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-Cynthia-

FE9 Tier list v3

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Since I seem to have killed all discussion with that last post, let me see if I can re-ignite some debate.

I was actually enjoying the lull. Oh well.

First, I'd put Mordecai over Muarim and Neph for smiting considerations. The only cost to using Mordecai is a deployment slot, yet his usefulness in LTCs is unquestionable. OTOH, Neph demands resources to become a 7 move combat machine… hardly the same level of usefulness in regards to highly efficient play.

This entirely comes down to how optimal we assume playthroughs to be. Mordecai is pretty helpful at saving turns in the most optimal of playthroughs. Nephenee is possibly not used at all. But when almost all of Mordecai's contributions are glorified shoving (i.e. moving a unit that will actually do something a couple spaces forward), I don't assign it too much credit. Nephenee, meanwhile, competes with Boyd for being the very best rescue-drop candidate. And while rescue-dropping isn't required if you have enough trained fliers, it is also a completely efficient way to clear a variety of chapters: 15 (not that Boyd or Nephenee is particularly great here), 17-4, 20, 21 (not particularly needed if you recruit and use Tauroneo well), and 25. And then Nephenee can contribute in some chapters with her own movement, like the routs in chapters 13, 17-1, and 25. She can also accomplish some secondary objectives in maps. But Mordecai vs. Nephenee is one of the weirdest comparisons, so I'm not too inclined to make any change.

In the context of LTCing, most of the usefulness of having a sage is for siege tome bosskills. Other usage such as staff utility and mopping up reinforcements simply pale in comparison to eliminating bosses more quickly.

Sieging is the unique contribution the Sages can provide. Targetting bosses is one contribution among many that Sages can make with siege tomes. Killing Ballista operators (C23 is most notable) and chokepoint enemies (C27 comes to mind) is also of great value. But while sieging is the Sages' most notable contribution, that is no excuse to ignore their other contributions like staff utility and 1-2 range combat.

Since sages are relegated to this very simple task, it makes sense that low maintenance is of utmost importance in terms of their ranking. Soren fails in this regard because he requires a lot more EXP than Calill to produce the same output in regards to eliminating a boss.

Calill is certainly the most low-maintenance siege-tome user, and that is an advantage for her. But the Mages can accomplish anything she can and more, so it is far from obvious that she is more valuable.

First, let's look at the availability of siege tomes.

No, let's first look at the Mages' non-siege contributions before (and after) Calill joins.

Consider a low-resources approach and a high-resources approach to training the Mages.

This argument isn't so much about Calill > Soren as it is simply gauging the usefulness of sages towards LTCs. But, unless Soren, Tormod and Ilyana have significant contributions towards efficient play outside of bosskilling, Calill stomps them because she requires around half the BEXP they do to achieve the exact same thing.

And it's not as though Calill can't hold her own in regular combat anyway. I've already shown a long time ago that even base Calill is a ORKOing machine, and that her primary combat issue is durability. What's so amazing about Soren's earlygame as to warrant a higher ranking? It's already been shown that Oscar's not saving that many turns in earlygame due to Titania domination, imagine where that puts Soren, whose combat is at its worst in earlygame.

Tormod's a weird case since he can actually keep up with our mounts, so his combat utility over the game is much more relevant. He isn't mostly limited to boss sniping. For this reason I wouldn't object to Tormod > Calill > Soren.

I'm not opposed to Calill moving up a little. Siege tomes are pretty awesome and Calill is the best (lowest maintenance) user. But I don't think that is enough to place Calill over Soren. Soren has a bunch of potential contributions that Calill cannot match. Meanwhile Soren can match everything Calill can do with moderately more Bexp.

Gatrie > Haar seems pretty suspect to me. Let's look at Gatrie's earlygame.

Chapter 3: Ike, Gatrie and Shinon are nothing more than distractions for the enemies as Titania charges for the boss. He's basically inconsequential here.

Chapter 4: See chapter 3.

Chapter 5: Loldefendchapter.

Chapter 7: Since Gatrie and Shinon spawn at opposite ends of the map relative to your other units, their circumstances basically force them to be useful. This is precisely "FE10 1-P Edward" type usefulness. Even so, both units do little more than distract the enemies until Titania can catch up and mop up their mess.

After that, Gatrie disappears until C13, at which point he might as well not exist due to lolmove and AS issues.

Wow, Gatrie did next to nothing useful for his entire existence! What about Haar? We're basically getting a durable flier for free. The usefulness he has from rescue dropping in C25 probably outweighs all of Gatrie's earlygame, and that's even if we deploy Tanith, Marcia AND Jill on that map.

I'm not opposed to Haar moving up a little, but don't discount the value of Gatrie's distraction in C4, his performance in C5 (he helps us distribute the Cexp to who we desire), and his potential contributions in C13 and beyond. They aren't anything special, but he can help in routs (mostly just C13 and C17-1)

Devdan > Brom, anyone?

Not me. I'd sooner place Devdan in Lower-mid because the gap between him and Brom is rather large.

First off, Devdan's bases wreck Brom. Look at what levels Brom needs just to match them.

This is the most disingenuous way to compare stats that I've ever seen. Let's see at what levels Devdan needs just to match a 20/1 Brom with 10 Knight Ward levels:

Hp: 10

Str: 12

Mag: Ahead by 3

Skl: 9

Spd: 10

Spd (using KW): 7

Lck: Ahead by 10

Def: Never!

Res: Ahead by 2

OMG, Devdan has big wins in Magic and Luck and a small win in Resistance! Otherwise, Devdan needs almost as much Bexp as Brom to even match his 20/1 stats (at which point these guys can double and ORKO). And Brom's advantages are only going to increase because he has so many more levels to grow (and grows faster/cheaper). Seriously, though, Devdan struggles to 2HKO and has durability concerns when compared with Brom. His only advantage of note? He's decent with the Flame Lance...

1) 10% higher spd growth means the gap between Devdan and Brom's spd only increases as the game goes on.

If we assume majority Knight Ward use (which these two units need to be able to double), Brom is going to be the one with the higher Speed.

2) Devdan has +1 move on him, and we all know how important that is.

Not very important at all when both are going to be left behind in most maps. Devdan's biggest movement advantage is C25.

3) Brom is harder to rescue (Marcia + Tanith cannot do it) and shove.

Marcia and Tanith (along with every other mounted unit) can rescue Brom. Ignoring that Devdan is almost as difficult to shove as Brom, why would we want to shove these guys?

The comparison is already unsalvageable for Brom.

I think you forgot the most important part of a comparison: what these units can do. Devdan can contribute a little to the routs in C17-1, C18 (dealing with the Wyvern Riders), and C25. He might be able to contribute a little to secondary objectives in some other chapters. Brom can do the same thing as Devdan in C17-1 and C18. He can also help in the C13 rout. He can also help with secondary objectives in chapters 11 and 14 (when we have fewer units). Most importantly, Brom's "overkill durability" makes him a potential rescue-drop candidate in chapters 20 and 25. This is something Devdan cannot do with his mediocre durability. So, how is Devdan better again?

I'd definitely put Volke and Sothe above Brom/Devdan, possibly even Haar/Gatrie. I mean, both thieves get partial credit for the boots, which is a huge freaking deal. They eliminate the need for chest keys in C13, can be rescue-dropped all the way to the full guard chest in C16, and provide some other tidbits of usefulness here and there. I can understand that LTCing forces us to miss most treasure in the game, hence their plummeting rank, but they should still be above ****y combat units that would be lucky to get more than 5 kills on a LTC run without being given serious investment that would outweigh their usefulness (i.e. BEXPing Brom more than Marcia early on).

I agree that Volke and Sothe should move up (I've said so several times in the past). I'd argue that Volke especially deserves to move up further than Sothe, because he has a myriad of small advantages over the second thief.

Elincia being in the lowest possible tier is ridiculous. If Mist isn't in play (which would save ~1000 BEXP and a master seal, mind you), then Elincia is instrumental in all 3 of her final maps because of the rescue staff. Other sages will never have the rank to use it, and Rhys cannot match her range unless he gets shove conga'ed, and even then he can't canto back to safety. In fact, even if Mist is in play, it's possible for both units to use the rescue staff on the same turn through trading.

There's a lot of units as high as upper-mid that you can argue barely affect that game's turn count positively, especially given opp. costs (if I don't use Stefan how does my team suffer? … They're barely affected?!?). With Elincia though, the benefits are clear and measurable (eg/ 1 turn saved in endgame). Even better, she has free deployment in 2/3 of her maps.

I could see Elincia moving up a little.

