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Barren

Knights/Church of Seiros members worth using as team members

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I've been testing out pretty much all members of the church/knights of seiros and I can come up with characters I feel are worth using on a team. I would still recruit them anyways just for the faculty drills alone throughout part 1 and 2. But to use them in battle is a different story usually. Of course I am aware that if you don't recruit certain people you can defeat them for rewards like axe of zoltan or brave bow for example. But if you don't care for those weapons or you'll get another one anyways then I wouldn't worry about them.

Edit: I forgot that enemies that replace the recruited members get these weapons as well. Thank you @Shadow Mirfor the correction

On normal mode all of them are perfectly usable. But on hard/maddening mode I would like to discuss some potential options for them if possible

Anna

 

Boons

Swords, Axes, Bows, Faith, Riding (Budding Talent)

Bane

Reason, Authroity

Spoiler

 

I honestly don't think she would be recommended to use in a serious team because she has no support bonuses with any character and her spell list is pretty lackluster. But that is not to say she isn't usable at all. It's just hard to recommend I feel because aside from her speed, she is going to be having issues dealing damage. She does get Break Shot which is fine on lowering strength and Armored Strike for having high defense. Business Prosperity is not that great either. At least nothing worth noting outside of critical hits and critical dodge being factored by the luck stat. Her crest of Ernest is nice for preventing counter attacks but don't count on it always triggering.

Great Knights from what I've heard are pretty bad. Anna however somehow makes it workable because her innate Res growth is 40% which is acceptable. Her speed would take a hit though but her defense would go up. Her budding tale in riding grants her Pass which allows her to do some cool things like slipping past through enemies to let's say kill a weakened enemy. And having 7 move (8 if you give her movement +1. 9 if you give her March Ring) can be pretty useful. Giving her Death Blow would help her out since she should be able to deal as much damage as possible and axes do hit pretty hard. Of course being a Great Knight still means you have weaknesses to armor slayer and horse slayer weapons and magic eats them alive. Especially Bolting and Meteor. You can in theory have her get Aegis from the Paladin class but that only triggers based on her Dex stat. 45% growth for her Dex stat isn't terrible but you can do better.

Assassin, Sniper, or Bow Knight are also good options for her since again Pass and maybe Movement +1 if you're dedicated enough will allow her to get in range faster. Bow Knight especially since you have access to Canto. Being able to chip then dip can be good in this instance. Assassin allows her to use swordfaire effectively and while Soulblade and Hexblade are decent options her strength growth (or lack thereof) won't be well compensated for it unless you're either using a specific weapon like Rapier to deal extra damage to cavalier and armored units, or Wo Dao+ for high crit chances. Even then she'll be luck if she can one shot anything that has high health. Sniper and Bow Knights with Bowfaire allows her to deal extra damage when chipping away but Break Shot is only really useful on a selected basis. Curved Shot at least let's you attack safely. Assassins have Stealth which can allow her at times to approach safely when you don't want her to be targeted. It depends on where you position her I believe (could be wrong).

Unusual options for her are other classes are Swordmaster and Warrior. They both grant her an additional critical hit chance with sword or axe respectively. But her defense is pretty poultry but it will increase HP and Strength quite nicely. Though 5 move isn't the best at times unless you have a March Ring or someone with Stride, Rescue, or Warp then maybe these movement issues can be manageable. Mortal Savant is another one if you're willing to grind her reason all the way to A to get Meteor but there are better candidates out there that can use Meteor like Dorothea.

Then there is Trickster, her throwback class from Awakening. Her spell list gets cut in half in this class but it's not really worth losing sleep over. This makes her just as fast as Assassins but there is another upside to this as well. She can actually use her magic, Rescue is the only spell worth using for her and Foul Play is a useful combat art for movement utility. If you can use Foul Play effectively you can no doubt get your beefier units in on the action.

Trickster seems to be her best option in my opinion but the others I've mentioned can be workable. Again, it's hard to recommend her on a serious team but if you really want to use her then go ahead. I would level her up at least a little bit so she can be useful in her own side quest battle. 

