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Everything posted by SnowFire

  1. I think people have already covered the main points, that Rallies are okay early but don't scale, with the sole exception of some sort of lategame Vantage / Retribution enemy phase build that needs Str / Dex / Lck. I'll also add on the off-topic side that I agree that M-Byleth might be one of the very rare units worth considering Holy Knight for. Anyway, my one addition is prescriptive rather than objective: I don't *want* Rallies to be good. I think the game should make it so that the fun options are also the most effective options, and I don't think Rally stat-tinkering is all that fun. I don't think building a "pure support" unit who nerfs their own combat to fill up their skill slots with Rally skills, and whose job is just to press the Rally button, is all that fun either compared to a full team of combat-capable units. I think that Annette / Hanneman / Alois have the right idea: it doesn't really cost a skill slot, but they have something mildly helpful they can do if they have a spare turn. That's it. I'd probably consider *removing* Rally skills from other characters, although this would require some new incentive to level Authority for certain characters like Ignatz of course. Anyway, you don't always need every gameplay feature to be super-crucially powerful. Shove is only rarely useful in FE9, but that's fine. Some wacky variant of FE9 where Shoving is somehow buffed to be super powerful and a key strategy doesn't actually sound that fun: it's distracting from the core game. I think Rallies are similar. If I really had to change how Rally skills work, I'd have made them work something like "after combat with an opponent, provide (Rally buff) to nearest ally." This encourages your support units to get down & dirty in combat. You can especially see this in multiplayer games that want to ensure every player feels useful: in League of Legends, they made changes over the years to ensure characters like Sona & Soraka have a reason to frontline and fight rather than cower in the back providing heals & buffs. When one player controls everybody, it's not as bad of course, but... make the bards get in the fight!
  2. I used Trickster Manuela, and the answer is pretty much "all three". She doesn't mind having her spell usages cut (well, as long as you get out of Trickster before any real long final maps, and before she learns Bolting), she likes having Stealth while still packing utility as a discount assassin, it helps train her sword rank for a later Mortal Savant qualification, and Trickster has high Speed growth (admittedly, not better than Assassin) which is important if going MS eventually to ensure she still doubles a lot since her offense is total trash when not doubling. She also qualifies for it nearly for free, which is handy when she's going to spend a lot of time catching up her Reason skill and fighting her Reason bane. Granted, I think Manuela is something of a special case - her offense is never going to be top tier anyway, but she does have screaming speed for a mage, so she likes the benefits of Trickster while not trading that much off well. This is less true of most other magey characters that opt for Soublade / Hexblade one-shots in Assassin or safe chippy spell damage in Valkyrie or the like in the Advanced tier.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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!)
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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).
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. It's fine to like or dislike outfits, but even if we accept it as a given that a player hates F-Byleth's default outfit, that still isn't a reason to avoid F-Byleth. That's a reason to go to the wardrobe option in the monastery and change it to something else. It takes like 10 seconds. I think her default outfit is doofy too, but whatever, that just means I change it to something better like the fancy ball outfit. (M-Byleth too, actually, I rather like his naturalist outdoorsy type outfit.) Anyway, from a Srs Gameplay perspective, I think the differences are largely too minor to care, unless you are planning on making Sylvain a core team member on a non-Lions run and want that early recruit. I might be biased because I think the "lazy" option of just leaving Byleth in Enlightened One forever is fine, including on Maddening, which is entirely identical between genders and frees up a bunch of boring Monastery faculty training. After you clear Reunion at Dawn, some sort of spectator Byleth that just cheerleads nearby archers w/ Sacred Power & heals & tanks occasionally is just *fine* and requires less training. The benefit of early-recruiting Sylvain when not planning on seriously using him is pretty minor since the DLC gave M-Byleth the Ashen Wolves if you really want an early recruit for some missing coverage, and early Lance of Ruin is not really THAT significant - even if that's your only prayer vs. the C6 Death Knight, whatever, just clear the chapter the alternate way then, Dark Mage isn't that good. (It can also mess up your ability to unlock Rhea's paralogue, for all that the reward from that is pretty niche... not an issue on a CF run of course). I'd be more down for the "recruit Ingrid even if not using her" hype since Galatea Pegasus Co. is genuinely one of the best batallions in the game, although non-Lions Byleth skipping Flying (more reasonable for M-Byleth than F-Byleth) can just substitute meals & gifts for doing that, so eh. Darting Blow is genuinely good as others have noted if you want a Combat Flying Byleth, but I wouldn't really call it required. Obviously Falcon Knights / Wyvern Lords are great but you can have other characters handle it on Maddening, it doesn't have to be Byleth necessarily, so you just make sure somebody else can cover that if you're not making Byleth the flyer. I think the benefit of Quick Riposte for M-Byleth is even more abstract - that requires grinding up Byleth's axe rank a bunch, then grinding up QR itself, then having QR in time for it to probably not matter since Byleth is more of an early-game carry than a lategame one. It's obviously good if you're doing some kind of solo / duo challenge or just want Byleth to be your lategame carry anyway, but it's a stretch.
