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What Sells A Unit For You?

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Gameplay-wise, I want a character who has a niche they can perform well. It could be mage killing, dodge-tanking or crit-killing but they need to stand on their own and not require another unit to babysit them after every turn. The only strong preference I have is a unit being able to double or at least avoid being doubled, generally. Heroes and Halberdiers are some of my favorite units to field so balanced stats are desirable.

Personalities will also vary greatly but I appreciate characters who have multiple dimensions who can socialize with others based on more than one character trait. Consider a character like Oboro, when compared to many other one-note characters in her game.

Pretty much this, for me. I'm also a sucker for cute shit so long as it's not the only thing a character has to offer, then it works against them and I feel like I'm being pandered to, which might be my biggest no-no apart from a character just being poorly written.

I also like characters with a common past, especially when it's not really expected, like Gaius and Maribelle.

I've never been a fan of Wyvern Riders, which is something I'm almost afraid of saying out loud as I'm pretty sure it's blasphemy.

Oh, and Soren. Just the more Soren the better.

Edited by Thane

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I've never been a fan of Wyvern Riders, which is something I'm almost afraid of saying out loud as I'm pretty sure it's blasphemy.

As someone who's Florina regularly outshines their Heath, I agree. Granted, I haven't yet had the chance to compare Marcia and Jill (in either Tellius game).

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First, Chara design. Easier to use and like an unit that doesn't want to make me puke. looking at you Aversa, I can't even look at you and stay healthy

Personality comes next. A shy girl will always have bonus points.

Then, whether the character can give me a good laugh or not.

Class is not a deal breaker, but I have a soft spot for magic units, valkyries being the best.

Being a good unit is a bonus.

If the character happens to be a cute mage with silver hair, then its waifu material. Being a playable girl that has been drawn by Oosawa is complete overkill.

Edited by Sartek

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First, Chara design. Easier to use and like an unit that doesn't want to make me puke. looking at you Aversa, I can't even look at you and stay healthy

Personality comes next. A shy girl will always have bonus points.

Then, whether the character can give me a good laugh or not.

Class is not a deal breaker, but I have a soft spot for magic units, valkyries being the best.

Being a good unit is a bonus.

If the character happens to be a cute mage with silver hair, then its waifu material. Being a playable girl that has been drawn by Oosawa is complete overkill.

Nice, another people that I share likes :D

(Well, I prefer the Foot-soldier Magicians, but I like Valkyries too)

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It's mostly personality for me, but stats can help, too. Sumia and Lon'qu are my favorite Awakening parents, the former for personal relatability and the latter for an intriguing angsty gimmick, but they are also well-needed speed demons in battle. I can be a bit biased, though, as on the contrary, Owain and Inigo I enjoyed a fair bit in Awakening, but I enjoy their personalities much more in Fates and as a result, sometimes prioritize them for battle despite them having much worse stats. I think my very favorite characters in Fire Emblem need to have at least some importance in both regards (besides their inclusion in another game, Odin and Laslow do have nice personal skills, for example). Other Conquest characters like Niles and Keaton I get the most use out of, but their personalities just don't click with me that much.

I don't really base on class, especially in the newer games because of reclassing, but myrmidons and shapeshifters tend to catch my eye. Appearances don't really matter to me, either, as much as personality and usefulness. Most characters tend to be rather attractive, anyway.

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I tend to like characters based on design and personality but at the same time, I want them to be useable in combat too.

Design wise, I tend to like characters with a purple or red theme going on. Green is also cool too!

Personality wise for females, I like the ones who have a dark sense of humor, have a shy personality or are very flirty. Maybe a little bitchy too lol

As for male characters, I really like the silent badass, rude, or characters who are a little silly (like Odin).

A unit's class doesn't matter too much to me but I prefer Solider, Wyvern Rider/Pegasus Knight, and all of the magic classes(although I have a bias towards Dark Mages)

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I'll use a unit if they're good. At the end of the day, everything else comes second. Heck, my favorite "character" in the series is SD Abel, because of how consistently he's a kickass unit.

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If they're a dancer, I'll love them. FEEL THE RHYTHM FEEL THE RHYME DO YOUR DANCE ONE MORE TIME.

And lately I've been liking the controversial characters, like Rhajat, mainly because everyone doesn't like them and thus it's hard to find someone who strategizes using them, so it's a nice challenge for me.

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-I'm lazy and hate babying units, so with exceptions of characters I /really/ like as characters, I want good or at least reasonable bases.

