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Rate the Unit-Three Houses, Day 6: Bernadetta

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Rules

- Ratings are assumed to be on Hard or Maddening Mode. Also, they should be based on when the unit is first available. (When rating a unit, please specify whether you are rating assuming Hard or Maddening.)

- Votes need some explanation regarding their gameplay performance to be counted (unless they fall into the general parameters of the average rating, but reasoning is still strongly encouraged on those even if you just wanna quote people) — incredibly low scores or high scores without proper justification will not be counted. Don't put in some random text thinking it'd count as justification. Put in at least a little thought and give REAL reasoning.

- Numbers for votes, please - not something like "Marcus/10", etc. Proper Justification will be determined by me and whoever decides to help.

+/- ≤1 point extra regarding personality/appearance is okay, but no more.

- Votes out of 10, or something proportional to it. Makes it easy to calculate, please and thank you~!

-The rating you give to a unit assumes a good build for said unit-nothing among the lines of, "Dedue is 2/10 because he's a bad mage."

-The ranking assumes no grinding of any form, no DLC and minor, (one or two stat boosters per month) use of the Greenhouse.

- Make votes easily visible, please! "[Explanation text]: So, overall, I think X unit is a 7.5/10, with a +1 bias included for being hawt/cute/funny/etc.."

- Every ranking phase ends approximately at 20:00 PST. Do the math for your timezone, please!

-We will ask you to not use the "Not X unit" reason. Because it will be used a lot. I.E, do not say "Linhardt bad because not Lysithea."

-The Black Eagles may be assessed based on their performances in either Silver Snow or Crimson Flower, other than when not applicable.

 

Scores:

Edelgard: 9.00

Hubert: 5.525

Ferdinand: 7.78

Linhardt: 7.11

Caspar: 4.32

Average score for Black Eagles:  6.69

 

 

Day 6: Bernadetta

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Ooh, didn't know we were doing this.

The bad: Bernadetta's proficiencies are very limiting. She's weak in Swords, Axes, Gauntlets, and Armor. Namely, it'll take a while for her to certify in Brigand (for Death Blow), and classes like Assassin and Wyvern Rider are tough to achieve. Armored options are basically out of the question, and Weight-3 will be hard to reach. As for stats, her bases are just okay: 25 HP, 8 Str, everything else is 7 or less. And her personal growths in 7 areas are 35% or less. Notably, this includes 20% each in Mag and Def, so she struggles with physical tanking, or as a magical unit.

The good: Bernadetta is strong in Lances and Bows, with a hidden talent in Riding. The boons are associated with strong combat arts, including Deadeye, Encloser, and Vengeance. The bow skills are great for a support role (letting her chip from especially far away, or letting her freeze a foe in place), while Vengeance can reach absurd amounts of damage at low HP (think Blessing, or Guard Adjutant). The hidden talent gives Pass, a near-exclusive skill in this game, so it's worth training even if you don't plan to use her on horses. Also for Dex+4 and Mv+1. Thus Bow Knight, Sniper, and Paladin are ideal options, while Falcoknight can be a "dark horse" pick. Speaking of "Dark Horse", she can go Dark Knight to capitalize off her surprisingly good spell list (Thoron, Physic, Rescue). Her two good growth areas are Dex (55%) and Spd (50%) - Dex is especially valuable for long-range bow attacks, while Spd can help her double slower foes when not using combat arts. Finally, I would be remiss not to mention Persecution Complex - giving +5 damage for any HP lost, it's one of the best personal skills in the game.

The verdict: Bernadetta is a rather limited unit, who can nonetheless perform impressively in a couple niches. She's not much for gambiting, defense tanking, or magical attacks. But her personal skill, combat arts, and (perhaps) spells, let her secure kills and provide valuable support - with the right setup, and careful play. She's not an easy one to use, but she can make a decisive impact. On balance, I rate Bernadetta a 7 (out of 10).

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9/10

Vengeance with her personal is just that good. I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve had her save my butt by one shotting a particularly problematic enemy.

Anyway, Bernadetta’s main flaws are poor growths, and the fact that Vengeance is very much a skill to play around unless you can set up a vantage/wrath build for her. Personally I think it’s a pain to do so since Wrath at A axes is quite a struggle for her bane in axes, and battalion wrath + regular vantage is annoying to manage at once.

