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General Weapon Refinery discussion/speculation/creation thread

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7 hours ago, Ice Dragon said:

Looks like the update should be on Tuesday night or Wednesday morning/afternoon depending on your time zone.

Thank you!

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The refines are out, and pretty much everyone except Julius got a bad refine.

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5 minutes ago, Nym said:

The refines are out, and pretty much everyone except Julius got a bad refine.

...are we looking at the same refines.

cCD75dP.jpgS5Ppx7f.jpgFsbBz2T.jpgH2SUwdj.jpg8Ui4Qs6.jpg

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14 minutes ago, Xenomata said:

...are we looking at the same refines.

cCD75dP.jpgS5Ppx7f.jpgFsbBz2T.jpgH2SUwdj.jpg8Ui4Qs6.jpg

Aside of Tharja who is niche but it works, yes sorta.

I don't know how to feel about Owain's refine, it really seems like he is stuck to enemy phase.

Edited by Nym

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28 minutes ago, Nym said:

The refines are out, and pretty much everyone except Julius got a bad refine.

I disagree.

Laevatein being able to buff herself (and also support ally, which is a nice reference to her sister) is pretty nice. With her weapon alone, she gets total of Atk+28 and Def+16. Of course, she is still weak to Lulls, but she got a pretty nice refinement.

And Owain became a special nuke. If you combine his Blue Flame, plus Wrath, plus his weapon at max value... That's 65 damage from special alone. That's actually great. If one day we get Vantage seal, he can become great unit with a Special Spiral B skill and Vantage seal.

Soleil is... Yeah, not the best but it's what I expected for her.

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13 minutes ago, Diovani Bressan said:

And Owain became a special nuke. If you combine his Blue Flame, plus Wrath, plus his weapon at max value... That's 65 damage from special alone. That's actually great. If one day we get Vantage seal, he can become great unit with a Special Spiral B skill and Vantage seal.

That's a lot of niche set up if you ask me, especially with dmg reduction or guard everywhere in AR.

I'm trying to see how I can make this work, but so far I can't figure it out, he would need like 3 B skill

Edited by Nym

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  • What Laevatein got is appreciated. Though the lack of penalty nullification is kinda bleh, she does still get +10 Atk, which in terms of a Bladetome unit helps. Though... I don't get why she also buffs her support partner. Is that supposed to be a cute way of her supporting Laegjarn?
  • Owain got a weird refine, considering 2 parts of his default kit want him to be directly next to his allies, yet he can be as far as 3 spaces away... still, all good, not that hard to replace Blue Flame. The special damage boost has potential, but if one is expecting Owain to solo an entire map with Special Vengeance, he kinda needs some help... shame there won't be a Vantage SS anytime soon.
  • Her refine's text is much smaller (and the statboost is halved) in comparison, but I still think she got a great refine. I never expected her to get more than the base Firesweep effect unless it was loaded with a condition (ala Shamir, Ingrid, kinda Fallen Dimitri among others), but even then she still gets an otherwise unconditional Special Cooldown Charge boost, which lends itself well to AoE Specials and Galeforce. Compared to Roderick literally only getting Darting Blow from his refine, Soleil has it far better. Definitely makes her one of the better 4* units to consider for newer players.
  • Julius gets an Atk/Res infliction on foes (total of -11 as long as they aren't using dragon-effective weapons) and Sabotage Atk/Res, PLUS Dragon Wall. Off of base 38 Res (with Loptous), he should generally be getting the full Dragon Wall reduction, which rises him above most other Red Tomes as one of the bulkiest (and really puts Brynhildr to shame... more than it already has been shamed, at least)
    The only issue I see is that his Def remains pretty bad among bulky mages (base 16, current max of 24 with a Neutral nature, max merges, and max Dragonflowers), so he might still need to be wary of physical damage... but still, definitely a good refine.
  • If I'm reading Tharja's refine right, she gets a base +5 Atk/Spd if she is within 3 spaces of an ally, with a max Atk bonus of +9 if she is "near" at least 2 allies, and then her refine reduces the Spd and Res of enemies within 3 spaces of her in direct proportion to the number of allies within 3 spaces of her? I assume that means the AoE debuff applies at all times then? If so, that's neat, but... I dunno, it's probably the only refine here today that I'm a little iffy on... for herself it's perfectly fine, but it could be hard to take proper advantage of for her allies.

Overall good, though Owain and Tharja are now unproven territory. The other three are just plain better now.

1 hour ago, Nym said:

Aside of Tharja who is niche but it works, yes sorta.

I don't know how to feel about Owain's refine, it really seems like he is stuck to enemy phase.

Tharja's is the only one I'm iffy on, the others are perfectly fine. Not gamebreaking, but still good. I don't think a refine given to a normal unit has ever been gamebreaking anyway, at least in my memory.

And Owain has always been Enemy Phase. Missiletainn and Blue Flame are supposed to work in tandem together, and Blue Flame is only at its best when directly next to someone, so Owain wouldn't be doing much good when by his lonesome. Which still begs to question why his refine is alright with him not being directly next to someone?

...maybe a way to use Owain on PP would be to give him Desperation and a 3 cooldown special (which I guess just means Luna since he doesn't have the Def or Res to run Bonfire/Iceberg), let his HP run down, and then he's launching specials with +30 special damage. Alternatively, since a lot of enemies have follow-up prevention, give him NFU and Astra for big nuke Special activations.

Edited by Xenomata

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Soleil's Shine

Base effect is identical to Firesweep Sword.

Refine effect is +5 Atk/Spd with a Blow condition and Heavy Blade with a Blow condition and without the stat check.

Holy crap, I hit this one right on the nail.

Obligatory stat boost and a Special charge rate boost to allow her to land a 2-cooldown Special on her follow-up attack. Pretty much exactly what a Firesweep weapon wants. No complaints here.

Laevatein

Base effect is the same, but with an additional +5 Atk/Def if she has a Bonus active or if her HP is 50% or higher.

Refine effect is a +6 Atk/Def field buff to herself if there is an ally within 2 spaces of her, a +6 Atk/Def field buff to her support partner if they are within 2 spaces of her, and +5 Atk/Def if her opponent's HP is 75% or higher.

