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Rate the Unit-Three Houses, Day 23: Marianne

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Welp, your usual hosts both haven’t posted and it’s been quite a while since the usual times so I suppose I’ll do it again!


- 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.



Dimtri: 9.14

Edelgard: 9.00

Claude: 8.977

Felix: 8.625 

Lysithea: 8.472

Petra: 8.34

Ferdinand: 7.78

Sylvain: 7.66

Ingrid: 7.34

Hilda: 7.31

Bernadetta: 7.125

Linhardt: 7.11

Mercedes: 6.756

Dorothea: 6.375

Dedue: 5.8571

Annette: 5.5375

Hubert: 5.525

Ignatz: 4.88

Caspar: 4.32

Lorenz: 3.8077

Raphael: 3.7273

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: 6.82

Average score for Golden Deer: 6.1956


Day 23: Marianne

Edited by Sooks1016

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Marianne's another very solid magical unit for the Golden Deer. I go back and forth on which one is better between her and Lysithea.

The good: The best thing about Marianne is her one-two punch of Physic and Thoron, with Silence getting an honourable mention. Physic, as usual, immediately vaults her into the camp of having excellent healing utility, with how good that spell is. And Thoron is, as always, by far the best black spell to pick up at reason C, having both the highest power at that tier and an extra point of range, which allows both more targetting options and better linked attack support for her allies. And Silence, at B faith, is useful because of its huge range. Being able to turn off an enemy mage for a turn can make certain formations easier to bait, and is a great way to approach a siege tome user.

She's also got a pair of magical combat arts: either Frozen Lance through the Budding Talent, or Soulblade through C+ in swords (and eventually Beast Fang, a Soulblade variant which hits weakness on dragons, although the other CAs will outperform it against cavalry with Rapier or Horseslayer). If you're willing to trade in her utility, she can do some pretty serious damage (11+50% magic helps) as an Assassin, Paladin, or Falcon Knight, and she makes a versatile-as-heck Mortal Savant. Her boons in faith, swords, lances, riding, and flying give her easy access to a surprisingly large array of classes, depending on what you want her to do.

Her magic, res, and charm are good. 8+45% res only barely trails Linhardt and Mercedes, and her 7+40% charm only barely trails Dorothea and Mercedes.

The less good: Marianne is pretty close to exactly what I want out of a mage in this game, but has one glaring weakness: being only neutral in Reason. This slows her acquisition of Thoron (C) and Cutting Gale (B)... the latter would not normally deserve note, except that she's stuck with Blizzard at D, so Cutting Gale is her first spell with more than 75 hit (i.e. she has shaky accuracy before she reaches Mage). It also makes it more difficult for her to certify as Warlock (IMO the clear winner of the non-DLC mage classes at advanced tier, though at least Bishop boosts her Physic by 10). And finally, it prevents or at best greatly delays her from getting Black Magic Range+1, eroding the advantage of her Thoron later in the game (as a consolation, she can get Move+1 more easily).

Her physical durability is relatively poor even for a mage (beating only Lysithea and arguably Linhardt, the latter due to speed); 4+15% def is tied for second worst with Dorothea, who has better HP.

Other: She's definitely significantly helped by the DLC. Being strong in riding and flying helps offset being only neutral in Reason when it comes to certifying for Dark Flier or Valkyrie. The other drawbacks of being Reason neutral remain, unfortunately.

I think Marianne loses to Dorothea and Mercedes because I think their Meteor and Fortify are each better than Silence, and they aren't Reason neutral. But she's another very good PC in their mold, and as such she finishes close behind them at 7/10 (Maddening).