 

Catherine

 

Boons

Swords, Brawling

Bane

Reason

Spoiler

Catherine is an interesting unit to bring forth. You can't recruit her at all on Black Eagles and she'll only join you on Silver Snow late into part 1 of the route. If however you're on Blue Lions or Golden Deer, you can recruit her early if you want. She can be helpful on the higher difficulties from what I've seen early on because of her personal ability Fighting Spirit. This basically reduces the damage she receives by 5 if she has no battalion equipped or if it's endurance is reduced to 0. This makes her viable in part 1 of the game because she can take hits for your party and can fight back just as easily. Her starting out as a Swordmaster that early ain't no bad thing either. You get Thunderbrand off the bat and she already has all of her sword combat arts available to her. Her strength and speed growths are really good. Her dex growths could be problem pending on how lucky you are with RNG.

Having her stay as Swordmaster isn't a bad option because she has basically all she needs. Not to mention that Sword Crit and Swordfaire do stack as well do that is another plus. Of course if you want her to deal even more damage, you could have her pick up Death Blow. If you want to address her accuracy issues, have her go archer for a bit to pick up Hit +20. There is also battalion vantage for her to lure enemies and one round them potentially but that would require you to negate her personal ability. If you think her Dex will be an issue, then having her go Assassin can be pretty good. Granting her 6 move and still being able to keep Swordfaire is also nice as well. 

She has a boon in brawling so even if you want her to remain a sword class, teaching her healing focus further compliments her fighting spirit ability since it will heal her. Her only brawling option as of DLC is the War Cleric class. From there she can get a nice Res boost which is lacking for her and brawl avoid +20 is pretty good too. She can function as a guard adjutant as a the War Cleric in this class as well.

Other options for her to pursue are the Pegasus Knight or Wyvern Rider classes too so she can soar into action. Darting Blow is always useful. Then there is Mortal Savant for a master class with swordfaire but her bane in reason and having her magic stat growth being at 25% isn't really convincing whatsoever.

I think overall while having her remain swordsmaster would be ideal for her since that is how she started out but assassin is also a good choice too. She would serve you well in part 1 as mentioned before but in part 2 she might start to fall off by the time the rest of your team begins to catch up.

Cyril

 

Boons

Lances, Axes, Bows, Riding, Flying

Bane

Reason, Faith

Spoiler

Cyril has a lot of potential options for him. He is basically the Donnel of this game since he gets Aptitude which gives all of his growths an additional 20% chance to get a boost upon leveling up. His dex and speed is actually pretty good. 60% is pretty high all things considered. You can choose to recruit him starting chapter 5 on Blue Lions and Golden Deer route and joins you at Silver Snow should you side with Rhea like Catherine and Seteth and if you're at least level 10. 

Paladin is a interesting option for him as it will help out his strength which does sorely need. He'll lose some speed but considering he's fast already, it's really not too bad. He gets Vengeance as a lance combat art which can be nice if you want to incorporate heroes relic weapons to chip at his own health. Or have him take a few hits with a guard adjutant at his side increasing his damage output with vengeance. But Bernadetta is a better option for that strategy because of Persecution Complex granting her attack +5 when under 100% health. Though Cyril would have an easier time leveling up his axes to eventually get into Brigand to get Death Blow compared to Bernadetta but Bernie really only needs axes to be at least D+ if you want a decent chance to unlock Brigand (C if you want a 100% chance). Aegis can be nice for Cyril considering that his Dex stat is pretty high and it will allow him to have easier access to movement +1. Movement +1 combos great with Canto since it gives you more movement tiles to play around with.

His better options are either Sniper or Bow Knight since he gets Point-Blank Volley pretty early. Sniper if you like Hunter's Volley as a powerful distance attacking option. Of course getting Hit +20 is pretty much mandatory for any Sniper or Bow Knight class. Another great option for him is Wyvern Lord. Everyone knows how powerful they are. On harder difficulties, they are pretty much necessary for you to at least have a more manageable time on hard and maddening mode. Above all else, having 8 move, flight, canto, avoid +10 and axefaire are just too good to pass up.

He could also try out something like Warrior or Warmaster. Warmaster giving him Quick Riposte allows him to deal with enemy phase really well. Warrior is fine but there are better options for him if he's planning on using an axe.

I think a number of people might agree that Wyvern Lord is too good of a choice to pass up and he makes the most of what the class has to offer. Granted he's not the only one that can make the class work, but it's still a powerful one all the same.

