Fe5 character Ratings
Posted 10 June 2009 - 03:38 PM
9.5 - Saphy, Galzus, Othin
9.0 - Fin, Halvan, Fergus, Shiva, Parn, Eyrios, Cyas
8.5 - Brighton, Asvel, Linoan, Sara
8.0 - Lifis, Lara, Carrion, Dean, Homeros
7.5 - Leaf, Karin, Nanna, Hicks, Tina, Sleuf
7.0 - Dagda, Olwen, Mareeta, Xavier, Delmud
6.5 - Machua, Salem, Trewd, Amalda
6.0 - Ralph
5.5 - Glade, Conomore
5.0 - Dalshien
4.0 - Marty, Robert, Alba, Kein, Fred, Misha
3.5 - Tanya, Selphina
2.0 - Eyvel (late), Eda
1.0 - Ronan, Shanam, Miranda
Leaf joins as a prince of mediocrity stat-wise, and that's not going to change without huge bounds of favouritism.
However, what he lacks in stats, he makes up for in about everything else that an FE5 unit can have. He has his own 1~2 range sword that gives him +10 luck, which is nice when everyone ekse is begging for the limited ranged swords, especially indoors. It kills his AS for a bit, but you can't have everything. Then, he completely ignores fatigue, which is nice because he can be used to absorb long-range attacks like ballistae later on without having to sit out a map or take an S-drink. In fact, he's forced to go into every single chapter in the game, which gives him a bunch of time to level up, and also means he will not take a unit slot from someone else.
His next big pro is supports. He benefits three times as many units as the ones below him in a list where you sort them from many to none. Of course, half of his list is garbage, but Fin, Safy, Asvel, Hicks, Nanna, Dalshin, Carrion, Olwen, Linoan, Tina, Xavier and Sara all appreciate a 10% boost in hit/avo/crt/cev whenever he's near.
Then he has his own leadership stars in varying amounts, and of course the movmenet star. And finally that unreliable but existant Continue.
His biggest problem is that IS felt that having a lord that gets a promotion in any kind of reasonable timeframe is broken (see: Celice, or the prepromoted Sigurd), so Leaf has to wait until the end of Ch18. Which means the guy will be sitting at 20/0 for a long time with rather mediocre stats, pretty much killing his midgame. His promo bonus is nothing special either (+1 str, mag, skl, spd, def and that's it, lol). On the plus side, everyone else is pretty much in no need of scrolls at that point, or if they are then they're likely beyond hope, so he can use his low level to grab some great level-ups. And that late promotion also means he doesn't need to hog a Knight Crest, which is always nice. And at endgame he gets another personal weapon, though 3 other people can use it, but it's best in his hands anyway since he is guaranteed to end up near Leidrick on both occasions, and the sword is practically made to kill him.
So the most effective way of using him would be feeding him some kills earlygame when you can, and hope he gets some reasonable level-ups that allow him to hold his own in the Manster prison. After he breaks out of jail with his friends just treat him like that extra guy that's always there. No need to feed him much anymore, because he has a long, long way to go before he finally promotes. Don't worry about Light Sword running out too much, just use it when you need it. Make sure he has some scrolls when possible, especially the Sety scroll. Around the time he promotes, you have access to Dain and Noba scrolls to fix his Str and Def to an extent. After that he can hold his own quite fine. He also makes a good candidate for holding onto the King's Sword, because then he gives 10% hit/avo to everyone near him, 20% to his supporters, among which there's Nanna who also gives him Charisma and a support. Nanna and King Sword Leaf standing behind anyone in a choke point base chapter such as Ch14 are amazing helps. Especially if that person is Fin, who in turn also receives support bonuses from the two. 20% Charisma + 20% support = awesome.
As said before, Leaf's lack of fatigue makes him awesome for "filler" fights: kills that you want to make, but you don't want to fatigue anyone. Or absorbing long-range magic and ballistae. Leaf makes a good candidate for Charge in lategame to make this go faster, though Charge is a risky deal in general. Wrath isn't a very bad idea on him if you can afford it.
Fin joins at a pretty high level earlygame, which means he won't receive much EXP, but he also doesn't need it. Fin is all about outdoor maps, because that's where he can use his broken personal weapon. +10 luk, 2 MORE might AND 15 more hit than a Master Lance, and it hits twice. And he's not even weighed down by it. And the best part is, he can practically use it whenever he wants to, since it has 60 uses. Well, he can't use it indoors, where he is basically carried by just his stats and Prayer skill.
He also receives supports from Leaf and Nanna, like mentioned in Leaf's rating, which combined with Prayer and Brave Lance makes him pretty much invincible even at base stats. His growths aren't much worse or better than Leaf's, but it matters little because he's one of the few units who actually got decent base stats in this game. And for some reason they felt like giving him the same sword WEXP as Machua, i.e. 20 swings away from using a Killing Edge, so he can be used indoors if you want.
His high hp means he can be fielded practically always (which is cool, since he contributes a leadership star), but you may want to leave him out on indoor maps since he doesn't really do a whole lot that other people don't do already, and his movement is worse than unmounted people there. Fin won't really need scrolls of any kind.
If you don't know how awesome Othin is, you probably haven't played or talked about FE5, ever.
It doesn't happen often that you run into a normal "growth" unit in Ch1 that one-rounds enemies reliably, but here you have one. As if his 9 base Spd without AS loss from Iron/Hand Axes wasn't extreme enough, they felt like giving him his personal Hand Axe. Except it has 15 more hit than an Iron Axe. In fact, it is more accurate than almost every weapon in the game, except most forms of Wind magic, some swords, and some Slim/Brave weapons. And 30 crit. Speaking of crit, it seems they really wanted to go overboard on this one. Othin has innate Wrath, which means he's going to kill everything that isn't a boss on a counterattack, and anything that somehow survives his first attack (like on player phase) can expect to get owned by his 3 PCC. Not always reliable, especially not early on, though good for 90% crit nonetheless if he has Pugi or Killer Axe equipped.
Defensively, he's no slouch either. 27 hp is quite a lot - some prepromotes that join later have trouble having that at base. Then 85% growth assures he stays durable, even if his def is questionable, though there's very few with more concrete def. That 85% hp growth is nice because it allows for a 100% +1 in hp every time with the Hezul scroll equipped, even if you also give him the Sety scroll for speed. Not that he really needs scrolls to be good, but he uses them effectively nonetheless because he can expect to level up multiple times on enemy phase just by throwing himself into a group of enemies. Aside from his good hp and okayish def, he has fairly reliable avoid to fall back on, but sadly no notable supports (Tanya is awful, and Eyvel isn't accompanying him after Ch3...though it should be noted that these two can make his second attack crit all the more reliable).
So to sum it up, we have everything we want from a frontliner. Except mag, but we can't have everything. Apparently having good mag on a melee unit requires sucking everywhere else like Ronan does. What else is there to say about Othin? He gets swords upon promotion, which are worthless, so don't bother. He works equally well indoors as outdoors. Don't put Ambush on him, because apparently Ambush and Wrath weaken each other when used together. You get a second Pugi if you take the right route for it, which can be handy if enemy leadership decides to screw around with Othin's hit rate with Hand Axes, but he doesn't need it to be a monster.
The only time he falters in any way is when the game becomes almost entirely based on magic and staves, but even then there's some generic enemies he can mop up.
Halvan is a worse version of Othin, but if you read Othin's entry you'd know that being like him in any way can only be good.
Axes plus pretty damn good Str and Spd ensure that he can ORKO pretty reliably off the bat, though sometimes he'll have hit issues, moreso than Othin since he doesn't have the Pugi to fall back on. He does have access to the Brave Axe right from Ch1 for some reason, since it's D rank (wtf?), which he can combine nicely with his own Ambush for clean kills before the enemy can even attack.
Like Othin, he has no supports worth mentioning, but his growth spread is fairly solid for FE5 standard. His 4 PCC is actually enormous, and contributes to killing even things like Armors without a Hammer, but sadly his skl lags a little due to low growth, so he's definitely one to appreciate the Odo scroll for some time, or even a skl ring. Killer Axe isn't wasted on him either.
So basically, we have a dude who has no real problems other than some hit issues.
Eyvel is a lot like some units from Radiant Dawn, such as the Laguz Emancipation Alliance. God in a few chapters, ugh in some others, and very little availability.
Eyvel's earlygame can only be described as "wow". Her capped 20 base Spd allows her to double everything, and then they also thought it would be funny to give her a class that has auto Continue. Her Str isn't even that great, but it hardly matters because she can weigh herself down with that Iron Blade and 2HKO everything. Her only 2-range is the Fire Sword, which you may want to save for later, since someone like Fergus or Shiva can make great use of it, but it can be used if you really hate bosses. Defensively, there's no need to look at her stats, because the developers rigged the RNG to make her unkillable. Just let her rescue someone like Ronan, carry a heavy or even a broken sword, get her to low hp and try to get hit. It won't work. And to top it off, she has 8 movement and two movement stars.
Of course, unlike many other Jeigans, she isn't really accompanied by a team that can't handle enemies on its own. We have Othin, Fin, Halvan and Dagda who can kill things quite fine on their own, but of course there's also Marty, Leaf, Tanya and Ronan who cannot. And Lifis. There's obviously no real reason to give Eyvel kills, because even if her availability and EXP gain didn't suck so much her growth total is only slightly over 100% (go figure), and she isn't very good at weakening without killing because of those random chances of criticalling or Continuing. You can try using an Iron Sword while she is rescuing someone you're not using, which puts her roughly at Fin's level of offense.
And then she vanishes. Make sure she doesn't carry anything when you seize Ch3.
She makes a short return in Ch5 where she is the only thing between Nanna and a group of angry swordsmen, so she actually gets a lot of points for that. After that she's turned to stone and you're not seeing her ever again unless you're perfectionist and want to save her by playing Ch24x, also generally regarded as the hardest chapter in the game. If you want to go through the game without a headache, I would definitely not do that. The only reason to go to that chapter besides Eyvel is a bit of treasure you likely won't need for the final, and Eyvel herself is definitely not good in the final. Her Spd and Skl are fine, but everything else is garbage, especially her Str. She does bring an extra leadership star and some support bonuses, but are they really worth that unit spot? Even if you have leftover, you're basically forced to take out everything that can attack her on enemy phase (like those Fenrir Dark Mages) to make sure she doesn't die.
So in short, we have Ch1, Ch2, Ch2x, Ch3 and a bit of Ch5 where she's awesome, and then she comes at the end of Ch24x if you're crazy, and is only average in the final. For the main course of the game, she's not around, making it hard to give her one solid rating. Giving her one average over the whole game wouldn't really tell you a lot about her - if you want something like that, look at a tier list instead. I'm going to do something else here because I can.
10/10 for those first five maps, and then 2/10 for the last one.
Tanya has some wtf growths, especially in a game where PC growths aren't all that high even on godly units. 60% hp, 55% skl, 70% spd AND 60% luk are downright scary, but it's a shame they're all in rather unnecessary stats. And they completely forgot about her str and def, which start with 3 and 2, with 35% and 15% growths respectively.
Tanya is basically paying for FE4's bow users being too damn good. As if complete lack of enemy phase production in open maps wasn't bad enough, they introduced a new feature that she can't use at all: capturing. There's a few things to compensate, such as some choke-pointy maps where she can counter attacks if she wants (11, 11x, 14x), and she will likely have 60 uses of the extremely broken Hero Bow for herself. Thanks for 95 hit, 14 might and 20 crit, IS, but could you perhaps not have murdered Tanya's AS with it?
Besides growths rates and rather exclusive and haxxy weapons, Tanya has something else in common with Dorothy, Rebecca and Neimi: she supports useful units. She actually has a mutual with Othin, allowing him to have even better player phase offense (remember, PCC + 10% support essentially gives him 30% extra crit on second attacks). And Dagda really likes having more hit, especially when he's trying to capture something.
Aside from that, Tanya's bows are effective on fliers. Pegs are too rare and too much of a joke to worry about when they are actually around. However, Tanya and Asvel together are part of a rather exclusive club that completely destroys all those Wyvern Knight mini-bosses that have way more speed than they should be having. Too bad they like to (nearly) OHKO her.
So basically, Tanya is a niche character. She does have some parts where you'll just love to have her around, such as when she just Brave Bows something you absolutely don't want to take a counter from, like a Dark Mage, but on most enemy phases you'd rather not have her around. She simply isn't very productive, and her main problems cannot be fixed through scrolls until very late.
Dagda usually gets the shaft on ratings big time, and I don't think he entirely deserves it, so let's take a more close look at the geezer. It's been done with almost every sluggish Fighter/Warrior so far in FE games, from Ward to Dorcas to Garcia, so we may as well look at this one.
His earlygame is obviously awesome. He has over twice as much hp as your weaklings, and still 50% more than ones with high hp like Fin and Othin. And his def is the highest out of anyone. If Eyvel didn't have her rigged RNG, he'd have the highest durability out of anyone. He also has an enormous 14 str + axes, plus Charge, so he's going to one round everything. Hell, he is so far above earlygame enemies that he can ORKO _while capturing_. Of course, his hit is shaky at best, and for some reason Iron Bow doesn't have better accuracy than Iron Axe in this game. Short Bow has 10 more hit though. Speaking of bows, that's one thing he has over Eyvel: range that not everyone wants to take from him.
The other thing he has over Eyvel is obviously that his vacation doesn't last for the entire game. When he comes back, he's no longer Jesus, but he gets some cool points for keeping Tanya alive I guess. By the way, make sure the man has a near-full Iron Axe and a couple of vulneraries in Ch8x.
He is likely still at base level when you get him back, but even if he wasn't it doesn't matter because his growths are even worse than Eyvel's (15% hp, 5% mag, 30% luk, 10% everywhere else, 90% total excluding build and move).
Let's compare him to our friend Halvan at this point, who, as we already know, is a great dude to have around.
Iron Axe: 23 atk, 9 AS, 88 hit, 11 crit -- 20 avo, 43 hp, 10 def, 1 res
Iron Axe: 20 atk, 10 AS, 88 hit, 9 crit -- 25 avo, 36 hp, 8 def, .5 res
To the contrary of what people might think, they're actually still quite close. The only crushing win Halvan has is that his PCC is four times Dagda's, but there aren't really any enemies that can survive two hits from these two anyway. Plus, Dagda still has Charge. And 7 hp/2 def wins, and more accurate 2-range with bows.
Of course, Halvan had and still has more room to improve through scrolls, plus he has 20-30% growth advantages across the board and a promotion to look forward to.
