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This post will compile a list of builds people have used to beat the game on Maddening difficulty. A link will be provided that takes you to each build.

I thought it would be nice to have examples of teams/builds that people used as they beat the game and for those examples to be easily accessible. This can serve as a good reference for people who want examples to look at whether they are attempting Maddening for the first time or want something to compare their own builds to. This also brings more exposure to some of the quality posts others have put in time and effort to share. To both appreciate those efforts and hopefully help more people enjoy and potentially benefit from them.

If you'd like to contribute a build, here are some suggestions for the format and requirements for keeping this a decent quality reference (An example is posted in the next comment below):

  1. It should be a team build that you beat the entire game with on Maddening difficulty.
  2. Was it an NG or NG+ game?
  3. Indicate which house/route was used.
  4. Was DLC used? If so, to what extent?
  5. Would be nice to have a mid-game progress example as well, but not a requirement. For example what did the team look like in Ch 12/13?
  6. Information to include: characters' Levels, Stats, Skills, and Progression should be included. Other useful information can be about equipment setup and battalions. All this information is made easily visible if you take a snapshot of your character's information screen in battle from either the Inventory page or Battalion page. I think images are ideal but not necessarily a requirement as long as this information is provided. Images from the Roster Status and Skills pages also provide all this information neatly.
  7. It is nice to include comments you have on your play style and characters. Were they good in your build? strengths/weaknesses? How did you use each character, did they fill a specific role in your team? Would you do something different to improve your build? Etc. Feel free to comment on whether any aspects made certain problematic battles easier in some way. Anything you feel is important/relevant or just want to mention
  8. If you built a character in some uncommon way, maybe showcase the character's build with a few screenshots of what they're capable of or how you used them in battle. Even if it didn't turn out too great it would still be useful to know.

It might make more sense to have the builds submissions each in their own separate post. Especially since people might want to discuss your build, but since we can link to specific comments as well, feel free to post in this thread if you prefer. Although, if you do want to comment on a listed build, then as per forum rules don't necro-post on an an old thread. And many of these builds are old threads (check the dates).

Following is the (hopefully) growing list of builds that people have kindly shared. Please note that this list in no way rates how good the builds themselves are. I think the fact that someone beat the game on Maddening indicates that they are at least 'good enough' for the settings they played the game on (admittedly though, what's 'good enough' might differ from player to player or even run to run). But also note that some builds involved a significant amount of grinding. I leave it up to the reader to go through any individual build/guide they're interested in.

If you have previously posted a build somewhere please let me know and I'd be happy to add it to the list.

If you are new to the game, in case you’re not aware, please bear in mind that playing the game using DLC can be significantly easier than without, depending on how much dlc content was used. The same can be said for NG+ games compared to NG games. Builds achieved in NG+ runs might be impossible in an NG run.

Minor Spoiler Alert: Inevitably these builds will have some minor spoilers like revealing story-related unique classes. Screenshots might include images of enemies or story-related classes. Also, the builds posts themselves may contain spoilers in the text depending on what the poster wrote. Usually build posts don't contain any major spoilers but I won't take responsibility for posts that do.

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Blue Lions / Azure Moon Example Builds:

  • Build by @tchin, NG, with DLC, end game stats.
    • Byleth: Lv45 War Cleric. Dimitri: Lv45 Unique Class. Felix: Lv45 Bow Knight. Mercedes: Lv45 Gremory. Dedue: Lv45 War Master. Sylvain: Lv45 Paladin. Catherine: Lv44 Swordmaster. Shamir: Lv46 Sniper. Annette: Lv46 Dark Flier. Ingrid: Lv46 Falcon Knight. Dorothea: Lv43 Dancer.
  • Build & Guide by @DrDimentio, NG, no DLC, offline, end game stats.
    • Byleth: Lv48 Gremory. Dimitri: Lv46 Unique Class. Dedue: Lv45 Great Knight. Ingrid: Lv60 Dancer. Felix: Lv44 Sniper. Sylvain: Lv45 War Master. Annette: Lv48 Dark Knight. Mercedes: Lv60 Gremory. Ashe: Lv45 Bow Knight. Flayn: Lv61 Gremory. Dorothea: Lv50 Gremory. Manuela: Lv33 Bishop.
  • Build by @Geenoble, NG?, no DLC?, end game stats
    • Byleth: Lv41 Unique Class. Dimitri: Lv47 Unique Class. Dedue: Lv47 Fortress Knight. Ashe: Lv37 Wyvern Lord. Mercedes: Lv37 Bishop. Annette: Lv36 Gremory. Felix: Lv44 War Master. Sylvain: Lv36 Wyvern Lord. Ingrid: Lv35 Falcon Knight. Ignatz: Lv41 Sniper. Lorenz: Lv39 Dark Knight. Marianne: Lv25 Dancer.
  • Build by u/salteas on Reddit, NG, no DLC, offline, end game stats.
    • Byleth: Lv47 Falcon Knight. Dimitri: Lv46 Unique Class. Felix: Lv44 Sniper. Sylvain: Lv43 Wyvern Lord. Ingrid: Lv46 Falcon Knight. Annette: Lv52 Dancer. Mercedes: Lv45 Bishop. Marianne: Lv43 Bishop. Lysithea: Lv47 Gremory. Leonie: Lv44 Bow Knight. Hilda: Lv43 Wyvern Lord. Ferdinand: Lv42 Wyvern Lord.
  • Build by @Graveless, NG, DLC class used, then items used in final 3 chapters, end game stats.
    • Byleth: Lv42 Falcon Knight. Dimitri: Lv43 Bow Knight. Felix: Lv41 Bow Knight. Marianne: Lv43 Gremory. Ingrid: Lv40 Wyvern Lord. Marianne: Lv 37 Valkyrie. Catherine: Lv39 Swordmaster. Lysithea: Lv41 Gremory. Dorothea: Lv42 Dancer. Hilda: Lv38 Wyvern Lord. Leonie: Lv42 Bow Knight. Annette: Lv42 Wyvern Lord.
  • Build & Iron Man run video by @Atano (on Reddit), NG, no DLC, complete play through video stream available.
    • Byleth: Lv42 Falcon Knight. Dimitiri: Lv39 Unique Class. Felix: Lv44 Wyvern Lord. Leonie: Lv39 Wyvern Lord. Lysithea: Lv44 Gremory. Mercedes: Lv36 Gremory. Annette: Lv37 Gremory. Dedue: Lv39 Grappler. Sylvain: Lv36 Paladin. Shamir: Lv38 Sniper. Flayn: Lv42 Gremory. Seteth: Lv34 Paladin. Ingrid: Lv38 Wyvern Lord.

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Golden Deer / Verdant Wind Example Builds:

  • Build by @LoneRecon400, NG, no DLC, end game stats.
    • Byleth: Lv46 War Master. Claude: Lv38 Unique Class. Lysithea: Lv41 Mortal Savant. Hilda: Lv40 Wyvern Lord. Leonie: Lv41 Wyvern Lord. Catherine: Lv36 Wyvern Lord. Cyril: Lv33 Sniper. Ferdinand: Lv37 Dancer.
  • Build by @hdawgsizzle, NG, no DLC, offline, end game stats.
    • Byleth: Lv43 Flacon Knight. Claude: Lv43 Unique Class. Felix: Lv42 War Master. Leonie: Lv42 Bow Knight. Petra: Lv41 Wyvern Lord. Ignatz: Lv43 Sniper. Lysithea: Lv42 Gremory. Sylvain: Lv42 Paladin. Hilda: Lv40 Wyvern Lord. Lorenz: Lv41 Dark Knight. Mercedes: Lv41 Bishop. Marianne: Lv47 Dancer.
  • Build by @overklok , NG, some DLC without items, no stats provided.
    • Byleth: Falcon Knight. Claude: Unique Class. Hilda: Wyvern Lord. Ignatz: Sniper. Leonie: Falcon Knight. Marianne: Dancer. Lysithea: Gremory. Lorenz: Dark Knight. Sylvain: Paladin. Raphael: Grappler. Linhardt: Bishop?
  • Build & Iron Man run video by @Atano (on Reddit), NG, no DLC, complete play through video stream available.
    • Byleth: Lv41 Wyvern Lord. Claude: LV41 Unique Class. Leonie: LV40 Wyvern Lord. Ignatz: Lv42 Sniper. Lysithea: Lv44 Gremory. Hilda: Lv40 Wyvern Lord. Ingrid: Lv44 Wyvern Lord. Lorenz: Lv40 Dark Knight. Felix: Lv41 War Master. Marianne: Lv35 Gremory. Flayn: Lv40 Gremory. Seteth: Lv31 Paladin.

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Black Eagles / Crimson Flower Example Builds:

  • Build by u/Rengor1997 on Reddit, NG, no DLC, end game stats. All Rout rule.
    • Byleth: Lv36 Wyvern Lord. Edelgard: Lv40 Wyvern Lord. Fedinand: Lv36 Wyvern Lord. Bernadetta: Lv41 Gremory. Petra: Lv37 Wyvern Lord. Jeritza: Lv38 Wyvern Lord. Caspar: Lv35 Grappler. Lysithea: Lv34 Gremory. Dorothea: Lv35 Dancer. Hubert: Lv35 Dark Knight. Shamir: Lv35 Sniper. Linhardt: Lv33 Bishop.
  • Build by @SpearBerry, NG, DLC without items, end game stats.
    • Byleth: Lv35 Unique Class. Edelgard: Lv38 Unique Class. Hubert: Lv36 Dark Bishop. Ferdinand: Lv36 Paladin. Petra: Lv35 Assassin/Falcon Knight. Caspar: Lv36 Grappler. Bernadetta: Lv35 Sniper. Dorothea: Lv35 Warlock. Linhardt: Lv35 Bishop. Jeritza: Lv34 Unique Class. Lysithea: Lv38 Gremory. Leonie: Lv35 Sniper.

