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ITT I rank the characters

155 posts in this topic

This is basically gonna be copying and pasting (occasionally I'll make edits to) the rankings I posted on gamefaqs. I decided to transfer them over here since it's easier to keep everything organized. The original one here is closed so that's why I'm making a new topic.

Like my FE10 one, it's based on beating HM as quickly and efficiently as possible. It's based on a scale of 1-10, with 5.5 being roughly neutral utility, and in increments of 0.5.

Ratings are also subject to change. And since I haven't really looked at this game in a long time (only recently have I started up again), they're subject to change a lot.

Disclaimer: Scores have an error of +/- 0.5.

Here's a scoreboard for easy reference.

10: [url="http://serenesforest.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=28921&view=findpost&p=1756266"]Titania[/url]
9.5: [url="http://serenesforest.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=28921&view=findpost&p=1756289"]Jill[/url], [url="http://serenesforest.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=28921&view=findpost&p=1756284"]Kieran[/url], [url="http://serenesforest.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=28921&view=findpost&p=1756267"]Oscar[/url]
9: [url="http://serenesforest.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=28921&view=findpost&p=1756268"]Boyd[/url], [url="http://serenesforest.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=28921&view=findpost&p=1756305"]Reyson[/url], [url="http://serenesforest.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=28921&view=findpost&p=1756278"]Marcia[/url]
8.5: [url="http://serenesforest.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=28921&view=findpost&p=1756265"]Ike[/url], [url="http://serenesforest.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=28921&view=findpost&p=1756304"]Tanith[/url]
8: [url="http://serenesforest.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=28921&view=findpost&p=1756292"]Makalov[/url], [url="http://serenesforest.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=28921&view=findpost&p=1756291"]Astrid[/url], [url="http://serenesforest.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=28921&view=findpost&p=1756275"]Mist[/url], [url="http://serenesforest.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=28921&view=findpost&p=1756294"]Muarim[/url]
7.5: [url="http://serenesforest.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=28921&view=findpost&p=1756281"]Mordy[/url], [url="http://serenesforest.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=28921&view=findpost&p=1756286"]Neph[/url]
7: [url="http://serenesforest.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=28921&view=findpost&p=1756269"]Rhys[/url], [url="http://serenesforest.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=28921&view=findpost&p=1756282"]Volke[/url], [url="http://serenesforest.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=28921&view=findpost&p=1756279"]Lethe[/url]
6.5: [url="http://serenesforest.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=28921&view=findpost&p=1756314"]Geoffrey[/url], [url="http://serenesforest.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=28921&view=findpost&p=1756293"]Stefan[/url]
6: [url="http://serenesforest.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=28921&view=findpost&p=1756308"]Calill[/url], [url="http://serenesforest.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=28921&view=findpost&p=1756285"]Brom[/url], [url="http://serenesforest.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=28921&view=findpost&p=1756311"]Haar[/url]
5.5: [url="http://serenesforest.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=28921&view=findpost&p=1756272"]Soren[/url], [url="http://serenesforest.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=28921&view=findpost&p=1756301"]Tormod[/url], [url="http://serenesforest.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=28921&view=findpost&p=1756287"]Zihark[/url], [url="http://serenesforest.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=28921&view=findpost&p=1756322"]Giffca[/url]
5: [url="http://serenesforest.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=28921&view=findpost&p=1756290"]Sothe[/url], [url="http://serenesforest.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=28921&view=findpost&p=1756274"]Ilyana[/url], [url="http://serenesforest.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=28921&view=findpost&p=1756271"]Gatrie[/url], [url="http://serenesforest.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=28921&view=findpost&p=1756322"]Tibarn[/url]
4.5: [url="http://serenesforest.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=28921&view=findpost&p=1756303"]Devdan[/url], [url="http://serenesforest.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=28921&view=findpost&p=1756322"]Naesala[/url], [url="http://serenesforest.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=28921&view=findpost&p=1756273"]Mia[/url]
4: [url="http://serenesforest.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=28921&view=findpost&p=1756316"]Largo[/url], [url="http://serenesforest.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=28921&view=findpost&p=1756309"]Tauroneo[/url]
3.5: [url="http://serenesforest.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=28921&view=findpost&p=1756310"]Ranulf[/url], [url="http://serenesforest.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=28921&view=findpost&p=1756320"]Nasir, Ena[/url]
3: [url="http://serenesforest.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=28921&view=findpost&p=1756306"]Janaff[/url]
2.5: [url="http://serenesforest.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=28921&view=findpost&p=1756317"]Elincia[/url], [url="http://serenesforest.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=28921&view=findpost&p=1756307"]Ulki[/url]
2: [url="http://serenesforest.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=28921&view=findpost&p=1756270"]Shinon[/url]
1.5: [url="http://serenesforest.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=28921&view=findpost&p=1756277"]Rolf[/url]
1: [url="http://serenesforest.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=28921&view=findpost&p=1756312"]Lucia[/url], [url="http://serenesforest.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=28921&view=findpost&p=1756313"]Bastian[/url] Edited by smash fanatic

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Ike has two big flaws restricting him from top tier; lack of 1-2 range, and his mediocre bases resulting in a shaky earlygame.

Ike grows into a monster, no doubt about that. He has great growths (50 str/55 spd/40 def), great promo bonuses (3 str/3 def), earth affinity, a mastery that isn't lolgarbage, earth supports, and eventually Ragnell. I don't have much to say about his stats. Even his promotion time is very good for a lord, since he promotes around the same time as everyone else (rather than, liek, FE6, fkn nubass Roy promotes so late).