Shamir

 

Boons

Lances, Bows

Banes

Faith

Spoiler

Shamir is another interesting pick. You can recruit her at chapter 6 and if you're at least level 15. Her personal ability Survival Instinct grants Str/Mag/Dex/Spd +4 for one turn when killing an enemy. Normally you really can't take advantage of that unless someone else tries to target her, but if you have a dancer on your team or if you're using Dance of the Goddess battalion which grants refresh, that can allow her to take full advantage of the buffs and deal more damage. But she's not very fast to begin with and on harder difficulties that would be a chore to try to pull off effectively.

Shamir I think is fine as a Sniper, I would have her master the Archer class first to get Hit +20. If you need her to inflict big time damage then Death Blow. Hunter's Volley is a great option for damage. Bow Critical + 10 can also be helpful for her landing kills especially when paired with a Killer Bow+. Bow Knight is an optional route for her to go in case you want much more range but you lose out on Hunter's Volley. 

She has a proficiency in lances so if you're looking to improve her lackluster speed, there is always the Pegasus Knight class to get Darting Blow. She also gets Lance Jab which does more damage based on her speed. Making her a Falcon Knight can patch up her speed issues.

I don't think Shamir is that bad, but I can understand if you want to bench her for thinking that her personal ability is unreliable to take advantage of.

Flayn

 

Boons

Lances, Reason (Budding Talent), Faith

Bane

Heavy Armor, Riding

Spoiler

Flayn is your typical white mage in this play through. She is available on all routes except for Black Eagles route Part 2. Lily's Poise reducing damage adjacent allies take by 3 can actually be helpful at times especially if your HP is high enough to take advantage of it. As expected her magic, charm and resist stats are high while her physical attributes like strength and defense are low. 

The more common options most players tend to take are the magical classes like bishop, warlock (if you decide to unlock her budding talent) and gremory. Seal Magic is what she unlocks when tutoring her in reason magic. Seal Magic is highly situational at best and at worst worthless since most mages have bad defense anyways and your physical attackers should be able to usually one shot them. Bishop allows her to have doubles uses of white magic and increases healing magic by 10. She has access to Rescue and Fortify. She's one of the only mages in the game to have this spell, besides Mercedes who unlike Flayn, also has access to Physic. Though Flayn does have Rescue which can be helpful at times. Gremory allows her to have double uses of both reason and white magic. Her best offensive black magic is Excalibur which is the lightest heavy tome in the game. 8 WT, 11 Might and 15 Crit is not too bad all things consider. The low weight of the tomes are there to compensate for the fact that her speed isn't the best. 35% is pretty low, it's the same stat growth as Annette.

Another option since she happens to start out with Rank D in flying is the Pegasus Knight class. Darting Blow allows her to increase her attack speed by 6 when initiating combat and since the wind elemental tomes tend to be light that along with Fiendish Blow could help out Flayn in the damage department. Double attacking with those spells can be beneficial. If you're looking to have Flayn take flight and still cast her spells, she can be a good candidate to be a Dark Flier. Of course I would recommend to have her master Warlock first because she gets Bowbreaker which combos very well with the Dark Flier class. Dark Flier helps out Flayn's speed and being able to combine that with Reason, Fiendish + Darting Blow, and Bowbreaker makes Flayn a potent enough mage to dish out damage and helps her avoid bow attacks.

She can also be a decent candidate to be your Dancer. Her charm is immediately high enough for her to pass the White Hereon Cup. I wouldn't do it on the Black Eagles route however for the same reason I mentioned above. An odd but considerable option for Flayn is Falcon Knight. She gets Frozen Lance which does take advantage of her magic stat and it will help her strength and speed growth (speed more so) when leveling up. But you lose out on her magic.

I think that Flayn can be an okay choice to bring forth as one of your team members. Like Shamir, you might have to put in some effort to make it work

Manuela

 

Boons

Swords, Faith, Flying

Bane

Reason, Heavy Armor

Spoiler

Unlike Flayn she is a faster white mage with higher HP but Flayn's white magic list is more focused on healing and Manuela's is more utility focused. Silence can be useful at times when enemy mages are plentiful or you need to approach said enemy mage more safely and Warp is one of the more useful spells in the game. Infirmary Master increasing an adjacent ally's critical avoid by 10 can be a lifesaver at times. Her stats though might not suggest that Manuela is a potent damage dealer of any sort but her high speed and charm stat does suggest that she can at least be less likely to be doubled pending on the difference in speed stat and she can be a good battalion user as well.

