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Xenomata

When is a good time for my fave to get in...?

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Go ahead and skip to below the line if you wanna get to the main discussion of this topic.
At the current time, it seems very unlikely that all of our favorite characters from past Fire Emblem games are in FEH. For a personal example, Miriel from Awakening is still not in...
HOWEVER, I want to discuss something that I don't think people often discuss when it comes to favorites in the game: how GOOD they actually are.

Again talking from a personal example. Nowi was a launch 4*/5* unit (before demotes were a thing), and while yes she was considered good at the time, remember that she was one of 2 or 3 Blue Manaketes in the game, so she didn't have much competition. This was also the time of Year 1 units where Infantry units has around 157-158 BST, and the Trainee bonus gave Nowi a BST boost to 163. So for the time, yeah she was pretty good.

Fast forward to now. What started as 2 Blue Manaketes has expanded to 10, almost all of whom are 5* exclusive and almost all of whom have advantages that Nowi lacks.

  • Better skillsets might not be an issue to some, but for those who AREN'T summoning 15 of every released unit it's actually a pretty big problem when you have to decide between your favorite and a powerful unit for the sake of one skill, maybe two if you SI smartly.
  • BST can be an issue for some, especially if we're talking about ranged units. Units like Nowi who got the Trainee bonus aren't as lucked out in that regard, but there is another issue in that department worth discussing in a bit.
  • Weapons. Nowi arguably has one of the best inheritable Breaths in the game, but having a generic weapon is not at all the same as a Prf. Look at the Prf that Fallen M!Corrin, the most recently released Blue Breath Infantry, has and compare it to what Nowi has. We're talking +3 Spd, a potential +5 to all stats, and inflicting Guard on the opponent as long as Corrin is alone, versus Distant Counter and a Special Cooldown penalty on the wielder. Is it fair to compare a Prf to an inheritable weapon, probably not. But a unit gaining a Weapon Refinery update is not often guaranteed to actually receive a good weapon, but more on this later.
  • Stat distribution is a bitch. Let's look at one different tier of Blue units, Lances of the flying kind. They're pretty common as far as unit types after all. Now look at Florina, who let me remind you in her original game was the pretty standard "good Spd underwhelming Atk squishy Def Pegasus Knight" that most Fire Emblem games have early on. You wouldn't believe me just looking at Florina, right? Because she kinda missed the mark on one of those fronts and has one of the worst Spd stats among Lance Fliers in the game, only ahead of Travant and Altena. Now I don't know if Florina has fans or not, but assume that you are and you just learned that Florina is in the game. Leading to my next point...
  • The earliest units did not have established roles. Again with Florina, her weapon would make you think she wants to be an Enemy Phase unit, but her default kit, which remember that at the time there were VERY FEW enemy phase or dual-phase skills, contained a Player Phase skill. Nowi didn't exactly have a clear role either, and arguably she still doesn't.

Now compare Ike to Ike.
...Legendary Ike to Fallen Ike.
Legendary Ike had advantages over existing Distant Counter swords in an exclusive faster-charging version of Aether, a solid A passive in Warding Breath, and a solid stat spread. But now look at Fallen Ike, who ALSO has a Breath skill and a faster-charging version of Aether, but he has even more advantages than Legendary Ike in the effect of his weapon reversing Penalties, a more solid skillset that didn't include useless skills, and a higher BST total with slightly more focus than Legendary Ikes. This isn't to compare the two, this is to show what the devs are willing to give to a unit in the current age compared to before, when Legendary Ike was brand new.

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Now for the discussion... When do you think is a good time for a unit to be released to this game?

Consider that older units do not have the same treatment given to them compared to new units, even demote units. Remember that old units are still getting Weapon Refinery updates just to make them equal to modern units. Recall that older units have had at least one more recent unit that essentially rends the original irrelevant. Even the original Brave and Legendary units, supposedly special, stronger versions of heroes, don't get seen that often anymore because there's simply far better units available.

The later a unit is released, the better they are. Considering that, would you still want them to be released ASAP, if not released even earlier? Or would you be willing to wait for the absolutely best version of that unit possible? In my personal example, would I have wanted Nowi from the beginning (basically the unfocused bag of Nowi we currently have), or could I have waited a few years for her to be the best version of her possible? Can I keep waiting for Miriel to science Lysithea into obscurity, or do I need her to be in the next New Hero banner?

