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drattakbowser

Pro and cons (Azure Moon)

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I like Mercedes myself as a healer but compared to Linhardt and Marianne she has a really rough start on her faith rank being at D. Meaning that you won't be able to gain physic until around chapter 3. Which really makes chapter 2 more difficult for some people. (I did preview Maddening BL for myself to get a taste). I'm not sure why the devs weren't consistent with their healers. If Lin and Mari can have D+ rank starting out why not Mercie? But anyways, yea it's really tough because you want to make sure everyone is close together and mercedes can only heal up to a total of 5 times. Having fortify by the end of the game sounds nice but it really depends on how often do you see your units get hurt because they would be well suited to dodge/tank hits at that point. I don't think Mercie is a terrible healer by any means but she does have the worse start out of the 3.

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13 hours ago, Anathaco said:

In terms of offensive mages Annette isn’t super great. Her spell list is nothing special, and most of her usage comes from her rally potential. Lysithea, Constance (if you have DLC) or even Dorothea are probably better choices to recruit as a good mage (Lysithea and Constance are obvious, Dorothea has a great spell list and Meteor gives her the opportunity to provide linked attack bonuses to Sylvain, Felix and Ingrid, as well as Byleth.)

And I’ve seen it argued that Mercedes is the worst of the healer trio- lower base faith rank means you can’t get physic for chapter 2 (though by the time you can recruit other characters that shouldn’t be an issue), and she doesn’t have anything else helping her stand out. Fortify is a thing, but honestly I rarely found myself using it (except that one time on Flayn where I needed to heal somebody from a distance). Compare that to Linhardt’s Warp access and Marianne’s potential offensive prowess with Frozen Lance/Soulblade, Mercedes comes up a bit short.

Besides, you do need to recruit a mage with Warp unless you want to use Manuela only.

Yeah, I definitely feel like the Lions are worst off mage-wise. Both Annette and Mercedes tail off offensively once you get into the midgame. Linhardt is a bit slower than Annette, but that won't matter once you hit midgame, and Hubert/Dorothea/Lysithea/Marianne are straightforwardly better offensively. On top of that, neither Annette/Mercedes get 3-range magic, and there's only two of them compared to three standard mages in the other houses. I'm pretty sure the BL were built to be the weakest house at magic anyway (from a lore perspective too with the emphasis on knight culture etc).

Chapter 2 is quite tough on Maddening, so Physic is very welcome, and Mercedes won't get it in time like you say. However, I think Mercedes is the best of the three healers in the early game because of Live to Serve. You really want to be attacking with everybody where possible in the early game, but it's also the hardest time to protect everyone, especially your squishies. Live to Serve gives you a little more leeway in Mercedes' positioning (as long as she doesn't die on Enemy Phase, she can look after herself) and it also means you don't have to use Annette to heal Mercedes in a Player Phase, freeing her up to attack if Mercedes can heal someone else. Obviously, the other house have 3 mages, so this isn't a huge issue for them, but I think it makes Mercedes more valuable in the beginning.

Once the early game pressure eases off, though, Linhardt and Marianne shoot up for those reasons you mention. By the time you're getting A Faith, Warp is far more useful than Fortify (not because Fortify can't be useful, but because Physic is normally enough for most battles, while there's no replacement for the utility of Warp). And Marianne having significant offense alongside Physic does put her above Mercedes - having actual KO potential on a healer is amazing, because you won't always need to heal every turn as the game progresses.

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I think a major reason for all the ignorance and misconceptions still prevalent even a year after release is AM and how it doesn't deal with so much of the important backstory.

This is evident in this thread too.

Edited by SRPG Tryhard

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10 hours ago, haarhaarhaar said:

Chapter 2 is quite tough on Maddening, so Physic is very welcome, and Mercedes won't get it in time like you say. However, I think Mercedes is the best of the three healers in the early game because of Live to Serve. You really want to be attacking with everybody where possible in the early game, but it's also the hardest time to protect everyone, especially your squishies. Live to Serve gives you a little more leeway in Mercedes' positioning (as long as she doesn't die on Enemy Phase, she can look after herself) and it also means you don't have to use Annette to heal Mercedes in a Player Phase, freeing her up to attack if Mercedes can heal someone else. Obviously, the other house have 3 mages, so this isn't a huge issue for them, but I think it makes Mercedes more valuable in the beginning

Having recently beat chapter 2 for the first time on NG Maddening (BE) I can definitely see how valuable having live to serve would have been. Spending turns to heal Linhardt back up was a pain. On the other hand, I’m not sure how I would have fared (if at all) without those extra few charges of healing you get from physic. I probably would have been fine, but I have yet to do BL on Maddening, so idk.

