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I'm planning to start a Golden Deer run on Maddening now that I've finished Crimson Flower and and Azure Moon (on Hard). I'm trying to plan out classes and skill sets for my units but I keep running into issues. I'd love to get some advice about my units and definitely feel free to contribute any tips for Maddening in general as well.

My planned roster is:

F!Byleth

Claude

Hilda

Marianne

Lysithea

Leonie

Ignatz

Felix

Petra

Sylvain

Mercedes

Linhardt

 

I'm really excited about these units, but there are a few that are giving me issues as far as planning goes

Least Problematic:

Marianne - Dancer

I used her as a Bishop and a Dark Knight on the previous routes so I thought I might try out Dancer Marianne since I've seen so many people recommend it. 

Linhardt - Bishop

Healer.  Holy Knight doesn't seem to offer much and when I used Marianne as a Dark Knight I was a bit underwhelmed by her ability to actually heal. Warp x 2 is also nice

Mercedes - Gremory

She's another healer. I think some people recommend Bishop over Gremory bc of the extra healing, but Mercedes doesn't really have all that many issues healing to full as a Gremory in my experience. The one extra movement is also nice I suppose.  I'm definitely open to hearing a dissenting opinion on this though

Lysithea - Gremory

Standard Lysithea. I've seen some people use Dark Knight over Gremory for the -faire skill but that seems like a lot of effort for a unit that's going to one shot most everything anyways. Without the extra weapon ranks of Dark Knight I should be able to invest more into authority for a good magic-boosting gambit and more into reason to maybe get the range+1 and -faire skills

Felix - War Master

I used him as a Wyvern Lord last run and he was incredible. I've heard he's perhaps the best War Master in the game 

Claude - Barbarossa

Excited to marry Claude. He's hot. For skills I was thinking Death Blow, Bow Prowess, Alert Stance, Close Counter, and then eventually the  S+ Bowfaire. Only issue with Claude is that he's definitely going to want either the Rafail Gem or the Aurora Shield and he might have some competition... 

 

Could Use Some Advice:

Ignatz - Sniper/Bow Knight

Ignatz's ideal build would probably look something like: Death Blow, Bow Prowess, Bowfaire, Bow Crit+10, Mov +1. The issue is getting to those A+/S/S+ ranks. I'm wondering if I don't bother with his lance and riding skills for bow knight and just keep him focused on bows the whole way through (after the detour to get Death Blow) to rush him towards those better bow skills (and towards top tier battalions as well). Hunter's Volley seems extremely OP, so there's definitely an argument for keeping him a sniper the whole way through. Biggest downside is losing Mov+1, though I could maybe keep one of his rallies on him? I don't know how valuable one rally skill will be late game. I should also note that my plan is to run Ignatz with Raphael as a guard adjutant for the extra might. Bonus is that this should keep Raphael decently leveled through Ch. 13 as well.

Leonie - Sniper/Bow Knight

This is roughly the same dilemma that I have with Ignatz. I'm more tempted to eventually make her a Bow Knight and snag the Mov+1 even if I eventually turn her back into a Sniper for Hunter's volley. She has all the proficiencies of a Bow Knight. I could use some advice on her skill build overall. I'll definitely pick up Death Blow. I don't know if I should send her through archer to get Hit+20 or Pegasus to get Darting Blow. Getting all three seems like it would take way too long and might not be necessary.

Sylvain - Wyvern Lord/Paladin

Sylvain definitely wants to use Swift Strikes. I used him as a Wyvern Lord last Hard playthrough and he was great most of the way through but a bit underwhelming towards the very end of the game. He had trouble one-rounding some enemies and some hit rate issues too. A lot of people recommend against Paladin due to the speed penalty, though with all the enemies on Maddening gaining craptons of speed, I'm not sure it's worth the effort  to try to keep up only to lose. Paladin has less strength but the right -faire skill. Since Sylvain wouldn't be flying/need that high of Axe rank, I could invest more into authority for a better battalion (this would also benefit other fliers since they are competing for fewer battalions). Also, I could give Sylvain a guard adjutant as a Paladin (preferably Ingrid for the extra might) which is always nice. But giving up flying is a big sacrifice... I also wouldn't know what skill build I'd be aiming  for for Paladin Sylvain (Death Blow, Lance Prowess, Lancefaire,  Aegis, Mov+1)?

 

The Real Problem Children: 

Hilda - Wyvern Lord/Falcon Knight

I used Hilda last route as a Wyvern and she was great! But she was also no Petra. Towards the end of the game she had a lot of hit rate issues. Originally, when I was planning the team I was going to run both Hilda and Petra as Wyvern Lords, though I soon realized that that I'd probably end up running the same build on each (Death Blow, Darting Blow, Axe Prowess, Alert Stance+, eventually Axefaire). I'm not sure that it's worth running Hilda as a Wyvern just to be a worse Petra. This would be exacerbated by recruiting Petra somewhat late so that her bases would be significantly boosted. Hilda could fill in the role of Falcon Knight on my team, which would see her using lances instead of axes. This could boost her hit rates a bit, and give her a bit more of a niche, with the one major downside being I'd be running Lance Prowess in a Lancefaire class e.g. Freikugel would take a significant nerf. She also seems like a more likely candidate than Petra to be a Falcon Knight since Hilda has a better resistance stat and would actually be able to do the mage killing that a Falcon Knight is expected to do.

Byleth - I don't even know anymore

My two previous runs I ran Byleth as a Wyvern and he was excellent. I've switched it up this time and went with female Byleth, and was curious about Falcon Knight. Ideally I'd like to have at least one Falcon Knight on the team since they are great at killing mages and a lot of later maps have siege tomes and such. My major issue with Byleth is also an issue with my team composition. I don't have a sword user on the team at all (besides Marianne, who really should be dancing every turn and whose Levin Sword/Blutgang isn't going to help out on the anti-magic armor monsters). Byleth seems like one of the most natural choices given her sword affinity, She also gets Windsweep which I anticipate would be quite excellent on Maddening since the enemies hit so hard. My original plan was to try to get Byleth as a Falcon Knight who used swords - this sounds really great, move in, windsweep, canto out -  but in order to do that she'd need at least: D+ axe for Brigand to get Death Blow, B+ Lances to get Falcon Knight,  A+ Flying for Alert Stance+, ideally S+ swords to get swordfaire  to make up for not having Swordfaire as a Falcon (basically  same issue if I tried sword user wyvern too)... And that's not even factoring in authority. Also that route would make it a lot harder to recruit Caspar for his paralogue, which means losing the Rafail Gem which wouldn't be ideal with so many fliiers. I also feel like going from Wyvern Byleth to the lower strength Falcon Knight Byleth with no -faire using lower might weapons on a mode where enemies are tankier... That's just setting yourself up to be disappointed. I could just make her a Falcon Knight and use lances, but that doesn't solve the sword issue. I could make her a Wyvern once more, which would be great but wouldn't solve the sword issue. My first time through the game on CF I had no sword units and regretted the choice due to sword-weak monsters and there just being a plethora of really excellent swords. 

Losing out on flying Byleth would be a bummer and would feel like I'm not using her to her fullest extent. Depending on what happens with Sylvain it would also bring the total number of fliers down to 3 or 4. I've heard that on Maddening flying is a little less important since maps are slower and incentivize turtling more, but 3 fliers would be much more restricting than 5. Losing flier Byleth would also make it harder for units to make use of the 1.2x boost in exp from Byleth's ability since Byleth can't canto next to them. 