Basically her original effect with an additional +10 Atk/Def in combat buffs and a free +6 Atk/Def field buff.

With Rouse Spd/Res, she ends up with an easy +40/6/16/6 counting visible bonuses and excluding the weapon's permanent stat boost if her bonuses aren't nullified.

It's worth noting that even if she gets hit with a complete Dull or Panic effect, she still keeps the +10 Atk/Def combat buff as long as she has a non-stat Bonus active.

Missiletainn

Base effect is the same, but with an additional +5 Atk/Spd if the opponent's HP is 50% or higher.

Refine effect is +5 Atk/Spd if there is an ally within 3 spaces of him and a 100% version of the Retribution skill line added to his Special activations capped at 30 extra damage.

I'm not sure how I feel about this one. It's a good refine, but Owain's base skills are just all over the place when his weapon is considered, and he pretty much wants his entire base kit replaced no matter what you do with him.

Wrath doesn't really do him any favors because the Pulse effect doesn't actually help him at all with the Special charge rate boost from his weapon. The +10 boost to Spd makes it look like they really want to make him run Spurn over Wrath, and that also means replacing his default Atk/Def Bond with a skill that boosts Spd, like Atk/Spd Unity or Kestrel Stance.

Alternatively, the Retribution effect being added looks like a way to justify players giving up the Wrath damage effect entirely. However, the problem is that he wants to be at low HP to boost Retribution's damage, but Vantage causes him to be unable to charge up his Special, and he's unable to run both Vantage and Special Spiral.

That said, he can certainly run Special Spiral on a player-phase build, which lets him drop Luna with the bonus Retribution damage on the first attack of every round of combat.

Loptous

Base effect is changed to +3 permanent Res, weak to dragon-effective damage, -6 Atk/Res if the opponent does not have dragon-effective damage, and Dragon Wall 3 if the opponent does not have dragon-effective damage.

Refine effect is "Sabotage Atk/Res 2" and an additional -5 Atk/Res if his HP is 25% or above.

It seems I pretty much hit this nail on the head, too, with the -6 Atk/Res and Dragon Wall, but I was not expecting them to put Dragon Wall on the base effect.

The additional -5 Atk/Res is really nice to boost his damage and defenses even more. The Sabotage is a nice bonus, but isn't a particularly big deal.

Overall exactly what I hoped for and more. Extremely solid, and even more so for a Grail unit.

Muspell Fireposy

Base effect was changed to +3 permanent Spd, +7 Atk and +5 Spd if there is an ally within 3 spaces, and an additional +2 Atk if there is a second ally within 3 spaces.

Refine effect is -2 Spd/Res to enemies within 3 spaces for each ally within 3 spaces, up to a maximum of 3.

This one is a bit weird. The stat boosts are good, but it requires a fair amount of positioning setup to get the best results. Excluding the permanent stat boost,

  • with 1 ally in range, she gets an effective +9 Atk and +5 Spd,
  • with 2 allies in range, she gets an effective +13 Atk and +7 Spd, and
  • with 3 allies in range, she gets an effective +15 Atk and +9 Spd.

With a Spd Asset, maximum Dragonflowers, and only her weapon equipped, Tharja has 62/50 offenses with one ally in range, 66/52 with two, and 68/54 with three.

In comparison, under the same conditions, Nyx has 64/55 offenses. Compared to the best F2P red tome under the same conditions and with Raudhrfox+ [Spd], Erk has 53/51 offenses.

To be fair, this does make Bride Tharja competitive with modern units even with only one ally in range, so even with the awkward positioning requirements, she's pretty good. Additionally, her refine effect is a Rein-type effect, meaning teammates coming in to attack after her action can take advantage of the stat drops on enemies in range.

 

Final thoughts

I don't have any complaints with any of them other than the fact that Owain really wants his entire skill set overhauled, but that was already a problem before the refine.

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Wow that Julius refine is looking good. A bit predictable, but still really, really nice. I might actually +10 him.

Owain essentially getting vengeance has slightly dashed my hopes of them releasing a very esoteric Def/Res Push build.

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Laevatein is just okay. The extra Atk+16 helps, but I do not think it is enough to make her viable as a Counter-Vantage unit, and as a tank buster, she might get even less Atk due to dumb positioning requirements. I do not think plain old stat buffs are noteworthy enough to really impact the meta unless it is scalable and/or extremely high, like the Blade effect. At the end of the day, Laevatein still only got one relevent effect on her Weapon and that is the Blade effect.

Owain seems like he really wants Vantage or Special Spiral Sacred Seal, but even then, I do not think Counter-Vantage is all that viable even with those skills, and even more so for Owain compared to Laevatein since his part of its damage output is capped at 30 and it does not scale with future stat increases. Laevatein can at least scale her damage more as better buffs get released. I think Owain is better as a player phase unit to one shot things with Luna-Special Spiral, bust tanks with Ruptured Sky-Windsweep-Time's Pulse, or run Ruptured Sky/Noontime-Surge Sparrow-Spurn/Null Follow-Up to take advantage of recent support for high bulk player phase play style. Owain got Slaying, charge+1, and enough Atk to be worth comparing to Blade effect.

Again, Soleil is decent, but not amazing. Just give her Special Spiral and she is good to go as a Blazing nuke. Ruptured Sky-Fury-Wrath-Time's Pulse is probably also okay for tank busting. Firesweep with charge +1 is decent.

Julius is okay. I feel like I should be more excited, but all Julius got is just Dragon Wall on his Weapon. I guess Sabotage is something, but that can be offloaded to a support unit.

I am not a fan of positioning requirements on Tharja: Obssessive Bride. Player phase stat spread with positioning requirements more suited for enemy phase is plain dumb in my opinion. Plain stat buffs just is not cutting it in my opinion.

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7 minutes ago, XRay said:

Laevatein is just okay. The extra Atk+16 helps, but I do not think it is enough to make her viable as a Counter-Vantage unit, and as a tank buster, she might get even less Atk due to dumb positioning requirements. I do not think plain old stat buffs are noteworthy enough to really impact the meta unless it is scalable and/or extremely high, like the Blade effect. At the end of the day, Laevatein still only got one relevent effect on her Weapon and that is the Blade effect.