That being said, I’m not sure I agree that Live to Serve makes her the best healer for chapter 2. It makes up for no physic, sure, but I’d say it puts her roughly at the same level as Linhardt and Marianne for chapter 2- their extra healing charges vs her flexibility in positioning and combat. Though I acknowledge that could just be a consequence of my play style.

 

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12 hours ago, Anathaco said:

Having recently beat chapter 2 for the first time on NG Maddening (BE) I can definitely see how valuable having live to serve would have been. Spending turns to heal Linhardt back up was a pain. On the other hand, I’m not sure how I would have fared (if at all) without those extra few charges of healing you get from physic. I probably would have been fine, but I have yet to do BL on Maddening, so idk.

That being said, I’m not sure I agree that Live to Serve makes her the best healer for chapter 2. It makes up for no physic, sure, but I’d say it puts her roughly at the same level as Linhardt and Marianne for chapter 2- their extra healing charges vs her flexibility in positioning and combat. Though I acknowledge that could just be a consequence of my play style

Yeah, I think Physic is good enough to put the others above Mercedes for Chapter 2 specifically. It's not like Mercedes can't handle it (you're basically forced to equip resonant white magic on Mercedes in BL, so she should have enough healing to handle most of the chapter) but yeah, Physic is still a bonus that puts the others above. Of course, this problem doesn't exist in other early game chapters, which is why I think Mercedes is better off for those. 

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5 minutes ago, haarhaarhaar said:

Yeah, I think Physic is good enough to put the others above Mercedes for Chapter 2 specifically. It's not like Mercedes can't handle it (you're basically forced to equip resonant white magic on Mercedes in BL, so she should have enough healing to handle most of the chapter) but yeah, Physic is still a bonus that puts the others above. Of course, this problem doesn't exist in other early game chapters, which is why I think Mercedes is better off for those. 

Ah, I see. Yeah I can agree with that. Once she gets physic she’s best for those early chapters- Linhardt won’t have warp and Marianne probably won’t be one shotting anything yet, but Mercedes still has Live to Serve.

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I think people are definitely a bit too hung up on Mercedes lacking (three shots of) Physic for just a single chapter. It's a disadvantage, for sure. But then, unlike 5-speed Linhardt, she isn't one-rounded by the archers on that map, so she can take a hit if necessary, and then heals herself for free when she heals someone else. If Linhardt or Mari are better than her for that one map it isn't by that much. And Chapter 2 is before you can recruit a faith user from another house, anyway, so the comparison is largely moot. The operative question when comparing them is really "should I bench my own healer in order to use one I've recruited from another house" and that question doesn't come up until chapter 4 at the earliest, realistically.

In later maps I find Mercedes more useful than Linhardt because of her better stats (speed and charm in particular), better offensive spell list (Ragnarok hits much harder than Excalibur, allowing her to claim OHKOs he can't), Live to Serve, and Fortify. Lin's really only got Warp against that and that's nowhere near enough for me. I find her overall better than Marianne too (being +reason goes a long way) although Marianne has more advantages (Thoron and magic combat arts) so I can see disputing this.

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15 hours ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

I think people are definitely a bit too hung up on Mercedes lacking (three shots of) Physic for just a single chapter. It's a disadvantage, for sure. But then, unlike 5-speed Linhardt, she isn't one-rounded by the archers on that map, so she can take a hit if necessary, and then heals herself for free when she heals someone else. If Linhardt or Mari are better than her for that one map it isn't by that much. And Chapter 2 is before you can recruit a faith user from another house, anyway, so the comparison is largely moot. The operative question when comparing them is really "should I bench my own healer in order to use one I've recruited from another house" and that question doesn't come up until chapter 4 at the earliest, realistically.

In later maps I find Mercedes more useful than Linhardt because of her better stats (speed and charm in particular), better offensive spell list (Ragnarok hits much harder than Excalibur, allowing her to claim OHKOs he can't), Live to Serve, and Fortify. Lin's really only got Warp against that and that's nowhere near enough for me. I find her overall better than Marianne too (being +reason goes a long way) although Marianne has more advantages (Thoron and magic combat arts) so I can see disputing this.

Agree with your first para, but not so much with your second. Mercedes’ speed advantage isn’t enough to really make a difference even on Hard, and that’s before taking into account her lack of Str for handling spell weights. On top of that, mages aren’t very likely to KO consistently unless they’re Lysithea - Excalibur with its effective flying damage is thus more useful than Ragnarok for KOs as the game goes on and fliers appear more. Live to Serve is great, but once the early game pressure eases it becomes less important, because it’s much easier to protect Mercedes/your healer. And Fortify to me is basically just a couple more uses of Physic (4 with Bishop/Gremory) - an advantage, but not one that increases your versatility like with Warp. And since every house gets Physic, I’d say that versatility is probably more important than Fortify.

