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Ashe is good; Change my mind

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Ashe is an odd one honestly. His growths speak assassin, but his strength is below par, meaning he would have a hard time killing. This is why I think that ashe is good as a warrior/war master/wyvern lord. His extremely high dexterity also means he is probably one of (if not, the best) user of the vantage wrath combo. His low def means he will get below 50% easy and his stupid high dexterity plus wrath will equal 100% crit rates with killer weapons.

Despite his boon in bow, I think that he should ignore archer classes (screw bow knight, sniper is meh, and assassin is also meh due to prior reasoning) and focus more on his boon in axes and budding talent in lance. Here are a few sample class paths that i think are good on ashe:

fighter - armour knight - brigand (optional) - Warrior - War master (optional due to neutrality towards brawling). This class path fixes his major str and def problems whilst also focusing on his arguably best asset: axes.

fighter - brigand - archer - wyvern rider - wyvern lord. Pretty standard class path for any unit, but the hit +20 skill makes sure he can hit easy enough.

fighter - brigand - archer - sniper - bow knight. I dislike bow knight greatly, but ashe is admittedly a good fit for for it. Brigand could be replaced for armour knight if in need of def instead of extra strength.

fighter - mercenary - brigand - warrior - war master (optional for said reasons)

if you get completely rng screwed, he can just slip into a support role (personal is locktouch) as a dancer, using deadeye for pot-shots and opening chests on maps whilst also being able to dance for other units.

Overall, I think ashe is an extremely underrated unit who could do with a bit more spotlight due to his well above average kit.

As I said in title, feel free to argue.

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Three House is a sandbox game, anyone can be good tbh.

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Having high Dexerity isn't a good selling point at all for a unit. It's only .5 Crit for every 1 point of Dex. Like compare him to Dedue, who has one of the worst Dex and Luck growths in the game. 

Even at level 40, the difference between the two in Crit is only 6 even with some of the best Dex and Luck Growths in the game. Meanwhile, Dedue has a huge Strength and Durability lead for OHKOing with crits and keeping Battalion Durablity, access to Battalion Wrath to enable Crit Strategies without mastering Warrior, and capable of being able to use Vengeance to have a amazing early game. And Dedue isn't even that great of a unit. 

Sniper would be ideal for Ashe over Bowknight due to Hunter's Volley guaranteeing he doubles, giving him another chance at criting on top of +15 Crit. 

Dancers are never ideal for combat and shouldn't really be engaging in combat over Dancing another unit. Locktouch utility is pretty lacking considering that Chest Keys are always available to buy and are cheap, and is not helped by the fact that many maps simply don't have treasures worth going after. 

Ashe just has nothing really going in his favor to make up for his low bases and lack of any notable Combat Arts. Add on the fact that he also autolevels as an enemy archer means that he has very lackluster bases outside of Blue Lions as well. All this combined makes him undoubtably one of the worst units as a In House unit and out.

Edited by LoneRecon400

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What difficulty are we talking about here?  Because if we're talking about Maddening, Ashe doesn't really have anything to write home about.  There are three general top-end strategies that I've seen discussed that seem viable, and unfortunately Ashe doesn't really help with any of them.

1) Warp/Stride  - The idea here is that many of the main campaign maps have the win condition of "Defeat the enemy commander", so you get one or two extremely strong units next to the boss as fast as is possible.  The units here are mages that learn the Warp spell and crazy high damage dealing units.  Ashe is definitely not either of these.

2) Combat Art-centered - The idea here is to take advantage of the more overpowered Combat Arts in the game to kill enemy units before they have the opportunity to retaliate.  The Combat Arts of interest are mainly the brave-effect simulating arts (Swift Strikes, Hunter's Volley, Point-Blank Volley, Fierce Iron Fist), though the Bernadetta Vengeance builds can also be included here.  Ashe can only realistically get Hunter's Volley, but there are better candidates for a sniper, again due to the low strength.

3) Lots of dodgetanks - Take advantage of classes with high evasion and evasion abilities (Alert Stanct/Alert Stance+, X-breaker) to make it extremely difficult for enemies to hit your front-line units.  These builds want the fastest units in the game, and to put them in the speediest classes, to face as few attacks from enemies as possible and dodge the few that they do face.  The units that are best here are units like Petra, Leonie, Ingrid, Felix, Yuri, and potentially Ferdinand (due to his personal ability), with the female units having an advantage due to access to Darting Blow to get follow-up attacks more quickly in the game.  Ashe's speed is just not up to snuff for this strategy.

Sure, Locktouch utility is all well and good, but when Chest Keys can  be bought in the shop for a pittance it isn't necessary.  And any unit can be a respectable dancer (though there are certainly better options than Ashe).

