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lenticular

The worst personal ability

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12 hours ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

At a rough glance, I'd rate Ashe's personal above Linhardt's, Raphael's, Petra's, Dorothea's, Marianne's, and Catherine's at minimum.

Catherine's is pretty useful for the purpose of sending her in the arena with your eyes closed iirc. Same for Felix.

10 hours ago, Jotari said:

Takes a while for Battalions to give buffs that out strip is personal in raw damage output if I recall correctly. And Felix's has a weakness in authority, so getting him the ranks to use good batallions can take up valuable teaching that could be going into something else. And even with all that considered, should you end up losing your battalion mid map, I believe Felix's personal skill will kick in hence forth. So all in all I think it's a pretty decent skill. Better than Cathrine's if I remember correctly. As hers is basically just his only for defense instead.

That happens almost immediately honestly. What takes a while is for there to be enough of them for your whole squad more or less.
As for losing a battalion mid battle, can't say I see it happen all too often, but eh.

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9 hours ago, Cysx said:

Catherine's is pretty useful for the purpose of sending her in the arena with your eyes closed iirc. Same for Felix.

Yeah, that's true, and a fair point to bring up (for all that I can't think of many times it has made the difference in an arena run... arena is pretty forgiving since it doesn't get Maddening stats). It's also useful if you get her to Pegasus Knight before you get the second flying battalion, since +5 def/res is a lot better than the "nothing" a second pegasus knight normally has early on. I do stand by my relative ranking of the two abilities, though.

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10 hours ago, Shadow Mir said:

That's not necessarily true - some E rank battalions give attack boosts that are almost as good.

Well first off, almost as good doesn't mean as good. I've just taken a quick glance and I see there is only a single battalion in the game that actually matches Felix's personal skill for physical damage output, and that's the King of Lions corps (which imo is probably one of the best batallions in the game). There is also only one E ranked battalion that gives +4 to physical attack, Almyra Wyvern Corps. Which I wouldn't recommend giving to Felix as you probably need it more for your fliers. And in giving it to Felix you give him some slight defense and avoid, while giving it to another unit gives them the +4 strength boost too. Overall I'm not saying that putting batallions on Felix is a bad idea, but is authority is low and E rank batallions won't help him much and the exp going into his batallion rank should be prioritized giving him things like an Axe rank to pick up Death Blow.

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21 hours ago, Shadow Mir said:

That isn't something I can agree with - Linhardt won't always have something to do, after all.

If Linhardt has nothing better to do then he doesn't need healing. If he needs healing, then he has something better to do.

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19 hours ago, Jotari said:

Well first off, almost as good doesn't mean as good. I've just taken a quick glance and I see there is only a single battalion in the game that actually matches Felix's personal skill for physical damage output, and that's the King of Lions corps (which imo is probably one of the best batallions in the game). There is also only one E ranked battalion that gives +4 to physical attack, Almyra Wyvern Corps. Which I wouldn't recommend giving to Felix as you probably need it more for your fliers. And in giving it to Felix you give him some slight defense and avoid, while giving it to another unit gives them the +4 strength boost too. Overall I'm not saying that putting batallions on Felix is a bad idea, but is authority is low and E rank batallions won't help him much and the exp going into his batallion rank should be prioritized giving him things like an Axe rank to pick up Death Blow.

There is Essar Research Group when you do the online recon missions. That grants you +5 in strength/magic and 25 hit. That’s a E rank battalion that can be good. Plus it uses Blessing which can be useful at times. So it’s essentially Lone Wolf but with the added hit rate

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21 hours ago, Jotari said:

Well first off, almost as good doesn't mean as good. I've just taken a quick glance and I see there is only a single battalion in the game that actually matches Felix's personal skill for physical damage output, and that's the King of Lions corps (which imo is probably one of the best batallions in the game). There is also only one E ranked battalion that gives +4 to physical attack, Almyra Wyvern Corps. Which I wouldn't recommend giving to Felix as you probably need it more for your fliers. And in giving it to Felix you give him some slight defense and avoid, while giving it to another unit gives them the +4 strength boost too. Overall I'm not saying that putting batallions on Felix is a bad idea, but is authority is low and E rank batallions won't help him much and the exp going into his batallion rank should be prioritized giving him things like an Axe rank to pick up Death Blow.

