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Rate the Unit-Three Houses, Day 7: Dorothea

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(As per Benice’s (your usual poster) request)

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

Bernadetta: 7.125

Average score for Black Eagles: 6.81

 

 

Day 7: Dorothea

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Edited by Sooks1016

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Dorothea comes to mind as someone that has a small niche while nice tends to be not as used as it could be. She has the Songtress ability which allows adjacent allies to recover HP every turn. Now this can be something interesting when pairing up with someone like Sylvain for example where he'll take 2 less points of damage thanks to Philanderer and he'll be able to get back some HP incase he gets hit. Similar she can do for Ferdinand in case for some reason gets a HP increase when leveled up thus deactivating Confidence but will bring his HP back to full the next turn assuming the enemy is KO'd prior and the rest of the squad can't reach him. Though that doesn't really last long because Dorothea is far better at healing with her healing spells rather than using her turns just to activate Songtress. Now it is only good once in a blue moon pending on the formation or when you lure enemies effectively but more often than not Songtress is a non factor.

Dorothea has a starting stat of 11 magic, 5 strength and 7 speed along with a very low strength growth of 20% and below average growth of both magic and speed at 40%. Her defense is also problematic so suffice to say she won't be tanking any hits for you at all. In fact she can be one rounded by thieves on maddening mode really easily so it's hard to get her to approach safely. However, it's not all doom and gloom for our sexy ex Songtress. She comes with a good black magic toolkit comprising of thunder, thoron, sagittae, meteor and agnea's arrow. Thoron and Meteor are her stand out spells as they provide for her good range and power. Meteor in particular allows her to be an effective support bot for a number of her allies including Edelgard, being able to provide extra might and hit rate +10 from 3 - 10 spaces away. What also makes it more accessible for Dorothea is her budding talent in faith magic which is also her bane. But turning that bane into a boon is worth going for because she would have easier access to Physic, a very good long range healing and a good reason she'll do well as a secondary Physic user for the team. White Magic avoid +20 while nice on paper, her speed growth is not great, and it will eventually run out of Nosferatu usage. 

Her class options are fairly straight forward, most people tend to make her a gremory which makes sense because of 2x all magic. Being able to at least snipe with Meteor once and still have one use left over and still provide linked attack support is a pretty big deal for those she has a strong bond with. Her sword boon is also a thing. At rank C, she'll get Hexblade which deals damage based off her higher magic stat. Levin Sword+ also capitalizes n her magic and provides good range as well. The difference people tend to point out between Levin Sword and Thoron is accuracy vs the amount of uses. While both will do more damage with Fiendish Blow on player phase, Levin Sword would do more damage with Swordfaire while the same can be said for Thoron with Black tomefaire. The range of Thoron though can be further increased with the Caduceus Staff, something that Linhardt and Flayn can also use for greater HP recovery effect since they bare the Crest of Cethleann. The extra 1 point of range gives Dorothea more safer ground for to fire away her spells while Levin Sword does not. You can extend her range further with the Thyrsus staff excpet she does not bare a crest so she will be taking residual damage each time she wields it since it is a Hero's relic. 

Her other known option is Dancer. Her canon class. Her other canon class is technically Warlock. Dorothea is a good dancer candidate since she her charm stat is at 8 and while a 40% growth is fine, you can easily increase it further by spamming tea time if she is available. Tea parties not only have a good chance of pumping up her charm stat but with the Dancer competition, you'll have plenty of time of getting her charm stat well above 13. She can still even provide siege time support when dancing as long as she'll be out of harms way. Sword Avoid +20 is nice along with Axebreaker since it can effectively dodge enemy warriors, fortress knights and wyvern riders.

Her riding and flyign bane are some of her notable downfalls though, not being able to easily access movement +1 or even alert stance makes it pretty hard for Dorothea to expand her options. Though if you are adamant about it, you could try to have her in classes like Valkyrie or Dark Flier. It will take a lot of work but if you can make it that far with a Reason rank of B and riding rank of C or C+, Valkyrie will grant her access to black magic range +1 which assuming no item equip on her, a 4 range thoron. Caduceus Staff, 5 range. Thyrsus Staff along with Renewal, 6 range. Thyrsus  + Reason magic at Rank S + Class ability means 7 range thoron. (If I am wrong feel free to correct me). Dark Flier at least has a easier requirement. Reason at B+ and Flying at minimum D+ though she will be limited to flying battalions though she can still provide a minor role of rallying charm for her allies in addition to having flight. Having Black Tomefaire and Transmute can also be nice since she might be able to take a magic hit and have all of her stats increased by 3 for the next player phase. Though both class don't provide her with the best growths.