I do not count the +6 Atk/Def field buff as part of her kit, as field buffs can easily be obtained from outside sources (Fae being a real cheap source of +5 all stat, Titania/Seth being good for +6 but slightly limited by the Tactics requirement), so in my mind she really only got a +10 Atk/Def boost. The buffing effect is inconsequential and could have easily been replaced by a penalty nullification effect.

Either way, she does still remain plenty powerful. A +10 +Atk Laevatein has 63 base Atk, boosted to 73 off the in-combat boosts alone, and then to 79 when accounting for a +6 Atk field buff. Adding in +24 damage from +6 all stat field buffs, she's still hitting for 103 damage per regular attack when otherwise unsupported by outside skills like Drive Atk. And let's be fair, this is still better than 2 of the past 4 Bladetome refines getting an Even Wave and Link skill for their refines...

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@XRay Sometimes I feel like you're being a sourpuss for the sake of being a sourpuss, and this is one of those moments.

 

15 minutes ago, XRay said:

I do not think plain old stat buffs are noteworthy enough to really impact the meta unless it is scalable and/or extremely high, like the Blade effect. At the end of the day, Laevatein still only got one relevent effect on her Weapon and that is the Blade effect.

+24 is "extremely high" and "relevant", but +16 is "not noteworthy enough". Huh?

 

16 minutes ago, XRay said:

Laevatein can at least scale her damage more as better buffs get released.

Buffs, outside of the extremely situational use of Hardy Bearing, have been capped at +6 for the entire four and a half years since the game's release. While the effect is theoretically scalable with time, it has had zero scaling so far.

In practice, debuffs and "percentage of unit's stat" are the only effects that actually scale with time.

 

31 minutes ago, XRay said:

Julius is okay. I feel like I should be more excited, but all Julius got is just Dragon Wall on his Weapon.

Julius effectively has FORTY NINE Res to run Dragon Wall off of at +0+0 with no Asset, other skills, buffs, or debuffs on the opponent. Fully merged and with maximum Dragonflowers (and no Asset), he hits 57 effective Res with just his weapon. You suggest Dragon Wall on dragons with far less Res than that, and now you're disappointed that a unit with the Res to use Dragon Wall gets Dragon Wall with an open B slot?

 

20 minutes ago, XRay said:

I am not a fan of positioning requirements on Tharja: Obssessive Bride. Player phase stat spread with positioning requirements more suited for enemy phase is plain dumb in my opinion. Plain stat buffs just is not cutting it in my opinion.

With only a single ally within 3 spaces, Tharja's stats are already comparable to Azel's (Tharja is +3/-3 compared to Azel) and are only slightly behind Brave Lysithea's (+0/-4).

I think you're being blinded by the fact that you see an "allies within x spaces" condition and immediately discounting it without actually considering what the effect actually is numerically or how difficult it might be to fulfill the condition.

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14 minutes ago, Ice Dragon said:

Buffs, outside of the extremely situational use of Hardy Bearing, have been capped at +6 for the entire four and a half years since the game's release. While the effect is theoretically scalable with time, it has had zero scaling so far.

The highest buff possible is a Defiant skill, at +7.  Naturally, no one uses them.

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17 minutes ago, eclipse said:

The highest buff possible is a Defiant skill, at +7.  Naturally, no one uses them.

Right. No one uses them, so I forgot they exist.

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47 minutes ago, Xenomata said:

I do not count the +6 Atk/Def field buff as part of her kit, as field buffs can easily be obtained from outside sources (Fae being a real cheap source of +5 all stat, Titania/Seth being good for +6 but slightly limited by the Tactics requirement), so in my mind she really only got a +10 Atk/Def boost. The buffing effect is inconsequential and could have easily been replaced by a penalty nullification effect.

Woops. I thought that Atk/Def+6 is an in combat buff.

31 minutes ago, Ice Dragon said:

+24 is "extremely high" and "relevant", but +16 is "not noteworthy enough". Huh?

It is +10 now that I was corrected, not +16. But no, even if it was +16, it is not noteworthy enough because that is still +Atk, which the Blade effect is also just +Atk, so effectively it is still just Blade effect at the end of the day. And that Atk+16 still would not really help Laevatein against bulky units these days, as bulk has risen so fast that Counter-Vantage just is not viable even with Meister effect, and if they want to make it viable, they need to at least make Atk scale fast enough to keep up with plain bulk.

39 minutes ago, Ice Dragon said:

Buffs, outside of the extremely situational use of Hardy Bearing, have been capped at +6 for the entire four and a half years since the game's release. While the effect is theoretically scalable with time, it has had zero scaling so far.

In practice, debuffs and "percentage of unit's stat" are the only effects that actually scale with time.

Bonus buffs has gotten a slight buff from Null Panic and more variety of ways of applying those buffs (Openings, Rouses, etc.). I think it is just a matter of time before they make +7 easier to apply, or give even higher buffs in the form of +8 or +9 to match current debuffs.

Slaying effect, guaranteed follow-up, Guard, Sweeps, etc. are more relevant than stat boosts because they can do what stats cannot do or they make certain stats irrelevant or less relevant.

45 minutes ago, Ice Dragon said:

Julius effectively has FORTY NINE Res to run Dragon Wall off of at +0+0 with no Asset, other skills, buffs, or debuffs on the opponent. Fully merged and with maximum Dragonflowers (and no Asset), he hits 57 effective Res with just his weapon. You suggest Dragon Wall on dragons with far less Res than that, and now you're disappointed that a unit with the Res to use Dragon Wall gets Dragon Wall with an open B slot?

Dragon Wall is great, but that is all he has for combat. Ike: Brave Mercenary and Dimitri: Savior King on the other hand got Slaying effect on top of Dodge. It is not the effect that is the problem, it is the amount of effects. Even something simple like targeting lower of Def/Res, penalty negation, Dull, or something would be better than Sabotage.

54 minutes ago, Ice Dragon said:

With only a single ally within 3 spaces, Tharja's stats are already comparable to Azel's (Tharja is +3/-3 compared to Azel) and are only slightly behind Brave Lysithea's (+0/-4).