Scrolls don't help Dagda all too much because his growths just suck that much, and he doesn't have many levels to go. Even with Baldo, Fala AND Sety scrolls he only has 55% Spd growth, though with his slow leveling it isn't much of a deterrent to have those on him on the occasion that he does level up. Still, I wouldn't count on having more than 11-12 AS ever with this guy.
For how much this is a problem...I'd say not much. Take a look at the upcoming chapters and how the doubling goes:
- Ch9: Dagda doubles everything except the Dragon Knights, which he's borderline on (they have 6-7 Spd, 8-10 bld, and 10 weight Killer lances, so anywhere from 4-7 Spd). He's going to get doubled by the boss (14 AS).
- Ch10: Once again, generic enemies are of no trouble. With just one Spd level-up, he doubles even the thieves on this chapter. The Cavaliers are the only other generics that would avoid being doubled, but thanks to their heavy weapons they can't get past 5 AS, which is exactly Dagda's doubling limit. He can't double either of the bosses though, but then again these don't double him either. Fred is so kind to have just the right Spd: slightly above him, so that he doesn't double Dagda or cause him to activate Charge. Olwen wasn't so kind, since if she faces Dagda he's going to have to face four attacks, so avoid her. Then again, you always should.
- Ch11: Not a single enemy makes it above 5 AS, except Kempf, who disapoofs the moment you grin at him.
- Ch11x: Same as last map, except this time the boss doesn't have enough AS either. Of course, he carries two long-range tomes, which Dagda doesn't like much. Still, he only has 14-15 atk (depending on Bolting or Meteor), so it takes him 3-4 hits to down Dagda. If he uses Holy Water, he only does 7-8 damage, making Dagda 6HKOed, so even with Charge he is no more in danger than any normal unit.
- Ch12: All the brigands have about 4 Spd max, Salem has 0 AS. Colho has 12 AS, so Dagda and he won't exchange double attacks ever. The forests might make it hard for Dagda to hit consistently though, but once again there's Charge to make up for that.
- Ch12x: One of the only chapters where enemy AS exists. Thieves have more than 14, so they can double Dagda...but they do 0 damage. Still, Dagda likely won't hit them due to Parn's huge ass leadership. Dagda can double dancers but you don't want that. The female Archers even have 7-8 AS, so Dagda won't double them normally, but he will through Charge if he has enough hp left. He likely will, because they have like 10-12 atk, lol. Admittedly, he wants nothing to do with Myrmidons.
- Ch13: In my samples, there's one Archer with 6 AS. Everything else except the boss has 5 Spd or lower. Even if the Bow Knights end up having more, they have bld varying from 7 to 11, and 11 wt Longbows (remember FE5 Longbows actually are just heavy 2-range bows, not the 2-3 range ones from other games). So once again, no trouble for Dagda here. The boss has 9 AS, so if Dagda levels up Spd he can Charge him with the Hammer.
- Ch14: Some of the many, many Armor Knights scrape it to 7, 8 or even 9 AS, but it matters not when Hammer Dagda destroys them. They can do about 10 damage per attack to him though, and the Greatlance ones can even do like 15-17 dmg, but even then Dagda survives two attacks whereas some king like Fergus might not. Obviously the bosses might prove too much for him (Baldak has 10 AS, Paul 12, 2 if he goes Tornado though, but that shit bites), and the ballistae/Bolting Bishops doubling up can be extremely annoying. The Thracia "NPC" Dragon Knights vary extremely in Spd: most have 7-9, but one runs 14. Their builds and weapons vary too, but you can count on Dagda being able to Charge most of them at least, including their boss (8 AS).
- Ch14x: Dagda can obviously double Dark Mages. Pegasi seem to have around 5 AS usually, so Dagda can double those too. Not that it matters thanks to lolbows. Which means that once again his only bosses. There's two, but one of them is completely weighed down due to being a Dark Bishop. The other is a Hero that's going to double him for 14 damage total with Poison Sword, or a lot more with Killer Axe, so better stay clear of that one.
- Ch15: The initial enemies in this chapter are absolutely hilarious. You can see gold like 0 Spd Hunters, Myrmidons with no more than 7 Spd and 9 Bld trying to weild 15 weight Iron Blades, Brigands with 0 AS...you guessed it, the only trouble Dagda will have is some hit issues in the forests, and the boss will chop him into pieces. If he hits. Reinforcements aren't that much better, though you may see a Killing Edge Myrmidon or something.
Going by the Eyrios route for now...
- Ch16: Dagda will fail to double 2 Cavs and a Troubadour, and get all generics otherwise. Obviously going to have a harder time if he's going to fight Eyrios, Kempf, Brook or Conomore. You'd be surprised how many 0 AS enemies there are - Sleep Sword Cavs, Bishops, Mages, Archers, Soldiers...
- Ch17: Silesia might pose some tr...oh, Horseslayers and Javelins on units with 6 con, nvm. Cyas will totally kill Dagda's hit of course, and there's bosses, but otherwise he'll just get Knights, Soldiers, Dark Mages, Bishops etc all the same.
- Ch18: This chapter doesn't even know what AS means. Except for some thieves, which are still slow enough for Dagda to Charge.
- Ch19: Dagda is bad in this one. Those Troubadours double unfortunate Dagda's that don't have 2 Spd level-ups. Most enemies are in Charge range for Dagda, but he can't properly double them, and this is annoying when it's enemies that hit him with Silver when he's having hitting issues...provided he can even counter them. God thanks you can make one of the two main cavalry armies turn into NPCs. He can get the joke enemies like Bishops, Generals, Mountain Thieves and Ballistae, of course. And he can Charge Wolf. Double him, even, if he equips a tome instead of Tron or Meteor. Too bad that even getting to him is nearly impossible. The axe knight/great knight reinforcements are managable for him, actually, once again because they weigh themselves down. Same for Mage Knights, except they sting too much to attack without a Halberd. Lance Knights are too fast to double.
- Ch20: I wish I was kidding, but Dagda doubles every single enemy in this chapter except for the boss, who he needs +3 Spd for. Then again, Charge will also hurt him here since there's a lot of long-range here.
- Ch21: Some long-range that annoys him, some Dragon Knights he can only Charge except the :brokenrecord: boss, and everything else is his.
- Ch21x: If you're going to look for trouble in this chapter, Snipers and Heroes will obviously double Dagda. All the Knights, magic units, Bishops, etc are toast. And he cannot double the boss, unless he equips a tome.
- Ch22: Things that Dagda cannot double: 1 Elite Sword Hero, 3 Bow Knights, Master Sword Reinhardt, 3 Paladins. Of those, he can Charge some Bow Knights as long as they use Great Bow. This altogether might be about 10-20% of all the enemies on this map. Again, Cyas kind of nukes Dagda's hit, but there's several tricks to make him leave, and Dagda is not alone with this problem.
- Ch23: The horse units have very varying stats, so whether Dagda doubles, Charges or gets doubled is up to luck. Their boss has 16 Spd though, so count Dagda out against him. The main boss should be fired by Sety. That General has 6 Spd here, but he can be weighed down by his Hammer/Halberd.
- Ch24: The Heroes and Snipers are once again the only things giving Dagda trouble that other units don't.
- Ch24x: If you're playing this chapter, you're nuts. Or if you're fielding a non-Leaf unit with lower Mag here, you're nuts too.
- Final: You'll probably want to leave him out because of all the Fenrir and lack of laughable enemies, but I'd say Dagda pulled his weight so far, no?
Charge can become quite a liability in midgame when ballistae and long-range tomes start hitting him twice as much in one round as other people. In addition, 2-ranged enemies get two shots at him on enemy phase, and they go completely uncountered if Dagda has 1-range equipped. However, Charge will never trigger against faster enemies or when Dagda is on low hp, so it can be worked around. A way to help Dagda is to give him the Sun Sword manual that's on Eyrios (you can steal it if you're using Olwen already), as his huge attack will allow him to recover damage he's taken, while his large concrete durability and Charge net him many possibilities of counteracting that low-ish 12% activation rate compared to people who easily cap skl. If you want to further aid him in this regard, he can be given one of the two Skill Rings, which boost both his hit and his Sun Sword activation.
Dagda has access to Hammers, which are buyable in Ch8, so make sure to stock up on a few so he can rage through the large concentrations of them all by himself. The only free Halberd in the game seems to come with Hicks, but he can use that too.
Whew, that was terribly long, but I felt I had to since Dagda is always shoved into Bottom tiers or something because of his awful growths. I hope I proved he is definitely an adequate unit, who excels in durability and raw attack power, and doubles an extremely significant portion of the game due to enemies being so laughably slow. So why is Dagda not going to get an Othin-like rating? Because of Charge hurting him against (long-) range, and because his hit rate leaves something to be desired on forests and bosses, and he has no real supports to fix it up.
After a 200 page review on Dagda, I'm going to do my best on Marty, but I can't really say he can expect much.
Let's start from the beginning. Marty joins, and he goes "There we go again...". It's not giving a pretty foresight, no. Marty's base durability actually looks pretty nice, but...I think they forgot to input half of his stats. He would be a pretty good tank if he didn't get doubled by everything that has an ounce of speed, and his offense wouldn't be half bad if his str, spd and hit didn't refuse to grow out of base level.
Basically, Marty is designed to be some kind of capturing machine, since they threw all his possible growth into that 75% build where he only needs 5 level-ups to cap it forever. Whose genius idea was that? And he can't really be as good as capturing as Dagda due to lack of skills, or even Halvan/Othin since they have some stats to speak of, and don't get doubled whenever they try to capture a non-joke enemy.
The more interesting part about Marty is that his 20/1 stats are like Dagda's, except much better. He owes that to the completely wtf Warrior promotion bonus (+5 skl and +6 spd, hi)
20/1 Marty: 49 hp, 15 str, 7 skl, 9 spd, 16-17 def, 15-16 luk, 20 bld
-/6 Dagda: 43 hp, 14 str, 11 skl, 9 spd, 10 def, 2 luk, 15 bld
So basically, the moment he promotes, he isn't looking so bad on offense or defense anymore. Who would have thought? So the question that remains is, when does this man promote? If you want to seriously use Marty throughout your FE5 campaign, it is in your best interest to promote him ASAP, without regard to levelcapping or not (look at his growths and tell me if there's anything he'll miss). Of course, you should also trade him the Sety and Odo scrolls anytime you can, but unlike Dagda he actually has a lot of opportunities to equip those, it's just that his growths really aren't much better than his. Speaking of Dagda, Dagda supports him.
So before promotion, Marty is blegh defensively and ugh offensively. And then afterwards, it's as if the sun came up after a long night of pain. Such a miracle. Even more severe hit issues than Dagda or really anyone else though, and he has to use a Knight Crest early to be anything but a detriment. Still, I think this man, too, has been underrated for a while. He easily wipes the floor with units that suck because they're frail, for example.
Ronan probably slept with the wife of every single IS dev.
Here we have good Spd. Aaaand...fixable Skl. And a 55% mag growth on a unit that cannot use magic swords, let alone tomes. And some movement stars. And Continue. And Leaf supports him out of pity.
That's it. That's literally all he has. No enemy phase. No durability. No strength. No insane build. No capturing. No amazing avoid. No leadership.
I think there's something to say for Ronan's mag and str growths being reversed accidentally, what with males usually having significantly higher str than females, and mag being completely useless. Until they decide to hold a press conference to admit that, Ronan is stuck being the worst unit in the game.
George: "Hey Alan, have you seen Saphy's durability anywhere?"
Alan: "Me? I thought YOU were going to take care of that?"
Behold 14 hp/0 def, with 35%/3% (I kid you not) growths respectively, no way to weild a weapon until promotion, and limited to only 20 uses of it after promotion. Thankfully, Saphy is way too pretty to kill - most enemies choose to, er, rescue her instead. And take all her equipment as a payment. Of course, you can just capture that enemy pretty easily since he now halved his own stats, so it may actually be good for something.
That's the bad part. The good part is: staves. It wasn't me who made staves what they are in FE5, but here's what it comes down to.
First, there's healing itself, which is undeniably useful, if only to get her to build EXP in level and weapon rank. Most people can heal themselves fine with a vulnerary (due to them essentially being cheap Elixirs), though in case of an emergency Saphy can use Physic or even the broken Reserve staves (heal everything on the map? yeah!).
Every gaiden chapter has Fog of War, and then there's Ch12 which has Fog of War as well. You literally can't see anything in FE5 Fog of War except a few squares surrounding your own units. So using that Torch Staff at least once helps a great deal.
Then, there's Restore, the staff that saves your life and sanity every single time. The guy who thought up that status staves should have infinite range, 99% accuracy, everlasting and usually be represented by multiple enemies in one chapter was probably the same guy who designed FE10's Laguz Royals. Or FE10 Fiona. Speaking of those status staves...Saphy can use them as well to prevent status from happening, or just to make enemies easier to capture, or easier to kill, or whatever.
Then we have the family of "give something infinite move for a turn" staves called Warp, Rescue and Rewarp, the latter of which is practically in infinite supply thanks to Ch14x. They allow you to skip chapters nearly entirely, cheat yourself out of the hard parts of chapters like 12x and 22, get villages and treasure chests before thieves or bandits placed at unfairly low distances, etcetera etcetera.
And that's not even touching a staff they made only Saphy able to use. That's right, they felt the need to give her a personal staff despite that for over half the game, practically all the higher rank staves are hers to begin with until late bloomers such as Linoan, Sleuf and Sarah come in. I'm talking of course about the Repair staff, which is basically some kind of joker in a pack of amazing cards. Repairing your best weapon five times...the possibilities are nearly infinite, and remind of the hax that something like a dancer brings to the team. Just some of the possibilities: how about another batch of full uses of the Light Sword? More Warp staves? Thief staves? King Sword? Grafcalibur? The possibilities are endless.
In the face of so much utility hax, the numbers don't even matter. Saphy is essentially a cheat code for FE5. She can, to some extent, provide extra offense with the Lightning tome after being promoted, but you're better off leaving the fighting to people who can survive being sneezed on. She has to watch the hell out for ballistae and other things with large range, because one mistake and she's down. Though with how commonly you can find Physic staves in this game, she doesn't really have to be near the action to contribute.
I would recommend playing Saphy the following way: let her heal whenever she can early on. It's important to build that staff rank in time, because Warp proves invaluable in an easy completion of both Ch12 and Ch12x. It's no sin to just use one of your early Knight Proofs on her, because then all she needs to do is get in 10 WEXP and that promotion to manage A rank, which means other healing can be done by a secondary staff user who you want to build staff rank on, like Asvel, Nanna and later Salem.
