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Rate the Unit-Three Houses, Day 14: Mercedes

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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:

Dimtri: 9.14

Edelgard: 9.00

Felix: 8.625

Petra: 8.34

Ferdinand: 7.78

Sylvain: 7.66

Bernadetta: 7.125

Linhardt: 7.11

Dorothea: 6.375

Dedue: 5.8571

Hubert: 5.525

Caspar: 4.32

Ashe: 3.69 (nice)

 

Underscore: Black Eagles

Bold: Blue Lions

Itallics: Golden deer

Purple: Faculty

Boldunderscoreditallics: DLC


Average score for Black Eagles: 6.94

Average score for Blue lions: 6.99

 

Day 14: Mercedes

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Ah, Mercedes, the dedicated healer of the game.

Because of her stats and proficiencies, there's really no point in making her anything but a magic unit. She has a proficiency in both Reason and Faith, and pretty good magic, res and Charm to boot. Her speed isn't amazing, but it's not too bad either.

She has all the healing spells you want, but outside of that I find her spell list to be pretty lacking. There's no 3-range spells or effective damage in her reason list, and no movement spells (rescue or warp) in her faith list. This means she really lacks some of the utilty some of the other magic units can provide. On top of that, she starts of with a D rank in Faith, as opposed to the D+ that Linhardt and Marianne start out with. This means she can't get Physic for chapter 2, which is pretty significant, since it's imo one of the harder chapters in the game, and any extra tool you can get is welcome.

I should also mention that she doesn't have any combat art to use her magic stat in a different class, like some other people can do with for instance Frozen Lance. Live to Serve is also pretty useless on a unit who has no business taking hits in the first place.

All in all, I'm giving her a 5/10. That might seem high for all my ranting, but she's still the only healer BL are going to have for a while, and she still at least gets physic (looking at you, Manuella and flayn). There's also staves to give her the magic range she lacks, so it's not completely helpless. All in all, not a very stand outish magic unit, bit she gets the job done.

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6.5 / 10 on Hard:

The good:

  • A Faith spell list that looks like a first aid kit, with Physic, Restore and Fortify.
  • A reliable, although somewhat unexceptional 2-range Reason list, with Thunder and most fire spells including high Mt Ragnarok.
  • Good Mag & Res base and growth for a magic-oriented unit, can bait mages on Hard if needed.
  • Proficiency in Reason & Faith: ideal for a female mage to learn spells quickly and to certify Bishop and Gremory.
  • Learns Waning Shot from unlocking budding talent in Bow, can debuff enemy Str at range.
  • Minor crest of Lamine: no penalty using Thyrsus is handy, and very occasionally conserves a heal usage is a nice surprise.
  • Live to Serve: situationally useful to regain HP when healing others, although generally she sees fewer direct combats as a ranged magic or utility unit.
  • Up to +3 Mt with Annette, useful to boost each other's combat performance on the field or as adjutant.

The mixed:

  • Can go Magic Bow Sniper thanks to budding talent in Bow and good Mag growth, which offers more range than her spells and guaranteed double once mastered the class (or Bow Knight on Hard if willing to work with her Riding neutral and Lance bane). But the availability of arcane crystal can be a concern before a free drop of Magic Bow in Ch14 and Dark Merchant starting from Ch16, assuming no DLC or excessive save scum. Going through Archer also limits her combat and utility performance before accessing Magic Bow, and the lack of Bow magic combat art in the game doesn't help either.

The not-so-good:

  • D rank Faith at base: takes a bit longer to learn Physic than similar units who start with D+, less ideal for early game.
  • No utility spell that offers advantage on movement or debuff, thus can feel a bit one dimensional when considered as a utility-oriented unit.
  • No naturally learnt personal Combat Art, and only learns Battalion Renewal from Authority, thus less option to boost combat performance of herself and her teammates. 

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Here we go, it's time for the quiet one. Who for some reason is an absolute unit of horror story telling.

Mercedes's stats can't possibly be this cute:

Spoiler

Her bases and growths are quite clear. Her best is Mag at 10+50%, helping a lot with what she's good at. Her 8+40% Spd growth is not as good as quite a few others on paper, but we haven't seen a faster mage yet, while having the same numbers for Cha makes her at least halfway decent with gambits. 6+45% Dex is alright to be fair, though don't expect her to crit. Her physical defences are bad with 25+30% HP and 5+25% Def, though she has better magic bulk at 9+45% and 5+30% Lck is pretty par for the BL course. PEMV, I always found Mercedes to be weirdly quick (consistently above average) and often is doubling slower foes in maddening. Plus her damage isn't something to sneeze at.

For her Strengths and Weaknesses, she's strong in Reason and Faith, which . Her weaknesses in Sword, Lance, Axe and Armour all seem to confirm that she should not be using physical classes. And honestly I'd agree, it. She does have a budding talent in bow, which gives her Waning shot and probably the best option if you want to meme away from magic as her only viable gauntlet option's DLC. She could also use Magic Hunter's Volley if you want, just try to level up outside sniper.

