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  1. This is something that I noticed was scattered throughout topic threads that was derailed for a number of reasons (and I can imagine this one going to be derailed as well). But this is something I've wanted to turn into a full blown discussion for a while. Though I can understand if we're going to sound like broken records at this point but I think it's still fun worth discussing. But here goes: The debate about is Paladin still worth using over Wyvern Lord has been going on for awhile and while I can see where most people would pick Wyvern Lord over Paladin, I would like to at least attempt to point out some niches Paladins have over Wyvern Lords. First off, between the two, Paladins are easier to get into rather than Wyvern Lord. Wyvern Lords of course have a higher investment required but a lot of the times it is worth it. But let's do a quick comparison and highlight their pros and cons. This will also factor in the combat arts Swift Strikes and Vengeance in particular since these two tend to the most used by end game. I can sometimes see Tempest Lance or Knightkneeler used throughout the game, especially in the beginning. I'll point out some pros and cons for the both of them. If I am missing something or you disagree, please respectfully comment down below. Paladin Pros Low-Mid Investment (Lance rank B and Riding rank B required for 100% certification) Solid growths across the board though the spread in growths are mostly minor Lancefaire at level 20 for both male and female units 8 move, can dismount and Canto Access to infantry, horseback, heavy armored, and flying battalions which tends to offer better overall stats Can be paired up with follow up, healing and guard Adjutants Cons While growths are still solid the glaring negative is -10% in speed Terrain Resist is too situational to be useful Hates traversing through sand and thickets as it hampered their movement thus you're forced to dismount if you want slightly better move Lower strength growth and stat modifier than Wyvern Lord It's mastery Aegis while can be helpful at times, it's proc is dependent on your Dex stat which isn't always consistent. So it is a cautious con at best Wyvern Lord Pros Great growths in HP, Strength and Speed in particular Axefaire at level 20 as a Wyvern Rider onwards Avoid +10 combines beautifully with Alert Stance and it's plus variant 8 move, can dismount and Canto Flight allows them to fly over all terrain maximizing the support from Stride, Rescue and Warp for insane movement and positioning Higher strength growth and modifier than Paladin It's mastery Defiant Crit while some don't like it because of it's requirement, but can be devastatingly powerful when knowing how to manage low HP Cons High investment needed (Lance rank at C, Axe and Flying rank at A is required for 100% certification) Can only access flying battalions which only a couple off hand offers good stat buffs Can only be paired with Follow up adjutants Has to dismount in order to take advantage of Heal/Avoid tiles. While it is minor con, they are noticeably slower than Falcon Knights in terms of speed growth. There are probably more you guys can think of than me but these are the things that come to mind for me. One thing I can also point out, while Paladins can also take advantage of the Stride and others, buildings and in some cases terrain can still slow them down. Especially when there are enemies in the way. The exception to the rule is if you're using Pass with Bernadetta and/or Anna and they are in the Cavalier/Paladin classes so they can zip right pass them. Pass while not required on any end game set can be a fun ability to take advantage of, couple that with dancing and on a non crimson flower route, dance of the goddess (Blue Lions Dancer and Opera Company) you can pull off a lot of neat strategies if you're looking to either clear as many enemies as you can or if you're doing a LTC run. When it comes to the combat arts Swift Strikes and Vengeance, this is where it gets interesting. The paladin class offers a +2 strength modifier while wyvern lord offers +4 in strength, but paladin gains Lancefaire which allows them a +5 attack when using lances so those combat arts among other lance combat arts gets the maximum damage. Let's say that we are using the Cichol Wyvern Co. Battalion in this example. If were to do the math this can look like this: Strength +2 ability from the Fighter Class Strength +2 as a stat modifier for Paladin Death Blow (+6 in attack) Lancefaire (+5 in attack with lances) Cichol Wyvern Co (+7 in attack when max level) +3 might from a unit they share a special bond with i.e Seteth with Flayn Now this looks great as a Paladin. As a Wyvern Lord though, since they only have a strength +4 as a class modifier they won't maximize the damage out with this set up but for some it doesn't really make that much of a difference. Seteth