Edited by aku chi

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Stop posting those points if you're not going to post all the other pages of discussion *we* had about Tormod vs Soren, considering I've went through that post and you've said almost nothing to counter what I said (considering the pages of derailing over "what is a reliable clear"). You say I need to work on my reading comprehension but you need to work on the fact that I am not a moron and I know how to debate.

Edited by Mercenary Raven

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@Aku Chi: Adressing Devdan vs Brom for now, will get to Soren vs Calill as soon as I read those posts you linked me to.

This is the most disingenuous way to compare stats that I've ever seen.

It’s not a stat comparison, but rather a way of showing the resources Brom requires to match Devdan’s performance. My point is that Brom needs to be BEXPed close to promotion before his combat is even comparable to Devdan’s, and that’s a large investment (~1300-1500 BEXP).

Obviously how the 2 units compare has everything to do with the BEXP investment we put towards them. If we put 1500 BEXP towards Devdan as well, he’ll gain about 8 levels.

Brom 20/1: 40 hp/18 str/40 hit/12-16 AS/21 def/8 res/30-38 avo

Devdan --/12: 42 hp/19 str/55 hit/16-18 AS/15 def/12 res/51-54 avo

Devdan wins across the board, except for def. But 42 hp/15 def is very good concrete durability until lategame. For instance, in Chapter 21 the higher atk enemies only manage a 4-5HKO.

Also, the less BEXP we give both units, the better Devdan will be in the comparison since he profits less from the BEXP dump than Brom does (8 levels gained vs 13). This is especially true before Brom promotes since those promotion gains are very important towards his performance.

If we assume majority Knight Ward use (which these two units need to be able to double), Brom is going to be the one with the higher Speed.

In the comparison I showed, Devdan has a 2 AS advantage, and the only way Brom’s gaining ground is through a levelling advantage. I suppose he could achieve higher AS at some point, but by then we’ve invested much more BEXP into Brom than he’ll ever realistically get.

I think you forgot the most important part of a comparison: what these units can do. Devdan can contribute a little to the routs in C17-1, C18 (dealing with the Wyvern Riders), and C25. He might be able to contribute a little to secondary objectives in some other chapters. Brom can do the same thing as Devdan in C17-1 and C18. He can also help in the C13 rout. He can also help with secondary objectives in chapters 11 and 14 (when we have fewer units). Most importantly, Brom's "overkill durability" makes him a potential rescue-drop candidate in chapters 20 and 25. This is something Devdan cannot do with his mediocre durability. So, how is Devdan better again?

First of all, if this is all these units are outputting for the team, then neither Devdan nor Brom are worthy of much investment. Their roles are little more than cleaning up reinforcements that spawn near your army’s starting point, which is hilariously easy to satisfy. Mobility’s not an issue because the enemies come to you. Offence isn’t much of an issue since you have multiple turns to take out the same enemies. Generally, 2RKOes are highly acceptable in these situations. All you need is acceptable durability and this secondary role is pretty much satisfied. All to say, your BEXP is much better invested in frontline units, so we can’t expect Brom or Devdan to get much going their way. Low maintenance is key for this role, and Devdan is clearly superior in this regard.

Though, just for ****s and giggles, let’s look at those chapters you mentioned more carefully.

11: Base Brom 3HKOes cavaliers, and fares even worse against knights. In fact, he even 3HKOes one of the soldiers. The only enemies he doesn’t suck against are vigilantes, but they’re worth more alive than dead.

13: This 7 turn has some of the most relaxed requirements in the game. You can’t really give anyone credit for anything they do past the first 2 turns as anything other than self-improvement.

14: What’s Brom doing? Visiting the spirit dust house to the west? Even Sothe can do that.

17-1: Without rescue-dropping, foot units are left in the dust for a 2 turn clear. If we take extra turns, then some myrmidons show up at the starting position. Base level Devdan 2HKOes them all and is 4HKOed in return. Admittedly Brom doesn’t need much to 2HKO them either.

18: Base Devdan doubles the wyvern riders for an easy 2RKO. OTOH, Brom needs 9 levels to double (2RKO), before that he pulls off a paltry 4RKO. Neither character has a realistic chance of 1RKOing without being given steel forges, but that’s a serious misappropriation of resources, giving that they’re killing 3 enemies.

20: The only reason we’d rescue-drop Brom is to take out Shiharam. But, his work is already cut out for him when 35 hp/17 def wyverns are getting in his way. Even with a forged steel lance, he needs to be 20/5 to pull off a borderline ORKO. That’s a ton of investment to do something that our super flier is already capable of.

At any rate, Devdan can do the same thing. For virtually the same exp investment (2350 BEXP vs 2384 BEXP), a --/14 Devdan can ORKO the same wyverns without survival issues.

Devdan --/14: 44 hp/16-18 def/13-16 res/60 avo

Depending on if he gets the KW or not, the wyverns are 5-6HKOing him at 32 real hit. His odds of dying in 8 attacks are ~1.6%, just to give you an idea of how durable he is.

25: Brom needs to be promoted to do anything meaningful at the peak. Though, if we do provide him that investment, I’ll admit he could be quite useful here. Neph, Boyd and obviously Devdan have less durability on him, and Tauroneo’s too slow.

I looked at the chapters you didn’t mention, and both units would be next to useless there…

Anyway, Devdan > Brom for low investments, and Devdan ~= Brom for higher investments (only C25 makes it arguable). Lower investment is much more likely for both characters, though. Even if our frontlines are powerful, most of the time improving the 1-2 range of a 9 move unit is probably more worthwhile than buffing 6-7 move units, so they get last dibs on available BEXP.

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Hmm OK a lot of things here:

@Mordecai and Nephenee/Muarim. I'm really not inclined to put Mordecai over Muarim. Having better Shoving for some chapters is useful and all, but Muarim can actually contribute well in combat, by the time we get the Demi Band Mordecai is already too slow (unless we want to Speedwing him or give a lot of BEXP).

Mordecai also doesn't necessarily Smite very turn either, as he'll fall behind if untransformed.

Nephenee vs. Mordecai is a very tricky comparison, I wouldn't be opposed to putting Mordecai ahead really.

@Calill/Soren I could see Calill moving up, the availability difference between her and Soren/Ilyana is pretty large, but she has some advantages over them when she shows up. She should probably be somewhere in that tier at least.

@Haar/Gatrie Yeah, Haar is probably a bit low, though not sure where he should go. Low availability hurts him overall.

@Volke/Sothe Tiering thieves is always tricky, but I agree that their overall chest/desert items probably outweigh Gatrie's performance.

@Elincia I think it's important to keep in mind that an optimal team is not always assumed, so characters like Stefan may save more turns than one might think. Rescue staff utility can save turns, but her availability gives her limited opportunities to do so. I could see her in the next tier up though, it's not like Largo is very available either.

I'll wait for more opinions before making any changes.

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I'm up for both Shinon and Elincia moving up (Elincia being > Shinon) because Shinon's very useful early on. Especially as a Provoke baiter.

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I personally don't find Provoke very reliable and find Shinon just ends up not countering when I wish someone else would have been attacked instead.

It would be convenient if there were playthroughs where people dropped an earlygame character from their team and how that affected turncounts. Though I suppose no players actually play like that it would be nice for measuring early utility.

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Mage time

=================

Low resource approach

=================

I don’t feel like quoting the chapter-by-chapter because it’s mostly “chip damage w1n!!!” and/or “healing!!!”. So, I’ll skip to your own conclusion.

In summary: Soren and Ilyana can be effective as your sole staff user from Chapter 11 onwards with an early seal. Soren, in particular, can also contribute a little in combat. Staffbot Tormod, on the other hand, can't sufficiently operate as your sole staff user. He doesn't exist during Chapters 11-15 and can't weild Restore in Chapter 21. He can contribute a little offensively, though, and so might be considered as a secondary staff user.

So… why would Soren being your sole staff user carry any value whatsoever? Rhys and Mist already satisfy such a role just by using a deployment slot. Mist is also likely to be used long-term for rescue staff utility.

Yes, Soren can both heal and attack, so what? By promoting him early, his offence is reduced to chipping, and his movement is such that he’ll only face reinforcements unless he’s rescue-dropped. That’s a very minimal advantage compared to being heal-locked.

This situation would be different if slots were so competitive that we couldn’t field multiple healers. But we can, even on most rout maps.

At any rate, I don’t see how Soren being a redundant healer with the advantage of chipping enemy reinforcements can in any way overcome Calill’s vastly superior siege utility.

=================

High resource approach

=================

Chapter 4: Soren can chip here and there, but probably isn't contributing much towards completing the chapter (he can deal good damage to the boss, but gets 2HKO'd in return).

Chapter 5: Self improvement for Soren. He can reach level 3 by the end of the chapter.

