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  1. Indeed. I honestly did not expect to ever say that Marianne can turn into a OHKO machine before doing this. Ah, you're right, I did overindulge a bit there. Thanks for noticing this, I've corrected it and updated the calculations. I think unlike Lorenz, Hubert and Marianne can probably reach the OHKO threshold without fully optimizing Frozen Lance, but I'm hoping that Lorenz can get there too. It might change some of the opinions out there too about him being weak. Indeed, I must've just looked at the wrong row. Corrected. Thanks for pointing this out. About the rest of your comment, I'm glad to see that my analysis largely agrees with your experience too. You're right about Lorenz's mag stat potentially not getting over the OHKO threshold, he might need a bit of favoritism to pull this off, on average. Now that I think about it, it might actually be better for him to slot into Dark Knight asap instead of staying in Paladin. This would push his mag growth to 50% instead of 40% helping raise his mag further. It would sacrifice Lancefaire but only loses net 3 damage, which will probably be more than made up for over 10 level gains at 50% growth. One can decide as they go depending on how his mag is doing during the run. Edit: Oh and good points about Flayn, you might be right about this being a better path for her. Her Mag is high enough too to likely not need the Mag +2 from Monk, nor spend too much time in magic classes. Good luck, honestly it sounds like a fun path for her. Clearly you're a fan of this character too 😀
  2. Or rather I should say OHKO Frozen Lance, I just happen to be looking at Lorenz right now during my GD Madenning run. I think Lorenz is the most obvious character to use this build on but other characters who can learn Frozen Lance are Marianne, Hubert, Ingrid, and Flayn. I'll get into discussing each of them at the end. I noticed during my current run that Frozen Lance is actually a pretty strong skill with high damage output. Especially when you pair it with one of the Effective spears like Horse Slayer, Spear of Assal, or Blessed Lance. Most commonly though, it will probably be used with a Silver Lance+ making it essentially a 17 mt spell (14 mt from the spear +3 might from the combat art itself). So I started considering building my Lorenz around just spamming this skill and to my pleasant surprise, it looks like he can eventually OHKO most physical and some magic class enemies with the right set up. I don't want to get too ahead of myself here and make any definitive claims though. As of now this is just hypothetical (hopefully sound at least), and I'm hoping others will chime in with their thoughts/experiences to either agree or disagree with this idea. Especially if you've already tried something like this before, I'd like to hear about your experience. Damage Calculation For the analysis I looked up the enemy stats from the final chapter (last 2 battles) using my previous BL saved states that I still have. I got examples of end game stats for Lorenz from those listed in the Builds Examples post. Here are the following stats and setup I used for the calculation: Stats Dex: 28 Mag: 32 Abilities Mag +2 Fiendish Blow (+6 magic damage when attacking) Lancefaire (+5 mt with lances) Distinguished House (+2 Mt if battalion equipped, personal ability) Setup Magic Staff (+3 Mag Attack) Gloucester Knights (+6 Mag Attack) Ferdinand Adjutant (special support with +3 mt) The damage formula is: (Weapon Mt. x Effectiveness) + (CA Mt.) + RoundDown(0.3 x Dex) + [Total Mag Attack] + [Bonuses] - (Target Rsl.) Here the (0.3 x Dex) comes from the way Frozen Lance works. CA Mt. = 3. It's just the mt of the combat art. [Total Mag Attack] includes: Mag stat (32), Mag +2, Fiendish Blow (+6), Magic Staff (+3), and Mag Attack from battalion (+6). [Bonuses] include: Lancefaire (+5), Distinguished House (+2), Ferdinand special support (+3) I tested this formula in one of my current battles to be sure I have it right and it looks to be exact. The one thing I'm not 100% certain about is whether Lancefaire would apply to Frozen Lance. I'm unable to test that at the moment but I think it does. Hopefully I haven't done anything embarrassingly dumb/wrong with these calculations, but here are the results from some example enemies in the BL Maddening final chapter (from both battles): Unless they were on horseback, I didn't bother looking at magic class enemies, including mortal savant. Their resistance is so high that there's no point, but in the case of horses there are effective lances that can overcome that. Admittedly, that means a lot of enemies are left out since the BL end game is full of magic class enemies. Is the GD endgame similar in this way? Without spoilers pls. From the enemies I did include here, it's pretty clear that with this setup, and I think typical end game stats, Lorenz can OHKO many of them and quite a variety. Admittedly for some, just barely or even exactly, making