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lasagnacat

Just started fe8. what units should i go for?

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specifically I'm going for ephraim route, but I would like to know what units would be best to go out of my way and get and level up?

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SacSto is generally pretty forgiving in this, and almost every unit is absolutely endgame viable. So don't worry about raising units that you just happen to like - unless RNGeesus decides to be a prick, you shouldn't have to regret raising any character.

That said, some characters that I think are rewarding to use:

  • Cormag, who is a bit underleveled when he joins, but he ends up as the most tanky flyer you can get. Wyvern Knight is the better promotion, thanks to its higher Spd (both promotion gain and Spd cap).
  • Lute, whose Mag growth lets her hit like a truck. Basically Nino, except that she joins very early. Mage Knight is the way to go; the Sage class's higher Mag cap only really comes to effect if you want to play the postgame, in which case it becomes a better option.
  • Gerik joins with really good base stats and you can either insta-promote him or feed him some levels first. Both promos have their merits.

Seth tends to dominate the majority of the game, which can make it tough for other characters to really shine. But on the flip side, the Tower of Valni allows for limitless and safe grinding, which means that even the most underleveled characters can be brought up to snuff if you're willing to invest the time into it.

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Everybody is usable in Sacred Stones, the only warning I always give new players is to make sure that if you want to train both Ross and Colm you should promote Ross to fighter. Both pirate and thief use the same promotion item of which you get only 1 before the late game. If you don't use Colm however, pirate is probably the better choice for Ross.

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I would like to second Cormag; he is excellent.I'm not huge on Vanessa, but  she's also probably worth training early on. Aside from that, Joshua is a good unit in a not-very-good class, but he could be worth looking into, Gerik is excellent, Franz is excellent, and Ephraim is excellent.

As for bad units: Amelia and Ewan are both horrible. I love them very much. Marisa is also generally considered to be terrible, but I don't quite get why. Yeah, she's not great, but people lump her in with both Amelia and Ewan when Marisa is merely sub-par; she's still fast enough to double and can be trained quite easily because of her access to the Shamshir. If you use Ewan, you can basically do whatever you want; Summoners are cool, but I personally always go with Druid because I like the animations. As with Lute, Mage Knight is also a good choice. Amelia's choices are fairly clear-cut.

One last unit I want to shout out is Tana, who is a bit of an Est. She has very good growths with meh bases, but she's rather fun in my opinion.

Edited by Benice

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Sacred Stones is fairly forgiving (the easiest game in the series, more or less), so you can use most units and end up fine.

Seth is arguably the best unit in the series. I don't recommend using him since he breaks the game in half, but do what you like, ofc.

I'm very fond of Forde, Tana, and Joshua, tbh. Favorite cav, favorite peg knight, and the objectively better myrmidon.

I'm also rather partial to L'Arachel, though she requires a lot of investment late in the game to be usable.

All of them are less than optimal, so to speak, but fun to use all the same, if you ask me.

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Tethys is highly recommended character for this game because she is a Dancer Unit. 

Dancer unit : Can replay unit after move

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On 3/3/2022 at 9:14 PM, Benice said:

Marisa is also generally considered to be terrible, but I don't quite get why. Yeah, she's not great, but people lump her in with both Amelia and Ewan when Marisa is merely sub-par; she's still fast enough to double and can be trained quite easily because of her access to the Shamshir.

As someone who considers Marisa the worst unit in the game, it's basically a matter of long-term potential. Like Amelia and Ewan, she requires babying to raise. No, she's not broadly "fast enough to double" - on Hard Mode Eirika-10, she's actually outsped by almost all the enemy sword infantry! Even with the Shamshir (also usable by Joshua and Eirika), her attack power is a paltry 15, so even foes that she doubles are living unless she crits.

Anyway, that's beside the point. If you raise up Marisa, you can get... a Swordmaster or Assassin. That is to say, a 6-move unit with 1-range combat (excepting the rare magical swords). They aren't good classes for lategame Sacred Stones. Train up Amelia, though, and you can have a Paladin: an 8-move class with Javelins. Amelia's the worst available Paladin, sure, but it's still one of the best classes in the game. Likewise, train Ewan and you can have a Summoner. The Summon ability is awesome, and even if you don't want your Phantom fighting, you can use it to lure foes, or exhaust siege spell charges.