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8.5/10, Marianne is a magical unit who has great potential in support and offense, a rare combo in Three Houses. She has great growths in magic, resistance, and charm, a pretty good growth in speed, and poorer growths in defense and HP. Her spell list gives her access to physic, the only thing you really need to be a good healer other than magic (which she has) and Thoron, which is three range and thus very nice, although might not have very many uses until a later tier depending on what you’re doing with her. She also learns aura and silence, aura gives her insane damage output (you’re gonna read that a lot) for its few uses and silence is nice utility that.... silences. The rest of her reason list is pretty good, she has the nuke spell fimbulvetr, and if you don’t want to deal with its hit issues or have some crit, she has cutting gale (she also starts off with blizzard, for whatever that’s worth). Where her offense really shines is in her swords and lances. At C+ swords she learns soul blade, a sword combat art that scales off res, and unlocking her budding talent in lances gives her frozen lance, a lance combat art that scales off dexterity, with the former being a very good stat for her and the latter being pretty great as well, and both of these attacks will get boosted by her crest of the beast, which raises might when she attacks with a weapon, and activates fairly often as a major crest, for just a little cherry on top. She also has an exclusive combat art, beat fang, when using her relic, blutgang, that’s very good as well, although has to be used sparingly because relics have barely any uses. You shouldn’t have her charge in to the enemy and delete someone every player phase though, because she is very squishy. It is worth noting that she is only neutral in reason, but she should really go in to a faith oriented class instead imo because if you need her to be attacking that badly she can always delete things with soul blade or frozen lance, but her access to physic, aura, and the occasional silence are very very good, so definitely go faith for more uses out of those if you want a magic class. However, it does matter for her early game damage output, as unless you teach her lances as much as possible for three sessions in a row, she will be waiting til C+ in swords or A in faith for deletion potential, and her only source of average damage is her reason spells (imagine using nosferatu lol) and she will be stuck with blizzard, which has some very big hit issues, until C rank reason, which again, she is neutral in, where she will learn cutting gale, somewhat gimping her early game damage (she should get physic pretty fast though). Her personal ability is okay, btw.

TL;DR She’s a player phase nuke who can delete one or two enemies (if danced) per player phase who is also a great healer thanks to physic and high magic, although pretty frail physically and her early game damage isn’t the best.

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Marianne is one of the more interesting units in the game from an evaluation standpoint.  She might be the unit from the base game that benefits the most from the DLC classes, but for the purposes of this exercise those classes are to be ignored.  Despite that, Marianne has a pair of viable pathways available to her, even on Maddening.

Marianne is the designated healer for the Golden Deer, and as such has a very solid Faith list, including Silence for some extra utility.   Along with the expected boon in Faith, Marianne also has a boon in riding, which useful for quickly getting the Movement+1 ability in the Riding proficiency progression.  The combination of Silence and easy access to Movement+1 makes Marianne a favorite choice for Dancer.  She does get a Hero's Relic, Blutgang, but I'd honestly rather just use a Levin Sword in most cases over it. 

Marianne can serve as a respectable mage as well, though not as good as other options in the base game.  Marianne's stats are all around solid for mage, but not remarkable anywhere.  She has a crest, but it's application isn't particularly relevant for a mage.  Marianne lacks a reason boon, or any potential to gain a reason boon over the course of the game, which makes getting to S/S+ tier reason by the end of the game challenging.  Her Reason spell list is good, having access to some high crit% spells and Thoron, but has a concerning point.  Specifically, the first two spells she learns, Blizzard and Thoron, are both low accuracy spells.  In the early game, when mages are often one of the more reliable sources of damage, Marianne's attacks are much less reliable than other mages at landing.  That weakness is greatly aided by Uncanny Blow in the DLC, but for this list the accuracy issues are a valid concern.

I usually end up using Marianne as my Dancer, so I can't rank her too poorly overall.  As a pure mage, she'd probably rank somewhere in the 4-6 range along with Hubert and Lindhardt for me, which is fine but wouldn't normally crack my lineup on her own.  Overall, I'll give her a 7.5/10.

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Marianne is a pretty versatile unit, she can do well in a bunch of class. She starts of as your Golden Deer healer, but can she do more than just be a dedicated healer. 

She has strong combat arts in Soulblade and Frozen Lance. Soulblade doing more damage off of her Resistance is nice because her Res growth is high. Then Frozen Lance comes off of higher might Lances. Beast Fang from Blutgang is pretty strong too. 

