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Fire Emblem Three Houses Unit Tier Lists

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I've been playing until ch 6 and resetting as BL. I'm trying to see how the best way to build works out. I've found myself with the same strat Silly has mentioned. Focusing xp on Dedue, Felix, Duh Meat Tree, and Byleth. This leads me into wanting Catherine sooner because I end up lacking good units since Ingrid/Sylvain/Ashe have a much harder start. Maybe I'm being told extreme with xp spread, since the first post time skip chapter might end up being really hard.

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2 hours ago, Centh said:

Seteth: ASAP, as far as I can tell. He is a later recruit.

Doesn't he automatically join on three of the routes anyway (albeit right before the time skip)?

EDIT: I also must note that if you're leading the Black Eagles, you might not be able to recruit Catherine at all.

Edited by Shadow Mir

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Pretty much all of the non-students are best recruited early.

Here is the definitive non-student recruitment guide, because I'm the best and am always right.

Catherine: Recommended to recruit early. Chapter 4 is ideal if you can manage it. Early recruit Catherine benefits from her Swordmaster bases. Late recruit Catherine benefits from great enemy Swordmaster growths. Recruitment timing does not really affect how good her stats are, they'll be great regardless of when you recruit her. However, early recruitment is recommended because her default weapon focus is garbage. The sooner you recruit her, the sooner you can get her working towards weapon ranks that are actually valuable.

Cyril: Recommended to recruit early. Chapter 5 is ideal. Unlike most recruits, Cyril never benefits from enemy growth rates, because he's stuck as a commoner, so there is no real point in waiting. Recruit him early so you can reclass him into a more useful class and start working on the weapon ranks you actually want to focus on (though his default of Axes + Bows is pretty good already).

Shamir: Recommended to recruit early. Chapter 6 is ideal. Shamir benefits very heavily from Sniper bases, and not as much from growths. Her personal growths aren't the greatest, and enemy Snipers have somewhat disappointing growth bonuses. It is best to recruit her early, to fully benefit from her Sniper bases. The most pressing point here is Shamir's speed. Her base speed growth is only 40% and the Sniper class provides no bonus, so it takes forever for her speed growth to catch up to the Sniper base. If you recruit Shamir in Chapter 6, she has 14 speed, the minimum for the Sniper class. If you recruit her in Chapter 8, she still has 14 speed. Chapter 10? Still 14 speed. She doesn't gain her first point of speed until Chapter 12, where she will join with 15 speed. You can clearly tell that 14 speed as a level 11 Sniper is much more attractive than 15 speed as a level 23 Sniper, so definitely recruit her early.

Hanneman: Recommended to recruit early. Chapter 8 is ideal. Mage doesn't have very good enemy class growths, so you're not losing out on very much in the way of stats by recruiting him as soon as possible. Recruiting him early also means getting access to Meteor faster.

Manuela: Recommended to recruit early. Chapter 8 is ideal. Like Hanneman, Manuela's base Priest class doesn't have very good enemy class growths, so you're not losing out on very much in the way of stats by recruiting her as soon as possible. Recruiting her early also means getting access to Warp faster.

Alois: Recruitment time really doesn't matter. On the Black Eagles route he is available for recruitment for exactly one chapter. On the other routes you have a whole two chapters where you can ask to recruit him. Stat-wise, it is better to recruit him later, since enemy Warrior growths are actually good. Skill-wise, it is better to recruit him earlier to start training his weapon ranks sooner. His most useful progression path is probably Wyvern Rider, but given his flying weakness you're going to need all the extra time to train his flying rank that you can get. Either way, his recruitment window is so narrow that he's going to end up roughly the same no matter when you choose to recruit him.

Flayn, Seteth, and Gilbert are automatic recruits, so you don't really have to worry about recruitment timing.

I might do the students later.

Edited by Silly

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Students would depend on default skill selection compared to desired skills and/or fixing growths. Ingrid is someone to recruit at ch 10-11, where as Lysithea you want soon to work on faith. Three criteria? Player or enemy growths, default skill progression quality, and availability/paralogue consideration.

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1 hour ago, Silly said:

Pretty much all of the non-students are best recruited early.

Here is the definitive non-student recruitment guide, because I'm the best and am always right.

Catherine: Recommended to recruit early. Chapter 4 is ideal if you can manage it. Early recruit Catherine benefits from her Swordmaster bases. Late recruit Catherine benefits from great enemy Swordmaster growths. Recruitment timing does not really affect how good her stats are, they'll be great regardless of when you recruit her. However, early recruitment is recommended because her default weapon focus is garbage. The sooner you recruit her, the sooner you can get her working towards weapon ranks that are actually valuable.

Cyril: Recommended to recruit early. Chapter 5 is ideal. Unlike most recruits, Cyril never benefits from enemy growth rates, because he's stuck as a commoner, so there is no real point in waiting. Recruit him early so you can reclass him into a more useful class and start working on the weapon ranks you actually want to focus on (though his default of Axes + Bows is pretty good already).

