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I finished Silver Snow recently so now the only route left is Crimson Flower. I wanna finish my time with Three Houses off with a bang, so I decided to play it on Maddening Mode. But I couldn’t find a definitive “These are the best characters, and here’s how to build them” like I could with Awakening, so I took matters into my own hands and here’s what I came up with. Also if you have any tips on how to best spend my days off, please tell me.

(Edited Specification) This is a fresh save with the intent on grinding for class EXP via waiting in defensive tile with a rusted/broken/no weapon equipped.

THE TEAM

F!Byleth (Required, Frontliner)

Edelgard (Required, Frontliner)

Felix (Frontliner)

Petra (Frontliner)

Bernadetta (Physical Backliner)

Lysithea (Magical Backliner)

Yuri (Offensive Jack of All Trades)

Mercedes (Healer)

Linhardt (Healer)

Annette (Rallying Dancer)

 

ADJUTANTS

Caspar (Guard)

Raphael (Guard)

Balthus (Guard)

 

MISC.

Sylvain (Free Lance of Ruin)

Lorenz (Thyrsus)

Leonie (Linhardt’s Paralogue)

Ferdinand (Lysithea’s Paralogue)

Characters that get me Hero’s Relics

Everyone else

 

BUILDS

BYLETH

Final Class: Falcon Knight

Abilities: Darting Blow, Death Blow, Hit +20, Lance Prowess, Swordfaire/Prowess

Combat Arts: Windsweep, Tempest Lance, Healing Focus

Class Progression: Commoner, Fighter, Archer, Brigand, Pegasus Knight, Wyvern Rider, Falcon Knight

 

EDELGARD

Final Class: Wyvern Lord

Abilities: Darting Blow, Death Blow, Hit +20, Axe Prowess, Speed +2

Combat Arts: Smash, Lightning Axe, Healing Focus

Class Progression: Noble, Myrmidon, Brigand, Archer, Pegasus Knight, Wyvern Rider, Wyvern Lord

 

FELIX

Final Class: War Master

Abilities: Death Blow, Hit +20, Axe Prowess, Brawling Prowess, Quick Riposte

Combat Arts: Smash, Nimble Combo, Healing Focus

Class Progression: Noble, Fighter, Archer, Brigand, Grappler, War Master

 

PETRA

Final Class: Wyvern Lord

Abilities: Darting Blow, Death Blow, Hit +20, Axe Prowess, Bow Prowess

Combat Arts: Smash, Waning Shot, Healing Focus

Class Progression: Commoner, Fighter, Brigand, Archer, Pegasus Knight, Wyvern Rider, Wyvern Lord

 

BERNADETTA

Final Class: Bow Knight

Abilities: Darting Blow, Death Blow, Hit +20, Vantage, Desperation

Combat Arts: Encloser, Curved Shot, Vengeance

Class Progression: Noble, Fighter, Archer, Cavalier, Mercenary, Brigand, Pegasus Knight, Paladin, Bow Knight

 

LYSITHEA

Final Class: Valkyrie

Abilities: Darting Blow, Fiendish Blow, Hit +20, Reason Prowess/Dark Tomefaire, Dark Magic Range +1

Combat Arts: Draw Back

Class Progression: Noble, Monk, Mage, Archer, Pegasus Knight, Valkyrie

 

YURI

Final Class: Trickster

Abilities: Death Blow, Fiendish Blow, Hit +20, Sword Prowess, Reason Prowess

Combat Arts: Windsweep, Finesse Blade, Curved Shot

Class Progression: Commoner, Fighter, Archer, Mage, Brigand, Trickster

 

MERCEDES

Final Class: Bishop

Abilities: Faith Prowess, Miracle, Renewal, HP +5, Magic +2

Combat Arts: Draw Back

Class Progression: Commoner, Monk, Priest, Bishop


 

LINHARDT

Final Class: Bishop

Abilities: Faith Prowess, Miracle, Renewal, HP+5, Magic +2

Combat Arts: Draw Back

Class Progression: Noble, Monk, Priest, Bishop

 

ANNETTE

Final Class: Dancer

Abilities: Rally Resistance, Rally Speed, Rally Movement, Special Dance, Reason Prowess

Class Progression: Noble, Monk, Mage, Dancer

 

Edited by #1 Claude Trash
Specifications

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Honestly I’d say this all looks pretty good. A couple things I would change though:

Bernadetta’s skillset is way too skewed towards Intermediate classes IMO. I can see her getting Death Blow, Hit + 20 and maybe Darting Blow, but having to master Mercenary and Cavalier feels like a bit of a stretch. My personal recommendation would be to replace desperation and vantage with any two of Bow/Lance Prowess, HP + 5 (for a boost to vengeance and survivability) or Pass.

Trickster isn’t a particularly great class. It can work, though the damage output can be quite low. I’d recommend focusing on either physical damage with him, mainly because his magical options, as a male, are kinda subpar. If you want him as a physical unit my recommendation would be Sniper, Assassin or even Grappler/War Master. In this case simply replace reason prowess for the relevant prowess skill (bow or brawling), and replace fiendish blow with... something. Maybe Authority Prowess? Idk.