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Black Eagles / Silver Snow Example Builds:

  • Build by @Glennstavos, NG, no DLC, end game stats, with accompanying tier list.
    • Byleth: Lv41 War Master. Caspar: Lv40 War Master. Alois: Lv37 War Master. Felix: Lv41 War Master. Petra: Lv40 Wyvern Lord. Ingrid: Lv38 Falcon Knight. Seteth: Lv39 Wyvern Lord. Lorenz: Lv40 Dark Knight. Ferdinand: Lv37 Great Knight. Dorothea: Lv43 Dancer. Linhardt: Lv39 Bishop. Ignatz: Lv43 Sniper.

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My personal reasons for starting this list:

As I’m playing my first Maddening NG game, I found myself wondering how my progress is going compared to others. Also, while I was planning my game at the start, I wanted an idea about what to expect in terms of end game character levels and stats, or even for mid-game. While I did find a few posts online showing their end game team and builds, they weren't exactly easy to find and there's a lot of rich discussions on various possible builds or ideal builds for characters that's easy to lose oneself in.

Another reason for wanting something like this is because the discussions I see often focus on what are the optimal builds for each character. While I love learning about and discussing optimal builds, sometimes it can feel pressuring that I have to use the optimal build and, at least for me, can make the game less fun if I feel like I have to build my characters a very specific way. Often, the optimal builds advice comes off to someone like me as "if you do anything else you're not gonna make it". But then again considering how people are able to solo Maddening, that can't possibly be the case.

Thirdly, I feel that while there is a lot of discussion on character builds, I haven’t seen much consideration given to ‘team builds’. By this I mean how a character build might fit into the context of a full team or how they might synergize with each other. I’m hoping that team example builds can facilitate these kinds of discussions while serving as practical examples. There is a lot of discussion on what is the ‘best’ build for a unit, but the ‘best’ might not always be what a player is looking for. If you’re like me, sometimes a player wants to try something different or just something they enjoy and just wants to know that it won’t be such a bad idea that it’ll make a run impossible. By providing examples of what others have used to beat the game with, I hope this category of sub-optimal but ‘good enough’ builds might get exposed.

Lastly, with examples to look at including stats, skills, and battalions, it can serve as a reference for those interested in specific examples of stats at the end game. It can also show real examples of the role that progression paths and/or rng can have on your final stats. Sometimes the devil’s in the details and why one person’s run went much better than someone else’s can have a lot to do with the progression path towards the same final class, how they split up instructions, exp, battalions, gear setup, stat boosters, adjutants, how they used them tactically, whether they grinded a lot or not, etc.

Edited by Owns
major formatting edits or adding to the list. Rewrote/added to my personal reasoning for starting this post.

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As an example. I'll post a part of my current BL Maddening build at the end of Part 1. I haven't finished the run yet, which means i'm breaking Rule 1 but this is just an example I'll delete later.

Attached are screenshots of some my characters in Ch12 (a real build should include full team).

About my play style: 

Firstly I’m in no way a veteran of this game or franchise. This is my first Maddening run. Before this, I had only beaten Crimson Flower on Normal difficulty. I used my first normal run as an experimental game and learning experience to learn more about the mechanics. I did however, do a lot of research, read many posts and guides, and fully planned things before starting this maddening run.

The style I decided to adopt was to have a few genuinely strong focus units supported by others. I narrowed this down to 7 core archetypes that I wanted to use (and prioritize training): 1 Physical Tank, 1 Evade tank, 1 Magic tank, 1 Dancer, 1 Dedicated Healer, 1 dedicated Bow user, 1 Mage. The remaining 3+ can be anything with an emphasis on support/versatility to balance the team and be ready for any situation. It’s possible for more than 1 character to satisfy more than of my “core” archetypes in which case that opens up more room for other builds.

Comments:

Byleth (evade tank): Myrmidon > Mercenary + Thief > Assassin + Enlightened One.

Solid throughout and honestly since Thief class she’s been extremely strong and gets hit very little. As an Assassin this aspect simply improves and she now also crits very often. During Ch 12 & 13 in particular, her high avo was important for me. During Ch12, after taking the first 2-3 turns to defeat the enemies in the castle walls, I used stride on her and sent her down the middle, past the castle walls and into the set of trees near Randolph. There she sat in forest tiles and picked off half their army on her own dodging nearly everything and getting hit only once using Rapier+ or Sublime Creator Sword. MVP. This evasion was used in similar fashion in Ch. 13. Parked both her and Dimitri in the trees reachable from Turn 1 where they sat and killed enemies who approached, dodging most attacks. She doesn’t have Death Blow, but you don’t need it if you’re landing crits all the time. Maybe I’ll pick it up moving forward, we’ll see. She gets Str, HP, and speed stat boosters.

Dimitri: Soldier > Lord dipping into Thief & Cavalier > Paladin & Swordmaster > High Lord.

Dimitri is strong overall. Good def, speed, str, and dex. The riding classes help maintain his overall stats but the Thief / Swordmaster / Assassin classes are good to develop his speed which I think is more important for Maddening. When he’s able to pass the Assassin exam I’ll give him some levels there to boost dex as well, for now Swordmaster and Highlord. Alternatively I could just rely on Battalion Vantage/Wrath. Cavalier and Paladin were important for the times I wanted an extra rider, which were many. He can even take some hits from mages but not a lot. Needless to say he destroys enemies with gambits.

Felix: Fighter > Brawler & Brigand > Grappler

Similar to Dedue just up the brawling path. He’s also a monster with a bow and tends to ORKO enemies using an Iron Bow+. Good speed and dex means he gets powerful double hits, and his crest triggers quite frequently. He’s OP. He’s able to ORKO the main boss in both Ch 11 and in Ch 12 using gauntlets. Working on heavy armor so he can equip Aegis Shield with little speed penalty later. Str stat boosters.

Bernadetta (dedicated bow user): Archer > Sniper

She’s been solid for me and I love her. High dex means frequent crits with a Killer Bow+. Even when she doesn’t crit she does decent damage using Steel Bow+. Gave her an accuracy ring and she will even land Dead Eye most of the time allowing her to OHKO Pegasus Knights in Ch 12; dance and repeat. She also learns Encloser which is super useful. I used it to contain Ladislava in Ch 12 while I took care of other enemies. I try to make use of her PA as much as possible, even if that means letting her get hit or on certain maps just stand on damaging terrain. Mercedes’ Waning Shot can help Bernie take damage without getting killed but she’s tough enough to take 1 hit from most enemies, the problem is if they double her.

Backup characters: Shamir (Sniper), Lysithea (Warlock), Hubert (Dark Mage > Warlock)

Adjutants: Manuela (Heal), Hilda (Guard), Raphael (Guard), Shamir (Follow-Up), Lysithea (Heal), Hubert (Follow-Up)

Bernie-stats1.jpg

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Byleth-stats1.jpg

Byleth-stats2.jpg

Dimitri-stats1.jpg

Dimitri-stats2.jpg

Felix-stats1.jpg

Felix-stats2.jpg

Edited by Owns

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This is a great idea, however my non-NG+ Maddening run was a 100 hours ago, so I would have no way to salvage my unit stats and information. ) : I am however on my 3rd NG+, 4th overall, run where I am only using guys on Silver Snow. But unfortunately, you're suggesting that we don't post NG+ runs.

I did Blue Lions on NG Maddening twice, and I suppose there was a lot to learn about builds. One thing I learned is that it's somewhat hard to deviate from the norm, and you are actually not deviating from the norm at all. Those are very standard builds for your characters, and there's nothing wrong with that. Their strengths and weaknesses play out their role in the game, and you could unintentionally build the standard for your characters. Also, the lack of diversity is caused by the limited selection of skills in weapons where each individual character excel. The issue is further emphasized because there's restrictions and time limits. So that's why people might suggest to do specific things so that your characters can excel. For example, Quick Riposte is a valuable skill, but Dimitri can't get it easily because his weakness in Axes and because of something that I won't say in case it might be spoilers (nothing story-related, just mechanics that's connected to the story).  In both of my BL runs, I did the same for everyone except for Sylvain who was a mage in the first run and a dancer in the second (I did not have a dancer at all in my first run). By the end, Byleth was an Assassin or Swordmaster to optimize speed or crit over several points of Defense and Resistance from their Unique Master class.

5 hours ago, Owns said:

Often, the optimal builds advice comes off to someone like me as "if you do anything else you're not gonna make it". But then again considering how people are able to solo Maddening, that can't possibly be the case.

I'm not sure what you mean by this... Are you saying solo Maddening isn't optimized? Because I'm pretty sure it is. Often, solos are Avoid tanks, and they are very specific with skill sets and equips. For girl and guy characters, the optimization is different because of skill availability, mostly Defiant Avoid and Quick Riposte. Or are you talking about optimization for each specific character?

-

By the way, not sure where you're at right in the game right now, but equip Swordbreaker on Dimitri and give him an Evasion/Speed Ring along with a variety of lances (Iron+, Silver+, Killer+, etc.) before completing the 12th chapter.

Also, if you are curious about builds in general, you should visit people's playthroughs, because some of them do a rundown of their characters before starting the chapter.

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5 hours ago, May said:

One thing I learned is that it's somewhat hard to deviate from the norm, and you are actually not deviating from the norm at all. Those are very standard builds for your characters, and there's nothing wrong with that.

