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woodswake

Best character for each class - no, not the other way around

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There's been a million "best class for each character" threads, so let's try doing things from a different perspective. Who makes Holy Knight the least bad? Which Wyvern Lord is the most OP? I'm mostly looking at Master classes here, but a few Advanced ones that people tend to use or that don't really have a "better" Master version would be nice as well (Sniper, Paladin, Assassin, Dark Bishop, maybe Hero for the hell of it? Fortress Knight?).

Throw in DLC classes if you like - they kind of cheat by having characters tailor-made for those classes, but you could try War Cleric as well as War Monk.

"Byleth" is the cheat answer, so let's avoid that. If you pick a route-exclusive character, maybe include a runner-up that's recruitable.

 

To start us off, Lysithea being the best possible Gremory is pretty uncontroversial, as far as I can tell. Most people seem to agree that Hubert (with Linhardt as recruitable runner-up) is the best Dark Bishop, as well.

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I'm generally rating classes as final classes. Assuming Maddening NG as usual. I tend towards player phase play and not skipping maps.

My answers are some hybrid of "which unit who, in this class, performs the best" and "which unit makes the best use of this class compared to his/her other options", which are not quite the same.

Wyvern Lord
Edelgard. Axe boon, stupid strength to ensure reliable KOs on pretty much everything, transitions in easily via pegasus, Raging Storm is bonkers.
Recruitable runner-up: Petra. Axe AND flying boon, great offensive stats, can transition in via pegasus.

Sniper
Felix. Bow boon. Amazing strength, Heavy Draw and speed ensure great offence prior to getting Hunter's Volley.
Honourable mention to Shamir. She doesn't have as much power or speed but she's got a head start on Hunter's Volley (albeit at the cost of skipping intermediate masteries) and also Bow Crit/Bowfaire2.

Bow Knight
Leonie. Has all the boons, and Point-Blank Volley makes it easy for her to give up Hunter's.
Honourable mention to Dimitri, Claude, and Felix. Each gets one of the relevant major boons while being neutral in the other, and have the stats needed to make this 8-move 4-range class the complete murder machine it was in almost anyone's hands on Normal/Hard.

Paladin
Dimitri. Has both relevant boons, and huge strength + Lancefaire lets him erase everything with Brave Lance / Atrocity / BVantage+BWrath while having 8 move.
Recruitable runner-up: Ferdinand and Sylvain. Sometimes you just wanna max your damage with Swift Strikes instead of going for mobility.

Gremory
Lysithea has low-use, high-value spells which benefit greatly from this class, in addition to her many good points in general.
Honourable mention to Dorothea. Being able to throw down one Meteor while keeping a second for linked attacks is pretty bananas. Doesn't benefit from the white uses x2 side as much as Lysithea though.

War Master
Dedue has both the relevant boons, beefy strength, and One-Two Punch which means he doesn't lose out on the lack of Fierce Iron Fist as much as most.
Honourable mention to Alois for similar reasons.

Grappler
Probably Felix. High strength which matters a lot when you're hitting 3 or more times, speed lets him grab quads (unlike most other male units with brawling boons) and this is the fastest Fistfaire class.
Honourable mention to male Byleth. He can have some trouble getting skills fast enough for Advanced classes (besides Enlightend One), at least Brawling is one he has a boon in.

Swordmaster
Catherine is the only answer. Swordmaster is a pretty cool class around Chapter 5-6 or so, before better classes get online. Only one character can use it then! And if you want to no-effort her you can just keep her there permanently (but you shouldn't).

Assassin
Petra or Felix have the relevant boons, and good enough offensive stats to make the class work. Also their durability (when not dodging) is on the low end, so they appreciate Stealth.
Honourable mention to Bernadetta, Dedue, and Cyril. Allows them to more easily stay safe while using Vengeance.

Holy Knight
While nobody should use this, Marianne probably makes the best case, since she has boons in both faith and riding, and if you're emphasizing Frozen Lance for her offence anyway, it is easier to get to than Dark Knight. (That said Dark Knight is still better for her, among other options.)

Dark Knight
Hubert. Rather unquestionably his best lategame class, due to how bad his magic class options are otherwise. Only way to get Dark Tomefaire.
Honourable mention to Lysithea. Again, only way to get Dark Tomefaire, for when you want that Luna to blow things up as hard as possible. (To be clear, Lys is better than Hubie, but she also has other options.)

Warlock
Dorothea should consider staying in this one to max her power and to give her a second Meteor. Gremory trades 3 power for 1 move, which is generally a winning trade, but you might consider power if it lets her hit key OHKO benchmarks.
Honourable mention to Hanneman. The logic is the same. (Everyone else who might use this class should transition to Gremory/Dark Knight at 30.)

Bishop
Linhardt. Almost his only viable class, but it's great for him.
Honourable mention to Flayn. The DLC gives her other viable options, but otherwise her high faith, low reason, and desire to double her uses of Rescue and Fortify make this an obvious choice.

Mortal Savant
Dorothea, Marianne, and Constance. Swordfaire and Black Tomefaire is a neat combo if you have a magical sword combat art, and at least this has 6 move unlike Gremory/Warlock.
Honourable mention to Lysithea, same idea but she'd probably prefer a class with Dark Tomefaire if she's all in for offence, and Mortal Savant can't provide that for her.

Warrior
Edelgard or Hilda, Cindered Shadows only. Nobody else should stay in it.
Its only real purpose is to provide Wrath... of which the best user is probably Balthus, due to his personal, but he shouldn't stay there.

Hero
Alois. This class sucks because you should just master Mercenary for Vantage instead, but.... what if you're a latejoiner who doesn't want to backtrack for intermediate masteries but has easy access to Wrath? That describes a lower-effort Alois build. Gilbert is worth noting for similar reasons, but suffers from the flaw of being Gilbert.

Falcon Knight
Bernadetta. Wyvern Lord is usually preferred for its superior strength, but... what if you had a great lance combat art, a lance boon, and an axe bane? That describes exactly one female PC.
Honourable mention to Ingrid and Catherine, who have a slightly easier time getting to it than they do Wyvern Lord, but only slightly.

Trickster
Manuela. Halving your uses of Warp doesn't matter since it rounds up to 1, and she auto-trains the relevant skill ranks.

War Cleric
Catherine has a brawling boon, huge offensive stats, and can't access any other Fistfaire classes; this class was almost made for her.
Honourable mention to Female Byleth for similar reasons; she even tends to naturally get the faith rank via choir spam.

Valkyrie
Hapi. Both relevant boons, and Dark Range+1 is huge when no other advanced class boosts dark magic.
Honourable mention to Lysithea for the same reasons, but doesn't have a Riding boon

Dark Flier
Constance. Rescue benefits from mobility, and she has both the relevant boons.
Honourable mention to Flayn and Marianne (also have flight boons), though really every female mage does great here. Too bad there's only a battalion for one...

Dark Bishop
Ugh no. Uh Hubert loses the least from it, it's a fine if uninpsiring option him for Levels 20-29. Every other male mage clearly prefers Warlock/Bishop.

Great Knight
Bad class, but... I'm gonna go with the surprise pick of Annette. Without the DLC (or with, if someone else gets Nuvelle Fliers), this is the most mobile non-flying Axefaire class. The armour bane hurts, but at least I'm convinced someone has a potential use for this.

Fortress Knight
Please no. uhhh. Dedue because he can still get some offence out of One-Two Punch or Vengeance and has both relevant boons. Or you may just want to get his def as high as humanly possible for the fun of it.

 

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Well-reasoned! Felix is doing very well for himself in multiple classes, which is interesting for a character that seems so obviously built for swords.

Any male candidates for War Monk? My instincts say Hanneman isn't a bad choice, purely because of the existence of his brawling ranks and Aura Knuckles plus being able to actually use his spell list. (Which isn't great, but, y'know, nice to have.) It's a bit iffy because it's basically the same class as Cleric, but it's technically different, making me wonder if we shouldn't slot someone in there. Balthus seems obvious, but... eh. I frankly think he's better as a War Master.

Edit: Any thoughts on Dancer, also?

Edited by woodswake

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I’m not a 3H expert by any means, but if I may offer my two cents, Dark Flier should probably go to Flayn. While it is true that Constance is basically made for the class (she even is one in Cindered Shadows), Flayn is arguably the single unit who gained the most from the DLC, and the difference between how she fares with and how she fares without DLC classes is absurd. It gives her the absolute best mobility she can access for her big three support spells (Restore, but most importantly Fortify and Rescue), Black Tomefaire and useful growths while only requiring the one movement rank she isn’t weak in.