Broadly speaking, though, there aren't a ton of surprises. The better a unit's bases are, the better they'll hold up. There's one notable exception in 

Spoiler

Orson, whom I wouldn't suggest using any more than necessary, or putting valuable items on.

If I had one suggestion, it would be to get at least one Bishop. This can be Moulder, Artur, or Natasha, promoted with a Guiding Ring. Don't be afraid to early-promote them, either. See, Bishop has a special skill where they deal effective damage (weapon might is tripled) against enemy Monsters. And you're gonna have a lot of monsters to deal with in the lategame.

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

No, she's not broadly "fast enough to double" - on Hard Mode Eirika-10, she's actually outsped by almost all the enemy sword infantry!

This is true- However, Marisa joins right at the end of Eirika 10, a map which is followed by a really easy chapter where she'll certainly double quite a lot, and then another which has decently weak foes. Marisa starts in a bad spot, but her growths are fine and allow her to deal with enemies in the subsequent chapters just fine, even though her growths don't compensate for her bases. Things are a little worse for her on Ephraim's route; joining right at the end of Ch. 12, she'd first have meaningful use Ch. 13, which is admittedly really not that bad of a place to grind once you get rid of the Boltings, even if harder than Eir!11 and 12. There are tons of enemies here you'd need to kill here anyways, so getting her up isn't particularly tedious or difficult. Ch. 14 is quite difficult, so I admit that she'd not see great use there; she could be OK in 15 on Ephraim's route, though, and her high avoid could come in handy for 16. From then on, enemy quality is extremely low, so she'd have few issues with chapter 17, and by then, she's a fully competent Swordmaster. Or Assassin, if you're into headbands.

If you really want to use Marisa, things aren't stacked that hard against her. You'd absolutely be better off using most other units, but it's not hard to get her going, or even that time consuming; there's simply little incentive to do so because she is outclassed by the other infantry. Personally, I'd rank her above Gilliam, Neimi and L'Arachel in addition to Amelia and potentially Ewan. For specifics on each unit, if you're curious, I'll pop 'em in the spoilers before getting on topic and replying about Amelia+Ewan:

Gilliam:

Spoiler

Well, he's an armor knight. The earlygame few meaningful choke points; I could see him plugging a spot in chapters 5 and 3, but that's about the extent of his usefulness-and both of those are for just one or two turns. (He could also stay near the starting point in Ch. 4 or 6 if he were to be trained) Because the player generally has to slow down to even allow Gilliam to get levels during the more offense-oriented chapters earlier on, he's not merely a worse option-I'd argue that a player would only be able to use him if they liked him. While still bad, Marisa is still useable without slowing to the speed of an oil extraction, and does grow quite quickly. She starts slow and will ultimately be worse than Joshua and will still be in a bad class, but she'll at least reach about 45-50 crit with good weaponry in the lategame and about 20 without good weaponry.

Plus, while Joshua is much better than Marisa, it does not compare to how outclassed Gilliam is to Duessel; 20/1 Gilliam is just barely better than base Duessel, and that's pretty hefty investment into an armor knight with low payoff, not to mention Duessel's really early jointime in Ephraim's route-Just in time for a few maps where tanking is really helpful. Ultimately, in my opinion, they're both units who will only be used if the player likes them-but because you don't have to slow down as much for Marisa and because she'll at least fulfill a fairly helpful job, (or could be storebrand Joshua if he's turned out horribly or has died) I would argue that she's slightly better.

Neimi:

Spoiler

Neimi starts poorly, takes a long time to get going, and then promotes into an OK class in Ranger. She'll have more movement than Marisa, but with no upsides in the earlygame, stats too low to make early-promotion viable other than in emergencies, 2-range lock until promotion and a meh lategame due to both meh stats* and meh equipment, I don't find she can do that much even with a lot of investment. Marisa takes less investment to get a similarly meh unit who has lower movement but high passive crit that will do fabulously in ch. 19, as well as a lot more bulk.

