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Worst unit in each game?

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11 minutes ago, Florete said:

I mean...yeah? I put her as the worst in her game on my list, too. You asked what up sides she had and I answered. I'm not sure where you think I was trying to disagree with you on something.

I guess I just don't think "literally exists and can hold a weapon" is much of an upside as a unit.

Speaking of which, I don't think anyone's mentioned the Four Maidens from Mystery of the Emblem. Now there's a headache when it comes to trying to judge merit (though rather hilariously they actually are kind of useful due to having good staff ranks and warp skipping being the common way of handling the chapter).

Edited by Jotari

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2 hours ago, lenticular said:

Well, people are welcome to judge that way if they want to but that's certainly not how I'd think about it. To me, starting from the Branch of Fate is basically using New Game+ to skip part of the game. Which is a perfectly reasonable way to play, but not something that I would automatically assume.

Well, we don't usually see Rinkah on Conquest tierlists, nor Gunter on Birthright ones, even though (under a Prologue-to-Endgame grading scheme) they would have a presence. But the timeframe of judgement should certainly be specified for any given tierlist.

2 hours ago, lenticular said:

Yeah, I don't really like "efficiency" as a concept because it's always so vague and poorly defined and everyone who uses it seems to have a slightly different idea of what it means. I think that a lot of the time when people say "efficient play" what they actually mean is "with a play style similar to how I [the speaker] play". It's not too fully optimised like an LTC or a speedrun, but it's also not doing infinite grinding. It's just... somewhere in the middle, between those two extremes. Which isn't very helpful

I agree that efficiency is somewhat fast-and-loose, but I do think there's such a thing as "more" or "less" efficient play. If Unit A and Unit B can be built to give identical performances in chapter 19, but training up Unit B requires 2 extra turns in chapters 14 through 18, then I would say using Unit A is more efficient than using Unit B. Obviously, a unit-to-unit comparison is an oversimplification ("why not use both?"), but the principle is there.

As for how I would define efficiency, it's "completing the game in as few turns as possible while recruiting and preserving all units, achieving all side objectives, and doing so reliably (i.e. more than 50% chance of success on any given chapter)." I'm not sure if that's what others mean, but that's my interpretation (as a not-so-efficient player).

3 hours ago, lenticular said:

Whereas I look at it more like this: for most metrics of "optimal" or "efficient", you can split units into two groups, those that you should use at some point in the play through and those that you shouldn't use. For any game (or any route) there are going to be multiple units that fall under "don't use". For these units who never see combat, there needs to be some way of differentiating between them if we are to choose the single worst unit in a game, and I see out-of-combat contributions as one useful way of doing so.

Well, I agree that a tierlist isn't exactly a "use/don't use" guide. I'd generally tier units like Athos or Gareth rather low, but that isn't an advocacy against using either one within their brief frames of availability. That said, they're tiered wherever they are based on their contributions while being fielded (i.e. as units). I'm not rewarding Athos for giving the legendary weapons to our Lords (something he does as a character). When a unit provides you with an item that is independent of anything they do on the field of battle, I don't consider that something to grade them on. My ratings assume that Lyre (like all units) is kept alive, and relate how good a choice it is to deploy her relative to anyone else.

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3 hours ago, pong said:

Splitting characters between the tiers "Robin" and "not Robin" doesn't sound like a particularly fun activity.

Well, I don't know many people who find Awakening tier list discussions fun.

"I don't like 'efficiency' because it's vague-" Well you could bother to try and reach a common definition instead of throwing the whole thing in the garbage. I think ping put it pretty well when he said it was "who would you like to draft", since it takes factors like availability, opportunity cost and turncount into effect while not being so rigid that it breaks itself. It's also, y'know, pretty literally asking which units you want to use in place of other units.

The problem with a grinding-inclusive definition of "good unit" is that almost any unit can be good if given 20 levels and a bunch of statboosters.

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3 hours ago, lenticular said:

Sure, grinding can benefit anyone but it doesn't benefit everyone equally. Donnel (with Aptitude) has fantastic growths. If you use him, he starts out behind everyone due to his poor bases, but then overtakes them due to his outstanding growths, but then he hits his caps before everyone else at which point everyone elses catches up with him. In terms of just raw stats (i.e. not accounting for things like class availability, parenting, etc.), his power curve starts low, then becomes high, then finishes off somewhere fairly average.