For spells she has Physic and Silence in her Faith list. Thoron is nice from her Reason list. Unfortunately she is neutral in Reason, so getting those higher ranks take a while. Most of her other spells have low base accuracy so taking a while to get Reason Level 5 hurts, of course there is Hit+20 from mastering Archer if you want to do that. And I really like Edmund Troops, giving +40 Hit. She probably won’t be the one equipping it, but it’s nice to have.

For classes she does well in a bunch of them, even some that are rated lowly. Her standard line is Bishop, heal and hit hard with her combat arts. Mortal Savant isn’t too bad with Swordfaire for her Soulblade. Holy Knight is pretty cool, extra damage on Aura. She has really good Res so she can tank and get use out of Dark Flier’s Transmute skill. Then she can also get Uncanny Blow from Valkyrie. You can also use Falcon Knight for the Lancefaire with Frozen Lance. I’m now getting into how of a great if a Dancer she is. Thoron, Physic, and a strength in riding for Mov+1, she’s great.

A downside to her is as I mentioned neutral in Reason, but that’s minor. Her crest is like Felix’s, but it is a minor creat so it doesn’t activate often. It will rarely active when she’s chipping away with a Levin Sword or Arrow of Indra(curse this thing for not being more accessible).

My Rating: 7.7/10. Marianne in Heroes when?

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I actually don't find that Marianne stands out, especially not among the other healers in the game. Lin has better utility and Mercedes is the better and more reliable healer. She's not bad by any means, but very solidly middle of the pack to me. Blutgang is alright, her crest does her very few favors, and on a mage focused character like her she needs a reason boon considering her early spell list is quite inaccurate.

5/10 with a -1 for personal bias.

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7 / 10 seems about right, but considering Mercedes is rated lower, I think I will give Marianne a 6 / 10 rating (this is based on Hard mode and purely on unit viability).

As a raw support unit / Bishop, I think Linhardt and Mercedes beat her. They both also have Physic and other great spells like Warp and Fortify respectively, which imo is better than silence. They are both better offensive units than her since they have a strength in Reason, making them get strong offensive spells much quicker. 

Marianne's lack of Reason proficiency really hurts her imo. She has a good spell list, but will be unable to use spells like Fimbulvetr for most of the game since they are locked off to high weapon ranks. I've had more success using Ignatz as a dedicated Mage, since his hidden talent in Magic lets him get good spells quicker and his personal skill fixes accuracy issues that he would have from Blizzard / Fimbulvetr. 

Like  Mercedes, using Marianne in different routes is annoying. She will be training in Swords and Faith, which is more awkward  than Reason and Faith. Getting her caught up in reason is very difficult, since she doesn't have a proficiency like Mercedes.

I haven't given Frozen Lance or Hexblade a try yet, but I've heard good things about these options from other players. 

Non Gameplay Related Opinions:

I like Marianne's character a lot and think she has really great chemistry with characters like Dimitri and Hilda. Something about her quiet general demeanor makes her quite adorable. Her self-loathing nature is something I can relate too in the past and I'm very glad she's able to overcome this feeling during the course of the game. 

Marianne's design is great, but I like her pre-timeskip design more than her post timeskip one. Her hair and face look much nicer pre-timeskip. School Uniforms also look nicer than other clothes imo.

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Marianne's pretty good. Like Linhardt she joins just one rank away from physic. And she's got some great magic combat arts. Frozen Lance can be pushed for very early, and probably sooner than the amount of time it takes to get Blizzard. It also makes up for her heavy, inaccurate reason loadout, but of course is locked to 1 range so it better kill the opponent or else Marianne will be doubled and killed for wielding a lance with Lorenz' speed but none of his physical bulk. They also started her off with very generous Mag, Res, and Charm stats. With native access to heal though she should have no trouble leveling up and contributing in early maps. She also has two of the proficiencies in reaching Dark Knight. I generally prefer Bishop's class abilities over the increased movement and combat potential of dark knight, but her magical attacks are so much better than the likes of Linhardt and Mercedes that I definitely see the appeal in treating her like a combat mage in the game's final chapters. Especially when so little of VW's endgame is going to pose a threat to your roster. Silence is...not good. There is only one map in VW I can think of when 50% or more of the enemies are mages, and it's Flayn's paralogue, which is one of the easiest paralogues to begin with. The best application I can think of is silencing Hubert in order to get past his Meteor range. But even then I don't know off the top of my head if he's vulnerable to status ailments.