I’d probably side with Marianne over Mercedes overall, but of course Mercedes beats Marianne from a purely support perspective.

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8 hours ago, haarhaarhaar said:

Agree with your first para, but not so much with your second. Mercedes’ speed advantage isn’t enough to really make a difference even on Hard, and that’s before taking into account her lack of Str for handling spell weights. On top of that, mages aren’t very likely to KO consistently unless they’re Lysithea - Excalibur with its effective flying damage is thus more useful than Ragnarok for KOs as the game goes on and fliers appear more. Live to Serve is great, but once the early game pressure eases it becomes less important, because it’s much easier to protect Mercedes/your healer. And Fortify to me is basically just a couple more uses of Physic (4 with Bishop/Gremory) - an advantage, but not one that increases your versatility like with Warp. And since every house gets Physic, I’d say that versatility is probably more important than Fortify.

I’d probably side with Marianne over Mercedes overall, but of course Mercedes beats Marianne from a purely support perspective.

The speed matters more for defence than offence on Maddening, although it can matter for offence... later in the game Lin can start to have trouble doubling armours and particularly great knights, is my memory.

Mercedes' Ragnarok can claim a good number of OHKOs midgame (with the usual investments like +mag battalion, Mag+2, Fiendish Blow, Magic Staff). Reunion at Dawn stands out in particular as a map where optimizing her offence can be decisive. Linhardt has a lot more trouble doing this. As for Excalibur, my experience is that it will never OHKO pegasus/falcon knights due to their high res, and while grounding wyverns in one hit is cool, there are relatively few of those in the main game - I may be forgetting some but offhand they only appear in Myrddin (all routes), Derdriu (CF), monastery defence (CF), Enbarr (AM only), and endgame (VW only), compared to the numerous low-res enemies like sword- and bow-users (also fist-users though you'll need some solid accuracy for them due to Tomebreaker). I definitely find Ragnarok more useful than Excalibur in general (not just in this comparison).

If you have two people who need healing, then Fortify upgrades from "another shot of Physic" to "a shot of Physic, a free dance, and a second shot of Physic". With more it becomes quite the action economy indeed. Between that and Live to Serve I find Mercedes excels in situations where you need a lot of healing, and the fewer healers you play the more valuable she feels, as such. I also think she allows you to play her much more aggressively than other healers; you don't need to protect her precisely because she'll heal herself for free, as long as you keep her from being one-rounded. (Additionally there are situations where you don't really want to keep your healer protected anyway, such as baiting enemy magic users; they tend to have the highest Res on the team.)

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On 9/15/2020 at 1:48 PM, drattakbowser said:

I don't know.

+ :

  • Have 36 characters
  • Can have many relic and Bataillon
  • 17 paired ending
  • TWSITD all eliminared

- :

  • Dimitri can't learn until chapter 14 to 17
  • Dedue absent in Chapter 13 to 15
  • Hardest final map
  • Might cutscene

I would disagree with the bolded lines.

The hardest final map, I found to be Silver Snow. There's a bunch of White Beasts and Golems hassling you, and The Immaculate One does a lot of AoE damage - on top of being exceedingly durable, even with shields down. Edelgard and her forces, while tough, I found not to take quite as long.

As for TWSITD, you don't deal with them in the main story, and don't get a clear resolution, outside of certain endings. For all we know, Shambhala is still intact, and a number of the Sages still at work.

Also, what do you mean by "might cutscene"?

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I think the strong point of the Blue Lions is the story, Dimitri is a character that from the moment you see him, you immediately understand that he hides something and as if he had around an aura of sadness and darkness and this feeling is reinforced in the chapter of Remire, during Solon's attack on the village, in which Dimitri uses aggressive words against the enemy.
The real strength of the Blue Lions is Dimitri's change from being a killer madman to a kindhearted king who helps his people out of the crisis in which the kingdom is raging.
It is also nice to underline his complete change of mind, he from the beginning talks about revenge, having learned that Edelgard is the empire of flames and thinking that she was behind the war of Duscur and the murder of his loved ones, comes assailed by a hatred towards Edelgard, a hatred that if you choose the story Claude, it leads him and his allies to death (I have not completed Black Eagles), instead thanks to the help of Byleth his feeling of hatred turns into compassion and decides with all her strength not to kill Edelgard but instead to save her from her fate and to help her, unfortunately failing.