But despite these issues, Bernadetta stands out as being one of the few units in the Black Eagles who can consistently kill early on. If you can get her to D lances by chapter 2, her personal combined with Tempest lance can circumvent her low strength base and deal great damage. If you get her bow rank up as well she gives great utility with Encloser and just general bow chip. Lastly, her budding talent gives pass, which is pretty helpful to get through and kill important targets, not to mention it’s usage in “kill boss immediately” strategies.

So yeah. Bernie has flaws that would make other units get rated lower than this, but Vengeance so early combined with her personal basically negates them IMO.

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8.5 / 10 on Hard

the good:

- Persecution Complex => Very useful to increase damage output especially during early game. Easy to activate and to maintain, and synergises well with Vengeance learnt at C+ Lance, Vantage-Wrath build, or Defiant Avo if going Falcon.

- Useful personal Combat Arts => Vengeance for damage or Encloser for support to immobilise an enemy. Deadeye can be useful if stacking Hit, but generally speaking pales in comparison to the former two.

- Boon in Lance and Bow, hidden talent in Riding => Easier access to Hit+20 and Mov+1, relatively low investment to certify Paladin and Bow Knight. Pass is situationally useful to eliminate certain targets or as a Dancer to dance a unit behind the enemy line.

- Curved Shot at base => handy for early game to safely chip damage.

- Battalion Wrath at C Authority => Useful for V-W build.

- Good Dex growth => Less prone to run into accuracy issue.

- Access to Darting Blow & respectable Spd growth => Can potentially double on Hard.

 

the mixed:

- Minor Indech crest => Occasionally hitting twice when chipping with a Bow and no penalty using relics are nice, but not reliable enough to plan around and doesn't synergise with her personal ability activation or builds focusing on Vengeance.

- Interesting Reason and Faith spell lists, such as 3-range Thoron, high Crit attack spells, as well as Physic and Rescue, but will probably require significant investment because of her poor Mag growth & base, and neutral in Reason & Faith. 

 

the not-so-good:

- Bane in Sword & Axe => More hassle to access Vantage, Falcon certification and Death Blow.

- Unimpressive HP & Str growth => Not ideal in regards to Vengeance, but generally not that problematic on Hard.

Edited by DriftingWaterBottle

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8.5/10 for either difficulty, Bernadetta is certainly a player phase nuke with her personal + vengeance + pass +encloser. She also has boons in riding (budding talent), lances, AND bows making her the easiest to certify for bow knight, which breaks the game with a million range and canto. Her bases are quite nice as well (at least on hard). Her growths leave a lot to be desired, 50% speed and 55% dexterity are great but she has 35% strength, for context, that’s the same strength growth as Ingrid. And she also has... 35% hp and 20% defense. She absolutely cannot take a hit unless you go get some unique skill class combo to make her tanky, so you might want to baby her until you can get her canto. A few strength boosters will go along way for her though, and I would say that’s worth the investment. With strength boosters she becomes a glass canon and with bow knight she becomes glass canon who shouldn’t take more than one hit (with her high speed she should be able to survive a round of combat), yet destroys the enemy making her quite good. She does require investment, however, but I would say it’s worth it.

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9.5/10

Yay it's Ms. One shot everything while being horribly underleveled with Vengeance, Ms. Used to be the only person with rescue on crimson flower, and Ms. People give bows to for no real reason. Using bows on Bernie is a trap. She's extremely good especially in ltc stuff. Vengeance is amazing, and her faith list is great. She also makes an amazing FalcoKnight. Bernie is great. Using bows on her is a trap. 

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My opinion on her has changed. Thought she was avg to below, but now I think shes one of the better units. I rate her 7.

Pros:

Good combat art: VeNGeAnCe and encloser

Good personal skill. Combos well with vengeance.

Amazing player phase/boss killer

Have curve shot already

Some small things: battalion wrath, pass, crest, Female(Can become pegasus/falcon knight, imo paladin is the best end game class cause of guard adjutant)

Cons:

Terrible base stats. 8 str and 7 spd and her str won't get much better since her 35% growth rate.

