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Worst unit in each game?

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9 hours ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

I don't remember the resource situation in SoV at all any more, but is this actually practical? I assume Leon is already wielding a Killer Bow, and one or two characters in Alm's route besides. Is it reasonable to make four of them? If so, they're certainly good enough that I can see the case for going out of your way to baby along Atlas.

 

2 hours ago, Shanty Pete's 1st Mate said:

You only need one Killer Bow, TBH. Play Alm's Act III beforehand, and forge a Steel Bow into a Killer Bow. It takes 230 Silver, so it should be doable right after Desaix at the latest (sooner if you get the Exotic Spice from the Cheesemonger). Beat Act III with the Killer Bow on Python or Kliff or whoever, then use the Merchant to send it to Celica's side. So that Leon or Atlas can use it. From there, you can upgrade the Killer Bow with the resources from Grieth's Citadel. Celica's side now gets the Killer Bow for Act IV, but she can Merchant it back to Alm right before the Tower of Duma. It makes sense to do Celica's side first anyway, to get Alm his promotion ASAP.

 

1 hour ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

Yeah, fair, I never did much in the way of merchant shenanigans, and also switched between parties based on my mood rather than worrying about what was "optimum". Still, the problem is that Leon is obviously first in line to use the Killer Bow. I guess you can raise up Atlas just so you can glue him to Leon and have them trade the Killer Bow back and forth every turn? That might be enough to get Atlas out of the basement, for all that it's still not the type of thing I'd probably bother with myself.

Dang, I missed all the Killer Bow talk.  Damn you Path of Radiance for taking up my whole day!

You don't need the Merchants.  Celica's path has enough to make one, but the method Shanty Pete mentioned is the more convenient way.  I usually forge just two of them, one for each side.  I personally favor giving it to Atlas over Leon because of his higher Attack, and because Leon will most likely have mastered Curved Shot, so I like keeping the Iron Bow on him for accuracy in case there's someone slippery.

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30 minutes ago, LJ_Tenma said:

Sonya's Excalibur can be scary, but she's slow so anyone can double her.

>Calling someone who has 12 AS on hard "slow"
Do I really need to spell out what's wrong with this picture? Also, bringing up Dread Fighters implies massive favoritism, because I wouldn't expect to have any before act 4 or close to it otherwise. What's more, if I'm relying on the AI making stupid moves to win, that's not a good thing, last I checked.

30 minutes ago, LJ_Tenma said:

I personally found the Dead Man's Mire map much more difficult than Sonya's

Honestly, I didn't find it that hard.

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1 hour ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

Yeah, fair, I never did much in the way of merchant shenanigans, and also switched between parties based on my mood rather than worrying about what was "optimum". Still, the problem is that Leon is obviously first in line to use the Killer Bow. I guess you can raise up Atlas just so you can glue him to Leon and have them trade the Killer Bow back and forth every turn? That might be enough to get Atlas out of the basement, for all that it's still not the type of thing I'd probably bother with myself.

"Trading the Killer Bow back and forth" is probably their best bet. That said, Atlas in particular is screwed by Mila statue placement. You can't take him north yet, and if you go to one of the shrines down south, Grieth will flood the world map with Brigands (not to mention the re-spawning cemetery). So it's difficult to even have him in Archer at this point.

1 hour ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

I've never done Sonya's map (as I mentioned, independent of their relative quality, I'm utterly unenthused by picking up a third/fourth myrmidon for Celica, when they're basically all copies of each other), but I don't think I agree with this logic. The goal in discussing a unit's worth should be who gets you through the game as easily as possible. If recruiting Deen does truly subject you to a much more difficult map, that'd definitely enter into the calculus of who you should recruit. Particularly since Celica's route is... well, easy. I failed to save Leon, who's often considered one of, if not the best unit on the route, and I still found it significantly easier than Alm's route and one of the easiest Fire Emblems in general (comparing them on their hardest difficulties). If this map is such an exception to deserve note, then avoiding it seems the objective best plan.

In my experience, unit tiering is usually done independent of the conditions it takes to get them. Like in FE7, Geitz is tiered assuming that the player gets the chapter where he can actually be receuited, so he's not taking a loss because "it's a pain to train up the Lords". Likewise, I'm not gonna punish Douglas, in FE6, for his difficult recruitment demands. Introducing these attachments - i.e. "the chapter I need to play to recruit Deen is harder" - seems like it's muddying the waters. If I've already recruited Deen, then the fact that it was harder to acquire him doesn't retroactively make him worse.

For what it's worth, I'd overall give Deen a slight edge over Sonya, as a unit. Although, I do think that Sonya is widely underrated (Excalibur good, guys), and the more "interesting" of the two. And there's a strong case that the "vs. Deen" route is better for the player overall, for having a more consistent battle, and netting the player a Steel Shield that they wouldn't get on the "vs. Sonya" route.

40 minutes ago, LJ_Tenma said:

This is honestly a really good explanation of her map lol. All the enemies are witches, and Sonya is slightly harder to deal with cause she counters with Excalibur. The witches typically have low defense and HP so they're relatively easy to take out, but Leon typically needs to be kept clear cause the witches are likely to double him (if he's absent, then your Dread Fighters are the most important fighters of the map). Sonya's Excalibur can be scary, but she's slow so anyone can double her.

I broadly agree, although in Leon's case, it may depend on how many Speed procs he's managed. One other note - I don't think you can expect the player to have a Dread Fighter at this point. Myrmidon is realistic for either Saber or Kamui, but that's about it.

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8 hours ago, LJ_Tenma said:

This is kind of a hot take on my end, but I don’t think Forsyth is a bad unit—he’s just in a bad class.

I can agree with his class being bad for Act 4, but not for Act 1 or Alm's side of Act 3.  Lukas can hold his own in the class just fine, and him having access to the Ridersbane coupled with his high defense and attack as a Knight, he's great for taking on the waves of Cavaliers Act 3 throws at you, which is something Mathilda has a hard time doing because of her poor defense when she first joins you.  Forsyth can potentially do the same, but unlike Lukas, his join time is awkward as he's competing with others for EXP to promote, so getting him there without grinding is difficult.

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16 minutes ago, Shanty Pete's 1st Mate said:

You can't take him north yet, and if you go to one of the shrines down south, Grieth will flood the world map with Brigands (not to mention the re-spawning cemetery). So it's difficult to even have him in Archer at this point.