I think you're being blinded by the fact that you see an "allies within x spaces" condition and immediately discounting it without actually considering what the effect actually is numerically or how difficult it might be to fulfill the condition.

I use Azura: Vallite Songstress, and I think 99% of players who seriously invest in player phase is going to have a copy of her. She is so good that I do not think any Dancer/Singer has truly surpassed her yet. When she can turn every infantry and flying nuke into a cavalry unit, I do not think a requirement that enforces sub-horse movement is practical. Even if it was 4 spaces, while that fixes the range issue, I still do not think I am completely sold. Plain old Celica has got recoil damage on top of plain stat boosts. Tharja: Obssesive Bride does not even have that on top of her stat boosts.

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28 minutes ago, XRay said:

It is +10 now that I was corrected, not +16. But no, even if it was +16, it is not noteworthy enough because that is still +Atk, which the Blade effect is also just +Atk, so effectively it is still just Blade effect at the end of the day. And that Atk+16 still would not really help Laevatein against bulky units these days, as bulk has risen so fast that Counter-Vantage just is not viable even with Meister effect, and if they want to make it viable, they need to at least make Atk scale fast enough to keep up with plain bulk.

So the Litrblade effect is "noteworthy", but an additional half of the Litrblade effect is not?

A maxed out Laevatein has 67 visible Atk, which is boosted up to 107 Atk at +6/6/6/6 and with no other passive skills or support. With a wallbreaker build (Atk/Def Ideal 4 + Atk/Def Solo 3), she hits 122 Atk without a Special proc and 69 Def.

For comparison, a maxed out Fallen Edelgard has 112 effective Atk with a Bonfire proc and 65 effective Def with her standard Mystic Boost build and no support.

 

42 minutes ago, XRay said:

Bonus buffs has gotten a slight buff from Null Panic and more variety of ways of applying those buffs (Openings, Rouses, etc.).

Hone Cavalry + Fortify Cavalry with a cavalry Litrblade user has been a standard build archetype ever since Skill Inheritance was a thing, and getting +6 in all stats was already trivial back then.

Getting a slight buff is not the same as scaling. Being more distributed by having more ways to activate the full effect is not scaling. It was trivially +24 when Skill Inheritance was implemented, and it's still +24 now.

 

47 minutes ago, XRay said:

I think it is just a matter of time before they make +7 easier to apply, or give even higher buffs in the form of +8 or +9 to match current debuffs.

It's been four and a half years, and we haven't gotten anything new.

And I'm pretty sure the existence of Litrblade is exactly the reason why.

 

54 minutes ago, XRay said:

Dragon Wall is great, but that is all he has for combat. Ike: Brave Mercenary and Dimitri: Savior King on the other hand got Slaying effect on top of Dodge. It is not the effect that is the problem, it is the amount of effects. Even something simple like targeting lower of Def/Res, penalty negation, Dull, or something would be better than Sabotage.

Because 71 effective Atk before passive skills on a unit with a very reliable 40% damage reduction is apparently not enough to count as "something he has for combat", I guess. And that's on top of his passable 33 effective Def and exceptional 57 effective Res.

And unlike Dodge, which relies on a comparison of a heavily contested stat, Dragon Wall relies on a comparison of a stat that is typically a dump stat, making it a far more reliable effect. Also, it still doesn't take up a B slot.

It's worth noting that a maxed out Fallen Edelgard has 74 effective Atk, 56 effective Def, and 51 effective Res before passive skills.

 

1 hour ago, XRay said:

I use Azura: Vallite Songstress, and I think 99% of players who seriously invest in player phase is going to have a copy of her. She is so good that I do not think any Dancer/Singer has truly surpassed her yet. When she can turn every infantry and flying nuke into a cavalry unit, I do not think a requirement that enforces sub-horse movement is practical. Even if it was 4 spaces, while that fixes the range issue, I still do not think I am completely sold.

Azura may be good, but as a Legendary Hero, she's not available to use all of the time in Aether Raids and Arena, she's only usable on one map in Arena Assault, and she's most of the time unusable on the same team in game modes that limit characters by game-of-origin.

 

1 hour ago, XRay said:

Plain old Celica has got recoil damage on top of plain stat boosts. Tharja: Obssesive Bride does not even have that on top of her stat boosts.

That's nice and all, but "plain old Celica" is -1/+1 compared to Bride Tharja with one ally in range on their first rounds of combat.

And Tharja's massively beefed up version of Rein Spd/Res as a support effect is plenty to make up for having lower stats after Celica reaches Brazen range, especially when using Tharja as the vanguard for a Save ball.

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2 hours ago, Ice Dragon said:

It's been four and a half years, and we haven't gotten anything new.

And I'm pretty sure the existence of Litrblade is exactly the reason why.

Aside from Defiant skills, the single stat versions of Hone/Fortify 4 give +7, and they've been around since the Nifl/Muspell New Year banner.  They're just not used any more because other C skills are much better at this point.

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3 hours ago, Ice Dragon said:

So the Litrblade effect is "noteworthy", but an additional half of the Litrblade effect is not?

A maxed out Laevatein has 67 visible Atk, which is boosted up to 107 Atk at +6/6/6/6 and with no other passive skills or support. With a wallbreaker build (Atk/Def Ideal 4 + Atk/Def Solo 3), she hits 122 Atk without a Special proc and 69 Def.

For comparison, a maxed out Fallen Edelgard has 112 effective Atk with a Bonfire proc and 65 effective Def with her standard Mystic Boost build and no support.

107 Atk is pretty meaningless in the context of Counter-Vantage when bulky units can far exceed that and their bulk is rising faster than Laevatein can catch up.

Unless Null Follow-Up or Windsweep Sacred Seal comes out, while she can still bust tanks without that set up, it is just more risky and less efficient.

3 hours ago, Ice Dragon said:

Hone Cavalry + Fortify Cavalry with a cavalry Litrblade user has been a standard build archetype ever since Skill Inheritance was a thing, and getting +6 in all stats was already trivial back then.