Bad proficiencies: Bad in axes really hurt since she can't get DB which is a skill she would really want she does need lots of investment in the beginning to be effective. (later need to tutor for axes for brigand or flying for peg)

E+ lance. (not a sure big deal, but matters when comparing to other units that have it at the start. Ex. Ferdinand)

Terrible enemy phase unit

 

Overall she can delete enemies on player phase the most reliably, but she sucks at enemy phase. Good thing most chapters are kill boss, which helps her rating a lot.

Edited by leesangstar10

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After hearing all the hype about Vengeance with Bernadetta, I decided to try her out as a Falcon Knight on my last playthrough.  I certainly found it better than Archer Bernadetta on Maddening, but I still found her at best good.

Bernadetta's strengths are going to be her Combat Arts, regardless of how you build her.  Deadeye and Encloser are both very useful for an Archer/Sniper, but I never found the build satisfying enough given her low strength.  I am curious if she could be salvaged by having Darting Blow (her speed growth is OK), but I've never tried that with her given she already has a hard time her weapon proficiencies in the Intermediate tier due to a bane in Axes (for Death Blow).  But I've found Sniper Bernie just doesn't make the cut.

Vengeance Bernie is an interesting case.  I certainly acknowledge the potential; I've seen the clips where she can get 70+ damage in single hit without crits using the skill.  But I do have small problems with the strategy.   First, it requires more set-up than I care do to.  In order for Vengeance to be effective, Bernie needs to be at very low HP.  In order to get to low HP either means exposing her to combat (which is already risky, given Bernie's poor defense and merely OK speed) or requiring a unit carry a Blessing battalion and use it on her at the outset of battle, which is a bit awkward in itself.  Further, it is an extremely risky strategy.  In order for Vengeance to be good, Bernie needs to be nearly dead, which means that if she is at all within enemy range at the end of turn she will likely die and can't be used to bait enemy attacks.  Vengeance Bernie effective acts akin to a nuke mage, being able to kill 1 unit per turn, but is less effective than those mages because she is vulnerable to lancebreaker, Vengeance doesn't work on a number of bosses,  and she doesn't have the added utility of being able to heal or use a variety of different attack spells.

I wouldn't bat an eye at someone wanting to use a Vengeance-based Pegasus Knight Bernie, but I thought it was too narrow a build for my taste.  6.5/10.

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So, there's basically two ways to build Bernadetta. Generally speaking, you either do a bow build or you do a Vengeance build. At a push you could also consider a magic build. Let's consider all of them.

First, there's bow Bernadetta. If you put her into Sniper or Bow Knight, then she'll do decently well for you. However, this is mainly down to the strength of the classes rather than the strength of the unit. It certainly helps that she has skill proficiencies to get into both classes without any effort, but ultimately, you can put alost anyone into Sniper and they'll turn out well. Bow Knight is a bit less universal due to harder requirements, but anyone who can reasonably reach it will excel. This is similar to the situation with Caspar and Grappler/War Master. Saying "Bernadetta is good as a Bow Knight" is not an argument in favour of Bernadetta, but an argument in favour of Bow Knights.

Then there's Vengeance. Put bluntly, I don't like Vengeance. At all. Is it potentially very powerful? Sure. Can I understand why other people like it? Absolutely. Do I ever want to use it myself? No.There are two factors here. First is the setup. It's not exactly difficult to setup, but personally, I find it too annoying and fiddly to bother with. Second is the risk. Vegenace Bernadetta is the definition of a glass cannon. If you miscalculate at all, she will die. If you get unlucky and miss a high probability attack, she will die. If practically anything goes wrong at all, she will die. And for me, the payoff simply isn't worth the risk. Yes, it can do ridiculously high damage, but there are plenty of other builds out there that can serve as a delete button and that don't come with the risks and the hassle.

Finally, for the sake of completeness, her magic builds. To me, these just aren't good at all. Yes, her spell list is pretty great, but she doesn't have the magic stat to back it up. Being able to use Rescue doesn't mean anything if it has terrible range.

In short, I don't find any of the arguments in her favour to be compelling, and her weaknesses are pretty stark. That is: her stats are bad. Really bad.

On the plus side, her personal is great, and I do like Encloser. So that's something.

Overall, I've been waffling between a 4.5 and a 5, but given that I don't particularly enjoy her as a character (I don't like how her trauma is played for laughs), I'm going to use the discretionary subjective part of my scoring to round down. So, I rate her as a 4.5/10. Now, if anyone needs me, I'll be setting up the pillories to make everyone else's job of sticking me in them easier.