Her magic list is pretty good thankfully; Reason has Fire, Thunder, Bolganone and Ragnarok, which isn't amazing and I'd have replaced Thunder, but it could be worse and Ragnarok in particular's still strong, while her Faith has H + N, Physic, Restore and Fortify, which is a great support magic list and has big healing for her buck.

Her personal is Live to Serve, which heals her for whatever she healed another unit. That is certainly nice when you can take advantage of it and encourages her being in combat and taking hits. She has a minor Lamine crest which conserves haling magic 10% of the time, which is nice when it procs on Physic, though I haven't seen it happen with Fortify.

She gets no combat arts beyond her budding talent and she only gets Battalion Renewal. Phooey.

Edit: Rafail Gem is a very nice item to get being one that prevents crits. It also blocks effectiveness on the unit and for herself and Jeritza they get a chance to proc Aegis/Pavise. Considering the main benefits can be gotten for any other unit and the low chances of them proccing it I don't feel too concerned about others getting it. You also need Caspar recruited to get the paralogue.

How did I find her?

Spoiler

In VW she died in Gronder.

In CF, she also died, though at Tailtean.

In AM, I finally recruited her, got her through the route of Mage -> Warlock -> Gremory. She was alright enough, hitting 38 Mag and 28 Spd, with a more than solid 40 Res and great Dex at 34. She had all her magic and C bows because I wanted to see what was there, even if I didn't get to use it. She still had better bulk than the other mage too, even if it wasn't much physically (We'll..... come to her.)

In SS, I ended up making a similar chose, but got slightly worse stats. 2-3 points less in her offences, she ended up having better defences somehow (few points in Def and Res, but a fair bit more HP).

For Maddening I did go down the usual route, recruiting her in Chapter 7 and while she ended up about as fast as in AM, for some reason she was just several points better in her magic and HP. Even if she was quite worse in Dex and Res, it didn't hurt her generally speaking. Having less Str also affected her combat in that she lost that Spd with not-Fire magic she had with AM. She ended up mastering all the infantry magic classes and in her role didn't really need to expand to other classes.

Mercedes does a support role well even without Warp and unlike Linhart I can see her surviving combat and fighting halfway decently. I'm going to rate her 6.5/10.

Edited by Dayni

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5/10 (Maddening)

Not great, but not awful. Perfectly mediocre.

Mercedes is arguably one of the best healers in the game- but I consider her this low because that is almost all she has.

Lets start with stats. 10 + 50% magic is pretty good, honestly. 9+ 45% res is nice, and 8 + 40% charm/speed is neat too. Her defence and HP, similar to most mages, are poor, and she will usually get one-rounded. This, in turn, makes using her personal skill pretty damn hard outside of the early early game- which is a shame because its honestly the one thing she has that no other healer can replicate.

Her spell list isn't really anything super unique- physic at C faith is great and all, but her lower faith rank compared to the other 2 house healers leaves a lot to be desired, for chapter 2 at least. Having no physic for that map sounds like a pain, but I admittedly don't know how much of an issue this is for Blue Lions, considering if any house can do this map with less healing it would be them. Restore at B is situationally useful and nice to have, but its not a massive boon or anything. And I also consider her A rank faith spell, Fortify, to be situational- it sounds nice on paper, but I've rarely seen a need for it even on Maddening. Her reason list is similarly unspectacular- Ragnarok is the only truly noteworthy lategame spell, but her speed isn't high enough to double on maddening and her magic is very unlikely to get her OHKOs, so she provides magical chip, but that's about it. 

Her learned abilities and arts may as well not exist- I'm still waiting for somebody to tell me that they've found a good use for battalion renewal (honestly i don't know why i bother mentioning it at this point) and the only unique art she learns is Waning Shot from her budding talent, which is... ok. You'd probably rather she heal than attack and debuff an enemy, but its something.

So overall there's not a lot thats special to her. Her physic access is worse than the other two healers because of her base D faith, and honestly if I want a Fortify user I'll use Flayn (both for character reasons and her bonus access to Rescue). Her combat prowess might be better than Linhardt's, for example, but its still unremarkable as a whole. Honestly if we were taking into account other routes I might rank her lower, but since she is the dedicated Blue Lions healer she's certainly worth using on that route at least. I think she's worth a 5/10 for her overall performance.

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Of the four dedicated healers in the game (Lindhardt, Mercedes, Marianne, and Flayn), Mercedes is easily my favorite to use, even on Maddening.  And considering the importance of healing in Three Houses, and your main party will likely want one dedicated healer in it due to the potential damage output on Maddening.  Some may argue that other mages in the game can function as healers sufficiently enough, but I'm more skeptical.  Lysithea, Annette, and Hubert all lack Physic, the primary healing spell for the game, and are all better served by being in offensive magic classes instead of Bishop (the endgame class for healers).  Dorothea does have Physic, but her low magic lessens her ability as a healer, and requiring her to heal every turn would be a waste of her Reason spell list.