Chapter 6: Soren is a deadweight here.

Chapter 7: This is a rout, and Soren can contribute by teaming up with Mia or Oscar or Ike or Boyd for kills, because they aren't (with the possible exception of a blessed Boyd or Ike) ORKO machines at this point. Soren can easily get to level 5 by the end of this chapter.

Chapter 8: Well, Soren can take ~800 Bexp to ORKO everything in this chapter, but that won't notably help our efforts, so Soren can just use this for self improvement to get up to level 7. Ilyana can chip a few rounds for some Cexp.

So ultimately, Soren’s earlygame can be summarized as follows:

C4: Chip

C5: Self-improvement

C6: Dead weight

C7: Chip

C8: Self-improvement

That’s some incredible leverage he’s got on Calill so far!

Chapter 9: Soren and Ilyana need to be around level 9-10 (200-350 Bexp) to double the non-Myrmidons on the beach. They won't be able to ORKO without a forge (not affordable at this point), but they can help out a little.

Chapter 10: If you stealth, the Mages do nothing. If you brute-force, they still probably do nothing.

Chapter 11: Again, with enough Bexp and a forge, Soren and Ilyana can become ORKO machines, but this won't much help our efforts. At level 11, Soren/Ilyana can still double and 3HKO most enemies, so they can contribute a little getting to the south or north houses.

Chapter 12: Unless we early-clear with Super Marcia, we have several turns for our Mage to chip against Ravens for self-improvement. Hardly anybody can double the Ravens, so Soren/Ilyana's contributions on player phase are as good as most (Soren can almost 2HKO with Elwind). Of course, they can't tank the Ravens, so they need to be kept safe (trivial). They can reach level 13 or 14 here.

C9: Chip

C10: Dead weight

C11: Still chipping

C12: Self-improvement

Calill is curled in the foetal position sobbing her eyes out by now!

Chapter 13: To early-clear this chapter, we need to rout the enemies, and Soren/Ilyana can help here. With a Fire or Thunder forge, a level 14 Soren can ORKO everthing he doubles (he misses the Ravens, the Halberdiers, and most Myrmidons). A level 14/15 Ilyana misses out on a lot of doubles. If we give her a Speedwing, she can match Soren's performance with a Thunder forge.

Chapter 14: Soren/Ilyana are likely to get left behind here. They can contribute on turn 1 by granting vision (Mages have better vision than most).

Chapter 15: Soren/Ilyana can deal great damage to Muarim while avoiding his counter-attacks, so they are worth considering as a drop candidate for a 3-turn clear. We will almost certainly want to promote them for this strategy. From level 16, it will take ~650 more Bexp (or 500 and a Seal) to get them to 20/1. With a fire forge, Soren can deal 19 damage, 21 with a Spirit Dust. Ilyana can deal 17 or 19. All at 100% accuracy. This is enough to let your trained flier 2HKO Muarim (player phase and enemy phase) with a Steel forge or maybe even OHKO with a Laguz Lance if you want to risk the inaccuracy. With even more resources (20/5 + Speedwing + Spirit Dust), Soren can pull off an impressive ORKO of Muarim, but that's probably only relevant in draft play.

C13: You know my opinion on this by now. It’s a self-improvement chapter for basically anybody since the map can so easily be curbstomped within 2-3 turns.

C14: Dead weight

C15: So Soren is going to assist Marcia to do something she can already do reliably on her own… and in the process costs us a turn we had a 75% chance of saving. Sounds like a plan!

Chapter 16: If we give Tormod 977 Bexp, he can get up to level 16. Now he's received about the same resources as Soren/Ilyana. He's received a little more Bexp, but received it later when it isn't quite as valuable, and hasn't needed any Cexp (some of which other units were deprived of when Soren/Ilyana received them). In this chapter, Soren and Ilyana are going to be left behind, in all likelihood. They can stay behind and pick off the reinforcements for no reason other than self-improvement. Tormod might also struggle to keep up here with only 7 mov. He can't double the Myrmidons or even all of the Mages, so he can't do much either (if he gets to the Knights, he can 2HKO with a forge). He might want to just wait for the reinforcements for Cexp.

Yet another chapter of self-improvement/dead weight-ness!

Chapter 17-1: A rout chapter where the Mages might be able to help out a little. Let's take a look at their stats:

20/2 Soren

31 HP, 3 Str, 19 Mag, 21 Skl, 18 Spd, 11 Lck, 7 Def, 20 Res

20/2 Ilyana

30.75 HP, 6.75 Str, 16.5 Mag, 18.75 Skl, 15.5 Spd, 12.75 Lck, 7.25 Def, 19.5 Res

17 Tormod

25 HP, 4 Str, 14.5 Mag, 13 Skl, 13.5 Spd, 11.5 Lck, 6.5 Def, 13.5 Res

Soren is in great shape, being able to ORKO every enemy except the reinforcement Myrmidons (who are devilishly fast).

How deliciously ironic then, that the only enemies Soren is likely to face are those very myrmidon reinforcements.

Chapter 17-2: All three Mages are likely to get left behind in this race to the finish.

Chapter 17-3: Defending is trivial, so this is the longest self-improvement chapter in the game. In addition to getting a bunch of Cexp (Tormod might even promote here), the Mages probably want to focus on improving key weapon levels. Soren and Ilyana want to get C Fire (ideally by Chapter 20 for Meteor), while Tormod might want to work towards C Thunder (by Chapter 23 for Bolting), but only after he's promoted. Thanks to the vast amount of enemies and Venin weapons, it also shouldn't be difficult for Soren/Ilyana to find a healing targets. Soren/Ilyana might even reach D Staves during this chapter if you've been taking advantage of every healing opportunity.

Chapter 17-4: I don't see any of the Mages doing much here.

The cycle of dead-weight/self-improvement continues!

=====================================================================================================================

I’m not at all sold that Soren’s availability has any meaningful leverage on Calill’s siege toming capabilities. However, with all these self-improvement chapters, if Soren’s capable of reaching promotion by now (or at least by C20) with less than 500 BEXP, then I could see Soren > Calill.

20/1 Soren: 31 hp/3 str/18 mag/20 skl/18 AS/11 lck/7 def/19 res

Base Calill: 32 hp/8 str/19 mag/18 skl/18 AS/16 lck/8 def/17 res

Technically Calill’s still slightly better, especially in that she doesn’t lose much AS from siege tomes, and she has the rank to use all 3 of them. But long-term chipping and staffing could more than compensate for that, I guess.

Since Tormod > Soren on the list already, I’ll stop here. Basically, I’d go for Tormod > Soren > Calill >> Ilyana.

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It's not a stat comparison, but rather a way of showing the resources Brom requires to match Devdan's performance. My point is that Brom needs to be BEXPed close to promotion before his combat is even comparable to Devdan's, and that's a large investment (~1300-1500 BEXP).

But the way you do it clouds the fact that Brom becomes statistically superior to Devdan after his promotion gains. I showed that it's Devdan who needs a bunch of Bexp to match a 20/1 Brom.

Obviously how the 2 units compare has everything to do with the BEXP investment we put towards them. If we put 1500 BEXP towards Devdan as well, he'll gain about 8 levels.

Brom 20/1: 40 hp/18 str/40 hit/12-16 AS/21 def/8 res/30-38 avo

Devdan --/12: 42 hp/19 str/55 hit/16-18 AS/15 def/12 res/51-54 avo

So Devdan is barely winning even in this silly situation where we don't use Brom before recruiting Devdan. Let's consider that Brom gets a level a chapter for his six chapters before Devdan joins (two without the Knight Ward, the rest with). Then Brom needs 900 Bexp (with Knight Ward) to promote in time for C17-1. With 900 Bexp (with Knight Ward), Devdan can only reach level 8-9.

Brom 20/1: 40 hp/18.4 str/40.2 hit/15 AS/20.6 def/8 res/36.4 avo

Devdan --/9: 39.75 hp/17 str/52 hit/16.35 AS/13.25 def/11.25 res/50.7 avo

Brom has a crushing durability advantage. Brom has a smallish Atk lead that will increase and a small AS deficit that he'll close because he's levelling much faster. Devdan has a little more hit and avoid. Big deal. Brom actually develops a Skill lead, which is important if we want to hand Luna to these guys.

Also, the less BEXP we give both units, the better Devdan will be in the comparison since he profits less from the BEXP dump than Brom does (8 levels gained vs 13). This is especially true before Brom promotes since those promotion gains are very important towards his performance.

Sure, but neither unit can ORKO without a moderate amount of Bexp. Brom needs to get to promotion (with Knight Ward monopoly) to double and Devdan needs a few levels to double and to 2HKO. So while a no-Bexp comparison favors Devdan, it doesn't favor the player, who won't be able to make use of either of them.