In theory, yes. Unfortunately, it does not work out that way in actual practice. He needs lots of babying just to catch up to, let alone overtake other units. And it's not like he's the only one that's improving; everyone else will be too. Also, having fantastic growths is nothing special in Awakening, as pretty much everyone has great growths. Making matters worse, even after getting him out of Villager, he is still unable to perform at the level of my other units, because he's stuck with bronze again, at a point where other physical units are likely able to use steel, meaning whatever statistical edge he may have had gets blunted, if not eroded entirely. At best, he's a high-investment, average-return unit, which stacks up poorly relative to average investment, average return units, and especially against low-investment, high-return units.

 

Edited by Shadow Mir

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I feel like when it comes to Donnel, his combat starts off terrible because of his bases and E rank lances upon recruitment, but he will grow to be a good unit fairly quickly. Due to the fact that he requires high investment and joins with lacking combat, several people view him as a bad unit simply because of his rough start and that he joins while your other units have already gotten their stats going.

However if you put his middling base combat aside, Donnel’s biggest contribution to the team is what he can pass down to his children, which I find to be quite important and enough to keep him from being considered the “worst” unit in Awakening. He passes down Pegasus Knight (aka Galeforce) to female child units and (possibly) Aptitude to all child units—both of which are really valuable.

When you compare Donnel to someone like Virion (who was my personal choice for “worst” unit in Awakening), Donnel actually has better potential. He’s not a great unit at the start, but he definitely has his contributions that are useful.

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6 hours ago, LJ_Tenma said:

I feel like when it comes to Donnel, his combat starts off terrible because of his bases and E rank lances upon recruitment, but he will grow to be a good unit fairly quickly. Due to the fact that he requires high investment and joins with lacking combat, several people view him as a bad unit simply because of his rough start and that he joins while your other units have already gotten their stats going.

However if you put his middling base combat aside, Donnel’s biggest contribution to the team is what he can pass down to his children, which I find to be quite important and enough to keep him from being considered the “worst” unit in Awakening. He passes down Pegasus Knight (aka Galeforce) to female child units and (possibly) Aptitude to all child units—both of which are really valuable.

When you compare Donnel to someone like Virion (who was my personal choice for “worst” unit in Awakening), Donnel actually has better potential. He’s not a great unit at the start, but he definitely has his contributions that are useful.

It's true that he can become good with training, but the issue is that Awakening is a game that heavily leans towards growth. Meaning all units can become beasts with training. So Aptitude and Donnel's eventual good stats don't actually help distinguish him from the crowd. That's not my biggest issue with him, though. My biggest issue is that none of his reclass option have lances as a weapon type. So not only does he start at E rank lances, but when you reclass him he's going back to E Rank fun again.

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6 hours ago, LJ_Tenma said:

I feel like when it comes to Donnel, his combat starts off terrible because of his bases and E rank lances upon recruitment, but he will grow to be a good unit fairly quickly. Due to the fact that he requires high investment and joins with lacking combat, several people view him as a bad unit simply because of his rough start and that he joins while your other units have already gotten their stats going.

However if you put his middling base combat aside, Donnel’s biggest contribution to the team is what he can pass down to his children, which I find to be quite important and enough to keep him from being considered the “worst” unit in Awakening. He passes down Pegasus Knight (aka Galeforce) to female child units and (possibly) Aptitude to all child units—both of which are really valuable.

When you compare Donnel to someone like Virion (who was my personal choice for “worst” unit in Awakening), Donnel actually has better potential. He’s not a great unit at the start, but he definitely has his contributions that are useful.

Aptitude is the worst skill you could possibly pass down. If awakening didn,t have litteral endless grinding as an option it may have been useful. However growths don,t matter in awakening because if you do not hit your desired stats you just slap a second seal on them and start over from level 1. 

Aptitude saves time in Awakening, but nothing else. It does not gives the user combat help, it merely takes away one or two sessions of grinding in the exp map. Because with infinite leveling you will eventually cap all stats. And then you have passed down a skill which does absolutely nothing anymore.

There is the case of 'but we don,t grind when playing efficiently' but my counterargument to that is that we also don,t use donnel when playing efficiently.