Trading her the Hezul scroll whenever you can before leveling her up is a good idea, because that bit of hp can mean the difference between being fatigued and not being fatigued. Speaking of that, watch out for that. Definitely don't field Saphy in a chapter if all she'd do is a bit of healing, since using staves, especially higher-end ones, fatigue her pretty damn quickly. In that light it seems like a good idea to use a HP ring on her, except that +7 hp is much better used on someone who regularly frontlines.
The further you get into the game, the more you will make use of all those special staves. Despite the fact that you get half a dozen units with the possibility of A-ranking staves with ease, you will usually want to use a lot at once simply because of how cheap status effects are, plus there's always the possibility of one of your staff users getting silenced.
Final note on Saphy: here's a list of (physical) units that have equal or lower str growth than her (* means tied):
How the hell she got kidnapped is beyond me. Anyway, if this was about the hilarity that is ranked FE5, she'd get a 10/10, but it isn't, so instead I'm going to substract half a point for her enemy phase and fatigue issues. If that seems not enough penaltry to you...I'd say all that other stuff would put her at 20/10 with ease.
A huge part of Lifis' utility is stealing, and whether he's totally awesome or pretty damn lame at that completely hinges on how much Bld he grows. And with a 10% growth in that, hardly fixable by a scroll (only 10% boost, and only after 8x) or a stat booster (only Body Ring in the game is in Ch18), that's not pretty. We'll get into that later.
One thing he does have going for him is extremely large availability. For some reason or another he's the only one to get thrown in jail along with Leaf, and he's probably going to be one of your main outbreakers thanks to his ability to lockpick. Just the fact that he gets you so many open doors and chests makes him a huge boon, even if this moment of glory is shared with Lara. And there's enough locks for both of them to work with in Ch4 at the very least, not to mention Lara has exactly the same hp/def at base as Saphy.
Then we get to stealing. In the beginning, he can steal Fire/Thunder tomes for Asvel to use, which also turns Mages into easy picking for anyone, even wimps like Karin. Most enemies use weapons that are too heavy to steal though - Longswords, Short Lances, Battle Axes and Hand Axes is most of what you'll see. Even Short Lances have a good 8 weight, which means Lifis needs 3 build levels to take those. I'm sure we all RNG abused Lifis' build every level we could at some point in our lives, but it's not what I'm going to assume is happening.
So besides tomes, he can get you vulneraries, which are useful since we don't have any healers around yet, and even when Nanna and Saphy do arrive they like to miss at moments we don't want them to. He can also take Heal staves, though someone like Brighton or Dalshien can also just capture a Priest...then again, that negates the easy EXP you can get from them. Most other staves are too heavy for Lifis, especially awesome ones like Physic.
As for Lifis' combat, it's nothing special, but during the Manster break you have to make do with it. You can expect him to double, and that's about it. His hp, str, def and skl are all awful, he can't weild any special swords like Leaf or Fergus, and on a bad day you'll notice that Lifis' luck base and growth are the lowest in the game, to the point where every enemy has a shot at critting him. Not good.
Outside of Manster, there's not much more the man can steal outside of items. The Rapiers from the cavaliers in Ch7 are actually very nice, and pretty much everyone in your army wants such a light weight armorslayer on their hands, but you'll have to shut down all of those cavaliers on enemy phase before they pick on poor Lifis. Otherwise, he's limited to stuff like Slim Swords. He can get Iron Bows and Swords with one build level-up though.
Still, you can't really expect him to be great at combat when there's just so many things he's responsible for getting. Various Knight Proofs, tomes for Asvel, keys, new Lockpicks, an occasional scroll...and since you're not getting any cash for free in this game, you're going to want to grab whatever you can.
After promotion he gains Ambush and an extra build point. He's still not amazing at combat, though. And after 12x, Parn gives him a run for his money due to more skills, movement stars and an existant luck stat...but you should probably be using both, it's just that it cuts into the amount of credit he gets for utility that was otherwise pretty unique for him (Lara is too frail to bother with for lockpicking).
Overall I think that Lifis is pretty overrated, much of that coming from aforementioned wishful RNG/scroll abuse for his important stats (str, def, bld). Don't hesitate to use him for what he's good at though.
The Manster Club!
Machua is part of the club that comes to free Leaf from the claws of the empire, and she doesn't seem half bad at it.
Her stat spread is exactly as her initial class suggests: she's got speed, she's got skill, and she's got PCC. 3 of it, to be exact, so she has 10% crit on the first hit and 30% on the second, so a 37% chance to crit at least once. And with her 55% skl growth and the chance to increase it further with the Odo scroll whenever allowed to, that can increase quite rapidly. With just three skl level-ups, she has 13% on her first, 39% on her second and 47% overall chance of critting.
Unfortunately, that chance of critting will quite often be her chance of one-rounding, since her str is quite bad, not getting above 10 until her +3 promotion bonus allows her to. Thankfully, promotion also gives her axes, but those present another problem. She can use an Iron Axe just fine (averages 9.8 at 20/1, and Iron Axe is 10 weight), but from there she has to get her weapon level up in a game where that's quite slowly, and once she can finally use the axes, she realizes that her build sucks too much. She needs every point of speed, not to double, but to avoid. Hand Axe and Hero Axe are fine, that's just 4 avo, but Steel and Hammer just aren't going to work. The same goes for heavier swords, of course.
Because yes, Machua needs her avo. She's going to be using 1-range a lot, and her hp/def aren't exactly stellar. Not outright bad, but enough to get 2-3HKOed by the majority of weapons. Ambush can help her a bit defensively once she gets access to Brave/King Sword...alas, she can't exactly crit her way out of there due to the first hit being capped at 25% crit.
So we have large availability, reasonable offense, but pretty mediocre defense going on. I personally give a lot of weight to durability, because as Dagda demonstrated, killing enemies in one round really isn't that hard, but surviving is. On the plus side, she gives a support to Brighton, who definitely appreciates it. Shame he doesn't give her anything in return.
Brighton's bases are mediocre, his growths are mediocre, his only support partner is mediocre, his face is medio...oh, he has Wrath? Stop the presses.
Seriously, look at what they did. They gave Wrath to a unit whose forte is defense, but whose main problem is offense, and they make him join as early as Ch4. Ladies and gentlemen, I'm going to hype the hell out of this one.
First, Brighton actually has one of the best concrete durabilities in the game. The only person who is going to beat him at it for a while is Dalshien, and after Halvan, Othin and Fin rejoin they have a good case against him, but until then he is the king. 28 hp/6 def can absorb as much as 3-5 hits from the soldiers that run around in Ch4 (enemy stats vary so much), and 3 hits is about the maximum of what someone like Fergus can take. His 70% hp growth is decent in its own right, and it can actually be perfectionized to 100% with the Hezul scroll if you're into that. He's tied with Fred, Kein and Ralph for the highest def growth in the game (I know it's weird), though admittedly it's still only 35% versus the normal 20% on average or so.
For offense, his doubling is shaky to say at least (he needs luck to even get Soldiers when he joins), but if you read Dagda's analysis you'd know that enemy AS fails big time. Brighton hits Dagda's base AS at 15/0 (not that 9 AS is some kind of magic number, but just to give you an idea), or significantly earlier taking into account that the Sety scroll can be used as early as Ch5. Or even if he didn't double, then his offense would still be very good thanks to Wrath being so broken. With just a Steel Sword, he has 14 base attack, which multiplies into 28 during Wrath. 38 with a Steel Axe. That's enormous. The leftover problem is hit issues...at similar levels, he has about the same hit as Othin and Halvan, though significantly less luck than the former. If you want a series of near-guaranteed enemy phase kills, throw the Hero Axe on him, because Wrath will work on both hits, and in addition the Hero Axe is more accurate than an Iron Axe. By the way, feel free to put the Brave Axe in Leaf/Lifis' inventory before seizing Ch3, because Dalshien puts it to great use indoors, and outdoors Hicks/Brighton do as well.
Besides all this, just like the other axemen, he enjoys Hammers sometimes, though he can usually just KO Armors with a critical. And he has huge capturing potential, both indoors and outdoors, which is always a huge plus. Being locked to the 1-range swords and pretty low movement is annoying indoors, but outdoors he is a monster.
Brighton used to be abandoned and sandbagged by people who saw his stats and decided he wasn't meant to be, but nowadays when we realize durability is important and Wrath is amazing, he is a contender for actually one of the most helpful units in the game. He can either be quite helpful with his normal averages, but he can make use of scrolls to amazing extents due to his large availability and durability.
"Easier said than done. I can't carry heavy weapons like you can."
For real. She can't even use an Iron Sword without losing AS. However, like most units that have bld/con problems, she is so much faster than others that it matters little. With 10 base Spd and 70% growth, having a 58% chance to cap Spd at 16/0, you'd think she doesn't care.
But then, she is a thief, and thieves love having build. Lara's arms are so anorexic that she cannot steal anything but Slim Swords, Wind tomes and items, and we all know how useful Slim Swords are. With a build growth of 5%, that's not going to change.
Of course, she can still Lockpick just fine, sometimes unexpectedly aided by her movement stars (don't you love being able to open more doors and chests in Ch4 in one turn). Her main problem is that every single stat besides spd and luk is in the run for worst in the game. Her bases are 0 across the board, except hp, spd and luk...and skl, which is 1. She can't attack anything without taking a counter, but it's not like it helps when your atk is basically equal to the might of the weapon you weild. Which isn't going to be anything above E-rank until lots of suffering. She also likes to get 2HKOed by the weakest enemies, and OHKOed by anything with half decent atk, so things like ballistae and long-range magic aren't doing her any favors either. Her growths aren't doing much to help this. Yippee, more avo, and 45% hp/50% skl. And 20% def, with 10% everywhere else.
It seems the game is trying to tell us she is not a combat unit, so you should probably oblige. Just patiently pick locks with her, steal vulneraries if the coast is clear, and then bench her in favor of Lifis when you only need one thief...
Just when you think any use she has whatsoever is done because of Parn, the guy turns her into a dancer. And dancers are something different. Sadly she fatigues a little for every dance she does, so you should only dance for the heck of it if she's going to sit out next map either way (either because she's already going to be fatigued, or because you don't plan on fielding her). Dancing allows some staff user to do something hax twice, and dancing someone with a lot of movement stars might give you amusing results (chances at 3 or even 4 actions in a turn...and then Lara has movement stars herself too. actually, I'm not sure if that works out). Extending other PCs movement ranges, making rescue chains easier, hitting ballistae before they can hit you, etc etc, the uses are endless if you're just a little creative. It's too bad that Lara's high but still unreliable avo is all between her and a tragic death quote, so position her extremely carefully.
Now, sometimes when someone posts a thread about "who should I use", people recommend using Lara "because she can promote three times". I'd like to take this opportunity to show you why this is technically true, but such insanely dumb advice.
First, her promotion to dancer _reduces_ her stats. So while it is displayed as a promotion, it's technically downgrading her. And the best part is, if you promote her to Thief Fighter, then to Dancer, her stats will be reduced by exactly as much as she gained by going Thief Fighter. So what did you just gain? A bunch of extra leveling room...so a bit of extra hp and skl, since Spd and Luk were likely already capped or near that. And even some stat like Str which you religiously trained up with scrolls and all might end up getting to 0 again, just the same she'd have if you didn't level her at all. And the worst part is, you wasted a Knight Proof on that when you could have made someone better. Her second (third) promotion is also stupid, because it just turns her into an inferior version of Lifis/Parn, whereas if you kept her what she was you could've used her dancing utility. And you used another Knight Proof on that. I'm not even going to get into the amount of EXP you'd pump into Lara if you actually wanted to promote her this often.
So in short, don't bother leveling her. Use her to pick locks as a thief, then use her dancer utility. She's a pretty terrible thief, but still helpful, but she's the only dancer you got, who is very helpful...but she also has huge enemy phase problems. It's tough to evaluate someone based on non-combat, but I'm just going to go with this.
"Seems like everyone is getting excited now."
Who wouldn't be? His bases and growths are pretty much standard GBA-fare, but in a game where most growths are much worse. He comes with a C in swords, only 20 WEXP away from a B, which means he can use Eyvel's Fire Sword and the Ch4x Brave Sword for amazing offense. And the kicker is his awesome critical hit rate. 5 PCC is messed up, that's already 35% at base level, and 5% more for every skl level-up. Even just using a Rapier or putting Karin in support range ups that to 85%, soon to be 99%. And Karin is forced throughout the Manster escape saga at least, and doesn't want to leave him alone often, so here's to a crit machine.
The moment he can breathe fresh air, he magically gets a horse out of nowhere, and unlike Brighton and Fin, he gets to keep his main weapon, so soon enough he'll have an A. This makes him a good candidate for fighting even if you're going indoors, though he'll need one of those magic swords to have 1-2 range at all (this goes for outdoor too), which is pretty much his only significant downfall. His durability is decent, his mobility and offense amazing, he has a mutual support with a unit that's at least going to be around for utility and he has no troubles with weapon levels whatsoever. As a bonus, he has a movement star.
Fergus really needs no favouritism whatsoever, though passing a magic sword his way is obviously going to do you a lot of favors. Other than that, keep Karin in his range, and keep going.
Karin is a bit like Lara: high AS/avo, low everything else, but has a way out of suckitude through some kind of utility that doesn't require combat.
Except Karin's stats aren't completely hopeless, they're just unimpressive. 3 dismounted str isn't doing her a lot of favors, but at least she starts with a D in swords (and an E in lances...stop joking around, IS). Once again we're dealing with a unit that couldn't lift a toothpick without AS loss and who is reliant on avo to survive. She has a surprising 7 mag though, which makes her :somewhat: adequate at taking on a Mage, though she'll still die to a combination of a Mage and someting melee often enough. Best rack her some EXP through attacking priests and disarmed mages when you can.
But the moment she goes outside, she offers help carrying everyone across the city one by one. There's no real time for that since Galzus would like to have a word with you, plus Karin's movement gets cut in half when carrying a fattie such as Dalshien. Instead, you're better off using her for visiting the western houses, abusing her move again like a true ninja, while everyone else takes on the enemies. In Ch8, she has no real use for her flying except maybe poking at the group of bandits for some free EXP (she can't use a Javelin though). Then next map she's likely fatigued, then some indoor map she doesn't do much in...and then ballistae start popping up.
Oh god, Karin hates ballistae. They effectively stop her from going anywhere in their range, and the worst part is they're usually positioned in spaces where nobody but she can come, and sometimes there's multiple of them so that even if she is in the eye of the storm of one, she'll still get killed by the other. If you're lucky with her movement growth you might be able to get into 2-range of one, perhaps Javelin it to death, but otherwise she's going to have to wait for Lara to promote to dancer and offer some help with it. She's lucky enough to be able to dismount, which has the side effect of allowing her to use weapons that don't reduce her avo, but then again she also becomes a dime-in-a-dozen swordfighting unit with no 2-range, little mobility, little offense and little defense. Also known as crap. Sometimes you can fly her towards a ballista, then dismount her and be safe though.