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#FEarTheBernie

It's time for the character most ready for 2020. Or least, depending on how you think about it.

Bernie crunches numbers in utter terror:

Spoiler

Her bases are pretty bad, with the same Str as Caspar, 7 Dex and Spd and low defences. Meanwhile her growths are not the best, but she has 55% Dex and 50% Spd, which are actually pretty good overall. her defensive growths aren't much to write home about, with 20% Def and 35% HP she is not going to the frontline any time soon and 25% Lck leaves her vulnerable to low percent crits. Her 30% Res is only somewhat better. As for her Str, it's one of the most contentious things about her. 35% isn't the best and I have seen her be a bit lower than others, but it's not as low as all that and there's others who I'd think solid who aren't much higher. It's a couple points difference on paper over the course of the game, but she has her tricks too.

Her strengths and weaknesses are very polarised. Her strengths are Lances and Bows, which I would argue is near all she needs imo. She gets a weakness in Sword, Axe, Brawl and Armour, which is mostly an issue for accessing some classes for mastery through Axe in particular. She also gets an interesting Budding Talent: Pass, from Riding. This is good because Riding is part of the easiest pick of master class for her, but also because Pass allows you to get some crazy stuff to work with.

Her magic is an interesting thing too. Her reason list has Blizzard, Thunder, Thoron and Fimbulvetr, while Her faith list has H+N, Physic and Rescue. First, she has 1-3 range and her reason spells all have crit. Second, there's something interesting about her having rescue because having Pass means she can get some shenanigans going by bypassing a force and going for an objective with who she rescues. Shame her growth is one of the lowest in the game, lower than "Magic is nothing to me" Caspar.

Her personal is considered one of the best things in the game, giving +5 damage when she has less than 100% HP. This is pretty good, though I feel like it on its own tends to supplement and make up for her attack, partly because of her growth in Str. It does sync up with Wrath builds though. Meanwhile she has minor Indech, which has a 10% chance of getting Adept on a foe, which while situational is always appreciated unless you were trying to give someone else a kill.

Her combat arts are where she really shines, which is weird with her crest because that's about regular attacks. Her bow strength is quite apparent with Deadeye (which allows her to hit for further range, but good luck hitting further out because hit that far out is low especially as time goes on, even with Hit boosting abilities) and Encloser (which sticks the foe in place, pretty good actually). But the real powerhouse is in her lance, because she gets Vengeance. Let me explain why this is the most fucking broken thing in the game. Most of the stat based skills aren't all that powerful, working off of 30% of the total stat. However, Vengeance works off the difference between her Max HP and her current HP. All of it. This is legit insane, she can easily stack 40 damage with only a bit of work and some combat and she ends up demolishing foes with it, which is great for contributing to fighting a group of enemies or boss kills. Oh, she also gets Battalion Wrath, which with everything else I've mentioned seems like potential overkill in the right circumstances.

On her recruitment, I feel there's two points worth getting her at: Chapter 4/5 and Chapter 12. Unless you're planning on using her long term, I would argue you're fine getting units as late as possible for their bases if you're not worried about getting a specific class that might be out of the way. The reason I say chapter 5 is partly because of Miklan if you manage to net her Deadeye before the map, but the real reason I recommend it is because she's in Fighter. And this matters because she gets D Axes, making it so much easier for her to access brigand and get Death Blow, which is huge for her viability.

How did she perform?

Spoiler

So, I had her on CF, SS and my maddening run. All of them have Archer -> Sniper -> Bow Knight, because I wasn't really thinking of Mage Bernie

For CF, I also got her cavalier mastery, which was not much use because she got to 27 Spd, though she did a fine enough job with Deadeye. Her Str also could have been better, but eh.

On SS, for another 8 levels, she didn't get much more Str for it but she did get very good Dex. She mastered Paladin instead of Sniper, which might explain how she didn't get much more Spd either.

As for the maddening run, like I said I got her before Miklan, with her being used all the way. As it stands she's faster than SS Bernie, which with the Darting Blow she got does help her with some of the few slower enemies there are, but her Str's closer to CF Bernie (Oh no). This and Death Blow have helped a lot with her relevance throughout this run. Deadeye was irrelevant in War Phase with Encloser long replacing it, but this saw Vengeance come into its own, peaking on ending Hubert rightly so far. I'll confirm if Nemesis dies to a clever Vengeance.