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5 hours ago, Vicious Sal said:

Aptitude is the worst skill you could possibly pass down. If awakening didn,t have litteral endless grinding as an option it may have been useful. However growths don,t matter in awakening because if you do not hit your desired stats you just slap a second seal on them and start over from level 1. 

Aptitude saves time in Awakening, but nothing else. It does not gives the user combat help, it merely takes away one or two sessions of grinding in the exp map. Because with infinite leveling you will eventually cap all stats. And then you have passed down a skill which does absolutely nothing anymore.

There is the case of 'but we don,t grind when playing efficiently' but my counterargument to that is that we also don,t use donnel when playing efficiently.

I'd rather say that grinding in Lunatic isn't quite so simple(dlc notwithstanding, but let's be real here, no balance will survive that kind of stuff) because skirmishes are very tough, and I believe spotpass teams give next to no exp? Also internal level actually matters and as you reclass you reach a point where your exp gains become miserable very quickly. So with that in mind, aptitude is quite useful. Considering Donnel doesn't require training to provide it and pegasus knight to girls, there's certainly an argument to be made that his inheritance alone keeps him from being the worst.

...but I'm not too sure who I'd point at. Sure Virion is terrible but at least he's around for the whole game and forced in two of the hardest chapters. Someone brought up Priam, and, yeah, considering he actually has 0 availability, that sounds accurate, but eh.
If it's not Donnel or Virion the next in line is Ricken, I guess? Joins a little late considering he needs just as much babying as everyone before him, is a hindrance in his one forced chapter, inheritance is among the worst... there's Celica's gale to consider, but he can't use it at base...

I'd bring up children but even Laurent can pull off a basic nosferatank build no matter the dad.

Edited by Cysx

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Sticking to the games I've played at least three times, so I have a good enough sense of the units:

Binding Blade: Sophia. 50 hit and dies to everything on her joining chapter. Needs to gain 9 levels before she can promote and staffbot. Is worse than Raigh if somehow you get her fully caught up.

Blazing Blade: Karla. There's a case to be made for Nino, but if one cares about the Exp ranking then Nino has a clear niche. Karla has a highly specific recruitment and is an extremely underwhelming unit during her very brief playtime: bad class and bad stats.

Sacred Stones: Ewan. Dies to everything, needs 18 levels just to get to a useful class, and there's already a better project mage in Lute (who has her issues as a unit too, but is better than Ewan in every way). Amelia is also terrible but being three chapters earlier is a big deal if we're trying to salvage one of them.

Path of Radiance: Shinon if we consider only his return time, Rolf otherwise. Snipers are bad in this game, Shinon is incredibly bad stat-wise on top of that but at least has some limited earlygame use, Rolf is just underlevelled.

Radiant Dawn: Lyre if you give Fiona credit for competing with an empty slot and being able to block ledges, Fiona if you insist on trying to use both. Both are very far behind and outclassed.

Awakening: Brady joins with D in staves and is unlikely to have any particularly worthwhile inheritance, on top of the usual problems that kid characters have. Donnel is probably the worst of the first gen units, but at least he has a niche if you get him rolling.

Fates: Probably Revelations Odin. BR and CQ are pretty good about not having any truly wretched units, Revelation makes no such attempt. Nyx, Laslow, and Peri are all terrible in Revelation too, among others.

Three Houses: Gilbert. Anything he can do could be done just as easily by sending an average unit (Ashe, say) towards the Fortress Knight class line... which you probably don't do because Fortress Knight is one of the game's weakest classes. Anna's bad too but at least she can Rescue.

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19 minutes ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

Blazing Blade: Karla. There's a case to be made for Nino, but if one cares about the Exp ranking then Nino has a clear niche. Karla has a highly specific recruitment and is an extremely underwhelming unit during her very brief playtime: bad class and bad stats.

FWIW, I would consider Nino in contention if you're talking in the context of Hector Hard mode, since the wtfmassive enemy overhaul in Cog of Destiny means she has a harder time getting kills.

27 minutes ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

Fates: Probably Revelations Odin. BR and CQ are pretty good about not having any truly wretched units, Revelation makes no such attempt. Nyx, Laslow, and Peri are all terrible in Revelation too, among others.