She receives a support from Fergus, who is pretty much always there, but it would have helped if they didn't give her only 1 PCC. Pretty unfair. She is a pretty good candidate for the Wrath scroll simply because pretty much no one has this much trouble killing things, but then again Wrath makes about anyone else godly...see if you can spare it.
She comes in handy quite often since the designers like to put thieves and brigands near villages and treasure chests all the time, but this means that she can also end up away from the group, and therefore, the EXP. At Ch14, Dean joins and laughs at her pretty hard, especially with his Dragon Lance, though Karin has a better shot against magic and status staves. The two work together well in forest heavy maps such as Ch15 and Ch16B, though. It's too bad the last 2 (3 if you have an Eyvel fetish) maps are indoors...she really doesn't have much business there, other than having more mag than your other swordfighters.
I would recommend raising Karin at least to cap her Spd. She takes a hefty chunk of favouritism to get anywhere near a good combatant, but she requires no EXP whatsoever to net you several Knight Proofs and other fun items, and having her around turns Fergus into the Terminator.
"What? There's children in this dungeon I'm in charge of? I didn't know, I'll join your cause!"
As you'd probably expect, Dalshien is high in the manly stats (hp/str/def/bld), and low in the others (skl/spd/luk/mov). That's okay though, we love durable units, since offensive issues are easier to fix than defensive ones. And even if you don't fix them, all you have to do is just face a ton of enemies without dying to make up for it compared to someone who can only kill two enemies before dying.
Dalshien has a bit of trouble getting more exposal though. When he just joins, it's fine, since half of your team is forced to have his movement (Fergus, Brighton, Karin, and then for a short time Nanna), and most of the foot ones only have like one more movement than he does. And he's in pretty high demand when he joins anyway, with Brighton not being able to tank everything on his own. And even Dalshien takes some pretty hefty hits from those Battle Axe Armors, and he sure as hell hates Mages.
The first thing you want to do is get the Brave Axe to him: put it on Leaf/Lifis before seizing Ch3, then grab the chest it's in in Ch4. Maybe an Iron Axe too, if you have the room for it. Every bit of hit is welcome, because boy Battle and Hand Axes suck at hitting. This way, he can ORKO pretty much everything you come across indoors, and while he was already OHKOing Mages, now he can actually try twice before just failing and getting hit by something that nearly 2HKOs him. And of course, it helps you capturing.
When you go outside, problems start arising. Competition for axes pops up everywhere: first Brighton mounts himself and asks why Dalshien is keeping those pretty axes all for himself, then Hicks joins the party and wonders the same thing. And before long Othin and Halvan return. And then Marty, but I guess we don't care much about him...Dagda is viable though. And Dalshien certainly needs special axes to stand out, because his AS is just terrible. Fails to double 0 AS enemies until 13/0 on average, though Sety scroll can amend it a bit. After he promotes, he can double joke enemies with that 8 AS of his (more like 9-10 with Sety scroll), so I _suppose_ he does alright there. But before that +2 bonus, he has heavy offense troubles.
And movement issues too. From here out, you'll want to field people with 6-8 movement indoors, and ones with 7-9 outdoors, which leaves Dalshien hanging with his 5 movement.
Thankfully, his amazing durability keeps him from being a complete failure. His def isn't really going to improve much actually...it happens to be his second-lowest growth, behind mag. But that's okay, his base is awesome. But for some reason, this game likes to throw Hammers on a lot of random enemies...and Dalshien is literally the only unit who gets hit super effective by these. This is the only game where carrying an armor around hurts this much...come on, 36 might Hammers? Go away. Magic remaining common hurts him quite a bit too, also because magic users will always outrange him, so he never gets to go up at them and KO them before they can touch him.
If you want to use Dalshien seriously (like, after you're being given the option not to bring him along), I'd recommend Wrath on him. The Brave Axe doesn't last forever, plus Halvan and some others are really good at using that. Wrath allows him to just counterkill on enemy phase, pretty much the best way to put his durability to good use. Another way to help his offense is Sety scroll, but he's going to need tons of level-ups with it. Wrath is a hefty resource use alone - it's difficult to justify that AND that amazing movement ring. You can't really carry Dalshien around with a mount without cutting their move in half either, and at some point his build will max out and he cannot even be carried anymore.
Man, if only Sety taught him Holsety instead of Grafcalibur...or at least how to give weapons infinite use.
Asvel's Spd is absolutely insane. 7 base plus 75% growth, and the Sety scroll is pushed in your hands the moment he's recruited pretty much. So if you wanted to, you can cap his Spd at 14/0. Of course, he's suffering from a 3-5 spd penalty (depending on if he's using Grafcalibur, Fire or Thunder) for a pretty long time, so in reality he has AS issues for a little bit.
But to counter that, the guy uses magic. 1-2 range pretty much always is a pretty rare gift alone in this game, especially when it is also extremely accurate AND you can use it indoors. His base Mag is kind of bad, but the Sety scroll has the pleasant effect of pushing his growth from 35% to 45%, and anytime he needs more raw power he can rely on Grafcalibur, which gives him 17 atk hitting on res, and 43% chance to kill on the first hit, 100% on a double attack (3 PCC says hi), and then I guess he also has Continue, though that will never have a reliable activation rate.
Of course, the flipside is pretty bad melee durability. Avo is obviously unreliable when your AS cannot surpass 15-17, and his luck isn't super amazing or anything. His def will likely stay at 0 and his base hp is the same as Leaf's, though with an acceptable 55% growth, so basically he'll get 2RKOed most of the time. Thankfully he can avoid player phase counters and take a sheltered position for enemy phase, and indoor maps are usually filled with useful chokepoints.
Asvel has an extremely hax promotion bonus. +5 mag solves any issues he had in that department, +5 skl is essentially +15 crit for his second attack, +6 spd means you could promote him at 11/0 and he would cap it instantly and +4 def can make quite the difference to say at least. Oh, and he has the same movement as Leaf, and gains +1 on promotion, so outdoors he doesn't get left behind as badly as, say, Dalshien or Saphy.
Besides the above, he gets staves. Only a D though, but it's enough for Mend/Torch. If you put a lot of effort in healing with him, he can make it to the crucial C which means he can use the oh so desirable Physic and Restore, in addition to Sleep and M Up if you're into that. He's not going to be such a premiere staff user as Saphy, but it certainly helps, especially since it is a counter to his durability in problem in some way - instead of being durable himself, he makes others more durable. Staves and that promo bonus make him a very good candidate for an early promotion. I mean, what use are some "extra" levels where you gain mostly Spd and Skl if you're going to cap those in no time anyway? Might as well start healing already, and get profit from those bonuses earlier.
What I somtimes do with Asvel is concentrating on using Fire so that he can use Meteor later on. Meteor is a much more common long-range tome than Bolting, but he starts with an E in both Thunder and Fire (and gains a free weapon level upon promotion), so it takes a long time to build up. Meteor can be a pretty big help in taking out thieves and Freege Knights in Ch18 (the Xavier chapter), though there's several other easy means to do that. It's more of a funny side thing than something I would really recommend doing.
As for Grafcalibur, it turns Asvel into a boss slayer premiere because its power, crit and accuracy resembles a homing missile. Don't hesitate about using it on assholes like Gomez (Ch8x boss). Later on, he won't need it much since enemies are going to be mowed down by Fire/Thunder anyway. You may want to buy some Wind in Ch12 or at least capture/rob the Mages with Wind in Ch11x to give Asvel an option to retain full AS, both for avo/Continue purposes and so that he can double the 14 AS thieves in Ch12x. In lategame, there's a few instances where you can obtain Blizzard through capturing or Thief Staff + Holy Water/M Up. I've never tried using them, but I can imagine that sending enemies to sleep at 3-10 range can be extremely useful in the last few maps, especially the last one. Speaking of those, Asvel is one of the select few people who isn't vulnerable to Berserk/Sleep/Silence thanks to his high magic...it's mostly useful if you're going in the hellhole that is 24x though.
If you're gonna throw scrolls at Asvel, just give him the Sety scroll when no one else minds during Manster so he doubles sooner, and every HP boost is welcome to allow him some durability and more chapters to participate in thanks to fatigue. Keep him close to Leaf for the avo and crit bonus in particular, and in the last few maps he'll enjoy Sety's company as well. Asvel makes an okay user of Ambush since he always has 1-2 range, and it helps his durability whenever he crits (go Grafcalibur) or triggers Adept, but if you have a better candidate in your party such as Olwen, obviously don't do it.
Asvel is everything you'd expect from a Mage in this game: 1-2 range powerhouse with staves as a ride role. Normally I'd give a low rating for characters who have durability issues, but Asvel has quite a lot of side niches, and his 1-2 range is so good that he's excused from it.
Nanna is another one of those units that I'm going to have to rate almost purely on their support effects, because her offense and defense are trash. Her Str is even worse than Karin's and her HP/def is about equal, but she also only has mediocre Spd at best, and no Bld to speak of.
Thank god, she heals. She keeps Eyvel alive for what it's worth. Even when Mareeta and her "always miss my mom when I'm about to kill her" RNG are slashing away, she can just heal for the sake of gaining EXP. She will remain your only healer until Saphy joins up, and even when Saphy is there she remains useful for a few obvious but important reasons.
First, she can actually survive at least one hit. This means you can put her into range of something like a ballista or one enemy, which is a whole lot better than not being exposable at all. She also can't be captured, because she has a horse and...she can equip a weapon.
Being able to fight back, even if you suck at it, is important as well. It makes her less likely to get targetted. And Nanna has 60 uses of the Earth Sword all to herself, which allow her to counter even 1-2 range and regain significant portions of her hp. Of course, she's going to lose 5 AS from it up close and 12 from afar, so don't count on doubling with it. And she has pretty garbage hit with it at range (Resire has 65 hit).
And of course, we have the mount, which makes her the healer of choice in outdoor maps. Heal-and-run is very useful as it makes it so much easier to protect Nanna from harm.
Finally, there's Charisma, and Charisma is absolute hax. 10% avo alone helps a lot, because there's quite a lot of people who can't survive groups of enemy attacks on concrete hp/def alone. And 10% hit is also extremely useful, since weapon hit in this game is so low, especially on 1-2 range weapons, and missing is just too annoying to deal with. Not to mention enemies on thrones and terrain. It's a shame it doesn't work on herself though. At least she receives a support from Leaf. Her Charisma is also effectively doubled and then some on Leaf, Fin, Homeros and Delmud, which makes them all pretty damn decent (+20% hit/avo, and +10% crit/crtavo, woohoo). As touched upon in Leaf's analysis, Nanna works well in combination with a King Sword user to make enemy hit rates as low as possible.
It's a shame her staff level sucks so much though - E level, and 20 uses away from D, barely any better than Asvel. Her Mag isn't exactly sublime either, so you shouldn't see her as a mounted Priest/Cleric/Sister or something. For a fun fact, her str surpasses her mag eventually (15% higher growth), though the Sety scroll makes that difference only 5%. And then the promo bonus pulls Mag ahead.
Speaking of scrolls, if you want to make Nanna anything but a healbot, she's going to need lots of help with her stats. Thanks to her mount and her EXP coming mostly from player phase, it's not too hard to get those on her. Basically, she'll take whatever she can get. I'd give priority to her Mag and her Skl to raise her staff and Earth Sword accuracy, and her HP to counteract fatigue and give her some survivability. Her Bld and Str are likely beyond saving.
So once again we have a unit that would fall all the way to the bottom of the pit if she had to do it on fighting alone, but she has staves, Charisma, a mount and a Prf weapon to make up for it, and all of these are extremely handy. You'll want to make use of those whenever you can, and leave her out of enemy range when you can for the most part. If you do just that, she'll prove useful.
Hicks is often compared to Brighton, on account of sharing the same class. You'll find they're quite alike qua combat stats...it's just that Hicks isn't around when Brighton is so immensely useful, and he has no Wrath. Of course, having no Wrath while Othin does didn't stop Halvan from rocking.
Hicks functions pretty well as a tank, with a very respectable 30 hp/8 def at base. That nice durability and mobility allows him to expose himself often enough not to care about his lagging offense. 5 Spd is pretty bad, so if you want him to actually kill things in one round he's going to need one or more of the following: multiple levels with Sety scroll, Wrath manual, Brave Axe, or Hammer/Halberd effectiveness. Sety scroll gives him 60% Spd growth, allowing him to double quite reliably around 12/0 or 13/0 or so as long as he gets enough level-ups with the thing equipped. Wrath turns him into Brighton 2.0, perhaps even better due to higher stats overall. Brave Axe's benefit and problems are obvious, and Hammers are just cool like that. Hicks loses very little AS from the heaviest axes - he only needs one Bld level-up to be able to weild the Master Axe without loss, for christ's sake.
The main problem with Hicks is that he's not so great indoors, due to not having axes or his full movement, and only 2 PCC.
What else does Hicks do? Promote and gain +2/+3 in some key areas. Get a Leaf support to fix his hit, maybe allow him to use Hand Axes more often. Maybe use Odo scroll to help that further, though 6 skl and 40% growth doesn't do that badly on its own, not at all. Definitely try him out sometime...after you're done testing all those other bulky axe users I recommend, of course!
Shiva tells Lifis not to touch the cleric, but he likes to activate move again and capture Saphy when given the chance. What a hypocrite.
Okay, this guy is scary. Pretty much one of the, if not the best base/growth spread in the game. Enough Spd at base to double pretty much every enemy, with 35% growth and a +3 promo bonus to overkill it.
Are we done yet? Nope. He has 4 PCC, which makes for 36% crit on his second hit at base level, which jumps to insane levels with just Saphy near him or Rapier equipped (86%), or just 99% with a Killing Edge. And every Skl level-up of 50% gives him 4% more crit. With that much crit, who cares about 6 str and being locked to swords? Especially when your Str growth is a decent 45% to begin with.
So I guess durability would be his weak point? 24 hp/4 def isn't exactly the best, but there's also much worse out there. His HP growth is 70% though, same as Brighton, which means it can be perfectionized with the Hezul scroll. What makes Shiva so great is Sun Sword, which restores hp equal to the damage he's dealing, with skl% chance. In case you forgot, he deals tons of damage, and has tons of skl to go around. Between that and naturally high avo, Shiva has no real durability trouble at all. That leaves just the 1-2 range trouble which he seems to share with half the cast, though there's something else to say about that: if you give him Fred's Thunder Sword, you raise both his crit and Sun Sword activation significantly while also giving him viable range. If there's any "favouritism" you want to give to him, that is basically what he wants.