My point in this is that the healers really don't need to be compared to most of the other units in the game, instead they just need to be compared to each other in the role of healing.  And I think Mercedes is the best of them.  The stats for all the healers are roughly the same, so there is no edge there.  The differences come in the spell lists and the boons.  Flayn lacks Phsyic, which frankly disqualifies her from being a competent healer no matter what else she has.  The Faith lists for the remaining three are fairly similar except for their A rank spells.  And for a healer, Mercedes' is the most valuable.  Warp is all well and good, but I was never interested in skipping entire maps in this game so I never got anything besides niche use out of it.  And Abraxas just isn't worth it.  Fortify is a great failsafe to have access to, particularly if you end up using some of the weaker units in the game and end up needing a bit more healing.

And additional benefit that Mercedes has is her (relative) proficiency in Reason.  She and Lindhardt are the only two healers who start with boons in both Faith and Reason, and Mercedes' Reason spell list is better than Lindhardt's.  The party's dedicated healer likely won't have tons of opportunities to attack, in the situation Mercedes is probably you best option.  And as one last point, Mercedes' personal ability is probably the most useful out of any of the healers in the game as well.  I would not expect my healer to get into combat often, but it isn't unheard of to draw out an attack from a magic user to their typically high resistance.  In that case, Mercedes' personal ability is actually useful, as it lets her heal herself while healing another unit, while the personal abilities of the other healers are effectively worthless.

Taking into account Mercedes gets graded on a bit of a sliding scale due to being a great healer, I'd give her an 8/10 overall.  She's typically the healer I want on Maddening, and almost always is in my party for important missions.

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Mercedes is one of the game's premier magic units, and the best healer by a lot.

The good: Mercedes's strengths as a magical unit can be boiled down to two things: her stats, and her healing abilities. First, her overall stats, which for whatever reason just look better than those of the other 6 student mages. The other mages have 7 base speed (except Linhardt who has 5); she has 8 (although her growth is average at 40%). Disregarding Lorenz (who has some obvious disadvntages as a mage), her bulk is clearly best in class, too: 25+30% HP trails only Dorothea, 5+25% def is (sadly) the best, 9+45% res is also the best (along with Linhardt). Her charm of 8+40% is also the best (along with Dorothea) among mages, which makes her a great wielder of the powerful Resonant series of gambits. The only knock on her stat build is that she "only" has 10+50% magic, but seeing as she gets Ragnarok, she's highly competitive for power anyway; from the time she hits A reason, she will trail only Lysithea for spell damage, as well as Hubert during Master tier only, and Hanneman (barely) if the latter catches up on the masteries of Monk and Mage.

The other place Mercedes shines is her healing ability, which is due to three tools: Physic, Fortify, and Live to Serve. Physic, of course, is basically a prerequisite to being considered a good healer in this game. Fortify is "what if Physic healed 7 more HP but also could hit multiple targets?"; its utility is unmatched when you're trying to maintain multiple fronts at once. Live to Serve is a very underrated personal ability. Coupled with her good bulk, Mercedes is a great choice to take hits (she can absorb incredible amounts of magical punishment and usually one physical enemy as well, even on Maddening) and then she can heal herself for free when she heals someone else. She simply allows far more flexibility than her competition when it comes to managing your party's HP. It can be a tough decision whether to go Bishop or Warlock with Mercedes, since she's both a great healer and a good attacker (the DLC hasn't made the Advanced choice any easier).

The less good: While Mercedes can certainly bring solid magical offence when outfitted with the usual mage tools (Fiendish Blow, a +mag battalion, and a selection of accessories), she lacks two things that would make her better at it. One is a three-range spell, which limits her targeting compared to some. The other is a magical combat art, making her bow talent largely a trap; only Linhardt also lacks a magical combat art among the student mages. So while her offence is good specifically at range 2 (plus Caduceus and/or Thyrsus), other mages outdo her at range 1 and obviously at Thoron/Mire range. This is particularly noteworthy because both Dorothea and Marianne, who also have Physic, have both those advantages she lacks.

Overall, though, she's very good at what she does. If I'm running very few mages, I want Mercedes because she's a better one-woman healer than anyone else available. If I'm running lots of mages, I probably still want her, because she's a versatile mage good at both magical offence and healing. I go back and forth on whether Dorothea or her is the best mage; the same score of 8/10 works.

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Ahh Mercedes. I'll tip my hat in here because I feel she can be a bit divisive in terms of how people rank her performance.

Whenever I play through 3H I limit myself to 2 recruits per house. Mercedes is one of the two every time from Blue Lions. Her healing and magic ability is just that good. Sure she's not the overwhelming powerhouse that Lysithea is, but she has far more bulk in order to make up for it. Also, unlike Lysithea, her good magic and access to physic means that her movement isn't really an issue. Lysithea has to rely on Thyrsus if she wants to keep up (or some other movement booster). She makes a wonderful res tank to boot, which is something I've noticed my standard team builds... kinda need. So yeah.

