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Flying classes kinda suck on Maddening. Change my mind.

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1 hour ago, Shadow Mir said:

It still sounds like a massive rip-off, given that if I'm building someone as a mage, they are going to get investment in both reason and faith, and given how much of a boon high rank battalions are, authority is also a priority for investment. Adding lances and riding to that forces me to spread myself thin for marginal gain at best. If I have a choice between having a very good chance of being able to access my desired master class the moment I hit level 30 and a much lesser chance of being able to get into my desired class when I hit 30 because it takes much more investment, I'll take the greater chance, thank you very much. 

A) This is discussing Annette specifically though, and her Faith list is *trash garbage*.  It's still good to train her up to D+ Faith of course, but that's quick and effortless.  She'll hit C naturally from the occasional heal and it isn't a big deal to manually train if you want.  After she gets Recover at C (which is not even that important), her next spell is Abraxas at A - which is awful.  Compare Abraxas to Excalibur and weep - Abraxas has +3 Mt and much worse everything else (Hit, Uses, Weight, Crit, Flying Effectiveness).  Even if you bother to learn Abraxas, you will only use it if you somehow run out of all your Excaliburs.  (This is obviously an entirely different conversation for the likes of Lysithea or Mercedes, who learn actually useful spells at high levels of Faith.)

B) Given the above, the point is that if you don't care about Abraxas (and you shouldn't), then it doesn't take much more investment to go DK - it's the same investment.  The actual "I hate skill training and everything it stands for" choice is Warlock, which really is significantly easier to hit than DK / Gremory and can be stayed in the rest of the game at the cost of a pokey 5 Move.

Edited by SnowFire

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5 hours ago, Shadow Mir said:

It still sounds like a massive rip-off, given that if I'm building someone as a mage, they are going to get investment in both reason and faith, and given how much of a boon high rank battalions are, authority is also a priority for investment. Adding lances and riding to that forces me to spread myself thin for marginal gain at best. If I have a choice between having a very good chance of being able to access my desired master class the moment I hit level 30 and a much lesser chance of being able to get into my desired class when I hit 30 because it takes much more investment, I'll take the greater chance, thank you very much. 

There is little reason to train Annette above D Faith. Maybe she hits C Faith from combat using Heal. But it really isn't that impactful.

Dark Knight takes the same amount of effort to get into as Gremory. Even less investment if you have DLC because of how much free Riding wexp Valkyrie gives. Dark Knight Annette is an incredibly low investment unit. It's her ideal class if you are planning on using Blue Lion Dancers.

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To second what others have said, here is some math that shows how completely reasonable and not high-investment Dark Knight Annette is.

Let's talk Maddening mode (other modes have higher exp gain), Azure Moon. We'll also ignore DLC (Valkyrie and sauna both make this even easier), Annette's assumed path is a simple Monk -> Mage -> Warlock -> Dark Knight.

Let's say your goal is to reach Dark Knight by Chapter 17. That gives Annette 16 chapters in which to gain exp, plus 10 paralogues (this is assuming only recruitment of staff members, for the record, and again no DLC... realistically I would imagine most players recruit at minimum Lorenz for Land of the Golden Deer, but I'm still ignoring that). Let's assume she averages 8 actions per map (which suggests a reasonably brisk playstyle considering Annette has access to Heal on turns she can't reach enemies).

Annette starts with 180 reason exp and 40 authority exp = 220 total.

Annette's in-battle actions give an average of 4 action exp (actual range varies from 2 faith in Noble to 6 reason in Warlock) and 3 authority exp. 56 exp per battle = 1456 exp total.

There are 37 training weeks up to this point. Annette gains 40 if she trains two things which are neutral, 48 if they're both strong. She's strong in authority and reason, neutral in lance/riding/faith. Let's split the difference (even though Annette spends more time training reason/authority, see below) and say 44 = 1628 exp total.

You can tutor characters in 36 weeks. However, you (probably) have more units than tutoring slots. Let's assume we tutor Annette in two thirds (24) of those weeks. Tutoring gives 4 (neutral, no bonuses) to 8 (boon, statue bonus) exp... 10 is possible with professor expertise but we'll ignore that. Call it an average 6. You get an average multiplier of 6 from a full tutoring session (anywhere from 4 to 10, but on average towards the lower end). 36 exp per session, 24 sessions = 864 total.

Grand total of 4168 exp by Chapter 17.