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I really really wanted Ashe to be a good unit, and he is, I suppose, serviceable, in the way that every playable unit is, and doing a run with one (or even many) supposedly bad units is perfectly achievable. But frankly, he's not very good even on Hard, and IMO he's in the bottom tier of units on Maddening.

Basically, most of your arguments for him are class paths where the progressions/end classes are naturally decent, so literally any physical attacker male will do them well too, and probably better than Ashe. Unfortunately, high Dex growths doesn't help hugely in most combat scenarios, and Ashe still needs hit help in pretty much any progression. As covered by others, his growths just aren't very good for a physical combat unit, and his bases aren't good either.

Locktouch is possibly one of the most disappointing personals in the game - not because it's bad per se, but because Chest Keys are available right out of the gate for a reasonable price, even in the early game (where money is tightest). Flying Locktouch can be quite nice if you're a completionist like me, but there are only a couple of scenarios where you'd rather have Ashe over another flier with a Chest Key. The only one I can think of off the top of my head is AM Reunion at Dawn, where flier Ashe can be v helpful, even just to avoid dying, but especially if you forgot to bring Chest Keys/take them from your convoy. 

Anyway, he's worse at physical combat than most people you'd think of using, and there are no other niches that he does well/best, or that he alone occupies. Unfortunately, and I do think it's unfortunate, but there's not much else to him. 

Edited by haarhaarhaar

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6 hours ago, ThatsEnoughBackTalk said:

Ashe is an odd one honestly. His growths speak assassin, but his strength is below par, meaning he would have a hard time killing. This is why I think that ashe is good as a warrior/war master/wyvern lord. His extremely high dexterity also means he is probably one of (if not, the best) user of the vantage wrath combo. His low def means he will get below 50% easy and his stupid high dexterity plus wrath will equal 100% crit rates with killer weapons.

His low Strength undermines the "Wrath/Vantage" build - he probably won't be one-shotting high-defense enemies (Fortress and Great Knights). Plus, he needs to master Warrior, which he won't achieve until after the skip, barring excess grinding. And Mercenary, unless you plan to use him as a Hero. Finally, he goes AWOL for two months on VW/SS, rendering him practically unusable post-skip on those routes.

It's a shame, because he has good proficiencies. Axes means easy early access to Brigand, and he can dip into Armor Knight to boost his defense early. Death Blow is great on any physical player-phase build. From there, he can do Archer for Hit+20, then Sniper for Hunter's Volley (those two skills work great for it). Or he can go Bow Knight for extra offensive (and lockpicking) range. Finally, he has a fairly easy road into the Wyvern classes, which is great on any physical unit. But he doesn't necessarily excel in this role, beyond other potential Wyvern Lords.

Bottom line, Ashe can be pretty good on AM and CF, but mostly by the strengths of whatever class he's in. VW and SS screw him on the availability, but he's still usable pre-skip I guess.

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I think the problem with Ashe is not necessary his growth rates. Ignatz and Bernadetta have similar growths. However, the problems lies with the fact that he doesn't really having anything that makes him stand out. His personal ability lockpick while nice for not needing to buy a door/chest/master key, they cost next to nothing anyways. Ignatz has an innate hit +20 ability which is great for hitting enemies in general and can be used for a number of roles as a mid line attacker/debuffer. Bernadetta can be a great boss killer with vengeance while capitalizing on lancefaire, persecution complex, among others. Plus you could get them from those purple spirits online. I also agree with @Shanty Pete's 1st Mate about his strengths and weaknesses, he can be usable on any team. But he just doesn't add enough to the table for me. Even if he could do warrior or wyvern lord, his defenses are still pretty low.

Definitely certifying him as a armored knight on hard/maddening will help him take a hit or two better but that's about it for him

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I think the best thing Ashe does is give you Boots in BE. He can be a Sniper, War Master, or something like that I guess, but he doesn't do anything better than anyone else does.

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9 hours ago, ThatsEnoughBackTalk said:

Ashe is an odd one honestly. His growths speak assassin, but his strength is below par, meaning he would have a hard time killing. This is why I think that ashe is good as a warrior/war master/wyvern lord. His extremely high dexterity also means he is probably one of (if not, the best) user of the vantage wrath combo. His low def means he will get below 50% easy and his stupid high dexterity plus wrath will equal 100% crit rates with killer weapons.