You could also keep her as a Warlock in case you would rather have black tomefaire in addition to 2x of black magic but having 4 more is pretty painful to deal where at least as a gremory you have 5 move and 2x of both black and white magic. Gremory might lack a tomefaire but a +5 mag modifier is still worth having.

 

EDIT: I did forget to mention that her boons in swords and reason gives her easy access to mortal savant. I would only certify her if she has really bad luck in the strength department as it will jack it up to a base 17 strength. While it is to little to late by the time she reaches level 30. It is something to consider. You could also certify her as swordmaster or assassin in case she needs a stat boost in areas where she is lacking and if you're level 20

Overall, I think Dorothea is a 6.5/10 unit. Her advantage over Linhardt is quite apparent and even though Linhardt is a better Bishop. Her having access to gremory is something that Linhardt wishes he had. Though Dorothea is not a game changing by any means, she can be useful as a secondary mage whether it's offensive, healing or a hybrid. The extra 0.5 I gave her is because of her access to gremory. And there are better mages out there but she certainly has a niche

Edited by Barren

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Dorothea's easily the best of the Eagles' three mages, and one of the best in the game, due to how ridiculously good her spell list is.

The good: Dorothea's worth as a unit is summed up by her three most useful spells: Thoron, Physic, and Meteor. Thoron, first, is just an incredible spell, with 9 mt (highest of any spell typically earned before A rank) and 3 range, and Dorothea can have it by chapter 3. Only Hubert gets 3 range faster, and his doesn't deal as much damage. (The only other student mage who gets it, period, is Marianne.) Being able to strike from where others can't is a huge boon in this game, especially as mages start falling behind in move. Second, there's Physic. It comes a little later for her than for the primary healers (due to Faith being budding talent and starting at E), but she should still get it by chapter 4, and it automatically makes her a very useful healer. Finally, there's Meteor. I could write a whole paragraph about Meteor. In fact, I will.

Tactically, striking from range 10+ is obviously useful (even only once or twice per battle); it allows you to make plays beyond where you should, chipping or finishing off enemies who would otherwise pose problems. You can also use it to aggro formations safely; an enemy attacked will start moving towards you, regardless of how much damage you deal or even if you hit. Meteor even strikes an area of effect as a bonus. But perhaps even more important than the spell's own usefulness when cast is its ability to hand out linked attacks, offering +7 or +10 for normal hits and +15 or +20 to gambits. Even if you want the Meteor-user to do something else that turn, it's a simple matter to equip Meteor, have allies benefit from its effects, then do something else with your mage. And if that something else is using Physic, Meteor even stays equipped! Dorothea, simply, is by far the best source of Meteor/Bolting linked attacks in the game. She gets it at A, off a strength in reason (i.e. around chapter 9, give or take). Hanneman has to wait until A+. Manuela is weak in Reason and can't start training it until Chapter 8. Hilda is neutral in Reason and her statline screams to make her a physical unit instead.  Even the DLC characters don't really change this: Constance has a crippled support list, Anna has none at all. On Eagles runs, Dorothea supports everyone in her house (reaching A with all of them except Bernadetta). On Lions runs, she still supports the (IMO) three best in-house physical units not named Dimitri. Only on Deer runs does she not shine at this.

In terms of stats... if you're the type who's more enamoured with damage, she also gets Agnea's Arrow (which helps keep her looking good on the damage scale even after her less impressive magic growth has had time to kick in) and Hexblade, though both do need some investment (A+ reason or C+ swords). I don't generally recommend giving up her amazing skillset just to optimize Hexblade via Assassin, but it's worth noting that if you do, she can OHKO every enemy on the dreaded SS Reunion at Dawn with it, for instance. It also makes Mortal Savant an interesting option for her, so she can get -faire on both Hexblade and her attack magic (by contrast, no class with magic gets Lancefaire or Axefaire), if one values move and melee damage over double Meteor. Her only particularly strong stat is her charm, though it's worth noting that she's got the best charm of the mages along with Mercedes, allowing her to land powerful magical gambits more easily.