Now, how could we use this? A few ways, but:
C lances (300) for DK certification
C+ riding (460) for DK certification [3 ranks short, good enough for a ~50% certification rate]
C faith (300) for Recover
A reason (1320) for Warlock certification and Excalibur
A authority (1320) for access to Blue Lion Dancers - note that if you have any other battalion planned for her, you can lop 640 exp off this cost, since all the other good mage battalions are B rank or lower (Timotheos Mages, Ordelia Sorcery, Kingdom Priests, Edmund Troops, Gloucester Knights, School of Sorcery)

That's 3700 total... over 400 is leftover, so even if you assume some of my assumptions are generous (and if anything, I tried to err on the opposite side!) she should make all of these. In practice she'll be well on her way to A+ reason for Prowess 5 and perhaps even started S Reason for Black Magic Range+1. Or you could do a little dip for Lightning Axe instead (420 extra exp needed... not that I think Mir would do this one!). Or you could reach B riding to make the certification rate a little more reliable (220 exp needed) if you're not savescumming and want to save a little money.

Having Annette, or indeed any mage, certify for Dark Knight is not a problem. Even Dorothea, who has a riding bane, easily makes the required benchmarks. There are expensive builds out there; this is not one.

 

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On 9/5/2021 at 12:13 PM, SnowFire said:

A) This is discussing Annette specifically though, and her Faith list is *trash garbage*.  It's still good to train her up to D+ Faith of course, but that's quick and effortless.  She'll hit C naturally from the occasional heal and it isn't a big deal to manually train if you want.  After she gets Recover at C (which is not even that important), her next spell is Abraxas at A - which is awful.  Compare Abraxas to Excalibur and weep - Abraxas has +3 Mt and much worse everything else (Hit, Uses, Weight, Crit, Flying Effectiveness).  Even if you bother to learn Abraxas, you will only use it if you somehow run out of all your Excaliburs.  (This is obviously an entirely different conversation for the likes of Lysithea or Mercedes, who learn actually useful spells at high levels of Faith.)

B) Given the above, the point is that if you don't care about Abraxas (and you shouldn't), then it doesn't take much more investment to go DK - it's the same investment.  The actual "I hate skill training and everything it stands for" choice is Warlock, which really is significantly easier to hit than DK / Gremory and can be stayed in the rest of the game at the cost of a pokey 5 Move.

This has nothing to do with caring about Abraxas. It has nothing to do with hating skill training, either. It has everything to do with the fact that I utterly despise high-investment builds that do not even have the decency to pay off adequately, which Dark Knight stinks heavily of. If I put in a lot of effort only for that effort not to be compensated with actually performing well enough on the battlefield to justify it, then I wasted my time. AND I DO NOT LIKE WASTING MY TIME! It's nowhere near the level of Bow Knight, which, while it is a high-investment class, actually has enough going for it to make that investment feel worth it. Dark Knight is a marginal improvement over Gremory in offense, which is not nearly enough for me to justify sacrificing convenience (oh, wow, 2 more damage... that certainly justifies the copious investment in riding that this needs... oh wait...). As things are, Edelgard is about the only female that I'd consider Dark Knight over Gremory for, and that's largely because she has a weakness in Faith (of course, this is ignoring the fact that she's more physically inclined).

On 9/5/2021 at 6:12 PM, Dark Holy Elf said:

To second what others have said, here is some math that shows how completely reasonable and not high-investment Dark Knight Annette is.

Let's talk Maddening mode (other modes have higher exp gain), Azure Moon. We'll also ignore DLC (Valkyrie and sauna both make this even easier), Annette's assumed path is a simple Monk -> Mage -> Warlock -> Dark Knight.

Let's say your goal is to reach Dark Knight by Chapter 17. That gives Annette 16 chapters in which to gain exp, plus 10 paralogues (this is assuming only recruitment of staff members, for the record, and again no DLC... realistically I would imagine most players recruit at minimum Lorenz for Land of the Golden Deer, but I'm still ignoring that). Let's assume she averages 8 actions per map (which suggests a reasonably brisk playstyle considering Annette has access to Heal on turns she can't reach enemies).

Annette starts with 180 reason exp and 40 authority exp = 220 total.

Annette's in-battle actions give an average of 4 action exp (actual range varies from 2 faith in Noble to 6 reason in Warlock) and 3 authority exp. 56 exp per battle = 1456 exp total.

There are 37 training weeks up to this point. Annette gains 40 if she trains two things which are neutral, 48 if they're both strong. She's strong in authority and reason, neutral in lance/riding/faith. Let's split the difference (even though Annette spends more time training reason/authority, see below) and say 44 = 1628 exp total.

You can tutor characters in 36 weeks. However, you (probably) have more units than tutoring slots. Let's assume we tutor Annette in two thirds (24) of those weeks. Tutoring gives 4 (neutral, no bonuses) to 8 (boon, statue bonus) exp... 10 is possible with professor expertise but we'll ignore that. Call it an average 6. You get an average multiplier of 6 from a full tutoring session (anywhere from 4 to 10, but on average towards the lower end). 36 exp per session, 24 sessions = 864 total.