*Her strength does get pretty high in the lategame, but IIRC it's not enough to ORKO without legendary weapons.

The Beautiful Princess of Peerless Beauty:

Spoiler

She has great growths, but no way to make good use of 'em. D in staves hurts, especially on Ephraim's route, and she's unlikely to make it to C in time for 14, when it would be really useful. Mounted healer is very nice, but Natasha could feasibly have reached Valkyrie already, and while a small stretch, Mage Knight Lute could also theoretically get to C, especially if she uses the Torch Staff in Ch. While L'Arachel is the only unpromoted mounted healer, that's all she's good for, and she's not particularly good at it either. With a lot of turns spent using staves, she could potentially reach Valkyrie or Mage Knight and therefore could have good lategame offense, but she cannot get Slayer, meaning that her contributions might be lower than a Bishop's for the last stretch of the game.

Marisa is in a similar boat, as she poorly tried to fit into a role other units do better, but I feel like she's slightly better because long-term use is a lot more practical for her.

 

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

Train up Amelia, though, and you can have a Paladin: an 8-move class with Javelins. Amelia's the worst available Paladin, sure, but it's still one of the best classes in the game.

Amelia does make a good Paladin, and you may as well grind up her support with Franz if you're going to use her, which powers both of 'em up quite a bit, I agree- However, as you know, training her is very difficult. Eirika's route has Ch. 11 and 12 as easy grinding, and she can boss abuse the Ch. 10 boss to reach level 10, but she won't really be combat ready for a very long time- Her stats as a  10/10 cavalier are respectable, but she's still super squishy and low on strength. She'll do more than Marisa will in the lategame, but I feel like you could use Marisa by simply deploying her and simply being concious of giving her some exp on either route, but Amelia requires micromanaging and sandbagging enemies down to really low HP until she becomes viable, which is especially hard on Ephraim's route, with Ch. 9's boss being too powerful and evasive to grind against, 10 being quite difficult and then 11 being really difficult. 12 isn't too bad and neither is 13, but then 14 is rather taxing as well; it's not impossible to grind Amelia up on any of those maps, but it's a lot harder than it is to train Marisa.

As for Ewan, I've never found that it's much of a problem to grind him up. It can be a little tricky in Eirika!13, but any other map is fine. I don't know if he's worse than Marisa due to long-term potential combined with a dangerous but fairly easy grind up, but I don't know if I'd say he's better because if you need summoner utility, Knoll shows up just three maps later, and combat-wise, Ewan doesn't really stand out. Slow start, then fine combat.

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6 hours ago, Benice said:

If you really want to use Marisa, things aren't stacked that hard against her. You'd absolutely be better off using most other units, but it's not hard to get her going, or even that time consuming; there's simply little incentive to do so because she is outclassed by the other infantry. Personally, I'd rank her above Gilliam, Neimi and L'Arachel in addition to Amelia and potentially Ewan. For specifics on each unit, if you're curious, I'll pop 'em in the spoilers before getting on topic and replying about Amelia+Ewan:

Fair arguments on all fronts. I would broadly agree that Marisa has a "less bad" start than either Amelia or Ewan, and is less effort to get to Swordmaster than either of them is to get to their final class. But, my assertion is still that the margin by which she is easier to train is lesser than the margin by which a trained Marisa will underperform either a trained Amelia or a trained Ewan. Sure, Knoll also exists as a Summoner option, but two Summoners are better than one.

As for the comparison to other bad units: Gilliam and Neimi benefit from showing up earlier, at a time where deployment slots aren't yet contested. Gilliam's movement is trash, sure, but in, say, chapter 4, you can keep him in the northwest corner, where more Revenants will spawn, and he can deal with them comfortably. In chapters 5 and 6, he'll be your second-bulkiest options, and the enemies are threatening enough that I'm not usually moving "full steam ahead". If all else fails, his high Con means he can Take-Drop rescued ally units.

As for Neimi, there isn't quite as much of a case for her. She gets a quick C-support with Colm, so that's cool in cases where you field them both. She can be a good "lure" unit for enemy Mages or Mogalls, while also potentially manning one of the ballistae in chapter 7. Her anti-flier effectiveness doesn't really matter in the earlygame, but it can offer her a niche once the Gargoyles start showing up. And of course, Ranger has more mobility and attacking range than Swordmaster.

