lenticular Posted June 22, 2021 Share Posted June 22, 2021 This was a challenge run that I did recently, just for fun, but which I think is interesting enough to be worth sharing here. My goal was to beat Three Houses without ever using any items or, if that wasn't possible, to use as few items as was possible. For the parameters of this run, I considered something to be an item if it could go in the convoy, the storehouse or the barracks. This includes: all weapons, all accessories (rings, shields, etc.), all stat boosters and consumables, all exam seals, most quest items, all battalions, all lost items and gifts, all cooking ingredients, seeds and bait, and so on. As for what I didn't count as an item, these include: all magic spells, unarmed combat, the books that you can find in the monastery that grant Professor XP, gold, gifted birthday flowers, etc. If the game never generates an item that can go into one of the three storages then I considered it fair game. As for what counts as using an item: pretty much anything. Attacking with a weapon, counterattacking with a weapon, holding a weapon while attacked even if there's no counterattack (eg, holding an axe and being attacked with a bow) since you can still gain avoid by doing so, holding a weapon to change the AI's appraisal of who it should target, selling any item, completing any quest or secondary objective that requires an item, using an item for any monastery activity, giving a gift or lost item to someone, equipping a battalion for a battle, having an accessory equipped in a battle, using a consumable, using an exam seal. Basically, everything counts. The only thing that doesn't count is merely owning, picking up or acquiring items. Owning them is fine; using them is not. The main difficulties of this run are obvious. No items means no weapons and it also means that most units won't ever be able to promote since exam seals are also forbidden. The prohibition on all weapons means that the only ways to attack are with spells or unarmed combat, though everyone starts the game as a Noble or a Commoner and so have only half magic uses and no access to unarmed combat. I did the run on Normal difficulty, Classic mode, with no online and no New Game+ but with DLC, and doing the Crimson Flower route. Other than playing without items, the only other restriction was that exploiting glitches (or any other form of cheating, not that I know any) was also banned. Grinding was permitted when it was absolutely necessary (which happened once), but avoided when possible. So as not to bury the lede too much, here's how I did: I was able to complete the game only ever using two items: one weapon attack in the prologue and then one quest item in chapter 2. I don't believe it is even theoretically possible to beat the game without at least these two item uses. The early game was completed with a bunch of Nobles/Commoners using magic but they were eventually replaced by Balthus as a Brawler (by recruiting him after chapter 6 so he gets the class for free), Edelgard as a Dancer and Byleth as a magic-using Enlightened One (these being two of the few available promotions that don't take items). Chapter by chapter summaries were written as I played, so may be a little bit disjointed in places. Part I: White Clouds. Spoiler Prologue: As far as I can tell, this is impossible to do without items. None of your four characters are able to attack without items. Jeralt will only activate after you kill some of the enemies, so he can't kill them for you. The enemies also can't be made to attack into Jeralt, since they'll ignore him even if he's the only target in range. The best option I could find was to use Byleth to tank hits from the single thief who starts in range, keeping him distracted and gaining a little class xp. Meanwhile have Edelgard go around the edge of the map and head straight for Kostas without aggroing anyone else. She can then kill him in a single attack if she uses Smash and lands a 20% chance crit. I was lucky and hit this on my second try, meaning I didn't have to scum for it for very long. Item uses this chapter: 1 Item uses total: 1 Chapter 1: Quests in the monastery to unlock fishing, the dining hall and the greenhouse. Alas, they all require items, so they are all off limits and there's nothing I can do with my forced exploration time. For the battle, I now have access to magic, which actually allows me to attack and do damage without using items. I chose the Black Eagles because they have three magic users at level 1, which is one more than the other two houses. Sadly, that isn't going to take me very far when they all have only one offensive spell each, all of them are at half uses, and one of them is Nosferatu. Double sadly, this