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This post will compile a list of builds people have used to beat the game on Maddening difficulty. A link will be provided that takes you to each build. I thought it would be nice to have examples of teams/builds that people used as they beat the game and for those examples to be easily accessible. This can serve as a good reference for people who want examples to look at whether they are attempting Maddening for the first time or want something to compare their own builds to. This also brings more exposure to some of the quality posts others have put in time and effort to share. To both appreciate those efforts and hopefully help more people enjoy and potentially benefit from them. If you'd like to contribute a build, here are some suggestions for the format and requirements for keeping this a decent quality reference (An example is posted in the next comment below): It should be a team build that you beat the entire game with on Maddening difficulty. Was it an NG or NG+ game? Indicate which house/route was used. Was DLC used? If so, to what extent? Would be nice to have a mid-game progress example as well, but not a requirement. For example what did the team look like in Ch 12/13? Information to include: characters' Levels, Stats, Skills, and Progression should be included. Other useful information can be about equipment setup and battalions. All this information is made easily visible if you take a snapshot of your character's information screen in battle from either the Inventory page or Battalion page. I think images are ideal but not necessarily a requirement as long as this information is provided. Images from the Roster Status and Skills pages also provide all this information neatly. It is nice to include comments you have on your play style and characters. Were they good in your build? strengths/weaknesses? How did you use each character, did they fill a specific role in your team? Would you do something different to improve your build? Etc. Feel free to comment on whether any aspects made certain problematic battles easier in some way. Anything you feel is important/relevant or just want to mention If you built a character in some uncommon way, maybe showcase the character's build with a few screenshots of what they're capable of or how you used them in battle. Even if it didn't turn out too great it would still be useful to know. It might make more sense to have the builds submissions each in their own separate post. Especially since people might want to discuss your build, but since we can link to specific comments as well, feel free to post in this thread if you prefer. Although, if you do want to comment on a listed build, then as per forum rules don't necro-post on an an old thread. And many of these builds are old threads (check the dates). Following is the (hopefully) growing list of builds that people have kindly shared. Please note that this list in no way rates how good the builds themselves are. I think the fact that someone beat the game on Maddening indicates that they are at least 'good enough' for the settings they played the game on (admittedly though, what's 'good enough' might differ from player to player or even run to run). But also note that some builds involved a significant amount of grinding. I leave it up to the reader to go through any individual build/guide they're interested in. If you have previously posted a build somewhere please let me know and I'd be happy to add it to the list. If you are new to the game, in case you’re not aware, please bear in mind that playing the game using DLC can be significantly easier than without, depending on how much dlc content was used. The same can be said for NG+ games compared to NG games. Builds achieved in NG+ runs might be impossible in an NG run. Minor Spoiler Alert: Inevitably these builds will have some minor spoilers like revealing story-related unique classes. Screenshots might include images of enemies or story-related classes. Also, the builds posts themselves may contain spoilers in the text depending on what the poster wrote. Usually build posts don't contain any major spoilers but I won't take responsibility for posts that do. =================================================== =================================================== Blue