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The Cobbled Together FE1 Tier List: 2007 and Now

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Ever wonder how your opinions and attitudes of Fire Emblem have changed over the course of nearly a decade? Thanks to the magic of Gamefaqs archived topics, we can see how I roughly evaluate the roster of FE1 in 2007 compared to what I think of them now!

Keep in mind that my original tier list was not ordered within each tier, so small discrepancies between lists can be considered basically negligible. Also noteworthy:

1. I originally considered Jagen and Zaggaro(Sedgar) to be so bad that they deserved their own tier below bottom tier. Oops!

2. Chainey was forgotten in the original draft of this tier list. Ricardo was listed twice to compensate (in the same tier, no less!)

3. Numbers have also been added next to each character's name in the interest of comparing the two lists.

The original list can be found here: http://www.gamefaqs.com/boards/562649-fire-emblem-ankoku-ryu-to-hikari-no-tsurugi/39858849 (It's post #2)

[spoiler=2007]
Top Tier:
1.Abel
2.Hardain
3.Kain
4.Katua (Catria)
5.Oguma
6.Navarre
7.Paola
8.Marich (Merric)
9.Julian
High Tier:
10.Linda
11.Astoria
12.Raddy
13.Est
14.Gordan
15.Samson
16.Marth
17.Wendal
Mid Tier:
18.Alan
19.Barts
20.Caesar
21.Lawrence
22.Sheeda
23.Medea
24.Minerva
25.Chiki
26.Gato
27.Kashim (Castor)
Low Tier:
28.Villuck (Vyland)
29.Maji (Cord)
30.Roger
31.Toms (Dolph)
32.Doga
33.Roshe
34.Machis (Matthis)
35.Thomas
36.George
37.Beck
38.Jake
Bottom Tier:
39.Banetou
40.Boa
41.Maria
42.Michelan
43.Rena
44.Ricardo
45.Riff
46.Saji
47.Ulf
48.Daros
49.Ellis
50.Ricardo
Jeigan Tier:
51.Jeigan
52.Zaggaro

Here is my new and improved quickly thrown together tier list. I made it under the assumption that no character is assumed to be used besides Marth. (This is why Maria has utility as a warper despite Rena existing and the whitewings count as costing many turns independently of Minerva & Maria's recruitments.)
[spoiler=2017]
Top Tier:
1.Kain (+2)
2.Abel (+1)
3.Sheeda (+19)
4.Rena (+39)
5.Wendell (+12)
6.Hardin (-4)
7.Marth (+9)
High Tier:
8.Ogma (-3)
9.Navarre (-3)
10.Merric (-2)
11.Jagen (+40)
12.Barts (+7)
13.Boa (+27)
14.Julian (-5)
Mid Tier:
15.Roshe (+18)
16.Machis (+17)
17.Wolf (+30)
18.Gordon (-4)
19.Kashim (+8)
20.Maji (+9)
21.Medea (+2)
22.Astram (-11)
23.Ricardo (+21/+27)
24.Chainey (???)
25.Minerva (+1)
26.Maria (+15)
Low Tier:
27.Zaggaro (+24)
28.Biraku (0)
29.Doga (+3)
30.Saji (+16)
31.Daros (+17)
32.Raddy (-20)
33.Caesar (-13)
34.Thomas (+1)
35.Gato (-9)
36.Lawrence (-15)
37.Linde (-27)
Bottom Tier:
38.Toms (-7)
39.Roger (-9)
40.Jake (-2)
41.Beck (-4)
42.Michelan (0)
43.Ellis (-6)
44.Riff (+1)
45.Palla (-38)
46.Samson (-31)
47.Aran (-29)
48.Catria (-44)
49.Bantu (-10)
50.Est (-37)
51.Chiki (-26)
52.George (-16)

Top 5 units that rose from my initial list:

5. Ricardo (+21/27) / Zaggaro (+24)

One of my major changes from my previous makeshift tier list to my new makeshift tier list is the acknowledgement that most characters just aren't great and either bring little to the table, aren't worth the table, cost turns, or all of the above! Ricardo brings moderate thief utility to the table while being basically free to recruit while Zaggaro can nuke fliers and deal a little bit of chip damage with 9 movement and is actually free to recruit. Neither of these guys are in any way excellent but my idea that getting a little something for nothing is better than getting some of something for a lot is very apparent when comparing the two lists.

4. Boa (+27)

Poor Boa got profiled just because he's old and his growths are low. Boa's 15 base speed makes him a great dead-Gharnef-on-a-stick, not to mention that as a sage he provides decent chip support and great staff support. Best of all, Boa joins reasonably early and automatically, which are both qualities I apparently pay attention to a lot more now than before.