I rate Mercedes an 8/10 with a +1 for bias because I love her character lol.

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8/10, Mercedes is a great dedicated healer. Physic and Fortify are godsends, and having a healer is naturally really important. Her reason spell list isn’t the greatest I’ll admit, and even though she should be healing most turns (she should be made into a bishop ASAP imo), she can be quite competent with a magic bow in her hands, I have found, since has nice magic and dexterity. Her resistance is also quite good, like most magic units, and her speed and charm certainly aren’t anything to scoff at. Her HP and defense are lacking of course, like most healers, but she doesn’t have to be close to enemy range due to physic and her high magic. She doesn’t break the game or anything, but she has great healing and res, so 8/10.

She’s also one of the best girls but I don’t want to give a point for that

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Mercedes is a fantastic healer. She has Physic, Restore, and Fortify, so she gets all of the healing done. Her Crest has a chance of conserving her heal spells, but that isn’t very necessary. The only downside is that she doesn’t have support spells like Warp, but that gives other units some use.

She only has Waning Shot as a combat art, which I guess is decent to allow one of you other unit to not take too much damage when initiating on a foe. She doesn’t have any long range magic, but she can still do some good chip. Her resistance is really good so she can sponge some magical hits if needed. 

For classes she mainly wants Bishop, but she can get away with Warlock and Gremory. From my experience playing you won’t always need to heal, so her being able to use a turn to attack is pretty nice. I haven’t done it yet, but she can be a decent magic bow sniper. 

My Rating: 7.5/10. +0.1 for being best friends with Annette, so 7.6/10.

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I'm pretty surprised with the ratings she's getting so far, I've always kind of perceived her as the "best" healer in the game. I really like Mercedes and she is pretty valuable to have on the battlefield, as a healer should be.

The good:
Being a designated healer, her stats stand out in magic. She has 10+50% in magic, 9+45% in resistance, and 6+50% in dex. She also has an 8+40% in charm, which is surprisingly good. These are all respectable and serve her well being a healing mage as she can heal a good chunk of HP and take a magic hit pretty well. Her magic falls short to Annette or Hubert (not even gonna compare to Lysithea LOL), but will surpass that of Linhardt and Dorothea in the long run. Being primarily a healer, it's no question that her skill proficiencies lie only in Reason and Faith and is tied with Bernadetta for having the most banes. However, I find that her banes in Swords, Lances, Axes, and Heavy Armor to be completely irrelevant as she is more than likely--if not always--going to be in a magic class. It's also worth noting that she has a budding talent in bows, which unlocks Waning Shot. An okay combat art, but it suits her magic image well (healing+bows=hoshido priestess tbh HAHA). It's just as a pure healer, she won't have much use for it. Next, I'll be going into her biggest strength which is her spell list, more specifically her Faith spell list. Her Reason spell list is good, not great--and actually it's identical to Byleth's. But her Faith spell list is where she really stands out. She possesses pretty much every single healing spell in the game: Physic, Restore, and Fortify. Physic is a given, no need to explain LOL. But Restore and Fortify definitely have it's uses. Albeit very situational, but still very helpful otherwise. And with her great magic stat, she can cover some range with these spells even if she stays in the backlines. Also, her crest allows her to conserve healing magic uses, which can come in handy. It's 10% proc rate is really low though and isn't reliable. It's just a nice surprise when it does activate HAHA. Having all of these spells means she will be of use during every turn proving her worth as a sole support unit.

The bad:
Mercedes excels as a support unit/healer. However, this comes at the cost of combat prowess--which is what she really lacks. As I mentioned, her twin-spell list with Byleth is subpar as it lacks any 3-range options as well has having few uses. And despite having a good growth in magic, her damage output won't be as hefty as Annette's. I do have to admit, with her magic growth she does have potential to be quite a potent offensive mage. Also, she suffers from poor survivability with 5+25% defense and 30+25% HP. Unless it's a mage that's hitting her, she won't be able to take more than a hit or two. She's got more than Lysithea, but still it's not good enough to survive on her own. Her 8+40% speed isn't too bad though. And even though she enjoys a great Faith spell list of healing magic, she does lack any other type of support outside of healing. She doesn't have Warp or Rescue or anything so she won't be doing much other than healing. I did plug Stride onto her, so that she can do more than just heal. Also, her lance weakness hinders her from reaching Holy Knight or Dark Knight if ever you want to take her down that path (Holy Knight is next to useless to her as she lacks any offensive Faith spells other than Nosferatu). Lastly, I feel like her personal skill leaves much more to be desired. Yeah, it's great she can self heal, but more than likely she shouldn't be taking damage. It won't really do much for her unless there's damaging terrain or she was in range of a gambit or a beast's attack.