Grand total of 4168 exp by Chapter 17.

Now, how could we use this? A few ways, but:
C lances (300) for DK certification
C+ riding (460) for DK certification [3 ranks short, good enough for a ~50% certification rate]
C faith (300) for Recover
A reason (1320) for Warlock certification and Excalibur
A authority (1320) for access to Blue Lion Dancers - note that if you have any other battalion planned for her, you can lop 640 exp off this cost, since all the other good mage battalions are B rank or lower (Timotheos Mages, Ordelia Sorcery, Kingdom Priests, Edmund Troops, Gloucester Knights, School of Sorcery)

That's 3700 total... over 400 is leftover, so even if you assume some of my assumptions are generous (and if anything, I tried to err on the opposite side!) she should make all of these. In practice she'll be well on her way to A+ reason for Prowess 5 and perhaps even started S Reason for Black Magic Range+1. Or you could do a little dip for Lightning Axe instead (420 extra exp needed... not that I think Mir would do this one!). Or you could reach B riding to make the certification rate a little more reliable (220 exp needed) if you're not savescumming and want to save a little money.

Having Annette, or indeed any mage, certify for Dark Knight is not a problem. Even Dorothea, who has a riding bane, easily makes the required benchmarks. There are expensive builds out there; this is not one.

Come on now, man. You may find that reasonable, but that most definitely does not mean I will agree... Once again, I prefer convenience and practicality over whatever the fuck Dark Knight has going for it. I've said it a million times by now, I'd rather have a high chance to be strong now than a lower chance to be marginally stronger. Also, considering how much investment this needs, 50% pass chance ain't good enough for me.

On 9/5/2021 at 4:16 PM, Objeckts said:

There is little reason to train Annette above D Faith. Maybe she hits C Faith from combat using Heal. But it really isn't that impactful.

Dark Knight takes the same amount of effort to get into as Gremory. Even less investment if you have DLC because of how much free Riding wexp Valkyrie gives. Dark Knight Annette is an incredibly low investment unit. It's her ideal class if you are planning on using Blue Lion Dancers.

And as I see it, there's no way in the seven hells this is even remotely worth it, because I do not like taking the path of most resistance, which this stinks heavily of being, when it doesn't even have a good payoff.

Edited by Shadow Mir

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7 hours ago, Shadow Mir said:

Also, considering how much investment this needs, 50% pass chance ain't good enough for me.

You can try that 50% chance 4-5 times per month, so it's ~93-96% per chapter in practice. And I already showed it's possible to hit B if you don't value Lightning Axe, which makes the certification rate 70%, or over 99% per chapter.

Finally, if you're really going to leave Annette in Warlock, I question the wisdom of giving her Blue Lions Dancers, when she will struggle to get in good positions to use it. In other words, you're probably happy with B authority... at which point you can get the Riding to A instead, and have your 100% certification rate if that's what you really want.

7 hours ago, Shadow Mir said:

I've said it a million times by now, I'd rather have a high chance to be strong now than a lower chance to be marginally stronger.

Nothing about the Dark Knight build has less immediate strength than the one you proposed. Both are going through Monk -> Mage -> Warlock, both are hitting required authority and benchmarks in a timely fashion.

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10 hours ago, Shadow Mir said:

... I DO NOT LIKE WASTING MY TIME! ... Dark Knight is a marginal improvement over Gremory in offense, which is not nearly enough for me to justify sacrificing convenience (oh, wow, 2 more damage... that certainly justifies the copious investment in riding that this needs... oh wait...).

Garreg Mach cafe has 3 new sandwiches for sale: the Warlock sandwich which costs 5 gold, the Dark Knight sandwich which costs 10 gold, and the Gremory sandwich which costs 10 gold.  You can also pay extra for some condiments - avocado costs 2 gold extra, and Abraxas sauce costs 5 gold extra, although the Abraxas comes free if you purchase a Gremory sandwich.

If hungry Shadow Annette is on a budget, she might grab the Warlock sandwich.  If Annette likes Abraxas sauce for some reason (ick!  it's an acquired taste) and wants to order it, then she might as well get the Gremory sandwich, it's basically the same price at that point.  If Annette feels like she wants a premium sandwich but doesn't care for Abraxas sauce, then there's no price difference between the Gremory sandwich and the Dark Knight sandwich.  It's just a matter of math: they both cost 10 gold.  There's no additional "effort" to get one or the other, so she should buy the one she likes the best.  If she likes Gremory sandwich better anyway, that's cool of course!  Just don't justify it by saying it's cheaper or less effort, because it's not.