I have to assume you made the mistake of only considering the level 1 versions of the battalions? This is what they look like at level 5. Almyra Mercenaries is another battalion that gives 5 physical attack, at E rank no less. And @Barren mentioned Essar Reasearch Group, obtainable with online services.

That said, there is a decent counter-argument. If I have a +5 physical attack battalion, and I can choose between giving it to Sylvain and Felix, of course I'm giving it to Sylvain. In fact, Felix is probably last in line among physical combatants, when it comes to being assigned a battalion.

On 3/10/2021 at 11:52 AM, Cysx said:

Catherine's is pretty useful for the purpose of sending her in the arena with your eyes closed iirc. Same for Felix.

Keep in mind that, in the hardest kinds of Arena gauntlets - the ones where you face students from the other houses - you can't select Catherine as your representative. That said, she can be good in the generic tournaments. 

And Felix is probably the single best Arena combatant, in light of his personal ability, speed, and Crest.

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

And Felix is probably the single best Arena combatant, in light of his personal ability, speed, and Crest.

I think the lord, Felix, and Catherine all tend to be excellent, which one being the best coming down to the RNG and which weapon you need. Edelgard/Dimitri have about similar Atk to Felix even after the latter's personal and better durability (though a bit less speed), Catherine just has really high stats all-around if recruited in Chapter 4-5, even before considering her secret +5 def.

In general I find it very rare that I don't have someone who can reliably win a given arena week though.

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

That said, there is a decent counter-argument. If I have a +5 physical attack battalion, and I can choose between giving it to Sylvain and Felix, of course I'm giving it to Sylvain. In fact, Felix is probably last in line among physical combatants, when it comes to being assigned a battalion.

On the one hand I kinda agree, Felix should be one of the last to get a battalion. On the other hand I usuaully have almost everyone with a battalion by Chapter 3, and certainly Chapter 4. Even if you can only give Felix, say, a +3 atk battalion, you're trading 2 atk for some other stats, a bit of authority exp (not much, due to the bane, but every bit adds up with him), and significantly access to a gambit, which is a powerful tool.

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

I have to assume you made the mistake of only considering the level 1 versions of the battalions? This is what they look like at level 5. Almyra Mercenaries is another battalion that gives 5 physical attack, at E rank no less. And @Barren mentioned Essar Reasearch Group, obtainable with online services.

That said, there is a decent counter-argument. If I have a +5 physical attack battalion, and I can choose between giving it to Sylvain and Felix, of course I'm giving it to Sylvain. In fact, Felix is probably last in line among physical combatants, when it comes to being assigned a battalion.

Keep in mind that, in the hardest kinds of Arena gauntlets - the ones where you face students from the other houses - you can't select Catherine as your representative. That said, she can be good in the generic tournaments. 

And Felix is probably the single best Arena combatant, in light of his personal ability, speed, and Crest.

Yeah I probably was looking at their level 1 stats. I thought it a bit weird as I remember some of the higher ones giving like a +7 boost. Still though the point I made that you reiterated is there. Felix has a +5 boost by default, so you're better off giving a battalion to someone else over him. Meaning his personal skill is worth something for a good portion of the game. And in the case where your battalion does happen to run out mid map, at least Felix's damage output won't tank too much. Overalls you probably are better off putting a battalion on Felix, but even so his personal is not useless.

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6 hours ago, Jotari said:

Yeah I probably was looking at their level 1 stats. I thought it a bit weird as I remember some of the higher ones giving like a +7 boost. Still though the point I made that you reiterated is there. Felix has a +5 boost by default, so you're better off giving a battalion to someone else over him. Meaning his personal skill is worth something for a good portion of the game. And in the case where your battalion does happen to run out mid map, at least Felix's damage output won't tank too much. Overalls you probably are better off putting a battalion on Felix, but even so his personal is not useless.

I like to think of Felix's personal ability as providing him with a "ghost battalion" - that is, a battalion of infinite durability, granting him +5 in both offenses, but with no other stat effects, and no gambits. So when handing out battalions, I'll measure the benefits any of them can provide against his "ghost battalion". Same with Catherine's ability.