There's no one out there doubting it: Shiva is one of the best units in the game. He's a primary choice for indoor maps, and he doesn't mind going outdoors either. And, while I don't give weight to this at all, I have to note that Shiva is an awesome candidate for arena abuse, since he heals himself with Sol and crits pretty much every second attack thanks to Saphy being near.
Edited by Mekkah, 22 September 2009 - 10:04 AM.
Posted 10 June 2009 - 03:41 PM
I've outlined this before, but Carrion is essentially a mini-Fergus, except he also has lances. We've had mini-Othin (Halvan), mini-Dagda (Marty), mini-Brighton (Hicks)...let's see how Carrion holds up.
His bases look pretty bad on first sight, pretty much the ones you'd expect to see on GBA units in Ch1. But regardless, he doubles off the bat because enemies just suck this much, which leaves just his lackluster attacking power to take care of. He does have 4 PCC, but his Skl base is pretty bad (5, so 20% crit on the second hit), so he'll need his Leaf support to get reliable crit (60%). Defensively, he's doing okay, pretty much equal to Shiva but without Sun Sword or huge avo.
However, the guy grows so damn fast. He joins at L1, so every other kill is going to give him a level, and that's pretty easy to set up for him. His 65% skill growth will make his crit more and more dependable, and that 40% str growth will make those crits hurt more and more. Never mind that his mount allows him to trade around scrolls pretty easily, and that he's only 10 sword swings from D swords, and 20 lance launches to C lances. His bld isn't anything special in the beginning, but his relatively high bld growth of 25% and the quick availability of the Neir scroll will make sure he can at least weild Iron Lance and Steel Sword without AS loss pretty soon.
Make sure your Carrion isn't fatigued after 8x, because in Ch9 he can talk to Selphina to get you the only Elite Sword until the great bridge chapter. While Carrion isn't entitled to use the thing, he makes great use of it regardless due to its innate +5 def, and of course he'll grow twice as fast. Elite Sword has many other people wanting it though, such as Karin, Lifis and maybe Nanna, but after just a few kills with it Carrion has no real need for it anymore.
At 9/0, Carrion already has 10 skl, which is cool because then his PCCed crit has reached 40%, 90% with Leaf support. His HP has surpassed the 30s, his bld has hit 8, etcetera.
So we have a pretty standard combat unit. Needs some favouritism for like 2-3 maps, and then his offense is near-perfect and his defense quite sufficient (no tank, but definitely not frail). He can work fine indoors, though his sword level is quite low. Outdoors, he's useful for having 1-2 range with Javelins and just stability in general.
I gave Dagda what he earned, looked further into Marty, named all I could find about Tanya and for a second I might have considered giving Ronan higher than a 1.0. Does that mean Selphina can be cut a little slack?
Selphina's main problem is enemy phase, both offensively and defensively. With 22 hp/6 def, it only takes 17 atk to 2RKO her, and most half decent enemies can reach that. Contrary to what you might believe, Charge does not hurt her durability too much. It's true that it's a bad thing to extend enemy phase most battles Selphina faces due to the fact that she won't do a thing back most of the time, but what you might forget is that Charge only activates if Selphina has higher hp (and AS, but that's a given) than her opponent. Which after taking a hit, she does not. Of course, Charge makes her look extra stupid if she dodges, then as a result extends the battle and ends up taking a hit anyway.
But regardless, I think we can conclude that Charge helps her offense a lot more than it hurts her defense. And boy, does her offense ever need help...5 str is pretty terrible. I'm aware that it's the same as Carrion's base Str, but he joined 2 chapters ago, has the ability to fight more than once per turn and has his 4 PCC to fall back on, whereas Selphina's PCC is only 1.
She does double reliably, however. I don't really have to go in-depth on that since her base AS is exactly the same as Dagda's, and her Spd growth actually exists (35%). With an Iron Bow she has 12 base atk, but she practically always attacks four times against 1-range enemies (the vast majority), so you could say her offense looks quite decent already. From there she just has to run back for shelter, just like we all love doing with our favourite mounted bow user (be it Astrid, Robert, Midir or Lester).
Her decent offense suddendly becomes :gasp: awesome when she runs into Glade, who hands her the Brave Bow. Not only is Selphina likely your only unit in play who uses bows, but she may be the only one with a high enough weapon level to use it until Xavier joins. I mean, you're not likely to use Ronan or Tanya, and Robert joins with lol E bows anyway. So now Selphina can attack up to 8 times with that thing. Not that she needs it: Hero Bow is fucking broken (as I said in Tanya's analysis, 14 mt/95 hit/20 crit with 60 uses is hax). Of course, it weighs her down, but even with 5 AS loss she'll double, and it's likely she only needs 2-3 hits to kill anyway thanks to having 19 base Atk with the thing.
Of course, at this point you'd know I'm not really impressed with having good offense when it seems pretty hard not to have it. Selphina remains a defensive liability. Like Tanya, there's some points where you'll love her sniping abilities, but most of the time she's taking up a unit slot just to have to stay protected. Good player phase offense when everyone else has good offense on both phases, bad defense, especially on enemy phase, when there's so many other units who have good defense on both phases.
What she does have is amazing supports. She gets a bonus from Leaf that's near useless, but she gives out her love to Kein, Alba, Robert AND Glade, the latter of which is a double support. Of course, all of these except Carrion are mediocre at best, though Glade at least can count on being fielded due to his leadership star. Too bad Glade was too stupid to learn how to give a double bonus to her.
Good offense, bad defense, bad weapon type, good supports.
Don't you love it when they make a character without a single story line, but they attempt to give him some kind of backstory anyway through his ending?
Kein is...nothing special. Good str, build and hp, and everything else is about average. Or below it, seeing as he joins underleveled. He has nothing unique to him whatsoever, but if you want to use him I'd say let him use the Elite Sword while dismounted. He gets support bonuses from Selphina and Glade, but the former sucks and the latter is mediocre. His PCC is 1.
Seriously, what else is there to say about him? Wow, 20 WEXP in swords, but an E nonetheless. I guess he is almost at C lances.
See Kein. Except their weapon levels are reversed. Sort of. (10 from D lances, but 40 from C swords). Their stat differences are rather insignificant. I suppose Kein is better off since he wins durability.
I enjoy how he has bases so close to Selphina, while being 7 levels lower.
Just like his other quiet friends from the Dorias mansion, his main problem lies in being underleveled, because his stat growths (and bases, relative for his level I guess) are fine if not great. Bows are a blessing and a curse for a unit like him. He doesn't take counters, but then again if you want to feed kills to a unit, whether an enemy would have countered him is rather irrelevant. He has his own weapons...but he has to climb above his E in bows first. He can't counter melee, which sucks, and he also can't use Elite Sword.
However, he's also more flexible with regards to where he can go on player phase, and he is more useful indoors. Think of Ch11x with all the Archers and Mages, cowardly stowed in side corridors. 12x, same story.
But really, being this far below other combat units at any point of time at all proves a problem. By now nearly everyone you should be using is ORKOing quite reliably, so you'd have to use another crappy unit or lower other people's offense to give Robert kills. Combine that with no enemy phase...
Fred is kind of like Alba/Kein leveled up for a bit, then promoted to Paladin instead of Duke Knight. The good parts are basically that he has A swords which he can make use of both mounted and dismounted, the fact that Olwen supports him and no need for a Knight Proof. He has reasonable growths, particulary that 60% str growth, but it about ends there.
A problem he has is that like Alba/Kein but unlike Carrion, he doesn't really have any easy chapters left to snatch easy level-ups, and in addition he also doesn't gain a whole lot of EXP for everything he kills. His bases as a whole are somewhat unimpressive, and compared to your first batch of promoted units he looks downright bad.
Olwen is a very interesting deal. Her growths are quite amazing (every regular stat growth other than def is 40% or above). However, her bases...they sting. 24 hp/4 def is worse than several of the units you get in Ch1, and in fact it's equal to base level Machua. Couple that with 15% def growth, low EXP gain due to being prepromoted and the fact that her somewhat decent 10 Spd gets bogged down by tomes all the time...what's going to save her?
Well, first off, she has Daim Thunder, another one of those weapons where you wonder if they're even trying to balance out weapons. 15 mt, 10 crit and hits twice looks good, but once again they forgot about the defensive side of things and gave it 12 weight, which is more than her base Spd. So it essentially turns her into a glass cannon. A relatively flexible one though, thanks to her mount and 1-2 range.
From here, Olwen's usefulness depends entirely on what you're willing to give her. She's already being quite low resource by bringing her own personal tome and needing no Knight Crest. By far the best way to make Olwen's performance skyrocket is giving her the Ambush manual you obtain in the first chapter after she joins. She's perfect for it. At base level with Dime Thunder, she kills every single generic enemy in the game in two hits, except for a select few magic users. Even if she couldn't, you can use a Holy Water to add 7 damage per hit, and literally KO everything. 32 attack off the bat ftw.
There's few things that stop Olwen from zapping entire armies to their grave from there. One thing could be missing a crucial attack, which can happen seeing as she has 91 base hit, and you're often at a leadership disadvantage. Luckily, she gets 10% hit from a Leaf support, Nanna exists, and after 12x the King Sword is there as well. Now her problems are pretty much limited to ballistae and fatigue (24 base hp is no fun), so you'll have to be a bit smart with deployment.
Feel free to help out Olwen with some scrolls. She doesn't have a lot of opportunities to level up, though if she's spending a turn taking down an entire group of enemies she might as well hold some scrolls while doing it. Odo obviously helps her hit, any scroll that gives Mag allows her to OHKO more to save weapon uses, perhaps need Holy Water less, and surprising as it may sound, she's a good user of the Dain scroll to make use of her move again ability better. Hezul is welcome to fight fatigue.
Daim Thunder could run out of uses if you use her a lot, though I'd say she can reasonably expect to take down 40 enemies before that's the case (would be 30, but she also has crits and OHKOs). The Repair Staff is a way to keep her going, and you can snag another one from Reinhardt (not a bad idea either way since he's so much less dangerous without 1-2 range). That same chapter also gets her the Holy Sword, which does some fun things like giving her +10 mag (useful to ward off status staves, but not much else), OHKO horse enemies (fun for the current and next chapter, after that you're indoors, so bleh), give Prayer (can't really be relied upon, but better than a kick in the nuts), and it's still brave and free.
Olwen is a prime example of being inbetween units that need no resources to be awesome, such as Othin, and being reasonably good after resources have been invested, such as Alba. I personally think no one gets jack shit out of the Ambush manual, and that KOing things before they have a chance to attack you is pretty damn awesome. But I recognize her flaws, and so should you.
Oh man, I'm going to get so much shit for this one.
First, the good part Mareeta's offense is sickening. Overkill. Massive. Even though she joins extremely underleveled with only 3 str. First she has that own sword of hers, which gives her 14 base atk, with a brave effect, and 20% crit tacked on her 7% base that turns into 99% the moment she double attacks. Every normal other sword still has 35% crit normally. Unlike Fergus she doesn't have any (awesome) support partners until the final chapter (I was extremely surprised when I found Leaf doesn't give her a bonus), but it's okay, it doesn't matter.
So far, she's already ORKOing pretty much everything she comes across, just thanks to that doubling and critting of hers. Now her 60% str growth starts picking up, and she can kill some things even without crits without the Mareeta Sword. Her 75% skill growth basically tacks on 5% crit everytime she levels up. Her Spd growth is 80%, tied with Sety and Misha for highest in the game. Why she even has a +3 promo bonus in Spd is anyone's guess. Her luk and hp will improve rapidly as well, with 65% and 60% growths in each. Just one specialized scroll in some stat makes it a near-guarantee to go up. And going up fast she does, what with starting at level 2.
Now, they also felt the need to give her Moonlight Sword, probably because they regretted giving bosses so much def. And at pretty much the end of Ch15, she gets Starlight Sword as well, which I simply have no words for, other than "fanboy magnet". Because Mareeta doesn't need help in offense at all.
What she needs help in is defense. Her avo is sky-high, though her build is not, which is a bit regrettable since it means she is weighed down by 4 with Elite Sword, which she'd love to use due to +5 def and Elite. Avoid is rarely reliable in this game, due to being constantly plagued by the 1-RN system (which is said to be skewed in the AI's favor, but personally I don't believe that) and so much enemy leadership. And Mareeta's going to get 2RKOed all the time, pretty much. I'll be fair to Mareeta though, and mention that she makes a good Ambush candidate. Not nearly as good as Olwen though, don't get me wrong. She has no 1-2 range, she doesn't insta-KO everything even with Mareeta Sword, has no access to Pure Water to help her atk, and even with 25% crit, 20% Starlight and 20% Moonlight, she has a ~23% chance of failing to trigger either of them even with Mareeta Sword. 48% chance to fail if she doesn't use Mareeta Sword. And there's still ballistae to watch out for.
For a few last notes. She has a movement star. And she has a support with both Galzus and Eyvel who are only around at the end of the game, which confirms my theory that IS loves making fanboy magnet units so that people can go "I LUUUV MAREETA SHE KO'D THE FINAL BOSS FOR ME". But in a game where even the most crappy units (Selphina, Dagda, Marty) can ORKO for the majority of the time when Mareeta is around, but only a few have awesome durability, Mareeta doesn't seem so amazing anymore.
It's weird how Dark magic users usually get terribly overhyped scores in random character guides and recommendation threads. Canas, Ray and Ewan are okay, below average and terrible respectively in most skilled debaters' minds, and yet fanboys insist on praising them into heaven. Salem seems unaffected by the whole hype.
I'll start with a minor thing: Salem is forced into 12x. This brings some hindrances, such as not being able to trade items (particulary scrolls) from battle preparations. But, do not worry! You can trade with Salem while you are holding him hostage in Ch12, so make sure to load on him whatever you want to use. The plus side is that he doesn't take up a unit slot, and that chapter is pretty damn clogged already.
Salem is one versatile man. C Staves, D in Wind/Thunder/Fire, and the obligatory C in Dark. Funnily enough, the lowest Dark tome IS C level, just like how the lowest Wind tome is D level. Linoan could learn a thing or two from this.
Anyway, he has his uses right off the bat. The lightweight Wind just became available, though sadly he still only manages 6 AS with that, and Jormung just turns him into a 0 AS brick. His strong point is obviously his raw attacking power. If you can't double with Wind, then Jormung with its 14 might (as much as a Silver Sword or a Master Lance) should at least put a dent in something. Sadly that comes with hit issues - 84 hit before enemy avoid isn't good, especially not when there's 14 AS thieves running around with Parn's 5 star leadership behind them. Enemy avo tones down after this chapter though, thankfully.