Again, I know this is the exact opposite of “best class for each character”, and you did mention her as a runner-up, but I felt like Flayn’s case was worth elaborating on.

Edited by Goddess Serra
tenses

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I pretty much agree with everything Dark Holy Elf says. 

For War Monk, I would say Byleth and Balthus are really the only viable options. Raph could also do well in it due to get Recover, tho Bylad/Balthus are clearly the best options for the class if we have to pick (tho to be fair, no one is using War Monk/Cleric when Grappler/War Master is better for offense and Bishop/Gremory is better for healing support).

As for Dancer, there are a few options. I would argue Marianne is the best. Having a natural affinity for swords allows for her to get axebreaker and sword prowess for the best avoid possible with sword avo +20. Also her riding affinity makes it possible for her to get mov +1 too if you maybe stick her in the stables and use a chapter or two where dancing isn't very necessary to have her in cav/paladin to get her up to A+ riding. Marianne is also able to use physic of course in turns where again, she may not need not dance.

Dorothea is also a good Dancer due to how great her utility is having physic and meteor for pot shots. She also has the same sword affinity as Marianne so same as above applies here. Constance also works as a decent Dancer for the same reasons (minus physic unfortunately). Personally I still think Marianne reigns supreme.

In terms of best Dark Flier, I would say Constance is the best between her and Flayn solely due to ease of access and being the better offensive unit while also being able to provide utility with rescue versus Flayn who's only claim to fame would be rescue imo. Also, maybe its just me, but on maddening, I do prefer enemy-phase strats come late game, so fortify ends up being more of a annoyance than help when I'm trying to keep my enemy phase sweepers on low hp for vantage/wrath/defiant strats. DF is without a doubt Flayn's best class, but Constance is the better DF.

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2 hours ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

Great Knight
Bad class, but... I'm gonna go with the surprise pick of Annette. Without the DLC (or with, if someone else gets Nuvelle Fliers), this is the most mobile non-flying Axefaire class. The armour bane hurts, but at least I'm convinced someone has a potential use for this.

Honestly, as someone who’s doing this as a meme in an NG+ run I completely agree. She’s not tanking anything but the grounded status let’s her equip a more accurate battalion, which combined with the extra meme pick of hit +20 is letting her have near perfect hit rates on even axebreaker Swordmasters. That being said my personal pick for the class would be her dad, Gilbert, since his ranks are the most feasible for him actually reaching it, or Balthus since his personal along with his great defence could actually result in a pretty great tank.

Anyway, for some thoughts on other classes:

War Master: Felix- his speed lets him have a real possibility of quadding which defeats the purpose of staying in Grappler. Yuri is my honourable mention despite the axe bane and neutral brawling, for the same reason. He also gets a personal skill that directly boosts melee damage, and the authority boon is nice to have too.

Trickster: probably Manuela as well. Honestly I like it on a lot of mages due to Steath, especially if they have a magic combat art to get more sources of damage than their 5 uses of fire or whatever. That being said my runner up is Lysithea- Soulblade acts as an alternative source of damage, her high magic means that she can still perform adequately even despite the lack of modifiers or faires, and stealth lets her pull off some strategies and kills that otherwise wouldn’t be possible.

Grappler: Balthus or Raphael/Caspar, probably. The speedy brawlers I prefer in war master.

Gremory: Constance. Doubling her Bolting usages is great, and gives more opportunities for her crest to activate and give her even more uses of it. The extra uses of rescue are also worth it IMO. Other than that I do agree with Lysithea- doubled warp is nice.

 

 

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5 hours ago, woodswake said:

Lysithea being the best possible Gremory is pretty uncontroversial, as far as I can tell.

I would dare contest that, because Constance exists. 4 uses of Bolting is GRRRRREAT!

Edited by Shadow Mir

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4 hours ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

Falcon Knight
Bernadetta. Wyvern Lord is usually preferred for its superior strength, but... what if you had a great lance combat art, a lance boon, and an axe bane? That describes exactly one female PC.
Honourable mention to Ingrid and Catherine, who have a slightly easier time getting to it than they do Wyvern Lord, but only slightly.

Bernadetta as a Falcon Knight...I've never thought of that, and I really like the idea! I'm definitely doing that on my next/current playthrough. (I along with (if I can remember correctly): Wyvern Rider Ferdinand, Dark Mage/Assassin Ignatz, and either Falcon Knight or Trickster Manuela (I've done the Trickster route before, and it was solid).)

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Y'know what, just to give myself more work, I'll break it down by class AND route. First, let's look at Advanced classes.

Sniper

Spoiler

CF: Shamir. She's the only early pre-promote on this Catherine-less route, and joins with a jaw-dropping A in Bows. The player is free to revert her a bit for valuable Fighter and Archer masteries, train Axes for Brigand mastery, or just rush Sniper for Hunter's Volley ASAP. D Authority isn't great, but tolerable at chapter 6. Bernadetta and Petra are her only competition, but even with Bow boons, they'll take a while to get into the class.

SS: Shamir again. None of the non-CF units you get on SS are particularly suited for Sniper, excepting Cyril, who joins too late to seriously consider.

AM: Shamir a third time. Ashe and Cyril each make more of a case for themselves with earlier join times (and thus, earlier chances at Fighter/Brigand/Archer mastery), as well as a genuine jump-start on Authority for Ashe and PBV on Cyril, but I think Shamir getting early Sniper is just a little better.

VW: Claude. Shamir is as good as ever here, but Claude comes in with Lord credentials, including great Charm, Speed, and an Authority boon. Not to mention, early access to valuable masteries. Sniper obviously isn't his best class, but Claude's the best unit who can use the class, even if he won't access it until later. Shout-out to Cyril being decent again, and Leonie being even better, but neither quite Claude-level.

Assassin

Spoiler

CF: Petra. She's fast, good in swords, good in bows, and fast again. One of your few units who can naturally double a good chunk of foes, even on Maddening. She'll probably want a side trip into Pegasus Knight for Darting Blow, but that's hardly an issue with her Lance neutrality and Flight boon. Only apparent competition is Ferdinand and out-of-house Felix.

SS: Petra again. Basically nothing's changed here. You can get Catherine late, at which point she won't take much work to slide into Assassin, but she lacks valuable class masteries.

AM: Felix. Like Petra, he's strong in Swords and Bows. His Authority bane is a drag, but his personal ability compensates for it, especially in the earlygame. Also, his crest is excellent, especially against foes he manages to naturally double. You can get Catherine earlier this time, and unlike Felix, she'll have access to Darting Blow (if you put the proper training in). That said, daily reminder that Thunderbrand isn't a Catherine-exclusive, and is arguably better in Felix's hands.

VW: Claude. The Bow boon returns, along with the Sword boon. Also, the Authority boon and good Charm stat help. In theory, he can use the Lord class to build Sword and Authority rank faster, although when it comes to mastery, he'd probably prefer Archer and Brigand. Shout-out to Ignatz, who shares the proficiencies, and enjoys Hit +20 and various rallies, but just isn't the offensive threat Claude is.

Paladin

Spoiler

CF: Ferdinand von Aegir. Pretty easy pick - he has a Lance boon and Riding boon. Not to mention, his Axe boon makes reaching Brigand for Death Blow quite easy. Plus, get his to A Lances, and he achieves Swift Strikes, one of the best combat arts in the game. Oh, and free 15 hit and avoid (at full HP) from his personal. Bernadetta is a close second - Vengeance is another strong Lance art, and in conjunction with her personal skill, can help her secure one-shots. Albeit, it's a little harder to get her into Brigand, and the Vengeance strat requires setup, even if it comes earlier than Ferdie's Swift Strikes.

SS: Ferdinand again. Everything I said before applies here. Seteth can theoretically go Paladin (weirdly enough, despite his Riding bane, he gets Cavalier as an Intermediate class), where he'll also go Swift Strikes. But he won't bring any valuable mastery skills without backtracking. Oh, out-of-house Sylvain is also basically comparable to Ferdinand on non-AM routes if you're playing as female Teach. Just thought I'd mention that.

AM: Dimitri. His stats are just bonkers, with one of the most imposing Strength stats in the game, as well as good physical bulk and Charm. Riding is a budding talent, but he'll have no issues with Lance rank. He can delete stuff with a Brave Lance... or a borrowed Lance of Ruin or Luin... or a Horseslayer, against the right foes. Sylvain comes very close, and will probably be even stronger after getting Swift Strikes, but as an A-rank art, it'll take a while.