You only have to deal with him as a Villager for one cemetery encounter if you decide to go south to the Seabound Shrine (assuming you defeated the Necrodragon there beforehand) immediately after getting him.  Your journey back after making him an Archer can be used to get him both levels, and Combat Art experience.

Edited by FailWood

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13 hours ago, ussgordoncaptain said:

I beat Alm's route in 80 turns by using dread looped archer kliff. If you give him 1-2 EXP wells you can loop him before rigel falls and he'll go brr super hard. The amount of grinding I did was just enough to get him to Myrmidon and silque to warp before zofia castle. Grinding pre 1-7 enables faster strategies in later maps so the grinding more than pays for itself (it also means you don't have to rig silque's nosferatu). From there he just.. snowballs exp and kills dudes with his rapier? idk he's just so much better than every unit in your army that he kills way more enemies than anyone else can.

 

 

As for Saber: Saber is a worse unit than Deen because he requires a lot more experience to get going. He doesn't use the fire spell which makes him not very good early on. Then in the desert his lack of either flight or range is extremely bad, this is a part where Killer bow leon is one rounding everything with his bow and mae or boey can use extremely powerful spells liek Saggitae/aura to one shot mercs thanks to them snowballing with all their early exp gain. Grieth's citadel is a map about range and Saber lacks it. Deen is also a much better dread fighter than saber because he is likely to hit the 20 speed benchmark naturally, or if he doesn't he's also likely to hit the 19 speed benchmark before promotion so you don't have to hope for a lucky speed proc before Dolth keep.

You can just beat that map by blitzing through the right hand side with warp/rescue/swap/shove mycen up there should see exactly 0 combat. 

 

Well then every unit except Alm and Silque are useless.

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For the ones I've played:

Blazing Blade: gotta be Karla for being a pain to recruit and being absolutely terrible. Requiring having Bartre, a pretty mediocre unit, as a level 5 Warrior is already a pain enough. The cherry on top is how bad her stats suck. Most useful thing about her is that she comes with the Wo Dao which you can at least sell lol

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PoR - Rolf takes the cake but Mia is a close 2nd in that game. Problem with both is that they're in bad classes with either no range or no 1-range counterattacks, in a game that is very enemy phase dependent. And they're very weak too in general when they join. I guess Mia is slightly better though because axe enemies are still somewhat common when she joins, whereas Rolf just outright struggles without being fed BEXP. Honestly best use I've seen from Rolf is to Longbow snipe a Pegasus Knight in chapter 17-4; but even then, killing that Peggy can also be done by a strong Jill or Marcia instead.

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RD: The unholy trinity of Astrid, Vika and Lyre. All of them suck so bad.

Okay maybe Vika can at least shove someone and fly away in part 1 lol, I guess that's something, but her awful bases and availability make training her impossible.

Astrid suffers from equally awful bases and bowlock, even with a mount her damage never gets better and her availability kills her too.

Lyre is probably the worst just cuz an Est-like unit on a bad class will be bad regardless.

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SD: I know there's technically worse but Marth just sucks. It's sad to see how they didn't want to give him the rest of the cool stuff other units got - class changing, promotion, low stat caps that don't even help him in the higher difficulties of the game. To top it off he's in heavy lance-enemy game locked to swords, like wtf. I know he's not the worst unit in that game, but I just wanted to call that out because of how overlooked he got. Main lord should ideally be at least a bit helpful, not a hindrance.

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Awakening: it's Donnel. Requiring a second seal to escape villager with abysmally bad stats is already bad enough, it's even worse that he has to start from bronze E swords or axes upon reclass. Even if you baby him, he only ends up slightly better before he caps stats by midgame, which is also the easiest part of the game where no units should really be struggling. By endgame other units catch up and he's not special at all.

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Three Houses: Honestly units are pretty well balanced in this game, to the point where they're all relatively useful to some extent. Mostly because the reclassing system is incredibly flexible, and there's really good classes with really good tools that can basically fix any bad unit. With that in mind I think the worst unit is the one that struggles the most getting to an Advanced class... I think it's between Hanneman, Ashe or Anna.

Hanneman is way slow when he joins, normally not an issue but he can't even double ch12 armors (in Maddening) without a speed wing or carrot, something no other mage struggles with. His bow arts are a joke too. Probably the best thing about him is he has Thoron as a 1-3 range spell to start and at least his magic stat is good enough to use the Magic Bow with his boon.

Ashe is the closest you get to a really generic sniper unit. Bad stats in and out of house, with the only real notable thing he learns being Deadeye. His damage is bad and his durability is comparable to Annette, so he's a constant liability to deploy and he's hard to level up too without feeding him kills. His saving grace is that he's at least straightforward to train with good boons in Axes and Bows.

Anna has awful stats and very limited support abilities (break shot and Rescue, Rally Luck too I guess). Worst thing about Anna are her skill ranks and no supports, the latter which wouldn't be too significant if it was only a her problem, but the way the game assigns supports is by deployment order (lol) so she can actually butt in on a linked attack and take someone else's priority, giving no bonus. The skill ranks are an issue too; while she at least has good boons in physical weapons, bane in authority is always bad to have since you really want better battalions by part 2, and bane in reason is terrible too since it's hard to get her in better magic classes, and she can't really pull off Bishop well due to poor Faith list besides Rescue.

Leveling up all three of them is still a struggle though, and that's what matters in 3H due to reclassing being primarily level dependent - ranks too, although you can cheese exams with lower requirements to a certain extent. And at least with all three of them, there's some reason you might want to invest in them, which is more than I can say for previous games worst units.

Edited by DaveCozy

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6 hours ago, DaveCozy said:

Hanneman is way slow when he joins, normally not an issue but he can't even double ch12 armors (in Maddening) without a speed wing or carrot, something no other mage struggles with. His bow arts are a joke too. Probably the best thing about him is he has Thoron as a 1-3 range spell to start and at least his magic stat is good enough to use the Magic Bow with his boon.

Yeah Hanneman's slow, but he hits hard with magical damage. He's got arguably the best Reason list in the game (combing the accurate Wind, the high-use Sagittae, the long-range Thoron, and the longer-range Meteor), with relatively easy access to power-boosting skills (Magic +2, Fiendish Blow). His Faith list sucks, but he can still Healbot with minimal investment. Plus, free innate Rally Magic, to potentially support other Mages. He's a low-tier unit, sure, but I'd say he's well outside of "worst in the game" consideration.