However, now come his flaws. Lack of 1-2 range is pretty important in this game due to the fact that enemies fail, and people can wipe out hoards of enemies using a simple hand axe (especially if it's forged or the person is Boyd). No 2-range also means he has a lower attack range than those that do or are mounted (he has 7 attack range, 8 after promotion, while those with 1-2 range can have up to 8 attack range, and 9 after promo), which makes him actually have slightly below average mobility as well. It's kinda like Guy in FE7, who has pretty w1n stats but is kept out of the top tiers in general because of no 1-2 range in a game with very weak enemies. Now if enemies were actually strong and we had Ike being Rutger in our hands that would be a different story...

His mediocre bases don't do him any favors either. He has the lowest HP and str of all the units in ch 1, and def that ties Boyd (who wins HP by 11). Bad str + mono swords means his base att is very poor. And he's not particularly dodgy even against the axes. His good growths and supports have to make up for his poor bases before his stats become above average, and that takes awhile. Most likely, his durability doesn't really become above average until he has a B support with someone (liek ch 12 or so), and his offense doesn't become that good until promotion and +3 str.

Band suggestion: anything that boosts str. Def bands aren't going to make a difference earlygame and by lategame it's ridiculous anyway, and he doesn't need spd. Fighter band is probably the best (HP/str); leave the other str/def bands to other units that need them more.

Ike should've gotten Ragnell the same time he got it in FE10; 2 chapters before promotion.

8.5/10 Edited by smash fanatic

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I don't really need to elaborate how awesome Titania is early on. She makes everyone look silly. In fact, even the prepromos that join later aren't clearly better (Lethe/Mordy/Muarim have transformation issues, Stefan has less durability and mono swords...). The important thing that helps Titania makes her the Queen of the Hill, though, is the fact that there are so many options available to her to make her better.

The first one is that the KW really, really helps keep her spd up to par. She also has a decent base (14). This means she will double easily for the whole game.

The second one is supports. She gets half att from most supports, and also mains axes, the best weapon type in the game. This ensures decent att (as example, assuming she's still at base level she has 25 att with double Bs with two of Mist/Rhys/Boyd. Oscar can't even match that until HE hits 20/1, where he wins by 1.65 measly points. And they have the same str growth), and even supports giving some hit ensure her hit stays fine. And of course, she gets good def from her supports, or alternately avoid from Ike (which makes a very fine B; finishes at ch 12). Speaking of supports, her list is very flexible; both healers, the lord, and wtfboyd. She'll easily get full supports.

The third is Sol. Masteries in general are awful in this game, so no one will really care if Titania takes an occult scroll. Sol isn't reliable, but since it still takes several hits to take her down, on top of the chance of her avoiding the attack, Sol will effectively make her invincible except against dragons or something. She may lose durability to people like Oscar, but it's not going to matter anyway.

Forges also help, and while everyone wants them, the fact that they exist gives Titania an option to improve her att (her only "weak" point, and by weak I mean it's only about average once people are promoting).

Band suggestion: she doesn't really need one other than a few levels with the KW. However if you have a str band free, go ahead and give it to her when she's not using the KW.

So... yeah. She's the best unit for a loooooooong time, and even after people are promoting she's still ridiculously good. Pretty easy to give her a perfect score.


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Oscar is pretty good. *inb4lameopeningstatement*

His durability starts off good. 26 HP/8 def with decent defensvie growths (55 HP/35 def), he'll be beating most non-knights or 2nd tiers in durability (and he'll even pass the latter in raw HP/def). But what makes him even more ridiculous is his earth supports (TWO double earth options wtf, and all of his supports at least give 7.5 avo a level) and access to Sol. Oscar is easily the most durable unit in the game, hands down.

His offense struggles in the earlygame though. 6 str/7 spd is pretty average, only marginally better than base Ike, and 45 growths in both is fairly average. However, the KW helps his spd. His str still remains fairly average though even after promotion when he gets roffleaxes, but att is easy to fix.

With all the benefits of a horse/canto, etc., you'd have to be silly to pass him up.

His durability makes him a spanking good candidate for wrath though, since his supports let him live very easily at half HP, and you can get him down to half HP by keeping his supporters out of range. I generally only do this in case my Oscar gets str screwed, or if I feel like soloing maps with wrath javelin Oscar for the lulz, though in other cases you're probably better off just giving him forges as it should be enough for him.

Basically, if you can invest a forge or two in Oscar, or even wrath, you'll get pretty much a perfect unit. Even without either, his massive durability and great mobility won't disappoint.

Band suggestion: Something with str. Once the KW appears he wants some levels with that though, at least until promotion. But str is his weak stat.



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****ing Boyd and his "lol I can use a hand axe and still beat everyone else's att with silver".

Boyd's a freaking beast. He does have a slow start though, since he has 3 base AS with iron axe, but he has an effective 105% AS growth, so that fixes itself quickly. In fact, with either str or spd from his 1st level up, he can actually ORKO some bandits in ch 1 and 2. Ridiculous. With his good str AND att from supports, as well as decent spd (watch for spd screwage though), you can expect this to last for the whole game. And my opening statement? That's not a lie. 20/10 Boyd with a hand axe before ANY supports has 32.2 att. Ike at 20/10 with a silver sword has 35 att. rofflecakes. It's even funnier when silver isn't buyable. Like, 20/1 Boyd with hand axe and no supports has 26.8 att. 20/1 Kieran with steel axe has 28 att.

On the defensive side, he could be better, but it's fine. 30 HP/5 def with okay growths in them, as well as some def from supports (all his options give half def) is fine. He's not a super tank but he's not going to crumble on you if looked at funny, which is great because we want to apply his ridiculous offense as much as possible.

However, it's difficult to give him an extremely high score due to lack of a mount. His mobility is only average while most of the units that will be receiving a high score excel in it, and they also happen to have good offense and defense as well. He's still a great unit to use even if you use many mounted units.

Band suggestion: something with speed.

So... that's pretty much it. Just watch for any spd screwage and Boyd's good to go. Surprise surprise, a ranking for a top tier goes "look at how he rapes everything in sight".


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Rhys is like his FE10 incarnation; low maintenance and input, low but reasonable output.