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On 9/8/2021 at 1:24 AM, Shadow Mir said:

50% pass chance ain't good enough for me.

Take the test at the start of the month and reload the "new chapter" save if you fail. You'll get a new RN. If you don't like doing that, then just save and take the test then reload the save until you get it right. 50% pass chance looks bad until you take it and shitter cert anyway.

On 9/8/2021 at 1:24 AM, Shadow Mir said:

oh, wow, 2 more damage... that certainly justifies the copious investment in riding that this needs... oh wait...).

2 damage is really good, but you're also forgetting 7 move and canto. Those are nothing to scoff at. Even when dismounted, the dark knight has more move than a Gremory.

 

On 9/8/2021 at 8:31 AM, Dark Holy Elf said:

Finally, if you're really going to leave Annette in Warlock, I question the wisdom of giving her Blue Lions Dancers,

I've only ever seen the blue lion dancers be put on a unit when you have a strategy to 1turn the map. IMO there's no reason to equip it otherwise. If I'm putting the Blue Lion dancers on a warlock Annette it's because she's the only option for it (A auth is kind of expensive) and she just doesn't have a more mobile class yet. But you're right in this case. Honestly if you plan to put the blue lion dancers on Annette your best option is thief for 5 move and unhindered movement through forests.

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On 9/9/2021 at 11:41 PM, OriginalRaisins said:

I've only ever seen the blue lion dancers be put on a unit when you have a strategy to 1turn the map. IMO there's no reason to equip it otherwise. If I'm putting the Blue Lion dancers on a warlock Annette it's because she's the only option for it (A auth is kind of expensive) and she just doesn't have a more mobile class yet. But you're right in this case. Honestly if you plan to put the blue lion dancers on Annette your best option is thief for 5 move and unhindered movement through forests.

Blue Lion Dancers gives up to 4 units an extra turn at the cost of a single turn. It's 100% worth running for general play. It is debatably the best gambit in the game.

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2 hours ago, Objeckts said:

It is debatably the best gambit in the game.

I totally agree it's the best gambit in the game. It's the best gambit in the game because it gives you loads of power to 1turn maps. 

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Even if you're not one-turning maps, it's still useful. I don't one-turn maps and don't value things that let you do so, but the action economy is still hard to argue with. The biggest issue with it isn't the gambit, it's the fact that it's attached to weak/late battalions.

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On 9/8/2021 at 8:31 AM, Dark Holy Elf said:

Finally, if you're really going to leave Annette in Warlock, I question the wisdom of giving her Blue Lions Dancers

You gotta admit, though, that A authority is pretty demanding. About the only characters I can see getting there in any reasonable timeframe are anyone with a bonus in authority. Like Byleth, for example (which is what I did; probably not the best choice I could have made, admittedly, but whatever).

On 9/9/2021 at 10:41 PM, OriginalRaisins said:

2 damage is really good, but you're also forgetting 7 move and canto. Those are nothing to scoff at. Even when dismounted, the dark knight has more move than a Gremory.

That doesn't help nearly as much in practice as it does in theory. Also, 2 extra damage is not "really good". It's *bleep* underwhelming. As is Dark Knight in general.

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6 hours ago, Shadow Mir said:

That doesn't help nearly as much in practice as it does in theory. Also, 2 extra damage is not "really good". It's *bleep* underwhelming. As is Dark Knight in general.

If the argument is one of experience, then I could just say that, in my personal experience, getting to attack and Canto away is pretty great. There are plenty of cases where an infantry magic user could attack a foe, but in doing so, leave themselves in enemy range. Canto obviates this. Or, you can support an ally with Draw Back, while still moving your full range. On top of that, 2 more spaces of attack range, in every direction, multiplies your options. There are cases for favoring Magic Uses x2 infantry classes, sure (siege spell users, Warp/Physic support). But in terms of raw "offensive mage", the mounted options are generally superior.

6 hours ago, Shadow Mir said:

You gotta admit, though, that A authority is pretty demanding. About the only characters I can see getting there in any reasonable timeframe are anyone with a bonus in authority. Like Byleth, for example (which is what I did; probably not the best choice I could have made, admittedly, but whatever).

Quite a few characters offer an Authority boon, though - Teach, the Lords, at least one extra unit per house, and Seteth. Oh, Yuri and Constance, too.

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6 hours ago, Shadow Mir said:

You gotta admit, though, that A authority is pretty demanding. About the only characters I can see getting there in any reasonable timeframe are anyone with a bonus in authority. Like Byleth, for example

Or Annette, yes. I posted the math above for how I think it's reasonable to get her A authority by the time she unlocks Dark Knight (and perhaps even a bit earlier, depending on your exact timeframe of priorities up to that point).

