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A tier list: feel free to argue

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41 minutes ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

Dorothea's magic stat isn't great but particularly for healing, it's not that big a deal. For instance, Dorothea and Lysithea have the same base magic, and Lysithea has 20% more growth... an average gap of 8 points at Level 41, which is about the highest level I'd expect either to reach. Even if Lysithea had Physic, her superior magic would only let her heal 2.67 more points... barely notcieable. If you compare Dorothea to the best magic stat which actually gets Physic, that's Marianne, who has the same base and +10 growth... i.e. 4 more points at Level 41, a gap of just 1.33 healing. The Healing Staff is a much more important factor in healing effectiveness.

It does mean her Thoron hits less hard than say Marianne's... 0 to 4 points depending on point in the game. Her Agnea's Arrow is indeed similarly behind other mages' Agnea's Arrow/Ragnarok/Hades, but keep in mind not all mages even get those. For instance, Marianne tops out at Fimbulvetr, 4 points weaker. Annette and Linhardt top out at Excalibur, 5 points weaker. (So all three of them will lose to Dorothea in peak damage once Dorothea hits A+.) Hubert tops out at Dark Spikes, 3 points weaker (which means that while both are Warlocks, Dorothea's Agnea's Arrow actually hits harder than Hubert's Dark Spikes, though his Paladin Frozen Lance will come out ahead of either as you noted). Her magic exceeds that of Lorenz (even with the latter's passive). So really, fewer mages than you might expect manage to consistently outpower her, and her skillset advantages are much more important IMO.

Fair, the gap in Physic isn't on average very noticeable - but Physic is the only Faith Dorothea brings to the table, which is why even that minor weakness sometimes counts against her. It's not like Dorothea needs a better Faith list to be useful, but it is a factor in relation to which mages I choose to deploy. And I think the fact that she's crowded out of my endgame teams when everybody is available is why I didn't rate her highly in my original list (though she does deserve a 6 in hindsight).

In my army, I'm unlikely to deploy more than 3/10 (or 4/12) units who primarily use their Magic stat. One of those 3/4 will certainly be a healer. The other 2/3 will be attackers, fulfilling one or more roles from this list: OHKO/ORKO (big hitters), debuffers, mixed utility (Warp/Rescue/Silence + decent chip), siege tome. I often favour the 'big hitter' group, and as mentioned previously tend not to use siege spells. Specific debuffers/mixed utility mages are normally deployed depending on context (for example LTC clears, maps with high proportions of certain enemies, or if I have a specific objective like 'steal from someone speedy'). Dorothea is competing either for the siege tome niche or to be a big hitter. Her only real competition for the former is Constance (or perhaps a blessed mage Hanneman), and I didn't really take that into account before because I don't normally use mages on account of their having Bolting/Meteor, although I should have considered that when ranking her. But for the latter, she doesn't beat out anyone I would expect to compete for that niche (Hubert, Lysithea, sniper Hanneman, Constance, Hapi). It was being at the lower end of this specific spectrum (and a lack of other particularly effective builds for her) that got her the 5.

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Play style largely impacts how we see 3H units, as they are all really flexible. But they are a few things to consider for maddening gameplay: this is a player-phase oriented game. Many map objectives (especially in the lastest parts of the game) include defeating bosses and/or capturing map points like ballistas, meaning that movement and player phase damage is highly valuable compared to enemy phase. This is also reinforced by the enemies being so strong, as you can't sustain more than a couple of them on enemy phase unless you rely on dodging or Vantage+Wrath shenanigans (and even then, Gambits are there to make enemy phase hell for those units if they have low Charm). Same-turn reinforcements are also very punishing if you rely on enemy phase to advance, and some maps even have infinite number of those unless you capture a specific point, kill a specific commander, or end the map before you get overwhelmed.

In my opinion, this makes units with high movement, Warp spells and Dancers extremely valuable. Crowd control is also useful, as well as debuffs (except for immune bosses) and rally, to make sure you reach the necessary thresholds for the kill. Units capable of this will make your life easier in maddening. Overall, I'd say that you can use every unit with success, some will just need more care than others, and some will definitely be on top of the rest of the pack whatever you are doing with them.

 

I did VW, AM and CF paths for maddening, haven't done SS yet in this difficulty, and there are some units I have yet to use for a whole maddening playthrough (I used every student, but I've yet to use some Church units and Ashen Wolves outside of the DLC scenario), but based on what I value in each unit, and the way maddening plays out, I can still place them in a list. You can take the placement of some Church units and the Ashen Wolves with a grain of salt as I have yet to use them all, so I could be wrong on how reliable they are based on their data alone.

This list takes into account:

- combat efficiency
- utility
- availability (I did not take path exclusivity into account for the Lords and other units like Dedue and Hubert that are only available in one route)
- how reliable they are at different stages of the game
- NG/Maddening/Classic settings exclusively (with DLC available)

Note: I separated post-timeskip Lords from pre-timeskip Lords as they radically change by gaining exclusive classes, weapons and battalions, and it impacts the way you play them by a lot.

 

866938897_Capturedecran2020-07-09a13_11_51.thumb.png.880a07d01890836a0e55f28f45cf1f9d.png

 

Being at the bottom doesn't mean you have to bench those units, they can be good if you invest time and resources into them. Every unit is usable in maddening if you want to. I even love some of those low-tier units (hello Lorenz <3) and used them with success. It's just that if you want to have an easier life playing maddening, you should focus on the higher tier (or just watch Wyvern Lord Edelgard soloing the post-timeskip maps by herself in a couple of turns if you play CF).

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The biggest thing that jumps out at me there: why is Ignatz so high? He's quite similar to Ashe but you have three tiers between them, while pre-TS Claude absolutely hammers him and you have them close together. Hit+20 is cool but not that decisive.

