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Hi, me again (it's been a while though)

Today the topic is Laguz, but not about their tiering in their respective games. It's about how they were affected by the changes between POR and RD.

First, what I love in RD: transformation gauge management was a damn good improvement! In POR you could only watch the gauges go down and up passively without any active control of them, in Radiant Dawn you can revert and retransform at will (when it's full), get more exp for countering in human form, thus level up faster than tier 2 average units (opposite to their transformed state which levels up like a tier 3 or even slower), the possibility to counter in human form itself (especially for tigers and hawks, since cats barely deal any damage in human form, sucks to deal less damage as a supposedly stronger race than Astrid's RD weakling version), well, in general Laguz MECHANICS have improved.

Second, what I love in POR: good base stats even in human form, since Lethe and Mordecai barely gained stats from their first encounter in POR and their first encounter in RD although RD's ennemies have like twice their POR counterparts (sure double stats, but cats loose like 6 points or so per fight, which means they're usable only if you manage their gauge like a boss, plus their base strength and claw damage really suck, basically they deal T1 units damage untransformed and just promoted t2 damage transformed with an iron lance, which is really ass, barely scratches a general for 3-4 damage in the first chapter where you can play Lethe in normal, not even talking of hard mode's stat inflation that looked like lunatic awakening to me when I started it, with early game mymidons doubling or nearly doubling everyone on my team WTF IS please playtest your games before selling them).

So in POR, human form couldn't counterattack sadly, but at least they weren't cannon fodder for ennemies (I'm glad Mordecai is tanky even in human form, can't say the same about RD Lethe who gets doubled by nearly everything as a speedy class/race and dies in 5 weak hits although she has very high HP...her base speed is inferior to Volug's although her class has higher average speed).

POR had amazing items called laguzguard and beorcguard. Where did they end up in RD, where they were 10x more needed due to transformation mechanics? In the unused data, as skills. They could've been given to units (Lethe with beorcguard in P2 would've been 5x better at least, especially since she could've levelled up in human form without fearing every ennemy on her joining map where you don't see anything because of annoying FOW, and really ennemy units shouldn't be able to see you in FOW, if you don't see them hw can they see you? they're not magic creatures FFS). With the growth bands, Laguz could've had bonuses to their weak growths in RD, with blossom accessible from part 2 they could've gained good level ups as soon as chapters 2-3, with BEXP to make them close to level up.

But no, instead laguzguard and beorcguard are hidden in the data file with no way to get them in the game (not even with Dolphin cheats since they don't work due to weird changing code, even the unit exp gauges don't stay at the same number for the whole game, if you change them too often they just move to another number location), part 2 skills are unmovable because why would you want to move skills from one unit to another in the hardest chapters of part 2? It's not like there are 80% of the units in p2 that would benefit a lot from skills being movable (paragon, terrain nullifying skill mainly), and they didn't even give anyone wildheart before the late part 3 (how much better would Mordecai be if he had wildheart? at least 5x better in my book, with 3 more base def than Brom and 20-ish more HP, 3 more movement, and the ability to revert and transform at will...OMG I want it! he wouldn't loose 2 turns just to fill his garbage base gauge level, or be forced to waste a laguz stone for something Lethe can do from the start of every chapter IIRC).

Finally, something really bothers me. Base stats/stat caps:

Tigers:

POR: 28 hp, 8>15 str, 2 mag, 6>10 skl, 7>10 spd, 7>10 def, 2>5 res, 75 hp, 30>37 str, 20 mag, 33>37 skl, 34>37 spd, 40 lck, 30>35 def, 24>27 res.

RD: 36 HP, 6>12 str, 0 mag, 6>12 skl, 5>10 spd, 4>8 def, 1>2res, 75 hp, 23>46 str, 5>10 mag, 18>36 skl, 15>30 spd, 30 lck, 22>44 def, 10>20 res.

If their caps were just as high as in POR, tigers would be infinitely better for endgame. What about their base strength, def and res all being lower than POR's? at least they have more HP but their strength is really bad. They could use higher magic cap to be decent imbue users for better performance as tanks, but not only have they less cap, their base is also 0 vs 2, loosing magic from the previous game. Kiza would've made a wonderful tiger if he was really the weird tiger he's supposed to be (which he isn't at the end of the day because he's just a worse Muarim in every way but availability). Kiza could've been the tiger who tanks magic in endgame, the tiger who doubles late game bosses, the tiger who can use imbue better than the garbage skill named renewal, useless after part 1 and even then only Volug can get anything out of that ****. Kiza could've been the Fiona of tigers (with more usable bases than hers even if he's weak at start). But instead you have 3 tigers, the tank with amazing availability but really lackking even in strength and who doesn't even have access to wildheart before 3-8 or something like that (even then, I bet hawks make better use of it at that point), and Muarim and Kiza being clones or not far from it but Kiza having a shitty start and not even good availability.

Female cats (because Ranulf is a whole other class):

POR: 26 hp, 6>12 str, 4 mag, 6>10 skl, 8>11 spd, 3>8 def, 3>6 res, 70 hp, 26>32 str, 20 mag, 34>38 skl, 36>39 spd, 40 lck, 27>32 def, 27>30 res.

RD: 47 hp, 7>14 str, 6>12 mag, 11>22 skl, 11>22 spd, 7>14 def, 8>16 res, 65 hp, 18>36 str, 10>20 mag, 20>40 skl, 20>40 spd, 30 lck, 14>28 def, 16>32 res.

Radiant Dawn cats have less max stats compared with Radiant Dawn in all decisive areas except strength, where they make up for lower comparative cap by having S and SS ranks with +5 and +10 damage. they loose 13-4 def with stats capping up to 10 points higher than in POR, which means they loose 5 hp, 24-8 real skl cap, 26-9 real spd cap, 20 real luck cap (highest luck cap is 50), 23-14 real def cap and 21-8 real res cap. There isn't a single stat cats are as good in in RD as in POR!

Cat (Ranulf):

POR: lv 9: 46 hp, 19>25 str, 4 mag, 17>21 skl, 17>20 spd, 13 lck, 17>22 def, 6>9 res, 70 hp, 29>35 str, 20 mag, 34-38 skl, 35>38 spd, 40 lck, 30>35 def, 24>27 res.

RD: lv 26 (=6): 55 hp, 14>28 str, 6>12 mag, 16>32 skl, 15>30 spd, 23 lck, 13>26 def, 10>20 res, 65 hp, 18>36 str, 10>20mag, 20>40 skl, 20>40 spd, 30 lck, 16>32 def, 14>28 res.

Base RD Ranulf is 3 comparative levels lower than POR Ranulf, has decent availability for a prepromote-like unit, good base stats in cat form, but in human form he gets doubled by early every ennemy in his joining map, has inexistent offense (just like Lethe 1 whole part earlier), less defense/hp than Mordecai one whole part earlier, his only saving grace being res. In POR, he's a bit slow for a cat but I guess he should double fine for the most part since POR scales reeeeeeeeaaaaaalllllyyyyyyyyy sloooooooowwwwwwwwwwwwwlllllyyyyyyyyyyyyy even in hard mode, to the point you barely need more than 20/3 on your units to get the job done for most of the game except endgame where, according to forums, ennemy stats suddenly jump from the underground to the roof (never got past the chapters in Beignion, don't remember which one, I've recruited Shinon, Beaten Muarim but I don't recall in what order it is, even recruited Danved and done the next chapter, but the game is so sluggish that I got bored at that point). What's even worse, with 14 levels up left he only has 30% str growth, 35% speed, 55% lck that will absorb most of the first 7 BEXP levels alongside the 70% hp, 15% def and 10 res% that are unlikely to get better at all although they're already BAD in p3!

And about his caps, much like females cats, all defensive caps are obvious downgrades from POR, on top of his growths being 40 to 50% lower than in POR except in skl, spd and luck (-10, -20 and +20 respectively). Meaning his 9 level ups left in POR are 40% or so more effective than in RD, and if he only gains 4 levels in POR then I don't even imagine how many he'll gain in RD with even lower exp gains although more chapters to achieve it, still with his massively sucking growths totally unadapted to his game, he won't do anything better than in POR past a few chapters after recruitment. Even worse, Janaff has better base stats in everything but res, with only -4 res in bird form, nearly capped lck for better BEXP levels, Marksman's spd cap as his base value, higher skl base than most beorc classes, more hp base than many beorc classes and good offensive/defensive growths (40% str, 45% skl, 25% spd, 35% def) even though his bases already trivialize endgame as a full form falcon. So, Ranulf, councellor to the next king of Gallia, Giffca's future replacement, is inferior to a young falcon general for their whole availability in bases, growths and utility (hawks have both shove + super canto)  on top of having a worse transform gauge and Janaff having wildheart from join.

Hawks: useless to say hawks are far better than in POR at base since Janaff's bases are quite similar to Stephan, who's tower ready from the get-go, only their strike rank is less than desirable, so I'll only go for caps here:

POR: 65 hp, 26>32 str, 20 mag, 34>40 skl, 36>39 spd, 40 lck, 26>30 def, 26>30 res.

RD: 65 hp, 19>38 str, 5>10 mag, 23>46 skl, 21>42 spd, 35 lck, 16>32 def, 12>24 res.

Although much better than tigers and cats put together, hawks still have the same magic cap issue as tigers (unable to use imbue at max potential), overkill speed to double but still 25-7 less comparative spd cap (which highly affects their avoid), 15 comparative luck cap (again highly dents their avoid as 15 is a full earth affinity avoid boost), 20-8 less comparative def and 24-16 less comparative res in a game where endgame is filled with magical threats!

I think you see what I mean, when Laguz loose this much in stat caps, even if they weren't reaching them on average, the difference between having more def than a general, more speed than a swordmaster, equal res than a bishop and more hp than a general and on the other side better speed/skill than a swordmaster by little, same strength as a wyvern master and same def/res as a swordmaster...means they just lost half of what made them good in POR, namely durability difference with Beorcs in late game. Even the skill deficit is affecting their crit rate since their weapons have 0 naturel crit rate (not even 5 at SS sadly) and their skill activation rate. As for tigers it's the differece between doubling most non-Ashnard to every non-Ashnard ennemies vs not doubling any fast/boss unit in endgame, it's like tigers speed cap is in a permanent wildheart state...

On top of that, add the fact that demi band was movable at all times from one laguz to another and didn't take a skill slot, demi form still had full unit's base stats so you barely lost any stat from half to full form (well, I think actually half transformation was better handled stats-wise in RD than in POR but the availability of wildheart and the human form base stats were the real problem on top of the class caps I already criticized earlier). Add to it the beorcguard or laguzguard and Laguz had much more potential in POR than in RD, they just needed better endgame weapons (like double damage on blessed weapons for endgame or something like that). If IS just combined POR stats with RD mechanics and let the guard items available in game, while fixing character availability and growth rates of Laguz forcing BEXP or blossom abuse...we'd have the most satisfying experience of Laguz units we could according to me.

What do YOU guys think of this?

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1 hour ago, mangasdeouf said:

hawks still have the same magic cap issue as tigers

They aren't going to cap their magic stat anyway, that's the limiting factor.

1 hour ago, mangasdeouf said:

What do YOU guys think of this?

That you clearly have too much time on your hands, time which would be better spent doing something more productive.,

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Just now, NinjaMonkey said:

That you clearly have too much time on your hands, time which would be better spent doing something more productive.,

Most helpful response 10/10 would take seriously. 

On topic: I think the biggest issue with Laguz in RD is they run out of gauge too quickly when being ranged. For not being able to counter, it's like 5-8 depending on the Laguz being attacked. Lower this a bit and they could tank alot more. 

Perhaps lower the cost for countering generally while leaving attack cost high?

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18 minutes ago, lightcosmo said:

Most helpful response 10/10 would take seriously. 

On topic: I think the biggest issue with Laguz in RD is they run out of gauge too quickly when being ranged. For not being able to counter, it's like 5-8 depending on the Laguz being attacked. Lower this a bit and they could tank alot more. 