She can do fine as a Bishop since it will increase her healing potency and doubles uses of her white magic. 2 uses of Warp is always better than one. However she doesn't have other useful spells like Physic or Fortify so she might not get that much mileage out of bishop outside of warp. Her boon in swords and flying is also interesting considering that they are only both together required for her to become a Falcon Knight. She can most certainly pull it off, but her lance proficiency will need some work. Manuela also has the options of being a swordmaster or assassin. The former granting her better strength, swordfaire and 10 more crit in swords, and the later having better speed and dex, swordfaire and stealth. Though assassins having 6 move and being able to ignore terrain penalties can be very useful. Not to mention that she comes with Hexblade immediately so she can still use her magic stat with her combat art.

There is Mortal Savant for her since she could afford the speed drop going down from 60% to 50%. Plus is will increase her offensive capabilities in both strength and magic. It will take her a pretty long time to get there because of her weakness with reason magic. But if you can manage to train her all the way up to rank A, she gets Bolting. Bolting is an incredibly useful magic spell to hit enemies much further away. One more thing to note: Her having access to Rally Charm tends to be slept on because +8 to charm means that your gambits will be more effective than normal.

I think that Manuela definitely brings plenty to the table compared to other people from the church/knights of seiros. However it's not the end of the world if you don't decide to bring her along. But I do like Manuela enough to use her on occasion. 

Hanneman

 

Boons

Bows, Reason, Riding

Bane

Heavy Armor, Flying

Spoiler

You can recruit Hanneman at the same time you can recruit Manuela. He has a naturally high magic and dex stat growth but his speed is really bad. 20% is not great for a mage at all. Though his spell list is pretty good. Having Thoron, Ragnarok and Meteor are all useful spells for him to have. His boon in bows are also nice because he can go into the archer class really easily and get him Hit +20 in conjunction to Fiendish Blow which makes his spells very accurate. His personal ability Crest Scholar is basically Rally Magic. It's easily useful for your mages that could use the extra oomph for their magic.

His options are actually pretty straight forward. He can go Warlock if you want to maximize his black magic and have double uses of them. Since he also has a boon in riding, it's feasible for him to get movement +1 as well. It would be easier for him to achieve it by going into the Dark Knight class. He'll have higher move as opposed to being a Warlock but he'll lose the 2x uses of black magic. Though Canto is nice for some chip and dip.

He can also make use of the Sniper/Bow Knight classes as well. Him wielding a Magic Bow+ takes advantage of his high magic stat and he can dish out a surprisingly good amount of damage with it. Hunter's Volley can provide the double hit that he sorely lacks due to his low speed. Bow Knight is only nice for the extra range and movement in exchange for lack of damage output. Schism Shot is not as useful to me anyways for lowering Res and Ward Arrow is nice for silencing mages so there is that.

Hanneman is overall just okay to me. He's totally usable but there are better mages and archers out there.

Alois

 

Boons

Axes, Brawling, Heavy Armor

Bane

Reason, Flying

Spoiler

Alois joins you really late into part 1 should you decide to recruit him. He starts off as a Warrior and to be honest, his high strength and HP is not too bad. Plus he already has high rankings in Axes and Brawling. He also gets C Rank for Heavy Armor and Authority too so he at least gives you something to work with. He also gets weight -3 and rally strength and battalion wrath so he already brings enough to the table. His ability Compassion is Rally Luck. Not useful on its own but with Rally Strength you might give someone a chance to get lucky with a crit. For most people he's not really worth bringing to your team because one should already have an axe user or brawler on the front lines and he does feel like a secondary unit. He could work as a guard adjutant as a armored knight then later on fortress knight.

His class options are pretty straight forward. He can go Warmaster if you want an easy time tutoring him. He gets Brawling at Rank B off the bat so that shouldn't really take too long. Quick Riposte is one of the best abilities in the game. Always performing follow up attacks as long as you're over half health greatly encourages you to remain healthy as long as possible. He could master mercenary for vantage and brigand for death blow and master warrior for wrath if you really want to build Alois up. But there are more decent candidates out there like Felix as a Warmaster. As this is a popular choice for Felix since he takes full advantage of his Crest of Fraldarius when using gauntlets.