Manuela also feels too high. I can understand a healthy respect for Warp but there's no way she should be that close to Lysithea regardless.

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4 hours ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

The biggest thing that jumps out at me there: why is Ignatz so high? He's quite similar to Ashe but you have three tiers between them, while pre-TS Claude absolutely hammers him and you have them close together. Hit+20 is cool but not that decisive.

Manuela also feels too high. I can understand a healthy respect for Warp but there's no way she should be that close to Lysithea regardless.

Perhaps it's Ignatz's all-round utility? I slept on him when playing Hard, but he does a number of things well in Maddening (reliable hit, rally bot if you want, debuff build is easy to achieve, high crit bow user, dodge tank dancer works fine, magic list is alright as a secondary function) that Ashe simply doesn't do as well. I don't think he warrants the same rank as the likes of Claude and Byleth either, but he'd be an A rank in this list quite comfortably I think.

Agreed about Manuela though - 2 max uses of Warp as her best offering isn't good enough to warrant the same rank as Lysithea. I guess the fact that both Fortify users and both the mages who most easily get siege tomes are ranked at B, just means that @Myssdii doesn't value those things in general? Which is fair enough (very little in this game is an absolute must) but Mercedes/Flayn/Dorothea/Constance all bring more to the table overall than Manuela I think.

 

Out of interest, why does Linhardt get ranked above Hapi - the only things Linhardt does better than Hapi is higher accuracy, a Faith boon, and his occasional Crest proc helps the healing power of Physic (not enough IMO for Hapi to be ranked a whole tier below). Is it just because Hapi doesn't get her Faith list in the DLC?

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I think @haarhaarhaar resumes pretty well my take on Ignatz: he's the most consistent and versatile unit, with a lot of strong skills really early into the game where the difficulty is at its highest. Rally Speed at D-rank Authority is amazing in maddening, as well as early Seal Str and Seal Def through his budding talent and Break Shot that he gets at C+ rank. And he gets all of this by just playing with its strengths, so you do not have to spend a lot of chapters babysitting him, as opposed to Ashe which doesn't bring much to the table compared to Ignatz. Watchful Eye is the icing on the cake since enemies in maddening have a tendency to be quite dodgy once you start to hit them at 3 range or more. And it stacks with Archer's Hit+20, making Ignatz able to hit pretty much anything reliably at long range.

By mid/late game, Ignatz will have access to Hunter's Volley on top of what he can already do, patching his somewhat low damage. Having access to strong battalions thanks to his boon in Authority helps a lot as well. He is also fairly easy to recruit outside of his house (since you just need lowish Dex and Authority ranks), and comes as an Archer already. Even though Claude is better than him overall, Ignatz does a way better job in the early game and contributes a lot of making the GD house probably the easiest house to play in maddening (at least, in my opinion).

 

I agree that my positionning of Manuela is pretty controversial, it's mainly because I value Warp a lot. She's still worse than Lysithea and Linhardt (that's why she's after them in the tier), mainly because she doesn't get Physic. She could be at least high B tier if we keep her as a Bishop, but I still let her as A-rank because I got good results with her as a Trickster. She also can get Bolting if you are willing to dedicate to her a lot (but I won't recommend it), and her speed allows her to also be a pretty good dodge tank as an alternate build, making her flexible. Her bases aren't amazing, but they aren't low either and pretty balanced outside of Def, so she is highly flexible when you recruit her. It's a personal take, maybe I over value her a bit, but Warp is so strong in this game, and she can get access to it really quickly as she starts with B-rank and proficiency.

Finally, my reasonning for Hapi is that she has a weakness in Faith, and Warp is still locked at A-rank, making it available only pretty late into the game with a lot of dedication. She's kind of a mix between Hubert and Lysithea, but with Linhardt growths, which are too much balanced for her to reach any threshold to double or one-shot with Dark Magic in maddening. She also doesn't get Dark Spikes which is pretty much the best Dark Magic spell of the game (as it is the only once that can consistently one-shot something). If you like Hapi and want to dedicate to her, she'll do the job nicely, but she takes way much more investment than the other units similar to her, that's why she is low B-tier for me.

 

EDIT: Also, like you said, I don't value Fortify a lot. There are only a few maps where you're likely to have multiple units getting damaged in the same turn (mainly ones with terrain damage). Two Physics users are enough to cover all your healing needs in a playthrough, Fortify is just overkill in my opinion. This is the main reason I don't value units like Mercedes a lot. She's a great healer, but doesn't bring anything else, when units like Lysithea or Linhardt bring Physic and Warp.

Edited by Myssdii

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23 minutes ago, Myssdii said:

Finally, my reasonning for Hapi is that she has a weakness in Faith

Nope - she's neutral in Faith.

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7 minutes ago, Shadow Mir said:

Nope - she's neutral in Faith.

Wait... really? I was using the wiki to check data. I guess the wiki is wrong then... (my source was: https://fireemblemwiki.org/wiki/Hapi). If then, yeah, you can place her alongside Lysithea and Linhardt then. My bad, should have double checked with another website (I lend my game to my boyfriend as he wanted to do maddening AM, so couldn't check with the game) 🤔

EDIT: https://fe3h.com/characters/hapi lists her as neutral, so yeah, the wiki is wrong. My bad then.

Edited by Myssdii

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1 hour ago, Myssdii said:

I think @haarhaarhaar resumes pretty well my take on Ignatz: he's the most consistent and versatile unit, with a lot of strong skills really early into the game where the difficulty is at its highest. Rally Speed at D-rank Authority is amazing in maddening, as well as early Seal Str and Seal Def through his budding talent and Break Shot that he gets at C+ rank. And he gets all of this by just playing with its strengths, so you do not have to spend a lot of chapters babysitting him, as opposed to Ashe which doesn't bring much to the table compared to Ignatz. Watchful Eye is the icing on the cake since enemies in maddening have a tendency to be quite dodgy once you start to hit them at 3 range or more. And it stacks with Archer's Hit+20, making Ignatz able to hit pretty much anything reliably at long range.