I don't really need to explain how useful healing is in FE, especially earlygame, even in an easy game like FE9. Keeping people alive without taking up any CEXP is pretty cool.

Unfortunately, that's where all his positives end. He has the second worst durability in the game (beating only Reyson, lol) with one of the worst speed in the game, and since he's a magic user his mobility is terrible too. This does not make him anything good at fighting, ever. It doesn't help that his affinity gives him att and hit, the two things he doesn't need, given his ridiculous overkill mag/skl/lck growths. Yes, Rhys is actually worried about dying in mid and lategame; that's how terrible his durability is. At least other wet paper towels like Soren can get some semblance of durability. Rhys is out of luck.

And as said earlier, his terrible speed means he never doubles anything except for the slowest enemies. His str is crap and his lightest tome is 4 wt, and he doesn't even hit 3 str at 20/20. His offense will be garbage.

Band suggestion: well, he benefits from basically anything. He needs more str, spd, and def, speed the most. Just give him a leftover band, since his stats are pretty hard to salvage.

Basically, Rhys plays dude with a staff role, and that's about it. It's helpful, but after promotion or so it's not really needed anymore.


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Shinon has my vote for the most improved unit going from PoR to RD.

Which means he blew giant monkey dick in this game.

I mean, do I really need to elaborate? His stats in chapter 19 are just terrible. Even if you managed to get him a level or two before he left, he has like 10 str and 14 spd, so his offense is like the Superman 64 of the team, and his durability is not much better. Yeah, his growths are epic, but all they do is turn his really crappy stats into crappy stats after he gets a few levels, which then turns into not as crappy stats, and then finally after putting through all his crap, becomes somewhat passable. And that's just his stats. Monobows means he can't 1-range and he's awful at countering, which is bad given lategame it's easily possible for normal units to wipe out hoards of enemies at once. Shinon is failing to kill one enemy on player phase and does nothing on enemy phase.

Which means any usefulness whatsoever he's getting is coming from his liek 3 chapters of availability earlygame. Yeah, he is cool there, because 9 str/13 spd is above average, and 32 HP/9 def is above average durability (though not significantly; Oscar at base has 26 HP/8 def, lololol). Unfortunately because he has no 1-range his usefulness is limited there to picking off an enemy every turn, and you can't even use him to weaken something if you wanted to for any reason, because he might crit it.


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This Gatrie in PoR was before scientists genetically mutated him into what is now known as the phenomenon Gattacca.

Like Shinon, he has some usefulness earlygame. moreso than Shinon though, because he can 1-range and tank. Very good durability with good str, and since enemies like weighing themselves down his 5 spd might actually double some things, which results in rape. Watch out for axes though because his hit sucks against them.

And like Shinon, he disappears after the earlygame chatpers. However, unlike Shinon, he doesn't blow when he rejoins, since his rejoin time is far more reasonable; instead he's just mediocre. He can still tank all day, but he struggles to double anything other than really, really slow enemies like knights, even if you give him the knight ward. And tanking doesn't really remain useful for long; by promotion, many units aren't THAT worried about dying, at least to the point where his overkill durability can make up for his lack of doubling and poor mobility.

Still, earlygame utility is nice, even if it lasts for only a few chapters. When he rejoins he becomes average though, and by promotion he falls below average.

Band: Knight ward. Anything else and he's just bad.

5/10 Edited by smash fanatic

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Soren has one of the worst joining times ever. I'd say the only units who have a crappier joining time performance in this game are Astrid, Rolf, Mia, and Tormod, and Tormod is debatable.

Soren's earlygame fails hard. He has 8 base att with Wind, which means even with hitting res his offense is okay at best, 4HKOing and doubling weighed down enemies. His 18 HP/2 def is worse than everyone except Rhys (who's about tied), and unfortunately his HP and def growths are among the worst in the game. 1-2 range to avoid counters helps alleviate this, but he gets 2HKO'd by a wet paper towel wielding half-eaten string cheese.

His offense does improve though. His 60% mag growth means his att picks up quickly (he also gets att from supports, but... he only has Ike and Stefan as options, and the Ike support is actually kinda slow so that'll take awhile). He has a 45 effective spd growth (since he doesn't stop losing AS from anything until promotion, lol 0 base and 5 growth), which isn't spectacular but his base isn't too bad (7 effective), so it'll be fine given how slow FE9 enemies are. Spirit dusts can also give more att, since most units that aren't mages don't care for them, so whenever you're not fielding Ilyana/Tormod/Calill he can get them no problem.

His durability takes a long time to improve, unfortunately and that's if you let him support Ike (though I usually do, as Ike doesn't really care who he supports as long as it starts early), which finishes around chapter 23. He has aforementioned terrible HP and def, and a mediocre avo growth, so his durability is heavily reliant on getting full supports for avoid. After his supports are done, he can semi-tank against low hit enemies. 1-2 range mitigates his durability failings, and staves is nice for healing stuff and exp pool, but unfortunately all this stuff just cancels out his earlygame failing. There's really no excuse to 8 att and getting 2HKO'd by my grandmother, even with hitting res/1-2 range/etc.

Band suggestion: Like Rhys, he benefits from basically any band. spd/def are top choices, and mag is nice because it means he doesn't have to rely on the heavy tomes as often, which is pretty cool since it's unlikely you'll be using more than one unit that wants the mage band. If nothing else, something with str.


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Mia is like her FE10 incarnation. After her shaky earlygame, her offense isn't bad. Durability is a completely different story though.

Unfortunately, this is FE9 with joke enemies, not FE10 with enemies that are hard to ORKO and Mia's overkill crit and AS mattered.