3. Wolf (+30)

Wolf doesn't have the best growths or bases in the game, but they get the job done. What Wolf does have is an excellent move stat and easy access to the Partia, making him one of the most user-friendly and surprisingly effective bow users in the game.

2. Rena (+39)
Rena can barely level up in this game. However, she can still warp. Rena is basically warp personified, so up up up she went.
1. Jagen (+40)
Was this ever even a question? Poor old Jeigan was given the below-bottom tier treatment in my old list for his poor averages, but I overlooked all of the great things the old man brings to the table. He's your best all-around combat unit for quite some time and joins from the get-go! With a silver sword he is a reasonable unit to deploy all the way to midgame, but his lategame really kept him from me listing him as a top tier unit.
Top 5 units that fell from my initial list:

5. Linde (-27)

On paper you would almost believe that Linda is a slightly worse version of Merric. In practice, she perhaps couldn't be more disappointing. Aura is a neat tome but it is not even close to Excalibur, not to mention that Linde joins much later and more out of the way with growths and bases merely comparable to Merric's. What a shame!

4. Aran (-29) & Samson (-31)

While I considered listing these guys separately, the irony of including them together was just too rich. Both of these guys embody what values changed most from my initial tier list to this one: late join times, annoying turn costs, and solid level 20 stats. Unfortunately, I favor the first two nowadays over the latter, so down they went. Turn counts are real jerks, aren't they?

3. Est (-37)

Oh, the shame! Although I did not rank Est in the top tier, her ability to quickly promote to a dragon knight for that sweet 14 base def and to gain offense stats quick to complement that bulk had me vastly overrate Est and her late join time, difficulty to level up, and vast turn cost.

2. Palla (-38)

Seeing a pattern, here? Palla is a reasonable unit but her turn cost is just too steep to be considered for a serious run. (Unless you're doing one of those weird full recruitment runs instead of those super sexy minimum recruitment runs.) Minerva, as a comparison, costs less turns and is generally better (with the hardly contested speed wing), and only just managed to scrape my middle tier.

1. Catria (-44)

Oh no! Not my waifu! Unfortunately for Catria, 20/20 averages don't do much for me anymore, and no amount of 30% def growths can stop her huge turn cost from being a liability. She's a reasonable combat unit that only costs a few turns if you were planning to recruit Minerva anyway, but in any low-turn or efficient run the turn cost isn't worth it even if you really want a flier.

Well, that's my journey from 2007 to present. This is mostly an FYI but feel free to discuss/make fun of my placements from either list if you would like. Pretty amazing how 10 years and a few fe1 drafts can change a person's opinion, huh? We went from averages are king in 2007 to turns are king in 2017. Check back in 2027 to see how my crazy opinions have changed even further. You won't believe where Doga ends up!

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So if this is a LTC tier list, why is Marth not number 1 at atleast just below the staff users? He's your main fighter for the entire game. Kain, Abel, and Sheeda definitely should be under him, though you could make an argument for the staff users saving more turns. Pretty sure Darros, Merric, and Wendell are going to cost you turns so if you are considering recruitment cost they should be near the bottom.

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On some maps but a lot of maps are just warp Marth to kill the boss, survive enemy phase, seize. On maps that Marth isn't getting warped he usually wants to contribute in combat anyways for the extra stats.

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I thought we weren't factoring in recruitment conditions into lists anymore?

Aw man my jank 2017 tier list is ruined already. : ( I think doing a list independent of recruiting conditions is an interesting idea for a post in the near future.

So if this is a LTC tier list, why is Marth not number 1 at atleast just below the staff users? He's your main fighter for the entire game. Kain, Abel, and Sheeda definitely should be under him, though you could make an argument for the staff users saving more turns. Pretty sure Darros, Merric, and Wendell are going to cost you turns so if you are considering recruitment cost they should be near the bottom.

This tier list was mostly just made for funsies but I appreciate your effort in helping improve it. Fe1 needs some love!

I agree that Rapier!Marth is really something but I prefer the extra mobility and range (javelins+maybe gradius) offered by the cavaliers. Promotion also helps Cain and Abel's combat quite a bit and they tend to be killing machines lategame while Marth just becomes very good and stays very good while only having some absurd Rapier moments early-mid game. However, he does have thief utility and a miracle sword monopoly (if we recruit Est.) The Falchion is also practically essential to beating the game since Medeus cheats so hard in this one but I'm not sure how I would factor that into a tier list.

Wendel and Merric both cost 1 turn (Merric is 1 turn out of the way and Merric recruits Wendel) and are both excellent, though I might be overrating Merric based on how much I liked him as a bosskiller in draft. Anyway I think both are solid (or spectacular in Wendel's case since he warps) under an efficiency standpoint even if they don't make sense in a lowest turn count possible run if that makes any sense. Also bear in mind the people I put in the bottom for costing turns cost way more than 1.