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Personally, I'd rather my favorite characters be released sooner rather than WAY, WAY later. I acknowledge that I have a ... more unique perspective than some players (like refusing to merge and always keeping a copy of every unit, even if I hate them amongst other things), so I don't need my favorites to be fucking OP. I just need them to have decent art and to exist. Even if Tormod becomes more powerful than Lysithea (which is never going to happen, poor guy's not popular enough or female), if it means he's not coming for another 2-3 years, I'd rather not have to wait that long. If I like a character enough, I'll build them in a way that works out in the team I put them in.

At this point in the game, the characters are pretty dang powerful. You'd have to purposely try to screw over a character to make them bad. Like, admittedly, Lorenz. But the dude is still better than my summer Leo (who is also admittedly +spd -atk, so not good to begin with) even at +0 and neutral, and he can still do his job effectively as a green-killer. So even if my favorites had the stat distribution of someone really terrible, I'd still make them work out.

So yeah, I'd like for my favorites to exist. I'm a bit less worried about their OPness, I just want them to exist with good art.

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For common 3-4* units, I think the earlier the better. I'd estimate it'd take me at least a year to get enough copies of a unit to +10 merge, and any such unit released much later for now might be at risk of me quitting the game, or indeed FEH shutting down altogether, before I could get it done. That, and the refinements mean that the shortcomings of launch units are easily wiped out by good refinements - e.g. I'd take Raven over Libra or indeed the very recent Echidna any day. The base kits of the new common units are hardly better than the old ones at all - sure the Defiants and flat +3 stat skills might be gone but the same slots would require expensive investment anyway even with the new units.

For 5* exclusives it's the opposite. My barracks is filled with unmerged 5* exclusives of yesteryear sitting there rather pathetically, knowing there's not much chance of them ever being used again. Even their shiny new refines are outshone by new unit weapons which don't require any expensive dew investment, have powerful base kits that make sense and thus rarely need much skill inheritance, have sensible stat spreads, etc. And now with the spark system, it's easier to +1 them for a nice power spike than it is to fix those unmerged oldies (often with worse-than-neutral natures), leaving no rational reason to even bother to try to fix the old ones. In most cases where I've refined such units (e.g. my unmerged Julia), I've ended up regretting it because they still don't have the power to compete even after the fact. Since there's no sign of a mass demotion of those units coming up, they will remain in limbo until the day FEH shuts down.

Edited by Humanoid

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I do not think when a unit gets released matters all that much. BST is not the only thing that matters, and high BST is not exactly always good thing either depending on the application. Stat distribution and skills matter too, and old units are not lacking in stat distribution and good skills either.

There are still a bunch of first year units who are top tier. BH!Ike and BH!Lucina combo is pretty ridiculous, especially with Peonys in the mix. BH!Roy and Eliwood are not top tier in terms of raw combat performance, but they are certainly top tier when it comes to team composition due to Heavy Blade on their Weapons; same applies to Caeda, Clair, and Ogma. BB!Cordelia and Klein are not the best infantry archers, but they are basically second best. Raven is still the best axe infantry Galeforcer, as low BST with a good stat distribution is still better than high BST with a mediocre stat distribution. Have not fully realized it sooner, but Tharja and Nino are Blade mages who can also be Blazing nukes at the same time. Celica is still bonkers. Cordelia was practically unrivalled until very recently with OM!Ingrid having 76 (34+42; 77 with super boon) total Atk/Spd while Cordelia has 74 (37+37); raw damage output is less relevant meta wise for melee units, but Cordelia still leads the pack due to exclusive Weapon having an extra 5 points in stats (assuming Spd Refinement, Atk+2 and Spd+3 over regular Brave Lance), and the only other units challenging her in that role are TSOIA!Palla and maybe Catria but they got positioning and team composition requirements.

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If you want a unit to be as strong as possible, the best time to be released is on the last banner before the game shuts down. They will never be powercrept.

In my opinion, the best time to be released is launch.

-Power creep exists, but is a double-edged sword. Angry Male Corrin is stronger than Nowi, but you have to deal with Legendary Julia, Thrasir and other strong green units and dragon slayers. A blue dragon released next year will have to deal with even stronger enemies, with even better skill sets. And that blue dragon will probably make AMC join Nowi as fresh-squeezed bench juice. 