The less good: Dorothea's weakness lies in her magic stat. 11 base is right in line with the other best mages, but 40% growth is on the low end. It does mean that at Level 21 (chosen for easy calcuations and being midway through the game), she'll be 2 points behind Marianne or Annette, and 4 points behind Lyisthea or Hubert. But due to her getting stronger spells and/or Tomefaire, she actually keeps up with (or even ahead of) them better than you'd think, until the very late stages of the game (where magic falls off as a OHKO option anyway). She also has the usual mage failings of poor bulk and mobility, and the most mobile non-DLC magic class, Dark Knight, is a poor fit for her due to her riding bane. With regard to bulk, her def growth is quite bad even for a mage, although her respectable HP (the best of the non-Lorenz student mages) and Warlock class base make this not as big a problem as it could be. Her start is also not very good, thanks to starting with just a single D and E+ for skills and also Thunder being on the low end for uses, though I don't personally put much stock in this; she'll have her good toolkit of Thoron + Physic by the time you can reasonably recruit someone to replace her, DLC characters aside.

The DLC classes Dark Flier and Valkyrie have created more options and have improved her competition more than her (particularly Marianne and Lysithea), but without DLC, I think she's got a very good case to be the most useful magical unit in the game. While the best mages don't compare with the best fighters, I think that's still good enough for 8/10.

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Dorothea

The bad:

Dorothea starts off with banes in Faith, Riding, and Flight. And with only two boons, she starts with E in all but two ranks. The Faith bane means that, despite her inclination for magic, she'll take a bit of tutoring to even get Heal going. And on that, her Faith list is limited, learning no new spells after C-rank. Riding and Flight banes limit her class options later in the game. In terms of stats, her Strength (5 base, 20% growth) and Defense (4 base, 15% growth) are quite low, making physical offense and defense tanking not her forte. So even though she's not weak in any physical weapon types, she doesn't have much incentive to specialize in them, outside of swords. As for magical offense, she suffers perhaps more than anyone else from the "earlygame mage conundrum" - namely, that 3H's design hurts magic users by limiting them to very few spells, and cutting their charges in half, in the earlygame. Dorothea gets 4 Thunder charges in Chapters 1 and 2, and... that's it. And no Crest means she takes damage when using Hero's Relics, such as Thyrsus or Blutgang.

The good:

Despite the rather rough start, Dorothea can grow into one of the strongest Reason lists in the game. Thoron offers 3-range, Sagittae is accurate and high-use, Meteor is siege magic, and Agnea's Arrow has high Might. Meteor, in particular, lets her provide linked attack support to allies within range while equipped. On the Faith side, she gets Physic, one of the strongest support spells in the game. Her budding talent grants White Magic Avoid +20, which can theoretically improve her survivability. Stat-wise, Magic (11 + 0.40x) is her standout area, while Dex (6 + 0.45x), Spd (7 + 0.40x), and Cha (8 + 0.40x) are none too shabby. As for combat arts, she gets Hexblade at C+ Swords. This can give her a 1-range player-phase nuke against low-Res enemies, and combined with the Levin Sword, makes sword builds viable for her. She'll also gain Rally Charm quite early, at D-Authority - this can help allies about to use an offensive gambit, or who are in range of an enemy gambit. Her personal ability, Songstress, can provide minor, but consistent, healing for allies.

The verdict:

Dorothea suffers from a lot of limitations. She has no Crest, she struggles to make it into mounted or flying classes, she can't take physical hits, and she can't deal much physical damage. Her 4 Thunder uses and E Faith hardly leave the best impression. Put some work into her, however, and she makes for a great support unit with solid magical offense. On balance, I grade Dorothea a 5 out of 10.

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Dorothea is in an odd spot.  She's on the short list for best spell list in the the game (with Physic, Thoron, Meteor, and Agnea's Arrow), but unfortunately she probably has the worst stat growths for a mage as well.  Starting with a bane in Faith is also a problem, though it does turn into a boon as a budding talent.  But it hurts that she won't have Heal for the first chapters, coincidentally when it would be the most useful.