it somewhat sensitive to his final stats in those cases (see hp and damage columns). Thoughts: The most important stat is obviously Mag, while Dex also factors into the damage of Frozen Lance. So the recommended path for this build is probably: Monk* > Mage* > Warlock / Dark Bishop / Paladin* > Dark Knight / Paladin. Probably sticking with Paladin will be a requirement to OHKO some of these enemies since it gives you Lancefaire, and switching to Dark Knight on certain maps where you prefer using spells. The damage output in some cases just barely gets him the OHKO (see hp and damage columns). However if you can get his Lance skill to S+, which is possible with some dedication, you can choose to either go double Lancefaire or, ideally stay in Dark Knight with both Lancefaire and Black Tomefaire to combine with his decent list of spells. It's always possible to squeeze out a little more damage from adjacency bonuses too from Hilda's PA (+3), Byleth's Sacred Power (+3), and any lord's Charm (+3). Getting 2 of those could make up for Lancefaire. In fact, Dark Knight automatically adds 2 Mag as a class modifier, so you only really need 1 of those adjacency bonuses to make up for Lancefaire to get the same amount of damage as a Dark Knight. The nice thing about this build is that it can OHKO many physical units using ordinary weapons that only require smithing stones to forge/repair (silver lance+ and horse slayer). But for magic class cavalry and monsters you need Mythril for Spear of Assal and Blessed Lance which one might want to consider carefully before spending -4 endurance per hit. Looking at Frozen Lance build candidates: Finally, looking at other characters who might use this build. Bear in mind the paths I'm suggesting are not to be taken as said character's ideal path, simply the path I recommend if you want to focus on optimizing Frozen Lance specifically: Like I mentioned before, Mag is the most important stat here and of the candidates, Flayn and Hubert have the highest mag growth at 55. Flayn also gets 2 possible special supports in Byleth and Seteth. Not the best adjutant, but comes already in a flying class and can add follow-up attack damage so not too bad either. If you build her along Monk* > Mage* > Warlock / Pegasus Knight > Falcon Knight, then she'd have Lancefaire too and could potentially reach higher damage than anyone else with Frozen Lance. Dark Flier allows her to use magic but has neither Lancefaire nor a Mag stat modifier so depending on how high her natural Mag stat gets, might hinder her ability to OHKO with this. Dark Knight is another option but her weakness in riding makes it undesirable for her. The biggest concern with her and most of these characters is how fragile they are. Frozen Lance is a melee attack and even Canto might not allow her to always fly back to safety after attacking. Hubert has a special support with Edelgard only. That's a little harder to guarantee the extra +3 mt than using an adjutant, but not too big of a deal. He too should be able to reach high damage with Frozen Lance and might surpass Lorenz's damage even without Lancefaire. Hubert is only neutral in Riding but that doesn't make Dark Knight too difficult to achieve. Just go Monk* > Mage* > Warlock / Cavalry > Paladin* > Dark Knight. His natural mag growth is good enough to spend less time in magic classes and more in cavalry/paladin to boost his riding while relying on frozen lance during that time. He too is a fragile character however. Marianne has a mag growth of 50 which is also very high. She has a special support with Bernie making it possible to get the extra +3 mt. Arguably though, Bernie isn't the best adjutant character. Marianne too will likely deal more damage than Lorenz with Frozen Lance, the major caution being just how fragile she is. Recommended path for this build is similar to Flayn's: Monk* > Mage* > Warlock / Pegasus Knight > Falcon Knight. The downside is it's harder to build Bernie into a flying class to keep her +3 mt though not impossible. That said, Marianne's mag is good enough to likely manage OHKO's without the special support. While Marianne is also very fragile, she has decent enough speed to double as a decent evade tank if she goes the flying route. Problem being her Alert Stance will likely be delayed, but she'll get it eventually. Being strong in Riding too, she also has the Dark Knight route (or even Holy Knight) available to her with relative ease: Monk* > Mage* > Warlock / Bishop / Cavalry / Paladin > Dark Knight / Holy Knight. The advantage here being that she still has access to her spells in the end and easier to keep Bernie as an adjutant, at the cost of Lancefaire (but higher Mag) and flying mobility. Ingrid has a very low mag growth stat of only 35. As a result I doubt she will be able to get many OHKO's with Frozen Lance even if she does follow a magical path unless she gets mag blessed or you give her many boosters. That said, doing so could fix her damage on player phase while