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Preparing for Crimson Flower run: Any tips?

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

As for spell lists - in the long run, Dorothea wins out, no question. High-count Sagittae, High-might Agnea's Arrow, combined with range from Thoron and Meteor, give her possibly the best single reason list in the game. And yet, I would counter that Mercedes actually has a better list in the early-game: by C-Reason, she has Fire, Thunder, and Bolganone, for 23 charges total. Whereas Dorothea has Thunder and Thoron - just 12 charges total. As a Monk or Priest, Dorothea's at serious risk of running out of Reason options mid-map, which Mercedes avoids. The humble Fire spell's low weight and high Hit offer a higher chance of doubling, and hitting, the enemy. Dorothea can get this as a Mage, but only in that class - and she'll still have fewer spell charges.

Hmm. 12 charges doesn't feel that bad to me, especially on someone who also has 10 shots of Heal and potentially 5 shots of Physic. Even on Miklan's map (the longest in the earlygame by far), I find she does not run out of useful actions by the battle's end. By the time she goes Mage it's a total non-issue (and nobody has much reason to go Priest instead IMO, at least until we've first mastered Mage for Fiendish Blow).

I do agree that the gap in combat between them isn't huge, but overall Dorothea does have the advantage; a slight disadvantage on magic (ranging from +1 at Level 1 to -3 at Level 41) does not offset the fact that she has Thoron, Meteor, and if one opts to build swords, Hexblade. Her riding/flying bane do hurt if we have access to the DLC, but less than you'd think because Dark Flier's flying requirement is so forgiving; also it's worth keeping in mind that unlike Mercedes she doesn't have an armour bane, allowing her to get Weight-3 more easily. Mercedes having a crest means she can use Thyrsus at less penalty, but this advantage is only particularly important if there is no other crested mage on the team, i.e. if the only other mage you're using is Hubert pretty much.

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For what it's worth, Dorothea's sword talent does give her easy access to the most common magic weapon, Levin swords. Levin+ is probably better than spells in most circumstances.

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45 minutes ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

Hmm. 12 charges doesn't feel that bad to me, especially on someone who also has 10 shots of Heal and potentially 5 shots of Physic. Even on Miklan's map (the longest in the earlygame by far), I find she does not run out of useful actions by the battle's end. By the time she goes Mage it's a total non-issue (and nobody has much reason to go Priest instead IMO, at least until we've first mastered Mage for Fiendish Blow).

I do agree that the gap in combat between them isn't huge, but overall Dorothea does have the advantage; a slight disadvantage on magic (ranging from +1 at Level 1 to -3 at Level 41) does not offset the fact that she has Thoron, Meteor, and if one opts to build swords, Hexblade. Her riding/flying bane do hurt if we have access to the DLC, but less than you'd think because Dark Flier's flying requirement is so forgiving; also it's worth keeping in mind that unlike Mercedes she doesn't have an armour bane, allowing her to get Weight-3 more easily. Mercedes having a crest means she can use Thyrsus at less penalty, but this advantage is only particularly important if there is no other crested mage on the team, i.e. if the only other mage you're using is Hubert pretty much.

I would agree that 12 charges is bearable in early story maps, but it's still a limiting factor, wherein you have to consider every spell use. Whereas Mercedes with 23 charges, or even just 18 at D+, you can use a tad more liberally (including, say, baiting enemy mages). You can get more use out of Dorothea than just those Reason spells, yes - but as you pointed out, a big part of that use is healing, which isn't germane to her performance as a combat unit.

Re: Priest over Mage, the rationale would be Healing+5. It's probably not worth waiting longer to get Fiendish Blow, nor losing Fire access on units who don't have it, but it's technically an advantage on a support build.

Hexblade, yes, is an advantage Dorothea has, that she can use to outdamage her spells on player phase (at 1-range). I certainly don't mean to diminish that - hell, my current SS Dorothea is a Hexblade build in sword classes. It's an interesting thing she can do that Mercedes can't. 

Hm, I never considered training Dorothea in Armor for Weight-3. I wonder if this is "optimal", so to speak. Early on, the ideal is probably to Instruct Faith for the budding talent, and train in Reason and Authority (or maybe Swords, if you're gunning for Hexblade). It might take a few chapters to fit Armor in once she's got Physic, but I admit the Weight-3 would help offset her higher-weight spells.

Re: Thyrsus, I don't imagine she'd especially mind the 10 HP loss, so long as she's not in anyone's range for enemy phase. So it could be a cool player-phase tool for her (5 range Thoron is pretty bonkers). That said, for Mercedes it would give her not just a player-phase boost, but also let her enemy-phase 3-range magic users. Thyrsus is an incredible tool in any offensive mage's hands, though, and with trade-chaining its possible for more than 1 unit to enjoy its benefits in a given turn. So I wouldn't attribute to either 1 of them, but to all magekind.