I don't always mention personal skills that are bad (because half the roster has something "bad"), but Marianne's really is a contender for the worst. Most bad ones at least see some use in the early game, but hers only potentially activates at a point in the game where you have cavs or fliers. Why is Marianne taking damage, and why isn't any other mage on your roster jumping at the opportunity to pick up free experience in healing her? Even if she does get to take advantage of it, is 20% of her max health enough to ever contribute to her survival? Her crest is also worthless (since it doesn't activate on combat arts), but again, I don't always mention worthless crests because half the roster yada yada yada. I do find myself disagreeing with her "amazing" reason spells. Missing 60-70 accuracy shots never feels amazing, especially when I'm counting on mages to knock out those armor knights as their one matchup they actually match grapplers in dealing with. She gets to play with fire for a bit in the mage class, but I expect my healers to be Priests after picking up Fiendish Blow due to +5 healing on the way to the level 20 tier. The crit rate of her spells is often superfluous when enemies have typically higher luck than you do, and she has no proficiency in reason magic, making it very costly to push for those spells above other things. Lysithea has the same accuracy issues, but at least she's packing an authority proficiency for batallions that can assist in that regard relatively early on. Since Marianne spends all of the game in magic wielding classes, there's no reason not to grab those spells eventually, but anybody saying you should "push for thoron" in the early game is probably nuts and doesn't realize Marianne's fine on experience at all stages of the game. At best its chip damage, and everybody in this class provides chip damage.

Can't really think of a solid reason to bench her. The best I've heard is that the Golden Deer lacks Restore among its three mages, and that's a compelling reason to replace her with Linhardt. I do love Linhardt for being a hybrid of the best things Lysithea and Marianne bring to the table (Warp and Physic), and restore is quite nice for reversing a dangerous situation in which somebody got gambitted. But honestly, Linhardt feels more like a replacement for Lysithea since I'd rather just have two physic users in addition to warp. Marianne starts out great and continues pulling her weight as the game goes on. And I never need to be convinced to play with frozen lance. 5.5 out of 10.

Edited by Glennstavos

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(glad to see someone else noticed the 2 day 21s)

Depression in a human form. At least she isn’t at annoying as Bernie. Until the time-skip, that is. After that she’s pretty good.

     Skill Levels:      Boons: Sword E+, Faith D+, Riding E, Flying E. Budding Talent in Lances. Bane in Brawling and Armor. Judging from her Weapon Ranks, you’d think she is either a Holy Knight or a Falcon. Holy Knight sucks. Falcon doesn’t jive with her, either.

     Abilities:     Animal Friend is… an odd one. Depending on your positioning skills, it’s either Renewal or nothing. Speaking of Renewal, she gets the Battalion form at C Authority.

     Arts:     Marianne get 2 Arts, one from rank (Soulblade at C+ Sword) and one from a Talent (Frozen Lance). Both are quite good, but Frozen Lance is slightly better.

     Spells:     You could say her Reason is quite frosty (Kill me): Blizzard (D), Thoron (C), Cutting Gale (B), and Fimbulvetr (A). Pretty good list that. As for Faith: Heal, Nosferatu, Physic (C), Silence (B), and Aura (A). Silence is decent utility, and Physic is Physic. Attack Faith skills are quite meh, so Aura gets no honorable mention.

     Stats:     11+50% Magic is solid. 6+40% Dexterity and 7+40% Speed and Skill is passable. 5+20% Strength doesn’t matter. 23+35% Hp and 4+15(!)% Defense… keep her well away from anything Physical.

     Classes:     Beginner- Monk

Intermediate- Mage for Fiendish Blow then Priest for extra Healing

Advanced- Bishop for the Healing

Master- Ew. Don’t. But if you absolutely must, then Dark Knight or Gremory. Holy Knight only helps Nosferatu and Aura, while Dark Knight boosts all 4 of her Reason Spells and Gremory helps with those looooong battles.