Shamir: Recommended to recruit early. Chapter 6 is ideal. Shamir benefits very heavily from Sniper bases, and not as much from growths. Her personal growths aren't the greatest, and enemy Snipers have somewhat disappointing growth bonuses. It is best to recruit her early, to fully benefit from her Sniper bases. The most pressing point here is Shamir's speed. Her base speed growth is only 40% and the Sniper class provides no bonus, so it takes forever for her speed growth to catch up to the Sniper base. If you recruit Shamir in Chapter 6, she has 14 speed, the minimum for the Sniper class. If you recruit her in Chapter 8, she still has 14 speed. Chapter 10? Still 14 speed. She doesn't gain her first point of speed until Chapter 12, where she will join with 15 speed. You can clearly tell that 14 speed as a level 11 Sniper is much more attractive than 15 speed as a level 23 Sniper, so definitely recruit her early.

Hanneman: Recommended to recruit early. Chapter 8 is ideal. Mage doesn't have very good enemy class growths, so you're not losing out on very much in the way of stats by recruiting him as soon as possible. Recruiting him early also means getting access to Meteor faster.

Manuela: Recommended to recruit early. Chapter 8 is ideal. Like Hanneman, Manuela's base Priest class doesn't have very good enemy class growths, so you're not losing out on very much in the way of stats by recruiting her as soon as possible. Recruiting her early also means getting access to Warp faster.

Alois: Recruitment time really doesn't matter. On the Black Eagles route he is available for recruitment for exactly one chapter. On the other routes you have a whole two chapters where you can ask to recruit him. Stat-wise, it is better to recruit him later, since enemy Warrior growths are actually good. Skill-wise, it is better to recruit him earlier to start training his weapon ranks sooner. His most useful progression path is probably Wyvern Rider, but given his flying weakness you're going to need all the extra time to train his flying rank that you can get. Either way, his recruitment window is so narrow that he's going to end up roughly the same no matter when you choose to recruit him.

Flayn, Seteth, and Gilbert are automatic recruits, so you don't really have to worry about recruitment timing.

I might do the students later.

Please do! Im debating starting over on maddening and this kind of infos makes things way more manageable.

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I am done with part 1 of Blue Lions in maddening, so I can make my tierlist:

Rs9f0W9.png

Byleth is the only unit who has a serious EP and Lysithea can oneshot 90% of the enemies, so this is why they are the best.

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BgEKFFI.png

Sure, I'll get in on the fun; I'm far enough in Maddening now to have a sense of how things shake down. Characters are ordered within tiers but it's very rough.

S: the lords have broken bases, good growths, a level advantage, strong Prfs, and no real downsides besides Dimitri's axe weakness and non-training phase, but he makes up for it with his growths being extra good. I'm not confident in this order, but it also is entirely moot as they can never compete with each other.

A+: One place I depart from many lists is I don't think Byleth is quite as good as some people do. Yeah, s/he has good bases (the same as Edelgard, pretty much, i.e. game-best) but the lack of free skill exp gain from weekly instruction really adds up, and I don't think faculty training remotely makes up for it. Compared to Edelgard, the easiest comparison, s/he has a much worse talent list, too (faith/brawl instead of axe/armour). Still has a monster start... as does Felix. The rest of A+ is populated by the elite physical PCs (all fast with great access to the Wyvern line) and IMO the game's two best mages. The stat differences between mages are often greatly exaggerated, so it's all about the extra utility they offer. Mercedes' Physic/Fortify/Live to Serve just gives her such great action economy when you're in the thick of combat in Maddening, Dorothea has Physic/Thoron/Meteor (Meteor's goodness can not be understated, free linked attacks/gambit boosts across the field is amazing).

A: The units here are also good, but not quite as good. Compared to the fliers above, Ingrid has lower strength and Sylvain lacks Pegasus Knight. Ferdinand also lacks PegKnight and has lower bases buuut he makes up for it some with his personal being excellent, I might even be underrating him. Catherine has good stats but starts in a rough spot skill-wise, while Seteth joins late enough to miss out on good training opportunities compared to the better fliers. Marianne is kinda like Dorothea, but no Meteor, while Lysithea is... good but definitely overrated IMO, her OHKO potential is not much higher than other mages and her only unique utility is Warp, which I don't find as valuable as Physic myself (totally acknowledge there are some playstyles where it rules and she should go higher in those). Linhardt has Physic (and Warp at A) but worse stats than the other mages who do (5 base spd), while Dedue has a neat stat build for earlygame but I don't feel it ages well especially with his MIA stage.

B: Annette/Hubert are good early but fall off. I have more respect for them than those below, since at least you'll definitely use them for a while. Mages are great early on before their lower move is an issue (especially in Beginner tier when they get more spells), Annette also has Rally I suppose. Shamir is kinda similar in that she's a solid early recruit but also falls off once early Bowfaire loses its luster and 40/40 offence doesn't compare well with the higher-tier folks long-term.

C: This is an eclectic group that I'm not sure how to order. Cyril starts bad but has good potential, but his potential is "only" that of the Petra/Leonie tier of unit, so I'm not sure that's worth it. I could see him anywhere from lowish A to near the bottom. Flayn and Manuela bring utility but not really GREAT utility (do I ever wish they had Physic). The rest of the tier consists of units who have mediocre stats who you should probably replace with a better recruit, and unlike Annette/Hubert they don't really have good starts (special shout-out for Raphael and Caspar thinking 6 base speed is acceptable on a frontliner). Archers > mediocre highish-str dudes > Lorenz who can't decide if he's a bad mage or a bad fighter. But at least they'll all get used, unlike...