EDIT: Oh, I forgot her relic. A relic so irrelevant that I completely forgot about it LOL. With Caspar in your party, you unlock her paralogue that nets you the Rafail Gem, which nullifies effective damage and prevents enemies from critting. While it may seem useful in writing, it's completely useless on Mercedes who should never see combat. It may be more useful on your fliers to eliminate their weakness to bows--Ingrid being a good example as she is a designated Pegasus Knight in the same house as Mercedes and has a crest. However, her paralogue as a story is worth noting as it provides some very useful insight on not just Mercedes' backstory, but for the whole game's story as well.

Overall, I give her a solid 8.5/10. She is built to be a pure healer and nothing else, with a great Faith spell list consisting of only healing magic. However, she does lack support outside of healing and is fairly inept at combat if ever you needed to use her for that. Regardless, she is a great and useful unit to have on the battlefield.

Edited by Tenma

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Mercie’s Ok. That’s all I’ve got to say on her character. And yes, I type her name as Merie most of the time, as it’s faster than typing than Mercedes. Onward, to the stats!

     Skill Levels:      E+ Reason and D Faith is good, especially with a Boon in both. Her Talent in Bows is nearly useless, unless you want a Meme-built Sniper Mercie with a Hunter’s Volleyed Magic Bow. Her banes in Sword, Lance, Axe, and Armor are mostly irrelevant. As a side note, she only has +3 Ranks over E in everything. Compare that to everyone else in the game. Odd, right?

     Abilities:     Live to Serve is one of the better Personals in Three Houses, given that it will keep Mercie well healed. Battalion Renewal is useless. Enough said.

     Arts:     The only Art Mercie gets is from her Talent: Waning Shot. It’s more or less useless.

     Magic:     Mercedes’ Reason list is Fire at D, Thunder D+, Bolganone at C, and Ragnarok at A. Not greatly impressive, but useable. Her Faith list is her bread and butter: Heal at D, Nosfetatu D+, Physic C, Restore B, and Fortify A. Aside from lacking Rescue or Warp, this is the best Faith list in the game.

     Stats:      10+50% Magic and 8+40% Speed makes her a good Healer and spare Mage. 6+45% Dexterity is of little use. 9+45% Resistance makes her a Magic Tank, as expected from a healer. With 25+30% HP and 5+25% Defense, Mercie is very squishy, also as expected. 5+30% Luck is not the best. 8+40% Charm isn’t bad, but she shouldn’t be in gambit range if you know what you’re doing.

     Classes:     Beginner- Monk

Intermidiate- Mage for Fiendish Blow then Priest for the Healing

Advanced- Bishop for the enhanced Healing capabilities.

Master- Not advised, but if you want a Master-Classed Mercedes, then it’s Gremory or nothing.

          The Verdict

Best Healer in the game, hands down. The Rafail Gem is put to much better use by Mounted or Flying units than a back-line healer. Aside from the occasional Chip, Mercedes should only ever be healing. If we were rating her based on her niche, she would be 10/10. But we’re not. Comparing her to everyone else is just plain unfair. But we are. Assuming you use her for her intended purposes, she deserves a 8/10.

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Mercedes, assessed on AM Maddening

The bad

Mercedes does very poorly in the "armor knight" stats: HP is (25+0.30x), Strength is (6+0.25x), and Defense is (5+0.25x). Her Luck is weirdly low, too, at (5+0.30x). In terms of proficiencies, she has banes in all three melee weapon types, as well as Armor. As such, Armor Knight certification, Death Blow, and Weight-3 will take a lot for her to achieve - then again, she's perhaps the least physically-inclined unit in the game. As for magical classes, a Sword weakness makes Mortal Savant nigh-unattainable, while Dark/Holy Knight is achievable, but it takes more effort (on top of lengthy Riding training). And unlike other magic specialists (Lysithea, Dorothea, Annette), she has no magic combat arts of note. Finally, her Reason list is rather plain, with no spells beyond 2-range. And she starts out only able to provide 5 Heals per map, before learning either Fire or Nosferatu.

The good

Apart from what I've stated already, Mercie is a "model mage". Her Magic (10+0.50x) and Resistance (9+0.45x) are stellar, while her Speed and Charm (8+0.40x) are both pretty solid. In terms of proficiencies, she starts with boons in Reason and Faith. Fiendish Blow is easily attainable, and she can work as a Bishop, Warlock, or Gremory. She also has a budding talent in Bows - so Hit+20 is attainable, if you're willing to let her spend some time without spells. Still, I don't necessarily see training her in Bows as worth it, outside of a weird "Magic Bow Sniper" build. As for spells, her Reason list (fire spells plus Thunder) is boring, but fairly deep. And her Faith list includes some gems - Physic, Restore, and Fortify. As such, Bishop goes great with her - doubling her count of healing spells, and providing Heal+10. In theory, her personal synergizes with a healing role, but I've rarely found "Live to Serve" to make much of a difference on her. One more thing - her minor Crest of Lamine is a 10% chance to preserve a cast of recovery magic. And it means she gets Pavise and Aegis (plus the innate crit immunity) from the Rafail Gem. Although personally, I prefer Thyrsus or Caduceus on Mercie, and the Gem on a crested Flier (say Seteth, or Ingrid), to negate their Bow weakness.