          The Verdict

Not as good of a healer as Mercedes, but is also a better Combatant. The Blutgang is fairly weak for a Relic, and Beast Fang is Ok. Doesn’t really have good Faith utility, but what she has is good enough. All said, I’d rate her 7/10.

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Thoron, Physic and Silence is great. She offers some decent offensive options for turns where I don't need her to heal. I like to have her as a Dark Knight, packing the Healing Staff so she gets both the faire, and the +10 healing boost. I also like her Riding proficiency, as it's quite reliable to get her Move +1 in good time. It's a just pity with the neutral Reason. Soulblade is a little questionable, even though she has good res and decent Magic, it usually comes shy of a ohko for me with it. I could see it working better in a class with swordfaire, or some boosters


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So now have our gloomy waifu Marianne. Marianne may think that her crest is cursed and that she brings misfortune to those around her, but does this mean she brings misfortune to our team? Let's find out. Also this is assuming hard and no dlc.

Marianne is in a rather interesting position on the Golden Deer house. She starts with a magic stat of 11 with a 50% growth. the rest of her growths are either average or poor. She has a dex and speed growth of 40% with a 6 and 7 stat respectively and her resist and charm growth are not too shabby either. They both have a 45% growth with a starting stat 8 and 7. As expected she has poor bulk. 23 HP with a 35% growth as well as 5 strength with a 20% growth and 4 defense with a 15% growth are not good qualities in the slightest. But not all is bad for her actually. Her pesonal ability Animal Friend acts as a Renewal only when she is standing next to a cavalry or flier ally at the start of her turn. Only nice if you're looking to pair her up with such units. But on it's own it's pretty much non existent.

She has a boon in swords, faith, riding and flying. Having a budding talent in lances is also pretty nice for her as this unlocks Frozen Lance. A strong combat art to get this early in the game if you're looking to work on her lance rank. Her sword combat art consist of Soul Blade which is Lysithea's combat art when she unlocks her budding talent in swords. These options for her alone give Marianne some unique offensive presence and having a plethora of options off the bat are nice for her versatility. She only has a bane in brawling and heavy armor but we're not too worried about that at all. Marianne has a Minor Crest of the Beast which occasionally boosts her might by five when using a weapon. Despite having the same effect as Felix’s Crest of Fraldarius, it is significantly worse on Marianne. Being a minor crest, Marianne’s crest effect will only proc twenty percent as compared to Felix’s forty, meaning that in a round of combat where Marianne doubles the enemy, she only has 36% of procing her crest effect Having the Crest of the Beast also grants her Beast Fang, the exclusive melee-range combat art of the magical Relic sword Blutgang. Despite its high damage, it is still locked to melee range, meaning it has the same weakness as her other magical combat arts.

Marianne starts with a E+ in swords as well as D+ rank in faith. This allows you to have her get to Faith rank C and learn Physic by chapter 2 which is nice perk similar to Linhardt. Her faith magic also consist of Silence at rank B and then Aura at rank A. Silence has a nice niche when needing help with enemy mages. Aura you only have 3 shots with it but it has a 20% crit chance so while it's nice to have, offensive white magic is generally not recommended for any sort of build. Her reason magic list is also solid, she gets Blizzard at rank D, Thoron at rank C, Cutting Gale at rank B, and finally Fimbulvetr at rank A. Having the combo of Thoron and Physic like Dorothea is always a potent combo to have when taking her down to the magic route.

Class options should be rather straight forward although she can branch out into something else. Monk is nice for the magic +2. You can even take her down to Mage to get Fiendish Blow, then maybe Priest afterwards so you can maintain some magic prowess as well as have extra healing when using Physic. Marianne is likely going to have bishop as one of her preferred classes since being a great heal supporting unit can go a long way for her. For master class options, there is Gremory in case you like to take advantage of both of her spells list. Dark Knight is ironically a better fir for her than a Holy Knight despite the fact that Holy Knight fits her like a glove. Again offensive white magic is generally not recommended. Especially since White Tomefaire only increases offensive white magic like Nosferatu and Aura. Nosferatu is quite weak and while again Aura is strong, you don't get that many uses out of it. Dark Knight at least boosts her black magic spells which she has plenty more of in comparison and still perform cast and run strategies.