Getting a slight buff is not the same as scaling. Being more distributed by having more ways to activate the full effect is not scaling. It was trivially +24 when Skill Inheritance was implemented, and it's still +24 now.

Getting all stats+6 was not trivial on infantry, and getting all stats+6 back then had a much higher bar to clear compared to using a single Atk Tactic with much looser positioning requirements, or with Atk Opening where positioning does not even matter.

3 hours ago, Ice Dragon said:

It's been four and a half years, and we haven't gotten anything new.

And I'm pretty sure the existence of Litrblade is exactly the reason why.

They have to at some point. Brave Weapons got a slight upgrade with In the Moment Weapons.

3 hours ago, Ice Dragon said:

Because 71 effective Atk before passive skills on a unit with a very reliable 40% damage reduction is apparently not enough to count as "something he has for combat", I guess. And that's on top of his passable 33 effective Def and exceptional 57 effective Res.

And unlike Dodge, which relies on a comparison of a heavily contested stat, Dragon Wall relies on a comparison of a stat that is typically a dump stat, making it a far more reliable effect. Also, it still doesn't take up a B slot.

It's worth noting that a maxed out Fallen Edelgard has 74 effective Atk, 56 effective Def, and 51 effective Res before passive skills.

Stats can be easily offloaded and manipulated. Missing a few points or having some extra here and there is not a big deal. What is a big deal is not having enough effects, and enemy phase units, especiall super tanks, want to cram as many of those as possible into their set up. The stats can be beefed up later with Drives and such.

The issue is not triggering effects, as most modern units have effects that are relatively easy to trigger. The issue is not having enough effects to do what a unit is supposed to do.

3 hours ago, Ice Dragon said:

Azura may be good, but as a Legendary Hero, she's not available to use all of the time in Aether Raids and Arena, she's only usable on one map in Arena Assault, and she's most of the time unusable on the same team in game modes that limit characters by game-of-origin.

She is usable in Abyssal content with no drawback. If the player is satisfied with just bouncing in and out of Vault of Heaven with low effort and still relatively high rewards, there is no need to maximize scoring.

3 hours ago, Ice Dragon said:

That's nice and all, but "plain old Celica" is -1/+1 compared to Bride Tharja with one ally in range on their first rounds of combat.

And Tharja's massively beefed up version of Rein Spd/Res as a support effect is plenty to make up for having lower stats after Celica reaches Brazen range, especially when using Tharja as the vanguard for a Save ball.

Maintaining one ally within range is not practical when that range is only 3. You have to zoom all over the map sometimes. If it is 4, then sure, I think the range is large enough to be a non issue.

I am not completely sold on her support capabilities either. What makes most top tier support unit top tier is the fact they provide effects. Stats are just the gravy on top. Lucina: Brave Mercenary provides a total of 12 stats on top of Breath effect. Tharja: Obssesive also provides a total of 12 stats, but only if you hit Res, otherwise, it is a much less impressive Spd+6.

Edited by XRay

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14 minutes ago, YotsuMaboroshi said:

Aside from Defiant skills, the single stat versions of Hone/Fortify 4 give +7, and they've been around since the Nifl/Muspell New Year banner.  They're just not used any more because other C skills are much better at this point.

Wow. Apparently my memory is absolutely awful.

But yeah, the fact that I don't remember them, like with the Defiant skills, shows just how often they're actually used. That said, even if you did use Hone 4 skills, they just weren't ever really feasible for widespread use with Litrblade units because of their strict positioning requirements (beaten by Tactic and Rouse skills) and their extremely inefficient cost in skill slots (beaten by Rally and Rouse skills). At best, you could really only hope for something like +7/7/6/6, but that still costs you the ability to run stackable effects like Drives.

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2 minutes ago, XRay said:

107 Atk is pretty meaningless in the context of Counter-Vantage when bulky units can far exceed that and their bulk is rising faster than Laevatein can catch up.

I didn't give you a Counter-Vantage setup. Why are you so fixated on that specific build?

 

3 minutes ago, XRay said:

Unless Null Follow-Up or Windsweep Sacred Seal comes out, while she can still bust tanks without that set up, it is just more risky and less efficient.

Or you can just do what you always recommend and offload Null Follow-Up to a support unit.

Even without Null Follow-Up, Windsweep plus a dancer is honestly more than enough to function as a wallbreaker. Or you can skip Windsweep altogether and run Lull Atk/Def to boost her effective Def up to 72. For reference, Fallen Edelgard fails to kill Laevatein on the counterattack, dealing 40 damage with Bonfire to Laevatein's 47 HP. Or Laevatein can run a Dodge skill, as her 45 Spd is plenty enough to get full damage reduction against most walls, allowing her to take only 26 damage from Edelgard.

 

10 minutes ago, XRay said:

Getting all stats+6 was not trivial on infantry,

That doesn't matter. Not being able to use Tharja or Nino with +6 to all stats doesn't change the fact that every player had trivially easy access to Reinhardt and Cecilia, who were able to get +6 on all stats. +6 was the standard when Skill Inheritance was released. The fact that not all units could easily get +6 doesn't change the fact that it was the standard and it was trivially easy to get on specific units that were trivially easy to get.

+24 was the standard since the build archetype existed, and +24 is still the standard today.

 

16 minutes ago, XRay said:

They have to at some point. Brave Weapons got a slight upgrade with In the Moment Weapons.

No, no they don't. There's absolutely nothing that's forcing them to do so.

 

18 minutes ago, XRay said:

Stats can be easily offloaded and manipulated. Missing a few points or having some extra here and there is not a big deal. What is a big deal is not having enough effects, and enemy phase units, especiall super tanks, want to cram as many of those as possible into their set up. The stats can be beefed up later with Drives and such.

The issue is not triggering effects, as most modern units have effects that are relatively easy to trigger. The issue is not having enough effects to do what a unit is supposed to do.

Julius can get Guard from a Stance 4 skill and Dull from Dull Ranged or a Lull skill. Quick Riposte is a Sacred Seal. Close Counter can be offloaded onto a Near Save unit. I'm not really seeing the problem.