In the comparison I showed, Devdan has a 2 AS advantage, and the only way Brom's gaining ground is through a levelling advantage. I suppose he could achieve higher AS at some point, but by then we've invested much more BEXP into Brom than he'll ever realistically get.

Brom will be gaining levels faster than Devdan (both through Bexp and especially Cexp). And we need to cut these units a little slack, because they simply won't be used if we've trained enough high and top-tier units (like most of Mid and below).

11: Base Brom 3HKOes cavaliers, and fares even worse against knights. In fact, he even 3HKOes one of the soldiers. The only enemies he doesn't suck against are vigilantes, but they're worth more alive than dead.

13: This 7 turn has some of the most relaxed requirements in the game. You can't really give anyone credit for anything they do past the first 2 turns as anything other than self-improvement.

14: What's Brom doing? Visiting the spirit dust house to the west? Even Sothe can do that.

Doing something > doing nothing. It's not like Brom or Devdan can make stunning contributions in their shared availability either.

17-1: Without rescue-dropping, foot units are left in the dust for a 2 turn clear. If we take extra turns, then some myrmidons show up at the starting position. Base level Devdan 2HKOes them all and is 4HKOed in return. Admittedly Brom doesn't need much to 2HKO them either.

Huh? There are a lot of enemies spread out near the starting area that need to be routed. Even General Brom can reach them in 2 turns while our flier flies north. As for Devdan being 4HKO by those three Myrmidons, that's not a good sign when one of them has a Killer Edge and he can't finish them off in one turn. They barely tickle Brom.

18: Base Devdan doubles the wyvern riders for an easy 2RKO. OTOH, Brom needs 9 levels to double (2RKO), before that he pulls off a paltry 4RKO. Neither character has a realistic chance of 1RKOing without being given steel forges, but that's a serious misappropriation of resources, giving that they're killing 3 enemies.

We've had 4-5 Steel forge opportunities by now. Anyways, a 20/1 Brom can ORKO the Wyvern Riders with a Iron Lance forge (which we surely have lying around by now). Devdan needs to be level 11 to pull that off. And if he doesn't finish them off in one round, he has a risk of dying, because he's 4HKO by the Wyvern Riders. There are also turn 7 reinforcements which might be relevant for whomever we leave at the starting position. A 20/3 Brom ORKOs them with ease. Devdan can do the same at level 9 with an Iron Lance forge.

20: The only reason we'd rescue-drop Brom is to take out Shiharam. But, his work is already cut out for him when 35 hp/17 def wyverns are getting in his way. Even with a forged steel lance, he needs to be 20/5 to pull off a borderline ORKO. That's a ton of investment to do something that our super flier is already capable of.

If we promoted Brom by C17-1 (~900 Bexp), he should be 20/5 through Cexp alone. ORKOing all of the Wyvern Riders with invulnerability is not something just anybody can do. Plus a 20/6 Brom (with Knight Ward monopoly) can double Shiharam and leave a big dent (~30 damage, leaving just 15 for our Meteor tome user). Even a level 15 Tanith with an Energy Drop (or a level 11 Marcia) can't deal quite as much damage - and they have to be concerned about being killed. The C20, 2-turn Brom-drop strategy is not just a theoretical curiosity. I pulled it off in a draft.

At any rate, Devdan can do the same thing. For virtually the same exp investment (2350 BEXP vs 2384 BEXP), a --/14 Devdan can ORKO the same wyverns without survival issues.

A level 14 Devdan, on the other hand, is not likely if he was level 9 going into C17-1. But even at level 14 with the Knight Ward, Devdan is far from invulnerable. Those Wyvern Riders pack a serious punch and can all attack one unit on turn 1. There are also a few other enemies atop the cliff. And if we want him to attack Shiharam on turn 2, he needs to have a lot of HP left or be Physic'd.

Depending on if he gets the KW or not, the wyverns are 5-6HKOing him at 32 real hit. His odds of dying in 8 attacks are ~1.6%, just to give you an idea of how durable he is.

How did you perform that math? With the numbers given, your conclusion seems very wrong. Were you perhaps calculating the chance of all 8 Wyverns hitting Devdan?

25: Brom needs to be promoted to do anything meaningful at the peak.

No shit!?

Though, if we do provide him that investment, I'll admit he could be quite useful here. Neph, Boyd and obviously Devdan have less durability on him, and Tauroneo's too slow.

I don't want to overstate Brom's value here. He is a good rescue-drop candidate (if trained), but Vantage/Wrath Boyd and Nephenee are better. Vantage Boyd might also be better (it's a challenge getting him to survive). Brom's movement is crap at the top of the mountain, so he's almost entirely dependent on enemy phase for kills (which mostly works, but there is the Purge Bishop and Ballista operator that need to be killed on player phase). Still, I was able to 3-turn this chapter in a NM draft with Marcia dropping Brom, so it is a possible contribution.

Anyway, Devdan > Brom for low investments, and Devdan ~= Brom for higher investments (only C25 makes it arguable). Lower investment is much more likely for both characters, though. Even if our frontlines are powerful, most of the time improving the 1-2 range of a 9 move unit is probably more worthwhile than buffing 6-7 move units, so they get last dibs on available BEXP.

Except, these two units are almost worthless without some investment, so that's not the relevant comparison. Besides, Brom's better than nothing performance in chapters before Devdan joins is at least as valuable as whatever chip base Devdan can pull off. And when both are given ~900 Bexp before C17-1 (a realistic way to use them), Brom is the more valuable contributor. I think Brom > Devdan is quite clear.

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I personally don't find Provoke very reliable and find Shinon just ends up not countering when I wish someone else would have been attacked instead.

He's not supposed to counter. His point is that he takes some heat away from your early game units simply because he's a bow user with Provoke, and he has the durability to take all of that shit. It clears a path for Titania and Ike in parts of Chapter 3, it allows Ike/Soren to not feel the full brunt of enemy attacks in Chapter 4 (and he helps clear a path for Titania on top of all of that), in Chapter 5 he can take enemy hits instead of Ike/Oscar/Boyd, and in Chapter 7 he can kill a couple enemies here and there for a lower turn clear (Provoke isn't as useful here). Although I guess I'm kinda proving your point where Shinon should be the top of Bottom but he is the second most salvageable unit in Bottom.

Edited by Mercenary Raven

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So… why would Soren being your sole staff user carry any value whatsoever? Rhys and Mist already satisfy such a role just by using a deployment slot. Mist is also likely to be used long-term for rescue staff utility.

Well, staffbot Soren is flat-out better than staffbot Rhys from C11 and beyond. When compared with staffbot Mist, Mist is generally better, but Soren does have his advantages. In particular, staffbot Soren/Ilyana/Tormod + base Calill is the cheapest (in Bexp) way to fulfill our siege magic needs. Base Calill can team up with our staffbot Sage to deal at least as much damage as any trained Sage could do alone - at the cost of more siege tome uses. It's an option if we want to spend as little Bexp as possible on Sages.

So ultimately, Soren's earlygame can be summarized as follows:

C4: Chip

C5: Self-improvement

C6: Dead weight

C7: Chip

C8: Self-improvement

C9: Chip

C10: Dead weight

C11: Still chipping

C12: Self-improvement

C13: You know my opinion on this by now. It's a self-improvement chapter for basically anybody since the map can so easily be curbstomped within 2-3 turns.

C14: Dead weight

Once again, doing something > doing nothing. Soren chipping to contribute to a rout or visiting a house is a positive contribution that Calill doesn't have. Soren has a lot of chapters where he can do something positive and Calill doesn't exist.

C15: So Soren is going to assist Marcia to do something she can already do reliably on her own… and in the process costs us a turn we had a 75% chance of saving. Sounds like a plan!

Actually, I brainstormed a near 100% reliable 2-turn clear of C15 with a Marcia + Soren drop after making that post. So, Soren and Ilyana can be a critical element of the most efficient clear of a chapter. That seems like a pretty major contribution to me as far as Upper-Mid goes.

I'm not at all sold that Soren's availability has any meaningful leverage on Calill's siege toming capabilities. However, with all these self-improvement chapters, if Soren's capable of reaching promotion by now (or at least by C20) with less than 500 BEXP, then I could see Soren > Calill.

20/1 Soren: 31 hp/3 str/18 mag/20 skl/18 AS/11 lck/7 def/19 res

Base Calill: 32 hp/8 str/19 mag/18 skl/18 AS/16 lck/8 def/17 res

Let us be frank: the Mages need more resources than Calill to be our sole siege-toming Sage. They need more Bexp (~500) and probably an Arms Scroll to wield both Meteor and Bolting. This is a real advantage that Calill has. But if we give them the resources they need, the Mages can do everything that Calill can. But they can also make contributions that Calill cannot, either through more availability (much more in the case of Soren), staff utility, or movement (in Tormod's case).