There is Grappler if you want him to spam Fierce Iron Fist. Death Blow and maybe have him master Brawl Avoid +20 and maybe Hit +20 if you want him to start pummeling things to an oblivion. But that's why we have Balthus. He's basically a better tank in a lot of ways thanks to his ability King of Grappling granting him Str/Def +6 when under 50% health.

He honestly feels like he's just a filler pick in this instance. Though again he could be a guard adjutant for Leonie for example since that offers Leonie good stat buffs.

Gustave

Gilbert

 

Boons

Lances, Axes, Heavy Armor, Riding

Bane

None

Spoiler

Gilbert is only available and automatically joins you on the Azure Moon route. He starts as a Fortress Knight. The problem most people have with Fortress Knights are that they are slow, 4 move and magic incinerates them. On the harder difficulties, they tend to be worn down quickly with poison strike despite taking minimal base damage. Chip damage really adds up. His ability Veteran Knight allows him to take 2 less damage when in formation with a battalion. He also gets Dex +4 and Rally Defense starting out which is nice.

He could remain a Fortress Knight if you want him as a Guard Adjutant. He could also go Great Knight but that really won't address his short comings and makes his rough spots worse. As he'll remain slow and have pretty bad res. You could reclass him as a Paladin which for some is a better choice if you want a rider and plus Aegis could potentially help him tank a few magic hits for you. 

I know this analysis is shorter than normal but there's really not much to him honestly. He's only crucial for the quest battle to get the Crusher Heroes Relic weapon for Annette.

Seteth

 

Boons

Swords, Lances, Axes, Authority, Flying

Bane

Riding

Spoiler

Seteth only joins you on Silver Snow, Azure Moon and Verdant Wind routes. He starts out as a Wyvern Rider, one of the better advance classes you could ask for. He already comes with a number of good abilities like Lancebreaker and Swordbreaker since he has a high rank in lances and axes. His personal ability Guardian allows adjacent female allies deal 3 extra damage during combat. Which can be useful at times pending on your formation. Like Gilbert he has Rally Defense and if you level up his Authority which isn't really hard to do for him, he can also get Rally Res at Rank S. 

He can reclass as a Cavalier despite being bad at Riding which is rather odd, but hey it is what it is. His class options I think is fairly obvious. Wyvern Lord. It's just so good. Though he his best Axe Combat art is Focused Strike which is basically a free hit +30. Useful when you're trying to hit something. Though that doesn't compare to him having access to one of the best combat arts in the game that isn't a class exclusive: Swift Strikes. It's power and it hits twice. Only thing is that him as a Wyvern Lord, he will miss out on extra damage he could have gotten since he wouldn't have Lancefaire. Though if you're diligent enough, you could try making him a Paladin if you want the extra damage from Lancefaire. Though do you really want him to do something besides riding a Wyvern? As a Wyvern Lord, Alert Stance and then later Alert Stance+ allows him to be really tanky as he can dodge hits as often as possible.

Seteth is not a bad pick to bring to your team, he's already on the way on being a Wyvern Lord and he doesn't require too much work to be as good as the rest of your team.

Jeritza

 

Boons

Swords, Lances, Brawling, Riding, Flying (Budding Talent)

Bane

Faith, Authority

Spoiler

Jeritza is only available on the Crimson Flower route. He's about every bit as good as he's cracked up to be. He already starts off as the Death Knight which is unique to him. Murderous Intent giving him a Hit +20 when initiating combat is really useful for him to hit things hard. Plus upon mastering the Death Knight class he gets Counterattack. Unless you have Retribution activated or have the Chalice of Beginnings, it's an ability unique to him since it will activate at all times. His budding talent in flying grants him Darting Blow. Which is a huge deal for him since allowing him to have high accuracy and a better attack speed when initiating combat will help him out a lot from at least being doubled by fast units. 

