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LukeB

Lightning Axe Annette saved my Reunion at Dawn

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I just want to say, I love my tiny axe girl. She almost single handedly kept me from being locked out of Reunion at Dawn. I tried every thing I could think of to make any progress using Byleth and Dimitri, but it did not seem to matter where I put them, they ended up overwhelmed. I honestly thought I was going to have to go back to chapter 12 to give Byleth White Magic Avoid+20 to try and try and dodge my way out. But I decided to give Annette a shot. After a stride from Mercedes, Annette was able to run out, one shot an enemy with lightning axe, then canto back to safety. They repeated the strategy the following turn. And that was enough that Dimitri and Byleth were able to safely emerge from their starting positions. Thanks to Annette, I was not going to have to repeat Chapter 12!

She was a Valkyrie at the time (working towards Uncanny Blow) but none of her spells were cutting it. I have read a lot of posts saying that magic weapons are not very good, but I have to say that my Annette feels like a much better unit after I handed her an axe!

Before I made the change, her best offensive option was Excalibur, with 11 might, 1-3 range (she had the Caduceus Staff on her), and that was limited to just 4 uses. By comparison, now that she has a Bolt Axe+ and a Magic Staff she gets 16 might, still with 1-3 range, and she can use it more then 4 times. And the bolt axe is actually her weaker axe option! If the bolt axe doesn't cut it, then she can use Lightning Axe / Silver Axe+ for whooping 23 plus res. scaling damage! That is higher then any offensive spell in the game! And now that she is in Great Knight it boosted her defense to the point that she can occasionally take a hit, although I still try to avoid it lol.

Offensively and defensively, it feels like Axe Annette is strictly better then mage Annette. I think the only downside was losing her healing spells, but I have healing more then covered with my other units. 

I am loving the feel of the bolt axe, and I am curious if there are any other units that can make good use out of the magic weapons?

 

 

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Yeah, magical combat arts are legitimate, and particularly useful in that fight (lots of terrain to mess with physical attacks, and some Tomebreaker to mess with magic, while magic combat arts just one-shot every enemy with high accuracy). I recommend similar strategies for Lorenz and Dorothea if you do that map on other routes.

I'd never really considered it before but Annette may well be one of the single best candidates for Great Knight. Normally I'd say anyone considering that should just go wyvern, but there's a shortage of magic flying battalions (either 0 or 1 depending on DLC), and Great Knight is pretty clearly the best non-flying Axefaire class available to women.

As for other units who can use magic weapons... yeah, absolutely. Magic Bow Hunter's Volley is a lategame setup but can erase almost any enemy. Levin Sword is a nice backup on a magic sword-user (Lysithea, Dorothea, Constance, etc.) for the same reason that the Bolt Axe is useful on Annette. And Arrow of Indra is great for Hubert. Not only are they a nice option for range and threat (especially if you're going Paladin/Falconknight, Assassin, or Wyvern/Great Knight so they'll be the only ranged option for that character), but you can also have another unit trade them to it after the use a combat art with silver or a relic so they can do more damage on a counter.

Edited by Dark Holy Elf

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That’s awesome @LukeB. I’m glad that Lightning Axe Anette is working out for you. I used a similar tactic with Lorenz on my golden deer maddening  run where he had Frozen Lance and swordbreaker because he was able to hit right through the assassins, thieves and mercenaries in one hit. I used the white magic avoid with Byleth as well and I managed to bunch up all the enemies for Claude to use his Immortal Corp battalion. Of course since he was flying that made it easy enough to pull off.


After that, I used Marianne as a dancer to have Lysithea act twice and Raphael to lure in and survive a round from an assassin thanks to his high HP. He had healing focus so I didn’t mind using him as a meat shield that lives a hit or two.

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3 hours ago, LukeB said:

I am loving the feel of the bolt axe, and I am curious if there are any other units that can make good use out of the magic weapons?

Have her C support Gilbert so you can go do her paralogue, she will get a magic axe relic that can OHKO most enemies with lightning axe.

I used wyvern lord Annette like that once. It was fun.

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6 hours ago, Sooks said:

Have her C support Gilbert so you can go do her paralogue, she will get a magic axe relic that can OHKO most enemies with lightning axe.

Yeah, I'm actually using Gilbert as a Guard Adjutant for her. She is doubled by everything, so that is a big part of her being able to take a hit lol. Although, I have found the Crusher less useful then her Bolt Axe+ and her Silver Axe+. Bolt Axe for range, and Lightning Axe on the Silver Axe+ for extra damage. I have only used the crusher if I was not sure if she was going to get hit once on enemy phase, so that she could retaliate. 

 

 

And I think that I am leaning towards having a Sniper Hanneman on my next play through. Hunter's Volley Magic bow sounds sick.

Edited by LukeB

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55 minutes ago, LukeB said:

Yeah, I'm actually using Gilbert as a Guard Adjutant for her. She is doubled by everything, so that is a big part of her being able to take a hit lol. Although, I have found the Crusher less useful then her Bolt Axe+ and her Silver Axe+. Bolt Axe for range, and Lightning Axe on the Silver Axe+ for extra damage. I have only used the crusher if I was not sure if she was going to get hit once on enemy phase, so that she could retaliate. 

 

 

And I think that I am leaning towards having a Sniper Hanneman on my next play through. Hunter's Volley Magic bow sounds sick.

I am currently going for an axe build myself with Annette so I’m curious on how it will turn out. And yes Hanneman being a sniper allows him to double despite his bad speed. His high magic stats will reek some havoc for sure.

