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Would you use this underachieving thing? (FE TH) Round 19: Defensive Tactics

Would you use this weird thing?  

90 members have voted

  1. 1. Round 1: Holy Knight?

    • Yeah, I can imagine a scenario where I make a Holy Knight.
      62
    • No, I can't see an application or justification for Holy Knight over other classes
      28
  2. 2. Round 2: Battalion Renewal?

    • Yeah, I think I could see myself using this.
      6
    • No, I wouldn't waste an ability slot on this source of healing.
      57


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2 minutes ago, Flere210 said:

Balthus?

His magic growth ain't that great. It's lower than Byleth's, and I'm not exactly sold on Aura Knuckles being useful for them.

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First, i am surprised that we know the growths. Second, enemies have much more def than res, so usually you hit harder  whit 20 mag rather than 30 str. I think Aura Knuckes may be good on byleth if you do a gauntlet build, but englithened one has no gauntletfaire, and grappler and War master are locked on the worse Byleth, so they are in the limbo of "good whit a stats/proficiencies array that do not exist in this game." Like half of the things mentioned in this thread. 

Edited by Flere210

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31 minutes ago, Flere210 said:

First, i am surprised that we know the growths. Second, enemies have much more def than res, so usually you hit harder  whit 20 mag rather than 30 str. I think Aura Knuckes may be good on byleth if you do a gauntlet build, but englithened one has no gauntletfaire, and grappler and War master are locked on the worse Byleth, so they are in the limbo of "good whit a stats/proficiencies array that do not exist in this game." Like half of the things mentioned in this thread. 

There's still the fact that they're not versatile (most of the time I have a magic weapon, it's for range. The Aura Knuckles don't give that). Second, most of the stuff they would be useful on fold to more effective means of attack that are also useful against more enemies (Fortress and Great Knights? Introduce them to an Armorslayer or Rapier or something. Wyvern Lords? Ground them with a bow or Excalibur).

Edited by Shadow Mir

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1 hour ago, Glennstavos said:

But alright, if we want to do weapons, we can try weapons. Bolt Axe may be an interesting round. As I recall, my bolt axing eventually devolved me to using it at 1 range with Smash. It's accuracy is a real issue. Crusher's round might become overwhelmed by the broader question of "how do you guys build Annette?" but as long as people are reminded it's not a weapon unique to her we may be able to keep people from voting yes or no on Annette's combat viability which is what I hope to avoid. I also threw the longbow into the OP's list since I didn't think anybody was talking about it. If you think "oh boy my curved shot can reach even farther with the longbow!" you're in for a rude awakening. I also think you can't fire 2 range combat arts at 3 range with the longbow (though admittedly I don't recall testing), and the only good bow combat arts that aren't 3 range are point blank volley (locked at 1 range regardless) and Encloser (only learnable with Claude and Bernadetta). Still though it would bring up the interesting question of whether longbow can replace 3 range combat arts for any character. For instance Cyril as anything other than a sniper, who's combat art list typically consists of point blank volley, vengeance/lance jab, and reposition.

Maybe we should save this for any discussions on the actual weapons, but:

-Bolt Axe should be very accurate against armours regardless, and you can get its hit up with the usual array of hit-boosting shenanigans the rest of the time (Accuracy Ring, linked attacks). But a 1-3 range option for Wyvern Annette, or even mage Annette since she misses out on a 3-range tome, should get it out of the "useless" camp IMO. I suppose a 1-3 option for Edelgard has some merit too, especially if she's doing well on magic.

-Longbow allows you to double which Curved Shot and other combat arts do not. High-offence PCs like Claude, Felix, Leonie, earlygame Shamir, etc., can get some milage out of that. You can also use it to counter Bow Knights, as well as Snipers if you're in a class that lacks Bow Range+1.

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Bolt axe is super easy to make accurate. Just equip Macuil evil reppelling corps on the user for 30 accuracy. If you want to use it on a flyer is a but trickier, but doable. I consider it better than lewyn sword because the latter can be entirely replaced by thoron or thyrsus on most units that want to use that.

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9 minutes ago, Flere210 said:

Bolt axe is super easy to make accurate. Just equip Macuil evil reppelling corps on the user for 30 accuracy. If you want to use it on a flyer is a but trickier, but doable. I consider it better than lewyn sword because the latter can be entirely replaced by thoron or thyrsus on most units that want to use that.

Which only works if they're grounded, and it's an A rank battalion anyway, so that won't be for a long while. Also, Bolt Axe is 15 weight; can you say "R.I.P. your AS?" Because that's sure what it sounds like. Which, incidentally, is why I consider the Levin Sword better-  it doesn't send your AS into the deepest reaches of the Abyss.