I guess the difference lies in the value placed on debuffs; I don't find them very useful. Very few enemies can withstand two rounds of combat (in particular, most mages provide a baseline combat level of 2HKOing almost any enemy from long range, and we don't use mages for their raw killing power), so a skill or combat art which makes it easier for others to complete the 2HKO is almost never necessary. And then bosses are immune. It pays off a bit more against non-boss monsters, but that's rather niche in my opinion.

Otherwise, things like Hunter's Volley off 8+35% strength is something almost any other unit in the game can do; Ashe has the same statline (actually marginally better, +1 speed) and similar skill talents so I don't see much difference.

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12 hours ago, Myssdii said:

 

866938897_Capturedecran2020-07-09a13_11_51.thumb.png.880a07d01890836a0e55f28f45cf1f9d.png

While I agree with your General playstyle, I disagree with some placements:

-Berndetta should really move to S tier if you units like Sylvain or Felix in there. Being able to cosistently ohko enemy units  in the early game with Vengence when even the lords are struggling to do so is a massive boon. 

-Marianne should be dropped to a tier. There's really nothing that distinguishes her form the rest of the mages in B Tier.

-All Warp users should be S Tier at least. You don't even need a high range to break some maps wide open. 

-Balthus is one best early game units thanks to his personal and can get Fierce Iron Fist to fix up any issues he may have with Speed, so A Tier for sure.

-Ingrid should fall a tier. Her middling bases in Blue Lions and lack of good auto leveling skills as a recurit dont really really fit A tier in my eyes. Even when given the investment to be a dodgetank, she doesn't have Battalion Wrath to really capitalize on it.

-Alois should go to B tier for being a pretty good out of the box unit. Like a base 27 Strength combined with C Authorthy and Armor on top of being nearly to B+ Brawling is really good. Only thing he's really missing Deathblow, which can pretty easily gotten with the Knoweldge Gem. 

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Why the crap is bernie so low. With vengeance, she is the only one who can reliably kill most bosses even in an ltc run where she gets super little exp. Bernie is the best bosskiller of the game and does it the most reliable. And why the hell is balthus that high. On maddening, his damage output or support capabilities aren't nearly as good as people in the same tier. You can't tell me edelgard, male byleth and balthus are at the same level. He's good, but not that good. Lorenz's placement is BS too. He doesn't hit hard enough to oneshot without significant help, nor does he survive anything on maddening. His support capabilities are also virtually non existent. Linhardt is a warper and pretty much mandatory if you want to play well. Sure lysithea exists, but she is an out of house recruit in cf and ss, and having 2 warpers is much MUCH better than one. He's not just "decent". Op's tier list is obviously biased and not well researched.

Edited by Gordin

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7 hours ago, LoneRecon400 said:

While I agree with your General playstyle, I disagree with some placements:

-Berndetta should really move to S tier if you units like Sylvain or Felix in there. Being able to cosistently ohko enemy units  in the early game with Vengence when even the lords are struggling to do so is a massive boon. 

-Marianne should be dropped to a tier. There's really nothing that distinguishes her form the rest of the mages in B Tier.

-All Warp users should be S Tier at least. You don't even need a high range to break some maps wide open. 

-Balthus is one best early game units thanks to his personal and can get Fierce Iron Fist to fix up any issues he may have with Speed, so A Tier for sure.

-Ingrid should fall a tier. Her middling bases in Blue Lions and lack of good auto leveling skills as a recurit dont really really fit A tier in my eyes. Even when given the investment to be a dodgetank, she doesn't have Battalion Wrath to really capitalize on it.

-Alois should go to B tier for being a pretty good out of the box unit. Like a base 27 Strength combined with C Authorthy and Armor on top of being nearly to B+ Brawling is really good. Only thing he's really missing Deathblow, which can pretty easily gotten with the Knoweldge Gem. 

- I love Bernie, she's amazing, and I really struggled to place her in S-tier or not. She's one of the strongest units pre-timeskip, there is no doubt about it. My final argument to place her high A-tier and not S, is that she's a bit more harder to use in the second half of the game where you have more siege enemies and same-turn high movement reinforcements that can threatened her while she's low HP. She consistent in the first half of the game, while in the second half map design tends to stack things against her. But yeah, completely agree with you that she's amazing from the start, I really struggled to place her, and if she's S-tier in your mind, I totally agree with this 🙂

My high A-tier and S-tier are really close, it's often things like consistency, build variability and unit availability that makes the difference between the two tiers.

- I put Marianne in low A-tier as she has a bit more build variability than other mages. She has really good combat arts that scale really well, with Soulblade and Frozen Lance, and the proficencies to go for high movement + Canto classes to utilize them safely. I agree that on her spell list alone, she doesn't bring more than Dorothea for example (even though in my mind, Marianne is just a better Dorothea overall). She's one of the rare units, with Annette and Lorenz, that can still remain an efficient magic-damage dealer without going through pure mage classes in the long run.

- For Balthus and Alois, I have yet to use them in a maddening playthrough, so their placement is based on how I judged other warrior/brawlers types that I actually used (Dedue, Caspar and Raphael). I always find these units kind of underwhelming, I ranked Balthus above all other except Dedue because his passive is really good, I totally agree on this. But I haven't tested in-game how it impacts the early game. You can totally argue with their position, as it could change over time.

