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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.
(((Starting note, please ignore any typos that require a capital "o". Please and thank you )) Hello and welcome to this project that I've been working on for a while. I'm not too good with intros, but here we go. You can read the hub here; https://imgur.com/gallery/EtN9dFQ Twitter mommnent: https://twitter.com/i/moments/1059121332959539200 *New!* Feedback room: I am still fine with you in posting in this thread and somewhat would prefer it. But ill just give a basic run down of what this thing is. This project is a continuation of my FE11 image LP that I originally started to document for a friend of mine who does not play videogames. And soon it spiraled into a Visual Novel inspired reinterpretation of FE12's plot. The continuity of the story follows the FE11 LP, but I write with the intention that reading the first LP Is not a requirement. My goal of this project is two things; Firstly; Remixing elements to make the fan translation of FE12 to be more coherent, focused on Marth, add more character interactions, and I add new twists along Marth's journey through the War of Heroes, and to start there is a new MU. Replacing Kris is a traveler named Pearl, a sailor who has a knack for dark magic. They plot to get into the knighting academy to retrieve the Falchion for their own ritual to bring someone they love dear. Secondly; is to analyze and commentate on the player interactions within the game universe. By treating the actions I take to always be "canon" you see then the ripple effect of how my actions impact the characters in the world psychologically and physically. This can be as direct as evidence of this being an "iron man" run, and when friends die – characters take time to lament over my own player incompetence. Yet, on the other hand, the impact of this player controlling characters relationship can be taken to its logical extreme; some questioning the fact of "is Naga the true god here"?, characters with cannon "future sight" abilities horrified that things are not / will not go "by the in-game script", "save stating" and then "reloading" makes characters feel as if they're taken out of their own bodies or violated mentally, to something as little as our own spotless "goodie two-shoes Prince Marth being aware of how easy it is for any character to kill their friends they know canonically if and when the own gameplay allows for it. And not only knowing that he can but having the baseline motivation to do so in the first place, because the gameplay allows both him and you the player to shank your friends. In short; every deviation from "the sparse canon script" is to be heavily noted for it was done intentionally because of player interaction with the stories fate itself. It is called a "rewrite". It's this balance between both "bumping up" the script and bringing in meta-commentary which has made it somewhat difficult to find a platform to showcase this work, but I think you guys would quite enjoy this. Here are the links to the individual chapters, all hosted on Imgur due to the visual style format. If this list is not updated check the hub URL at the top of the post 1) Prologue 1: https://imgur.com/gallery/3H7ZiyQ [gameplay] 2) Prologue 2: https://imgur.com/gallery/ordtlxb [gameplay] [Cover found on the hub] 3) Prologue 3: https://imgur.com/gallery/hQUrMfa [gameplay] [Cover found on the hub] 4) Prologue 4: https://imgur.com/gallery/jEXEO8f [gameplay] [Cover found on the hub] 5) Prologue 4 . 1: https://imgur.com/gallery/rqMJy7t [Cover found on the hub] 6) Prologue 4 . 2: https://imgur.com/gallery/iQeGwxu 7) Prologue 4 . 3 https://imgur.com/gallery/ZFbCiQU 😎 Prologue 5: https://imgur.com/gallery/metxz5T [gameplay] 9) Prologue 5 . 1: https://imgur.com/gallery/i8jKK8E 10) Prologue 5 . 2: https://imgur.com/gallery/YzFrOd0 11) Prologue 6 . 0: https://imgur.com/gallery/MUUGCNx 12) Prologue 6 . 1: https://imgur.com/gallery/TODyeLc 13) Prologue 6 . 2: https://imgur.com/gallery/XW7JgpP 14) Prologue 6 . 3: https://imgur.com/gallery/S5OC6BN 15) Prologue 6 . 4: https://imgur.com/gallery/t0jxpZz [gameplay] 16) Prologue 7: https://imgur.com/gallery/03zFsJX 17) Prologue 7 . 1: https://imgur.com/gallery/qDPocr0 18) Prologue 7 . 2: https://imgur.com/gallery/NXPWZeH [gameplay] 19) Prologue 8 . 0: https://imgur.com/gallery/1NfhpoL [+4 illustrations] [gameplay] 20) Prologue 8 . 1: https://imgur.com/gallery/W4au1BO 21) Prologue 8 . 2: https://imgur.com/gallery/YohbGuU 22) Prologue 8 . 3: https://imgur.com/gallery/FI6kglZ 23) Chapter 1: https://imgur.com/gallery/LlsEL6o 24) Chapter 1 . 1: https://imgur.com/gallery/1G2gd3R 25) Chapter 1 . 2 https://imgur.com/gallery/FGoA2Qf [4 illustrations] 26) Chapter 1 . 3: https://imgur.com/gallery/OkgQRms 27) Chapter 2: https://imgur.com/gallery/NAeK66K [Gameplay] 28) Chapter 2 . 1: https://imgur.com/gallery/MfhVzY5 29) Chapter 2 . 2 https://imgur.com/gallery/2pbs5Fh 30) Chapter 2 . 3: https://imgur.com/gallery/2pbs5Fh [many illistrations] I would absolutely adore feedback, both just comments/reactions/ to raw criticism. This is my first time seriously writing, and I'm considering making this more than just a hobby at the end of this project. But I would much rather have the feedback be in the main thread. I love the conversations! Additionally, shout outs to any of the editors who translated the original FE12 script and put it up on the our wiki. Seriously, this couldn't have been made without you.