Looking at L'Arachel, yeah there isn't much she brings to the table. Low level, low Staff rank, and late jointime? She miiight be worse than Marisa. Still, if nothing else, she can provide staffbot support. Having a slightly more mobile Mend Staff is nice, especially if I haven't burned through any of my Guiding Rings yet. Not to mention, Rescue-carrying as a mounted unit. She's a bad unit with poor long-term prospects, but I think what she's offering is at least slightly less common than what Marisa brings.

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L'Arachel's thing is move; since Natasha probably won't be 10 by the time you get her, L'Arachel has more move than her, and will at worst have more move than Moulder once she promotes. She also is an easy enough pickup if your first primary staff user dies around the time she joins - something that has definitely happened to me - because she'll be better than an unlevelled Natasha or a Moulder who was benched after Chapter 4. That's enough to keep her out of the conversation for worst unit in the game to me.

I think Neimi's okay too. Not great, but she grows better than the likes of Wolt/Wil/Rebecca (with the Colm support to improve both and keep her on the team early), and Ranger is a cool class.

I'm pretty much on board for any and all disdain for Gilliam / Ewan / Amelia / Marisa though. I get what they're going for with Marisa - she is an excellent dodgetank later on because she actually gets luck, unlike Joshua, and has evade-boosting supports - but there's enough good options for this that don't have her terrible start. I've also had a lot of trouble getting anything worthwhile out of Dozla.

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I'ma be honest, I don't know what they were thinking with Marisa. She comes in at the same level as Joshua... 5 to 7 chapters later, and her bases are nothing to write home about. It doesn't help that she joins in the same chapter that Gerik does (Eirika route) or right before he joins (Ephraim route).

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SacSto unit balance was most likely done with tower/random encounter grinding in mind, so that's why we have Marisa joining so underleveled or two of the three villagers joining much later than they honestly should have. And I suspect that the most "Est-like" character in L'Arachel is a healer to make it more difficult to grind her to everybody else's level quickly.

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56 minutes ago, pong said:

SacSto unit balance was most likely done with tower/random encounter grinding in mind, so that's why we have Marisa joining so underleveled or two of the three villagers joining much later than they honestly should have. And I suspect that the most "Est-like" character in L'Arachel is a healer to make it more difficult to grind her to everybody else's level quickly.

Huh. I've generally interpreted Myrrh to be the "Est" of the game. She joins even later, with higher growths - outside of Luck and Res, her lowest growth is 65% Speed. Of course, since she can't promote, it's hard to say she joins at a "low level". And, should the Dragonstone boosts be added when considering her bases?

Eh, Archetypes are a tricky thing.

4 hours ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

I've also had a lot of trouble getting anything worthwhile out of Dozla.

L'Arachel: "You have my staff!"

Rennac: ...

L'Arachel: "Oh, that rapscallion ran off! Guess I'll have to do his line: 'And you have my sword!'"

Dozla: "And my axe! Gwa ha ha! Right as ever, Lady L'Arachel."

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The Dozla comments are purely gameplay-related, to be clear!

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

Huh. I've generally interpreted Myrrh to be the "Est" of the game. She joins even later, with higher growths - outside of Luck and Res, her lowest growth is 65% Speed. Of course, since she can't promote, it's hard to say she joins at a "low level". And, should the Dragonstone boosts be added when considering her bases?

My own interpretation is that Ewan to is Est; he joins later than L'Arachel and over ten levels lower. Myrrh feels effectively promoted to me, given that she's in her final tier (I know she gains exp faster, but that felt like it was to offset her finite dragonstone). I actually tend to think of the entire GBA-Tellius era having a long line of mage Ests: Sophia, Nino, Ewan, and Tormod (played straight in PoR, then a weird version when he rejoins in RD).

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

Huh. I've generally interpreted Myrrh to be the "Est" of the game. She joins even later, with higher growths - outside of Luck and Res, her lowest growth is 65% Speed. Of course, since she can't promote, it's hard to say she joins at a "low level". And, should the Dragonstone boosts be added when considering her bases?

