonly important. Since their skill loadout is probably maximizing Frozen Lance / Lightning Axe / Soulblade / Hexblade / etc., it takes a truly lopsidedly high-resistance character for falling back to physicals to make sense, and the kind of units that have high resistance and terrible defense all have low HP too (Bishops, Warlocks) so you can always fall back to smashing them with a Gambit worst comes to worst. So yeah, you can get a little use from it, but it's not all that important on the mages-using-physical-damage angle. For NG+, I think that already messes with balance because you're firmly in "how badly do you want to break the game" territory, but the main thing I'd note there is that S+ weapon ranks for *Faires help a lot. For example, Manuela sorta wants to be a mixed damage Trickster or Mortal Savant, but has questionable damage. She's one of the units that most values Swordfaire, which is an unconditional +5 to all her damage styles, rather than Fiendish Blow or Mag +2 and so on. And yet her late training start in NG, along with a Reason bane, mean that this totally isn't happening without broken weapon Knowledge Gem aux battle grinding. (To a lesser extent, you can imagine similar issues for Wyvern Lord Annette, Mortal Savant Yuri, etc.) Since hybrid units frequently want to go the route of emphasizing their weapon prowess but having access to Levin Sword / Bolt Axe / Magic Bow / Aura Knuckles, getting a Faire is very, very nice.
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