Perhaps lower the cost for countering generally while leaving attack cost high?

I think they should rather have managed it the same way as Manakete in GBA Emblem: loose uses/gauge when attacking/counter-attacking, not when unable to counter. This would solve every problem I think on the gauge part.

But apart from that you don't seem to care about the stats analysis except for magic, but even if they don't cap, imagine if Ulki or Kiza could have 12-16 magic, they would benefit a lot from imbue with this amount of hp, but with a max of 10 as a transformed unit they don't get much benefit out of imbue, in human form it's even worse than 60+ hp renewal that I already consider garbage. Doesn't it matter in your opinion that these problems of gauge are made even worse by the caps of the classes? If a f!cat had 18 def untransformed, she would suffer a lot less than with a cap of 14, because they'd reduce 4 more damage per hit, 8 in cat form, and with a spd cap of 24-25 instead of 20 they would be doubled only by high end sacred swordmasters at the end of the game and by auras. Give them back their 70 HP cap and they'd be much bulkier in effective health than what they are currently in RD.

I think RD really downgraded Laguz more than anything from POR, but the mechanics around transform gauge management are much more interesting than just waiting 'til it reaches 0 and waiting 'til it reaches max again. Beorcguard definitely would be an improvement big enough to make up for their loss of stats in human form though and I'd be satisfied could I get them in-game (like I said Lethe with Beorcguard could be much more useful in p2, at least for baiting ennemies into attacking her and gaining weapon exp on top of level exp without dying so fast). Also wildheart Mordecai in p2 FTW!

Edited by mangasdeouf

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Well, I'm not expecting anything about class balance considering their record, I have no faith that would ever change. 

Unless your talking theoretically? 

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I haven't played RD recently but I did just wrap up a PoR playthrough and yeah Laguz have very appreciable bulk, even unmorphed. I think if you played the game on hard mode and banned the demi band/laguz stones in your playthrough, you're still more likely to reset over a human character than a laguz. Plus I like that Laguz growth rates are the highest in the game, perhaps to make up for their lack of promotion gains and low experience gain. Their damage does fall off toward the end, but that's just because their claws don't compare to my max MT and HIT forged weapons.

There's still a couple laguz I've never used in PoR, namely Janaff and Ulki, because they come alongside other, better units like Reyson and Tanith and PoR's deployment slots basically alternate between 11 and 13 the entire game. So I don't think it's Janaff and Ulki's fault I never found room for them. I kind of wish flier laguz had canto, but I can also imagine how unplayable that would make the two boat maps. Because in those maps, a lot of tiles next to the ships are inaccessable - even with ranged weapons to attack from on land, and a raven cantoing into there would be incredibly frustrating.

The demi band has so little in the way of drawbacks that I wish laguz stones were purchasable after a certain point. You get so few that I feel forced to save them for Reyson. Then again, laguz stones don't necessarily feel "tight" for other Laguz because you have lethe and Mordecai for about 5 chapters before you earn the demi band and 4 uses of the laguz stones until then. Furthermore, I don't think the Demi Band's existence obsoletes the benefits of having a good guage, since you can unequip it. If Lethe is the only laguz unit that you intend you use, she can morph naturally on turn 1, then when her guage is about to run out she can equip the demi band if she still has things to fight. That way you still benefit from her highest stats.

I think Laguz units, like a lot of overpowered things in PoR, were sort of over-corrected in terms of balance in RD. Like I said I haven't played RD recently, but that's definitely my take on a lot of its changes.

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I thought the laguz in PoR were very underwhelming myself, with the exception of Lethe/Mordecai and Muarim to a lesser extent early in the game, and then they were just good in the usual way prepromos are (but still compared poorly to Titania). They were only usable half the time, and you had no control over which half. Later in the game, once your beorc promote, laguz just get left in the dust; they're stuck with weapons which have 7-10 mt while beorc get forged steel for ~15 and forged silver for ~20, and also have ranged and weakness-hitting options, or brave. Laguz get the Demi Band to at least try to be available the whole time but at that point most of them start having stats which are extremely unimpressive.

I liked them better in RD since you could manage the gauge yourself and decide when they were useful. And the better laguz (Volug, Ranulf, Janaff, Ulki, and obviously the royals) had really good stats, easily better than most of your human units until very near the end of the game. That said, they badly needed these good stats to make up for their disadvantages of gauge management and lack of 2 range, and so the laguz whose stats were less good (Lethe, Mordecai, Kyza, Lyre) ended up very underwhelming. Few laguz truly hit that happy medium of feeling properly balanced to me.

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re: RD hard mode - for whatever reason that actually was the JP insanity mode (IS "shifted" all of the difficulties to be more difficult in RD, and also back to be more easy in PoR than normal. Not sure whether it was a bug or accidentally overcompensating with PoR being too easy, don't really care). 

for RD,  I have sympathy for the devs regarding balancing because all the sudden now you've got the Laguz royals that all play a significant part of the story and gameplay (Nailah, Skirmir, Tibarn, Naesala, Kurth, etc etc) well beyond the "endgame bonus" we got in PoR.  Actually showing the sheer strength of the royals (and maybe going a bit overboard with nerfing the starting stats of the rest) is one way to make that tactile difference - and imo i'd rather have that than not.  (even the "regular" laguz are not bad if you abuse bexp and aggressively increase their stats, and other than a dedicated run with them, it's not like you're going to have an all-laguz party.) 

I do appreciate their overall tankiness plus movement in PoR though; having them being dedicated smite bots when untransformed is one way to make them still "useful" there.

 

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RD makes the whole transformation mechanic a little more interesting with Olivi Grass, but Laguz really should've started the chapter with their gauge filled. What, they're too exhausted to transform at the start of the fight? Changing this would both make more sense fluff-wise and allow Laguz to be active in the first turn of a chapter, or to save their initial gauge for a big player phase later in the fight.

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I found laguz rather underwhewlming in RD - while being able to transform at will is nice, it doesn't make up for the fact that they are still slow to improve relative to beorc. Barring the royals, even the better ones still fail to measure up because of the downsides that being a laguz comes with, to say nothing of the not-so-good ones. . . Just to put things into perspective, at base, Ranulf has 36 attack when transformed - which is not that impressive when a beorc can have that all the time, as opposed to needing to transform first.

Edited by Shadow Mir

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16 minutes ago, Shadow Mir said:

I found laguz rather underwhewlming in RD - while being able to transform at will is nice, it doesn't make up for the fact that they are still slow to improve relative to beorc. Barring the royals, even the better ones still fail to measure up because of the downsides that being a laguz comes with, to say nothing of the not-so-good ones. . . Just to put things into perspective, at base, Ranulf has 36 attack when transformed - which is not that impressive when a beorc can have that all the time, as opposed to needing to transform first.

I think it's the 2nd time I agree with you on something, GG. Ranulf is supposed to be Giffca's heir as the royal councellor but he's sooo underwhelming...like, he's good in 3-p when they run into the ennemy fort with insane numbers (why don't the ennemies alarm the peopke inside the fort BTW? plot nonsense, you see a big army and you don't really see many ennemies in the very little map after this one, but oh my god how hard is 3-1 with the many bad starting units you barely recruited, most of them can't take a single ennemy or 2 without dying, generals take no damage from most of your units while hitting hard and doubling the slowest like WTF they're GENERALS, not swordmasters! and this level you have to protect Lethe and Lyre who mindlessly try to get suicide if you don't find a good spot to put them on and a good moment to switch from free to go to X back to free...on top of that yellow army movement order changes without warning like in 1-3 where you'd LOVE them to always move in the same order so Aimee and Lyre don't get killed).

Ranulf has decent bases, but he's more like a forced Jeigan with nothing to save him except his class skill lv 30, but it's not like he'll activate it all the time and his class still has lacking defenses for a class with so little action in full form. I think his bases should be in wildheart, Ranulf should be equipped with a free wildheart at base and have the same bases that he has in OG in full form. This wildheart could replace Janaff's who'd come without wildheart, and p2 would have skills movable with Lethe wildheart having the same base stats as her full form since her damage sucks even in full form (barely scratching generals while Mordecai in full form 2HKOs them and takes 0 damage in return, hell Lethe doesn't even avoid well and has a useless affinity for her, they should've given her water, fire or earth so her support with Mordecai would be practical).

With Ranulf having 0 cost wildheart, he would effectively be a runner up for a high position in Gallia's hierarchy, as a cat who can change form at will and have amazing stats when needed (what about his fight against Zelgius? He goes wild against him for nothing and he has no chance of winning since he can barely damage his ennemy while taking like 20 damage in retaliation, so much for a future king's right hand, in the end he fights Zelgius for no good reason when Skrimir who could actually win just got his ass kicked because he's dumb, and if plot coherence was a thing, either Skrimir would not have the skill enhancing stats when low hp, or he would have torn Zelgius to pieces with it since he'd basically 1v1 BK with it if he could fight him).

As you said, 36 attack is pretty unimpressive for a high class Laguz, Mordecai at base has 38 like 6 chapters earlier and can gain some exp and bexp all the way to Ranulf's recruitment and the difference in hp/def means that Mordy not doubling is no problem. Bexp abusing can even put Mordy as high as 10-11 spd in his early level ups (I've had it in like 2-3 tries per level up, wasn't even looking for speed but if speed comes to me I don't say no) and totally destroy 2-E if you don't 1 turn it. Also, Ike with most decent swords has 37-40 damage with 23 base spd and def, he nearly doubles everything with more base attack than Ranulf, more str/spd/def growths and get a 1-2 range sword at the end of part 3, meanwhile Ranulf sits on his 36 attack for half the remaining chapters until his strength cooperates and his strike rank finally levels up.

Strike rank should also level up 2 or 3x faster since it's the only way to gain attack on a Laguz and many races have very low base strength. I fear ennemy Laguz more in 3-6 and 3-11 than my own Laguz for nearly all the time they're available.

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22 hours ago, mangasdeouf said:

Hi, me again (it's been a while though)

Today the topic is Laguz, but not about their tiering in their respective games. It's about how they were affected by the changes between POR and RD.

First, what I love in RD: transformation gauge management was a damn good improvement! In POR you could only watch the gauges go down and up passively without any active control of them, in Radiant Dawn you can revert and retransform at will (when it's full), get more exp for countering in human form, thus level up faster than tier 2 average units (opposite to their transformed state which levels up like a tier 3 or even slower), the possibility to counter in human form itself (especially for tigers and hawks, since cats barely deal any damage in human form, sucks to deal less damage as a supposedly stronger race than Astrid's RD weakling version), well, in general Laguz MECHANICS have improved.

Second, what I love in POR: good base stats even in human form, since Lethe and Mordecai barely gained stats from their first encounter in POR and their first encounter in RD although RD's ennemies have like twice their POR counterparts (sure double stats, but cats loose like 6 points or so per fight, which means they're usable only if you manage their gauge like a boss, plus their base strength and claw damage really suck, basically they deal T1 units damage untransformed and just promoted t2 damage transformed with an iron lance, which is really ass, barely scratches a general for 3-4 damage in the first chapter where you can play Lethe in normal, not even talking of hard mode's stat inflation that looked like lunatic awakening to me when I started it, with early game mymidons doubling or nearly doubling everyone on my team WTF IS please playtest your games before selling them).

So in POR, human form couldn't counterattack sadly, but at least they weren't cannon fodder for ennemies (I'm glad Mordecai is tanky even in human form, can't say the same about RD Lethe who gets doubled by nearly everything as a speedy class/race and dies in 5 weak hits although she has very high HP...her base speed is inferior to Volug's although her class has higher average speed).