10 hours ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

On the one hand I kinda agree, Felix should be one of the last to get a battalion. On the other hand I usuaully have almost everyone with a battalion by Chapter 3, and certainly Chapter 4. Even if you can only give Felix, say, a +3 atk battalion, you're trading 2 atk for some other stats, a bit of authority exp (not much, due to the bane, but every bit adds up with him), and significantly access to a gambit, which is a powerful tool.

Fair points - if Felix can get 10 extra Hit or Crit, say, then it may be worth forgoing a couple points of offense. As for gambits, I have found Felix to suffer in the Charm department. So he can still use support gambits effectively, but I don't see getting offensive ones as a major boost for him, especially on Maddening.

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

I like to think of Felix's personal ability as providing him with a "ghost battalion" - that is, a battalion of infinite durability, granting him +5 in both offenses, but with no other stat effects, and no gambits. So when handing out battalions, I'll measure the benefits any of them can provide against his "ghost battalion". Same with Catherine's ability.

Fair points - if Felix can get 10 extra Hit or Crit, say, then it may be worth forgoing a couple points of offense. As for gambits, I have found Felix to suffer in the Charm department. So he can still use support gambits effectively, but I don't see getting offensive ones as a major boost for him, especially on Maddening.

And for all those reasons I would say that Felix has a really good personal ability. Not good in the this is sort of broken category, but good in the well designed way where it makes for more interesting gameplay with benefits and trade offs that need to be considered.

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Two thoughts:

  • Linhardt's personal I think is a bit less worthless on Normal mode.  In Echoes Normal, a Cleric Faye can cheeze a lot of the game via the "move forward into enemy ranks while equipped with Nosferatu" strategy.  (The devs clearly knew this was a bit problematic, because all the native Clerics/Saints like Silque / Tatiana / Genny have durability of wet cardboard).  Presumably the same would be true for tankier females given a Villager's Fork as well.  This falls apart a bit on Hard, but still.  Anyway, I could see some sort of drain-tank Bishop Linhardt build working on Normal where he just grabs his 24 charges of Nosferatu, maybe a few stat boosters, and wades into the thick of things.  This is about the one time where frequent, costless 10% healing would help in addition to Bishop's Renewal, although you'd still want Concoctions in case of emergency, and Lin would have to spend his turn engaging on range 3+ units like archers unless given Caduceus or the like.  Anyway.  Definitely a Normal-mode only strat, Lin will just die if you try this on Hard or Maddening.
  • Petra's personal isn't THAT bad?  It is very niche, but the times it comes up are significant.  For boss monsters with immense health bars, having an 80% crit chance on both sides of a Killing Edge double is very good for taking "half health" down to "next phase" and that might not be doable without crits.  Can matter for Leonie / Linhardt's paralogue (Lord of the Lake) and the various bosses + monster filler on the CF / SS endgame.

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

Fair points - if Felix can get 10 extra Hit or Crit, say, then it may be worth forgoing a couple points of offense. As for gambits, I have found Felix to suffer in the Charm department. So he can still use support gambits effectively, but I don't see getting offensive ones as a major boost for him, especially on Maddening.

Yeah, Felix's charm is definitely shaky. Even so, if he has some C supports in range, he can reasonably get up to coinflip accuracy or so... still not great, but you might decide it's worth the risk. Alternatively, against enemies in the forest of Chapter 3 or the avoid panels of Chapter 4 and 6, this may well be comparable to his other attacks anyway, with a better payoff for a hit.

12 hours ago, Jotari said:

And for all those reasons I would say that Felix has a really good personal ability. Not good in the this is sort of broken category, but good in the well designed way where it makes for more interesting gameplay with benefits and trade offs that need to be considered.

Agree with this. While the interesting tradeoffs don't last too long, there's definitely a window where it's as you say.

8 hours ago, SnowFire said:

Petra's personal isn't THAT bad?  It is very niche, but the times it comes up are significant.  For boss monsters with immense health bars, having an 80% crit chance on both sides of a Killing Edge double is very good for taking "half health" down to "next phase" and that might not be doable without crits.  Can matter for Leonie / Linhardt's paralogue (Lord of the Lake) and the various bosses + monster filler on the CF / SS endgame.

I'll start by acknowledging that it's not quite bottom tier the way Linhardt's is, but it's still pretty near the bottom, I think.