I could run Byleth in a sword class, but I've never actually ran any of the sword classes (last run I just had Dimitri as a Great Lord use swords). Enlightened One seems very underwhelming. Mortal Savant seems like a meme. Swordmaster has pretty good abilities and growths but it's locked to 5 mov which is gross. Assassin certainly seems like the best choice out of these. No strength growth is a bummer, though Byleth has great base strength and the growth won't matter too much in the long run... I definitely need another opinion about the sword classes

Petra - Wyvern Lord/Falcon Knight/Assassin/Swordmaster

Wyvern Lord Petra is really quite incredible. So much so to the point where I feel as though using any other class with Petra would be misusing her. There is a possibility for Byleth to go Wyvern and Petra to become  my sword unit. I've heard good things about assassin Petra for example, but I'm worried about her getting strength screwed. I could have her as a sword-using Falcon Knight but the lack of a faire might really hurt her damage output. And for assassin, losing the strength growth would hurt rough 3 or 4 points by endgame, which isn't huge but isn't nothing. Ideally she'd be a wyvern still, but that would mean Byleth would need to be the sword unit.

 

This was a ton of text and I really appreciate if you've read through it.  I'd definitely appreciate any advice on these units or on Golden Deer or Maddening in general. I'm also trying to figure out when exactly to recruit most of these. I'm probably going to stick with OG Golden Deer for the first few chapters until recruiting Sylvain (beginning of chapter 5?) for his relic. Felix and Petra want to be later due to the way their bases will be inflated. Petra should maybe be earlier since  I want her to get both Death Blow and Darting Blow... Linhardt and Mercedes probably don't matter as much.

Please give me critiques and let me know what you think. Thanks!

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My thoughts:

Marianne

I used her as a dancer on Hard mode and she's really nice in that class and her Riding asset makes getting Mov+1 easier

Linhardt

In my SS Maddening run I had him as a Dark Knight. I didn't get Fiendish Blow, but he can usually kill those armor units without took much issue and Poison Strike from Dark Mage lets him chip away other enemies like Paladins and Warriors.

Lorenz

I see you're not using Lorenz, which I know he isn't the greatest unit, but having him as a Mage can help with chip damage considering all the turtling you might have to do. Poison Strike helps when he can't double and Canto from Dark Knight lets you hit and run. I'd at least try to make him competent at doing something until after Reunion at Dawn so he isn't complete dead weight, even a Swordbreaker Paladin with Gautier Knights can probably be good.

Felix

I've wanted to use him as a Grappler/War Master because it looks powerful on him. Grappler can be good too with Fierce Iron Fist and his Crest. Quick Reposte and Aegis Shield can definately help with dealing with those fast enemies. He could be a good Wrath/Vantage user with Fradarius Soldiers, Crit +20, and Battalion Vantage. To go even further Wrath and Axe Crit+10 from training him as a Warrior.

Mercedes

I honestly never use Bishop on most my healers after they can get Gremory and I've completed several runs and a resent Maddening run so Gremory is fine especially when you're turtling and making use of dodge tanks and defensive gambits.

Claude/Lysithea

Can't go wrong with these units. For Claude making use of his Battalion skills could be useful, he is decently fast and with Speed Ring and a few stat boosters he should be able to safely Battalion Desperation other ranged units.

Ignatz

He can be a good utility unit chipping at enemies and Rallying. Break Shot is also nice. Using him as a Sniper is probably best if you want him to be offensive. But honestly he isn't too good at that. With his asset to Authority he can get Retribution with Indech Sword Fighters early and that can help with Wrath/Vantaging maps. Like you said all the investment might not be worth it, I'm thinking to just go full utility with him. I'd probably have him as an Assassin for the extra speed growth and movement before Bow Knight and the ability to bait Axe units with Gautier Knights.

Raphael

Getting Death Blow and Fierce Iron Fist can definitely be nice with killing stuff on CH 13. I didn't utilize adjunct guard, but this can definitely help with Ignatz's survival and damage output.

Leonie

Point-Blank Volley and Mov+1 on a Bow Knight is probably more flexible than Hunter's Volley Sniper. Point-Blank even has higher damage so its better if you don't want to depend on Crits and burning through Killer Bows. I used her in my Maddening run and Darting Blow on her isn't that big of a deal she can usually double Mages and Archers, giving her a Speed Ring and Ignatz's Rally Speed can help with this. For other enemies Point-Blank Volley and Brave Bow should do the job. This isn't necessary, but she gets Battalion Desperation and with Defiant Speed from Bow Knight mastery you could so some things. Also Alois is a good Adjunct for her.

Sylvain

I'd use him as a Wyvern Lord in out door maps and Paladin for indoor maps. Even though Wyvern Lord doesn't have Lancefaire, Killer Lance/Horseslayer Swift Strikes should pick up some kills even Lance of Ruin is Strong. Breakers are useful for hitting alone in Maddening with all the high speed enemies. Goneril Valkyries with Paladin looks powerful.

Hilda

It sucks that her Authority growth is bad since it will take a lot of time to get Cichol Wyverns on her to help with the Accuracy, but Sword/Lance breaker are definitely useful for hitting enemies, and helps with Alert Stance dodging. I'm not sure how you build your units, but you definitely want the Prowess skills to hit the dodgy enemies.

Petra

When I used her in my Maddening Run I had her use Axes and Bows, so I skipped Pegasus Knight. I actually used her as one of my Wrath/Vantaging units. Darting Blow can help her double things that aren't Assassins, Swordmasters (they have Quick Reposte btw), and Fliers(Brave Bow is the best way to secure kills on them). Even with doubling she can't take a hit from enemies that can counter attack very well so keep that in mind. When she gets Alert Stance+ she can Battalion Wrath and dodge tank which is nice. I used her as an Assassin for the Enbar castle and Shambala maps, so she could grab the chests and have her dodge and Crit stuff with Wo Dao+ and Brigid Hunters.

Byleth

I know flier classes are very powerful, but I have used Enlighted One for a few runs. Windsweep is really good for chiping at powerful bosses like Edelgard (I actually had to Windsweep + dance for 3 turns to safely beat her on the Enbar map since I had no Divine Pulses left). Since I had units like Petra/Ferdinand/Seteth as Wyverns, Caspar as a Grappler/War Master, Lysithea as a Nuke, Brave Bow Berndetta, Wrath/Vantage strats, just having a bunch of competent units in general I didn't feel the need for a flier class. My Byleth was kind of there as a secondary to a lot of things. Chipping with magic, dodging Axes, great combat arts, even using Assassin here and there wasn't too bad since they aren't slowed by terrain and I don't have to waste some units inventory slot with keys for chests. For Maddening you're going to need to chip at enemies a lot especially early on so using Bows is good for the first couple maps and getting Curved Shot on Byleth isn't too bad. Using Recover when needed especially when my harder hitting Mages could be using that turn to kill or do so some heavy chip was good. Another thing is that enemies have pretty high Charm so being able to use high range gambits with her is useful, same with Claude.

 

In general you are going to want to have units that are competent at their offensive roles. After the first few chapters when you get class diversity you want to have units be able to deal with specific enemy types. Like Wyverns/Falcons to bait fast sword units and Swift Strikers can one round them, death blow and brave lance can probably be good too. Grapplers/War Masters are annoying but with Macuil Co. Lysithea should be able to Nuke them through Tomebreaker as well as your others mages with High Hit battlions, Felix/Byleth with Aegis Shield and good defense giving battalion can tank them as well. Archers are good for chip damage and with Brave Bow/Battalion Desperation they can deal with mages. Dismounting Flyers with Alert Stance in Forrest + Breakers is great for baiting enemies.

Edited by LoneStar

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I just finished a Golden Deer no NG+ run and I gotta say, you don't really need Mercedes and Linhardt both. I had a similar roster- 

Claude - Barbarossa - Just try get A+ flying for Alert Stance+ as soon as you can. Solid and reliable for chip damage; Encloser is often overlooked but really helpful too.

Hilda - Wyvern Lord - Don't really need to say much, pretty much any physical unit is good as a Wyvern Lord.

Lorenz - Dark Knight - I wasted a bunch of time mastering Dark Mage and Dark Bishop lol, but I don't think Poison Strike / Lifetaker are really worth it. Just go Mage -> Warlock -> Dark Knight. I actually had 0 Bishops and just 1 Gremory at the end (Lysithea obv) and I pretty much got by by having Heal / Recover on both Lorenz and Byleth.

