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Just call me AL

Regarding the feasibility of staff ranks in this game.

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I was speaking with another guy in a different community when I was pretty much sharing my impression of what the general consensus is. And besides disagreements about how things like Matthew getting the silver card is enough to place him high up on a tier list, or how there's a tier separation between Raven and Harken when he thinks there shouldn't be, he said something about staff ranks that I find questionable.

He said that staff ranks were able to be easily built up even from E rank when considering that's what a promoted Erk and Canas starts with. Going on to say that there's grind-heavy areas where it's easy to get from E to B or A. Adding to that, he said that Warp is not worth talking about due to its absence for much of the whole game.

I will admit. It's been a while since I have had a full playthrough of FE7. But how much truth is in this? I was under the impression that promoting and working on E staves was unfeasible, regardless of the Warp Staff's absence from most of the game. Like, how much would Lucius' C Staved upon promotion would actually mean, regarding this? Does nothing really change about how good he is? Or is there really no point to weighing staff ranks in how good a magic user is as a unit?

Edited by Just call me AL
Incomplete opening post that is just now finished as of writing this.

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Well... It depends on your situation I suppose. In FE7, Heal is the only E Rank staff and gives 2 Weapon Experience per use. Erk or Canas will have to use Heal 25 times in order to reach D Rank, which if you are trying to do a Ranked Run or get a low turn count can be a bit of a challenge. If you're just playing casually then sure you can try to grind it up from there for a while as long as your units have hit points down. However, this is potentially if you are trying to play efficiently, which you have to take into account if you are making a tier list. This is part of why Pent is so highly regarded. He comes immediately with A Rank staves, no investment required. Bishop as a promotion comes with C Rank staves at base, IIRC, so Lucius can spam the Barrier staff for 4 Weapon Experience per use and voila, in 13 turns he has reached B Rank if that's the only staff I use.

So while Erk and Canas getting E Rank staves on promotion is certainly helpful for healing, don't get me wrong, it is not exceptionally useful for accessing the more useful, high-level staves like Warp, Physic, Silence, and Rescue. So while staves in theory can be built up from E, it is not typically worth using those units as your primary staff-bots if you are wanting to play relatively quickly, especially since this can only happen after they promote so you are already well into the game at this point.

Getting E Rank staves is better than not getting staves, and you can pull off some grinding shenanigans casually once you get past E Rank, but I don't think I would call it effective like your friend seems to think

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3 hours ago, Just call me AL said:

Does nothing really change about how good he is? Or is there really no point to weighing staff ranks in how good a magic user is as a unit?

of course it matters. being able to heal, rescue, warp allies and/or debuff enemies makes a huge difference, especially in critical situations when you're facing many enemies at once.

usually it's also easier to level up with staffs rather than with tomes, simply because there will always be someone that needs either single or multiple heals, especially when there's choke points to be defended. exp can also be made with counter attacks via tomes during the enemy phase, but for heals there's only the player's phase, hence why they're more valuable.

you would probably gain more exp by healing an ally and then countering an enemy, rather than just attacking an enemy, since depending on the situation there could be a chance of killing it right away in one round of combat.

however, the general priority rule would be:

- mages usually keep killing enemies after promotion and heal allies only when it's really needed(50% hp or less, so to say);

-  priests/sisters that aren't currently healing allies should either debuff enemies/bosses, or assist allies fighting enemy melee units with pre-emptive ranged attacks when possible.

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4 hours ago, Coreyographed said:

Getting E Rank staves is better than not getting staves, and you can pull off some grinding shenanigans casually once you get past E Rank, but I don't think I would call it effective like your friend seems to think

Trust me, this other guy is no friend of mine. (He thinks he's right all the time, despite the contradictions in his logic.) The first time I argued with him, he was literally of the opinion that Jaffar and Karel were better than Lyn because of how strong they were when they joined, ignoring the amount of contribution Lyn would have before either join. Which is another story for another time.

At any rate, he's saying that it's perfectly feasible to have Erk or Canas' reach B or A Staves during a ranked or efficient run, despite how realistically unlikely a player would want to do so. For this reason, he's also questioning how, on a tier list picture I shared, Pent and Lucius are on clearly higher spots than Erk and Canas. (He thinks Canas, Erk, and Lucius should be rated the same way as each other, despite clear and evident differences.) He's also doing the same with my placements of Matthew compared to Legault, and Raven compared to Harken, even when I give contribution as a reason for the tier separation.

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