Another thing you could do is make Yuri your dancer- it’s basically trickster but with the additional bonus of helping Yuri turn into a dodge tank. Annette isn’t a super great dancer IMO because of the competition between her rallies and her dancing. Making Yuri your dancer and Annette something like a Dark Knight, Valkyrie or Dark Flier to give her mobility and take advantage of the rallies may be a better idea, but that’s completely up to you.

 

 

IMO the best way to spend your days off is to explore except the last day of the month, where you battle instead. Exploration should mainly consist of motivating students, getting Byleth’s relevant ranks up, and once you unlock the sauna in chapter 5, sprinkling that in there as well. Is this a NG+ run, or a fresh save?

Anyway, good luck and have fun!

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38 minutes ago, Anathaco said:

Honestly I’d say this all looks pretty good. A couple things I would change though:

Bernadetta’s skillset is way too skewed towards Intermediate classes IMO. I can see her getting Death Blow, Hit + 20 and maybe Darting Blow, but having to master Mercenary and Cavalier feels like a bit of a stretch. My personal recommendation would be to replace desperation and vantage with any two of Bow/Lance Prowess, HP + 5 (for a boost to vengeance and survivability) or Pass.

Trickster isn’t a particularly great class. It can work, though the damage output can be quite low. I’d recommend focusing on either physical damage with him, mainly because his magical options, as a male, are kinda subpar. If you want him as a physical unit my recommendation would be Sniper, Assassin or even Grappler/War Master. In this case simply replace reason prowess for the relevant prowess skill (bow or brawling), and replace fiendish blow with... something. Maybe Authority Prowess? Idk.

Another thing you could do is make Yuri your dancer- it’s basically trickster but with the additional bonus of helping Yuri turn into a dodge tank. Annette isn’t a super great dancer IMO because of the competition between her rallies and her dancing. Making Yuri your dancer and Annette something like a Dark Knight, Valkyrie or Dark Flier to give her mobility and take advantage of the rallies may be a better idea, but that’s completely up to you.

 

 

IMO the best way to spend your days off is to explore except the last day of the month, where you battle instead. Exploration should mainly consist of motivating students, getting Byleth’s relevant ranks up, and once you unlock the sauna in chapter 5, sprinkling that in there as well. Is this a NG+ run, or a fresh save?

Anyway, good luck and have fun!

I completely forgot that you can make male characters Dancers. I thought that combining the two non-healing supportive roles and having a unit that can just do a lot of damage in whatever form would be most efficient, but I can definitely see why that’s completely wrong.
 

This is a fresh save, which makes recruiting everyone I want a bit intimidating, but I want that exclusive title screen to flex on my Normal/Casual friend.

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2 hours ago, #1 Claude Trash said:

LYSITHEA

Final Class: Valkyrie

Abilities: Darting Blow, Fiendish Blow, Hit +20, Reason Prowess/Dark Tomefaire, Dark Magic Range +1

Combat Arts: Draw Back

Class Progression: Noble, Monk, Mage, Archer, Pegasus Knight, Valkyrie

Archer is going to be tough for Lysithea, due to no spell access. As a Valkyrie, though, she can get Uncanny Blow, which works even better on player phase. Pegasus Knight is doable, but you'll want to make sure she secures Soulblade for damage.

2 hours ago, #1 Claude Trash said:

MERCEDES

Final Class: Bishop

Abilities: Faith Prowess, Miracle, Renewal, HP +5, Magic +2

Combat Arts: Draw Back

Class Progression: Commoner, Monk, Priest, Bishop


 

LINHARDT

Final Class: Bishop

Abilities: Faith Prowess, Miracle, Renewal, HP+5, Magic +2

Combat Arts: Draw Back

Class Progression: Noble, Monk, Priest, Bishop

If there's any chance of either of them engaging in player-phase combat, then they'll definitely want Fiendish Blow or Poison Strike (in place of Miracle). If they're just there for Faith support, though, then I guess this is fine.

2 hours ago, #1 Claude Trash said:

EDELGARD

Final Class: Wyvern Lord

Abilities: Darting Blow, Death Blow, Hit +20, Axe Prowess, Speed +2

Combat Arts: Smash, Lightning Axe, Healing Focus

Class Progression: Noble, Myrmidon, Brigand, Archer, Pegasus Knight, Wyvern Rider, Wyvern Lord

Getting B-Gauntlets seems like a bit of going out of your way just for Healing Focus. If you're dead-set on Mymidon, you could give her Swap. Or go Fighter, for Str+2 and Shove. Same for Petra.

Otherwise, generally agreed on what @Anathaco has to say about Annette, Yuri, and Bernie. I tried Dancer Annette my first playthrough, and picking between Rally and Dance was the eternal struggle.