D: I see little compelling reason to use any of these dudes. Hanneman is the most tempting because Meteor is as mentioned really good, but the rest of his package is bad: no good Faith spells, dies to everything with that AS. Alois and Gilbert are late-joining fighters with questionable skill focuses who should be far behind the better ones you've built.

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3 hours ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

BgEKFFI.png

Sure, I'll get in on the fun; I'm far enough in Maddening now to have a sense of how things shake down. Characters are ordered within tiers but it's very rough.

S: the lords have broken bases, good growths, a level advantage, strong Prfs, and no real downsides besides Dimitri's axe weakness and non-training phase, but he makes up for it with his growths being extra good. I'm not confident in this order, but it also is entirely moot as they can never compete with each other.

A+: One place I depart from many lists is I don't think Byleth is quite as good as some people do. Yeah, s/he has good bases (the same as Edelgard, pretty much, i.e. game-best) but the lack of free skill exp gain from weekly instruction really adds up, and I don't think faculty training remotely makes up for it. Compared to Edelgard, the easiest comparison, s/he has a much worse talent list, too (faith/brawl instead of axe/armour). Still has a monster start... as does Felix. The rest of A+ is populated by the elite physical PCs (all fast with great access to the Wyvern line) and IMO the game's two best mages. The stat differences between mages are often greatly exaggerated, so it's all about the extra utility they offer. Mercedes' Physic/Fortify/Live to Serve just gives her such great action economy when you're in the thick of combat in Maddening, Dorothea has Physic/Thoron/Meteor (Meteor's goodness can not be understated, free linked attacks/gambit boosts across the field is amazing).

A: The units here are also good, but not quite as good. Compared to the fliers above, Ingrid has lower strength and Sylvain lacks Pegasus Knight. Ferdinand also lacks PegKnight and has lower bases buuut he makes up for it some with his personal being excellent, I might even be underrating him. Catherine has good stats but starts in a rough spot skill-wise, while Seteth joins late enough to miss out on good training opportunities compared to the better fliers. Marianne is kinda like Dorothea, but no Meteor, while Lysithea is... good but definitely overrated IMO, her OHKO potential is not much higher than other mages and her only unique utility is Warp, which I don't find as valuable as Physic myself (totally acknowledge there are some playstyles where it rules and she should go higher in those). Linhardt has Physic (and Warp at A) but worse stats than the other mages who do (5 base spd), while Dedue has a neat stat build for earlygame but I don't feel it ages well especially with his MIA stage.

B: Annette/Hubert are good early but fall off. I have more respect for them than those below, since at least you'll definitely use them for a while. Mages are great early on before their lower move is an issue (especially in Beginner tier when they get more spells), Annette also has Rally I suppose. Shamir is kinda similar in that she's a solid early recruit but also falls off once early Bowfaire loses its luster and 40/40 offence doesn't compare well with the higher-tier folks long-term.

C: This is an eclectic group that I'm not sure how to order. Cyril starts bad but has good potential, but his potential is "only" that of the Petra/Leonie tier of unit, so I'm not sure that's worth it. I could see him anywhere from lowish A to near the bottom. Flayn and Manuela bring utility but not really GREAT utility (do I ever wish they had Physic). The rest of the tier consists of units who have mediocre stats who you should probably replace with a better recruit, and unlike Annette/Hubert they don't really have good starts (special shout-out for Raphael and Caspar thinking 6 base speed is acceptable on a frontliner). Archers > mediocre highish-str dudes > Lorenz who can't decide if he's a bad mage or a bad fighter. But at least they'll all get used, unlike...

D: I see little compelling reason to use any of these dudes. Hanneman is the most tempting because Meteor is as mentioned really good, but the rest of his package is bad: no good Faith spells, dies to everything with that AS. Alois and Gilbert are late-joining fighters with questionable skill focuses who should be far behind the better ones you've built.

i think Sylvain is better than Ingrid. Darting blow helps out i find damaging mages since they some reason so fast. But Sylvain can go into Brigand to help out damage. Sure eventually this require investment, especially for Swift strike Wyvern but it pays out compared to Ingrid being okay in the beginning for flyer utility and declines from there, but her use I find is just stay there and dodge tank with ease into alert stance/evasion ring/breaker skills/prowess skills. Her lancefair cant event help. I think she is worse that that entire tier. Ferdie i would say is same as Sylvain in that sense Brigand > wyvern but better budding (seal speed early is good) + personal.

I think Cyril investment is worth for BL, C+ volley is really needed. Shamir can fill in the job too, but Cyril can go directly into Brigand for death blow and still only use bows for the redic flying peg monsters that seem to be everywhere. 

I think Byleth should be in S. I think swords are being slept on, instead of constantly needing to use faculty training on making him/her a flyer. just boost swords, get vantage and a high crit weapon. It would raise quickly from just normally use and faculty training + personal boost. I don think the talent list is even needed. a swordlocked byleth is great. I think the higher accuracy and the less weight is helpful. Its not like in the past games where 1-2 range EP was necessary to be good. Everyone is iron bowing anyways on PP. Sure its less damage than tempest lancing, early on. but others in your house can do it too. 