is a rout map so it isn't possible to just rush the boss like it was in the prologue. However, there is a way around this problem. It is cheesy and it is grindy and I hate it, but that didn't stop me from doing it. I used the option (which I think is exclusive to Normal difficulty?) to retreat from combat while retaining earned experience. Repeatedly. By doing this, I was able to level up Hubert, Linhardt and Dorothea to the point where they were able to clear the map without running out of spells. The important break point for me was when Hubert hit C in Reason and learned Banshee. Those few extra castings were enough to tip the scales and allow me to complete the map. All in all, the grind took about an hour, which was about as long as it took me to very carefully do the level without grinding while trying to use as few weapon attacks as I could (the best I managed without grind was 7). Item uses this chapter: 0 Item uses total: 1 Chapter 2: Back in the monastery, and there's another forced item use. The game won't let me continue without completing Jeralt's quest, which requires the Tactics Primer. Several more quests become available but all of them require item use of some sort. However, I do realise that the quest to unlock sharing a meal is actually doable, since the dish of the day doesn't take any items. I complete that quest, and max out Edelgard's and Dorothea's motivation while I'm at it. This was also the first chance for recruitment, with Sylvain, Constance and Hapi all being added to the party. I was also sure to pick up the two available boosts to professor xp. With so many monastery activities locked off, getting professor xp is going to be tougher than usual. There's a forced auxiliary battle here, and it's another rout map. Happily, with the leveling up from last map, Linhardt learning Wind during tutoring, and the addition of Constance and Hapi, this was easily completed without having to resort to any further grinding. The hardest part here is remembering to unequip the battalions that the game auto-equips before the start of the battle. The chapter's main battle wasn't a problem. I'm onto "kill the boss" objectives rather than rout objectives here, so the plan was to kill enemies for xp until I got low on magic, then take out Kostas. As it turned out, I now have more than enough magic to clear the entire map anyway, so that's what i did. Item uses this chapter: 1 Item uses total: 2 Chapter 3: This was a largely uneventful chapter. A monastery quest unlocked faculty training, and after some training, some seminars, and some tutoring, Byleth, Edelgard and Sylvain all have access to magic as well. I'm not expecting to use them much, but it's nice to have a few extra spell uses around just in case I ever need them. The battle goes smoothly, and Lonato and his militia are all taken down. It's worth noting that Hapi and Constance are close to the same level as Hubert and Dorothea by this point (with Linhardt a bit higher because he's been healing a lot). While there is doubtless still some residual benefits to the grinding in chapter 1, it's already getting smaller. At this point, this wasn't easy because of the grinding; it was easy because it was easy. Item uses this chapter: 0 Item uses total: 2 Chapter 4: Another largely uneventful chapter. There is a main storyline quest (with a red quest marker) in the monastery this month that requires items to complete. Or "items" anyway. I'm not sure how the intel you gather from talking to people would qualify as items, but they do exist as items in the storehouse for the duration of the quest, so they'd be against the rules. Maybe Byleth is writing notes as she talks to everyone. Regardless, you don't actually need to complete the quest to continue, so I don't. The chapter's main battle is completed as normal, and spell conservation isn't an issue. I did leave the Death Knight alone, mainly because there didn't seem to be any point in messing with him. At some point, the enemies will probably start outpacing a handful of units still in the Noble and Commoner classes, but that time is not now. While things are nice and easy, I take the opportunity to build up the support level between Byleth and Edelgard a little, in preparation for being able to choose Crimson Flower later on. Item uses this chapter: 0 Item uses total: 2 Chapter 5: This is the chapter where the Saint statues finally open up for use. Except that they don't for me, because the quest to open them has required quest items: the rubble that you clear up goes into the storehouse until you finish the quest, so that's out. On the plus side, the bonuses they give would probably be less useful in this run anyway. It's not as if I'm going to be needing to hit weapon