Ignatz - Sniper - The biggest gem in the rough for me. Once you get Hunter's Volley, that's all you need. Seriously, all you need to train is enough Axe for Brigand and then just Bows and Authority till the end of the game. Rally Speed is also invaluable to survive Death Knight by avoiding getting doubled.

Leonie - Bow Knight - Frankly Leonie is another unit that will do pretty well no matter what you do with her. I only ended up getting Darting Blow on her and no Death Blow and she was still fine. Leonie gets Point Blank Volley so I think that synergises better with getting +1 Movement, and she has a proficiency in Riding so it makes more sense to make her a Bow Knight and have Ignatz stay a Sniper. But you could argue that Ignatz' personal skill of +20 Hit helps more with abusing Bow Knights greater range. Can't go wrong either way IMO

Lysithea - Gremory - Nothing needs to be said here. Just make sure you get B Reason for Dark Spikes in time for the first Death Knight chapter; you might have to change goals to just Reason for the 1.5x boost for a bit.

Marianne - Dancer / Bishop - Solid, really anyone makes for a good dancer. Can really fuck up enemy magic units with Soulblade (or Hexblade, whichever the one that works off your Res is)

I benched Raphael in favour of Felix, who is probably just my favourite unit. War Master Felix good, of course.

Sylvain - Paladin - Honestly, I just got Sylvain for the early Lance of Ruin. He performed similarly to Ignatz - just go straight for Swift Strikes and that's all you need (detour for Death Blow of course). One dimensional, but good enough at it. 

Catherine - Falcon Knight - Now this was a damn treat to use. She starts off really strong, then had a small dip for me but, my god, she was a resurgent force late game. I built her like a flying Swordmaster pretty much, gave her a Wo Dao+ and Sword Crit +10 etc. She and Leonie were the only two of my units that could actually double most enemies. Seriously, use her. You get enough Umbral Steel to not worry about using up Thunderbrand. I even recruited Ingrid just so I could pick up Luin for a high Mt Lance to give her midgame.

Seteth - Wyvern Lord - I'm not sure why Seteth often gets a bad rap. He gets Swift Strikes which is especially good with Spear of Assal for dealing with the strong Paladins you encounter (they're tanky as fuck and also ridiculously fast so it's nice to be able to delete them on Player phase with no danger). Stat wise he eclipsed Sylvain on my run, but perhaps I just had a blessed Seteth / cursed Sylvain so I won't speak to that. Again, can't go wrong with Wyverns.

Byleth - I just went with Enlightened One so that I could have a frontline Recover unit + Swordfaire without having to grind for S+ swords. Try to get to A Swords ASAP for Windsweep; with something like a Wo Dao+ or a Cursed Ashiya Sword+ you reach 70ish crit, which basically lets you one shot most bosses.

For all the above, I'm assuming all physical units get Death Blow (although I didn't bother for Leonie and Catherine and just got Darting Blow for them instead). A+ Flying for Alert Stance+ is also an important target for your fliers. Again, you might think having no dedicated healers was problematic but between Physic on Marianne and Recover on Byleth, Lorenz and Lysithea I managed just fine. IMO, its better to have a greater number of solid combat units so you can clear out more enemies on Player Phase than use healers to sustain fewer frontline units. But that's just my approach, and I'm sure you'll be fine using more Bishops / Gremories for healing and general support. There were definitely a couple of instances where I would have appreciated someone having Restore, for example.

As for general advice- make sure everyone has Iron / Training bows early game for chip damage. Carry Steel weapons for combat art spam, and probably training+ weapons to avoid getting doubled early game. Train authority on everyone to get good Battalions as soon as you can. Midgame is probably the easiest since by then your units have good skills / levels. Even the endgame was pretty cruisey to be honest, just be wary of ambush reinforcements. Another really helpful strategy is to certify 3 extra units as Brawler / Armor Knight for Guard adjutants since those were big lifesavers for my squishy / slow units (they basically prevent you from dying to an enemy's follow up attack on both player and enemy phase). Also remember, you have insane range with Lysithea  Warp + Stride so don't feel compelled to fight through huge maps in the endgame / certain paralogues if you can just warp and one-shot the commander. 

Also, this is more of a reply to the previous poster- I actually went through the pains of trying Wrath / Vantage on Warrior Felix with a Killer Axe+ equipped and everything and it was honestly underwhelming and unreliable. You have to go put in so much effort to master these unrelated classes that it's just better to go straight War Master and get Quick Riposte that much faster. Wrath / Vantage looks cool on paper, and it probably works a lot better on Hard but it's just too shaky for Maddening IMO. 

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This roster seems very light on offense to me. Do you need to recruit Linhardt and Mercedes? I'd stick with Linhardt, personally, he's a great addition to any team. And you can mission assistance Mercedes if you really want one more physic user for free pre-time skip. Wyverns are good for their freedom of movement, but they will only rarely one round ko unless the unit in question is blessed in key offensive stats or landing a crit with a killer weapon. You definitely want more than one flier (since one flier alone accomplishes nothing noteworthy), but as many as 5 would be overkill. Ignatz as a sniper is a great delete button. Raphael with gauntlets also tears up, but you've benched him in favor of Felix which is fine. Since you've benched Raphael, make him Ignatz' guard adjutant. This will patch up Ignatz' poor bulk while also granting him +6 damage on his hunter's volleys once they hit A support, in addition to hit and avoid bonuses.

As for Byleth, it's hard to say. I think the greatest advantage to F!Byleth is really just Sylvain's paralogue, which has the juiciest array of items. Stat boosters, 10000G, the Lance of Ruin, and some extra weapons. And Sylvain himself can be...okay. Honestly when it comes to choosing Byleth's gender, don't worry about his/her combat performance. Byleth is your anchor on Maddening and I can't imagine them falling off. F!Byleth can work on flying rank early by classing into pegasus knight, while M!Byleth becomes an insane war master to continue carrying in the end game.

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Just now, Windsweep said:

Recruit Lorenz for his Paralogue to get the Thyrsus for Lysithea for +2 range

Erm, the OP is playing with the Golden Deer, so there's no need for that.

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For general advice, I'd advise the following:

-Keeping lighter weapons around to avoid being doubled
-Having a steel weapon for use with combat arts
-Use bows often

8 hours ago, LoneStar said:

For Claude making use of his Battalion skills could be useful, he is decently fast and with Speed Ring and a few stat boosters he should be able to safely Battalion Desperation other ranged units.

I dunno - I think there are better uses for Claude's ability slots than the Battalion skills.

4 hours ago, scarfanatic said:

Seteth - Wyvern Lord - I'm not sure why Seteth often gets a bad rap.

Does he? Because I've seen nothing of the sort.

@ TC, I'd reconsider going for S+ rank in general, and S rank on non-mages - the weapon crit skills aren't that great as to justify all the investment.

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Thanks so much for all of the advice! This has been super helpful. I think I'm going to use Enlightened One Byleth. I know a lot of people prefer some other classes (Wyvern, Falcon, War Master), but Windsweep seems pretty great and I think the class has pretty good synergy with the rest of the team. It sucks that she's going to be stuck with her lace tights looking like she just wandered in off the set of Season 5 of Gossip Girl, but I'll get over it. Her weapon ranks are going to be all over the place if I try to get Death Blow, Darting Blow, C Faith for Recover, and D+ Brawl to recruit Caspar for the paralogue, but it should still be quicker to rush her up sword ranks than it was to rush Byleth on previous runs up Axe ranks. 

6 hours ago, Glennstavos said:

This roster seems very light on offense to me. Do you need to recruit Linhardt and Mercedes? I'd stick with Linhardt, personally, he's a great addition to any team. And you can mission assistance Mercedes if you really want one more physic user for free pre-time skip.

Thanks for pointing this out. I definitely agree with you. I had both Mercedes and Marianne when I played both CF and AM. I rarely deployed both during CF. AM has more maps w/ 12 unit limits so they were both deployed more often then, but it was way overkill. I think I was planning on using two healers out of habit, and also because a lot of the playthroughs I've seen online are using two healers. Additionally having two healers was with the intention of making Byleth a Falcon or a Wyvern, but w/ Byleth as EO there's absolutely no reason for two healers now. Personally I'd lean towards using Mercedes over Linhardt because Fortify is probably going to serve me well if I only have one main healer. RIP Linhardt. The 4x Warp b/t him and Lysithea would have been fun. 