Edited by Johnzin

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6 minutes ago, Johnzin said:

i think Sylvain is better than Ingrid. Darting blow helps out i find damaging mages since they some reason so fast. But Sylvain can go into Brigand to help out damage. Sure eventually this require investment, especially for Swift strike Wyvern but it pays out compared to Ingrid being okay in the beginning for flyer utility and declines from there, but her use I find is just stay there and dodge tank with ease into alert stance/evasion ring/breaker skills/prowess skills. Her lancefair cant event help. I think she is worse that that entire tier. Ferdie i would say is same as Sylvain in that sense Brigand > wyvern but better budding (seal speed early is good) + personal. 

Ingrid can go for Brigand too if you want (you're probably training axes for her anyway just because Wyvern Rider is quite a lot better than Falcon Knight in tier 3). The fact that she also has the option of being better short-term by going Pegasus Knight is purely advantageous. The pegasus knight advantage is what separates the A+ physical units from the A for me. (Except Felix who has a different type of earlygame advantage.)

I'd defend her pretty strongly over Seteth (she'll have Death/Darting Blow before he even joins... in fact she could be well on her way to a second one of them if you wanted, for all that I've never done that build myself). Comparing her to most of the others in the tier is pretty difficult.

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4 minutes ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

Ingrid can go for Brigand too if you want (you're probably training axes for her anyway just because Wyvern Rider is quite a lot better than Falcon Knight in tier 3). The fact that she also has the option of being better short-term by going Pegasus Knight is purely advantageous. The pegasus knight advantage is what separates the A+ physical units from the A for me. (Except Felix who has a different type of earlygame advantage.)

I'd defend her pretty strongly over Seteth (she'll have Death/Darting Blow before he even joins... in fact she could be well on her way to a second one of them if you wanted, for all that I've never done that build myself). Comparing her to most of the others in the tier is pretty difficult.

Darn I didnt think of that. Man now i regret not making her brigand. 

For case of Seteth. I can't say about her performance early game with both skills combination and maybe I am just overhyping swift strike, but this really helpful even without death blow. He comes B/B+ lance and shouldnt take much tutoring to get to A from there, I think his usage is still better than a death blow/darting blow ingrid. I find certain enemies I wouldnt want to get hit by even with some good avoid. killing an enemy with before a counter attack is seem to useful to me, especially with assal/horseslayer/blessed lance.  

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9 hours ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

-snip-

I'd honestly agree with your list at least for GD (and BL recruitment units), with Byleth going between S and A+ because their bases really matter in the early game. I think A+ considers the long game while S considers how difficult the early game is.

I think F!Byleth could stand to put Sylvain before Ingrid. I didn't wait to recruit him but he was still helpful to the GD for being a Level 3 complementary tank to Leonie and benefiting from Hilda's Advocate. He doesn't get Darting Blow but he has pretty good EP tanking stats barring bad crits. He has proficiencies in two weapon types for decent Breakers and Wyvern Lord. Oh and Swift Strikes. Amazing combat art. Still, the rest of your list is good so I'll concede to putting him behind Ingrid.

The greatest sin of your list is somehow Claude is the only one not using his post-timeskip portrait.

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Byleth definitely deserves S tier.

He/she doesn't really have problems getting weapon exp. If you explore a lot (which you should do anyways because explore is broken) and min-max professor level a reasonable amount, then after the early game Byleth actually gains weapon exp at a faster rate than normal units do.

For reference, on my NG Maddening file I hit A+ professor level in chapter 9. Going into chapter 15 I basically have Byleth's weapon ranks completely set for the rest of the game, meaning I could gain 0 wexp from here on out and still be fine, whereas all of my other units are working on something important.

You have a unit with top tier bases, increased exp gain, perfect availability (something not even your lords have), and with proper planning, realistic access to whatever class you want to be. Also probably the best crest in the game as a bonus.

Edited by Silly

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6 hours ago, Johnzin said:

Darn I didnt think of that. Man now i regret not making her brigand. 

For case of Seteth. I can't say about her performance early game with both skills combination and maybe I am just overhyping swift strike, but this really helpful even without death blow. He comes B/B+ lance and shouldnt take much tutoring to get to A from there, I think his usage is still better than a death blow/darting blow ingrid. I find certain enemies I wouldnt want to get hit by even with some good avoid. killing an enemy with before a counter attack is seem to useful to me, especially with assal/horseslayer/blessed lance.  

My issue with Swift Strikes is that Brave weapons go online around the time you get it, so everyone gets that same ability to strike twice. There are advantages to Swift Strikes (it has a higher accuracy potential, it doesn't use an inventory slot, it lets you maintain a slightly better enemy phase) and also disadvantages (it can't quad, it takes a combat art slot, it's an A rank lance move but we want these guys in an Axefaire class and their competition can safely stop at C leaving more time for training other things). Overall it's a nice option but I don't think it moves anyone with it up a tier list much.

50 minutes ago, Dual Dragons said:

I think F!Byleth could stand to put Sylvain before Ingrid. I didn't wait to recruit him but he was still helpful to the GD for being a Level 3 complementary tank to Leonie and benefiting from Hilda's Advocate. He doesn't get Darting Blow but he has pretty good EP tanking stats barring bad crits. He has proficiencies in two weapon types for decent Breakers and Wyvern Lord. Oh and Swift Strikes. Amazing combat art. Still, the rest of your list is good so I'll concede to putting him behind Ingrid.