His other main power is staves. Physic is extremely useful for obvious reasons, he can be the one who puts Trewd to sleep to make him easy to capture, and obviously Restore is absolutely awesome. He'll get a B, maybe even an A before long, and will be able to parttake with the Saphy/Linoan/Sarah club of running around trying to make sure that those Dark Mages with status staves don't walk all over you.
Having staves is crucial for him, because just like Asvel, he needs some way to compensate for his own awful durability. There's fiascos involving an enemy attacking him and surviving when he has Jormung equipped, where he basically just begs to get ORKOed (hello 22 hp/2 def). 2 base luck isn't helping either, he'll practically have to carry a scroll around to avoid getting critted. His hp has a decent growth though, and upon promotion he gets +4 def. You might want to promote him early just for that, and also because it instantly raises his staff level by one. Otherwise, he's really a no brainer. Scroll him up, particulary in Skl so he stops missing with staves and Jormung.
Salem happens to join on a very unfortunate time, since after 12x, there's a pretty long march of outdoor maps for him to go through. He can't exactly stay close to the frontline due to his extreme fragilty, and sometimes he has to back off even further due to the prescence of ballistae or mounted enemies. Of course, he can spend his time Physicing, and in the handful of indoor chapters that are left, he can make himself plenty useful, if only because you can never have enough Restore users. And receiving supports from two good characters, Sarah and Parn, doesn't hurt.
For a final note, the fact that Salem's Jormung doesn't poison enemies is proof this game hates you.
There's a lot to say about Parn, so I'll start with an obvious and short point: he doesn't need a Knight Proof. This means he can fit on about any team without causing other people to promote later, which is a significant advantage. You'll notice how lots of people rated highly do need a Knight Proof - the only "real" ones (so not Eyvel) that do not promote with a Knight Crest so far are Leaf, Olwen and Dagda.
First is Parn's stats. They don't look very special in any area other than Spd, which is generally a non-issue, so what is so good about him? He has a B in swords, for one, so he can weild pretty much anything (by the time you get your hands on Sleep, Berserk or Master Swords, he should have an A), which makes up for his pretty pathetic 7 str. Of course, his offense issues are rather null when you realize he has 5 PCC. Even with his 8 skl that results into 40% crit on his second attack, and just like with many other dudes with 4-5 PCC, not much is needed to bring it into reliable range. Lara, who starts being fielded again after this chapter due to dancer utility shoves his crit up by 50%. For some reason Salem and Trewd don't return Parn's favor of supporting him though. Other means of improving his crit would be a Rapier, Thunder Sword, Killing Edge or even the godly King's Sword he comes with.
Then, we come to his skillz. Sun Sword is an amazing skill, especially in conjunction with high PCC, because that means every time he triggers Sun Sword on his second attack he's getting fully healed. Ambush from his class is nice, again with that King Sword. It's not very notable otherwise, though Sun Sword triggering on your Ambushing attack when you're about to die is always funny.
And finally, there's Steal backed up by 8 build, which is as much as Lifis can expect to have now if he promoted. Sadly, non-magic enemies carry pretty heavy weaponry, but he can still steal scrolls, manuals, vulneraries and other nice things. With just one Bld level-up he can steal up to C level staves, as well as Warp, and two allows him to nick Reserve and Silence. Of course, he is also capable of opening chests and doors, I doubt I have to tell you that is awesome.
His durability would be sloppy, but good avo (not reliable, but good as a first blockade), Ambush and Sun Sword go a long way to compensate, and many of his duties don't even involve combat, so he isn't hurt by it as much as a certain group of swordfighters. As icing on the cake, he has FIVE movement stars. So you can get him to attack something, and if he ends up at low hp but triggers move again, he can retreat and/or use a vulnerary instead of having to hope some staff user has free time for him. It also helps him beating enemy thieves to getting to treasure sometimes, or hitting an enemy he failed to KO for whatever reason. Or steal something in a group of dangerous enemies, then run away. I really don't know what they were thinking with giving such a jack-of-all-trades 25% chance of dancing to himself.
His growths are damn good in all his important stats except def and bld. Hezul gives him 95% hp growth, Sety 95% spd, Odo 75% skl, etc. Scrolling him for a litte bit is recommended so he can be more risky with his stealing and fighting on the frontlines later on. Might even want to use the Elite Sword. Definitely equip Elite Sword during steals if you can, it provides him with 10 extra free EXP.
There is absolutely no reason not to use Parn. Even if you don't give him scrolls, Elite Sword or whatever, he remains a great and pretty much RNG proof fighter and thief with so many side properties that he pretty much always has something to do. The only reason he isn't this great on tier lists is due to availability, but my scores are more reflecting about "should I use this unit when I can", and there's nothing but YES YES YES on that one.
HELP! BUGS ON MY FACE!
Tina's stats and joining situation tell you that she is your typical "fanboy magnet" archetype: low joining level, crappy bases (except her luk...5 away from being capped wtf), and pretty insane growths (40% hp, 50% mag, 65% spd, 90% luk, hell even 5% movement), and then also 5 movement stars. And an E in staves.
But the reason we're not going to cast her aside with a 2/10 is obviously her ability to use the Unlock and Thief staves. I'll start with Unlock since it's simple: it's like an infinite range Lockpick that can miss. Oh yeah, speaking of misses. Tina's fantastic 1 skl base gives her 64% hit with every staff except Torch (which always has 100%), and her skill growth is 25%. Thankfully missing with her prf staves doesn't actually cost uses, while it does give her EXP.
This infinite range Lockpick can be useful for chests a thief is about to get, or to open a door near a group that has no keys or thieves (Final chapter comes to mind). Unlike the Thief Staff, you can grab new Unlock staves from some Bishop reinforcements in Ch20, so feel free to use them whenever you need them.
Thief Staff is a whole new thing that has way too many uses to name, but I'll get you a few.
First is the most obvious one: you steal a weapon that you want to get and use but can't steal or get through capturing normally, or you don't feel like reloading savestates until you can...I mean, we don't want to rely on luck. Yeah. For example, a Master Lance. Tina can't exactly get that for free either, since she needs her mag to be higher than the weight of the item. Thankfully, you can use Holy Water or the M Up staff to enhance it, but for most things you will also need to scroll up Tina's own magic. She does have a 50% growth and up to 20% more from scrolls, but that base of 3 is just painful.
Then, you can use it as an effective way of disabling enemy staff users, while you also get a goodie out of it. Steal a Silence/Sleep staff, then trade it around between high ranked staff users to shortwire any others. I've never tried messing around with stealing Berserk and using that on a second status staff user...but in the worst case, the enemies around the Berserked enemy will just kill him. Must suck to be that guy.
It also makes enemies, particulary bosses, easier to beat in combat or even capture. If they're of the type "a strong 1-range weapon and then a weaker weapon that can attack at 2-range", stealing either of them usually makes whatever made them hard disappear. And if they only have one weapon, they're essentially cannon fodder. It just occurred to me that Tina could be one of the reasons those bosses in the final chapter are standing on mag boosting tiles. Obviously taking Trewd's Silver Sword to ease up his capturing is an option as well, but it's easier to put him to sleep since then he won't run away, plus you get way more Sleep uses than Thief uses (and the Thief Staff can get you more Sleep staves at any rate!).
And of course there's very situational but nonetheless handy uses for it, such as the trick to give Leidrick a tome/bow and having him equip it, then nicking his Lopto Sword and proceeding to do something mean and degrading like letting Lara kill him and putting the video on Youtube. Or stealing some items from Xavier's men in Ch18 so they stop killing each other.
Who would think such a little girl could cause such major mayhem with just one little toy? It is essentially a thief, a repair staff, a bosskiller and a preventive Restore staff in one, plus some other things, pretty much the Swiss Army Knife among staves. Of course, there's a couple of strings attached. There's the hit problem addressed earlier, which is why I recommend slapping every skill boosting manual you can find on her, as every skl level up improves her hit by 4%. It's also definitely recommended to do 12x the cheap way: put Trewd to sleep, Warp Lara to Parn, recruit him, then let Parn rob Tina of her staves. Make sure she doesn't run away, and definitely don't capture her or status her, because then Saphy cannot recruit her. If you don't do this, then she'll spam her personal staves to the point of being broken, so you'll have to waste Repair just to be able to use them. And to make things worse, she'll fatigue herself so you can't use her in Ch13 (though to be honest, she isn't really good for a lot of things there).
Besides her personal weapons, Tina has limited use as an extra high level staff user. Thief and Unlock both give 10 WEXP with every use, so she should at least be able to get to C in time for Physic and Restore. She's even trashier than Saphy in durability though, I don't recommend promoting her, or even trying to do anything about combat. Letting her stay disarmed is better, since this way enemies will just capture her instead of killing, which not only leaves the loli alive, but also makes that particular enemy easier to kill. Make sure to capture that enemy if Tina held anything that wasn't hers though (personal weapons aren't put into the capturer's enemy).
Final note: they really felt sorry about Tina's 5 mov. I already mentioned her 25% chance of moving again, but she also has 5% movement growth, the highest in the game, and it can grow every time she uses a staff. It's a shame that there's no way to build it reliably, even with Dain scroll.
Summary: Tina can use staves, she has potential to move a lot, she has Unlock Staff, and Thief Staff, Thief Staff, Thief Staff, Thief Staff and Thief Staff. Oh, and her durability is shit and she fatigues after even 2-3 staff attempts.
I'm gonna put her right up there with the other "combat sucks, utility rules" people such as Lara and Nanna.
Trewd isn't very interesting, sadly, but at least I get the chance to analyze how useful Nihil is, so let's get that out of the way first.
Nihil screws over enemies that have skills. It's a little hard to find them since there's so few, but you know one when you find one since they tend to be the most annoying ones. Personally, I think the most infuriating enemies are those with Prayer. While at first you have a new bitchin' forum post ready about your Shiva missing those Ch19 Troubadours twice with 99% hit, suddendly you realize their Prayer is what gave them their survival. Multiple times. At the moment, I still don't believe it's 100% confirmed when and how often the Prayer RN is rolled, AKA if it is rolled for an entire battle or just for every possibly fatal hit, I believe evidence right now leans towards the former. Anyway, long story short, Trewd couldn't give a damn about Prayer and he'll happily kill those Troubadours for you.
Another skill of great annoyance is Great Shield. Just die already, Baron boss. Of course, by the time you even get to fight those, the hard part is over for most chapters. I think we're more interested in Reinhardt...Trewd makes the perfect candidate for finishing him off because there's no Ambush or Great Shield that will stop him from doing it. Attacking him for non-fatal damage with Trewd might not be a good idea since a double Daim Thunder attack is, you know, pretty damn powerful, but good luck finding another volunteer in your army who is willing to do it.
I'm not even sure if Trewd negates the Wrath that Berserkers carry around (since Wrath likes to be an exception, though I doubt it can work around a skill that says "no skills"), but that's out there too. Oh, and there's the ever-so-annoying final chapter enemies who are loaded with skills. Trewd makes one group's task significantly easier there. Not that I think the final holds much weight in overall performance.
So Nihil is pretty cool when it is in play. Unfortunately, the vast majority of time, it is just decoration, and Trewd is going to have to prove himself. As a pretty underleveled swordsman with only 1 PCC, and only standing out in areas he had no issues with to begin with (come on, sword users don't need more than 10 spd/skl in this game), it's hard to make a good case for him. He does have B swords and a very acceptable 9 build, so he can fix his str issue with that and things like Rapier/Armorslayer/Silver Sword/Killing Edge. And after promotion he gets Continue.
But as we know, offense isn't a very major concern. We want to know how well he takes a beating. 30 hp is surprisingly good, 5 def isn't anything worth writing home about, and 3 luk base isn't going to give him great avoid no matter how awesome his growth is (lol 60%). I guess at least that hp base and growth (90%) is going to go a long way against fighting fatigue.
Final thing is of course Parn giving him a support bonus, and Parn rules, so let's love him for that. Either way, overall, Trewd is good for showing off Nihil, with the usual "kills enemies" offense (with some bonus points for also being able to double the faster ones like bosses) and somewhat mediocre durability. I've never actually given him a chance, but my guess is that he will disappoint nor amaze. Except when Nihil actually matters, I suppose those situations are fun.
Three things sum up Glade: leadership star, supports, A lances. That leadership star is really cool, because you can just put Glade on a free slot and never ever move him and still benefit from it. 3% bonus doesn't look like much, except it works all the time, on all characters, every single turn. You can't really look a gift horse in the mouth on this one. Personally, I think this is how you best use him, since his other strong points aren't very strong at all.
Selphina gives Glade a 20% boost which is pretty enormous, but it's too bad Selphina sucks too much to be assumed on the field. This is also the reason why Glade giving Selphina a bonus (of only 10% for some reason) isn't worth anything. He also supports the quiet Dorias mansion trio of Alva, Kein and Robert, so if you're using one of them I guess that is useful. Emphasis on "I guess", because really, those three aren't good at all.
A Lances is cool, you could say Glade's offense is quite reasonable thanks to having 26 atk with the Silver Lance he comes with, and with an acceptable 11 AS too. Shame his joining chapter and the next are crammed with Armors which he still needs 3-4 hits to kill. Defensively, he's acceptable with 34 hp/10 def. Exactly the same as 17/0 Fin, but without Fin's awesome avo and Prayer. He has no real stat holes or specialities, his bases all hovering around 10-12 and growths of 30-45%, so if you scroll him somewhat he can turn out acceptable if you want. But never really good. And in indoor maps, he sucks. E swords rather than A lances with slightly nerfed stats, so no way to beat Armors, let alone anything else.
Mediocre offense, okay defense, supports he likely won't use a single one of, and a leadership star.
3-13 archer's ancestors. Or maybe the generic CRK NPCs. It just occurred to me Glade has a lot of things in common with Geoffrey.
Thanks for the free lances, now go distract that ballista.
There's two brands of Dean in this world: the one that gets the Dragon Lance, and the one that doesn't. The first one requires Warp or an extremely reckless strategy for Ch14, the second one doesn't. The first one dominates outdoors, the second one doesn't. You can thank the game designers for this one. Putting it on a house only he can visit, then putting as many anti-flier things around your fort as possible. So sadistic.