VW: Lorenz. Okay, hear me out - go Monk -> Mage -> Paladin. Mastering the first two classes give him magic-boosting skills, while hitting C-Lances gives him the all-valuable Frozen Lance. Combined with a magic-boosting battalion and a high-Might Lance, he's in territory of one-shotting foes. Marianne is a theoretical competitor, with earlier FL and a similar Riding boon, but she lacks his bulk and Reason boon. Leonie and out-of-house Sylvain are honorable mentions on the physical side.

Fortress Knight

Spoiler

CF: Balthus. His stat distribution is basically built to be an Armor Knight, excelling in HP/Strength/Defense but mediocre in all other areas. He has boons in Axes and Armor, and his personal ability bolsters his defense further when his HP falls below half. His Crest lets him comfortably wield the Aegis Shield, or any Hero's Relic, without losing survivability. Edelgard and Ferdinand appear to have the boons to make this class work, but neither one has enough innate Defense.

SS: Balthus again. Like, has anything changed? There's no competition from Edelgard, and you could recruit Hilda or Seteth to fill the role. But neither one brings as much physical bulk to the table.

AM: Dedue. Like Balthus, he brings Axe and Armor boons to the table, and even surpasses him in physical bulk growths. His personal is also a very good one for survivability, particularly in the earlygame. His disappearance post-skip is regrettable, but he's certainly good outside of that time. Honorable mentions to Gilbert (for showing up to replace him) and Balthus.

VW: Balthus for the threepeat. Raphael has better HP and Luck, I guess, but those are rarely serious stumbling blocks to Balthus. They get Rally Strength at the same time, so it's a point for neither. Hilda is worth an honorable mention for Freikugel and Seal Speed, but her Defense is a bit lower.

Bishop

Spoiler

CF: Linhardt. He gets perhaps the best collection of support magic in the game, with Physic, Restore, and Warp. Restore has its occasional uses, but Physic is vital for team health, and Warp can revolutionize the way you play maps. Of course, this rides off a Faith (and Reason) boon from the get-go. Dorothea is hampered by her starting bane and limited list, but she can be good in this class, too, if you want White Magic Avoid +20 and Rally Charm.

SS: Linhardt. Flayn is worth a mention this time around, joining with Restore and Rescue (her starting rank may depend on difficulty), and eventually getting to Fortify. A decent list, but not as strong as one with Physic and Warp. She also has a harder time getting off the ground on the Reason side. Manuela... exists, and technically offers Warp, as well as Rally Charm. But she joins late with bad Authority and a Reason bane.

AM: Mercedes. Like Linhardt, she has boons in Reason and Faith. Her list is very similar, except forsaking Warp for Fortify - not a winning trade-off, if you ask me. Still, she has the strongest Faith list of anyone easily available to the Blue Lions, as well as strong Magic and Resistance. There's no good Warp option here - Hapi is an easy pickup without a Faith boon, while Linhardt and Lysithea are tougher pickups with such a boon, and Manuela's mediocre Magic stat limits her Warp range.

VW: Lysithea. Warp is her only unique support spell, but it's one of the best in the game, and her high Magic gives her the longest-range Warp possible. Before that, she gets a strong offensive option in Seraphim, too. Not to mention, an easy trip to Mage. Marianne lacks the Reason boon and Warp, but she brings something else vital to the table - Physic. So if you're the kind of player who just doesn't Warp, Marianne may show up as better.

Warlock

Spoiler

CF: Dorothea. She gets one of the best Reason lists in the game (Fire, Thoron, Sagittae, Meteor, Agnea's Arrow), and Black Tomefaire and doubled spell uses certainly complement this. She has a rough start, and not the best Magic stat, but getting her to master Monk and Mage can ameliorate this. Hanneman is a solid competitor, with a potentially better list (Wind, Thoron, Sagittae, Ragnarok, Meteor), but will join behind her in Authority and class masteries. Edelgard and Hubert can theoretically come into this class, but both get Dark spells that wouldn't benefit.

SS: Dorothea again. Nothing's really changed here - Flayn's spell list isn't too impressive, and no other units who suddenly pop in care to go Warlock.

AM: Constance. She has another exceedingly good spell list (Fire, Sagittae, Fimbulvetr, Bolting, Agnea's Arrow), again backed by a Reason boon. Oh, and an Authority boon, for earlier access to strong battalions. And and, a personal ability that can bolster her offensive output on select maps. The only in-house competitors are Annette and Mercedes, neither of whom offer a Reason list as good or as extensive. Hanneman is, again, an honorable mention.

VW: Constance. The only in-house competitors are Lorenz (shorter spell list and lower Magic stat), Lysithea (benefits from neither of the class's abilities), and Marianne (lacks a Reason boon). I feel bad for Hanneman - I wanted him to win this one, but it's basically the same scenario as AM. Uh... he wins if you don't have the DLC, I guess?

Second... wow, that's been enough time. I'll return to this thread, eventually, to tackle Master and DLC classes. Take care until then!

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5 hours ago, woodswake said:

Any male candidates for War Monk? My instincts say Hanneman isn't a bad choice, purely because of the existence of his brawling ranks and Aura Knuckles plus being able to actually use his spell list. (Which isn't great, but, y'know, nice to have.)

Good luck making this work, considering Hanneman will be starting from E brawling. Also, considering that Hanneman doesn't come until chapter 8... yeah, this is gonna suck to get off the ground. It doesn't help the Aura Knuckles are A rank, either.

Edited by Shadow Mir

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5 hours ago, woodswake said:

Any male candidates for War Monk? My instincts say Hanneman isn't a bad choice, purely because of the existence of his brawling ranks and Aura Knuckles plus being able to actually use his spell list. (Which isn't great, but, y'know, nice to have.) It's a bit iffy because it's basically the same class as Cleric, but it's technically different, making me wonder if we shouldn't slot someone in there. Balthus seems obvious, but... eh. I frankly think he's better as a War Master.

Edit: Any thoughts on Dancer, also?

I feel like Aura Knuckles being A (while Hanneman starts with E at chapter 8 ) reduces him in War Monk to NG+ only; he also hates halved spell uses since it drops him to two Thorons. I'd probably suggest MByleth or Felix (again!) for male War Monk... they have enough speed to not loathe the loss of Fierce Iron Fist, it does offer superior strength to Grappler, and while War Master is better overall, you might decide not to make the axe investment and/or you might like having a frontliner who can toss out Recover now and then. Both really like going through this class for Brawl Avoid +20.


Dancer is interesting! It's a different conversation because you can only make one. I think there are quite a few valid candidates, and it depends on your playstyle.

1. Siege tome support: Dorothea on CF/SS/AM, Hilda on VW. Siege tomes potentially offer hit bonuses for every member on your team supported by the siege tome user while equipped, so this is something a dancer can do without taking their action (which will almost always be Dance, anyway) - a big deal. Dorothea supports all the Eagles and three combat-heavy Lions, while Hilda supports all the Deer, so they're easy choices for each role (Hilda has to wait a little longer to get her siege tome, but so it goes). Marianne is probably worth mentioning for the Deer too, since she gets Thoron and has a Riding boon for Move+1, but overall I'd recommend Hilda instead.

2. Dodgetank via Sword Avoid: Ferdinand and Dimitri get top billing here. Since dancers won't be activating Alert Stance, base evade + relevant personals to boost evasion are what count. Both have sword (for Prowess) and riding (for Move+1) boons to boot. Most people won't use Dimitri for this role because he's so great at his other roles (for all that make no mistake, I have seen dancer Dimitri and he is extremely effective). Ferdinand is therefore the one I recommend more broadly, particularly on Eagles runs (either route) where you can adjust his skill training to swords/riding early.

3. Caspar, Annette, Mercedes, Ashe, Ignatz, or Lorenz. (+Dorothea and Hilda, but we already covered them)

"That's a weird list", I'm sure someone is saying. Well, consider the following premises:

1. Reunion at Dawn is commonly considered the most difficult chapter in the game.
2. A dancer is a potent asset which makes battles easier.
3. Whether one wins Reunion or Dawn is determined by the 5-6 characters who join at the west side of the map.

Basically, having your dancer at Reunion at Dawn is a big deal, and the above list is all the characters who can be one, excepting Petra and Leonie who I just feel bring too much value as combat units. I particularly like Caspar and Ashe in this role because I don't think very highly of them as units, so the upgrade from "not very good unit" to "amazing" on the hardest chapter in the game is a big deal to me, but your milage may vary. Obviously this choice is extremely route-dependent (and not a consideration for CF at all).