ranks for class certifications. Faster xp growths would have been nice, but they were not to be. The plus side to this is that since I can't use renown, that's something that I don't have to worry about at all. The sauna also unlocks this month. Yay? It's hardly the most useful thing in the world, but it is something else I can do while exploring the monastery, so it's nice to have. I also pick up the quest from Caspar to enter a tournament, and I am torn. Technically, the weapons that are used in a tournament are for the tournament only and don't actually exist as independent items, so by the letter of the rules I should probably be allowed to use them. It feels a little contrary to the spirit, though, and since tournament entry wouldn't do all that much for me anyway, I'll probably avoid them. Except for magic tournaments. Those are absolutely fair game. This month's mission proves to be a little bit of a slog. Conand Tower is always a fairly long map, but having my whole team still being stuck at the 4 points of movement from noble/commoner just makes it take that little bit longer still. I also face my first demonic beast here, and it's a little bit tricky. Not truly challenging, but a bit of a taste of what could be to come. First and most obviously, I don't have any battalions which means I don't have any gambits so taking down it's armour is strictly one piece at a time. Secondly, since I'm relying on characters who are magically focused, most of them are fairly squishy, which is bad against a fairly hard-hitting foe who I can't kill quickly. I took a couple of turns to kill it, being sure to keep people healed up, while taking down a single square of armour and unloading into it. Not too hard but certainly harder than most of what has come before. Item uses this chapter: 0 Item uses total: 2 Chapter 6: For this chapter, there's another main storyline quest where we have to run around the monastery asking people for information. This one doesn't give quest items, though. Apparently Byleth has given up on taking written notes. This chapter also sees the introduction of a new nemesis in the form of locked doors. I can't use keys to open them because keys are items and I can't promote anyone to Thief for locktouch. However, there are two easy solutions available. Ashe is easily available via mission assistance and can open locks with his personal ability. Or, since we're now up to chapter 6, Anna can be recruited for free and will now be in her default intermediate class: Thief. I choose to recruit Anna, and now have a Thief available to deal with those pesky doors. Since this is now the first chapter where new recruits will be in intermediate classes, I also have a second, much more important recruitment to make at this point: Balthus. By waiting until now to pick him up, I get him in the Brawler class which, crucially, comes with the Unarmed Combat ability. I now have a unit who can continue attacking indefinitely without using items. This means I can now lean heavily on one unit and over-level him as much as I want to. The map itself is fairly straightforward. The only noteworthy parts were trying to feed as many kills as possible to Balthus without going over the turn limit, and being careful with Anna's positioning whenever she opened a door to make sure she wasn't going to be attacked, since she has no means of defending herself. Item uses this chapter: 0 Item uses total: 2 Chapter 7: This was definitely the hardest chapter so far, because of Ingrid and her Pegasus Knight buddies. Enemy Pegasus Knights are just silly in this game, for some reason. Ingrid was doing more damage per hit than Dimitri here, and her two generic buddies weren't far behind her. Plus, they're Pegasus Knights so they're also fast and mobile. And an absolute nightmare for my army, most of which is squishy, deals damage with magic, and only has 4 move. Not the army composition that would want to be fighting any Pegasus Knights, let alone the weird overpowered ones that appear here. I had to restart a few times here to find a strategy that worked but here's what I eventually ended up doing. I deployed only three units: Byleth, Edelgard and Balthus. And I'd have left Byleth and Edelgard at home if the game would let me. The goal then became to try to keep Byleth and Edelgard out of range of the Pegasus Knights as much as possible, desperately dodge tank with Byleth (Heal + White Magic Avoid +20 + hiding in a bush) when it wasn't possible, and then pick them off one by one with Balthus. While this was going on, the Blue Lions and Golden Deer were slaughtering each other, so by the time I took out Ingrid, the only clearing up I had left to do was finishing off Dimtri and Mercedes, which wasn't a problem. Other