-Florina may have gotten a bad stat distribution, but Cordelia got a good one. It’s not dependent on when a unit is released so much as the luck of the draw.
 

-Less competition. Nowi was one of two blue dragons at launch and won the weapon lottery by having a Distant Counter breath. Fae was the only green dragon and so the best one by default. Any dragon released today that doesn’t obsolete all other dragons is basically DOA.

-The longer a unit is in the game, the more copies you will acquire and so the higher you can merge them, particularly for common units. Even the launch premium units have the revival banners which offer good rates, for those that like them.

-There are plenty of low-pressure modes where you can use bad units like Florina. The only way for a unit to be unusable is to not be released yet, which launch units never have to suffer.

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@XRay I'll argue again that it does and use Takumi as an example (remember he has Fujin Yumi, Vengeance, Close Counter, and Threaten Spd).
As a launch unit, he not only had one of the earliest examples of a Prf Bow, but also one of the earliest refines. And it is absolutely USELESS.
...maybe not useless, but all it gives him is the inability to be slowed by Terrain (so... trees) and a Guidance effect as long as he's healthy. One very conditional effect, and another which has moderate use if only he had access to better offenses, which Fujin Yumi is taking up the bulk of that potential offense where the currently available SI options don't give enough of what Takumi would actually want to be good offensively. Keep in mind, this was an effect that Apotheosis Anna just HAS in addition to the stat boosts.
Takumi is only moderately capable as a Firesweep Bow, and as a Brave Bow... well, not the worst, but his earliest rivals of Jeorge, Klein, Gordon, and Virion have all had refinery updates much later than him, two of whom got two different takes on Brave Bow, and they have combat purposes instead of movement abilities.

Takumi having the earliest draw of the barrel, when we had only just began getting skills like Guidance, in my opinion screwed him when, again, his rivals got later refines in times where more skill effects existed, such as Gordin's AoE combat debuff and Virion's Sudden Panic. His stat distribution, meanwhile, means that he isn't able to perform as a Firesweep or Brave Archer as well as other units (he either matches or has less Atk than 8 other Infantry Archers who all have more Spd than him, keep in mind that's JUST Infantry Archers).

And about stat distribution, @Baldrick. It is dependent on release because the early units were the most unfocused of the entire game. What, exactly, did Virion want to do for instance? Compare Virion at launch (so no Sudden Panic bow) to... Eleonora now, who wants to be faster than the opponent to trigger a Firesweep effect, and comes with 2 skills that help her do this. Florina... I think she wants to be a low-Atk armor killer who can serve as a pseudo-healer? But then look at Duo!Palla, and you see someone who wants to be surrounded by at least 3 fliers at all times in order to not just get a Brave effect, but also lower the foes Atk and Def. And Florina was NOT unlucky. She was given something that was supposed to look like her base stats and growths from Blazing Sword, but then lowered her Spd to account for her using a Heavy Lance.
Also I don't understand your other arguments. Dragon killers like Julia and Thrasir can be outdone by chucking a ranged tank into their line of sight. No one is immortal, there's always someone out there who can do you in. Competition means nothing now, we aren't talking about how good a unit would be in the past. Even Lance Infantry has a few good units in it these days. And I dunno about you, but I had enough copies of Mercedes within a few months of her launch, and she wasn't even demoted to 3* until this year. THAT is luck.

And lastly...

 

I need to remind that this topic is not about having the BEST units. I want to point out, Xray, that of all the units you listed off, I personally don't care enough about Eliwood, Caeda, Clair, Ogma, Raven, or Tharja enough to actually build and use them. And even some of the units I DID build and use I don't actually like. This is about balancing if you want your Favorite characters to be as good as the best units currently and actually having them in the game.
Nowi is one of my favorites, I +10 and built both her base and halloween forms, yet there's like 5 better Blue dragons now, and now there's a new Red Tome Flier that rends every other offensive Red Tome Flier useless. Not only do they not even need to be heavily merged to outclass my Nowis, but they don't even need to be heavily built to perform the best they can because they just HAVE IT already.