I feel like she has moments were she's close to being top tier, but she's often left to chipping duty early on and can take some serious set up to pull off what you want. But again, Vengeance is busted in the right circumstances and even Deadeye has its uses. I'll rate her 7/10, her CAs and ease with bows are going for her.

Edited by Dayni

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I would just take Mekkah's video and post it here as my feelings towards Bernie but I guess that would be cheating. I will at least summarize it.

That aside, Bernadetta does have some shaky growths starting out and she is rather frail. What sets her apart though is Persecution Complex which adds 5 points of extra damage when under full health. That puts her attack on par with Byleth and Edelgard. Her boons are pretty limited though, only lances and bows and a budding talent in riding.  The minor crest of Indech she has can trigger an additional attack but it doesn't come often and it can only occur with regular attacks. Her options are pretty simple, definitely go through Fighter then Archer for Hit +20. Heck you can even teach her Death Blow despite her Axe bane. Death Blow is great on any would be physical attacker. In Bernie's case, not only does it stack with Persecution Complex, but it combos beautifully, with Curved Shot, Dead Eye, and best of all Vengeance. Her budding talent in riding grants her Pass allowing her to slip pass any enemies that occupy space. That has it's uses for sure especially with canto but it's not required on all of her sets to be effective.

She learns this combat art at rank C+ in lances which is easy for her to obtain. Vengeance does more damage the more HP she loses which is a risk in it of itself. It's not everyone's play style and that's fine. It's perfectly acceptable to not be comfortable with the idea of putting her at risk, though in fairness she doesn't necessarily need to be at death's door. Dedue and Cyril learn this art as well but Bernie brings out the most raw damage with it. You can give her a forged steel lance or forged horse slayer pending on the match up for her to dish out major damage. She can even use hero's relic for max damage. Paladin is her easiest option for her as she would be riding a horse, and having high move and decent HP for Vengeance. Though you need to be careful when positioning her to get the most out of it. Guard adjutants are also appreciated. As long as she doesn't die in one hit she'll survive the next attack. That can be also a draw back because she is so frail that she can't survive more than one round of combat on her own and that you generally don't want to get hit. You can heal her sure, before enemy phase, but you would also need to be sure that the enemy won't kill her so the heal would be worth the turn.

There are times when Vengeance won't be as needed. She can even go Bow Knight along with Encloser to keep enemies from approaching. It's a great tool to keep things from getting to overwhelming for you to handle so as long as it keeps her safe, more power to you. Claude also has Encloser so having two Encloser units for the Golden Deer route can be an enticing combination. Other options for her can include Falcon Knight or Wyvern Lord but her bane in swords will require some work to be done, but nowhere near as time consuming as her axe bane. Plus flying classes as good as they are restricts her in a way. She wouldn't be able to equip a guard adjutant and she would need a blessing gambit to survive a hit with 1 HP. Sniper can also be an option but it grants her the least amount of move available.

 

EDIT: I forgot to mention that she also has access to the Vantage + Battalion Wrath set for a Bow Knight along with Bow Prowess Level 5, Bow Crit +10 and Hit +20. Get a retribution gambit going, give her a guard adjutant and equip her with some forged killer bows. Also give her a battalion with high crit. The results are HILARIOUS!

 

This might be a hot take for some, others not so much. But I would say that she is a 8.5/10 unit on par with Ferdinand as one of the better units from the Black Eagles house. I rank her slightly higher than Ferdie because she is easier to recruit in comparison since Byleth would like to make use out of forged Killer Bows when flying and having Curved Shot is nice where as ranking up in Heavy Armor while Weight -3 is generally okay and certifying as a Armored Knight helps Byleth's defense out, it feels more of a chore to recruit Ferdie than Bernie. Regnor said that she is an example of what makes FE fun. A weird unit that just works really well.