- for female characters, I have a tendency to be biased towards women who don't take anybody's bullshit, tend to be perceived as "tough", and are generally physical units. I mean, well-written women comes in all shapes and forms, but I find female characters with a more "traditionally masculine", for lack of a better shorthand, personalities more relatable on a personal level.

- I mean it's not an absolute though, and I do also tend to like dude characters like that too depending on how well he's written. Like hell I'm a big fan of Hector and I would also be a big fan of Hector as a woman I just really love Hector ok

- long black hair and a pretty face on a guy over the perceived age of 20 works every time

-- addendum: pretending to be one of those guys don't count, looking at you samto and shanam

Edited by Thor Odinson

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Interesting thread idea, I like it.

-I love flying units. Give them all the weaknesses you want, games, I'll always use them. The increased mobility options are incredible. It helps that there are almost always some who are excellent units, though whether it's the pegasi, the wyverns, or both varies by game.

-In the GBA games only, I have a huge bias towards evade-based units, because those units become near invincible in those games and it's great fun, since often the biggest walls are characters you wouldn't expect, like promoted Clarine.

-I'm generally not a fan of Ests. Characters who start a little underlevelled and need moderate investment (e.g. Lute, RD Rolf) I enjoy, but characters who start far behind I detest (e.g. Sophia, Donnel).

-Since so many people have mentioned gender... I think I have a bias towards roughly even gender balance in my teams. In older games this meant I used a much higher % of the available female units because there weren't very many, but it's not very noticeable in Awakening and Fates (though I felt that females were the lion's share of the good units in Awakening so I biased that way a bit in that game; Fates is more even).

-I do have a bias towards characters I find more attractive, which for men usually means more graceful, bishounen-type looks (e.g. Kaze), and for women pretty much inevitably means the more mature types (e.g. Sigrun). I don't always use these characters but I try harder to make them work when I do and am happier when the RNG favours them; one of my favourite FE memories is when Sigrun randomly turned out godly off of pure RNG luck.

-I almost always use dancers unless there are same-turn reinforcements. Then it depends on my mood and the durability of said dancer.

-I usually try to use a couple mages even in games where they aren't very useful. On the other hand, I make no such allowances for archers or any other specific weapon types in games where those are generally weak.

Also, apart from disliking Hector I basically second all of Thor's post, particularly the paragraph about tough female characters being a preference.

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I'm one of those players who doesn't give a rats fart about stats, so the following would apply to me:


- I'm more biased towards female units.


- i'll also baby the hell out of units that I really adore to make them worthwhile ( aka Lucia ).


- Well-written and plot-relevant? You're getting a spot on my team. Though this doesn't apply to unlikable jerks like Soren.


- If you're a swordie, that's another plus. Bonus points for having awesome hair.


- For girls, I prefer mature, older characters who aren't centered around a particular quirk. I tend to give lolis/genki girls a wide berth. Same thing applies to shotas ( one of the reasons I can't stand Rolf, or Rofl as I call him ).


- For guys, if you're eye-candy like Tibarn/Gerik/Sigurd, then you're probably getting a spot as well. Though if you have an unfriendly mug even though you're a combat god, I won't both bother fielding you ( glares at Ike and Ephriam ). On the other hand, if you're a gentle pacifist with kind eyes even though your stats suck, I'll still use you ( looks at Eliwood and Eirika ).


- Sky blue hair is another plus ( Lucia/Geoffrey/Finn... yes please ). Since its my favourite colour.
Edited by tyrfing

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I go for whether or not I feel that I can connect to a character, though I've noticed that I tend to avoid characters that typically don't support very much if at all. That said, I do have a habit of gathering my friends Avatars on Awakening and Fates, but I think that defeats the point of the question.

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Oh gosh, I think there are probably a number of things at play for me...