Other interesting options for her like Swordmaster or Mortal Savant. Swordmaster would increase Marianne's strength and speed. But she's too frail for the role even with her Hero's Relic. Mortal Savant allows her to maintain swordfaire as well as black tomefaire and she can still use her white magic. But Mortal Savant suffers from a speed growth penalty of -10%. Unless you don't care for speed on Marianne, then I would avoid it. She can also feasibly be a Falcon Knight if you want to spam her magic based combat arts more often. But she needs to either score a KO then run to safety or hope that she can dodge an enemy attack when doing her move. She's only as fast as you would like for her to be and she can't use magic as a Falcon Knight either. Finally Marianne is a good candidate to be a dancer. Her boon in swords and riding no doubt allows her to level those up quickly enough and she can still cast her spells when need be.

Overall, I think Marianne is a 7/10 unit for me. She posses quite a bit of talent for someone who is built to be a support unit. Having a wide variety of options is always nice but it's usually best to stick with what works for her the most. Marianne does a very good job at sticking with what's she's good at and doesn't disappoint in the slightest.

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1 hour ago, Glennstavos said:

The best application I can think of is silencing Hubert in order to get past his Meteor range. But even then I don't know off the top of my head if he's vulnerable to status ailments.

He's not, because of course. I tried it upon seeing he doesn't have Unsealable Magic (but for whatever reason he still has Paragon, which doesn't even do anything for enemy units, which begs the question, why the hell does he even have it?), and nothing.

Edited by Shadow Mir

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Thank you for getting the day right.

Marianne, considered on VW Maddening

The Bad

At 5+0.20x, her Strength is bad, rendering physical builds unviable. And her Defense, at 4+0.15x, is poor, even for a magical unit. Combined with her rather iffy HP (23+0.35x), her physical bulk will be no bueno. You'd think her personal might aid her survivability, but you don't get any mounted units until several chapters in, and Marianne may not be able to keep pace with them.

As for proficiencies, she has a bane in Brawling, which... isn't a big deal. As a female unit, she gets no Gauntlet classes. But I guess losing out on Healing Focus is... unfortunate. Her other bane is in Armor, which doesn't seem like a problem... except it makes Armor Knight certification, and Weight-3, tougher to get. Overall, she starts at E-rank in all but two areas - bizarrely, two of her boons still start at E. And while being Neutral in Reason isn't strictly bad, it does leave her a step behind other mages, like Lorenz or Lysithea, in terms of getting Fiendish Blow.

The Good

Marianne may not have standout stats to the same degree as Lysithea, but she's pretty good in more areas. Her Magic (11+0.50x) is very good, giving her a solid damage output and boosting her support spells. Her Resistance (8+0.45x) is among the best in the game, and her HP is enough to help her sponge enemy spells. And that Charm (7+0.45x) stat makes ger a solid option for offensive gambits. Her Dex (6+0.40x), Speed (7+0.40x), and Luck (6+0.35x) are all middle-of-the-road.

Back to proficiencies: she starts out with boons in Swords (E+), Faith (D+), Riding (E), and Flight (E). Faith is her standout area, as it makes her one of the very few mages to have Heal and offensive magic (in her case, Nosferatu) from day 1. This means she'll have an easy time getting into Priest, and later Bishop, for the healing boost. Swords may seem odd, as a physical weapon type - but train them to C+, and she gets Soulblade. So like Lysithea, she can deal big magic damage at 1-range, even in classes like Assassin or Mortal Savant. There's one more weapon type she's strong in - Lances, once she's fulfilled her budding talent. This gives her Frozen Lance, for more grear magical damage.

It's unfortunate that Marianne starts at E in Riding and Flight - but either one can serve her well. Riding is useful if she wants to go into Dark or Holy Knight, and for Movement +1. And in the medium-term, she can go Cavalier or Paladin - she misses out on spells, but can do serious damage with her magical arts. Being strong in Swords and Riding also make her an attractive Dancer. Flight may seem odd, as outside of the DLC, no classes combine Flight and magic. But Marianne can actually perform well as a Pegasus Knight or Falcon Knight - again, with magical arts and weapons. Plus, Alert Stance can work for her on an enemy-phase build. And even if you don't want her flying in the end, going Pegasus Knight may be worth it, for Darting Blow.