- Ingrid is another unit I struggled to place. I agree that she needs babysitting in the first couple of chapters, but she can quickly become one of the few units that can double in maddening, and her high res makes her consistent at countering mages. She's a unit that scales really well, especially in AM where she occupies a unique spot as a high mobility/high resistance unit. It's not easy to place some units as their strength can vary from a run to another, or depending on the maps you face and your playstyle. For her recruitment, she comes as a Pegasus Knight starting chapter 6, which makes her bases really good, even though she lacks some good early skills. She gets a huge boost when getting her hands on Luin, which unlocks pretty early in the game.

- For warpers in S-rank, I actually hesitated to make a rank just for them with a title "have two of them or go home" XD It's broken how much they simplify the game, and even more when you can combine them with Dancers, Dance battalions (you can even have two of them in AM for the last map), Tricksters and Galeforce-goddess Edelgard. I placed them here, but yeah, they are broken.

Edited by Myssdii

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6 hours ago, Myssdii said:

- My final argument to place Bernedetta in high A-tier and not S is that she's a bit more harder to use in the second half of the game where you have more siege enemies and same-turn high movement reinforcements that can threatened her while she's low HP. 

- I put Marianne in low A-tier as she has a bit more build variability than other mages. She has really good combat arts that scale really well, with Soulblade and Frozen Lance, and the proficencies to go for high movement + Canto classes to utilize them safely. She's one of the rare units, with Annette and Lorenz, that can still remain an efficient magic-damage dealer without going through pure mage classes in the long run.

- For Balthus and Alois, I have yet to use them in a maddening playthrough, so their placement is based on how I judged other warrior/brawlers types that I actually used (Dedue, Caspar and Raphael). I always find these units kind of underwhelming.

-I agree Ingrid needs babysitting in the first couple of chapters, but she can quickly become one of the few units that can double in maddening, and her high res makes her consistent at countering mages. She's a unit that scales really well, especially in AM where she occupies a unique spot as a high mobility/high resistance unit. For her recruitment, she comes as a Pegasus Knight starting chapter 6, which makes her bases really good, even though she lacks some good early skills. She gets a huge boost when getting her hands on Luin, which unlocks pretty early in the game.

-Those things are easy for Bernadetta to survive with the right setup. Juts let her equip the Prayer Ring ring for 5% healing a turn and apply Impregnable Wall on her. Sure, she'll deal a little less damage, but Vengeance is typically overkill anyways.

- The problem with including Marianne in that tier is that every unit with a magic combat can consistently ohko for a good portion of the game and still have a way to stay safe. Like Hexblade Dorothea may not look that impressive on paper, but add on the fact that she can use effective weapons such as the Rapier and that Assassins that don't get targeted when there's any other target in range, Marianne doesn't really justify being put up tier imo.

- Simply put them through Fighter -> Brigand -> and Grappler and have them master all of those classes to be useful. Grappler has a class exclusive Combat art called Fierce Iron Fist, which allows a unit to hit 3 times in a row regardless of Speed. That's usually more than enough for Grapplers to orko and be consistently useful by the lategame. 

- It is rather easy for any female to regularly double on Maddening as long as you're giving them Dartin Blow and cooking up Bullheads. Like look at how fast a average Byelth can be with the right investment. Having high resistance also isn't really a niche that needs to be covered, especially in AM considering that it's the only route that has the Sacred Shield Gambit to block all ranged magic, including Siege Magic. Her recruited stats aren't anything particularity special compared to other recruits. Luin also only has the might as a regular Silver Axe + which unlock only 1 chapter away from it, so it's really not that exciting barring it's accuracy for Swift Strike users.

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5 minutes ago, LoneRecon400 said:

-Those things are easy for Bernadetta to survive with the right setup. Juts let her equip the Prayer Ring ring for 5% healing a turn and apply Impregnable Wall on her. Sure, she'll deal a little less damage, but Vengeance is typically overkill anyways.

- The problem with including Marianne in that tier is that every unit with a magic combat can consistently ohko for a good portion of the game and still have a way to stay safe. Like Hexblade Dorothea may not look that impressive on paper, but add on the fact that she can use effective weapons such as the Rapier and that Assassins that don't get targeted when there's any other target in range, Marianne doesn't really justify being put up tier imo.

- Simply put them through Fighter -> Brigand -> and Grappler and have them master all of those classes to be useful. Grappler has a class exclusive Combat art called Fierce Iron Fist, which allows a unit to hit 3 times in a row regardless of Speed. That's usually more than enough for Grapplers to orko and be consistently useful by the lategame. 

- It is rather easy for any female to regularly double on Maddening as long as you're giving them Dartin Blow and cooking up Bullheads. Like look at how fast a average Byelth can be with the right investment. Having high resistance also isn't really a niche that needs to be covered, especially in AM considering that it's the only route that has the Sacred Shield Gambit to block all ranged magic, including Siege Magic. Her recruited stats aren't anything particularity special compared to other recruits. Luin also only has the might as a regular Silver Axe + which unlock only 1 chapter away from it, so it's really not that exciting barring it's accuracy for Swift Strike users.

Globally, I kinda agree with you. There is a lot of ways to play the game, that's pretty much what I wanted to illustrate by putting my own tier list against the OP's one. And, unless you went through the game a dozen of times, tried every character multiple times each in different teams, devised perfect optimized strategies, there is no way you can make an objective tier list for a game that young (less than one year old) with this much parameters and variables. Still, it's fun to try doing it, and you can learn a lot in the process 🙂

For the Grappler part, I've always built Caspar, Raphael and Dedue this way, even went through the hassle of having them master War Master for Quick Riposte before put them back into Grappler for the better Combat Art. But yeah, each time they ended up just ok, not particularly amazing (Caspar did pull his weight in some of my latest maps in CF, but it often happened that he would miss the kill if he did not get at least one crit in three hits, and in this case he would die in retaliation). I guess after 3 maddening runs, I've been a bit disappointed by the power of gauntlets in late-game, could be me not having luck or particular gameplay affinity with these kind of units.