  • Really liking somebody as a character tends to take top priority here, and beats out any clashes with any of the following criteria that may be present. To get more specific, I tend to like characters who are genuinely kind, compassionate people, and who have some level of depth and complexity to them. I can sometimes compromise on one of these qualities if the character appeals to me enough without it, though. Also, having an intriguing enough character premise that's pulled off well enough can substitute for the "kindness" quality there. And... I do have kind of a weakness for flirty characters, as long as they're not too creepy about it.
    On the flipside, I really do not care for it when characters do bad things that don't get acknowledged as bad. That can really drive me away from a character if it gets bad enough.
  • Plot importance is another thing, but only if I also like the character a decent amount. If a character shows up in a lot of cutscenes, but I'm frankly just ambivalent towards them, they're probably getting the bench anyway.
  • Almost any character can earn a spot on my team if they consistently perform well, especially if it's unexpected. One example of this is Wolt in my current Binding Blade playthrough, who got a killer first couple of level ups and now doubles a good portion of enemies and dishes out pretty respectable damage. (He's been ORKOing the Pirates in Chapter 4! I'm so proud...)
  • I'll admit I'm also kind of a sucker for a good character design. If I really like a character's design, that makes me more likely to use them. Characters like Radd, Kaze, and Oboro come to mind as characters I've used for that reason.
  • No particular gender bias, although I do try to keep my team's gender balance relatively even, for the most part. Just like with Dark Holy Elf, this tends to lead me to use a much higher percentage of the female characters than of the male characters in older Fire Emblem games. In some games with horrendously-uneven gender ratios, though (I'm looking at you, Archanea), I'll just give up and stop trying, although I'll still make a point to avoid a mono-gender team.
  • Novelty is also something that tends to catch my eye. If a character is the only member of a particular class that you can recruit, I'm probably gonna use 'em, bases and such be damned. Bonus points if their class is only rarely recruited in the series overall, but examples within a single game count, too, like Canas.
  • Not all the time, but I'll often go out of my way to use a couple obscure units who people rarely talk about and/or deem "bad". Some examples of this include using Roger and Radd in the Archanea games, Treck and Lot in Binding Blade, etc. I have a habit of willfully using the worse/less-talked-about character(s) from among a batch of similar options.
  • I generally tend to stay away from prepromotes because I don't find them as fun to use. I acknowledge that they're objectively-good a lot of the time, but it's more enjoyable for me to challenge myself to clear chapters using entirely (or at least almost-entirely) characters I trained up from tier 1. Admittedly, it may also be a little bit out of bitterness towards the fanbase worshipping so many of them at this point. The exceptions to this I make are mainly for mid- to late-game prepromotes who are simply on-par with your other units as of their join time, rather than comparatively-overpowered. Felicia and Jakob, specifically, are also exceptions to this, because the developers pulled some tricks to make them functionally more or less first tier characters, for the most part.
  • In the 3DS Fire Emblem games, I tend to end up benching Avatarsexual characters unless I'm specifically having my MU marry them that playthrough.
Edited by Topaz Light

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I have come to the conclusion that trying to make sense of my favs is impossible because they're all over the fucking place. I can explain why I like characters themselves on an individual level but as a trend, nothing really makes sense.

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I think what makes me use a unit in the first place is how well they do in the chapter that you get them at. Let's take my favorite character in fiction, Inigo, for example. The paralogue you get him at is painfully difficult for that point in the game (for me, at least), so having a unit with high skill and comes with a Killing Edge, my favorite weapon, so that he's a crit lord automatically appeals to me. Now what SELLS me on a unit is usually either their personality, base class or my personal experience with them. Let's take a unit from that one time I emulated FE7, Sain. Already I like him because he has a similar personality to Inigo (flirty, fellow comrades are done with his crap, always smiling), he was in a well-rounded class that I liked to use (and several others of that class where already my favorites), and, despite having a constant crit rate of 2%, he was still (somehow) a crit lord.

Another thing that makes me love a unit even more is when their looks. I find people, primarily females, with red hair and/or glasses hot (So Miriel and her son are A+'s for me), while I find males with a british/semi-deep voice or mono-colored (black, grey, white) hair attractive (Laslow, Shura, Lon'qu). Anyone with purple hair are automatically used a good deal (Donny, Erk, that mage mercenary dude from FE6, when I'm ever going to play it, also is going to be used a lot).

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The first impression is important. If the units can deal with the enemies easily (ORKOing them, tanking them, having utility like staves or lockpicks) they stay in the team. If they are obviously underleveld I expect some good level-ups and at the very least them being able to reach the enemies fast and finish them from 2-range with good hit rates or something like that.

Speaking of Soren. While he has his uses in LTC and Maniac Mode, I tried him on my first run and he dealt little damage to the enemies in his first two chapters, couldn't kill them even with Adept and got 2HKOed. I benched him soon. Not only because he was unsympathic though. I liked Ilyna, yet she failed to be of any use in chapter 9 and 11, so she got benched as well.