Hello again! This time I've come to tell you about Rinkah, the ever overlooked unit. While people praise Silas in BR for being tanky and dealing damage (and having mobility) or Oboro for these same reasons, they also say Rinkah is bad because her offence (namely strength) sucks, especially her base of 8 and her base speed of 8. She's level 4 at the beginning of the game. She has Silas' level 6 base def, 15% more def growth, Silas' base spd, 5% more growth, +2 magic with 20% more growth, their personnal skills make their strength 12 (Rinkah) and 14 (Silas) with 8 base and 15% less growth for Rinkah vs 11 for Silas, while Rinkah's personnal gives her 6 base magic just by giving her an HP tonic at the beginning of the chapter and she keeps it for the whole chapter unless you abuse heals on her, meanwhile Silas stays at his base. Silas has elbow room, giving him +3 str/magic, but it's nothing Rinkah can't get, since marrying her with Silas/cavalier talent Corrin gives her elbow room too (and marriage seals are much less used than heart seals), so now with 2000 gold she has +7 str/mag just by using an HP tonic each chapter (150 gold per chapter won't ruin you, be honest with yourselves). Now if you wish to give her another reclass into diviner, she grabs mag +2, now gaining 9 points of magic alongside seal res (3 skill slots until there, 7 str 9 mag without a single str/mag level up), although at the cost of 2000 gold. Silas would have to marry a diviner to get that, but she can befriend Orochi and not force her to go cavalier/oni 3rd class. As a promoted unit, she can take luna from Silas marriage, reducing ennemy's res to bits while Silas still struggles to activate vow of friendship for +3 damage/def (meanwhile she has his VoF def without any skill in her base class in a few level ups with 65% def growth, she might even have 12 def at level 6 while Silas still has 10+3 with VoF). She can also abuse armored blow for 0 damage as an oni/blacksmith on PP, while Silas will still take damage with it as a great knight against promoted ennemies. She can grab lancebreaker, quixotic, rend heaven, tomefaire. So she can get a full passive damage boost build (Fiery blood, elbow room, mag +2, tomefaire) with situational skills (armored blow, rend heaven/luna, quixotic, lancebreaker, pavise, also quixotic makes luna/rend heaven and pavise's activation rate skyrocket with +15% while 30% ennemy hit is totally laughable considering the damage they'll do to her as a paladin/GK/oni savage/blacksmith/basara with her 45% personal def growth carried into any class and her 16 pre-promtion level ups + post promotion). Meanwhile Silas needs to marry to get lancefaire for bolt naginata/any lance to be really strong, he has 10% less personal magic growth in a base class with 0% magic growth for bolt naginata to be of any use, 0 personal magic base and scrolls/parchments are a waste on him, + he can't get seal res alongside mag +2, rend heaven, quixotic and tomefaire, his spd growth is 10% lower than Rinkah's in any class with equal base spd and no base class/promotion access to tomes to train it or keep it in, and tomefaire is a waste on him. ------ So, Silas vs Rinkah: - Silas personal def is 2 points higher than Rinkah, but he is 2 levels higher than her and has 5% less growth (don't forget he has 50%, and here it's 50% vs 55% in the cavalier class or 65% in base class, nearly 2 points per 3 level ups, so 8-10 points at level 20 for her vs 7 for him on average, and less RNG praying for Rinkah's def level ups). His magic ability is way lower than hers, his only worthy 1-2 range weapons can't double attack, let ennemies double him very often (-5 spd, letting him at 3 spd at base LOL at level 6) so he's locked to 1 range forever or to bench-level speed still forever even if RNG blessed. - Rinkah has: real 1-2 range options, with stat boosts on top of it (scrolls/parchments), a world worth of skills to make up for low growth still better than part of the physical cast's magic, 2 activable skills for choice, death blow if you want this subpar skill useless outside PP, she makes any magic weapon she has access to godly with her +9 damage (11 magic at base with those skills), any scroll/parchment like horse spirit godly with her +14 damage to it in lategame and still +9 before that, and she can abuse pavise alongside being bulletproof physically. Now her nodamageness outdamages most of the cast in the magic dpt as well as staying on par with them in physical damage. Don't forget her awesome skill growth that will skyrocket in anything else than oni blob, lancebreaker making her tome wielding even more OP