POR had amazing items called laguzguard and beorcguard. Where did they end up in RD, where they were 10x more needed due to transformation mechanics? In the unused data, as skills. They could've been given to units (Lethe with beorcguard in P2 would've been 5x better at least, especially since she could've levelled up in human form without fearing every ennemy on her joining map where you don't see anything because of annoying FOW, and really ennemy units shouldn't be able to see you in FOW, if you don't see them hw can they see you? they're not magic creatures FFS). With the growth bands, Laguz could've had bonuses to their weak growths in RD, with blossom accessible from part 2 they could've gained good level ups as soon as chapters 2-3, with BEXP to make them close to level up.

But no, instead laguzguard and beorcguard are hidden in the data file with no way to get them in the game (not even with Dolphin cheats since they don't work due to weird changing code, even the unit exp gauges don't stay at the same number for the whole game, if you change them too often they just move to another number location), part 2 skills are unmovable because why would you want to move skills from one unit to another in the hardest chapters of part 2? It's not like there are 80% of the units in p2 that would benefit a lot from skills being movable (paragon, terrain nullifying skill mainly), and they didn't even give anyone wildheart before the late part 3 (how much better would Mordecai be if he had wildheart? at least 5x better in my book, with 3 more base def than Brom and 20-ish more HP, 3 more movement, and the ability to revert and transform at will...OMG I want it! he wouldn't loose 2 turns just to fill his garbage base gauge level, or be forced to waste a laguz stone for something Lethe can do from the start of every chapter IIRC).

Finally, something really bothers me. Base stats/stat caps:

Tigers:

POR: 28 hp, 8>15 str, 2 mag, 6>10 skl, 7>10 spd, 7>10 def, 2>5 res, 75 hp, 30>37 str, 20 mag, 33>37 skl, 34>37 spd, 40 lck, 30>35 def, 24>27 res.

RD: 36 HP, 6>12 str, 0 mag, 6>12 skl, 5>10 spd, 4>8 def, 1>2res, 75 hp, 23>46 str, 5>10 mag, 18>36 skl, 15>30 spd, 30 lck, 22>44 def, 10>20 res.

If their caps were just as high as in POR, tigers would be infinitely better for endgame. What about their base strength, def and res all being lower than POR's? at least they have more HP but their strength is really bad. They could use higher magic cap to be decent imbue users for better performance as tanks, but not only have they less cap, their base is also 0 vs 2, loosing magic from the previous game. Kiza would've made a wonderful tiger if he was really the weird tiger he's supposed to be (which he isn't at the end of the day because he's just a worse Muarim in every way but availability). Kiza could've been the tiger who tanks magic in endgame, the tiger who doubles late game bosses, the tiger who can use imbue better than the garbage skill named renewal, useless after part 1 and even then only Volug can get anything out of that ****. Kiza could've been the Fiona of tigers (with more usable bases than hers even if he's weak at start). But instead you have 3 tigers, the tank with amazing availability but really lackking even in strength and who doesn't even have access to wildheart before 3-8 or something like that (even then, I bet hawks make better use of it at that point), and Muarim and Kiza being clones or not far from it but Kiza having a shitty start and not even good availability.

Female cats (because Ranulf is a whole other class):

POR: 26 hp, 6>12 str, 4 mag, 6>10 skl, 8>11 spd, 3>8 def, 3>6 res, 70 hp, 26>32 str, 20 mag, 34>38 skl, 36>39 spd, 40 lck, 27>32 def, 27>30 res.

RD: 47 hp, 7>14 str, 6>12 mag, 11>22 skl, 11>22 spd, 7>14 def, 8>16 res, 65 hp, 18>36 str, 10>20 mag, 20>40 skl, 20>40 spd, 30 lck, 14>28 def, 16>32 res.

Radiant Dawn cats have less max stats compared with Radiant Dawn in all decisive areas except strength, where they make up for lower comparative cap by having S and SS ranks with +5 and +10 damage. they loose 13-4 def with stats capping up to 10 points higher than in POR, which means they loose 5 hp, 24-8 real skl cap, 26-9 real spd cap, 20 real luck cap (highest luck cap is 50), 23-14 real def cap and 21-8 real res cap. There isn't a single stat cats are as good in in RD as in POR!

Cat (Ranulf):

POR: lv 9: 46 hp, 19>25 str, 4 mag, 17>21 skl, 17>20 spd, 13 lck, 17>22 def, 6>9 res, 70 hp, 29>35 str, 20 mag, 34-38 skl, 35>38 spd, 40 lck, 30>35 def, 24>27 res.

RD: lv 26 (=6): 55 hp, 14>28 str, 6>12 mag, 16>32 skl, 15>30 spd, 23 lck, 13>26 def, 10>20 res, 65 hp, 18>36 str, 10>20mag, 20>40 skl, 20>40 spd, 30 lck, 16>32 def, 14>28 res.

Base RD Ranulf is 3 comparative levels lower than POR Ranulf, has decent availability for a prepromote-like unit, good base stats in cat form, but in human form he gets doubled by early every ennemy in his joining map, has inexistent offense (just like Lethe 1 whole part earlier), less defense/hp than Mordecai one whole part earlier, his only saving grace being res. In POR, he's a bit slow for a cat but I guess he should double fine for the most part since POR scales reeeeeeeeaaaaaalllllyyyyyyyyy sloooooooowwwwwwwwwwwwwlllllyyyyyyyyyyyyy even in hard mode, to the point you barely need more than 20/3 on your units to get the job done for most of the game except endgame where, according to forums, ennemy stats suddenly jump from the underground to the roof (never got past the chapters in Beignion, don't remember which one, I've recruited Shinon, Beaten Muarim but I don't recall in what order it is, even recruited Danved and done the next chapter, but the game is so sluggish that I got bored at that point). What's even worse, with 14 levels up left he only has 30% str growth, 35% speed, 55% lck that will absorb most of the first 7 BEXP levels alongside the 70% hp, 15% def and 10 res% that are unlikely to get better at all although they're already BAD in p3!

And about his caps, much like females cats, all defensive caps are obvious downgrades from POR, on top of his growths being 40 to 50% lower than in POR except in skl, spd and luck (-10, -20 and +20 respectively). Meaning his 9 level ups left in POR are 40% or so more effective than in RD, and if he only gains 4 levels in POR then I don't even imagine how many he'll gain in RD with even lower exp gains although more chapters to achieve it, still with his massively sucking growths totally unadapted to his game, he won't do anything better than in POR past a few chapters after recruitment. Even worse, Janaff has better base stats in everything but res, with only -4 res in bird form, nearly capped lck for better BEXP levels, Marksman's spd cap as his base value, higher skl base than most beorc classes, more hp base than many beorc classes and good offensive/defensive growths (40% str, 45% skl, 25% spd, 35% def) even though his bases already trivialize endgame as a full form falcon. So, Ranulf, councellor to the next king of Gallia, Giffca's future replacement, is inferior to a young falcon general for their whole availability in bases, growths and utility (hawks have both shove + super canto)  on top of having a worse transform gauge and Janaff having wildheart from join.

Hawks: useless to say hawks are far better than in POR at base since Janaff's bases are quite similar to Stephan, who's tower ready from the get-go, only their strike rank is less than desirable, so I'll only go for caps here:

POR: 65 hp, 26>32 str, 20 mag, 34>40 skl, 36>39 spd, 40 lck, 26>30 def, 26>30 res.

RD: 65 hp, 19>38 str, 5>10 mag, 23>46 skl, 21>42 spd, 35 lck, 16>32 def, 12>24 res.

Although much better than tigers and cats put together, hawks still have the same magic cap issue as tigers (unable to use imbue at max potential), overkill speed to double but still 25-7 less comparative spd cap (which highly affects their avoid), 15 comparative luck cap (again highly dents their avoid as 15 is a full earth affinity avoid boost), 20-8 less comparative def and 24-16 less comparative res in a game where endgame is filled with magical threats!

I think you see what I mean, when Laguz loose this much in stat caps, even if they weren't reaching them on average, the difference between having more def than a general, more speed than a swordmaster, equal res than a bishop and more hp than a general and on the other side better speed/skill than a swordmaster by little, same strength as a wyvern master and same def/res as a swordmaster...means they just lost half of what made them good in POR, namely durability difference with Beorcs in late game. Even the skill deficit is affecting their crit rate since their weapons have 0 naturel crit rate (not even 5 at SS sadly) and their skill activation rate. As for tigers it's the differece between doubling most non-Ashnard to every non-Ashnard ennemies vs not doubling any fast/boss unit in endgame, it's like tigers speed cap is in a permanent wildheart state...

On top of that, add the fact that demi band was movable at all times from one laguz to another and didn't take a skill slot, demi form still had full unit's base stats so you barely lost any stat from half to full form (well, I think actually half transformation was better handled stats-wise in RD than in POR but the availability of wildheart and the human form base stats were the real problem on top of the class caps I already criticized earlier). Add to it the beorcguard or laguzguard and Laguz had much more potential in POR than in RD, they just needed better endgame weapons (like double damage on blessed weapons for endgame or something like that). If IS just combined POR stats with RD mechanics and let the guard items available in game, while fixing character availability and growth rates of Laguz forcing BEXP or blossom abuse...we'd have the most satisfying experience of Laguz units we could according to me.

What do YOU guys think of this?

Just thought I'd mention that you are right about Wildheart being better on A Hawk then A tiger and I know this because in 4 of my 7 completed playthroughs and my current/8th playthrough, I've used Wildheart on Janaff and tried to use it on 1 of The Tigers and every time Janaff has benefitted from it far more then any of the tigers

Edited by James Marshall

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3 hours ago, James Marshall said:

Just thought I'd mention that you are right about Wildheart being better on A Hawk then A tiger and I know this because in 4 of my 7 completed playthroughs and my current/8th playthrough, I've used Wildheart on Janaff and tried to use it on 1 of The Tigers and every time Janaff has benefitted from it far more then any of the tigers

Thanks, indeed, Janaff is a royal undercover, his base speed, like I mentionned, is equal to marksmen's speed cap, his physical stats are about equal to Stephan although he comes 5 chapters earlier or something like that and still has a good 10 levels to grow still. Ulki is less of a beast in offence but he's virtually untouchable in bird form and can only get better from there. He's like Zihark, but actually good (for the reminder, I'm not a fan of Zihark, find him really overrated since his base stats are unimpressive, his physical stats are totally underwhelming since he falls off as fast as 1-E if you didn't give him like 2 5 stats level ups before then and he's absolutely not ready for the Laguz chapters where they have to facetank for several turns, since Volug is basically the same as him but with 65% more HP, 1.5 to double the benefits from any stat booster you'd give him and his offence never stops increasing since strike rank should be S in 1-E an reach SS before part 4 ideally, durin p4 if you intend on playing him to the end, and Volug has the advantage of costing you 0 gold for all of that, on top of freeing this amount of spare gold for whoever you want to use).

Mordecai with wildheart would be very similar to Brom with more movement and HP. Muarim would be a tanky Volug (22 def, 2 less than Mordy, but faster), Kyza would be comparable with base Rolf I guess stats-wise, or someone like that.

Lethe would be Volug but much slower, less durable and much weaker. Lyre would be Lethe but less durable and weaker.

Vika would be good for p1 but that's it.

I think Lyre should have joined in p1 for whatever reason, like she wanted to see the world and joined Tormod's group, before going back to Gallia army halfway through part 3 when Micayah goes against Gallia,or after you speak to her with Lethe or Ranulf. Kyza should be sent by Gallia to handle negociations and stay in Micayah's party until Goldoa steps in, or maybe stay at Kurthnaga's side in Daein's army.