Mia's big problem with earlygame is the fact that when she joins, there are so many lances. Liek, 2/3rds of ch 7 uses a lance. Ch 8, ch 10 (if you decide not to do stealth) and ch 11 are not much better. Ch 9 is in fact her only decent chapter because the beach has axes. Otherwise she's 3HKO'd, sometimes 2HKO'd by the higher att enemies like steel lance knights, and faces 50+ hit rates and takes counters from everything, which means her actual durability is just as bad as Soren's, since he at least avoids counters and mages tink him.

Even after this rough start, Mia doesn't improve greatly. Her offense is good because she doubles everything with decent att, but her durability is poor, since the only units she beats in HP/def are the mages/healers (and ties Zihark), the mages avoiding player phase counters and the healers not even being near enemies, so she's only performing around average at best. Vantage can help, but it does barely anything before promotion since she won't be OHKOing anything, and after promotion her crit rates are only in the 20s or so after enemy lck, 50 if she uses a killing edge, but those don't OHKO everything, such as generals, and with no 1-2 range, sages/javelins/etc can wail on her.

If anything, after promotion her performance gets even worse. More people start doubling so her offense gets worse relative to the team (her att is still fine with Rhys support, crit helps a bit), and now the people she used to beat/tie in durability closed the gap (supported Soren actually has more avoid than her, while Ilyana/Mist have about the same def). 1-2 range like javelins also becomes more feasible (and forgeable) due to everyone getting more stats and such, so while people like Marcia or Neph can be going around with javelins, Mia can't do that.

Many people suggest wrath on her. The issue with it is that it's risky, even with Vantage. Because Mia has no 2-range, anything with a 2-range weapon can get a free shot on her, and since she's at half HP with already poor max HP and def and average avoid and res, you may as well put a big "please kill me" sign on her. This also means ballista and siege tomes attack her for free, and terrain like falling rocks in chapter 25 are bad. Her att isn't even good enough to OHKO the tankier enemies like generals with a crit either, and if you don't have her with full supports she has problems OHKOing even the weak enemies like soldiers. Wrath should go on a unit that can survive at half HP but can also drop to half HP quickly, such as units with earth supports. Mia can't.

Band suggestion: str and/or def. Yeah, this is pretty obvious.

So we get a unit with a poor start for several chapters. After that, she has good offense but poor durability, so average overall. Post-promotion her offense drops to around average, but her durability falls behind the rest of the team even further, and lack of 1-2 range is very prominent now as people become better with javelins and such.

4.5/10 Edited by smash fanatic

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To truly give Ilyana a better rating, more needs to be known about shade.

Compare her to Soren, assuming he's level 6 when she joins halfway through chapter 8 (which, even with Soren's terribad performance, isn't the hardest thing in the world, since that's ~1 level per chapter when he gets 30+ exp for killing and your manpower is somewhat limited), their raw stats are very similar, so the difference between them at this point boils down to adept vs shade. Adept is preetty worthless with its liek 10% activation rate (~20% on a double attack), but how often are you going to rely on shade unless you completely know what it does? For example, if there are two enemies nearby, we wouldn't put Soren in range of them because they'd kill him. But would you put Ilyana in range? Since little is known about how Shade works, I'd say it's still too risky to do that.

So what does this leave us with? Ilyana ties or loses every growth to Soren other than str, which only lets her tie speed if they're both using heavy tomes but is slower if Soren uses light ones. And wins lck, which is a joke stat. In other words, her raw stats are pretty much worse than Soren in everything. In particular, Soren wins mag and spd growths by 10 each, so the gaps increase by 1 every 10 levels.

Supports is a bit different. Gatrie and Mia aren't particularly good and you won't field them often. Lucia is awful. This leaves Mordy and Zihark. Mordy doesn't really care who he supports since his problems can't be fixed with supports, but he has 7->9 move to Ilyana's 5->6, so chances are they won't be in range often, but when they are in range Ilyana gets +3 def, pretty nice because it finishes around chapter 18 or so. Zihark is a good support and the B finishes around the same time. Optimal supports would be A mordy/B Zihark, compared to Soren's A Ike/B Stefan. However, with supports factored in, it's not clear if Ilyana wins durability (def vs avo), but Soren does clearly win offense (more mag/spd for less str, adept might actually do something).

Band suggestion: spd. Definitely. If you can't give her one, then def is fine (failing that, give her mag), but she wants spd.

So until more is known about shade, Ilyana is pretty much Soren who doesn't need to be babysat from chapters 4-7, but is generally worse throughout the rest of the game. In my opinion, Ilyana barely makes the cut in terms of usability. Feel free to use her, but you should try to look for better units.


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Anyone who's ever paid attention to FE9 will know how Mist vs Rhys debates plagued the community for years. When I first started debating FE9, I believed Rhys was better, but I quickly switched my opinion to Mist and to this day still hold to it. Regardless, the debate is pretty intense and I don't think I can fit even the major details in one post, so I'm going to simply focus on Mist's non-healing aspects and quickly compare them to Rhys.

Mist's advantages over Rhys include a much better support list, a horse post-promotion, and an easier time to get her combat up to par.

For the first advantage, Mist has one of the best support lists in the game, if not the best. She has very fast supports with Titania, Mordy, and Jill, with a moderate speed Boyd support, and all 4 are very good and likely to be fielded (There's Rolf but he sucks). The first three give full def, Mordy and Boyd give full att, Jill gives half avo, and she gets half att/def from the other combinations not mentioned. Rhys' list isn't nearly as good. Titania and Kieran only give half bonuses to def or avo, and since they have a lot more move than him they won't be in range very often. This leaves Mia who isn't very good and full att/hit doesn't solve any of Rhys' problems either. Ulki and especially Rolf are very bad. Supports give Mist a noticeable durability lead on Rhys when they're in effect.

The second advantage compounds with the first advantage. The horse has all the benefits of canto and such, which is very important for Mist because even after supports she isn't invincible (and her offense without the SS really sucks), and the horse lets her heal and get out of the way. The horse also means she can keep up with her supporters. Titania, Jill, and Mordy have 9 move, the first two having canto as well. Boyd has 7 move. 8 move and canto fits almost perfectly with these units. Rhys, getting no horse, is out of luck.