The greatest sin of your list is somehow Claude is the only one not using his post-timeskip portrait.

Oh crud you're right. Post-timeskip Claude is so sexy that if I put him on the list nobody would be able to look past him and see the rest of the placements.

Anyway to be clear I have zero issue with swapping Sylvain and Ingrid, that was just a kneejerk but when multiple people come out kneejerking the other way I'm inclined to make that swap too.

34 minutes ago, Silly said:

 

Byleth definitely deserves S tier.

He/she doesn't really have problems getting weapon exp. If you explore a lot (which you should do anyways because explore is broken) and min-max professor level a reasonable amount, then after the early game Byleth actually gains weapon exp at a faster rate than normal units do.

I dunno, I'd like to see a numeric breakdown of this, because that's not my experience at all, even when (like you) I explore every week except the ones I use for battles (just paralogues and a few quests for renown, no aux fights) and definitely go for maxed prof rank. The thing is... faculty training doesn't help prof rank, so these goals are kinda at odds a bit. I usually spam meals to max everyone's motivation, do 1 arena run per month (sometimes 2-3 more), occasional tea time to help out cha but not many. It's not just weapons; something like getting Weight-3 is a huge imposition for Byleth (10-15 faculty training sessions!) and a minor one for most other characters.

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1 hour ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

My issue with Swift Strikes is that Brave weapons go online around the time you get it, so everyone gets that same ability to strike twice. There are advantages to Swift Strikes (it has a higher accuracy potential, it doesn't use an inventory slot, it lets you maintain a slightly better enemy phase) and also disadvantages (it can't quad, it takes a combat art slot, it's an A rank lance move but we want these guys in an Axefaire class and their competition can safely stop at C leaving more time for training other things). Overall it's a nice option but I don't think it moves anyone with it up a tier list much.

I hope this my reply doesnt get too off topic and aweing over swift strike, but from my experience. I have yet to encounter an enemy that i would be able to quad due to the weight of the brave weapons, besides armor knights. I find the axefair so far only useful for hammer/mace/ukon. Often to just one round, i need much more might than a brave. Sylv who crest is an inconsistent, but more often than not, +5 to combat arts anyways so twice the activation. it is +2 mt on swift strike plus helpful to use it on silver/horseslayer/assal weapons to one round enemies, since I have found it very often brave is not strong enough to do that before a counter unless your dimitri or fighting a mage. It has definitely caused me to be frugal (no one gets flowers for bdays/tea can be sold) to feed the constant swift strike (and volley) but worth completely than the use of a brave weapon. Easily destroying assassins and other sword users. Especially the bulky paladins, and even the occasional peg knight. Swift strike can provide enough damage to 1rko every enemy i have faced so far besides axe users since they have breaker and better found with sword people (byleth/catherine/felix). 

As for focusing outside of lance skills, I havent found much need to train other skills than axe and lance, where lance >> axe combat arts by far. Lightning Axe/Armored Strike on Sylv/Ferdie are bad. Diamond Axe on Seteth is situational. There is only 1 A, 1 B, 1 C and 2 D flying battalions in BL, where Seteth comes halfway to a A in Authority. So you dont need to train much authority for flyers as they get D on the way to wyvern usually. Training for Alert stance + is okay for someone who is a dodge tank, but i find those precious slots way more useful for prowess/breaker/blow/HP/seal def for the swift strike users. 

Edited by Johnzin

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I'm at Ch 15.

Byleth has C Lance, A+ Axe, A+ Flying, which are Wyvern Lord requirements (plus a little bit, because once you're at A you might as well go the extra distance to pick up the skills at A+). I have C Armor for Weight -3, and A Authority for good battalions. I also have B Bow because having access to a flier that can use Silver Bows is nice. I wasted some tutoring sessions on D+ Brawl (to recruit Caspar) and C+ Swords (in case I wanted to have better accuracy with Sword of the Creator) as well, but they're not very necessary.

I explore every week unless it's the last week of the month and I need to do a paralogue or quest. Garden every week, obviously, for free professor exp and stat boosters.

Early on I mostly do just enough tutoring to hit weapon rank requirements (Lances + Flying for Pegasus, then switching to Axes + Flying). Otherwise, most of the time was spent eating for motivation and fighting in the arena for professor exp (arena gives the most exp). You can also run around looking for books to boost professor level.

Chapter 8 (I believe this is the month with the plenty of fish event) is a big spike in professor level. If you're willing to save all your bait for that one particular day, you can get 2 full professor level ups off of it. With this, I was able to hit A+ professor level in Chapter 9.

Around chapter 8 is when you can stop eating with your students. Due to garden spam you will probably be buried in piles of flowers, so you can just use gifts to boost their motivation every time you explore, and use all your activity points on other stuff. This means that every explore translates to a ton of weapon exp for Byleth.

Keep in mind that self study for students on maddening is only 20 weapon exp for neutral and 24 for strength. If Byleth gets two faculty tutoring sessions per week then they're already keeping pace with student who only does self study, and if Byleth gets three tutoring sessions per week then they're keeping pace with a student who gets actively tutored.