You could just keep him as the Death Knight since it offers so much for him. There other options for him. Like Swordmaster or Assassin if you like using Wind Sweep. Wind Sweep is great for getting a free hit without any fear of a counter attack. He already starts off with a bow rank of D and a sword rank of B+ so getting into either class if you want to can be really easy for him. There is Dark Knight as well since he along with Edelgard can take advantage of Black and Dark Tomefaire simultaneously. His magic growth going from 35% to 45% is not too bad actually. He still maintains a good speed growth too which makes him rather fast.

Then there is Wyvern Lord. What else is there to say. He becomes incredibly strong in that class that isn't the Death Knight.

Honestly, he is really great. He makes normal mode pretty much a complete joke and he can even help you out a lot on hard and maddening as well as long as you know not to have him take on too many enemies at once. Definitely use him if you want a easier time with the game

These are my personal takes on these units. Though I do ask if you think any of them are worth using on hard or maddening mode? I'm really curious to see what you guys think. If there is any info I'm missing or misstated feel free to correct me.

Edited by Barren

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41 minutes ago, Barren said:

Of course I am aware that if you don't recruit certain people you can defeat them for rewards like axe of zoltan or brave bow for example. But if you don't care for those weapons or you'll get another one anyways then I wouldn't worry about them.

The generic replacements that show up if they were recruited will have the same stuff as the characters themselves.

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1 minute ago, Shadow Mir said:

The generic replacements that show up if they were recruited will have the same stuff as the characters themselves.

Ahh good to note. Thank you for correcting me

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I don't know where you're getting the idea that church units are inherently bad or not worth using. Like the rest of the cast, they range from decent to great, and all are completly usable on maddening, let alone hard. Some of them are stronger than others, of course, but that's true for the students as well. With the possible exception of the house leaders, there's probably a similar range of unit strength in the church as there is in the students.

Catherine and Seteth are both great from the moment you get them, and can contribute meaningfully with very little investment. I assume Jeritza is the same, though I've yet to have a chance to use him. The others are less obviously good, but all have their place and all are viable. Manuela can sit in bishop as a dedicated warper or easily go falcon knight (her growths are pretty much the same as Ingrid's). I've never really used Hanneman, but really want to try the magic bow sniper build for him, because it sounds like a lot of fun. Shamir arrives in sniper long before anyone else can get it and so gets access to hunter's volley long before anyone else can. Cyril has point blank volley and vengeance, and has all the skill proficiencies for either wyvern lord or bow knight. Flayn has fortify and great magic growths. Alois and Gilbert are hard for me to get enthusiastic about because they don't have anything that makes them really stand out, but they're both perfectly decent, usable units. And I will never defend Anna because having no supprts is indefensible, but she's still usable. I guess. If you have to.

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I've tried Cyril as a War Master before, in my VW Hard playthrough. It actually went really well, his crit rate was through the roof. I think mine got fairly strength blessed, but he was absolutely annihilating everything as early as chapter 14. I honestly recommend it if you don't want him as a Wyvern or Bow Knight.

I second the desire to try the mage sniper build for Hanneman, it sounds so fun. Fortunately my brother has expressed an interest in Hanneman as a character, so I can tell him to try that build in his playthrough. 

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Yeah, all the Church units are very usable (with the exception of Anna, who is outperformed in every one of her possible niches even if you could ignore her criminal lack of supports). 

I'm personally a massive Shamir fan, and all of her natural endgame classes (Sniper, Bow Knight, and just because fliers + bows are amazing, Falcon Knight) are extremely solid - as you say dancing synergises with her personal, but she also can do very cool things as a dodge tank flier with Alert Stance, and still using a Brave Bow on Player Phase. It's almost criminal that she's recruitable in Ch. 6, and can thus reasonably get Hunter's Volley by Ch. 10 when most units have only just gotten into advanced classes if at all. 

As said above, Catherine, Seteth, and Jeritza are all very good with little effort. So certainly usable (indeed recommended) on Hard and Maddening. Seteth is an upgrade on Ferdinand (excluding Ferdinand's dodge tank stuff, which personally hasn't worked for me yet), Catherine is a slightly worse female Felix (but after the early game, there's no advantage in her personal because she shouldn't be taking many counters/the stat boosts from battalions do wonders for Thunderbrand/Nimble Combo), and I think Jeritza needs no convincing.