Since Tormod > Soren on the list already, I'll stop here. Basically, I'd go for Tormod > Soren > Calill >> Ilyana.

Aside from Tormod > Soren, I could agree with this ranking. But I'm not confident that Calill is more valuable than Ilyana or vica versa. It's a comparison that pits availability and staff utility against needing fewer resources. I'd be content with Volke, Haar, and Calill at the top of Mid.

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The chances of Marcia 2-turning Chapter 15 are probably more than 75% if you're willing to give her more resources and maybe Vantage. Certainly, it seems a lot cheaper than dumping BEXP into Soren.

Aku chi, you say that a 2 turn clear is possible with Soren, but surely you'd rather rescue-drop Volke on turn 1 to get the boots? Or do you make up for it with Shoves?

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Volke can get Boots by Turn 2 safely. He only needs to be able to take like one Hawk attack (which he can do at base).

The issue is not safety but rather that Volke can't move that far on his own, although I checked and apparently they don't take movement penalties in the desert.

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I'll concede Brom > Devdan, but here's some counter-points just for the fun of it.

So while a no-Bexp comparison favors Devdan, it doesn't favor the player, who won't be able to make use of either of them.

As I showed earlier, base Devdan can actually handle reinforcements pretty well up to a certain point.

Huh? There are a lot of enemies spread out near the starting area that need to be routed.

Watch up to 1:35. Even if Brom is in an ideal formation position and moves completely forward on turn 1, he won’t face any enemies. Your mounts manage to kill all the nearby enemies on turn 1 player phase, and by the next turn they’ve left Brom in the dust.

As for Devdan being 4HKO by those three Myrmidons, that's not a good sign when one of them has a Killer Edge and he can't finish them off in one turn. They barely tickle Brom.

So just kill the KE myrm on player phase. Since he’s the most dangerous enemy around and we surely have more than 1 unit hanging back to handle reinforcements, it’s only logical that he’ll be eliminated on P. phase.

There are also turn 7 reinforcements which might be relevant for whomever we leave at the starting position. A 20/3 Brom ORKOs them with ease. Devdan can do the same at level 9 with an Iron Lance forge.

Only a select few (max. 4) units will have any chance of reaching the ravens, so we have the remainder of our deployed units to deal with turn 7 reinforcements.

If we promoted Brom by C17-1 (~900 Bexp), he should be 20/5 through Cexp alone.

Again, throwing 900 BEXP towards a mid tier unit is never going to happen, at least not until later in the game when being careless with BEXP is much more palatable.

When discussing Marcia vs Oscar you hammered Marcia to death about the opp. cost of using BEXP. If you want to take that stance, then you have to apply the same logic to Brom. 900 BEXP we put on him is 900 BEXP that could’ve gone towards Marcia/Jill/Kieran/Astrid/etc, all of which are seeing 4x more combat than Brom ever will. That’s a net negative.

There is, however, a point in the game (let’s say C25 and beyond) where your developed frontliners are such overkill that BEXPing reject units would actually provide a net benefit. So, I’m not arguing the extreme that both units are in “unused tier”. Just that it’s extremely unlikely they’ll be seeing any BEXP until the last third of the game.

And if we want him to attack Shiharam on turn 2, he needs to have a lot of HP left or be Physic'd.

A 2 turn strategy only requires Ike/super flier/Calill/bosskiller/maybe Reyson. That leaves 5 slots to find a physic healer for Devdan, so healing him on turn 2 is a complete non-issue.

How did you perform that math? With the numbers given, your conclusion seems very wrong. Were you perhaps calculating the chance of all 8 Wyverns hitting Devdan?

Reikken Chance of Death Calculator. Very useful when you don’t feel like working out binomial probabilities.

=================================================================================

Well, staffbot Soren is flat-out better than staffbot Rhys from C11 and beyond.

How, exactly? Rhys has a sizeable staff rank lead on him. Just by promoting he’d have a C rank, compared to Soren’s E, but then he gets to heal for a good half-dozen chapters before Soren can even touch a staff.

Is it because of superior mag?

10/1 Rhys: 16 mag

10/1 Soren: 12 mag

15/1 Soren: 17 mag

Don’t think so.

Though, even if Soren did have a sizeable advantage in that area, it hardly makes a difference. You need 2 points of mag / point of extra physic range, so it takes a hell of a lot of magic to have noticeably more staff range. And even an underlevelled healer will manage >20 hp healing with a physic (formula = mag stat + 10). Unless your name is Boyd, it’s quite rare to suffer more than 20 hp worth of damage in a short time span.

In particular, staffbot Soren/Ilyana/Tormod + base Calill is the cheapest (in Bexp) way to fulfill our siege magic needs. Base Calill can team up with our staffbot Sage to deal at least as much damage as any trained Sage could do alone – at the cost of more siege tome uses.

We have 15 seige tome uses over the entire game (C16 bolting is definitely missed). In fact, we may even have less than that since 2/3 seige tomes are acquired off enemy drops. That’s stretched very thin considering all we want to do with our precious siege tomes.

-Shiharam (1 use)

-Schaeffer (2 uses)

-Gromell (2 uses)

-Petrine + Bertram (2 uses)

-Ballistas (maybe 5 uses?)

-Dragons/tigers/other threats

It’s better to BEXP Calill and get more mileage out of our siege tomes than it is to do what you proposed.

Once again, doing something > doing nothing.

Look at it this way: Soren’s earlygame usefulness causes ripples in the ocean. In contrast, Calill’s siege toming causes a tidal wave.

This is a matter of philosophical difference, I guess, as you seem to value availability much more than I do.

Actually, I brainstormed a near 100% reliable 2-turn clear of C15 with a Marcia + Soren drop after making that post. So, Soren and Ilyana can be a critical element of the most efficient clear of a chapter. That seems like a pretty major contribution to me as far as Upper-Mid goes.

Remember that Marcia takes 1600 BEXP in C12’s base. This means Soren’s drawing BEXP from what we’ve accumulated over only 3 chapters: C12-14. That’s only 850 BEXP that’s available to him, and whatever he’s taking directly affects what Jill (if recruited), Kieran, Astrid, Makalov, even Oscar are receiving. They haven’t received any so far. As me and Merc Raven keep saying, these C15 rescue-drop strategies simply aren’t practical.

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Remember that Marcia takes 1600 BEXP in C12's base. This means Soren's drawing BEXP from what we've accumulated over only 3 chapters: C12-14. That's only 850 BEXP that's available to him, and whatever he's taking directly affects what Jill (if recruited), Kieran, Astrid, Makalov, even Oscar are receiving. They haven't received any so far. As me and Merc Raven keep saying, these C15 rescue-drop strategies simply aren't practical.

Marcia takes however much Bexp we give her on a particular playthrough. The only (level) requirements of this near 100% reliable Marcia + Soren rescue-drop 2-turn are a Marcia that can double Muarim (~20/2) and a promoted Soren (20/1 is what I've been assuming, but something like 18/1 or 17/1 might suffice if we really are short on Bexp). There clearly exists enough Bexp to pull this off (we've accumulated 3000-4000 Bexp by this point). This is enough to give Marcia a load, Soren a lot, and still have given Oscar and Kieran enough to kick ass. If we want to dump a bunch on Astrid or Makalov, we can do so after C15's bounty of Bexp. The only reason we would be short at this point is if we're training Jill in addition to Marcia, in which case I wouldn't recommend this strategy. Mercenary Raven already brainstormed a nearly 100% reliable 2-turn clear that involves unarmed Jill baiting enemy Tigers while Marcia finishes off Muarim on turn 2 enemy phase. An even simpler strategy if both Marcia and Jill are sufficiently trained is to attack Muarim with one after the other using a Steel Lance forge on turn 2.

But if Jill isn't in play, this C15 Marcia + Soren drop seems like a practical way to play. Certainly there's an opportunity cost for Soren taking this Bexp (probably equal to the cost of it going to one of Nephenee, Astrid, or Makalov - assuming Jill wasn't recruited). But it's also not obvious that these units (fourth or fifth Paladin, another un-mounted unit?) can make better use of the Bexp than Soren. Because Soren not only helps in this C15 clear, he can become our sole siege tome user (we don't have to give Calill or any other Sage Bexp) and provide staff utility and rout support to boot. Calill needs resources as well to be able to 2HKO Schaeffer and the like. But Soren also has a low-resources way to contribute - as a staffbot + assistant siege tomer. So Soren can have contributions either way depending on how many resources you're willing to give him.