I'll also mention there's some value in making your Dancer someone who has a low-use valuable spell like Rescue/Warp/Fortify, since they'll still be able to do that and actually be useful on other turns. The main character who benefits from this as a possibility is Flayn: she's not a very good unit, but she does have Rescue, and Dancer lets her use that instead of dancing in a pinch.


Overall my personal favourite choice for Dancer is Ferdinand, but it's hard to go wrong with anyone I've mentioned... or really, just about anyone. I've certainly made someone a dancer just because I wanted to use them for story/support reasons but didn't value what they were bringing to my party, and that's valid too!

Edited by Dark Holy Elf

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My take on the question is more along the lines of "who best showcases the unique abilities of this class?" That is to say, who, when put in this class, makes it come across in the best light? It would be easy to put Edelgard or Dimitri into Swordmaster, for instance, and you'd have a great unit. But nobody is going to look at that and say "wow, Swordmaster is great!" They're going to say "wow, Edelgard and Dimitri are great". Rather, I'm looking for the people who really make each class shine.

Assassin: Most of the people who I'd actually put into Assassin are ones who do well based on just being really strong overall units. Sure, Felix, Petra, Byleth and the Lords can make for good Assassins, but that's not about to convince anyone that Assassin is a good class. Instead, I'm going to go in a bit of a weird direction and say that Lysithea (with Soulblade) can really show off what you can do with Stealth.

Bishop: Hapi, narrowly over Linhardt. Both of them get Physic and Warp, which are the two white magic spells that I most want to get double uses of. Linhardt has a slightly easier time getting into the class due to his strength in Faith, whereas Hapi has a better Reason list, which means she has a bit more versatility to also contribute offensively when needed.

Dark Bishop: Meme answer: Raphael. Have him master it for Lifetaker to use next game in NG+. Actual answer: Hubert. Everyone else who might consider it would prefer Warlock for Black Tomefaire and Black Uses x2.

Fortress Knight: Raphael. I prefer Raphael over Balthus here because of his better HP, dex and luck, and I don't care about Balthus's better speed because both of them are going to be incredibly slow in this class. I also prefer him over Dedue because of availability. A Fortress Knight is going to have trouble keeping up and staying relevant as is, and losing several chapters worth of experience and training on Dedue just makes the struggle even worse.

Grappler: I'm actually tempted to say Raphael again. If you're staying in Grappler and not moving onto War Master, it's because you're making extensive use of Fierce Iron Fist, and if you're doing that then bad speed really isn't much of a concern. Other units (Felix especially) are better in a vacuum, but nobody shows off the power of FIF quite like someone who is never usually getting to double/quad.

Hero: I agree with Dark Holy Elf here. Alois is the best choice here because most units who could benefit from Vantage could just have mastered Mercenary instead. Theoretically there might be some build that really wants the extra skill slot from not having to equip Vantage, but I can't think of any that aren't way too high effort for too little reward.

Paladin: Pick your favourite combat art. If you like Vengeance, then you have Bernadetta, if you like Frozen Lance then you have Marianne, and if you like Swift Strikes then there's Ferdinand. I think that Swift Strikes is my favourite (especially ince it gets double benefit from Lancefaire) so I'm going to say Ferdinand here (who I choose narrowly over Sylvain because I like his personal and his crest better).

Sniper: Probably a controversial choice, but I'm going to say Hubert. The big attraction of staying in Sniper rather than moving onto Bow Knight is getting to keep Hunter's Volley and use it as a delete button. And if you want a delete button then Magic Bow Hunter's Volley is one of the best that there is. For a recruitable option, I narrowly favour Mercedes over Hanneman since the better availability gives more chance to get the build set up optimally.

Swordmaster: Catherine, for sure. If you want to show Swordmaster in its best light, show it early on when everyone else is in intermediate classes at best and it's undoubtedly the best class in your army (unless you grabbed Shamir too). Another advantage of the class is that only having a single skill requirement means you're more likely to be able to hit S or even S+ rank and Catherine is also the best-placed unit to try to do that. Honourable mention to Ignatz for being the best person to use if you really want to take advantage of Sword Crit +10 and build a pure crit build.

Warlock: Hanneman. He's the only male unit who learns a siege spell, which makes him uniquely appreciative of Black Magic Uses x2 but also unable to get it from Gremory instead. As a late recruit, he also appreciates the simplicity and ease of access of a one-skill class.

Warrior: This is a hard class to ever justify outside of either Cindered Shadows or just passing through to pick up Wrath. In theory, it would be good for units with a strength in axes, a weakness in flying and either being female or having a weakness in brawling. Sadly for Warrior, there aren't any units who match those criteria, so almost anyone who might want to be a Warrior would rather be a War Master or a Wyvern Lord instead. I'll say that the best choice here is Hilda. She doesn't have War Master as an option, and while she'd generally be better on a Wyvern, maybe you don't have enough flying battalions to go around, or maybe you want to go hard on monotraining axes to try to get to S+.

Dark Flier: Flayn. She has a black magic list that really benefits from Black Tomefaire and doesn't really suffer from not having Black Magic Uses x2, a white magic list that really benefits from high mobility,

Trickster: Bleh. I'm finiding this class even more viciously mediocre and harder to justify than the likes of Warrior and Dark Bishop. I guess the best choice would be someone who uses magic and thinks that getting Stealth and Lucky Seven is a good trade-off for being half uses and not getting any other bonuses like faire, range or fiendish blow. Let's say Lysithea or Constance who are closest to being glass-cannon mages who don't need faire but would want stealth? I don't really believe it either.

Valkyrie: Lysithea. Obviously, she has a great magic stat and a great spell list, so she's a strong contender to be best in any magic class, but this one also synergises really well with what she can do. The extra range is really nice for her since she naturally lacks any 1-3 range options. She also makes great use of Canto, both for hit-and-run attacks and for warping and then getting out of dodge. She is very squishy and likes being able to be in places where the enemy isn't. Hapi is also a great choice here, but I think Lysithea just shades it.

War Cleric: I've been avoiding Byleth and the Lords for this list, but in this case, I'm going to say (female) Byleth. The only real competitors here are Catherine and Constance and neither one of them uses the class to its full benefit. Catherine doesn't really benefit from magic access or pneuma gale, since her magic is bad. Constance doesn't really benefit from Brawl Avoid +20 since she's far too fragile to keep anywhere where she might take a hit. Byleth manages to get some use out of everything the class has to offer, so I'm going to call her the best here.

War Monk: Felix. Has just about enough magic to be able to feel that the magic abilities of the class aren't completely wasted, and his high speed works nicely with Brawl Avoid +20. In addition to all his usual Felix things that make him great in nay physical class.

Bow Knight: Leonie. She has great stats, her weapon strengths exactly align with the class requirements, Point Black Volley means she doesn't miss Hunter's Volley as much, her peronsal ability is easier to activate when she has extra range to play with. She;s pretty much a perfect fit for the class.

Dark Knight: There are four things that would make you want to want to choose Dark Knight over Dark Flier. One is a lack of magic flying battalions, but that applies equally to all units. The other three are being male, using dark magic, and having a weakness in flying. Hubert has all three of those things, so he's the perfect natural fit here. Recruitable alternative: Lorenz, who has an easy time getting into the class due to strengths in all three requirements.

Falcon Knight: It depends on why you're using Falcon Knight rather than Wyvern Lord. If it's because you want the extra speed from Falcon Knight, then Petra is your best choice since she's the fastest option available. If it's because you want to make the most out of great lance combat arts, then either Marianne or Bernadetta depending on personal preference. My choice, though, is to split the difference and go with Ingrid, who is almost as fast as Petra, and who definitely prefers to use a lance rather than an axe (especially if the lance is Lúin).

Great Knight: Another bad class. The best mobility on any axefaire class that can use grounded battalions is about the best you cna say for it. There's an argument for Annette, but having to get two movement skills, one of which is a weakness and the other is neutral makes it too much of a chore to be worth it. Edelgard would also be a fine choice, since she has a strength in armour and neutral in riding, and Axefaire and Canto work great with Raging Storm, but if I had Great Knight Edelgard then I'd spend every second of it wishing I'd put her on a wyvern instead. Ferdinand has a relatively easy time getting into the class, but would probably just end up using it as a worse version of Paladin. I think I'll say Gilbert, though, since it's generally the easiest way to give him some extra mobility.

Gremory: Lysithea. She has the most spells that really benefit from double uses, and especially the most dark magic spells that benefit from double uses and can't get that anywhere else.