Heck, if you look at Gustav and Henriette, who are basically the current gold standards for tanks, Gustav's weapon only gives him damage reduction, and Henriette's weapon only gives her passive healing if you ignore the "few points of stats" that you can offload onto support units. And no, Gustav's Slaying effect doesn't count because all that does is give him Ignis instead of Bonfire, which is functionally equivalent to more stats.

 

22 minutes ago, XRay said:

She is usable in Abyssal content with no drawback. If the player is satisfied with just bouncing in and out of Vault of Heaven with low effort and still relatively high rewards, there is no need to maximize scoring.

You're having problems staying within 3 spaces of a teammate in Abyssal maps where you have a map preview and can counter-pick the map? Is that actually a problem people have?

On my end, I tend to have trouble using Solo skills because my units stick to each other too much. Running a unit off on its own tends to be a great way to get them killed for me, considering most Abyssal maps tend to do a decent job of overlapping enemy unit threat ranges.

 

23 minutes ago, XRay said:

I am not completely sold on her support capabilities either. What makes most top tier support unit top tier is the fact they provide effects. Stats are just the gravy on top. Lucina: Brave Mercenary provides a total of 12 stats on top of Breath effect. Tharja: Obssesive also provides a total of 12 stats, but only if you hit Res, otherwise, it is a much less impressive Spd+6.

Lucina gets to have a strong support effect because her own combat performance is mediocre. Tharja has combat performance comparable to modern units while also having a good support effect on top. There aren't many of those.

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13 hours ago, Ice Dragon said:

I didn't give you a Counter-Vantage setup. Why are you so fixated on that specific build?

 

It is the only build she stands out in. Ranged units are better raw damage nukes, and there are better candidates and set ups for Galeforce and tank busting.

13 hours ago, Ice Dragon said:

Or you can just do what you always recommend and offload Null Follow-Up to a support unit.

Even without Null Follow-Up, Windsweep plus a dancer is honestly more than enough to function as a wallbreaker. Or you can skip Windsweep altogether and run Lull Atk/Def to boost her effective Def up to 72. For reference, Fallen Edelgard fails to kill Laevatein on the counterattack, dealing 40 damage with Bonfire to Laevatein's 47 HP. Or Laevatein can run a Dodge skill, as her 45 Spd is plenty enough to get full damage reduction against most walls, allowing her to take only 26 damage from Edelgard.

Offloading effects is easier for a super tank team than a player phase one.

She can probably bust tanks with Surge Sparrow and Null Follow-Up, but it feels more risky than running Windsweep.

13 hours ago, Ice Dragon said:

That doesn't matter. Not being able to use Tharja or Nino with +6 to all stats doesn't change the fact that every player had trivially easy access to Reinhardt and Cecilia, who were able to get +6 on all stats. +6 was the standard when Skill Inheritance was released. The fact that not all units could easily get +6 doesn't change the fact that it was the standard and it was trivially easy to get on specific units that were trivially easy to get.

+24 was the standard since the build archetype existed, and +24 is still the standard today.

Cavalry had mobility issues on certain maps, and getting 6/6/6/6 back have much demanding positioning requirements, needing two allies to be adjacent to the unit receiving the buffs. If you think getting 6/6/6/6 is trivial with that level of positioning requirement, then 7/7/7/7 is peanuts with Azura: Vallite Songstress, and 7/7/7/7 ought to be the standard today.

13 hours ago, Ice Dragon said:

Julius can get Guard from a Stance 4 skill and Dull from Dull Ranged or a Lull skill. Quick Riposte is a Sacred Seal. Close Counter can be offloaded onto a Near Save unit. I'm not really seeing the problem.

Heck, if you look at Gustav and Henriette, who are basically the current gold standards for tanks, Gustav's weapon only gives him damage reduction, and Henriette's weapon only gives her passive healing if you ignore the "few points of stats" that you can offload onto support units. And no, Gustav's Slaying effect doesn't count because all that does is give him Ignis instead of Bonfire, which is functionally equivalent to more stats.

Again, it is not about what Julius has, it is about how much he has. Given the same support, Julius will always be two effects short compared to Morgan: Fated Darkness for example. Morgan: Fated Darkness got guaranteed follow-up, follow-up denial, and Guard. Julius just got Dodge. You can move things around all you want, but at the end of the day, you cannot easily make up for less effects.

Slaying effect can be translated to be more damage, bulk, or damage reduction depending on the Special, and as Specials get better, Slaying becomes more valuable.

13 hours ago, Ice Dragon said:

You're having problems staying within 3 spaces of a teammate in Abyssal maps where you have a map preview and can counter-pick the map? Is that actually a problem people have?

On my end, I tend to have trouble using Solo skills because my units stick to each other too much. Running a unit off on its own tends to be a great way to get them killed for me, considering most Abyssal maps tend to do a decent job of overlapping enemy unit threat ranges.

I prefer to do as little thinking as possible, and I want my nukes to kill things in one round of combat, so I just go by gut feeling most of the time. I do look at the map, but I rarely pay attention to enemy skill sets. For much of the past year though, I have not really paid attention to the map either and just use my Save tank team to tackle every Abyssal map. My player phase team only tackles Abyssal maps if my Save tank team cannot handle it.

Solo condition is not really an issue unless the map is tight and restrictive, but I rarely use it since Brazen Atk/Spd has been around longer and they give more stats.

13 hours ago, Ice Dragon said:

Lucina gets to have a strong support effect because her own combat performance is mediocre. Tharja has combat performance comparable to modern units while also having a good support effect on top. There aren't many of those.

Tharja: Obessive Bride does not exactly have stellar performance either. Her combat performance is no where near the level of Gunnthrá nor Yuri. I do not see the point of running a weak support unit with barely above average combat performance when you can run a strong support unit and let the super tank handle combat. It does not really matter how stronger Hilda: Deer's Two-Piece is combat wise compared to Flayn, as super tanks will be doing most of the fighting anyways.

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56 minutes ago, XRay said:

Offloading effects is easier for a super tank team than a player phase one.

That's less of a problem for wallbreakers than for typical player-phase units. Wallbreakers typically don't need to run out ahead to snipe a wall and can usually wait for the wall to come to them.

