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  1. This topic is for anyone to comment, or ask, about a character's in-game performance/usefulness/viability/etc. Mostly for the main-game and without grinding (at least for my own analyses) since character distinctions such as bases, growths, availability, weapon rank, etc, are often more prominent then. While I recognize the appeal of discussing the endpoint of character potential, there's also a significant amount of game content before then. I generally find this sort of thing interesting to think about and discuss and I'm curious what other people think as well. It can be a mini-character guide of sorts, depending on how things develop. General comments - Everyone feels decently usable and I used most characters at least a bit to get an idea of how they perform at base. Meaning if you like then, you could make them work, even in Lunatic. - Because overleveled units get so little exp, it’s possible to train up a larger team without sacrificing overall team strength, if one wishes. Actually I'd recommend training misc units to 10 early on so they can promote (lots of dropped Master Seals) and give full Guard stance bonuses or act as staff utility. - Also, because children paralogues give so much exp, you might end up net positive on exp/levels anyway if pairing them off at the same time. - I'm going to have a rating system of use (unless you don’t like them), maybe use, and don't use (unless you like them). Others can have whatever rating system one prefers, #/10, etc. - The ratings primarily correspond to continued deployment throughout their availability, training and/or using a unit long-term. Most units have short-term niches, which will be mentioned, but it’s not very interesting to rate everyone with "use". - Will also have some sample builds to think about and try out. Most builds will have 1 or less parallel/marriage/buddy seal, luxury builds can have more (though generally I personally won't include Eternal Seals and grinding through classes w/o weapon ranks unless super-early). - I'll start with the Birthright/Hoshido characters in Lunatic, but impressions for any character in any route would be interesting. - I’m going roughly in order, trying to get at least a short description for everyone down, but if anyone is particularly interested in an opinion for a character (in any route), just ask. There’s also definitely a considerable amount I’m purposely skimming over. Some like inheritance will be addressed a little more for the children, some specific details and insightful analysis will require more time. - Note the word impressions You can find how most mechanics work on the main site http://serenesforest.net/fire-emblem-fates/. I try to remain consistent with the terminology used there, though I do use Corrin as the Fates Avatar's name, as Smash 4 "canonized" the default name Robin of the Awakening Avatar. There might also be some old-fashioned FE terms used since these writeups are informal, but they are usually self-explanatory. ____________________ Birthright/Hoshido [spoiler=Corrin]I'm mostly skipping Corrin for now to give a more detailed analysis later (though the builds might be interesting). Suffice to say, best availability equals initial level lead, plus good (enough) bases, great growths, any class with Buddy seals, slightly faster exp gain than others, prf with statbuffs, more boosts from Felicia/Jakob/Gunter. imo a tanky Asset like Hp/Def is better in Hoshido since you get +2 Spd from Yato midgame (always in effect), and many other units are glass cannons. +Mag is an intriguing option to abuse Horse God (but no Spells in White Blood, if that matters). Use Standard White Blood build: +Hp or +Def Nohr Prince/ss -> White Blood Hmm...I don't have much to say here. Use if you like continued Dragonstone access, I guess. It is a great tanky option, for certain. Can detour for some procs to synergize with Hoshido (usually Astra and Sol are best, both classes use Katanas as well). Tanky Hidden Weapon build: +Hp/Def Nohr Prince/ss to 10 -> Ninja -> Puppeteer/Elite Ninja Hidden Weapons are pretty reliable 1-2 range where it's otherwise nerfed. Pair Up with Jakob in Great Knight and steamroll like the good old days. Or pair with someone else like Rinkah; just stack as much Def as possible. Use of the Reverse Shuriken situationally is very important, as otherwise both Axes and Bows will hit very hard. +Hp/Def because class base Spd is pretty good and Shurikens (equipped) and Yato Sky (even unequipped) give Spd. +Hp is generally more stats overall, but you already have triangle against mages and decent Res, so +Def makes you more bulky on the (more important) physical side. It also raises the cap by more, which might eventually matter. Reclass early to start building weapon rank. Puppeteer eventually gives Copycat and has better Hp/Def/Move, whereas Elite Ninja is faster (Kunaifaire makes up the Str difference too) with better avoid/Res. Elite Ninja also allows use of Yato to attack and the Oboro though it's dangerous to use on enemy phase. Using Dread Fighter instead is another option for a stronger start and being better against mages. Only B rank weapons though. Magic steamroll build: +Mag Nohr Prince/ss to 10 -> Dark Mage/Spellcaster/(Dark Falcon) -> Dark Knight/Basara/(Revenant Knight) Corrin's natural Mag growth isn't great (and Yato doesn't boost it), so +Mag is preferred though it's possible Spirit Dusts and the class growth would be sufficient for good enough offense. Reclass early to build weapon rank. The purpose of these builds is to steamroll on enemy phase, so the tanky classes are better imo. Dark Knight is great as long as you have enough Spd (Yato and Horse God is +5, keep in mind) while Basara is more balanced and has arguably better skills. For Exorcist the lack of Def hurts and there's not much point in Sorc without Nosferatu and Excalibur, in Hoshido. Revenant Knight is another option as a flying magic class, but the base class doesn't have magic use so it would be necessary to Buddy/Marry or wait until promotion, which could impact weapon rank. It's generally a good idea to Pair up with Felicia in Maid if the Spd is needed, or Jakob in Marriage Seal'd Dark Knight for Mag/Def. Dark Falcon has promoted level bases and flies, making it an incredible starting mage class. Galeforce is a strong skill, but you might consider reclassing before then as Corrin is at his strongest when Paired Up. The Hp/Def of