6 hours ago, DaveCozy said:

SD: I know there's technically worse but Marth just sucks. It's sad to see how they didn't want to give him the rest of the cool stuff other units got - class changing, promotion, low stat caps that don't even help him in the higher difficulties of the game. To top it off he's in heavy lance-enemy game locked to swords, like wtf. I know he's not the worst unit in that game, but I just wanted to call that out because of how overlooked he got. Main lord should ideally be at least a bit helpful, not a hindrance.

Just forge a Rapier. Also he's one of only three potential units with effective damage against the final boss. Plus the Fire Emblem gives him pseudo-Thief utility. I'd call that "a bit helpful". Yeah it can be a pain getting him to Seize in a game with no Rescue command, but it's also the game with omnipotent and omnipresent Warp. I dunno, he's not great, but I don't think he's thaaat bad either.

6 hours ago, DaveCozy said:

Lyre is probably the worst just cuz an Est-like unit on a bad class will be bad regardless.

Lyre, as a yellow unit in 3-1, literally does 0 damage to enemy Generals. Yes, while transformed. And it's not like she's any better when she joins. Seriously, who programmed her?

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29 minutes ago, Shanty Pete's 1st Mate said:

Plus, free innate Rally Magic, to potentially support other Mages. He's a low-tier unit, sure, but I'd say he's well outside of "worst in the game" consideration.

I'm curious about Rally Magic by chapter 8, which is where Hanneman gets recruited earliest. That's the one rally on Hubert/Ingrid that I get good use out of early game, but is usually the first to go for me as well. What do you personally find useful about it by that point?

And yeah he probably is better than Ashe and Anna tbh, coming with Thoron does give him better chances of grabbing more exp than the latters chip damage. You're probably right about that.

Marth was definitely me exaggerating too, I just get so sad when I see him in Shadow Dragon. Wanted to vent is all.

I seriously think Lyre was supposed to join earlier but then the programmers decided Wolves were a better concept, and so Volug the mute with almost no writing was born. And then forgot to adjust Lyres stats. Only thing that makes sense to me.

Edited by DaveCozy

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46 minutes ago, Shanty Pete's 1st Mate said:

Just forge a Rapier. Also he's one of only three potential units with effective damage against the final boss. Plus the Fire Emblem gives him pseudo-Thief utility. I'd call that "a bit helpful". Yeah it can be a pain getting him to Seize in a game with no Rescue command, but it's also the game with omnipotent and omnipresent Warp. I dunno, he's not great, but I don't think he's thaaat bad either.

Honestly, I can see where they were coming from here - Caeda can use a forged Wing Spear to do what Marth can do with a forged Rapier, but cheaper and without being on the ass end of weapon triangle. Also, him having effective damage on the final boss is only relevant on lower difficulties, because having Marth fight him on higher difficulties is pretty much suicide. And it probably wouldn't be worth it unless you got the Falchion from Gharnef, either (the alternate Falchion from 24x is significantly weaker)... which I am not sure is worth it.

49 minutes ago, Shanty Pete's 1st Mate said:

Yeah Hanneman's slow, but he hits hard with magical damage. He's got arguably the best Reason list in the game (combing the accurate Wind, the high-use Sagittae, the long-range Thoron, and the longer-range Meteor), with relatively easy access to power-boosting skills (Magic +2, Fiendish Blow). His Faith list sucks, but he can still Healbot with minimal investment. Plus, free innate Rally Magic, to potentially support other Mages. He's a low-tier unit, sure, but I'd say he's well outside of "worst in the game" consideration.

On the flipside, he's well behind your other mages by the time he's even relevant. Also, being male screws him over.

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I thought Anna was considered, unquestionably, the worst unit in Three Houses.

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5 hours ago, Jotari said:

I thought Anna was considered, unquestionably, the worst unit in Three Houses.

I've heard that before, but I wonder if we all wrote her off for having no supports and a bad personal ability. She's one of only two units who can combine Rescue with Pass, and the only one of the two with a Faith prowess. Plus, a better Magic stat than Bernie. So that could give her some uses. Maybe.

10 hours ago, Shadow Mir said:

On the flipside, he's well behind your other mages by the time he's even relevant. Also, being male screws him over.

Warlock is fine for Hanneman, TBH. It means he does more damage, thanks to Black Tomefaire, than he would as a Gremory. Also, a point of movement doesn't hugely matter when he has Meteor range. Obviously having all of higher move, Black Tomefaire, and Black Magic Uses x2 would be ideal, but no class offers all three.

Having to "catch up" on earlier masteries is a strike against him, sure. Although, it's not like there are any masteries he really cares about, aside from Monk and Mage. Mayyybe Archer and/or Warlock, IDK. Valkyrie access would've been nice for him, I will grant (both for class traits, and for Uncanny Blow).

10 hours ago, Shadow Mir said:

Honestly, I can see where they were coming from here - Caeda can use a forged Wing Spear to do what Marth can do with a forged Rapier, but cheaper and without being on the ass end of weapon triangle. Also, him having effective damage on the final boss is only relevant on lower difficulties, because having Marth fight him on higher difficulties is pretty much suicide. And it probably wouldn't be worth it unless you got the Falchion from Gharnef, either (the alternate Falchion from 24x is significantly weaker)... which I am not sure is worth it.

Caeda is the best unit in the game, largely because of the forgeable Wing Spear. Sure, the Rapier is slightly worse than the best weapon in the game, but that doesn't make it "bad" by any measure.

Marth can still land a finishing blow on Medeus at HP levels other units couldn't approach. And I'm assuming he's using the 12-Mt Falchion. You can get both it and Nagi, if Tiki dies while holding the Falchion in chapter 24.

11 hours ago, DaveCozy said:

I'm curious about Rally Magic by chapter 8, which is where Hanneman gets recruited earliest. That's the one rally on Hubert/Ingrid that I get good use out of early game, but is usually the first to go for me as well. What do you personally find useful about it by that point?

There are a few potential uses:

Say Lysithea is one tile short of Warping a dedicated bosskiller to the right tile. Rally Magic patches that up in a jif.

Or, suppose Constance is the one going for the bosskill. She doubles, thanks to Darting Blow and Special Dance, but falls up to 8 points short of the kill with her strongest doubling spell. Rally Magic will put her over the edge.