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58 minutes ago, Myssdii said:

For the Grappler part, I've always built Caspar, Raphael and Dedue this way.

I guess after 3 maddening runs, I've been a bit disappointed by the power of gauntlets in late-game, could be me not having luck or particular gameplay affinity with these kind of units.

I mean, even if you were playing with 0% growths, you could still get them to orko with enough investment. Like take a look:

20 War Master Base Strength 
22 Str +2
28 Death Blow
36 Gonreil Valkyries
39 Killer Gauntlets +
44 Fist Faire
45 FiF
46 Grappler Class Mod
54 Defiant Strength
59 S+ Fist Faire
60 Rocky Burdock from Ralph Recruit

That's enough to orko almost every generic enemy in the final map of Azure Moon, even the War Masters. And in a growths playthrough, you could replace Defiant Strength and S+ Fist Faire with 13 procs of Strength, or through other means such cooking Ogma Wolverine, Rally Strength, or using a Hilda Adjutant in the case of Balthus.

So even if you were the most unluckiest person on the planet, Grapplers could still be very good units.

Edited by LoneRecon400

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11 minutes ago, LoneRecon400 said:

I mean, even if you were playing with 0% growths, you could still get them to orko with enough investment. Like take a look:

20 War Master Base Strength 
22 Str +2
28 Death Blow
36 Gonreil Valkyries
39 Killer Gauntlets +
44 Fist Faire
45 FiF
46 Grappler Class Mod
54 Defiant Strength
59 S+ Fist Faire
60 Rocky Burdock from Ralph Recruit

That's enough to orko almost every generic enemy in the final map of Azure Moon, even the War Masters. And in a growths playthrough, you could replace Defiant Strength and S+ Fist Faire with 13 procs of Strength, or through other means such cooking Ogma Wolverine, Rally Strength, or using a Hilda Adjutant in the case of Balthus.

So even if you're the most unluckiest person on the planet, Grapplers are still really good units.

I mostly remember Caspar in my last CF run, as Dedue and Raphael were a long time ago, but yeah, I was short on some enemies (not all of them, of course, he could still one round things like Pegasi, and I don't remember exactly in which chapters). Because of how low his authority is, there was no way I could give him a strong battalion, and sadly he had really bad level ups in strength, barely reaching above 30 as a Grappler in the final chapter. Not saying that I'm making my Caspar case a generality, but I find it a bit unfair to add things like Defiant Strength that needs Hero mastery, a specific character locked B-rank battalion when both Raphael and Caspar have a weakness in authority, as well as S+ rank which is nearly impossible to get in maddening without extensive focus and/or grinding, and stats boosters.

Like I said in my first post, you can make any unit work with proper investment, so your argument is still valid that Grapplers aren't bad units objectively (never said they were objectively bad, just that in my experience, I wasn't particularly amazed by them, they just work).

Though I made War Cleric Byleth with both Death Blow and Darting Blow and watched her quad-punch Rhea during the final chapter of CF which was pretty fun.

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59 minutes ago, Myssdii said:

I mostly remember Caspar in my last CF run, Because of how low his authority is, there was no way I could give him a strong battalion, and sadly he had really bad level ups in strength, barely reaching above 30 as a Grappler in the final chapter. Not saying that I'm making my Caspar case a generality, but I find it a bit unfair to add things like Defiant Strength that needs Hero mastery, a specific character locked B-rank battalion when both Raphael and Caspar have a weakness in authority, as well as S+ rank which is nearly impossible to get in maddening without extensive focus and/or grinding, and stats boosters.

Like I said in my first post, you can make any unit work with proper investment, so your argument is still valid that Grapplers aren't bad units objectively (never said they were objectively bad, just that in my experience, I wasn't particularly amazed by them, they just work).

I was just using Skills such as Defiant Strength or S+ Fist Faire to account for no Growths. You can easily discount those in real playthrough with growths. Likewise, Gonreil was also used as a example. You could replace that quite easily with say, Empire Snipers for +5 Attack and +10 Hit while still being at C Rank Authority. Heck, getting Caspar to B Authority isn't even that much of investment as a he doesn't need any other skill once he reaches grappler. 

But still, even using that 30 Strength Caspar as an example (which is actually his average at level 40), he can still orko enemies in the Final map of CF. Like discounting the Defiant Strength and S+ Fist Faire and replacing Gonreil with Empire Snipers and Killer Gauntlets with Silver Ones, the above combo still gives him 54 attack. That's enough to one round all the generic enemies barring Fortress Knights, who he can just rely on crits if you much have him attack them. 

And I never claimed you were saying they were as bad units. I'm just claiming that they're exceptional units once they hit FiF.

Edited by LoneRecon400

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3 minutes ago, LoneRecon400 said:

I was just using Skills such as Defiant Strength or S+ Fist Faire to account for no Growths. You can easily discount those in real playthrough with growths. Likewise, Gonreil was also used as a example. You could replace that quite easily with say, Empire Snipers for +5 Attack and +10 Hit while still being at C Rank Authority. Heck, getting Caspar to B Authority isn't even that much of investment as a he doesn't need any other skill once he reaches grappler. 

But still, even using that 30 Strength Caspar as an example (which is actually his average), he can still orko enemies in the Final map of CF. Like discounting the Defiant Strength and S+ Fist Faire and replacing Gonreil with Empire Snipers and Killer Gauntlets with Silver Ones, the above combo still gives him 54 attack. That's enough to one round all the generic enemies barring Fortress Knights, who he can just rely on crits if you much have him attack them. 

