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Let's Grade Each Stat

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Skill and Luck get quite a bit of flak as far as stats go for being pretty useless. But what's less talked about is what the best or most middle of the road stats. So let's grade each of the nine (including charm) growable stats from worst to best. You can talk about the series as a whole, or you can discuss individual games. Personally for me I think I value strength the most. It certainly seems to be the stat I get most thrilled about when I see it on a level up screen. You'd think the same would be true for magic as it's counterpart, but enemies having lower res just kind of makes individual magic statups seem less important, since mages will be dealing good damage regardless. Of course the nature of these two stats means they also become less useful as the game goes on, as they don't greatly change the number of hits required to kill something as stats grow higher. Conversely resistance and defense get more valuable as the game goes on as they increase the number of hits you can tank exponentially. So which parts of the game are the hardest is something that also kind of needs to be factored in.

If you want to talk about con and move too then feel free, though it's pretty clear they aren't treated the same as the other stats, even in Thracia where they have a growth rate.

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I'm going to have to ask:  Is this counting all the various stats throughout the series, or the stats in specific games.  Because you'll get very different results depending on which it is.

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1 minute ago, Ouzyxol said:

I'm going to have to ask:  Is this counting all the various stats throughout the series, or the stats in specific games.  Because you'll get very different results depending on which it is.

I say either or in the OP.

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Well some stats help more than others depending on the game, but I feel like it's mostly consistent of when a stat is considered to be better than others, so I'll try talking about the stat as a whole while comparing it's usefulness between certain FE games.

STR: Without good strength, you aren't exactly going to be contributing much to the battlefield, unless your utility is primarily support based (healing/staves, pair up bot, rally bot, etc.) Sure high speed is nice, but it doesn't mean much when you simply deal 6*2 to an enemy with 30 HP. You're really just making yourself open to counterattacks. Generally, someone who can OHKO an enemy would be considered a great unit, so STR is absolutely one of the main stats you'd want points in. However, in some FE games, forging can make up for poor STR growths, like Shadow Dragon. STR is the most important stat in games where doubling enemies isn't too difficult, and you mainly STR to ensure kills in each combat, like FE7, FE8, FE9 for example.

SPD: It's pretty difficult to OHKO an enemy with just one hit (unless you use a heavily forged slaying weapon), so SPD is usually considered to be the best stat. Of course, this largely depends on the game. I'd say it's not too big of a deal in Blazing Sword and Sacred Stones, as the benchmark for doubling enemies is rather low. In games like New Mystery though, enemies are pretty fast, so units with really good speed growths like the Whitewings can really help with their pretty good chance of capping speed, pretty much letting them consistently double even lunatic enemies with 20+ speed in the Altea arc. SPD is the most important stat in games where doubling enemies woould make a huge difference in damage input, but isn't so easily reachable by any trained unit, such as FE6, FE11, FE12, FE CQ (technically pair ups solve any stat issue but I still value speed a lot)

DEF: While I'd say it isn't quite as important as STR or SPD, having high DEF lets you place them into larger groups of enemies so you can deal more damage in the enemy phase, letting you sweep through them much easier and faster in the player phase. This is especially helpful in enemy phase focused games, like FE7 or FE9 (at least maniac FE9), where the best method to routing the enemy is to have a tanky unit carry a javelin or something similar to weaken or outright kill enemies when they reach you, so you don't have to worry about getting swarmed. FE7 and FE9 enemies overall don't have much STR, so good DEF guarentees that you'll be taking single digit damage, letting you be a frontline monster. DEF is the 3rd most important stat overall.

RES: Usually, you wouldn't consider the unit's res too much when evaluating a unit. A majority of enemies will be physical units, and in the DSFE games, most res growths are 0% anyways. It's certainly nice to have on a few units, but I rarely consider RES to be worth crossing my fingers whenever I level up.

MAG: High magic helps you destroy enemies with low res, so magic units with great magic can always make for decent glass cannons. It's probably not quite as important as STR, but magic can hellp give you extra range for staves depending on the FE game. In Thracia, MAG determined who you are allowed to target with your infinite ranged staves, so high magic definitely helps there. Some games, like Fates or Radiant Dawn, will have enemies with competent RES, so you'll actually need pretty good magic to catch up with the damage everyone else is dealing.

SKL: This stat is one of 2 that are always associated with bad level ups. Everyone has experienced +1 skill and nothing else, and that just really grinds gears. Nobody wants capped skill and nothing else. However, it's still pretty important, as no one wants to miss crucial attacks that will lead to game overs. This especially applies to games where hit rates can be shaky, like in FE6. Even if I get Gonzales or someone similar to cap their strength, what good is that if only some of my planned attacks will actually work? Having a low skill growth is definitely problematic, but you can always just use skill books. Most other stats are just more helpful overall, so it's hard to justify hoping for skill level ups over anything else. 