 

6 minutes ago, XRay said:

Cavalry had mobility issues on certain maps, and getting 6/6/6/6 back have much demanding positioning requirements, needing two allies to be adjacent to the unit receiving the buffs. If you think getting 6/6/6/6 is trivial with that level of positioning requirement, then 7/7/7/7 is peanuts with Azura: Vallite Songstress, and 7/7/7/7 ought to be the standard today.

Cavalry had no mobility issues until the introduction of trenches (which also introduced a few maps with more trees), but even then, they still aren't prevalent enough to be a consistent hinderance. On Arena maps, trenches are generally placed in locations that hinder the opponent more than the player as a reactionary measure against defense teams that used Reinhardt and Brave Lyn.

Furthermore, getting +6 to all stats was trivial because of how Cavalry Emblem functioned. The typical team had 2 units with Hone Cavalry and 2 units with Fortify Cavalry because there were no better skills in those slots, and cavalry movement meant that staying in a ball at the end of every turn was relatively easy to do.

+7 to all stats might be easy to get with Legendary Azura, but it comes with the very significant caveat that you won't have those buffs during the unit's first action. That's why +7 is not standard today; you're effectively wasting your dancer's action to function as a Rally bot instead of as a dancer. In contrast, the methods of getting +6 to all stats are all either passive or use Rally bots that aren't dancers and therefore do not waste your dancer's action on a mere Rally.

 

13 minutes ago, XRay said:

Again, it is not about what Julius has, it is about how much he has. Given the same support, Julius will always be two effects short compared to Morgan: Fated Darkness for example. Morgan: Fated Darkness got guaranteed follow-up, follow-up denial, and Guard. Julius just got Dodge. You can move things around all you want, but at the end of the day, you cannot easily make up for less effects.

Guaranteed follow-up can be offloaded to the Sacred Seal slot at a mere cost of stats. Guard can be offloaded to the A slot without any cost to stats, and Morgan often loses the Guard effect against opponents that haven't been hit with a debuff. Dragon Wall and follow-up prevention are relatively comparable to each other in terms of function. However, Dragon Wall is significantly harder to get around compared to follow-up prevention.

Even considering stats, a maxed out Julius has effectively 46/71/35/35/57 without passive skills, and a maxed out Morgan has effectively 44/69/23/47/50. Losing out on a stat-boosting skill in the Sacred Seal slot is not too much of an issue with Julius ahead of Morgan by 2 HP, 2 Atk, and 7 Res. Add on top of that the fact that that Julius is a Grail unit, making him easier to merge than Morgan, and giving him an even bigger lead in stats for the average player.

The only real disadvantage that Julius has over Morgan is the fact that he doesn't have as much player-phase presence due to his lack of a player-phase guaranteed follow-up, though his 35 Spd isn't actually that bad for dealing with slower units.

Finally, Julius is a Grail unit, making him much easier to merge than Morgan, making the stat difference even more in Julius's favor (outside of Julius's lower Def) for the average player.

 

45 minutes ago, XRay said:

Tharja: Obessive Bride does not exactly have stellar performance either. Her combat performance is no where near the level of Gunnthrá nor Yuri.

Not every unit needs to be the absolute unit at their job, and Tharja's performance is still comparable to that of similar units.

Also, Yuri isn't actually that much better than her. If you have a maxed out Yuri, sure, his offenses are +2/+8 over Tharja's when she has one ally in range, which is a sizeable advantage.

If, however, like me, you have a +0+0 Yuri with a neutral nature, his offenses drop significantly to -3/-1 below Tharja's when she has one ally in range. While I do typically like to compare units against each other while maxed out, the reality is that newer units are far less likely to be maxed out than older units. (Yes, I know Tharja is a seasonal unit and is also less likely to be maxed out, but if you were considering getting her refine in the first place, you probably still have at least a few merges on her.)

Gunnthra's performance is also completely neutered by any unit with penalty negation, and while the effect is not widespread, it is an effect on several common units and a partial effect is on a handful of commonly seen inheritable weapons used in the Arena.

 

39 minutes ago, XRay said:

I do not see the point of running a weak support unit with barely above average combat performance when you can run a strong support unit and let the super tank handle combat.

Gustav and Henriette don't actually need that much support to function, but it's still optimal to have an offensive unit to snipe troublesome wallbreakers, units that cannot be counterattacked, dancers that refuse to attack, etc.

Most super tanks, after all, are either melee or slow or both and aren't exactly suited for sniping specific targets on player phase, especially those that hang out behind the front line.

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6 hours ago, Ice Dragon said:

+7 to all stats might be easy to get with Legendary Azura, but it comes with the very significant caveat that you won't have those buffs during the unit's first action. That's why +7 is not standard today; you're effectively wasting your dancer's action to function as a Rally bot instead of as a dancer. In contrast, the methods of getting +6 to all stats are all either passive or use Rally bots that aren't dancers and therefore do not waste your dancer's action on a mere Rally.

Azura: Vallite Songstress with Fortify Def 4/Fortify Res 4 and Res Tactic/Def Tactic and a second Dancer/Singer with Atk Opening and Spd Opening can provide 6/6/7/6 or 6/6/6/7 to a nuke during their first round of combat and get 7/7/7/7 for the rest of the turn. Missing 4 points of Atk is not that big of a deal in the first round of combat.

If we apply the same positioning requirements as cavalry buffs, then 7/7/6/6 is easy to do with double Hones and double Tactics.

6 hours ago, Ice Dragon said:

Guaranteed follow-up can be offloaded to the Sacred Seal slot at a mere cost of stats. Guard can be offloaded to the A slot without any cost to stats, and Morgan often loses the Guard effect against opponents that haven't been hit with a debuff. Dragon Wall and follow-up prevention are relatively comparable to each other in terms of function. However, Dragon Wall is significantly harder to get around compared to follow-up prevention.

Quick Riposte is not the only option in the Sacred Seal slot, and there is Mystic Boost for healing. No matter how you dice it, Julius will have less effects compared to Morgan: Fated Darkness, who just has more free slots to run other effects.

6 hours ago, Ice Dragon said:

Not every unit needs to be the absolute unit at their job, and Tharja's performance is still comparable to that of similar units.