Oh yes most of my team does follow fairly standard builds. I'm probably only deviating with an experimental hybrid build on Sylvain. I also use Annette as my main mage which I think should be standard but I read a lot of people make her a dancer? I don't know why people say she's a weak mage, she can ORKO most enemies in my run but I haven't reached the end yet. But anyway, even amongst standard builds, there's still some variety and depending on which post/comments you read you might not get that impression. It can take a lot of time on online communities to uncover various 'strong' builds people have come up with for any particular character.

The other question that tends to nag me as someone trying Maddening for the first time, is "okay, xyz may be the best build for said character, but does that mean they'll be useless if I try something different? How important is it to actually stick to one build over another?" And I think the answer depends on many things including play style, what people set as their bar for what constitutes a "strong" build, maybe even rng during level ups. So I think having examples to look with some explanations can shed a lot of light.

Even two people who make the exact same "build" might have a different perception on how good it was depending on how they used it, what abilities they chose to use, and how it synergized with the rest of their team. So I think that even what might be a build that looks bad on paper and in isolation, might end up being very useful depending on how it fits in with the rest of the team.

5 hours ago, May said:

This is a great idea, however my non-NG+ Maddening run was a 100 hours ago, so I would have no way to salvage my unit stats and information. ) : I am however on my 3rd NG+, 4th overall, run where I am only using guys on Silver Snow. But unfortunately, you're suggesting that we don't post NG+ runs.

You know, I thought NG+ games would have so many possibilities that it might end up being too much. I'm also under the impression that NG+ is relatively easy making the need less important. That's probably why I was more interested in NG only, but NG+ builds seem to be quite popular in discussions so why not include them? If people want to share those builds then by all means, I'll add those to the list and just indicate NG+! I'll edit my post to reflect this.

5 hours ago, May said:

I'm not sure what you mean by this... Are you saying solo Maddening isn't optimized?

What I meant is that the fact Maddening can beat solo, suggests that you don't necessarily need to optimize your entire team to beat Maddening. I realize solo depends on hogging exp on Byleth and how that gets spread out makes a difference but still?

5 hours ago, May said:

By the way, not sure where you're at right in the game right now, but equip Swordbreaker on Dimitri and give him an Evasion/Speed Ring along with a variety of lances (Iron+, Silver+, Killer+, etc.) before completing the 12th chapter.

Only just beat Ch 13 and yea that's typically how I have him. The screenshot above was specifically for Ch 12 and there are now sword wielding enemies in that battle so I changed to an Axe Breaker focus. I've been switching the speed ring between him and Byleth up until now but I just got my evade ring from Ch13 so I'll take your advice and stick that on him 🙂

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57 minutes ago, LoneRecon400 said:

Well here's a Maddening GD playthough i did recently.

It was my 5th Playthough with no DLC involved. It was also a very relaxed Playthough, as I'd would rout some of the earlygame maps for Class Mastery so it can't be really used too seriously. But if you want something to reference, there you go.

This is great! Thanks for sharing. Do you think you could mention the early game map routing somewhere in the builds post? Feels like an important note if anyone wanted to use it as a guide.

Edited by Owns

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I would think Leonie could work better as a Falcon Knight because she's naturally very fast and lance jab doing more damage based off of her speed looks really good especially with lancefaire. Having Bow at A rank also helps her out too giving her Point-Blank Volley as a distant attacking option. But that's just me personally

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19 hours ago, Owns said:

I also use Annette as my main mage which I think should be standard but I read a lot of people make her a dancer? I don't know why people say she's a weak mage, she can ORKO most enemies in my run but I haven't reached the end yet.

Annette is frowned upon as a mage not because of her stats, but because of her spell list.  All of her reason list is effectively 1-2 range generic attack spells.  She doesn't get a 3-range spell like Thoron or Banshee.  She doesn't get a siege magic spell like Bolting or Meteor.  The only spell that she gets that attacks a weakness is Excalibur, but it only gets bonus damage on fliers, which you can get anyway with any bow.  And doesn't get the best high-end power spells like Agnea's Arrow or Hades.  And her Faith list is just terrible.  She doesn't get Physic, which is the default spell for healing in this game.  She doesn't get any mass healing.  She doesn't get any utility spell like Rescue, Warp, or Ward.  And she doesn't get any useful attack spells like Seraphim or Luna.

Pretty much every other character in the game who is intended to be a mage can check at least one of these boxes.  Many mages can check multiple boxes from this list.  Annette doesn't check any of them.  Her stats are fine, even good, for a mage, particularly in the early game.  But as other mages get more utility with their spell lists, Annette's value plummets.

19 hours ago, Owns said:

he other question that tends to nag me as someone trying Maddening for the first time, is "okay, xyz may be the best build for said character, but does that mean they'll be useless if I try something different? How important is it to actually stick to one build over another?" And I think the answer depends on many things including play style, what people set as their bar for what constitutes a "strong" build, maybe even rng during level ups.

This is a harder question to answer.  You can make ballpark estimations for expected stat growth by looking at the growth rates for individual classes and making an educated guess at how long each unit will be in each class.  It's usually a safe assumption the units will be in commoner/noble from 1-4, beginner classes from 5-9 (5 level), intermediate from 10-19 (10 levels), advanced from 20-29 (10 levels), and master from 30-45 (~15 levels).  The only big exception here is for units that stop at Advanced classes for a given playthrough (e.g. Assassins and Paladins).  And if you plan to split time between classes in a tier, you can split the levels accordingly.

For example, let's do a compare and contrast of two common builds for Ferdinand: Paladin and Wyvern Lord.  Let's assume that in both cases he goes Noble->Fighter-Brigand (to pick up Death Blow) for his first 15 levels.  For the Paladin build, he would get 5 levels of Cavalier, then 25 levels of Paladin.  For the Wyvern Lord path, he would get 5 more levels of Brigand, 10 levels of Wyvern Rider, then 15 levels of Wyvern Lord.  The expected growth in each of these builds due solely to the growth rates of the classes in some key stats would be:

Ferdinand (Paladin): 8.5 HP, 2.75 STR, -3 SPD

Ferdinand (Wyvern Lord): 9 HP, 3.75 STR, 1.5 SPD

Note there would also be minor differences in other stats, but they aren't really significant.  The upshot is that for these two builds, the difference between the classes isn't that huge in most stats.  The one difference that you *should* pay attention to is speed.  There's a 4.5 point difference in speed between these two builds, and that's before we even consider that Wyvern Lord gets a +4 speed class bonus, while Cavalier actually gets -1 speed as a class trait.  So using these two builds, you could expect your endgame Wyvern Lord to have about 9.5 more speed than your endgame Paladin.  That's a really big difference, and given how valuable speed is in Maddening, you can see why many players would prefer the Wyvern Lord build for Ferdinand.

RNG may come into a little bit, as would potential stat buffs due class stat minimums, but less than you might think.

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6 hours ago, SumG said:

Annette is frowned upon as a mage not because of her stats, but because of her spell list.  All of her reason list is effectively 1-2 range generic attack spells.  She doesn't get a 3-range spell like Thoron or Banshee.  She doesn't get a siege magic spell like Bolting or Meteor.  The only spell that she gets that attacks a weakness is Excalibur, but it only gets bonus damage on fliers, which you can get anyway with any bow.  And doesn't get the best high-end power spells like Agnea's Arrow or Hades.  And her Faith list is just terrible.  She doesn't get Physic, which is the default spell for healing in this game.  She doesn't get any mass healing.  She doesn't get any utility spell like Rescue, Warp, or Ward.  And she doesn't get any useful attack spells like Seraphim or Luna.

Pretty much every other character in the game who is intended to be a mage can check at least one of these boxes.  Many mages can check multiple boxes from this list.  Annette doesn't check any of them.  Her stats are fine, even good, for a mage, particularly in the early game.  But as other mages get more utility with their spell lists, Annette's value plummets.

Okay these are all good points. I guess I look at things a little differently. I look at a character and try to find what they're good at and in the case of Annette what jumped out at me was her rally abilities. Rally Speed and Strength is not a trivial combination, I'd say it's OP even. She also gets rally Resistance which can help even Dedue survive magic attacks while he's destroying with boosted Str and Spd. So I saw her as a rally bot first, and based on many discussions I read online, decided to go with Lysithea as my main mage. Then as I progressed and by the time I recruited Lysithea (Ch 6 or 7 i think) I noticed that Annette's actually quite strong, despite not having any of said non-generic spells, she can still ORKO most enemies (at least so far), this is on top of her amazing rally? "Damn, she's good," so I just kept using her as my main mage. At first I gave her a March ring since her focus was on rallying others it made it easier for her to not fall behind as the team moved forward. As everyone got stronger, rally becomes less important and she's become more powerful as a mage so I switched to a Caduceus staff when I got it, range problem solved.  Obviously rally is still super useful especially against tougher enemies or to boost one of my weaker units.

The other thing I'd say is I try to look at characters in a wider team context. The above analysis is part of the reason why I started this post in the first place. And by the way, it's a great analysis, very useful and insightful, I don't mean there's anything wrong with it. But it's also an example of looking at characters in isolation. Annette is in the BL house which has a heavy focus on physical units. Their main enemy will have a heavy focus on magic units and as I understand it, the end game will be full of mages. Annette has a rally ability that further boosts physical ability and survivability; Str and Speed both help you get double hits or avoid getting double hit, then her rally Res makes enemy mages less effective. To trade all that away for say Lysithea simply because her spells hit harder sounds like a loss to me. I also think it's a waste to use her as a dancer because that forces you to choose between dance or rally when you already have to choose between rally or attacking/healing. Being able to use Rally and also dance on the same turn (I'm using Flayn as my dancer) is extremely powerful. I like to build teams with good synergy, and I think that each house was designed in a way to boost synergy as well, it's just a matter of finding how to make the most of each character's abilities.