Edited by Barren

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Vengeance is more than a meme, especially early on. I haven't played with it myself in Maddening, but I'm definitely curious if she can ever deal as much as 50-60 damage to one shot late game enemies. What with her low strength, low HP, etc. Vengeance just doesn't get that powerful when you only have ~40 HP to lose. I just can't see it scaling as well as your gauntlets or Snipers, especially when your strength boosters do twice as much for those other units than they would for Bernadetta. Battallion wrath is another compelling idea, but her axe weakness makes it hard to stack Wrath with it - especially since Bernie needs a lot of skill exp in many areas if you're going the route of Bow Knight. I imagine if I were using her, I'd just combine batallion wrath with a killer Bow and go out of my way for Vantage. If we can pick up Bow Crit, you're looking at ~90 crit rates on enemy phase. Most characters that use the double wrath build rely on Retribution, but an archer can just stick with their bow to protect themselves from enemy archers. Deadeye can bait individual enemies out of tough formations but is otherwise pretty useless. And Encloser rocks.

Bernie's weakness is ballistae and siege tomes. Whether you intend to play around with Vengeance or Battallion Wrath, she cannot enter the range of either of these things. Thankfully there's not a whole lot of them in the game. I think the most of either you ever face are maps that don't exist in CF (the non-CF version of Bernie/Petra paralogue, Enbarr,  the Rhea paralogue), and either version of Chapter 12. I also think Pass is a gimmick that's not ever worth mentioning. But Bow Knight seems like a good call on her because canto would help her not need a rescue when going in for Vengeance, and if you want a Sniper, there are several better options when the route you're playing is CF or SS. Recruit!Ignatz and Shamir both trounce her in strength which is the only stat snipers really need. Having a crest hurts more than it could ever help. Because you would want her to take recoil damage in order to safely reach 1 HP.

Overall I rate Bernadetta a 6.0 Her early game is decent despite her stats. She's one of the most high maintenance characters in the game, but still very unique to use and plan around, especially in the early-mid game. Ultimately I don't feel strong about her either way but think a 5 is unfair. If I had to split hairs I'd probably rate her less in SS and the other two routes since there are so many more siege weapons to deal with.

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Bernadetta may be the single character in the game I have the hardest time rating. I tend to think she works out to roughly average overall, but at times she feels either significantly better or significantly worse than that.

The good: her personal skill and her combat arts. Her personal skill grants her +5 damage at anything besides full HP. It's not hard to get her HP below full, of course, and +5 damage is obviously great. Her str is thus closer 13+35% instead of the 8+35% she has on paper (not quite this good because it's not always active and doesn't affect AS). That puts her at base tied for the best in the game, and while thanks to growth she still falls behind the actual high-str characters rapidly, she will forever maintain a small effective str lead over more average scores, notably including all her fellow Eagles except Edelgard.

Her combat arts are also an interesting set. Vengeance allows her to dish out some potentially extreme single-hit damage, though since it's melee and a counter will usually kill her, you do have to take steps to ensure she hits, as well as maintain her very low HP. While magical combat arts typically need Fiendish Blow to achieve such results and most other high-end combat arts don't appear until A rank or Advanced mastery, Bernadetta can get this started as soon as she hits C+ lances, so there's a stretch of the early-midgame (usually around chapters 4-6, give or take) where she'll be one of the most damaging options available. Later on, she also has Encloser (from A bows), which allows her to seal the movement of enemies who you can't kill this turn (particularly useful if you want to ignore a monster for a bit. Each combat art wants you to go a different direction longterm (Lancefaire for Vengeance, Bow Range+ for Encloser), but both are definitely nifty. Also from bows she has Deadeye, which doesn't get that much attention, but anything which expands range is good, potentially giving her offensive actions she wouldn't have otherwise. She also gets Pass which is occasionally very nice to have for all that I feel that FE3H map design rarely creates the types of enemy formations where it would really shine (unlike Conquest).

The less good: her talent list and stats. Her talent list includes an unfortunate weakness in axes (making her one of the few physical units I never recommend wyvern for), although her access to Pegasus Knight certainly softens that blow. Her statline is also very problematic, with low str (8+35%) holding her back whenever her personal isn't active (and preventing her from having exceptional damage even when it is, Vengeance aside), a base spd of 7 that leaves much to be desired (though it grows well enough, and she can get Darting Blow), durability which is on the low end for a frontliner, and mediocre charm.