I love Magic Bow Hanneman. Absolute machine, needs a bit of babying but becomes very good very quickly. As a mage, though, he isn't particularly special.

Manuela doesn't bring exceptional offensive power - only on NG+ can you afford to get her Bolting, which I suppose is something if you like siege tomes. Her accuracy might need a little patching with it though. Hexblade is simply not reliable enough (you still have to rely on effective kills and lucky crits), and whilst her stats are decent, I wouldn't normally use her because she does feel a bit like dead weight. But if you need another Warp user Bishop, or for some reason can't have Marianne use Silence (and you really need it) on a mage-heavy map, then she has that niche.

Flayn often gets quite a good Mag stat, which is nice for Rescue, and having Fortify means she's never not a useful Gremory. I'd be interested to see whether Frozen Lance Falcon Knight is a worthy build for her - otherwise she isn't particularly noteworthy on offense. 

I like Alois a lot, but having Balthus from much earlier now means there is someone built to occupy his niche. Alois is still a big hitter thanks to One-Two Punch, so it doesn't take much effort to get him to ORKO - he's a great backup/supplement if you don't have anyone being a tough guy with a Player Phase. Give him Death Blow if you can, stick him in Grappler/War Master and let him be.

I haven't had much success with Gilbert or Cyril, so I don't use them, but that may just be my bad luck.

Edited by haarhaarhaar

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5 hours ago, lenticular said:

I don't know where you're getting the idea that church units are inherently bad or not worth using. Like the rest of the cast, they range from decent to great, and all are completly usable on maddening, let alone hard. Some of them are stronger than others, of course, but that's true for the students as well. With the possible exception of the house leaders, there's probably a similar range of unit strength in the church as there is in the students.

Catherine and Seteth are both great from the moment you get them, and can contribute meaningfully with very little investment. I assume Jeritza is the same, though I've yet to have a chance to use him. The others are less obviously good, but all have their place and all are viable. Manuela can sit in bishop as a dedicated warper or easily go falcon knight (her growths are pretty much the same as Ingrid's). I've never really used Hanneman, but really want to try the magic bow sniper build for him, because it sounds like a lot of fun. Shamir arrives in sniper long before anyone else can get it and so gets access to hunter's volley long before anyone else can. Cyril has point blank volley and vengeance, and has all the skill proficiencies for either wyvern lord or bow knight. Flayn has fortify and great magic growths. Alois and Gilbert are hard for me to get enthusiastic about because they don't have anything that makes them really stand out, but they're both perfectly decent, usable units. And I will never defend Anna because having no supprts is indefensible, but she's still usable. I guess. If you have to.

I think what I was trying to do is explain if they feel worth bringing to the team more often than not. Perhaps I should have worded it better but I hope that clears things up a little

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NG GD Maddening

Early Recruit Catherine (C5) is ridiculously overtuned and always worth recruiting. Hell I even have her with a training sword and she leaves enemies with single digit health for my other units to pick up.

The fact that Cyril can get Point Blank the same month you get him makes him unironically a better combat unit than everyone not named Catherine, Felix or Byleth up to that point (C5). With a steel bow+ and Hilda's personal he gets a free kill every player phase and proceeds to snowball. He is also pretty close to monster smasher too. Can even go the vengeance route. On other modes I agree that he isn't worth it but on Maddening he completely shits on like 80% of my units.

 

I don't usually like the aptitude units, but by being one rank away from literally one of the best combat arts in the entire game,  having easy access to the other best combat art in the game, having literally every boon a physical combat unit could want and easy access to all really desirable classes (Wyvern, Sniper, PBV Bow Knight, even war master if you focus brawl) means IS finally did it right. He doesnt even feel like an aptitude unit because if you get him early enough his stats aren't much further off than your other units and stats don't really matter as much.

 

Only 2 I've used so they are the only 2 I can speak on. I'll take them every playthrough every time.

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3 hours ago, Ownagepuffs said:

Early Recruit Catherine (C5) is ridiculously overtuned and always worth recruiting. Hell I even have her with a training sword and she leaves enemies with single digit health for my other units to pick up.

Doesn't she need you to be level 15 to recruit? Even knowing that that goes down with supports, I am rather hard-pressed to see that happening, especially as you can't interact with her until chapter 3 iirc, as that's when she is introduced.