I like to refer to her as the best 'swing' mage in the game.  All of the other healing mages (Lindhardt, Mercedes, and Marianne) have pretty lackluster Reason magic lists.  Meanwhile, all of the other attacking mages (Lysithea, Annette, and Hubert) lack Physic, which is the default healing spell for most of the game.  The only unit that I've found that can satisfactorily act as an attacking mage or a healing mage in the same build is Dorothea.  That said, she isn't as good at attacking as most of the attacking mages and isn't as good at healing as the healers.

My thought process is that if you want to have a third mage in your active party (after a primary attack and a primary healer), then Dorothea is probably who you want to fill that role.  And carrying three mages into battle is a strategy that I regularly did through Maddening, so she often had a spot in my active lineup (assuming no DLC).

So overall, 8/10

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8/10, this might be short but she has a fantastic spell list with access to physic (which no (I think none but dlc might get in the way) other offensive magic units have) although her growths are pretty bad, they can be somewhat helped by class growths but not much, you’ll probably want to at least grab fiendish blow while she’s in mage. She also gets hex blade at C+ sword rank combined with a levin sword will make her quite the damage dealer at one range. Her good spell list is somewhat held back by her growths but with class growths she should get magic fairly consistently. And in this game, at least in my opinion, spell list is more important than your magic stat when you’re already a magic unit, making her one of the better casters in the game. She’s not the best at offensive magic and she certainly isn’t the best at healing but she can still be incredibly great at magic damage and her healing can be okay, making her a nice utility unit. This also makes her a good candidate for dancer imo. So yeah, that’s why she’s 8/10.

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Sorry but she is being way overrated rn. 6

Pros:

Good spell list: physics, thoron, meteor

Female(yes being a woman is actually a pro in FE): have access to gremory

Good at reason, faith(once unlocked)

Cons:

Bad at riding+neutral at lances. Difficult to raise as dark knight

Pretty bad at magic compared to other magic units. 40% mag and 11 at base.

Base E faith and bad at it before you unlock. Going to be difficult to support early game.

Terrible early game. 4 move and limited spell use.

 

Provides great support mid-late game with meteor and physics, but she really does hold you back early game.

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Spell list, spell list, spell list. That's what Dorothea boils down to. It's really good. On the reason side, Thoron, Meteor, and Agnea's Arrow are all great, and Sagitae is a solid addition with its high accuracy and uses. On the Faith side, she has Physic, and that's about it. Physic, obviously, is great. Having nothing past Physic is, honestly, mixed. While having access to something like Warp or Silence would obviously make her list considerably stronger, I do find there's something of a freedom to being able to stop training her Faith when she hits rank C and instead focus on something else. Of course, you can stop at this point on any time, so I won't count this as a point in her favour, but I know that I always end up carrying on training other units even when I know all I'm going to get is some nonsense like Ward or Aura.

Beyond that, there isn't much to say. She starts off slow. Her stats are pretty weak. Her personal can occasionally come in useful but isn't game-changing or character defining. Her charm is decent. Rally Charm is handy. Hexblade is decent. Blah blah etc. But all of this is secondary. She's a decent but not amazing magic user who is largely defined by her great spell list.

I would give her a 5.5, but she's also probably my single favourite charater in the game in terms of personality, so I'm giving her the full +1 personal bias point, for an overall total of 6.5/10.

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I once offered Dorothea as the answer for "who's the worst student in Three Houses?". And while I'm not sure that's my final answer (I'm more leaning toward Hubert these days, and I realize I rated too highly), I stand by the idea she's among the worst, especially when you're stuck with her in your initial roster. Her only means of gaining experience in the first few maps is Thunder, a spell with just four charges and is incapable of reaching as high as 80 accuracy, even with linked attack bonuses. Even with the impeccable luck of landing all four of those thunders for four kills, that's still just one level up per map and she can't contribute damage beyond that to set up kills for other units. So despite your religious babying and favoritism toward her, she still ends up late to the level 5 classes. Her lack of strength also means swinging a sword for a kill is a non-option. Naturally you want to get her heal as fast as possible to not only level up faster, but without taking exp away from your physical fighters. But if I remember correctly, it's impossible to get her Heal by the end of Chapter 3's main mission short of save scumming for greats and perfects on her way to unlocking that budding talent. Her otherwise awful personal skill does see some use this early on, as you need all the healing you can get that doesn't take up your other guys' turns chugging vulneraries.