she can still be a good evade tank. Even if she doesn't OHKO with Frozen Lance, raising her mag could allow her to finish off tough physical units or significantly hurt them. Using effective lances should still allow her to OHKO physical riders fairly easily though with Frozen Lance. Ingrid also gets 2 special supports: Felix and Sylvain for a possible +6 mt although that's not easy to pull off. Never thought of Ingrid in this way before, could be an interesting option for her if someone wanted to try something different: Monk* > Mage* > Pegasus Knight* > Falcon Knight*. She gets Lancefaire too. Again here, delayed Alert Stance is something to consider. Finally, back to Lorenz, the reason I say he might be the most obvious option to use this build for is simply because it lies along what is arguably already his best class progression path. He's not great at too many things. Also, his special support is with Ferdinand who can easily be built into an armored class making Lorenz a serviceable tank on top which is very useful when you're getting up close and personal. While his Def growth is higher than most of the other candidates, at 30%, it isn't exactly good. His Str is the highest of the bunch though, a decent 40%, which might allow to him avoid getting doubled a little better but I doubt it'll make a difference on Maddening. His HP growth on the other hand is one of the highest in the game at 55%, while the others in this group have abysmal HP. So again, while most of the others can potentially deal more damage, he will have higher survivability. And since his damage allows him to OHKO most of the same enemies, dealing even more damage is useless, while survivability remains valuable. Well, I hope this offers an interesting idea to others. I haven't seen a lot of discussion of this ability myself. Has anyone already tried this kind of build before, and if so what was your experience like with it? Anyone know for sure if Lancefaire applies to Frozen Lance damage, or is able to confirm? I will be doing this build for Lorenz in my current NG Maddening run of VW so I guess I'll be able to give a more concrete account later on about how good or bad it turned out. Also, if anyone noticed anything I've overlooked or did wrong with my calculations please do let me know. (Hopefully nothing so bad to make everything I said meaningless lol, that would be terrible after all this.)
  3. does the forum happen to save drafts while creating new posts? I had just finished a post when my browser crashed while I was trying to upload an image to the post and now it seems to be gone. Any way to retrieve what I had already typed? Thankfully it wasn't a very long post, but it wasn't too short either and had some formatting in it along with my trail of thought...
  4. Little update, reaching C+ by chapter 5 was pretty nice as it allowed me to do both battle quests obtained this month in 1 day (Maintaining Your Training; and Clearing The Way which brings new merchants). I love when things work out this way in alignment with the game's design. Getting the 5k monthly funding sooner is pretty nice too. I also spent more points on meals this time around, as opposed to purchasing gifts to get everyone's motivation up which means I have more money than during my last run, something I struggled with. In Chapter 7 there's 2 more battle quests and the earliest paralogues become available. I still only had 2 battles points per day, not enough to do all 3 but I think that's okay considering the recommended level for the paralogue (Lorenz's) is higher than even Chapter 8's mission. In chapter 8 you get 1 more battle quest from Felix (Something to Prove) and I think that's the last battle quest of the game, leaving room for paralogues or picking aux battles based on rewards/ore one might be after. I finished Ch. 8 with a B+ Prof. rank, which means I still only have 2 battle points to spend per day. I didn't spend all AP's on stuff that raises prof rank, so I could've been further ahead at this point with more focus if I wanted to. I also did 2 days of battle in one of the chapters. Would be nice if I could reach A+ next chapter, will see. Edit: There is another battle quest obtained in Ch. 10: The Cream of The Crop. All in all, progressing this way actually feels really good and more efficient. My unit levels are a bit lower than they were in my last run but I haven't had any problems with the missions. In fact, everything feels easier this time around. I think this is largely due to me having more experience now, but I also just feel like GD's units really strong. Not to go off topic, but I attempted to make a character-class builds calculator in the past and one thing I noticed is they have the largest number of characters with the highest growth stat in 'something', more than the other houses. I feel they have worse crests than BL, and to some extent personal abilities, but their stats and utility skills are just so good. Am I alone in thinking this about GD characters?