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Personality and Design is one of the biggest. Can't use a character, no matter how good they are, if I hate their character and design.

In terms of gameplay, I look for roles to fill. A certain number of tank types, some good damage dealers, at least one staff user, and some smaller roles to fill like mage killer, flyer, etc. I try to at least have all weapon types covered. A few dedicated axe users, lance users, sword, etc.

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I generally prefer tankier units. I've always leaned towards tanks in most game (e.g I'm a Blood Death Knight in WoW). Also Magic users.

Hair can also be a deciding factor as well.

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Mostly what sells a unit for me is if they have a good personality. If they have a weird personality or a bad one I usually can look past it if there is a good reason it is the way it is (i.e. not Tharja, because she's crap) I also like it when they have distinct traits, like how athena as the greatest accent ever, how Lon'qu ACTUALLY has a backstory, and the best quirk of all, that Bord is the handsome one.

I also care about stats, but not TO much, because even though Oujay kinda falls behind compared to Dieck I still use him every time, and even though Seth is amazing I refuse to use him(seriously, it's really unfair!). I also love people who are tanks but have no reason they should be tanks, like Hinata(I swear to god this guy has better defense than every character in the first 10 chapters of Fire emblem Bloodlines (Ghaststations hack).

Edited by Tuvy

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Utility, especially if it's unique. If I want a job done, and you're the best unit for it, you'll always find a spot on my team.

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-I'm lazy and hate babying units, so with exceptions of characters I /really/ like as characters, I want good or at least reasonable bases.

- for female characters, I have a tendency to be biased towards women who don't take anybody's bullshit, tend to be perceived as "tough", and are generally physical units. I mean, well-written women comes in all shapes and forms, but I find female characters with a more "traditionally masculine", for lack of a better shorthand, personalities more relatable on a personal level.

- I mean it's not an absolute though, and I do also tend to like dude characters like that too depending on how well he's written. Like hell I'm a big fan of Hector and I would also be a big fan of Hector as a woman I just really love Hector ok

- long black hair and a pretty face on a guy over the perceived age of 20 works every time

-- addendum: pretending to be one of those guys don't count, looking at you samto and shanam

This is similar to me, only i dont mind babying units if i like them enough. Especially the pretty men over 20 thing.

I also dont mind more traditionally feminine lady units. I also have a soft spot for oafs. (see Bartre, Gonzales, etc)

My favorites tend to be moribund fuckers like Soren and Tharja, or loopy weirdos like Henry and Peri.

I also lean toward magic users a lot. Especially the stompy kind (see Pent). If any of this lot are plot relevant, even better.

Classes i lean on: Paladin, Peg Knight, mages, bow knight/nomad. Im not huge on myrms unless they are named Joshua. Oh yeah, i like characters with hats.

If a unit takes TOO long to baby, ill lose interest pretty quick, so no super scrubs. (Amelia gets a pass cuz Lady Paladin) I like characters that are very interesting so that rules out folks like Donnel, Mozu, Dorcas, Wil, Rebecca, etc. If people are dull, i lose interest. (Sorry, Stahl...)

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I go for whether or not I feel that I can connect to a character, though I've noticed that I tend to avoid characters that typically don't support very much if at all. That said, I do have a habit of gathering my friends Avatars on Awakening and Fates, but I think that defeats the point of the question.

This is true, I should've added this to my earlier post! I like as much personal information to be given on a character as possible; I've used a few avatar-support-only characters in odd battles, but never enough to permanently add them to my roster.

And personality-wise it's a definite bonus if they come laden with anxiety or angst and an inferiority complex and if they struggle with admitting to their feelings.

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And personality-wise it's a definite bonus if they come laden with anxiety or angst and an inferiority complex and if they struggle with admitting to their feelings.

So~ Takumi, then? Or Prince Zuko. I do love me some Zuko.

I will third that comment about having more supports. While I'm not fond of the current system, only being able to support one or two people feels a little boring to me. Naturally, there are exceptions, like Flora. I do love me some Flora.

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So~ Takumi, then? Or Prince Zuko. I do love me some Zuko.

I will third that comment about having more supports. While I'm not fond of the current system, only being able to support one or two people feels a little boring to me. Naturally, there are exceptions, like Flora. I do love me some Flora.

I'd be fine with more selective supports (better than having more, but contradictory supports), but yes; I do love the support system.

And yeah, I can't get enough Takumi (my other two faves are probably Leo and Lon'qu, I feel they fall within that criteria, too).

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