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17 hours ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

Even if you're not one-turning maps, it's still useful. I don't one-turn maps and don't value things that let you do so, but the action economy is still hard to argue with. The biggest issue with it isn't the gambit, it's the fact that it's attached to weak/late battalions.

The action economy is good but you're sandbagging one unit hard for a single opportunity to get four units back. If equipping the battalion basically nerfs your unit to the point that you can no longer fight with them, then you're losing action economy each turn you have it equipped. Though this is a somewhat flawed connection to draw, if you have BL dancers or Opera Co. volunteers equipped on a unit for more than 4 turns in one map, you've net lost action economy. Of course the large burst in actions is really strong, but it's strongest if you can plan ahead where you're going to use it for the most benefit.

There's an argument to be made that you should put the gambit on your dancer themselves, and while this move doesn't hurt your position, it also removes one of the strongest features of the gambit: dancing for your dancer.

In general I think the battalion is really strong, one of the strongest in the game for sure, but I only equip it if I know exactly when, where, why, and for whom I am going to use the gambit.

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@OriginalRaisins I don't disagree, but... Annette, notably, is one of the better units to sandbag this way. Even with her stats nerfed she can still deliver respectable chip from range, and it has no effect on her healing or rallies. She probably still has enough oomph to one-round armour knights with it too. It does do bad things to her attempts to pull one-shots with Lightning Axe/Dust, but I don't think it's so simple that you can say that if the battle lasts 4 turns, it's a net negative, because a lot of Annette's turns are not negatively affected.

I do agree about the part about that sort of planning and is one of the reasons I didn't throw the gambit a 10/10 when we rated them because I've certainly ended up with fights where I treated it as a "break glass in case of emergency" tool and said emergency never materialized... but it's still good.

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1 hour ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

I don't disagree, but... Annette, notably, is one of the better units to sandbag this way. Even with her stats nerfed she can still deliver respectable chip from range, and it has no effect on her healing or rallies. She probably still has enough oomph to one-round armour knights with it too. It does do bad things to her attempts to pull one-shots with Lightning Axe/Dust, but I don't think it's so simple that you can say that if the battle lasts 4 turns, it's a net negative, because a lot of Annette's turns are not negatively affected.

I tend to love and overrate Annette, but honestly, she could do worse than be a "Dance-of-the-Goddess, Rally, and Recover" bot. Even if her offense is compromised, she can still provide valuable support. Assuming you don't need "Dance of the Goddess" and "Strength/Speed Rally" on the same turn, that is.

1 hour ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

do agree about the part about that sort of planning and is one of the reasons I didn't throw the gambit a 10/10 when we rated them because I've certainly ended up with fights where I treated it as a "break glass in case of emergency" tool and said emergency never materialized... but it's still good.

Rating gambits, you say? Somebody should really get on top of rating the battalions that carry them!

...It's a work-in-progress. Even simply compiling a spreadsheet with all the battalions is sapping my will to live. Hoping to get something out by the end of the month, haha.

8 hours ago, OriginalRaisins said:

The action economy is good but you're sandbagging one unit hard for a single opportunity to get four units back. If equipping the battalion basically nerfs your unit to the point that you can no longer fight with them, then you're losing action economy each turn you have it equipped. Though this is a somewhat flawed connection to draw, if you have BL dancers or Opera Co. volunteers equipped on a unit for more than 4 turns in one map, you've net lost action economy. Of course the large burst in actions is really strong, but it's strongest if you can plan ahead where you're going to use it for the most benefit.

I would say it's generally worth it, so long as what the "Dance of the Goddess" unit would otherwise provide is less valuable than the input of the four targeted units. If I have a unit who's intended to secure the boss kill, then of course they're not gonna be the one saddled with this gambit.

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I usually just slap on the blue lions dancer gambit onto someone I know that can function in the front lines as long as the -1 strength and magic doesn’t cripple me too much. The 20 avoid is always nice to utilize other than the one time refresh for your dancer and three other units.

Like sometimes Byleth, Lysithea or even Flayn could get away with it. Yuri is another one. It just all depends on your team formation really. As far as giving it to Annette, I’d rather have her be one of the recipients so she could either rally another physical fighter or have someone else rally her to do better damage.

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On 9/15/2021 at 7:22 PM, OriginalRaisins said:

The action economy is good but you're sandbagging one unit hard for a single opportunity to get four units back. If equipping the battalion basically nerfs your unit to the point that you can no longer fight with them, then you're losing action economy each turn you have it equipped. Though this is a somewhat flawed connection to draw, if you have BL dancers or Opera Co. volunteers equipped on a unit for more than 4 turns in one map, you've net lost action economy. Of course the large burst in actions is really strong, but it's strongest if you can plan ahead where you're going to use it for the most benefit.