Lions / Azure Moon Example Builds: Build by @tchin, NG, with DLC, end game stats. Byleth: Lv45 War Cleric. Dimitri: Lv45 Unique Class. Felix: Lv45 Bow Knight. Mercedes: Lv45 Gremory. Dedue: Lv45 War Master. Sylvain: Lv45 Paladin. Catherine: Lv44 Swordmaster. Shamir: Lv46 Sniper. Annette: Lv46 Dark Flier. Ingrid: Lv46 Falcon Knight. Dorothea: Lv43 Dancer. Build & Guide by @DrDimentio, NG, no DLC, offline, end game stats. Byleth: Lv48 Gremory. Dimitri: Lv46 Unique Class. Dedue: Lv45 Great Knight. Ingrid: Lv60 Dancer. Felix: Lv44 Sniper. Sylvain: Lv45 War Master. Annette: Lv48 Dark Knight. Mercedes: Lv60 Gremory. Ashe: Lv45 Bow Knight. Flayn: Lv61 Gremory. Dorothea: Lv50 Gremory. Manuela: Lv33 Bishop. Build by @Geenoble, NG?, no DLC?, end game stats Byleth: Lv41 Unique Class. Dimitri: Lv47 Unique Class. Dedue: Lv47 Fortress Knight. Ashe: Lv37 Wyvern Lord. Mercedes: Lv37 Bishop. Annette: Lv36 Gremory. Felix: Lv44 War Master. Sylvain: Lv36 Wyvern Lord. Ingrid: Lv35 Falcon Knight. Ignatz: Lv41 Sniper. Lorenz: Lv39 Dark Knight. Marianne: Lv25 Dancer. Build by u/salteas on Reddit, NG, no DLC, offline, end game stats. Byleth: Lv47 Falcon Knight. Dimitri: Lv46 Unique Class. Felix: Lv44 Sniper. Sylvain: Lv43 Wyvern Lord. Ingrid: Lv46 Falcon Knight. Annette: Lv52 Dancer. Mercedes: Lv45 Bishop. Marianne: Lv43 Bishop. Lysithea: Lv47 Gremory. Leonie: Lv44 Bow Knight. Hilda: Lv43 Wyvern Lord. Ferdinand: Lv42 Wyvern Lord. Build by @Graveless, NG, DLC class used, then items used in final 3 chapters, end game stats. Byleth: Lv42 Falcon Knight. Dimitri: Lv43 Bow Knight. Felix: Lv41 Bow Knight. Marianne: Lv43 Gremory. Ingrid: Lv40 Wyvern Lord. Marianne: Lv 37 Valkyrie. Catherine: Lv39 Swordmaster. Lysithea: Lv41 Gremory. Dorothea: Lv42 Dancer. Hilda: Lv38 Wyvern Lord. Leonie: Lv42 Bow Knight. Annette: Lv42 Wyvern Lord. Build & Iron Man run video by @Atano (on Reddit), NG, no DLC, complete play through video stream available. Byleth: Lv42 Falcon Knight. Dimitiri: Lv39 Unique Class. Felix: Lv44 Wyvern Lord. Leonie: Lv39 Wyvern Lord. Lysithea: Lv44 Gremory. Mercedes: Lv36 Gremory. Annette: Lv37 Gremory. Dedue: Lv39 Grappler. Sylvain: Lv36 Paladin. Shamir: Lv38 Sniper. Flayn: Lv42 Gremory. Seteth: Lv34 Paladin. Ingrid: Lv38 Wyvern Lord. =================================================== =================================================== Golden Deer / Verdant Wind Example Builds: Build by @LoneRecon400, NG, no DLC, end game stats. Byleth: Lv46 War Master. Claude: Lv38 Unique Class. Lysithea: Lv41 Mortal Savant. Hilda: Lv40 Wyvern Lord. Leonie: Lv41 Wyvern Lord. Catherine: Lv36 Wyvern Lord. Cyril: Lv33 Sniper. Ferdinand: Lv37 Dancer. Build by @hdawgsizzle, NG, no DLC, offline, end game stats. Byleth: Lv43 Flacon Knight. Claude: Lv43 Unique Class. Felix: Lv42 War Master. Leonie: Lv42 Bow Knight. Petra: Lv41 Wyvern Lord. Ignatz: Lv43 Sniper. Lysithea: Lv42 Gremory. Sylvain: Lv42 Paladin. Hilda: Lv40 Wyvern Lord. Lorenz: Lv41 Dark Knight. Mercedes: Lv41 Bishop. Marianne: Lv47 Dancer. Build by @overklok , NG, some DLC without items, no stats provided. Byleth: Falcon Knight. Claude: Unique Class. Hilda: Wyvern Lord. Ignatz: Sniper. Leonie: Falcon Knight. Marianne: Dancer. Lysithea: Gremory. Lorenz: Dark Knight. Sylvain: Paladin. Raphael: Grappler. Linhardt: Bishop? Build & Iron Man run video by @Atano (on Reddit), NG, no DLC, complete play through video stream available. Byleth: Lv41 Wyvern Lord. Claude: LV41 Unique Class. Leonie: LV40 Wyvern Lord. Ignatz: Lv42 Sniper. Lysithea: Lv44 Gremory. Hilda: Lv40 Wyvern Lord. Ingrid: Lv44 Wyvern Lord. Lorenz: Lv40 Dark Knight. Felix: Lv41 War Master. Marianne: Lv35 Gremory. Flayn: Lv40 Gremory. Seteth: Lv31 Paladin. =================================================== =================================================== Black Eagles / Crimson Flower Example Builds: Build by u/Rengor1997 on Reddit, NG, no DLC, end game stats. All Rout rule. Byleth: Lv36 Wyvern Lord. Edelgard: Lv40 Wyvern Lord. Fedinand: Lv36 Wyvern Lord. Bernadetta: Lv41 Gremory. Petra: Lv37 Wyvern Lord. Jeritza: Lv38 Wyvern Lord. Caspar: Lv35 Grappler. Lysithea: Lv34 Gremory. Dorothea: Lv35 Dancer. Hubert: Lv35 Dark Knight. Shamir: Lv35 Sniper. Linhardt: Lv33 Bishop. Build by @SpearBerry, NG, DLC without items, end game stats. Byleth: Lv35 Unique Class. Edelgard: Lv38 Unique Class. Hubert: Lv36 Dark Bishop. Ferdinand: Lv36 Paladin. Petra: Lv35 Assassin/Falcon Knight. Caspar: Lv36 Grappler. Bernadetta: Lv35 Sniper. Dorothea: Lv35 Warlock. Linhardt: Lv35 Bishop. Jeritza: Lv34 Unique Class. Lysithea: Lv38 Gremory. Leonie: Lv35 Sniper. =================================================== =================================================== Black Eagles / Silver Snow Example Builds: Build by @Glennstavos, NG, no DLC, end game stats, with accompanying tier list. Byleth: Lv41 War Master. Caspar: Lv40 War Master. Alois: Lv37 War Master. Felix: Lv41 War Master. Petra: Lv40 Wyvern Lord. Ingrid: Lv38 Falcon Knight. Seteth: Lv39 Wyvern Lord. Lorenz: Lv40 Dark Knight. Ferdinand: Lv37 Great Knight. Dorothea: Lv43 Dancer. Linhardt: Lv39 Bishop. Ignatz: Lv43 Sniper. =================================================== =================================================== My personal reasons for starting this list: As I’m playing my first Maddening NG game, I found myself wondering how my progress is going compared to others. Also, while I was planning my game at the start, I wanted an idea about what to expect in terms of end game character levels and stats, or even for mid-game. While I did find a few posts online showing their end game team and builds, they weren't exactly easy to find and there's a lot of rich discussions on various possible builds or ideal builds for characters that's easy to lose oneself in. Another reason for wanting something like this is because the discussions I see often focus on what are the optimal builds for each character. While I love learning about and discussing optimal builds, sometimes it can feel pressuring that I have to use the optimal build and, at least for me, can make the game less fun if I feel like I have to build my characters a very specific way. Often, the optimal builds advice comes off to someone like me as "if you do anything else you're not gonna make it". But then again considering how people are able to solo Maddening, that can't possibly be the case. Thirdly, I feel that while there is a lot of discussion on character builds, I haven’t seen much consideration given to ‘team builds’. By this I mean how a character build might fit into the context of a full team or how they might synergize with each other. I’m hoping that team example builds can facilitate these kinds of discussions while serving as practical examples. There is a lot of discussion on what is the ‘best’ build for a unit, but the ‘best’ might not always be what a player is looking for. If you’re like me, sometimes a player wants to try something different or just something they enjoy and just wants to know that it won’t be such a bad idea that it’ll make a run impossible. By providing examples of what others have used to beat the game with, I hope this category of sub-optimal but ‘good enough’ builds might get exposed. Lastly, with examples to look at including stats, skills, and battalions, it can serve as a reference for those interested in specific examples of stats at the end game. It can also show real examples of the role that progression paths and/or rng can have on your final stats. Sometimes the devil’s in the details and why one person’s run went much better than someone else’s can have a lot to do with the progression path towards the same final class, how they split up instructions, exp, battalions, gear setup, stat boosters, adjutants, how they used them tactically, whether they grinded a lot or not, etc.
Something hit me the other day regarding Awakening. Oh, uh, spoilers, by the way. Validar tells you later in the game that he's had spies on you since the Carrion Isle map, but he never says whether or not they were Risen. The first time I played I figured that's what he meant, but what if Henry was his spy? Suddenly ol' Vally pitting Risen against you makes sense, it was all to make Henry integrate into your army. Chrom is quite naive and the Avatar is rather busy having migraines at that point, so there's really nobody to question it other than Frederick. (But really, did anybody ever actually listen to that guy?) I mean...Henry's generally a mystery, right? So does this make sense to anybody else? Could there have been others in the army spying for Plegia?