First off, there are very few monsters whom Petra can't tear half the health off of without a crit. If her personal is kicking in, chances are the monster is at like 40% health remaining. I don't have the stats in front of me but my memory is that few non-bosses go beyond 150 on their last healthbars. So say there's one with 70 health left. Petra only needs to do 18 damage per swing to dispatch this without a crit (assuming she quads; easy since the bulky monsters are not fast). Highest def random monster I found at a quick glance was 38 (Titanus in second to last map of VW/SS), she needs 56 atk here. Even taking a sub-optimum atk build like Bow Knight Petra, she should have something like ~26 str + 6 (Death Blow) + 7 (random B-rank battalion) + 5 (Bowfaire) + 10 (Brave Bow) = 54, almost there even in a pretty extreme circumstance and without considering stat boosters / cooking / Str+2 / etc.

Bosses are an exception, particularly the ones with Dragonskin. But even then... you have to have them in exactly the right window for this to be relevant, and even then Petra's personal will only be relevant one attack out of five. I'll grant that it could matter here. And I should mention that even if it doesn't secure a kill, It can also possibly save 1-2 uses of a brave weapon, or possibly spare Petra a counter, and those aren't nothing, but it's pretty weak.

On my most recent file (VW) I fought two of the dragonskin bosses and Petra saw loads of combat. I'm... definitely not convinced her personal ever came up, even though I did have Petra's personal in mind when planning out my attack order against them.

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15 hours ago, SnowFire said:

Linhardt's personal I think is a bit less worthless on Normal mode.  In Echoes Normal, a Cleric Faye can cheeze a lot of the game via the "move forward into enemy ranks while equipped with Nosferatu" strategy.  (The devs clearly knew this was a bit problematic, because all the native Clerics/Saints like Silque / Tatiana / Genny have durability of wet cardboard).  Presumably the same would be true for tankier females given a Villager's Fork as well.  This falls apart a bit on Hard, but still.  Anyway, I could see some sort of drain-tank Bishop Linhardt build working on Normal where he just grabs his 24 charges of Nosferatu, maybe a few stat boosters, and wades into the thick of things.  This is about the one time where frequent, costless 10% healing would help in addition to Bishop's Renewal, although you'd still want Concoctions in case of emergency, and Lin would have to spend his turn engaging on range 3+ units like archers unless given Caduceus or the like.  Anyway.  Definitely a Normal-mode only strat, Lin will just die if you try this on Hard or Maddening.

I'm sceptical of this. I mean, we are talking Normal mode here so I'm not going to dismiss it out of hand. Normal mode is easy enough that there's a lot of stuff that can work there that really shouldn't. But that said, I think it's worth noting that Nosferatu in Three Houses is considerably worse than it was in Shadows of Valentia. The three major downgrades are finite uses, decreased healing and increased weight. The increased weight mean you're going to double a lot less and be doubled a lot more; you take more damage and heal less of it. Thenon top of that, you're only healing for half the damage you deal, which is further reducing your healing. While the situation in SoV might be "take 10 damage, then hit for 10 damage and I'm healed back to full", given identical stats, the TH version would look more like "take 10 damage, hit for 10 damage so I'm healed back for 5 point, then take another 10 damage because I'm being doubled". Obviously, the numbers wouldn't be exactly that because there are other factors involved, but it's illustrative. And then even if you do somehow manage to make the build work anyway, you have limited uses per map -- only 12 uses before you hit level 20 -- after which you've nothing left. Maybe it's viable in Normal Mode, but I am doubtful.

 

6 hours ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

First off, there are very few monsters whom Petra can't tear half the health off of without a crit. If her personal is kicking in, chances are the monster is at like 40% health remaining. I don't have the stats in front of me but my memory is that few non-bosses go beyond 150 on their last healthbars. So say there's one with 70 health left. Petra only needs to do 18 damage per swing to dispatch this without a crit (assuming she quads; easy since the bulky monsters are not fast). Highest def random monster I found at a quick glance was 38 (Titanus in second to last map of VW/SS), she needs 56 atk here. Even taking a sub-optimum atk build like Bow Knight Petra, she should have something like ~26 str + 6 (Death Blow) + 7 (random B-rank battalion) + 5 (Bowfaire) + 10 (Brave Bow) = 54, almost there even in a pretty extreme circumstance and without considering stat boosters / cooking / Str+2 / etc.