LCK: I really hate this stat. It's also considered a bad stat, but then you get killed by a crit and get real angry at the game. I don't want to consider someone's luck growth when using someone. That feels like a cheap way to balance a unit. You'd probably only want to use one unit with bad luck, so you can dump goddess icons on them to make up for it. In games like 3 Houses maddening, the lategame enemies will have a chance to land criticals on anyone that isn't luck blessed, and that's infuriating. Sure you don't want low luck, but it still feels like the worst stat. After all, it only slightly increases chances of not getting rng screwed, whereas most other stats reliably allow you to strategize.

CHM: Charm is exclusive to 3 Houses, so there's not too much to talk about. It helps with batallions, and those are pretty helpful, especially on maddening. If you're making a dodge tank build, then charm would definitely help, as I'm pretty sure that determines your chance to avoid enemy gambits, which can really screw you over. Of course, you can always just use linked attacks to increase your odds to hit with gambits, so charm definitely isn't as important as something like DEF. 

Stats like Move or build/con in Thracia are neat to have, but almost everyone has really really low growths, so it's difficult to evaluate it. It feels more like a lucky stat that you will occasionally get to make you feel real giddy. If you use scrolls, then that really just makes the indivual's growth on the matter less meaningful. I mean, are we really going to appreciate Marty just because he has a good BLD growth? I can't see myself ranking it.

My Overall Ranking: STR>SPD>DEF>MAG>SKL>RES>CHM>LCK

Again, speed is definitely more in some FE games, but STR just always seems to be a very helpful stat that you never don't want, whereas I've definitely had moments where I've said "stop getting speed you don't need it!"

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Varies by game a lot. My tentative ranking follows, with the understanding that the specifics vary.

  1. Speed: I'd say on average this is the most important. Doubling and not being doubled are both very important. Interestingly, despite @Shaky Jones's comments, I actually found it super useful in FE7-8 as well, because once you start doubling everything you're probably good at evasion, and every point is another 2 evade, and that's the best method to stay alive in those games.
  2. Strength/Magic: Usually pretty important, though varies a bit. I think it's consistently a bit less important than speed except maybe 3H since 3H provides so many ways to kill without doubling. In a number of games it can become overkill because even lower-str characters can consistently one-round most enemies, but there's usually at least a window where that's not the case.
  3. Defence: Usually #3, though can fall slightly in heavilly dodge-based games.
  4. Charm: Only in 3H but it's important for gambit accuracy and evasion. Dunno if it's above def but I'd put it above everything else.
  5. HP: Generically helps keep you alive. Generally does a less good job of it than def or evade but stacks with them and is more impactful than Res.
  6. Luck: Varies a depending on its exact bonuses. At worst, it almost always wards off criticals, which is very useful - you notice bad luck. But the difference between "adequate" and "good" is far less obvious. In some games it adds +1 evade so that can be noteworthy if evasion is important to the game, but obviously it's way less important than speed even at that role. It also sometimes assists accuracy but never much and... well, read on.
  7. Res: Varies a lot by how rare magic enemies are. I'd say it's usually around here though.
  8. Skill/Dex: The worst, most of the time. At best it adds +2 hit, but sometimes as little as +1.. even +0.5 in 3H magic's case! Hit matters sometimes (depends a bit on the game and character), but this is rarely the best way to get it... supports and weapon choice usually have a far greater impact. The games with skills frequently have skills that offer 20 hit or even more (equivalent to 10-20 skill!) and these aren't considered overpowered, so that says how bad skill is. Sometimes it can also impact crit or skill activations but usually not much and those often aren't very valuable anyway.

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41 minutes ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

Varies by game a lot. My tentative ranking follows, with the understanding that the specifics vary.