I think Ashe's HP will be too low to survive hits on Maddening but his strength, like other Dex/Lck characters does lie in crit builds. For what it's worth, I used Bernie instead of Ashe on my Maddening BL run. Built her as a Bow Knight and her crit was over 70 with Killer Bow+ in the end game. She OHKO'd pretty much all the mages and wyverns in the final chapter that she attacked so there's no reason Ashe can't do the same. Crit builds are my favorite strategy to fix the damage of low str characters. Bow Knight is great in this regard because of its range and canto making it easy for these fragile characters to get in, get the kill and get out.

Alternatively, building Ashe as an assassin would help maximize his crits though he'd lose out on the Luck growths of Archer/Sniper so they might end up even. He does have stupid high dex as you say though and I always wondered if anyone has enough Dex to make Lethality somewhat reliable but triggering at only 0.25 Dex makes it not too attractive. The other idea I considered was combining Lethality with Astra though this would be more ideal for someone with a boon in swords. For an endgame Dex stat of say 35 (slightly generous), chance of triggering Lethality is 8.75%. For that base, then the chance of triggering it at least once out of 5 hits (using Astra) would be about 37% ... which, for an insta-kill, is actually pretty good! Interesting, assuming my math's correct. I think I'll try this with Ignatz in my current run. Since Lethality relies on Dex alone, you can use it with even a Training Sword or Rusted and still trigger, I think. Not sure if 0 damage would cancel it though like it does when breaking monster shields even if using effective weapons.

9 hours ago, LoneRecon400 said:

Having high Dexerity isn't a good selling point at all for a unit. It's only .5 Crit for every 1 point of Dex. Like compare him to Dedue, who has one of the worst Dex and Luck growths in the game. 

I'm not sure why people downplay Dex. Yes, every 2 points are 1 crit, that's highly valuable if you're going for a crit build. The other thing is each point of Dex is a point to Hit as well, again very valuable. Ashe should have about double the Dex that Dedue gets, I think your calculation is wrong. There's no way Ashe only gains 2 points of dex between lvls 10 and 20 like your screenshot shows.

7 hours ago, haarhaarhaar said:

Locktouch is possibly one of the most disappointing personals in the game - not because it's bad per se, but because Chest Keys are available right out of the gate for a reasonable price, even in the early game (where money is tightest).

I just wish his ability included Steal as well and it would've been much more acceptable. He used to be a thief after all. I get he decided to stop doing it but all's fair in battle right? Oh well.

Edited by Owns

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1 hour ago, Owns said:

I'm not sure why people downplay Dex. Yes, every 2 points are 1 crit, that's highly valuable if you're going for a crit build. The other thing is each point of Dex is a point to Hit as well, again very valuable. Ashe should have about double the Dex that Dedue gets, I think your calculation is wrong. There's no way Ashe only gains 2 points of dex between lvls 10 and 20 like your screenshot shows.

Ashe has +1.5 crit (+2 dex, +1 luck) on Dedue at Level 1, and has +20% growth (+25% dex, +15% luck). That means he gains an extra point of crit on Dedue once every 5 levels, and should finish around 9-10 points up. So I get more than 6 as well, but even 10 isn't that big, and 6 is in fact the difference around halfway through the game.

Dex is simply not a potent stat at all. Having 10 extra points of dex gives you +5 crit. Is that a big deal? It's kind of notable for specific builds but otherwise I'd say not really. Compared to other stats, +10 str, spd, def, or even res has a ridiculous impact on a unit's performance. Death Blow is considered an outstanding skill, and it's basically like having 6 more str on the player phase. An equivalent skill for dex would be "Dexterous Blow: +6 hit and +3 crit on player phase". This hypothetical skill is garbage compared to Hit+20% and Uncanny Blow. I also see a lot more players talking about equipping Str+2, Spd+2, and Mag+2 in builds compared to Dex+4.

 

On the whole I agree with most others; Ashe is not really a great unit. He is workable especially once he reaches a strong class like Wyvern Rider or Bow Knight (or gains Hunter's Volley) but he brings little to the table compared to most others, he is a physical unit with low strength (8+35% puts him in the conversation for lowest in the game), but unlike most other low-str physical units he doesn't bring much to make up for this. Bernadetta has Vengeance, Ingrid has speed/dodging, Petra and Leonie have speed as well (and are stronger anyway). To emphasize, he's fine (3H really does not have bad units for the most part), but "good" is definitely pushing it.

Edited by Dark Holy Elf

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1 hour ago, Owns said:

I'm not sure why people downplay Dex. Yes, every 2 points are 1 crit, that's highly valuable if you're going for a crit build. The other thing is each point of Dex is a point to Hit as well, again very valuable. Ashe should have about double the Dex that Dedue gets, I think your calculation is wrong. There's no way Ashe only gains 2 points of dex between lvls 10 and 20 like your screenshot shows.