This is assuming that she has a brave weapon, which is not guaranteed since they are a finite resource. And even if she does have one, I'd much rather be able to kill by doubling with a wo dao than quadding with a brave sword. Wootz steel isn't super rare, but it's rare enough that preserving durability on brave weapons is a relevant consideration. There are also situations where I would want to kill something on player phases but then also be prepared for enemy phase. And given that brave weapons are generally pretty bad on enemy phase due to their weight, anything that lets me get the kill without having to use the brave weapon is a plus.

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On 3/10/2021 at 9:16 PM, Jotari said:

Well first off, almost as good doesn't mean as good. I've just taken a quick glance and I see there is only a single battalion in the game that actually matches Felix's personal skill for physical damage output, and that's the King of Lions corps (which imo is probably one of the best batallions in the game). There is also only one E ranked battalion that gives +4 to physical attack, Almyra Wyvern Corps. Which I wouldn't recommend giving to Felix as you probably need it more for your fliers. And in giving it to Felix you give him some slight defense and avoid, while giving it to another unit gives them the +4 strength boost too. Overall I'm not saying that putting batallions on Felix is a bad idea, but is authority is low and E rank batallions won't help him much and the exp going into his batallion rank should be prioritized giving him things like an Axe rank to pick up Death Blow.

The Almyra Mercenaries give +5 phys attack at max level (by the way, I was looking strictly at max level stats), which equals Felix's personal (also, Almyra Wyvern Co. is unobtainable); also, the main perks of having a battalion are the boosts it grants and access to a gambit. All this being said, I'm not arguing that Felix's personal is bad.

16 hours ago, SnowFire said:

Linhardt's personal I think is a bit less worthless on Normal mode.  In Echoes Normal, a Cleric Faye can cheeze a lot of the game via the "move forward into enemy ranks while equipped with Nosferatu" strategy.  (The devs clearly knew this was a bit problematic, because all the native Clerics/Saints like Silque / Tatiana / Genny have durability of wet cardboard).  Presumably the same would be true for tankier females given a Villager's Fork as well.  This falls apart a bit on Hard, but still.  Anyway, I could see some sort of drain-tank Bishop Linhardt build working on Normal where he just grabs his 24 charges of Nosferatu, maybe a few stat boosters, and wades into the thick of things.  This is about the one time where frequent, costless 10% healing would help in addition to Bishop's Renewal, although you'd still want Concoctions in case of emergency, and Lin would have to spend his turn engaging on range 3+ units like archers unless given Caduceus or the like.  Anyway.  Definitely a Normal-mode only strat, Lin will just die if you try this on Hard or Maddening.

I can't help but be skeptical here - Nosferatu is much worse in 3H than it was in Shadows of Valentia, largely due to its massive weight and the healing being only half of the damage dealt, meaning that it's more likely to play out like this - the enemy attacks, then Lin uses Nosferatu to heal up... only for the healing Nosferatu just managed to be undone because he got doubled (assuming that what attacked him wasn't slower than a snail on depressants). Then there's the limits on magic, meaning you will eventually run out.

Edited by Shadow Mir

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5 hours ago, lenticular said:

This is assuming that she has a brave weapon, which is not guaranteed since they are a finite resource. And even if she does have one, I'd much rather be able to kill by doubling with a wo dao than quadding with a brave sword.

Well, I think it's far more likely that she'll have a brave weapon than she'll be in a sword class to use Wo Dao, but your milage may vary! Fair enough that sword builds do have some unusually high-crit weapons (both Wo Dao and Cursed Ashiya) so it's conceivable that Petra's personal could be the difference between 80 crit and 100 crit and gives you a reliable kill with a cheaper weapon... but we're still talking some highly specific circumstances here. Not only do we now need a monster in the perfect HP range (>50% and it's not relevant, but much lower and Petra has reliable kills with just about anything), but we need to have Petra in a sword build (which certainly isn't optimum) and need to care about rationing brave weapon uses.