6 hours ago, Glennstavos said:

Wyverns are good for their freedom of movement, but they will only rarely one round ko unless the unit in question is blessed in key offensive stats or landing a crit with a killer weapon. You definitely want more than one flier (since one flier alone accomplishes nothing noteworthy), but as many as 5 would be overkill.

This is good to know. CF I used 3 fliers and felt like it wasn't enough, AM I used 5 fliers and was disappointed by battalion options (not helping was that both Hilda and Felix have authority weaknesses). My understanding is that Verdant Wind will have more/better flying battalions since Claude comes with one automatically, and there's Golden Deer Wyvern, Alliance Wyvern, Alliance Pegasus, etc. that the other routes don't have. I'm a bit tempted to run more fliers because of this.

6 hours ago, Glennstavos said:

 Since you've benched Raphael, make him Ignatz' guard adjutant. This will patch up Ignatz' poor bulk while also granting him +6 damage on his hunter's volleys once they hit A support, in addition to hit and avoid bonuses.

That's the plan! 🙂

9 hours ago, scarfanatic said:

Leonie - Bow Knight - Frankly Leonie is another unit that will do pretty well no matter what you do with her. I only ended up getting Darting Blow on her and no Death Blow and she was still fine. Leonie gets Point Blank Volley so I think that synergises better with getting +1 Movement, and she has a proficiency in Riding so it makes more sense to make her a Bow Knight and have Ignatz stay a Sniper. But you could argue that Ignatz' personal skill of +20 Hit helps more with abusing Bow Knights greater range. Can't go wrong either way IMO

Makes sense to me - I didn't realize how great Point Blank is. Thanks!

4 hours ago, Shadow Mir said:

@ TC, I'd reconsider going for S+ rank in general, and S rank on non-mages - the weapon crit skills aren't that great as to justify all the investment.

Yea I think listing out the S/S+ skills is me playing the endgame before playing the beginning/middle. Definitely a very common Fire Emblem mistake. However, I was able to get a few units to S+ last playthrough, so it's definitely possible for a few of the units. Last time I played most of the game thinking I could get all my fliers to S+ in both their weapon and in flying and that's just not feasible. Also skill slots are very precious and I'm not sure flying effect null is totally worth it. I was hoping that this time through I could be a lot more economic with my weapon ranks and that with a bit of extra efficiency I might be able to get a few of them. It's still unclear to me weather it is easier or harder to raise weapon ranks on Maddening - you get less per week of instruction, but your units will engage in more rounds of combat. I've heard mixed opinions to how this evens out. There's a few units in particular I think would enjoy going for the S/S+ ranks. Mages typically have more free slots  since I'll typically give them Fiendish Blow and Reason Prowess and then fill the rest of their slots with whatever. I tried getting Lysithea to S+ reason before and didn't hit it, but I did neglect training her ranks a bit and I could always just set her goal to only reason for a bit of a boost. Byleth I really don't think will have any issue hitting S+ swords if I want her to. Last route Byleth his S+ axes on top of S flying and that's a much harder threshold to hit. Ignatz and Felix are the other two that I think would benefit most from the S/S+ skills. Ignatz's low base strength should get a decent bump from Raph as a guard adjutant but Death Blow+Bowfaire x 2+Raph = 19 bonus Atk. That's really nice. Plus the dude crits a lot so even more crit might be nice. I know those last two sentences somewhat contradict each other though because if he's critting so much he doesn't need as much strength. Felix would like Fistfaire simply because with Gauntlets that's either going to be +10 or +20 damage. I think you're right and that I shouldn't stress out about getting these high weapon ranks, but at the same time with units like Felix and Ignatz, if I shouldn't invest this much into their weapon ranks, where else should my investment go? 

I could definitely learn a lot about better builds/abilities though. For Petra for example I'd probably run something like Death Blow/Darting Blow/Axe Prowess/Alert Stance+/Axefaire (if I could get it). Essentially I'll run Death Blow or Fiendish Blow on everything and Darting Blow on the physically-based female units. I always give a unit their prowess. I try to make sure all of the fliers have Alert Stance+. Quick Riposte for the War Master. Other than that I don't have that much of a strategy with skills. I've never toyed around with the battalion skills or anything like that. I had breakers on a  lot of my units for most of my last run and when I tried to take them off Hilda and Sylvain in particular really suffered. 

 

With all of this great advice I think my team is starting to come together:

F!Byleth - Enlightened One

Claude - Barbarossa

Hilda - Falcon Knight (??)

Leonie - Bow Knight

Lysithea - Gremory

Marianne - Dancer

Ignatz - Sniper

Felix - War Master

Petra - Wyvern Lord

Mercedes - Gremory... or maybe Bishop if she's my only main healer

Sylvain - Paladin... or at least leaning Paladin over Wyvern at the moment

???????

 

Questions going forward:

1. Who should round out my team?

I agree with the suggestion that the team could use a bit more firepower. I'm trying to figure out who could fill that void. Lorenz is one option. I was planning on benching him because I'm not a big fan of the character and I've heard he's a mediocre unit. But he's one option. Not benching him would maybe make Ch. 13 a bit easier, though from what I've seen he and Ignatz are in a real tough spot no matter whether they are trained or not.

13 hours ago, scarfanatic said:

Catherine - Falcon Knight - Now this was a damn treat to use. She starts off really strong, then had a small dip for me but, my god, she was a resurgent force late game. I built her like a flying Swordmaster pretty much, gave her a Wo Dao+ and Sword Crit +10 etc. She and Leonie were the only two of my units that could actually double most enemies. Seriously, use her. You get enough Umbral Steel to not worry about using up Thunderbrand. I even recruited Ingrid just so I could pick up Luin for a high Mt Lance to give her midgame.

Seteth - Wyvern Lord - I'm not sure why Seteth often gets a bad rap. He gets Swift Strikes which is especially good with Spear of Assal for dealing with the strong Paladins you encounter (they're tanky as fuck and also ridiculously fast so it's nice to be able to delete them on Player phase with no danger). Stat wise he eclipsed Sylvain on my run, but perhaps I just had a blessed Seteth / cursed Sylvain so I won't speak to that. Again, can't go wrong with Wyverns.

These both seem really interesting to me. Did you run Catherine mostly using Swords or Lances? What skills did you give her? How late did you recruit her?

Also available to other suggestions!

2. What should Hilda's class be?

I have her as a Falcon Knight now because I 1) don't have another Falcon Knight on the team 2) don't want her to just be a worse Petra. I know a lot of people will tell me to use her as a wyvern though

3. What should Mercedes's class be?

I've had a lot of success with her as a Gremory, though if I'm only using one healer then Bishop might be nice just to ensure she's getting everyone healed all the way

4. What should Sylvain's class be?

Currently leaning Paladin for a bit of a damage boost and to have a guard adjutant

5. What battalions are available?

I've looked but I can't seem to find a list of what Battalions are available specifically on which routes. It would be very helpful to know all of the flying battalions available, for example

6. Which paralogues are worth it?

Definitely going to do Lorenz, Ignatz, Felix, Sylvain, Marianne, Claude, and Hilda's. Catherine's for the shoes of the wind. Sothis's... Manuela and Hanneman for the exp gem.... I should probably pick up Linhardt even if I don't use him for the paralogue. Even if I don't use Ingrid, getting Luin might be worth it. Getting Caspar can be annoying but if I use a bunch of fliers then Rafail gem is worth doing his... Idk if Bernadetta and especially Ferdinand are worth the effort to recruit

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1 hour ago, hdawgsizzle said:

5. What battalions are available?

I've looked but I can't seem to find a list of what Battalions are available specifically on which routes. It would be very helpful to know all of the flying battalions available, for example

6. Which paralogues are worth it?

Definitely going to do Lorenz, Ignatz, Felix, Sylvain, Marianne, Claude, and Hilda's. Catherine's for the shoes of the wind. Sothis's... Manuela and Hanneman for the exp gem.... I should probably pick up Linhardt even if I don't use him for the paralogue. Even if I don't use Ingrid, getting Luin might be worth it. Getting Caspar can be annoying but if I use a bunch of fliers then Rafail gem is worth doing his... Idk if Bernadetta and especially Ferdinand are worth the effort to recruit

I haven't encountered a list that spells out route specific battalions, but according to my notes, the battalion guild first expands its inventory in chapter 8, and again in chapter 14. A lot of the exotic gambits won't appear until then or as rewards from paralogues. In particular, as far as I've read or seen, the only pre-time skip sources of Retribution are Manuela's Indech Sword Fighters, and the BL-exclusive Kingdom Archers.