  1. Speed: I'd say on average this is the most important. Doubling and not being doubled are both very important. Interestingly, despite @Shaky Jones's comments, I actually found it super useful in FE7-8 as well, because once you start doubling everything you're probably good at evasion, and every point is another 2 evade, and that's the best method to stay alive in those games.
  2. Strength/Magic: Usually pretty important, though varies a bit. I think it's consistently a bit less important than speed except maybe 3H since 3H provides so many ways to kill without doubling. In a number of games it can become overkill because even lower-str characters can consistently one-round most enemies, but there's usually at least a window where that's not the case.
  3. Defence: Usually #3, though can fall slightly in heavilly dodge-based games.
  4. Charm: Only in 3H but it's important for gambit accuracy and evasion. Dunno if it's above def but I'd put it above everything else.
  5. HP: Generically helps keep you alive. Generally does a less good job of it than def or evade but stacks with them and is more impactful than Res.
  6. Luck: Varies a depending on its exact bonuses. At worst, it almost always wards off criticals, which is very useful - you notice bad luck. But the difference between "adequate" and "good" is far less obvious. In some games it adds +1 evade so that can be noteworthy if evasion is important to the game, but obviously it's way less important than speed even at that role. It also sometimes assists accuracy but never much and... well, read on.
  7. Res: Varies a lot by how rare magic enemies are. I'd say it's usually around here though.
  8. Skill/Dex: The worst, most of the time. At best it adds +2 hit, but sometimes as little as +1.. even +0.5 in 3H magic's case! Hit matters sometimes (depends a bit on the game and character), but this is rarely the best way to get it... supports and weapon choice usually have a far greater impact. The games with skills frequently have skills that offer 20 hit or even more (equivalent to 10-20 skill!) and these aren't considered overpowered, so that says how bad skill is. Sometimes it can also impact crit or skill activations but usually not much and those often aren't very valuable anyway.

My rankings is similar to this, but I'd put Speed at #3, Defense at #2, Attack/Magic at #1, HP at #4, and Charm at #5 (I find that supports help increase the accuracy of Gambits more then Charm does).

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I'm going to say that apart from certain game-specific stats every stat is important to some extent, and the values change from game to game because every game handles differently.

  • Strenth: A/B - Depends on if you're fielding any weapon-wielding class or a mage class.  For most games it's even useful for mages because strength can determine attack speed, be used for a secondary physical weapon in case magic won't do the trick, or in the case of the handful of games where it's applicable it's the stat that determines mage attack power (as in, FE1, FE2, and FE3).  You need this stat to deal damage, period.  You could have all the skill in the world and be tanky as hell, but you do not progress without strength.
  • Magic: A/C - It doesn't nearly have as much use for non-mage units as strength does for mage units.  There's one game where magic affects more than simple magical attack power, and that's FE5 where magic affects both magic attack power and magic defense.  For non-mages, it's basically only good for the handful of weapons that deal magic damage, or I guess for those few classes that use both a physical weapon and magic tomes, which in that case for more physically oriented units the magic would be good for being able to counter all enemy attacks because 1 damage is better than no damage.
  • Skill: C - This is an RNG stat.  There is no RNG in the primary functions of Strength and Magic.  But for skill, it's all about determining hit rate.  You do need a high skill to consistently hit things, and in some games low skill hurts more than in others, but you can make do with merely average skill.  It can determine activation rates for skills as well in the games that have skills, but again those are RNG based and many have fairly low chances to proc until you get into the late game so you don't want to count on them.  The problem is with stats with controlled, static battle values, any skill that gives you an RNG-based value is inherently going to be less valuable.
  • Speed: B - Not as important as the most important stats, but this stat determines both whether your unit deals twice the damage they'd normally deal or if the enemy will do so instead.  It also determines avoidance rate, which is pretty important but still RNG based.
  • Luck: D - Garbage stat.  You don't need much to avoid getting critted by most enemies, and it's useless against enemies with high-crit weapons anyway.  It affects a handful of skills too - skills that suck like Salvage Blow or Profiteer.  Only unit I'm aware of with a desperate need for more luck is Arthur because of his already low luck combined with his awful personal skill that grants him an additional -5 dodge, which means just about every enemy will have a chance to crit him.
  • Defense: B - Survivability is important.  However, as I said in my excerpt about strength, tankiness alone is not going to let your unit progress in levels, which I'd say is crucial even if a unit has low growths.  The only time tankiness is more important is if the unit is practically incapable of growing more, such as Aran in FE3 Book 2 or a lot of classic Jagen-esque units, and their main purpose is to shield their weaker allies who need experience.  But defense is still necessary, and lacking defense is what really brings down a lot of high DPS units.
  • Resistance: B - Read what I said about defense.  Resistance is less universally used because there aren't as many enemy mages as there are enemy soldiers bearing swords, spears, and the like, but when you do encounter a mage they typically hit like a truck.  It was a unique stat in the Archanea games because in the first couple games it'd never grow and every time it did grow it'd reset unless you used a Talisman - it was part of what made Gotoh a stupidly powerful unit in the first game, as he was usually the only unit that had any resistance.
  • HP: C - This is not as important as defense or resistance.  If you have 20 HP but 25 defense and the enemy has an attack stat of 25 and they are able to double you, they will deal 0 damage.  But if you swap the HP and defense values, they'll deal 10 damage, and you'll be down to 3/5 of your health.  Of course, having good HP is important to give you a strong safety net, but you aren't much of a tank if your value as a tank is put mostly into HP instead of defense.  There's a reason people say that Benny in FE: Fates is a tank but not Charlotte.
  • Movement: A - Movement is broken.  Most of the time you want to be fielding high-movement units, and the only deterrent to this is that some enemies may bear weapons that deal bonus damage to those kinds of units.  If you field a low-movement unit, they're either gonna do absolutely nothing but slog through the map or they're gonna hold everyone back and allow the enemy to take better positions than your own army.  High movement lets you do more and enables you to reach good defensive terrain earlier than other units.  A good map will have you racing against the enemy, and in those kinds of maps you want high movement, especially if you can also bypass terrain movement costs.
  • Constitution: C - Con is a bit... I dunno.  It's kind of annoying because it almost exclusively serves to stunt smaller, typically female characters while favoring larger, typically male characters.  Con enables a bulky armored general to hit faster than a nimble thief or swordmaster, and I think that's kind of stupid.  But it's, like... tertiary at the same time.  It's the stat you kinda forget about until you realize that Fir as a swordmaster isn't able to easily double enemies because her low con means her attack speed is almost always reduced unless she uses the weakest weapons.  I'm just glad that most games that have some other stat affecting attack speed use strength instead.
  • Aid/Weight: F - Lumping these together because they more or less do the same thing, which is determine whether the unit is heavy enough to carry another unit.  Not very useful overall.  Also annoying that it's unchangeable.
  • Charm: F - I honestly don't really understand fully how this works.  All I know is it makes gambits more powerful, but I use gambits less because I want to deal damage out the arse and more for the effects they have.  I use a gambit if I want to lock a bunch of enemies in place, if I want to destroy a monster unit's defenses, or if I want to impose some status on my units such as higher movement or basically invulnerability.  They throw this stat at you if they want to give you a quick, cheap dopamine rush without actually making you more meaningfully more powerful.
  • Level: SSSS++++++++++ - Absolutely most important stat ever, you are trash if you are level 1 even if your unit has 80 HP, 50 strength, and 50 defense.  It's important because of the prestige, bragging rights, and just general vibes.
  • Fatigue Tolerance: God Tier - My body is ready.