This sounds fairly similar to the "why bring a dancer when you can bring another combat unit?" argument, to be honest, with more variables attached to it. Even playing casually, an excellent turn 1 or 2 can completely change the face of almost any map, and this gambit does make one of those almost trivial to achieve. FE maps are rarely designed to last more than 10 turns... or let's say 15 to be conservative, to begin with.

I can agree that it's... overkill friendly, though. The debate of what strong tool is actually genuinely helpful is a very interesting one. Alas, as players who don't really need help in the first place, I don't know that we'd be amazing at determining this in particular.

Edited by Cysx

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On 9/17/2021 at 6:56 AM, Cysx said:

This sounds fairly similar to the "why bring a dancer when you can bring another combat unit?" argument, to be honest, with more variables attached to it.

The more variables being that a dancer can dance on every turn, which is not true of the blue lion dancers

 

On 9/17/2021 at 6:56 AM, Cysx said:

Even playing casually, an excellent turn 1 or 2 can completely change the face of almost any map, and this gambit does make one of those almost trivial to achieve. FE maps are rarely designed to last more than 10 turns... or let's say 15 to be conservative, to begin with.

I totally agree, and by the time you get this gambit most maps are lasting 1 or 2 turns anyway, and the maps that don't last that long are solved just as quickly, often times through the blue lion dancers.

I think I feel the need to reiterate my primary point regarding dancer gambits: they are absolutely excellent, among the strongest in the game (behind only stride perhaps), and you should use them when available. BUT you shouldn't just equip them and figure out when to use it later, you should equip it knowing full when exactly when, where, why, and for whom you intend to dance. Your point about an excellent turn 1 or 2 actually reinforces this idea. If you're going to use the dancer gambit on turn 1, you will know exactly where your units are going to be and have no excuse for not drawing a plan. On turn 2 it may be more uncertain where your units are or what they will need to do but it's not that hard to think one turn ahead. In any case, if you're using the blue lion dancers to make a strong turn 1 or turn 2, you're doing exactly what I advise you to do - equipping the gambit not because you might need it later, but because you know exactly how you're going to use it in the map.

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17 hours ago, OriginalRaisins said:

The more variables being that a dancer can dance on every turn, which is not true of the blue lion dancers

 See, beyond the fact that this doesn't help, I now also wonder if the root of this isn't you misunderstanding what this gambit can really pull off. I'll still assume that isn't the case, but why the obviously biased statement?

Anyway, I do seem to have misread your argument to an extent, or rather it initially felt a bit more extreme. Though my reasoning on why it should be used early has little to do with ease and with both canto and strive on one's side, planning isn't required to make it work, our arguments do reach the same general place. Now as to whether it's useful if you don't do that, I'd still say yes. First, having one's entire deployment filled with indispensable units isn't likely, second it doesn't need to be fully optimized to make a big difference, all you really need to do is to have the user nearby your dancer, and your dancer nearby your most competent units, which you're probably doing regardless. If the question, like I think, is whether it can be useful when not used at its best or not, then we do disagree.
... But mostly I think the statement of yours I quoted in my previous message is interesting but flawed and that's why I posted

Specific map design is yet another story, but either we're talking about an unoptimal context(which I thought we were doing) and bringing low turn counts doesn't really make sense, or we're talking about situations where usefulness beyond turn 3 or 4 doesn't even matter in the first place, because the map will have ended.

 

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On 9/16/2021 at 6:01 AM, Barren said:

I usually just slap on the blue lions dancer gambit onto someone I know that can function in the front lines as long as the -1 strength and magic doesn’t cripple me too much. The 20 avoid is always nice to utilize other than the one time refresh for your dancer and three other units.

Like sometimes Byleth, Lysithea or even Flayn could get away with it. Yuri is another one. It just all depends on your team formation really. As far as giving it to Annette, I’d rather have her be one of the recipients so she could either rally another physical fighter or have someone else rally her to do better damage.

Bold: That... may have been why I ended up giving it to Byleth. I found that he hit hard enough that he wasn't severely gimped by it.

On 9/8/2021 at 11:42 AM, SnowFire said:

Garreg Mach cafe has 3 new sandwiches for sale: the Warlock sandwich which costs 5 gold, the Dark Knight sandwich which costs 10 gold, and the Gremory sandwich which costs 10 gold.  You can also pay extra for some condiments - avocado costs 2 gold extra, and Abraxas sauce costs 5 gold extra, although the Abraxas comes free if you purchase a Gremory sandwich.