(I'm trying different mods I've made out of RD, I'll probably put the decompressed Data.cms file in a topic when I'm satisfied with the gameplay, sadly I only have class stats and characters bases and growths that I can modify on Nightmare. Not much about RD rom hacking, it must be very difficult to do. Why am I talking about this? Because my mods balance classes, units and make Laguz really viable (like the one I've just finished modding and will playtest soon has 30 in all physical caps for human form Laguz except strong royals, which means Naesala has boosted human caps because he's not SS rank and not capped or close to capping in every important stat, also Laguz base speed and weak Laguz general base stats fit more with the feeling they give, Lyre being a real Ninetails in gameplay, Lethe being more like Panne, Mordecai being a juggernaut not afraid of taking hits even in human form, still not fast enough to not be doubled in H but he can actually double in full tiger, and Kyza being the imbue tiger with more hybrid stats, fast and magic proof, skilled, but not very strong or bulky, Muarim is the Gerik of tigers, Vika is usable, Ranulf now hits as hard as Ike and is really fast and a bit bulkier, better fit for a marshall's right hand, Janaff is even more Janaffy and Ulki is more Hulky but they keep their specialties, my  goal i to let wildheart be a long term viable form until you have access to Laguz stones and gems instead of being sitting ducks for 5 turns).)

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21 hours ago, Shadow Mir said:

Ranulf has 36 attack when transformed - which is not that impressive when a beorc can have that all the time, as opposed to needing to transform first.

Ranulf also has enough speed to double absolutely everything in part 3 iirc (and if he gets speed at the clip I'd expect, will continue to double everything in the game generally). 36 attack is pretty good for someone you can say that about. The likes of Mia and Nephenee need to be in tier 3 to reach that sort of number, or maybe the very end of tier 2 after some BExp use, which they won't be anywhere close to when Ranulf joins.

I'll grant that if you invest heavilly in Titania or Haar (especially by giving them Speedwings), then you can get someone with super-high atk who also doubles reliably, but, well, there's a reason they're generally considered two of the best units in the game.

On 10/11/2020 at 1:38 PM, ping said:

RD makes the whole transformation mechanic a little more interesting with Olivi Grass, but Laguz really should've started the chapter with their gauge filled. What, they're too exhausted to transform at the start of the fight? Changing this would both make more sense fluff-wise and allow Laguz to be active in the first turn of a chapter, or to save their initial gauge for a big player phase later in the fight.

Yeah, I definitely agree with this! Arguably the single biggest problem with RD laguz is that they're useless on the first two turns unless you spend a Laguz Stone (and even then, they always miss player phase 1). In some fights those turns aren't important, but when they are, it's a big deal.

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45 minutes ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

Ranulf also has enough speed to double absolutely everything in part 3 iirc (and if he gets speed at the clip I'd expect, will continue to double everything in the game generally). 36 attack is pretty good for someone you can say that about. The likes of Mia and Nephenee need to be in tier 3 to reach that sort of number, or maybe the very end of tier 2 after some BExp use, which they won't be anywhere close to when Ranulf joins.

I'll grant that if you invest heavilly in Titania or Haar (especially by giving them Speedwings), then you can get someone with super-high atk who also doubles reliably, but, well, there's a reason they're generally considered two of the best units in the game.

Yeah, I definitely agree with this! Arguably the single biggest problem with RD laguz is that they're useless on the first two turns unless you spend a Laguz Stone (and even then, they always miss player phase 1). In some fights those turns aren't important, but when they are, it's a big deal.

Base Ike has exactly 36 attack with Ettard though, alongside 23 speed which lets him double for a while and 21 def, 44 hp, is melee just like Ranulf and doesn't have a shitty transformation gauge to manage. Ranulf has nothing special going for him, he's decent at best when he joins and his growths are awful and don't let him stay decent later. The only saving grace for him is save scumming level ups and class mastery skill being a thing, with endgame unlocking laguz gems. And even then he's far from your best option in the Laguz army, if you invested in Volug he should be SS rank by then and outdamage Ranulf on top of having nearly twice higher of a speed growth to get ready for tower. Mordecai basically takes little to no physical damage, Muarim is still better than Ranulf even without doubling bosses and sacred swordmasters and Janaff and Ulki straight up throw Ranulf in the garbage can alone with his shame (better stats, Ulki dodges way better than Ranulf with vigilance, canto+shove+flight).

So, no, Ranulf isn't anything special. The only ennemies he can double that no juggernaut can is swordmasters in p3, even then he takes counter damage and Mia can also do it, or Shinon with 3 speed level ups can also double them I suppose, I don't have their stats in mind, if he can't then he can crit kill them or weaken them so anyone can finish them and actually get some experience. + Ranulf has competition for high movement and "good combat" (although his is not that good), Titania is like Ranulf squishy, Haar is like Muarim on wings, brave weapon users with good strength also blow him, since they don't take counter damage at all and deal about the same amount as him (24-25 str+8-10 MT weapon = 32-35 damage x2 without counter). Also any decent CK you've trained (Danced, Kieran or Geoffrey later on) can replicate or beat Ranulf's combat while having canto (except Danved, but he fights like 10 men and actually has a good stat spread and a good start if you use the wright weapon against the wright ennemy, it's not like Crimea has access to iron weapons only, they might have the best shops in the whole part of the Fire Emblem games I've played and that's in midgame against weaklings, it's the same as having a brave axe and lance and silvers in chapter 10 Sacred Stones, it would seriously break the game in half without even using Seth or Duessel/Gerik+Innes at all, especially if SS units had the same weapon ranks as midgame RD units who can use braves or even steel great- and normal silver weapons).

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5 hours ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

Ranulf also has enough speed to double absolutely everything in part 3 iirc (and if he gets speed at the clip I'd expect, will continue to double everything in the game generally). 36 attack is pretty good for someone you can say that about. The likes of Mia and Nephenee need to be in tier 3 to reach that sort of number, or maybe the very end of tier 2 after some BExp use, which they won't be anywhere close to when Ranulf joins.

I'll grant that if you invest heavilly in Titania or Haar (especially by giving them Speedwings), then you can get someone with super-high atk who also doubles reliably, but, well, there's a reason they're generally considered two of the best units in the game.

Yeah, I definitely agree with this! Arguably the single biggest problem with RD laguz is that they're useless on the first two turns unless you spend a Laguz Stone (and even then, they always miss player phase 1). In some fights those turns aren't important, but when they are, it's a big deal.

At the same time, he's still limited by having a weapon with iron-level might for 70 attacks, as well as gauge problems (and as a cat, he's doomed to being mediocre anyway). For someone who levels like a high level third tier unit, that's really, REALLY shitty, no ifs, ands or buts about it. I'll grant that the likes of Mia or Nephenee probably won't get there for a while, but Ranulf is still rather unimpressive considering that he needs to wait until turn 4 to do anything... when enemy units tend to come at you on enemy phase turn 1.

Also, regarding your last point, you only get 8 laguz stones before part 4 (and even when you get to part 4, they're only available in the bargains before the endgame; note that Nealuchi uses one as fighting breaks out in 2-P, hence 8).

Edited by Shadow Mir

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3 hours ago, Shadow Mir said:

At the same time, he's still limited by having a weapon with iron-level might for 70 attacks, as well as gauge problems (and as a cat, he's doomed to being mediocre anyway). For someone who levels like a high level third tier unit, that's really, REALLY shitty, no ifs, ands or buts about it. I'll grant that the likes of Mia or Nephenee probably won't get there for a while, but Ranulf is still rather unimpressive considering that he needs to wait until turn 4 to do anything... when enemy units tend to come at you on enemy phase turn 1.

I agree with a fair bit of this, but unless you don't buy Olivi Grass for some reason, that turn 4 should be turn 3, instead.

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3 hours ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

I agree with a fair bit of this, but unless you don't buy Olivi Grass for some reason, that turn 4 should be turn 3, instead.

I don't buy olivi grass - I find it rather hard to justify using laguz on the team when in general, they're not much better than beorc units as to justify their crippling downsides.

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If you won't even put in the bare minimum effort to use them, you aren't really in any position to judge how useful they are, and thus aren't able to contribute to this conversation.

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6 hours ago, Shadow Mir said:

I don't buy olivi grass - I find it rather hard to justify using laguz on the team when in general, they're not much better than beorc units as to justify their crippling downsides.

I use some of them (the good ones and the ones I just choose to use despite their mediocrity), mainly Mordecai since he tanks better than any Beorc will ever be able to in tiger form and in human form he can draw ennemies at him to open a path for others or to do the exact same thing you do in 1-9 with Black Knight for Micaiah, avoid squishy units to be focused and one turned.

Another good mechanic I think would be to have a set number of uses to the claws for each chapter so you don't abuse them but still benefit from the full stats all the time, let's say 10 uses per chapter and claws that could be unequipped. This way you'd have real stats all the time like in POR but you could use them in battle only a few times, thus save it for strong ennemies (fast generals, bosses, etc.).

And Haar is very strong but people seem to forget he's just a flying overlevelled Aran with a seraph robe stats-wise, and then they say units like Aran perform poorly while they put units like Nolan and Jill at the top and most Laguz at the bottom. Well, news: just like Volug is the most useful unit in Micaiah's army, benefitting themost of each point of stat except hp/lck, followed by Jill with tons of stat boosters just to make up for her mediocrity, Aran could use just 1 seraph robe obtained in ch 4 and faceroll p1 by taking 15% of his hp per attack after he reaches 15 def (so around the end of ch 4 where you feed your best unit or the one you want to train all the kills it can get), on top of that he'd be much more prone to cap 4 stats and use BEXP for spd/lck/res which would be the only stats not capped before t2.

If you take Volug with dragonshield, trained Aran with seraph robe, lv 15 promoted Nolan because he won't be used long term anyway and Jill with the energy drop, you might have a good team for p3 on top of having less exp to share (Nolan should have enough speed to not get doubled by tigers and will never reach high enough speed by the time cats can double him anyway so why try levelling him more than that? as long as he's not ORKOd he is fine and won't go anywhere higher before being majorly overlevelled like 20/10 at the end of p1 which shouldn't happen). With 1 BEXP level up Volug should have around 50 hp and 21 spd in wildheart or 28 in full form, with dragonshield 16 def in wildheart or 22 in full form, I don't see why you'd need more than 4 units with early promoted Nolan to deal with p3. That's how good Volug is in midgame, but he's still in need of assistance, either if you removed wildheart he needs helpvwhen his gauge is low or whe he untransforms, or with wildheart he's a better version of Nolan with real HP and similar def, better speed most of the time (especially with 1 speed level up at 45%, 21 speed is what Nolan would have around lv 20/6 or something like that, 50 hp is what he'd have not long before t3 promotion), and a permanent 14 Mt at S rank at no cost (also what he can do in p1 with his 9 movement and good stats no other unit can replicate, like chapter 6-b saving Fiona and her subordinates from certain slaughter while Jill is still a scrub for a long time).

Oh, one thing to note: a silver axe has 25 uses of 14 Mt and 70% hit, a wolf fang S has 14 Mt and 90% hit on top of being indestructible and free (money-wise at least). A tiger fang has 15 Mt, a cat claw has 13 Mt, a raven ceak has 12 Mt and a hawk talon has 13 Mt. SS ranks are 20 tiger 19 wolf 18 cat/hawk 17 raven.

Ulki at base has the same attack as Ranulf with as much weapon Mt, but he has 3-6 speed more than Ranulf (high enough to double approximately every ennemy in the game at 36 speed). If Ulki gets an SS talon he has 41 attack at base, 45 with an energy drop, and supports can add even more. For a unit supposed to be worse than Janaff, I find him really impressive. Not needing any speed lv up to double endgame is nice, his only problem being low strength but you can always try to get a few + strength with BEXP, vigilance might be the best personal skill in the game (there aren't many personal skills but free 3/4th of an earth support is always welcome especially with 0 investment). If any of the solutions we have suggested here and on other Laguz topics were applied, these guys would seriously be monsters (the easisest one being no gauge penalty when one cannot counterattack because it could reuse a thing they did for GBA Manaketes on durability).

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4 hours ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

If you won't even put in the bare minimum effort to use them, you aren't really in any position to judge how useful they are, and thus aren't able to contribute to this conversation.

Well, excuuuuuuse me for not having the patience of a saint, which is pretty much mandatory when dealing with units that, relative to most of the units in the goddamn game, improve at a pace that "snail's pace" is too kind in describing! 