Dorothea does get better, like any unit in the game. I'm an especially large fan of hexblade, one of the better combat arts to nuke opponents with, and makes up for her lack of nuke spell. She can't use the Thyrsus without constant recoil damage, but Thoron and Physic allow her to continue contributing as she lags behind the pack. I made her a dancer and she ended up being a swiss army knife of utility. Not really exceeding any other unit's performance in healing or damage, but she always had something to do which kept her level and stats fairly high without taking exp from other units. Her charm is also noticeably high so you'll want a good offensive gambit on her. Meteor is really not a big deal. I know I lost my mind when I found out its true purpose, but it's only ever as good as how many units you have on your roster she can support with. And in SS in particular that's not very many since two of your house units are forced out of your party while most of the rest are almost begging to be benched should they get one too many bad level ups. In this regard I think Recruit!Dorothea faces a similar issue when you bring her on to the Blue Lions or Golden Deer. Nobody wants to talk to her, so your Meteor only provides 3% hit which is almost nothing.

For CF I rate her a 3.0. I think that early game trainwreck of a performance is just so crucial to the bigger picture, as well as admitting she never gets to a point where she could carry the team. Caspar, on the other hand, always has the potential to become a monster as early as halfway through pre-time skip. Dorothea just becomes okay as you stick with her. Maybe if you make her a dancer she'll grow into the MVP of utility, but anybody could be your dancer, so it feels like a moot point. A few days ago I joked that there's no PoR Mia/Nephenee where I'd give a controversial rating of somebody's waifu. I obviously forgot about her.

Edited by Glennstavos

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3 hours ago, leesangstar10 said:

Bad at riding+neutral at lances. Difficult to raise as dark knight

I don't agree with that as a con, seeing as Dark Knight requires too much effort for too little reward imho. I find it hard to justify all that investment in Riding when I could have gone the Gremory route instead.

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2 minutes ago, Shadow Mir said:

I don't agree with that as a con, seeing as Dark Knight requires too much effort for too little reward imho. I find it hard to justify all that investment in Riding when I could have gone the Gremory route instead.

Mobility is love, mobility is life. A Dark Knight Dorothea could hit a foe 10 spaces away with Thoron - for Gremory, it's only 8. Obviously this is before accounting for, say, Black Magic Range +1 or Thyrsus or Stride, but either class can use those tools. Plus, she can support an ally with Rally Charm or a Draw Back, and then Canto away to a more optimal position. Finally, she does more raw damage with Black magic as a Dark Knight.

The fact that this higher-mobility, higher-damage class is out of reach due to her proficiencies is absolutely a valid con. She does well as a Gremory, no question - the stronger Physics and extra spell charges are more than welcome. But the Dark Knight has obvious advantages in certain areas, and that she has a harder time than most in achieving such advantages can be counted a flaw.

Would love to hear your own ranking of Dorothea, if you have the time!

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32 minutes ago, Shanty Pete's 1st Mate said:

Mobility is love, mobility is life. A Dark Knight Dorothea could hit a foe 10 spaces away with Thoron - for Gremory, it's only 8. Obviously this is before accounting for, say, Black Magic Range +1 or Thyrsus or Stride, but either class can use those tools. Plus, she can support an ally with Rally Charm or a Draw Back, and then Canto away to a more optimal position. Finally, she does more raw damage with Black magic as a Dark Knight.

The fact that this higher-mobility, higher-damage class is out of reach due to her proficiencies is absolutely a valid con. She does well as a Gremory, no question - the stronger Physics and extra spell charges are more than welcome. But the Dark Knight has obvious advantages in certain areas, and that she has a harder time than most in achieving such advantages can be counted a flaw.

Would love to hear your own ranking of Dorothea, if you have the time!

I don't really care that much about mobility. Also, while Dark Knight does more damage than Gremory, it's only two points, AKA not nearly enough to justify the extra investment in my book. It doesn't really help matters that being mounted is not as much of a boon as it was in prior games due to a lot of terrain slowing down cavalry (nor does it that cavalry classes other than Paladin and Bow Knight are rather lackluster, as does the fact that being on a horse does bad things to your speed). As a result, Dark Knight is something I'd only consider for a character that is magically inclined and male.