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39 minutes ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

Well, I think it's far more likely that she'll have a brave weapon than she'll be in a sword class to use Wo Dao, but your milage may vary! Fair enough that sword builds do have some unusually high-crit weapons (both Wo Dao and Cursed Ashiya) so it's conceivable that Petra's personal could be the difference between 80 crit and 100 crit and gives you a reliable kill with a cheaper weapon... but we're still talking some highly specific circumstances here. Not only do we now need a monster in the perfect HP range (>50% and it's not relevant, but much lower and Petra has reliable kills with just about anything), but we need to have Petra in a sword build (which certainly isn't optimum) and need to care about rationing brave weapon uses.

So, here's a question. For her personal, does the extra crit chance get added based on the enemy's HP at the start of the combat or their HP at the time of the specific hit? That is, if they are at 60% HP, Petra hits them to knock them down to 45% HP, and then has a follow-up attack, does that follow-up have the increased chance to crit (and thefore most probably get the kill), or does it still have the same original chance to crit (and therefore a higher chance of not killing)? My assumption would be that she would get the extra crit for the follow-up, but it's been long enough since I last used her that I can't actually remember for sure. What you're saying seems to be implying that she doesn't get the increased crit in that case, though, because otherwise it's a relevant ability for a much wider enemy health window. Do you know for sure either way?

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I'm not completely certain, but I strongly suspect the crit chance doesn't update mid-battle, just because all similar abilities are only checked at the start of combat. (For instance: Wrath does not trigger if you are lowered below 50% mid-combat, nor do Balthus/Bernadetta gain their bonuses.)  I could test, on the off chance they made an exception for Petra.

EDIT: Just did 23 trials in an auxillary fight using Petra geared to have 24-25 crit against enemies with 24-25 crit avoid, so she should have 19-20 crit against targets below half health. Out of 23 attacks made against targets below half HP (but who were above half HP when the combat began), 0 crits. If Petra's personal kicks in mid-combat the odds that this happens is less than 1%. No Divine Pulse was used so the trials should all be independent as far as I'm aware. I think we can say pretty confidently that it does not kick in mid-combat.

Edited by Dark Holy Elf

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12 hours ago, lenticular said:

I'm sceptical of this. I mean, we are talking Normal mode here so I'm not going to dismiss it out of hand. Normal mode is easy enough that there's a lot of stuff that can work there that really shouldn't. But that said, I think it's worth noting that Nosferatu in Three Houses is considerably worse than it was in Shadows of Valentia. 

Yeah, I know it's nerfed (although it is more reliable on its hit rate at least!), but it's still something you could do (although Lin is not a great candidate).  And full disclaimer, I've never played Normal, although I've seen the boss stats.  It's a pretty silly strategy, and moreover it's extra-silly since if you really were hardcore set on frontline Linhardt, you'd just move him back next to Byleth occasionally to fill up on more Concoctions, which will still be better than Catnap.  I still think it's about as close as you'll get to relevance.  More generally, all the healing related passives (this includes skills like Bishop's Renewal too) are generally pretty awful on Hard/Maddening, which are so one-round centric.  They're the kind of thing that miiiight be helpful in the very early stages of games like Shadow Dragon / FE1 where healing staves / items are hugely limited, and rotating units into fortresses for extra health regen is a legit strategy.  (Maybe earlygame FE6 too if Elen bites it?)  But they just aren't that important otherwise, unless you're handicapping yourself by refusing to run healers.  Even the best passive of this sort, Mercedes's Live to Serve, is still a touch overrated - there's still tons of enemies that will one-round full health Mercedes which renders healing pointless unless you're feeding her some stat boosters.

On 3/13/2021 at 4:28 AM, Shadow Mir said:

I can't help but be skeptical here - Nosferatu is much worse in 3H than it was in Shadows of Valentia, largely due to its massive weight and the healing being only half of the damage dealt, meaning that it's more likely to play out like this - the enemy attacks, then Lin uses Nosferatu to heal up... only for the healing Nosferatu just managed to be undone because he got doubled (assuming that what attacked him wasn't slower than a snail on depressants). Then there's the limits on magic, meaning you will eventually run out.