Persecution Complex and especially Vengeance are also finnicky to work with. You won't have access to them turn 1 regardless, and then you have to be careful to not accidentally heal her to full (a couple of her fellow Eagles may sabotage her, between Linhardt's Crest of Cethleann and Dorothea's personal... and watch out for enhanced regen from the Inexhaustible, or Fortify!). Vengeance is even more annoying, of course, as getting good damage out of it also involves leaving her one hit from death, which can limit her use, especially since she's a poor fit for Assassin.

Also, while not really a positive or negative per se, I find it very funny how she's probably the only character in the game who would be improved by removing her crest. A 10% chance of an extra attack (which does not work on combat arts) is too low to rely on, and being crestless would let her safely and easily lower her HP with relic backlash damage.

I find that she's often a very solid unit in the early midgame (Vengeance, Pegasus Knight access) who falls off around Advanced tier as other characters get OHKO options and no Advanced class seems to really let her excel. Overall I give her a 5/10.

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When I started CF, I had some expectations for Bernie after reading how out of the 3 baby archers (Bernie, Ignatz, and Ashe), Bernie had the most potential. However, I was pretty disappointed with her in my playthrough and didn't meet any expectations I had for her. It may have just been my own personal experience with her because people swear by her, but she highly underperformed for me.

I'll start off with the good:
Bernie plays an identical role to the team as Ignatz and Ashe, being low strength, high dex/speed archers--the trio I like to call "the baby archers" HAHA. What sets Bernie apart from the other two is that she has access to skills and combat arts that greatly boost her middling strength and can potentially deal much more damage than Ignatz or Ashe. First, we should talk about her personal: Persecution Complex (strength +5 when below full HP). Her personal is regarded as one of the best in the game, as it is considerably easy to activate and puts her base strength on par with Edelgard once activated. And because her preferred weapon is bows, she can easily kill enemies from afar in the early game. Her combat arts are also what makes her stand out with her access to Encloser and Vengeance-two very uncommon yet insanely useful arts. Bernie is one of only TWO units that have access to Encloser, the other being Claude who is obviously route-exclusive. Encloser really comes in handy if you want to salvage a fellow teammate from receiving damage, providing Bernie with some very useful utility. Vengeance is her most notable art that she learns, as it synergizes perfectly with her personal. Give her the classic Vantage+Wrath combo with Vengeance, and you have yourself a killing machine that embroiders in her free time. Also, Pass---her budding talent--is worth a mention. Any type of buffer to movement is always appreciated. Lastly, Bernie also possesses a surprisingly good spell list. Her Reason spell list consists of ice and thunder spells which deal pretty good damage and ice spells have pretty high crit rates. Her Faith spell list includes Physic and Rescue, both of which are of the most useful white magic spells and can fare well as a support mage if put down that path. The fact that Bernie is neutral in magic would make it fairly easy to go down a mage path in order to utilize her great spell list. (But her magic growth is only 20%, so good luck with that LOL)

Now, the bad:
It's pretty common knowledge that one should class any physical unit as a Brigand early game in order to achieve Death Blow, and the fact that it is highly suggested to get Vantage and Wrath to optimize Bernie's Vengeance build, one should class her as a Mercenary and Warrior as well. However, Bernie has four banes--Swords, Axes, Brawling, and Heavy Armor. The banes in Brawling and Heavy armor are whatever, but the banes in Swords and Axes really hurt her. While C in Axes isn't too difficult to achieve even with a bane, but getting an A in both Swords and Axes would mean you would have to really invest a lot of work in her (And you would still have to grind the class exp to get the mastery skills). Her banes really narrow down her pathways, but thankfully her boon in lances opens up more doors as the most versatile weapon. Battalion Wrath is worth considering, but I personally don't like Batallion skills as they are much harder to activate and monitor. Of course, it wouldn't be necessary to do all of this for her, but it would really boost her potential. When compared to Ashe and Ignatz, they have a boon in Axes and Swords respectively meaning this would be much easier for them than it would be for Bernie. Next, Bernie's growths. Aside from dex and speed, Bernie suffers from below average growths in almost every stat. She is insanely squishy with her 20% defense, 35% HP, and 30% resistance. She will most likely be sniping from the backlines anyways, but she would pass out if any enemy had the chance to even breathe on her. Also, Ignatz and Ashe are pretty well-known to be late-game crit machines, being of the units with the highest crit growths (dex+luck) salvaging their low strength. However, Bernie has just a 25% luck growth, meaning she won't crit as much and is prone to BEING crit.