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Ok, made a number of changes:

Mordecai>Nephenee

Calill right below Soren, above Stefan

Haar>Gatrie

Volke and Sothe moved above Haar

Elincia moved above Largo

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Marcia takes however much Bexp we give her on a particular playthrough. The only (level) requirements of this near 100% reliable Marcia + Soren rescue-drop 2-turn are a Marcia that can double Muarim (~20/2) and a promoted Soren (20/1 is what I've been assuming, but something like 18/1 or 17/1 might suffice if we really are short on Bexp). There clearly exists enough Bexp to pull this off (we've accumulated 3000-4000 Bexp by this point). This is enough to give Marcia a load, Soren a lot, and still have given Oscar and Kieran enough to kick ass. If we want to dump a bunch on Astrid or Makalov, we can do so after C15's bounty of Bexp. The only reason we would be short at this point is if we're training Jill in addition to Marcia, in which case I wouldn't recommend this strategy. Mercenary Raven already brainstormed a nearly 100% reliable 2-turn clear that involves unarmed Jill baiting enemy Tigers while Marcia finishes off Muarim on turn 2 enemy phase. An even simpler strategy if both Marcia and Jill are sufficiently trained is to attack Muarim with one after the other using a Steel Lance forge on turn 2.

Opportunity cost of using Soren like that: not using Jill and not being able to dump BEXP onto Tormod.

Where is this 2-turn coming from? How is Marcia rescue dropping Soren and having Soren attack and kill Muarim in 2 turns while conserving all of your BEXP? As far as I know, Marcia needs to rescue Soren and then drop him (costing two turns) right in front of Muarim- this also means Soren has to survive two Tigers (lol) and make sure he doesn't kill them while being able to kill Muarim with a Fire tome. Also, a forged Fire tome = he has 34 atk against Muarim and 18 AS... against Muarim's 17 AS. Soren needs to activate Adept, which is way more unreliable than using Marcia with a Laguz Lance and hell even a Steel Lance. It also requires Soren to somehow survive a bunch of other enemy attacks too then wait in front of Muarim. And this is assuming 20/1 Soren. All he does at this point is finish off Muarim, and even then that's a 3 turn (still assuming he somehow survives without killing Tigers) and that still costs you the ability to spend ~1000 BEXP on someone else. Like Jill, Oscar, Kieran, Tormod, Astrid, Makalov, Nephenee, etc... basically better units.

Oh, and Jill/Marcia can't really team up for a kill in this chapter. Jill doesn't have the AS (she needs 21) nor the accuracy to keep it reliable; she does well baiting tigers.

Finally, Marcia has to move her full movement twice as a FALCOKNIGHT or something ridiculous to get to Muarim by Turn 2.

EDIT: Exaggeration, she needs a shove and a Smite and then she has five tiles to do her thing in. This leaves the question of how Soren is coming out by the end of Turn 1, though, since he needs to be 7 tiles away from Muarim and I don't see how that's very practical unless you have Jill. In which case, the cost of using Soren to accomplish that 2-turn is extremely large and I'm not sure why you're even suggesting it at this point.

But it's also not obvious that these units (fourth or fifth Paladin, another un-mounted unit?) can make better use of the Bexp than Soren. Because Soren not only helps in this C15 clear, he can become our sole siege tome user (we don't have to give Calill or any other Sage Bexp) and provide staff utility and rout support to boot. Calill needs resources as well to be able to 2HKO Schaeffer and the like. But Soren also has a low-resources way to contribute - as a staffbot + assistant siege tomer. So Soren can have contributions either way depending on how many resources you're willing to give him.

Hold it... Calill's main resources are a Spirit Dust and like Tormod support. Soren's main resources are a Spirit Dust and a B support with Ike, a bunch of BEXP. I'm not sure what kind of crazy logic it is to say that Calill requires more resources than Soren because Calill in fact has a greater chance of being a Siege tome user than Soren simply because she doesn't require anything to be built up. Bearing in mind, a built up Soren does it just about as well as Calill but that's the thing... he's built up. He does have a staff, but enemies are so weak that you can piledrive them without much more than an Elixir every once in a while (and that doesn't even hinder you). And Soren's movement will leave him too far behind to even be much of a Staff bot.

If you're arguing that we should use resources on Soren instead of fourth or fifth string Paladins then you are free to attempt to move Soren up on the tier list. It's not immediately obvious at all that those units warrant more BEXP, but when Siege starts to exist practically (Chapter 21), Soren is not at all unique. There is Calill and there is a built up Tormod who actually does it better because maps start to get large (and he gets way more Atk from supports than Soren, an upwards of +5, on top of a Mage Band and a Spirit Dust making his Atk enough to deal with things, whereas using those on Soren is just overkill). That's adding to the fact that the +2 move makes his offensive and staff parameters just that much better.

-Cynthia- I'm interested in what you think about Marcia in regards to Jill. I feel there's a Marcia = Jill thing going on (and if anything Marcia > Jill) but I'm curious about how you feel. Vykan agrees with Marcia > Jill but I'm thinking Marcia = Jill.

Edited by Mercenary Raven

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I'm thinking Marcia>Jill just for C12 alone, unless Jill's reliability on later maps is that much higher (which I don't think it is in some cases, she has some issues doubling Homasa for instance).

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Marcia takes however much Bexp we give her on a particular playthrough.

Yeah, and the more optimally we play, the more she gets. It’s by no means a stretch for her to get her full 1600 BEXP when that leads to the largest net benefit.

There clearly exists enough Bexp to pull this off (we've accumulated 3000-4000 Bexp by this point).

I counted roughly 3500 BEXP… This means BEXP plowing Marcia in C12 costs us less than 50% of our total supply, and yet you led me to believe it was the entire thing this whole time. Tsk tsk.

But Soren also has a low-resources way to contribute - as a staffbot + assistant siege tomer. So Soren can have contributions either way depending on how many resources you're willing to give him.

I already addressed this. This approach forces us to use more siege tomes per enemy, and given the very limited supply of sieges, this is a very bad thing. You’ll be losing out on ballista + bosskills if you do this, so having a super sage is more ideal.

OTOH, I can agree to this:

This is enough to give Marcia a load, Soren a lot, and still have given Oscar and Kieran enough to kick ass. If we want to dump a bunch on Astrid or Makalov, we can do so after C15's bounty of Bexp. The only reason we would be short at this point is if we're training Jill in addition to Marcia, in which case I wouldn't recommend this strategy.

(…)

Certainly there's an opportunity cost for Soren taking this Bexp (probably equal to the cost of it going to one of Nephenee, Astrid, or Makalov - assuming Jill wasn't recruited). But it's also not obvious that these units (fourth or fifth Paladin, another un-mounted unit?) can make better use of the Bexp than Soren. Because Soren not only helps in this C15 clear, he can become our sole siege tome user (we don't have to give Calill or any other Sage Bexp) and provide staff utility and rout support to boot.

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My thoughts on Marcia vs Jill

This definitely needs to be broken down chapter by chapter.

C10: If we recruit so much as 1 of Neph/Brom/Kieran with a stealth approach, then Marcia’s guaranteed to be useful here.

C11: Marcia is necessary for a 3 turn completion, though getting Titania to kill the arrive square armor with a hand axe seems pretty questionable.

C12: Obviously Marcia’s a superstar here.

C13: Neutral

C14: Only Marcia (+ promoted Astrid) can be used for the 2 turn because of shove/smiting potential. With a seraph robe + energy drop, she can 1RKO with a forged steel sword, and can survive the boss’ crit. Granted, this is a lot of investment for a 1 turn advantage over Jill, so I wouldn’t count it for much.

C15: Marcia = Jill for a 2 turn strat.

C16: Neutral

C17: Marcia has a 1 turn advantage thanks to 17-2, though the strategy for that chapter is pretty inflexible.

C18: Neutral

C19: Getting Jill to double Homasa is pretty unrealistic. Even with a speedwing, she’d need to be 20/13.

The remaining chapters require much more analysis.

C20: As

shows, you don’t even need to fight the wyverns to have your super flier reach the arrive square. But even if you do want them killed, Jill doesn’t have a large combat advantage.

I’m going to assume our super flier is 20/8-10, as this is consistent with Gergeshwan and Merc Raven’s logs.