And I never claimed you were saying they were as bad units. I'm just claiming that they're exceptional units.

I definitely rather strongly disagree with the notion they're exceptional units. Even with the builds you're posing, they

-don't get Fierce Iron Fist until 150 class exp into Advanced Tier, which is likely over half the game for most playstyles

-run an offence which is entirely range 1, foot-locked, non-canto, player phase only.

-have solid but not truly exceptional offence; due to the lower power of gauntlets, many other characters can muster similar offence with 2 hits from Hunter's Volley or Wyvern Lord Brave Axe, and those have greater mobility or range. Units with high speed (+Darting Blow) can output even more damage via doubles with high-mt weapons and quads.

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51 minutes ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

I definitely rather strongly disagree with the notion they're exceptional units. Even with the builds you're posing, they

-don't get Fierce Iron Fist until 150 class exp into Advanced Tier, which is likely over half the game for most playstyles

-run an offence which is entirely range 1, foot-locked, non-canto, player phase only.

-have solid but not truly exceptional offence; due to the lower power of gauntlets, many other characters can muster similar offence with 2 hits from Hunter's Volley or Wyvern Lord Brave Axe, and those have greater mobility or range. Units with high speed (+Darting Blow) can output even more damage via doubles with high-mt weapons and quads.

- That's 38 Battles with the Knowledge Gem. That can easily be gotten before the Timeskip depending on the stance of Aux Battles/ Paralogues / Quest Battles.

-They have 1 Movement more than most advanced Classes, don't suffer form terrain penalties, and can kill many units before they even have the chance to strike. It's not like many units are going to see much combat on Enemy phase when they're going to be lacking Deathblow and Link Attacks.

-They're not as good as Snipers or Wyverns, I'll concede to that. But Wyverns are limited by Flying Battalions and Wootz Steel, while Snipers are hindered by 5 movement and Terrain penalties, so its not like you can have nothing but them.

-Grapplers also have their own niches, such as being to get rid of Monsters with their high chance to crit 3 times in a row and dealing good damage against tough opponents, such as the the Final Bosses with Dragon Skin since have an Extra Attack trumps having more Attack when it's being divided by 2. 

Edited by LoneRecon400

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19 hours ago, LoneRecon400 said:

Like Hexblade Dorothea may not look that impressive on paper, but add on the fact that she can use effective weapons such as the Rapier and that Assassins that don't get targeted when there's any other target in range, Marianne doesn't really justify being put up tier imo.

Lower reach, no canto for flexibility if nothing else, and difficulties reaching OHKO numbers on anything the rapier isn't effective against(due to Hexblade, swords, and herself being on the weaker side) still make a pretty big difference imo. Haven't actively checked the numbers, though. Don't even remember when rapiers become available, which could affect her early-midgame bosskilling, and that matters considering these builds are pretty good at it usually.
Also I'll be the first to say that stealth is great, but you do need to play around it in ways that aren't always the most practical.
Honestly magic assassin works quite a bit better if you get to levin sword doubling thresholds from my experience. The problem being that those are very high.

I'll say that I'm at worst in general agreement with the rest of what you've been saying, though. Well, maybe I disagree a bit on Bernie(it's just crazy to me how big a bump she seems to have gotten in people's minds within the past few months, when her most popular build was discovered very early on. I get that Rengor+Mekkah talking at once can reach far, but dang)... which is whatever.

Edited by Cysx

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7 hours ago, Cysx said:

Lower reach, no canto for flexibility if nothing else, and difficulties reaching OHKO numbers on anything the rapier isn't effective against(due to Hexblade, swords, and herself being on the weaker side) still make a pretty big difference imo. Haven't actively checked the numbers, though.


Also I'll be the first to say that stealth is great, but you do need to play around it in ways that aren't always the most practical.
Honestly magic assassin works quite a bit better if you get to levin sword doubling thresholds from my experience. The problem being that those are very high.

Well lets test the numbers then, shall we? We'll use HBD as our example as that where Magic Combat arts shine the most by ignoring terrain and being able to consistently to ohko enemies with good hit rates. An average level 26 Dorothea has around 22 Magic. Combine that with:

22 Base Magic 
24 Mag +2
30 Fiendish Blow
36 Gloucester Knights
41 Sword Faire 
54 Silver Sword +
61 Hexblade 
64 Magic Staff
 
As you can see, that's enough to Ohko every enemy on the map, while she can also avoid being targeted by them if you had say a dodgetank in range to make use of the terrain. Rapier is also found earlier in the game in Manuela's Paralogue or at the Pagan Altar if you want another.
 
Now, while she will fall off thanks to begin unable to ohko enemies in the lategame, every Mage falls off at the end game due to how ridiculous the enemy HP Growth is. Like take a look at this example. So while it may not look that way on paper, Assassin Dorothea is pretty equal to Soul Blade / Frozen Lance Marianne  in practice. As such they should really belong in the same tier together. 
Edited by LoneRecon400

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23 hours ago, LoneRecon400 said:

Well lets test the numbers then, shall we? We'll use HBD as our example as that where Magic Combat arts shine the most by ignoring terrain and being able to consistently to ohko enemies with good hit rates. An average level 26 Dorothea has around 22 Magic. Combine that with:

22 Base Magic 
24 Mag +2
30 Fiendish Blow
36 Gloucester Knights
41 Sword Faire 
54 Silver Sword +
61 Hexblade 
64 Magic Staff
 
As you can see, that's enough to Ohko every enemy on the map, while she can also avoid being targeted by them if you had say a dodgetank in range to make use of the terrain. Rapier is also found earlier in the game in Manuela's Paralogue or at the Pagan Altar if you want another.
 