Also, her crest is actually really good, allowing her to double at random times. It's just unfortunate that the proc rate is only 10% so it is very, very unreliable. Literally, her crest only activated ONCE in my entire CF playthrough.

My personal experience with Bernie:
Now the reason why she underperformed for me was because I didn't feel like overcoming any of her banes, so I didn't give her Death Blow or anything and had a hard time activating her personal without her dying (unless the map had damaging terrain which was uncommon). I couldn't even give her a Devil Axe cause I didn't train her axes. I probably neglected her and didn't use her to her full potential, so her performance was most likely just me. In the end, she was mainly just chip damage from afar and if I desperately needed a kill, I prayed for a crit. Not even Vengeance was able to save my Bernie 😭

Overall, I give Bernie a 6/10. She a strong, player-phase oriented archer unit that excels in her access to great combat arts and skills that boost her middling strength. However, in order to perform well, time must be invested in her as she her banes hurt her potential as well as the fact that she has below average growth rates. Regardless, if her potential is unlocked, she can perform very well as a ORKO-er.

Edited by kia_kula

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Bernadetta is in my opinion the perfect example of why you don't need good stats to be a great unit.

Early game, she has one of the lowest strength bases of all physical attackers, but with her personal skill, she's still among the top damage dealers. And then she can get her one shot build far earlier than any other unit. Other people require skills they get at A-rank, or mastering an advanced class, Bernie only needs to get here lance rank to C+. This means that at a point where two of your units might not be enough to kill a single enemy in one turn, Bernadetta can do it all on her own. It should also be noted that from here on out, she doesn't need anything else. You can train her bow rank for Encloser or her riding for Pass, but both are just the icing on the cake. She doesn't even need to be leveled that much, because Vengeance does insane damage even at base.

The bad part is of course the late game. At some point other units start getting their one shot tools as well and those don't require as much setup. Vengeance still does it's job, but in most cases other units are just easier to use to do the same thing. Encloser is nice to take an enemy out of the picture if you can't kill him, but killing them would still be better.

I'd also argue she's one of the least one dimensional units out there, since Pass can make her a great dancer (and physic if she falls behind) and has the spell list to be one of the best mages in the game (keep in mind, Persecution Complex works with magic attacks as well, and the base magic of certain classes is quite good).

All in all, I'm giving her an 8/10. Amazing early game, but she falls of a bit late game and can be difficult to use.

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8 hours ago, Glennstavos said:

Vengeance is more than a meme, especially early on. I haven't played with it myself in Maddening, but I'm definitely curious if she can ever deal as much as 50-60 damage to one shot late game enemies.

Yeah, totally possible, I had her at 65 to 1-shot Hubert with a Steel lance and she still had at least 10 HP left to give. The real issue is that she'd need to get down real low to 1-shot, say, Paladins and I'm not sure sure about GK, but mine could be a little Str screwed, not sure.

 

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My small contribution to this topic is that Bernie is a rare character whose worth differs more dramatically between difficulty levels, IMO.  For the vast majority of characters, there isn't a difference between their Hard & Maddening performance, relative to the rest of the cast.  Bernie has three unique(ish) gimmicks - Encloser (well, for routes that don't have Claude), Vengeance, and Pass.  On Hard, these are cute but probably more for showing off than being Actually Useful - you'd be better off spending that time on a more generic kill-everything build that focuses on one round KOs.  Massively improved enemy durability on Maddening makes all of Bernie's tricks more useful - you'll have enemies that are sufficiently tanky that freezing them for a turn is far more viable than spending 2-4 actions killing them, and enemies sufficiently tanky that a max'd Vengeance offers opportunities that a more vanilla combat setup doesn't to offset the annoyance of setting it up.  (Not to mention that on Hard, going for a Vengeance setup opens up some new weaknesses where previously harmless enemies can now KO the weakened Bernie.)  Finally, I'm not a big fan of Pass, but if you're using it, you're probably doing tricksy stuff like bypassing enemy guards to assassinate a boss.  That is definitely more useful on Maddening than on Hard, where just killing everything is safer and more viable.

I'd say Bernie is a 3/10 on Hard (worse stats than a vanilla combat unit like Ferdinand or Leonie) and a 5/10 on Maddening (compromised stats, but offers cute utility above).

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