Dark Falcon is lacking later in the game. Copycat luxury build: Nohr Prince/ss to 10 -> Ninja/Elite Ninja to 20/5 -> Hero to 20/8 -> Swordmaster to 20/11 -> White Blood to 20/15 -> Puppeteer to 20/17 -> Elite Ninja to 20/19 -> Puppeteer/Elite Ninja (do last reclass to end in final class) The focus here is to create 2 superCorrins that can pair up with Jakob/Felicia/Rinkah/etc and steamroll maps. Take Merc as your secondary class in Hoshido, Buddy Seal the rest. Reclass first to Ninja to build weapon rank and get Lethality. Then pick up Sol and Astra, you still have Swords to fight with. Then pick up the --/15 skills. You end up with Copycat and Kunaifaire, then Hoshido + Sol/Astra/Lethality/Dragon Fang, and even things like Vantage. I prefer Hoshido + Sol + Astra because both those increase your durability significantly through healing and Dual Guards, but there's lots of flexibility. Awakening luxury build w/ DLC (female only): Nohr Prince/ss to 10 -> Dread Fighter to 25 -> Elite Ninja to 20/8 -> Swordmaster to 20/11 -> Great Lord to 35 -> Puppeteer to 20/17 -> Elite Ninja to 20/19 -> Puppeteer/Elite Ninja (do last reclass to end in final class) Similar to above, but abuse Vantage + Awakening with Copycat. Build weapon rank, then pick up Vantage/Astra, then Awakening, Copycat, Kunaifaire. Just make sure to do 2 levels in Ninja somewhat early or you cant get all of Awakening/Copycat/Kunaifaire without Eternal Seals. There's some Spirit Unity, Astra, Aether, and more to fill out slots as needed. Most other characters aren't going to get luxury builds from me. Corrin is special because of their availability and other unique advantages. [spoiler=Gunter]Gunter (pre-decision): The tutorial chapters are fairly straightforward. Gunter is certainly useful in them, but considering how things work out he should probably be helping Corrin get kills via Attack or Guard Stance. n/a [spoiler=Felicia]Felicia: She's a healer who can debuff which is certainly useful early on. She will be almost be pure support until obtaining an Explosive Shuriken at Vendor level 2 and reaching C weapon rank, or if reclassed to Strategist. Despite starting with E rank tomes, her magic is good enough to do decent damage, especially with Attack Stance. However, her growths are low relative to other characters so she doesn't make a great combat unit in comparison. An interesting niche is Felicia starts in a promoted class, with unpromoted exp gain, and 4 free eternal steals inbuilt. In particular, this lets her get the promoted class skills far earlier than everyone else. Some notable ones include Tomebreaker from Maid and Battle Command in Strategist. The former, combined with her Res makes her great against magic and the latter is an extremely powerful Aura-type support skill, and even moreso when combined with Demoiselle for male characters (Corrin, Ryoma, Takumi are some of the stronger characters). Some other interesting skills are Sol, Axebreaker, Kunaibreaker but the lack of Str and no weapon rank make those trickier to obtain without grinding. Through Marriage Seals, there's even the potential of stuff like early Copycat Puppet that are strong candidates for skill inheritance (and still using the child for more than like 2 chapters). Note that skills from Dread Fighter and Dark Flier cannot be inherited, even if she can obtain the latter ones such as Aggressor and Galeforce fairly early. It's currently uncertain how stat inheritance precisely works so she could impact her children negatively in that respect, though right now it does seem like the children's bases are not affected too much. Because of her personal skill boosting the avatar’s offense/durability, Felicia is a great unit to support Corrin. In addition, being promoted, she immediately gives the promoted stat boosts in Guard Stance. Hero is particularly good, giving both Spd and Def, or Maid/Strategist are nice for magical avatars. Very well rounded with a focus on Spd, considering both her Personal skill and pairup bonuses. Early Battle Command and her Personal pushes her into Use territory for me. Support build: Maid to 15-> Strategist Staffbot and chip things with magic+Attack stance (don't really need weapon rank for this, though could reclass earlier for it). Beat mages with Res+Tomebreaker. Support with Battle Command (doesn't work as support unit in Guard Stance, notably). Early Galeforce novelty build: Maid to 5 or 15-> Dark Falcon Get whatever skills in Maid you want, but reclass to build Spell rank. It is Galeforce, obtained early/midgame, but keep in mind Felicia's stats are fairly low and even moreso when avoiding the Stances. [spoiler=Jakob]Jakob: Very similar to Felicia, with better Str and worse Mag. His early offense is better until Felicia is reclassed or gets her magic weapons. Jakob has similar advantages as Felicia in being promoted already. Reclassed, he can also serve a more stereotypical Jagen role early on as a Paladin or Great Knight, tanking hits (from the class base) and weakening enemies for others. Jakob gets a child character himself and can pass on a high-level promoted skill to him. Compared to Felicia, its also a bit easier to fight in various other classes because of okay Str/Def. Besides, Jakob's Personal Skill is one of the best main-game ones in any case, significantly boosting durability, so definitely Use from me. Jeigan build: Butler-> Great Knight (-> Lodestar) Reclass asap to get that high base Def. Basically just act as Awakening's Frederick for a while, then stick around as a great Pair Up bot. Dual Guard+ makes him even better at it if you want. Could delay reclass until level 15 to get a high Def unit dodgy against magic (or for inheritance) but weapon ranks, etc. Early Galeforce novelty/luxury build: Butler to 5 or 15-> Dark Falcon to 15 or 17 -> Paladin/Elite Ninja/Puppeteer Same deal as Felicia, though he can choose between Lances or Shurikens. Dark Falcon is a bit weak on the physical side, so may want to reclass elsewhere. Will need to Marriage seal into Ninja (Corrin, Kagerou) if that's desired. [spoiler=Kaze]Kaze. Both base Spd and growth are crazy high. He doubles pretty much everything without help, so he can get pure Strength/Defense to help his stats in Guard Stance or is guaranteed to do decent damage in Attack Stance. He can use Steel pretty consistently for that extra boost. He's also good to counter mages with Shuriken usage and decent Res or dodgetank a lot of the hardhitting Axe/Bow combinations