If hungry Shadow Annette is on a budget, she might grab the Warlock sandwich.  If Annette likes Abraxas sauce for some reason (ick!  it's an acquired taste) and wants to order it, then she might as well get the Gremory sandwich, it's basically the same price at that point.  If Annette feels like she wants a premium sandwich but doesn't care for Abraxas sauce, then there's no price difference between the Gremory sandwich and the Dark Knight sandwich.  It's just a matter of math: they both cost 10 gold.  There's no additional "effort" to get one or the other, so she should buy the one she likes the best.  If she likes Gremory sandwich better anyway, that's cool of course!  Just don't justify it by saying it's cheaper or less effort, because it's not.

I read the reviews for the Dark Knight sandwich, and this was among them:

"The Dark Knight sandwich is overcooked on the bottom, CRISPY AS [BLEEP], AND IT LOOKS LIKE GANDHI'S FLIP-FLOP!! What a shame!"

"IT'S! [BLEEP!] RAW!!!"

Real talk: I call BS here. A build that requires three skill investments is cheaper than one that needs 5, especially when at least one of those is one she can't train naturally through battles.

On 9/15/2021 at 9:01 AM, Shanty Pete's 1st Mate said:

If the argument is one of experience, then I could just say that, in my personal experience, getting to attack and Canto away is pretty great. There are plenty of cases where an infantry magic user could attack a foe, but in doing so, leave themselves in enemy range. Canto obviates this. Or, you can support an ally with Draw Back, while still moving your full range. On top of that, 2 more spaces of attack range, in every direction, multiplies your options. There are cases for favoring Magic Uses x2 infantry classes, sure (siege spell users, Warp/Physic support). But in terms of raw "offensive mage", the mounted options are generally superior.

For the most part, Canto only obviates this if the enemy was already pretty much in your face to begin with. Otherwise (and this is what often happens in practice, I find), you probably have to use most of your movement to get in range to attack, and thus don't have enough movement left over to get out of enemy range, especially if the terrain is not cavalry-friendly. Bow Knights have insane attack range, which mitigates this, for the most part. Dark Knights, not so much, unless you're using Thyrsus or Caduceus (both of which I'd consider good for any mage), as well as Black Magic Range +1. Long story short, the extra movement doesn't do enough for me to consider it worth it, especially when the offensive improvement is so slight that I'd consider it much too little to make up for the extra effort needed. If I want to go for a high-investment class, I expect much better than a marginal damage increase and a movement advantage that tends to be cut into by terrain that hinders cavalry units, but leaves infantry unaffected.

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35 minutes ago, Shadow Mir said:

For the most part, Canto only obviates this if the enemy was already pretty much in your face to begin with. Otherwise (and this is what often happens in practice, I find), you probably have to use most of your movement to get in range to attack, and thus don't have enough movement left over to get out of enemy range, especially if the terrain is not cavalry-friendly. Bow Knights have insane attack range, which mitigates this, for the most part. Dark Knights, not so much, unless you're using Thyrsus or Caduceus (both of which I'd consider good for any mage), as well as Black Magic Range +1. Long story short, the extra movement doesn't do enough for me to consider it worth it, especially when the offensive improvement is so slight that I'd consider it much too little to make up for the extra effort needed. If I want to go for a high-investment class, I expect much better than a marginal damage increase and a movement advantage that tends to be cut into by terrain that hinders cavalry units, but leaves infantry unaffected.

What do you mean by "in your face"?

Like, let's suppose there's a target 6 tiles away, and I have Mercedes with Fire (and Thunder, and Bolganone, and Ragnarok), but no range-boosting staff. As a Warlock/Bishop/Gremory, she can move 4 tiles and attack. As a Dark Knight, she can move 4 tiles, attack, and move back 3 tiles (for a net displacement of 1). As a Valkyrie, she can move 3 tiles, attack, and move back three tiles (net displacement of 0). Even in cases where a foe is at or near the edge of infanty mage attack range, being in a mounted class with Canto allows flexibility when it comes to turn-end positioning.

I'm not going to deny that certain terrain types (Stairs, Forests, Sand) can present an issue for these classes. Even then, though, a dismounted Dark Knight still boasts a higher move stat (at 6) then a Gremory, on top of higher damage output. And how significant those terrain types end up being varies massively from map to map.

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21 hours ago, Shadow Mir said:

Real talk: I call BS here. A build that requires three skill investments is cheaper than one that needs 5, especially when at least one of those is one she can't train naturally through battles.

It's not just about the number of skill investments, but about how far each one is invested in. An A requires 1320 exp, a C merely 300; those aren't remotely comparable. So it's disingenuous to act like Dark Knight's lance/faith requirements are onerous. The difference between Gremory and Dark Knight is effectively two C ranks (A riding C faith C lances vs. A faith... in both cases the A rank comes down in practice, but by the same amount), which is 600. Which, considering the ~4000 skill exp available by the point master classes show up, really isn't that much.