As for paralogues, y'know I recruited all students in my maddening SS NG run and was surprised at how easy that was. It wasn't all smooth - I had to save scum for one character at B support to ask to join my class in that final week where his paralogue was available. In my defense, that B support was done several months ago so it was poor luck. But doing all the paralogues really set me up for the time skip, as you come out of them with a lot of gold, items, and experience. So my answer for which ones are worth it is simply "all of them that you can unlock". Ferdinand and caspar are big problems since you can't just get to B support in their case, but take note of the characters whose requirements are very easy. For instance Ingrid only requiring 5 faculty trainings in flying - or 4 if you're willing to save scum for Great sessions. The planning out of who you're going to recruit and how was kind of fun for me. But if you feel like that planning is going to slow down your run, don't stress about nabbing every single paralogue.

By the way, this is a helpful list of paralogues detailing rewards and timeframes. Take note that batallion rewards are tied to a specific character. If that character is not recruited, you don't get that battalion. 

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8 hours ago, hdawgsizzle said:

It would be very helpful to know all of the flying battalions available, for example

afaik, There is a D rank base Alliance and Serios Pegasus knights both with assembly available from chapter 3. In chapter 8 you get Alliance Wyverns with Impregnable wall at c rank (Amazing for low charm units, impregnable wall is very underrated and it's especially good on a flier.) In Chapter 14 you get the Golden Deer wyverns with assault troop at A rank. 

As Golden deer you get Immortal corps(probably the best battalion in game imo) for free in chapter 13 with Ashes and Dust at C rank, doing Seteth and Flayn's paralogue (Chapter 9-11) gives you Cichol Wyvern troop with assault troop at A, doing Ingrid's and Dorothea's paralogue with Ingrid recruited(Chapter 7-11) gives the Galatea pegasus knights with lure at B, and finally if you purchased the wave 3 dlc, doing Anna's paralogue (Chapter 9-11) will net you the secret transport force with stride at B (again great for low charm).

Overall that's 5 Endgame viable battalions in Immortal corps, Cichol wyverns, Galatea pegs, Golden deer wyverns and possibly the secret transport force. If you need another green gambit for a low charm unit or just don't have the dlc then you can also get away with the C rank alliance wyverns for endgame.

9 hours ago, hdawgsizzle said:

Even if I don't use Ingrid, getting Luin might be worth it.

Absolutely recruit Ingrid, not even for the relic, but for her Battalion. The Personal battalions gained from paralogues are almost always stupidly good (Except Bernie's, Caspar's, Ashe's, Mercedes', Flayn's and Leonie's) compared to the A and B rank battalions in shop and the Galatea pegs are no exception. 

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When I did my run, I made Lorenz my Dancer. Marianne may be the better overall unit, but it provides a use for him and feeds into his ability to be a backup magic attacker in the rare case where Dancing wouldn't be helpful, given that if he's contributing prior to the Heron Cup, it's probably as a mage. This also has the advantage of, post time-skip, not having the Dancer spawn on the other side of the map long after where those extra actions would have been most relevant.

I think Falcon Hilda could work. I ran her as Wyvern Lord and while I was able to get doubles/quads on the moderately fast enemies, I was constantly iffy on taking the attacks because her Hit was always so bad. Lances will generally be more accurate, though I'm still not sure if that'll be enough to completely make up for it. I'd recommend seeing if she can take a pass through Archer to pick up Hit + 20.

Don't bother with Flier Effect NULL. The terrain of most maps is so abusable by fliers that there should be very, very few times where good positioning can't stop enemy bow units from being a threat. Divert the effort into dipping Death/Darting Blow or Hit +20.

And while I'm harping on it: consider Hit +20 for any physical unit that doesn't have a priority goal. Maddening enemies have pretty non-trivial Avoid and that alone makes the skill worth consideration. However, Hit +20 also has the crazy bonus effect of applying its +20 to Gambit hit rates. This means that a lone unit with a base 50 Hit Gambit (40, if using a B-rank adjutant) can hit 100% without needing link aid. This can be huge for soft CCing key groups of enemies during those inevitable messy melees (especially early on).

For similar CC reasons, don't neglect Encloser on Claude. There are very few enemies who can't be shut down by it (even a lot of the annoying named ones aren't immune).

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14 minutes ago, SpiceMan said:

finally if you purchased the wave 3 dlc, doing Anna's paralogue (Chapter 9-11) will net you the secret transport force with stride at B (again great for low charm).

Isn't this one only doable on Crimson Flower?

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4 hours ago, Shadow Mir said:

Isn't this one only doable on Crimson Flower?

No, I did the Annalogue on Blue Lions in Month 2 (Chapter 11), and I assume Golden Deer would get it as well. It was pretty tough on Maddening, even with NG+.

CF and SS I'm not sure about, thought I heard CF gives you an Anna/Jeritza paralogue (post-skip, of course).

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Some thoughts:

I do love using Petra as Sniper because her Personal Skill synergizes well with it due to their low attack, so critting chunked enemies actually is the difference between a kill or not.
However, you don't have a Swordmaster which I think is a seriously good class (with how obsessed people are about fliers I might even call it underrated) so that's also an option. I remember killing like 5 enemies with one during enemy phase thanks to Vantage and 100% crit, lol. One of the reasons I can't bring myself to make Byleth anything else in runs is because the high crit with Ruptured Heaven is just too good to pass up.

Even though I believe Falcon Knight is better than Wyvern Lord, I think it's kind of a waste to not use Axes on Hilda because she gets Diamond Axe and her relic is pretty good.
If you want a Falcon Knight you can always use Ingrid, she is basically just made for the class. She has insane resistance growths which synergize with Falcon Knight to make her basically magic immune, this is a quality that none of the other speedsters have. But if not, maybe go for Petra over Hilda because she has max speed. I seriously think the dodge tanking aspect of Falcon Knights is completely busted, you struggle so hard in Enemy Phase in Maddening, dodge tanks are your ticket out of that hell.

You only have one mage? I always use two. Usually Dorothea, her mag growth just sucks but her spell kit is so damn good, + awesome personal skill. Though Constance is shaping up to be the best black magic user when the DLC comes, 60 mag growth and Bolting, yummy.

Edited by Smokie1437

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17 hours ago, hdawgsizzle said:

2. What should Hilda's class be?

I have her as a Falcon Knight now because I 1) don't have another Falcon Knight on the team 2) don't want her to just be a worse Petra. I know a lot of people will tell me to use her as a wyvern though

3. What should Mercedes's class be?

I've had a lot of success with her as a Gremory, though if I'm only using one healer then Bishop might be nice just to ensure she's getting everyone healed all the way

4. What should Sylvain's class be?

Currently leaning Paladin for a bit of a damage boost and to have a guard adjutant

Hilda: I’d say Wyvern. Hilda’s best advantage is probably Freikugel, so boosting that with Axefaire and increasing its accuracy with Axe Prowess seems like a good idea. Even if she’s a little worse than Petra, WL Hilda is still the best version of Hilda.

