jonnymac110 Posted August 1, 2022 Share Posted August 1, 2022 Long time lurker here, and I just completed my first NG Maddening run last night, taking the Verdant Wind route; and I wanted to share some of my overall thoughts about the experience, as well as my party build. I found these types of posts really helpful for my planning of the run, so I wanted to give back for those looking for ideas. General Comments on the Run -I used DLC characters, items, and aux battles. I held out on the stat boosters until after Chapter 5, but I did use the Chalice of Beginnings right away -The run took me just under 110 hours. I avoided cheesy grinding strats with rusted weapons/heal tiles. However, I did do aux battles ~1-2 weeks per month pre time skip, and ~1 week per month post time skip -I recruited every character possible on VW, and completed every paralogue. This was more trouble than it was worth, and I wouldn't do it again. I found it really stunted Byleth's growth, and she was often the last unit to promote to a class tier. Next time, I will just focus on recruits/paralogues of units that give me something I need for my endgame build -Holy cow, the difficulty at the beginning is truly maddening. I found the most difficult sections of the game were Chapters 3 & 5 (I averaged 50+ turn counts without grinding), doing DLC aux battles in the very early game, the pre time skip paralogues, and Chapter 13. The lack of stats, movement, and utility tools really punishes the player, especially when so many early enemy units have Pass -I can't stress how important it is to plan your units/builds ahead of time. The units where I planned ahead really came together, while I was kicking myself for not thinking through some unit progression ahead of time (looking at you, Byleth!) -My builds are player phase focused. I had never used some of the enemy phase strats with dodge tanking or Vantage/Wrath, and I shied away from too much experimenting once I experienced that intense difficulty curve early game My Roster (in order of MVPs) Mercedes, Bishop, 35 Battles/13 Victories (37%), 0 MVPs Faith Lv 5, White Magic Range + 1, Reason Lv 5, Magic +2, Fiendish Blow -My main healer. She is a unit of extremes -- depending on the turn, she can heal my entire party to full with the click of a button, or she does nothing. A good candidate for a Stride battalion to fill in some more useful turns -Pros: I was not using Vengeance or Vantage/Wrath strats on my other units, so Fortify was really strong and didn't come with downsides. The auto self-heal personal meant that if she did have to tank a hit, I didn't have to worry about healing her (rare). Her Res was so sky high, she could pull enemy mages worry-free throughout the whole run -Cons: She lacks really any other utility tools (Warp, Rescue, Silence), so there were a lot of turns where she just Waits -This pick was more of a security blanket for me, and if given another chance, I probably would opt for a unit with more offense or utility Marianne, Dancer, 113 Battles/50 Victories (44%), 0 MVPs Sword Lv5, Reason Lv5, Sword Avo +20, Special Dance, Fiendish Blow -I love the Dancer class, it just opens up so many possibilities (double your strongest unit, fix positional problems). I paired her with Fetters of Dromi, so I could just dive bomb a critical enemy with Lysithea and dance out -I trained her swords and gave her a Levin Sword and her relic. She was able to delete some enemy units all the way up until late game. Also, she was super dodgy with Sword Lv5 and Sword Avo+20. Between her Avo and a Guard Adjutant, I could keep her on the frontlines without as much risk -Her having Physic is a huge bonus for Chapters in which you have to split your party or Chapter 13. I didn't find much use for Silence, it was often just better to Dance a unit and eliminate the caster Ignatz, Sniper, 269 Battles/173 Victories (64%), 0 MVPs Bow Lv5, Death Blow, +20 Hit, Bow Crit +10, +4 Dex -Ignaughty was the surprise of the run. I thought he was a pipsqueak and I never used him in any of my Normal/Hard runs. I was so wrong -Because of his personal and his Speed Rally, his early game is strong as a reliable chipper or a speed rally bot to prevent or cause doubles. Thank Sothis I had him for those times you NEED some additional dmg to an enemy on forest or +Avo heal tiles -Around mid game, his crit potential comes online, and he starts to become a monster. Give him a Killer Bow, a Crit Ring, and Hunter's Volley, and he becomes a delete button with 3 range and a high hit rate -He had the highest Victories/Battles ratio on the team (64%), despite spending most of