Regardless of whether you got his personal killing machine or not, Dean is limited in his contributions in his joining chapter since it's completely surrounded by ballistae. His best use during the turns he isn't collecting the Dragon Lance is probably visiting houses, or taking up a choke point. He does have 3 PCC and an A in swords, though his 1-2 range is obviously limited while dismounted. If you're going to do this, give him a Rapier or Armorslayer.
The next few maps is where the party begins. Dean is hands down your best unit in Ch14x. He can devastate pegasi before or after they captured a civilian, he can carry civilians to the exit, he can help to capture Dark Mages to get their nice Rewarp staff while hiding on the mountains to avoid getting attacked by them. While the Dragon Lance isn't necessary for this, it sure as hell helps. It's basically like Fin's Brave Lance, except 5 less hit and 3 more weight (neither matter for Dean, really), and instead of giving +10 luk, it gives Ambush.
In Ch15, Dean can fly over the mountains, perhaps carrying Leaf or another party member to do a divebomb on those bandits who are going for the villages. He might have some hit issues due to the forests, and there's some Hunters out there with nasty tripled might on him, so once he's arrived and dropped his cargo you might want to dismount him. Again, 3 PCC and A swords are your friend here.
No matter which route you choose, both maps are outdoors. His most outstanding performance is in Ch16B by far, since he can fly over all the forests and even the thickets that don't allow you to walk through at all, and he's not effected as badly as everyone else if you let him stop on a teleportation tile. Beware of the Dark Mage reinforcements though, they're downright nasty. He can carry someone else across the forest as well. You might not want to make him move too far away from the main group though, or else the boss might Berserk him and he'll end up out of Restore range, and do silly things such as suiciding or (happened to me once) capturing Sara before you can recruit her. But he's fine on the other route too, for example doing a hit and run on the hill with all the Dark Mages, preferably the boss to stop him from Warping, perhaps capturing one or two, and also recruiting Sara.
Then Ch18 is indoors and he's not doing much there that others aren't since you hardly fight anything that base level units can't beat. Ch19 is some more outdoor fun, though you're actually retreating. Dean can make a run for thieves or villages, though they will usually beat him to some of them unless he gets lucky with move again. Ch20 he will start dismounted, and mounting him outdoors should be done carefully so he doesn't suddendly sit on his dragon when a batallion of ballistae pops up. Then he has three more chapters to show off...the next map and the bridge chapter are too ballistae filled to make him do anything unless you find ways to eliminate them (Lara + Dean are technically able to defeat some ballista spots), and then in the last outdoor map he can take care of some enemy dragon knights, maybe some people from the mounted brigade, and it's about it. He has to be careful of those Dark Mages plopping out of nowhere here, especially since he doesn't get avo from forests unless he dismounts (and then he has no 1-2 range).
Finally, some indoor maps left, which he really doesn't belong in. He's not bad, but he's not outstanding there either.
As you can see, Dean has pretty little playtime left when he joins, so you should make use of the Dragon Lance whenever that is beneficial (nearly always unless you want 2-range). Its properties are awesome. Don't forget about the Ambush skill it gives him, though it doesn't help him against his major problem (bows). Dean functions pretty fine even at base level as long as he has that lance, though you're welcome to scroll him up to further help his durability, maybe his power or accuracy to make capturing easier.
Dean has a mutual support triangle with Eda, who is crap, and Linoan, who is awesome. He won't be in range of Linoan very often, but when he is he gets 20% hit/avo from Linoan alone which is great. And he has two movement stars, so there could be some unexpected moments of rape-XL in his path.
Overall, Dean is sitting pretty the moment you leave Tahra, being pretty comparable to FE10 Haar in a lot of ways. He is greatly nerfed indoors, with little to make up for it other than perhaps his movement stars and support with Linoan, and he has huge problems with ballistae and bow users. His usefulness varies heavily. I´d say he gets a 6.5 for indoor, and a big fat 9.0 for outdoors. There is more indoor than outdoor left though, so I do think rounding up significantly is justified.
Fun fact time.
5/0 Eda...: 22.0 hp, 7 str, 6.0 skl, 9 spd, 9.0 def, 12 luk, 5 bld
11/0 Karin: 23.5 hp, 7 str, 7.5 skl, 20 spd, 5.5 def, 19 luk, 4.5 bld
So against a pretty damn underleveled Karin, Eda wins 3.5 def and .5 bld against 1.5 hp, 1.5 skl, 11 spd and 7 luk. And they both have 1 PCC. That looks...promising.
Of course, what would be an underleveled unit without grossly inflated growth rates? Well, she has 60% spd growth. And 40% str, I guess. I don't know where the rest went, honestly. The only other good thing about her (besides fast EXP gain) is her B in lances. If you read Dean's review you might think that being able to fly is going to magically save her, but Dean had enormous offense and durability as long as he was running the Dragon Lance without getting bow'd or magick'd. Eda's stats are downright crap at this point of the game, and making them good is more trouble than it's worth. Even one hit from a Dark Mage might prove fatal (takes 11 mag to OHKO her, but there's also 1-4 hp poison damage). She can kill pegasi in 14x if they've grabbed someone, but that's about where it ends.
At some grossly inflated level like 20/1, Eda looks pretty good, but that is 15 levels of painstaking babying later. Her only hope is her mutual support with Dean, but he's off owning things left and right, it's like FE5 Zeis flying behind Miledy and Miledy yelling at him to stop dragging him down and finding his own enemies he can kill.
So yeah, please don't go through the trouble of babying Eda just to have her be "good" for one outdoor map or so before she goes indoors. Lol D swords.
2/10, and I think I'm being generous
ATTN: Eda, Miranda. If you're going to be an underleveled scrub, this is how you can get away with it.
Step 1: Be able to kill things right off the bat without getting your ass killed. One way to do that would be to have 1~2 range and hit on resistance. What also helps is having 10 base Spd (though Homer suffers from AS loss from tomes, and he can't use Wind...but Miranda does as well and Eda can't even lift an Iron Lance), and most importantly, 5 PCC. And then Homer has Elite, and 70% growths in skl (helps against that damned 3 base skl) and spd. Alas, Homer suffers from a 5 mag base with only 40% growth, but I don't think the Heim scroll is too much to ask.
Step 2 would be durability, which is still a touchy subject. His avo is pretty okay when leveled up, but avo isn't reliable. His def isn't getting any higher than 4 before promotion, and his 24 hp doesn't get over 34. It's slightly better than Asvel at equal levels, but Asvel is way ahead of him.
But when he does promote, he gets a very sexy bonus. Continue is added to his offense, though it's overkill against anything not a boss. His avo is now probably officially capped thanks to the +6 speed bonus. His hp/def is now 34/8 or so, which still isn't too great, but combined with 2-range and at least taking jack all from Mages helps. The biggest bonus he gets is by far +2 in his D Light rank, which then makes him able to use Resire, one of the very few ways available to actually amend a character's bad durability. This all makes Homeros a good candidate for early promotion, like as soon as he hits 10/0. Elite and staves do a great job of compensating for "missing out" on 10 levels. I say mising out because he might not reach 20/20 at the end anyway. You'll want to concentrate some scrolls on him, particulary Heim, but just for a short while.
At your very first sight, Linoan looks like an easy way to make sure you're going to reset your game. 16 hp/0 def is marginally better than what Saphy has at base level. But then you look a little closer...and her class isn't the same. Cleric and Sister aren't the same thing in this world - the latter gives you access to not just staves, but also Fire, Thunder and Light magic. Not Wind...for some reason Linoan has an E while you need a D to start spamming the most basic Wind tome.
Then you look on, and you find she's the only unit in the game who can use Resire until Homeros promotes or Sety joins. And you see her 5 PCC. And her growths are so amazing that the lack of an early promotion doesn't really matter. And she has a Dean support. And she can use C staves at base, needing just one weapon level plus her promotion to land at A. Yep, someone up there loves Linoan.
All you need to make Linoan one of your main contributors is to allow her to gain that one staff level, and to favor her in 14x. Make sure you do get Resire to make it lots easier - simply get her attacked by a Pegasus (maybe a Dark Mage, though those poison her), return the favor, gain EXP, repeat. She should also be able to double with Fire/Thunder, which triggers her massive PCC, but don't give her HP regain. Some scrolls can be used to round out her magic/skill/speed growths, but you should mostly focus on her hp to counter fatigue. If you still have Elite manual sitting in your inventory for some reason (you probably shouldn't), now would be the time to use it. Wrath can work too, but again, there's better users of it with more availability.
For her promotion, it's in 21, which is barely any better than having to wait for a buyable Knight Proof in 22, but at least it's free. Be careful with using staves with her in Ch20, you don't want her fatigued, or you'll either have to hand in an S drink or miss out on her promotion.
Anyway, just take a look at Saphy's review for how awesome those staves are. Use Resire when her durability is a concern, and for the rest Linoan is an easy win by herself.
I could hype on and on about Linoan, but she's really self explanatory. One of the few cases where durability is easy to fix. 60 use essentially personal Resire ftw.
Man, what is there to say about Ralph? He's as bland as they come. His def and bld growths are as high as they come in the game, his base Spd doubles just fine for the rest of the game, and he has good base hp/str/skl, great weapon levels (A swords, almost B axes), which he can fully utilize indoors. No supports whatsoever, the guy is a loner. And only 1 PCC.
Ralph actually seems like a pretty potent mid/late game unit, just with nothing that makes him REALLY stick out from the crowd. Give him Wrath if you somehow still have it and you have Othin without Pugi, sort of. Some scrolling can be welcome - bit of Sety so he can double more threatening fast enemies, bit of Odo just to make his chance of missing as low as possible, that's about it. Oh, I hope you stocked up on Hand Axes, since besides the one he carried there's none for sale anymore.
I'm definitely going to give him a go next time I play, because he doesn't look bad at all. I'm just afraid of my list becoming too top-heavy to give anything but an average score to a unit that delivers alright combat but nothing else. Route split time...
This guy is totally nuts. A prepromote with good bases, good growths, high magic, good weapon levels that stay intact indoors, but a horse outdoors? And two innate skills, with one (Sun Sword) being one of the best in the game? This man is good.
His base HP is actually the highest in the game barring Dagda. His AS with Thunder is 9, but 50% growth is going to fix that when it's needed, and you can always upgrade it to 12 by using Wind. His Mag looks mediocre, but 16 atk hitting on res is plenty to 2HKO pretty much anything, and again we have a pretty high growth (45%) to boost it. No need to worry about that 0 PCC, Eyrios doesn't need crits to kill. His def is a decent 10, and he's got no real stat holes anywhere. His durability is kept intact by a 13% Sol that can trigger even at 1~2 range, and with his 11 str and 6 bld, you might want to use Thunder Sword with him to upthat to 18%.
Man, I can't get over how high his HP is - this not only helps his durability, but also his fatigue.
Eyrios' Prayer shouldn't be doing anything since he should be so easy to keep at full health, but nonetheless he has quite insane luck, so it might just happen to save his life. 42% chance to trigger 100% avo upon death, 60% if his luck maxes out (needs 6 level-ups, but with a 70% growth and scrolls such as Ulir, Heim and especially Blaggi, that's more of a matter of "will he grow 6 levels" than "will he gain luk").
In the much heated Eyrios vs Olwen debates, I still think Olwen is the better one of the two, but only because of her better availability. But in this rating topic, where it's more of an advice-oriented deal than a tier-related one, I think Eyrios' superior durability trumps anything Olwen has when both are around. Of course, you can only use one of them, which is a shame since they're both insanely good. Obviously only leave or sacrifice Olwen if you're going to go Eyrios route!
Sleuf is here in case you somehow missed all the other awesome staff users in this game. He basically does nothing but use staves efficiently, what with A staves at base, 3 movement stars but no fighting capabilities whatsoever? Expect him to get captured whenever possible, and don't bother fixing it by promoting him. Just let the Warps, Rewarps, Restores, Rescues and who knows what else roll. There's no saving that 4 Spd, 18 hp and 1 defense from anything but a terrible death if an enemy manages to get a shot at him. You may want to get his Mag is high as possible though, so he can Silence/Sleep enemies rather than the reverse.
He is basically another Saphy, but trading movement stars for Repair, a last bit of durability, supports, etc. He's hard to give a proper rating to since he literally doesn't do anything but staffspam, and I kind of promised not to penalize on limited availability.
I never looked much into Misha, so imagine my surprise when I found her overkill 16 base Spd with 80% growth in a game where 10 is enough to double!
She's like Karin, except she's missing 90% this game's flier utility, she has no supports and you don't really have to train her. The only stat she's notably worse in than a 20/1 Karin is luk (6 vs 20). For some reason she has a wtf str growth (55%), but she has to climb out of that base 8 hole first. Not very easy when the only outdoor maps left have ballistae, and she's locked to swords indoors. Her starting with the Wind Sword and her 13 mag should tell you she isn't bad with magic swords, but we also know pretty much everyone wants to use those. 2 PCC isn't anything amazing.
So really, I don't think she's worth much in the few maps she's got left.
Sara is very, very similiar to Linoan. Instead of rehashing Linoan's rating, I'll just outline their key differences.
The first one is weapon levels. She has B staves, at a point where Linoan may or may not have B yet (she starts with C, if you didn't recall). This is pretty interesting, since it means that Sara has absolutely no need to staffspam for her weapon level, since a Knight Proof alone gives her that crucial A in staves for Warp and Rewarp.
She has D light rather than Linoan's B, and unlike Homeros that doesn't suddendly skyrocket two levels upon promotion, which means she cannot use Resire to save her ass against the one or two retarded enemies that don't OHKO her. Seriously, what's the point in making another unit with Saphy's base 14 hp/0 def and not significantly better growths?
And she has skillz. The two best ones in the game, and then one of the least useless. Elite is the most useful one for her, since the other two require her to do combat. Sara grows for practically free. Four Heals, three Mends or two Physics is all she needs to level up once, each. Restore/Warp/Rewarp/Rescue gives her 80 EXP. wtfhax. It doesn't halve after promotion either. And growing she does. 80% in mag, skl AND spd, and 40% luk on top of it. And due to her low base level, if she kills something, you can expect a near level-up as well.
Next are Prayer and Wrath. The former sort of provides a safety net if she's ever attacked, the latter makes sure that whoever does that is going to pay for it unless they're shooting from a ballista. Wrath excuses her from having 0 PCC, and it's not like she cares about player phase - before long she'll be benefitting from double attacks from 20 mag anyhow.
Can't forget about supports. She's one of those lucky 50 to receive a Leaf support, and out ofnowhere she gives one out to Salem. This is probably no better than Linoan, who has Dean for mutual benefit, but it will do.