I do not see combat units with barely above average combat performance with weak support being relevant. Blade mages can get away with having just stat boosts due to how absurdly high they can pump up their Atk, but I do not think a plain stat boost to Atk/Spd is sufficient for a modern nuke's Weapon. Modern nukes usually have several effects on top of their Weapon besides stat boost.

Gunnthrá is a Blade mage and Yuri got better cavalry movement, Canto, and Slaying. Even Atk+15 and Spd+11 under an ideal scenario is not cutting it in my opinion, and I think having two or more effects is far more relevant than a plain stat boost as it allows for more flexibility and specialization. Soleil on the same Refinement update is a Firesweeper that can also either be a Galeforcer or Blazing nuke, and Firesweep-Galeforcers and Firesweep‐Blazing nukes are not exactly common nor easy to make.

6 hours ago, Ice Dragon said:

Gustav and Henriette don't actually need that much support to function, but it's still optimal to have an offensive unit to snipe troublesome wallbreakers, units that cannot be counterattacked, dancers that refuse to attack, etc.

Gustav: Majestic Love is fine for now (at least until Alm: Imperial Ascent becomes more common), but I find Henriette: Overflowing Love problematic as a unit, and she needs a lot of Flayns to survive, and part of the reason is her lack of an exclusive Weapon. If I am using my Save tank team, it usually means I am pretty desperate to secure wins because I am out of Ladders and/or I know my Ike: Brave Mercenary super tank team is going to be hard countered by Líf: Undying Duo. Henriette: Overflowing Love have issues surviving grueling conditions that sometimes not even three Flayns can help her overcome.

I also do not need a second nuke on the team since Ullr and Reginn can already do that job. Outside of Aether Raids, I rather just run two Flayns so my team is practically unkillable except by the most beefed up Abyssal bosses with pre charged Specials.

Edited by XRay

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48 minutes ago, XRay said:

Gustav: Majestic Love is fine for now (at least until Alm: Imperial Ascent becomes more common), but I find Henriette: Overflowing Love problematic as a unit, and she needs a lot of Flayns to survive, and part of the reason is her lack of an exclusive Weapon. If I am using my Save tank team, it usually means I am pretty desperate to secure wins because I am out of Ladders and/or I know my Ike: Brave Mercenary super tank team is going to be hard countered by Líf: Undying Duo. Henriette: Overflowing Love have issues surviving grueling conditions that sometimes not even three Flayns can help her overcome.

I also do not need a second nuke on the team since Ullr and Reginn can already do that job. Outside of Aether Raids, I rather just run two Flayns so my team is practically unkillable except by the most beefed up Abyssal bosses with pre charged Specials.

My (unmerged) Henriette can win almost all the time with 0-1 Flayns, so I think you're using her wrong.

For the record, my current default Light team is Dagr/Mila/Yuri/Flayn/Dedue/Henriette.

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1 hour ago, XRay said:

If we apply the same positioning requirements as cavalry buffs, then 7/7/6/6 is easy to do with double Hones and double Tactics.

That's nowhere near the same positioning requirements. Your setup gets one unit fully buffed easily and two units with a specific formation. Cavalry Emblem has no trouble getting two to four units fully buffed with less strict positioning requirements due to redundancy.

For someone who complains so much about positioning on Bride Tharja, you sure have no problem considering these positioning requirements as "easy".

 

1 hour ago, XRay said:

Quick Riposte is not the only option in the Sacred Seal slot, and there is Mystic Boost for healing. No matter how you dice it, Julius will have less effects compared to Morgan: Fated Darkness, who just has more free slots to run other effects.

Mystic Boost is functionally comparable to +3 Def/Res. That's just stats.

 

1 hour ago, XRay said:

I do not see combat units with barely above average combat performance with weak support being relevant.

Bride Tharja is comparable to Nyx, Brave Lysithea, and Azel. That's not "barely above average".

 

1 hour ago, XRay said:

Gustav: Majestic Love is fine for now (at least until Alm: Imperial Ascent becomes more common), but I find Henriette: Overflowing Love problematic as a unit, and she needs a lot of Flayns to survive, and part of the reason is her lack of an exclusive Weapon. If I am using my Save tank team, it usually means I am pretty desperate to secure wins because I am out of Ladders and/or I know my Ike: Brave Mercenary super tank team is going to be hard countered by Líf: Undying Duo. Henriette: Overflowing Love have issues surviving grueling conditions that sometimes not even three Flayns can help her overcome.

I also do not need a second nuke on the team since Ullr and Reginn can already do that job. Outside of Aether Raids, I rather just run two Flayns so my team is practically unkillable except by the most beefed up Abyssal bosses with pre charged Specials.

The only unit my Henriette has any trouble with is Legendary Chrom, who is not common, and even then only if he is running Spd boosts, which is also not common. And I'm using zero Flayns because I don't have space for them. I'm not sure what you're doing wrong if you're having trouble with her.

For reference, my current main teams are:

  • +1+10 Gustav, +10+10 Henriette, +4+0 Brave Eirika, +10+0 Eir, +10+5 Ulir, [bonus Mythic or +9+0 Mila]
  • +1+10 Gustav, +10+10 Henriette, +4+0 Brave Eirika, +10+0 Ashera, +10+0 Naga, [bonus Mythic or +10+10 Altina]

Eirika is the wildcard that gets switched out depending on the opponent's team and what kind of support I need.

It's also worth noting that Ashera, Mila, and Eirika are the only units on these teams with stat-boosting support effects (I have no support skills on the Sacred Seal slots, either), so even a bare minimum of Drive support should be able to make up for any stat differences your Henriette has with mine (who also has Summoner Support and Ally Support with Gustav).

In the past month (ever since Hector's remix let me put Crafty Fighter on Henriette), I've lost a total of 1 unit due to inadequate tanking ability (someone's Brave Eirika overkilled Gustav by 1 damage through Svalinn Shield), 2 units (both Gustav) due to not having given Gustav Svalinn Shield yet to counter Brave Eirika, and 2 units due to player error when predicting enemy movement (both Eir), so I don't think Henriette is at all a problem.

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