things of note to happen during this chapter were that I picked up the very handy Healing Focus combat art on Balthus and finally got my Professor Level high enough to get a first adjutant. For this map, I had Constance as Balthus's adjutant. Being able to easily earn her some extra skill in Reason and some support points with Balthus should give me the option of Bolting linked attacks later on. (I realised later on that I could have made this chapter much, much easier on myself if I'd brought as many units as possible along and thrown them at Ingrid as cannon fodder. I'd forgotten that this was a non-lethal map and acts as if it's in casual mode. Oh well. I had fun figuring out how to not get anyone killed even if I needn't have bothered.) Item uses this chapter: 0 Item uses total: 2 Chapter 8: Given the problems I had with the last chapter, I consider doing a paralogue or two here just to grind for experience, but ultimately decide against it. One of the things that I do like about having infinite grinding (as is available on Normal difficulty) is that there's never a sense of "use it or lose it". If, at some point in the future, I find myself needing to grind for levels then I'll be able to do it then. That means there's absolutely no pressure to grind now just in case I need it later. And it certainly wasn't needed here, with this being a very easy chapter. Balthus did most of the work, my green allies saved a couple of villagers even though I was completely ignoring them, and that's about everything there is to say about this chapter. Item uses this chapter: 0 Item uses total: 2 Chapter 9: First order of business here is to pick my dancer. Given that dancer not only gives the ability to dance but is also a full-magic class, this is an important decision. I consider a few other options, but in the end I decide to go with Edelgard. I want a dancer who is sturdy enough to survive a hit or two so I can have them dancing for Balthus a lot, and Edelgard is going to be by far the sturdiest unit I have. Doubling up her spells isn't as good as doubling some other spell lists would have been, but it's still a perk. I was a little bit worried about this map, given that the Black Beast had given me a few problems back in chapter 5. However, it turned out remarkably simple. I have a decent physical unit now, I have two units (Hapi and Sylvain) who have learned Seraphim, Jeralt is a more capable ally than Gilbert, and most importantly, the demonic beasts here just aren't as scary as the Black Beast was. They only have two health bars each, so they were very easy to finish off quickly. Item uses this chapter: 0 Item uses total: 2 Chapter 10: The game doesn't let me end a monastery exploration session without going up to Jeralt's office and picking up his ring. Happily, it doesn't show up in my inventory, convoy, or storehouse so it doesn't count as an item by the rules I'm following. I decide to do the Sothis paralogue at this point, since it's the last month it's available and since the reward is technically useful to me, unlike all the Heroes' Relics and Battalions that most paralogues give. Balthus masters the Brawler class while I'm doing so, which gives him the equippable Unarmed Combat skill. This means I can now temporarily put him back into Noble and Fighter for HP+5, Str+2 and Shove. This month's main map isn't much of an issue. Demonic beasts are a bit of a pain, but nothing that actually approached difficult. Other than that, it's just the "Balthus kills everything" show, yet again, and the single map is enough for him to master Fighter. At this point, to get an idea of how much I've been using everyone, this is my full army together with their levels: Byleth: 16 // Edelgard: 4 // Hubert: 18 // Ferdinand: 1 // Linhardt: 19 // Caspar: 1 // Bernadetta: 1 // Dorothea: 18 // Petra: 1 // Sylvain: 10 // Flayn: 14 // Anna: 11 // Balthus: 27 // Constance: 20 // Hapi: 20. Item uses this chapter: 0 Item uses total: 2 Chapter 11: Did you know that if you get to chapter 11 and still haven't done any of the quests that unlock basic monastery facilities, the game gives you a warning message: "There are important quests that you haven't completed yet. Check the quest list and complete them before the end of this month." I sure didn't! Anyway, I start this month with a quick auxiliary battle which I solo with Balthus so he can master the Noble class. I don't think that HP+5 is going to be in his final build but it's nice to have for now. With that done, it's back to the monastery and after spending all my activity points (one trip to the sauna, one shared meal with the dish of the day, then a bunch of faculty training) I recruit Hanneman, Manuela, Alois and Shamir, which I can now do since Byleth