seen with the Reverse Shuriken. Maybe use simply because you get a few other very similar characters and can choose between them. I'd say Kaze is the best of them, but I haven't looked too closely yet. Debuffer and magekiller build: Ninja -> Puppeteer/Elite Ninja (whatever order) Weapon ranks don't give you much choice (Swords are generally worse than Hidden Weapons anyway). Puppeteer is a good promotion, since his Spd is so high already, but Elite Ninja is slightly more dodgy and better against mages (the Spd cap could be relevant too). Could go Dread Fighter for the early boost, as one of the few with a starting weapon rank in Shurikens, but he doesn't standout too much, as it's basically the same as Ninja. [spoiler=Rinkah]Rinkah: Well rounded stats but almost too much so, she would probably like some help on Spd to double consistently but also something to patch up durability. Her base defense is great, but Hp growth is slow and later on she's still getting hit very hard. Can definitely take quite a few hits early and hit back with the extra damage from Flame Blood but eh E rank axes and I was too busy training Mozume. To be honest I found her most useful giving Strength and Defense bonuses to others, so I can't comment too much here. So I'll say Don't use, except maybe to train to level 10, promote, and give Guard Stance. Fire effects on hit are really awesome Onitank build: Oni Savage- > Shura (to 20/5 -> Blacksmith) Res Seal and Shura has some synergy but enemies don't usually survive that long. It's more useful for your other mages in combination with Rinkah especially since chip is passable with Flame Blood boosting damage in general. Stay in Shura if that magic utility works for you or grab some crit, then Blacksmith to focus on the physical option. Can do Dread Fighter as can most, and Rinkah's tankiness might make her one of the better candidates. __________ Arya describes below Rinkah in Hoshido and Invisible Hard. If sticking in Shura, Magic is an option to use strong spells like Horse God, both targeting Res and increasing tankiness. [spoiler=Azura]Azura: Her Spd is really high and even Str is decent, but she probably won't do much fighting unless Lance rank is grinded up. On player phase she's usually singing and Hp/Def are too low for enemy phase, though she can take a weaker hit or 2 on the front lines (Res is decent too). I could rant more about utility of dancing, but eh, obviously use. [spoiler=Sakura] Sakura is a basic staff user initially, pretty much just worse than Felicia/Jakob to start as she has no weapons. Healers are usually always useful, however, and her Personal skill helps everyone nearby, so she’ll usually find a place in the team. Later on she can Rally Luck+Magic/Spd as well as fight a bit. Somewhat notably, her growths are actually quite high all around so she’ll be good at combat eventually. Despite okay Def and later access to things like Horse God, her low Hp prevents her from taking too many hits (but she may surprise in this respect). Between Attack Stance and her Mag/Spd, her offense is quite passable while building Spell rank if going that route. Her stats get good but they don’t matter too much for staffbots (healing scales poorly with Mag, Rescue is fixed range, etc). I’ll actually still rate use for now; she has her personal skill from base, which stacks with other Auras and adds up, and has a few Rallies to easy access. Best imouto Support build Priestess -> War Priestess to 20/5 - > Falcon Warrior/Exorcist Just staffbot while picking up some skills. Her damage is quite impressive with the magical Shining Bow or Shinrai Naginata, but building the weapon rank is painful. Her Str is okay for a staff user but you’re still babying and so just use Arms Scrolls if they’re available. Magic Counter is skippable, but might as well if just getting staff exp. The Rallies are definitely useful to pick up if you don’t already have them on your team. Offensive mage build Priestess to 10 or 20 -> Exorcist It’s not really a different build, but I want to draw a little attention to how exp mechanics seem to work now. The game “remembers” in a sense what level units are promoted at, such that earlier promos get faster exp gain than later promos. So the penalty to early promotion is just those really late levels that are lost. Sakura’s stats are high enough so she doesn’t miss those as much, and she really likes building the weapon rank early, so that she is still quite the competent fighter for a large portion of the game. Of course, promote at 20, or sometime in between, if you’re fine waiting. Note that the exp from staves appears to scale with the level of the unit you’re healing/using the staff on. So it’s harder to “grind” in that sense, or get very far ahead of the level curve. It’s understandable to sometimes heal a lot just playing through the chapter, not really trying to grind, but it doesn’t matter as much here. If Dark Falcon is available, that’s a very ideal class for offensive Sakura. I was quite impressed by early Dark Flier when I tried it. One-rounds very consistently for most of the game on both phases (not so common in this game), and even taking a few hits with Horse God. [spoiler=Hana] Hana: The easiest description is the obvious glass cannon. Str/Spd both grow well, while none of the defensive stats do. As long as she avoids ohkos (may require +Def in Guard Stance), it’s probably okay as many others are hit similarly hard, being 2-3hko’d, and she has her Avoid (as long as weapon triangle and the Reverse Katana are used smartly). On player phase, her Str, Flowing Strike, and Attack Stance usually allows avoiding damage, though RNG can still be a concern. Smart use of Dual Guard, once built up, lets her offense be used in more situations. Hana’s Personal skill does percentage-based damage, which is notable, but hard to set up consistently. Don’t use tho. Growths take a little bit to kick in. Bows or Magic are generally superior for player phase offense, and relying on avoid to this extent requires a bit too much prayer. Standard Samurai build Samurai -> Trueblade The basic Trueblade skills synergize well enough. Vantage can kill some weaken enemies (or crits/Astra happen), or give just enough Dual Guard gauge, just in time. Astra is offensive in nature, and boosts Dual Guard quickly. Swordfaire is more damage. It’s a little scary moving away from the avoid boost in Trueblade to grab Weapon Master skills, though it’s always an option. imo