Or maybe I'm just sentimental and don't like excluding people so I try to find ways to make them more useful 😂

 

Edited by Owns

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It's a fair point that on NG runs in particular, you should be looking to maximise the effectiveness of each unit in the context of their house, which means that Annette should be one of your go-to magic attackers until at least Ch. 13. I've found in particular that she's one of the faster mages in the game, which means she's doubling more often in the early game than other mages (which at least originally makes up for her spell list perhaps).

Of course, that is just within the context of the Blue Lions house specifically - for all the reasons @SumG mentioned, and perhaps a couple more, she ends up lacking as a magical attacker in the latter parts of the game when compared to other recruitable mages (to the point where I'd want to recruit a unit specifically to be my magical attacker in the late-game). NG or not, I've recruited her in every run I've done (she has similar requirements to Lysithea, which are also in one of Byleth's proficiencies, so I've always ended up recruiting both of them), and I've found that other mages have consistently outperformed her in Part 2. She is no longer fast enough to double anything that other mages can't double, and tends not to have enough Mag to OHKO (I actually found this happening consistently in late Part I too - perhaps your Annette is Mag-blessed?). But, as you say, Rally Strength in particular is a great Rally throughout the game (especially as a personal), and I think it's because I don't use rallybots in general that Annette hasn't seen almost any action for me in Part 2 - I can understand keeping her in as a rallybot even if she no longer is the best magical attacker I could field. 

Just a warning about Rally Speed, however, that it tails off a fair bit in the lategame. As the game progresses Rally Speed is often no longer enough to stop units from getting doubled, let alone doubling units they otherwise wouldn't. In Maddening enemies tend to branch into two categories - enemies that aren't hard to double (between 0-25 AS from Ch. 13 to Ch. 19-20) and enemies that will normally double any of your party (AS in the late 30s and up). The latter category will pretty consistently be out of your reach - you aren't likely to have more than one unit who won't get doubled by sword users/fliers even when you use rallies/dance on them, and there will be enough speedy units around for you to expect that lots of your army will have to engage them. I don't think that it affects Annette's rallybot status (she still has the best set of rally skills in the game), but it is a consideration for using her in your late-game team.

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15 hours ago, haarhaarhaar said:

I've found that other mages have consistently outperformed her in Part 2. She is no longer fast enough to double anything that other mages can't double, and tends not to have enough Mag to OHKO (I actually found this happening consistently in late Part I too - perhaps your Annette is Mag-blessed?).

Thanks for your input, everything you said, and in particular this point will be good for me to keep in mind as I continue to progress. I don't know if she's Mag-blessed but that's the kind of thing that we might be able to find out if we had more example end game builds/stats in this list to compare with 🙂 

15 hours ago, haarhaarhaar said:

Just a warning about Rally Speed, however, that it tails off a fair bit in the lategame. As the game progresses Rally Speed is often no longer enough to stop units from getting doubled, let alone doubling units they otherwise wouldn't.

Ah, another good point to keep in mind. Although speed also boosts avoid. I believe +4 speed means +4 chance to evade, no? That sounds still useful. Anyway, I haven't finished a maddening run yet and I'm learning that the game is in fact quite dynamic with changing tactics from the early game compared to mid or late game. I see that as a good thing btw! Until I do finish a run I can't give a fully informed opinion about much so I'll just take your and others' advice. Thanks for the insights.

Edited by Owns

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5 hours ago, Owns said:

Okay these are all good points. I guess I look at things a little differently. I look at a character and try to find what they're good at and in the case of Annette what jumped out at me was her rally abilities. Rally Speed and Strength is not a trivial combination, I'd say it's OP even.

I was only talking about Annette's value as a mage.  Annette (along with Ignatz) is a very good rally unit.  Unfortunately, you can't really have a unit perform well as both a rally unit and a mage.  Units only get one action per turn, so you have to choose.  Annette is totally usable early because of her Rally abilities on Blue Lion runs, and during that time she's an adequate mage.  But she just doesn't increase in value nearly as much as most units in the game as the game progresses.

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This thread is one of the things that convinced me to register since Annette was definitely my Maddening BL run's MVP by a wide margin. Some of this was getting rng blessed, but I think it's more about the unusual way I used her. 

Going into it, I'm pretty experienced with Fire Emblem and especially the higher difficulties. I generally play each game on the highest, reasonable(looking at you Awakening and Radiant Dawn), difficulty for my first play through. This includes every game past FE6, with the exception of Birthright and Revelation, which I haven't played. Conquest Lunatic is one of my favorite games.


Blue Lions Maddening: NG, Blind

I did Crimson Flower and Verdant Winds runs before Maddening came out and was looking for a greater challenge in my first Blue Lions run.

DLC use was odd. Abyss came out halfway through my run and I completed it towards the end, so no bonus characters or items that were relevant.

Though I had it from the beginning, I refused to use the special grinding battle. I also held off on using any of the DLC items until the third to last chapter, where I just got tired. So, I gave my strongest flier the broken boots and LTC'd the final few chapters of the game. I also made use of the completely broken accessory in order to make the final chapter less annoying. I could've used retaliation battalions instead, but... keeping track of that was irritating considering how few units I had who could handle enemy phase. 

I have rough memories of each stage of the game and will be going over what each unit was used for and when they had that role.

Each character can have several important roles. The main ones are as followed. 

Tank: split into physical, magical, dodge, and vantage. Tanks are units who I felt comfortable exposing to 3+ enemies during enemy phase.  Vantage tanks need to also be Damage because they only work if they can keep one rounding everything(they also tend to die to gambits and siege). 

Damage: Damage units are capable of one rounding enemies reliably. Damage- means they can one round unreliably or with support.

Support: Has some sort of useful non-combat ability. Dancing, Rally, Warp.

Healing: Can heal people. That's about it.

The game itself was also split into phases with very distinct challenges for me.

Stages: Early(Chapter 1-4), Mid(Chapter 5-12), Late(Chapter 13-19) End(Chapter 20-22). 

The stages of the game are split up like this because of what they represented for my run.

Early game is far and away the hardest portion. You have no tools and the enemies are incredibly punishing. The only chapter which had a comparable number of resets to the early game is chapter 13. 

Tanks were very important and anyone capable of one rounding an enemy was vital. All of the resources got fed into units capable of doing that. 

Mid game for me is defined by your main units having access to intermediate classes. You have some levels, some skills, and a good number of different types of weapons or combat arts. 

A lot more characters became capable of handling themselves here, but one flew past everyone else by a wide margin thanks to being a physical and magic tank with good damage.

Late game is the majority of the post-timeskip section. You have most of your diversity and need to build up a team capable of handling endgame. This is where many of the characters who I was sort of training became benched if they didn't wind up leveling well.

Everyone who wasn't doing well, who could fly was made into a flier for this section, just to keep them alive.

End game is the very end where almost everything that you have to do is direct plot and all units' builds are locked in. Adjuncts became armor units and doding all enemy action was the name of the game.

Playstyle:

I tend to play very aggressively and quickly. I'll clear as many enemies as I can during player phase and tend to only use tanks who can either get close to killing enemies or who also count as Damage. I aimed for efficient play overall and was willing to take risks to clear maps faster, not in a turn count sense, but in an overall playtime sense. 

I did my monastery sections as effectively I could until halfway through Late game. Fishing was the worst. I know it's important, but I am so bored of it that I ignored the fistfuls of fish days.

Some characters I went out of my way to grind supports with during meals in order to recruit them, others I got once my stats were higher enough because more paralouges is useful.

In particular, I held off on recruiting Leonie and Hilda thanks to how their levels and extra growths would work out. 

Gardening benefits were primarily strength or magic bonuses, trying to push whoever was near the Damage line over it. This was basically all that I did in the late game. 

Characters in the final team:

Apologies for the bad images, I need to get an SD card reader at some point. 

Bylass - https://i.imgur.com/QTjk1s2.jpg

Class Progression: Soldier > Thief(for the mastery) > Pegasus Knight > Falcon Knight
Early: Damage- 
Mid: Damage
Late: Damage, Dodge Tank
End: Damage, Dodge Tank
Byleth is almost always a good unit and going up the line to Falcon Knight seemed like a good fit for her. This was partially because I planned to recruit Leonie and needed to raise lance rank anyway. I didn't get very good defense or resistance on her, so she was stuck in player phase only for a long time.

By the end, she was capable of soloing entire sections of a map with Retribution and nearly solo'd the final boss because only one person could be carrying the Rafail Gem.

Dimitri - https://i.imgur.com/mqa2OT2.jpg

Class Progression: Soldier > Archer > Cavalier > Sniper > Bow Knight
Early: Damage 
Mid: Damage
Late: Damage, Vantage Tank
End: Damage, Vantage Tank

Pretty basic Battalion Vantage + Wrath for Dimitri. Once it got going, he wiped out huge portions of the map through innate long range and tons of crits. 
In the early game, his Tempest Lance was one of the only things which would reliably one round enemies. 

This is important because his bulk was awful. Defense and Resistance? What Defense and Resistance? He wound up worse than Felix, comparable to Mercedes's physical bulk.

Felix - https://i.imgur.com/0xEwKz0.jpg

Class Progression: Fighter > Archer > Cavalier > Sniper > Bow Knight
Early: Damage 
Mid: Damage
Late: Damage
End: Damage

Felix always hits hard and fast. He never fell off at doing this, keeping up even at the very end. Unfortunately, he didn't have any utility beyond that or the ability to survive enemy phase, so canto and huge range was a godsend on him. 

Mercedes - https://i.imgur.com/Nk94Caw.jpg

Class Progression: Monk > Mage > Bishop > Gremory
Early: Healing, Damage-
Mid: Healing, Magic Tank
Late: Healing, Magic Tank
End: Healing, Magic Tank

Mercedes is the best healer in the game. She does her job super well. Early on she also contributed valuable damage against some enemies. 