  5. This sounds amazing. I kinda dislike the idea of using Ferdinand as a dancer since he can be pretty strong physically, but I've heard of this setup before and it doesn't sound awesome. I'll have to try it some time. Since dancer can use magic, I like to have my dancer double as a support healer too. For that purpose I've used Flayn during my AM run and plan on using Marianne for my current GD run. Didn't vote in the poll though since that's only two separate cases. Look forward to see what others say.
  6. Indeed, it's like you say about Poison Strike. The thing is, it's very good on units who haven't reached the point of ORKO'ing enemies. So in Sylvain's case basically until he learns Swift Strikes. On the other hand, getting Poison Strike delays how early he will get swift strikes. That's okay though if you just want to have fun with an endgame build with the versatility to ORKO using either physical or ranged magical damage, it was a lot of fun albeit less powerful than I had anticipated. On Hard, it might be perfect though. Another major advantage I found from Poison Strike that I hadn't expected was that it works following even gambits. This makes it very powerful against bosses with the Commander + Counterattack abilities like Death Knight, Flame Emperor, Edelgard, and AM's final boss. It can safely bring them down to low enough HP's to finish off without retaliation. So I'm a bit on the fence about Poison Strike tbh, on the one hand it can be very useful, less so towards the end game. On the other hand, getting both it and Fiendish Blow is a helluva grind and Fiendish Blow can make getting ORKO's easier for someone like Sylvain (his magic will still only ever be ORKO'ing armored units, but there's boatloads of them on the AM route so that's okay). As for Lifetaker, you're right it only recovers half damage, but when you're dealing 20-40 x2 damage that's usually enough recovery to negate whatever damage you're dealt on the counterattack freeing up your healers to do something more useful (depending on your setup). I had Mercie as main healer, with Annette and Flayn as backup but I didn't like to waste their turns on heals since 1) Annette has good magic dps or excellent rallies to use, 2) Flayn was also my dancer which is a much better use of her turn than healing, 3) on large maps Mercie's Fortify won't always reach everyone who needs it. Anyway just some more of my experience with these abilities.
  7. thanks for this, was thinking of annette the whole time while saying marianne lmao. My bad.
  8. Hilda could potentially do the same as Sylvain since she has high enough speed and str but I wouldn't say the same for Ingrid. Her str is just too low unless you really favor her with stat boosters. But I see Ingrid as a specialized mage killer since she has one of the best resist stats in the game. She gets enough speed and dex to be able to ORKO mages and takes very little damage from them. So even she too uses lances, she won't really manage to do what Sylvain can do with swift strikes. Giving her his relic is fine for the most part. He might want it back towards the end if Silver Lance isn't giving him enough damage but feel it out. If you want to use all 3, one suggestion is Sylvain > Paladin. Ingrid Falcon Knight evade tank which goes well with Wyvern Rider's Seal Defense, using lances/swords focusing on killing mages and using strong gambits. Hillda can be another evade tank but with higher damage focusing on Axes going Pegasus Knight > Wyvern Rider > Wyvern Lord. Hilda's budding talent in Heavy Armor gets her seal speed, which combined with seal def is probably the most broken evade tank combo. Not sure how important this is on Hard difficulty but makes Maddening much easier. Do whatever you like in the end, this is just an idea. Just a note about Marianne, she learns Recover which is a (much) stronger version of heal and won't need a healing staff as a result. If anything, she'll do better with a magic staff or caduceus staff to help her attack better. If you will be relying on her excellent rally abilities though, I found giving her a march ring very fruitful until she gets the movement of either a flying or riding class since using rally can sometimes mean a unit lags behind a bit too far in the battle field. And you can always do stuff like switching to the march ring at the start of the turn, move, then switch to a magic/caduceus staff before attacking. Edit: was totally thinking Annette the whole time for some reason. Yes, you're most definitely all set with or without my final thoughts. There's always a little bit here and there that one can optimize or consider but in the end it's best to just start and feel things out. Good luck and enjoy the run!