The verdict

Mercedes doesn't work as a physical unit, and she has no magical combat arts that could make those classes work. On the magical side, though, she performs quite well. She has one of the best Faith lists in the game, and is perhaps the best pure healer around. She can tank enemy magic users, deliver accurate magical gambits, and double slower foes. And while her offensive spells are boring, she can hit pretty damn hard with them. Overall, I'm comfortable rating Mercedes a out of 10.

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On the plus side, Mercedes is the best dedicated healer in the game. On the minus side, dedicated healer is not a role that I value.

If you try to build someone whose only role is to heal then they end up sitting around like a lemon on turns when you don't have anyone damaged. Which is less than ideal. Now, this is something of a playstyle thing; I know some people are happy to say that if they have a turn where their healer is idle then that means they're doing well so can afford to have a wasted turn and I can't say that they're wrong. For me, though, I hate having to do that, so I mostly like to go for characters and builds that can heal when needed and do other stuff when not. Happily for Mercedes, her offense is OK. Bolganone at C and Ragnarok at A and a magic stat of 10+50 isn't going to win any prizes, but it is serviceable chip damage at the least.

Her crest is largely irrelevant given how rarely she's going to be running out of spell uses anyway, and she's not likely to be taking enough hits for the crest effects of the Rafail Gem to matter. Magic Bow Sniper is absolutely a legit build once you get to it, but it takes too long to come online to count for much. It's possible as a pivot for Mercedes if you start her off as a healer but want to move away from that role as you recruit more units and grab more versatile builds, but probably not recommended.

Overall, I give her 5.5/10.

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Most people generally agree Blue Lions is the best House for taking on Maddening, Mercedes and Annette were always the units that gave me pause before agreeing. Her starting skill levels and proficiencies are not good. And she has Dorothea-tier level 1 performance on account of lacking either Fire or even Nosferatu. From what I remember, she's the one unit in the game that I considered a wasted deployment slot for Chapter 1, since you need all the damage you can get, even when playing that map in the cheesiest way. Thank god healing gives respectable experience on Maddening and her starting house has only the one other mage to fight over that free exp. Hell, Annette is nowhere near Heal at the start, so Mercedes is left with a lot of work to do in BL early game. I assume you have the time to grab Fire by Chapter 2, but it slows down your acquisition of Physic since unlike Marianne and Linhardt her starting faith is only D, not D+. I'm mad at her weapon proficiencies being so bad, because even though I don't always do it, especially in a playthrough where excessive grinding strategies are off the table (in this thread they ARE on the table), I still want the option of classing into something physical to get some free stats - notably in strength so that tome weight isn't such of an hindrance on AS. As is, her only option is archer which provides no noteworthy base stats. It also makes Dark Knight an even more out of the way acquisition, but I'd only ever have her in Bishop anyway. Having the hardest time getting into armor knight is also a pain, because house units I feel like benching always end up in that class so they can still contribute as guard adjutants with special ally bonuses. Mercedes becoming Jeritza's guard adjutant sounds especially enticing though I guess isn't an option since we're ranking based on Blue Lions performance. And her becoming Annette's adjutant feels like a non-answer since Annette will either become a rally bot (who shouldn't be getting into fights) or a flier (who can't use guard adjutants to begin with). The only option left is using Annette as a straightforward mage which is just...no.

Her personal skill sounds very good in a vacuum, but I can't imagine a scenario where I'm having her taking damage to begin with. No magic combat art is dull and so is her Reason list. Ragnarok can be nice, but I'd prefer it at B rather than several chapters later at A. Having a magic combat art would have given you a quicker "nuke spell" in her loadout so she could contribute beyond the occassional chip damage fire spell. Yeah she lacks three range, but at least they remembered to give her reason proficiency (looking at you, Marianne) to reach those spells probably sometime after the time skip or sooner if you ignore the possibility or raising anything beyond faith/reason. And really what else does she have that's worth tutoring for? Physic/Restore/Fortify is definitely one of the better faith loadouts, only a tier behind the likes of Linhardt and Flayn. Mercedes isn't ever useless, but unlike Caspar being outclassed by recruit punchy boys and Alois, or Ashe being outclassed by recruit archers and Shamir, I can't just say "well you can never have too many gauntlets or snipers". I 100% can say you have too many mages in Maddening mode. And I feel like I can only be somewhat generous to Mercedes on account of having so little competition from the other mage in her house that her early game performance feels consistently vital. There's nothing really keeping me from wanting Mercedes long term, but also no reason prompting me to bench her besides "I want your deployment slot for somebody else"