.I would disagree that Birthright and Conquest avoid having any true stinkers; on Birthright, Subaki and Rinkah are pretty obvious, and Setsuna and Hayato are pretty bad too, whereas for Conquest, Nyx and Charlotte are easy picks, as is Arthur.

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6 hours ago, Cysx said:

I'd rather say that grinding in Lunatic isn't quite so simple(dlc notwithstanding, but let's be real here, no balance will survive that kind of stuff) because skirmishes are very tough, and I believe spotpass teams give next to no exp? Also internal level actually matters and as you reclass you reach a point where your exp gains become miserable very quickly. So with that in mind, aptitude is quite useful. Considering Donnel doesn't require training to provide it and pegasus knight to girls, there's certainly an argument to be made that his inheritance alone keeps him from being the worst.

...but I'm not too sure who I'd point at. Sure Virion is terrible but at least he's around for the whole game and forced in two of the hardest chapters. Someone brought up Priam, and, yeah, considering he actually has 0 availability, that sounds accurate, but eh.
If it's not Donnel or Virion the next in line is Ricken, I guess? Joins a little late considering he needs just as much babying as everyone before him, is a hindrance in his one forced chapter, inheritance is among the worst... there's Celica's gale to consider, but he can't use it at base...

I'd bring up children but even Laurent can pull off a basic nosferatank build no matter the dad.

Using donnel in lunatic is also not quite so simple. And aptitude is still a highly overvalued skill. His classes to pass down are good, that's it. But aptitude is a 20% growths rates increase across the board. That equals 1 point for every stat every 5 levels. This means if leveled to 20, you get alomst 4 points extra in every stats compared to not using aptitude. That seems really good, but Donnel's bases are very underwhelming compared to what you have at that point. Even with 4 extra stats due to aptitude (and that's after babying) he's still not even entirely up to snuff. It also doesn't help with weapon ranks. 

And as said, aptitude does nothing for you in combat and is only useful for speeding up capping stats. It's a luxury, not something actually useful for the actual gameplay.

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41 minutes ago, Vicious Sal said:

Using donnel in lunatic is also not quite so simple. And aptitude is still a highly overvalued skill. His classes to pass down are good, that's it. But aptitude is a 20% growths rates increase across the board. That equals 1 point for every stat every 5 levels. This means if leveled to 20, you get alomst 4 points extra in every stats compared to not using aptitude. That seems really good, but Donnel's bases are very underwhelming compared to what you have at that point. Even with 4 extra stats due to aptitude (and that's after babying) he's still not even entirely up to snuff. It also doesn't help with weapon ranks. 

And as said, aptitude does nothing for you in combat and is only useful for speeding up capping stats. It's a luxury, not something actually useful for the actual gameplay.

I wasn't talking about using Donnel, because indeed, it's too much of a hassle. But it's not difficult to pair him up with someone, reach S-rank and pop goes the child with aptitude and pegasus knight access(if female, so Noire, Kjelle or Nah, none of which are easy at all to recruit granted).
There's not really such a thing as speeding up capping stats in lunatic, as said, and it's not like the game begins at the endgame either. Aptitude results in better stats throughout and that's generally pretty useful.
With that being said, why do you think Virion and Ricken are better(or even Brady since he was just brought up)? It's more interesting.

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20 hours ago, LJ_Tenma said:

I feel like when it comes to Donnel, his combat starts off terrible because of his bases and E rank lances upon recruitment, but he will grow to be a good unit fairly quickly. Due to the fact that he requires high investment and joins with lacking combat, several people view him as a bad unit simply because of his rough start and that he joins while your other units have already gotten their stats going.

However if you put his middling base combat aside, Donnel’s biggest contribution to the team is what he can pass down to his children, which I find to be quite important and enough to keep him from being considered the “worst” unit in Awakening. He passes down Pegasus Knight (aka Galeforce) to female child units and (possibly) Aptitude to all child units—both of which are really valuable.

When you compare Donnel to someone like Virion (who was my personal choice for “worst” unit in Awakening), Donnel actually has better potential. He’s not a great unit at the start, but he definitely has his contributions that are useful.

If I may be honest, I'm not even sure that Donnel is a good parent... sure, he allows certain female children to get Galeforce, but is it really worth compromising them (especially when Gaius does the same thing too)...??