I forgot that Darros costs turns though, haha. I'd probably only place him above like a couple units then. He's so bad that I forgot he's out of the way to recruit!

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I think it would definitely be a good idea to make a list that doesn't account for recruitment costs especially because you want to make an exception for Merric and Wendell. Most players like Full recruitment anyways. It gets kinda messy when you start lowering characters because they cost turns.

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Fair enough. It should be interesting to see how that affects my evaluations of the characters when going under that route.

Characters like George are extremely terrible in draft and I have more experience in that scene (read: existent experience) than in a tier scene so my biases are very transparent there.

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An LTC tier list would be Marth, Rena to warp, Boa to win against Garnef, Sheeda for some bosskills, Julian for thieving, the posse to help set up Marth kills on EP.

In other contexts, I think Jeigan is Mid Tier. Barts, Julian and Boa all have tiny but concrete unique utility, but Jeigan is kind of redundant between Kain, Abel and Sheeda.

I'd put him around Sir Machis, the Renegade Knight depending on how you weigh recruitment costs and the exact playstyle.

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Aw man my jank 2017 tier list is ruined already. : ( I think doing a list independent of recruiting conditions is an interesting idea for a post in the near future.

This tier list was mostly just made for funsies but I appreciate your effort in helping improve it. Fe1 needs some love!

Love, huh? For what it's worth, I think Gotoh's original NES theme was FAR better than any of the remakes. Listen to the two side-by-side...

NES:

SNES:

And tell me that pitching the SNES version up was actually a good idea :\:

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I hate to tell you, but actually think I liked both of the versions of that track, Fionorde. I have to admit that the FE1 soundtrack does have a certain charm to it that the FE3 lacks due to the changes in instrumentation and just changes in the tracks in general. I was really disappointed that the first map theme in FE11 was based more on FE3 than it was on FE1, for example.

An LTC tier list would be Marth, Rena to warp, Boa to win against Garnef, Sheeda for some bosskills, Julian for thieving, the posse to help set up Marth kills on EP.

In other contexts, I think Jeigan is Mid Tier. Barts, Julian and Boa all have tiny but concrete unique utility, but Jeigan is kind of redundant between Kain, Abel and Sheeda.
I'd put him around Sir Machis, the Renegade Knight depending on how you weigh recruitment costs and the exact playstyle.

Hahah, perhaps I overcompensated in my rating of Jeigan? He sure is great when he's great but late game he's basically just chipping with Thunder Sword or something ridiculous. Bad times.

But yeah I think you basically hit the nail on the head on why tier lists can be kind of a dubious exercise especially in the context of purely LTC. I think I'll definitely do a rough full recruitment list for my "new" list and compare it to my old one instead since that's probably more in line with the idea of the 2007 list anyway.

Edited by SRC

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I hate to tell you, but actually think I liked both of the versions of that track, Fionorde. I have to admit that the FE1 soundtrack does have a certain charm to it that the FE3 lacks due to the changes in instrumentation and just changes in the tracks in general. I was really disappointed that the first map theme in FE11 was based more on FE3 than it was on FE1, for example.

Well, I mean, it's not like the FE3 version is bad necessarily. I just thought the FE1 version was more emotional; which fit with the whole "I'm a wizened old sage that wished my hands of humanity's foolish ways" things that Gotoh had going for him. The FE3 version sounded more cheerful to me, like I was visiting an item shop.

EDIT: Here's the SNES version when pitched down to where the NES was; just in case anyone's curious. My last video didn't loop properly, but this one does.

Edited by FionordeQuester

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Hahah, perhaps I overcompensated in my rating of Jeigan? He sure is great when he's great but late game he's basically just chipping with Thunder Sword or something ridiculous. Bad times.

It might be Jeigan archetype bias. Over the last 10 years, the increased focus on turns means Jeigans have gone from a unit to avoid on principle to the earlygame enforcer.

Jeigan himself is unique in that he is not an integral part of an LTC strategy. Even his twin brother Jagen has exclusive Silver Lance access, Dracoknight access, and hard modes.

Outside of drafts I'd hesitate to call him even decent. His earlygame combat performance is comparable to Saji and in any context where his move matters, exp/turn optimisation matters even more.

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I'm totally board on calling him less than great or a worse version of Jagen but I'm not sure that makes him less than decent just because he is not an integral part of an LTC strategy. He still makes runs go more smoothly with his high move, sturdiness, and ability to set up kills. Kaga has also blessed him with middling strength and horrible luck; he can set up kills with an iron sword without killing them (~91% of the time) while having the ability to one-round in a pinch with non-iron sword weapons. All in all I would rate him as near perfect the first few chapters, a top early game unit, a bad-decent mid game unit, and terrible late game guy. Again, he's certainly not great but I think I would take him over the endless niche and filler units that seem to fill up the roster.

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