  9. Yep, every last one of them that he can bait at least. With the exception of units using Arms. You can't counter attack units hitting you with fire orbs, ballista, onager, etc. Those you'll still have to look out for. Impregnable Wall helps in those cases, or Warp/Stride+Rescue assassination tactics. For what it's worth, if I had to do it again, I'd skip Dark Mage and just master Mage for Fiendish Blow. While Poison Strike was very good in the mid-game when he still wasn't at full strength, I stopped using it in the late game it just wasn't important on him. Then again it was very useful in the early-mid game allowing him to take a chunk out of an enemy from range then another unit finishing them off. Up to you. Lifetaker from Dark Bishop on the other hand was excellent and made him much more sustainable. For example some armored units wield a tomahawk, he can ORKO them but not without taking heavy damage. Lifetaker means he regains full HP after the battle. Similarly with Spear of Assal against enemy riders. Often he can double attack them instead of using Swift Strikes, regaining his HP and saving on weapon repair costs (hard to get Mythril). Bear in mind though, that you will need to make full use of adjacency damage bonuses to get ORKO's in the last couple of chapters with this build. But that was on Maddening, if you're playing Hard you should be good. (Also, Fiendish Blow would've fixed this issue). I should also mention I got his lance skill to S+ too so he had Lancefaire as well as Black Tomefaire as a Dark Knight. Merc > SM works fine. You could also do Thief > SM without the need of bows. Merc gets you Vantage; not too important if you use Battalion Vantage, but still useful and better than steal. The main advantage of Thief over Merc is better speed and dex growths which I think are worth it but both routes are okay. Oh and thieves can move through forest tiles without movement penalty which is extremely useful.
  10. Oh that's a good point about boosting her faith skill. I'll keep it in mind for my current GD run. I usually prefer warlock for dedicated mages because the black tomefaire is also nice to have, but in Lysithea's case her damage will likely be high enough to not need it. Oh and her learned spells are dark magic anyway, so black tomefaire wouldn't be of benefit. Bowbreaker can be useful too but isn't too important. I suppose Dark Knight could bump her damage with Dark Tomefaire but again, she probably doesn't need it. Even the canto and movement bonus of dark knight is easily compensated for by Thyrsus like you pointed out. Having double warp uses on the other hand is a great tool to have. Hadn't considered all these points before, so basically getting Lysithea to Gremory asap is clearly the best option as you suggested. Glad I ran into you this early in my GD run lol.
  11. I have a suggestion for Dimitri that's much simpler and makes good use of his unique abilities. He's the only character in the game who gets battalion vantage as well as battalion wrath. If you set him up with a 1/3 endurance battalion he will be an enemy phase monster. I highly recommend using this setup whenever possible. Giving him an accuracy ring can help make his counter attacks more reliable but isn't necessary. Mastering Brigand won't help if you're relying on battalion vantage/wrath combo since Death Blow is a player phase ability. His weakness in axes just makes getting him there such a waste imo, and he has the highest str growth in the game, he'll be fine without Death Blow. As for how to build him, I think there are multiple routes you can take. I liked getting his sword to A since he also learns Windsweep who only Byleth can also learn from non-dlc characters. It's great against bosses or tough enemies who can't be OHKO'd. I'd still be training him in lances as well though, they deal more damage, and combining a crit weapon like Killer Lance+ or Killer Sword+ or Cursed Ashiya Sword+ with Battalion Wrath/Vantage gets you to very high crit values. When you run into pesky long range mages towards the endgame, use Retribution gambit on him with Rally Res/Spd, Pure water, Evade Ring and just have him stand somewhere to bait them all during enemy phase. Here's a link to a post showing this tactic. so: Soldier* / Myrmidon* > Thief > Swordmaster / Assassin > High Lord* > Great Lord*. Going up the Thief and SM classes will boost his speed, with which an evade ring makes him quite dodgy. Not quite an evade tank who will dodge everything, but pretty good, especially under cover of trees. Ch 13 will be much easier if he can evade. Thief also helps his already high dex growths for more crits. Assassin is better to level as than SM simply because it also boosts dex, not just speed but requires bow training to certify. This is more or less the build I used for my maddening run though I also had him certified in Cavalier for an early canto as needed. Alternatively, you could go: Soldier* > Cavalier > Paladin* > High Lord > Great Lord. Advantage here being he gets canto which is great and overall better stats but lower speed. Aegis from Paladin is a very nice ability and is triggered by Dex% which goes well with his high Dex growth. You get Dex+4 from riding too. In the end, I don't recommend a complicated route for Dimitri because you won't be able to train him for a good chunk of Part 2. The simplest and arguably strongest path for Sylvain is simply Soldier > Cavalier / Brigand* > Paladin* and stick to paladin. He learns Swift Strikes which is very strong and will get you far. Having a strength in axes means he can also easily pick up Death Blow along the way meaning he gets a total +12 damage when he uses Swift Strikes! That said, I did a hybrid Dark Knight build for him and he was pretty good at both magic and physical attacks, but it was very heavy investment: Soldier* / Monk > Dark Mage* / Cavalier > / Paladin* / Dark Bishop* > Dark Knight. Getting him some levels in mage classes helped build his magic enough to ORKO armored units in the endgame (with some adjacency bonuses and sometimes Magic Staff was needed to get enough damage) . While he was still able to ORKO some physical units using Swift Strikes, and easily any riders using Spear of Assal. Not sure why you're going Bishop here. I think Warlock is better for bow breaker to make her better against archers. I doubt Bishop's Renewal will make much of a difference considering she will get killed easily by anyone if she's hit.