neither are that useful as Hana doesn’t want to face too many enemies at a time to debuff, and Line of Death usually doesn’t facilitate ohkos that late; instead she is probably more likely to be ohko’d. Not tanking with face Bow build Samurai -> Bowman -> Holy Bowman/Golden Kite Warrior This lets Hana use her strong offensive stats while attacking indirectly and avoiding most incoming damage (Kodachi’s can’t double, remember). Since a buddy or marriage (Setsuna, Takumi) seal is needed to get into Bowman, which takes a few chapters, normally I wouldn’t recommend this as she’s back to E rank. However, Hana’s stats are high enough that even with a Bronze Bow, she can probably do solid damage and oneround things. To be honest, right now this build feels like a worse version of Bowman!Mozume, but Hana does have a slightly better start. [spoiler=Subaki] Subaki: Very awkward stats. Low Spd, but Swallow Strikes means player phase is okay (until the lategame at least). Base Hp/Def and growth is surprisingly decent, but it probably won’t last too long if sticking in the Pegasus line. Str is not really good enough, especially since Steel will probably need to be avoided. Perfectionist is a solid boost that usually stays in effect between staffbots and Eastern Heart and other misc stuff like Azura’s personal. But don’t use, a bit too much anti-synergy between the growths and such. If Str was a little better I might actually say maybe, but nope. Still a filler option for +Spd, flight, maybe staves. (tanky?) Pegasus build Pegasus Warrior -> Falcon Warrior (to 20/5 -> Weapon Master) Falcon for Rally, then either stay for the staves and token healing, or try to do a little tanking in Weapon Master with Strength Seal. Subaki can probably take 1 or 2 more hits than the fragile characters, which is somewhat significant. fighting a losing battle silly Samurai build Pegasus Warrior (to 10) -> Samurai -> Trueblade This does somewhat work as the class base/growth is good and Swallow Strike gives a boost unlike say Hinata. Building up weapon rank hurts as usual but availability is high enough for it. Perfectionist makes avoid a bit more reliable, compared to say Hana. Getting Eastern Heart can help maintain it, but delays weapon rank, so a tradeoff there. [spoiler=Silas]Silas: Doesn't double too much, but initially hits really hard between base C swords (can use Steel) and Open Assault and sometimes his Personal giving another damage boost. Can orko quite often player phase with Attack Stance and easy to get into good position. A little later getting the Quick Draw Katana for the Spd bonus can help his offense and with a rank up in Lances, the Guard Naginata is great for tanking. Reclassing is probably most useful to pick up Sol. I eventually dropped him because I ran out of space, but he's quite good, especially being more tanky than most of your units. A very solid option. I'm saying maybe use because maybe his tanking doesn't hold out as well lategame, and his Spd is never really that consistent (I'm not rating that many characters "use", fwiw, you've already seen like more than half of them). Tanky build: Cavalier (-> Merc -> Hero to 20/5 or 20/15) -> Paladin/Great Knight Can go to Hero to pickup Sol and Axebreaker. The former is good for general durability (despite difficulty doubling), whereas the latter is interesting to use with Lances to negate the usual disadvantage (and still beating Swords/Magic). Paladin is far better-rounded, especially with Defender, but Great Knight has a small Def lead. Also does Dread Fighter decently like Rinkah with naturally high Def + class Res base/skills. Lodestar is an interesting option as well for the Spd though realistically it's probably most useful for Dual Guard+ in the maingame. [spoiler=Saizou] Saizou: His stats work well with his class, after getting a few levels (doesn't double very consistently at first). Personal Str/Def balances low class Str/Def and class Spd/Res balances low personal Spd/Res. With Shurikens granting some bonus Spd, the combination ends up working. Though magic growth is surprisingly high, it’s not as useful as one might expect since the anti-armor Needle Shuriken is already available. Still, the Explosive Shuriken has a significant 5 mt lead over Iron, and certain enemies do have lower Res than Def, which might balance out the difference in base Str vs. Mag. Compared to Kaze, he wants a decent amount of +Spd, but those Pair Up typically don’t give as much Str/Def. Kaze has the easy pair with Rinkah and uses Steel more reliably so their performance end up pretty similar. Kaze has a slight availability edge and seems to be better in Attack Stance, though I could be overestimating the Spd advantage. Maybe use. Saizou is kinda like a poor man’s Hidden Weapon Corrin, which is still very good. A little tanky debuffer and magekiller build: Ninja -> Elite Ninja Saizou really wants the Spd, I think, to reliably double. The Res also helps vs mages, since Ninjas are the most consistent class in countering them. Dread Fighter is a similar option to these Ninja classes if the seals are available. Because of his high Mag growth, gayserbeam suggested Dark Falcon. You already get a few other Ninjas, and not too many mages. ___________ donkeykhang explains the potential uses of early-promoted Saizou. [spoiler=Orochi] Orochi: Pretty one-dimensional, high mag, low other stats. Initially, Horse God and a +Spd pair may be enough to double some slow enemies, but eventually the Spd growth is just too low. Positioning is ultimately important to set up Attack Stance, ideally with strong single hits like from Silas, Takumi, or the Dragonstone to ohko and avoid counterattacks. You may have noticed so I skim over Personal skills if I find their effect negligible. While it’s mostly true for Orochi, capturing enemies is interesting enough to warrant some mention. Orochi doesn’t really double, so it’s not too different capturing them if the space is available. Generics have solid stats in Lunatic, especially the rare promoted ones early on (before your team really promotes). They can be filler, even tactical sacrifices, etc. While we don’t currently have too much detail on the capturable bosses, some of them have intriguing stats such as William and Hormone (from Kanna's Paralogue) actually having great Hp growth. Maybe use. Someone like early-promoted Sakura is probably a superior mage for most of the game, but reliable Res-targeting isn’t that common for Hoshido, so she