 

Edited by Shadow Mir

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4 hours ago, Shadow Mir said:

.I would disagree that Birthright and Conquest avoid having any true stinkers; on Birthright, Subaki and Rinkah are pretty obvious, and Setsuna and Hayato are pretty bad too, whereas for Conquest, Nyx and Charlotte are easy picks, as is Arthur.

I mean, none of the units you mentioned are great, but...

Subaki is the first flier you get. If you think he's in contention for the worst unit in Birghright, it kinda proves there are no true stinkers.

Nyx isn't great but has a niche of being an early mage with good magic/speed stats, you can get use out of that.

(I think the axe units you mentioned all have merits too, but I know better than to get into a debate with you about that!)

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1 hour ago, Shadow Mir said:

If I may be honest, I'm not even sure that Donnel is a good parent... sure, he allows certain female children to get Galeforce, but is it really worth compromising them (especially when Gaius does the same thing too)...??

 

In what way does it compromise them if they're getting Galeforce out of it?

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14 minutes ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

Subaki is the first flier you get. If you think he's in contention for the worst unit in Birghright, it kinda proves there are no true stinkers.

He's the first flier you get... but when the second joins literally one chapter after him and makes him look like absolute shit, which he is, I don't consider that much of a positive. I know that personality has no bearing on this topic, but for someone who is constantly bragging about being perfect, he just cannot pull his goddamn weight on the battlefield.

14 minutes ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

Nyx isn't great but has a niche of being an early mage with good magic/speed stats, you can get use out of that.

And she's also insufferably inaccurate. Heck, she is more comparable to a magical Gonzales, as magic and speed are all she's good for.

12 minutes ago, Jotari said:

In what way does it compromise them if they're getting Galeforce out of it?

I'm not sure about this, but I remember stuff about Donnel being a worse parent for the Noire, Kjelle and Nah than Gaius is, largely because of his mods.

Edited by Shadow Mir

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15 minutes ago, Shadow Mir said:

And she's also insufferably inaccurate. Heck, she is more comparable to a magical Gonzales, as magic and speed are all she's good for.

Gonzales is inaccurate in large part because Binding Blade axes top out at 65 hit (highly limited legendary weapon aside), and the game provides no methods for boosting accuracy besides supports (and Gonzales's support affinity doesn't even boost hit). FEF's Fire has 90 hit, on the other hand, and Nyx can further get an accuracy boost from attack stance. I don't find them remotely comparable for accuracy, as such. Nyx has perfectly good accuracy against armours (despite WTD) and various low-res enemy axe-users such as wyverns (with WTA) which are her primary targets.

Or another way to look at it: Gonzales is worse than Nyx, despite the fact that he's not even remotely in contention for the worst unit in his own game... thus illustrating my point about Conquest having fewer bad units.

 

18 minutes ago, Shadow Mir said:

He's the first flier you get... but when the second joins literally one chapter after him and makes him look like absolute shit, which he is, I don't consider that much of a positive.

Hinoka is a great unit who is better than most other units in your army upon join. Subaki's flight is still a valuable asset when we compare him with the units he is competing with for a deployment slot.

He's also got competent bases, though I agree he doesn't age well... but a few chapters of solid use is enough to get anyone off the list of "truly bad units" for me.

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25 minutes ago, Shadow Mir said:

I'm not sure about this, but I remember stuff about Donnel being a worse parent for the Noire, Kjelle and Nah than Gaius is, largely because of his mods.

It's not like Gaius can marry Tharja, Sully and Nowi all at once.

Edited by AnonymousSpeed

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5 hours ago, AnonymousSpeed said:

It's not like Gaius can marry Tharja, Sully and Nowi all at once.

You just wait for the 2040 Awakening remake when Is finally starts pandering to the polyamory fan base.

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5 hours ago, AnonymousSpeed said:

It's not like Gaius can marry Tharja, Sully and Nowi all at once.

You're absolutely right. But I am sure those three have their fair share of good pairings that don't involve Galeforce.

5 hours ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

Gonzales is inaccurate in large part because Binding Blade axes top out at 65 hit (highly limited legendary weapon aside), and the game provides no methods for boosting accuracy besides supports (and Gonzales's support affinity doesn't even boost hit). FEF's Fire has 90 hit, on the other hand, and Nyx can further get an accuracy boost from attack stance. I don't find them remotely comparable for accuracy, as such. Nyx has perfectly good accuracy against armours (despite WTD) and various low-res enemy axe-users such as wyverns (with WTA) which are her primary targets.