Edited by Shadow Mir

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13 minutes ago, Shadow Mir said:

Which only works if they're grounded, and it's an A rank battalion anyway, so that won't be for a long while. Also, Bolt Axe is 15 weight; can you say "R.I.P. your AS?" Because that's sure what it sounds like. Which, incidentally, is why I consider the Levin Sword better-  it doesn't send your AS into the deepest reaches of the Abyss.

The units that want to use bolt axe are Edelgard and Annette. Edelgard will be either in an armor class or in WL, and in the former case she won't double shit, Annette won't double shit on maddening period.

On EP, emperor Edelgard will be doubled on maddening anyway and Annette has no business getting attacked in the first place. On WL Edelgard is a shit EP weapon, but it likely beat using a bow for 3 range sniping. Also, both are proficient in authority, they can get to A bybthe time you can buy Arcane Crystal.

Compare whit Lewyn Sword. It can be used by Jojothea, Marianne, Lysithea, Byleth and Manueal. 

Jojo and Marianne have thoron and have no business going Mortal savant for Lewyn sword. And if they want to use swords, they would use them for magic arts. Lysithea is the one unit whit Thyrsus on 70% of the time even if you trade it among mages. 

Byleth is very mhe at magic but can make use of it for some niche situations, and it is a better option than try to build reason on Manuela. 

I'd say they are at least equal, for good or for bad.

 

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Wyvern Edelgard can mitigate a huge amount of Bolt Axe's weight anyway, with her monstrous strength plus easy access to Weight -3. And she's most likely to use it against armours anyway, whom she doubles easily. Or at range 3 where she has literally no other option. For Annette, doubling armours with Bolt Axe is far more in question, though possible with Weight -3, thanks mostly to Wyvern Lord's silly high base speed.

Levin Sword's a decent option for mages with Hexblade/Soulblade/Blutgang for a couple reasons: one, you can't have an ally "trade" you to Thoron or any other tome, but you can trade to the Levin Sword. Two, they can use the magical combat art with the Levin Sword and still be able to counter at range on the enemy phase (unlike if you use a melee sword). It's not amazing but if I'm running magical combat arts anyway it's a good option to have with no cost besides the arcane crystals (some of which you get for free, the rest of which are quite inexpensive) since inventory slots are cheap for mages.

I just did a run where I used both Annette and Lorenz with magical combat arts in Wyvern/Paladin respectively and Annette felt better during the Advanced phase entirely because she had the Bolt Axe option and this was not a CF run so there was no Arrow of Indra for Lorenz.

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8 hours ago, Glennstavos said:

I also threw the longbow into the OP's list since I didn't think anybody was talking about it. If you think "oh boy my curved shot can reach even farther with the longbow!" you're in for a rude awakening. I also think you can't fire 2 range combat arts at 3 range with the longbow (though admittedly I don't recall testing), and the only good bow combat arts that aren't 3 range are point blank volley (locked at 1 range regardless) and Encloser (only learnable with Claude and Bernadetta). Still though it would bring up the interesting question of whether longbow can replace 3 range combat arts for any character. For instance Cyril as anything other than a sniper, who's combat art list typically consists of point blank volley, vengeance/lance jab, and reposition.

Worth keeping in mind that having the Longbow equipped lets a unit contribute to linked attacks from 3 spaces away (4 as Archer/Sniper, 5 as Bow Knight), while standard bows do not. Also, unlike with Curved Shot, you can actually double at 3 range. Longbow definitely has its uses here, even if it's less valuable than in other games.

Spoiler

Compare whit Lewyn Sword. It can be used by Jojothea, Marianne, Lysithea, Byleth and Manueal. 

@Flere210 My first VW playthrough, I made Flayn a Pegasus Knight with the Levin Sword. Having a unit who can deal ranged magical damage, with flier/cavalier mobility, should not be overlooked.

Edited by Shanty Pete's 1st Mate
Response to Flere

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So...have we moved on to discussing magic weapons now or are we still on life taker?

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I voted yes only because it's one of those skills I buy back with my renown, just to equip until I get the skills I actually want for the final build. I only have a few characters I put through the dark mage classes in my many runs before I noticed it's not worth the trouble though. (Yet still I go through the trouble of killing the death knight on each of my hard mode runs. Why? I don't know.)

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20 hours ago, Vitezen said:

Lifetaker is good for your male mages. It's certainly worth a try.