still fights a few enemy types better than most. She's getting a good amount of credit for the Capture ability here. Lilina Standard mage build: Spellcaster -> Basara to 20/15 -> Exorcist The skills are probably worth the -2 magic in Basara compared to Exorcist. None of the other stats matter too much. Dark Falcon is a possibility though even the impressive class base and Spd+2 won’t last too long. Still flying and later Galeforce are nice utility if a seal is available. [spoiler=Mozume]Mozume: Bases are very low so she'll need to be babied, but admittedly that's pretty easy to do with Attack Stance. This trainee archetype is in an interesting position in this game because diminishing returns for exp sets in so quickly. A common argument against these types of units is if the same kills and investment had been given to other units, they would be even stronger than her. That's not quite as true here, as Mozume more quickly catches up. But on the other hand, her stats are not that high besides Speed (even then, there's obviously people like Kaze already). In particular, her low Hp can limit her frontline potential despite a good Def growth. While Str is good, she needs time to build up weapon rank. Inheritance-wise, Aptitude is best given to children as early as possible, since it doesn't affect the auto-level they get to 20 and their Child seal (I'm pretty sure on this). It can be interesting to get Kanna early with Aptitude since My Room can build the support quickly. Probably don't use. I don't think she's impressive enough when trained, to be worth the investment. Like some of the children join with nearly as high stats lategame, arguably better skills, and require no training themselves. Better than Takumi Backliner build Villager -> Bowman -> Holy Bowman Notably, Bowman is an option that gets around her low Hp, and she should probably reclass asap to build the weapon rank (can wait for Underdog, but probably not worth it). Her Str/Spd combination is quite nice (Spd over Takumi is quite noticeable), after a few levels. It's actually fairly impressive if you slowplay maps. Frontliner build Villager -> Weapon Master to 20/5 -> Holy Lancer Will probably need a Seraph Robe (or multiple), but picks up lots of Seal skills and overall solid statwise. Can wander in a crowd, counter them all with a Javelin, and debuff Str/Def/Spd by 6. Buddy Seal with Oboro for the Lance Fighter line. [spoiler=Hinoka] Hinoka: A more classic Pegasus, with high Spd and Res, middling Str and Def. Immediate access to the Guard Naginata does mean early durability is very nice, though she doesn’t hit back very hard and later enemy Atk rises too fast for her Def. Avoidtanking isn’t really a thing, except for the Reverse Naginata against Axes (Bows are ohkos and so very scary). High Spd allows fairly consistent usage of Steel for more damage, but she still doesn’t oneround that reliably without more help. She’s good enough, but underwhelming I suppose. Suppose you give her Energy drops, Str tonics, Str Pair Up/Attack Stance (usually someone like Silas), and Steel so she can oneround. It’s still only at 1 range and she’s like 2-3hko’d in return and can’t be near Bows at all. Most characters will do that with that kind of investment and usually take less damage in return, by attacking indirectly or having more Hp/Def/Avoid. Other units have more distinct, useful roles in the team like Ninjas killing mages at 1-2 range (just outclassing Pegasus here) or just weakening/debuffing a crowd or Archers onerounding key targets while avoiding damage or Corrin/Ryoma obliterating everything. Flying utility is useful as always and she can use Rescue later, but Subaki pretty much does the same thing except he gives more Def in Pair Up, which is probably more useful. Hinoka’s personal works as an Aura which helps a bit (though not in Guard Stance), but she’s actually the type of unit that would want that damage boost instead of giving it; many other units already oneround without it, or won’t oneround even with it. Basically, when I reclassed her to the Lancer line (+3-4 Str/Def + Lancefaire late) and she still wasn’t that impressive combat-wise, maybe she just isn’t that good? >_> Maybe use. Perhaps my expectations are off, but a somewhat better Subaki is not an incredible combat unit. Flying utility Pegasus Warrior -> Falcon Warrior (to 20/5 -> Golden Kite Warrior) Stay flying, pick up staves and Rally Speed. It might be notable that Hinoka+Falcon (and +Mag Pair) is a solid base Mag value and Shinrai Naginata can double, attacks Res, and has a big mt advantage over Javelins (which are rare in Hoshido anyway). Maybe go into Golden Kite for more skills, though stats are a bit lower. Note even Bronze Bow still easily kills fliers with Hinoka’s Spd, which is situationally useful. Hinokopter doesn’t need a pegasus Lancer build Pegasus Warrior -> Lance Fighter -> Basara/Holy Lancer Reclass asap for Hp/Str/Def growths and immediately +3 base Str/Def, all stats Hinoka likes. Her Spd and Res remain very high in this class, instead of fairly overkill in Pegasus. Basara vs Holy Lancer depends on how you value the skills vs. the stats. Hinoka’s mag is a bit low, though weapons like Horse God and Shinrai Naginata still maintain some value. Defense and Speed seal have some support value in helping other units finish up enemies and Hinoka can use the Guard or Reverse Naginata to inflict those with relatively low risk (she doesn't have to hit them either so it works against 2 range enemies). Dark Falcon should probably be mentioned, even though the stats are unimpressive for her and Galeforce is late. [spoiler=Asama] Asama: As a staffbot, he’s a slightly bulkier one, but otherwise pretty unexceptional since Felicia/Jakob are promoted already and Sakura has her aura. It is however interesting how good his physical stats are, especially Hp/Str/Def. When promoted, Asama can use lances to take advantage of this, but will need to start from Bronze. Another option would be to reclass earlier, giving up healing for another combat unit. Unlike many other units, he actually has durability, and isn’t crippled too much elsewhere (like Rinkah/Subaki/Hinata). Maybe use, Staves are always good enough filler, and being able to take a few hits to heal may mean a character’s life. Asama also has an interesting growth pattern for potential other roles. Bulky support Priest to 10 or 20 -> Mountain Priest (-> Falcon Warrior) Like Sakura, promoting early to get weapon