Again, I've already shown the math above that Dark Knight is an extremely reasonable investment that does not need disproportionate training, favouritism, or even a Knowledge Gem to reach. Is Warlock even cheaper? Sure. It's a fair point that if the rest of your team is using super-exp-intensive setups, that opting for Warlock Annette might make them a little easier to acquire. But it's worth emphasizing that Dark Knight is not expensive; it's just that Warlock Annette is one of the cheapest builds around (at least by Level 30).

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On 9/21/2021 at 10:46 AM, Shanty Pete's 1st Mate said:

What do you mean by "in your face"?

Like, let's suppose there's a target 6 tiles away, and I have Mercedes with Fire (and Thunder, and Bolganone, and Ragnarok), but no range-boosting staff. As a Warlock/Bishop/Gremory, she can move 4 tiles and attack. As a Dark Knight, she can move 4 tiles, attack, and move back 3 tiles (for a net displacement of 1). As a Valkyrie, she can move 3 tiles, attack, and move back three tiles (net displacement of 0). Even in cases where a foe is at or near the edge of infanty mage attack range, being in a mounted class with Canto allows flexibility when it comes to turn-end positioning.

I'm not going to deny that certain terrain types (Stairs, Forests, Sand) can present an issue for these classes. Even then, though, a dismounted Dark Knight still boasts a higher move stat (at 6) then a Gremory, on top of higher damage output. And how significant those terrain types end up being varies massively from map to map.

Simply put, in a position where a unit could attack them without moving from their initial position, or at the least, with minimal movement. 

I'm deducting points for that. In this case, for Dark Knight, 3 spaces isn't enough to get back out of the range of whatever you were attacking, even against the least mobile classes (as you need to use 4 movement to get in position to attack). This only really helps against immobile enemies, which are not very common.

On 9/22/2021 at 8:34 AM, Dark Holy Elf said:

It's not just about the number of skill investments, but about how far each one is invested in. An A requires 1320 exp, a C merely 300; those aren't remotely comparable. So it's disingenuous to act like Dark Knight's lance/faith requirements are onerous. The difference between Gremory and Dark Knight is effectively two C ranks (A riding C faith C lances vs. A faith... in both cases the A rank comes down in practice, but by the same amount), which is 600. Which, considering the ~4000 skill exp available by the point master classes show up, really isn't that much.

Again, I've already shown the math above that Dark Knight is an extremely reasonable investment that does not need disproportionate training, favouritism, or even a Knowledge Gem to reach. Is Warlock even cheaper? Sure. It's a fair point that if the rest of your team is using super-exp-intensive setups, that opting for Warlock Annette might make them a little easier to acquire. But it's worth emphasizing that Dark Knight is not expensive; it's just that Warlock Annette is one of the cheapest builds around (at least by Level 30).

Sorry, but that answer gets you a point deduction. I think the riding investment is so much of a bottleneck that it would impose upon my builds to such an extent that whatever the hell Dark Knight even brings to the table doesn't make up for it (especially in terms of getting Black Magic Range +1[or Dark Magic Range +1 for Lysithea or Hapi]).

Edited by Shadow Mir

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3 hours ago, Shadow Mir said:

Sorry, but that answer gets you a point deduction. I think the riding investment is so much of a bottleneck that it would impose upon my builds to such an extent that whatever the hell Dark Knight even brings to the table doesn't make up for it (especially in terms of getting Black Magic Range +1[or Dark Magic Range +1 for Lysithea or Hapi]).

Your "point deduction" is based on an opinion, of all things. Please refute the numbers that have been presented. 

3 hours ago, Shadow Mir said:

Simply put, in a position where a unit could attack them without moving from their initial position, or at the least, with minimal movement. 

I'm deducting points for that. In this case, for Dark Knight, 3 spaces isn't enough to get back out of the range of whatever you were attacking, even against the least mobile classes (as you need to use 4 movement to get in position to attack). This only really helps against immobile enemies, which are not very common.

The point generally isn't to get out of range of the enemy I just attacked (since ideally I'm killing them this turn), but other enemies nearby them. Suppose we have Assassin A (5 spaces from my Dark Knight) and Assassin B (7 spaces from my Dark Knight). I can move my DK forward 3 spaces, attack Assassin A (ideally killing them, or doing enough damage that another unit can come in for the kill), then canto back 4 spaces. Thus leaving me 8 spaces away from Assassin B, out of his attacking range. If I tried the same with an infantry mage - even one with Magic Range +1 and Thyrsus equipped - they would still be in Assassin B's attack range. The power of Canto should not be underestimated. 

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