Anyway... I give Dorothea a 7/10. Being the most reliable source of long-range magic (at least before DLC consideration) is nice and she has other utilities to go with that, but her earlygame is pretty lousy, not unlike most mages.

Edited by Shadow Mir

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6/10

Take this one with a grain of salt considering I barely use her, but to keep it fairly brief- good spell list, with Meteor, Physic, etc, makes her a good support unit with linked attacks and healing. Rally Charm at D authority makes it very possible to learn it by chapter 2, which is honestly a godsend IMO. A single action gives a unit of you choice 30 hit on their gambits, which is nuts. Her stats are OK, nothing particularly special, but its that mediocrity that puts her where she is despite her advantages. 

...This rating basically feels like a Rally Charm/10 honestly. I really need to try and use her sometime beyond just a rally charm bot.

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I think she is 8 out of 10. Her passive is one of the better ones imo especially early game as its healing that doesn't require uses of a resources which is relevant as faith spells can easily run out of on maps and also doesn't take up her turn (yes it requires a bit of setup but still is very useful). Early game when you don't have a lot spells period on any unit is when this is helps a lot on higher difficulties.  Her spell list is awesome and actually a respectable physical unit imo.

Although I will say I actually prefer her not to be a dancer which is pretty popular for her. I think she is pretty good offensively and she is a good healer so would rather have her doing other things.

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7 / 10 on Hard

The good:

  • Songstress: Quite handy in early game when healing option is more limited, as long as she doesn't end up next to Bernie for too long. 
  • Useful Reason & Faith spell list: Thoron for 3-range, Sagittae for accuracy, Meteor for sniping, Agnea's Arrow for high Mt, and Physic for ranged healing.
  • Interesting support list: Besides the whole BE crew, it also includes three strong units in BL, as well as Mt+3 special bond with Manuela. This allows her to have a wide range of meaningful linked attack bonus when equipping Meteor, and especially handy if she's a Dancer busy dancing for most turns. Manuela can be her adjutant to maximise her damage output, or vice-versa.
  • Rally Charm at Authority D : Very useful to improve gambit Hit/Avo.
  • Sword proficiency and Hexblade at C+: Viable for magic sword builds such as Assassin or Mortal Savant, relatively easy access to Levin Sword+ for ranged damage and Hexblade for OHKO damage.
  • Reason proficiency: Easier to certify Warlock and Gremory.
  • Good Mag base at 11: Can do good damage in early game.

The mixed:

  • Faith as a budding talent, but starts with a Bane and at E: Once unlocked, it's very helpful for her to learn Physic and for Gremory certification. However, it also requires 3 sessions of tutoring at full motivation to get going. Considering that healing options and tutoring points are both limited at early game, this is a priority that needs to be planned around.

The not-so-good:

  • Riding bane: Very difficult to access Mov+1 without grinding, which is not ideal for a Dancer. Difficult to certify Dark Knight too, if one wants to maximise damage output and movement.
  • No crest: Penalty when using Thyrsus and Thunderbrand, which can be annoying but not a dealbreaker.
  • Mag growth at 40%: Unimpressive for an offensive mage, but not very problematic on Hard if maximised with various non-stat-booster tools.

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7/10. A good dancer for that Meteor spell link. Pretty good spell lists so makes a decent gremory too. As a Mage flier she has great range and that's fun. Her Magic growth isn't that high though so she can't oneround people that often. Initial bane in faith can also be annoying to deal with.

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I don't know if this will be counted (Seeing as Petra's already up), but we'll see.

Dorothea is one of the units I recruited a lot early on. Sure, she had to be good right?

Singing out her stats:

Spoiler

Her bases are telling you where she's at very much from the get go. 11 Mag is one of the highest in the BE, then her next highest is Cha at 8. Everything else is pretty weak, 7's and 6's, with 5 Str and 4 Def being particularly low. Meanwhile her growths are 45% Dex, 40% HP, Mag, Spd and Cha, 35% Res and Str and Def barely exist. So, she's not really got a massive growth stat, but she does have pretty decent Magic and Spd on paper. We'll see, but her base isn't helping.

Her strengths and weaknesses are honestly worse than they looked on paper. She only has strengths in Sword and Reason, which at least she can use Reason well enough. Meanwhile her weaknesses in Cav and Flier seem to try and limit her to Gremory, which should be made more difficult by Faith being a weakness too, but she has it as a budding talent which gives Faith Avoid +20, ewww.