4 hours ago, mangasdeouf said:

Oh, one thing to note: a silver axe has 25 uses of 14 Mt and 70% hit, a wolf fang S has 14 Mt and 90% hit on top of being indestructible and free (money-wise at least). A tiger fang has 15 Mt, a cat claw has 13 Mt, a raven ceak has 12 Mt and a hawk talon has 13 Mt. SS ranks are 20 tiger 19 wolf 18 cat/hawk 17 raven.

Good luck getting to S rank, let alone SS rank, when you're an easily killed punching bag half the time, and are still limited in terms of usability when you're transformed. You WILL need it.

4 hours ago, mangasdeouf said:

And Haar is very strong but people seem to forget he's just a flying overlevelled Aran with a seraph robe stats-wise, and then they say units like Aran perform poorly while they put units like Nolan and Jill at the top and most Laguz at the bottom. Well, news: just like Volug is the most useful unit in Micaiah's army, benefitting themost of each point of stat except hp/lck, followed by Jill with tons of stat boosters just to make up for her mediocrity, Aran could use just 1 seraph robe obtained in ch 4 and faceroll p1 by taking 15% of his hp per attack after he reaches 15 def (so around the end of ch 4 where you feed your best unit or the one you want to train all the kills it can get), on top of that he'd be much more prone to cap 4 stats and use BEXP for spd/lck/res which would be the only stats not capped before t2.

Breaking news: Volug is still limited by being a laguz, and the downsides that entails - like lack of range. Even if it was feasible to get him to a point where he could clear a portion of the field by himself, which it is not without great fortune and investment, it's only as long as he stays transformed, as the moment that ends, he's done for if there are enemies left that can attack him, and ranged fighters ruin his day. This gets worse in part 4, which is rout-heavy. Also, I disagree on laguz benefiting most from stat boosters, as in practice, having doubled effect transformed doesn't much make up for the point where they're sitting ducks.

4 hours ago, mangasdeouf said:

If you take Volug with dragonshield, trained Aran with seraph robe, lv 15 promoted Nolan because he won't be used long term anyway and Jill with the energy drop, you might have a good team for p3 on top of having less exp to share (Nolan should have enough speed to not get doubled by tigers and will never reach high enough speed by the time cats can double him anyway so why try levelling him more than that? as long as he's not ORKOd he is fine and won't go anywhere higher before being majorly overlevelled like 20/10 at the end of p1 which shouldn't happen). With 1 BEXP level up Volug should have around 50 hp and 21 spd in wildheart or 28 in full form, with dragonshield 16 def in wildheart or 22 in full form, I don't see why you'd need more than 4 units with early promoted Nolan to deal with p3. That's how good Volug is in midgame, but he's still in need of assistance, either if you removed wildheart he needs helpvwhen his gauge is low or whe he untransforms, or with wildheart he's a better version of Nolan with real HP and similar def, better speed most of the time (especially with 1 speed level up at 45%, 21 speed is what Nolan would have around lv 20/6 or something like that, 50 hp is what he'd have not long before t3 promotion), and a permanent 14 Mt at S rank at no cost (also what he can do in p1 with his 9 movement and good stats no other unit can replicate, like chapter 6-b saving Fiona and her subordinates from certain slaughter while Jill is still a scrub for a long time).

Except he needs way more investment because as a laguz he levels up slowly, and his growths are vomit tier (granted, growths alone don't tell the whole story, but still, I'm not exactly inclined to think someone who literally has HP and Luck as their only good growths is worth the investment). Incidentally, 1-6-2 is pretty much the last hurrah for Volug, because his usefulness falls off a cliff after that point.

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3 hours ago, Shadow Mir said:

Well, excuuuuuuse me for not having the patience of a saint, which is pretty much mandatory when dealing with units that, relative to most of the units in the goddamn game, improve at a pace that "snail's pace" is too kind in describing! 

Good luck getting to S rank, let alone SS rank, when you're an easily killed punching bag half the time, and are still limited in terms of usability when you're transformed. You WILL need it.

Breaking news: Volug is still limited by being a laguz, and the downsides that entails - like lack of range. Even if it was feasible to get him to a point where he could clear a portion of the field by himself, which it is not without great fortune and investment, it's only as long as he stays transformed, as the moment that ends, he's done for if there are enemies left that can attack him, and ranged fighters ruin his day. This gets worse in part 4, which is rout-heavy. Also, I disagree on laguz benefiting most from stat boosters, as in practice, having doubled effect transformed doesn't much make up for the point where they're sitting ducks.

Except he needs way more investment because as a laguz he levels up slowly, and his growths are vomit tier (granted, growths alone don't tell the whole story, but still, I'm not exactly inclined to think someone who literally has HP and Luck as their only good growths is worth the investment). Incidentally, 1-6-2 is pretty much the last hurrah for Volug, because his usefulness falls off a cliff after that point.

I'll try not to be an asshole.

Volug can level 3x in p1 from bexp alone. His highest grwoths are HP 95%, luck 90% and spd 40%. Which means more often than not he'll get from 49 hp 13 spd 13 lck to 52 hp, 16 spd and 16 luck. That means 5 hp recovery per turn from renewal, a potion's worth every 4th turn without costing an action,that also means no ennemy will ever double him in Micaiah's chapters, that means 24 speed in wildheart form  and 32 speed in full form, that's more than Ranulf and that's at level 18, he still has 22 level ups in front of him to cap his stats. Knowing he caps speed at 18, 5 speed level ups are the most he can get, and since he has 3.25 stats per level up on average you don't loose much by levelling him with BEXP. 18 speed cap means he has 27 speed in wildheart when it's capped (so between level 20 and 22 if skill or strength get a level up instead), with 27 speed he has 1 more than Nolan at capped speed, 2 more than Jill, and Nolan has 49 hp on average at 20/20, which is Volug's base HP in p1. Level 22 (7 BEXP levels, not only gained by BEXP but the level up is BEXPd to ensure he levels up 3 stats), he has 56 HP. Now if you use him wisely in full form he has 18 def at base and 56 HP on average (95% growth is more than enough to ensure he'll follow the average), on top of doubling every ennemy he'll ever face even in half form before p4, he can easily reach S in p1 epilogue if you just play naturally, and since he's the most durable permanent DB member for every chapter he's in until half p4 (unless you transfer people from other armies to Micaiah's group, which is highly ineffective if they're not fliers since desert raises a middlefinger to foot soldiers but Volug has free movement there), he's more often than not on the frontline soaking hits and softening or killing ennemies while levelling his strike rank. He's the only Laguz who can reach SS strike without going out of your way to do it and even increase your team's efficiency by doing so.

Wildheart, again, lets you revert and transform back to 30 gauge every turn, no matter how low your gauge was before reverting. You can also put it off for one chapter if you need his full stats and put it back on later if you need him to be transformed the whole chapter, since it's not a free skill even for him (so sad BTW, he should have it equipped for free due to plot making wolf form cannon for him and human form unnatural, he barely speaks common language). This means his transformation cost is a flat 0, he doesn't even need any olivi grass if you use him with Wildheart on. It's up to you to choose between paying potions and concoctions or olivi grass, if you want to rush by killing fast but having few turns to end the chapter or if you prefer taking your time and being 100% safe on transformation gauge management. In half form he's just a better Zihark for 75% of their shared availability, who can actually follow or even let Jill behind, so Jill has someone to support, otherwise no cavalry army has no one to constantly provide support bonuses to Jill and thus she's much less dominant because supports are OP for LTC and such. So most players will play Volug, one way or the other. No t2 unit is better than Volug except mybe Haar with a speedwings (Titania tanks much less hits than Volug due to having a massive HP disadvantage at plausible levels, and if Volug is in full form she doesn't even compare, and if you wisely gave a dragonshield to Volug to raise his def by 3-4 then he simply leaves everyone but Gatrie and Haar in the dust, and Gatrie has low movement and a low speed cap hindering his wonderful base and growth).

You talk of range, which we have already debated multiple times in other topics. If Nolan has 1-2 range but doesn't kill, be it at 1 or 2 range, then Nolan's combat isn't better than Volug's who has 1 range only but will kill most non tiger ennemies in 1 round with S fang and Volug will take less % HP than Nolan until Nolan is over level 20/10 with Tarvos (or oer level 14 without it). If instead of levelling up Nolan this much although his base stats are barely higher than Meg's despite being 6 levels higher (of course he has better HP, it's his only saving grace and his class' asset, without it he would be worse than Edward), you levelled up Aran with a seraph robe, you would have a clone of Tarvos Nolan with a little less speed (it's not like Nolan doubles much anyway despite having 60% growth in speed), but who doesn't rely on Tarvos to tank, his own defense being what allows him to frontline. "Yeah but 33 spd cap" yeah but speed tide = 38 speed and Micaiah's group is not the group I want to bring in the tower because they have a 10 level deficit compared with GMs and even CKs end up higher level at the beginning of p4 despite their awful availability (actually counting the fact that 1 of Micaiah's chapters has ally units doing 80% of the fight, there isn't much availability difference between CKs and DB and CKs start with so much more base level and stats compared with DB it's not even funny, like Kieran has as much speed at base as lv 20/5 Nolan, as much strength as 20/8 Nolan and as much def as 20/20 Nolan and the only areas Nolan beats him in in t2 are HP because 45 cap paladin, skl/spd where Kieran has enough to double often and has access to brave axe whenever he wants from the 1st chapter you can use him in, and luck, even Nolan's awesome res doesn't surpass Kieran's since Kieran starts with 11, has 13 on average at /20 and has a higher cap than Nolan).

So, the only real good units who need investment for p3 but give a good payback are Jill and Aran, Volug needs no investment but any of it (especially in def) helps him be even better and maybe to not need to remove wildheart to stay relevant and Nolan without the goal of going to Endgame can be promoted as soon as his bulk and speed allow him to not be ORKOd in p3. Any further investment in Nolan without the goal of bringing him to endgame is a waste of experience and ressources since he doesn't beat Aran in any significant way before long and one rounding ennemies in p3 DB can actually lead the unit one rounding to die a horrible death unless it's Volug who has enough raw bulk + earth affinity to take 2-3 ennemies per turn with a concoction or elixir. Leonardo is the best user of beastkiller anyway with Lughnasadh and crossbow/arbalest or whatever it's named since he doesn't take any risk by killing an ennemy and can snipe kill at base level with crossbow.

So we have 3 awesome non royals Laguz who don't need any training to be good and enjoy being trained or stat boosted since it lets them outperform most units available at the same time for a long time before Beorcs reach t3 and finally outclass Laguz in some stats, after taking so much exp your Laguz would have transformed into a tool of slaughter, give Ulki, Janaff, Volug and Mordecai as much exp you'd have given to Titania (who can't double endgame bosses if Aran can't since they have the same speed cap), Oscar, Soren, Gatrie, Nephenee, Jill, Nolan, and the Laguz will stomp the game with good movement (with less restrictions than Beorcs), huge stats, massive stat gains from stat boosters (Mordecai with a speedwings has instant 22 speed in full form, that's 1 more than Titania, he also has 21 hp and 16 def over her, but he needs a precious 200 gold olivi grass and a few hits from ennemy units who won't kill him that easily to begin with, to have those awesome stats! yes, if you manage to position him optimally and have a good formation, Mordecai could probably transorm on turn 2 and solo the part of the map where Haar isn't, hell he'd end the chapter before Haar could hope to do so because he doesn't need to be careful of ennemy range at all when he's transformed, but it costs some olivi grass, if you end the chapter in 3 turns instead of 4 because you have a better unit then you saved yourself the pain of having to plan anything past Mordecai's transformation, just know how many hits he can take before reverting to avoid doing a mistake (like suiciding in human form vs the hack stats of 3-2 boss wyvern lord).