and Sylvain are the two of the three swift strike users that can fully maximize their damage thanks to supports. Sylvain can go with either Ingrid or Felix, or even both (I think they can stack but don't quote me on it) so he would be the benefit the most out of getting that additional +3 might. Especially if he is next to Ingrid thanks to his Philanderer ability where he'll get another +2 attack. Ferdinand gets the short end of the stick because he only gets a special bond support with Lorenz and it only ends at support rank B. While +2 Might is still good, you have to get Lorenz in position where not everyone really wants to Lorenz just for that purpose. Though at least Lorenz is usable on maddening but far less useful compared to those three. Vengeance can be used with Bernadetta, Dedue and Cyril and that has a number of factors going into which of the three is the best vengeance user. Bernie has the advantage over the two of them since she bores a crest and has Persecution Complex which grants a +5 attack when under 100% HP. It's an amazing ability for sure but she is much more frail so she needs a guard adjutant and or the blessing gambit activated. Dedue is the bulkiest and has a better strength growth but has a bane in riding so it'll be a slow grind before he can jump into Paladin. Dedue also has a special bond with Dimitri so that plus 3 might can be helpful for sure. Cyril can potentially reach better stats among the two of them but requires some baby sitting himself since his bases aren't the greatest starting out. Also fun fact: the Azure Moon route is the only route where you can have 3 vengeance users while on a non Crimson Flower route you can have all 3 swift strike users. There are other combat arts that we can go into like Frozen Lance or Shatter Slash that can do along with other abilities pending on which character you're using but honestly that will take some effort but can be worth using as well. Frozen Lance more so if you're going down the magic route. What do you guys think? Do you still prefer Wyvern Lord over Paladin anyways? Have you given the Paladin class a shot since you like to maximize the swift strikes/vengeance damage? Was it worth the time and investment to reach these classes? By all means comment here.
  2. Hello, long-time lurker, first-time poster; hopefully I don't break any rules. I have a warm take that Three Houses does a lot to make hybrid builds more feasible than prior Fire Emblem games, but they are still underappreciated. I won't call this a hot take, because the consensus opinion that it's more efficient to invest in specialized units is not something I disagree with. It often takes a lot of investment to pull off a good hybrid build and Fire Emblem generally favors specialized units that require less input or have a higher/more certain payoff for the same input. Still, hybrid builds are at their best in Three Houses thanks to its mechanics: character-specific spell lists, class promotion base stats, weapon rank tutoring outside of battle, and New Game +. 0. What is a hyrbid? Hybrid refers to a unit that uses both their strength and magic stats in battle. Generally, units are best left using only one of the two stats, as their base stats and growths will naturally favor one. Since enemy resistance is usually lower than defense and magic offers better range than melee physical weapons, the typical hybrid unit will be a physical attacker with a sufficiently high magic stat to use a magic weapon, magical combat arts, or is promoted into a class with magic access (sometimes later in the game) but retaining access to their physical weapons of choice. In Three Houses, mages generally benefit from raising their strength stat as strength/5 is subtracted from weapon weight to determine attack speed. However, it is much rarer for a magic-focused character to actually use their strength stat offensively, because of the aforementioned advantages in targeting resistance and range, so I will not consider merely gaining a strength stat on a mage to qualify as a hybrid build. 1. Spell Lists Three Houses inherits the idea of spell lists from Fire Emblem Gaiden. Unit-specific spell lists are interesting because your best mages are often not able to fulfill every desired magical task on their own. For example, despite their great magic stats, none of Lysithea, Constance, nor Hubert make for great healers due to lack of Physic. Spells are also interesting in that they have limited uses but recharge every map, which prevents the common RPG hoarding problem. Spell lists favor hybrid units because occasionally a character will have a great spell list despite lacking a magic stat, encouraging you to invest in their magic. A great example is Bernadetta, who gets Physic, Rescue, and Thoron despite neutrality in reason and faith, 5 base magic, and a puny 20% growth. While centralizing the healing and rescuing role together, potentially freeing up a