Now, while she will fall off thanks to begin unable to ohko enemies in the lategame, every Mage falls off at the end game due to how ridiculous the enemy HP Growth is. Like take a look at this example. So while it may not look that way on paper, Assassin Dorothea is pretty equal to Soul Blade / Frozen Lance Marianne  in practice. As such they should really belong in the same tier together. 

Well, you used the Gloucester knights so there's some leeway, but you're kind of proving my point, to be honest; some of these OHKOs are exact, and she struggles to do the same on many targets in the next and previous chapter; every enemy has low res in 13.
Also I failed to mention that while axe and especially lance users can abuse relic might to compensate when they fall short, she cannot, because swords don't get high mt relics; she gets rapiers instead, which are target sensitive. The point wasn't that she will never OHKO anything, but Marianne deals 5 more damage with the same tools, with an evolutive combat art, relics, and a higher growth. It's not an exaggeration to say that once these builds stop killing, they struggle to be of any use, so I still disagree that there's no meaningful difference here. Needing a tank around to perform just cannot be argue not to be a limitation in my eye either, and stealth isn't a proper replacement for canto, or especially not for +2 mov(possibly +3) or even flight.

Also yes, the last few chapters are extremely harsh on magic damage dealers, even top end ones(Luna notwithstanding); they're the exception rather than the norm, however. Case in point, between chapter 13 and 20, enemy grapplers get +9 HP +6 Res, so you need +15 damage in 7 chapters to continue ORKOing, aka a bit over +2 damage a chapter. Then from 20 to 22, they get +8 HP +4 Res, so you need +6 a chapter. In one case it's possible to keep up if you were ahead(which Dorothea isn't, and that's the problem), in the other it's just not a thing.

I forgot that Rapiers were available at the altar(Manuela's paralogue I did, I just was unsure if there were any others earlier). That admittedly does seem pretty helpful for her.

Edited by Cysx

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16 hours ago, Cysx said:

You're kind of proving my point, to be honest; some of these OHKOs are exact, and she struggles to do the same on many targets in the next and previous chapter; every enemy has low res in 13.

Axe and Lance users can abuse relic might to compensate when they fall short. Dorothea cannot, because swords don't get high mt relics and has only the Rapier instead. The point is that Marianne deals 5 more damage with the same tools, has an combat art that scales, relics, and a higher growth.

It's not an exaggeration to say that once these builds stop killing, they struggle to be of any use, so I still disagree that there's no meaningful difference here. Needing a tank around to perform just cannot be argue not to be a limitation in my eye either, and stealth isn't a proper replacement for canto, or especially not for +2 mov (possibly +3) or even flight. In one case it's possible to keep up if you were ahead(which Dorothea isn't, and that's the problem), in the other it's just not a thing.

Then let's see at what point where Marianne ohko's while Dorothea stops, shall we? I think Chapter 18 is a pretty good example of this. Here are the enemy stats for that chapter while here are their averages with their attack values

As you can see Dorothea is still pulling her weight this late into the game by being able to Ohko pretty much every non mage enemy barring the Swordmasters. And even then, she can still take out them if you really wanted to without stat boosters by either using a Manuela adjutant or even using the Sublime Creator Sword, which typically doesn't see much use Byleth's hands in my experience. Really, it's not until Chapter 20 does Dorothea start to fall off in terms of being able to Ohko, which is also the point that pretty much every mage starts to fall thanks to enemy HP increasing dramatically by that point on onward. 

The fact that she can remain competitive even without a 22 might Lance for the majority of the games really shows that there's not much of a gap in their combat. And yes, while Stealth isn't as useful as Canto, It's not like you need dedicated tank to make use of Stealth, as any unit with Impregnable Wall will make them completely ignore her as long as they're in range. Combined with the fact that she doesn't suffer from terrain penalties and can promote to a magic using class to make use Meteor Linked Attack as Magic users fall of gives her a competitive niche.

So while Marianne might have her advantages, I don't think it's enough to claim an entire tier difference when Assassin Dororthea Ohko's a great many of the same enemies that Marianne is.

Also as a side note, I take issue with claiming that Marianne as a capable as a flier due to the lack of flying magical battalions. Even if you gave her the only one in the game, it only has +5 Hit, making the use of something like the Lance of Ruin pretty sketch considering it's 65 base hit.

It wouldn't be impossible mind you, but you'd have to setup a good deal of link attacks for it to be consistent on dodgy enemies, such as Swordmasters or Grapplers, or otherwise grind out Valkryie for Uncanny Blow.

Edited by LoneRecon400

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I'm honestly rather skeptical about building either Dorothea or Marianne for magical combat arts as their optimum build. That means that all they'll be able to do is run around and try to OHKO at range 1, while having durability of paper and no skillset options. And it's a build that falls apart if they get even a bit magic-screwed (admittedly, I don't use stat boosters much, so they probably improve a bit if you do). Both of these characters shine because of their skillset options: 2HKO anything at huge range (thanks Thoron), Physic, linked attack synergy (especially for Dorothea with Meteor). And in Dorothea's case, it's not like her Agnea's Arrow even does that much less than her Silver Sword+ Hexblade... it's 4 less might, but actual mage jobs (e.g. Warlock) tend to have more mag than Assassin.

I like the builds better on Hubert (more magic, worse skillset, transitions into Dark Knight well), Lysithea (more magic, arguably worse skillset though that's debatable, can transition into Mortal Savant and get her spells back), Annette (bad skillset outside Rally which she keeps), and Lorenz (bad skillset)... although Lorenz has the same problem as Dorothea in this build in that he's pretty borderline for getting OHKOs even midgame.

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1 hour ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

I'm honestly rather skeptical about building either Dorothea or Marianne for magical combat arts as their optimum build. All they'll be able to do is run around and try to OHKO at range 1, while having durability of paper and no skillset options.