  19. As others have noted, I'm not really sure the game is balanced around Dread Scrolls. They're DLC for-fun nostalgia options, with Dread Fighter a callback for FE2 fans and the Grandmaster's Seal a callback for Awakening fans and so on. So most characters will be good in them. That said, for Mozu's worth specifically... ...for why people hate on Mozu: Because people are wrong? To vastly oversimplify, there's two schools of Fire Emblem player: the "focus on long-term potential above all else" type that used to be predominant ("FE7 Marcus is an XP thief, pre promoted units are bad") and "This game is easy after 8 playthroughs so I rank by LTC stratz" ("Warp/Rescue are the best thing ever, prepromos rule, growth units suck"). Both schools have a point, but very loosely, games which feature tough endgames and few Athos-style crutches reward the "focus on growth" characters, while games that feature tough earlygames and have powerful late-joiners favor the "eh just use bases and good-now" characters. And, well, Conquest is the former: its endgame chapters are absolutely brutal, and you don't have any Caineghis style broken late-joiner to carry you in the last chapters. So Mozu, a character that starts weak and gets very strong, is absolutely in her element. (Camilla & Xander are broken too but that's because they also have great growths to go with their great start, which is why they're just ludicrously good.) The people you read hating on Mozu are all in the LTC camp, and, well, they're right that you can beat Conquest in fewer turns by not bothering with Mozu. The bigger concern is that non-royal Conquest unit balance is still pretty solid... a built Mozu ultimately isn't THAT much better than built competition, at least compared to some of the earlier games in the series where a built FE6 Shanna just trashes FE6 Juno in every stat. So it can be argued that the payoff isn't as high. It still exists, though! Not relevant for your point since you used a DLC promotion item, but I personally don't think investing an early Heart Seal for no- Path Reward/ DLC runs is a big deal though. If you're using Mozu it's obviously worth it to get into a non-Villager class like Archer. But I haven't ever tried the "Heart Seal an early Jakob into a Paladin" that some people hype up, so who knows. EDIT: Per LoneStar below, I guess you didn't say whether this was Conquest or Birthright? Perversely enough, I do think Mozu is weaker on Birthright. Catch-up XP is very strong in Fates so adding grinding doesn't help as much as you might think, and Birthright is easier such that babying a growth unit is just less rewarding - the final chapters aren't punishing enough to really reward Mozu's good final stats, Corrin / Your Favorite Ninja / Ryoma / Your Favorite Staff Unit can still wreck most enemies. Plus you have more archery competition in Birthright - in CQ, it's Niles or Mozu or DLC Anna, or something like Bow Knight Selena I guess, but Mozu's niche is harder to replicate. In BR, Takumi exists, so eh.