Her magic is one that becomes a topic of discussion for one spell alone. Her Reason list has Thunder, Thoron, Saggitae, Meteor and Agnea's Arrow. Meanwhile her Faith list has H + N and Physic, which while barebones at least she has Physic. So, first she has Agnea's Arrow at A+ rank, which was so far away I ended up not getting it for ages. Second she hasn't got Fire and has Thoron, so she has -13 early on which is nice. But most of all, she's one of the easiest units to get a Siege spell, which matters for linked attacks from far away. Meanwhile, Meteor is also different because it gives an AoE effect like gambits.

Her personal skill is one that does a little, healing allies for 10% of HP, which is nice when you're in early game and have little healing, unless you're Bernie. She's also crestless (and one of those who'd readily agree with Edelgard, for all I'd dispute the topic of blame)

For her combat arts, she gets Hexblade. So that's nice and all, but that's literally it. Her authority skills are Rally Charm and Battalion Desperations, not exactly the best either, although Rally Charm could matter if you expect an enemy to use a gambit on EP.

Whereas most of the recruitments have had some niggle if going outside of house, Dorothea goes for Authority, which you'll raise quite naturally, and Charm, which will also rise quite easily. She's one of the easiest to get out of the BE.

Hoe do I think she was?

Spoiler

So, I got her in every playthrough, but for my Maddening playthrough it was coincidental as I just happened to get all the students, so we'll ignore that.

For VW, she was one of my first recruits and I chose her as the dancer. She was more than grand at it, with only that and Mage mastered (I didn't even give her any other classes, because dancing), though she did not have good reason ranking, probably because she was mostly support. No Meteor sucked, but I was rubbish first time round really.

In CF, with Sylvain being my dancer I ended up making her a combat mage in Gremory, and here is where I got to see how often her speed really procs. She got about average growths in it and ended up on 20 without boosts, absolutely terrible. She was in magic classes all the time and could only work as a 1 and done. which there wasn't much doing when she got 26 Mag total. She did get Meteor, though link up attacks seem to be what she'd be best for because the problem is that you can't use the meteor more than once in Gremory to keep that up. Which is fine for a dancer, but not so good for a unit who's wanting to use the siege magic.

On AM, For some reason I decided to get Mortal Savant. Despite that mistake she had pretty good Spd actually at 30, while her weirdly high 21 Str helped her with weight and 36 magic made her a more than solid damage dealer. She was mainly a dancer in the midgame though. This is probably my best Dorothea in her own right, though no Agnea's Arrow again. 8 levels does not explain just how much better she was here than in CF.

Finally, SS saw her dropped in War phase, but she had her uses in Part 1 due to her usual utility. It's funny how she got about the same Mag and Spd in SS that she did in CF despite that, so I have to assume she was just screwed there. I have to wonder if trying another class would have been a good idea.

I wasn't sure what number to give her initially. On the one hand I do think she can be a solid mage and her support stuff is very real. On the other hand there's only one run where she could actually fight halfway decently and Maddening would have probably beaten that Dorothea too. All that being said, I'm rating her 6/10, I do think other units can be more useful and having to wait for A Reason for her best utility is such a tease. Never mind how limited her combat really is.

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9 hours ago, Glennstavos said:

Naturally you want to get her heal as fast as possible to not only level up faster, but without taking exp away from your physical fighters. But if I remember correctly, it's impossible to get her Heal by the end of Chapter 3's main mission short of save scumming for greats and perfects on her way to unlocking that budding talent.

There are five tutoring weeks before Chapter 3, so Dorothea gets 16x5 = 80 faith exp from having it was one of her two weekly goals (on Maddening). Two tutoring sessions should give her the other 20 she needs, so she should certainly have Heal by Chapter 3.

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10 hours ago, Shadow Mir said:

I don't really care that much about mobility. Also, while Dark Knight does more damage than Gremory, it's only two points, AKA not nearly enough to justify the extra investment in my book. It doesn't really help matters that being mounted is not as much of a boon as it was in prior games due to a lot of terrain slowing down cavalry (nor does it that cavalry classes other than Paladin and Bow Knight are rather lackluster, as does the fact that being on a horse does bad things to your speed). As a result, Dark Knight is something I'd only consider for a character that is magically inclined and male.