No, I'm not going to grade the stats specific to Thracia 776

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43 minutes ago, Ertrick36 said:

I honestly don't really understand fully how this works.  All I know is it makes gambits more powerful, but I use gambits less because I want to deal damage out the arse and more for the effects they have.  I use a gambit if I want to lock a bunch of enemies in place, if I want to destroy a monster unit's defenses

It actually doesn't have much effect on their power, but it does make them much more accurate, at the tune of +5 accuracy per point of charm. So it's actually very important for the effects you describe, on top of its defensive applications (where again, each point is -5 to gambit accuracy against). It is only valuable inside a certain range (+6 to -6 compared to your enemy) but quite valuable then.

1 hour ago, FailWood said:

My rankings is similar to this, but I'd put Speed at #3, Defense at #2, Attack/Magic at #1, HP at #4, and Charm at #5

Mm, I was thinking about this, and I really have a hard time seeing defence above speed in... pretty much any game.

My litmus test is pretty simple. "Would I trade 3 points of Stat X for Stat Y on a certain character?" To be fair, the trade would have to be made for the whole game, you can't just pick and choose points where the stat is particularly more valuable. Any I can't see many cases where I would trade 3 speed for 3 defence, with the exception of perhaps a small number of units who are already oriented that way (e.g. you can argue that Dedue or Oswin are improved by this trade, though particularly in Oswin's case I'm still not sure that's true, he now fears magic notably more). But for the most part it's... not going to be a good trade for many units. Even somewhat "balanced" units like Franz, Dieck, or Nephenee would lose a dramatic amount of offence and hence use from this, and I don't think they become enough tankier to make up for it (they typically can now take one more physical hit before dying). And units currently oriented towards speed (Rutger, Lyn, Petra, etc.) just get nerfed badly by this change; they're still not particularly durable and now their offence is way worse (just consider a Lyn who started with 6 spd and 5 def... she's now utter trash who now has trouble gaining levels even in Lyn Mode, and even if you get her to lategame and doubling most things I'm definitely not convinced 3 def makes her more durable than 6 avo at that point). And of course, archers and offence-focused mages who don't take many hits anyway just lose significant offence for little to no benefit.

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2 hours ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

just consider a Lyn who started with 6 spd and 5 def... she's now utter trash

You mean Eliwood? 7 Spd 5 Def, and 2 more HP & Con and 1 Str, close enough?