Or another way to look at it: Gonzales is worse than Nyx, despite the fact that he's not even remotely in contention for the worst unit in his own game... thus illustrating my point about Conquest having fewer bad units.

In other words, against uncommon enemy types that most other units can deal with with ease. That doesn't make her sound worthwhile to me. She'd need to have a lot going for her to make up for having poor stats everywhere but magic and speed, and she doesn't. As it is, she's tantamount to worthless, because the one thing she's supposed to be good at is compromised by her being inaccurate (by Fates standards, anyways).

I would say Conquest has fewer bad units because it has less units than Binding Blade. Conquest has about 40 units, compared to Binding Blade's 54 (counting Merlinus).

6 hours ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

Hinoka is a great unit who is better than most other units in your army upon join. Subaki's flight is still a valuable asset when we compare him with the units he is competing with for a deployment slot.

He's also got competent bases, though I agree he doesn't age well... but a few chapters of solid use is enough to get anyone off the list of "truly bad units" for me.

Doesn't really change the fact that in my book he's almost useless (that being said, I WILL say he's better in Revelation because he doesn't have to deal with being obsoleted immediately).

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5 hours ago, Shadow Mir said:

In other words, against uncommon enemy types that most other units can deal with with ease. That doesn't make her sound worthwhile to me. She'd need to have a lot going for her to make up for having poor stats everywhere but magic and speed, and she doesn't. As it is, she's tantamount to worthless, because the one thing she's supposed to be good at is compromised by her being inaccurate (by Fates standards, anyways).

I've used Nyx regularly to some success in lunatic(thanks heartseeker), but wasn't there a thing about immediately promoting her to Dark knight since she joins at level 9?  Makes her solid for a bunch of chapters(including good ol' ch 10), then she can become a solid pairup bot, something like that?

Speaking of pairup, Rinkah, Arthur and Charlotte are all considered as some of the best physical backpacks in Fates, and none are even close to unusable in their respective game. FE6HM showers you with units that are legitimately difficult to get anywhere.

Edited by Cysx

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13 hours ago, Shadow Mir said:

If I may be honest, I'm not even sure that Donnel is a good parent... sure, he allows certain female children to get Galeforce, but is it really worth compromising them (especially when Gaius does the same thing too)...??

 

5 hours ago, Shadow Mir said:

You're absolutely right. But I am sure those three have their fair share of good pairings that don't involve Galeforce.

His only minor setback is the fact that he has a -1 speed modifier and both Kjelle and Noire can take the hit because both of their mothers have positive speed modifiers, so Noire will still have a +1 and Kjelle will have a +2. I wouldn't consider fathering any of the non-Pegasus child units with Donnel "compromising" them since the trade-off for a mere -1 speed mod gives them one of the most broken skills in the game. Can't say much about Nah though since I never use her or Nowi.

If we're bringing them into Apotheosis, a Galeforce dad is highly important since Galeforce units will usually be the ones leading.

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9 hours ago, Shadow Mir said:

In other words, against uncommon enemy types that most other units can deal with with ease. That doesn't make her sound worthwhile to me.

The units I described are not that rare (they're present on more maps than not), they're not hard for her to hit, and they're not that easy for your other units to deal with because of their high defence and low res... that's the whole point of using a mage. Look at the maps right after Nyx joins:

  • chapter 10: There's a fire orb, she's automatically useful. Also there are onis in the west.
  • chapter 11: There are onis in Rinkah's room
  • chapter 12: Nothing special for her here, admittedly
  • chapter 13: There are a bunch of armours in the east
  • chapter 14: More onis.

After this they get a bit rarer but chapter 18, 21 (stoneborn have a huge def/res gap), 22, and 26 all feature them prominently as well. There's a pretty decent case to use Nyx for a few maps as a low-res troubleshooter (replacing her with Leo and/or Ophelia later, perhaps). As Cysx mentioned you can even promote her quickly if you want her to really excel in short-term use.