reached level 15 last chapter. I'm not sure I'm going to do very much with them but I may as well have them just in case. I then complete the hardest part of the game: actually remembering to speak to Edelgard to accompany her back to Enbarr. There's nothing particularly difficult about this map. I have to be careful not to kill any of the enemies who have stolen crest stones, since the crest stones are items and I would count it as using them if I completed any of the secondary objective. Other than that, I'm growing increasingly doubtful that anything the game will throw at me is going to be a threat to Balthus. It's definitely a drawback to have no weapon, no battalion, no stat boosters and very restricted class access. He's not nealy as overpowered as he should be at his level. But even so, he is still overleveled and this is still normal difficulty and his growth seems to be outpacing the enemies'. Item uses this chapter: 0 Item uses total: 2 Chapter 12: Just as I was getting worried that I'd never have to face any more challenges, the game goes and throws another challenge at me. This level has a lot going on. Pegasus knight reinforcements that spawned behind me were a threat to my squishies. There are two golems, which are set up well to counter what my Balthus can throw at them. Monsters with ranged attacks dealing magic damage are not what he wants to be facing. The named enemies here are also pretty tough. Catherine hits like a ton of bricks, and Seteth and Gilbert both have high enough protection that my Balthus can't even scratch them unless he has King of Grappling active. So, definitely no Balthus solo here. However, he does still have a full army backing him up, so the who thing doesn't end up being too too hard. Definitely not the brainless stomp of the previous few levels, but nothing that ever threatened the run. Item uses this chapter: 0 Item uses total: 2 Part II: Crimson Flower Spoiler Chapter 13: And here we are, post-timeskip and officially into Crimson Flower. I used the normal mode trick of avoiding leveling up my Lord in part 1 which gets used in speedruns. If you aren't familiar with this, here's how it works. If you're on normal difficulty then the timeskip auto-level will jump everyone up to at least level 20, regardless of where they were before. However, in the case of the Lords, they get their unique class change before this happens which means they get bumped up to the minimum stats of the new class and then get to level up from that base, using the new class's growths. Autoleveling her from level 4 to level 20 gives her (amongst other things) an extra 17 hp and an extra 14 points of def. She's now only 4 points behind Balthus for def (23 compared to 27) despite him being 16 levels higher than her. She should be nice and survivable as a front-line dancer at this point. Back in the monastery, I get a pleasant surprise. All of the monastery activities that were previously locked behind quests just automatically open up for part 2 even though I ignored their quests. Most of these aren't actually useful to me, of course. Gardening, fishing and cooking together are still unavailable because they all require items. Choir practice is going to be nice to have but I'm past the part of the game where it would make a big difference. What is very nice, though, is that the Saint statues are now unlocked. Unfortunately, I don't have much renown (4700 to be precise) since I thought it was completely useless for this run. I put 2000 into Cethleann, 1000 each into Macuil and Indech, and 500 into Cichol, which gives me three lots of +5% xp as well as +1 to each of faith, reason, brawling, authority and class xp. Not the most significant bonuses but definitely better than the nothing I thought I was going to get. After the increased difficulty of chapter 12, this one is back to being a walk in the park. Having a good dancer now is really helping, since it basically means I can use Balthus twice in a turn. I rush the boss and the map is over in four turns. Item uses this chapter: 0 Item uses total: 2 Chapter 14: I do two quick quest battles ("Dealing with Deserters" and "Thieves at the Throat") to pick up a bit of extra renown. This lets me put another 500 points into Cichol for another +5% xp and 1000 into Macuil for +2 to riding, and is probably going to be the last that I'm going to bother with renown for this run. Both quests are done by the duo of Balthus and Edelgard, with Byleth as Balthus's adjutant. Not only did this let me get xp on my three most important units but it was also the easiest and most brainless way of doing them. Back in the monastery, I finally hit professor level B which will give me a second adjutant. Not a huge deal but it will be nice to have. The