 

2 hours ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

Even somewhat "balanced" units like Franz, Dieck, or Nephenee would lose a dramatic amount of offence and hence use from this, and I don't think they become enough tankier to make up for it

The thing about all these balanced units, it that their stats aren't perfectly balanced. Dieck is 9 Str, 10 Spd, 6 Def. By 20/10, the numbers are 20/19/14. "Balanced" is still slanted towards Str and Spd.

Owing to fears of units able to Def-tank everything, Def growths (and bases) for the longest time in FE were kept intentionally lower than growths in other stats.:

Spoiler

 

  • Thracia 776:
    • Only 5 units: Marty, Brighton, Kain, Alfred, and Ralph for Def growth > 30.
    • For physical units only 7 units Eyvel and Dagda (bad growths everywhere), Marty, Ronan, Lara, Nanna, and Selphina have Str growth < 30.
    • For Skl, it's 7 units E&D, Orsin, Halvan, Marty, Brighton, and Lithis who have Skl < 30.
    • Only 5 units: Eyvel, Dagdar, Marty, Ralph, Dalsin, have Spd < 30.
    • There are 10 units: Eyvel, Ralph, Ronan, Safiya, Brighton, Dalsin, Alfred, Lithis, Salem, Schroff, Conomor, have Luck < 30. 
  • Binding Blade:
    • Only 5 units: Bors, Lott, Barthe, Fae and Karel (big exceptions these two!) have Def growth > 30.
    • Only 9 units: Marcus, Merlinus (exception!), Zelot, Fir, Larum and Elffin (exceptions!), Niime, Dayan, and Juno have Str < 30.
    • 14 units: Marcus, Zelot, Lilina, Barthe, Gonzalez, Larum and Elffin (exceptions again), Bartre, Perceval, Igrene, Garret, Sophia, Niime, and Dayan, have Skl < 30.
    • Only 9 units: Marcus, Ellen, Wade, Zelot, Barthe, Cecilia, Garret, Niime, and Dayan, have Spd < 30.
    • 19 units: Marcus and Zelot (you know, they seems like exceptions everywhere), Saul, Astolfo, Barthe, Sin, Echidna, Bartre, Raigh, Melady, Sophia, Cecilia, Igrene, Garret, Hugh, Zeiss, Douglas, Niime and Dayan (exception severywhere), have Lck < 30.
  • Blazing Blade:
    • Only 4 units: Hector, Lowen, Oswin, Wallace, have Def growth > 30.
    • Only 5 units: Merlinus and Ninian/Nils (don't really count), Legault, Jaffar, and Karla, have Str < 30.
    • Only 4 units: Dorcas, Marcus, Hawkeye, Wallace, have Spd < 30.
    • Only 7 units: Kent, Lucius, Canas, Heath, Harken, Jaffar, Renault, have Lck < 30.
  • Sacred Stones:
    • I count only 6 units: Seth, Gilliam, Ephraim, Gerik, Duessel, and Myrrh (but doesn't really count with 150) as main game units with Def growth > 30.
    • Only Garcia has Spd growth that is < 30.
    • Only Rennac and Tethys (doesn't count) with Str < 30.
    • Only Natasha, Saleh, and Tethys Skl < 30.
    • Only 7 units: Seth, Moulder, Artur, Kyle, Rennac, Duessel, and Knoll Lck < 30.
  • Eyeballing it, the Def growth vs. other non-HP (always higher) or Res (generally lower not on mages, but ) gap remains in PoR. But it appears to shrink a little, with some higher Def growths while Str/Skl/Spd doesn't increase as much to keep the gap the same. And the Lck-Def gap disappears.
  • RD I can't get a read on, but it seems if anything the gap growths again, through the minimums if not the average on Spd growth, seems to go down.
  • SD brings back the Def gap in full force, being a remake with generally more or less the same growths for most units.
  • New Mystery has the Def gap, but I think there are more units as a percentage of the pie who punch above that 30 growth soft ceiling than in SD.
  • Even Awakening has the Def gap regarding Skl/Spd vs. Def. And it disappeared again in Lck, and for the first time is almost gone in Str.
  • I don't think the Skl/Spd vs. Def gap goes away until Fates, more so for Conquest than Birthright. The Str vs. Def gap is pretty much gone in both too, but it reappears in some measure in Lck. And for once, the HP vs. Def gap is much much smaller.
  • SoV's growths are very uniform outside of Res, and OG Gaiden isn't much different. I'd say the gaps don't exist here.

 

Edited by Interdimensional Observer

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Speed is a weird case because if it doesn't cross a doubling threshold, Spd is far less impactful than extra points of Str, nevermind Def. It has some effect - more avoid, and you might be able to "trade" surplus speed for power in a game with weapon weight. But I would say that I would trade three points of Spd for +3 Def on a few characters: Guy, because he's probably still able to double most enemies, or Oswin because he'd probably do his earlygame tanking even better with that change.