37 minutes ago, Ether said:

For what it's worth, Dorothea's sword talent does give her easy access to the most common magic weapon, Levin swords. Levin+ is probably better than spells in most circumstances.

So compared to Thoron, the Levin Sword+ has the same Mt, -5 Hit, -10 Crit, +2 Wt, and same Range. Of course, it also has 30 uses, while Thoron has 4 or 8 (per map). Their relative strength also depends on what class she's in - Mage and Bishop boost neither, Warlock gives Tomefaire, and Mortal Savant gives Tome and Swordfaire. This also affects the strength of Hexblade. And if you're planning to use both, you probably want Sword Prowess and Reason Prowess - but I don't imagine Dorothea will feel low on slots, especially before Fiendish Blow. Levin Sword+ can be a good fallback for her, but outside a specific sword-oriented build, she'll probably get by on her spells by the time you get it (Arcane Crystals so scarce).

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On 8/25/2020 at 7:19 PM, Shanty Pete's 1st Mate said:

I would agree that 12 charges is bearable in early story maps, but it's still a limiting factor, wherein you have to consider every spell use. Whereas Mercedes with 23 charges, or even just 18 at D+, you can use a tad more liberally (including, say, baiting enemy mages). You can get more use out of Dorothea than just those Reason spells, yes - but as you pointed out, a big part of that use is healing, which isn't germane to her performance as a combat unit.

Honestly, and this is admittedly just speaking from personal experience, I can't imagine 12 uses feeling like much of a limiter on any earlygame map except Miklan. I think the phase when they're in Noble and have only 4-5 uses is where you have to consider your spell uses more carefully (and this does hit Dorothea harder since she's got 4 Thunders to Mercedes's 5 Fires and briefly 9 Fires+Thunders), but by Monk it's not something I give any thought to. And while healing isn't a part of their combat, it is something I would expect both to be doing some of (and is actually a pretty notable advantage they have that a low-end physical unit does not), which slows their offensive spell consumption in practice.

 

On 8/25/2020 at 7:19 PM, Shanty Pete's 1st Mate said:

Re: Thyrsus, I don't imagine she'd especially mind the 10 HP loss, so long as she's not in anyone's range for enemy phase. So it could be a cool player-phase tool for her (5 range Thoron is pretty bonkers). That said, for Mercedes it would give her not just a player-phase boost, but also let her enemy-phase 3-range magic users. Thyrsus is an incredible tool in any offensive mage's hands, though, and with trade-chaining its possible for more than 1 unit to enjoy its benefits in a given turn. So I wouldn't attribute to either 1 of them, but to all magekind.

Yep, completely agreed. It is a small advantage to Mercedes's flexibility that she doesn't take 10 damage from Thyrsus in this comparison, but it's not that big a deal.

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On 8/25/2020 at 9:19 PM, Shanty Pete's 1st Mate said:

I would agree that 12 charges is bearable in early story maps, but it's still a limiting factor, wherein you have to consider every spell use. Whereas Mercedes with 23 charges, or even just 18 at D+, you can use a tad more liberally (including, say, baiting enemy mages). You can get more use out of Dorothea than just those Reason spells, yes - but as you pointed out, a big part of that use is healing, which isn't germane to her performance as a combat unit.

Frankly, I would say the Noble/Commoner phase is even worse for mages. But Dorothea has it especially bad, with only 4 uses of Thunder until C rank, which gives her 2 uses of Thoron.

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My (bad?) suggestion is to SemPErfY!!

On a 12 roster with 3 adjs:
2 grapplers/bows

6 bow knights (females with intermediate pegasus alts for the few desert maps)

4 magic users/ healers... probably dark fliers.

3 def adjs in units you’ll wait to lure attacks.

On lower roster maps, bench a few bow knights but keep the grapplers and magics.


 That’ll get you through anything maddening throws at you.  Probably a really boring run cause you’ll destroy the enemy before they get anywhere near you and break the game tapping far away units to aggro them, luring then into your death zone.

I once forced Edelgard into bow knight...  she whined and complained about training bows, but goodness once I got her there she was a mobile nuclear artillery.

 So if you actually want have fun just ignore everything former.  😛

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Whichever team you try to go for, try to make sure you limit the fliers you make on your team to be around 3 to 4 maximum because there are not too many flying battalions to choose from. A couple of rank B and A battalions should suffice. Maybe a rank C but that's about it. Also The Nueville Flying Co. is the only flying magic battalion out there so having at least one Dark Flier can be good

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