In the first half of the pre-timeskip era Byleth's weapon exp probably lags behind a little bit. But afterwards, the fact that you can very easily do 5 or 6 (or sometimes more) tutoring sessions per week means that Byleth will quickly pull ahead of your other students in terms of weapon exp. Also, an authority strength means that you likely don't need to actually tutor authority to hit B (which is when the really good battalion start appearing), which is a place where Byleth gets a big leg up on the students. You'll get the appropriate authority rank naturally, whereas the majority of your students need some authority tutoring to hit B in a reasonable timeframe.

Edited by Silly

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53 minutes ago, Johnzin said:

I hope this my reply doesnt get too off topic and aweing over swift strike, but from my experience. I have yet to encounter an enemy that i would be able to quad due to the weight of the brave weapons, besides armor knights. I find the axefair so far only useful for hammer/mace/ukon. Often to just one round, i need much more might than a brave. Sylv whos weapon art is an inconsistent, but more often than not, +5 to combat arts anyways so twice the activation.

Seteth has trouble quadding non-armours due to his lower speed and lack of Weight-3, but the faster fliers can certainly manage it, particularly the Ingrid/Leonie/Petra tier and especially if they get Darting Blow (Hilda/Sylvain are in the middle of course). It helps that the enemies that actually need quadding tend to be some of the slower ones anyway (not always).

Swift Strikes is +2 mt (see: the mt gap between lances and axes) and can benefit from Sylvain's crest, yeah... but consider that Sylvain's crest needs to activate just to catch up to Axefaire! So if a Brave Axe isn't KOing an enemy, Swift Strikes most likely isn't either (barring weapon triangle concerns, like of course Brave Axe is a poor choice against Axebreaker enemies).

41 minutes ago, Silly said:

I'm at Ch 15.

Byleth has C Lance, A+ Axe, A+ Flying, which are Wyvern Lord requirements (plus a little bit, because once you're at A you might as well go the extra distance to pick up the skills at A+). I have C Armor for Weight -3, and A Authority for good battalions. I also have B Bow because having access to a flier that can use Silver Bows is nice. I wasted some tutoring sessions on D+ Brawl (to recruit Caspar) and C+ Swords (in case I wanted to have better accuracy with Sword of the Creator) as well, but they're not very necessary.

I explore every week unless it's the last week of the month and I need to do a paralogue or quest. Garden every week, obviously, for free professor exp and stat boosters.

Early on I mostly do just enough tutoring to hit weapon rank requirements (Lances + Flying for Pegasus, then switching to Axes + Flying). Otherwise, most of the time was spent eating for motivation and fighting in the arena for professor exp (arena gives the most exp). You can also run around looking for books to boost professor level.

 Chapter 8 (I believe this is the month with the plenty of fish event) is a big spike in professor level. If you're willing to save all your bait for that one particular day, you can get 2 full professor level ups off of it. With this, I was able to hit A+ professor level in Chapter 9.

 

I'm at C14 with nothing even close to that. C armour, B+ authority, B+ lance, B+ flying, D+ bows (might be C now), C+ swords, a few other scattered E+ to C for recruitments. Hm.

The big difference sounds like fish? How does that work? I thought prof exp for fish topped out in the low double digits... are you saying you spammed fishing for like an hour or something? That's definitely far more grinding than I think we should consider, no different than arena in other FEs really. The other difference is that I'm generally more focused on food for my gardening so I don't get many flowers. I've kept using meals. It's simple, easy, and builds supports as a bonus. I'd definitely favour monastery strategies that take less time in tier discussion. (I considered Rest-only but it warps the game in a way I don't think is reflective of how many players play.)

Also, I do have to note that Active tutoring builds a lot more on average than a single faculty tutoring session. Once you get the saint statues most key skills get to +6 base pretty fast, but you get 4-5 of those at 1-2x multiplier, so it's anywhere from 24 to 60 (do wish we knew the probabilities, oh well). Yeah there's some game before that (though as you note, earlygame's not friendly to faculty tutoring either), but there are also other factors like professor expertise (usually active for authority for instance).

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Fishing gives exp per fish, which means that on the Plenty of Fish day your fishing exp is basically tripled, or greater. Exp also depends on the fish you catch. You also get three tries per bait, so if the first fish that shows up is small, you can just not reel it in and wait for a bigger fish to show up. If you hoard bait for that day then you get a huge amount of exp.

The first time the event shows up there isn't buyable bait yet, so you're probably only fishing for a little bit. The second time the event shows up is in Ch 8, so you can save plenty of bait for that day. Even if you don't do that though and instead spread out your fishing, as long as you consistently buy all the bait every month and use it on fishing normally, you'll still be building a lot of professor level, and can probably still hit A+ before the time skip.

Gardening is also something that can be "optimized" a little more. The higher rarity the stuff you plant the more professor level you get out of it. I would recommend just planting flowers 100% of the time. Buy flower seeds from the merchant as well to get the correct ones. Flowers have good odds of yielding a stat booster when planted, give you more exp than planting lower ranked seeds, and give you gifts that raise motivation and support, so there's no reason to grow food when you can grow gifts.

Arena gives the most professor exp per activity point, so it's a good place to waste spare activity points if you have nothing else productive to do.

Also, there is a question that you get asked at the beginning of each month. Answering with the best answer gives bonus professor exp compared to the other two answers.