Mercedes: Bishop. Whenever I’ve used Mercedes as a Gremory, I never found much usage for her offensively since she was too busy healing. Bishop does that better and with less investment, so you can spend more time tutoring other units. 

Sylvain: Pally for sure. Swift Strikes + Lancefaire + Death Blow is ridiculous, and having a unit who has a guaranteed OHKO on just about everything is nice to have. In particular, he’s really good against nasty melee enemies that most other units don’t want to get near and can’t OHKO (Swordmasters, War Masters, etc). 

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Thank you all again for your comments - super helpful as always

15 hours ago, Glennstavos said:

As for paralogues, y'know I recruited all students in my maddening SS NG run and was surprised at how easy that was. It wasn't all smooth - I had to save scum for one character at B support to ask to join my class in that final week where his paralogue was available. In my defense, that B support was done several months ago so it was poor luck. But doing all the paralogues really set me up for the time skip, as you come out of them with a lot of gold, items, and experience. So my answer for which ones are worth it is simply "all of them that you can unlock". Ferdinand and caspar are big problems since you can't just get to B support in their case, but take note of the characters whose requirements are very easy. For instance Ingrid only requiring 5 faculty trainings in flying - or 4 if you're willing to save scum for Great sessions. The planning out of who you're going to recruit and how was kind of fun for me. But if you feel like that planning is going to slow down your run, don't stress about nabbing every single paralogue.

Cool - good to know that this is possible. Might be slightly trickier w/ Golden Deer since I'll have to recruit Caspar and ideally Ferdie for the Ordelia Sorcery Co. as well. I think planning out when to recruit them will be fun. Biggest issue is wanting to recruit a lot of the units right up on the Ch 11/Ch12 mark. If I'm not using a unit like Caspar then having him autolevelled as much as possible is probably the best way to give him any sort of shot at getting the final blow on the Death Knight. Might have to give him adjutant levels as well. Byleth getting death blow + darting blow would give her enough weapon levels to recruit Ashe and Ingrid, and she should have enough sword and authority to recruit Dorothea and Felix. I'll just get Petra to B rank using flowers. She likes sunflowers which are yellow which I'd be planting for the magic booster anyways. Mercedes likes Violets I believe which are purple flowers and those I'll be getting from planting for strength boosts. Sylvain auto recruits and the church units can be recruited pretty much whenever. That leaves Linhardt, Bernadetta, Ferdie, Caspar, Annette. This seems doable. Bernie and Annette will be lowest priority. I know some people are against recruiting a bunch of units that you won't use (they can fuck up the stuff like the church holidays singing and such) but they come with free weapons and items and such so I'd guess that recruiting is worth it in the long run

8 hours ago, SpiceMan said:

afaik, There is a D rank base Alliance and Serios Pegasus knights both with assembly available from chapter 3. In chapter 8 you get Alliance Wyverns with Impregnable wall at c rank (Amazing for low charm units, impregnable wall is very underrated and it's especially good on a flier.) In Chapter 14 you get the Golden Deer wyverns with assault troop at A rank. 

As Golden deer you get Immortal corps(probably the best battalion in game imo) for free in chapter 13 with Ashes and Dust at C rank, doing Seteth and Flayn's paralogue (Chapter 9-11) gives you Cichol Wyvern troop with assault troop at A, doing Ingrid's and Dorothea's paralogue with Ingrid recruited(Chapter 7-11) gives the Galatea pegasus knights with lure at B, and finally if you purchased the wave 3 dlc, doing Anna's paralogue (Chapter 9-11) will net you the secret transport force with stride at B (again great for low charm).

Overall that's 5 Endgame viable battalions in Immortal corps, Cichol wyverns, Galatea pegs, Golden deer wyverns and possibly the secret transport force. If you need another green gambit for a low charm unit or just don't have the dlc then you can also get away with the C rank alliance wyverns for endgame.

Thank you! This is super detailed and exactly what I was looking for. Yes I used the Galatea Peg Knights on my last run and that was a pretty great gambit so I'll definitely do the Ingrid Paralogue again. With the way the team is shaping out I'm probably looking at 4 fliers so that's perfect. 

I have the DLC but I'm thinking about foregoing using the paid DLC/Online/Amiibo Gazebo this run just to say I did it. I really don't think any of that stuff is game breaking though. It's not like awakening/fates. If/when I do Silver Snow I'd like to try the Anna paralogue on maddening since I heard that it's challenging. 

10 hours ago, Kuroi Tsubasa Tenshi said:

When I did my run, I made Lorenz my Dancer. Marianne may be the better overall unit, but it provides a use for him and feeds into his ability to be a backup magic attacker in the rare case where Dancing wouldn't be helpful, given that if he's contributing prior to the Heron Cup, it's probably as a mage. This also has the advantage of, post time-skip, not having the Dancer spawn on the other side of the map long after where those extra actions would have been most relevant.

I think I initially considered using Lorenz as a Dancer, but I think I'm most intrigued by Marianne as a dancer since I've used her twice now and never as a dancer. 

Since you've actually finished the run you can definitely better attest to this than I can, but from the videos I've seen of people playing GD maddening Ch. 13 it seems as though Ignatz and Lorenz are going to be stuck in that corner where they spawn in for at least a few turns and the ideal scenario is to lure enemies away from them. 

10 hours ago, Kuroi Tsubasa Tenshi said:

I think Falcon Hilda could work. I ran her as Wyvern Lord and while I was able to get doubles/quads on the moderately fast enemies, I was constantly iffy on taking the attacks because her Hit was always so bad. Lances will generally be more accurate, though I'm still not sure if that'll be enough to completely make up for it. I'd recommend seeing if she can take a pass through Archer to pick up Hit + 20.

Yea I'm not sure that it'd really make a super significant different to switch to lances. I didn't think about Hit+20 and I think that's a really great solution! Hit+20 could definitely help her a lot, but between Death Blow and Darting Blow and Hit+20 she'd be stuck in intermediate classes for a really long time. I'm torn because my instincts are telling me two different things: get Hit+20 because there's no use in a unit that can't hit things vs. get Hilda on a Pegasus ASAP bc that's where she'll contribute the most and her weapon ranks will be better off. I think I'm leaning toward Hit+20. And thanks for the advice about Hit+20 in general. I think Sylvain would probably benefit from the extra Hit, though I'm already putting Ingrid on him as an adjutant the whole game so he might be okay. Leonie and Claude will both pick it up as well. Probably not worth it for Felix if he's Brawling mostly. 

4 hours ago, Smokie1437 said:

I do love using Petra as Sniper because her Personal Skill synergizes well with it due to their low attack, so critting chunked enemies actually is the difference between a kill or not.

I considered Sniper Petra when I was initially planning the team. This is a bit hard to explain, but essentially if I wanted to run Petra as a Sniper I'm not sure it'd make much of a difference in the long run because of this domino effect: If I ran Petra as a Sniper I'd want Hilda to be a Wyvern Lord and if I ran Hilda as a Wyvern Lord I'd want Leonie to be my Falcon Knight and I'd essentially just be in the same spot with everyone's classes shifted over. Petra as a WL and Leonie as a Bow Knight is more efficient proficiency-wise and gives them better combat arts as well e.g. Petra doesn't get Point Blank Volley. I'm also essentially running the hit crit rate Sniper build with Ignatz. I'm not opposed to running multiple of the same class or anything - Petra and Hilda are probably both going to end up WL -  but I think you only get 2 or 3 crit rings and I think Ignatz and Felix probably each want one. 

5 hours ago, Smokie1437 said:

However, you don't have a Swordmaster which I think is a seriously good class (with how obsessed people are about fliers I might even call it underrated) so that's also an option. I remember killing like 5 enemies with one during enemy phase thanks to Vantage and 100% crit, lol. One of the reasons I can't bring myself to make Byleth anything else in runs is because the high crit with Ruptured Heaven is just too good to pass up.

Byleth is probably going to be a Swordsmaster for a bit on her way to becoming an Enlightened One. My main issue is the 5 movement. It's just way too limiting, esp if I want to keep Byleth on the frontlines to make use of the 1.2x exp bonus. 