Basically, it's there to support other hard-hitting Mages, or Warp/Rescue units. It's not the best Rally (I'd put Strength, Speed, and Charm ahead of it), but it's a fun little tech that can enable new strategies.

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1 hour ago, Shanty Pete's 1st Mate said:

Caeda is the best unit in the game, largely because of the forgeable Wing Spear. Sure, the Rapier is slightly worse than the best weapon in the game, but that doesn't make it "bad" by any measure.

Marth can still land a finishing blow on Medeus at HP levels other units couldn't approach. And I'm assuming he's using the 12-Mt Falchion. You can get both it and Nagi, if Tiki dies while holding the Falchion in chapter 24.

I ask again; is getting the Falchion from Gharnef really worth it?? Because I've seen people here suggest it isn't.

1 hour ago, Shanty Pete's 1st Mate said:

Warlock is fine for Hanneman, TBH. It means he does more damage, thanks to Black Tomefaire, than he would as a Gremory. Also, a point of movement doesn't hugely matter when he has Meteor range. Obviously having all of higher move, Black Tomefaire, and Black Magic Uses x2 would be ideal, but no class offers all three.

Having to "catch up" on earlier masteries is a strike against him, sure. Although, it's not like there are any masteries he really cares about, aside from Monk and Mage. Mayyybe Archer and/or Warlock, IDK. Valkyrie access would've been nice for him, I will grant (both for class traits, and for Uncanny Blow).

Honestly, it's not the part where he needs to play catch-up that hurts Hanneman. It's the fact that he comes rly late (by the time he comes in chapter 8, he's well behind any other mages I've been using, and he doesn't have much of anything to his name that would help make up for this).

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31 minutes ago, Shadow Mir said:

Honestly, it's not the part where he needs to play catch-up that hurts Hanneman. It's the fact that he comes rly late (by the time he comes in chapter 8, he's well behind any other mages I've been using, and he doesn't have much of anything to his name that would help make up for this).

With 10 base Magic, a 55% growth, and all his levels in Mage (+10% growth), he'll have a higher raw Magic stat at joining than most same-level magic specialists (likely excepting Hubert, Lysithea, and Constance). He also uniquely has access to the combination of a 100-Accuracy spell (Wind), a 1-3 range spell (Thoron), and a siege spell (Meteor). Some units have two, but no others have all three. It's rounded out by the highest-use spell with more than 5 Mt (Sagittae), and the third-hardest-hitting offensive spell in the game (Ragnarok). He's not a "must-use" unit, sure, but if your team could use another offensive mage, Hanneman is a strong candidate.

re: Gharnef, I don't know the "Shadow Dragon meta" well enough to say what's "optimal" or not. Maybe it's not optimal to get the Lightsphere and Starsphere. But if you do get Starlight, it seems like you may as well go for Falchion. It's pretty much impossible to reach the throne without facing the second Gharnef (unless you Warpskip), so if he's the one who drops it (RNG, right?), then you basically get it by default.

Plus, it's useful in Chapter 24. A forged Wyrmslayer might be stronger, but plenty of other units can use the Wyrmslayer, too. So the Falchion is basically a free one, exclusive to Marth.

Edited by Shanty Pete's 1st Mate
Added Gharnef.

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3 hours ago, Shanty Pete's 1st Mate said:

I've heard that before, but I wonder if we all wrote her off for having no supports and a bad personal ability. She's one of only two units who can combine Rescue with Pass, and the only one of the two with a Faith prowess. Plus, a better Magic stat than Bernie. So that could give her some uses. Maybe.

I've used her (as an Assassin), and I wouldn't say she's special by any stretch, but she does contribute. She at least has a good join time which lets you build her however you want, unlike Gilbert.

36 minutes ago, Shadow Mir said:

I ask again; is getting the Falchion from Gharnef really worth it?? Because I've seen people here suggest it isn't.

Honestly, it's not the part where he needs to play catch-up that hurts Hanneman. It's the fact that he comes rly late (by the time he comes in chapter 8, he's well behind any other mages I've been using, and he doesn't have much of anything to his name that would help make up for this).

Is keeping the Star Sphere better than the Falchion by something approaching an objective measure? Yeah, pretty much. Does that mean it's worthless to get the Falcion? No, not at all. It might be a bit underwhelming as far as legendary weapons go, but it's still an effective anti dragon weapon and can be used to contribute to killing Medeus. There is no one way to play the game.

Edited by Jotari

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On 5/4/2022 at 2:35 AM, Jotari said:

I thought Anna was considered, unquestionably, the worst unit in Three Houses.

I'd say it's Gilbert, myself. D+ authority / E bows with no standout combat arts is just terrible at that point in the game. His ranks are in all the wrong places for using most of the best Advanced classes... except Wyvern Rider, admittedly, but unfortunately he's locked on the worst route for "yet another wyvern rider", due to the battalion situation. Even if you're Fortress Knight fan? Too bad, shares a route with #1 Fortress Knight Dedue. Anything I can think of that might give him some use via his late join, Alois or Seteth (already not exactly top-tier units) do better.

There's definitely a good case for Anna, but Shanty Pete notes some of the very niche uses she actually has.

On 5/4/2022 at 11:38 AM, Shanty Pete's 1st Mate said:

With 10 base Magic, a 55% growth, and all his levels in Mage (+10% growth), he'll have a higher raw Magic stat at joining than most same-level magic specialists (likely excepting Hubert, Lysithea, and Constance). He also uniquely has access to the combination of a 100-Accuracy spell (Wind), a 1-3 range spell (Thoron), and a siege spell (Meteor). Some units have two, but no others have all three. It's rounded out by the highest-use spell with more than 5 Mt (Sagittae), and the third-hardest-hitting offensive spell in the game (Ragnarok). He's not a "must-use" unit, sure, but if your team could use another offensive mage, Hanneman is a strong candidate.

I think he has some use (and in particular, he tends to function much better out of the box that Manuela, Anna, Gilbert, etc.), but he the lack of faith list really makes him suffer if your goal is "another mage". And in particular he's pretty badly in Dorothea's shadow. She doesn't have a 100-accuracy spell, but she does have 90, and otherwise she has all the things Hanneman has, but is largely better (Physic, generally supports more units than Hanneman regardless of route, earlier Meteor, higher speed/charm, etc). Using both on high-deployment maps isn't crazy, though, especially on CF where why yes, I do rather like the idea of Edelgard having +20 hit / +40 gambit hit pretty much all the time.