  20. Wait, so did you beat the chapter or not? If you didn't beat it, then you didn't really lose Claude, you can just restart. If you did beat it, then clearly you were able to handle Yuri. The actual gambit used isn't really that significant. The point I was trying to get across was that you do want the gambit to *hit*, and it's generally easier to gambit generic enemies than Yuri's high Charm, which makes it hard to hit Yuri with gambits unless you set up a lot of linked bonuses (which are weaker in CS than the maingame due to worse supports). You can gambit Yuri directly if you have a really charming unit like Dimitri or Edelgard do it, of course, or if you don't mind potentially "spending" some Divine Pulses to get it to work. You don't even need to kill Yuri with this gambit. The sole goal is that this allows you to delay having to deal with Yuri for a turn - you gambit a unit nearby from a space that also hits Yuri, you inflict the rattled status on Yuri. Yuri can't move and is stuck with a range 1 weapon. You then use that turn to kill as many of the other soldiers as you can and to have frail units be in safety out of enemy threat range when the turn ends (or at least on evasion tiles). Nobody ends their turn next to Yuri, barring a full-health tanky unit maybe. Even if that gambit did literally 0 damage, it would still be doing work. Once Yuri's friends are dead, you can safely set up on him - Curved Shots from 2 range are very likely to hit due to the +30 Hit as mentioned before from Ashe & Claude, and will provide linked attack hit bonuses for melee units that decide to go in after he's softened up. You probably don't even need to spend a gambit on the "second" turn.
  21. That map is tricky, but it's very definitely beatable even on Hard first try. By the time you get to Yuri, you're probably in the room with all the terrain that provides super evade, right? Pay attention to that, it's more common in CS than the maingame and quite significant. Probably the safest way would be to save some gambits for that room, then unleash - you want to roll in (can tiptoe forward onto evasion tiles with tanks too, sure), gambit some units, and ensure that everyone is either dead, rattled, or not that scary by the time you end your phase. Yuri has high Charm but if he's standing nearby another generic unit, you can Gambit that unit and ensure Yuri is caught in the blast radius - he can't evade that and will get Rattled. Then just stand back from where frozen Yuri is stuck and kill his friends. Next turn, you can throw your whole squad at Yuri with lots of range-2 Curved Shots or further Gambits if you want to guarantee they hit.
  22. Ehhh, not really? We know very, very little of society pre-Nemesis's assault on the Red Canyon, but what little we do learn portrays it as idyllic. Sothis is a sympathetic figure and she doesn't say boo about things being bad, she was apparently composing music at the time. More generally, it makes more sense for this to be a narrative of a "fall" not a liberation from Seiros's perspective - we tried living in harmony and in peace, we got murdered for that, no more Miss Nice Seiros, the humans will be kept in check this time. And idk, tyrants who give themselves impressive nicknames and threaten to kill anyone who disagree are pretty common, and can and do generate true love from the "brainwashed" masses. There was mourning in the streets when Stalin died, and it wasn't all performative, a decent amount was sincere. You can argue that Deng Xiopang did something similar with Mao in China in the 1980s - Mao was still regarded as Awesome And Worthy Of All Those Titles, but he miiiight have been mislead by evil advisors sometimes, so we're gonna clean those parts up while still officially revering Mao. Hell, Mao still is regarded as super-awesome today, and yet that isn't merited at all. This is not responsive to the point I was making, but explaining why would require an essay which seems a little over-the-top for 7 words. I'll try and keep it brief. In some works, the implications of powers and abilities in the setting is NOT explored long-term; it's all just today's morality play, or a strictly gameplay ability, etc. You're not supposed to watch an episode of original 1960s Star Trek and say "hey why don't they use that godlike technology they discovered 3 episodes ago to solve this problem." In other works, the author changes one or two things about a setting from real-Earth expectations, and then fully explores what this means - often resulting in aspects of life that are obvious to characters who've lived in the setting their whole lives, but are weird to us. This is usually the harder-side of sci-fi, but occasionally fantasy too (maybe Mistborn as the closest fantasy example?). Most stories are at least somewhat in-between, although they generally lean toward the former. Anyway, my point is that Fire Emblem is not the latter kind of story. It's like complaining that Peter Parker doesn't sell his formula for ultralight yet strong web shooters to become a zillionaire and radically change the Marvel setting, as all sorts of wish list construction projects suddenly become viable and start being built. That's an interesting story to tell, but it isn't this one. However, that does NOT remotely imply that this means the real-world connection is severed. In many, many stories that don't take updating-the-setting too seriously, they can and do use real-world analogues and issues, and this makes them stronger, not weaker. Star Trek or the Twilight Zone in the 50s/60s had plenty of parts that rang true to real life despite the wackiness going on elsewhere. They just weren't telling a story about the implications of technology/power X, they were telling a story about paranoia or racism or diplomacy that happened to use power X to set it up. Fire Emblem already doesn't update its own internal reality based on the technology / abilities we see in it. Despite the fact that the Slitherers "should" be more powerful given the tech they have, they just aren't, just like 10x other aspects of reality that don't 100% follow based on what we see of what's possible. So forget about the shapeshifts & nukes, it's still a valid parallel because the game wants it to be, and so it is.