One more addendum, though - it doesn't look like you have a physical tank-type unit. I've found Armors quite useful on Maddening, especially for dealing with enemy Assassins and Grapplers - Gilbert on AM, and Balthus on SS. I would definitely suggest investing in one of your guard adjutant units (or maybe Sylvain, Ferdinand, or Alois) to use as a defense-stacking build. Say, as a Fortress Knight with Def+2, HP+5, Str+2, Axe Prowess, and Wt-5. Balthus, in particular, stands out for his high defense growth, defense-enhancing personal skill, and having a Crest (so he can wield the Aegis Shield).

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6 hours ago, #1 Claude Trash said:

Annette (Rallying Dancer)

Like people mentioned before, Annette isn't that great of a dancer. Imo make dorothea your dancer for physics+meteor utility

6 hours ago, #1 Claude Trash said:

Raphael (Guard)

Balthus (Guard)

You should consider using Hubert as an adjutant for some time to give Edelgard dmg boost.

Also I recommend replacing one of these units with Sylvain/Ingrid to give dmg boost to Felix.

6 hours ago, #1 Claude Trash said:

Final Class: Trickster

Don't do trickster it honestly is a really bad class. Yuri doesn't really benefit from the class since he doesn't have a great spell list and loses swordflare. Just stick to sniper Yuri. If you want still want to use offensive magic unit, use Hubert. Or if you want to still use a mix unit, use Jeritza.(Death knight class has access to reason magic and more move!)

6 hours ago, #1 Claude Trash said:

Abilities: Faith Prowess, Miracle, Renewal, HP+5, Magic +2

Do not use miracle. It really is a niche skill. Fiendish blow will be much more useful most of the time.

6 hours ago, #1 Claude Trash said:

LYSITHEA

Final Class: Valkyrie

Abilities: Darting Blow, Fiendish Blow, Hit +20, Reason Prowess/Dark Tomefaire, Dark Magic Range +1

Combat Arts: Draw Back

Class Progression: Noble, Monk, Mage, Archer, Pegasus Knight, Valkyrie

Sorry this build just really confuses me. Don't do archer and pegasus. Hit+20 doesn't help since magic is already really accurate and darting blow barely helps because she isn't doubling anyways since magic weighs her down a lot(She is also very squishy. Going to be difficult to grind for all of these). Dark knight or dark flier is better than Valkyrie especially since you plan on having her use Thyrsus. Move is better to have than range(not to mention valkyrie doesn't have tomefaire). Or Gremory for double wrap use

Edited by leesangstar10

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6 hours ago, #1 Claude Trash said:

But I couldn’t find a definitive “These are the best characters, and here’s how to build them” like I could with Awakening

A definitive list of this nature doesn't exist. Frankly, it doesn't exist for Awakening either. Way too much is subjective or depends on playing style and goals. Any list that does claim to be a definitive set of best characters and builds is just flat out wrong to make such a claim. The best you can reasonably hope for is the personal preferences of the list's writer.

I can tell you that there's a lot on your list that I personally wouldn't do, but that doesn't necesarily mean that it's wrong for you. I would never aim for a class progression with 9 classes, but you've outright stated that you plan on grinding in a way that sounds like the opposite of fun to me, so fair play to you. I would only ever bring at most one dedicated healer, I wouldn't bother with healing focus, I wouldn't go without reposition and shove, I wouldn't have rally skills on a dancer, I wouldn't bring about half of the units you're planning to bring, I wouldn't do so many mixed weapon builds, and so on. But that's me. And there's no point in you trying to find the build that would be perfect for me, since it won't be the same as the one that's perfect for you.

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You can't do Ferdinand and Lysithea's Paralogue in Crimson Flower.

Bernie is probably better off being a Sniper Nuke. Leonie would be a better Bow Knight if you want that. She has Point-Blank Volley, and good speed growth so Darting Blow on her can be useful. Interesting Vantage meme on Bernie, but that won't be happening very often and she will die if it doesn't happen. Oh right Vengeance. I still haven't gotten around to utilizing that in any of my runs.

I don't think two dedicated healers is necessary. Mercedes can definitely work as a Gremory/Warlock. The heal staff can compensate enough from experience, and you have another unit that can get rid of armors without taking counter attack damage, and also chip, so no need to heal as often.

Heal Focus is kind of over rated imo, that's what your healers are there for. It's just an added bonus for your Grappler. Reposition on Fliers is really nice to have.

Lysithea won't be doubling much even with Darting Blow, so you should just focus on Nuking when possible and doing chip other wise.

Battalion Desperation is a pretty nice skill on Flier Byleth imo. Kill your target and not risk the counterattack. You can even quad with a Brave Weapon if needs be.

Edited by LoneStar

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One thing you may want to consider for Maddening is Bow Knight Felix.

I found Felix to be a little too squishy to survive multiple rounds in melee, but can wind up with enough speed to double even in Maddening. The extra range meant that he deleted one enemy every action and canto'd to safety without needing support. His relic can give him more bulk, but it also stopped him from doubling. 

Petra had basically the same problem, not enough defensive bulk to really front line, though going for high avoid as a flier is possible. 

Dancer Ferdie is surprisingly good because of all of his avoid, assuming you don't want to send him into paladin for swift strikes. I'd definitely do one of him or Sylvain as paladin or Leonie as Bow Knight for the brave combat art. 

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