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On 5/4/2022 at 4:35 AM, Jotari said:

I thought Anna was considered, unquestionably, the worst unit in Three Houses.

I don't see it - I'd say she's better than the likes of Hanneman and Gilbert. Speaking of, Gilbert is my other pick for worst, because D+ authority is crap when almost all the units I'm planning on using long term, even those with weaknesses in it, have C authority at least.

On 5/4/2022 at 1:38 PM, Shanty Pete's 1st Mate said:

With 10 base Magic, a 55% growth, and all his levels in Mage (+10% growth), he'll have a higher raw Magic stat at joining than most same-level magic specialists (likely excepting Hubert, Lysithea, and Constance). He also uniquely has access to the combination of a 100-Accuracy spell (Wind), a 1-3 range spell (Thoron), and a siege spell (Meteor). Some units have two, but no others have all three. It's rounded out by the highest-use spell with more than 5 Mt (Sagittae), and the third-hardest-hitting offensive spell in the game (Ragnarok). He's not a "must-use" unit, sure, but if your team could use another offensive mage, Hanneman is a strong candidate.

This sounds neat on paper, but... Dorothea gets Meteor earlier (A instead of A+), has more supports, and in general has most of Hanneman's good points. Also, is a 100 accuracy spell even that important? Because my mages rarely have problems hitting unless they're using inaccurate spells, or trying to hit really really evasive enemies (off the top of my head, the only enemy I can think about that fits that bill is Petra or her generic replacement). Admittedly, it'd be noteworthy in the earlygame, where because of halved magic uses, I really want my spells to count, but he cannot claim that. Maybe someone else can chime in if there are more enemies that magic might have issues hitting?

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1 hour ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

think he has some use (and in particular, he tends to function much better out of the box that Manuela, Anna, Gilbert, etc.), but he the lack of faith list really makes him suffer if your goal is "another mage". And in particular he's pretty badly in Dorothea's shadow. She doesn't have a 100-accuracy spell, but she does have 90, and otherwise she has all the things Hanneman has, but is largely better (Physic, generally supports more units than Hanneman regardless of route, earlier Meteor, higher speed/charm, etc). Using both on high-deployment maps isn't crazy, though, especially on CF where why yes, I do rather like the idea of Edelgard having +20 hit / +40 gambit hit pretty much all the time.

"Dorothea vs. Hanneman" is an interesting comparison, to be sure. She has Rally Charm, he has Rally Magic. She gets Physic, he gets Recover and Ward. She gets earlier Meteor and a harder-hitting spell (Agnea's Arrow), he gets a more accurate and higher-use spell (Wind). She gets Dark Flier, Valkyrie, and Gremory; he gets Dark Bishop. She gets more Speed, he gets more Magic.

I've been down on in-house Dorothea before, and I stand by that - her earlygame performance in Commoner is pathetic. She gets four Thubder uses, and then she's done. No Heal until she overcomes her Faith bane to reach D-rank. No Hexblade until she hits C+ Swords. No Rally Charm until you get a Battalion to give her. Conversely, an out-of-house Dorothea can hit the ground running - she can offer Heal right away as a Monk, while a later-recruited Dorothea will have immediate Hexblade access. She's higher-effort to get that Hanneman, but she can also come earlier. I'd probably give her a slight edge over Hanneman as an out-of-house recruit, at least. Of course, as you said, there's no reason you can't use both of them. They can both become strong offensive mages with support capabilities.

8 minutes ago, Shadow Mir said:

This sounds neat on paper, but... Dorothea gets Meteor earlier (A instead of A+), has more supports, and in general has most of Hanneman's good points. Also, is a 100 accuracy spell even that important? Because my mages rarely have problems hitting unless they're using inaccurate spells, or trying to hit really really evasive enemies (off the top of my head, the only enemy I can think about that fits that bill is Petra or her generic replacement). Admittedly, it'd be noteworthy in the earlygame, where because of halved magic uses, I really want my spells to count, but he cannot claim that. Maybe someone else can chime in if there are more enemies that magic might have issues hitting?

Well, it depends on the Skill and Luck coming in, as well as the Speed of the opponent. Spells, of course, have the benefit of bypassing terrain boosts. It won't be hard to hit Armored enemies with Sagittae, due to their low Speed. On the flip side, it's hard to get high Hit rates against enemy Assassins or Grapplers (classes that easily move through forests and thickets). In those cases, having the extra Hit from a spell like Wind is almost certainly welcome.

Plus, getting a skill like Hit +20 is really out of the way for Dorothea. It's less trouble for Hanneman (due to his Bow boon), but he still hates spending time in a no-spells class. Dorothea can get Uncanny Blow, sure, but that'll come much later (and against a Riding bane).

Earlier Meteor is to Dorothea's benefit, true. But Hanneman gets Ragnarok before Dorothea gets Agnea's Arrow. With 10 more Hit, 1 more charge, and 4 less Weight - only at the cost of 1 Might - Ragnarok is arguably the better of the two spells. Essentially, he can hit harder sooner, especially in light of his higher Magic growth. Dorothea can cut into the margin with earlier Monk and Mage masteries, but once Hanneman gets those same masteries (the only two he really cares about, IMO), he'll unequivocally be the harder-hitter between the two of them.

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3 minutes ago, Shanty Pete's 1st Mate said:

No Heal until she overcomes her Faith bane to reach D-rank.

Conversely though, her personal skill does grant free, infinite healing in that same early game when healing spell charges are sparse.

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18 minutes ago, Shanty Pete's 1st Mate said:

I've been down on in-house Dorothea before, and I stand by that - her earlygame performance in Commoner is pathetic. She gets four Thubder uses, and then she's done. No Heal until she overcomes her Faith bane to reach D-rank. No Hexblade until she hits C+ Swords. No Rally Charm until you get a Battalion to give her. Conversely, an out-of-house Dorothea can hit the ground running - she can offer Heal right away as a Monk, while a later-recruited Dorothea will have immediate Hexblade access. She's higher-effort to get that Hanneman, but she can also come earlier. I'd probably give her a slight edge over Hanneman as an out-of-house recruit, at least. Of course, as you said, there's no reason you can't use both of them. They can both become strong offensive mages with support capabilities.

 

She'll have Heal by Chapter 3, and as mentioned her personal can actually put in work before then. Rally Charm doesn't require her to have a battalion, just her target, and you can get Rally Charm by Chapter 2 if that's a priority. In practice, nobody has trouble getting started in this game, and anyway in-house Dorothea has huge, obvious payoff to be used, namely that her Meteor is gonna give all other in-house units an accuracy boost.