Bishop is the better final class for pure healing, and sometimes I swapped her to it, but I wanted the extra movement of Gremory more often.

Ingrid - https://i.imgur.com/pVXRew5.jpg

Class Progression: Fighter > Brigand(mastery skill) > Armor Knight(unlock) > Pegasus Knight > Wyvern Rider > Wyvern Lord
Early: Damage- 
Mid: Damage-, Physical Tank
Late: Damage, Dodge Tank
End: Damage, Dodge Tank

While Ingrid is basically built to be a Falcon Knight, I've been disapointed in her damage in other runs so I sent her up the axe line and wasn't disappointed. She's also one of the units who got a lot of use out of unlocking Armor Knight. Having 12 def at around level 12 was incredible for surviving, even if her damage was player phase loaded.

This added bulk kept her going until she had the speed, and alert stance, to just dodge everything. 

Marianne - https://i.imgur.com/29v1qKH.jpg

Class Progression: Priest > Bishop > Valkyrie > Holy Knight(unlock)
Early: -
Mid: Healing, Magic Tank, Damage-
Late: Healing, Magic Tank, Damage-
End: Healing

Marianne was one of the first recruits that made it to endgame. I found myself without enough healing for the amount of damage taken and she provided noticeable chip that let other people kill.

Catherine - https://i.imgur.com/7CwiAev.jpg

Class Progression: Sword Master > Assassin > Mage > Mortal Savant > Sword Master
Early: -
Mid: Damage, Physical Tank
Late: Damage-, Healing
End: Damage-

Recruited Catherine as early as possible and she didn't disappoint. She sort of fell off in late game, but training the meme-build of mortal savant allowed her to be a backup healer while still providing some damage. Eventually, I swapped back to a real class, once the dodge tanks had fully come online and I didn't need extra healing anymore.

I would have benched her, but the others were even less useful and she wasn't a liability, could even one round with brave weapons. 

Lysithea - https://i.imgur.com/rvPLFhP.jpg

Class Progression: Mage > Mercenary(mastery skill) > Warlock > Gremory 
Early: -
Mid: Damage, Support, Vantage/Magic Tank
Late: Damage, Support, Vantage/Magic Tank
End: Damage-, Support

Lysithea is a unit with so many interesting things she can do, mostly warp in endgame. 

I raised her sword rank to give her an additional one shot option and picked up Vantage because it allowed her to have a relevant enemy phase for quite some time. Besides that, this feels like a pretty normal build for her.

Dorothea - https://i.imgur.com/gcU8hdM.jpg

Class Progression: Mage > Dancer > Warlock(unlock) 
Early: -
Mid: Healing, Support
Late: Support
End: Support

Dorothea is a great dancer with a decent spell list. She spent most of the game with Meteor equipped and dancing. 

Hilda - https://i.imgur.com/9cmi17e.jpg

Class Progression: Brigand(mastery skill) > Wyvern Rider > Wyvern Lord
Early: -
Mid: Damage, Physical Tank
Late: Damage
End: Damage

Hilda! Hilda! Hilda! came in hitting hard and one rounding enemies, which is exactly what I wanted her to do. She kept it up even into late game, though her bulk fell off. 

Leonie - https://i.imgur.com/TkvaWec.jpg

Class Progression: Cavalier > Archer > Sniper > Bow Knight
Early: -
Mid: -
Late: Damage, Physical Tank
End: Damage, Physical Tank

Leonie was technically in the party for the end of Mid, but didn't see much happen there. She was immediately a powerful physical contender and actually could make enemies ping off of her at end game, while not being doubled.

Annette - https://i.imgur.com/wo5x2H1.jpg

Class Progression: Monk > Mage > Armor Knight(unlock) > Warlock > Wyvern Rider > Wyvern Lord
Early: Damage-, Support, Healing
Mid: Damage, Tank, Support, Healing
Late: Damage, Tank, Support
End: Damage, Support

Last, but certainly not least, we have Annette, my MVP and by far the unit who surprised me the most. I wasn't expecting too much from her thanks to keeping her as a Mage during my BE run, then I noticed that she could easily unlock Armor Knight. This one unlock turned her into an enemy phase machine during the first few chapters who could take on either physical or magical enemies, laugh off their damage, and either kill or come close to it.

She and Dedue were front line buddies for so long and she out-leveled everyone, save Mercedes, for most of the game. Her rallies also let Dimitri or Felix one round when they needed it(cursed 1-2 range where she couldn't handle the problem herself).

In the end game, her bulk didn't keep up. Instead, she became the single cheapest and most reliable source of "one enemy dies". Lightning Axe with a Training Axe was enough for non-magical enemies, those it wasn't either got Bolt Axe or Lightning Axe + Killer Axe(poor Hubert, she took him out as the only attack on that map). At the absolute worst, it's be use a relic with this. 

At the credits, her kill count blew Dimitri(the next highest) out of the water. 

Other notable characters:

Dedue

Class Progression: Soldier > Fighter > Armor Knight > Wyvern Rider
Early: Physical Tank
Mid: Physical Tank
Late: Benched

Dedue was a godsend early on. One of the only units able to take multiple this for a long time, but this wasn't as useful on Maddening when thieves with pass were all over the place or archers shot over him. He still had his niche, until the time  skip when he could never catch up. Also... armor knights could never keep up with anyone else, soooo....

Sylvain

Class Progression: Soldier > Cavalier > Paladin

Early: Damage-
Mid: Damage-, Physical Tank
Late: Benched

Sylvain had some decent early game bulk and damage. He was even vital for Death Knight kills, but he sadly fell off. 

Petra

Class Progression: Brigand(mastery skill) > Wyvern Rider > Wyvern Lord
Early: -
Mid: Damage
Late: Damage-
End: Benched

Petra was doing really well for a while, but stopped leveling strength. Eventually it came down to her or Catherine. Catherine was just better, especially since she wasn't in competition for limited flying battalions. 

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On 6/22/2020 at 9:26 PM, SumG said:

I was only talking about Annette's value as a mage.  Annette (along with Ignatz) is a very good rally unit.  Unfortunately, you can't really have a unit perform well as both a rally unit and a mage.  Units only get one action per turn, so you have to choose.  Annette is totally usable early because of her Rally abilities on Blue Lion runs, and during that time she's an adequate mage.  But she just doesn't increase in value nearly as much as most units in the game as the game progresses.

This seems in line with what @haarhaarhaar was saying. It's a good point about how they continue to grow, something I'll keep in mind. Frankly I think if a character is that strong early on but suddenly becomes poor towards the end it would be poor design from the developers. Maybe her strength in Axes and the fact she obtains an axe relic are clues to head in that direction for the end game. I've seen people swear by how awesome she is as a Wyvern Rider/Lord and how she can OHKO using LIghtning Axe (including the latest builds submission by @Graveless. Damn I really like that idea now but have already been investing in Riding to make her a Dark Knight for canto + Black Tomefaire. Not sure if i have time to switch build paths at this point (Ch. 14). Oh well, I think I'll just keep at it and see how it goes.

@Graveless Welcome to the forum and thank you for sharing your build. Very interesting team you've got there. Surprised you made both Dimitri and Felix into Snipers/Bow Knights. Not uncommon for Felix but I certainly haven't seen that often for Dimitri. That said, from my own play through, I'm aware that they are both very strong with a bow. I'll admit I feel like it's a bit of a shame you caved into the DLC items just at the end like that 😅 (as selfish that is of me to say, apologies) but I get it, not judging. Sometimes one just wants to finish up and move on. Doesn't sound like you were having a difficult time of things anyway.

1 hour ago, Graveless said:

I raised her sword rank to give her an additional one shot option and picked up Vantage because it allowed her to have a relevant enemy phase for quite some time

I'm surprised you managed to use vantage on Lysithea. How did she even manage to not get 1-shot? Her HP is ridiculously low.

1 hour ago, Graveless said:

Last, but certainly not least, we have Annette, my MVP and by far the unit who surprised me the most.

Wow, very interesting progression here and this does sound powerful. I can imagine a high res early-game armor knight cheese much of the early game. IIRC she has a strength in the weekly weeding task for raising heavy armor, is that what you mean by easy to unlock Armor Knight? Because she does have a weakness in heavy armor skill. Others too have sworn by her prowess as a wyvern lord and using Lightning Axe.

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8 hours ago, Owns said:

Frankly I think if a character is that strong early on but suddenly becomes poor towards the end it would be poor design from the developers. Maybe her strength in Axes and the fact she obtains an axe relic are clues to head in that direction for the end game. I've seen people swear by how awesome she is as a Wyvern Rider/Lord and how she can OHKO using LIghtning Axe

I don't think have different characters peak at different times is necessarily bad.  Fire Emblem as a franchise is well known for having one or two disproportionately strong characters in the party at the start of the game, only for them to fall off in utility as it progresses.

The Wyvern Lord Annette build on Maddening is...OK?  I've tried it on Maddening NG+, and I'd hesitate to go any further than that.  It's also much stronger on the BL route, since you gain access to the Crusher.  The benefit in the past to the build was that it was one of the few ways you could get good magic damage on a mounted unit.  Now that the DLC is out and the Dark Flier and Valkyrie classes are a thing, it's less of a benefit.  Wyvern is primarily designed to be a physical class, while Annette is intended to be a mage unit, so their stat growths aren't totally in line.  There's a 15% growth rate difference in magic between most of the magic classes and the wyvern classes, so you'd be losing out on some amount of raw magic power.  Similarly, no matter what benefit you get from Wyvern Rider/Lord, they won't make up for Annette's poor growths in strength, defense, or speed.  Even in a Wyvern class, she isn't going to be a front line fighter.