Anyway... I give Dorothea a 7/10. Being the most reliable source of long-range magic (at least before DLC consideration) is nice and she has other utilities to go with that, but her earlygame is pretty lousy, not unlike most mages.

Re: Mobility, even dismounted Dark Knight still has 6 move. The only place where Gremory has better mobility is on the sand. And more mobility means more options. Plus, if raising a mage in Riding is a waste, then so is raising their Faith beyond any useful spells (Dorothea learns Physic at C rank, and then... nothing). Still, the relative merits of these classes is probably a topic for another thread.

Anyway, respect for the ranking. It's kind of funny how everyone seems to agree on (most) of what Dorothea has going for (and against) her, yet our rankings vary widely, from 3 to 8.

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12 hours ago, Shadow Mir said:

I don't agree with that as a con, seeing as Dark Knight requires too much effort for too little reward imho. I find it hard to justify all that investment in Riding when I could have gone the Gremory route instead.

I just label anything that might be significant to sway my reasoning. prob should've mention that gremory is arguably better for her.

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1 hour ago, Shanty Pete's 1st Mate said:

Re: Mobility, even dismounted Dark Knight still has 6 move. The only place where Gremory has better mobility is on the sand. And more mobility means more options. Plus, if raising a mage in Riding is a waste, then so is raising their Faith beyond any useful spells (Dorothea learns Physic at C rank, and then... nothing). Still, the relative merits of these classes is probably a topic for another thread.

Anyway, respect for the ranking. It's kind of funny how everyone seems to agree on (most) of what Dorothea has going for (and against) her, yet our rankings vary widely, from 3 to 8.

I guess there are some characters in the game that are indeed polarizing or at least opinionated. For me I try to bring up every possible option or scenario where xyz can be useful. It's especially useful for me to figure out since I've played all 4 routes. At least on normal mode mostly because I wanted to get to know the map and the layout better and I wanted to explore as many feasible options for every character as I can

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It looks like this one closed already, but since it's still been less than 24 hours since posting, my two cents...

...as noted by Shanty Pete, everyone seems to largely agree on what Dorothea does well and doesn't do well.  A bit frail, not going Dark Knight, but a good spell list for a Warlock/Gremory/Mortal Savant.  I am very much on the "this adds up to a good unit" side of the debate though.  I'll just add a bit more on Meteor to what was already written above on things like support bonuses.  Notably, there's a lot of relevant bosses out there who don't pack Distant Counter.  Many also have suspect resistance.  This makes Meteor amazing in-context of map design.  Rather than have to find a unit that can survive a round of combat, you instead drop a Meteor on their head for half their life, then send in a unit with a combat art and finish them off.  Some notable examples: CF Judith, CF Nader & CF Claude, CF Nader again (in Edelgard's Paralogue), CF Seteth, CF Dedue, CF Cyril or Catherine, AM/SS/VW Ladislava, AM Claude, etc.  I really don't want to fight most of these in a remotely fair fight on Maddening (Nader Brave Axeing your face for 200+ damage or the like), and Meteor cheeze is one of the more reliable ways to stop that.  Maybe if the designers had handed out Distant Counter more liberally, Meteor wouldn't be so OP, but they didn't, so it is.  There are other units that can get close in the snipe-from-extreme-distance department (Hanneman & Constance as already noted), but Dorothea is still probably the overall best of the bunch elsewhere.  Meteor is Just That Good for the map design in-game.

8/10, great unit.

Edited by SnowFire

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

Re: Mobility, even dismounted Dark Knight still has 6 move. The only place where Gremory has better mobility is on the sand. And more mobility means more options. Plus, if raising a mage in Riding is a waste, then so is raising their Faith beyond any useful spells (Dorothea learns Physic at C rank, and then... nothing). Still, the relative merits of these classes is probably a topic for another thread.

Anyway, respect for the ranking. It's kind of funny how everyone seems to agree on (most) of what Dorothea has going for (and against) her, yet our rankings vary widely, from 3 to 8.

Doesn't really change the fact that it's a rip-off in my book, especially since the mobility doesn't even come close to trumping having two shots of Meteor. I'll grant, though, that aside from getting better odds to pass certification, there's not much reason to invest into faith beyond C.

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