5 hours ago, Smokie1437 said:

Even though I believe Falcon Knight is better than Wyvern Lord, I think it's kind of a waste to not use Axes on Hilda because she gets Diamond Axe and her relic is pretty good.

Yea the biggest downside of not using Hilda as a Wyvern Lord would be losing axefaire/axe prowess Freikugel. That thing hits so hard. Diamond Axe probably isn't all that great though. On a unit that already has hit rate issues that -20 Hit is gonna hurt. Apocalyptic Flame adds one more might than Diamond Axe and is +20 hit instead of -20 hit, so that's definitely a better option. Yea it uses up Freikugel but by the time Hilda gets Freikugel Umbral Steel won't really be all that rare.

5 hours ago, Smokie1437 said:

If you want a Falcon Knight you can always use Ingrid, she is basically just made for the class. She has insane resistance growths which synergize with Falcon Knight to make her basically magic immune, this is a quality that none of the other speedsters have. 

I used Ingrid my past two runs and like a lot of people I'm really torn on her. First run (CF) I recruited her on the later side, didn't think to get Death Blow on her, and she was good but definitely struggled with strength so I basically made sure she always had effective weaponry and that kinda helped but not always. Second run (BL) she was fine through the early game, I went Brigand to give her Death Blow, and her strength still really struggled for maybe 60% of the game. I think I dumped 7 or 8 strength boosters on her and she still was mostly a Mage Killer/Paladin killer w/ Horseslayer. Then for the last two chapters of BL she was without a doubt my best unit, killed absolutely everything and couldn't get hit by any of the enemies. It was truly bizarre and I still don't know what to make of her resurgence. One of the FE tubers (I want to say Fire Emblem Discussion) described a pretty similar experience with Ingrid. I don't want to use Ingrid because I really don't want to have to deal with her low strength. I'd rather invest strength boosting items into other units that hit harder than trying to patch up Ingrid so much. I know recruiting her later helps mitigate this a bit, but still not ideal. Additionally, with her as a guard adjutant for Sylvain (or Felix) she'd give him a boost to his hit rate/avoid/crit avoid and he'd do 6 extra damage with Swift Strikes. 

6 hours ago, Smokie1437 said:

But if not, maybe go for Petra over Hilda because she has max speed. I seriously think the dodge tanking aspect of Falcon Knights is completely busted, you struggle so hard in Enemy Phase in Maddening, dodge tanks are your ticket out of that hell.

Yea I've seen some Falcon Petras that have ridiculously high speed and the enemy basically has no chance of hitting them. I don't think the change in speed is going to be super drastic. She gets 1 more speed as a FK over a WL and has a 10% higher growth rate, so realistically by the end she'd have ~2.5 more speed as a FK than a WL. There are a couple reasons I'd prefer WL for Petra over FK - first is the strength issue. I don't really want a repeat of the Ingrid situation, and Petra only has 1 more base strength and 5% higher growth. Giving her WL gives her an additional +3 str and another 5% growth to strength, which factoring it all together might actually put her at the same strength Ingrid was at after 7 stat boosters. 1 + 3 + (.05 *40) + (.05 *10) = 6.5. That would be if I got her at Level 1 and not recruiting her, and if I recruit her she'll have some inflated bases as well. . 

There are a couple other issues with FK Petra as well. Like you said, Petra also doesn't have the resistance that Ingrid has, and that might make killing mages more difficult. That's not super ideal. Also Petra wouldn't get any special Combat arts as a FK. She'd have to rely on Tempest Lance and Knight Kneeler (and Triangle Attack). That's not terrible though. Especially with Petra where a lot of the appeal is doubling. I could use swords with her as a FK if I really wanted the Combat Arts but she'd lose +5 damage (10 if doubling) from Lancefaire and that's pretty bad on a unit with somewhat shaky strength. She'd have about 4 more strength as a Wyvern and would be using higher might weapons. 

I'm actually thinking about using Catherine as a Falcon Knight. This post here did a lot to win me over to the idea:

On 1/23/2020 at 9:23 AM, scarfanatic said:

Catherine - Falcon Knight - Now this was a damn treat to use. She starts off really strong, then had a small dip for me but, my god, she was a resurgent force late game. I built her like a flying Swordmaster pretty much, gave her a Wo Dao+ and Sword Crit +10 etc. She and Leonie were the only two of my units that could actually double most enemies. Seriously, use her. You get enough Umbral Steel to not worry about using up Thunderbrand. I even recruited Ingrid just so I could pick up Luin for a high Mt Lance to give her midgame.

I'd be curious to hear more about what her build was like. I know the poster mentioned that she had darting blow but not death blow. I'm guessing you'd probably start off with her using swords and then eventually transition her over to lances. Like Petra she doesn't have any unique lance combat arts, but she has better resistance than Hilda and Petra. She has 8 base res which is the same as Ingrid, though only a 20% growth instead of a 40% growth. She'd have ~6 less res than Ingrid though which isn't great. 

7 hours ago, Smokie1437 said:

You only have one mage? I always use two. Usually Dorothea, her mag growth just sucks but her spell kit is so damn good, + awesome personal skill. Though Constance is shaping up to be the best black magic user when the DLC comes, 60 mag growth and Bolting, yummy.

First run (CF) I had Mercedes and Marianne as healers (overkill) and Hubert and Lysithea (though Lysithea was often an adjutant). The thing about having multiple mages like Hubert and Lysithea together is that they both really want to do the same thing. As in, they both want to deliver the final blow since they can't take a counterattack. When fighting a lot of the monsters in the endgame it was a bit of a liability to have two around since they both basically had to sit back a lot of the time and wait for other units to do their job before they could come in safely. 

I had dancer Dorothea the first time I played and I've heard good things about her as a Gremory. I'm not sure that I fully understand the obsession with Meteor. You only get two uses of it. This isn't Radiant Dawn endgame infinite use Meteor. I guess it can be nice to maybe get a unit out of a tight spot sometimes... Siege tomes are fun in general though and Constance looks really cool.

I do think you're right that I'm maybe a bit light on magical damage though. If I use another mage I'll use Lorenz. I didn't want to use him initially and I've heard that he's a bit mediocre but using him would make Ch. 13 easier. Magic is pretty good in this game and Dark Knight Lorenz being able to hit and run enemies would be good.

5 hours ago, LegendOfLoog said:

Mercedes: Bishop. Whenever I’ve used Mercedes as a Gremory, I never found much usage for her offensively since she was too busy healing. Bishop does that better and with less investment, so you can spend more time tutoring other units. 

Sylvain: Pally for sure. Swift Strikes + Lancefaire + Death Blow is ridiculous, and having a unit who has a guaranteed OHKO on just about everything is nice to have. In particular, he’s really good against nasty melee enemies that most other units don’t want to get near and can’t OHKO (Swordmasters, War Masters, etc). 

Thank you! Super succinct and I agree with everything you said. Definitely going with these classes.

5 hours ago, LegendOfLoog said:

Hilda: I’d say Wyvern. Hilda’s best advantage is probably Freikugel, so boosting that with Axefaire and increasing its accuracy with Axe Prowess seems like a good idea. Even if she’s a little worse than Petra, WL Hilda is still the best version of Hilda.

Yea the Freikugel definitely helps Hilda a lot and it has a really great combat art that boosts Hilda's shaky hit rate. Whereas with lances Hilda gets Shatter Slash which is nice but not really comparable to Freikugel's combat art. I think my hesitation about WL Hilda being worse than WL Petra is that they'd probably have pretty similar builds and if Petra is better then I'd probably end up relying more on Petra to do things and Hilda might be left in the dust to some extent. I guess that if I only have three fliers on the team that both of them would be seeing a ton of use and so I'm probably overthinking it. 