For out-of-house, I would consider Dorothea's recruitment cost to be "essentially trivial" by the time Hanneman shows up, since the skill rank she keys off of is Authority (the Charm stat requirement means you'll probably still want a C/C+ support). There should be no issue getting her by Chapter 6 at the latest, and thus her having Physic by or shortly after Hanneman's join time. For the Lions, I think she's an obviously superior choice, since I'd assume most Lions teams are gonna have Sylvain/Felix/Ingrid (while Hanneman only supports Annette, who's somewhat less commonly deployed and just one unit, anyway). For the Deer, it's more open-ended and probably depends on the rest of your team.

29 minutes ago, Shanty Pete's 1st Mate said:

Plus, getting a skill like Hit +20 is really out of the way for Dorothea. It's less trouble for Hanneman (due to his Bow boon), but he still hates spending time in a no-spells class. Dorothea can get Uncanny Blow, sure, but that'll come much later (and against a Riding bane).

Earlier Meteor is to Dorothea's benefit, true. But Hanneman gets Ragnarok before Dorothea gets Agnea's Arrow. With 10 more Hit, 1 more charge, and 4 less Weight - only at the cost of 1 Might - Ragnarok is arguably the better of the two spells. Essentially, he can hit harder sooner, especially in light of his higher Magic growth. Dorothea can cut into the margin with earlier Monk and Mage masteries, but once Hanneman gets those same masteries (the only two he really cares about, IMO), he'll unequivocally be the harder-hitter between the two of them.

I'd consider Hit+20 to be very out-of-the-way for both... not because of D+ bows (which isn't a deal by late Intermediate), but because 50 actions (and/or Knowledge Gem monopoly) in a class where they're borderline useless is a huge drag. Uncanny Blow is a solid pickup, on the other hand, because Valkyrie is actually a good class, and 300 Riding exp by Level 20 is not much of an ask, even with a bane (since you have lots of time to get it primarily via passive instruction, where banes. It's definitely not necessary; mages hit things pretty well in this game, but it does make them more flexible; less reliant on link support, especially for gambits.

The power question between them is intersting. Hanneman has more magic (around 1 to 5 points depending on point in the game), but Dorothea gets more peak damage out of Agnea (just +1), Hexblade (+5 with Silver, more with Rapier when appropriate), and a potential Manuela adjutant for +2-3. Additionally, Hanneman picking up those masteries Dorothea gets earlier comes at a cost of its own; Dorothea will almost surely be in an Advanced class before Hanneman can get 80 actions in Monk+Mage, and during that window she'll have a damage lead, range lead, and/or mobility lead. Add all that up and I don't really see Hanneman coming out ahead; they end up feeling comparable.

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On 5/4/2022 at 2:43 PM, Jotari said:

Is keeping the Star Sphere better than the Falchion by something approaching an objective measure? Yeah, pretty much. Does that mean it's worthless to get the Falcion? No, not at all. It might be a bit underwhelming as far as legendary weapons go, but it's still an effective anti dragon weapon and can be used to contribute to killing Medeus. There is no one way to play the game.

In any difficulty other than Normal, Marth's capped stats are still too low and throwing him to Medeus on higher difficulties is just a bad idea. For reference, Marth can only have 25 speed capped, while Medeus has 30. Medeus still doubles a capped Marth lol, and is at a huge risk to die.

In general, I'm convinced that harder difficulties for Shadow Dragon did not get quality tested at all just due to things like that.

On 5/4/2022 at 2:38 PM, Shanty Pete's 1st Mate said:

With 10 base Magic, a 55% growth, and all his levels in Mage (+10% growth), he'll have a higher raw Magic stat at joining than most same-level magic specialists (likely excepting Hubert, Lysithea, and Constance). He also uniquely has access to the combination of a 100-Accuracy spell (Wind), a 1-3 range spell (Thoron), and a siege spell (Meteor). Some units have two, but no others have all three. It's rounded out by the highest-use spell with more than 5 Mt (Sagittae), and the third-hardest-hitting offensive spell in the game (Ragnarok). He's not a "must-use" unit, sure, but if your team could use another offensive mage, Hanneman is a strong candidate.

TBH even with that he very likely still is the worst mage in the game. At best he's tied with Lorenz for that spot... and Lorenz at least learns Frozen Lance to nuke enemies with in part 1 so I'm still willing to bet worse than him.

Interestingly Hanneman supports the majority of mages, so he works quite well as an adjutant for all routes. As far as combat spells though, he's really slow, to the point where he even struggles one-rounding some armors in Maddening without getting growths on speed. That's really my biggest issue with him, since that's the one unit type I would expect mages to handle reliably without having to rely on stat growths and boosters.

Probably not the worst unit in the game but I will safely bet he's the worst mage in 3H.

5 hours ago, Shanty Pete's 1st Mate said:

"Dorothea vs. Hanneman" is an interesting comparison, to be sure. She has Rally Charm, he has Rally Magic. She gets Physic, he gets Recover and Ward. She gets earlier Meteor and a harder-hitting spell (Agnea's Arrow), he gets a more accurate and higher-use spell (Wind). She gets Dark Flier, Valkyrie, and Gremory; he gets Dark Bishop. She gets more Speed, he gets more Magic.

I've been down on in-house Dorothea before, and I stand by that - her earlygame performance in Commoner is pathetic. She gets four Thubder uses, and then she's done. No Heal until she overcomes her Faith bane to reach D-rank. No Hexblade until she hits C+ Swords. No Rally Charm until you get a Battalion to give her. Conversely, an out-of-house Dorothea can hit the ground running - she can offer Heal right away as a Monk, while a later-recruited Dorothea will have immediate Hexblade access. She's higher-effort to get that Hanneman, but she can also come earlier. I'd probably give her a slight edge over Hanneman as an out-of-house recruit, at least. Of course, as you said, there's no reason you can't use both of them. They can both become strong offensive mages with support capabilities.

Well, it depends on the Skill and Luck coming in, as well as the Speed of the opponent. Spells, of course, have the benefit of bypassing terrain boosts. It won't be hard to hit Armored enemies with Sagittae, due to their low Speed. On the flip side, it's hard to get high Hit rates against enemy Assassins or Grapplers (classes that easily move through forests and thickets). In those cases, having the extra Hit from a spell like Wind is almost certainly welcome.