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On 9/20/2020 at 7:36 PM, Dark Holy Elf said:

Mercedes' Ragnarok can claim a good number of OHKOs midgame (with the usual investments like +mag battalion, Mag+2, Fiendish Blow, Magic Staff). Reunion at Dawn stands out in particular as a map where optimizing her offence can be decisive. Linhardt has a lot more trouble doing this. As for Excalibur, my experience is that it will never OHKO pegasus/falcon knights due to their high res, and while grounding wyverns in one hit is cool, there are relatively few of those in the main game - I may be forgetting some but offhand they only appear in Myrddin (all routes), Derdriu (CF), monastery defence (CF), Enbarr (AM only), and endgame (VW only), compared to the numerous low-res enemies like sword- and bow-users (also fist-users though you'll need some solid accuracy for them due to Tomebreaker). I definitely find Ragnarok more useful than Excalibur in general (not just in this comparison).

Ragnarok certainly isn’t a bad offensive tool, but I’ve never really had trouble downing any fliers, including Pegasi, with Linhardt, up until the last couple of chapters (and Ragnarok is definitely not OHKOing at that point either). The extra 4 points of damage or so between Mercedes’ Ragnarok and Linhardt’s Excalibur against normal enemies aren’t likely to be an OHKO difference either (Ragnarok also struggles with Tomebreaker, and it is less accurate and heavier). As for RAD, I’ve found Mercedes to be stuck healing from every turn she arrives - Fortify is handy there, but her offense less so. I’m also in agreement that Ragnarok is good, but I do think Excalibur edges it still. 

On 9/20/2020 at 7:36 PM, Dark Holy Elf said:

If you have two people who need healing, then Fortify upgrades from "another shot of Physic" to "a shot of Physic, a free dance, and a second shot of Physic". With more it becomes quite the action economy indeed. Between that and Live to Serve I find Mercedes excels in situations where you need a lot of healing, and the fewer healers you play the more valuable she feels, as such. I also think she allows you to play her much more aggressively than other healers; you don't need to protect her precisely because she'll heal herself for free, as long as you keep her from being one-rounded. (Additionally there are situations where you don't really want to keep your healer protected anyway, such as baiting enemy magic users; they tend to have the highest Res on the team.)

I also think Fortify is good, but I don’t think it beats Warp. I prize the ability to complete objectives more efficiently above the ability to prolong battle effectively so that those objectives can eventually be reached - I do recognise that may be simply a difference in playstyles. I also find the further I get through a run, the less important healing becomes (just because my Player Phase gets better and better, my Enemy Phase becomes less and less threatening). Fortify is good to have in your back pocket, and I can certainly think of times it was useful, but it pales to the amount I’ve used Warp, and I don’t even really go for LTC clears unless I’m tired or pushed for time. As for Live to Serve, it becomes less and less important going into midgame and later because more and more people can one-round her, but she will also be easier to protect (and probably further from your front line). Res-baiting is fine but niche, and often still not your first choice unless you’re up against siege tomes or you literally have no other choice.

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On 9/21/2020 at 12:18 PM, haarhaarhaar said:

Ragnarok certainly isn’t a bad offensive tool, but I’ve never really had trouble downing any fliers, including Pegasi, with Linhardt, up until the last couple of chapters (and Ragnarok is definitely not OHKOing at that point either). The extra 4 points of damage or so between Mercedes’ Ragnarok and Linhardt’s Excalibur against normal enemies aren’t likely to be an OHKO difference either (Ragnarok also struggles with Tomebreaker, and it is less accurate and heavier). As for RAD, I’ve found Mercedes to be stuck healing from every turn she arrives - Fortify is handy there, but her offense less so. I’m also in agreement that Ragnarok is good, but I do think Excalibur edges it still. 

Excalibur vs weakness has 33 mt, while Ragnarok has 15, a gap of around 16-17 points once we account for Mercie's slightly higher mag. Checking things, though, that is about the gap in "magic atk needed to OHKO" between pegasi and low-mdur enemies, though, so I take it back, Excalibur can be used to get pegasi as well (until lategame, as you note, when pretty much all magic stops OHKOing). So yeah, you're right, there.

I do think Mercedes's extra 5-6 points of atk against everything else can easily make the difference between OHKO and not against other enemies, though. And in general I feel like there's more of these enemies than there are are fliers... or perhaps I just feel that way because fliers are already be priority targets for my archer(s) already? I suppose the fewer archers you use, the more valuable Excalibur-users become relatively.

As for Excalibur's hit, infantry mages don't struggle too much with hit later, I find, because many of the best infantry mage battalions often have pretty substantial hit boosts (Gloucester, Ordelia, Macuil, Edmund). It's definitely a much bigger concern for flying mages, but that's not an option available to Linhardt anyway.

The comments on Warp vs. Fortify are fair. I don't see too much daylight between them myself, but I'll readily admit playstyle can change that. I just feel that really that's the only reason to consider choosing Linhardt above Mercedes for BL/GD runs.

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