I think it goes

  • Spd (if it changes doubling or being doubled)
  • Str, Def
  • HP
  • Skl, Lck, Res, Spd (no doubling thresholds crossed)

...but I wouldn't want to sort the stats within those tiers.

Edited by ping

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12 minutes ago, ping said:

Speed is a weird case because if it doesn't cross a doublin threshold, Spd is far less impactful than extra points of Str, nevermind Def. It has some effect - more avoid, and you might be able to "trade" surplus speed for power in a game with weapon weight. But I would say that I would trade three points of Spd for +3 Def on a few characters: Guy, because he's probably still able to double most enemies, or Oswin because he'd probably do his earlygame tanking even better with that change.

I think it goes

  • Spd (if it changes doubling or being doubled)
  • Str, Def
  • HP
  • Skl, Lck, Res, Spd (no doubling thresholds crossed)

...but I wouldn't want to sort the stats within those tiers.

Speed has also lost some value over time with the nerfing of dodgetanking. Once something commonplace almost anyone can do it in 7 & 8 who isn't a knight or fighter, Fates pared it down, and it seems 3H made skills more important than Spd as a source of Avoid.

I think it's fair to say the means for nerfing Spd to parity with other stats are present, if somewhat underutilized.

Edited by Interdimensional Observer

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Speed is the most important stat in the game up to a certain number, after which it's less useful than luck. Said number varies by game, but I'd say it's when you have enough speed to double most generic enemies and avoid getting doubled by any of them.

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3 hours ago, Interdimensional Observer said:

You mean Eliwood? 7 Spd 5 Def, and 2 more HP & Con and 1 Str, close enough?

Yep, she's now Eliwood with -1 str, -2 HP, -1 spd with iron, and -3 spd with steel (though in fairness, her prf is slightly better). Considering that Eliwood is already bad at base, that does not say good things about this new Lyn. Whereas the Lyn that actually exists is substantially better at Level 1 than Eliwood is, IMO, owing to a lot of the enemies in her early maps begin ~4 spd.

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2 minutes ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

Considering that Eliwood is already bad at base, that does not say good things about this new Lyn.

Yeah, I have had only awful experiences with Eliwood. His base stats have nothing good to offer. At least Lyn could reliably double. I'll admit that I might have been a bit harsh on how useful speed is on the GBA titles. It's certainly very important to have good speed. What I meant to say is that units like Guy don't offer much through their high speed, as it doesn't take too much to time for many other units to begin consistently doubling. Units like Oswin can double many enemies with only a handful of speed levels, while still possessing a lot of strength and defense, although he will lack in movement, and the enemy's speed will catch up eventually. Marcus only needs a single speedwing to double enemies for quite a long time if I remember correctly (I can't recall if it was until chapter 22 or some chapter close to that). As such, I felt like that makes strength barely come out on top overall. As for the dodge benefits, I simply don't evaluate dodge tanks. I personally hate relying on getting lucky to survive enemy phases. The only FE game that I'd consider dodge tanking to be reliable is FE3H, but that's mostly through the plethora of skills you can get that grant avoid. Sure, +6 avoid is nice, but I'd take +3 defense over any day if trading away 3 speed didn't hinder a unit's chance to double.

6 hours ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

Mm, I was thinking about this, and I really have a hard time seeing defence above speed in... pretty much any game.

Yeah, I can't see defense being better than speed. The only possible acceptance might be in FE7 HHM. With the sheer amount of enemy reinforcements some maps throw at you, I really value being able to tank them all with my few units, since HHM likes to reduce how many people you can deploy. For example, I'd say Hector is the best of the 3 lords combat-wise. Sure he's the slowest, but even hector can double enemies easily with just a few speed levels. Combine that with his pretty good strength and decent defense, and you can throw him with a hand axe anywhere and just clear large squads, whereas Lyn and Eliwood would have a much harder time doing so. Really, speed is the most important stat in FE7 at the first couple of chapters, but it slowly begins losing its usefulness over time, while good strength and defense never feel pointless at any point. Honestly, I think speed is better than strength. I just thought that overall, strength just seems to provide more throughout the series. Maybe I'm wrong. I'd like to hear more about how strength compares to speed throughout each FE title. 

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Speed is in an odd position here, as it is one of the most powerful stats in the series, but also one of the most context specific ones as well. If there is a weight reducing stats, what the doubling threshold is, how impactful it is in the avoidance/accuracy formula will all have a major impact on how powerful it is in a given game. The other top contenders, Strength, Defense, and Magic all have much more static value over the series (magic is the most variable of the three mostly thanks to staff) with s single points translating to one more damage taken/reduced. Overall I think Speed is the top stat, but there are certainly games where it play second fiddle to Strength or Magic (I can't think of a game where I would put Defense above it, and the only one where I think magic overtakes it is Thracia 776).