Wow, I haven't even mentioned her spell lists! They're good. In Faith, she'll learn Physic quite rapidly, giving her valuable healing support through most of the game. Silence offers some neat utility later on, while Aura can provide serious damage. And as Reason goes, she learns Thoron for 3-range at C. And her other spells (Blizzard, Cutting Gale, and Fimbulvetr) all include a boost to Crit. While Bishop gives her the best healing, Gremory may be considerable to max out her charges in Reason.

What else makes Marianne unique? Well, there's her minor Crest of the Beast. A boost to normal attacks (not combat arts, not spells) may seem odd for a magical unit. But she can combine them with Levin Swords, or the Blutgang. Oh, right, the Blutgang! A (1-range) magic sword, with solid Mt (13) and Hit (80). And Marianne has exclusive access to Beast Fang with it, giving +10 Mt, +30 Crit, and effective damage against horses and dragons. Her crest also means she can use Thyrsus without penalty. 

The Verdict

Marianne's ability to deal, and take, physical damage is effectively nil. And being neutral in Reason can cause her to struggle, relative to other mages, in learning new spells or going Warlock. But her Faith makes for one of the game's best healers from the moment she joins. Her spell list is great on either side, including the gems of Physic and Thoron. She has early access to great magical combat arts, plus a later one on the Blutgang. And she has an easy route to higher-mobility classes, astride a horse or Pegasus. All things considered, I'm rating Marianne an 8 out of 10.

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Marianne is a very weird unit- she's pushed as the healer of Golden Deer, yet her faith list compared to those other healers is rather restricted, packing only Physic and Silence as noteworthy spells, and Silence is helpful but admittedly niche. Her stats are actually pretty nice, with 11+50% magic, 8+45% res and 7+45% charm being her standouts IMO. She, of course, has some bad stats in strength, HP and defence, but those are par for the course for mages, and her other stats are decent anyway. Her proficiencies include boons in swords, faith, riding and flying, with a budding talent in lances and banes in brawling and heavy armour. Notably, she is neutral in reason, which is a shame considering her reason spell list is pretty good, mainly for its access to Thoron at C.  All things considered though, the reason neutral isn't a massive deal IMO. Her other boons all lend themselves well to making her a flexible unit who can fit into various classes. Bishop, Holy Knight, Gremory, Falcon Knight, Dark Knight, Mortal Savant, Dark Flier/Valkyrie if you have DLC... All of these are at the very least viable for her, if not optimal.

The thing that makes Marianne stand out so much to me, at least, is her versatility. She learns 2 magic combat arts, and I do love me some magic combat arts. Frozen Lance coming from a budding talent is neat, and she gets Soulblade as well. She can pick up these two weapons and use these arts to secure really high damage- I can attest to the full power of Falcon Knight Marianne soaring through the skies and casually one-shotting enemies left and right, and in my experience at least, it was consistent from basically chapter 8 onwards- only in the last two chapters did she start needing Claude's charm, Seteth's Guardian, or Byleth's Sacred Power to secure those kills.

(yes my marianne was a better offensive unit than my Lysithea. Sue me.)

Lastly I think its worth mentioning that her paralogue gives some neat rewards- particularly the Edmund Troops, which are one of my favourite battalions for the high hit boost it provides and the fact that it boosts both physical and magical attack equally, meaning it can be thrown on almost anybody who needs the hit boost. It's come to the point where even if I may not use her I'll still recruit her just for that- which technically doesn't matter for this ranking since we're looking at Marianne in the context of the Golden Deer, but as I said, I think its worth a mention.