deployment slot for someone else, has its appeal, how are you supposed to use her effectively when her base magic allows for a 1 range rescue and her growth is taking her nowhere fast? 2. Class Promotion Base Stats Another mechanic inherited from Gaiden and its remakes, when a character promotes into a new class, their stats are elevated to the base stats of the new class, if needed. This can be used for a few tricks in Three Houses: 12 base defense for an Armor Knight promotion (easily attainable even for squishy characters like Annette and Hapi); 17 base defense for a Fortress Knight; 17–19 base strength from promoting to an advanced physical class (ensures base usability for low-strength physical characters and allows mages to offset weight); and, most importantly for this post, 17 base magic from Warlock and 15 base magic from Bishop. Although 15–17 base magic seems like a pittance relative to, for example, Lysithea's 11 + 60% magic, it's actually quite workable thanks to lower enemy resistance. There are several characters with decent magic growths, such as Byleth, Felix, and Sylvain, who can end up with usable magic if they correct for a low base stat with a promotion. Bernadetta learns Rescue at A-rank Faith, thus she is guaranteed 15 magic and at least a 3-range Rescue (and needs only 1 point for 4 range) at that point. 3. Weapon Rank Training Unlike other games in the series, notably Fire Emblem Fates, hybrid weapon ranks are much less of an issue in Three Houses thanks to the instruction system. In Fire Emblem Fates, several classes gain hybrid weapons on promotion: Dark Mages gain swords as Dark Knights, Wyvern Riders can now equip tomes as Malig Knights, Basaras gain lances or tomes coming out of Diviner or Spear Fighter, and Oni Savages gain tomes when promoting to Oni Chieftans. However, all of the new weapon ranks start at E, restricting usage to low MT weapons, most of which cannot crit nor activate skills. Fates is also stingy with weapon experience from combat and Arms Scrolls, also limiting the viability of any gained hybrid weapons. For Three Houses, however, it's straightforward to raise weapon ranks even without their usage. A Dark Knight Sylvain may have not set foot on the battlefield in a magic class until level 30, yet come equipped with his full spell-list. Of course, despite being easier than Awakening and Fates to have ranks, weapon ranks are still a problem in Three Houses. Instruction time comes with opportunity costs, and prioritizing magic instead of a unit's primary physical weapons might be a losing trade. Sure, Sylvain can toss a chip heal with Physic or help quickly break a monster barrier with Seraphim at B in Faith, but did it come at the cost of getting Swift Strikes (A lances) sooner? Bernadetta may be able to combine a chip Physic with a short-range Rescue at A in Faith, but did she have time to get Death Blow (D+ axes) , Vengeance (C+ Lances), Encloser (A Bows), and prep for her mid and endgame promotions (likely needing high ranks in Riding or Flying)? What about their authority and access to good battalions? 4. New Game + While discussions focused on efficiency will focus on Maddening NG since the highest difficulty helps separate out the best strategies, it is worth mentioning that despite unfocused weapon ranks being one of the primary deficiencies of a hybrid character, especially ones needing at least B+ in reason or faith by level 20 to gain a respectable base stat, NG+ resolves the issue. If you trained Bernadetta in a prior playthrough in Axes, Lances, Bows, Riding, and authority, it's no longer a stretch to train her in Faith and maybe put her into Holy Knight for that Rescue (or, even better, toss in some Reason and Flying for Dark Flier). While this does emphasize one of the limitations of hybrid units in a post promoting them, at least there is a straightforward in-game mechanic to address it. 5. What about mages attacking physically? I focused a lot on physical units gaining magical traits and not the reverse. A lot of that is the previously mentioned advantages in targeting enemy resistance, typically the lower defensive stat, and magic's range advantage. Felix has an amazing strength stat that will typically be much higher than his magic, even with a promotion to Warlock at level 20; however, he still might be able to do more damage to a high-defense Fortress Knight with a magic weapon, and more safely at range with all of them besides the Aura Knuckles. Lysithea's 17 strength after acquiring a promotion to Swordmaster does not particularly encourage her to use physical weapons compared to her 2–6 range magic, allowing her to attack safely despite her frailty. There are a few exceptions though. Annette, for example, has an unimpressive spell list with little utility (just Recover) and not much attack power, so she is better off getting on a Wyvern to focus on Lightning Axe, Bolt Axe, Crusher, and higher-mobility