6 hours ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

My own interpretation is that Ewan to is Est; he joins later than L'Arachel and over ten levels lower. Myrrh feels effectively promoted to me, given that she's in her final tier (I know she gains exp faster, but that felt like it was to offset her finite dragonstone). I actually tend to think of the entire GBA-Tellius era having a long line of mage Ests: Sophia, Nino, Ewan, and Tormod (played straight in PoR, then a weird version when he rejoins in RD).

I consider L'Arachel the most Est-y character because she has higher growths than other characters in similar classes: 315 is the highest growth total of all magically inclined characters in the game (although looking over them right now, Natasha is very close behind with 305). Ewan has more levels to gain, but his growths (275 in total) are fairly underwhelming.

But...

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

Eh, Archetypes are a tricky thing.

...this is of course true. My personal checklist for "Ests" would be something along the lines of

  1. joins late
  2. at a low base level
  3. with higher growths than units of similar classes

...which is why I don't really view Sophia (or Zeiss, or any BinBla character) or any Manakete (they're more their own thing) as a good representative of the archetype. But I'm hardly an authority on the subject.

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I wouldn't consider growths an important part of the Est archetype. After all, Catria (320) has better overall growths than Est (285) in Shadow Dragon. Are you going to argue that Est is not an Est?

With that requirement cleared, then Ewan and Sophia become clear Ests to my mind. Agreed that the manaketes feel a bit different, though.

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1 minute ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

I wouldn't consider growths an important part of the Est archetype. After all, Catria (320) has better overall growths than Est (285) in Shadow Dragon. Are you going to argue that Est is not an Est?

With that requirement cleared, then Ewan and Sophia become clear Ests to my mind. Agreed that the manaketes feel a bit different, though.

With Sophia, I would counter that she may actually join too early. She joins in chapter 14, which sounds like it's more than halfway through a 25-chapter game. But if we count the paralogues (without double-counting route split maps), then there are 15 chapters before she joins, and 16 chapters (including chapter 14) afterward. I dunno, something feels "off" about an Est joining less than halfway through the game.

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Mm, well, I can see where you're coming from, but I also think you have to thread the needle a bit to call her less than halfway through the game... note that you had to include her joining chapter itself in the "After" section, and also treat Chapter 25 as a full-fledged chapter (which... fair, the game calls it one, but it sure feels similar to the final boss sequences of FE7 and FE8 which aren't counted). And of course, if you don't complete the True Ending requirements, then she's now unquestionably in the second half. I also wouldn't consider "joins in the second half" to being an ironclad requirement... you could spin Tormod9 as joining in the first half depedning on how you count chapter 17, for instance.

It's also fair to note that Zeiss (and Hugh) being unpromoted characters who join even later than her is unusual for an Est. But it's not unheard of, e.g. Elice joins after Est herself. As for Zeiss, while I can see the case for him as one, I would argue that he's if anything less of one than Sophia, because he joins six levels higher than her and I find it unlikely your general team has gained six levels between their recruitments, so Sophia's the more underlevelled one relatively. Which, I suppose, is what I consider to truly be the key defining feature of an Est - they're extremely far back from the rest of your team in terms of level when they join.

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4 hours ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

I wouldn't consider growths an important part of the Est archetype. After all, Catria (320) has better overall growths than Est (285) in Shadow Dragon. Are you going to argue that Est is not an Est?

Ha, I didn't know that. However, Est's growths are very high in all of FE1-3, as well as New Mystery, and still well above-average in Echoes, so I would actually say that she doesn't fully fit her own archetype in Shadow Dragon specifically. The promise of awesome returns, i.e. a lot of level-up *dink*s, even though they're not techically worth the investment, is what distinguishes an "Est" from just an underleveled recruit like Sophia, Ewan, or Dolph and Macellan.

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I would argue that Ewan does promise awesome returns; he does it not through awesome growths but through his nine extra levels. If you look at 20/20 stat totals Ewan's are certainly among the highest. All the trainees have slightly lower growth totals than you might expect, but they have to because 9 extra levels (and an extra promotion) are so powerful.