The third advantage is a bit more subtle and may not even apply depending on your playstyle, but it's there. Basically, to turn Mist into a usable combat unit, she needs either two arms scrolls, or an arms scroll + 10-15 attacks with steel sword, to be able to use the Sonic Sword. There's some competition for the arms scrolls but it isn't fierce, at least compared to what Rhys requires to close on Mist's statistical leads. Since he loses speed and durability and mobility to mist, he would need the corresponding stat boosters to catch up. That's a lot more resources to give him with much greater competition for them than what Mist wants.

Now Rhys does have some advantages on Mist, namely performance before Mist joins, as well as promoting before Mist. However, the latter advantage doesn't last particularly long as Mist can simply use physics for massive exp or even use a master seal (granted, so can Rhys, but the point is that Mist can promote shortly after Rhys). The first advantage is nice, but all it really tells us is that you should use Rhys for earlygame, then when Mist joins you should probably drop him for her. Unless you want to use both healers (which isn't a bad idea) or you really like Mia.

Bands: If you want to give the SS to Mist ASAP, give her a spd or def band. Otherwise str is your best bet.

Of course, being better than Rhys doesn't automatically make her incredible. Her durability is still bad compared to gods like Oscar and Jill, and it does take work to get her offense up. Healing is nice, but as said earlier it's a lot less necessary post-promotion which is where Mist actually has her advantages on Rhys. However, it's hard to pass up on that support list, and SS Mist has very good offense. Like, better than Boyd...

8/10 Edited by smash fanatic

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In the beginning...there was Rolf. And he was an archer. At level 1. In chapter 9.

Anyway, let's see how good Rolf is with his bow.
13 atk, 6 AS
That would be about right for chapter 1 as that's about what Oscar has then. Unfortunately, for chapter 9, it's massive suck.

How's he doing on defense?
18 hp, 6 def, 2 res, 16 avo
That's worse than people in chapter 1. So you know it sucks hard for ch 9.

So Rolf's joining time is massive suck. Actually, that's an understatement. He joins as ubermassive suck. The only way he's killing anything ever is if you go out of your way to set up kills for him, which hinders you and also deprives other ppl of exp. Double phail. Even if he was somehow getting as many kills as everyone else, he still wouldn't be catching up any significant rate. At 10 levels under, he's gaining 15 more exp per kill. With 6 kills per chapter, that's less than a level per chapter, and the rate of catch-up decreases with every level he catches up. By chapter 17 or so, he would still be 5 levels behind, and then ppl promote. He was suckingmassively all up until then, improving slightly relative to the team, and then he drops back down to ubermassive suck again for several more chapters before he promotes and bumps back up to regular massive suck.

Anyway, let's see how good Rolf is when he finally promotes at 20/2.
16 str, 18 spd
18 spd is not bad, but 16 str is only about the same as other 20/2 people. Which means because he's still underleveled and uses crappy mt bows, it still sucks.

What does his defense look like?
33 HP, 14 def, 9 res, 48 avo

That's about what other 20/2 units have. Except they're higher level and have better supports. And he can't even counter anyway. More suck.

Bands: str. His spd base is pretty bad but a band can't really do anything about it, and if you bother to baby him his 50 spd growth helps that area. And he doesn't need def since lack of 1-range means he shouldn't be countering anyway.

So what does Rolf bring to your team? "hey look at me phail the entire game" Why would you ever bother with him? He needs loads and loads of resources all the way until he promotes before he can even start sucking. Before that, he's just crap.

1.5/10 Edited by smash fanatic

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Marcia is proof that flying/canto is laughably OP.

Marcia's bases are not incredible. Her stats will be around what Mia will have, which isn't saying much. Her str and def growths are also low (40 str/25 def), though 55 spd is good. Her supports are mediocre because she gets only half att/avo from Kieran, half att/def from Gatrie who's not really that good beyond earlygame, Rolf is awful, and Tanith support starts late (though it gives good bonuses).

However, flying is just so damn useful. She joins a bit late in chapter 9 to do much, but she can help a lot if you want to do stealth in chapter 10. Chapter 11 ias lots of houses to fly around. Chapter 12 and 13 are on boats which have very limited ground space, but Marcia doesn't care. Chapter 14 is rivers. Chapter 15 is sand, and against she's almost required for the pacifist route for BEXP. I could go on. Nevermind the benefits of canto.

Her stats aren't the best, but if she can't frontline on a given turn she can still fly in and attack and fly out for a free contribution. She can ferry around lower mobility units like Volke to reach chests and doors faster. And when her stats are enough, she can fly out and be awesome. It's trivial to give her some BEXP to fix up her stats because with her mobility, she can pay it off so easily.

Bands: str and/or def. Pretty easy to say.

So what's stopping her from topping the rankings? Well, BEXP is a good idea on her, but it still doesn't make it free. Other great units like Oscar and Boyd need little BEXP; simply giving them ~1/10th of the BEXP you get will let them stay on top of their levels. Marcia needs that, but needs a little extra for her start. Even beyond that, you'll need to invest a little more. However, in this game, stats are easier to fix than mobility.


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RD Lethe should've taken notes from her PoR counterpart. At least she's way better here.