Additionally, the Bolt Axe is not a panacea either.  It's powerful and can get up to 3 range (with Bolt Axe+), but it is very heavy, inaccurate, and expensive to repair.  Even with Wyvern Rider/Lord base strength, Annette's going to be taking a pretty significant AS penalty for using the weapon and her speed isn't fantastic to begin with.  You should expect her to attacking as a mage would be attacking (i.e. getting one attack per combat and getting doubled by most enemy units).  No only that, but even though the weapon triangle is much reduced in this game it still exists, particularly in Maddening.  Magic attacks typically operate outside of this, allowing for consistent accuracy against most enemy types.  But many sword users will have Axebreaker, which will give them bonus avoid against Annette's magic attacks.  And the Bolt Axe has a base accuracy of 60%, which will be 20-30% less than most magic spells you'd be using on a regular basis.  That doesn't sound like much, but accuracy issues are a real concern on Maddening.

In my playthrough using Wyvern Lord Annette, she was very similar to a standard mage in terms of utility.  She was perhaps a little stronger in terms of magic power (though that might be due to how I generally use lower power, more accurate spells with most of my mages), but had poor accuracy.  Is it useable?  As much as any other character in the game.  Is it standout good?  Not particularly.

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15 hours ago, Owns said:

Welcome to the forum and thank you for sharing your build. Very interesting team you've got there. Surprised you made both Dimitri and Felix into Snipers/Bow Knights. Not uncommon for Felix but I certainly haven't seen that often for Dimitri. That said, from my own play through, I'm aware that they are both very strong with a bow. I'll admit I feel like it's a bit of a shame you caved into the DLC items just at the end like that 😅 (as selfish that is of me to say, apologies) but I get it, not judging. Sometimes one just wants to finish up and move on. Doesn't sound like you were having a difficult time of things anyway.

It came from laziness mostly for Dimitri. I didn't want to worry about keeping Retribution up on him, so going bows  made more sense than trying to make use of magic weapons. 

I also felt the same on DLC items, but I wasn't having problems clearing maps, they were just tedious... Actually, tedious sounds like a very good description of both early game and late game on Maddening. All thanks to the stupidly high damage output of enemies on each mode.

At endgame, only high-avoid units, and Vantage Dimitri, were allowed to see a significant enemy phase.

Even Leonie, who was incredibly def blessed and my only unit with significant def, crumpled thanks to 60+ Attack with 40+ AS coming in. Magic in general destroyed her. 

In the final map, Byleth, Ingrid, and Dimitri did almost everything because they were the only ones who could and Byleth beat the final boss almost entirely by herself. Everyone else needed to do hit and run.

15 hours ago, Owns said:

I'm surprised you managed to use vantage on Lysithea. How did she even manage to not get 1-shot? Her HP is ridiculously low.

It wasn't too hard to get her into vantage range by purposefully taking an early hit, rather than killing on player phase. The vantage tank period of her life was also pretty short-lived, only a few chapters. It did allow me to use her for specific chokes and kills later on though.

15 hours ago, Owns said:

Wow, very interesting progression here and this does sound powerful. I can imagine a high res early-game armor knight cheese much of the early game. IIRC she has a strength in the weekly weeding task for raising heavy armor, is that what you mean by easy to unlock Armor Knight? Because she does have a weakness in heavy armor skill. Others too have sworn by her prowess as a wyvern lord and using Lightning Axe.

Armor Knight was only for the unlock, she was a tank as a Mage with 12 starting Def for most of that time period.

Who then kept leveling def for a while.

As for getting the unlock, a couple of lectures and a few weeks of armor training focus for her to reach D. This was enough to unlock the class with her initial Axe rank. 

Looking at stat averages, I think that:

6 hours ago, SumG said:

In my playthrough using Wyvern Lord Annette, she was very similar to a standard mage in terms of utility. 

SmuG's experience is probably closer to normal.

My Annette was flying around one rounding enemies and could take a reasonable number of hits on enemy phase until chapter 16 or so.

I looked at what's expected for her in this build and I got average in most stats... with 14 extra points of Mag. I know I fed some of the mag boosters to her, but most of my gardening was spent patching up Byleth, Catherine, and Ingrid's Strength. That extra Mag easily explains why I was able to use her to one-shot almost anything. I actually looked at dark flier for her and was disappointed by the amount of damage her spells did compared to Lightning Axe. They'd usually leave enemies barely alive, just like Lysithea did in the late game.

Annette as a Wyvern Lord had more Mag than Gremory Lysithea... which explains a lot about why she was so effective. 

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Re: Wyvern Lord Annette, I used her on Blue Lions Maddening (with NG+), and was very happy with her. She can cast Rally Strength/Speed on any single ally within 9 tiles, and Canto away afterward. And an attacking range of 11 with the Bolt Axe+ is matched only by a Dark Flier with Thyrsus (or Caduceus and S-Reason). Her hit rates won't be perfect, but this can be shored up by the Accuracy Ring, certain batallions, and Lancebreaker (and, of course, Axe Prowess). Crusher was good when she wanted to double up close, or use Dust, and Bolt Axe was great for the range. Her steaks-and-cakes, though, were high-Mt (Devil, Steel+) or effective (Hammer, Ukonvasara) Axes with the Lightning Axe combat art. Armored foes in particular, she cleaved through like a hot axe through a buttery paper bag. Let her fly in, deliver a one-shot, and fly out to wherever she's needed next.

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Not sure if others would consider this worthwhile, but here's an example of the rally+dance combo I mentioned before. You can see it takes the enemy's hit from 30% down to 21% (I guess some rounding is involved?) Edit: no, it's from rally str.

Enemy's hit after Wait.

Spoiler

hit-before.jpg.0441819fd4fb8ec952618c4ca879e6f1.jpg

After Rally Speed:

Spoiler

hit-after-rally.jpg.c575c7e150836c77b06cecf03cf29d19.jpg

After Rally Speed + Special Dance:

Spoiler

hit-after-rally-and-dance.jpg.9e100d40743890b29454d6bae2ca79e8.jpg

 

I don't use this combo too often but it can come in handy in situations like this when the only thing I want to do this turn is to bait. I could've increased my evade further with an evasion ring and lighter weapon, but instead this allows me a high evade while I have a crit ring and crit weapon equipped for a high crit chance on the counter attack to kill during enemy phase. Obviously in this case, Ingrid has received a total of +8 Spd and +4 str/dex/luck. Oh, that's where the extra -1 hit comes from, the str boost affecting weight and AS.

I also use this sometimes when I want to send in a unit to safely dispatch a bothersome enemy deep behind enemy lines.

Edited by Owns
Correction on totals gained from the boosts

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Finished my NG Verdant Wind maddening run recently, this is what I ended up with.
Going to be using the format Graveless did since it's easy to read and goes through everything.

I did utilize repo on all my fliers which made some parts (Manuela paralogue specifically) very easy.

DLC wise, I did the Anna quests as well as used the Sauna and some auxiliary battles early in the game.

 

F!Byleth

Class Progression: Soldier > Pegasus Knight > Falcon Knight
Early: Damage-
Mid: Damage, Dodge Tank
Late: Damage, Dodge Tank

Byleth turned out amazing. I ended up investing heavy into swords for Wind Sweep and I don't regret it.
Opening on a boss with a Wo Dao+ crit allowed Ignatz to take the rest out.


Claude

Class Progression: Soldier>Brigand>Archer>Sniper>Wyvern Rider>Barbarosa
Early: Damage 
Mid: Damage
Late: Dodge Tank/Crowd Control


Honestly, I was not impressed at all with my Claude. I felt that he struggled to keep up to damage with Leonie and Ignatz. I ended up using him as another dodge tank and utilizing his battalion and encloser to lock down enemies that I couldn't deal with on that turn.

Hilda

Class Progression: Soldier>Brigand>Wyvern Rider>Wyvern Lord
Early: Damage 
Mid: Damage
Late: Damage


Cookie cutter wyvern build for Hilda. Did great damage, could take a hit or two. Nothing much else to say.

Ignatz

Class Progression: Fighter>Brigand>Archer>Sniper
Early: Damage
Mid: Damage
Late: BIG Damage
 

Let me tell you about this boy. I have never been so impressed with a unit in my entire life. Hunter's Volley with a Killer Bow+ or Silver Bow+ deleted anything on player phases.

Leonie

Class Progression: Soldier>Brigand>Pegasus Knight>Falcon Knight
Early: Damage
Mid: Damage
Late: Damage, Dodge Tank

I decided to focus a lot on Leonie because I wanted to get her to Falcon Knight ASAP with Point Blank Volley and it did no disappoint. Later in the game I felt that throwing her as another avoid tank would be helpful. I found it useful, but I utilized her as a hit and run unit with PBV more.

Marianne

Class Progression: Monk>Mage>Bishop>Dancer
Early: Healer
Mid: Healer/Chip Damage
Late: Dancer
 

Marianne went through a few iterations. I felt that I needed to get her to be my dancer so she'd survive turn 1 of her paralogue (sword avoid 20) which did help a lot.
I ended up replacing her with Lindhardt as my primary healer and kept her a dancer.
A dancer is a dancer so good unit.

 

Lysithea

Class Progression: Mage>Bishop>Gremory
Early: - Damage
Mid: Damage/Warp
Late: Damage/Warp
 

Pretty standard here, decided to go Bishop for double warp since she doesn't really gain anything from warlock. She was able to one shot non-horses on the last map but I did feed her every mag booster I got.

Lorenz

Class Progression: Mage>Dark Mage>Warlock>Dark Knight
Early: Damage/Healing
Mid: Damage/Healing
Late: Chip Damage

I used Lorenz as a flex character in my roster. I got him poison strikes as well as Recover.
He just kind of did what I needed him to do on a particular turn, didn't excel at anything but was able to pick up slack.
 