I also think Sophia's stat growths are high enough to qualify for an Est: they are, actually, higher than Raigh's, and obviously Niime's, so they're best in class. (They're arguably less well-distributed than Raigh's, but hopefully you'll agree that's not what the archetype is about.)

I'm just pointing out that Est herself proves you don't have to have the highest raw growths, just pretty good. Ewan and Sophia absolutely do have good growths (especially once you adjust for Ewan's special case), just not the highest raw total out of anyone.

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Update: I'm on the part where we just fought lyon for the first time (i believe) and get the pegasus knight. My main units so far are Seth (obviously) Natasha, Joshua, Ephraim, Innes, Dozla, Saleh, Cormag, and Duessel. Also I havent used the tower thingy quite literally at all and have just been doing the main maps.

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4 minutes ago, lasagnacat said:

Update: I'm on the part where we just fought lyon for the first time (i believe) and get the pegasus knight. My main units so far are Seth (obviously) Natasha, Joshua, Ephraim, Innes, Dozla, Saleh, Cormag, and Duessel. Also I havent used the tower thingy quite literally at all and have just been doing the main maps.

Nice! Hope you've been enjoying the game despite our little argument over here.

On 3/16/2022 at 6:32 AM, Shanty Pete's 1st Mate said:

Gilliam's movement is trash, sure, but in, say, chapter 4, you can keep him in the northwest corner, where more Revenants will spawn, and he can deal with them comfortably. In chapters 5 and 6, he'll be your second-bulkiest options, and the enemies are threatening enough that I'm not usually moving "full steam ahead".

Sure, but... Well, then what? He can't do much in 7, he can't do much in 8, he can't do anything unpromoted in 9, could feasibly be good for 10 and 11, and he'd do... well, OK after promotion, but still not excellent. Whereas Marisa will be...

Okay, you might have a point.

On 3/16/2022 at 6:32 AM, Shanty Pete's 1st Mate said:

Her anti-flier effectiveness doesn't really matter in the earlygame, but it can offer her a niche once the Gargoyles start showing up.

Honestly, I think Neimi would be much better if Mogalls were weak to bows... I wonder if they'd change that in an FE8 remake.

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23 minutes ago, lasagnacat said:

Update: I'm on the part where we just fought lyon for the first time (i believe) and get the pegasus knight. My main units so far are Seth (obviously) Natasha, Joshua, Ephraim, Innes, Dozla, Saleh, Cormag, and Duessel. Also I havent used the tower thingy quite literally at all and have just been doing the main maps.

Good to know! Those are all good-to-great units, I would say. Of course, this is a game where even the worst units can be made to contribute. Don't worry about the Tower, you definitely don't need it to beat the main campaign. It presents its own fun series of challenges, but I don't know the best time to do it. Challenge it before you beat the game, and the levels you get make the later chapters a lot easier. But don't challenge it until afterwards, and your team can pretty much steamroll it.

7 minutes ago, Benice said:

Honestly, I think Neimi would be much better if Mogalls were weak to bows... I wonder if they'd change that in an FE8 remake.

Certainly, it would make her niche show up as soon as chapter 4, which is nice. Mogalls are already pretty physically frail, so maybe they didn't think the weakness was necessary to retain. Then again, anything to make Bows better (in a game where they're rather mediocre) would be nice.

Oh, by the way, to everyone here (but especially @pong and @Dark Holy Elf), I've posted a thread for "Est"-archetype discussion. So if we want to tear into the topic any further, that would probably be the best place to do it.

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Just now, Shanty Pete's 1st Mate said:

Good to know! Those are all good-to-great units, I would say. Of course, this is a game where even the worst units can be made to contribute. Don't worry about the Tower, you definitely don't need it to beat the main campaign. It presents its own fun series of challenges, but I don't know the best time to do it. Challenge it before you beat the game, and the levels you get make the later chapters a lot easier. But don't challenge it until afterwards, and your team can pretty much steamroll it.

 

Yeah I'll probably do something like that a chapter or 2 before the final one. either that or have a separate save before i finish it to do after I beat the main campaign. 

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