main battle for the month is fairly simple. I just deploy Balthus, Byleth and Edelgard for it as it's difficult to keep my squishy units safe when I only have three front-liners. They're becoming more of a liability at this point. The only noteworthy parts of the battle are Nader and Lysithea, both of whom hit incredibly hard and needed to be carefully baited. Other than that's, it's a simple stomp. I recruit Lysithea as well, though I'm not sure how much I'll use her. Her damage output, spell list and access to a full-magic class are obviously great but she's also very squishy. It's nice to have the option to use her if I need her, though. Item uses this chapter: 0 Item uses total: 2 Chapter 15: This chapter posed a few challenges, not because any of the enemies were tough but because of the inherent problems of low-manning a map with a defend objective. (Well, technically the objective is to kill all enemy commanders, but failing to defend is a failure condition for the map, so close enough.) I restarted once when I had pushed all three of my units too far forward and enemy reinforcements spawned that I wasn't in position to defend from. Then in my second try, I had to Pulse-scum to change the RNG when I got fantastically unlucky trying to kill an enemy Pegasus Knight (why is it always Pegasus Knights?) who was too close to the defend zone (I missed three out of four hits at about 85% displayed hit when I only needed two of them to land to get the kill). Outside of that one scare, the second attempt went entirely smoothly. Byleth and Edelgard both mastered their classes during this chapter and learned Sacred Power and Special Dance respectively. Item uses this chapter: 0 Item uses total: 2 Chapter 16: the first thing that happens in this chapter is that Edelgard automatically switches into the Emperor class. The second thing that happens is that I immediately change her back out of the Emperor class. For the mission, Felix was the biggest problem with his high def, speed, might and crit as well as aegis and pavise from his relic. It also didn't help that he's in the same group as Rodrigue. Rodrigue isn't a problem by himself, but he can do enough damage to make Felix even more dangerous. I actually ended up retreating to the trees east of the starting position and used the defensive terrain to help me take Felix out. After that, I snaked around the left hand side of the map, killing Gwendal, one Titanus, Ingrid and Finally Cornelia, while ignoring much of the centre and right of the map. I also enjoyed having to pull a bunch of tools out of my box for this map. Edelgard's spellcasting was very useful here, with Seraphim really helping out against the Titanus and then Luna helping to take down my old nemesis, Ingrid. I also got some great use out of both Special Dance and Sacred Power, with both of them being key to hit thresholds to get kills at least once. I have been training up the rest of my army to have a few extra tricks in reserve if I need them, being sure to pick up rallies, warp and rescue, siege tomes, etc. but I'm hoping that I won't need them. My noble/commoner mages were horribly squishy even they were still appropriately leveled, and will be even more so now that I haven't been using them for a while. Item uses this chapter: 0 Item uses total: 2 Chapter 17: This chapter was tricky, not because of any of the named characters but because of the demonic beasts. The barriers that negate all magic attacks were a pain to deal with given that I only have one unit who's able to physically attack. Especially given that Balthus has been dropping off a bit of late. He's still more than capable of killing most rank-and-file enemies but he's also running into more and more things with defense too high for him to deal with. It often feels strange to me that he isn't doing better, but then I remind myself that he's losing out on a lot of might by not having access to weapons, battalions, or important skills like Deathblow or Fistfaire. The routine I end up settling on for killing the demonic beasts here is as follows: first, I completely isolate the beast so I can deal with it on its own and not have to worry about anything else at the same time. Then I wait for a turn when it isn't about to immediately regen its armour. I can then attack with Balthus, refresh him with dance and attack again. This doesn't do much damage, but it's enough to bring down one tile worth of barrier, which allows me to attack with Byleth and do some real damage. On my next turn, I can attack with all three of my units and hopefully get the kill. I'm also starting to run into a problem that I haven't had for a long while: running out of spells. I didn't actually run out but I did come close enough that I had