Lethe's earlygame is great. She does have the transformation problems, but she does transform on the first turn, which means she can immediately start doing stuff. Fully transformed she has 34 HP/14 def/10 res/45 avo, on the offense side it's 26 att/15 AS and hit actually matters earlygame, and she has tons of it. No one save for Mordy is matching this, not even her jeigan-ness Titania (HP is about tied, loses every other stat). Ike doesn't even reach 26 att until he promotes, doesn't reach 14 def until promotion either (though by then he has supports so he'd win durability anyway, but still). Doesn't reach 15 AS until level 16. Attacking only about half the time is a problem, but still, raping half the time + not doing anything the other half is better than just being average the entire time, which is the case for many units earlygame (Zihark, Soren, etc)

Now I do have to talk about Lethe's downsides. Her offense quickly falls behind, especially once your beorcs start to catch up. Being out of commission half the time is a big problem mid-lategame. If she wants to attack full time, not only does she need the one-of-a-kind demiband, but her stats fall behind. Instead of getting 6 str/3 spd/5 def from transforming, she gets 3 str/2 spd/3 def. This hurts her attack tremendously, especially since around promotion your beorcs can use steel weapons without AS loss. Suppose around promotion time for your beorcs, Lethe is level 9. With demi band her offense is 26 att/18 AS. A 20/1 Zihark with iron blade has 24-25 att with more AS and crit. Nevermind comparing Lethe to units that are good, like Oscar who has more att and, with knight ward level ups, the same or better AS. With no access to forges her attack remains poor forever.

Her durability is not the best either. At level 9 with demi band that's 42 HP/13-14 def/54 avo. Zihark with supports has about 8 less HP and marginally less def but a double digit lead in avoid.

Lethe's problems only get worse as you progress into the game, when silver weapons become buyable by chapter 23-24, supports are finishing up for beorcs, and they are leveling up faster (speaking of supports, Lethe's is pretty bad because heaven is garbage. Ike doesn't really want her, so at best she gets 1-2 def with small amounts of avoid). By the time silver weapons are buyable Lethe is almost unusable: Max level Lethe with full bonuses has only 34.5 att. Beorcs only need ~20 str with a silver weapon to match that, and most everyone you're using achieve that very easily. Nevermind what happens in a more realistic scenario.

However, she has a very good earlygame, so she has plenty of use there. But by promotion you should drop her.

Band: If you really want to use her beyond chapter 17, a str band or the obvious demi band.

7/10 Edited by smash fanatic

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Mordy has an awesome start just like Lethe. His transformed stats?
31 att/11 AS
41 HP/16 def

Resident att freak Boyd doesn't even reach that until he's almost promoted. Most every other beorc won't break 31 att until post-promotion with a forge. With 65 str growth and att from supports, his att will remain good even until the lategame and demi band. To give you an idea, a 20/10 Oscar with silver axe has 35-36 att. Level 10 Mordy with demiband and +2 att supports has 35. And Mordy starts off at a higher level. 11 AS isn't too bad for chapter 11ish, but he has so much more att than the rest of the team it doesn't even matter if he doesn't double, he'd still do more damage anyway.

That HP/def is very good too, since most beorcs won't even match that until promotion. With 150 HP/40 def growths and def from supports, it'll remain good the whole game.

Couple this with 9 move and even smite, which is interesting because untransformed he smites everything that isn't mounted, and when he is transformed he can smite them too.

Now as everyone knows, his speed mid-lategame is a problem. Whether you need to invest a speedwing in him or not depends on what you want him to double. Without one he can double wyverns and generals, borderline doubles soldiers and fighters. With a speedwing those borderline enemies becomes ensured, and now he becomes borderline on cavs. He has almost no prayer of doubling laguz or SMs, unfortunately. This is assuming demiband, though without demiband it's just +1 spd.

Overall, he's great early-midgame. But once units start promoting, he has his fair share of problems, namely problems doubling, laguz gauge, and no 1-2 range. However, he has 9 move, lots of durability, and smite, so there's enough reason to use him later on. And if you can get his spd up, his huge att will pull through.


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Volke's combat in this game is almost as bad as the [s]Detroit Lions[/s] Peyton Manning-less Colts.

Knives suck massively in this game. srsly, 8 mt for the strongest knife that isn't even buyable until chapter 27? wtf. He doesn't even get daggers, which are 4 mt, until chapter 15.

He has 14 att at base level with knife. Mages in chapter 11 has 22 HP and 5 def. He needs 3 hits to kill a mage, he needs 4 levels just to 2HKO. He needs 6 levels just to do 1 damage to knights. wtf, this guy should not be fighting ever.

His durability is no better. His HP is alright, his avoid is only average, and his def and res are bad. His supports may as well not exist since his only one is with the worst character in the game.

So now that we've established how much he sucks at fighting, let's talk about his good stuff. There are a bunch of chests he can open, and while Sothe can do it too, he's still only one of two thieves available. Chapter 13 has chests, 15 is desert, 16 has chests, 18 has chests, 21 has chests, 22 has chests, and 27 have chests. Chest keys also exist but I'm sure there's not enough to open them all. In addition, starting at chapter 18 or so, I distinctly remember there being physic staves to steal nearly every chapter, so if you are fielding any staff users, it's not a bad idea to use Volke to get them.

Anyway, there's not a whole lot to say about Volke. Chests are cool, stealing physics are cool. But that's it.


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Kieran's manliness solos the game.

His bases are amazing for a tier 1 unit. 11 str/12 spd is arguably the best balance of any tier 1 unit (12/0 Oscar loses both - wtf, the green cav loses to the red cav in both), 12/0 Boyd has more str but less spd, 12/0 Ike has slightly more spd and way less att, and I don't even need to bother with the others. 30 HP/10 def also beats every first tier sans Oscar who wins both by about 1 (though Oscar has way more avo thanks to supports) and your knights.

His growths? He never falls behind ever. His att will consistently be one of the highest on the team. 40 spd is a bit poor, but he has access to knight ward so his spd is amazing anyway. His defensive growths are 60 HP/40 def/105 avo, the avo being rather low but the other two are good, along with access to Sol and a great Oscar support and okay marcia support, makes his durability awesome too.

Couple this with a mount, and you have one of the best units in the game.

Band: str, along with some levels with KW when needed. However he doesn't actually need it, so if you don't have any str bands free, just give him a spare band.

There's not much left to say. His stats start off great, they end great, and he has great mobility. The only real reason I can't give him a 10 is that he's not Titania.