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11 hours ago, LukeB said:

I am loving the feel of the bolt axe, and I am curious if there are any other units that can make good use out of the magic weapons?

The only ones I can think of are either those that are magically inclined to begin with, or the likes of Ingrid or Manuela, who have equal growths in strength and magic.

9 hours ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

I'd never really considered it before but Annette may well be one of the single best candidates for Great Knight. Normally I'd say anyone considering that should just go wyvern, but there's a shortage of magic flying battalions (either 0 or 1 depending on DLC), and Great Knight is pretty clearly the best non-flying Axefaire class available to women.

Because it's the ONLY one, right? While it does evade the issue of flying battalions... There's the matter of how impractical Great Knight is to qualify for to consider (ergo, the hoops you have to jump through to access it versus the quality of the class; I consider that grounds for considering Great Knight one of the worst classes in the game), seeing as it's the one class that needs two proficiencies that aren't weapons to access.

Edited by Shadow Mir

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Nah, it's not the only one: Warrior exists as well.

And yeah I agree Great Knight is a weak class for precisely the reason you said. I'm used to dismissing it entirely, so thinking about it in a context where it might actually be a good choice is neat. (It's still a lot of investment for Annette to get, you'll probably want to reach something like B+ Riding and C+ armour along with your axe and authority ranks, and the armour is a bane for her, but it's quite doable. The master class certification formula is merciful.)

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1 hour ago, Shadow Mir said:

The only ones I can think of are either those that are magically inclined to begin with, or the likes of Ingrid or Manuela, who have equal growths in strength and magic.

Probably Edelgard, too? She gets Lightning Axe at A, and her Magic (6 + 0.45x) is at least respectable. Bolt Axe is probably gonna be her best ranged option in Axefaire classes against most enemies.

Agreed, otherwise. Of the "magically inclined to begin with", I see Marianne and Lorenz as standing out, for (arguably) working best in magical weapon/art builds.

25 minutes ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

And yeah I agree Great Knight is a weak class for precisely the reason you said. I'm used to dismissing it entirely, so thinking about it in a context where it might actually be a good choice is neat. (It's still a lot of investment for Annette to get, you'll probably want to reach something like B+ Riding and C+ armour along with your axe and authority ranks, and the armour is a bane for her, but it's quite doable. The master class certification formula is merciful.)

It's one of those weird paradoxes - the more areas they want you to specialize in, the less the effect of being "down" half-a-rank is on your ability to certify. Like, I don't remember the exact formula, but I think C+ Swords, D+ Bows has an equal shot certifying as Assassin, as B+ Swords has at becoming Swordmaster.

2 hours ago, LukeB said:

Yeah, I'm actually using Gilbert as a Guard Adjutant for her. She is doubled by everything, so that is a big part of her being able to take a hit lol. Although, I have found the Crusher less useful then her Bolt Axe+ and her Silver Axe+. Bolt Axe for range, and Lightning Axe on the Silver Axe+ for extra damage. I have only used the crusher if I was not sure if she was going to get hit once on enemy phase, so that she could retaliate. 

It's rather ironic - in the one build Crusher is suited for (magical axe-fighter Annette), she usually has better options at her disposal. It can be good if you need Dust for the damage, or for her to perform on enemy phase (although, Annette's enemy-phase is never particularly good).

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

It's one of those weird paradoxes - the more areas they want you to specialize in, the less the effect of being "down" half-a-rank is on your ability to certify. Like, I don't remember the exact formula, but I think C+ Swords, D+ Bows has an equal shot certifying as Assassin, as B+ Swords has at becoming Swordmaster.

Basically how it works is:

  • For Beginner and Intermediate classes, as well as Advanced classes based on only one skill (Swordmaster, etc.), you take a 40% penalty per missing rank.
  • For Advanced classes based on two skills (Assassin, etc.), you take a 32% penalty per missing rank.
  • For Master classes, you take a 20% penalty per missing rank.

Then you add half your luck to the raw percentage to get the certification rate. Needs to be at least 30% or the game won't even let you try.

This makes the requirements for Swordmaster and the like quite arduous relatively (B+ is needed to have more than 20%+luck/2, that's 960 skill exp) and Assassin as more forgiving relatively (C+/D+ would have 36% + Luck/2, which is at least enough for a certification rate in the 40's, and is only 640 skill exp total). Wyvern Rider of course is another B/C, in case there was any doubt that that class is too good.

With master classes you can often afford to be 3 ranks down and still have a ~50% rate, which depending on your money situation and your stance on savescumming to save that money, might not be considered that bad. They still take more raw skill exp to reach than any Advanced class even settling for this, but not by nearly as much as you might expect, and not relative to the time you can unlock each.

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10 hours ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

Basically how it works is:

  • For Beginner and Intermediate classes, as well as Advanced classes based on only one skill (Swordmaster, etc.), you take a 40% penalty per missing rank.
  • For Advanced classes based on two skills (Assassin, etc.), you take a 32% penalty per missing rank.
  • For Master classes, you take a 20% penalty per missing rank.

Then you add half your luck to the raw percentage to get the certification rate. Needs to be at least 30% or the game won't even let you try.

Neat, thanks for clearing this up! It's kind of funny to think of - like, if I have a unit with B+ Axes and B+ Gauntlets, then they will have an equal chance of certifying in War Master (Master class, two ranks down) as they will in Warrior or Grappler (Advanced classes, one rank down each).

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