And it's a build that falls apart if they get even a bit magic-screwed (admittedly, I don't use stat boosters much, so they probably improve a bit if you do). Both of these characters shine because of their skillset options: 2HKO anything at huge range (thanks Thoron), Physic, linked attack synergy (especially for Dorothea with Meteor).

And in Dorothea's case, it's not like her Agnea's Arrow even does that much less than her Silver Sword+ Hexblade... it's 4 less might, but actual mage jobs (e.g. Warlock) tend to have more mag than Assassin.

They have Canto and Stealth to avoid any enemies that may come their away, so low bulk isn't that much of an issue.

Being Rng screwed in any stat, especially attacking ones, doesn't really exist in this game due to the presence of Advanced class bases and so many ways to increase damage output. 

Assassin means that Dorothea can just equip a Magic Staff to make up for any class mods that lacks. Most mages don't want to give up Thryus or Cadueus Staff to make up for their lack of movement. And they can both make use of the Levin Sword + if they want ranged chip damage.

Edited by LoneRecon400

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2 hours ago, LoneRecon400 said:

Then let's see at what point where Marianne ohko's while Dorothea stops, shall we?

Sure...

2 hours ago, LoneRecon400 said:

I think Chapter 18 is a pretty good example of this. Here are the enemy stats for that chapter while here are their averages with their attack values

As you can see Dorothea is still pulling her weight this late into the game by being able to Ohko pretty much every non mage enemy barring the Swordmasters. And even then, she can still take out them if you really wanted to without stat boosters by either using a Manuela adjutant or even using the Sublime Creator Sword, which typically doesn't see much use Byleth's hands in my experience. Really, it's not until Chapter 20 does Dorothea start to fall off in terms of being able to Ohko, which is also the point that pretty much every mage starts to fall thanks to enemy HP increasing dramatically by that point on onward. 

The fact that she can remain competitive even without a 22 might Lance for the majority of the games really shows that there's not much of a gap in their combat. And yes, while Stealth isn't as useful as Canto, It's not like you need dedicated tank to make use of Stealth, as any unit with Impregnable Wall will make them completely ignore her as long as they're in range. Combined with the fact that she doesn't suffer from terrain penalties and can promote to a magic using class to make use Meteor Linked Attack as Magic users fall of gives her a competitive niche.

Well she OHKOs the Pals and Generals, and the Assassins(which is nice actually, even though level 36 is a stretch she still would if a bit lower)+ the archers/snipers. Marianne OHKOs everything but the bishops, the demonic beasts(against which the damage difference can still be a big help) and Caspar. That leaves the swormasters, the dark bishops, the dark mages, and the DK(with Assal). You're saying there's little difference; that's a difference.

A Manuela pairup was a bit of a stretch even back when we didn't know how Guard adjutants worked(and I meant, I used to bring those up a lot for Annette, so I'm not particularly happy about it). I'd say the same for the SCS, especially on a map where the beasts have dragon attribute.

"The fact that she can remain competitive even without a 22 might Lance for the majority of the games really shows that there's not much of a gap in their combat."
That's not competitive though, that's the rapier existing, in a chapter where most of the targets she'd struggle with are vulnerable to it. If we're looking for an actual differentiator, let's take Claude's paralogue. It's available form ch 17 onward, I'll assume level 34. With her 67 attack, she OHKOs...
... nothing. Not a single enemy on that map. Marianne cannot really deal with the warlocks, and of course doesn't OHKO the boss or the worms(still deals much higher damage), but she does the rest.

Okay, I retract the needing of a tank specifically. It's true, impregnable wall existing makes it much less of an issue.

I'd rather push into swordfaire/lancefaire 2 to keep OHKOing in Shambala than go Meteor, and lose Stealth, though. The issue is that swordfaire 2 doesn't salvage Dorothea the way it does Marianne. And despite what we both said, that also allows the latter to deal with a bunch of targets in VW 22(archers/snipers of course but also grapplers, swordmasters, assassins and cavaly including Elites with Assal; note that I'm assuming a full on magic battalion, there's probably a reason why you're not but I'm not quite seeing it; that would make her damage with LoD 92 at Lv 40).

2 hours ago, LoneRecon400 said:

So while Marianne might have her advantages, I don't think it's enough to claim an entire tier difference when Assassin Dororthea Ohko's a great many of the same enemies that Marianne is.

I still disagree with that conclusion. We don't have to keep going, though.
... as for the flight, I was thinking of Annette, which admittedly wasn't too relevant here. To be fair, the magic flying battalion did change things a bit and Hit +20 exists(so does the Luin), depending on your stance on auxiliary battles. But I still value how straightforward Paladin is in comparison, and going for both usually means no lancefaire 2.
--------------

1 hour ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

I'm honestly rather skeptical about building either Dorothea or Marianne for magical combat arts as their optimum build. That means that all they'll be able to do is run around and try to OHKO at range 1, while having durability of paper and no skillset options. And it's a build that falls apart if they get even a bit magic-screwed (admittedly, I don't use stat boosters much, so they probably improve a bit if you do). Both of these characters shine because of their skillset options: 2HKO anything at huge range (thanks Thoron), Physic, linked attack synergy (especially for Dorothea with Meteor). And in Dorothea's case, it's not like her Agnea's Arrow even does that much less than her Silver Sword+ Hexblade... it's 4 less might, but actual mage jobs (e.g. Warlock) tend to have more mag than Assassin.

That's definitely arguable as well, yes. I really like it on Marianne still. It's very comparable to Vengeance Bernadetta for most of the game, even though the damage isn't quite as high and she needs a relic to deal with bosses even early on(also no Pass). Dorothea, well I've said my piece, I can agree that she's better off doing something else.

Edited by Cysx

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