rallies. However, because Wyvern Rider gives her base 18 strength, Wyvern Lord gives +4 strength modifier, and class growths bring her up to 40–45% strength growths, she can end up with surprisingly good strength. For example, it wouldn't be surprising for a Wyvern Lord Annette to have higher strength than the canon Snipers: Bernadetta, Ashe, and Ignatz. Though she will typically get more damage off with magical axe attacks, she could occasionally equip a Brave Axe for a kill she might not otherwise get, such as a fast mage. 6. What about combat arts? Combat arts really open up the potential of hybrids further, particularly in Maddening where inflated enemy speed makes it difficult to double naturally. A Magic Bow combined with Hunter's Volley or Point-Blank Volley will do good damage off just a decent magic stat, and a bunch of archers have decent magic growths (Felix, Ashe, Ignatz, Cyril). Fierce Iron Fist and Aura Knuckles can work as well, though the low MT doesn't scale well with enemy resistance. Ingrid has fairly balanced and mediocre strength and magic bases (in-house) and growths, so she can use Frozen Lance to some effect. While Edelgard's spell list is interesting, with Luna, Hades, and Seraphim, the opportunity cost of Wyvern Lord is simply too high to justify the jump into spell-casting (Dark Flier misses out on Axefaire and 4 points of strength), but she does get Lightning Axe and a 45% growth (14–15 magic at level 20, on average, means she doesn't particularly need the magic rank for a base stat). Sublime Heaven adds 30% of Byleth's magic stat to its physical MT, the closest the game gets to Ignis from Awakening, which might be worth buttressing with a dip into Bishop thanks to their budding talent. In conclusion, are hybrid builds outclassed? Generally, yes. But there are plenty out there and Three Houses does a surprisingly good job making them feasible. Even on Maddening difficulty there's some room for experimentation (just make sure you aren't experimenting on too many fronts at once). If I was able to get a Dark Knight Sylvain to work on Maddening NG Azure Moon while not getting 17 base magic until the Dark Knight promotion at level 30 and him being strength screwed for a good chunk of the early time-skip, I'm sure you can get your hybrid build off the ground too.
  3. So, cross referencing across 3 or 4 different pages to see all the different stats, growth rates, abilities, masteries, and whatever else has been a huge pain in the ass. So I decided to put it all together into one big chart. I also did a little write up about Advanced Classes and Master Classes to go with it over on reddit. If you find this helpful, maybe give it an upvote for visibility. I know the chart is going to help me a lot in planning my future runs, so I hope it helps other people. [EDIT: The chart is now complete with all DLC characters and classes! If anyone spots any mistakes, let me know and I'll fix it up!]
  4. As you probably know, Fire Emblem: Echoes: Shadows of Valentia, introduced Combat Arts: techniques that units could use with certain weapons or equippable items, to varied offensive and defensive effects. This system was expanded on in Fire Emblem: Three Houses: more choices for Combat Arts, now generally costing weapon durability rather than user HP. Most combat arts can be used with any weapon of a certain category (ex. Smash can be used with any axe), but some especially powerful ones can only be used on a certain weapon, by particular characters (ex. Apocalyptic Flame on Freikugel, limited to those with the Crest of Goneril - namely Hilda, assuming no NG+). These are generally limited to Hero's Relics, the principal class of Legendary Weapons in Three Houses. The question I'd like to pose is this: if Legendary Weapons from previous games had exclusive combat arts, what would they be, who could use them, and what would their effect be? For instance, here are ones that I've come up with for the Sacred Twins in Sacred Stones: Sieglinde Siegmund Vidofnir Nidhogg Audhulma Excalibur Garm Gleipnir Ivaldi I have elected not to do one for Latona: it has so few uses to begin with, and I'm not sure what form a "combat art" with a staff would take. In any case, let me know what you think! Do these proposed combat arts sound overpowered, unimpressive, or just right? And what combat arts would you create for classic weapons, Legendary or otherwise? I look forward to reading your replies!
  5. I’m not able to find any information on how Combat Arts like Lance Jab are affected by their designated stat (Lance Jab’s is speed). What is the increase per point? Does anyone here know this formula?
  6. Gamefaqs resident here. Myself and another member put together this post: https://gamefaqs.gamespot.com/boards/204445-fire-emblem-three-houses/77938108 Hope it helps. Feel free to put whatever you want up on this awesome site.
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