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How is Donnel bad? He can learn skills such as Armsthrift, Sol, Counter, and Aptitude and the main excuse is "he is too hard to train" but his growth rates are superior to any other character and it isn't even an Est situation because you get him very early. Proof that Donnel has better growths than Chrom. Here is the photo. Some might be mad that I made him a merc instead of a villager but that is what he will be for most of the game.

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Simply put, he requires effort and resources that could have gone to good units to make them even better, including, but not limited to, a valuable Second Seal that he NEEDS just to get out of Villager. His bad join time doesh't help his case (not bad in the case of "joining late", but rather, bad in the case of "joining during a time where it's hard for him to be useful"). FYI, Sol and Counter aren't that great.

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He's too much of a hassle to train up on the harder difficulties. His bases are low (no, growths don't make up for you being barely able to even land a killing blow reliably) and requires too much effort/babying without grinding

Edited by redlight

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He isn't bad, persay. This is Awakening after all, basically everyone can be used. But in comparison to most other units, the effort and resources used to get him up to a competent level are simply not worth it. Since you already compared Donnel to Chrom, we'll continue this by looking at their bases. 

       Level  HP  Str Mag Skl Spd Lck Def Res
Donnel   1    16   4   0   2   3  11   3   0
Chrom    1    20   7   1   8   8  5    7

Take note of his speed, as in he literally couldn't double a zero speed soldier. All of his bases are subpar to Chroms, and they're also subpar when compared to most of the other units. With 4 strength, he'll be dealing chip damage at best, and with his e in lances he won't have access to anything more powerful for some time. Unless you burn an arms scroll on him, but that's just more resources better used on another unit. That and the early game is filled to the brim with axe units, which Donnel won't fare well against. You can't second seal until level 10 if I recall correctly, so that is 9 agonizing level ups that you have to force a unit dealing 3 damage once per round who then instantly dies on enemy phase. 

And those growths you point out, yeah, without Aptitude, they're either on par or worse than Chrom's. Donnel needs a skill to even be useful. And the grinding argument can't even be used in his favor. Any grinding you do for him could be done for any unit, who would require less work and resources to output a result far above any Donnel.

And any of the skills he can grab aren't particularly useful. Aptitiude is nice, but is also a crutch, making Donnel seem far better than he really is. Underdog is also a nice ability, but if you're grinding Donnel that means that at a certain point, it won't even take effect. Patience is a worse underdog that only activates on enemy phase. Armsthrift is an actually good skill for Donnel, due to his high luck. Although it will take such a long time for him to even get his weapon ranks high enough to use those expensive and rare weapons that all you really end up saving are bronze and iron sword/lance uses, which amount to a nice bonus. Sol is good in theory, except it doesn't do any extra damage and heals half the damage dealt, or about the same amount that a vulnerary would heal. The two breaker skills are absolute overkill, and absolutely unnecessary. Counter is also better in theory than practice. This is due to it not activating on Duel Strike attacks or if Donnel dies. And on the higher difficulties, a Warrior Donnel is going to die quite fast, with Counter doing very little to help. Rally Strength is nice, but there are far better Rally bots in this game.

Overall, yeah, he kinda is.

Edited by DarthR0xas

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30 minutes ago, HellMagic said:

Thanks for everyone's output! The reason I think so highly of Donnel in Awakening is the broken Reeking Box feature. I really like the points people have bring up.

On the subject of Reeking Boxes, those cost nearly 5000 gold on difficulties above normal mode. This, among other factors, makes grinding him up less feasible on higher difficulties.

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