Holy Knight: Anna. Who would want to use Holy Knight rather than Dark Knight? Either someone who really wants to make use of White Tomefaire or someone who has a hard time getting into Dark Knight due to a weakness in Reason. Nobody really cares about White Tomefaire, so we're looking at Anna and Manuela, both of whom might conceivably want to have magic and a horse but not want to have to struggle through their weakness in Reason. Of the two, Anna has an easier time getting into the class, and with Rescue and Pass also has more of a reason to want to be on a horse in the first place.

Mortal Savant: The best use for this class is for a magically oriented character who attacks mostly with Soulblade or Hexblade, but then augments it with good utility magic. I usually end up using more white magic than black magic whenever I use this class, so I'm looking for spells like Warp, Rescue, Physic and Silence here. Siege tomes are also fantastic, since they offer something that you just can't replicate with a sword. Manuela would be great (Hexblade, Warp, Silence, Bolting) except that late recruitment and a weakness in Reason make it difficult to get into the class in the first place, and her magic stat isn't the greatest. Constance, Dorothea and Marianne are all good choices, but I'll go for Marianne because I find myself using Physic and Silence more than Rescue, Meteor or Bolting.

War Master: Not going to lie, I'm really running out of steam for this list by now. Let's say Alois here. One-Two Punch is nice, and it's also an easy certify for him, which is very much appreciated for such a late-joining character.

Wyvern Lord: This is one of the few classes where I'll actually pick a lord and say Edelgard. The class just works too well with Raging Storm. Dimitri as a paladin is a little bit better than Dimitri as a Great Lord. Edelgard as a Wyvern Lord is just so far above and beyond Edelgard as an Emperor that it isn't even funny. As a recruitable runner up, I'm going to say Hilda, narrowly over Petra. Hilda doesn't have the strength in flying, but she does have her relic axe which I can never remember how to spell, and also doesn't really have that many other good options.

Dancer: Whoever out of Dorothea and Hilda has supports with more of your party. Getting free linked attack boosts with everyone is the best thing that Dancers can do that isn't dancing. Of the two, Dorothea has the ability to throw out an emergency Physic if it's ever needed, whereas Hilda has an easier time getting to Movement +1, so there's not much to call between them.

And if I haven't made at least three daft mistakes somewhere in here then it's a minor miracle, but I've already spent too much time on this and don't feel like proof-reading, so it'll have to do.

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Great list! I liked the way you consistently went for who showcases a class

5 hours ago, lenticular said:

Sniper: Probably a controversial choice, but I'm going to say Hubert. The big attraction of staying in Sniper rather than moving onto Bow Knight is getting to keep Hunter's Volley and use it as a delete button. And if you want a delete button then Magic Bow Hunter's Volley is one of the best that there is. For a recruitable option, I narrowly favour Mercedes over Hanneman since the better availability gives more chance to get the build set up optimally.

I think there's one major drawback for favouring Hubert here: Arcane Crystals aren't storebought until Chapter 16 (specifically, until you've explored, battled, and explored again in that chapter). That's very late in Crimson Flower; he'll get very little time to actually use the build, just three story maps. Mercedes/Hanneman are available on routes where they will get up to seven (plus more paralogues than CF), which is a pretty big advantage in my eyes.

 

5 hours ago, lenticular said:

Dancer: Whoever out of Dorothea and Hilda has supports with more of your party. Getting free linked attack boosts with everyone is the best thing that Dancers can do that isn't dancing. Of the two, Dorothea has the ability to throw out an emergency Physic if it's ever needed, whereas Hilda has an easier time getting to Movement +1, so there's not much to call between them.

The call between them should be made by route anyway; Dorothea wins CF/SS/AM and Hilda wins VW due to support list. On AM you could debate this (Felix/Ingrid vs Mercedes/Annette), but Hilda not auto-training Reason means Dorothea will get her siege tome way faster on a route where both are recruits, so I think the choice is still pretty clear.

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11 minutes ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

I think there's one major drawback for favouring Hubert here: Arcane Crystals aren't storebought until Chapter 16 (specifically, until you've explored, battled, and explored again in that chapter). That's very late in Crimson Flower; he'll get very little time to actually use the build, just three story maps. Mercedes/Hanneman are available on routes where they will get up to seven (plus more paralogues than CF), which is a pretty big advantage in my eyes.

That's a fair point. I didn't fully think through the implications of being locked to CF. I'm officially changing my pick to Mercedes.

18 minutes ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

The call between them should be made by route anyway; Dorothea wins CF/SS/AM and Hilda wins VW due to support list. On AM you could debate this (Felix/Ingrid vs Mercedes/Annette), but Hilda not auto-training Reason means Dorothea will get her siege tome way faster on a route where both are recruits, so I think the choice is still pretty clear.

I don't think it's necessarily by route but more by which units you're using. Usually, that is going to predictably depend on route, but not always. For instance, if you were doing Azure Moon but were also recruiting Marianne, Balthus and Seteth, then that would very much raise Hilda's stock. For most runs, though, I'd agree with Hilda for VW and Dorothea for the other three routes. That could change a bit based on party comp, though, and there's also a chance that Constance could end up as the best choice some of the time.

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There are a lot of classes so I am just going to post my opinions on the class choices I disagree with:

Sniper: Shamir 100%. She has better stats than Felix for the first half of the game, takes 0. Once Felix Str/Spd have started to catch up (around lv20), Shamir is still outperforming Felix because she already has Hunter's Volley. Then even later once other Snipers have finally gotten Hunter's Volley, Shamir is going to have S Bows and a better Authority rank, so she will still be doing more damage.

She can get reliable crits the earliest with Hunter's Volley due to great Dex/Luck growths combined with starting with A Bows for Bow Crit +10.

Magic Sniper's are strong, but it takes until ch16 to get a reliable source of Arcane Crystals. For Hubert that means he only has 3 chapters to actually be useful. While mastering Sniper, mages like Hubert, Hanneman, or Mercedes are fairly underpowered. 

Mortal Savant: Yuri. He has high Spd, decent Str, and a lightweight spell list. He is actually able to double physical enemies with spells on Maddening. Even with low magic, doubling up with Wind/Cutting Gale is going to kill most physical units. Then he has Rapier+ with Swordfaire to kill Horses, Excalibur for WLs, Grounder for Falcon Knights, and Wo Dao + Windswept for bosses and anything else. He also offers some nice situational utility with Silence.

Holy Knight: Bernedetta. Even without Lancefaire or a good Str bonus, Vengeance is still going to kill everything. Compared to Paladin, Holy Knight takes more investment and has 1 less move. But it allows Bernie to use Rescue and Physic. Both offer nice utility and give her something safe to do if using Vengeance is too risky.

War Cleric: Hilda. She has enough Str when paired with Fistfaire to kill with gauntlets for most of the game. Then she can equip Bolting in between attacks to give linked attacks to the whole team.

 

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1 hour ago, Objeckts said:

Sniper: Shamir 100%. She has better stats than Felix for the first half of the game, takes 0. Once Felix Str/Spd have started to catch up (around lv20), Shamir is still outperforming Felix because she already has Hunter's Volley. Then even later once other Snipers have finally gotten Hunter's Volley, Shamir is going to have S Bows and a better Authority rank, so she will still be doing more damage.

Earlier Hunter's Volley is a legitimate advantage and if you want to consider her better just for that (and having the class earlier), that's fair. If built for that she will significantly outclass him (and any other Sniper) during most of her Part 1 availability.

But there is a significant downside. Namely, the only way she gets early HV is by staying in Sniper... if she does a backtrack for Death Blow, the time she needs to pick that up will be pretty similar to the time Felix needs to hit Level 20 (while mastering Brigand) and get into Sniper himself, especially when you consider that Felix has two extra maps of availability even past Shamir's join (Chapters 7 and 10).

Which means that if Shamir does beeline to HV, that when Felix does get it a few chapters later, he'll outclass her badly. By that point, he'll be 2-3 points ahead on strength, meaning 8-9 extra damage per swing (16-18 total) due to Death Blow, and the gap continues to widen from there. This dwarfs Shamir's advantage from her better authority or Bowfaire2 (advantages which never co-exist, as Felix easily hits B authority before Shamir reaches S+ bows).

Obviously they're both outstanding Snipers though.

1 hour ago, Objeckts said:

Mortal Savant: Yuri. He has high Spd, decent Str, and a lightweight spell list. He is actually able to double physical enemies with spells on Maddening. Even with low magic, doubling up with Wind/Cutting Gale is going to kill most physical units. Then he has Rapier+ with Swordfaire to kill Horses, Excalibur for WLs, Grounder for Falcon Knights, and Wo Dao + Windswept for bosses and anything else. He also offers some nice situational utility with Silence.