Admittedly if we add Mov to the equation, it takes the top spots in most games (Fates is one of the few I would consider speed beating it). Admittedly there is only one game where it is a growth stat, but I could say the same about charm...

This whole question is very game specific, although I think I could make a few tiers

High tier: Speed, Strength, Magic, (Mov)

Upper-Mid tier: Defense, Hit Points

Lower-Mid tier: Resistance, (charm)

Low tier: Luck, Skill

Honestly I am not confident in my Charm position, and a better list would probably need a specific game to look at.

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I don't really want to go into a huge spiel describing the value of every stat, but I do want to say I find Defense tends to be overrated (many units can realistically get away without having much of it) while Skill and Luck tend to be underrated. It says a lot that the average Defense growth has historically been pretty low.

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1 hour ago, Shaky Jones said:

Yeah, I can't see defense being better than speed. The only possible acceptance might be in FE7 HHM. With the sheer amount of enemy reinforcements some maps throw at you, I really value being able to tank them all with my few units, since HHM likes to reduce how many people you can deploy. For example, I'd say Hector is the best of the 3 lords combat-wise. Sure he's the slowest, but even hector can double enemies easily with just a few speed levels.

Well, keep in mind, Hector isn't just trading spd for def; he's trading spd for def and str. Just looking at the bases for a moment (the growths don't change the calculus much):

Eliwood: 5 str, 7 spd, 5 def

Hector: 7 str, 5 spd, 8 def

Lyn: 4 str, 9 spd, 2 def

If the three stats are equally valuable then Hector has 20 points to Eliwood's 17 and Lyn's 15. If def is half as good then Hector still has 16 to Eliwood's 14.5 and Lyn's 14. Either way he's ahead. He also has the best prf of the three and Hand Axe access, and the higher mt of axes (with Hector's con offsetting their disadvantage of weight) making the str gap even wider. So, basically, my argument is that Hector being better than the other two doesn't necessarily prove that defence is a super potent stat.

On the other hand, the placement HHM Raven shows just how powerful speed is; the rest of his stats are merely solid (HP, str, def are all competent... luck/res not so much but those are weak stats), but it's his screaming speed on top of the that which has him in or near the top spot out of physical infantry in a typical Blazing Blade tier list. If def were really significantly better than spd in this game I don't think his placement would make sense any more, because his def is fairly average.

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3 hours ago, Florete said:

I don't really want to go into a huge spiel describing the value of every stat, but I do want to say I find Defense tends to be overrated (many units can realistically get away without having much of it) while Skill and Luck tend to be underrated. It says a lot that the average Defense growth has historically been pretty low.

Maybe Defense growths tend to be lower because they know how important of a stat it is to have and that's their way to balance it?  And I strongly disagree with Defense being overrated.  How else would you survive all those Attack/Speed junkies that doesn't involve doing the same thing yourself?

Also, while I can agree that Skill is underrated, I can't say the same for Luck.  While it can improve various secondary stats, (Hit, Avoid, and Crit Avoid), those improvements are normally quite small.

Edited by FailWood

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Don't think I can add anything that hasn't been said already, but if I had to to rate them in general I'd say that STR and SPD are better than everything else. Magic can be up there with STR but depends a lot on the game, whereas STR is always good. In a game like RD I'd probably rate magic even below LCK since there's only a few magic users compared to the majority physical cast, the few magic users you have are mostly pretty crap, and even staff utility isn't that great. At least LCK helps all of your units prevent crits.

After that it's probably the defensive stats. DEF and HP are probably about the same level of usefulness, RES depends a lot on the game. In games with a lot of siege tomes and status staves having good RES can make a pretty big difference.

SKL and LCK are the worst by comparison, but I still think they're useful in their own right.

A little bit more or less of SKL never matters, compared to STR, SPD, Magic, HP, DEF and RES where you could often find yourself in situations where a single point of difference produces a completely different result. Still, if your overall SKL is too low and you use a weapon type with moderate to low Hit rates then you won't be hitting worth a shit, so SKL is definitely isn't a useless stat.

The funny thing about LCK is that even though it feels like a useless stat most of the time, it also feels super bad when your LCK is actually so bad that you face crit from everything. With a unit like Jeigan from FE11, you pretty much expect him to die to a random crit somewhere. The extra Hit and Avoid LCK grants to most units is negligible, but dropping your chance of being critted from 1-5% down to 0% is actually very, very significant. While it's not the standard way of playing FE, in ironmans it feels specially significant because it sucks losing units to a roll of the dice and being unable to do anything about it.