I'm rather skeptical - for one, most of the male mages aren't that good. Second, outside of Hubert (the only good male mage), going for Dark Bishop over Warlock means giving up doubled black magic uses and Black Tomefaire. And the other problems I brought up are still factors. So I'm unconvinced it'd be worth it.

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3 hours ago, Shadow Mir said:

I'm rather skeptical - for one, most of the male mages aren't that good. Second, outside of Hubert (the only good male mage), going for Dark Bishop over Warlock means giving up doubled black magic uses and Black Tomefaire. And the other problems I brought up are still factors. So I'm unconvinced it'd be worth it.

Lorenz is tanky enough as a mage to benefit from self-heal. His style of single hit magic with high power also means that you're likely to gain more health than other characters would, who deal two smaller hits instead of one large one. I haven't had any trouble with characters like Lorenz that required extra magic uses or extra damage, so using those would be a waste of time. And while Lorenz isn't powerful in the same way that Lysithea is powerful, he's powerful as a mage that can both deal damage and tank some. This skill helps him do his job better, and he has a role that is useful, whether you consider it the best for your strategy or not.

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20 hours ago, Shanty Pete's 1st Mate said:

Worth keeping in mind that having the Longbow equipped lets a unit contribute to linked attacks from 3 spaces away (4 as Archer/Sniper, 5 as Bow Knight), while standard bows do not. Also, unlike with Curved Shot, you can actually double at 3 range. Longbow definitely has its uses here, even if it's less valuable than in other games.

Yeah, well, if you can double with a longbow, you can quad with a brave bow. They have the same 13 weight. And snipers can double with any bow they want at Longbow's range once they've picked up Hunter's Volley. That combat art also allows them to use a more accurate or higher MT bow to fit the situation. And while I agree more linked attack boosts are nice, having to equip such a heavy, inaccurate weapon will hurt the archer's enemy phase performance more than if they were equipped with a 3 weight mini bow. I'd rather move them up an extra space if linked attacks are a concern.

17 hours ago, Jotari said:

So...have we moved on to discussing magic weapons now or are we still on life taker?

Sounds like it's Bolt Axe time.

Round 8 is Bolt Axe. Here is the strawpoll link. And here are some notes:

  • Bolt Axe is a weapon with 14 MT, 60 hit, 15 Wt, and has 1-2 range. And it require B rank in axes to wield. The forged version has 1-3 range.
  • As a magic weapon, it applies the user's magic stat to target the enemy's Res. 
    • Its damage will not increase with Death Blow, instead only with Fiendish Blow and other magic boosters. However your strength stat still mitigates weight like any other weapon or spell.
  • The Bolt Axe can only use combat arts at 1 range, as there exists no 2 or 3 range axe combat art.
  • The player can earn a bolt axe from a chest in chapter 15 of AM/VW/SS. Otherwise It must be forged from a Steel Axe for 2 arcane crystals and 770G. Forging it takes another 4 crystals and 1150G.
    • Arcane crystals drop from some specific monsters and can be bought for 500G a pop from the dark merchant, who unlocks from a side quest as early as Chapter 16 on (I think) all routes.
  • The best theoretical users of Bolt Axe would be Annette and Edelgard. In Annette's case, the high MT Bolt Axe complements her low MT, 2 range spell list if you prefer her in a magical class.
    • Though it's worth noting that both Annette and Edelgard will often face a choice between Bolt Axe and the Lightning Axe combat art with other weapons. To conserve an inventory or combat art slot, the player may want to stick with just one option. Compared to Bolt Axe/Smash, Lightning Axe with a training axe+ is just as accurate, has 7 less damage, and has 11 less weight, while Silver+ would have 4 more damage. Annette's unique Crusher combat Art is also a disgusting amount of damage that nothing else from her should compare to.
      • But none of these options would apply to enemy phase or to 2-3 range. That's what Retribution is for.
Edited by Glennstavos

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1 hour ago, Vitezen said:

Lorenz is tanky enough as a mage to benefit from self-heal. His style of single hit magic with high power also means that you're likely to gain more health than other characters would, who deal two smaller hits instead of one large one. I haven't had any trouble with characters like Lorenz that required extra magic uses or extra damage, so using those would be a waste of time. And while Lorenz isn't powerful in the same way that Lysithea is powerful, he's powerful as a mage that can both deal damage and tank some. This skill helps him do his job better, and he has a role that is useful, whether you consider it the best for your strategy or not.

The problem is it's Lorenz, aka he who pales in comparison to just about every other mage in the goddamn game, we're talking about. Also, on Maddening, I wouldn't trust him on the frontlines. Being unique would mean something if he was useful, which he fails miserably at being.