access earlier is a strong option. Can Buddy/Marry seal with Subaki/Hinoka to go to Falcon which even keeps Lance rank, though it may be a little tricky building the supports (Pair Up doesn’t synergize too well, healing takes time). Boulder reincarnate combat build Priest (to 10) -> Herb Merchant/Oni Savage/Pegasus Warrior -> Puppeteer/Blacksmith/Falcon Knight Pick up Rally Luck if you want, or if waiting to Buddy/Marry seal. Otherwise pick one and reclass to something fun. Herb Merchant he already has, but Yumis are a little wasteful of his durability (interesting synergy with his personal that counter adjacent though). His stats should outclass Rinkah by a good bit in Oni, and in the Pegasus line his Hp/Def leads are significant while Spd is patched up by the class. Obviously there are other choices too, but Asama isn’t as special there. For example he could go to Lance Fighter, but Oboro isn’t really that lacking in stats and can use much better Lances already. Dread Fighter is still incredibly good with Asama’s stat distribution of course. Especially since many others need to build weapon rank there too. [spoiler=Setsuna] Setsuna: Well the obvious reaction is she’s outclassed by Takumi/Yuugiri and everyone else who can reclass to use Bows, because of her low level/bases and low Str growth. imo, it’s not actually that bad if you want to use her as there’s mages/fliers to snipe initially, then Prescient Victory for some damage, Steel usage for more, Attack stance, etc. Her Spd is really high, which is not overkill in Lunatic, and Bows have crazy mt nowadays. It should be mentioned she has parallel seal access to Copycat puppet lategame, though by then others could buddy/marry into it. But to be honest, Yuugiri is probably straight up better (Takumi is slower, which does matter. Look forward to that discussion. <_<). For “babied” units, Mozume outclasses statwise by far, even if she (very significantly) requires an early seal. Probably don’t use, I think base level is a bit too low as she needs 7 levels to more respectable damage. Pewpew build Bowman -> Holy Bowman to 20/15 -> Puppeteer Standard stuff. Might as well take advantage of natural class sets (though Puppeteer doesn’t get S Bows, do remember). She probably wants the Str and Bowfaire for damage, though Golden Kite as an option has more movement, obviously. [spoiler=Tsukuyomi] Tsukuyomi: Recruited later than the trainee, at level 1 without Aptitude, and there might be a problem. Don’t use. Wait...tanky mage might actually work??? build Spellcaster-> Basara to 20/15 -> Shura Okay a little more seriously there’s Attack stance for training, plus Tsukuyomi fights indirectly and base damage has Mag+2 and Arrogance in effect. Hp/Def is nice for a mage and other stats are solid. Horse God, as it keeps being brought up, is definitely also a thing. Might as well stay a little tanky classwise. Tsukuyomi is probably one of few that actually reaches reliable 1-2 range onerounding on enemy phase, but he does need a good bit of investment and effort to get there. Dark Falcon gives him somewhat passable bases so there’s some potential there. [spoiler=Oboro] Oboro: Another balanced unit but pretty good in the sense that all her physical bases and growths are decently high, especially combined with the class bases/growths. Her personal skill gives more damage, Naginatas give a bit of Def/Res (and the Guard Naginata exists). What’s a little borderline is Spd, so she would like a little help there from tonics, boosters, Pair Up (Hinata support does build fast), etc. I really can’t think of too much more to say about this right now. She’s very similar, but probably slightly worse than Lance Fighter!Hinoka, but doesn’t require a Parallel Seal. The “issue” imo with these balanced units is their niche is to use the Guard Naginata is tank and chip things (at just 1 range for low damage), which honestly doesn’t feel that remarkable. Notably, Defense/Speed Seal do make it easier for others to clean up on player phase. It’s kinda similar to another unit chipping with a 1-2 range weapon, though the Guard/Reverse Naginata might let her fight a higher quantity than many others on enemy phase. It may impact some high Spd or Def enemies more significantly, but generally the former are fragile (even without doubling) and the latter are weak to magic and effective damage. And low Hp limits this usefulness lategame, especially versus the Axe/Bow+Magic combinations, or if trying to use more offensive weapons like the Warrior Naginata. Sure maybe use for a solid, if not exceptional, contributor. Not an S rank Shuriken Balance fighter and debuffer build Lance Fighter -> Holy Lancer/Basara (to 15 -> Falcon Warrior/Great Merchant) Her base class fits best with the growths/bases, and again Basara is an option for the skills. Falcon’s Spd and Swallow Strike (Marriage Seal Subaki) could definitely be relevant later. Great Merchant is slower which matters for Oboro, but the skills are situationally useful. Dark Falcon mostly fixes Spd to the detriment of other stats. While the bases are good for the early/midgame, later the lack of Str/Def hurts while trying to make it to Galeforce. [spoiler=Hinata] Hinata: A speedy class with good personal Str/Def could work, see units like Saizou, but Hinata’s Spd growth is just too low. It requires substantial help to patch up, meaning Str/Def are actually middling since they’re hard to boost simultaneously with Spd through Pair Up. It’s a thin line between having balanced stats insufficient for good combat, and balanced stats that cover up weaknesses to result in a strong all-around performance, like +Hp or +Def Corrin. Hinata falls short, and doesn’t really have the utility potential of units like Subaki. I suppose he can instantly promote to Weapon Master to give the rare combination of Str/Skl/Spd/Def in Pair Up, which is useful enough, but it doesn’t scale as well with support rank like Awakening and is far less impressive than the Paladin Pair Ups there. There are some insights suggesting a potential tanky role for Hinata, but the rating remains don’t use until it's tested more in Lunatic. Theorycraft is somewhat promising, however. What Rinkah tries to do Onitank build Samurai -> Oni Savage -> Shura Luninareph brought up the interesting idea of not trying to "fix" Hinata's Spd, but rather play to his strengths, namely his Hp/Def which are a nice base 27/16 with 75%/65% growths in Oni and can be boosted further by stuff like Rinkah's