the early game chipping damage. If I could see the stats just post time skip, I bet it is some crazy high % ratio -Avoid the temptation of investing any strength stat boosts early, he'll cover it with crits later on -Overall, a low investment/high return unit with a strong early and late game -- 100% recommend Leonie, Bow Knight, 307 Battles/127 Victories (41%), 1 MVP Bow Lv5, Death Blow, +20 Hit, Bow Crit +10, Mov +1 -If Ignatz was my pleasant surprise of the run, Leonie was my negative surprise -To her credit, she was one my strongest and most flexible early game units -- useful with a lance or bow, and she can tank a hit -My intention for her was to be using Point-Blank Volley on horseback; but I already had that with Sylvain and Swift Strikes, and he got blessed with more strength and def, AND he has a relic and crest. There are too many maps in the midgame in which horseback gets neutered by terrain/stairs, so Leonie ended up being the odd woman out when I needed to pare my squad down -Luckily, Chapters 19-21 were mostly flat, so she came alive for those and salvaged her investment; but if I could do it all again, I would find a way to get her airborne Claude, Barbarossa, 410 Battles/196 Victories (48%), 2 MVPs Bow Lv5, Death Blow, +20 Hit, Bow Crit +10, Bowfaire -Oh man, I feel like I could talk forever about Claude. After this run, I am still no closer to knowing if he is the best lord or the worst lord -Best lord: Barbarossa is a top tier class, and requires no investment. Encloser means that Claude can always deal with an enemy unit, even if he can't delete it. Ashes and Dust is an S tier battalion. Two fliers to start Chapter 13. He has good supports with other natural fliers. Dreamiest eyes -Worst lord: He is a liability on enemy phase. Lacks the raw damage of a Bey-delgard or a Dimitri. Locked out of Darting Blow (granted, so is Dimitri) -Either way, he was a super solid unit for me. Low investment/high return Seteth, Wyvern Lord, 209 Battles/115 Victories (55%), 2 MVPs Lance Lv5, Death Blow, +20 Hit, Lance Crit +10, Alert Stance+ -Seteth was a strong unit for me. My only complaint is that you get him so late -You really need to take Chapter 12 and the first bit post time skip to invest in him to get him caught up with masteries -- plus you also want to rush to Lances A -Once you do get him online, he is immediate A team material just as you start getting more unit slots available for chapters. Swift Strikes + flying is so strong -I got lucky with Def/Res level ups. Along with his very strong crest, he was one of my few units who could take a punch or two in the late game and still keep trucking along Sylvain, Paladin, 320 Battles/202 Victories (63%), 3 MVPs Lance Lv5, Death Blow, +20 Hit, Lance Crit +10, Strength +2 -My other Swift Striker, I went the Paladin route (as opposed to Wyvern). It is really low investment when you don't have to worry about getting him airborne or trained too high in axes -- that way you can focus on rushing Lances A -Sylvain has a really good set of bases, so the immediate recruit from F Byleth added a strong early game unit for free -I think if the terrain in this game was more forgiving for horse units, Paladin Sylvain would be one of the best unit/class combos in the game -He was my Death Knight killer late game once the Death Knight scaling outpaced Lysithea's damage; Swift Strikes + Lance of Ruin is that strong Balthus, Grappler, 290 Battles/177 Victories (61%), 3 MVPs Fist Lv5, Death Blow, +20 Hit, Fist Crit +10, Fistfaire -While I found his voice acting and barks grating, on the battlefield he is a monster -Another low investment/high return unit, with a fist relic for when you need a little bit of extra oomph -I had originally intended to leave him in War Master, but the terrain ignore and Fierce Iron Fists from Grappler are just too strong that I went back after getting Quick Riposte. After this run, I am not convinced Quick Riposte was worth it, and that maybe the best play is to just stop at Grappler -The biggest flaw, if you can call it that, was that he didn't have Canto (unlike most of my other top units), so he sometimes got left out of position and had to use a turn to catch up Petra, Wyvern Lord, 286 Battles/184 Victories (64%), 4 MVPs Axe Lv5, Death Blow, Darting Blow, +20 Hit, Alert Stance+ -I really don't have much new to add on Petra that others here don't already know. She is one of the strongest units in the game -- great growths, great skill boons, natural fit into Wyvern Lord/Falcon Knight -I rushed B support to get her ASAP, and slotted her in immediately -She's not the perfect unit -- no crest