I rank Mercedes a 4.5 out of 10. I generally prefer Flayn, who is free, Or Linhardt, who is a low maintenance recruit with better utility along with being your primary healer. But you can certainly fit as many as two mages on your roster. Somebody like Mercedes really helps justify dedicated combat mages like Lysithea or even (blegh) Annette, I would just prefer somebody packing Rescue/Warp in that same roster slot. By the way I'm surprised at how people value fortify. Back when I played the game, most users seemed to consider it a gimmick. "Physic but with less range and uses". I'm happy to see people treat it seriously as a source of heavy duty group healing. Having that spell on the team helps you justify getting multiple guys hurt on multiple fronts, and it scales better into late game than just the standard physic because HP pools don't stick around 30-40 forever. But I'm also concerned it's just because she also has access to physic and people won't be so generous when we get to Flayn. 

Edited by Glennstavos

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Now we get to quite possibly one of the sweetest people you'll meet that'll be more than happy to bake you sweets. This is assuming hard.

Mercedes. Mercie is the so called "ultimate white mage" for the Blue Lions. Someone who is very religious and very kind brings something interesting to the table. Her minor Crest of Lamine grants her a 10% chance to conserve uses of recovery magic. Sometimes that can nice but not something you would be banking on working. She starts off with a 25 HP with a pretty low growth of 30%. Her magic stat of 10 with a 50% growth is her best trait by far. Her 9 resistance with a 45% growth stat is also worth noting that she can take a hit from a mage at least. Her charm stat of 8 with a 40% isn't too bad either. Everything else about her is either below average or frail. As you would expect from a healer. Her ability Live to Serve feels pointless at first glance. This gives her back the HP she heals for another ally. It's not bad on paper, but in practice it feels unnecessary because a smart player will make sure Mercie is not in any danger of being hit. However if you're using DLC and you give her the HP +7 boost item, then you can use her as a meat shield and then someone else takes a hit and she can heal said hurt ally and herself essentially for free.

She doesn't really have any combat arts worth noting. She has a bane in swords, lances, axes and heavy armor. These really limit her options. However she does have a budding talent in bows. That would unlock Waning Shot. The -5 strength debuff sounds nice in theory but this would only be nice if she wielding a Magic Bow at bow rank B. It's not really you would relaly want to do with her. Her boons in reason and faith are to be expected for a healer. Now people have pointed out that her starting off with a faith rank D is a problem because she wouldn't be able to learn Physic before chapter 2. This does one on the one hand put you at a disadvantage every on because of her needing to be close to her allies to heal as opposed to be far away. So you really need to be good with vulneraries if you want to get by it. Or of course, give her the HP +7 DLC item like I mentioned and you can get further use of Live to Serve. She does start off her reason at E+ so she can get Fire pretty much immediately. She gets Physic at faith rank C, restore at rank B then fortify at rank A. Once she gets Physic by at least chapter 3 she should be good to go. Restore is nice for dealing with being rattled by battalions and Fortify people seem to be split on but I find it to be useful. It's a nice niche she possess that allows you to be a bit more daring at the front lines and her being able to heal pretty everyone similar to Flayn can be pretty clutch. For others, it feels like something that really isn't a big deal because she doesn't have any utility like Warp or Rescue. 

Her class path easily is monk then mage if you want magic +2 and fiendish blow respectively. She can go priest afterwards in case you need another intermediate class for her to go to. Miracle is not exactly worth learning but if you're lucky *wink wink* it can be a lifesaver. Miracle allows you to survive an otherwise fatal blow with 1 HP left pending on your luck stat. Luck is the last thing people tend to care about because it's only really good for crit and crit avoid. Her best option is Bishop imo. Bishop allows her to fully embrace her role as a healer. 2x of white magic and 10+ HP heals are the best selling points. This amps the potency of Heal, Physic and Fortify. Gremory is another good option by having 2x of all magic. Her reason spell list aside Fire consist of Thunder, Bolganone and Raganrok. Not a bad spell list but they lack range. You could give her the Caduceus Staff if you want a little heal every turn and a +1 spell range. Or Thyrsus staff for the 2+ spell range. But generally speaking The Thyrsus is usually better on someone else. Warlock is another option for her if you would rather use black tomefaire. 

Finally she gets her own Hero's Relic, The Rafail gem. This allows her to be immune to critical hits as well as attacks that are especially effective cavalry or flier units. You need Caspar in your party to access her paralogue in part 2 on a non Crimson Flower route. And Caspar needs to defeat the Death Knight to get his weapon as well. She would from there be able to be a Valkyrie or Dark Flier if you want her to use her magics and then runt to safety thanks to Canto.

Overall, I feel Mercedes is a 7/10 unit. Her niche as a Physic and Fortify user can be useful in a pinch, but she does have a pretty rough start which would discourage anyone starting off with her. But eventually she does find her footing once you get her out of the blocks. Plus who wouldn't want someone to always be there baking you cookies and sweets?