Professor level is something that sort of snowballs. The more level you have the more activity points that you have, which also translates to more actions to build further professor level with. So a bit more optimization earlier leads to a bigger difference later on.

You also don't need to minmax as much as I did. You can certainly neglect your Sword and Brawl ranks entirely, and train Axes + Flying a little bit less (you'll hit A+ eventually just by fighting), and probably skip on some bow training. You can definitely skip out on a lot of faculty training compared to what I have (maybe you have less activity points, or you wanted to do something else with them) and still have a Byleth that has good ranks.

Edited by Silly

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I've just kind of skipped through the last couple of pages but as someone that hasn't had a chance to play maddening yet I'm seeing Ferdinand being rated a lot higher than at the start of the thread?

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5 hours ago, Silly said:

Fishing gives exp per fish, which means that on the Plenty of Fish day your fishing exp is basically tripled, or greater. Exp also depends on the fish you catch. You also get three tries per bait, so if the first fish that shows up is small, you can just not reel it in and wait for a bigger fish to show up. If you hoard bait for that day then you get a huge amount of exp.

The first time the event shows up there isn't buyable bait yet, so you're probably only fishing for a little bit. The second time the event shows up is in Ch 8, so you can save plenty of bait for that day. Even if you don't do that though and instead spread out your fishing, as long as you consistently buy all the bait every month and use it on fishing normally, you'll still be building a lot of professor level, and can probably still hit A+ before the time skip.

Gardening is also something that can be "optimized" a little more. The higher rarity the stuff you plant the more professor level you get out of it. I would recommend just planting flowers 100% of the time. Buy flower seeds from the merchant as well to get the correct ones. Flowers have good odds of yielding a stat booster when planted, give you more exp than planting lower ranked seeds, and give you gifts that raise motivation and support, so there's no reason to grow food when you can grow gifts.

Arena gives the most professor exp per activity point, so it's a good place to waste spare activity points if you have nothing else productive to do.

Also, there is a question that you get asked at the beginning of each month. Answering with the best answer gives bonus professor exp compared to the other two answers.

fistful of fish is on chapter 8 and 12, you probably misremember slightly and reached A+ on chapter 12 (the only fish event where you could realistically stock up on bait), because that's what I did by abusing the fish and by using my activity points almost optimally (I basically always explored barring every last week when I did paralogues and quests, very rarely did I battle during other weeks)

Edited by AxelVDP

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55 minutes ago, Gwyn said:

I've just kind of skipped through the last couple of pages but as someone that hasn't had a chance to play maddening yet I'm seeing Ferdinand being rated a lot higher than at the start of the thread?

The start of the thread was very early into the game's release, and thus had a lot of opinions that were kind of biased by the one personal playthrough that the person did.

For their first playthrough, a lot of people tended to put most characters into their "default" classes, which usually meant that Ferdinand was shoehorned into something like Cavalier -> Paladin -> Great Knight due to his Lance + Axe + Riding + Armor proficiencies. Great Knight is kind of a mediocre class, and taking that class path wrecks Ferdinand's speed, which makes him noticeably worse at killing things than he should be.

Now that people have mostly embraced the one true word of the goddess: that Wyvern Rider/Lord is ridiculously broken class, and is technically the "optimal" class for most units to reclass into even if it doesn't match their proficiencies perfectly, a lot of units are a more accurately placed.

16 minutes ago, AxelVDP said:

fistful of fish is on chapter 8 and 12, you probably misremember slightly and reached A+ on chapter 12 (the only fish event where you could realistically stock up on bait), because that's what I did by abusing the fish and by using my activity points almost optimally (I basically always explored barring every last week when I did paralogues and quests, very rarely did I battle during other weeks)

I am very positive that you are incorrect.

There is definitely a fistful of fish event that happens before the merchant unlocks.

EDIT: I just checked, the first fistful of fish event is in the first week of chapter 5, so literally right before the merchant with the buyable bait unlocks. The second event is in chapter 9, not chapter 8, so I was off by one month there. There is no event in chapter 12. You are probably getting the months and the chapters mixed up. Chapter 5 is month 8, and chapter 9 is month 12.

You have enough bait for the chapter 9 fishing event. The merchant with buyable bait unlocks in chapter 5, and sells 40 pieces of bait per month. This means there is 200 buyable bait before the event in chapter 9, which should net you over 10k professor exp if you spend it all on the event.

Edited by Silly

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Just now, Silly said:

The start of the thread was very early into the game's release, and thus had a lot of opinions that were kind of biased by the one personal playthrough that the person did.

For their first playthrough, a lot of people tended to put most characters into their "default" classes, which usually meant that Ferdinand was shoehorned into something like Cavalier -> Paladin -> Great Knight due to his Lance + Axe + Riding + Armor proficiencies. Great Knight is kind of a mediocre class, and taking that class path wrecks Ferdinand's speed, which makes him noticeably worse at killing things than he should be.

Now that people have mostly embraced the one true word of the goddess: that Wyvern Rider/Lord is ridiculously broken class, and is technically the "optimal" class for most units to reclass into even if it doesn't match their proficiencies perfectly, a lot of units are a more accurately placed.

I am very positive that you are incorrect.

There is definitely a fistful of fish event that happens before the merchant unlocks.