Plus, getting a skill like Hit +20 is really out of the way for Dorothea. It's less trouble for Hanneman (due to his Bow boon), but he still hates spending time in a no-spells class. Dorothea can get Uncanny Blow, sure, but that'll come much later (and against a Riding bane).

Earlier Meteor is to Dorothea's benefit, true. But Hanneman gets Ragnarok before Dorothea gets Agnea's Arrow. With 10 more Hit, 1 more charge, and 4 less Weight - only at the cost of 1 Might - Ragnarok is arguably the better of the two spells. Essentially, he can hit harder sooner, especially in light of his higher Magic growth. Dorothea can cut into the margin with earlier Monk and Mage masteries, but once Hanneman gets those same masteries (the only two he really cares about, IMO), he'll unequivocally be the harder-hitter between the two of them.

Dark Holy Elf already said most of what I wanted to say regarding this. Just to add some things:

Rally Charm can and should be absolutely picked up by chapter 2, which will make Dorothea more useful than just 4 thunders. You can do that by just setting her to solo-authority, tutoring her at base motivation, and picking Seteth's seminar. Even if you ditch using her later in the game (or will make her your dancer) this is very low commitment to do.

FWiW even if DLC isn't an option, Hit+20 is not much work either, specially by chapter 8 she can easily certify it at that point too. Adjutanting Mages to master that class is a necessity anyways and so nothing really changes between them if we're talking in-house Dorothea. Out of house is a different discussion but I think it'd be more productive to compare Hanneman to the other mages you'll likely be using instead, since his main competition isn't necessarily just Dorothea.

Another point for Dorothea that I didn't see mentioned was Gremory, that class is really good for her considering x2 the physic uses and x2 the Thoron uses too. There's a funny but effective thing you can do with Defiant Magic; equipping Thyrsus and using the Devil Sword with Hexblade (or even just on breakable walls). She takes 20 damage with both, 10 if you use longer range instead, and since HP of mages is low it takes about two turns to activate Defiant Magic. It's a bit of a meme in terms of setup, but it's reliable in some maps and makes her a harder hitter than a lot of mages (and also increases the range of Physic too).

7 hours ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

I'd say it's Gilbert, myself. D+ authority / E bows with no standout combat arts is just terrible at that point in the game. His ranks are in all the wrong places for using most of the best Advanced classes... except Wyvern Rider, admittedly, but unfortunately he's locked on the worst route for "yet another wyvern rider", due to the battalion situation. Even if you're Fortress Knight fan? Too bad, shares a route with #1 Fortress Knight Dedue. Anything I can think of that might give him some use via his late join, Alois or Seteth (already not exactly top-tier units) do better.

Strictly speaking I consider Gilbert to be a worse Alois, which doesn't bode well for Gilbert either given you can just use Alois too. Both are similar in terms of stats, abilities and role, but Alois has better ranks to go something more relevant like War Master for endgame, whereas Gilbert has to make do with either Great Knight (literally the only unit who can use the class when it's role matters) or put the work in his flying rank for Wyvern Rider -> Lord (and as you said it's not a very unique role). Even if you consider Gilbert's armor rank and Fortress Knight as an early advantage, Alois has C armor so even he could just attempt to certify Fortress Knight too 😛 And seriously, who the hell in IS thought three prowess abilities with a steel axe and intermediate seal was good equipment for Gilbert, in Hunting by Daybreak of all chapters... 😞 at least give him a shield, sheesh.

I do want to defend Gilbert a bit though, because Dedue does leave between chapter 13 - 16 and that's where Gilbert really comes in useful. Once you finish ch13, he can certify Paladin at base to bump his base speed to 14; that prevents him from being doubled by armor enemies. Chapter 14 is a map where you want an armor to safely bait and tank the pegasus knights and assassins, and since Dedue is gone he's one option. He can become a Great Knight or Wyvern Rider by chapter 15 too; he's only 4 levels away from Great Knight certification and very close in riding rank to attempt the exam fwiw. And honestly, as a Wyvern Lord he is at worst a flying Smite-bot which at least is something that could be useful later in the game for positioning shenanigans.

I dunno if I'd put Gilbert near the likes of Anna or Ashe tbh because at least he's got some merits. I still think that the latter two are probably the worst units in the game due to just being so underwhelming in either an offensive or supportive role.

Edited by DaveCozy
re-order quote blocks to keep the content more focused on the topics being discussed

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On 5/4/2022 at 1:43 PM, Jotari said:

Is keeping the Star Sphere better than the Falchion by something approaching an objective measure? Yeah, pretty much. Does that mean it's worthless to get the Falcion? No, not at all. It might be a bit underwhelming as far as legendary weapons go, but it's still an effective anti dragon weapon and can be used to contribute to killing Medeus. There is no one way to play the game.

You have a point, but the problem I have is that on anything above H1, I think, Marth is guaranteed to get doubled by Medeus. And he probably would need lots of stat booster help just to survive one round.

5 hours ago, Shanty Pete's 1st Mate said:

Plus, getting a skill like Hit +20 is really out of the way for Dorothea. It's less trouble for Hanneman (due to his Bow boon), but he still hates spending time in a no-spells class. Dorothea can get Uncanny Blow, sure, but that'll come much later (and against a Riding bane).

Honestly, I'd find going out of my way to get Hit +20 on a mage questionable. Sure, it might help, but does it help enough to make up for the fact that the time they spend in Archer is time they're not working on something relevant? That, I cannot help but doubt.

5 hours ago, Shanty Pete's 1st Mate said:

Earlier Meteor is to Dorothea's benefit, true. But Hanneman gets Ragnarok before Dorothea gets Agnea's Arrow. With 10 more Hit, 1 more charge, and 4 less Weight - only at the cost of 1 Might - Ragnarok is arguably the better of the two spells. Essentially, he can hit harder sooner, especially in light of his higher Magic growth. Dorothea can cut into the margin with earlier Monk and Mage masteries, but once Hanneman gets those same masteries (the only two he really cares about, IMO), he'll unequivocally be the harder-hitter between the two of them.

That implies hitting harder makes up for all the time he spent needing to play catch-up, which I press X to doubt. Also, imho, this still ain't enough to get him out of the basement, mage wise. He might be better than Lorenz, but that's not exactly something to be proud of.