The reason I haven't rated her higher is that she is mediocre as a mage, with a surprisingly average reason list and limited faith utility compared to the likes of Linhardt, Flayn, etc. But she's still a healer, she still performs well in that capacity, and if you want a healer who can actually contribute in combat when it matters, Frozen Lance/Soulblade can pick up kills that your other units may struggle with, particularly if terrain is involved. Marianne is honestly my go-to healer nowadays just for the combined healing utility and damage she provides.

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1 hour ago, Sooks1016 said:

Welp, your usual hosts both haven’t posted and it’s been quite a while since the usual times so I suppose I’ll do it again!

I'm not even the usual host, I've just covered a few times too.

Marianne, depression incarnate.

Marianne hides her stats:


Marianne's stats could be worse really. 5+20% Str tells you what you should focus her on alongside 23+35% HP and 4+15% Def. She is however solid in her Mag at 11+50%, alongside some good enough Spd at 7+40%, Dex at 6+40%, Res at 8+45% and Cha and 7+40%. Her Luk is also not that bad at 6+35%, though she could still be at risk for crits if she's unlucky.

Marianne could have better Strengths and Weaknesses. Strengths in Swords and Faith aren't much, but she has potential with Riding and Flying to enter a bunch of classes. Weaknesses in Brawl and Armour is no loss for her. She also gets a budding talent in Lances, which gives her a nice CA in Frozen Lance and make accessing certain classes easier.

She has a pretty good magic list. Reason has Blizzard, Thoron, Cutting Gale and Fimbulvetr, which gives her 1-2 and spells with plenty of crit, which is very nice to have an option for, though raising hit is needed at times. Faith has H + N, Physic, Silence and Aura, which is a pretty alright list because being able to silence most mages is a nice thing to have in Maddening, Aura is still a powerful spell if you need it and Physic is very nice to be having.

Her personal ability Animal Friend heals 20% of max HP when she's next to a mounted ally. It would actually be okayish in a game where she could be next to them. But she can't really because she spends so much time behind them as a mage that she can pretty much never use it. She also gets an irrelevant Crest, as the minor Crest of the Beast gives her a 20% chance of raising might by 5 when using a regular  attack, which needless to say is not a thing that happens with her. It however does work with the weapon for her crest, Blutgang which is magical, so it's actually useable?

She gets one combat art in Soulblade in Swords, which is nice with her magic focus at least. She also gets Battalion Renewal, which doesn't matter much really.

Interestingly she's the one unit who never shows up in part 2 unless you recruit her. I guess Edmund's just decided he's not getting involved and Marianne doesn't want to either.

How did I find her?


In VW, I ended up hard focusing on healing for her. As in I never tried reason. I was stupid. She ended up with B+ Swords and Lances, which should tell you that plenty stupid is possible.Her highest ranking skill was A+ Faith, so I didn't even get her extra move out of it. Going through Monk > Priest > Bishop > Holy Knight, I didn't know just how poor that was. She was also pretty good in hers of her Mag, though I wouldn't say she was exceptional she was next to Lysithea.

In CF and AM, she never showed up to Gronder, ah well.

In SS, I actually bothered to get her down Mage, Warlock and Gremory as well this time, helping her combat a fair bit, especially as she had ended up about as decent as before. Thing is, it's not much of an improvement compared to others, while I also suspect you'd need a blessed Marianne to take the lead stat wise.

In Maddening, she had been pretty indispensable. Early Physic is appreciated, stat wise she actually looking good, I had chosen Dancer so she'd always have that option. At one point she was looking like she'd get great Spd and was 23 or something near the end of Part I. So, how do you ruin a unit who is looking to be as fast if not faster than Lysithea? Give her time in a horse class in this game! But the thing is, I did spend more time in Dancer and Gremory than you'd think, so the fact she did so poorly in Spd and ended up with 22 (in DK) is quite the conundrum. On the other hand her Mag was very good still at 43, allowing her to contribute plenty throughout. Sadly I didn't master Archer with her but I did clear pretty much every magic class barring DK and HK.

Marianne has the tools, but unlike the other dedicated healers with physic doesn't have a spell to use on all her allies or Warp, but I still think she has a pretty good spell list and can be a good pick for dancer besides regardless of route. I'm going to rate her 6.5/10, bias upwards because her magical offence can be better than expected too.

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