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Yeah, Bolt Axe is decent. Wyvern Edelgard can make use of it for a 3 range option that takes advantage of her decent Mag stat, and Wyvern Annette uses it for a similar reason. It's not a central part of their viability, but it's nice to have. 

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No way. It's too heavy and too inaccurate, which is a losing combination as it loses durability even if you miss. It doesn't help matters that I honestly think axes just aren't that good in this game. Also, Arcane Crystals aren't exactly cheap, and I could do better things with them than repair a weapon that is heavy and inaccurate to the point of being impractical.

44 minutes ago, Glennstavos said:

Arcane crystals drop from some specific monsters

I've never seen this.

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I find little reason to NOT use that on Edel or Annette. The only other 3 range alternative Edelgard has are bows, and annette's spell list is utter garbage. Lighting Axe is likely better at melee range, but you have more than enought weapon slots to carry it at least as backup weapon. I tought it was necessary to make WL Annette, but then i tried her and realized that WR base strenght(eich, to put into perspective, is equal to petra level 20 average.)and lighting axe make her an effective fighter even whitout it

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9 minutes ago, Flere210 said:

annette's spell list is utter garbage

Excuse you, I find it far better than being slowed down to the point you can't even double fucking armors.

Edited by Shadow Mir

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14 minutes ago, Shadow Mir said:

I've never seen this.

A source online claimed that Golems, Titanus, and "Demonic Beasts" give them up. I loaded a save of chapter 17 CF to check, as it has a golem and at least one demonic beast to fight, but they gave me mithril and umbral steel respectively. Maybe it's just not those beasts (due to their unique class names and appearance), but specifically demonic beasts from auxilliary battles? I don't know.

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20 minutes ago, Shadow Mir said:

Excuse you, I find it far better than being slowed down to the point you can't even double fucking armors.

Chill. ;/

---

Bolt Axe with a forge is a less-accurate Thoron that hits much harder, has way more uses, and can be used on a certain flying class with proficiency.  It's rare that I need to snipe that way, but it's definitely an option!

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24 minutes ago, Shadow Mir said:

Excuse you, I find it far better than being slowed down to the point you can't even double fucking armors.

Do you know that there is an axe combat art that deal effective damage to armors, or that you can use lighting axe whit an hammer? There are other tools for orkoing, Bolt axe is for safely chipping. 

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20 minutes ago, Glennstavos said:

A source online claimed that Golems, Titanus, and "Demonic Beasts" give them up. I loaded a save of chapter 17 CF to check, as it has a golem and at least one demonic beast to fight, but they gave me mithril and umbral steel respectively. Maybe it's just not those beasts (due to their unique class names and appearance), but specifically demonic beasts from auxilliary battles? I don't know.

I doubt it - Wolves primarily drop Wootz Steel, Wild Demonic Beasts primarily drop Umbral Steel and may drop Venomstones, and Giant Birds drop Mythril mainly.

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Bolt Axe on a Wyvern Rider offers 9 attacking range from starting position. Bolt Axe+, 10 range. That's a better magic range than any non-siege spell on pre-Master classes, even with Thyrsus equipped. The hit rate isn't the best, but this can be made up for by Axe Prowess and (against certain enemies) Lancebreaker. Fiendish Blow is great for damage, Darting Blow somewhat mitigates weight on player phase, and Hit+20 can fix hit (I recognize, without NG+, the average player will be getting 2 of these at most). Some batallions add Hit, as does the Accuracy ring. It can also be used on weird Warrior/Fortress builds. Plus, it's one of an axe-user's few options for magical damage on enemy phase.

Edelgard and Annette enjoy this tool, but will still want to run Lightning Axe as a combat art - that's because, with high-might axes (Devil, Steel+, etc.) Lightning Axe will nab some one-shots that the Bolt Axe misses. Whereas, the Bolt Axe (and BA+ especially) have the advantage of range. I recognize it's hard to get early on (don't think any enemy monsters drop Arcane Crystals), so it's up to the player to choose between Bolt Axe, Magic Bow, and additional Levin Sword (or upgrade to LS+). Once the Dark Merchant arrives, lategame, getting it becomes trivial.

I would say Levin Sword is better overall, but Bolt Axe can deal more single-strike damage (so it's preferable if you're not doubling in either case). Arrow of Indra is basically CF-exclusive, and Magic Bow is probably not accessible for most strong-in-magic fliers until lategame (maybe a weird Mercie build? IDK). In sum, Bolt Axe is a flawed weapon with a distinct niche that justifies its use on the right unit and build, at least in lategame.

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