Laguz stones also exist for a reason, to use when you need an instant transformation and use only when needed (if you can play the beginning without Mordecai and transform him and end the chapter in 2 turns after he transformed, then you played wisely and saved Laguz stones for later, I guess you could get him either celerity or pass so he can begin the slaughter immediately after transformation and fast pass you to the next chapter). Also Mordecai doesn't loose stats on level up, Volug doesn't loose stats on level up. Laguz aren't magically weaker the further you go into the game. When a beorc can reach 44 defense in 6 defense level ups with def being their 3rd highest growth rate, thus being very likely to go up with BEXP (45% isn't exactly low either), then I'd think that Beorcs are superior to Laguz. Why is Seth better than everyone in SS? Because he outstats them for 15+ chapters. Does it matter that they beat him at 20/20? No, because he carried them for all these chapters, letting some scrubs deal with the leftovers to have a chance at climbing up to his sit by endgame. In a game where you basically have an army of endgame ready/forced units (Stephan+Volke+Sothe+Haar+Ike+Nailah+Naesala+Tibarn+Janaff+Ulki+Giffca+Cainghis+Kurthnaga and Ena free exp in the dragon map+Micaiah+Muarim), the most efficient way to end it is by giving your all to the ones who can make the hardest parts easier. Haar and Mordecai (speedwings from p1 endgame and from p2 means they can both get to the speed threshold, Mordecai needing it more since he goes from 18 to 22, also giving him 1 BEXP savescummed level up looking for speed brings him as high as 24 speed, which doubles fine, it's 1 more than /20 Titania by the way, I'm surprised no one ever tried to give Mordecai a speedwings and talked about it on Reddit, SF or GFAQs, Mordecai takes like 5 damage at base from 3-2 boss while everyone else takes at least 11, and that's Haar with capped def and not taking a crit), Volug with a dragonshield, Ike, Janaff, Aran with a seraph robe, early promoted Nolan (the only ressource needed for him is a master seal and the exp he gains without trying before being rendered obsolete by trained Aran's superior def, Volug, and Jill's superior movement and super canto).

TL;DR: give Volug BEXP and a dragonshield (eventually an energy drop if you let him with wildheart) and he recks DB chapters without effort. Give Mordecai speedwings and BEXP, and he 2 turns any chapter where you can mange the number of ennemies he takes just to avoid reverting (especially true for kill the boss chapters, he barely takes damage from any physical source and deals about 50% of their HP per hit before S rank, at S rank his attack jumps from 38 to 43 without weapon triangle issues with 90% hit, with an energy ring he goes as high as 42-47), give Janaff BEXP and he'll cap most physical stats while he already doubles as much as capped speed marksmen at base, give Ulki BEXP and he'll cap spd in no time and go on to 2 levels of magic and 5 levels of defense in any order and then 2 levels of res and 5 levels of strength, his luck caps after 10 BEXP levl ups oby highest growth and his HP in 6, menaing after 3 level ups speed is capped, after 6 hp, spd and magic are susceptible to be capped and after that he can max nearly all his stats, just with BEXP level ups.

Wildheart gives you a high level t2 unit on any of these Laguz, including the meh Ranulf, laguz stone gives you an instant transformation for H bomb effect in any area you want them, olivi grass prolong transformation or accelerate the process of filling the gauge if you can start slower and go blitzkrieg from turn 2, 3 or 4, full form good Laguz are your best boss killers and 1 range cleaners and most ennemies have 1 range, giving your stat boosters to Laguz bump them 10 levels worth of a Beorc in terms of efficiency, because going from not doubling to doubling on a heavy hitting unit with more base bulk than a general can have at 20/20 capped, or increasing by 4 the damage of an unit who doubles can put them in ORKO thresholds, increasing by 4 the def of an unit with very high HP is like suddnely giving indestructible Tarvos to 3rd tier Nolan, but the Laguz doesn't have to abandon 1-2 range to do that while Nolan has to, getting 2 points of stat per level up in non hp/luck stats means Laguz hit higher thresholds much faster than Beorcs.

What you can do with a t3 Beorc, you can do with a base level Laguz with the appropriate stat booster without giving it any investment. Non cat Laguz have better caps than Beorcs, which matters for endgame where half Beorc classes don't even have enough speed to double without white pool. Speed capped tiger with white pool can double Ashera (35 speed vs 31), and they cap as low as 15 (6 speed level ups for Mordecai, 3 or 4 for Muarim, 4 or 5 for Kyza), meanwhile their defense lets them tank more than Haar and Gatrie and endgame let you use Laguz gems. Beorcs being better in t3 halfway through than Laguz with 2 level ups means nothing when Beorcs could as well not be used past the point when your Laguz transform except in rout maps where you can still use them side by side, using the burst of stats of Laguz to blitz when you choose it's the wright moment for it. Bexp more often than not helps laguz a lot in reaching their demonization point, the point from which it doesn't matter anymore if you know what you're doing or not as long as you ensure revert doesn't happen. Beorcs being better in t3 means nothing when you have to train them up there first from the scrubs they start as just to see that the prepromotes endgame gives you + the royals could have handled endgame without you levelling anyone coming before Janaff. Actually Caineghis, Ike, Tibarn and Naesala could probably 4 man all of Endgame, Naesala's better res for tanking magic and the others destroying everything else and killing the bosses.

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6 hours ago, Shadow Mir said:

Well, excuuuuuuse me for not having the patience of a saint, which is pretty much mandatory when dealing with units that, relative to most of the units in the goddamn game, improve at a pace that "snail's pace" is too kind in describing! 

"I don't like using these units, therefore they suck."

You are one of the most insufferable posters I've ever come across. You're always extremely patronizing and you listen to no one.

There is lots more I'd like to say but it would probably get me in trouble and I'm pushing it as it is.

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9 hours ago, Florete said:

"I don't like using these units, therefore they suck."

You are one of the most insufferable posters I've ever come across. You're always extremely patronizing and you listen to no one.

There is lots more I'd like to say but it would probably get me in trouble and I'm pushing it as it is.

Could you not put words in my mouth? Because I consider that just as bad, if not worse than what you're accusing me of doing. While I dislike Jill and don't use her, I don't think she sucks; instead, it's more because my luck with trying to use her is just plain rotten. In any instance, I stated in no uncertain terms that my issues with laguz units stem from their bevy of weaknesses, like lack of range, dealing with gauge, and their slow improvement speed relative to beorc; I would imagine you'd agree with me that those are severe downsides, at the least. As I see it, for a non-royal laguz to even be considered to see an extended amount of play time, they'd have to be THAT DAMN GOOD in spite of all these. As someone else stated, a few laguz do achieve this, but most of the others require great fortune and investment to get anywhere near decent. That being said, there are some beorc that need a lot of effort to get to a usable state, but raising a bad unit when they can fight all the time and raising one that can only fight part of the time are two entirely different things. And then we have the royals playable in part 4, just to further twist the knife. 

10 hours ago, mangasdeouf said:

Volug can level 3x in p1 from bexp alone. His highest grwoths are HP 95%, luck 90% and spd 40%. Which means more often than not he'll get from 49 hp 13 spd 13 lck to 52 hp, 16 spd and 16 luck. That means 5 hp recovery per turn from renewal, a potion's worth every 4th turn without costing an action,that also means no ennemy will ever double him in Micaiah's chapters, that means 24 speed in wildheart form  and 32 speed in full form, that's more than Ranulf and that's at level 18, he still has 22 level ups in front of him to cap his stats. Knowing he caps speed at 18, 5 speed level ups are the most he can get, and since he has 3.25 stats per level up on average you don't loose much by levelling him with BEXP. 18 speed cap means he has 27 speed in wildheart when it's capped (so between level 20 and 22 if skill or strength get a level up instead), with 27 speed he has 1 more than Nolan at capped speed, 2 more than Jill, and Nolan has 49 hp on average at 20/20, which is Volug's base HP in p1. Level 22 (7 BEXP levels, not only gained by BEXP but the level up is BEXPd to ensure he levels up 3 stats), he has 56 HP. Now if you use him wisely in full form he has 18 def at base and 56 HP on average (95% growth is more than enough to ensure he'll follow the average), on top of doubling every ennemy he'll ever face even in half form before p4, he can easily reach S in p1 epilogue if you just play naturally, and since he's the most durable permanent DB member for every chapter he's in until half p4 (unless you transfer people from other armies to Micaiah's group, which is highly ineffective if they're not fliers since desert raises a middlefinger to foot soldiers but Volug has free movement there), he's more often than not on the frontline soaking hits and softening or killing ennemies while levelling his strike rank. He's the only Laguz who can reach SS strike without going out of your way to do it and even increase your team's efficiency by doing so.

And you don't see any problems with that? Because in general, I'd be better served saving my BEXP until later, when I could put it to better use than getting an HP/Luck/1 other stat level (which, by the way, I don't exactly see going a long way; I also don't feel safe in assuming that that one other stat will be speed when skill is only 5% behind it). Also, I fail to see how getting Volug to SS strike is feasible outside of easy mode considering that he needs to attack 150 times to get there (70 to get to S and 80 to get from there to SS). Unless you rely VERY heavily on him, which just leads to trouble later on down the road (and I find it very hard to justify relying on him that much when Zihark has offense that's almost as good, if not better, in addition to being able to counter archers and mages with wind edges. Incidentally, I only find him useful frontline material in part 1, as after that, he has the sword of Damocles that is reverting into human form hanging over him constantly - and he doesn't have the durability to survive if that happens, as high HP is meaningless when you have paper defenses.

10 hours ago, mangasdeouf said:

Wildheart, again, lets you revert and transform back to 30 gauge every turn, no matter how low your gauge was before reverting. You can also put it off for one chapter if you need his full stats and put it back on later if you need him to be transformed the whole chapter, since it's not a free skill even for him (so sad BTW, he should have it equipped for free due to plot making wolf form cannon for him and human form unnatural, he barely speaks common language). This means his transformation cost is a flat 0, he doesn't even need any olivi grass if you use him with Wildheart on. It's up to you to choose between paying potions and concoctions or olivi grass, if you want to rush by killing fast but having few turns to end the chapter or if you prefer taking your time and being 100% safe on transformation gauge management. In half form he's just a better Zihark for 75% of their shared availability, who can actually follow or even let Jill behind, so Jill has someone to support, otherwise no cavalry army has no one to constantly provide support bonuses to Jill and thus she's much less dominant because supports are OP for LTC and such. So most players will play Volug, one way or the other. No t2 unit is better than Volug except mybe Haar with a speedwings (Titania tanks much less hits than Volug due to having a massive HP disadvantage at plausible levels, and if Volug is in full form she doesn't even compare, and if you wisely gave a dragonshield to Volug to raise his def by 3-4 then he simply leaves everyone but Gatrie and Haar in the dust, and Gatrie has low movement and a low speed cap hindering his wonderful base and growth).

Even Ranulf isn't very good when halfshifted - and this is the same Ranulf who comes in at level 26 (to put things into perspective, halfshifted Ranulf only doubles generals, mages, and  wyverns in his join chapter, and doesn't do much to the former and the latter, as opposed to a fullshifted Ranulf severely denting wyverns and still taking over half of generals' HP - and this is putting aside the fact that Wildheart isn't even available at that point). As a result, I'm not exactly sold on halfshifted Volug being a force of nature. Also, I disagree on Volug being a good recipient for a dracoshield, as defensive stat boosters are more effective when you have more defense (and I generally think laguz don't make good use of stat boosters in practice because they can only make use of the extra stats part of the time, and a +2 that's always putting in work sounds better than +4 part of the time and +0 the other part of the time because their untransformed stats are trash).