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Without the KW, Brom would be horrendous.

You can take one look at his bases and growths and know that he's got lots of HP, str, and def, and no spd or move. Supports give him even more str and def just to make it overkill. He's kinda like Gatrie, except trading some earlygame usefulness along with overkill str and def in exchange for +2 spd base. So of course, the entire rating will be based on the knight ward and move.

First of all, how fast is Brom with the KW? Well, it has almost no effect early on when it has no time to do its work. Don't expect him to double anything other than the slowest enemies (like knights and weighed down enemies) until then. After promotion, assuming he got 10 levels with the KW, he has 15 spd. This is still on the lower end of your PCs (20/1 Ilyana has 15.2 without a spd band for comparison), though for now it doubles a fair bit. With KW giving him 55 spd growth he does catch up. In 9 levels, at 20/10, he'd be sitting at around 19 spd, which is roughly what a 20/10 Boyd has (pre-band), who doesn't double everything but does indeed double. So post-promotion, he won't double the fast enemies like laguz or paladins, but he can generally double the rest, which isn't bad.

Unfortunately, the KW isn't free. The paladins all want time with the KW for level ups, but most importantly they'd want it before promotion for that +2 def when they're not lolinvincible. Neph doesn't really need the KW for speed, but she'd love it for the def boost, especially since it's a buffer for her half HP shenanigans with wrath. KW also means it's much harder, if not impossible, to use Gatrie/Devdan simultaneously, and while neither are that good, they can still be used if you want to complete support chains or something (there's Tauroneo too but he doesn't get enough time with the KW to gain a whole lot from it). While Brom is probably your best investment with the KW, the drawbacks still have to be applied, and they are noticeable.

The move is also problematic if you want to use a high-mobility team to blaze through maps, since he ends up in the dust. Granted, your average move units will too, but even on a lower mobility team the 6-move can be problematic.

Bands: [s]knight ward[/s] priest band

Still, Brom has his pluses. Post promotion, his att with normal weapons is about what half your team has with forges, and he never dies. Unfortunately the KW penalty sucks and the mobility hurts him as well.

6/10 Edited by smash fanatic

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[s]Neph is worse than Aran.[/s]

Neph's stats are almost like Marcia's, with the same str and spd bases, Neph having +2 HP and +1 def. They even have the same HP/str/spd growths, though Neph does win def by 10, which means she'll eventually get a nice def lead. However, for some reason she starts with E lances, so she can't even opt for more att by using steel until a couple of chapters later. This actually isn't impressive because Marcia flies and Neph... doesn't, and having only average mobility is one of her biggest flaws, moreso than her fairly mediocre bases. Like Marcia, you need to give Neph a little extra BEXP to get through her start.

However, Neph has a saving grace. Wrath is very good in this game, unlike FE10 where it sucks and the only unit who could use it semi-decently was Micaiah (and that was because she gets one shotted anyway), 50% max HP gives it much more leeway to work. While she's a bit too frail to do wrath shenanigans prepromotion, post promotion she enough defenses to use wrath effectively at half HP, yet she doesn't have too MUCH defense where she can't drop to half HP in the first place (I'm looking at you Tauroneo, you need to ****ing rescue someone before you even get there).

Neph also really loves Vantage, just like Mia's wrath/vantage. Now I could explain why Neph with the combo is better than Mia with it, but that's not the time to say it. But I will say that Vantage isn't particularly in high demand, relative to what Neph can pull off with it. Vantage is nice as a buffer to kill off enemies that didn't die on player phase, but Neph can abuse Vantage/Wrath to hell and back. Granted, you could give both Vantage + wrath to a unit, but this just shows that Neph saves you a wrath scroll.

To increase Neph's performance with wrath, use Calill support to buffer her avoid. If you can spare the angelic robes, she'd like them too for more room to work with for wrath, though it's not necessary. Sparing the Vantage scroll is the most important resource if you want to abuse her wrath.

Bands: Str. If you aren't crazy with wrath it obviously helps her damage, and if you are crazy with wrath and give her vantage, it can help get more OHKOs with those crits. Alternately you could give her the knight ward for +2 def. However, two of her three supporters are with units who desperately want the KW (Brom and Devdan), so you might want to give the KW to one of them instead, mostly Brom because Devdan kinda sucks even with KW.

So Neph has a rough start. She joins underleveled and needs a bit of a push to get through her starting chapters. even once she catches up her stats aren't the best and her mobility is only average. But wrath is too good to pass up. Prepromotion it's dangerous to be at half HP, but post promotion she can do it fine. Give her a little bit of support and she'll be great.

7.5/10 Edited by smash fanatic

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Zihark is like Mia, if Mia had an earth affinity/adept instead of fire affinity/vantage.

While he doesn't have the same struggles Mia has in chapters 7-10, and exists for half of chapter 11, he's still downright mediocre before promotion. You can pretty much read up on Mia's notes on his performance between chapter 11-17, as he's more or less a carbon copy of Mia before promotion, sans for their skills which isn't really going to make a significant difference at this point, since adept's activation rate here sucks and Vantage isn't going to let Mia OHKO very much because she has no crit and her att sucks.

HOwever, the big reason why Zihark is a step up is supports. Once his supports are underway, his avoid reaches respectable amounts, giving him good durability. His support list isn't amazing, but Muarim is a good character, and Brom and Ilyana are both about average so you can usually get Zihark full supports. He gets at least 25 avo from full supports and gets half def from all of them. Brom even gives him 1 att.

Unfortunately, he still has all of Mia's other problems. His att is okay, backed up by crit and adept, but unfortunately he lacks 1-2 range (or rather, good 1-2 range; lol @ Zihark using the sonic sword). In a game where we face hoards of joke enemies, being able to wipe them out at 1-2 range is a huge boon. Lack of a mount also hurts too.