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22 minutes ago, GonzoMD1993 said:

A little bit more or less of SKL never matters, compared to STR, SPD, Magic, HP, DEF and RES where you could often find yourself in situations where a single point of difference produces a completely different result. Still, if your overall SKL is too low and you use a weapon type with moderate to low Hit rates then you won't be hitting worth a shit, so SKL is definitely isn't a useless stat.

The funny thing about LCK is that even though it feels like a useless stat most of the time, it also feels super bad when your LCK is actually so bad that you face crit from everything. With a unit like Jeigan from FE11, you pretty much expect him to die to a random crit somewhere. The extra Hit and Avoid LCK grants to most units is negligible, but dropping your chance of being critted from 1-5% down to 0% is actually very, very significant. While it's not the standard way of playing FE, in ironmans it feels specially significant because it sucks losing units to a roll of the dice and being unable to do anything about it.

For whatever is being said here of stat relative value, it is the case that indeed, it is a rare (barring Mag on Str units and Str on Mag units) for a stat to be entirely useless in FE. This is a positive thing for the franchise. And as you say, point for point relevance is one determinant of usefulness.

Another determinant would be "What stat would benefit you the most/least in excess?". Setting all other stats aside as ~average, I'd rather a glowing GBA green 30 Str, Spd, or Def over 30 Skl or Luck. 30 Str means big damage, doesn't matter too much if it hits only once. 30 Spd means assured doubles and in some games dodgetanking. 30 Def means near-immunity to physical damage. 30 Skl means, guaranteed hits, but if I can get ~85 hit rates naturally with a much lower (more average) Skl stat, 30 Skl isn't making that big a difference. And 30 Lck isn't as good for dodgetanking as 30 Spd (if the game even allows it to be feasible), and how often will enemies have 30 Crit?

Edited by Interdimensional Observer

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12 hours ago, Ertrick36 said:

I'm going to say that apart from certain game-specific stats every stat is important to some extent, and the values change from game to game because every game handles differently.

  • Strenth: A/B - Depends on if you're fielding any weapon-wielding class or a mage class.  For most games it's even useful for mages because strength can determine attack speed, be used for a secondary physical weapon in case magic won't do the trick, or in the case of the handful of games where it's applicable it's the stat that determines mage attack power (as in, FE1, FE2, and FE3).  You need this stat to deal damage, period.  You could have all the skill in the world and be tanky as hell, but you do not progress without strength.
  •  

Strength isn't used for magic damage in Dark Dragon and the Blade of Light. There is no stat for dealing magic damage. Damage entirely comes from tomes (which means, given res basically doesn't exist either, times deal set damage. This also means speed (well prf tomes too) is the only factor in determining how good a mage's offense is as any unit  who can wield a tome has the same damage output per attack.

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2 hours ago, FailWood said:

Maybe Defense growths tend to be lower because they know how important of a stat it is to have and that's their way to balance it?  And I strongly disagree with Defense being overrated.  How else would you survive all those Attack/Speed junkies that doesn't involve doing the same thing yourself?

The fact that so many good units throughout the series have lower Defense than offensive stats proves it's not as important. Defense is rarely a defining attribute of a strong unit.

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23 minutes ago, Florete said:

The fact that so many good units throughout the series have lower Defense than offensive stats proves it's not as important. Defense is rarely a defining attribute of a strong unit.

Well one could argue the fact that it's, on average, lower as precisely why its more valuable. What is the most valuable stat booster in virtually every game? No question it's the boots. Despite that movement is way lower than the other stats, yet gaining a single point of movement is immense. If that's considered an unfair comparison then we can just talk regular stat boosters. I know I would rather find a Dracoshield in most came than Speedwings.

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18 minutes ago, Florete said:

The fact that so many good units throughout the series have lower Defense than offensive stats proves it's not as important.

I disagree with this part - for most of the series (I don't want to pretend that I know too much about post-Awakening FE), defensive stats were just lower, period. It also doesn't help that the most Def-focused class also suffers greatly in the One-Stat-To-Rule-Them-All, movement.

I do think that there are plenty units that benefit greatly from their defense - Milady (who admittedly is good at everything), Oswin (who would be really bad without his survivability), Jill and Haar, Heath, Cormag (I like bulky flyers, in case you couldn't tell). And in addition to that, all of these would benefit from even more Def, too. With the exception of that point of Spd that allows a unit to double an enemy, Str and Def are by far the most impactful stats per point. +3 Skl makes a unit a bit more reliable, +3 Def can allow a unit to just charge into even bigger groups of enemies.

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