Edited by Dark Holy Elf
clarifications in final paragraph

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On 11/5/2021 at 11:46 PM, Shanty Pete's 1st Mate said:

As for how I would define efficiency, it's "completing the game in as few turns as possible while recruiting and preserving all units, achieving all side objectives, and doing so reliably (i.e. more than 50% chance of success on any given chapter)." I'm not sure if that's what others mean, but that's my interpretation (as a not-so-efficient player).

The part that really interests me here is the 50% chance of success that you gave. Personally, if a strategy had a 50% chance of success then I'd consider it a wildly risky strategy. If you have a 50% success chance on every chapter, then that means that you will have to reset an average of once per chapter. If we assume a game with 25 chapters, then that would means that we'd expect to reset 25 times and have less than a 1 in 30 million chance of getting through the game without any resets at all.

For comparison, if we want to have a 50% chance of getting through the full game without any resets, then we would need approximately a 97.3% success rate for any given chapter. This is probably more in line with how I generally tend to play (or at least, with what I aim for; I often end up with lower success chances because I make mistakes). I don't mind if I have to reset once or twice due to RNG over the course of a game, but if we get to the point where I'm having to reset repeatedly only to do the same thing and hope that I have better luck next time, then I'm going to stop having fun.

None of which is to say that my way of doing it is the one true correct way, of course. Different people are going to have different tolerances for what level of RNG they're willing to accept. Some people will prefer a quick and elegant solution with a 50% success rate while some will prefer a more methodical approach with a 97% success rate. And still others aren't willing to accept anything short of a 100% success rate. None of these approaches are inherently superior to the others but they will yield different answers for tier lists or for "worst unit" discussions.

On 11/6/2021 at 12:04 AM, AnonymousSpeed said:

"I don't like 'efficiency' because it's vague-" Well you could bother to try and reach a common definition instead of throwing the whole thing in the garbage. I think ping put it pretty well when he said it was "who would you like to draft", since it takes factors like availability, opportunity cost and turncount into effect while not being so rigid that it breaks itself. It's also, y'know, pretty literally asking which units you want to use in place of other units.

I mean, that's pretty much the point of this conversation, no? I'm not going to single-handedly come up with a method of ranking Fire Emblem characters that is satisfying to everyone. If there's any way for us to collectively come up with something better than what we already have then we're going to need to discuss it and have different people talk about what they like and dislike about different ways of ranking units.

I think that looking it in terms of drafting has a problem in that it over-values units who are mediocre performers in important niches. Consider, for instance, a mediocre healer. You might be very happy to be able to draft them since even a mediocre healer is much better to have than no healer at all. However, outside of the context of a draft they might easily be a unit who you would normally never use if there were a couple of other healers available who were better. The same could be true for characters in chapters with very few deployment options (eg, Radiant Dawn 2-1) except that my understanding is that most drafts tend to include those characters for free. But then that brings up another problem if the ranking of a unit is dependent on the exact rules of a draft.

I think that if I had to come up with a universal grading method, I would use a combination of "how much harder would the game be if this unit didn't exist?" and "how much harder would the game be if this unit were force-deployed for every chapter they are available?" Or maybe I would consider each metric on a chapter-by-chapter basis and then take an average.

However, fundamentally, I don't really believe that it is possible to create a single grading system that covers all units and all ways of playing the game. For instance, I think that a tier list for a draft should be different from a tier list for an ironman run should be different from a tier list intended for people who have never played Fire Emblem before and are struggling through a casual playthrough on the easiest difficulty level. These different ways of playing the game will value different qualities in a unit and I think that we are better off acknowledging that. It would be much more helpful to have multiple tier lists (eg "drafting tier list", "iron man lunatic tier list", "new player tier list", etc.) than a single tier list; it is better to specify a worst unit for a specific purpose than to try to state a single worst overall unit.

On 11/6/2021 at 12:04 AM, AnonymousSpeed said:

The problem with a grinding-inclusive definition of "good unit" is that almost any unit can be good if given 20 levels and a bunch of statboosters.

Sure, but there's a lot of space in between "no grinding" and "infinite grinding". If a unit requires that you baby them and field them kills for a couple of maps after which they become incredibly strong, then that's substantially different from a unit that requires twenty levels of dedicated grinding and multiple stat boosters to reach the point where they're even competitive with other units.

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