No, this is about if, for example, I'd be okay with Mirel being at launch but only having Bolganone, Rally Atk, Atk +3, and I dunno Renewal, or if I'd be okay waiting a few years for Miriel and having Knowledge Lexicon (Grants Atk +3, increases Atk/Spd in combat by 9, increased Atk/Spd/Def/Res by +1 for every point of HP lost), Blue Flame, Fury 4, Desperation 4 (unit attacks before foe can counterattack, disables enemy skills that disable unit skills), and Joint Atk/Spd Drive 3. Extreme yes, but you wanna try and predict where they go with this game in a few years? Also, don't count on this game dying anytime soon.

Edited by Xenomata

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For demotes, I agree with preferring early on, since that means easy merging and probably a prf. Although we're already past the point of many demotes getting prfs, so that ship may have sailed.

For rare units, I don't particularly care. Like, I feel like Osian could have been released a while earlier or a while later and I still would have put him to about the same amount of use as I'm likely to now. Although the more time goes on, the more my barracks get packed with all sorts of powerful units, so maybe releasing him earlier would have meant using him more? So that's points for earlier.

Another point in favor of earlier is that even if a unit's initial version is weak, they can get stronger ones later, so you end up with the best of both worlds. Note that by now, every single unit that was released at launch as a 5* exclusive has gotten at least one alt. As have 36 of the 74 3-4* launch units, which is just shy of half.

So, while I tend not to worry about it too much either way, I do think earlier is somewhat better.

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I think that there's a sweetspot that comes a bit past launch, around the time of CYL1 and Ayra, where units weren't quite so randomly slapped together. Some launch units got lucky, but in general they hit their stride a near the end of book 1 to the start of book 2. These units aren't top tier nowadays, but most of them are more than usable, and we don't hit as many launch unit type duds that need refines like Laslow's to be worth looking at again. We also get to have SI by this point, so you don't have any period where you're stuck with a bad base kit. Even a new player showing up and rerolling for their favourite unit on the day they release won't take too long to get some cheap but effective fodder to patch up a poor base kit.

Granted, if you wanted to be optimal about it, the new best moment is post-sparking. By that point units are more often than not more than worth looking at unless you only care about high tier pvp, and you can easily guarantee a neutral +0 even if your luck is abysmal. If you get a 4* focus, you have the easiest time trying to +10 a unit on their release, if you have an orb stash built up. And while bst, prfs, and base stats have gotten better, you can keep units competitive as long as their stats are well distributed. My Mia is my most used unit, and using roughly the same kit as my Larcei(both +1 +Spd, DC/Repel/Variable C usually Atk Smoke, Mia runs moonbow or noontime since no regnal astra), she manages to be roughly equivalent thanks to summoner support bolstering her raw numbers). I don't notice a performance difference between the two in 99% of content even though Larcei is arguably the best sword unit in her role in the game, currently. Granted, Mia got rather lucky in that she has well-distributed bst despite being a relatively early unit, and her refine is quite good, but the point is that with even a less optimized set of innate tools, older units can be made to work in most of the game's content within their niche.

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58 minutes ago, Xenomata said:
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And about stat distribution, @Baldrick. It is dependent on release because the early units were the most unfocused of the entire game. What, exactly, did Virion want to do for instance? Compare Virion at launch (so no Sudden Panic bow) to... Eleonora now, who wants to be faster than the opponent to trigger a Firesweep effect, and comes with 2 skills that help her do this.

Sure, now compare Lilina to Summer Lorenz. A unit's release date does not predetermine the focus of their stat spread.

58 minutes ago, Xenomata said:


Also I don't understand your other arguments. Dragon killers like Julia and Thrasir can be outdone by chucking a ranged tank into their line of sight. No one is immortal, there's always someone out there who can do you in.

When a unit is released, you evaluate them in the meta at the time, then the next year's meta, then the year after that, etc. I am talking about a unit's past, present and future performance for as long as the game exists. In the most general terms, a unit is strongest when they're released, then gradually tail off, possibly getting a spike when they get a refine.

58 minutes ago, Xenomata said:

Competition means nothing now, we aren't talking about how good a unit would be in the past.

You could say the same about the current meta in the future.

58 minutes ago, Xenomata said:

And I dunno about you, but I had enough copies of Mercedes within a few months of her launch, and she wasn't even demoted to 3* until this year. THAT is luck.

PEMN. On average, you will pull more copies of a unit the longer they are in the summoning pool.