  12. It certainly is a fun challenge. The no divine pulses restriction sounds tough, I recommend checking out the Iron Man builds by @Atano, linked in that post I referenced before. He has some tips/explanations in his posts and comments section for how he survived it. Enjoy your run and good luck.
  13. Being my designated tank for that run, I gave Dedue most (but not all) of the Def stat boosters I got. HP boosters got spread around a bit, but he got a few too. Don't think I gave him any str boosters but possibly. No dlc-boosters though if that's what you mean. I try to designate specific characters who will excel in a particular department and give them most of the stat boosters relating to that. But it isn't a hard rule I always follow. For example, if an str boost on a character will push them past the threshold to such that they won't lose another point of speed due to weight, then I give it to them for that. Similarly with Def, if I find an extra point or 2 of def is all a character needs to avoid dying from some enemies, then I might give them a couple, etc., etc. Towards the end though, I decided that Dedue's def was sufficient and started giving them to Felix and Sylvain instead to help them take hits more safely as well. 4 points, not 5 and that's only if Dedue waits, which I agree is important when it counts. If you want to really compare though, there is one big difference in Raph's favor which is that he doesn't have a weakness in Flying making Wyvern Lord attainable with a normal amount of investment. Edit: Not to say that Wyvern Lord is the best option for him, but it is an option. In the end, I think different people have different approaches to the game and different opinions on what makes a character good/strong or not, etc. If you don't think Raphael is good I won't try to convince you otherwise. If however, you are interested in seeing how people made good use of him you need but ask. Not me though, this is my first GD run, I'm a newbie. At least not until I've done the whole route so I can have a better informed opinion. (But at least I've beaten NG Maddening before...)
  14. You're doing a maddening livestream having never beaten maddening before? I've never followed livestreams so don't know what people look for in them, but is that smart? You can check out some of the builds listed here for ideas on what to do with your characters. Some have screenshots showing equipped abilities and so on. Good luck.
  15. It depends on the enemy. It was pretty funny watching brawlers hit Gilbert (as a Great Knight) x4 with multiple crits and 0 damage. Here's Dedue in the final chapter (I censored the final boss to avoid spoilers) showing everyone that he's actually the real monster of Fodlan, not those creststone-bearing wanna-be's: You can see he can comfortably take down mages as well with gauntlets if he can get in range without being hit first (positioning combat arts or Stride help here). I typically avoid mages with any low res characters, but just to show it can be done. And in case you were wondering, he did land his crit against the final boss in that first snapshot (83 hit = 98 true hit and at those crit values he crits practically every time). Here's a couple more examples from earlier in the game against a random rider and another against Leonie: So to answer your question of whether they take signifcant damage on maddening: is 0-16 damage significant? Not really when your max hp is 78. And this isn't even an armored class, he's a war master here. Great Knight would be -5 damage per hit, Fort Knight would be -9 from these values. As for Raphael, he has almost the same stats as Dedue. Raphael has slightly higher HP and slightly lower Def growths. The biggest difference is in their personal abilities, Dedue's wait grants him +4 def which is significant when you get doubled but nothing that would make Raph die in any of these examples where Dedue wouldn't. There's no reason why Raph can't get roughly these same stats as you're seeing here. This is a typical War Master route (up the axe classes), no real heavy investment or favoritism involved. Having started my GD maddening run, Raph is easily one of their strongest units in the early game too.
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