Also, you have enough bait for the chapter 8 fishing event. The merchant with buyable bait unlocks in chapter 5, and sells 40 pieces of bait per month. This means there is 160 buyable bait before the event in chapter 8. When I did the fishing event in chapter 8 I had roughly 200 pieces of bait (from saving the buyable bait as well as all the findable bait in the monastery), and ended up getting about 13k exp during the event, which put me from professor level B to level A. About one month later got me to A+.

I haven't fished at all after chapter 8 (with the sole exception of doing that one post-timeskip fishing quest), meaning I skipped the event in chapter 12, since there is no real point. I have more than enough fish to last the entire game and there's no need for more professor level now that I'm maxed.

I mean I'm asking since I'm not sure if I'm reading it correctly cause confirmation bias, if Ferdinand did rise in stock or not among players.

Beyond that just saying it's all cool to have your biases but man some people were insanely stubborn and couldn't even fathom a world of other possibilities + using a ton of non sense arguments like how equipping items on characters is somehow a pure resource sink *facepalm*

Also curious as someone that hasn't touched maddening yet if any of the early high tiered characters sank in stock or rather does maddening punish glass cannons in any way or is it still easy to just one shot shit in lategame making glass cannon still insanely valuable.

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5 minutes ago, Gwyn said:

I mean I'm asking since I'm not sure if I'm reading it correctly cause confirmation bias, if Ferdinand did rise in stock or not among players.

 Beyond that just saying it's all cool to have your biases but man some people were insanely stubborn and couldn't even fathom a world of other possibilities + using a ton of non sense arguments like how equipping items on characters is somehow a pure resource sink *facepalm*

 Also curious as someone that hasn't touched maddening yet if any of the early high tiered characters sank in stock or rather does maddening punish glass cannons in any way or is it still easy to just one shot shit in lategame making glass cannon still insanely valuable.

I'm pretty sure maddening actually makes the better characters even better relative to the cast.

The super early game is significantly harder because enemies have absurd stats. This makes units with high bases even more valuable than before. The thing is, most units with good bases were already very high rated characters. The big winner here (relative to their Hard performance) is Dedue, since his high base defense and personal are actually much more valuable on Maddening than on other modes.

Past the super early game, most enemies can very realistically be ORKOed or 2RKOed if your unit doesn't suck, but they hit super hard, so you often can't fight very many of them per turn cycle without risking death. This makes units that can easily access a high mobility class even more important, since having canto to reposition yourself onto a tile where you're not going to die is even more valuable. But units with good growths and the ability to easily reclass into Wyvern/Falco/Bow Knight were already at the top of the tier list.

Healers are also more valuable, since your units take more damage. Rally bots are also a lot more valuable since rally is often needed to hit critical benchmarks in the very early game. Besides Dedue, they're the other big winners.

The losers in the new mode are mostly the worse units. The stronger enemies really serve to magnify the problems that they already had.

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16 minutes ago, Silly said:

I am very positive that you are incorrect.

There is definitely a fistful of fish event that happens before the merchant unlocks.

EDIT: I just checked, the first fistful of fish event is in the first week of chapter 5, so literally right before the merchant with the buyable bait unlocks. The second event is in chapter 9, not chapter 8, so I was off by one month there. There is no event in chapter 12. You are probably getting the months and the chapters mixed up. Chapter 5 is month 8, and chapter 9 is month 12. 

You have enough bait for the chapter 9 fishing event. The merchant with buyable bait unlocks in chapter 5, and sells 40 pieces of bait per month. This means there is 200 buyable bait before the event in chapter 9, which should net you over 10k professor exp if you spend it all on the event.

Yeah, you're right, I mixed up the months with che chapter, even while I was reading your initial post, whoopsie, sorry for that.

I remember reaching professor level A+ the month after the last fishing event, which would mean on chapter 10, that's nearly the same as you did then lol.

My apologies

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1 minute ago, Silly said:

I'm pretty sure maddening actually makes the better characters even better relative to the cast.

The super early game is significantly harder because enemies have absurd stats. This makes units with high bases even more valuable than before. The thing is, most units with good bases were already very high rated characters. The big winner here (relative to their Hard performance) is Dedue, since his high base defense and personal are actually much more valuable on Maddening than on other modes.

Past the super early game, most enemies can very realistically be ORKOed or 2RKOed if your unit doesn't suck, but they hit super hard, so you often can't fight very many of them per turn cycle without risking death. This makes units that can easily access a high mobility class even more important, since having canto to reposition yourself onto a tile where you're not going to die is even more valuable. But units with good growths and the ability to easily reclass into Wyvern/Falco/Bow Knight were already at the top of the tier list.

Healers are also more valuable, since your units take more damage. Rally bots are also a lot more valuable since rally is often needed to hit critical benchmarks in the very early game. Besides Dedue, they're the other big winners.

The losers in the new mode are mostly the worse units. The stronger enemies really serve to magnify the problems that they already had.

Thanks for the summary.

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Just now, AxelVDP said:

 I remember reaching professor level A+ the month after the last fishing event, which would mean on chapter 10, that's nearly the same as you did then lol.

This matches my result. I hit A+ the month after the fishing event as well. So Ch 10. I thought it was Ch 9 because I mixed up the month of the fishing event by one month.

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