Interesting. I haven't tried this but I have tried MS Felix and was pretty underwhelmed (and I'm not alone; he was obviously the "default" choice for the class for many players and I think the class ended up a bit underrated precisely because Felix doesn't use it that well). It's fair point that Yuri is even faster, with lighter spells, and Windsweep/Silence is certainly very cool extra utility most don't have.

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27 minutes ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

Earlier Hunter's Volley is a legitimate advantage and if you want to consider her better just for that (and having the class earlier), that's fair. If built for that she will significantly outclass him (and any other Sniper) during most of her Part 1 availability.

But there is a significant downside. Namely, the only way she gets early HV is by staying in Sniper... if she does a backtrack for Death Blow, the time she needs to pick that up will be pretty similar to the time Felix needs to hit Level 20 (while mastering Brigand) and get into Sniper himself, especially when you consider that Felix has two extra maps of availability even past Shamir's join (Chapters 7 and 10).

Shamir can backtrack for Death Blow after she already has Hunter's Volley, which is more optimal anyways because by then you will have a Knowledge Gem and can spend less time in the weaker class. The total amount of class xp for Felix to master Brig -> Sniper is the same as Shamir mastering Sniper -> Brig. On top of that units master Brigand before they hit level 20. Which means Felix is going to be spending levels not mastering Death Blow or Hunter's Volley.

27 minutes ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

Which means that if Shamir does beeline to HV, that when Felix does get it a few chapters later, he'll outclass her badly. By that point, he'll be 2-3 points ahead on strength, meaning 8-9 extra damage per swing (16-18 total) due to Death Blow, and the gap continues to widen from there. This dwarfs Shamir's advantage from her better authority or Bowfaire2 (advantages which never co-exist, as Felix easily hits B authority before Shamir reaches S+ bows).

So Shamir comes with 17 Str at level 11. Felix at the same level would have ~15.5 Str on average. At level 20, Felix's better Str growth (+15%), will balance out and they should both have ~20.5 Str. By the time Felix has mastered Sniper (around lv25 I am guessing), he should have ~0.6 extra Str. Then at level 40 Felix is expected to have ~1.35 extra Str. 

The marginal difference in Str (between -1.5 and 1.35) for the majority of the game is overshadowed by Shamir lacking the authority weakness and being a whole battalion rank up. Not even counting the Hit/Crit/Avoid, the difference in Mt by a better battalion is going to count for +2 Str for a large chunk of the game.

There will be some point in the game where Felix has B Battalions between lv30-lv40 where he will have ~1.5 - 3 extra Mt compared to Shamir. But if Shamir reaches A Authority and equips a battalion like Indech Sword Fighters, that drops to ~0.5 - 2 extra Mt. Then again if Shamir gets S Bows she will have ~3 extra Mt over Felix.

But none of this is counting how much better Shamir's crit rate is at all. By level 30 from Dex/Luck alone Shamir will have ~9% higher chance to crit than Felix. The add in a higher crit from battalions and Bow Crit +10, she is looking at 20-30% better chance to crit than Felix. Shamir with a Killer Bow+ at level 30 is going to have a ~102% raw crit rate, ~80% counting enemy crit avoid, and effectively a 96% chance to crit on one of the two hunters volley attacks. Whereas if Felix needs a crit he is going to be counting on a ~75% roll.

Overall, Shamir is better when first recruited due to higher bases, better accuracy from Bow Prowess 4/5, and a better initial class. She is better mid game, they have about the same Str, she lacks an Authority weakness, and she is better at crits. Then she is better late game because she still has better crit, can use A Rank battalions, and will have more Mt with double Bowfaire.

I still think Felix's best class is Sniper. But I can't see him be as strong as Shamir.

27 minutes ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

Interesting. I haven't tried this but I have tried MS Felix and was pretty underwhelmed (and I'm not alone; he was obviously the "default" choice for the class for many players and I think the class ended up a bit underrated precisely because Felix doesn't use it that well). It's fair point that Yuri is even faster, with lighter spells, and Windsweep/Silence is certainly very cool extra utility most don't have.

It's not great. MS is still a 6 move infantry class. It takes a lot of investment because Yuri needs B+/A Reason by lv20 for Warlocks 17 base magic. Not to mention 5 ability slots feels like too little: Death Blow, Fiendish Blow, Sword Prowess, Reason Prowess, +20 Hit, Black Magic Range +1, and Sword Crit +10 are all worth running. 

At the very least its fun.

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On 8/14/2021 at 5:17 PM, Dark Holy Elf said:

Great Knight
Bad class, but... I'm gonna go with the surprise pick of Annette. Without the DLC (or with, if someone else gets Nuvelle Fliers), this is the most mobile non-flying Axefaire class. The armour bane hurts, but at least I'm convinced someone has a potential use for this.

I would've said Gilbert instead - having Annette train in two movement types, one of which she has a weakness in, screams "NOT WORTH IT" in bright neon letters.

3 hours ago, Objeckts said:

Holy Knight: Bernedetta. Even without Lancefaire or a good Str bonus, Vengeance is still going to kill everything. Compared to Paladin, Holy Knight takes more investment and has 1 less move. But it allows Bernie to use Rescue and Physic. Both offer nice utility and give her something safe to do if using Vengeance is too risky.

War Cleric: Hilda. She has enough Str when paired with Fistfaire to kill with gauntlets for most of the game. Then she can equip Bolting in between attacks to give linked attacks to the whole team.

These sound a lot better in theory than in actual practice - if Flayn, who is magically inclined, takes a long time to get any noteworthy amount of range with Rescue, which has a range of Magic/4, there's no way in hell Bernadetta will get even remotely good range with it... RE: War Cleric Hilda, this takes a lot of investment, and I find it very hard to consider this worth it.

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3 hours ago, Objeckts said:

War Cleric: Hilda. She has enough Str when paired with Fistfaire to kill with gauntlets for most of the game. Then she can equip Bolting in between attacks to give linked attacks to the whole team.

 

I have to agree with Shadow Mir, War Cleric Hilda just seems like a waste of time. I get the appeal of having her be a physical unit that has the ability to give a link bonus to everyone but first of all, in order to get her to War Cleric, you have to get her up in brawling, which she is neutral with, and faith, which she has a bane in. On top of that, she doesn't get bolting until A reason. While a fun build to do maybe on NG+, on a normal run, it requires so much investment and flip flopping you might as well just have her focus on her basic wyvern lord build or if you want a magical Hilda, just make her a DK or Gremory.

I feel like War Monk/Cleric is just a very odd class (same applies to Mortal Savant tbh, and Trickster less so, but only because it has lockpick utility and Shade can be useful (and it gives Manuela something nice)) that really provides nothing to anyone who might want to even use it. Brawlers don't often have good spell lists, healers either a) have brawling banes or b) shit strength and might as well stick to magical classes. As others have mentioned, really the only 'best' character for War Monk/Cleric is Byleth because pretty much no one benefits from what WM/WC has to offer/what they would benefit from (mainly Brawl Avo +20) comes too late when they could have invested else (such as FIF in Grappler or QR from War Master).

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59 minutes ago, Objeckts said:

So Shamir comes with 17 Str at level 11. Felix at the same level would have ~15.5 Str on average. At level 20, Felix's better Str growth (+15%), will balance out and they should both have ~20.5 Str. By the time Felix has mastered Sniper (around lv25 I am guessing), he should have ~0.6 extra Str. Then at level 40 Felix is expected to have ~1.35 extra Str. 

The marginal difference in Str (between -1.5 and 1.35) for the majority of the game is overshadowed by Shamir lacking the authority weakness and being a whole battalion rank up. Not even counting the Hit/Crit/Avoid, the difference in Mt by a better battalion is going to count for +2 Str for a large chunk of the game.

There will be some point in the game where Felix has B Battalions between lv30-lv40 where he will have ~1.5 - 3 extra Mt compared to Shamir. But if Shamir reaches A Authority and equips a battalion like Indech Sword Fighters, that drops to ~0.5 - 2 extra Mt. Then again if Shamir gets S Bows she will have ~3 extra Mt over Felix.

If Shamir backtracks to get Death Blow later, then she spends that time badly outclassed by Felix (and... basically the entire rest of your team, they'll be in Advanced and she won't be). If Shamir is using the Knowledge Gem that shortens this period, but she's still taking it away from someone else. At minimum, you should give Felix the Knowledge Gem for the same amount of time, which will likely allow him to get a second Intermediate mastery like Hit+20 while still making it to Sniper on schedule. Or you can just give it to him in Advanced so he gets HV faster. Either way, it significantly reduces the time Shamir has HV and he does not.