 

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3 hours ago, Xenomata said:

I need to remind that this topic is not about having the BEST units. I want to point out, Xray, that of all the units you listed off, I personally don't care enough about Eliwood, Caeda, Clair, Ogma, Raven, or Tharja enough to actually build and use them. And even some of the units I DID build and use I don't actually like. This is about balancing if you want your Favorite characters to be as good as the best units currently and actually having them in the game.

In that case, I do not care about having my favorite units be as good as the best units, and I do not really care if they are in the game or not. I do not care about using my favorite characters very much. As much as I like Edelgard, and spent quite a bit of resources to give Edelgard and FE!Edelgard's additional skills, they are benched for the most part. I only take them out for a spin in the Training Tower or Special Training Maps and just watch them solo autobattle whenever I just want to relax and not think about things too much.

The closest to using my favorites on a regular basis would be BH!Lucina and Laevatein, and I have mostly only used them in Aether Raids.

Once Plumeria gets released, I guess she will be a unit that I will use pretty consistently on a regular basis, but even then, I still do not think I will use her more often than VS!Azura.

As for when they should be released, I am not really sure if I prefer to have my favorite characters be released earlier or later. If they are a unit that fits my play style, I guess I would want them to be released earlier. If they are a unit that does not fit my play style though, I am not sure I care about when they get released.

3 hours ago, Xenomata said:

@XRay I'll argue again that it does and use Takumi as an example (remember he has Fujin Yumi, Vengeance, Close Counter, and Threaten Spd).
As a launch unit, he not only had one of the earliest examples of a Prf Bow, but also one of the earliest refines. And it is absolutely USELESS.
...maybe not useless, but all it gives him is the inability to be slowed by Terrain (so... trees) and a Guidance effect as long as he's healthy. One very conditional effect, and another which has moderate use if only he had access to better offenses, which Fujin Yumi is taking up the bulk of that potential offense where the currently available SI options don't give enough of what Takumi would actually want to be good offensively. Keep in mind, this was an effect that Apotheosis Anna just HAS in addition to the stat boosts.
Takumi is only moderately capable as a Firesweep Bow, and as a Brave Bow... well, not the worst, but his earliest rivals of Jeorge, Klein, Gordon, and Virion have all had refinery updates much later than him, two of whom got two different takes on Brave Bow, and they have combat purposes instead of movement abilities.

Takumi having the earliest draw of the barrel, when we had only just began getting skills like Guidance, in my opinion screwed him when, again, his rivals got later refines in times where more skill effects existed, such as Gordin's AoE combat debuff and Virion's Sudden Panic. His stat distribution, meanwhile, means that he isn't able to perform as a Firesweep or Brave Archer as well as other units (he either matches or has less Atk than 8 other Infantry Archers who all have more Spd than him, keep in mind that's JUST Infantry Archers).

Sol Katti's Refine is really good and it was released at the same time as Fujin Yumi. Sol Katti got a slightly weaker version of "Null Follow-Up" against Wary Fighter units as Sol Katti's Brash Assault cancels out Wary Fighter, and Lyn's natural Spd should allow her to secure the double. And with Resplendent stats, Lyn is only outclassed in raw stats by a few min-maxed gen IV units, as Lyn can stand toe to toe with any of the gen III sword infantry stat wise, and many gen IV sword infantry.

Siegmund was not exactly great back then, but it is pretty good now with Impacts and Lull Atk/Def for bulk preservation, as well as Eir for long range healing.

Deathly Dagger, Hauteclere, and Mystletainn also got decent Refines, although nothing super amazing in my opinion.

Edited by XRay

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Honestly, I think the best-case scenario would be to have new units get into the game as soon as possible (but preferably in the sweet spot that Ether was referring to) and then have seasonal alts pop up later down the road. That way, you could still have a demote +10 Miriel with a Blade tome or weapon refinery pref and a pretty busted red mage flier summer Miriel with premium stats and skills. Real life example would be Nino, who was released at launch (I think) and was lucky enough to have good offensive stats and be pushed into the glass cannon mage archetype from the beginning. Then she got a pretty decent weapon refinery pref and a winter alt who's pretty good and lots of fun to use. 

Granted, the only problem with this is that some characters might not be popular enough to have seasonal alts, but you never know. Alts like Halloween L'Arachel and Spring Fir really threw me for a loop.

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