Bands: str. Def bands aren't going to help him earlygame when he actually needs it, and lategame his avoid covers his durability. And he obviously doesn't need spd.

So early on he has above average offense, but below average defense, so his earlygame is about average. After promotion, he has above average defense and maybe average offense, but lacks 1-2 range and mount.


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Jill is like Marcia's opposite, which is what you generally expect when comparing pegs to wyverns. She has more str and def in exchange for spd. However, Jill's spd is much more acceptable than Marcia's str or def.

Jill's bases are pretty good save for spd which is a bit low. 11 str and def are great, and they'll be one of the highest on the team even at her base level. 9 spd is a bit low, but being underleveled + decent spd growth lets her catch up fairly quickly. By promotion she'll have 16-17 spd, which will be around the middle of the pack. However she'll also have ~18 str and 17 def along with axes and lances, which will be a bit above the rest of the pack. She also has a very fast Mist support, which can be in effect quite often once Mist promotes, and gives 1 att/3 def/7 avo at A.

Of course, what makes Jill so great is the flying. You can read Marcia's rating for more info on that. Flying is just way too good to pass up. But tack on great stats and you have a winner.

Bands: Spd. It'll turn her somewhat middling mid-lategame spd into something much more acceptable.

So that's it. Use Jill, fix her starting speed with a little bit of BEXP, and w1n the game.


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Volke's combat is almost as bad as the [s]Detroit Lions[/s] Peyton Manning-less Colts.

Sothe's combat IS worse.

I don't know what else to say about Sothe. I mean, I could make lots of jokes about how much he sucks at fighting, but that's not necessary. He's still usable because he's one of your two thieves. He even brings a little bit of supports to the team that Volke doesn't (Astrid/Tormod >>>> lolbastian), and doesn't cost 50 gold to pick locks, though that is obviously minor.

Of course, his stats could get in the way of thieving, but generally they don't. Chests and doors don't attack, so he can open them fine. Priests can't attack so he can steal their physics. Bishops suck so much at attacking that even Sothe can take a hit from them before stealing from them.

Of course, despite having a score that reflects his usefulness, you shouldn't field him unless you need thieving duties.


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Astrid is an Est done right. Well, at least FE9 Astrid. FE10 Astrid... idk wtf they were trying to do with her there

Obviously, Astrid starts off with crappy stats. Level 1 at chapter 13, which is only several chapters away from your normal units promoting, is very underleveled. She has terrible att and doesn't double and dies in 2 hits.

Now that's the bad news. The good news is that paragon gives her loads of EXP. She gets like 30 exp just for hitting something in her joining chapter, and gets like 80 exp for kills, and attacking a raven gives like 40. With 2-range and 8 move and canto, it's very easy for her to chip at an enemy for free exp. While doing bad potshots isn't helpful, she can get exp without getting in the way. So those bad bases? They're actually much more manageable than you'd think.

And she'll still level at a ridiculous rate, when you throw in getting twice your mileage with BEXP (use the KW on her during those early level ups to get her spd up), almost free chip damage, and so forth. Don't be surprised if she promotes at the same time your other units do.

Post promotion she still levels quickly. For example, if a 20/1 unit kills a level 18 enemy in chapter 18, that's 21 exp. For Astrid to gain less exp than that for killing the same enemy, she'd need to be about 20/8. A 20/5 Astrid still gets ~30 exp for the kill. While her growths are actually not that good (40 str/30 def are both a bit below average, 50 spd is good but she has lots of spd anyway), since she's gaining like 50% more exp than your other units you can think of her growths being more like 60 str/45 def, which is pretty awesome. Even if she's gaining only 25% more exp than your other units her growths are more like 50 str/37.5 def, which is not bad.

At the very end she does slow down a bit, because she level caps quickly while the rest of the team is still gaining levels. 23 str/19-20 def is a little low for lategame, but you can remove paragon and give her sol so it's not a big deal.

Bands: KW to get her spd up to double. Once that's done, str the rest of the way.

So what's stopping her? She's not particularly hard to train even being underleveled because paragon + 2-range + canto makes it almost pain-free to level her to promotion, but during her training time she's not really helpful so much as not getting in the way. Even once she finally promotes, gaining levels really fast sounds nice but her growths are somewhat poor so she needs more levels just to stay even with the other units at the top. Basically the very good units have earlygame usefulness that Astrid doesn't have.


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Makalov is ugly, but he has good stats.

Well, eventually good stats. his bases are mediocre. 30 HP/10 def is alright, but 10 spd is only alright, and 9 str with swords is bad.

However, he improves very quickly, especially if you BEXP him with KW. If you do that he ends ups with 60 HP/55 str/80 spd/45 def growths, so just a few levels makes a huge difference for him. 4 levels of BEXP with KW turns his 30 HP/9 str/10 spd/10 def bases to about 32-33 HP/11 str/13 spd/12 def. 17 att/7 AS with steel sword becomes 19 att/12 AS. That speaks for itself.

Once he promotes, he becomes great. He'll have str and def on par with a 20/3 Oscar, with better growths in both. Again, that speaks for itself.

Surprisingly enough, he's pretty similar to Astrid once they promote. A 20/1 Mak has the same str as a 20/3 Astrid, while winning HP and def, and Astrid wins spd but at this point it's not really relevant other than more avoid (though more avoid does help against the HP/def). Now if Astrid gains 50% more exp than Mak, her growths are effectively 60 str/45 def, while Mak's normal growths are 55 str/45 def. Of course at the moment she's gaining more than 50% more exp, but when the level lead widens that drops to 50%, and eventually goes below 50%, so 50% more sounds like a good estimate. I tend to view Astrid being better than Makalov, since she's easier to train to promotion, which I find to be better than Makalov being a little better once he is promoted. But they're both good, and most of all they support each other, so you should field them simultaneously.

Bands: Same as Astrid. KW until he doubles, then str the rest of the way.


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