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5 hours ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

She'll have Heal by Chapter 3, and as mentioned her personal can actually put in work before then. Rally Charm doesn't require her to have a battalion, just her target, and you can get Rally Charm by Chapter 2 if that's a priority. In practice, nobody has trouble getting started in this game, and anyway in-house Dorothea has huge, obvious payoff to be used, namely that her Meteor is gonna give all other in-house units an accuracy boost.

Somehow I forgot that she could raise her Authority without a battalion equipped. My bad.

1 hour ago, DaveCozy said:

Rally Charm can and should be absolutely picked up by chapter 2, which will make Dorothea more useful than just 4 thunders. You can do that by just setting her to solo-authority, tutoring her at base motivation, and picking Seteth's seminar. Even if you ditch using her later in the game (or will make her your dancer) this is very low commitment to 

Sure, if you're not keen on getting Heal or Thoron ASAP. Rally Charm that early is an option, yes, but it means delaying all her other options.

2 hours ago, DaveCozy said:

Another point for Dorothea that I didn't see mentioned was Gremory, that class is really good for her considering x2 the physic uses and x2 the Thoron uses too. There's a funny but effective thing you can do with Defiant Magic; equipping Thyrsus and using the Devil Sword with Hexblade (or even just on breakable walls). She takes 20 damage with both, 10 if you use longer range instead, and since HP of mages is low it takes about two turns to activate Defiant Magic. It's a bit of a meme in terms of setup, but it's reliable in some maps and makes her a harder hitter than a lot of mages (and also increases the range of Physic too).

Ooh, I like that strategy. I was a fan of using Devil Sword Soulblade on Lysithea. Gremory mastery comes late enough, though, that I don't think it makes much of a difference outside of the lategame.

2 hours ago, DaveCozy said:

Interestingly Hanneman supports the majority of mages, so he works quite well as an adjutant for all routes. As far as combat spells though, he's really slow, to the point where he even struggles one-rounding some armors in Maddening without getting growths on speed. That's really my biggest issue with him, since that's the one unit type I would expect mages to handle reliably without having to rely on stat growths and boosters.

The Speed definitely hurts against Armors, yes, but against most other classes of enemies, it's not really relevant. It's not like Annette (sans Darting Blow), Hubert, or Lorenz are doubling very many non-Armors on Maddening. Conversely, he's doing more damage with spells against faster enemy classes, than units like Dorothea or Hapi.

40 minutes ago, Shadow Mir said:

That implies hitting harder makes up for all the time he spent needing to play catch-up, which I press X to doubt. Also, imho, this still ain't enough to get him out of the basement, mage wise. He might be better than Lorenz, but that's not exactly something to be proud of.

For the record, I'm not calling Hanneman better than Dorothea. Instead, I think they're comparable: each brings respective advantages and flaws. Back when we rated all the units, I put both Hanneman and (in-house) Dorothea at 5 - alongside (in-house) Lorenz, incidentally. He's definitely better than SS/AM-Lorenz, and I'd call him better than either Flayn or Manuela (if they're considered part of the "mage pool").

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3 hours ago, DaveCozy said:

In any difficulty other than Normal, Marth's capped stats are still too low and throwing him to Medeus on higher difficulties is just a bad idea. For reference, Marth can only have 25 speed capped, while Medeus has 30. Medeus still doubles a capped Marth lol, and is at a huge risk to die.

 

1 hour ago, Shadow Mir said:

You have a point, but the problem I have is that on anything above H1, I think, Marth is guaranteed to get doubled by Medeus. And he probably would need lots of stat booster help just to survive one round.

That doesn't matter if Marth is landing the killing blow. I think average strength Marth with (true) Falchion can deal around 30 damage to Medeus, which is half his HP total. So if you soften him up with characters who can survive combat, then Marth can cut the battle significantly shorter by being the one to finish him off. It's not the optimal strategy (that's suiciding Nagi against him once and using Aum), but it is viable.

Edited by Jotari

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Random comments:

  • Hanneman: While vanilla Archer is a pretty terrible class for Hanneman to be in, if you're running an eventual team of 12 characters, you'll have spare characters during all the 9/10/11 deploy count missions.  I ground up Hanneman's archer skill ranks by giving him a Knowledge Gem and class changing him to Archer whenever he was on Adjutant duty.  It's annoying but doesn't require skirmish grinding.  (And of course if you're willing to skirmish grind some, go nuts.)  And Hit+20 is kinda important on him, make sure those Thorons connect.
  • Echoes Killer Bow: The Killer Bow breaks the game hard to the point that I generally assume it's an aftergame item.  It's not like the game cues you on what weapons have what combat arts and that you should spend essentially all of your Chapter 3 money on Killer Bows.  Anyway, I think Archer Atlas is fine with just a forged Iron Bow - throw Curved Shots to fix Atlas's questionable accuracy all day, and range lets him cover for his bad speed and enemies doubling & killing him on the front lines.  Per the discussion in the "make a game harder", I don't think backtracking to the Sea Shrine is really that big a deal, considering that enemy reinforcements are generally *good* for you assuming that you don't let them pile up on story maps.
  • Birthright Azama & Subaki: drattak didn't explain the pick at all, but saying Azama is bad is crazy talk - he's one of the best units in Birthright, being a rare tank (along with Scarlet).  Being able to bait and provide healing utility is great, along with mixed damage threat thanks to the Bolt Naginata existing.  Subaki, as others have noted, there's no "1 flyer max" rule so even though he's worse than Hinoka, he certainly puts in use.  (And heck, some people like to make Spear Master Hinoka cosplaying as Oboro for some extra stats, meaning you might need a new volunteer to get into Sky Knight anyway.)
  • Path of Radiance losers: Much as Rolf is very, very bad in PoR for the reasons everyone knows, I have to think that availability concerns combined with system issues make it at least somewhat competitive between Rolf and the Crimean latecomers.  An "optimal" playthrough won't use any of them and leave them moldering in the barracks.  But, given the way bonus XP works, if you really love Rolf, you can at least shower him with BEXP and have some overlevel super-kid run around feathering fools for most of the game.  On the other hand, an attempt for favoritism on Bastian/Lucia/Elincia is largely going to fall flat: even if you save up some BEXP for them as soon as they join, they won't be able to get as overleveled comparatively as super-Rolf was for the mid-game, and they only exist for just a few maps.  It's a tough call, but Rolf does have this minor redeeming quality over the late-joining cannon fodder.

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