3x Wyvern lv 15-17 (steel lance)
32 hp, 24 atk, 10 AS, 98 hit, 24 avo, 16 def, 6 res, 6 crit, 4 cev
1x Wyvern lv 17 (knight killer)
34 hp, 21 atk (28 eff), 7 AS, 95 hit, 17 avo, 17 def, 6 res, 5 crit, 3 cev
2x Wyvern lv 18 (steel lance)
35 hp, 26 atk, 10 AS, 100 hit, 24 avo, 17 def, 7 res, 6 crit, 4 cev
1x Wyvern lv 18 (short spear)
33 hp, 24 atk, 10 AS, 98 hit, 24 avo, 18 def, 7 res, 6 crit, 4 cev
2x Wyvern lv 19 (steel lance)
35 hp, 26 atk, 9 AS, 98 hit, 22 avo, 18 def, 8 res, 6 crit, 4 cev

20/9 Marcia (+knight band): 37 hp/20 str/25 AS/17 def/16 res/63 avo

Steel lance forge/silver lance: 35 atk

Javelin forge: 31 atk

20/9 Jill (+knight band): 41 hp/22 str/20 AS/21 def/9 res/51 avo

Steel axe forge/silver axe: 38 atk

Hand axe forge: 34 atk

Out of 9 enemies, only 1 has a 1-2 range weapon, so Jill’s 1-2 range superiority is basically irrelevant. At 1 range, Marcia ORKOes 7/9 of the wyverns while Jill gets them all.

Durability-wise, Marcia takes 7-9 damage / hit. That’s a 5-6HKO, and at 28 true hit to boot. From the same video I linked earlier, she’ll get attacked by 6 wyverns (+ a harmless blizzard attack) on turn 1. That’s a 0.1-0.7% chance of death, and this is before throwing ANY durability resources onto Marcia (eg/ seraph, dracoshield), which she’s likely to get. And obviously if she gets hit hard on turn 1 we can physic her next turn so that Shiharam has no chance of killing her.

Basically, while Jill has an advantage, in practice it amounts to basically nothing. If we used an N/P argument against Marcia, then she’d be using 2/0.993 = 2.014 turns compared to Jill’s 2 turns.

I also read that Cynthia had Jill defect by attacking Shiharam on hard mode with only the B Lethe support. I doubt A Mist/Jill is an issue, but the possibility of Jill defecting must hold some weight against her, especially since we’re not sure what the exact requirements are for her to stay.

C21: Definitely a win for Marcia.

Sleep bishop has 17 mag/14 skl.

{30 + [(Magic - enemy's Resistance) x 5] + Skill} - (Distance between units x 2)

Assuming you’re 5 spaces away from mr. sleep bishop, his base accuracy is 34. A 20/12 Jill with full strength spirit water has only 17 res. Marcia matches that without spirit water, and with it, she literally has a 0% chance of being put to sleep.

Proof: 30 + (17 –24)*5 + 14 – (5*2) = -1

Even if Marcia was right besides the sleep bishop, she’d have a measly 9% chance of being sleep’d.

And, as far as I understand, there’s no possibility of using the restore staff in case our super flier falls asleep, so being lulled to sleep leads to a reset.

Jill’s N/P turncount = 6/0.66 = 9.09 turns

Marcia’s N/P turncount = 6/0.91 = 6.59 turns

Things only get worse for Jill if the bishop has multiple opportunities to use the sleep staff.

C22: Neither flier does anything here.

C23: Jill’s definitely better here. The 3 turn strat requires the super flier to have Ike rescued on turn 1 and dropped on turn 2, so there’s no chance to heal at all in this map. Marcia can pull it off, but she’d need the seraph and both dracoshields (44 hp/20 def vs 20-29 atk).

C24: The rescue staff negates Marcia’s shove/smite advantage, so both fliers are basically identical in contributing to a 3-4 turn completion.

C25: Intuition says Jill wins here by a turn, because super Marcia can’t pull the tight 2 turn strategy.

It goes without saying that our super flier will be assigned the task of handling the peak. At the peak, there’s a sniper, 3 warriors, 3 halberdiers, a bishop, an SM, a fighter and a couple wyverns. What’s notable about this is there are no laguz whatsoever up here, which helps Marcia’s durability. Also, if we take 3 turns, then it’s not necessary to face all the peak enemies in 1 turn, which also helps her survivability.

So, on turn 2 our super flier is dealing with something like:

1x Fighter lv 19 (steel axe)
40 hp, 26 atk, 12 AS, 90 hit, 29 avo, 13 def, 5 res, 5 crit, 5 cev
3x Warrior lv 6-7 (steel axe, 1 steel bow)
46 hp, 27 atk, 12 AS, 94 hit, 29 avo, 12 def, 7 res, 6 crit, 5 cev

1x Sniper lv 6 (longbow, iron B)
33 hp, 19 atk, 15 AS, 108 hit, 35 avo, 13 def, 8 res, 24 crit, 5 cev

2x Halberdier lv 6 (steel lance, 1 short spear, 1 vulnerary)
38 hp, 23 atk, 13 AS, 105 hit, 31 avo, 13 def, 8 res, 7 crit, 5 cev
1x Halberdier lv 6 (knight killer)
40 hp, 20 atk (27 eff), 11 AS, 102 hit, 26 avo, 13 def, 9 res, 7 crit, 4 cev

1x Swordmaster lv 6 (laguzslayer [d])
32 hp, 23 atk (32 eff), 20 AS, 116 hit, 45 avo, 10 def, 6 res, 24 crit, 5 cev

2x Wyvern Rider lv 19 (steel lance, 1 javelin)
35 hp, 25 atk, 11 AS, 101 hit, 27 avo, 18 def, 8 res, 6 crit, 5 cev

By now our fliers have maxed out their potential, or are at least very close to it.

20/20 Marcia (+knight band): 43 hp/23 str/28 AS/21 def/19 res/74 avo

Silver lance: 38 atk

Forged javelin: 34 atk

Spear: 35 atk

20/20 Jill (+knight band): 48 hp/27 str/25 AS/26 def/12 res/64 avo

Silver axe: 43 atk

Forged hand axe: 39 atk

Tomahawk: 40 atk

Jill is basically invincible, only the bishop has any hope of doing more than 0-2 damage, and she ORKOes every enemy with a forged hand axe. Did someone swap her with FE10 Haar or something?

Marcia’s not doing half bad herself though. With the forged jav, She does 42/46 damage to the warriors, and 32/35 damage to the wyvern riders. That definitely eliminates the possibility of her 2 turning, but the 3 turn is guaranteed for her so long as all bishops are disposed by then (which they will be).

Durability-wise, Marcia’s going to survive. Even if all 11 enemies I listed hit her, they will do a combined 6+21+0+4+0+1+8 = 40 damage. With the exception of the SM, the enemies don’t exceed 110 hit, so at most she’s facing 26 real hit. Even if she somehow faced 15 attacks and needed 8 to kill her, she’d only have a measly 2.2% chance of dying.

Conclusion: Jill is slightly better here, I’d give her a solid 1 turn advantage.

C26-28: Similar logic to C25, let’s say Jill gets a turn each, for a combined 3 turns in her favor.

Endgame: Neither flier matters so long as the rescue staff still exists. Even then, a suicide drop would be the most efficient way of beating the chapter.

Overall, I think the evidence overwhelmingly points in Marcia’s favor. Jill’s biggest leads (C23, C25-28) are almost single-handedly countered by Marcia’s C12 alone. Then she has the advantages of Chapters 11, 14, 17-2, 19 and 21.

Edited by Vykan12

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In Chapter 26, if you give Marcia Shade (Marcia's Shade actually deals with a bunch of her durability problems, since the enemies will always be deflected to a more durable unit that is following Marcia) then the enemies will get off her ass and therefore she ends up doing the same thing as Jill. In fact, the primary reason why Chapter 26 would not be 3-turned easily is because of Bertram who sports a pretty good hitrate, Attack, and Skill. Marcia's actually the better unit in this case because Runesword doesn't do that much to her compared to Jill and Jill actually falls short of doubling at points. Besides, who else is using Shade?

Edited by Mercenary Raven

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Where is this 2-turn coming from? How is Marcia rescue dropping Soren and having Soren attack and kill Muarim in 2 turns while conserving all of your BEXP? As far as I know, Marcia needs to rescue Soren and then drop him (costing two turns) right in front of Muarim- this also means Soren has to survive two Tigers (lol) and make sure he doesn't kill them while being able to kill Muarim with a Fire tome. Also, a forged Fire tome = he has 34 atk against Muarim and 18 AS... against Muarim's 17 AS. Soren needs to activate Adept, which is way more unreliable than using Marcia with a Laguz Lance and hell even a Steel Lance. It also requires Soren to somehow survive a bunch of other enemy attacks too then wait in front of Muarim. And this is assuming 20/1 Soren. All he does at this point is finish off Muarim, and even then that's a 3 turn (still assuming he somehow survives without killing Tigers) and that still costs you the ability to spend ~1000 BEXP on someone else. Like Jill, Oscar, Kieran, Tormod, Astrid, Makalov, Nephenee, etc... basically better units.