Pair Up, Sakura's Personal aura, and Felicia's Demoiselle and Battle Command. His base Spd is sufficient for a while, but even when he starts getting doubled he probably won't take much damage. It's a bit unorthodox, but another small consideration is getting doubled also actually builds Dual Guard faster, which can block more damage (especially if smartly saved for mages as possible). Tanky units in Hoshido are relatively rare, so Hinata could definitely have a niche. He could hit back at 1-2 range or use stronger weapons like the Warrior series, unlike Guard Naginata users. For adjacent enemies, Counter and his personal adds a bit more damage (though a little anti-synergistic with high durability). Despite pretty nonexistent magic, Hinata in Shura can get even more Def with Horse God and let enemies hit themselves for damage or chip though low Res (switch to better weapons on player phase for Attack Stance to cleanup). Getting Seal skills could be an option if willing to go through the classes, especially those like Weapon Master that have common weapon ranks. Standard Samurai build Samurai -> Trueblade Slower classes will get doubled pretty consistently, even if they have better Def. This build tries to hold it off as long as possible and keeps his solid base C Swords. His Hp/Def, combined with the Avoid/Astra of Trueblade might tank a few enemies, but it’s kinda a stretch. [spoiler=Takumi] Takumi: To be clear, I’m going to rate him use, but I’m a little surprised at how much hype he gets as a combat unit. I agree Bows do feel a bit more useful in this game because of high Mt and the Attack Stance mechanic, and Bowman have significant damage/hit boosts when attacking. Avoiding counterattacks is a big deal given relatively low durability all around, and most 1-2 range is weak now, and so they really do feel like the goto weapon a lot of the time on player phase. Takumi has solid enough bases, ignores terrain cost (not quite the same as flying wrt impassable terrain), and his Personal skill is another damage boost that’s fairly easy to set up if he sticks near characters like Corrin and Ryoma. So things will synergize well and Takumi can do like 60-80% hp damage with single hits w/ 30% crit, even on Lunatic. That sounds pretty good, but I suppose my bias arises because I distinctly recall my disappointment when Takumi’s repeatedly failed to (reliably) oneround enemies, missing Spd benchmarks even with a +Spd Pair Up. Really? <_< The crit basically doesn’t exist, since it’s not reliable enough. Even if he outdamages others, they still need to come in to setup or finish off the kill. Most of the damage boosts are overkill early/midgame (usually others can at least 2hko with Attack stance), and Spd might be a bigger problem late. Bows still only hit 1 target or so per turn, so if a unit fails to kill that target, he’s not being very useful. Compare Takumi’s base 13 str+4 prescient victory + 14 prf bow = 31(34) mt, 11 AS, to Yuugiri’s base 26 att with iron (which is enough for now), and effectively 25 AS. Later, Steel Yumi lowers the att discrepancy while the Spd lead is still huge, and offensive growths are similar. Yuugiri also has Lances as a midgame 1 range option or for the side effects, and has more move+flying. More about her later, but is Takumi really that much, if any, better than Yuugiri (who I’m pretty sure people aren’t as impressed by)? Perhaps overplaying the Spd issue, but if we have to use statboosters and a deployment slot for Pair Up so that Takumi can remain bowlocked with 6 move and kill ~1 unit a turn…well there’s something to think about. Worse than Mozume Pewpewpew build Bowman -> Holy Bowman (to 15 -> Puppeteer/Golden Kite Warrior) I feel like every point of Spd matters and Takumi ignores terrain anyway. Later maybe Marriage Seal Kagerou (incidentally a good Pair up statwise for Takumi) for Copycat or get the skills/movement in Golden Kite. Note the bases are worse and you do give up S rank Bows. And Zanshin pretty much has no penalties since it's indirect damage and has massive mt+Spd boost. Note that if Takumi has access to Pegasus Warrior (Corrin, Azura marriage) he gains those unpromoted skills, notably Swallow Strike, in Golden Kite Warrior even if he promotes from Bowman. Azura is also an interesting pairing gameplay-wise since she refreshes him (a heavily player phase unit) and boosts his Spd. __________ Ownagepuffs suggests below that the player has enough resources to help Takumi's Spd, if it adheres to averages. (though I want to note the chance that Takumi has his average Spd or higher at a given level is around ~65%) [spoiler=Kagerou] Kagerou: Base Str and growth is high for her level, but base Spd needs a little work. Still, her high growth there at 70% combined with the Shuriken Spd boost eventually gives her fairly reliable offense. Her defensive parameters are very low however, so she can’t take full advantage of 1-2 range. For indirect damage, Shurikens have far lower mt than Yumi overall, and she won’t get damage/hit rate from Presicient Victory/Raven Strike. Her Res growth and the class res is decent enough to take a few hits, and perhaps the Reverse Shuriken can avoidtank a few hits (it’s a little risky, like Hana). I would say Kaze is probably better in the Ninja role of fighting mages and debuffing (Needle Shurikens handles armors as well), especially with a considerable availability lead. Saizou clearly has higher defenses and also enough Spd to double. The mages have Horse God and attack Res and the archers have more consistently superior player phase. I’m not sure Kagerou’s Str is high enough to really give her an edge and by the time her Spd growth has kicked in enough, Yuugiri, Ryoma, Crimson have joined so she might get overshadowed (unless she promotes early, I suppose). Still I’m going to say maybe use. It’s hard to say without knowing how her Str is later, and I dropped her too early to find out. Her flaws don’t seem crippling enough to recommend against her, for now. A little stronger debuffer and magekiller build: Ninja -> Puppeteer/Elite Ninja (whatever order) Similar to Kaze. I think it depends on if her Str is good enough to obtain noticeable onerounding in Puppeteer, which might be the case midgame. Later, the Spd cap could come into play and she may want Kunaifaire. Elite Ninja is also more solid against mages which is important since her base and growth are decent, but not that high alone. Dread Fighter is similar to Ninja, but