This isn't wholly related to the ridiculous Linhardt idea, but you raised this "you will run out of Nos charges" over in another Maddening planning thread too on Faith dodgetank Byleth / Dorothea, and it's not really true, at least post-20.  My current run is a Golden Deer Maddening run and for Reunion at Dawn, I only had Claude / Bishop Byleth / Ignatz / Dancer Hilda leveled, with everyone else deadweight.  And Claude & Ignatz had to play very carefully on the first few turns due to the bandit Snipers, meaning Byleth had to face off the full fury of all the charging bandits.  If there's any map where running out of spell charges would be a concern, it'd be this one, since Byleth had to take a huge amount of the kills as well as have Nos equipped for the dodge- / drain- tanking to function, and all the usual backup to share the burden weren't deployed.  Now, Byleth did get down to single-digit Nos charges remaining by the end (~7 or so?), but...  it was fine, she didn't actually run out.  And I didn't even use any Aura charges (which would have been a backup for just dodginess but no draining).  If there's enough Nos charges for a map done with essentially 2.5 offensive units (sorry Ignatz you only count for half), there's enough for maps where you get real deployment counts and have 8-10 offensive units.  

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16 minutes ago, SnowFire said:

More generally, all the healing related passives (this includes skills like Bishop's Renewal too) are generally pretty awful on Hard/Maddening, which are so one-round centric.  They're the kind of thing that miiiight be helpful in the very early stages of games like Shadow Dragon / FE1 where healing staves / items are hugely limited, and rotating units into fortresses for extra health regen is a legit strategy.  (Maybe earlygame FE6 too if Elen bites it?)  But they just aren't that important otherwise, unless you're handicapping yourself by refusing to run healers.  Even the best passive of this sort, Mercedes's Live to Serve, is still a touch overrated - there's still tons of enemies that will one-round full health Mercedes which renders healing pointless unless you're feeding her some stat boosters.

Honestly, of all the healing personals, the one I've probably got the most use out of is Dorothea's. This is not so much an endorsement of her personal as a condemnation of the other ones. I've got some decent use out of it in the mock battle of chapter 1, though, since healing is limited at that point. It can also be nice to have for mitigating environmental damage, especially in Ailel. If I do her and Ingrid's paralogue when I only have Ingrid recruited then that's what I normally end up using her for. It's not much, but it's something.

As for Renewal, it's biggest problem is that it's a class skill for probably the single class in the game that wants it the least. If you put it on something like a Fortress Knight, then it's tolerably OK. Not great, but OK. Except that it's a strategy that's only available in NG+ or with a lot of grinding, and in either case you have other options that are both stronger and more fun and interesting.

(Build idea: Fortress Knight Linhardt with Catnap, Renewal, Battalion Renewal, Axe of Ukonvasara, Ochain Shield. This is a terrible idea and part of me wants to try it.)

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1 hour ago, SnowFire said:

This isn't wholly related to the ridiculous Linhardt idea, but you raised this "you will run out of Nos charges" over in another Maddening planning thread too on Faith dodgetank Byleth / Dorothea, and it's not really true, at least post-20.  My current run is a Golden Deer Maddening run and for Reunion at Dawn, I only had Claude / Bishop Byleth / Ignatz / Dancer Hilda leveled, with everyone else deadweight.  And Claude & Ignatz had to play very carefully on the first few turns due to the bandit Snipers, meaning Byleth had to face off the full fury of all the charging bandits.  If there's any map where running out of spell charges would be a concern, it'd be this one, since Byleth had to take a huge amount of the kills as well as have Nos equipped for the dodge- / drain- tanking to function, and all the usual backup to share the burden weren't deployed.  Now, Byleth did get down to single-digit Nos charges remaining by the end (~7 or so?), but...  it was fine, she didn't actually run out.  And I didn't even use any Aura charges (which would have been a backup for just dodginess but no draining).  If there's enough Nos charges for a map done with essentially 2.5 offensive units (sorry Ignatz you only count for half), there's enough for maps where you get real deployment counts and have 8-10 offensive units.  

Problem is, Bishop is one of the last classes I'd consider using for Byleth. And if you're not in it or Gremory, running out is a serious concern...

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lenticular: That FK Lin build sounds hilarious.

Mir: Well you don't do the Faith dodgetank plan unless you're in Bishop or Gremory, of course - you use the skill slot on White Mag Avo +20 for something else.  That doesn't mean it's not viable.  I never ran out of Nos charges even in 10-22 while in Mage either, for reference, although non-Reunion at Dawn maps tended to allow a more balanced spell usage of course, i.e. using stuff like Fire to attack and only equipping Nos when baiting.  You don't have to have Nos equipped permanently or anything, and by the time you do consider equipping it near-permanently you're in Bishop/Gremory.