  23. There's a lot of complaints to be had about the Slitherers plot wherein we're supposed to simultaneously accept that they are both A) competent and threatening but B) thwartable by Meddling Kids, but "their appointed tool to destroy the Church does a great job at it but also turns out harder to control than expected" is not really one of them? That, and Cordelia gaining huge influence in the Kingdom, are easily the two most effective things we see Slitherers do in the game, even despite Edelgard's antipathy to them. She certainly messes with the Church on all routes. And they do have a plan to keep her in check, it's the same plan as always of "kill people who get in our way" and that plan isn't even completely horrible. (The Plan not actually working in CF is... well, come on, of course it's not going to work, 3H isn't that kind of story to just roll credits after Arianhod with "and then everyone we were controlling died in a nuke, The End." But that's a factor the Slitherers can't control, and they can still play for some sort of assassin in the shadows plot long-term - Hubert's line about now House Vestra's war begins, which implies that there's shadowy assassins to war against and possibly lose against, meaning CF Edelgard isn't home free yet post-credits.) More generally, to the extent that you want real life analogues to situations even in fantasy, conspiracy plotters who think they're very clever backing somebody and that somebody not actually doing what they expect is EXCEEDINGLY common in real history. (At risk of Godwining myself, there's a certain famous incident in 1933 where crufty old German conservative politicians figured they could give a certain clownish dude who was popular with a different segment of the electorate the Chancellorship, and he'd be easy to manipulate, and worst comes to worst President Hindenburg, a good ol' boy conservative, would keep things in check... and then Hindenburg died... not comparing this to Edelgard in any other way of course, just mean the general idea of whoops-that-didn't-go-as-expected is a very valid point to stick in stories where a group puts a puppet ruler in charge, and the puppet cuts their strings.)
  24. For option B: Well, in the game as is, the Archbishop already really is the priest who represents Sothis here on Earth - see all of Rhea's dramatic denunciations of Western Church members / Edelgard / etc. Just not everybody agrees with this, of course. One of the unanswered questions in the backstory of the game is... what was Seiros doing, exactly, for the ~900 years post Nemesis's defeat but before "Rhea" resurrects a dying Jeralt ~100 years or so ago? Was she "awake" the entire time, but changing names every 100 years or so with a new Archbishop to disguise that the leadership of the Church of Seiros was ageless? Or did she take long naps like Seteth / Flayn did? How many if so? The game makes clear that the Church was happy with and endorsed Loog breaking away from the Empire, hence giving him a fancy title and the honor of being a Holy Kingdom, but was Rhea around to specifically endorse this move? Anyway, I think that would be an important point to iron out in your scenario B - is this Rhea setting herself up to be absolute ruler? Or is this Rhea dubbing the first Adrestian Emperor & his kin absolute rulers, then taking a nice long nap? I will say that, much as everyone agrees that the Slitherers are not great, part of the clear goal with them was that they were international and could be anywhere, trust no one, etc. Making them the intelligence arm of one particular power would have a very different "feel" to it.
  25. Well, your expectation is wrong. It did last. Let me be clear, this isn't theorycrafting, this is based on an actual playthrough. You can do fine with just the amount of charges you get from Nosferatu.
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