10 hours ago, mangasdeouf said:

You talk of range, which we have already debated multiple times in other topics. If Nolan has 1-2 range but doesn't kill, be it at 1 or 2 range, then Nolan's combat isn't better than Volug's who has 1 range only but will kill most non tiger ennemies in 1 round with S fang and Volug will take less % HP than Nolan until Nolan is over level 20/10 with Tarvos (or oer level 14 without it). If instead of levelling up Nolan this much although his base stats are barely higher than Meg's despite being 6 levels higher (of course he has better HP, it's his only saving grace and his class' asset, without it he would be worse than Edward), you levelled up Aran with a seraph robe, you would have a clone of Tarvos Nolan with a little less speed (it's not like Nolan doubles much anyway despite having 60% growth in speed), but who doesn't rely on Tarvos to tank, his own defense being what allows him to frontline. "Yeah but 33 spd cap" yeah but speed tide = 38 speed and Micaiah's group is not the group I want to bring in the tower because they have a 10 level deficit compared with GMs and even CKs end up higher level at the beginning of p4 despite their awful availability (actually counting the fact that 1 of Micaiah's chapters has ally units doing 80% of the fight, there isn't much availability difference between CKs and DB and CKs start with so much more base level and stats compared with DB it's not even funny, like Kieran has as much speed at base as lv 20/5 Nolan, as much strength as 20/8 Nolan and as much def as 20/20 Nolan and the only areas Nolan beats him in in t2 are HP because 45 cap paladin, skl/spd where Kieran has enough to double often and has access to brave axe whenever he wants from the 1st chapter you can use him in, and luck, even Nolan's awesome res doesn't surpass Kieran's since Kieran starts with 11, has 13 on average at /20 and has a higher cap than Nolan).

And you forget that Nolan has the option to use a hand axe to avoid eating counters (and counter archers and mages), which Volug cannot do, ever. And it doesn't change the fact that Volug is disadvantaged when ranged enemies are a concern because even if they don't hit him, they still get off scot-free (as opposed to attacking a beorc unit that can counter and possibly kill them), and reduce his gauge to boot. I shouldn't have to tell you that's not good. Also, putting aside White Pool being available for only two parts of endgame, the key speed benchmark to hit for endgame is 34 to double Dheginsea and auras (with White Pool in the latter case). Anyway, unfortunately for Kieran, he's too slow to double much of anything after 2-3, where most of the enemy units are unpromoted cannon fodder.

10 hours ago, mangasdeouf said:

So, the only real good units who need investment for p3 but give a good payback are Jill and Aran, Volug needs no investment but any of it (especially in def) helps him be even better and maybe to not need to remove wildheart to stay relevant and Nolan without the goal of going to Endgame can be promoted as soon as his bulk and speed allow him to not be ORKOd in p3. Any further investment in Nolan without the goal of bringing him to endgame is a waste of experience and ressources since he doesn't beat Aran in any significant way before long and one rounding ennemies in p3 DB can actually lead the unit one rounding to die a horrible death unless it's Volug who has enough raw bulk + earth affinity to take 2-3 ennemies per turn with a concoction or elixir. Leonardo is the best user of beastkiller anyway with Lughnasadh and crossbow/arbalest or whatever it's named since he doesn't take any risk by killing an ennemy and can snipe kill at base level with crossbow.

I don't think Volug can survive that, especially since he has to worry about reverting into his brittle and easily killed human form.

10 hours ago, mangasdeouf said:

So we have 3 awesome non royals Laguz who don't need any training to be good and enjoy being trained or stat boosted since it lets them outperform most units available at the same time for a long time before Beorcs reach t3 and finally outclass Laguz in some stats, after taking so much exp your Laguz would have transformed into a tool of slaughter, give Ulki, Janaff, Volug and Mordecai as much exp you'd have given to Titania (who can't double endgame bosses if Aran can't since they have the same speed cap), Oscar, Soren, Gatrie, Nephenee, Jill, Nolan, and the Laguz will stomp the game with good movement (with less restrictions than Beorcs), huge stats, massive stat gains from stat boosters (Mordecai with a speedwings has instant 22 speed in full form, that's 1 more than Titania, he also has 21 hp and 16 def over her, but he needs a precious 200 gold olivi grass and a few hits from ennemy units who won't kill him that easily to begin with, to have those awesome stats! yes, if you manage to position him optimally and have a good formation, Mordecai could probably transorm on turn 2 and solo the part of the map where Haar isn't, hell he'd end the chapter before Haar could hope to do so because he doesn't need to be careful of ennemy range at all when he's transformed, but it costs some olivi grass, if you end the chapter in 3 turns instead of 4 because you have a better unit then you saved yourself the pain of having to plan anything past Mordecai's transformation, just know how many hits he can take before reverting to avoid doing a mistake (like suiciding in human form vs the hack stats of 3-2 boss wyvern lord).

The only awesome non-royal laguz that come to mind are the hawks, who actually have the stats to warrant fielding, and Skrimir, who's only usable in part 4. Anyway, I think a lot of this is exaggeration. Especially since in general, laguz tend to require more effort to get anywhere because they either have to deal with lowered experience if they kill transformed, or they die VERY easily untransformed because they're so slow and brittle. By the way, Mordecai isn't usable in 3-2. Aside from that, once again, I think laguz being better recipients of stat boosters is something that is more true in theory than in actual practice.

10 hours ago, mangasdeouf said:

Laguz stones also exist for a reason, to use when you need an instant transformation and use only when needed (if you can play the beginning without Mordecai and transform him and end the chapter in 2 turns after he transformed, then you played wisely and saved Laguz stones for later, I guess you could get him either celerity or pass so he can begin the slaughter immediately after transformation and fast pass you to the next chapter). Also Mordecai doesn't loose stats on level up, Volug doesn't loose stats on level up. Laguz aren't magically weaker the further you go into the game. When a beorc can reach 44 defense in 6 defense level ups with def being their 3rd highest growth rate, thus being very likely to go up with BEXP (45% isn't exactly low either), then I'd think that Beorcs are superior to Laguz. Why is Seth better than everyone in SS? Because he outstats them for 15+ chapters. Does it matter that they beat him at 20/20? No, because he carried them for all these chapters, letting some scrubs deal with the leftovers to have a chance at climbing up to his sit by endgame. In a game where you basically have an army of endgame ready/forced units (Stephan+Volke+Sothe+Haar+Ike+Nailah+Naesala+Tibarn+Janaff+Ulki+Giffca+Cainghis+Kurthnaga and Ena free exp in the dragon map+Micaiah+Muarim), the most efficient way to end it is by giving your all to the ones who can make the hardest parts easier. Haar and Mordecai (speedwings from p1 endgame and from p2 means they can both get to the speed threshold, Mordecai needing it more since he goes from 18 to 22, also giving him 1 BEXP savescummed level up looking for speed brings him as high as 24 speed, which doubles fine, it's 1 more than /20 Titania by the way, I'm surprised no one ever tried to give Mordecai a speedwings and talked about it on Reddit, SF or GFAQs, Mordecai takes like 5 damage at base from 3-2 boss while everyone else takes at least 11, and that's Haar with capped def and not taking a crit), Volug with a dragonshield, Ike, Janaff, Aran with a seraph robe, early promoted Nolan (the only ressource needed for him is a master seal and the exp he gains without trying before being rendered obsolete by trained Aran's superior def, Volug, and Jill's superior movement and super canto).

There are only 8 laguz stones (3, with 3 uses each, but Nealuchi uses one use of the one he starts with before combat in 2-P) before part 4, and I'd probably get more mileage out of having Reyson use them so he can refresh more than one unit. Also, part of why Seth is so good has to do with him being in a good class. It helps that enemies in SS are rather terrible, as well as having one of the higher growth totals among SS characters not named Myrrh (325; off the top of my head, only the twins have higher growth totals). And that Seth doesn't have to worry about reverting into an easily killed punching bag like laguz do. Getting back to the topic, they may not lose stats on level up, but Mordecai and Volug have low experience gain while transformed combined with low growths in important stats. This means leveling them up ends up being so much effort for so little result. In any instance, as I've made clear repeatedly, the main reason why I think laguz don't measure up against beorc is that they suffer from some very crippling weaknesses - weaknesses that no stat advantage can make up for, especially when said stat advantage is only temporary. Also, I can savescum level ups for any unit in the game, so making an argument that Mordecai is good if you savescum his level ups for speed, as well as giving him other special treatment he's not entitled to, is not convincing at all. I think early promoting Nolan is also a poor call, as between the missed levels and the slower leveling speed that comes with promotion, you severely hamstring his potential.

By the way, you REALLY need to not post hulking walls of text that say very little.

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On 10/14/2020 at 3:32 PM, Shadow Mir said:

Could you not put words in my mouth? Because I consider that just as bad, if not worse than what you're accusing me of doing. While I dislike Jill and don't use her, I don't think she sucks; instead, it's more because my luck with trying to use her is just plain rotten. In any instance, I stated in no uncertain terms that my issues with laguz units stem from their bevy of weaknesses, like lack of range, dealing with gauge, and their slow improvement speed relative to beorc; I would imagine you'd agree with me that those are severe downsides, at the least. As I see it, for a non-royal laguz to even be considered to see an extended amount of play time, they'd have to be THAT DAMN GOOD in spite of all these. As someone else stated, a few laguz do achieve this, but most of the others require great fortune and investment to get anywhere near decent. That being said, there are some beorc that need a lot of effort to get to a usable state, but raising a bad unit when they can fight all the time and raising one that can only fight part of the time are two entirely different things. And then we have the royals playable in part 4, just to further twist the knife. 

And you don't see any problems with that? Because in general, I'd be better served saving my BEXP until later, when I could put it to better use than getting an HP/Luck/1 other stat level (which, by the way, I don't exactly see going a long way; I also don't feel safe in assuming that that one other stat will be speed when skill is only 5% behind it). Also, I fail to see how getting Volug to SS strike is feasible outside of easy mode considering that he needs to attack 150 times to get there (70 to get to S and 80 to get from there to SS). Unless you rely VERY heavily on him, which just leads to trouble later on down the road (and I find it very hard to justify relying on him that much when Zihark has offense that's almost as good, if not better, in addition to being able to counter archers and mages with wind edges. Incidentally, I only find him useful frontline material in part 1, as after that, he has the sword of Damocles that is reverting into human form hanging over him constantly - and he doesn't have the durability to survive if that happens, as high HP is meaningless when you have paper defenses.

Even Ranulf isn't very good when halfshifted - and this is the same Ranulf who comes in at level 26 (to put things into perspective, halfshifted Ranulf only doubles generals, mages, and  wyverns in his join chapter, and doesn't do much to the former and the latter, as opposed to a fullshifted Ranulf severely denting wyverns and still taking over half of generals' HP - and this is putting aside the fact that Wildheart isn't even available at that point). As a result, I'm not exactly sold on halfshifted Volug being a force of nature. Also, I disagree on Volug being a good recipient for a dracoshield, as defensive stat boosters are more effective when you have more defense (and I generally think laguz don't make good use of stat boosters in practice because they can only make use of the extra stats part of the time, and a +2 that's always putting in work sounds better than +4 part of the time and +0 the other part of the time because their untransformed stats are trash).

And you forget that Nolan has the option to use a hand axe to avoid eating counters (and counter archers and mages), which Volug cannot do, ever. And it doesn't change the fact that Volug is disadvantaged when ranged enemies are a concern because even if they don't hit him, they still get off scot-free (as opposed to attacking a beorc unit that can counter and possibly kill them), and reduce his gauge to boot. I shouldn't have to tell you that's not good. Also, putting aside White Pool being available for only two parts of endgame, the key speed benchmark to hit for endgame is 34 to double Dheginsea and auras (with White Pool in the latter case). Anyway, unfortunately for Kieran, he's too slow to double much of anything after 2-3, where most of the enemy units are unpromoted cannon fodder.

I don't think Volug can survive that, especially since he has to worry about reverting into his brittle and easily killed human form.

The only awesome non-royal laguz that come to mind are the hawks, who actually have the stats to warrant fielding, and Skrimir, who's only usable in part 4. Anyway, I think a lot of this is exaggeration. Especially since in general, laguz tend to require more effort to get anywhere because they either have to deal with lowered experience if they kill transformed, or they die VERY easily untransformed because they're so slow and brittle. By the way, Mordecai isn't usable in 3-2. Aside from that, once again, I think laguz being better recipients of stat boosters is something that is more true in theory than in actual practice.