to use a relic safely, she doesn't have a lot of supports out of house, and she gets a little outscaled in the final chapters -If you've been reading closely, you've probably noticed I've often mentioned valuing "low investment" unit/class combos. That is because you have limited investment, and a unit like Petra needs a lot of investment to thrive -- flying, auth, axes, bows, lances to get to my endgame build, not to mention using stat boosters to fix any issues you have with her growths. This is where progression planning really paid off Hilda, Wyvern Lord, 375 Battles/207 Victories (55%), 5 MVPs Axe Lv5, Death Blow, Darting Blow, +20 Hit, Alert Stance+ -What a unit, Hilda rules. By the end of my run, I was chanting Hilda! Hilda! along with her -She was just a better-performing version of my Petra above, because she had higher Str and Freikugel to help keep up with late game damage -Hilda required the most investment by a wide margin -- neutral in bows/flying, and a bane in auth. She was instructed every week, and part of all of my Group Tasks. I also gave her Dex stat boosters to help fix her hit rate issues -I also did a little training in Heavy Armor early to get her a cert in Armored Knight to raise her Def a bit. She was able to tank a hit to soften Nemesis at the end, which is more than I can say for most of my units -High investment, very high return -- struggled with hit rate in the early game, but even so, she was one of my strongest units throughout the whole run Byleth (F), Falcon Knight, 443 Battles/247 Victories (56%), 9 MVPs Lance Lv5, Death Blow, Darting Blow, +20 Hit, Alert Stance+ -I went female for the access to Darting Blow and the free Sylvain -This is my first Byleth that I didn't keep in Enlightened One with a sword, and I vastly underestimated the amount of monastery training I needed for her to keep up her progression with her students -Luckily, post time skip you are swimming in activity points, so I eventually got her there; but she was my last unit to certify into her final class. I only went Falcon Knight because I was so behind on axes compared to lances/swords -My strongest unit early game, really carried the first few chapters. Also my only unit who could keep up with endgame stat scaling and who could still reliably double all the way through Nemesis -Because it is so easy to keep her Charm sky high, she was my Ashes and Dust gambit user, and it really carries some sticky situations late game -She was also the closest thing I had to an enemy phase dodge tank, and I would use her when I needed to pull late game enemy units Lysithea, Gremory, 381 Battles/226 Victories (59%), 15 MVPs Reason Lv5, Fiendish Blow, Uncanny Blow, Dark Magic Range +1, Dark Tomefaire -What a monster of a unit. I gave her my +2 move shoes and Thyrsus -- so she had a ton of battlefield control -She was my only Warper, so I sometimes had to forego the damage to get some critical utility -I often paired her with Marianne's Dance, so she could delete just about any two units per turn from 5 tiles away. I mentioned this before, but it was so effective to dive bomb her deep to delete a priority unit, then use Marianne to Dance + Fetters her out of harm's way -I considered her an S+ tier unit coming into this run, but I am backing off of that a little. Her early game is slow before she gets going, and really late game she struggles to OHKO enemy units, even if you feed her Magic stat boosters -However, once she got Thyrsus and some class masteries, all the way up until the very late game, Lysithea was the undisputed champion of my run Honorable Mentions Lorenz, Mage -I kept up with his training and used him as an adjutant through Part 1 for one purpose: to help Ignatz stay alive in Chapter 13. When it was time to shine, there were two turns when I needed his damage to keep it all together, and he delivered -So much experience investment for 2 turns, but worth it Caspar, Warrior -1 Battle, 1 Victory: the Death Knight. What a boss Spoiler Dedue, Chad -Homeslice stormed the throne room, and took out two units and pulled the Demonic Beast so I could kill it through the wall. I drank to your sacrifice that night Conclusion A big shout out to the people who contribute to this forum -- you really helped me put together a plan and see it through -- it was such a rewarding gaming experience. I hope this post can help others like me who were on the fence and looking for some ideas. I invite your feedback or any recommendations to improve on these ideas for others. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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