Sylvain

Class Progression: Soldier>Brigand>Paladin

Early: Damage
Mid: Damage
Late: Damage

Swift strikes op is all I can say. Combing his relic or killer lances worked like Leonie's PBV or Ignatz's Hunter's Volley.

Raphael

Class Progression: Brigand>Grappler>Warmaster>Grappler

Early: Damage
Mid: Damage
Late: Damage

I opted to drop Raphael back to grappler for Fierce Iron Fist after I got Quick Riposte.
I felt that he shined for a few chapters but struggled to keep up with damage with the rest of the team.
He was able to not get doubled thanks to QR so that added some merit in baiting someone else if one of my dodge tanks weren't there.

Lindhardt

Class Progression: Soldier>Brigand>Paladin

Early: --
Mid: Healer
Late: Healer

Recruited solely to patch up the fact Marianne was going to be a dancer, also for the Leonie paralogue.
He healed, he did his job.

 

 

 

 

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Hey thanks for sharing your builds @overklok. Those look like the generally recommended builds for most characters and sounds like it served you well. If you have stats/screenshots from the end game it could be nice for people to compare as well, but no pressure.

On 6/29/2020 at 6:32 PM, overklok said:

Lindhardt

Class Progression: Soldier>Brigand>Paladin

This looks like you forgot to edit a copy/paste?

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Hello All,

I just finished up my first ever Maddening run today.

I will start by addressing the context questions and then move on the the builds for each of the characters as well as the progression path I had for them. I have screenshots of each character on the final map but none from before that point. I can add them later on if desired but they are still on the Switch.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Was it an NG or NG+ game?

It was NG.

Indicate which house/route was used.

The route is Crimson Flower.  I originally played the game in this order Crimson Flower -> Azure Moon ->  Cindered Shadows -> Verdant Wind on Hard/Classic before tackling Crimson Flower here on Maddening.

Was DLC used? If so, to what extent?

Yes. I used Constance in the first couple of chapters until I recruited Lysithea and then she was benched for the rest of the game. I also recruited each of the Ashen Wolves with the primary purpose of accessing their Paralogues for their fantastic battalions. I also used the Fetters of Dromi.

I also recruited Anna for access to her Paralogue and secret shop access and as this is Crimson Flower I used Jeritza as I did not get to use him the first time I played Crimson Flower. Finally, I did complete most of the DLC (blue) quests when/if they seemed worthwhile.

I did not at any point use the Sacred stat boost items, the Chalice, or any other DLC benefits not mentioned above. 

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Builds and Playstyle

Up front, I prefer to focus heavily on Battalions as I find it a very fun way to specialize different units besides how powerful gambits are. All of my units ended with B authority or higher and I prioritized training up powerful battalions to help overcome the stat differential on Maddening. Also, I spent a lot of time on Tea time which resulted in nearly all of my primary combat units having 20-30 Charisma by the last map.

In terms of units, I really enjoy using magic and having high accuracy so this was a heavy focus when deciding how to build my team overall. I intended to use every house member and to use classes that would allow them to get to or near to S+ weapons ranks without overly tedious grinding so I didn't go off the beaten path from their proficiencies very much.

My adjutants were: Lorenz on Ferdinand, Mercedes on Jeritza, and Manuela on Edelgard.

** Male Byleth **

Myrmidon - Brigand - Hero - Enlightened One

Sword Prowess Lv5, Swordfaire, Sword Crit +10, Death Blow, Axebreaker

Final Lv. 35: Highest Stats Str at 38, Cha at 46

Primary Items:  Silver Sword+, Brave Sword and SOTC

Battalion: Black Eagle Heavy Axes +7PAtk, +10Crit, -10Avo, +8Prt, +2Rsl, +10Cha

Throughout the early-mid game, Byleth used Brawling as well but by the time I was able to get a Brave Sword, Byleth didn't have the speed to be able to x4 enemies and so I switched to sword exclusively. Myrmidon was useful early on to get the Speed +2 while Brigand provided the ever-wonderful Death Blow. The only reason I went Hero is that I hit Level 20 just before I got the Enlightened One class and it was the only Advanced Class I could qualify for with the Axe training done for Brigand. I remained in the Enlightened One class for the small benefit of extra healing that it provided with 6 move.

Byleth was fairly strong throughout the game but started to fall-off in damage near the last 3rd of the game when his speed and defense just were not good enough anymore. In the end, I focused on trying to ensure he had just enough Str to ORKO with Brave Sword. He did surprisingly provide some fantastic off-healing in the Enlighted One class when I reached C Faith and could use Recover to save on Physic uses. 

** Edelgard **

Fighter - Brigand - Archer - Fortress Knight - Emperor

Axe Prowess Lv5, Axefaire, Hit +20, Deathblow, Lancebreaker

Final Lv. 38: Highest Stats Str at 44, Def at 40

Primary Items: Silver Axe+, Tomahawk, Brave Axe, Aymr, Fetters of Dromi, Kadmos Shield

Battalion: Empire Heavy Soldiers +6PAtk, -2MAtk, +15Hit, -10Avo, +9Prt, +1Rsl, +7Cha

Unsurprisingly, Edelgard was a top-performer throughout the game. My previous experience with axes led me to prioritize getting Archer mastered for Hit+20. With LanceBreaker and a high Def, Edie shrugged off all Pegasus Knights and Paladins even up to the end game. Silver Axe was used for powerful Combat Arts while Brave Axe and Aymr allowed her to ORKO many enemies and I switched to Tomahawk when just a little more range was needed to chip. 

I switched between the Fetters and Kadmos to give her more movement and more Def when necessary. I very often used Edelgard to bait enemies such as assassins, swordmasters and Pegasus knights because she was largely untouchable by them and being doubled didn't matter when she couldn't be hurt. If I kept her safe from Mages, Edelgard was nigh unstoppable.

** Hubert **

Monk - Mage - Warlock - Dark Bishop

Reason Lv5, Lance Prowess Lv3, Dark Tomefaire, Dark Magic Range+1, Magic +2

Final Lv 36: Highest Stats Mag at 45, Res at 34

Primary Items: Caduceus Staff, Arrow of Indra

Battalion: Macuil Evil Repelling Co. +7MAtk, +30Hit, +1Prt, +6Rsl, +10Cha

Hubert was incredibly powerful as he ended up having a very high magic with great Dex, Spd, and Res. Early-mid game Mire, Banshee, and Frozen Lance were life-savers. I initially had the Caduceus Staff on Dorothea but when she started to fall off in usefulness I gave it to Hubert to help him with his range issues. Dark Bishop was not really an ideal class for him but I had no chance of getting his riding skill high enough while also managing to get Reason up to S+ rank to make him a Dark Knight. I also already had Fiendish Blow from the Mage class which doesn't stack with the Fiendish Blow from Dark Bishop.

However, I thoroughly enjoyed having Hubert on the team and he outpowered Lysithea the entire game, even without Frozen Lance. I considered giving him my March Ring to help his movement issues but ultimately gave it over to Leonie instead so she could help chase down fliers. I relied on this guy a lot and he was fantastic. 

** Ferdinand **

Soldier - Brigand - Cavalier - Paladin

Lance Prowess Lv5, Lancefaire, Death Blow, Aegis, Swordbreaker

Final Lv 36: Highest Stats Strength 33, Cha 35

Primary Items: Gradivus, Spear of Assal, Silver Lance+

Battalion: Black Eagle Calvary +7PAtk, +20Hit, +5Avo, +5Prt, +10Cha

Ferdinand never felt particularly strong aside from Swift Strikes. His stats just never really took off like some of my other units but thankfully because of Swift Strikes he was still wonderfully proficient at ORKO annoying enemies. Ferdinand's Confidence passive ability resulted in him being a fairly adequate dodge tank against archers who were at long ranges and I often used him to bait as such. He also turned out with great Charisma and so had some potent gambit usage throughout the game. 

I've not much else to say about Ferdinand as his role was not very diverse. He could tank or dodge a single enemy pretty well and could kill on his turn or lock them down with gambits but aside from that, nothing outstanding about him in this run. 

** Petra **

Fighter - Brigand - Assassin (Falcon Knight on last 2 maps)

Sword Prowess Lv5, Swordfaire, Sword Crit +10, Sword Avo +20, Alert Stance+

Final Lv 35: Highest Stats Spd 46, Dex 36

Primary Items: Wo Dao+, Rapier+, Brave Sword, Evasion Ring

Battalion: Cichol Wyvern Co +7PAtk, +15Hit, +15Crit, +5Avo, +6Prt, +1Rsl, +10Cha

If there was an MVP of this run, it would be Petra without a doubt. For most of the mid-game I had her in the Assassin class and this worked wonderfully well for her. She really came into the role of dodge-tank after becoming my dancer for the sword avoidance. On the last 2 maps, I had her Flying up to A+ and decided to try her out as the only flier on my team and see how it worked. Knowing the last map in particular, this seemed a good idea.

Petra was phenomenal the entire game. She did not have any Strength issues and ended with a solid 32 in strength. She could not double Swordmasters, but she didn't get doubled by them either. I prioritized her as an enemy phase unit and would often use the Retribution gambit on her prior to moving her into the enemy front line. With a Wo Dao and Rapier, she counter killed nearly everything. I wish I could have 9 more of her on my team! 

** Caspar **

Fighter - Brigand - Archer - Grappler

Brawling Prowess Lv5, Fistfaire, Brawl Crit +10, Death Blow, Hit +20

Final Lv 36: Highest Stats Str 35, Spd 35

Primary Items: Dragon Claws, Killer Knuckles+, Silver Gauntlets+

Battalion: Supreme Armored Co. +7PAtk, +6MAtk, +5Hit, -10Avo, +6Prt, +5Rsl, +10Cha

Caspar was very solid throughout the mid-late game. Early he struggled the most, but once I was able to get Death Blow from Brigand, he was able to do very well. His primary role on the team was rushing down archers, bow knights, and enemy mages before they could do serious damage. I ended up giving him Edelgard's battalion as it only required C Authority and I didn't hit B Authority until the last few maps with his Authority bane. 