to be careful with my usage. With Balthus running into more and more enemies that he can't deal with, Byleth and Edelgard are having to pick up more of the slack and they have a hard limit on how much they can do in a single map. Overall, with the care I needed to take to isolate demonic beasts and the care to preserve spells, this ended up taking a total of 42 turns to complete. At this point, I'm starting to get worried that I won't be able to kill The Immaculate One. Item uses this chapter: 0 Item uses total: 2 Chapter 18: As I go into the final chapter, let's take stock of my army. Here's what I have available to me. Edelgard, Dancer 40 // Byleth, Enlightened One 45 // Balthus, Brawler 47 // Dorothea, Commoner 36 // Hapi, Commoner 40 // Hubert, Noble 22 // Constance, Noble 24 // Hanneman, Mage 24 // Linhardt, Noble 22 // Manuela, Priest 22 // Anna, Thief 20 // Jeritza, Death Knight 27 // Ferdinand, Noble 20 // Sylvain, Noble 20 // Caspar, Noble 20 // Bernadetta, Noble 20 // Petra, Commoner 20 // Alois, Warrior 22 // Shamir, Sniper 22 // Lysithea, Mage 29. Other than my main three, the only units who might be able to contribute good damage numbers are Dorothea and Hapi who have kept up in level by being on adjutant duties for Byleth and Balthus respectively and Lysithea due to her very late recruitment. Other units might be able to contribute a little as support, chip damage or cannon fodder but not much. As it happens, I didn't need any of my other units, although it was touch and go at times. The biggest threats here were the golems with their anti-magic barriers and their buffed stats; and Catherine with her being Catherine and her Thunderbrand. I ended up taking the right hand path up the level, then clearing out a space around The Immaculate One and then engaging. The Immaculate One herself was honestly pretty disappointing. It's been a while since I last did Crimson Flower and I did not remember her stats being as underwhleming as they were. On a pure one-on-one basis, the golems were much more of a challenge. The Immaculate One just wasn't hitting hard enough or accurately enough to ever be a threat, whereas the golems were. After taking off two Immaculate health bars, I disengaged for a while to deal with reinforcements, then went back and finished the job. Balthus got the finishing blow while buffed by both Special Dance and Sacred Power (not that he needed them), which seemed like the perfectly poetic end to this run. Playing carefully to manage aggro and preserve spells, the whole map took me 44 turns. Item uses this chapter: 0 Item uses total: 2 Final stats and closing thoughts: Spoiler Edelgard, Dancer, level 43. 67 hp, 39 str, 32 mag, 33 dex, 29 spd, 19 lck, 31 def, 22 res, 49 cha. Reason Lv 5, HP +5, Black Magic Crit +10, Weight -3, Special Dance. Balthus, Brawler, level 50. 72 hp, 38 str, 17 mag, 29 dex, 30 spd, 20 lck, 33 def, 11 res, 21 cha. Brawling Prowess Lv 5, Dexterity +4, Strength +2, HP +5, Brawl Crit +10 Byleth, Enlightened One, level 46. 64 hp, 33 str, 27 mag, 35 dex, 34 spd, 32 lck, 32 def, 23 res, 27 cha. Faith Lv 4, Reason Lv 4, HP +5, Sacred Power, White Magic Avoid +20 Chapter summaries: Prologue, 6 turns, MVP Edelgard Chapter 1, 11 turns, MVP Linhardt Chapter 2, 16 turns, MVP Constance Chapter 3, 12 turns, MVP Hapi Chapter 4, 13 turns, MVP Linhardt Chapter 5, 21 turns, MVP Dorothea Chapter 6, 22 turns, MVP Balthus Chapter 7, 29 turns, MVP Balthus Chapter 8, 12 turns, MVP Balthus Chapter 9, 7 turns, MVP Balthus Paralogue: The Red Canyon, 10 turns, MVP Balthus Chapter 10, 40 turns, MVP Balthus Chapter 11, 31 turns, MVP Balthus Chapter 12, 36 turns, MVP Balthus Chapter 13, 4 turns, MVP Balthus Chapter 14, 20 turns, MVP Balthus Chapter 15, 22 turns, MVP Byleth Chapter 16, 23 turns, MVP Balthus Chapter 17, 42 turns, MVP Balthus Chapter 18, 44 turns, MVP Balthus Number of battles by each character: Balthus: 622 battles, 247 victories Byleth: 174 battles, 68 victories Edelgard: 86 battles, 29 victories Hubert: 62 battles, 29 victories Dorothea: 51 battles, 29 victories Linhardt: 50 battles, 31 victories Hapi: 48 battles, 25 victories Constance: 41 battles, 25 victories Sylvain: 12 battles, 5 victories Hanneman: 4 battles, 3 victories Manuela: 2 battles, 0 victories Anna: 0 battles, 0 victories Jeritza: 0 battles, 0 victories Lysithea: 0 battles, 0 victories Caspar: 0 battles, 0 victories Ferdinand: 0 battles, 0 victories Petra: 0 battles, 0 victories Bernadetta: 0 battles, 0 victories Alois: 0 battles, 0 victories Shamir: 0 battles, 0 victories Obviously, Balthus was the linchpin to this whole run. It would probably have been possible to do the same thing with Raphael instead, but it would have been harder, both due to the recruitment requirements for Raphael