For str, I was assuming Felix had Str+2 and Shamir did not, hence 2-3 instead of ~0.6 (also he'll have spent more levels in Brigand with its +10% growth). I guess you can backtrack for that too but ugh.

Shamir is probably less than one authority rank up, and one authority rank also matters less than you might think, in particular B-A is almost irrelevant. To elaborate:

Having neutral authority instead of a bane means Shamir gains 25% more authority exp from weekly instruction, and 33% more from direct instruction (assuming Cichol statue and professor bonus... although notably Felix is more likely to benefit from professor bonus, at which point they would tie). Let's use 33% because Shamir also gains more from battles. Alternatively, Felix gains about 75% of the auth exp Shamir gets. Assuming Felix has reached D authority by the time Shamir joins (lowballing it if anything, he gets there by making it one of his goals for 4-5 weeks), the progression from there is:
200 for C
580 for B (when Shamir hits this, Felix is over halfway from C to B)
1220 for A (when Shamir hits this, Felix is over halfway from B to A)

As you can see, Shamir's increased rate of gain makes for significantly less than a full rank, so they're often tied.

But even when they're not, here's a sample of the best battalions for atk/hit/crit

Kingdom Wyverns: C, 5 atk, 15 hit, 5 crit
Victor Private Military: C, 6 atk, 15 hit
(DLC) Nuvelle Chamberlain Co: C, 8 atk, 10 hit, 10 crit
Leicester Mercs: B, 7 atk, 20 hit, 15 crit
Goneril Valkyries: B, 8 atk, 20 hit, 15 crit
Fraldarius Soldiers: B, 7 atk, 20 crit
Indech Swordfighters: A, 8 atk, 20 hit, 10 crit
Cichol Wyverns: A, 7 atk, 15 hit, 15 crit (yeah right, you're giving this to a flier 100%)

As you can see, C-B is worth about 2 atk and 5 hit (and some crit but we don't care about crit this early). B-A is worth even less; in fact, Goneril actually has equal/better offensive stats than Indech Swordfighters. The main value of Indech is it gives a low-charm character access to Retribution, which is not nothing, but doesn't affect the stat comparison.

Shamir having better crit is a fair point although in my experience Felix doesn't need crits to kill things as a Sniper until near the end of the game, by which point there's a reasonable chance the only thing separating them on crit is dex/luck... the battalion difference should be gone by then, and Felix reaches S bows before Shamir reaches S+ (she starts about 800-900 bow exp up on him, that's less than the gap from S to S+).

42 minutes ago, Azz said:

I feel like War Monk/Cleric is just a very odd class (same applies to Mortal Savant tbh, and Trickster less so, but only because it has lockpick utility and Shade can be useful (and it gives Manuela something nice)) that really provides nothing to anyone who might want to even use it. Brawlers don't often have good spell lists, healers either a) have brawling banes or b) shit strength and might as well stick to magical classes. As others have mentioned, really the only 'best' character for War Monk/Cleric is Byleth because pretty much no one benefits from what WM/WC has to offer/what they would benefit from (mainly Brawl Avo +20) comes too late when they could have invested else (such as FIF in Grappler or QR from War Master).

It's also a very neat option for Catherine, who has a Brawling boon and can't get in those other classes.

And I'd say Brawl Avoid+20 is good for anyone planning to go on to War Master in a fist build. It's something for them to get in Advanced tier while punching things. Grappler's Fierce Iron Fist is great but if your plan is to go onto War Master anyway, you'll likely have very little time to benefit from it, and can't carry it with you when you leave. And either way, you should be getting it before you reach War Master, so it doesn't delay your acquisition of Quick Riposte, if you even get that.

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32 minutes ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

If Shamir backtracks to get Death Blow later, then she spends that time badly outclassed by Felix (and... basically the entire rest of your team, they'll be in Advanced and she won't be). If Shamir is using the Knowledge Gem that shortens this period, but she's still taking it away from someone else. At minimum, you should give Felix the Knowledge Gem for the same amount of time, which will likely allow him to get a second Intermediate mastery like Hit+20 while still making it to Sniper on schedule. Or you can just give it to him in Advanced so he gets HV faster. Either way, it significantly reduces the time Shamir has HV and he does not.

If you consider Shamir outclassed by Felix while he is in Sniper and she is mastering Brigand, then that applies to Felix for all of 11-20 while he is mastering Intermediate classes and she is already in Sniper.

The difference is that the Knowledge Gem is not available for most of the time from lv10-20. Felix needs to do 50 battles in Brigand and 75 in Sniper. Because the knowledge gem becomes available half way through, it's more like 50 battles in Brigand and 38 in Sniper. But for Shamir she can instead do 63 battles in Sniper and 25 battles in Brigand. They both get everything at the same time, but Shamir gets to spend more time in the better class.

Not to mention if at any point after Shamir has mastered Sniper, if a battle is actually difficulty she can just swap back to Sniper for Hunter's Volley. While Felix wouldn't have that option.

32 minutes ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

Shamir is probably less than one authority rank up, and one authority rank also matters less than you might think, in particular B-A is almost irrelevant. To elaborate:

Having neutral authority instead of a bane means Shamir gains 25% more authority exp from weekly instruction, and 33% more from direct instruction (assuming Cichol statue and professor bonus... although notably Felix is more likely to benefit from professor bonus, at which point they would tie). Let's use 33% because Shamir also gains more from battles. Alternatively, Felix gains about 75% of the auth exp Shamir gets. Assuming Felix has reached D authority by the time Shamir joins (lowballing it if anything, he gets there by making it one of his goals for 4-5 weeks), the progression from there is:
200 for C
580 for B (when Shamir hits this, Felix is over halfway from C to B)
1220 for A (when Shamir hits this, Felix is over halfway from B to A)

As you can see, Shamir's increased rate of gain makes for significantly less than a full rank, so they're often tied.

It feels like you are undervaluing Authority xp from combat. Just mastering Brigand and Sniper alone amounts to 100 extra Authority xp for Shamir. But generally It's going to amount to ~1 Authority rank less for Felix. If you end up giving the Knowledge Gem to Felix/Shamir from level 20 till Felix masters Sniper, then Shamir would get an extra 150 professor xp.

32 minutes ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

But even when they're not, here's a sample of the best battalions for atk/hit/crit

Kingdom Wyverns: C, 5 atk, 15 hit, 5 crit
Victor Private Military: C, 6 atk, 15 hit
(DLC) Nuvelle Chamberlain Co: C, 8 atk, 10 hit, 10 crit
Leicester Mercs: B, 7 atk, 20 hit, 15 crit
Goneril Valkyries: B, 8 atk, 20 hit, 15 crit
Fraldarius Soldiers: B, 7 atk, 20 crit
Indech Swordfighters: A, 8 atk, 20 hit, 10 crit
Cichol Wyverns: A, 7 atk, 15 hit, 15 crit (yeah right, you're giving this to a flier 100%)

As you can see, C-B is worth about 2 atk and 5 hit (and some crit but we don't care about crit this early). B-A is worth even less; in fact, Goneril actually has equal/better offensive stats than Indech Swordfighters. The main value of Indech is it gives a low-charm character access to Retribution, which is not nothing, but doesn't affect the stat comparison.

I agree with you her that a Battalion rank amounts to about 2 Mt. For a decent chunk of the game this is going to compensate for Felix's Str advantage.

The value of Indech isn't that it gives low-charm characters Retribution, it is actually the only way to get Retribution pre timeskip for all non-BL routes. For GD it's the only option period. Snipers are perfect for it because it gives the stats they care about, they are not enemy phase (so they don't mind missing out on having Retribution), and they are grounded. Felix is not really capable of using the battalion without heavy investment.

32 minutes ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

Shamir having better crit is a fair point although in my experience Felix doesn't need crits to kill things as a Sniper until near the end of the game, by which point there's a reasonable chance the only thing separating them on crit is dex/luck... the battalion difference should be gone by then, and Felix reaches S bows before Shamir reaches S+ (she starts about 800-900 bow exp up on him, that's less than the gap from S to S+).

The crit is relevant for bosses and monsters in mid game. Her Str is pretty much identical to Felix's through most of the mid game, so she is killing the same enemies without crits.

 

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Next, I'll do the DLC Classes.