I contemplated taking Caspar to War Master but decided I wanted to go for S+ Brawling instead of raising Axes up for War Master and Fierce Iron Fist is just too good to pass up. He ended a lot better than I expected and probably had the greatest single round damage out of everybody on my team. When I wasn't sure if I had enough damage to kill someone, I sent Caspar in their direction.

** Bernadetta **

Fighter - Brigand - Archer - Sniper

Bow Prowess Lv5, Bowfaire, Bow Crit +10, DeathBlow, Hit+20

Final Lv 35: Highest Stats Dex 37, Str 27

Primary Items: The Inexhaustible, Silver Bow+, Blessed Bow+, Accuracy Ring

Battalion: Indech Sword Fighters +8PAtk, -2MAtk, +20Hit, +10Crit, +4Prt, +10Cha

Bernadetta struggled quite a lot throughout the early-mid game and didn't do much more then provide some chip damage before others came in to finish off. Even after getting Death Blow, her damage was still not enough to really do much even against fliers. However, once she mastered Sniper and obtained Hunter's Volley everything changed. There were few units that could not be eliminated safely and often with a Crit at that point. She ended up having fairly solid Strength and was my first S+ weapon rank unit which solidified her high damage.

In fact, I ended up liking Bernie's role so much as a Sniper, I changed my plans for Leonie and made her a Sniper as well because the role was so useful. Her major downside was that she could not take a single hit from anyone and so I decided to give her a Retribution gambit rather than have her getting up close at any point. While the Bow Knight has some merits, it was the same situation as with Hubert. I didn't want to try and train up Riding and miss out on S+ weapon rank for the damage boost. Working in tandem with Leonie and Caspar, she mopped up anything that was an enemy ranged attacker with relative ease, safely out of their range.

** Dorothea ** 

Monk - Mage - Warlock

Reason Lv5, Black Tomefaire, Black Magic Range +1, Fiendish Blow, Magic +2

Final Lv 35: Highest Stats Mag 35, Cha 28

Primary Items: Magic Staff, Pure Water

Battalion: Nuvelle Fliers Corps +7Matk, +5Hit, +10Avo, +7Rsl, +8Cha

Dorothea was without question my greatest asset from beginning up to the time skip. She hit several Magic stat boosts on level up pretty early and was the only one with a 3 range attack through Thoron for quite some time. She was so useful that she leveled incredibly fast and began to snowball and vastly outpace my other units between Thoron blasts and Physic healing. All that to say, she fell off hard in the late game and become one of the weakest damage dealers in the group. Not entirely unsurprising but I found it difficult to really determine what role she served. Had I not wanted the +20 avo for Petra, I would have made her a Dancer because the Meteor link was invaluable. 

At some later maps, I didn't even field Dorothea and she was replaced by Jeritza or Leonie instead. But even still, she wasn't without use and could make a difference though her ability to ORKO faded away faster than I would have liked. I decided to stay at Warlock because more move didn't really benefit the way I was using her in any capacity. She often provided a powerful gambit attack and a few powerful key long range attacks on each map she was on and the Tomefaire + x2 casts were wonderful for that.

** Lindhardt ** 

Monk - Mage - Bishop

Faith Lv5, Reason Lv4, HP+5, Fiendish Blow, Mag+2

Final Lv 35: Highest Stats Mag 32, Res 29

Primary Items: Healing Staff, Pure Water

Battalion: Secret Transport Force (Stride) +3PAtk, +15Avo, +5Prt, +5Rsl, +8Cha

Lindhardt was invaluable up until the end-game where I nearly stopped using him altogether. I found that I only ever needed a moderate amount of healing each map and I could often get that through Byleth, Lysithea, or Dorothea when I fielded her. As such, Lindhardt was my 12th unit. Meaning when fielding 12 units, he would go out to provide extra support. I don't want to dismiss how impossible it would have been to even make it to the end-game without him. He truly made the run possible. 

I made sure to give him Fiendish blow so that he could provide at a modest amount of damage in the few situations when I did need him to attack throughout the game but by the end he was never in that position. His gambit usage was one of the primary benefits of fielding him and I kept Stride as his active battalion the entire game. He had solid Resistance as well, so he was used on occasion to tank a magic attack.

** Jeritza ** 

Death Knight - Brigand - Death Knight

Lance Prowess Lv5, Lancefaire, Death Blow, Darting Blow, Swordbreaker

Final Lv 34: Highest Stats Str 37, Spd 31

Primary Items: Silver Lance+, Brave Lance, Scythe of Sacriel, Lampos Shield

Battalion: Gloucester Knights +6PAtk, +6MAtk, +15Hit, +5Prt, +5Rsl, +7Cha

I had not used Jeritza before so his usefulness was a question to me. Overall, I was fairly pleased with his final result. At the time he joined, he was rather lackluster in that he didn't have the speed to double or the strength to ORKO without a Brave Lance. His Combat Arts also seemed fairly tame. However, he gains Darting Blow through his Hidden Talent and managed to double a fair number of enemies such as Paladins at end game. 

Of notable recognition is that he was also the only other unit that could reasonably tank a hit besides Edelgard and not be near death. He had solid Prt and Rsl and I didn't worry too much if he was the target of a monster after using a gambit. Overall, not bad and I only wish I could have had him from the beginning to see what else could be done with him for the short time I had him. 

** Lysithea ** 

Monk - Mage - Warlock - Valkyrie - Gremory

Reason Lv5, Dark Tomefaire, Dark Magic Range +1, Fiendish Blow, Uncanny Blow

Final Lv 38: Highest Stats Mag 45, Dex 37

Primary Items: Thyrsus, Pure Water

Battalion: Timotheos Magi Corps +8MAtk, +10Hit, +10Crit, +2Prt, +5Rsl, +7Cha

Lysithea was powerful and I think that tends to always be true. I took her through the Valkyrie training to get Uncanny Blow for the 30+ Hit which meant she never missed an attack afterwards. With Mastermind as a passive, it wasn't too difficult getting the Riding requirement in addition to the S+ Reason rank. While she had Warp, I rarely used it and found great value in Seraphim more than others to deal with the number of monsters on Maddening. Her role was almost exclusively in dealing with Monsters, Horses, or any unit just out of range thanks to Thyrsus. Lorenz was my 13th unit and I had him trained up to be nearly the same level as the rest of the party but ultimately found more value in having him as an Adjutant to Ferdinand and therefore Thyrsus was freed up.

She was great and I don't think much more could be said about her usefulness. I didn't do anything particularly interesting with her but was grateful for a solid powerhouse for Paladins and Fortress Knights. In the end, I'm glad I went Gremory because the number of units on Maddening often resulted in running out of her more powerful spells without it. I only wish she had Mire like Hubert!

** Leonie ** 

Paladin - Archer - Brigand - Sniper

Bow Prowess Lv5, Bowfaire, Bow Crit +10, Hit +20, Death Blow

Final Lv 35: Highest Stats Dex 33, Spd 30

Primary Items: Parthia, Silver Bow+, March Ring

Battalion: Mockingbird's Thieves +5PAtk, +5MAtk, +10Hit, +10Crit, +10Avo, +3Prt, +3Rsl, +5Cha

As I did not get her until Chapter 11, Leonie required a little bit of grinding  to get her where I wanted her to be. She had some rather unfortunate levels and never really grew as powerful as I had seen her become before. I had intended her to serve as either a Paladin or Falcon Knight but she struggled to do any meaningful damage outside of making her a Sniper. She was still solid all-around but wasn't as powerful as Bernadetta or any of my other units. With Hunter's Volley, she was still able to ORKO some enemies, mostly Falcon Knights so I appreciated her contribution nonetheless. 

For awhile, Lorenz occupied her place on the team because I was able to get him much earlier but ultimately decided I preferred another archer over another magic user and Lorenz had the utility of being paired up with Ferdinand for a Mt boost. 

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Another Ironman run by @Atano has been added and 2 other builds to the list. I've been pretty busy lately so haven't been on the forum much. Glad I was able to at least update it.

@SpearBerry Thanks for the post. I've added your build to the list. CF was my first route though I only played it on normal. Congrats on your first Maddening. I just beat my first Maddening NG last night on the BL route as well. Felt great and was quite a learning experience considering it was only my 2nd game overall.

On 7/7/2020 at 6:07 PM, SpearBerry said:

Up front, I prefer to focus heavily on Battalions

Yes! I found battalions can make a massive difference to the unit stats. +10-20 hit/crit/mt etc. are no joke, super important.

 

On 7/7/2020 at 6:07 PM, SpearBerry said:

There were few units that could not be eliminated safely and often with a Crit at that point

Bernie is easily one of my favorite characters in the game, probably my top fav. I used her instead of Ashe in my BL run. I built her up as a Bow Knight with a crit focus and in my case she became easily one of my most important units. Her crit was regularly above 70 when using mostly a Killer Bow+, Crit ring and a high crit battalion. Sadly i didn't have enough mythril to try out Parthia but she also got Failnaught and Tathlum bow to use. Her range and canto as Bow Knight allowed her to consistently pick off enemy mages or fliers with crits, or otherwise use encloser when it made more sense. Different story route from yours so I'm not sure how useful this build would've been for CF, but I loved it. Sadly, I lost her in the 2nd to last turn of the final battle and was too exhausted to do it over so had to accept her as a fallen hero 😢.

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