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Hmmm... 6/10. This makes me sad. She's such a sweet character, but I'm not a huge fan of dedicated healers in this game. She's more focused on healing over utility or offense compared to some of the other mages. I like her massive Physic range and Restore to recover from enemy gambits. Fortify, can be situational. Doing a run without her, I don't find it essential. 

Edited by ruruo

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3 hours ago, Glennstavos said:

But I'm also concerned it's just because she also has access to physic and people won't be so generous when we get to Flayn. 

Ya ask me, having Rescue over Physic is a flat-out losing trade. Especially since Rescue only has a range of Mag/4, which combined with the low movement of magic classes means she'd be hard-pressed to find a situation where Rescue can be put to use.

3 hours ago, Glennstavos said:

Linhardt, who is a low maintenance recruit

>Linhardt
>Low maintenance recruit

Explain. 

As to Mercedes, I give her an 8/10. Not much for me to say that hasn't been said already.

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47 minutes ago, Shadow Mir said:

>Linhardt
>Low maintenance recruit

Explain. 

I mean he's a low maintenance unit that you could recruit. Obviously his skill requirement is not worth going for, and you would go for the B support method instead.

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39 minutes ago, Glennstavos said:

I mean he's a low maintenance unit that you could recruit. Obviously his skill requirement is not worth going for, and you would go for the B support method instead.

The only real reason why I'd go out of my way to grab Linhardt is the paralogue he shares with Leonie, tbf.

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9 minutes ago, Shadow Mir said:

The only real reason why I'd go out of my way to grab Linhardt is the paralogue he shares with Leonie, tbf.

Today's unit is Mercedes.

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2 minutes ago, Glennstavos said:

Today's unit is Mercedes.

I know, and I already rated her. I was just saying that, as Warp, which is the only thing Linhardt has over her, comes off as rather niche.

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One thing I did miss is that @Glennstavos pointed out, and I agree that it's a legit disadvantage, is that it's annoying that Mercedes has so many banes in "physical" skills - she has a harder time getting Weight-3 (a nice skill for mages since they're often weighed down otherwise) or certify for random physical classes for a str/def boost. Only Lysithea is in nearly as bad a boat in this regard as far as the student mages are concerned (and at least she has budding talent sword to get help her way to Assassin if you want). Hanneman and Flayn joining with a bunch of E's

Fortify is cool! I remember thinking it was extremely overpowered in Echoes (albeit late); the range limit on this game makes it not quite as good but still very nice to have for action economy. Though for what it's worth, I expect people won't be as generous to Flayn because I imagine a lot of us probably value Physic more than Rescue, and also because Mercedes doesn't join at E reason, E authority, and no Draw Back in chapter 7. But that's a story for another thread, probably in a couple weeks.

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6 hours ago, Barren said:

Finally she gets her own Hero's Relic, The Rafail gem. This allows her to be immune to critical hits as well as attacks that are especially effective cavalry or flier units. You need Caspar in your party to access her paralogue in part 2 on a non Crimson Flower route. And Caspar needs to defeat the Death Knight to get his weapon as well. She would from there be able to be a Valkyrie or Dark Flier if you want her to use her magics and then runt to safety thanks to Canto.

Just want to note - the instructions for the ratings thread explicitly specify "no DLC". Not to say that it's necessarily wrong to mention items or classes exclusive to the DLC, so long as they don't affect the final ranking. For my part, I used Valkyrie into Dark Knight Mercedes on my latest (SS Maddening) playthrough, and was very much satisfied with her.

1 hour ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

Fortify is cool! I remember thinking it was extremely overpowered in Echoes (albeit late); the range limit on this game makes it not quite as good but still very nice to have for action economy. Though for what it's worth, I expect people won't be as generous to Flayn because I imagine a lot of us probably value Physic more than Rescue, and also because Mercedes doesn't join at E reason, E authority, and no Draw Back in chapter 7. But that's a story for another thread, probably in a couple weeks.

For my part, I've somewhat soured on Fortify. Three Houses features a lot of skills (Wrath, Vantage, Desperation, all the Defiants, Bernadetta and Balthus' personals) that rely on having lowered HP - plus the Vengeance combat art. Anyone who needs to keep their HP low will have to stay outside of the Fortify range - which gets harder to do, the higher the healer's magic. And on Maddening, I'll only have a couple units in enemy range at player phase's end, who can either reliably dodge or outlast the damage. So it's rare that I'll have more than a couple units who need healing imminently, especially in the lategame. Which means I usually get more use out of the "surgical" Physic, versus the "Blunt Instrument" Fortify.

But hey, mine's not the only way to play. And Mercedes certainly enjoys having both as options.

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Yeah, that's fair. Personally I consider that more a weakness of those skills than a weakness of Fortify (as my relative ratings of Mercedes vs Dedue/Bernadetta probably show!), but it is something worth keeping in mind.

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