Trickster

Spoiler

CF: Yuri. He has boons in Swords and Faith, as well as Authority. The last works great with his Charm stat, while he also offers a great Speed stat to go with Trickster's speed modifier. His spell list isn't great, but it serves him alright on either side, while he gets Windsweep as a nice Sword art. Manuela is a runner-up for getting the Warp spell and Hexblade, while Dorothea also gets Hexblade and a much better Reason list. Either one can also offer Rally Charm support.

SS: Yuri, then Manuela, then Dorothea. Nothing much has changed here. Flayn could technically get into this class, although she's Sword-neutral. I know we're not using Teach, but if we were, they would probably lead on all fronts for this class.

AM: Yuri. Ingrid could be an interesting in-house pick, as could Dimitri (both are strong in Swords, and neutral in Faith). Neither of the route's native mages (Annette and Mercedes), though, are particularly cut out for this "Swords and Support" class. Manuela as a fallback.

VW: Marianne. She's also strong in Faith and Swords, and she can deal more magical damage. Not only that, but she gets a combat art with the Blutgang. Oh, and her spell lists include Thoron and Physic, which are always welcome. Still, she'd rather be in a class without nerfed spell counts. Lysithea is another interesting one, with a budding talent in Swords (Soulblade), great offensive Faith list, sky-high Magic stat, and Authority boon. Yuri and Manuela are fallbacks.

War Monk/Cleric

Spoiler

CF: Alois. He starts out strong in Gauntlets, with a high rank, and neutral in Faith. It's not too much work to get his rank up to where he can certify. While there, he can One-Two Punch as effectively as he could in Grappler, while also offering Rally Strength/Luck and healing support. Balthus comes just behind - he has a Faith proficiency, but arguably a worse list (learning no spell at C-Faith, versus Recover on Alois), and no One-Two Punch or Rally Luck.

SS: Alois again, then Balthus. Don't do this to Flayn or Seteth. Teach is actually considerable in this role, too.

AM: Dedue. Kind of works like a slower, bulkier Alois, whom you can nonetheless mould from week 1. His spell lists are similarly bad, but hey, he gets One-Two Punch. Felix is a solid competitor, without the art, but with a neutrality in Faith.

VW: Alois again. Catherine isn't totally out of the question - she can be recruited earlier, and she starts strong in Brawling, plus neutral in Faith. No One-Two Punch, but Nimble Combo and Bombard are both at least decent arts.

Dark Flier

Spoiler

CF: Constance. This should come as no surprise, as the only lady with boons in both Reason and Flight. Not to mention, one of the best Reason lists, and Magic stats, in the game. Dorothea is considerable if you're willing to fight her Flight bane. As is Edelgard, if you want her in a magic class with non-terrible movement.

SS: Constance again. Edelgard is out of the picture, but Flayn is considerable all of the sudden, with a Flight boon and Reason talent. It'll take some real work to get her Reason and Authority up to tolerable levels, however.

AM: Annette. Yeah, she's only neutral in Flight, but she shares the boons in Reason and Authority. And while Constance offers Magic/Res rallies, Annette offers an even better Strength/Res/Speed triad. Hell, drop Res, Str/Spd is enough. Her Axe proficiency also gives her a clear weapon alternative. Mercedes is also an option, as is Ingrid, if you want a flier with Physic.

VW: Constance. Lysithea is a competitor, but she's neutral in Flight, and her dark magic spells receive no boost from Dark Flier (un-fittingly, the class grants Black Tomefaire). Marianne is considerable too, being strong in Flight and offering Physic and Thoron, but being neutral in Reason and Authority is a letdown.

Valkyrie

Spoiler

CF: Edelgard. As a unit with both Black and Dark magic, she appreciates range boosts to both. She's Riding-neutral, but can be trained from day one. Her Strength and Magic will both be pretty high, while she also offers excellent Charm and an Authority boon. Hapi is just behind.

SS: Hapi. Compared to Edie, she gets better spell lists on both sides, while also Rally Dex for an interesting point of support. Also, a Riding proficiency. Flayn, with her E Reason and Riding boon, is a non-starter here. Bernadetta is worth a shout-out for good spells (Thoron, Physic, Seraphim) and a Riding talent, but poor Magic stat.

AM: Hapi. But any one of Annette (better Rallies, Authority boon), Mercedes (Faith boon with more healing options), and Ingrid (faster, gets Luin and Frozen Lance) are at least worth a shout-out.

VW: Lysithea. She grows more quickly in Authority, while also having soon Soulblade access. Her Faith boon, coupled with her personal skill, is nice for getting to Warp much more quickly. And the range boost overcomes her Reason problem (that all her spells are 1~2-range). Hapi is still good here, while Marianne deserves a mention for her Riding proficiency and varied combat art options.

Grappler (because I forgot it last time)

Spoiler

CF: Balthus. Even without a desirable art, he has a time advantage here - gaining Mastery over Fighter and Brigand should be doable, picked up early enough. This greatly helps his damage output, particularly upon reaching Fierce Iron Fist. His personal is a great one, too. Alois and Caspar are backups here.

SS: Balthus again. I was originally going to say Caspar for these two, since I knew he had an Axe proficiency and lengthy available. Also a personal that's nice enough to boost his Hit rate. Then I remembered that Balthus is just better. Alois is backup again.

AM: Dedue. For the same reasons I said he worked in War Monk. Fierce Iron Fist will just give him another nice option. Felix is just behind, maybe even better at some points, but with an Authority bane. Alois and Balthus can, again, work.

VW: Balthus. Sorry, Raphael, you're just outclassed. Alois is a backup here, per usual.

Who knows? Maybe I'll eventually get to taking on the Master classes.

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13 hours ago, Azz said:

I feel like War Monk/Cleric is just a very odd class (same applies to Mortal Savant tbh, and Trickster less so, but only because it has lockpick utility and Shade can be useful (and it gives Manuela something nice)) that really provides nothing to anyone who might want to even use it. Brawlers don't often have good spell lists, healers either a) have brawling banes or b) shit strength and might as well stick to magical classes. As others have mentioned, really the only 'best' character for War Monk/Cleric is Byleth because pretty much no one benefits from what WM/WC has to offer/what they would benefit from (mainly Brawl Avo +20) comes too late when they could have invested else (such as FIF in Grappler or QR from War Master).

Personally, I think it's just another "Master of None" class like Mortal Savant and Holy Knight are. Almost no one benefits from this class to any noteworthy extent.

 

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I'm not sure if he counts as the strongest Mortal Savant, but I'd be inclined to agree with Objeckts that Yuri might be the most in-flavor example of a Mortal Savant.  If nothing else, he's the one that credibly threatens both the Swordfaire side & Black Tomefaire side well.  Certainly the sword-mage ladies can use it but they're more about one-shotting with Hexblade / Soulblade, while Yuri uses (too many!) of the options - regular attacks, spells, combat arts, etc.  (Insert usual "Grounder is bad" disclaimer though, just give him a spare Iron Bow+ & Curved Shot instead.)

For the Shamir debate, I will say that I don't think backtracking for Death Blow is that bad, if you're willing to do annoying class & item juggling.  First off, rush Hunter's Volley as usual.  Once you've gotten that, though, as noted you should also have a Knowledge Gem by that point as well as tutored up a rudimentary axe rank.  Assuming you're running 12 characters, most maps let you only deploy ~10 of them.  So the trick is to switch Shamir to Brigand whenever she wouldn't be deployed, give her a Knowledge Gem, and make her the adjutant of a character you expect to receive a lot of combat.  It isn't the speediest way to learn Death Blow, but it will happen, and you won't ever have to deploy a nerfed Brigand Shamir.  (If you're in a hurry, you can always do trusty aux battle grinding to speed this up, but assuming we're skipping those.)  Of course, if we're assuming a bit of KG favoritism, this probably also helps Felix too, since he'll hit Bow Crit +10 faster to "catch up" with Shamir's great starting A-rank in Bows.

Edited by SnowFire

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On 8/17/2021 at 4:33 PM, Dark Holy Elf said:

Interesting. I haven't tried this but I have tried MS Felix and was pretty underwhelmed (and I'm not alone; he was obviously the "default" choice for the class for many players and I think the class ended up a bit underrated precisely because Felix doesn't use it that well). It's fair point that Yuri is even faster, with lighter spells, and Windsweep/Silence is certainly very cool extra utility most don't have.

I used this build for my Maddening run. I can confirm that Yuri can double other enemies like Warriors and Dark Knights. He can even go against warlocks and dark bishops without too much trouble either.

Edited by Barren

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