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3 hours ago, SnowFire said:

Even the best passive of this sort, Mercedes's Live to Serve, is still a touch overrated - there's still tons of enemies that will one-round full health Mercedes which renders healing pointless unless you're feeding her some stat boosters.

There actually isn't a single enemy (besides the Death Knight) who can one-round base Mercedes until Chapter 5, and if she gains just 1 point of speed, there's no non-boss unti Chapter 7. Eventually enemy stats do start scaling up enough that this becomes more of a problem (for her and everyone else) though you can certainly take actions to prevent her from being one-rounded even then if you really want (either stat boosters or a guard adjutant).

Regardless that's a lot of game where her healing can be extra efficient if you use her as one of the people taking hits. I actually find her personal a bit underrated, since I've seen a number of people who just say "why are you letting your healer take a hit" and missing the point that letting her a hit is in fact desirable.

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2 hours ago, SnowFire said:

lenticular: That FK Lin build sounds hilarious.

Mir: Well you don't do the Faith dodgetank plan unless you're in Bishop or Gremory, of course - you use the skill slot on White Mag Avo +20 for something else.  That doesn't mean it's not viable.  I never ran out of Nos charges even in 10-22 while in Mage either, for reference, although non-Reunion at Dawn maps tended to allow a more balanced spell usage of course, i.e. using stuff like Fire to attack and only equipping Nos when baiting.  You don't have to have Nos equipped permanently or anything, and by the time you do consider equipping it near-permanently you're in Bishop/Gremory.

You just should not be running dodge tank build in the first place, considering most need set up or are just unreliable, especially on maddening 

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6 hours ago, SnowFire said:

Mir: Well you don't do the Faith dodgetank plan unless you're in Bishop or Gremory, of course - you use the skill slot on White Mag Avo +20 for something else.  That doesn't mean it's not viable.  I never ran out of Nos charges even in 10-22 while in Mage either, for reference, although non-Reunion at Dawn maps tended to allow a more balanced spell usage of course, i.e. using stuff like Fire to attack and only equipping Nos when baiting.  You don't have to have Nos equipped permanently or anything, and by the time you do consider equipping it near-permanently you're in Bishop/Gremory.

The thing is, I find it very hard to justify Byleth in either class when they need a lot of faculty training just to even access - there's generally better things I can do with my activity points. Especially when Byleth's Faith list is rather lousy.

Edited by Shadow Mir

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Side rant: The forum's usability can use some work sometime.  Accidentally clicking on a username takes you to their profile page even if you had a reply 90% written with no "you are about to lose this" warning.  When backing to the page, it shows an ancient saved reply I've cleared several times that was just a quote of a random old post rather than what I'd actually want to save.  Sigh, to retype everything but a bit more concisely...

Dark Holy Elf: Yes, I've used both those tricks of HP stat boosters & reasonably frequent guard adjutant use on Mercedes, she does make better use of them than most thanks to her passive.  It's still middle of the road at best (which makes it better than most healing passives), but don't really agree with your hype of it as notably strong.  It's pretty rare that both action economy is so incredibly tight that the "free" heal on Mercedes lines up with a turn where Mercedes is front-lining safely.  Live to Serve is handy in C1-C5 though, sure.  (I might be mildly bitter at the Reunion at Dawn Grapplers easily quadding her with Tomebreaker if she leaves her starting area.)

ThatsEnoughTalkBack: Um wat.  Dodgetank builds are great, especially on Maddening which makes concrete tanking harder but doesn't affect dodgetanking very much.  Besides, the Dodgetank Byleth file is nearly complete, so...  no, it's fine?

Shadow Mir: Sure, Magical Byleth is an activity point hog, I'll agree on that as a weakness.  That's a different complaint than "you will run out of Nos charges" though.  Faith dodgetank Dorothea (which is a real build) or Faith Berserker Linhardt (which is not a real build, but because Lin's Spd / Def are terrible) have weaknesses but running out of Nos charges is not THAT huge of one unless they are literally attempting to solo maps.

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