Right now my team looks like:

F!Byleth - Enlightened One

Claude - Barbarossa

Leonie - Bow Knight

Lysithea - Gremory

Marianne - Dancer

Ignatz - Sniper

Sylvain - Paladin

Felix - War Master

Mercedes - Bishop

Hilda - Wyvern Lord

I think I've been convinced that this is the best route for her, at least over Falcon Knight. Freikugel helps her out a lot and if I get Hit+20 for her then her hit rate issues should go away for the most part

Petra - Falcon Knight

I'd like to keep at least one Falcon Knight on my team, though I'm a bit skeptical of Petra's resistance... And a lot of the reason to use FK is to kill mages... That said, she'll be able to dodge everything. I could patch up her res somewhat by giving her Galatea Peg Knights as a battalion which would boost her res by 6. With an 80(!!) percent speed growth as a FK nothing's touching her anyways. If she goes Falcon then I'm left with only one Axe user on the team which is a bit odd since I usually have 3+. I guess Felix can use an axe too if there's a monster shield that needs breaking.

Lorenz - Dark Knight

I wasn't initially going to use him but I do think that the team is maybe a bit light on magical damage. Added bonus is that Ch. 13 might suck just a tad bit less as well.

 

Thoughts on the team? Is Lorenz a good addition? Should I replace the last slot w/ Falcon Knight Catherine and make Petra back into a Wyvern? Will Petra underperform as a Falcon Knight? How annoyed will I be when someone tells me to use Ingrid over Petra as a Falcon Knight?

 

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Oh there's one more option:

F!Byleth - Falcon Knight

Petra - Assassin

Byleth would have better Res. Petra would become my sword unit and would get some better combat arts. Byleth uses lances and loses ability to Windsweep. Petra's strength becomes a bit shakier.

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1 hour ago, hdawgsizzle said:

I have the DLC but I'm thinking about foregoing using the paid DLC/Online/Amiibo Gazebo this run just to say I did it. I really don't think any of that stuff is game breaking though. It's not like awakening/fates. If/when I do Silver Snow I'd like to try the Anna paralogue on maddening since I heard that it's challenging. 

 

15 hours ago, Shadow Mir said:

Isn't this one only doable on Crimson Flower?

The Anna paralogue is pre-timeskip for Blue LIons and Golden Deer, but post timeskip for Crimson Flower.

Silver Snow however, is unable to play the paralogue at all. I recently discovered this on my maddening run of it. This is because by the time you choose between Crimson Flower or Silver Snow it's already chapter 12 and paralogues are unavailable. And in Chapter 13 of Silver Snow you kill Pallardo so the paralogue wouldn't be able to work post time skip. They can't give you the paralogue earlier because there is still a chance you'll go CF, in which case they need to save it till Jeritza joins.

Edited by SpiceMan

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12 hours ago, Smokie1437 said:

Even though I believe Falcon Knight is better than Wyvern Lord, I think it's kind of a waste to not use Axes on Hilda because she gets Diamond Axe and her relic is pretty good.

I don't see the appeal of Diamond Axe - axes are inaccurate enough, and -20 doesn't help its case.

3 hours ago, hdawgsizzle said:

Lorenz - Dark Knight

I wasn't initially going to use him but I do think that the team is maybe a bit light on magical damage. Added bonus is that Ch. 13 might suck just a tad bit less as well.

 

Thoughts on the team? Is Lorenz a good addition?

I think Lorenz is not a good addition - He's liable to underperform.

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Before you get Mercedes and Linhardt, he'll be the only magic user you have that doesn't turn into mist the second an enemy hits them, so it's not a terrible idea to train him up during early-mid game. If he starts to lag behind you can bench him later.

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I would add Lorenz, mainly because you want everyone performing on chapter 13 (especially those in the "first four" reinforcements). Him being bad will put himself and Ignatz at risk.

Dark Knight is optimal based on his proficiencies. Were you planning to run through Cavalier/Paladin, Mage/Warlock, or Dark Mage/Bishop to get there?

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9 hours ago, hdawgsizzle said:

Right now my team looks like:

F!Byleth - Enlightened One

Claude - Barbarossa

Leonie - Bow Knight

Lysithea - Gremory

Marianne - Dancer

Ignatz - Sniper

Sylvain - Paladin

Felix - War Master

Mercedes - Bishop

Hilda - Wyvern Lord

I think I've been convinced that this is the best route for her, at least over Falcon Knight. Freikugel helps her out a lot and if I get Hit+20 for her then her hit rate issues should go away for the most part

Petra - Falcon Knight

I'd like to keep at least one Falcon Knight on my team, though I'm a bit skeptical of Petra's resistance... And a lot of the reason to use FK is to kill mages... That said, she'll be able to dodge everything. I could patch up her res somewhat by giving her Galatea Peg Knights as a battalion which would boost her res by 6. With an 80(!!) percent speed growth as a FK nothing's touching her anyways. If she goes Falcon then I'm left with only one Axe user on the team which is a bit odd since I usually have 3+. I guess Felix can use an axe too if there's a monster shield that needs breaking.

Lorenz - Dark Knight

I wasn't initially going to use him but I do think that the team is maybe a bit light on magical damage. Added bonus is that Ch. 13 might suck just a tad bit less as well.

 

Thoughts on the team? Is Lorenz a good addition? Should I replace the last slot w/ Falcon Knight Catherine and make Petra back into a Wyvern? Will Petra underperform as a Falcon Knight? How annoyed will I be when someone tells me to use Ingrid over Petra as a Falcon Knight?

My thoughts on the team:

  • Ignatz: Sniper is definitely his best offensive class for Hunter's Volley, but Assassin is kind of interesting as well if you want to double down on his utility. Stealth allows him to stay on the frontlines without worrying about being targeted, allowing the player to make full use of Rally Speed + whatever other utility you want to put on him in the form of Battalions. Kind of gimmicky, but it has its perks. 
  • Felix: I actually think Bow Knight Felix is significantly better than War Master Felix. Range penalties do hurt a bit more on Maddening because enemy units have higher Avoid, but BK Felix is still very strong, imo. It gives him the capability to counter mages and archers on Enemy Phase, and Canto + 4 Range + 9 Move (with Move +1) gives Felix the safety to take more risks and attack more often. War Master does a ton of damage, but I think it's unnecessary since Felix can already ORKO most units in other classes as well. I've tried both, and I liked BK a lot more. 
  • Petra: I'd still recommend Petra as a Wyvern Lord because her Strength can be really shaky, speaking from personal experience. Wyvern Lord gives her higher Mt weapons with Axes and very good Strength/Speed bonuses (+4 each). It also matches up a lot better with her Skill Proficiencies, making it lower investment overall. If you want a Falcon Knight, Catherine is certainly a good option, or you could just have Byleth do it instead. Petra is definitely better off as a Wyvern, though. 
  • Lorenz: If you are going to use him, I think he's fine as is, but I recommend doing a specific build, Mage -> Paladin -> Dark Knight. Basically, you pick up Fiendish Blow and use Frozen Lance instead of spells until you can certify as a Dark Knight. I mainly recommend doing this because doubling your Move is pretty cool and probably worth losing a small amount of damage for that period of the game since otherwise, mages tend to fall far behind from Level 20-30. 

As for how annoyed you'll be when someone tells you to use Ingrid... probably not as annoyed as I am when someone says that Ingrid is good in BL Maddening, lol. 

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11 hours ago, Shadow Mir said:

I don't see the appeal of Diamond Axe - axes are inaccurate enough, and -20 doesn't help its case.

Diamond Axe was good for gambling on huge crits in my experience (since crit > hit IIRC). Even without that, if you can't kill something without Diamond Axe I found it more useful to gamble on a oneshot with it than merely chunk the enemy and waste another unit on killing.

Edited by Smokie1437

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12 minutes ago, Smokie1437 said:

Diamond Axe was good for gambling on huge crits in my experience (since crit > hit IIRC). Even without that, if you can't kill something without Diamond Axe I found it more useful to gamble on a oneshot with it than merely chunk the enemy and waste another unit on killing.

You're confusing it with Wild Abandon, which I also consider bad because of the massive hit drop. In any instance, 7 durability is a lot to use just to accomplish a fat load of nothing.

Edited by Shadow Mir

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