Personally, I just don't value crit builds because I find them unreliable. If you have an attack which is 100% chance to hit and 70% chance to crit and it will only kill if it crits, then that's comparable to an attack with 70% chance to hit that will kill even without a crit. Actually, I'm not certain of this, but I believe that hit chance uses the two random number system whereas crit chance actually uses the displayed percentage? If that's true, then the 70% crit build has pretty much the same chance of getting the kill as a non-crit build with 61% displayed hit. That's not good. And yes, the crit build will do chip damage even if it fails to crit, and that can certainly matter, but I'd rather bring a different build that can do more consistent high damage.

Because I value reliability, that also means I value hit chance, but that doesn't necessarily make me value dex. The contribution that dex has to hit chance just isn't as big as other factors like weapons and combat arts. For bows, compare an iron bow+ and a silver bow+. The silver bow+ has 6 points more might but 20 points less hit. Other weapon types are less extreme, but the gain in might is always less than the loss in hit. You are always going to wind up better off with high strength, low dex, and an iron weapon than you will with low strength, high dex, and a silver weapon.

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Ashe is extremely straightforward to build towards HV Sniper(which is likely his strongest build on maddening), I'll give him that. And while the above is true, when you introduce brave effects alongside crit builds, suddenly that 70% chance becomes a 91% chance to get at least one crit. Also Deadeye is decent utility(can't believe I'm defending it now when I used to think it was very overrated, my how the tables have turned).

Until then it's mostly chip town for him, though, and people are right; Dex is a minor stat in 3H. It's unusual for FE(well, it rarely is a top end stat, but typically it's at least useful), but that's just the way things are this time.

Basically it's tough to think of one thing Ashe does that Ignatz doesn't do better. He has a marginally easier road to Death Blow, and Deadeye..., that's pretty much all I can think of. And on the other hand, Ignatz gets a lot of useful tools, between better accuracy, better utility combat arts, his authority proficiency, and rally speed; they just didn't give enough to Ashe, even his personal skill could be neat if the economy wasn't so thoroughly broken in 3H. I'd argue 300 per chest isn't actually that cheap(especially since those do have a tendency to have nothing interesting in them), but who cares when you have almost infinite money the moment the shop with the lures is unlocked?

Edited by Cysx

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4 hours ago, Owns said:

I just wish his ability included Steal as well and it would've been much more acceptable. He used to be a thief after all. I get he decided to stop doing it but all's fair in battle right? Oh well.

Yeah it definitely would have made things more interesting, and pickpocketing isn't the kind of thing you forget how to do, right? Although, his Speed isn't good enough to steal from most potential targets on Maddening anyway (that can be fixed, but it means extra investment for what was already a very small niche).

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22 minutes ago, Cysx said:

Also Deadeye is decent utility(can't believe I'm defending it now when I used to think it was very overrated, my how the tables have turned).

I'd be interested to hear why you rate Deadeye. I've always found it eclipsed by long-range magic builds. Given various combinations of Death/Thoron, Caduceus Staff/Thyrsus, Valkyrie, and S rank reason, it's trivially easy to match Deadeye's range, and fairly easy to surpass it. Magic builds also don't have the same hit penalties at long range, making them more reliable. What's Deadeye's appeal to you? Being able to pick it up earlier? Or something else?

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1 hour ago, lenticular said:

I'd be interested to hear why you rate Deadeye. I've always found it eclipsed by long-range magic builds. Given various combinations of Death/Thoron, Caduceus Staff/Thyrsus, Valkyrie, and S rank reason, it's trivially easy to match Deadeye's range, and fairly easy to surpass it. Magic builds also don't have the same hit penalties at long range, making them more reliable. What's Deadeye's appeal to you? Being able to pick it up earlier? Or something else?

There's not much to say really. It has decent mt and having the option to hit farther if nothing's in reach of your HV is better than to do nothing, even if you miss; it's not like there's any real competition for one of Ashe's combat art slots, either, unlike with Bernie. And mages may eventually get range, but they sure don't get HV.
It also has baiting utility, especially in ch 5. Although maybe people have figured a better way now, idk.

As said it'd be inaccurate to say that I like it a lot. It just used to be brought up all the time during the early days of 3H, when people would try to figure out which of the "three archers" was the best. Nowadays even in a discussion about Ashe specifically we seem to gloss over it. It's interesting if nothing else.

Edited by Cysx

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1 hour ago, Cysx said:

There's not much to say really. It has decent mt and having the option to hit farther if nothing's in reach of your HV is better than to do nothing, even if you miss; it's not like there's any real competition for one of Ashe's combat art slots, either, unlike with Bernie. And mages may eventually get range, but they sure don't get HV.
It also has baiting utility, especially in ch 5. Although maybe people have figured a better way now, idk.