There are only 8 laguz stones (3, with 3 uses each, but Nealuchi uses one use of the one he starts with before combat in 2-P) before part 4, and I'd probably get more mileage out of having Reyson use them so he can refresh more than one unit. Also, part of why Seth is so good has to do with him being in a good class. It helps that enemies in SS are rather terrible, as well as having one of the higher growth totals among SS characters not named Myrrh (325; off the top of my head, only the twins have higher growth totals). And that Seth doesn't have to worry about reverting into an easily killed punching bag like laguz do. Getting back to the topic, they may not lose stats on level up, but Mordecai and Volug have low experience gain while transformed combined with low growths in important stats. This means leveling them up ends up being so much effort for so little result. In any instance, as I've made clear repeatedly, the main reason why I think laguz don't measure up against beorc is that they suffer from some very crippling weaknesses - weaknesses that no stat advantage can make up for, especially when said stat advantage is only temporary. Also, I can savescum level ups for any unit in the game, so making an argument that Mordecai is good if you savescum his level ups for speed, as well as giving him other special treatment he's not entitled to, is not convincing at all. I think early promoting Nolan is also a poor call, as between the missed levels and the slower leveling speed that comes with promotion, you severely hamstring his potential.

By the way, you REALLY need to not post hulking walls of text that say very little.

Laguz stones are useful if Laguz need to see immediate action. If they can wait until transformation or chomp one olivi grass and wait 2 turns, so they are transforming on turn 3, then they can reck shit as soon as turn 3. Between a Beorc who will be killed by a boss crit and a Laguz that will kill or simply deal 30-50% of the boss' HP without taking meaningful damage (11-33 is 23-60-ish % of Haar's HP pool just in 1 boss hit, sure Mordecai isn't available yet which I had forgotten but Haar can be 2HKOd by 3-2 boss while Mordy would be 4HKOd by the same boss, and later bosses have even more attack so the highest def/HP the better).

(((Seth has 19-21 speed at best at level 20 (21 is massive RNG blessing and 45% has more chance of being RNG screwed than blessed). I think the heroes in chapter 17 have 18 speed, if not then the swordmasters and heroes in chapter 19 certainly do have 18 to 21 speed. If one of them has 21 speed, even capped Seth can't double them, thus he can't kill them in 1 rund and can also take a silver sword swordmaster crit (silver sword has like 13 damage, swordmasters have around 13-14 strength at least, which brings them to deal 26-27 damage minimum to Seth, -19 or 21 def =7-8 non crit, 5-6 if dragonshielded, or 21-24 on crit, 15-18 if dragonshielded). Seth can't do everything and if he only gets critted once and takes too many ennemies on the same turn (which can happen easily in ch19 due to ****ing FoW and massive ennemy density with reinforcements, and great knights who hit Seth deal at least 10 no crit damage to him, more probably 12-15). Seth is also vulnerable to beastkillers, halberds and zambato, there are like 3 zambato in Eirika's campaign from the beginning to the end, at least 2 halberds and 1 or 2 beastkillers, meaning Seth risks being gangbang killed up to 7x in the game just from effective weaponry, well make it 6 because in ch6 he probably won't die from it but without an elixir he can die if he doesn't heal before the boss who has like 11-12 damage on him with semi-reliable accuracy). Seth's caps limit him even if he gets all the legit stat boosters and in Seth Emblem he misses half of them because he doesn't loose turns and buy keys to open chests to find a +2 strength or +2 def item, which means he's also missing his only average caps by a few points. 14 res is not reliable when everything and its mother in endgame hits with 30-ish damage and 105+ accuracy, remember Seth's avoid is far from great with 37 base and an average of 55 avoid without boosters means he'll still take 40-ish accuracy ennemies, Lyon deals 50 to 55 damage, which means with a pure water and a talisman, Seth with S lances takes 50-13-7-2=28 damage, if his HP is lower than 57 he dies in 2 hits from Lyon and that's not counting stone and the minimum of 5 gorgons around Lyon who can add up damage, even if they don't move 2 of them can attack Seth wherever he is around the boss. With Audumla he only gains 5 res and still dies in 2 Lyon hits without 1 or 2 seraph robes. Seth isn't anything special, he's good but overrated as Seth Emblem is far from being optimal with the number of times he can die, and that's if he doesn't rescue Eirika. If he rescues her, his avoid drops to 26, which kills him. Lyon also has insane hit rate, Seth barely has 10% chance to dodge with his average speed. 17 luck isn't exactly safe either considering crit weapons and classes and it severaly gimps his avoid to not have 20-25 luck (which whould give him +3-8 avoid). Sorry for the long text, but I wanted to do this in only 1 paragraph because it's not on the topic itself.)))

Volug is the unit who sees the highest number of fights alongside Nolan in DB, if he can't get to SS strike, Nolan can't get to SS axes. Nolan needs to level up 12-14 x and be promoted to reach Volug's base speed in half form. Volug has 1 more damage than base Nolan with steel axe and doubles every non-1-E boss ennemy at base with this damage, 0 investment, the only ennemies he doesn't kill in 1 round are generals and the boss of 1-E, maybe one or two ubber knights but if his strike rank already upgraded to S which he can do before the end of p1 since he's not wasting turns but saving them by being played the same way as Seth. What 2 range ennemies are you talking about? Laguz? randoms that ally units will dispose of? more Laguz? Volug's p3 is free because most of what he fights IS 1 range-locked. Zihark is also 1-range semi-locked, since wind adge is the literal worst 1-2 range weapon in the game and Zihark has nearly 20 HP less than Volug with no bonus to his underwhelming def (even Nolan tanks better without Tarvos than Zihark). If he doesn't face 0% chance to be hit, then he can be killed in 2 hits anytime in p3. Hint: Micaiah has less leadership stars than random bosses for all the game since she never gains any, correct me if I'm wrong. Meaning ennemies gain free hit and avoid bonuses while Zihark doesn't. Bosses and some randoms also benefit from chapter affinity bonuses for more bullshit hit and avoid. Base Volug also has 3 more speed than base Zihark in full form and 16 base def with 22 base strength, implying 31 attack. If I can transform him just in time to intercept the 1st or 2nd Laguz wave in p3 ch6, then no one has as much bulk + offense than he does. I try to expose him to 2 ennemies in a turtle formation while I try to expose Beorcs to only 1 ennemy each otherwise they become cat food. Nolan's stats reach base Volug's full form by level 20/14-20. Volug can also gain stats on level up and BEXP in best used on units who aren't guaranteed a 3 stat level up with chapter exp. Laguz aren't guaranteed a 3 stat level up with chapter exp, thus they benefit far more from BEXP than Beorcs with decent growths. Most DB units don't even cap anything in a plausible number of level ups so they don't want worse level ups, thus Volug benefits far more from a BEXP level up. Yesterday I killed the CH5 boss with Volug. Believe me or not, in normal mode, he gained around 25 experience from that shitty low level mage. If Seth can level up by boss killing only, so can Volug.

You mention Beorcs superiority a lot, but what you forget is that your Laguz are your best world enders. They have a few turns of insane combat. If you don't want to use an ultimate weapon for 2-3 turns just because it has to load beforehand and it has a cooldown, then don't. I will, because a weapon that will be 3x less likely to die than Beorcs while having much better combat when loaded is exactly what armies have been looking for at all times. Hiroshima and Nagasaki were bombed with weapons that took years to develop, but this ended the war in 3 days. 1st day bomb, 2.5 waiting for a peace treaty that didn't come, 3rd day re-bomb, 2 days later the Japanese surrendered. good Laguz are nuclear bombs, they are not in ultimate mode all the time like you don't throw a nuclear bomb in every battle otherwise we would all be dead or not even born, but when a nuclear bomb if thrown, the battle is won. Throw you Laguz at the boss in kill the boss maps and there's no unit who will kill it faster and safer than them. Mordy is slow, but 1 speedwings and 1 speed level up (again you can reset as many times as you want without penalty in the preparations and get 1 speed point on him, with speedwings it brings him to 12 spd which equals 24 in tiger form, 24 doubles everything that Titania doubles at level 20 since she has the same spd as her cap) bring him in absolute double territory for most of p3 and if his strength is too low he can also get an energy drop. I don't care about giving ressources to an unit who uses them to be good and ease me some tight fights. if said unit is tankier than Haar at the same time when it's in ultimate mode, then I take it with open arms. Most of the time my stat boosters end up rotting in the supply for 80% of the game, might as well use them.

Volug reverts only if he's out of Olivi grass or if you kept Wildheart on him and manually revert+transform+attack or use healing item on PP. Yes, if you used Laguz you'd know that you can revert, transform back and use an action on the same turn, the only thing they can't do is moving after reverting or transforming, that would require canto (birds can though). Which means that transformed Volug is a more reliable and better overall unit than anything you can play in DB. If you fear him untransforming, just keep wildheart on him and give him 2 speed level ups at least so he reaches 22 which should double a tigers and maybe low level cats, or 3 speed level ups and he doubles nearly all ennemies in 3-6 except high end cats. with as much as a dragonshield, his def reaches 16 in half form, 22 in full form. If he can die, so could Tauroneo. Tauroneo is far from dying in one turn with inferior stats to base Volug in full form, thus Volug is far from dying in 1 turn (Volug at base in full form has 11 HP over Tauroneo and only 3 points less in def, becoming 1 more by eating a dragoshield for general level defense). If you want a comparison, base Volug with a dragonshield and S trike is about equal to base Gatrie with +6 speed, which would solo all of part 3 avoiding mages or engaging them to not take counter damage. If that's bad for you, then Beorcs are trash can fodder since they can't do what Base Volug does before Nolan caps his t2 speed and before anyone else is around 20/20. Volug with 3 BEXP +HP +lck +spd level ups reaches 24 speed in hakf form, 32 in full form. With white pool that's enough to double Asehra and I think it's also enough to double Lehran/Sephiran, but not the auras. With SS strike and base strength he has 41 attack on top of 32 speed. with an energy drop he has 40 attack with S strike or 45 with SS strike. That's 4 less than capped strength Alondite t3 swordies, and with S strike and red pool he has 45 attack with an energy drop. Now tell me that Laguz are shit, but no Beorc under t3 can do what Volug can with just 3 speed level ups and 1 stat booster.

Volug is lv 15 at base. He levels up in like 1300-1800 BEXP for the next 3 levels. You have far enough BEXP to give him 4500 BEXP and that's with 0 CEXP. Since he still gains CEXP for strike rank and since he gains 25-ish exp from the first boss kill, not counting any of the following bosses who should be higher level than him, he gets enough exp to level up 4 times easily without battling a single time in human form, just from some boss kills and BEXP. You can easily have 3000 BEXP in one chapter post-Daein trio's recruitment. If you don't use Meg, Fiona, Aran and Edward and have enough with Nolan, Sothe, Jill and Volug, then your BEXP can go mostly to Volug since others won't need it to level up and some 500-700 BEXP will be enough to put them to 91 exp most of the time. None of them benefit as much from BEXP as Volug, all of them gain more CEXP than him, and boss kills benefit Volug more than them if he isn't in level up range since he gains the most exp from it compared with mook kills (10-25 exp per kill on Beorcs, 1-2 on Volug most of the time, the boss gives him 10-25x more exp than the mooks, the others barely gain 3-5x more from bosskills than from mooks). If Sothe can level up, Volug can, the only advantage Sothe has is 10 exp per steal, but Sothe has 2 less movement than Volug and has several chapters running towards chests where he can't fight half the time and in 1-E he can die in 3 hits on top of having 5 chests to loot/thieves to loot them from. Better, Volug and Sothe mostly don't compete for experience since thief utility gives Sothe half the exp he gains in p1 and they part to each side of the map most of the time.

Edited by mangasdeouf

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