You could have saved yourself a lot of typing by actually reading my posts. This one and this one, in particular.

Oh, and Jill/Marcia can't really team up for a kill in this chapter. Jill doesn't have the AS (she needs 21) nor the accuracy to keep it reliable; she does well baiting tigers.

Uh... you're not understanding. Marcia doubles and takes away ~2/3rds of Muarim's health (with a Steel Lance forge). Jill takes the Steel Lance forge from Marcia and finishes off Muarim at nearly 100% reliability. That's what I would do if I happened to be training both Marcia and Jill.

Finally, Marcia has to move her full movement twice as a FALCOKNIGHT or something ridiculous to get to Muarim by Turn 2.

Nothing ridiculous needed. Falcoknight Marcia can reach Muarim in two turns with zero shoves.

I counted roughly 3500 BEXP… This means BEXP plowing Marcia in C12 costs us less than 50% of our total supply, and yet you led me to believe it was the entire thing this whole time. Tsk tsk.

When we were talking about Marcia taking 1600 Bexp in C11, it is nearly our entire stock if we didn't stealth-clear C10. Marcia taking ~1400 Bexp in C12 leaves room for us to have given some to Oscar, Boyd, and/or Kieran.

I already addressed this. This approach forces us to use more siege tomes per enemy, and given the very limited supply of sieges, this is a very bad thing. You'll be losing out on ballista + bosskills if you do this, so having a super sage is more ideal.

Siege magic is nice, but the only place it's absolutely required for a low turn clear is C22. In some (maybe most) playthroughs, we might want to have a trained Sage using siege tomes. In others, we can do just fine with a staffbot Mage + untrained Calill - letting us use Bexp elsewhere. It's just an option, not a recommendation. More options = better.

C15: Marcia = Jill for a 2 turn strat.

Actually, Marcia has an easier time doubling Muarim. Jill can easily pull off a 3-turn clear by rescue-dropping a Swordmaster, but a 2-turn clear requires more resources or is more unreliable when compared with Marcia.

C25: Intuition says Jill wins here by a turn, because super Marcia can't pull the tight 2 turn strategy.

It goes without saying that our super flier will be assigned the task of handling the peak. At the peak, there's a sniper, 3 warriors, 3 halberdiers, a bishop, an SM, a fighter and a couple wyverns. What's notable about this is there are no laguz whatsoever up here, which helps Marcia's durability. Also, if we take 3 turns, then it's not necessary to face all the peak enemies in 1 turn, which also helps her survivability.

Are you sure you're looking at a HM enemy configuration? I remembered there being a Tiger or two at the top. Maybe I'm mistaken.

C26-28: Similar logic to C25, let's say Jill gets a turn each, for a combined 3 turns in her favor.

That's pretty generous. Chapters 26 and 27 can be low turn cleared without any fliers. Jill is more valuable/reliable in these chapters, if used, but it doesn't add up to a turn advantage. C28, I'm less clear on. I've haven't yet heard of a HM 2-turn clear, and I'm quite sure that Marcia can pull off a 3-turn clear with decent reliability. If a HM turn 2 clear is possible, it would almost require one of the Wyvern Lords, because there are a ton of laguz (including Dragons) that can destroy the Falcoknights.

I agree with the rest of your chapter analysis.

Overall, I think the evidence overwhelmingly points in Marcia's favor. Jill's biggest leads (C23, C25-28) are almost single-handedly countered by Marcia's C12 alone. Then she has the advantages of Chapters 11, 14, 17-2, 19 and 21.

Marcia's C12 is tough to argue against, but it must be taken into account that she needs more Bexp and sooner to pull this off. Jill can rock 'n roll with ~1000 Bexp before C15. If Marcia needs ~1400 Bexp before C12 (or worse: ~1600 Bexp before C11), that must count against her. And then Marcia has greater need of defensive resources than Jill to pull off her clears.

Besides, who else is using Shade?

Your staff user or your Sage are good candidates.

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You could have saved yourself a lot of typing by actually reading my posts. This one and this one, in particular.

That still leaves the question as to why you would do this for Soren when he barely has any use in any other chapter afterwards and requires a ton of resources here. That's not even really the point, because I question the logic behind harping on Marcia for taking around half your BEXP when Soren needs close to a quarter to do a low turn of ONE chapter.
Uh... you're not understanding. Marcia doubles and takes away ~2/3rds of Muarim's health (with a Steel Lance forge). Jill takes the Steel Lance forge from Marcia and finishes off Muarim at nearly 100% reliability. That's what I would do if I happened to be training both Marcia and Jill.
I'm not sure why you wouldn't let both use the Laguz Lance at this point (since there is around a 90% chance of a clear at this point with a 75% chance of not having to use Jill) though v_v At any rate, if Falcoknight Marcia hit Muarim exactly with zero shoves then Jill is going to be two spaces behind.
Chapters 26 and 27 can be low turn cleared without any fliers
Flying is irrelevant. Bertram has a ton of Attack and Marcia's the only one that'll have a high enough level to not only take the least damage from him but also enough to double him (quadruple technically; he has 22 AS btw).
Your staff user or your Sage are good candidates.
Why... it may sound obvious in theory- they don't take attacks- but I think their movement and already shit durability will negate it. I don't think Shade works in favor of things that die too easily. The movement means that they won't be far ahead enough to receive the full brunt of the enemy phase.

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Are you sure you're looking at a HM enemy configuration? I remembered there being a Tiger or two at the top. Maybe I'm mistaken.

You’re right, there is a tiger up there :/ Doesn’t really change anything though.

Actually, Marcia has an easier time doubling Muarim. Jill can easily pull off a 3-turn clear by rescue-dropping a Swordmaster, but a 2-turn clear requires more resources or is more unreliable when compared with Marcia.
That's pretty generous. Chapters 26 and 27 can be low turn cleared without any fliers. Jill is more valuable/reliable in these chapters, if used, but it doesn't add up to a turn advantage. C28, I'm less clear on. I've haven't yet heard of a HM 2-turn clear, and I'm quite sure that Marcia can pull off a 3-turn clear with decent reliability. If a HM turn 2 clear is possible, it would almost require one of the Wyvern Lords, because there are a ton of laguz (including Dragons) that can destroy the Falcoknights.

Assuming you’re right, this helps Marcia’s case even further.

C15: Marcia 1 turn advantage

C26-28: Neutral

Marcia's C12 is tough to argue against, but it must be taken into account that she needs more Bexp and sooner to pull this off. Jill can rock 'n roll with ~1000 Bexp before C15. If Marcia needs ~1400 Bexp before C12 (or worse: ~1600 Bexp before C11), that must count against her. And then Marcia has greater need of defensive resources than Jill to pull off her clears.

Let’s break this down.

First off, it’s not just C12. That may be her single biggest lead, but she also wins a half-dozen other chapters. What does Jill have? A meaningless edge in C20, and a turn in C23 and C25. It’s like 9-10 turns vs 2-3 turns, no contest.

Next, why does Jill need that much less BEXP? She only has a 3 level advantage on Marcia (8/-- vs 5/--), which is 286 BEXP less that she needs to reach promotion. But, Marcia also has more chapters to accumulate CEXP, particularly C11.

I calculated and it takes Jill 1547 BEXP to go from base level to promotion. To cut that down to 1000, she’d need 4-5 levels in 2 chapters. While C13 is very generous, she won’t be able to double ANY enemies (lol base 9 AS), which hurts her CEXP gains over the 7 turns. And unless she’s the bosskiller in C14 (which would require an earlier BEXP dump), she won’t be gaining much CEXP in C14. Does 5 levels over 10 turns sound realistic to you, especially for a unit who’s not yet capable of ORKOing?

Even assuming you’re right that Jill needs less BEXP, and later on, this doesn’t make a big impact on the comparison. Marcia’s team will simply need an extra chapter to build up Oscar/Kieran/Boyd with BEXP.

Or, since you love multiple options so much, let’s look at delaying Marcia’s BEXP dumping. Now Marcia and Jill use the same amount of BEXP and promote at the same time. Marcia still wins 2-3 times more chapters than Jill does.

As for defensive resources, both Jill and Marcia need the full guard when ballistae are around. And, in my chapter breakdown Marcia doesn’t even need a seraph robe, with the exception of C23 (the bridge) and perhaps C26-28, which I didn’t look at. Though even if Jill’s team has a seraph and 2 dracos that Marcia doesn’t, where’s that going to go that’s going to make a difference? Is having a tankier Astrid or wtv a significant opportunity cost?

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