As said it'd be inaccurate to say that I like it a lot. It just used to be brought up all the time during the early days of 3H, when people would try to figure out which of the "three archers" was the best. Nowadays even in a discussion about Ashe specifically we seem to gloss over it. It's interesting if nothing else.

That's fair. It definitely is better than nothing on turns where you can't do anything else. Thanks for explaining, even if there wasn't much to say.

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Deadeye is better than nothing but IMO it's not great, because it takes considerable investment to hit with it, while magic builds strike at long range easily. I find I much prefer Heavy Draw (bows struggle with might before Hunter's Volley, getting +8 with a hit boost is amazing), which elevates Felix (same house) and Shamir (always available) above Ashe as archers in my eyes even if their other advantages didn't. I guess it's relevant in a comparison of Ashe vs Ignatz (which I do think is a close comparison, although largely a moot one outside CF because otherwise the more available one is clearly more useful, I'd say).

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19 hours ago, ThatsEnoughBackTalk said:

when i get notified that some1 responded to my post and get disappointed

 

you're welcome

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12 hours ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

Dex is simply not a potent stat at all. Having 10 extra points of dex gives you +5 crit. Is that a big deal? It's kind of notable for specific builds but otherwise I'd say not really. Compared to other stats, +10 str, spd, def, or even res has a ridiculous impact on a unit's performance. Death Blow is considered an outstanding skill, and it's basically like having 6 more str on the player phase. An equivalent skill for dex would be "Dexterous Blow: +6 hit and +3 crit on player phase".

 

12 hours ago, lenticular said:

Personally, I just don't value crit builds because I find them unreliable. If you have an attack which is 100% chance to hit and 70% chance to crit and it will only kill if it crits, then that's comparable to an attack with 70% chance to hit that will kill even without a crit. Actually, I'm not certain of this, but I believe that hit chance uses the two random number system whereas crit chance actually uses the displayed percentage? If that's true, then the 70% crit build has pretty much the same chance of getting the kill as a non-crit build with 61% displayed hit. That's not good. And yes, the crit build will do chip damage even if it fails to crit, and that can certainly matter, but I'd rather bring a different build that can do more consistent high damage.

while these points are true, they only apply to single hit attacks. Any good crit build should focus on landing more hits per attack. While I would agree that any guaranteed ORKO build is better than a chance-based crit build, 1) not every character can achieve that even with Deathblow, Faire, and str boosters; and 2) it's bad to think of crits based on single-hit probabilities alone. I posted an analysis on 'effective' crit that I hope might convince more people to give crit builds a chance. At least it'll give a clearer picture of crit probabilities when you have more than single hits.

Edited by Owns

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5 hours ago, Integrity said:

you're welcome

this is the first time I've seen an admin shitpost more than a regular user in a thread, are you not supposed to provide a positive example to the userbase?

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5 hours ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

Deadeye is better than nothing but IMO it's not great, because it takes considerable investment to hit with it, while magic builds strike at long range easily. I find I much prefer Heavy Draw (bows struggle with might before Hunter's Volley, getting +8 with a hit boost is amazing), which elevates Felix (same house) and Shamir (always available) above Ashe as archers in my eyes even if their other advantages didn't. I guess it's relevant in a comparison of Ashe vs Ignatz (which I do think is a close comparison, although largely a moot one outside CF because otherwise the more available one is clearly more useful, I'd say).

I agree. If I had to pick a sniper candidate out of the blue lions house I would choose Felix since his growths are better by comparison. He has a strength growth of 55% (60 if sniper), his dex growth greatly benefits from jumping up from 45% to 65% (which is pretty good), his speed would remain at 55% which is fine and his luck growth would go up from 40% to 50%. Basically he can do what Ashe can do but far better. Not to mention his lone wolf ability allowing him to gain an additional attack +5 is nice (I know that later on there are battalions that out performs this ability, but early on it's fine), and his crest of Fraldarius allowing him to do extra damage is really good. 

Edited by Barren

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5 hours ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

which I do think is a close comparison, although largely a moot one outside CF because otherwise the more available one is clearly more useful, I'd say).

I'm inclined to disagree. Unless recruited past the point where getting Death blow is reasonable(which shouldn't really happen, he's universally an easy recruit), I'd say Ignatz is still better even on Blue Lions. Assuming you're going for Sniper on both, in any case.

1 minute ago, Barren said:

and his crest of Fraldarius allowing him to do extra damage is really good. 

Worth noting, that doesn't work on combat arts.

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