Finally, Kia Staff. While I don't advocate wasting a million highly useful staves on freeing Eyvel just so she can steal Mareeta back from Galzus, I consider it a useful back-up if Berdo ever manages to Stone a unit you didn't want stoned. Like, you know, the boy who has to seize the throne he's sitting on.
So we have a Linoan who joins later but grows even faster with even haxer growths, slightly worse supports, higher staff instead of higher light, and costs a Knight Crest (though she doesn't need it anytime soon, if at all, to be useful - her growths and staves ensure that). Definitely use her when you can since it takes next to no effort and you'll be begging for more staff users lategame. Or anytime, really.
Okay, Shanam allows you to buy things at half price with the only Bargain skill in the game. Luckily for you, you can buy iron weapons for everyone in the battle preps using his skill, and to make more use out of it you simply need to move him to a shop. This means I'm not going to give him credit for Bargain in my rating, at all, since strictly speaking he doesn't have to be used for it. He's going to go through the process on his combat alone.
And combat-wise, Shanam is hilarious. He has overall worse bases than Shiva and Machua, and they join an entire tier lower, about half the game earlier. Words can't describe how much Shanam's bases fail. His growths are surprisingly good, oddly enough all but move starting with "5", but that's not stopping him from anything but a combat failure. He doesn't exactly grow fast either, so he can't just take a couple of scrolled levels and be out of trouble.
If you're not careful, Homeros will kill him when trying to sway him over.
Miranda's stats are even worse than Shanam's. She has some kind of excuse for it, because she's actually first tier, but all that means is she's going to gain EXP faster. But it'll nonetheless take a lot of growing to get out of this suck hole. 19 hp/1 def is nothing short of getting you killed every time you step out of bounds, and that 8 Spd goes down the drain due to tomes bypassing build. Of course, as you'd expect, they gave her fantastic growths everywhere, except in the one place she needs desperately (def). Which means at best you're getting a glass cannon by raising her. She had to waste pretty much the best skill in the game (Wrath) like that, too.
Of course, she has 1~2 range, so she is somewhat flexible in where she can attack things from, and I suppose she can weaken things at the very least without taking a counter. And with Holy Water/M Up factored in, she can be somewhat damaging. Yeah. Her averages once babied to heaven are pretty good, but by then it's too late to mean anything.
I'm not going to factor difficulty of recruitment into this one, since it has nothing to do with a unit's performance.
His stats seem reasonable at first glance. 38 hp/17 def is very good. 13 str is okay, and he can use pretty much every weapon he wants to. This includes the Brave Bow, which is obviously good since there's pretty much no good character that can use it. However, his 6 Spd is downright ugly. The only people slower than him at base level are Tina and Dalshien, and he ties with Brighton. And Xavier's first action is likely in Ch19, which is a chapter with enemies with actual AS. And it also has some long-range tomes, some Mage Knights, even some very dangerous Hammers. And obviously, move is an issue for him no matter which group he starts in, either for getting to the action or retreating from it.
For some reason he does have three great skills. Charge doesn't do a lot for him with that kind of speed, except helping him against joke enemies and getting him doubled by ballistae. Wrath, however, helps to fix his offense issues to a great extent, and Great Shield is essentially his only form of dodging, though it will never have reliable activation (6% at base, I'd expect maybe 12% at endgame).
Ch20 is nicer to him because it's easy to slide him into a choke point if you're playing it out defensively, and enemies don't really have Spd at all. He does better against armors and ballistae than most, but he has to be extremely careful when it comes to those Mages randomly popping up. He can help capturing them for their Door Keys with his enormous 15 build, though. A problem with him is that he has to be healed pretty often, since unlike others, he pretty much never dodges.
Ch21 is another case of being good against ballistae, but now he has to be careful that a Dark Mage doesn't pop up next to him and take out a huge chunk of his health. The same problem exists in Ch23. Ch22 isn't doing him much good with the Hammers and Reinhardt's troops, but at least he can soak up ballistae without any danger whatsoever.
After that, you go indoors, where people have move more like his, and he actually has more weapon versatility than anyone (including Dalshien, since he doesn't have weapon levels as good). He can be of use hitting Dark Mages before they can counter with his Brave Bow.
For the rest, he brings a leadership star to the table, which means that even if you just put him on the map and not doing anything else he's giving out a slight bonus to everyone. It can be argued this isn't really "using" Xavier as part of your team, but whatever, it helps.
Bad in Ch19, above average in the other maps he's on, Wrath, Brave Bow, good hp/def, bad mobility and a leadership star. That sums him up.
Mounted healer for a few maps, cool. Kind of like a mini-Nanna, with a leadership star instead of Charisma. Including the bleh stats, mostly that ridicilously low 8 str. 13 mag allows her to heal plenty with Mend at least. 34 hp/9 def is about as good as Fergus at around 16/0 or Fred at base level, to draw a comparison...not really worth writing home about, but it's doable.
She can technically use Restore, M Up, Physic and every kind of sword imaginable, so that's a pretty huge plus. For what it's worth, she has ridiculous growths, like 70% hp, 55% str, 50% skl, 45% spd and 60% luk...but sadly there's little time to develop them, and the stats she needs and uses the most (magic and def) have low growths.
So for a very limited amount of time, you have a somewhat decent healer, who needs some good ranked swords to be good at fighting, and gets rather good level-ups a few times. She doesn't seem too bad, and obviously worth giving a slot to just for her leadership star. Oh, and she has a movement star. And 2 PCC, I guess.
Same as Amalda, but trades her healing utility for some better combat stats plus lances. A losing trade, because he really isn't that good at combat. And he can't use lances indoors, which is a waste of a nice A rank level. Having the ability to use that Master Lance outdoors is cool though, especially since the best other lance users (Fin and Dean) have their own Prf lances to spam anyway.
Anyway, his durability is pretty decent (39 hp/12 def, about what Brighton and Carrion get when they promote around 20/0), he can do some capturing jobs, and like Amalda he has 2 PCC, 1 movement star and 1 leadership star. Not bad at fighting per sé, but being "not bad at fighting" isn't worth a lot.
His stats don't look very different from the previous two Paladins, but stats alone can be deceiving. Delmud is one of the two characters that can use the Beo Sword, which gives him a massive 27 atk at base level. It costs him 2 AS though, which makes his Spd pretty bad (10), but still enough for doubling generics...if he wasn't OHKOing them already. His fairly low base level allows for some Sety scrolling for the one or two enemies he misses out on doubling, though it's hard to find something that he needs it for. His 45% growth on his own helps, though. And doubling is what makes Delmud's offense killer, due to his enormous 5 PCC. That gives him 100% crit pretty much as long as he uses something with crit (Beo Sword has 30% innate, so no worries here). Basically, his offense is looking great. His defense less so (36 hp/9 def and takes counters, so on par with Amalda and stuff), though having Ambush + Wrath through his weapon helps. They kind of get in the way of each other, but all the critting before being attacked is a gift nonetheless.
And his great combination with Nanna cannot be ignored, of course. Both have Charisma, and they mutually support, so that's +20% avo for each of them when near each other, and +20% avo for anyone in range of both (+10% more for people Nanna gives a bonus to, but I digress). Quite useful for hitting against all the leadership Cyas throws at you, or enemies on terrain, or simply for helping people to dodge ballistae and Dark Mages.
Delmud gets the shaft a lot in random characters, which is weird since he actually looks very good to me. His only "problem" seems his rather average durability, and the fact that his personal sword is shared by Fergus, but Fergus can use practically any sword and ORKO reliably, so he doesn't care much. The fact that the thing has a mighty 60 uses isn't bad either. Definitely a recommended unit for the limited time you have him.
I'm going to judge Cyas on his own merits here, rather than bashing his post-joining performance for moving away Sety from your team. I think we all know Cyas is vastly inferior, but I'd like to analyze what he does for you anyway.
Obviously the best thing to start with would be his rather enormous leadership. In his joining chapter he contributes 5 leadership, and 3 for the next ones, though whether leadership counts towards a character's credit if they're forced on the map anyway is rather disputable to begin with. Regardless, it's a nice boon. 3 stars is pretty much giving everyone Charisma, including yourself, and 5 stars is like giving everyone Charisma + auto WTA (+15% total). Again, dodging Dark Mages is very advantageous when it's so hard to block them, since they do so much damage and poison everyone.
For the rest, he's not looking very good. He has absolutely horrifying durability, very comparable to several people at base level like Othin and Olwen. Not even his avo is good, with being forced to use Light magic to weigh himself down to 7 AS, and a crappy 5 base Luk. I guess we can count +15% avo for his leadership in there, but even then we're looking at no more than 40 avo. He also has trouble doubling, though he hits extremely hard with a base 18 mag (2 points away from capping).
Free A staves is a huge plus. He's basically a promoted version of Sleuf here (including the 3 movement stars), and Sleuf is pretty useful. I shouldn't need to elaborate a lot on this: heal people who are hurt, prevent or cure status and increase mobility.
Not that it's of any use for anyone. Just recruit Sety.
Who else secretly hoped Sety would join you with his infinite use Holsety when he was owning the shit out of those weaksauces in Ch4x? I know I did.
Holsety alone would make a failure such as Miranda look good. +14 spd (that's after substracting its 6 weight) and +20 skl is just too much. Together they form a Sety with 30 AS, 36 skl, 70 avo, 30% Continue and 100% crit on the second attack. You know, just in case 37 attack hitting twice on resistance didn't blow anything to pieces already.
Add an auto A staves for more ultra-win, 8 movement, a leadership star and a 10% chance of moving again, and you have pretty much the perfect unit. I might as well just say "1-2 range, never dies, always kills, both indoors and outdoors, plus utility".
His growths are just proof of more IS insanity. 75% hp, mag, skill, 65% luk and 80% spd on a unit so close to the end and so close to capping his stats (3 for mag, 4 for skl and spd) is really just the designers giving you the finger. Oh, and he supports Asvel, Machua and Karin, but none of them support him back because they still hate him for leaving.
"Curse your fate for bringing you before me."
20% Starlight, 20% Moonlight, 60% innate crit through PCC (90% with Master Sword, 100% with Mareeta in range), 20 AS and Str, ability to use any sword/axe including the set of two Masters he comes with, 25% chance of moving again. Why don't all enemies just try to escape the map the moment Galzus is recruited?
For melee combat, no one equals his durability either. 54 hp/14 def means he can just go on and on and on and on. 9 mag isn't all that amazing in itself (though very high for a melee unit), but with Fire Sword it goes to a respectable 14, and he's likely to sodomize any kind of magic user he attacks on player phase anyway before they attack him. And on enemy phase, he has 57 base avo.
By the way, contrary to what you might think, Galzus has no trouble at all taking out Leidrick on his own if for whatever reason you need him to. Better manipulate or teleport Mareeta to the middle group, and pray he doesn't activate his movement stars at the wrong moment as an enemy, or you can kiss whoever you were using good-bye.
Edited by Mekkah, 17 June 2009 - 07:48 AM.
Posted 10 June 2009 - 03:42 PM
- Sara's rating becoming higher due to movement growth/stars
- Lower Eyrios due to offense issues in lategame?
- Fix stuff about magic swords weighing units down at range (they go off build, according to some tests vykan did)
Edited by Mekkah, 12 June 2009 - 07:16 AM.
Posted 10 June 2009 - 03:44 PM
I look forward to the rest.
Edited by NoNameAtAll, 10 June 2009 - 03:44 PM.
Posted 10 June 2009 - 03:46 PM
Posted 10 June 2009 - 04:52 PM
So is anyone else gonna rank 10/10 or is Othin the man? Sety maybe? Comedy "Cyas as an Enemy" Option.
Posted 10 June 2009 - 04:54 PM
Galzus and Sety are likely getting a 10, I doubt anyone else makes it there.
Posted 10 June 2009 - 11:23 PM
Posted 11 June 2009 - 06:01 AM
Posted 11 June 2009 - 09:32 AM
Giving a unit a 10 is akin to claiming they have no flaws.
Othin got 10 even though,
The only time he falters in any way is when the game becomes almost entirely based on magic and staves
Hell, considering that Sleep staves target Othin and stuff first..
Posted 11 June 2009 - 09:55 AM
Giving a unit a 10 is akin to claiming they have no flaws.
Then nobody can get a 10. Every unit has negitives. 10 means almost perfect in my opinion.
Posted 11 June 2009 - 06:45 PM
Posted 11 June 2009 - 06:50 PM
Posted 11 June 2009 - 09:22 PM
Posted 12 June 2009 - 01:18 AM
Othin is too, but hell, he was around when the game WASN'T dominated by staves and magic.
Like I said, I'm not sure.
Posted 12 June 2009 - 07:15 AM
For some reflection, I've learned from Dagda's analysis that most enemies are so easy to kill that it isn't funny. On paper, FE5 looks like a joke of a game. So I gave more weight to durability and utility (often combined into staves) than that.
The list also looks quite skewed towards the top. Putting it here again for reference:
10.0 - Eyvel (early), Sety
9.5 - Saphy, Galzus, Othin
9.0 - Fin, Halvan, Fergus, Shiva, Parn, Eyrios
8.5 - Brighton, Asvel, Linoan, Sara
8.0 - Lifis, Lara, Carrion, Dean, Homeros
7.5 - Leaf, Karin, Nanna, Hicks, Sleuf
7.0 - Dagda, Olwen, Mareeta, Delmud
6.5 - Machua, Salem, Trewd, Amalda
6.0 - Ralph
5.5 - Glade, Conomore
5.0 - Dalshien
4.0 - Marty, Robert, Alba, Kein, Fred, Misha
3.5 - Tanya, Selphina
2.0 - Eyvel (late), Eda
1.0 - Ronan, Shanam, Miranda
There's only 13 units who scored below average, with about 37 above average, which is weird for obvious reasons. Then again, this rating thing was more of a recommendation thing than what I'd like to call a glorified tier list, which is also why I did things like splitting Eyvel in two and rating Cyas and all route-split units on their own merits. But it's not going to change a whole lot even after some revision, I think: it simply does not matter a lot which units you use for combat for a lot of the game, as long as you have enough staff users and you make use of resources, particulary scrolls, efficiently.
Edited by Mekkah, 12 June 2009 - 08:09 AM.
Posted 13 June 2009 - 12:47 PM
FE5 Sety is the best character in the entire series despite not being invulnerable like FE4 Sety w/ Holsety.
Edited by skadabra65, 13 June 2009 - 12:47 PM.
Posted 13 June 2009 - 02:07 PM
Oh yeah...1.0 means absolutely useless right, the absolute worst? I think Miranda is better than Shanam and Ronan, at least raised she'll be a good killer with magic, even if she herself dies easily. She can be a great supportive attacker whilst staying out of enemy range.
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