since shuriken/daggers don't reach 1 damage against her for most of the game past the first few levels, well, you have a brick wall, with good to godly offence depending on the ennemies she faces but always a way to deal with any of them (seal res, luna, quixotic for procs), good enough speed in any class (especially out of oni savage, +1 base spd and +5% growth in diviner), and all that without a stat booster, her personal skill being the easiest to trigger in like the whole cast since it requires nearly nothing, while Silas has to put Corrin into danger zone to trigger it. Oh, I forgot one point, since she barely takes any physical damage without PU, most ennemies will just stand there like sandbags as long as she's in the way to other units. With pavise she doesn't really fear magic anymore, and one seraph robe should let her be the real thing for the whole game. Maybe your talismans should be given to her to let her draw every magic unit at her and kill them like they're nothing in PP (if she didn't autokill them in EP that is...). Horse spirit Rinkah with this build is just bonkers. You think it's a lot of investment? She can be a cavalier as soon as level 4 and grab elbow room at level 5 and she will already have +7 hybrid damage, and luna already makes her OP alongside seal res, diviner is just making her the most tanky mage in FE history (or so I think), and her ability to have +9/+14 effective magic makes her laugh at Saizo's magic growth. And for PVP you can always max stats her so she has +12/+14 damage on top of capped mag, and maybe horse spirit boost if you use it. ------ Give me only one non Ryoma/Xander who has physical bulk, high activation rates, high hit rates, high hybrid damage, every weapon access alongside magic, with a build with a -faire, pavise for magic tanking, and all that while being fast enough to double most ennemies and horse spirit boost easing the spd requirement to do so, with 2 of the best hybrid classes speed/def cap-wise (basara 31 base max spd, oni chieftain 30, basara 30 def, oni 36), and all that without needing to PU to get any of these stats, not only staying relevant for the whole game, but being better as the game goes on (stats-wise and skills-wise). All this with lancebreaker and ninja access if she ever wants to go that way in the end (shurikenfaire replaces tomefaire, +2 spd from shurikens, effective weaponry and magic weapon) or for duplicate if you have to chokepoint 2 areas at the same time. That's wright, except a def blessed magic MU, nobody can do that. Hayato has non existent skill, no cavalier access outside MU marriage, and shaky tanking stats/ Orochi has low speed, nonexistent physical bulk/ Silas can't access oni savage and diviner at the same time and has nonexistent magic base/growth/ Xander lacks spd and res and can't go magic any time soon for better offence, since most ennemies have higher def than res it's a pity/ Odin is too shaky and needs a DLC class to fix him ASAP (one without magic) and he can't get any useful faire except maybe in axes but berserker isn't the best class to go through if you go hybrid build and he can't get a -faire alongside elbow room (+ no free damage personal skill) unless you make him a swordsmaster but his magic stat will suffer, and his bulk will be awful, and as a dark knight his speed will be unusable past midgame. All these require PU bonuses to even be good/great (no PU Xander is just a powerful tank, he won't double trash ever and his res is far from anything good, alongside no rightful king-like skill for him to abuse pavise, and he can't get quixotic without loosing sword efficiency so his personal weapon goes to waste because lancefaire or tomefaire doesn't help him a lot in his good classes). ------ That's all for Rinkah's niche. As you see it's quite the skillset, and only 1 way to get it (marriage + friendship), but it singlehandedly recks the competition as it blows away one stat attackers by being good physically AND magically, offensively AND defensively, and letting many final classes accessible for whatever you prefer (if you're fine with 32 max def, Rinkah can stay basara for +1 spd over oni chieftain, but if you prefer 38 max def over 1 spd and 5 skl, then she can go back to oni chieftain, don't forget pavise activation rate depends on skill and basara gives her 10% growth whereas oni gives 0). BTW, I wonder why IS made Rinkah's skill cap -2 while she has 50% PERSONAL skill growth and 4 personal base skill, one of the best in all routes...especially for a hard hitting base class unit. I'd trade 2 def cap for 2 skill cap in oni any time, dat base and dat max...