and due to Balthus being a better unit. I'm not sure what the run would have looked like without a brawler at all. It would probably be possible but I imagine it would take a lot more grinding and not be fun at all. One slight regret I have for this run is how I trained him, though. I spent most of the game trying to train him in Riding to get Move +1 but never got his riding beyond A. On the other hand, his brawling finished at S and was almost halfway to S+ by the end. If I'd focused on Brawling from the start, I'd probably have been able to get Fistfaire, which would have been very useful. Just to spend a bit of time looking at the numbers and seeing just how much the no-items restriction hurts, consider that my Balthus ended up at 38 strength (which included 2 from the Strength +2 ability from mastering Fighter), which is a a little bit below where he can expect to be on average at level 50. This also meant he was attacking with 38 might, since he didn't have anything to add to his strength. For comparison, consider a regular game without item restrictions, then consider Linhardt as a Grappler. He's the weakest male unit in the game and the least suited to being a Grappler, which is why we're choosing him. We'll also have him finish at level 40, since that's more normal for a regular game. If you send him through Noble -> Fighter -> Brigand -> Grappler, then he will average strength 26 at level 40, or strength 28 if you include Strength +2. However, his might will then be 28 from strength + 4 from Silver Gauntlets + 7 (ish) from a battalion + 5 from Fistfaire which is 44. On player phase, you can add an extra +6 to that from Death Blow for a total of 50 might, much stronger than Balthus's 38 might. (King of Grappling could compensate for this somewhat, but it is somewhat risky to use by its nature.) Byleth was also vital. In the early game, her magic was very weak compared to the dedicated mages but even then she was useful for the 20% xp boost from Professor's Guidance, and could also contribute some occasional chip damage and tanking. By the end of the game she was a powerhouse, though. Some sort of magic attacker was necessary in the late game, since there were some high def enemies that Balthus just couldn't touch. While Byleth wasn't ever going to have the high magic stat of Constance or Hubert, she really didn't need it. She was mostly useful against high def targets and they mostly have terrible res to begin with. And in return for the lower magic stat, she gets the ability to get into a class with full magic uses, great bulk and defensiveness, the ability to dodge tank with white Magic Avoid +20, and support utility through Professor's Guidance and Sacred Power. I'll also note that for the three-person team that I had going on, Recover was far more useful than Physic would have been. I always kept my units together and on the front line, so the range from Physic would have been meaningless, whereas the extra healing from Recover was extremely useful at times. I definitely have no regrets about making her my primary magic user. Edelgard's importance is understated by her raw number of battles. Having a Dancer was absolutely necessary at times (eg, dealing with demonic beasts with anti-magic barriers by letting Balthus attack twice per turn) and merely very useful the rest of the time. In addition to just her dancing, she also had great defensive stats and a useful spell list. Seraphim and Luna were both very nice to have. While there were other potential dancers who could have contributed more magic and others who could have managed similar defensiveness, I don't think there was anyone who could have come close to matching Edelgard at both of them Of the rest, Hubert, Dorothea, Linhardt, Constance and Hapi were my key early-game units and I couldn't have done it without them. They were phased out by the end, but their contributions were important. Sylvain was also around for the early game but was less important than the others. Still, he did make some important contributions with some clutch uses of Physic and Seraphim. Hanneman and Manuela both saw a little bit of action after they were recruited but could easily have been dispensed with. Anna didn't see a single combat, but her ability to open doors for me was vital the one time that I needed it. Everyone else was literally never deployed. Questions and comments are welcome. I'm especially interested if anyone can think of any tricks that I missed, if anyone has thoughts on how doable this would be on harder difficulties, or if anyone has other ideas for fun or interesting challenge runs. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
Join the conversation
You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.