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7 minutes ago, Shadow Mir said:

Doesn't she need you to be level 15 to recruit? Even knowing that that goes down with supports, I am rather hard-pressed to see that happening, especially as you can't interact with her until chapter 3 iirc, as that's when she is introduced.

Getting to a C-support isn't that difficult I think, and that lowers it all the way to only needing lvl12, which I think is fairly easy to reach by that point. I'm not sure how much you need for a C-rank, but I think we're talking about sharing a meal with her once, and 2 gifts or something?

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With a C+ support the level requirement to recruit Catherine is only 9. You can unlock the C support by sharing two meals with her and giving her the whetstone from one of the earliest monastery quests. Sharing two more meals with her after viewing the C support will give you C+.

Note that both participants need to enjoy the meal for it to yield the required support points, and that "today's special" gives around half of the support points.

She is not deployable in chapter 4, so there is no need to recruit her that month even if it is possible. Including her in four meals before starting chapter 5 is not a big investment considering how good of a unit you get in return. IMO she is one of the best units in the entire game on maddening due to her early game contributions (with Blue Lion and Golden Deer that is). By recruiting her this early you can also learn her class mastery skills such as Death Blow and Hit +20 to increase her long-term potential, or alternatively make her a Pegasus Knight.

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I remember watching Mekkah's video on Catherine. And she is pretty much worth to recruit that early since she can actually take hits for your team

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One thing to note with Alois - he has the rare One-Two Punch combat art from the moment he joins. Dedue is the only other one who gets it (at C+-Gauntlets), making it exclusive to Alois on non-BL routes. Granting +8 Mt and +20 Hit, I found it often securing the kill against enemies Alois doesn't naturally double (read: quad), and who can survive two unboosted punches. He'll have to take a hit in the interim, but that's rarely a problem against physical enemies. I find Brigand -> Grappler -> War Master a course that's hard to go wrong (might even be worth going back to Fighter, for Strength+2).

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

One thing to note with Alois - he has the rare One-Two Punch combat art from the moment he joins. Dedue is the only other one who gets it (at C+-Gauntlets), making it exclusive to Alois on non-BL routes. Granting +8 Mt and +20 Hit, I found it often securing the kill against enemies Alois doesn't naturally double (read: quad), and who can survive two unboosted punches. He'll have to take a hit in the interim, but that's rarely a problem against physical enemies. I find Brigand -> Grappler -> War Master a course that's hard to go wrong (might even be worth going back to Fighter, for Strength+2).

That's a good idea too. Getting Strength +2 on him would be easier than him getting faith at rank C+ just for the War Monk class and to get brawl avoid +20. If he's going to be killing enemies in one round or at least taking some damage in return at least his damage output would be worth it. 

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2 hours ago, Barren said:

That's a good idea too. Getting Strength +2 on him would be easier than him getting faith at rank C+ just for the War Monk class and to get brawl avoid +20. If he's going to be killing enemies in one round or at least taking some damage in return at least his damage output would be worth it. 

I mean, if you have the DLC, then I'm not opposed to training his Faith on the back-burner to get into War Monk. It'll take him 2~3 chapters to reach D+ Faith (probably the minimum he'll need to certify), but he can spend that time mastering Fighter/Brigand. Brawl Avoid +20 is good on any fists-user, and Pneuma-Gale would give him an interesting (albeit situational) ranged option. And while he appreciates Tomebreaker and Fierce Iron Fist from Grappler, the latter is arguably less essential on Alois (compared to, say, Raphael), because he already has a strong player-phase art in 1-2 Punch.

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1 hour ago, Shanty Pete's 1st Mate said:

I mean, if you have the DLC, then I'm not opposed to training his Faith on the back-burner to get into War Monk. It'll take him 2~3 chapters to reach D+ Faith (probably the minimum he'll need to certify), but he can spend that time mastering Fighter/Brigand. Brawl Avoid +20 is good on any fists-user, and Pneuma-Gale would give him an interesting (albeit situational) ranged option. And while he appreciates Tomebreaker and Fierce Iron Fist from Grappler, the latter is arguably less essential on Alois (compared to, say, Raphael), because he already has a strong player-phase art in 1-2 Punch.

That's a good point well.

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