the Res boost might be even more advantageous for her, so it’s a strong option to consider. [spoiler=Yuugiri] Yuugiri: Another glass cannon type unit but Yuugiri noticeably has strong bases, being a prepromoted unit, and use Bows for the high Mt. Her durability doesn’t matter as much when attacking indirectly so her great Str/Spd bases and growth are enough. With Swallow Strike, she will never have AS problems, even with Steel weaponry, and she’ll always be great against fliers with Soar. While she won’t have Soar for the all-flier chapter near her recruitment, her own flight, bases, and Bows makes her possibly the top option there. Earlier on, her stats are even solid enough to fight at 1 range for a while, especially with the Guard or Reverse Naginatas. Later she’ll want to stick with Bows and she should use them early to build the weapon rank. Yuugiri doesn’t have many support options for Buddy/Marriage seals, but does have access to Ninja and therefore late Copycat, if you want. She probably won’t fight too much in Guard Stance so the lack of support ranks isn’t a big problem. There is some discussion of this elsewhere in the thread, but it should be noted that Yuugiri gains exp like a 10/1 unit. Unlike some previous games, this means her exp gain actually slightly higher than a 20/1 unit. She is slightly faster to skills and if used equally, maintains around a 5 level lead over characters promoted at 20, until capping at --/20. Use. High bases plus enough growth to remain a reliable contributor in her role later. Unless we want to rate Takumi "maybe use" Mobile archer build Golden Kite Warrior (to 15 -> Puppeteer) Not too many choices. Puppeteer for Copycat gives up flight, though it does have 7 move. The other class she would maybe want is Bowman for the damage and her only choice is Corrin there. Would be giving up a lot of mobility but the stat gap is huge, especially with Prescient Victory and Bowfaire. [spoiler=Nishiki] Nishiki: Bases are definitely solid enough, especially on even turns, but Spd is pretty overkill and Def is low. Base Hp and Avoid from the class and basic weapon helps that a little, but lack of triangle/reverse weapons means it only goes so far. While Guard Beaststone will give Def and Nishiki barely feels the Spd hit, his Def still never gets good enough to take too many hits (class base really hurts). Only 1 range means he isn’t the best against mages, despite nice Res (doesn’t fly like Pegasus, doesn’t 1-2 range like Ninja). Effective damage against Horses is a nice situational boost, though again he really does take a lot of damage in return. Ideally he’d try to avoid counterattacks with Attack stance. Note Beastkillers are very limited in Hoshido, though I do remember at least one drops around when Nishiki joins and you fight a few Paladins/Garou. I think the bases are good enough for maybe use. Kyuubi build Fox spirit -> Nine-tailed Fox Not much choice in other classes because of weapon rank. Unlike Awakening, transformers don’t have gimped bases, so he can’t pull a Panne and reclass for ridiculous stats. [spoiler=Ryoma] Ryoma: --/4 unit with effectively base 39 atk, 24 AS, +20 crit, +20 avoid, 1-2 range with no penalties in Chapter 14 is surely balanced. [spoiler=Crimson] Crimson: Basically Hoshido!Camilla except Str/Def are even better. Well she does level a little slower, and arrives when Ryoma does instead of alongside some scrubs, but her bases are incredible and she’s a flier as well. Building Lance rank allows her the Guard and Reverse Naginata, the latter of which can sometimes “tank” bows in an emergency. Not many people use Axes either, Rinkah herself starts with E rank, so there’s another niche there. Stuff like Generals are among the scarier lategame enemies and Crimson can fight them well. An Hp tonic and Seraph robe can really help her going into the lategame. This can be said for anyone, but Crimson’s Def is particularly nice and her Hp is particularly low. Do beware criticals from Berserkers; Goddess Icons, tonics, Rally Luck will help. And be cautious against mages, of course. It’s obvious she’s in Ryoma’s shadow, but hard to argue against use I mean, Miledy comes in Chapter 13 versus Crimson’s 14, and the first 6 chapters here are essentially tutorial Mobile combat Wyvern Lord (to 15 -> Revenant Knight/Great Knight/General) Could reclass for some skills/no bow weakness, but you give up a lot of mobility. It may be useful if not rushing the lategame, however. [spoiler=Izana] Izana: Really a great filler unit if other mages weren’t trained (or even if they were). Bases are great (35/23/19 is actually solid Hp/Spd/Def with tonics and Horse god, though it won’t last). Mag stays great for attack stance. Staff usage is great. His personal skill is great since Def is usually more useful for the player. Maybe use since availability is not so great and the team might be set. Invested early units are probably better, and there’s the possibility of children also to outclass at base. Hard to say, however. Great mage support Exorcist Really kinda pointless going to other classes without weapon rank. If marrying Corrin, could go toward Basara, Shura, Dark Knight for some skills and Def, if you’re okay with giving up staves. [spoiler=Asyura] Asyura : Really good bases but this is around the time enemy stats actually get kinda high. Bows does let him fight indirectly, but instead of skills like Prescient Victory giving direct boosts to his damage, he debuffs for others. His high Res is nice and can use the Mirror Yumi to slay Sorcs easily (others will require heals, Reverse Yumi works but isn't always reliable). Maybe use filler like Izana, especially if utility (staves, locktouch, debuff Spd) is needed. Utility build Adventurer (to 15 -> Puppeteer) If you want Copycat there’s an option. I suppose technically he’s 8 move, 1-2 range in that class, but needs Arms scrolls for the Kunai rank and Def is lacking. Stick to misc small tasks, I think. [spoiler=Yukimura] Yukimura : Balanced stats all around. Nothing very exceptional, especially since a bunch of children probably have joined/are joining. Maybe use for the chip, debuffs, and personal global hit buff. Combat support Puppeteer (to 15 -> Great Merchant) Kinda slow, but Extravagance can be fun to play around with. Ask questions, give comments, build suggestions and submissions, etc. This is very wip, and I'll be adding/editing more later regardless.
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